7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Beautiful park especially for a small city park, great big trees create a nice setting.
For a short pitch and putt course (average hole length ~250) it offers some challenging and unique shots.
Good tees and baskets.
Because it's a fairly used city park, it's kept up nicely.
because it's only 3 blocks from Rockwood, it's essentially an 18 hole course.
There's a great bi-weekly singles league on saturday mornings all through the winter.
Cons: No tee signs or course info, it can even be heard to find hole one at times, it's about 600 feet into the park.
Like most small city courses there's no real chance to air out big drives. (but for those with a serious craving they do have a large field.)
Layout is fairly simple, no blind shots, only one significant dog leg.
On nice weekends the park can get crowded with non-golfers, (expected at an urban park)
Other Thoughts: Vance is a great park, and because it's only 3 blocks from rockwood it makes a very fun 18 hole course that's a great tuneup for anyones short game. My only design complaint is that they could have thought out design a bit more and lengthened some of the holes 30 or 40 feet. I would say that if you live anywhere on the east side come and play Vance and Rockwood, if you're from out of town, you're probably better off playing some of the bigger more impressive courses like Pier or Milo or Dabney or Trojan.
Oh and if you live in Portland check out the Rockwood winter series, it's one of the rare leagues that meets in the winter, and brings out 50 or 60 people even if there's ice on the ground. There's usually a sign either at Vance or at Rockwood in the winter.
UPDATE: The shortening of hole 5 and hole 7 has forced me to drop my rating a half disc, as the course is now significantly easier.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
The Poor Man's Pier Park!
Pros: The trees here and how they affected the throws reminded me a little of Pier Park. This is just your basic, everyday, run of the mill city park course. Probably, 20-25% of the DG courses in the US are in little city parks just like this one. Vance does have enough trees to add to the challenge. I especially liked # 8, a tunnel shot through the trees.
Cons: I didn't like # 9 teeing off right beside the chain link park fence. Obviously over the years enough players have hit the top of fence and caromed OB. The fence here is breaking down as it has been climbed over too many times. This is not only unslightly but it pisses off park department officials. There are no tee signs not that they're needed here but the yardage is always fun to know.
Other Thoughts: Just another nice little practice course. Challenge enough to be enjoyed by most players, easy enough for beginners and families.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Good baskets
-Great course to practice new shots
-Great course to practice "discing down" (using a mid instead of driver and putter instead of mid)
-Enough trees to keep you honest
-Well designed for amount of space given
-Plenty of safari opportunities
-Great fun for players with less D
-Events to participate in
Cons: -No tee signs
-No kiosk w/map
-Lots of trash at times
-Lots of crime in the area at times
-A few fairways cross ped paths, unavoidable really, just be careful of walkers.
Other Thoughts: Vance Park is a really fun course to practice new shots on. Over summer of '07 I started to practice forehand drives, I'm primarily backhand and have never forced myself to "figure out" the forehand drive. Vance was a great tool for me to begin dissecting that shot. I often played rounds throwing only forehand off the tee. All the holes are under 300' so I didn't have to worry about hurting my tennis elbow by overpowering it.
My girlfriend is also a competitive golfer and loves vance. She doesn't have too much D but is excellent in the rest of her game, so Vance was like a playground for her, she could reach all but one hole, and often times can tie or beat me out there because of her excellent putting.
In regards to course design, Jerry Miller did and excellent job in regards to the available space. The tee pads are far enough from the previous basket that you don't feel like you're still in the "fly zone" for people driving behind you. There are also some elements of modern larger courses tucked in. Hole 9, for instance, is a fairly technical big hyzer for righties, and a really fun big putter/roc anhyzer for lefties.
I think that any advanced players that live in the area could use this course and a great practice tool, also when you're done throwing a couple nines, there is a HUGE soccer/baseball field next to hole two that you can use to practice distance.
Golfers of somewhat less skill or distance are really going to benefit from playing Vance Park, and they will enjoy getting birdies and learning the the various shots required to drive well at Vance.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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