Pros: Old Ranch Parks plays along a moderately sloping hill side and has wonderful views of Mount Diablo in the backdrop. (Best view from hole 8 basket.). The shrubs and plants within the park are also well manicured and offer some of the few obstacles that will shape your driving decisions.
- There is moderate amount of elevation to deal with as the course plays along the hill and will ultimately dictate your shot selection. If you're a one trick pony thrower, you will be severely handicapped.
- There are a couple of nice picnic tables along fairway 8. Which unfortunately probably gets unused as they're in the path of fire.
- This course would be great for 1 disc beginners, as there is really no chance to lose a disc to ruin their day.
- Most holes have adequate hole signage with directional ques to the next tee area.
- The baskets are in great shape, unfortunately a typical comment when you quickly run out of good things to say about a course.
Cons: There are numerous issues with Old Ranch Park.
- First I'll mention the hole spacing. There are several holes that cross paths with other holes. In addition, several tee areas are unprotected and are within striking distance of other baskets.
- There is a problem with blind shots that run along well traveled walking paths. My group almost nailed an unsuspecting park patron. Please be sure to double-check for walkers and joggers or use spotters.
- Navigation can be an issue as there is no course map. (The course map link on DGCR is accurate as of this review) Two tee signs are missing. Holes 7 and 9. Hole 7 has a black sharpie marking on a garbage can and crosses 6 fairway down the slope. Hole 9 tee is seemingly obvious with a sunken area surrounded by wood lumber. Although, no markings were observed on the lumber.
- Hole 10 is not marked at all, seems to be a local alternate hole. It uses 7 tee and 3 basket. For this reason, I feel that the course should really be relabeled as 9 holes, and not 10. On a side note, 10 was actually one of the most fun holes to play as it was the most aggressive downhill shot. Plus you have to head that way anyways to get to your car.
- Speaking of which, the parking is located across the street. Not a huge issue, but I generally like to finish a course by my car.
- The holes themselves lack uniqueness. There are very few trees in the park that guard pin placements. Most are just wide open with hole 9 being thee exception. There are no doglegs, no par 4s or 5s, no water elements, no driving windows to split, only one hole with a bit of length. (394). I wish the designer had made a couple of holes straight down and straight up the slope to mix it up a bit.
- alot of the holes, due to slope by pin placements, bring into play the death role. That is when your disc catches an edge and rolls way down the hole. Our group had one such occurrence on hole 6 where my friend hit the basket and then played his next shot a 100 feet away.
- the tee boxes are slightly below average. They reuse the walking path for most holes with the rest being dirt. Other than tee 1, all the holes are unshaded. None of the holes have seating at the tee box.
- During my visit, there was an overabundance of grass burrs. Not sure if this is typical for this part of California but I'm glad I wore pants.
Other Thoughts: Regardless of all the cons mentioned above, I truly did enjoy my first California disc golf experience.
Decent when empty.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Surprisingly challenging given the distances. The wind and elevation changes makes it interesting.
Clever use of the space in some cases.
The only course for miles around.
Someone took the time to put the course layout in UDisc. A big help!
Good baskets in good shape.
Cons: Ugh, where to begin.
The course is not laid out or marked to be easily navigated. I was there alone so without UDisc I would have been completely lost.
There's very prickly brush all over the place that can lead to some disc searching adventures.
There was heavy grass and weed growth which while preventing roll-outs also made every throw a searching event even when one knew almost exactly where it landed.
A pedestrian path crisscrosses the course and in fact is used as a teepads. Lots of conflicts with pedestrians if they are present.
Really terrible overlap of holes, fairways and tees.
Some dirt tees.
Other Thoughts: There's a lot to dislike about this course clearly and it would be unplayable on a day with busy walkers and lots of golfers. A real hazard for disc hits.
But... I played it on a quiet afternoon in June with the only golfers being on my card and not too many walkers.
Given all that it was an enjoyable time and I really appreciate the work of whoever built this course.
I sometimes have work nearby and the next time I'm up at that location I will return for an afternoon round.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
One Of The More Unique Courses You'll Play!
Pros: Old Ranch Park is set on a fairly steep hillside next to a pretty busy street. There is a winding sidewalk leading from the street to the top of the park. New vegetation has been planted. As it matures, it will maybe change the dynamics of the course and might also serve as a wind block. Currently, the wind is a major challenge in the course play. The course has these very cool bright orange Mach 5 baskets. I can think of many wooded courses that could use these bright baskets. Navigating the course is currently sketchy at best as you sometime tee off the sidewalks. At other times, the course doesn't flow real well. There are signs that are fairly informative. The # 6 basket is currently in a very treacherous (scary as hell) position, perched at the edge of a steep drop-off. This makes for an extremely scary drive or an even scarier approach or putt especially with swirling winds. # 7 and # 10 both tee off from the same position near the garbage can at the top of the hill. It's faintly marked on the can. # 7 is a short little (175') downhill touch shot while # 10 is a little longer (probably 225') also downhill. Park across the street by the soccer fields and the restrooms.
Cons: The wind greatly adds to the challenge. There were people walking on the course causing us to wait a couple of times before teeing off. Some kind of permanent marking of the tee-off areas on the sidewalks would help on the navigation. Maybe some kind of next tee arrows.
Other Thoughts: Love the baskets! Great look there. Basically a fun course although we were pretty frustrated trying to get through it as first timers. A few navigational aids for us first timers would be greatly appreaciated guys. Some fun throws. Be considerate of the walkers here. Very clean. This course would definitely teach you to play in the wind.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
• Great new baskets!
• Nice paths
• Water fountains
• Easy to find
• Warm-up/practice area in soccer field across the street (if unused)
• Wind can be gusty
• A little close to the road
• Tees are hard to find at the moment but I hear they're working on it.
• Could imagine being in the line of fire if it were busy due to the criss-cross nature of the course.
• Park in the parking lot for the park/soccer field across the street. Bathrooms are there.
Still new to the game but I'm glad to see a new course in the East Bay, particularly one that doesn't have "poison oak" in the description (this is important for us duffers =P ). I also like that it's a fairly wide open course, although in an ironic twist, I lost a disc on the most wide open hole (#9) due to an errant throw and a gust of wind that shoved my disc down the hill to the right and into the bushes/houses, so if anyone finds an orange Innova Leopard, holler at me! In any event, we (my girlfriend and I) had a good time out here and will be back soon and often! (If the course keepers need any help, let me know, otherwise keep up the good work.) Lastly, hello again to the friendly folks that were out there today!
UPDATE 11/23/2009: The tee markers are almost all done and they were working on the remaining tee pads last weekend. Keep up the good work!
UPDATE 03/18/2009: Well, the grass is huge now, pretty much necessitating a spotter and long pants (they mowed some paths, but I say mow the whole thing), and the squirrels/gophers own the hillside, so do watch your step. Your ankle will thank you. The tee markers are up on all holes except #7/#10. I can't tell if they gave up on the tee boxes or just postponed for the winter but they haven't changed.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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