Busy Park, Fun Layout With Some Unique Holes
Pros: - Other than Lloyd park, which is a longer, more challenging wooded course south of the city, Baker is the best public course in Calgary. Overall a fun course, I'd definitely recommend avoiding peak times to play though, especially in the summer on really nice days.
- Concrete tee pads in good shape.
- Decent baskets, no major problems on any holes.
- Makes you throw a wide variety of shots, from wide open drives, to very tight, wooded short ace runs, to tunnel shots. Lots of places to work on flicks/rollers/thumbers etc. Front 9 is pretty much all wooded and short, whereas Back 9 is much more open and longer.
- Other than some of the bushes on the Back 9 and a couple of semi-blind tee offs, most of the course is either field or clean under-story forest, so not too bad of a course for losing discs.
- The course itself may not wow you, but there are quite a few memorable little holes. The #3 island hole is well done, as is the #4 super tight tunnel ace run.
Cons: - Busy park, with some of the hole layouts running adjacent to paths in ways that put a long stretch of the public in play. Not the worst I've seen, but not the best either.
- Signage non-existent pretty much, make sure you have a map to play. Locals play a few alternate hole locations so sometimes can be confusing.
- You sometimes get the public having a picnic on a fairway and things like that. It's a large public city park so there are people there with no concept of disc golf you need to be careful of.
- Littering/garbage is annoying at this park. I've played most of the major Alberta city courses multiple times and Baker is consistently the worse for garbage. Disc golfers have done stuff like putting hundreds of bottle caps around the basket mounds in a pattern (some people may like that sort of thing, I see it as reflecting poorly on disc golfers from a public image perspective, especially because drinking in the park is technically illegal).
- Holes 8 & 9 are on the way back to the parking lot after you finish 18, so you get people who finish 18 then cut in on 8&9 so they can play their way back. Really jams up the course in that spot as a result sometimes.
Other Thoughts: - Public washrooms available.
- Lots of parking, but it can fill up in the summer, when the course can be insanely busy.
- No elevation changes on the course, if that matters to you at all. Would be a good wheelchair-friendly course.
Very Fun Course!
Pros: -Some wooded holes and some open holes, good selection.
-Very well kept park and nice teepads.
-Overall a very fun course to play!!
Cons: -No course map on site. Having one would make it much easier t navigate. There are a few relatively long walks between holes.
-Other than that not much to complain about. The course would be fantastic for tournaments and other events.
Other Thoughts: Some very cool wooded holes. The different types of holes makes the course very fun to play and interesting. I definitely recommend this course to beginners and advanced players.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
The epicentre of disc golf in Calgary
Pros: The defining characteristic of this course is the "formal garden" layout; largely symmetrical layouts of trees, rows of bushes, and perpendicular pathways divide the park into a series of cells amongst the heavily structured landscape. On the east side of the park, people come to lay in the grass and set up shop to take photos or hold weddings functions. The west side of the park is mostly disc golf.
The course is very well layed out and has a number of interesting holes. There are two tunnel shots here (2 and 4), an "island" hole (in the artificial sense, with a circular pathway as the "water") in hole 3, and quite a few baskets right up against thick bushes that will be hard to get out of should you over throw. A variety of trees to throw around or through. Also some nice S-lines, and holes that play hard to the right or hard to the left, even 2 ~500ft par 4s.
This is basically the place to meet other disc golfers. On any nice evening or weekend, there'll be a short queue to get started on hole 1. Generally everyone is really friendly and I've joined up with larger groups many times here.
As of 2013, this is the only course in Calgary with concrete tee pads, which are really nice to have in a city where all the other courses are natural tees. The baskets and signage are all very good and in very good condition. The park is VERY well cared for. There are some unique "heritage" trees in the front 9 that some people might appreciate, and the whole course looks it's best in the fall, in my opinion.
Cons: The major knock here is that the whole park and course are perfectly flat, with not so much as a mound to add a vertical element to any shots.
A few blind shots with thick bushes behind them (I'm looking at you hole 10) can have you searching for a lost disc for a while from time to time if you get aggressive.
Because this course is so heavily utilized, you may get caught up behind a larger, slower group than yours that can slow you down. As disc golf increases in popularity, I also often see large groups (8+) of "one-discers" learning to play, who are especially slow. The best solution is to just jump to the next hole and return to the missed hole later.
Surprisingly, for a formal park with so many pathways nearby, traffic isn't really an issue, except for hole 1 where there's a poorly placed picnic table. It's just off to the left of the first drive and if the table is occupied, you'd better not let that disc slip from your fingers early. It would help a ton if the city would move that table 20 feet closer towards the tee to take it out of the danger area. Still it would require a really bad shot here to put the table into play... throw a RHBH hyzer and you're good.
I occasionally encounter "chain jinglers" on baskets 1 and 9... you know, groups who slowly wander towards the basket as you're lining up your shot, stare at the basket for a minute or two, and inevitably shake the chains before finally wandering out of the way. More funny than anything.
Other Thoughts: If you're a disc golfer from out of town, this should be the first disc golf within the city you head to. If you're a local, chances are you're here on a regular basis.
It's a great course and I'm thankful to have it in Calgary.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Baker park offers an array of grown in areas of landscaping which divide the park up into sections. While the fairways are generally clear, use of the landscaping provides interesting psychological features which add a mild spice to the mix, challenging beginners and forcing experienced players to make use of some different shots to score well. While the course can sometimes swallow badly errant shots into deep Caragana bush, a clean game will be a relaxing walk through a nicely kept park. With little in the way of elevation, Baker is easy on the knees, yet offers enough challenge to keep everyone entertained. An enjoyable, worthy stop.
Due to the sectioned landscaping, the course is also fairly enclosed and gives a feeling of respite, being away from the city bustle which is nice.
Cons: Very little elevation, not the most challenging, a couple of the holes can be made to be more challenging by teeing from alternate locations. Try across path, down low on 2 (use a spotter for public path traffic), South East corner of field on 3 and deeper on 8.
There is a persistent threat of theft in the parking lot. It's best not to leave valuables in view.
With the growth of the sport locally, nice weekend weather can mean a busy park. Most casual disc golf users are there at prime time on sunny days so arrive early and take advantage of sub-optimal weather.
Other Thoughts: The changing seasons and wind can open and close different lanes on a couple of holes which can sometimes be used to shave strokes.
The park is home to various nesting birds and other wildlife which can at times provide enjoyment in their viewing but also in temporary closures of various holes to protect them.
There are garbage containers in the parking lot and on hole 10 tee box, be sure to use them - we still regularly find empty containers left behind in tee boxes or tossed into the bush. I urge everyone to make a habit to stomp and pack out 1 piece of found trash per round to keep our optics on the up and up.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is in one of the nicer parks in Calgary (the course pics are taken off season and don't do it justice) and is a great place to spend an afternoon. The park is actually the former grounds of a sanitarium and has some very unique landscaping features. It now has 18 cement teepads and tee signs and awesome DGA Mach V baskets. Even though the course is flat and short, it has got some interesting holes that require different types of shots.
Its an excellent course for beginners but is really enjoyable for all skill levels.
There is public washrooms and water fountains open from May to September.
Cons: It does get busy, which is a good thing for disc golf in Calgary.
Good players will not find it particularly challenging but it has a strong fun factor.
Other Thoughts: There are plenty of trash cans in the park, PLEASE do not litter, it makes disc golfers look bad and hurts our chances of keeping this course or adding new ones.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fully up and running!
Pros: Nice cement tee-boxes.
Signs at every hole.
Lots of free parking.
Public washrooms in summer.
Easy enough for beginners to really have fun and not lose any discs, yet enough trees/bushes to make it a challenge for more experienced players to make pars.
Course is set up so that players will rarely have to worry about other park users.
Holes vary between forcing you to throw short and precise, long and straight, or mid-range curved shots.
Cons: It is the only public 18 hole course in a big city. Even though it is new, people know about it so it can get busy.
Zero elevation change.
No overall course map posted in the park (print one from the 'Links/Files' tab).
Other Thoughts: If this course is successful and draws a lot of players (which I believe it will) hopefully it will persuade the City of Calgary that disc golf courses in public parks are a good idea, and disc golf in Calgary can really expand! So PLEASE make an effort to keep the park clean and tidy.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good selection of holes. Decent flow.
We have labeled the course as Jekyl & Hyde.
The front 9 and back 9 are different. After the long first hole the other holes on the front are fairly tight, technical and not overly long.
The back 9 is quite a bit more open and has much longer holes (up to 550 I think).
The space has been used quite well but there may be some modifications to it yet.
In comparison to other Calgary courses this course does require trying new shots and a full arsenal (BH, FH, OH, and roller) would be helpful to score as best as possible.
The course probably favors RH over LH but not dramatically so.
Cons: No signage or tee boxes yet.
Some holes could be improved with different tee box placement.
Still needs some more benches/sitting areas. Garbage cans could be added.
The course really plays as Par 3 and there are no supremely difficult holes where you must work and place in order to get par.
Other Thoughts: It was a fight to get this course in. Victory.
We will improve it in the spring with good signage and concrete tee boxes.
It's a step in the right direction.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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