Tam O'shanter Park - Luck of the Irish!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Tam O'shanter Park is a recreational/intermediate nine hole course located in the city of Kelso, WA. Just minutes off the freeway, this course is easy to locate and fairly quick to play. Played through a multi-use park, this course plays over grass and through trees making for a relaxed round. This is the type of place to bring families, friends new to the sport, or those looking to practice their skills. Par for the course 27, with holes ranging from 141-502 ft, but averaging closer to 220ft with the exception of hole one. The DGA baskets are in great shape and the tee signs, although basic, help with course navigation. The course plays fairly straight forward with some holes more technical than others due to distance or natural obstacles but most will find the course quite easy.
Favorite Hole(s): Hole #9 - Hyzer over the water toward a cluster of trees with a pin tucked in the middle of them. A building near the water's edge adds another element of danger off the tee. It is the only hole with real risk/reward.
The course layout just doesn't flow well here. Hole one is way out of the way from the parking lot and nine doesn't loop back toward the start. Although it makes most park near four to save time a good layout wouldn't need this. They should have a kiosk with a course map and ample room near the first hole or at least closer than a ¼ mile like this one.
Some of the OB's can be quite treacherous as well. The fence line near holes two and four and water on nine can be disastrous to those who lack control and therefore there will be players who lose discs which is never fun.
Last, the cousre can be quite congested making it near impossible to play an entire round. There are multiple ball fields, picnic shelters, and a playground, making this park very popular during certain times of the year.
Least Favorite Hole(s): Hole #1 - 502 ft of open field making a birdie literally impossible unless you have an arm like Avery Jenkins. There are zero obstacles in the way and is in the furtherst part of the park 1/4 mile from the parking lot.
I stopped here with my buddy on our way down to Eugene from Seattle and it was the perfect place to stop, stretch the legs, and have a little fun. Although this wasn't a top tier course in the Pacific Northwest it did meet the need for those looking for a quick round when traveling along I-5 (Similar to Twin Cedars, Leverich, Pekin Ferry, and Paradise Point). While there, I managed to watch my buddy hit an ace on hole #9 by throwing lefty with a huge anhyzer over the water, skipping on top of the building then hitting the generator on the roof before hyzering into the basket. I wouldn't have believed it unless I'd seen it as it was truly the luckiest ace I've seen to date! We both had a good laugh, threw a high five, and then got back in the car. Good times!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
My Home Course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A nice, family friendly course that isn't too tough to navigate and is good for a family outing. My wife, 3 year old and I will play this one as a family just to get out together. Not very difficult, lots of open throws, and not a LOT of possibility to lose discs.
Cons: Fairly simple, plain course. The signs are a bit outdated as the distances are all a bit off (UDisc has the correct distances, GPS mapped, and I updated here as well). Not a lot of challenge to this course overall.
During the summer, I have run into the following problems:
Holes 2 & 3: People using the nice open area to have a large family BBQ
Hole 6: Parked cars during busy times make this a bit iffy to throw
Other Thoughts: If you're looking for a real challenge of your skills, this probably isn't the first course you'd pick. If you want to get a quick nine in to keep your arm in practice though, this would be great. A nice little course, it's fun and very kid friendly (not a lot of rough terrain to traverse).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Lunch hour hotspot
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great spot to throw a quick 9. The business that built this course didn't have much to work with but did a good job.
Each hole has a sign (#1 is old and wrong now) and there is a map at #2.
Hole #1 is a long straight shot to the basket. There is a baseball field on the left and a high dike on the right. Neither of these two objects come into play unless you really make a bad throw. There is a tree protecting the left side of the basket that will knock down your disc if you go to high.
#2 is another short hole that has a basket tucked behing the row of bushes on the left. There is a large tree on the right and a fence on the left that has tall bushes along it. LHBH players are safe if they make a good throw but you have to throw it over the fenced area. For RHBH players, if you play left then you risk having to climb the fence but may lose your disc in the slew or tall grass if you make a bad throw.
#3 is a short hole that has a tree blocking the left side of the fairway just past the teebox and a basketball court blocking the right side of the basket.
#4 is a tricky one where you have to throw over a fenced off marshy area. It is common for the discs to get lost in here. The basket is just out of reach for a beginner with a driver. I suggest you throw into the dike on the right side so you don't have to lose a disc or walk in the marsh to retrieve it.
#5 is a straight forward hole where you can air out your disc.
#6 is an interesting one and is really where the course gets frustrating. I like how the basket is protected by a large tree and also like the trees in between. However, if the weather is good then there is always a parked car that is one bad throw away from being hit. I have never seen an empty parking lot here. I use a mid range disc here too.
#7 you can take a putter off the tee box as the basket is tucked behind the trees in front of the tee box. There is also a picnic table hidden by the basket and I suggest you make sure nobody is there prior to throwing.
#8 is a nice mid range disc throw and a straight shot where the basket is just over the knoll and on the other side of a tree. There are a few large trees that will eat a disc and spit it out on the ground if you don't make a good throw.
#9 is the hardest hole. There is the slew on the right and tall trees down the middle and on the left. There is also a shrubby little tree blocking the tee box which forces you to throw left or right. a bad RHBH throw will end in the water here. Anything thrown left will hit a tree unless a good throw is made.
Cons: I can see it being very difficult to play this course on a weekend in the spring or summer or on any afternoon. #6 could be a challenge come summer with parked cars and kids running around. #7 has a picnic table near the basket that is hidden from the teebox. #9 has a covered picnic area right next to the basket and is almost always in play.
If it wasn't for the concern about playability on summer weekends I would have given this a decent/typical rating.
People are destroying the fence at #4. There is an opening in the fence for you to walk through yet people keep jumping it where they want and it is starting to be an eyesore. Just walk to the opening and go get your disc.
The tee boxes are dirt with wood chips on top. The wood chips are mostly pushed up to the front of the tee box which leaves an opportunity for your foot to slip. Some are getting a little muddy.
Other Thoughts: Thank you to the business that put this course together. I wouldn't change it. I park between 3 & 4 and stretch my arm as I walk to #1. I also get a few short tosses in along the way. I suggest parking over by #4 which will cut down the walk from #9. In the end you will have to walk a lot but I like the shorter walk at the end.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Interesting name at least
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tam O'shanter is a course laid out in the open fields of a park with other activities present as well. The course is easy to follow and is friendly towards families, newer players and anyone who hates obstacles getting in their way. The course is a breeze to play on as you are walking through nicely kept green grass. This is located right off of the freeway and easy to get a few holes in coming to or from Seattle or Portland.
Cons: With the exception of a few trees most of the holes are wide open and holes five and six are completely open and boring. luckily none of the holes are over 300 feet so at least you don't have throw multiple boring drives to complete the holes here.
The walkouts and course layout is a bit screwy. After hole one you walk to hole two and after three you walk across the street to hole four and after five there is another walk to hole six. When you're done with your nine holes it's time to walk a third of a mile or so back to your car.
Other Thoughts: I make the trip to Portland from Seattle a few times a year to play courses and it is so nice to have this course and the one North of it in Castle Rock as little leg stretchers. I also use Leverich down south in this way as well. With its terrible flow this little nine hole course actually takes much longer than your standard nine hole pitch and putt so keep that in mind.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Easy To Make Improvements!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tam O'Shanter is large sprawling park which is visible from I-5 being just on the east side of the freeway. With some basic improvements, this would make a easy little quick break for anyone making the Seattle-Portland drive.
Unfortunately, the way the course plays now is a little discombobulated. # 1 starts from the out on the left field grass of the first softball field as you enter the park. Then you walk across the park road to play 2 & 3. Then you have a longer walk to get to the # 4 tee which is out front of Rister Stadium, which is the Babe Ruth Baseball ballpark. From here the course plays around the field and then beyond the picnic area and finally finishes behind the picnic area. From here it's probably a 1/4 mile or more walk back to where you parked your vehicle.
The course does have brand new DGA baskets. They're great. The tee pads have three boards formed in a "U" shape but unfortunately they're filled with woodchips which get rough and uneven with use.
Cons: The course has some major designs flaws starting with the flow which has you finishing so far from #1.
I didn't like # 2 with the basket hidden behind some bushes and a storm water catch basin to the left. Many a disc are going to go over that fence.
# 4 has you throwing over another fenced in natural area. It's probably only a 200' carry over this area but elementary kids and others will still land their discs in here. The fence already shows plenty of wear from where players have been climbing over to retrieve their discs.
# 6 is throwing to a basket fairly close to the picnic area. Be careful of the public here.
And # 9 is just not a good fit for this course. It's an anhyser throw through trees with nasty water on the right. Too many players this course will end up in that water!
No signs at this time although I met a local shop teacher from Kelso HS who expressed interest in building some signs. Yeah!
Other Thoughts: A couple of suggestions I will convey for improving this course. Start the course by the kiosk that is currently # 2. Make those two holes 1 & 2. Move the current # 1 hole over between the kiosk and the rest of the course and make it # 3 This would condense the course quite a bit and help with flow walking from 2-3-4.
Move the # 4 tee pad over on the hill to the right so players can't throw into the fenced in natural area. And then reconfigure # 9 away from the water. Maybe try to find a way to have it ending up heading back towards the beginning. Add signs and substitute some patio paver blocks for the wood chips and this course becomes much more playable.
Thanks to the family who got this project started. The Kelso/Longview area has been without a course for long enough.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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