A visitor from Sea-Level
4 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
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