8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Island Estates course on Bowen Island is an extremely fun and rather rugged course which plays through an old logging area. The terrain consists of fairly steep hillsides, a small open field to start and finish, and valley streams which make for very beautiful and fun downhill tosses. Although the course is mostly quite short requiring only midranges and putters, there are a few holes where you'll likely need a well-placed driver to either get up a hill or bend around a long dogleg.
Maintenance: While the terrain is quite rugged and getting off the fairway involves trekking through ferns, blowdowns, rocks, and small creeks, the local crew has done an awesome job of maintaining the course. There are several short bridges to get over some of the boggy areas near the front and one really awesome longer bridge which spans a creek valley. These bridges can be slick (along with the rocks) so be careful when you are putting that first step out onto them.
Solitude: Although the nearby road detracts from the aura of solitude, once you get up into the clearcut hilly area, it feels rather wild and quiet except for the birds chirping and the wind whistling through the remnant pines.
Navigation: Even though this feels a lot like a wilderness bush-type course, navigation is very straightforward. Consistent tee signs, well placed flagging, and many routing arrows make getting around a breeze.
Cons: The main drawback to this course is the lack of much variety in terms of hole distances. The vast majority of holes run between 150-250' with shorter distances mainly for uphill and longer distances mostly for downhill shots. I found myself throwing many of the same discs off the tee (Aviar, Hero 235) with a
couple of exceptions (like hole 2) where a driver came in handy. The tees can also be very rough and not very well defined. Make sure to check footing before you tee off because it is definitely possible to roll an ankle or trip on the runup.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I'd highly recommend this course for several reasons. First, it is just a unique disc golf experience that you won't find on the average local park course (if you've played at Glacier DGC in Washington, this is quite similar). It takes a bit more patience to play on this type of terrain but it is an equally, if not more, fun and rewarding experience. Second, the course is just plain fun to play and while those searching for an epic challenge will be disappointed, pretty much anyone who enjoys a fun round will appreciate the trip out to Bowen.
Logistics: Getting here does take at least a little bit of planning and money so I'll give you the run down from a non-local. First, you'll need to check out the ferry schedule from BC Ferries as this is the only way to get here without spending an arm and a leg. You're looking for the Horseshoe Bay departure terminal to Bowen Island, Snug Cove. You'll also likely want to hoof it or ride a bike from the ferry terminal on Bowen because bringing a vehicle will run you upwards of $50 extra. There is a parking lot at the end of the road near the Horseshoe Bay terminal that will cost $8 and the ferry ride will run another $11 or so per person. When we visited, we just hiked from Snug Cove to the course which only took around 30 minutes and was mostly off to the side of the road rather than directly along it. Bring a map for sure if you plan to walk but know that it is easy to find your way and to locate the course while walking. Finally, know that once you leave Snug Cove and the surrounding area, you won't see any other shops so stock up on water and snacks if you need to while you are in the small town. Besides disc golf, there are also some really nice little art shops and great eats in/around the town.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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