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.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Back to life!
Pros: In early 2010 Birdshot and HPARD set to work on restoring this course and they did a great job. Nestled into a park that is ten years into a reforestation project, the Mason Park DGC is one of the most technical courses in the area. Five of the nine holes play through woods consisting of tight rows of pine trees about ten feet apart. These rows demand excellent disc control otherwise you'll hit a tree and bounce off to who knows where. Almost all of the holes also feature elevation changes to add to your challenge.
The best thing about this course is how fast it dries after rain. Compared to 18 hole courses like MacGregor and Moffit this course has drainage meaning you can play it the day after it rains and still keep somewhat dry.
Cons: The park is not the cleanest park in the city. Prior to the restoration the course was in abysmal state and it could still use a clean-up in parts. Finding your way from basket to tee isn't always clear either. Most of these issues can be worked out if the course starts getting regular play again.
Other Thoughts: This course is a unique challenge that will test any player's skills. I can't think of another course like it in the city and will be back to play it often.
5 of 6 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.
28 Helpful / 3 Not
Rising From the Dead
Mason Park has currently been redesigned using what was available. Please take this in account when looking at the shape of the baskets. There are two boxes to choose from at each hole, indicated by a different color marker for longs and shorts. The tees are natural and haven't been worn in by use. There are park amenities, but it is a walk.
For Houston, one must mention any elevation changes present at a course. These are killer, but by Houston standards are fantastic and compare well to Jim Mazola Memorial DGC
course. The length and lines from the long tees are also killer if you're not accurate. This new design put a much bigger premium on accuracy rather than power.
BEST HOLE/S: #1; #8
Cons: This park is busy, and you run a real risk at hitting a walker on both holes three and six. Hole six is probably the most dangerous. I had to wait about five minutes for a good gap in the joggers and walkers to tee off - good thing to because I landed it right on the jogging path.
Hole three is was a little lame. It's a position drive with no chance at the pin. I'm okay with tight difficult holes, but I don't like it when there is absolutely no window to aim for. The line almost forces you to drive far left and play over the new trees, but shots like this won't exist in ten years with the growth.
Some of the shorts aren't really for newer players as much as they are positioned just to be different. Hole seven is a great example where the short placement played more difficult than the long because of the line. Plus, the short placement on eight is difficult to locate, so always good to have a map handy.
WORST HOLE/S: #3
Mason Park is the perfect wish of a dilapidated park becoming what it once was - one of the best nine courses in Houston. With its mix of some elevation, tight lines, challenging distances, and varied terrain, one could argue that it is a step above Terramont Park
and the Bayou course, my two current top rated nine holers in the area.
Bottom line however, no matter what the rating, anyone who was out before the redo and then after knows that this place just received the best case scenario. I'm just sad that it's so far away from where I live. Hopefully, the course remains kept up - and given the close proximity to MacGregor Park
, you now have an excellent one-two tandem in this area.
28 of 31 people found this review helpful.
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