Intermediate Players And Above Will Rise To The Challenge, The Rest Of Us May Perish!
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: As with other courses that occupy the grounds of a former golf course, White Oak North is more an open "grip it and rip it" than your typical disc golf course. But you need to hit your lines in order to score well here and to stay out of the nasty, green ponds. These ponds are definitely the sayanara disc ponds. You can't see, even an inch into the water, you don't want to stick your pinkie in this water and so therefore, there will be no wading in looking for your favorite. It's now just a fond memory. They are omni-present on probably 6-7 holes. Then there are the holes such as 6, 10 and 13 where the ponds are close to the baskets.
I found # 11 to be a huge risk/reward hole throwing alongside of the green water where you have to be accurate. A errant hyser could snake through the bushes and trees that line the green scummy waters or you could just hit a tree and carom into good bye discville.
The amenities are sorely lacking. I suspect they will be added amenity by amenity. The tees are marked by two little white sticks. There is no signage. And the pads are natural and would be slippery when wet. There is an advantage with having these temporary pads and tee marker. It makes it quite easy for the guy in charge to move tee pads often, whether to let the grassy areas recover or simply to change up the route, challenge and look of the hole.
The course is a long walk under a hot sun with some extreme humidity factored in. You can't have enough water to stay hydrated. Hat and sunscreen are also a must have.
Although I didn't end up needing it, the on-line map looks easy to follow.
Cons: Natural pads.
Lack of signage.
A certain feeling of open space on about half the holes.
I don't see this as being one of those courses that the average rec player would enjoy much. Beginners need not apply.
Other Thoughts: I was lucky to have John (JFB3) act as my guide. It was great fun watching a 56 year old guy cranking out 400' drives. In the end, he barely nosed me out.........by maybe 19 strokes. This course is ideal for those players throwing both backhands and forehands 400' plus.
This course is a bear, especially when the Houston weather is factored in. I rated it a 3.0 but will gladly raise that sometime when I see pads and signs have been added.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A blend of difficult and easy
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Long open fairways allow for a booming tee shot on every hole without too much regard for accuracy.
- Most holes tighten on the approach forcing players to add a little more touch to navigate between trees or over water.
- Several baskets are placed on a slight slope, causing missed putts to role downhill and forcing players to choose between laying up under the basket or going for it and risking it.
- Neighbors are generally very friendly and receptive. More than once I've had to go ring a door bell to ask to retrieve an errant disc in a backyard and neighbors have always been nice and helpful.
- Though there is a fair amount of water, some small trees and bushes has been allowed to grow around most water hazards which can help stop a water-bound disc. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a disc in the growth, but it's better than sending one into the water.
- There is good variety of holes, forcing a player to use backhand and forehand shots frequently.
- Though some areas stay wet longer, most of the course dries pretty well after a rain.
Cons: - Because of rains, the course doesn't get mowed as frequently as one would like. This causes fairways to get overgrown making it difficult to find discs even after a good tee shot.
- All of the water hazards are swampy and stinky. Definitely not worth going in after a lost disc.
- The approach on hole 15 forces you to cross water and navigate an overgrown tree which likes to swat discs out of the air and into the water. Hole 2 has similar difficulties.
- The biggest negative mark for this course is the lack of signage and properly marked tees/holes. Everything is marked with blue or white stakes in the ground which can be easily moved. Occasionally these stakes are moved or taken, making it difficult to know exactly where to tee from for your first time. Refer to the map in the links tab for accurate tee boxes.
- While several holes force a player to navigate some trees, there are only two true corridor holes (14 and 17), which force a player to focus more on accuracy.
- Measurements on this site are off on holes 11 and 12 from the white tees. I've personally measured hole 11 several times to be in the 440 foot range (which would probably make it a Par 4), and hole 12 to be about 900 feet from the white tees (probably making it a par 5).
Other Thoughts: When conditions are right and the grass is well mowed, I really love this course. But, when it gets overgrown you can lose a disc in the middle of the field.
- Keep the course map ready to go on your phone if this is your first time playing.
- Keep a disc or two in your bag you don't mind losing to play on holes 2 and 15.
- Plan to play with mostly brightly colored disc in case the grass hasn't been mowed.
- Bring plenty of water, this course requires a lot of walking.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A must play for Houstonions and beyond
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Long but fair holes where big tee shots are rewarded
Nice mix of water hazards and OB without being unduly punishing
Cons: Poor signs and tee boxes but I understand this is changing in the near future
Other Thoughts: Play both these fine pro level Houston courses but bring plenty of water. Lots of walking here
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
A true pro level course!
Pros: This course in its 18 hole format is the best pro level course in Houston. Anyone who remembers this course from states and its 21 hole layout will be in for a surprise. The new 18 has teeth, especially starting after hole 10. The Par 3's will challenge all levels, with fair lines and no lucky BS. The Par 4's all require an accurate, placement drive in order to set up your second shot, which outside of hole 9 have fantastic, inventive greens. Hole 12 is an amazing par 5 with the best green this side of USDGC.
Cons: No signage or teeboxes. Boxes are only marked with Blue stakes and all teeboxes are natural. This is a new course so these extras will come in time. The natural and occasional sidewalk teeboxes do play well but will deteriorate over time.
Other Thoughts: My favorite course in Houston right now, it is the only place in town that has exceptional balance, realistic par 4's and 5's. No tweeners, no lucky trees in the middle of perfectly good fairways. Just good, fair, challenging disc golf on a great piece of property. Play West for a warm up then come the real course next door if you want a real pro level challenge.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Long open champ course
Pros: This course will test even big arms. The several par 4's and many of the par 3s are on the long side, and this course is clearly geared towards intermediate to open players.
The course plays through the open fairways of the former ball golf course, utilizing the available terrain, water, and mature trees that line the former fairways to create some interesting challenges.
This course will test your controlled distance. On many holes, a good drive or two down an open fairway, then a long upshot through trees will be needed to shoot par.
This course does favor longer arms, but it also mixes it up. There are several holes where water is play, in the form of the ponds or bayou. This course does a good job setting up water crossings that you can carry, or go around. On a few holes (2 &18) you can shoot a gap over water for an ace run, or layup/go around for a safer par.
The many mature trees on the course lend nice obstacles to many holes by forcing tunnels to shoot through, but are fairer/less arbitrary than thick shule or tangles of smaller trees like you find on many courses.
The par 4s are especially interesting, forcing controlled distance and the additional level of strategy that comes with true multi-par holes. They are fair and birdie-able, but with some form of OB paths or water in play on every one, they are by no means easy pars (I have carded double bogeys on several of them)
Likewise, most of the par 3s are towards the longer end (350+), so unlike some Deuce-or-die courses, on this course you try for clean pars and work hard for birdie opportunities.
The few shorter "birdie" holes on the course where you can tee off with a midrange all are on the more technical side, with a tricky twist that makes them interesting and not "gimme" holes.
Hole 2 forces you to shoot through the trees lining the edge of a pond, to a hillside basket beyond, for a pucker shot off the tee every time.
Hole 4 is a blind curve left, with guardian trees in front of a hilltop basket, and the bayou lurking beyond..
Hole 7 is a throw over a pond, with OB paths left and beyond the basket
Hole 17 is a blind tunnel left with a sloping fairway and water behind and downhill from the basket
Hole 20 is a straight wooded tunnel
Despite the open ball golf fairways, many baskets are tucked through a tree gap, or on a hill, making late trouble, and rollaway upshots/putts a surprising risk here. This course does a great job maximizing the terrain and hugging the available trees wherever possible to make challenges that can really sneak up on you. You will need good, accurate upshots to score well on this course.
You will throw alot of drives to play this course, but the holes all have some intrigue on them, whether trees, elevation or water. Usually a combination of several. Some holes are better than other, but no hole (besides the two hill holes) feels completely repetitive, or like a bland "filler hole". and with the house-lined fairways, it does feel like you are playing at a country club.
Though there is some terrain in play, its more rolling in nature, and there is little thick shule, other than right around the ponds, so this is an easy course to bring a cart to. Even though its never crowded, expect to take awhile to play here, due to the length of the course, and amount of walking.
The flow is decent here. The amount of space here prevents the course from having to cram holes in too close together, and you can usually tell which basket you are throwing at. There are some walks across roads between holes, but again, because its built on a ball golf course, when in doubt just follow the concrete cart path and it will usually take you to the next hole.
The neighbors are all friendly and excited about disc golf. Its not uncommon to see people walking, jogging or riding their bikes down the concrete paths, and they tend to be very courteous and conscious of the disc golfer's presence, due to the course's history as a ball golf course. Unlike multi-use parks like TC Jester, where disc golfers can feel like their rounds are just a sideshow to the other park users, at White Oak disc golf is the main event, and any other users are the occasional sideshow, and they know it!
Cons: Signage, or lack thereof. This course would benefit from tee markers, next tee signs, etc. Its tough to know exactly where to tee off unless you're with someone who knows. While the natural tee areas are level and in good shape, due to it being a new course and lightly used, amenities like concrete tees, benches and trash cans would be a plus.
Looking past the bare-bones nature of this course's amenities, its also a victim of the land it is built on. Becasue its on ball golf fairways, the holes here have alot of open drives, usually using the available trees and terrain for late trouble by the baskets. However, for those inclined towards a tight technical course (like TAT), this is not it. Also, tees have been positioned to use shade trees whereever possible, but theres still alot of area where you are exposed to the sun on this course, so be prepared for the heat and bring plenty of water.
Flow: Though you aren't throwing on any other holes, or backtracking across fairways here, because the course runs through a neighborhood, you must walk down a path and cross a street on the walks between several holes. Though no single walk here is as long as the walk between 13 and 14 at TC Jester, the many medium walks plus the overall course length add up to more walking than TC, and increase the time spend playing this course. If you want a quick round or are worried about wearing your arm out, this will not be the course for you.
Again, because of the open nature of this 9 holes of ball course course this is built on, there are a few holes that seem similar. This course has several pairs of little brother-big brother holes that remind you of each other.
Hole 5 & hole 11, both shoot across the open middle to a hill basket on the other side. 11 slightly longer, but very similar and tow of the less interesting holes on the course due to lack of trees
Hole 12 & 13- Shoot down the open BG fairway, then decide when to cut through the line of mature trees on the right to the basket on other side. The difference here is that 13 is a longer par 4 version, with water behind the basket. Both interesting, 12 is like a warm-up for the next one. A tough par 3 followed by a tougher par 4.
Hole 2&18- Shoot over a narrow band of water to an uphill basket on the other side. 2 is a short hole, 18 is much harder, because or distance as well as offering a a dry, safer route around left side to peninsula basket.
The holes are good, and the well-maincured country club feel is a refreshing change from hunting through woods for your discs, but the open nature of many fairways means that low power players may be frustrated by this course.
It will challenge intermediate to pro players with distance, but that same distance can make it disheartening and less fun for newer players, or ones who throw less than 300.
It doesn't have too many holes that just blow you away as far as signature holes, but it poses technical challenges, and the tall mature trees and distance make it hard for even big arms to just bomb everything here easily.
The lack of amenities, or even tee posts, stops this course from being rated higher. Some holes would be more interesting with some trees added to the fairways
The good news there is the open fairways are blank templates with alot of space to work with in that regard. However, because it is already a challenging course, just putting trees in for trees sake would make some already long holes punitive and perhaps too difficult at a point.
There's room for improvement, but since this is such a new course these upgrades will happen over time. This course will become a 3.5 with time, and taking the other two courses into account, a worthy destination disc golf complex.
Other Thoughts: Bring bug spray, sun tan lotion and plenty of water. Carts are a good idea here.
This is just 1 of 3, and the opportunity to have a 3 course complex like this in Metro Houston is very exciting.
Like every complex with multiple courses, each one has its own flavor, and they compliment each other nicely. Here is the breakdown of the eventual plan:
South: "easiest" technical, shortest course, most remote from the neighborhoods. Ideal for all skill levels.. This course will have an 18 hole "community course" layout with optional 9 hole champ loop, for 27 holes every day, and can be lengthened to a "championship" layout of fewer than 27 holes for tournaments as needed,
North: "More difficult" long championship course suited for intermediate and above player, well manicured and winding through the heart of the neighborhood, starts and ends right behind the clubhouse.
East Beast: "MOST difficult" championship course for experts. Longest, with more forced carries over water and tougher terrain and technical challenges than North. The East Beast starts and ends across the street from the clubhouse, making it the furthest away, and also the longest walk.
Between the three, this complex will have golf for all skill levels, and test a wide variety of shots. Keep an eye on this place, even with one course in, its worth checking out. With multiple courses, it will be worth making a day out of it
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: The course has tons of potential. Since it is designed around an old ball golf course, the layout allows for amazing hole designs. Course challenges your big throw, upshot and putting at every hole. I can see why they held Texas states there.
Cons: The course was not maintained when I played. Grass height ranged from shin to knee high. There were no permanent tee boxes of any kind (dirt, rubber, or crete or even just post to identify where the boxes should be thrown from), and the hole layout was not identified. We had to guess where we were supposed to throw from based on the map. Spent more time searching for holes than playing. Also, be prepared for a long walk. While the course is long in itself, many of the wholes are placed a long distance from the previous basket.
Other Thoughts: If the course was maintained and had proper essentials (teebox, map, next hole identifiers) it would be a great course. Also, bring a cooler with water with you. Once you leave the car, you will not see it again until after your round.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Houston has arrived
Pros: A beautiful, championship-level course in Houston. Finally.
Built on an old ball golf course so it has some variance in terrain, and space to throw.
Excellent design. Great variety in length on each hole and types of shots needed.
Friendly community that has embraced its popularity and hopes DG is there to stay.
Cons: Still raw. Will work into a masterpiece with time.
Do not go in the water. Saw a 15ft Moccasin on #17. Sandy Footing on Tees. Needs concrete boxes bad.
Its Long (could be considered a pro). Bring good quality shoes and at least 1L of h2o per person.
Not in the best area of town.
Other Thoughts: North is 1 of the 3 courses at White Oak Conference Center. Its long and strong but guaranteed to give you a taste of championship Disc golf!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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