12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Design--I think the core of Selah Lakeside's greatness is the intelligent, meticulous design. The distances between tees and baskets (or tees and landing areas) are not arbitrary, they are based on the abilities of red tee and blue tee players and the foliage density. Another major pro for this course is the overall layout. For example, on most courses that I have played that are designed around a central lake, all of the water holes have the water on the same side of the fairway, because the course simply makes a one directional loop around the lake. Lakeside makes a couple of figure eight loops so that the lake is on alternating sides for the water holes. Also, the signs are beautiful and look bomb proof.
Par 4s and 5s-- well designed par 4s and 5s are the future of disc golf. Multiple shot holes add so much more strategy and intrigue to the game. This is why ball golfers can join a country club and play mostly that one course the rest of their lives. Multiple shot holes create so many possible combinations of shots that can evolve with the player.
Navigation-- all courses should have clear signage and navigation aids for those who are new to the course, but especially major destination courses should be easy to navigate. Lakeside did not disappoint in this regard. Very nice directional signs pointed us to the next tee. If you were going to walk either of the Selah courses, pick Lakeside, there is a lot less distance between holes compared to Creekside.
People-- Dave and Candy, the owners, are just awesome, nuff said. Ditto on Jack Bourn, the course manager who lives down the road. Dave asked Jack, who was retired, if he wanted to do a little part time work managing the courses. Since week one he has never put in less than full time. He had never heard of disc golf before, now he is friends with many of the elite pros. Super cool guy.
Accommodations-- There are rooms at the Inn, Woodland Cottages (that are just off the Lakeside course) and then the Corral House that sleeps eight. We had eight guys and stayed in the Corral House. It was a total blast. Book several months in advance or you'll pay more money to stay somewhere half as nice and you'll have to drive half an hour every day to get to Selah.
Setting--take all the aforementioned and put it around a beautiful lake and surround it with trees and you've got disc golf paradise. The trees were still bare and the grass was still brown and it was still beautiful.
Cons: Nit picky stuff that did not detract from the experience such as a typo on the red tee sign for hole 11 said that it was a par 4 (just caused a moment of confusion since we could see the basket under 200 feet away). I will also say that the second half of hole 14 does not have anything remotely resembling a fairway. It was not very Houckesque. You walk down to your lie in the landing area and you look up to see a thick stand of trees with no discernible flight path to the basket. We saw some freshly cut trees, so I think this hole is still a work in progress.
Other Thoughts: When I first heard there was a course with golf carts I rolled my eyes and imagined a future full of fat, lazy disc golfers.
After a weekend at Selah, I would say they are mandatory (unless you are staying at the Inn or the Cottages and only plan on playing Lakeside). This Ranch is huge. The Corral House is very isolated from the courses. The courses are very separated from each other. And Creekside has some long distances between holes. If you travel a long distance to Selah you will want to get in as much golf as possible. I would say the carts at least double the amount of holes you will play at Selah. You'll get plenty of exercise playing 72 holes a day with the carts.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Dream DG vacation
Pros: We had a group stay for a weekend in the Corral house at Selah Ranch. The house was fantastic. The website calls it their "roughing it" house, but it was pretty posh, with 5 beds, a flatscreen with dvd, a full kitchen, and a pool table. The owners seem like great people. They were very nice, and seemed legitimately happy to have us. They treated us very fairly too. Like others have said, the dogs kept us company, which was cool.
This is the only course I have played on that has a pro shop and golf carts. It made for a great experience. You could easily play Lakeside without a cart, although the distance between holes on creekside makes a cart really helpful there. Where we were playing from sunrise to sunset, the carts really helped. We even had energy left for some night golf. At $20 per day, the carts are a good deal.
The course lived up to high expectations. Great design, in really beautiful surroundings. One great thing about this course, that other courses often lack, is that it had almost a full mix of hole types, open, tight, water, dry, hilly, flat. I personally think they worked in the elevation they had well. The water holes are amazing, and the tree holes are very tight and technical.
We played the course several times, both red and blue tees. The blue tees are an extreme challenge, and not for the feint of heart.
Hole 7 is a classic, and the island throw is epic. There is a lot of water in play on a lot of holes, and where there is not water, the trees are super tight, so there is no relaxing. The pars, ranging from 3 to 5 are representative and fair, unlike many courses that insist that every hole must be a par 3 regardless of the length or difficulty.
Hole 9 - 13 through the trees is a great stretch. I. particularly liked hole 9, which requires a well placed drive (right to left) in order to position for a tough left to right a approach. Hole 4 is an absolute beast, do you risk the water, or wrestle with the woods? 18 holes. No throwaway holes, and several classics.
Selah is a great experience. We traveled across the country to try it out, and it was worth it.
Cons: Not many, and they may be overly picky, but here goes. It was a bit windy. We checked the weather regularly in the weeks leading up to our visit, and it seemed to always be around 15 mph. You may want to expect breezes.
The second half of hole 14 seems unfinished. While the map shows three fairway options, there is really no fairway at all, just random trees everywhere. After many rounds, we concluded that the best spot to throw your second throw from was off in a ditch to the right side. This can't have been the intention when designing the hole. This is an easy fix, and hopefully will be remedied soon.
Other Thoughts: I would like to see cart paths. The soil is sandy, and the carts are working their way to the sand. Designated cart paths would help preserve the course. I particularly would recommend that they ban carts from the island. Its a heavy traffic area, and a highlight of the course. I want to see it remain green and beautiful. The carts are working down to the sand, which is sad to see.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I was fortunate to be a part of an 8-man disc golf road trip designed around a 2 night stay at the Selah Corral house. We arrived after dark to find the lights left on and a golf cart charging. Early morn we stopped at the proshop and friendly gentleman named Jack welcomed us with a few Pearce/Schusterick stories while he showed us several lost and found bins filled with discs. (all owners had been called and awaited pick-up) Also there were a few unmarked 'found' discs for $5.
The course lived up to expectations. Very imaginative design, beautiful eye-pleasing fairways and greens. The water hazard holes have been described in detail and they are great, but the wooded holes were the favorites for me. Very well defined fairways, some short and tight requiring precision and some a bit more open and longer. All holes were interesting and seemed very fair except for #14. (see below)
9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 are my all-time favorite 5 hole stretch in disc golf with #10 at the top. 10 fairway fit my eye (as a rhbh thrower) and required a very straight, somewhat precise 350' downhill flight with a slight fade into a L->R sloping side-hill green at the finish. A very satisfying hole that rewarded a well thrown disc.
Pete and Cookie (two yellow labs) chaperoned our activities and the carts were definitely a bonus for carrying gear. It was pretty breezy on the water holes so most of us opted to use floaters. We brought a remote controlled boat with a coat hanger modification for retrieving our floating discs. (this worked well)
Dave and Candy definitely showed their famous glowing hospitality and were way more than fair when it came to pricing and extras.
Selah is a must-have experience if you are the number one disc golf nut in your area.
Cons: #14 starts out with three ultra-narrow tunnel fairways that lead down to a small hollow. The (blue) concrete tee slopes awkwardly backward causing many first timers to sky their plastic into the tree canopy. Once you manage to glide down through the initial 280' you look up to find a wall of forest with no significant gaps. It is a full on 'poke and hope' situation to the basket. Still fun, but to assign it a 90/10 luck to skill ratio would be generous. Maybe this will be improved at some point. I decided to give this course a 5 rating despite the seemingly unfair nature of the last half of #14 because:
1- It was fun anyway
2- There were a few recently cut stumps that led us to believe that improvement was imminent.
review update: I see Mr. Houck has posted some design comments with regard to #14. I was surprised to hear him defend his design and announce no changes coming despite all of the bad reviews. Seems like a bad decision by a great designer. Even Leonardo painted some dogs, but they don't hang in the Louvre. Somebody cut some fair fairways before we come play again in Feb.
Other Thoughts: Great people, no waiting/no crowds, beautiful rural area, and 36 holes right out your front door.
Our group was unanimous in our preference for Lakeside over Creekside.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 13 Not
Lakeside at Selah
Pros: It's not your average course where you drive, and hopefully make the putt for the bird. This course is so well thought out, it plays (so I've heard), like "ball golf". Where placement of your drive, to set up for the ideal approach, to hopefully 3 the hole is what makes this course so wonderful. Beautiful scenery, combined with peace and seclusion makes this an absolute for all disc golfers to experience. The golf carts to ride in allow for more play time, less fatigue, and just FUN!!
Cons: Bring some "trash" discs for hole 4 and 7. I've lost a lot of plastic out there, but it certainly won't keep me from returning year after year.
Other Thoughts: If you want to get away for a weekend with your significant other I strongly recommend saving some $ and staying in the little cottages on the property. Dave and Candy are wonderful people who are willing to share this awesome piece of land with others. The fishing in the ponds is excellent as well (tons of bass!).
8 of 21 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 1 Not
Everything's Bigger in Texas
Pros: On a 1,200+ mile trip, destination Selah, I had quite the anticipation building as one could imagine. I was not let down one bit when I arrived. The property is quite welcoming with water features and disc golf fairways as you enter. The lodges, pro shop, and other buildings are pristine. With that, I decided to give myself the royal treatment complete with golf cart and a freshly stocked Mystery Ranch bag (cart was a necessity at that point). I set off to play and was immediately drawn in by the intricately designed fairways offering multiple routes, landing zones, and often challenging greens. True golf design was evident with par 4s and 5s filled with risk/reward to make you earn your score.
The water features abound really makes this course stand out. Well balanced for left and right handed players, there is a perfect mix of water carries for each side to cross. Throw in an island hole with a cart bridge, and you have the perfect recipe for a world class course. Balance and creative design is seen everywhere else on the course as well, with a variety of dog legs, "S" curves, dual helixes, and every other range of shot beyond your imagination.
Cons: Being from the Midwest, I'm used to more elevation. The design did a great job of incorporating every bit of the terrain possible. Surprisingly, I really didn't feel like I was missing anything because the track itself was laid out so masterfully. This really is a pro, but I'll put it here anyway as something to look forward to: There were many trees recently planted to further enhance the course's design. As a fresh transplant, it will take a little time for them to mature. When they do, DGCourseReview better be prepared to offer a 6.0 rating.
Other Thoughts: There's no better reward for a good shot than a golf cart ride to it. As I played these Selah courses, it made me wish my hometown crew were there. Do yourself a favor. Get all your friends together, come stay and play at Selah Ranch and make a vacation out of it. You will be very happy you did and will have memories to share for a lifetime. Selah Ranch offers the finest lodging, service, cuisine, amenities, and the friendliest staff of any disc golf resort out there. Group campsites are also a great option, with nice hot showers close by. Either way, this place is the best hands down. Really, you owe it to yourself!
23 of 24 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course makes you bring your game and will let you know what shots you don't have in your bag. The first hole gives you a taste of everything with open length, wooded tunnel approach, water, and a challenging green. Each of these elements is used throughout the course.
Even with the raw length of this course, you had better been practicing placement shots leading up to the challenge. This disc golf course is a lot like playing ball golf in the fact that the approach shot and putt are more important than the distance of the drive. Even so, a missed drive will certainly be punished on many holes and if it is bad enough, a pitch out will be your only option.
This course is beautiful, especially in the fall on a calm day. The lake and wooded holes are awesome and you need a camera to capture it even though no camera can do the course justice. I did the best I could to capture its beauty, and you can find that picture in the 2014 Innova Calendar for September.
FUN! The most fun I have had on a disc golf course outside of a tournament was on this pair of courses. The choice of lay-up or go-for-broke hole after hole creates a sort of high that makes you just want to keep playing. This course doesn't just use water to make you make that decision either, the wooded holes are like that in some ways and don't make you lose a disc if you fail at going for it. Just to give you a mental break every once in a while, the par-3s come in and give you a somewhat relaxed shot to execute. In many ways, I think this type of golf is really the most enjoyable.
Have I mentioned the risk vs. reward yet? Probably, but anyway this course adds this with water, basket placements where an errant putt may roll away, and doglegs that you might want to bite off more than you can really chew. There are also places where a big skip will put you out of position on a drive you wanted to stretch out too much. These challenges are a great test of your overall game.
I love par-4s and -5s, and this course has a lot of them. As a golfer, these well-designed holes are a dream come true for me on a disc golf course.
Cons: I'm nit picking, but there isn't a ton of elevation change. There are some holes with a valley or a little elevation, but it doesn't really seem to come into play with your disc selection much.
You have to pack water or other refreshments with you pretty much, and the round can be long, but its not too exhausting, even when walking. I guess on an extremely hot day you will be needing all you can bring, but if you have a cart it isn't hard to pack everything you will need.
Other Thoughts: Pete and Cookie may watch you for a few holes. They are cool dogs and just want to interact with everyone. They may even hang out and go with you on the cart.
#7 and #4 are among my favorite holes I have ever played. The water factor and the fact that they are solid, well designed par-5s at over 800' from the Blue tees make them amazing golf holes to me. #7 has claimed a disc of mine, but the chance to make that shot was wort it. I took on the challenge, and the course took my disc. Oh well, it happens.
#14...Seems to be a lot of hate for this hole. I love it. The routs may be a little tight, but in reality you shouldn't be throwing a long range disc there anyway, so they are more than fair. A decent drive to one of the landing zones will leave you with at least one rout to the basket, and likely more than that. Great hole in my books.
Everyone seems to mention the long distance between the holes, but even though there is more distance here than many other disc golf courses, it didn't seem overwhelming at all, even when walking the course. In fact, it was a very pleasant walk. Maybe that is the golfer in me remembering when I have walked 36 holes carrying a heavy bag of clubs and walking courses much longer and with more elevation changes than just about any disc golf course has.
These courses are a treat. They are the only disc golf courses I have ever payed to play, but they were sooooo worth it. The carts are a nice touch and were useful for playing 4 rounds in a day between the two courses. Like others have said, it is a good idea to charge the cart during lunch so that it doesn't die on ya.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Masterpiece in the middle of no where
Pros: Situated on a 900 plus acre ranch in rural Texas lies a golfing oasis that reveals the best. The layout of the land sets up perfectly for open shots, dangerous water, and technical challenges at every turn. Having played both sets of tees I got the full appreciation for the layout and design of Lakeside. All tees are large and grippy, yet not too sticky. The Houck signature signs are some of the best in the business with accurate visualization of the holes (which is important on the blind shots), the preferred routes off the tee and both short(red)/long(blue) distances. Following the suggested routes is paramount for headache free golf though some "outside the box" shots can be made on the more technical holes if you're adventurous enough. With the par 4s and 5s, shot placement is key for an easier upshot. Errant throws will force a harder recovery or additional strokes. Even with the longer layout the fairways and landing zones are fair for everyone. Big arms don't necessarily have an advantage if shot execution/placement is on. That being said, this is a long course and smart consistent play will yield good scores. Multiple holes have prime examples of risk/reward in that you better be prepared for the consequences (higher score, lost disc, hurt pride) if you go for the big shot and don't succeed. This gives the course some balance to other long courses. The shot difference between tees shows an excellent variety in terms of angles, distances, shot type, and challenge. I'd rate the reds for an up-and-coming intermediate player and the blues for an advanced to open player though immense fun can be had by anyone on either set of tees.
Cons: Really these are only personal preferences but there are some long walks/rides between holes. It is difficult to get lost here though if you pay attention to the signs/intermediate directional signs/score card maps. Lakeside has more elevation of the two but there still is not a lot overall. This may be disappointing to some players expecting big rolling hills here. Lastly, if you are not playing while using a cart the start of this course is a very long walk from the pro shop though I imagine you can park closer to the start of the course or near the main house.
Other Thoughts: I've played some of the best courses in the south (Flyboy, Inverness, Idlewild, Cedar Hill, Roy G, Winthrop Gold) and these pair of courses are tied for best overall with Flyboy. Kudos to John Houck for identifying this plot of land and the challenge he's put forth. Already can't wait to come back, especially in the summer months when it'll play even harder. If you're coming for an all day experience I'd suggest getting a cart and changing it out after two rounds, otherwise they'll start to die in the middle of the third round. Also, there are a pair of dogs on the ranch, Cookie and Pete that are friendly as can be and like to ride in the carts so if you're playing solo, you can have a cart companion.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course really raises the bar. You just have to play it to appreciate how much better it is than other courses. I played ball golf for years, and this course is better than most ball golf courses.
There is a pro shop with restrooms and a fairly good disc selection.
For people who crave challenge, the long tees made some advanced players in my group regret their choice of which tees to play. It's really long. Even the shorts are long, and there are some shorter holes, but none of them seem like they are comically short, or throwaway holes. There's room to see the disc fly on this course, with plenty of length, plus some technical lines to manage.
It's not really busy on the course.
Two sets of concrete tees, plus well marked tee signs and cart paths make for safe play and easy navigation.
Cabins, guest rooms, camping available on site.
It really is a beautiful area with fresh air. A nice relaxing experience.
Cons: It costs money to play. For two people to rent a cart and play all day is about $70.
The drive into town to get lunch eats up too much time. You might want to pack lunch to make sure you can finish both courses, especially on shorter days in the winter.
Not much elevation.
You might have to make reservations months out if you want to stay overnight. They fill up.
The water here will eat your favorite discs.
I played once after a lot of rain and there were a few muddy spots on the course that had to be avoided when driving the cart.
Watch out for snakes. They've had several sightings out there. Water Moccasins are aggressive. Keep that in mind when deciding whether to go swimming after that disc you just lost.
Other Thoughts: I don't know what else to say. You just have to play it to appreciate what a top notch disc golf course can be.
Update: At the Feb 9, 2013 Paige and Eric Fundraiser, ratings produced indicated an SSA of 65 on Lakeside longs, and 63 on Creekside longs. Conditions were tough, and it was just one round with few propagators. I asked Will Schusterik what he thought of the course, and he said it was "all right," but needed some more people to play it and beat down the vegetation.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful.
25 Helpful / 0 Not
Awesome water shots
Pros: This course blew me away, with some of the coolest water holes I've seen and a really nice mix of technical and more open holes. The lake comes into play in several ways, offering all kinds of tricky shots and risk/reward decisions. Unlike many courses playing around a central water feature, the lake comes into play on both the left and right sides, keeping things equally challenging for left and right handed players. The island green is a really cool touch, and the hole leading up to it with multiple landing zones and the choice between braving the water or trying to lace a shot between mature trees on shore makes for some amazing golf.
There is a lot of length on this course, but none of it feels gratuitous. The par 4 and 5 holes offer challenges on each shot, with defined landing zones and chances to execute tough shots to earn birdies. A handful of holes play through tighter woods, with more technical lines and enough rough to punish errant shots. These call for a nice mix of shots with left and right turning holes in good balance. There are some minor elevation changes throughout the course, and though they don't offer any huge hill shots they are used well to add even more challenge and variety.
The amenities here are fantastic, they're not a big part of my ratings but I still love to see courses with this amount of work put in to the extras. The tees are excellent, with two large concrete pads on most holes, often offering different lines and a very different level of challenge. The signs are top notch, I love the Houck signs, and having distance and hole layout is nice with long and sometimes blind shots. It's obvious that a lot of time and effort goes into the maintenance here, the couple wet spots or places where grass was long were mentioned in the pro shop along with reasons and a timetable for taking care of them.
Cons: There was some long grass in spots, though the Lakeside course didn't have nearly as much as the Creekside layout. Through no fault of the designer, there's not a lot of elevation here, something I like to see on challenging courses like this. There are some long transitions between holes, though that's not a huge deal with good course maps and carts.
Other Thoughts: Beginners may find this course a bit much. There is a lot of length and the water is lurking on a lot of shots. The shorter tees are a great challenge for intermediate to advanced players, and the longs will challenge even the best players. You'll need distance, accuracy, and a variety of line shaping skills to be successful.
The design here is top notch, I had a blast. This is the better of the two Selah courses, but having two phenomenal courses on one property makes this an excellent destination. The carts are a nice touch, I wouldn't want to use one everywhere, but for a special treat they're fun. I understand the amount of time and work that has gone into this place, so I didn't mind the relatively high fees to play, but it is on the high side compared to other pay to play courses at this point.
25 of 25 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 3 Not
Can't wait to get back
Pros: Exceeded every expectation I had. You know how when everyone says something is great only to find out it isn't. Well this isn't one of those times. This course is everything you could want and more. Beautiful scenery, expertly designed holes, fantastic risk/reward shots, a golf cart :), and a ride along dog. ( at least I got one named Pete)
When you step up to #1 you are thinking "Oh this is a good opening hole, I can let er rip and lay up easy." I thought that until I saw my approach. I love holes where the approach shot is the most difficult and #1 is the epitome of this.
#4 just may be the most difficult on the whole property. Not only is the approach shot a doosie but teeing off ain't no walk in the park either. Really loved this hole.
#7 - Don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. You can't know how awesome this hole is until you step on the tee. Pictures do it no justice. I donated 5 discs to the disc golf gods on this hole. Didn't care one bit. So AWESOME!
#14 may have the most numerous paths to the basket ever. When you walk up and look at the tee sign then look at the hole you just have to shake your head. Grip it and rip it and hope the trees ain't mean.
#16 - Loved this fairway. It was so pretty it was worth mentioning.
#18 - Really fun hole to close out a perfect course. When you finish your last shot there is an instant urge to start again and you should.
Other Thoughts: Bring OFF to this course. Especially #14 and #15. You will be eaten alive by mosquitoes. Fortunately the course is so awesome you will not care. I think everyone should try to stay overnight here at least once. I was lucky enough to be here all weekend and my wife and I pretty much had the entire property to ourselves. Breakfast was great, picnic lunch was amazing, and the steak dinner was unbelievable. Believe it or not there are quite a few things to do in Mt. Vernon other than disc golf. Take one of the historic driving tours, go visit Dandy Don Meredith's museum, stroll around beautiful downtown and take your picture next to the tallest soldier to fight in the Civil War. He was 7'7" and lived to be 76 years old, pretty cool I think. Bottom line, if you love disc golf, you will love Selah Ranch, period.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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