Great for Soda, bad for consistency
Pros: Im an out of town golfer from Oregon living in Idaho for the summer and this course is one of the only place to throw some discs. As the consensus with everyone else this course is really beautiful. Whoever put this course together (class of 2008) had a lot of good support and the fact that a course exists in Soda springs at all is awesome.
For actual playable pros of this course I really like the varied use of terrain on this course. Couple of easy birdie putter holes, then intermittent hyzer / annhyzer bombs. If you are comfortable with your aim you can be very successful on this course. I had spotters wi me (as recommended by other reviews) and was able to put up a six down on my second time playing with plenty of room for improvement
Cons: One of the issues I had with this course is the listed par on some of the holes. Compared to many of the Oregon courses I've played there seemed to be a disconnect with the hole distance and the par. For instance hole six is a 570 (ish)ft par 5. The first time I played it I eagled it (first eagle ever) and thought that this par 5 was a little too easy. One good drive and a well placed Up shot and you can have a gimme eagle. Maybe I'm just biased but I seldom see a par 5 on disc golf courses (even par 4s are rare) and when you do see them they are monsters. A par five at Milo Mcgiver state park in Oregon has a 1200 ft par 5 where making par from the pro pad even for a big armed player is difficult. With that said many of the par 4s should definitely be down listed for that same reason. It does make the course more forgiving which is fine for some, I was just surprised to see so many par 4s and 5s.
Another con would have to be the length of some of the t-pads. Some of them are just fine, but when you have to worry about shortening your x-step to make sure you don't run off the end of the pad and twist your ankle it's going to affect your shot. Some are fine and I didn't really mind the rubber pad on hole 10 because the hole is so short you don't really only need to treat this shot like an up shot. There are just some that could use a few more feet.
The course was a little difficult to navigate the first time playing and having the yellow signs near the pins is helpful on some of the holes.
Other Thoughts: Didn't really know whether this was a A pro/con so i guess ill put this here. I thought the lack of crowds coud be both. Being an out of town player or whenever i play a new course I prefer to jump in with locals and play a round. Its Always fun to play with people who know the course and the routes. Plus if I hadn't had hikers with me having some extra eyes would be essential. Both times I've been there I seldom saw anyone at the park let alone on the disc golf course. Having no crowds is great and all for popular college courses but i suppose it makes sense given the local and nature of the course. The consensus is that this course is not for beginiers and I agree. There are some holes appropriate for beginers but many of the deep woods holes are a scavenger hunt waiting to happen. I spent about an hour looking for discs/climbing trees to retrieve discs and I understand how discouraging this aspect can be to people. The sport isn't as fun when you have to hack through thick underbrush (pulling burrs out of your leg hair gets reallllly old). I'm a seasoned player and will put up with just about any conditions just because playing a good course in the first place is more of a pro than any cons.
I really liked this course but rated it as such for the reduced ability to play this course on a consistent basis without having a lot of money to spend on plastic. For me its a really important aspect of a course because if i live near a course I'm going to be playing it as often as i can get out of the house. I ended up scrapping my normal bag after the first round and pulling out some dx discs I don't really care for to play this course. I like the design of this course and for the location it's an awesome course. There are some really unique holes that use the landscape perfectly. I would gladly (and will) try to play this course again before I leave because it is a well made course. It would be really difficult to completely hack down the sage and open this course up so if you play this course play the safe lines and keep an eye on your disc.
Pros: This is certainly a rough course! It offers a great variety of throws that are extremely challenging and unique.
The tee pads are great. They are rough which provides great footing. The only exception is hole 10 which has a temporary pad that wasn't great.
The tee signs are awesome looking. Check out the pictures of the course.
Multiple tee pads for intermediate and advanced players. This is not a beginner course.
Cons: The cons of this course are many.
The mosquitoes are insane! Holes 6-9 are the worst, but they are everywhere and relentless. I felt like a human pin-cushion after playing the front 9. BRING BUG SPRAY!
The hole transitions are not great. You have to do a lot of walking from one hole to the next, particularly between 5-6, 6-7, 9-10, 10-11 and 15-16. The design doesn't flow very smoothly.
Hole 14 is ridiculous. I don't know who thought that hole was a good idea but it's so narrow and long that it certainly warrants the par 5. I just don't think it's very well designed hole.
For how much work has been put in to the tee signs, it's unfortunate that the satellite images are so blurry that they are useless. The signs aren't oriented for the tee pad either, so it can look like a dogleg left when it's actually right. The distances on some of the holes can't be accurate either, (hole 18 comes to mind).
The weeds are crazy! There are these spiky ones that are an insane irritant. In addition there are insanely long weeds all over the course which is easy to lose your disc in.
The trees are like disc magnets. I've never seen so many discs get stuck in trees before on any course.
Other Thoughts: This is certainly not a good course for beginners. It is really easy to lose discs on almost every hole so spotters are essential.
It is anything but redundant from hole to hole. Each one is pretty unique which adds to the overall rating of the course to me.
Be sure and get the course map or play with someone who has played it before or it will be extremely difficult to navigate.
Bring your bug spray. Seriously, unless you want to lose weight via blood loss from mosquitoes.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Not An Every Day Course
Pros: Very Challenging- the course record was set at a recent tourney at 48.
No poison ivy
Great hole length variety
Well-run C Tier tourney each July
Cons: Deep, deep, awful schule/rough
Chin-high grass in the rough, and, if not mown, in the fairways
A long hike
Very tricky connection between front and back nine
Spotter required on nearly all holes
Very easy to lose discs, even with a spotter
Many short tee pads
In the middle of nowhere
Other Thoughts: The pros of this course are very, very good, but unfortunately, I could only give it 3 stars because the cons are so bad. If you've ever tooled around your local course and said, "I wonder what this was like before 200 people played it a day for 20 years", well, go to Soda Springs and find out. This course is most definitely NOT beat in. Even if you were a local, you wouldn't be able to go play this course every day for two reasons: First, you cannot go play this course without a group of 3 or 4 people. 2 people only allows you one spotter, and that just isn't enough sometimes. Second, it takes several days to recover from playing this course. Not only is it a pretty good hike, but tromping through the brush cuts you up so badly it just takes time for the wounds to heal, not to mention the mosquito bites. WEAR PANTS! (Thanks English for this tip on the pants, and for the great round!) If you can stand it, wear long sleeves too. Bug spray and sun screen are mandatory items during the summer. You will be out there a long time.
Because the course is so rarely played, the locals and the park folks have to put in a ton of effort to keep the jungle back. You'll only want to play this course early in the year before the grass gets going, late in the year after it dies off, or after it has been mown. When you're lucky the grass is only two feet high. Also watch out for the "disc-velcro" trees. I've never had to pull so many discs out of trees in one round.
All that said, this is a don't miss course. It really forces you to hit the lines. Hole 16 from the long tees is incredibly fun, a long 500 foot bomb with a well-defined landing area guarded by cliffs and trees on the left and trees and a pond on the right. Don't miss, because not only will you card an awful score, you'll probably never see your disc again. Hole 14 is a nearly 600 foot true par 5. If you're smart, you won't use anything but your putter on it. Hole 5 is also pretty cool. It is a long, narrow fairway with sandtraps (OB) right in the landing area. 3s are pretty rare on it and a 5 isn't a bad score. This course plays more like a ball golf course than any I've ever played. You'll need to hit fairways and play mids and even drivers from the fairways.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
- Long, short, and technical holes, bring your whole bag!
- The terrain changes from front to back
- Variety of shots required
- Challenging for all levels
- Multiple basket locations
- No crowds at all
- Good signs and tee boxes
- No buildings or cars to worry about
- Deep rough and disc eating brush
- Stinging Weeds on the front nine
- Finding your way from 9 to 10 is tough (see below for directions)
Other Thoughts: When you enter the park just go until you see the playground and parking lot. The basket on the side of the hill at the North end of the parking lot is a practice hole.
The front nine begins on the East side of the parking lot. The back nine is on the trail going up the hill directly East of the playground. That trail will take you right to hole 10. After the 10 basket follow the trail heading down the hill to find 11
If you have kids there is a great old-school playground by the parking lot with teeter-totters and tractor tires. All the good stuff they don't put on new playgrounds. There is also a fishing pond on the west side of the playground that is loaded with trout.
You can spend some time at this park and really get away. Every time I've played it we have been the only people there.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has a great variety, multiple tee pads (roughed up concrete), good signage, and high quality catchers. The local community has done a great job producing a course in an unlikely location. It is not far from the main street of Soda Springs and puts on a nice PDGA C-Tier event each year. The progression through the course is fairly logical. The property that the course is on is very scenic. The course is creatively designed to use the location's strengths.
Cons: With some of the longer weeds and grass you can easily lose your plastic.
In a few spots on the front nine, you better have some bug spray.
A couple of the teepads are a little odd. (This is understandable, one is a small wooden platform (not much else can be done where it is located), another is small and slanted down and away)
There is also a disconnect between the front and the back nine. Without a map or some help, it might be hard to make your way back and forth.
This is nice addition to the disc golf in the area.
Other Thoughts: Especially on the back nine, there is a real premium placed on accuracy. If you go off the fairway, you pay for it. Many times on this course, you are far better off just throwing a mid right down the middle.
Just a suggestion, if you are going to go play this course, wear long pants. (even during the summer) It will help with the bugs and the briars.
The front nine is much more family friendly then the back nine.
Clearly there has been some work by the community to make this course happen. Nice way to spend an afternoon.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Soda Springs ID
Pros: You wouldn't expect such a well put together course. Par 64, with multiple par five and par four holes. Located in a beautiful part of Idaho, secluded but easy to get to. This course also includes a lot of OB, bunkers, alternate tee pads, a lot of challenging elevation change, and a raised basket, with a wide veriety of shots. Installed by a professional course designer .
Cons: Due to its location, I don't think this course gets a whole lot of traffic, the rough is REALLY rough. safe play is rewarded.
Other Thoughts: Lava Hot Springs, (also got a new course there in 08) is 30 minutes west, its a great town to visit!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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