The Present versus The Potential
1 Helpful / 0 Not
NOTE: Course is currently in the middle of a redesign from 18 holes to 27 holes. All 27 are playable but navigation is difficult.
* Beautiful location on the Umpqua River, oak groves, rolling hills, scenic viewpoints, wildlife, etc.
* Amenities are good - concrete tee pads on most holes, good signage, a few benches, and usually three basket locations for each hole. Good quality baskets.
* Lots of variety to the holes. You will use most of the discs in your bag and most of the types of shots you are able to throw.
* Very challenging course - even with the baskets in their short positions, this is a tough course. Lots of gamble-and-lose-your-disc shots. Variety of challenges - difficult tree holes, long brutal drives, windy shots, cliff hazards, deep rough, etc. (note, this is a "con" for beginners)
* Camping is available within walking distance (small campground with showers, reservable online) and there is also a day use area. Plenty of activities in the summer.
* The new holes add a lot to the course. The new course now has two impressive "top of the world" shots with different views (#16 and #17), and some new along-the-river shots. The challenge level went up quite a bit.
* Due to the redesign, all of the tee signs need to be redone. The ones that are there are mostly accurate, but sometimes the numbering of the signs is off. Quite a few of the new holes do not have adequate signs. Players familiar with the old course will be *extremely* confused. Ask locals ahead of time if you can find them, or play with someone who's played the new layout.
* There is no current course map available online, or at the beginning of the course (not even stapled to the signboard), or from the park host. You'll probably get lost several times and play things out of order without a guide.
* Poison oak on a few holes. Rare except along the river edges (deep rough) and then quite a lot in the middle of #17 in the hillside (most players will throw well past it and over it, but still).
* A few steep hikes between holes, especially on the new holes. Once the trails are worn in a bit, these will be better, but I would dread a couple of them in the winter (particularly the walk from #16 -> 17).
* Good Course For: experienced disc golfers looking to challenge themselves, backwoods trackers (for figuring out where the next hole is), hikers and nature enthusiasts, and people who've got all day to play disc golf.
* Bad Course For: beginners and casual players, people who aren't able to hike steep terrain, people without good trail shoes, people with vertigo or fear of heights.
* King for a Day: new signs on every hole that needs one, and "next tee" arrows on every basket. Crosswalks painted on the road and real stairs on the side of the road for when you move from 14 -> 15 and 15 -> 16. A current map posted on the signboard at the beginning (easy to take a picture of it with your phone - all we need is *one map*). Eradicate poison oak from fairways and trails.
* Other Thoughts: Do you rate a course on how it IS, or it's POTENTIAL if it's finished? As is, three stars. If it's finished as planned, to the quality level of the old course (concrete tees, excellent signage, three possible basket positions on every hole), then it will be an easy five stars and probably one of the best courses on the west coast. So I split the difference at four stars... for now.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Worth the drive
Pros: -Very scenic area
-Nice mix of shots, some wooded, others wide open
-Excellent color signs
-Great tee pads, grippy even in the rain
-Very easy to find your way, with broad paths connecting holes (at least in the wooded sections)
-You end right where you started
-I did not see any poison oak
Cons: -About half of the baskets were hidden from the tee
-About 4 or 5 times you had a 100-300 ft walk from the last pin to the next tee, and this disrupted flow. I felt you could easily have a 27 hole course in the same footprint and not sacrifice distance or technical difficulty
Other Thoughts: I was expecting more given the high rating, but the course was also all in the 'short' due to a doubles tournament that had just finished for the day. I played in the pouring rain and it was still fun. Their version of "Top of the World" is awesome, especially from the pro tee. It is great to watch a disc fly so far and for so long.
A bit off the beaten path, but worth it. I think if the pins had been in the long, my rating would have been even higher.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Park is out the country all by itself. Also the course was very well manicured.
- Big Tee Pads
- Some of the best signs i have ever seen has hole locations and distances but also gave other distances to like a dog leg or where the fairway got wider.(really helped in my shot selection)
-Course layout and flow are very good.
- All the holes are memorable but Hole 4 having two absolutely different fairways was a really nice idea(Never seen this before)
-Liked how all holes had some trees in play and that most were heavily wooded.
- 9s pin placement with the fall-a-away green down a cliff face into the river made me lay up!!!!
-Some holes had benches and trash cans
-Some holes had Alternate Tee pad, not all.
- Has all the Variety that a discer desires
-Camping available on site.
-Amazing veiws as you play
Cons: - Could only find one set of tee pads with the exception of 5.
-Could use a few more benches and trash cans
Other Thoughts: I drove 5 hours up from Northern California(Ukiah area) with with Whistlers being my main objective. I was quite pleased with the trip as whole but extra glad i stopped at Whistler;s to play, the course is very fun and offers some challaneges.
With that being said; Only having one set of pads lowers the course rating for me and also seeing that the course was rated quite high i figured it would be more challanging that it was as it gave Winter Park in Kewaunee,WI a run for its money last year for the number 10 spot. Winter park is much better but Whistler's is still really nice. Well, worth the time spent getting there
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 3 Not
Established in 1991, Whistler's Bend is an 18 hole disc golf course nestled along the mountainside 30 minutes east from downtown Roseburg. With the Umpqua River located in the background of many of the holes, this course is stunning and makes for one truly unforgettable round. Throughout the entire round, wildlife can be seen, whether it be by land, water, or sky. Along with the wildlife, the remoteness of the course allows for thick vegetation in the backdrop as well as throughout the course, especially the front nine holes.
The first nine holes were tightly wooded, with elevation changes, narrow windows, and guarded pin placements. Much of the challenge on the front nine was based off accuracy, not power. As the Valkyrie Kid mentioned in his review, hole # 3 had one of the better pin placements on the entire course. It is not until hole nine where the course really opens up. However, due to the placement of the pin along the edge of the cliff, long drives will find themselves sinking to the bottom of the Umpqua River. It is quite a rush trying to park a hole that has such a high risk, high reward.
The back nine holes are much more open, with more extreme elevation, and larger windows. Because of this, errant drives don't get punished nearly as bad...nearly. Fortunately, clever pin placements add to the challenge, rewarding accurate approach shots and putts. As many others have stated, hole #14 or "Top of the World" is well worth the wait. It is quite beautiful, and allows you to get a complete view of the area. By the time hole 18 is finished, you are back to the parking lot and hole one.
The course is in great shape, with cement tee pads at every hole (some even have two) that are grippy and in good shape. A few could be longer, but for the most part they worked great. The baskets are all Mach III's, have the inner chains, and catch well. The holes have multiple pin placements, are well balanced (lefty vs. righty), fair, and provide plenty of challenge for all skill levels. Because the course is located right next to a campground, there are multiple restrooms, showers, and an area to fill up water. The camping spots give a wonderful view of the river, are spacious, and provide a bbq, garbage can, and fire pit.
As others have stated, navigation can be an issue for first timers. It gets especially confusing on the back nine. Printing off a map is highly recommended. Once played however, navigating the course is quite easy. The issue is tee signs are nonexistent and the ones they do have are few and far between. Hopefully new tee signs will be installed to help solve this issue, as it would make the course look more polished.
Although this is not a con, I wasn't sure why there were only a few holes with duel tee pads. Why have them at all if there are only a few...literally. They didn't add much of a difference with the exception of the lower tee on hole #14.
Last, that fact that there weren't any par 4's or par 5's. Although it didn't detract from the overall challenge or beauty, it would have been nice to have seen a few considering how much land was available.
Whistler's Bend is easily one of the best courses I have played in Oregon, definately top 5 in the state! I traveled from Seattle this summer with a few friends, one who came from California, because of how much hype it has gotten over the years. I wanted to have the opportunity to play some of the best courses that the state of Oregon had to offer and Whistler's Bend didn't disappoint. I added Dexter and Adair to my trip, which made for quite the experience. Although it was quite a drive, it was well worth the trip!
NOTE: Whistler's Bend is located within 2 hours of Oregon's only National Park, Crater Lake. If you have the time I highly recommend it. It is truly breathtaking!
18 of 21 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Course contains wooded first nine and wide open fields on back nine. Clean. Gorgeous area. Plays along Umpqua River.
Cons: Missing signage. Had problems finding holes on 12 and 17.
Other Thoughts: I played this last Thursday on a visit to Southern Oregon. As a novice player I found hole 14 a lot of fun and challenging, Its a great course and for someone who is learning the basics the course offers shorter holes with shots thru trees then long drives in open fields. Well worth the visit. The other skilled players on the course were very nice. Awesome. Try it!
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Nice place, fun course
Pros: Given the number of times I'd driven up and down I-5 in Oregon, and hadn't stopped to play this course, I was eager to see what all the fuss is about on a road trip down from Portland to California. Stopping here meant that I wouldn't arrive home until 3AM, but it was definitely worth it.
The first thing that struck as I drove in is the natural beauty of the setting. It is really a fantastic location to plant a disc golf course. Good mix of semi-mature trees and open spaces, mixed with nice topography and the river, which meanders around the course and cradles it while it whispers at you with its rush of water.
The next thing that struck me was the mixture/variety of holes. There was a lot of interesting ways the designer(s) found for routes through some of the more dense trees, and their use of the open spaces was a lot of fun. This course covered a lot of shots, and will build important skills for anyone who plays it often enough.
When one gets out of the woods and into the open, 2 excellent gut check holes await. The first plays slightly down hill about 400', but with the river canyon on the right. There are windows along the cliff through which an overly turned-over disc will pass and good luck ever retrieving your disc again! Then there is another shortly after that plays dowhill about 300' with the river canyon/cliff just behind the basket position, with the basket itself planted on very loose soil making a fast green (caution: watch your step around this hole! I lost my footing twice there.).
There are some really fun long holes in the back 9, some of them very challenging. There is a big downhill hole that plays from 2 tee pads (I didn't notice any significant difference in challenge or distance between the two pads; wind was a much bigger factor that day).
Cons: The course is not nearly as challenging as I had expected. I'm a par player on most challenging courses, but at this course I scored 5 deuces on the first 8 holes without feeling like I had played the holes particularly well, or any better than I play other courses back home. This course is too easy. Perhaps the other pin positions could be a tad more challenging, but from where I saw the alternates located I don't think it would have been very different.
There is nice signage as you begin the course on hole 1, but these soon disappear as you continue into the round and get deeper into the course. In the back 9 the course is poorly marked and very difficult to follow the first time you play it. Find a local to guide you and tell you where the tough transitions are, or else you'll end up walking around an awful lot.
Other Thoughts: Excellent course, but for me it wasn't phenomenal or best-of-the-best. I was slightly disappointed given the hype about it here at DGCR. Poor signage and low level of challenge are problems this course would need to overcome to bump itself into higher categories in my judgment. Other than that, it is a very fun course, and everyone who plays here will have a lot of fun.
The big downhill hole (14) is fun, but not nearly as epic as some of the reviews make it seem. (E.g., I wish they would move the basket further away.) It is fun, but not as great or in the same league as many others I have played at Horning's hideout (e.g., Meadow Ridge #8), Delaveaga #27, New Hogan Dam #17, Toney's Mountain #4, Zephyr Cove (several epic downhills), Snow Bowl (and multiple other ski run courses), etc.. Folks, if you like this hole, play some of these other courses, and you'll be very happy, indeed!
Notes of caution for those traveling to the course: The road to the course from I-5 killed the windshield of my car. There was a funny sign that said "watch for flying rocks" and it is no joke! Watch out for trucks. Watch out for speed traps as well, the speed limit on that road is excruciatingly slow, but that's what makes it prime pickings for traffic cops.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Whistler's Bend is a beautiful park in the remote foothills out in the middle of nowhere in Roseburg. The first six holes were my favorite, they were wooded tee shots that were all less than 300 feet or so. After that the holes really open up and become much longer. Hole fourteen is an amazing 600 foot downhill bomb into an open field area, not many courses have a hole or holes like this one unless it is a mountain course and this is better because there is little chance to lose it from here unless you really throw one offline so feel free to empty your bag as long as you are willing to go and get them all. The scenery is excellent and this is well worth the drive from anywhere to play here.
Cons: OK hole number nine has issues. I like risk versus reward but I don't like throwing away plastic and if you do anything but lay up the disc is off the cliff and into the river below, this is not only a horrible pin placement but a huge safety hazard. The first six holes are short and the last three or four holes are long, open and boring.
Other Thoughts: I would say this is not the place to take the kids or the family out to play on as this course is build for the advanced to pro level players. If you don't like hikes or losing discs I would say skip holes seven,nine,thirteen and fourteen. You can camp right at the course and there is another eighteen hole course twenty minutes away so this is a great place to plan a road trip like I did. Also the wind is a killer, I'm not sure if you consider this a pro or a con but even in the dense wooded portion of the course the wind was blowing freely.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 19 Not
Go South, Young Man!
Pros: This is probably the best course in Oregon.
Cons: Not many. Too long? Too hard? Too much Poison Oak? Too far away from the interstate?
A disc eater?
Other Thoughts: The views on this course are astounding. I suspect sometimes that the reason this place doesn't end up in an Oregon Visitors Guide is because this is the kind of place that would make people want to live here? I love this course. It's long, hard, tough, and awesome.
Definitely a destination kind of place. Absolutely beautiful, challenging and rewarding.
7 of 26 people found this review helpful.
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