Lake O: daylight come and me wanna go play
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Lake Olmstead Park was the pleasant surprise in my visit to Augusta. The IDGC and Hippodrome get all the accolades in this area, but don't overlook the course overlooking the water.
- Just a solid, well-laid out course. There's a great mix of fun, difficulty and risk, resulting in one great ground.
- Course has a sampling of different hole layouts. Several holes have good elevation to them: #3, 16, 17; a couple have tight fairways and/or landing spots: #4, 6 & 18; a couple with tricky pin locations: #2, 8 & 14; and then there are the holes that play alongside and/or over the water: #7, 11 & 15. I think everyone is going to find at least several holes that they really like.
- Of the holes I mentioned above, there were two that really stood out to me. #8 is a 390-foot, dogleg right hole. You can try to go out wide to the right, throwing over the road, and bringing OB into play or shoot a tight fairway. From there, the basket is on the edge of a slight slope, with a tree creating a low ceiling for your approach.
- #15 is the best of the water holes. It's a 360 foot hole that goes over the edge of the lake. Or you can take the safe approach and go around the water. From there the basket has a hill behind it, meaning you can be aggressive with your approach shot.
- The course has a high risk/reward factor. On holes #11 & 15, you can throw over the water for the best line to the basket. On #16 & 17, your aggressiveness can pay off with a birdie chance, or it could backfire with a disc rolling down the hill, towards the water.
- Holes are well designed. With so much variety, there's a risk at times of holes feeling too gimmicky. I didn't sense any of that here. All holes had a feel of being of good quality and well thought out. It's clear this course was designed by disc golfers for disc golfers.
- Great scenic views throughout the course. On the one side you have Lake Olmstead. So maybe it's not the most majestic of lakes, but it's still a great scene. Even better than that, you have the minor league baseball stadium on the other side. You basically play alongside the park the entire way out and back. I bet it's a great scene to be playing a round while a game is going on in the background. That's got to be a fun atmosphere.
Cons: The biggest issue here is navigation. In its simplest form, the course plays nine holes out, turn around and plays nine holes back in. In reality, the front and back 9 cross over each other at different times. For example, after finishing #2, you first see the tee for #16, before you get to #3. After finishing #5, you pass the tee for #14 and the basket for #13 before you get to the tee for #6. First timers will need a map or a lot of patience.
- Rounds here could quickly turn frustrating with some bad breaks. Between unnecessary risks - for example, throwing over water - and bad luck of rollers down hills or hitting trees on tight fairways, I could see a round going south quick. And because of the course's variety, you could get multiple whammies from the different hole types.
- I thought there were long tee pads and/or long basket positions, but I couldn't find any of them. Hole #11 is supposed to have a 550 foot layout and #16 a 620 foot layout, but there was no indication of any alternatives.
- A couple holes may place too close to the road/parking lot, which could be an issue at times. #2 throws over a park road, I already mentioned about #8's layout and #18's basket is close to the parking lot. A little caution will be needed on these holes.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed my round at Lake Olmstead. I couldn't get a sense of how the course would actually play, so I was cautiously optimistic about the layout. Lake O exceeded what I was expecting.
- The course does optimize the terrain, making this course better than it probably should be. When you get here, this piece of land really shouldn't be big enough for a 18-hole course of this caliber. It did take a lot of creativity to make this course as good as it is.
- Holes #3 & 16 were really nice playing alongside the park's gazebo. I can picture a couple enjoying a relaxing view of the lake, sitting in it, only to be mortified by having a group of disc golfers show up to play through. Speaking of, #3 is a hole you might end up throwing an extra disc on. It's a fun tee shot.
- I don't know how much usage this park gets. There's the main parking lot near holes #1 & 18, there's also a lot between #14 & 15. The point being that if this park has peak usage times, I could see parts of the course being difficult to play. At 7a on a Wednesday, I didn't have that problem.
- This course is a must play in my book. If you're in town to play the IDGC and Hippodrome, you'll want to make time for Lake O as well. Of the other courses in the area, this is the best of those and will be worth the time.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Navigation or the lack there of
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I'll start with the positives 'cause in my opinion, there ain't that many. Course is easy to get to, and on a very pretty piece of narrow property. They got all they could of out of what they had to use. Most of the holes were rather ho-hum, only two jumped out as noteworthy:
Hole 3 - Very cool long, down hill shot. One that you can rip the shot and watch it twist and turn as it slices throught the trees.
Hole 4 - Very tough but cool uphill tunnel shot. Got to keep it straight, narrow and low. Can't go left, right or up. Gotta be through.
After these two holes there were some fun shot, but none that I went 'wow'.
With the lake there are a few risk rewards shots, the most noteworthy being 16 & 17. You can place 16 safe and keep the water out of the picture. Play it bad and it's see-ya-later.
Hole 17 is a long, left and climbing shot. Flip the disc and say goodbye. There was a couple of other shots where water came into play, but only on a really overthrown or bad shot.
Cons: Now for the bad...My biggest pet peeve is trying to find the next tee. And specialy the first one. If you come in the main entrance, the tee is hidden by bushes and hard to see. I drove all trough the park and finally parked by the 2 basket and walked the course backwards. A very bad way to start if you ask me.
And they to find hole 3 tee...quickly. After being disappointed with hole 2 (anytime you drive passes over an entrance where you could hit a car, that's a bad design flaw), the search for 3 was unbelievable. I found the tee for 16 easily. I couldn't imagine your drive from 3 would be almost over the tee for 16, but there it was. To me this is a another terrible design flaw.
So, after finding 3 and playing it (made me feel better since the hole was cool) it was off to find - or not find - 4's tee. I give course design a break if I can't find one tee. It happends. But when it's on 2 consecutive holes? Give me a freakin' break!
Hole 5 was easy to find as was 6...or so I thought! What I thought was 6 - near the 5 basket - was actually 14!! For real? Are you kiddin' me? It took another 15 minute hike to find 6! This is totally unexcuseable. I was on the verge of saying 'the hell with it' when I found 6, about 100 yards away, over a hill and past a building.
And to think they played Pro Worlds in 06 here.
After this I was just playing to cross this course off my list.
Other Thoughts: What is with the triangle shapped tee pads? Fat at the back, narrow at the front. I've seen this several times in Augusta. In reverse form it would be cool. But I don't like having my run-up pinched at the end
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Challenging layout. Good distance. Fair lines through big trees. Water is not only in play on some holes but gets in your head and intimidates you at times. I loved the elevation changes.
Cons: Not much to criticize here. A couple of things bugged me but weren't huge issues:
*16 crosses the fairway for 3. You'd have to be an idiot to hit someone or get hit, but it's an issue.
*When the park is crowded the holes around the parking areas could be unplayable.
*It looked like they ran out of ideas and room for where to put the 18th hole. There's almost nowhere to throw to avoid trees, the building, railings, etc. I'm OK with this, but after the rest of the course, which really reflected thoughtful design ideas, it sort of stuck out. Plus, as it's the lat hole, it sticks with you a little.
*Some of the benches were broken
*No trash cans on the course.
Other Thoughts: I'm looking forward to playing this one again.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Designed for 2006 worlds , most scenic course in Augusta - spectacular views of the lake at the finish .
Cons: Occasional pedestrian interference , OB very close to several fairways , lake comes into play for those who lack control of their shots , slightly sketchy neighborhood .
Other Thoughts: Must play in Augusta - bring your course management skills !
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Best City Course in Augusta
4 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Beautiful Park setting around a lake, very unique use of land, awesome well balanced design, some short, some long holes, Benches on every hole, nice cement tee boxes and awesome signage, Many holes are lined with OB, and very well maintained
Cons: OB on every hole, can lose some discs if you are not careful, last 3 holes on a steep hillside making it physically difficult, sometimes baskets are stolen form this park.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the Augusta area or visiting the "Mecca of Disc Golf" you need to check out this Park.
4 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Very well kept up fairways. Good basket placement. challenging course for beginners and pros both.
Cons: Alot of chances for lost disc if your pretty new to throwing.
Other Thoughts: At the time of this review the baskets for 8 and 11 had been stole, but its not too bad to play 8 to the 10 basket and 11 to the 7 basket.
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Lake Olmstead is a beautiful course set right next to the lake. The course is very beautiful from the lake to the gardens to the gazebo and almost worth visiting just for those things. The course starts out near the entrance to the park and makes its way eventually to the lake playing on the sides of the sloping hills. The course plays over long green grass that does get a little tall around the lake. The course plays out and then all of the way back the length of the property. The course is challenging to intermediate players on some holes but there are tweeners throughout the course for that same set of players than it challenges.
Cons: The biggest con of the course for me as a first time player there was navigation, navigation, navigation. The tee pads were not in obvious locations from the last basket and there were no tee signs that I could see. I've seen courses before put yellow tape on the basket in the location of where you need to walk to the next tee pad and this is a tiny thing that could make all the difference here.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice course but not the best in the area in my opinion. This place is worth checking out based on the lake and the course is decent but I would go to Riverview or Patriot's Park first. I wouldn't recommend taking newer players here because it's not the easiest course and the water shots can get tricky for those still felling out their n00b hyzers.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
I am torn here
Pros: 1) Kiosk at the first hole.
2) Nice signs with Hole #, Par, Distance, and a map of the hole.
3) Nice distance variation with holes rangins from the 200's to the 500's with everything in between. You will rarely have the exact same approach or putt because of how different the holes are in distance.
4) Nice large grippy trapezoidal tees are some of the best tees to be had.
5) The course had been recently mowed and trimmed (in the offseason) so I saw it at its best I would assume. This shows they do still care about the course even when there aren't a ton of people using the park.
6) There is a Minor League Baseball team across the street from the South Atlantic League. This seriously isn't truly a pro with the course but I like it so I am putting it in the pros.
7) I was happy the design was able to have both directions of shots along the water. Often times it is all the same hyzer or anhyzer as they follow the shoreline, but here you need to be able to throw both an anhyzer and a hyzer on different holes.
8) There is a lot of risk/reward here with the water shots and the elevation usage. You really need to decide how you are going to play on many holes . . . it isn't just as easy as stepping up and throwing your drive.
9) I have always said how much I love old concrete structures and buildings in old parks. This park is no different as there are two very historic looking buildings and the old landscape around it . . . along with the long large stone wall around the South and East property line. It is very attractive and nostalgic.
10) Excellent elevation on this property.
Cons: 1) The routing is not the greatest in the world. I spent some time looking for #4 and eventually just skipped it until later. #4 could easily be made in #15 and everything else shifted down one hole from 5-15 because it truly makes more sense like that. There also was some criss-crossing of holes where you finish a hole and you cross the path that you will later cross between two other holes. That can be confusing for first timers and travelling disc golfers especially with no directionals. Then there is also some confusion if you do not see #16 tee when you play from #3.
2) This course is a pretty tough walk because of all of the sideslopes you play along as well as some of the up and down on the holes.
3) I like the elevation on the property but I wish they could have used some of it to go straight up and straight down. It seemed like you are always playing along a slop as opposed to up and down it so the shot making was a little repetitive in that regard.
4) This is far from a beginner friendly property. There are no easy shots and the elevation and the water will frustrate even moderately experienced players.
5) This didn't seem to be in the greatest neighborhood. I didn't experience any issues but I played early on a crappy day so not many people were around, but this definitely didn't feel or look like an area of town I would want to be in at all hours of the day.
6) Some might argue but I do not view this course as attractive. Aside from being on the edge of a lake the grounds themselves are not really attractive.
7) The sidewalk below the course seems to be a heavily walked spot. There was one lady who went back and forth 3 times while I played those holes and I needed to wait for hr to clear my range on a few shots.
Other Thoughts: At first I didn't think I really enjoyed this course, but it grew on me eventually. The slope and the water make this a very diverse property along with the large variation in distance. I still didn't enjoy it as much as Patriot's Park so this looks like I am basically flipping the average rating for Patriot's with Lake Olmstead. Perhaps that is just more a factor of preferences. I like tighter wooded holes much more than open air it out holes like we have here. This is not a bad course by any means, but I just didn't have as much fun here as Patriot's so I have to rate this accordingly. While I am giving this course a 3.0 rating, but it is at the far high end of that rating in my option. I guess I would say it falls in about 3.2 in my books. I just couldn't reward the course (which is well designed and unique) by giving it a 3.5 rating because I just didn't enjoy it as much as I expected I would with a rating of over 3.5.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course is so much fun to play. A bad roller or bad shot make the water a threat on almost every hole. It is not heavily wooded, but the use of what trees and elevation are there make this a very challenging course. It is easily one of my favorite courses in Augusta.
Cons: There are no bathrooms on the course that I am aware of. Also, because of the water this is not a course for beginners. I had to fish a few discs out when I took the family. you do have to wait on people to move sometimes, but for the most part they know the deal.
Other Thoughts: Since the baskets have been replaced this is one of the best courses in Augusta in my opinion. It has a very high risk reward factor if you are brave enough to throw out over the lake. Hole 35 is a bit long to be a par three, but other than that it is a pretty fair course. Play it often!
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Highs and Lows
The park containing this course was probably quite a sight in its heyday, with the brick bandstand, sweeping stone staircases, tall, scattered hardwoods, lake-views, etc.
Multiple chances to negatively interact with other park users, other players, a street, and water.
Basket-6 was missing (playing to nearby basket-12 was a reasonable alternative). Basket-13 was missing - no reasonable alternative available.
The strip of land containing the course is long and narrow, with a lake, and the walking path paralleling it, forming one side, and a street running along the other side. For the most part, the first nine holes play away from the parking lot, along Milledge Road to the right, and the back nine plays back towards the parking lot, keeping the lake to the right.
The online map is essential for the first-time visitor to the park, as most fairways are parallel to one another, making it easy to mistakenly throw to the wrong basket. Navigation can be tricky as you are often walking past a basket from the other nine to reach the next tee.
The main challenges confronted on this course are:
- large hardwoods scattered about the length of the flightpath (about 1/3rd of the holes)
- elevation changes, runaway slopes, up-n-over hillocks (again, about 1/3rd of the time)
- nearby water (about 1/4th of the time), but with options to avoid it
Some holes will combine a couple of these features - only a few holes could be classified as open-n-flat
Favourite hole: #15, because it gives you choices. Think you have a big (RHBH) arm? Then go for it - toss one out over the lake, and have it fade left uninterrupted, towards the basket 360' away. Trust your right-turning shot not to turn too much while going such a distance? You have a generous gap to hit between two large trees about halfway to the basket. Otherwise, come up with a plan that fits your arm/style, so you have as easy an approach as possible.
While I'm giving the course an average score, it is not because it is bland - it offers plenty of challenges, but has lots of drawbacks, too.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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