9 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun Course Above the LA Skyline
Pros: Unique challenge, views.
Other Thoughts: Chavez Ridge is certainly not the fanciest course I've ever played, and it's probably one of the shortest, yet it is definitely one of the most interesting. With its steep landscape and the thought and consideration each and every shot requires as a result, plus the wide and absolutely tremendous views of both Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, Chavez Ridge is the kind of course you'll never forget if you're passing through, and might not ever play the same way twice if it's a regular stop.
Chavez Ridge runs directly behind Dodger Stadium and the course plays along both sides of this ridge, plus a couple holes along the top. Hole by hole is not really uphill and downhill so much as along a steep hill. Number 1 is fairly typical of the challenges throughout the course - 240 feet tee to basket, a mostly straight line. But the land slopes downward steeply to the right, and upward steeply (though considerably less far) to the left. Fail to keep your shot on the line and it might roll several hundred feet downhill. And by steep, I mean navigable on foot, but just barely. Thus every shot is a risk/reward challenge; do I go straight at it, try to lay up safe on the path (which is not particularly wide), how much might this disc skip? And on and on. Putts that are one inch too short can end up rolling 200-300 feet downhill, and simple approaches that you hold onto a fraction of second too long can end up adding three throws to the hole. This mental challenge is enhanced by the fact that the course plays on both sides of the ridge; thus the risk is pretty equal for right hand or left hand back hand throws, or forehand vs. backhand dominant players. Not every hole is a straight line either; placement and shaping is required on several holes above and beyond the challenges the landscape presents. For me, though, the more discs I use, and the more shots I use, the better, so Chavez Ridge turned out to be Fun overall, requiring more consideration, and inspiring more "Wow, how am I going to play this hole?" moments than possibly any other course I've played, all in a good way.
Chavez Ridge is a hike - up a steep hill to hole #1, up or along a steep hill for a majority of the 18 holes, and then all the way from top to bottom from 18 back to your car. Hiking boots might be helpful. It has one set of tees per hole, and a map is helpful for first timers, and even then there are a couple confusing spots. Signage is mostly adequate, though numbers on the baskets would be a big improvement. Finally, big arms don't have much to add here. For fun factor, however, Chavez Ridge cannot be beat, and that's why it's at the top of my must play again list for Southern California. And the views are as fine as any I've seen on a disc golf course, especially along the top of the ridge, for the last few holes. These views and the unique nature of the course boost its overall rating considerably, in my opinion.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 8 Not
A short review
Pros: Close to downtown, great urban views. Nice tees. Well marked holes. Good hiking up and down the hillside.
Cons: Challenging hills lead to some long disc searches. Rough terrain, burr central in the long stuff, so you may want to wear long pants.
Other Thoughts: Challenging and fun course. Great central location.
4 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
One of a kind in LA
Pros: An excellent challenge in downtown LA. Steep hills and rough terrain severely punish bad shots. Tees have new rubber pads and well marked signs. There is a degree of risk with every shot you take. Even the seemingly easy short holes can easily result in a death roll down the hill.
Cons: Navigation can be tricky, so bring a map or use a guide. The risk for loosing a disc is very high so bring a spotter. All in all no major complaints.
Other Thoughts: This is a must see if you are in the LA area. This course offers a challenge unlike any of the other local courses. I'm going to go ahead and guess that this course was designed by a lefty. But it offers a great change of pace.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Great little course
Pros: Great little course built atop a ridge near Dodger Stadium...Course is about 10 minutes away from my work so I swing up and play whenever I have some free time...
-Scenic views on a few of the holes I will never forget
-Short but technical holes...This course will test your ability to control your plastic...If you can't, you'll get in shape real quick as you trudge up and down the sides of the mountain...
-Good variety of shots...not a lot of length (though there are some alternate tee pads you can throw from that lengthen it out a bit)
-Not a lot of traffic...can usually play a round in about an hours worth of time
Cons: -Fairly lefty friendly course due to the slope of the hill...righties will constantly have to focus on not hyzering too much whereas lefties can crash into the hill without having to worry about skipping down the hill
-No amenities at the top of the hill...though a bathroom is present at the base of the hill in a flatter area of the park
Other Thoughts: I like to work on my putting here (1 hole is fairly flat and I don't have to worry about rolling down the hill)...The views of downtown L.A. and dodger stadium...as well as views looking out over the Valley keep me coming back...
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
An Ace Without Any Rollaways!
Pros: Wow! What to say about a course that's been reviewed 20 times previously. I was invited by Apothocarty and his group of SoCal players on a Sunday morning. It would not be a good course to play alone. As the course plays completely atop the ridge, there is constant danger in the form of errant throws or rollaways on good shots or putts. Luckily, when I played in late March, the grass was a little higher than normal in some places which prevented a few nasty rollaways. My group managed to play the entire 18 with any game-changing rolls. I think we were more lucky than skilled. Expect them! There is an amazing view of Dodger stadium and the LA city skyline from # 18. While fairly short in actual distance, the course more than makes up for that with it's extreme risk/reward nature on many or most of the holes. The baskets and teepads are more than adequate.
Cons: A player who wants to throw big air will not find the chance here. It's a workout alright but if you can manage to avoid that pre-mentioned rollaway, you're mostly walking across the ridge and not so much up and down. The only hole I could find any problem was # 16. It plays down an old road with an extreme drop off on the left. I felt it was kind of a "filler" hole.
Other Thoughts: Luckily, I almost always play in hiking boots so I was prepared for that. I somehow managed to avoid any catastrophic rollaways. I didn't run into any of LA's gay population (At least, I think all of Apthocarty's group were of the straight and narrow). I didn't lose any discs. Not being the most agile, youthful player around, I was thrilled that I didn't roll down any ridges. I met and got to play with a group of friendly SoCal players. And I managed to throw in a 129' bomb on # 12 for my 5th career ACE, with nine witness's looking on.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging and Unique
Pros: • Beautiful course with amazing scenery and views of Downtown L.A. and Dodger stadium in a historic neighborhood
• Outstanding variety of angles challenge you bring out multiple types of throws
• Steep hills throughout the course provide extra challenge, and add multiple strokes should you roll down them
• Different than any other course that I have seen in California - truly unique
• Amazing local scene, with not very many crowds at any time. Come here at 9am on a weekend day and you practically have the course to yourself
• Offers plenty of fitness opportunities, more than your average course. Be ready for a workout when you play here. Especially if you have bad shots. The worse you do, the better the workout. I did pretty bad and I'm a bit portly; the crew was laughing at me after about 5 holes. I looked like I'd just come from the gym.
Cons: • Tee pad sizes vary, and are sometimes crunched in on a lot of holes. They did a great job with the space they had to work with though.
• Parking is a tad precarious, and there has been word of possible tickets for parking on Ridge Rd. This was not the case when I visited - 10 cars were parked there and the Sherriff rolled by every 5 minutes.
• No restrooms on the course proper. Use the bushes, but be wary that this was a former hookup spot. Look both ways (and behind you) before drawing your weapon.
• Could use more benches and trashcans, but again, space is quite limited.
• Holy Rollers! You think it won't happen to you, then you are wrong. A putt of mine that went 8 feet from the basket rolled 300 feet away down the hill.
• You will need a guide the first few times. The flow is pretty intuitive except where you have to cross the street to get to the next hole
• You can get a ticket for smoking here (cigarettes or otherwise). Heard of someone getting a ticket for medicating, but the ticket was only for "smoking in a high fire area".
• Now that the grass has grown after the rains, the rough is LONG! Use spotters if possible.
Other Thoughts: Chavez Ridge is a newer disc golf course built in 2006, and the first one in the city of L.A. Proper. The course is just scratching the surface of what could be possible with disc golf and the city of Los Angeles. There is nothing out there like this course - it is built on a huge hill (really a ridge) with the holes traversing across with hiking trails interspersed in between. This is not a casual player's course - even though the hole lengths look short in the "Hole Info" section, this course is a monster because of the rolling possibility on practically every hole.
You'll need to be in decent shape to play here, and it is not advised to wear tennis shoes - bring your hiking boots or trail runners. You'll need something with serious grip should you go "off the beaten path". Don't think this won't happen the first or even second time you play there - it will happen and most likely in spades. Also, bring your plastic you don't care as much about - leave the fancy stuff at home. Bring reliable, beat in, straight discs that you don't mind losing. There is more opportunity for lost discs here than on any course in Socal.
Since there isn't a huge amount of distance covered on most holes, this really is a "2 or die" course with plenty of birdie opportunities. Be warned, the holes that look the easiest and shortest are the ones hiding the obstacles best. I ended up getting a 5 on one 160 foot hole. Spotters are almost mandatory on many holes with the overthrows, skips, and rolls that are highly possible here.
You might have preconceived notions about this course, but trust me it will exceed your wildest expectations and usually in a good way. Keep in mind this isn't your run of the mill park, and for total noobs this course can be a bit of a beast. The name of the game is placement shots, and until you can throw a disc with 90% predictability over medium distances, you probably won't have much fun. For outdoorsmen, this course is a special treat. It combines hiking and disc golf better than any course I have seen out there. Most people I played with seemed to stick to midranges, and if you can get them out to 275' regularly you might be better off sticking to just those mid discs the entire round. Be warned if you throw a disc prone to skips like a Wraith or Katana.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 3 Not
Hidden Jem in the Middle of Los Angeles!
Pros: -Great tees and baskets
-Not many people there, golfers or otherwise
-Tricky, high-risk shots make Chavez incredibly unique. The place is situated along a ridge, meaning it is sometimes windy with a chance of rolling down the hill. Safe shots are the name of the game.
-Beautiful vistas of downtown Los Angeles
-Friendly locals...UTILIZE THEM. You will probably end up losing a hole or two if you are playing the course for the first time and don't have a guide.
-Little to no trash around the course
Cons: -Questionable design characteristics. Hole 9's tee is pretty much in the middle of 8's fairway. Hole 10 is a bit tricky to find.
-Lack of flow between holes. Again, use a guide.
-Rocky, hilly, steep terrain. Have you ever seen a 400' Tijuana death roll down a hill? You will at Chavez.
-Police recruits run through the park, but they stay away from the main course area and generally mind their own.
-No pro shop or map available on site. Make sure and print one out from DGCR!
Other Thoughts: Chavez is a serious technical course with the attitude of an angry model: too sultry and dangerous for her own good.
Bring your short/mid game...this course requires a lot of short, safe shots, or the ability to weave discs through tight trees and steep hills.
Bring your boots as well, and expect a lot of up-and-down hiking.
Chavez is a great course for a nice secluded round...in the middle of Los Angeles no less!
The layout could use a little work as crisscrossing fairways are a problem, but the lack of people playing the course usually negates that design flaw.
The difficulty level, solitude and the natural and rugged beauty make this course a jem...but it is NOT a course for beginners. If you are a white, blue or gold-level golfer, you will love the simplistic beauty of the course design and a good hike! Red-level golfers...prepare for a lot of frustration and chasing looooong rollers.
20 of 23 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
take a RISK and ROLL out to chavez... you'll be REWARDED.
- Epic Holes. Several of the holes (on the Front 9) could easily be on any DG course in the country and be Bad Ass! Gorgeous golf holes with extreme risk/reward situations.
- Use of Elevation. Although most the holes are fairly level from tee-to-pin (no extreme uphill/downhill holes), the threat of extreme downhill rolls and therefore extreme uphill shots is everywhere. I think every hole on this course is influenced by elevation or at least the threat of elevation.
- "Preci-PINS". Several pins are located on the edge of huge, steeply downhill, precipices… which really leads to some great risk/reward golf. You constantly have to ask yourself how badly you want to go for that 25' death putt. And, laying up isn't any easier… as your shot could easily slide on the ground, hit a twig, stand up on edge and take off rolling.
- Gay Hook-Up Spot. When this course was first installed it was notorious for being a random hook-up spot for Gay guys. There were stories of moaning bushes and dudes streaking the fairways. I believe most of that activity has ceased due to the DG course being there; however, I hear they are still there. Stereotypical guy on the prowl: 28-45 year old Latin male with sweatpants and easy to slip off shoes.
- Freeway Traffic. Elysian Park is conveniently located near several major freeway junctions, which could lead to some Extreme LA traffic. Proximity to Dodger Stadium increases this during game days.
- Great Shot / Bad Roll. There is nothing that can be done about it. You will have one or more bad rolls during the round. Personally, I love the pin positions, I love the risk, but beginners could be in for a long day and a lot of climbing (experts too).
- Layout Confusion. There are several areas on the course where the next closest tee-pad is not the actual next tee-pad. And, there didn't seem to be any next-tee signs to aid in navigation.
- LA Police Academy. The police academy is down the street and there is the possibility that the jogger jogging by is a police officer or an officer in training. Be Aware!
- Overall… in the So-Cal DG community Elysian has a bad rap. I think the Homosexual activity and LA traffic have more to do with this than the Golf. The Golf was fantastic, especially the Front 9. The Back 9 seemed much shorter and much more regular in terms of quality of golf shots. I'd definitely play here again!
- My Score: (a disappointing) -2
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - short and sweet, you can play a round in under an hour
- NEVER crowded. You honestly should be surprised to see more than 2 or 3 other groups there. It's really nice to seemingly have a course to yourself
- spectacular view off of 18, over LA and Dodger Stadium
- teaches you to throw your softer/flexible discs, or learn to adjust to constantly throwing on a slope and avoiding rolls
- decent signs
- fly18 rubber tees are in average shape
- all holes are short, so there are many ace opportunities
- one of the only courses in the LA metro area to have some true wooded holes
Cons: - long walk from the parking area to tee 1, and longer walk back
- many holes throw EXTREMELY close to other tees, almost to the point of overlapping
- some navigation difficulty between 8 & 9. Follow the stairs up to the road, walk straight across and down the path on the other side. This will drop you in the middle of 9's fairway, the tee will be to your left
- the hills. Many excellent shots will kick up and roll 300' + downhill, which can destroy a score or ruin a fun round
- can be very dusty/dry, so don't be surprised if you get dirty. This also leads to slick tees if they're covered in sand.
- no trash cans or bathrooms on the course, only down in Elysian Park, near the soccer fields
Other Thoughts: Elysian has multiple positions on most holes, but the positions are hardly ever moved. Also, many of the distances on the signs are wrong, but they still show you a general basket location, so if you're a first timer you can figure it out pretty easily.
Elysian Park is right next to the LAPD Academy... many people worry about 420/drinking on the course because of this, but it really isn't an issue. Just don't partake in the open in the parking lot and be conscious of people around your because the recruits to run in the hills that the course is on.
This course is one of those that usually, you either love it or hate it, and that can depend entirely on how many bad rolls you get off of what would normally be a good shot.
All in all though, Elysian should provide you with a fast, fun round, and teach you about some of the more extreme elevation challenges in disc golf. While most courses with elevation have you throwing up or down the hills, Elysian plays pretty much perpendicular along the slope, so that the fairway always slopes either left or right, never straight up or down.
Elysian is worth checking out if you're going to be in LA for a while, but there are definitely better courses to spend your time at, if your time is limited.
Also, check out what the prior reviewer said about playing on a night when the Dodgers play... he's 100% right, and you should follow his directions to avoid traffic.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course near downtown LA
Pros: -Tight, short course
-Nice rubber tee pads, and signs at each hole with distance and map
-Not too busy, and the locals have all been very friendly
-Signature hole 18 plays in view of Downtown LA and Dodger Stadium.
-Secret road into the park off of Broadway if there is a game going on, so traffic can be avoided if you prepare in advance. From Broadway, go North on Elysian Park Dr, and after a short distance, a long left turn onto Park Row Dr. Just stay on this road, staying generally northbound the whole time (several cutoffs exist), cross over the freeway, and park when you spot baskets and tees.
-Really great to feel 'away from it all' literally a mile from downtown.
-There are a few holes with multiple tees, just look around a little bit!
Cons: -All bad throws are punished. Most holes are under 200 feet but you can make them over 400 in a hurry if your disc catches speed rolling down the hill. On the front 9, it will roll onto a grass field. On the back 9, it will roll into oblivion.
-No real chance to bring out your big arms, except maybe on hole 18.
-Layout can be confusing the first time out, bring a map from the linked website when you go.
-Very tight at places, keep an eye out for others as at times, there are other holes on either side of you, and really only about 20 feet away.
-Go out of your way to avoid throwing to the left on hole 16. That hillside eats discs.
-No trash cans, and no benches.
Other Thoughts: This course plays on top of a ridge in Elysian Park. Tight fairways and steep hills are the name of the game. While all of the holes are essentially 'flat,' they all shoot across a hill that loves picking up your disc and making it roll. The area used to be known as an 'alternative lifestyle cruising area' but I have not seen this to be the case any time I have been there, which is a lot.
The website recommends parking at the bottom of the hill by the baseball field, but if you keep driving up the road, stay to the right and park at the top of the ridge. Much closer and you can keep an eye on your car more easily. I have seen rangers, parking enforcement, and police drive by and as long as you are off the pavement, you wont get a ticket.
The walk to hole 9 is a little far. Climb the ridge, and go across the two streets a little ways to a white barrier. Go down the other side of the hill at that barrier to find the tee.
I don't really bother even bringing drivers on this course. Most throws are under 200 feet and incredibly narrow at times. Great ACCURATE mid-range practice.
We use spotters on hole 17. It is a good idea, can save some hassle.
Bring comfortable shoes, sometimes I have to trek up and down that hill 5 or 6 times, and sometimes I don't have to at all.
While the course is predominantly DG exclusive, hole 18 seems to have a lot of non DG activity, I have dealt with anything from people having a picnic to amateur film makers shooting stuff.
I did not like this course at first, but it grew onto me. It has done incredible things for my mid-game, as the mental anguish of knowing you have to hike down the hill is truly motivation enough not to screw up the throw.
There is an unspoken rule at Chavez Ridge that you should count to 3 once you THINK you watched your disc land. A lot of times, it will grow legs and keep moving down the hill.
Do not try to play here when the ground is wet, I was slipping constantly on the steep and slick hillsides.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
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