Fun, lovely, & challenging
Pros: I think the earlier commentators have hit the technical pros and cons very well. The course was very challenging to someone of my limited experience and was extremely enjoyable. I had the course to myself on a Thursday noon.
Cons: Hole layout as you come into the lower meadow was confusing, partially because the on-line map is so bad.
Other Thoughts: If you're interested in owning a disc golf course, this is it! Jay wants to retire and is thinking of selling the property, with the course, and the equipment to maintain it. I'll let you all think about the idea; I'm too far away and not ready to move.
I enjoyed playing this course, stopping in on my way from visiting kin in the Seattle area and a kite festival in Seaside and will certainly detour through Elma every time I am going to or from Seattle.
I notice that 211 Leprechaun felt that there were too many OB markers but they are there for protection of the landscaping and not just to make the course arbitrarily difficult.
I was there after several days of wet weather and the course was not wet enough (in most places) to require waterproof footwear, although in Winter and Spring I can see that being advisable.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Well groomed and maintained.
Very pretty course.
Good descriptive signs showing OBs, or if the basket is blind there are signs like "basket to the right of the large cedar tree". Fairways and roughs are very clear, mowed to be such.
Lots of small water features by design, not too many.
Cons: Mostly short holes, only a handful in the 300 bracket. Most are between 150-250.
Could use better signs at the tee pad
Small course, holes packed into a small area.
Feels a bit like a put put course.
Other Thoughts: Dont be fooled by the first 3 holes. There are two pastures this course is on, an upper and lower. The upper pasture up by the house and parking lot has the first 3 holes, the lower pasture is stunning and nothing like the other. It's a good course, I'm glad I played it once. It is pay to play with a 2-3$ donation box in the parking lot.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Not a nightmare like the movies...
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I don't have much of an intro for this one... Not because it's bad. Far from it. Mostly because. Well. Who's ever heard of Elma other than disc golfers?
Equipment: The baskets caught all right and were mostly in good shape. I think I only saw one that looked like it had been hit by a tree or something, and that only bent the cage a little bit. Each basket also had what looked like electrical wire around the lower edge of the cage. I'm not sure what that was about. Perhaps it glows or something? Although I'm pretty sure this course is a broken ankle waiting to happen if you play at night.
The teepads are all gravel, and many of them are bordered too. They were in better shape than any gravel tees I've ever seen, and I only lost footing once on some loose, icy gravel. I got the distinct feeling that the owner of the property maintains things very well. It's always nice to see that on a pay to play course. I hate nothing more than paying to play a course that isn't maintained. That isn't an issue here at the Hostel.
There's a stream through the property that desperately wants your discs. Most of us found it at least once. Any hole where there is water danger had sticks designed for underwater disc retrieval, and these were extremely helpful.
Navigation: The navigation is pretty straightforward, without any long walkouts or anything. There's a map at the kiosk at the entrance, so take a picture of that if you're worried. All of the baskets are painted where most courses use tape. And any tee that faces multiple baskets is well signed with both hints of where to throw and where to go if you're playing the "longs". The mandos are well marked and labeled to show which holes they serve as well.
Design: Don't let the front 9 fool you. This course is incredibly well designed and uses the property to its full potential. And it will challenge you. It offers everything that you look for in a course. There are open shots and more defined fairways. Short ace runs and longer (300ish) drives. Mandos. Uphill and downhill. Trees that really affect your line. Clearly marked OB that changes things up. It did feel like the course was somewhat lefty friendly on the defined lines, but there was something for everyone here.
Cons: Equipment: The baskets do catch fine, but they've clearly seen better days. That at least has to be pointed out. And the teepads, although they had clearly been raked, were gravel. So I have to mention that too.
Navigation: I can't complain much about navigation. The only potential con would be that some of the number plates were facing the wrong way. But even those holes had good enough signage that it wasn't too confusing. Just something that the designer might consider fixing.
Design: I'm reaching here. A design flaw... Let's see... How about mixing it up a bit more? I mean, an easy front and a tougher back are great and all, but if you're going to do that then make hole 9 be right by hole 1 so people who want to play easy can just do a quick 9 and walk off. I kind of prefer courses that throw birdie holes in with the tough ones, rather than throwing all of the birdies on the front and back (1-4 and 17-18). I understand that the current layout flows beautifully, but like I said... I'm reaching. I think that some of the overlap on the course could be a bit much if it got crowded too. There are a few places where people can get thrown in on, whether it's at a tee that's blind from the preceding hole (16-17) or where there's shared fairways (5 & 12, 7 & 15). They don't run together in a string of shared fairways like they do on some courses though.
Other Thoughts: The owner of the property is a character. He'll know you're here and he'll find you. And then he'll make fun of you. That might be a con to some, but I thought it was awesome. If I owned a disc golf course I'd want people to have fun, and I find that the best way for us to have fun is if everyone on the property is having fun. And if they aren't, I'll just make fun of them more.
It was a cold day in January when I was there. Very cold. The lower holes (specifically 9) were iced over. But if it were warmer, it would have been a swamp down there. So be careful if you're going in the winter. You could be approaching off of ice, or you could be ankle deep in mud. And in the summer I'm guessing that the rough gets burly, but none of the OB areas were very wide... So avoid them and quit complaining. Unless the guy doesn't mow, but I got the impression that he takes great care of the course. The Hostel is kind of out there, but it's definitely worth a stop if you're in the Olympia or Shelton area. It's not terribly long, but it's a fun little course that will challenge you and your accuracy... And truly let you know if you putt worse than a one legged grandma (one insult members of my group got on the second hole).
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Must Play Course when in Elma, WA
Pros: The course is clean and well groomed. All of the T-boxes are in great shape, Course is marked well and easy to follow. There are some very challenging holes with great obstacles and balanced with wide open fairways.This course is easy to find and plenty of parking.
Cons: Holes 6 and 16 cross in opposite directions,this causes a little of confusion between players.This nothing to worry about just need to pay attention whats across the fairway.
Other Thoughts: This is a must play there is a lot of pride put in to the care of this course. I must say well done to care taker of this course.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a very uniquely designed course. Jay has spent a lot of time on the lay out and how the course plays. Every hole has a basket and hole 16 has an alternative basket. There are tons of different OB and water hazards. It was nice to see the disc retrievers that he made to get your discs out of the water. I look forward to going and playing the Tuesday night doubles in the rear future, and to go back and play with my friends and family. There are a fair amount of obsticales and elevation changes.
Cons: The length of most the holes are fairly short, a pro would be practice with my midrange and approach shots. The gravel tee pads are ok he good thing about it is the ability to change tee pad locations.
Other Thoughts: Jay told me that he is trying to buy the the 3 acor lot next to him and he could build 3 more holes to replace the first three holes and make those a more of a warm up holes.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Variety of different shots and elevation. Jay does an incredible job maintaining the course and making sure its in good shape. Concrete tee pads and great baskets on all 18 holes. Excellent and fun course for all ability levels. Lots of chances to snag an ace for your resume. The private owner also has a random flip doubles with an ace pot on tuesday nights during spring and summer months. Even though it is on his private property, he has it open to the public for anyone that wants to play.
Cons: During the winter months, the lower part of the course gets flooded and super muddy.
Other Thoughts: Jay suggest a $2 donation to play the course, but often we pay more considering he is one man maintaining the entire course. He does a hell of a job keeping it up and uses all his own equipment and time. I don't see any problem in donating to the amount of work he puts in to keep this local course alive. One of the only courses in that area of WA, and one of my favorites in the entire state.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The cows know what's coming!
Pros: Extremely well manicured
Nice mix of ego boosting and bashing par 3's
Very good use of available terrain and natural obstacles
Well thought out design with clever use of OB areas to add to difficulty
Unique course feel with great flow from hole to hole.
Cons: Gravel pads
Not much else!
Other Thoughts: While on vacation I planned on hitting a couple courses in this area and I feel privileged to have played here.
After playing the first 3 holes I (mistakingly) thought I was in for a hokey man-made obstacle fest. I was VERY pleased to open the gate and start on the lower section of the course to prove my initial assumptions incorrect.
Elevation immediately came into play with a nice little uphill shot and I began to see the charm of the course. The wooden cows seemed to sneer as I teed off towards the lower course and into one of the best thought-out "pitch & putt" courses I've played.
Wind definitely comes into play the closer you are to the highway that borders the course to the south. When there is a low-pressure system off the coast, The Gail force winds are forced down the valley by the Olympic mountain range and amplified by the narrowness of the valley itself. You will want to bring some overstable plastic to battle the inconsistent and at times, forceful gusts that will turn even the most winged-down toss into a turned-over OB spank. Remember this for hole 9 which will be a seemingly short drive, directly into the wind, and fairway lined with the high grass OB markers.
I really enjoyed the flow, as stated above in the Pros section, but as you comedown from hole 4 into the lower section of the course, take note of the pin placements. The "tricky" pin placements will be noted with little signs at the tee. It won't hurt to take a minute to go scope the line to the pin and take special notice of what unique OB's will affect your throw.
I never have played a course that made me consider where my shot will land as much. Usually narrow flight paths come more into play in the northwest, not narrow landing zones.
I would be extremely pleased to have this as a local course. I left feeling privileged for having played and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone passing through the area.
From other reviews, I would say try to make it out in the summer months. I found it perfectly dry and the deciduous trees added flight path difficulty to the already thought provoking landing zones.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Benches on tee pads are nice. Numerous ace holes. Well maintained by the property owner. Short holes make for quick round.
Cons: Too many holes under 150'. Swampy. Too many OB markers on fairways.
Other Thoughts: Get rid of all of the OB markers. Maybe just have them around the hazards.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
homemade DG haven
Pros: this is a fantastic homemade course among several acres of streamlets, hills, trees, and natural springs.
as mentioned by other reviewers, the caretaker was a friendly older man who introduced himself and showed me the layout and flow of the course.
the course forced me to use all my shots and rewarded my accurate throws and punished my wayward ones.
the many OBs make the course competitive and it's clear that much thought and strategy has gone into laying it out.
i greatly enjoyed my time playing here.
Cons: due to the natural springs, the streams, and the Washington weather, this course was extremely muddy. i had to go back to my truck to get my boots on! this would be a big problem during the wet months of the year, and i imagine the ground remains soggy most of the time.
some of the holes share fairways so even with the signage, it takes a round or two to get used to the layout. if it was a busy day, you'd have to be really careful about wayward discs.
the tee pads are gravel, and most were acceptable when i played, but i imagine they take a lot of upkeep to keep the mud down.
Other Thoughts: this was a great course to play.
plan to bring a few dollars to put in the donation bin and the kiosk near hole 1. (suggested $2/round).
wear boots and waterproof shoes if you're coming to play anytime other than the driest parts of the year. there are handy sticks to retrieve your water-bound discs, but much of the course was muddy.
brush up on your OB and Water Hazard rules before coming to play and establish them with your group PRIOR to the start of your round--- because you WILL go OB! but don't worry, it adds to the competitive layout of the course. (don't worry about losing discs, as they all will be easily retrievable)
overall, it was a very satisfying day of disc golf and i'm thankful this course and it's community is near my area!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth the Drive!
Pros: I thought this course was great, and definately worth the 25 minute drive from Olympia. The first few hole are really short and simple, but once you head down in the valley for holes 5-18, the layout gets tougher and tougher as the round goes on. I played it in the dead of the winter and it was pretty wet, but definately playable. Not a course to air it out on, but definately demands accuracy!
Cons: A few short holes and very easy birdies. Other than that, I have nothing very bad to say at all!
Other Thoughts: Easy to find, easy to navigate around the course, and great signage showing where to throw and where to go! Pretty simple course, but would definately recommend it to anyone in the area.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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