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.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: * Easy access to course from Highway 101 *
* Multiple concrete teebox positions, a long and a short on most holes. good for practicing midrange drives, or bringing a newbie *
* Each hole has a couple different pin positions, and makes for interesting variation when they are shuffled up *
* Good use of elevation changes *
**** Awesome bag hangers on most of the teepads, never seen these before, very cool ****
Cons: * No bathrooms or water spickets *
* Very little shade *
* Hole 8 is closest to parking, most people play holes 8 through 7 *
* Not very difficult *
Other Thoughts: Bring lots of water, its hot out there at any time of the day/year.
The short teepads are great practice for midrange driving, and a great place to bring people who are learning, or a good place to play a different 9 holes than La Raza.
This course is worth the play if your in the area, however, make sure to also play Parque De La Raza, just 5 min down the street, for a more challenging and interesting 9 holes.
6 of 6 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.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Challenging Nine Holer!
Pros: This is a well designed, definitely challenging nine hole course wedged in a piece between the freeway and another road. As previous reviewser have stated, it's not the most pleasing looking piece of land, especially in late August when I played. It's really a pretty sorry looking bit of bare dirt, scrub brush, mixed tree and what not with some mixed elevation thrown in for variety. But the designers have done a wonderful job of creating a most challenging disc golf experience here. The winds help with the challenge. The teepads are varying sizes (depending on the run-up needed). There are multiple basket placements for variety. There are uphill and downhill throws. # 7 is a big hyser shot around a large tree.
Cons: Hot, ugly desert scrubby enviroment in late August. Freeway noise. No water, bring your own. I don't know where you would park if crowded. The signs were kinda confusing.
Other Thoughts: This course reminds me of that ugly girl in college, that you kind of ended up with late one night. You know the one that you didn't want your friends to find out about but then she turned out to be really "gifted" or something like that and you had a most memorable time. Give this course a chance. She doesn't look real fine at first glance but if you give her a chance, you'll have a good time! And then, you'll be bragging to your friends about her!
8 of 10 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.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Needs some TLC
Pros: -a good use of space
-plenty of elevation, obsticals
-and some nice extras like bag holders.
Cons: -horrible tee signs, not sure how/why they were designed but need to be replace. did not notate which basket location was in play, some were trash by local scum (yes we all have them).
-some of the cement tee pads need to be leveled/resurface; time and weather has caused cracks and buckling making them a tripping hazard.
Other Thoughts: The second tee pads makes for a nice change of pace.
Parque de la Raza is just a few minutes away allowing travellers, like me, to get some differenet courses in while away from my
This course could be a +4 with a little love, but is still fun to play.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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