Member Info.
Recent Reviews
706 DGCR Number
Houston, TX Location
Gordon Frater Real Name
31 Age
9.8 Years Years Playing
LHBH Main Throwing Style
836 DGCR Player Rating
79 /
Total Reviews / Avg. Score
4 Fans
4/09/2008 Joined On
5/22/2017 @ 11:41:21 AM Last Login

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Other Info/Notes:
Lefty, throw FH & BH, 320-350 D with backhand of late.
250-270 with FH, dotn use as much as used to.

How I generally do Course Reviews: I like courses with variety of challenges. I'm a simple man, really. I like courses to have 3 main things. Trees, elevation, and water. If a course has all three, usually I'll give it a good review. Some great courses only have two out of three, usually just trees and elevation, (though in Houston usually elevation is the part lacking) but they are designed very cleverly, which makes up for one missing piece.

I like playing holes that are unusual and fun. Not an open, flat field with scattered trees, like many courses are. If I play a hole, and want to describe it in my review later so others will want to play it too, thats probably a good hole. If the course rewards good shots, and offers risk-reward then those are also pluses.Even if the hole is fairly standard, throwing in an interesting twist makes me want to come back and play it again. Examples include: Pin on the edge of a cliff or on top of a boulder. Island greens. Terraced greens. Tunnel shots. Blind shots. A Lake or river in play. A hill or valley in play. OB sidewalks/roads. An unusual shaped line.
All these things, if used well, can make a hole noteworthy, instead of just another hole. Admittedly, few courses could include all of these things, due to limitations of the land they are built on, but making use of what's there for a fun and challenging experience is really what matters. Admittedly, not all courses are created equal. Some are built on land that really isn't all that interesting. Not every course can be, or needs to be a championship course. Some of my favorite courses to play are ones I might have only rated a 3.5, and some of the most challenging courses I've played are ones I might have rated less than a 3. If its fun and interesting, with variety, then it probably got a good mark.

The thing that separates good from great, in my book, is the wow factor. Was this course stunningly beautiful, with a variety of challenges and memorable holes? Usually this means challenging, yet fair. Its a hard balance to achieve, and I have utmost respect for the course designers that are able to reach this pinnacle.

Some things that count against courses in reviews:
One thing I don't like is repetitive holes. Some courses have many holes that are essentially the same. This isn't very creative, and gets pretty boring for me as a player. Also, some courses manage to be challenging without being fun. If there is only one way to play every hole, and the course does not force a variety of shots, then it probably got marked down for it. For example, if a course can be played easily with just RHBH, without any extreme annys or other shots, then its probably not challenging enough. at the same time, if you can just go over the top on every hole with a spike hyzer or a tomahawk, that takes alot of the strategy out of the game as well.

Admittedly I'm biased towards courses in the woods, because areas with only scattered trees are usually too forgiving, in my opinion. Also, I like courses that are technical enough that distance isn't the single most important factor. Most DGers I meet don't throw over 325, so how does a course test skill if its just long open holes that you just need a lot of distance to par. That, IMO is boring, and takes a lot of the strategy and decisions out of the game.

I think maintenance is probably not as important to me as some. I like concrete tee pads, but dont really care that much as long as the tees are flat and level. As long as I know where to go, its not a big issue for me how FTF a course is. Some of the courses I've ranked highest are very un-FTF, but I liked playing them so much that this wasn't really an issue to me. However, a really run-down course might otherwise be great with a little TLC.

Conversely, I feel like some courses are overgroomed. Their fairways are too wide and the holes lose some of their challenge. Some courses that are among the most well-maintained get marked off for making it too easy. Its another delicate balance.

What I've started to realize, after looking for a common theme in the courses I gave 4.5 or 5s to, is that a course doesn't need all three main elements (Trees, Elevation, Water/OB, generally in that order of importance) to be one of the best. If it has an abundance of one of the three, or lots of 2 of them and creatively plays to its strengths, for a unique and challenging experience, it can more than make up for lacking in one element. Here are some good examples of how to make up for a lack of one thing:

Fountain Hills Park, AZ- Open with few trees. Water everywhere and moderate elevation.
Blue Ribbon Pines, MN- almost no elevation, but tons of huge trees and several ponds in play.
Justin Trails Big Brother, WI- No water, but tons of crazy elevation and 2 generous scoops of trees.
Lambs Creek, WI- Crazy amounts of all three.

So, to recap,
3 MAIN Elements of Potentially Good Courses
Water/paths/other misc OB (tho water is usually best)

Other SECONDARY, Complimentary Details
Risk Reward Opportunities
Hole Variety-different curves, diff lines
Length Variety-some long, some short
Tee Pads/Signs/Benches/Mowing/Course Flow/Maps
Thickness of Shule
Width of Fairways/tunnel shots
IT Factor- signature & unusual holes, scenic views, etc

Well, hope that all makes sense, and maybe answers some questions about why I review the way I do.
Favorite Courses (9)
Played Courses (138)
United States
Fountain Hills, AZ Fountain Hills Park
Tempe, AZ Moeur Park
2 Course(s)
Joliet, IL Highland Park
1 Course(s)
St. Paul (Roseville), MN Acorn Park - Old Layout
St. Paul, MN Kaposia Park
2 Course(s)
Spring, TX Spring Valley DGC
The Woodlands, TX Terramont Park
2 Course(s)
Course Wish List (71)
United States
Phoenix, AZ Buffalo Ridge Park
1 Course(s)
Conifer, CO Beaver Ranch
1 Course(s)
Whitesburg, GA Flyboy Aviation
1 Course(s)
Rockford, IL Anna Page Park - East
Rockford, IL Anna Page Park - South
Rockford, IL Anna Page Park - West
Freeport, IL Krape Park
Highland, IL Silver Lake Park
Sterling, IL Sinnissippi Park
6 Course(s)
Rensselaer, IN Alwoods
Valparaiso, IN Rogers Lakewood Park
6 Course(s)
Fayette, IA Upper Iowa DGC
Waukon, IA Waukon DGC
Davenport, IA West Lake Park
4 Course(s)
Boyne City, MI Avalanche Preserve
Boyne Falls, MI Boyne Mountain
Grand Rapids, MI Earl W. Brewer Park - Gold
Lowell, MI Fallasburg Park
Traverse City, MI Hickory Hills
Ludington, MI Leviathan
Three Rivers, MI Meyer Broadway Park - North
Maple City, MI Myles Kimmerly
Whitehall, MI Whitehall Township DGC
15 Course(s)
Adrian, MN Adrian DGC
Minneapolis (New Hope), MN Sunnyside Park
Winona, MN The Willows
Austin, MN Todd Park
Hokah, MN Twin Creeks DGC
Pipestone, MN Westview DGC
8 Course(s)
South Dakota
Mitchell, SD Dry Run Creek DGC
Brandon, SD Pioneer Park
Sioux Falls, SD Tuthill Park
4 Course(s)
Round Rock, TX Brushy Creek MUD DGC
Wimberley, TX Circle R - Circ Hill DGC
Manor, TX East Metro Park
Austin, TX MetCenter DGC
Kingwood, TX River Grove DGC
Georgetown, TX Rivery Park
Huntsville, TX Shawshank
Leander, TX Williamson County DGC
12 Course(s)
Fond du Lac, WI Adelaide Park
Menomonie, WI Brickyard
Silver Lake, WI Fox River Park - Grey Fox
Kaukauna, WI Grignon Park
Reedsville, WI Rollin Ridge
Platteville, WI UW Campus-Platteville
Sheboygan, WI Vollrath Park
Platteville, WI Westview Park
Kewaunee, WI Winter Park
11 Course(s)
British Columbia
Pender Island, BC Golf Island Disc Park
Bowen Island, BC Island Garden Estates
2 Course(s)
United States
Mesa, AZ   Emerald Park
Fountain Hills, AZ   Fountain Hills Park
Chandler, AZ   Mesquite Grove DGC
Tempe, AZ   Moeur Park
Scottsdale, AZ   Vista Del Camino Park
5 Course(s)
South Lake Tahoe, CA Bijou Community Park
2 Course(s)
Conifer, CO Beaver Ranch
Greeley, CO The Outback DGC
Estes Park, CO   YMCA of the Rockies
3 Course(s)
Rockford, IL   Anna Page Park - East
Rockford, IL   Anna Page Park - West
Channahon, IL Community Park
Round Lake, IL   Fairfield Park - Old Layout
Joliet, IL   Highland Park
Mokena, IL   The Oaks
Glencoe, IL   Watts Park
Joliet, IL West Park
8 Course(s)
Terre Haute, IN   Deming Park - North
Crown Point, IN   Lemon Lake County Park - Blue
Crown Point, IN   Lemon Lake County Park - Red
Crown Point, IN   Lemon Lake County Park - White
Hammond, IN   Matt Lovasko Memorial DGC
Valparaiso, IN Rogers Lakewood Park
7 Course(s)
Iowa City, IA Peninsula Park DGC
North Liberty, IA Sugar Bottom Rec. Area
3 Course(s)
St. Paul (Roseville), MN   Acorn Park - Old Layout
Minneapolis (Crystal), MN   Bassett Creek Park
Arden Hills, MN   Bethel University DGC
East Bethel, MN   Blue Ribbon Pines DGC
Minneapolis (Eden Prairie), MN   Bryant Lake Park
St. Bonifacius, MN Crown College
Maple Grove, MN Elm Creek Park Reserve
St. Paul (New Brighton), MN   Hansen Park
St. Paul, MN   Kaposia Park
St. Paul (White Bear Lake), MN   Lakewood Hills
St. Paul (Inver Grove Heights), MN   North Valley Park
Minneapolis (Plymouth), MN Plymouth Creek
Mounds View, MN Silverview - Old Layout
14 Course(s)
Incline Village, NV North Tahoe Lions Club DGC
Zephyr Cove, NV Zephyr Cove Park
2 Course(s)
Houston, TX   Agnes Moffitt Park
The Woodlands, TX Bear Branch Sportsfield Park
Houston, TX   Clinton Park
Baytown, TX Jenkins Park DGC
Corpus Christi, TX Lamar Park
Conroe, TX Little Egypt DGC
Ingleside, TX   Live Oak Park - Red
Houston, TX   MacGregor Park
Conroe, TX McDade Park
Austin, TX MetCenter DGC
Cypress, TX   Oak Meadow Park DGC
Kingwood, TX River Grove DGC
Smithville, TX Riverbend Park
Austin, TX Roy G. Guerrero DGC
Austin, TX Searight Park
Huntsville, TX Shawshank
Burton, TX Snow Farm
Spring, TX   Spring Valley DGC
The Woodlands, TX Stonebridge Church DGC
Houston, TX   TC Jester Park
Houston, TX   TC Jester Park - Old Layout
The Woodlands, TX   Terramont Park
Cypress, TX   Texas Army Trail DGC
Corpus Christi, TX   Waldron Park DGC
Austin (Wells Branch), TX Wells Branch Park
Corpus Christi, TX   West Guth Park
Houston, TX   White Oak CC - North
Austin, TX Zilker Park
40 Course(s)
Boyceville, WI Axldog Acres DGC
Baraboo, WI   Baraboo Lions DGC
Marshall, WI Bird's Ruins DGC
Menomonie, WI Brickyard
Milwaukee, WI   Brown Deer DGC
Madison, WI Capital Springs
Chippewa Falls, WI   Chippewa Falls Middle School
Beaver Dam, WI   Crystal Lake Park
Cumberland, WI   Cumberland HS DGC
Milwaukee, WI   Dineen Park
Milwaukee, WI   Dretzka Park
Milwaukee, WI   Dretzka Park - Winter
Madison, WI   Elver Park
Waterloo, WI   Firemen's Park
Kaukauna, WI Grignon Park
Madison, WI   Hiestand Park
Highbridge, WI   Highbridge Hills - The Bear
Sheboygan, WI Jaycee Park Quarry
Menomonie, WI   Lambs Creek @ Pioneer Grill
Cleveland, WI LTC Cleveland
Janesville, WI   Lustig Park
Menasha, WI   O'Hauser Park - Old Layout
La Crosse, WI   Pettibone Park - Old Layout
Appleton, WI   Plamann Apple Creek 18
Appleton, WI   Plamann Meadowview 9
Watertown, WI Rock River DGC
Greendale, WI Root River Parkway DGC
Manitowoc, WI Silver Creek Park
Saukville, WI   Tendick Nature Park
Eau Claire, WI   Tower Ridge Park - II
Kenosha, WI   UW Campus - Parkside
Whitewater, WI   UW Whitewater-Hoffman Field
Rice Lake, WI UW-BC Campus Greens
Deforest, WI   Vallarta-Ast DGC
New Berlin, WI   Valley View Park
Sussex, WI   Village Park
Sheboygan, WI Vollrath Park
Wales, WI   Wales Community Park
Birchwood, WI   White Pine Camp DGC
Kewaunee, WI Winter Park
Green Lake, WI Zobel Park
51 Course(s)
British Columbia
Whistler, BC   Whistler DGC
1 Course(s)
San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo León, Mexico   Parque Rufino Tamayo
1 Course(s)
New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand Queenstown Gardens
Disc Golf Center