Neglected by Locals
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good terrain, well designed holes for the most part.
A little tight, but that's not always a bad thing. Decent use of elevation and obstacles.
Aesthetically pleasing area devoted only to disc golf.
Cons: For a first time player, this course is a navigational nightmare. It looks like the layout has changed so much over the years, so some of the basket #s are correct while others are wrong. Not sure I saw a single tee sign there. No clear start and end to the course. Seriously something needs to be done here unless the St Thomas disc golfers don't care to attract new players. At the very minimum there should be an up to date course map published at the beginning of the course, and clearly legible tee signs.
The concrete tee pads were in pretty rough shape, can't remember exactly how many had crumbling issues but it seemed like a lot, enough for me to question the integrity of the concrete mix originally used.
So that said, I would suggest playing with someone who is familiar with the course.
Other Thoughts: It is a fun course to play and I don't want to dog it too much, but if we are going to attract new players to the sport this course in it's current state is detrimental to that effort. With signage, good teepads and a clearer layout this could easily be a 4 star course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Try A Little Tenderness
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 27 holes in a large, densely wooded acre have been cleared out nicely and offer a helluva good time. Navigation is fairly simple for the most part despite the high trafficked paths leading off in several directions. It can be a bit disorienting upon entry but after the first two or three holes you are home.
Natural tees make perfect sense in this environment, as the course seems to be growing out of the woods themselves. Don't forget to say hi to the Polar Bear Tree, another perfect example of nature's influence here.
There were a few benches and trash cans about, but not nearly as many as I was expecting after being greeted and given a tour by the course pro.
Waterworks is extremely technical and tomahawks are your friend on 75-80% of your drives. While this can become a little monotonous at least skill is required for most shots instead of just blind luck.
I have to give a hats-off to the bonus nine up in the hills. There are some truly epic drop offs here and a great risk/reward tilt on every shot, even your putts. Roll aways will most certainly kill but the prospect of an ace exists on almost every one of these holes. There is also a lone shot outside of the woods next to a soccer field, allowing you to open up your arm a bit before the final push. Last shot is a downhill ace run and honestly, just throw your putter. Fantastic round all together!
Cons: As I mentioned above, managing the first two or three holes is a bit of a pain until you get your bearings, but compared to what's offered here this is a minor if not insignificant.
Not much distance is available, but I think that's just a by-product of playing to the strength of the terrain. Bombs would seem well out of place underneath this canopy.
Other Thoughts: Met the course pro and his buddy when we played last weekend, and it's clear the amount of care they have put into this puppy over the last 15 years. The ambiance is superb and unlike any other course in the area. I highly recommend playing Waterworks whether you are in the area or not. This course along with V.A. Barrie definitely make for a destination day in Ontario!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Waterworks is an entirely wooded course with 27 holes, but it plays as an 18 hole course. While this sounds confusing at first, it is actually one of the more interesting and unique features I've seen. After hole 12, you are given the option to continue playing the regular course which becomes very hilly after that, or if you're not up for walking the hills you can play the alternate 9 holes which are on level ground. I like how this gives the player options, it keeps the course fresh and it's a great way to cater to people who aren't up for walking big hills.
Since the entire course is in the woods you will be challenged with some tight fairways forcing you to hit your line for a birdie opportunity or scramble for par if you don't. Despite being wooded, there are few places where the rough is thick enough to worry about losing a disc. (The course looked considerably better when I was here in July 2012 than when I took the pictures in 2010.)
There is a long and short concrete pads on every hole, sometimes the short pad simply shortens the hole but more often than not it gives you a different look at the basket.
There is a great shot selection here with plenty of hyzer, straight and anhyzer shots. If you choose to play the hilly holes, you'll encounter big elevation changes with holes throwing up, down and across the sides of hills.
There are directional signs in the trees by each basket pointing you toward the next hole so navigation is relatively easy once you get started (see cons).
Cons: There isn't a well defined parking lot for the course. The parking lot for the course isn't in Waterworks Park which really confused me the first time I was here. There is a parking lot by the school but there are signs saying not to park there. I've been told by locals and the shop owner at the convenience store that sells discs to park on Dalewood Rd by the one lane bridge even though there are signs saying you need a permit to park there.
Now that you've parked, where do you start? Hole 1 isn't anywhere near the parking lot. If you park on Dalewood Dr by the bridge, once you enter the course there are all sorts of signs directing you to headquarters where there's a bulletin board and course map, but again, that isn't very close to the parking lot or hole 1 either. I just start on hole 5 because that tee pad is closest to the parking lot.
Maybe there's a simple solution I'm missing to the parking situation and starting the course so the above con's are invalid, but it sure is convoluted to me.
The one down side about having the alternate 9 holes is the course flows in such a way that you are meant to only play 18 holes. If you want to play all 27 holes it takes a bit of backtracking and extra walking to do it.
At each tee there is a tall stump that has the hole number, distance and long or short pad written on it. There are no hole diagrams, but for the most part it's easy to locate the basket from the tee.
There isn't much variety in the hole distance. I felt like there were only a couple holes I didn't throw a midrange disc off the tee. I know this is a wooded course and they generally aren't meant to be long so maybe I'm being a little over critical.
I found one or two of the holes to have fairways the relied a bit to heavily on luck IMHO.
Other Thoughts: I know that looks like a laundry list of cons, but once you park and start throwing there really isn't much I don't like about the course. It's well designed and well taken care of by Bob Harris and the local club.
V.A. Berrie just across town compliments Waterworks very well as it is a more open, grip and rip type of course. Both St. Thomas courses are great in their own way and are definitely worth stopping at if you're passing by.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Tree Love: Required, Drivers: not so much
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Short technical course favors control, placement, and tree love. If tight, tree lined fairways and careful shot shaping aren't your idea of a good time, keep moving - this place will have you screaming words your mother told you not to use.
• Dual pads for additional looks and increased challenges.
• 27 holes means you can can continue the fun after 18 and allows for more shot variety with a reasonable mix of straight, left and right curving fairways.
• The addition of 9 in the hills ramps thing up (and down), providing some much needed elevation to contrast what is pretty much an otherwise flat 18. Significant (and sometimes dramatic) elevation changes add appeal, and challenge you to master your putts & approaches, as there are some NASTY roll-a-ways.
• Dense woods means lots of comfy shade when the sun's beating down.
• Favors those who can work their putts/approaches around trees to run at well-guarded baskets.
• Course has a certain homespun, rustic charm: simple tee posts (logs/trunks cut at an angle, with hole# and distance), steps fashioned from small branches and logs, with split logs employed to retain the steps themselves (innovative, green, and cost effective). The logs bordering the tee pads add a nice touch. This place feels natural.
• Pretty good course for an Ace Race.
Cons: • Admittedly, my first time here, but navigation was a bit tricky (even with the map).
• Some of the writing on the tee signs has faded- virtually impossible to read a few of them. Possible suggestion: (easy for me to say, but...) burning the tees posts with a soldering gun or iron enhance readability?
• Baskets seemed inconsistent, and while they had double rows of chains, the trays seemed inconsistent: I didn't break out a tape measure, but I'm certain a few of the baskets were a bit on the shallow side. We had one putt hit the bottom and spit out on one such shallow tray.
• Dry when we played, but I wouldn't even think of playing here the day after a hard rain.
• Many would say course is repetitive (although the addition of the section in the hills really helps in that regard, the orig 18 can feel that way).
Other Thoughts: Luck can certainly help coax a tee shot through a tight window, or get a disc "skinny" to barely avoid a tree in the fairway. But doing so with any consistency requires skill and control, and playing here will help hone yours. The pinball arcade at Waterworks presents a marked contrast to neighboring V.A. Barrie (with its open fairways inviting grip'n'rip tee shots).
While Waterworks actually has 27 legit, individual holes, it's unique layout is isn't completely linear, nor simply an additional "loop" off the original. The add'l holes are intended to be played as true alternates to some of the the original 18. This makes it somewhat inefficient to play all 27 in a single round because you have to trek back to pick up the holes you skipped, or to walkk from 18A to 16-18 to hit 'em all. May as well play a few of them twice because they'r'e along the way. Nice addition to mix things up for locals (who will learn their way around) but can be a bit confusing for visitors and kinda kills the rhythm and flow of the course.
Personally, I like short, technical courses that have you throwing mids and putters from the tee pad. All in all, this was a good course, and I had a fun time. Confession: I'm a self-admitted noodle-arm, and short tech courses play to my strengths. I could be wrong, but from the look of things, Waterworks appears to be more a labor of local love, than an item on the city's Parks and Rec budget - my thanks and kudos to those whose efforts make this place a reality.
However, I simply can't say this is an "excellent" course, and don't see where it merits all the "excellent" marks (which is what 4.0 represents). In its current state, I would certainly say it's a "good" course (3.0), and with some more work, perhaps a "very good" course (3.5), and had I played here prior to the addition of the 9 holes in the hills, I'd have said it was "decent/typical" (2.5), as I think the hills add a much needed dimension.
A nice round of disc golf to be sure, but certainly not destination disc golf. If any locals want to throw a thumbs-down my way for "hating" on their home course, so be it. I encourage you to take a road trip to play other courses rated as excellent and see how you feel Waterworks stacks up against them. If you're inclined to head my way, I'd be happy to serve as a guide.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Crazy design in the middle of the woods
cleared out very nice
27 holes, you can play the hills or stay down
2 teepads for each hole
nice and shady in the summer
hard to lose your disc
still work being done- great work out there guys keep it up
Cons: very muddy early in the season
lots of bugs in the summer
lots of trees so you can get a high score no matter how good you are
hole #7 has a water hazard early in the season
Other Thoughts: this course is very creative and soooo fun to play. Lots of ace chances and you'll want to play another round when your finished. There is still work being done and I am excitied to see what the course will look like when its finished. I gave it a 4 and I am anticipating a 5 when it's done. Again keep up the great work Stocky.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Short but sweet
Pros: This is a brilliantly laid out short technical course.
There isn't much room for error on approach shots, due to the number of trees in the way, but the closeness of the pin will make for tons of birdie chances if you have good control.
Strategy and execution will reward you instead of power.
I love the downhill holes that you can overshoot by a mile if you let your disc fade away from the pins to the right. You may find yourself muttering "hit something" when your disc won't stop in time.(Yeah, this is a Pro, not a Con)
There are new signs attached to trees by each basket that point the way to the next tees.
All the tees, short and long, have wooden posts by them that display the tee # and distance to pin.
Well maintained course.
Cons: I was there on a Saturday afternoon and it was understandably busy.
Be prepared to wait for the next tees to clear before you throw on some holes.
I like to run up a little on my tee offs and the concrete pads are very short but luckily it's a short course.
A sign by the first tee would make it easier to find the course. I parked at Lockes School and walked through the baseball diamonds, towards the tree line, with the soccer fields to my right to get there.
Other Thoughts: It's very important to print the map on the Links/Files page, without it the course would be trickier to navigate.
Going up and down the hills made for a great workout.
I had a lot of putts bounce off and out of the chains that hit dead center, is it just me or is it the baskets here?
There's a nice park just past the course, at the end of S. Edgware Rd, also called Waterworks that is a good spot for a BBQ break.
I didn't play 19-27 so I can't comment on the new holes.
If I lived closer I'm sure I'd become a regular here.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Sick course, great technical heavy wooded course. Its great not thick undergroth the guys who maintain this course do fine work.
Cons: Not much bad about it, step up your technical skill here.
Other Thoughts: Work a trip to play.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course, tricky to navigate.
Pros: Decent baskets.
Excellent wind protection. I played on a windy day and only one of the holes is really affected by any wind.
Good sun and/or rain protection.
Short technical course, sometimes very technical.
Nice teepads. They are old concrete pads. I thought they were great. They provided excellent footing, but have a cool 'rustic' feel and look to them. They were a little short, but get the job done nicely, especially since this course isn't especially long. (I saw the other reviewer mention that they weren't so good. They didn't take away from the course at all to me, I really liked them.)
Lost of variety. Tonnes of elevation change, some massive.
Many Birdie and Ace opportunities.
There is an absolute TON of work going on in this course, they are adding another nine holes!! Yep, it will be a full 27 hole course. In fact, the third set of 9 holes is in and playable. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the holes are all laid out, the baskets are in, the tees are marked, and they are a very different feel than the original 18. Personally, I don't think they are ready for anyone who doesn't already know the course really well, but they are worth a look if you have EXTRA time. Otherwise, stick to the original holes until the new ones are finished.
The original 18 holes are fantastic. Up hill shots, downhill shots, open shots, short technical shots, tunnel shots and doglegs. There is good amount of walking due to the continuous elevation change, but don't let it scare you. It is very well laid out with very little walking between the holes. Many of these holes are amazing, especially the massive downhill tunnel shot; wide from the short, narrow from the long. The winding uphill shot... damn, I really liked this course.
The new 9 holes will be great too once they are finished. They are a different style than the original 18, but still technically demanding. I will update this review when I hear of them being completed, though I am not from the area.
You'll have to be consistent to score a good round, most advanced players will score well under par. I shot a 55 my first time on the course (after missing a slew of putts).
On the whole, a great, challenging, and enjoyable course. It isn't intimidating to newer players, and certainly not boring to advanced players.
Cons: The signage is seriously lacking. The course is unfortunately not very "first time on the course" friendly. But if you aren't in a hurry, and know a little about the course before you start your first round, it's really not that bad at all. Hopefully, this review can help you a little.
What is the most confusing about this course is that most people start on hole #5 without actually knowing it.
What I mean is this: there is a parking lot at the bottom of Dalewood drive next to the river where most (but not all) regulars park their cars, a short path into the course to a small clubhouse that sits between the #4 basket and the #5 short tee (a really cool place to hang out). So, most locals refer to #5 as "#1" (#6 as "#2", #7 as "#3"... #18 as "#14", etc) and play the course that way, but maps you find online do not reflect this colloquial way of looking at the course. So, asking a local for advice could throw you for a loop if you don't know all this going in. There are no signs to indicate hole or basket #'s, so the maps could end up simply confusing you.
Also, the new 9 holes are between #12/"#8" and #13/"#9"... if you play those, you should really just ignore the hole #'s and take your time after each basket and find the next tee pad (which isn't always perfectly intuitive, but definitely possible) just be sure you have plenty of time your first time on the course.
There really aren't any holes that push your distance. On the other hand, there are plenty of birdie opportunities, and scores can vary greatly. It can be a great course to "battle for the tee-box", as each hole can score from a laid-up bird to a double bogie depending on which trees you do or don't hit, or if you overthrow a drive while playing along the side of a steep slope.
If a player is looking for a chance to throw some bombs, this probably isn't the course. Also, if your long game is your strength, you might find this course tough, or even frustrating. Its technical.
There really needs to be an updated map, and even a little signage would really help first time or visiting players. A small "next tee" with an arrow tied to each basket could really help first time players on the course.
The baskets were in fine working order, but they weren't all the exact same. Some basket-snobs might not like that.
The rough can be really unforgiving to your score. It's not always all that tough to get out of, but can still add a stroke here or there if you're not playing carefully/conservatively.
It's one big 18/27 hole loop, not two sets of 9's. Bring water, and maybe even a snack. You won't be anywhere near your car until you're finished your round.
This course can get crowded with other golfers, but they are all super-friendly, and will likely invite you to join them. Be prepared for large groups who aren't in a hurry, but will likely be happy to let you play through.
Other Thoughts: I saw the first review before I played this course, and I understand why he gave it a 3/5. His review was really helpful to me, but nearly scared me from what I now think is an awesome course (one of my favourites). Mentioning that he missed two holes helped also, because I kept an eye out to make sure I didn't make the same mistake. After playing the course, I believe he missed #4 and #7(map) [or #3, and #18 (locals)]. Visiting golfers should watch for these tees.
Based on the playability of this course, I would rate it 4.5/5. Including the navigation troubles, I would score it a 3.5/5, which is why I scored it the way that I did, even though I think this course rocks.
There are two courses in St. Thomas that are close together: VA Barrie Park, and Waterworks. Personally, I like the Waterworks course much better. They are very different courses, nearly polar opposites. VA Barrie Park is long and open, Waterworks is tight and technical. I suppose it is really a matter of choice, but be sure to check out my review of VA Barrie Park also, it is far easier to navigate, and offers a very different set of attractions. If you don't have much time, VA Barrie is probably the better option.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun but needs work
Pros: Lots of fun holes with some interesting layouts, especially the holes incorporating elevation changes. Lots of big old growth trees. Twin tees on most holes (we couldn't always find both tees), and it looks as if water comes into play on one of the holes depending on how wet the conditions are. Mostly a tight precision course using a lot of trees and narrow fairways, but the rough is usually pretty forgiving.
Cons: Better signage needed badly. We never did find all 18 holes even with the map we found online. The tee boxes are interesting (cement frequently surrounded by half buried logs), but not entirely practical. Trash seems to be a big problem, but we weren't sure if it was due to golfers or from animals raiding the trash bins. Could be a sweet course if got a little more attention and loving care.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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