Old School DG Done Right... For the Most Part
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Situated in the northeast corner of Balboa Park, Morley Field is THE course to play if you find yourself in the area. It is an icon of San Diego disc golf and one of the oldest disc golf courses in the world.
Each hole offers beautiful, sculpted fairways with tons of different vegetation (my favorite being the Jacarandas when they're in bloom), and plenty of personality. I find that most holes usually offer a couple of different lines, and several different shots may be needed to get the absolute best score.
The pin positions are rotated weekly, and there are anywhere between 3-8 different positions at each hole. The different positions are not merely cosmetic, but can drastically change your line or the throw you need to execute. Other courses may have different positions, but I feel they may only change the way the hole is played slightly. I feel this course is infinitely replayable because of the constantly rotating positions; it's like playing a new course each week!
Cons: As others have pointed out innumerable times, the crowds are INSANE. I'm not going to go into too much detail since they've been talked about ad nauseam, but I would like to address something that not many others have pointed out much, and that's the recreational nature of this course: I find that too many times I will hit my preferred line, only to have my disc batted down by a phantom branch. At times there are simply too many random objects in the way, which can at times make the course feel like an unpredictable mess.
I also feel there are too many blind shots and criss-crossed fairways--seriously, you will never hear "FORE" yelled as often or as loudly anywhere else. But for the small amount of land they have, the course design is generally excellent, although ultimately I would prefer to see more open long distance shots and less crossing fairways.
Other Thoughts: I've heard people voice concerns over the parking lot situation (e.g., not being paved concrete and having too few spaces). I've found a simple solution to this: There is a large parking lot near some baseball fields and an archery range close to holes 14/16. I generally don't even try to look for parking in the main parking lot and simply prefer to park in the back. Less hassle that way.
They finally setup a net around the teepad for hole 19 (bravo!), which is in a position that's in the middle of 3 crossing fairways. However, the teepad for the 2nd hole is right near a basket in one of the positions from hole 1, and waiting at the benches can be extremely dangerous. I feel another net around this tee would be a good idea.
Ultimately, Morley is a blast to play, crowded as hell or not. Each hole has its own unique characteristics and defining traits which make each drive from the tee feel like a special experience. It's simply a fun course that I would recommend as my number 1 disc golf destination for people visiting San Diego--it's a disc golf experience unlike any other!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Got to play with Ian from CCDG as a tour guide
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Multiple Pin Positions (changed each Monday)
Brand new DISCatcher baskets (July 2017)
Good mix of challenges over entire course
Cons: Some pins are invisible from the tee.
Tee signage is a bit exaggerated in terms of pin locations.
Some holes overlap in terms of opposing throws.
Other Thoughts: I had the pleasure of playing with Ian A. from CCDG on this course and he was a great guide.
The grounds are well-maintained (for the $4 or $5 admission price) and are constantly worked upon. The money does go to a good cause and there is a pro shop and an ace pot available if you need it.
I have been told that this course is insanely busy but I played at 6am and had the course to myself.
This course does require you to have a good amount of shot selection (FH roller, BH roller, forehand, etc.) to really get a good score.
The signage is a little cartoonish in its scale and would make it hard for a first-timer to accurately aim at a hidden/far basket.
I enjoyed this course a lot and I actually managed to get 2 birdies my first time playing (and none the second time I played) which is very good for me. I had great company and I would recommend others visit this course too (preferably early in the morning).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Outstanding staff that is courteous and helpful
-Great variety of shots needed
-Great us of elevation in a small space
-Well thought out placement of protective netting to keep throwers safe (a couple of holes throw near the tee pads to other holes)
-Well maintained course
-Benches at every hole
-Great signage and layout
Cons: -Because of the limited space, you need to look around and duck when people are yelling
-I didn't run into this problem, but there can be some waits (the line was stacking up a bit as I left)
-Can be difficult to locate baskets even with the outstanding signage
-If you show up early be aware that they could be changing baskets as you're playing (at least on a Monday morning) and the sprinklers can add a new element to your throw
Other Thoughts: -The earlier you show up, the more open the course is. I can't speak to how early they start letting people play, I got there at 7:15 and never waited at all for a whole.
-If you have questions, the staff is great but the people on the course are super helpful as well.
-I didn't run into any parking problems (and was driving a full-size SUV), but I could see if it could be more difficult to park
Great course, with some minor inconveniences. I can't recommend to get up as early as you can to not run into the crowding issues at this beauty of a course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Awesome course, fairly short, but great use of trees and bushes
Cons: could use a bit more length, course is packed every single day all day so very very slow rounds. Discs flying everywhere at all times, so heads up!
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Hot as fuego, in San Diego
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Morley has cemented its status as a legendary course in the San Diego area. I was able to join a few guys on this crowded course about midway through my round, and 2 of the 3 had never played anything BUT Morley Field in their disc golf careers. I will get to that later.
Morley is a rather short, technical course that has a lot of twisty trees everywhere and manicured lawns that makes for a rather beautiful experience for a variety of experience levels. The course is a mix of tight lines and more open shots, with many of the greens offering challenges of slope and trees. I would say if you play there regularly, you would be able to tap into the lines quite easily, except for the fact that there are numerous pin placements (I recall 5 or 6 on many). I suppose part of the appeal is that since there are not many highly rated courses nearby, that having this variety of pins would be a huge attraction for locals that would possible get bored of the place otherwise.
Other attractions include the pro shop onsite, and some friendly locals who don't mind having newcomers play with them. The place is well-maintaned and worth the small greens fee.
Cons: Yes, the crowds are a con if you don't like waiting at nearly every hole. I suggest you try to join a group if you are alone, or combine groups to give yourself some good conversation as you inevitably wait at every tee pad. Somehow I was lucky - I played on a weekday evening alone until I caught a pair on #9, and they offered to let me play with them. They said that it was a rare evening that the course was as "quiet" as it was.
Everything is pretty crammed together, so there was truly a danger factor with discs straying onto other people's fairways. The worst culprit was hole #1. With the pin in the long left position (A), you throw a righty BH hyzer which runs the risk of hitting everyone on tee #2 (I hit that tee pad both times I threw). At least they could put a protective net around tee #2.
Other Thoughts: I got some really good vibes from this course, but it wasn't the epic experience I had expected. A quite enjoyable layout, for sure, but didn't have any signature holes or great variety of length (other than what the alternate pin placements could offer). It had a very old school feel, very similar to Oak Grove in Pasadena - and you could tell that new disc technology has outgrown this type of layout. As I mentioned earlier, some of the local people never play any course but this, and not because it is the greatest course ever, but that it shines a lot brighter based on the lack of great local courses.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Homefield is the best
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great location, lots of diversity in the holes (especially when they change them weekly), good mix of distance and technical shots and an awesome pro shop.
The price ($3 the last time I was there) is definitely worth it. The staff are great, and the food/drink selection is pretty good as well. The course is laid out very nice, so you will not get lost, and the tees/pads are kept up very well.
Cons: Can get very crowded during peak times (i.e. 3-5pm, etc.). When it's packed like this, it makes it hard for people who don't know how to play/want to learn hard. Feeling rushed is a constant on this course. I have had quite a few people throw on top of me when teaching others how to play. Some of the local players can be a bit rude about this as well.
The parking lot in the front could use some work. Most of it is dirt, but would be better off with pavement or concrete.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
busyiest course ever
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: the benches on every hole are nice because you have to wait on more than half the course. if you are a new player there are signs to let you know where the basket is. the workers change the baskets every Monday so it does not get boring. the course is very short and technical. the bathrooms are at hole 1. the pro shop is really close to hole 1. the people who work there are really nice.the tee pads are really nice.
Cons: you have to wait forever on more than half the holes. the bathrooms are not that clean. the toilet gets clogged all the time. there is no soap in the bathroom.
Other Thoughts: it is one of my favorite courses. i play it 2 or 3 times a week at least. they give you a little bracelet so they know you paid. it costs 3 dollars on weekdays and 4 dollars on weekends. it is more crowded on weekends than weekdays. try not to go on weekends unless you go there before 6am.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Pro shop with knowledgable, friendly pros.
- Very well maintained (nice tee boxes and baskets, grass in great shape, clear signage telling you which pin was in play, protection for the tee box in the firing line).
- Lots of good variety of curves and shaped shots needed. Plenty of opportunities to get creative with your shot selection. Lots of blind, technical drives. Despite the lack of distance there was plenty of challenge.
Cons: - Really crowded. My group was pretty slow (several beginners) and we were still waiting a few minutes for each hole until at least halfway through the course.
- Not a ton of distance. Much more of a control shot course with less of a premium on distance. There were a few long pin positions listed but none in play the day I played.
- Lots of potential to get a disc thrown at you. There are plenty of crossed/adjacent fairways. Moreover, with so many blind tee shots on a crowded course, it's easy to hit into someone without realizing it. Lots of people shouting "fore" from all directions.
- Pay course. I don't mind too much, and given how crowded it is there's obviously enough demand to justify it. But it's a mark against it.
Other Thoughts: Honestly, I think this course gets a bit of a pass on some of its weaker features because it's such an institution. I had heard about it long before I played it. I don't regret paying and playing it at all - it was a fun round! - but it doesn't really deserve the hype, IMO.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Very popular, quirky, fun course!
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Morley Field is a popular, well-loved course not too far from downtown San Diego. It winds through hilly terrain with a good mix of open, wooded, uphill and downhill holes. Plus, with all the different types of trees and bushes, you'll find yourself throwing a multitude of shots.
-To have a pro shop is great, but to have a pro shop this well-stocked is amazing. Food and a great selection of discs are available. Bathrooms, too.
-Each hole had a ton (3-10) of pin locations, far enough away to completely change each hole from one week to the next. It would never get boring. The tee signs very accurately showed where that weeks' location is, however some local knowledge is useful on the blind holes.
-Two practice baskets near the parking lot.
-Each hole had a large concrete tee pad, a bench and a trash can.
Cons: -Morley Field is a very popular and crowded course, even on weekdays, as there aren't an ample amount of disc golf courses in San Diego. Large groups of novice players are common and will make for a slow round.
-The property is not very big, so the holes are very close together and in many instances, cross over one another. FORE!
-There are far too many blind shots. You can only see the basket from the tee on about 1/3 of the holes. If you're a local and are familiar with all the pin locations, that wouldn't be a problem, but someone visiting the course will find themselves walking halfway up the fairway on most every hole to figure out where the basket is.
-The old Mach 3 baskets are worn-in and don't catch very well anymore. I appreciate their efforts to reinforce them, as some new chains intertwined into the old ones were visible, but some brand-new baskets would be visually appealing and very much appreciated.
-The terrain is very rough. Rocks, roots, and loose dirt are common. Be careful or you'll twist an ankle.
-Parking was not sufficient. A popular course like this should have ample parking.
Other Thoughts: -There are many short trees that are very thick and great at catching a disc. If you get one stuck, ask at the pro shop for the pole.
-Many holes have low, tight routes, but since most of the trees here are short, a higher option is often available and easier. I just wish I had a Schwebby thumber!
-Morley is a great course, with so much variety. I've played three times, and each time the pin locations were so different it almost felt like a new course! It can be crowded, but I think it is worth it for only $3.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 5 Not
A tad over rated
Pros: Busy with new players. Like seeing new players playing!
Cons: Pay to play at a completely average course! Over crowded! Parking is horrible! Understand. It's a small piece of land but too many crossing tees. Heard "FOUR" way too much! Esp around holes 14,15,16,17,18 and 19....shared fairways and nets on teepads to protect.
Other Thoughts: I have heard that Morley is a bucket list course...the hype was too great! Playing other CA courses and being from the KC area, this course is way to small, took the driver out once. Had to wait around 5 mins per hole. Took around 3 hours to play! We played around 4p on a Monday...may have been a better impression during a non busy time.
7 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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