18 Holes of Disc Golf in Paradise
5 Helpful / 0 Not
18 Hole Disc Golf Course is located on a small coffee plantation on the slopes of Mauna Loa. The course is on a gently rolling piece of land with open fields and areas of lush vegetation. The course plays along and over rows of coffee trees and young coffee plants. Ever present winds add to the challenge.
I used bullet points for those that don't want to read the entire review.
Players and guests must sign in at the cafe/gift shop before going out on the course.
Unique and Fun
I really enjoyed the novelty of playing on the slopes the active volcano, Mauna Loa. I thought that was r fun and unique to throw along and over rows of coffee plants. Some plants are more mature like a tree and larger, while others are very young shrubs and not yet a threat. Beginners have the option to not play over the rows of coffee. The course is straight forward enough that the whole family could enjoy playing.
This would be a traditional par 54 course that provides plenty of challenge for the average player. None of the holes were long enough to be considered a Par 4. Some of the targets are next to OB adding a little more difficulty. Big arms will likely only be challenged when it is windy. If other players are not present, it would be easy enough for players craving distance to create some insanely challenging safari holes.
Island life is casual and so is this course. Most tees are natural grass and only marked with utility flags. There are permanent tee signs of any kind except the welcome sign at the first tee. The course was easy enough to navigate with the map they provided in the gift shop (and available to download here).
Tikis and Alternate Tees
I thought the tiki targets were fun to play. Some Tiki targets were made of bamboo chimes and others had metal chimes. Many tiki targets sit alongside a traditional basket, while some tiki baskets were in shorter or longer positions. Several holes including 1, 10 and 12 had shorter alternate tees. The short tees would only be necessary for kids or beginning players that are worried about discs going into the OB rows of coffee trees. There are some obvious safari opportunities while playing.
Kids and Strollers
When I played the grass was very well kept and would not present any problems for outdoor strollers. There is a small ditch to navigate between 1 and 2 and on the fairway of 7. I think the hills are gently enough to not create problems. There are no facilities or running water on the course, so take that into consideration when playing with kids. Not that long and not that steep so the kids should be able to walk along. You can always stop after playing Hole 8 as it is close to the parking lot. You could also take break at cafe and use the facilities.
Try to play with someone or have a spotter your first time out. A couple of holes are blind and a spotter helps. More advanced players shouldn't have any problems playing solo.
There are restrooms located in the cafe where you sign in. There are no restrooms or portables on the course. There are a couple of opportunities for privacy during the round.
The folks running the cafe and gift shop were really friendly and seemed to genuinely care about the disc golf. They were also very helpful with my fresh coffee purchase after the round. You can purchase coffee that is grown right here on the plantation
A little rusty
Some of the traditional targets were not holding up as well as the homemade tiki targets. As a tourist playing a casual round, I enjoyed playing the island tiki targets. However, in a tournament, I would probably prefer the traditional targets even if they only have single chains and might be a bit rusty.
Signage and Natural Tees
Except for the sign at the first tee, there are no permanent tee signs on the course. Most of the tees are natural grass and marked only with small flags and small hole marker sign. I had no problem navigating with the map that is available to download here at DGU.
It may be possible to lose discs during the rounds. Some coffee groves are OB and players are not allowed into roped off areas to retrieve discs. There were some brush piles and other areas of thick vegetation that will eat a disc if given the chance. Play with a spotter to reduce chance of lost discs.
Please Sign In Before You Play
Please sign in at the cafe/gift shop before your round. They will ask to keep your driver's license or ID while you play your round. This helps to ensure player responsibility. Watch out for plantation workers and equipment.
Cafe and Gift Shop
You can purchase coffee that is grown right here on the plantation at the gift shop. They have a full variety of coffee blends grown in Hawaii. You can purchase fresh whole beans and they will grind to order for you at no charge. They also have a limited selection of discs available for purchase.
If you go on Saturday, the family can enjoy the cafe and farmer's market while you play a quick round. There is a Farmers Market held under the giant shelter on Saturday Mornings - rain or shine.
Volcanoes National Park
I recommend visiting the volcano and playing this course as both are definitely worth the drive. This course is 14 miles from the park entrance. How many folks can say they have played disc golf on the slopes of an active volcano. And not just any volcano, Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on the planet!
Five discs for fun in paradise!
The weather was perfect, the landscape was lush and tropical and the tiki targets completed the scene. Sure, there could be improved tees, actual tee signs and more obstacles but it is still fun. If you are big arm, it would be easy enough to create some Championship holes for practice. The whole experience was five discs, but the actual challenge of the course is not quite four discs.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Honest Review: Rolling Hills & Sometimes Windy
Pros: WIDE OPEN & WINDY, moderate elevation changes and constantly changing weather conditions. distances and minimal obstacles make this a fair amateur and recreational course. Nice place for beginners to learn.
Great cafe and world class coffee.
Community Friendly Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Cons: deserves to have a few shelters from the elements on the course because of the sudden Hawaii rains.
could use some professional course design to increase the challenge and better utilization of terrain.
closes at 4:00pm and closed Sundays.
Other Thoughts: Come visit and contribute your input on course improvements and discover other intriguing disc golf developments happening around Big Island, Hawaii.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Hills at the Mill
Pros: Baskets!!! I know it may not seem like a big deal to have chains at a dgc for the mainland disc golfers, but for now this is the only course on the Island with offical targets. Great elevation changes make all the holes throw longer than they look. Very well maintained grounds for the majority of the holes. Hilo Coffee Mill has an adjacent cafe with food, drinks and gourmet coffees. Every Saturday there is a Farmers Market with live music.
Cons: Closed Sundays. Up and comming tee pads. The entirety of whole 4 is in the process of being finalized due to the expansion of coffee fields.
Other Thoughts: Tee Pad Fundraisind Tournaments held once a month on average. Next tournament scheduled for September 29th 2012.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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