9 Helpful / 13 Not
A course exists here, but why?
Pros: The teepads. Circular teepads. I was skeptical at first. But after two holes I was hooked. Why have other courses not adopted this?
I hit a long putt on 17. My disc was covered in bird droppings after hitting some that was stuck to the chains and had been left in the basket by some jerk bird. Could not believe that my disc was covered in so much crap. It made me and my friend laugh all the way to the bar across the street and for the rest of my vacation. Pretty sorry "pro" for a course, but it lightened the mood considerably.
That's all, folks.
Cons: Flat. Being located in a toilet bowl does not constitue elevation.
No vegetation or trees. 8 stunted toothpicks does not equate slightly wooded.
Random people on the disc golf course. I have played courses where people are having a picnic or playing football, or whatever. But not everytime. All over the course. That is home to a major week long event. In a park that is the central theme of the city. You would think that after a couple of years the population would get the hint that a disc golf course was present. Nah!!! Right in front of the tee pad or basket is the perfect place to pose for a chalk portrait, or for high schoolers to make out on a blanket, or a photographer to set up a tripod and shoot pictures of the playground, or a flock of geese to all crap at the same time. Whatever, just don't land your disc on the land, because it is actually just a collection of avian scat. Try shooting for the water, it is much more clean.
Easy. Baskets next to the water. Oooooohhhhh, so tough....not. Maybe once, but that is the only challenge this course presents. And that is only challenging if your only disc is an Epic that has been sitting on your dashboard for the entirety of an Arizona summer and you are attempting to play every shot, including putts, as a roller. Ever tried to roll a putt up a basket and under the cage and into the cage? You have to hit the pole just right with the perfect spin. Now that is a challenge.
Did I mention the smell? Kinda like a nursing home died. In a swamp.
Other Thoughts: What sort of scat freaks build the world's largest fountain in the middle of a pond of skank? Where were all of the people at the city meeting when this idea was put forward? Did they actually think this was a good idea, or did it just get pushed through the city council in a lame duck session as pork to contractor that happened to be a friend of the mayor?
Here is a suggestion. Pull the course out of the "park". Put it in the foothills that surround the city.
9 of 22 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.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Beautiful scenery
Layout is challenging for beginner or pro
Only need 3-4 discs
Grass like a ball golf course
Cons: Occasional wait for sunbather or walker
Lost discs in water
Other Thoughts: Beautiful and fun a course - there are more challenging courses but FH is a classic
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 out of 5
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: There are few OPEN tracks which mess with your mind more than this course. Most of the shots are wide open, but most players won't be able to make them. Water, elevation and a quick playing surface all creep into the brain and keep you from losing that favorite disc you would have thrown.
Cons: Duck Scat. Two million degree heat. Sheriff Arapio. There is duck doo everywhere. It's just part of the game. It's Arizona so most of the time it it's too hot to play here without becoming a cracker. And that neo-nazi sheriff lives nearby so you can't play this if you're brown without ID.
Other Thoughts: Fun course. The Memorial layout is harder and the poo water is nasty. But it's the course from the Memorial so if you are around, you should play it. If you don't live within 600 miles you're not missing anything. It's a good course, but not a great course.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Fun in the Sun
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Good layout with a fair mix of hole variations. Nicely manicured public park that's fortunate to have such a sweet course throughout it. Very few players on the course when I got there at 8:00 AM on a sunday.
Cons: The lake swallows discs and does not spit them back out. Lost my Beast and Vibram Trac to it.
Keep an eye out for others using the park. It's a popular place.
The attack bird on #5 (I believe) nearly took my hat off. Never did find the 4th T pad but navigation was pretty easy otherwise.
It's Phoenix and the city hit a new high two days before of 112. Know how to work with the heat and it's no problem. It was only 90 when I was out.
Other Thoughts: Sweet place. A bit of a drive out of Phoenix but well worth the 40 minutes there.
1 of 5 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.
25 Helpful / 8 Not
The best of the worst
Pros: - Nicest course in Phoenix area
- Fountain Hills has beautiful scenery
- Course is challenging but playable at every skill level
- Full amenities including cafe, bathrooms, and nice parking lot
- Nice large round teepads
Cons: - Plays like a ball golf course, not disc golf
- Bird crap everywhere
- Shots away from the "lake" are boring and unimaginative
- Meandering elderly residents are annoying and prevalent
- 200' Feces cannon (see details below)
Other Thoughts: I usually go to Fountain Hills for the Memorial layout. This rating is for that layout, I may rate this course lower for the regular layout.
This course is the nicest course in the phoenix area. That isn't saying much with the lack of quality courses in PHX. It is oriented around a large "lake" (reservoir), with a huge fountain in the middle. More on the lake and fountain later.
I firmly believe that disc golf holes should play differently than ball golf holes. In ball golf, fairways are largely open and the object of the game is to control where the ball hits the ground and stops. Discs have the ability to fly, and disc golfers have the ability to shape the flight of their discs. This allows disc golf holes to force a golfer to shape the actual flight of the disc instead of merely manage where and how it lands. This is the fundamental difference between ball and disc golf (besides the projectile). Ball golf holes are a series of landing zones, disc golf is a fluid and dynamic flight path.
Fountain hills plays like a ball golf course. Each hole consists of a teepad and a few landing zones. One landing zone will be by the pin (the green), and one or more will be for layups. If you go for the pin zone and miss, you are in the water. Between the teepad and the landing zones is open space. Sure, there are a smattering of trees on the course, but nothing to actually make you shape the flight of your disc. The only point of Fountain Hills is to control where and how your disc impacts the landing zone. Most greens are sloped towards the water so if you come in hot you will skid right in. If you miss a putt and land on edge, you will roll in. This is not enjoyable disc golf for me. It may make for good ball golf design, but it is not disc golf.
Now on to the "lake". It is a roundish cavity with a concrete bottom. It is filled with reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is chemically treated sewage. Yes, you are playing disc golf around a mammoth glorified toilet bowl. Unlike other disc golf courses, if you miss your shot, you will literally be in deep $hit. The water is slimy and smelly. Birds crap in the water and all over the course. If this picture was making you queasy, let me describe the cherry on top. They decided that a giant holding tank of sewage wasn't quite grand enough, so they constructed a 200' sewage geyser in the middle. I will admit that the giant feces cannon looks impressive, but damn, really? On the plus side, the truly hazardous nature of the water hazard makes every shot for the green a life or death affair. It takes cajones to throw your favorite disc towards certain death looking for the bird.
For all its faults, Fountain Hills is still by far the best course in the Phoenix area. Yes, playing ball golf with discs around a toilet bowl while a feces cannon fires every 15 minutes provides the best disc golf experience in Phoenix.
25 of 33 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -This is a beautiful area, relative to Phoenix. A lot of thought went into this park.
-Tee pads are the best I've played on so far (weird pro, I know).
-Informative tee signs on every hole.
-Grass was manicured, the park is very well kept.
-The fountain is awfully sweet, you have to admit.
Cons: -Although the park is beautiful (and I'm sure costs a lot of money to maintain), there isn't a lot of variation in the shots. I used different drivers just because I'm used to it, but realized it didn't make a difference if I used the same one for every shot.
-I should have ranked it a four, but the reason I didn't is because the passer-bys and runners were rude. All the other golfers I talked to were very nice, but people who were visiting the park for some other reason just seemed angry. I had two different encounters where I was waiting for someone to pass by on bike or foot, and I was more or less scolded for playing disc golf. Very odd.
-I saw two people lose their discs while I was there. One of them was able to retrieve it, but the other one dared not enter the murky waters. There are some holes where beginners shouldn't attempt it and if they do they should have someone standing behind to catch their disc if it goes too far.
Other Thoughts: This is very much a recreational course. I appreciated it for being just that, but I wonder if any kind of seriously competitive professional play goes down here. It was fun, though, and in the end that's all that really matters (to me, at least). However, I doubt I would want to play this course every day. If I did, it would get old pretty fast.
5 of 6 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.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Nice mowed grass
Large Tee Pads
Plenty of Water
Some nice LONG tee shots
Cons: Very little variety in the shots
Bird Droppings Everywhere
Tee Pads are located directly in the line of where the sprinklers water the most so they were wet and surrounded by mud
Other Thoughts: This has the potential to be an AWESOME course. Unfortunately I could have....and basically did play it with 2 discs....a driver and a putter. Do to the lack of variety of shots I played it with the same driver and putter on every hole. Also its a bummer that the lake is reclaimed water.....making it disgusting...so if you have a disc 3 feet from the bank (which I did on one hole) you feel like your going to contract a disease retrieving it. If the baskets were moved to create a greater variety of shots I'd rank this a top course for sure. As it is I'd call it little more than a trip to a nice open field for practice.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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