Fore Tee Nine
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Tee areas: 4'x10' flat, concrete, often with extended walk on/off. Teesigns showing all/current position. Benches.
Overall ambiance - tall trees providing plenty of shade, rolling, grassy terrain, mulched, log-lined paths leading to/from tees, playing in but mostly hidden from the urban environment.
Two nine-hole loops/ Practice basket.
Perililous to non-players. Pedestrian path alongside some of the front nine, and another path winding through part of the back nine.
Perilous to other players. While nets have been erected to protect some of the tees from drives on neighbouring fairways, there remain several areas where adjacent tees/fairways/baskets are dangerously close to others.
Multiple times backtracking (and sometimes crossing fairways) is a requirement to reach the next tee - make sure you move from basket-6 to tee-7, as you'll pass tee-8. Moving from basket-16 to tee-17 (essentially, walk back almost the way to tee-14, then look right) is not obvious - you'll definitely need a map or local to play here as a visitor!
Disc golf is just one of many activities to be found in this famous park, so any non-players ought to be able to find something to entertain themselves while players take on the course. On the front nine, elevation change is present but typically subtle, with the large trees forming fairly generous throwing lanes. The day I played, I had to throw a number of right-turning shots on the front, typically needing a moderately-sharp turn mid-fairway, with the baskets being 250'~350' away.
The elevation on the back nine is more pronounced/varied, but nothing extreme. While the tightest hole (#13) is found on the back, the back nine is actually more open, with the trees not coming into play as often, and/or for not as long a duration. Unlike the front, the throwing lanes aren't so much defined/enforced by the trees, as the odd tree or three needs to be missed as the disc travels from tee to basket.
Lots of nice, pretty holes, but as a favourite, I'll go with number-18 - a fine finishing hole, downslope in its near entirety, the scattered large trees creating an elongated S-shape as the optimal form.
Fun course with lots of good holes - just too many trying to share the same space!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Move over Rice A Roni!
8 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.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Close to perfect
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Good variety of shots and hole length(s) considering this course is set in a urban park with plenty of trees. Every hole has at least three pin placements and some have four or five (!). These get mixed up a fair bit and makes the course interesting.
The best free, public course I have played. Patrick Brown and the local crew put in a ton of effort here and it shows. Leaves are raked, grass is seeded, trees are planted, pathways are reinforced, retaining walls are built. Truly a feat to keep this course looking as good as it does!
My highlight holes: 3, straight down the pipe. 5, pick your line carefully! 11, on the pyramid. 15, fun valley to shoot across. 17/18 are good, too, depending on pin placement.
Cons: Can get very crowded on weekends (even some weekdays). Slight fairway overlap (6/7/8, 15/16, 17/18) but it's not usually an issue, even when crowded. Just be mindful of your fellow golfers and wait til you hear "clear!" or you see them on the next tee.
The city recently took down some trees on 15/16 which is a bit of a double-edged sword (more open vs. tougher/tighter shot).
Other Thoughts: If you're passing through, a great time to tour the course with locals is at the Sunday morning weekly (8am-10am).
The course is closed during Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Fun, technical and scenic course
4 Helpful / 1 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.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great signs
Great pin placements
Discs for sale on site (at times)
Hot dogs for sale on street
Restrooms close by
Parking seems to be easy to come by
Picnic tables for relaxing before & after rounds
Cons: Can get busy in the early afternoon
If there is a festival or other events in the park, there will be many many people in the park
Bikers, picnics, and walker/runners not always paying attention to golfers (just be mindful this is a busy area)
Other Thoughts: Bring water & snacks, please use the waste buckets and don't litter this beautiful course. The feel of a wilderness setting, but in the middle of a city. This is a great place to play for all skill levels. Signature hole #11 is amazing. Blind shots to some placements, will require a fairway walk to see basket. Love this course and will play again many times.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
My favorite bay course, crowded
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Beautiful setting
- Varied but not frustrating holes
- Great use of the terrain
- Dedicated volunteers who help maintain the course
- Pretty good signage
Cons: - Gets pretty crowded with people, especially weekends
- A few spots where there could be better instructions to get to the next hole (14 to 15, 16 to 17)
- pedestrians sometimes get lost in the course, though not as often as I would have guessed given the location
Other Thoughts: I live in Berkeley, but would choose this course over berkeley's course every single day. The beautiful location, the variety of holes and signature holes (11, 15, 18) make me wish I could play here all the time.
The only problem is just how crowded it gets. Disc golf is great, but I wish there were some way to make it less crowded all the time. I mean, berkeley is never crowded, but that's because it's a terrible course. The Bay Area could use another course like this in the metro parts (McLaren, Tilden, Marin somewhere?).
Anyhow, I digress. If I were you, I'd find some way to play on a weekday. I haven't tried weekday, daylight evenings, but I imagine they are not as bad.
2 of 2 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.
Corey and SpringOne 2GX 2013
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is set in magnificent Golden Gate park. The course is merely 5% or so of the overall park. There are so many other activities in the park.
This course is beautiful; many of the holes have very mature trees. The tees are concrete, in good shape. The baskets are very good. And the signage is good - distances and pin locations shown.
Most holes have 3 or 4 pin locations, and I consider that a good thing. Navigation wasn't too bad considering that was my first time to play the course. I played with a good friend who lives in the area, but hadn't played the course before.
There were some really unique holes: holes 3, 5, 11, 12, & 17 were some of my favorite. Elevation was definitely used in a good way.
The park is maintained very nicely; bushes and trees were manicured nicely. And given lots of traffic - there was little no trash or debris. There were benches and many of the holes.
Wonderful weather year round.
Cons: The combo of layout plus crowd is the #1 drawback here. The GGP is so big; there's so many other people that aren't disc golfers. It's the largest green space in SF - so it's understandable. There were several trails on the course for walkers and bikers who clearly have the right of way.
Aside from lots of people, the hole layout compounds the problem for the actual play of DG. Several baskets are close to another tee, so you had to wait on another group to finish two holes before you can play your one hole.
Neither the crowds nor the layout would be a problem if the other didn't exist.
Other Thoughts: This was a trip to see my friend Corey and attend a conference in Santa Clara the following week.
SF is an interesting and unique city. The course was very fun and fairly challenging. I wanted to play a second time early Monday morning, but it was too wet. The fog and mist has sprayed the course. The course has a sandy, dusty top layer, and when it gets wet is pretty sloppy. I just wasn't prepared for that on my trip.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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.
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