3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The new and improved Bear Branch is a great improvement from the old course, with new lines, harder shots, and more length. My biggest con with the previous course was the hole length and the new course is now around 700 ft longer then the previous one.
Another con that was addressed was too many straight shots. Most of the holes are no longer a straight look at the basket. Hyzers, anhyzers, and flicks are all necessary to be able to be able to get birdies. A good example of this would be Hole 5. You have to put a big hyzer on your disc over the water in order to even think about getting a two but there is a lay up spot. This course is filled with these risk/reward shots
There were a few holes that were decent at the last course and most of these holes were kept and maybe tweaked a little bit to make them that much better.
Cons: Navigation is a bit of an issue. Hole 1 starts pretty far away from the parking lot. There is a long walk from 7 to 8. And there could be a bit of confusion with holes 11 12, and 13 on where you are supposed to throw from and where to.
Hole 13 is a brand new hole that was carved out of the trees and it is one of those type of holes that needs a good amount of luck to get to the basket in one shot. There are trees scattered with no noticeable lines to take.
The course is riddled with graffiti, smoking teenagers, and foul language. The course also is very crowded at peak times.
Other Thoughts: I am still not a huge fan of this course. The course is challenging but the atmosphere of the course is not pleasing. I am glad this course can be used by the avid disc golfer more often with harder lines but there are much better options nearby.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
A well deserved re-design
Pros: Redesigned course that was in need of a facelift. The new design diverts the course away from the adjoining soccer fields as much as possible, minimizing the chance of errant throws landing in the middle of a youth soccer game. There are multiple trash cans on the course and benches as well. Other park amenities include restrooms and during soccer events, a concession stand is open. The soccer fields themselves, while not designated for disc golf, are newly laid artificial turf and are great for some open field driving practice if you happen to get there at off times.
The course itself has 2 sets of tees, with the shorts giving newer or less skilled players "easier" lines to the basket, albeit not always shorter. The longs tees have challenging lines, mostly wooded holes. The rough can be very punishing and can ruin your chances at saving a par (especially holes 3, 10, 11, 13 and 14). Birdies are definitely there, but must be earned.
A pond comes into play on 3 holes (5, 6 & 7 and theoretically 16 as well) to add diversity.
Some of the original holes were kept and/or modified to be more fun. #10 stands out as a favorite. It is a 300' tunnel shot with thick rough on both sides leading up to a handful of guardian trees protecting the green. The new #5 (250') is a sharp hyzer over the pond to a basket protected by a few trees. For those not wanting to risk it over the water, a "bail out" spot to the right will guarantee safety, but diminish the chance of carding a bird. #14 is a ~430' tunnel with a steady right curve and a low canopy all the way down. The rough is exactly that on both sides, and once you get about 200' from the basket, the OB line on the right begins and goes out past the green. It's a very tough hole that requires good placement shot(s). The finishing hole is about 320 ft with a straight line to the basket if you can hit a 12' wide gap between 2 tall pine trees. Otherwise, a big anny or solid FH can get you on the green (assuming you are RH).
Most of this course plays in the woods, so that can be refreshing during the Houston summers (March - October).
Cons: Right now, the tee pads are rubber and are just laid on the ground. I know there are plans to build new ones, but at the moment, this is what we have.
A few holes (4 and 10) still play close to soccer fields.
A long walk from 7 to 8 and from 18 back to the parking lot
No practice basket
Slight danger zone walking from 11 to 12 (although a path is being cleared to eliminate this)
No signs (near future)
Parents / siblings of the youth soccer players tend to wander off into the woods, which happen to be our fairways. Unattended children are sometimes found playing with / hanging on the baskets, so check down the fairway before you throw.
Frequent sightings of angst-y teenagers (high school close by) and graffiti on benches/trash cans/baskets/etc are believed to be caused by a handful of them ("disc charging stations" are now being spotted on benches here and other nearby courses). This does not factor into my score, as it is not a flaw in the design of the course, but it is a con to me.
Snakes sighted frequently (water moccasins, copperheads, coral snakes), but this is TX - nothing new here. Again, not a design flaw, just noting it.
Other Thoughts: The park is a nice place with the necessary amenities and plenty of parking. The course deserved this redesign and the designer used the available land in the most efficient and most fun way possible. Glad to see people still care about this place, as this is where I cut my teeth years ago.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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