6 Helpful / 0 Not
Surprising Disc Golf Oasis
Pros: We were returning to NorCal after visiting NorAZ, and looked on the map to see where we might be able to stop and play a round or two of disc golf. Bakersfield was perfect, and we arrived around 5:00 PM, just when we wanted to be off the road for a while (hwy 99 can be trafficky during rush hour).
We were amazed to find, after following Comanche Rd for about 9 miles from hwy 58 (we checked it, though the course description directions say 8 miles), a wonderful oasis full of trees, manicured grass expanses, ponds, lakes, streams, etc., unfold in front of our eyes. We found ourselves in a manicured park next to the Kern River, with great shade trees, ponds with bull frogs, dozens of peacocks, scores of cats, a handful of skunks, and even a large snake! And of course, 36 holes of disc golf.
We had hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon the previous day in blistering desert heat, so as attractive as the Shark Tooth course sounded in principle, the lack of shade and the steep topography were not nearly as attractive to us as the wonderful shade and green expanses of Suicide Flats.
The holes were a lot of fun. Some of the positions were set over 700', which made for a fun challenge to score a 3. Most other holes were in the 350-460' range, and only a few were under 300'. The creeks and ponds come into play on a few holes, giving a nice psychological challenge and a serious gut check. I watched my wife chuck her Tee-Rex right into the middle of the pond on hole 6, and we also got wet on a few of the later holes as well (although we recovered the discs).
This course requires you to hit some narrow gaps and tunnels, and there are usually several routes to choose from. For big arms and strong overhand throwers, some of the tree lines are low enough to allow over-the-top routes. The grass was a bit too grabby/sticky for rollers when we were there, but if it ever stiffens up I can imagine this would be a great roller course, which would also mitigate the risk of hitting tree branches and such.
The tees were fantastic, and all the baskets were in great shape and quality (Mach 3). There was even working water fountains near the 1st tee (in the small round rock building).
Cons: A lot of the fairways/available routes were hockey sticks, favoring RHBH/LHFH throws. I never once felt the urge or need to throw a forehand shot. I only once thought about it on number 8, but instead I hyzer-flipped my Valkyrie and parked the hole with little trouble.
Other Thoughts: There is no visible sign that you are entering "Hart Park" as such. It just kind of appears around you. I'm not sure how to describe better directions, but the 1st tees for both courses are near where the road forks in 3 different directions.
The bathrooms were a little dubious, but heck, at least they exist! I'll take almost any bathroom in a pinch.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
- 2 Courses in 1 Park. It's always a pro when there are two good disc golf courses in one park. I love tagging two new courses in one day. Plus, it makes for a great day of golf!
- Roller Practice. It's not too often I get to break out the old roller disc and go to town. Because this course is so long and flat, and has manicured grass, it is a great place to throw rollers. However, when you don't throw rollers all the time, it's not necessarily best for your scorecard.
- Winged Wildlife. There were so many different types of birds there it was amazing. Possibly one of the most bird filled disc golf courses I've ever played. We saw black cormorants, great blue herons, egrets, mallards, some other kind of ducks, acorn woodpeckers, wrens, finches… all types of birds. With the river, creeks and waterways, as well as grass fields, variety of trees and mountains nearby, there was something for every kind of bird.
- Lots of OB. Although a fairly open, flat, grass course, Suicide Flats has enough OB and pins positioned in proximity to OB to make it interesting. OB is usually in the form of park roads, but there are also several fairways that are flanked by water, and one hole (#6) that requires a decent drive (250') to carry the water.
- Straight, Straight, Straight… x18. This course is appropriately named… because I wanted to commit suicide after about 6 holes; and not because it was flat, but because every hole was STRAIGHT. Sure, you could throw a hyzer, or anhyzer, or a sidearm… but it certainly wasn't the holes design that forced your shot. Not one dogleg, not one mandy designed to force you to have to shape a shot... Just grip it and rip it, and hopefully straight. After about the 6th hole it became a game to see if the next hole might offer up something new… but, it never did. Disappointing.
- Litter. This place is trashed… LITTER-ally. Diapers, food trash, soda cans, water bottles, beer cans wedged in trees (???)… And, unfortunately this trash has blown into the waterways that much of the bird wildlife rely upon. Here you are, watching a mallard swim along or watching a crane wade on the edge of the creek looking for a meal… and then an Aquafina water bottles floats past the mallard and paper plates and plastic bags line the shores with the crane. Terrible.
- Poop before You Arrive. Probably one of the worst bathrooms I've seen in my life! It's the kind of restroom where people hover when they take a shit because they'd be too scared not to, but they accidentally miss the toilet and their crap lands on the seat… and then they do nothing about it, but neither do the park maintenance personnel. The kind of bathroom where there are no doors on the stalls and the walls are 10" thick with layers of paint covering up graffiti.
- Overall… It's great that the city decided to put two - really decent, but far from perfect - disc golf courses in one location. At Suicide Flats: the shots are decent, but in general lack variety. The long Par 4/5ish holes are great, but tee-signs are needed to tell you the actual distances and pars. And, although there are plenty of birds who call Hart Park home, the course is probably just a little too long for 95% of players to see a lot of "birds".
- My Score: 59
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Small arms need not apply
Pros: Beautiful setting, lots of trees, well groomed grass. Long holes, big arms and rollers will love it. It is like having two drives on half of the holes.
Cons: Danger of pedestrian interference. Watch out for the many large gopher holes on the front 9.
Other Thoughts: Great course! This combined with Shark Tooth make Hart Park a must play.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Whip out your Rollers
Pros: - very nice sign & information kiosk in between the two Hart Park courses
- nice, new, large cement tees
- great risk/reward shots dealing with water (canals/Kern River), and the park lakes
- awesome layout, and good use of mandos & longer holes to separate the technical ones
- shiny new baskets, easily visible
- forces a player to use every shot in the book
Cons: - as of the first Sharktooth Open there were no signs on this course, so navigation is tricky. make sure you look at the map before playing your round
- no water (only the rock structure by the course map has drinking fountains) or bathrooms close by
- kind of in the middle of nowhere
Other Thoughts: As far as the navigation issues that I mentioned in Cons, 1-5 are easy to follow, after you throw 6 you have to walk across a bridge and then 200' back to the basket to get your disc. After six, walk back toward the bridge, and tee 7 will throw through ALL the trees toward the road about 360' away. It's a bit difficult to see the basket from the tee. After 8, Tee 9 is down by the canal to your right. After 9, walk across the street and tee 10 is about 150' up the road and on your left. Lastly, after 15, walk past the basket, up toward the road and across the bridge to your left. Tee 16 is on your right, immediately after the bridge. Hope this helps any first time navigation issues!
As far as newer courses go, Hart Park has some of the best. You come to Hart for a challenge, and use the four 9 hole course in Bakersfield as your ace run/birdie courses.
Suicide Flats is extremely roller friendly due to many low ceilings.
If you're looking for water, and don't want to wait for someone in the stone building with the drinking fountains, there is also a well surrounded by a cut-off, 50 gallon, bright blue barrel by Sharktooth Mountain 17.
I thought the Flats was a little bit better than the Mountain because of the solid tees and multiple pin locations. It is an awesome addition for the Central Valley and Bakersfield area. I recommend playing both Hart Park courses to anyone passing through.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: As another reviewer said, this course was designed to be the complement the mountain course. This course is shady and grassy, but still very challenging and holds good risk/reward situations. Where the mountain course has elevation to challenge you, this course has trees, OBs and water to trip you up.
-Big concrete tee boxes
-Big, long holes with a balance of shorter technical holes to get your birdies on. To play this course well you must grind out pars on the long holes and take advantage of the birdie holes.
-Great park setting with scenic holes that have the Kern river, or the lakes in the park as backdrops.
-Lots of water fountains, bathrooms and shade.
Cons: -Until we finish the tee signs navigation can be tricky in a couple spots.
Other Thoughts: Ignore the other post about "gang violence" that was bogus and a sheriff's training facility is at the park, which is probably why he saw a lot of police. Also the county was working on the river system for a few days and the canals were dry. Trust me, the water holes are indeed water hazards.
Bakersfield has 4 other courses that are designed for beginners. The 36 holes as Hart Park were designed to be challenging for 950+ rated players and for tournament play. If you want a birdie fest go into town. If you want a strong test of your throwing skills and course management in a beautiful, peaceful setting, then come to Hart Park. You will not be disappointed.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Long drives and many challenges
Pros: *Beautiful park-like setting with some water/mud hazards.
*Very long holes which can be fun but tough.
*Lots of friendly locals who were more than happy to show us around.
*Water hazards are challenging.
Cons: *Very long holes - be nice to have a birdie shot once in awhile.
*Lots of people in park and sometimes in the way.
*Some potential gang violence and police presence never helps.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the trip!
*Huge 'county park' setting.
*Lots of trees to not only add to the challenge but provide shade in the Bakersfield heat.
*Two canals/creeks run through the course. And the Kern River can come into play on a couple of holes.
*Minimal civilian traffic.
*Plenty of drinking fountains, picnic tables, and BBQ grills.
*Course will challenge everyone. Lots of long holes but accuracy is just as important.
*Course does not favor right/left, backhand/sidearm players. A lot of varied shots are required.
*No real elevation changes but after playing the Shark Tooth course that will come as a relief. Distance, water, and trees more than make up for the lack of terrain.
*Baskets are in great shape and marked clearly.
*Although not all of the tee pads are installed the ones that are there are huge.
*Friendly locals who would be more than happy to show you around (and show off their course).
*Informational kiosk near Tee #1 but try and grab a map online to bring with you. http://kerncountydiscgolf.spo.../aboutus.aspx
*All-in-all an excellent course that will only get better as pads and signs are installed.
*Lots of ducks, geese, and peacocks if you're into that thing.
* A great compliment to the Shark Tooth course. The 36 holes at Hart Park are absolutely worth making the trip to Bakersfield.
Cons: *Still a work in progress. As of April 13th there are 12 concrete tee pads in place.
*No tee signs as of yet.
*Although there are plenty of drinking fountains be sure to bring plenty of cold water April-October.
*Park is a bit isolated. Bring your own lunch or be prepared to drive 10-15 minutes to the nearest (overpriced) market. Same thing for gas.
*Every so often people will park in the line of fire.
*Park rangers are friendly but can be hard nosed.
*You cannot drink beer/alcohol in the park without a permit...which you have to purchase in town.
*Be careful where you park and take the 25mph speed limit seriously.
*Keep an eye out for peacocks over on hole #15.
Other Thoughts: Admittedly, as a local, I'm a bit biased. But I've yet to meet anyone from out of town who didn't give the courses at Hart Park rave reviews. Players from Sacramento down to Ventura/Sylmar/LA have made the trip and loved it.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
36 Holes Where?
Pros: Long arm course where you get to watch your disc fly far or roll far. Course plays over a vast part of the park and over some water. Shade and water fountains for the HOT Bakersfield summer. Locals are cool and always willing to show you around. Newly installed concrete tees are the right size for the throws.After playing eight holes you are close enough to the starting area to grab some MORE BEER!
Cons: No signs yet.(They're coming) 1st time playing you'll definately need to print a map from this page.If you expect a birdie every hole this will be a con
Other Thoughts: The best time to plan a trip to Bako to play both Skark Tooth Mountain and Suicide Flats is in the spring(March-April) There is a nice camp ground very near Hart Park at Lake Ming.(only $11 during off season.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 - Mach 3 baskets
Drinking fountains on the course
Beautiful park setting
Great mix of long and short holes
Mach 3 practice basket
Great informational kiosk
Tons of parking
Great Scenery including the Kern River
Cons: Natural Teepads
some confusing walkouts in between hole 12 and 13, then again from 14 to 15.
bathrooms were very run down, no stall doors
Other Thoughts: We only had one chance to play this course while we had time. The course has great potential and with concrete teepads will certainly get better.
Signage was very lacking, but the course is still brand new.
Overall we had a great time, and were able to play a round even with a locals tournament going on.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is a great alternative to the mountain course. Plays fairly long through mature trees with most holes between 300 and 400 ft. Plenty of birdie oppurtunities but shots have to be played well to get them. The course is pretty open but the tees and pins are placed in a way that you have to throw around trees many times. A controled "s" shot is a plus as well as a roller. A large creek runs thru the course and comes into play on several holes. The creek is probably 60' wide at some points. There is also a roads that come into play on several holes which I assume are played o.b. There is a fence line on holes 15-17 which makes you a little more cautious on drives.
Cons: The course is brand new. they have markers down on the ground for tees but they are hard to see and a few had been chewed up by lawn mowers. There are some longer walks between holes and you play over the creek twice and you have to walk around it to get to the pin. The shots were very cool hole #6 and #18 I believe but a couple bridges would be awesome. Even after the tees are more noticeable some signage for next tee would be beneficial.
Other Thoughts: This is definitely a disc golf destination worth going to. 36 holes in one park is hard to beat and you get the best of both worlds with these courses. One mountain course with major elevation and good distance and the other your typical park course. I can only see these courses getting better over time with additions and impovements. The designers created something for every disc golfer here. I was just passing thru so I am bummed I won't get to play them again.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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