Beautiful ocean views but dangerous to other park users!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
This course made history by being the first permanently installed course on O'ahu, and that is no small accomplishment! Hawaii will always face unique challenges to getting courses put in, so we need to be thankful just to have a permanent course to play.
By far, the most wonderful part of this course is that there is a beautiful beach only 75 yards from the course! (basket 7 and tee 8 are the closest to the beach.) It would be fun to play some disc golf, go to the beach, throw a few more discs, go back to the beach... all day long. Plus, if you have family members that don't like to play disc golf they can be very happily occupied on a scenic beach.
In many ways this course would be a great place to introduce disc golf to new players. On weekends the park is packed, so there are tons of military personnel and their families who could be introduced to the game! As we will see later, though, these crowds of other park users also represent the biggest drawback to the course.
*Beauty- on holes 6-8 there are beautiful views of the ocean. Also, when you are on holes facing away from the ocean there are the steep mountain slopes from extinct volcano craters in the distant background of holes 1-5.
*Terrain- holes 1 and 2 play among pine trees that add some obstacles to challenge you. I like the pine trees and pine needles on holes 1-3 and 5. There is very little rough anywhere on the course, so you're not going to lose a disc unless it gets stuck in a pine tree.
*Tee signs- signs on big lava rocks that are easy to spot; there is a basic hole map on each sign.
*Basket numbers- even though the baskets are Innova Discatchers they have a DGA number plate on top to mark them. Nice touch.
*Even though holes 4 and 7 are really open and short they are still tempting little ace runs.
*Course map online at DGCR and there is also a large map at the start of the course.
*There are discs for rent in the office.
By far, the most glaring drawback is the unbelievable amount of danger to numerous other park users wandering all over holes 3-9. Hole 3 plays right down a paved walking path that could have walkers or joggers using it. On hole 4 a sand volleyball court is almost in the fairway and on one round a volleyball spectator stood right in the flight path. The left side of hole 6 is a frequently used road to the beach parking lot and there are some beach cottages across the road, so a shot pulled over to the right can easily hit something. Holes 7-9 frequently have families walking through the fairways and near the baskets. Hole 8 is the worst-- the fairway crosses over a kids' soccer field and is a popular path for families to walk to the beach, plus there is a kids' playground not far to the right of the 8 basket. Some kid is bound to get whacked with a sharp disc thrown by a rec player who has very little disc control! On hole 9 the tee shot is left-to-right around a blind corner blocked by trees, and the basket is very close to a well-used walking path. There is also a horseshoe pit in the middle of the 9 fairway and a sand volleyball court that is too close to the 9 basket. Weekends are the most crowded times. A lawsuit is on the way; the only question is "when will it happen?" To avoid these issues it is best to play early in the morning.
-Terrain: most of the holes, especially 4 and 6-9, are way too open for my taste and thus rather lackluster.
-Elevation changes: the course is almost totally flat (1 Up/ 1 Down/ 7 Flat) with the greatest elevation change being -5 ft.
-Length variety: very limited, so it's kind of monotonous. 2 <200 (145, 150)/ 5 of 220-245/ 2>300 (315, 390)
-Navigation: baskets 2, 6, 8 can be hard to see. The first time I played hole 2 I couldn't find the basket and since only basket 5 was visible I played to that one by mistake.
-Tees: they work, but they are only natural sand and dirt so they are not always level, and only the front is marked.
-Baskets: Discatcher double chain with quite a bit of corrosion and some rust from sea salt, but that is probably unavoidable since it is so close to the ocean.
-Hole lengths: the lengths listed on the tee signs are not accurate; many holes are shorter than the lengths given.
Course Level = Red (most suited for Juniors and Intermediate players rated 825-875) The short hole lengths make this course most suitable for new players and shorter throwers. Anyone who drives 250 feet or more will get bored rather quickly.
Because it is on a military base you have to have someone with a military ID to get through the gate. (There is an illegal way to get past the gate by walking down the beach, but it is not advised. You would have to try that at your own risk of breaking the law.)
According to other reviews, in the past unexploded artillery shells had been found at the golf driving range across the street so holes 1-4 once had signs saying "Danger! Explosives". But that issue has been resolved so there are no longer any concerns about this.
The bottom line, though, is that even in spite of all the cons, especially the danger to other park users, this is still the only permanent disc golf course in O'ahu! If you want to play disc golf without lugging around a portable basket this is the only place to do it. Plus there are some great views of the ocean and you can easily combine a day at the beach with some disc golf. Especially if you are just visiting the islands, even though the course is not stellar, it's still worth making the trip just to play on a permanent course in Hawaii.
A note about my rating:
My rating is a subjective measure of my enjoyment
of the course, on the day I played it, and it is NOT intended to be a measure of the quality
of the course. My Enjoyment Ratings are given "on the curve" in relation to all other courses I've played.
Look in the "Links/Files" section for my files with Hole-by-hole ratings and more detailed Overall review notes. You can also read more of my review philosophy and rating notes at Disc Golf Course Reviews
I'm always trying to improve my reviews, so if you mark this review unhelpful or if you find a mistake, please send me a Personal Message here on DGCR to tell me what is wrong with it. I'll be grateful for the feedback.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Large boulders indicating tee location easy to spot, with good tee signs attached to side.
Very nice beach only a minute's walk away.
Most holes play quite near non-players - walking path, basketball court, volleyball court, driveway, parking lot, play-ground., open space between building and beach.
Basket-1/tee-2, basket-3/tee-4 BEHIND fenced-off area with "Danger - Explosives!" signs attached at random intervals.
Single (natural) tee / single basket position. Most holes quite flat, about half quite open.
Limited access - need a way to get onto base.
The course is set in the thinly-grassed open spaces scattered between a parking lot, athletic courts, roads, and buildings of the popular-but-restricted beach at the Bellows Air Force Station. While the distance and difficulty is appropriate for beginners, the proximity of the non-playing areas is not. About half the holes, primarily early, have a few large trees to avoid from mid-fairway to the basket, while the other holes are quite open. Experienced players should have a few ace runs and multiple birdy opportunities.
As of now, the only permanent course on Oahu - worth a play to say you played in Hawaii, then head for the beach!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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