5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - gigantic tees
- 3 pin positions per hole
- fun and challenging pin positions
- nice map by tee 1
- not crowded like most California courses
- benches on every hole
- very nice tee signs (with basket position indicators)
- some safety nets in places where an errant shot could cross fairways or hit a group on another tee
- creative layout with the space they had
- every hole is a little bit different
- lots of other fun things to do in Golden Gate Park other than disc golf too
Cons: - no bathrooms or drinking fountains anywhere near the course
- not much parking because you have to park along the side of John F. Kennedy, which is the main road through the park
- some holes don't finish anywhere near the next tee (after 6, you have to walk back down the entire fairway to get to 7's tee, which is right next to 6's) (after 9, you walk up the path past tee 1, for about 400 feet to get to tee 10)(18 back to the cars is a long walk)
Other Thoughts: This course is a great course, no matter your skill level. For the new player, every hole is fun and not overly challenging. For the advanced player the long pin positions and tight lanes make for a challenge each time.
Some holes, especially on the front 9, are very short and won't challenge a skilled player, but are still extremely fun to play.
About 3/4 of the holes are very creative and fun, either in the fairway design and/or pin positions... but the other 1/4 of the holes are more like filler holes, and that's what keeps this course from getting another half disc. (ie: 2, 10, 14)
Golden Gate is definitely worth stopping at if you're headed anywhere near San Francisco. Relative to many of the great courses, Golden Gate is still very young (2.5 years old), and need some more development, but this course will be at the least, above average unless people start to graffiti the signs, etc. Right now, it definitely is in nearly new shape, and that in itself is an experience in disc golf. Play it and you won't regret it.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Lots of Fun to Throw Around Marx Meadow
Pros: This is an excellent course in one of America's finest city parks. There is a great deal to see and do in San Francisco, but if you love disc golf you will definitely enjoy a trip to Golden Gate Park for a round of 18, you can even throw in a trip to a museum or concert or other activity in the park. As usual, the atmosphere is relaxed and as always San Francisco seems to have a festive feeling to it, and this place is no exception.
One is first struck by how nicely the course has been laid out and prepared. Very nice concrete tee pads, wonderful signs at each tee (on angular cut round wood posts), and well-maintained fairways, steps, and paths (the paths are even lined with wood in many locations).
When Golden Gate park was established after the great earthquake of 1906, much of this land consisted of sand dunes that stretched all the way to the beach to the west. The area where the course is located contains many large trees (a mix of pines, redwoods, eucalyptus) which in turn provide a nice canopy over most fairways and make for very nice obstacles.
There are a front 9 and back 9. On the front 9 the hole lengths range from about 230 ft to maybe about 330 ft, the fairways are somewhat tight but not wicked, and you might think the course is too easy. But the back 9 seemed to be much more challenging (at least to me), with more obstacles and trees, much longer distances (over 400 ft for some placements), lots of up and down hill action, and risks galore.
My favorite was probably hole 10. In one of the pin placements the basket is on a large stump down in a ravine, and you tee off from high up the side of the ravine. There is a mandatory that makes you throw a big left-turning air shot downhill. A birdie on this hole would be very satisfying, since running at the basket instead of laying up can be hazardous.
Cons: The course ground is a bit dusty, even when the air is moist and foggy. Bring a dust rag and dampen it occasionally with water to wipe off the discs. Follow a group of locals to be sure where the next tee pad is, or you might be a little lost on a couple transitions (9-10, 14-15, etc.).
Other Thoughts: This portion of the park is very nice, and is used to host several large outdoor concert festivals throughout the year. Check the course web page before making a trip to be sure it isn't closed.
I don't live in San Francisco ($$$), and usually travel into the city on BART into the Union Square area (Powell station). It is really easy to get to the course from Union square by taking bus line 38 west on Geary until you get to 25th Ave. (about a 20 minute ride). Then just walk south downhill to the Park and you'll easily find the course to the right across Fulton.
There aren't many stores immediately nearby the course to pick up beverages, so you might want to grab some before you head into the neighborhood.
After a round, go west on Fulton until you get to the beach, turn right and head uphill and go to the Cliff House (a National Monument) for the greatest bar in all of the city.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: It's great to walk up to a course for the first time and see a course bulletin board and a layout of the course. Course was in great shape. Baskets are very new and in good shape and the tee pads were all one piece no cracks or broken concrete. Multiple basket locations on each hole. Easy to walk down the path and start on 10 if it looks like the front 9 is crowded. Good course for all level of players.
Cons: There are really only 2 courses in the Bay area this one and Aquatic Park so the park is heavily used. When my group got there we saw 12 people on one waiting to tee off. For a first time some of the tee pads were difficult to find. Some of the lay out is poor with having to back track from one basket to the next tee pad and a few of the holes throw too close together.
Other Thoughts: I would agree with the description of lightly wooded. But this course is far from flat. Lots of elevation changes throwing up and down hill. Golden Gate Park is a great space with lots going on and is in the heart of the Haight district. Many good picture opportunities.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
San Fran Disc Go
Pros: This course had the best tee signs I think I have seen anywhere, when they were still in good condition. There were several fun challenges about this course. The tee pads were all in good condition as well with a good variety of distance. This course is in a great location and makes good use of the area that it is in.
Cons: Navigation can be a bit of a challenge at times if you do not know where you are going. There was a bunch of people playing this course during the week and players of all ability levels which caused a back up on several holes. Some holes had lots of vegitation for you to loose discs in. Some holes just seemed too easy. Holes were built right on top of eachother, which is particularly dangerous with the amount of traffic at this course.
Other Thoughts: My biggest frustration with this course was simply finding it. I had directions and eved up completely lost with my internal compass all turned around. I was very thankful that there were locals there to help guide me through the course and I was very thankful that there were friendly people at gas stations and other local businesses to help me get to the course. For being right in the middle of San Fran this course was impressive but lacked the challenge that I expect from really great courses.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
My Ex-Home Course
Pros: As somebody who helped build this course, I'm a little biased. 1. Golden Gate Park. 2. It's great for experienced players, as it offers challenges in the form of OBs and trees that force accurate, narrow flight paths. However, it is accessible enough for beginners, and families, especially the front 9, where the holes are not super long. I've brought my baby out in a jogging stroller (Holes 11-13 are a little tough for this). 3. It's easily accessible by public transportation. 4. There is a practice basket. 5. There are multiple basket positions. 6. It's really hard to lose discs and the club and its members make every effort to return them. 7. The course is well maintained by the local club. 9. The SFDGC is very welcoming to new players, whether to the sport or to the course.
Cons: It gets really crowded on week-ends and afternoons. The traffic noises (sirens, car accidents, horns) can sometimes ruin a drive or a putt.
Other Thoughts: Love ya SFDGC. Miss you guys very much.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
First Course IN Cali
Pros: This course was my first one player in Cali. I loved it! There was a great mixture of holes left/right dog legs, great use of elevation, and multiple blind throws around obstacles. The front 9 is definately a little easier then the back; more straight on shots and a few elevated baskets. On the back was hidden baskets on almost all the holes along with one being right on the side of a straight drop down a hill. The multiple tee locations was a great amenity to this course. You get the feeling that everytime you play this course it will be different, I really enjoyed that fact.
Cons: A couple of the tee maps were worn off so you had to run up and look where the basket was. Holes 17 and 18 throw over each other and was probably the only instance where I had to yell "fore" on the whol course.
Other Thoughts: The course itself is pretty dry and most of the dirt is sand(so rollers might have some issues here). Other then that very clean, well maintained, friendly players, and the only course in San Fran. I would definately recommend this course for any skill level if you happen to be taking a trip to San Fran.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Great place to rip.
Pros: This coarse is one of the finest, and cleanest I have played. Every tee pad is concrete with a medalion stating who sponsored it. The paths to the next tee are all very well marked except for one. The paths are lined with wood chips. The holes themselves are well designed with many different challenges. Many straight and anhyzer shots. The trees are huge and there is little scrub brush to if you do not land in the fairway it is no biggy except for one hole. I played twice once on a week day and once on a weekend. I did not find much of a wait at all, the players were all helpful and friendly.
Cons: The holes are a little short for todays discs.
Other Thoughts: The police do patrol on very quiet motocross dirt bikes.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Amazing tee pads, three to four positions for every pin. Well marked and pretty easy to follow.
Great local scene.
Very technical with a ton of trees, plenty of OB and a few mandos. Nice elevation changes and wind.
C placements are quite difficult with a few long holes.
Cons: Very crowded on weekends and weekday afternoons. Be prepared to play slow and wait at some holes. A few holes are a bit on top of each other (6,7,8 and 17, 18) so watch behind you for drives.
Other Thoughts: There is a Sunday weekly at 8:30 am it can be crowded so get there early.
There is absolutely NO poison Oak (no Ivy on the west coast) period.
I love this course definitely a great one!
Remember that the paths on 3,4,5,14, 15,17,18 are OB. So is the meadow off 11, 15, 16.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: This course gives me the challenge I need. I love this course. Damn near perfect. I've played it over 500 times, and the way it's designed, it still can kick my butt. Like hole 8 in C position! And the narrow alley that is 4 (and also 5)! Tee off from 11 and tell me you don't love it too!
Also, a great active club here that changes the pins around often, and does all the course up keep. Very friendly and considerate people. Course in better shape than De Lavega in Santa Cruz (signage, construction of, beauty of), which is the gold standard around here. (even though they do have 27 holes to our 18)
Cons: Tobacco smoke, and a few overdo the alcohol thing, plus dropping or forgetting trash, like bottles.
I say pack it in, pack it out. Leave no trace!
Slammed with players weekdays and especially weekends.
We really do need a second course, here in SF.
Some are working on a plan for McLaren Park, across town near the Cow Palace. Officials, respectfully and kindly, please note!
Other Thoughts: No Poison IVY in the state of California, look it up, please, if you doubt.
No Poison OAK on this course, as Golden Gate Park was planted like a garden, which it is. In the 1800's and before, this spot was all Sand Dunes. The soil and plants were brought in. And we did Not plant poison oak. I feel compelled to end this rumor, so Anyone finding said 'poison oak'- please contact me with it's exact location, and maybe a picture. We'll check it out right away. p.s. I am quite allergic to poison oak, and it is one of my favorite features of this entire park that there is none. Thanks.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 7 Not
A Rated Urban Gem!
Pros: What I like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- B
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- A
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- A+
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- A+
5) Multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- NA
Other Thoughts: I ranked this course subjectively based on my own personal enjoyment factor...more accurately my "personal addiction factor". Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they chose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage...if what I say adds anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
6 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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