yesterday's tourney course, today's intermediate park course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -uses a variety of terrains, elevation, and creeks, and a pond
-longer and shorter holes, ranging from wide open to fairly wooded
-concrete pads (some with hole numbers spray painted)
-tee signs, the old school ones
-at least 2 pin positions on each hole, up to as many as 6
-offers a good challenge for Ams and a definite challenge for rec players and beginners
-one of two courses on site, the more challenging of the two
-course map at the start
-plenty of parking
Cons: -long walks between holes
-unintuitive layout, hard to follow
-some signs missing or hard to read
-signs don't show what the current pin position is, plus many blind shots
-more bridges are needed to cross the creeks in various places
-definitely some filler holes
Other Thoughts: The back course at Albert Oakland started as a temporary tournament course in the 90's (see Three Putts's review below). The issues I had playing this course were easily understood once I realized it was conceived as a tournament layout where long walks and poor navigation wouldn't matter in a tournament setting. Since becoming a permanent course, the back course offers a more challenging layout than the front course, a Steady Ed design from 1979.
The multiple pin positions on each hole add a lot to the replay value for locals. They can be frustrating for the traveler and some scouting ahead will be necessary since there are no indications on the tee signs for the current position. New tee signs would do wonders for this course. Another improvement that would be welcome are some bridges or better creek crossings. The creeks are in play at least a few holes but as many as almost half, depending on the pin position. The pond is in play on 16 & 17 and is a nice extra feature before the round ends.
There is a nice variety of holes as the course works its way through distinct areas of the park. The first 6 holes are mostly open with a few tree lines in play and offer a chance to air out some drives. Holes 7-11 & 15 play in a more wooded area with defined fairways and tough rough. Holes 12-14 are in an area that is a bit more open but still has dotted trees to work around or under to find the green. The last 3 holes are back in the open area at the start of the course, 16 & 17 playing across the pond.
I enjoyed this park for the two courses available, the history, and some fun holes. With a local guide, you can get a round in on both courses pretty quickly. I'm curious if traffic has slowed here now that Harmony Bends is open but I imagine a lot of people might not want to play HB every week. The front course here is probably the best place in town for beginners and the back course is something for them to graduate to as their skills improve.
The back course is fun despite the long walks between holes and poor navigation. It's worth playing if you have plenty of time in Columbia. But if you only have time to play one course in town, then you should definitely go to Harmony Bends.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Pros: Course has a mixture of all kinds of shot. Long, short, high and low ceilings and a couple water shots that might make you think twice about your disc selection.
Cons: Navigating to and from holes 5 and 6 can be tricky as well as determining basket location. Pad signs need to be replaced!
Other Thoughts: Fun course slightly more difficult than the top course at the same park.
Pros: My wife and I played this with another couple and found it to be a nice course overall with a nice variety of open and wooded holes, many of which played along or over a stream. The landscape variety kept it interesting and made for a nice walk in the woods in addition to the DG play.
Concrete pads and signs.
Many tees are located near interesting workout stations which added to the fun of the course even though not technically part of the DG course.
Cons: Flow was confusing at times so a map is required for first timers.
Each tee had a hole map, but some were confusing and not oriented correctly so we weren't always sure which way to throw.
Some holes required a lot of walking between one basket and the next tee.
At one point we ended up on the front course since the two run close together on later holes.
A couple of shots were too tough for the wives so they skipped those holes, such as the two shots over the pond (16 & 17) and one that played over the creek through a narrow, bushy area (9).
Other Thoughts: Only played the back half due to time but liked it and will return next time we are in Columbia.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
If you can only play one course at Albert Oakland Park, make it this one
Pros: -Two 18 hole courses in the same park
-Nice large concrete tees
-Maps at the start of the front course and the back course
-Some very fun shots that will challenge most peoples games
-A small pond comes into play on holes 16 and 17. It might be slightly too far for beginners to clear, but there is a safer way along the side.
-Creeks flow through the property providing not only more challenge, but also adding beauty to this course
-Some ace run holes mixed in
-Good mixture of wide open park like holes and tighter more wooded holes
-Next tee signs on the holes (though some of them point in the wrong direction)
-Some low celling's on the more wooded holes force you to place your shot well
-Well maintained park area that seems to get mowed regularly
-Risk / Reward holes where you need to think about your shot
-Baskets are a little old, but still are solid and catch well
-Multiple pin positions on every hole
-Park has lots of other amenities, picnic areas, playgrounds, walking paths, workout equipment, and even a little water park for the kids
Cons: -The flow of this course is terrible, with lots of long walks, backtracking, and potential to end up on the front course by accident
-A guide isn't necessary for first timers, but it does help out a huge amount
-Signs are about useless on holes where they are still there, some are missing all together. Distances are way off, there is nothing marking if you are on the back course or the front course, and the signs could also use to have something to mark which pin position the basket is in (though I did talk with a guy out there who was taking down distances to replace the signs so this could change soon)
-There are a few times you needed to cross the creek and there are very few bridges. Be prepared to have wet feet, you will probably need to walk through the creek at one point or another.
-Other people using the park including a bunch of kids on a field trip, people walking their dogs on the walking paths, and people using the workout equipment around the back part of the course
-After hole 9, the tee pad that seems the most like you should go to it is actually hole 12, to find hole 10 go past it and to the right of the walking path.
-At some point (I think hole 13) there were multiple tee boxes, with no tee sign. This could get confusing if you are traveling from out of the area and don't have a guide.
-At one point we almost ended up on the front course by accident, as the most natural tee to walk to was for the front course and only a hole or 2 off hole # wise. Coupling this with the fact that there is nothing to tell you if you are on the back course or the front one, this could cause confusion.
-Poison Ivy around in a few spots
Other Thoughts: The back course at Albert Oakland Park starts out as a pretty wide open park style course with a few holes that you could open up and let loose a big throw. Once you get to hole 7 the course starts to become tighter and more technical. There are a couple of creeks that flow through the course, and they have been incorporated well, creating excellent risk / reward shots. The one problem with the creeks is that they don't have bridges over them in all the areas that they need them, and as such you will probably have to ford a creek at some point getting your feet wet, just be prepared for that. There is also a pond on holes 16 and 17. It provides a nice little challenge, though experienced players will be able to clear it with ease. If your disc ends up in this pond it will probably be pretty hard to get back as the water is brown with lots of pond weeds growing up through it.
One thing I could highly recommend to all courses with multiple pin positions, like this one, is to have something on the tee signs that indicates what position the basket is in. This doesn't have to be expensive, some washers, bolts, nuts, and a sharpie is all you need to make simple ones.
There is a sign with a map of the course near the first hole. I would highly recommend taking a picture of it, as you may end up needing it to find some of the holes. Finding a guide would also be a great idea if you are trying to play this course as an out of towner.
Over all the back course is defiantly the best course on the property, and I think it has potential to be the best course in town if it were to get some improvements.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
One of my favorites
Pros: This course will test every shot in the bag. Most fairways are established enough that good lines are rewarded. Plenty of trouble is out there when you miss though. Although every hole is not memorable there are some true gems on this course. The natural landscape is used very well. The creek and lake make for some wonderful scenery. This park is always well maintained.
Cons: Navigation between holes is tough. I could see first timers spending some time looking for the next tee or accidentally ending up on the front course. I could see some bridges being helpful, but I've always been fine without.
Other Thoughts: I might have a sentimental attachment to this course as I played it religiously in college, but I love this course. This course does what none of the st Louis course do in incorporating water so successfully. This is a very well maintained and established course. Some fine tuning and landscaping around tees and pins is all that is needed for this to be a 5 star course in my mind.
I'd recommend this course to anyone. Plus you can go play the front course when you are done to make a day of it. Great course.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Oakland Back Course
Pros: 61 total pin placements allow for a variety of course setuls. Recoverability from bad drives is usually more than fair. Has a good mix of long and short holes, open & tight. Lots of water (pond and creek). The creek comes into play on holes 5, 6 (really bad overshots), 7, 8 long/gold, 9, 10, 11, 15. Pond on 16 & 17. Has new color coded pin markers in the anchors for each hole. The tee sign has the anchor marker attached to it, although the tee sign has yet to identify which pin is which.
Cons: Needs a a bridge on holes 7, 9, 15, 16 & 17 (lots of water, and not great ways to cross), especially for kids. Some small amounts of poison ivy in the roughs on holes 5-15. The cedars need to be manicured and trimmed higher so as to retrieve errant shots easier. Needs new signage with up to date measurements and pdga par ratings for various skill sets. The new anchor markers are nice for pin identification, but new signs need to go in matching the same color code so that players know where the basket is and what the par and distance is.
Also desparately needs directional signage from 4 to 5, 6 to 7, 7 -i, 9-10 & 14 -15
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Not my favorite....
Pros: Good tee pads, good baskets, and a decent variation in the holes. Some really scenic holes, and some great use of the space available.
Cons: Navigating this course is awful! I'm pretty sure I played part of the front course on accident. Some of the holes are really awesome, but the tee signs are so bad you really can't figure out where you are going.
Other Thoughts: Maybe my least favorite course I've ever played. It has some decent holes, and some that are really cool. But all the cool holes in the world can't make up for an inability to figure out which one comes next.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good course layout. 3 pin placements for each hole, so it changes frequently. Mix of wooded and open holes. It is more powerful than the front course. Some holes require HUGE drives.
Cons: Scorecards with maps would be amazing for this course. The baskets could be replaced in the near future. Also, the grass gets a little tall from time to time.
Other Thoughts: This is the course that I play the most. It changes a couple of times each season, and I think it is an excellent place to play and practice.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Lot's of variety in the course. Plenty of challenge, yet plenty of opportunities to make up ground if you have a bad hole. The first few holes are fairly open except for 2. Starting with hole 7 you will need to have more careful shot selection to deal with the trees. Until 16 and 17 when you will have to throw over water. Finally 18 is pretty open, but long uphill. It is the best practice course in Columbia because of the variety of hole locations.
Cons: Not much elevation change. Sometimes hard to figure out where to go next. Definitely, helps to have someone with you if you haven't played the course before. For first timers you should know that after hole 4 you will need to cross the parking lot to the east to find hole 5. After playing hole 6 you will need to walk west to the sidewalk and follow it around to the South through the woods and take the left at the split in the walk to get to hole 7. After hole 14 you will need to follow the sidewalk to the North to get to 15. If you walk West from 14 you just run into the front course.
Other Thoughts: Definitely the place to play if you are going to play only one course in Columbia
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Albert Oakland Park...
Pros: Course is located in a park with technical shots and long bombers. Great mix of holes. This course will challenge every shot in your bag. Hole 2 is a HUGE hyzer over some very tall trees. Very fun to play. The wooded holes have a well-defined fairway, while still staying fairly technical. The rough will punish errant shots, but wont put your disc in jail. A small creek runs through the back nine. The water is placed in just the right area for a risk/reward shot. Will you go for it? Or will you lay up and take your three? There is also a small pond in the middle of the course which comes into play on 2 holes. It is, however, very easy to clear if you don't have a huge arm. The baskets are in good condition and work just as well as any other baskets. Tees are concrete, big enough, and still have good grip when wet.
Cons: Not good signage. That's all I have to say about that. It can be hard to find the next hole if your not playing with a local, especially when the front course comes in the same area. No benches or trashcans anywhere. The creek can be very muddy. I wouldn't go in for a disc... Some of the "rough" areas can be thorny, and I think I saw some poison ivy around. There can be some joggers/bicyclists on the walking path, but it's not too bad.
Other Thoughts: This course has great potential, but it lacks some amenities. The arrows pointing to the next tee would be very helpful if the weren't spun in the wrong direction...
If you mark this review unhelpful or you find a mistake, please send me a personal message here on DGCR explaining what is wrong with it
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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