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.
20 Helpful / 0 Not
What DG in heaven will be like
Pros: Great variety
On many holes you need incredible accuracy and strategy
Have to use every throw you know
Some epic holes that I've never experienced in over 160 courses
Cons: Some extremely long holes for those without big arms (like me)--but oddly, not that negative because they are epic holes that you rarely can play anywhere else
Other Thoughts: This course is truly amazing...it has everything...not only worth the drive from Portland, it would be worth walking to from Portland...every time I travel to Portland this a MUST PLAY course.
Even though I don't have a big arm for some of the monster holes, they are still fun because they are so long and unique.
Hole 9 and 27 are amazing shots of a hill through a window in the trees...there are some incredibly tight holes that reward accuracy and will make a grown man weep if he has errant throws...
I think it would be hard to beat this course for the overall excellence...of course there are a few things ot perfect (like they could have better signage) but when put all together, this course is hard to beat
One of my most memorable times playing DG was on hole 27 and I was at like 3 over for the course (VERY good for me since the long holes are tough on me without a big arm) and I was looking down off the hill, through the trees and knew that so much could go wrong and steal par from me on that hole...very exhilerating.... (I made par...the DG gods were with me that day!)
I wish I could give it a rating higher than 5
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Best Course Ever?
Pros: Very long and challenging. Excellent variety of lengths and landscape. Very beautiful area with the river by the course. Some holes are open, some go out of trees, some go into trees, and some are straight through trees the entire way. There are signs and nice cement teepads to make your experience more enjoyable. Every shot in your arsenal will be tested. A great place to bring the family and picnic.
Cons: Many beer bottles were up in trees last time I was there. We called them 'redneck windchimes'. Also, the course can be very confusing due to random numbered baskets on holes and the fact that there are 3 layouts. The course is very long so I wouldn't recommend it to true beginners.
Other Thoughts: The best course I've played and will likely ever play. An excellent course to spend the day or weekend at (camping nearby). The tournaments here are unbeatable and the layout is great no matter what. Well worth the drive out there. Just take in the beauty of the surroundings and enjoy your round.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 0 Not
This is the future!
-Tests ALL shots in your game.
-True par 4s and par 5s.
-Never too crowded.
-Beautiful, beautiful surroundings.
-Regularly see bald eagles flying overhead.
-Clackamas river swimming between rounds!
-Strong local contigent of serious golfers.
-Great events to participate in regularly.
-Best championship 36 hole layout imaginable.
-Amazing Tee shots with doglegs, cliffshots, etc.
-There are a group of local rednecks that play the course and leave their trash EVERYWHERE. And sometimes vandalize the baskets.
-The park staff does some stupid things, like deciding to split the course into two courses and screwing up the maps, tee signs, and basket numbers.
-Because of the park staff decisions, this can be a very confusing course for first times. If you're visiting the course from out of the area, it's best to get a local guide.
-Mole holes mess up my rollers sometimes, lol.
Other Thoughts: I've played about 75 courses over my disc golf career, and the Beaver State Fling championship layout is easily the best course I've ever played.
The challenge associated with a course that has true par 4s and true par 5s, mixed with VERY tight wooded holes, all the way to long open fairway bombs is an amazing test of mental fortitude, physical stamina, and of course, skill.
If I could only play one course for the rest of my life, there would be no question in my mind what course I would choose.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The gem of Portland area disc golf! Well defined fareways, beautiful location, and challenging holes make this the best of the best in the Portland metro area. Many holes have am as well as pro tees, but the am tees aren't so drasticly short as to be trival. They will still challenge even advanced players.
Cons: The only possible con is that the course layout could be a bit confusing without a guide or a map. The numbers on the baskets don't all correspond with the current course layout so without a map it could be a tad confusing for newcomers.
Other Thoughts: Though it's rarely crowded, the distances make this a longer playing course. Bring water and a snack, and enjoy your round!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Don't Forget The River!
Pros: A little off ff the beaten path but well worth the drive. Easily one of top courses in the NW although I still prefer Pier Park as my top choice. I rate McIver just a shade behind. McIver is varied, it will test your whole game. It plays through the wide open lawn spaces and has wooden technical holes. There's elevation changes. It certainly is a great course for the "big arms." Because McIver is a state park and slightly out of the way, it's never going to be overcrowded like some of the urban courses. I like it as a course to hold the big state or national type tournies. Another plus is it's close (1 mile) to the Timber Park course.
Cons: Nothing really, maybe that it's long and grueling. It seemed like it was a million miles from anywhere but I guess it's only 20 miles from Portland proper. I thought a couple of the longer holes were kind of boring, just long tee offs on grass fields followed by another wide open 2nd throw. They could use some obstacles of some kind to give those holes some personaility.
Other Thoughts: First of all, between rounds on a warm summer day, nothing beats a refreshing dip in the Estacada River. Fun river to play in, it felt so good on a hot day. And I urge the locals, please don't add any more configurations to the park to confuse folks, 27 holes is enough.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The course is a fantastic test of your whole game. It's the best course in Oregon and host an National Tour event, the beaver state fling.
The course has some very tight forest hole, one is only 200 ft yet is a Very difficult 3. It's also one of the only courses I've seen on the west coast with legitimate par 4's and 5's with numerous holes over 700 feet from the pro pads.
In regards to an earlier review the course now has 27 holes marked, current;y in a 18 and a 9 setup, starting in different parking lots.
Cons: The set up and the multiple tee's can run a little confusing at times, play with a map.
Nothing I could change to the course though.
Other Thoughts: Play It!!
11 of 15 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 9 Not
Best course ever
Pros: The course has it all. Bring your "a" game on your driving. You will be throwing your hardest one moment and then going for accuracy the next. Play the 27 hole course, not too many people know the route.
Cons: The course is labeled as 9east and 9west. Doing all 27 takes some inovation, with a map you can just figure it out.
Other Thoughts: No other course compares to this one; pier park, stafford lake, and golden gate can only come close.
6 of 15 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 6 Not
Very Nice, Getting nicer
Pros: Has it all, really everything. You can even swim in the Estacada river to cool off halfway through your round. The course itself is amazingly well maintained/ designed. With elevated pins/ tees, water, trees, distance, control shots.
Cons: If your not used to playing a lot of golf this course will wear you out, it take nearly 4 hours to play, maybe longer.
Other Thoughts: Onel hole from the pro tees is around 1100ft! This is not par 3 golf, come prepared to make a day/weekend of it.
12 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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