Gone but not forgotten
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Fun, technical course on the property of Dr. Disc (aka Big Papa, aka Discraft West!). Mostly tightly wooded with some rolling but not extreme elevation.
Lots of variety off of the tees and some tricky OB to contend with. Home to a few of my favorite all-time tournaments.
Cons: This course is definitely about fun times and trick shots rather than an all out physical/cognitive test of disc golf skills like Bud Pell, NAD, or Fairgrounds and it excelled at that mission!
Other Thoughts: Sad to see this course headed to extinct status, but of course, thank you Scott and Jeanne for introducing disc golf to the West Sound - you have started something GREAT over there and I will certainly not forget that :)
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
RIP Dalaiwood. You're already missed...
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Dalaiwood does what seems impossible: It crams 18 holes of disc golf onto about nine acres, and it does it without seeming crowded or having any fairways cross. Scott had the advantage of using his own property when he designed this course, meaning that he probably already knew every nook and cranny and had several holes mapped out in his head long before the idea of setting up a full 18 ever even occurred to him. This was the first disc golf course in Kitsap County, and was probably used as the template (on some level at least) for all of the other (incredible) courses that populate this area.
Dalaiwood offers a little bit of everything. It was designed to challenge your short and technical shots more than your arm, but there are still a few longer holes that let the average golfer let loose. I had the privilege of playing both the A and B setups in the same day, and they played as two entirely different courses. The B, while having no holes longer than 403' was incredibly challenging and offered almost no room for error off of the tee. The A positions were a lot friendlier and would be considered "red" or "Am" tees at most other courses. That doesn't mean that they were easy, but they were much easier than the blues.
Scott is a super nice guy and very conversational. The place was packed when I was there, but I got the sense that he would help you out in any way that he could if you asked and he had the time. Want your drives critiqued or to learn how to make your putts more consistently? Scott seems like the type of guy who will help you out with that and help you to shave some of those tree aided strokes off of your score while he's at it. He was very welcoming to the hordes of people who were flooding his property.
Back to the course though: There is very little to complain about here. Most of the teepads were concrete, and the ones that were just a landscape timber buried in the ground were still level and smooth. Any hole that required any kind of distance off the tee provided a concrete teepad as well. The baskets were all well marked and in great condition, and navigation from one hole to the next was very straightforward.
This course does not cater to any one type of player. You find shorter and longer holes, right- and left-turning, straight shots, technical lines, open meadows, and more. Most shots that you have will be challenged here, with some very creative lines on holes like 4, 7, 11, and 17 that will really take you out of your comfort zone. No hole is truly safe. Even the holes that throw across a meadow such as 8, 11, and 18 manage to get in your head with low branches, unexpected trees, or the huge RHBH anhyzer line that is hole 11. Nobody can play Dalaiwood on a regular basis and not improve in their overall game, and that is the biggest complement that I can ever give a course and its designer.
Cons: Despite the fact that I wrote out my "pros" in the present tense, Dalaiwood no longer exists. That is a huuuuuge con for the disc golf community in both the Northwest and in the country in general. Scott did the seemingly impossible: He turned a bump in the road that nobody had ever heard of called "Olalla" into a travel destination. Thanks to Kitsap County and their zoning laws, Dalaiwood has been shut down. I'm sure that it would be okay if it was turned into a truly private course where only people accompanied by Scott could play, but with his fourth child just weeks away from being born he just won't have the time or the energy to do such a thing. And with the average of 40-50 people per day who have played this course for the past decade wanting another chance to play there, his phone would be ringing off the hook with people begging him for a round.
Other Thoughts: I didn't think I'd ever find a course that I could give a rating of "5", but the experience and design of Dalaiwood has proved me wrong. I'm disappointed that Kitsap County has one less course than before and even more disappointed that I didn't get to play it until its very last day. But Scott gave the world something special for free for 12 years, and it was an honor to be able to meet the man and to play his course before it disappeared forever.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Sad to see it go
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Course is extremely well laid out. There is a great variety of shots ranging from short to long, which require all types of throws: hyzers, anhyzers, tomahawks, thumbers, straight shots, and all sorts to test your skills. The holes are well marked, and the property is very well maintained.
Cons: The only things I can think of this course could benefit from is a parking lot (which is one of the reasons why the course is closing) as the parking was directly off the street, and some higher-par shots (which the property does not support). Not to say that all this is bad though. To me, personally, none of this detracts from the course in any way. They are just minor inconveniences. And the course itself is masterly laid out.
Other Thoughts: This was the only time I got to play at thic course as it is closing down. Very sad. Maybe some time in the future, it may be reopened (that is my fond hope).
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Great change up to other local courses
Pros: Papa has his own store in his garage for obtaining some new disc before a round
Wide variety of shots from open to in the woods including 2 massive ravine shots
Plenty of whole in one oppurtunities
Cons: No alternate tees
Small course maybe only a mile and a half to walk
Parking is on the side of the road make sure and lock it up
Only a couple whole to really open it up and drive far
Back 9 seams similar asking yourself if you have played the hole before
Property is surrounded by a fence which can get frustrating if u have a wild throw
Other Thoughts: This is a great course and a private one at that since the address is not listed u must know someone who's knows where it's at
But then again it's a good change of things around kitsap county with a somewhat country feel
Also the store has some very good prices usually alot cheaper than even online merchants
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Concrete tees
-Alternate pin locations
-good course layout
-nice variety of holes, some great open holes which seems to be a rarity in the wooded pacific NW
-excellent pro shop with the best selection of discs to buy in the area
Cons: -A couple holes have some tricky underbrush, keep an eye on your disc and/or have a spotter
-A lot of the holes criss cross each other so keep an eye out for other players
Other Thoughts: This is a great course and well maintained. I'll be making a trip back there again for sure. Its variety of holes really allows a beginner or an expert to enjoy themselves and improve their game.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Watch out for that tree
Pros: This course is very technical and challenging with trees lining every fairway. The course designers have done an unbelievable job with the layout in such a small property. Most of the holes at Dalaiwood are on the shorter side, but they really challenge you to throw the disc straight and accurate. There is very little confusion while navigating due to the nice signs which are easy to find throughout the course. Another nice feature is the disc golf pro shop located right next to the house which is stocked with anything and everything you need for a day at the course.
Cons: This is a first class course, but it just lackes ample room for it to be considered championship quality. Also, there are only 2 or 3 holes in which a big arm player can really turn it loose.
Other Thoughts: This is a private course, so calling ahead is important. your mainly going to need your mid range drivers and your A game. And just a friendly reminder, watch out for that tree
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very quiet and low-key course.
Cons: Since it's a private course, you must call before playing. This caused a problem for me because I have wanted to play the course for so long but could never get an answer over the phone until recently(which was my first time playing the course).
Other Thoughts: The first few holes are pretty much open but not real long or challenging. But after about hole #4 it starts to get more technical and the difficulty increases. Overall I thought I was a great course, very fun, just wished I lived closer so I could play it more!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 4 Not
Insanely Tight - Insanely Awesome
Please keep in mind that all of these are pros are for a privately maintained course, so everything is done by one person rather than a parks and rec. department, group, or organization. First, there is a pro shop that runs limited hours. The course is open until dusk, but the pro shop hours are posted at the house.
You start your round teeing off from a barn over a blind hill - you have to love that. Each hole has adequate color signs that indicate the hole number, distances, hole placements, and hole layout. I think of them as homemade Houck signs. In addition to the signs, most of the boxes are now concrete. Granted they are about 4' by 8', but this is an adequate size for the length of each hole. Most holes also have an A and a B placement, and some are completely different looks from each other giving you greater diversity.
The terrain is awesome. There are few places in the US that can offer the foliage, diversity, and elevation changes than the great northwest area. Much like NAD Park
by Bremerton, Dalaiwood is a mix of up and down walks through an amazing amount of foliage and focuses more on accuracy rather than power. Many holes are extremely tight, and force you to play position golf rather than just gunning for it if you want par or birdie.
There are X factors that push this place above many public courses: You have one person designing, maintaining, and loving a course. There's great signage with a sense of humor, and a llama namesake that used to call this place home.
Each hole has its own name, and holes #12 - #16 are known as the "furious five" for obvious difficulty reasons. Coming up to #12 you get a greeting about the spirits of the natives that once inhabited these woods, and believe it or not the canopy seems to cast a darker shadow on this part of the course. #16 is even named Discgolficus 3:16 since it looks like your drive may be more of a prayer than skill. This is one of the best short runs of golf I have ever played. There is also additional signage throughout the course that will guide first timers through the course with relative ease.
Did I mention this place is free to play? Normally in the disc golf world this isn't a big deal, but most private courses charge five to ten bucks for all day play. These folks just simply say welcome, and let you go on your way as long as you follow the rules. That is awesome.
Finally the llama, that used to call Dalaiwood home - check out the website (oh yeah, this place has a good website too) to get the history, but I love these little touches that make a course unique and memorable. Sadly, the llama has since moved on to new grounds, but I imagine its legacy will live on.
BEST HOLE/S: #1(The Barn Hole); #12(Organ Pipe Valley); #16(Discgolficus 3:16)
Cons: The following cons are preferential cons, so what may be a big issue for some may not be for others, so just take note. First, Redneck Machismo - please don't ever play here; you will have a brain aneurysm on the spot and be dragged off for llama feed. What I may say as a great tight line - some might view as unfair and more luck rather than skill. Understand coming here - this is one the tightest courses you will ever play - take it or leave it.
Length is another preferential con since some may view this course to as too short to be quality. There aren't your typical bomber holes that open way up - in fact only two holes have the potential to be over 400' depending on the pin placement. Much like the amount of foliage however, I don't think the final length of around 4500' was ever considered in the final design.
Even though there are signs everywhere, note the transition of #16 to #17. You have to go back up the hill and across where you originally head to #7 tee and down the path through the woods. It makes sense after you do it, but first timers may have a difficult time. Also, it can be difficult to know what placement the pin is in without actually heading up the fairway.
WORST HOLE/S: #3(The Llama Hole)
I'm a little surprised at the lower ratings I've seen on this course. Is too tight valid enough for three discs? Does having no llama merit three and a half discs? These are good reviews from trusted reviewers that I respect and aspire to when writing my own reviews. So I ask - what pulls this place this place down, and what does the best of the best really mean? The first thought is length - Idlewild
, Winthrop Gold Course
, Milo Mclver State Park
typically punish you into submission with its overwhelming length. I argue that Dalaiwood is just as good without the incredible length of these other amazing courses.
Its private - well Flip City Golf Park
is private and Flippers everywhere will attest to it as the mecca of disc golf. It's too tight! From the reviews I've read, Renaissance Park
is a fantastic course that gives anybody a run for their money on being accurate.
I believe best of the best means that the course is creative, challenging, inspiring, and leave you walking away saying "wow," so I'm going out on a limb and rating Dalaiwood five discs, because as I read the other reviews as well as examined my pros, there just isn't enough to tell me otherwise. Sure, I may be slightly more generous and biased to the fact that this is my type of course, but if one person can create a course this good - then more power to him.
Bottom line - Dalaiwood is like a traditional 19th century wedding night. It's really tight, frustrating at times, and has a lot of bush to lose your disc in - but you just keep at it, and eventually you'll begging to do it again. For the average man - this is the perfect place to improve your skills, and learn to shoot straight.
19 of 23 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
One of my new favorite courses
Pros: Where to start? So many pros. This is a private course built by a man who clearly loves this sport. I was honored to be able to play his course and share in his labor of love. Some highlights:
1. Tee pads were well done.
2. Shooting from a barn... genius
3. Well guarded baskets
4. Tee signs that are very clear
5. Nice baskets
6. Punishing holes that require immense amounts of touch
7. The ravine
8. Clever hole names
9. The furious five
10. The stumped hole
11.The Papa's hospitality
12. Its so much different than the courses I am used to.
13. Clear directions to most tees
14. How much work to get concrete in some of those places... wow!
Cons: Very little to pick out as cons:
1. Navigating from 16 to 17 was not clear.
2. No Llamas
3. Course is three states away from me
See and only one of those is a real complaint
Other Thoughts: This is probably one of the best courses I have played. It focused on a variety of shots. It punishes those who do not have accuracy. This is not a big arm or a grip and rip course, but is super tight and technical. This course could, and should be played without giant driver like a boss, force or katana. You just have not use for a 400' bomber here. I tend to like the technical aspect of seeing my disc dodging some tight gaps, being frustrated when I don't hit a tight line, or holding my breath as my disc skims past (and often in to) some of the greenest fairways I have seen. Hole 3 had me debating on a good line to use. I played with my mother who has only tried DG once before. She had a blast too. If you are debating on whether or not to come down to Dalaiwood, stop debating and just go dangit. You will be very happy you did. Please be respectful of the course, clean up trash and follow the rules Scott has set out. They are not too much to ask to play in what I would consider to be one of the best courses in the US. Overall i left the course wanting to play it again and again. Now I am hitting myself for not playing a round 2, but it just makes me want to make the trip out to Western WA to hit it up again.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
*Dalaiwood is a beautiful private course located in a very rural community (Olalla) just an hour from Seattle. This challenging 18 hole course rewards those with patience and accuracy over muscle and distance. Dalaiwood is known in Washington as one of the more complete courses in regards to fairness for both left and right handed players alike. The course has a nice balance of open and wooded holes, with elevation changes throughout.
*The course design includes multiple pin placements (a, b, c), a short course distance of 4,063 feet, and a long course layout of 4,575 feet. Most if not all the holes on the course are technical, with very narrow fairways, some low ceiling shots, sharp lines and just enough elevation to affect flight. Holes vary in length from 130 - 446 feet, all par 3. Tee pads throughout the course are a mixture of cement and dirt, and include colorful informative tee signs indicating distance, hole layout (various pin placements), and ob's if any. The baskets are all solid in structure, with double chains and number signs on top.
*Maintenance of the course is impeccable. Scott as well as all the other visitors to this course does a really fine job keeping the course clean. The trees, bushes, and grass are always trimmed, and the course is continually being improved (trails, fences, signs, tee pads, etc). Navigation is very easy for first timers due to all the yellow arrows indicating the next tee. Baskets all have large numbers on top, and the tee signs are updated and accurate.
*Scott has a wonderful pro shop located in his garage that is open from 2:00 till dawn several days a week. He has anything one needs (Innova, Lightning, Discraft, Gateway), whether it is a bag, disc, mini, hat, shirt, anything! He does specialize though in Discraft since he is sponsored by them after all. His dyes are one of a kind, and his knowledge of disc golf is priceless. His prices are fair, and his generosity is like no other so it is important to support Scott and his course.
*Footing in the northwest is brutal about half the year due to all the wet weather so improving the remaining dirt tee pads would do go a long way. Some of the fairways on the steeper holes are a bit slick as well during the wet months so watch your step!
*The only other thing that comes to mind is course navigation regarding pin placement. It was not always clear as to what pin position the basket was in so I found myself walking the hole a bit to locate the target. More times than none it wasn't an issue though. Besides those minor changes that can easily be fixed, the course was truly well thought out and imaginative.
* Last, the fact that this course is closing on July 8, 2012 for good..
Thank you Scott and Jeanne for your years of personal sacrifice, hard work and the compassion you both brought to NWDG.
*Scott Papa has always been so important to the disc golf community here in Washington. His generosity is endless, with the instructional clinic's he puts on for the community, the tournaments he runs each year (Ace Race, Howliewood, Putt Up or Shut Up), or the Weekly matches (Tues/Sat, $6/person), he is always providing wonderful opportunities to learn this great game.
*Even though the whole course is memorable, the signature holes seemed to be the first three holes on the course in my opinion. Each one is unique unto its own, with hole one having you teeing off from the inside of a barn. You must drive over the fence at some point before the disc lands or you will be adding a stroke due to the long ob. Hole two you drive off a slightly elevated tee towards a heavily guarded basket. The drive must clear a three foot fence and pass through several trees in order to have a chance to birdie. Finally, hole three has you teeing off between two trees that are separated by about six feet. Once you clear the trees you must sail over the llama pin in order to reach a very tight landing area where the basket resides.
*Hole nine was memorable for me as well, as I ended up getting my sixth basket ace (10 overall) by throwing a FH tunnel shot with my Firebird. It went about 166 feet and skipped up about three feet in the air before directly hitting the chains dead center. It was truly a beautiful shot and one that I will always remember!
**Tournaments Played at Dalaiwood**
*2002 Dalaiwood Open *2009 Howliewood
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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