9 Helpful / 0 Not
University of Hawaii - O'ahu
Pros: As Olorin stated in his great review below, the course is located directly in the middle of the UH campus (Hole 1 by Varney Circle). Driving directions are very easy to follow getting there from Waikiki (about 5 minutes). Bathrooms are accessible in many of the campus buildings.
As you play this object course you have the opportunity to see some amazing tropical trees, plants, and flowers (many are labeled explaining name and origin) making it feel as if you are playing in a giant botanical garden. For being object, the course provides some excitement including a few elevation shots, doglegs both left and right, and several OB chances which adds to the degree of difficulty. Targets are a variety of things including light posts, palms, banyan trees, and even a fire hydrant. Tee pads were a mixture of cement, grass, and dirt. On each target there were two dark green strings (one about 3 feet up and the other 5 feet) indicating where exactly to throw.
Cons: The course for the most part (although in Hawaii) was fairly simple and lacked some imagination at times considering there was plenty of room for some really intricate designs. Most holes ranged from 200-350 feet which seemed appropriate but had you throwing over parked cars which felt a bit sketchy at times depending on your accuracy.
The fact that there are no baskets, signs (for the hole or to the next tee pad), or permanent tee pads, the course would be impossible to play unless you download a map from the HDGA website. Even with a map it was a bit confusing trying to read the written directions as it contradicts the picture map at times (mainly around holes 6-8). Also, the course is currently 16 holes due to construction around holes three and four.
Other Thoughts: Every time I play in Hawaii it is truly a pleasure, as the locals are always friendly and the locations are breathtaking. Whether it be on the north shore or in Honolulu, the sun, trade winds, and tropical plant life make for a truly memorable experience. Someday I hope to see a permanent course on this incredible island or at least a course that can be played by outsiders without a local guide any day of the week. For now though any disc golf is better then no disc golf so it is nice that the HDGA has something set up even if it is temporary. If you are in O'ahu and have some spare time I recommend trying to get a round in on a Sunday at the UH as it is quite the experience.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
In the middle of the campus, with lots of scenic foliage
NOTE: You have to understand that on O'ahu there are almost insurmountable roadblocks that prohibit any permanent courses from being installed, therefore, the island players can only do the best that they can under these conditions. With this in mind, my review criteria are much different than they normally are. Because of the unique circumstances on O'ahu I gave this course lots of grace, and my rating was also higher than a comparable course on the mainland would rate. Hey, just being in Hawaii bumps it up!
To me, the greatest feature was the vast variety of tropical trees, flowers, and bushes. Many of the trees have identification signs, so here are some that I saw-- banyan, breadfruit, tamarind, false olive, palms, kumoni, Cuban royal palm, date palm…
The island players are very friendly and helpful in showing you around.
There are good fairway lines to the targets with manicured grass and scattered trees and foliage. There aren't too many wide open shots, nor are there any technical tunnel shots.
There's a pretty good balance of fairways with 8 Straight/ 6 to the left/ 4 to the right.
There are a pretty good variety of elevation changes with 4 Flat/ 6 Up/ 8 Down, but the elevation differential isn't too large. The greatest change was a drop of ~15 ft.
The tees are a mixture of sidewalks and grass and they're quite adequate.
There are restrooms available inside some of the university buildings.
You can play in shorts and sandals year round.
There are no baskets, no tee signs, and no marked tees. The tees aren't allowed to be marked and if the target marking is too obvious then if gets vandalized or removed. That makes them all the harder to find, though. The targets are usually marked by green wire with a zone that you have to hit within. There is a map, but many of the holes are different from the map, as well as the numbering, so it would be impossible to navigate the course without a guide.
-The course plays through the middle of the campus, so there are TONS of potential safety issues. To me this is the greatest drawback of the course. Always use spotters, be careful, and be patient when necessary. Please make sure to carefully read the notes in the DGCR "Course Description" section before you go there.
-The course can only be played on Sunday mornings. Please DO NOT play there at any other time because there are too many people that you might hit!
Course Level: Probably White (most suited for Intermediate players rated 875-925)
Although hole lengths aren't available, most of the hole lengths were pretty similar, probably between 250-350 ft.
Playing here took me back to my roots. It brought back nostalgic memories of when I first started playing "frisbee golf" on the campus course (UVA) we invented in the early 80s. Being in the midst of so many buildings is not a very natural setting, though. Of course, with modern golf discs you also have to be especially vigilant to avoid hitting people, cars, or even windows. For that reason, I think this course is a great candidate for the new larger "Super Class" discs. All in all I appreciate the efforts to have a disc golf course at UH, in spite of many challenges, and I was really glad to be able to play in Hawaii.
NOTE: Look in the "Links/Files" section for my files with Hole-by-hole evaluations, and a more detailed Overall review. You can also read more of my review philosophy and rating notes at Disc Golf Course Reviews
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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