Best Kept Course on Oahu
Pros: The Bellows Field Beach DGC is located on Bellows Air Force Base in Waimanalo, HI. I had never gone to this area before, not really knowing all the amenities available. It's definitely a hidden area if you aren't aware of it! The course is free to play and surrounds the main building of the Bellows recreation area. This course requires base access!
After going through the security gate, you continue driving down the road until all the cabins appear on the right hand side. The main rental building can't be missed. There is lots of free parking near the beach and at the building. Public restrooms are in the building, as is a convenience store/pro shop for all the activities available on the property. It is here you can rent a complete set of three discs if needed: $4 per day, $12 per 4 days, and $20 for a week. It's better to bring your own discs, as then the course is free. The first tee is to the left if exiting the building. The course is not large, but makes good use of a small area by zigzagging back and forth. It's a 9-hole course, 3-par on all baskets. The baskets area new and professional. The tees are easy to find, listing basket number and feet length. The best benefit is, it's gorgeous! To the one side you have majestic mountains and a marsh, to the other is the tranquil turquoise ocean. The majority of the course is shady and pleasant.
Cons: There are only minimal negatives. Some of the tee markers are sun-bleached beyond being able to read them, so having your own map is necessary. Tee 2 is very close to the main road, and possible to thrown into traffic, damaging discs. Tee 8 goes through a soccer field, so you may be delayed if you throw into a game. Slightly disappointing is it is only 9 holes on a large property that could easily accommodate 18.
All in all, this is a wonderful course. It can be an activity in itself, or part of a fun day at the beach. This is a must-play for all disc golf enthusiasts!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Short and sweet with great scenery
-Well marked tee boxes.
-Local boulders used as natural tee markers
-Course map at entrance
-Green maps at each tee box
-Clean and easy to navigate
-Tee boxes are sand, so they are a little difficult
-Hole 6 tees off with cars only 6 feet to the right for the majority of the drive.
-Holes 7, 8, and 9 shoot over a field where foot traffic moves to and from the beach
-New construction adjacent holes 8 and 9, may impede course in future
-Beach goers are unfamiliar with Disc Golf and routinely "help" you by picking up your discs for you.
Other Thoughts: Great course if you have military access to the area. Some of the most beautiful beaches on Oahu, camping, playgrounds, pavilion, and cabins within walking distance. Several other recreational activities as well, including mini-golf, driving range, tennis, basketball, and volleyball. A great place to play.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great scenery and location
Pros: The location is great if you have access to the base. The course is right on the beach and includes many other things to do nearby. The course is simple and good for beginners. Easy to navigate and each hole includes a map on the sign.
Cons: Only 9 holes. Hardly any difficulty and very few obstacles. Some other holes and other things in the area are kind of close to some of the fairways (roads, volleyball courts, etc.) Tees are kind of worn down (just dirt now) Baskets are a little rusty.
Other Thoughts: This is a decent course if you're here to enjoy the beach. It makes for a nice break before getting back in the water. Its not one worth going way out of your way for but if you are in the area its not too bad.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautiful ocean views but dangerous to other park users!
This course made history by being the first permanently installed course on O'ahu, and that is no small accomplishment! Hawaii will always face unique challenges to getting courses put in, so we need to be thankful just to have a permanent course to play.
By far, the most wonderful part of this course is that there is a beautiful beach only 75 yards from the course! (basket 7 and tee 8 are the closest to the beach.) It would be fun to play some disc golf, go to the beach, throw a few more discs, go back to the beach... all day long. Plus, if you have family members that don't like to play disc golf they can be very happily occupied on a scenic beach.
In many ways this course would be a great place to introduce disc golf to new players. On weekends the park is packed, so there are tons of military personnel and their families who could be introduced to the game! As we will see later, though, these crowds of other park users also represent the biggest drawback to the course.
*Beauty- on holes 6-8 there are beautiful views of the ocean. Also, when you are on holes facing away from the ocean there are the steep mountain slopes from extinct volcano craters in the distant background of holes 1-5.
*Terrain- holes 1 and 2 play among pine trees that add some obstacles to challenge you. I like the pine trees and pine needles on holes 1-3 and 5. There is very little rough anywhere on the course, so you're not going to lose a disc unless it gets stuck in a pine tree.
*Tee signs- signs on big lava rocks that are easy to spot; there is a basic hole map on each sign.
*Basket numbers- even though the baskets are Innova Discatchers they have a DGA number plate on top to mark them. Nice touch.
*Even though holes 4 and 7 are really open and short they are still tempting little ace runs.
*Course map online at DGCR and there is also a large map at the start of the course.
*There are discs for rent in the office.
By far, the most glaring drawback is the unbelievable amount of danger to numerous other park users wandering all over holes 3-9. Hole 3 plays right down a paved walking path that could have walkers or joggers using it. On hole 4 a sand volleyball court is almost in the fairway and on one round a volleyball spectator stood right in the flight path. The left side of hole 6 is a frequently used road to the beach parking lot and there are some beach cottages across the road, so a shot pulled over to the right can easily hit something. Holes 7-9 frequently have families walking through the fairways and near the baskets. Hole 8 is the worst-- the fairway crosses over a kids' soccer field and is a popular path for families to walk to the beach, plus there is a kids' playground not far to the right of the 8 basket. Some kid is bound to get whacked with a sharp disc thrown by a rec player who has very little disc control! On hole 9 the tee shot is left-to-right around a blind corner blocked by trees, and the basket is very close to a well-used walking path. There is also a horseshoe pit in the middle of the 9 fairway and a sand volleyball court that is too close to the 9 basket. Weekends are the most crowded times. A lawsuit is on the way; the only question is "when will it happen?" To avoid these issues it is best to play early in the morning.
-Terrain: most of the holes, especially 4 and 6-9, are way too open for my taste and thus rather lackluster.
-Elevation changes: the course is almost totally flat (1 Up/ 1 Down/ 7 Flat) with the greatest elevation change being -5 ft.
-Length variety: very limited, so it's kind of monotonous. 2 <200 (145, 150)/ 5 of 220-245/ 2>300 (315, 390)
-Navigation: baskets 2, 6, 8 can be hard to see. The first time I played hole 2 I couldn't find the basket and since only basket 5 was visible I played to that one by mistake.
-Tees: they work, but they are only natural sand and dirt so they are not always level, and only the front is marked.
-Baskets: Discatcher double chain with quite a bit of corrosion and some rust from sea salt, but that is probably unavoidable since it is so close to the ocean.
-Hole lengths: the lengths listed on the tee signs are not accurate; many holes are shorter than the lengths given.
Course Level = Red (most suited for Juniors and Intermediate players rated 825-875) The short hole lengths make this course most suitable for new players and shorter throwers. Anyone who drives 250 feet or more will get bored rather quickly.
Because it is on a military base you have to have someone with a military ID to get through the gate. (There is an illegal way to get past the gate by walking down the beach, but it is not advised. You would have to try that at your own risk of breaking the law.)
According to other reviews, in the past unexploded artillery shells had been found at the golf driving range across the street so holes 1-4 once had signs saying "Danger! Explosives". But that issue has been resolved so there are no longer any concerns about this.
The bottom line, though, is that even in spite of all the cons, especially the danger to other park users, this is still the only permanent disc golf course in O'ahu! If you want to play disc golf without lugging around a portable basket this is the only place to do it. Plus there are some great views of the ocean and you can easily combine a day at the beach with some disc golf. Especially if you are just visiting the islands, even though the course is not stellar, it's still worth making the trip just to play on a permanent course in Hawaii.
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 more detailed Overall review notes. 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 if 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.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Large boulders indicating tee location easy to spot, with good tee signs attached to side.
Very nice beach only a minute's walk away.
Most holes play quite near non-players - walking path, basketball court, volleyball court, driveway, parking lot, play-ground., open space between building and beach.
Basket-1/tee-2, basket-3/tee-4 BEHIND fenced-off area with "Danger - Explosives!" signs attached at random intervals.
Single (natural) tee / single basket position. Most holes quite flat, about half quite open.
Limited access - need a way to get onto base.
The course is set in the thinly-grassed open spaces scattered between a parking lot, athletic courts, roads, and buildings of the popular-but-restricted beach at the Bellows Air Force Station. While the distance and difficulty is appropriate for beginners, the proximity of the non-playing areas is not. About half the holes, primarily early, have a few large trees to avoid from mid-fairway to the basket, while the other holes are quite open. Experienced players should have a few ace runs and multiple birdy opportunities.
As of now, the only permanent course on Oahu - worth a play to say you played in Hawaii, then head for the beach!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
You just cant beat this view!
Nice shot variety
Great views and area (bathrooms, water, a bar, miniature golf, volleyball, paintball, and oh yea...THE HAWAIIAN BEACH!)
Nice tee signs
Easily found and navigable
Did I mention the view?
Tee boxes are sand. This actually didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. It does allow for easier foot rotation.
People are a smidge in play on a couple holes
Bombs! (more on this below)
Don't park in the lot along #6. The fairway runs right over the top of it and...ummm.....accidents happen....
First off, this course might have the best view ever. Can you beat a Hawaiian beach running along one side of the course? I think not. As for the course, no hole is particularly long (I think the longest is 350) but what's nice about this course is you get tremendous variety in only 9 holes. You have tight wooded shots, wide open shots with options on attack angles, and even an ace run to boot. And since the course is in a fairly confined area with little foot traffic, you can make up your own holes quite easily, which you will have to do right now because....there are bombs on the course! In all seriousness, they found 'unexploded ordinance' on the driving range across the street, so they cordoned off where the old flight line used to be which includes #1, #2, #3, and the tee box for #4 so they can eventually sweep and clear the area, but they are taking their time so you may want to call first if you want to play the whole course. On a side note, this is the first round I've played where I thought I may actually die for the game. An interesting sensation for sure. But really, the primary challenge of this course is the wind. It comes on suddenly and erratically off the ocean and it quickly turns a routine drive/putt into a complete disaster. If you catch a break in the wind, throw fast!
If you're in or can get to Oahu, you have to play this course. For starters, I think it's the only permanent course in Hawaii at the moment, but really, it's because you get to play disc golf on the beach, and you just can't beat that.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Bellows Field Beach DGC
Bellows Field Beach DGC, located in Waimanalo, HI on the southeast side of Oahu. Established in 2011, this nine hole course is the first permanent course on the island. With new DISCatchers and tee signs near every tee, this course is easy to navigate and can be played in 40 minutes or less. Because it is on a military base, the course is often empty, allowing for players to throw more than one drive and work on putting in the wind. Holes range from 175 - 432 ft. and are all Par 3. There is a kiosk at the beginning of the course near hole one, by the Turtle Cove parking lot, along with tee signs on large rocks showing par, distance, basket location and major obstacles to avoid. Holes are somewhat tight and wooded on holes #1, #2 and #5, with the rest being mostly to completely wide open for the remainder of the holes.
The course is located about 50 yards from the beach, with several amenities/activities for everyone to do including volleyball, tennis, basketball, restrooms, equipment rentals, dining and even lodging at Turtle Cove. Parking is ample but one must be sponsored on or have a valid military I.D. in order to access this course. Once on, there are plenty of areas along the beach to set up and have a picnic or bbq, making for a relaxing day all around.
Favorite hole(s): Hole #2 and Hole #6
As others have stated, this course was intended for novice and intermediate players to learn the sport. This course is still quite enjoyable however for the more advanced/open level player considering the constant trade winds coming in from the Pacific Ocean making the wide open putts rather difficult at times. The fact you are playing in Hawaii and are putting at the only permanent baskets in Oahu makes up for the lack of distance and challenge at times (i.e. holes # 4 and #7).Tee pads are natural and dug out some but considering the distance and location, it was more than adequate.
The largest issue I had, although it may not have been an option, was the location of the course itself. It worked fine for its target audience, but I truly felt that the land just before you got to the course would have allowed for a MUCH more challenging and memorable course. There were many more trees, allowing for tighter lines, elevation changes, and more protection from the wind and sun. Hopefully they will add an additional nine holes to Bellows, incorporating the area I mentioned. This would greatly improve my rating and allow for the more serious player to be challenged.
Least memorable(s): Hole #4 and Hole #7
Getting over to Bellows along the H3 is one of the most beautiful drives on the island and is well worth the drive if coming from the Honolulu/Waikiki area. With family on the island, I visit Oahu at least once and year and have had the privilege to play almost every permanent/temporary course here. It is wonderful to see that they have finally put baskets in permanently in such a wonderful location. I look forward to the next time I visit and hope that eventually the local HDGA will ALSO be given a chance to install a permanent basket course that won't require military I.D. or sponsorship in the near future. The locals are wonderful and always very friendly and I wish them all the best!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Putting in Paradise
Pros: This is the only permament course on the island. The backdrop is amazing, beautiful Pacific Ocean veiws, and nice mix of trees on the course. The baskets are all brand new, and even though the tees are grass or sand, they are well marked with nice large rocks, with hole markers on them. The baskets are also marked so it's very easy to find the next hole and basket. There is also discs avalible for rent so friends and family that may not have there own can join in as well. There is also restroom facilities, and of course a beatiful beach to cool off in after an amazing round in paradise.
Cons: There are two holes that are extremely short, but there are also a few that allow for bigger drives. I prefer concrete pads, but the earth pads here are in good shape and not "dug in".
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed my time here and would recomend this course to any avid player, or to someone looking to try the sport out as well. There are plenty of trees to provide shade as well as add to the challenge. The course is small but they have done well with the space they had to work with. I had no issues with the playground or walking paths, but I have played the game once or twice and can control my discs. The wind was an added challenge, but that was all it was, not some sort of game breaker as described by the reviewer before me. There are no water holes to contend with, just some wind. I like a challenge so the wind was actually welcomed, and on some holes if played right it helped get some extra distance.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
A Quick Fix
Pros: * You're in Hawaii, it's beautiful.
Cons: * Hole #1 plays just to the left of a busy road. There's sand to reduce skipping but still pretty risky.
* Hole #3 plays across a busy path (bikes, golf carts, walkers). Throwing past the basket puts you in risk of hitting someone on the tennis court.
* Hole #6 plays to the left of a busy parking lot.
* The pin for hole #8 is about 30 feet from a large, busy, sandbox/child play structure.
* All of the above in conjunction with THE MOST WINDY CONDITIONS I'VE EVER SEEN. Maybe it was just bad the day I was there but I ended up driving and putting with a Firebird... it was the only disk that wouldn't get blown away instantly.
Other Thoughts: I really admire the fact that they are trying to cater to disc golfers but the pin placement and weather conditions make even the easy shots VERY risky.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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