California Oaks and Cows
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: California Oaks
In driving around California, I am always looking at the rolling grassy countryside scattered with grazing cows and giant oak trees thinking: "That would be a great place to play disc golf ." Well, here is your chance to play among the towering California oaks complete with a herd of cattle. This rural piece of land is bordered by farms, ranches, orchards and the King River.
I used bullet points for those that don't want to read the entire review.
If you build it, they will come.
Proof you can put a good course anywhere and folks will find it. While it is not really in the middle of nowhere, it is in rural Central California. If you are traveling in the area and driving by, this course is worth stopping by. Don't pass up a chance to play a fun natural course among the mature oaks and the cows. It is very close to HWY 99. There is a gas station and convenience store at the exit where you can load up on supplies. To get to the course you have to drive down a narrow farm road past almond orchards, vineyards and berry fields. At the end of the road is a gate at what appears to be the main parking area. The gate is kept locked to keep the cattle in. Climb through the fence to get onto the property.
Variety of Shots
This course really makes the most of the gentle elevation changes on the property. It also maximizes the use of the mature oaks. Some shots require placement on the drive to have the opportunity to par. Other holes are short enough to provide birdie opportunities for all. The shorter holes are generally a little more technical. The stretch of long holes from 12 through 15 is more wide open and offers a little less variety, but it is nice to be able to air out some big drives. Some of the longer holes, still end up with a challenging pin position among the trees. Designer made excellent use of the property.
I like the novelty of playing on a disc golf course with the cows. You may have to skip a basket or tee during your round if the cows happen to be hanging out nearby. Please don't spook the cattle. If you don't like dusty walk in the wilderness and navigating by a map, don't bother to play here. There are no signs, no running water, no restrooms and no trash cans. If you like an adventure and want to experience disc golf in an undeveloped and natural environment, you should enjoy this course. Although not rocky or terribly rugged, this course absolutely qualifies as a Western Disc Golf experience.
Solitary round of golf
While I was not the only disc golfer out on the course, I never ran into the other players. I honestly felt like I had the entire place to myself on both visits. I was playing in this hot and dusty landscape with a couple of cows nearby and all I could hear was a lone hawk screeching from a nearby treetop. The only thing missing from the eerie scene from a spaghetti western was some buzzards circling overhead. I imagine rural California looked and felt a lot like this back in the 1800's.
Pack it in and Pack it out
There are no trash cans on the property. Please carry out your own trash. Most folks seem pretty good about carrying stuff out, others apparently like to hide it among the trees. I filled the bags I brought along on my rounds, but there is still more out there. I didn't see a whole lot of cigarette butts and there is no graffiti. Although there are some bullet holes in the number plate for three.
Challenging but OK for Beginners
Although the course does provide a challenge for more experienced players, beginners should still be able to play here. Again, not a manicured city park, so if your new player doesn't want to be out in the wilderness, don't bring them here. The challenge lies in avoiding the oak trees and vegetation, so new players could end up in the rough, but it is doubtful they could lose a disc. The river is fenced off to keep in the cattle so there is no water in play.
As of June 2015, there are still no signs of any kind on the course. You will need a map to play. Someone has spray painted the number of the hole on each tee. The DGA targets do have numbers that can be seen from the fairways. Some of the tees have bright orange pylons. However, some pylons are missing or faded and can be difficult to spot for first timer.
Numbering & Routing
After parking, you may notice the target for Hole 1 to your left. It is easier to start on Hole 2 and avoid walking all the way down the fairway for one and right back where you stared. Simply play Hole 1 after Hole 18 and end up here just steps from your parked car.
All 18 in a row
Once you get started (whether on Hole 1 or Hole 2), you play all 18 holes before getting back to the parking area. If you can't play all 18, you can cut out after Hole 11 and walk back to the car. The tee for Hole 12 is somewhat "close" to the parking lot, so you could run back to the car for supplies here if needed. I am old so I don't have the energy to do that. I carry enough water to last the entire round.
Worth the trip - Twice!
While it is in "the middle of nowhere", it was worth the short drive to get here from Visalia. My first round was in the late afternoon in blazing temps over 100 degrees. However, the mature oaks provided ample opportunities for shade during the round. I enjoyed the sunset at the course so much, I decided to come back early in the morning to play another round here instead of bagging a couple of other nearby courses. I rarely pass up the chance to play new courses so far from home, so that really says something for this one.
Kids and Strollers
The land is probably a little too rugged for most strollers or disc carts. The course is long and some areas are too exposed for the little ones to have fun tagging along. Strollers would have to contend with dusty, sandy soil and rugged vegetation. I would only recommend taking older kids. If the kids are not up for an entire round, you could play 1 - 11 and head back to the car. There are no restrooms, no running water and no facilities of any kind here. Your kids can get to see cows up close. You can also show them the farms on the way in to the course. It is interesting to see the almond orchards and vineyards up close and personal.
Please don't bring your dog unless it absolutely knows how to behave around cattle. Please keep your dog on a leash and don't allow your dog to spook or chase the cattle. While cows harmless, they may react unpredictably to dogs.
Errant shots can find some OB fences on a couple of holes, but generally there is little chance to lose a disc here. The river is fenced off from the course along Holes 8 & 9, so the river doesn't come into play, but the barbed wire fence does.
Pay to Play
A donation box has been installed on the first tee. There is nothing to indicate how much you should pay and there are no receipts. An information board by the first tee would be most helpful.
Time of Year
In June the land is not very green or grassy that time of year. It was pretty hot, dry and dusty out there. The original photos posted back in 2011, show a lot of green grass. I don't know if the land is overgrazed now, or if it is always this barren in the summer. Hopefully it still gets green every winter. While it was hot, it was still playable. There was plenty of shade available to find a cool spot. This could just be due to the current drought in California.
There are no facilities of any kind at the course. There is no running water anywhere. There are no portable johns. However, the entire course is in the wilderness, so there are plenty of places to take care of business. There is cow poop everywhere, so watch for fresh pies and poison oak.
Signs and Navigation
Don't play without a map. All targets are properly numbered and every tee has been spray painted with the hole number. If they are not allowed to do signs, I would recommend using "ski poles" at each tee pad so they can be a little more visible than the current traffic pylons.
No facilities, running water or trash cans
I don't really consider these cons, but if you aren't prepared, it could be no fun. On some holes you are very exposed to the sun and elements. Be prepared. Bring the map, plenty of water and use sunscreen. No restrooms or portables. Expect bugs as it is next to the river. Watch for poison oak.
No Trash Cans
Means some idiots don't carry the garbage out, or they leave it in the parking area. Please don't be like that. Take your garbage and your cigarette butts home with you.
Not in the city
Set on grazing land in the rural California countryside because cows don't live in the city. It isn't out of the way if you are traveling on Hwy 99 between Visalia and Fresno.
If you haven't played on a natural course outside a traditional city park, why not give this place a try? See cows and rural California up close and personal. Bring the map, lots of water and sunscreen. Great chance to wear your boots!
Worth the stop/drive.
I enjoyed the course and was glad I stopped to play. It is right off Hwy 99 between Fresno and Visalia. While this is not a destination course, if you are already in the area and you have some time, you should check it out.
I don't know if there is poison oak here or not. However, I would watch out for it anyway as this is the perfect environment for it.
Visalia and Giant Sequoias
I stayed overnight in Visalia on this road trip. Visalia was a great stopping point for a rest for the night and to get some disc golf in before touring the Sequoia National Forest. What an awesome sight-seeing trip. I could have bagged more courses, but if you haven't had a chance to see the Giant Sequoias, they definitely rate 5 discs and provide a sense of awe.
This one cannot be repeated enough! Don't forget to bring the map. I don't think it is even possible to play this course the first time without a map or guide.
I give it a high rating for originality. The design is perfect for the property and environment. The course is challenging enough for experienced players but can still be enjoyed by newer players. Signage and navigation detract from the overall experience so I will give it a 4. Someone let me know if they ever add tee signs and I will immediately raise the rating.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is an old county park that has been closed down but the disc golf course is still intact. The baskets were refreshingly in really good condition and well marked. The Tee were solid concrete but were not market. There were long shots and short. Seems like the cows maintain the land through grazing and moving about. A course map is a must.
Cons: Cow pies everywhere. Tees not marked.
Other Thoughts: Course Map is a must
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Lots of distance. Secluded. Nice tee's and baskets.
Cons: No signs. I suppose they'll be up at one point. I was more concerned about my disc landing in cow droppings than stepping in one. Parking wasn't very clear. Had no idea how to get a pass.
Other Thoughts: Take lots of water in the summer. It was a bit too wild out there for me. Just seemed like someone's unkept land that they put a course in. Also ran into some cows laying around near a basket and when I got close the stood and stared menacingly, do cows charge people? What can I say? I'm from the city. It was fun and challenging. I'm sure I'll be back when I come around this part of town again.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Rugged, Technical, Diverse & Long!
Pros: Tough, challenging holes that reward good throws.
Natural beautiful scenary that encompasses huge trees, cows roaming around, wide-open trails and paths and outlined by a huge river.
Some shots require a high degree of skill yet are fair and encouraging enough to even the novice player trying to become better.
Cons: stepping into a steaming hot pile of cow poo could temporarily upset you a bit; but not to big a deal otherwise.
Other Thoughts: This course is earmarked for potential greatness. The layout and natural scenary of this rugged, woodsy yet challenging but fair course provide countless hours of challenges and surprises. Be prepared with plenty of water, bug spray and sunblock as your time out there is akin to a very good hike on your favorite trail, but with the added benefit of throwing discs to metal baskets awaiting attention. The natural landscape and topography all help add to a disc golf experience not soon to be forgotten. Some holes are very long and will require fairway drives to be able to have a chance at par while other shorter holes reward a smooth yet focused throw that gives you a shot at a nice birdie. All in all, this course is not to be missed in your disc golf road trips - fortunately i live only about a mile and a half from this great course! Chuck Woody and all responsible for this course's design and layout should be proud... if they were seeking to design a great course that everyone could enjoy and at the same time be challenged, well... mission accomplished!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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