Round Rock, TX

Old Settlers' Park

3.925(based on 6 reviews)
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15 0
aclay
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 39.6 years 309 played 235 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Old Settlers' Park

Reviewed: Played on:Feb 28, 2024 Played the course:once

Pros:

Excellent level T pads. Most are oversized (5x15, trapezoid), but a few are standard 5x10. All are level and in good shape.
 Tee signs are informative, with par, distance, map and obstacle. The orientation of the map is awkward, and its location near the ground (on a large limestone rock that can double as seating) isn't ideal.
 Legitimate two-shot par 4 holes, six of them.
 Baskets are yellow DGA Mach X. The color helps with visibility, and they catch well. Not my favorite, but they are good.
 Other amenities: restroom, water, map, covered pavilion, plenty of parking, plenty of trash cans.
 I liked hole 11. Others will disagree, but the 285-foot downhill throw through a ton of small trees (especially early) was appealing to me. That tee is in the shadow of the scoreboard from Dell Diamond, home to a minor-league baseball team.
 Best (and possibly worst) hole is No. 9. It's 444 feet with the creek right and trees (and a walking path) left. But the basket is blind. The map shows a sharp dogleg right near the end but doesn't help you know that 200 feet up the fairway there is a 30-foot drop to flat ground beside the creek. The fairway doglegs right then left before paralleling the creek. The basket is about 30-feet left from the fairway. It is probably the best and most frustrating hole on the course. No. 17 is another pro/con hole. It's 571 feet (par 4) blind RHBH anny off the tee into a moderate width tunnel of trees. It looks interesting. The problem is that the fairway is almost completely mud. Given that the rest of the course was dry, this appears to be a permanent condition. Mulch had been placed to help, but it wasn't enough. Then about 300 feet from the tee, you reach stagnant, standing water. About 30-40 feet past that, you had a small bit of runoff from a ditch. The basket is left from the fairway, on a plateau about 20 feet above the fairway.
 Basket placements are well done. Some are near water, others near a slope (and some have both). Still others are on plateaus.

Cons:

Blind shots of the tee, 8 of them. The map helps, but often not enough.
 Long walks. I play to get exercise, but a walk of 1/4 of a mile (not an exaggeration) from 10 to 11 plus several other walks exceeding 500 feet between holes really breaks up the course flow. This impacts navigation in a small way, but at each place where the next tee is not visible from the basket, there are signs to direct you. Unfortunately, that happens seven times.
 Opening 4 holes bring the course down. They are mostly long and mostly open (perhaps lightly wooded). There is elevation, but all of the baskets are blind, so you don't have a good idea on your line until you walk up to where your drive landed and figure out you DIDN'T take the correct line to the basket. No. 4 is a good example of that. It's 565 feet downhill. From the tee, you are looking into a valley but can't see the basket, you assume because of some undulations. You throw straight down the middle. As you get to your disc, you realize the basket was well right of your line and is up on the ridgeline.
 After the opening four holes, the quality of holes and gameplay picks up significantly … until you reach 14. It's just short of 300 feet, flat with soccer fields left and a walking path right.

Other Thoughts:

A few 4x10 pieces of concrete early on look like they might make decent alternate tee pads but are unmarked. I assume these are leftovers from the previous course design.
 Other reviews (and the hole info on this site) only list water in play for two holes (11 and 12). Don't believe it. Starting with hole 5, probably half of the remaining holes have water in play. Perhaps some recent trimming has increased the chances of reaching the water. No. 8 is a devilish example of the water hazard. The hole is 289 feet, and at first glance it appears to be a boring, open hole. However, there are trees long/left of the basket, and when you get closer you realize the creek is short and right. The ground slopes down to the creek. If you have 300-foot power (I don't) and get aggressive, you could easily find the water.
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18 0
Doofenshmirtz
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 11.9 years 122 played 72 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Poison Ivy Plinko Lost Disc Fest

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Sep 10, 2023 Played the course:once

Pros:

This is a moderate length course in a mixed-use public park that mostly plays in the wooded periphery of the park. the woods surrounding the park tend to follow creek beds that were mostly dry when I played and contained a nasty combination of woody, dense brush and poison ivy. There is mostly moderate elevation change although some holes have more significant rises and drops.

The tee boxes are excellent and the signage is good - being large signs on the side of large square cut stones. Navigation is reasonably straightforward.

Cons:

The top con is the narrow, sometimes impossibly so, fairways surrounded by dense brush and poison ivy. One hole in particular comes to mind, I think it was 15 or 16 where I counted more than 10 trees whose trunks were covered in scarring from disc hits. This is because you have to throw through a gauntlet of trees multiple times to reach the basket. It is stupidly random and this characterizes at least 4-5 holes. Hole 10 or 11, the one after a long walk from the previous basket, is the poster child for holes that could be made much better with a chainsaw. As is, it is probably the second worst hole that I have ever played. This narrow, plinko-like design pervades the part of the course that follows hole 4. It only lets up here and there.

The tightness of the holes and the thickness of the surrounding brush makes this course a luck fest. Count yourself lucky if you only hit a tree and drop into the fairway, that will happen a lot, but kicking off into the brush, which will also happen a lot, is a lot worse.

Another con is the sometimes treacherous hills that you need to try to walk. I played this course during a drought and the soil was bare and loose. There were several hills, the worst of which was Hole 10 or 11 (I just can't remember) where I had to hold onto trees (thankfully plentiful for this purpose) in order to get down a hill in the middle of a fairway without falling.

Another of the holes had to be skipped because it is placed next to the only tree near some soccer fields. There was a large group of people set up in the shade within a few feet of the basket.

Some of the walks between holes are very long. While not all that much of a problem, just know that this is going to happen and that someone thought that this crazy narrow, apparently unfinished fairway going through a bazillion trees several a few hundred yards away was better than all the potential ones you got to pass along the way.

Other Thoughts:

There were very few people playing this course on the Saturday afternoon that I played. I assume that this is a testament to its lack of local popularity. The land that was apparently available for disc golf in this park would be the envy of many disc golf communities, and it has the potential to be much better, but someone spared the chainsaw and spoiled the course.
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18 0
WD09
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 19.7 years 672 played 73 reviews
4.00 star(s)

New Settlers, For Sure! 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 31, 2021 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Excellent, level, grippy concrete tees on every hole.

Good, descriptive signage on each hole and many "next tee" signs that help with navigation. Course navigation is easy, despite some long walks (more on that later).

Big stone blocks, a hallmark of Austin-area courses, which double as benches and sign-holders on each hole.

DGA Mach X baskets on every hole. Not my favorite model, but they are of good quality and in good condition.

The fairways on the more wooded holes feature copious amounts of mulch in all the right places to mitigate erosion and difficulty with footing. A lot of work has gone into this course and the mulching is part of what makes that obvious.

No two holes are alike on this course. Each hole has its own character and shot shapes are not often repeated. Also, there are no "tweener" holes. The seven par 4 holes are all definitively "two shot holes" and the only chance for birdie on those holes starts with hitting a good landing zone off the tee.

There are a few holes with one obvious line to hit off the tee, but almost all holes have more than one option from the tee and all of the par 4s have choices from the tee and on the approach.

Elevation is used very well throughout the course. Many of the basket areas have roll-away potential on at least one side, so it is important to hit your spots on approach. There are several holes with sloped green areas and several with mid-fairway slopes that necessitate careful shot placement to avoid skipping or rolling into the rough or the creek.

Cons:

There are several long walks between holes. The walk from hole 10's basket to hole 11's tee is approximately 1,000 feet. There are at least two other walks between holes that are over 500 feet each. I think this course features more distance walking between holes than any other course I have played. As a consequence, the course doesn't flow well, either in the sense of knowing where you are or in the sense of feeling like playing your round is one continuous activity that you did that day.

The rough is rough. There are thorns throughout the rough on holes 6-18. In most places it's a pitch-out if you get more than a few feet off the fairway.

Every time I have played the course there have been lots of walkers, joggers, and dog-walkers. Each time, at least one of these other park patrons has been walking or jogging or walking their dog (or in one case letting their dogs run freely) down one of the fairways I was playing. Be on the lookout for random people down the fairways and not just on the paths.

Other Thoughts:

When you arrive at the designated parking lot, hole 1's tee is to the left side and hole 18's basket is to the right. I suggest parking to the right for a shorter walk at the end of the round.

The first 5 holes play through the more open area and are the only holes that use the portion of the park that contained the old course. Holes 6-18 play along the creek. There are a few holes where the creek is very much in play, but in most places a disc would need to be off course and break through the rough for a distance before reaching the water. Discs are retrievable in most parts of the creek.

Maybe it is because I was familiar with the old course in this park, but the first 4 holes feel like they belong to a different course, hole 5 seems like a transition into an entirely new realm, and holes 6-18 seem like one very good woodsy course, interrupted occasionally by long walks through an exercise area filled with suburbanites talking too loudly on their phones or blaring podcasts without headphones.

Without question, my favorite holes are the par 4s in the woods, holes 9, 12, 15, and 17. On each of them it is a challenge to pick the perfect landing spot, choose the flight path to get there, try to hit your line, then try to repeat the process from that spot to get near the basket. I also have a strange affection for hole 6, a tunnel shot that ends 252' away and up a slope to the right. It feels particularly rewarding to park that hole and I can't do it as often as I think I should, but I enjoy trying.

I guess it was time for a redesign, because there are certainly a lot more new settlers in this area than old ones and there are scores of houses under construction within sight of the park! This course is a welcome addition to the Austin area!
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18 0
Shadrach3
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 5.5 years 319 played 309 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Thrilling, Moderately Technical 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 4, 2020 Played the course:once

Pros:

Pushing the upper limit of 4.0 courses, Old Settlers' is a great, largely wooded course requiring lots of skill.

-Amenities: All the normal. Concrete tees. Mach X baskets. Signage with #, distance, and map. Next tee signs are very helpful.

-Terrain: Despite its situation in a massive suburban park, Old Settlers' has a variety of great disc golf terrains. The first 4 holes and some later ones play in a field with sparse trees and gentle gradation, while most of the other holes play through thick woods along a creek with spots of substantial elevation change.

-Challenge: Though not a championship-level course, Old Settlers' will require skillful throwing. There are many short par-3s, but the lines are no easy stroll and the rough ensures tough scrambling. With seven par-4s, it also has abundant multi-shot requirements. I found much of the course to be similar in difficulty to another Houck course, Hobbs Farm.

-Shot Shaping/Gameplay: Very demanding, but lots of fun. There are fun holes in a typical style (gentle par-4s, straight tunnels, directional plays, etc.) and quite a few very unique-feeling holes. The most special features of Old Settlers are a couple that play with a cool combination of creek, steep hill, fairway trees, and twisting (holes (9), (11), and (15) come to mind). There are open hills requiring good touch, tight and technical and quirky par-3s that are only birdieable by puring the line, and mid-length par-4s requiring multiple shapes on the same hole.

-Pacing: The layout of holes is such to steadily vary the diet in terms of openness, length, and difficulty. Moments of reprieve are followed by a different kind of challenge.

Cons:

You have to get nitpicky on this one.

-Navigation: Multiple long transitions. Due to the good next tee signage it's not too confusing, but be ready to follow the walking path a ways to get to the next hole.

-Multi-Tees: On a course this hard, it would have been kind to include rec tees for newer players in the neighborhood.

-Footing: In between thorn-infested rough and a few very steep slopes, it may be hard to get footing if you don't execute a great drive.

-Nitpicking on Length: A lot of the par-3s are quite short. Though they require very creative shapes, it can feel a touch underwhelming.

Other Thoughts:

I came very close to giving Old Settlers' a 4.5. The quirky holes are demanding, but so much fun to play along. The navigation, lack of shorter tees, and proliferation of short par-3s barely dissuaded me from including it in the ranks of the bEast. I may yet reconsider, but for now this is a solid 4.25, which means it's a Very Excellent course well worth a visit from any avid golfer.

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11 0
cc0049
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 21 years 168 played 56 reviews
4.50 star(s)

What a surprise! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 18, 2020 Played the course:once

Pros:

What a great surprise playing this course today! I had not played here in years. I showed up expecting the old layout and was excited to see that there had been a redesign. This course is great! Great variety of hole types and distances. Forehands, backhands, rollers, thumbers, spikes, etc. MachX baskets are awesome. There are tee signs on every hole. It is all updated in UDisc, so you can navigate easily using the map. I LOVE par 4s and 5s. There were not any par 5s on tee signs, but a couple of those par 4s are definitely par 5s. UDisc said par 61, I think it is a par 63. The course is easy enough to navigate just using signs that are posted on the course. There is a course map near hole 1 along with a practice basket. Plenty of trash cans.

Cons:

Hole 16 was very hairy. I just walked it as it wasn't worth the risk of losing a disc or having to hike into some junk.

There is a LOT of walking on this course with some distance separating a few holes.

A couple of holes in the back (15 and 16 I think) don't get much sun and the tee boxes were very slick after a small amount of rain.

Other Thoughts:

I did not look for restrooms, but in this massive park with tons of amenities, I'm sure they are there.

If you haven't been to Old Settlers in a while, GO! You will love the changes!
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10 5
LODMeatChains
Experience: 25.9 years 75 played 1 reviews
4.50 star(s)

New Old Settlers Course is MEGA DAS 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jan 4, 2020 Played the course:once

Pros:

Course has a good mix of open and tight technical tee shots.Holes are not rediculously long, so there are birdie ops if you can keep your drive in the fairway.There are some big elevation changes, which is pretty unique to courses in the area.The baskets are new and beefy, like triple chained in the top section. Awesome compared to the old course.

Cons:

A creek comes into play on most holes.Course is going to be brutal in the growing season. Most of the holes are tight technical tee shots through the woods.

Other Thoughts:

This is a choice course in the Austin area.
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