6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Extremely scenic course that is on and surrounded by oak covered rolling hills with a view of Stafford Lake nearby. It is completely isolated from the rest of the park and is quite peaceful. This place is all about tree-lined fairways with elevation on every single hole. The variety of shots is outstanding and a good majority of pins are placed on slopes which will cost you a stroke if your missed putt stands on edge and rolls away. People with cannon arms will have more opportunities for birdies but there are enough short holes to please a noodle arm like me.
The signature holes to me are (as others have mentioned) - #6 - Staffords version of "Top of the World", #16 - a hole that is framed by the arm of an oak tree, #18 - a seemingly short simple open shot, but you find as you approach the pin, that it's perched on a rock cropping that drops very steeply on the right (glad I didn't throw my RHFH or I would have been far below the pin on landing).
I would say that this course caters to a more advanced player (for good scoring opportunities), but the average player should find it enjoyable.
The signs were great and the nice washer on those signs indicated the current pin position - awesome!
Cons: This being the only time I've played, it was frustrating that about half the pins were not visible from the tee. I don't have a problem with blind pin positions - except when the already physically challenging terrain is compounded by having to hike ahead on so many holes to confirm the pin position.
A few tee pads were in dangerous places which were on the edge of fairways
Other Thoughts: Bring plenty of water. It's a long walk to any facilities in the park.
I will play this course again when I return to NorCal. I'm wondering if it will have more of a "Wow" factor than it did my first time (I guess I expected a lot more from the course design).
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The experience of the hike was the high point--great vistas, a classic CA coastal mtn. landscape, and everything from wild turkeys, turkey vultures, hawks, crows, deer, and scampering lizards underfoot.
The layout will appeal to pros and advanced players who want to challenge themselves with elevation change, blind shots, and distance.
Cons: The course itself was terrifically challenging, in part due to our not knowing the course route. The greatest issue was howling wind, gusting 25 mph. and making shots nearly impossible to control.
The long grass ate my favorite disc on hole 7. For recompense, I came out with about 4 lbs. of barbed stickers in my socks.
Other Thoughts: For a summer round, wear long pants and watch out for poison oak.
Don't expect many birdie opportunities. Pars will feel like an accomplishment on most holes.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Water, water, please give me water.
8 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Okay, I did my initial review late at night. Bad time to review. Paid $5 and parked. There is a practice basket to warm up on and plenty of room to throw some warm up drives before beginning the hike to the first tee, perhaps a couple thousand feet or more, to the first tee. I was a tad out of breath by the time I teed off from the walk up the incline to the tee. This sets the tone for the physical test of Stafford Lake. You will work your way up and down hills that will challenge your knees , ankles and stamina. What a test of endurance. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the beat down. The designer created a great balance of shots. The holes were well conceived as my skills, or lack thereof, were severely challenged by uphill shots, downhill shots and sidehill shots. I especially like the sidehill shots that make the thrower land the disc at the proper angle to negate the chance of a rollaway. Left, right, up, down, breathe deeply and execute well or be punished when you disc glides down the serious terrain away from the pin. Even the shorter holes used terrain well to create the illusion of baskets being closer to you than they really were. This set up putts that were further from the basket I thought I should have been and created the opportunity for roll aways and fly by putts. There are some really cool trees on this course and some panoramic views that helped enhance the disc experience.
Cons: I had difficulty following the flow of the course in a number of places and spent some time walking around searching. I didn't need the extra walking on this course!. It needs more "Next Tee" signs. ( I feel like a chump saying that because a lot of my courses need them too.) Some of the greens really needed some trimming, as the 10 meter putting zone was greatly encroached by branches and bushes. I loved the long downhill 1000'ish hole. I didn't like that there was another basket and tee in the "kill" zone from incoming play on the long hole. I think that could be easily remedied if somebody energetic agreed with me. While I appreciate that most of the tee signs have distances shown on the signs, not all were shown in the correct positions. It was a bit difficult to figure out which position and how far to throw on some holes. I recommend wearing 2 pair of socks and perhaps some sock covers to keep out burrs and sharp grass seed. They were pesky indeed.
Other Thoughts: This course definately would be a 4 or more in my book if the "cons" were addressed. Bring plenty of water in the summer.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 10 Not
great course! but not 4.5*
Pros: The course scenery is amazing the views of the lake and the surrounding wilderness is breathtaking. Hole six is amazing a massive downhill blast that is more fun than i can express watching the disc fly is awesome. you have to throw a variety of shots hyzers, a lot of straight shots, anhyzers. a lot of throws require a high throw to clear an obstacle then an abrupt stall with not a lot of fade(hole 2). You will want to look around for a "local's" route on a lot of holes, they are there. That is something I have always enjoyed doing. You can't throw lazy putts on this course if you don't make it and it lands on edge then you will be rolling a long way. You don't necessarily have to have a big arm on this course I can see the very accurate throwers eating this course up. Hole 13 is a well designed hole imo. Long hole with a small elevation gain on to a plateau then at about 375 ft off the tee it drops off to a semi guarded pin along the tree line. Hole 18 has an awesome route out to the left, there is a good rhbh route, but if you risk the small gap out to the left rhfh it's more direct to the pin. I don't mind pay to play if it keeps the jerks out. Bring your camera, the views and wildlife are worth the entrance fee alone, then you get to play a great course to boot.
For how much land is out there some of the holes are sandwiched together. it's no doubt to take advantage of tree clusters, but again there is a lot of land out there. Some of the holes are a little too easy. Hole 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10. I'm not implying I'm so feaking good or anything I'm a good am2 player, for example hole 10 is supposed to be a tunnel hit you gap type hole. The tunnel is quite large and the hole plays about 250. Tap in bird the first day and missed a 40 ft the second. There is a lot of Not A Golf Shot Holes here. Hole 4 short hole trees to the left and right. There is a gap up the Center the hole is up to the left under a large tree. im guessing most locals just throw a thumber over the first set of trees hit the tree the basket is under and hope there token plinkos its way to 10,000. I threw a steep fh anhyzer flex low and hard with a flat top fb, i was able to hit the gap flex out under the second tree and hit a deuce, but that would work maybe 20% of the time if that. There is a lot of luck involved on this course. it seems that the hardest holes also have the slanted greens. i hate having a great drive on a difficult hole then getting a roll away. also im a smoker and while all the signs say no smoking i still did, but i dont walk and smoke i smoke put the cig out then pack it in my bag. With all the signage why Am I picking up all the locals butts next to almost every teebox?
*don't bring a jacket you can't carry in your bag, some of the ground was frozen but had to take my jacket off by hole 5 from hiking.
*sorry to all the nice locals but the players we ran into were either the college kids with a backpack and more beers than discs or the arrogant top pro locals(in their minds) who wouldn't even give us the time of day. I'm not asking for a reach around here, just look me in the eyes: hows it going?, first time out here?, watch out for hole X the right can be tricky, have a good round. This didn't affect my rating of the course I could care less about the other people on the course, but you have to advertise you course and show some hospitality. Also be careful, I had my own lack of courtesy on hole 6 I was shooting from the higher pin a someone by himself was finishing out. I saw him walking out to the right past a teebox so I threw my drive he had left either his bag or a disc down the hill and was now coming back towards the teebox which is only about 100ft from the pin of 6. Just from seeing that my disc wasnt turning over as much as I wanted it to. I knew it was heading for that teebox. I yelled fore until it hit he saw it, but was still shocked by how close it was (about 15ft) you have to take your time on this course dont rush even if there are people behind you. Some tee boxes are too close to other pins and some pins are too blind to not take you time. All in all this course is a must play. In my limited experience this is one of the few courses that has the combination of space, elevation, scenery, local club (even though I didn't see them it's evident that a lot of people are taking a lot of time up keeping this course) to reach 4.5 stars. I gave a 3.5 which Is generous by my ratings If I could it would have been a 3.25 but it's closer to a 3.5 than a 3. I rate my home course a 3.5. Stop giving courses 5 stars. 5 is perfect and that doesn't exist! A good reworking of some of the holes i feel needs to at least be looked at. Finally get out to Stafford lake!
2 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Great Challenging Course.
Long and Tricky
Well laid out
Designed for the more advanced of the group
Great use of the space. Elevation changes, etc...
Beautiful California rustic / high desert scenery.
(can be) very hot
(can be) very windy
DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN PARK!!!!!!!!!!!
POISON OAK (SUMMER TIME NIGHTMARE!)
MUD (GO after the rains... bring mud paddles)
VERY easy to lose discs.
This course makes for a long, exhausting 18 holes.
Other Thoughts: After the first dozen or so times, you get good at this course and it really does become amazing.
it's not a beginner course. A long drive (400' at the least) is necessary to be competitive.
If you are "good" and in town.... probably a must play. It's hard to say as Nor Cal has so many amazing courses.
FEAR the POISON OAK! No joke!
6 of 17 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Needed a guide for sure
Pros: Beautiful setting. The course is completely separate from the rest of the park. The course gives you plenty of challenges and requires you to use each disc/shot in your bag. It is always fun when you need to be able to throw a tomahawk or forehand in order to play a course. The course gives you beautiful views of the mountains and the lake as the course is set up on the side of a hill with a decent amount of elevation. The tee pads on this course were probably one of the nicest sets of tee pads I have ever played on. They had plenty of run-up space and gave you a lot of grip. When you entered the park, you were given a scorecard and a brochure from the guard as to where you should go, but the scorecard and brochure was something I thought was really cool. It was also kind of neat to see a variety of wildlife on the course such as deer, turkey vultures, and rabbits and such. Number 6 was definitely my favorite as it is a beautiful shot straight downhill from close to the top of a big hill.
Cons: $10 is ridiculous. Now, I imagine that if I had a guide with me, or someone who has played this course, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Having said that, this course was incredibly difficult to follow in my opinion. My wife and I couldn't even find where to go for the first hole. If some people didn't come by that were also going to the course, we would have been clueless. Once we arrived to the first tee, we saw that each hole will basically have a couple different sets of tees, and that there could be up to four different pin positions. I wouldn't mind this, except on the first few holes where you couldn't see the pin, the spinning thing which told you where the basket was, was incorrect and it was frustrating. I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but when the course states that there is a no smoking policy, people should probably follow it, but of course the three guys that come up behind us were all smoking, and drinking, and just had a lack of respect for the game/course. Considering Cali's fire permits and burn bans, I would expect a little more.
Other Thoughts: I think that this is a great course, and would definitely play it again if I'm ever out that way again in Cali. I finished two over par for the day with it being the first time I ever played there. I think that with a little better signage as to where you should go for the next hole, and a better way to distinguish were the pin is, it would be a 4 or 4.5 course.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: very tecnical with some great elevation shots. Only course I have played with a 1000+ ft shot on it. Beautiful area, especially in the spring.
Cons: Grass can get tall in spring, so really spot your disc, you have to pay to park,
Other Thoughts: overall a nice course, especially if you are looking for a workout.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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