Alaska's Best Course
- Course map
- Free course with plenty of parking
- Tee signs with distances
- Full 18 holes with multiple (2) concrete pads per hole
- Clearly defined fairways
- Lots of elevation incline/decline variation
- Hole length variation
- Multiple pin locations
- Bathrooms on location
- Good variation of lefty vs righty flight paths/lines
- Lots of summer daylight in the evening
- Park gate closes at 10 pm regardless if you're out or not
- Course can get very overgrown
- Disc that land off the fairway are very hard to find.
- Some tees are blind to basket and need spotters.
- Spotting doesn't guarantee a disc will be found
- Course can get crowded
- Long tees are not always visible from short tees, causes confusion and group overlapping
- Some AM tees are directly in the pathway of Pro tees
- The tall basket on 6 is kind of gimmicky
This is what I consider my hometown course, even though I don't live here anymore. It was one of the first courses I learned to throw on and is probably my favorite course ever. The park, believe it or not, used to be the site of a Nike-Hercules missle facility during the Cold War. Today, it's one of the top outdoor recreation destinations for tourist and locals alike in the Anchorage area.
This is a big course, however it's just a small fraction of the park's overall acreage. The disc golf course itself received a major overhaul around a decade ago, which was a big improvement on an already fun course to play. The layout change gave the course a bigger layout and was positioned further away from the park chalet, which is always either hosting events or just full of non disc golfing park goers in general. The nice thing is that there is pretty much no overlap between the numerous trail walkers and the course layout.
Kincaid is a longer forest style park course that is full of changes in elevation. In fact, there's only one fairway that is flat (#3 B) and even that one has a drop off behind it and also to the left. This course can really be punishing if you have an errant throw or don't keep an eye on where you land, both bodily and physically. Devils clubs and stinging nettles line most of the fairways. If that's not rough enough, the actual rough is thick with vegetation and drops off down long steep embankments around a few fairways. When in doubt, use a spotter.....or two. The course can be really hairy when not maintained, which is most of the summer. There's still a noticeable difference between fairway and the rough, it's just that the fairway vegetation can get pretty long before maintenance happens. I happen to be visiting Anchorage just after their state tournament, so the course is really really great looking.
Even though I really like the course I have to point out that there are a few problems with the blue/pro tees. Many of the blues share a fairway with the reds, subsequently putting anyone on reds in the line of fire. There isn't always visibility between the two tees, which creates confusion. Also, because the course is so crazy thick with vegetation, it's not practical to take any other route besides the regular fairways. Sometimes the best throws from blues are layups to the red tees and play from there. There isn't much reward for going big on throws, you'll likely just lose your disc trying. As a result, nobody really uses the pro pads, not even the Wednesday night league players. It's kind of a waste if you ask me.
There are also a few variables that are outside the park's control like bugs, weather, and wildlife to take into consideration. Some wet gloomy summers the yellow jackets and the mosquitoes can get out of control, it depends on the summer. The moose come and go as they please, but usually aren't particularly aggressive unless you get between a cow and her babies or aggravate a bull in rut.
Overall, it is a truly amazing and unique course. When the weather is bad and the fairways are overgrown it can be hell, but when the sun is shining and the fairways are clear it's a little slice of heaven. This is one of those courses where it pays to come prepared. It's a lot of walking and much of the course is nowhere near the parking lot nor the bathrooms, so come prepared.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
A number of interesting/challenging shots with good use of the terrain
Very good tee boxes
Easy to find
Huge practice areas
Beautiful park overall with lots of interesting sights and features (including an old missile silo!)
Very good signage noting Pro/Am distances
In spots it's a bit tricky to navigate due to the dense foliage but if you follow the map, you'll be ok.
Minor quibble: We didn't see any evidence of a basket position indicator on the signs which surprised us considering how good the signs are. This necessitates walking up to check positions, which you may want to do anyway.
Do use the map. One is at the entrance to the course.
If the reindeer dog lady is there, try one! They're pretty good.
First, let me state that we didn't get to play the whole course. Due to the setting sun and a very early flight out, my wife and I only had time to play 11 holes, but we eyeballed a chunk of the rest on our walk out. Feel free to throw justified rocks at this review later. ;) Having said that, we really enjoyed this course. The emphasis for this course is definitely precision over rear back and let fly length, although you may need a touch of that from the Pro tees (us mortals played the Am's). Personally, I never once felt like I needed to let one loose. I could see that the real objective was to avoid obstacles and set yourself up for a decent approach shot, preferably from somewhere outside the 'rough'. Let's take a pause here and talk about the rough. There's rough and then there's what's outside the fairways of this course. Take trees, bushes, ground cover, and all manner of briar patch fun and mix them all together and this is what is waiting for the errant shot. The good news about the rough ("There's good news?!" YES!) is that there isn't any poison oak or snakes in there. Goooo Alaska! But the other news is that you are basically done if you go into these areas and will be happy to just get back out to the fairway (and not step in any moose pies). This, again, makes you focus even harder on just staying in the fairway and not trying anything silly. This might make you start to think that this course is not fun or unfair, but quite the contrary. I found it to be very fair. You can see the lines clearly. It's not particularly long so the average player has ample opportunity to leave with a par. I actually left the course +1 and really should've been -1 because I did get stuck in one of those 'rough' areas on the first hole (and man is that a mean way to start a course; a sweeping high arching left to right shot, ouch). You'll notice I said "average player" back there. I would not not NOT take a beginner here. They are probably going to hate you and the sport after wading into the bushes all day. But if you have a decent amount of control with around 200' of distance, we think you'll be fine. I also read about the critters that you can encounter out here but we didn't see any. We did see some large and intimidating droppings though so they're definitely out there somewhere. Be aware, but be nice if you see one. Lastly, the views on this course are quite lovely in spots. You can see the bay and watch the planes coming in for some added fun. There's also all the crazy abandoned military stuff scattered here and there to add to the weirdness. I told my wife that there was probably a soldier standing right where we were 50 years ago stating to his compadre "Someday there will be Disc golfers here."
This is a beautiful park with a very interesting course layout that makes great use of the terrain. It's not for the beginner set but very fair and fun for the average and above set. If you're in the neighborhood, do check it out.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
An Amazing Course
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Par-3s, 4s, 5s, wooded fairways, open fairways, elevation changes, cement amateur and pro tees, dual basket placements, great signage, amazing views, plenty of benches, moose (mostly in the morning), evidence of black-bear, this course has it all!
Cons: Super-thick rough.
Other Thoughts: There are plenty of soccer fields to practice on. Restrooms and vending machines available. There's even a lady selling grilled sausage sandwiches near the practice basket.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A fun course to play.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This review is based on a round played from the short tees.
This is a course with an interesting layout that uses lots of trees and also uses elevation well. It rewards shot placement and accuracy far more than distance. There are no wide open holes and only two holes from the Am tees that will require a distance driver. In most cases, a midrange is all you will need from the tees. My current rating is a little under 900 and I can consistently reach 380-390 feet on open drives. I only used distance drivers off the tee on three holes.
Tees are concrete and the course was well kept when I played. The rough is not overly punishing.
There are a number of holes that require left to right shots so work on your forehand, midrange shot. You will need it. Generally, this course will allow you to utilize a lot of different shot types.
I didn't see much wildlife during the round but was told by the locals that I play with that there is about an 80% chance of seeing moose during a round.
There is little interference from other park activities although the occasional hiker will cause a brief delay. The park and course feature some great views of mountain ranges and the Cook Inlet.
Cons: Signage. There are a number of holes that feature blind shots. Because the course is relatively short from the Am tees, this exposed a couple of shortcomings with the signage. The signs do not do a very good job of giving you a good sense of the basket location and do not indicate at all which of the basket locations are currently in use for the hole. The group that I was playing with, all locals, all threw at the wrong basket location off the first tee. Visitors, and even locals, should probably put eyes on the basket before throwing.
Navigation. The next tee location is not always obvious. I've seen worse, but my first round would have been longer had I not been with locals.
Non Disc Golfers. There are places where walking trails come close to fairways and this can cause minor delays. Overall, it wasn't much of a problem even on a high traffic day.
A few of the holes presented overly difficult lines that make luck factor into the score a little too much. In one case this was caused by a very large tree that had fallen and was suspended above the ground, blocking the apparently intended fairway. In another, there was a group of trees about 100 feet from the tee box that had very narrow gaps, requiring a little too much accuracy (or luck) to get through for a chance at birdie. Even so, it was still not difficult to par even after a poor result on the drive.
Although there were virtually no repetitive holes, there was also very little variety in the landscape. There were no tunnel holes or any holes that were very tight off the tee and nothing very open either. Elevation was a factor in only 4-5 holes.
Other Thoughts: I had the good fortune to arrive at Kincaid Park on a Wednesday just before the weekly league doubles match started. It was a fun round. Had I tried to play on my own, the round would have been a bit tedious as I would have had to walk forward to determine the basket location on more than half the holes. On a few holes, the next tee location would not have been obvious.
I played this on a trip to Alaska on which I also played Hilltop Ski Area and Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna. Both the Anchorage courses are superior to Tsalteshi Trails, but other than the additional effort required to play Hilltop, I cannot say that Kincaid is a better course than Hilltop. They are night and day different, but each is fun and challenging with its own benefits and shortcomings. Kincaid is probably the more difficult of the two because it is the more technical course and rewards a number of different techniques off the tee. I would definitely recommend both Kincaid and Hilltop if you are lucky enough to find yourself in Anchorage. Beginners may find this course a bit frustrating, but I would still recommend it as it will challenge you to use more than just your backhand or forehand off the tee.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Best In Alaska
Pros: Good tee pads and baskets
Great mowing/vegetation trimming
Cons: Easy to wander between holes
Too many blind shots
Not very many shot options on many holes due to heavy trees/foliage. Forces one shot too much.
Other Thoughts: This is not a 4 1/2 disc course, nor the greatest I've ever played. It isn't even in the top 5. But it is a very good course and easily the best of the four in Anchorage that I have played. The front nine are really very well laid out, but the back nine could use some additional signs to help with navigation. We did manage to find a map in the chalet, but it was fairly unhelpful and just plain wrong at times. (The one available for download on this site looks a lot better. Stupid me.) There are quite a few blind placements, and it seemed that most of the placements from the longer "pro" tees were all blind. There's no way I'd play those tees on my first visit to the course.
This is not an easy course. There are many holes, even from the short tees, that I (915 rating) would probably never birdie even if I played the course every day for a year. But there are lots of fun and challenging holes and it would be a good course for a tourney as the holes do a good job of rewarding good shots and punishing bad ones.
Somebody went through and mowed down the foliage in all of the reasonable landing areas, which was just awesome. If you missed those, watch out! But I think we only looked for 2 or 3 discs the whole round, which seems to be pretty good for an Alaska course.
I really loved the extra long tee pads. These are the best tee pads I've ever played on. Most are too short for me. However, given the length of the holes, you're going to need that extra long run up! Every tee pad also has a sign with accurate distances, which I appreciated, even if the pictures were kind of generic and not very helpful for actually locating the baskets. The signage between holes needs to be improved, especially from 10-13. The baskets are all perfect, and there was even one hanging from a tree and two appropriately on an extra long hole. The pars seemed reasonable, except for the "pro par" from the short tees on # 18. It was a wide open 250 foot par 4 and my first eagle.
A couple of navigational helps: after hole 9 make a 180 degree turn to the right to find hole 10. After 10, go back and left through a path through the wood across the ski trail. When looking for 13, realize it is a pretty good walk, but there are a couple of small signs that help. You will cross back over an earlier hole. The first hole starts East of the Chalet and runs parallel to a road. The basket is blind but the tees are very close to the practice basket.
Use spotters your first time playing, especially if there hasn't been recent mowing/weedwhacking.
If you're in Anchorage, don't miss this course. Bring water and bug dope, but sometimes you'll get lucky and not need either.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
One of my all-time favorites
Pros: One of the most beautiful and challenging courses I have played. The constant elevation changes, ravines, cliffs, and wildly deep brush present plenty of obstacles.
Cons: Plenty of chances to loose your discs by over shooting some of the many ravines.
Other Thoughts: Really miss playing this course. It is one of my all-time favorites.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great mix between long and short holes. Pro & Am tee pads. Maps of each hole at each tee. Plenty of benches to give you a break after climbing the hills and waiting for other people to throw. Challenging course, but fun.
Cons: Thick underbrush making it easy to lose discs. A couple instances of poor directions between hole and next tee, probably because of vandalism but it's not a huge deal.
Other Thoughts: Very advanced. Controlled throws a must! Can't even see the holes from the pads at times, check out the map on each tee for an idea of where to throw. Expect to spend about an hour and a half playing 18 holes casually with one other person. Lots of elevation and distance. Some holes aren't affected by wind because of trees. Great view of shoreline as well. Definitely will recommend this course!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Our favorite in alaska
Pros: A combination of scenery and challenge make this our favorite course to play in Alaska. There is a good mix of short and long holes, plenty of benches at the holes to wait while your party tees off, and not to heavy on traffic.
Cons: Although well marked for a course this size, it wouldn't hurt to have a couple more signs between some of the holes that are a little farther apart. And be prepared to get your legs scraped up a bit if you go into the rough on some of the holes. Also, notice a lot of empty beer/alcohol containers...no problem having a drink here and there, but carry it out when you are done.
Other Thoughts: Gourgeous course, with plenty of challenge. My wife and I have been able to improve our scores each time out, but the improvements are slow enough that it is still a fun place to play; far from easy.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Great Course/Great Views
Pros: Nice long holes. Challenging.
Good local scene and fairly low crowds.
The layout has ALOT of variety. Up hill, down hill, dog legs, over ravines. You name it. Never had a bad time here.
Other Thoughts: This is basically the best course in Alaska
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: If you like a long tough course this is it. Excellent layout with creative basket placements (like a 10ft. basket on a hillside as you see in the profile picture). Quite possible you will see wildlife to go along with your round.
Cons: Again, wildlife. Be aware of your surroundings. Bear and moose are very common in this area. Mosquitos can be bad at times so always have bugdope.
Other Thoughts: Gates close at ten but you can still park outside, walk or bike in, and then play all night during the months of June and July.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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