Pretty unique technical course
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Unique feel -> this mostly technical 18 hole course is located in a beautiful and rugged forested wetland along a historic creek made famous by the sh*t kicking Texas army in 1836
Great design -> after starting with some nice open holes zig zagging across a field, players descend into the forest wetland playing along densely forested fairways on sandy creek beds
Fun & free -> most amateurs and competitors will enjoy this course, which is open to the public and features a course map sign, great long tee pads, tee signs, and a warm up basket
Length & variety -> inventive mix of hole lengths (200s, 300s, 400s, 500s) plus long and short positions (but only long pads) make this course challenging but fun for most disc golfers
Cons: Water hazards -> while integral to the experience and stunning, I find the murky water hazard of the large creek intimidating (apparently, the locals do not...)
Tight fairways -> a lot of fun to play, but if you don't like tight forested fairways that can punish you for errant drives, play elsewhere
Long pads only -> the short positions don't have pads, which could compel inexperienced players to throw long instead and maybe not have as much fun
Snakes -> this is one of those courses in Houston where you see a sign warning of venomous snakes. I try to watch where I step/reach when recovering discs from the rough.
Other Thoughts: Signature details, like a nice elevated basket, all help lend to the feel of one of prettier courses in greater Houston.
Parking available at Bud Hadfield park - look for the course sign.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
It's tough, don't let it get to you
Pros: It's pretty obvious how much effort has been put into this course when you're walking down the wide fairways carved into the forest, throw a variety of shots on many diverse holes, and looks from the tee.
Tees are concrete, but also a bit short, especially on the first holes. You can start your run up behind them, or throw next to them, if it's not too muddy. The first holes also span a drainage basin though, so if it's rained recently you may want to wait or wear shoes you don't mind getting wet.
I feel like the best feature of this course is that there really aren't any other wooded courses in the Houston area. You can go up to Spring Valley, or even farther to Shawshank, but those tight and technical, PUNISHING roughs, are right here at TAT.
(and other typical considerations: navigation is easy, beauty isn't bad, risk of losing a disc is low except for a few holes)
Cons: This course is grueling, and because there are just a lot holes where to make it far down the fairway you have to hit some crazy tough lines. Play for par. Don't go for birdie unless you can see the basket, which will be few times.
On the tee signs, there are multiple tees depicted, and in reality, there is always only one tee. That's pretty frustrating because multiple tees would definitely help this course.
Some holes have long and short pin positions, and when I played they were mixed. A hole in the long, then the short, then the long, then the short, and I couldn't figure out why they don't just move them all in one or the other.
My biggest ish with this course is just how long it feels. There's a stretch of several loooong par 4s in the middle, all in a row, that just kill your energy if you end up in the woods at all. It would be nice to have the par 4s spread out a bit so you can recover some of your game.
Other Thoughts: I played this course in what had to be the most miserable conditions- inCREDibly humid, muddy, standing water on most fairways (but the miracle is I NEVER landed in it!), and sweltering heat. But despite how miserable summer Houston was, I could see myself really enjoying this course in the fall, or early spring, when its cool and the brush is thinner.
This is one of those staple Houston courses. It was nice seeing the videos of this course for the Texas State Championships, because it gave me hope that even the pros have some issues. This is a good course, and I maybe it's just overgrown a little into a bad course, but overall it's worth a stop. Bring your water, don't get discouraged, and you can do it!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Mostly Technical Course an Anomaly Around These Parts!
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The Texas Army Trail DGC has been carved out of some thick, Texas foliage. Many volunteer hours were spent cutting and shaping fairways where there was once only jungle. Many trees were lost a couple of years ago due to a prolonged drought. Trees larger than 4" around can not be cut down due to environmental restrictions. The last 14 holes could all be considered technical. The county has been inconsistent in their support of this course. They placed restrictions on what volunteers could accomplish but then out of the blue, they construct a nice large parking lot.
There is a practice basket at the start. There's also a snake warning sign warning you about cottonmouths, coral and copperheads. What, no cobras? The tee pads are nicely sized concrete ones and the baskets are Mach V's. There is currently one cool elevated basket sitting a cement base. The other firmer raised basket on # 7 is currently one foot high. My local guides, Tom and Fred, assured me that this basket would quickly be raised to a normal height.
Holes 1 & 2 play back and forth over the large drainage basins. I found them to be fun throwing from up on the ridge. Starting with # 5, the course moves into the woods and become tighter and more technical. I guess by Texas standards, this is considered very technical. I think you always have a fair route to play through. Some of these routes are tighter than others. One thing that seems to be a constant here, is the rough is very forgiving. As per my usual, I spent much of my time four wheeling my way through the rough and I was almost always able to get a decent look at the basket.
Three holes stood out to me. They were all three the riskier holes on the course and normally I hate these types of holes. # 13 is just 198' but you have to hit the window or risk having your disc sink into the creek. # 14 then has you throwing from an elevated pad and having to annie around a big sweeping fairway to the basket 312' down there somewhere. And I think, # 18, is an excellent example of a true Rusk/Reward hole. It's 252' with a safe hyser throw mostly ending in a par. Or you can take the risky route which involves throwing an anhyser shot around some branches, over the creek and hopefully, be rewarded with a birdie. An additional problem here is the recent flooding took out about 10' of embankment, leaving you even less margin of error. I really like the fact that you, Mr. Disc Golfer, are making this decision.
Cons: I wasn't impressed with the tee signs. By the way, there is no sign on # 1. The other signs all show three pads, The short Reds, the medium Whites and the longer Blues, each with varying distances depending on whether the baskets were in the short or long positions. But I never saw any other tee pads and when I inquired with my two, very knowledgeable locals, they couldn't tell me with any degree of certainty the distance.
The rough is mostly thick by Texas standards and not very forgiving having lots of vine like things hanging down all over.
No where for big arms to let em rip. I think, the course's longest holes is # 9 at just over 400'.
C snake warning sign disturbing to us players not used to being around real poisonous C snakes.
Evidence of recent flood seen over all parts of the course. I'm sure the course has shown better before flooding.
Other Thoughts: Note to Texas players: This course would be considered the norm in many other parts of the country. States getting a lot of moisture, like Oregon and Washington, feature courses that make the Texas Army Trail DGC seem.........I think fair is the word I would use. We see courses where there doesn't appear to be any fair route to the basket.
I liked this course. It's a course where accuracy is more important than distance. I didn't say this course was my kind of course, I suck at any course where you need to throw straight. Texas Army Trail kicked my butt, big time, but I did welcome the challenge even though I mostly failed miserably. I think other players may enjoy having their lunch handed to them here.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Decent course with defined fairways
Pros: Tee pads on all the holes
Tee signs on all but hole #1
Several holes have 2 pin placements
Good arraignment of holes in distance and left to right.
Makes use of the small elevation in the park.
Several holes are two shot holes forced by the rough
Cons: First few holes are pretty wide open with the basket tucked into the woods. Actually kind of boring compared to the rest of the course.
Hole 18 is a crap shoot, only hole without a defined fairway and is a throw and pray you don't hit a tree shot.
Other Thoughts: This is a good course despite the slow start and horrible ending hole.
First 4 hole are all wide open fairways across a flood pond with the basket tucked into the woods.
Then you get back into the woods where you have defined fairways and rough that you DO NOT want to be in.
Several holes should be played by throwing to the turn, then throwing your up shot. The risk reward is not worth it, you miss the fairway, your looking at a 4 or higher score on the hole.
Two of the holes have baskets that are raised, one on a tree stump and another on a cement poll.
Hole 18 is a throw and pray shot, either if you throw the safer hyzer shot, or if you throw the risky anhyzer shot over the river (it was a river today with the recent rains) The problem I have with this hole is there is a row of trees protecting the basket on the creek banks, I got lucky and missed them landing behind the basket. But if I had hit one of the trees, good chance that disc would have been gone. The hyzer shot does not have a defined fairway, you just have to throw and hope you don't hit anything. This is for a 3 as the hyzer fairway does not give you much for a birdie shot.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Been a While
Pros: Fun course. Good teepads. Variety of shots. Haven't played it in a while so I can't remember too much about it, but I did really enjoy it. First few shots are wide open and it lets you warm up, and it gets progressively more and more fun.
Cons: Signage was decent but not amazing.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Great Course, Requires Shot Making
Pros: Easy to navigate
Lots of shot variation
Cons: There really wasn't anything not to like about this course
Other Thoughts: I gear my ratings for someone traveling through or in the area trying to find out which courses to play.
If you are passing through, play this course.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Technical Course
Pros: The basic items check out. There are cement tees, DGA Mach V baskets, good signage, and some benches. I hardly noticed them, in that I never had to worry about footing, putting style, etc. This is a good thing, because it frees up your mind to think about the course itself.
I loved the course itself. I played the long tees and as a blue level player I felt challenged without being overwhelmed. The first four holes were mostly open, although the first three still required good placement to access a protected pin placement. The rest of the holes were in the woods, and offered a stern test of shot shaping and execution. Every hole had a well-defined fairway with valid routes. There were also some true par fours on the course, with well-defined landing zones.
One note on those wooded holes. Many holes only offered a single route, but from hole to hole the routes were different. One hole would force a straight shot, the next might force a slight left-to-right shot, and the one after a hard right-to-left shot. While this does limit creativity, it also limits the ability to find a hyzer line off of every tee. Instead you are forced to throw different shot shapes on demand.
The last thing I should mention is the tee signs. These were some of the most useful I have ever seen. As a traveling player playing the course blind, I had next to no trouble navigating the course and finding baskets. In particular, these signs included an aerial diagram of the hole. In addition to showing tees and pin placements, there was also a little camera symbol at some point in the fairway. Then at the bottom of each sign was a photo taken from that symbol and looking towards basket. Essentially, they show right on the tee sign what you would see if you walked up the fairway to look at the green. I had never seen this before, and thought it was fantastic.
Cons: My biggest con was the lack of multiple tees. Each sign had shorter tees marked, but they were natural tees and not even marked on the course. I don't know if they will be installed in the future, but given the difficulty of the long pads, shorter pads would be a wonderful complement to this course.
I felt that the hole distances lacked variety. I threw a driver off of the tee on 16/18 holes, and the two holes on which I threw a midrange came back to back. I'd have liked to see one of two more shorter holes, and with better spacing in between.
Also, I imagine it is really easy to lose a disc or two in the thick rough if you are not careful. The fairways were fair, but the rough sure was rough. Keep a close eye on any errant shots.
Other Thoughts: I should note that this is a course who's reputation preceded it. I spent my first 7 years in disc golf playing around the Southeast, in general playing more heavily wooded and technical courses. After moving to the relatively open spaces of Texas and commenting on how much I miss technical courses, Texas Army Trail was invariably brought up as a course in Texas I needed to play.
I was not disappointed. This course reminded me of Jack McClean park in Tallahassee, Florida, which is another long, wooded course that I really enjoyed. After the round, I met one of the locals who was partly responsible for upkeep of the course. After playing through the course, I could tell that someone (likely many someones) had put a great deal of time and effort into the course. It was great to talk to him and have the opportunity to thank him for all his work. If you have a chance to play this course, I highly recommend it.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Pros: My initial impression of this course, seeing the first few holes in the field, was hoping that the whole course wasn't just wide open.
Be careful what you wish for.
This course has a nice concrete long tee on each hole, and a nice sign with distance to both basket positions. Also, each sign has something I've never seen before on a course. A picture of basket on the bottom right of each sign, with a camera logo on each hole map to show the view the picture was taken from. This really helps with the MANY blind shots on this course, and saves first-time players like me the trouble of having to scout out every hole. Kudos to designers for that
This course offers a ton of variety: Some more open holes to warm up, then woods, woods and more woods, with water lurking in spots.
The course design really makes good use of what's there. The first few holes that play through the open field make good use of late trouble, at least in the long baskets.
On the field holes, just because of the terrain available, the short baskets are pretty open, but the long basket spots are really tucked into the woods with some interesting challenges on every one.
Also, the small trees planted in the field will grow into interesting, fairly wide fairways given a few more years, which will make the short baskets less of a drop-off from the tricky long placements
This course, from the current concrete tees, is probably the hardest course I have played in the Houston area so far. The course does not favor right or left-handed throwers, either way you will have to make shots that are difficult for you. Accuracy is rewarded here, the shule is thick, so staying on the fairways is key to shooting well on this course, as well as throwing far.
Many holes are blind throws off the tee, which only adds more challenge
On top of the long blind fairways. This course does a great job of throwing late trouble at you. Wherever possible, they have tucked the baskets amongst guardian trees, making precise approaches as important as accurate drives. This course does not give you an easy way out. You will need multiple good to great shots on each hole to shoot well.
Though the fairways are fairly narrow, they are very clean and intentional. The rough here is thick and punishing, but there is always a line if you stay on the fairway, so it again rewards accuracy, as a well-designed course should. There are not pro-spike hyzer routes on these holes, the thick foliage does a great job keeping big arms honest, and thus when I call this a championship course, I mean that it is a challenge no matter how far you can rip it. Most courses this length are significantly less wooded, but I prefer courses like this that force accuracy
This course also uses water for two memorable holes, where you must throw a right curve over the river/bayou/creek thing off the tee to carry the water. The designers mercifully made these two among the shortest holes on the course, allowing for birdie opportunities for those who make the scary shot.
Also, some elevation comes into play on this course. The designers have put baskets on these inclines where possible to create rollaway and high-risk putts, also a nice challenge on the course.
This course has great Par markings, all the holes that are marked par 4's are legitimate multi-drive holes, with the basket in either setting. This also adds to the challenge, since it allows this course to stretch you even more than all the long par 3's do.
Overall, this is a championship difficulty course that will test your skills and will force you to earn par. There are no throwaway holes here, every one has forces you to think and almost all are quite challenging, but very intentionally so. This course is hard, by design, and uses the limited elevation and water very well, in combination with the thick woods these fairways are carved out of
Cons: Did I mention that this course is very difficult and long? It is very tough to get pars out here, and ace runs are not part of the picture.
Its tough because you have to throw straight or avoid shanking into thick shule that's hard to even tomahawk over once youre in it, but the fairways are all blind and curve, so you need to hit precise lines around blind curves or be punished
The course has no bathrooms, which is annoying because it takes awhile to play. The arrows pointing to the next tee are well-placed, but they are only laminated paper and starting to fall apart from rain. They are much needed for navigating the course, and should be replaced with something more permanent. I was able to navigate course, but we did see several groups wandering around lost after they played the first few holes in the field.
This course was very intentionally designed. Many courses will have early or late trouble, this course kinda throws it all at you. In many cases, you throw several good drives to get around the blind curves, and when you get up to the basket, it is tucked deep amongst thick trees. Sometimes it just felt like too much. The short basket placements are all difficult and well protected, and the long ones are all significantly harder. I found myself wondering why they needed a longer basket spot in many cases, since the shorter one is already quite challenging. This speaks to my level of play, but also the length and challenge of this course.
When I looked this course up online, I thought wow the long tees look tough, but the multiple tees on every hole shown in tee signs will be great for my wife (not a distance thrower) so she can play from the short tees and have fun on this course, and I can play from mediums since its my first time here.
The only tees are the longs, which are tough even for me. My wife did not like the course much, because she doesn't have enough distance to par most of these. I love the design and layout, but you could have quicker rounds from the medium tees and it would still be quite challenging. Some longer courses have a nice mix of short, birdie opportunities mixed in. This one feels like its set up for a PDGA tournament length.
The tee maps have the medium and short tees marked, and distances for them, but walking the course, I was struck that there are no pads, or any kind of marking for the other tees whatsoever. Not even a post in the dirt. I could tell kindof where the other tees would go. It even seems like the trees are cleared off and the ground is leveled out in spots that seem to match up with where the map says they should be.
Walking up to those areas, I got very excited, imagining the shots from these spots. The shorter tees really do change the holes, not just subtracting distance, but also taking the first blind curve out of many fairways. Because of the way this course is designed, the medium and short tees would still be very interesting on almost every hole. Many of them would still be blind shots, and the well-protected baskets remain hard to park in either case. The pars wouldn't even need to be changed, presuming that for someone throwing from the shorts (my wife), 350 ft of tight tree tunnel is still a tough 4.
The short tees would have many midrange shots off the tee for a player like myself, and quite a few ace runs, but it still forces accuracy.
My point is this. I was ok playing the long tees, but I would LOVE to play this course form the mediums, and I think newer players or more finesse players would really enjoy playing from the shorts. Right now, this course appeals to the advanced players, but dang its hard. Just putting a colored stake in the ground and having dirt tees would make a big difference, and make this course way more fun for me, and fun for players like my wife. The holes still look challenging from the middle tees, and it would make the course play like 36 holes.
I say this with a big asterisk, because this course hasn't been very long, but I look forward to the day the curators stick some posts in the ground and at least mark the other pads. I will gladly rate this course higher once this has changed. I really wanted to like this course more, but the tee signs kept reminding me of what the holes could've been.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course, and I understand why you would put in the longest tees first:
-You can have tournaments right away and challenge the best players
-Once you have the land for the long holes approved by parks dept, it makes sense to get them in so that whole area is now DG designated
Its way easier to just put up the shorter tees afterward, once the long fairways are already clear and the holes are figured out.
This course has some interesting holes, I just think that for most golfers, these holes would be more fun from the shorter tees, instead of SO hard like it is now
Most courses don't have the space to put 3 tees on each hole. This is an awesome feature, and this will play like 3 different courses with the 3 sets of tees in. Even if the other 2 are dirt, I think many golfers will choose to play from mediums if there is just a colored post there
I'm sure this will be added in coming years,and I look forward to coming back and checking it out
BRING WATER AND BUG SPRAY, its a long round full of skeeters otherwise
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Not Easy To Maintain Par
Pros: This course has every possible difficulty that a disc golfer could think of encountering on any one course. There are quite a variety of holes here. From open and easy to tight and restricting due to many trees in some fairways. I have always appreciated a good challenge and this course has it. Very difficult to stay on par due to elevated basket or tough curving fairways. A disc golfer is challenged to throw the straightest shot they can throw or risk fading off into some unforgiving brush. I have played my share of these type of courses and have found them to keep me on my toes, so to speak. My favorite hole here is 13 with its throw over a mini gorge bordering Cypress Creek. A throw must have enough hyzer on it to get it over the opposite gorge wall and through an opening between two trees with brush on either side. The distance is only 199 feet to the basket and I have deuced this hole twice. This course is such with the level of difficulty that I feel it ranks up there with some of the better courses in the Austin area. It also proves that holes do not have to be particularly long to be tough or challenging.
Cons: There are no restrooms here but there are plenty of trash cans and places to sit at almost every tee. Lots of brush to deal with and plenty of trees in the woody part of the course. I see alternate tees on the signs but I do not see them marked anywhere on the course, so I guess that is best guess as to the exactness as to their location.
Other Thoughts: My recommendation for this course if you want to score well: bring your straightest throwing discs. I have done well with my JLS, Viking, and Avenger SS. A floating disc is not necessarily needed unless a throw is made off of hole 18 over the creek. This is a well-maintained good course and definitely a worthy challenge.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Maybe Too Unforgiving
Pros: One of the good things about this course is that it is well maintained. The tee boxes are all cement, and the baskets are, if not pristine, at least functional. The course is also well marked with signs at the beginning of every hole and directions between many of the holes. The directions were particularly useful in the heavily forested section where I would have been completely lost, but even on my first time playing the course I was never confused about where to go.
The course layout itself is interesting and varied. The course includes doglegs in both directions, long straight holes, and short approach and putt holes. Every hole is like an interesting new puzzle that must be solved.
Cons: The most notable aspect of this course which I have not mentioned yet is the incredible difficulty. The first four holes are open, but after that every hole winds through thick forest and is constrained to incredibly narrow fairways. By the second nine I was relieved to see that any fairway was ten meters wide, because they were often much narrower. I consider myself an experienced player but I often double or triple bogeyed after bouncing back and forth between the brush on each side of the fairway.
This difficulty would have been one of the the courses greatest strengths except that the difficulty often seemed unfair and frustrating rather than fun. Often many trees were located in already narrow fairways which made strategies and skill irrelevant. Hitting or missing the trees was simply a matter of luck. Also several of the holes are elevated a meter off the ground which makes putting consistently much harder.
Other Thoughts: This course is very good due to its good maintenance and interesting variety, but the frustration prevents this course from being excellent. If some of the random aspects of this course are reduced then it could be one of the best in the Houston area. Ultimately if you enjoy a difficult course this is definitely worth a try.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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