A fun round, but not too challenging
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Being the only course in Seattle proper, this place instantly gets a bump in the estimation of many. Plus Lowell Shields designed it way back in the day and can still be found selling discs out of his van on any given evening. He did an amazing job of putting a full 18 hole course on to a tiny slice of land that nobody cared about. I drove by this place a thousand times and didn't even realize it was a disc golf course until I picked up the game myself.
The layout is well thought out and pretty challenging for being such a short course. Elevation comes into play on almost every hole, and you need to have some control to score low here. It's not heavily wooded, but the lines are still tight. There's plenty for any type of shot too. There's a nice mix of right and left turning shots here, and a mix of open to wooded shots as well. You have your open field holes like 1/10, tighter lines like 9/18, and maddening approaches like the current hole 14. You need most of the shots in your bag during any given round here.
Any course with quality baskets and concrete tees gets a bump from me as well. For being such an old course, this one is in remarkably good condition.
Cons: It's been said on here a million times before. The course is just too condensed. This is the first course that I heard the word "fore", and it's necessary. I've had a Wraith whizz by my head while standing on a teepad. Not on a fairway. A teepad. You have to call fore on just about every hole if your disc doesn't do exactly what you tell it to. If you're like me, your discs seldom do what you tell them to… While I appreciate how amazing it is that Lowell fit 18 holes here, it's just incredibly dangerous to have so many intersecting fairways and so few mandos. There are four holes that throw across the same clearing at the beginning. That in itself should scare you.
Then there's the navigation. While there's a map at the entrance, it isn't very helpful or clear. My first time there (years ago), I would have been lost if it hadn't been for some friendly locals. Even now when I return, I normally forget which basket I'm supposed to be throwing to. Only about half of the teepads are marked, and a lot of the baskets are blank as well. On my last round I did notice some new basket numbers though, and Lowell was reconfiguring parts of the course. So this could all change in the near future.
As always, my last "con" has to be mentioned since 98% of readers on this site seem to throw farther than me… The holes are all crazily short. The only "long" ones are downhill, so most players should be okay with a putter or mid.
Other Thoughts: As I've stated, a lot of the tees are missing signs. The four that throw across the same field are the most confusing. The one closest to the street is Hole 1, and I think that one is marked. From there it goes 17, 8, and 10. 10 goes to the same basket as 1, and the baskets for 17 and 8 are hidden from view in the brush to your right. Look at the map or ask somebody. Or just fling a disc in there and yell "fore". A lot of the course is a nine hole played twice. For example, 1 and 10 are thrown to the same basket. The same is true for 2/11, 3/12, and 6/15. Everything else is thrown from a different pad to a different basket, so make sure you know which basket you're going for.
All in all, North Park is an enjoyable round. You just have to know somebody or go early. It does get crowded, and the groups of locals can seem a bit cliquish to outsiders. But if you know someone, just don't care what people think of you, or go early enough in the morning that you get the course to yourself, you can have a fun round where you can work on your mid- to short-game on a rather challenging course.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
It's fun, but...
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: * Short, technical shots require you to thoroughly think about what to throw and how to throw it.
* Good mix of left and right hand shots.
* Netting prevents errant discs from flying to far off or knocking someone out.
* An interesting back 9 for more advanced players.
* Convenient location for most Seattleites
Cons: * Very close quarters require lots of "FORE!" and head swiveling. I heard someone yell out fore about every couple of minutes.
* The netting seems oddly placed. There are areas that need it, and other areas that don't make sense to have it. There needs to be more netting alongside hole 5 between the course and the busy 4 lane road.
* The back nine is very confusing and requires prior knowledge/a guide to navigate.
* When it is crowded it almost becomes impossible to play certain holes.
* Wednesday doubles crowd doesn't seem to care about other people trying to play through.
Other Thoughts: This course would be a lot more fun if no one else was on the course. I arrived on a wednesday evening and the first basket was being used as a practice basket by about a dozen people. They signaled me to throw, but this is a mind game; I am not going to throw the same if there are people walking back and forth in front of the basket the whole time. After skipping the first two holes because of too many people in the way, I quickly learned how goofy this course really is. The huge metal poles seemed to be well placed, but the netting could have had much better placement. Hole 5 needs more netting to protect errant throws from going into busy traffic, and the netting on hole 7 made for a interesting lane, but actually helped errant throws instead of punishing them. One can roll a disc along the netting and get a jump off the last pole for great positioning. It is just silly, really. Combine that with the constant threat of errant discs, and it doesn't make for a smooth game. I would love to try this course out early in the morning when less people will be there, but I will not be eagerly returning to play this course anytime soon. Mineral Springs is really close to being a cool course, but any more than a few groups on it make it difficult to fully enjoy.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Techincal but fun
Pros: * Super convenient for most Seattleites.
* Good concrete tee pads
* Given the limited space a good layout.
* plays fast. good quick fix
Cons: * super tight spacing. fair amount of disc dodging
* a little confusing to navigate given the close proximity of tee pads and baskets.
Other Thoughts: This is the closest course to where I live. By rights it ought to be my home course, but it's just too tight and technical for regular play...at least for me.
I do play it regularly but mostly when I'm in the neighborhood and just want to stop for a quick round.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
-Plays Fast - if it's not crowded.
-Short but challenging
-Nice variety of shots for a 9 hole course
-Plenty 'O Parking
-Accuracy over power course.
Cons: - 40' high metal poles. EVERY.WHERE.
- No bathrooms + lots of beer drinking golfers + small park = bad smells.
-Attracts lots of rec players from UW - who may be more into drinking beer than playing golf..
-9 holes with multiple tee pads = double the traffic.
-Dense teepad/pin placement.
-Lacking in Hole description signs and next tee signs (esp for final 9) Can be VERY confusing without a guide.
-Did I mention the poles? They're everywhere, with nets between them a lot of the time.
-Little to No opportunity to air out/crush a drive.
Other Thoughts: Doubles is on Weds nights. Metal poles were installed a couple of years back in front of *many* of the trees to protect them. Now you hear 'TONG!' every couple of minutes as someone hits one. There are a couple of holes where you have to drive down a fairly narrow alley of netting to get to the basket, which is... 'different'.
Finding your way around the first 9 is not too hard, but after that.... you really need a guide to know which teepad/basket you should be heading for next. I played this course over 30 times (over 15 years, it's not my favorite) before finding out (playing doubles) that I was playing 3 or 4 holes completely wrong.
Good course if you are time constrained and centrally located, if you're not there are much better courses in the area.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: One of the first courses in the Seattle area we started this place to avoid playing woodland park way back in the day. I love this course it is home. Very tight layout with lots of grabbing trees. I love the challenge.
Cons: No really long holes and few open straight holes
Other Thoughts: Disc control is a must. I love this place
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
flying discs in all directions!
Pros: - Solid technical hole design for such a small property. The holes are diverse enough to require a decent shot selection and even after you double back and play from different pads it gives the hole a different look in most cases. You will even throw at different baskets from different pads sharing the same holes as the front 9.
- Nets are in place to keep people safe on other holes where necessary since the property is so small.
- Locals were friendly and seemed to be doing a good job maintaining the course. I didn't see any litter or loose debris anywhere.
- Can be played quickly, lunch-break style since property is so small.
Cons: - The holes are very close together, again, due to the overall size of the property. The nets help, but there are a few sections of the course in which it is hard to tell if the group in front is clear so communication (yelling "clear!!" or "fore!!") is a must here.
- This course gets crowded! This means lots of waiting on the teepad during peak times. That, combined with the close proximity of the holes to one another and it is apparently not uncommon for people to get tagged by a flying disc. (happened twice in the one day I was there). One of the locals joked to me that if you play this course enough, getting hit by a disc is practically a rite of passage.
Other Thoughts: Not my top choice in the Seattle area but if you've played all the others in the area, this one is still a good fun challenge. If you want to play when it's not crowded then weekday mornings might be your best bet.
Great for 9 Holes
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: It's a good layout for 9 holes. Very challenging course for the length.
Cons: It's Not really a 18 hole course like the descriptions says. Most of the alternate tees are just a couple feet away from the first set.
Other Thoughts: The nets are nice so you don't have to worry as much about other discs flying by and hitting you.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I like the park. Its highly technical, and a good challenge. While I have parred white river and Steilicoom, I still can't par this one yet. Not that its much harder, just a lot more technical. Easy to follow.
Cons: In the rain its very muddy. And all the other usual cons here...when it gets crowded sometimes you here "fore!" being shouted every few seconds. The underbrush is easy to lose a disc in and the holly bites.
Other Thoughts: Overall I think its a great course. May not be as good as the big 18 hole courses, but enjoyable and I play it everytime I am in North Seattle....
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Urban DG Madness
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The only course located in Seattle proper.
This is an uber-technical course, in a very small area, played mostly by hardcore disc golf players.
Cons: Overall, this course is not noobie friendly.
Your first time out, this course is pretty much impossible to properly navigate all 18-holes without a guide. Not all the holes have signs, and for the most part the signs that do exist are crap.
The back 9 overlap the front 9 with slight variations.
A lot of people play this course, especially when it is nice outside. It gets packed. Welcome to disc golf, city-style.
Walking from hole-to-hole without crossing one or two other fairways can be difficult to do. So not only do you have to figure out the line to the basket, you have to figure out the "proper path" to take to get to the next tee pad without crossing another fairway. So the locals get pissy when noobies are wandering aimlessly around the course. (Which I guess is understandable since this course is a bit of a cluster to begin with, but getting scowled at can be off-putting.)
Similarly, a bad toss on any given hole will put you on the fairway for a different basket. On hole 3 you could easily end up on fairway 2, 4, 9 (and 11, 13, 18 respectively), or the green for 17. This issue exists on every hole out there.
The regular players of this course are hardcore disc golfers, so you should try to make friendly with these folks and get some guidance. Otherwise, you could get some scowls if you are holding other people up, or wandering aimlessly and making this cluster-of-a-course even more difficult to play.
Watch out for stray discs! And don't be bashful about calling out "fore!"
Other Thoughts: I am thankful that there is a course in the city, and once you figure out the layout it is definitely playable with lots of technically challenging holes that require a variety of different throws and skills. That being said, this is my home course due solely to the fact that it is the only course within a 30-minute drive of my house. And truth be told, all the other courses outside the city limits are better than this one, so if you want to play a good course and can afford to make the drive I would do it.
The dudes out there are friendly as long as you say hello, ask for navigation assistance, and make an effort not to hold anyone up or get in the way. So it's a spot for serious disc golfers.
I don't love this course, but it's close to my house and I have played it enough that it's tight lines and experienced patrons have helped my game.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Only the lonely
What? I can't just put that and have everyone give me a helpful vote?
Fine. I'll go into a bit more detail then.
North Park (Mineral Springs) disc golf course is situated on a four-acre triangle piece of wooded land and is complete with decent concrete tee pads, baskets, hand-drawn signs, slight elevation, metal poles and giant nets.
I've read and come to believe that the metal poles are there to not only add obstacles, but to help protect the trees of this old arboretum. The giant nets are in place to protect the cars along 105th St. and Northgate Way, but more importantly they help protect your noggin.
I appreciate what this course has to offer in regards to tight and creative lines, but North Park offers something else once a few groups arrive - mental unease. That's for the next section though.
Navigation of holes one through nine isn't too hard without a map just as long as you remember what the signs at each pad say. Mad kudos to whomever sketched the signs, because they helped me out immensely. The back nine is basically a replay of the front, but some of the tees are a few feet further back and others, although close, are in different locations entirely. Some holes like four and 13 have different baskets, but like the tees they are close by.
There's no doubt you'll enjoy yourself at North Park if you have some accuracy in your game. Recalling my experience, these fairways required straight mid-range shots with slow fades left and right, low skips to get around hanging branches, forehand rollers to cut corners, thumbers and tomahawks to get out of trouble, hyzers, anhyzers, prayers, wishes, crossed fingers and... I think that about covers it.
The people I saw were really nice and willing to help me with navigation and even pointed out a drop zone for a missed mandy shot.
There's plenty of parking, but if you ever see the parking packed full of automobiles displaying disc golf related stickers then you might want to go play somewhere else, or wear a helmet.
Cons: If North Park was strictly a nine holer I probably wouldn't have much to say in this department, but with the 18 holes jam packed on this small piece of property I will say I'm inclined not to return unless I arrive at a time when hardly anyone is around.
I arrived about 10 a.m. on a Friday. I believe there was only one other group out because I heard someone hit a putt off in the distance. I was completely enjoying myself until I got to hole six. That's when I noticed a bunch of other people showing up and that's also when I realized my head needed to be on a swivel.
Walking to hole seven I felt like I was just in the way. I think the guys waiting for me to move were playing some local's safari route, so I began rushing. The rest of the time I had it stuck in my head that I was either going to accidentally hit someone stepping out from a bush or I was going to get hit walking to my disc. It's not necessarily errant throws you need to be careful of. Someone could easily hit a perfect line, but accidentally tag you because you happen to not be looking in that direction at that moment.
Other than that I guess I could mention some of the litter I saw. I didn't think it drastically affected the look of the course, but it was there and litter is litter. I didn't notice many trashcans either. Next time I go I will bring a bag.
Other Thoughts: One of my life goals is to own a small piece of property and if I was fortunate enough to own four acres I would use North Park as a reference when I install tee pads and baskets. That's what this place mostly reminds me of. It's like someone's back yard. It's great when you're alone or in a small group.
I will definitely be back, but next time, if I'm able to, I may show up at 7 a.m. on a Monday.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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