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.
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.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Lots of mature and new trees available to make a nice course with some good lines. Elevation changes (a rarity for Houston) make for some cool holes. Unlike many Houston courses this one has a ton of trees and score-punishing off fairway rough. The fairways themselves are generally well defined and, except for #3, tight but fair. Six of the holes are far enough away from the general use areas of the park as to limit pedestrian interference. Baskets are single chain DISCatchers.
In Feb 2010 the Houston Parks Department repaired all the broken baskets and replaced all the missing tee signs. Birdshot has also installed bricks for the short tee locations.
This course was in major disrepair for many years and as such didn't get enough play to break in the fairways so they're somewhat overgrown. New trees have been planted since the course was designed which in years to come will greatly increase the difficulty of several holes. The trees have grown up so much near basket #3 that no fairway exists near the basket and getting through them is now pure luck. That hole needs some clearing to make it a legit hole. The basket on #9 is, well, sort of "compact". The tray is bolted too high up the pole resulting in a smaller target area to hit chains. The tee for #9 is located directly behind a tree trying to force an RHBH anhyzer shot to the basket, it results in a rather ugly hole. Several baskets are showing their rusty age, but all are still playable for now.
I was happy to get a chance to play Mason in something close to its original condition. Holes #1 and #8 were favorites for difficulty and cool factor respectively. If you get a chance to check out Mason now, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised. It really is a good park with lots of holes different from most Houston courses. Hopefully the vandals don't destroy the course again.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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