This John Houck Design Is Easier On My Discs Than Most!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I always think that I love my discs more than John Houck loves my discs. On many of his designs, I tend to think that he cares not if my favorite disc lands in a swamp, river or lake, or melts in a volcano, or sinks in quicksand, or flies over a freeway fence to be run over by a thousand speeding cars. So I was semi-worried about my pets here at Rivery. But actually, this particular design is pretty easy on your plastic. Granted, the rough is thick in places and you might spend some time searching but there is a better than average chance you'll reach your car with your bag intact.
I liked this course a lot but I loved the stretch of holes 7 through 11. They play through the prettiest but most rugged section of the park. The boulders make for some interesting shots and crazy lies. This section made the course worth playing, IMO. The rest of the course was OK, average, typical or pedestrian like. Pick your own adjective here.
Holes 1 and 2 were fun little Ace Runs to kick off off your round. My DGCR map says that hotel 2 is 177' but the tee sign and my years of experience say 95'. And I did throw in a cubbie Ace on my second or third try on it. It still felt good.
# 17 is another fun hole. The basket sits down in a low spot so not visible from the tee. You don't want to left and high here as there is some really tangled vine bushes on that side plus some kind of old wooden building. Possibly another home encampment?
The amenities here are great. Good concrete tee pads. Nice large, colored signs complete with route map and next tee. Am I the only one who remembers the next tee info was on the previous sign just as I finish putting out and start to wonder, "Where is that next tee"? The baskets are Discatchers which show up nicely through the trees.
Cons: Sign is still missing on # 13. Also # 15 is now missing. Near the start is a concrete bunker building which have housed some of the local homeless population. There is one of the missing signs and poles sitting in there.
Only four holes longer than 300' and only of these is over 400' which plays through a scattering of small trees. So if you live to throw bombs, drive on over to Old Settler's Park and throw bombs until you're old and grey.
I feel like one of the lucky ones today. With my hands on-line map, I was able to locate the # 12 tee pad as well as # 18. Without the map, these would have been dicey.
Other Thoughts: Not a typical Texas course so you Texicans might get a feel for what much of the rest of the country plays. Rivers DGC really has the feel of a Vermont/New Hampshire/Maine course. Technical with a chance of boulders, only those courses up there would probably have Some fun elevation, and chances are, they would be a pay-to-play course and you would be forking out $5-8 to play. So consider lucky that Rivery is available and free to play.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Welcome to the rocks
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Concrete tee Pads, Good signage, plenty of shade,
Cons: Plenty of rocks. If you want to beat in a disc,this is the place to do it. Many holes requiring luck over skill. Some very short holes. Hard to find the park. You have to weave your way through some apartments.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Play with a local.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: * Nice short technical shots. If you are not a long thrower there are several opportunities for birdies because of the short holes. If you do throw long then this course will improve your ability to bend shots around trees.
* Pretty setting
* Most baskets could be seen from, or near, the T-Pad. If not the T-Signs were very helpful. Although 13 was missing.
* Good use of elevation
* Good use of natural rock formations, and other natural features of the area.
* Nice river along the the course that added to the ambiance but did not come into play as part of the course (i.e. no lost discs in the river)
* The walking path, for the most part, did not interfere with the disc golf play even though they were very near each other.
Cons: * There is absolutely no way a person who had never been here before could navigate their way through the course to every hole. Some of the locals even mentioned that hole 12 is frequently missed because it can not be found. Please, put up some signs ... lots of signs to get players from basket to next T-Pad.
* Concrete T-Pads are too small.
Other Thoughts: * This is really a fun course the 2nd, and subsequent, time you play it.
* Thanks to all the locals playing the course while we played it for helping us find T-Pads that would otherwise seem to be in the next town. Did I hear someone say scavenger hunt.
* Hard to find the park where the course is located. If you are lucky enough to see the sign (and know what sign you are looking for) then it would seem easy ... yet mysterious. Otherwise it is kind of like finding a disc in heavy underbrush.
* Heck yes, I'd play it again. Unfortunately I was just passing through and may not be back for a long time.
* I asked one of the locals while standing by the number 6 T-Pad what the history behind the pipe that was sawed off flush in the middle of the T-Pad. He said during some park renovation the contractor placed the T-Signs in the middle of the T-Pad. Beware course designers. Don't let people who don't play disc golf work unsupervised.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Cement Tee pads
plenty of tree's
good tee signs on all holes but 13 (missing)
some elevation changes
Cons: Several very short holes including #2 that was 97ft.
Very long walks after playing hole 11, long walk to 12, the longest hole on the course, and a long walk to 13.
Not a big fan of walking across #1 fairway to get from 17 to 18
Other Thoughts: In all, I really enjoyed playing this course.
After figuring out where hole #1 was (just past the playground and pavilion from the parking lot) the course was pretty easy to follow.
I was worried when I got to hole 2 that this was going to be a super short easy course. However the course did get a little longer and most of the shorter holes were interesting or fun.
This is not a boomer course, even the longest hole on the course would be hard for a big arm to try to throw the whole way.
I enjoy courses like this because it makes me work on my accuracy. I am not a big arm player and don't like throwing two drives on a hole.
One thing you do want on this course is to stay on the fairways. Pretty much all my over par holes were when I went astray off the fairways.
I really want to play here again someday, it is a course worth repeating.
As far as the rating, I based my 4 on the fun factor more than how hard the course is, I could see an accurate player shooting a 10 down easy if he stays out of the rough. I know I had about 6 birdies and I am not a top pro.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Short and Technical
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.099 Rating) A scenic undulating course that's fairly short and extremely technical.
- UNIQUENESS - John Houck designed courses always seem to have a great deal of uniqueness to them, and the Rivery course is no exception. Although the course is indeed short, it plays longer due to the tight lines. I rarely found myself driving past the hole. The holes types include, water elements, 20 foot elevation changes up and down, tight tunnel shots, a dog leg right (#6) several basket windows, rock elements, a par 4, a gimme hole and the designers infamous poke and hope hole (#13) Really the open thing missing was an open hole, a Par 5 and a dog leg left.
- QUICK PLAY - A single can easily complete a full 18 in under an hour. That is of course the player doesn't throw it into the rough which has had a tendency to be let go from time to time. My group of 4 did the full 18 in 2.5 hours, 30 minutes of which was searching and throwing rocks in trees.
- TIME WAITING - Like most courses, there always seems to be a bunch of walking paths winding threw a course layout. Whatever is the point of these path are i'll never know ;) That said, our group did not encounter but one or two of walkers in our round and we never waited more than a minute.
- ACEABILITY - Several holes are aceable, You will have exceedingly great opportunities on holes (2 and 11)
- CHILL AREAs - There are lots of secluded nooks to take a break in, that is if you brought your own seating or if you don't mind sitting on the ground. Since no one was around, our group took a break by the rocks on 11.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - The course in my opinion, is the most scenic course on the entire north side of the Austin Metro Area. the vegetation is diverse, there are peaceful looking meadows. There are views of the San Gabriel river. There are engaging cliff elements and rock faces. It's a real treat in terms of its Raw Beauty.
Cons: There are several unfixable flaws with this course.
- TEE PADS - They are all concrete. Awesome right? The contractor it seems decided to save a few bucks and imbedded the tee sign into the pad. On top of this, they are short and narrow as well. Myself and playing partners actually teed from the adjacent ground on a couple of holes. Probably the 2nd worst tees I've ever played. The worst distinction still belongs to Falcon Pointe in Pflugerville which has all 18 concrete tees pointed perpendicular to the hole.
- MAINTENANCE - The grounds are mowed sometimes. was partly in check during my round but was getting bad in spots. hole (14) fairway has a reputation of being particularly awful. you may consider using a spotter on that hole as regulars have mentioned waist high grass in the past.
- OVERGROWTH - the rough is rough, try not to go into it. We spent significant time looking for errant discs in the over abundance of nooks and crannies and vegetation. Poison ivy was spotted on my visit as well as several cacti species.
- FORGIVENESS - Due to the tight lines, good shots seem to always get picked off. This course will test the placement of your shots. Being off your mark by a foot or two sometimes isn't good enough. In addition, if/when you hit tree. the resulting punishment is sometimes more than one throw. Our group had to make several pitchouts.
- NAVIGATION - Tricky in spots. the trek from 17 to 18 is particularly hard without a map on a first visit. The map on DGCR is mostly up to date. I would suggest printing it out.
- LAYOUT FLOW - the flow of the course has 3 substantial breaks 5 to 6, 12 to 13 and 17 to 18. not a deal breaker but worth noting. Baskets to holes 10 and 11 use the same general area. This will cause flow back-up during heavy use.
- CHARACTER - The course is missing a lot of items that the older established courses have. There is very little seating (one picnic table) no practice basket, no extra pin placements no multiple tees for pro and am. However, the tees are generally shaded and there is good hole signage located firmly in the middle of the tee pad.
Other Thoughts: A great course for those living within 5-10 miles and for those that prefer the shorter and more technical courses. Not recommended for beginner despite the shortness. Beginners should check out nearby Wells Branch to the south. If you're the open bomb it type, you won't like this course. check out Old Settlers instead. If you want to play a professional type course and arguably the best on the north side, check out Williamson County
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
great experience here
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The amount of ace runs is great! Surely they are almost common out here. The scenery was great! The challenge was there. The tee signs and pads were fine. Baskets catching. Layout was simple enough having a little guidance with arrows and the map. Fun course that would be great for beating in some disc and doing a little replay of some sections of the course.
Cons: Not too much bad I can say about this course other than you don't get to bomb it. Most of us don't throw that far. That's a con right?
Other Thoughts: I'll be back. I'd suggest it to a friend for sure.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very solid short technical course. Requires a good amount of shot variation with some interesting elevation changes thrown in. Absolutely beautiful course; played it on a sunny day and nearly every fairway was covered in green grass. Most holes had well-defined but tight fairways which required accuracy to navigate without being unfair. Also, one huge improvement from before is that the tee signs have now been moved next to the tee boxes rather than placed on them. This was one of the largest cons about this course, and now that it has been changed the course is much better.
Cons: There were also at least one or two holes that were essentially just a poke-and-hope with really no defined fairway to the basket. Also, there were a few times that navigation was tricky; not bad enough to ruin the course, but definitely worth noting. There were also just a few holes that were simply too short (hole 2 in particular). There is only one hole with a wide enough fairway to really throw anything more than a midrange; even on the par 4 the best play is throwing back to back midrange shots in order to reach the basket.
Other Thoughts: This course is really great if you are looking for a short technical course to work on accuracy. Outside of that though this course does not have much to offer. The fact that it is so short and technical makes it rather different from other Austin courses (especially the ones in South Austin) and really helps add to the wealth of good courses in the Austin area. If you're in the area I would definitely recommend stopping in to play this course, but wouldn't recommend it to people from out of town with only a limited amount of time to play courses.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Pretty Little Woods Course
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is set alongside the San Gabriel River. The river is only in play on a single hole, but the sloping terrain and small canyons leading down to the river provide much of the interest on the course.
Overall this is a short, technical course with plenty of opportunities for birdies and even aces, but enough thick cedar to get you into trouble quickly.
Holes 1 and 2 are almost comically short, and give you a good opportunity to bank a couple of birdies at the start. Holes 9, 10 and 11 are another short trio, with some boulders and hillside basket placements that give big roll-away potential on approaches and putts.
At the other end of the spectrum is Hole 6 which is a 360' dogleg right that offers a couple of different approaches. Big arms may be able to hyzer or tomahawk their drive over the tall trees to get a look at birdie. The rest of us have to drive to the dogleg, hit a tight approach corridor, and struggle to get par. Hole 12 is the only hole over 400' and is the sole par 4. If you can get your drive cleanly through the many trees you have a decent chance at three.
The remaining holes are 225' - 300' with tight fairways and plenty of trees to snatch your drive from the air. Birdies will turn to bogies quickly if you miss your line and end up under the cedars.
Concrete tee pads are flat with good texture, and ample size for the shortish holes on the course. Unfortunately the tee signs intrude on the back of the pad (see cons). Tee signs are very nice, with a good diagram of the hole along with the expected hoe number, distance, and par.
Cons: There isn't a lot of variety on the course. Most of the holes are on the shorter side and technical, requiring a low, accurate drive at the basket. If you are looking for a place to air it out, there are better courses nearby.
Already well-documented in previous reviews is the unfortunate situation where the tee sign posts are cast into the back of the concrete tee pads, effectively blocking the normal run-up for many folks. I play with a one-step delivery so wasn't affected, but others in my group were very bothered by the obstruction.
This is a compact course, and during a recent tournament there were several instances of discs from nearby holes landing near teepads of adjacent holes.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the prettiest courses in central Texas. Playing in this thickly wooded riverside area is very pleasant.
Adequate parking lot with restrooms, playground, and pavilion near the beginning of the course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Tight, yet fun - um signs in the tees?
Pros: Rivery is a pretty decent course overall.
Some rather scenic spots, rock outcroppings and a small river, in a nice park.
The design itself is pretty good for what land there is to work with, the fairways are there - tight and has shot shaping lines that can be made.
The concrete tee pads are rather nice, more on that in the cons...
Mostly every hole had a tee sing, some were missing, but they are descriptive, and show the hole accurately.
It is indeed a short to mid-range course almost every hole, with several ace runs - I got hole 2 (but that was about 165ft) very short with a nice lane. I think I pulled a driver once, and was not really challenged to throw far with accuracy here.
Cons: Hmmm, how do I say this nicely - the tee signs are installed in the concrete of the tees...
No two ways to go about this, the installed clearly was not a golfer, nor got enough direction before making this MASSIVE error.
That is one of the worst wastes of time and money I've seen on a course. And its a terrible shame, as the pads would have been more than long enough, and the signs themselves are great - but combined - they both stink.
I couldn't see the sign from the tee, and the placement of the signs on the tees gave me about a 5 ft run up.
I won't bash the course for being wet and mushy, as the recent storms have impacted so much. The course actually held up very well for the recent conditions - water wise.
I will say, the lanes/fairways are incredibly overgrown, and this is another issue that a disc golf representative should address with the parks - as its my understanding that even minimal pruning as not allowed by non park employees.
The branches that need trimming, the edges of the fairways that are growing into to lanes, give you about a 4-6 ft gap on way too many holes.
Other Thoughts: Total shame the tee/signs were installed like that.
This is why "we" as disc golfers need good representation for each course, and good relationships with each park.
I've played over 225 courses in 24 states, and two countries - this is by far the worst example of an installation gone bad I have ever seen.
Yet I still like the course, liked the layout, and think with a little local work/communication - this place could be a very nice place to play. The potential is there...
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is my hometown course, but i will be as unbiased as possible! New concrete tee pads, so no more slippery drives. The scenery here is ABSOLUTELY beautiful! I honestly think it is one of the more relaxing and scenic courses to play. In my 50+ times playing this course i can count on one hand the amount of times I have had a bad day here. As far as the course goes its not too difficult. If you have some good control over your short - mid range drives (~250') you'll be playing lots of birdie putts. This by no means is an easy course though. Trees throughout every fairway will give every level a challenge and many different lines to consider. On windy days this is a go to course, heavy foresting and a natural valley keeps you out of the wind.
Cons: Not enough trashcans throughout the course, although I haven't seen much littering ever.
Finding hole #6, #12, and #18 can be a bit of a trick. (There is a map now at the first hole! Take a picture of it, it will help you navigate for you first timers!) The recent remodel has shortened hole 1 & 2 to the point where there's no real challenge to it. Holes 7,8, and 9 seem a little repetitive (Other than that i really can not find too much wrong with this course!)
Other Thoughts: Don't need to bring your rocket arm to this course! If you want a friendly local to play around here with PM me! Check this course out! I promise you wont regret it!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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