2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: None it's a prison!!!! All shots are needed to score well, boxes and signage are excellent in my opinion, you must control the urge to boom it. Birdies are all over the place, but you must play smart.
Cons: Full of them! It's a prison town!!! Too far from my home!
Other Thoughts: Must play this course. If you are afraid of your rating, don't play it in a tournament! One of the top courses I have ever played, tough, makes you think. Night Golf here is an experience not to be missed!!!! DuFranes are excellent hosts and the setting is awesome, bring the wife and rent his cabin for a truly wonderful experience.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
My Favorite Course to Play
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: By far the best course I have played!
You need every shot to play this course well. This course will challenge your mental and physical game.
Some of the best holes are #5 Tunnel Shot, #8 Hyzer Express, #11-#15 Murderer's Row some tough holes but challenging, #18 Conjugal Visit and #23 Tin Cup!!
Teebox's are well built and in great shape.
Seating at every hole and usually a trash can too!
Steve is a great host!!!
Pay to Play $5 - worth every penny!! (Keeps the riff raff out and course clean)
Cons: No real negative here. Only thing is no wide open hole to really let loose on.
Other Thoughts: Take the time to go to this course it is well worth the trip and the $5. Make sure to call Steve before you head out and if you don't meet him while you play, make sure to call him and thank him for having the Number FUN course!!!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Breaking out of jail
Pros: This course is a mix of technical shots and skilled shots. If you get to talk to Steve he will tell you everything you need to know to navigate and play the course well. It is designed to play smart. The best shot isn't always how far you can get it. Don't be afraid to just pitch a putter till you can put. Must give warden a good belly rub for good luck!
Cons: I really didn't find any cons in this course. It makes you think differently about how you go about playing. If challenges you technically and makes you re think how you play the game.
Other Thoughts: Go for the pond hole! dont be sacred
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Private Course with no Riff Raff. The DuFranes are always great hosts. Good mix of shots that will definitely test your focus. A good short game with good shot shaping is a must. You can't beat the atmosphere at Shawshank. It's a great release from the city. I'm lucky to be within 45 minutes.
Cons: Not a great course for the guys that only like to let it rip on open courses. This one has some long drive opportunities, but you still have to shape your shot.
Other Thoughts: It's good to bring deet in warmer months.
Always make sure to say hi to Warden the DuFranes black lab and give him a good belly rub. If you haven't played before he is usually happy to walk you through at least the first 9 holes until you come back by the house. Then it is his nap time on the porch.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 5 Not
so thats what jail is like.....
Pros: First time in Texas. Had to get to this one. Great theme based course. Tee pads were big and grippy. Interesting construction. Nice signs, with a name for every hole. Good use of elevation. Challenging lines throughout this gem. The water holes, and the fountain put it over the top. This course is way off the beaten path. Kinda reminds me of Flip. Peaceful, and secluded.
Cons: A couple holes were overly tight. Unnatural flite path. In fact, I told my son I wish I had my whip, it would be a quick fix. After talking to Steve, the owner, I understand the par 4 part of being in jail. And yes, part of the theme. Don't change a thing.
Other Thoughts: Being a course owner, I'm biased on private courses. Thanks Steve, for putting this together. My family, and I enjoyed ourselves.
13 of 18 people found this review helpful.
You WILL Grin
22 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: If you appreciate disc golf at all, come to play Shawshank, and you will find your smile somewhere along the way. I purposefully played this, my first Texas course, in order to make it my 100th review. I'm glad I did! It's my second '5'. I don't necessarily hold out a 5 rating for 'perfection', but for when a course does just about everything right, and adds enough extra touches to raise it above a 4.5. The DuFrane family has clearly done that at Shawshank.
Every one of the 23+ tees is large, boxed, and level, with grippy pads, a beautiful, prison-themed sign with distances noted, bench(es), trash buckets, and even a stand to enter your scores (first time I've seen that in 139 courses). You'll note that many of the trees in the 'jail' on 4 & 5 have been wrapped to keep them there for years. When you get to the fifth basket, you'll note they've got it set up with a pole extension for night lighting (! ...then you'll note that a number of times), and when you get to the first pond on hole 6, you'll see they've left out a hooked pole and towels to help you retrieve your disc (I knew I wasn't sure to clear the far edge at about 290' from the tee, so turned one over to the right...it still clipped a tree & rolled in...fished it out quickly and shot from the drop zone pier for my circle four).
The front nine are fun enough to be a glorious course for anyone's front yard, with holes ranging from the dead straight 208' hole five to the 598' Green Mile, to the dogleg uphill 'Alice' hole that comes back to the end of the driveway. But you've got 14 even better holes to go, on the much more sloping back yard. You get to bomb a couple of 500 footers downhill, work your way through the curving woods lanes (they're realistic on the physics-defying hole 15 being a par four), then clear the big pond to the landscaped basket on 18 (watch out: it's ALL wet if you go short, rollaway if you go long, and has trees everywhere but the perfect pond crosser you'll need). The 21st hole is a third, blind pond with a mando to keep you low and straight (I clipped a branch and soaked my dragon, but the DuFranes can keep it as a tribute to the excellence of this course. Imagine: I lost a disc and was still grinning!). You finish on the island in the middle of the driveway in the unique fountain basket.
I can't say enough about the little things they've done here to make this some of the most fun I've had playing disc golf. Thank you!
Cons: There isn't a whole lot to complain about here. The Flow of the course is very simple with the map and abundance of signs, so the only awkward spot I found was crossing the 23rd & 17th tee to get to the 10th. Some folks might whine a little that hole 15 isn't a natural flight path, but declaring it a par four admits that.
Other Thoughts: The course is private, on family property, so they appreciate a call ahead if you're coming. Sign the guest book, and leave $5 (I recommend more!) to play, and pick up a pencil, and scorecard, say hello to the friendly family dog, or any family members who might greet you, then warm up on the practice basket & head out to enjoy one of your most memorable disc golf experiences EVER.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: A excellent mixture of technical holes with tactically placed OB and long bomb holes that make this course stand out among the rest. Not to mention the hospitality of the Dufrane's!
Cons: Not enough people review this course
Other Thoughts: Love the fountain/basket for final hole #23
0 of 13 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: First off, Steve Dufrane is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet and you can tell that he has put in a bunch of work to make this course one of the better in this part of the state.
Each of the holes is different. Each hole is named with something that has to do with prison as this is the theme of this course. It is hard to say which is the signature hole of this course as there are at least four in my mind that really stick out. "The Green Mile," "Death Penalty," and "Conjugalcal Visit" are probably the most recognizable and talked about holes at the course.
"Tin Cup" the 23rd and final hole on the course is one of the best finishing holes I have ever played. It is a 240 ft shot to an island green. The basket has water coming out of the top of it and it really is a picturesque hole as many others on the course are.
Each hole is different. There are big downhill shots like #10 and #17. And really tight fairways that puts a premium on accuracy. There are REAL par 4s at this course.
The flow of the course is easy to follow. Each hole has nice tee pads along with big tee signs. Some of the baskets have poles on the top of them to show where they are in a shot that has changed elevation where the basket is not visible from the tee (#1)
There are no confusing parts of the course. The course is also really nicely manicured and up kept, like mentioned previously Mr. Dufrane cares for this course.
Cons: The only cons I can think of is the course is brutal. Even the best player has an opportunity to lose discs on one of the three ponds on the course.
The course is also a drive from Houston and even a bit of a drive from Huntsville.
The course is built on 25 acres. This is a small piece of land and come tournament time the course can feel a bit crowded. However, playing any other day the course is very quiet and serene.
Other Thoughts: This is my second pay-to-play course along with Spring Valley. The cost to play Shawshank is $5 compared to $3 at Spring Valley. Paying the $5 to play here is completely worth it. The course is a blast. Anyone within a 150 mile radius of this course should want to come out and play here.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Not even sure where to start. If you can master this course you can do well on any. Very challenging, but a blast. Well designed. So many different shots. no hole feels " just like the others". 23 if played the way its supposed to definitely takes this course to the next level skill wise. Go there play it you won't regret it.
Cons: Basket markers would be nice... That's about it..
Other Thoughts: Conjugal visit (18) is a blast. 200 ft lake. If you are scared of losing a disc bring a blizzard. Monday nights is Monday night lights ( night golf) the front nine is lit up and 23. Mini doubles tourny if enough show up. It's a lot of fun. Be there at 6:30
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I don't write really long reviews because I don't like reading them. I like to know why the course is good; not info on every hole but I could go on and on about Shawshank. Friendly people, great view, and great disc golf. Every hole is something new. The first 9 have a few open holes and an excellent orchard type obstacle that makes 3 holes very exciting. There is one pond in play over here that makes things a little difficult. Very challenging but very fun. The back 9 starts with a long bomb down a hill and the rest of the holes are played on the hill and in some woods. An excellent combination of lightly wooded to safari. 2 water hazards come into play on this hole. 1 is a 260 foot drive over the water (be careful). The other is over a small pond but when I played it no water was there. All of the holes are named prison terms which is fun and all the holes are marked beautifully. A beautiful piece of land in a beautiful part of Texas.
Cons: Pay to play, it's 5 dollars. Private course you should call ahead, but the people are really nice. 23 holes was a little long for me but I forgot to bring water. I also don't really like courses that take you 2+ hours to play. I get a little tired after the 2 hour mark (it might have only taken that long since it was my first time there). If you are a beginner or an intermediate who doesn't like challenging/wooded courses then you should stay away. Other than that I would play this course every day if I could.
Other Thoughts: Not for the faint hearted. This course will challenge and text you. A must play for Houston area disc golfers. I am from College Station currently and plan on making the drive as often as I can (at least once a month). Worth your time and worth your money. I give this course a 5 disc review because I think it deserves better than a 4.5 and would like to bring it's rating up.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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