What came first, the reviewer or the course?
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I couldn't pass up playing the course one of the most notable DGCR reviews chose as his name's sake. After seeing the name everywhere on this site, I decided to play an extra course on my day in Austin and throw things from his perspective, and I wasn't disappointed!
After playing Roy G, I was so happy to play a course that was less than half as long. It's short, but it makes a good warm up or warm down round. This 18 hole course tucked alongside a little creek is pretty beginner/tired-arm friendly.
It's kind of a pretty course with the thick woods and the creek, but not as much by the apartment complex and back of a storage facility. But you can get over those.
The short holes make about half this course a pitch and putt, and the other half approach and putt. It shouldn't be hard for an experienced player to shoot under par, or a newer player to make par/get close.
The tee's were well marked, with great hole diagrams. The tee's were large round concrete pads. Kind of unusual, but other than one tilted one and a couple sandy ones, they were fine.
Cons: The shortness of the course can be a little disappointing for an 18 hole course. A nine holer has a better allowance for being shorter, but if there's a full 18 hole course being installed you kinda want more than one hole to be more than 300'.
Because of the length, it's hard to do much more than variations on a "throw straight and don't suck" theme. There are a couple right/left holes that are about 250' or so, but the rest of the day is just playing the wind or slight elevation. Or drastic elevation (hole 9 I think).
Other Thoughts: The baskets, not listed as pros or cons because I couldn't decide how I felt about them, were very uniquely colored: blue pole, red basket, blue chains, blue band with stickers.
Despite being a fairly Decent/Typical course, it was kind of quirky and endearing. The tee's were a shape I'd never really seen before, the baskets were a color combo I'd never seen before, the layout was just a weird triple-eight shape, crossing itself a couple times. It was a busy course, obviously well loved, and just another part of what makes Austin weird.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Excellent beginner/casual course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Practice basket at the entrance to the course.
- Holes are the perfect length and have a variety of designs for a beginner to practice both distance and technique.
- Very clean, you'll rarely find trash that isn't just runoff from the rains.
- Plenty of parking, though you might have to walk a bit to the start of the course.
- Regular maintenance from the parks department and club.
Cons: - Thick brush, nasty water, and steep drops make up the hazards for the holes along the creek.
-- Very easy for beginners to lose discs to these hazards (every disc I've lost was lost on this course).
- Navigation isn't very intuitive, I've had to help point the way for a few people who were new to the course.
-- While there is a course map at the start, it means nothing if you're unfamiliar with the area.
-- Signs like the one pointing to hole 14 would be a welcome addition to each basket for new players.
- Brush can be littered with poison ivy, don't go looking for a disc unless you're immune!
Other Thoughts: - There are usually three meetups a week on this course, scheduled by the course's club.
- Regulars are really nice people who wouldn't turn down an invitation to play, and usually, offer assistance when you're searching for a lost disc.
- If you have to jump in the water, be wary of snapping turtles that call the creek home.
- Very popular on weekday afternoons and all day on weekends.
-- Expect multiple groups of 8+ people on the course at peak hours.
Pokemon Go: there's a gym at the entrance and a stop near hole 12.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Recreational Course Extraordinaire!
Pros: Wells Branch Park is a lovely park with a creek running through it. You're right away impressed when you drive up and see the wonderful disc golf map and sign. It's set in a nicely landscaped circle that also holds a bicycle rack. The park is very conveniently located just blocks from the interstate.
There is a practice basket near the sign. The tee signs are amazing. They are nice sized, colored metal ones which are securely mounted on a granite block. They are visually attractive, probably vandal proof and informative. Any course, I've ever seen would love to have these signs. The baskets are another story. They are the strangest looking Discatchers I've ever seen. They're patriotic dark blue and red. One set of chains is red while the other is blue. And the catcher basket is a little more shallow than others. I forecast a few putts falling out. They worked fine for me as my attempts were mostly airballs. The tee pads were circular in shape and reddish color. They were unique and one was shared by # 12 & 13. I don't that's an issue at all.
The course itself is just north of being a pitch and putt making it an easy recreational course with it's plethora of fun Aces Runs. It seems as though every hole is aceable but I remember a few that would be tougher. Only # 1 is over 300'. Eight play in 200' range and the remaining nine are sub 200'. Although short, many of these little Ace Runs require some shot shaping. #'s 8 & 9 and are both fun little annies and easily aceable. # 12 has the possibility of skipping in an ace off the sidewalk while 13 is a fun throw to the basket In the trees.
There are one hole where the basket is just 159' dead ahead but the reason everyone seems to love this course is it's variety and interesting and somewhat challenging Ace Runs.
Cons: The baskets won't win any basket beauty pageants.
Recreational distances. If throwing big, booming drives is your thing, then Old Settlers or North Town might be better course choices for you.
There's a possibility that you'll put one in the creek. They're pretty easily retrieved.
Navigation might be iffy your first time through. I was lucky to be guided by, Eddie, a fairly new player who is finding this course to be the perfect course to kick start his disc golfing career.
Other Thoughts: It's awesome that Austin has this great mix of courses ranging from beginner to advanced and from Wells Branch's recreational length to Old Settlers professional distances. I know if I lived here, this would be the perfect course for my weiny arm and overall recreational game. Who knows, I might even Ace a couple of these behemoths. Most reviewers mention the number of players who frequent this course. That truly speaks to the appeal of Wells Branch. It's just a very enjoyable 18 holes of disc golf nirvana.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Wells Branch- Ace Runs All Day
Pros: Albeit a short course, overall it's solid.
Almost all holes are ace-runs, so it's a great course to work on putters/mid ranges off of the tee.
The course has clear signage and is very easy to navigate. Since being cleaned out for overgrowth, the course is even easier to follow and play through.
There are some clever hole designs, despite being short, and some decent elevation/texture changes.
The teepads themselves are small, but very functional.
Cons: It can be pretty dirty, between construction and the overall climate of the area/course. Dusty at times, but a lot of grass fairways.
It's well-traveled outside of disc golf, so you need to watch for pedestrians.
It's really not even worth it to bring anything faster than a midrange, so don't expect to be bombing shots all over the place.
It gets ridiculously crowded at times with a ton of mini-events/gathering occurring all the time.
Construction is going on, but I think most of it is done, so that part's good!
The baskets, whatever brand/line they are, are crummy. That's more preferential, but the basket themselves are really strange and often smaller than usual.
Other Thoughts: Great course for putters/mids, short and sweet.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
My First Home Course
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (2.575 Rating) (REVISED - replayed April 2018) A very short beginner friendly course that's attracted a huge following.
- ACEABILITY - Several highly aceable holes. Skilled players will have great opportunities on holes (3,4,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,18) which are all sub 225. Yeah I know, It's a lot. Players are probably 5 times more likely to ace here than at a normal course. I personally rang up the chains 10 times here over a 6 month span.
- TEES - Some of the better tees in all of Austin. They are long (12 feet) and wide (8 feet) with rounded corners. Please note that there is a control joint near the front of every pad. Most local players don't play this as a foot fault, but rather it's to the end of the tee.
- CHARACTER - In addition to the tees, Wells Branch has a bunch of extras. There is a wonderful course map at hole (1). There is great hole signage, most of the tees are well shaded, there is amazing stone seating on every hole and trash cans are at several tees. There is also a practice basket, and multiple pin placements on nine holes, although unmarked on the signage. Holes (1,2,3, 6,7,8,12,14 and 17)
- NAVIGATION - This would probably be an issue except for the combo of the great course map at hole (1) and the hole signage. I recommend taking a picture on the first time though.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - This course reads novice level and it's definitely a course I would bring a newer player to. The odds of losing a disc is low, and the fairways are wide and forgiving.
- QUICK PLAY - A single can easily complete a full 18 in under 45 minutes. Groups of 4 usually play in under two hours, sometimes even an hour and a half.
- MAINTENANCE - The course is well maintained by an active local club.
- LOCATION - Literally a five minute drive off of the interstate. Great for disc golf day trippers looking to play a warm-up round before one of the more challenging southern courses.
- NIGHT GOLF - This is an ideal night golf course. Spacious fairways, only moderate overgrowth, few water hazards in play and lots of locals with glow tape and flashlights.
Cons: Typical small city park issues.
- LACK OF CHALLENGE - Not much of a challenge, even to Recreational players. They should have no problem being under par, perhaps even 6 down or more. One of my former roommates, a pro player, shot 18 down. Recreational players will be delighted however as it can be a feel good round. It's a great opportunity for those players to rack up aces.
- TIME WAITING - This course gets heavy use and often has mob golfing going on with groups of 10 or more. There are also lots of minis seemingly every day of the week. In addition, the holes on the west side of the creek, (3,4,11,12) all have a well traveled walking and biking path. Rarely will one play a round and not have to stop and wait for these types of park users.
- SPACING - Well below average. Several of the fairways feel partially shared. Discs constantly end up in other fairways. Black aces have happened. In addition, considering that the course is typically full of players, you will always be wise to keep your head up and aware of other groups teeing off. I have seen people hit hard before out here.
- ELEVATION - Really none to speak of. I know that flat courses are common for many parts of eastern Texas, but its typically a bit hillier for the Austin area courses. No more than 12 feet of elevation change on any one hole out here. Basket (16) is elevated.
- UNIQUENESS - The holes themselves are lacking the uniqueness that you'd see on your average 18 hole course. The course is extremely short, probably the shortest 18 hole course in Austin. Many players often state that they just needed a putter. Which the exception of hole (1), all holes are under 300 feet. Most holes are rather straight. Only Hole (17) twists a little bit, perhaps 20 degrees and it's the one blind basket. There are a few windows to hit and a few holes that are guarded by trees. There is a creek that plays threw the course. However a forced erosion control redesign relocated many of the baskets away from the creek.
- LAYOUT FLOW - Not the worst I've seen, but well below average. There is an odd transition heading to (3) tee which requires walking past (4) basket. Next players will have to approach (4) tee from (4) basket. After (11) is another flow stopper, as you have walk past basket (12) to tee (12) and then back again to tee (12) as tee (13) is shared with (12). (16) is the final transition oddity, which also requires walking by the basket before getting to the tee. I'll also add that (18) doesn't finish near (1). It's not too far, but it's still over 500 feet.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Typical small city park looks. The creek sometimes gets trash built-up from offsite but the club does clean-ups every few months to keep the course in check.
- CHAINS - They are playable but among the oddest I've ever come across. I believe some of them are homemade. I'll add that I rarely missed putts due to the basket factor, I can shank a putt all by myself.
- PARKING - Its street parking and its often lined with cars, all from disc golfers. Be cautious when exiting a vehicle here.
- POISON IVY - During the spring its everywhere, you've been warned.
Other Thoughts: Wells Branch DGC is a special place to me. It was my first home course back in February 2014, and it's where I get my DGCR username from as I was its 250th member. I've played at least 500 rounds out here and made a bunch of friends here during the time I spent in Austin. I showed up recently in April 2018 after being gone for almost 2 years and got a friendly welcoming and it seemed like I had never left. Although, Wells Branch is personally a favorite of mine, this favoritism is purely sentimental. My rating for this course is how I personally would have seen it, if it had been my typical one and done type course. Through my rating style I find Wells to be a fairly average or typical in nature. It's a great course for beginning players thru novice level. Players looking for a good challenge or exotic beauty won't find it here. For these attributes in an Austin area course I'd recommend Williamson County on the north side of town and Roy G, Circle C, and Bible Ridge on the south side. These are all great Austin showcase courses.
- LOCAL HOLES - There are few local holes of note. Holes (3) and (4) are sometimes played to opposing baskets. ie tee (3) to basket (4) and tee (4) to basket (3). This also often occurs on (15) and (16).
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Good pin placement relative to course length
- Enough tree's to provide some technical challenges, in spite of putter-only length
Cons: - Nearly all very short holes
- Layout is extremely tight at times
Other Thoughts: With a couple exceptions, this is an extremely short, beginner / casual course (*much* more so than e.g. Zilker). If not for pin placement / tree's, a putter would be all you need. I used putters and my Firebird (short flex or flick hyzers) for all but 2 shots.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
pretty, fun beginner course
Pros: Good club presence. Friendly locals, gets a lot of use, well maintained. Great use of trees to make a short course interesting. Good sineage, cement oval? tee boxes. Pretty, lots of shade. Trash cans available, bridges placed in good spots, overall.
Cons: Holes are close together. This is really only a problem on a few. #12 aims right back at #11's basket, and 12 and 13 share the same tee. This should be fixed, but beyond that, a great, short corse.
Other Thoughts: Obviously not a championship course, but it is a great place to bring the spouse, family. It has short holes on most, but basket placement makes it more challenging than the distances would argue. Nice job overall in a tight spot. Love the shade. In TX, that's a real plus!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Couple of cool holes using the creek. Concrete tee pads are a plus.
Cons: There has not been a time that I've played this course that I haven't run into large groups that refused to let smaller groups play though.
This course was clearly squeezed into way too small a space. Multiple tee pads are in the line of fire of other tee pads if a shot is off. Multiple baskets are within a few yards of each other.
Poison Ivy is everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!
This course may actually be busier than Cat Hollow.
Other Thoughts: If the course is empty play it. If the course is full I recommend somewhere else.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Excellent short community course
Pros: This course is designed to be a community course for the local residents, and it excels at that. It is relatively short, and balances the other much longer courses in Austin. The course has a lot of shaded property. It is a great course for new players to the sport. Strong local club presence to provide maintenance to the park.
Cons: The course is overly popular due to to its appeal to a variety of the disc golf community, including female players, couples, families, beginners, and master-age players. Street parking and no bathrooms; although, fast food restaurants are close enough to visit in an emergency. The WB trail system runs along 4 holes of the course, requiring players and pedestrians to share the park, which can tax the patience of disc golfers, who should learn to enjoy the game and patiently wait or play a longer, more-challenging course with fewer players and no wait.
Other Thoughts: The 2013 course expansion moved the course South of Wells Branch Pkwy, which made the course more safe, but the land on the south side was barely able to hold 18 holes, and it shows. Sometimes, the land dictates the course, and the result at WB is a short course that is more popular in number of players than any other course in Austin any day of the week.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Too many holes in a tight space
Pros: The location is great for many golfers to get a quick round in on the North side of Austin.
The course has several fun, unique holes and affords a decent challenge for players of all abilities.
The cement tees and the baskets are good.
Parking is easy, there's a practice basket, and the course no longer requires crossing a busy road.
Cons: This course is a prime example of too many holes in a small space. Nine really good (or maybe 12) could have been put in without compromising safety, flow, and challenge.
There are multiple unmemorable throw-away holes as well as multiple holes which have flight lines directly along the busy walking path.
The routing at one point is among the worst anywhere with two baskets with overlapping 10m circles, a backtrack hole, and two holes sharing the same tee.
The creek, while adding to the challenge is a bit dangerous for beginning players who might be attracted to this course and can eat discs and is prime for slip and falls at points.
Other Thoughts: I do understand the work that goes into designing and installing a course as I've done some myself and hesitate to come off so critical, but as someone who also takes writing course reviews seriously, I have to call a spade a spade.
Given the allotted space here, the course could have been much safer and more enjoyable.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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