Fun, lovely, & challenging
Pros: I think the earlier commentators have hit the technical pros and cons very well. The course was very challenging to someone of my limited experience and was extremely enjoyable. I had the course to myself on a Thursday noon.
Cons: Hole layout as you come into the lower meadow was confusing, partially because the on-line map is so bad.
Other Thoughts: If you're interested in owning a disc golf course, this is it! Jay wants to retire and is thinking of selling the property, with the course, and the equipment to maintain it. I'll let you all think about the idea; I'm too far away and not ready to move.
I enjoyed playing this course, stopping in on my way from visiting kin in the Seattle area and a kite festival in Seaside and will certainly detour through Elma every time I am going to or from Seattle.
I notice that 211 Leprechaun felt that there were too many OB markers but they are there for protection of the landscaping and not just to make the course arbitrarily difficult.
I was there after several days of wet weather and the course was not wet enough (in most places) to require waterproof footwear, although in Winter and Spring I can see that being advisable.
Not a nightmare like the movies...
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I don't have much of an intro for this one... Not because it's bad. Far from it. Mostly because. Well. Who's ever heard of Elma other than disc golfers?
Equipment: The baskets caught all right and were mostly in good shape. I think I only saw one that looked like it had been hit by a tree or something, and that only bent the cage a little bit. Each basket also had what looked like electrical wire around the lower edge of the cage. I'm not sure what that was about. Perhaps it glows or something? Although I'm pretty sure this course is a broken ankle waiting to happen if you play at night.
The teepads are all gravel, and many of them are bordered too. They were in better shape than any gravel tees I've ever seen, and I only lost footing once on some loose, icy gravel. I got the distinct feeling that the owner of the property maintains things very well. It's always nice to see that on a pay to play course. I hate nothing more than paying to play a course that isn't maintained. That isn't an issue here at the Hostel.
There's a stream through the property that desperately wants your discs. Most of us found it at least once. Any hole where there is water danger had sticks designed for underwater disc retrieval, and these were extremely helpful.
Navigation: The navigation is pretty straightforward, without any long walkouts or anything. There's a map at the kiosk at the entrance, so take a picture of that if you're worried. All of the baskets are painted where most courses use tape. And any tee that faces multiple baskets is well signed with both hints of where to throw and where to go if you're playing the "longs". The mandos are well marked and labeled to show which holes they serve as well.
Design: Don't let the front 9 fool you. This course is incredibly well designed and uses the property to its full potential. And it will challenge you. It offers everything that you look for in a course. There are open shots and more defined fairways. Short ace runs and longer (300ish) drives. Mandos. Uphill and downhill. Trees that really affect your line. Clearly marked OB that changes things up. It did feel like the course was somewhat lefty friendly on the defined lines, but there was something for everyone here.
Cons: Equipment: The baskets do catch fine, but they've clearly seen better days. That at least has to be pointed out. And the teepads, although they had clearly been raked, were gravel. So I have to mention that too.
Navigation: I can't complain much about navigation. The only potential con would be that some of the number plates were facing the wrong way. But even those holes had good enough signage that it wasn't too confusing. Just something that the designer might consider fixing.
Design: I'm reaching here. A design flaw... Let's see... How about mixing it up a bit more? I mean, an easy front and a tougher back are great and all, but if you're going to do that then make hole 9 be right by hole 1 so people who want to play easy can just do a quick 9 and walk off. I kind of prefer courses that throw birdie holes in with the tough ones, rather than throwing all of the birdies on the front and back (1-4 and 17-18). I understand that the current layout flows beautifully, but like I said... I'm reaching. I think that some of the overlap on the course could be a bit much if it got crowded too. There are a few places where people can get thrown in on, whether it's at a tee that's blind from the preceding hole (16-17) or where there's shared fairways (5 & 12, 7 & 15). They don't run together in a string of shared fairways like they do on some courses though.
Other Thoughts: The owner of the property is a character. He'll know you're here and he'll find you. And then he'll make fun of you. That might be a con to some, but I thought it was awesome. If I owned a disc golf course I'd want people to have fun, and I find that the best way for us to have fun is if everyone on the property is having fun. And if they aren't, I'll just make fun of them more.
It was a cold day in January when I was there. Very cold. The lower holes (specifically 9) were iced over. But if it were warmer, it would have been a swamp down there. So be careful if you're going in the winter. You could be approaching off of ice, or you could be ankle deep in mud. And in the summer I'm guessing that the rough gets burly, but none of the OB areas were very wide... So avoid them and quit complaining. Unless the guy doesn't mow, but I got the impression that he takes great care of the course. The Hostel is kind of out there, but it's definitely worth a stop if you're in the Olympia or Shelton area. It's not terribly long, but it's a fun little course that will challenge you and your accuracy... And truly let you know if you putt worse than a one legged grandma (one insult members of my group got on the second hole).
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
homemade DG haven
Pros: this is a fantastic homemade course among several acres of streamlets, hills, trees, and natural springs.
as mentioned by other reviewers, the caretaker was a friendly older man who introduced himself and showed me the layout and flow of the course.
the course forced me to use all my shots and rewarded my accurate throws and punished my wayward ones.
the many OBs make the course competitive and it's clear that much thought and strategy has gone into laying it out.
i greatly enjoyed my time playing here.
Cons: due to the natural springs, the streams, and the Washington weather, this course was extremely muddy. i had to go back to my truck to get my boots on! this would be a big problem during the wet months of the year, and i imagine the ground remains soggy most of the time.
some of the holes share fairways so even with the signage, it takes a round or two to get used to the layout. if it was a busy day, you'd have to be really careful about wayward discs.
the tee pads are gravel, and most were acceptable when i played, but i imagine they take a lot of upkeep to keep the mud down.
Other Thoughts: this was a great course to play.
plan to bring a few dollars to put in the donation bin and the kiosk near hole 1. (suggested $2/round).
wear boots and waterproof shoes if you're coming to play anytime other than the driest parts of the year. there are handy sticks to retrieve your water-bound discs, but much of the course was muddy.
brush up on your OB and Water Hazard rules before coming to play and establish them with your group PRIOR to the start of your round--- because you WILL go OB! but don't worry, it adds to the competitive layout of the course. (don't worry about losing discs, as they all will be easily retrievable)
overall, it was a very satisfying day of disc golf and i'm thankful this course and it's community is near my area!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth the Drive!
Pros: I thought this course was great, and definately worth the 25 minute drive from Olympia. The first few hole are really short and simple, but once you head down in the valley for holes 5-18, the layout gets tougher and tougher as the round goes on. I played it in the dead of the winter and it was pretty wet, but definately playable. Not a course to air it out on, but definately demands accuracy!
Cons: A few short holes and very easy birdies. Other than that, I have nothing very bad to say at all!
Other Thoughts: Easy to find, easy to navigate around the course, and great signage showing where to throw and where to go! Pretty simple course, but would definately recommend it to anyone in the area.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Great little place
Pros: We really enjoyed the course, Jay the owner is a great guy who walked through with us until hole 7 or 8, it is beautifuly maintained and you can tell he takes great pride in it. There are challenging holes (i didnt play my best game) but it was alot of fun. My wife and son also enjoyed the benches he has spread out. The OB is clearly marked, and most of the holes are very well marked as well
Cons: I had a hard time finding hole 12, and there were a few that took a few minutes to figure out what basket went with what tee pad, but it wasnt to bad. The course is also a little more challenging to find and we werent sure if we were in the right place being that when you pull up it does look like a private residence. (we also missed the huge sign you could see off the highway) but no real complaints
Other Thoughts: Its a great little hidden place, and totally worth a stop in!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Jay is a Great guy. Love the pin placements, lots of crazy shot out there
well marked holes and a great corse
Cons: Lots of water and hazzerds, cows, tall grass right in the middle of the fairways.
did I say water
Other Thoughts: would love to play out there more
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 4 Not
Groomed for the job
Pros: Well thought out course that is changing to improve the difficulty. You will see new ideas here that most courses don't even try. Don't hit the cows, it is a penalty stroke. The field is set up to add the water into improving the difficulty and rakes are set aside to help retrieve your disc.
Cons: The course could use some more trees but, the owner works with what he's got.
Other Thoughts: The wind is the big kicker on difficulty. The valley adds a different dimension to the game for it is hard to predict what direction the wind is throwing your disc.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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