6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course was where I first played golf with "true" discs starting fall of 2002 [though I first played Frisbee golf in '79 at USM], so I have great affection for it.
Its matured beautifully in the 13 years I've known it. Gone are the impenetrable walls of blackberries that stole many a disc from hole #4 on. Hole #s 1-7 cross or parallel a creek and small pond, with much elevation variation, while traversing nicely manicured fairways through the second growth oaks, pears and apples that are overwhelming an historic orchard.
At #8 you'll enter the forest and the lines get woodedly tighter among the alders, though at # 11 you'll return to the field for one last airing before you enter the Douglas fir forest on the next plateau down.
#s 12-18 have little elevation change[unless #14 is in the upper position], but you'll be too busy shaping lines through small sections of fairway and the maze of trunks to think you're being cheated by the flatness of terrain. 30-40 ft below the immediate left of #s 15-18 is a soggy, openly-treed riverbottom that will really get the score meter ticking if you go exploring.
An incredible variety of shots are required here-you need BH, FH, anhyzer, straight, and among the trees, sometimes a prayer.
The tees, baskets and upkeep are excellent, and the links are a dedicated 40 acres separate from other human intervention. Benches at every hole and trashcans at most holes. The course begins to get crowded when the weather improves, starts to stay daylight till 7 pm or later, or summer arrives.
Cons: About 3/4 of the baskets are hidden from the tee, so a local, scout or map is handy.
#2 has the road to the lower parking pretty much as the right half of the fairway. Fortunately this end of the park is all DG traffic, so cars pass only sporadically.
If its a wet winter, it will be soggy and/or muddy on a number of the holes, notably #s 1, 2, 5-8, and 13.
Discs are easily recoverable from the creek, but the pond is quickly over your head on the west and north, 2 ft. of mud on the east, and becoming solid ground on the south.
Other Thoughts: $5 per car, so carpool, use a yearly park pass or hunt for parking nearby outside the park[a lot of this has been eliminated, thanks to the ODOT] #1 is near the practice basket next to the upper parking lot. Bathrooms are in the lower lot and the boat ramp area, which also has the only functional water faucet. A decent local store is 1 mile east on the road, where yearly or daily passes are available. Great full-day loops exist with Dabney, Timber and Milo McIver; or Dabney, Rooster Rock, Locks Approach and North Bonneville. .
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Decent challenge, but short hole length
Pros: Concrete tee pads. High quality baskets. The variation in terrain was solid, with open shots as well as wooded, and one hole across a pond. There isn't a ton of elevation change, but the land is used creatively and there aren't many easy birdies on the course. The fact that you're playing in a multi-use park but are separated from all other activities is priceless. I love how much more technical some of the holes are than you might expect. It might kill your score, but when you get a lucky shot (which is what it takes on holes like 6 in the alternate position) it completely makes your day.
Cons: Pay to play. The signs were clearly outdated, with many of the pins in "alternate" position with the signs only showing one possible shot. Adding an arrow in Sharpie doesn't count. The basket for hole number 9 was missing completely. The signs on the tees that seemed to be accurate on where the pin was seemed to be off in relation to the distances.
**UPDATE** The missing basket from hole 9 was replaced, and a new hole 1 was put in so they could remove 18. I thought this was a good idea, because the old 18 was kind of a joke. The signage needs to be updated even more now, as there are alternate pin placements that aren't shown and every hole is the number on the sign plus one. I also have to point out that about 90% of the teepads have trash cans beside them, yet there was trash everywhere on the course. Show some respect.
Other Thoughts: I played this course in September, so nothing was overgrown. I did run into one group who was searching for a disc, but other than that this course seemed pretty easy in that regard. I hear that springtime is a monster though. There was a decent amount of challenge due to trees, but compared to many courses that I've played this is pretty easy. I just didn't see enough of a challenge to justify the $5 parking fee, but would absolutely recommend this course to any discer living in the area. I would recommend it to any visitor too, but don't walk away feeling like your money was well spent compared to Pier Park or most of the (all free) 18 hole courses in the Seattle area.
If you find or lose a disc, stay away from the "lost disc" lockbox. The padlock is missing, so it is being used as a trashcan. If you find a disc, call the number on it and do your best to return it. If you can't return it, I'm sure Next Adventure or the Disc Golf Depot will help the original owner to get it back.
**UPDATE** They finally put a lock on the "found discs" box, but I'm sure it's still full of trash.
4 of 6 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.
2 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Good course. Varied play. Trees and water hazards kept things interesting. Traffic was light.
Cons: Very muddy grounds. Holes weren't always marked well, and could be hard to find.
Other Thoughts: Nice course to play on the weekend, easy drive to get to.
2 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Sink or Swim
Pros: Awesome Course. All together extremely fun... Water hazard on 2 can be intimidating but if you want to swim, just throw your disc in... I did and came up with three more...
Cons: Some mud but not much and there was quite a bit of garbage.
Other Thoughts: Great Course to take the family to for a picnic and some golf...
1 of 8 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.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Arrive Early on Hot Days
Pros: The course has had park staff cutting grass and trimming bushes to the course is in good shape. If you like blackberries the bushes are full on ripe berries for a snack along the way! The baskets were recently moved so if you play this course you might want to take a second look for the baskets before shooting.
Cons: On hot days during the weekend you will want to arrive at this park prior to 1130 am because this park is popular with river use users. Parking will run out by noon.
Other Thoughts: On hot days take water with you on this course because a drinkable water source is difficult to find at this park.
4 of 6 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.
10 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: -Dedicated disc golf zone. Zero pedestrian traffic to contend with.
-Stellar variety of holes. Up, down, left, right, straight, wooded, open, long, short...this course will test every part of your game. Balanced golfers will thrive in this environment.
-Very friendly locals. We played a round with some newer guys who were more than happy to discuss local, hidden lines and course history. Met another group who presented themselves as genuinely disappointed we had to go and couldn't share a round with them. I would have spent all day shooting golf and BSing here. Thanks for making an out-of-towner feel welcomed.
-Grippy, large concrete tees
-Excellent (amended/current) tee signs
-Super clean with plenty of trash receptacles
-Benches at virtually every tee
Cons: -Pay to play ($5/car)
-No dogs allowed
-Some pretty nasty flora. Stinging nettle galore and (my guess is) quite a bit of poison ivy lurking in the underbrush. Be careful when retrieving plastic inadvertently cast down the ravine to the left of the last few holes.
-I didn't see any restrooms along the links, though I'm pretty sure there were some near the parking area.
Other Thoughts: Super sweet course. One of the best primarily tight and technical courses I've played. Many little clues indicating this course is well loved and maintained. Sharpied in lines to new pin placements on tee signs, one memorable large, raised dirt box with a tee on it to give the hole a few more feet of distance and a cleaner line (the hill it is aimed at is still very present, but the grade of the ascent is far less radical), zero trash or debris, and guard walls to prevent some shots from skipping down the hill on a couple of the last holes are all extremely good markers that people take care of this course. Good work, guys.:)
The lake shot (hole #2) and the downhill, light dogleg to the left (hole #5), along with all of the later tight holes that run along the ravine are the shots I dream about. One of the best lots a course a designer can ask for.
I can't say enough about this course. It is a MUST-PLAY if you live or are traveling through the Portland area.
10 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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