Texas Wind + Texas Heat + 10,000' Course + 3.5 Mile Walk = Exhaustion!
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Old Settler's Park is big, like everything in Texas. This 645 acre athletic complex park features everything from the Round Rock Express' AAA baseball stadium to a tennis complex, 20 baseball fields, 5 softball fields, 2 football stadiums, zip lining, sand volleyball courts, fishing and much more. Did I see a Nordic skiing track and a ski jump hill? All of these facilities are new, and lovely. They don't take their sports seriously in Texas, do they? This park is so large that you sometimes feel isolated and alone out on the disc golf course. Like you could keel over with heat stroke and your body might not be discovered for days.
The disc golf course, which had hosted events such as the Texas State Championships, has a fairly low key staging area. There's just a cul-de-sac parking area, a kiosk and maybe one picnic table, nothing too grand. I did see one park sign saying Disc Golf with an arrow.
The course has good concrete tee pads which are showing their age. The signs are nice colored ones giving all the info you need and the baskets are mostly older looking Mach II models.
The course starts out innocently enough with a 380', slightly downhill, shot around a single tree down by the basket. The first group of holes all play fairly close to the water. Either the basket is close to the this water or it's on your left side. # 4 is the first of the 1000' holes. It just a long, open hole across acres of grass.
Holes 5 & 6 are temporarily closed. I'm not sure if this was because of a scheduled cross country meet or construction or what?
The course is so long and with the closed holes, there is a very long walk in order to reach the # 7. I was almost ready to give up the chase and pack it in at this juncture. The heat and humidity were oppressive, the wind was blowing, but then I came to this oasis in this vastness. It was two nice sand volleyball courts and they had drinking fountains complete with a shower. Taking a shower in the middle of the course revitalized me and I was able to soldier on.
Like most everyone, I think # 16 is the signature hole on the course but I think it might be the most viewer friendly hole anywhere. Just about 20' above the tee pad, is this concrete wall, which I guess is some kind of damworks. Anyway, it provides a perfect stadium seating platform for watching players try their luck on this majestic hole. By this point, I was once again completely exhausted, so I took this opportunity to sit here, rest a spell, wait for somebody to show up and while waiting, imagining all the big time players attacking this hole. I waited two days and two nights, but still no players came through. I was hungry. So I abandoned this plan and trudged wearily on to finish my round. And how was I greeted on the very next hole? Another 1000' hole!
Cons: First, I would love to see a few more benches out there.
# 4 is just a senseless, IMO.
The current walkout after # 4 is arderous.
This course is designed for intermediate players up. That might explain why there was no one here when I started my round and there no one here 3 hours later when I finished the round.
Other Thoughts: While this is certainly a course where players can let loose on, I believe that the Temple Community Center course would provide a much
better, all around more challenging venue for a big time tournament such as the Texas State Championships. Although long as can be,
Old Settlers DGC, features too many holes having the same open characteristics. It makes it kind of an elitist course. Only players with 400' drives need apply.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Drive, drive, drive
Pros: What stands out about this course is its length. If you want to work on your long drives, this is definitely the course for you. While there are a few holes under 300', what you will remember are the holes over 600'.
There are a couple of interesting baskets, including two set on the face of a small dam on one on a wooden pyramid structure.
Hole 16 was the most interesting hole to me as the tee is an elevated platform on the dam and a direct drive at the pin requires a long water carry. But you can bail out to the right and shorten the carry considerably.
Hole 13A also added some interest as it plays along an out-of-bounds brushline and was about the only hole with significant vegetation to deal with.
Good (smallish) concrete tee pads and decent tee signs give a simple hole diagram, length, and par. Navigation was straightforward as most (but not all) tees were visible from the previous basket.
Baskets are showing their age. A few were leaning off of vertical, but all caught fine.
Overall the park is neat and well kept. The large pond adds interest and can gobble up a disc or two. The water is pretty clear and I easily retrieved a driver that faded just a touch too much on Hole 16.
Cons: I found this course to be a one-trick pony. Flat and open, there isn't a lot of need to shape drives, hit lines, or execute anything other than straight drives and approaches. Even an off-line drive will not hurt you much on most of the holes. It is that open.
There are scattered trees over much of the course, but they are quite easy to avoid and while you might land behind one there will likely be an open path to the basket..
Hole 17 is a perfect example of this. I drive about 300', so here was my sequence: 300' drive, 300' drive, 275' drive, 130' approach, putt for par. If you don't drive over 400' you aren't going to birdie this hole. Many of the other holes give you a fair shot at par but virtually no chance at birdie.
If you are someone that drives 200 - 250' this course is going to get old fast.
Other Thoughts: The day I played was fairly calm, but I'd imagine that this course becomes significantly more difficult with any amount of wind. It is long and wide open, so wind could really change the game out here.
Is is a long walk to play the entire course and you will be nowhere near your car until you finish. So plan to be out for a while.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Over-rated, bring on the thumbs downs
Pros: The park is big and nice and it's right next to the minor league baseball park, so it's a good place to play a round and then catch a ball game. Old Settler's has a lot of history with the National Doubles and Texas women's events.
There is pretty much no chance of losing a disc here. The course is pretty clean.
There are a few good holes that combine the need for power and accuracy. The signature hole is #16, which offers a choice of two routes with a choice of degree of risk/reward over the water.
Baskets and tee pads are in good shape.
The course serves as a great place to learn to play in the wind.
Cons: The course is immense and and very redundant. Imagine a fly-18 course without the tightly manicured fairways, golf carts, and beverage women.
The course has very little technical challenge and is almost entirely crush-crush-crush-putt.
The course does not loop back to the parking lot after 9 holes. In fact the 9th hole is about 1.5 miles from the parking lot. I've seen people slugging it back all the way across after getting bored and/or tired.
There are several places that could use "next tee" signs.
Hole 4's basket is missing.
Other Thoughts: Please help to keep the course clean!
If you're looking for one course to play in the North Austin area, wilco is much, much better.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Nice open area to throw the disk
Not very many groups to get in your way
Not very many pedestrians by the course
Very descriptive hole maps
Tee boxes are in good locations
Mix of long and short holes for a nice variety
Nice starting and finishing hole
Cons: VERY long course
When it's windy, your disk will almost always go near the water
Bland looking course (nothing but a few trees here and there)
Road is very close to some of the holes
Par is quite difficult to hit
Other Thoughts: Although this is a very long course, it is still a good one to play. Deffinatly a great course for people who enjoy just throwing as far and as hard as they can. But, you have to very cautious when throwing near the water, especially when its windy (I almost lost 2 disks while playing today). Not one of my favorites but it is still a decent course if you just want to get outside and play with some friends.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Old Settler's is on a very nice piece of land that contains a picturesque creek and lake that do come into play on some holes. Hole #16 is fun- you tee off from the top of dam across a corner of the lake.
Cons: The front 9 is very wide open- the only obstacles on many of the holes are extreme length and wind. (Look at the pictures of holes 3,4,5,6,7,8 and you will see what I mean.) If you can't throw over 400' feet you will probably hate these 6 holes. I felt like the holes were long just to be long, no obstacles, just long drive practice.
I also had a hard time navigating the course. Signs were inaccurate. Several long walks to the wrong tee! This is mainly due to 1000' holes with no defined fairways- you have no idea where to go when you can't see anything.
I also played at a time when the Austin area was hit hard with flooding rains. The fairways were very wet, making it even harder to throw far.
I think some am. tees would improve the longer holes in order to appeal to a wider range of disc golfer. Maybe they could define a fairway on the barren holes by mowing the grass at different lengths and then maybe plant a couple trees.
For such a prized course it seems to lack many things that exist on other top notch courses I have played.
Other Thoughts: The back 9 is much better than the front in my opinion with some trees in play. I was so tired after the front that I was not able to enjoy the back.
If you have a monster arm and are looking for a place to let 'er rip, then come here- you will probably love this course. If you can't throw long bombs, then I would recommend skipping it. It looks like the other reviews reflect this, some people love it, some hate it.
My rating is primarily due the monotony of holes 3-8 and difficulty in navigation. This is a hard course to rate. I originally gave it 2.0, but have re-evaluated everything.
From a distance challenged point of view playing it the first time:
Front 9- 2.0
Back 9- 3.0
Detailed signs and maps would raise it by 1.0
Pros and distance specialists would probably give this a 4.0+
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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