An absolute thrill!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is easily one of my favorite courses to play. It offers all of the challenge of a wooded course, yet in the middle of a large metro area. You'll lose yourself when you're out here and forget your in one of the biggest cities in the U.S.
As for the course, it has large concrete tee pads for each hole, as well as 3 pin positions. You'll find the signage to be adequate and the course is so tightly packed that you shouldn't have any trouble navigating.(but that does present another problem, in my cons)
The hole variety is adequate for a 4.0 rated wooded course, but far above that when you consider where it is. I certainly didn't expect to have so many tight technical shots in a large metropolitan park. Being my first time to SF, I half expected open fields like Central Park in NYC, but was pleasantly surprised.
You'll have a good variety of distance, but you won't have the opportunity to really air one out. The course doesn't favor RHBH or RHFH, which is nice as well. Additionally, despite being close to the coast you'll have an ample amount of elevation changes as well (you are in SF after all!)
There are also some neat pin positions and elevated baskets that will add to the challenge. I always enjoy one or two holes that aren't simply buried in the ground.
Seating was never an issue as there seemed to be and ample amount of places to rest along the way. Despite the course not being overly long, with the amount of traffic it gets, you'll definitely need to sit and wait at times. I suggest bringing a stool to assure you'll have a place.
The fairways and paths are well marked, usually with mulch inside of tree limbs. The overall manicured look of the place adds to the experience.
Cons: The course gets extremely crowded at times, which should be expected. Combine that with the nature of the layout and you'll find yourself being cautious in order to avoid hitting people with discs, or being hit yourself. There are screens up at several tee pads and trouble spots in order to catch those rogue screamers, but you'll still find yourself looking over your shoulder.
There isn't a place to really open up a big arm. The park has some spots that perhaps could have been used for such a shot, but I'm sure the logistics of using the greens for a dg course would have been complicated and probably impossible.
You'll need to pause and let pedestrians and non-golfers pass on the numerous trails and such while you're there. Please double check before throwing.
There isn't any water in play, which takes away from the challenge a bit.
You'll have a decent chance of losing a disc. While the park gets trampled down pretty well, there are still a fair amount of trouble spots with underbrush you could lose one in.
When I was there, despite the cities efforts to keep it clean, there was still a fair amount of trash and debris on the course. I know this is extremely hard to keep control of with so many users of the park, but was a touch upsetting.
Other Thoughts: This course is one of the more enjoyable I've ever played, but not necessarily for the reasons you'd expect. It doesn't challenge you as much as others, doesn't have the variety of others, but the overall atmosphere of the place just cultivates good disc golf and overall vibes.
I can't imagine not having a good time while playing Golden Gate Park, thus it easily makes it into my favorites list. If you're in the bay area, you should definitely make a trip to play a round!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Move over Rice A Roni!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Golden Gate Park DGC is one of the better 'urban' courses you will ever play. I love the large trees in play with slight elevation changes that make you throw a moderately tight line while also choosing your landing area (and the way in which your disc lands) carefully in order to get birdies.
The course has nice long concrete tee pads and the tee signs are screwed or bolted in to tree stumps next to each tee pad. The tee signs show all three basket locations (A, B and C) with large trees as landmarks. I played mostly the 'C' positions which were a little more challenging due to being longer or more treed but also presented a few more blind basket locations. There is a good mixture of 'lefty vs. righty' holes on the course as well. I feel the challenge here is right for most amateurs and probably a little too easy for gold players.
Cons: The holes are designed right on top of each other but not really any crossing fairways. The course gets really busy however and this exacerbates the problem and makes you look over your shoulder constantly for incoming discs, luckily they have put disc catching nets surrounding the tee pads and benches to protect you from incoming speed 13 drivers gashing up your face.
The majority of the holes are moderately tight lines with shorter holes, so no open 450+ foot hole for those players who can really throw. It challenges a specific type of skill set and driving isn't one of them.
Other Thoughts: There was a hot dog/snack/drink vendor near hole one who looked like he was making bank because the course was full the day I played. Also near hole one was a lady selling basic Innova/Discraft discs and looked like there were 5 or 6 large boxes of discs to go through.
Golden Gate Park (Not the DGC) is a truly wonderful and very large park with many things in there to see. If you decide to walk around in between rounds look for the nice lady selling organic ice cream and frozen yogurt with homemade cones in the taco truck, best ice cream I've ever had! Strawberry ice lollie was amazing as well and cheaper than Baskin Robbins.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Fun, technical and scenic course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Cam to SF for a conference and HAD to get in some disc at Golden Gate Park. It did not disappoint!
- Park is accessible from many parts of the city via public transportation.
- Many holes have a technical element such as a tight fairway, blind shot, elevated pin. I didn't bring nearly as many discs as I should have for the number of shots required.
- Course is fairly clean for a free public course in the middle of a city.
- Makes excellent use of the land and elevation.
Cons: - Although there are some tough shots, there aren't very many over 350' and many in the 200 range. Understandable given the limitations on space.
- Erosion is not out of control, but it looks like it has been a problem.
Other Thoughts: This course has that tough to quantify good vibe to it; I left feeling like I wanted to spend the rest of my time there. Highly recommend if you are anywhere in the Bay Area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Lovely, accessible fun course
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - broadly accessible but challenging for most. It's truly remarkable that a wide range of skillsets will genuinely enjoy playing here.
- Nice variety of hole layouts and alternate basket positions
- In pristine shape. Each hole seems manicured. Signage is wonderful. Flows well
- Fun, moderately wooded location. In the middle of the city but it sometimes doesn't feel that way.
- Stands up well to inclement weather. The large trees protect you from excessive wind and moisture. The sandy soil drains water quickly. Playable in almost all weather conditions. Frequently foggy so just bring a small towel to wipe down your discs between throws
Cons: - Commonly over-crowded. Wait times can get terrible due to back ups, especially in the back 9 where fairways criss-cross.
- Whether it is newbie hipsters or jackass regulars, I've come across more unpleasant folks here than any other course I've played at
Other Thoughts: If you're visiting the area, this is a must-play. During non-peak hours, you're almost guaranteed to play an enjoyable round. It's beautiful and accessible to a wide skillset. Unsurprisingly, this course attracts hoards of players year-round
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Disc Golf Party!!!
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: If I was homeless I would live here. There are plenty of spots to set up camp. My first time playing this sweet jungle of a disc golf course was this year's (2013) Safari tournament. The course is great, there are a wide variety of holes that let every style player make a run at those slick metal baskets. There are even a couple holes that make excellent use of the "DEATH PUTT", while you're there you can get a hat or t-shirt with to show that you made the "DEATH PUTT". Tee pads are kept clean and made of this new age technology called concrete. You never have to worry about slipping off the front of one and giving your friends an excuse to laugh at you. While I can read, the tee signs at Golden Gate Park were designed by a genius, even the illiterate could understand where the next basket is and how far they will have to throw to hit that ace. The course design is excellent as long as you are patient and don't mind letting the occasional jogger/biker/dog walker/hippie/transient/Asian recycling lady/man pass by you while you decide which line you are going to take. I was able to play a few extended holes across the street and they were also well designed.
Cons: Crowding is a biggie here, with so many people working on their hipster appearance I could see how disc golf attracts them. On any given day you can see a pack of skinny jeans sipping on Colt 45's moseying around making their way from hole to hole. Luckily hipsters are cool people and will let you play through, the more fortunate might even get a contact high while teeing off. The only other downside as mentioned above are the bystanders. Most will get out of your way pretty quickly, the only exception is the recycling people. They are like raccoons searching though the garbage cans for that tasty morsel we call recyclables. Have no fear though! The locals have trained these thrifty collectors to keep quiet and move away from the tee pad while golfers are teeing off.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course and I really enjoyed playing it a couple times. Any and every time I'm in the Bay area I'll make sure I get a round in. The local club and players take good care of the course and make in enjoyable for all. Golden Gate park is a very happening place and I'm glad they included disc golf in their lineup. Hopefully the city will allow the course to expand one day making this a top tiered disc golf destination.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Very fun course.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: There are a lot of trees and elevation changes but the course is not too technical. The holes are very well thought out with some longer holes that must nevertheless negotiate trees keeping shots from being wide open. Out of 18 holes there are only 2 truly wide open shots (10 and 11) and the latter uses elevation very well.
This course is not repetitive. The holes are unique and you will not be able to get by with just a backhand hyzer here. Practice your forehand and turnover shots.
It is a big plus in my book that this course is on a truly beautiful piece of land with very large trees, but is is also a very well thought out course.
Cons: Just a few nits:
The tee boxes are smallish, especially when the baskets are in the long positions.
Lots of people, but to be expected in a large city where this is the only course around.
Hole 10 fairway runs parallel with a paved walking path that transects the course. There are lots of pedestrians there.
There are some cross play issues but most are taken care of with elevation or protective fencing.
Other Thoughts: I mostly play in Louisiana where we have few courses with significant elevation changes and really nothing like the terrain in GGP. This course has a spectacle aspect for someone like me.
Also, being used to 15' wide, 300' long fairways bordered by impassable underbrush being called "technical" it seems a bit odd to have a course labeled as technical when it feels as open as this course does despite the trees. If a disc bounces off a tree here, you will likely have a perfectly good look at the basket because the course lacks any underbrush to speak of.
Bring a couple distance drivers, at least one that you are comfortable throwing into the wind. If the baskets are in the long position, you will wish that you did.
This review is based on a round in which almost all the baskets were in the long position. I doubt it would change much if the course had been set up to be shorter. This is just a fun course to play and the friendly locals were also a plus.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Fun in the City
Pros: The layout of the course is very well thought out.
There are walking paths between most holes making it very easy to find the next tee box.
The disc golf club that maintains the course does an excellent job of keeping everything in great shape, from paths, to trees to debris.
A great mix of technical shots as well as long open shots are needed with trees, mando's and out of bounds lining some holes.
Cons: It can get pretty stacked up on the tee boxes with some large groups going through, but that's only because it's a really popular course.
Other Thoughts: It's really just an excellent, fun course
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Excellent and somewhat deceptive balance of technical yet accessible baskets
Great tree coverage for both shade and technicality but not overly treed
Nice distancces between holes and elevation changes for some decent excercise.
Second back nine basket is on a stump that can is deceptively challenging, cost me some strokes.
Cons: A couple baskets are uphill from a major road causing the occasional roller to roll into or across a dangerously busy street(s).
Some annoying overlap on the last baskets of the front 9. This can also cause some backing up.
Seemed to be a very busy course and I'm sure it's often that way but that's not always a con.
Back 9 can get a little confusing. The last baskets have quite a bit of overlap but throwing across some big gaps gets interesting, especially when navigating around the trees.
Throughout the course, many of the baskets are out of view and require scouting if unfamiliar - high flags/markers could help with this.
Other Thoughts: An impressive and variable course. It works as both casual and technical abilites in an enjoyable way. Some minor annoyances that make mistakes a little unforgiving but are easily overlooked on such a fun course. Front and back nine are organized in a way that lets you choose which one or what order you may want to play, more so than most other courses. All in all a great course near downtown SF that I highly recommend hitting up if you can. Great public transit access to and from the course as well.
If for some reason you don't feel this review was helpful, please PM me to let me know what you are looking for in these reviews so I can consider ways to improve my reviews going forward. Thanks!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Gorgeous course in Golden Gate park
Pros: Really incredible trees, well maintained baskets, easy to determine where you are throwing too; neat mix of distances, obstacles and topographic relief.
Cons: Crowded course and lots of clueless civilians wandering thru the middle of fairways with no idea they are interrupting your game.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course in the middle of Golden Gate Park with incredible sights and location. Players tend to get stacked up, and you have to be very careful to wait until everyone is out of the way before you drive. there are a couple of holes where the next tee requires you to walk back along the previous fairway, creating potential for hazardous drives, so both drivers and walkers should beware.
After my round i went and had a fantastic burger at Balboa with some Lagunitas IPAs. Altogether a perfect day.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
First round in cali
Pros: Nice transition from front to back nine. In and out each had their own individual feel.
Friendly groups all around.
Well-manicured landscape with wonderful patches of bright green grass.
Mid-fairway paths define approaches pretty well and lead directly from tee to green in many cases.
Plenty of trash and recycling cans, plus individual collectors.
Gorgeous trees. These are old trees, with more character than most people. I am used to New England courses, where you get past the trunk only to hit some spindly little pinky of a branchlet. If you hit these guys, they don't care; it just makes them stronger.
Above average signage with active pin positions posted on very clever rotating dials. The one exception to this was hole 17. Ask the group ahead of you to let you know how to get to it when you're waiting to tee off at 16.
Decent mix of terrain change (elevation, wooded vs. open, straight vs. hyzer).
Location is good; we travelled in from the Fillmore area and a cab ride was about $11 before tip. Bus options seem pretty good, too.
Decent balance of risk and reward here. There are few holes with 'peaked' greens where roll-offs can happen on risky approaches. For the most part, you're not going to be penalized for an errant putt.
Cons: On 5/6/7 and a good chunk of the back 9, there is a decent bit of fairway overlap.
Slightly righty-friendly (a pro for me).
Hole 4 can get a bit muddy.
Hole length is a little homogenous. A 450 foot dogleg or something would have been nice.
I am firmly convinced that the current 'green' for hole 8 was planned by a sadist.
The erosion zone was a little precarious, but I really needed to get my comet.
Other Thoughts: Played a round with two friends on 9/1, then returned 9/3 for another round and a half. Very much enjoyed this course as my first west coast DG experience. The groups in front of us and behind us were almost universally friendly, and the biggest complaint I have was the group of 5 that threw a couple extra drives, let us (2) play through, and then cut ahead 3 holes.
Overall, I really liked the feel and the climate of the course. Cool enough to the point where the humidity wasn't an issue. Wind only came into play very briefly. As an east coast player familiar with courses with high tree and branch densities, this course mellowed me out a bit. Playing it multiple times really helped out and I suppose I'm a bit frustrated that I didn't score a few strokes better.
Long story short: if you're in the bay area, this course is a must for its accessibility, friendly environs and regulars, although anyone used to courses with either a huge distance element or absurdly overwooded new england-style courses might find themselves abound with quite a few birdie ops. Is there anything wrong with that? My friends on the west coast would certainly say no.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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