Fountain Hills Park
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: My three pros:
-Beautiful course. One of the prettiest courses ive played considering the well taken care of lake and park along with the mountains always visible in the distance. A cool aspect of the course design is that the front 9 mostly plays along the lake within the walking trail giving golfers the primary enjoyment f the lakefront, the back nine played outside the loop mostly giving walkers their time to enjoy the lake- its nice to see the park shared in such a way. The course itself has very nice teepads, baskets, and signs at most holes.
-Course flow is a nice one way route counterclockwise around the lake, once you find one its mostly obvious navigation.
-Risk/reward at this park is high, allowing throws over the lake/ near the road for glory or safer lines for comfort. The thrill of throwing a great shot over water adds to a great round for me and this course has plenty of shots that dont disapoint.
Cons: My three cons:
-somewhat long walk from parking lot to hole 1- park near playground and walk counterclockwise around lake or check the map first.
-tons of walkers and park goers to wait for. I played on a very nice friday morning around 11 and had to wait for walkers several times; however the walking path is far enough from most lines that you dont end up waiting long- just often.
-I played during the park watering which had big sprinklers running along holes 1 & 2. Unfortunately the course is watered with 'recycled' water so those that are grossed out easily wold have wanted to skip those holes. A broken sprinkler under the #2 basket made the hole unplayable if I wanted to stay dry- being from Dallas I knew I may not get the chance to come back out so i played the hole and got sprayed.
Other Thoughts: A course i had on my wish list that did not disapoint. There were steady winds at 20-25 mph making me question if i should even try the course but i did and I'm glad. I had the course to myself on a beautiful day, shot under par and kept all discs out of the water- perfect day on the course. PLAY THIS COURSE IF YOU'RE IN PHOENIX.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Please be patient with pedestrians
9 Helpful / 0 Not
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Wow!! What a beautiful Disc Golf course with the iconic fountain and the McDowell Mountains in the background. I have the utmost respect for local disc golf leaders in convincing the city of Fountain Hills to go along with installing an 18 hole disc golf course knowing that this is one of the most walked public parks in the entire Phoenix Valley.
Amenities: Outstanding. They have excellent bathroom facilities between hole 18 and 1. There are quality restaurants adjacent to the course.
Rating: I give it a 4.0 rating. Fountain Hills is one of my favorite courses to play in the Phoenix Valley. It's mostly because of the Memorial layout. You won't fully appreciate the difficulty of the Fountain Hills course until you're under pressure to maintain or pick up strokes and you're dealing with some serious wind.
Course design/difficulty/obstacles/out-of-bounds: This course would be considered a rather open course that builds in the course difficulty by locating baskets near water or near roads and sidewalks. The course designers used the elevation changes quite nicely on a few holes. There are trees to mess with your putting on four holes. Talking to a couple of lefties they thought it favored the righty but not by much.
Course condition: Everything is mowed but plenty of duck poop to deal with. The fountain sprays water up 300' for about 15 minutes every hour between 9am and 9pm which increases the wind.
Navigability/signs/maps: Easy to follow with DGCR map. Without a map, I think it's still easy enough since you can see the upcoming tee-pads and/or baskets.
Local DG involvement: There is good leadership with the Fountain Hills Disc Golf Club. They have a weekly league. They have a website: http://www.discgolf.club
/ and a Facebook site.
Tee pads/benches/shelters/picnic tables/parking: 12' diameter circular tee-pads. The benches are located next to the sidewalk and are used by pedestrians. There are a couple shelter areas on the course. There is plenty of parking spots available.
Cons: Cons: Pedestrians are everywhere on weekends. It's best to play during the week. Please be patience.
Other Thoughts: Remember the Disc Golfer's Code:
1) Play Smart - Never throw into a blind area or when players, spectators, pedestrians, or other facility users are within range. Use a spotter.
2) Respect the Course - Observe all posted rules. No littering, graffiti, or abuse of equipment or flora.
3) Represent the Sport - Be positive and responsible. Teach others.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Nice views and a very good course
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Outstanding park, great lake views, mountain views, nice bathrooms, running water, walking paths and restaurants all surround the course - so that covers amenities clearly in the pros.
Nice circle concrete tees on most holes. Nut utsed to that type of tees, but was interesting to have different run ups than the righties. The rest of the tees were from the concrete walking paths, so that was a nice bouns to have great footing.
Excellently manicured grass and park, with beautiful palms, bushed, and war memorials near hole one. Take the time to read them, some nice history there.
The design is interesting, as I played the Memorial layout, it was roped/flagged and had some slight modification baskets, but mostly the same as standard with some more OB.
The flow was nice & couldn't be much different (other than winding it counter-clockwise around the lake...
Before I went out, all I heard is you throw just hzyers, and as a lefty was concerned that I'd be forced into annys in the high winds - not true. All I threw was hyzers also... Its just that open of a course.
The opening 9 holes were very challenging, as a lefty, I went out over the lake about 5 of the first nine holes, played as intended > high risk = high reward when properly executed. That goes very much in to the pro section of separating talent for an event and creating skill speration on the scoreboard. As well ttaking the low risk shots could lead to fun casual play by staying safe and using the ample grass fairways.
The Fountain going off on the hour was a very cool aspect, and one that I completely now understand the mystique of this place. One you pretty much have to experience in person - the water shoots much higher than video or photos can do justice.
Mach X baskets are new, and quite nice. I personally prefer other baskets as that is a lot of chain weight to be a touch putter on, those X baskets really seem to prefer a hard push putter IMO - but that is personal preference and it still falls as a pro to have great new baskets.
Cons: The peninsula holes were indeed fun, but after those I felt a lot of the back 9 were similar - long throws with not much in the way of trees of obstacles.
The attempt to overcome that was to have Hole 13 (I believe) have a tree 10 feet in front of the tee, offering only a low hyzer, very skinny lane up the middle, or skip flick... Interesting way to manufacture the feel of a wooded hole, a con in my book, but I'm an east coast player that has the luxury of many trees to force a shaped shot instead of one tree. Maybe with more play I might change my mind on this holes as it did break up the monotony of throwing me slightly overstable distance driver on nearly every hole after 9...
Other Thoughts: I loved having several places within walking distance to eat after rounds, something very few courses can offer.
Overall, a great place to play disc golf. The mystique of the Memorial was excellent to see in person & an experience more golfers should come to, even if only to spectate.
The course was indeed a good course, the design absolutely maximizes the property available, and uses nearly every piece of grass in the park. The variety is limited the the park shape and available land itself, so I cannot fault the design, only wish that the park was bigger...
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Fountain Hills Fun!
Pros: The fountain: it's just too iconic! I think the new Innova calendar has a picture of it? Anyway, playing around the fountain is pretty awesome.
The challenge: there is a water hazard on virtually every hole. Water in the desert? It's all here. Challenge yourself with some risky throws over the water. If your disc goes in, you might still be able to recover it - the water is cold, but shallow. We always bring water shoes just in case.
Cons: The pedestrians: they're everywhere! Gotta be careful. Some baskets are right next to the sidewalk too. Most of the walkers out here are retirees - please don't hit grandma with an errant drive.
The duck poop: this is also everywhere. Be sure to wipe your feet often. It's unavoidable - if you don't step in it, your disc will probably land in some.
The drive: takes a while to get out there... But it's worth it!
Other Thoughts: Too cool. If you live in AZ and haven't played this course yet, go play it!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Course Would be Perfect if it Wasn't for the People
Pros: I can't say enough good things about the course. The layout is challenging, but manageable if you're not afraid of water. There are minor elevation changes that affect your shot choices as well as several trees close the baskets and tees. The fountain that goes off every hour provides a unique challenge as the winds it produces are enough to blow a disc significantly off-line. The course uses the new DGA Mach X baskets which add a very professional feel to the course and are very solid catching discs.
Cons: People. This park is very busy, especially on the weekends. Almost every weekend there is some kind of event that is held in an area that makes several holes unplayable. Check the calender of events on the park website if you plan to visit. But even on a weekday, there are many, many people using the paths around the lake, which, unfortunately, are very close to the fairways and the risk of hitting someone really detracts from playing.
Other Thoughts: Pay close attention to the tee locations on the back 9, sometimes what looks like the next tee is actually two baskets ahead.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautiful Course Not For The Faint of Heart!
Pros: First and foremost, this is a really beautiful park and setting for a disc golf course. With the mountains looming in the background, the blue Arizona sky , the lush, green grass, the pretty blue waters of the lake and then you add the fountain shooting water ( I don't care whether it's reclaimed water, rain water, tap water or whatever) 300 + feet into the air. When you add all these together, they make for a very pretty picture.
The course starts at the Veteran's Memorial and plays counter clockwise around the lake. My first impression, other than the incredible beauty, was the wonderful tee sign, which not only gave all the useful information for hole # 1, it also gave a detailed map of the entire course. I was impressed! I was even more impressed when I discovered each tee sign contained the same detailed information as well as the entire course map. This would make it so very easy to start at any point on the course to avoid crowds or large groups of players, etc.
My next favorable impression was of the 15 foot across concrete round tee pads. Probably at first I thought, overkill, but then after throwing off at couple, I discovered that I liked the angles that I could get to throw around trees or just to shape my tee offs.
The baskets are decent but showing some signs of rust, probably from the reclaimed water mists of the fountain. The baskets had small, yellow next tee signs made of rubber that were screwed to the bottom of the basket. I've never seen them before on any of the 500 course I've played. They appear to be store bought. I think they're a great addition to this course and would be to any other course. I later saw them at another Phoenix area course, Vista Del Camino. Why have I not seen these anywhere else in the country?
The major challenge on this course appears to be the close proximity of the baskets to the lake and it's reclaimed water. Knowing that you don't want to venture into this water unless absolutely necessary, I tended to play these holes with the utmost caution. I'm bagging a course here not trying to break the course record!
I especially liked hole # 5. It's a simple little uphill hole with a large tree with low, spreading branches blocking much of your fairway. It leaves you with a couple of options including a tomahawk over the tree, probably a big hyser around it or a roller under the branches.
I thought # 8 was also a very cool little hole. It's 225' or 295' with the basket sitting on a small inlet with the lake looming on three sides. The normal reasonable shot would be forehand flick out over the lake. But today with the winds blowing 10 MPH + I chose to play it very conservatively and hyser to the right side and avoid the water.
Cons: Much has been said by previous reviewers about the nasty ass reclaimed water of the fountain and lake and about it's odor. Maybe my nose has been broke one too many times because I did not a odor notice. And the water may be nasty to drink or swim in or bathe in but it's a beauty to behold.
The fountain turned off right when I started my round not to start again. I understand it's shut down when the winds reach 10 MPH or higher. I guess they don't want folks getting a misting of reclaimed water. The 10 + winds made throwing anything close to the lake even more nerve wracking than it would have been on a calm day.
There is a fair amount of goose poo in the park.
I had to wait a few times for walkers, bicyclists, joggers, etc. to clear before throwing. This was on a beautiful Sunday morning so I don't think the problem was any worse than many of our parks.
The # 5 sign was rusted away and gone.
Other Thoughts: This course was as aesthetically pleasing as any course could possible be in arid Arizona. One thing that struck me playing was the sheer size of the lake. When I reached # 10 or 11, I looked way over at the Veteran's Memorial and suddenly felt like I was a long way away from home. On very few 18 hole courses, can you survey the entire course from every hole and take it all in in it's enormity. But the wonderful thing about that here, is that you're getting to soak in the visual beauty that is the Fountain Hills experience. And that's what makes this course a little more special than most!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun course, worth the trip!
Pros: Great teepads, challenging pin placements, well maintained, good scenery.
Cons: Good amount of pedestrians, a little duck shit, some holes hard to navigate
Other Thoughts: This was a sweet course, glad I made it here. Sure, the main feature is "reclaimed" water, but it didn't smell and looked nice so it was no big deal. That said, I didn't lose any discs in there. Love the teepads, the course is pretty challenging but good for all levels. When I was out there it was windy, which added to the challenge. Had trouble navigating some holes but if you play it once or play with a local you should have it dialed. It will be way easier next time I go back. Only saw one other golf party. There are a ton of non-disc park goers but they were never in the way except for the lady that was writing her grocery list on the Hole 5 teepad. Some long holes, mostly all are wide open with some trees here and there. If you played this course a lot, it might get easy, especially if you have a big arm. Some difficult putts though as there are a few baskets at the waters edge and some protected by trees. I am not a great player and can only throw about 285' consistently, but I par'd and boged everything. No doubles, no birds. Coming from OR, this was a great course to throw and easily worth the 20 minute drive out of Phoenix. And it was about 5 degrees cooler too than Tempe where I was staying.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Outstanding public course
Pros: -Well manicured public park
-Free to play for such a nice course
-Distinct fairways with obstacles at a variety of distances put shot placement at a premium
-Scenic park large concrete teepads and baskets in good condition
Cons: -It's a public park, and a BUSY one. Expect to wait for other disc golfers ahead of you, and expect to have to avoid pedestrians/people picnicing/kids flying kites/old people/kids riding bikes/people walking the dog/and possibly the kitchen sink.
Other Thoughts: Damn this park is packed.... But its also has a famous PDGA major played at it.
GET HERE IF YOU CAN!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Ideal park course
Pros: Large, spread out course with calm scenery. Course is so spread out in fact that I think it deters crowding, although the day we were there we were one of two groups in the entire park. Each hole provides a different challenge, which is good because redundancy drives me insane. Holes range between flat and maybe about 40' of rolling elevation. While the lake is in play on a good number of holes, the foliage and elevation help to create challenging birdie attempts to the advanced player. The beginner player will find each hole on this course an obtainable three but would be hard pressed for very many birdies. A couple holes had more than one pin set up which is always nice.
Cons: Walking path meandering through the course could prove to get busy. It wasn't when we were there, however we encountered more than enough of the oblivious types that pay no attention to the golfer. Varying grass quality creates an inconsistent field for roller attempts. Could be difficult to find your way around on the first attempt without a map. We had a map and had no navigational issues.
Hole 12 is depicted on the map as starting by the amphitheater, however this is a vicious lie and the tee pad is actually up by the street.
Other Thoughts: This is in my mind, an ideal park course. We have a few alright ones here in Los Angeles, but when I think 'ideal park course,' I think Fountain Hills. Just a great blend of modern golf holes with their own challenges, some long some short, and golf that makes you think. The lake is present in a few holes although the course rarely has you throwing directly over it. I only went in once and it was due to a really lame cut roller. The previously mentioned bird shit and negativity about the fountain did not apply to us...we found the park to be meticulously maintained and found the fountain impressive. The fact that we were one of two groups on the course let us play at our own pace which is something that does affect my zen levels when at a park, so that came very appreciated. All in all, a fun place to golf, great for groups, and a piece of land that showcases our sport in a rather positive way to the rest of the world. Can't wait to return.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
High risk, high reward
Pros: Great tee boxes, great mix of holes, very well maintained. Distance on holes varies from as short as <200 to over 500. Most of them being in the 275 - 400 ft range.
Tons of fun. Absolutely beautiful course. Good use of manufactured OB lines to add challenge to an otherwise easy hole (memorial layout).
Water comes into play a lot on this course (could be a con for some people)
So many great holes on this course.
You can grab beers on a patio that overlooks the 18th hole.
Cons: The fountain spraying you with reclaimed water. Lots of goose poop. I'd imagine that when tournaments aren't going on there can be issues with pedestrians walking all over the place. You may walk away with a much lighter bag unless you have a golden retriever (don't wade into the water).
Other Thoughts: I have really only played this course during the Memorial (excluding a few practice rounds), so I don't know what this is like in general.
You can play it safe and shoot a decent round but what is the fun in that. No guts no glory.
Fast fairways and fast greens can cause a lot of skip in/rolls into the water.
This course can be brutal when it is windy.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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