24 Helpful / 1 Not
Trek Stop DGC
The Trek Stop DGC is a very tight and technical nine hole course located far west in the Cayo District, on the outskirts of the tiny town of San Jose Succotz. The course was installed in the mid 90's on a fairly small portion of the land considering the Trek Stop owns 22 acres. However, each hole has a unique design which makes for a very challenging layout.
Located in a very dense jungle, the course made the simplest shot difficult, as any mishap could absolutely ruin one's score. Off the fairways and around the property, the land was littered with several varieties of trees, plants, and flowers, including several kinds of palms, fruit trees, and medicinal plants which the ancient Mayans used for healing. Wildlife was another benefit to playing the course. While playing, the course was filled with several species of birds, butterflies and other insects, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
The course itself seemed to do a nice job providing the essential properties which make a course good, including baskets, tee signs, and designated tee pads. The baskets, although home-made, were very similar to M-14's. They didn't catch very well but, considering there were no other courses in the country let alone any disc golf retailers, they were perfect! Tee pads all had wooden slabs marking the front of each tee box, and were all dirt, but once again seemed appropriate for the amount of foot traffic the course received. Eventually, it would be nice to see something more permanent, or at least more secure, considering the wooden markers seemed to move around some. The tee signs were made of metal and were bright white with red arrows directing first time players toward the tee pad. Each sign was labeled with a number, similar to the baskets, but did lack distance and major obstacles.
The course design was well thought out, with tee one starting behind the Tropical Wings Nature Center, and ending near the center of the Trek Stop facility in front of the Nature Center. The flow of the course worked well, as my wife and I were the only ones playing during all five rounds. None of the fairways crossed, although many of the tee pads were close to the previous basket, and baskets two and nine were within about 50 feet of one other. What I was most impressed with, along with the overall difficulty, was how cleared out the underbrush was on the fairways. Without this being done, like the rough, it would have almost made the course unplayable. Foliage maintenance was apparent, with trees trimmed accordingly, and grass cut regularly ON THE COURSE.
Elevation was present and optimized on holes 4-7, with the remainder of the holes flat. The course seemed to favor neither a right nor left-handed player, with four holes fairly straight, 2 holes dog legging left, 2 holes dog legging right, and 1 hole allowing for either approach. No hole was really epic, but several stood out due to their tight and challenging layout (holes 3 and 7). NOTE: Below in the "other" section, I went through a hole by run down considering most will never have the opportunity to travel to Belize so I thought it would be nice to give everyone a better sense of the course layout.
Camping, restrooms, running water, etc, can all be located on sight considering the Trek Stop has many backpackers and worldly travelers continually coming in and out of this place. Cabins will run visitors anywhere from $15-38 US/night, and camping $5 US. However, I do recommend paying the extra for your own shower and bathroom considering the Trek Stop is Eco Friendly and uses compost toilets, which can get quite ripe, and the shower uses rain water which can run out if too many people use it within a short amount of time. If you camp, just know that it truly is a jungle out there and at night the forest comes alive!!!
Besides better tee pads, adding another set of chains to the baskets, and including distance to the tee signs, I don't have a whole lot to add. It would be nice to eventually see another nine holes included considering the amount of land the Trek Stop has but realistically I know this probably won't happen considering how much work it takes to not only clear out, but maintain a course in the jungle.
If flying in to Belize, you must drive 2 hours by car/taxi ($100 US), 4 hours by bus ($26 US by taxi to the bus stop, $6 US for a bus ticket) from Belize City to San Jose Succotz. You will have to drive across the entire country along a VERY dangerous highway.
Last, the wildlife although beautiful, can be quite dangerous at times. The course is filled with all sorts of harmful, poisonous, and dangerous creatures, including tarantulas, scorpions, snakes, and the occasional ocelot or jaguar. It makes for an exciting round but, made me hurry many of my shots due to the fear of the unknown. I found my disc often times lying underneath fallen palm leaves or in massive mounds of leaves, and along with the sounds of hissing and or sudden movements, I seemed to move faster through my rounds then I would have liked.
Quick Hole by Hole Review:
#1: One of the more open holes on the course, especially near the basket. Tight fairway off the tee, with OB to the left, due to the west highway which runs from Guatemala to the coast of Belize. Thick jungle comes in to play behind and to the right of the basket. The basket is straight ahead about 150 feet.
#2: Very tight and technical dogleg right with several vines and thin trees in the middle of the fairway making the line to the basket very narrow. With a controlled anhyzer or sidearm, can be birdied, although rather difficult. Again, about 150 feet from the tee box to the basket.
#3: Besides hole #7, the tightest and most technical hole on the course. Long tunnel shot about 250+ feet away with a very narrow margin for error. If off the fairway, the many trees act as bars in a prison and make it next to impossible to par. The tunnel is no longer than 10 feet wide the entire way down with a few trees in the middle which makes it that more difficult.
#4: This hole is about 215 feet, and has two main lines to follow which include either a long dogleg left, or a shorter and much riskier dogleg left with then a straight upshot to the basket. Both shots off the tee require you to maneuver the disc around heavy foliage, and uphill and over a hill to a blind tee. The dogleg left approach has a much bigger fairway, and less jungle to work with. I however, chose the other approach which worked for me more times than none but…when it hit a tree, it shot deep into the jungle and was hard to get out.
#5: Short hole about 115 feet long, with two main approaches. One is a narrow, straight on shot, with a about a five foot window and a thick jungle to the left. The other, a dogleg right through a 10 foot wide fairway where a skip shot give you a great chance at a birdie and perhaps even an ace. The fairways make the shape of an uppercase D, with the basket located in the upper left hand side.
#6: This is the second longest hole on the course, and is a dogleg left about 270+ feet uphill. The shot off the tee is quite steep, and requires you to throw past a cluster of trees through a very tight window, about 8 feet wide. Once the shot makes it to the top of the hill, the basket is located behind a bush pin high, and is located at the edge of the hill. Shooting past the basket can result in a roll away.
#7: The tightest and most technical hole on the entire course. Although only about 100 feet long, this hole winds straight downhill in an S shape, with multiple windows all about 3-4 feet wide and thick jungle on both sides. This is one of those holes where a player can be shooting under and tries to go for the ace and ends up with a bogie. It humbled me a few times, and I quickly learned to play for par.
#8: The most open hole on the entire course, about 215+ feet. With a FH or slight anhyzer, this hole can be birdied if not eagled quite easily. The hole has a cluster of large trees near the basket, and a few large palms to the left, with the jungle really only coming in to play by overshooting the basket which of course I did.
#9: This hole seemed to be the biggest challenge for me due to a fairly tight fairway toward the middle half of the hole, and the dense foliage on either side for most of the hole. Just over 300 feet, the hole was designed to have you throw down the dirt road, in the shape of a long S. The basket is located in the middle of the property near the owners hut on the grass where they hang their laundry. When busy, like it was when I played, you must look out for parked cars considering you throw over it to the basket.
PICS TO FOLLOW...
Also, if traveling to the area and have questions regarding best way to travel, where to eat, what to see or do, etc., feel free to send me a PM and I would be more then happy to help out.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: It's in Belize. The course is relatively flat and cut into fairly thick jungle. Free discs are available to use. Holes are all short(actual distances unknown) Standard metal baskets are used.s
Cons: Free discs are pretty beat up. Course is thick jungle so its possible that you will lose a disc. Overall pretty basic hole layout.
Other Thoughts: Its in Belize on the grounds of the Trek Stop. Gorgeous area. You can go inner-tubing or rafting on the river nearby. You can go explore Xunantunich Mayan ruins nearby. Cabins are good and cheap as is the food. Definitely worth a stop.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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