NSRA Aug 2015
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great use of topography and deteriorating buildings. Pin placement excellent. Concrete tee pads and all chain baskets are a tremendous upgrade. Holes are pretty long but have excellent landing zone.
Cons: Long 18 so bring all the supplies you'll need (doesn't loop back to car). Map we found "NSRA Frolf Coure" was not accurate. Stay on the fairway to avoid rough, drop offs, and blackberries.
Other Thoughts: The Northern State Recreation Area or "NSRA Frolf Course" ,as they state on the map we found online, is a great course. With a grassroots beginning there are several of the 'art baskets' still in place to go with upgrades to all chains baskets and concrete tee pads. With those changes it appears the layout has changed as the map we found was not accurate. With some elevation variations and treed alleys they take advantage of all the natural obstacles (and some unnatural with the deteriorating barns). Beware of the more open holes as the pin placement is often precariously close to drop offs or other hazards (oh, and blackberry bushes abound so stay on the mown fairways). The distances are on the long side but the landing areas are great for the most part. Knowing the layout and placements is a tremendous advantage as the 'rough' can be rough.
Some notes on the holes:
#1 : Pin placement in the trees, great set up.
#2: Tee pad hard to find but it is up to the left and you drive over trees and blackberries so be sure to get it over or be sure to where it landed.
#3: You get the first glimpse of the deteriorating barns.
#4: Slight up hill and wraps left following the barns, pin tucked in deep in the corner. Great hole. As you reach the plateau and look through the left hand alley of the barn roofs as it would be a stellar alternate hole.
#5: Shorter hole but be ware of going deep as it drops off dramatically past the pin.
#6 : pretty wide open as I recall but another challenging pin placement if you go past
#7: Great hole as it uses the dirt road. Slight up hill to start then hole is on steeper up hill in mature trees to the right.
#8: Stellar gap over the a small valley
#9: Can recall but wide open start
#10: Another awesome tried alley way, the tightest windows of the course
#11: Big wide open bomb
#12: Big bomb to a decent protected pin placement
#13: As I recall a sort of blind shot to a tight landing pad before approaching a protected pin placement that has a drop behind it.
#14: Starts with a big gap drive beware of the rough and the ridge that drops away on the right (I think on this hole)
#15: A good drive puts over a lower elevation area and on deck for a birdie.
#16: Long hole as I recall, mostly wide open
#17: One of our favorites with an old telephone pole creating a tight window. Slight downhill feel to it.
#18: Show piece hole if you dare to do some risky climbing to the upper window of the barn. I don't recommend frankly as it's the way down that is more tricky, but if you do, it's a fun long shot through a big barn door on the second floor.
In summary, a great course that takes advantage of the contours. It's long and doesn't return back to the car until 18 so bring all that you'll need.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Potential for Epic-ness
Pros: -Diverse layout. Some tight shots, some open bombers, some hyzer tee shots, some anny tee shots.
- Great park! NSRA is HUGE! Interesting scenery (abandoned dairy farm) set in the Skagit valley with views of the Cascade Mountains in almost every backdrop. Beautiful.
- Huge parking lot
- Brand new baskets
- Alternate 'Art' baskets on some holes
- Port-o-Pottys on site!
-Great Flow! Never have to walk very far to next basket, 18 puts you right back where you started.
- Great finishing hole (18)
Cons: -$5 dollars for this?
-Poorly maintained Teepads
-Rarely maintained - can be super scraggy
Other Thoughts: This course has a lot of potential. The park is huge and the disc golf course is well laid out. There is good variety to the holes - there's a couple of long bombers (640' hole 16) and plenty of duece-able shorter holes. Elevation and trees are well utilized. No water holes. I noticed the parks department was requesting a $5 donation for use of the park. Side note: I don't mind paying/donating to play golf - I think it's a great idea. When you charge $$ to play a golf course though, there is an expectation beyond 'grass will be mowed'. When you're charging $$ for a course, I expect to see concrete tee pads with benches, trash cans and signs. I didn't see ANY of that here. Teepads were strips of mud with 3" of standing water with a little gravel in it - typically on a slope. If you're lucky. No benches. No trash cans. No signs. Fairways were recently mowed, but I understand that's a highly unusual event (maybe twice a year?) and the blackberries were in their typical fall retreat, but still look like they could be a big factor come spring time. I really had no intent to bag this course just because they are asking for a $5/donation, I only wanted to note it, but now that I'm writing about it, it did leave a bad taste in my mouth overall. I'm giving this course a 4/5 rating because it is an epic lay-out and a very well designed course. With the teepads sorted out and some more 'grooming' done to the fairways/blackberry acreage it could be 5/5.
used to be an okay course
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: *Edit* New teepads
As stated by many of the other reviews, course has a lot of really long shots that are in open areas, the area is really cool (some of the old buildings)
Cons: *Edit* Horrible, most of the early holes are surrounded by 4ft+ tall grass, you may want a buddy to be a spotter. seems like maintenance has gone out the window. tees have small strips of grass mowed but unless youre keeping a dead set shot that follows exactly the mowed path youre in the grass.
Teepads are basically non existant or make no sense, a few are upward sloped and basically just little scratches in the dirt.
The briars are atrocious and every where, you can either go to a blood bank and and get paid for the loss of blood or you can just throw into these. Wear good clothes for this and bring something to hack away at them.
I believe it was Hole 6, was a throw over a hill and down into overgrown brush.
one of the art holes was also filled with wasps, didnt find out til i reached in for my putter...
Other Thoughts: i used to like this course and had high hopes for it, sadly it seems like there is not much hope left for this course.
Course is fun and in a neat surrounding area art holes are cool. needs some upkeep and a few improvements to make it a really great course
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Interesting, but dangerous
Pros: Love the course layout. Lots of different distances, obstacles and elevation changes. All of the "art" targets also have actual baskets near them now, so it's up to your group which ones you want to shoot at.
Cons: Blackberries everywhere. After two rounds here I came out with extremely bloody shins. I definitely recommend jeans and gloves unless you're a lot more accurate than I am. #6 has a six foot wide fairway. Even a skilled player would have a hard time hitting that with the thirty foot elevation drop thrown in. At least that hole doesn't have the blackberries. It has other thorny plants, but those are easier to avoid.
Other Thoughts: Hole #13 would be much better if they mowed the top off the second hill. For shorter throwers, that would give you a target to try to land one on top of the hill so you would be throwing back down towards the basket. As it is, you have to try blind land your disc somewhere in the winding fairway or throw 100 feet at a time to follow it directly.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: setting, cool abandoned buildings, art baskets, decent variety of hole types
Cons: can be squishy after a good rain, art baskets seem to being phased out :-(, some epic blackberry thickets, oh those horrid tee pads...
Other Thoughts: Love this course but I'm really bummed to see the art baskets go. I loved them as it added an extra challenge and changed some the norms you've come to expect. Change is good right?
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
unique to this area
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: unusually open course for this region. many long holes where you can really let 'er rip, as opposed to the super-tight woodsy, short nature of most courses in this region.
they recently placed real baskets on every hole. some "art targets" are still in place, but there are real targets next to them.
great use of the gentle elevation the terrain provides- in general the course is flat, but the designers used the rolling terrain to maximum effect.
cool old buildings on the property.
limited interference from other park users, with the exception of hole 1.
Cons: the teepads suck, like super bad. i assume there are plans to improve them now that they have real targets on every hole. it would be a great place for real-deal tourneys then.
UPDATE: concrete tee pads! 1/2 disc up-rating from me!
the briars are insane, so don't throw your disc into them!!
Other Thoughts: this place is such a nice change of pace from the other courses in the area since it has such big distance. come here to stretch your arm out and watch 'em fly! with new teepads, this would be a very worthy spot for big tournaments.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The NSRA Disc Golf Course is a diamond in the rough. That should only be taken half literally, as I didn't find any diamonds, but plenty of rough. Hole 1 immediately punches you in the gut with a long bomb across a field and into a stand of trees, but then the course settles down for a while with some doable holes for the average golfer (me). There's a lot of variation in distance, right and left turning shots, and creative use of the land it is on. It isn't very "technical" in a forested sense (Lake Stevens, NAD, Pier, etc), but there's plenty of elevation, briars, and wind to make you want to stay on the fairway. I didn't much care for the "art" baskets (what's left of them), but they at least add character to the course. The run down "historical buildings" add even more character. Taking a shot from the loft of the barn on 18 is a must to round out the experience, but you didn't hear that from me. You aren't supposed to enter the buildings, but if you choose to do so that isn't my concern. This has to be the most scenic course I have played thus far, and somehow the sun came out while we were there, which added even more to the beauty.
Cons: This could be an incredible, highly rated course, but it is not maintained. At all. I played there in the middle of the winter, so I can't speak to the mowing (or lack thereof), but the teepads were atrocious (my favorite word to describe teepads), and the "art" baskets were in terrible condition. Holes 5 and 12 still look like the ones pictured on this site, but the other four homemade ones were absolutely awful. I'd rather throw at a pole that used to have a basket on it (i.e. Twin Rivers) than throw at some of these piles of junk. I'm not being facetious. They're literally piles of junk. The teepads consist of gravel dumped in front of an old fence post or something, and most of them were full of mud and water. Not only that, but they were incredibly uneven, which is just terrible if you expect me to play a 500+ foot hole anywhere close to par. Again, I can't speak to the overgrowth, but if grounds maintenance is neglected like the rest of the course is then I really can't see playing some of these holes even with a spotter (like 13). Finally? The wind was whipping in our faces as we played through the back end of the course. This is kind of a pro for me because I don't get much practice on windy courses, but it's kind of a con for the same reason. The longest hole on the course was right into a fierce headwind with a nasty teepad to boot...
Upon hearing that they had held a sanctioned tournament here, I returned to the course. I assumed that they would have the course in tip top shape for such an event. Apparently the PDGA doesn't care if a course has nice teepads and baskets that catch. While I give kudos for a full 18 with real baskets, I saw more chainouts here than any other course I've played. Chainouts usually equate to cheap equipment. And the teepads are still disastrous, dangerous, and downright stupid.
Other Thoughts: All in all the experience at NSRA was a good one. It's a fun course that will challenge any level of player (not recommended for beginners), and the views are breathtaking. You're going to find yourself using every shot that you usually use, and I threw at least one that I hadn't thrown in a very long time. The makeshift baskets are going to be a con to a lot of people like the ones at Lake Stevens, and they've obviously fallen upon hard times. I appreciate the character that they add to the course, but (just like Lake Stevens) I hate watching my score go up just because a great upshot lands a foot behind the basket. Lack of course maintenance cripples the rating that I can give this place. Bottom line is that this is a good experience, but I can't give it "destination" status if they aren't going to take care of it. If you're passing through, stop in. Bring extra discs you might not mind losing and a spotter (depending on the time of year), but stop in and enjoy a challenging round of disc golf on a course that could become pro caliber with some hard work and a lot of determination...
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great variation in hole lengths and elevation. Really makes you think about shot placement when shooting around dog-legs and over gullies. Some very long holes that made me work harder on my driving! *****edit*****New baskets have replaced all of the art baskets, so now it is a complete course!
Cons: No sign at 17 tee box. Most tee boxes were unusable, and had to throw from the grass next to it. Hard to follow without a map first time out, but once you play it a few times it's not a problem. *******edit*****blackberries and brambles make the out of bounds areas treacherous! Bring a machete, or at least some garden clippers in case of an errant throw.
Other Thoughts: This place has the potential to really be something special with some new (concrete) tee boxes and better signage this place would be the gem of the Northwest! *****edit*****The parks department has put up a donation box, so it looks like they are taking an increased interest in the course, and money collected is going to be used to upgrade the park!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
A place i call home
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautifully secluded at the foothills of the cascade mountains this epic course will give even the most skilled players a great round of disc golf. This course is LONG and has a variety of different looks that require different vastly different touch. The change of elavation shots are by far my favorite shots. This is a course where big arms will get a chance to show there stuff
Edit. Holes 2,3,7,8,9,10,11,17 redesigned!!! TEE PADS ON APRIL 12Th!
Cons: No water fountains so bring drink,
no trash other then at the start so pack it in pack it out!!!
The brambles are a work in progress.
Playing the hero at this course will likely have you watching your favorite disc vanish in the thickets
.In spring/summer we have got to get together this next year and make sure it dosnt get overgrown like it has.
It is not a course very newbie friendly, in fact i believe you have to have a certain level of skill to really appreciate its difficulty.
Other Thoughts: Signs and benches are on their way. I was a part of the work party that put the tee pads in and the discgolf community is really behind this course. B tier's are soon and coming
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Great scenery
- Good distance variety
- Some holes are well-designed
- Decent use of elevation
- Decent risk reward opportunities
- Regulation baskets were in good shape with number plates.
- Interesting baskets?
Cons: - Overgrown
- Gravel Tee pads
- Navigation issues
- Interesting baskets?
Other Thoughts: NSRA Disc Golf Course has been the toughest course for me to rate to date. The raw disc golf at this course is not very good, due to the overgrown holes. There definitely some interesting shots, with some serious clearing out this course could be great. Yet, the atmosphere made the time at the course worthwhile.
The fairways are overgrown (even the open field shots). There are thorns and stickers all over the fairways. The gravel tee pads are awful. some of the holes are not super interesting, while others are, but are so overgrown it is risky to play them aggressively without fear of losing a disc. The course uses the elevation to create some nice risk reward opportunities. The whole course is very "natural" and not for the faint of heart. I highly recommend using a spotter(s) on EVERY hole. My group did and we still misplaced discs for several minutes. The grass is high and the local plant life runs rampant
The saving grace for this course is that the surrounding area is gorgeous. The course plays through foothills of the Cascade Mountains. There are abandoned farm buildings throughout the course that add to the rustic feel of the course, and the non-regulation baskets add a quirky special-ness to the atmosphere.
Overall, do not go to this course looking for a casual round of disc golf. This course offers a high intensity rustic disc golf experience that offers beautiful views and an adventurous atmosphere. As a dude from Illinois I found the landscape and scenery enough to make my round worthwhile. Throw controlled shots, watch your discs finish, and use spotters to avoid losing plastic. If the navigation was improved, nice teepads added, and some serious weed whacking a mowing took place this course could stretch to a 4 or 4.5.
EDIT: After mulling over my rating and changing it and changing it back, I have decided to stick with my initial rating. I tried to change some wording to reflect the potential this course has. With that said, this course has TONS of potential, but it just isn't quite there yet. I do imagine this course is more pleasant in any season but the summer when the foliage is not so rampant. Hopefully, I can return here in a different season and add more.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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