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.
0 Helpful / 8 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 8 people found this review helpful.
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