11 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth the trip
Pros: The course plays through a sprawling park and around a campground. There are no interferences with other park uses as far as I could tell. Mature pines are the main obstacle on the course, they're dense enough to make you really shape some lines but open enough that there are very fair shots. Though there are lots of straight shots, there are plenty of interesting left and right turning shots of various shapes mixed in.
There is some nice elevation here, it's not huge ski hill stuff but it's used really well. There are some tough uphills and a couple fun downhills along with shots that play across the slope with rollaway potential. The alternate pin placements looked like they'd add some nice variety. The course is really well taken care of, with great rubber tees and baskets in good shape. The signage is excellent, with hole layout and distance including a pin position marker, and directional signage where appropriate to find the next tee.
Cons: There is some scrubby underbrush, but none of it is tall enough to affect your shot so bad drives aren't really punished here. There's almost always a recovery shot through the pines available. The end of the course is a bit open for my tastes, though for some the chance to throw some shots without worrying about the trees is probably a plus.
Other Thoughts: Beginners will probably find this course pretty tough, the underbrush isn't terribly punishing but it can hide errant shots, and there is some length. More experienced players will find some nice challenges, and will enjoy the chance to throw some longer driver shots through the trees. I definitely recommend a trip down this way if you're in Tahoe. Make sure to bring sturdy shoes, the ground is rough and rocky throughout.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Big technical course
-Type of shot changed between holes; the variety was spread out
-Obvious care by local crowd
-Excellent rubber tee pads with signs and brooms
-Easy to navigate
-Will challenge any player (and beat up a beginner!)
-Secluded and serene, quiet
-Informative information board at hole 1
-Good elevation use (it's very hard to tell what elevation exists in the photos)
Cons: -DGA baskets are hard to see from a distance
-Ground terrain not ideal for DG
Other Thoughts: Turtle Rock is a large scale 18 hole course in the Sierra Nevada in a unique region where the desert meets the forest. With alpine features like tall pine trees and desert fauna like scrub brush and unforgiving rocky terrain, this course was reminiscent of a foothill or So Cal course.
The course itself provides a challenge on every hole, but is not so challenging that it will scare anybody off in your group. Most all of the baskets were relatively easy to find due to accurate current pin locations noted on the tee signs. Without them, the DGA baskets would have been more difficult to make out against the varied landscapes. The golf itself in general required distance with precision on nearly every hole. While in the pictures, some holes just look like a bunch of trees, they all have obvious lines, risk/reward routes, and placement routes to get you there for par. Really, truly excellent golf.
I particularly enjoyed the 'adventure' this course takes you on, as is the case with quite a few of the Tahoe courses. While covering a bit of distance, the foliage does not really change at all throughout the trip, so if you are a 'trees, dust, and rocks' kind of guy, then this is your course. This one essentially works its way clockwise around a (nearly deserted) campground. Bathrooms and water are available at the start and via a short walk at a couple of points on the course. Please note that they are not ON the course so you will have to go out of your way to access them. Bring more than enough water, it is going to be hotter here than you might think. Signs note everything, there are even 'pre-hole' signs verifying that you are on the right path. I liked them and they made me feel special.
We lost a disc on hole 3; a perfectly thrown hyzer shot that should have been right at the pin disappeared forever. We searched for around a half hour and it just wasn't happening. We later discovered that the summer dust up there has an ability to completely disguise a disc that is otherwise in plain sight, so when searching, make sure you search beyond the brush...the disc may just be on the trail covered in a fine layer of dust.
The course was mostly set up long when we played, so it was quite a challenge. I was looking forward to the 'island' shots that appear to be holes 7-10, but the creek was completely dry. The downhill from the water tower was a pretty fun precision shot. The par 5 toward the end of the course seemed a bit gratuitous, but maybe that is just me.
I guess this is one of those situations where all of the 5 star reviews gave me artificially raised expectations of the course, because to be honest I left a little bit disappointed because of that. By all means, a great golf course that is certainly rough around the edges (in a good way), but not quite deserving of being called 'perfect.' The scrub brush and rocks got a little old in the heat and will do a number on all but champ plastic. It's hard to enjoy playing in 90 degree heat when you know its only 75 up at the Lake a short distance away. On the flipside I'm sure it's great to have a course where the season lasts a bit longer.
Nonetheless, I would love to come back in the springtime when I'm sure the place is at it's prime. The care and dedication by the local club is constantly evident, and everywhere. In the middle of summer though, remember that you will not be experiencing the course in it's prime and don't let the inflated rating of the course make you believe something it just won't be. As a local training course this place will turn you into a real disc golfer in no time. As far as planning a trip to the Tahoe area I would make sure to hit this one; 2 rounds here and 2 at Kirkwood will be an long but fulfilling day. It was for us!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Top notch disc golf in the Sierra's
Pros: Turtle Rock Park is located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada's and is without a doubt one of my favorite courses. It's a little out of the way but well worth the drive. A must play if in the area, and if needed there is a campground nearby. A kiosk next to the 1st tee provides course info and scorecards. Also there is a practice basket, a bathroom, and drinking water. You tee off from nice rubber pads and there are brooms at each hole to keep em' clean. 3 pin placements for every hole, and the best signage I've seen on a course yet! For 1st timers to the course its damn near impossible to get lost. There are white markers and well groomed paths to the next tee from almost all pin positions. In 5 trips here I've only come across a hand full of other disc golfers, so it's never crowded. There is a great use of elevation and length, and the trees will force you to shape and throw many different types of shots.
Cons: I really have nothing negative to say. The only thing I can think of is there always seems to be some local Sheriffs parked at the building next to the 1st tee. It must be a Sheriff sub-station or something. They have never bothered me, but I'd imagine it might put off some of my fellow disc golfers. Also due to the elevation this place is seasonal.
Other Thoughts: I highly recommend everyone play this course at least once. My hats off to everyone involved in the making and maintaining of the Turtle. I only wish I lived closer so I could play here more often.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Camping Course
Pros: Wow, this is such a nice place to install a disc golf course. The rolling hills, ravines, and long needles of the pine stands whooshing in the wind will forever be etched into my memory.
The course has a good variety of long, medium, and short holes (though my wife found all of them to be long). The fairways play through trees across slopes, down long hills, and over challening terrain like narrow ravines. I recall a nice long downhill hole (somewhere on the first 9, I think) that I absolutely nailed, parked for deuce. That was my best memory from the round.
I recall using almost every shot in my arsenal, trying fun lines through the trees, shaping shots through picturesque landscapes, etc.. A lot of variety, you won't get bored. The only thing you won't need here is a roller, which is not plausible on this rocky landscape.
There is a bit of scrubby underbrush, but I never had any difficulty finding my disc. It wasn't anything like playing a long grass course, where you can be within 5 ft of your disc and still not find it.
This is one of the best groomed courses I've ever played, perhaps because it is so new. The tees were nice. There are many bathrooms. The course is well-marked and easy to navigate. The folks who built this course have done a great job!
Cons: Far away from everything else. But still worth the trip.
Other Thoughts: Compared to other courses in the region, this course is kind of like a cross between Zephyr Cove (steep) and Bijou (flat). But it is definitely more rural and woodsy feeling, in Markleeville you're definitely further away from civilization.
I threw my understable drivers most, as this course is at a high altitude. Consider bringing your flippiest beat up discs to play here.
If you go to Turtle Rock, consider camping overnight. It is a great spot.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Well laid out.
Easy to find the next tee.
Great variety on the course.
Cons: The rough terrain tends to chew up the edges of your discs.
Other Thoughts: Most holes have three basket positions, and they change them at a fairly regular pace, so almost every time out the course plays a bit different.
There's plenty of camping near by for people on vacation.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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