Well, I only lost one...
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Located just south of scenic Rainier, OR… Okay, I couldn't tell if it was scenic because it was foggy. But the drive from Portland had that "old highway" feel to it, and I like that. So I'm going to call it scenic. Back to the point: Trojan Park is a very unique course. Unlike the majority of courses in the country, Trojan brings water into play on nearly every hole. This adds a whole new psychological wrinkle, as you have to focus not only on your disc flight and the intended path, but also have to be very precise on where you land. Even a seemingly perfect shot could skip and leave you one disc short.
The water is used to its full potential here, with my personal favorites being holes 6, 8, and 12. The risk to reward ratio on these holes is through the roof, and the creativity of the designers really shows through here. There's nothing more rewarding than having a backhand shot turn over around a tree and park on the fairway with a good sized lake looming to your left (hole 12) or having another backhand shot turn out over a canal before fading safely onto the fairway on the other side (hole 8).
There's a pretty decent variety of holes here. The tiny bit of elevation comes into play when possible. There are long and short holes (5 & 10), right and left turning (14 & 17), and holes where you want your disc to hold anhyzers (6 & 12), hyzers (11) or go dead straight with water in play (8, 9, 13, & 15). Very few of these holes are safe, and it really can get in your head if you aren't careful.
Due to the secluded nature of the course in relation to the rest of the 18 holers in Oregon and Washington (and due to the water scaring off rec players), this course will probably never be crowded. The park is closed anyway in the winter, but there is ample parking on the street with a peanut gallery of geese waiting to welcome you to the area.
The teepads are concrete and the baskets are still pristine, and maps were provided at the entrance. I never want to forget to point that out on a course, no matter how bad it may be…
Cons: Which brings me to the bad. I really wanted to love this course. I actually really liked aspects of it. But this cons list is going to be a doozy considering the rating I gave it:
Navigation: If it hadn't been for the maps provided on this site (and luckily at the entrance to the park), I never would have found my way around here. The baskets are ribbon free, the teepads are sign free, and many of the holes are so far away from the one preceding them that I guarantee that I would have been lost. Hole 1 is on the parking lot side of the road, and apparently you have to throw from the top of the stairs on the sidewalk where all of the benches are. From there you cross the street and commence throwing from completely unmarked pads of concrete.
Teepads: These are quite possibly the worst pads I have ever used. I hate natural pads, but those would be preferable to these. It was damp there (it is Oregon after all), and every pad was dangerously slick. I almost fell down the stairs on my follow through on hole 1. That's an injury waiting to happen, and you have a very good chance of shanking a disc off into the highway or the lake on a lot of these holes. I'm really not exaggerating here.
Geese: Those geese started threatening me the instant that I parked. I commenced threatening them back and walked off to play my round. What I didn't expect (but should have) was the utter volume of goose scat on the course. The fairways of 2-5 were absolutely covered with the stuff. I really doubt that there was a square foot of ground that was completely clean across a couple of acres of field. I was afraid to put a marker down, and my towels were disgusting before I even made it through that stretch. Not the worst con in the world, and it's completely impossible to combat, but it has to be mentioned.
Flow: Trojan already bears the distinction of "worst teepads". Now it gets "worst flow" as well. I appreciate that the designers wanted to bring the water into play, and as I've already mentioned, they did a great job. But the walkouts on some of these were just stupid. The worst were 8-9 and 12-13.
Water: Honestly, I like the challenge of the water. I do. But so many others want to call it a con that I've decided to include that here. My only issue was with the immediate depth of the water. Again, nothing can be done about this, but it's incredibly frustrating to lose a disc 2 feet from the shore. I tried pulling it in with a stick and promptly buried it with mud and leaves. I guess losing a disc is a right of passage at Trojan, and I expected to do so… But 2' from shore? And don't bother with floating discs either. I spotted at least 4 floaters, but the water moves so slowly that it would take hours to bring them anywhere near shore. Even then they'll just wind up in the middle of the pond by hole 9 until someone either swims out or brings a canoe.
Other Thoughts: My round at Trojan was a pleasant one, and I managed to walk away only one disc lighter, so I feel like I shouldn't complain. There were too many cons not to complain though. However, I really did appreciate this course. I liked the challenge of the water and most of the holes were creatively designed. There are definitely some "filler" holes, but I liked the majority of them individually. If the flow were better and this course wasn't so far off of the beaten path I would probably play here every time that I went to Portland. If you have the time to hit Pier and Trojan in the same day on a trip to or from Portland, do it. That's exactly what I did. But keep in mind that it's a pretty big detour and you should expect to walk away with a few less discs.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Water Park of the Northwest
Pros: This is one rare place to throw some discs over water for a nailbiting experience. As other reviews have stated, there's not much that a mid level player cannot handle (as far as making it over the water). But that water just will get into your head which will cause the mistakes that will result in lost plastic. The course is enjoyable if you can keep your wits and bring some discs you don't mind losing (which I did bring, and it reduced the tension of the water holes) Overall a fun course.
Memorable holes - water holes # 6 (right turning hole that is over water the whole way), #8 (over water to a peninsula) then 14 which has the pin perched on a thin heavily sloped peninsula which is surrounded by (of course) water.
The layout is flat, treed and grassy and is beautiful and quiet as a retreat. It is very unique with all the water, much like Fountain Hills in Scottsdale. This might, in itself, make it worth a trip for you!
Cons: The course is a bit out of the way, but I would not consider it something I would go out of my way to play. And since it is out of the way, it's hard to justify going there with a high possibility of losing plastic. I went on a snowy, icy winter day and would have lost a least 3 discs if mine hadn't skipped off the icy water. If were local I would adapt, because it's a decent course, however I would be throwing all DX or pro plastic.
A few holes were a little too open and simple (#1, 10, 15)
Other Thoughts: Take a map with you, otherwise navigation will be very confusing with a few long walks between holes.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
- Water hazards
- Mowed fairways
- Beautiful park setting
- Challenging for experienced disc golfers
- Water hazards
- Hard to navigate (no signs, poor flow on the back 9)
- Mostly wide open and completely flat
- Potentially aggravating for beginners, or for anyone who loses discs in the lake
- Too far from any other courses
- An incredible amount of goose poop
- Often very muddy
- In the summer, picknickers and fishermen get in the way of the disc golf course
Trojan Park is the former site of a PGE nuclear power plant (and the current site of all the nuclear waste!). The park consists of mowed grass and picnic areas surrounding a winding lake/pond with paved paths and bridges. Because it's so far from anywhere, the park doesn't get much use (especially between Labor Day and Memorial Day), so disc golf is an excellent use of this land.
The big story at Trojan is water, a rarity in Pacific Northwest disc golf courses. Water comes in to play on about half the holes; sometimes you're throwing over it, sometimes toward it, and sometimes next to it, with trees waiting to knock your disc into the very murky depths. It's up to you whether to risk losing your favorite driver, or play it safe and use floating plastic. Trojan is all about risk/reward and making choices.
Trojan is a fairly long course; there are only one or two easy birdies, and a few where you'd be happy just to get a 3. It's best suited to experienced golfers, and big arms will love it. So my 3-star rating is really more like 4 to 4.5 stars for pros, and 2 to 3 for beginners.
By the way, as of mid-2009 there are still no tee signs, and finding your way around #8 through #12, and especially from there to #13, can be a bit tricky without a map. Also, wear waterproof shoes; not for the lake itself, but for the incredibly swampy ground at the south end of the park. At times, water is literally flowing through the muddy grass on the #10 and #11 fairways.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth a try - at least once
Pros: I played on a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon, and had the entire course to myself. I was expecting at least a couple of other golfers, but not a one. I did however share the course with two different types of ducks, three different types of geese, and two beautiful cranes that followed me for a short while.
The beginning four holes are set up very well to build up confidence, which will definitely be needed after hole 5.
Cons: WATER! I wanted to like this course, I wanted to rate it higher, but the ever-present danger of losing a disc prevents people from really opening things up and experimenting. Bring throw-away discs! The minute I trusted myself enough to throw my beloved Roc was the moment I lost it. And I didn't even get to say goodbye. It's the kind of course where you play for bogeys instead of birdies.
Another semi-frustrating thing about the course is the occasional long walk between the basket and the next tee. Not only are the tees unmarked and difficult to find, the are sometimes far enough from the previous hole that any sort of momentum is lost. Definitely print out the map provided on this website.
Other Thoughts: I think this course suffers from being just a bit too far from the Portland/Vancouver metro, at least without having a sister course to make a day of it. Definitely worth it if you haven't tried it yet, but I doubt I'll make the drive back. I just have a thing against disc-gobbling courses.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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