Getting Better All The Time!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Lakewood is a real gem of a course. My home digs are a testament of love, sweat, tears and I hope I don't sound too biased in my review as a result! The land that Lakewood sits on is gorgeous rolling grassy hills and a mix of Madrona and fir that shapes the fairways. The fairways play mostly open but require a mix of power and finesse, as there are many OB perils such as fences, roads, lakes and sidewalks that will penalize a poor shot. Scoring can sway both ways depending on how much game you bring. You can bring your longer drivers here, but also bring your accurate short range game as some pin placements can be testy on sloped ground.
Though many of the new holes are shorter, I find them to be a lot of fun. Holes 1-3 (in short position) are now a string of birdie runs. But don't get distracted - hole #2 was a playoff hole in the recent Battle of Seattle tournment and this hole was won (and lost) by an Open player who failed to sink his 28' birdie putt, slightly around a guarding madrona tree!
The tee pads and benches are unlike anything I've ever seen before. The Chainbangerz disc golf club finally raised the necessary funds to create these marvelous gems during the (ongoing) remodel. The benches look like large worn stones and the teepads are long, grippy, and are bordered by a curved edge that adds a more natural look. The bench on #14 is called the amplitheater as it resembles old Roman stadium seating.
There's now a small pro shop near hole #1 that you can replenish you thirst and lust for plastic - hooray!
Cons: FLOW - the course still is hoping to gain a hole over by the newly constructed apartment complex. When you finish #15, you must walk back along hole #13, and 12, then skirt #18 tee to get to #16. If they can add that fairway, it will improve the flow - and 2 new holes will be created and the old #6 will become the new #17.
As it stands, hole numbers and distances are yet to be carved into the tee pads, so it's your best guess as to which hole you may be playing and how long. I suggest you print a map or obtain one at the disc shop by hole #1 and 6. They do now have "Next Tee" signs on the holes, but I only hope that vandals do not remove them.
Other Thoughts: The course, as others have noted is a notch easier than the original layout, but I think many of the replacement holes (2 that go over the water), are really a lot of fun, and require accuracy more than strength.
By the way - for those who are weary to throw over the pond on Hole #1 - there is a drop zone on the edge of the parking area (it's a concrete pad in the shape of Washington about 40 ft. from the short pin). If you wish, you may take a penalty stroke and tee from this position instead - and it's possible to par the short pin from there!
As many improvements are corrected, my rating will go up. I was fortunate to be part of the re-design crew and feel that we were able to preserve much of the old while bringing in some new flavors.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Lakewood Remodel-A Little Shorter-No Less Fun!
Pros: Forced to reconfigure the course slightly due to the loss of some of the upper parking lot area, I think Keith Lionetti and the Chainbangerz Disc Golf Club created a fairly seemless transistion here. Granted, there are a couple of longer walkouts here but they're not ridiculous by any means. I feel the course still maintains a pretty good flow pattern. The first thing that springs to my mind here was the parking situation. Instead of parking in the upper lot, you now park in the lower lot near the bathrooms. I was unaware that this lot existed. There is not one but three brand new practice baskets here. I would have thought that one would have been adequate. I would have spent these extra funds on signage. The next item that jumps out at you are the wonderful extra long, grippy teepads and the great sprayed concrete benches at every hole. Nice touches both of these are for sure. The course redesign kept 13 of the orginal 18 including both of my personal favorites, the current # 18, a 400 ft. drive to a basket down in a lovely little valley and # 13, a short, maybe 150 ft. touch ACE run to a basket barely visible over the hill just before the ballfield. They've added two holes with short throws across the goose poo infested pond waters, # 1 and # 8. # 1 is probably less than 200 ft. with a couple of troublesome trees and bushes in the way. # 8 is a little longer, maybe 240 ft. slight hyser throw with a window to throw through. Even if you miss the window, it's fairly simple to just sail your disc into the trees/bushes here and avoid the pond water and it's plethora of hidden parasitic germs and microbes.
Cons: The current (summer 2011) lack of signs and I know that they are coming. Because the course is probably a few hundred feet shorter than before, it seems like more of a rec course to me now. I'm not sure if the advanced and higher player would find the challenge here. Aren't three brand new paractice baskets a touch overkill?
I'm not real keen on # 3. Many beginner/Rec type players are going to hyser their tee offs into the ugly thicket here. Maybe it will eventually get stomped down and won't be quite the problem.
Other Thoughts: Lakewood was one of the first courses I entered into my favorites and I'll leave it there after the new reconfiguration. I reckon that's probably the highest praise I can bestow upon both the design team and the course itself. I think this park is just one of the premier pieces of course land in the state with it's lovely rolling hills, green grass and mature trees. And the course continues to utilize those features to the maximum with it's over the water holes, ACE runs, tight wooded holes and the big air throws. There's something for most disc golfers here. This is one of the most versatile courses in the state and I have always enjoy it's challenges.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Chains for the Better? - Lakewood 2.0
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Redesigned in 2011, Lakewood King County Park in Seattle plays through a moderately hilly and lightly wooded park with breathtaking views of the Olympics and Cascades. The installment of Lakewood 2.0 uses several of the preexisting holes with the addition of two new water holes, two tightly wooded holes, and one open hole with a guarded pin. The new layout plays easier than the previous layout due to length primarily, but creativity and thoughtful designing keeps this course interesting.
Pressured to relocate one third of the holes on the course due to the loss of land in the upper parking lot, Keith Lionetti had to completely redo the flow to the old layout in order to keep 18 holes. Starting now in the lower parking lot, Lakewood has also opened up Chainbangerz Pro Shop where they will sell some discs, merchandise, snacks, and drinks during the summer and fall. Three practice baskets were installed near the restrooms and gazebo as well, along with rock/cement benches and tee pads throughout the majority of the course. The flow, with the exception of a few walkouts, seems to work quite well considering the circumstances and the addition of the new holes are creative and at times challenging.
Favorite Hole/s:#9, #10, #14 (long), & #18
Walkouts on holes #2 and #18 - Really can't avoid themas the designers did a tremendous job doing the best with what land they had.
Losing a disc in the water on holes #1, #4, #9 and #10 - Fortunately with Chainbangerz now on site, discs will get turned in to the shop for a small credit. Periodically there is a gentleman who goes scuba diving for lost discs and turns them in.
Installing tee signs/kiosk to help with navigation - currently being worked on through fundraising
Worst Hole/s: #13 (short)
Keith, Adam and the Chainbangerz DG Club have worked diligently to install the course in time for The Calm Before the Battle (C Tier Dubs) and the Battle in Seattle (B Tier) that took place June 10-12, 2011. However, there is still some tweaking to do on the back nine and can't be finished until the city finalizes their plans to build around the course. Lakewood 2.0 has come a long way in a very short amount of time and I am blown away with its new appearance. This course is the perfect complement to its big brother course 9 miles south in SeaTac (near the airport).
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Improvement... On my score at least.
Pros: The new tee pads are incredible. They're easy to spot too, due to the new "rock" benches and the border of the same material around the pad. They're plenty long and grippy, and should be perfect for the winter. The baskets are all marked, although some would be difficult to locate if you'd never played the old layout. There's a nice variety in the holes as well, from the extremely narrow fairway on 3, to the water on 1 and 9, to the open "air it out" holes 8 &15. Having three practice baskets is a nice touch too.
Cons: The course doesn't flow like the old layout did, and it ends with a long hike back across multiple fairways (unless you follow the trail which doubles the distance). There isn't any signage either, or even tape on the baskets. Chainbangerz knows disc golf, but they clearly missed on this part. I'm guessing that will be remedied shortly though. The course had been open for three days when I played it. Hole 9 could be a pro or a con. I love the challenge and how it gets in your head, but when I played the wind was whipping from left to right and quickly buried both discs I threw in the lake. It's great if you have a cannon for an arm, but I don't. I can barely clear the water, but Lakewood has been super windy 50% of the times that I've been there, so unless you throw a Wahoo and want to wait for an hour or two for the current to bring it back, you might have to skip this hole. Luckily the 10 teepad is right by the 8 basket though.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course because I had the best front 8 I'd ever thrown. My best front 9 if you count hole 10 instead. That's saying something though. The new holes, with the exception of 9, are short and relatively easy. 3 was super narrow, but very gratifying to get out of without a trip into the rough. As I mentioned before, 9 was very hit or miss. They should consider a bonus hole like Lake Stevens has, so you can play as a 19 hole course if you are tough enough to try 9, but still get your score through 18 if the conditions aren't favorable or you don't have a disc you're willing to lose.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The New Lakewood
Pros: The new Lakewood layout is a product of the Chainbangerz Disc Golf Club. With some grant money from King County and a new building going in the middle of the parking lot and a couple of fairways the club got on the ball with a new design, innovative ideas and hard work to continue this park in the right direction.
First thing you will notice are the new tee pads and the awesome benches. The new pads are long and grippy and fit well with the benches. The benches are concrete and resemble rock, they are a unique thing straight from the brilliant mind of Keith Lionetti. They do an excellent job of holding many bags and you can actually sit on some of them in a 360 degree manner. Also they are sprayed with an anti-graffiti product where any tagging can be washed away very easily. Hard to vandalize or tag, good thinking!
The course now starts in the lower parking lot near the bathrooms. You will see the three practice baskets set up near tournament central to provide warming up and something to do for group waiting their turn on busy Summer days.
Hole one is across the short pond to a basket that was the long position for 15, this hole is short but there are some trees at the end of flight that could knock you into the water; good thing this hole is only around 200 feet long. The new two is across the parking lot near 10th ave and has three pin locations and double routes to most of them. Again a shorty but trees make this interesting. Three is an old tournament hole shooting out of the woods towards to the tennis courts and to left. Right now there is a low hanging branch making this hole harder and the brush off the fairway although punishing makes this hole interesting and more challenging. Hole ten is another new favorite being a low ceiling throw up hill to a protected basket. A low drive with a faster disc to get a skip is a good way to play this hole.
Cons: Compared to the old set up these par three holes are easier compared to their par than some of the holes going away. Although it is a little more fun for low power players it makes going way under par on this course possible for even amateur players. Also there is less out of bounds with the new holes besides the water shots and getting more than a three is less likely.
There are some weird transitions between some holes that makes things tough to navigate for first timers. The walks from holes one to two and two to three are longer than the actual holes themselves. I don't mind walks between holes too much and I realize it had to be done, but it is still a little strange to walk twice as long as the last hole you just played. The flow has been sacrificed with the redesigned but given the handcuffing given for land use you can understand. Again walking from the top parking lot all the way back to the lower parking lot after your round is a bit much.
Hole nine, the across the water shot has a strange pin location up on a flat grassy spot but the route to this hole is a poke and prey for sure. I would like to see some of the limbs here trimmed up to make some sort of a route. There is a three foot wide route for lefties and FH throwers now but it is hard to hit that gap at 250+ feet away from the tee pad. The most desirable thing for me would be opening a route on either side and make two ways to get there; doesn't have to be a huge hole but just give us something.
Other Thoughts: So old holes 17, 18 and 4 are being played as the last three holes as the club is still trying to get permission to use some of the land up by old hole number six. Hopefully this will come through in the coming months and we can make geezer( the long 600+ foot hole) hole number 18 like originally planned. Also the Chainbangerz Disc Golf Shop will be opening up in the window next to the bathrooms and the playground to sell limited discs, snacks and drinks. You could and should come on by and talk to Keith while you're here, he's a good guy. You should also stop by Chainbangerz main store in Burien on 153rd St. and Ambaum way. The shop has used and new discs in large supply and can give information on the local courses and any tournaments going on in the area.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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