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.
Old Settler's- don't settle, go elsewhere
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a very open, long course. The benefit of this is all skill levels can enjoy this course. Mistakes are mitigated due to many lines, but make sure to avoid the water.
Since it's a park, it tends to be well manicured. The majority of it is grass, so it's very good to your discs.
There is a really cool hole (13B) that is on a pyramid. I've never thrown at one before, so that was awesome.
Many ace-run opportunities to mix it up from some of the longer holes. Also, there is a good variety of Par 3's, 4's and 5's.
The tees tend to be a little longer, and I like that for a longer run-up.
Cons: The biggest con about this course is it has to be perfect conditions overall to enjoy, here's why:
Hole 5, Hole 6, Hole 9 (alternative basket location) and Hole 10 are currently closed. The walk from Hole 4, passing through 5 and 6 to make it up to Hole 7 is approx. 25% of the whole course for walking distance going around the lake, so that was pretty frustrating.
Since it's a park, it tends to get crowded with other people. It's so open that tons of families were everywhere, picnicking, riding bikes, flying kites... Many holes I didn't get to play due to people not moving. For example, there was a family with a Kite in the Hole 13s and 15 ravine, so I had to skip these holes entirely. Many walkers walk right through the middle of fairways and completely disregard your playing, so wait times suck.
The Lake comes into play on 1/3 of the holes (almost), so if you're a beginner player the water can be intimidating. Particularly, Hole #16 is right over the lake. This is really great and actually a good trait about the course, but for beginners it may leave you weary.
Since it's so open, wind can be a HUGE and debilitating factor. When I played, Austin had 6-10mph winds. Old Settler's was approx. 25-30mph, so throwing into cross/head wind is incredibly difficult. Combine that with closed holes, pedestrians everywhere and water, it just wasn't a good experience for me.
Signage is pretty poor, on the course, but fortunately there is a course map at the first tee. Also, there are signs to get to the course's start point on the actual drive into the park, but course-specific it's lacking.
There's really nowhere to sit/relax/recover between tees or if you're waiting for another party.
The disc-baskets are all really old and not in the best shape. Many are so firm that it's close to impossible to put into with any kind of power.
Other Thoughts: If you play on a weekday with little to no wind and minimal pedestrians, it can be a solid course. However, it seems conditions have to be perfect. With 3-4 holes being unusable at this time, it's a skip for now (Feb 2017) I'd wait 4-6 months, possibly longer.
Skip it for now and head on over to Williamson County DGC or North Town in Pfleugerville
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: If you like long open holes to bomb away, this course is for you.
- There is a 1000 foot par 5, Hole 17, and it's quite the beast of a hole. You start from along the dam, and continue to throw parallel to the backwater. The more you try to get it long and cut the the corner of the slight bend, the more risk you take on to drop it in the lake. The holes themselves are a fairly unique bunch. There's a few of 4s in addition to the par 5. There's water in play on a few holes. Hole 16, the signature hole, throws from the dam top out over the backwater. There's also slight incline and decline shots. One of the bonus holes, 13b, has a built up pyramid structure with high pole. Really the only thing that is missing is a heavily wooded hole (tunnel shot) and a more aggressive elevation hole.
- As for course character items, the tee boxes are concrete and of acceptable condition, so no worries with footing. There is a great course map at the start and it has hole distance info. (Take a pic, you'll need it.). There are shelters along the layout. Great for the pop-up Texas thunderstorm. Plus you'll be a good mile away from your car at the mid point.
_ The beauty of the course is about average.
Cons: I find several issues with Old Settlers.
- The length, its extremely long. It's gotta be one of the longest in the state. It will wipe you out. Seems like 3 to 4 miles of walking.
- There are really no good ace opportunities. My group of 3, managed only one Birdie on a par 3.
- Poison ivy is really bad on bonus hole 13A. Don't throw it right unless you're immune.
- A major issue, when my group played, was adjacent construction. Holes 5 - 10 were pulled. Hopefully it's just temporary but the walk to skip the removed holes was like a half a mile. Hence the importance of taking a picture of the course map. It really sucked in the Texas heat.
- The course maintenance was less than desirable. Several of the first few holes had grass above the kneecaps.
- Getting to the course parking by tee one was a journey in itself. I don't recall any signage ques within the park. General location is just north of feeder creek for the dam. I think it was the first right after the small creek bridge.
- Most of the tees are out in the elements without shade.
- Due to the openness, wind is almost always a factor here. On a side note I broke 400 feet for the first time here. To bad 100 of it was in the wrong direction. Darn wind.
Other Thoughts: Probably normally a 3.5 star course. However, considering the lack of maintenance and missing holes due to construction, I dock it a half star. The perfect course for those wanting to air it out. For those that prefer the shorter courses, check out nearby Wells Branch or Rivery.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Drive, drive, drive
11 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The layout is easy to follow through, and it has a map at the beginning. Number 4 is the only tee box difficult to find. It's a challenging course with quite a few long shots. It has a little mix of trees in but over all an open course.
Cons: I would say the baskets are the biggest issue being old but they still catch plastic so not much of a con.
Other Thoughts: Hole 16 Is memorable, launching over some water off the dam. Will be playing this course more after finishing even today.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Well maintained course in community park
- Lots of diverse shots
- Good mix of shots (long/short, elevation, open/wooded, etc.)
- Lots of holes to air out drives
- Water come into play on some holes
Cons: - Baskets could be better
- Layout is a little confusing, and alternate tees make it worse
- Tee pads could use some sweeping, loose dirt on several pads makes for slippery releases if not careful
Other Thoughts: Very fun course to play with lots of history in the DG world. Worth the trip if you're in the Austin area.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Love disc golf in a park setting. I was in the area visiting family and looked up disc golf courses. This one looked great. Plus a John Houck design, I had to check it out.
The course is in a park so there is no problem with fairway/ rough maintenance. Everything is trimmed perfectly.
The baskets are getting a bit long in the tooth, but still catch perfectly well. Lots of room to air out shots and just rip discs.
Cons: Course is very long, as other reviewers have mentioned. It is after all a Pro championship level course. Us mere mortals who can only throw around 300 feet will struggle with the distance of this course, or at least with the par.
As I already mentioned the baskets are getting a bit old, and lack markings. I found myself wondering which hole I was on a couple of times. (Some of the baskets are close to each other, and unmarked.)
Other Thoughts: After seeing the 2014 Texas state Championships were held here I wanted to watch the pros play a course I had been on personally. Very interesting, the "wide open" park setting I had experienced was "artificially" altered to make much more technical play necessary. They put up flags and markers to create lanes and OB sections of the course. This notably changed the overall look of the course from what I had seen, and played. Unfortunately this is not what you get if you just show up on a Tuesday.
If you are in the area this is definitely a "big boy/ girl" course worth playing.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
IT IS VERY LONG!!!
Pros: Grip it and rip it! Mostly open course. Water and elevation can come into play some. Only a few trees, but if you end up behind one it will totally mess up the score for that hole because it is so long. Enjoyed extra holes. Mostly open course-pro and con.
Cons: Not many trees in play, except select holes. Par is inconsistent. 470 foot par 4 and 630 foot par 3? It is really, really, really long. Mostly open course-pro and con.
Other Thoughts: Did I say it is really long? I think the person/people who designed this course could throw further than their friends so they decided to make several very long holes. Some seem to have no point. Very open course with a couple of challenges. Not much of an opportunity for a variety of shots. Mostly just throw long. Water not a huge issue except for 16. I would play again if in the area with very long discs.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Great course after a Few Months' Experience
Pros: Generally well maintained with no tall grass and no poison ivy/oak.
Most holes have very few obstructions allowing for multiple lines depending on your style or what you want to practice.
All holes have maps, however some are out of date and generally there are fewer trees than depicted.
Cons: Some holes are very long and if you can't drive further than 200' it will be an irritating slog.
#16 is a B.S. hole over the lake.
From some holes it is difficult to find the next tee.
Most holes have the lake on the left and if you're new, right-handed, and misthrow the lake will happily eat discs.
This is what I had pictured courses would be like when I first heard of disc golf. It is *beautiful*!
Newer players should consider skipping #16 because it is ~300' over the lake.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I tried to play this course last year, but quit after a few holes due to the length and the 40mph winds. I gave it a second try when I came back to the austin area and I made to quick of a judgement. Yes, the first 6-7 holes are too long but after that I was actually surprised of how well the course was. Starting at hole 8 where you shoot up the hill all the way through 15 is how the course should be all the way throughout. The alternate holes are included in the holes that I enjoyed by the way. This course has a good map right before hole one( it doesn't include the 3 alternate holes but they are very easy to find so no worries). The tee pads were concrete but seemed a little narrow to me. This course made excellent use of the elevation throughout the park. Most holes seemed to have elevation come into play including hole 16 where you shoot over the pond from the top of the dam. I liked how the course looped around so you finish right by your car, you honestly need that because the course is that long.
Cons: The course is way too log. 1000ft holes that are wide open are not good holes. I would rather play 200 ft holes that require technicality than have to throw 3 drives just to see the basket. I think hole 4 could of been broken up into 3 seperate holes. The first to the trees on the right then to the bridge. And, Finally throw from the bridge to the current basket location. After hole 4 you have to walk across the street to hole 5( it is a little difficult to see). Also, after 15 you walk across the damn. Besides that navigation is easy. Hole 17 was absolutely terrible. It took 3-4 drives before you can even see the basket. Also, with the course being so long have the 2nd to last hole be over 1000 ft was just brutal. I was already so tired.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area I suggest playing this course and give it a chance past the first couple of holes and you will be pleasantly surprised. The middle holes are excellent just the beginning and end are too long and boring. If I wanted to throw multiple drives to get to basket in an open field I could of just gone to the nearest field, not add this in my road trip from Fort Worth.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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