7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course winds around and through the majority of Natural Falls State Park. It's roughly two different loops: the portion of the course that loops through the well-maintained city park-esque portion of the State Park and the portion that goes walkabout through the less tame areas of the State Park. It makes good use of the available terrain and utilizes the elevation very well throughout the course. Short holes are sneaky long due elevation changes and the signature downhill tunnel is a fun shot. Difficulty varies as well, with plenty of pretty easy birdy opportunities and a couple of holes that will require a line and execution to get par.
The city park portion is very well-maintained and the holes flow well for the first seven. Then, if you take the 'shorter walk' version of the course listed on UDisc (to avoid the original long walk from #9 to #10), you transition to #10, which is your first hole in the less tame area of the park. I'm going to use the original numbering because, despite another review stating the signs had been changed, I don't recall that being the case. I know we parked near the original #9's tee (now #18 in the 'shorter walk' layout) and it definitely still read #9. Anyway, going from #7 (open and short with confusing proximity to the original #18 pin) to #10 (a residential hallway width tunnel through the woods, uphill) was a little jarring. The remainder of the back-of-house areas is "somewhat open" to "wide open" shots except for original #12, which was another narrow tunnel. Most of those holes have well-defined fairways mowed through the tall grass but experienced DG'ers will have no issues spotting discs and playing from this rough. The original #18 (now #16) is a fun downhill shot that crosses a small, shallow creek back onto the city park area. It was a typical Re-Tire basket though, not a hanging basket. You then play the original #8 and #9 as #17 and #18 to finish the round.
The tee boxes were natural and only the front was well defined, but they didn't provide any issues. The Re-Tire baskets caught fine. We only saw one other disc golfer during our time on the course.
This being a State Park, there are dedicated amenities such as restrooms, some port-a-johns scattered in the main area, two playgrounds, plenty of picnic areas, trash cans, a pavilion, as well as the park's signature gardens, hiking trails, and scenic waterfall.
Cons: It lacks a little in the variety department as there are no real water hazards to speak of, the holes in the main park are pretty forgiving and open, and there are some missed opportunities since it's integrated into the State Park. Length isn't really a factor either because most of the longer holes are also the most open. The tight tunnel holes are two of the shortest.
As discussed above, the signage didn't reflect the revised two-loops-integrated-into-one layout mentioned elsewhere. Many of the signs had higher pars than would be expected for the hole distance and difficulty. We didn't have any real issues with the tees or the Re-Tire baskets other than the original #18's tee box is a little precarious and small and a few of the basket bottoms held water. The original #10-#18 portion of the course is in rougher woods and high grass areas. We counted double-digit quantities of ticks when we emerged. I also spotted some potential poison ivy in a couple of places when retrieving a disc off of the wooded hole fairways. There are no garbage cans in the course itself unless you want to count the base of the Re-Tire baskets that appear to be used for trash disposal by hikers.
Walking trails or hiking trailheads are in play on every hole in the main park area. Several have picnic tables or part-a-johns in play as well (#6, 7, 8, 9). #2 was somewhat close to the volleyball court and a primitive campsite. One of the original back nine holes (#14) throws near the yurt campground. #15 throws from within the yurt area across the service road. Another (#11) has its pin located at the nexus of a couple of trails. Hikers have practically abandoned the trail that runs parallel to #12 and instead have taken to utilize #12's fairway as the trail. As mentioned above, the pin for #18 is back in the park area and again is close to picnic tables and a BBQ area. The crowded park forced people to park along #6's and #8's fairway on the day we attempted to play the course.
Other Thoughts: My family planned on driving the three hours to this park because my oldest son was interested in seeing the falls and doing some hiking. We figured we'd get a family round of DG while we were there. We had hoped that the social distancing restrictions and it being the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend would still allow for a fun round and a hike to see the falls. It was not. Despite other reviews saying that the course did a good job of avoiding the other public areas of the park, we found the exact opposite to be true. Maybe it was a result of the state 'opening up for business' in recent weeks, but the park was exceptionally crowded. Parking lots overflowed, people parked along and in DG fairways, people walking the trails would just walk the fairways of the course instead of finding the actual trails, etc. Most of the round was marred by too many people in too many places you would like to throw a disc. Add in the fact that almost nobody was following social distancing guidelines and it made for an anxiety-filled round where you spent a lot of time waiting for people to move along or asking people to leave your disc where it lay, or waiting for families to move away from tees before starting the hole.
I don't know if that's just a perfect storm of this one weekend having a high park attendance or if the popularity of the park has increased to the point that this is a common occurrence. Regardless, people and property damage hazards existed throughout the majority of our 17-hole round. We skipped one short hole (#7) entirely because of the 4 occupied picnic tables and a single trailhead that were all along the fairway. In our nearly 3 ½ hours in the park, it was not playable without risking hitting people. Two other holes required us to make up a tee as the designated box was occupied or in such proximity to picnickers that we didn't feel comfortable throwing. So, setting aside the (hopefully) temporary coronavirus concerns, there still exists the very real issue of too many people in the way of throwing this course successfully and safely.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Over the Falls
Pros: Natural Falls State Park has a nice little 18 hole disc golf course. The tees are natural, boxed in with timbers. Each one has a sign with a simple map with the hole's distance. It is the first time I have played on the ReTire Model A baskets. They were good enough, and I would not say they cost me any shots.
They have recently changed the sequence of the holes on the disc golf course. It makes the layout a complete 18 hole circuit rather than a pair of nines with a long walk after each. This has not been reflected on the map that is given out at the entrance, but the signs are marked and numbered correctly and I was able to follow the new route easily. After hole 7, the new route jumps to what used to be hole 10, continuing in the same order through old hole 18. Old holes 8 and 9 are now 17 and 18. It was easy enough to follow that I really didn't need the map, which would have been confusing since it no longer matches the signs.
Many of the holes in the grassy area of the park are fairly open with a few trees to shape fairways and obstruct pins. There are also some moderate elevation changes and a little water. This was the original 9 hole loop. The newer nine holes include a couple that are more heavily wooded. There is heavier rough, and a bit more distance. The signature hole is 16, teeing at the top of a hill and dropping steeply to a basket on the far side of the creek at the bottom.
The layout did a nice job of avoiding the campgrounds, walking trails, playgrounds, and areas used by other patrons of the park. The park was pretty busy, but I did not see any other disc golfers on the course on a really nice Saturday afternoon.
Cons: Improvements to the tees would be nice. The baskets are not exactly ordinary equipment either. Updating the map would also make sense.
$5 to enter the park isn't crazy, but not far away there are better courses that are free (JB Hunt, I'm looking in your direction).
Other Thoughts: I liked the disc golf course at Natural Falls State Park. It is not a destination course, but as I was going to a comedy show/live Dumb People Town podcast at West Siloam Springs Cherokee Casino, it was sort of near my destination. So I checked it out.
It is a pretty good course in a decent park with a scenic view of a waterfall (judging from the picture, I didn't actually stay to hike to the falls, which were not on the map). This wasn't the worst course I played that day, but it wasn't the best either. I am glad I was able to go, but I visited other places in Oklahoma, Arkansas and also in Kansas that weekend that I would rather visit to play disc golf or go camping. I would highly recommend seeing the stand up comedy of the Sklar Bros, Daniel Van Kirk, and Brian Moses. The DPT podcast taping at the casino was a blast.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Come for the Course, Stay for the Falls
Pros: Being a State Park, it does not get much better in terms of the cleanliness and manicured park and course than it does here. The course is easy to find once in the park, and the person working the front desk will give you a course map if you ask for one.
The course really has two distinct loops, which I understand the first nine holes came well before the last nine holes. The first nine holes play around the park in a typical city park style of play with a bit of elevation and a few trees scattered around. The back nine is a lot more wooded, and in some parts a lot longer than the first nine.
There are ace runs, frustrating 275' shots that you SHOULD make it to the basket but don't, longer holes and long holes that need accuracy or you will end up searching for discs. This course has a little bit of everything.
Like others have mentioned, hole 18 is THE hole on the course as it has about a 45' elevation drop to a hanging basket. I also really liked hole 16 as it was a blind shot off to the left that had danger right behind the tee and long grass bordering the fairway.
I like the baskets that were made from reused tires. They caught as decent as your average basket and were a cool use of the tires that would have otherwise been thrown away. The tee signs were also useful as well.
Cons: Navigation is a bit of an issue as mentioned previously with the two loops on the course. If you played the course in order, you would have more than a quarter mile walk from basket 9 to tee 10. The ideal situation is to play hole 7 then play 10-18 then finish up with 8 and 9.
Hole 7 was a bit confusing as you would initially think that you would need to throw to the hanging basket since it is right in front of you, but it is the basket off to the left. The hanging basket is for hole 18.
Hole 14 plays through a campsite with cabins scattered throughout the fairway. That has a potential to be problematic if you are in peak camping season.
I found many of the holes to be not very memorable especially in the front 9 holes. The mowers mow small fairways on some of the longer holes, and you definitely have a chance to lose a disc if the rough gets high during the summer time.
Other Thoughts: The course in my opinion is closer to a 3.25 than a 3.5. It is definitely playable and some of the holes have fun, but there is nothing distinctly unique about this course that you could not find elsewhere. Still, I had no qualms paying the $5 entry fee to play because it is obvious that the money was spent to keep the park clean and up kept.
The falls was not running when I was in town, (apparently the falls somehow don't run in the winter time), but I have heard that is worth the price of admission. If you are playing during the summer months, you should definitely stop and look at the falls.
All around the course is good, it does not have very many glaring flaws that would take its rating any lower.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice day in the Park
Pros: Wide variety of shots
Short and long holes
Open and tight shots
Tee signs (or posts) left on most of the holes
Map of the course available here or at the visitors center
Cons: Grass tee pads
Most of the tee signs are un readable.
Hole 14 now has Yurts on the fairway
Land on the fairway or your in deep dodo on some of the back holes.
Other Thoughts: Front 9 are the original course first laid out. The course goes around the manicured part of the park.
From the front parking area, you have a nice longer hole throwing up to the NW corner of the park.
Hole 2 tee only has a poll left, but it is a nice short shot, just don't turn it over into the tent camping area.
Hole 3, pretty wide open birdie shot
Hole 4 is a nice turnover (for right hand back handed shot) down and slighting back up a hill.
Hole 5 is another little birdie shot up a hill
Hole 6 is ace run central, just don't overthrow to the right or behind the basket.
Hole 7, the hanging basket is NOT your basket, that is 18's basket. (Yea, I landed right under it thinking it was #7) The basket is actually past and to the left of the hanging basket.
Hole 8 is a low ceiling off the tee, up the hill along the parking lot.
Hole 9 is across the large parking lot, it is a true two shot hole, you want to land in the clearing to get a decent up shot. back up to the info center.
The back 9 were added later, that is why if you play the course in order, you go back past #7 basket and up the dirt road.
#10 throws up a dirt road, nice tunnel shot.
#11 is a little turnover shot with trouble all around
#12 throws into the woods, another ace run hole
#13 big turnover shot around the woods.
#14 The lady at the front told me this hole had been removed. The tee box ground marker is still there and the basket is still in place you "can" play it, however, the fairway is no longer playable as they are installing Yurts up here. I was told the original course designer is coming out to redesign the course and make new tee signs.
#15, follow the mowed area, long hole with major briers in the high grass, trust me, don't throw into the tall grass.
#16 is a simple downhill shot, perfect for my hyzer.
#17 Could not figure out the best shot for this hole. I don't think the barbed wire fence was here when the course was designed. I landed on the other side of the fence and it is not easy for a 50 year old guy to clime over. The hole is a big dog leg left, there is a small hole, but if you miss it, your in trouble.
#18 Sweet straight downhill shot to a hanging basket (on #7's fairway)
In general, this is a decent course with a wide selection of shots. I parked by basket #8 and played #9 to 7, then 10 to 18 and finished on hole 8. Made for a fun round.
The lady working was extremely nice and made sure I had a map of the course, she told me about the numbering and even told me they had someone coming out to revise the course (#14 needs to be moved) and renumber the holes.
Oh, I never said anything about the baskets. They are tired. Meaning they are tires turned into baskets. I have played on these a few times including Robbers Cave and Poli Poli in Hawaii, I don't have a problem with them other than I always seem to smack the tire baskets.
Would I play here again?
yes I would, I might put it back on my agenda after it gets updated.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Hole 18 has a massive downhill shot with trees on both sides and a hanging basket.
The view was amazing, take a minute before you leave to checkout the waterfall. Although, I wouldn't recommend standing on the platforms overlooking it, they are starting to crack on the bottom.
Cons: Signs are needed.
Lady at the front office was a bit naggy.
First few holes can be skipped, they are just open field boring filler holes.
Other Thoughts: It wasn't the best disc golf course, but it was an interesting experience. I would recommend trying the course if you are in the area.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Thrilling course, variety of short and long distance holes, features holes you have to throw your disc through wooded trails, and all in the middle of a beautiful state park!
Cons: At some points, the next basket can be difficult to find.
Other Thoughts: If I had to describe this course in one word, I would say it shouts "unique"! From the style of the baskets to the course design, I have not played disc golf at a course quite like this. I've only been playing the game for a little over a year, and only about 6 months consistently, but I have to say that this is by far my favorite course that I have played. There was never a dull moment for me, and I didn't even finish! I'd love to go back again and complete the course. Highly recommended! This course is a gem. And as a sidenote, the state park is a must see for any Oklahoman as well!
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun Little Course
Pros: The course has a variety of different types of holes; open, wooded, flat, uphill, downhill, par 3s and par 4s. Lots of variation from the front 9 to the back 9.
It was clean and seemed well-maintained.
Hole 18 in particular is a 200 ft hole with extreme elevation changes that requires some precision for even short shooters like myself to not overshoot the green altogether.
Great surrounding scenery and environment in a state park.
Great for beginners or practice. You'll have to use all your different shots but won't be brutally punished for bad shots.
Very unique course for the area. I haven't played anything like it in the NWA/SWMO area.
Cons: Not extremely clearly marked. Be sure to get a course map from the park ranger office building before beginning so you don't get lost.
Not very long; long throwers will get bored quickly.
Not very challenging; experienced players will probably find it lacking, while I for one was just glad to finally have a round under par.
I usually take my 1 yr old daughter along in the stroller when I play. The course was a bit difficult to maneuver with a stroller, especially the back 9. Which is to be expected for a course in a state park with hiking trails, and the course does follow those trails pretty closely. Just be ready for some hiking while you play.
There is a 4 dollar daily usage fee to enter the park.
It's not really near anything else, a 45 minute drive from Rogers, half hour drive from Springdale or Fayetteville.
Hole 9 plays back toward the parking lot and away from the back 9, so like everyone else said, I'd recommend heading for 10 after finishing hole 7 and picking up holes 8 and 9 after 18.
Other Thoughts: Overall, a fun, unique disc golf experience. I enjoyed playing and my wife and daughter loved walking along. If you're looking for a little something different in the Northwest Arkansas area, take a little drive and check it out.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - This park is beautiful and well maintained
- Nice variety of holes from tight and short to wide open and long.
- Different terrain from front nine to back nine added a challenge
- Very helpful map at the visitor center that also has clean bathrooms
- Hole 18 features a hanging basket on the signature 196 foot straight downhill hole.
- Very nice locals
- Re-tire baskets were very unique that were made of tires!
- Practice basket to loosen up before you play
Cons: - Natural tee boxes. Some of the teepads were slanted down or there were rocks on them and it was easy to roll and ankle
- Holes 15 and 16 have knee high weeds with stickerbushes that can really rip up your legs and make it hard to find your disc. I advise you to bring long socks
- Hole 17 has a barb wire fence to the right so if you throw it over, you wont get your disc back
- Navigation was kinda bad because hole 9 ends a long way from 10's tee. I would advise after playing hole 7, go up the rocky hill to tee for 10 and play through 18. Once you play 18, hole 8's tee is really close so you can finish by playing 8 and 9. The holes need to be re-numbered.
Other Thoughts: 4 bucks to park is the only fee. This course is amazingly beautiful. Being home to a 73 foot waterfall, it is really a awesome addition to the course to get to see that. This is a must play. It was loads of fun!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: It is located in a beautiful park. The baskets are brand new re-tire. The design is very good. Each basket has an arrow pointing the direcion to the next hole.
Cons: On 17 you must avoid going over barb wire fence. On 15 and 16 the grass and weeds are shin high to knee high and it is easy to lose disc. The 10th hole tee box is not close to the 9th hole basket. When teeing off of 7 you will see the 18th hanging basket and you must look left of 18 to see the 7th basket.
Other Thoughts: This course is a lot of fun. The park staff is very friendly. The visitor center has a map of the course. The best way to play the course is to play 1 through 7 first and then 10 through18. When you finish 18 you will be near the 7 basket and then you can finish by playing 8 and 9 and be near the visitor center where you started. After you play 7 go across creek and to the top of the dirt road and you will find the tee box for the 10th hole.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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