Fountain Hills Fun!
1 Helpful / 2 Not
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 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 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 7 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful Course Not For The Faint of Heart!
9 Helpful / 0 Not
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!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Fun course, worth the trip!
2 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
Outstanding public course
4 Helpful / 1 Not
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!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Ideal park course
10 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Beautiful park/course setting
Pros: Absolutely beautiful park setting and location. Local club very lucky to have such an ideal park for a course. Easy to navigate around is a huge plus. Great use of local trees for tee and basket locations.
Cons: Must always watch for other park users/walkers. Many fairways run close to park paths.
Other Thoughts: Love the overall layout of this course.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Fantastic Must-Play Course
Pros: - Being from St. Louis, playing in the morning with no humidity was right away a huge bonus for me. It is a totally different feeling not having the humidity wear you down all round long.
- The tee pads and maps at each hole are one-of-a-kind and give accurate readings of each hole as well as an entire map of the entire course around the lake. The circle tee pads and very unique and allow you to take multiple different angles to tee off.
- Some may not think so, but the fact that water is in play on so many holes adds a great risk/reward factor to the course. Each throw must be precise and not just wildly thrown to avoid the waster OB. This is not a course for beginners, and playing so well on it made me feel very good about my skill.
- Aesthetically, there are very few courses that can compare. The mountain ranges in the distant background add a very welcome back drop to the course. And obviously, the 300 ft fountain is phenomenal. Its so unique and Ive never seen anything like it. The fountain is reason enough to go to this park, we are just very lucky to have a disc golf course around a pristine park.
Cons: - As many people have said before, the lake water is NASTY! Its recycled toilet water, allowing the fountain to use so much water. The locals say its "1 step away from drinking", but i dont believe it. Be very careful around the water and, if you go in after your disc, make sure you dont have any open cuts or wounds, they could very easily become infected.
- Bystander safety is another big con keeping this course from being a near perfect course. Multiple tee pads are part of the sidewalk, which, while unique and intriguing, is very hazardous and can slow your play up if there are a lot of people out walking. Also, many shots require you to shoot out and over the sidewalk, over bystanders, which can be very dangerous.
- Not necessarily a con of the course, but I was dive bombed by a bird that has a nest very close to the basket of #7. TWICE. I know I was intruding into her area, but it scared the **** out of me and was just a negative to those rounds. But this is nothing against the course, just a warning to fellow golfers.
Other Thoughts: This is easily one of, if not the best courses Ive ever played. Everything about this course is so unique the risk/reward of the lake shots make you want to keep playing again and again just to watch a perfect shot fly over the lake and land near the basket. While I did lose one of my favorite drivers, it was still a pleasure to play and well worth the risk of losing more discs to go back and play twice more. If you live anywhere near Fountain HIlls or plan on vacationing to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, you must play this course at least once
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The course layout is fantastic. I love the tees, nice circle cement pads. Very official looking. The grass is kept up well, and makes it feel like you're playing on a regular golf course, especially with all the old folks around asking what you're playing.
Variety of holes and options for drives. There are 500+ holes on the back 9, and a couple 180-220.
This course is difficult to score well on, but this is a positive for me. (the tougher the better!!) At least half the holes have water in play.
Cons: Pedestrian traffic can be annoying here. But this never really bothers me as I'll just skip a hole and make up for the miss somewhere else (i.e. I'm not anal about playing the holes sequentially).
This course is totally out in the open, so if you're looking for some seclusion (ahhemmmm 420) you'll be hard-pressed to find it.
During the summer, when they water the park, the grass remains soggy for a while, rendering the course a marsh full of goose scat and mud. This can be a pain, but then again most people are not crazy like me and don't play this course in the heat of summer.
Very little shade on this course!
Other Thoughts: I love this course. Yeah it's a drive, and yeah you might lose some discs.....but it's easily the best course in the Phx area. Play it!
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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