2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Disc golf course in West County St. Louis
- Well-used elevation changes
- Good mix of technical shots and open drives
- Good mix of short and long holes
- Holes allow for different drive techniques that can be effective (backhand, sidearm, tomahawk, roller, etc.)
- Beatiful scenery--trees, squirrels, deer, rocks, grass, etc.
- Well-maintained park with aquatic center, dog park, tennis courts, pavilions
- Course does not overlap with other park features; no major safety concerns of hitting pedestrians or other park guests
Cons: - No concrete teepads; natural teepads are often rocky or eroded which prevents a confident run-up and also creates safety concerns with landing on natural features
- Baskets have one set of chains and generally do a terrible job of keeping putters in the basket
- Holes 1-4 require a higher fitness level, as the terrain has steep inclines filled with rocks and roots that slip; I have fallen several times trying to go down the hills for discs
- Long walks from 3 to 4 and 8 to 9
- Horribly unforgiving putting circles--no mulch on the rocky, hilly holes leads to a lot of putts turning from birdie-looks to 5s. It is obvious this course is left to the elements, as no noticeable effort has been made to maintain the course
- The ample trees on 1-4 provide a challenge that can punish decent shots; the fairway on 1 is especially nonexistent, so even the best of drives can kick off a tree and glide down into the dried up creek 50 feet down the hill
Other Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoy playing at The Bird. It is one of three courses in the Ballwin/Manchester/Chesterfield area, and even though it is only nine holes, it requires a number of different shots and discs to complete.
The course divides itself into two "halves": the technical, densely-wooded front 4 (and hole 9), and the long, open 5-8. 1-4 can be quite frustrating, as you are a bad roll away from turning a birdie-look into a 5 or 6. In any given round, you will have at least one instance of horrible luck, with a gem toss being kicked by the elements to bogeyland and beyond.
With that being said, it is still possible to put together a decent round, as the open holes reward good shots with deuces. The kicker is that on the open holes, the wind is often a major factor, so you need to bring a nice selection of distance drivers to account for the various winds that play on top of the hill for 5, 6, and 8.
Unlike the rest of the park, the disc golf course receives little to no attention in regards to maintenance. The natural teepads are long past their lifespan, and I can never take a 100% effort run-up when throwing my drives. After a little rain, the natural teepads become softer than a RFF Wizard and non-careful x-steps could result in a nice slip and fall.
I have played this course probably 100+ times because it is so close to me, and I keep coming back. My personal best for the 9 holes is a 27, and my average score probably ranges between 30 and 32. The bad luck adds strokes like you would not believe, and a few of the holes (4 and 6) are very difficult birdies, so it is hard to erase the several bogeys that will likely occur.
Come prepared for a hike, enjoy the scenery, and aim for par. The Bird is a fun one if you have patience and some nice weather.
1. Short, RHBH slight hyzer through a densely-wooded valley. I usually throw a Roc3 or Gateway Warrior and hope to miss trees.
2. Medium-distance, wooded tunnel shot. Throw a RH flick, and you will end up in the dried up creek at the bottom of the hill. Throw a RHBH and you will pray to not roll down the hill. I typically throw a Thunderbird and try to keep it straight, but a stronger arm would be best with a straight, low-flying putter drive.
3. Dogleg right down a hill and through trees. I typically through a Thunderbird or TeeBird with a RH flick that will go long if it happens not to hit the many trees. An understable RHBH drive can do the trick as well, but you are always at the mercy of the disc golf gods in keeping you from hitting trees and rolling down the hill.
4. Long, uphill drive. Good RHFH route, but the natural teepads prevent a full-power run-up, so drives are often left short of the basket. 40% of the time your drive will roll down the hill to the valley and give you an ugly 5.
5. Medium-distance, blind drive over a hill and onto an open field. Definitely aceable, but the lack of vision adds to the difficulty. Crosswinds normally play on this hole, but it does not favor BH or FH.
6. Long, straight bomb with a slight downhill. A large guardian tree swats discs halfway to the basket, so be prepared to throw a decent fairway drive to save par if you hit it. For power arms, best route is a RHBH flex shot that bends around the large tree. A RHFH with some power can curve around the tree nicely and set up for a good upshot. Usually a nice tailwind plays, so bring out the high-speed drivers and let it rip.
7. I hate this hole. Lay-up or suffer the wrath of the massive hill that the basket sits on. And then, workout your calves when walking to 8's teepad.
8. Straight shot in an open field. A right to left crosswind will alter your shot, but good players will deuce this hole consistently.
9. Short, sharp uphill shot. I throw a hyzer RHFH and end up with a good percentage of birdies. Tomahawk also works. Fun hole to end the course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Billy Goat Rough
Pros: Nice park
lots of wildlife
first half is shaded
some helpful signs
open field was mowed
offers a good challenge for very technical play.
Cons: not beginner friendly
some tee signs are not descriptive
would be dangerous if wet
first few holes are really only suited for goats due to the steep angles and loose rocks.
Other Thoughts: 2 seems like a low rating but the truth is despite it's character, some elements of the course make it difficult to play. The first few holes required a lot of caution. You must watch your footing. the holes are not very long but the slopes and trees are aggressive and the lines are small. I didn't mind playing the course but I wouldn't bring any non dg friends there to learn. My wife (a good lefty) and i played it blind and shot +5 and +4. 1 was fine. 2 was brutal. 3 was a blind downhill toss. 4 was was a tough uphill toss with minimal lines. These holes basically required carefully placed layups. 5-8 were easy pars, birdies once you know the basket placements. 9 was an odd hole. I guess you throw over the sign that tells you to use the bridge. The course was very lefty friendly, or righty sidearm. Even well placed shots could roll away at times. And we spent too much time looking for discs that hit a tree and rebounded down a hill. I have also played Kircher in Eureka which is the opposite of this course. Better for beginners, very flat, faster play.
Pros: 1) This is one of the first courses that I played regularly when I began playing.
2) For only 9 holes, this course packs a decent punch.. you are forced to pull a few different shots out of your bag that may or may not work, due to..
3) Unforgiving, densely wooded holes that have some type of steep grade on each and every hole. (1-4 can be exceptionally rough)
4) Tee Signs
5) Relatively easy to navigate
6) Relatively secluded with tons of wildlife around.
7) Park is extremely clean and also offers. Walking/workout trail, dog park, water park, softball fields, pavilions, bathrooms etc.
Cons: -Concrete Pads
-More Trash Cans
-Better course Maintenance/ Care
-Restroom/ Water closer to the course
Other Thoughts: Awesome 9 hole Course.. I wish is was played and utilized more!! Great design Dave Mac and Gateway Disc Sports--- Should try to get an additional 9 holes in there, plenty of room!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Offers many types of shots and challenges. I used all my go-to discs on this course (6-7 discs) where as on other courses I typically can get by with 1 driver, 1 mid and a putter.
SECLUDED - I have never ran into other players while on this course which is nice when you want to go at your own pace or have a private round by yourself.
Awesome terrain - great elevation changes.
Baskets in good shape
Great scenery - this course buts up to castlewood, so if you like the ozarky type scenery, you'll love playing here
Cons: Natural tee pads (i dont mind them but some people do)
Hard to navigate on the first round but gravy after that.
Other Thoughts: I put this course as one of the most under rated courses in the St. Louis area, sure Paul Schroeder is right down the street and a very nice park, but, Bluebird offers a completely different challenge. I live in the city and usually play 2 rounds here then hit Schroeder for a couple rounds on the way back and that makes for a great couple hours of disc golf.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very interesting course, no one else was playing so we had the place to ourselves. Holes are a good balance for challenging/distance, especially for a beginner.
Cons: Tees, forget about it. Also some of the holes you will be walking perpendicular to a ridge, so you are constantly throwing along a slope that is just shy of being uncomfortable to walk on.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
hard fun 9
Pros: This is a fun course with lots of elevation and a good mix of wooded and open shots. It's a challenging 9 hole course. The wooded holes are tight and demand accuracy off the tee. The open holes offer a little distance (more from the blue). The elevation change is used well from tee to green. Almost every shot on the course requires planning and execution. This course has some unique holes and even a signature hole (you choose)
You will probably have the course to yourself. There are 2 tees, so you can play it twice and get 18 holes in. The park is well kept, and the course is maintained. The course changes with the seasons.
Cons: The tees are natural and I mean really natural, rocky and slippery. The signs aren't great. The blue tees are impossible to find (you need a local). It's kind of hard to find your way around the first time. (4 is down hill and across the path, 9 is down hill across path and to the right). I played here 4 times before I found 9 (once I found it I saw the huge sign, lol) There are no trash cans or benches. The park is popular for joggers and dog walker, but they don't get in your way.
Other Thoughts: There's a club house with all amenities and they sell discs. (I've never gone inside)
After hole 8, it's fun to throw from the basket down to the amphitheater stage on your way to 9. Can you ace the "50 foot brick basket"?
I'm not a fan of 9 hole courses, but this one will not get a minus point.
ROAD TRIP WORTHY?... There are better courses near by, but could be a filler course
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Daydreams of a butterfly
Pros: An impressive 9 holes located in a large city park with a ton of other activities available, that makes use of tight woods, big elevation, and some open space
Variety. 6 of the 9 holes are tight wooded technical lines most of which include impressive elevation. 3 of the 9 holes are open making use of longer distances and some minor elevation.
Well kept. Sporadic garbage cans keep the trash down, the park seems well taken care of though the disc golf course seems somewhat neglected, everything was in good playable shape.
Replayability. An intermediate to advanced level player could find this a good place to learn/practice tight wooded elevated lines, I could see visiting this course many times to try and improve my score.
Other Users. The course nears a couple of walking paths, but it is mostly only an area for DG, other users shouldn't be a concern.
Senery. A nice natural wooded area of a large city park makes it a pleasurable hike.
Baskets. Single chain disccatchers all in good shape (No practice basket).
Navigation. Directional sign point direct the way, with a little detective work I was always able to figure out where to go next.
Map/Scorecard. Scorecard box (Was empty, maybe they keep it stocked in the busy months), and a map was on the kiosk at the beginning.
Cons: Unfairways. Lines are extremely tight on a few holes but the roughs aren't terribly unforgiving. 2's are luck, 3's are relatively easy on many of the holes.
Beginner Friendly. The tight fairways and elevation may make this course quite frustrating for someone just learning the game.
Tees. Natural tees were mostly level marked by bricks. Several were quite rough or muddy. Some of the holes it was difficult to find both sets of tees.
Other Thoughts: Not by any means the best course of the area and not one I would make a top priority, but if you have some extra time after playing the higher rated courses nearby, these technical 9 holes are worth a visit.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
not for the faint of heart
Pros: Good challanges await to test your skills. Holes 1-4 are steep hills with tons of trees and punishment for bad throws. 5-8 basic openess. 9 is steep upshot.
Cons: 9 has a sign in the way if your a low sidearm throwing flicker. the rocks on 1-4 are everywhere to hurt your feet let alone slide down a hillside, just plaine poor footing. pads on 1-4 are horrible natural messes.
Other Thoughts: If you have bad knees or poor sense of balance skip this course. Wear good rugged hikers not sneakers.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course plays through a hilly multi-use park, but in an area without much interference from other park uses. Half of the holes are in tight woods with narrow fairways and plenty of punishment if you get off the fairways. The other half of the holes play out in the open with mowed fairways through taller grass rough. Both sections of the course have great use of elevation, nearly every hole has enough up or down to keep things interesting, and makes for some tricky greens with roll-aways possible.
There is a nice variety of hole shapes for a 9 hole course, I was glad I carried my full bag. There is some distance, along with a couple shorter reachable holes for variety. There are basic tee signs and next tee signs where necessary, so it's not too difficult to follow the course.
Cons: The tees are terrible. They are natural and marked with painted rocks that can easily be moved. Some were unclear where they were, the second set of tees was basically invisible unless you know where to look. The pads were often slanted and rutted out, making for pretty poor footing on drives. The baskets are showing their age and don't catch all that well.
A few holes play near walking paths, we had a couple people come around blind corners as we were throwing so keep an eye out. There are some long walks here, and the course doesn't end at the parking lot, so it feels like you do as much walking between holes as you do on the actual course. The long grass rough on some of the middle holes is not my favorite obstacle, especially on blind shots where it's hard to get an exact mark of where your disc went in.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun 9 hole course and surprised me with how much variety there is. The elevation is used very well to make some fun downhill shots and tough uphill ones too. Beginners will probably find this one a little tough and punishing. More experienced players will find some good challenges here, and will need to hit some different lines through the woods to score well. This one isn't a must play, but it's worth a stop if you're in the area.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
On Second Thought...
Pros: Most holes were extremely challenging and required more strategy than driving power. If you overthrow, you could end up with a roller that ends up farther away from the hole than the original tee was. It was much better to settle for shorter, controlled shots with good placement than go for the pin.
Holes 5-8 were in a wide-open grassy area and the fairways were mowed and wide, giving you an indication of where the hole was, since 5-7 were not visible from the tee locations due to hill crests. A narrower path was mowed from each of these holes to the next tee area.
Hole 9 was a real trip! You shoot across a small stream and up a hill at about 1 o'clock, but are instructed to take a detour to the right to use a bridge to cross the stream for your next shot.
Cons: As we started the course, my sons actually were scared of it, because of the obvious difficulty and the density of the woods right off the bat at hole 1. I have to admit that it was a bit scary.
The tee signs are nearly useless and we only successfully found 2 sets of white tee blocks. The blue tee blocks were loose and scattered at some holes.
Each hole was an adventure, and I learned immediately of the value of having a spotter halfway to the hole not only to point out where the hole was but also to point out where each disc landed (or rolled to). We didn't do that on hole one and spent about 10 minutes looking for one disc.
The course is big on extremes. You move straight from four nearly impossible holes with tongue-dragging elevation changes to wide-open pasture throwing on holes 5, 6, 7 and 8. The only real challenge with these was that you were driving blindly on 5, 6 and 7 since you could only see hole 8 from its tee. The others were over a hill crest or around a bend.
Other Thoughts: This course was our second choice during this weekend trip with my sons. First choice was Creve Coeur Lake 18-hole course, but when we got there, we found a sign saying it was "reserved" the whole weekend. No information about a tournament or anything, just a big "public NOT welcome" sign at tee one on a "public" course. I was tempted to go ahead and play. What's the worst they could have done? Told us to leave? Oh well.
For most of Blue Bird Park, I thought it was a mistake for us to play, but as it went on, I really started to enjoy it. I don't know if I would want to play it frequently, but definitely would like to try it again on a day-trip to STL with some DG friends, now that I know where all the pins are and what I'm in for.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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