10 Helpful / 0 Not
Next Time, Summertime
Pros: The pros include the usual suspects, good parking, easy to find, a porta potty. NSRA is set on a unique piece of land. One of the best things about playing disc golf is being able to explore a off the grid places. NSRA fits that bill perfectly with it old barns rolling hills and Washington overgrowth, mixed with open and mostly vacant lots. There are a handful of shots on this course that standout in my mind. The holes that are lacking in creative shots are either long or have an art target to keep things interesting.
From the creek, the mountains, to the old farm buildings, the view in every direction was amazing. The pictures back me up. Number fifteen is one of my favorite holes in WA, with the basket perched on top of a hill maybe 300 feet away, throw it short and the blackberry monster eats it. I liked the tree window across a street on fourteen. The basket placement on seven and seventeen's fairway, and eighteen's tee-box.
Cons: Being out in the open invited the wind into the round, and it drastically drained the fun factor. For non Washingtonians who may not know, berry vines are a horrible place to lose a disc. The number four basket is in front of a hillside covered in them, which makes for a scary approach shot. I fell in the mud along the hillside on number six and was given multiple painful vine scratches on my rear. I threw into berry vines on number twelve and I reached in to retrieve my disc and it found barbwire, and no joke, the barbwire was no match for the vines. The long holes were boring, perhaps it was the wind, but I felt like I was just chucking out in a cow pasture. The group I was with dogged those art targets so bad, and I understand the need to ring them off chains, there no substitute, no matter how cool the target is. (Which they are). The tee box situation is lacking here, cement would be great, when I played they were mostly just big puddles that I teed off from the side of.
Other Thoughts: What does NSRA mean? Anyone? This course is long so bring water, maybe have a picnic in the back. I go back and forth with my grade here. There are some great shots here with some good pin placements and unique tee box looks. Then, there are cow pasture holes. The mud, the wind, the rain had my pants weighted down and the course gave me about twenty blackberry vine cuts. In the end I graded it like I did feeling optimistic that the course will do noting but improve.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
A World Of Potental Here!
Pros: There is ample space here. Big armed throwers (350' plus) will really like it. There's open range, woods, elevation and lots of blackberry bushes. It was really well marked in October making it easy to follow for the most part. The 6 ART baskets lend a fanciful touch to the course. The teepads are currently dirt but there are wooden forms lying next to most of them so I think something is happening in that regard. My favorite hole was # 15. I think it was called Finnigans Gully. A 322' shot across a gully to a basket semi-protected by trees. And finally, my favorite feature of this course! Each basket has a large number sign welded to the top, visible from 350 feet. Why doesn't everyone do that?
Cons: There are three, I think, teepads in which you release on the uphill. Please level these out when installing the new ones. No-one likes teeing off on the uphill. I completely skipped # 16. Playing by myself, I felt the risk-reward of losing or spending a lot of time searching for my disc wasn't worth it on this blackberry surrounded fairway. About the ART baskets-Normally I don't really care for gimmicky baskets..see Lake Stevens review. But for the most part, these were cute and clever. However, I can in the future see this as a tournament level course and I don't see serious tournament players wanting to compete on these baskets.
Other Thoughts: This course will be changing it's face in the future. New teepads are going in. The county has dug hundreds of holes for planting native trees (cedars, firs, hemlocks) and on the day I played, county workers were busy spraying the blackberries. Yeah, kill the bastards, I say! Kill the blackberries not the county workers. Five years from now, this course should have a whole new look and feel to it.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 11 Not
don't play here now
Pros: It's a disc golf course.
Cons: Everything else. Unmowed grass taller then me in the fairways, bees, thorns, unmarked, blind holes, impossible to navigate.
Other Thoughts: This review is short just to point out the current course conditions. Do not bother coming here out of your way without contacting a local to make sure it's playable.
4 of 15 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
NSRA last played on
Pros: This course has limitless potential. Beautiful long drives, some tricky little quirks, a very scenic trail between tees. The course also features a nice look at the surroundings of old Northern State Mental Hospital, a somewhat grim slice of local history.
Cons: Without upkeep (mowing on fairways in summer) this course is all but unplayable without a squadron of disc spotters. The neck-high grass and impenetrable brambles swallow up disks making disc hunting the object, rather than the course goals. Even very straight, well placed shots often eat up long minutes of searching. Sometimes $18 disk get eaten up,,, ouch. Skagit Parks and Rec.(the official custodians) say they will mow at some point but... uh... the summers half gone, folks!
Other Thoughts: If you'd like to contact Skagit Parks and Rec. to let them know that some course maintenance is in order (immediately,)
You can tell them so personally by emailing:
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: lots of open space with various pockets of trees. Good elevation changes. The views of the mountains and the wildlife makes for a great experience. There are a good handful of technical shots and if your a big arm thrower you'll love it.
Cons: There are a few danger areas with thick thorn rambles. Tee pads are only gravel and there are no signs. Still some work left to be done.
Other Thoughts: Please take course with a grain of salt. It is a very youg course which was publicly open on September of 07. Yes there needs to be some work as far as signs and beches but it will come over time. It can get quite overgrown at times so feel free to contact me for current conditions.
7 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Rustic in a good way
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: NSRA has hit the big time with level, concrete tee pads now!! Tee #1 still has a gravel puddle, but that's easy to work around and soon to be remedied. The custom targets are a playful touch, but most players want standard baskets, so that's what you get on every hole. Some art targets remain for those who are in a playful mood, but the standard baskets are close by for the rest of us. The trees, the blackberry thickets, and the various slopes give plenty of incentive to throw carefully, but there are few places where you're likely to permanently lose your pet driver. The blackberry thickets have been so hacked by golfers looking for discs that they are thoroughly networked by trails. The thickets look horrendous from a distance, but you can nearly always walk to your disc. Nearly. The park is large enough that you can't throw out of bounds unless you really work at it. Open fields around the parking lot give you virtually limitless space to learn the characteristics of a new driver, or just to warm up.
Wildlife adds a nice touch - in the winter the course is thick with fresh elk tracks, bald eagles and trumpeter swans cruise overhead, and big hawks skim the fields surrounding the parking lot. Owl pellets full of little white bones litter the ground under the cedar tree at hole 12. I spoke to a man whose dog had recently flushed a cougar from the blackberries behind hole 4.
Cons: Your first drive parallels the only path from the parking lot into the main area of the park. On a nice afternoon, you'll wait for families strolling into and out of the park, oblivious to your impatience to get started. (After Hole 1, there's much better separation between discgolfers and other park users.) It's wet in the winter; I play in lightweight hiking boots. A line at the bottom of the map says something about 6 miles. The course is long, but not that long! You'll walk close to 2 miles; the actual fairways total about 6,000 feet.
Other Thoughts: The course is new this winter (2007-2008), and so am I; walking it inspired me to buy my first discs. It still has rough edges, but is eminently playable, especially if you print the map found under the Links/Files tab.
4/28/14: Along with the concrete tees have come some course changes not yet reflected in a new course map. I couldn't find the 2nd tee until someone on the course showed me. (walk up the road N from the 1st basket and look left for new trails into the brush. The second trail is better.)
This is an excellent course under certain winter conditions. One of my best days was when the mud was frozen solid - great traction on slopes that are sometimes to slippery. Once I played in 2" - 4" of snow. I carried only bright-colored discs and never had to spend time searching for one, which is saying something, considering how poorly I throw. Winter is also best for wildlife. If you drive from out of county, you are pretty much guaranteed to see flocks of swans by the time you arrive, and probably an eagle or three. Elk are hard to find in person, but you're bound to see lots of tracks and poop, even down by the parking lot.
Many tees and holes were moved this spring, and it's a bit rough for now where brush was hacked out to accommodate the changes.
While the thickets are much better than when I started in 2008, some players still carry a machete or lopping shears.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is challenging and well designed. The baskets are great and the 6 art targets are both original and creative. This course is full of possibilities due to the endless acres surrounding the course. When playing, one must be able to do a little of everything from big throws to precision shooting. Some of the holes are not very forgiving so sink that putt. The backdrop of the skagit valley and cascades is breathtaking which allows for a truely unique experience. Pin placement on several holes are guarded and present challenging putts. Course flow makes sense, as it brings you back to the start. The holes are spread througout several acres and makes great use of the elevation.
Cons: The one thing that could quickly improve the course is installing cement tee pads, or atleast flattening the gravel pads for a smoother release. Tee pad # 5 has players releasing uphill which makes it difficult at times. Lack of maintenance can be an issue at times as well, especially during the summer months.
Other Thoughts: The designer of the course is usually seen out on the course and is always willing to show you around or even play a round, which says a lot about him. He is truely genuine and is always open to new ideas to better serve the discgolf community. He also carries discs for sale so be on the lookout! Also, there are tournaments on the third (random doubles $6/person) and fourth (singles $8/adv $12/pro) weekend of each month during the winter. The first and second weekend same format but held at Mossy Roc in Bellinham, WA.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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