Great Technical Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The basic items check out. There are cement tees, DGA Mach V baskets, good signage, and some benches. I hardly noticed them, in that I never had to worry about footing, putting style, etc. This is a good thing, because it frees up your mind to think about the course itself.
I loved the course itself. I played the long tees and as a blue level player I felt challenged without being overwhelmed. The first four holes were mostly open, although the first three still required good placement to access a protected pin placement. The rest of the holes were in the woods, and offered a stern test of shot shaping and execution. Every hole had a well-defined fairway with valid routes. There were also some true par fours on the course, with well-defined landing zones.
One note on those wooded holes. Many holes only offered a single route, but from hole to hole the routes were different. One hole would force a straight shot, the next might force a slight left-to-right shot, and the one after a hard right-to-left shot. While this does limit creativity, it also limits the ability to find a hyzer line off of every tee. Instead you are forced to throw different shot shapes on demand.
The last thing I should mention is the tee signs. These were some of the most useful I have ever seen. As a traveling player playing the course blind, I had next to no trouble navigating the course and finding baskets. In particular, these signs included an aerial diagram of the hole. In addition to showing tees and pin placements, there was also a little camera symbol at some point in the fairway. Then at the bottom of each sign was a photo taken from that symbol and looking towards basket. Essentially, they show right on the tee sign what you would see if you walked up the fairway to look at the green. I had never seen this before, and thought it was fantastic.
Cons: My biggest con was the lack of multiple tees. Each sign had shorter tees marked, but they were natural tees and not even marked on the course. I don't know if they will be installed in the future, but given the difficulty of the long pads, shorter pads would be a wonderful complement to this course.
I felt that the hole distances lacked variety. I threw a driver off of the tee on 16/18 holes, and the two holes on which I threw a midrange came back to back. I'd have liked to see one of two more shorter holes, and with better spacing in between.
Also, I imagine it is really easy to lose a disc or two in the thick rough if you are not careful. The fairways were fair, but the rough sure was rough. Keep a close eye on any errant shots.
Other Thoughts: I should note that this is a course who's reputation preceded it. I spent my first 7 years in disc golf playing around the Southeast, in general playing more heavily wooded and technical courses. After moving to the relatively open spaces of Texas and commenting on how much I miss technical courses, Texas Army Trail was invariably brought up as a course in Texas I needed to play.
I was not disappointed. This course reminded me of Jack McClean park in Tallahassee, Florida, which is another long, wooded course that I really enjoyed. After the round, I met one of the locals who was partly responsible for upkeep of the course. After playing through the course, I could tell that someone (likely many someones) had put a great deal of time and effort into the course. It was great to talk to him and have the opportunity to thank him for all his work. If you have a chance to play this course, I highly recommend it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: My initial impression of this course, seeing the first few holes in the field, was hoping that the whole course wasn't just wide open.
Be careful what you wish for.
This course has a nice concrete long tee on each hole, and a nice sign with distance to both basket positions. Also, each sign has something I've never seen before on a course. A picture of basket on the bottom right of each sign, with a camera logo on each hole map to show the view the picture was taken from. This really helps with the MANY blind shots on this course, and saves first-time players like me the trouble of having to scout out every hole. Kudos to designers for that
This course offers a ton of variety: Some more open holes to warm up, then woods, woods and more woods, with water lurking in spots.
The course design really makes good use of what's there. The first few holes that play through the open field make good use of late trouble, at least in the long baskets.
On the field holes, just because of the terrain available, the short baskets are pretty open, but the long basket spots are really tucked into the woods with some interesting challenges on every one.
Also, the small trees planted in the field will grow into interesting, fairly wide fairways given a few more years, which will make the short baskets less of a drop-off from the tricky long placements
This course, from the current concrete tees, is probably the hardest course I have played in the Houston area so far. The course does not favor right or left-handed throwers, either way you will have to make shots that are difficult for you. Accuracy is rewarded here, the shule is thick, so staying on the fairways is key to shooting well on this course, as well as throwing far.
Many holes are blind throws off the tee, which only adds more challenge
On top of the long blind fairways. This course does a great job of throwing late trouble at you. Wherever possible, they have tucked the baskets amongst guardian trees, making precise approaches as important as accurate drives. This course does not give you an easy way out. You will need multiple good to great shots on each hole to shoot well.
Though the fairways are fairly narrow, they are very clean and intentional. The rough here is thick and punishing, but there is always a line if you stay on the fairway, so it again rewards accuracy, as a well-designed course should. There are not pro-spike hyzer routes on these holes, the thick foliage does a great job keeping big arms honest, and thus when I call this a championship course, I mean that it is a challenge no matter how far you can rip it. Most courses this length are significantly less wooded, but I prefer courses like this that force accuracy
This course also uses water for two memorable holes, where you must throw a right curve over the river/bayou/creek thing off the tee to carry the water. The designers mercifully made these two among the shortest holes on the course, allowing for birdie opportunities for those who make the scary shot.
Also, some elevation comes into play on this course. The designers have put baskets on these inclines where possible to create rollaway and high-risk putts, also a nice challenge on the course.
This course has great Par markings, all the holes that are marked par 4's are legitimate multi-drive holes, with the basket in either setting. This also adds to the challenge, since it allows this course to stretch you even more than all the long par 3's do.
Overall, this is a championship difficulty course that will test your skills and will force you to earn par. There are no throwaway holes here, every one has forces you to think and almost all are quite challenging, but very intentionally so. This course is hard, by design, and uses the limited elevation and water very well, in combination with the thick woods these fairways are carved out of
Cons: Did I mention that this course is very difficult and long? It is very tough to get pars out here, and ace runs are not part of the picture.
Its tough because you have to throw straight or avoid shanking into thick shule that's hard to even tomahawk over once youre in it, but the fairways are all blind and curve, so you need to hit precise lines around blind curves or be punished
The course has no bathrooms, which is annoying because it takes awhile to play. The arrows pointing to the next tee are well-placed, but they are only laminated paper and starting to fall apart from rain. They are much needed for navigating the course, and should be replaced with something more permanent. I was able to navigate course, but we did see several groups wandering around lost after they played the first few holes in the field.
This course was very intentionally designed. Many courses will have early or late trouble, this course kinda throws it all at you. In many cases, you throw several good drives to get around the blind curves, and when you get up to the basket, it is tucked deep amongst thick trees. Sometimes it just felt like too much. The short basket placements are all difficult and well protected, and the long ones are all significantly harder. I found myself wondering why they needed a longer basket spot in many cases, since the shorter one is already quite challenging. This speaks to my level of play, but also the length and challenge of this course.
When I looked this course up online, I thought wow the long tees look tough, but the multiple tees on every hole shown in tee signs will be great for my wife (not a distance thrower) so she can play from the short tees and have fun on this course, and I can play from mediums since its my first time here.
The only tees are the longs, which are tough even for me. My wife did not like the course much, because she doesn't have enough distance to par most of these. I love the design and layout, but you could have quicker rounds from the medium tees and it would still be quite challenging. Some longer courses have a nice mix of short, birdie opportunities mixed in. This one feels like its set up for a PDGA tournament length.
The tee maps have the medium and short tees marked, and distances for them, but walking the course, I was struck that there are no pads, or any kind of marking for the other tees whatsoever. Not even a post in the dirt. I could tell kindof where the other tees would go. It even seems like the trees are cleared off and the ground is leveled out in spots that seem to match up with where the map says they should be.
Walking up to those areas, I got very excited, imagining the shots from these spots. The shorter tees really do change the holes, not just subtracting distance, but also taking the first blind curve out of many fairways. Because of the way this course is designed, the medium and short tees would still be very interesting on almost every hole. Many of them would still be blind shots, and the well-protected baskets remain hard to park in either case. The pars wouldn't even need to be changed, presuming that for someone throwing from the shorts (my wife), 350 ft of tight tree tunnel is still a tough 4.
The short tees would have many midrange shots off the tee for a player like myself, and quite a few ace runs, but it still forces accuracy.
My point is this. I was ok playing the long tees, but I would LOVE to play this course form the mediums, and I think newer players or more finesse players would really enjoy playing from the shorts. Right now, this course appeals to the advanced players, but dang its hard. Just putting a colored stake in the ground and having dirt tees would make a big difference, and make this course way more fun for me, and fun for players like my wife. The holes still look challenging from the middle tees, and it would make the course play like 36 holes.
I say this with a big asterisk, because this course hasn't been very long, but I look forward to the day the curators stick some posts in the ground and at least mark the other pads. I will gladly rate this course higher once this has changed. I really wanted to like this course more, but the tee signs kept reminding me of what the holes could've been.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course, and I understand why you would put in the longest tees first:
-You can have tournaments right away and challenge the best players
-Once you have the land for the long holes approved by parks dept, it makes sense to get them in so that whole area is now DG designated
Its way easier to just put up the shorter tees afterward, once the long fairways are already clear and the holes are figured out.
This course has some interesting holes, I just think that for most golfers, these holes would be more fun from the shorter tees, instead of SO hard like it is now
Most courses don't have the space to put 3 tees on each hole. This is an awesome feature, and this will play like 3 different courses with the 3 sets of tees in. Even if the other 2 are dirt, I think many golfers will choose to play from mediums if there is just a colored post there
I'm sure this will be added in coming years,and I look forward to coming back and checking it out
BRING WATER AND BUG SPRAY, its a long round full of skeeters otherwise
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Not Easy To Maintain Par
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has every possible difficulty that a disc golfer could think of encountering on any one course. There are quite a variety of holes here. From open and easy to tight and restricting due to many trees in some fairways. I have always appreciated a good challenge and this course has it. Very difficult to stay on par due to elevated basket or tough curving fairways. A disc golfer is challenged to throw the straightest shot they can throw or risk fading off into some unforgiving brush. I have played my share of these type of courses and have found them to keep me on my toes, so to speak. My favorite hole here is 13 with its throw over a mini gorge bordering Cypress Creek. A throw must have enough hyzer on it to get it over the opposite gorge wall and through an opening between two trees with brush on either side. The distance is only 199 feet to the basket and I have deuced this hole twice. This course is such with the level of difficulty that I feel it ranks up there with some of the better courses in the Austin area. It also proves that holes do not have to be particularly long to be tough or challenging.
Cons: There are no restrooms here but there are plenty of trash cans and places to sit at almost every tee. Lots of brush to deal with and plenty of trees in the woody part of the course. I see alternate tees on the signs but I do not see them marked anywhere on the course, so I guess that is best guess as to the exactness as to their location.
Other Thoughts: My recommendation for this course if you want to score well: bring your straightest throwing discs. I have done well with my JLS, Viking, and Avenger SS. A floating disc is not necessarily needed unless a throw is made off of hole 18 over the creek. This is a well-maintained good course and definitely a worthy challenge.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Maybe Too Unforgiving
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: One of the good things about this course is that it is well maintained. The tee boxes are all cement, and the baskets are, if not pristine, at least functional. The course is also well marked with signs at the beginning of every hole and directions between many of the holes. The directions were particularly useful in the heavily forested section where I would have been completely lost, but even on my first time playing the course I was never confused about where to go.
The course layout itself is interesting and varied. The course includes doglegs in both directions, long straight holes, and short approach and putt holes. Every hole is like an interesting new puzzle that must be solved.
Cons: The most notable aspect of this course which I have not mentioned yet is the incredible difficulty. The first four holes are open, but after that every hole winds through thick forest and is constrained to incredibly narrow fairways. By the second nine I was relieved to see that any fairway was ten meters wide, because they were often much narrower. I consider myself an experienced player but I often double or triple bogeyed after bouncing back and forth between the brush on each side of the fairway.
This difficulty would have been one of the the courses greatest strengths except that the difficulty often seemed unfair and frustrating rather than fun. Often many trees were located in already narrow fairways which made strategies and skill irrelevant. Hitting or missing the trees was simply a matter of luck. Also several of the holes are elevated a meter off the ground which makes putting consistently much harder.
Other Thoughts: This course is very good due to its good maintenance and interesting variety, but the frustration prevents this course from being excellent. If some of the random aspects of this course are reduced then it could be one of the best in the Houston area. Ultimately if you enjoy a difficult course this is definitely worth a try.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: First few holes are open which allow you to warm up your game.
Controlled flights are demanded on the rest of this course.
Cons: I didn't see any ice cream trucks or topless women riding bareback on horses.
Other Thoughts: Course could use more of the former.
8 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Texas Army Trail DGC
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Texas Army Trail DGC was established in 2011 by Telge Disc Golf, Inc. at Bud Hadfield Park in Cypress, Texas. This moderately hilly and heavily wooded 18 hole disc golf course is a prime example of a professional course which requires both distance and accuracy to score well. With the exception of the first four holes, the entire course plays through extremely dense foliage with tight and unforgiving fairways that often times punishes shots that are off target. Most holes on the course provide multiple routes to the basket even though the fairway still requires shots to eventually dogleg left or right.
The Mach V baskets are durable and strategically placed, with many heavily guarded and even occasionally elevated on the top of tree stumps. Holes range in distance from 192-568 feet with two par 4's, making par for the course 56. Holes 13-18 play along a river but realistically, only holes 13 and 18 have water that come in to play. Holes 1-4 and 16-18 have alternate pin positions, which is great for locals who look for variation, and a practice basket was installed near hole one to get players dialed in before a round.
Cement tee pads and colorful metal signs were installed fairly recently throughout the course helping with navigation on each hole, making things much easier for those unfamiliar with the course. However, printing off a map is still a very good idea as there were a few spots where the map came in handy. Overall, the designers did an amazing job making a challenging course, testing players both mentally and physically. I was very impressed!
Coming from the Pacific Northwest where we have very few poisonous creatures lurking in the shadows, seeing a massive sign when first entered the park telling me to beware of Cottonmouth, Coral and Rattle snakes was a bit alarming. This had less to do with the course and more to do with the geographic location of course but was still a bit unsettling. My cousin tried to make me feel better however by telling me that the other two courses we previously played that day had the same issue but just didn't have an amazing sign to inform us about it. That helped, but not much.
As for the course itself, and as others have mentioned before, it would be nice to eventually see some of the old rusting appliances removed from the back nine. It is amazing to me that a stove could find itself clear across the course with no real way of getting there. I am guessing there was either a major flood or some moron decided to try and cook a brisket between holes. Either way, it is an eyesore.
Last, there were a few holes on the course where some of the dense foliage off the fairways could be cleaned up. Although almost every fairway is well maintained, once off the fairway it is another story. Some of the roughs resembled the Belizean jungle more than the Houston suburbs. Believe me, I've been there!
With family living in Cypress, I have the pleasure to visit the Houston area every so often and because of this, I have had the chance to play a few of the local courses. Of the courses I have played so far however, this one is my favorite! It reminds me a lot of SeaTac, one of my home courses in Seattle, WA, which is by far the hardest course in the state. It too has extremely long and tight fairways that reward accuracy and precision shooting over raw power and distance. Those who come looking to throw a high speed driver will be very disappointed once entering the woods as midrange and fairway drivers are king! I look forward to the next time I have the chance to play this diamond in the rough as it truly was a memorable experience. And yes…I did go for it on 18!
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -This is what disc golf is all about. A practice basket, cement tee pads, nice baskets, great tee signs just scratch the surface of what this course has to offer.
- The first few shots are your typical shorter, no obstacle shots that most Houston players are used to playing. But once you get to #5 the easy part is long gone. Each hole has a different approach to dogleg lefts to dogleg rights, every tee shot is different.
If you are one that enjoys scenic walks through nature, it does not get much better then this. There are a few long walks in between holes but you are walking through a very scenic forest that feels very peaceful.
There is a little bit of elevation. In Houston, that is really all you can ask for is just a bit.
There are benches, trash cans, and brooms for sweeping off the tee pads at almost every hole.
There are legitimate par 4's. 500' with an S-curve through the woods is a lot more exciting then 600' bomb in the open.
Cons: There is some old chairs and other appliances in the middle of a few fairways that sort of make the course look a bit trashy.
There are no bathrooms or water on the course so pack lots of water to fight the Texas heat.
Other Thoughts: This really is the prime destination in Houston. Combine this with Windwood and you have yourself a good duo up in northwest Houston. This is not a place to bring beginners as they will get frustrated easily, but even for the most expedienced players this will be a course to test your skill and your wit.
If you are in the Houston area this is an absolute must play.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course has the opportunity to be a gem. The concrete tee pads are nice as are the seats and or benches at every hole. The last throw over the creek is very memorable.
Cons: The course was litered with old appliances rusting in the woods. I saw a fridge and a oven. Why hasn't this been cleaned? Also the white and red tees need to be marked better than using some flags that can blow way or get knocked down. We had a tough time finding the shorts.
Other Thoughts: This course is tough but rewarding when you put that perfect touch on your disc to fly around each tree and bird a 300+ shot in the shire. Check it out, you'll only want to play it again.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The only course I know of in Harris County that gives you the slightest sense of what it is like to play this game outside of the state of Texas.
Cons: Apparently no one responsible for the design of this course has ever played McClain Park in San Antonio. If they had, they would have the balls to stand up to the ace-run obsessed complainers who have obviously demanded that this course be ruined for the sake of their bragging rights.
Every time you play this course, it will be a bit less like those outside of Texas, and a bit more like every other course in Harris County.
Despite making the fairways ever wider, they leave the underbrush just as dense all around. You can still lose a disc on almost every hole, you'll just have less excuse for having not kept it on the fairway. The course would have been much better served by thinning out the rough and keeping the links themselves narrow and challenging.
Other Thoughts: Take a weekend trip to San Antonio. Dine on the Riverwalk, see the Alamo, and then go throw a round (or two) at McClain Park DGC. Then come home and throw Texas Army Trail and remember what it looked like a year ago and what it looks like now.
Then weep over lost opportunities.
AFTER they put in the course signage, they have since moved a number of baskets closer to the tees (making the signs both wrong and confusing).
Every time I throw here, things get a bit wider, a bit shorter, a a bit straighter and the baskets get less and less well protected.
What a shame.
The first time I threw this course I threw a 70 and thanked gawd above it wasn't more like 85.
These days I'm having a horrible round if I can't throw below 60 and my game hasn't improved THAT much in the past year.
It used to be worth battling the traffic past the Galleria to get dog fights with the solo-driver F-350's on 288 because this course challenged and improved my game every time I threw here.
Now? I'll save myself the hour in the car and throw at TC Jester. The course is no less challenging at this point and there's far less risk of losing a disc.
16 of 21 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Wowwy Wow Wow
Pros: Holes 1-4 are wide open so get your birdies early. Love the baskets up high, utilizing tree stumps on 5 and 7. Holes 5-11 play through some tight alleys with plenty of trees to obstruct. They are all well designed but OH so very tight! Hole 11 has an awesome ending down into a gully. Hole 12 is across a small stream and is one of the few birdie holes (my only one!) #13 is 190ft with a river to the left. If you miss trees then you will play well. If you seem to always find wood, it makes for a long day. Hole 18 is one of the best in Houston.
Cons: Very few Cons actually. A few dead trees and vines that need to come down still. Other than that, just spectacular. Figure 2.5 hrs for a twosome.
Other Thoughts: I loved this course. Played it Monday in the drizzle and was so impressed, I had to play it today (Thursday) in the sunshine just to get a TRUE feel for it. The course is a tad long for those who love ace runs, but its an incredible journey through the woods. This course will someday be one of the Crown Jewels of the Houston Disc Golf scene.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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