From the Rec Player Perspective
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: My reviews for Creekside and Lakeside will have redundant content, I apologize but I want both reviews to be able to "stand alone". Many have reviewed these courses, the only unique perspective I have is that I'm not a very good disc golfer! I suspect most that make this pilgrimage are dedicated and talented players.
Selah Ranch has been my "Shangri-La" for several years. I'm an "older player" (60+) and never progressed beyond a middle of the pack recreational skill level. However, I am passionate about the sport. My concern was would Selah be a "rec friendly" great experience, or would it be too punishing for this old arm? I'm thrilled to say Selah was everything I had hoped it would be! The ranch is beautiful, the courses are a pure joy to play, and the hospitality of the ranch made for a uniquely wonderful disc golf adventure.
-The gasoline powered carts made it possible to get in a full round on both Creek Side and Lake Side in a single afternoon. I'm usually pretty sore and worn out these days when I play 36 holes in a day, I call those my "4 ADVIL" tournaments. With the carts I had no problem playing 36.
-Holes challenge both throwing skills and decision making. Risk/Reward options available on nearly every hole. Often multiple lines to the hole, overall favors no particular style. I play mostly RHFH, my son is almost exclusively RHBH, I don't think either of us had an advantage.
-Lakeside is a challenge for a Rec level player. Six of the holes play along the lake and are a constant concern for a rec player that occasionally sprays shots. I tended to get in trouble by being too conservative and throwing away from the water and catching trees on the other side of the fairway. Still, every hole a par was possible if I didn't do anything too dumb, make a horrible throw, or clank a short putt. Birdie chances were scarce, but when I made a good and smart throw I did have opportunities. Mess up, and bogey or worse was likely, though a few wayward drives left me with at least a chance to be creative and throw a desperation tomahawk to try a par save.
-Hole seven is as dramatic and photogenic a hole as I've seen in disc golf. The Rec player gets a generous 300' shortcut from the red tee, but it still will require that exciting throw over water to the island green. With some patients and control a rec player can minimize that water crossing to less than a 200' approach, but that takes some good shot making.
-Keep it out of the water and there's not too much chance of losing a disc. Keeping it out of the water may be more easily said than done especially if the wind comes up. Water risk can be mitigated by playing conservative unless you make one of those Risk / Reward "go for it" decisions. Hole #1 is a classic example. I had a "makeable" birdie putt from a bit outside the circle, but an overshoot was going straight in to the lake. My brain said go for it, but my arm must have been risk averse because my putt ended up on line but at least 5 feet short.
-Legitimate Par 4's and Par 5's. With these holes there are even more shot decisions to make, more options unfold as the hole plays out.
-Modern, quality, well maintained Innova Discatcher Pro baskets. Hardly worth mentioning here, it's fair to assume that EVERYTHING at Selah is first class.
-Fair greens, no gimmicky obstructions within the circle. Some placements close enough to water hazards to be a test of nerve but nothing unfair, at least when the wind isn't howling.
-Solid cement tee pads, adequate size though not huge. Clean, and well landscaped so there is no odd drop-offs that would impact run-up or follow-through.
-A decent Pro Shop, showers, and real bathrooms on site. Amenities approaching a quality ball-and-stick golf course.
- I understand that not every disc golfer will be willing/able to spend the money for greens fees, carts, and lodging at Selah Ranch, but for me the costs were very reasonable for experience. To compare this to ball golf, I received "Pebble Beach" quality for less than the cost of greens fees and a cart at my local municipal course.
-A cold winter day at Selah Ranch is warmer than what I'll see in New England until April.
Cons: As I stated, this is my Shangri-La, can there really be any cons? If I really have to come up with something:
- It's a huge East Texas Ranch... the wind can howl, thunderstorms can boil up at a moment's notice, summer heat and humidity can melt your favorite plastic, drenching rains can flood the creeks and gullies...Snakes, Scorpions, and other creepy-crawlies hide in the brush, bulls might charge, lightning, tornadoes, meteors threaten, oil wells could blow out, and there is a scary disclaimer to sign, though on the February day I played I didn't see anything more menacing the buzzard circling as a clanked my birdie putt attempt on #4. I'm not sure Selah is more dangerous than my local New England courses plagued with Lyme disease-carrying deer ticks.
-The Ranch is pretty remote, and though somehow mobile phone service was great everywhere on the course. Options for gasoline, food, beer are limited in Talco, basically just a gas station. Mt. Vernon is a few miles to the south and has much better food options, but don't assume anything will be open after your round.
-Without a cart, it's a long walk just to get to the first tee from the pro shop, though Lakeside starts and finishes fairly close to the Main House. It's quite a hike to play to get around Lakeside, with no place to sit and no drinking water available on the course. Rent the cart, it's well worth it, especially in the warmer months, which I understand can be every month but January and February.
-If you are walking, navigation takes some effort since tees are not always visible from the last basket. With a cart, it's not an issue, you'll find the tee pretty quickly.
Other Thoughts: I dragged my family 400 miles out the way so I could tick this place off my bucket list. I'm grateful they indulged me. I only had a single afternoon before we turned the car northward on our way back to Chicago, then home New England. I had time to play both courses, but not enough time to soak up all that the ranch has to offer. With Trey Ranch "just down the road", I'm sure I could have spent several blissful days here. I hope to return soon for a longer stay.
On the mid-week February day I played the course it was pretty deserted. I realize this place is remote, but I would really love to see more vibrancy to this place. It truly deserves the support of the disc golf community.
So are the Selah Ranch courses the best I've ever played? I live less than an hour from Maple Hill, and I've been lucky enough to play Nantucket, some great courses in Vermont and the coast of Maine, and even got to play the nearly completed Frost Valley course in New York. Is the Beatles 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' a better album than the Stones 'Exile on Main St'? Is Beethoven's Ninth better than Mozart's Jupiter Symphony? That's the great thing, we get to enjoy it all.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Believe the hype!
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Part of me feels like this review isn't even necessary. Yea, just another 5/5 review, we get it....but it's the culmination of these 5/5's which helped propel Selah to the front of the pack, so i feel obligated.
I'm gunna take a minute to beat an old cliche to death. You'll use every shot in your bag. Yea yea, I know, but seriously it's true. Not counting my backup discs, I can only think of 2 of my discs that I DIDN'T tee off with. The course is very well-rounded and will require you to be the same.
The thing that sticks out to me about LS is just how demanding it is. Not only are the holes long, but they require placement as well. Every single birdie on LS has to be earned, nothing is a gimmie, not even the par 5's. For example, if my drive on hole 7(island) would've been about 5 feet to the left I could've had a shot at eagle. Instead I was forced to lay up and took a par(5). My advice is to use the cart to scope out the hole really quickly before throwing. This will help you find lines and landing spots very quickly before playing the first time.
To expand on the variety that is required, you still will feel like you have more than one option on almost every hole. Even the short wooded holes have a couple of lines you COULD take if so inclined.
After playing CS first, I was hoping LS would have more wooded shots, and it did. No course can be "perfect" or the #1 in the world without a good mixture of open/wooded. I think Open/Wooded mixture is the most important metric for a course to be "perfect".
There was still plenty of variety in hole length on LS. Some holes were under 300, even from blues, while some pushed close to 1000'. Don't think this is a course where a small arm can't compete. Perfect placement will allow anyone to win out here.
The amenities were more than ample, but not perfect (as you can see in my cons). The tee pads were plenty big enough, two per hole with very nice signs at each tee. There's also a pro shop on site, you'll get scorecards for each course, have a place to buy plastic and also rent a golf cart! The revolution has begun, ladies and gentlemen! These types of amenities is what it will take to push our game to the next level.
Cons: In order to provide some constructive criticism, it's necessary for me to list some cons even though the course has received a perfect score. There are always things to improve on and my cons could provide the owners something to consider for the future.
Firstly, I think the biggest thing lacking on both Selah courses are benches/seating. This isn't necessarily a con if you have a cart like I did, but in a tournament situation where not everyone has a cart, a course this nice absolutely has to have seating for those long rounds. To be the #1 rated course in the world, I think you should have ample seating at every tee pad.
Secondly, there are a few places where there isn't a clear direction to take when you finish a hole. There were seemingly plenty of navigation signs on the longer "walks" but even some of the shorter transitions can be slightly confusing. This occurs mostly in the wooded holes where there are multiple paths you could take. Again, this isn't a huge issue in reality since you'll undoubtedly have a map on the scorecard, but something to consider.
My last two complaints can't really be helped at this point, but if I'm pointing out flaws I might as well go all in:
Thirdly, you have to cross over #1's fairway when you finish hole 17. While this usually won't pose an issue on a private course, during a tournament it could. There was a sign there indicating the crossover so you should really never get hit. I understand why the crossover is necessary to let hole 18 finish by the lake.
Lastly, and probably the most trivial of my complaints, is that the course is not a two 9-hole loop design. Usually this would be a pretty big deal, especially on a course this long, but here it actually should never matter and here's why: 1) The parking lot isn't even at the LS course, so it would defeat the purpose of the two-loop design (to be able to refuel between 9's) even if it existed. 2) You'll likely have a golf cart anyway, which means two things; You probably won't NEED to refuel and even if you did, you could just stock up the cart!
To address the elephant in the room (cost of the cart), I'll just say that you'll want a cart when you play here. If you're going to make a trip out to Selah and play all day, why you'd waste time walking around when you could get more golf in is beyond me. This isn't meant to be your weekly course, but a special occasion, one that deserves to be paid for. You guys are right, $40 for a cart is a little steep, especially if you compare it to ball golf, but this is a private ranch, with two of the best courses in the world and a limited number of carts and you can play ALL DAY. I'm not saying $40 is completely justified, just noting that there are some distinctions between Selah and a typical ball golf outing...
Other Thoughts: Selah Lakeside is undoubtedly the best course I've played so far, and the only course to receive a 5/5 from me (I'm fairly stingy). My worry while driving out to the middle of nowhere was "Just how beautiful could a Texas Ranch really be?" (I'm from those beautiful Appalachian mountains). Let me tell you, LS is absolutely breathtaking. You'll get to hole one, look out over the lake and the Inn and think you're on a very nice ball golf course. Keep in mind, people come here to vacate as well, not to play disc golf. The property was so gorgeous that even my non-dg playing wife would've had no regrets spending a week there.
My host was Dave, who I gather is the host for most golfers. Dave was very hospitable, gave helpful hints and seemed to genuinely enjoy his role. I can't say thank you enough for allowing us golfers to venture into your domain, Dave. You have something truly special!
To avoid saying hole #7 was my favorite hole, as it is truly the signature hole, I'll say hole #4 was my favorite. It was the only "peninsula hopping" hole on either course where you could still open up and crush a shot or two if you wanted to. You still had the water danger, but could pick up a stroke with a large arm, unlike the other similar holes. I shot a 70 (+1) from blues.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Selah Ranch is now my #1 DG destination!
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: THE COURSE- The short version review: it would be hard to find a better DG experience than playing the courses at Selah. This is a superbly designed course set on fantastic land coupled with another great course on-site. I will definitely make plans to come back here again, hopefully soon. Many times I have traveled to play a DGCR top 10 course and have been a little disappointed because of the hype, but not Selah- I was blown away past my lofty expectations!
Now the details: Lakeside is a superbly designed course set on an excellent piece of property playing around the big lake as well as many more technical wooded holes mixed in. The Discatchers are in great shape and visibly stand out (on LS it is easy to get giddy and ahead of yourself because you see baskets all around the lake!) The colorful tee signs (2 per hole, 1 at each tee) couldn't be any better with the stylish design and wealth of information. And there are two sets of nice concrete tees on every single hole. Detailed color scorecards were provided. This place is complete and was obviously done right with no corners cut with lots of thought and care put into it. I really appreciated the consideration designing 2 sets of tees providing for variety (since there is only 1 basket location per hole) and making this course playable and enjoyable by a wider variety of skill levels.
I truly enjoyed the diversity of holes. Multiple shot shapes will definitely be utilized throughout your round- some shot shapes are forced, where others provide options. There is a great mix and balance of length with pars of 3, 4, & 5 throughout (distances in the 100's, 200's, 300's, 400's, 500's & 600's just from the am tees). The longer holes are really fun as you have to play strategically from point to point setting up the best angle and for your next shot. The shorter par 3's provide a nice contrast, though they require a good deal of accuracy and control in order to get your birdie or par. The lake of course comes into play on several holes. There is typically plenty of room to work with and ways to play it safer, but you do have to factor it in- again control over distance if you can't do both. I appreciate that the design was made so the lake was sometimes on the right and sometimes on the left (rather than just playing in a circle all the way around it which would favor one type of throw over another.) There are two holes that standout above the rest and could be considered "signature": #7 with the island green, who doesn't love the look and challenge of that?, and #4 playing down the entire one side of the lake then finally over it. Both of these require multiple well-placed shots to reach the basket and pars from either tee are definitely earned.
Navigation was not to much a problem with the map and golf cart and next tee arrows. If the basket was not visible from the tee, it was clear as to where you should throw without too much scouting. The cart was easily able to maneuver over the terrain on every hole.
THE COMPLEX- Let me begin by saying that Selah and the DG here is by far the gold standard in a vacation DG facility. The courses are phenomenal and the whole package here is outstanding- DG, lodging, hospitality, beauty, peaceful isolation. (Selah has accomplished what I had hoped Highbridge would have been.) The courses alone are just as good as, if not better than Idlewild, Flip, IDGC, and Flyboy when it comes to shot making, strategy, amenities, and visual appeal. I have played many top courses and have often been slightly disappointed as the hype inflated my expectations, but not at Selah- it easily exceeded my lofty expectations!
I played many courses to and from Selah that were all affected by the recent uncharacteristic great flooding of 2015. Though all were playable, all the rest of the courses still showed the after effects of the high water. That is, except Selah, which had also been flooded, but showed little to no signs of it just a few weeks later- a tribute to the great maintenance and care as the staff evidently stays on top of things here. (I am sure it helps that the area is more than just a DG course being a B&B and farm also, but whatever it takes.)
I stayed in the corral house, which is perfect for a large group of disc golfers, an excellent facility isolated from the rest of the buildings, with all the luxuries you can expect (kitchen, grill, fire pit, lots of beds, tv, wifi, pool table, golf cart, and a great shower!)
Cons: THE COURSE- Navigation- got a little confused around holes 5-9 with all the extra paths worn in and the course turning around. Maybe I missed a next tee sign or something, but it just took a couple minutes of figuring out (after 4 I went to 8 then 6 before finding 5), and really only a factor the first time you play. (scouting with a cart is easy, but if I was walking and got all confused, that would be annoying as the holes are spread out.)
Other guests- as this plays around the big lake and is closer to the main guest house, this area is often occupied by non-disc golfers. Some will be fishing from the bank so just be aware. Several times we had other guests in their golf carts just out for a joy ride exploring the area. Not a big deal, as I did the same at times when not playing, but the course is not isolated from everyone else like Creekside was.
Getting to tee #1- just kind of starts in the grass by the lake, there is no designated parking area (unless they allow you to park along the drive). If you for some reason are not using the golf cart you will have to park at the main house and make the short walk down to it.
THE COMPLEX- You do have to consider the price of everything. Compared to most courses, including pay to plays, this one is definitely in its own league. $15-20 to play all day, $20/person to split a cart, and the lodging prices are at the high end of all the B&B/inns/cabins I have stayed in. That being said, playing here should be considered a vacation destination, not your everyday park course. If you can find it in your budget to come here, you will not be disappointed with the quality of what they offer, and is a great use of your vacation dollar.
I hope they would consider building a couple more smaller disc golfer cabins in the future. The corral house is really nice, though large and is best suited for ~8 people, where a cabin or two built for 4 people max at a lower price would be nice.
Practice area? I wished the corral house had a practice basket. That would be a great addition.
Other Thoughts: THE COURSE- Just a couple thoughts on the oft-discussed and much-maligned #14. Sure there are some narrow gaps to hit on your drive and approach. But so what, I thought it was just fine. Maybe you do need a little luck, or need to play it a couple times to figure it out, but everyone is playing the same hole. Even if you have to pitch out after your drive, or use a roller or tomahawk or sidearm or whatever, then approach and putt, you still get a par 4 and will probably gain strokes on others.
I really could go on and on about how great this course is. Though after my first visit here, I actually preferred CS over LS (and I much preferred Selah over Trey), I see no reason to give LS anything less than a 5.0 rating as well, and I can see why most rate LS higher. The total package here is just about as perfect as anything I could dream up.
Note- I played the course from the shorter tees this time, though I did look at where the Pro tees were for each hole (talk about a challenge!). The reds are more on my level as a decent intermediate non-pro. The blues would definitely test just about anyone. I also played using the golf cart (highly recommended) as the holes are spread out, and it saves your legs from walking, your back from carrying your bag and water, and makes for faster play so you can play more rounds.
THE COMPLEX- The two courses complement each other very well, I really consider Selah just to be a 36-hole mega-course. In general:
Creekside- shorter water holes, longer more open and moderately technical holes
Lakeside- longer water holes, medium and short tight technical holes
If you play both courses you will play an amazing variety of holes with no two holes alike.
If you are a serious disc golfer, you will want to plan a DG vacation here. I recommend staying on site to allow more time to play and time to relax. And I suggest allowing at least 2-3 days to play as you will want to play here over and over again.
I am also an avid bass fisherman, and the fishing here is really good. There are lots of places to fish, it was a nice change of pace between DG, and was an unexpected bonus. Selah Ranch is now my most favorite place on Earth.
I can't wait to come back!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Best of the Best
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I made the trip up to this area of Texas on a random weekend to play both Selah Ranch and Trey Texas Ranch on back to back days.
We played Selah Ranch, and the Lakeside course first from the long tees; we also played WITHOUT carts. I had lofty expectations of the Lakeside course and it definitely met and even exceeded those expectations.
From what I can remember, this is the first course that was not a strictly par 3 course, when I did play courses with holes that are in the 600-800' range, I get frustrated and never really find that I like those kind of holes. However, Lakeside is a monster Par 69 course and I enjoyed every hole from the short holes in the woods to the epic par 5s.
I was a big fan of the risk/reward type holes that you could flirt with the water to better yourself or dump out to the designated landing areas. Hole 2 is a perfect example of this. You could try for the 475' carry over water or play an easy RHBH hyzer to the bank and then throw over from that.
The thing that made this course the most memorable were the four par 5s on the course, each was epic in their own way.
Hole 1 is a great starting hole where the emphasis is not on your drive but on your shots towards the baskets. The basket sits at waters edge and overshooting the basket can mean a wet or lost disc.
Hole 4 is a hole where you need to stay out wide to stay out of the trees but not too wide where you contend with the water to the left. Then you have to make the decision to clear the water that splits the fairway in two. It is a great example of the risk/reward I was talking about
Hole 7 is on a whole new level with the water playing on the right the entire time. You need two/three solid shots before you can think about throwing to the island green.This was an exciting island, probably the first I have played that was a real island and not an artificial one.
Hole 15 is the only par 5 with any elevation to speak of. You have numerous options off the tee and more options after that.
I really appreciated the tee signs with the lines shown on the map, it is something that I have never seen. All the lines on the map are definitely usable lines, it was helpful.
Cons: Carts are almost 100 percent necessary and we found that out after finishing both courses without and being absolutely whipped.
This definitely is not a course to take a person who has only been playing a few months. It is a extremely tough course and loosing discs will happen.
Other Thoughts: My rank for the four big courses in the are are:
1. Selah Ranch - Lakeside
2.Texas Trey Ranch - Trey Deuce
3. Texas Trey Ranch - Texas Twist
4. Selah Ranch - Creekside
All four are phenomenal courses and all four are worth the time and money to spend an entire weekend up here.
There is a reason Lakeside is the number one course in the world. I think that it would be even better to play on the second or third time when you are more aware of where the baskets are or the lines to hit.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Truly the Best of the Best!
5 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: This course brings the need for a solid mental game to the table if you want to shoot well. The water carries that are possible can provide very realistic gut checks as you play. Even though there is the possibility to throw large water carries here, the course is designed in such a way that every hole may be completed with no more that 100' of water carry. This allows this course to be enjoyable for varying levels of skill.
The baskets here are all Innova DisCatchers and are in great condition.
Tee pads are large, smooth, and level concrete pads.
The fairways are kept very neatly mowed. This allows for a distinguishable "rough" on the open holes that does make a slight difference in shot selection due to the difference in footing.
This course keeps you honest and quickly smacks you down if you attempt to play too aggressively, as it is a very tough, but fair course that requires just about every shot in the book and then some.
Selah Ranch offers an atmosphere unlike any other, as you can hear wildlife all around you while you play through a breath-taking scenic landscape.
Other Thoughts: Selah Ranch has an extremely prestigious reputation and the courses live up to that reputation completely. The quality of experience that is presented by Lakeside and Selah Ranch in general is not something that can be accurately passed on through words; you need to experience it to fully understand.
5 of 18 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
There's a Reason People Obsess Over This Course
Pros: Selah Lakeside met and surpassed my impossible expectations for it by combining huge variety, an obsessive attention to detail, pervasive risk versus reward, beautiful scenery, through-the-roof amenities, and the most amazingly sophisticated mental game of any course I've ever played. As I alluded to in my review of Creekside, so many shots required a level of forethought more akin to playing chess than throwing a disc. Here, your chessboard is nature, the pieces in play continually change, and your opponent is dozens of acres of land that will chew you up and spit you out in the most impossibly enjoyable way. Lucky you.
Lakeside doesn't have "it all" in a literal sense, but it sure can fool you into feeling that way. Thick woods, open shots, tight lanes, winding lines, interesting water, rolling hills, drastic elevation shifts - the entire range of disc golf possibility is present and employed. I can't think of a significant terrain, feature, or hole type that isn't encompassed in some fashion, be it by the birdie run hyzer at a shielded pin on 17 to the spider web lanes across hills on 14 to the daunting, tree-studded fairways and threatening water on 4 to the ultimate play-it-safe-or-go-for-the-glory island hole 7. The balance is impeccable, and so is the flow. Lakeside knows when to throw you to the wolves and when to throw you a bone. The difficulty here is astutely calibrated to engage but not punish. You're never ground down, and you're never, ever bored. It helps that holes frequently have multiple routes, placing the choice for safety or danger in your hands more often than not, even though sometimes, oftentimes, every choice has its own challenges. I can't rave enough about Lakeside's sophisticated mental game.
The famous holes 7 and 14 have a level of intrigue, challenge, and beauty that merit the hype they generate, but what impressed me is how many equals they're among. At least six of the holes (4, 5, 7, 14, 15, 18) strike me as having top tier signature qualities, in that they'd be the premiere hole on most any other course I've played. Nearly all the remaining holes were distinct in some way, contributing a needed change of pace to the magnitude of their complements: for example, 1 is a perfect opener that's well-paced, starting open enough to ease you into your round but piquing your interest with a dangerous approach towards water on a slight downward slope; 13 starts tight and then opens up, with the gradually sloping terrain making an aggressive birdie run risk ending long in the woods; 16 rewards you hitting an early window with an opportunity for a wide open run at the guarded pin for a plausible birdie 3. The level of nuance and character here is simply through the roof.
Selah Lakeside wraps it all together on a beautiful piece of property that seems expertly groomed; it's a small slice of disc golf heaven.
Cons: 3 is the only hole that doesn't seem artfully designed and situated: an open shot at a hillside pin, with only the threat of a roll away adding intrigue. The hole seems so out of place to me relative to the caliber of the other 17 that I'm genuinely confused by its presence. As amazing as Lakeside is, it's not batting 1.000. Oh well; there are worse things in life.
Really, beyond that, I have a hard time coming up with even the most nit-picky cons. And this is from a guy who likes to critique.
I can see true beginners not getting a very large portion of what Selah has to offer, more so than most courses; its sophistication takes some experience to engage with and appreciate, and there's a lot of opportunity for lost discs as well. But a beginner likely isn't traveling to Talco, Texas and dropping $20 plus cart fees on a round unless they know what they're getting into.
There's the occasional possibility to have to combat the rough, depending on the status of grooming: for instance, if a headwind swings your hyzer wide on 17, you could end up with a bit of a search in the tall grass for your disc. But this is the essence of minutiae, folks.
You need the cart, for Lakeside even more than Creekside, given its distance away from the parking lot. That extra $40 is all but mandatory in my book; otherwise you'll be doing a ton of walking, especially considering the need to scout ahead on many par 4s and 5s. But it makes for a unique experience, so I'm not really complaining.
Bathrooms are relatively inaccessible on the course, even with the cart handy. There's woods aplenty, though.
The golf itself is so transcendent that I truly can't poke another hole.
Other Thoughts: Selah Lakeside was for me an apex I'd previously only imagined. The complexity of the holes and their accompanying mental game provided an experience I've rarely paralleled and never equaled. The scenery, the terrain, the varied shots, it's all as good as advertised, and likely then some. If you don't consider this an amazing disc golf course, then well, we need to talk.
Find a way to play here. It's more than worth it.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Believe the Hype
Pros: Pulling down to the lake while riding in the cart, my excitement grew by the second as we got closer to the first tee. I have never been so stunned by the beauty of the land that a course was on as I was when we first started playing Lakeside. Honestly, this is one of the most beautiful pieces of property that I have ever been on, and being coupled with perhaps the best designed disc golf course in the world makes this a destination course in every sense. Jack, the course manager, was very helpful in giving us insights about the courses and warning us about any holes where rough or high water was the worst. He said that the conditions of the courses were the worst they have ever been, and they were still in pristine shape.
All of the amenities are the best of the best, with plenty of clean bathrooms and showers near the pro shop, elaborate course maps and tee signs at every tee, very big concrete tees, and DISCatcher baskets in great shape. The two tee positions do a great job of offering completely different looks and distances for almost every hole. This is the best design of making both tee placements unique but challenging in their own way that I have ever experienced.
I don't know if there could be a better designed course out there in terms of specific hole design and the layout and flow of the course. Hole 1 is a great way of kicking off the round with the awesome view of the lake, multiple different lanes, elevation change, and scary pin position with the basket on a downward slope and the lake behind. It is a good representation of what you pretty much experience on every hole here: multiple options, risk/reward play but not in an overused sense, and beauty. The majority of the holes allow you to be creative in how you approach the hole - and how risky you want to play it - while requiring you to eventually hit the necessary landing zones. I think that holes 4, 7, 14, and 15 are the best examples of this as they offer numerous different routes, but eventually you will have to hit a certain landing zone to make a quality upshot. What is amazing is that these holes all give completely different looks at this aspect of design.
Lakeside truly offers completely varied levels of woodenness in and out of the woods, and does a great job incorporating the land's elevation changes. I was pleasantly surprised of the amount and use of elevation throughout this course, whether it was holes 1-3's sloping pin position, 15's raised tee pad and constant sloping levels of its fairway, 14's shot over the ravine, 16's constant upward sloping, etc. While there is no extreme elevation here, I was amazed how pretty much every hole incorporated elevation in some way.
The course's flow is remarkably designed, constantly moving from playing near the lake to in the woods, back and forth many times. The progression of the course is constructed so that nothing ever seems repetitive, constantly offering you completely different kinds of holes. In between the daunting holes 4 and 7 are some tight lines in the woods. Following 7, you head back into the woods for a few holes, and so on. The course flow at Lakeside is truly unparalleled. Navigation also flows very well and there are directional signs pointing you to the right path when needed.
The course offers a tremendous variety of distances and pars with 7 par 4's and 4 par 5's. These are true, accurate pars, but they are definitely attainable by even the 830 level player like myself if you play it well.
The rough is hardly a factor at all. Even in the thick woods, I never had to search hard for a disc when I didn't hit my line. The course maintenance is top of the line and resort quality.
Cons: -The only real negative that I can think of is that the cart costs $40 to use, but it is worth paying the money in my eyes. Because of the steep cost, it adds up if you live nearby and would play this course with the cart regularly. However, for the destination purposes of these courses, it does not take away from the extremely positive experience.
-I guess another negative aspect of this course is that there are a few chances to lose discs in the water, but at least there are used discs for sale at the pro shop.
Other Thoughts: I definitely recommend getting a cart, even though it costs $40. There is plenty of room in the back to hold bags, coolers, etc. Also, it is worth getting for the drive down to Lakeside alone, not to mention being able to drive up to see the landing zones and pin positions on some of the very long holes. I also recommend buying a few of the $5 used discs, as they have a huge selection of discs that are in great condition.
Just to throw my 2 cents in about hole 14, I really don't see the problem with it. It's extremely tight to the pin, of course, but I am a low-mid 800 level player and par'd it twice. Moreover, I played it the same exact way both times and still was able to do this. I drove through the second lane from the right, landing about halfway up the hill. I played up the hill still through the second row from the right, and then parked my Buzzz hyzering through the thin trees. It's a hard and very tight hole, but I don't think it is out of line or poke and pray. I actually really enjoyed this hole, and it is also important to note that it has a different feel than any other hole on the course, adding to the variety. It's not like John put several holes with this level of tightness on the course.
I can't stress enough how amazing this course is. I had very high expectations, was ready to point out any flaw it might have, and I was still blown away by how amazing of a course it is - it exceeded all my expectations. Being on one of the most beautiful pieces of property, combined with being one of the best designed courses, makes me wonder if there can possibly be a better course out there or designed in the future.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Disc Golf Resort
Pros: --Excellent design with plenty of variations in shot length and shot shape.
--Good blend of Par 3, 4 and 5 holes.
--Even the woods holes have different options off the tee.
--The four obvious water holes--2, 4, 7 and 18--are truly amazing. These holes define the course.....but there are plenty more excellent holes.
--Two distinct sets of tees.
--The short tees still provide plenty of challenge for the 900+ rated player.
--Great variety of wooded and more open holes.
--You can find a break from the wind on the wooded holes.
--This course allows you to be as aggressive or conservative as you want to be.
--Course infrastructure is all top of the line......tees, baskets, scorecards, tee and directional signs, carts, bathrooms open, course manager cell phone posted on pro shop door.
--It is pretty tough for me to pick a favorite hole on this course. 4 and 7 come to mind quickly. But, there are two or three others I could pick.
Cons: I don't believe there is a legitimate "Con" here at Selah.
Hole 14 has gotten a lot of criticism. John seems to be ready to defend it to the end. I guess I don't get it, yet.
Other Thoughts: --This is a First Class Golf Destination.
--The lodging on-site is really good and reasonably priced. I have been to Selah in March for two consecutive years. The Corral House is great for a "Guys' Trip".
--We called the course manager due to a lack of a "fire pit grill". He had one to us in 15 minutes.
--The course rental carts were a more all terrain model in 2014 vs. 2013.....but the cart that comes with the Corral House rental is the light duty electric version that you need to plug in for a bit at least once a day between rounds. We played at least 3 rounds a day for 4 days and never ran out of juice in the electric.
--Check out Daysi's in Mt Vernon for the best breakfast burrito $3.50 can buy. No need to order two.
--I've been traveling to Texas on a spring disc golf trip for 18 years now......Austin, Wimberley, San Saba. Last year I was a little down on Selah due to my familiarity with the Meadow and Hill at Wimberley and also the CR2 San Saba courses. But really, Selah is absolutely the best combination of everything that I have experienced. I couldn't imagine going back to the original trip of staying in a hotel and driving around to different city courses.
--The pro shop has several bins of discs for sale. But, not a huge selection.
--I travel to Texas every spring for the sole purpose of hanging out with my best friends and playing some great disc golf. Selah is the perfect spot.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As you round the bend on the road to Lakeside, you come over a small hill and see a beautiful landscape in front of you. The road continues straight ahead down the hill. On the right side is a peaceful lake with the Selah Inn perched above. On the left side of the path are the shores where your adventure begins.
There is not a bad hole on the course. Every hole will make you think about where you want your drive to end up and your second round will have you reconsidering what you did the first time you played it.
Most of the holes give you multiple ways to attack the hole with varying degrees of risk/reward. Hole 2 forces a RHBH hyzer to a landing area where you need to decide whether you'll test the water carry (with a shot at par) or take the safe route away from the lake where even a bogey is not assured. Holes 4 and 7 are similar in spirit but mirror images. On both you want to keep as close to the shore as possible to have an open look at the basket, but the lake is on opposite sides for each hole. On hole 4 I repeatedly wimped out and ended up in the trees where the fairway was tougher and it took more shots to get a clean look at the basket. And on hole 7, one of more famous holes in the game, I lost a couple discs. On this beast of a hole you have to maneuver between several landing areas on peninsulas (or play it safe through the trees and probably take a 9 on the hole). Even the final, scenic shot onto the island green is fraught. Despite throwing one of my better rounds, I collapsed on this hole, failing to execute an easy 150-foot hyzer to the pin. The water is only on five holes, but it gets in your head.
My favorite hole was 15. The tee shot features a downhill drive through several gaps in the trees to a meadow on the other side. From here you'll have one to three lanes to the basket, depending on where you end up. I loved the "Choose Your Own Adventure" feel. Take the wider turnover route over the mound? Turn to page 4. Take the tighter hyzer route? Turn to page 12. This was 831 feet of fun.
There are two tees on nearly every hole. I'm an intermediate player and still loved the blue tees. They force more interesting lines. I played the reds once and had a good time with a quick round.
The tee signs here are the best in the game. The various suggested paths to the hole are depicted, and even when the basket isn't visible, it isn't tough to tell where you're going.
The golf carts were fun and worth the cost. There were times when it felt odd to hop in the cart and drive 75 feet after a bad shot hit a tree up the fairway, but mostly they saved time, particularly if you're going between the two courses. That would be a very long walk. At the end of my day I had an hour left and managed to play a speed round from the red tees in about 50 minutes.
Cons: Bring some plastic that you don't mind losing. Just like the poker player who didn't come to fold, you didn't come to play it safe. Dig out those old discs, or buy some of the $5 lost and found discs at the pro shop (I got several good Star plastic discs). But losing a couple discs is probably inevitable.
There is not much elevation here. That is my biggest knock on the course. The elevation that is there is used well, but it's about as flat as you'd expect from a course in Texas.
Hole 14 is a hole with some controversy as to whether it's fair. I liked the first half of the hole with several lanes to choose from. The second half, an uphill climb to the basket (see, there is a little elevation!), features a couple pretty tight gaps. The kind that you drive the cart through pretty slowly so you don't clip a tree. I tend to agree with a lot of people that removing two or three trees would make for a couple clearer gaps that would still be very challenging. But I could be persuaded otherwise.
Finally, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about par, but the pars on some of the signs seemed generous. Hole 11 was 213 feet and was called a par 4. I put my drive 15 feet away my first time, so this seemed like an odd par 4.
Other Thoughts: Like probably everyone who saw this course come out of nowhere to be #1, I wondered if it belonged. The answer is an unequivocal yes. While it's not my personal #1, it belongs near the top. It may be the best-designed course I have played.
Quick note on the lodging: I stayed in one of the cabins near the Selah Inn. It wasn't cheap, but it is a great rustic cabin, feeling almost like something you'd find at a ski resort in the Rockies. This is the kind of lodging you wouldn't feel bad bringing your girlfriend to.
When you're standing at the tee considering your options with the water lapping against the shore and the cattle lowing somewhere beyond the trees, you'll know you've come somewhere special.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is absolutely one of the top courses in the world. While not actually a player himself Jack the "Course Manager" was more than happy to give us some warnings on various holes based on course conditions. This was very helpful and something that is somewhat rare in the disc golf world.
7 - This hole is its own 17 at Sawgrass. There are many attempts at this hole design including 18 on the creekside of this courses on site partner but actually doing it is a special thing. Its a massive par 5 that really forces most average players to lay up twice and its still a risky throw across the water even from the red tees. From blue its a true par 5.
This is the more visually spectacular of the two courses for sure. The lake views are very nice to look at while playing.
Course variety is also good from hole to hole. There is a good change from hole to hole. Every hole minus 14 offers fair risk reward that gives strokes and quickly takes them away.
18 - Good view and a good hole design. Go through the keyhole trees to get the normal RHBH hyzer to work or turn it over and go with the more open left side of the trees. The turnover has additional benefits for throw 2. The pad closer to the lake is much more open and a cleaner mid range throw with fewer trees.
Cons: Hole 14 - The on pad map has all sorts of "lanes" to throw through to get to the hole. I'm all about skill shots and tough holes but this is a bit ridiculous. I agree with many of the reviewers that I just don't get this hole. Given the skill and variety required in the rest of the course this particular hole seems more punitive than positive. There are several tree threading holes on this course besides this one.
Other Thoughts: The courses pars make this a course that, if you can shoot with a consistent level of precision, you can get a very low score. Most of the 5s are doable in 4 and for many people 3 (these are very hard throws but we had an eagle on the course). Its a lot of precision though. This is a hard fair course. Expect to win a few and lose a few. Example: you can have a drive at the green on the island on 7 with shot two but for most people this would be a pair of 300+ drives with small pads to land on.
This was not my groups favorite of the two courses. I debated hard between giving this course a 4.5 because of the 2 courses it was the only one with a hole I truly didn't like the build on. In the end I cannot argue that this is a premier course and frankly my one small beef cannot overtake what is an excellently designed course that was a ton of fun to play. I walked away feeling like I could play this course another 10 times and still not have a set shot selection for the course.
If you're going to play for a whole day I would invest in the carts. The fitness level to play these courses all day is high enough without having to walk the basic distances more than twice. We played them as many times as we could during our day. I would definitely go back and play this course again. This course absolutely competes with the other great courses I've played.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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