17 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
17 of 19 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.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Hope you're a people person
Pros: This is a very pretty course that is well maintained. Concrete pads on every hole with alternate pin placements allows for good variety. Every hole is a little different so you won't get bored. This is definitely not one of those courses where you will just throw the same shot with the same disc off the tee.
Aside from the course itself there is a little golf store on the course that has different items for sale as well as cold drinks. There are also bathrooms, which as many of you know are a rarity at disc golf courses.
Cons: If you don't like playing a course with a lot of other players and waiting on average 15 minutes on each tee pad this is not the course for you. I played on a Saturday and it was extremely busy. In conjunction with that many of the holes are VERY close to each other with on pin being as close as 30 feet from the next tee.
Other Thoughts: While the course is crowded and the design putting many holes very near each other its still a very fun course. There isn't a whole lot of distance so amateurs will have a great time playing the course.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Crowded but cool
4 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Great short course layout with trees and bush's adding challenge to almost every hole. Fun, technical course that forces you to hit lines and gaps. But there is still only a small chance of losing a disc. Can be punishing if you can't hit your gaps. Some elevation to add to the challenge, but nothing dramatic.
Good pro shop with helpful freindly staff and locals. Shop has discs, snacks and drinks.
Cons: TOO MANY PEOPLE! Crowded and locals told me this was a quiet day. Maybe San Diego needs a few more course's. Everyone was friendly and helpful, but discs are flying everywhere and FORE is yelled all the time. If I went again I would try to play at first light.
No open, long holes for people that want to air put some drivers.
Other Thoughts: Good course in San Diego, so any cons are well worth the price of playing in paradise. Sunshine, 70's and no humidity is hard to beat. I would play again if I was in town.
4 of 17 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: 1. Amenities- Pro shop is excellent, with tons of discs and lots of drinks and snacks! Restroom at start. Benches, trash cans throughout.
2. Pin locations- Multiple locations A, B & C make this course play different almost every time.
3. Shot variety- A multitude of shots and throwing styles are required to score low here.
4. Scenery- The grounds are VERY well kept and offer an area for picnicing/lounging if you so choose.
5. Signage- Pretty good, with everything you need to play the hole, but I've seen better.
Cons: 1. Parking- Rarely enough parking and even when you get a spot, you can get blocked in or even worse, crashed into.
2. Crowds- As with any really good course there will be a lot of players. Combine quality of course with the fact that SD is a large city with relatively little DG course choices of quality. This causes big back ups and long wait times. Play EARLY or come prepared to wait.
3. This is a pay to play course, which is new to me but, not too much and worth it. There are monthly/yearly specials.
4. Crossing fairways- This can be dangerous at times with people calling "FOUR" about every 5 minutes...might want to leave the kids at home.
5. Blind tee shots- Personal dislike. I don't need to see the cage every time, but sometimes I at least need an IDEA of where it is and this course has 3-4 holes that require a "good-guess" based off a mediocre sign.
6. Course play- Again, a personal like/dislike. I like when there is water that comes into play on a course. Morley offers plenty of other challenges, but if you're like me and like water, you won't find it here.
Other Thoughts: This is THE premiere course in SD and definitely a must play when in the area as its an ICON! Ensure you have plenty of time to play it as the above cons make for a "long" round usually. I play here by myself and I take the family (wife and daughters 8-10 out to Olive Glen in El Cajon.(Also reviewed) The locals here are VERY helpful/friendly and may offer you some things that are slightly unlawful unless you have glaucoma! Otherwise, have fun and let if fly!
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
My Home Course
Pros: The first pro that has to be mentioned is the various pin placements for every hole, which is changed every Monday. One week a hole can be fairly simple and then the next week, it can turn into a nightmare. Hole 10 for example, some of the basket's placement is an easy high curve to the left then one placement is about 400+ through the woods. Some of the holes are very technical and require a skillful throw.
The course is also stocked with a pro shop filled with snacks, drinks, and DISCS. If you've been wanting to pick a new disc up but don't want to wait weeks for it to come in the mail, just head down to Morley Field and pick it right up. I always make a pit stop at the shop walking over to #15 Hole to refresh myself.
The environment is a truly laidback one, classic San Diego style. The people there are fairly friendly to everybody that is out to enjoy the sport. The course is really well-kept and the low fee to play (2.50 weekdays and 3.00 weekends) goes to course upkeep.
Cons: The crowds are easily the biggest con, but as long you're with a good group you'll still enjoy yourself. Although you might find yourself stuck behind a group of newbies but if you explain that your group is more experienced, they will let you pass on through.
Holes 15, 16, 18, and 19 flies right over each other so you'll have to keep your eyes/ears open for these flying discs and FORES. That also goes for Hole 3 & 4 and 5, 6, and 9. Basically, keep your eyes open for flying discs and you'll enjoy yourself.
Parking can be a hassle but don't fret, I usually park up on 28th Street when the lot is packed. It's just up the street on Pershing, stay on the right near the Balboa Golf Course and you'll find 28th Street, it's a short walk down to the course.
Other Thoughts: This is my preferred course in San Diego because of the technical holes and the close drive from my home. I can be found on the course 2 or 3 times a week and am always playing with a group of deaf people. If you see us, just wave and say hello! Most importantly, just let it fly and enjoy yourself.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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