20 Helpful / 0 Not
World's First: Technical Fun Awaits
Pros: - Oak Grove, site of the world's 1st disc golf course, features a mix of terrain ranging from rough, scrubby desert replete with cacti to grassy park-style fairways. A wide range of vegetation includes many wooded patches. Several holes play alongside or underneath the branches of trees. In places, branches force certain shots due to low clearance. Water in play on one hole during the wetter times of year.
- Great use of the modest elevation on site. Every hole seems to have at least a few wrinkles and elevation features prominently on many of the best designed holes. Baskets placed atop small rises create good risk/reward opportunities due to the threat of rolling away into brush or, in places, water. The hole with the lake arcs in a dogleg-left from the tee, with a scrub-covered bluff down to the lake providing risk should you choose to try for the pin, which is shielded in front by small trees.
- Several ace runs possible, without being cheap or boring.
- Interesting old concrete tees in the shapes of hex- and/or pent-agons. Not always level but enough to get the job done on this shorter technical course.
- Accommodating and friendly locals create a positive, open vibe. Ask a local to guide if you're unfamiliar with the layout.
Cons: - No signs. Makes navigation and finding the baskets on blind holes a bit tricky. Having a local guide will greatly enhance the experience for first timers.
- A couple of the first several holes play alongside a busy soccer field. Not a large problem, but I assume some issues arise from time to time.
Other Thoughts: - The mountain backdrop provides some truly scenic disc golf.
- Some areas get very dusty. Bring a towel if dust bothers you.
- Although located on the site of the original course in the world and the birth spot of our sport, the current course is not the original design. Apparently the original course's design changed long ago and has been through several incarnations throughout the years. The current setup maximizes the use of the natural terrain and vegetation, encouraging precise upshots and solid putting over massive drives.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a historic course set in a large multi-use park. Other than the first couple holes, the course is on disc golf exclusive areas, so no real conflicts with other park users. There is lots of nice shade with the mature oak trees, making for a pretty park and a nice round even on hot summer days. The trees and the minor elevation changes available are used well to create a variety of hole shapes and lengths that keep the course from feeling repetitive, and offer some interesting challenges.
The concrete tees are in good shape for the most part, and the two rubber tees are laid well and provide nice flat tee areas. I didn't find the layout that hard to follow, but there is a nice map online here that is useful for finding your way around. The locals we ran into were friendly and helpful the one time we got turned around.
Cons: There are no tee signs, I always like to know hole layout and distance and that isn't available here. There are several blind holes that you pretty much have to walk up the fairway to know where to shoot. The map shows 22 holes with 4 letter holes, and other reviewers mention these extras, but we were only able to find C and D, and the course info lists only 20 holes, so that's a little confusing.
The basket situation isn't ideal with a mix of various baskets, many of which aren't in the best shape. The course can be very crowded, leading to some waits on slow groups and some inconsiderate people throwing on you at times.
Other Thoughts: There is a ton of history here, and on top of that it's an enjoyable course through some really nice old oak trees. Beginners will find the distances reasonable and not too much punishing schule. More experienced players will find some fun challenges though it's not a really tough course, with lots of birdies if you hit your lines. I definitely recommend a stop here while in the LA area.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Historic course, fairways and terrain varies. I like the hexagon tee-pads.
Cons: Can get very congested, especially when school gets out. Sometimes sporting event crowds get in the way on holes 2 and 3.
Other Thoughts: This place is great. It is the first place I played when I moved back to So Cal. If you can't find your way around, there is someone there that can show you. I have met a lot of cool people there.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
First Course Ever Played
Pros: Very pretty. Tees moved often. Some holes very long. Lots of trees; making the course challenging. Locals very friendly and helpful.
Cons: Played on a weekday in late afternoon and had some waiting between holes.
Other Thoughts: First place I ever played disc golf and our family of 5 are hooked!
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 0 Not
You can Feel the History in the Air
Unique Terrain that varies from thick to wide open
Great use of elevation change
Lots of beautiful Oak Trees that act as excellent natural obstacles
Even Mix of RHBH and LHBH holes throughout
Creative use of terrain, especially on the "Lake Hole" which plays as "Hole D". You are shaping lines around or over terrain on the majority of shots here.
Free to play!
DG Exclusive area except for the first 3 holes which play near soccer/football fields. People know DG is being played!
A few scattered bathrooms, plenty of bushes
Great local scene and regular tourneys held at the course.
Concrete Tees on most holes which are old but sturdy
No Pro Shop / Snack Shop. Sometimes there is a guy selling discs in a white truck from what I remember.
Most holes are under 300' in length. This is actually a bit of a pro for noodle arms like me.
No tee signs or markers, and most pads have the wrong number listed. You have to know the layout or follow someone. Bring a guide your first time.
Older Baskets with no number markers
Soccer or football players are active on the fields next to holes 2 and 3, and can sometimes get in the way. They aren't a problem for the rest of the course.
Very dusty in the summertime - think Kansas in the great depression
Crazy homeless guy sometimes will come out and yell at you right around Hole 17. Some have said that he has lived there on the property for years and that he is a staple of the park.
Oak Grove Park: steps from JPL in Pasadena and the place that started it all. The first "permanent pole hole" course in the world. Rolling hills surround this course located low in an erosion area within a multi use park. Every throw here makes you think, and there is almost a perfect mix of both RHBH and LHBH holes. If you're a righty, you'd better have a forehand on this course.
The first few times I played this course, I didn't have a guide or any groups to follow and was a bit frustrated. You will definitely get greater enjoyment playing with someone who is familiar with the layout as it isn't always self explanatory. There are only a handful of blind baskets, but they are epic - like Hole # 7. Plays about 250-275 feet over some bushes and next to some power lines. The only way to see the basket is to walk the hole before your shot. The overgrowth on this hole provides a sometimes insurmountable obstacle, and once again makes you rethink your line.
This course would greatly benefit from some tee signs and maybe some flags for the holes as well. It would be a big help for first timers to the course or those generally unfamiliar with the layout. After you play it 3 or 4 times, the navigation becomes pretty automatic, although the "bonus" holes can be in play or not depending on the water conditions. The park is located in a huge flood control channel and gets all the erosion from the surrounding hills, effectively burying a hole or 2 after it rains.
The Signature hole without a doubt is the "Canyon" or "Lake" Hole (depending on the water height) that is listed as Hole "D". The lake ends in a triangle on an elevated section of ground, and the hole shoots from the high ground over the water and to the basket with about a 20 to 30 foot elevation drop. The basket is only about 320 feet away maximum, with the short position playing to about 295. The psychological aspect of the water messes with you on this hole, providing great entertainment with the sometimes errant shots it produces. The basket sits on a gentle slope that ends with a 5 foot embankment dropoff and murky water. There really is no hope of getting discs out here unless you wade into that water, and that is a tough prospect.
Last time I played we were on this hole, and the guy in front of me plunked his disc in the water. I felt like a kid jumping off of a high dive, and took twice my normal time to prepare for the drive. I ended up with an 80% power anhyzer that landed 40 feet right of the basket. It really is quite make-able with the slight elevation drop. Just make sure not to hyzer out if you're a righty.
This course is a must play in the Greater L.A. area, and really no Socal trip should be without it. This is where Disc Golf started! Lots of out of staters I've talked to express in interest in playing this course just because of the fact that it truly the "OG" and it is cool to see where DG was born. You will be pleasantly surprised if you do make the trip out to Pasadena, but try to follow someone or meet up with a guide there your first time and it will amplify your enjoyment of the course greatly.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The Original...what else needs to be said!! I've only played this course in tournament set-ups so my review may be a little biased...
-Love the Oaks throughout the park (hence the Oak Grove)
-Nice variety of shots required to post a low score...
-Course plays through some open areas as well as some wooded areas...Great use of the terrain
Cons: -Kind of tricky to find your way around without a map...would recommend picking one up before coming here for your first time.
-Lost a few discs in the drink and never heard anything back on them
-It gets hot...so bring some fluids
Other Thoughts: As this was the original course in the US I have always wanted to cross it off my list of places I've played...I'm glad I was able to experience the course and would recommend this place to anyone.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
In love with the history and locals
Pros: I really enjoy this course for the history and the impressive local commitment to keeping the place maintained.
The course is technical and requires every shot in the bag. Thumbers are welcome here along with forehand as well as rollers on a few holes. Teepads are in great shape at every hole and there are many different pin placements to keep you on your toes. Great use of the terrain provided to give some elevation as well as a canyon shot that will give the same psychological feel as water.
Favorite pin placement in a 150' footer straight down from the top of a 50' hill. Very creative use of the hills, trees, and terrain on every hole.
I've actually stopped at just looked at several of the holes on the front 9 and remarked how picturesque they look with baskets tucked into different nooks and crannys on the side of the hill with tree cover everywhere.
Crowds often add to the flavor of the course and can make the round that much more enjoyable. The local support here is inspiring, too bad more courses didn't have the commitment these guys have.
Cons: Crowds can destroy a round as well, no getting away from them. Most are well behaved, haven't had problems yet but could see some impatient noobs throwing on people.
Course is a bit short for modern technology except for 2 holes where you can air it out, so it lacks on distance challenges. The pin placements I've played lend themselves to LHBH or RHFH. I felt like I threw the same shot off the tee on the back 9, 7 times - FH skip to the basket, FH skip to the basket. Easy 6 birds in a row but very repetitive.
Navigation. There is none. I've played with guys who've been there a bunch and we still got lost. Following the group in front of you is really the only way to play the course, especially with the extra holes always popping up on the course.
Really cramped on the back 9. Felt like I was throwing on someone every hole.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoy this course and will be back often. It's great to be apart of So Cal DG history.
The course would be bumped up to a 4 with nice new tee signs with all pins marked and directions to the next tee. I'd love to play all the "extra" holes, but have no idea where to find them.
There's a soccer field really close to the first few holes that might disrupt a round but there was a group playing Ultimate last time I was there so I'll allow it.
Again, the locals are what make this course great. With big tournaments, weekly's monthly's, ace races and probably glow rounds, the course is always buzzing with activity that is positive for disc golf. Wish more courses could have this following.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 2 Not
Better Than Ever.
- History. Being the first ever official DG course in the WORLD, OG is a must play for all dedicated disc golfers. And, even though the course today is not the original course, some of the original tee-pads are there as well as one of the first ever official baskets (Black Basket to the left of Hole 10's fairway).
- Looking Good. OG is in the best shape it has been in in years. All the litter has been removed, bushes have been manicured, tee-pads areas cleaned, extra pin placements installed, etc... I have never seen the course looking as good as it does now (9 years).
- Multiple Pins. Every hole has multiple pin positions and the baskets get moved fairly frequently. Also, the multiple pin positions give the holes different looks and keeps the course interesting.
- Shot Variety. OG isn't the longest or most technical course, but it has a good variety of shots. Low, line-drives, huge spike hyzers, touch skip shots, thumbers, sidearms, mids, putters... It's only really missing huge bombs.
- Crowded. OG is one of the more crowded courses you will ever find. It's not uncommon to find several 8-sums on the course at any given time (and that includes 9am on a Sunday mornings too).
- Lack of Signage. There is not one tee-sign, directional sign, informational sign, etc... on the whole course. Not only is this un-professional looking, but it could also lead to some confusion in navigation (however, with as busy as the course is at any time of the day, all you need to do is follow the group in front of you).
- Baskets. At least 5 different types of OLD mix-matched baskets make up the course. Many of the pins are un-vertical and several are temporary baskets tethered to trees of telephone poles with long chains.
- Locals. As other reviewers have said, the Locals can be rough. Lots of Tweakers, Lots of Bums, Lots of DirtBags.
- Summer Camp. In the summer, a summer-camp uses much of the park as their base camp for activities. The campers are generally out of the way, but they do walk through the course from time to time. Just be aware.
- Under-Covers. There have been several instances of undercover cops infiltrating the course and busting people for extracurricular activities. Cops have been known to hide in the bushes (IN CAMOFLAGE) near the 420 spots. Be Aware!
- Weekly. They hold an extremely successful Wednesday night weekly (3:00 Winter / 5:00 Summer)... and, they'll even give you strokes. (Next weeks Ace Pot is over $400).
- Must Play if in LA. Due to the history, and the fact that the course is pretty decent, OG is a must play if you're in LA. Don't let the idea of sketchy locals or crowds deter you.
- My Best Score: -13
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Oak Grove DGC
Pros: -Tunnel shots, narrow fairways, long baskets, short baskets.
-Dirt course, no grass holes; I prefer mountain courses.
-18 hole course, but has alternate 'A' and 'B' holes between holes 5 and 6, and 'C' and 'D' holes after hole 12. C and D are the only real open drives on the whole course. These are great for navigating around large groups; sometimes you skip them to pass the groups, sometimes you play them to create more of a gap between them. I think its a great idea, and effectively makes the course 22 holes.
-Wide variety of DG'ers. Old and young, and get this, some are even female!
-Concrete tee pads except on bonus holes.
-Lots of shade on most of the course.
-One of the best course websites I have encountered, with a detailed description of what each hole involves.
Cons: -Poorly marked. No signs at any tee's, and fruthermore, many tee pads are now mis-numbered. A guide or map the first time around is almost essential, particularly after the first 5.
-While there are many nice locals, there is also a large chunk of people that treat the course as their own, and would probably like it if nobody else ever played there. Ever.
-Some blind holes can make for some 'fun' disc finding.
-Bonus hole 'A' is a very narrow tomahawk throw that is harshly punished if you mis-fire.
-Summer Camps can make the front 9 a patience challenge, hole #6 is removed in the summertime. I believe they replace it with bonus hole B for scoring purposes.
Other Thoughts: Oak Grove plays in a heavily wooded park in an area that is largely DG exclusive. There are usually people walking dogs, riding horses, and using the other recreational facilities so always keep an eye out for others. They are all well aware of the course. Hole 6 is taken out in the summer time due to a youth camp that takes over the area.
The Front 9 play generally around a large athletic field along an oak covered hillside. At hole 5, you are introduced to the parks other personality, which is a more open, yet equally as challenging flood basin.
The back 9 mostly plays in a heavily wooded section of the park, with relatively close fairways, a pair of double mandy's, and some other tree and object related hazards.
Three of the back 9 holes (and when I say back 9, I am referring to the last 10 holes) play back down in the flood basin. These are two of the three only wide open shots on the course. In the wintertime, one plays across a lake. It's not the longest throw in the world but its easy to screw up.
Hole 9 has an alternate tee that largely eliminates any blind throwing that is encountered from the concrete tee. Simply follow the little trail just beyond it and you will see a rubber tee. Since I am not a fan of climbing around in bushes, we usually play this tee.
While navigation is a nightmare for first time visitors, I really like the course. Definitely more pleasant to play in the winter and spring, but what course in Southern California ISN'T more pleasant during those times? The park regularly sees a large crowd so I don't think they are in any hurry to add signs and help newcomers.
For historic purposes alone, this should be a stop on any disc golfers list. Do yourself a favor and print up a map from their website before you head out, bring plenty of patience, and keep your eyes out for random discs, as many fairways play incredibly close to each other.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
27 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Oak Grove has an amazingly active group of locals that maintain monthly and weekly events. It's important to take a few moments each round and realize that this is sacred ground. This is where our sport really took shape. What amazes me most is the proximity to JPL. Check it out on the back 9 and stare in awe at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. If you're not familiar with JPL I really recommend that you look up it's history. (I would link you to some stuff but if you've made it this far on the internet you can probably figure out how to search for info on JPL yourself.) Some of the first DGers took time away from building satellites to have some terrestrial fun and chuck some plastic at chains.
To get a good score at Oak Grove you need a good command of many types of shots however you can still play there as a beginner and have a great time.
Oak Grove can really punish you for throwing high. This is a valuable lesson about control that you may not receive in most West Coast courses. If you have a problem with nose angle a few rounds at OG will fix you up really nicely.
Cons: There are some cramped fairways and some holes that could use a redesign to maintain flow.
Teeboxes still have the numbers of an older layout and there aren't current maps available at the course. Navigation can be difficult.
Some teeboxes are rougher than the ground next to them.
I've noticed a lack of courtesy from a lot of players. I also realized that many of these people held 2 brand new dx discs. Be kind to n00bs. You were once one yourself. Don't be afraid to talk about etiquette.
Other Thoughts: I am constantly impressed with every visit to this course that there are baskets in positions that I haven't seen before. This is another tribute to the active amount of locals. The first couple of front holes revolve around a public field and are mostly "lefty" holes so be careful and respectful of people sharing the property. I can very easily see someone chucking their new Orc into a soccer game and making life difficult for the DGers.
I have read that OG has some crappy and mean people throwing discs but I have never found this to be the case. I think a positive and honest attitude helps a lot in life. If you would like to pass a group be upfront with your intention because they may not know the protocol involved or may just think that you're checking out their lines.
Enjoy this course and it's history. Maybe throw a whole round with freestyle discs and really appreciate how far we've come.
27 of 27 people found this review helpful.
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