Into the Woods
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tight, technical, mostly short hole course through mostly narrow fairways. Great use of the space provided. Good elevation changes, with both tee shots and baskets in higher placements. Easy parking to practice basket/first hole.
Cons: The first time you drive into the Waterloo County park, you have absolutely no idea where the beginning/first hole of the course is. This is very much a multi-use park, so you drive around a bit. They need a large sign or something.
You will need a map for the first time you're there, for sure. The pvc/new wood hole teepad markers are fine, but you have to know how to get to them. Especially the transition from hole 7 to 8 to 9.
Carpet tee pads. Frankly, it's not horrible when it's dry, but when its wet....this is western Oregon.
Other Thoughts: I played this course for the first time during the summer of 2011, and since them, the local DGC or somebody really cleared out a lot of the blackberry/thistle that was prevalent on a lot of the course. It's still there, but you really have to shank a shot to be caught in it now. I guess this is why the locals carry machetes in their bags (I'm not joking).
I love the flow and challenges of this course. You need more accuracy than a big arm. You really have to think between shots, which I love. It's relatively short, but by no means easy. Holes 7 and 12 - 16 are the most challenging.
One last thing. On the 13th tee, I found a bunch of scattered pills on the log bench with two notes for drug treatment centers folded up. That was shady. So I guess watch out for tweekers?
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Meet Your Waterloo
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Elevation on many holes.
Technical and wooded.
Quiet, underplayed, great little park with camping.
Birdie opportunity on every hole, but the rough will punish you greatly.
Challenge, and fun factors are high.
Carpet or gravel tee pads.
Maintenance is difficult and unfunded.
Can be very wet during rain season, some holes might be considered unplayable by some due to standing water.
Rough can be brutal with lots of blackberry and stinging nettle.
I love Waterloo and have been playing temporary layouts there since before there was a permanent course. This course is a classic Tom Embree design with assistance from Jon Owens and a massive amount of work from a small group of dedicated people over the years, including the Corvallis based Willamette Disc Golf Club, the Albany Disc Golf Club, the same small crew responsible for Bryant Park, Kirk Mcallister, and other locals. They have done an excellent job with few resources and little support from the Parks other than permission to install. This course was literally carved out of a jungle of mistreated and neglected forest in an almost completely unused portion of this County park. It is not exactly beautiful in a traditional sense but the woods is starting to reveal some of its beauty as the course and the foot traffic have opened up areas formerly choked off by blackberries.
The design of this course is a textbook example of getting every last drop out of what features the area offers. About half the course utilizes a big berm area, with the holes playing up and down the berm and in and out of the woods. The other half of the holes are mostly in the woods and feature a mix of length and technicality that force you to throw a little bit of everything. Virtually all the holes can be birdied with an excellent drive, but the punishment for missing your line will easily cost you a stroke or three, even on the more open holes because the rough on this course runs the gamut from stinging nettle patches, to almost impenetrable thickets, to dense woods. It makes for a very fun but still really challenging experience. You will not be punished unfairly, and in my opinion there are no unfair holes here. If you can keep your disc where it should be, and at Waterloo you can often do that with a controlled mid range shot, you will be fine. If you want to pull out your driver and go for it you will have a fair chance to get the birdie, but the risk is very present and will cost you. To me, that is the essence of great design.
The only thing preventing Waterloo from being one of the best courses in Oregon is the lack of good tee pads and signage, more regular maintenance and some beautification. The County Parks department does not have the funding or desire to improve the course and the disc golfers who have done all the work struggle to do what they can - and they've done a lot! Waterloo is further away from the bigger towns in the area and does not get the play that the Corvallis and Albany courses do and therefore doesn't get the attention.
There is currently carpet on 16 of the 18 holes, and gravel on the other two. The carpet works surprisingly well, and when wet provides great grip that is much better than typical rubber mats. It may not look great, but you will not slip. Basic wooden signs are at most holes, but other than hole number and distance they do not have much info.
I have not yet camped at the campground in the park but plan to do so this Summer. It looks like a basic, mellow, family friendly campground. Right on the South Santiam river with partially wooded sites, playground, picnic shelters, boat ramp and fenced in dog park, it is a nice little park.
If you are traveling through Oregon playing disc golf, Waterloo may not be on your list of destination course but it really should be. You can camp there and hit several area courses very easily, with Bryant, Adair, and Willamette probably the preferred choices for most. It is a very fun and challenging course that with a few improvements and more maintenance would get a 4 rating from this reviewer.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
What's The Safety Word?
Pros: Please Mistress, what is the safety word, I've forgotten!!! I can't take the punishment any longer!!
I love the rough on this course as it makes you throw solid drives off the tee. Unlike other less brushy courses this place does an excellent job of making sure there are no easy pars out there. You must hit the fairways here or bogeys and double bogeys will be found. The way these holes were cut out of the dense foliage is quite amazing and there are a number of ways you could mess up and make the holes too open or not open enough but I feel as though it was done quite well here. The couple of slightly more open holes were also done well and not "over done" by trying to make something too long but kept good holes and distances.
Cons: My biggest issue with this design is that hole lengths were all very close and I remember in the back nine throwing the same 300 foot (give or take30 feet) RHBH hyzer through the trees over and over again. A little more variety in length and fairway shape would have been more fun.
Tee pads were a little bit of a mess as they are dirt and are very short and starting to dig in a little bit. Maybe some carpet tee pads would fit the bill here if the parks aren't willing to put in concrete or fly pads.
Navigation is a little sketchy in the back nine with so many walking trails and such you can get lost and find yourself on the wrong side of the park and back tracking all over the place. A couple of signs or maybe pink ribbon would help out first timers.
Other Thoughts: This is good option for serious players to test their fairway driver accuracy. There are chances to lose discs here in the underbrush so if you are playing with other players make sure everyone is paying attention when other people throw and use spotters if you can. Also there are stinging nettles and poison oak all over the place so watch your legs if you are wearing shorts.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Water loo loo
Pros: This is a good solid course that offers a refreshing round if you get in the habit of playing some of the slightly better but much more crowded parks of the Willamette Valley. You will find adequate trees on all of the holes and a handful of holes give you tight fairways with thick forests on both sides and you don't want to take the chance of straying off of the fairway. Most holes require you to think and make careful shot selections, thinking not only where you want to land but sometimes more importantly where you don't want to land.There is a great variety of forehand and backhand shots and some holes short enough for birdie runs if you can stay in your lanes. It could be a good choice on a hot day because you're usually in the trees.
Cons: The tee pads are dirt but hold up well in most weather conditions. I have played there in late Spring in shorts and the stinging nettles were prolific and left me in a stinging and uncomfortable state for hours. I believe that these pesky plants are being kept under control much more now than in the early days of the course.
Other Thoughts: Camping, bathrooms and water available. Not a long destination course but well worth the effort if you're in the area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: cefire nailed it.
Waterloo is an easy to find, rural course in a beautiful part of the Wiillamette Valley of Oregon. The park includes RV and tent camping sites along the Santiam River. Waterloo has a small store but full services are available about 5 miles west in the burg of Lebenon (Sweet Home is about 10 miles east). The course is free to play and there are modern toilets and a pratice basket.
Cons: There is a slight lack of garbage cans and benches and the tees are only dirt with wooden toe boards. Concrete tees would make this a 4star course IMO.
Other Thoughts: This is not a big-drive course but rather a difficult yet manageable, medium length, technical course. The roughs can be unforgiving but recovery shots are possible and achievable.
The topography is generally level except for a dike-like ridge along the southern boundary which provides most of the significant elevation changes. Holes are generally level or downhill but #12 is a fun terraced uphill with multiple route options.
Most fairways are open and well defined but may include unlevel terrain, small shule islands, rootwads or downed trees. Many pins aren't visible from the tee and most favor the right-to-left thrower but there is an adequate mix of straight and left-to-right pin approaches too. Average or better control of your disc can lead to many birdies and certainly pars.
All holes have safe landing zones but some in the woods (#7) have rollaway consequences. Elevation is limited but well employed. There doesn't seem to be more than 50ft change and most are downhill shots. Walkouts are fairly obvious but a map helps. There are no water hazards (ETA: except in the winter when many low spots collect often deep water) though the beautiful Santiam River borders the park and offers water recreation opportunities plus a class 4 rapid viewable from the bridge.
This course is somewhat out of the way but the onsite camping and the proximity to Willamette Park, Adair Park, Bryant park and the private Talaoli course make this a worthwhile destination for an overnighter and even the day trip.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid course with plenty of potential
Pros: Waterloo DGC is quality woodsy course which offers mid-length par 3 holes, moderately technical drives, and thick, punishing rough. Beginners will probably find the fairways a bit too narrow on some holes and will definitely have more than a couple encounters with the nasty underbrush. More skilled players are going to find challenging but very reachable birdies along with one tweener par 4 hole.
I think one of the best aspects to this course is the reachability of nearly every hole out here - on any particular hole, if you throw an accurate fairway drive, you will have a chance for birdie. There are not too many 'must-gets' but there are a LOT of 'should-gets'. Have a great day and you'll likely grab a bunch of birdies, but have a bad day and the evil rough is likely to drop 4's on your card left and right.
Terrain - The designers utilize the rolling, bumpy sections of terrain well with interesting pin positions and tee shots which emphasize elevation. Although you are always nearby a large camping area of the park, there is also a quiet, 'aloneness' feel to many holes in the dense forest.
Baskets - Most of the baskets have been outfitted with an additional set of chains which has really improve the catching power of the usually temperamental Mach II's.
Cons: Righty-lefty balance - The main con of this course is the large imbalance in favor of righty-friendly holes. Nearly all of the longer holes out here finish from right to left for straight or hyzer RHBH drives and many of the shorter holes, which do move left to right, have turns which are more conducive to RHBH turnovers than lefty hyzers. A few alternate pin positions would likely improve this course dramatically - simply creating a better balance would improve my rating by 0.5 immediately.
Navigation is quite difficult at some points as there are a number of dirt walking paths which confuse golfers on which way to head next. In some places, orange ribbon hung from the trees helps guide players, but this is only a temporary solution and is missing in some places. A more permanent but quick fix would be to use colored tape on the undersides of baskets to direct players as the nearby Bryant course has done.
Nettles and other stingy plants - Yep, they are here and they are crawling onto the fairways in some places. Hands and legs beware!
Other Thoughts: The word that keeps coming to mind for this course is 'solid' - its not a mind-blower, but it will challenge you to throw consistent, accurate drives along with saves from the constricting rough.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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