4 Helpful / 5 Not
A lot more rocks than turtles
Pros: Turtle Rock is south of Lake Tahoe in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. It has much to recommend it--it is well-tended, has terrific signage and lots of amenities. The tee pads are adequate (rubber), and each comes with its own broom. There are lots of benches--every hole has one, if I remember correctly. Each hole has its own sponsor, and the whole feel of the course is that it is well cared for. In the long position, the holes are very challenging, technical and rugged. It's good to bear in mind that Turtle Rock is around 5500 feet above sea level, causing my Gazelle to fade out more like my Orc does back home in Lexington, KY.
Cons: Notwithstanding its obvious level of TLC, I wasn't as thrilled with the course as I expected to be, given its overall rating. Mostly, it just has too little variety--essentially each hole has the same challenges, the same basic looks, with the only differences being slightly up or downhill and hole length, depending on the pin position (A, B, C or D). The entire course is underneath a canopy of pine trees. Besides all the trees, you have sand, sagebrush, pine needles, and rocks, and rocks, and more rocks--so many rocks that it's really hard to walk. From hole to hole, you just change direction a bit, perhaps go uphill or downhill and face more pine trees, sand, rocks, sagebrush and pine needles--to me, a frustrating and rather uninspiring combination to face for all 18 holes. If a hole is long, you just have a long version of the aforementioned. If you don't have a spotter, you'd better watch as carefully as you can exactly where your disc lands. Memorize it as well as possible, because then in getting to your disc you have to look down to keep from twisting your ankle on a rock. There is a creek bed, but the fact of it being dry when I played on August 9 may have removed one of the variety-adding factors. The need to clean the sand off your disc after every throw is tiresome.
Other Thoughts: Having said all that, I do like Turtle Rock, and if I lived near it I would play it often. The fact of it being well-maintained is no small thing. Navigation is not an issue, but be sure and bring a print-out of the map. A rating of 3.5 may seem low to some, but to me just the lack of essential variation made this the right score for me. I have no fault with the design of the course, which I think is actually pretty good, but the plot of land itself limits the possibilities, which is why I rated it as such.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
"Luxury in the high desert"
Pros: Accurate tee-signs and pin indicators.
Arrows and tee sign indicators that direct golfers to next holes.
Outstanding serenity, quiet and clean.
Camping on site
Cons: Definitely off the beaten path
Bear Country- Signs at hole 1 warn of them.
Other Thoughts: Extremely well laid out course in the middle of nowhere. Multiple pin positions with accurate indicators that let you know which position it's in. Considering that the course is extremely long, with multiple par 4 and 5's, the footage helps you navigate the course. Just enough elevation to make you alter your drives and upshots. Possibly the best course in the Lake Tahoe area, and that's saying a lot.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Out of nowhere, an immaculate disc golf course
Pros: The best course conditions I have ever seen. The tee signs are descriptive and clearly state pin positions, and the orange-white-and-green "next hole" navigators stand out extremely well. The teepads are rubber, but there's a broom at every tee if you need to sweep off the dust.
This course has an interesting feature of being both open and technical. A good example of this is hole 11, a seemingly endless 777-foot chunk in the long pin position. While heavily forested, there is a clearly established fairway, and there's enough room between trees to work out a shot should you find yourself off-fairway.
Finally - Turtle Rock. Legend of Zelda fans will understand what I mean here.
Cons: Apparently, loose rocks here are an issue of concern. Given the problems that I've seen on other DG courses, if this is the largest issue they have, that says something.
Being in the middle of nowhere, the terrain is rough and amenities are limited. Dust, rocks, and brush will leave their mark on your discs, and you'll want to bring your own water for the back 9.
No smoking allowed on the course (fire hazard), and there's a sheriff's substation next to the first tee.
Other Thoughts: On a family vacation to the eastern Sierra, I figured we'd drop by and play a round just to see how it was.
I was met with a challenging, immaculate, pristine disc golf course that we pretty much had to ourselves. Two-and-a-half hours of hiking and throwing later, I had completed one of the most satisfying rounds I'd ever played.
While it is a ways from anything, Turtle Rock's rural location gives it tons of advantages. Theft and vandalism are nonexistent. Chuckers etc. are completely out of the picture, as almost everyone who hoofs it out here has a serious intent of playing. This is a seriously good disc golf course with serious players only - a disc golf haven, or heaven if you will.
At the kiosk before hole 1, visitors are encouraged to "feed the turtle" to help with course maintenance. I donated before the round, and again afterwards, because this course deserves it. I give it my highest recommendation, and would love to play it again if the chance comes up.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: This course is a large course with several par 4s and a par 5.
Creek wonders through and is in play on several holes.
It has a good mix of tech shots and long drives that will challenge most players.
Located in scenic Alpine County.
Cons: Rocky terrain that will chew up discs so use premium plasic.
Rocky terrain is also tough to walk around on so hiking boots would be recommended.
Other Thoughts: If you get a chance to play this course, do it! You will not be disappointed. There is a great campground there at the course and Grover Hot springs are just down the road. This course is well maintained by locals and there are multiple pins for all holes.
2 of 8 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.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
In true spirit of disc golf
Pros: This is only the second course I've rated and it deserves to be recognized. I created the first course in the Lake Tahoe Area 35 years ago. There were not baskets at that time and there were no specialized discs. But we always had fun and enjoyed bring outside. The sport has come a long way since then, not all of it good. This course brings back the fun we had just going out and throwing the disc around. This course is clean, very well maintained and well designed. It has all of the new stuff that makes disc course better these days, but it also has a lot of stuff that just makes it fun, and in the long run that's all that counts. It's a great day to spend romping around Hope Valley and on the way home play a few holes of disc golf.
1 of 8 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.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent rubber teepads
Excellent Tee Signs with accurate hole location
Excellent signage to next Tee box
Great mix of shots off tee
Great mix of distance and tech skills
Cons: Just a bit outside the beaten trail (or is this a pro?)
Bear Country (how cool is that?)
Other Thoughts: First off let me preface by saying I am a complete novice with maybe 30 rounds played. However, I have played some very highly rated courses in CA, OR , and AZ. The Turtle hangs. It is so well designed that it keeps your head on your throws rather than on where the next tee is. Signage is the best I have ever seen. The mix between short technical holes and huge bombers is perfect. It allows a beginer like me to rebound from devastation nicely after taking an 8 on a 650ft hole! (2 tree thunks and a creek)
The setting is stunning with pines and boulders and creeks aplenty! Running in to the designer and another pro right before my round was very cool as well. Its this kind of course and attitude that has completely hooked me on the sport. Playing The Turtle capped a full day of skiing at Kirkwood. This will be my Spring Skiing routine for years to come!
4 of 5 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.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great Course! Well laid out 18 holes in the Eastern Sierra. If you have never been to this part of the Sierra do yourself a favor and visit it. High desert and pines come together.
Some great holes, long shots and some shorter ones. Water in play on a few holes but on this day it nothing you cant get your disc back from. Course info near hole 1 as well as score cards. First class for sure!
Cons: nothing I can think of. You may have to do some searching for your disc in the sagebrush but its not enough to make it a real "con".
Other Thoughts: Camping on site and also nearby. Hot Springs, what more needs to be said on that matter.
The general store at Markleville Store sells Turtle Rock stamped discs, get one, help support the course. Please pack out your trash.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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