2 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: This is a really well though put course with Salem great pin placements. There is some great change of elevation throughout the course to add an extra element of difficulty. I really like how well marked out everything was. Our first time playing there, we had no trouble location all the holes.
Cons: Not much negative to say about this one. One of the best courses I have ever played.
2 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Great map pamphlet at the first tee!!!
Too many to list, please see lion's review.
Cons: See above...
Other Thoughts: Sorry, I know that this is a lame "review" and I don't blame you for voting this one as "not helpful" but it's hard to beat the elaboration that 'lion' did in the previous review. To sum up, this is an ever expansive course, probably one of the largest I've played so far. When I played it it was over 90 degrees (BRUTAL dry heat) after playing at Golden Gate earlier in the week at only 68 degrees. I thougth I was well prepared but after climbing up and down the first 7 main+5 or more extra baskets on the hill and reached the bottom high desert tees I had to quit (both due to time and lack of water/energy). I had some amazing blind shots over trees (basket 3 I think) and around bends (basket 4?). Some were more frustrating in some of the thick trees. All in all an extremely impressive course but the distance and guidance to the starting point from the parking lot and back was pretty tough in the heat. I was completely filthy and sweaty by the time I got back to my car and had to go straight to my flight. I was not prepared for this course physically. I recommend bringing extra water and/or rationing what you take. An amazing drive out to the course from SF and spectacular views await. Definitely try to make it out to this one if you're in the area but like lion said, plan on it being an all day event with plenty of water and nourishment. Otherwise the fun of the course may be stifled a bit.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
I miss not playing this course
21 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1. With the new hole additions that were made in the last year the course is actually on its way to probably being a future 27 hole course.
2. I liked the fact that there was a practice basket close to the parking area. This gives you time to practice if your waiting for others or just wanting to chill and putt a little before hiking to the course.
3. The course is located in a certain area of the park that is only used for disc golf. Since that's the case you don't have to worry about picknickers or sunbathers or anything non disc related that might slow you down, unless a cow or wild turkey herd get in your way.
4. The views are stellar and top notch. Views of the lake, wildlife, rolling green hills, and the entire course. The view from the some what hidden upper tee on hole 6 is where it's at. Check it out.
5. Wildlife on the course is cool. I've played here in November and have seen huge wild turkeys all over the course. Just made it really cool.
6. The tee signs for this course are really detailed with hole numbers, distances, where the other tee boxes are located, multiple basket locations, next hole tees and the graphics were good. No complaints over signage.
7. Tee pads are well done and with multiple pads on most holes it's great to see the love that was put into this course by the locals. Some of the teepads are hard to get to and to have concrete pads there only means they hiked in with the concrete. So kudos to the people who put it in. Good grip on pads aswell.
8. There are trash cans around the course and that's speaks highly for the park staff who drive those all terrain golf carts picking up trash. Speaking of trash, I didn't see any trash on the course. The course was super clean. Well kept.
9. The layout is always changing with the multiple pins per hole and every layout is very respectible. I've always felt challenged here and everyone I have played with really knuckled down to stay afloat on the course. It's no push over.
10. Stafford also allows you to empty your bag and throw every type of shot. The course isn't lefty or right friendly. It's nuetral ground and fair.
11. The course isn't flat. There is a ton of elevation to deal with. More then half the holes have elevation. hole 6 has an upper tee pad installed around Thanksgiving 2008 that has a 100 elevation drop to the deeper pin placements that rivals any top of the world shot.
12. Signature holes. This course has a few but holes 6 and 9 are amazing. Hole 6 for the huge elevation/top of the world throw and hole 9 for the 1000+ foot hole named after a highway that's honest and challenging.
13. I won't give a breakdown of every hole but just know there is a lot of length on this course. If you cannot huck the disc 400 feet then you will be required to play the long holes smart and look for your birdies on the shorter holes when they come in patches like holes 10-12 or 6-8.
14. The course is growing and after hole 4 up the hill, new holes have been installed. I image cement pads will come. So look for them and be prepared for more then 18 holes.
15. All baskets on the course were sound, no dents or faulty components were noticed. They were also all easy to spot. Tape and color on baskets made for good visibility.
16. The course is well laid out and finishes were it starts. Hole 1 and hole 18 meet at the end without intersecting at all. Always nice when a course does that.
17. No crossing fairways. All the holes are given tons is space and choices for all of its pins. I'm glad that the expansion on the course didn't alter the existing layout. A lot of people always say they want to shorten certain holes and add more with all the land. Well I say that's a terrible move. The fact that the local club left the orginal holes in tact is awesome.
Cons: 1. First con is that it's a pay to play course. 5 dollars during the week and 10 on the weekends. 2 dollars to walk in. Walk in from where? Maybe park right across from the entrance at the home that's closest to the park. I parked there once when the park was closed. If your local I would look into a seasonal pass and bring lots of exact change for the machines or a credit card. If there isn't anyone at the main office you have to pay at one of the pay machines and they don't give change I here.
2. Closed for certain holidays. I showed up on Thanksgiving when the weather was beautiful and the park was closed( gate was closed). Always call ahead or check the site if your from out of town.
3. Park hours, any course that is only opened for certain hours is a con. If the park is closing and there is still daylight I want to be able to still play.
4. I don't remember any bathrooms on the course. Just some bathrooms near the park entrance and near the parking lot close to the practice area.
5. To me the walk to the course from the parking lot wasn't bad or a con but to some a quarter mile plus walk is a con. After a long drive to the course the walk actually warmed me up and got me blood flowing. Download a map because if there isn't any golfers there when u show up and you don't know where the course is it might take u awhile to find it.
6. Hole 5 is a great hole but the slope and brush hugging the fairway, plus if its in the blind position make it easy to lose a disc on the hole. Best to have a spotter on the hole.
7. Watch out for wildlife and try not to hit any. Please be patient if they roam into your shot and enjoy the majestic nature of the animal.
8. As for the course I cannot think of anything wrong with the orginal 18 holes, but with the new holes the teepads should go to concrete and not just be marked with stakes. They will get muddy and hard to play in the winter.
9. The lake doesn't come into play in the course, but near hole 12 if you throw deep there is some marsh lands and thick brush/ Bambo area you need to watch out for. Also just watch out for the ravine near basket 17. Try to stay out of it and use the bridge down below.
10. Since you park so far away, you really have to load up your disc bag with drinks and snacks for the entire round or rounds. If you don't and have to walk back to the car it's an easy 30 minutes out of the way and 30 minutes of lost disc golf time or relaxing between rounds. This also sucks because the course involves a lot of hiking. A heavy disc bag isn't recommend. This course isn't friendly to beginners just figuring out the game or to anyone not able to really hike over a mile of course in the hills.
Other Thoughts: I have played nearly 250 courses in the state of California and Stafford is my favorite. It's worth spending the entire day at playing. All the pros make it spectacular. Also as an added bonus there is a brewery close by and plenty of stores within ten minutes of the course to stock up on snacks and drinks while you play. The surrounding area is gourdgeous. Stafford is like a central hub between golden gate park and Skyline wilderness in Napa. The area has plenty of courses around a few of the best in the state. I would always recommend playing in groups here or pairs. If your a tourney player, multiple tourneys are held at Stafford throughout the year. So if you want an excuse to play the course, sign up for a tourney. There are hotels and camping nearby aswell.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful course, excellent play
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Beyond gorgeous. Even if you are playing terribly you can have a great time. The course is a hike in and of itself and there are rabbits and deer all over the place. The holes vary greatly in approach and difficulty which is a blast to play and can be very challenging and rewarding.
Cons: If it weren't for the poison oak, I would award 5 stars to this stellar course.
Other Thoughts: I will definitely be playing the next tournament that rolls through here.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Just Awesome.....But pretty hard
Pros: only 2 $ if walk in or park offsite
restrooms near parking
had drinking fountain near benches before hole 1
amazing elevation shots
great scenery and wildlife
not busy(sat afternoon)
very informative brochure at hole 1 with map and individual hole descriptions
Cons: showed up saturday(paid 10$ at kiosk-does not give change for 20bill had to use credit card)
sometimes hard to find way(map helped a lot)
Other Thoughts: I loved this course. I am a beginner but still had a great time. Bring water and get ready to hike.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
a must play. one of the best
Pros: -long and short distance tees
-good mixture of tee length and elevation changes
-grills for BBQ and making a fun day trip with family and friends
-some tricky shots but nothing too crazy that you feel like you might lose a disc
-amazing scenery and great weather
-plenty of "green bowl" holes
-close to a great grocery store
-no waiting to play, its far enough to where it keeps large amounts of people off the course.
-multiple hole locations
Cons: -not enough garbage cans
-can be pretty muddy well after a rain
-pay to play
-last time i went the hole numbers on the baskets were all facing the wrong direction
Other Thoughts: remember to use your phone to take a picture of the map so you can refer to it to navigate the course. the couse is pretty straight forward but first or second timers might want to keep this in mind.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Thank you, Stafford Lake!
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Layout. Wonderful use of space that NEVER felt repetitive.
-Views are amazing.
-Elevation, flora, and landscape give the impression that a great deal of thought went into this course. No tee or basket feels accidentally or awkwardly placed.
-Parking and a nice walk in. Be thankful for the walk. You'll want to be warmed up to get up #1!!!
-$ to play. Yes, I was happy to pay for this experience. It was that good.
-Multiple tees used to good effect. They do more than simply make the holes longer.
-Two fun steep downhill midrange ace runs. Although, go to far and your walking 100 feet downhill.
-1000 foot hole #9 that plays alongside a ball golf hole.
-The tree and tee pad area on hole 10 are a landmark. Beautiful and creative tee placement.
Cons: -Muddy pathways a little slippery.
-Water not in play as much as it could be.
-Occasionally tricky to navigate. Not a problem the 2nd time around.
-Some blind tee shots. Normally, this is fine. but driving blind to a sidehill with the potential for a 250 foot roll away isn't my kind of fun.
Other Thoughts: I haven't been to the bay area for 4 years. This course will have me flying west to the Nor Cal. area much sooner than that. Thanks for a wonderful experience to the park, local players, and sponsors. We found one of the sponsors (Moylan's Brewpub) after the round for lunch and very good beer to repay them for their generosity.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Foremost, Stafford has the fantastic hole design. Every hole is very different and interesting. There's steep uphill and downhill. Throwing into, out of, through, and over trees. There's long bomber holes, and tight technical holes. The course is not overly wooded, but the trees are used effectively.
The landscape is also stunning. Views of the lake and hills are gorgeous. There's plenty of wildlife. The course is well maintained. There are cement tees, benches, and useful tee signs. The pins move regularly between substantially different positions, and are indicated accurately on tee signs. Many holes have multiples tees. There's bathrooms and a water fountain. I've never seen it super crowded, and the course doesn't get any non-DG traffic. Unlike the very crowded Golden Gate Park and DeLaveaga, Stafford is playable on a Saturday afternoon.
Cons: For some players, price will be a big negative. The fee is variable. It's worst on summer weekends at $10 per car. This fee undoubtedly keeps the course from getting super crowded.
The course flows pretty well, but navigation can be slightly confusing your first time. The easiest place to get lost is getting to the first tee, a 1/3 mile walk from the parking lot. A next tee sign would be helpful after hole 7. On 9, it's easy to accidentally throw at the pin for 11 if it is in B position.
Some holes are blind and a spotter is helpful.
Other Thoughts: Play from the long tee on 14. It's up the hill near the left tee for 7, and it's worth the hike up.
How to get here on public transit:
Use Golden Gate Transit to get to/from downtown Novato (Redwood & Grant). Schedule an appointment with Novato Dial-A-Ride (415-892-7899) from downtown to Novato Boulevard & Fire Road. This is the absolute western edge of the Dial-A-Ride service area. From here there it's a little over a mile walk to the eastern entrance to the park, and another mile to the first tee. Pay attention to Dial-A-Ride's hours, and schedule your trip ahead of time.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Championship level course
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Championship level course with multiple tee pads and pin placements
-Signage is great (you still need to walk out to see many of the baskets before you shoot though).
-Tee pads are in good shape and well made
-Optional if you want to play the course long or short (use the short tee pads for a shorter, easier round).
-Good variety of long and short holes. This is one of the most flexible courses in disc golf as far as distance and shot changes. All depends on what tee you use and what position the basket is in.
Cons: -Pay to play
-Long walk to the first tee
-Hole#1 is a rough start. Huge elevation change.
Other Thoughts: This is considered by many to be the "big arm" course for the San Francisco Bay Area. The next closest course to rival it is DeLaVeaga in Santa Cruz. I highly recommend this course if you are a Pro or a seasoned Amateur player. I make a point to visit this course at least twice a month.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Beautiful hilly course set along the banks of Stafford Lake. Tons of elevation changes and turns; the signs even state what the teepad:basket elevation changes are. Fantastic mix of driver shots and throwing options. I played with a predominantly RH sidearm thrower, and we were able to let off very different teeshots on the same holes with positive results. Great mix of superlong, long, medium and short holes. Also a great mix of open and wooded holes, and use of trees. The long ones make you appreciate the short ones, even though some were surprisingly short, albeit technical. Wonderful flowery aroma is always a breath away. Fancy tri-fold course map/pamphlet you get at the paid entrance booth. Excellent teepads.
Cons: Got stung in the top of my ear while lost with another 1st timer trying to find the 5th basket, after getting lost trying to find 1st tee. The ranger neglected to tell us that after crossing the bridge, keep left onto the main dirt road until you see the 1st tee box atop the tall set of wooden stairs on the open hill. We went right, and ended up finding what looks like future holes 19-27. Mucho poison oak.
Other Thoughts: I think Stafford is a tough 1st time play for a beginner/intermediate thrower without a guide...at least it was for me. I can envision my 2nd outing being a much more relaxed and enjoyable round. Special thanks to Matt, who helped me pull the stinger out!
Uniqueness: A (great DG course in a superb setting)
Difficulty: A (can get long & hilly; can get dense with trees)
Fun Factor: A- (will likely be upgraded to an "A" after another round)
Aesthetics: A+ (gorgeous natural lakeside setting; very clean; perfect teepads & signs)
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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