It's tall fir one, and one fir tall
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Look, I know John Houck gets more than his share of love. He's the only designer that I or many other players could even name. But he got that reputation for a reason, and it shows here. This is a former ball golf course that easily could have been turned into a crappy, unimaginative course.
Hole 13 is the best example of this. I would not have thought to take this massive portion of the course and make it one hole, but it's a great multi-throw hole. Your drive needs a hyzer between some of the signature tall firs to the landing area, and all-out distance will not necessarily be rewarded. Then there is a left-to right angling fairway to the pin on a ridge and behind a guardian tree. On, and the fairway slopes downhill toward a pond. There aren't a lot of 900-foot holes that I would applaud, but this is one of them.
Other fun holes include 3 (a long drive down an alley of the firs) and 10 (a forehand with two routes to a basket on a hill). As always with his designs, holes tend to have landing zones, so you need to think where you want to put the disc, not just how far you can bomb it.
There are two concrete tees on most holes. I played both. The blues do more than just add distance, usually forcing a drive between several trees or making a turn more difficult.
The course generally avoids the most boring hole in disc golf: the 350' semi-open hole. The majority of players will never birdie that hole and rarely bogey it, making it a real yawn. I don't remember any of them here.
The signage is the type you see on most Houck courses, showing all the ways to get to the hole.
Cons: A lot of the course is fairly open. They have planted coniferous trees in the fairways. They are generally tall enough so that you can't throw right over them, but not enough to dramatically change the hole.
The limited size and the openness also limit the impact of great design in some spots. While I like the mix of long multi-throw holes (550+) and short holes (under 300), there seemed to be more than a few really short holes shoe horned in.
One hole I have mixed feelings on: 15. It's a very short (175' or so) downhill shot, but the basket is just past a little ridge that leads down to a lake. Losing a disc here seems pretty likely if you play enough. That said, I really had to think whether I could trust a forehand hyzer or backhand hyzer to lay down, and you could do a wimpy lay up for 3 if you were really worried about it.
Other Thoughts: The pro shop sells good beer that you can carry with you (no bringing your own) and has complimentary water and coffee.
I struggled with whether to give this 3.0 or 3.5. When the trees grow in 5-10 years from now, it will be a different course. For now, they made the most of what they have, and it's well worth a visit.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A fine addition to a play list
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Finely manicured fairways with carefully contrived basket locations help generate interest for what is a relatively flat piece of land with little obstruction. The sparse "Tall Firs" are utilized to high potential and effect a good half dozen nifty holes. The placement of the short and long tees provide excellent leveling of distance skills if not changing the course a great deal for a second round.
Cons: I have few negative thoughts. I am glad it is not the closest course to my house as I'm sceptical it would hold up to many repeated rounds, and while it is clear the green fee is being put to use on the course that would be a detriment as well. As an occasional day trip or to fill out your playlist it is definitely a go.
Other Thoughts: It was immediately clear upon arival that I could leave my hiking boots and long pants in the car. Some days that could fit the pro or con category. Having spent so much time lately in trees with heavy underbrush today it was a pleasant respite. The course map makes it look jammed tightly together and it is, but I spent the whole front 9 as part of the third of four groups and despite some errant launches all around there were few that caused dangers or delays. I believe the course is deliberately layed out to keep that to a minimum.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course, about 1/2 hr east of Everett, is on one of the oldest ball golf courses in Washington, recently bought and converted to disc golf. It is fairly well laid out on the space available, which is less than I expected having played other converted courses.
There are some cool holes, like 2 which is a tight tunnel shot to the pin on a hillside. Despite this being one of the shortest holes and my good tee shot I still had a double bogey(hit the basket and rolled downhill twice). I appreciate holes like that. Hole 15 is a short downhill shot with an OB pond behind it that gets into your head.
The Pro Shop was very nice, the guy working it was very polite and knowledgeable with loaner discs to try, there are a couple Westside discs I will get because of him.
Cons: While I enjoyed playing there, I must say I expected more. A Houck designed course with a ball golf course worth of area to work with, must be epic!
I admit, I played the shorter tees so didn't see all the course had to offer but having played a number of high end courses this one seemed to offer little but long mostly open holes with little risk. The few OBs mean you probably lost a disc, while most shots can go pretty errant w/o going OB.
That being said, there are a number of holes that are dangerously tight, 2 and 3 are separated only by a net, my drive on 6 crossed the tee for 8 w/o being OB, and 8 and 9 are close enough that a bad shot is well into the other fairway.
One good place for a tight OB on a hole is 5, supposedly the path just past the hole is OB, but I was told they extend the green in a 30' circle which crosses the path.
Some of the holes are a little hard to figure where to go, either path to pin or where next tee is, even with map. 10 and 11 were the worst.
What bothered me the most was the par. 63 may be reasonable for the long course(still seems about 3 high) but it is the same for the red tees and that is way too high for a 5.6k ft course. I shot a 60, reasonable score, but it bugged me that it was a 3 under. By my 6th birdie on 18 it wasn't a joyous occasion as it should be but depressing as it felt unearned. My daughter, who has played many courses with me over the years, felt the same.
Other Thoughts: This is an interesting course that I mostly enjoyed and will play again but I had high hopes that it didn't meet. This course is worth hitting while in the Seattle area but there 5 others I'ld hit first if time was limited.
One thing in it's favor, they planted a ton of trees that will make this a much more interesting course in 10 or so years. I'll revisit this review as necessary
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: johnrhouck
Hi, Edgar. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the course. As far as the par and the openness from the Red tees, here's a quick explanation: since we expected a lot of new players to take up the game at Tall Firs, we decided to add the Red tees primarily for beginners. So the par for those holes is really beginner par, and the distances are really beginner distances. That does create some "tweener" holes for experienced players, especially on the par fours. As you noted, those holes are also more open, as I wasn't looking to make it too tight for new players. So currently we recommend the Blue tees for all experienced players.For people who find the Red tees too easy and the Blue tees too challenging, we have been discussing adding a set of White tees in the middle that would be more appropriate for that skill level. Hoping we may be able to pull that off before the end of the year. Thanks, John
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is what you want if you're looking for a wide open space to throw long drives. You can really open up your arm on most of the holes. Paul is a really nice guy and provides quality coffee as well as loaner discs for people who are interested. Has an onsite pro shop. The course is always well groomed.
Cons: Again, this course is for the long arm players that just want to rip it, which is ok, but I personally enjoy more wooded courses with obstacles that you have to work around rather than a furthest drive competition. The $5/day admission isn't bad, but I feel like there should be an annual pass for those who would like to frequent the course. There are safety hazards on this course when you have a fair amount of players on the field, multiple people have been hit from drives and many near misses that could have caused serious injury. Must buy beer at the pro shop, which is for legal reasons, but the beer is a bit spendy if you're looking to spend the day out there.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is an alright course. If you're doing some field work, it's great, but for a golfer like me who likes a little more variety and enjoys obstacles, this is not a must see destination course. Hopefully once the new trees grow in it will have some more character, but I will say that Paul and John Houck did what they could given the piece of land they are using.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
PLAY THIS COURSE!
Pros: -Accessibility: This course is great for all kinds of players.
-Shot/hole types: Tall Firs offers a variety of shot options, forcing players to really "think" about their shots. The course also offers varying hole lengths from short ace run par 3s to a towering par 5 that will mandate perfection from any tee in order to birdie.
-Navigation: The course is easy to maneuver. Baskets are marked with tall yellow flags on top. The tee pad signage is some of the best I have ever seen with clearly marked OB and mandos. The fairways are cut well from tee to basket and give players a clear picture of each hole.
-Atmosphere: The course is CLEAN! You will not find trash laying around this property. The staff and local players are friendly and respectful.
-Events: this was not a "set it and forget it" course as one finds with many city parks. This course is constantly holding events from glow nights to random doubles (Saturdays). There is always something going on!
-Pro Shop: Fully stocked with Westside Discs! I had never thrown Westside before so I took out one of the free loner discs (pretty much every mold is available to try) for a round and I am now a believer! The gentleman who runs the property is extremely friendly and shows a true love for the game. If you play the course make sure to stop in and say hi, you will not be disappointed!
-Parking: The property has its own parking lot that is at very minimal risk of catching a stray disc.
-Coffee: the free coffee is always hot!
Cons: -Open spaces: Much of the front 9 is wide open with few obstacles. With that said, all we have to do for this to change is wait. Many trees have been planted in what will end up being very tricky locations throughout the course. This course will get harder as time goes on.
Other Thoughts: I grew up playing ball golf. I played on my high school team, worked at the local course, and played in numerous leagues. Tall Firs has all of the amenities that I came to love about ball golf. I play better at Tall Firs because of the professional atmosphere. This course really aims to have a player "think" about each hole adding a whole other element to the round. Sometimes the best line is not blatantly obvious. This is not some city park where you have to clear beer cans from your lie. This is a well manicured course that will challenge and excite players of all skill levels all while holding the sport to the highest standard of excellence.
The $5 greens fee for all day play is well worth it!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Finally, a great course on the Eastside!
Pros: Started off the morning round with a thermal coffee pot and condiments waiting for us out on the registration table! Now that's a first class welcome.
They converted this from an old ball golf course and went and planted dozens and dozens of cedar trees to help shape the course. It's a pretty piece of land that will certainly mature into a better course over time.
Giant fir trees are scattered about the land and one hole has a nice little pond that is the backdrop for a short downhill hole that you will want to run the ace, but probably shouldn't! The course is well manicured with large fairways with nice tall grass dividing fairways. The tall grass is fair ground, but the neighboring fairways are OB. The course has a lot of joy for long arms, but enough short ones to balance things out. I thought the designer (Houck) did a nice job with the land.
The dual tees were a very nice touch -making a big difference in challenge from long to short. Hole #3 is special - the short tee starts at the beginning of an alley of "Tall Firs", but the long tee starts around 100 feet further, making the firs like a double mando bottleneck. It takes an already interesting hole to another (but tougher) level.
Pins were often placed on little hills to make the putts nerve wracking.
Cons: This is not a con so much as a wish - for those little cedar trees to mature. Some of the holes were a bit too wide open for my likes. Just not enough obstacles on some holes to punish errant shots. Honestly, I thought the tall grass should be OB until many trees mature.
Other Thoughts: The hospitality by Paul was exceptional. He sells discs in his pro shop and will even let you test drive the molds during your visit!
This course reminds me of the video I saw of the Worlds at Chili in Rochester in 1999. A lot of open holes there but they planted tons of trees there and built mounds to place pins on to add to the challenge in the present and future. The pros seemed to be throwing one big hyzer bomb after the other because there were not enough tall trees to go around. Ironically, this courses designer (John Houck) was commentating the coverage and probably thought of Chili when he designed Tall Firs.
As trees mature this course should get even better. I originally rated the course a 4 for style points, but it really is a 3.5 at the moment for me.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Long fairways are big fun
Pros: Tall Firs in Monroe, Wa is a premier, dedicated 18 hole disc golf course from one of the worlds best designers, John Houck. It is a different world from your city park style. Its truly wonderful to play a big beautiful course without randoms walking dogs or berserk children running through your line. Worth $5 every time.
• Signage is very good.
• Concrete tee pads.
• Most holes have blue and red tees.
• Good shot variety.
• Lots of long and wide open which is fun, and great for practicing distance lines on the course.
• Great pro shop full of trilogy plastic with loaners that you can try before you buy.
• Paul Clark is a tremendous host and does an incredible job maintaining and improving this young course.
• Some fairway overlap, but not a big issue.
• Long tee 5 gets wet and can be slippery which is a bummer because its a long fun drive when its dry.
• Some of the Red tee pads should be longer. Some of the Red pad positions are still over 400' so no reason to be shorter than the blues.
This could be a pro or con depending on what you're looking for, but right now this course isnt the most challenging.
As the flora grows in and the pine sprouts turn in to great big trees the challenge of the course will grow.
For now, for me anyway, its a nice place to practice distance and have a fun, less frustrating day of DG.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Excellent repurposed ball golf course
Pros: + Excellent signage
+ Multiple tees on many holes
+ Pro shop on site has free coffee and loaner umbrellas
+ New DISCatcher baskets
+ Good variety of hole lengths
+ Some slight elevation changes
+ A few wooded holes
+ Wide fairways invite you to drive with all your might on the 500+ft par 4s
+ Visually appealing with the rolling hills, roughs, and occasional trees
+ Definitely worth the $5
Cons: - Not very challenging regarding shot variety--many holes are just wide open grass from tee to basket and the wooded holes have generous gaps
- I didn't mind the lack of benches as our group never had to wait, but it's true that there was no place to sit
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: so everything is pretty great about this course
-mix of short technical and long let it fly tees
-lots of tees actually had a red and blue tee pad!
-every tee box has a map of the basket
-every basket has a flag and is clearly marked
-the roller net along the little pond is great kept my putter out of the weeds
-the $5 all day play fee is great, i am more than down to pay some guy for his time to make sure that I don't loose my disc is the weeds and that the baskets are clearly marked
Cons: -course flora needs a couple of years to reach maturity
-benches would be nice along a couple of spots
-a map at the beginning of the back 9 would be good its kind of confusing finding 10 on the side of the barn
-a net around the septic tank plot would be pretty cool...just saying
Other Thoughts: great course! the guy running the pro shop is super friendly, always willing the chat and talk about throwing discs and will probably go out for a few holes with you.
the pro shop could use some more variety but I'm sure that will come with time.
i got there early and there was even free coffee!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Just a fantastic course. Thoughtfully laid out, lefty and righty mix, long and short, legitimate par 3, 4, and 5 holes, positively identifiable fairways (!)....the design is really great.
I usually find myself craving a longer course. This one made me feel like a cross of disc and ball golf, where you legitiamtely don't just drive and put.
This course will get much harder as the (freshly installed) trees mature.
Highly recommend playing.
Of note, they are fixing some of the gripes in other reviews: baskets are now labeled, there were maps out at the sign up so the jump to tee ten was no biggie.
Cons: Benches would be sweet, and the pad for 10 is kind of in the way for 3.
Other Thoughts: I drove about an hour. Well worth it. Layout wise this is one of the best, if not the absolute best, I have played.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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