3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Great tee boxes & signs
- Challenging, some variety
- Woods = little wind, nice shade
Cons: - Almost every single hole finishes right, so lefties would love this; righties, get good at your forehand or leave your overstable drivers at home
- Little elevation change
- Creek has very tall, steep banks, difficult to retrieve from
- High grass
Other Thoughts: This course must have been developed by a bitter lefty, I can't see any other reason why nearly every hole has the pin to the right of the main throwing lane. If you are a righty and want to really work on your forehand, this is the course to do it on.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: teamudgp
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Thanks for the review! Just to let you know the course was developed by righties. Depending on the pin position some holes will be turnovers. Can't really help on the tall grass issue, but repeated phone calls to the city may help. Not throwing into the creek also helps with retrieval. :)
Pros: Intermidiate level player with 4 years experience. Very demanding and technical. Only a experience golfer should attempt this course. Must have a big arm for most holes and be acurate.
Cons: Fairways are hard to find. Throw hard and hope for the best seemed to be the norm.
Other Thoughts: I'll attempt to play again when I've got more experience or a much bigger arm.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 5 Not
It's like an Audobon revival... flat, nice holes, grass and underbrush are wicked.
Pros: I hate having to start on the defensive, but I feel I have to with this course, since I'm bucking the party line by only giving it a "3.0 - Good" rating. Before you click the "thumbs down" out of bias for your local course, please read the reasons and decide whether or not the comments are helpful to you... even if you're a local that loves the course and thinks its a five, realize that constructive criticism can be helpful even if you disagree with my rating.
Disclaimer aside, this course has several pros: location is great -- having this longer course right around the corner from Alex Clark Memorial is a great one-two duo to help alleviate course overcrowding in the Far North Dallas suburbs and give players a much better mix of shots and a chance to work on their long game.
Parking is excellent, tees are good, teesigns are helpful in finding the baskets. Online map available here is good as well. Layout flows well with minimal walking between holes.
The course is on a decent piece of land with minimal interference from other park users. The occasional walker/jogger/dog-walker may get in the way, but it won't slow down the game for long. for being part of a big, beautiful park, the course feels very peaceful, like you've escaped the city.
Decent mix of shots. Lots of great trees for shade in the summer. OB streams are a plus and a minus -- add nice challenge and visual interest, though they do eat discs.
This course boasts several long holes which is a nice addition for this area, immediate area with doesn't have many other bomber holes -- the closest place with any bomber shots is Rockwall, which is a pretty hefty drive.
The relatively recent completion of Tollway-121 makes this course 10x more accessible from most other parts of the Metroplex and makes it much more accessible than the McKinney area used to be.
Cons: The biggest con to this course -- when I played it -- was the grass. Most of the course was poorly mowed or not mowed at all, with thick grass up to the waist on some holes, grungy mud abundant (slow drying because of all the tree cover), abundant bugs from all the water present, and pervasive nasty, nasty underbrush for any shot that missed or kicked or richocheted off the fairway.
I'll freely admit that the course could easily deserve another half-star or even a full star with better maintenance, but I'm reviewing the course as played... I would reserve my bias somewhat since I've only played the course once, but I played through with a local who assured me that the course conditions as experienced were not unusual. The few holes near the parking lot are very well kept, but past that, the unkempt course kept it from being fun, resulted in several lost discs, lots of bug bites, thorns and searching through thickets, and overall just put me in mind of the now virtually defunct and unplayed Audobon course in Garland.
For locals who remember Audobon in it's heyday, these comments will all seem familiar. It's another lowlying, flat course winding along a stream with moderately obstructed airshots, nasty grass and unkempt rough areas. It's even got a similar graffitied overpass towards the tail end of the course. Audobon was a lot of fun when it was freshly mowed and dry... which didn't happen often. Same holds true for Towne Lake... it would be a lot of fun in great shape, but that just doesn't appear to be it's primary operating state.
In addition, holes get too repetitive. Lack of elevation and similar tree density on most of the holes means there just aren't that many types of shots required to score well here. Play gets repetitive and with the searching for discs it just doesn't make you want to play twice. Few places to really pick up strokes on other players -- there will be occasional birdies, occasional bogeys (usually due to OB or lost discs) and a lot of stock pars.
Fairways are generally wide enough that mediocre shots aren't penalized unless they kick out of bounds -- bad shots and good shots alike will card a lot of threes. Bad shots and good shots alike have similar chances of kicking into the rough or into the stream, thanks to the low ceiling on many holes. With mown grass there would be some exciting roller opportunities which would spice up play, but as it stands now, those types of shots are impossible.
A small annoyance to tack onto the list is that signage throughout the course is oddly arranged. IMHO, the best courses have clear signage is behind and off to the side of the tee, facing the teebox so players on the tee or waiting to throw can study the sign and the hole. At Towne Lake the teesigns are arranged facing the previous pin, so sometimes the teesigns are in front of the teebox, facing away from the tee, sometimes to the side, sometimes behind the tee, sometimes close, sometimes far away... I see the intentionality that was used, presumably to make it easier to navigate the course, but it just feels very awkward and was a poor design choice. On a few tees where the signs are in front of (but facing away from) the teebox, they risk getting in the way on throws and mean that they player has to walk off the teebox, turn backwards and look away from the hole while studying the sign -- just awkward. I've never seen a course with signs placed in this way, and I really hope it's not repeated anywhere else.
Other Thoughts: I really wanted to like this course. I have many fond memories of Alex Clark and have been anxiously following rumors, then updates, then pictures as this course was developed. I have immense respect for the North Dallas disc golf community and for all the people who helped get Towne Lake in the ground. And from reading my review, you'll realize that I think the designers did a very nice job with the piece of land that is here. It's just not the kind of land that makes the best disc golf course, and the lack of maintenance is a park issue that (AFAIK) is no fault of the designers. This a good course and does a good job with what is here...
There are some nice holes in the mix and the course is a nice change if you are in the area -- especially if you catch the course on a good day when it's been tended. But despite similar course ratings on this board, I don't think this course can hold a candle to some of the other DFW-area courses like Turner, Veterans, Z-Boaz, Rockwall and Cedar Hill. Those other courses have far better shot variety, far better maintenance, far more elevation, far more excitement and immeasurably higher fun and replay factors.
Quick synopsis: bring discs you don't mind losing and definitely play if you are in the area but don't go too far out of your way... you're likely to be disappointed. There are much better places to spend your time.
10 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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