Challenging Course in a Nice Environment
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging course design (including low ceilings)
Multiple pin locations; good mix of short and long distance
Decent amount of shade
Cons: Poor signage, especially on winter layout
Some tee pads are in the firing path of previous hole
Holes 12-16 are not laid out properly and are going to confuse people in terms of start/finish of each hole
The terrain behind JPL is challenging and can lead to many lost discs
Other Thoughts: This place has a ton of history baked into it and it is worth a visit for that reason alone. The crowd was friendly and easy-going. I never had any issues with poor play from others on the course (and one group helped me find a lost disc). The signage (at least for the winter layout) is terribly once you get out of the "grassy park" portion of the course. Once you venture out into the washed-out gulley you are in for a rude awakening (lost discs, poor directions, itchy terrain, long distance throws, etc.). I would recommend starting with a course-regular for the first time. The overall course rewards those with good shot selections and I enjoyed the mix of throwing types throughout the course.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Go Hahamongna or go home
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very frequent rotation of basket location
Historical significance to the sport
Thoughtful layout and variety
Cons: Crowded at peak times with golfers & others
San Gabriel Valley is hot and dusty in the summer. Megadrought.
Holes are not labelled or are mislabeled (old hole numbers embedded in concrete tees)
Almost impossible to figure out where the next hole is without map or assistance
This place is basically the opposite of a ball golf course--not a posh experience by any stretch. A quasi-urban municipal park.
Other reviews have mentioned a dbag presence--I have not seen that at all. To me that means rich guy in convertible BMW and USC v-neck sweater. Haven't seen this person here. Lots of solo players and lots of big groups. To me, the vibe is very tolerant, very "do what you feel." Today, a random guy insisted on spending 15 minutes in the hot sun helping me look for my disc (thanks, Javier), despite it clearly having been a horrible throw by a noob player.
Download a map from this site beforehand, or expect to be confused and frustrated trying to follow the course for the first time--signage is mostly non-existent. The back 9 is a maze, with a lot of similar holes right on top of each other.
Lots of giant shade trees. Lot of groups of guys standing under trees, throwing rocks up at their stuck discs--mostly enjoying the game-within-a-game. Lots of precision needed--or at least rewarded. Many 200-300' holes with trees in all the "wrong" places.
I have seen NO poison oak. There is some poodle-dog bush in the former pond on hole 14--some people have a poison oak-like reaction to it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...ictyon_parryi
The course has been around forever, and has a well-beat-in feel. If it were a disc, it would be very understable by now.
There are two bathrooms--near the hole 18 basket / hole 19 tee and up the hill from hole 4 (with others elsewhere in the park, I'm sure).
There are 5+ water fountains on the course--just keep an eye out.
Park gets a lot of use--I showed up one Sunday to find a massive cross-country meet going on. Free-for-all parking, kids picking up discs, golfers throwing onto a live race course...madness. Bring your zen, and don't take it too seriously.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Puttsin' around the dust bowl.
Pros: 1. Great challenging course that offers a lot of opportunities to practice various shots and driving.
2. Plenty of trees until you get to the open field, but you're not there for long.
3. Good Disc golf community.
First time playing this course,and I had a buddy guide me using dgcoursereview map.
Cons: 1. Gets pretty crowded late morning.
2. Lots of trees to get your disc stuck in. Keep a baseball or softball handy.
3. Watch out for horse scat.
4. There is one basket that has a bowl you need to throw over. If you have beginners with you, this could ruin they're experience if the have to go digging in the bowl.
5. Local players are pretty good and move at a good pace. Not great for big beginner groups.
Other Thoughts: I suggest getting there early in the morning. It gets pretty hot. Be careful on a couple of the elevated tees. The last thing you need is an accident by falling off the tee.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Historic Old Course Looks Worn!
Pros: I could just copy the previous reviewers (Forehandfranz) review. It was that spot on!
This historic old course has a sign at the beginning which reads, "Oak Grove-Worlds First Frisbee Golf Course." Remember way back in the 70's, this sport was known as Frisbee Golf.
The course plays through several different areas of the park. I think the original 18 started where the frisbee sign stands. This part of the park features many oak trees and is mostly flat. The current front nine starts across the street and plays around a large green grass area. This part features a little more rugged terrain as well as a couple more challenging holes. And part of the course plays in the back of the park in a much more rugged undeveloped area. Navigation was confusing from the start. I think I played the back nine followed by the front nine and more than once threw to the wrong basket or spent time back tracking about trying to find my way.
Everything about this course is kinda old and tired. The signs, the tee pads and the baskets all have that vibe that they've survived since the 70's and much of it has. The pads are mostly concrete and most are a hexagon shape. Some have the hole # engraved in the concrete but it's not often the correct hole due to course reconfiguration.
The course is recreational in length and difficulty, very common for a 70's vintage course.
Cons: I only encountered one local and he sure as hell wasn't very helpful when I asked for some help with finding my way. It was like I was asking him to donate a kidney to me.
Everything about this course is showing it's age.
Navigation, even with my on-line map, was most confusing.
There was a giant gathering of campers there on the day I played making a couple of holes unplayable. Not really a con, just a fact.
Lacks the challenge and creativity that many of today's top courses share.
Other Thoughts: I would love to see this course designated as some kind of a historical landmark and thereby be protected and be entitled to better upkeep and preservation by the county or local disc club. Better signage would be a nice step in that direction. A previous reviewer suggested stenciling the hole # on the pads and putting a number on the baskets. Both would be tremendous helps.
It was fun getting to finally play this historic course. I vividly remember my boss bringing a recreation journal into our Parks & Recreation office sometime around 1977 which had an article on the world's first frisbee course. We were so inspired that we soon starting designing/building our own little frisbee golf course which was the first permanent course in the Northwest. It still stands today although it's pretty much a joke by today's standards.
Back to Oak Park, Play it by all means. It's history! But don't expect to be wowed.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Thank you Steady Ed!
Pros: Being the first installed course in history, I expected old baskets and really short holes. This wasn't the case. Most of the holes are medium length (300' range I'm guessing) with lots of chances to shape your shots through the prevalent oak trees. The course is fairly flat, though there are some minor changes in elevation and many pins are placed on these slopes to add putting challenges. There are multiple pin placements per hole. The holes are interesting and fairly creative (I wonder if they all are Steady Ed's design, or if they have changed over the years). The trees can punish a poor drive, forcing some very skilled approaches.
The park is in a scenic, quiet area, with the northern mountains looming in the background.
The locals were kind - a large group offered to let me play through, and later a friendly twosome let me join them to complete my round.
Cons: Navigation, as many have mentioned is tricky the first time. Please download a map from this site BEFORE you get to the park (I couldn't get good internet reception inside the park, as it's in a recessed bowl). They did have a crude map on the phone pole at hole #1 which helped, but I had to ask someone which hole #1 was!
Very few of the tees and baskets were numbered, so bring a map!
There were a couple tees that had numbers carved in them but they were the wrong numbers, alas. This would be a fantastic idea if they could follow through on this project, as the numbers can't get destroyed by vandals!
Other Thoughts: This probably can't be helped (due to a nasty ongoing drought), but everything is very scrubby and dry and plant life seems to be suffering. The area that goes out over the "water" is now dry and stinky, blecch! Some areas just looked kinda "sad", but that does not reflect my rating.
The baskets (Innova) were adequate but looked worn and tired and many were graffiti'd. I guess it just kinda compounded the "abused" look of some of the landscape. It sure would help if they were to paint the yellow band and add some numbers to them. It would just be nice to give this historic course that little extra bit of respect it deserves.
Overall, I would return here to play again. Don't expect anything mind-blowing as the course lacks holes (in my modest opinion) that have any "wow factor", but is a fun play, nonetheless.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
In love with the history and locals
Pros: I really enjoy this course for the history and the impressive local commitment to keeping the place maintained.
The course is technical and requires every shot in the bag. Thumbers are welcome here along with forehand as well as rollers on a few holes. Teepads are in great shape at every hole and there are many different pin placements to keep you on your toes. Great use of the terrain provided to give some elevation as well as a canyon shot that will give the same psychological feel as water.
Favorite pin placement in a 150' footer straight down from the top of a 50' hill. Very creative use of the hills, trees, and terrain on every hole.
I've actually stopped at just looked at several of the holes on the front 9 and remarked how picturesque they look with baskets tucked into different nooks and crannys on the side of the hill with tree cover everywhere.
Crowds often add to the flavor of the course and can make the round that much more enjoyable. The local support here is inspiring, too bad more courses didn't have the commitment these guys have.
Cons: Crowds can destroy a round as well, no getting away from them. Most are well behaved, haven't had problems yet but could see some impatient noobs throwing on people.
Course is a bit short for modern technology except for 2 holes where you can air it out, so it lacks on distance challenges. The pin placements I've played lend themselves to LHBH or RHFH. I felt like I threw the same shot off the tee on the back 9, 7 times - FH skip to the basket, FH skip to the basket. Easy 6 birds in a row but very repetitive.
Navigation. There is none. I've played with guys who've been there a bunch and we still got lost. Following the group in front of you is really the only way to play the course, especially with the extra holes always popping up on the course.
Really cramped on the back 9. Felt like I was throwing on someone every hole.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoy this course and will be back often. It's great to be apart of So Cal DG history.
The course would be bumped up to a 4 with nice new tee signs with all pins marked and directions to the next tee. I'd love to play all the "extra" holes, but have no idea where to find them.
There's a soccer field really close to the first few holes that might disrupt a round but there was a group playing Ultimate last time I was there so I'll allow it.
Again, the locals are what make this course great. With big tournaments, weekly's monthly's, ace races and probably glow rounds, the course is always buzzing with activity that is positive for disc golf. Wish more courses could have this following.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 2 Not
Better Than Ever.
- History. Being the first ever official DG course in the WORLD, OG is a must play for all dedicated disc golfers. And, even though the course today is not the original course, some of the original tee-pads are there as well as one of the first ever official baskets (Black Basket to the left of Hole 10's fairway).
- Looking Good. OG is in the best shape it has been in in years. All the litter has been removed, bushes have been manicured, tee-pads areas cleaned, extra pin placements installed, etc... I have never seen the course looking as good as it does now (9 years).
- Multiple Pins. Every hole has multiple pin positions and the baskets get moved fairly frequently. Also, the multiple pin positions give the holes different looks and keeps the course interesting.
- Shot Variety. OG isn't the longest or most technical course, but it has a good variety of shots. Low, line-drives, huge spike hyzers, touch skip shots, thumbers, sidearms, mids, putters... It's only really missing huge bombs.
- Crowded. OG is one of the more crowded courses you will ever find. It's not uncommon to find several 8-sums on the course at any given time (and that includes 9am on a Sunday mornings too).
- Lack of Signage. There is not one tee-sign, directional sign, informational sign, etc... on the whole course. Not only is this un-professional looking, but it could also lead to some confusion in navigation (however, with as busy as the course is at any time of the day, all you need to do is follow the group in front of you).
- Baskets. At least 5 different types of OLD mix-matched baskets make up the course. Many of the pins are un-vertical and several are temporary baskets tethered to trees of telephone poles with long chains.
- Locals. As other reviewers have said, the Locals can be rough. Lots of Tweakers, Lots of Bums, Lots of DirtBags.
- Summer Camp. In the summer, a summer-camp uses much of the park as their base camp for activities. The campers are generally out of the way, but they do walk through the course from time to time. Just be aware.
- Under-Covers. There have been several instances of undercover cops infiltrating the course and busting people for extracurricular activities. Cops have been known to hide in the bushes (IN CAMOFLAGE) near the 420 spots. Be Aware!
- Weekly. They hold an extremely successful Wednesday night weekly (3:00 Winter / 5:00 Summer)... and, they'll even give you strokes. (Next weeks Ace Pot is over $400).
- Must Play if in LA. Due to the history, and the fact that the course is pretty decent, OG is a must play if you're in LA. Don't let the idea of sketchy locals or crowds deter you.
- My Best Score: -13
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
27 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Oak Grove has an amazingly active group of locals that maintain monthly and weekly events. It's important to take a few moments each round and realize that this is sacred ground. This is where our sport really took shape. What amazes me most is the proximity to JPL. Check it out on the back 9 and stare in awe at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. If you're not familiar with JPL I really recommend that you look up it's history. (I would link you to some stuff but if you've made it this far on the internet you can probably figure out how to search for info on JPL yourself.) Some of the first DGers took time away from building satellites to have some terrestrial fun and chuck some plastic at chains.
To get a good score at Oak Grove you need a good command of many types of shots however you can still play there as a beginner and have a great time.
Oak Grove can really punish you for throwing high. This is a valuable lesson about control that you may not receive in most West Coast courses. If you have a problem with nose angle a few rounds at OG will fix you up really nicely.
Cons: There are some cramped fairways and some holes that could use a redesign to maintain flow.
Teeboxes still have the numbers of an older layout and there aren't current maps available at the course. Navigation can be difficult.
Some teeboxes are rougher than the ground next to them.
I've noticed a lack of courtesy from a lot of players. I also realized that many of these people held 2 brand new dx discs. Be kind to n00bs. You were once one yourself. Don't be afraid to talk about etiquette.
Other Thoughts: I am constantly impressed with every visit to this course that there are baskets in positions that I haven't seen before. This is another tribute to the active amount of locals. The first couple of front holes revolve around a public field and are mostly "lefty" holes so be careful and respectful of people sharing the property. I can very easily see someone chucking their new Orc into a soccer game and making life difficult for the DGers.
I have read that OG has some crappy and mean people throwing discs but I have never found this to be the case. I think a positive and honest attitude helps a lot in life. If you would like to pass a group be upfront with your intention because they may not know the protocol involved or may just think that you're checking out their lines.
Enjoy this course and it's history. Maybe throw a whole round with freestyle discs and really appreciate how far we've come.
27 of 27 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
first time here
Pros: variety of distances and terrain, history, free, close to freeway, lot of obstacles make it challenging and the mandatories
Cons: getting lost i missed hole 6 but i found a baskey with a cone on it after 5 behind 5 down the hill surrounded by bushes but where was the tee?????
some fairways go through a horse trail area..so there is the possibilty of landing in horsecrap.
some locals gave me wrong directions but some gave me right directions to hole locations.
first couple holes you have to watch out for people excersizing.
some holes i didnt want to lose my disc so i skipped them (9, and the lake hole)
Other Thoughts: good i think if you updated tees and had a nice map at the site off all the holes and the best way to play them in order would make this course one of the best
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a challenging course that will make you think about shots and challenge you to make shots that you did not think to make. It plays around the outskirts, most of the time of a very nice park. It is really close to NASA's JPL and it is cool that you get to see the grounds of that from the course. I found the tee pads exceptionally nice in size and shape. There are elements in this course of both a mountain course as well as a park course. There are two bonus holes that are even more fun than the rest of the course.
Cons: The park is right next to La Canada High School so there was a lot of street traffic in the area and a lot of kids walking through the park. There was also a lot of traffic of just disc golfers for the time and day that I played it. There are literally no signs other than general ones that say Frisbee Golf Course. I had to ask people where to go on several occasions and was thankful that there were people to ask.
Other Thoughts: This is a course that is worth going out of your way to play. There was enough challenge in the course without being super difficult. Hole one is right by the ball field, just in case you had no idea like I did playing it the first time. The bonus holes come after hole 13 I believe and have rubber tee pads. There are two of them and are really the only holes that make distance a factor. These were my favorite holes on the course, especially the second one that comes back accross the huge gully. I would highly reccomend that you do not miss these holes.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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