My First 5 Disc Review
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I have played over 200 courses and this is my first Five Disc Review. This course is the gold standard by which all other future courses shall be compared. Sorry for the length, I used bullets if you don't want to read all my glowing comments.
Shelton Springs DGC is in a public park on land dedicated to disc golf and is free to play. The Mason County Disc Golf club has transformed this special piece of land into a fun and challenging disc golf experience.
Worth the Trip, twice!
There are two complete sets of tees that share 18 baskets. I played the Black Course traveling North on a Washington road trip. I had to immediately change my travel plans to include playing the Red Course on the way back instead of bagging some other nearby courses. This isn't a course with short and long tees where you can throw both sets of tees at the same time walking along the same fairways. The black and red tees really do provide two completely different course experiences. Even though the red course is shorter, it is still a challenging Par 60 layout
Large Concrete Tees!
There are 5 x 12 cement tees on every single hole. The tees are actually dyed Red and Black after the local high school colors. Every tee is and graded and the entire tee area is surrounded by crushed rock in all directions to help prevent mud. The Mason County Disc Golf MVDG logo is also imprinted on every tee. It is obvious they put a lot of work into this course and this is a creative way to take credit.
Championship Caliber Course.
The Par 63 Black Course is more like a Gold Level Championship course. The designers didn't simply make longer tees for each hole, they created challenging skill appropriate tees. There are a variety of shots required. However placement is just as necessary as big distance to score well on the Par 4 and Par 5 holes. Even if there were only one set of Black tees here, Shelton Springs DGC would still be rated a 5.0.
Par 60 Red Course.
They may not be as long, but the Red tees usually require a completely different shot selection from the Black. This is really a PDGA Blue level course that has been dyed red. The red tees are not "kiddie" tees or easy two's. The Red teds will challenge players of all skill levels to have a complete game. The layout favors shot selection and placement over raw distance to be able to shoot par.
No Map Needed!
There are directional arrows posted throughout course to both sets of tees. Each red and black tee have plexiglass covered tee signs with color coded frames and full graphics. There are abundant fairway distance markers on the longer holes and directional arrow signs for dog legs. Tee signs also had additional areas for advertising.
In addition to two full sets of concrete tees and excellent signage, there are benches on nearly every Red tee and most of the Black tees. The benches are made from downed trees. There are plenty of trash cans located throughout the course. Many of the baskets had a 10 meter string attached to the basket. A touch of a Championship level course. Most of these amenities are above and beyond what I would expect on a free disc golf course.
Disc Golf Exclusive!
Huge area is dedicated just for disc golf! No need to worry about dog walkers and picnickers. The wide open grassy meadows are located under giant power lines and are used wisely. The longer holes Par 4 and Par 5 holes are not just huge bomber holes, they shoot into and out of the woods for added challenge.
Appropriate for all skill levels .
Although both Red and Black courses provide excellent skill challenges for advanced level disc golfers, the courses and terrain are easy enough for beginners to navigate and play. The courses are very fair and straightforward. Cleared underbrush creates ample landing areas and the grassy fairways areas are mowed. New players won't get beat up or lose discs if they get off the fairways. It doesn't require advanced skills to have fun playing disc golf here. It only requires skills to get low scores.
Thoughtful use of 'gimmicks".
There is one island hole and another with a raised basket. The basket on Hole 11 is surrounded by an OB island. The border is well marked with downed trees and adds some personality along with an appropriate challenge and change of pace. There is a well-marked drop zone available. Hole 18 has an elevated basket. It is not too high and is tastefully and thoughtfully done. It adds a nice artistic touch to the end of the round and something unique to remember.
No extra walking!
The course is well routed and the walks between holes are well marked and minimal. You do play all 18 holes in a row before a short walk back to the first tee. Players are allowed to park on the side of the road by the first tee saving a walk to/from the parking lot.
This park and course are well maintained. Underbrush is kept to a minimum so discs that get off the fairway are easy to find. There was no litter the garbage cans were being used. You can tell the club and community care about this course. There was no evidence of graffiti or vandalism.
Fair and fun for all.
Both layouts have fair, fairways and straightforward designs. I don't know which came first, red or black, or if they were born at the same time. The fact you can't tell is awesome in itself. Sometimes when playing alternate tees, it is apparent they are an afterthought squeezed into an existing design.
A tone pole!
On the short walk from 4 to 5, there is a permanently installed tone pole. I had never played one before, so it was cool to see one "in the wild" and take a toss at it. It makes a beautiful resonant chime. It was a nice piece of history to see and hear for myself. As you are playing the course, you can hear the deep chime of the tone pole throughout the forest as other pass by it.
The fairways and paths between tees are well groomed. There are only some slight elevation changes. There are no steep or rugged areas to traverse. There could be muddy areas when raining. I played in December in light showers, and didn't have any problems with mud or standing water. While you could bring a stroller, the course may be a bit long for a toddler.
A plus only because this means there are zero cigarette butts to be seen anywhere. This policy surely contributes to the overall cleanliness of this course.
Cons: There are no cons, only suggestions for possible improvements.
There is only one port-a-potty in the old parking lot. I have played plenty of courses that didn't have any restrooms, so I can't knock this course for having a portable that was clean and well maintained. Since most of the course is wooded, there are plenty of opportunities for privacy.
No Course Map Available.
None of the links at DGCR went to a course map. Again, you certainly don't need a map to play this course as there are so many signs. Hopefully someone will be able to post one here at DGCR soon.
Eye of the Beholder
Maybe it isn't the most beautiful park in the world with power lines running down the meadows. The wide open areas allow this course to stand out in a heavily wooded area. Plus, the secluded wooded areas still have that awesome Pacific Northwest forest vibe complete with moss covered trees and plenty of ferns. This course makes the best of both areas.
If the MCDG were to add alternate pin placements, they may want to put pins shorter on a few holes to bring the course par down to 54 from the Red tees and provide more variety.
This one goes to 6.
The DGCR scale only goes to 5, this course is really a 6.0 Even if others might consider these cons, just be aware that Shelton Springs is actually a 6 disc course and these "cons" take it down to a 5.5 disc level, which is still off the scale.
Other Thoughts: Worth the trip from anywhere.
This course is a disc golf destination. Shelton, WA may be off the beaten path, but it is well worth the journey. There are other awesome courses around the sound. Shelton is a small town of less than 10,000 people and is not close to any major interstates. SeaTac would be the closest airport and you would need to rent a car.
I do consider and value amenities when deciding between 4, 4.5 and 5 star courses. If this course didn't have all the nice tees, signage and benches, it wouldn't get a five no matter how great the design.
18 in a Row.
You don't loop back during the round, so you have to take everything you need with you. Park on the side of the road by the practice basket to save a long walk from the parking lot to first tee.
It may be stroller friendly, but it is probably not ideal outing for really young kids or toddlers. While the terrain is easy enough, the holes are fairly long, especially if they are throwing. There are no trips back to the car during the round and no facilities out on the course.
No smoking allowed.
Be respectful. This awesome course is right next to a high school and junior high. It really is nice to play a course without butts everywhere.
These guys Roc! I really liked the MCDG stamp in the teepads. It was another small touch that added another level of presentation and professionalism to this already top notch course.
Again, my first five star rating on a course review. I have played many courses that could get 5 stars for some portion of the course design or experience, but this one has it all and then some.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Best Course Around
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Very challenging I fell I need to start naming all out the trees because I've hit almost all of them lol.
Cons: Elevation, and besides hole 11 is there any OB any where else?
Other Thoughts: This has to be the best course in Washington st. Mason County Disc Golf Club stuck a 10 out of 10
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: That this is in my home town. Very challenging, I have not found any one who does not like the course
Cons: NO Bathrooms. No hills or much elevation. Now that you can park on the street parking is not a problem.
Other Thoughts: I would like to see more tournaments but it is winter. I'd like to know if there is a better course in Washington?
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
A "destination course"
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course has it all from a challenging and varied playing experience to benches and trash cans. The tee pads and baskets are in exceptional shape and the volunteers keep the course well manicured.
The concrete stamping in the dyed tee pads really show off the talent and creativity of the course designers and reveals how much thought and effort was put into the course as a whole.
Cons: The parking situation is not desirable. I hear there is a grassroots movement to pay for a paved parking area, but at this point it's a short walk from the existing (shared) huff n puff parking lot to hole 1.
Honestly, this is the only "con" I can see.
Other Thoughts: Mason County Disc Golf club has really made a large investment into our sport and the community of Shelton. This course was carved out of the wild woods in just a few short years and has become a worthy destination for the region's disc golfers, bringing their money to Shelton to support local businesses before and after playing a round or two.
Great work, MCDG!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
A course to travel for
Pros: The best thing about Shelton springs has to be the feel of clear fairways. The course was built around pathways somewhat carved out by old logging which creates defined pathways through the wooded areas. It a par 60 from the red and 63 from the black. In which both layouts force you to play smart with placement and variety of flight patterns.
Cons: There are only a few things this course lacks, ... elevation is the biggest. The land is relatively flat which limits on some variety of challenge. The tee pad signs are yet to be finished, so for some first timers to the course knowing the flight patterns (especially longer holes) may be a bit of a mystery. There is no kiosk and the walk from the parking lot to the course is a bit long.
Other Thoughts: Springs is the best course in Washington I've played. With it's technicality and variety of distance and shots, playing it has forced me to be a smarter and more versatile player. I would recommend it for players of all stages.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 4 Not
Best of the Best.
Pros: I gave this course 5 stars. Here's why:
-This course is one of the most first-timer-friendly courses I have ever come across. Signs are all around and easy to follow. You can easily get in 18 holes with no problems.
-Super easy to locate amateur and pro tee pads.
-Baskets have string that point golfers in quickest path to next tee.
-Course has super-long distance shots (if you want them), or the more close-up skill shots. Caters to all different types of players.
-The amount of wooding in the course is just right. Makes the golfer utilize every shot in his arsenal.
-There are some wide-open field shots that will please the strong-armed drivers out there.
-Some of THE MOST picturesque holes I have seen thus far.
-Course was clean, and maintained very well. Which is surprising, considering it is right next to a high school and borders another park.
-Some elevation shots, too. The last hole has a raised basket which forces precision putting.
Cons: -I see a lot of complaints about the tee pads. And though they could be more developed, it it such a nit-picky con. It has little-to-no effect on the overall experience.
-MCDG needs to put the occasional trashcan here or there throughout the course. Again, I didn't see a lot of litter.
-Some might consider this a con, but the course really is a long-haul. You will be exhausted by the time you've done all 18 holes, especially if you've done the pro tees.
Other Thoughts: You're not going to get a better course in Washington. My personal favorite is White River just because of the number of birdies I've gotten, but you cannot deny how good the Shelton course is. It really is a special course that is worth any player's time.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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