Great course for big arms
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The redesign added alot of different holes to the course that were not there before, and reworked the old holes to add more distance to them. The course starts with several holes that force some controlled distance with scattered mature trees in play. Then, the course shoots across Buffalo bayou, and takes you into the woods across the bayou. This collection of holes is the most technical, with tighter lines than the rest of the course, and a little terrain in play. One hole forces a loong blind right curve, with the basket on a rise with wicked rollaway potential. The bayou comes into play on several holes on the far side, but none more than the bayou crossing shot. This adds some intrigue to 2-3 holes. These far side holes IMO are the jewel of this course, bringing the most interesting shots and terrain into play.
The course crosses back across the bayou, and switches back to more open, flat holes, that test your controlled distance driving, with a few obstacles in the way. The holes past the dog park are mostly open, power holes that you will need 300+ distance to shoot well on. Unlike its previous 9 hole layout, this course is not a deuce or die course full of birdie runs. In fact it now is more the other end of the spectrum, you will need a good rip off most tee pads for a shot at par. There are at least a few trees in play on every hole (except hole 21), plus OB paths, so pure distance is not the only thing you will need here, however, the trees are too few in number on most holes to really punish you unless you hit one. Thus this course does not require you to hit very tight lines, nor does it particularly favor lefties or righties, since there are multiple ways around to the basket on most holes. The reforestation clumps in original 9 area are used very well, and do restrict lines in some holes, but overall this course is pretty open and forgiving.
Those who like longer holes to grip it and rip it, and not super technical plinko holes in tight woods, will love this course. You will get loads of chances to use your distance drivers, and there's not much shule to get buried in, while still enough trees to keep the holes from being all the same. However, short drives are punished here more than errant, long drives. The course is challenging from both long and short tee pads, and will stretch your arm.
Also, this course is in a great location for players inside the loop, and in a good neighborhood where you don't have to worry about
Cons: This course suffers from several unavoidable problems. It's in Houston, so it is very flat. The holes across the Bayou bring some terrain into play, but mostly it's just flat, like many Houston courses. The designers here had a long skinny piece of land to work with, so the general down and back flow on the near side of bayou is somewhat set in stone as a result. That being said, they use distance on this course to overcome a general lack of terrain, and only scattered trees, which gets a little stale for me by hole 21. The designers are limited by the canvas they had to work with(ie not solid forest) , but it feels like they overcompensate with distance to much and too often, and it makes the last several holes boring for me.
This course doesn't do a lot to keep big arms honest, and distance really helps on course. The difference in length from long to short tees seems minute in some cases, even the short tees are going to be long from someone throwing less than 300ft.
The dirt tee pads and colored posts are functional, but basic. Considering that most will need their max distance on many holes, some kind of more permanent, level tee pads (rubber or concrete) would be nice.
Flow is also an issue on this course, as it can be hard to navigate the bayou crossing, and back, without a course map. Also, hole 12 is hard to find from 11 (its towards the practice basket)
One of the biggest issues I have with this course is so many of the holes are long for the sake of being long, and seemingly stretched out to utilize as much of the park as possible. Many of the holes are in that gray area of distance, 350-500 where it's a tough par 3, but they probably didn't want to make it par 4 because they aren't very technical holes and big arms will still bomb them for 3s. Many courses will have easier and harder par 3s, but the setup here gets old. If they wanted a tough course, make several of the holes a little longer and call more of them par 4s. Otherwise, make the short tees shorter so the course is more fun for more players. As it stands now, on holes 14-21 it gets repetitive. The holes are challenging just because they are long, but they are not memorable and not that fun IMO.
The earlier holes on this course have better protected baskets with more trees, and reforestation areas to make them more interesting, or throwing off the top of amphitheater. The bayou holes have water in play and some technical shots and terrain. The holes after you walk past the dog park are forgettable.
There are several things that could make the back end of this course better. Intentionally letting some reforestation areas grow in strategic spots (right side of hole 17) would be environmentally friendly would restrict lines and improve the holes. Planting a few smaller trees, with protective tubing around them, would instantly change several of the holes (16 & 21). Putting one basket on ad terrace, or throwing a pile of fill on a fairway or two to create some terrain would also help spice up existing holes.
Across the bayou has the most interesting holes, and there is a long walk through the woods from hole 5 to hole 6 that has tons of terrain. Every time I play here, I can't help but wonder why the walk when the could create some very interesting holes here. Especially if you kept them short and technical, it would give this course more variety and a balance to the steady diet of bomber holes that the course is full of.
I could see this course being rounded out to 27 holes, with more diverse shot types. Put two holes in the woods between 5 and 6, then another wooded hole between 6 and 7.
The low spot by the pool fence is an interesting area, why not put a short hole there after 13?
With a little reshuffling, 3 more holes could be found on this land (even if they are short) and this would be a 27 hole course in town with challenging long holes, but also birdie opportunities and some technical and memorable line.
It seems like the course overall fills the area allotted for it, but some of the most interesting pockets sit idle, and instead players walk through them. The layout of this park, and the bayou, force some of the walks between holes, but some are avoidable and could be holes instead.
This course is fun if you have a big arm and don't like lots of trees, but its short on very interesting holes, and for how long is it, just isn't than fun. I'd rather drive 15min further and play 2 quick rounds at Moffit rather than 1 long round here with all the walks btw forgettable holes. Some players love this course, and the location is hard to beat. I like parts of this course, but overall its not a course that I rush out to play, and not one I would take new players to. Its too hard for newbs, and not interesting enough for advanced players. I dont understand what level of player this course is catered to, make a shorter set of tees, make it more technical, or both.
Other Thoughts: I remember playing this course when it was nine holes, before the drought took so many trees. Back then it was a much shorter course. Back then as a novice, I found it fun. It has changed alot with the new layout, and I realize that without those trees, those old holes wouldn't be the same now, so the designers opted to add significant distance to almost every hole to up the challenge. They didn't have much choice, but having shorter "short" tees would still be nice. I appreciate all the work that went in to expand this park, and I mean no disrespect to the many volunteers who put their time and effort into the park as it stands now. Getting any park from 9 holes to 21 is a HUGE step, and I applaud the locals for making this happen. However, I personally prefer a more technical course that rewards accuracy as well as distance, and this course is all about distance. I'm sure I am not alone in liking the holes across the bayou the best, and wishing there were more of them. I feel there's room to do just that.
I believe this course has room for improvement, and I hope the locals share this view and continue to tweak and improve this course. If/when that happens, this course can certainly achieve a higher rating, but until then, there are lots of better options in Houston area.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: +A few of the holes are interesting, 4-8 I think, with one or two others scattered in there. The holes that played around the waterway made for some good play.
+It was close-ish to my hotel.
+Tried to make use of a thin piece of park land in the middle of a city.
Cons: -Boring. Repetitive. Lots of long holes that had me stepping up to the tee box and thinking "Ohh, time to arbitrarily huck my Striker on a hyzer line as far as I can in that general direction, again." By the end, the extra 3 holes felt more like a chore than 3 more fun holes.
-70% of the trees were of absolutely no consequence (might be lower % with leaves). I could just power down towards the pin, and even if I was 20 degrees off on my line, I'd be just as well off as if I had hit it dead on. One tree in the fairway makes much difference if I can throw anywhere around it and have a clear upshot to the basket.
-No concrete pads- 3 tee boxes were underwater.
-Speaking of water, the random 10' wide casual water hazards left from the rain 3 days ago did more to shape my lines than the trees did.
-Excessively long walks to 10 and 14. Getting to 10 had no sense of continuity to it at all, and actually had you walking past 7, 6, 4, and 3
-Lots of holes played along a major road
-The holes that play in the "Reforestation Project" were annoying because apparently that means that all tree debris should be left on the ground. So lots of bark, sticks/twigs, and junk to slip/twist/trip on while moving about.
Other Thoughts: I'm probably biased from NC woods DG, but long open, sparsely obstacled holes, over and over and over, just gets boring.
Lack of concrete, or other similarly resilient tees will keep any course below a 4 for me.
Lack of shot variety on the back 12 was what killed it for me. A light hyzer with my striker put me into easy upshot places no matter how accurate I was to the line I intended. An occasional straight shot was needed, but I never once had to throw an anny, and I parred 11 of the last 12. This may have been due to the few number of trees, and they're lack of leaves, who knows. If I played the course on a dry spring day, with concrete pads, probably would have gotten atleast 1 disc more.
9 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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