Great Technical Course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The basic items check out. There are cement tees, Innova Discatcher baskets, good signage, and some benches. I hardly noticed them, which is a good thing 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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Texas Army Trail DGC
10 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!
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 3 Not
Congrats Army Trail - I'm Impressed!
Pros: You have to love the design here. There are plenty of anhyzers and hyzers to keep any arm style happy and challenged. The trees are big and the lines are unforgiving, and by Houston standards - this becomes instantly epic. Even the first four open holes manage keep the pins tucked back in the long positions. Also, one cool little touch is the crossroads sign in the woods pointing holes areas as well as distances to other nearby courses.
Some holes have two pin position options and was in the long positions when we played. This was great because it was amazing just how different the hole became with another fifty feet. There are handmade wooden benches on many holes, and the paths are mulched and easy to follow if you pay attention. Holes 5-11 are killer, and making a three is reason to celebrate. A few of the pins are even raised up on cut trees giving the putter something to think about.
Holes 16-18 are gorgeous and treacherous with the creek running along the left side mixed with subtle undulating terrain. Hole 18 is fantastic as it makes you pick your line. Do you make the big throw over the drink to have a shot at bird, or play it safe along the path in hopes of saving par? I always love a course where the round isn't decided until the last putt.
Parks and rec. installed a huge parking lot area, there is practice basket near #1, and quality signage as well as concrete tees are in place.
Best Hole/s: #11; #13; #18
Cons: People who frequent this site won't think of this as a negative, but this is not a course for beginners. Truly some lines border on fiancee to pinball shots. The winding lines and brutal length on holes 5-11 is enough to make any amateur throw up their hands and surrender, and this comes from someone who prefers the tight and wooded over an open power course.
Worst Hole: #3
Texas Army Trail is ready to roll and with signage and concrete pads finally in - you can truly sit back and admire the work and effort that has taken place to make this course what it has become.
Design is king. In the world of Texas disc golf, Houston is low on the destination, but with a challenging designs that maximizes the terrain and foliage - that is starting to change. Along with Oak Meadows DGC
and Windwood Presbyterian DGC
, the northwest corner trio is now a real haven for the serious golfer. These courses will test your accuracy, length, and ability to improvise a shot on the fly. This certainly isn't the Anges Moffitt Park
or Bear Branch Sportsfield Park
type of Houston courses that I learned to play on, and finally gives new golfers the ability to improve on their game without making a trek to Austin.
18 of 21 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 3 Not
Should get better over time
Pros: This course is a fantastic addition to the Houston disc golf landscape. It has bright, new, shiny MachV baskets. Most of the fairways are tight and force you to hit specific lines to be in position to make your next shot. Unlike many Houston courses bad drives here will be punished by a stroke or more. This is the type of course where driving with a midrange to stay in the fairway might be a better strategy than kicking a high speed driver off a tree deep into the woods. There are multiple pin positions on a few of the holes, most notably the first four: the easy ("A") positions are all out in the open, the "B" positions are tucked into the woods making for much tougher birdies. There's some minor elevation in play. Two RHBH anhyzer holes with the creek on the left add a good pucker factor to the course. Benches on some holes with more planned. Concrete tee boxes on every hole and excellent signage are great additions to this course.
Cons: The course is still new and needs some breaking in and final clearing of fairways. No restrooms.
Other Thoughts: Chuck and his work crew deserve huge props for making this labor of love come to life. Thousands and thousands of man hours have been poured into this course. "TAT" has become one of the top courses in Houston, consider it a destination course if you're coming in from out of town.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful.
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