When visiting San Francisco...
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Located in a beautiful park
Concrete tee pads
Multiple pin locations
Cons: Can be kind of busy
Fairways go right by other hole tees which can be dangerous
Watch out for other park goers
Other Thoughts: This course is definitely out of the way from Santa Clara where I was recently visiting for business, but is a great place to go play if you ever are in SF doing the tourist thing or killing some time before a redeye flight back home. The course is in the middle of a huge public park complex in SF. It is a very beautiful park and super well maintained and clean. Every hole has at least 3 pin placements that change once a month. The holes are relatively short with no real huge holes. Several of the holes ran pretty close to one another, so you have to pay attention here and call your "fore's". Most holes are under the canopy of the forest. There are lots of trees to hit, but even under the canopy there are no real super tight tunnel shots. This was by far the most aesthetically beautiful course I played during a recent trip to Si Valley. It was also one of the easiest. Maybe the other pin locations are more difficult. None of the holes really stand out, but it was a very nice course to play. Also, being in the middle of a really big city, there are a lot of other people in the park so be careful and respectful to other visitors.
3 of 6 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.
Lots of fun
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a very nice piece of Golden Gate Park, full of mature trees and some scattered brush. The majority of the holes here are wooded enough that you really have to hit a line to score well, with moderate punishment for missing most fairways. I liked the variety, the setup I played had a great balance of hole shapes and lengths that called for most of the discs in my bag throughout the round.
There are multiple pin positions, and they looked like they'd change up the course nicely. It seemed like they're changed reasonably often as the wear around the alternate positions was similar to the ones in use when I played. The tee signs are basic, but show the hole layout and distances, and have a nice indicator for current pin position. The tees are older, but in fine shape. A lot of work has gone into the landscaping here, and it really shows.
Cons: There are a lot of safety concerns. Way too many of the holes play right on top of one another. This issue is magnified by how popular the course is, especially with a lot of newer players who tend to miss the fairways more often. A walking path is also in play on a couple holes, and errant shots can find a busy street along one edge of the course.
There isn't a whole lot of distance, that's the only real test lacking here. Navigation is a little funky in spots, I almost skipped holes a few times and there are some awkward walks between holes that could be better marked. If you don't like crowds, play this course on off hours, it's one of the more popular courses I've seen.
Other Thoughts: Beginners will find this course tough but approachable. It's reasonably technical but not overly long or punitive. More experienced players won't need their distance drivers, but it will test a lot of different line shaping skills. I definitely recommend a stop here while you're in the Bay Area, this course is a lot of fun.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Glad I stopped!
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - felt like I was on a real "golf" course. Some of the dirt areas were raked. All the landscaping, disc golf specific paths (felt like cart paths), etc are awesome. There are benches, tree stumps to sit on at all holes, garbage collection at most.
- pretty good mix of shots, decent elevation use,most holes have some sort of challenging aspect to them (in the layout I played).
- great signs, shows which pin position,direction to next tee, distance.
Cons: - course was a little cramped - I understand this is an urban setting, so relatively speaking, it's a great green space, but could see it being tight. Also, some of the holes cut back to the next teepad, or have cross fairways to get to the next tee. It doesnt always flow in a natural manner. To someone who plays this course all the time, I'm sure it's not noticeable. They have made the most of what they have, I don't have suggestions to improve it.
- there are a few holes where walking paths come into play (as in, you better watch for people, or you might injure someone).
- crowded - played late morning on a weekday, and there were at least 9 groups on the course
- street navigation to course is tricky. If you miss your turn, you can't make left turns on any of the other streets you want to (not a local, please don't hate!)
- to nit pick a little, relatively short course (see other thoughts section)
Other Thoughts: I flew into SFO for business trip that takes me into Sonoma county. Based on reviews, I made this the course to hit, and am glad I did. I brought a coworker who was new to DG, and had a reduced bag. Played a terrible round, but had a good time. This park is great. The few locals I ran across seemed pretty cool. Being from NC, I don't quite agree with the heavily wooded description - but there were a lot of trees to shape your lines around. Don't know if it was the pin layout (they seemed to be mostly Bs) thst was short, I don't think there were any holes over '400 ft (maybe11, don't think it was though). For me to give a 4, IMO, there should be some longer holes. If I lived local, it would be a great home course. If you're passing through, I would whole-heatedly recommend it.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: -Huge shots
-Plenty of variety for both handed people here
-Does not feel like a city course , feels like a woods course
-AMAZING locals, had a great time meeting people and playing with them here
-Centrally located in an awesome city
-Very fun shots played in the pines , watch your disc
-Tournament grade course , only one short hole (#2)
Cons: -Hole #10 is kind of boring
-Easy to loose a disc
-Random people walking or jogging through course
Other Thoughts: Awesome course, if you're in SF you MUST PLAY THIS COURSE. Great variety of shots for LHBH / RHBH. Very challenging big shots, hole 12 is a massive left dogleg. Skate shop that sells discs not far away on Geary (Purple elephant) . The locals are great, everytime i played someone would join me and give me great company , will definitely try to play this course again.
5 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The locals have done a phenomenal job improving and maintaining this course. There's plenty of great ammenities: copious benches and trash cans. The tee signs make everything about the hole clear: the layout, distance, and current and other pins positions. There are at least three pin positions for each hole. The course has been impresively landscaped with walking paths, ledge walls, elevated baskets, and the like. There's also big fence walls to protect many of the tees -- a great idea given the close proximity of some holes, and one I hadn't see elsewhere.
This course is also right in San Francisco, very accessible to a lot of people.
Cons: The course is really crammed in. Many of the holes play right next to each other. There are mandos, OBs, guard fences, etc. to help. But it is both something of a safety concern, and limits the hole design. There isn't enough room to have multiple routes or big epic holes. It also means that many holes feel similar -- either very straight, or a generic dogleg.
The course is also quite crowded. Even on a weekday morning there are plenty of players out. And given the cramped nature of the course, you always need to be alert for errant throws.
Other Thoughts: This course feels like the opposite of many other good California courses, which have awe inspiring scenery but mediocre maintenance. Golden gate park is one of the best maintained courses I've seen anywhere, but fails to inspire awe in the way great courses do.
Because the course is high traffic, there is a lot of work done to reduce erosion. Stay on the walking paths when possible.
9 of 9 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.
Golden Gate Experience
6 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Beautiful park, giant trees, very well kept, more technical than D. Ton of work goes into this park and into this course. The "cart path" idea via landscape timbers is brilliant, along with the batting cage like backstops to protect tees to close to other fairways or pins.
Cons: The course requires a walkthrough before playing, the flow, undoubtedly a result of limited space within the park, is not intuitative or well marked. I don't consider the course a "see the shot throw the shot" kind of course, walk it to figure out the flow, find the pins, and make sure to get one or two practice throws in before playing for keeps.
Other Thoughts: Once you figure out the flow and pin locations, the course is a great course to play, some really well placed pins (once you find them) and logical lines, fair and challenging. Also, you can tell work goes into the course. I would rate it higher if the signage was clearer and less blind pins.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Gorgeous course in Golden Gate park
3 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
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