Challenge Accepted - This Course Will Provide You With It
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - tight tunnels
- challenging lines
- changing elevation
- accuracy/consistency is rewarded
- beautiful layout and serene setting
- Hole 11A/11B provides great rewards with scenic views
Cons: - limited restroom facilities at location
- no water outlets on site
- people leave their trash (Pack In/Pack Out)
- better signage to direct from holes 11B towards hole 13+ across the road (follow the paths downhill)
- Basket 11B markings (tall pole no longer visible near basket)
- do not play this course alone unless you have played it before (you can get lost or it simply takes a long time to find your discs in the rough)
Other Thoughts: This is one of the original and challenging John Houck designs, so if you are expecting a "casual" round, you should honestly look elsewhere.
The "Backyard" as it is known is a GREAT course for almost all levels of players; only because I think beginners should avoid these challenges unless they are paying a penance for previous disc golf transgressions.
**Most people put "Cons" noting the long course, the difficulty level, the rocky ground, etc. To me that is not a "Con" it is a "Pro" so that you will know what to expect. After you play here, you will learn what level of disc golf you enjoy most and what you need to improve on or sustain in your DG game.**
The course is challenging with tight fairways, significant elevation changes, rocky walks, uneven ground, and water/OB/rough locations that can sometimes be unforgivable.
Al holes offer there own unique challenges to individual throwers.
Hole 11A/11B are always a challenge since you are throwing up/down a sharp angle.
Hole 17/18 have challenging OB's with the water
Disc golf is not always about the casual round and if you want to strengthen your game while enjoying the serenity of the Austin outdoors, come here and give it a try.
Notes: Bring lots of water and energy snacks because the course is long. RESPECT the area and the course since the church graciously allows players on their property (this is PRIVATE land). Lastly, have fun since this is a true gem of a course that allows you some great disc golf opportunities and fun.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Good degree of elevation change and moderately to heavily wooded depending on the hole.
Pro and amateur tees.
Mostly well maintained, only missing a few hole maps.
Cons: Missing a few tee markers/hole maps, but all baskets currently in place.
Other Thoughts: Review based on experience of other Austin courses, don't know how those compare to other areas of the country.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -very challenging course, my personal opinion that it is the hardest in the austin area, just a tad harder than manor
-concrete boxes, multiple tees
-variety of length, shot types, and elevation
-very low traffic
-great wooded country atmosphere
Cons: -extremely rough terrain, rocky and hilly, suffered a high ankle spraign on hole 2 first time there, watch your follow through on jump putts, legs will feel it after the round
-some unfair holes with some serious luck factor=only thing keeping it from a 4.5
-downhill extra hole, easy to send a disc bye bye with even a slightly errant shot, i talk to alot of people that skip this hole
Other Thoughts: pretty much all has been said, a very challenging course, both in terms of shots and terrain, would definately recommend it for advanced to open players, just wont be as much fun for the casual player
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Different and challenging
Pros: Really really technically challenging course. Having a big bomb drive will help, BUT only if you are super accurate with it. You will be shooting through very narrow tunnels, and if there's a chance for you to bomb it high and outside of the treeline, you'd better make sure it's a perfect throw otherwise you will be climbing a tree somewhere.
The course itself is very beautiful with nice views and a lot of variety.
Not too many people play this course, so it's usually nice and quiet.
Also if you work downtown and want to get a game in after work, the road is really pretty quiet and you can get out there in 10 minutes or so. Way faster than waiting on mopac or lamar for 45 mins to get to zilker. Cross the river at Redbud, left on westlake, then a right on bee caves. Easy.
Cons: It IS difficult. I know i have that in both my pros and cons list. It's a positive if you're good and really want to work on your accuracy and approach game. It's a negative if you're with somebody that isn't at that level yet.
DO NOT BRING YOUR BUDDY OUT WHO IS TRYING TO LEARN. They will get frustrated. You will get frustrated. Everyone around will get frustrated.
Tee boxes aren't bad but would be much nicer if they were concrete.
Layout/Navigation is very confusing if you've only played it a couple times. The signs pointing you to the next tee box are misleading.
BE SURE TO TAKE A PICTURE OF THE MAP AT THE ENTRANCE. It's a lifesaver.
Other Thoughts: There's a lot of overgrown areas, even on fairways. Don't wear flip flops. Heck, don't even wear your chacos and hipster jorts. Wear some good shoes (you will be climbing some steep cliffs and walking ALOT) and either long socks or long pants. I haven't encountered any poison ivy, but there is definitely stickers and bramble that will tear your ankles apart.
Don't get frustrated. It's a tough course. Just keep playing smart. Don't try to power your way to pars and birdies if you're not super accurate with drives. Play to your strengths and be methodical and you will enjoy your course.
Keep in mind you're on a church property that is kind enough to offer this course and keep it maintained. Don't bring a cooler of beer out here (you don't want to be carrying it up cliffs anyway), and try not to scream out the curse words when you inevitably double-bogey on a seemingly easy hole. Share the love and keep it clean.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
There's gold in them hills!
Pros: Update: The course now has huge cement tees and continues to get better over time.
First: this is a beautiful, unique disc golf course. Please be mindful of the fact that it is on a church property and behave appropriately.
ABR provides a unique, extreme disc golf challenge. I'd say the skill level is gold, rather than blue and even par is a very, very good score.
The course is a short drive out of Austin proper, but takes you to a whole other world. The hill country is gorgeous with amazing vistas on the way out. The course itself is on a fantastic wonderland of ups and downs, cool trees, creeks, and offers a good amount of shade.
While the challenge is extreme, it is fair and rewards methodical, calm play. Players who get frustrated and lose their cool will be punished. Players who take their lumps when they come and plot on will take home the bragging rights.
Their are plenty of obstacles and the rough is appropriately punishing, but it's not so thick as to make finding discs overly difficult or punishing on the body.
There is great variety in the challenge. Power and technical requirements are well balanced. There are quite a few greens with drop-off's near the baskets. There are several holes which are candidates for the best in disc golf short list.
Playing this course is a great physical workout. Play here twice a week and you'll be in shape quickly.
Some of the hole highlights include:
Hole 2 is a good example of a very short par 4 with good challenge. The tee shot must be thrown very precisely uphill to set up a short, technical second shot. Standing on the tee pad many will think "this is an easy 3, 4 worst case", but don't take this one for ganted.
Hole 3 is a shortish par 4 at only 530 ft, downhill, but is extremely demanding. The tee shot is tight and then there's enough of a dogleg left to make for a challenging angle to the very picturesque "island" basket, with creeks short and long.
Hole 4 is another quality, shortish par 4 that plays tougher than it looks on paper. The tee shot must navigate a gap and favor the left side of the fairway to set up a tight, uphill, sweeping left to right mid-range second shot to a basket with a drop-off behind.
Hole 6 is a very unique, diabolical short par 3. There is a very tight route directly at the basket. There is also the option to go over the top, preferably with a high, lefty spike hyzer. This is a rare hole shape, but it's a nice gift for lefty's to balance the tons of righty spike hyzer holes in disc golf.
Holes 8, 10, and 13 are additional solid par 4's, somewhat similar to hole 4, but each unique in look and feel.
Hole 9 is a very good medium-long, straight par 3. The hole plays along a high ridge, exposed to tricky winds. There is a tight, low direct route or the option of throwing much higher over the trees, but very much exposed to the winds.
Hole 14 has probably the most fun tee shot on the course. The look is gorgeous and merits taking a minute just to stand and take it in. It offers the opportunity to bomb a downhill, sweeping hyzer to a wide fairway to set up a chance at one of the easier par 4 birdies on the course.
Hole 16 is a magnificent hole. It's a very short, downhill par 4 with eagle potential, but lots of trouble. The decision has to be made on the tee whether to throw a 300 ft mid-range shot to set up a 3 or bust a driver in hopes of a 2. The fairway is very tight and a driver that deflects could make 5 or 6 possible.
Hole 18 has a nice look and provides a very solid challenge to finish the round. Discs can be thrown either left to right or right to left to the uphill basket with water lurking on the left. The wind must be gauged accurately and the shot must be thrown with sufficient power and accuracy to obtain a favorable result.
Cons: I'm a huge fan of ABR and look forward to facing its challenge many more times in the future, but it is not perfect.
ABR is not beginner friendly. The difficult golf and extreme hiking could make for a very frustrating experience for golfers below the intermediate level. There are "red" tees, but most are unmarked and can be difficult to locate.
While it is improving all the time, the course is still green and will take a few years to break in. Some of the fairways are overgrown, making it difficult to strategize without doing a lot of walking up to peek. Some of the growth is encumbering otherwise well designed routes. It is evident that work is continuing with new mulch being added and efforts to control the standing water in a couple of the fairways.
The course does not loop back to the parking area after 9 holes, even though it could. There are several places which could use "next tee" signs. I echo the previous poster who recommended taking a picture of the course map with your phone.
There are a few safety crowding issues. A short drive on hole 1 can hyzer right into hole 3's basket. Holes 6 and 7 crowd each other. Hole 8's basket is very close to hole 9's fairway. The path from hole 9 to 10 crosses hole 12's fairway. A drive on hole 16 that flips over can go screaming into hole 18's tee.
Hole 7 is a 135 footer past a couple small, plinko trees. This type of skill gets tested throughout the course and doesn't really merit being its own hole.
Letter holes. There's no reason. 18 holes are plenty of challenge on this course. Hole A is now my new #1 WTF hole in the world. A 260 ft par 4 straight up a billy-goat rock hill, really?
Hole 12 is a 400 footer down a steep grade with no fairway. Shots must be thrown over the top of the trees, exposed to swirling wind. Yes, the hole can be parked as is, but cutting a couple trees down the middle would make an actual fairway.
Hole 17 is awkwardly jammed between holes 16 and 18.
Other Thoughts: I would rank ABR 4th in the Austin area behind Circle C, East Metro Park, and Roy G., and ahead of Met Center. (although I've yet to play WilCo). ABR will likely become a 4.5 course soon, as work continues.
Don't be a dirty discer; leave the course cleaner than the way you found it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: All 20 baskets are back in place. Many holes sheltered from the wind on a windy day today. Terrific design and execution of course layout; lots of elevation and sharp turns on holes of all lengths. Requires a great variety of shots. A really unique and fun course.
Cons: Perhaps not the best course to bring a beginner or young child to, as the walk/hike is pretty challenging. Tee boxes could use leveling out too; right now they are still covered in mulch, but flat packed dirt areas have been cleared away for a more even take-off area.
Other Thoughts: Expect a workout and bring water. Hiking boots or other good footing shoes a big plus. My bag ended up being too heavy for the course, so bring only the discs you will throw. Also helpful is the course map which you can download from this site. This is a REALLY FUN course, so be prepared for a challenge and a good time.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Hill Country Course
Pros: - Overall design. John Houck does it again. The layout and consistency from hole to hole is great. Never had to search for the next tee.
- Hole design. The pins and tees are in great spots, making what are usually easy approaches harder.
- Hike and views. Be sure to play the bonus holes A and B. The view from the top is awesome looking West towards Lake Travis.
Cons: - Teeboxes. They were mulch and dirt. Rubber launch pads would be a HUGE improvement.
Other Thoughts: Great course just 15 mins from Austin. Go play it and get better. We played the Blue (longer) tees and it's a monster, true Houck.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very wooded and hilly. Different than any other course I have played. Not a crowded course, at least on sundays. Two unique 'bonus holes". Very clean for the most part. Nice course map at the beginning and signs for each hole. Trash cans and benches at the start of some holes.
Cons: Baskets on holes 1, 3 and 18 are missing. Some holes criss-cross each other, which can be a problem if a disc suddenly comes out of nowhere and flies right into your temple. We noticed some broken glass in the parking lot, possibly from a car window. Not too many holes where you could throw your driver. Some teeboxes are not level and have roots/stumps in them, making your drive a little hazardous. Grafitti on the baskets already. There is a lot of walking up and down hills and in the summer this might wear some people out. Bring water!
Other Thoughts: This course is worth checking out.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Sign me up for some bible study!
Pros: 1) Nice discatcher baskets are very visible in the woods. I love these baskets for wooded course because it makes finding the hole so much easier.
2) Nice John Houck signs again, I seem to have played like 10 Houck courses on this roadtrip to TX and am never disappointed. Hole #, a good descriptive map, distances, and the par are all listed.
3) A nice big course map is also available near the rain shelter entrance area.
4) Hole distance variation is great on this course. Lots of shorter technical holes, and lots of longer technical holes. Very few open places to bust out your max D, but I don't like those kinds of holes anyways.
5) Very minimal undergrowth on most of this course. The fairways are defined but you can get off course a little bit and not be overly punished. There are couple holes later in the round where the undergrowth could use some work but overall, I think it is in good shape.
6) The holes are all pretty tight with fairway placement the top priority. However the fairways seem to be pretty fair . . . nothing to ridiculous as you can run into from time to time on these tighter wooded courses. Challenging YES Unfair NO.
7) The use of elevation on this course is outstanding. What an awesome property for disc golf! They have all sorts of gentle ups and downs, some sidehills, and even these most extreme uphill and the most extreme dropoff I have ever played (the two additional holes A and B located after Hole #11).
8) Logs are placed along some fairways and also to be used as directionals from time to time. It looks nice and is functional too and I like this aspect.
9) Dual tees allows for a wider variety of play. I would say though that a real true beginner will probably not like it out here even from the short tees. If a beginner played here and wanted to come back . . . they are a true addict because they loved getting their butt handed to them.
10) Oustanding views on the holes up on the hill. Extra hole #B is simply an awesome panorama after you exit the short tunnel.
11) Good variety of hole type out here. There are a lot of tight technical holes but there also seem to be a few "mountain desert" type holes playing along the cliffside. Then you go into mountain goat mode to climb up Hole #A and down Hole #B.
12) The woods out here also creates a low ceiling because the trees seem to sprawl a lot of horizontal growth. You want to keep your disc under those branches fairly often or risk getting knocked down. Just another challenge that I am happy to experience.
Cons: 1) Hiking path can cause some confusion in a couple spots on the course. I walked the wrong way a couple times before realizing I should have been headed a different direction. The map will help out with this if you have it with you.
2) Loose rocks and tough footing from time to time on the course. A good cleanup would be helpful on some of the fairways, but perhaps more and more rocks will continue to get exposed. I guess I would recommend that as they continue to take down and chip up trees to continue to put the woodchips and mulch down on these treacherous areas. If you aren't careful you could go down hard and the ground on this course is typically not really soft . . . it is very rocky.
3) Mulch tees framed by logs leave a lot to be desired. I can see how concrete would be near impossible out here, but maybe this could be an ideal course for rubber mats or something else more permanent and needing little to no maintenance.
4) Hole #18 has the water in play but the basket had been removed. I'm not sure where the basket would be or how this hole would be played, but it was unfortunately not in when we played. I heard it had something to do with some parking lot construction possibly. It is a negative only because it looked really unfair for me to kock this course down to a 4.0 but only have 3 negatives. I guess what it means is that the negatives are really negative.
Other Thoughts: This course could easily be a 5.0 with nicely poured teepads and a little bit of maintenance to some of the fairways and perhaps the use of some more mulch in some bare areas. It has everything and it is supremely challenging from start to finish, plus it has nice baskets, nice signs, and all the amenities of a top notch course. Evaluating just on disc golf . . . this is a 5 in my book, but when looking at the big picture . . .some more maintenance and cleanup issues need to be resolved for th course to be a 5.0.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
So frustrating but worth it
Pros: A greatly challenging course. You have to bring your A game to this course or you might go home crying.
Beautiful scenery. Has one of the best views on a course in central Texas.
Good use of water and elevation.
It's close to my parents house (a personal pro)
Cons: Have to have pin point accuracy on many of the holes. Their fairways are only a few feet wide.
Lots of chances to lose discs.
There is a nice bridge on #3 but there could be a few move of them on water crossings.
Someone needs to go through the course with a machete and clear out a lot of the underbrush.
Other Thoughts: I would not bring a new player here, it would only frustrate them, and might turn them off on the sport all together.
The course may still be under construction as there are big piles of wood chips all over the course.
Would be a great tournament course.
5 of 5 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.