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.
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.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Nice drive, nice course
Pros: Pro's this course is for the pro's. Dabney is nice and well maintained. Water, hills and fields.
Cons: Water hole is deep and will eat discs...
Other Thoughts: This is a cool course that has not only technical shots but some long ones to. Good course and lots around it Rooster Rock and Benson and your tired.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
All Time Favorites
Pros: Trees!!! Very challenging course. I Like the mixture of holes where one can rip it from the tee, and holes that require precise drives. This is an excellent course to hone one's skills. Has a good balance of backhand and forehand holes. Beautiful place. Course designers did a fine job of placing the holes without altering nature. Great place to find unmarked discs during winter.
Cons: None course wise. Gets crowded, and slow. Lots of large groups. If caught behind any group with beginners, intoxicated players, or people who are just unfamiliar to the course you can get stuck waiting forever. But the spacing between holes 10 & 11 makes it easy to jump in on the back 8 instead of starting from hole 1.
Other Thoughts: Like I mentioned earlier this is a great place to learn disc control. This course forced me to learn many shots that just are not needed at those lame, open courses with less trees. Ride your bike from the MAX in Gresham, great scenic ride, good exercise, and avoid day-use fees!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Str8 & Arrow
Pros: You are going to love playing this course. It requires accuracy on nearly every hole because mature trees are in play. If you hit the gap then it's a birdie, but if you hit a tree it could be double bogey. High risk, high reward as it should be.There did not seem to be many other people in the area besides players. The front 10 are more open and play differently than the back 8. You must utilize different skills throughout the course. You can get a birdie on several holes but only with a perfect shot. There are multiple pin positions, but I seem to always play when the course is toughest. Great signs for navigation.
Cons: Thorns and brush. In the summer, the rough consists of unmitigated plant growth with swampy conditions. Very easy to lose a disc with the right ricochet. The thorns make searching for discs very hazardous. Not a lot of ace opportunities. One tee box per hole. You need a spotter as several holes are blind. A map is necessary for your first time.
Other Thoughts: Blackberries! I ran this course with my friend and we asked to play through a group of 2 on 18. They looked at us like we were crazy and said no. They both missed their putts. Karma. We birdied and bolted over to Rooster Rock. The course is just outside of Portland, but the drive along the river is great.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Hm, tough for a beginner
Pros: Great walk through the course with very few people. It's off the road enough to be quiet and you can listen to the birds do their thing. The course has varying elevations and tight turns to navigate. It's one of the few courses in this area that incorporates a water hazard.
Cons: Certainly an element of luck if one throws well. Awful if you do not bring a map with you. Most baskets are not visible from the pads and if you don't know where you are going you will be throwing blind. Very overgrown in areas and some baskets are placed behind tree groves.
Other Thoughts: Don't throw it into the pond on hole #2. I attempted to go in to get a disc someone threw in there and it's not possible. It looks benign...only about 2-3 feet deep, but there is another foot of sludge that will cement you in the second you put weight on your first submerged foot. I don't recommend taking that second step :)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Of all the courses in Portland... Dabney keeps me coming back
Pros: Great mix of holes, an insane amount of variety, and plenty of alternate placings to keep it even fresher,
Its beautiful out there as well. Almost every hole has a garbage can AND recycling bin, which is essential since its a state park and therefore legal to have an open container.
BBQ spots, river access, boat access and a practice basket!
Awesome tee pads and baskets, good signs with frequent sharpie updates on target placements.
Disc drop for lost discs, with a list of lost ones and a contact e-mail. (ive heard it actually works!)
Cons: Booty when it comes to blackberry/thistle combo plants. If you cant throw in control, bring pants and long sleeves or write your number all over your disc.
Can get soggy.
Other Thoughts: Over all, when I sit down and think of where to play, Dabney always seems to win. its got everything you could want.
Just be aware of how god awful looking for discs can be there,
A good tomahawk can make or brake this course, with lots of shots on target that need to go around obstacles, or over trees.
People rip on all the trees and obstacles, but i think it just goes to improve your game. I learned to play on this course, and now when i play it with folks who normally crush on their drives, i can actually stay even with them because the course has forced me to develop my throws. If you can figure out how to get your disc to turn and fade when you want it to, you can realllly thread the needle on some of these holes. it is very satisfying to see your disc make it through an absurdly dense stand of trees because you got your accuracy perfect, and then have one of your pro rated friends get a double bogie because they are too used to open drives.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The best parts of this course are the tee pads, parking and some of the hole maps.
Cons: As many of the reviewers below establish, this course has a lot of TREES which lowers the skill involved in your drives and approaches. Many holes there are no way to go except through full forests of trees. When I first played this course I though hole two would be the only real hazard. Not the case. Be CAREFUL on holes: 8, 14, 15 & 17. These holes for the inexperienced RBHT can be a problem. I lost a disc on 8 to the left of the tee. Thats a complete abyss of overgrowth.
Additionally, most of the hole signs are currently outdated. Thus some players have resorted to amending the maps themselves, buts not always that accurate.
Other Thoughts: This course has so much potential. To bad the layout contains many holes of dense trees. If you're in Portland, Pier Park is far better.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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