I Thought A Bayou Was Like A Swamp In Louisiana!
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Down here in Houston, they call these canals bayous. And these were the water that flooded over their banks and cause so much anguish and trouble for Houstonites. TC Jester park is a large sprawling park with the canal (bayou) running through the park. The park also contains everything a park could have from two dog parks to ballfields and was filled with joggers/walkers at sunrise this morning.
The course is fairly long, flat and has some nice scattered mature trees. They are used whenever possible but often result in having out just throwing around 1-2 trees. So mostly, the course is of a shortened "grip it and rip it" variety. The new concrete tee pads are nice sized. The signs are small metal ones showing the route, distance, par and the next tee. I was lucky to tag up with local player, Chris, (dragging a 4 month old and two dogs) I didn't need to worry too much about the navigation. I think I could've have figured it out but there are a couple of long to very long walkouts, after #9 and #13 which probably would have caused me problems.
There are longer blue tees marked with a simple pole giving the hole # but no tee pads. Mostly, they looked to just lengthen the hole by 50-100', but didn't really appear to give you a different look.
# 4 is probably the signature hole. It's a 254' throw over the bayou but probably only requires about a 200' short to clear the water. One month ago, it would require about a 12 miles throw to clear the bayou's swollen banks. Most players will throw a mid-range here while I muscled up and made it comfortably across. I also enjoyed # 3 and # 18, both of which had baskets semi-protected by trees.
Both the bayou and surrounding streets are close enough on a number of holes to at least, give you thought before throwing. I would think us recreational players should check traffic before teeing off on a couple of holes.
The park was in nice shape, especially when you consider the flooding of the last month.
Only a few trees to navigate around.
Probably three tee signs are missing.
# 16 and # 20 are both wide open and mostly, boring holes.
Three long walkouts. A previous reviewer commented that a round here would mean walking 4 plus miles. I believe him.
Other Thoughts: This is a very solid course. It's wide open enough for beginners and rec players and probably long enough that better players can get their kicks here. Lots of pedestrians to be aware of, while scatter armed players should, at least, take a look at the oncoming traffic on TC Jester before throwing and yes, I do realize that TC Jester looks to be a very busy throughway which might mean a wait. Just be aware while enjoying your round here.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
TC is Awesome
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Concrete pads for short tees, new Discraft Chainstar baskets and rebuilt bridge on path from 5 to 6 along with a nice bench by the bridge make for nice additions to the already amazing layout. Very close to 610 loop makes it a central course for Houston. Drains very well into the bayou with only 2 or so holes retaining water after it rains. Good mix of RHBH hyzer and a few LHBH hyzer shots as well.
Cons: Minimum of 4.7 mile walk to complete all 21 holes. The grass along the bayou seems to be never mowed as the Houston Flood Control District people like weeds. Blue long tees could use concrete pads is the only improvement I think it needs.
Other Thoughts: TC has a pool open for free during the summer from 1pm - 8pm except for on Mondays when they are closed for shock treatments.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Bless yer jester
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course was in awesome shape. It has nice new tee pads and signs. The baskets are not top end but they work just fine. A great course if you want to just play a few holes repeatedly because there are three sections here. Or all 21 make for a fun round. The sign to stop trashing disc golf courses with butts was a awesome sight on the new walk from hole 5-6. Hole 12 centeral pine tree is a favorite feature in all HoustonDG for me, the amount of gauges from discs is quite remarkable.
Cons: Not much, the pedestrians, the lack of elevation change, no extremely wooded holes( it seems like there is a spot to get all of those things between 5-6 that was not used)
Other Thoughts: Have fun and be safe. No reason to hit a pedestrian or have stuff stolen from your vehicle.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Lots of great shots for such a simple setting. Very little interference from the actual park on your shot lines. Well-paced design. Teepads are good across the whole course.
Cons: Weren't too many holes that stuck out as natural beauties. The course isn't long at all if you have good distance or form but personally​ I think some holes could've been shorter by a HAIR just to make ace runs more realistic--the course design wouldn't suffer IMO.
One or two "next tee" signs are missing which can lead to some confusion.
The layout could've had a bit less backtracking but it wasn't anything bad.
Other Thoughts: Amazing for where it is. Definitely a good course for practicing ripping out longer drives--I'm on the east coast and our tight wooded courses are definitely not usually so open. Had great upkeep on the grass. The live oaks scattered throughout are beautiful and really make a few holes pop. Would be a really fun course for a roller-heavy player.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A solid course that can be replayed many times
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Has a practice basket
-A good difficulty for all but the top skill level
-Hole 4 is definitely a signature hole
Cons: -Dirt teepads
-No tee signs
-Could be difficult to navigate if you don't know where you're going
Other Thoughts: Difficulty (3/5): A good mix of distance and obstacles. I played this course as a very new player and never got to a hole where I thought "I can't do this." I think this course will provide a good challenge for a wide array of ability levels.
Equipment (2/5): No tee signs and dirt patches for tee boxes. They get muddy after a rain. The baskets were fine though.
Variability (3/5): The majority of shots off of the tee I'd say were ripping a fairway driver in a way to try and avoid the smattering of trees. And if there was only one type of hole allowed on a course, that'd be my pick. There is a tunnel shot, a low ceiling shot, and a forced hyzer/anhyzer or two, but it's not the most diverse course I've played.
Flow/Experience (4/5): I played the round with someone who had played before so I was always lead to the next teebox. But for someone who wasn't being lead around, I could see it being tough to navigate. There aren't any tee signs, just short posts (some of which are missing) and there are a number of spots on the course where you can't see the next teebox from the previous basket so you'd have no idea where to go. I imagine a lot of first time players at this course play it out of order or miss a few holes. The course does start and end right by the parking lot though. In terms of experience, Hole 4 raised my rating by an entire point. A driveable shot over the flowing bayou was extremely memorable, and my biggest takeaway from this course!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Skinny, busy, city park.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Easy access, an activity center in the inner city. Lots of space strung out along a concrete bayou. Lots of the soccer playing type, so dirty diapers and trash in the woods. Bienvenido to Houston.
Cons: An activity center in the inner city. OK I played on Christmas day but there was a lot of activity. Electric vehicles, kite flyers, so many dog walkers, joggers, bicycles. Some people just plant themselves in a fairway, looking at you to dare to throw at them, I did, sailing over there heads.
The course trys to be technical by putting a large tree on the right of lot of holes, just diminishes the fun. I played on a windy day so course was challenging just to keep discs in play.
Other Thoughts: I would have to play on a calm deserted day with someone who knows the course. The signage is poor, bring a map. Numbers on baskets would be good, and arrows pointing to next tee. People scratched their initials in fresh concrete tees, why didn't someone put an arrow with number?
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
wide open, not too technical
Pros: fun course to play. as a somewhat new player, super technical courses through woods arent that fun for me. on jester, there is really only 1 hole where i cant throw a driver. there are trees on the course that come into play, but really no holes where you just hope to get lucky and miss a tree. 2/3 of the holes are birdie-able for a decent player. probably all birdie-able for a good player. playing solo, i can finish 21 holes in about 75 minutes. plenty of parking and easy to navigate once you figure out holes 5-9 are across the bayou.
course is much more difficult when the wind is whipping.
Cons: long walks between 9 and 10, and 16 and 17. course holds a lot of water after a good rain. no concrete pads. could use some trash cans. on weekends, picnickers can campout on a few of the holes between 15 and 21.
Other Thoughts: this course is about 4 blocks from my house so its super convenient to play. typically well maintained and although its probably considered fairly easy, every hole is fair and there are lots of birdie opportunities.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 4 Not
Great course for big arms
Pros: The redesign added alot of different holes to the course that were not there before, and reworked the old holes to add more distance to them. The course starts with several holes that force some controlled distance with scattered mature trees in play. Then, the course shoots across Buffalo bayou, and takes you into the woods across the bayou. This collection of holes is the most technical, with tighter lines than the rest of the course, and a little terrain in play. One hole forces a loong blind right curve, with the basket on a rise with wicked rollaway potential. The bayou comes into play on several holes on the far side, but none more than the bayou crossing shot. This adds some intrigue to 2-3 holes. These far side holes IMO are the jewel of this course, bringing the most interesting shots and terrain into play.
The course crosses back across the bayou, and switches back to more open, flat holes, that test your controlled distance driving, with a few obstacles in the way. The holes past the dog park are mostly open, power holes that you will need 300+ distance to shoot well on. Unlike its previous 9 hole layout, this course is not a deuce or die course full of birdie runs. In fact it now is more the other end of the spectrum, you will need a good rip off most tee pads for a shot at par. There are at least a few trees in play on every hole (except hole 21), plus OB paths, so pure distance is not the only thing you will need here, however, the trees are too few in number on most holes to really punish you unless you hit one. Thus this course does not require you to hit very tight lines, nor does it particularly favor lefties or righties, since there are multiple ways around to the basket on most holes. The reforestation clumps in original 9 area are used very well, and do restrict lines in some holes, but overall this course is pretty open and forgiving.
Those who like longer holes to grip it and rip it, and not super technical plinko holes in tight woods, will love this course. You will get loads of chances to use your distance drivers, and there's not much shule to get buried in, while still enough trees to keep the holes from being all the same. However, short drives are punished here more than errant, long drives. The course is challenging from both long and short tee pads, and will stretch your arm.
Also, this course is in a great location for players inside the loop, and in a good neighborhood where you don't have to worry about
Cons: This course suffers from several unavoidable problems. It's in Houston, so it is very flat. The holes across the Bayou bring some terrain into play, but mostly it's just flat, like many Houston courses. The designers here had a long skinny piece of land to work with, so the general down and back flow on the near side of bayou is somewhat set in stone as a result. That being said, they use distance on this course to overcome a general lack of terrain, and only scattered trees, which gets a little stale for me by hole 21. The designers are limited by the canvas they had to work with(ie not solid forest) , but it feels like they overcompensate with distance to much and too often, and it makes the last several holes boring for me.
This course doesn't do a lot to keep big arms honest, and distance really helps on course. The difference in length from long to short tees seems minute in some cases, even the short tees are going to be long from someone throwing less than 300ft.
The dirt tee pads and colored posts are functional, but basic. Considering that most will need their max distance on many holes, some kind of more permanent, level tee pads (rubber or concrete) would be nice.
Flow is also an issue on this course, as it can be hard to navigate the bayou crossing, and back, without a course map. Also, hole 12 is hard to find from 11 (its towards the practice basket)
One of the biggest issues I have with this course is so many of the holes are long for the sake of being long, and seemingly stretched out to utilize as much of the park as possible. Many of the holes are in that gray area of distance, 350-500 where it's a tough par 3, but they probably didn't want to make it par 4 because they aren't very technical holes and big arms will still bomb them for 3s. Many courses will have easier and harder par 3s, but the setup here gets old. If they wanted a tough course, make several of the holes a little longer and call more of them par 4s. Otherwise, make the short tees shorter so the course is more fun for more players. As it stands now, on holes 14-21 it gets repetitive. The holes are challenging just because they are long, but they are not memorable and not that fun IMO.
The earlier holes on this course have better protected baskets with more trees, and reforestation areas to make them more interesting, or throwing off the top of amphitheater. The bayou holes have water in play and some technical shots and terrain. The holes after you walk past the dog park are forgettable.
There are several things that could make the back end of this course better. Intentionally letting some reforestation areas grow in strategic spots (right side of hole 17) would be environmentally friendly would restrict lines and improve the holes. Planting a few smaller trees, with protective tubing around them, would instantly change several of the holes (16 & 21). Putting one basket on ad terrace, or throwing a pile of fill on a fairway or two to create some terrain would also help spice up existing holes.
Across the bayou has the most interesting holes, and there is a long walk through the woods from hole 5 to hole 6 that has tons of terrain. Every time I play here, I can't help but wonder why the walk when the could create some very interesting holes here. Especially if you kept them short and technical, it would give this course more variety and a balance to the steady diet of bomber holes that the course is full of.
I could see this course being rounded out to 27 holes, with more diverse shot types. Put two holes in the woods between 5 and 6, then another wooded hole between 6 and 7.
The low spot by the pool fence is an interesting area, why not put a short hole there after 13?
With a little reshuffling, 3 more holes could be found on this land (even if they are short) and this would be a 27 hole course in town with challenging long holes, but also birdie opportunities and some technical and memorable line.
It seems like the course overall fills the area allotted for it, but some of the most interesting pockets sit idle, and instead players walk through them. The layout of this park, and the bayou, force some of the walks between holes, but some are avoidable and could be holes instead.
This course is fun if you have a big arm and don't like lots of trees, but its short on very interesting holes, and for how long is it, just isn't than fun. I'd rather drive 15min further and play 2 quick rounds at Moffit rather than 1 long round here with all the walks btw forgettable holes. Some players love this course, and the location is hard to beat. I like parts of this course, but overall its not a course that I rush out to play, and not one I would take new players to. Its too hard for newbs, and not interesting enough for advanced players. I dont understand what level of player this course is catered to, make a shorter set of tees, make it more technical, or both.
Other Thoughts: I remember playing this course when it was nine holes, before the drought took so many trees. Back then it was a much shorter course. Back then as a novice, I found it fun. It has changed alot with the new layout, and I realize that without those trees, those old holes wouldn't be the same now, so the designers opted to add significant distance to almost every hole to up the challenge. They didn't have much choice, but having shorter "short" tees would still be nice. I appreciate all the work that went in to expand this park, and I mean no disrespect to the many volunteers who put their time and effort into the park as it stands now. Getting any park from 9 holes to 21 is a HUGE step, and I applaud the locals for making this happen. However, I personally prefer a more technical course that rewards accuracy as well as distance, and this course is all about distance. I'm sure I am not alone in liking the holes across the bayou the best, and wishing there were more of them. I feel there's room to do just that.
I believe this course has room for improvement, and I hope the locals share this view and continue to tweak and improve this course. If/when that happens, this course can certainly achieve a higher rating, but until then, there are lots of better options in Houston area.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
My Kind Of Course
Pros: It's not very often I say this about a course, but I genuinely liked this one from the start. True that this is mostly a flat course with few challenges except trees, but there is enough here to make most golfers think about a good many shots. I approached hole 4 with some apprehension with its throw over the bayou as I do most holes, but that turned out to be the easiest for me here. I ended up getting a birdie on that one. The whole time I played here, I only hit one tree. That was on hole 9. Even so, I got par on that one on a great 75-foot putt. I found the flow to be good between holes with one exception which I will mention in the cons. I can see why this course is so popular. The layout is good, the park is nice, and the holes are not too intimidating. If I was to recommend an overall course for someone to play in Houston, it would probably be this one. Great overall course without too many obstacles and a good one to learn on as well.
Cons: The only con I found was the long walk between holes 9 and 10 back over the bayou bridge. I understand that some areas are like this due to available land in a park such as this, but even so, it is not so much to play a good course such as this one. And yes the short tee on hole 12 is gone, but I could tell where it had been and I played from the long tee anyway because the distance between the two was not that far. Not more than 50 feet anyway. I could mention the walk between holes 16 and 17, but that was not so long either. Very little else can I point out here.
Other Thoughts: This course was a pleasant surprise for me. I had probably one of the best first rounds I could have at any course I played anywhere. Kudos to the designers. They did an excellent job with the layout putting this one together and I know I will be back to play this one again many times.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun Recreational Course for Long Birdies
Pros: OK, let's be honest. This is a course that has medium long holes, fairly wide open fairways, with occasional trees to navigate around. Other than distance, there really wasn't much that was excruciatingly challenging. For me, the joy of this course was trying to place a 300-400 ft drive close enough to the basket to go for birdie--and that was from the white tees. There were enough trees to provide some shade, while waiting for others to throw. Although no cement tee pads, most of the tee pads were fairly level with one or two exceptions. Although many holes play next to the bayou, you would really have to go off course to lose a disc. The course was mowed. The tee boxes were marked. The baskets were generally visible. There were nice asphalt and gravel paths that could generally be used to walk from hole to hole. There were enough mild challenges to keep it mostly interesting... a few low ceiling, a few anhyzers RHBH. Good parking. It is true that the course runs fairly close to two busy streets, but they are far enough a way that an average amateur golfer doesn't have to worry about them. The baskets were generally really nice; however, there are a few holes that have freaky funnel shaped baskets (like #13) that can spit your disc out, even after a decent putt. Hole #4 across the bayou was fun and different. Hole #5 is a short low ceiling anhyzer (RHBH). Hole #12 is a tunnel shot through off the tee, as is hole #6 (only when playing from the blue tees).
Cons: The biggest con is probably the lack of really challenging holes (other than just pure distance) where you really have to think and nail a precision throw. It is also true that some of the holes can seem repetitive. But if you know what the course is, you can set your expectations accordingly and still have and enjoyable game. I think the course would be much nicer if it had cement tee pads. The walk from hole #9 to hole #10 is VERY long, backtracking past 3 different holes. There is also a very long walk between holes #13 and #14 and holes #16 and #17, and another long walk after hole #21 back to the parking lot. As stated above, many of the holes run next to busy streets. While these generally don't come into play for golfers with decent ability, I can see where they could cause problems for recreational golfers who may throw a little wide occasionally. If you can't throw 300-400 ft drives, I think this course might get pretty boring with a drive, upshot, putt, over and over. However, if you can drive 350-400 ft, you can try to go for birdie on nearly every hole, and that can also be a fun challenge.
Other Thoughts: Despite the mildly challenging holes and the somewhat repetitive throws, I did enjoy playing this course. It is a great place to practice drives or try out new discs because there is enough room to generally see the full flight of the disc without hitting trees or other obstacles. It is generally clean, mowed, and maintained. Good place to practice long precision drives IMHO.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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