Destination Worthy Championship Disc Golf
8 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.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Huge tee pads
-Pro and AM pads
-Multiple pin locatoins
-Garbage cans through out
-Shots of all kinds, bring your whole bag for this course!
Cons: Not sure of many cons. May be a little long for beginners. Other than that I can't think of any other issues.
Other Thoughts: This course is absolutely amazing. It is well kept. Lots of volunteer hours go into making this one of the best courses in the world. Take a lunch. You'll be wanting a nice meal after a round at this monster.
0 of 2 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.
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.
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.
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 / 19 Not
one of the best
Pros: has some of the best shots around, tests every aspect of your game............................
Cons: gotta have a big arm to make par..........................................
Other Thoughts: leave the tournament pins in year round plz............................
2 of 21 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
My Favorite Course...
Pros: - Amazing layout: green grass + huge trees
- Concrete teepads
- Different elevation looks
- Variety of open/flat to tight wooded holes
- 27 holes (spring/summer)
- Bright red rimmed baskets with huge red flags (awesome)
- Recycle bins every couple holes
- Great use of park space
- EMPTY during the week
- Good signage
Cons: - Signage is confusing if you don't have a map.
- The course flow can be confusing at certain points (Hole 9e to 10e; Hole 15e to 16e) if you have no idea where your going, again bring a map the first couple times.
- Someone (Stumptown DGC) should make one map that includes both the 9w/18e layout with the 27 hole flow labeled as well. That would be sweet.
Other Thoughts: Picture a course with wide green fairways, the occasional giant Douglas Fir in the middle, combined with tight forested holes every now and then, over a huge expanse of area on a bend of the Clackamas River.. If someone asked me to imagine "What would be your ideal course in the Pacific Northwest", it would be this course. There's a reason there's a national tour event here.
There is enough space to have two 18 hole courses here (which happens during the Beaver State Fling), but the seasonal recreational layout is 27 holes (9 west, 18 east) during summer/fall and 18 holes on the east side of the course during winter. It should be said that the 18 east winter holes include holes not used during the 18 east summer/fall layout. This is due to alternate park use in some areas during summer.
For the 27 holes used in summer/fall, locals use a 27 hole layout (the Stumptown DGC map is included here), which numbers many of the holes differently than what's on the signage. Before you go, do yourself a favor: print out both the 18 hole and 27 hole layout (NOT THE WINTER) maps and write in the 27 hole layout numbers on the 18 hole layout map and use that map to play the 27.
Confused? It's really the only "complaint" I would have for this course. After playing it now in all seasons, I totally get it, but I will always use a map. Always. If it is your first time here, ask or bring a guide.
I've played 63 holes of golf here over 8 hours, which makes it about 8 cents a hole for the $5.00 you pay to get into the park. This is for the most beautiful layout I've ever seen. There were few people there with me.
The course is big, with two lovely par 5's :1w is my favorite on the course; 2e is both pretty and ridiculously long. Combined with the fair amount of par 4s, it is a course for big arms, which I love, but not might be for everyone. They do have Am tees to ameliorate this, but I wouldn't necessarily call this a course for beginners or newbies.
I think the perfect scenario would be to camp here for a couple of days in the middle of a week during the summer fall. You'd totally get the most out it, then.
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.
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