Honolulu, HI 
Sand Island Beach Park Share
Uploaded By: JR Stengele  
DGing under a Banyan Tree in Oahu, HI

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 Sand Island Park DGC

1    7/8/2009   7/9/2009
Review By: JR Stengele
Played: 217  Reviewed: 191  Exp: 17.5 Years
This review was updated on 9/5/2011
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Once you enter this park you see nothing but possibilities. With several acres along the Pacific, tradewinds play a major part in your game (so bring overstable discs). The park itself has a lot of old history burried around as well as it was once housed several bunkers that were used during WWII for the military which made playing there that much more exciting.

The course was full of unique folliage, including several palms, Banyan, and other native trees and plants making the landscape absolutely breathtaking.

The holes themselves are always changing since the course is not permanent (as the other two reviewers stated) but usually include several tunnel shots through the trees along the picnic area, long open bombs (straight, anhyzer, and hyzer), some along the beach and water, and some which include great elevation throwing both up and down making the round very well balanced.
Because the course is not permanent it is difficult to keep a consistant layout due to other locals enjoying time with their families. Sometimes the course has a few baskets that locals bring and sometimes it is just targets (garbage cans, light poles, palms, etc.) which can be a bit of a bummer as well. As one other reviewer stated, there are no tees or maps either so unless you're with a local you will be SOL. Last, there is a bit of crime so just make sure you keep your valuables on your person or just keep it out of sight in your car.
Other Thoughts:
This park truely is a great place to play DG and I hope that someday it will be a permanent course. The locals are very friendly and the location along the ocean is amazing. If you get a chance it is well worth your time. Also try to play a round at UH on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. as it is a lot of fun as well. Mahalo!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.

 Near the ocean but serious limitations

1    11/10/2008   1/15/2009
Review By: Olorin
Played: 385  Reviewed: 115  Exp: 38.4 Years
This review was updated on 9/28/2011
15 Helpful / 0 Not
NOTE: You have to understand that on O'ahu there are almost insurmountable roadblocks that prohibit any permanent courses from being installed, therefore, the island players can only do the best that they can under these conditions. With this in mind, my review criteria are much different than they normally are. Because of the unique circumstances on O'ahu I gave this course lots of grace, and my rating was also higher than a comparable course on the mainland would rate. Hey, just being in Hawaii bumps it up!

The Honolulu league players are very friendly and helpful in showing you around. Several shots overlook the ocean and one "green" is on the beach. Since it's at a beach park the ocean is always nearby, but it's mostly flat with the greatest elevation change being a drop of 12 ft. There are plenty of tropical coconut and palm trees as well as tall beach evergreen trees. On one side you also get a good view of Honolulu and the mountains rising up to the Pali. There are also old WWII era bunkers and bomb shelters throughout the park that I thought added to the ambience. Most holes had a number of trees to negotiate, but a few holes were quite open so you could bomb it. One fun hole plays from an elevated tee on top of a mound and it has the best view of the ocean in the late afternoon light. The fairway plays across an open field, with a risky OB parking lot near the landing zone, to a lone palm tree that is the only object target on the course. It's just majestic and quintessential Hawaii! Other cool features are scattered throughout the course too. Hole 11 was my favorite. It's a flat , yet challenging, tight tree lined par 4 that weaves between mounds. On this day they put the basket up on a hill slope to add a little difficulty. Hole 18 is called "Stonehenge" because of the ring of rocks where you finish the hole. The guys told me about another course layout in a different part of the park that apparently has very different terrain and feel to it, but I didn't have a chance to see it.
Sometimes you have to skip holes if there are too many people in the fairway. We had to skip the beach hole because there were too many people on the sand. Rats!

Oh yeah, there are no marked tees, no baskets, no signs, and no map, but those minor details are discussed below.
Other Thoughts:
Even though there are no tees marked and no permanent basket positions, there is a standard course played from week to week. There's no map, so it's impossible to go out there without a guide unless you want to play pure safari object golf. The local club meets at 4:00 on Wednesdays to play. On each hole the league members mark the tee and one person walks ahead to set up the basket. The basket is placed in the same general area each week, but there are several positions on many holes. The extra set up and positioning spotters takes extra time, so just be prepared. Since you sometimes have to skip holes, the hole numbering can change from round to round, so just be flexible. No hole lengths were available, but I'd estimate that they range from ~240 to ~400 ft. The tees were on dirt, grass, or concrete and were all level and fine. They're just as good as natural tees on other courses. Since it's a beach park there can be many other park users there, so there are potential safety issues on any hole. Always keep your eyes open, spot for each other, and keep safety first. Choosing Sand Island was a brilliant move, though. It's on the ocean and in Honolulu, yet it's not a tourist spot so there are fewer people to watch out for. There are beach restrooms about mid way through the course. The park has red volcanic soil mixed with sand, so I imagine that some holes can get pretty dusty in the summer; bring a towel for your discs. Also, bring water and sunscreen.

Course Level: It's probably a challenging White level course (most suited for Intermediate players rated 875-925). There were a number of holes that were tough to get a par 3 on.

So I hope that you can tell that playing at Sand Island is a unique experience. In spite of all of the limitations the scenery and ambience make up for it. To me it was well worth it just to play in Hawaii amidst magnificent scenery, near the ocean, with some friendly people. Now that you know what to expect, I'd recommend giving it a try if you're out there. Shaka!

A note about my rating: My rating is a subjective measure of my enjoyment of the course, on the day I played it, and it is NOT intended to be a measure of the quality of the course. My Enjoyment Ratings are given "on the curve" in relation to all other courses I've played.

Look in the "Links/Files" section for my files with Hole-by-hole ratings and a more detailed Overall review. You can also read more of my review philosophy and rating notes at Disc Golf Course Reviews
I'm always trying to improve my reviews, so if you mark this review unhelpful or you find a mistake, please send me a Personal Message here on DGCR to tell me what is wrong with it. I'll be grateful for the feedback.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful.

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