An Excellent Disc Golf Experience
Pros: - Interesting hole layout with many different types of shots required.
- Varied terrain including water hazards, forested sections, and a links style front 9.
- Tee pads are in good condition, and the course is well maintained by city and volunteer staff.
- Free to play.
- Easy to get to.
- Bugs not a big problem especially during the day.
Cons: - Some of the hole markers have been ripped off or vandalised. However, it's not very difficult to find your way around the main 18. Someone has also painted arrows for the new back nine to help direct players around the course.
Other Thoughts: I don't think a high three rating does River's Edge at St. Julien's park justice. This is a gem of a course in the east part of London, Ontario. It's well maintained with beautiful scenery and requires players to make a mix of long drives and technical shots.
The front nine is mostly open and a great way to work on your distance drives, but still contains out of bounds areas around the fairways to maintain course difficulty. Hole seven is a standout. Players tee off from a small hill with a wooded area about 20 meters directly in front of the box. A tomahawk or forehand throw is required for righties to get passed the wooded section to the short hole location below.
The back nine begins with two longer holes along the banks of the Thames river and present the only real water hazards of the course. I've heard hole 12 singled out as the course's signature hole. It starts the wooded technical portion of the course and requires players to throw at pins guarded by trees with a high canopy. The hole's birdcage pin position is of note. It is located a short dog-leg right, about 300 feet from the tee box, and guarded by several trees in a ring around the pin making errors easy on approaches or putts.
I think the best looking hole on the course is 16. It begins with a mando requiring players to shoot into a tree tunnel fairway that gently curves to the right before opening up into a large and forgiving green. The view from the tee box into the tree-lined fairway is amazing and is stylistically in sharp contrast to the course's other holes.
River's Edge is supported by dedicated volunteer staff and maintained partially by the city of London which keeps the fairways trim. Overall, it's an excellent disc golf experience and shows how well a public / private partnership can run a course. I would recommend it to any interested locals and even to out of towners who may be in the city and need their disc golf fix!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
The Rivers Edge in Julien park. London's disc golf gem.
Pros: 27 holes, dual tee pads per hole, 2 or 3 pin locations per hole. Benches and garbage cans every other hole. 2 porto-johns. 5 mins from the 401. Lots of amenities near by. On multi bus routes. Very well maintained. Active league and local club. Tournaments played thru out the year. Temp road has been removed.
To say that Julien parks The Rivers Edge 27 is London's disc golf gem is an understatement. Its a gem to sw Ontario. With a heavy maintenance schedule at julien park, the city and local club has elevated this course to top tier status. The changes that have taken place in the last four years are simply amazing.
First off, on the front nine or links style nine, six of the nine holes play open with long grass running along fairways. Holes average 250' to 300'. The exception comes on hole 3 where you play an open drive to a landing area about 300' away only to throw another 150' into a heavy wooded area to reach the long pin. Definitely the fronts signature hole. The other two holes either play into heavy trees or out of them. If you are looking for a open links style course where you can let it fly, the front nine is for you. We play it twice as an 18 hole links course, first round long pad, second round short pad. Great to learn shot shaping and teaching new players as well as making for one hell of a skins game!
The back nine is a very clean and tight wooded nine with high grass just off the fairways. These holes are truly amazing. Averaging 300'+ with dog legs to the left and right, trees high and low, you will need every shot you can muster. The trees love to grab discs and redirect them. Lots of obstacles, shot shaping, fun and frustration! Bring your game, you will need it! The back nine has 3 signature holes. The first and best has to be hole 11. With the longest length on the course this hole is a monster, but fear not the fairway is as wide as a football field yet can feel 3 inches at times. I find the longer you stand on the tee box the bigger the river seems to get. The longest hole location has been removed and turned into a new hole, however it still plays to the 600' long pin. With the long and very tight long pad, it is a true beast! The second sig hole has to be 12 playing 300'+ it plays into a pin location called the bird cage. It is a beautiful hole and one of my favorites. It has the back nine chill spot as well. A collection of long benches tucked in the shade to relax and chill out before continuing on. You will always find people here, the locals are great and will help anyone who needs it (as this hole is where people get lost) The final sig hole is 15. When in the long pin the hole is crazy. You throw downhill and at about 180' the hole takes a sharp 90 degree turn. Another 100' sits the heavily guarded pin. You may get close for a birdie, but sinking it can be very tricky.
The last of the holes are the new nine. Completed only two seasons ago, the new nine is still very tight and heavily wooded. Shot shaping is a must. These are finesse holes, no power needed here. As they are new they are still being groomed and cleaned. Ken and the boys have been very hard at work on these and are playing great in a short period of time. I am sure they will have them playing like the rest of the course in no time. Most holes are on the shorter side but very challenging. Easy to follow layout, heavy shade so they are great on a hot summer day. There is also almost no wind on these holes so aces are very possible if you can find the line! The signature hole is the first of the new holes called the Donater. It is called this as alot of discs have gone into the river here. It seems more discs have been lost here than on all other holes combined. The drive will test you! My advice, aim for the bike path! The hole isn't that long or technical, playing around 280'. It's just that the river has a slight bend into the fairway just past where a big tree sits. I swear the tree has hands that loves to catch discs and throw them in the river... If you really listen, you can hear the tree laughing as the disc goes in the water! All other holes play away from the river and into the forest. As these holes get cleaned up and packed down. They will fall in with the other holes nicely. I have heard rumors about rerouting the hole numbers so the course plays as 27 holes, not 18 with a bonus 9. But I cant confirm this as of yet.
This is a great course! A must play! This is a course that gets better every time you play it. It will make you a better disc golfer. What I love the most about it is, it truly has something for everyone. Open front nine for links players, semi opened wooded back nine for nice mix. New heavily wooded nine with elevated and sunken pins, very challenging. Plus you can mix and match and make almost any course you like. I like to park on the other side of the woods by the baseball diamonds and start on the new 3rd hole. Then I play the whole course as a 27 and end up right back at the car when done. This is the best route to play all 27 in row that flows correctly in my opinion. Otherwise a minor amount if back tracking will be needed. There are benches now on every other hole as well as garbage cans. There is a Porto-John on the east side of the park located on julien street on the edge of the second hole and one about one min away from the new third holes tee pad, by the baseball diamond.
All holes have signage. However some are readable and some are not. They used to tell the hole, distance to each pin location as well as a pic of the hole itself. Due to wear, weather, vandalism and pissed off disc golfers some have fallen into disrepair. As a result they only serve to mark the hole. The new nine does not have pole signage yet. Watch for the orange/yellow arrows and small plaques under some baskets for directions.
In closing, The Rivers Edge 27 is a course you have to play again and again. Its a course you will always love and sometimes hate. The best under par rounds are hard to beat and repeat. I have played back to back rounds here with differences of 10+ shots. Subtle wind changes will effect everything as the club has paid close attention to impact zones, landing areas, tree placements and are constantly changing and improving the course and with monthly pin location changes the course will challenge you everytime. As a result of all of this it never plays the same way twice. It is rather incredible how quick lines change here. Once you play it you will know what I mean. A truly amazing disc golf course!
Cons: It has a few. A few of the older tee pads have yet to be replaced and are chewed up.
The foot traffic on holes 11, 12, new 1, 2 and 3 can be a bit of a pain in the summer. People walking their dogs always seem to wander into the fairways completely oblivious to you and disc golf. Once they are made aware, they wave you on. I can tell you I dont really like throwing a disc to an awaiting dog down field but surprisingly I haven't had one bitten yet, stolen yes, not bitten.
There is a running league that uses the path down holes 11 and 12. Never assume they are aware of you, because in my experience, they are not! Most are wearing headphones and just cant hear you yelling 300' away. I would just wait for them to pass.
The park seems to be a target for vandals and as a result, the benches get broken, garbage's dumped, the signs broken but try as they might, the baskets remain in great condition. This is a minor issue, but has been known to happen.
Car have been broken into in past years. Seems more so in summer. Police are aware and patrol alot more often. In summer the south parking lot is locked at night to stop people from using the park for other activity's. Some legal, most illegal. This has resulted in an almost stop of the inappropriate behavior going on. It has improved ten fold as the police have really cracked down in and around the park.
Last but not least... I would not be entirely truthful if I did not add this and is also why it lost a half star... The smell.
In the heat of July and August this place can smell... Bad! As it is hard to see with all the trees, the park boarders a sewer treatment plant and the Thames river to the south. When the air is not moving the two can create smells that are hard to take. Fortunately the way the park lies with the river this rarely happens, but when it does watch out. I will say that once the plant upgraded, it has been almost unnoticeable in summer and completely gone in winter.
Still had to put it in.
Other Thoughts: So put Julien park on your must play list and you will keep coming back. Also more and more tournaments are being scheduled and played every year. It just keeps getting better and better!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Well maintained: mowed regularly in summer, tee pads shovelled at least once a week in the winter (often more).
Lots of Variation:
front 9 - mostly open with long grass OBs
back 9 - mostly moderately wooded with more technical shots.
new 9 - heavily wooded
Will test your different shots - some right hooks, some left, some sharp others smooth, a couple long holes along the river.
Multiple hole positions really change up the course from month to month.
Cons: No proper tee pads yet on the new 9 holes.
Tee signs have graffiti (sad).
Other Thoughts: League is played weekends at 10am.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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