Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde
Pros: 9 holes located in a sports complex. Disc can be rented. Facilities are available for food, etc. Dr. Jekyll side---first 4 holes pretty wide up with a couple nice hizer or antihizer shots to clear the trees. Dr. Jekyll side mostly out in a large field.
Cons: Signs poor, pads poor (good news...course is starting to get some attention.) Mr. Hyde side---5,6,8 all very narrow down a road with a turn in to the right or left or up a large hill, must play very conservatively. Hole #9 is a joke! Goes down a "s" trail about 5 feet wide for the whole length---I can't make a throw to get to the basket...actually I can make a throw to get there--- 2 or 3 throws actually... sometimes...maybe:) Someone told me they parred it...not sure. Maybe playing a putter 100 feet then a putter 100 feet might do it...next time I'll try that.
Other Thoughts: Heard that they are trying to get property to make 9 more holes. I do enjoy playing there but I enjoy playing anywhere :) Is it worth the drive...nope. We ususally play it on the way back from Shelton Springs.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Volunteer Park provides a challenging little 9 hole course located in the back of a sports complex in the small rural town of Lakebay, one hour southwest of Seattle. The course plays fairly short, totaling 2,336 feet but play tight and technical. Holes range anywhere roughly from 150 - 365 feet, all par 3. The design of the course provided a mixture of open ( 1- 3, 9) and wooded ( 4 -8) holes, with 3 holes playing right, 3 holes playing left, and 3 holes playing straight on. Elevation comes in to play on four of the nine holes (1, 5-7). Navigation is fairly easy for first time players once the first tee is located. Yellow signs with black arrows and red numbers are located near each pin pointing towards the next tee. Cement tee pads are appropriate for the course setting and climate, and the Mach 5 baskets are double chained and sturdy. Water and restrooms are located near the snack shack by the baseball field.
Some of the signature or most memorable holes on the course would have to be holes five, seven, and eight. Hole 5 is located on a service road and was designed having the thrower hit a 15 foot gap with thick brush on either side for about 245 feet on a gradual decline with a slight hyzer. There is no room for error and so an errant shot can cause you to lose strokes quick. Hole 7 is about 180 feet up a 35 foot hill, straight ahead. What makes this hole stand out is the blind ace run it provides. Toward the top of the hill is a narrow window that opens right back up toward the basket. Hole 8 is memorable due to the extremely tight fairway that bends slightly for about 300 feet. Accuracy and precision is a must, as it is by far the most difficult hole on the course and quite easily the most frustrating.
This course is still very young in its development and it shows. Volunteer Park although off to a positive start, could really benefit from a local disc golf club to help with course maintenance. Updating the kiosk with current information regarding local disc golf news would be a start. Clearing brush on holes 3-5, 8, and 9 is a must in order to increase overall efficiency in terms of course quality and flow. Adding more signage to continually improve overall navigation is important, especially near the main road and tee one (near the kiosk). Locating the course was somewhat of a hassle too. I was looking for signs showing Volunteer Park but later was told (after stopping twice) that it was located in the Key Peninsula Sports Complex right next to the middle school. There were no signs even once there that I saw indicating I was at Volunteer Park or near a disc golf course.
Volunteer Park definitely feels isolated from the other courses on the peninsula but in all actuality, it is only 30 minutes from courses some great courses such as Steilacoom and Dalaiwood (as well as many others). Over time with A LOT of work, the course has the possibility to be a decent introductory or practice course where children from the middle school next door can learn this wonderful sport. Right now due to the difficult fairways, it is more appropriate for intermediate to advanced players. With so many other courses near bye, I just don't see this course getting played much. Players visiting the area would have a much better time heading straight to Dolliwood or NAD where the courses are more challenging and better designed. Volunteer Park is a nice thought but is really not much at this point. I hope to see a redesign in the near future considering the surrounding land they have to work with. I wish the locals the best.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Send a spotter ahead!
Pros: Volunteer Park is the brand new nine hole disc golf course on Key Peninsula. The course is located in the Northwest section of the sports complex with the first hole starting right next to the beautiful new course bulletin board. The first tee is white paint on concrete and directs you to throw a left to right turnover shot up and over the gate for hole one. Holes five through eight are the best holes on the course with five being a short but straight throw down a utility road with a need for a hyzer finish, six is a very short hyzer over a small gully, seven is a short turnover over a hill and hole eight is a very tight controlled hyzer through the tight fairway or as cefire said a big bomb turnover by the ball field to the left.
Baskets are in good shape and tee pads are mostly alright as well but it would be nice to see the rest of the dirt/gravel pads become concrete at some point. Navigation is fairly simple once you find hole number one which is good because I think most of the time you won't have anyone to ask, it seems as if the course doesn't get a lot of play but it's also pretty new.
Cons: Fairway crossings: Hole two is a 350 foot or so wide open hole. While walking from the basket for one to the tee for two you are directly in the fairways of both hole nine and hole three and this isn't necessary, especially since hole two isn't that great, the pad needs to be moved somewhere else.
Trouble off the fairways: As the other reviewers have noted once you are off of the fairway you are in deep trouble, even three feet off the path and it's difficult to retrieve your disc even if you can see it. I suspect more foot traffic will help in the long run but as of now send a spotter ahead.
Nasty during the winter: On the top, flat part of the course where baskets one, two and nine sit the course was completely flooded from rain water, I'm not sure what can be done to help, especially since this is a very rainy part of the state but it's a bummer anyway.
Graffiti: Near the basket for hole one and the tee off for hole nine, which are close together, there is the single picnic bench on the course, along with a large container of some sort and a close by large rock had nasty graffiti. It's a shame that a brand new course is being ruined before it can really even be up and running.
Challenge factor: I think intermediate to advanced players and up are going to get bored with this place pretty quick due to it being short and mostly straight forward and at the same time I think beginners or people who have a hard time with control will be frustrated trying to dig their discs out of rough all the time.
Other Thoughts: We had one heck of a time trying to find this place. The directions we got weren't really specific and kept telling us to "continue" on a road that isn't there. I never saw a sign for Volunteer Park, the only way you would know it's called that is from this website. What you want to look for is the driveway that says "Sports Complex" and turn in there, it's right next to the middle school right off of the highway. If you get lost, don't drive around for an hour like us trying to find it, pull over to the shell station and ask, they pointed us in the right direction.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
A rough but fun beginner course
Pros: Volunteer park is a great start towards building a nice beginner course. Located about 45 minutes NW of Tacoma (and 1:20 from Seattle) and right of the peninsula highway, its not quite as far away as it might initially seem. Your first visit should confirm the excitement that the community parks department has around their new disc golf course. They've got a disc golf banner posted in the parking lot, custom stickers which adorn the baskets, and trash cans all over the course just for disc golf (some placed right on the putting greens!).
The main pro of this course is that the current holes, although not great in challenge, are just plain fun to play. Hole 6 is a great example of the fun factor here. It's a short (<200') right to left around pretty thick woods and a large pine on the right. The basket is out in an open field between the tree line and a ballfield. Its just an easy little hyzer for RHBH or a high sidearm turnover, but if you miss or clip a tree branch, you'll likely be looking up at the basket for your short tree-obstructed approach amongst thick rough and some thorns (you'll also likely hear your group mates up on the green snickering as you struggle through the shule J - its all part of the fun out here!). This is one of several holes that look somewhat unpolished, but are still quite enjoyable to play.
Hole 4 is another example of a fun hole with a design that went a little wonky. You tee off down a winding access road which turns sharply right at about 100', then straightens out for another 100' with the basket tucked up on the right side of the road. Because of the horseshoe shape and the tall trees which prevent an up and over shot, its almost never going to be parked and at the same time probably rarely going to be 4'd from even a halfway decent drive. Again, fun to throw but the shots are way too simplistic and short for what is essentially a forced three shot hole.
Navigation - Other than finding the first hole (we never did find the first teepad), navigation is aided by the West Sound standard yellow next tee markers which, as usual, are quite helpful. We had no help and didn't consult DGCR prior to visiting but were still able to find all holes without a problem. The walk from 1's basket to hole 2 is quite long for a hole which is pretty much a wide open field and you'll be interfering with both hole 9's fairway and walking almost directly down 2's fairway to reach the tee.
Enthusiasm - From the looks of it, the park is really excited to have disc golf arrive in Lakebay. Hopefully this will mean ongoing maintenance and perhaps expansion at some later point, until then its up to the golfers to get out there in numbers and give this course a try.
Single use - A big plus about this park is that you probably aren't going to be interfering with too many other activities as you play the course. On holes 6 and 8, you may have to watch for children playing in the grass between the treeline and ballfields but other than that, you'll probably be seeing nothing but green lights off the tee.
Cons: The rough is VERY rough - Land one on the hillside on holes 7 or 8 and you are in for a world of pain. Not so much because of thorns or anything (although there are some), but because the rough is just so thick you've really got to do a full body push through it.
Challenge - While the course is quite punishing in terms of the rough, the actual shots themselves are pretty straightforward. Its time to work on the basics; a really long gliding turnover will serve you especially well on holes 1, 8, and 9. As a complement, a long controlled hyzer on holes 2 and 3 will net a few more birdies early in the round. On the whole though, silver to gold level players won't find too much to get the heart thumping out here.
If there is ever a desire to expand or improve this course beyond what it currently is, I think holes 2 and 4 are prime targets for a little revision. Hole 2 because the walk interferes with 9's fairway and hole 4 because its not going to see much score separation (see above). The area to the left of 6's pin would be an interesting place for a hole with the little cinder block terraces…
Other Thoughts: Course tip: Instead of playing down the extremely tight fairway on hole 8, I threw the big bomber turnover up and over the pines straight left of the teepad. You essentially throw over the sport fields and the rough and cross back over onto the fairway right near the pin. You'll need about 350' of snap or so on it and a turnover disc that will hold the whole way. Just make sure to send a spotter out and you may avoid some bonus strokes on this hole!
I think with some slight revisions, I would be willing to rate this course up to a 2.0. The rough is ridiculous but I didn't factor it too much into my review - it will eventually clear out. My main concerns however are the previously stated holes 2, 4, and 8 - whose "regular" fairway is far too tight and quite unnatural.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Getting Better, but Brushy
Pros: Fun little course first of all. The holes were interesting and challenging. Start out in the parking area by the back ball field. There should be a spray painted line for the front of the first tee, and the first basket is an anhyzer up over the gate at the top of the hill. There are two long shots that are fun to throw, one must be 360' and the other is probably around 400'. As the Valkyrie Kid reviewed, there are at least three holes that you should hesitate to throw without a spotter, but with a friend looking out for your discs the holes are actually pretty fun. The main guy in charge of the course, Chad I think, gave me a nice tour of the course, he would love some help getting it cleared out, sponsorship of holes, etc. by the way. I actually am enthusiastic about where this course could go. Bring brush cutters with you and help get this thing cut down a little while you play, more players on the course would help knock it down and open it up a little.
Cons: VERY brushy. Worst brush this side of the Narrows by far. Go with a friend and spot for each other, it adds to the walking, but will save time looking for lost discs. This course is a work in progress and definitely could use some volunteer help. Better signage would be great, maybe a course map at the kiosk that will be set up in the near future. It is progressing though. The tee pads are being poured, they are working on better signage, getting better.
Other Thoughts: Love the course in theory, wish it wasn't so brushy, nice alternative course to play for variety, liked the challenge. I appreciate the hard work being put into this course, it seems like they are really putting some effort into this course.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
I Would Agree With Quite Rough!
Pros: This course is rough enough, I'm not sure if it's ready to be open to the public. I tried to rate this course without entering a rating. I thought that would have been the most fair way to do it. But the site won't let you do that so I'm giving it my rating plus a half a point for future improvements. The course plays behind the ballfields, around a empty lot, through some woods and down a utility road. The major problem that I see now is that there is not a single sign or any bit of information anywhere. I didn't have the slightest idea where the course started. I think I walked the course backwards trying to determine a starting point. I finally teed it up on the uphill hole right behind the ballfield's RF fence. And then I promptly lost one of my favorite discs in the thickest, THE THICKEST! underbrush I have ever encountered. This brush was so thick, you could not take a step without breaking down 6-10 bushes/branches. The only saving grace about this brush was that there were no pricklys of any kind.
After a 30 minute search, I gave up and moved on to, I think, the next hole. This is an extremely long, ridiculously tight (maybe 6 foot wide fairway) with the same extremely thick underbrush. Not having an unlimited supply of discs, I skipped this hole.
I think, the next hole is an anhyser shot out past a grafitti covered tank of some kind into an open field.
The next hole, I guess, plays to the basket next to the tank.
I found a teepad for the next hole but it was pointed at no basket that I could find. I did find a hole that is either where the basket is going to be or was?
The next hole was actually a decent hole throwing into the woods with a little hyser action.
Then the next two holes play right down a dirt, park service road. I don't like those two at all. I hestitate to think about people walking up those roads and having a disc coming right towards them.
The last hole I played was my favorite. It's a short, slight hyser throw over a small gully to a basket on the grass by the ballfield. Right near the basket I started on. The baskets are brand new. Some teepad forms filled with gravel are in place.
Cons: Currently, there are too many to list. The ridiclously tight second hole I played. The two holes on the service road are unsafe and no fun to play. The thickest underbrush in America. The lack of any signs.
Other Thoughts: The simpliest way to improve this course right now would be for the designer to take a Sharpie and write the hole # on the basket and even on the wood form of the teepad. Much underbrush needs to be cleared away. The long, tight hole is way too much of a challenge for this recreational course. Shorten it! Clear out some brush. Do something different with the two holes playing down the road. The nice tee box is going to get destroyed or damaged the first time a loaded truck drives down this road.
I've never given a 0 to any course I reviewed. On even the most dismal courses, someone has expended a great deal of time and effort on that course. I'm a major advocate for disc golf and I do appreciate your efforts. The peninsula area has really boomed this past couple of years with new courses. But this course needs some overhaul work. Sorry!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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