15 Helpful / 0 Not
First course, first country club?
Pros: The main positives about the course are the past history and the nice views of the mountains to the north. There are some nice local players we ran into (but these were the exception...see below).
The holes play under a lot of Oak trees, and accuracy is at a premium. You'll find that a big arm does you little good here. Some of the holes are old enough that trees planted around baskets have grown around them, which adds to the challenge.
Cons: Oak Grove was the first permanent disc golf course. It is also the first disc golf course I played that felt like an exclusive country club, with alpha male complex locals who are intolerant of visitors, have foul tempers, throw discs at you in anger, etc.. I'm sure the people who established this course would be disappointed if they were to see some of the behavior I witnessed.
If you go there to visit, don't expect that you'll be able to play a round. And there is no way for you to find out in advance whether or not you will be able to play a round. Just luck, I guess.
I made a special effort to plan a work trip to LA around playing at OG. I dutifully checked any websites, googled, etc., to find out if there was anything happening that would be a hassle during that time frame, and it seemed free and clear according the the official OG website, etc.. When I got there, we found some younger local players who showed us around the course, told us stories some of the old veterans passed down to them, etc.. We were having a fun round, and I had a positive vibe going.
But then some very agitated and rude players began cutting in, telling us to "get the f*** of our course," and things like that. We were surprised and confused. Some of them were throwing discs at us. The locals who were guiding us were also confused, and they had been playing there for 4 years.
Only after playing almost the entire course did a guy come over and say there was an amateur tournament going on, and that we might have more luck at Sylmar (a good suggestion, Sylmar was great). Still, nobody else stepped up to denounce this foul behavior, which is really disappointing.
Other Thoughts: It was the second time I checked every website I knew about prior to playing a course to be sure it wasn't going to be crowded for an event, or closed for maintenance, and I arrived to find something going on that made playing nearly impossible. The last time was when I found a bluegrass festival going on at the Golden Gate park course after checking the local website the weeks and days before I visited (this site seemed up to date with info, but said nothing about thhe blue grass festival). Maybe dgcoursereview.com could become a central clearinghouse for posting this kind of information in the future. It still depends on the willingness of local club members and such to post information on such things to the web, as a courtesy to visitors so that they know better and can plan their trips. There is nothing more disappointing than traveling thousands of miles to play a course and find it closed even after you've done your homework.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Holes 1-8 start out easy to follow with short walks but the next few holes get a bit harder to find. There is some elevation change throughout the course although it's not very significant. There are several very well protected basket locations that make the hole play longer and harder than the tee sign would indicate. Tee pads were quite ample allowing for different lines off the tee, on site bathrooms, water fountain, and lots of parking. the first disc golf course.
Cons: Lots of people, difficult navigation for first timers, crossing fairways, & very easy to loose a disc in some locations of the course.
Other Thoughts: New notes on 4/12
4 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.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
The Grandaddy of Them All
Pros: The tournament layout is longer than the regular layout, and features some creative holes that require imagination to get to the well protected pin. Plenty of trees to punish wayward shots, which is a nice change of pace for SoCal. A few old school pin placements, especially the one in the trees (hole 4?). Tourney hole 18 is a nice par 4.
Cons: Kinda scraggly and wore down. Some of the tee pads have dinosaur tracks in them. Crazy guy used to live in one of the bathrooms, but that sorta added charm to the place.
Other Thoughts: If it rains it pours! A few years ago several holes had to be abandoned due to flooding. Hilarious second round with torrents of water resulting in lost discs on 15 foot putts. The Wintertime is a SoCal tradition.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
History of Course
Requires a Variety of Shot Types
Locals Are Friendly and Helpful
Ample Parking By First Tee
Concrete Tee Pads
Multiple Pin Positions
Navigating Can Be Difficult
Hot and Dusty During Summer Months
Park and Course Can Get Crowded
Tee Pads Could Use Work
No Tee Signs and Tee Pads Aren't Numbered Correctly
Small, but challenging course located in Pasadena, CA. This course is the first permanent disc golf course in the world, the history alone is worth the play.
Overall the course is pretty short, but very technical as were a lot of the first courses. There are a lot of challenges on the course that can make up for the lack of big bomber shots. There are plenty of trees, elevation changes, and several blind shots.
The course can be very difficult to navigate, especially for a first timer. We had some issues finding some tees, but there was some friendly locals that helped us out, they explained the layout and what to watch for.
The first four holes are pretty easy to navigate. After hole 4 the it becomes harder to follow. I would suggest printing a map or acquiring a guide if you can. After finishing hole 4 you will most likely see the tee pad for 6 before you come to hole 5. Head through the tree line to find the tee pad for hole 5.
After hole 5 you can play holes A and B that are located between 5 and 6.
Holes 7 and 8 were pretty easy to navigate, and the tee pad for nine is to the right of the basket for hole 8 and back towards the tee pad a bit.
After 9 you will cross over the park road and you will most likely see the basket for 15 towards the right. Walk past the basket and you will see a couple tee pads for 10 and 16. Once you find and play 10, holes 11 and 12 are pretty easy to find.
After hole 12 be sure to play holes C and D, hole D throws over the lake and is one of the more challening holes on the course if you let it get into your head. Keep in mind water is only in play during certain times of the year, but when its there it can really mess with your head on what otherwise would be a pretty easy shot.
After C and D you will need to cross over the service road to get to the tee for 13. After hole 13 the navigation gets a little easier and most of the holes are pretty easy to find.
This is a great little course, players of all levels can go out and throw this course. If you go during the summer months bring plenty of water, it was really hot and dusty when we were out. Also watch out for other park go-ers. The front nine plays around a baseball field and there was plenty of people out playing when we were there.
Get out and play this one if you get a chance. It's located at the bottom of the mountains and the scenery is beautiful and the course has a lot of history.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Nice to say you have played this one for the historical significance of the first disc golf course. Course requires a variety of shots with an emphasis on being very accurate. The additional holes give you more playing time while you're there. The locals are very friendly.
Cons: The course is very dusty. Better bring a towel to wipe your discs off frequently. Can get quite warm in the summer. The layout of the course is quite hard to follow for newbies. First time I played there with friends we spent a good half hour longer just looking for tees and holes. Not much worry about non-disc golfers, but some do wander close to the playing areas. Biggest disappointment is that the course is often crowded and you waste a lot of time waiting around.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
The Original DG Course
Pros: History, mountainous surroundings, variety of challenges.
Cons: Tough to follow for visitors.
Other Thoughts: Oak Grove is where it all started, and I had to make a trip out there during my second trip to SoCal. Time well spent; while certainly not the best course I've played, and far from the prettiest, it was fairly distinguished and did require the full range of disc golf skills (though people who can drive 350 feet plus will have little to do here).
In many ways, Oak Grove reminded me of my home course of Gillies Creek - no signs and a couple extra teepads make it hard to follow. In addition it is untamed; the city parks department obviously doesn't spend a lot of time maintaining this park. On the other hand, again like Gillies, Oak Grove has concrete teepads at every hole, features woods holes, open holes, one hole going downhill, a couple with thick, forboding rough, left fades, right fades, and one ugly but interesting hole featuring a long shot over a wide, steep, gravelly pit.
Oak Grove features variety and playability, like Gillies, which makes up for some of the other shortcomings.
Finally, Oak Grove is set right up against the mountains, and they offer several towering views as you work your way around the course. You should go out to Oak Grove if you get the chance - those of us from "Back East" should see where it all started and California natives can get a taste of the touch needed to excel on the courses more common "Back East."
Favorite Hole - #1 - only grassy hole on course also is more open than others, but requires negotiating a couple of big, beautiful oak trees.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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