Epic Beauty - Worth the Journey
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: To echo nearly every other review this is one of the most beautiful disc golf courses I have ever played.
Worth the trip! Go out of your way to play this course. I was on a trip to Portland and had some extra time. I took a chance and made the drive to Whislter's Bend. I was glad I did. because It was well worth the trip. I have played over 230 courses around the US and I immediately added the course to my "favorites".
I used bullet points if you want the abridged version.
Breathtaking Beauty - Not only do you get to experience the magnificent vistas on signature Hole 14, but this course is also wrapped in a beautiful oxbow bend on the Umpqua River. There are moss covered trees in the forest, rolling grassy meadows and baskets perched on the cliffs above the river. The photos I added to DGCR cannot begin to capture the stunning beauty of this out of the way gem. I don't know how many more adjectives I can use to describe the beauty.
Challenging Course - This course offers a variety of terrains as well as a variety of challenges. There is some extreme elevation and baskets perched on cliffs along the river's edge. There are tighter wooded holes that require accuracy and some more wide open holes where you can go all out. Some holes have up to three placements. The extra pin locations add different challenges and keep it fresh for frequent players.
Wet n Wild - Water does come into play on a couple of holes depending on pin placements. The view of the river from these baskets is really stunning although it can be intimidating. More advanced level players with control will only need to worry when some of the baskets are close to water's edge. Newer players need to be aware of the water hazard all along the right on Hole 7.
Excellent Signage - No map needed. Great full color signs that are well placed. Excellent graphics include information about all placements and the way to the next tee. A bolt shows the current pin placement so there is no guessing where the target is if you can't see it from the tee.
Concrete tees - The generous concrete tees were level and were well maintained. Some of the holes had two tee areas. Some of the tee areas were a little muddy.
All Abilities - Easy enough for players of all abilities to play and navigate. However, beginners should play the holes close to the water with extreme caution.
Trash Cans - Ample trash cans throughout course. They were being emptied and there was no litter on the course.
Area dedicated for disc golf - No need to worry about dog walkers and picnics on the fairways. This course provides solitude and allows you to get away from it all and connect with nature. If found it really relaxing and inspiring.
Wildlife - I saw a group of deer while I was walking to the tee on Hole 14.
18 in a row - The course is designed so that once you leave the parking area you do not return until you complete Hole 18. Prepare accordingly.
Restrooms - There were clean, well maintained restroom buildings in the parking area.
Camping - I did not camp, but the campgrounds are on site and were also very beautiful.
Swimming and Fishing - Apparently you can swim and tube in the river during the summer.
See for yourself - A gorgeous photo of Hole 14 was featured on the back cover of the 2014 INNOVA Calendar.
Cons: It is kind of tough to think of any cons.
Out of the Way - It is certainly out of the way, but I thought it was well worth the drive and wouldn't consider this a con. Don't be surprised if there is no cellphone service or 4G connection. Sorry, I didn't look at my phone to know for sure.
Muddy - Some of the tee areas were a bit muddy, especially both tees on 14. Maybe a little crushed gravel around the muddy tees areas would help.
Man Overboard - It is possible to lose discs in the river.
Walking - There can be some long walks between holes (depending on pin placements). You are routed to play all 18 holes before returning to the parking lot.
Additional Tees - Some holes have two sets of tees. Maybe more could have two tees.
Poison Oak - Proceed with caution if you are afflicted.
Other Thoughts: ScreenSaver - This course was on my wishlist because I had a beautiful screensaver of Hole 14 on my laptop for a couple of years. I had daydreamed about being in that photo, so I couldn't resist the opportunity to play the course while I was on a trip to Portland. A similar photo of Hole 14 was featured on the back cover of the 2014 INNOVA Calendar.
Worth the drive - Yes, I already said this, but it needs repeating. I drove 125 miles out of my way to come play this course and I was so glad I did. If you are driving by on Interstate 5, it will only be 10 miles out of your way. I urge you not to miss the opportunity to play Whistler's Bend and enjoy the unique beauty of this course.
Travel Tip - I arrived in Roseburg too late in the day and was unable to get in a round before dark. I ended up spending the night at the Motel 6 in Roseburg. It was the highest rated hotel on TripAdvisor and as a bonus it was under $50.00 for the night. It was clean, worth the price and there is a delicious 24 hour restaurant next door. I would recommend this hotel to my friends and family. It doesn't have a lot of amenities, but it is clean, close and convenient, plus the price was right.
Rating - Absolutely a Five Disc view and a five disc experience. Since there is some room for improvements, I will award a 4.5.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Tucked away in a park a few miles up the road from Roseburg this is by far the most scenic course I have ever played. Drive in, follow the sign and do a loop around the campgrounds to the upper level/day use area.
-Tee Signs: All of their full color signs are very useful, descriptive and give directions to the next tee.
-Shot Variety: Something for everyone here, some tight tunnels, throws over trees, wide open bomber shots, lots of risk reward with the holes that play along the hill leading to the river.
-Top of the world: 14 is awesome, took me a few throws to get the angle right but always great to see a disk fly and fly.
-The View/Solitude: I was here by myself without any other park users around seemingly, it was an awesome experience, got to take my time and took a few panoramic photos of different holes.
-Multiple pins: Every hole has 2/3 positions, some greatly changing the look and feel of the hole. If the pins are in short positions this has the potential to create longer walks to the next pad.
Cons: -Missing Basket: I ended up playing hole 4 using a stick someone had put in the pole pocket as a tone pole.
-16/18: They seem a little boring and tacked on as just wide open shots across fields, not horrible but also not up to the rest of the courses standard.
Other Thoughts: A course you must play if you are in the area.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -great layout; good use of land and natural obstacles
-far enough away from town to be completely serene
-camping at the park
-many elevation changes; a few downhill shots-namely 3 and 14
-signature "top of the world" hole- 100ft drop and 600+ feet with an alternate tee
-calm and not too crowded, nobody if you hit the right time of day
-wooded and open field shots make for an awesome variety
-very minimum on underbrush- nearly none
-very good signage, never had to pull the map out
Cons: Not much really...
-hole 9 is scary with the drop to the water appx 15feet behind the basket and downhill from the basket and that's really all I have to say
Other Thoughts: This course is absolutely stunning! I heard nothing but good things about this course... and all those people were absolutely right! If you have the capability to get out to this course, don't pass the chance. I've played about 20+ courses in my few months of play, and this one is, hands down, the new fave! Happy rounds :)
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Location - Scenic, beautiful park surrounded by the Umpqua river. Good mix of tight wooded holes with open ups and downs. Two crazy cliff side baskets (that I lost two discs on)
Elevation - the hilliest course I've ever played on. Quite a workout, but makes many holes unique shots
Signage - The best I've ever seen. Every hole number is marked with multiple colored baskets, with corresponding colored holes on the bottom of the sign, where the bolt through the colored hole indicates which basket is in play. Very Nice.
Trash cans - you can never have enough and having them around the course is great. Now if people just PUT THEIR TRASH IN THEM THAT WOULD BE GREAT, TOO.
Camping - I planned this to be a camping trip from the beginning and I wasn't disapointed. $15 a first come/first serve 23 site campground. You can tube around the bend in the river during the heat of the mid day.
Top of the World (14th tee) - Awesome, tricky shot. Never seen anything like it...
Cons: The 18th hole is a little too open field boring. This is compared to the most of the others which are mostly excellent. This is the only thing I can think of.
Other Thoughts: Notable holes:
7 - Tough with the cliff side basket position. I lost an old wraith here going for glory. The cliff side definitely messes with your mind.
9 - Some evil genius thought up this hole. The teepad is about 100ft above where the hole is, one basket position puts you at the edge of the same cliff as 7. You have to throw down hill just long enough. I birdie it the first two times, thinking I was going to lose a disc.
13 - 150ft of steep incline straight up hill the whole way. Throw a roller here on the drive, it worked for me.
14 - Your 175 ft above the basket, which is about 800ft away. Most guys screw up (like I did the first time) by throwing it straight out from the tee. The secret is to throw it down, almost straight at it, with a ton of snap. Great hole.
One round on this course is a HIKE. Bring plenty of water and good shoes. It seems at times that you are constantly going uphill. Playing it 2.5 times wore me down in the hot summer sun.
Lastly, some might complain that there aren't any par 4s here, but the way I saw it, par 3 for the course makes it a difficult challenge, but ultimately quite fair for most of the courses I've played. Very well designed.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: secluded- a bit out in the middle of nowhere, but in a great, well maintained park with camping, restrooms, showers, scenic views of the foothills and the umpqua river. they even have 2 yurts for rent near the campground for the luxury campers.
uncrowded except for during one of the many pro tournaments held here, which rightfully draw huge crowds due to the excellence of this course.
the hilly terrain seems to drain water very well- last time i played here was after 3 days of heavy rain, and it was pretty much bone dry on day 4.
the course has just about everything as far as shot types- left/right, up/downhill, wooded/open.
#14 is one of the best holes to watch your disc fly- 100' down and almost 600 ft across, and it's totally ace-able- and that's the junior tee! i'm a sucker for downhill shots, cause you can toss em so far...
holes #7,9,11,14, and 17 are some of the best holes in the country- see photos.
Cons: poison oak- lots of it. if you're camping, use the showers! and be wary of collecting firewood from the forest if you're not familiar w/PO! burning poison oak can be deadly if inhaled.
hole 5- seems nearly impossible to get a really good tee shot on this one due to the tree on the left and sharp uphill/left turn right at the tree- maybe a skipper would work there, dunno...
hole 13- super frustrating, steep uphill shot between 2 trees with low branches over the fairway- i never had fun on this one, probably since i was always so anxious to get to 14 and chuck my discs into the open!
for such a great course, i wish #18 was a little more interesting- just a long shot across a blank field- i'm sure they could relocate this hole, maybe closer to the river on the right side of the group camping area...?
Other Thoughts: this place is worth the trip, and one of the best courses i've played- scenic locale, great golf, nice people, and of course hole 14- i dare you not to empty your bag every time you pass by this hole.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I just read the review below me with a very accurate walk through of the course and I must agree with most everything they have written. I recomend reading that one as well and will try to not repeat anything already written.
- Great baskets, do damage, and caught disc well.
- Benches at most every hole.
- Course layout was easy to follow, only had to check the map a few times (after 9 and after 14). The trail marks the path to the next hole fairly well.
- Not too crowded, but I could see it being more so if it wasn't a tad bit wet when I played. But even so I saw enough DGers to make me if feel like I was at a real course. (not a ghost town).
- Tee signs were very good and easy to read what was on the sign and what was in front of you. PLUS they have holes drilled in the bottom left of each tee sign with colors boardering each hole to match the 2 to 3 different basket positions. They would have a nut and bolt through the colored hole to match the color of the basket that was being used that day. (Maded it so much easier to locate the baskets)
- Thanks to the excellent tee signs it was pretty easy to spot the baskets from the tee pad.
- Tee pads were nice concrete, flat and plenty long enough for most run ups.
- No trash. I don't remember seeing much more than the one can that I picked up.
- Shot veriety... you will probably use every shot you have on this course, and with wind and elevation changes, most of you disc too.
Cons: - No trash cans that I can remember. (Even though I don't remember seeing trash cans... this place was very clean).
- Cons are not easy to find here.
Other Thoughts: - There is a bathroom at the begining of the park.
- once you are in the park, follow the road until it becomes a one way, that will loop around to the start of the course. There is a sign for the course near the bathroom. Look for that and you will be good to go.
- There are so many holes that you will leave this course remembering forever. For me it was hole #3 which is slightly down hill and straight forward through many trees. I was able to laser beam one and skip right off the top of the basket. #10 or #11 (I think) was down hill and if you over through it... down a 50ft drop to the river. (You could get it if you didn't put it in the water, but it sure makes you second guess going right at the basket). #14 like everyone says... is awesome (you will probably remember #13 since you have to shoot way up a steep hill... crazy) but #14 is an awesome veiw, and I let my disc rip... it barely cleared the road leaving me about 150ft to go... not too bad I guess, but when I let it go, it looked like it was going to fly past the basket by 100 - 200 ft.
If you haven't played this course, make plans to do so, I came all the way down from Northern Washington to play, and it was worth it. I plan to play here again the next time I'm down this way.AWESOME COURSE!!!!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Over the Hills and Far Away...
Pros: After a long drive to the middle of nowhere (the location of many great courses), you're happy to arrive at a place like this. The scenery is wonderful, with steep hills covered with pine trees and yellowed grass (the climate seems drier here than in Portland) looming over the Umqua River. Just gorgeous.
The course design here is very good. You begin in a wooded area with holes that are not overly long but require some good drives to get your pars (with some birdie opportunities). As you move into the back 9, the course gradually opens up, throwing in semi-open areas with some definite danger zones and ending with mostly open holes (see below).
Navigation is okay. On the early holes a definite path leads to the next hole. On the later holes it is less obvious where you're going next, and if I didn't have someone who knew the course, I'd want a map but wouldn't be screwed without one.
The tee signs are very good, showing the various positions for each hole along with a bolt indicating which position was in use. This is something I rarely see and wish more tee signs showed. How do you know where to throw unless you know which position is in use? Kudos to these signs. And to whoever made them (signs get all the credit; life is not fair).
A few notable holes:
#3: A nice downhill shot from a little plateau through some guardian trees not far off the tee pad to a hole straight ahead. My description is boring, but the hole is a fun little ace run with a little built in danger.
#9: Another downhill throw with the basket at the edge of where the land starts to shrug toward the river below. You have maybe 30-50 feet of area behind the basket before it turns from a slope into a sheer cliff. My friend landed near the basket but skipped down to the shore below. I had a shot out of the thick bushes on the left side of the fairway and mis-judged the hole badly, throwing over the cliff to within two feet of the river. My disc took some damage from the rocks, but I didn't lose it. Anyway, the backdrop to this hole is beautiful and can get in your head.
#13: A tough uphill shot. You need to throw uphill but slip it under the tree before a full throw up to the basket. You're better off throwing a controlled drive than getting too ambitious.
#14: Not just the signature hole, but the most fun hole I have played. The long tee is 600-700 feet (the distances are listed on the sign by the other tee) off a gigantic, steep hill. Aside from the obvious thrill of ripping your disc, there is some strategy. The direction of the wind makes a huge difference up here. Try hyzer flipping an understable disc into a right-to-left cross wind and you'll pay a steep price. Whatever you throw, your disc will stay aloft forever, but you'll be surprised at how far from the hole you still ended up. Such a fun hole, though. Side note: my friend had a Valkyrie sail left and end up in the bushes next to the campground bathrooms. Beat that!
Cons: Aside from the occasional navigation issues above, the biggest con is that three of the last four holes are duds. After the thrilling #14, #15 is an open shot that at least finishes downhill. Then #16 is a boring long drive across a field. I like #17, a cool downhill shot with some precarious pin positions. But #18 is just a very long drive across an open field into some trees. After such a fun course, it's disappointing to have it end sort of undramatically. It's kind of like the movie Cast Away. But only kind of.
The only other cons is that a couple holes have alternate tee pads, but it's not always clear which ones do and don't.
Other Thoughts: My friend and I drove down from Portland to play Dexter and Whistler's Bend. If you have a couple days in Oregon, make this one a part of your trip. Even among the plethora of terrific courses in the state, this one makes a healthy case for being the best.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Whistler's Bend was phenomenal! Beautiful course, well maintained, and challenging shots. I have to say it's my favorite course I've ever played, and I was there is February. Would have given it a 5, but I have yet to play every course there is so I need to leave room for better courses out there.
Other Thoughts: If your debating on playing Whistlers just do it, no matter how far the drive is you won't regret playing this course.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Beautiful course, solid terrain changes and shots for everyone. Challenging length and protected baskets on most holes. Surrounded by a river. Hole 14 "Top of the World" is fantastic, especially from the highest tee pad.
Other Thoughts: If you want to have a blast playin the annual Doubles tournament in June. Always a great time with a full course.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 1 Not
Destination Whistler's Bend
Pros: The biggest attraction of Whistler's Bend in my opinion is the high variance in terrain and shots required off of the tee. Many of the early holes have well-defined, tight and sometimes twisting fairways that require accuracy, patience, and once in a while the ability to make a great save from a poor lie (or bad kick). Distance isn't the main challenge here as most holes can be reached with a well-thrown putter or midrange. The middle section of the course is moderately wooded with several clear 'no-no' areas and players largely rely on distance CONTROL to keep discs from overshooting the many large hills and dropoffs which pins are often perched on. To round out the cycle, the back section opens up allowing players the freedom to bomb with abandon. Instead of distance control, this section is mostly pure distance. There are many fewer obstacles on this section and when trees come into play, they are largely far enough down the drive's flight path that they cause little concern for bogey, rather they may prevent an otherwise good drive from reaching the putting circle. Distances on this back section seem a little off to create challenge for upper level pro players (see notes in the con section), but might serve to make excellent par four holes for amateur and below players. Most of the course in fact seems geared towards amateur and advanced players - the pro's will still enjoy many of the shots and the natural beauty of the course but may find it a little low on challenge after a few plays through.
Lots of folks mention the top of the world shot as the 'coolest' hole on the course but hole 13 actually has become one of my all-time favorite par three disc golf holes. At 303 feet in the longer position, the point-to-point distance is not all that far but an extremely steep uphill grade gives this hole at least ~400' of 'real' distance. HUGE arms can and do go over the top of the canopy of low-hanging trees to reach the putting green. Their loss though because the rest of us have the chance to throw one of the coolest roller shots in the game which lands before the low-ceiling of trees and muscles its way all the way up the hill to the pin! It certainly isn't an easy shot by any means but the layout of the hole is perfect to stun your friends with a sweet roller birdie here (and usually the tee box to test the wind on 14).
Cons: The finishing holes on this course are a bit disappointing. Sixteen and eighteen especially are at their very best, a bit boring, and at the worst (for players who throw 450'+) tweener holes which are very, very unlikely 2's but should never be more than a three unless a huge blunder is made. Sixteen especially at 500 or 535 feet and slightly uphill is the biggest culprit here. Even an average drive will put you in range for an easy, mostly wide open approach with a putter. Even great drives rarely achieve the putting circle because of the uphill trajectory needed thus setting up a perfect tweener situation. A pin situated another 100' or so back into the woods would likely turn this hole into something FANTASTIC, especially if multiple lanes are available for approaching through, but I know this is probably not possible at the moment. Eighteen has an almost identical problem with the pins ranging from 460-505 - although this hole is probably a bit more reachable for elite distance throwers, it is going to be a boring three for most of the rest of us average advanced and pro golfers.
Others have mentioned navigation issues, and while they are there, they aren't nearly as bad as folks make them seem. You will likely have to do a little bit of extra walking but you WILL be able to find all tees and all of the baskets with minimal extra effort. Tee signs and better directions would be a nice addition though.
Other Thoughts: As a lot of reviewers have mentioned, this park has everything you could want in an outdoorsy disc golf vacation. We first played this course on a disc golf/hiking big roadtrip loop from Seattle where we followed and camped at several places along the georgeous Umpqua River, popped down to nearby Crater Lake, did some hiking in Central Oregon's high desert areas, and of course hit up a bunch of courses (Whistler's, Willamette Pass, Dexter, Riverfront, Bend, Juniper Hills, etc.). Probably one of the best disc golf roadtrips I've went on to date. Summertime is perfect for this course with mainly hot(!), dry weather and cool nights. Camp out at Whistler's, play a morning (and afternoon round), take a dip in the river, fire up the BBQ at night - it really doesn't get much better than this!
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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