3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Not busy
-A narrow fairway is maintained throughout the course
-Good use of elevation & existing foliage
-Great downhill shot toward lake
-Mostly no blinds
-Pretty easy to follow, especially with map
Cons: -Fox tails & long grass (I uploaded picture examples but they were removed...apparently the 471kb is desperately needed elsewhere on the site. Anyway, It's bad in the summer.)
-Lack of shade / exposure to sun
-Straightforward holes, no risk / reward
Other Thoughts: New Hogan Dam DGC plays on a couple of hills overlooking popular New Hogan Reservoir with dotted oaks, small granite outcroppings, and lots of grass. Many holes afford views of the lake and boat launch, as well as the surrounding area.
The pictures show a wonderful green grassy course, but keep in mind that if you visit in the summertime, this all becomes long brown grass and fox tails, with quite a bit of dust. We actually thought it would be unplayable due to the grass but there was about a 20 foot wide median that was mowed throughout the course...as long as you can stay on the fairway you don't have to worry about the weeds. We had minimal 'shoe picking' afterwards.
The main source of challenge for this course is definitely use of the terrain, elevation is present on almost every hole. The scraggy trees define the rest of the fairway, and hitting any of them will almost certainly knock your disc down...no 'local routes' here :)
We did not have the opportunity to play the 9 newer unsigned holes due to time constraints, but they look like they were longer than the original 18, which is good because the majority of the main course played 250-350 feet and a few longer holes are certainly welcome.
I recall enjoying the 2nd half of the course a bit more...the front meandered around on a hill and had some great shots, but they were just kinda missing some 'oomph' and were really easy to par. The back half was a bit more secluded and had more variety involving the cool rock features of the area.
Signature hole #17 is awesome. The tee plays at the top of a large open hill and shoots directly toward the lake. The pin was off to the left, on a rocky outcropping between the lake and the parking lot. The lake is far enough away that you can basically try to throw your disc into it without any fear of it actually going in. The unobstructed shot and view toward the lake was certainly unique and a nice 'closer' to the course. Hole 18 was a bit of a walk away and in my opinion, defines 'filler hole.'
I would love to get back to this course when the grass is green because the pictures make it look truly majestic. As mentioned before this is not the case in the summertime, pretty much everything looked dead along the course which created kind of a weird, quiet, 'get the job done' vibe. That's fine with me though, golf is golf, and while fun, the course wasn't anything special and unless it's on the way to or from another destination, it's probably not worth veering off the 99 for specifically.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
A great course getting better!
Pros: Excellent use of the terrain provided. Lots of room to go up top, enough trees and rocks to keep you honest!
Back hand, fore hand, over hand, you'll have your opportunities! Short, long, downhill, uphill, it's all there!
The Fiddleneck Chain Rattlers are doing a great job there! No crowds to speak of!
Eight new baskets not on the map, but navigation is easy enough with well worn foot paths leading to the next tee.
Cons: Dirt tee pads-soon to be corrected.
27 baskets are great, but only the original 18 have tee signs. Excellent map available at the first tee, but again, only reflects the original 18.
I understand approvals are in place to cement tee pads and to expand to two 18 basket courses!!!!
Other Thoughts: New tee pads (cement) and new tee signs coming in pretty much rectifies my cons.
Early morning rounds have the benefit of some nice wildlife to be seen, coyotes, deer, raptors, rabbits.
Already a great course! Add new baskets, cement tees and it truly is A Great Course Only Getting Better!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Should Not Miss
Pros: The new layout of holes is a huge improvement on an already enjoyable course. The new holes create a more natural line of travel from from basket to the next tee. This course challenges my novice skills without the punishment of courses with steeper terrain or more trees.
Cons: Tees are not marked and the pads are very uneven and sometimes cramped for those with an elaborate approach.
Other Thoughts: This is my favorite course for the walk, scenery, and developing skills for the varied shots required. If it was closer to my house it would be 'my course'. Thank you Army Corps of Engineers for the space and the local volunteers for a great course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun Course in a Scenic and Serene Setting
Pros: New Hogan Dam is a scenic and serene course. Set on rolling grass hills spotted with mature oaks, the course overlooks a large man-made lake. The hills are broken up by jagged, geometrical rock gardens. Wildlife is abundant. During our time at the course we saw falcons, hawks, bluebirds and woodpeckers; deer and jackrabbits grazed in the grass. The park is expansive and the course does not conflict with other recreational uses. We saw some people walking their dogs by the lake and a few other golfers, but we practically had the course to ourselves. What a treat to sit amongst the angular rock formations and gnarled oaks and watch the sun sink into the lake!
The original 18, while short, makes good use of elevation and natural obstacles. Birdie opportunities are abundant, but many holes require shot shaping and distance control off the tee. Most baskets are guarded by clumps of oaks and rows of rock spires. Players will have to throw a variety of shots to score well here. There are some blind shots, but the holes are well-signed.
Apparently, the course has recently added 9 new holes for a total of 27. While these holes were not signed at the time we were there, they were fairly easy to find and flowed naturally with the original layout. The new additions were generally longer than the original 18. There were several legitimate par 4s and some longer par 3s. The new holes are well designed, making great use of natural obstacles and requiring risk/reward decision making.
Parking is plentifult and restrooms and drinking water are available. There is a day use fee of $4.00. We didn't get a chance to swim in the lake, but it is easily accessible. There are campgrounds nearby.
Cons: Tee pads are dirt and some are in poor condition. Footing can be difficult and at times it's tough to tell where the tee area begins and ends.
Several of the shorter holes are susceptible to overhand shots off the tee. Apparently the designer did not consider this shot, as it takes all the challenge out of these holes.
The original 18 is a classic "deuce-or-die" setup. While scoring a birdie can be a challenge, there's very little risk. Bogeys are hard to come by because the course does not adequately punish bad shots. This is offset somewhat by the new 9.
Other Thoughts: New Hogan Dam is a scenic and fun course. The lake, rolling oak-studded hills, bizarre rock formations and abundant wildlife make for a pretty setting. While the original 18 is short, a wide variety of shots are required to score well. The new 9 is considerably longer and more challenging. The additions are well-designed with several legitimate par 4s. This is a great recreational course, however, the dirt tees, short length and some design flaws prevent it from being a great competitive course. 3.5/5- Very Good.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Stafford-esque Disc Golf
Pros: -Beautiful scenery, mature trees and great views of the reservoir.
-Plenty of left, right straight shots. Many birdie chances with decent drives. Ace Runs as well.
-All teepads have plain and simple tee signs that give you possible flight path options and distances.
-Fairly straight forward layout, #1 and #10 are right next to each other as well as the parking lot so you can grab for beer for the back nine.
-#17-721 ft downhill bomb is an awesome shot that will make many people want to empty their bags.
-Bathroom right after 18th hole
-Course can be played quickly
Cons: -Dirt Tee pads, not really a con to me, kept in theme with the rugged wilderness. Some were a little muddy/slippery, so I just threw from right next to the pad with no problems.
A little difficult to find the disc golf in such a large park, but stick with it! Well worth it!
-$4 to park (worth it)
Other Thoughts: This course (as I think a previous reviewer stated) that this course resembles a shorter, more technical Stafford Lake in Novato. Both are mostly open, in big big parks that have huge lakes. Both also are very tranquil and serene, with minimal foot traffic. Both have a huge downhill shot, and both have lots more room for more holes. More ace runs and birdie ops here than Stafford, this course is not to be missed. I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 rounds here.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Views but average disc golf
Pros: - Very easy to navigate
- Great us of Elevation, Trees and Boulders.
- Beautiful views all over the course with a decent amount of additional activities (e.g. camping/RVing, boating, fishing, walking/biking trails, picnic areas, etc
.) and facilities (e.g. restrooms, water fountains, etc
- Nearly impossible to lose a disc
- Variety of shots to choose from on just about every hole
- Wonderful Top of the World shot on #17.
- The last 4 holes are really nice
- all tee signs were accurate and informative
-back nine is tougher than front
- get the course to yourself.
Cons: - dirt tees(some were really rocky, few were kinda slick)
- Most holes are wide open with a tree here or there to deflect a shot(doesn't really punish bad drive off the tee)
- few close fariways were people may come into play if could was packed
- pay to Play(worth the 4 dollar park fee)
Other Thoughts: although i say the course didn't live up to its rating the whole course play a top the hill next to the lake which makes for some AMAZING VIEWS. Course is pretty much your for the the day, i saw maybe 15 people while playing 54 holes here. the course is fun enough and the flow is really nice so makes for enjoyable rounds. with that being said most people will find the front nine fairly easy as it is mainly wide open but the back nine makes up for it and has some pretty nice pin placements which require good shot shaping..
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Long holes - it is nice to see par 4/5s every few courses.
Great elevation changes - I can't remember a single flat hole.
Great views of the reservior throughout the back 9 - The 'Ol Lady stopped multiple times to admire it all.
No complaints basketwise.
Absolutely no one else playing - the only other mammal on the whole course was a deer who stopped on the tees at 14 and checked us out as we walked up 13.
Multiple restroom faciluties
Cons: Hotter than a fart in a skillet - not enough shade either. SERIOUSLY IT WILL BE WORSE THAN YOU EXPECT.
$4 to park - not too bad but definetly not good.
Multiple holes were straight as a frozen rope.
Stickers/Thorns/Burrs/Foxtails/Spurs and the like....... everywhere!
Trails not suitable for strollers. We brought along The Goodboy (1 1/2) in his Jeep three-wheel jogging stroller and there were parts were we had to carry the whole thing uphill.
Other Thoughts: Pretty darn steep in a lot of places so prepare yourself...good shoes/more water than you think you will need/lunch/sunblock/extra pair of socks for after the round.
Nice to play once or twice...defenitely has some things worth checking out. Not entirely worth driving more than 45 minutes for.
Also the par 4s and the 5 were rather easy if played as is. I blew a short-ish putt for eagle on the par 5 17th.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good location, not crowded at all. Good fun layout, picnic tables, water and even a bench at the right location! Well marked signs at each tee. What can you say about #17 that hasn't been said already...wow, you play it once and you will be there twice.
Cons: Weeds and stickers. Also, be careful of snakes, this is snake country and Hogan and the Valley Springs area are famous for rattlesnakes. ( I know I grew up near here) TRASH ON COURSE. My son and I packed out way to many empty water bottles and beer cans, have some respect people, if you pack it in pack it out.
Other Thoughts: Don't forget to pay the iron ranger, its 4 bucks. They stock course maps near the 1st tee.
As mentioned prior: Clean up after yourself. I think it would be easy to get another 18 holes here with all the room they have but if we leave a mess it will never happen.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A Pleasant Day at the Beach
Easy to navigate
Beautiful views all over the course with a decent amount of additional activities (e.g. camping/RVing, boating, fishing, walking/biking trails, picnic areas, etc
.) and facilities (e.g. restrooms, water fountains, etc
Warm-up areas everywhere
Nearly impossible to lose a disc
Variety of shots to choose from on just about every hole
Wonderful Top of the World shot on #17. Might've been my longest throw ever.
Huge huge huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge amount of space. If desired, this could be a Disc Golf Academy. There's room for a gozillion holes here that would have something for everyone.
Tees are dirt. It's not too bad because it's hard red clay but some were a touch muddy and rocky.
If the park were busier, then it's likely there could be some people in play on a few holes.
Can get warm to hot. Pack plenty of water and sunscreen.
A couple pins/baskets can be tough to locate. Definitely use the tee maps.
Can be a little tricky to find this course, but if you use this map: http://maps.google.com/maps?f...addr&om=1
it will help. Hole #1 starts just above the horseshoe shaped parking lot just above and left of the 'A' marker on the map (Zoom in on the map or use Lat 38° 9'52.36"N / Long 120°48'1.30"W). There's a big sign with "Fiddleneck" on it and a box of course maps (empty when I was there, though).
#11 basket is just left of center. It's not the basket in the rocks. That's #12
#15 basket is to the right. The tee box makes it seem like it's straight ahead but it's not. Use the map and step back and you'll see it.
Don't forget to pay your $4 parking fee. There are payment boxes in several places.
This was a pleasant surprise. When you first roll in and see the baskets strewn about, you might think you're in for a boring/easy round, but not so fast. Even though a lot of the holes are under 300', the baskets are quite cleverly placed where the trees are juuuuuust in the right spots to make you either think twice about throwing right at it or in a lot of cases, make you try to throw a pinpoint anhyzer or S shot. Consequently, I constantly found birdie just out of reach (the temptress that she is), which told me this course had the right amount of challenge for my skill level. And wow, stop and look around just about anywhere, and you'll see some great views. Top that off with a few neat and memorable holes and it was a good day. Speaking of which, #17: What can you say but devilish grin. According to Google earth, it's a ~100' foot drop and ~700' to the current basket. I say current basket because it looks like there's a basket location at the bottom of the hill about ~500 feet but the current one is out by the water. Type this into Google Earth (Lat 38° 9'53.93"N Long 120°48'11.37"W) and prepare to smile, because the second shot is a butt pucker moment when you think about possibly throwing long, getting it into that nice reservoir breeze and kissing your disc goodbye. Fortunately, there's a good amount of beach back there, but bravo course designers. I smiled all the way down the hill.
Bottom Line: I would imagine the advanced player might think this course a bit too easy/short, but I truthfully think you'll have a good time no matter your skill level. Assuming it's not too crowded or hot, and yes, it's a fair ways off the beaten path, but this is a beautiful area with some interesting holes. I enjoyed it enough to play two rounds back to back and would've played a third but we were starving. A job well done, course designers! Now get working on the other 5, 000 holes! :-)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Course, Worth the Trip
Pros: Hogan dam and reservoir is set in a very nice scenic terrain in the Sierra foothills. The landscape is studded with small to medium sized trees, and craggy metamorphic rocks stick out of the ground in many locations. When you first drive in you'll become very excited about the fact that you're going to a disc golf course in such a great location!
The course design is excellent, and makes great use of the hilly terrain, trees, and rocks. Most basket placements are in the middle of tree groves and/or boulders, so that even some of the shortest holes are very challenging. Many of the fairways play over valleys or other topographic obstacles, and roll-aways are quite often a risk.
Hole 17 is one of the greatest holes I've ever seen. When we played it was tucked around the slope behind the parking lot. This alone is worth the trip! The downhill slope is about 10-15 degrees, which is not quite steep enough for a disc to simply glide all the way. Therefore you need to have some power to get it out and turn over in order to have the disc get all the way to the basket. (Be careful, it is easy to lose a disc here! Our group lost one that seemed to have gone right out in the open, but after much searching, no luck.)
The tee signs are fairly good, showing the distances and plausible routes to the basket, the big tree locations, etc..
Cons: A lot of the baskets (except for a few Mach V here and there) are cheaper and have fewer stout chains. We were experiencing a lot more spit-outs, cut-throughs, bounces, etc. than we would have on better baskets.
Some of the dirt tees are rocky and uneven, which doesn't allow for a confident run-up on many holes. Be sure to wear rugged footwear with decent ankle support.
- Baskets in great condition, all good quality.
- Tee pads have undergone badly needed maintenance and are in much better shape.
- Accordingly, I changed my course rating to 4.5
Other Thoughts: This is one of the most beautiful courses I have played, and has all the makings for a 4.5-rated course...if only the baskets could be upgraded and concrete tees installed.
When we played the reservoir was really low. I suppose it will remain this way until a while after the drought ends. I imagine it would probably look more scenic with more water in the reservoir.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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