A fun, simple, practice course.
Pros: This course very well may not be a "championship level" course by any standards, or even a challenging course to play, but there are positives that this course has to offer.
Instead of trying to list off "pros" of this course, I will write about what I like about playing here.
One of the things I really enjoy about this course is the absence of other players on the course most of the time. Many times I will come out and be the only person on the course. That is a positive to me because there isn't any pressure from people coming up behind and it doesn't feel crowded with people on all the other holes. This course is a good place to work on various shots without having to be overly concerned with losing discs and it offers enough variety so that you can work on different lines (anhyzers, hyzers, ect.ect).
It is a relatively easy course to play, but still has O.B. on multiple holes so if you are not careful you can find yourself out of bounds by throwing too far or missing your line. It is also a good place to work on your "wind game", because it is almost always windy on holes in the big field (#1-#4, #8,#9).
The island hole (#4) is a favorite of mine, its easily reachable with a well thrown putter or midrange, but being slightly down hill and the out of bounds only about 40 feet to the left of the basket you can easily find your drive drifting O.B. and if you end up to the right of the green, you are left with a longish downhill putt that has the danger of skittling onto the paved path if you miss your putt.
The tee signs have been replaced recently and they are nice because it is a picture of the hole with flight lines to the basket in the picture. they have the distance clearly labeled as well as the par for the hole and the O.B. if there is any for that hole. When the grass is mowed, it is a pleasant place to play and is easy on the eyes. When the grass isn't mowed.........well that will be in the "cons" section.
It is only about 5 minutes away from the Woodland Creek course and is a stark difference from the tight wooded holes at Woodland Creek. So it makes for a good 18 holes by playing 9 at each of the courses. Many times you can run into one of the Monks that live on campus in the Abbey, his name is Father Peter. He is a very welcoming and friendly guy to talk with and play a round or two with.
The course is pretty clean, and I have only ran into trash a few times out here while playing.
Cons: Here are some of things that I feel that could be better.
Parking! The closest parking lot is a "employee" parking lot that is closed to public parking Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. the closest public parking lot is a lot over by the Pavilion building and that is about a 10 minute walk away from hole #1 through campus. not sure how it could be fixed, but it is what it is right now.
The lack of wooded holes is also a drawback for this course. There is PLENTY of forested areas around the course area that could have some great potential for holes. Hopefully the University will choose to expand the course to a full 18 holes in the future and utilize some of the wooded areas for future holes.
The course is just not exciting to play if you are looking for a good challenge.
Hole #2 is very close to Hole #1, If you have an errant tee shot on hole #2 you will most likely find yourself on either Hole #1's fairway or having your disc flying in towards the tee pad of hole #1.
The University/Abbey has a NO dog policy. this isn't a huge "con", but I know that there are a decent number of people that do like to bring their pups out with them when they play.
The course could use more variety with holes, there is a slight amount of variety, but it would be better with more variety in hole design.
There is no "next tee" signs to show you where the next tee is. I have seen a good deal of people finish up on hole #4 and then just look around at where they are supposed to go next. Hole #5 is across the street and there needs to be some sort of signage to point the way. It can be a bit confusing for people that are playing there for the first time.
Other Thoughts: This course was designed first and foremost for the students that attend the University and it is designed to be a easy course to play and for beginners.
That is also the reason why Hole #1 is not by the parking lot. Hole #1 is closer to student housing and by one of the buildings so that it is easy for the students to find and close for them to use.
while this course isn't difficult or challenging, it is a very good course for the type of course it was designed to be. That is a course that easy to play and is just plain fun to play as well, and something for the students to do with their free time.
If you are looking for somewhere to go to get some good uninterrupted field practice in or windy putting practice, this is the place to go in the greater Olympia/Lacey area.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: SMA is an open field course on a private college. Parking in the main lot near the DGC is permitted as long as it's not between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. The course is easy to find and navigate and you can see most of the baskets and tee pads from the car. Hole one is actually down a little hill and then throws back up to where you just walked from which is a little strange. Tee pads are just dirt (worn in grass) with little wood planks indicating the end of the pad. Gotta love the newer Innova DISCatcher baskets, single chain style.
Cons: The course is on a mostly wide open piece of property and there isn't much excitement or challenge other than throwing around a small tree near the basket with infinite space on either side. Most of the holes are reachable with one shot except for the par four 7th. Just a lot of 'blah' here.
Other Thoughts: Nothing new, strange, exciting or interesting just a bunch of baskets in a field for the most part. Skip this and head on over to Woodland Creek Community and play some fun tight short holes in the forest there. This is strictly for students and course baggers.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
St. Martin's Abbey
9 Helpful / 0 Not
St. Martin's Abbey is located on a small private college and monastery in the city of Lacey, just miles away from our state's capital. As I entered through the main entrance I was astounded by the beauty of the landscape. With gardens and a lake to the left, the various types of colorful trees spread throughout the property, and the college tucked into the hillside toward the top, I was very impressed and excited to play!
Instantly, I could tell this was a recreational course intended for students to enjoy as they play around beautiful gardens and acres of grass. The course is primarily wide open, incorporating elevation, OB, and/or some sort of natural obstacle(s). Holes primarily range between 224-342 feet with the exception of the links style hole #7, which is 567 ft. beast that plays along the lake and is one of the more beautiful and challenging holes to play on the course. However, the 246 island hole was probably the most unique on the course, with a sloped green surrounded by gardens and asphalt. It made for a fun little skip ace flick shot or floating putter hyzer shot!
Favorite Hole(s): #4 and #7
As the Valk Kid mentioned in his review, the course seems to be improperly labeled with hole one completely across the field, and furthest place possible from where the parking lot is. Fortunately, I read his review and decided to start at hole nine so that I could finish at hole eight's basket that was a much shorter walk back to where I parked. If visiting, I highly recommend you do the same. It will save both time and effort.
The tee pads on the course are primarily dirt/mud depending on the time of year you play it. Because of this, footing is a major issue, especially for hole seven where power and distance is essential!
Finally, holes nine and six seem like filler holes. Six is a long dogleg right that is far enough to be out of reach for most to birdie but easy enough to guarantee a par every time due to the lack of obstacles. Hole nine is wide open with no challenge whatsoever.
Least Favorite Hole(s): #6 and #8
Although this course wasn't exactly difficult, it was the perfect place to introduce a new player, take your friends to just have fun, or go out solo to work on approach shots and elevation changes. The more rustic side where holes 5-7 are located has a lot of potential as well to play safari golf. It would be nice to see them add more holes and perhaps expand the nine to a full eighteen. The course was pristine and well maintained for the most part but it is obvious that they mow holes 5-7 every other time they do holes 1-4 and 8-9 near the main entrance which is a shame.
NOTE: The baskets are easy to spot as you wind your way to the top to find parking in the ORANGE lot just above the staff parking. Just stay right at the fork once you pass the first lot and the entrance will be on your left. The gentleman in the golf carts who monitor parking are friendly and helpful so you need not worry. Just be respectful as we are guests on their property and are extremely generous to open it up to the public.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Start-Up Course for Starters
Pros: Open course which is uncommon in the Pac NW.
Holes 1-4 & 8-9 are well maintained.
Forgiving course with the exception of holes 5 & 6 and those are not terribly technical.
Holes 5 & 6 are challenging dogleg rights
Plenty of room for expansion on the Abbey land when the time comes.
Chance of spotting a Benedictine monk.
Cons: 7 Teepads are dirt and can have uneven footing.
It is a walk from the parking area (guest lot by the Abbey Church on top of the hill) to the first tee.
Only one long hole (#7 @ 567')
Advanced players may find it lacking.
Could use a trash can at a couple holes.
Other Thoughts: This course was put in place May 2013 for use by the University students, but is open to the public. Just be respectful of the place, which is on monastic grounds (look out for black robed monks).
It is literally in my backyard so it has a great location.
This course has potential since the monks have more land (open and wooded) that could be used in the future if all goes well.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Nice easy to see baskets. Elevation changes make for a little challenge. Nice signs at each teepad showing distance etc.
Another course in Olympia/Lacey area! We needed it after the Yauger fiasco.
Cons: Lack of a sign showing the course layout, if it's your first time you'll have trouble finding where to go after hole 4 and after hole 7. Thankfully someone wrote about it in another review.
Other con is all the holes are wide open, with very few obstacles in the way. But, I like to combine this 9 hole with a round at Woodland Creek 9 to give me a good mix.
Other Thoughts: If playing in the Olympia area, this course combined with Woodland Creek makes for a decent 18 combined. This course is all out in the open and the majority of Woodland Creek is in the woods. Gives you a good mix combined.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice entry level course
Pros: Tee markers are nice posts with picture, par, and distance. Lots of room on campus to expand the course in to more wooded areas.
Not a lot of obstacles makes it a comfortable course for learning on.
Cons: Some of the natural tee pads are rough. Longer grass on 5-7 can get wet when playing in the morning, it would be nice if it was cut down.
Other Thoughts: Be aware the campus is dry and if security sees alcohol you will be asked to leave the campus. It is really nice to have a course in the Olympia area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
St. Marty's College Course Lacks Wow Factor!
Pros: The St. Martin's Abbey DGC is Washington's newest course. It is a nine hole course conveniently located just at the entrance of the college making it easy to find. The course mostly plays in and around a large grassy lawn area with a higher elevation on one side. Holes 5-6-7 are located across the street in a more natural/rustic area.
The course has brand new Innova baskets with the yellow band. The tee pads are natural with a board at the front. The tee signs are very nice with the par, distance, hole # and a very clear picture of the hole on them.
There is a parking lot here but hole # 1 is across the lawn area from it and basket # 9 finishes over there as well. I'm not sure about parking on that side of the lawn area.
The holes range from # 1 's slightly uphill 224 foot to # 7's 567 foot Par 4. Most are fairly open. # 3 has the basket sitting behind a single mature Fir tree. # 2 is a 325 open downhill throw across the grassy area to an open basket.
# 4 might be the most interesting hole on the course. It's just 246' but plays slightly downhill along a paved walking path. Everything around it, path and flower beds are considered OB.
You then cross the street to reach the next three holes. 5 and 6 are very similar. They are both anhyser throws around the corner to baskets not quite visible from the tee. # 6 is just a little longer. Then comes the long Par 4. All three of these holes across the street have both novice/beginner Pars and then the Intermediate/Advanced Pars listed on the tee Signs.
Then you cross the street again to finish with 8 and 9. They're both fairly mundane and un-inspiring. Especially # 9 which plays 306 ft. across the wide open middle part of the lawn area.
Cons: I would have liked to see the course start and finish near the parking lot side instead of on the other side of the grassy area. Although, maybe the course was designed to that way to encourage you to park over there and not in the lot.
It would be really nice if the grass was cut to lawn length on # 5 and # 6. Instead you're playing in a field of hay, it's been cut, but not too recently.
# 8 is just OK and # 9 is just plain boring.
Other Thoughts: The Olympia/Lacey area has had a void since the closing of Yauger Park and now with the St. Martins 9 and Woodland Creek 18, the players down here have some options. Are there any more courses in the planning stages? Keep em coming Olympia area disc golfers!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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