welcome to the great wide open
Pros: -design makes use of the nice rolling hills
-long and short tees on each hole
-good signage to help navigate the course, many 'next tee' signs
-a good complement to the other course in town, at Cameron University
-the shorts are still longer than the Cameron U course
-park is clean and mowed
-plenty of parking
-2 course maps, 1 at the start and one at the intersection of holes 9, 10, and 12
Cons: -mostly wide open, distance and OB/mandos are the challenge, no forced lines
-i didn't care much for the mandos, especially hole 7
-natural tees are okay, lots of uneven ground in the fairways, watch for prairie dog holes
-lots of long walks between holes
-many pedestrian paths in play throughout the course
-playground and pavilion in play on hole 14
Other Thoughts: The course at Elmer Thomas park is mostly open and big distance is the primary challenge. The design makes pretty good use of the few trees available and very good use of the rolling hills throughout the park. The short tees are much more accessible for the beginner or rec level player.
I especially liked holes 9-11. Hole 9 has a valley-like fairway with some nice trees, hole 10 is a fun downhill shot, and 11 plays over rolling hills with the lake possibly in play off to the right. The water was pretty low in the current drought conditions so the level had receded out of play. The area from holes 4-5 and 8-12 feature the most elevation changes and include the most interesting holes. The dual tees make the course appealing to a wide range of golfers. The park seems clean and well maintained; the grass was mowed. Navigation is easy with all the signs but there are some long walks between holes. Wind will be a constant factor.
Unfortunately the course plays alongside pedestrian paths almost the entire way through the layout. The park looks like it gets heavy traffic so you will probably have to wait on some holes.
Overall, this course makes good use of the land even though it is a bit repetitive and open. Makes a great complement to the much shorter course in Lawton at Cameron University. I agree with a previous reviewer's comment that Elmer Thomas is like a better designed and maintained version of Woodson Park in OKC.
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Tough score, not much fun
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: From the long tee pads you get to throw as hard as you can on most holes making for some huge bombs and fun shots.
The short pads run around 285-300 average so it can still be a challenge especially in the wind.
Wind is almost always gusting here as there is no elevation and few trees on the course, makes for a good place to practice for big open courses.
Cons: -Dirt pads
-Single chain spitters
-Not many obstacles or obstructed lines
-Walking/running path runs through course
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Open and Windy.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is very open, and the only places that will test shot placement are the 3 different mandos, only 2 of which are applicable from the red tees, and a tree on hole #9. Wind is always a factor to bump up difficulty, but if you know how to work it you won't have problems. There are some benches to stop and catch a rest on, and there are trash cans to keep it clean. Signage is great for navigational help, and there are restrooms available. I have fun when I go there, although my scores are not very good because I can't throw for any distance. If you need to practice in the wind, then this course will allow you all of it you want.
Cons: The yellow tees are signed and easy to find, but they are really long for many players, and from them par is 55. The red tees are shorter and par is 60. The yellow tee box at 13 has been shortened to approximately 460', but the signage doesn't reflect this. More obstacles could be used, although elevation changes are there. There could also be big improvements made with better tee boxes, and new baskets. Make sure to put your putts in the middle of the chains, and don't force them to hard or you will cut through. There are some long walks from basket to tee, e.g. #10 to #11, and #12 to #13.
Other Thoughts: This course is in a nice park, and it is fun to play. I wouldn't make a special trip to Lawton to play this course, but I would come to play both courses. You can get some more technical shots at the Cameron Universtiy course, and then come to Elmer Thomas to stretch out for some D with about a 10 minute drive between the two courses. Come on down to Lawton, and see what we have to offer.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is very open and most holes are easily navigated. The course has 2 large course layout boards (1 on each side of the park) to figure out where you are on the course. The holes are very open and long with the intermediate tees giving you ample opportunities at birdies (I scored -7 for the course on my first try). So as a first time it is very enjoyable from the short tees. Each hole has a sign at the yellow tee with distance and hole layout. The course is a round-a-bout around the park that ends back where you started. THE MOST ENJOYABLE PART OF THE PARK ARE THE PRAIRIE DOGS!!! There can be at least 6 prairie dogs around certain baskets; they are everywhere and are very cool to those who have never seen one as quite a few will let walk up very close to them. Overall, the course and park are very fun. Great park as well.
Cons: The tees haven't any concrete pads and the ground is very uneven from where you are throwing. Sometimes the red tees are difficult to see (didn't find one of them and played from the yellow). The baskets are pretty worn down and there aren't many chains on the baskets, which will spit out some good shots/putts if not hit in the middle (one of mine went in and out). As said by a previous review, the yellow tees are fine except for the fact that they are long with only one hole a par 4 (rest are 3s). This definitely makes the pro tees extremely difficult to shoot under par (not fun).
Side note: It may be pretty enjoyable to more advanced players by playing the pro tees while using the red tees' par for each hole and the whole course.
Example: some holes have red tees playing par 4 while the yellow are par 3, so you would throw the hole from the yellow but play it as if it were a par 4.
Other Thoughts: very enjoyable park and course overall. kids can play here and you can jog or ride bike around. if you are around this area, play this course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Prarie Dogs and a Lakeview
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The park has a variety of shots and good elevation changes. Much of this large park is utilized so there are hilly holes, grassy holes, holes near the road, holes that are isolated away from everyone else in the park.
Local players are very helpful. Many of the players from Lawton also have a good knowledge of other Oklahoma course and those in north Texas, so these players are an invaluable resource for a new player or a player new to the area.
The course has two maps on the course and the tees are laid out pretty clearly. The signage is excellent and when the next tee is several hundred feet away (hole 13,17,18) there are signs pointing disc golfers in the right direction
Cons: No concrete tee pads. The red amateur pads (a wooden board) are difficult to see since the paint id chipping/fading and the red color is often hard to see in the dirt.
The terrain can be uneven and footing is sometimes tricky. Additionally, prarie dog holes are a concern on the majority of holes, though the prarie dogs themselves are actually a very cool plus, not a bother at all.
Joggers/walkers sometimes interrupt shot, especially on holes 2, 3, 5, 13, and 15.
Other Thoughts: This is the course I've played the most and I like it. For newer players, it is challenging. A lack of trees is difficult for experienced players (including soldiers from Ft. Sill) to get used to if they've played more wooded courses, but the course is interesting still.
The course is long, even from the amateur tees, and it's a good course to learn how to throw your discs (by just airing them out). I imagine that big arms absolutely love this course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Nice layout and flow
Cons: Natural tee pads are pretty uneven, baskets are old with only a single set of chains, very easy for a disc to pass thru chains when putting.
Other Thoughts: Course could be something special with new baskets as well as poured tee pads. Dual tee locations make for a great change to the same hole.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Enjoyable Change of Pace
Pros: Excellent signage, good flow, very good use of elevation, nice scenery, and well maintained. No real penalty for righty vs. lefty. Good length on several holes from the Yellow tees. Big arms would enjoy this course.
Lots of prairie dogs to watch, especially on the first half-dozen holes.
Cons: A walking path and bike trail weaves in and around the course. A pavilion is in play on one hole (#14) and a new baseball complex under construction impacts #13.
One blind hole (#11) and not a ton of trees.
A few of the baskets could use some maintenance but they aren't un-usable by any stretch and are still easy to see. Nicer baskets and concrete tee pads would bump this up half a disc in my eyes though.
Prairie dogs live throughout the course and if you don't watch your step, you can stumble on a hole.
Play along Ferris Avenue on a couple of holes might be an issue for some righties or LHFH, but generally throwing away from road.
Other Thoughts: Course maps on Hole #1 and Hole #10 for convenience. Am and Pro tee boxes with single pin placement. Course is well laid out and doesn't get congested or cross over. Mostly open and wind WILL be a factor as this is Oklahoma.
Practice baskets by the museum located west of the first tee are a nice touch.
Some people might complain about the natural tees, but it's not an issue in my book as they are all level and usable.
It's obvious that a lot of thought was put into this course and it's a shame it's located in BFE Lawton. That's about a hour and a half down a toll road from OKC. It feels like a better designed/maintained version of Woodson Park in OKC. Ft. Sill is located in Lawton so any Army/military personnel should enjoy this course. I'd like to play a tournament in this park as it would be a nice contrast to some of the courses in the OKC area.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Nice open course with lots of shot varitey. Long and short holes. Easy to follow. Just grip it a rip it!
Cons: The baskets are getting old. Not very technical.
Other Thoughts: Nice course and easy to navigate through. Plays in a nice park in Lawton. I didn't think there was anything nice in Lawton, but this course surprised me. Watch out for the praire dogs.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Long and open lakeside course
Pros: Good use of available park land and trees. Mostly open and very long (from long tees NO holes under 300', but there are a set of marked short tees). More than a couple holes over 500 feet. Extremely well marked, featuring not one but TWO giant color maps and all tee signs have much information, including next tee markers and well marked teeing areas. Well maintained, clean, ample parking, porta-johns throughout.
Cons: The distance is often just so that even a big-arm can't really do anything but bomb one out there and then have an upshot or LONG putt. Makes for boring/zero score variation on a calm day. Over-use of mandos. 3 holes tee too close to the road, could hit a car on grip-lock shot. Lake not used at all. The dirt/grass tees will not last long, when wet several of them were so slippery due to clay it was hard to even plant on them, it needs to become cement soon because this will only get worse over time.
Other Thoughts: Fun, strategic long course in nice park. Doesn't provide many technical challenges but enough to make it less than boring. Good use of old baskets from a lost course (I assume because they are Mach-1's and this course is BRAND NEW but the other courses listed for Lawton, OK no longer exist that they just re-used the old baskets).
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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