My Kind Of Course
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It's not very often I say this about a course, but I genuinely liked this one from the start. True that this is mostly a flat course with few challenges except trees, but there is enough here to make most golfers think about a good many shots. I approached hole 4 with some apprehension with its throw over the bayou as I do most holes, but that turned out to be the easiest for me here. I ended up getting a birdie on that one. The whole time I played here, I only hit one tree. That was on hole 9. Even so, I got par on that one on a great 75-foot putt. I found the flow to be good between holes with one exception which I will mention in the cons. I can see why this course is so popular. The layout is good, the park is nice, and the holes are not too intimidating. If I was to recommend an overall course for someone to play in Houston, it would probably be this one. Great overall course without too many obstacles and a good one to learn on as well.
Cons: The only con I found was the long walk between holes 9 and 10 back over the bayou bridge. I understand that some areas are like this due to available land in a park such as this, but even so, it is not so much to play a good course such as this one. And yes the short tee on hole 12 is gone, but I could tell where it had been and I played from the long tee anyway because the distance between the two was not that far. Not more than 50 feet anyway. I could mention the walk between holes 16 and 17, but that was not so long either. Very little else can I point out here.
Other Thoughts: This course was a pleasant surprise for me. I had probably one of the best first rounds I could have at any course I played anywhere. Kudos to the designers. They did an excellent job with the layout putting this one together and I know I will be back to play this one again many times.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Fun Recreational Course for Long Birdies
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: OK, let's be honest. This is a course that has medium long holes, fairly wide open fairways, with occasional trees to navigate around. Other than distance, there really wasn't much that was excruciatingly challenging. For me, the joy of this course was trying to place a 300-400 ft drive close enough to the basket to go for birdie--and that was from the white tees. There were enough trees to provide some shade, while waiting for others to throw. Although no cement tee pads, most of the tee pads were fairly level with one or two exceptions. Although many holes play next to the bayou, you would really have to go off course to lose a disc. The course was mowed. The tee boxes were marked. The baskets were generally visible. There were nice asphalt and gravel paths that could generally be used to walk from hole to hole. There were enough mild challenges to keep it mostly interesting... a few low ceiling, a few anhyzers RHBH. Good parking. It is true that the course runs fairly close to two busy streets, but they are far enough a way that an average amateur golfer doesn't have to worry about them. The baskets were generally really nice; however, there are a few holes that have freaky funnel shaped baskets (like #13) that can spit your disc out, even after a decent putt. Hole #4 across the bayou was fun and different. Hole #5 is a short low ceiling anhyzer (RHBH). Hole #12 is a tunnel shot through off the tee, as is hole #6 (only when playing from the blue tees).
Cons: The biggest con is probably the lack of really challenging holes (other than just pure distance) where you really have to think and nail a precision throw. It is also true that some of the holes can seem repetitive. But if you know what the course is, you can set your expectations accordingly and still have and enjoyable game. I think the course would be much nicer if it had cement tee pads. The walk from hole #9 to hole #10 is VERY long, backtracking past 3 different holes. There is also a very long walk between holes #13 and #14 and holes #16 and #17, and another long walk after hole #21 back to the parking lot. As stated above, many of the holes run next to busy streets. While these generally don't come into play for golfers with decent ability, I can see where they could cause problems for recreational golfers who may throw a little wide occasionally. If you can't throw 300-400 ft drives, I think this course might get pretty boring with a drive, upshot, putt, over and over. However, if you can drive 350-400 ft, you can try to go for birdie on nearly every hole, and that can also be a fun challenge.
Other Thoughts: Despite the mildly challenging holes and the somewhat repetitive throws, I did enjoy playing this course. It is a great place to practice drives or try out new discs because there is enough room to generally see the full flight of the disc without hitting trees or other obstacles. It is generally clean, mowed, and maintained. Good place to practice long precision drives IMHO.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
One of the best public courses in Houston area
Pros: +there are enough hazards around to keep your game interesting (especially if you follow the out of bound rules suggested on this site)
+I love the fact that there are long and short holes. this pretty much means I can play 2 courses here
Cons: -no tee pads
-this is a fairly open (light amount of trees but surrounded by roads) course so on a windy day you have to be careful with your shots
-Im not a pro but I have been playing for a while so Im decent and didnt have any water trouble but there are some intimidating water shots that can easily cause a new player to lose a disc. the good news is that I watched someone wade into the bayou to find their disc and it was only about 2 to 3 feet deep so if you can spot your disc you can retrieve it. just be aware that the water is moving very quickly. (I read another review that talked about a place down river that might be a good place to check if your disc floats away too fast to find)
Other Thoughts: the first 9 holes are not connected to the rest of the course. once you finish 9 you walk around to the other side of the bayou. the walk is time consuming but the positive note is that if you are short on time you can play a quick 9 without feeling too bummed about leaving mid game since you have to walk back towards the parking lot.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: short tees are fun , not alot of trouble to get into. should get quite a few birdies. somewhat repetitive. BUT....the long boxes make this a great course . with minor elevation change and being played around a bayou with walking path and beyond ob's, this course is very challenging . For me, it is relatively easy to shoot around par , but if you hope to shoot a "hot" round (-5 to -7/ 1020 + rated ) you will have to flirt with some ob's and shape some shots . the course does not have many densely wooded areas , but the ob's make controlling shots a big factor. You have to use your noggin and risk/reward comes into play a good bit. A big , accurate arm will get you a couple extra birdies (and i believe it should ) . you can go out and lettem fly here , but you better know where they are goin'.
Cons: couple long walks between holes , but , i would much rather walk a little than sacrifice the integrity of a hole or have a couple "filler" holes . concrete boxes will be great addition if /when they get em'.
Other Thoughts: ima 984 rtd pro with a 450 + arm. this course lets me "play". it is not just a big arm course , you must have accurate up shots and hit some putts to shoot really well here . the short tees also give newer players a good course to play . great combo .
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Jester is King
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: One of the best of the public park disc golf experiences that I have had. Easy to get to from loop 610. Rivals Tom Bass as the best course in the county. To play disc golf like this you usually have to drive out into the deep suburbs. I think it is a great example of what can be accomplished in a multi-use park environment. Best part of the course is #4 through #9, where there is more interaction with the Bayou and the bayouscape. Some I know like to play #4 - #9 three times for 18 holes. With subtle elevation changes near the Bayou and enjoyable differences between the dual tees, which are correctly marked and rated based upon the PDGA ratings of white and blue. A regularly mowed park environment with bathrooms and some picnic tables, and plenty of parking either in the lot or along T. C. Jester Blvd, this is the sort of course that if you brought a picnic basket and a cooler you could spend all day playing. Has other park amenities including a swimming pool, dog-park, softball fields, amphitheater, playgrounds and exerscape.
The adjacent neighborhood, Oak Forest, is single family dwellings, and the environment at the park feels safe, friendly and family. In a partially shaded park with walking trails, the two or three fairways that do cross the trail occur near the tee-box. The following deserves special mention:
(1) Creative use of the available park space and subtle elevation changes, including the thrill of throwing over White Oak Bayou #4; (2) use of a row of trees to make a low ceiling dog leg right on #5; (3) the nature trail through the overgrowth from #5 to #6 is nice and kept clean by local disc golfers; (4) with a smaller green area, #6 is a little tricky to make the birdie from the white-tee and has a tight line through a gap in the tree-line for the blue tee; (5) the slightly down hill shot toward the bayou with risk reward basket placement on #7 is a creative use of the bayouscape elevation change; (6) the sky anhyzer throw either along or over the bayou #8 is a thrill; (7) the raised tee-boxes on the amphitheater on #13 reminds me of a ball golf tee-box; and (8) #21 while long, is on an area beaten down by the October high school track meets and allows for either a rhbh or rhfh roller for a birdie. The additional walking from #9 to #10, #13 to #14, #17 to #19 and from #21 to the parking lot, is worth the additional fun. The natural tees are in good shape even after over a year of heavy use.
Cons: On #10, you have to wait when pedestrians and cyclists are along a particular section of the walkway. #15 has a picnic table in what is the fairway if your shot goes left requiring additional care and attention by the golfer. For some the walking from #9 to #10 and #13 to #14, #17 to #19 and from #21 to the parking lot is a con, and I agree it is not an ideal flow but appears to be the best the course designers could do with the space allotted, yet, having played it many many times, for me, it does not detract from the disc golf experience for me. Be careful of some of the poison ivy on #5 and #6 and at the very end of the nature trial coming from #5 to #6.
Other Thoughts: With the expansion of the course to the west side of the Bayou, when the high school track team competitions occur in October the course will not be completely shut down and you can play #4-#9 a few times like we did in the last week of the HFDS Wednesday night Fall league. If you play all 21 holes, it is an approx. 3.7 miles.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -The course has dual tees (blue and white) that are very easy to see and are all present. They both have different shots on a few holes rather then just being longer.
-This course has a diversity of shots. There are short <200ft shots in the woods and then there are >500+ shots that you need a good drive to hope for a three. The excitment factor is here on a few holes, especially on hole number 4 where you have to get your throw about 220' over a bayou. There are several holes like that that are very unique for the Houston area.
-The tree has obstacles on about every hole, not so much that is becomes frustrating but enough that it does not get boring throwing in an open field.
-The course of 21 holes uses the entire narrow strip of land that the park is located on. Who ever designed this course did a great job utilizing every bit of land he could on this park.
-There are bathrooms and COLD water fountains near the parking lot over by the baseball fields.
Cons: -Natural tee pads. The ground at the tees is starting to become worn in and will only keep getting more worn in with the high density of players that comes through every day. Concrete tee pads would make this course great.
-From a logistical standpoint this course is a mess. After #9 there is a quarter of a mile walk back to #10 then after #13 there is a long walk to the next tee. No matter who designs this course or how it is designed this will always be a problem. There is not enough land that makes it so that the course runs smoothly. If a second bridge was built over the bayou then maybe someone can look at re-configuring the course so that there is not a lot of walking back.
-The back 6 or 7 holes were very repetitive and boring. The front few holes were all different but once you get to the final stretch of the course you are looking at 350' straight holes with trees guarding the basket on basically every shot.
-The course is heavy with walkers, no way to fix that just be careful when throwing.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice course for people that live inside of the city that do not want to drive out to the NW or S side of the city. This course trumps MacGregor Park and Anges Moffit in terms of excitement rating and being a better course. The new layout is leaps and bounds better then the previous layout and rumor among the locals is a new layout could be in the makings soon. This is a great course for the Houston area. A great place that is challenging and diverse.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice course with a mix of shots and distances.
Pros: Nice mix of shots, especially Hole 4, which is over the bayou. It's perfectly makeable, but just that bayou makes it seem so far. Hole 6 was a nice short surprise, for a birdie (playing from white tees). I liked the mix in distances, there were a few holes with tree obstacles, like 18 and 19, and I enjoyed hole 12 which is a tight, straight shot. As long as you stay out of the bayou (water), you won't have a problem losing discs.
Cons: I wish the walk from hole 9 wasn't so long and uneventful. A return bayou shot could have been fun. I also wish there wasn't such a long walk from hole 21 back to the parking lot. This is a well-used park, so be mindful of the other park users. I had a jogging couple walk up to the blue tee box on 15, sit down and start stretching! It's I good thing I was playing white tees that day.
Other Thoughts: This was my third course to play after MacGregor park and Jack Brooks Powell. I live in the Loop, so this is one of the closer courses to me.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 3 Not
Reinvented into New Life
Pros: This is a much more challenging layout, and simply adding twelve more holes to any course is a definite plus. You have two box options, which is great, but don't do much more than add a little length to each hole. Although holes range from 200' to over 600' most fall into the 300-400' range and are pretty open so power players should really enjoy this course. The trees add a new dimension in the summer time, but winter time makes for fairly easy long lines.
The biggest plus about the new design is certainly holes 4-9 on the opposite side of the bayou. This six hole run is alien compared to the rest of the course in the best of ways with cool pucker shots, blind pins, man-made elevation changes, and varied foliage. These are the holes that push the new design from good to great. Even though there are big walks between many holes, the layout is surprisingly easy to follow.
The park itself also has had a nice makeover with a much needed expanded parking lot, play areas, and other amenities typically found in the park setting. It just feels cleaner and not quite as ghetto as in the years before. Bottom line, this makeover is a definite plus and turned a mediocre nine-holer into an impressive course by Houston standards.
BEST HOLE/S: #4; #5; #7; #8
There four big areas that bring T.C. Jester down. Two can be fixed, but two will always persist. First, the boxes: They are currently natural albeit rough patches marked with the same crappy 2x4 poles that were there before. The posts are colored to indicate the proper box, have numbers inlaid, as well as hand written footage that is mostly accurate. Like many courses in the Houston area, this place screams for concrete boxes, and I'm sure it will eventually happen in the future.
Second, the baskets: the newly installed baskets are great, however to save money they reused the original baskets as well. I understand the cost saving measure and would have done the same, but man some of those old baskets are truly pieces of crap, and is one more thing that will have to be revamped as this places matures. These first two are negatives are always works in progress, which seems to be a Houston course m.o., and as our sports gains popularity negatives like these are being addressed through an active DG community.
Sadly, what you can't get around here the layout transitions and overall diversity of holes. Please know that I think Derek's new design captures some great features of the area, however even he can't fix the fact that T.C. Jester is simply a really long & skinny piece of land without many options to build a course on. This means you will walk more to get to holes than you will walking on the holes themselves. Now a good stroll never hurt anyone, but be prepared to add an extra mile or more to your step count by the end of the round. The last eight holes are especially bad since they are trying to take advantage of a completely separate piece of the park.
Finally, like most courses in Houston, the place is just flat. Unless you throw into the bayou, which is a real possibility on a few holes, this is just another flat space where the only challenge is a few trees to contend with. Plus with the huge drought we're going through, many of the once magnificent trees are gone. (Don't even get me started on the new look of Agnes Moffitt Park
or MacGregor Park
due to this.) I did wonder if the land between five and six could have been utilized a little more to give the player a bit more dramatic elevation changes in dense brush, but you do get used to this once you played in Houston long enough.
WORST HOLE/S: #16; #17
Other Thoughts: No one will argue that the new T.C. Jester is a dramatic improvement over the original design, and even though I always enjoyed the old course, I love the look and play of this new layout. The negatives currently drive it down to just under four discs, but if boxes improve as they deserve to be, I wouldn't argue a full four disc rating. Due to the long transitions, limited foliage diversity, and the general Houston park terrain, I just don't ever think you could go beyond four discs. Kudos to Derek, Paul, and all of the work everyone did to revitalize this place - it's a nice feather in the cap to the northwest area that is beginning to dominate in the course quality department. If you haven't been here in a while, or even if it's your first time, you owe yourself a visit and I promise you won't be disappointed.
13 of 16 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 4 Not
Great new layout
Pros: This new layout is a wonderful improvement to the original 9 hole layout that used to be at this park. Many pros to the new layout.
-Multiple tees (I understand they will both be marked soon)
-New baskets on most of the new holes. Although they are single layer chains, they are still great new baskets. Didn't have any spitouts because of the baskets. (my putting is a different story)
-Nice mix of different shot shapes make for a challenging round.
-Good mix of short, medium and slightly longer holes. Not like Wilmont, Jack Brooks or Spring Valley Links long, but long enough to make you throw accurate shots with your distance drivers.
-I love the use of the entire park. Especially throwing over the ditch/bayou/whatever its called.
-Slightly different looks from both tees. Blue tees add a little distance on most and make the hole more difficult on others. 6 comes to mind. From the white you throw a short shot to a pretty open basket. From the blues you have to thread your shot throw about a 10 foot gap. It makes for an interesting hole.
-Park has always been clean and neat. Not a lot of trash laying around and there are sufficent trash cans.
-Nice bathrooms by the Parking lot that are keep pretty clean.
-There is usually other DGers that are playing and checking out the new layout.
-The holes on the far side of the dog park really force you to throw accurate shots. There are many large oak trees that will eat up a shot that drifts too high or is off line. I love this and think it's great. You can't shot close your eyes and let it rip. You really have to pick your line and throw good shots.
Cons: -The park is crazy busy on the weekends. I have had to skip the first hole almost every round that I have played on the weekend because there is usually someone grilling or doing something other the DGing on this hole.
-Tees are natural. They are not rutted up because the new layout is not that old. I have heard that they are going to put in cement pads. I will update this review to reflect that when they go in. I understand this course is still "coming together" so I'm not letting these things affect it's rating.
-No signs up yet. Again I understand these will probably go up at some point and I will update when they do.
-The layout isn't hard to figure out. But there will be a few times when you may get lost. Going from 3 to 4 could be easy to miss if you played the old layout. also 9 to 10 has a pretty good hike back across the bridge. 13 to 14 is a pretty long hike too. 14 is on the opposite side of the baseball field and dogpark. I feel like the course designers did the best with what they had to work with. You shouldn't not play this course because there are a few longer distance in between a couple of holes.
-That's about it for the cons. This is a huge improvement from what was there. I will be playing this course a good bit more in the future.
Other Thoughts: I played the original layout a good bit when I first started playing about 4 years ago but stopped because it just got boring. I think with the new layout it will take a long time (if ever) for this course to get boing. This course will be great for players of all skill levels. It's very fair and challenging at the same time. Again it would be easy to skip holes 4-9 and go straight to 10. 4 Throws across the ditch/bayou. You should check this course out because it's a great addition to what we have in Houston. You would be doing yourself an injustice by not playing here. It may not turn out to be your favorite course, but I bet it won't be your least favorite either.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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