The Ghost Course in the Woods
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Camp Allen is a huge park with plenty of things to do and one of those things is play disc golf at it's not 9 hole, not 18 hole, but a 21 hole course that plays throughout the camp.
For playing on such a huge expansion of land the navigation was very easy to follow. Both red and blue tees were distinctly marked and in great shape. The blue tees are much tougher and harder than the red tees, the camp counselor I played with said the red tees are for the campers and the blue tees are for the counselors
The course, for the most part, is in the woods and for the most part the lines are fair minus a few holes.
Cons: A few of the holes need trees taken out to create lines that do not feel like spray and pray (this is a religious camp though) 14,19, and 30 comes to mind. 14 is actually a very silly hole where I'm sure scores can range from 3s all the way up to 8s and it is based solely on luck.
The baskets all were single chained, which is fair for the environment but not something that could be used in tournament play.
Because the course plays throughout the camp there are plenty of places that could be dangerous for other campers. A few blind shots to what could be crowded areas and a few holes that play near or on the main camp road. But because this course sees little use the average car or camper should not worry about getting hit by a rouge disc.
Other Thoughts: I was greatly impressed by the course that I thought would not be good. It would be hard to play here during the summer when kids are here constantly and you would need an escort to play with that is familiar with the camp. There are signs when entering the park not to trespass and those signs should be honored.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Come for the Disc Golf, stay for the Post Game Message!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: How does a 21 hole course all to yourself sound? Camp Allen DGC is a fantastic, quiet, and fun course. The length is fine once you factor in all of the wooded areas, and the course offers a wide variety of blind shots that force you to employ both hyzer and anhyzer shots. I also enjoy that a few holes even incorporate some water. Granted, experienced players will not have to worry about losing a disc, but the variety is nice.
Each hole has two tee box locations. The front (red) tee box is perfect for new and younger players, while the back (blue) tee offer a real challenge to any intermediate to semi-advanced level player. All tees are marked, but you'll have to get a map at the registration desk if you'd like layouts and distances.
Finally, just having 21 holes over 18 is a nice little bonus. The additional three holes were probably crated simply to get you back to #1 tee, but they're not throw away holes so I'll take it.
BEST HOLE/S: #10
Cons: As far as the course cons - the biggest may be lack of traffic. This means that general upkeep is lower, so holes like #14 and #19 are heavily overgrown. The course needs about one good week of pruning on about a third of the holes, as well as some the transitions like #7 to #8. #7 to #8 is also a good reason to bring a map - there is signage, but the trail is long and thick - also watch out for the numerous water moccasins in this area.
In addition, there are only a few good holes that you can really air out your disc. While I prefer a shorter wooded course, some may be turned off at the ample amount of tighter corridor shots that typically range in the 175 - 250 foot range. Finally, the baskets are in average shape and the tee boxes are natural so footing can be treacherous on some holes.
Some major factors to consider about the camp itself is that Camp Allen is essentially a bible camp in the summer, so unfortunately unless you are part of the bible camp parties - you will not have access to the disc golf course. The reason it that the middle portion of the course plays right through bible camp area. I find it a huge negative that most of us while not have access to the course in the prime months of June, July, and August. It opens back up to all park users once the summer bible camp season is over.
This also plays into the other obvious con that you must be staying at the facility to have access to the course. Technically, the place is huge and you may be able to sneak on without much of an issue, so you'll have to let your conscience be your guide. We stayed with a big group in an awesome five-bedroom cabin on the lake and had an amazing time. At $300 a night, it was a really good deal once you split it up four or five ways. There is also camping and a hotel facility at regular rates if that is more to your liking.
WORST HOLE/S: #14
Other Thoughts: The Camp Allen facility itself is pretty amazing, and offers plenty of varieties besides disc golf in case you need to convince some people make the trek. The camp offers horseback riding, archery, lake swimming, canoeing, fishing, playgrounds, hiking trails, park area, lakeside cabins, a rope course, spa message, etc…
Basically, you can get a group and hit the disc golf course, or maybe the wife spends the day at the spa while you enjoy a few rounds. Either way - there is no reason not to make the trip. It may not be a championship caliber course like Selah Ranch, but my bet is you'll still be pretty satisfied with the experience.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Great camp feature
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Primarily a fun course with dual tees to accommodate beginners and advanced players. The baskets are a mix of older, single-chain DISCatcher Sport and newer Lightning DB-5's that have had inner chains added. The course map (available at the conference center) is excellent and you should have no problems navigating with it in hand. The color-coded, wooden post tee markers are easy to spot. Several "next tee" signs aid in navigation. The back of the map includes terms and rules for new players. With the exception of one hole (#11) the distances on the map were all +/- 5' of what I laser measured. Discs are available for rent at the conference center. With a couple exceptions most holes offer realistic lines through moderate to heavy foliage. You'll find more trees here than in most other Houston area courses.
Easily the biggest knock on this course are the tees: the course just doesn't get enough play to break in the tee areas and they get overgrown with grass, weeds, small trees, etc.. Some tees do not have sufficient room for a standard three-step run up. With some clearing of tee pads this course easily moves up another half-star on the rating.
The tee posts were not consistent on which side of the teeing area they were located and some even appeared to be in the middle of the box.
Hole #14 needs a couple trees removed to shape a realistic line to the basket, as it is now it's a total throw-and-pray tee shot. Hole #15 long/blue needs a horizontal tree limb removed from the other side of the pond that ruins an otherwise really nice tee shot. Hole #16 long/blue is just plain dangerous throwing over a smallish hill to a blind basket adjacent to a playground... even good RHBH players are going to fade over towards potential unseen kids.
The two holes that play across the road are potentially dangerous, but with a spotter you should be able to avoid issues on the sparsely travelled road. #21 is slightly more dangerous since the road is the fairway on that hole.
This is a private course for the use of overnight Camp visitors.
The short tees average 161' and are well suiting for introducing new players to the game. Decent advanced players won't need a driver for any of the short tees (maybe #21) and will be disappointed at each one on which they don't card a 2.
The long tees average 273' and with moderate to heavy foliage are more what seasoned disc golfers will be used to. The 2's are not abundant but neither are the 4's or 5's.
Local course rule:
If advanced players (Blue) throw their first shot OB, then the beginner (Red) tee is the drop zone. Shots other than drives that land OB will be played from a point 3 feet in bounds from where the disc went out of bounds. Beginner players may take a penalty stroke for an OB throw from the tee, but can play from the point where the disc went out of bounds. Throws in the lake or on paved surfaces are OB. (Reprinted from the map)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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