Great hour of fun
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Signs, signs and more signs! I wish every course had Ambients sign people. Lots of Mando's and out of bounds... good news they have great signs telling you were your drop zone/spot is. Great place to play a little birdie golf...with an ace in your mind. Hole number 14 has a bell! When you walk away from the basket you ring the bell to tell everyone the hole is clear. I think that could work at a lot of places also. Played Steilacoom first then came here...made for a fun morning.
Cons: Probably could use trash cans here and there. Some people put there trash on private property which will affect their attitude towards disc golf and the church. For a nice small course there really wasn't a bunch of cons. Bathrooms unknown, some churches allow you to use the churches.
Other Thoughts: Some of the course when it's the rainy season maybe a little soggy. Fun course!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun Course - Great for short game!
Pros: Great course for your short game! I enjoy the Various shot types you are challenged to throw. Course is marked out well and the property has a relaxed environment.
Playing Ambient has helped me a lot with my short game. You can get a lot of holes in, in a relatively short amount of time. Fun course!
Cons: Tee pads could be a little better. The turf works, but would be nice to have rubber or concrete in the future.
Other Thoughts: This course is being intentionally upgraded on a regular basis. I am looking forward to seeing this course continue to get better and better.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Just a nice course
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Varying hole difficulty fun for all. I like this place.long holes short holes an island hole what is not to like. Well marked well maintained.It was easy to navigate
Cons: Concrete tee pads would be nice
Other Thoughts: Triple aaa I think
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Great little course for what it is
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Ambient makes me wish the church I grew up in had a course. They had way more space, a few trees with zero underbrush, and some brushy areas back by a river that could have been cleared out for the course. Now if I still lived in Indiana, I'd talk to the pastor and use this place as a blueprint. But this isn't Indiana. This is Tacoma. So:
The baskets are stellar. I would expect a course set up by a youth pastor to have some of those cheap baskets that are barely better than the ones that they have at Costco, but they got the good ones in here.
The navigation is great too. Every teepad has a sign with the distance, hole info, and the preferred line. The mandos are very clearly marked, and each hole is followed by a large wooden arrow leading you to the next hole. The only thing I would change would be the navigation to hole one (as that arrow is more difficult to find for a first time visitor) and hole 18.
I'm guessing that somebody involved in the setup of this course was an avid discer and has spent plenty of time over at Steilacoom. Not only are the baskets in great condition, but the setup of the course is very well done as well. They manage to take the "throw around an open field" feel of the front nine (which I abhor in most courses) and make it both fun and challenging. Despite the fact that there are no long holes on this course, the mandos add a nice element of challenge to the front nine.
Then you hit the back nine. This might be the shortest back nine in history. It makes Ferguson Park in Snohomish feel long. But it's probably the most technical back nine in history too, and that just makes it fun. I didn't have to throw a single driver on the final nine holes, but I only walked away with one birdie too. They did a phenomenal job with the limited amount of land available to them, and managed to create a fun 18 hole course for beginners that won't bore the more seasoned players too badly.
Cons: The teepads were terrifying. Using green fabric that reminds one of a putt putt course is great if it's sunny and dry, but since we aren't in California... I played on a grey day where only the grass was wet, so I didn't have any issues staying upright... But my focus was definitely more on the surface I stood on than it should have been. Several of the pads are too short for a runup too. Granted, you shouldn't need to run up on a 100' downhill hole, but it still needs to be pointed out. I highly recommend using gravel or rubber mats (or both) similar to the setup at Silver Lake in Everett if the church doesn't want to put in permanent pads.
I wouldn't go so far as to call the mandos unnecessary, but a few of them did feel like overkill. They added to the challenge and made me shape shots I would not have otherwise thrown, but placing the mandos on 2 and 7 did seem like a bit much.
The island hole of 9/18 is not a con in itself, but the fact that it's an island in a parking lot is an accident waiting to happen. I know from experience as a former teenager who skipped church or youth group to skate in the parking lot that teenagers do like to skip church. If I had been a discer back then and had had access to a course during church, I would have ignored the cars and gone for it anyway. I doubt that the parking lot is ever full if a service isn't happening, but it's still a dangerous place for a basket.
Other Thoughts: I see from past reviews that this course can get very wet and windy. Playing in June it wasn't bad at all, but don't be surprised if your experience with the elements doesn't match my own.
Watch out for the horse pen on hole one. It's a very short hyzer shot, but scout it out before you throw.
The teepad for hole 18 is on the sidewalk just like hole nine is. When you walk up the path from 17 you'll see a drop zone for OB shots on 18. Look to your right and you'll see a sign at the corner of the church towards the entrance to the parking lot.
Keep your eyes and ears open for other golfers. I doubt that the course will ever be full, but fairways do encroach on each other at times. The mandos are in place to protect others, but I've found that I have an uncanny ability to make a mando by three feet and then have the disc land in the area that the mando was protecting anyway. I'm probably not the only one with this amazing talent. So be vigilant, and be excited that you get to ring a bell on 14 to let the people behind you, the neighbors, and the horse know that you're done with that hole.
I was a bit confused by all of the drop zones. I've never played a course where you go to a drop zone after missing a mando. I've only seen drop zones for shots that land in water. I wasn't sure if I was expected to take a stroke and throw from the drop zone or if they think I should just go to the drop zone and play as if my drive had landed there. I just played it normally, ignoring the drop zones and taking strokes for missed mandos or landing in the parking lot (which I guess was technically water).
I almost wanted to add a con for the ridiculous shortness of the back nine, but the fact that they fit nine holes into such a small space is actually admirable... And the fact that those nine holes are actually challenging? Great job. This is a great course to help you work on your short game and to introduce new players to the game. Steilacoom is still the jewel of the area, but now residents of the area have another option if the Fort is packed or if they want somewhere to warm up. Ambient is definitely worth a return trip.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good variety in distance (160-345')
For a course without too many obstacles, it forces a good variety of shots hyzer and anhyzer.
Great little tee signs with OBs explained.
Navigation is simple, no map required, signs point to tee after each basket.
Mando's, if followed, do keep discs away from the most sensitive targets.
Nice brand new baskets.
The longer holes do give the course a good challenging factor for more advanced players.
Hole 9 is a fun signature island hole.
Overall, a good beginner course, especially when lined up with Steilly down the road.
Cons: Danger factor is present, two holes play directly near adjacent houses, church is also a target on one hole.
No tee pads, when wet they can prove quite hazardous.
Some of the mandos (hole 4, hole 7) feel very contrived.
Several parts of the course could have managed the space better to create safer, better, holes.
Overall, there aren't too many obstacles, numerous wide open shots.
Other Thoughts: It's great to see Tacoma getting another course to go along with Fort Steilacoom, and the church's efforts in creating a fun, effective course are clear. Although there are a few design flaws present, as other reviewers have pointed out, the houses directly adjacent to the course are owned by the church, so the choice to put them in the line of fire is their prerogative. Tee pads would be a solid addition considering their current state after just a few months of play. Although work can still be done on these nine holes, I'm excited to see if the church can work in another 9, especially considering that the area they plan to use is further from the church and houses. The parking lot had been brought up, but the four times I've played the course I've been the only person on the property, I'd be very surprised if crowding ever becomes an issue here. Finally, I'll side with The Valkyrie Kid on this one, this course deserves a 2 largely due to the "fun" factor, to me a 1 course is a course I'd never want to return to, as a Tacoma resident, I see this course as a great warm-up to a day a Steilacoom, or a nice place to come practice the short game, for such a small course, they manage to test your game and throw a few tricky long shots.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
New Family/Rec Course in Washington!
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Peter Bower, the Youth Minister at "The Church In Lakewood," has designed and created a nice little beginner, recreational, practice, family, church youth group course on the church's property here. The recently added back nine is tight to very tight in places, well designed with some really creative, fun challenging holes while the orignal front nine hole configuration plays around a mostly open field using scattered trees, church buildings, baskets, parking lots and unfortunately, the neighbor's houses and fence-lines for obstacles. The tee signs are bright, full-color pictures of the holes with all the useful info. Holes are mostly short (100'-345') with an equal combo of hyser and anhyser shots needed. Mandos around trees, fences, a basketball hoop and across the parking lot add to the challenge. Im my opinion, hole # 9 is at this time, when the parking lot is empty, the signature play of this course. It's just a short (less than 200' throw across the parking lot to an island green which is about 30' by 30' with the parking lot being OB. Hole # 18 utilizes the same island basket and green, it just has you throwing from a different pad.
Cons: Besides the fact that this is primarily a beginner/rec course, the close proximity with the neighbors really concerns me. On # 2 you're susposed to throw a mando hyser around a tree and the neighbors fence, when in reality, the shorter more attractive shot looks to be an anhyser shot right over their yard. Discs will land in their yard. Tee pads are currently natural and are already starting to get worn and muddy. They probably need to be addressed especially when and if the course eventually receives enough play. Parts of the back are very wet and will need to addressed. # 13 and 15 both have you teeing off from a dock like structure to keep your feet dry.
The mando around the basketball hoop doesn't thrill me just because it can so subjective in nature as to whether your disc actually cleared the mando or not.
The fact that you sometime might be teeing off into other players is clearly a concern.
And everyone's favorite hole # 9 is obviously a problem waiting to happen when there are cars parked in the lot.
Other Thoughts: As much as any course I've ever played, Ambient DGC is going to need to the players to respect and cooperate with all involved.
This would include the neighbors and their properties (the church actually owns these adjoining properties-so they must must be renters), the safety of the other players, the cars in the parking lot and to be respectful of the church when they ask us to not litter, smoke, no alcohol, nor take the Lords name in vain, etc. on their course. (Note to self: WATCH YOUR #%^*$*= LANGUAGE WHEN YOU MISS THAT PUTT !
And finally, I seldom disagree with my two distinguished previous reviewers from the north but I think the winds they encountered were uncommon and won't be a problem here. UPDATE HERE! I played Ambient again and the wind was blowing gale force. It added about 7-8 strokes onto to my already average score. So maybe the wind might be a problem at times. More like a added challenge for you more skillful players. And I think even with the obvious safety and neighborly issues heres, this courses has it's niche. That is for those families and beginners and so deserves a more friendly rating of a "2". And I'll try to watch my mouth so Peter doesn't have to banish me!
**Update May 2013** Small improvements continue to be made on the course. New stairs have been built on holes #'s 10, 13 and 17, # 12 basket has been moved to a drier position. Gravel has been added in a couple of places to help with drainage issues. I'm adding another 1/2 point to my previous rating.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Ambient Disc Golf Course
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Ambient DGC is located on the property of "The Church of Lakewood" in Lakewood, WA, about 3 miles from its big brother course, Fort Steilacoom. This course is fairly close off I-5 (about 5-10 minutes), has ample parking, and is the ideal course to get away from the big crowds to work on putting, upshots, and disc selection for windy conditions.
This nine hole intermediate course plays around and across two major fields on the grounds, with the occasional cluster of trees, bushes, OB's, and mando's as the main obstacles. The smaller of the two fields is dirt and shrubs (near hole one) where the much larger field has plush green grass and is more wide open. Distances vary from 158 ft. - 345 ft., are all par 3's, and seem fairly straight forward. Each hole has a colorful tee sign that indicates which route to take from the tee based off of the red arrow, the distance, par, mando's, OB's, and basket location. There are also white arrows all over the course to help with navigation, alerting players where to start and where the next tee can be located.
Although most players could get away with using a mid and putter for the majority of the holes, there are a few holes where a fairway driver could come in to play. With all the obstacles, mando's, and OB's during a round, as well as the wind, a few of these holes can be challenging and quite enjoyable, especially the extremely fun 190 ft. par 3 island hole. Hole #9 has players throwing from between the church, over the parking lot, and on to a nice patch of grass (20x20) in the middle of the cement lot. Just make sure that no cars are moving or are parked near the pin when you throw!
As the other reviewer stated previously, this course can be quite a hazard. There are crossing fairways (holes #3 and #4), multiple pins near neighbors houses and fences (especially hole #2), and tee pads that throw over or very close to parking lots (holes # 3, #4, and #9). Although most of these holes have specific mando's which ask players to keep away from these set hazards, more times then none less experienced players will have trouble doing this.
Peter Bower did a terrific job incorporating nine fairly challenging holes in the space provided, but seemed to make it perhaps a little more difficult then it should have been for its target audience. This course requires a variety of shots and at times a lot of accuracy so a less seasoned player might find their disc hitting someone's house or even worse, window!
Personally, this course might be more successful with fewer holes, perhaps six. That way there could be six solid holes that utilize the entire space rather than a few solid holes and the rest fillers. Ambient DGC needs quality, not quantity in this case. Eventually, with the addition of the other holes (nine?) below in the brambles, perhaps they can redesign the course and just make three challenging holes below and six above to make nine great holes. The potential is here!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Ambient Disc Golf Course
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Ambient Disc Golf Course is located on the grounds on the "The Church At Lakewood" and their property. There are currently nine baskets in and there is talk of nine more although I'm not exactly sure where they are going to put them in. It is important that you show respect to not only the church but the surrounding neighbors and their yards that are close to the fence line where an errant shot might land.
The course is mostly flat and loops around an open field for most of the time with a few scattered trees. There is ample parking but beware: hole nine is an island shot over the parking lot and depending on where you park you could be in the fairway but more on that later. At every hole there is a brand new tee sign that has the hole distance information and also possible routes written on it in red arrows. On many signs it says that hitting a building is a penalty stroke. Also at every hole there is a sign pointing to the tee pad, the basket and the next hole, it's kind of an ingenious idea really. navigation is really easy because of the signs and the fact that each tee pad is really close to the last basket. The only problem is finding the tee pad for hole one but all you have to do is locate the basketball hoop in the parking and walk past it towards the basket that you can see in this direction and then look left and you will see a nice little tee pad that was dug out of the sticker bushes. This is a perfect course for practicing but also still challenges you to make good shots to score well.
Cons: Many of the basket locations are in some of the craziest spots in that they are really close to the neighbors yard and a less than perfect shot could result in a broken window or lost disc. I have an issue with the mando for hole four. It makes you throw away from the parking lot which is a good thing but it makes you throw right into the last holes fairway. I would think throwing over the parking lot wasn't a big deal to the church since that is what they did on hole number nine and being able to throw over the parking lot on hole four would make it a little more fun.
I feel as though the designers did a good job with creating challenging holes and making the most of the course but it seems like this kind of course would be marketed towards those who have limited experience throwing discs. They decided to go with a more challenging course and though I do appreciate that they really stretched out the already tight piece of land that they had to work with. This creates some problems if there are many groups on the course at one time as there are two holes using one fairways at times and the tee pads for the next hole are close to the basket for the previous hole so there is chance of hitting people.
Other Thoughts: There are talks of another nine holes being put on this property but I don't see how they could add even one more hole. Maybe they are building alternate tee pads or basket locations, I'm not sure but an extra nine holes isn't feasible with the current configuration. You really have to respect all of courses going up that are being put on church land, I think it's a really good thing for the church members and an excellent idea to improve disc golfers image to non players.
*Played the back nine for the first time today and it was very fun so I updated my rating to fit this. Lots of funny, short shots in the back nine with lots of trees! :)
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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