Nice Start! and continuing
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very nice use of a tight area. Holes were well thought out and dual tees give a nice variety. Signs were well done but some were gone.
They have added 8 new holes that only have the long pads in. They have given good thought to flow of the course and use of this long, skinny land between the river and I-90 and come up with a fun yet challenging layout. As an added bonus the new holes are in more forested area so it is cooler on a hot day as well as challenging.
Cons: Dry area with pokey eastern Wa weeds. Had a hard time finding 1st hole but easy to follow after that.(tee for one is on rt side of road by pond, about 1/2 way along pond) Tees are natural and getting chewed up, some are rough enough that it is better to throw from the side. Pro tees are prob on easy side.
Since the back is new it is a little hard to follow. They don't have signs up yet and isn't worn in yet. Trails are starting but occasionally blend in with unrelated ones.
Other Thoughts: This is a great start and I look forward to seeing improvements as time goes on. If you put one in pond off rt side of 4, not too bad to wade in. looks pretty muddy in grass but not too bad. Will definitely be stopping to play this one again.
Played back 8 with Ryan, the driving force behind the continuing development, and 3 other locals and I expect this course to continue to improve. Plans are in the works for the last hole, tee pads, and trimming to clear better fairways. I look forward to seeing how it turns out.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Hanson Ponds DGC - Cle Elum
Hanson Ponds DGC is the newest edition to the Cle Elum area in Washington State. This beautiful nine hole course, eventually 18, is located on fourteen acres right off I-90 along the Yakima River. Unlike the beginner course near the high school, Hanson Ponds was designed for the more advanced player. However, with duel tee pads this course can be played by all. The red tee pads are shorter and more direct to the pin, with holes ranging from 200-400 feet. The blue tee pads add both distance and at times difficulty, with holes ranging from 205-450 feet.
Baskets are DISCatchers, and the bright yellow bands are wonderful for navigation from the tee's as some of the baskets are blind and the course is very dense with foliage. Once tee one is located…navigation is not an issue. There are small tee markers on the ground (red & blue) along with small laminated maps to give first-timers a clearer idea of the course layout. Flow and course design were a major plus here, especially once the final nine is completed. Right now after hole nine there is a bit of a walk back to the parking area but I know this issue will be solved sooner than later. The holes on the course were balanced and challenging. The designers did a nice job using the land they were given, challenging players to throw turnovers, hyzers and thread the needle type shots. There were even a few open bomber holes for those who need to unleash the fury!
Favorite Hole(s): Hole #7 - Tight shot off the tee over a fast moving creek through a wall of trees toward an open field. The installation of a sturdy foot bridge added to the visual appeal as well as the functionality of the hole. The hole requires precision and power in order to grab a birdie, making it a high risk/high reward. Hole #8 is another great hole going back along the other side of hole seven. The hole isn't as long and the basket is a not as wide open but again, it challenges players to hit an accurate shot over the water and through a series of trees to the pin. Good times!
For being installed in 2011 the designers are off to a great start. With time and the addition of the back nine, this course could truly be great. For now, as others have mentioned, there are still some areas of improvement that need to be made. Because of the course's remote location between Hanson Pond and the Yakima River, it is kind of difficult to find hole one down the LONG gravel road. I followed directions on the course page and found it, but felt like a kiosk or larger "first tee" sign would go a long way.
Another issue was the tee pads. Although the blue tees were in pretty good shape for being gravel and dirt, the red tee pads were still fairly uneven, with roots impeding a proper run up and follow through. Hopefully they get enough donations to install Flypads or cement pavers so that the harsh weather conditions are less of a factor on the erosion of the tee pads.
Last, the thick vegetation and barbwire off the fairways of a few holes. Over time with the course being played more, funds being added to the course, and through work parties from the locals, I am sure these issues will get taken care of. Like anything, it just takes time and money. For now, they locals are doing a lot with what resources they have available and it shows.
Hanson Ponds DGC is the ideal place to stop when traveling across the state. It allows for some quality disc golf while getting a chance to stretch the legs at the same time. There is fishing near bye along with some camping but just know due to its location to I-90 that it can get loud due to the never ending flow of cars and trucks. Cle Elum is a beautiful town with several places to eat and fill up on gas nearby so if you are looking for an all in one stop THIS is your place! Thank you to all the locals who made this possible. Your hard work and love for the sport is obvious and appreciated.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Primitive, Rustic & Challenging!
Pros: To get to the course take exit 84 off I-5 and get off on the south side of I-5. There is nothing on this side of the freeway but Whispering Pine Mobile Home Park. To the left is Hanson Ponds road. Follow it to the pond. Park here and look back into the trees for the white # 1. That points to the first hole.
They're off to a nice start here. The baskets are new Innova DISCatchers with the yellow band and numbers on the side. There are two sets of teepads, if you can call them that, more on them later in the Cons section. The Blues tees indicate the longs and the Reds are the shorts. Sometimes the Reds are just 30' shorter and on some holes they gave a you a totally different look. The course plays mostly through the woods and is long enough and technical enough to challenge any player. You often have to throw through a narrow gap either immediately off the tee or sometimes like on # 7, maybe 75' later in order to stay out of harms way.
This being on the eastern side of the mountains, the rough is much more clear and open than on the brushier western side of the mountains. However, the builders of the course didn't help here by stacking up the debris they cut out of the fairways right along the sides of some of the fairways and therefore creating artifical roughs. This debris has dried and along fairways # 1 and # 6 in particular, is right in the position where a many a RHBH player will hyser one.
Hole # 7 is truly a great hole from the Reds. It's 360' and you're teeing from down in a gully/gulch through a narrow gap between some trees immediately in front of you. Just a few feet beyond that is a little up and down mound. Then about 75' further ahead, your disc must pass between a narrow gap roughly 20' wide between trees that border a pretty, little, sparkling, clear creek. Then the basket is another 150' hyser shot past all this. The effect in general is one of the more aesthetically pleasing holes I've seen.
There are a couple of garbages cans placed about the course and a bench or two in place.
I loved # 6 from the Red/Short tee. It was a very tight but sweet little hyser run (240' )through a gap in the trees.
Cons: Like Sillybiz said, the teepads, are horrid and sometimes downright dangerous. They need some serious grunt work done to them.
The signs are great color laminated pieces of paper which are stuck to little logs with push pins. The teen vandal crew of Cle Elum are going to destroy these in a flash. You need to devise something much more vandal proof here. Start by burying your logs in the ground a couple of feet. Then attach the laminated signs under thick plexiglass. Or go to the high school and see if they have a metal shop class and inquire about having them manufacture simple metal signs which could be mounted on top of the buried logs.
Please haul off the dried debris. I would find this course so much more enjoyable without it stacked up along the sides of the fairways. Plus it's a fire hazard and an eyesore.
On # 4, the long open hole, I was forced to skip this hole entirely as someone (fishing, no doubt) had parked their car right smack where I wanted to throw my tee off.
On # 5, I don't know if this is really a Con or not but I felt as though I was throwing my tee shot right onto the eastbound lanes of Interstate-5. You are so close and it's noisy.
On everyone's favorite hole # 7, just after you leave the teebox and step up over the second little rise, you're stepping into about a dozen little cut off branches. They're like "punji sticks" from the Vietnam War which were sharpened little razor sharp sticks that American soldiers sometimes stumbled on. Aren't we on the same side here?
Other Thoughts: I'd be glad to up my rating here when a few of these improvements are made. The challenge is here. I hope the local disc community is up to meeting that challenge of first maintaining this course through the brutal mountain weather up here and then putting in the neccessary work to make some improvements. It's a fun little throw and I would like to stop back and play it now and again and up my rating. Like the course in Moses Lake, this little course should become a " Must stop" for ever Washington disc golfer who drives over I-5. Just like Arnold, "I'll be back."
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course surprised me very much. This is the highest rating I have ever given a nine hole course and I would have to call it the best one I have ever played.
The course is located near the Hanson Pond which is a fishing/swimming lake for youngsters so there are always kids hanging around there. To find the course you drive towards the end of the road but when you see the pond on your left if you look towards the road going back the way you came you will see a large "1" and an arrow pointing you to the first tee. It is a little tough to see at first but look around and up and you will find it.
The course is tightly wooded through most of it with a couple of holes with some open shots like number four which is open for most of the flight and then the trees and bushes narrow the fairway for the final 150 feet and also dogleg left at the end. Most of the holes that do have open air areas make you throw through a gap in the trees first or the fairway narrows at the very end. There is a good balance of dog legs and even a couple of holes that are not straight forward. There are even a couple of lines that force your RHBH flex shot and LHBH hyzer accuracy and distance control. The rough here is perfect as finding discs most of the time isn't too tough unless thrown somewhere super crazy and yet the rough severely impedes your path to the basket and only excellent throws put you into position for a par. There are several areas where if you miss the fairway you are looking at no possible route unless you throw to your side and back on the fairway and even some extreme cases throwing backwards so that you can throw over or around an obstacle. The designers also put in a couple holes where skipping the disc off a preferred area is the best solution with most holes having such a low ceiling. Most of the holes out here were set up in such a way that you could score anywhere from a two to a five or six or even worse on some occasions.
Navigation is very easy with the next tee signs that are clearly nailed to a nearby tree from the previous basket and painted in white. There are laminated tee signs that are actually pretty nicely made and they are stapled to a nearby tree or stump and show both the blue and red tee pads as well as the preferred path to the basket. All of the baskets are DISCatchers that are brand new and fitted with another set of chains and they catch very well.
Cons: The tee pads on this course are just atrocious! Most of them have roots and large rocks in them and the tee area is very small. I find it very difficult for someone to expect me to throw a 400 foot shot through the woods with no run up and beach rocks under my feet. Also just walking around the course there are sticks and rocks and roots and other debris all over the place so you have to watch you step you could be falling face first on the ground.
The alternate red pads or I guess "Am" pads are a bit of joke, they just didn't spend as much time on these as the blue tee pads and it shows. Most of them are just 30 feet closer to the basket but you are throwing the same line as before. There is more potential than that out here, you could do so much to change the kind of hole it is and keep it fresh for frequently players.
The course is right next to I-90 and the sound from the cars going by is very loud and distracts you from throwing your disc. I couldn't hear my dad (who played with me here) from more than 20 feet away and we have to speak up to hear each other. Also on hole seven if you were to grip lock a throw and you had a little power on the throw (which is usually the case with a grip lock) you could hit a car on the freeway potentially.
Other Thoughts: The other couple of things I wanted to mention were the pond and the Yakima River in which this piece of land is situated in the middle of. Both are interesting and pretty to look at especially the fast moving river. Also on holes seven and eight there is a bridge of both of these holes with moving water that is about six or seven feet wide and trees around them in the fairway which could make your disc land in the water and get pushed downstream! It would be a rare thing but it could happen.
There is talk of another nine holes going in to this property and if this is the case I hope they are as fantastic as these and if they are I can see me raising my rating even more.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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