3 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
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
PLAY THIS COURSE!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
Finally, a great course on the Eastside!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
5 of 5 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.
Excellent repurposed ball golf course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
John Houck Designed Course Is Worth The $5!
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Everything about this course has been done first class with seemingly no expense spared. After playing the new course across town being built on a shoe string budget, this place felt like the Taj Mahal.
The course sits on the property of an old ball golf course just over a mile outside of Monroe. The property features a semi-well stocked Pro Shop and I understand a Bistro is in the works. The loaner box is a great idea if you want to try out a disc before buying. The $5 fee for unlimited all day play is more than reasonable. There is a red metal box for your donation if the Pro Shop is locked. Parking is plentiful and picnic tables are provided are the warm up area. There is also a fire pit for those chilly NW evenings.
There are two sets of tee pads. The blue were over-sized trapazoid shaped, concrete. The reds were concrete with a couple of rubber matted ones.
The signs were wonderful,John Houck design.
Houck did use every bit of the property to the fullest. The terrain is mostly flat with a touch of elevation and two holding ponds for water run off. These are both used to the max with the # 15 basket being placed right in front of the pond adding a slight pucker factor to that otherwise short easy downhill throw and then you have a fairly easy carry over the other pond on # 16.
75 trees have been planted on the property. I believe they're mostly Cedar (they're extremely grabby) and as they mature, they'll greatly add to the course's over-all challenge.
To add some challenge, Houck often has you teeing off through an initial tight opening. I think six of the first nine holes feature this aspect. Frankly, I found it a little tedious.
The course is fairly long, Par 63 from the Blues, but not overly difficult. Even from the longer Blues, it doesn't compare in difficulty to Sea Tac, Shelton or Steilacoom.
# 13 with it's it's 909' length, right dogleg, Mandos and trees was a challenging hole for a old duffer such as myself.
Cons: I followed a group ahead of me so didn't have to concern myself with about navigation issues but there are a few. The long walkout from 9 to the red barn for # 10.
Blue # 6 is confusing. looking out from the tee box, you see three baskets including one straight ahead just past the big fir tree. Wrong, You're throwing to the basket to the right!
Walking up to hole ? while players were throwing down # 10, I almost got drilled. Keep your eyes open here guys.
Some benches would be great and I'm sure they're forthcoming.
A sani-can would be nice over by the red building. I kept looking for a place to go and almost everywhere is visible from the surrounding houses.
Other Thoughts: What a great addition to Washington's stable of courses. Thank you John Houck for your design and to Paul Clark for making this happen. My only selfish thought is, I wish they could have built it in Pierce County somewhere.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Worth the drive and the money
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It took well over a year of rumors and false start dates for it to happen, but the rumors turned out to be true. John Houck was designing a pay to play course in Monroe, and it was going to be a doozy. I chose to avoid the crowds of opening weekend and instead sat in fair traffic on a Monday to get my rounds in. I've gotta say: I'm impressed.
Houck clearly knows what he's doing. To those uneducated in the world of disc golf course design, the man is a legend. This was the first Houck course that I've played (to my knowledge), but if it's any indication of what he does? I definitely want to play some others. So about those pros:
Equipment - The baskets are fresh out of the box, so no complaints here. It seems that the DisCatcher has gotten deeper, but it catches just as well. Putting tall flags on top of each one was great as well. A friend of mine had his high putts stopped by those flag poles at least three times today, but that isn't why they're great. They just make the baskets easier to spot on those longer holes.
Teepads - The teepads on the blue tees are impeccable. They start out wide in the back and taper to a normal width at the front, so the player has a multitude of options for how to approach their drive. The red tees were okay, but clearly weren't the prime focus when everything was being installed. All of the pads were textured, with the exception of the two rubber pads on the course (both red tees). You won't have to worry about grip even on the rainiest of days.
Signage - The signs are beautiful and offer a good idea of where you're throwing. I would have almost preferred satellite images, but these are beautiful. Every sign also gives credit to John Houck as the course designer.
Variation - Houck used every inch of the land here, and it never gets repetitive. You have your longer holes like 1 and 18, your uber long holes like 13, and some stupidly short holes like 4. The easy holes that are randomly thrown into the round allow you to either drive your score down or get your feet back under you after a bad hole or two. I like the variation. We don't need another SeaTac (original 18). He also brings the elevation into play whenever possible, places baskets on sloped greens, and even places one right beside the pond. Hole 15 might be my favorite one on the course just because of the risk/reward ratio. It's an easy ace run, but with the pond right behind it and downhill it's just plain fun. You also get to throw across the pond on the blue 16, but it isn't really a challenging throw. Think hole 1 at Lakewood. Of course there are shots for all types as well. Right and left turning, long S-curves, big hyzer lines, short hyzer lines, etc. There's also a decent amount of variety between the red and blue tees. Even the ones that are only a few feet apart offer different looks around trees or bushes.
Design - I've pretty well covered the design already. I do have to say that I like the inclusion of so many mandos and OB though. Otherwise it would be a fairly open course and would get boring. Having these also makes shot placement much more important than it otherwise would be. It's obvious that the designers had a big budget here. A lot of the fairways that would have just been stupidly open have trees freshly planted in them. Once these trees grow in it will really add complexity to this course.
Amenities - The pro shop lacks variety in discs. If you don't throw Prodiscus or Westside you're out of luck. But it's there, it sells beverages and some snacks, and even has a "loaner box" which I've never seen before. He also has tester discs if you want to try before you buy. The course has bathrooms and three practice baskets (two are hidden over by the 13 teepad). My favorite feature on the course was probably the kids selling water, granola bars, and Gatorade out of their backyard by 14. They saw a need and filled it. I fully endorse supporting them even if they have nothing to do with the course at all.
Cons: You probably didn't think I'd ever get to the cons, did you? Well I have. And they're here. It's a new course, so I'm sure that many of these will be fixed in time. But they must be pointed out anyway. Keep in mind that I don't allow some of these "cons" to affect my rating (cost, lack of certain amenities, etc), but I still include them because I try to review this for any reader... Not just hardcore discers. So I'll start with those that don't affect the rating:
Cost - Tall Firs is absolutely worth $5 a day. You can pay, play, leave, and come back without being charged again. The grounds are in great shape, and as long as they stay that way I won't have a problem with paying. It's only when you're charged to play and upkeep suffers that I have a problem with it. Being charged is not a con. If you think it is, go somewhere else.
Amenities - Being a pay to play course, I would expect some basic services to be provided, like trash cans and benches. I'm sure that this will be fixed in time, but as of right now the course is trash can free (not trash free sadly) and bench free. The bathrooms are by the pro shop, but we didn't notice that until we'd complained about peeing on a tree or five. So remember that they're there.
Now on to the real cons (many of which are included in "pros" too):
Equipment - The course is three days old and a few of the baskets are already askew. I don't know who's been climbing on them, but knock it off! Whoever runs the place should do equipment checks at least weekly to make sure that everything is still pristine. I hope that they do.
Teepads - I have no complaints about the blue tees. The red ones really do seem like an afterthought though, and many of them are too short. Take hole 13 for example: It's "short" at 700+'. We still need a decent runup for a shot like that, so why not provide a full length teepad?
Navigation - While all of the signs are lovely and there are maps available at the pro shop, navigation was a chore at times. None of the baskets are marked with anything other than the Innova logo, and none of them have tape to guide you to the next hole either. It's relatively easy to find your way around, but tape and numbers would go a long way. Throwing a disc in the general direction of three unmarked baskets can be a bit maddening for a first timer. It would also help if the rough, mandos, and OB were more clearly marked. I'm sure that over time the rough will grow in more and be more obvious, but right now it's hard to tell where you aren't supposed to throw without walking the full hole in advance.
Flow - The course flows really well overall. There are a few unnecessarily long walkouts though. While these walkouts lead to some fun holes, they still have to be noted. The walk from 9 to 10 is the most confusing. See my "Other Thoughts" for tips on that.
Other Thoughts: Just a few tips:
-There's a red metal box by the pro shop for you to pay if nobody is there. It's on the honor system, but do it. We want to keep this course. So bring cash just in case there's nobody there.
-The walkout from 9 to 10: If you're at the 9 basket, look to your left along the fence and then follow that asphalt path. You'll see that red building by the 3 fairway. The 10 tee is right there (red and blue combined).
-The walkout from 12 to 13: If you're playing the blue, cut through the parking lot toward those random baskets over there. You'll see the teepad just on the other side of the parking lot. If you're playing the red, just walk straight past the basket that's just past 12. That's 18. You can see the teepad ahead of you and slightly to your left.
-The walkout from 15 to 16: Go counterclockwise around the pond to the blue, and clockwise to the red. Blue is way more fun.
This course is great for the area. It offers something for every level of player except complete beginners. Being in Monroe (a haul from just about anywhere) and being pay to play means that it won't get overcrowded by those players who have no regard for anything. You know who I'm talking about: The people who take over the course, carry two discs in a shopping bag, throw their trash on the ground, and refuse to acknowledge that anyone else is there. Those people won't frequent this course, and I love that. Is it the best course I've ever played? Not by a long shot. But it finally gives us people up north somewhere to play and improve our overall game (short, long, open, technical, etc) without having to drive all the way to Sedro Wooley, Lakewood, or Stilly. I'll definitely be back.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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