Hellyer? More Like Hell Yeah!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hellyer Park (or Hell Yeah Park as I refer to it) is a great course on its own but even better when combined with the nearby Parque De La Raza DGC. Hellyer has more open space and elevation and a little more freedom for different throws and lines where PDLR is a bit more tight and restricting but not in a bad way.
I love that the designer(s) of this course kept it a limited amount of holes instead of putting in 18 here and making a bunch of short, boring, annoying holes. Too often designers go for 18 holes when they do not have the land and/or resources to do so but they have avoided that here thankfully. The multiple basket locations and dual tee pads help to add even more variety to a very fun and challenging course and keeping things fresh with frequent players.
Cons: We parked on the road near hole five on the top of the hill near the practice basket. I'm not exactly sure why hole one starts in the middle of the course because it seems like everyone parks near hole five which explains the reasoning for a practice basket in that area.
Navigation didn't seem like a huge problem but I was playing with people who have played the course multiple times before. It looks like it would be beneficial to paint the numbers on the baskets in some brightly colored manner because sometime there are multiple baskets in view with confusion as to which one is the correct basket. Also there are some blind basket locations which need to be scouted first before you throw.
Other Thoughts: Overall I liked Hellyer a lot and consider it one of my favorite 9 hole courses ever played and trust me I have played a lot of 9 hole courses. The combo of Parque De La Raza and Hellyer is a perfect one as the two courses are different but right next each other and almost feel like the front and back nine of an 18 hole course. I highly recommend playing both as they are right off of the freeway whether you are a course bagger or a local looking for a good time.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
One of my home courses
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Multiple pin locations that change often
- Elevation changes
- Plenty of trees and shrubbery. Especially on 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8.
- The long positions here provide a nice challenge while the other pin positions can be fun ace runs.
- Long and short tee pads. As a local I tired of the short tees quite quickly.
Cons: - Gets hot in the summer (was 105 when we started a league round about a month ago)
- No running water or restrooms
-Too close to the freeway
- Poison Oak, my arch nemesis
- Too many large groups that back the course up on weekends
Other Thoughts: I decided to review since I aced 4b today which, while only 280ft., is uphill and into a steady headwind. This is a fun course and where I really learned how to play. The wind picks up daily and this course will teach you how to play in the wind or eat you up (when it is calm it is easy to shoot a low score). Lots of elevation change and a few holes really force you to hit your line. I honestly believe that they did everything possible with this land. I am very impressed with the quality of course that is sandwiched between a freeway and an off ramp. Not a destination course but worth playing if you are in town.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth stopping for
Pros: Location: Immediately off the 101 freeway in San Jose. Impossible to get lost - you get off the freeway heading east and park your car. You're there.
Design: As other reviewers have mentioned, the people who designed (and maintain) this course have taken quite a bit of pride and show a true commitment to presenting an excellent DG experience in a parcel of land that would otherwise go to waste. For a 9-hole course, you'll need a good variety of shots to do well here and you'll also need to know how to play the wind and elevation changes as well.
That said, most of the holes seem to be designed for the 325-350 - foot thrower, which means that for noodle arms like me, par is a definite challenge. On the other hand, big arms can use the challenges posed by the terrain and trees to work on their short game while n00bs can simply use the short tees and have fun their first time out.
Amenities: Benches and bag holders at each tee, exceedingly well-designed signage (see the pix), actual stairs with railings that help going up and down the hills, especially when it's wet. Long and short tees, multiple pin placements, and a practice basket woo hoo!
Cons: No drinking water on site. Keep this in mind if you're playing in the summertime when the temps get up near 100.
Constant traffic hum from the freeway. You get used to it, but it's definitely a "con" if you're after a back-to-nature experience.
Some poison oak, easy to avoid if you use basic precautions.
Other Thoughts: The terrain here is typical for California coastal hills. Brown in the summer, green when it rains. Lots of slopes offering dangerous roll-aways if your disc lands wrong. Some trees are forgiving, others will grab your disc and hold on for dear life.
All in all, Hellyer is a deceptively good course that delivers much more than it promises. Baz says, "Check it out!"
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Just off HW101
Dual concrete tees here are generally varied enough so that it doesn't feel like you're just playing a shorter version of the same nine holes. DGA multi-chain baskets are in good condition with a practice basket that is bright shiney orange. Three or four pin positions per hole with small dials on the tee sign posts to indicate current pin position. Nice elevation in play here with five of the nine hole making significant use of the hillside. The "Front" tees were playable with mostly midrange discs, while the "Back" tees necessitated a driver to reach the basket. The golf here is good and fun. The challenge is somewhere in the middle range. Several baskets were bordered by short 8-12" tall posts in the ground that prevent low shots from sliding up to the basket, and help stop roll away putts from hurting too bad. Fantastic work by the SVDGC here keeping this course clean and maintained. There are lots of stairs installed in the hillside which help a lot as well as hand rails concreted into the ground. Heavy duty bag holders will keep your bag off the dusty ground. Good map online here.
No restrooms. Several of the pin position indicators were incorrect, a common and frustrating problem with multi-position courses. Street parking is very limited. Some of the different pin positions seem silly varying only ~25' apart and not really changing the way the hole plays. Several baskets are significantly obscured by brush and/or trees which can make an otherwise fantastic drive landing 20' from a pin unputtable. Navigating #6 to #7 requires backtracking. No water at the course (to play over, or to drink).
The free street parking is adjacent to tees for #5 and #8 so it seems likely that players rarely start on #1. There's some shade on the course but not everywhere; we played on one of the hottest days of the year so this became obvious. (In September) the course was very dry and rocky, not the most aesthetically pleasing course. But the course makes great use of the land that would probably otherwise sit unused by people.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Easy access off Hwy 101. Empty pretty much all day. Concrete t Pads with 4 positions on every hole.
Cons: Freeway noise. Often windy if you don't dig that....
Other Thoughts: Great 9 hole course with lots of elevation changes and plenty of tree's and other obstacles in play. I probably wouldn't travel to play this course but when played with its sister 9 hole course Parque de La Raza, it makes for a very entertaining 18 holes of disc golf.
Both front and back t's are concrete so you can alternate to make 18.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hellyer Park, like its nearby brother De La Raza, is a nearly equally well-designed and thought out 9 hole course. A designer could have easily tried to fit the magic number (eighteen) of holes here making for some boring golf, but instead, they've stuck with fewer, but better holes. Hellyer serves as a really nice complement to the De La Raza course in that it allows players to choose lines with more freedom. Usually several options are available off of the tee and players can select according to the conditions or their current strengths as a golfer. Because of the more open nature of the course, it can be quite windy, especially when teeing from the top of the hill. When the nearby Raza was hopping with people, this course was nearly empty! I'm not sure why this was the case, other than it just doesn't look quite as nice, but this is a definite 'positive' for Hellyer.
Challenge: I'd say this course is more geared towards slightly less experienced players when compared with Raza. The more open shots and a few short birdie holes make this a pretty welcoming place to learn disc flights without danger of nasty rough. Experienced players will find a bit more distance here and plenty more elevation - both up and down.
Cons: Skill level: This course might not offer quite enough challenge for high gold and elite level players with the exception of a few bigger distance shots from the long tees.
Navigation: Course navigation was a bit harder out here mostly because it looks like there may have been a redesign a while ago (not sure?). Some of the numbers weren't matching up quite right though so we started in the middle of the course and then worked our way back around.
Other Thoughts: As a combo, Hellyer and Raza make for a couple of the best 9 hole courses I've ever played. If I had to choose one dream home course out of all the courses I've played to both keep my game fresh, allow me to experiment with plenty of shots off the tee, and for pure enjoyment, I think the Hellyer Park/Parque de la Raza combo would be high on my list.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
A little bit of everything
Pros: Very beginner, kid, and female friendly as there are short teepad options for each hole. Nice and long teepads for a full run-up. Great use of an area that would probably otherwise be unused. Nice elevation changes both up & down, and variety of teeshots both left & right. Overall bowl shape of course makes it forgiving and finding discs is pretty easy. Teepad distances are just right for the appropriate skill levels.
Cons: Seemed pretty crowded for a weekday. There were also a few groups of non-golfers hanging out around the course. Layout can be kind of confusing for a first timer. The map of the course near the #8 teepad is also quite confusing and even somewhat intimidating.
Other Thoughts: Since there are 2 options to park, many people don't play the course #1 to #9. If parking for free off the 101/Hellyer exit, it makes more sense to play the course #8 to #7. Otherwise, if you pay $5 bucks to park in the official Hellyer park parking lot, start at #1. There is supposedly a pathway across the creek to get to La Raza without driving.
Uniqueness: B+ (great use of otherwise unused land area; bowl-shaped)
Difficulty: B+ (elevation changes; not too long; trees)
Fun factor: B+ (variety of shots from tees & fairways; birdied #1 from 168ft out w/ Leopard)
Aesthetics: B (could be cleaner; feels tight)
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Welcome to the Hell Yard!
Pros: *Great view
*Large downhill shots
*2 Tee pads per hole/Multiple pin placements per hole
*Variety of shots
*Open shots off the tee
*Not too crowded
*Bag holders :D
*Tee pads are very large. Longer shots = Bigger Tee's
Cons: *Spiny Mother - F*@&#$*#'ing EVERYTHING
*The name HELL YARD pretty much sums up the environment 100%
*Hole 8's swamp
*Crosswinds/Drafts off highway
*Dirty / Trash
*Kinda muddy when slightly humid
*Not good for 1st timers but alright for beginners
*Kinda easy to lose discs
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
One of better 9-hole course
Pros: *This is one of above average 9-hole courses around US.
*Two tees to each hole. 1B and 1F, B means back (farther from hole). F means front (closer to hole).
*Well designed with elevation changes and plenty of accurate game.
*Course is well maintained by locals.
*Cool tees with post for your disc bag to hang on.
*There's course directory (map) at 8th tee (where we park our cars).
*Locals keep moving the pins around (each hole has 2 or 3 different places). It always a little bit different every time I play there.
Cons: *No water - bring water.
*It can be hot during summer, not much shade to hide from sun.
*In other reviews, they mentioned that highway 101 can be noisy and distraction. It is not for me... cuz I'm deaf. LOL
Other Thoughts: Same as other mentioned, start 8th hole instead of 1st because that's where the cars park. 8th, 9th, 1st, 2nd.... til 7th.
If you from out of area, be sure you try Parque De La Raza, few miles away. That course is best 9-hole course I ever played (I played over 200 different courses).
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
San Jose's Original DGC
Pros: Many types of shots; down hill, uphill, over trees, under trees, around trees, thru trees. Great Use of land available, as this land really can't be used for much else besides disc golf. Concrete Tees pads (all have short and long tees), benches, bag hooks, trash cans and tee signs with distance and pin location. multiple pin locations. Elevation used well, and many challenging shots, but nothing a decent player can't handle. Course flows well and usually isn't crowded. 98% disc golf exclusive. Friendly locals. #5=Bowl Hole
Cons: Only 9 holes, but dual tees pads make 18.
Not the most beautiful course, aesthetically speaking, but after it rains it will get very green. Hole #8 should be #1 because that is where you park. Every once in a while some oblivious people wander onto the course. Course tends to be windy which will mess with your shots. Possible to lose a disc in the rough with a bad throw on 1, 8, and 9
Other Thoughts: My home course and the first place I ever played, so of course I am biased. However, this course is definitely under-rated. The site of this well established course was once a landfill that was converted into a park. Silicon Valley DG club takes great care of the course, and improvements are always being made, like how #8 now has stairs to go with the the railing when walking down the hill. Also I love the tree stumps decorated with beer bottle caps by #5's long tee.
If you are in the area, warm up with this course, then hit up La Raza which is much more challenging.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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