An experience to remember.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I had the privilege of playing in the Northwest Collegiate Regional Tournament and played all 36 that exist here several times during our 3 days there. Normally only 27 are available most of the year and a different setup exists during the winter. I uploaded the map of the course for this setup and when I refer to a hole that is the map I am using.
This course is both fun to play and a pain in the !@#$% to play. Fun because it is a great state park with camping (which we did) during the warmer months. It is also aesthetically very pleasing. It was once a ball golf course and much of that has been used for the courses.
The teepads are concrete and large enough for most any run-up.
Since it was a ball golf course many fairways are wide with very difficult shule if you get into it. These fairways are mowed and in good shape throughout the year. If you get into the shule expect at least 1 throw to be added to your round unless you are very lucky each time you do it.
The baskets are in very good shape and catch well. The area around them is in good shape.
The course is odd because of its length, there are very few disc golf courses that are approximately 9000 feet long but this place has 2, and it is this length that is a major contributor to its difficulty. The fairways run from 175' to 1187' with many of them over 600'. No matter how good you are sooner or later the sheer number of throws you have to make will wear you down and you are going to throw some bad ones and get into trouble. Or a common mistake is to try to constantly max throw and as we all know that is a recipe for disaster. Placement of your drives is key here not max distance. You must throw each drive and up so that you can successfully throw the next.
There are also several technical throws in the woods and these have maddeningly tight fairways. I saw several high ranked players struggle in the woods due to how tight they are.
All types of throws here will be needed. Rollers are a good choice as were thumbers and tomahawks.
Some holes of special note are number 2 west. This is a 300' anhyzer (RHBH) down a treeline that you are very close to, then up a very steep hill about 75'. If you can land near the opening you should be able to up it for a 3, if not look for a 5. Fourteen west is a monster at 1187' and a river to the right. If you get off the fairway or behind one of the many trees on the fairway this par 5 will become a 9 or worse quickly. Six East was a basket I saw several people get in trouble on. You have to shoot a late turning hyzer low to get to the main part of the fairway for your next drive, but a little too much and you will be digging out of the shule. The one everyone talks about is the "genius" hole (Basket 9 west). A top of the world throw that needs to flex a long way to get it in place for a 3. Miss and hit an early tree or get caught in the trees below and your par 3 is now at best a 5. There are many others but I think this gives you the idea.
Cons: There are not many. There are no tee signs to help with direction and the flow is sometimes not there to help find the next one. A complaint heard form many. The maps are not the most accurate. The one used for the fling is very good for that layout however.
This is the Oregon coast expect to get wet and prepare accordingly.
While the course is open year around the bathroom facilities are not so be prepared for that. Remember this course is very long and takes 4 people about 3 hours.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed my experience here and I hope to come back someday. This is a place that anyone who visits this part of the country and likes disc golf should not miss.
If they add tee-signs directional signs, and a better map for the normal layouts I would probably upgrade this to a 5.
Bring water, snacks, dry socks and shoes, and be prepared to sleep well that night because you will be tired.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great layout and use of land
concrete tee pads
signage on most holes
plenty of garbage cans (even though many do not use them)
Variation of hole types
colored baskets made them easier to see at a distance
Cons: beer cans littering the course
locked restrooms (except for at hole #1)
No course map on site
confusing navigation at times (some tee signs were not oriented correctly)
Other Thoughts: We had no problem with the $5 to park since this course is rated so highly, and we were not disappointed! Take a map or download it to your phone, because it can be overwhelming if you are just looking for the 18E, or 9W, and not playing the full 27.
The long #2 was daunting, especially for a beginner like me, but we hacked away at it until the flag was in sight! Dog-legs left or right, made the wide open holes interesting, and the shorter holes in the tree line were quite technical, especially when your putter bounces off the rim and rolls 20 feet down the hill :)
This was definitely the longest (yardage wise) course I've played, and the cool, damp air was refreshing, even if we caught a little bit of drizzle.
I liked the Pro/Am tees, even if we didn't use the shorter ones. It's great to have that option, and we were out to have fun and improve our game, so why not use the longer ones.
Well worth the extra drive and parking fee!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: State Park so clean course. Lots of technical shots and long shots needed.Open holes including an 1100+' monster. And short technical treed holes.
Cons: Not a family course and hard on shorter throwers.
Other Thoughts: Don't forget that there is a 18 hole east course and a 9 hole west course. So pack a lunch and make it a day playing both sides!
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
A course for big arms
Pros: -huge concrete tee pads
-2 courses in one (East and West)
-lots of long bomb shots down big fairways
-baskets have red bands and flags so you can see them from a distance.
Cons: -course navigation is confusing at best. The two courses overlap. People I met on the course admitted they don't play in order.
-no water in play
-only minor elevation changes
-baskets are not numbered. You have no idea which basket is yours when looking down the fairway on some holes.
Other Thoughts: I much preferred the 9 west holes over the 18 east. Maybe because I could navigate them more easily. Overall, the mix of long bombs with short, technical shots in the woods was very good. You could play several different ways. Not a good course for beginners, even the 9 hole west side, as it is too challenging. I wish there was a 3.75 rating because it's a very good course, but not quite excellent in my opinion. Frankly, this course was not that much fun until I got into the woods. It has so many holes and ways of playing that you could skip holes you don't like.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Beautiful, long, and confusing
Pros: Located on the banks of the Clackamas River, this is a pretty course. Tall pines dot the course, and the red baskets are easily visible against the lush green background.
There are two concrete tee pads for each of the 27 holes. The long pads give completely different looks at many of the holes and force some new angles, although several of the tee pads just make a really long course even longer.
I really enjoyed the five wooded holes on the course, with tight but reasonable gaps to hit and potential for bad rollaways if you hit the wrong tree. The ferns are the only undergrowth for the most part. I'm from the Midwest, and I love the plants that let you know you're in Oregon. Except for the poison oak.
There are some pretty creative pin positions here. #26 (I think) has an elevated basket in a tree stump. If you're not putting from within 20 feet, you really risk a 3 putt (especially since you don't practice on baskets this high). #9 has a scenic position between two trees standing sentinel along the Clackamas.
If you like airing it out, this course has many opportunities. I haven't seen many 1000+ foot holes.
I have real issues with the course design here. We played the course like it is numbered on the scorecard (linked to on this site), but that is not how the holes are numbered on the signs and apparently not how most people play it. There are several tees that bottleneck around where #9 is, and in both of our rounds groups convened and were confused about who was coming from where and who was playing what tee next. Unfortunately the various tee pads for a given hole aren't always close to each other. On #9 there is the dangerous situation where people tee off from the short pad and are oblivious to the people throwing down toward them from the long tee hidden in the woods.
Also complicating this is that there are shortcuts here and there. It felt like the game Clue: the Ballroom is next to the Conservatory, but there is a secret passage to the Lounge…I was ready to hit myself over the head with a lead pipe.
If you play the course as it is numbered on the signs, you would have to drive between the two configurations and park in separate lots. Um, no. Also, the tee signs are mediocre. They show the distances to the various positions but very little else.
The other con is more of a personal preference, but courses that emphasize distance so much lose my interest. I might feel differently if I could throw 400+ feet, but when you are throwing two full shots (and more on some holes) and then hoping you are in the vicinity of the basket, that leaves a little to be desired. As I said, I really enjoyed the five wooded holes. I just wish on a course this huge that there had been more than five.
One last note: the pins are often not visible from the tee due to the length. You really need to play the course a couple times before you're sure where you're trying to go.
Other Thoughts: This course is rightly regarded as a must visit when you're in Oregon. I liked Whistler's Bend and Horning's Hideout better, but picking your favorite Oregon course is like picking your favorite Oregon beer: the third and fourth choice is still pretty damn good. The scenery and atmosphere are well worth the drive out from Portland.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Beautiful course that runs along the river. There is a great mix of technical shots and enough room to air out a big throw. I wish I lived closer because this would be a fun one to play more often. The locals were more than helpful in pointing me in the correct direction..which brings me to....
Cons: I got very confused by the 27 hole lay out. Granted I didn't do my homework before I left. But I printed out the map, and found Tee #1, thinking that after I played the 18 East, that it would run right into the 9 West. This was not the case.
Other Thoughts: What a wonderful course. I would advise everyone I knew to play this atleast once in their life, if not many more times.
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Best in the Portland Area
Pros: Played through Milo for the first time yesterday and it definitely won't be the last! Incredible views of snow capped Mt. Hood along Springwater Rd. on the way to course. The crystal clear Clackamas river runs along edge of park and there are plenty of giant trees and healthy native groundcover plants throughout the course.
What I liked
-The grounds are very well kept.
-4-5 Clean restroom buildings spaced perfectly throughout the course.
-The Pro and Am tees are all concrete and a generous size. Some of the pro tees actually add additional challenges (trees, 45 - 90 degree turns, +150') to the hole. At several courses I've played, the pro tees are basically the same shot but simply 50-100' further from the pin.
-There is a decent variety of shots, straight on with a few tall trees, long with patches of mixed foliage, short but heavily treed; all holes have obstacles despite some being 250-400' down an open field then ducking into the woods to approach the pin.
-There are two epic drives from the top of an ~30 ft. hill down into a field which are a lot of fun. Great ego booster to throw your disc an extra 100+ ft.
Cons: -The layout is extremely confusing due to the staff trying to re-number the course into two separate 18 (east) and 9 hole (west) courses. It appeared the pro/am tees for #10E weren't clearly labeled and the some of the pins have 1-27 layout numbers while others don't have any marking.
-Litter wasn't a huge issue but there was some lying around.
-Strange lady at the picnic shelter was not friendly.
Other Thoughts: I feel like it wouldn't take much time for someone to at least try and make things clearer on the course map... then maybe work on labeling the pins and / or clarifying all the pro/am tees with directional guidance for which way to go once you get to the pin.
All in all an excellent mix of long (2 full blast drives to pin), mid distance moderately technical shots, short very technical shots and wide open field drives with more challenging pin approaches. The course makes use of almost every method you could possibly use to throw. I will definitely return to Milo in the future and highly recommend it to experienced players. It could be very frustrating for beginners and getting a par on any of the holes from the amateur tees would be a feat for newer players.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 2 Not
- Pro and amateur teepads, and multiple pin placements
- Mowed fairways, and the rough isn't too rough
- Beautiful park setting along the Clackamas River, with many amenities
- Excellent flow (with the exception of the recent split into east & west layouts)
- Too many wide-open fairways
- Very long (I realize this is not a "con" to everyone)
- Goofy split layout; many locals play the original 27 holes in order, which can lead to confusion
- Crowded on weekends; litter can be a problem
McIver is a tricky course for me to review. I acknowledge that it's an excellent disc golf course, and it looks beautiful. In fact, it looks a lot like a ball golf course (which it originally was intended to be, decades ago). The fact that most holes have both short and long teepads -- which often make a significant difference in how the hole plays -- is a huge plus. (It's surprising, really, how FEW courses have two sets of pads.) And Milo McIver State Park has tons of amenities: picnic areas, camping, fishing, etc. All that stuff is an advantage for sure, and it helps make this a "destination" course.
But... personally, I often don't have all that much FUN at McIver. When I finish 27 holes here, I feel exhausted; I've never said, "hey, let's go around again," which I always do when playing at, for example, Timber Park. Too many holes at McIver follow the same pattern: try to throw a very long drive out into a wide-open fairway, then throw a long approach shot at a basket which is right at the edge of the woods. My favorite holes at McIver are the 3 or 4 completely forested ones in the middle, and I wish there were more of those.
Overall, I agree that, if only because of the physical setting, this is one of the must-play courses for people visiting the Portland area. And I think it's probably a 5-star course for pros and other golfers with big arms. But from the perspective of a Portlander who only throws about 300', I know there are other places I can play around here where I won't feel like I'm blowing out my arm on every hole, and where I'll have a chance at a few more birdies.
I guess what it comes down to is this: McIver is a tough disc golf course. Whether that's good or bad depends on your expectations, your style of play, even your mood on any given day. Plan accordingly!
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Good but not perfect
Pros: Beautiful park. Lots of Parking. Alternate pads for pro/am players. Recently put in recycling cans to decrease litter. Good variety of shots from short skill shots to big distance, anhyzer and hyzer shots. Can play 18/9/27 holes depending upon how much time you have. Lots of people dedicating their time to this course to make it better.
Cons: Too many course layouts create chaos on the course. Between those that play the 27 layout, the 18east and the 9 west, throw in the bsf course and the safaris who just can't figure out where to go next, alternate pad locations; just a recipe for chaos and frustration. Course layout could be much better for the space. Some pads are poorly placed or are not finished which gives it an "unfinished" feel. Bottles and litter. I pick this up all the time, and even with the new cans, people still lack the respect and consideration to use the cans that are scattered throughout the park.
Other Thoughts: I live 4 miles from the park and play it quite regularly. I've been playing it for several years and can recall when it was just an 18 hole course. I thought it had layout problems back then and I still think it does. It has the potential to be one of the best courses on the west coast, if not the best. I personally think the whole course needs to be restructured, and even 2 courses of 18 established. There are just too many layouts and on busy days this gets pretty chaotic. Basket locations get changed on a whim, sometimes from week to week. At times, the locations are even changed so that one of the alt t-pads is facing the wrong direction. I love this course and recommend it, but I personally think it is in dire need of new, or better management.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 2 Not
A wonderful place
Pros: It is a wonderful treat, and a great asset to the pursuit of disc golf in general, that such a wonderful piece of park property has been made available for use as a course. I made a special effort to stop by and play here with my fiancee while on a business trip to the region, and I will remember it fondly for the rest of my life.
The trees are absolutely gorgeous, and the swiftly flowing river provides for a wonderful background sight and sound to the entire course.
The course itself offers a variety of different kinds of shots and challenges. The one thing this course has more than any other, and certainly uses, is space. There is a lot of space, and the holes are almost all scaled up to fill it out. This is a big arm course, and will test the limits of accuracy vs. distance in everyone's game. This is also a great course to try out a variety of roller shots. There are big left and right turning fairways, tight shots through corridors of trees, and punishing rough if the disc goes astray.
We had few problems finding most holes and pads, and the arrangement was quite nice and easy to follow except...
1. on the back 9 I recall there being a very long excursion from a hill in the woods at basket 3 down to the open area by the parking lot on tee pad 4,
2. on the front 18 there was an excursion into the woods around hole 13-14 or so that we initially had trouble following, but got it the second time around on a replay.
The park is clean, except for some Coors Light cans and such. Rubbish bins are plentiful and there are several very well-maintained restrooms along portions of the course, which is especially good for women disc golfers.
Cons: Note that the cons listed here shouldn't dissuade anyone from playing here...you should go to Riverbend, it is a wonderful place. My criticisms should be taken lightly, but I feel I should offer something.
The vast expanses of the park property, and its setting in general, virtually ensure that any course layout at McIver will be a wonderful experience. I got the feeling, however, that the course's design was somewhat haphazard in some ways (I'll give examples below), but the park itself and the large spaces available allow that a less than ideal course design can still remain one of the best around.
There are vast, long, open strips and spaces for fairways. I feel that the current course design uses these in a bit of a gluttonous fashion, by simply laying out huge tracts from pad to basket across what might otherwise comprise several more exquisite and thoughtful holes. Hole 2 on the 18 front course is a great example of this...1200 or so feet of amazing fairway with nice groves and patches of trees along the way are simply given over to a single hole. Sure, this is an epic hole, and one that I'll tell all my friends about, but one wonders if this space might not have been used more wisely. I'm not saying that I don't like the holes as they are, but rather that I don't quite feel like the course space has been optimized for its full range of potential and diversity.
Other holes sometimes start seemingly at random in a glade and end at a basket seemingly placed at random in some trees off to the side.
The landscape is mostly flat, so the course is missing some of the elements one finds in other courses with big up or down hill grades (with the minor exception of a couple of holes that tee off from a wooded hill).
I lost a new esp avenger ss disc on the back 9 by the river. Truth be told, this course will wear you down and you'll probably shank a shot or several after a while and the river will most certainly eat your disc. Be prepared and willing to lose a disc or two so that you won't mind so much when it happens.
Other Thoughts: This ordinary layout course wore me down like a big tournament course would do, and at the end of the day I was satisfied and thoroughly happy as well as tired.
Final thought...Is this the best disc golf course on the west coast? My gut feeling is to say no, it is not the best course for disc golf purposes alone. My benchmark course for comparison is DeLaveaga in Santa Cruz, and I feel like each of the holes there is a delectable treat, like something to be savored and admired for its arrangement in terms of disc golf purposes. I don't feel like Riverbend quite measures up in that respect, although it is a wonderful place to play disc golf.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful.
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