Great 9 hole in solitude.
Pro's and con's are kinda mixed together here, so I'll just put it all under other thoughts...
My friend and I asked at the visitor center about whether this course is actually an 18 hole course. We were told: "No. It was, but Gino took the back 9 to his house. You know Gino? The guy that built it?" I don't know Gino, but I wanted to say: "Hey, Gino! Thanks for the course! I like it!" So, it's only 9 holes - no big deal - go around twice or more and you'll have a few hints about how to play the various holes.
Here's a few hints of my own, having gone around a number of times now: The tees for holes #3 and #5 are right up against the south fence, and you are down a bit from the rest of the lay of the land. It may seem like there is not much wind at the tee, but take a good look at the flags. If the wind is coming right to left, especially if is off the right, front quarter, you really, *REALLY* want to either throw it low, or make sure you really get some anhyzer in there, because if you don't, the wind will take that disc and pitch it right over the south fence. It's a real pain to get your disc back from the other side of the fence. Trust me, I know. ;) The other tip is that hole #9 sort of doubles as a parking area, and if you throw a champion or other hard-plastic disc low, there's gravel in there that can help you pick up a good bit of extra distance on one or two skips.
As I think was mentioned before, it's a desert course. Leave your Birkenstocks and flip-flops at home: there cactus, and other pokey, desert flora (like much of New Mexico). You'll be a lot happier with good footwear and pants that cover your ankles.
A number of people are tossing beer bottles over the south fence. Please don't do that - it just makes disc golfers look like a bunch of A-holes. That's not the image we want. Be a real Boy Scout, pack a plastic grocery bag or two in your DG bag, and pick up trash as you go.
I've been out to this course about six times or so now, and generally gone around twice each time. I only started playing DG about 2 months ago, so I am a beginning player, but I have played Brent Baca, Ladera, Roosevelt, and Arroyo Chamisos. I like Brent Baca, but there's less brush here and less chance of getting into real trouble and less chance of a lost disc. It's maybe not quite as challenging as BB, but my own feeling is that this course rates right up there. If you are a pro-level player and feel like you need to have a tree lane that demands you sculpt your line "just so", then you may find this course kinda boring, but I don't. Brent Baca is kinda open in the same way, but with more man-made obstacles. Personally, I think this course is a bit of a hidden gem. All of the times my friends and I have been out there, we have been the only ones on the course. I have been at Roosevelt lately, with people walking their dogs, families with kids just walking around, and all sorts of DG players crossing fairways and sharing baskets, and one jerk getting all bent and yelling because some players were standing near the basket he wanted to shoot at... OMFG! Getting to a course that is empty (or nearly so) is a big plus in my book, and well worth the short drive from ABQ. If you're traveling along I-40, I would say it is definitely worth a stop.
The park is officially open 10am to 6pm (http://www.wildlifewest.org/)
I don't know exactly what time the gates open, but I've shown up at about 9:30 twice and the gates have been open and you can just go. (I suspect the gates open when the first volunteer arrives for the day, probably around 9:00 or so). It tends to get a bit windy out on the east plains, especially in the spring and early summer - might be best to get there early before the wind picks up.
There is a sign-board near the first tee, at the north end of the parking area, just for the DG course. There's a PVC tube with course maps in it (if there's no maps, ask in the visitor center - they are very friendly and happy to have us). There's a little slot in a box just above the map tube for donations to the park and I encourage people to make a little donation to the park. It's a nice course and they do wildlife rescue with an all volunteer staff. There's an outhouse in the parking lot, or if you ask nicely, they will generally let you into the park to use tha facilities with running water. There are rubber tee pads on the long tees on all but #1. This is a great place to play a DG round, park under the trees and have a little picnic afterwards.
Again, "Thanks, Gino!". I'm glad to drive out from ABQ, get away for a bit, and have a nice round of DG at this course!
Worn out but still plyable
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: If you want solitude than this course is for you. I live in the East Mountains and have played here a few times and each time there was nobody else on the course. There are some challenging shots that are blind that require you to pull out some overhead, hyzer and anny shots. I like this course as a practice course to get you going for the season or just a mellow round of DG.
Cons: This course is in need of some major TLC. Only 9 holes remain but have a lot of potential. You need good shoes on this course as you are walking through the desert with cactus and obstacles, it is wildlife west nature park anyway. Tee pads are almost non-existent due to weather and no maintenance. Hole 6 I think could be broken up into 2 holes as the basket is like 600'-700' away from the tee pad. Baskets are old and worn out with a poor double chain design.
Other Thoughts: Still worth it too check out. Maps are usually in the box on hole 1 but sometimes you need to go inside to ask for a map. Use to be 18 holes I heard but only 9 exist now, can play 2 rounds to make up the 18 hole course. The tee pads can be hard to find but doable; it helps to play with someone that has played here before. If anyone wants to play this course let me know I am up for anytime. Enjoy!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Wild West Coarse
Pros: This course can be as hard or easy as you like. From the AM Tees it is pretty straight forward and from the Pro tee one must curve the shots to get them where one wants to be. There are a couple of blind tees which can be very rewarding. This course is not covered in sage brush like others in the area which means one can find their disc much easier.
Cons: No permintent Tees. There are signs that point you to the next tee but they are all in need of maintainence.
Other Thoughts: It is only a 9 hole course. The course is also on the edge of Edgewood and as such is cooler in the summer and makes for a nice destination to play a round of golf and get out of the heat without driving hours to other courses Nice course for the entire famliy. Remimber it is on the east side of the mountian so playing in the morning before the wind starts is advised. We play the Pro tees for the front and the AM tees for the back to make it a 18 hole course. I wish the old back nine would come back.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
I40 travel stop
Pros: The layout is challenging and sensible. There is a good mix of hole lengths. Inner chains have been added to baskets which did not include them originally, and all they catch pretty good.
A good map is available from the gift shop on grounds where you can also get cold drinks. A porta potty is nearby - not sure about indoor toilets.
Tee signs have hole# and length on them. Two tees for every hole are appropriate as Blue and Red level tees and well marked with flags and signs.
OB fences can come into play on the left side of holes 1,2,3,4, and 5. Hole #5 has some interesting putting area structures built as hazards. Hole #6 is straight and flat and open at over 1000' from the long tee. OB twine is in place on both sides of hole #6, and can also come into play on holes 3,4, and 5. Hole #8 has a putting area "island" marked with OB twine which players clearly must land in from the tee or go to a flagged drop zone tee to shoot for 3. The parking area to the left of hole #9 is also OB.
Cons: AS OF JULY 2011 THERE ARE ONLY 9 HOLES!
There are virtually no navigation aids out on the course. Without a guide or the map, the course is very hard to navigate, though not impossible. The tee signs are showing age, and some were hard to read. The angle of the tee boxes on hole #3 suggests throwing to the #8 basket, but the correct goal is actually to the left.
Hours are limited - officially 10:00 to 6:00. I arrived much earlier, and nobody seemed to mind. But there were no maps in the map box and I could not get a map until 10:AM when the gift shop opened. It is clear that the closing time of 6:PM is much more firm.
There are few amenities out on the course - a shaded bench between #2 and #3 was about it.
The baskets are a mix of light weight and old. There are 2- In Step, 2- M-14, One homemade (16 chains nicely done), and 4 old Mach 2's. The course design slightly favors RHBH hyzer shots.
Other Thoughts: This is a high desert course at a wildlife sanctuary. The principal activity of the facility is wildlife rescue, and rehab, and education on these subjects. The disc golf course has been added as one of the healthy human parts of the effort. The terrain includes some gentle elevation change through mostly open scrub brush and cactus.
The basic course design is really quite sound. Holes ranging from about 200 feet (#4) to over 1000 offer lots of variety. Once I figured out the course I went back out and played it in about 45 minutes, and definitely appreciated the the fun of it.
As a stop on I40 it is definitely worthwhile, and the wildlife sanctuary looks to be very interesting and worthwhile also. If it works for your schedule I suggest stopping to play, and throwing a few bucks into their donation box to help with the effort.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The course is secluded, quiet, and played only often enough to have paths warn down which is great if you're wanting to play without interruption from other golfers. The front 9 is very long, and sometimes windy giving your skill a chance to improve. The back 9 is rarely windy and extremely wooded, requiring a whole different set of skill to score par or under on.
Cons: Signage could be better, and the maps provided could have a directional plot on them (N, S, E, W Gino!) The cholla are a bit of a pain in the ass, literally in some cases, and the trees are sometimes 40 feet wide and love to eat discs. A recent update to the course has left the back 9 very confusing and the lengths on the holes are incorrect (Microsoft Worldview gives different distances for 17 holes than marked)
Other Thoughts: As myself, my brother, our friend Josh, and our friends Gino and Guy helped design that course, I find the course to be a much better option than playing in the city (Albuquerque). The course has it's drawbacks, like any other course, but is great fun for all skill levels. If you'd like to play this course, please call me any time at 505 463-9122. I very much enjoy the course and am more than willing to show you around.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Amateur and Pro length tee boxes on almost every hole with signs that indicate distance. Scenic. Moderately challenging. Wide open; due to to its location, I'd doubt that anyone (unless there are local players, and one would assume there would be, or else the course wouldn't be here in the first place) plays it very often. As such, it's super clean and plays fast. Tee boxes are just dirt, but they're fairly sizable and - if it makes sense - composed of "good" dirt. Part of a wildlife preserve / zoo.
Cons: Confusing layout. No maps. No indication on signs of where the pin is located. All the tee boxes point in more or less the right direction, but unless you know where you're going or just throw blind, you'll have to walk the hole to find which pin you're shooting at. The pins themselves are not of the best quality, and not all of the flags on them indicate which number pin they are. The front 9 runs very close to the highway which detracts from what would otherwise be fantastic solitude in a pleasant environment; it's also adjacent to a cow pasture, which makes for nervous throwing (on two holes) on windy days.
Other Thoughts: Are there 18 holes? Were there 18 at one point? Only 9 the time I played it. And the people working at the wildlife preserve / zoo gave conflicting answers, ranging from oblivious to there were plans to put nine more in that never came to fruition. Even with nine more, it really wouldn't be worth driving to by itself; unless you're passing through and want to check it out, I really can't recommend this course.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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