Destination Worthy Championship Disc Golf
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: MiloMcGiver is a beautiful Championship level disc golf in this gorgeous Oregon State park. Milo is located on the Clackamas river. It has open grassy fairways under mature firs and cedars. It has that awesome Northwest vibe complete with mossy trees and ferns. Regardless of how many holes are currently set up to play, one-of-a-kind experience is worth the trip and a must play on any visit to the Portland area for any serious disc golfer.
I used bullet points for those that don't want to read the lengthy review.
Milo is unlike any of the other 230 courses I have played. It has its own personality and special beauty that is beyond comparison. I had the opportunity to play Milo on several different trips to the Portland area over the past year. I was able to practice and play all 36 holes at Milo McGiver during the 2014 Pro World Championships. I had the opportunity to play both the long and short tees. I also played the traditional Milo McGiver 27 layout during the wintertime.
Enormous Area for Disc Golf
The 36 holes of disc golf cover an expansive area of the park. However, disc golf takes up only one part of this giant park. If you go on weekdays, you literally have this entire corner of the Earth to yourself. Enjoy the solitude among the mature firs and cedars and take in the sounds of the rushing water on the Clackamas river as it travels past the park.
This is a 5 star challenge that will test every level of your game. The iconic year round Milo layout offers the whole package and provides a wide variety of shots. This layout includes all the memorable holes, big distance holes, ample elevation changes and some tightly wooded challengers. To be sure, this course has more than one signature hole or memorable hole. To score well here you need to have a variety of shots. If you aren't a big distance thrower, choose the shorter tees and you will still get a great disc golf experience.
Two 18 Hole Championship Courses
If you are in the area while both Championship level courses are installed, don't miss the opportunity to play all 36 holes. Get out there (with maps!) on the weekdays before and after the event. All 36 holes are what make Milo a true championship destination. This course will challenge every level of your game to score well. It is not all about distance, but that certainly helps.
I was guided through the Milo 18 West course the first time by the former park manager. It would be difficult to play this layout blind if you had never played the East 18 or Winter 27. I think the West Course provided a broader range of holes than the East 18 Course. Some of the shorter wooded holes from West are part of the "normal" layout. There were holes that required more placement and technical ability than all out distance. Of course there are some big distance holes here as well.
Two Sets of Concrete Tees
Always a bonus when there are two tees, even better when both are concret. Both sets of concrete tees were in excellent condition. The longer tees tend to have the picnic tables, benches and other extras. Having played both sets of tees, I think I prefer the challenge of the long tees here on most holes. They are not too difficult for Advanced level players. Some short tees take out doglegs, or give a more direct line of attack. Otherwise the short tees are mostly shorter.
Multiple pin placements
Variety is the spice of life and two sets of tees are better than one. In addition to short and long tees, there are multiple pin placements for several holes. I wish I could live close to a course like Milo with so much variety available. The more I play Milo, the more I like it.
It's a workout!
No matter which layout you play, you will be doing some walking. You will also be climbing up and down a few times. You will most likely be playing a full 18 holes (or more) before you return to your car. There are plenty of opportunities to get water on the course as there is running water in all the restrooms. On the West Course, there are some long walks to the next hole adding some more distance to the work out.
It is very long and probably not the best choice for true beginners. However, Milo is a championship caliber course that players of all abilities can still enjoy. The fairways are ample and not too complicated. If you do manage to stray off some of the fairways, there could be some rough, so watch where you throw on those holes. One challenge will be the amount of distance you will cover and the climbing up and down hills while playing a round out here. The biggest challenge will be navigating the course.
Bring a Map!
I had no problem playing this course blind on my first trip with a map. The NEXT TEE markers at the bottom of each pin clearly showed the way to the next tee. However, sometimes the next tee includes another tee going in a totally different direction. There are signs on some of the long tees, but you still want to have a map on your first visit to avoid any confusion. You should only attempt the West Course after having successfully navigating the regular layout. Then you can get a better feel for where you are going.
Entry Fee was worth it!
Oregon State parks charge a $5.00 daily fee. While some consider paying to disc golf a con, I thought it was worth the five dollars to enter this park. The park is super well maintained and the disc golf course is one of the largest I have seen. If you are local and will be playing other disc golf courses in state parks (Dabney, Rooster Rock, etc), Oregon 12 month passes are available for only $30.00.
Long Drive to the Countryside
This is located just south of Portland "out in the country". It is 16 miles and nearly a 30 minute drive from Clackamas and the 205 Freeway. A lot of distance on a small two-lane country road with plenty of curves. Definitely worth the trip to experience an iconic disc golf destination. I enjoyed seeing the rural Oregon countryside.
There are four modern restroom facilities located throughout the entire disc golf area. No matter which layout you play, you will pass by these restrooms several times each round. These are well maintained, fully equipped, with running water and quite spacious!
Kids and Strollers
This course is really too long for kids to play. The terrain is easy enough for older kids to walk along. However, it may be a bit long for toddlers. You could use a stroller on most holes. Depending on the layout, there are some elevated holes with staircases where you will need to park and walk. There are lots of full service restrooms on the courses. There are lots of other activities in this park for kids as well. There are several opportunities to check out the river while playing.
You can't really play this for the first time without a map. With a map, the year round course is possible to enough to navigate for 18 holes since it has the Next Tee markers on each basket and signs on the long tees. However, if you are playing any additional holes you will need to know the current layout and have the proper map. None of the 36 targets are numbered and none of the short tees are labeled which amplifies the navigation problems.
They are 27 holes in year round, but there are only signs for a layout called 18E. 18 East as played in an event is not even the same layout as the installed signs for 18E?!? Even though both East courses share many of the same holes, they don't share any numbering? It would be great if they could update/replace the signs to match the year round layout and number some of the baskets.
Long Drive and Pay to Play
While these are not really cons for me, some may not appreciate the long drive or having to pay a $5.00 entry fee. Again, both the drive and the $5.00 entry fee were worth it to me.
There could be poison oak on the course. If you have problems with it take precautions.
Worth The Trip!
Some things are worth repeating. Definitely worth the long drive to see a memorable disc golf destination. No matter the current layout or the number of holes you can play, you will still get to experience what is unique about Milo McGiver.
Swimming, Fishing, Tubing
The Clackamas river runs along several holes on both courses. In the summer you can hear the sounds of all kinds of folks tubing and kayaking down the river. Bring your swimsuit so you can jump in after your round. If I had more time, I would have loved to take a trip on the river.
Supplies and Food
Plan to get your water, Gatorade or other beverages before you drive all the way out here. If coming from the North, Carver Market is the last little store with gear and beer before you cross over the river onto Springwater Road. The park entrance is still 11 miles away from this tiny town.
Viewpoint Restaurant and Lounge is located way out in the country about a mile from the park entrance on Springwater. They are open for breakfast serve great food (and drinks) all day. We really enjoyed the Friday night Prime Rib special. They have a full service bar and a beer garden outside on summer weekends with bands. Disc Golfers are always welcome.
The main reason we stopped at the restaurant was to avoid the trip back to Portland on the 205 North during rush hour. The traffic in Portland sucks. To be clear, there is no traffic near the park. The park is in a very rural setting, miles away from city life.
Disc Golf Destination
Portland is a fantastic disc golf destination and Milo is the jewel in the crown. In addition to awesome disc golf Portland has a fun vibe. Milo and Pier Park are must play courses for all skill levels. Blue Lake is for those big arms that didn't get enough distance shots at Milo. The airport area hotels are newer and close to both Pier and Blue Lake. There are also some good hotels on 1-84 near Blue Lake. These hotels are also convenient for exploring the courses on the Columbia River Gorge. Staying in this area may help avoid some of the traffic problems in Portland.
This would absolutely get a five star rating as it provides a five star Championship challenge in a beautiful five star State Park. However, navigation issues and confusing signage prevent a five star rating. Milo McGiver is still a must play disc golf destination for serious players and on my favorites list.
There was some construction along Holes 1,2 and 27 of the original layout. Hole 27 was unplayable at that time. Not sure how long that will last.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Everything about this course is awesome. Great views, long beautiful fairways, challenging holes, a cool top-of-the world teepad, and I could keep going on and on.
Many fairways seem as if you're playing an old groomed PGA course like Augusta or somewhere similar; just awesome.
More than 36 holes to play so u can spend a few days camping here and never play the same way twice
Cons: If u don't bring a map, and the ones by parking lot are gone, I suppose it could be tricky to find your way around. So bring a map, or hope there are some by main bathrooms. (there were when I visited)
The only other negative is that it isn't closer to my home
Other Thoughts: I will go again ASAP
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Wowzer, what fun!
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great parking, great bathrooms (maybe the best where I've played at). Good layout with all kinds of throws needed. If you are in the area (Portland/Salem) you need to play this course! Might be the top course in Oregon! Highly recommend it!
Cons: 1st hole way toooooo long for a par 3! Some holes hard to find, direction arrows would be a plus. (Not so much of a con but) 27 holes takes a long time and when its hot...I recommend water and an energy snack.
Other Thoughts: 27 hole course worked for me! Glad we teamed up with regulars at the course. It made it much more enjoyable not having to look for tee pads (they played pro, we played amateur...which was a killer in it self) and for baskets-some hidden very well. Other reviews complained of a lot of trash---I didn't think it was to bad. Of course if everyone packed out what they packed in...smil'n!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a large state park, that has a ton of land devoted to the disc golf course. With the exception of some parking lots and the entrance road, it seems like there shouldn't be any interference with the discin'.
- A large amount of the holes out here are set more in the open, usually with large, mature trees in the fairway, and tough rough off the generous fairways. Even though they are mostly open in terms of airways, there are lots of ways to quickly inflate the score. A lot of holes have very wide conifers that take away available lines and snag shots that stray too far or come up a little short.
- Other holes have open fairways with some tougher gaps to navigate, due to the proximity to the woods. #7E, for instance, is a straight shot that finishes up and right into the forest in a smaller gap. #1W is a long hole that has an abrupt end down amongst very gnarly rough that protects the basket positions. #9W shoots out of the forest, #5E ends up shooting into the forest - a good mix of open/wooded shots on these holes.
- Also some very heavily wooded holes to balance it out. #13E-#15E are in the same section of the forest, with some tight lines (nearly plinko) to get to the basket. #2W is probably the skinniest of them all, either a super straight shot or a tricky RHBH anny. #3W is a RHBH flex shot, with a big dropoff on the left waiting to snare deflected drives. Accuracy is a must!
- Pretty good elevation changes at this park, from major to minor. #9W is the biggest downhill shot; a very elevated tee that shoots out of the woods. #18E is a longer, more gradual downslope that allows for a bomber drive. A few other elevated tees and gentle slopes as well. Uphill shots are more gradual, in general, such as #16E, #17E, #1W and #8W. It is definitely noticeable off the tee and adds some yardage to the holes.
- Lots of length to this course, it is a bomber's paradise on plenty of holes. Over HALF of them are over 400' from the long pads. And six of those are over 500'. Huge doglegs with huge trees and huge fairways make these holes a true test of golf distance to score well. A lack of distance or accuracy can destroy any chance at a good score. It does follow the convention of long/open and short/wooded, but what can you do.
- Some well protected basket locations to provide additional challenge. A handful are tucked into gaps in the forest, others are located amongst larger trees or larger clumps of trees, and a few are close to slopes. #7W has an elevated pin too.
- Great teepads and baskets on both sides. Teesigns have taken a beating and are missing on many holes. Definitely helps to have a map; as the layouts criss-cross in a few spots.
Cons: - On the whole, the course is on the open side. Much better suited for players with cannons or better. Some people might find it to be a little bland or repetitive, with a lot of grippin' and rippin' going on. A matter of personal preference.
- A little close to the pavement on some holes, like #18E and #4W. Does add some good challenge in terms of OB, but it's never fun to be playing next to a road.
Other Thoughts: - Well, there you have it! This is a big boy course, you need a cannon to even dream of scoring well on the longer holes. But, there are also many spots to dial it back a little bit and provide an accurate shot to get to the basket. Pretty even mix, but more open overall. The two sets of tees do make a pretty big difference, no shame in playing the shorts out here.
- Course is best suited for expert players in terms of distance, but there aren't any places where beginners could get in too much trouble. Just may not be as enjoyable for the shorter arms.
- A few different layouts here make a huge difference, based on what I've heard. I played the standard 27 hole layout, and definitely enjoyed it. It would be sweet to see some of the other layouts!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Cons: Long as you'll find, not forgiving for the biginer or AM player.
Other Thoughts: A lot of distance questions from lack of signage. Seems like pin placement could be better indicated too. Definitely coming back for another dance with this monster.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: Okay...honestly this course is the best i've ever played. I only started playing one year ago and though this course may take some time to get good at, it is an amazing course to play if you want to excel at the sport of disc golf. Has both pro and am tees. Perfect for if you are feeling boss that day or you just want to play a little closer...which i don't mind.
Cons: First time playing this course I went 20+ It was crazy but i had so much fun. Just keep playing. Aside from paying $5 to get in, there is nothing really wrong with this course.
Other Thoughts: This course will make you better!! Trust me...it forces you to muster up that extra 50 yards of a throw that you knew you had in you. long wide open holes make it hard to loose a disc. Happy Discing!!! (Not an acting word, I know)
4 of 16 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: What an amazing course. It's one of the few I've ever played with this kind of distance. There are also a number of very crowded technical areas in the trees as well. One of the very few courses that I've played pretty much all the discs in my bag.
Cons: Not for the beginner. The distances and trees would be very frustrating. Also, not a course to play if you are after birdies and aces. I'm really gald I played this with someone who has played a number of times. All the variation and alternate tee pads would have been super hard to navigate on my own.
Other Thoughts: Awsome destination course. If you are in the area make the effort to play this course! I truely believe this must have been created by someone who envisioned "super course" of consistent par 4's or 5's instead of the typical 3's. Oh and if anyone ever finds my Destroyer - PLEASE call. It's one of my favorites.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: First off, this place is just plain georgeous - the combination of well kept parkland and short grass with the natural beauty of the river and pines is spectacular. This is definitely on my top 10 list for most beautiful courses. Oh yeah, the golf is pretty good too :) While mostly in the open, McIver fills out *fairly well in terms of variety with a few tight wooded holes and some ample shaping shots in-between field areas. Some of the more interesting holes have defined layup zones and rewards for long, but controlled drives. Frequently players also have options to play for safe pars by withdrawing a bit from tree lines and keeping options open for the upshot. Besides the bomber par 4's and 5's, there are several fantastic par three holes which utilize elevation, effective out-of-bounds areas, and well-placed trees to keep players honest. Another huge bonus of having such a huge park is the ability to make several layouts, including the epic Beaver State Fling tournament layouts. While it doesn't quite make my 'best of' list, this course without a doubt lives up to the hype surrounding it and is worth a trip for any traveling golfer.
Cons: The two main drawbacks at Milo are the inability to effectively punish poor shots (relative to other 'cream of the crop' courses) and some of the variety off the tee. Because of the open nature of much of the course, players have ample ability to uncork distance hyzers one after the other. On many of the shots which have low ceilings, a well placed roller makes for an effective attack and I always find myself throwing 5-6 rollers off the tee per round which isn't a 'bad' thing but it seems that these holes just don't offer multiple options for making birdie.
The final con and kind of a confusing one are a couple of the tweener holes out here; those ranging from about 480-550'. In the open, nearly all players will find the hole unreachable for a birdie/eagle '2' but will be able to consistently card an easy three. Low scoring separation on these holes sometimes makes for uninteresting golf but there are certainly enough other well-designed holes to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Other Thoughts: While other players have mentioned that the course is a bit confusing to follow, which is true, I have never found it difficult to locate all of the holes and baskets. Playing the course in order though is another story!
With camping onsite and the solid Timber course just down the road, Milo makes for a great weekend.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
The Great Outdoors
Pros: An absolute gem in the great pacific northwest. Milo is located a beautifully manicured state park. The course offers 27 challenging holes that is split up into two parts in the park. My advice would be to park in the parking lot of the East course. There is a map there with the layout of both the 18 hole east part and 9 hole west part. Play the first 18 than either walk or drive to the other 9 (use the map, easy to figure out).
This challenging course offers a variety of holes with distances ranging from 120-1200ft. Technical and open holes offer an array of shots required to play each hole. This is a very challenging course which will test the best of players. Luckily if you do not feel comfortable playing from the long tees there is also the amateur tees available. Most of the tees are cement with an exception of a few rubber tees. There are two holes that are shot from a well elevated wooded area which are very fun and with one shooting towards the river. The baskets are highly visible with flags on top and newer signs. The overall challenge of this course is about a 4.25/5. It is a tough and challenging course, but it is also a lot of fun and a can't miss to play.
What also adds to this amazing course is the scenic beauty. The Oregon outdoors offers one of the best sceneries you can get for disc golf anywhere. The Clackamas River runs along some of the course to add to the beauty along with a view of Mt. Hood when driving in.
Again this is a state park so it is maintained very well. The course is mowed frequently as well as tree maintenance throughout. Restrooms, running water, benches, trash bins are all available.
Cons: Sometimes it pains me to write cons for courses, but there is always something you can find wrong about a course. The big thing for me would be the navigation of the course. Some of the signs were confusing to navigate as well as the two parts of the course. Make sure to have a map of you will get confused.
Other Thoughts: A MUST PLAY if you are in Oregon. It is about an 40 minutes from Portland, but well worth every minute. This course offers it all beauty, challenge, and fun all rolled into one. There is camping located within the state park which have very nice camping grounds. The locals were extremely friendly helping us navigate a few holes which allowed us to help a group behind us later in our round. The park staff was friendly showing us were to go to dg, eat, etc. There is a parking fee ($3) which is included if you choose to camp at the park ($18 I believe). Overall this course to me is a mix of Pier Park and Hornets Hideout in terms of challenge and fun and a must play
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Run & Gun
Pros: This course has it all with many mature trees and a river runs through it (the water does not come into play unless your shot is errant). The fairways are wide, but if you end up in the woods it's all over. You need either a huge arm or accuracy with rollers. All tee boxes are cement, but it's 10K ft. from the short tees and 12K ft. from the long tees. As it should be, the second shot is often the make or break shot. Some of the short holes are easy and some are guarded by an army of small trees. I loved #9 and #27 shooting off the perch as precision is still needed. This was a PDGA tour stop recently. I have been playing since 2002 and could not shoot par from the short tees. The distance and the trees make this one of the most challenging courses I have ever played. If you are a beginner don't be discouraged if you shoot +27, it is that hard.
Cons: I knocked this course down a smidge because there is a lot of elevation and woods in the park that are not utilized. The pictures on this site are old, but demonstrate the difficulty of the many blind shots. I ran with my buddy and he knew where to go, but without him I would have been lost. Whoever decided to make McIver two courses, chose poorly. The signs were still confusing as some of them are by the long tees. The park is in the middle of nowhere.
Other Thoughts: I have seen deer during dusk several times. The course is so long it is a great workout. I played it twice to beat my first score. It's worth a trip.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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