Challenging course, challenging environs
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Considering the layout of the park, they've done what they can. Most holes have multiple pin positions. Recent improvements include a kiosk; replacing some of the old, uneven tees; and installing Mach X baskets.
This course has good bones.
Cons: Difficult or impossible to navigate for first-timers -- no signage, some tees don't have numbers, etc.
As others have mentioned this is a popular park for walkers, cyclists, bird-watchers, and picnickers.
At certain times of the year the grass and swampy areas are problematic.
Other Thoughts: When the conditions are right it's a great course -- but that is not often the case.
Find the locals during the weekly (Weds p.m. during DST; Sat a.m. during winter) to best navigate the course. It's really not as bad as people make it out to be. Head over to the East Bay Disc Golf Club on Facebook for further details.
Spotter suggested on 2, 5 (long), & 15.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
fun links course
Pros: my expectations were a little low given the less than stellar rating at Aquatic, but I really enjoyed myself. The conditions were great - no wind and not a great deal of foot traffic so the delays were minimal. there are some pretty challenging shots to be had out there.
Cons: I enjoy having water in play as much as the next guy, but this one is a little different. some of the tee shots over water are somewhat intimidating. I thought I was in the clear, but, I lost my Pro Boss in the water on 18. tough way to end what was the perfect afternoon.
Other Thoughts: also, quite a bit of trash and a number of vagrants milling about. threw my disk into the trees to the right on 12 and stumbled upon what appeared to be some sort of sex locale. used prophylatics and whatnot.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: very technical course, with a huge lake running down one side, and a swamping brambly area down the other. People usually there who you can pay to retrieve your disc from the lake
Cons: Need a local if your first time, t-pads and signage need updated. Baskets a little rusty. It's easier to find your disc in the lake than in the rough stuff on other side. Short and narrow.
Other Thoughts: If you don't mind and very technical course, and are in the bay area, i will always return and play again. Usually lose atleast 1 disc everytime i play
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Aquatic presents a variety of interesting challenges. The most obvious is that water is a major factor on many holes. The winds are also usually fierce, and there are many tight fairways and strategically placed trees. The course is conveniently located, and a legitimate 18-holer. Some holes have multiples tees and/or pin positions. The tees are cement or use the asphault walking path. There's a nice map online, and sometimes copies are at the first tee. On a clear day, there are views of San Francisco.
Cons: The course is crammed into the park. A heavily used path for walkers, joggers, and bikers that isn't just in play, it follows the middle of some fairways. Several fairways are also used by two holes in opposite directions. The course could be confusing to first timers without a map despite being pretty linear. Tees are beat up and poorly labelled. Aquatic park is an unforgiving course -- both the water and the dense trees eat discs, and the wind can makes otherwise easy shots (e.g. shorter putts) harder.
Other Thoughts: This is not a beginner friendly course. When I was first getting into DG, I played here because it was close, and it probably reduced my interest. It's disheartening to lose 3 or 4 discs in one round.
Hole 1: From the tee, three baskets are visible: first the practice basket, then hole 1, and then hole 18. A big hyzer (RHBH) out over the water is the standard route.
Hole 3: From the basket for 2, backtrack to the right side of the inlet. Tee 18 on the left side of the inlet also doubles as a (very) short tee for 3.
Hole 5: Following the path a ways past the basket for 4. The tee is on the right where it opens up. There is also a long tee painted on the path.
Hole 6: The pin is right behind a tree. It is easy to mistakenly throw at the pin for 13. Tee 15 can be used as a short tee.
Hole 8: If you look along the water past the big bushes, there is an open area. The pin is right there, hidden behind the bushes. Even from the short tee, this hole is mean to beginners -- the only alternative to an accurate 200 foot shot across the water is a long way around.
Hole 9: Tee is marked on the path near pin 8, basket is underneath the big tree on the right.
Hole 10: The tee is painted out on the causeway -- you throw over the corner of the lagoon. There is a short tee at the parking lot.
Hole 11: Starts near (south of) the basket for 9.
Hole 15: From the long tee it's hard to see anything. From the regular tee, the basket is back behind the huge tree, to the right.
Hole 16: Both tees are painted on the path before you go by the basket for 4. The hole is in the woods near the far right corner of the open area.
Hole 17: Tee is painted on the path.
Hole 18: The tee is next to the lagoon, on the left side of the inlet.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Location - beautiful backdrop with great views of the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate, easy access with ample parking
Course - Baskets are in decent condition, there's bathrooms, a decent mix of long and short drives, and for the most part a nice park.
Weather - Being in the Bay Area is a great way to beat the Nor Cal summer heat...
Cons: Water - a handful of drives that require sending your disc out over the lagoon, making a bad day an expensive one
Pedestrians - On a busy day this park would be a nightmare to throw due to the bike / pedestrian trail that splits the front 9 from the back 9.
Also - a couple of the baskets were ankle deep in mud on the back 9 as well (though we did play during the rainy season...)
Other Thoughts: It's linear design make it easy to navigate the course and there are some excellent drives that made it worth the trip. Losing one of my better discs in the drink left me with a bit of a bad taste, but I would definitely play this course again. I would recommend playing it earlier on a weekday as opposed to the weekend due to non-DG related traffic, and I definitely wouldn't recommend it to a beginner....
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Berkeley Aquatic Park Course
Pros: If you like long holes over water, this is the place for you. The Park is right up against the Bay, and has a great view. It was built 29 years before I had ever heard of Disc Golf.
Cons: See above, I lost a disc in the water. too cold to go get it.
Other Thoughts: There are a couple locals with bags of discs fished out of the Bay for sale there.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Interesting hole design that uses the numerous obstacles available in the narrow park.
The holes over water and with pin positions by the water were challenging and entertaining.
They were able to squeeze 18 holes into this park.
Teepads were adequate for the course.
Good mix of tight holes with a few more open drives.
Multiple pin locations.
Many holes really force you to be able to shape a certain shot, offering a good test of your accuracy.
Cons: No Signage whatsoever on the course. Not even any indicator of the course near hole 1. What's even more sad is that most of the holes had old empty sign boxes that might have been useful.
Baskets show signs of wear and are stiff.
The amount of non-disc golfer traffic is frustrating, the land isn't really the ideal place for a disc golf course.
Areas of the course feel like the holes are packed in too tight.
Some of the back nine holes feel simple and lack the bravado of the water holes.
Other Thoughts: Aquatic park was a very interesting course to play but a very difficult course to rate and review. To be honest the course has a lot going it against it that isn't totally within its control. The course is very busy with people and there isn't any other place in the park to place a course. To some degree it's impressive that 18 holes have managed to fit into the park and survive for 30 years. There is also a mild crime influence in the park. I would have actually been inclined to give the course a 2 simply because of the complete lack of any signage but the course is fairly self explanatory and the baskets are numbered so it's easy to keep track as you make your way around the course.
But against these negatives what makes the course for me is the presence of some really fun and challenging disc golf holes. The over water holes were tricky requiring you to really fly out over the water and land on a fairly small green in the hopes of nabbing a 2. Many of the tough hole positions on the course make up for lacks in distance in certain places. Judging the course on the hole I'd recommend playing it if you live in the bay area but if you're just stopping through you'd probably be better off heading to Golden Gate Park or taking the 40 minute drive north to play Stafford Lake.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: good tee pads, forced throws over water and hazards, and 18 mach 3 baskets. this course will force you to play outside of your comfort zone, fighting the wind and the very tight layout of this course will prove to be a challenge for experienced players. several holes require a throw over water or offer a very small landing zone. course maps are provided in a box on the first tee pad and bathrooms/water fountain are located about 150' from the first pad.
Cons: wow this course was crowded with lots of non dg traffic. there was a birthday party going on 25' down in the middle of the #1 fairway. there were some layout issues due to the tight confines of the park. lots of panhandling going on but it's Berkeley, so it should be expected as there are lots of people doing this.
Other Thoughts: i played this course twice to make sure that i got it all. it is a very fun course that will play different form all the other courses i have played. something different equals, a pair of street urchins approach me ad ask if they can smoke something other than MJ and cigs with us and ask for my lighter. i concede and give them my lighter and tell them that we don't partake in that sort of fun time and try to send her on her way. after the two urchins smoked something that rhymes with back one of them returned my lighter and said thanks.
this place is tons of fun bet very different. i guess the best mindset to play this course with is that of anything can happen at anytime in Berkeley.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pedestrian Casualties Possible
Pros: Decent variety of left-right and right-left fairways, several very challenging holes. Highlights include hole 2, which is a narrow tunnel for the first 100' and then opens into a field, with a creek 20 feet before the basket, and hole 10, a 240' hole with the first 220' over water.
Cons: Busy pedestrian path runs right through 90% of holes. The portion of the park near holes 9/10/11/12 is a local 'cruiser's hangout', beware going into the bushes to look for discs. The water is fairly gross- have heard stories of infection from people cutting legs when entering to retrieve a disc.
Other Thoughts: Water comes into play on half of the holes, including two with forced carries of 220' plus. In the afternoon, the wind can pick up fiercely. Don't plan on throwing any cherished or hard to replace discs here. Can purchase discs for $3-$5 from a variety of local folks, who fish discs out of the water and the thick bushes on the inland side of the course.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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