6 Helpful / 1 Not
Shawshank, Huntsville Texas
Pros: Well maintained, well established, well designed. Dogs allowed
Cons: Pay to play. No restrooms
Other Thoughts: A private course owned and maintained by Steve Dufrane. Pay to play $5, for all day access. Go to the house and knock on the door. This course has a good balance of long and short holes, focusing on technical aspects due to excellent course design. Lots of foliage, mature trees mostly, making several tee shots challenge your accuracy instead of distance. There are slight elevation changes throughout the property which adds to the course playability and fun factor. Excellent use of water hazards as well. This course is not exposed to the elements because of all the trees and bushes so wind is not a big factor.
The tee pads are rubber on a wood-framed compacted sand area. The custom tee signs are up to date and have pertinent information about each hole, every hole has a unique name. Benches on most of the tees. Baskets are well marked and visible from the tee areas, except for the blind shots of which there are several. Average hole length is closer to 300 feet than 400 feet. There are also some extra holes being put in bringing in the total hole count around 21, not sure how many total but it is more than 18.
Because of the technical level being so high on this course, I believe advanced and pro players will find this course more to their liking, beginner players may become frustrated or feel some of the fairways are just too hard to negotiate. However every hole has a well established fairway the AVERAGE player can negotiate with the exception of hole 5. Hole 5 has a high F-luck factor if you can"t throw a forehand cut roller, left or right handed off the teepad.
The atmosphere and character of this course will leave you with a good feeling once your done for the day, and if your like me you will look forward going back to play the course again. This course is well above average for all aspects. The property is a bit out of the way so you need to bring all you need for your round as there is nothing at the course to purchase and the closest place to get anything is several miles away. If Steve is there you may be able to buy some discs from him but that's about it.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
There's Magic in These Woods
Pros: Located on a marvelous private piece of land this course is brimming with personality and variety. Literally no two holes are a like and they all challenge you in very different ways. For anyone used to playing the typical Houston course this one is a different animal all together.
The first thing you'll notice is the property and what a great piece of land it is for a disc golf course. From the hills to the fully mature large trees this course represents east Texas landscaping at its finest. I've never been on a course where so many people would stop and take pictures of holes and the properity.
As for the holes well they will make you pull every shot you have out of your bag and maybe some you didnt know you had. I had never thrown a roller in competitive play until I played this course its just that varied. To me the biggest asset this course has is elevation. Living on the Gulf Coast the biggest hills I see are usually artificial (Terramont) but these changes in elevation are all natural and spectacular. Being able to throw down a 579 foot fairway through trees and watch your disc just "GO" is an awesome feeling.
As far as the standard disc golf amenities, this course has begun to install some really great, elevated, rubber teepads and the tee signs are unique and ecletic. The cages are portable but very solid and allow for multiple variations in course setup.
Finally I would remiss if I didn't mention the family who lives on this course. The Dufrane's are wonderful hosts and if you ever get to participate in one of there tournaments it is a sight to behold. They are a warm, welcoming family and their hospitiality is second to none.
Cons: Their really isn't lot of bad things to say about this course. The lack of teepads on some holes can be tough but the natural ones still do a pretty nice job. Holes 4 and 13 are crap shoots especially with the mandos in play and are more about luck then true skill. Be prepared to lose discs here (i lost both my Buzzz's on 6) as the water hazards are no joke and are unavoidable.
Other Thoughts: After playing this course for the first time my initial reaction was "WOW what a cool course" and since Ive played it twice more that impression has yet to fade. Without a doubt Shawshank is the most unique course Ive ever played. This course has its own personality and manurisms. It will show you love and treat you good one moment but also bite your head off and crap down your throat the next. But in the end you will feel honored to have played it and yearn to experience it again.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Wonderfully technical course
Pros: This course is a technical course that will challenge even the most seasoned player. All shots are required to even imagine getting par on the entire course. This course challenged my abilities more than any other I have played and should be visited by everyone in the Houston area.
Cons: The only con I can say about this course is that it is not available all the time. This is a private course and its availability is subject to the owner Steve so call ahead and make an appointment.
Other Thoughts: I work part time at one of the prisons here in Huntsville and found the names to be fun and amusing. Shawshank is a course with character which is something of a rarity in disc golf courses.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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