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.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
No Hype Just Results
Pros: I made a special trip here from Minnesota while visiting my brother in OKC. We drove the 4 hours with others that don't normally play anything other than recreational disc golf besides myself.
We stayed in the cowboy room in the lodge, which was great. Rented a cart (the electric carts are 4 seaters if you need one that can only last 1.5 rounds), and hit up the course.
Above all in disc golf I believe that a course layout is only as good as someones ability to hit the line. This course provided the most intelligent layout I've ever seen in spades. Don't get me wrong it was far from easy, but there were enough birdie holes to keep you from feeling defeated on some of the more potentially dangerous holes.
I hate to re-iterate others feelings, but I will.
#7 is the most mentally interesting and taxing hole I've ever played and I've seen some doozies having played all of the top courses in the midwest. I think its the best hole in disc golf for Advanced-Pro players. I can see what am's could get frustrated by it though.
#14- Having played both red & blue tees I'm still not sure where the "2nd" lane is. There is a lane, but seems a little too random. Its the only spot I felt that even a perfect tee shot could put you in a place where you were still scratching your head. I tried to find the virtue, but this hole would get a "B" in my book.
Otherwise this whole course was without a doubt better than anything in the midwest. Sure the elevation was a little limited, but trust me you won't mind unless you are hung up on that exclusively.
If you can drive to play here and are serious about disc golf you have to come for a couple days. If not you are simply not getting the best that disc golf can offer you.
Cons: I don't really have a con for this course. Carts are really needed, but don't hurt to have either. If you are not a fan of shooting over water this course is not for you. This course is simply not meant for those who don't play disc golf at a fairly high level. You will only truly enjoy this course if you can afford to take the risk reward shots.
Other Thoughts: I hope someday to find another course I like this much. I like a lot of courses, but this is the best physical and intellectually challenging disc golf course I've ever seen.
Selah is the best!
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Seclusion and Serenity @ Selah
Pros: Where do you start when talking about what you like about a 5 star course? Course design? The challenge? For me it's the ambiance the course provides coupled with the standard checklist of must haves. Lakeside, even in winter has the feel that top ball golf courses like Augusta and Pebble Beach are known for.
I loved stepping on the tee pad and seeing a new puzzle to be solved on every hole and the amount of strategy needed to meet the challenge that Lakeside offers. Most holes can be completed using multiple approaches and the red and blue tee pads offer different lines and challenges.
Cons: There are very few if any cons at Lakeside. If there is, it's that Selah is not closer to my home.
I do have a concern though. Golf carts seem to be doing some damage to the areas around the lake especially holes 7-9 (7 being my favorite). It appears that there are multiple areas that are at risk for erosion. The slopes are now missing grass and could become all dirt if this trend continues. Possible restrictions on usage may be needed. Ruts and signs of donuts detract from natural beauty. Cart paths?
Other Thoughts: The idea of perfection is subjective. For me, a great layout is not enough to place a claim on perfection. There has to be something you just feel that can't always be quantified in a written review.
I knew Selah had great baskets, tee pads and a clean well thought out design before I got there. The Houcks have a proven track record of providing these things. But as my wife and I drove under the Selah sign, past the pro shop on the edge of a small lake and up the hill towards the lodge, I begin to realize this was more than a golf course. Selah is a destination. My wife and I stayed at the Drake Cottage and I could write another five star review on just that segment of our weekend.
I haven't played Flip City or Idlewild yet, and may never get to play Flyboy, but Selah is beyond memorable. Can't wait for Texas Teams...
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 4 Not
Epic, if not perfect
- Hole 7, by far the most memorable hole I've ever played. Such a mental challenge. You know you can make the shot onto the island, but the prospect of losing a disc weighs heavily. It can make or break your confidence for the rest of the round.
- The scenery. Such a beautiful piece of property, very peaceful and picturesque.
- Wide variety of shot shapes and lines required. Never felt repetitious.
- Multiple concrete teepads on each hole, each giving a very distinct challenge.
- Extremely challenging without feeling obnoxious, or intentionally annoying.
- Due to the cost and location, I'd imagine it's never crowded.
- Not free ($20/day).
- Not really walkable, and golf carts are $40/day and only have two seats and are loud.
- Not much elevation change.
- Nitpicking here, but the course is a little raw, not manicured like a nice city course.
It was very difficult to not give this course a 5.0, as it seems almost everyone else has, but according to the site, a 5 is "perfect in every possible way". While it's an amazing course, the cost and lack of elevation keep it from being perfect in my mind. Definitely going to make at least one weekend trip a here a year from now on.
14 of 18 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 15 Not
Best course ever
Pros: Best course I've ever played. Best design 2 of the best holes in the world. This course is very difficult but very fair. Not one tree in the middle of the fairway where it doesn't belong. This is the future of Disc Golf. Lots of par 4's and 5's and not because they are just long, they also demand accuracy and placement in landing zones to prepare for your next shot. Golf carts for rent! WOW what a great time Ill be back at least twice a year.
Cons: I don't own this course and I don't live on the property
Other Thoughts: If you ever get to go to Selah Ranch don't hesitate. I've played all over the World and these are the best courses any where!
0 of 15 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 21 Not
Had a Blast!
Pros: Two awesome 5-Star Courses, Golf Carts, Friends & Beer...Lot's of fun, can't get better than that. Be prepared to be here all day.
Cons: Needs a little mowing. Lots of water hazards, but really not a con for me. Bring some disc you won't mind losing.
Other Thoughts: The golf carts are well worth it .I will be coming back.
0 of 21 people found this review helpful.
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