12 Helpful / 1 Not
Challenging and overgrown, needs some beat-in time to be much fun to play.
Pros: Disclaimer: Before I get crucified by the locals for this review, please keep in mind I am rating this course based on how it existed on the day I played it (mid May 2009). This course has immense potential -- it will be a 4-star course eventually -- but it has a long way to go to get there. I love challenging, heavily treed courses, but this has a lot of problems that need to be addressed before it is worthy of 4-star status. I look forward to replaying and re-reviewing this course in the future.
First, the biggest pro for this course is the challenge that is represented. This is like no other course in the DFW Metroplex. Incredibly challenging layout and lots need for precision shots that will help shape a players game and ability to carve lines through trees.
Parking is good.
Gateway Park itself is great -- incredible facilities for all kinds of sports, and obviously a huge investment of resources by the city, so it is great that disc golf is part of this effort.
Open areas were well-mowed and the look of the park makes me believe they will stay this way.
Cons: Lots of cons -- most of the cons are due to newness of the course.
First and foremost -- and this is one of my biggest pet peeves -- I spent a lot of extra time walking the wrong way on this course. I played for the first time without a guide, and though I took a map, it was of only limited help. The map is very general and some of the holes have changed since the map was created. In addition, there are dozens of foot trails through the woods, and there are only a couple of holes that have any signage indicating which path to take to the next tee. These are long paths, partially overgrown, with little to no signage. I spent an estimated 30+ extra minutes playing this course due to needless walking. This is a huge pet peeve. Especially on a hot, humid day with bugs and thorns in abundance. Clear signage is needed. The sooner the better. Also, a better map (google-satellite based map, maybe?) would be of immense help.
In addition, the hole signs need more information. Right now, the signs have hole number and the par, but lack any other helpful information -- like a basic layout for the hole. No clues as to whether a hole turns right or left or doglegs. No clues as to OBs, Mandos, or water hazards. This also makes the course very hard to navigate, since you have to walk up every fairway to find the basket before throwing.
This is a new course, so underbrush is in abundance, as are tree stumps and roots in the fairways. Rollers are useless here because so much is uncleared. Rough is truly rough with lots of opportunities for losing discs, sometimes even in the "fairway."
Many holes are very repetitive. And by that I mean that there are so many trees in the way -- and NO clearly defined fairway -- that on a 300' hole, your best option is often to put a disc 200' up the best available line, and then pitch up for a three. This is really frustrating golf. Well-designed holes should have a line that it is possible to aim for. Here, birdies are pitch-and-pray, even on short holes. This is not good design and gets very frustrating. Hopefully age and foot traffic will open up some lines, but right now the repetition of trying for threes on ~300' holes is really frustrating.
I love challenging courses, and I love trees, but this doesn't do a good job with either. Challenge is not a matter of skill but of surrender -- play pitch shots to stay in the fairway since there are no defined lines -- and take your threes and fours. This isn't skill golf. It's an exercise in anger management.
Again, I think a lot of this is the age of the course, but it is a really frustrating experience.
Ticks and other bugs in abundance. I pulled a tick off my discs and another off my shoes. Mosquitoes all over the place. Course was so humid the discs and hands stayed slick the whole round.
Layout feels very confused -- more like a maze than a course. Good signage will help, but there is a lot of walking between holes, far more than there should be on a course with this many trees. Course feels dragged out for extra length without any good reason. Very few memorable holes -- just a lot of dejavu.
Plan for lots of walking, and then lots more walking, even if you know the layout.
Overall, design and flow are weak. Weak variety of shots necessary and poor flow to the course.
Other Thoughts: I will look forward to playing this course again, hopefully in a year or so when it is a little more broken in. I applaud the Fort Worth Parks Department and local disc golfers for including a disc golf course in this parks project, but its going to take a while to make it work.
Overall, one of the ultimate tests for a course is "did I have fun playing it." And the answer here is "no, not really."
I enjoy almost any disc golf anywhere. But here, I found myself hot, bug-ridden, tired-out, turned-around and frustraterd rather than enjoying the round, which isn't a good sign. I hope people play this -- lots -- to break it in. And I hope it gets great signage and direction markers to help navigate the course. Then someday it may be more fun to play, but for now, it just isn't worth the time, with so many other better, more fun, courses in the area.
EDIT: I've updated my rating to a 3.0 from an original 2.5 based on rethinking my experience. If I knew my way around the course and hadn't made so many side excursions trying to find the tees, I would have given this a 3.0... so keep in mind that you SHOULD NOT play this course without a guide the first time through unless you are a masochist. Hopefully this will be fixed soon. So for locals, this course is worth a 3.0 -- for visitors, consider it a 2 or 2.5 unless you're playing with locals to show you the way. This will be a great training ground and tournament course someday... it just isn't there yet, and has a long way to go.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: About the only pro I can think of are the tees.They are all uniform and well built.13 and 14 are about the only holes I liked.I shot +6 so it wasn't the difficulty.The teepads all have distance markers.
Cons: Very poorly marked trails.I got lost between 14 and 15 also between 16 and 17.The walk between some holes were overly long.
This course desperately needs am tees.At least some staked out.I know how expensive concrete tees are.I've never lost a disc in the fairway before I played this course.Almost all the holes felt like there was only one way to play to the pins.
Some of the shots required to have a decent chance at par are beyond the average players ability.
Other Thoughts: As of right know I can't recommend this course.The good news is it has the potential to be a great course.Foot traffic will help the fairways and am tees are a must.
This could easily host a pro tourney and give them a run for their money.Unfortunately The average player is not a pro.
I will definitely keep an eye on this course and change my score accordingly.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a very challenging course! The first few holes are short with tight fairways that have small little hills on them. Get used to it because this is how the rest of the course plays. Extremely tight fairways and thick brush on the sides add so much challenge to this course, but in a good way. Tunnel shots are needed here more then any other course I have played. Good variety of shots and I like how there are a few holes that open up out of the woods to give you a little break form the punishment they serve you. The baskets are nice and new and the teepads are great.
Cons: This course is very new. The lines and fairways are ill defined. Lots of weeds and branches to get in the way. Some of the hole are so tight with the trees that it is almost too much of a challenge that takes a little fun out of it. Definate trash issues with this course, most of which is from a long time ago before this course was built. Navigation issues here.
Other Thoughts: I think once this course gets used a little more, than it will make it better. Definate potential with this course. I would certianly come back and try it again. Beginners should definately stay away from this one. One of the hardest courses I have ever played, but because of that, it makes me want to try again.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Seriously, WHOA! This is one of the hardest courses in North Texas.
Pros: This is an exceptional course, and extremely extremely difficult!! From hole one you get can either get with the program and start drilling lengthy and super accurate shots, or you can start working on chopping the trees down on shot at a time...(my 2nd round was best defined by the latter). So, yeah...hole 2...15' away and 15' wide is your window to a short hard dogleg left, but really it's not as bad or difficult as it looks. So, it's after this hole you REALLY need a map...hole three is a mess of an ordeal. From the tee-pad all you can see is woods, nothing else really...well, you can kinda see a little path in the middle of the 3' tall weeds. But still, the hole is awesome and even though I couldn't see the basket, I just kept shooting to where I thought the pin was and all worked out...so I guess you can say the layout is intuitive.
I could keep going hole-by-hole, since they are all impressively difficult and thus very enjoyable. But there should be mention of hole 5...300'-ish through WOODS, then another 300'-ish up a hill...fun stuff for sure. Nine is nuts...totally doable though, and after 9 is over remember that 10 is a ways away...or wander around for 1/2 an hour like a jackass like i did.
The back 9 are definitely sweet, with a wide and wicked array of holes/shots. Also, there is a giant creek/gorge that plays as a backdrop on a few holes, and unless you really screw up you shouldn't really have to interact with the creek. All and all, just keep you shots down, try to keep your aim true and you should be alright.
Cons: Underbrush, thorns, tight to non-existent fairways, and if you stray from one of them or happen to ricochet off the side of a tree (of which there are a'plenty) you are screwed 90% of the time, or at the very least scratched to all hell by the thorns.
The tee signs are LAME, and yes, the distances are good to have, but for as extreme as the holes are there really should be much better signage. And yeah, if you have a map you are better off, than without. But the bottom line is, that if you are going to make a hard ass of a course, you should take the time to invest in some signs that will allow folks to know where they're headed...
This course is only going to get worse for the next month or so as spring progresses, a freshly cut course with all the vegetation trying to grow back, nature's little creature friends emerging from the winter...and me and the dude I was playing with both kept stating how it felt like if you weren't careful you could very possibly step on a snake...
Other Thoughts: Okay, so my complaints about the course are nit-picky, and I will admit that the improvements this course needs are probably only missing since the guys who put this course together had to fight to get the funds to even put baskets in, for which they deserve much kudos. And I fully understand WHY the signage may be lacking, but none-the-less the addition of better signs would be superb. Also, the course being on the rough side is just a by-product of putting a course in the midst of a freakin forest...and really, the hardcore rough does well to encourage a player to stay within the tree lines. All and all, this is really a spectacular course and truly is one of the hardest courses I have played to date...it's so hard I actually played by the signs, if it said par 4 or 5 then dammit that's how I played it! So yeah, do yourself a favor, pack a lunch, plenty of liquids, your bug spray...and then go out to Gateway.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 2 Not
Can You Say Tough?!?!
Pros: This course is a monster. It has enough twists and turns in the tunnel fairways to keep you looking for new routes constantly. There are about 4 holes in the wide open and maybe 2 of them you can throw big on. There are lots of technical fairways and trees to navigate around. I personally love that kind of course. You may find yourself throwing many mids until this course gets used enough to clean out the rough more. The par lengths are excellent and the basket placements are actually quite fun.
The cement tee pads are of a suitable length and are well placed. The signage on each hole does have the distance (seems to be GPS) and the hole numbers. The welcome sign at the beginning of the course is beautiful and has a great map. The baskets are obviously brand new and in great shape. There are a few signs pointing toward the next tee on some trees (could use more of these to help first time play).
Cons: I would like to start off by stating this is a freshly cut out of the woods course. So some of the negative things I am stating here will go away with time. For now, you should be wearing pants when playing here. I have already seen one guy looking like he was in a razor fight on his legs. There are LOTS of thorns, briars, brambles and anything else that scratches, everywhere. I suggest taking a picture of the map with your phone or bring one from this site since navigation once inside the course is a little rough (again, it is new.) Until the fairways get worn down more, you may want to be using bright colored discs as some of the ground foliage is growing green and thick and makes it tough to find a disc. You need to really watch your disc all the way to the landing point or you may be looking for it a while. It would have been nice to have tee signs that show the hole layouts on them. There are no bathrooms or resting areas along the way so far.
Other Thoughts: Playing help: When finishing hole #14, the path splits along the river, take the left path back into woods to avoid a REALLY long walk to #15. Watch for the yellow wooden "mando" arrows on hole #5. There is one on a tree in front of you on the tee and one on the tower in the open field.
The Fun Factor on this course was as high as it can be. I loved all the technical stuff and great use of terrain. I will be coming to this course often. It is by far the toughest course in the Fort Worth area. I am rating this course high as most of the negatives will be as it is gets more use. The fun factor and difficulty is so worth it.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The challenge level on this course is very high. There are many very tight fairways with very small windows to try to shoot through. This is definitely a course where you have to pick a line and commit to it and hit it if you want to shoot well. There is not a lot of room for error, and if you do err then you'd better get lucky or you'll end up with an even tougher second shot. There are 4 par 4 holes and 2 par 5 holes that are true pro par 4s and 5s. I really enjoyed the fact that most holes offered a variety of options on how to drive. This course has come a long way since its inception a few years ago. Fairways are much more fair and the course is much more friendly to play. Especially, during the winter time, this course is a lot of fun to play. For the most part, bad shots are penalized and good shots are rewarded. There are a few holes that run next to the Trinity river and offer a nice view. The tee boxes and signs are great here as well as great discatcher baskets.
Cons: This course will be difficult to navigate if you go without a map. You will have a better experience if you can play with someone that knows the course layout. It is somewhat easy to lose your disc if you go off the fairway and get buried in the thick…it may take some considerable searching at least. There is some poision ivy at various places on the course. No restrooms. Trash cans are sparse.
Other Thoughts: This is a tough par 62 course that is a lot of fun to play when conditions are right.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
A Lovely Little JunGle WaR
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Top 5 in the metroplex.Very nice new benches and a practice basket have been recently added between holes 1 and 9! Excellent low ceiling corridor shots,tight lines thru narrow fairways,decently technical.Hole 3 and 16 have a newer longer pin from its original placement congrats to the design team it really helps keep the course tough.Long course,knowing where to land to shoot low scores here will challenge you.The short holes are difficult enough to be fun not boring,4 and a half (hole 5) out in the open holes stand out compared to the majority of the course being heavily wooded.Holes 5,12 and 16 three of the top holes in the Metroplex.Only Crossroads of Life in Duncanville, Harry Myers in Rockwall an Z Boaz own only one hole each as difficult as holes' 5(when construction is done and its back to 707ft)and 12 and 16 at beautiful Gateway Park along the Trinity river.Holes 1,2,8,9,13,17 and 18 at night have light on the fairways from the streetlights shining thru after 5:30p.m. you can start your round on hole 10 and finish on 9 and play the last three four holes with plenty of light!Sweetness! Deciding what line to take then actually hitting hit keeps this course...HARDCORE! Play this course... even if its just once.
Cons: If you throw off the fairways a weed whacker or a machete' would be very useful.Gnarly brush here.Wear jeans to keep your legs from scratches although the grounds have been cleared alot since conception.Find a buddy to play with you you'll need one to help find discs lost into the taller viney tree shrubs here.Please do your part by helping clear fairways as you play.Funkytown has taken over maintenence but every disc golfer should pull a weed or two while strolling the fairways to help out.Cutting trees down is illegal.Please respect that not all courses are plain-jane.Course put in over the top of old landfill on some holes,very little elevation throughout.A sewer ventilation shaft lies within the courses premises,the smell is god awful on hole 5.Queerbaits are thick in the parking circle near hole 13,(almost dizzying watching them drive round and round the park).hopefully we can get them to leave permenantly,watch your six.
Other Thoughts: Keep in mind if you have never played here that the photos on this site are from 2009.Those photos absolutely do not look like the fairways of todays' Gateway.A whole lot of time,effort and energy has reduced the low shrubs an taller grasses you see in these old photos to almost non-existent status. It was a great experience in 2009 when the course was brand new and 62 won the Hangover and the course record.Heavy clearing of the fairways using a bobcat occured in summer of 2012.The new top scores after that "de-jungling" of the fairways really say something for the courses difficulty level then and now. A 52 is the lowest round as of 2012 in the "Meltdown."
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
This is going to be a great course
Pros: I played this course in the hangover classic on new years day. This course is great. It is a finese players dream. It has a mixture of long dog-leg shots as well as a ton of obstacles to throw around. I dont think there was a simple hole on the whole course. I loved the way the developers used fallen trees and bushes as obstacles. This course ate alot of peoples lunch yesterday. There are a couple of mando shots as well as maybe two open field holes. People with big arms and no finese will have nightmares on this course.
Cons: Since it was the first time anyone played on the course, there were thorns and briers everywhere. Once people play it enough this shouldn't be a problem.
Other Thoughts: I think this will be one of the favorite courses in the DFW area. The tournament was great, and the course was THE BOMB!
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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