8 Helpful / 0 Not
fun "homeboy" course
Pros: -great wooded terrain, lots of tight holes
-design utilizes terrain features well: elevation, small pond, etc.
-very nice park in a nice suburb, very well kept
-3 sets of tees, nice rubber pads
-tees signs show distances from each pad (but no other info)
-a couple cool little bridges
-bathrooms on site, water fountain, pavilion and soccer fields, etc.
Cons: -mostly short, not a lot of variety in distance
-very crowded and a mostly casual crowd, typical homeboy course
-rubber tees are short and often uneven
-3 different tees aren't very different, most are just a little further back
-no trash cans
-a few areas where navigation can be a problem
-you have to walk backwards across hole 16's fairway to get to the teebox, easy to for someone to get hit and bad flow
-hole 14 looks like you're throwing at 17's basket, 14 is tucked in the trees to the left
Other Thoughts: Bear Branch is a fun little course in a nice wooded park. The holes are mostly on the short side but make great use of the terrain that is available. The fairways range from mostly open to very tight but most are in between with well protected pins. There are several holes with elevation changes and holes 3 and 4 play over a small pond.
There are 3 rubber tee pads on each hole. The pads are grippy (and probably great in wet weather) but some are uneven. Most are pretty short too but so are the holes so it works out. The different sets of tees do not change the way most holes play. Most either add a little more distance or play from a different but not much more difficult angle. Tee signs are very aged and show only the distance from each tee. No hole map, next tee, etc.
The park is easy to find, plenty of parking, lots of amenities. There are soccer fields, a pavilion, water fountain and a building with bathrooms on site. A couple small bridges add a bit of charm to this simple course.
There are a few places where course flow can be an issue and fairways are very close to each other. Hole 16 is particularly bad: from pin 15 you have to walk the length of the fairway for hole 16 to get to the tee. Poor flow and a definite safety hazard. Holes 2, 3, 4, 11 & 12 are all very close and there are several instances where a shot on one hole could wind up near the basket or tee pad of another.
The experienced golfer will not find much challenge here. The course is fun to play if you like short technical holes (which I do!) but those who like to bomb their distance drivers will probably be disappointed. That said, a few of the holes are very tightly wooded so it is not a complete walk in the park. Overall, a great course for beginners or casual rounds.
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8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Into the Woods
Pros: Very playable wooded course. The course has a real tight configuration so progression to the next hole is easy for the most part. Although there were a couple holes I had to hunt around for.
In addition to the woodland holes, there are a couple that play around a water hazard or into clearings, adding to the variety of the course.
Decent visibility on the wooded holes.
Most of the alternate tees are still marked.
Cons: The mid-holes does get a little repetitious with little variation.
Twice I had difficulty finding the tee; can't remember which holes, though. #9 and #17 maybe.
Other Thoughts: The directions were essential in finding the course head, which is towards the back of the park between a couple of soccer fields.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Perfect Practice Course
Pros: The course is located near soccer fields in a nice community that keeps its parks clean. Before a round it is nice to air out some warm up drives in the fields as long as there is no soccer in session.
Fairly easy to navigate, especially after playing it only once.
The holes are balanced well with left, right, and straight holes, allowing beginners opportunity to learn a variety of shots. BB is a great course for learning controlled, finesse drives in wooded areas w/o being too punishing of bad throws.
With three sets of tee pads, the course caters to shorter arms as well as more technical players, providing a challenge from the long tees.
Water can come into play on 3-5 of the holes, adding some difficulty to the course.
There are small amounts of elevation on a few of the holes.
New tee pads were recently installed by local Boy Scouts and the baskets are in good condition.
Cons: The course is always crowded on the weekends and traffic tends to back up on holes. Soccer players can become nuisances on #1 and #18, especially when a tournament is being held. There are occasionally Cross Country meets held on weekends that utilize much of the course.
Bear Branch is notorious for bringing in players who lack respect for the sport, other players, and people's property. Be cautious of having a disc stolen if it's left unattended near another hole for too long.
Only one hole is over 400' making it hard to air out any big drives
Some of the tees come into play with other holes fairways. Bad shots can easily become a danger to others. Be aware at all times and don't be afraid to yell "fore!"
Other Thoughts: Spring Valley is only 10 minutes down the road and is the best course in the area for players who are serious about improving their game.
Bear Branch is a great course for beginners or a casual round with friends.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Short, wooded course.
Pros: A lot of variety. Pretty easy to follow. Multiple tee positions.
Cons: A little short. Some of the tee boxes (rubber mats) could use repair.
Other Thoughts: A lot of trees and variety of shots. Never seems to play the same twice. Can be very challenging if you don't make accurate throws.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
A Woodlands Tradition
Pros: This course is located just north of Houston in the Woodlands. A very nice wooded area of town that is always maintained impeccably. This course provides a wide variation of holes with elevation changes, tunnel shots, and a few over water shots as well. The rubber T-Boxes work well in most instances and are far better then other T-Boxes (gravel holes) on other Houston Area courses. Finally it offers 3 separate T positions for variety and different difficulty levels.
Cons: This is a very popular course and can be at times over crowded. If you plan on going, go during the week during the day to avoid the crowds. Some of the rubber T-pads are very uneven and care needs to be taken as to not trip. A few of the cages have been stolen at times and this leads to holes not always being there. This isn't always the case, but it can be a problem at times. Finally, I have heard from more then one person that this course was designed by a lefty and it shows. Most holes favor a sidearm or a thumber release (this is if you are a RHBH like myself).
Other Thoughts: This was the very first disc golf course I ever played. It holds a very special place in my heart and I would consider it my home course. It is a well maintained beautiful piece of property and is one of the most varied courses in the Houston area. I would recommend it to anyone in the Houston area and for that matter anyone visiting. It will definitely make for a fun day of DG.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Short and Tight
Bear Branch has a medley is tight fairways to test even the experienced disc golfer. Even a hole that is 145 feet long, although easy to par, manages to still make to work to get a birdie. Water is a short feature in holes 3 and 4, and can still be a factor in 2, 11, & 12 if you have an errant enough shot. Elevation shots also play into six different holes, which is a change from most courses in the greater Houston area.
There is ample parking (except on Saturday mornings) and quality facilities. There is even a drinking fountain on those steamy summer days when even sewage water is quenching.
There are three tee boxes for various skill levels, although the pro box on 17 makes the hole much easier, and the red tees can sometimes make the hole much too easy (i.e. hole 10). New players will enjoy this course much more than an experienced player wanting to play a challenging course like the LINKS Largo
, Oak Meadow Park
, or Tom Bass
. Its simply more "new player" friendly, yet still holds some challenge for all players.
BEST HOLE/S: #10
Cons: A covered patio area for the park has replaced the practice hole area, and the practice hole basket was moved to hole 12 where the previous basket was stolen. I like it because the DisCatcher basket proves much easier to see than the aging Mach III's at over 400 feet away.
The tee boxes are rubber pads that are too short and are in poor shape. Save your ankles and throw from the dirt. The tee markers also need to be updated, even the still existent ones show yardage from all boxes.
An experienced golfer may complain that this course is too short. Hole 12 is really only hole a player can open up on, but if you like technical - this shouldn't be an issue.
WORST HOLE/S: #17
Other Thoughts: I'm happy to give the 10th course review on the only course in the Houston area touch by the master of course design, John Houck (even if it was only a consultation). I have found that Bear Branch is a personally evolving course for me. The more I play it - the shorter and easier it feels to me. Besides holes 6, 12, & 17, this is a course that should give you a good birdie opportunity every time.
In a tight space that contends with the soccer crowd on weekends - Bear Branch delivers within its confines. It plays multiple elevation, water, and tight fairway shots. It's also good to note that I even saw a few golfers pruning and maintaining the fairways (in a good upkeep way), so you feel the course will be around for a while.
In the end - it's certainly not the challenging amazing course I first perceived when I started the game, but it still challenges me in shot and disc selection. This is a solid 18 holes for any golfer in the Houston area.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Course flows very well with the exception of #4 to #5 but there's a sign directing you where to go.
Baskets were in good condition.
18 holes are almost perfectly balanced between hyzer, anhyzer and straight shots.
Three sets of tees on almost every hole. The short tees are really short making this a great course for beginners. Even the water holes are easily clearable for most newbies. The convention seemed to be that the tee markers were located at the "intermediate" rubber tee pads with a rubber "long" tee pad behind. The "short" tees are marked with a small flat round stone or metal disc, they do not have a defined tee pad. All the tees are easy to find if you have the map.
There shouldn't be much pedestrian interference unless you're playing the same time as a soccer match. Ample parking with the first and last hole near the parking lot. New restroom facilities were under construction when I played the course (July '08).
Several tee signs are missing (at least #9.)
Be aware when teeing off on #14 that you know where the basket is. The #17 basket is more visible than #14's basket from the #14 tee pads.
Many of the rubber tee pads need to be replaced. A couple of them border on mildly dangerous if you throw with a run-up.
There needs to be a mando posted on the long #17 tee forcing you to throw down the tunnel of trees. The long tee is far enough back that you can RHBH anhyzer out around the trees for a muuuch easier approach to the basket. The short and intermediate tee pads are down in the tunnel so they must throw down the tunnel.
Some of the intermediate tee pads only differed from the longs by 10' or so and seemed rather pointless when you could just play from the long tee.
Having now played over 50 courses I'll say I wasn't overly impressed with Bear Branch my first time out. Nothing significantly wrong with it, it just didn't impress me. Lots of trees and not much elevation change; probably 20' max elevation change.
I did like the long tee on #3, it's a mostly blind throw over very tall trees, then past a pond to reach the basket 238' away.
#17 is a fairly narrow tunnel of trees shot that can easily turn a good round into a bad one.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course has plenty of challenging brush to keep it interesting. It's a good, short course to work on accuracy. Most of us played from the "long" tees, but some of us tested the shorter ones too. The grounds has the potential to get soggy, but not nearly as wet as most of the other area courses. Good play for beginners. Not too crowded - even for Fourth of July weekend.
Cons: Some of the rubber tee pads have seen better days. Parking could be limited on busier times considering there are other attractive amenities nearby. Water hole is lack lustre - not that challenging. Somewhat off the beaten path if you are traveling from most places in the area, but that's not necessarily bad.
Other Thoughts: I would play this course again.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Not Too Shabby
Pros: Short holes, easy to shoot pin height in one throw on most holes. Very fast course to play.
Cons: mutliple trees and narrow fairways make for tough play. A bad throw can leave you wet on holes 3 and 4.
Other Thoughts: good luck on hole #17!
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This discgolf course is located in a large sports park away from the soccer fields. It is well manicured and includes some elevation shots, water hazards, and plenty of trees. The use of the pond comes in to play around 3 holes and often times you will find locals in it fishing out their not so super shots. The course provides a great variety of shots for both the left and right throwers. DGers must be able to throw a lot of tight accurate shots through tight wooded fairways. The course offers a great deal of birdie opportunities, making it very possible to shoot under on a round. The scenery is beautiful and the course design for the most part is well done. It does a great job using the land provided and the Mach 3 baskets, rubber tee pads, and signs are all in great shape and allow for easy navigation.
Cons: The fact that there are multiple tee pads per hole can at times make it difficult and confusing to find. Primarily I just stuck to the tee pads with the signs, not the pro and alt. tee pads that had no markings or directionality.
Other Thoughts: I have had the privelage to play this course a few times and each time I enjoyed it more. This is a great course to work on skill and accuracy, allowing me to feel successful each time with two under par rounds. I played both times in the summer months and it was dry and humid. Great course to play fairly quick, allowing time for multiple courses or rounds to be played.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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