Diamond in the rough, challenging but fair
1 Helpful / 0 Not
• Variety of fairways that encourage different throw styles
• Nice selection of open and tight fairways (though definitely leans towards tighter fairways overall)
• Short and Long tee pads offer flexibility in hole difficulty to make the course more welcoming for first-timers/beginners
• Nice mix of short and long holes
• Some very pretty holes and overall a pretty park with Williams-Brice Stadium Looming in the background
• Navigation. First timers will have trouble navigating the course
• Dirt Tee Pads. Most are level and clean but it's still a detractor, especially in inclement weather
• Some holes have a standing water problem after hard rain
• Trash: It's a heavily trafficked, urban park, and some holes seem to be magnets for people to drop trash. It's not awful but it's definitely notable on a few holes.
• Some fairways need TLC to help make upshots more manageable when recovering from a bad tee shot
• A challenging, yet fair and rewarding course.
• It's a Gem to have in downtown Columbia and a nice compliment to Southeast and Earlewood
• If you want to improve your game this course will force you to play smarter and develop additional throw styles
• Despite the cons, it's definitely a course I'd recommend and some TLC would make the course that much nicer.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Best in Cola
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -This course has a good bit of difficulty to it with tight fairways coupled with longer throws. You need a variety of shots and good execution in order to score well.
-Multiple pin positions on most holes adding variety for locals who play it often. There are also short and long tees on every hole making it a more versatile course and a little more inviting to newer players.
-You really feel isolated out on this course. Just you and challenging disc golf.
Cons: -Owens Field Park is rough around the edges. It lies in a low-lying area which is flooded after a good rain. The tee pads are gravel and dirt which are severely eroded. This course could really be upgraded just by adding concrete tees.
-I had a guide with me while I played who knew the course, but I could definitely see some areas where it would be easy to get turned around. I would suggest a map or guide when playing the course. The course also doesn't loop around all that great and has several weird/long transitions between holes.
Other Thoughts: I was surprised by how good this course was. To me, the overall rating does not reflect the quality of this course. While it is still a little rough around the edges, it's just a fantastic disc golf experience that gives you that secluded feel in the middle of a metropolitan area. Overall, this was my favorite course of the Columbia courses. I will definitely be back!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
WOODS WOODS WOODS
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Pretty area/course. Nice layout and variety of holes.
Cons: Hard to find your way around. TOO MANY trees. Like playing in dense woods with no clear fairways and such on MANY holes.
Other Thoughts: Official Home course for USC's disc golf team.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
A Fun Challenge
Pros: The course has a good mix of left and right, somewhat long and short. It rewards shot shaping and being able to throw straight. Mid range game and approaches will need to be on point to score well here. There are a couple of true par 4's which is nice.
I really appreciate that they took the time and effort to actually cut out fairways instead of just sticking baskets in random open places.
Cons: The only hole that I have a real problem with is 18. The opening to throw through just isn't big enough. I consider myself to be pretty good, but that gap is just not consistently hittable.
Other than that, navigation is the biggest problem with the course. It's a nightmare for beginners to get around the course, and the walk from 16 to 17 is just awful. The giant field in the middle causes this problem, but there has to be a way around having that trek in the middle of your round. 7-8 is a decent walk too, but not nearly as bad as 16-17.
When it rains, the course can start to be unplayable in some spots. The water does not drain at all and just creates a lake and/or mud pit. This also causes the mosquitoes to be a huge pest in the spring/summer.
Holes 15 and 16 turn into parking lots sometimes when people park there for soccer and lacrosse games and it makes the holes unplayable which kinda puts a damper on the end of your round.
Other than that, a few of the holes could be a little wider, but that's not really that big of a deal to me.
Other Thoughts: Owen's Field offers a true challenge for a change, much unlike Earlewood. Some of the holes' lines are a little too tight, but for the most part they are all fair. There are a few holes that stretch out 400+ feet, but really only one or two that you can really let it rip on. The rough is thick and punishing for bad shots and you can easily not get out of the woods if you try to go at the basket instead of a safe play. There are one or two short, ace run type holes that offer a nice break, but they too can turn deadly if you throw it badly. This course gets a bad name from beginners and players who can't score well on the course. It's a good course, regardless of how well you can score on it.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Great course, but long
Pros: This course is very challenging. It's surrounded by woods, so that makes the challenge exciting. If you want a long day of disc golf, this course is for you.
Cons: It's very spread out, making it difficult to find some of the tees even with a printed map. Because of the wooded area that surrounds it, you can easily lose a disc. It is so hard to find the next tee on MANY shots.
Other Thoughts: Great course overall, but it needs some updating with the navigation. The tees need to be renovated and more plainly in sight. If you're used to playing wooded courses, this one is DEFINITELY for you.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Underrated, yet can still be better
Pros: Owens Field was a surprisingly good course. IMO, it's the best course in Columbia, offering a mix of length, challenge and a variety of layouts. And yet, there's still work to be done to make it as good as it could/should be.
- There's a great variety of holes - solid range of holes from tight-tight, quasi-tight to open; longer holes, several short ones (under 200 feet), some holes have sharp doglegs (#3, 5, 8) to straight. Course has several holes with slight elevation - #4 is a solid, tight, slight downhill hole; #5 has a decent uphill second (or third) shot to the basket - but still lacks the elevation of Earlewood.
- Good flow of hole layouts. For the most part, you get a good variety from one hole to the next; whether it's a tight layout followed by a (more) open; short followed long; dogleg followed by straight (or dogleg left followed by dogleg right on 11 & 12). I never felt I was playing the same shot two holes in a row. As a general rule, the holes on the right side of the park (#8 - 16) were more open than the holes on the left side of the park (#1 -7, 17 -18).
- Course offers a good fun factor. Sure, there are some frustrating holes and more clean-up is needed (see below), but I was quite surprised how enjoyable most of the holes were. #1 is a good starting hole. Among the highlights: I really liked #4 (listed above); #5 & 7 are good, tight layouts; #14 was an enjoyable par 4. If you can throw accurately, you can shoot a low score. There's a huge risk/reward factor here.
- Most holes offer a long and short layout, which should appeal to most DGers.
- Very good course map. Course map and scorecard have been updated as of 2011. First timers will need a map to navigate their way through the course.
- Interesting park location. I like having the park/course right across the street from an airport. I didn't see or hear any planes land while I played. I don't know how often the airport is used, so I'm sure at time if there's a lot of plane traffic, it might be a negative. Otherwise, it's just a cool visual.
Cons: The biggest, most pressing need at the park is that it needs a serious dose of some major TLC. The rough/weeds/underbrush/woods need to be trimmed back/cleared/removed in a major way on some parts of the course. The problem was most obvious on three holes - #2, 5 & 18. #2 felt trashy, and more like a path through the woods than a disc golf hole. #5 needs to have a more defined fairway on the transition from the grass to the woods. #18 needs more of a clearing, both to the sides and above for the tee shot, plus a major cleaning along the left side - both the underbrush and the homeless camp/trash area. Other holes could use some work on as well. One or two workdays for the local club should essentially fix this problem, so I'm surprised it hasn't been done yet.
- Some people are going to have a problem with the course layout. As stated above, the course is broken up into two different nine hole layouts on two sides of a large field. That means you have two long walks crossing the field - from #7 to 8 and #16 to 17.
- Signage could be improved. Between the online map and signage on course, I'll give that a B+. There are a lot of extra walking paths that weave throughout the course, they do a relatively good job. However, on some hole, the signage showing long and short tees could be better, plus the arrows pointing to the next holes could be improved. For example, I saw an arrow on a tree pointing me towards #11, so I started walking that direction. After finding the tee for #15, then the basket for #11, I realized the tee was right there, and not off to the right. More consistent signage would help, as would...
- Course needs tee signs. Part of the beauty of the course is the amount of blind tee shots. For first timers, you tire of walking holes in advance to scout the basket. Tee signs help, plus they show alternative fairways/routes you may not see during a quick walk through.
- I mentioned the problems above, but I thought #18 was the worst hole on the course, and a bad way to end the round. You're throwing in the woods, to an extremely narrow fairway. Once you clear the woods, the rough is ridiculously thick on the left-hand side (to the point you're lucky if you can throw a shot 10 feet). Finally, the basket is to the left, in a clearing past that thick rough. You could easily score anywhere from a birdie to triple-bogey here, and lot has to do with luck.
Other Thoughts: This is Columbia's best course, but it should be better. Simple, general maintenance would go a long ways to improving it.
- Based on other reviews and ratings, I was surprised how much others didn't like Owens and how much I did.
- There are still other ways to make this course better. It'd be nice to see a couple longer holes, especially in some of the tight, wooded layouts. There's a thin line between tough, but fair (a la Nevin) and just unfair. There close to being on the wrong side on several holes, especially if they aren't cleaned up.
- As said, there is a lot to like here. This isn't a place for a quick round, it's more of a grind. If you want a quick, easy round, then play Earlewood. If you want to challenge yourself, you need to play Owens.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
underrated and very challenging!
Pros: -very challenging wooded course
-lots of very tight lines, interestingly shaped fairways, double fairways
-great, well-thought pin positions
-dual tees on many holes
-baskets in great shape
-signs are there and have diagrams but are old and some are broken (didn't see the new signs others mentioned, maybe they went up after i played?)
Cons: -navigation is pretty poor in some spots, map doesn't help since it's the old layout (didn't see any of the supposedly new "next tee" signs or new tee signs)
-rough is very rough, lots of thick foliage off the fairways
-most of the fairways are fair but a couple are bordering on sadistic. hole #3 comes to mind
-a few of the holes are far removed from the rest of the course
Other Thoughts: This course offers a real alternative to the style of play over at Earlewood Park, the other course in town. This is a much more modern, challenging wooded course. There are legit multi-shot holes, super tight wooded alleys, open bombs, you name it. The only thing missing is elevation change.
The hole shapes here are very unique. You will rarely step up to a tee here and be reminded of another hole you just played. The tees, pins and obstacles are all in the right places to really make you think hard about each shot.
I wish I had some better comments to add here but my experience was rather atypical, I hope. A thunderstorm came out of nowhere and from the time it took to hole out on 6 to tee off on 7 a wicked intense downpour started that lasted 15 minutes with whipping winds and thunder and lightening. I was teeing off in an ankle deep, fast moving creek on hole 8's teepad. Still finished my round but there were quite a few underwater teepads; I couldn't even get to the long tee on 12 there was so much water.
Anyway, the course is tough but lots of fun. I shot poorly but still had a great time. The dirt pads and old tees are sufficient but some new signs, navigational aids and concrete tees would really kick this place up a notch and probably draw in many more players. With some love and amenities this could be the premier course in town. The course rating does not do it justice, this is way better than 2.5 stars. This is the place to come to if you're in town looking for a challenging round as the other course in Columbia is an old school style birdie-fest.
**Like this review? Hate it? Message me and let me know why! I want to make them better!**
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Old Reviews Are Obsolete
Pros: This is one of those uncommon instances where the course was better than the actual rating here. This course has been newly redesigned and the navigational issues previous reviewers had a problem with I did not experience because of the new signs leading you around here so this is why older reviews are now obsolete.
This course has some really tight lines and very punishing fairways that adds serious challenge and produces big scores on very short holes if optimal lines are not met. Some reviewers have complained about unfairness in these holes and this I semi agree with. On some of these tight holes (the par 4 350 foot hole #3 comes to mind) luck is a factor but playing the smarter lines will still give you an advantage and help you score lower over time; it's like how professional poker players don't always make a hand or win a pot and sometimes get unlucky but over time they will see a profit, holes on this course are the same way. The longer par four holes are a great complement to the wooded holes as these are a bit more open and offer a couple of fun double fairways, hole #10 comes into my mind right away. What I really love about this course is how it makes you think. You really have to know your discs and you have to have a plan of attack to find your way and plenty of times throughout the course you will be making decisions that affect your score drastically.
Cons: Like I said I didn't have the navigational issues that previous reviewers have because of the new signs and the redesign but there are still a couple of head scratching moments out here if you bring a map. Yes I said if you bring a printed map it's actually worse than just playing it blind because the map here is old and outdated. The old 15 and 16 were across the large soccer fields and now you don't make that jump until 17 so don't bring a map just pay attention to the next tee signs and you will be fine.
There were a couple of 'clunker' holes here that I just didn't find all that appealing or interesting, in fact maybe even borderline annoying. Hole #1 isn't a terribly designed hole it's just not up to standards that the rest of the course sets and being this is the first hole I expect more. At 260 feet or so this is an easy two for most advanced players and is a heavily RHBH friendly hole. Hole #5 is a RHBH hyzer from an open spot next to a walking trail towards a gap in the trees and then up a hill to a guarded basket. This is another RHBH/LHFH hole that is listed as a par four but the distance and the line make this is a tweener. This is one of the only holes on this course where I prefer the short pad, even though the short pad is a 120 foot ace run.
Other Thoughts: There are some crazy holes on this course that you may never see anywhere else. The lines are hard and the rough is thick so be ready to throw many get out of trouble shots, this is a good course to practice them on. Remember that some of these holes aren't made to be aced or even get a two so remember this when choosing your shots and this should help you to stay on the fairway and reduce your scores. This combined with Earlewood Park is a nice one-two combination if you are in Columbia.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: challenging tight shots on most holes. Makes you think about every shot.
Cons: many holes have only 1 tight approach lane and if you miss recovery can prove difficult at best. Only 2 or 3 good grip and rip holes and even then it's "hit the lane or you're screwed" style of play
Other Thoughts: bring your A game and be ready to be challenged but overall it's a good course
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: One of the most underrated courses in SC. The course has changed over the years with a couple of holes added and the old #2 being eliminated for the skatepark but I still enjoy it. Favorite holes include #2 which was a hole that was reversed with the redesign, #3 a tough hole for a 3, #4 and #7 are fun ace runs, #10 is a challenge,#13 a narrow long hole, #14 a long placement hole and new #18 is a challenge to get out of the alley and putt for 2.
Great mix of woods and open shots. Short and long tees.
Cons: I would like to see #8 to be redesigned with the tee being moved.
Other Thoughts: Many people do not like this course but I have never really heard any good reason why. Skatepark is also at course.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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