A good must play
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: I'm not going to go on about all the features that you can read about in all the other reviews. So it's a fun, challenging course some holes a little more than others. That said I can't really argue with what all the others say.
Cons: My first time playing so that is what my review is based on. I like the hole markers but they need tee signs that show the hole layout(OB, etc.) Baskets are hard to see through all the trees. we had to walk several holes just to figure out some kind of idea of what to do. Some tee boxes are starting to show some wear.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The course is well maintained and laid out in a thoughtful manner in terms of the varied types of shots (straight technical shots thru numerous trees and open shots for testing your driving distance).
Numerous amenities on site such as a small camp area, a cabin to rent. Water jug for refills on #17, good tee boxes. A basket near the back pond was out of play due to the recent rain. The pond near the entrance is challenging.
Cons: No cons as far as the course itself but more of a comment on the owner. The folks are nice but Steve seems a little too familiar with guests property. I didn't appreciate him going into my disc bag to help himself to a disc for a throw he didn't retrieve. Also, we had friends surprise us from Boston that we hadn't seen in a while and the owner and groundskeeper invited themselves into our group...we were unable to finish a round as we had 7 additional folks added. Yes, I know we could have told him no but they didn't really ask and this put us in an awkward situation as he is the owner but we wanted to finish a round with our long time friends.
Other Thoughts: I enjoy the course but will not be returning as the interaction with Steve somewhat ruined our trip.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: None it's a prison!!!! All shots are needed to score well, boxes and signage are excellent in my opinion, you must control the urge to boom it. Birdies are all over the place, but you must play smart.
Cons: Full of them! It's a prison town!!! Too far from my home!
Other Thoughts: Must play this course. If you are afraid of your rating, don't play it in a tournament! One of the top courses I have ever played, tough, makes you think. Night Golf here is an experience not to be missed!!!! DuFranes are excellent hosts and the setting is awesome, bring the wife and rent his cabin for a truly wonderful experience.
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
My Favorite Course to Play
Pros: By far the best course I have played!
You need every shot to play this course well. This course will challenge your mental and physical game.
Some of the best holes are #5 Tunnel Shot, #8 Hyzer Express, #11-#15 Murderer's Row some tough holes but challenging, #18 Conjugal Visit and #23 Tin Cup!!
Teebox's are well built and in great shape.
Seating at every hole and usually a trash can too!
Steve is a great host!!!
Pay to Play $5 - worth every penny!! (Keeps the riff raff out and course clean)
Cons: No real negative here. Only thing is no wide open hole to really let loose on.
Other Thoughts: Take the time to go to this course it is well worth the trip and the $5. Make sure to call Steve before you head out and if you don't meet him while you play, make sure to call him and thank him for having the Number FUN course!!!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Breaking out of jail
Pros: This course is a mix of technical shots and skilled shots. If you get to talk to Steve he will tell you everything you need to know to navigate and play the course well. It is designed to play smart. The best shot isn't always how far you can get it. Don't be afraid to just pitch a putter till you can put. Must give warden a good belly rub for good luck!
Cons: I really didn't find any cons in this course. It makes you think differently about how you go about playing. If challenges you technically and makes you re think how you play the game.
Other Thoughts: Go for the pond hole! dont be sacred
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
One of my favorites
Pros: -Good mix of holes- uphill, downhill, left, right.
-Long rubber teepads (on some holes and will soon be all, I believe).
-Water holes that are fair but challenging.
-Very well manicured, especially for tournaments (Steve loves his rollers).
-Possible to camp on-site (and play glow, I think).
-Tin cup hole # 23. Plays as an island with the driveway circle as OB. The basket is a fountain in a pretty rock arrangement. VERY cool.
-Playing in a tree farm is different from playing in normal woods- very cool and unique experience on those holes.
-Trash cans and benches on most holes (maybe all, I wasn't really counting).
-Very friendly and helpful course owner.
-Drinking in moderation is allowed. Leave sober!
-Private course a little out of the way means less "riff-Raff," meaning a cleaner course and a very good chance of recovering any lost discs. But the chances of losing a disc here (other than in the water) are pretty low.
-At tournaments, golf carts will take you from your car to the tournament headquarters. That's service!
Cons: -Only one set of teepads.
-Out of the way- actually kind of a pro in my book, except the long drive.
-No chance to really crush an open drive for you big-arm folks.
-No pro-shop and nothing very close for drinks, snacks, etc.
-Costs $5 to play. Well worth it, but I gotta be objective.
-Tee signs aren't good, but the available scorecard should usually suffice.
Other Thoughts: This is easily one of my favorite 3 courses, the only other "top course" I have played is Flyboy and I would only rate the entire experience 0.25 discs lower than that. Great mix of holes that will test just about every shot in your bag, except maybe your huge hyzer bomb. Three water holes that are fair and fun, and your inked discs will typically be retrieved and kept in the lost and found. I like "fair" wooded courses and Shawshank has many holes that fit that description, but there are also a few that are more open. But as I mentioned, you won't be throwing a hyzer bomb further than ~350 ft here, and there are only about two holes that need that. However, that is the necessary shot on those holes, which I think shows how diverse of a course Shawshank is, other than the lack of really long, open holes.
Some of the wooded holes play through a tree farm, meaning the trees are very evenly spaced and similar in size. This is very cool and really adds to the whole "jail" experience.
Shawshank really is a "must-play" course, and well worth devoting a weekend to go check out. After you go once it most likely won't be the last time.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: What can you say about Shawshank? It's amazing. Teeboxes, holes, fun throws, water shots, tunnel shots, unique fairways, downhill, uphill, flicks, hyzers, rollers, everything is here. The land is absolutely amazing, the family is absolutely amazing, the teeboxes are just as good of not better than concrete, it's just awesome. I've played numerous Houck courses, and this one is just as good if not better than the best of them. Steve has done an amazing job.
Cons: The baskets could be better, I understand wanting to do them slightly portable and not wanting to concrete Discatcher 28s in the ground, but it is a con.
Signage. This course could use better signage. Some of the holes you have to walk ahead to see where you're throwing.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Private Course with no Riff Raff. The DuFranes are always great hosts. Good mix of shots that will definitely test your focus. A good short game with good shot shaping is a must. You can't beat the atmosphere at Shawshank. It's a great release from the city. I'm lucky to be within 45 minutes.
Cons: Not a great course for the guys that only like to let it rip on open courses. This one has some long drive opportunities, but you still have to shape your shot.
Other Thoughts: It's good to bring deet in warmer months.
Always make sure to say hi to Warden the DuFranes black lab and give him a good belly rub. If you haven't played before he is usually happy to walk you through at least the first 9 holes until you come back by the house. Then it is his nap time on the porch.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 5 Not
so thats what jail is like.....
Pros: First time in Texas. Had to get to this one. Great theme based course. Tee pads were big and grippy. Interesting construction. Nice signs, with a name for every hole. Good use of elevation. Challenging lines throughout this gem. The water holes, and the fountain put it over the top. This course is way off the beaten path. Kinda reminds me of Flip. Peaceful, and secluded.
Cons: A couple holes were overly tight. Unnatural flite path. In fact, I told my son I wish I had my whip, it would be a quick fix. After talking to Steve, the owner, I understand the par 4 part of being in jail. And yes, part of the theme. Don't change a thing.
Other Thoughts: Being a course owner, I'm biased on private courses. Thanks Steve, for putting this together. My family, and I enjoyed ourselves.
14 of 19 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: This is a beautiful property and is very well maintained.
The course has 2 of my favorite holes (the green mile and hole 10) in all of disc golf and I've traveled all over the country playing events on a professional level. Great tees and the best hospitality I've ever had.
Cons: This course has several of my least favorite holes in disc golf. Impossible lines. The luck factor is huge here. Lots of Random trees and obs. A few holes are simply not disc golf holes, rather trails of paths with baskets at the end. This course was designed for a different style of play which may be fun for some , but captures little of my own interest.
Other Thoughts: This course is beautiful and is a must play at least once. Its a great fun or casual course, but not designed for tournament play on a pro level. Actual course design quality is lacking here.
I'll also add, my review is based on a hole by hole comparison of good to bad holes with added sway for much better or much worse deviation from a 2.5 typical standard. I am a 5th year pro and 90% of the golf in play is in tournament or minis. This is from my own personal standpoint and extra amenities (which this course is well above any other I've played) have only a small bearing on my rating. My rating is of mostly the course.
6 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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