14 Helpful / 0 Not
Oak Grove Where it all began!
*History! As it states in the title, this is where it all began. The first disc golf course in the world and it happens to be in Pasadena, California. Established in 1975, this course has been redesigned multiple times over the years. However, the first basket hole can still be played on hole #10 when it is located in the short position.
*OG has unique and diverse terrain through old oaks and desert landscape, including a lake on hole D. Great use of what elevation they had.
*Short technical course w/ low tree canopies yet multiple approaches through medusa like branches toward the pin.
*Large, sturdy, hexagonal tee pads, with the exception of the rubber mats on holes C and D. Multiple pin positions on every hole.
*Good flow allowing for multiple stops at the parking lot if needed. Especially helpful on hot, congested days. Multiple bathroom areas although not easy to spot from the hole one.
*The alternate/temp "spider" hole that plays uphill into the center of a tree with what looks like spider legs blocking a heavily guarded basket.
*Strong local club that has pro/am weeklies as well as large annual tournaments.
*Challenging enough for all skill levels making the replay value high.
Favorite hole/s: #1, "Spider Hole", "Lake Hole D", #18 (third to last hole)
*Also hit an ace on the "local" filler hole which plays after the "spider hole", throwing from old tee 17 to basket 4. Fun little 100 foot downhill shot.
*There are no tee signs or markings making navigation difficult for visitors. Tee pads also have the wrong number on many of them due to the course being redesigned multiple times over the years.
*The majority of holes on the course are less than 300 ft. w/ only two holes reaching near 400 ft. That doesn't bother me as much, especially considering it was built in 1975, but it may be for some.
*Lots of activities on the grass field near the first three holes, including soccer, football, or summer camp activities. Fortunately, they seem to comingle with the disc golfers. Just be courteous.
*No pro shop like Sylmar where players can get food, discs, and merchandise. However, there is an old school disc golfer named GW who runs the AM weeklies who sells club cfr discs at a reasonable price. He is a classic OG original and can tell you all about its history.
*Older mixed baskets that have seen better days due to heavy traffic. It was cool though to see the Iron Maiden near hole #10.
Least Favorite hole/s: #8, #9, #13
*Being a California native, the thought of not playing the world's first disc golf course would be both tragic and sad. After 11 years of playing I finally had my chance! Learning on De LaVeaga, and although on the opposite side of the state, I felt at peace as if I were back home. Due to the courses deep roots, the people who play OG are as diverse as the course. The original "good ol' boys "mixed in with the generation X and beyond. And yet
it seems to work.
*Special shot out to Snappyfingers, and HeizerSoze from dgcr for showing me around this magical place. It just wouldn't have been the same if I had played solo, and to play with people who were so passionate about OG was perfect!
**A must play if in the greater LA area**
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Another great visit
Pros: Another great trip to the original course grounds. I really like visiting this park. Its a nice cruise through the course. Perfect natural landscape for a disc golf course. Short but technical with a lot of different throws required.
Throw one over the pound and don't
Cons: What happend to the Extra bonus holes for those that new how to play them. 4 years ago I played with a local that took me on the extended course. It wasn't there.
Some tees could be longer, I used to longer placements (but hey, it is the original course). Sometimes you are throwing on the group at the next Tee in front of you, causes hold ups. Not much else, I still haven't got my best round in yet. I will be back.
Other Thoughts: Throw it over the Pond! Don't wimp out be an itty bitty. I don't have the longest arm, but I ain't scared. I partnered up with a local and he keep telling me through the round that he didn't want to loose his disc. I told him it's all part of the game and they come and they go. Didn't make it on that round but I tried (went right and down in the brush on the ledge). But the last one, I put 40 ft past the basket. I watched groups after to group pass this hole up and opt for the alternate safe basket on the side. Go for it and show them how its done.
Outthink the crowds,pick your time wisely. I have always find a time when courses are crowded. I played 2 out of 4 rounds, I played right through, the others I didn't have to wait to long and met a few people.
Johnny B, dives for disc in the pond and has them and sells other used disc. Nice meeting Johnny B, good to swap stories and meet new golfers. Thanks
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: A wide variety of shots some downhill, around trees and various obstacles.
Free to play.
Easy to naviagate.
Hole 14 is excellent, one of the best holes ive played.
Not rough on the feet, no thorns, cactus, or stickers.
Hexagonal and rubber teepads worked quite well.
Cons: Not clearly marked, most tee pads have wrong numbers.
No relative distances marked and sometimes you cant see where the hole is, can make first time playing difficult.
No pro shop, snack shop, guide area to find out where to start (thought this shouldnt be that hard.
Other Thoughts: This has been the best course i've played thus far here in southern california, I didnt bring any water which was a huge mistake, by hole 15 I was dying out there, so make sure your well hydrated beforehand as well. If you go play there and its your first time ask the people around where to start everyone was quite friendly. It may be difficult to navigate the back 9 but this is only for the first time you go there, once you know its actually quite simple. ENJOY
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Best in Spring
Pros: Offers a good diversity of shots. Most are technical, not big booming throws. Wonderful setting. Good maintenance. Locals are chill.
Cons: Old mismatched baskets. Homeless guy on the back 9. Dusty in summer.
Other Thoughts: Can't beat the 5th hole during sunset... Unless it's the 14th hole after a huge storm.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 0 Not
World's First: Technical Fun Awaits
Pros: - Oak Grove, site of the world's 1st disc golf course, features a mix of terrain ranging from rough, scrubby desert replete with cacti to grassy park-style fairways. A wide range of vegetation includes many wooded patches. Several holes play alongside or underneath the branches of trees. In places, branches force certain shots due to low clearance. Water in play on one hole during the wetter times of year.
- Great use of the modest elevation on site. Every hole seems to have at least a few wrinkles and elevation features prominently on many of the best designed holes. Baskets placed atop small rises create good risk/reward opportunities due to the threat of rolling away into brush or, in places, water. The hole with the lake arcs in a dogleg-left from the tee, with a scrub-covered bluff down to the lake providing risk should you choose to try for the pin, which is shielded in front by small trees.
- Several ace runs possible, without being cheap or boring.
- Interesting old concrete tees in the shapes of hex- and/or pent-agons. Not always level but enough to get the job done on this shorter technical course.
- Accommodating and friendly locals create a positive, open vibe. Ask a local to guide if you're unfamiliar with the layout.
Cons: - No signs. Makes navigation and finding the baskets on blind holes a bit tricky. Having a local guide will greatly enhance the experience for first timers.
- A couple of the first several holes play alongside a busy soccer field. Not a large problem, but I assume some issues arise from time to time.
Other Thoughts: - The mountain backdrop provides some truly scenic disc golf.
- Some areas get very dusty. Bring a towel if dust bothers you.
- Although located on the site of the original course in the world and the birth spot of our sport, the current course is not the original design. Apparently the original course's design changed long ago and has been through several incarnations throughout the years. The current setup maximizes the use of the natural terrain and vegetation, encouraging precise upshots and solid putting over massive drives.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a historic course set in a large multi-use park. Other than the first couple holes, the course is on disc golf exclusive areas, so no real conflicts with other park users. There is lots of nice shade with the mature oak trees, making for a pretty park and a nice round even on hot summer days. The trees and the minor elevation changes available are used well to create a variety of hole shapes and lengths that keep the course from feeling repetitive, and offer some interesting challenges.
The concrete tees are in good shape for the most part, and the two rubber tees are laid well and provide nice flat tee areas. I didn't find the layout that hard to follow, but there is a nice map online here that is useful for finding your way around. The locals we ran into were friendly and helpful the one time we got turned around.
Cons: There are no tee signs, I always like to know hole layout and distance and that isn't available here. There are several blind holes that you pretty much have to walk up the fairway to know where to shoot. The map shows 22 holes with 4 letter holes, and other reviewers mention these extras, but we were only able to find C and D, and the course info lists only 20 holes, so that's a little confusing.
The basket situation isn't ideal with a mix of various baskets, many of which aren't in the best shape. The course can be very crowded, leading to some waits on slow groups and some inconsiderate people throwing on you at times.
Other Thoughts: There is a ton of history here, and on top of that it's an enjoyable course through some really nice old oak trees. Beginners will find the distances reasonable and not too much punishing schule. More experienced players will find some fun challenges though it's not a really tough course, with lots of birdies if you hit your lines. I definitely recommend a stop here while in the LA area.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Historic course, fairways and terrain varies. I like the hexagon tee-pads.
Cons: Can get very congested, especially when school gets out. Sometimes sporting event crowds get in the way on holes 2 and 3.
Other Thoughts: This place is great. It is the first place I played when I moved back to So Cal. If you can't find your way around, there is someone there that can show you. I have met a lot of cool people there.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
First Course Ever Played
Pros: Very pretty. Tees moved often. Some holes very long. Lots of trees; making the course challenging. Locals very friendly and helpful.
Cons: Played on a weekday in late afternoon and had some waiting between holes.
Other Thoughts: First place I ever played disc golf and our family of 5 are hooked!
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 0 Not
You can Feel the History in the Air
Unique Terrain that varies from thick to wide open
Great use of elevation change
Lots of beautiful Oak Trees that act as excellent natural obstacles
Even Mix of RHBH and LHBH holes throughout
Creative use of terrain, especially on the "Lake Hole" which plays as "Hole D". You are shaping lines around or over terrain on the majority of shots here.
Free to play!
DG Exclusive area except for the first 3 holes which play near soccer/football fields. People know DG is being played!
A few scattered bathrooms, plenty of bushes
Great local scene and regular tourneys held at the course.
Concrete Tees on most holes which are old but sturdy
No Pro Shop / Snack Shop. Sometimes there is a guy selling discs in a white truck from what I remember.
Most holes are under 300' in length. This is actually a bit of a pro for noodle arms like me.
No tee signs or markers, and most pads have the wrong number listed. You have to know the layout or follow someone. Bring a guide your first time.
Older Baskets with no number markers
Soccer or football players are active on the fields next to holes 2 and 3, and can sometimes get in the way. They aren't a problem for the rest of the course.
Very dusty in the summertime - think Kansas in the great depression
Crazy homeless guy sometimes will come out and yell at you right around Hole 17. Some have said that he has lived there on the property for years and that he is a staple of the park.
Oak Grove Park: steps from JPL in Pasadena and the place that started it all. The first "permanent pole hole" course in the world. Rolling hills surround this course located low in an erosion area within a multi use park. Every throw here makes you think, and there is almost a perfect mix of both RHBH and LHBH holes. If you're a righty, you'd better have a forehand on this course.
The first few times I played this course, I didn't have a guide or any groups to follow and was a bit frustrated. You will definitely get greater enjoyment playing with someone who is familiar with the layout as it isn't always self explanatory. There are only a handful of blind baskets, but they are epic - like Hole # 7. Plays about 250-275 feet over some bushes and next to some power lines. The only way to see the basket is to walk the hole before your shot. The overgrowth on this hole provides a sometimes insurmountable obstacle, and once again makes you rethink your line.
This course would greatly benefit from some tee signs and maybe some flags for the holes as well. It would be a big help for first timers to the course or those generally unfamiliar with the layout. After you play it 3 or 4 times, the navigation becomes pretty automatic, although the "bonus" holes can be in play or not depending on the water conditions. The park is located in a huge flood control channel and gets all the erosion from the surrounding hills, effectively burying a hole or 2 after it rains.
The Signature hole without a doubt is the "Canyon" or "Lake" Hole (depending on the water height) that is listed as Hole "D". The lake ends in a triangle on an elevated section of ground, and the hole shoots from the high ground over the water and to the basket with about a 20 to 30 foot elevation drop. The basket is only about 320 feet away maximum, with the short position playing to about 295. The psychological aspect of the water messes with you on this hole, providing great entertainment with the sometimes errant shots it produces. The basket sits on a gentle slope that ends with a 5 foot embankment dropoff and murky water. There really is no hope of getting discs out here unless you wade into that water, and that is a tough prospect.
Last time I played we were on this hole, and the guy in front of me plunked his disc in the water. I felt like a kid jumping off of a high dive, and took twice my normal time to prepare for the drive. I ended up with an 80% power anhyzer that landed 40 feet right of the basket. It really is quite make-able with the slight elevation drop. Just make sure not to hyzer out if you're a righty.
This course is a must play in the Greater L.A. area, and really no Socal trip should be without it. This is where Disc Golf started! Lots of out of staters I've talked to express in interest in playing this course just because of the fact that it truly the "OG" and it is cool to see where DG was born. You will be pleasantly surprised if you do make the trip out to Pasadena, but try to follow someone or meet up with a guide there your first time and it will amplify your enjoyment of the course greatly.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The Original...what else needs to be said!! I've only played this course in tournament set-ups so my review may be a little biased...
-Love the Oaks throughout the park (hence the Oak Grove)
-Nice variety of shots required to post a low score...
-Course plays through some open areas as well as some wooded areas...Great use of the terrain
Cons: -Kind of tricky to find your way around without a map...would recommend picking one up before coming here for your first time.
-Lost a few discs in the drink and never heard anything back on them
-It gets hot...so bring some fluids
Other Thoughts: As this was the original course in the US I have always wanted to cross it off my list of places I've played...I'm glad I was able to experience the course and would recommend this place to anyone.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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