4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Being my only course through this point in my discgolf adventure,this course seems like a very good beginners course. I think the layout works well with no jams or players in the way.I would think the course is difficult enough for all levels to have a good and fun day.
Cons: The only cons ive experienced on this course are sometimes you have "scavengers" trying to retrieve disc from the water that get in the way and just plain ruin the peacefulness of it.The other is hole 11 is always slushy...its pretty much played over a mud bog.
Other Thoughts: Like i said this is my first and only course thus far. Im very happy to be introduced to the game on this course and to have it as my home course.I plan to enjoy it for many more years!
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Overdue in NOLA
Pros: Okay so I've been really critical of Lafreniere Park mostly because it is shared use and almost impossible to play. This course is a god send to the area. The lay out is creative and thoughtful especially for the space. I love playing this course, and have re found my love for the game with this course around.
Cons: Is it the best course I've ever played on? No. It needs some work and the lack of elevation in the area in general makes it very hard to have really creative course layouts. This is a fun and challenging course though, I've lost a couple discs already to the water, which isn't really a con but beware of gators. There is some other activity in the area but under normal circumstances this mostly for DG. I will also warn be mindful of fire ants the course is covered in mounds so it's better to keep an eye down.
Other Thoughts: Again this is a great course with a great challenge to it. I'm not a pro by any stretch of the imagination but I find this course to be fun and enjoyable to play. I can't wait to go out more and more.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 9 Not
A good work in progress
Pros: I was down in New Orleans for the weekend to see the Steelers play the Saints and hang with a buddy, who lives about a block from City Park. I headed over to the park on Friday to check out what I could of the new 18-hole course and listen to some of Voodoo Fest, which is a large 3-day music festival held every year in the park. I had been warned in advance that Voodoo Fest would prevent access to some of the holes, but I had a day to kill while my buddy was working, and I've already previously done all the other touristy things to do in town, so I figured what the heck. After I found my way around the festival to the area of the park where the course was located, I was pleased that I could still play nine of the 18 holes, and I was able to still to walk hole#1 and hole#11. On Monday, I went back to see if I could finish the course and while festival deconstruction was still ongoing, I could play several of the remaining holes and walk the rest; holes 13,15, 17 & 18 were a little too busy but holes 1,11,12,14, & 16 were good to go. So the following is my thoughts on the preliminary course, of which I played 14 of 18 holes over the span of two separate days.
Disclaimer: For the record, I've been playing disc golf for more than fifteen years, and play in the Open division in tournaments. I am not a long thrower by any stretch of the imagination and am unable to even eclispe more than 375 feet on flat ground with my best huck, but I still personally prefer longer holes and courses that feature pro par 4 and pro par 5 holes. I am sick of pitch-and-putt courses! I also like courses which offer a wide variety of hole distance lengths, offer or force varying flight paths, utilize elevation and water (when available) and effect scoring separation, where the best drives offer birdies, average drives yield pars, and poor drives are punished and only heroic recovery shots allow players to save par. Furthermore, I have worked as Scoring Director at five of the last six PDGA Pro Worlds and multiple National Tour and A Tier events and have seen what goes into premier and championship courses. I have done scoring analysis on hole scores from PDGA sanctioned events based on player rating and we have used this data to tweak pin and tee locations on courses to effect proper scoring separation for the intended skill level - the world class Animal course in Warwick NY is one such course where we have utilized such data. I am a member of the Disc Golf Course Designers Group where we discuss course design principles on a regular basis, and have worked in conjunction with others to both design and revise the design of several courses. I have played over 200 courses in the U.S. and Canada since 1995 and believe I have run the gamut and seen nearly every type of course, from New England heavily wooded to ski hill, from "prairie" course to ponderosa pine, from Pacific northwest rainforest to desert scrub and everything in between. I think my opinions are going to be therefore biased, so for everyone else, your mileage may vary.
Furthermore, I am a Safety Nazi. Beveled edge driver discs hurt (I've been struck by one from a distance) and in the wrong circumstances, I think one could seriously injure or even kill. I do not believe in disc golf courses sharing land with other park activities. If a course plays through or near playground equipment, shelters or picnic tables, fishing ponds, parking lots, park roads, streets outside the park, or any other park facility, or has holes too close to each other, then I'm going to blast it for unsafe course design. I've seen how both seasoned and recreational disc golfers are, and they are impatient and do not wait "until the coast is clear" and they throw on unsuspecting park users. I believe proper course design simply avoids these situations to begin with.
I am sure countless hours of blood, sweat and tears went into this course, and I have tried to keep any negative comments to a minimum, I fully understand that this is brand new course and far from a finished product and I am evaluating something which is only in its infancy. In general, I really like what I saw save for a few minor quips and I think this course will be wildly popular.
For starters, while the tee signs aren't finished, they are going to be some of the nicest I've ever seen, with chain link wooden frames. Don Perkins's custom concrete tee markers also mark the exact teeing location on each hole. What incredibly nice touches to the course! It was also tremendously cool to play disc golf along with the music that was ongoing. When you are at the tee of hole#7, you're probably no more than 100 feet from one of the stages.
Hole#1: This is a really fun start to the course, playing around a small pond. There's an ultra high risk left-to-right shot out over the pond for a strong lefty hyzer or righty sidearm but at 330' to carry the water, the safe play is to use the ample space out right.
Hole#2: This hole was one of my favorites on the course, offering a straight route over water to the basket or a route wide right around a tree. If I had brought some old discs with me which I didn't mind losing I would have taken the straight route but the risk of fading left into the pond was sufficient enough that I was forced to play conservatively. Big armed players should be able to take this outside route and hyzer in nicely for deuce.
Hole#3: Pretty straightforward
Hole#4: This was also one of my favorites because it was one of the few accuracy testers on the course. It also offered multiple choices with a route wide left or wide right if one chooses. The wide left route is there for a shorter righty backhand roller, lefty hyzer, righty turnover shot or righty sidearm and is probably the safest bet for a par 3. The right hyzer route is a little crazier and fairly risky because it plays over some very tall shrub near the edge of the park and the railroad tracks. The up-the-gut shot is probably the best chance at a deuce but early foliage could result in a bogey. More choices = a true "golf' hole and good design!
Hole#5: This hole plays to a basket up on a small raised portion of land which makes the green "fast." The drive requires a little bit of a turn from the tee but is shorter than it looks, and both times I played it, my drive landed close to the basket but the fast green kicked my disc down by the tee of hole#6 and hole#8, where I had nary a look at deuce. A nice hole.
Hole#6: This is a cool slow turn down into a corner of the property. Again, a shorter righty backhand roller, lefty hyzer, righty turnover shot or righty sidearm is the ticket here but I found out the hard way that a roller can carry a little too long into a wet ditch behind the polehole.
Hole#7: What makes this one really challenging is a sidewalk which runs the length of the right side and any shot which lands on or across this path is OB. Because of Vodoo Fest, a chainlink fence ran along the sidewalk and I actually used it to keep my drive from turning over too far and give me a nice birdie putt. But obviously, this fence will not remain in place and the hole will play much harder normally.
Hole#8: This is a fun ultra-low ceiling shot, and it's tricky to try and thread a low burner only a few feet off the ground all the way up to the target. I see a lot of these kinds of holes in the south and enjoy them - I don't know why northern course designers don't feature them more often.
Hole#9: This was surely my least favorite hole on the course...it's short and completely wide open. Pros and advanced golfers should feel silly not taking a score of two here.
Hole#10: A fairly straightforward hole with the exception of the sidewalk and road if a drive should stray a little too far right.
Hole#11: This shorty plays over a narrow water hazard near a picturesque bridge. It's not that long but the water, trees on the left, and bridge and road on the right conspire to mess with your mind on proper execution of the drive.
Hole#12: The signature hole on the course, it's not very long but is surrounded by water on 3 sides - short, left and right. Players can throw safely off to the right if they wish to keep away from the water. If it's windy, this hole could play treacherously despite its short length. It seems like there's also room for a Pro tee to back this one up a bit to make it even more challenging.
Hole#13: This one wasn't playable because of the Voodoo Fest, but it shoots from the open and right along the lake to a basket perched underneath some of the beautiful old growth trees found all over City Park. The drive likely requires a shot initially out over the lake for a bit.
Hole#14: This hole was also one of my favorites because where most of the course feature straight shots or only slightly turning shots, this one was a HARD righty hyzer. Southpaws might want to try a backhand roller here, and right-handed players who can throw a good forehand roller would be wise to utilize it here.
Hole#15: This is also another low ceiling shot underneath a magnificent old growth tree.
Hole#16: This one plays in the open, but then funnels through a tree line to a polehole position out by the lake, although it's far enough away from the basket that it doesn't come into play. This one looked long from the tee, but I uncorked a really nice (for me) Sidewinder shot and actually landed in the circle for a birdie putt which I sadly didn't convert.
Hole#17: Pretty straightforward
Hole#18: The tee was pulled up because of Voodoo Fest, but it plays along the road and then to a basket position perched in a pretty section of land near the bridge and it's a really nice basket location. An alternate position plays across the lagoon.
Cons: I think the course designers did the best with the available land they were given. It's a shame that more of the old growth trees and prettiest parts of the park weren't available, but that's the way it often goes. A course in the ground is better than no course at all right? In general, I would have liked to see a little more hole length variety. All of the holes feel like they play at just about the same length, except for perhaps 9 and 11 which are shorter. I understand that it wasn't possible to make for a championship par 66 course with pro par four holes and pro par five holes, but this course could desperately use at least two or three longer ones. A two-shot par 3 hole of about 450-500 feet is missing...one that requires a solid drive and then a longish upshot. It could also yield a spectacular deuce for the gorilla arms out there who can throw monster roller shots. The course could also sorely use several 575-650 ft. pro par four holes which requires two solid drives and a putt to earn a birdie 3. Having to make honest approach shots is a critical part of the game that is missing from this course. (and what makes, for example, the front nine of Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge so much fun...earning a birdie 3 on holes#2,4, and 8 feels like a real accomplishment) Again, I know that the course is a work in progress and pro tees may later be added which may make it much longer and more difficult.
Another something I noticed is that unless a drive were to find water, there's really not going to be many scores of bogey 4 or worse on this course. Even an average drive for skilled players leaves just a long putt or very short approach shot on most holes. You can pretty much spray your drives on most holes and not be punished for it. Most advanced golfers and Pros are either going to take all scores of either 2 or 3 on this course and there will be little scoring separation. I realize that a lot of this is just simply due to the terrain available..the land simply doesn't have the heavy foliage to punish errant drives like the Rivendell Farm course in St. Rose did; that course demanded accuracy every step of the way and was an amazing test of disc golfing skills. In fact, there is so little foliage on the new City Park course that it makes Lafreniere Park seem as tight as Greenwood Park in Baker!
And lastly, while the course designers did a good job fitting the holes into the land they were given, I feel there are few places where it just feels too cramped. There are a few spots where tees and baskets are too near each other, and other areas where fairways run adjacently and errant shots from one hole could stray into another. I realize that this may not ever become a heavily utilized course for tournament play to make for a problem, but at best it's a distraction and at worst it's a safety hazard. Some examples include the following:
Hole#2: If you take the wide right route, you are basically throwing directly at people standing on hole#3's tee.
Hole#5: Drives that come into too strong could end up on people standing on the teepad of hole#6 or hole#8.
Hole#7: Drives that fade left early could hit people standing on the teepad of hole#8.
Hole#13: People standing on the teepad of hole#14 are right in your line of sight
Hole#14: People putting at the basket of hole#16 are right in your line of sight
Hole#17-#18: These holes run too close together and hole#18 plays WAY too close to the road.
The most egregious holes on the course are easily hole#11 and hole#18. While quite picturesque, as previously mentioned I'm of the opinion that holes should never play close to park roads. Hole#11 basically throws over the bridge and a road which will surely be utilized by traffic in the park. I doubt that park management is going to be enthusiastic of hearing about discs hitting cars and the angry confrontations that could ensue between disc golfers and motorists. On hole#18, especially to the long position, I envision golfers throwing poor drives out onto Palm Drive, as well as poor approach shots which hyzer out into the road. I also think golfers will throw blind left-to-right approach shots out over the bridge after bad drives that may end up on the left near the road. Sorry, but I just don't like course design which has the potential to encourage people to throw blindly out over a bridge & road.
Other Thoughts: Again, I fully understand that I am evaluating something which is far from a finished product but I wanted to offer some honest constructive criticism about what I think could be improved. I am greatly appreciative of all the work which has gone into the course so far and will continue to go into it. Thank you!
14 of 23 people found this review helpful.
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