Zilker Park- Calibration Course
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Overall a delightful course that I use to calibrate my game as well as get reps in for more casual and/or post-workday games in throughout the week.
Easily accessible (right off Mopac) and parking is hardly ever a problem.
All of the tee boxes here are actually my favorite for the area, as they have extra length around them with cobblestone.
Each hole is clearly marked for distance and with a good graphic of the hole.
The back 9 holes still has enough length for a bit of a challenge, with some tight lines. It is also be very beginner friendly and a great place to bring inductees into the disc golf world (REMEMBER! GROW THE SPORT!)
I love using this course to try different discs on different lines. Who would've thought a RHBH power-hyzer to the sky with a Harp on Hole 9 would be an ideal shot for my level?? The shot variety isn't amazing, but at least there are holes of various lengths and directions, so I can get work for both my RHBH and RHFH and my overhead shots.
Baskets are Discatchers and all clean/maintained. They seem to hate me sometimes, as I get a lot of chainouts, but that's personal... The whole course is really well maintained, with most fairways being grass it's light on your disc as well. It can be very open/forgiving on most holes, which is nice when I'm practicing, but it's also nice because I've never lost a disc here.
In summary this is a very clean, shorter course that's well worth a visit. It's still challenging enough for me, and I can consistently work on improving my game and shots, particularly on the front 9 holes.
Cons: I don't want to diss this course at all, as it's perfect for what it is and my expectations.
However, it really doesn't offer a ton of variety when it comes to holes- it's all Par 3's, nothing over 400ft. That's OK for me, but I know others yearn for longer holes and more challenge.
There are a ton of pedestrians and park-goers, as it's in Zilker Park's circle area. That being said, I've had picnickers sit in the middle of the course with discs whirling by them. That doesn't make sense to me, but those who don't know the sport basically ignore us- for better or worse.'
Also, it can get really crowded. Since it's so beginner friendly, I find Hole #1 gets backed up pretty bad at times. I usually try to play the front 9 once then repeat the back 9 a few times just to avoid the clogging.
Other Thoughts: Overall, it's a great short course. To reiterate, it's my calibration course- I know as a variable it doesn't change much and is very manageable, so I can bust out new discs and throws knowing how the course will handle it. I really like Zilker and it's the one I play the most, and although it's not the best ever for what it is as a short, clean course? It's perfect
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.230 Rating) I find Zilker to be a fun and relaxing round for every skill level.
- TEES - Some of the best tees in all of Austin. They are concrete, long and wide.
- CHARACTER - There is a community board, (no map unfortunately) at hole 1. There is very well artistically illustrated and accurate hole signage at each tee. Most of the tees are shaded well and there is some of the best seating in all of Austin at each hole. Zilker however, is void of multiple tees, extra pin placements, and a practice basket.
- FORGIVENESS - The odds of losing a disc due to an errant shot is very low. There are a couple of moderate overgrowth areas between holes 3 and 8. There are no water hazards. Perfect for beginners and rec players.
- MAINTENANCE - The course appears to be constantly trimmed and manicured. I've played here at least ten times and never saw the grass in the wide fairways, higher than 6 inches. Despite the heavy use, trash was in check.
- ACEABILITY - Numerous holes are very aceable to intermediate players and above, You will have great opportunities on holes (1,2,4,5,9,11,14).
- NATURAL BEAUTY - In my opinion, Zilker is one of the most beautiful courses to walk in the Austin Metro area. You will have wonderful views and picture opportunities of downtown Austin's skyline. I will also add that the wild flower bloom in March/April can be quite amazing.
- NIGHT GOLF - This is an ideal night golf course. Spacious fairways and no overgrowth. No water hazards in play.
- CHILL AREAS - holes 3 threw 6 all play threw a somewhat secluded wooded area.
- LOCATION - located in the "crown jewel" of the Austin park system, and across the river from downtown.
Cons: Just a few minor things.
- PARKING FEE - Although there is no cost to play, there is a cost to park your vehicle. I have gotten a ticket before, I think it was 20 bucks if I recall correctly.
- TIME WAITING - This course gets heavy use and sometimes has mob golfing going on. In addition, there are plenty of other park users and walkers about. I don't think I've ever played a round here and did not have to stop and wait for other park users.
- UNIQUENESS - The holes themselves in terms variety are a touch below average. There are no water features (creek on pond) along the layout. All but 3 of the holes play between 220 and 320 feet. There are only two sweeping shots (#16 and #18) There are only a couple of blind baskets. There are no par 4's or 5's.
- ELEVATION - Really not much to speak of. I know that lack of elevation is typically for other parts of eastern Texas, but its far less common for a south Austin course. No more than 40' elevation change throughout the entire course and no more than 20' on any one hole.
- DIFFICULTY - Not much of a challenge to advanced/pro level players as they should have no problem finishing well under. Intermediate and Recreational players may be delighted however as it can be a feel good round. It's a great opportunity for those players to finish a couple above par.
Other Thoughts: An all around good course. I recommend this course to those visiting downtown as it is easy to get to and quick to play. If you have more time in the area, check out Circle C or Bible Ridge nearby.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Location = Central Austin, most folks know where ZilkerPark is but locating the #1 teebox and parking may be an issue.
Easy = Not a challenging course for intermediate to advance players.
Tee box and layout = all tee boxes have pads and have very good signage. Course is easy to follow if you pay attention.
The view of downtown Austin TX is great.
Cons: You now have to pay for $5 for parking. The lot parking meter only takes plastic and coins. The parking pass gets you all day parking up until 9:59pm.
Other Thoughts: We played this course in the spring after an overnight rainstorm and the course drained very well. Little mud on our shoes and hardly any standing water. Tee boxes and cage surrounding all were damp but not wet.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A Little Bit of Everything
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Beautiful course. The tee pads are great. Hole plaque on each hole, though #10 was covered by a bush. Enough trees for shade. For a beginner, most holes are short. No water holes, again for beginners. Fast course to play. Good course for beginners to start and get better. Enough of a challenge to be encouraged by a good shot, for a beginner.
Cons: For the more experienced, the course is short. No real obstacles to throw around. Did I mention the course is short? No holes to let loose a drive. The lack of distance can become boring.
Other Thoughts: There are signs to tell where everything is in the park, except the course. There is parking right by #1. The day we played it started raining by #4. We played on and had a blast. We are already planning a weekend to come back and play again. My wife was challenged. I thought the grounds were beautiful.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Great Austin Disc Golf Experience
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course was a pleasant surprise based on the previous reviews that I had read.
I was unsure about the kind of topography or wooded area in this part of Texas. However, I thought this course did an excellent job of using the lay of the land to weave between trees and across fields.
- Really good mix of shots, most of which required control.
- The flow of the course worked well, with the parking in the middle.
- The location of this course was really great. I spent a lot of time in Zilker park with my family, so the location was very convenient. And the backdrop of downtown Austin is great. It made the park feel very accessible.
- Quite a few birdie opportunities to make it exciting.
- Oh, and I thought the stone benches were super awesome. They seemed to be somewhat randomly spaced, but top quality benches.
Cons: I didn't find and major cons with this course, just a few things that could be improved upon.
- Some of the baskets and teepads were placed within close proximity on the front 9.
- A lot of the short hook shots seemed to favor lefties or a sidearm shot. Not necessarily a con, but worth noting.
- The course was moderately busy around 3pm on a weekday. With that said I only had to wait on 2-3 holes during my round.
- This course was not the most challenging, but I knew that going in to it.
Other Thoughts: I somehow managed to get 4 birdies on the back 9 and none on the front 9. Not sure how that happened. The front 9 plays quite a bit shorter.
Around hole 7 I caught up with a couple local players. We talked for a bit and they let me play through the remaining holes with them. Its a good thing when you have a friendly disc golf community. I can see why the park is popular and the folks in Austin made disc golf enjoyable too.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Nice urban course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I played Zilker while on a business trip to Austin. This was my first disc golf experience in Texas. I thought the course was average/typical, but my experience, and the fun factor, were well above average. I walked from my hotel in downtown Austin to the river walk and a system of parks with a nice hike and bike trail. The beautiful river and city views added to my experience actually playing the course. If I could rate the greenway walk plus the course, I'd give it a solid 3.5! Now, on to the course...
- Very well-maintained, especially for an urban park.
- When I say "urban park," this is a legit urban park. It's situated in a large, open, downtown park near the river. A major highway boarders one edge of the park. Skyline views from most of the course. Neat setting, minus the traffic noise on the handful of holes closest to the highway.
- The tee pads are fantastic. Very big. There's also a stone/rock border around the concrete pads, so they look really nice too. Good tee pad signs.
- Brand new baskets.
- There wasn't much variety in terms of elevation and obstacles, but there's a good mix of long and short holes, hyzer, anhyzer, and dead straight.
- No underbrush and no risk of losing a disc.
- Lots of ace run and high fun factor.
- This is a nice, open course with well-placed baskets and guardian trees. I'm used to wooded North Carolina courses, so it's a lot more open than I'm used to, but I think the course is laid out well with the existing trees, while also giving you plenty of opportunities to bomb.
Cons: - I can't overstate this: the mosquitos were out of control when I played. I was swarmed form the minute I got to the park. I played on a cool fall morning and assumed this downtown park wouldn't be a mosquito hot spot like heavily wooded courses I've played. WRONG. Those suckers attacked and tried to carry me away. Stupid move not to wear deet. Don't repeat my mistake.
- I thought this was a nice, fun course, but there aren't any memorable, standout holes. It's pretty repetitive. Decent mix of long/short, hyzer/anhyzer. But no real standouts.
- There were maybe 2-3 slight downhill holes and 1-2 slight uphill holes. Otherwise it's all flat.
- Two holes are laid out right beside the highway. I wouldn't say they're dangerous, but a newbie or an exceptionally bad player could potentially hyzer a drive right into the highway. More than anything, this part of the course is just loud. Most of the course, maybe 12-14 holes, are peaceful and quiet, but these few holes near the road are the opposite of that.
- Navigation is fairly straightforward, this being a compact, park style course, but I had a hard time finding hole 1 and then going from 9 to 10. Arrows pointing to the next hole, when it's not obvious, would be nice.
Other Thoughts: I understand there are better courses in and around Austin, but if you're downtown, this is definitely worth playing. I felt like I got a good taste of Austin.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Zilker Park has returned to its glory
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + the entire course has been renovated to make defined fairways and elevation improvements that are eco-friendly for a very busy course
+ baskets are all brand new
+ distances are accurate
+ heavy duty tee boxes that give any style of thrower the room they need
+ tee signs and marker (including drop zones) are now installed
Cons: - none that can be noted at this time
Other Thoughts: The recent year long improvement and total renovation was on behalf of the Waterloo Disc Golf Club, Austin Parks and Rec Dept., Austin Watershed Protection, Disc Nation, Innova Disc Golf, Houck Design, Amazing Locksmith, Pro Serv, Austin Parks Foundation and great volunteers.
The course now has sustainability for many more years to come as it is a highly active course for all levels of players.
The kiosk will soon be getting a course map and rules/etiquette sign installed.
This course is always a gem to play because it caters to all skill levels. The front 9 holes tend to be shorter and the back 9 are longer with more challenges like mando & OB's.
If you are in Austin, this is a great casual course to experience that "Austin" feel with.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Fun Metro Course
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: +High fun factor here. There are ace runs, some quick greens, just enough obstacles.
+Course was still under construction when I played but what was done was great. Lots of erosion control and other measures being put in to make this course look and play better.
+Can't lose a disc here.
+Lots to do in this park but it didn't feel crammed at all.
+All the tees are nice. They aren't uniform but the unique ones add to the character of this course. Nothing dangerous or too small.
+Easy to navigate.
+Safe and a great place to take new players or kids.
+Lots of fun places nearby to eat, drink, and see. Austin is a cool place.
Cons: -Pay to park
-Others have said that this course gets crowded. I played on a December morning and had no issues.
-Can be Texas hot during the summer.
-Fairly short and lacking a ton of variety
Other Thoughts: +This course is a casual course. It isn't a tourney course. No real hazards.
+An easier option that should take less time than Roy G which isn't too far away. Could be used as a warm up for Roy.
+For me, this course had a high fun factor and the park had a great atmosphere. The disc golf wasn't the greatest but it was better than nothing.
+Thanks to the City of Austin for doing necessary upkeep.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Under necessary construction
Pros: Downtown Austin course near all of the great benefits of beautiful Zilker park. Other pros...right now... not many. You can get a margarita at one of the many amazing restaurants near by... :) Seriously though, this course is normally a lot of fun but it's half closed and under very necessary construction. It is a great course to introduce someone to disc golf. It's also a good course to practice some of your basic shots. It's not hard and the lengths of the holes don't exceed 370'. You'd have to try and lose a disc out here. No tall grass. Trees are pretty tall so unless you are throwing super high shots, which are unnecessary, the majority of the holes force you to shoot under the trees. I like this course as a relaxed change of pace from the crowded Marie Moore or the difficult and long Guerrero or Circle C courses. I more often than not play championship courses but this is the perfect course for a relaxed round with friends who may be new to the sport.
Cons: Front 9 (which are the best holes) are closed for construction. Apparently the city plans on shutting all 18 down in a couple of weeks. Terrible erosion issues. According to parks and rec a decent amount of money ($40k) is going to be spent to get this course in good shape again. Looks like it'll be a heck of a project though. The back 9 have no hole markers. You have to follow groups in front of you to make sure you follow the course flow because it's not exactly obvious. Tee boxes are covered in eroded soil.
Other Thoughts: We'll see how it looks and plays in the fall when construction and erosion management have been completed. I'll put together an updated review then. For now, I hate saying this because this course does hold a special place in my heart, you'd be better off going a bit further south to Marie Moore (when looking for an introductory/ intermediate course).
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Decent design but outdated (North 9)
Pros: -Good course flow
-easy-ish to follow
-decent use of opportunities for elevation changes
-good seating at tees
Cons: -VERY outdated baskets: rusted, some with no inner chains
-tee boxes not well maintained
-lack of variety in shot selection
-NO WORKING WATER FOUNTAINS IN A CITY PARK?
Other Thoughts: *This review is only for the north 9
This is a good course for casual players, or if you want a little tune up. Good place to bring newbies
The drives are all pretty straightforward. No real risk/reward. No blind shots. Nothing really turns right.
All in all worth it for getting in your fix and crossing one off your list, but it isn't super memorable.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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