Apparently the “Most Improved” Course of the decade!
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The DG course in the Christie Lake Conservation Area just north of Hamilton was a real surprise to me. I hadn't planned on playing it this time as I visited my daughter, but wound up with a calm, cold day, and the opportunity, so I grabbed it. The diversity on the course is tremendous, the scenery is spectacular regardless of the time of year, and the cost to enter the park supports nature conservancy, as well as a featured, competition-worthy disc golf course! I couldn't ask for more!
With two large, grippy rubber tee pads for each hole, good signage, plus next tee arrows for finding your way, as well as Canadian flags atop for visibility, the Discatcher baskets are in very nice repair, and the fairways are generous and well-maintained throughout. There are nice stone steps down and up by the two ponds as you transition to hole ten, and a beautiful steel staircase leading you up to 'the green mile' above the tricky, rollaway 11th basket position. The second set of tees produce very different lines and challenges on holes 1, 3, 4, 8, 12 & 17, plus different angles, but similar challenge on some others ( like 6 & 7). The park has a huge amount of parking, trash cans, a helpful kiosk map (plus signage directing you to the front and back nines), and the first hole throws over the prairie grasses and into the woods above the football pitch.
You will remember holes like #4, with a nifty, mid-fairway set of guardian trees giving you fits as you try to sweep left to right and over the blind ridge. #6 emerges from the first run through the woods with an open field bomber for us meager arms, and a rollaway basket position. # 11 is a cool ace run, but don't skip off downhill to the left! #16 is a pretty, turnover (rhbh) ace run with the pond hidden behind the basket, so they've built up a little 'fence' out of tree debris to keep the more ambitious from doing too much fishing. And you might think they've wrapped it up when you putt out on 17, but they've left one nice multi-stage hole back uphill for you.
In all, the variety here is incredible, the use of elevations, woods, open spaces, views, and everything, make this fun for any player. Rec to Intermediate players will love the short tees, and Advanced and Open players will find challenges from the longs, all without crushing the spirit. My kind of course!
Cons: Not much to complain about, overall, but most disc golfers I know would balk at the park admission costs, starting at $9 Canadian for the car and driver, and more for passengers, but I would suggest locals look into the yearly pass option.
There are a couple of places with long walks (9 to 10 and 16 to 17), as well as a walk back up a blind fairway going to hole 18, but the course flow is fairly intuitive, and easy, even for first timers who bring the aerial map and watch the next tee signs.
The course seems to slightly favor left to right lines, but not cruelly so. And there aren't a whole lot of huge bomber hole for those who really demand that.
Other Thoughts: I chuckled at the Lost & found box with the sign that reads, "Disc Thieves Taste Like Chicken"!
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Rivals the best in the province
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Incredibly well maintained course. Great variety of long short, open and tight technical holes.
Beautiful setting, in a conservation area. Course is dedicated meaning very few park users come up to this area of the park. Many times i play this course without seeing another soul for my entire round. The hanging basket on 15 is great fun. Elevated tee pad on 7 makes for a great ace run, and shooting over the valley on 6 to the basket 350' is a hole I dream about. The local golfers here are also fantastic. I've had many lost discs returned to me, and met some wonderful folks out on the course. While pros might not find the difficulty here that something like Ward's Island presents, for intermediate players it'd be hard to find a course that is this much fun to play in a setting as serene as this one. Go play it. Also, new chains recently.
Cons: You have to pay to get through the gates. The money goes to the Hamilton Conservation authority which I'm sure helps to maintain the course.
Other Thoughts: Facilities available. Hole 10 might be a bit difficult to find through the path to the far end of the parking lot as you walk off 9. You'll pass basket 17, walk through a bog of sorts and come out at #10 tee pad on the other side. There is a small sign there directing you.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Great way to spend the day
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Fun & challenging course in a great location. The park is very clean & large and the course takes you through a good part of it. It's like being on a frolfing adventure through the meadows & woods. My favourite course in the area by far.
Some pretty long & open holes, nice to be able to really whip those drives without having to worry.
Course is pretty easy to navigate, though if you do it on a nice day you might find people relaxing or bbq-ing in the middle of the course. Don't they realize that space is there for frolfers?? =P
Cons: Have to pay to get into the park. I haven't figured out a good way to get around this one, but it's worth doing especially if you bring a picnic & spend some time there afterward.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Best kept secret in Ontario
Pros: - Looped layout
- Park is keen on maintenance & improvements
- Good mix of shots required.
- Long & Short tees provide a much different experience.
- Rubber mat teepads.
- Washrooms nearby.
- Secure lost/found via drop box/park office.
- Picnic table/Bench/Seating at all short tees.
- Next hole markers on baskets are a plus for navigation.
Cons: - Long tees are natural gravel ATM
- Tee signs are very basic; distances only.
Other Thoughts: Standout holes - 5, 13, 18
This course is constantly improving and quickly becoming one of the top in Southern Ontario. If you haven't played here in the last 6 months you need to make another trip!
May '13 update - all tees have rubber mats installed! Signage up next :)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There are some really fun holes here. A few more open holes with elevation offer a chance to air it out a little. Most of the rest of the course is fairly technical. A mix of deciduous trees and evergreens makes for nice variety of foliage, I always love shots through stands of pins and there are a few nice ones here. There is a good mix of left and right turning holes throughout the course, forcing a variety of shots if you want to score well.
There is some length variety, no real bombers but a mix of ace runs and holes where most players will pull out a driver. The dual tees offer a little more distance variety, and many of the longs offer an additional pinch point or extra obstacle to navigate. The baskets are fairly new and in good shape. The course feels secluded and natural, but the maintenance was pretty reasonable when I played it. All the fairways were pretty well cleaned up and the grass was mowed. Hopefully that's true in the summer months as well.
Cons: There are some navigation issues, it can be a little tough to find some of the short tees without a map or guide. There are no hole signs, so you don't always know where to throw on the blind holes in the woods. A couple long walks between holes can be a little tricky too, though the course map available here online is helpful and easy to follow. The tees are gravel, most were rutted out and loose, they don't provide the best footing and there's some erosion around them. Overall the course is pretty short, and not terribly challenging, though it makes up for it in variety. I'm not a fan of long grass rough, a few of the more open holes brought some into play and I feel it adds frustration rather than legitimate disc golf challenge.
Other Thoughts: Beginners will find the short tees approachable if a little tough. There are some tighter shots and some punishing rough, but not so much that new players will be too frustrated. More experienced players will find a lot of great mid and putter practice and some nice line shaping tests, but not a whole lot of chances to throw for much distance.
The fee to get in is pretty high for the quality of the course, I never mind paying to play a course but this one is quite pricey compared to other places I've played.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Professionally designed 18 hole course in the back part of the conservation Area.
Quite and scenic all year round. 2 sets of rubber tee pads (36)
A ton of tight technical holes, a handful of open holes and elevation throughout the course.
Shorts are great for birdies and ace runs with a few tough holes to keep you guessing.
Longs are a much different and not as easy to keep your score under par.
The Park staff and locals have been addressing all concerns about over growth and the fairways and some wooded holes are really taking shape. (Fairways and 30ft greens are cut every 2 weeks)
Tons of signage for direction.
Log stools or picnic tables on almost every hole. Garbage cans close to all roads and pathways.
Washrooms in main parking lot are open all year (heated and fully stocked)
Cons: Everyone complains about paying to play. Currently the cost is 9.00 for car and driver, 4.50 per passenger. If the gate is unattended then 9.00 gets the whole car load in.
Keep in mind that there is swimming at the beach in the summer. Other activities available as well, so it's not that bad of a deal. Passes are also available online or at the gate. (90.00)
The long walk (3-5min) between 9 and 10 and there is a 2 min walk to 17 short. Other than that there is a great flow for each 9 hole section. I find the break not bad as you pass right by your car to reload.
Proper tee signs for shorts are needed.
Other Thoughts: The park used to be un kept. Losing disc's in an open fairway was horrible and it was creating a negative image for CL. Once, brought to the attention of the park, we now have a routine in place, to keep this course in tip top shape.
All new signage for shorts are in place.
New hanging basket on 15 offers a new challenge.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
One of the best in SW Ontario
Pros: This is a fun technical course with a good variety of holes and good use of the elevation.
Tee pads are large rubber mats and all tees are well signed and easy to find. The maintenance has been excellent over the past few years! There is a (flush!) bathroom close to tees 1 and 10.
Cons: Entry fee of $9 (+$5 per additional person in peak season) is almost as bad as Bronte Provincial park. This is mitigated by the fact that the entry system is automated with credit card payment so you can still play early or late in the day when the gate is not manned.
Other Thoughts: This course gets better every season.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Excellent variety of holes with short and long throws.
A great course to improve your accuracy since you don't have to blow your arm out on every hole.
Half the course is wooded with narrow fairways and the other half is open but with enough hazards to keep it interesting.
The pin layout is great.
Maintenance was a problem earlier but it is improving. The greens are being cut more often and the fairways have been widened on the two worst holes (6 & 7) for losing discs.
An annual pass is available for around $90 that gets you into all Hamilton City Parks for day use (about 6 of them).
The course is usually empty so there is no one pushing your play from behind.
Cons: As long as the course continues to improve its maintenance then I won't mention the time I spent searching for discs in 5 foot high grass during the earlier half of the year.
Other Thoughts: The fairway on #5 has been substantially cleared so you no longer have a brutal 2nd shot. Hole #17 was moved after tornado damage. You no longer throw along the side of the pond. After finishing #16 and walking on the road, continue another 50 ft on the road past the old trail to #17. The basket is located about 30 ft closer to the parking lot in an open area. Currently the maintenance is excellent.
Basket #18 is back as of nov 19 2011. The course is in beautiful condition.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
A Gem In the Forest
- Put off coming here for 2 years due in part to the 2 initial poor reports/low ratings on this sight. Turns out this is an excellently laid out, challenging, fun course worth the small spend. Liked it so much, went back the next day for 2 more rounds and bought a one year pass.
- Liked the beautiful, natural setting. Enjoyed the challenging holes that made me stop and really plan/strategize my shots/throws/disc selections.
- An excellent mix of lefts, right, helix, narrow, wide, long, short, up, down, into trees, out of trees, obstacles both horizontal and vertical, and one short but a nail biter water crossing. This place is like a combination of every good course I have played and liked in southwestern Ontario.
- Whoever designed the layout should be thanked. It is professional and natural. Couple of ace runs. Lots of birdie runs. Some very difficult holes.
- The signage was simple, professional and sufficient. But you need to take the map below.
- The whole course was groomed clean. Launch-to-tee pathways were mowed.
- The baskets are newish.
- The map online was great. I recommend printing it off and taking it with you on your first trip to avoid wasted time on site. The map they hand out at the gate is poor. See here: http://www.dgcoursereview.com.../db42d684.jpg
- A unique combination of forest and field inside an actual conservation area that is not completely manicured.
- The tees are green grass and forest floor: did not even notice the absence of concrete pads. Had zero problems with foot grip.
- An exceptionally fun place to throw. I highly recommend playing here. The holes are very well marked and the course design is varied and challenging. I have played it 4 times, twice alone and I had no trouble finding any discs except once when I misjudged where one landed and it was actually in plain sight.
- Holy wildlife! I must have seen 12 raptors/hawks and one very large murder of crows, jays, chickadees, kinglets, a downy woodpecker, nuthatches, gulls, ducks, geese and one cottontail rabbit.
Cons: - I do not like paying to play. But come early or on the weekend and you'll likely pay a flat rate of only $8 for the car and driver, with no added fee of $4 per additional person/people in the car.
- Is losing discs a problem here? No. Unless you are complete rookie that hyzers constantly (as we all did). Otherwise mark your disc's landing with specific bushes/shrubs etc. and you're good to go. If you are with a buddy, cut down on search time & help mark each others' discs not just your own.
- Take care on 7. It is longish and downhill so there is a tendency to spray it around a bit. The rough outside the basket is thick. But it is a possible ace so throw with abandon but watch it like a hawk!
- This course is a true conservation area with careful replanting of ancient eastern prairie grasses so the lack of mass clearcut mowing is intentional. As a result, 1, 5, 6, 7 and 9 have potential to lose your discs in taller grasses or small trees. Of these 5 holes 7 is the only true risk of losing a disc. Watch where your discs land and "mark" where they land. If you get lazy and do not carefully spot their landings you will waste a lot of time walking around looking for discs.
- Finding #10: It is a 90 second walk from your car. Remember you have to head back out the same road you came in. As soon as you cross the narrow "bridge" at the entrance to the parking lot, take a sharp right, walk 40 paces and voila.
Other Thoughts: - Not sure if the course was less developed initially ie: when the lads who wrote the 2 earliest/low rating reports were there or if they were just particularly bitter that they lost a few discs. But the place is in top shape, was recently mowed nicely, the signage was excellent and the course was a blast.
- Played only the shorts/ams so I cannot tell you the experience of playing the longs here. They looked very challenging.
- A 1 year pass is $90 and starts from the day you buy it, unlike Bronte which is $140.
- THere is no need to play this course in any order but 1 through 18.
- This course is great. If you want to go somewhere new and want to test your skills then play it. You will not be disappointed.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A fresh review...
Pros: Good Baskets (Innova).
-Good use of moderate elevation changes.
-Good mix of hole lengths.
-Good mix of open vs. tight technical holes.
-Low golfer traffic.
-One hole directly over water hazard (17).
-Tons of wildlife.
-Good flow on each 9 (but with a walk between them).
-Two tees for each hole: the shorts are pretty short, the longs are challenging.
-Many birdie opportunities if you have good luck on your drives, a few legit ace runs.
-Great layout. This course is in a great spot, and the park is happy to have disc golf here. I think the best part of the course is how isolated you feel while you're playing. I only saw about two people within the course on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the fall. It was perfectly quiet. You play in and out of a mixed forest, where the tight holes are fairly tight, and the open ones are wide open. I can see how it can be tempting to really try and blast the open holes, but I think that is where you'll risk losing a disc.
Cons: $8 per car entry (including driver) + $4 per person up to $20 max.
-Natural tees, most of them trampled grass.
-There are a few spots where it is possible to lose a disc if you're not watching.
-Long grasses on some fairways (1, 6, 9).
-Unforgiving rough: you will have to plan your shots at times. I played fairly conservatively when I felt I had to, but still managed 7 birds from the shorts my first time through.
-#10 can be tricky to find the first round: When you get back to the parking lot, go back to the road from where you came in, take the bridge over the river/lake, keep going, then look up to the right. You'll see it. It's a bit of a walk. (2mins) ...or bring a map.
-Some of the holes kind of play on top of each other (12,13, 14): you *could* mistake the 12 basket for the 14 because you can see it from the 14th tee. (Otherwise a good layout)
-The washrooms aren't close.
Other Thoughts: For nearly a year and a half, these two old reviews scared me away from this course.
I was missing out!
I really enjoyed this course. I can see their point of view however. Only; I'm not sure if either the course has been updated since these boys played it, or if they were expecting something else.
This course was put in a beautiful conservation area, and they are trying to keep the environmental and ecological impact as low as possible. So they aren't going to cut the grasses weekly, nor should they.
In fact, they really don't need to for disc golf here. The grasses are only an issue on a few of the holes as most are within the forest. There are very wide cut and maintained pathways that lead you through the course, and would have taken a great deal of labour to cut out. These make the course possible in a fairly tight Carolinian forest. They run throughout the front 9, and through most of the back 9. The open fields however, are fairly long grass, with a maintained area around the tees and baskets. There are a ton of mice, rabbits, fox, chipmunks, groundhogs, etc. living in the grasses and surrounding brush, which is awesome, and why you'll see so many hawks soaring above you, and apparently its a haven for owls. I even heard a rattle snake, and saw a few garters. I thought it was spectacular.
Anyway, for these holes, consider the grass a "water" hazard. If you're throwing from the longs, and don't think you can make it over... well, adjust your game-plan. You will have to be accurate to stay on the fairways. Errant discs could be tricky to spot, but not impossible. I played in mid-October and didn't have a problem.
A few thoughts: keep your eye on where your disc lands, even in some of the easier-looking holes, regardless of whether or not you thought it was a "good shot" or would be "easy to find". The grasses can eat your disc, and it will be tricky to see. Don't get lazy on that one.
Don't throw extra discs.
Play conservatively. If you stay on the fairway, you really shouldn't have any trouble at all. Don't just blast her all "willy-nilly" expecting it to be sitting atop some Kentucky blue.
I played two full rounds here my first time on the course, the second round was very efficient, and I didn't lose any discs. I did spend a bit of time looking a few times, but that was mostly due to carelessness when watching my drives fall. Do landmark your discs and have fun here. I would reccomend this course to advanced players.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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