Viva las Mason!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This review will not be in my normally formatted version. The first time I played Mason back in 2011 the course was mowed, and well kept. Now days since returning to this course i have found a different story. Most of the holes have over grown tree, shrubs, and grass making it difficult to play/enjoy a round. My thoughts back then were that Mason was one of the best nine holes offering alt. tees to make an 18 hole. The fact that there is terrain and woods makes for challenging fun and play. Today I would say that with some volunteer work and help from the parks dept. the course could get back on track to that previous luster. Mason park being only a few miles away from MacGregor makes this course a great warm up. Especially today since MacGregor went through a "thinning of the tress". There is plenty of parking at Mason. Restrooms nearby are always nice. the alt tees at Mason offer very different look at the fairways. A good mix and usage of the pines and trees makes for some pretty nice lines. I think the signature hole at Mason is long tee for hole 1. You have to throw over the creek through tall trees to get a look at the basket. Another thing that I like about Mason is the fact the with the alt. tees, you get a mix of LHBH/RHBH. Hole 1 is a great example of this. the long tee is a RHBH, but the short tee is LHBH fairway.
Cons: As stated before in the pros, the course is just over grown with shrubs and grass. The lines have taken away by over hanging branches. The only hole that I couldn't see be helped is 3! Hole 3 is basically a luck hole. there is no saying you got skill and prove it. I have been lucky to birdie hole 3, but that was once. the hole is pretty much protected by a wall of pines. Unless some of the pines are trimmed I dont see hole 3 becoming very playable anytime soon. Holes 4-5 are pretty much a safari of tall grass now. I was even worried to lose a disc to the tall grass on 5. One of the best holes ( hole 8) is now becoming increasingly hard withe the overgrowth. the fairway plays over a small creek with some species of flora that has humongous leaves. These are closing the gap on the fairway. Other than the overgrowth, Natural tee boxes are almost always a con in the Houston area. Due to high play and ware natural tees get routed easily and hold water after rain along with mud. The grass does help, but with the grass being overgrown it creates a problem. The other Con to Mason is just the simple fact that the baskets are showing age and have been tagged with graffiti.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed Mason back in 2011. Now days (Fall 2013) the course needs some TLC. The course when groomed is pretty fun and challenging. I would say that Mason would still hold its high rank among other nine holes in the Houston area. The terrain definitely puts Mason up there. I would give the course at least a 3 out of 5 if it were groomed and well kept. But seeings how the park has been left to fend for itself, I doubt one grooming would really make a difference seeings how the course would be left to overgrow again in the future.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Mason Park is surprisingly one of the better, if not the best, nine hole course in the Houston area when it is kept-up. There is a good amount of elevation on many of the holes. There are tight lines off the tees with many trees that can make it difficult to obtain a good score.
There are dual tees that are actually all present as of writing this review. The two tees differ in length as well as a look at the basket. There are 18 unique holes and shots at Mason.
There are bathrooms and water fountains nearby. The parking lot is large and you can park easily by Hole #1. Navigation of the course is very easy.
Cons: Sadly, time has not been good to Mason Park. The up keep of the park and course is mediocre at best as the grass and brush can over grow the course immensely almost to the point of being unplayable.
Vandals are also a huge problem as most of the baskets are graffitied and sometimes the baskets are ruined by non players.
The long tee on Hole 1 as well as both tees on 8 have lost their line to the basket as trees have grown and blocked the only available lines to the basket and the only option is over the top of the trees.
Hole #3 is not a good golf hole and I do not think it ever was because of the impossibly small gaps to hit. It is another hole to go over the top.
Other Thoughts: Mason Park is not in the best part of town which could explain the large amount of graffiti as well as the lack of attention from the Park and Recreation Dept.
It is a solid course, the only problem is playing when the course is in good shape.
Gosh. I would have loved to have played this course when it was first installed.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Elevate your fun in Houston
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Mason is a fun, fun course with elevation in good ole flatland Houston. I really had a blast playing it. In general the fairways are tree-lined and narrow with up and down slopes on the course for some variety and challenge. On several holes you have to get through some distant, narrowed-down openings to hit the basket area. There is a good balance of hyzer and annie fairways. I am a RHBH player. In general the older pix on DGCR do not do the course justice. I was expecting a much less playable and fun course from those. I was in Houston to pick up my son at Hobby and just picked Mason to play because it was close to the airport. DikkaD assured me there was no potential crime- problem playing Mason, despite its location in an old part of Houston and one incident several years ago, and he was absolutely correct. All the walkers and dog walkers were friendly, even the dog who took my approach disc on #9. The excess brush in the DGCR pix has all been cleared, so you really only have to worry about the trees. Tees are grass/dirt, but very firm. My favorite holes are the elevated tee #8 to the narrow opening way below. #2 cause I just think it is neat, and #7 up the hill. The elevation changes really make the course. Two tees - red and green. Both are fun and challenging. Discatcher baskets.
Cons: Low basket on #9. #3 is kinda ridiculous. You either throw a big hyzer way right through an opening, or throw straight at the tree line protecting the front of the basket and pray. I'd move the basket to the right or left of the opening on the right of the hole. You would still have the big slope to roll down as a punishment. Hole signs at the tees would eliminate new players wasting time trying to locate the basket. New baskets would really spruce up the course and show Houston Parks and Rec is serious about Mason.
Other Thoughts: There are restrooms handy of the porta-let variety. Parking right next to #1. I did not see any water fountains, but there may be some at the buildings. Tables are in a couple of places where you could sit a spell. I stopped at Burke-Crenshaw a few times, but Mason is much more challenging and fun. I wish it were near my home, cause I would play it a lot. I'll be back.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Many Challanging holes
daunting hole #1
nice park by the bayou
has a pool!
Cons: Completely overgrown
hard to navigate without a map
Other Thoughts: This could be nice with a little maintance
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Great little gem
Pros: Played from the longs
+Each hole had a thoughtful layout, save for two. You were offered one or two obvious choices for lines and approaches
+Varied elevation makes for fun golf. Nothing drastic for the most part, but not flat as a board.
+Elevation also means drainage. While some courses were waterlogged, Mason was pretty dry.
+The hole design was excellent, making you think about what you wanted to do. When you pull a disc, take another look, and consider a different disc/line, the designer has done well
+Lots of parking
Cons: -Dirt pads
-Only 9! I want 9 more holes like these!
-Signage; while both tee positions had posts (and differently colored) they lacked distances, even sharpied by a helpful local.
-Single chain on some baskets
-Print the map, would be hard to navigate without it
Other Thoughts: Played from the long tees, had a strong wind from over the water, felt most on 5-9.
1: From the long, you have to shoot over a creek/ditch/ravine/whatever, but you have to shoot through a 15'-20' gap in the foliage, which you can see the basket through. It's a good accuracy challenge, not easy, but doable . Its hard in that even if you make it, you will likely only make it 20' past the gap. Though you might be able to go over it all with a big hyzer for more D, I'm not sure. And if you make it past, don't go down, through, and up the ditch. Just go the extra 50' around to the right.
2. A nice tunnel anny, with a roll in the hill. If you OAT, you still get a look due to more than one lane to the pin.
3. WTF. The first 90% of this hole is good, trees look dense, but the lines are there. However, just a few feet in front of the pin, is a whole line of pine trunks spaced about 2' apart. All you can do is hit the line, and then cross you fingers on whether you discs finds a gap. Infact, from the other side, it looks like its a pin for a hole going the opposite direction (like for 6...because I threw it at before realizing)
4. Another light anny tunnel, opens up in the back
5. The existence of a "Fair"-way here is debatable
6. A long hole along the bayou, despite the line on the course map. The trees from the long tee encourage a line parallel to the water. The long tee grass was very long and slick. For some reason not mowed with the rest of the park. No clear tee area, also didn't seem like it was actually flat around the marker. Felt not used very often.
7. An uphill anny, with lanes to the pin at the end
8. Fun shot! Slight downhill, but with a huge tree in the direct line to the pin. A big Hyzer is needed to clear the tree. With the wind, the tree, and the elevation change, you actually need to go around the tree, but not over it, or else you'll hyzer too far left. Gives you a tingle cause you have to aim at the water, though you won't actually go over it.
9. Trees provide a ceiling, but you can choose either direction to approach the pin from.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Mason Park is a really fun, technical 9 hole course. There are many reasons to check this course out.
-Alternate tees that give you not only more length, but in most cases changes the shot shape that you will need in order to reach the basket.
-Woods. The designer used the wooded area of this course to it's fullest potential to give a us a great course that will be hard to completely master.
-Elevation. Elevation is something most Houston area courses don't have. So for me, elevation gives courses a slight advantage in comparison to other courses in the area.
-Scenic Park. This course is in a very nice park that is well used (more about that in the cons section). This is one of the nicer parks that I've seen in Houston as far as scenery goes.
-Great lines on some holes. There were some very nice lines that were required on several holes that rival some of the top courses in this area. The green tee at #1. Both tees at #8. #4 and #5 are both very technical and require some needle threading as well.
-There seemed to be ample parking. I went on a Tuesday morning and there were plenty of parking spaces then. This may not be the case on the weekends and afternoons.
-The baskets were all in decent shape. You could tell they had seen their share of discs, but all were intact with no chains missing. They were all standing up straight and none of the baskets were bent or crooked.
Cons: Even though this course has a lot of great things about it, there are some that aren't so great as well.
-Trash. There was a good bit of trash on the course. Especially on hole #5.
-Crowded. I went on a tuesday morning and there were people all over the place. I'm sure it's insane on the weekends. There were several times when I had to wait for a break in the runners/walkers in order to throw. Holes #3, #6 and #8 (if you take the outside hyzer route around the trees).
-Hole #3. This hole was not a well thoughtout hole at all. There's really no way to get to the basket. You just kinda throw and hope that your disc makes it through.
-Hole #6. The walking path is basically the fairway for hole #6. I had to wait a few minutes to throw on this hole because the path of your shot flys over the walking path for almost the entire hole.
--Crossing the creek/ditch on hole #1. There is really no easy way to get across it. As someone else mentioned there is a log to walk across but it's still not pleasant.
-No benches on the course. There are some in the surrounding park but they are well off the course.
-No course map or yardage on tee posts.
-I think it would be difficult to find the next tee without a map on some of these. There should be signs or something that at least point to the next basket.
Other Thoughts: On several holes I would suggest a spotter. Holes #6 and #8 are two that you should probably use one on.
I tend to stay away from most 9 hole courses. But I figured I would check this one out because of the reviews. I may not play this course as much as some of the nicer 18 and 21 hole courses, but I'll probably try to make it out there about once a month. If you live close this might be your new favorite course. It's got the potential to be a really fun round.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
The Lewis and Clark Expedition OR Pocahontas Left Us Again?
Pros: This course is laid out on a diverse piece of land. It has a little elevation, wooded areas, wide-open spots, and the sparse tree like areas as well. The pin placements were mostly in clever locations (except for a couple). I actually think the baskets locations were really the only bragging portion of this course. There is decent parking. This place does have potential with the way the park is set up and the variety of terrain.
Cons: The baskets were of a single chain type and not in the best shape, the tee pads were rough, and the wooden tee-sign posts (the ones still there) have just the number on them (mostly). Navigation was a bit of a nightmare. Where is Pocahontas when you need her? The logic of the holes layout was bit odd as very few holes flowed like you would expect. I doubt this really getting maintained that often. The grass was shaggy in many locations, but this is a big park. There did seem to be the occasional pedestrians walking around and through the course. So keep safety in mind.
Other Thoughts: The Fun Factor is above average. Now that I said that, it was a tough decision. Once you figure the place out, the holes can seem quite fun, but the conditions just wear you back down (single chain baskets, and poor tee areas). This could really be something if more time was taken and some adjustments were made. If you had a guide, I would play it anyway.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Good 9 Holer
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The best features of this course are the rolling hills that set it apart from most Houston courses. Plenty of up and down shots, blind basket placements, good balance of left and right turns. I also like the fact that the rough areas are not that rough. Hole #5 used to be a messy grassland but now the parks department seems to have really cleaned all the holes up. The rows of trees create some nice tunnel shots that arent too ridiculous for the most part.
Cons: Hole #3: basket needs to be moved, the shot makes no sense
Hole #5: the tees should be moved to create a reasonable line to the basket
A foot bridge or some kind of clearing in the middle of hole 1 would also help as people mentioned before, after you throw your drive you must cross a nasty ditch area.
Other Thoughts: This course posesses some of the strongest holes and some of the weakest. But that can be easily corrected with some simple adjustments to tees or baskets.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Close to Downtown, Parking, the other downtown course, Buffalo Bayou I could not even find a place to park. Looks like you just pull over on the side of the express way and hope for the best...so at least here there is a parking LOT....THATS THE BEST THING I CAN SAY ABOUT THIS PLACE.
Cons: Fist tee is hard to figure out, Looks like you throw through woods with no vissable opening...then how do I get across this tick infested drainage ditch, there was a tree that fell over...then you find a rusty single chain basket. No since of direction on where to go next, and its hard to think cause you will spend most your time swatting Misquitos. It only get worse from there...
Other Thoughts: We did have fun after getting fed up after 4 holes we headed back to car, seen this spunky squirel so why not see if he'd like to take a ride on a Roc, Man that dude had moves quick dodge to the right a back flip and a nija stance showing us he had no fear....So I thow another disk his direction,,,THis guy gives chase....he went after that disk like he was going to thow it back! Thank God for that squirl it was the most fun we had...
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Damn This Little Course is Good
Pros: Wow, that was the word I kept hearing from my fellow disc golfers as we played the first mini at this course since it's resurrection. To say this course was a surprise would be an understatement. I had read the previous reviews of the course before it being renovated and I really didn't know what to think, but now that I played it, all I can say is this course is good, its real good.
I think the one thing that struck me first was all the elevation this course has. For someone who is used to your typical flat Houston track this little course is a welcome departure. There are tight tunnel shots up hills like #2 and #7 and a picturesque dare I say beautiful down hill hole #8. Hole #1 also uses the elevation masterfully and is definitely my favorite, its pin location is deceptively tough to get to. Also of note is the alternate or "short" tees really change the course up, mixing up lines and changing some holes entirely.
The teeboxes are natural grass and have, as of yet, not been torn up, making them wonderful for driving. Being that this course is built on and around a hill, it drains really well and might be the driest course in Houston. In fact I played this course a day or two after some pretty substantial rains and it was incredibly dry considering that MacGregor was completely underwater, just 2 miles away.
Cons: The baskets here are single chain old Discatchers and as such are susceptible to chain outs and slip throughs. But for being as old as they are they still do a pretty decent job with one exception. The basket for #9 is a munchkin basket and its catching area is about 4-5 inches to small, making for some pretty hairy putts. This course is in a pretty rough part of town and drug paraphernalia and prophylactics have been known to show up in fairways. Just keep an eye out and dont let little Timmy to far out of sight if you bring him with you to the course. I'd say 8 of the holes out here are good to great but hole #3 is a Plinko hole and really needs its basket to be moved for it to be anything other than pure luck.
Other Thoughts: Big props need to be given out to HFDS and the Houston Parks department on this one. They did an excellent job on bringing back a course that almost everyone had forgotten about. The landscape of Houston disc golf inside the loop had become pretty boring and this little gem has injected a lot more fun downtown. Mason Park is a damn good 9 hole course.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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