Best 9-hole course in U.S.?
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -- Three sets of tees on each hole. On the majority of the holes, the three tee pads are radically different in both length and line to the basket. I have never seen multiple tee pads so well designed. This truly plays like a 27-hole course.
-- Tee pads are concrete and level.
-- Tee signs are basic but functional, with hole and distance. Color coding helps differentiate A, B, and C tees.
-- Major elevation (both uphill and downhill).
-- Mature trees in play on every hole, although nothing you would consider heavily wooded.
-- Ravine (and creek) cuts through the park, providing a major obstacle on a few holes.
-- Basket placements reward accuracy. For example, both 6 and 7 are less than 20 feet from a creek/ditch. Other baskets are near OB or on slopes.
-- Port-o-potty at the parking lot.
Cons: -- Navigation can be a little tricky. A few tee signs are broken (and lying on the ground), but once you figure out the coding (B tee signs are black, for example, A are white with red lettering, C are white with dark lettering), it's not too bad.
-- C tee pads always play short and are mostly beginner friendly. B and A tee pads sometimes are a little too similar in distance/challenge. Nos. 4 and 6 are the worst of those.
Other Thoughts: -- I have a difficult time imaging a better 9-hole course (although reviews of Laem Sor in Thailand make it sound AMAZING). So let's say Iron Spike is the best 9-hole course in the U.S.
-- Pars are mostly accurate except for 1A (699 feet, par 6). The hole is long and has some elevation, but par 6? I'm about an 800-rated player without a big arm and was disappointed with my birdie 5.
-- Large structure of the crossing railroad ties (with the course name) by hole one is a nice touch.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Sweet small town course
Pros: Cement tee pads
3 sets tee's for each basket
Great course map
Elevation in Texas
Distance listed on tee signs
Best course sign ever
Cons: Tee signs could have maps
Long walk to the A pad for hole 1, rest of the course flows pretty well
Other Thoughts: I had heard a lot of good things about this little 9 hole course that plays like a 27. I was not disappointed.
The course is 9 holes with A, B and C cement tee pads for every hole. And unlike what most courses do, these are 3 different looks and not just short, long and longer holes.
the course is set in sort of a Valley which give you some great elevation for Texas. Not a heavy treed park, but lots of large old tree's on rolling grassy hills.
The A Holes are long, most are double what the C hole length is. Many would play par 4 with maybe hole 1(A) playing as a par 5.
Would I play here again? Yes, this course is worth playing. While I am not sure I could recommend driving all the way from the DFW area just to play here, it is well worth a stop if your in the area. Would be a great way to cap off a day on the train, then a round of disc golf.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Really close to a 4
Pros: Great concrete teepads
Benches on almost every hole
Teesigns on every hole
Multiple concrete teepads
Very clean park with dedicated large Iron Spike artwork
More elevation changes than expected
Cons: Baskets are not great considering as much time that has been spent on this course.
Teesigns are no more than collectors of bird poop, no design or anything.
No holes were outstanding, but the three sets of teepads makes each hole play differently.
Other Thoughts: This is a really great course, but I don't think it's at a 4 rating. Better baskets and better tee signage would definitely make it a 4 even with it being only 9 holes.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Well deserving of a 4 rating
Pros: It's hard to believe that a nine holer could get a real 4.0 rating, but this one does it. I admit, before even playing this course I fantasized about what a 4 or a above 9 hole course might look like. Then I played this course, and I knew.
Iron Spike DGC was probably built for the college students at the local community college. That's the only logical reasoning I can find for such a high-quality, intentional course, in Palestine, TX (pr: PAL-es-teen). And intentional it is- from the large brutalist structure of the crossing railroad ties by hole one, to the three unique tees on every hole.
Before going into the tees, I first want to acknowledge the terrain of Green Park. There is a mix of gently rolling grassy hills, with a creek in the middle who's boundaries are 4-6ft ravines, or steep banks. Baskets near the creek are well placed to engage the elevation of the park, challenge you with "death putts," or think about your approach with respect to guardian trees. It would have been easy to put the baskets in the middle of a field, or open space, or whatever, but there is evident consideration given to shot choice. Which leads us to the part of this course that makes it a must-play:
Each hole has three tees, which is even a little unusual on an 18 hole course, but what sets this apart from most other courses with multiple tees is how well placed and thought out each tee is. The tees are broken up into A, B, and C placements. A being the longest, and C the shortest. Most courses that have multiple tees will simple place them in a staggered line, so you have variation of length but not of shot. Iron Spike does not do that, and this is why is an outstanding course, even for 9 holes. Even if the A tee is 450ft, and the C tee 250ft, each tee will be placed in a way that engages the trees on the hole, and the shapes your shot. The A, B, and C tee can play as three unique holes, with unique lines, and unique strategies. Having short tees that may be easy for beginners but will even make amateurs think about shot selection creates engaging and inspiration disc golf.
The course sits on about half the park, the north side of the road that splits it. But none of the fairways run into each other, or overlap. It may get a little snug on the A tees, but I'd have to play again just to be sure. What I'm getting at is the flow of the course, and how genius the design is to offer so many options on a small amount of open land, and not even feel crowded. I've played a lot of 18+ hole courses that really squeezed in holes to fit. I never got that feeling here.
Because of the huge difference in hole length from A to C tees, you can play a round in under half an hour, or as long as 45 minutes or so. Either way, it's worth playing multiple rounds if you have the time.
Oh, and every A, B, and C tee is a level concrete tee pad with hole number, tier, and distance on its sign. That's 27 concrete tees on a 9 hole course. Someone really cared about making this course a good experience for the player.
Cons: The baskets are starting to get a little old. If the local golfers can raise the funds, or get financial help from the city, it would be great to see some better baskets to match the high caliber quality of the course. If "they" can install 27 concrete pads and huge iron spike decoration, hopefully they can get some good baskets.(you can get championship level baskets for under $300 each, jus sayin)
It would be nice if the tee signs had little maps of the holes. Even something simple. It's not too necessary though, because it is pretty obvious where you're going. It would help most on the A tees, maybe B's too when the hole is long enough that you may not be able to see the basket from where you are.
At first, navigation can be a little tricky because the hole 8 or 9 tees are closer than 1's. But after that it flows pretty easily, especially after you get a feel for the course. I never had a problem after the very beginning of the course, but I'm just looking for something to put here.
Other Thoughts: I play this course every time I go to Palestine to visit my grandmother, and strongly recommend anyone driving by play it too. As c_a_miller says, it's great stop on a road trip, and a good way to stretch your legs. Definitely worth driving a little out of the way for.
If you do play this course, you should write a review and get it into the Top 9 Hole courses on this site. I don't think it's hit the minimum reviews necessary to be in the rankings yet, but this is a course which deserves to be in the public knowledge.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
excellent 9 hole course!
Pros: -three sets of tees on each hole
-excellent concrete tees at each of the tees on each hole
-signs at each tee with hole number, tee level, and distance
-Disc Nation Liberty baskets with an extra set of chains
-major elevation changes throughout the park
-mature trees in play on every hole
-ravine cuts through the park providing a major obstacle on a few holes
-the various sets of tees are well-designed for a variety of skill levels, with longer distances and more challenging lines on the longer tees
-large parking lot
-port-o-john at the parking lot
Cons: -chains on some of the baskets are beginning to rust
-distances on the signs seem a little short on hole 8
-navigating to the next hole can be a challenge with so many tees on each hole, but it's pretty easy once you get a feel for the course
-the B tees seem to be a big jump in difficulty from the C tees and though the A tees are longer, the B tees sometimes have a more challenging line
Other Thoughts: Wow, this is an excellent course! Easily the best 9 hole course I have played. The park has some major elevation changes throughout and a ravine cuts right through the center of it, coming into play on holes 2, 6, 7, 8. At the time that I played there was only a small amount of standing water in the ravine on hole 7. It could be a much bigger factor if the creek was raging through the entire ravine; not sure if that ever happens here.
There are three sets of tees on each hole, each with its own sign and concrete tee. The short (C) tees are all under 250' and are great for rec players and a fun birdie-fest for experienced players. The B tees average over 350' and have much more challenging lines than the C tees and in some cases, also the A tees (holes 5 & 7). With the elevation in play, you need to have about 400' of distance to have a look at birdie on most holes from the B tees. The long (A) tees average 435'. Hole 1 at 699' uphill should maybe be a par 4, even for a Gold tee? There is a really large jump in difficulty from the C to the B tees so the tee levels are about C=Red, B=Blue, A=Gold.
Navigating the course can be a little tricky the first time around since there are 27 tees in the park. That is a small price to pay for 3 different layouts. The B tee signs have a black background, differentiating them from the white background on the A and C signs. Ideally, the A and C signs could be different colors and then color coded bands could indicate the direction of each separate tee on each basket. That said, all of it is easy enough to figure out once you get your bearings around the park.
Some of the tree limbs look like they have probably grown and drooped lower in some places. There are some relatively tight windows and low ceilings on some of the A and B tees. That said, the lines are challenging but fair and the elevation and slopes require controlling the landing angle of your disc. There is plenty of airspace to work with but the trees will require you to shape your line.
I stopped here on the way between Houston and DFW and I set aside the whole afternoon just for this course. I'm glad I did because I had time to play each set of tees. Each one is a different experience of the course and personally, my score reflected the greater difficulty of each tee level. This is a good course with one set of tees. With all three options, it's hard to imagine a much better 9 hole course on this property.
**Like this review? Hate it? Message me and let me know why! I want to make them better!**
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
4.0 Rating on a 9 Holer? Absolutely
Pros: Starting from seeing the cool Iron Spike Disc Golf statue at the beginning of the course, you know that the course is not just some 9 hole course thrown into a park. The park and course both have a kind of Rustic Theme, which shares the theme with the town as Palestine is a major railroad town in East Texas. This course sits in a park that really does not have a lot of other use, probably because of the extensive elevation throughout the park.
The elevation is a lot more than any other course I have played in Texas. It adds a huge extra dimension to the course. Something that a lot of other Texas courses lack.
There are three sets of tees to make a total of 27 possible holes. The long tees are very long that will challenge even the most experienced player; comparatively, the short tees are a perfect distance for the newer players. I played from the second tees and struggled to score well, as I only brought three discs because that is all I thought I would need.
My expectations are normally low for nine hole courses so I usually only play with a few discs on my round there. I found that there were many more shots that I needed to make that I did not have the disc for. This course is challenging in length and shot selection. This includes the monster 700'+ hole 1 from the long tee. There is also a creek that is situated in the middle of the course, making for some more technical and careful shots
Each tee pad has a concrete pad, which I find impressive for a course like this. The Disc Nation Liberty baskets have the extra layer of chains added to make disc catching easier. Liberty baskets are not my favorite, but these work.
Cons: Navigation is an issue. With so many tee pads in a small area, it is difficult to know which tee pad is throwing at what hole. The tee pads are not numbered (yet?) and each tee post is the same color throughout. It would be nice to see the short/medium/long tees colored the same so it is easier to know what tee you are throwing from. I used the map on DGCR and I still found it a bit challenging at times to know exactly where I was going next. This con can be fixed pretty easily though.
The Disc Nation baskets are prone to rusting if the coating comes off of the chains. A few of the baskets are showing their age, and I do not believe they are even that old.
I can also see that some people may feel unsafe in the neighborhood that the course sits in. Just be careful!
Other Thoughts: I am not sure how many people play this course or how many people have been introduced to the course, but this is a great place to learn how to play. This definitely is my favorite nine hole course I have ever played, and I look forward to the next time I get to play it.
From Houston, it is a course that is on the way to Selah Ranch and Trey Texas Ranch. This is a must play on your trip, a good half way leg stretch. You will not regret stopping.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Play this course its fun
Pros: 9/18/27 holes. 3 pads per hole make this course really great. lots of shade. i played the B pads which seemed to be the intermediate position and i did feel like i was challenged but not overwhelmed for my skill lvl.
elevation!!!! this course reminded me alot of turner park in the rolling type hills nothing too drastic, but its definatly park of your shot selection.
THANK GOD THE ONLY COURSE IN TH AREA IS THIS COURSE. It really is fun enough to play all the time. even only playing the B pads i didnt feel like i was throwing the same shot over and over.
there can be water on i think 3 or 4 holes in a small creek that runs through the park. eithr throing at it. or a green that runs you into it on a god hyzer skip. for my distance on hole 2 i had to make the decision to throw over the creek or try and land it short for a upshot.
i went to go over..and still landed short (lol)
the course flowed well. i used the map thats on the course facebook page in the pictures and i was only mildly confused on the transition from 5 to 6. the baskets are pretty easy to figure out which one your throwing at.
god rule of thumb for this course that the rectangular hole in the teepad is in the back of the pad so your run up would start on that side.
the park is mostly grass. some fire ant mounds are present but i didnt have a problem with them.
The baskets are very nice new and catch well. i think they are one of the discnation models
Cons: The teepads are a little short for me. more of a thought than a con, but it was acon for me.
the signage could be either more visible from the previous basket or a course map at hole 1.
hole 1's A pad (pro) was way out of the way across te street of the park and i would never have known if i didnt see the map on facebook.
no water or bathroom facilities.
some of the holes are throwing at or near benches (holes 4 and 5).
i like courses where it looks like people actually play it. i like to be able to play without having to pay through or let people play through, but i enjoy checking out others playig in the distance while i stop at a pad and take a break. kinda weird, but its the atmosphere kind of thing. the con would be that palestine isnt exactly a disc golf hotspot.
Other Thoughts: Listen this is a 9 hole course. but the other teepad options make this a course that stands out. ill be here just about every weeked since i just started driving for wal mart in the area. and im glad this course is here. the nieghborhood its in seems pretty low key and in the lower income area of palestine, so do what you feel is comfortable with your belongings. ive definitely been to worse places and played (macgregor park in houston).
there is a playground and picnic area in the park
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.