One of the top 3 in Austin area, easily
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: [UPDATE: November 2012]
All Teepads are installed except for #7. Instant Rating increase of 1/2 star. The best tees in Austin behind Roy G.
The long tees are incredible, they made these customized trapezoids and you can really tell the angles were chosen to allow for both righty/lefty or backhand/sidearm run-ups.
The short tees are not quite as nice being very short and rectangular, but you don't really need huge run-up room on them anyway. I find them highly suitable for their intended purpose.
They have also added and improved steps to walk up the steep hill on #2, it's looking great! They have nice bridges right where you need them.
. . . . . . .
My favorite courses have plenty of technical woods holes and elevation, and this place will not disappoint in those regards. Beautiful technical woods holes with plenty of elevation and creek running throughout.
Lots of true Par 4's, maybe even half the holes? This is a great thing.
There are so many unique holes that you simply will not find elsewhere in this area. There was also water threatening a lot of holes, making them even more scenic and challenging.
The only places in Texas that I have played so far that have a similar mix of length, difficulty, technicality, beauty/scenery, water, and elevation are Lake Nacogdoches and Selah Ranch.
Cons: Debris is still being cleared from the fairways. There are all kinds of improved routes now, though.
#1 can trick you into throwing at the #3 basket if you don't know the layout.
#10 is a BEAST from the long tee, I'm not sure it's actually fair in it's current condition. The left route needs to be groomed badly. The right route is also very tight and leaves you with a crazy difficult 2nd shot. Only people that can throw a huge anny flex over the treetops have an advantage here.
#12 needs a true fairway up the middle. I would guess only 5-10% of all drives end up with something resembling a putt. I have never had a putt opportunity after my drive on ~20 attempts. Most of them end up in the woods or way off the "fairway" at best.
#13 has a major drainage issue with standing water, but as of October 2012 they are cutting a ditch for it (AWESOME)! This same hole needs some additional fairway "grooming". I'm sure they have it in the works.
Alternate holes A & B should not be played for minis/tourneys. You can play outstanding true golf on every other hole, but either of these 2 can kill your game. You can't see either basket from the tee. The B-hole could really use a super tall flag or something on top of the basket. I think they remove a certain amount of fairness from a normal round, and am glad they are "alternates".
Lack of benches, so bring a stool. Not cart-friendly due to extreme hilly terrain.
Only other con is that it needs to be played more to be really broken in and that only comes with time. In < 5 years, I truly believe this will be the best course in Austin, and one of the best in TX.
Other Thoughts: This course is very physical and difficult, which are two things that casual disc golfers are not used to, and the main reasons for most of the lower rated reviews.
Once the debris gets removed and the last few teepads and fairways finished, this will be the best course in the Austin area in my opinion. Far more unique than Roy G., and better elevation/beauty/water than Circle C.
If you are going for the first time, you should probably play doubles, it is a fantastic dubs course.
Listen to the other reviewers: Bring more water and less discs! Eliminate any redundancies in your bag before the round, your back will thank you.
If you are carrying more than a dozen discs out here you need to rethink your bag. Your score WILL suffer later in the round from fatigue.
You can play one round here and feel like you played two rounds somewhere else. It can take 3+ hours if you play with a group and have to search for the occasional lost disc. But now with all the short tees, you can play in < 2 hours if you want to speed hike it.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 31 Not
I only needed my putter.
Pros: frequent benches at the tee pads
fairly easy to navigate although the map was necessary at times.
Not busy at all. Well shaded.
Cons: I'm not a huge fan of the dirt tee pads. They were often unevenly warn, and make difficult holes even harder.
Other Thoughts: I hated this course, but i'm not good enough to shoot through a 30 foot hole 150 feet away. Unfortunately, I tried, and often ended up ridiculously punished in close trees and brush. I like a course that rewards good shots, and punishes bad shots. I felt that this course required amazing shots as even my decent shots were punished.
This is the only course that i've shot a putter off the teepad on a 450 foot hole (16). I was so sick of playing out of the effing trees at that point that rather than try to shoot a tunnel off the tee, i just threw my putter, and hoped it landed in the middle. I had the same score as my partner who tried a traditional strategy of driving. That sums up this course for me. I could have scored just as well throwing my putter 75 feet per throw.
And that's why I feel this course is horrible, because I'm seriously sitting here thinking, "i could probably do just as well throwing my putter." Yes my pars and birdies would go down, but my double, triple, and quadruple bogeys would decrease too. Overall, I think I'd come out on top.
How much fun would that be! Everyone wants to play a course where they just give up. I like a hole with a high risk/reward option. "option" being the key word. Hole 18 did this well for me. I saw the options as "Forehand over the pond with a direct line to the basket for birdie or par" and "Forehand over the bank landing in the drainage ditch for par or bogey". A large number of other holes didn't have this option. It was "shoot this gap or pick up at least a stroke and probably two (one to get back on the fairway)."
This course (and most of the john houck designed courses in the area) make me glad that I don't live in Austin.
I hated this course.
6 of 37 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.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
First time out
Pros: Very well managed course and baskets are well marked for the most part.
Cons: Lots of climbing and requires good shoes for safe footing.
Other Thoughts: No complaints for the most part. The course is a nice course but not for the feint of heart. Enjoyed the brisk workout with the occasional break to find a misplaced disc. Look forward to playing this course more regularly.
1 of 5 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 / 1 Not
Pros: Short to Really Long Holes
Short holes dont worry about overshooting cause lots of Trees to stop you
Long Ranged Holes are mostly open and easy to park at the pin.
Cons: Really Hilly and Really Long,
Get ready for a Hike.
Watch for Water hazards, very dangerous and NASTY looking water.
Bull Needle beware, you are not gonna leave this course without getting caught by these things.
Other Thoughts: Bring LOTS of Water!
1 of 2 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.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
...still a work in progress?
Pros: This is truly a one-of-a-kind course, and has a ton of potential. There are many unique and memorable holes like Bonus Hole B that starts on the top of a tall hill and has a great hill-country view. Hole 6 is a very cool, short birdie hole that throws out over a ravine with a small creek at the bottom that adds a little risk.
Pretty much every hole requires a very precise shot, and a lot of them require power and precision if you even want to par it out.
It has good pin location as can be seen in most Houck courses, and by good, I mean challenging. For instance, Hole 15, which is pretty much a birdie filler hole is made slightly more risky with its pin location on the side of a small bluff. The pin on 2 may be the most difficult to reach as it is guarded by trees in front and to the right, but you can't really go left either because there is also a group of trees that block the fairway on the left side...oh, and this is after you throw uphill across a ravine through a fairly tight fairway.
Cons: I was going to hold off on reviewing this course until they finished it up, but well over a year after opening, I'm still waiting for them to finish it. It's hard to knock it for this since it is a private free-to-play course on very unique hilly terrain, but it's impossible to ignore. The same mulch piles have been in certain fairways for over a year still remain un-spread (holes 11 and 13 come to mind), although the overall height of them has been worn down by the weather.
This course seems to have almost regressed in the past half-year instead of progressing to a more finished state. The last time I was out there, Holes 1, 3, and 18 were missing (and possibly 2- I didn't check since it is blind and out of the way of the rest of the course). Hole 3 is one of the best holes on the entire course with a picturesque pin location in front of a rock formation and across the creek. It's a shame this pin has been removed and I have no idea why. Hole 18 has never been put back in even though the parking lot was finished last year.
The teepads have only slightly been improved since it first opened. They are still very rough, but at least they have cut some of the tree stumps down that used to protrude in the boxes; "some" being the keyword there.
There are now tons of downed cedars strewn throughout the edges of fairways on multiple holes. It looks like they were cut down and just left there, making disc retrieving an extremely strenuous endeavor if you go off the fairway, which is not too difficult on this course considering how tight most of the fairways are.
Hole 12 shoots over the path between holes 9 and 10. Considering hole 12 is a big downhill shot it is quite dangerous for people walking this path or even for people that are finishing up at hole 9. I have seen more shots come spiking down at hole 9's basket than I have at Hole 12's basket, but luckily no cracked skulls to speak of.
The first half of hole 13's fairway is ALWAYS muddy due to what looks like an underground spring that surfaces in the middle of it.
Supposedly, there are short tees out here for most of the holes. I've seen maybe 1 or 2 of them, but I'd hardly consider them tee boxes-- more like 3 cedar logs placed on the ground in an open rectangle. I don't think anyone actually plays from them and I'm not sure if many of them even exist.
Other Thoughts: This is not a beginner's course by any means. A lot of the holes are difficult par 4's around 500' that wind through thick cedars and require precise shots into small landing areas if you want any type of look at a clear 2nd shot. This can be challenging for advanced players, frustrating for intermediate players, and downright impossible for beginners since many of the landing areas require a ~300' shot. Simply put, this is the most challenging course I've ever played.
14 of 15 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.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
A beautiful setting is a fantastic start to this heavily wooded course on church property. The Houck signs are fantabulous as always. Great new Discatcher Pro baskets. This course is a nice mix of tight fairways and long accurate shots. There are some shorter cutesy holes in there as well. The elevation shots here are great and a welcome change to simplistic approach shots common to a lot of courses. The "A" and "B" bonus holes are nothing close to average and exemplify the elevation changes in play here. Multiple tee boxes attempt to provide easier teeing spots for those less glutton for punishment.
The wood chip bedded tee boxes provide some rough footing depending on how dispersed or dense they are. Blind baskets are abundant here and can be frustrating for first timers. Another reviewer put it accurately when he called this course not so much risk/reward as execute or die. A personal preference is that I'd like a couple long, more open holes that really let you rip a disc.
Several of the holes were closed for construction when I played the course, but I still feel like I got the gist of the course. Threes on my card were few and far between when I played here and this course kicked my butt the first time out. It's not for the faint of heart. You will get a decent endurance test on this course with all the up and down hikes.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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