A fun round, but not too challenging
5 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.
5 of 5 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 / 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.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Small Setting-Fun Course
Pros: Friendly locals welcomed us and invited us to join in the weekly doubles;
Compact design in small urban park;
Easy to find and get to;
Safety nets to keep discs on course/protect the trees/keep discs out of adjoining yards
Cons: The doubling back can be confusing if you are trying to play the full 18;
Popular course-some slow down to wait for groups ahead of us;
Some crossing over of fairways getting from holes to next tee
Other Thoughts: While on recent family vacation, tried out this course located in a small neighborhood park. We happened on the Wed (?) weekly doubles and were encouraged to join in, but passed. Friendly locals made us feel welcome right from the start. A bit crowded, but that made it easy to find the holes and tee pads, so we just followed along. A large group of local teens made the going a bit slow, but they allowed us to play through no problem. I guess better they were on the disc golf course than selling drugs on the street corner. A good afternoon/evening outing and again a fun and different way to vacation and connect with the local folks. Not the usual tourist stuff but well worth packing a few discs in your carry on.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Where are the Windmills
Pros: Tight. Technical. Requires a Bagful of shots. Funky
Cons: Typical Seattle signage /layout...it is like a badge of honor to know the layout. Funky
Other Thoughts: It was hard for me to give a 3 but the thing is I MUST go back and try to conquer some of those lines. The place is nothing if not unique.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Technical and Crowded
- Good elevation change without being extreme
- well manicured/maintained park
- a challenging course
- concrete pads
- ample seating, seats at most tees
- because of a mild grade throughout the park, rain won't pool and turn the ground to mush. A definate plus in our moist climate
- lots of double back
- many time you must cross a fairway to get to the next hole
- many missing tee signs
- course is quite confusing past hole 9 (explaination below)
- very busy
Other Thoughts: Over all, this was worth playing and is a course I'll return to multiple times.
Lots of trees, well defined fairways, reasonable amount of shrubbery without being over grown and disc hungry.
This is a small lot, but they've done alot with it. 2 tees on every hole, 2 baskets on about half of them. This makes finding where you need to throw very tough on the back 9, and the missing signs don't help that. It's a park in the city, so it's not suprising, but sad to see signs missing.
Because of it's small size and how many people are playing, there are alot of chances to be hit by a disc. Many adjacent fairways, and spots where even a mildly errant shot will get in the middle of another team's game.
Additional note : this course has something I've never seen before. On nearly every hole, there are very tall 6 inch poles, cemented in the ground to protect the trees from disc beatings. With as dense as this course is, to protect most of the trees, you'd need alot of poles. They have them. Someone on the course design crew must have stock in an aluminum company or something because there are ton of them, many over 20 feet high. An interesting idea, albiet odd. Something I've never ever seen before.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very cool course that I learned the importance of throwing a good shot! This course is very short but has tons of fun holes on it. The elevation is great for such a short course making a roll away or a bad putt means you could turn an easy 2 into a 4 or higher. The unique obsticles such as nets makes for an interesting round as well. The location is great because it is right off the highway making for an easy trip into the park. This course will make you hit your lines and make you make a shot when you need too. Lots of great people here and always lots of fun. Dual tees make for a full 18. The course was alawys in good shape and well manicured as well. Very beginner friendly too.
Cons: There are tons of people here most of the time but it flows pretty well not making a round last forever. It is a small course so you might have to wait at times but not too bad. No bathrooms. Navigation could be an issue but because of the many locals you will find your way around without any hard times.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course to hit if you are in the area but not the best by any means. This was a fun course that I hit many times just to change the scenery and to enjoy with the locals. For the land that was available and for what is here we should all be proud and thankful!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Feat of Disc Golf Design
Pros: Convenient Location - This course is in the heart of northern urban/suburban Seattle very conveniently located between the two north/south main drags (Aurora and I-5). It is a fairly easy stop off on the way from or to other courses in the area. The course is located on a very small (~4 acre) plot and has dual tee/baskets for a total of 18 holes, about 13 of which are unique (i.e. tees/baskets are not just 5 feet further back).
Unique holes - Because of the elevation, nets/poles, shrubs and ground cover, some of these holes are quite unique both in strategy and appearance. A previous reviewer was correct in stating that there are
several holes where an easy par save can be made by net redirection when
no direct approach to the basket is available. The drive on hole 5 and 7 can also benefit from a planned net bounce.
OB - This can be both a pro and a con. The OB is marked with rock rings
on 3,6,7,12,15,16 and small concrete pools on hole 4/13. Much of it is
fair and if your shot lands in these places, it likely deserves additional penalty, but at the same time, there is a pretty large luck factor because the penalty areas are so small.
Design - After having played this course many times, I'm still finding different lines and better ways to play several of the holes. That said, there are many holes where strategy is pretty simplistic and just a matter of execution. To consistently score well on this course, it definitely helps to have some patience and an eye for probability of success (think Stokely's base 10 method) off the tee as trees run through several fairways and the obvious line may not yield the best score over time.
For the land available, it really is a feat of disc golf design to make such an interesting and challenging course.
Cons: Sometimes Crowded - The first course I played this course was after moving to Seattle and the late summer afternoon I played it was extremely crowded and made for a hectic round. I didn't think I would play here all that often after this first impression, but you just have
to find the right time to play it. Not every day is jam packed like that and in the late evenings the course gets much less play than between 4-7pm. In winter, one can be completely alone on the course most afternoons and on colder/rainier weekend days.
Nets/Poles - Some people are annoyed by the poles but I'm not sure why except that they make a loud noise which alerts everyone in the park about your most recent blown drive. The nets could be a larger problem for first time players as they are transparent from the teepads. Especially on holes 5/14, the nets are hard to see and close to intended
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As the other reviews have said, they were able to fit a lot of disc golf in a tiny space. After playing here I always do better at the bigger more wide open courses in the area, like Lakewood. Forces you to really think about each shot since the fairways are all pretty tight except 1 & 10. The course is always pretty clean and well maintained.
Cons: Can get a little crusty sometimes....wedged between I-5 and Aurora Ave in Seattle it's a big plot of land that the homeless and malcontents like to use...watch out for biohazards :)
But for a park in a major metro area...we deal with these things.
Other Thoughts: If the city would put a Honey Bucket up, that would be awesome. Any kind of doubles round or ace pot turns this place into a disc golf parking lot.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There is a great variety of shots and looks here, open, tight, doglegging, ranging from open to dense forest, some tee boxes elevated. Many of the baskets are in the most interesting mix of bushes and trees and elevation that have an entirely different look and feel when approach from another side. The course plays quickly either because of its small size or speedy crowds. After around here you feel like part of a disc golf community because of the close proximity to other golfers. The nets and poles not only protect the trees, they protect you. A player in north Seattle does not have to drive far to play this course. You hear the traffic nearby but you are within your personal oasis the entire round. This park is the least repetitive duel-tee-to-make-18 course I've ever played, the designers should pat themselves on the back for maximizing land use.
Cons: Because of the duel tee layout and the random mandos, even with a map it can be very confusing to navigate by yourself. I've played this park a bunch and it gets very crowded. "Fore" is commonly yelled.
Other Thoughts: This course could be the most use I've ever seen on a small piece of land. Perhaps this course could set the standard for urban disc golf. Mineral Springs, shows that it's possible to have disc golf in an urban setting with little land. If you thought disc golf couldn't work in the heart of the city, I think you should tour this place.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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