Meltdown on the Columbia
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Much as the Tumwater section of the Wenatchee River would frighten my kayaking persona as I drove by, so Trojan Park gave me the willies the few times I saw the course before playing it. Fortunately, for the sake of both my mind and my wallet, I waited long enough to have the experience to control my drives well, THE CRITICAL ASPECT to having a good round here.
The course abuts both the Columbia River[you'll never notice] and Hwy 30[tough to ignore on 5-7 and 10,11], and borders on being both beautiful and treacherous. Formerly the site of the Trojan nuclear power plant, the skyline was once dominated by a 500' cooling tower[imploded in 2006]: the irregularly-shaped pond, the basis of so much water-angst here, was storage area for cycling the tower's waters.
With mature trees, finely manicured grounds, and the low slanting sunlight of early morning/late afternoon, Trojan has a very dreamy, estate-like feeling, as if you might be playing on a multi-millionaire's private links. There's lots of under-the-canopy drives early[rollers!] and late[hyzers!], with the open drives [6-14] having the greatest water-risk.
The only holes of any great length are #5[two drives] and #s 8 & 13[drive & longish upshot], and the same three holes + #s 10 & 14 are the only holes with little shade. There's a swath of disc-hunting undergrowth outlying the fairways right of 5, 12 & 13 and left of 15-18.
But that's summer, and those perfect sunny days that happen randomly the rest of the year. Winter, with its riverside fogs and endless drizzles, can be muddy, oppressive, mentally disturbing, and filled with government-financed lies, like your own private Chernobyl.
The course winds in an oblong infinity symbol[a nod to Oppenheimer], the tees are cement and baskets are good, and there's benches and trashcans to be found at the start/end, and along those long walks between 8-9 and 12-13.
Cons: Navigation/signage: One can only hope that the Worlds notoriety also brings an urge to make this course discernable for the general public/course baggers. On the other hand, stay home, kids & newbs--you'll wet your pants[and everything else] on this course. Literally.
Water: The water, and its challenge, isn't a con itself. But its relentless[#s 6 through 14], its deep[step off the bank and you're in over your head], golden retrievers are useless, and floaters,well---float away. So very, very far away.. Sob sob sob.
In good weather fisherfolk can be found on 1, 3, 9, 18----oh hell, you shouldn't bother to try to play here on summer weekends/holidays. Though why anyone would want to eat a 3-eyed fish named Blinky...
Other Thoughts: On Hwy 30 there's the Goble Tavern 1 mi. south, and Rainier with bars and stores 2 mi. north. Camping 1 mi. north at Prescott State Park. Yankton, Rainier and McCormick nearby, and all should be played for different reasons.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Well, I only lost one...
5 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.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Cons: No tee signs
Other Thoughts: This course is home, beautiful and fun. Love the challenge the water brings. After playing the lame courses in the area Trojan has become home for this noob.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Watch out for that waaaater
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Easy to find the course. The terrain is mostly level (a few hidden holes which can make you go down). Course is pretty open, in a park, that is mowed. Has cement tee pads for all but 3 holes...1, 10, 13. One par 4 number 5 but could be a 500 foot par 3. Nice pleasant day of disc in the park.
Cons: Absolutely NO signs. Hole number one you go by the picture on the map that you download from this site, Disc Golf Review. Without the map you could be very frustrated. The bridge that is closed is the only way to get to 8, 12 and beyond. Well not really, you could walk around the sloughs 2 extra times which would only add 1 mile to your walk and interfere with players playing holes 10, 11 twice. Parking is along side of entrance street. Even though there is a great parking lot right as you enter. I think it belongs to the old Trojan plant. No trash cans, one portable bathroom at start.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed playing this course. The map was essential. Throwing over water at least 5 times was challenging and cost me one driver. Also a couple of holes run right along the sloughs and if your name is "longandwrong" you might be fishing for a disc. I did. Luckily there are some dead branches by the road that helped me going plastic fishing :))) Have fun. After the first 5 holes I thought this course is 'easy peasy' but then I got around the water...made it a little more challenging. Good day on a fun little course.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: It's fairly quiet and free to play This course is never crowded with disc golfers and a good place to work on certain aspects of your game. A few of the water holes create a unique disc experience and can be alot of fun.
-Difficult to navigate.
-No other disc golfers around?
-Locals don't seem to know what the baskets are even for?
-Water that eats plastic.
-Not beginner friendly.
Other Thoughts: This course is seriously overrated. I've played here numerous times and have never been able to complete holes 2-7. Those holes ALWAYS have people in fairways sunbathing or fishing right next to the baskets. My experience at Trojan is always the same. The park has only 20 people in it and 18 of them are in the way. I'm the only person with a disc.
I usually come here to practice and play only 12-14 of the holes. Holes 15-18 I play over and over usually throwing every disc in my bag. Why practice in a field or a busy course when you can come here and not worry about getting in the way of other golfers.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
If you want to be challenged, this is your course!
Pros: Overall, this has to be one of the most challenging courses I've played. I even lost a couple discs today. And this course is unique...you're not going to find too many courses with this much water hazard.
Cons: This course should be at least a 3.0...I gave it a 2.5 simply because the course is hard to navigate. The lack of labels and signage took away from the experience...I want to take in the scenery and think about my game, instead of racking my brain trying to figure out where the next hole is. Also, part of the course is right smack next to a two-lane hwy...detracts from the overall experience just a little.
Other Thoughts: Add some basic signage...and I mean basic (like arrows painted on rocks, etc). Then I would consider rating this course a 3.0
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 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.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 3 Not
A rare water find in the rainy NW
Pros: Trojan Park has some really great natural features for a disc golf course: sections of light to moderate treed areas in the midst of rolling grassy stretches all along the banks of a few interconnected ponds. In my NW experience thus far, a genuine water course like this is a rare find in the Northwest, but Trojan is good enough and is centrally located to provide both Oregon and Washington golfers with their fix for the wet stuff.
Challenge - As I stated earlier, water hazards present a unique challenge for golfers in this area; contrived "false-lake" OB just doesn't give the thrower the same rush as the experience of throwing over water. Just like trees and distance, emotional challenge will factor into the overall difficulty of these holes. However, gold level golfers who have developed hard and set composure under these circumstances, with a few exceptions, will probably not be adequately challenged by most holes on this course.
For Silver and Gold players who haven't developed this mental composure, a lot of these shots strike a really great balance between the hole difficulty (which under normal circumstances would be quite easy) and requiring those players to rise to the challenge of consistent and accurate shot-making under pressure. For example, hole 6 is the first water test that the golfer comes to which is a simple midrange turnover for RHBH or rather short sidearm with a pretty much forced fairway over water. You've got all the room in the world on the left side and trees lining the shore on the right. Its not a difficult shot to make……BUT any error will result in a penalty and, very likely, another toss over the water.
Fun - Lets be honest here, its just plain fun to throw holes with water hazards; especially with a group of friends; and especially when you aren't the one landing in the drink : )
Cons: Navigation - As other reviewers have stated, you will want the map when finding your way around here, there are several twists and turns and a section where you loop around lakes in a figure 8 pattern. The teepads are flush with the ground so you'll really have to look around at some points in the course even with the map. Having said that, if you have the map, you should be able to find everything without too much trouble - so…print the map!!!
Beginners probably aren't going to like this course very much. If you can't throw 200 feet and/or keep a disc from hyzering hard at the end of a RHBH throw, you are in for a frustrating and probably expensive round. Several of the holes don't really have reasonable "safe" routes for true beginner players and often have water danger on the left side of the fairway in prime areas for hyzers that fall too short - but note that these are "Pro's" for higher skill levels.
Mud - It should be fairly obvious but, with most of the holes bordering the ponds and being fairly low and flat land, the place gets quite wet and muddy after it rains. Not a huge con really, just bring your boots and a towel.
Other Thoughts: As I've stated earlier, this course is suited to a wide range of skill levels except for novice and elite level professionals but should offer at least a fun round for all except the true beginner.
I've been to the park on two weekends this winter (2009-2010) and have found it pretty much empty - sounds like it gets very busy in the summer.
Warning: Watch out for the water beyond the basket on hole 7 - each time I've played here, I've totally forgotten about it and only worried about water lining the left side of the fairway.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Trojan Park in Rainier, Oregon is just minutes away from the border of Washington State and is located in a beautiful park setting which surrounds water. The course is mostly flat, with trees and other native foliage spread out along the grassy fairways. A walking path meanders throughout the park (primarily along the water) which means that one must constantly be on the lookout for pedestrians whom are walking, biking, picnicking, or fishing. Because the course is isolated from much of the other courses in or near the Portland area, most of the time you will find very few other disc golfers playing. However, the locals I did come across the day I played were extremely helpful, whether it was helping with navigation or lost discs.
Course maintenance at Trojan Park was fantastic! The fairways were all mowed, trees and bushes were well manicured, there were several trash cans placed throughout the park, and there was also a gazebo toward hole #9 that had benches and tables. The cement tee pads on the course were fairly new, large, and in great shape. Baskets too seemed fairly new, sturdy, and well taken care of.
The design of the course seemed to challenge players of all skill levels, especially amateur. I found many of the holes were well thought out and required a lot of strategy. Pin and tee placement added to much of the challenge, and deflections from the trees could be fatal to both your score and discs (splash)! This course had some of the best holes I have yet played, including holes six, eight, and twelve. All three were high-risk high-reward, with tee pads on one side of the water and pins on the other. The holes require you to throw toward the pins which were all positioned on the end of a peninsula. These holes were great in the sense that they could create a lot of separation in player scores which is what makes this course so great!
Even though this course truly had some epic holes, there were some that just seemed thrown in. Hole one was wide open and gave little to no challenge. Hole ten was extremely short and boring, and hole eleven was extremely narrow and like ten, VERY muddy! During the winter months I could see skipping these holes and continuing on with the rest of the course.
Navigation is a serious issue too. There are no tee signs or arrows pointing first timers toward the next tee pad. Getting to tee pad 9-11 could be rather difficult, making a round at Trojan that much more frustrating. However, once played it is much easier to navigate. Hopefully it is just a matter of time before these issues are taken care of. It is obvious that the local scene is doing a lot around this course, improving it all the time.
Lost discs can be a problem on this course so just know that you are going to most likely lose at least one (especially your first time). This would be a very tough home course to have with so many chances to lose discs. With twelve of the eighteen holes having water on it, one must really think about each and every shot. It wouldn't hurt to keep some cheap dx plastic in your bag just in case.
Last, geese poop. I know others mentioned it earlier but I really didn't think much of it till I played here. It is everywhere, and gets on everything! Extra towels are a must, and hand sanitizer could go a long way. I found myself slipping on tee pads because it was all over them.
I have wanted to play this course for sometime. I must say that Trojan did live up to it's hype as the Fountain Hills (AZ) of the Northwest. Over time I can see this course getting better and better. With such a dedicated local scene in the Portland area, and continual improvements, this course's rating will continue to climb.
I played here when it was raining and still had a great time. I can only imagine how amazing this course plays during the summer months (especially during the Rose City Open). I look forward to coming back and playing this hidden gem as it was worth every minute of my time. If traveling near Portland this is a must, as well as Pier and Horning's Hideout.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Water hazards
-Kept fairways & nice baskets
Cons: -Must have course map
-Couple of holes not playable in the wetter months
-Fishermen can come into play
Other Thoughts: I love this course!! The water hazards make this course great. One of the more relaxing places, during the week the place is empty.In the summer the fisherman can get in the way of a few holes but seem pretty cool & the Mosquitoes can be a b*tch. Trojan is one of my favorite courses, I am thankful I live so close
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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