A Mixed Bag In Geneva
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a really beautiful park in a western suburb of Geneva. Tee pads are gravel with a wooden plank to establish a fault line and it also gives the number of the hole and par info. Never slipped on these tee pads. DisCatcher baskets are in good condition and easy to spot for the most part. There is a map and event schedule at the head of the course too. The grass is well mowed, and there are trashcans throughout the park. Like most the rest of Switzerland, this place is remarkably clean. The holes for the most part are very well designed using a lot of obstacles, well protected baskets, elevated baskets, elevated tees, some OB, some tough gaps and even a mando on hole 9. There's a lot of challenge on this course and doing well here requires a lot of strategic and technical skill.
Standout Holes include 8 (with a basket placed on a 20-25 foot high mound), 9 which throws off a smaller mound, 17 which is the tightest fairway wedged between a fenced tennis court and a forest that drops off down to the Rhone river and 18 which is a long bomb across a soccer field. The placement of these holes in the course allows for a really nice flow and nice climaxes on the front and back 9. In an earlier version of this review I expressed frustration about the different baskets and tees making the course hard to navigate, but after a little research I figured out what's going on: The park also has a shorter 6 hole course for "beginners and schools." This would be a great little loop to do with kids, or a good warm-up to make a 24-hole round out of the course, especially if any of the soccer field holes happen to be unplayable when you're there.
The scenery here is beautiful. The park has restrooms and is very dog friendly (most owners are very good about making sure their dog doesn't go after your disc). In general, the people in the park were very friendly and just about anyone I made eye-contact with greeted me with a friendly "Bonjour." Also, this is very easy to get to by public transportation (TPG) so if you're visiting Geneva without wheels, you will have no problem getting to the course. I took train 14 to Onex and walked up Chemin de François-Chavaz for about 10-15 minutes until I found the park. The buses 19 and 2 also will drop you off very close to the park. The park also has ample parking. There are also a lot of other amenities in the park including a skate park, a track, soccer fields, tennis courts, and copious walking trails. Discs are available to rent, the selection is large but you pay 4 francs per disc (which is pretty steep even by Swiss standards).
Cons: Almost always very wet and muddy. Maybe it's a little better in the summer, but I typically leave the course with tons of mud on my shoes. I've often seen huge puddles of standing water on the course, and some tee pads have been flooded before. I can't figure out why it's so wet cause even after many days of dry weather it still seems to be really bad. Waterproof shoes are highly recommended, bring towels for your discs and you may want to consider wearing cleats if you've got them to give you some extra traction. It won't ruin your round, but it's kind of a drag. NB - there is a shoe washing station with running water and brushes next to the building by basket 18, so you can clean up after your round.
Tee signs would be great! I had quite the time getting around this course. Without Tee signs or next tee signs this place is a bear to navigate. It would also be nice to have a map at the tee, especially on hole 6, 9 and 13 which have blind baskets from the tee. Finding your way around without a map will be frustrating, so download the map from the links section or make sure you snap a picture on a smartphone before you start.
Some holes here have problems. Another reviewer expressed frustration with 6, but it's a par 5, which I think is reasonable. It is a tough one though. 13 is unreasonably hard, throwing over water that is guarded by tall, dense trees. Really hard to find a line and not worth the risk of losing discs for me. I've been throwing at 13 from the opposite direction which makes for a good solution. 17 is along a walking path and I had to wait several minutes for pedestrians to pass between strokes (in general, you have to be very watchful for pedestrians and dogs on this course). 3, 10 and 18 are unplayable if the soccer fields are in use. There is now a new rope course in the park with a zip line that interferes directly with the fairway for 3. Also, it would be dope to have an alternate tee for 7 on the mound where the basket for 8 sits, but I know there would be some layout issues with that. The park is well utilized so you have to be cautious and keep your throws under control. If there's a beautiful day on the weekend the place will most certainly be overrun with people picnicking and laying in the grass and you won't be able to get much more than putting practice in. It would also be nice to have more variety in distance on the back 9. Also, speaking of the back nine, 11-17 only get mowed at the end of the summer, so the grass is too tall for the nicest part of the year. I also know that they use different temporary tees for when the Swiss Open plays here (as you can see on YouTube from a few years ago). It'd be awesome if they made those tournament tees permanent or at least added some permanent alternate tees.
Other Thoughts: I love playing at Les Evaux. Any Disc Golf enthusiast must play this course if they need to come to Geneva. And it's 1 of only a few 18 hole courses in Switzerland. While there are problematic holes, there are some older baskets throughout the course that you can play as well, but you have to establish your own tee. Between the 6 beginner tees, the 18 official tees and all the unofficial shots (that locals who frequent the course on weekends would be happy to show you) you can have a very full day of disc golf here. A must play.
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