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Disc Golf Course Review

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L.W. Clapp Park - East Wichita, KS

Pros:

Tee signs were informative and mostly in good shape
Cement tee pads
Decent Discatcher baskets
Pro shop on side.

Cons:

Lots of wide open shots.
Creek crossing are under construction in several spots.

Other Thoughts:

Disc golf on a former ball golf course.

Shoot, the old Club House for the course is not Duck Disc Golf. However I played the course at sunrise and they were still not open by the time I left so I didn't get to visit the pro shop.

East is the 2nd course on the property, the other is West.

I played Clapp when it was first installed, I played the "Black" layout which was a very very long course. I was glad to here they split it up into 2 courses and not quite as long.

Even then, there are still some long holes.

The good thing, there are plenty of tree's to throw around and there are even some tighter holes to navigate. But most of this course is wide open bombers where the OB lines come into play more than the tree's.

Not much else to say, I gave the course 4 stars because while it is mostly open, I do think the course was interesting and well designed for what was available. It's does have some memorable holes and a few true par 4 holes too.

Would I play here again? Well, I still need to play West. I normally don't enjoy wide open long courses. This one isn't horrible and the design of the course does not make it feel as open as it does make good use of the tree's, creek and OB lines to shape your shots. But if given a choice, I would probably play a shorter course that does not wear me out.
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Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park Atlantic Beach, FL

Pros:

Tee signs for almost every hole were readable
Cement tee pads
fairways were all clear
The mix of long and short tee pads

Cons:

Orb Spiders everywhere.
The rough can be very thick

Other Thoughts:

Ok, I play a lot of courses that don't get much play. I am use to dealing with spider webs.

HOWEVER, this course takes the cake. After 2 holes I picked up a stick and just started waving it in front of me to knock down the webs. I have NEVER see an Orb spider, now I don't care to see one again.

As far as the course. There are 2 sets of tees, both with tee signs and both with cement tee boxes. There are two pin positions on every hole, however I think all of them were in the "B" position when I played.

Oh, this was our first stop on vacation and our first Alligator in the wild in the lake near the course. We saw a few more on the trip, it is Florida.

As far as the course, the fairways are not exactly wide and can be unforgiving. The course is not very long, so a midrange or maybe a controllable fairway driver is all you need. Just stay on the fairway. It's a jungle if your off it.

As far as the Red vs Blue tee pads. Most are just blue being longer, but a couple of the holes do play totally different. The map lists the course as 1 to 18, but the tee signs all say 1 to 9. I played 2 round using all the tee pads.

I got there just after 8am and the staff working the front gate were super nice. They offered to find me a map, but couldn't find one. Told them I had udisc anyways. I had to drive around to find the course as Google wanted me to drive down a one way. But at least we got to see the alligator because of it.

Would I play here again? Yes I would. It's a fun little course if you stay on the fairways. Other than the spiders from Mars, the course was a blast to play. And yes, we found 2 of the different types of Orb Spiders.
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Baldridge Park Montrose, CO

Pros:

Looking at pictures it looks as if there's some potential here.

Cons:

When you drive into a park as an out of stater like me and you literally see no signs pointing you to the course you've got a problem. The U-disc map was confusing as well. I didn't have the time to hang around and figure it out.

Other Thoughts:

Put some good signs up!
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Ford Park Shreveport, LA

Pros:

+ The venue is spacious and peaceful with a peppering of tall shady trees.
+ A practice basket nearby the first tee.
+ The course is very open so you can let loose at full power, but...

Cons:

- ...The course is very open, which means repetitious distance throws.
-/+ Tee areas are just sand, dirt or grass, but the 'concrete layout' has passable concrete tees.
- There is no nav signage, but disc golfers' logic usually prevails. So does Udisc...
-/+ Tee signs are just the link# and distance on a colored post unless you're playing the 'concrete layout,' which has decent signs.

Other Thoughts:

If a course is mostly open such as Ford Park, then I feel as though it needs to compensate for that in some other way. Give us grand elevation challenges. Send us over a pond. Sometimes, the available land doesn't have those. Okay, then give us island greens, mandos and so forth. Ford Park tries a little bit to do these things, but it isn't enough to save it.

For the blue layout that I played, there are three fairway modifiers that I encountered. Links12 and 16 have double mandos to force players to focus on their aim. Link18 has a clearly marked 'fake pond' to throw over. The rest of the course is just a point and shoot fling-fest with two exceptions. Link11 was nice to look at and play because it has an actual ceiling partway down the fairway. It is the closest this course gets to having anything resembling a tunnel. Link21 was my favorite one to play because the basket was defended by a ring of small trees- kind of like bouncers or body guards. It was an actual obstacle to defeat, but it was too little too late. Link2, for what it's worth, has a small valley for elevation. If you can ignore the OB fence and road on the right-hand side, then that one could be fun to play, too.

My least favorite link? Pick one. I'll say link14 gets that distinction here because it has the player throw in the direction of a residential road. Plus, it is one of the most wide-open and featureless fairways on the course. Lots of these links can be described like that, though. Despite the trees that we see in all directions at this place, they don't pose much of a threat because they are few and far between. This is a park-style course if ever I've seen one. Very few areas of rough. Generous space between trees. Links10 and 11 have a fenced-off area to the right that functions as OB. Link13 has the player throw over an OB park road, but that's as careful as a player needs to be here.

All told, it is obvious that this course is meant for the big arms and power throwers. It could also be a harmless place for the newbie to introduce themself to the sport without too much tree interference. I wasn't too crazy about Ford Park, but that's no reason why you shouldn't at least see for yourself. It won't stir anything inside you, but don't let my word be your deciding factor.
If you are a course bagger, then this course is for you by default, but no matter what flavor of disc golfer you are, don't be in a rush to get here.
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The Cardinal DGC Walton Hills, OH

Pros:

Amazing hole design (besides a two holes). Veried length. Lots of elevation. Well carved fairways. Great signage. Beautiful land. Amazing activities nearby.

Cons:

Rough is very very rough. High disc losing potential with a number of steap drop-offs. Two holes from specific tees had no plausible line.

Other Thoughts:

I think as this course is played more, gets broken in, and is adjusted, it could become the best course in Northeast Ohio, and is well worth the hike.
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Flying Armadillo - Big Course San Marcos, TX

Pros:

+ Splendid welcome area and plenty of quality of life features throughout.
+ Guiding signage in all the right places.
+ Tees are all long, flat and wide concrete. Three on nearly every link.
+ Durable metal tee signs are colorful and informative with all the right info.
+ Impressive landscaping and upkeep both on and off the fairways, but...

Cons:

- ...The course has somewhat dull terrain and obstacles.
- After a while, the player begins to get déjà vu with the similar fairways.

Other Thoughts:

Every once in a while, you play at a course that leaves its mark on you. This happens more for some people than for others, but it typically occurs when a course does something so well and/or is so well-presented, that it is burned into your memory. This is not to say that it is a perfect course but rather a course that impressed or influenced you to make you never forget it.
For me, Flying Armadillo is one such course.

A player can't help but appreciate the welcome area. Windchimes. Statues. Yard ornaments. Lounge chairs. Metal decorations. Multiple info boards. A lot of effort has gone into making this place comfortable and welcoming. There is a sense of exciteable calm all around you. An old train car (or was it a bus?) has been repurposed as a shop where you can buy gear, souvenirs and pay for your round. On the other side of the shop there are three practice baskets, a driving net, foosball, tables & chairs for your comfort, a food truck and a pyramid of baskets that someone can aim at from the tippy-top of a three story wooden tower! You can see for miles up there. I took five or six shots from the top. My last throw skipped off the top of the highest basket, which caused a bunch of witnesses to applaud...?! That's a special feature that no other course I've played has come close to replicating.

A good welcome area is nice, but how is the disc golfing?

Pretty good. But let me start with the negatives first. This review is from the perspective of the white tees.
The course can feel repetitive. The topography doesn't vary too much from 1 to 18. You've got your bumps, dips and slopes, but we can all agree that this course is mostly flat. Link9 was my least favorite because it was so straight, flat and wide open. Link11 is the same way but three-quarters the distance. The dusty rocky fairways from start to finish don't add much to the experience, either. Link16 may be the biggest offender. The rocky fairway chews up discs. Watch your step there. All of the trees are pretty short. Link12 is an example of this. The fairway is shaped to be a tunnel... but... you can just throw over everything and be fine. I realize that most of my criticisms are landscape-based. It isn't Flying Armadillo's fault that it is so close to the 98th meridian (look it up).

On the upside, I can say that those same short trees are spindly and grabby. It is impossible to hope to throw through them, which demands better throws from players. On the fairways where the trees cannot be ignored, they add a lot to the challenge. Link8 forces a player to deal with a narrow tunnel before opening up to a wider fairway. Link14 is even more narrow and barely opens up. Link15 might be the most sadistic of them all with a triple mando to start followed by a maze of grabby trees to slink through. It's only 150 feet to the basket, but you'll be holding your breath every second the disc is in flight near those trees. I enjoyed the optics of that fairway the most. A noticeable downhill and shadowy trees make for a nice view. For playing, I need to mention link10. The first seventy percent of the fairway is open and harmless, but then you need to deal with a man-made wooden cage that keeps out ace runs and approach shots. Sure, it's kind of gimmicky and benefits from beforehand knowledge. But what a fun feature to experience. Honorable mention to link17. It balances fairway width and tree rough in a pleasing way. You can try throwing over everything, but keep and eye on it...!

This was my first encounter with cactus on a disc golf course. I live in New Jersey. Cactus doesn't really exist up by me. So that's one big reason why Flying Armadillo sticks out in my mind. It felt like some sort of natural version of 'culture shock.' Combine that with its short sprawly trees and a welcome area that has few rivals to get an experience that is burned into my memory. I strongly recommend Flying Armadillo. Tacticians will like it more than power throwers, but I think it is worth adding to anyone's wishlist. There is a much smaller putting course on the same property that I'm kicking myself for not playing. I guess I'll have to visit Flying Armadillo again in the future. When you visit, stay for a few hours and experience it to the fullest. Throw from the tower. Buy a sticker. Get something from the food truck. This place feels like a small disc golfing resort. Come check it out and see for yourself.
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Warren Township Park Gurnee, IL

Pros:

- The course seems to be getting some love and updates, baskets looked relatively new and the tee signs
- Two sets of well-sized concrete teepads on each hole
- New plastic Tee signs at each tee pad
- Benches and trashcans can be found throughout the course
- The course is well maintained and there isn't much rough
- Between the White and Blue teepads, there is a lot of variety in shot shapes and lengths
- White and Blue pads also of
- Lots of trees that force you to hit your line, but not much rough so scrambling usually isn't too bad
- Part of a larger park with a lot of amenities and walking trails for non-discers

Cons:

- The walking path does get close to holes at times so watch out for pedestrians
- Navigation isn't an issue with UDisc
- A few of the holes seem like they would be mudpits in the spring

Other Thoughts:

I had a great time at this course. I stopped by on a whim when I was in the area and wished I had more time to play both sets of teepads. I really appreciated that the long (blue) pads were placed with care to give more varied and challenging looks.
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Veterans Memorial DGC Hilliard, OH

Pros:

Good tee pads and signage for the Pro and Amateur pads both - Good mixture of shot shapes for both right and left handed players.

Cons:

B pin placements are a bit more challenging than what you would expect from an amateur/park type of course. There are a few water hazards that come into play and with the rocks along the edge of ponds, recovery can be difficult with retrievers.
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Bryant Park Albany, OR

Pros:

Bryant Park's disc golf course is a split personality in a way. It's half open park style and half rough and tumble wooded excellence. There's almost no in between here. The course starts and ends pretty blandly to be honest. The middle is where the good stuff happens. That section alone is worth a visit if you ask me.

The design is wonky as all get out but in a way that makes the best out of the space available if that makes sense. There's some good land out here for throwing frisbees on. It just takes a little bit to get to the sweet spots. The wooded holes are the highlight here. Very well down and challenging yet fair. The open holes aren't wide open, they have some trees and are actually tougher than they'd seem on paper. The slight elevation is used fantastically here, especially on these holes. I liked this one and this was one of the top courses that I'd like to get another crack at. I feel like I could have shot amuch better round having played it once now. At the same time I could see getting wrecked on the second try. That's what I look for in a course though.

Mach VII baskets on all holes, in the longs. There's short baskets on many of the woods holes too. These were Mach II's or III's, not sure which. Either way, all the baskets were in good shape and caught nicely. I love the fact that they had two in play on the woods holes. Zero complaints in this department.

Concrete tees on each hole. Standard looking ones. Nothing flashy but effective. One tee pad per hole.

Great mix of shots to be had out here. The open holes are whatever. The wooded holes are balls to the wall. Some of the best variety and challenge out of the whole trip. These were some awesome, but frustrating, holes. You better be able to scramble or you will suffer. Hit your line and you're good. Better be good at scrambling though.

Cons:

The tee signs are not great. The ones in the open are faded beyond legibility. The ones in the woods are ok but don't show the second basket location and just don't tell you what you need to know. They're just not good at all.

The flow is pretty awful. You'll need a map to figure this one out. Even with a map it was a pain in my ass to figure out. Add in the fact that they had two baskets (which I liked) on the woods holes. It appears that they tore out the tees for hole 1, judging by the busted up concrete slabs laying in the brush by what should be hole 1. Whatever, tee off in the grass. Long walk to hole 2. Really terrible flow for the first few holes in general.

There's a couple spots where you tee off and have to walk down the park road where you feel like, and probably should, be hit by a car. Weird transitions here to be sure.

The last three holes, especially the last two, feel like filler. Just as anticlimactic as you can get. Especially with what you just got done playing. It makes sense, I get it. You need to get back to where you parked. Terrible finishing holes though.

Other Thoughts:

This course started off pretty awful. It gets good though. The middle section is really good. Bring a map and enjoy the course. It takes a bit but trust me there's some worthwhile things here. If this course had a little more upkeep it'd be one of the better courses in most major cities. As is it's well worth a visit. Weird one to review. Not a must play but I'd hit it again.
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Champoeg State Park St. Paul, OR

Pros:

Champoeg State Park is home to what's now a 23 hole course. It currently shows it as an 18 hole course, which it can also be played as just as easily. The 23 hole layout that we played is all the original holes along with holes 1A and holes 14A, B, C and D to make it a 23 hole loop. Any of the letter holes can be easily skipped too if you want the original layout. Either way you decide to go the course is a completely flat, light to moderately wooded affair.

The navigation out here is very easy to figure out. There's not much in the way of walks between holes and the entire course plays in a circle around the parking lot in the center. Even the letter holes are easy to find and don't lead you out of your way whatsoever. Honestly it's just a well designed layout as far as flow.

The baskets are all Mach X's. All are in great shape and catch nicely. There's a single basket but up to four pin positions per hole from what I recall. Great variety which really amps up the replay value here.

Nice sized concrete tees on each hole. These are all well done, poured level and have good grip to them. There's short tees on 8 of the holes too, all of which are longer ones. Love to see this when possible. All five letter holes have single tees.

Great mix of shot shapes off the tee in regards to the limited amount of trees in play here. Most holes have multiple routes to take but there's some mandos in play that are part safety, part added challenge. Sometimes a little of each. These really keep the course safer, and surrounding areas, plus add some challenge to what would otherwise be pretty simple holes. Honestly the design is really good here for the land available.

The tee signs are fantastic. These are mounted on large wood posts and the signs themselves are great. Pretty simplistic hole map as for as the trees in play but it shows the basic hole shape, all pin positions, OB and mandos plus a next tee arrow. In addition to that they have the hole #, Par and distances to each pin placement and the hole nickname. There's eye bolts below each position too to indicate which one is in play. Everything you could possibly want in a tee sign. Plus they just look sharp.

The park was very clean and well maintained looking. There's numerous benches and picnic tables spread around the course as well as some restrooms by hole 14's basket and 15's tee.

Cons:

There's a park road and some walking trails that can, and most likely will, come into play at various points. It's a very busy park so be aware of walkers and cyclists during your round.

As great as the signs were. There were no holes that utilized the eye bolts to show which pin position was in play. Extra annoying when you have the set up to do this and then don't.

Very similar terrain and tree cover on the majority of the course. Lots of holes, not a lot of variety. The design is good the problem is that there's only so much that could really be done here.

A few somewhat longer walks between holes. This seemed to be done mostly to space the fairways apart a bit, which makes sense. That said, it doesn't elevate any of the holes either. Still the same hole just further away.

The course gets lots of play, for good reason. If you're looking for a quick round it'd be best to avoid this one at peak times. Lots of larger groups of chuckers out there.

Other Thoughts:

This is a fun course, just an unremarkable or even memorable one. Well worth a visit if you don't mind paying for a day pass. There's just nothing here that stands out. Fun park style course that's in a State park. Worth a visit I suppose, but you won't be sad if you miss this one either. Solid 3 at best.
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