9 Helpful / 0 Not
Tee areas: Pads are long, wide, flat, coarse concrete, and not flush-to-ground. Signs shows both baskets and distances, and direction to next tee.
Navigation: Map at course, direction at teesigns, and obvious path from basket to typically-nearby, but not too-close, next tee. Two 9-hole loops, and overall small footprint, means one is never far from one's vehicle.
Topography: Despite steadily-but-slightly-sloping ground from parking lot to back of course, it was quite muddy after not too much rain. The lack of undergrowth likely contributed to this.
About 1/3rd of the holes have the closer (blue) basket on a reasonable flightpath to the farther (white) basket, so there are definitely brown-ace possibilities.
Hanson Park is massive, but the course is set upon a small, wooded parcel, near, but not too close, to a dog park. The woods are not sparse, nor dense, close enough together to create optimal lanes and/or windows, but not so dense that re-directed shots are severely punished. You'll always have trees to avoid, but no thickets to be trapped behind/in.
The course has the slightest slope away from the parking lot, but elevation changes is negligible on most holes. You'll have a variety of left-, right-, and S-shaped shots to make, but none extreme.
The Front-9, which is much damper than the back, is also much shorter, averaging about 200/300', while the Back-9 is around 250/330'. For a player with a good control game, the should be a bevy of birds available playing to the shorts (blue baskets).
Solid, short, wooded course to practice one's control game.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Fresh, new woods course for the DMV
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It is a brand-new course in a brand-new park, so what's not to like?! New pads, new baskets, fairway lines/gaps pretty clear. Yes, it's all woods, but it is fair, and it's short enough on most holes to not be overwhelming. There are three 400-ft holes to the long basket, but they don't actually feel that long. Yes, nos. 10 and 11 are downhill while no. 14 is uphill. There is good elevation here; it's subtle, but it is definitely present. I think there's decent variety: some holes are harder than others, and some are more generous. I think it's a very playable wooded course, and (if you are trying to improve your woods game) this appears to be a course that can teach you a lot without demoralizing you.
Cons: It gets busy. This was my first outing, and I had to let a lot of people go by. Some holes also seem fairly close to another (parallel), although the potential to hit someone with a disc maybe is not so great with all those trees. There are no benches nor next-tee signs. Don't know if these are planned; I was told by one of the many people on the course that the short baskets were coming in soon. The floor is a little messy with leaf and branch debris and roots, which sometimes helps and sometimes hurts. The track is compact and compressed. A little claustrophobic when 1/3 of the DMV comes to play at the same time on a holiday...Nevertheless, to get three 400+ foot holes in this small forest is somewhat miraculous.
Other Thoughts: I didn't do so poorly for me on the long layout, so I'm hopeful that the short layout will be even more enjoyable. The long format though was pleasant and not particularly overwhelming. I did not set the world afire, but I didn't totally blow up either. Kept my head the whole time. The course was recommended to me by another disc golfer whose disc I found at one of our middle schools. As I was returning said disc to him, we talked about different courses in the area, and he indicated to me that this course had just opened this year. It's a lovely course. So far, the pedestrians seem to mostly be sticking to the paved path that borders most of the course. Said path seems to run in some sort of loop around the entire park. Next time I come, I will bring my bike and maybe go cycling after disc golf. There's a popular playground, dog park, splash area, fields for baseball and soccer (if not also football), nature center, etc. Beautiful, new park with a ton of appeal.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
A Handsome Park
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is set in a wooded, disc-golf exclusive area of the park. Despite being brand new, the course is in great shape and has already become quite popular. I have played here twice in the first three weeks after opening, and enjoyed both of my rounds.
This is 100% woods golf, so those who have Hanson Park as their home course will likely develop a solid woods game. On the other hand, those who prefer open bomber courses or more variety might get frustrated. But if you appreciate the challenge of throwing precise drives and getting creative when you kick off the fairway, you will probably enjoy this course very much.
White-banded Dynamic Veteran baskets are level and caught well. Practice basket by the ample parking lot. Concrete tee pads are large, level, and grippy. Post-mounted tee signs include a map showing both pin positions and direction to the next tee, with hole number, distances, and hole par displayed on the side of the tee post. Course map at the kiosk.
Two nine-hole loops, each of which finishes close to the parking lot. The course is compact, and walks to the next tee are usually quite short. Decent distance variety, with three holes exceeding 425' and four holes shorter than 257'.
Little to no disc-eating rough unless you miss left on hole 12, which can bring OB long grass into play.
Cons: The course slopes gently but overall plays pretty flat. Variety is limited by the lack of significant elevation changes, no water hazards, and general similarity between holes.
Most of the holes have tight but fair lines, but there are a few where removing a skinny fairway tree or two (particularly farther down the fairway) would create a cleaner but still challenging line to the basket
May get crowded on fair-weather weekends, so you might have to deal with some backups. Holes are fairly close together, so errant drives can easily kick onto neighboring fairways.
Baskets seem to be installed a little high, with the locks an inch or two above ground level. Perhaps there are future plans to mulch the greens.
Several short pin positions are in the fairway, potentially interfering with the flight path to the long basket. I saw at least one player's approach hit the wooden pole marking the short basket, so this could become a problem if permanent short and long baskets are installed.
Other Thoughts: The best lines from the tee are not always obvious, and some of the gaps you need to hit are not readily visible from the tee. This is not a problem once you learn the course, and I was fortunate to play my first round with a local who showed me the lines.
Concrete bases have been installed for the short pins, but the baskets are not in yet. As a non-bomber, I look forward to short baskets being installed because that is where a few of my drives landed.
No "next tee" signs or arrows, but with one or two exceptions the path to the next tee was pretty clear. The tee signs do indicate direction to the next tee, which would be helpful if your memory is better than mine.
Hanson Park covers 257 acres and includes lots of other amenities such as athletic fields, trails, pavilions, playgrounds, a skate park, splash pad, and a large and well-shaded dog park. For traveling players, Hanson Park is 15 minutes from Dulles International Airport and 30 minutes south of the two Freedom Center courses (Clark's Run and Scattersville).
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Brand new white Dynamic Discs Veteran baskets. Long cement tee pads. Great tee signs with direction of next tee marked on them. Navigation very easy. There is a dog park near the first tee and you have the alternative of parking at the Nature Center and starting on hole #7 if you have others with you who do not want to play disc golf. Two pin positions (although only one basket currently). Short walks between baskets and next tee in general. Fairways are clear of undergrowth. Fallen tree trunks are used to line many fairways. Loops back to the parking lot after the first 9. Path to next tee was usually obvious (and short). Attractive park.
Cons: No benches. Only a few tees that were not obvious to find from previous basket (see 'Other' below). Relatively short especially if the baskets are in the B positions. Repetitive - all the holes look pretty much the same. Lots of rocks and tree stumps.
Other Thoughts: Normally I would give a hole-by-hole description but as you can see by the photos I added, every hole here is pretty much the same. The lengths vary a bit and there is some small shape differences but basically it is a line through a lot of trees over rocky ground with just the trunks as obstacles. Some of the holes have too many trees for my taste. Currently all but one hole had the baskets in the long position and until a second set of baskets is added, I would leave them there. Otherwise the course would be way too easy. They have wooden poles in the alternate pin positions and I black aced one hole if you treat the pole as an object target. Even with my noodle arm and two injuries, most of my drives landed close to the short position poles (I would have had a lot of deuces). On #5 I accidentally played to #10's basket because I saw a pole and figured that was the short position and went past it to the next basket I saw (which was labeled #10). I then realized that #5 had its basket in the short position so I went back and played it 'correctly'. The fairway for #14 has a lot of trees pulled so watch your ankles (it was like gopher holes). The fairway on #17 needs more ground cover removal but I'm sure they will get to it. There were two transitions (#13 to #14 and #15 to #16) which were slightly longer (approximately 20 yards). There were two transitions (#4 to #5 and #17 to #18) which were longer than those - just keep following the trail.
No trash cans (no penalty as that it probably a state rule). No benches I usually don't care about especially on a short course but this one could easily get backed up. I was there on a September Wednesday morning at 9:45 and had the course to myself. Dulles had its landing route overhead which made for some interesting watching. The basket bottoms seemed about an inch higher than usual but if you are hitting chains, it should not affect you. Overall this was a pleasant experience but I got bored after a few holes because they were all the same. There are three holes (#10, #11, #14) over 400 feet but with the density of trees, I couldn't air anything out. You will hit trees and the ground is very rocky so your discs will take some abuse. The course is nice and a lot of good work has been done on it.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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