Great campus course through the Ponderosas.
Pros: Very good concrete tee pads, tee signs on each hole, good baskets and some benches. This on campus course is set in a largely unused area of the campus, next to rec facilities, track facilities and an apartment complex. Should be very easy to get to for students.
Nice variety of holes, left, right, up, down and some that went up and down. Just right distance wise, a few ace runs (4,10, 11) and a few longer holes (9 and 15).
A lot of nice Ponderosa Pines on the course, especially in the first 4 holes. They only grow at elevation (Flagstaff is at 7300') so I haven't seen these before. I found out early that the Ponderosa's (that drop their lower branches to defend against fires) have pretty thick and sticky needles, if I threw into them, the disc didn't go far.
Some really memorable holes - #7 short, 240', blind tee shot up and over large boulders. The tee is next to sand volleyball courts, unfortunately no co-eds playing when I was there. #9 - long, finishes uphill and to the right. #11 - ace run, basket is 10' from a sound barrier for I-40, yes, the same I40 that starts in Wilmington, NC and goes all the way to Cali. #14 - dogleg left that finishes with the basket just across a ditch that dips six feet. #15 - 535' Par 3 (what ?) that starts with a five foot rise you have to clear then clear and downhill to the basket. Great view of the San Francisco Peaks from the green, including 12,000 foot peak.
Cons: No facilities at the start, but a practice basket was there. (There is a building beside #9, that appeared to get a lot of use.)
#10 and #11 did get close to an apartment complex. If there are a lot of kids running around it could get iffy, but probably just student housing.
#18 was kind of a bland finishing hole. 16 and 17 were both fun, 16 is along the hammer throw area for track, with signs reading "Beware of Thrown Objects" and 17 basket is guarded by a large hardwood tree. I was expecting more for the last hole.
Other Thoughts: Really enjoyed playing this course before our tour of the Grand Canyon. Had planned to play McPherson or Thorpe, but this course was one block from our hotel, couldn't pass it up. This now makes 7 college campus courses I have played, ranked right up there with UNC (tough as that is to say). Right on campus, nice variety, good equipment, these kids are spoiled!
Flagstaff looks like a cool college town, my wife thought this could be nice to retire to and I was fine with that, 4 good 18 hole courses in the area plus a couple of niners. Then she found out they get 100 inches of snow each year, so that idea is out.
Maybe if we come back to visit Sedona or the Grand Canyon again, I'll get to the other courses in town, and a revisit here.
Pros: Great course on a college campus. Challenging and short. I played 18 in just over an hour. It rained the night before and the course still played well with little mud due to pine needle ground cover.
Great parking. - Played on the weekend and did not have to pay. Not sure if payment is required during the week or school year.
Cons: Need to have sign directing folks to the back nine across the soccer field. Overall the signage is very well placed.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a sneaky-difficult course that is challenging for both fore and backhanders. Good mix of par 3's and 4's. Heavily treed. Baskets and concrete tee boxes always in great condition.
Cons: At one point, about midway - forget which hole) you have to cross a soccer field which can be confusing if you don't have a map or have never played before.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The layout: good selection of par 3s and par 4s. There's even a nice par 5 (#15) down a hill.
The upkeep: NAU keeps their course very nice - all tee pads are in tact, there is great signage, and the fairways are clear of trash.
The foliage: If it rains consistently, mint leaves will grow in the area near baskets #2 and #4. Don't believe me? See for yourself.
The parking: probably the easiest place to park and play disc golf ever. This is often overlooked for most courses, but NAU makes it great. There are plenty of parking spaces (especially for a university), and the tee pad for #1 is just a short walk from the parking lot.
Cons: The challenge: the course is generally easier than most. Additionally, the first few baskets on the back nine are not the most creative. But considering this course is on university property (and universities typically put buildings on all of the land they own), the designers did a great job of making the most out of what they have. Kudos.
Other Thoughts: If I'm playing disc golf in Flagstaff (and the Snowbowl course is not an option), NAU is my second choice. Which is good! There are some quality courses in Flagstaff, and NAU is one of them.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Another Great Flagstaff Course
Pros: -Concrete tee-pads
-Baskets are in good shape and catch well
-Nice tee-signs that show the layout of the hole, the pin position, the distance and the recreational par.
-Multiple pin positions on some holes
-Lots of trees come into play on many of the holes and they will definitely knock down inaccurate shots.
-This course features a lot of nice elevation changes.
-The course is easy to navigate with the exception of three spots (see the cons below).
-Lots of fun well-designed holes that take advantage of the available elevation changes and trees.
-There are nets near the few tee-pads that tee close to the last hole, which is a nice touch to help prevent safety issues on some holes.
Cons: -The course is hard to navigate in three areas. (To find hole 7 you have to go down the hill near hole 6 and then walk back toward hole 5's basket to find the tee-pad for 7. To find the tee-pad for hole 8 you have to walk across the corner of the football field that is closest to hole 7's basket. Finally to get to hole 9 you have to walk past the tee- pad for hole 13 to the tee-pad located in the open area.) Other than these three holes, the course was easy to navigate.
-The course in general plays pretty short (especially holes 7-14). Hole 15 is over 500 feet and hole 16 is about 370 feet, but other than that most of the holes are 300 feet or under.
-Hole 16 plays along a practice baseball field that could lead to safety issues if you throw your disc over the roped off area.
-The concrete tee-pads seemed slightly two short. This was especially noticeable on Hole 12, where the tee-pad is right against a retaining wall, so you have no extra room for your run-up.
-The interstate is right next to this course and constantly hearing cars fly by takes away a little bit of the pleasantness of this course.
-Some of the hills that this course play on are starting to get badly eroded, which could lead to bad footing and injury. (The hill that hole 7 throws up is the worst offender of this).
-The rocks on this course will eat-up and destroy baseline plastic.
Other Thoughts: Another great course in the Flagstaff area that is a lot of fun to play. It has a few navigation issues and doesn't feature a lot of distance but it is still a great stop if you are in Flagstaff.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A visitor from Sea-Level
Pros: - Practice basket
- Water Spigot
- Tree trunk obstacles
- Branch obstacles clear below 15'
- Obstacles near tees
- Obstacles near baskets
- Spectacular Ponderosa pines
- Stunning mountain views
- Blind baskets
- Clever use of elevation
- Couple grip and rip holes
- Great on-line map for smart phone navigation
- Excellent signage
- Decent, but awkwardly sized, concrete tee pads
- Much rock clearing done
- Rock bordered paths made
- No parking pass required on weekends according to campus signage.
- Couple of stores that have a display of discs nearby.
Cons: - No bathrooms
- No turnover
- No glide
- Gusts of high wind
- Current pin locations not stickered/noted on permanent signage
- Parking requires pass on weekdays during the peak times
- Couple tricky navigation spots for those first timers not prone to paying attention to the previous tee sign (like myself).
Other Thoughts: Reviews made it seem like Thorpe was the one to try if you were only in town long enough to try one, so I did. Although a beautiful course, Thorpe was quick to reveal that the hole design lacked creativity, variety or challenge. I noticed the next morning I happened to be staying in walking distance from NAU so I got over there for 8:00 on a Sunday, well before any students were stirring, to give it a try.
The setting: Rolling hills, in view of the snow peaked mountains, laden with tall Ponderosa Pines, occasionally playing tangent to NAU sport and parking facilities. The entire course was brush free and a tremendous amount of effort had been put into clearing loose rock from the playing surface, repurposing it as borders forming walkways to guide to the next hole. No water, no moisture to speak of and no bugs - The tall pines provide intermittent sun coverage.
The Course design was so well done and I was so intrigued after playing it the first time that I skipped some things I had planned before leaving town just to go back and give it a second whirl. What makes this course special is that almost every hole has a reward for a well placed shot. Most holes can be deuced, but none of them easily so you might be ten down one day and even the next - That is what makes a course great. This course uses elevation, near and far obstacles and distance exquisitely to accomplish this. That said, it is a surprisingly open course, easy to pick your lines amongst the obstacles, but you have to execute them precisely over 250'-350' of distance. Add in persistent blasts of wind and some blind targets and you really can see yourself falling in love with the pursuit of a perfect round here.
Here's the rub though for you out of towner's like myself. I normally play at sea level, 7000 feet below this course. I thought there was something wrong with me - I was struggling to drive 300 feet and couldn't get the Boss I brought to click at all. I finally realized after my putts kept dropping like bricks in front of the basket that this thin air really does make a difference. There simply isn't any glide and any disc you bring becomes overstable. At times it was like I was throwing a discus and not a disc. You get used to it, but wow, I never thought I would notice the difference, but it hit me like a sack of door knobs.
Not ready to proclaim this a destination course, but I would recommend making time to try this one of you are in town. Much credit to the course designers for making great use of the hand they were dealt.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Pros: Interesting course. A wee bit tighter than the nearby McPherson course but not very tight. Have played many courses much tighter than this one. Good layout requiring different throws. Challenging but not overly tough.
Cons: Received a parking ticket for parking in the parking lot without a pass. Saw no signs that said a pass was needed. Luckily it was only a warning, so no fine for first time violator. Finding hole #7 and hole #8 was very tough. The map I had was incorrect on several holes.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Great course right on campus!
Pros: -great variety
-signs with maps
-great location for students like me who live on campus at NAU
Cons: -rocks, rocks, and more rocks
-parking can be an issue, lot is marked permit only
-can be busy at times
Other Thoughts: for 5.00 at the parking kiosk you can get a day parking pass or I've heard that you can go to the new Health and Learning Center at NAU to get some kind of disc golf pass, I have not tried that one yet though because i usually walk or ride my bike to the course.
Overall great course!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Nice lunchtime diversion
Pros: I work across the street from Hole 3, so it's a nice lunchtime diversion to hop over there and play a round. A variety of holes requiring a variety of shots. Some terrain change, but not too much. Multiple pin placments.
Cons: Pins are not switched around very often. Nice to have them moved ocassionally to add variety to the course. Could us some longer holes, but space is limited so they do the best with what they've got.
Other Thoughts: This is version 3.0 of an NAU course. They keep moving and re-configuring it to accomodate other uses. If you took the top 18 holes from all versions, this could have been a premier course.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Close to NAU Campus
Pros: Cement pads and signs with basket info and arrow to the next basket. Some challenging lines (some with multiple choice) in a forest of pine trees and bushes. There is elevation that is used, up and down, a couple of long throws down and threading through lots of trees. The longest hole has a wide open fairway.
Cons: Lot's of ROCKS, your discs will be beat up even if you play well. Although the course is marked, there are areas with lack of "flow" to the next basket, if you are not paying attention to the signs, you will be adding time to your game by searching for the next tee. There is lot's of riff raff that looks like it is destined to be pulled off the course. Easy to lose discs into, piles of downed cut limbs and such. Did I mention lots of rocks?
Other Thoughts: Very busy on the weekends during school. Lots of new people learning to play. I dig the lines that are designed into the placement, challenging yet a couple of choices will do. A must play if you are in the area. Walking the course, be careful, lots of rocks.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.