Great course in Provo
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Decent variety of shots. While the front 9 have mostly open shots, there is some elevation change, and opportunity for a variety of shot shapes. A few shots are downhill enough that they present a different feel and throw. The back 9 incorporate a few very uphill and one short downhill shot that is always fun. Several have dense tree obstacles and one with just enough trees to make the green less accessible, plus it had a sloped green that forces good angle control. Also, getting to the green off the tee on holes 10 and 18 will challenge most anyone. They throw about 460-470. Overall, good variety of shots, just make sure you do the back 9 if you're getting bored after the front 9.
Easy to navigate the course. Clearly marked posts with distance and hole number make getting around the course easy for even a first timer.
Good quality baskets that will catch an ace every now and then
Low chance of losing a disc. Almost all fairways include well manicured grass so finding discs isn't an issue here. Good place to practice with a bunch of discs. A few holes on the back 9 may get squirrely if you get into the rough or go down the hill though.
Low interference with other recreationists. Aside from the playground on hole 9, you won't see many people recreating that aren't disc golfers. Being high security hospital grounds, you won't see many people playing other sports, picnicking, or wandering the open fairways like most other multi-use disc golf courses. You might have to wait for the occasional car to throw over a road, but I'd take that any day over a clueless dog owner playing fetch in the middle of a hole. This is probably one of the biggest pros of the course. It's usually not too crowded with disc golfers either.
Beautiful place to meet with friends and enjoy the sunset or scenery while disc golfing.
Cons: No tee pads. This is probably the one reason I wouldn't give this a 3.75 or 4. The dirt next to the posts can be muddy, very uneven, and sometimes ambiguous as to where to throw from. While I lived in Provo I considered offering to put cement tee pads in myself with some buddies if the State Hospital would provide the funds for materials. That would take the course up a huge notch.
Plays over a few roads.
Course grass is often being watered, or is still very wet from being watered.
Fairly repetitive front 9 and the course doesn't use downhill shots as well as it could.
Other Thoughts: Some have mentioned the high security and the necessity to check in at the Administration building, but I haven't had much issue with this. I don't condone breaking the rules or disrespecting the State Hospital, but I've gone and checked in and the secretary at the front desk was surprised and almost unaware that I was supposed to. You see disc golfers constantly in and out of the parking lot by hole 1, not having checked in and I haven't noticed any problems. So perhaps they've gotten lax on that rule? I dunno. Overall, I really enjoyed coming here a few times a week and getting some good practice throws in. You may see a few other golfers, but for the most part you don't feel rushed or leery of other people's throws. Fun course to push yourself for birdies and to just enjoy a good round. If you're in the Provo area, it's well worth a visit!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Another good course in Utah!
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Went on a Sunday was pretty quiet, Maybe because it is January. In the Summer time probably gets a lot more traffic. It says you have to check in or sign in. I talked to a friend and he says that I didn't have to but maybe you have to in the summer time. Looks like there is a lot of activities in the summer time around there.
Not much for water hazards. No real chance of losing a disc.
Ok now for the holes.
Front 9 Pretty much open shots.250 to 400 ft shots.
Great warm up for the long shots. Some trees to go around.
Back 9 More Tech shots with some uphill shots.
11-12 Uphill shots pretty open
13 listed as a par 4 at 180 ft. great slight uphill tunnel shot. Easy to hit the trees and bushes. Fun hole. maybe a par 3
14 little down hill shot good mid or putter shot.
15 uphill shot straight shot or side arm with a tree on your right.
16 Another fun shot. little down hill guardian trees. Straight shot or best side arm
17 Big shot in open field have to throw over a road about 350 ft from tee. Then there is a death putt pretty steep down hill.
18 Flat open area Big throw
Baskets are in really good shape
Cons: In the summer time probably gets really busy with activities from the hospital. There is a playground and slack line around the holes. Slack line is at hole 14. You have to throw though that.
In the summer you will most likely have to sign in or check in.
Other Thoughts: Remember in the summer to sign in. Bring a map. It helps a lot. All tee pads are numbered with distance. No concrete pads all grass pads
Over all good 18 hole course. Will play again.
I rate this about 2.75.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Provo’s Castle Park – Casual 18
Pros: The Provo Castle is a beautiful all stone building located on the grounds of the Utah State Hospital surrounded by a nice park, a playground, a fish pond, a volleyball court, restrooms, a rope and obstacle course, a campground, and an 18 hole disc golf course. The castle is in reality a large and impressive three acre amphitheater with seating for 800 people, but its massive stone structure looks a lot like a medieval castle. The Castle was built during the 1930's as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). They built it as a source of recreation and entertainment for patients at the Utah State hospital. The grounds of the hospital are well kept, groomed, and maintained, with the exception of the water feature next to hole 1's tee that looks like the circulating fountain pump hasn't run in quite some time and it is full of nasty algae water.
Hole 1's tee is directly west from the Mark I. Payne medical treatment center's parking lot, making it the best place to park after checking in at the administration building. Tees are marked with wooden 4x4 posts with engraved Plexiglas signs on them that list hole number, par, and distance. The front 9 plays around the flat lawns of the Payne center grounds and then the back nine climbs steadily up to the castle. The holes on the front 9 are all completely flat but most have guardian trees to provide some obstacle, also although not marked, playing all cement as Out of Bounds provides added challenge and just makes common sense. Holes range from 180 foot short uphill shots to almost 500 foot shots on flat ground, with most holes ranging in the 250 to 400 foot range.
The back 9 provides quite a bit more challenge as you play up the hill to the castle. Several of the holes are good uphill shots to get you into the much more densely wooded area of the castle grounds. As you work your way up to the castle you play over a stream, through a rope course, and under a fairly dense canopy of trees, providing you with quite a bit of shot selection and challenge. All in all, the course provides a good mix for any player level. There is very little chance of a lost disc for beginners and intermediates and there is just enough challenge for more advanced players.
Cons: Security Concerns. This is a state mental hospital, part hospital, part prison. Obviously security is tight at such a facility. There are numerous signs telling visitors to check in at the administration office upon entering the campus, but like most human beings disc golfers can't seem to read. Also, being on the grounds of the facility means you surrender your rights to things like search and seizure, and this might not play well with some golfers. Most state hospitals I have been to are straight prisons; think, "Not guilty by reason of insanity", some of these facilities get the absolute worst of humanity. Oregon's hospital does have an outer public park area and museum, but the interior is an all gated and fenced prison, while California's are straight prisons all the way, with an unattached park on the outside of a no man's land zone and two lines of barbed wire fence. Utah's facility is obviously aspiring for a more peaceful, therapeutic mountainside setting, which it accomplishes.
Finishing. Although hole 18 finishes directly in front of the castle and provides a spectacular view of the castle in its entirety, it still finishes at the farthest point on the course from Hole 1.
Uphill Elevation with no Downhill Reward. If I have to play uphill holes, not my favorite thing to do by the way, I want to be rewarded with at least one nice downhill, here it is all flat or uphill with the exception of hole 14 which is an ever so slight short downhill but it plays fairly flat.
Safety Concerns. There are several safety concerns as several holes play across roads and egress. There are quite a few blind shots on the uphill shots climbing up the ridge. There is a volleyball court and playground located among the front 9 but the holes for the most part avoid conflict. Hole 13 plays right through the rope course, so if occupied would be out of play. Also, 17 and 18, play probably a little too close to each other in front of the castle, also they set up practice accommodations for the amphitheater on holes 17 and 18s fairways, rendering them unplayable when theater troupes are using the amphitheater in summer for performances. There is very little traffic out here, and when playing we only encountered one other person in the park so the concern is slight but a possibility.
Wide open and repetitive. The front 9 play on flat, wide open lush green grass, and get a little repetitive.
Water Hazard. More pro than con. There is a small stream that flows through several of the holes on the back 9, providing good obstacle and challenge. It would be difficult to lose a disc, but probably not impossible.
Tees. Natural grass and undefined. Although there are wooden 4x4 post designating tee areas, the tees themselves are all grass. Concrete pads or some other defined teepads would go greatly to enhance the course.
Signs. Although as mentioned there are wooden 4x4 tee posts with little Plexiglas signs on them indicating hole number, distance, and par. There is no clear indication of which basket or where to throw that a map would provide. A minor concern really.
Navigation. Navigation on the course is not exactly great as there is no indication of the next tee, and you will need to spend some time looking for the wooden posts. The course is open enough and the tees close enough to the previous basket to not be too much of an issue, but you will need to pay attention.
Thick Lush Grass. Although a pro, in most situations, it also means that after rain or watering you're going to get soaking wet feet unless you wear waterproof shoes.
Other Thoughts: This course was not listed on DGCR when I played in Utah; I ended up hearing about it from the local scene in Provo. And boy the reviews were all over the board: from it being "Unplayable" because of the whacked out security to it being one of the "Best" courses in the state of Utah. So, I had to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I started by first calling the hospital for information; a first step that I have learned to take before going out of my way. One: I learned that the course was indeed open to the public to play as long as visitors followed the rules of the campus, one being to check in with the administration building, a simple and reasonable enough request to follow considering the nature of the facility. Two: I learned that most disc golfers can't follow simple rules and instructions, and that the hospital administration was on about its last nerve with them. Three: The truth on the quality of the course is somewhere in between the bookmarks. I do agree it is the best course in the city of Provo, although the Jolley's Ranch course in Springville and the American Fork courses which are close by would be my personal preferences for the area but I would put this course in the top ten for the state. A few other disc golf sites had some reviews on this course that were also widely contradicting and they appear to be drastically out of date as the course went under a massive redesign in 2014 after several new buildings and parking lots were added to the campus. The course originally opened in 2009 and played around the forensic unit, a nice name for the high security prison unit. Now the course plays in the open grass lawns of the park and stays away from the buildings altogether.
The course provides a good mix of holes and shot selection, and the impeccably mowed grass fairways provides a good casual round of golf. The elevation changes and wooded coverage enhance the challenge of the back 9 of the course, while the open front 9 provides an easy warmup and chance to air out some drives. All in all, a good disc golf outing.
On a personal note, I do get the feeling that the opening of the Castle amphitheater and the park to the public may not necessarily be what hospital administration and security really wanted to do. I get the feeling that an offsite administrator made that call. Even with permission from the administration office to play it still feels a little like trespassing on private property, especially considering there are signs everywhere saying the grounds are off limits and no trespassing signs up and down the hill. But I guess, as long as you check in, you're covered.
On a final personal note, I find it odd that this is not the first insane asylum where I have played disc golf. In fact, it is the third. I have played courses on the grounds of the Oregon State Hospital, as well as at Heilmann Park, which technically not on, is adjacent to California State Hospital Atascadero (yes, CA has more than one state asylum, go figure). I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something. Maybe, it's trying to tell me that I play too much disc golf: NAHH!! That's Just CRAZY.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
The Wonders of Grass
Pros: Most holes play on grassy fields with large trees, so discs are typically easy to find.
A couple more technical shots later on give some balance to the mostly open holes in the front nine. These include a difficult tunnel and uphill throws.
There's a good stream on a couple of the holes. It's shallow and there's a grate at the end that prevents your discs from going too far.
The length of holes averages at around 250-300 feet. There are a couple shorter holes and a couple longer holes.
Cons: The first half of the course has little variety.
The 18th hole ends pretty far away from where the first hole starts.
Grass tees and wooden poles for signs (they have the par and distance on the and make the direction clear). It's easy to follow and the ground is level, but concrete tee pads and good signs make a course much better.
The fields always seem to have been just watered or the sprinklers are on for some of the holes. Bug repellent might help against mosquitoes.
Only one downhill throw, which is short and doesn't give you a chance to let the disc fly. There are a couple other spots that could've made for good downhill holes.
Other Thoughts: A couple holes play near a ropes course. I've never seen it in use, but I suppose when it is being used you wouldn't be able to play them.
Holes 10-18 are the most interesting holes. If you only had enough time for a short game, play those ones.
Holes 1-9 are fairly similar, so it's a good place to practice with a new disc or to work on a specific throw type.
This is probably the best course to play at in Provo. Slate and Rock Canyon may be more challenging, but it's easy to lose discs at them and the terrain is difficult. Bicentennial only has 6 holes and Riverview Park is an object course.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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