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.
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.
8 Helpful / 6 Not
Pro Disc Golf in Houston
Pros: Refreshing new design that sets itself apart from every other course in Houston. Immediately you can feel that this property is special just stepping up to the first tee. As a contrast to the tight wooded courses of Houston and surrounding areas, the new TC Jester offers shot variety, distance and accuracy all in a beautiful maintained park setting.
Holes 1-3 let you air out some drives with strategic lines that need to be hit. Hole 4 throws over the bayou to a nicely placed basket where accuracy is key and the hole plays longer than it seems. Holes 5-9 utilize a really cool piece of property set apart from the rest of the course by the bayou channel that runs along side it. These holes offer some tricky basket placements with potential drop-offs behind, fun bombs out over the bayou and navigation through and around trees as obstacles. Holes 10-13 take you back through the original park area where the old holes have been adjusted and the tees bumped up to pro level for some very interesting shots. Holes 14-21 venture where disc golf at TC Jester has never been before and this is where the course really shines (think La Mirada but longer).
The balance of anhyzers, hyzers and straight shots is obviously well thought out. There are no holes that feel like filler holes and every shot requires the player to think about what line they might want to try. The mix of reachable vs. unreachable holes echoes that of the best championship level courses in the country. This course lacks nothing when it comes to great distance and shot variety.
Cons: The only cons would be that this is a public park and you have to deal with normal public park aspects. Also the course does have some gaps in the layout which seem unavoidable and overall well worth the walk. It seems also that if the dog park was not there the last hole could end closer to the parking lot.
Other Thoughts: In a city where disc golf has been virtually stagnant for over 10 years, with the exception of some tight wooded courses on the outskirts of town, the new TC Jester is a true gem. If you are looking to test your distance and accuracy without being thrown into the deep woods with fairways full of too many trees, this is your place. Whoever the designers are, I hope they keep going, and from what we see here at TC Jester, great things are to come.
8 of 14 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.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
TC Jester. DG in HOU has arrived
Pros: Good variety of shotmaking needed. Excellent use of terrain and landspace available. A Pro course in Houston!
Cons: Bike/Jogging trail runs through the park and causes delays. Biggest offenders are #4(blue) and # 10. Long walk from hole 9 to 10 & 13 to 14
Other Thoughts: TC Jester was the first course I ever played, so there was some lament when new changes were made. However, after playing the course now 3 times, I can officially say that the change was for the better. The re-design incorporated areas of the park that were underused, and created some interesting new holes that only add to the challenges. Favorite new holes would include # 4, a 250+ft shot across the bayou, #6, a short tough alley from the blue tees, rarely seen in H-town, and #7 which is RHBH heaven. Big thanks to those involved, and to those who make it happen within HPARD. DG in Houston is a beautiful, growing thing.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 14 Not
New TC Jester Coarse
Pros: Nice distances, great layout & good walk for exercise.
Cons: People keep messing with the temporary tee marker. some holes don't have markers on some days. we need to find a better way until the permanent ones get put in.
0 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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