Reverse McClain is Bad
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course has two layouts now, forwards and backwards. When the course is reversed (backwards) the baskets are near the forwards tee boxes and the tee boxes are near the forwards baskets. This is a review of the backwards layout.
This course has good baskets, an active group of people who keep it clean and in good repair, nice trees (for Texas on the back nine when in reverse), trash cans, park benches at the start and on the course, a little pavilion near the first hole, ample parking when the school isn't in session, a couple of weekly minis, an active Facebook page, night golf opportunities, and locals who are friendly and who will show you around.
Cons: The backwards layout has lots of problems.
There are greens where your disc can land within thirty feet of the basket and you will have no putt because of obstacles (This is true on reverse 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 15, and 16.).
There are fairways without a clear path to the basket (Reverse 11, 15, and 16.).
There are holes that are well above the ability of the typical disc golfer the course sees (16 for example requires an absolute laser shot 300+ feet long through some tight spaces at the end to an elevated basket that is birdcaged by a bunch of little trees, utterly ridiculous).
There are a number of blind par 3's (2, 5, and 14). There is a table and benches beside the 14 basket. It's an accident waiting to happen.
The reverse course was designed to take away overhead shots from the tee when possible. This often results in a single shot choice from the tee, a low straight shot.
Other Thoughts: Forwards I would rate McClain a 4.0. Backwards I give it a .5. Since it is supposed to be reversed every other month (that was what I was told), I have to give McClain a 4.5 divided by 2 rating (a 2.0).
I'm worried McClain is going to end up like Live Oak when it's done being tinkered with. Live Oak does not have a set 18 holes that people play. There are 30+ holes and when people say they played Live Oak, you have no idea what holes they played.
Instead of reversing the course, I think more tee boxes and permanent alternate baskets should be added. If baskets are too expensive, put up tone poles until baskets can be bought.
Also, there is plenty of room for another 18 north of the current 18. Add those holes instead of messing up the ones that are there.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Well On It's Way
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Long and short tees almost all the way around.
Great mix of technical woods and big open distance.
Excellent use of elevation and terrain changes.
Great signage and well maintained
Cons: Several pins only have one tee pad that really need a second one. Given how much harder some of the long pins are on the first half of the course, the lack of them on some of the easier, shorter pins in the back makes that section of the course a lot less challenging, comparatively.
Indicators on baskets of the direction of the next tee pad and indicators on the sign of which basket position is currently in operation would really speed up play, as well.
Other Thoughts: This would be a 4 or 4.5 review if the course had a full set of long tees, but more importantly, the change in the past year to the pin position of #8 is a serious problem. The pin is still only rated as a par 3 and yet the final 100 feet to the basket is (a) a more than 90 degree turn from the fairway (b) through a complete pinball machine of trees with no real fairway to speak of. Even left handed you have almost no hope of placing your drive anywhere that's actually helpful as your second shot _will be_ facing a wall of trees no matter where you put it.
The rule of thumb is that a fairway is something you can drive a small car through. While in theory you could drive a car from this tee pad to this basket, the last 100 feet would hardly be in what anyone would call a throwable line. They really need to either open up _some_ throwable line from the fairway to the basket or they need to make this a par 4. It is very frustrating to put a drive on a hole that technical about 40 feet from the pin and still end up with absolutely no chance at a bird because you can't even see the chains.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is set up right off of an elementary school with a nice map showing the course. There are concrete tees, dual tees on some holes with very descriptive signs on each hole.
This is a very tight wooded course (think Texas Army Trail for Houston golfers) The wooded holes are tough but fair with multiple lines to take on each hole. The course also has a few holes that play out in the open.
The holes that are open like 10, 13 and 17 are very well kept up with short, green grass. Hole 13 is a massive 700+ hole that is the signature of the back 9.
There is plenty of elevation at this course. Hole #5 is THE hole of the course with a long dogleg right and a 30 foot elevation jump up a cliff to the basket. I have played very few courses where a hole jumped out in my mind like this one did.
I found the walking path in the front nine holes quite helpful for navigation and well needed with the mud that was present on the course at the time.
The course is quite simple to follow, with signs pointing you in the right direction when the walk in between holes is long.
Cons: After a good rain this course is an absolute mess. It is the type of mud that cakes to the bottom of your shoes and once dry is impossible to get off your hands and discs.
Even though Holes 5 and 6 are the "signature" holes on the course, footing may be treacherous walking up the steep incline on #5 and walking down the incline if you miss your throw and land in the ravine on #6.
I did not notice any bathrooms, or water on site. This could be problematic at tournaments.
Other Thoughts: This is a good course to have a tournament at. There is plenty of space at the beginning of the park to practice putting and set up.
The course has A LOT of holes that go left to right and that is something that is unique about this course because lefties and flickers could do very well here.
I have now played Universal city and McClain in the San Antonio area. I must say McClain is far and beyond the better course of the two. All kind of shots are necessary to do well here. Accuracy is needed off each tee. A fun time is guaranteed.
After the round go to Mama Margie's Mexican Restaurant a few miles north on I35, it is fast and cheap and a very good meal.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Wow, this course is awesome. They have a great map at the start. I also really liked the nice tee pads and DISCatchers. I love the elevation change that is throughout the course. It starts out with hole 1,3,5,6,17. McClain has great technicality but not too much, it was definitely a perfect mix. There is a really good mix of open and wooded holes. The course was laid out nicely and everything was in great condition. I loved hole 5 shooting up the hill was a really fun shot. Right after hole 6 was a nice fun down hill shot that was very tight.
Cons: There are very few cons. The sidewalk that goes throughout the first holes is dangers for walkers( there are signs warning them). A few of the holes were too open for me like hole 10. Hole 10 also is a little bit of a far walk.
Other Thoughts: I think this is the best course in San Antonio. I was very pleased with the layout and the use of elevation throughout.
Parking for McClain is in a school parking lot. So walk down the hill toward the first tee. There is also a practice basket.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: -gorgeous well kept well designed course.
-a concrete walkway leaving you through the first 5 holes
-nice signage and easy navigable
-creative holes throwing under and over unique trees.
-good mix of open and wooded holes
Other Thoughts: out of the 17 courses i've played in 6 different states this is my favorite. i wish i had more time in san antonio so i could have played this course more. i'm from the north east and i will be returning to play this course again.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Pretty darn close to perfect
0 Helpful / 6 Not
McClain is right in the middle of a good sized city but isn't a clogged city park. It has an excellent mix of fairways and challenges, only lacking significant elevation changes. The holes aren't maniacally long but pose reasonable challenges. I like how this course is tucked away but right in the city and it's just plain fun.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
best all around course
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: This course had a little bit of everything. From long straight fairways to shorter technical shorts this course will challenge you. As others have stated, holes 5 and 6 are the signature holes at this course and you will want to throw multiple drives.
Cons: Not many negatives with this course. If it hasn't been mowed in awhile than the open fairway on 13 could be a negative if the wind catches the disc making it hard to find if you lose it around the corner off the long tee.
Other Thoughts: Excellent course. Play it weekly and always excited to go back
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
10' long, trapezoidal concrete tees. Alternate (typically closer) natural tee locations, if you know where to look. Excellent teesigns.
Two nine-hole loops. Online map makes the course a cinch for a first-time visitor to navigate.
Single pin position. Definitely some chance of disc loss, more so on the back nine.
This course is set in a mixture of trees, brush, and open space, starting at the back of the parking lot behind an elementary school. The majority of the front nine plays tightish, under/amongst the trees, and contains most of the shorter holes (most holes sub 300'). The back nine, for the most part, is more open (sky above you, wider fairways), and longer, too (two longest holes, and half over 300').
A variety of shot shapes are needed from the tee - fairly even blend of straight/left/right/S - and the low canopy, and outreaching branches, will add a vertical challenge on most of the holes, often forcing your throw to start low, sometimes while needing to gain elevation!
A fairly flat course, but does make use of what little elevation is available. More challenging after a rain, such as when I played, as it does increase the amount of out-of-bounds.
Favourite hole: #5. One of the longer holes at 405', lines of trees along both sides create a fair initial lane, and force a moderate right turn at the midpoint. After the turn, the trees begin to narrow a bit, and the basket is still a couple hundred feet away, elevated about 20' atop a ridge.
Good course offering both challenges and opportunities, worth a visit if in the area.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
ill keep playing it
Pros: Provides challenging shots but not overly hard. It was a few easy wholes to recover on, if you like water hazards
Cons: needs to be cleaned up a little. If you dont like water hazards there are a few wholes to avoid
Other Thoughts: its a must play
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent design with several tee placements. most holes have longs and shorts, and theres usually red stakes marking more of a pitch and putt course if that's your fancy. Plenty of shade for summer rounds. Nice flow and signage, 1, 9, 10, and 18 are all within a short walk to the parking lot. there are not a lot of great courses in SA area but this one is worth playing.
Cons: Lots of trash for my round the other day, regulars need to do a better job maintaining, i know they don't get much help from parks and rec so it's up to the players to keep it clean. The trash was a recurring source of frustration throughout the round. Several schools nearby so it could very well be students using the course as a place to drink and litter, but it was obvious to me that disc golfers were partially responsible.
Other Thoughts: When the course is clean, it's closer to a 4.0, when its dirty it's closer to a 3.0. Fun and challenging course, the local club has a ceanup at the end of every month so the course should be in good condition during the early days of the month.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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