10 Helpful / 2 Not
A Few Fun Holes, Mostly Crap
Pros: - fast access from the freeway
- not too crowded
- baskets in good shape (some rusty chains, but all are attached, none missing)
- decent cement tees, grippy
- trash cans are scattered around the course/park
- there is an outhouse by tee 1 if you need a bathroom
Cons: - it's an out-and-back course, meaning you play 9 holes in one direction and then play 9 back toward where you came from (tee 10 is at the opposite end from where you park)
- one lane on hole 1 has you throwing directly THROUGH the practice basket. poor placement.
- tees 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17 are all very difficult to find without someone to point you in the right direction. I think these are all spray painted (very faintly, might I add) on the sidewalk, but I didn't find them all.
- the layout is extremely poor with many crossing, or very close to crossing, fairways (like tees 2 & 18 throwing directly at each other)
- difficult to follow because the signs have either been ripped off or graffitied over, the give no helpful information
- the grass is not mowed anywhere in the park, and many places are waterlogged to the point where you sink up to your ankles in the mud
- the risk/reward level is too high on many holes, where the best lane is over the water, even from the rec tees where a player might not have the experience /technique to make that shot. they're more apt to lose a disc and dislike the sport, poor design element.
Other Thoughts: Honestly, I think this course sucks. With the exception of a couple of cool, well designed holes, you're either throwing out over open water (which not all players can do), or directly down the walking path that runs the length of the park and a plethora of people constantly using the aforementioned path. This results in a few things that I dislike a lot: one, lost discs in the water for any player with a small arm or low accuracy on 1/3 of the course (3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 18), and lots of waiting or skipping holes because there are just too many other park users to throw around.
Aquatic Park is just a jumble of misplaced holes that can be dangerous to play, either by throwing at other disc golfers on tees, or at all the walkers/joggers/bikers that use the path that runs the middle of the course. It rewards accuracy with many low ceiling shots and teaches you good risk vs. reward play.
I think this park is not big enough to accommodate this disc golf course and the high amount of traffic the park gets on a daily basis. Pull these baskets and make a second course in Golden Gate park, or use another larger park around Berkeley. Aquatic Park isn't worth anyone's time until the park gets some regular maintenance, and the course gets a proper redesign with some safety in mind. But really, there isn't much hope for that because there just isn't the room to do it correctly, so take these baskets and use them elsewhere.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
1 part fun, 1 part excitement, with 3 parts annoyance
Pros: First off, its difficult to rate this park because it is just such a strange place for a disc golf course. The plot of land is extremely long and skinny, often only 50 feet wide in places through which two fairways, park benches, and a walking path often have to share. It all makes for an odd experience of not knowing whether you are disc golfing or throwing Frisbees around at a crowded beach. That said, the designers were, quite miraculously, able to fit in 18 holes at a park which, on first glance, probably didn't look like it could have worked. But it all comes at a price as most holes have somewhat odd angles and often throw directly down pedestrian pathways or opposing fairways.
The main pros of this course lie within a few fun holes that play mostly over the water. 18 in particular made this course worth a quick trip for me - it's only about 280' or so feet and a well placed tree on the right shore pretty much forces a moderately long over-water left to right shot. Any RHBH shots that don't hold their turnover or worm-burners will definitely find the drink here, which makes the birdie pretty rewarding. The bay to your left showcases a nice view of the city and a nice pond/lake (although its somewhat ruined by the noisy highway running right through it). After recently playing Trojan Park in Oregon, I would agree with others who have said this hole is very nearly identical to the first water hole (6 I think) out there.
Cons: Challenge - The course has a pretty narrow window of player skill levels who will find it enjoyable. Those who can consistently throw around 350-400' will find most of the water holes relatively simple high hyzers back to safety and won't find much else in the park which requires too much thinking or shot-making off the tee. Newer players likewise probably will find the course frustrating because its too difficult to make the water shots and forces rather annoying safety routes along the shoreline.
Busy - Even if you are the only golfers out on the course (which we pretty much were), with all the walkers and picnics, its still a zoo. I'd only recommend playing this course early in the morning or late evening if you are headed there on a weekend.
Navigation - Navigation out here is really tough. It looks like the course has had some design changes over the years and you'll definitely be guessing at some points for the next hole or potentially playing to the wrong pins. Tees and/or often list the incorrect hole numbers, adding to the confusion.
Maintenance - Neither the baskets nor tees are in great shape and often signage is damaged or non-existent. The park itself is in kind of a tough area so likely has little support to prevent vandalism and maintain the hardware.
Other Thoughts: If you've got a thing for quirky or unique courses, Aquatic is worth a play but if you want more traditional high quality golf, best to head elsewhere.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 4 Not
• Easy to find
• Warm-up basket
• A 'just OK' park overall with bathroom and leisure amenities (although the bathroom was locked when we were there and the water fountains were barely dribbling)
• Parking might be a challenge as it gets busier
• Extremely narrow/tight course
• Water water everywhere!
• People people everywhere!
• Tees are a little erratic and can be tough to locate/navigate
• Bring a map.
• Bring a spotter.
• Go someplace else. =P
Wow. I had avoided this course for quite some time besides being in close proximity to it, because of prior reviews and comments. My gut was correct. I liken this course to playing down the center of an indoor tri-level shopping mall (Sun Valley for instance) with all of the obstructions (including people) only with water running down one side. I've never been so tense playing a course before. The holes are tight, treacherous, and have some of the smallest landing areas I've seen thus far, and that's before you factor in the people, bikers, kids, dogs, birds, penguins, dolphins, etc… It's one thing to demand that amount of precision, but to do it with that many distractions and timing challenges, man…my hat's off to you folks who enjoy this course. We actually had to skip probably 6 holes because it was just too dangerous to throw. And the park itself is…interesting. I can't say it's dirty but it wasn't quite clean either.
Bottom Line: If you're not an advanced player or above, and a patient person, don't bother. Even if you are you might find your day hijacked by the other park goers.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
some like it wet
Pros: - tests your golf game with a variety of hazards: wind, water, and plenty of trees/schule.
- easy to get to being right off I-80 near the bay bridge
- stellar views of the city and the bay
- not too crowded most of the time
- great locals/scene/awesome doubles tourney each year
- cheap eats are nearby
- an easy walk for those less mobile
- the city and disc golfers are cleaning up the park
- sweet playground for the kids
- restrooms and water available
- plenty of parking
- cheap discs available from "fishermen" in the lagoon
Cons: - too many pedestrians/cyclists who have no idea what disc golf is
- small linear park forces waiting during crowded play/tournaments.
- 27 year old gay pick up spot still has some life, though the clearing of bushes has helped make it more family friendly
Other Thoughts: This course is an absolute challenge for players of any level. The wind can be nasty, making the water shots even more butt clenching. I can understand why some may choose not to play here, but if you get here on a nice sunny morning, there may not be a better place to play. All players coming through the bay area should check it out as it provides a great contrast to any of the other courses around: Dela, Golden Gate Park, Stafford, Napa, La Raza are all great, but none have the wind and water combo that Berkeley has. This course is well loved and cared for, but unfortunately overlooked.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Berkeley Aquatic Park Course
Pros: If you like long holes over water, this is the place for you. The Park is right up against the Bay, and has a great view. It was built 29 years before I had ever heard of Disc Golf.
Cons: See above, I lost a disc in the water. too cold to go get it.
Other Thoughts: There are a couple locals with bags of discs fished out of the Bay for sale there.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Interesting hole design that uses the numerous obstacles available in the narrow park.
The holes over water and with pin positions by the water were challenging and entertaining.
They were able to squeeze 18 holes into this park.
Teepads were adequate for the course.
Good mix of tight holes with a few more open drives.
Multiple pin locations.
Many holes really force you to be able to shape a certain shot, offering a good test of your accuracy.
Cons: No Signage whatsoever on the course. Not even any indicator of the course near hole 1. What's even more sad is that most of the holes had old empty sign boxes that might have been useful.
Baskets show signs of wear and are stiff.
The amount of non-disc golfer traffic is frustrating, the land isn't really the ideal place for a disc golf course.
Areas of the course feel like the holes are packed in too tight.
Some of the back nine holes feel simple and lack the bravado of the water holes.
Other Thoughts: Aquatic park was a very interesting course to play but a very difficult course to rate and review. To be honest the course has a lot going it against it that isn't totally within its control. The course is very busy with people and there isn't any other place in the park to place a course. To some degree it's impressive that 18 holes have managed to fit into the park and survive for 30 years. There is also a mild crime influence in the park. I would have actually been inclined to give the course a 2 simply because of the complete lack of any signage but the course is fairly self explanatory and the baskets are numbered so it's easy to keep track as you make your way around the course.
But against these negatives what makes the course for me is the presence of some really fun and challenging disc golf holes. The over water holes were tricky requiring you to really fly out over the water and land on a fairly small green in the hopes of nabbing a 2. Many of the tough hole positions on the course make up for lacks in distance in certain places. Judging the course on the hole I'd recommend playing it if you live in the bay area but if you're just stopping through you'd probably be better off heading to Golden Gate Park or taking the 40 minute drive north to play Stafford Lake.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Don't get wet!
Pros: Multiple pin locations, challenging mentally to deal with all of the water, and free is always good. Because the course is extremely tight, and not that long, it's a great course to hone your skills. Many holes are reachable in one long shot [not that I can, but I've seen it done during weeklys]. But make sure you have a great feel for any disc you try to throw long to avoid the skank water to the west, and the wretched polluted runoff to the east of every hole.
Cons: Not a dedicated disc golf course! You will often wait for joggers / dog walkers / etc when playing during recreating hours.
Water down the entire front 9. On most holes it *shouldn't* come into play when using RHBH, but tell that to the many discs I've tossed in the drink
Other Thoughts: There are often guys who've swum the shoreline and picked up discs. If you're ever in Berkeley and want quality stuff for <5$, hit up Aquatic Park.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Bring your stable stuff!
Pros: Super cool spot on the water, loads of challenging shots with punishing consequences for errants turn overs. The local golfers are very friendly and have a good turnout for doubles.
Cons: This isn't for the total newb, which isn't a bad thing I suppose! It's tough, but it's a cool course for sure!
Other Thoughts: I will be back as many times as I am in the area. This course was a real treat!
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 10 Not
Not worth it
Pros: The only pro I can think of is the 3 disc golfers I ran into were friendly and helpful in locating a few of the tee pads
Cons: Where do I start. There is absolutely no signage at this course. Some of the tee pads are broken apart and some have large weeds encroaching on them. The park is so narrow, 100-200 feet at its widest, that baskets are put on top of each other and fairways cross each other. Couldn't find tee pads for 16 and 17. The course does not appear to be maintained by anyone.
This is a multi use park. Plenty of walkers and bikers using the path required extra wait time. People sit down within feet of the baskets requiring you to skip the hole or coax them to move.
Other Thoughts: I played in the afternoon and the breeze was a steady 10-20mph.
Friends that I'm staying with in Oakland did confirm that this is a notorious gay hook up park. That was confirmed by the sketchy characters that we saw leaving the park, ducking into the shule, and lurking in the parking lot.
If you absolutely have to play some disc golf I would recomend visiting one of the other parks in the area. I won't play this course again.
7 of 17 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course itself and the different shots are pretty cool. Cool bay breeze. Very green.
Cons: People everywhere, horrible signing or directions to baskets. Some tee pads not marked. Kinda just pick what looks fun. Great chance of losing a disc or two. Some local hoodstars or girls with short hair and Birkenstocks may distract you.
Other Thoughts: the 3 Amigos are out there retrieving discs from the water and re-selling them 5 for $20.
This guy at my local course found there stash, recognized names on discs and snatched up like 15 of em. Brought em back and gave me my Champion Wraith back.
Damn it feels good to be a Chainster.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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