two fun fun courses
3 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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
West Sound Jewel
8 Helpful / 0 Not
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!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Bud Pell @ Ross Farm
*Bud Pell @ Ross Farm in Silverdale, WA is a massive 18 hole disc golf course and incorporates a wide variety of terrain (woods, meadow, farm land) with rolling elevation. Installed in 2011, this course is another fine addition to the collection of courses maintained by the West Sound Disc Golf Association.
*Holes vary in both length and design, requiring a balanced attack with plenty of risk versus reward. Distance for the course totals 7,253 ft, with one Par 5, seven Par 4's, and 13 Par 3's, making Par for the course 63. Holes range from 185'-1022 ft, and often require power and precision.
*Course navigation is made easier w/ use of online map, but the tee signs and the next hole indicators were a nice addition. Chainstar baskets were all in great condition and easy to spot for the most part from the fairway.
*Other ameneities include paintballing, mini golf, and a golf driving range.
Hole #3 - 462 ft Par 4 through a tightly wooded, but well defined fairway moving from left to right.
Hole # 16 - 528 ft Par 4 throwing a huge RH hyzer downward over a meadow and in to the woods with a heavly guarded pin.
*Bud Pell @ Ross Farm suffers a bit due to its ability to retain water, especially on a lot of the front nine, which makes playing this course more difficult during certain times of the year . I played the day after it rained in July and my boots and socks were soaked after playing the first two holes.
*With the tall grass on a lot of the meadow holes, time spent searching for a disc can add up so use a spotter wisely and bright colored discs if you have them. Many of the wooded fairways, especially on some of the Par 4's, could still open up. I found it difficult sometimes to differentiate between the fairway and the rough as they were distinct. Again, this will improve over time and will eventually improve.
*The largest issue and most easily fixable however is the need for cement tee pads. With this course being so long, it is a must! Funds are being put together through the work of the local club through fundraisers and weeklies however.
Least Favorite Hole/s:
Hole # 5 - 564 Par 4 with great potential but still very undeveloped. Felt like two holes put together rather than one continuous beast. Excited to come back to see what this one looks like after more foot traffic.
**The West Sound has become a destination area for disc golfers in the state of Washington. With six courses within 15 minutes of one another (including NAD, Dalaiwood, Fairgrounds, Van Zee, Fredericksen, and now Bud Pell), it will appease everyone while challenging even the best. The WSDGA has continued to raise the bar with their dedication and determination. Thank you.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Another Nice Choice For Kitsap County Golfers!
Pros: Excellent variety between long (some really long) bomber holes and shorter, technical throws through beautiful Pacific Northwest forests. The course builders did a wonderful job of designing this masterpiece to keep you guessing? What kind of a hole will I come up against next? A 250 ft. ACE run? Or a 550 ft. uphill tunnel shot requiring two or even three precise shots? The baskets are brand new chainstar models. I completely agree with my esteemed fellow reviewer, Mr. sillybiz, that the baskets could really use a number plate on them. If not a number plate, I would be happy with a bright piece of tape with the basket number written on it with a sharpie. That would have seriously helped us a couple of times today with our navigation. The signs are great, informative ones, mounted on rustic wood branches, so very fitting for this course in the forest. There are rustic wooden benches at each hole also. There is one legitimate par 5, and seven par 4's. When you factor in some extreme length such as the 1022 ft. # 2, super tight/narrow/low ceiling on some of the shorter holes and uphill cranks on a couple of others, I believe these pars to be earned and legit. I found the enjoyment factor to be off the charts on many of these holes and really appreciated the mulitple routes available on # 14 and # 17. Both of these are possible ACE runs giving the right handed player the option of throwing a traditional hyser or a forehand or back handed annnie shot.
Cons: Two major cons jump out at you. The first is the pads. Currently, with the course in it's infancy, some of the pads are uneven, slick, muddy, dirt and too short. A few are better. As soon as I read about improved teepads here, I will bump my rating up to a 4.
The second problem is also major and not so easily solved. The first two holes play across marshy wetlands. They are going to be pretty much unplayable for much of our Northwest winter and spring here. They were awfully wet today in late June. Other than some kind of a redesign with a winter course, I don't have a great answer. It's a crying shame because these are two of the (many) signature holes on this course.
Another con that we found that can be corrected easily enough concerns navigation. We totally played to the wrong basket on # 5. # 5 is the one down the little road to the right. Here is when a number plate or a taped # on the basket could have saved us quite a lot of time. There were no laminated maps in the little box near the # 1 teebox and I couldn't get the on-line version to print. A map would have saved us some time navigating. My next time here, it will be a breeze.
Other Thoughts: All in all, this is a wonderfully designed, enjoyable, challenging course. My pro partner shot even and wants to come back and shot under. I shot 14 over and enjoyed myself immensely. I, however, have no chance in hell of ever shooting under par on this course. I love the fact that players of all skill levels can come here and compete and enjoy themselves without being totally overwhelmed by it's distance or it's challenge. It does have that Horning's Hideout/Shelton Springs Vibe. Good comparison, sillibiz! The Kitsap peninsula has become quite a disc golf mecca.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Strange name - good course
Pros: The Bud Pell course has some interesting design and a couple of really fun holes. I really like how the par four holes were broken up with some shorter holes in between them with the exception of the first three holes, kind of a brutal way to start a course. The combination of open/long wooded/long wooded/short works really well in this golfers mind and were put to excellent use. I feel like the designer(s) did an amazing job using the wonderful piece of property here and did not waste any of it. This place has a couple of different looks to it and many times I was reminded of courses like Shelton Springs, Horning's Hideout (there were even peacocks!) and a couple of courses on the East Coast that I have played.
I thought hole two was very thought out, I was a bit skeptical as so few par fives in disc golf are ever super good, IMO. This hole is open for the drive but you have to pick a good landing zone on the top of the hill to be able to have a good position on the next shot. The next throw is going through some thick trees on a tight line back into the open field to your third shot (if you're lucky) which will be about a 200 foot wide open approach. It would be nice if this third approach had some sort of obstacle or out of bounds or something challenging your third shot. This is an excellent par five for mortals but my belief is that it will be a tweener for elite professional players.
Cons: One of my biggest issues for this course is that fairways are not defined enough. You're not sure where to throw to and sometimes you can land in the middle of stinging nettles and be in the fairway. Obviously this course is new but some brush clearing on the ground would go a long ways to help shape the fairways and aid in navigation as well. Speaking of navigation...
The Chainstar baskets are great baskets but they need to have number plates because you're not sure which is the right basket even with the printed map just having the numbers on the baskets would make it so much easier, I suppose this is where DISCatchers have an advantage. The tee signs help greatly and so does the map but there are still some very confusing sections here and a couple of strange walkouts, going to hole 14 rings a bell.
The grass in the field is mowed slightly in places I'm guessing to try and show the fairway but it is not enough at all. Still there is a ton of looking for discs in this grass and you are throwing in an open field. Also a couple of limbs here and there to clear out somewhat of a ceiling like on hole 18 where there is a very narrow route but they you need the disc to go to the left with a very low ceiling. I would have to play this hole a couple more times but as of now I can't see getting to this hole in one throw unless you are lucky cutting through some branches and bushes. A couple of limbs here and there on this hole and a couple others would go along way.
Teepads!!! This course needs tee pads more than any other course I have ever seen. How am I supposed to throw a 1000 foot hole with a 3 foot long tee pad made out of slippery dirt/mud? If not concrete or fly pads then carpet would work very well. I've seen carpet work in plenty of places and I have no complaints about it.
Other Thoughts: I feel bad about this review because I feel the potential is there. There are some spectacular holes here already that I feel rivals some of the best courses I have seen but there are enough cons right now and more specifically fun eating cons that I can't rate it any higher now. In the future when I come back and play it in the months and years to come I can only see raising my rating for this course.
This is an interesting place that even has a Golf driving range, Mini Golf, and Paintball to go along with the Disc Golf.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Quality baskets, informative tee signs present on every hole, good layout that plays sensibly.
-Not crowded (yet).
-A variety of short, long (#2 is 1022 ft par 5), open, wooded holes. Elevation comes into play on maybe five holes, most significantly on number one.
-There are a lot of benches at the tee boxes. -Pleasant scenery (typical of courses in the area).
-There is a practice basket.
-The adjacent paintball park has stated that they will be carrying some discs for sale; I didn't go by there to check, and the paintball field was not open on the Monday afternoon I played.
-The local association is very active.
-Underbrush is not bad on the majority of holes (although I did lose a disc when a bad bounce sent me OB into the wilderness).
Cons: -Concrete tee pads not installed yet, although the boxes are well-defined.
-A regular stroller would not be able to navigate the course; a jogging stroller *might* work.
-The baskets are not numbered.
-Kiosk did not have any maps.
-I didn't spot anything in the way of facilities (water/bathrooms/trash cans) on the course itself.
Other Thoughts: I ran into Mr. Ross as I was leaving and was very impressed with his friendliness and good nature.
Be sure to close any gates that you go through.
My first play-through took about 3 hours and involved some backtracking to figure out where to go. It is a demanding course compared to NAD, for example.
The drive from tee #2 actually goes dead straight (parallel to the fence on your right); the tee sign makes it look like you should go left a bit.
When on #5, and trying to decide which path to take into the woods from the landing zone, stick all the way to the right, along the fence.
When walking from #16 to the tee box on #17, cross the dirt road heading towards the ball golf driving range, and you'll see the practice basket and #17's basket near to it. The tee is to your left (North), up the hill.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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