Look out Charlotte, here comes Austin!
27 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Roy G flies sweet, right out of the box. This course provides a strong challenge, an enjoyable walk, some very beautifully framed fairways, and a low chance of lost discs. The course has had a great opening as a virtually finished product. The designers and constructors are true professionals in their craft. The course has a broad appeal to all levels of players. If you're fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play Roy G, PLEASE leave the course cleaner than the way you found it.
There are some amenities that stand out right away. The tee pads are the best that I've ever played on, hands down. The throwing surface is bordered with bricks to prevent the inevitable erosion and cracking that occurs on pads that aren't properly framed. The tee areas have several large benches that are well positioned. The tee signs are the industry gold standard. Many places on the course have large rocks that have been moved and arranged to increase the beauty of the course. The second half of the course offers a decent amount of tree canopy.
The designers have implemented many progressive erosion control measures. Having the foresight to anticipate future wear and implement solutions is another testament to their professionalism.
The fairways are appropriately wide for the required length of shots. There are no random pimp trees. The course is eminently fair and players are fully responsible for their success or lack thereof at Roy G. The rough is punishing on the score, but not the body and finding discs is fairly easy. There are two sets of tees to accommodate a range of player skill levels.
The holes are well spaced, providing adequate safety and visual buffer with only one exception. The routing flow is very intuitive and rock-lined paths draw players through the course with minimal effort. Roy G is the second best course in Austin, behind Circle C.
Some of the highlights include:
Hole 7 is a picture postcard from the tee. I stood there and imagined that I was living in a Monet. The hole is a dead straight, medium-long par 4 with two routes off the tee. Nothing tricky, just a gorgeous tree-canopied corridor and a fair challenge.
Hole 9 is a 340 ft par 3 that bends sharply left about halfway down. It is difficult to "park" the hole using an overstable disc. The optimal shot needs to be thrown with hyzer with a disc that will slowly flip up and bank gently left. Not enough disc golf holes require this degree of subtle disc flight manipulation.
Hole 10 is a 330 ft par 3 with one of the tightest routes on the course. It's played straight up the gut to a well-framed basket. It's not so tight to be unfair, but does produce some anxiety on the tee pad as it is much tighter relative to the rest of the course.
Hole 14 is a very demanding medium-long par 4. The tee shot is fairly tight for a power drive and requires a slight left to right shape to set up a realistic chance for a birdie 3.
Hole 15 is a 700 ft par 4 that plays looong. The tee shot is another picture postcard moment at Roy G. Take a moment to soak in how wonderfully framed this hole is from the tee. There are two main routes down the second half of the hole. The left route is much more direct, but tighter. It's one of the best risk/reward decision moments on the course.
Hole 17 is a beautiful reward for having played most of the way around this tough track. The hole is perfectly framed with the river behind the basket and Austin skyline in the distance.
Cons: I feel like I'm beating a dead horse on this issue, but the fact that this course does not have two loops of nine holes that bring players back near the parking area is a con. This could have been easily incorporated here, affording players the opportunity to play 9, 18, or 27 holes and replenish supplies as needed. The first tee is a good hike from the parking lot and it's also a long hike back from hole 18's basket.
The course is difficult to locate in the back of the park without any directional park signs. There isn't a main course sign, practice basket, or warm-up area near the first tee. Although the navigation is largely intuitive, there are a couple places which could use "next tee" signs.
I'm on the fence about the decision to not provide any trash receptacles at Roy G. The course has only been open for 3 days now and is quickly accumulating litter.
The course is not well balanced in terms of power and technical requirements. While it is by no means "wide open", it does over-reward power. The crush, crush, crush nature of the course gets a little redundant. Many of the blue tees are a bit too long and are actually gold. Likewise, many of the white tees are actually blue.
The course has only minimal elevation changes. The course offers very little in terms of dynamic putting situations with drop-off's near baskets.
While the course is beautiful, fair, and challenging overall, it falls short of Circle C, Austin Bible Ridge, and East Metro in terms of great memorable individual holes.
Hole 15's tee pad is right on the edge of hole 14's fairway and exposed to incoming shots.
Other Thoughts: Don't be a dirty discer; leave the course cleaner than the way you found it.
To read about my review philosophy check out the other info section on my profile.
27 of 28 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Addition, Difficult!
Pros: Aside from being a new awesome disc golf course? Well....
1. Choose Your Own Adventure! - Lots of holes have multiple lines. There's plenty of alleyways that will reward a well thrown shot, but unlike Slaughter or East Metro and like some of the previous viewers, throwing your disc into the rough won't result in a lost disc. Although BEWARE of the brambles on the left side of #18. That's some nasty, nasty stuff.
2. There are some really nice pin placements, ones that really make the hole.
3. There are lots of cross paths that allow you to say, get to 3 easily if there's a line at the 1 tee. These are all over the course.
4. Lots of shade, lots of wildlife, lots of fun
Cons: 1. Very little elevation changes. I realize that's out of the control of the designers, but it still is something that this course lacks that you can get at ARBC or East Metro.
2. I would have like more variation on the lengths. There are no Par 3s under 275, and no holes longer than 775 or so (no Par 5s). So it's hard for amateurs to bird out there, and there's no hole that makes your jaw drop in terms of distance. Just one killer Par 5 (a la Metcenter 10, Slaughter 18, Old Settlers Par 5s) would have been sweet. But as it is, playing with intermediate players, they were a bit annoyed with the longness.
3. At this point, the mulch messes up your footing and your rollers.
Other Thoughts: I think this is a very good to great course. I've enjoyed playing, and I look forward to playing the hell out of it all summer (AND I look forward to hopefully less crowds at other Austin courses thanks to Roy).
That being said, I think the idea of this course being "great for new and experienced players alike" is perhaps giving it too much credit. As I said, these are long holes. If you can't consistently get 300ft off the tee, then you may have yourself a difficult time out there. The holes require and reward great shotmaking as well: getting two good throws on the Par 4s will still leave a lot of players with a sizable up and down for par.
But with THAT being said, it doesn't matter how many strokes you get, you will have fun, you will marvel at the beauty of the course, and you will pinch yourself at just how centrally located the course is. Long live Austin, Disc Golf Capitol of the World!!!
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Austin finally got it right
2 Helpful / 23 Not
Pros: This course plays through a conservatively carved wooded area.
The tee boxes are extremely large giving plenty of room for run up without a step up to worry about.
Tee signs are supposed to be temp until the real ones come in. They are there though.
The course flow is intuitive with only a couple places where one might get confused.
There are subtle elevation changes to most holes that add to the difficulty. Small elevation chages often go unnoticed.
Played mid day in 97 degrees and appreciated the shade, very shady here.
The course flows well and even with 100+ at a mini we experienced zero delays.
Cons: fresh mulch.
Not much variety in hole design
Every throw is with a driver
Feels like the same hole over and over
Other Thoughts: The course has many technical qualities that have been implemented to help prevent erosion around tee pads, baskets, and major traffic areas. The designers want the course to stay in good shape for many years to come.
2 of 25 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I played this course for the first time on Opening Day June 9th, 2012 @ High Noon 12:00pm tee time.
The property this course is set on is just a beautiful piece of land.
The separation/seclusion of holes is excellent. You are not really in danger of throwing at the wrong basket or hitting the teepad of some other hole.
Signs, benches, and teepads are all you could possibly ask for, but I bet a lot of people will foot-fault past the end of the concrete by stepping onto the bricks. It takes time to get used to the run-up.
Fairways are large and well-defined, which makes every hole truly FAIR and possible to par if you simply execute throws into the open spaces.
In addition to having nice open fairways, you can usually spy the basket from the teepad so you can see exactly where you are supposed to be throwing.
Most holes require a 300-400' well-placed drive to get either in birdie range in the case of shorter holes, or to setup for your next shot in the case of longer holes. If you can throw straight 350' drives then you can par every hole out here if you just execute and stay in the open. Birdies out here are all well-deserved!
Many holes have big lines both left and right, which is gonna be nice for replay value. Then some of those holes even have a tight tunnel shot straight up the gut.
Course is cart-friendly after you get past the hill after #1.
You can say it's a TRUE golf course, and it almost has a ball-golf feel with how much space there is to operate out there. Still, if you end up on the edges you will definitely be playing more technical lines at that point.
Cons: Distances on signs are ~10% too short on average, and one of the Par 4's was over 100' off. A couple of the Par 4's could definitely be considered a Par 5 from the back box.
Not much (if any) water in play but they are adding some small ponds to the property later. I could see someone giving this a lower rating for lack of water/OB and elevation.
Not enough left-right variation on short/long teepads. The shorts definitely make the course easier, but I feel like they could have made more drastic changes to the way you play some of them. They are basically right in front of the long boxes.
[EDIT: August 30, 2012]
The fairways are largely overgrown on several holes and need to be mowed badly, before it becomes unmanageable. I'm talking 10' high plants clogging up the fairways.
Other Thoughts: Take MORE WATER and LESS DISCS. The course is quite physical since the mulch is not packed down yet and the loose footing will eventually take it's toll on your legs.
In Fall and Winter, I will constantly play Roy G, Austin Ridge, Wilco, Circle C, and Manor as my "Fab Five". Add in Searight, Bart, Rivery, and Brushy Nine and I will probably never get tired of playing disc golf in the Austin area.
If you don't find my review helpful, please PM me and tell me why so I can improve them.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is the first five disc rating I have ever given a course and I stand behind it 100%.
If I had to describe this course with one word it would be BIG! There are seven par 4 holes over 575 feet and that's if you're playing from the short tees.
The fairways are nice and wide, yet well defined on each and every hole. There are zero holes that could be considered unfair.
There is no real shule or punishing rough and zero cedar trees that I could find which means hitting a tree will cost you a stroke, not a disc too.
What I love about the design of this course is that the distances are such that if you hit a tree there is a very good likelyhood that it will cost you a stroke because you're not getting the distance you need to get to the pin. Most other courses you can hit a tree and still have a chance to save par.
The ample concrete teepads are surrounded by concrete paver stones. These pavers provide a few benefits: no drop off of the front of the tee, bigger runup from the rear of the pad on level ground, and erosion control around the pads.
This course has the best signs I have ever seen. They are mounted on huge pieces of quarried limestone instead of poles to give the local neighborhood thugs one less thing to destroy.
There are multiple benches on every hole. These are also huge chunks of quarried limestone to keep the destructo's at bay.
SHADE! This place has it. I played mid day at 99 degrees and was fine.
Cons: The only real con is the long walk back to the parking lot after hole #18.
The distances on the signs appear to be shorter than the actual distances. It might have been because the course is new to me or because it was so hot but a 1000 rated pro I talked to also thought the same thing.
Other Thoughts: There are no trashcans on this course and there never will be. It is a "pack it in, pack it out" mentality. If you can bring it with you why not take it out also? This is a new way of thinking but it's all about going green and having something that is easily sustainable for future generations to enjoy...so if you're out there and you see some trash that did not get packed out, pick it up and pack it out. If we all do it this course will stay beautiful.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 22 Not
Pros: The fairways here are nothing short of "EPIC" wooded, tight, well defined paths to next box. Tee boxes are just what the doctor ordered,just right amount of grip,and nice run up room.
Cons: I know it is a positive thing, but at its current state the mulch is very chunky it makes footing difficult on approach shots.
Other Thoughts: Bring on Worlds This course is that good.
1 of 23 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has a ton of pros so I will just highlight what I thought made it stand out.
1. Teeboxes - These are simply the best teeboxes I have ever played on. Players with long run-ups will enjoy being able to start on concrete vs. dirt or grass. They also look amazing.
2. Erosion Control - I am willing to bet cities will look at this course when building new ones for their areas. Each basket has a special care given to erosion control. You will never see a basket laying on the ground due to erosion. One of a kind.
3. Difficulty - While this course will play difficult for any pro it is not so hard that less experienced players will hate and curse its name. There are ample birdie holes but plenty of 5, 6, and 7's waiting for errant throws.
4. Layout and Flow - With the exception of the walk between #15 and #16 this course flows brilliantly. There is never a question of where to go and better than that none of the holes play that close to each other. While I was close to many other cards I was never in danger of being hit by errant discs. This is a big thumbs up IMO.
5. Fairways and Rough - These are the best designed fairways I have had the pleasure of playing on. This may be one of the only courses I have played where there is a clearly defined fairway on every hole. The rough is just that but not so much that you will lose a disc just throwing in the grass. ( I'm looking at you East Metro and Bart)
6. Variety - You can not be a one trick pony and do well here. Players that score high at Roy G. will need EVERY shot in disc golf. A good roller could make or break your round. Going to work on mine after this review.
Like I said before, there are tons of pros here. I will leave a the rest for the next reviewers who will no doubt paint a better picture than me.
1. Elevation - It's flat for the most part. There is a slight chance of drop off on #2 if you go way right.
2. Lack of water - You work with what you have got I realize but I do enjoy me some water hazards. I heard from some Waterloo guys that there would be a pond installed on #1 soon.
3. Mulch - I know ultimately it is a positive thing, but at its current state it can make footing difficult on approach shots. Shouldn't be an issue in a year or so.
MAIN CON - IT IS SOUTH....I AM NORTH....BOO
Other Thoughts: My favorite holes were #7 and #17.
#7 plays right beside Riverside Golf Course and finding golf balls while looking for my shot was pretty funny. I think #7 has the best risk reward of any hole on the course. If you take the hyzer line to the right your approach will be difficult. If you stay left your approach is easier but there is OB on the left. I think everyone I played with played it differently.
#17 is destined to be this courses' trademark hole. Staring down the box and seeing the Austin skyline, Colorado River and bright yellow ring of a Discatcher could be one of the best things I have ever seen. Simply stunning.
I would like to thank the Austin PARD, Waterloo, and every person who made this course what it is. We are so blessed in this community to have so many options for top level disc golf and this is now the pinnacle. This is truly a course for the Austin disc golf community to be proud of.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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