Austin, TX 
Bartholomew Park Share
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 could be great

1    10/23/2011   10/31/2011
Review By: dreadlock86
Played: 236  Reviewed: 178  Exp: 9.1 Years
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -great terrain for disc golf
-creek in play on half the holes
-nice elevation changes on half the holes
-good variety of types of holes: distance, woods, elevation, water hazards
-decent parking, easy to find
Cons: -navigation is bad
-needs tee signs badly
-dirt tees are rutted (tee 11 has a basket sleeve in it - WTF??)
-old baskets have extra added layer of chains but very shallow baskets
-no creek crossings, hope the water is down
-general lack of maintenance
-is there another tee on hole 3? other reviewers mentioned throwing off the top of a hill but i didn't see another tee

i had a real hard time following the layout. there are large sections where it is obvious where to go next but several places are not so obvious: where to go after hole 2, which basket to shoot at on hole 5 (hole 6 basket looks like the obvious choice but is not), no marker at all for tee 9, easy to miss hole 11, looks like the tee for 12 could be halfway down the fairway if you're coming from 10 (like i was).
Other Thoughts: This old course has seen better days but still has a bunch of great golf. It clearly shows its age but this course could be really great with some new signs and tees. The terrain is excellent for golf with lots of trees and elevation, a creek in play, and a great variety of shots and hole types.

Holes 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, and 15 have great elevation changes and the creek comes into play on 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, and 12. I really like the way each area of the course has its own character and challenges presented.

One of the biggest problems here is that the course has been altered so many times that it is confusing to figure out what is really happening. The basket sleeve in the middle of tee 11 is indicative of this. The course really needs a make over that solidifies the new layout, repairs all the tee areas, adds new signs and removes the old/superfluous tees, basket sleeves, etc.

Perhaps I'm making a big deal where it isn't necessary. The course is challenging and a lot of fun with many of the elements that make a great course. If I lived nearby I would play it all the time but as an out-of-town first timer, I was annoyed by the conditions and difficulties in navigation.

Overall, a great place to play a round. The golf here is 3.5+ but the condition is 2.0 so my rating is an average. Hopefully the locals give it the love it needs.

**Like this review? Hate it? Message me and let me know why! I want to make them better!**

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

 love this course

5+    6/3/2005   6/3/2011
Review By: joesouthfla
Played: 8  Reviewed: 8  Exp: 5 Years
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Other Thoughts: This is the first course I ever played disc golf on back in the 80s. So many great times. Unfortunately I returned to Austin about 5 yrs ago and headed straight to Bartholomew. I was so disappointed in how run down the park and course was. I'm glad to see some of the recent reviews said they are working to clean it up. Please Austin save Bartholomew! You might have better courses now but Bart is a classic.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  Recently Weeded

5+    3/13/2011   3/21/2011
Review By: Kasop
Played: 8  Reviewed: 1
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Varied and challenging, recently cleaned up and marked some. Big improvement. Lots of water and elevation.
Cons: Still messy in spots. Some rough tees. More crowded now that Pease is closed.
Other Thoughts: Enjoyable short course.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful.

 Bart is back and getting some love

5+    3/5/2011   3/11/2011
Review By: discgolf512
Played: 23  Reviewed: 7  Exp: 21.1 Years
This review was updated on 3/24/2011
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This was the course where I learned to play a long time ago. I had heard it was cleaned up (though just 15 baskets) and that the Waterloo club was going to start holding mini's and work on improvements... so I came back and I was pleasently surprised.
Course looked great, just as I'd imagined. baskets were in good shape and tee boxes wern't that bad (for being dirt). A few changes had been in layout, but overall was a great experience.
Course has a great mix of shots; The usual straight, hyzer and anhyzer mix, but adding in elevation makes those so much more fun.
The elevation changes are what make this course so cool, such as:
Hole 1 & 7 where you and the basket are both on top of hills with a creek running between...
Hole 4: basket is a straight shot, but up an incline that makes the hole feel farther than it is (hole 11 is similar, but with way more trees)..
Hole 9 where you shoot straight down a hill through a tunnel and into a basket sitting on the edge of the creek...
Hole 15 (old 18) which is basicaly wide open (a couple trees try to get in your way) and waaaay downhill...
or the infamous hole 3 where you tee off from the highest point in the park and throw out and over the trees to a basket far away.
Cons: 1. Only 15 baskets.
2. Course needs tee signs.
3. bushes on hole 2 will need to be cut.
4. There are a couple spots where it is hard to get across the creek.
5. Needs more trashcans and benches.
6. The creek smells (it always has).
Other Thoughts: Hopefully the course improvements will fix issues 1- 5 above. Granted, winter is just ending, but I saw no overgrowth when I played so I didn't mark that down as a negative.
This is a great course and even at 15 baskets it is still one of the best in Austin today.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.

 Great course. Just needs work.

5+    9/9/2010   9/23/2010
Review By: ATXdiscgolfer
Played: 18  Reviewed: 3  Exp: 6 Years
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Requires a good variety of throws due to the ruggedness and sharp angles on certain holes.

Tees and baskets are very well placed.

Holes change from wide, open and long to narrow, short and wooded.
Cons: Where to start... Basically, the park is in a state of disrepair and requires some serious maintenance.
It seems the city has just given up on the park altogether seeing as how there are several downed trees that have just been laying in the way for the past few months. (Hole #2 especially)

The reeds/brush are out of control and several feet above your head in certain areas so it's easy to lose your discs and get covered in burs at the same time.

The baskets are really shallow (except on hole 9) so popouts can be a nuisance on what would be a perfect birdie, ace, etc..

Three of the most fun holes were taken out a few years ago so it's only a 15 hole course now.

After it rains the creek can be a real pain so be ready to get a little wet.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a gem of a disc golf course that just needs some attention. I've heard rumors that it's scheduled to be fixed up real soon and I'm keeping my fingers crossed because I play this course almost every week and I'd love to see it restored to it's original condition.
If this is in fact true and done properly then I think it will be one of, if not the best course in Austin.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

 Legendary Course Gets a Haircut...Cleans Up Well

2-4    6/9/2010   6/10/2010
Review By: Overhanding4distance
Played: 41  Reviewed: 10  Exp: 14.4 Years
This review was updated on 3/1/2011
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Elevation Changes throughout, unique layout

-Baskets have 3 layers of chains

-Course demands a variety of shots, with different lines to take

-Bartholomew is cleared out now! There was extreme overgrowth last year which made this course terrible.
Cons: Thanks to the city and other individuals who helped clear Bartholomew out. This course is actually passable now
Very little signage...if signs are there they are old
Tee Boxes are worn down
Other Thoughts: I'm glad I'm able to rate this course as a 3.0 and not a .5
Again, thanks to the folks who cleaned and cleared this out.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.

  Not going to play again

1    3/1/2010   5/6/2010
Review By: comfortnuggets
Played: 1  Reviewed: 1
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: It has a challenging layout, and really puts your skills to the test. It's a DG in East Austin, near my house.
Cons: On a windy day, you're looking for your disc more than playing the game. The park itself is trashed, the course has not been maintained, so there is a lot of overgrowth to get lost in. I also didn't like the fact that a majority of the holes had you driving across the creek/ditch that runs through the park, it's nasty, smells bad and sucks if your discs lands in it. Some of the shots were obstructed with fenced-in, cemented, drainage ditches in the middle of the hole. If you get your disc lost in one of those (which is likely) you're spending the next 10 min fishing it out of mucky water.
Other Thoughts: there are lots of other, cooler, more constructive courses to play in austin with less hazards and manicured fairways. I recommend looking elsewhere if you're looking for a good game of DG in ATX

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.

 Respect the Classics Man!

2-4    3/14/2010   3/19/2010
Review By: srm_520
Played: 152  Reviewed: 138  Exp: 12.2 Years
This review was updated on 6/3/2011
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: God bless good design. I love a good old course that can stand the test of time and offer a challenge with the newer disc technology. I can only imagine the overall difficulty Bart presented when it was first opened back in 1982. From hole one - you know you're going to see some interesting lines on some diverse terrain. Heading into a tight hole #2 - you had better shoot straight or force one into the hill on the right or get wet in the creek to the left. A great example of risk versus reward. If you're on - you'll love life, but if you are off watch out.

The majority of holes play great elevation shots either up or down throughout the course. The length is good and presents some open holes to satisfy the big arms as well as tight technical shots for woods lovers. The course also comes back on itself, finishing in a big although a little lackluster #15 (originally #19). However, this place ultimately goes back to being a fantastic layout that maximizes the land and stands the test of time. The park has facilities past the hole #11.

BEST HOLE/S: #7; #9
Cons: Oh boy - where to begin? How many courses have you played from the early 80's that one - exist, and two are in fantastic shape? Bart is no exception. Four holes (Original #12-#15) are gone due to park construction from a few years back. Many play #1-#3 again to play a full eighteen holes. The creek was greatly improved to make a nicer #11, but the sacrifice is playing fifteen holes over the original nineteen. Rumorville is that this course is next in line for redesign after Searight Park gets finished up, so time will tell.

The tee boxes are natural and rutted from years of use, and there is no real signage, so you'll have to rely on a local or your map for navigation. Truth is, only the first three or four holes are a bit confusing to first-timers, and after that there's a pretty good flow. The baskets are in decent shape, but like everything else show its age.

The OB is a positive or negative depending on your point of view. Barbed wire fences for example on #12 (original #16) are a real negative (and I have the stitches to prove it!), but force you to throw mandos and make good shots, so you can be the judge. There are more "manmade" hazards than I would like in a course - call me a tree hugger I guess - but I prefer my rounds lost in the deep woods rather than shooting over concrete walls in a park.

WORST HOLE/S: #3; #6
Other Thoughts: Bartholomew Park is like a good old book. It's worn, torn, and at first glance looks ready for the trash - but then you open it up and remember all the good things you love about it. The couple times I've been out here - I've never been disappointed, but I have to always remember that this is one of those courses that was old when the sport was still new. I take these things with a grain of salt on a course like this more than others based on its history and the fact that I don't finish a round at ten under because it was old, short, and boring. It made me work, think, and choose my shots wisely, which is the most important thing I can ask for in a course.

I really hope the course is redesigned and cleaned up, but I would hate to see it lose any integrity from the original layout. Sure, it has a lot of obvious problems on the surface, but look past the flaws and don't skip it just because the brand new MetCenter DGC is right down the road. My advice is hit them both and have a good time.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.

 good old bart

5+    10/13/2009   11/11/2009
Review By: Geaver
Played: 44  Reviewed: 3  Exp: 11 Years
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I'm a sucker for elevated tee boxes, and bart's got some good ones,{#"s 3,5,7, and old 19). lots of different shots. plenty of "let em rips", and just enough "steer em through the trees" to make it fun.
Cons: No signs
only fifteen baskets
couple of tee boxes a little janky
The creek that flows through the course is a freakin disc eater(1,2,3,5,7)
Other Thoughts: I used to live on this course before they removed some baskets do that erosion control project. I hadnt played it since i moved down to south austin a few years ago and man i really like this course. If they ever get around to showing Bart some love by replacing the old baskets that are missing, this coourse would be one of the best, most challenging course in the city. Even in its current condition, its a hidden gem in Austin.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

 Bart has Character

5+    8/10/2009   8/24/2009
Review By: milow369
Played: 24  Reviewed: 13  Exp: 15 Years
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: One of, if not the, oldest disc golf course in Austin. Holes have lots of character, a number of ace/birdie runs. Also has holes that you're happy to par. I was very pleasantly surprised at how fun Bart was to play the first time. I have been back several times. I guess I would call Bart a disc golfer's dg course. Technical lines, player is usually rewarded for hitting those lines.
Some changes in elevation make for fun and memorable shots. Creek comes into play on several occasions, usually to the tune of a couple knee-nocker putts.
At times you're letting the big guns fly and others you're going to old faithful one more time.
Lots of memorable holes, you will remember most after only playing once.
This course has you throwing over a fairly busy road, other manmade objects, over overgrown creeks, around barbed wire fences, over wet water collection areas, some elevated tee boxes, ...
No crowds, easy to get to, plenty of parking. Can be played in an hour or so most days.
Cool crowds when you do run into people- in my experience. Truly an Austin course no matter how run down.
Cons: No course signs,
Teepads are terrible, dirt - don't bother if wet.
3 holes missing baskets
Course and creek are badly overgrown. Can lose a disc if you're not really paying attention. Reminds me of an old casino - lots of fun in its heyday but worn down. Burned out light bulbs, chipped paint, maybe sheet of plywood over a window or two.
Not in a great area of town, some trash & usual vandalism on the course.
Other Thoughts: This course is worth going out to and playing. If it was 18 holes and the course was a little more maintained I could justify rating Bart 3.5, Teeboxes would bump it to 4. Ideally you would play a round with a local the first time as it's tough to navigate based on well worn paths alone. Good news is Bart's on the list for renovation after Searight. Should get some nice teepads and signs at a minimum. I suspect adding the 3 missing baskets and possibly other improvements to the course are on tap.

If I only had 2 days in Austin, Bart would probably not be on my list. If I had a week in town, it definitely would.

I will make a point to come back and update this review/rating following the course renovation. The crew who did Circle C will be working on it so you should expect a huge improvement to yet another Austin dg course.

Some hopefully helpful Info:
Park at the lot on 51st. Across from the huge water tower.

Start at hole 4 - closest hole to the parking lot, up the hill. Typical to finish by playing 1,2,3 twice.

Alternate tee boxes are: 1) under bridge near creek 2) remains unchanged 3) down the hill across the creek to right near picnic table.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

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