Alaska's Best Course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
- Course map
- Free course with plenty of parking
- Tee signs with distances
- Full 18 holes with multiple (2) concrete pads per hole
- Clearly defined fairways
- Lots of elevation incline/decline variation
- Hole length variation
- Multiple pin locations
- Bathrooms on location
- Good variation of lefty vs righty flight paths/lines
- Lots of summer daylight in the evening
- Park gate closes at 10 pm regardless if you're out or not
- Course can get very overgrown
- Disc that land off the fairway are very hard to find.
- Some tees are blind to basket and need spotters.
- Spotting doesn't guarantee a disc will be found
- Course can get crowded
- Long tees are not always visible from short tees, causes confusion and group overlapping
- Some AM tees are directly in the pathway of Pro tees
- The tall basket on 6 is kind of gimmicky
This is what I consider my hometown course, even though I don't live here anymore. It was one of the first courses I learned to throw on and is probably my favorite course ever. The park, believe it or not, used to be the site of a Nike-Hercules missile facility during the Cold War. Today, it's one of the top outdoor recreation destinations for tourist and locals alike in the Anchorage area.
This is a big course, however it's just a small fraction of the park's overall acreage. The disc golf course itself received a major overhaul around a decade ago, which was a big improvement on an already fun course to play. The layout change gave the course a bigger layout and was positioned further away from the park chalet, which is always either hosting events or just full of non disc golfing park goers in general. The nice thing is that there is pretty much no overlap between the numerous trail walkers and the course layout.
Kincaid is a longer forest style park course that is full of changes in elevation. In fact, there's only one fairway that is flat (#3 B) and even that one has a drop off behind it and also to the left. This course can really be punishing if you have an errant throw or don't keep an eye on where you land, both bodily and physically. Devils clubs and stinging nettles line most of the fairways. If that's not rough enough, the actual rough is thick with vegetation and drops off down long steep embankments around a few fairways. When in doubt, use a spotter.....or two. The course can be really hairy when not maintained, which is most of the summer. There's still a noticeable difference between fairway and the rough, it's just that the fairway vegetation can get pretty long before maintenance happens. I happen to be visiting Anchorage just after their state tournament, so the course is really really great looking.
Even though I really like the course I have to point out that there are a few problems with the blue/pro tees. Many of the blues share a fairway with the reds, subsequently putting anyone on reds in the line of fire. There isn't always visibility between the two tees, which creates confusion. Also, because the course is so crazy thick with vegetation, it's not practical to take any other route besides the regular fairways. Sometimes the best throws from blues are layups to the red tees and play from there. There isn't much reward for going big on throws, you'll likely just lose your disc trying. As a result, nobody really uses the pro pads, not even the Wednesday night league players. It's kind of a waste if you ask me.
There are also a few variables that are outside the park's control like bugs, weather, and wildlife to take into consideration. Some wet gloomy summers the yellow jackets and the mosquitoes can get out of control, it depends on the summer. The moose come and go as they please, but usually aren't particularly aggressive unless you get between a cow and her babies or aggravate a bull in rut.
Overall, it is a truly amazing and unique course. When the weather is bad and the fairways are overgrown it can be hell, but when the sun is shining and the fairways are clear it's a little slice of heaven. This is one of those courses where it pays to come prepared. It's a lot of walking and much of the course is nowhere near the parking lot nor the bathrooms, so come prepared.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
A number of interesting/challenging shots with good use of the terrain
Very good tee boxes
Easy to find
Huge practice areas
Beautiful park overall with lots of interesting sights and features (including an old missile silo!)
Very good signage noting Pro/Am distances
In spots it's a bit tricky to navigate due to the dense foliage but if you follow the map, you'll be ok.
Minor quibble: We didn't see any evidence of a basket position indicator on the signs which surprised us considering how good the signs are. This necessitates walking up to check positions, which you may want to do anyway.
Do use the map. One is at the entrance to the course.
If the reindeer dog lady is there, try one! They're pretty good.
First, let me state that we didn't get to play the whole course. Due to the setting sun and a very early flight out, my wife and I only had time to play 11 holes, but we eyeballed a chunk of the rest on our walk out. Feel free to throw justified rocks at this review later. ;) Having said that, we really enjoyed this course. The emphasis for this course is definitely precision over rear back and let fly length, although you may need a touch of that from the Pro tees (us mortals played the Am's). Personally, I never once felt like I needed to let one loose. I could see that the real objective was to avoid obstacles and set yourself up for a decent approach shot, preferably from somewhere outside the 'rough'. Let's take a pause here and talk about the rough. There's rough and then there's what's outside the fairways of this course. Take trees, bushes, ground cover, and all manner of briar patch fun and mix them all together and this is what is waiting for the errant shot. The good news about the rough ("There's good news?!" YES!) is that there isn't any poison oak or snakes in there. Goooo Alaska! But the other news is that you are basically done if you go into these areas and will be happy to just get back out to the fairway (and not step in any moose pies). This, again, makes you focus even harder on just staying in the fairway and not trying anything silly. This might make you start to think that this course is not fun or unfair, but quite the contrary. I found it to be very fair. You can see the lines clearly. It's not particularly long so the average player has ample opportunity to leave with a par. I actually left the course +1 and really should've been -1 because I did get stuck in one of those 'rough' areas on the first hole (and man is that a mean way to start a course; a sweeping high arching left to right shot, ouch). You'll notice I said "average player" back there. I would not not NOT take a beginner here. They are probably going to hate you and the sport after wading into the bushes all day. But if you have a decent amount of control with around 200' of distance, we think you'll be fine. I also read about the critters that you can encounter out here but we didn't see any. We did see some large and intimidating droppings though so they're definitely out there somewhere. Be aware, but be nice if you see one. Lastly, the views on this course are quite lovely in spots. You can see the bay and watch the planes coming in for some added fun. There's also all the crazy abandoned military stuff scattered here and there to add to the weirdness. I told my wife that there was probably a soldier standing right where we were 50 years ago stating to his compadre "Someday there will be Disc golfers here."
This is a beautiful park with a very interesting course layout that makes great use of the terrain. It's not for the beginner set but very fair and fun for the average and above set. If you're in the neighborhood, do check it out.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
A fun course to play.
Pros: This review is based on a round played from the short tees.
This is a course with an interesting layout that uses lots of trees and also uses elevation well. It rewards shot placement and accuracy far more than distance. There are no wide open holes and only two holes from the Am tees that will require a distance driver. In most cases, a midrange is all you will need from the tees. My current rating is a little under 900 and I can consistently reach 380-390 feet on open drives. I only used distance drivers off the tee on three holes.
Tees are concrete and the course was well kept when I played. The rough is not overly punishing.
There are a number of holes that require left to right shots so work on your forehand, midrange shot. You will need it. Generally, this course will allow you to utilize a lot of different shot types.
I didn't see much wildlife during the round but was told by the locals that I play with that there is about an 80% chance of seeing moose during a round.
There is little interference from other park activities although the occasional hiker will cause a brief delay. The park and course feature some great views of mountain ranges and the Cook Inlet.
Cons: Signage. There are a number of holes that feature blind shots. Because the course is relatively short from the Am tees, this exposed a couple of shortcomings with the signage. The signs do not do a very good job of giving you a good sense of the basket location and do not indicate at all which of the basket locations are currently in use for the hole. The group that I was playing with, all locals, all threw at the wrong basket location off the first tee. Visitors, and even locals, should probably put eyes on the basket before throwing.
Navigation. The next tee location is not always obvious. I've seen worse, but my first round would have been longer had I not been with locals.
Non Disc Golfers. There are places where walking trails come close to fairways and this can cause minor delays. Overall, it wasn't much of a problem even on a high traffic day.
A few of the holes presented overly difficult lines that make luck factor into the score a little too much. In one case this was caused by a very large tree that had fallen and was suspended above the ground, blocking the apparently intended fairway. In another, there was a group of trees about 100 feet from the tee box that had very narrow gaps, requiring a little too much accuracy (or luck) to get through for a chance at birdie. Even so, it was still not difficult to par even after a poor result on the drive.
Although there were virtually no repetitive holes, there was also very little variety in the landscape. There were no tunnel holes or any holes that were very tight off the tee and nothing very open either. Elevation was a factor in only 4-5 holes.
Other Thoughts: I had the good fortune to arrive at Kincaid Park on a Wednesday just before the weekly league doubles match started. It was a fun round. Had I tried to play on my own, the round would have been a bit tedious as I would have had to walk forward to determine the basket location on more than half the holes. On a few holes, the next tee location would not have been obvious.
I played this on a trip to Alaska on which I also played Hilltop Ski Area and Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna. Both the Anchorage courses are superior to Tsalteshi Trails, but other than the additional effort required to play Hilltop, I cannot say that Kincaid is a better course than Hilltop. They are night and day different, but each is fun and challenging with its own benefits and shortcomings. Kincaid is probably the more difficult of the two because it is the more technical course and rewards a number of different techniques off the tee. I would definitely recommend both Kincaid and Hilltop if you are lucky enough to find yourself in Anchorage. Beginners may find this course a bit frustrating, but I would still recommend it as it will challenge you to use more than just your backhand or forehand off the tee.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Great Course/Great Views
Pros: Nice long holes. Challenging.
Good local scene and fairly low crowds.
The layout has ALOT of variety. Up hill, down hill, dog legs, over ravines. You name it. Never had a bad time here.
Other Thoughts: This is basically the best course in Alaska
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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