Respect the course
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: HUGE variation which includes nearly every type of hole, and I can't stress this one enough. The Blue tees are excellent with benches and trash cans. Good signage directing play.
Cons: Red tees are often dirt and/or uneven, much lower quality than the blues. With the current layout there is quite a bit of unnecessary walking when playing the reds. Some fairways cross or are close together.
Other Thoughts: As some have mentioned the course seems to be having trouble with people abusing the course. Use the trash receptacles! If you can't find a litter bin, pack it out. This is a free sport, so respect the grounds you're playing on, or you'll lose them.
Personally I liked the tight techy layout of the nearby fairgrounds more, but I've rated this one higher because Bud Pell has something for everyone including a monster long hole for people who love long open drives.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Fun and Challenging Private Course
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth the Trip. I played this course on a disc golf trip to Washington. This course immediately made my "DGCR Favorites" list. The design takes full advantage of the variety of terrains and elevation changes. This is a privately owned 18 Hole course that plays through wooded areas, across a long meadow and around a hidden grassy glen.
I used bullet points if you don't want to read the entire review.
Variety and challenge. Except for the more wide open holes this design takes full advantage of the moderately wooded areas and the elevation changes. The wooded fairways were wide and fair with ample landing zones. There is a large grassy clearing around holes 5-6 and 12-14. It is a rolling grassy glen that provides some open fairway shots and more elevation challenges.
Two sets of Tees. Both sets of tees are fun and challenging. Most of the tees are natural, but all were very well marked and made navigation very easy. The shorter red tees were all dirt/natural and had easy to see tee markers. Some blue tees had pavers. Hole 18 is a concrete tee shared by Red and Blue. The Blue tees have benches, signs and trash cans.
Blue Tees. These are longer and more challenging and require a greater variety of shots. Except for the meadow holes, nearly every Blue tee has some type of elevation change in play along the fairway. Players must also navigate dog legs and choke points. These natural obstacles place a premium on hitting specific landing zones if you want a chance at par. New players might be frustrated by the length and challenge of the Blue Tees.
Red tees. All the Red tees are clearly marked with cut logs that have been numbered and painted red. These are better suited for newer or less skilled players. The Red tees remove most of the dog legs but players still need some accuracy and skill to score well. There are different Red tees on every hole, except 18 tee which is shared with Blue.
Navigation was very easy. There were framed signs on all the blue tees. The graphics were great with current information including directions to the next tee. There were painted fairway markers on the longer holes and to mark the dog legs. There were also color coded navigation arrows pointing to some of the Red or Blue Tees. The signs and trash bags are very creatively mounted at each tee, some using downed logs, a funky branch, a nearby tree or stump.
Disc Golf Only - Except for the one area fenced off for paintball, players have this beautiful area to enjoy playing disc golf. No need to worry about joggers or dog walkers or people having picnics in the fairways.
Practice basket. There is a nice practice green and open area next to the parking lot for warming up before the round. There were information signs and maps next to the parking lot that borders Hole 1.
18 in a row - or not. Once you leave Hole 1, the course does not return to the parking area until after Hole 18. If you plan to play all 18, plan accordingly. However, it is easy enough to play a smaller 6 to 10 hole loop if you don't have time to play all 18. For an 8 hole loop, play 1 through 4, then turn around and play 15 - 18. For a 6 hole loop play 1-3, then 16-18. To play a 10 hole loop add 13 and 14 after you play Hole 4.
New players. Red tees are more appropriate since they are shorter and easier than the Blue tees. There is not a lot of underbrush in the woods where players can lose discs. The meadow and grass areas were well maintained and not overgrown. While it does have elevation, it is not super steep or too rugged. First timers could also play the smaller loops if they can't play a full 18.
Unique extras. Nearly every blue tee had homemade benches along with signs and ash buckets. The Red tee markers were created from wooden logs that are painted red. All the baskets are topped with custom number plates also made from logs. All this helps with navigation, plus gives the course a unique personality. All these custom touches add to the experience and are visible in the course photos.
Clean and well maintained. It is obvious the owners (and players) are taking great care of this course. There were ash cans and trash bags on the Blue tees . The cans are being serviced. I did not see any bottles, cans or cigarettes butts on the course. Thanks to those that carry out garbage.
Personality without gimmicks. Some private courses rely on gimmicks or cute hole names and unnatural OB to add personality and challenge. This course if full of truly unique holes that take full advantage of the distinctive natural features without being gimmicky. Blue 6 is a challenging Par 4 dogleg that plays along the edge of the grassy glen, turns right at the Red tee and then plunges back into the woods. Blue 4 requires players to throw over a live electric fence. The basket for 7 is mounted in the rocks. Hole 10 basket is mounted on the stump of a downed tree that adorns the uphill fairway.
Custom Made and Recycled. All the markers, benches and sign posts are custom made from wood and/or repurposed materials. There are also DIY ash cans on the tees. The ash cans are an extra nice touch because I don't recall seeing a cigarette butt on the course. Thank you to all the folks that devoted the time to make all these extras.
Kids and Strollers. Red course would be OK for older kids that can play and/or walk along. If the youngsters can't do an entire 18 holes, there is an option to play the shorter 6 or 8 hole loops described above. I don't know that you can push a weighed down stroller in the meadow, even when dry. Overall, the course is probably a little too rugged for ordinary strollers and the toddler crowd. There was only one portable restroom located in the paintball parking area. There are no facilities of any kind on the course.
Private Course for daylight use only. Please be respectful of the owners and the posted hours. Pick up after yourself.
I did not personally experience a lot of cons.
Natural Tees. The natural tees could get a bit muddy. They were fine when I played and it was raining lightly when I played. Perhaps the owners are trying to keep the land as undeveloped as possible.
Competing Fairways. Players must cross a couple of fairways walking from basket 11 to Hole 12. The grassy glen fairways have landing zones that could overlap a little. Tee 13 Red could get unwanted action from 12 and 14. If it is not crowded, these are not concerns.
Paintball. If paintball is in progress you cannot play 4 Blue. I played on a weekday morning without paintball players. I enjoyed a quiet and peaceful experience in the woods. Having people on the paintball could change that.
Soggy. The meadow on Holes 2 & 3 that other reviewers complain about was very dry when I played. There was no standing water and no tall grass.
Restrooms - The only restroom I found was a portable located in paintball check in area. Maybe they have more during the summer.
Recommended by locals. I am glad I got to play this course. There are a lot of great choices in the area. Some local players I met while playing NAD recommended I play Bud Pell instead of other area courses or going to Seattle.
Electric Fences. Some of the fences and gates on and around the course are electric and will shock you if they are turned on. Please follow the signs to the proper gates at 4 and 15. Please close all gates behind you.
Keep it Clean. Please use the plentiful trash bags and the custom ash cans to keep this course looking beautiful.
Daylight use only. Please be respectful of the posted hours.
Private Course. The course is well maintained and offered lots of amenities on each tee. All the extras I expect from a private facility. Be polite and respectful when using the course. It is a privilege to play here.
Bremerton Area. Wish I had more time to play the courses in this area. There are some top notch disc golf courses on the West Sound. In addition to great disc golf courses, the area has enough population to have all the comforts of city life without all the crowds and traffic.
Hotel. I stayed at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Bremerton. This is right next to the NAD Disc Golf Course. The room was clean and included breakfast. I got a rate in line with other hotels in the area. It was right next to the freeway, so the noise might bother some folks. However, it looked nicer and better maintained than the other nearby hotels.
Full set of course photos. The photos show the extras on each tee and the great course conditions. However, they don't begin to capture all the natural beauty of this disc golf course.
Rating. I give a 5 for fun and overall experience. 5 for providing challenge, variety and elevation changes. 5 for being worth the trip and a 5 for personality and custom touches. However, there is room for improvement, so I rate it 4.5.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Variety, variety, variety! A+
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Red and Blue tee boxes make this a great course for beginners and more experienced players.
Wide variety of hole angles coupled with various types of terrain make for a great course.
Overall, this is my favorite course to play.
Cons: One of the blue tee boxes in not available on weekends while paintballers are present.
This just means you will shoot from the red tee box but if you are like me, you only get to play on weekends and the blue tee is never available. I have played on weekdays and started from the blue and would like to play from it more often.
Other Thoughts: Some people list the wet conditions of hole #2 and #3 as a Con however, with a good pair of shoes this should not be considered a Con.
While being on Private Property is not directly a Con this course is at risk of being closed down due to litter and prohibited acts on the course. Please be respectful on this course to keep it open.
If you have ever had the pleasure to speak with the man leasing the property, Donnie I think it was, great guy, you would know that the Paintballers pay the lease to the Disc Golf course. If they are present near any of the boarders of the course and their field, please give them the right away.
If you do not choose to give them the right away then you can atleast chip in a couple bucks into the metal donation tube near the billboard by Tee #1.
If you come across trash do your part and bring it to the trash bag at the next tee box.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
two fun fun courses
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Two courses...one long (blue) and one short (red). Red plays fast and easy...great for beginners (I take my grandkids here to learn.) Blue is the red course on steroids. Warm up with a round of red then play blue...that is a fun day of disc! I love the lake on 15...if you overturn/throw you will lose a disc.
Cons: Much has been already written. Couple of thoughts. Pads are mostly junk for both courses...uneven, ruined carpet or whatever. This is probably the biggest need for the courses. Hole 4 blue course is in the paintball area so you can't play it on the weekend and is by far one of the hardest par 4's on the course. Busy course weekends and afternoons.
Other Thoughts: I play here at least once a week and I have not had any major problems with the criss cross fairways if you know the course and use a little common sense. Don't let this be the reason you don't play here again. Many mornings I'm the only one here. Hole 18 could use another tee pad for red...
Love the basket for 7 (in a large boulder) and 10 (in a stump).
I know the guy who hauls out your trash...give him a hand and haul your stuff out...thanks.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Course has some length which is somewhat rare in the area.
Cons: The flow of the course, from tee to basket to next tee, is highly suspect. Hole #3 is ridiculous in lenghth - and I mean ridiculous as in pointless. Might be wise to wear a helmet if playing on a busy day, numerouse fairways play across each other.
Other Thoughts: With the area available there are numerous possibilities for a wide range of shots to play. Unfortunately I feel to current layout makes to least of the resources availble. I think the entire layout needs to be reworked.
0 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Just a super fun course. Lots of variety. I like a simple review that says yes play here or stay away. Im not a technical player and just enjoy the sport. I say you should play this course if you have the chance
Cons: None really
Other Thoughts: I have played a few hundred courses around the world in the past 15 years and this is on my top 20! List for fun
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
West Sound Jewel
Excellent mix of terrain, length, hole shape and features
Seven Par 4's and one par 5
Scenic, beautiful setting
Very tight in some sections with potential safety issues around tees
Private land requires opening, crossing, and closing gates and fences
Holes 11 -14 need a re-design to deal with safety of crossing fairways and blind walkouts in front of tees
The Bud Pell at Ross Farm is an excellent, challenging course that is a lot of fun. Set in the fields and forests of Ross Farm, the course takes you from wide open pastures to tight line fairways, from downhill bombs to uphill squeakers, and from ace run par 3's to par 4's and 5's requiring precision shot making to score well. This is what disc golf design should be moving towards in the future! With short tees available (I only played the longs) this course can be fun for everyone. The long tees are very challenging, and experienced golfers will find a new challenge at every tee box. This is classic Pacific Northwest golf: big trees, forested fairways, a scenic setting, and adds in the diversity of playing in part on farmland with pastures and ponds adding to the mix. It's a great course and another feather in the cap of the West Sound Disc Golf Association.
The best things about this course and design are the varied hole lengths, shapes and terrain. You quickly move from open to forested to mixed and the lengths and shapes of the holes keep changing as you move through. Holes 2-4 challenge you from the very beginning with the par 4 Hole 2 requiring a long blind downhill dogleg right that must carry a fence but not stray too far straight ahead or you are in the long wet grass, and that's just to get you in position for your approach. Hole 3 is a monstrous 1022 foot par 5 with a tree line about 600 feet down the fairway you must negotiate to get set up for your approach. Then it is into the woods and the first hole is a tricky uphill par 4 with fair but tight lines and an OB fence all the way down the left side just waiting for your disc to get kicked. By the time I got to Hole 5 I wasn't sure if I was in love or just had Stockholm Syndrome! It is rare to find a disc golf course with the challenge and varied terrain of the Bud Pell, and designed to clearly push the sport forward into the future.
With that being said, there are a few things about the space available for the course and the design in a few spots that prevent this from being the 4 or 4.5 rated course I think it could be. In the case of the area around holes 4-6 where the available space is very compressed I don't think there is a solution. There was at least one safety net protecting players but I imagine on a crowded day it might be a problem. This is also one of the areas where you encounter the (sometimes electric) fencing on the course which allows disc golf to co-exist with a working farm. It is basically well signed and well explained what not to do, and how to unhook and re-hook the fence when crossing it, but since disc golfers are involved I imagine it is sometimes not given the attention it needs by players. Considering the needs of the land owners I think it is extraordinary that it seems to be working well so far, and an all too rare example of generosity and cooperation that make it work on both sides.
As much as I loved this course I do have a serious criticism about a small part of the design, and I think it must have a solution. I may be missing something, or just unaware of some constraints on this part of the course, but the section from holes 10-14 has a bewildering amount of fairways crossing and walkouts bringing players directly into the path of tee boxes and in front of baskets. I may have just not known the right path to take but it seemed like there must be some way to clean up that corner, whether re-numbering holes or something else.
I think both these areas are a product of space limitation more than anything, and as such any solutions will be somewhat limited. Considering the compressed nature of some of the space available and the fact that this course is open and free to the public but located on private property, the Bud Pell is an amazing accomplishment in today's world of disc golf and course design. With the short tees making the course attractive to beginners and the long tees challenging the most experienced disc golfers, this course is a serious winner. There are always more amenities to add in teepad improvements, benches, etc and I am sure the WSDGA will continue to pimp out the Pell. With some more maturing, primping, and addressing the design problems in the back corner, this course would easily get a 4 or 4.5 rating. The Bud Pell is a must play!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
What a difference a month makes!
Pros: - Very challenging! There is something really cool about playing holes that are par 5, over 1000 feet long and span 3 full fields.
- Good course variation. You will shoot over swamps, around paint ball players, near electric fences, adjacent to ponds. You won't shoot two holes in a row that feel the same.
- Very well marked! A month ago, this would have been a con as the signs were horrible. The course admins have done a fantastic job of fixing what was once a glaring issue. Each hole is now marked with little arrows to blue and red tees.
- Vegetation is a lot better! It looks like a lot of work has been made to give the course a cleaner look, that include clearing out some nettles, errant logs, wire fences, stumps and other obstacles.
Cons: - Red approaches need a lot of work! Blue tees are flat and maintained. The red tees seem more like an after-thought and several are little more than a dirt patch with a small log to mark their forward boundary.
- The lay-out of the course lends itself to groups shooting over one another and walking through each other's line of play. This is mainly an issue around hole 6, 12, 13, etc.
- Beware the paint-ballers! You may share time with the paint ball players who occupy the adjacent plot of land.
- Parking area is a tad small.
- Tall grass and swampy in early areas. I would suggest water proof boots and long pants for this course.
- No disk return box near the bulletin board.
Other Thoughts: The first time I went to BP I thought the course was absolutely horrible. The signs were almost non-existent and everything was grossly over-grown. Recent improvements have changed my view greatly! The first time (our group of 3) played here, it took us 3 1/2 hours to get through. We left angry, confused and mentally tired (exactly opposite of what I usually feel while playing disk golf). After going back with a different group of 3, with the marked fields and cleaner appearance, it took us just over 90 minutes to play the round. I would now feel comfortable recommending this course to everyone, especially to those who welcome a challenge and a good test of your skill.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Bud Pell at Ross Farm
Pros: -A nice little course guidelines board at the beginning of the course. UPDATE: A new bulletin board has been added complete with full size course map.
-Good signage throughout course, specifically i really liked that they have different color stakes placed to give you a rough idea of distance remaining to pin
-Great tees, they're all either concrete or gravel with support bars. First time i've seen this type of gravel tee and i really liked it.
-Wide variety of holes, you've got your typical pacific NW wooded holes and also some wide open holes where you can really rip it.
-Benches at each tee are nice for taking quick break or setting disc bags on.
-Some great pin placement. There's an elevated pin, a pin staked into a grouping of rocks etc.
Cons: -Parking lot is a tad small, i could see this being an issue in the busier spring/summer months
-Although the signage is good, the layout could confuse a first timer. Bring a tour guide of you can.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this course. I was a little apprehensive to try it since i was warned of the difficulty level, although it plays harder than a course like NAD its a great place to come once you've gotten down your basic game to work on your skills. I loved the wide open holes where i could really let it rip and work on my power. It also gives a great opportunity to throw a bunch of extra discs and get a feel for whats in your bag. There are some super memorable holes on the course too, from #3's 1000ft trek to my personal favorite #18, which seems straight forward but allows you to take a multitude of approaches to. I think this may have surpassed Dalaiwood as my favorite course in the area.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Bring everything you've got
Pros: This course will challenge any level of player. You have to use every shot and disc in your bag at some point, and will probably even have to try something you've never tried before at least once. There is no safe hole on this course. Even the shorter holes have something to throw you off, whether it's low ceilings, tight windows, or trees and bushes. Hole 2 is an experience in itself that I recommend to every disc golfer, no matter how long they've been playing. It might drive you to sell your discs and pursue a career as a professional putt putt golfer, but it's still an experience that everyone should have at least once in their life. Personally I wish I lived closer, because the few times I've played it just haven't been enough. The first time I was here we finished our round and then played 2 repeatedly (at least 4 times) until it was too dark to see.
The variation in holes is perfect on this course. There are the holes like 1, 2, 12, and 13 that really let you air it out. Then there are heavily wooded holes like 14, gigantic S-curves like 10 and 16, and plenty of elevation change.
The risk on this course is through the roof, but so is the reward. Being a player who approaches the game with a "why not try the hard way?" attitude, I love playing courses like this. You get so many opportunities to try that crazy shot through a window that's too small for any sane person to try. Granted, that attitude plus this course equals a brutal score only surpassed by SeaTac and occasionally Terrace Creek , but I'm just having too much fun to care.
Cons: I guess the tee pads can be called a con. I don't mind gravel really, but it can definitely hurt your run up if it's too worn in. Luckily they added concrete tiles to the pad for 2 for a more solid base.
Some of these holes just don't make sense to you the first time through. Hole 5 is a prime example:
A decent drive sets you up for a blind shot down a narrow alley with OB/electric fence/paintball on the right and a random collection of trees on the left. Two shots later, after you've been shocked and pelted with paint, you're back in the trees on the left and taking one of those crazy trick shots that probably won't work (but sometimes does) to set up for a difficult putt for bogey. I can speak from experience on the latter, but I've been lucky enough to avoid the former scenario. I just described a very challenging hole, but you'll see what I mean if you go actually look at the hole. As has been stated before on this site, it kind of feels like two holes spliced together, and not very gracefully. Holes 1, 13, and 16 don't make a lot of sense the first time either. I can't call them cons because they're some of my favorite holes on the course, but if you haven't played a monstrous course like this before you won't expect them to be quite so… Mean.
The flow in the middle of the course is a bit confusing. They did a great job of using every inch and slope of the meadow for 11, 12, and 13 without them encroaching on each other's fairways, but it still throws you off after you finish 10.
It has to be said even though I've played the course in both fall and winter and haven't had any issues with it myself: The marshy area for holes 1 and 2 can provide a serious damper (no pun intended) to the beginning of your round. Wear Gore Tex. You're playing in the Northwest. You should be wearing it anyway.
Other Thoughts: This course doesn't like you. It just doesn't. It's paid the trees to play solid zone defense and the wind to mug your drives. Luckily for you the wind and trees have minds of their own and sometimes give the course the finger and help you out instead. But of course Bud Pell is a bully and will still try to find a way to hurt you. It's like a puppy with an attitude problem though. It might ruin your day by eating your shoes, but it's impossible to stay mad at and keeps you coming back for more.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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