The Rivers Edge in Julien park. London's disc golf gem.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 27 holes, dual tee pads per hole, 2 or 3 pin locations per hole. Benches and garbage cans every other hole. 2 porto-johns. 5 mins from the 401. Lots of amenities near by. On multi bus routes. Very well maintained. Active league and local club. Tournaments played thru out the year. Temp road has been removed.
To say that Julien parks The Rivers Edge 27 is London's disc golf gem is an understatement. Its a gem to sw Ontario. With a heavy maintenance schedule at julien park, the city and local club has elevated this course to top tier status. The changes that have taken place in the last four years are simply amazing.
First off, on the front nine or links style nine, six of the nine holes play open with long grass running along fairways. Holes average 250' to 300'. The exception comes on hole 3 where you play an open drive to a landing area about 300' away only to throw another 150' into a heavy wooded area to reach the long pin. Definitely the fronts signature hole. The other two holes either play into heavy trees or out of them. If you are looking for a open links style course where you can let it fly, the front nine is for you. We play it twice as an 18 hole links course, first round long pad, second round short pad. Great to learn shot shaping and teaching new players as well as making for one hell of a skins game!
The back nine is a very clean and tight wooded nine with high grass just off the fairways. These holes are truly amazing. Averaging 300'+ with dog legs to the left and right, trees high and low, you will need every shot you can muster. The trees love to grab discs and redirect them. Lots of obstacles, shot shaping, fun and frustration! Bring your game, you will need it! The back nine has 3 signature holes. The first and best has to be hole 11. With the longest length on the course this hole is a monster, but fear not the fairway is as wide as a football field yet can feel 3 inches at times. I find the longer you stand on the tee box the bigger the river seems to get. The longest hole location has been removed and turned into a new hole, however it still plays to the 600' long pin. With the long and very tight long pad, it is a true beast! The second sig hole has to be 12 playing 300'+ it plays into a pin location called the bird cage. It is a beautiful hole and one of my favorites. It has the back nine chill spot as well. A collection of long benches tucked in the shade to relax and chill out before continuing on. You will always find people here, the locals are great and will help anyone who needs it (as this hole is where people get lost) The final sig hole is 15. When in the long pin the hole is crazy. You throw downhill and at about 180' the hole takes a sharp 90 degree turn. Another 100' sits the heavily guarded pin. You may get close for a birdie, but sinking it can be very tricky.
The last of the holes are the new nine. Completed only two seasons ago, the new nine is still very tight and heavily wooded. Shot shaping is a must. These are finesse holes, no power needed here. As they are new they are still being groomed and cleaned. Ken and the boys have been very hard at work on these and are playing great in a short period of time. I am sure they will have them playing like the rest of the course in no time. Most holes are on the shorter side but very challenging. Easy to follow layout, heavy shade so they are great on a hot summer day. There is also almost no wind on these holes so aces are very possible if you can find the line! The signature hole is the first of the new holes called the Donater. It is called this as alot of discs have gone into the river here. It seems more discs have been lost here than on all other holes combined. The drive will test you! My advice, aim for the bike path! The hole isn't that long or technical, playing around 280'. It's just that the river has a slight bend into the fairway just past where a big tree sits. I swear the tree has hands that loves to catch discs and throw them in the river... If you really listen, you can hear the tree laughing as the disc goes in the water! All other holes play away from the river and into the forest. As these holes get cleaned up and packed down. They will fall in with the other holes nicely. I have heard rumors about rerouting the hole numbers so the course plays as 27 holes, not 18 with a bonus 9. But I cant confirm this as of yet.
This is a great course! A must play! This is a course that gets better every time you play it. It will make you a better disc golfer. What I love the most about it is, it truly has something for everyone. Open front nine for links players, semi opened wooded back nine for nice mix. New heavily wooded nine with elevated and sunken pins, very challenging. Plus you can mix and match and make almost any course you like. I like to park on the other side of the woods by the baseball diamonds and start on the new 3rd hole. Then I play the whole course as a 27 and end up right back at the car when done. This is the best route to play all 27 in row that flows correctly in my opinion. Otherwise a minor amount if back tracking will be needed. There are benches now on every other hole as well as garbage cans. There is a Porto-John on the east side of the park located on julien street on the edge of the second hole and one about one min away from the new third holes tee pad, by the baseball diamond.
All holes have signage. However some are readable and some are not. They used to tell the hole, distance to each pin location as well as a pic of the hole itself. Due to wear, weather, vandalism and pissed off disc golfers some have fallen into disrepair. As a result they only serve to mark the hole. The new nine does not have pole signage yet. Watch for the orange/yellow arrows and small plaques under some baskets for directions.
In closing, The Rivers Edge 27 is a course you have to play again and again. Its a course you will always love and sometimes hate. The best under par rounds are hard to beat and repeat. I have played back to back rounds here with differences of 10+ shots. Subtle wind changes will effect everything as the club has paid close attention to impact zones, landing areas, tree placements and are constantly changing and improving the course and with monthly pin location changes the course will challenge you everytime. As a result of all of this it never plays the same way twice. It is rather incredible how quick lines change here. Once you play it you will know what I mean. A truly amazing disc golf course!
Cons: It has a few. A few of the older tee pads have yet to be replaced and are chewed up.
The foot traffic on holes 11, 12, new 1, 2 and 3 can be a bit of a pain in the summer. People walking their dogs always seem to wander into the fairways completely oblivious to you and disc golf. Once they are made aware, they wave you on. I can tell you I dont really like throwing a disc to an awaiting dog down field but surprisingly I haven't had one bitten yet, stolen yes, not bitten.
There is a running league that uses the path down holes 11 and 12. Never assume they are aware of you, because in my experience, they are not! Most are wearing headphones and just cant hear you yelling 300' away. I would just wait for them to pass.
The park seems to be a target for vandals and as a result, the benches get broken, garbage's dumped, the signs broken but try as they might, the baskets remain in great condition. This is a minor issue, but has been known to happen.
Car have been broken into in past years. Seems more so in summer. Police are aware and patrol alot more often. In summer the south parking lot is locked at night to stop people from using the park for other activity's. Some legal, most illegal. This has resulted in an almost stop of the inappropriate behavior going on. It has improved ten fold as the police have really cracked down in and around the park.
Last but not least... I would not be entirely truthful if I did not add this and is also why it lost a half star... The smell.
In the heat of July and August this place can smell... Bad! As it is hard to see with all the trees, the park boarders a sewer treatment plant and the Thames river to the south. When the air is not moving the two can create smells that are hard to take. Fortunately the way the park lies with the river this rarely happens, but when it does watch out. I will say that once the plant upgraded, it has been almost unnoticeable in summer and completely gone in winter.
Still had to put it in.
Other Thoughts: So put Julien park on your must play list and you will keep coming back. Also more and more tournaments are being scheduled and played every year. It just keeps getting better and better!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Down by the River's edge/ I didn't do it, but I saw who did!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very well maintained city course that doesn't really have a city course feel, if you're picking up what I'm putting down.
Dual concrete tees on the majourity of holes, and the bonus nine had some nice big concrete tiles down for the single teepads those have.
Signage was above average, with steel posts marking the pros. Most of them had numbers and a few had maps & sponsors. I assumed the ones that were missing were torn down over time.
Layout is superb and we didn't make a wrong turn once. The only time you are lost are in the bonus nine, which are heavily, heavily wooded. Directions are given by following the orange spray-painted arrows placed perfectly throughout.
Most of the shots on the original 18 are open, but there are quite a few shots shaped by the surrounding trees, especially on the back nine. As a result, the course becomes quite a bit more technical without sacrificing distance.
The first nine shots play over an open landscape dotted with a few mature trees. The course is well planned in that it draws as much as possible from the surrounding forest, so that not every shot is in the middle of the field (I'm thinking of the basket behind the skate park, great approach shot!) That being said, these shots are still fairly easy, and you should be walking away with pars on most holes.
There was some nice elevation on hole #7, which is a blind anhyzer shot - this is probably the toughest of the front 9.
Get your bombs out for 10 & 11! These two holes follow an aqueduct and are wide open monsters. What a great break from the first nine and a chance to air it out. Your only obstacle is keeping an eye out for those jogging/biking along the trail that sits off to your right, and being mindful of the aqueduct on the left. The chance of losing a disc in the drink is real but relatively manageable.
At this point you can either take a right and play hole #12, or continue to follow the water into the bonus nine holes. I recommend the former, and will discuss why shortly.
The last half of the original 18 are a bit more wooded and offer great lines throughout. The fairways are open enough that you're allowed a little give, while still fairly punishing errant throws. If you are in a heat with someone, you will definitely feel the pressure all the way to the end. Some great scenery in here as well adds to the allure.
Amenities are decent and even include a port-o-john which was nice. Not sure if that is a permanent feature or not, but I thought it was cool.
Cons: Bonus holes. Bonus holes. Bonus holes.
Maybe in time these will break in a bit more but as of right now they are not worth the hassle. While you can see the design peeking through the forest and identify the intent, the execution isn't quite there yet. My main complaint are the giant amount of felled trees collected into piles throughout. They are literally just stacked right in the middle of the fairway or blocking your approach. I'm assuming these are left over from the making of the fairways but I can't be too sure. I think just clearing these out would improve these holes greatly. There is plenty of Ivy in here as well, so mind your surroundings. Again, I feel these nine will break in as more folks play them, so give it another season or two before trying them out. It's just a shame because the original 18 are really a treat to play.
There is a construction lane running through the fairway of #2 that is blocked off by orange plastic fencing. I do not know if this is permanent or not, but there were more than a few semis running through it.
Other Thoughts: If I was simply reviewing the original 18 holes, this course would be a 4/5 easily. I really enjoyed the challenge River's Edge presented and how it eased you into it. It seemed like every hole was more challenging than the last. I'm going to knock this down to a 3.5 until the bonus holes live up to the rest of the course. Overall, this is definitely a course to play when you are in the London area. A great mix of shots!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Well maintained: mowed regularly in summer, tee pads shovelled at least once a week in the winter (often more).
Lots of Variation:
front 9 - mostly open with long grass OBs
back 9 - mostly moderately wooded with more technical shots.
new 9 - heavily wooded
Will test your different shots - some right hooks, some left, some sharp others smooth, a couple long holes along the river.
Multiple hole positions really change up the course from month to month.
Cons: No proper tee pads yet on the new 9 holes.
Tee signs have graffiti (sad).
Other Thoughts: League is played weekends at 10am.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Rivers Edge at St. Julien Park is the only course in London and it has a lot to offer. The front nine is semi open with strategically placed trees to navigate and tall grass lining many of the fairways that is played as OB. The grass was not so tall or dense in July 2012 that it should be difficult to find a disc that lands in it, so that's good.
The back nine starts out with two semi open holes with the river on the left, one of which is a true par 4 or 5 depending on if you play to the 600ft or 1000ft basket placement. The last 7 holes are in the woods and challenge you to hit your lines. When I was last here around 2004 or 2005, the wooded holes were completely overgrown but I was happy to see they were mowed and well maintained when I returned July 2012.
This course has variety. There is a good variety of hyzer, straight and anhyzer shots. Most, if not all of the holes have a short and long tee pads. There are two and occasionally three basket placements for every hole.
It appears there are two baskets in the ground on hole 11 so you can choose to play to the 600 or 1000ft placement. I didn't notice this until I had already holed out on the 600ft basket, but it is a cool option to give players.
Cons: Many of the tee signs are missing or so faded they are unreadable. This made locating baskets a little more difficult. Navigating the course is fairly easy in the front nine, but the back nine can get a little tricky if you don't have a map with you.
Some of the concrete tees were in really bad shape with an extremely rough, broken down surface.
When I was here in July 2012, many of the baskets were in the long positions. The long placement for hole 3 has you throwing right at hole 4's tee pad. The long placements for holes 3, 15, 16 and 18 seemed a bit too lucky IMHO. Of course these are not the only pin positions for these holes so this won't be an issue all the time.
The rough on a few of the wooded holes seemed pretty dense so keep an eye on your disc.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is a good course that has something to offer players of all skill level due to its great variety of hole length, multiple pin placements, two sets of tees, and a nice mix of open, semi open and wooded holes.
It's located just a few minutes off the 401 and is worth stopping for a round if you're passing by, but be sure to bring a course map your first time.
The course map here on DGCR shows 9 extra holes after hole 11. I did not see these holes or signs for them when I was here, but I wasn't looking for them either. Since I have not played them, my review is only about the original 18 holes.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: London is lucky to have thise course is offers everything from long range open to tight wooded technical shots. It has such a variety of holes with in the whole course. The front nine offer simular holes and is a solid nine to get out and play form beginers to more advanced. also there is a solid group of guys trying to improve the course regularly. with maintance and changing basket locations always offering a new way to play, hard to get too stale. Also the course is usually not to busy with nin golfers.
Cons: Cons are tough to say there are some this spots and tall grass to deal with thru out the course, some tee offs are rough but the leauge is slowly getting them all perfect.
Other Thoughts: London is luck to have this course, its worth stoping in to play it. Just watch where your discs land..
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging but Fair
Pros: In a very quiet part of town little foot traffic to worry about. Involved local club that has been making regular changes(for the better) for the past two seasons. this course offfers several birdies and several difficult pars. The cousre offers 36 different basket locations
Cons: The course at the moment is missing some tee signs. In the heat of summer O.B is intimidating and can result in lost disc situations. no washrooms, no benches. Not an easy course for begginers.
Other Thoughts: It is located on a city bike path but only comes into play on 2 holes. Current score card is inaccurate many holes are 75-100' longer than stated. Parking is small 10 cars probably but i've never had an issue.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
The best of times...the worst of times
Pros: With little noise and no crowds, this can be a very tranquil place to play a round. The signage is adequate to navigate the course, for the most part, though it would be nice if the baskets themselves were numbered. Multiple pin placements allow for variety; some holes cater to either lefties or righties depending on the placement. The front nine is well maintained and several of the greens are nicely guarded by well positioned trees.
Cons: From hole 12 on, the course is a jungle. I like woods courses, but this place can be EVIL. Fairways are only a couple of meters wide in places, if they exist at all. Nearly every drive disappears into waist deep nastiness. I was tempted on more than one occasion to just close my bag and walk away, the risk of losing a disc was just too great. At least on courses with water you know a disc is lost. Here you can spend 10 minutes ripping your flesh apart in the undergrowth looking for the shots you throw.
Other Thoughts: I give this course an average rating, even though there is really nothing average about it. It is a tale of two courses: if every hole were like the front nine, it would be a 3.5; if all were like the back nine, it would be 1.5 to me. For a good 18, I'd play the front nine twice. For those who venture onto the back nine, bring along a spotter and a weed whacker if you intend on keeping your plastic.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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