Portland, OR

Pier Park

4.285(based on 108 reviews)
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1 7
PDXDisc
Experience: 14.7 years 21 played 15 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Quick Update 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 10, 2013 Played the course:5+ times

Other Thoughts:

Just wanted to submit a bit of an update...
The winter layout has changed holes 3, 4, 5, and 18.
There is really good signage though to show the new layout.

Other than that what more to add? For a free course in a city park this is one of the absolute best courses anywhere.
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8 0
Ocelotl
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12.5 years 40 played 18 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Trees, trees, trees (and a little mud) 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Feb 8, 2013 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Played 2 times a day early morning rounds on a recent 3 day trip to portland.

-Lots of parking and easy to navigate to, located on northern end of town, went straight to the course from the airport and took me about 20 min to get there.

-Easy course navigation, very well made signs with all the info you could want. Played with no-one to show me the way and had no issues.

-Scenery, this park is pretty spectacular, a few of the locals I played a round with just shrugged but playing in and amongst the giant trees is pretty special.

-Shot/Hole Variety, there was pretty much a little of everything and I dont think the course favors either hand or fh/bh. Seemingly 3-5 lines on every hole depending on how much you want to flirt with trees. A few holes were definetly "Oh F*#k" moments for me and my noodly arm, #16 took me until the 5th round before I finally got a par.

-#8/#18- playing down off hills is always one of my favorite shots, and these holes dont disappoint allowing for long gliding shots that are always fun to throw.

-Very well kept "rough", the trees throughout the course create plenty of obstacles if you get off line, but there was not too many places where you had to worry about losing a disk. There are a few blind holes on the course, its nice to be able to play a solo round and not worry about searching for discs forever.

Cons:

-Mud, Im sure this is related to the time of year and the amount of rain but there were a few holes (2, 3, 4) that played in slightly more open fields that were basically big mud bowls, come prepared with extra towels and shoes!

-I never did find any water at the course but there are a few liquor stores only blocks away (more nit-picky than a real con).

Other Thoughts:

Overall a great experience. A little muddy and damp but nothing to inhibit you from having a truly fun round.
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1 5
holyschmidt
Experience: 11.9 years 14 played 3 reviews
4.50 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jan 12, 2013 Played the course:once

Pros:

Tough, but not so much that newer players couldn't have a good time. The course is pretty clean, has good teepads, varied uphill/downhill and diverse shot requirements.

Cons:

Crowded.
Bathroom?

Other Thoughts:

Only played it once, but it's already one of my favorites!
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1 2
reed2020
Experience: 11.7 years 39 played 11 reviews
4.00 star(s)

I forgot I was in the city.... 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 27, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

All types of shots, long, short, technical, up hill, down hill. The course plays in beautiful 200'+ trees. Friendly locals if you get lost or confused. Good tee boxes and signs.

Cons:

Some pedestrians that are out hiking. litter at most holes. Can get busy and backed up. Honestly though, these are VERY minor.

Other Thoughts:

This is one of my favorite courses I have played. I loved the layout and use of the landscape. Wish I lived closer so I could play it regularly. I will be coming back to this course again for sure.
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7 0
notapro
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 20.6 years 568 played 281 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Intermediate 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 14, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

- Course is set in a fairly large city park that has a few other activities present. There are some tennis courts, and a walking path, but there shouldn't be too much interference from non-disc golfers. Pedestrians at worst, most likely.
- Lots and lots of fir tree trunks here to define the hole shapes. The vast majority of the course plays in the wooded areas, basically starting with #3 and continuing through #16. There are some pretty generous fairways, like a slight anny on #3 and #4, a downhill shot with trees by the basket on #6, and a fairly straight shot on #12. Other holes are a lot tighter, like the hallway shot on #15, a sharp hyzer on #7, a long RHFH flick shot on #9, and a very low ceiling anny shot on #16. Much more punishment off the fairways on those holes due to a ton of trees.
- A few other holes have less trees to worry about; more rough/brush to contend with. #1 is the most open, a long downhill shot with a low ceiling. #2 is a sharp RHFH hyzer downhill around thick woods, with a blind pin position. #17 is a lot rougher, with low ceilings and nasty schule in the fairway. Can try a straight shot or a wide hyzer. #18 finishes it off with a fairly open downhill hyzer, with more trees near the pin.
- Good mix of shots needed to navigate the course, with some sharp hyzers and anhyzers or flicks, as well as some more gradual ones. A good collection of holes that require a straight shot as well. Should be pretty fair to righties or lefties; having a good anny, flick, or offhand throw goes a long way.
- Very good elevation changes present here. It starts off with three downhill shots, with #2's elevated teepad the most pronounced. #5 is a pretty steep uphill shot through some trees, while #6 shoots all the way back down the hill. #16-#17 all play fairly downhill as well, and #18 is a big downhill bomber shot. #15 is a long, low valley shot as well.
- Lots of length to this course, with an average hole length of 378'. Many, many holes to rip long drives through the trees. Some of the holes take a bomb to reach, on top of navigating through all the tree trunks. A handful of holes are under 300', but are still no picnic.
- Good signs, pads, and baskets throughout. Navigation can be a little tricky without a map, like #1 to #2, or #14 to #15, but it shouldn't be a big issue.

Cons:

- The landscape of the woods here doesn't really vary that much; once you get amongst the tree trunks you are in there for a while. Can feel a little repetitive as some of the holes look very similar. The lines are different, but the feel is the same.
- Long walk back to the parking after hole #18, with hills no less.

Other Thoughts:

- Solid course, start to finish. Lots and lots of distance, with lots and lots of trees. Also some more open holes on the front and back to mix things up. Good elevation changes here and there as well. Definitely suited for experienced players who can easily clear 300' of distance, any shorter and you'll be scrambling for par on most holes. Still, there aren't too many hazardous areas to frustrate beginners.
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1 4
Ranger Rick
Experience: 11.5 years 53 played 15 reviews
4.00 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 1, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

Great signage
Concrete tee pads
Winter/summer layout
Every hole was different and required a different shot
Tree coverage was nice and made for added challenge

Cons:

Busy, even very early, just after dawn
Some directions were confusing for 1st timers

Other Thoughts:

Great overall experience!
My favorite hole was 18 with the huge drop off
Definitely one of the best I've played!
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2 2
hukdiscs
Experience: 23.7 years 18 played 4 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Love this course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 14, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

It is fun, challenging, and has great flow
Concrete Tee Pads and Nice Signs
Very hard to lose a disc
Clean, well maintained, and quiet
Good Baskets
Markers to keep you on the right track
Good hole variation and elevation change

Cons:

Multi use park with walking paths
18th doesn't end near parking

Other Thoughts:

Great atmosphere, felt like I was playing in a tranquil disc golf oasis in the middle of a very industrial area. The trees are very impressive too. I would give it a 5/5 but don't feel I've played enough courses nationwide to compare to yet.
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3 6
Lurp Nuts
Experience: 14.7 years 36 played 2 reviews
4.50 star(s)

New favorite? Probably. 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 6, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

Absolutely gorgeous. It may be 90 degrees out, but you'll be playing in the shade all day here. Great mix of left, right, short, long, roller, you name it. The ground is great for disc, I never felt worried about losing one. I may have been lucky, but I ran into a couple laid back, very cool locals who were happy to show me around.

Cons:

Can be crowded.

Other Thoughts:

I normally don't like playing through a lot of trees, but the branches here start at like 100 feet. Challenging, especially #15, but not distracting.
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3 5
SKizzUMATIK
Experience: 11.9 years 36 played 4 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Great Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Sep 19, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

Fairly easy layout to follow, well tended, decent variety, beautiful landscape, great course

Cons:

Can't really think of any... Except maybe the baseball/soccer field adjacent to holes 1 and 2 could probably cause some issues during those seasons

Other Thoughts:

This course is a great example of what other courses should strive to be. Even a good chunk of the tee pads have the hole number in metal sunken into the concrete. Classy stuff.

PS: Thanks for hating on this review folks.
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5 5
MCW5379
Experience: 12.7 years 61 played 23 reviews
4.00 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 29, 2012 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Loved the tee signage! All courses can learn from these signs. Great use of the natural ups, downs, and side hill-lies of the land. Which forces you to have many a shot in your bag. Like courses with multiple basket placements.

Cons:

Would have liked the baskets to have some type of mark to help guide you to the next tee pad. Most were easily spotted and/or close enough to find. But a couple were more difficult. But thats really a minor flaw, for first timers.

Other Thoughts:

17 & 18 seem to be the same hole. Kinda sad after playing thru with all the different hole layouts to end with 2 holes that are the same. Possible idea- make 18 hole 17 and run 18 up the access road to the top of the hill near tee 3. A totally different type of hole.This also would also make the long walk back to the parking lot shorter.
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2 6
huckit541
Experience: 24.8 years 61 played 7 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Park Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 10, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

Free
Close Parking
Layout is challenging
Multiple pin placement with good baskets
Concrete tees
Well maintained

Cons:

Hard to find some tees.
#18 finishes no where near where you parked.
Busy Busy Busy Busy

Other Thoughts:

Get here early or stand in line the entire round. A great course overall but has a few irritations.
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3 4
nadaladadotnet
Experience: 3 played 2 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Best inside of PDX proper 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 22, 2012 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

- Well maintained
- Always entertaining
- Always a challenge
- Hot Dog / Sausage dude in summer
- Regular pro visitors (selling discs)
- Amazing trees

Cons:

- Crowds
- More crowds

Other Thoughts:

I've played this course more times than I can remember or count and the best compliment I can bestow upon the course is that every time I play it, it provides a challenge.

The variety of the holes (distance, orientation, throw options) never cease to bore me. When I decide that I am getting bored is when I throw something I know I shouldn't. And when that happens, the course can throw you for a double bogey. Fast. I love the 6th hole so much. I always look forward to throwing there and it always gives me a thrill.

My friends and I have started to show up early on weekends and have found that doing so weeds out the larger groups and the crowds in general. If you can avoid the crowd, you can move through the course relatively quick and get a very satisfying game out of it. I wish we had more courses like this inside of PDX but since this is it, I take advantage of it.

Love the new tee markers too. Well done and well maintained too.
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12 4
Matt B.
Experience: 31.5 years 73 played 14 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Portland's Peerless Pier Park 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:May 21, 2011 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

-Good teepads
-Multiple pin locations
-Good signage
-Location, location, location
-Good mix of left, right, up, down
-Good mix of long and short
-Beautiful park setting with cathedral tree vibe
-Well-maintained
-Sausage Guy!

Cons:

-Often overcrowded
-Street parking
-Nasty bathroom

Other Thoughts:

Pier Park is peerless in Portland in that this is the only course within the actual City limits. It's also peerless in Oregon for a City Park setting featuring the kind of majestic trees you'll normally only find on Pacific northwest courses in the woods. This course is manicured like a City Park but gives you a classic Pacific northwest forest feel under the trees. In the space of several holes you can go from feeling like you are alone in the woods to facing a stark reminder that you are smack dab in an urban/industrial area with a busy road, train tracks, and dense housing in the surrounding area.

The course is very well designed to take advantage of the ups, downs and side slopes of the hills in the park as well as the many trees. There are lots of different lines and shots on this course from short downhill left-to-right to blind uphill right-to-left to straight down a narrow fairway lined with soaring conifers. You need distance as well as accuracy to score really well at Pier, but even a just okay player can have a lot of fun and shoot in the vicinity of par. It is a fun, fair course that rewards accuracy as you negotiate the trees, but doesn't punish you with dense underbrush for errant shots.

Pier Park is basically everything you want in a City Park disc golf course, and that means it's what everyone else wants too, which is really the only drawback to Pier. It can be very hard to get through a round at Pier without having to play through or wait for large groups of casual golfers. I try to hit it up early in the morning when I am in Portland and have left mid-round more than once when I have had enough golf to be satisfied and lost my patience to wait for or desire to hurry through slow groups. That's a testament to the fun and challenge of the course overall, but does make for a Con in the overall experience of playing there. But it doesn't stop me and it shouldn't stop you. When in Portland, you should play Pier Park!
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12 1
b-mart
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 13.6 years 66 played 61 reviews
4.00 star(s)

An absolute gem in the Northwest 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 20, 2011 Played the course:once

Pros:

Where to start? The beauty of the park would earn this course at least a one disc rating even if it had one pin and two teepads. Luckily for us, there are 18 teepads, most (if not all) of which have multiple pin placements. The final 16 holes play through an old growth pine forest, and 1 and 2 play across a field with guarded pin placements from the tee. The variation in holes is perfect. There are uphill and downhill shots, right and left turning ones, and there's a good variation in distance as well. It's worth the drive to Pier Park for hole 15 alone. There is minimal undergrowth, so losing a disc should be impossible... Although it clearly isn't, because I found one and they don't have a lockbox there for nothing. Also, it's free to play, but there's a donation box there for park upkeep that I highly recommend adding to.

Cons:

Although this isn't a con for me, I at least have to point out that there are no holes that let you air it out. Holes 1 and 15 seem to be the longest, but they're both heavily guarded by trees (especially 15).

The locals that I ran into were rather standoffish, but a few of them were friendly enough that I can't really judge the park based on a select few. I did have to give up on my second round after being stuck behind two groups for a roughly 5 minute wait on each tee (with another group waiting behind me). We also were thrown on on hole 3 after being told that we could play through.

Although there is ample signage on the teepad (which is extremely helpful), the navigation can get confusing if you're here for the first time. A few wood numbers have been nailed to the trees, but I didn't notice those until about hole 15, so they aren't that noticeable.

Other Thoughts:

Definitely worth a stop if you're in the Portland area. I hear that it gets very crowded in the summer and muddy in the winter, but it's just too gorgeous to pass up. I would liken it to a longer NAD Park or Lake Stevens. The locals are lucky to have this course and should work hard to keep it as nice as it was when I was there. If you aren't going to give a donation, the least you can do is pick up some of the (minimal amount of) trash that you find in your round.

Also: If you get distracted easily by sudden noises that ruin your shot, you might have trouble here. The trainyards nearby sounded roughly like a WWII bombing at times. It didn't seem to bother anyone's game, but I could see it being an issue if you were totally focused on that birdie putt and expected total silence.

Speaking of putts: The practice basket placement is one of the best that I've seen. You get your standard flat shots from as far out as you need, but can also throw uphill or even from down on the baseball diamond to work on many different types of shot placement.

All in all, this course is a winner and was the best that I played in the Portland area. I recommend it as your first stop, especially if you don't have time to drive out to Horning's Hideout.
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9 1
TheHoaginator1020
Experience: 14.6 years 53 played 6 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Perfectly Wooded 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 17, 2011 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Huge trees protect this haven of a course from all the harsh wind that punishes Oregon daily, while still leaving it open enough to make your disc easy to find. The first time I played I remember remarking on how gorgeous it is just to walk through, and that is probably why it gets so much traffic.
Beautiful and simple signs give you a good idea where the baskets are, so those blind holes aren't too difficult to figure out. Lots of good variences between left and right shots within the set up, as well as some major elevation changes.
Also the devision between difficulty within the 18 hole course is very even, making all holes easily pared with a 3. The lay out is very stretched out so you don't come in contact with too many people on other holes, though a couple teeboxes coincide with each other so you still get to meet up with lots of the other players.
Sometimes if your lucky, there's a concession stand that sets up with discs for those of you starting out, and snacks if you forgot to stop by the store. I've only seen them out there once, but it was a nice surprise seeing as how I had forgotten the drinks.
Lots of placing to sit down and take a break and enjoy the scenery.
Safe location within the city limits, near a residential area, and fairly close to the free way.
Beginner friendly, as well as a challenge for more seasoned players.

Cons:

Uhhh..... lets see.... there was a lot of trash out there, although it wasn't after I passed. I make it habit to contribute to the courses as much as I can so everytime I come by something unnatural to the area, I add it to the bag.
Lots of traffic, but really for a leasurely day of disc golf, when has that ever been a problem? Everyone was very courteous as well, I didn't have to request to play through once.
Yep.... don't have much else to say.

Other Thoughts:

Not yet have I ventured to all the courses that Portland has to offer, but so far this is at the top of the list. It's well maintained, offers all the essentials for a long day outside, and it gives you a good idea of what disc golf is all about. This is definitely a course that needs to be on your list if your passing through or you live in the surrounding area. You won't be disappointed.
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4 0
templink
Experience: 20.6 years 124 played 27 reviews
4.00 star(s)

beautiful course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 18, 2011 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Beautiful course set in a forest of trees that tower over you. On my 3-day trip to Oregon I played Pier Park by chance (because it was closest to downtown), and returned to play it two more times before leaving I liked it so much. Good mix of left turn, right turn, and tunnel shots. Almost no underbrush, so losing a disc is next to impossible. Good signs show pin positions with diagrams. Some hills to shoot up and down. Disc lost & found / recycling bin at hole #1. Sausage Guy sells sausages and Innova discs on weekends at park entrance. Permanent bathroom (not a port-a-potty).

Cons:

Not much to complain about here. No water in play. Dog walkers. cyclists. There could be more open bomb shots.

Other Thoughts:

All baskets were in the "B" (far) position when I played this course. Had they been in the "A" positions, it would look more like an Ace Race course, or have a lot of birdies.
Overall, this course was super fun. I loved being in the trees and playing this technical course. It's a must play for anyone in Portland. I liked it way more than McIver Riverbend.
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5 2
ninja-don
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 15.5 years 29 played 25 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Fun Public Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 14, 2011 Played the course:once

Pros:

-Free
-Trash cans almost every other hole or more.
-beautiful setting in a park that makes you feel like you aren't anywhere near the city.
-Good mix of required shots. I think I used every shot I know for this course.
-Good baskets for catching the disc (not so much for visibility).
-Concrete tee pads, pretty good lenght as well (get a little slippery and muddy when it's wet).
-Some good elevation changes.

Cons:

The map from this site sucks. The course signs are not too helpfull for placement either as they don't have actually dictation of object that are on the course (like if there is a big bush in the middle of the fairway in front of the basket, it wasn't on the sign).
The layout is a little scrambled, as a first time player I was very lost right of the bat... got some help at hole 2, then he had to go and I made do with a little serching about hole 11, luckily I met another disc golfer who helped me find my way the rest of the time.
Baskets are a little hard to see. The whole course is mostly under large trees and is therefore in the shadows, there are not really any bright marking on the baskets to see from a distance.
Even with all the trash cans, there was a lot of trash on this course... didn't make any sense.

Other Thoughts:

I liked this course, it was very nice to play the long and short, left and right mixtures of holes.
The trees were so big that they seemed to make the basket look further than it was, but at the same time they were far enough apart that they are able to be avioded, but not easily all the time.
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2 1
waywu2001
Experience: 18.7 years 29 played 27 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Amazing 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 7, 2011 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

An amazing experience to play this course. One can't help but feel like he is playing in the middle of a National Forest. Immense trees cover the course and make for outstanding obstacles throught the course. These trees also make for a shady and consistent throwing environment. The holes have been well thought out and the tee signs are helpful. With such massive trees, minimal underbrush means you won't spend much time searching for discs.

Cons:

Seems to have been in a rough part of town.

Other Thoughts:

Only wish I had had more time to play the course 5 more times!
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7 0
Hector Chain
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 15.7 years 222 played 189 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Your city doesn't have a park like this. 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 3, 2011 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

If you go to your neighborhood park, you'll probably find some grass, some picnic tables, and maybe a rusted jungle gym. If you're lucky, there might be some mature trees to provide some shade. You probably don't go there often. So you may be in for a surprise when you enter Pier Park. Giant Douglas firs tower over the landscape and make for much more interesting obstacles than the trees you're probably used to. There are national parks less interesting than Pier Park.

After two decent holes out in the open, the course enters the heart of the park. There is some elevation here, and the course makes pretty good use of it. On hole #4 there is no elevation change but you are throwing around a couple mounds that poke into the fairway. On #5 you're throwing over a sizeable ridge to a hole on a hillside. And #6 might be the signature hill, a downhill drive to a hole just inside the tree line.

There are some pine trees and normal leafy trees dotting the course, but the Douglas firs play differently. There are virtually no branches that you could hit, no ticky tack leaf deflections. Many holes really don't punish you if you throw too high, which can be kind of fun.

The new tee signs are very good, showing pins positions and distances. This helps navigation, which used to be tougher and now is okay. At least you can see where the next tee sign is. The tees are concrete.

There is very little undergrowth here. It would be tough to lose a disc here.

Cons:

The proximity to Portland can make this course pretty busy (which isn't altogether bad; I'm told the neighborhood is safer with the disc golf traffic that the park has attracted). We went in the evening before sunset, and it wasn't bad.

I'd like to see more baskets situated on slopes. Other than #5, I don't remember a lot of baskets with dangerous putts. In a lot of ways this course makes your drive very interesting but your approach and putt more mundane. That's a little nit picky, though. You won't be bored during this round.

Other Thoughts:

It's difficult to describe (without sounding corny) the sense of awe you get playing here. It even smells nice. This is a really fun place to play.
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2 1
DiscNoid
Experience: 18 years 22 played 19 reviews
4.50 star(s)

AHH Pier Park.. 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 25, 2009 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Absolutely beautiful course. Great layout with great flow even when busy. Killer canopy of trees to play beneath when the rain comes. Only got a little wet on hole 1. Mixed throws with choices. Clean and well maintained. Severals holes to open up on with several requiring skill and precision. I'll never pass this one up when I'm in the area...

Cons:

Only two that I can think of. Parking can be tough when it's busy. Also, it is a busy course with it's location and the lack of other courses nearby. I'm sure the popularity plays a BIG factor as well.

Other Thoughts:

Don't EVEN think about skipping this one if your in the area. If you do, you'll regret it.
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