setting the standard for destination courses
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -top notch design, a true golf course
-great piece of land with woods, open areas, a lake, creeks
-excellent tees, signs, Discatchers
-iconic signature holes: 4, 7, 14, 15
-wide variety of holes and shot types
-playing smart is rewarded, lots of risk/reward opportunites, you really need to know the landing zones
-golf carts, camping, room rentals available on site
-rest rooms and showers
-limited pro shop
-excellent 2nd course on site
-pay to play, i think this is a pro
Cons: -biggest con is the lack of elevation on the course. there are a few spots with a mild to moderate change: green 2, hole 3, hole 8, hole 14, blue tee 15. Mr. Houck did a good job incorporating as much of the present elevation changes as he could
-the par 3s balance out the longer holes but they are very short; you have to hit a line but for experienced players they're nearly gimme birdies
-navigating the area around 4-5 & 7-9 can be tricky. your scorecard has a map but a few signs out on the course would go a long way
-the cost for a weekend can add up quickly; this may tempt you to do something like skipping out on a cart but...
-playing without a cart is a long, arduous endeavor despite the mostly flat land
-a busy weekend can mean all the carts are already booked
-the Lakeside course is a long walk from the club house
-if you're walking the course, there are no benches
-it's a bit of a drive from the ranch to town; plan your food, beverages, and coolers accordingly
Other Thoughts: Selah Ranch is an amazing DG destination with two fantastic courses, beautiful scenery, and a plethora of amenities. From tent camping to the Corral House to the rooms at the Inn, there is an option for most budgets and comfort requirements. The courses are on a sprawling property with woods, meadows, open spaces, lakes, ponds, and creeks. You really get a sense of seclusion when you're out playing at Selah.
The Lakeside course interestingly has fewer water holes than the Creekside course but the lake is bigger on Lakeside and it's water holes are more iconic. Hole 7, with it's beautiful island green, is probably one of the most photographed and talked about holes in disc golf. It's an amazing hole that leaves me wanting another chance at it every single time. This hole and hole 18 feature the lake on the left side of the fairway while holes 2 and 4 have the lake on the right side. Holes 4 and 7 are score-able but dangerous par 5s. The other two par 5s are hole 1 and hole 15. I really like hole 15; the blue tee is a really cool elevated look to an open landing zone before navigating a tunnel with multiple lanes to the green. There is also a creek along the right side from halfway down the fairway to the edge of the green.
Six of the holes play near the lake and most of the rest of them play nearby through the woods. Holes 5, 9, 10, 14, 16 are all fun par 4s that require hitting lines and landing zones to get a putt for birdie. The par 3s on the course usually require hitting a tight, straight gap (except 3 & 17 which are open, 8 which goes right, and 11 which goes left) but 5 of 7 of them are under 300' and the other two are under 320'. They're fun and not necessarily easy but I just listed the blue tee distances not the reds. The reds are 7/7 under 300', 4/7 under 200'. On the shorter side for a championship course but they do offer a nice contrast to the longer par 4s and 5s.
Lakeside is full of challenges and fun with some beautiful views along the way. Less experienced players will still be intimidated on the water holes but playing safe is always an option and groups can enjoy the blues playing doubles if they want to experience the long layout.
I am a fan of pay to play courses but the cost can add up quickly here. Room or camping fee plus greens fee (no discount for tent campers) plus cart fee. It's best if you have a group to go with otherwise you're looking at $60 for each day of golf. You really are going to want a cart too because the courses are long and Lakeside is quite a walk from the clubhouse. Also note that during tournaments here, there are not enough carts for everyone so carts are not available. The carts are also not available the day of rain or if the courses have a lot of standing water. All those factors combined can make planning a trip here a challenge.
Overall, Selah Ranch offers a one of a kind disc golf experience. I've camped here and I've also stayed in the Corral House and either way it's a great time. Obviously it's a lot cheaper with a group but I suppose that helps give it that destination feel to be out there with your buddies. Lakeside has the iconic holes you came here to see plus chances to score and lots of holes that will make you plan your attack very carefully. As always, hats off to Mr. Houck.
**Like this review? Hate it? Message me and let me know why! I want to make them better!**
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
One of the best
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course is difficult, especially from the back tees. You will need all of your arm for this course. Baskets are in great condition. Course maintenance is outstanding. Owner is a pleasant man. There is a disc store on site. There are golf carts available.
Cons: This course is not free admittance and you will probably lose some discs, so it can get expensive.
Other Thoughts: I would recommend getting a golf cart to play this course. When we play Selah, we try to get 4 rounds in a day and that is impossible without carts. Bring lots of bug spray, it is East Texas. Bring all food, beer, water, whatever else you need because the town is 15 minutes away and it closes early.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Incredible WOW factor!
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: "Phenomenal" is the perfect word to describe this experience. From beginning to end, there is a staggering presence to this ranch. Amongst the top of the pros is the hospitality of your hosts here. They host a get-away style ranch which I could never afford to stay at, but they genuinely cared about their course, and their disc golfers. That was a huge bonus for me.
But onto the course itself:
This is a championship caliber course from the long tees. It's still difficult from the short tees. I played this one in the long tees, then Creekside in the short because I learned my lesson. The fairways are fair, no judgments there, they're just long. And the woods are a little forgiving. But there is a lot of water (for here, a pro). I love a good aquatic challenge, and big lakes are some of the most scenic disc golf elements.
The most unique pro Selah can offer: Golf carts! They're pricey, but goodness are they worth it. So worth it. Even driving between every hole, and to all my shots, this round was still close to 2 hours. I can't even imagine how long it would take and how tired I would be if I walked.
I love the interplay between lake and forest. A few holes here, a few holes there- much more exciting than clumping all the water holes together at once on your way by the lake.
Hole 7. The island hole. LITERAL island hole. You have to go up and down a bridge (on your cart if you dare) to get to the basket. I was actually kind of tired of hearing about it before I played this course, but it lives up to the hype. It is the epitome of the decision-making design Houck is known for.
I'm coming from the Gulf Coast, so I especially appreciate the hills and elevation. I actually don't think there's anything spectacular about it here, but it's still nice.
Do I have to say it? Can't it just be assumed at this point that because it's a Houck course that the tees are full size concrete, the signs are beautiful and detailed, and the baskets discatcher? All the bells and whistles.
Cons: Well. I'm not a huge fan of starting off with a par 5. I could just warm up some more and take some warm up drives, but that would make a long round longer. Also hole 1 isn't interesting until the last couple throws.
Selah Ranch was the most expensive disc golf day of my life. You have to account for travel expenses, $20 greens fee, $40 cart rental, and any discs you lose that day (it was a depressing amount for me) (luckily my roommate got me a gift certificate to an online disc vendor that weekend).
Other Thoughts: This course is a great play. A historic, challenging, exciting round. Why the 4.5 and not the 5? The cost > the experience for me, and the lack of glorious elevation mean there's just a little more "want" out of that day. It's definitely in the 4.7-4.8 range. And I'm doing my part in the average game.
I played this course as part of a huge road trip which included the Selah's and Trey Ranch courses, Harmony Bends, Idlewild, Harmon Hills, and hell I'll throw in Harry Meyer's because that course is pretty great too, and it really put a lot of things in perspective when trying to differentiate top-tier courses. It can be muddy in the 0-2.0 range, but no one really cares. It can also be tricky to tell the 4.5-5's apart, and everyone cares a whole lot. And for good reason.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: -Great tee boxes
-Great tee signs
-Scorecards with map
-Good mix of long and short holes
-Painted reference points at 200 and 300 ft from goals
-Well maintained course
-Ranch has a diver that collects discs from water and the pro shop will hold them for you to pick up
-Very few mandos in play because it was well designed.
-Pro shop on site
-Very friendly staff
Cons: -Costs for play and golf cart
-There is some water in play that will eat disks
-Closest place for lunch is 8 miles away
Other Thoughts: This was the more difficult of the two courses at the ranch. I think it was fair, but challenging. The golf carts are a definite must due to the terrain and length of the course. The longer holes are not just bomber holes. They required proper placement to get through the hole. Holes 2, 4, 7, and 18 really bring the water into play. If you want a difficult course, the blue tees here are for you.
I was torn on how to rate this course. It was the first time I have ever paid a significant amount to play disc golf. At $20 to play and $40 for a cart, I just don't think the value is here other than to say you played one of the highest rated courses in the world. I have played courses that were just as well maintained that I enjoyed just as much as this one. I think a few steps could be taken to really ratchet up the allure of this venue. First, I would suggest putting water coolers in every few holes where people can grab some water. Second, I would recommend offering a sack lunch (for a fair fee) that could either be delivered to golfers on the course, or made available at the Inn or pro shop. This would let golfers play more and increase the value to playing at this pay for play facility.
I would definitely recommend playing this one and its sister course on site if you get the chance, but, while it is very good, there is not really anything going on here right now that is "next level."
7 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Excellent GOLD course (2nd of the 4)
7 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: - Excellent GOLD level course with a good variety of shots and use of water. I found myself enjoying every hole as a unique challenge.
- Solid tee pads and signage for both blue/red positions, Discatcher baskets gobbled up putts and were easily visible.
- Beautiful property, many holes look really cool over the water
- Easy to navigate with the provided scorecard maps
Cons: - No benches, and remember these are LONG courses
- Not much elevation change
- *Some* of the staff extremely rude (most were nice)
Other Thoughts: When we played the course was in poor condition due to rain, which made two 9,000 ft rounds extra grueling as carts were not allowed. From strictly course layout I'd rate this 4.5/5, but with the lack of amenities there are many courses that do more than Selah. Of the 4 Trey/Selah courses we thought this was 2nd best to Trey Deuce.
7 of 19 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: - one of two beautifully designed 18 hole courses
- big property that's really well maintained
- Great mix of all kinds of shots like long/short, wooded, water hazard.
- golf carts!
Cons: not too many cons I can think of really, other that it's pretty far out in the middle of nowhere.
Other Thoughts: Had the opportunity to play this legendary course designed by John Houck. It was designed as a Christian retreat or at least with that in mind. Beautiful clubhouse/ mansion on the property with rooms i believe you can pay to stay in (didn't get the chance to do this). Overall amazing course and golfer should have on their bucket list.
3 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Fantastic Disc Golf Experience
19 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: After playing 190 courses, I finally made it to Selah, and it was as good as I had hoped. This is only the second 5.0 I've given.
There is a tremendous variation in hole lengths from 180' out to 890'. The short holes are technical wooded holes requiring careful line and distance control. The longer Par 4 & 5 holes demand precise placement of one drive after another while you make your way to the basket.
There are seven Par 3, seven Par 4, and four Par 5 holes. Having a course with this many quality longer holes holes is special. Both courses are long, at 6378' from the red tees and 8854' from the blue.
What stood out for me was the playability of the course for an 850 rated player like myself with a 300' max drive. I chose to play the red tees for my first time out, and thoroughly enjoyed all 18. They were good fits for me and I didn't feel hopelessly outgunned.
The course features lake holes, creek holes, moderately wooded, tightly wooded, and even more tightly wooded holes. The variety in terms of hole distance, par, and amount of woods is well distributed throughout the course. You are driving along the lake-shore one moment, and in the woods the next.
Like many others I found Hole 7 to be the signature hole. Playing out to a basket placed on an island was a special treat. I shot a four on the hole without trying anything heroic, but I can see losing a few discs if you decide get aggressive.
The course infrastructure is top of the line. Two excellent concrete tee pads for each hole. Both have excellent Houck signs with detailed hole diagrams, lines to the basket, distances, par, etc. Innova DISCatcher baskets show up well in the more shadowed pin positions and catch great. Clear paths from hole to hole make navigation a breeze.
The provided scorecards include an excellent overall course map, and hole distances and pars for both tees at each hole.
Cons: Very hard to come up with any as this is an outstanding course. I was a little surprised not the find any "Next Tee" indicators, but honestly navigation wasn't an issue.
The second half of Hole 14 borders on poke-and-pray and might benefit from removal of a few trees.
Other Thoughts: This is a first class pay-to-play facility. Course fee is $20 for the day, and cart rental is an additional $20. I played both courses in one morning and can't imagine taking them on without the cart.
Had my wife along and she really enjoyed the beautiful ranch and traveling around in the cart.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Best of the best
1 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: What a fun and challenging course, it really just challenges you in every way and just makes you push your game to the next level especially with all the times you throw over water. You can tell the course has been made by a professional because you need your hole bag. Not to mention everything is clean and the tee signs and pads are perfect, it's worth it for sure.
Cons: It's not cheap, the road can be bumpy.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 20 Not
Pros: ** Well maintained.
** Owner and caretaker are very nice.
** Lodging on site, but a bit pricey
** Golf carts. More of a novelty. If I ever play it again (which I probably won't) I would opt not to use the cart.
** 2 courses on property which makes a day of it rather going somewhere else to play another round.
** Pro shop, but not much of one.
Cons: ** Not much elevation change.
** Sometimes long distances from basket to next T
** Very little risk/reward that required decision making (see other thoughts)
** Signage could be better. It was adequate but not up to a 5 star rating.
** Not much variety. A lot of open holes with few or no obstacles (trees, etc.)
** Personally, I found the course itself mostly ordinary.
Other Thoughts: ** There is not much difference between Creekside and Lakeside. I wrote the same review for both.
** I've played about 75 courses in 14 states and would not rate this course in the top 10 of the 75 I've played.
** Risk/reward: If you are throwing across a lake and can throw that far then there is not much risk. If you can barely throw that far there is risk. If you can't throw that far it is pointless. There is not much decision making in that case. When putting toward a lake or stream that is 20 ft. past the basket, you have to decide how likely you are to make it from the distance you are putting. But what's the worst that can happen? You are putting for a birdie 2 and miss. Your shot rolls into the lake or stream. You take a penalty stroke and make an easy putt back for a bogie 4. So you could get a 2 (if you make it), a 3 if you miss and it doesn't go OB, or a 4. On the other hand if 20 ft. past the basket is a 60 ft. deep tree filled canyon, that missed putt could turn into a 6 or worse. Now the decision you make as to whether to go for it or lay up becomes very important.
** If you like a grip and rip course then this place may be for you. It offers some opportunities to shape shots around obstacles, but mostly it is just throw long.
** If, on the other hand, you like to walk up to the T-Box and analyze what type of shot is needed to get the lowest score (do you throw a hyzer, a forehand flick, a thumber, go straight at it, layup in the fairway for a high percentage approach shot, or any number of other options) then this course may not be for you.
** It is a good place to practice long drives without much regard to what direction the disc goes. But then so is a football field.
11 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Yeah, It's all that!
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: From the wonderful property to the country club style setting, there is nothing I've experienced in Disc Golf that compares to Selah Ranch. The best of their courses is Lakeside. All of the holes require a thoughtful drive that will hopefully result in a successful approach to the basket. Hole 7 is just magnificent.
John Houck designed courses in a well maintained ranch with thoughtful owners. John took the best land and created a truly great disc golf course that can be played using a golf car (needed) where every hole is a challenge. This isn't a course for any "one trick pony" kind of player. You'll need a complete game to score well and have a great time here. All the holes are fair, but each one has challenges for you. We played from the short (red) tees. It was fun for our group of grandmasters and we all shot from under to a little over over par.
This isn't a "get there and throw" course. It requires thought and planning. Thanks John!
Cons: $20 to play and $20 for half a cart is pricey for disc golf. This isn't your every day course to play. It is a destination course that will probably cost you the $40 (plus tax) along with gasoline, lodging and meals on the road to play.
It's worth it.
Other Thoughts: I played this course a few years ago during the fall. Cookie was with us then. We stayed at the Corral House (great by the way) and it simply couldn't have been better. Good guys and disc golf...
This time we played the Trey Texas courses on Monday and played Selah on Tuesday... staying in a motel in Mt. Pleasant. Not as great (lodging), but we played two other awesome John Houck courses (met Mom) and enjoyed the peaceful East Texas life.
This is a trip worth taking. Play the four courses and if you can afford it, stay at Selah Ranch for the best in hospitality. If you want to save a few bucks... call Mom at Trey Texas Ranch. She'll set you up.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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