It was Not Pleasant The Morning I Played!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: McLean DGC is one of the old school courses. Everything from the old fiberglass signs to the natural tee pads to the elementary Pars (325 foot/ Par 5) to the overall shortness of it, shout 1980's vintage. It's like when visit an Open House and see shag carpeting and avacado appliances. It's a lot dated! It could be a decent little beginner/family pitch and putt with a fair amount of work put in to it. The baskets are a wide range from older rusty, single chains to a brand new Discatcher with the yellow band.
Cons: The course is badly overgrown and desperately in need of some serious pruning. One sign is trashed and one basket has been badly beaten. The whole course is sitting in low lying wetlands type area and thus is marshy in many places.
Other Thoughts: I happened to play early on a wet morning. Everything was wet and soggy. The ground was saturated, the overgrown plants were dripping wet. It was not a fun experience. It was so wet and miserable, I didn't even worry about the Poison Ivy. I just tried to throw very carefully, stay our of trouble and get my soaking wet body back to my car.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I work in great falls so it is/was nice to play this course like everyday after work. That's really the only good part of this course.
Cons: They have not maintained it one time since I don't even know how long, definitely 0 times this whole year. It is now practically a rainforest of tall grass and newly growing bushes and other vegetation. I called the fairfax county parks operation dept and put in a work order for Maintenance on the grounds, but it was never fulfilled, even after two months later when I went to check on it. It's frustrating to watch a course just get neglected like that. It's not a bad property but in its current state you don't want to go anywhere near this course in fear of a tick or spider bite due to the immense overgrowth.
Other Thoughts: Even when this course was playable it is really like a beginner's course. Most of the holes are between 100 to 200 feet, with a couple that are a little bit longer. It is pretty moderately wooded making it necessary to have a pretty accurate shot around the curves. A couple holes have a creek you throw over so that is pretty interesting. There is no change in elevation at all so that's really no fun. The rough is thick as the dickens in some parts so definitely check for ticks often as i have been bitten there. This is really just a course that you would play if you happened to live close or worked nearby. Bottom line, an my suggestion... Don't waste your time, play a better course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Once you get past the thorns, poison ivy, terrible tee boxes and baskets, completely overgrown nature of McLean you'll find that there are actually a couple of fun holes out there or you might just turnaround after the first hole :). The disc golf course at McLean can be a bit tricky to find back behind the tennis courts. Hole 1 starts out with an interesting little sidearm shot just past a bridge and near a small stream placed near the pin.
Cons: As mentioned above, the jungle back here is pretty intense. Poison Ivy and prickers can be found on pretty much every hole and often not far from pins or fairways. The teeboxes are absolutely terrible with nearly no runup room; additionally, they are boxed in with wood planks making runups nearly impossible. Frequent flooding helps keep McLame muddy and wet pretty much year round. Finally, the old Mach I baskets, while being a fun novelty, make putting a virtual slot machine of spit outs and blow throughs. Despite this bit of folk knowledge circulating, putting on a bad basket that randomly rejects good putts does not make you better! A simple, inexpensive mod to add an inner set of chains would greatly increase the catchability, though it may not be worth the trouble.
Other Thoughts: From the depths of my heart, I loathe this course and the dark, stinky swamp that it resides in. Like young Luke Skywalker I had to enter the forest of evil and look into the eyes of the ancient Mach. I have learned to control my fear and have felt the hatred of the darkside flowing through my veins but I have...I have conquered the ivy...the thorns...the muck...
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
fun in the swamp
Pros: Situated in a nice neighborhood park not far from the District with good tree cover. Makes good use of available obstacles (trees, creek, even a bridge). A couple nice precision shots. Near a public library so you can borrow a computer and find out where the good courses are ;-) It really is in a pretty setting.
Cons: Course does not drain well. Seems like pin #2 is always in a pool of muck when ever I go there. Terrain is flat so no fun from elevation. Lots and lots of undergrowth, extremely easily to lose sight of your disc, especially on holes 6-8 near the creek. These same holes also have some pretty well guarded fairways so some accidental kicks into the smegma are a real possibility. Course is very short, #4 may top 300' but just barely. Possibly the worst tees I've ever played.
Other Thoughts: A few of the holes here are fun. In particular I like #1, a 225' right bender located on the edge of a small creek, an ace run has to miss a small bridge just before the basket. #4 is a respectable huck through a few trees with some trouble off to the right. 6 through 8 are short precision shots that need to be threaded through the trees. I got my first 'ace' ever on #9 which was really just a long putt (145') across a creek.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Close to DC
Parking is easy
Cons: Really don't have proper fairways
Tee pad are severely damaged
Only 9 holes
Lays in a small river valley so often is wet
Distance is too short
Other Thoughts: Really could stand to have someone come in and cut down (gasp) some of the smaller trees to create a more even fairway. Really because of the small trees you have to get lucky to get your disc close to the hole despite the fact that they aren't long holes.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Short, Thorny, Buggy Mess
Pros: It's one of the only courses inside the D.C. Beltway and is pretty accessible from the Beltway, the G.W. Parkway or Hwy. 66, but it's location is the most positive aspect of this course. Shady, so that's a bit of a plus, too, I suppose.
Cons: This course is poorly laid out. All nine holes are short (longest is less than 300). The long tees are very hard to find -- now, with some work at the park, they are gone -- you have to guess or make up your own. The rough is nasty, nasty, nasty thorns and overgrowth, and it is obvious the park is very seldom played by anyone, and even more seldom tended. The overgrowth causes some of the holes to be blind shots, even though the holes are only 200'. Small stream runs through and the area can be both swampy and filled with mosquitos. Poison Ivy and Posion Oak add to the hazards of the rough.
Teeboxes are roughly 4'-square with boards on every side and uneven dirt as the tee surface. It pretty much forces stand-and-deliver, since any run-up is dangerous. Fortunately, since the holes are so short, stand-and-deliver is not going to hurt you.
Other Thoughts: I've been out there at least five times now, and usually regret going. I'm a pretty decent player and don't often loose a disc, but I've had at least one out there that wasn't worth looking for because of the overgrowth. If you are going to try the course, bring discs you don't care about in bright colors that will stand out against the thick greenery. Use bug spray. Wear pants. It's that kind of course.
Note (08/08/08): Played McLean again last night with a friend. We did a putter-only challenge: two rounds each from both the short and long teeboxes. The course plays much better with only putters or superclass discs (I've played there with a Zephyr). The thorns are as thick and nasty as anywhere I've ever seen, and very, very close to many of the baskets. The upside of using putters are that you can reach 8 out of the nine holes with just putters, and they aren't nearly as likely as drivers to dive hard and bury themselves into the thorns. We actually had an enjoyable round. But I would highly recommend using putters or superclass discs if you are going to play.
The other +/- I should mention is the single-chain Mach-1 baskets, which bounce (or fail to stop) a lot of putts that would stay in almost anywhere else. So putting is a challenge, but not a challenge that will necessarily make you better for other courses, so it forces you to change your putting style without offering you anything in return. The baskets favor a very gentle loft putt; people who throw other styles of putts will get spit-outs at least 50 percent of the time.
[05/2009 update] If you're looking for the long tees, they have completely eroded. Just make up your own long tees, usually 20-70' behind the regular tee and a little off to the side. Makes for some slightly different lines.
After the replay, my best advice if you decide to play there remains this: wear close-toed shoes and long pants.
The park only gets it's 1.0 star because it is mowed, and -- by and large -- it is an area seldom used by dog-walkers, joggers or other folks. A course has to pose physical-danger to other people or be completely covered in nasty trash like hypodermic needles before it could drop much below a 1.0, IMHO.
There are a few non-disc-golfers on the course, usually walking through on/near holes 1 and 9, but most of the course is clear. Double-chain baskets would bump this course up at least .5 stars... but really, I'd rather see a total redesign or a removal of this park. No one who plays here will have any idea what disc golf is really supposed to play like, and no pros will spend their time here, since not even the baskets are helpful for realistic putting practice, since they don't translate well to other courses.
The course is mowed -- or seems to be -- even if none of the underbrush is tended. With a lot of work, this course could probably be brought up to be worthy of a 2-star rating, but that would require a lot of work that could be put to much better use elsewhere.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Took a beating in recent storm
Pros: Good design, has signs and marked tees, baskets.
Cons: Rough- poison ivy on and off every fairway, completely unavoidable. Can be very muddy. Hard to follow, fallen trees in way, not maintained.
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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