Cyclone Disc Golf
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Concrete Tees
-Multiple tee pads on most holes
-Good use of the area, area mostly just for disc golf
-Good mix of open/wooded, up/down, long/short
-Nice downhill shots on #1, #6, #10, #16
Cons: -Course gets VERY busy
-A lot of up and down, Up on #9, #15, #18 are hikes
-Baskets are a little old, tough to see at times
-Signage needs a re-fresh
-Needs more benches
-Could use the missing bridge replaced (only one across the creek, now)
Other Thoughts: Carroll Marty DGC plays in Gateway Hills Park, in the southern part of Ames, IA. With a couple of Iowa State dorms close, this is a BUSY course when conditions are even sort of decent. Took me 3 times to try my first round here and not be 4 or five groups deep waiting to tee on #1. A nice practice basket is available near tee #1. The course winds up and down the terrain with some lovely downhill throws (#1, #6, #10 and #16), but you pay for it with some steep up throws (or a steep staircase up to #4). The creek comes into play on #2, #8 (from the long tee), #12 and #14. The course is approachable for most skill levels, just be prepared for the hike. Center area can get quite squishy when it has been wet and the area can get flooded with the creek. The course could use a re-fresh with new signage and baskets, adding a few benches would also bump the rating here. An excellent course design, testing many skills, enjoyed by many, I will probably play again.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course offers a variety of hole designs. From in the woods, open fields, and on top of hills. Has pro and amateur tees with signs and distance to pin. Good for all skill levels of players. Some holes have areas where you may go in the water, which I find to be more fun and more of a challenge.
Cons: Not always well maintained; the grass can get long. Can get busy during the school year as a lot of college students go out there. Also a lot of them don't take playing seriously and take their time, which can be frustrating for others playing. When it rains it gets extremely muddy and flooded in some areas, especially around the pins.
Other Thoughts: Overall, very fun different type of course to play. Good course to play a tournament at or a game with friends.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Overall a well taken care of park
- Located in an area used for disc golf only
- Two concrete teepads and pretty hefty trash cans for every hole
- Takes advantage of elevation changes
- Two practice baskets
- Fairly easy to navigate
- Porta-john and vending machines available nearby
Cons: - Signage needs work
Other Thoughts: Some flags with the number of the holes on them would be a good. Overall nothing terribly technical.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Solid course but nothing that special
Pros: - Decently manicured
- A few unique holes
- Two concrete teepads for every hole
- Easy for beginners and casual players
- Good elevation changes
- Two practice baskets next to pads 1 and 10.
Cons: - Can get totally swamped with casuals during the school year
- Too many holes are just pitch and putt
- Holes 3-7 can be a mud-fest
- No par 4's with a few "par 2's"
Other Thoughts: - Play the advanced tees if you want to not fall asleep
- Good for a quick round when you need to be in and out in an hour (provided it's not busy).
- Solid course but is in dire need of some TLC.
- Stable Run is better.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Lots of Fun, but High traffic
Pros: -Lots of fun downhill elevation shots
-Two teepads on every hole except 9 and 10
-Trash can at just about every tee pad
-Course is dedicated to disc golf, volleyball courts and playground don't come into play unless you have a very errant throw on 18.
-Fairly easy to navigate
-Playing from the long pads you will get to use just about every shot in your bag
-Creek runs through the course creating some fun risk reward situations.
Cons: -Mach 3 Baskets are getting pretty dated.
-Tee signs are not always present or accurate.
-Can be an absolute Zoo on sunny days while school (Iowa State University) is in session.
-Compounding the traffic issue, most students play the shorts with one or two discs and 6 or more beers, resulting in quick playing super groups until they have a disc go in the creek and if there is one slow group or a group playing the longs things tend to back up quickly.
-Some of the shots, particularly from the short pads leave little to the imagination (particularly 2,11 and 13).
Bridge that takes you from 2 to 3 and 7 to 8 has been taken out due to erosion, there is another bridge in the middle of 2's fairway and the water is usually low enough to cross the creek.
Other Thoughts: This course could use a facelift, after 18 years it has become dated. That being said playing from the longs provides a fun and challenging par 3 round (no holes over 400'). The short layout provides a beginner friendly course while still leaving some challenge to advanced players. Recommend trying to get there before noon if the sun is out and the temperature is above 50.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Great Course - Go Get It!
Pros: Best course in central Iowa IMO!
Great shot variety and elevation.
Great signage for the most part.
Cons: Lots of people play it, but most are pretty courteous of others and let you play through.
Other Thoughts: Its worth the effort to get there.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
It has its Ups and Downs
Pros: Many have lauded Gateway Hills (or is it Carroll Marty?) and I shall too!
- The shot selection here is off the charts!
You throw down hill, you throw up hill. You throw right to left, you throw hyzer spikes. A few wide open shots and enough wooded fairways to keep it interesting.
- i really appreciate all stairs and bridges. Those things didn't build themselves and they make this course possible.
- The whole works plays out in a scenic valley and the surrounding trees. What's not to love?
Cons: Not a lot to report here.
Just your regular run-of-the-mill vandalization.
Lots of broken glass.
Waiting at every tee for that group of 11 to hole out.
Other Thoughts: Elevation is the primary strength of Gateway Hills, followed closely by its playful variety of holes and diversity of shots needed to score well on those holes.
This course services a college town, no easy task to be sure, and I think its wear and tear and obvious popularity are testaments to its quality and to the quality of the experience golfers are having here.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun Park course
Pros: - Trashcans and benches near most tee boxes.
- 2 practice baskets near hole 1.
- Kiosk with map, however the map was not needed as the course seemed to flow logically. The only exception was that hole 4 is up the steps to the west of the basket for hole 3.
- Large concrete tee boxes on all holes.
- Pro tee boxes on most holes add more that a little added difficulty.
- Drink machines near the basket on 18.
What follows is a walkthrough of the course:
1. Hole 1 is a 344 ft downhill blind shot to the right. With the change in elevation it plays more like 250ft. The locals said this is played as one of 3 par 4's ( the rest being 3's). I however thought that shooting 2 on this hole was not too difficult.
2. Hole 2 is a short 170 ft for birdie. Beware of the creek on the right side of the fairway.
3. Hole 3 is just across the bridge and to the right. 200 ft through the trees .
4. Hole 4 is up the stairs to the west of the hole 3 basket. This hole can be tricky! 184 ft to the basket through a lot of trees. If you wind up to the right side your birdie may turn into a double bogey easily as the ground slopes sharply to the right side near the basket.
5. Hole 5 is 185 feet with no apparent line. I tried a tall spike hyzer based on the advice of a local and managed to birdie.
6. Hole 6 is in my opinion the only hole that cannot be easily made in 3 from the rec tees. The line to the basket starts with a long 200ft+ downhill tunnel. The basket sits another 100ft to the right at the bottom of the hill a couple feet from a large gorge with a creek. Do Not overshoot the basket on approach.
7. Hole seven is around 300 ft with a blind dogleg to the right at the end. Don't overshoot or you will be in the creek.
8. Hole 8 is 250ft across an open field into the trees. Beware of rollaway discs near the basket as the ground slopes down and to the right.
9. Hole 9 is uphill near 300ft. The locals play this as a par 4, but there should problem making 3 with a decent upshot.
10. Hole 10 is 126 feet straight downhill. Fun hole through trees that is easy to overshoot if not careful and end up in the next fairway.
11. Hole eleven is an open 276 foot hole. The only danger is that an errant disc to the right will be hard to find in the thick brush that inhabits the right side of the fairway.
12. Hole 12 is 185 feet with open terrain that shots to a blind basket near a swift moving creek.
13. Hole 13 is 233 feet completely in the open. No imagination went into what is the only real boring hole here.
14. This is a true ace run hole. Be careful to not veer to the right as your disc may end up wet.
15. Short hole uphill into the trees. No worries of overshooting as there is an ample backstop. Shots all the way up should birdie.
16. Long downhill shot with a large change in elevation. This was my favorite hole of the course.
17. Blind shot to the right. A good anhyzer or forearm for righties will reward you with a birdie.
18. Steep uphill shot to close out a great round.
Cons: A couple holes in the open seemed lacking and somewhat boring.
Stickers from discs all over signage to the point that some were unusable.
Grass was rather tall when I played, not sure of the maintenance schedule.
Other Thoughts: The other local course (Stable run) is rated higher on here. I honestly do not see why after playing both. The only thing I can figure is that is closer to ISU campus and is the only course ever played by some reviewers. Both times I have visited Ames to play disc golf I have played at least 3 rounds here.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Carroll Marty DGC is set off on a less used part of Gateway Hills Park that is just south of campus. The concrete pads are grippy and generous. The baskets are well used but still catch well. The use of natural obstacles and challenges is fantastic. 1, 16, 9 and 6 are sweet downhill shots while 5 long, 8, 15, 18 and 9 are challenging uphills. The short tees are a blast for ace runs, while the pro tees really crank up the difficulty. I've played few other courses that have such a difference between the short and long tees. Not only are the pro tees longer, but they usually force you to take a much different or more precise line. The long for #5 comes to mind because you walk to the right of the short tee and backwards down the hill. As a result, you have a 280 footer that starts straight uphill through a tight lane of low hanging branches and finishes through a patch of trees than only opens about 20 feet in front of the basket. This variety of shots is the reason CM is so popular. 2 practice baskets with a sign board is a plus. Trash cans are at most holes.
Cons: A few solid changes are in order to bring Carroll Marty up to a solid 4 in my opinion.
New signs are needed. Only about half remain, and what are left are not updated with the current distances. As a frequent player it is not a huge deal to me, but new signs would definitely make a difference.
Trash cans should be put at every hole. There is huge amounts of traffic, especially during the beginning and end of the school. There is no better start to the weekend than a few beers and round of discs after class is done on Friday, so having trash cans would definitely help keep the course clean.
The basket on 14 has a few broken rings so some of the chains just hang as opposed to attach at the center. I also think the basket should be moved from its current location to the clearing that is about 70 feet behind and to the left of its current location.
I think the long tee for 2 could be moved back even farther to the prairie area that is behind the basket for one.
Those last two cons are just gravy, the big thing is just to give this course some love because it is definitely starting to show its age.
Other Thoughts: All in all, Carroll Marty is a blast to play. When at school I play here all the time, easily 3-5 times during the fall and spring weekends. I usually play from the shorts with a mid and putter and have a very good chance at birdies across the board. Traffic can be very high at peak playing times and there is a fair share of chucker groups to potentially slow your ride down. As I mentioned before, there are a few changes that should happen that would really jump CM up to the next level.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
awesome hill usage
Pros: challenging concrete pro tees. no easy birdies no hole is impossible to birdie, though. very steep hills to throw up and down. 9 ends right by 10 and the parking lot. very cool locals. wooden steps, variant winds (some holes in valleys some on hills). picnic table and water fountain.
Cons: needs maps on signs, hole 3 is hard to find gotta go over a bridge hole 9 is up a steep hill from 8 chains(the path goes around the hill) 14 tee is back towards 13 tee
Other Thoughts: several possible signature holes going down very steep hills with narrow fairways or into openings. lots of man made stairs make the steep hills maneuverable. very well beaten paths.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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