Some fun lines
9 Helpful / 2 Not
Set in a state park along a windy road, this is a pretty fun course. Nearly every hole has a tee protected by trees somewhere along the way, which isn't unusual, but this course forces you to throw over, under, and around…sometimes on the same hole.
The first half of the course features decent elevation changes and some pretty fun shots. The trees are the leafy variety, and the gaps to the hole felt different than most courses I've played. The second half of the course flattens out but has you throwing among the wide-bodied firs that make so many Oregon courses fun. The lanes are there, but a bad shank will leave you with some awkward approaches.
Holes mostly range from 250 to over 350 feet. The shorter holes are not necessarily ace runs (some are very tough birdies), but there are several aceable holes.
Tee pads are all concrete, and every hole has two positions. There is very little undergrowth in the fir sections, and hole 18 is the only one with much of a chance for a lost disc (if you shank it off the left into the ravine).
The wooden bridges leading over the shallow creeks on the front half provide some nice character.
I think navigation here isn't too bad (I was led around by a friend who lives in the area, so it's tough to say). However, many of the pin positions are not visible from the tee. If it's your first time, you'll spend a good deal of time walking most of the fairway to find the basket. Unfortunately the tee signs aren't helpful since they show only one position.
There are no alternate tees.
There were significantly more shots favoring RHBH players than not.
Other Thoughts: This is a course best played multiple times. If you have time for more than one round, you'll definitely enjoy your time. If you're in a hurry or only have time for one round, you may get a little frustrated. This is definitely a course I could see playing a lot if I were local, figuring out the best lines and the unique ways to get to the hole.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
2nd Half Player
Pros: -The 2nd half of holes down in the woods play very smoothly and are tournament quality.
-The signature water shot on hole 2 is excellent. It is just large enough of a pond to make you 2nd guess yourself, but simple enough that you should be able to nail it first try if you are focused on your throw.
-Playing through a State Park, this course runs through beautiful greenery, 150+foot trees, and many small creeks.
-Tight fairways that force you to throw with your best accuracy.
Cons: -The first phase of holes in the open (other than the water shot) are lackadaisical and deliver minimal challenge.
- For a pay-to-play course (State Park) I was expecting a 4+ star experience, but that expectation fell just a bit short.
- Not really a true con for a seasoned player, but the cliff on one side of the fairways down in the woods for a beginner can be treacherous.
Other Thoughts: Dabney State Park has the feel of a superb home course, rather than a destination course. If you are in the area it is definitely worth a stop-in, but i wouldn't go more than 30 miles or so if this was your sole destination for the day. The signature water hazard on Hole 2 is memorable. I had a frog jump over my disc upon picking up my drive! Dabney isn't as great as other State Park courses, but it isn't a complete disappointment either and is worth a round or two at some point.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Challenging but not abusive
Pros: First off, the course has a good mix of tight, technical holes and open holes. The open holes still play into tress, up or down hills, or turn corners, but there is breathing room that adds a lot of forgiveness to these holes. The grass was well trimmed and I didn't find myself hunting for a disc once (though I could see where I could lose a few). The designers made the best use of elevation possible, and there is even a water hazard early on in the course. The back side of the course really tightens up and adds some slightly needed challenge to. This area is even prettier than the rest, and plays through old cedar(?) trees.
Cons: No dogs, really???? I didn't have mine, but this will be a deal breaker in the future.
Stinging nettles suck, but I can't fault the course for that.
Some holes on the back side of the course border on poke-n-hope, and I agree with one of the previous posts that there are a few redundant holes.
Other Thoughts: I found myself really liking this course and the level of difficulty seemed just right for myself. The terrain was appealing and well used, and it is right off the highway going to and from Portland While there are few faults to be found in this course, the course played short and didn't have as many brilliantly designed or stunningly beautiful holes as many of the area's other courses. It is worth the stop and the $5 admittance (not a con in my book for any park course) and I can't wait to play it again.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Really good variety of shots required, everything from wide open shots to the heavily wooded holes. The water hole (#2) is not for the faint of heart; i've had to get my feet wet in that thing before. Beautiful location near the river in a well maintained park.
Cons: Some of the teeboxes are too close to adjacent fairways and on some holes you must walk back down the fairway to get to the next tee box; if the course is crowded (which it rarely is(, then there might be the chance of getting ht with a disc.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area, play this course. It's no Milo McIver or Horning's Hideout, but a good course and remote natural setting make it worth the trip.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Tight, Tehnical and Challenging.
Pros: Great baskets all in great condition.
Concrete teepads of uniform size and length.
Is a dedicated disc golf course so there's minimal foot traffic in the area, no hikers, picnickers, walkers or bikers here.
Creative and varied hole placement. Both lefty's and righty's, forhanders and backhanders will have to use every shot in their arsenal. Anny's, hyzers all of it.
Multiple Pin locations they change throughout the year.
Signs at every hole that show you the current pin location, as well as footage and par.
Benches and trash cans at every hole so litter in minimal.
For such a large park they keep it in very good shape all the fairways are clean and manicured the best they could be, no overgrowth here.
Friendly locals, not to mention it's a popular place people start floating down there river from, so during the summer months expect lots of bikini clad girls ;)
Plays very fast for an 18, my group of 3 finished our first round here in a little less than an hour.
Most importantly every hole on this course is birdie-able and ace-able, which is an awesome ego boost.
Cons: $5 for parking, but I saw multiple groups park on the highway near by and just walk.
The back 9 are tight and technical however there are a couple holes that share the same narrow fairway that feels slightly redundant.
Very short. Only 3 holes longer than 300' and only one 400 footer. Save for those 4 holes this is pretty much a pitch and putt course, with most holes reachable by a mid or putter.
Stinging Nettles EVERYWHERE! Anytime you throw your disc into some brush expect to feel the nettles they are literally everywhere here.
Some really easy yet stupid places to lose a disc, The last few holes you follow a ravine that eats discs like the cookie monster eats cookies.
Drainage is poor. Some really mucky spots with poor drainage, so expect to get your shoes dirty, and bring a towel to clean your discs.
Other Thoughts: Overall this a very good course. It is spectacularly overrated not only on here by reviewers but also by most Portland area DG'ers.
It's fun, unique and well kept however I generally felt unchallenged by it's length, and was disappointed that nearly every hole in the back 9 is just a 250' tunnel shot.
If you live in the Portland area this is still a must visit, it's a fun course to play, and would probably be my home course if I didn't live 40minutes away.
In terms of difficulty if you're looking for more of a challenge try Pier Park, but if you're looking for a course that's easy on the scorecard and allows you to get pretty. Come play Dabney.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Dabney State Park
Pros: Variety of holes - Dabney State Park is a very versatile park and will stay fresh over the long haul for most skill levels. The front nine of this course uses bush, tree, water and dog leg obstacles to make it challenging and even has a couple of holes (holes three and ten) that are big, long and open 400+ foot throws to round out the rest of the park. The back nine or bottom eight after hole ten as you walk down into a little valley are much more wooded and shorter. This part of the course is going to be more suited to entry level players with the exception of hole 16 which is a brutal 300 feet of scattered trees along the way and feels more like 500 feet. This bottom portion of the course will challenge your upshot and shot placement game pretty well.
Challenge - This is a course most suited to players in the 850-950 PDGA rating level and thus offers challenge to a wide range of golfers. Because of the different ways the course challenges you this is a course you could play all of the time and make your overall game better in no time.
Course essentials - The baskets are all in really nice shape and do a great job of catching. Tee pads are all concrete and the tee signs have great illustrations of where to throw to which is important with some blind basket locations. Navigation isn't too hard as long as you bring a course map with you while playing, that will make it easier.
Cons: Holes 14, 15, 16, and 17 play right along a drop off to the left and if your disc goes in here very far it is probably gone forever as this area is EXTREMELY brushy! This is fairly easy to do especially for a RHBH player to have their disc hyzer just a bit more than intended. There are singing nettles on a lot of the course when you get off the fairway. There needs to be some signage from holes 6 to 7 and from holes 10 to 11, I believe without the course map these would of been hard to navigate.
Other Thoughts: Some of my fellow reviewers have spoke of the friendly locals and not being from the area myself we got in to lots of conversations with the other park users and disc golfers while we were there so I would agree that the locals all seem very nice. This is not a champion level course or anything too fancy but this is a all around solid place to play and practice and improve your game. I recommend playing here if you are anywhere in the area.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Sweet Little Course
Pros: Design 3
* The land was used really well to produce unique, interesting holes. There are some cramped holes, especially on the back 8, but the holes are short enough, and there are enough trees to handle most wayward shots.
* The front ten has great variety. Open, scattered trees, low tunnels, even a water hazard (which doesn't seem to be all that common in Oregon). The back eight has much more subtle variety, but all are wooded and pretty short. There is a good spread of left, rights, and straights. And there are alt. pin positions which dramatically change some holes (see hole 13). There is a lack in hole length variety, only 4 holes are 300ft or more.
* There are no real grueling holes, most are in the 200-300 ft range, and rely more on accuracy than power. That being said, errant shots will be punished. The rough is thorny, stingy, and buggy. If you can throw your mids/putters 250 ft, with accuracy, you should shoot under par.
*The course flows well. Next tees are pretty intuitive, and the hole variety is dispersed nicely through the course. There are a couple of kind of whacky walk outs that are almost back tracking on the back 8, but its not too bad.
*Nice, big concrete tees.
* Nice Mach V baskets, all seem to be in good condition and all have a hole number.
* There are no massive vistas, but the park itself is pretty, and on the back 8 you feel like you're walking through the forest.
Elevation, water, terrain, etc 3
* There is one water hole (a couple more have some creeks, but they really don't come into play too much.) There is some slight elevation on the front, but nothing too big. The back 9, except 18 and one of 13's pin position, is flat; the only time you deal with elevation is if you have an errant throw down into the ravine.
Signature holes 3
* If I had to pick one, I might say number 2 (a shorter hole over water) or number 8 (a sweeping dogleg right, to a protected pin that's in the vicinity of the creek). In all honesty though, there's no real "wow" hole here.
* The front doesn't punish nearly as bad as the back, except for the water hole. That isn't to say you can't get in trouble. All of the front is at least bordered by trees and rough and the wind really comes into play here. The back is much tighter, and there is a decent sized ravine bordering the left hand side of holes 14-17 which does wonders for the "pucker" factor. Go down here and the best case scenario is finding your disc after getting stung sufficiently by the stinging nettle, now you have a steep uphill shot to a fairway or basket that is usually guarded with trees.
Amenities, signs, garbage cans, etc 2 (out of 2.5)
* There are bathrooms somewhere in the park, signs at every hole that give a hole layout and distance, and garbage cans and benches at a number of tees.
Ease of play for someone unfamiliar to the course 2 (out of 2.5)
* The course is small enough that next tee is never too far off. Plus there are usually enough players to just follow along. One tricky spot is the walk out from 10 to 11. There's a road behind 10's basket, walk out to it and follow it downhill, 11 is off to the left at the bottom
*Short. Not necessarily a con, but if you're expecting to fire the cannon, head to Milo or Pier.
*Crowds. Usually not horrible, and if it is, most people are really cool about letting you join up or play through. I've met nothing but cool people out here, but if you like to be alone, this might not be the course for you.
*Stinging or pricking plants. The rough is full of it, so avoid at all costs.
*Mud and puddles. NEWSFLASH: Oregon winters and springs are wet….. But there are some areas of the course that stay muddy long after the rain stops.
Dabney is a really fun, challenging course that can be appealing to a wide range of players. For newer players, the holes are short enough that par is within the realm of possibility. For more advanced players, the holes are technical enough that birdies are not a given. The variety keeps it interesting, and forces you to use multiple shots throughout a round.
While it may not be a giant, this is still a fun course that is worth checking out.
Total Score= 36.5/55 = .66 = 3.5/5 discs
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: it's a very well kept course, easy to navegate. hole signs accurate, they even have a lost disc return box. beautiful course with apple trees for mid course snacking
Cons: lots of places to lose plastic, daily parking fee, some holes have sink holes that retain water
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging course with good hole variety, longer and shorter holes, doglegs left and right, tight holes and a few wide open shots.
Tee signs and maps before hole 1. (A rarity it seems around here.)
Good tee pads and baskets.
Hole 2 offers a rare over water shot.
Weekly league through the summer.
Course has a nice overall setting when the weather holds up.
Other courses not too far away allow for a good day of disc golfing.
Cons: Element of luck is very present, course can be very fickle.
As mentioned course can get overgrown and the park itself is not in the best shape.
Tweakers have been known to break into cars (don't leave any valuables)
Some might find the lack of longer drives a minus factor.
Other Thoughts: On the whole Dabney is a very nice course, some of the smaller factors can take away from the overall impression but the course itself is well designed, it challenges pretty much all ability levels and gives those with less distance a fighting chance. It's also one of the closest 18 hole courses to many in Portland. If you live somewhere in the metro area definitely play Dabney, if you're in Portland for a few days come check it out, but after you play Pier park Milo Mciver and maybe even Trojan once they put the new tee pads in.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
They Don't Call It Grab-Me For No Reason!
Pros: The course has a nice physical setting to work with including water to challenge, deep, deep gorges, lovely NW forrests, big open air throws and elevation changes. It's well marked with excellent tees signs and has nice benches everywhere. I especially like the #2 hole where you have the choice to throw over the pond (not that far) or you can play safe and go around. A deuce is the reward, probably a lost disc is the penalty unless you brought snorkling gear..
Cons: I don't really like courses where there is too great a risk of losing discs, I'm sorry, I grow too attached to my favorites. And at Dabney there are a couple of holes where if your disc sails wide left, it's lost into the deepest, darkest, most meanacing thorny-ass, filled gorge and there's no need to even bother looking. And the worse news, your best option might be to tee it up again! Some players thrive on that pressure.
Other Thoughts: The locals have nicknamed the course "Grab-Me" because this course tends to grab your disc, never to be seen again. In spite of this, it's lovely! it's worth the trip, it's challenging! Just bring extra plastic!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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