6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Fairly quiet location. Lots of trees, dead branches and bushes to get in the disc's way. Staff is excellent. Shooting downhill, uphill, across ravines, over trees, thru trees, etc. Lots of great variation. Changing pin placements weekly. Never a dull game here.
Cons: Crowded. A few unsavory characters floating around after 10am. The occassional "pipe and 40" group will show up - just to make things interesting. If you play early morning, watch for water sprinklers in your face.
Other Thoughts: It would be cool if the staff could enforce a "groups of no more than 4" rule. Too many groups of 8 and sometimes more - especially on the weekends. Best time to play is weekdays when it first opens.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great variance in hole layouts offering a wide span in distance and direction of shots.
Very good use of available elevation on the property.
Huge number of different hole placements on each hole add even more variety to the course.
Good detailed tee signs.
Excellent baskets and tee pads.
Benches on every hole which are especially nice considering the frequent waits.
Well stocked pro shop on site with food and discs for sale.
Course is very fun for all levels of play, not too tough on newer players.
Regular tournaments and a good website to keep people informed.
Dual pads on several holes.
Cons: Very over crowded even on what might normally be down hours on most courses.
Some of the pin positions seemed a little open and easy, overall the short positions play a little easy for more advanced players.
Especially on the front nine there's a lot of fairway crossing.
I would have liked to seen more out of the dual pad, only one seemed to really create a significantly different hole.
Some groups appeared to be as large as 8, and with so much traffic it can seem impossible to play through as a small group or as a single.
Other Thoughts: Morley field was a really fun and entertaining course to play for the first time. Playing the course in mostly short positions did make me long to see the course stretched out more. But I did appreciate the huge number of cool hole placements I saw. With all it's amenities and interesting hole layouts I can see why some people rave about this course. The crowds only make you wish that it wasn't the only course in the inner San-Diego area and the course itself without the crowding issue would easily be a 4 for me. Definitely a must see course for anyone traveling to the SoCal area.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course is set in San Diego, which has arguably the best year round weather in the country (if you enjoy 65 and sunny year round).
19 holes that have up to 6 different basket locations that are rotated every Monday.
pay to play (2.50 weekday, 3 weekend) that clearly goes back into the course.
The course is beautiful, constantly manicured, cleaned, maintained.
Top Pro shop I've seen, fully stocked with plastic, drinks, snacks
Great lost and found system (if you find a disc, return it to the pro shop and they give you a dollar, they call the # on the disc and when the person picks it up, they pay a dollar for it).
One of the top places rated by High Times to hang out in SoCal if that's your thing.
Benches on every hole
This course is for DG only.
You can rent discs at the Pro shop (if you are new to DG or didn't bring your discs on your vacation)
Cons: Course is crowded which is the biggest knock on this place. Nearest 18 hole course is 35 miles away, so this is the spot to play DG in San Diego. There are many efforts to have more DG courses put in San Diego, but until that happens, this course will always have long waits.
The course is generally short, having all par 3's.
The course is in a small area, so many holes have shared fairways (15,16,18,19), with 18 and 19 playing down and back on the same exact fairway (depending on basket location). With that being said this might be the most dangerous disc course there is. With over 100 people on the course at peak times, (many of which are casual and may not know proper etiquette) and fairways being shared and holes playing very close, this course is extremely dangerous. Be aware at all times and also be courteous of other golfers.
Benches are a plus, but they are an absolute must as backup on holes can often be 3 or 4 groups waiting (bring a hackey sack if you're into that).
Parking lot is often packed (play as early in the morning as possible/weekdays to try and limit crowds)
Other Thoughts: If you're lucky enough to be in San Diego, you should stop by for a round or two (please make sure you have plenty of time, as rounds can take 3 hours). It is advisable to play in a group, as it will help cut down your wait. The players are generally friendly and laid back. This is an excellent course which has a lower rating due to the wait and the fact that many holes are dangerously close to each other. There are many birdie opportunities on this course and the course makes great use of the landscape available. Many elevation changes and interesting basket locations. This is a moderately wooded course which would likely be rated 4.5 if it had a lot less traffic. A few blind holes that you should peak out on/have a spotter to make sure it's safe (especially back 9, probably about 13,14, where you shoot over a fence towards the pro shop, hard righty hyzer that is completely blind)
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
awesome, but crowded
Pros: what can i say this used to be my home course, and i miss it. beautiful setting in san diego's balboa park, incredibly gorgeous in winter and spring when the trees and flowers are all bloomed out.
how many courses can you say have hole locations A-F?? really makes the course a pleasure to return to time and again.
the course also has some excellent use of the natural topography, which is both hilly and full of eucalyptus groves. these offer excellent obstacles, and at times make for v fun drives downhill. many pin locations are also completed obscured from the tree, or are literally hidden amidst gnarly bunches of branches, putting a premium on local course knowledge and the ability to shape shots. a challenge but one that really rewards you.
Cons: the biggest drawback is that the place is just stuffed with people. i skipped class for about a week straight last march and honestly the place is full even on weekday mornings, and can come to a standstill on the weekend. bring beverages [but cans only!] and patience. unfortunately there just aren't enough other courses in the SD area to take the pressure off of centrally-located morley.
Other Thoughts: this can be a tough place for beginners to play, but since the rate of play is usually slow, don't worry just get out there and throw.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 2 Not
Dawn Patrol Dandy
* Outstanding course design - demands mostly accuracy, is balanced lefty/righty, rewards a broad disc skillset
* 5+ pin positions for each of the 19 holes, with every hole changed each Monday
* Perfectly maintained grass, teepads, benches, signage
* Attractive urban park setting
* Elevation change on most holes
* Two pin positions mounted atop wooden pyramids - a creative touch
* Well stocked pro shop with discs, food/drink, apparel, open from dawn to dusk
* Located close to family attractions in Balboa Park, such as the Zoo/museums
* Pay to play - a pro because that income pays for 5-7 employees who staff the pro shop, mow the grass, put down woodchips, fix benches, rotate pin positions, etc
* Does not have many, if any, holes that allow big arms to let rip with a driver(depending on pin positions)
* Crossing fairways in four areas(holes 3/4, 5/6, 11/12, 15/16/18/19)
* Busiest disc golf course in the world - if you don't play at certain times(see guide under Other Thoughts), you will experience waits like you never thought possible
* In most configurations, plays on the easy side for Blue players(-2 to -6 average) and almost trivial for Gold players (-8 to -12 average)
This is the course where I was introduced to the game, and my parents' home is a mile from the course, so I play several times a year when I'm visiting San Diego. Many players will ding Morley for the insane crowds, and it's true that waiting behind multiple groups of 6-8 players, clad in flip flops and carrying more cans of light beer than discs, is detrimental to your mental health. If you play early in the day, however, you can avoid this experience and get to enjoy what is a very good disc golf course. Bring a towel, because the grass is often freshly watered.
Here's my visitor's guide for weekdays and weekends if you want to beat the crush. Check morleyfield.com in advance to see if there's a monthly tournament or other event taking place, because that may alter the following advice!
Dawn to Dawn + 1h30m : parking available up front, course flowing and mostly open
Dawn + 1h30m to Dawn + 2h30m : front parking lot is full, course is busy but playable, only waiting for one group/hole
Dawn + 2h30 to 1hr before Dusk : Sixsomes, girl scout troops, so many players waiting behind each tee it looks like a picnic
1hr before Dusk to Dusk : Course loosens up some, if you bring running shoes you could almost jog a round throwing through groups
Dawn to Dawn + 3h : parking available up front, course flowing and mostly open
Dawn + 3h to about 1 pm : front parking lot is mostly/completely full, course is busy but playable
1pm to 1hr before Dusk : Pretty awful, but not as bad as weekends/holidays
1hr before Dusk : Course opens up some
18 of 20 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Well balanced course
Pros: Great variety of holes. Most holes have multiple routes to choose from. Great location.
Cons: Gets crazy crowded on the weekends.
Other Thoughts: Morley really has it all. It has some tough holes and some scoring opportunities. The multiple basket locations are fantastic so the course constantly gets a new look.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Fun course with lots of different challenges
-Many different basket positions, makes playing it multiple times a new experience
-Distances are mixed up so your not going to be playing multiple shot/long holes in a row
-Concrete tee box's
-Pro shop with good selection and some food
Cons: -Parking can be hard
-Sometimes its busy and can take a while to play
-Holes tend to cross each other, so it can get interesting on a busy day
Other Thoughts: Great course! Its awesome to have a nice course in San Diego. I would try to get there early in the day or a bit later to avoid the crowds, but either way you will have fun playing.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 2 Not
How many golfers can you fit on a course?
Pros: -Spectacular course design. Lots of rolling hills and funky trees to shoot over, under and around. Most holes have significant elevation change and obstacles.
-Pro shop operators are friendly and knowledgeable. Here you can get maps, munchies and discs (even rentals!).
-A multitude of pin locations means every time you play this course, you have to take new lines. Over the last few years they have improved their frequency of pin rotation vastly.
-Nice signs. Clear and accurate.
-Grippy rubber and cement tees.
-Immaculately clean course, thanks largely to the trash cans at every tee.
-Many friendly locals
-Plenty of places to sit down and relax. Most holes have a bench.
-All baskets present and in good shape
Cons: -The crowds, both in the parking area and on the links. Those San Diagoans sure know a good course when they see one!
-Medium degree of crossing fairways...watch your back and keep your ears open!
Other Thoughts: This course is an excellent piece of land that hosts an incredibly well-designed layout. If I was evaluating solely the course design, I would have awarded it a much higher rating.
While the crowded conditions slows play, the locals are typical San Diego types; friendly, always helpful and more than willing to guide or help out wherever they can.
In summary, this course is spectacular. so good that it was the only disc golf course in the area for years and years. If you get irritated waiting behind a pack or are in a rush, skip Morley. If you have time to kick back and enjoy one of the premier parks in San Diego and enjoy stellar course design, Morley Field will not disappoint.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Lots of blind shots, with technicals. Friendly people, and a snack shack. Signs help ALOT!!! Lots of trees. Good layout for being on a small piece of property.
Cons: Very crowded. Lots of people stacked up at each hole.
Other Thoughts: Benches are nice to rest on while you wait for your turn. Each one is different. Some are dedicated to lost loved ones.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 5 Not
(Only) Jewel of San Diego
While my wife was on a business trip in San Diego, I had the opportunity to spend some time at one of the greatest places in the region: Morley Field. The vibe and feel of the place is great, the park is beautiful, the players welcoming and helpful and fun, and the course is enough of a challenge to make you think about your game and try to get the magic routes the locals use to work for you.
I played this course in two different configurations. The number of possible basket placements on each hole (according to the well-marked maps) was astonishing, usually offering at least half a dozen possibilities. Some of these basket placements were only slightly different from others, but there was enough variety that the course could be completely changed to a totally different experience after a every weekend's re-arrangement. I understand this to be a desire of the locals to change up the course because this is, literally, the only pure disc golf course within almost 100 miles (La Mirada in LA might be the next closest, the rest in the region are all baskets strewn around ball golf courses and not well-regarded by purists). As such, if they want to play a different course, they have to change what they have.
Nevertheless, while Morley Field is the only pure disc golf experience in the region, the property set aside for it is indeed dedicated for that usage. There is no conflict with other park users, even the joggers and dogwalkers from the local neighborhood tend to stick to the roads and external paths. So if somebody gets hit by a disc, you can at least be assured that it is another player who will be more understanding than an old lady whose poodle you just tomahawked.
OK, the course. There are 19 holes arranged on a surprisingly small piece of land. But there are enough combinations of open fairways (well kempt, mind you, by regular mowing) and cool craggy trees, bigger leafy guys, smaller well-trimmed varieties that can snag discs, and even some tall scruffy palm trees. There are plenty of small groves in which to place a basket to increase the challenge. The landscape is rolling, has some decent hillsides and long slopes, and even some small ravines and such where a stray disc will not easily be found in a spot that can recover par. You will need a variety of shots to score well, with right turning, left turning, sky shots, roller opps, and all sorts of fun possibilities at every tee. Some holes are short and technical, and some are longer and less technical.
There is a nice clubhouse/pro shop selling Innova and Discraft discs (there might have been others, but I didn't notice them immediately), bottled water, gatorade, and such, and is also where you need to go in order to pay the course fee. The people working there are helpful, polite, and welcoming. They rent discs out for relatively cheap, and have a good selection for newer players.
There is a great lost and found policy I heard about while playing. If somebody finds a disc and turns it in, they get $1. When the owner recovers it, they pay $1 to get it back (or something like that).
This course has a phenomenal web page, http://morleyfield.com
/ Definitely visit the site if only just to see how cool a disc golf club's home page can be made.
Cons: Everybody has already said the course is crowded, and indeed it is. But still worth it. Just be prepared to wait patiently.
After playing my first round I noticed that the wait at the next tees were always staying the same or increasing. My wait on #1 was 10 minutes. 10 minutes on #2. Then 10 minutes on #3. Then 10 minutes on #4, and up to an astonishing 20 minutes on #5. This is not natural. Every other course I played really has only a single long wait at #1 and then cruises after that since groups simply play in sequence like cars on a train. I later found out that the reason for this is that players jump in and start playing at holes other than #1. I.e., the train is gaining more cars as it moves along. This then causes continual back ups at holes as you proceed. This is considered very rude where I come from, but seems to be accepted at Morley Field, so try not to lose your temper when a group jumps in out of the blue and you have to wait extra for them. One of the causes for this seems to be that the overflow parking is near tee #7, which is probably where a lot of the jumping in occurs. After #9 the flow seems to pick up pace again.
The crowds are only a "con" until such a point in time that the interest in disc golf in San Diego grows to the overflowing point where all these new players join forces with the older players to force the government to cough up some more land some place for another disc golf course project. And there is plenty of land in San Diego city proper, in vast networks of canyons and hills threaded throughout the entire region, many of which would make for an excellent disc golf experience if converted.
Come on San Diego! Get up off your butts and make them put in more courses! You'll always love and cherish Morley Field, but think about the possibilities that lie ahead if everyone who played at Morley were to call their council member. Pass out phone numbers to council members and the mayor at the course, and tell people to call and ask that it be made a priority for the city.
Other Thoughts: Some locals said that High Times magazine rated tee #11 (the bowl hole) as the #3 in their top places to toke. It was indeed pretty cool, but I'm surprised to see the bowl hole so far into the course (most courses don't waste much time, with a bowl hole in the first 5).
I'm not certain, but I think that if you want to stock up on some suds for your round you should hit a market before driving over to Morley Field, I didn't see any opportunities nearby.
If you drive in and find a nice parking spot immediately ahead when everything else is full, be sure to check that it isn't vacant simply because a basket is placed right next to that parking spot. I did this and when I got to hole #2 I noticed my car sitting right behind the basket, looking like a bright white target itself (of course, I moved it after playing #2).
The course rates some basket placements as par 4, but I don't think I would call any of these true par 4. On several of these I shanked my drives and was still able to get there in 3 throws using decent upshots. I think a par 4 should not be reachable in 3 throws if the drive is shanked except with a brilliant and highly difficult upshot.
I rate this course a 4 because it is truly awesome, but there are some issues such as multiple crossing and shared fairways that mean (in my judgment) that the course can only ever be a 4 at its highest possible rating. And this place has definitely been distilled into a fine jewel and a wonderful use of a great piece of property in sunny San Diego.
14 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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