Big Arm Paradise
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Friendly locals, Large grippy tee pads, Great tee signs, Nice DISCatcher baskets, Kiosk, Good use of OB, Well maintained/Clean, Benches on every hole, Risk/Reward opportunities and Challenging for any caliber of player.
Cons: $5 fee to park, No practice basket, No water, Crowded at times, No alcohol, one restroom centrally located on the course and the ROUGH
Other Thoughts: Street parking near hole #8 is FREE! This area originally slated for a ball golf course instead designed into a disc golf course giving it the 10,000 ft in length. The course is challenging with the length of holes compounded with windy conditions at times and OB placed throughout and a gnarly rough. It is not a beginner friendly course and advice all players to simply keep an eye on your disc. The rough will cut you up and leave you with swelling and itching let alone spending time looking for discs instead of playing disc. I have seen the police make people empty out their beer cans since there is no alcohol and smoking allowed in the park, please respect the rules.
Like others have mentioned the course length is challenging enough let alone the OB. I don't have a big arm, my drives avg. 300- 330ft. I have lost many drivers in the rough here with not a single return or call back. I have learned that choosing to throw a midrange (ROC) has lowered my scores and helped from losing any plastic.
The course has enough space to add shorter tee pads and multiple pin placements for all holes, but for now only holes #17 &18 have multiple pin placements.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
OB, Legnth, Thorns and Rough
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Located in Blue Lake Regional park, this is probably Portlands busiest park, great use of land.
-Challenging shots, with the combo of length and well placed OB you really have to think your way through a round here, there might only be a few throws you can just try to bomb and not worry too much about where they land.
-Roller friendly, I love throwing backhand rollers, and this course offers multiple opportunities to use it.
-Tee Pads/Signage, the pads are well maintained and the signage is super useful. If you pay attention to the signs it is very easy to navigate this course.
-Benches, just about every pad has a bench behind it.
-Crowd, as with most portland courses my experience is almost all of the dg'ers out here are friendly and helpful, ive even had random folks from the group infront and behind jump in to try and help find lost discs.
Cons: -Line at the gate! It costs $5 to park, which is not horrible and I have a year pass anyway so no biggie there, BUT if you get to the park between ~9 and noon on a weekend you will often find a LONG line of cars waiting to get in and pay, be prepared to wait.
-Punishing rough, plastic wasteland, currently the rough isnt horrible (end of summer) but even now it is frustratingly easy to lose a disc even on a mostly well-thrown shot.
-Speaking of rough the blackberries are vicious out there, the thorns will tear and cut up your legs, ive found a number of discs that I think a few people just said F' it to rather than trying to get into the rough.
-Bee's/hornets, especially on 16-17 be careful before wading to far into deep areas, ive seen more than one person get stung.
Other Thoughts: This is a course I only want to play every once in a while, and at that with a minimum group of 2 other people for disc finding purposes. On the other hand it greatly challenges me to lengthen my throws and be WAY more accurate than I normally would have to be.
Overall a positive experience but with alot of potential to be a downer of a round.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
A Test For Whom?
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I'm going to try and add my own feelings and thoughts on this course without saying what's already been said in previous reviews too much as we all know by now that it's long, has tall grass/thick rough (I call a pro for about 80% of the course) and was designed by Dave Feldberg. So here we go.
There are some holes here that are not obviously figured out right away which is a good thing. You play the hole and after you think about a new line to take or a different shot or approach all together. The long grass that is used as out of bounds on some holes is a psychological obstacle as well as a physical one. I like the way the course is broken up in a sense in that you get a par three then a par four then a par three again and then a part five, etc. Not many people factor this into the difficulty of course as it it keeps you from getting into a groove and makes you unbalanced just like when a pitcher in a baseball game changes speed by throwing fastballs and then curve balls. The course is also hard because you think it's hard and you play the course as a long course and try to do too much and over throw your disc when a controlled 300 foot mid range throw will be better for you score.
I really like the concrete pads, tee signs and baskets although I believe it would be better if the hole number were painted on the basket to ease with confusion. There were signs saying there was a trash can every three holes and it looks like the players are keeping the trash in those bins at least so far let's hope they keep that up.
Cons: I'm a little confused as I kept hearing that this was a course to challenge the gold and top tier players but the par for the course (69) is designed much more for a player of my caliber (900 rated) or even lower. On some of the par four holes I was making two average or even below average throws and finding myself putting for birdie, I feel like some of these holes are either too long or too short for my skill level to be challenged so I can play the hole 100 times and have the same score maybe 95% of the time which makes it a boring hole for me. A good example would be hole one where I make two easy throws and can get a three no sweat but I'll never get a birdie because I can't throw 450 feet in one throw. A top level player however can throw that far but it's more of a par three hole for them. Lots of "tweener" holes. I guess I'm saying that this course isn't designed for me so why is the par designed for me?
There are a couple holes that use the long grass effectively as a nuisance and/or an out of bounds area but there are still a couple of blind throws over the long grass to a raised position or dogleg that makes tracking where you threw too more than a little difficult.
A few holes (especially the long open ones) felt like someone said something to the effect of "Let's put the tee pad here and the basket way down there, and that hole is done". Like there wasn't more of a consideration of what different lines and ways to play it and what makes a good length for the par they were going for.
I got a little confused on some parts of the course and it seemed to flow strange in parts taking me back to the fairways and and tee pads I had played already and hadn't played yet. The tee pad for six is right near the basket for four and I found it a little crazy walking back 800 feet for hole five just to play back to where I just was. I think if this were my home course I would skip hole five most days.
Other Thoughts: As always Oregon parks are charging $5 to get in and I'm not sure if there is an annual pass or not. I think I had very high expectations going in being that Dave Feldberg was involved in this project so I believe my disappointment is showing through along with my thoughts. If you like more open holes and length I think you will like this course quite a bit but for my money I like a more wooded challenge instead of just outright chucking your disc all over hells half acre. I would be very interested in seeing the scores of the top tier players during a tournament here.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Blue Lake Was Not Designed For The Likes Of Me!
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Knowing ahead of time that this course was going to be way out of my comfort zone, I was mentally prepared to not enjoy it. But I found some design features here that really qualify this as a unique disc golf experience. The unfortunate part of this experience is us less gifted players just don't have the physical attributes (distance and accuracy) it takes to real appreciate and test our-selves here. Spending precious amounts of time hunting for lost discs in razor sharp rough isn't anyone's idea of enjoyment.
The course starts out with clearly marked course and parking signs. There is ample parking across the street. A course map is posted at the the beginning on the kiosk. Blue Lake features the ABSOLUTE BEST Tee Signs EVER. Firstly, they are a very pretty blue with great information, but more importantly they are totally vandal proof, small concrete pillars (roughly two ft. tall) with the hole sign, map, etc. bolted onto ( actually slightly into) the pillar. If the sign gets painted or trashed, it can get simply be unbolted and replaced. This had to be costly but worth every penny.
The course is an unworldly long 10,000 feet but features a couple of most interesting holes such as # 3, where the really skilled player has to really shape his shot and be thinking a shot or two ahead. It would be fun to watch the top players attack these holes. It was comical to watch me butcher them.
Other holes force players to decide whether to "go for it" by throwing over the OB tall grass or play safe by laying up around the sides. Once again, players with more normal arms or accuracy issues don't always have these options.
I thought # 9 was a most interesting hole. It's a 400' Par 3 where you're teeing off through a tunnel of trees with the tiniest of gaps. It's only about 7 wide at it's most narrow point and then the basket is nestled into a grove of small trees.
I was glad to see a few fairways have been widened and some rough has been cleared and narrowed somewhat.
Cons: The length of course is daunting to all but the most advanced players. As I was leaving, I saw a young lady attempting to take on the course with one of the huge old Whamo freestyle frisbees. Good luck with that, young lady! I'll take Blue Lake and give the strokes on that match-up for a $100 please.
The rough features some of the gnarliest, most hostile, most un-penetrable mix of thorns and berries and other prickly plants I've ever had the misfortune of shedding my precious type O blood with.
I love natural scenic beauty on my courses. It's why I hold Whistler's Bend in such high esteem and others such as Pier Park, LL Stub Stewart and Dexter. They're all such naturally lovely places to enjoy. Blue Lake is just OK. It has no elevation to speak of. No water. I like it better than downtown Portland or the Tucson desert.
Other Thoughts: Mr. Feldberg and the other designers certainly put together a course to challenge the upper level players. They accomplished that with a unique design featuring holes one doesn't encounter on many courses. I applaud their efforts for that. I wish they could have built some beginner tees for us and maybe the thorny plants will be taken care of in time. My hands, arms and legs would appreciate the efforts of anyone who helps.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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