Outdoor Adventure, Navigation Nightmare
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Holes 1-4 and 15-18 play like a somewhat typical rocky and slightly hilly park in the Texas hill country. Holes 5-14 are a climbing and trail-exploring adventure. There is one hole that is over 300' in length and one that is about 100' (uphill). Everything else is in the 160'- 280' range.
There are some creative and enjoyable pin placements on this course. Some have guardian trees, some are on slopes, boulders are used creatively.
There are significant elevation changes on at least half of the holes on this course, which I consider to be a "pro." This also means that holes of similar length play much differently because of the elevation changes.
There is a lot of shade on this course for those hot summer days. Most of this comes from cedar trees, though there are oaks and some other varieties of trees present. There are nice views from a few locations on the course.
A map is displayed at the tee for hole 1 - be sure to take a photo of it. Several of the holes are creatively designed and have cool lines to throw. Various shots are required from the tee to score well on this course.
There is a practice basket located to the left of the basket for 18 and to the right and behind the tee for hole 1. It will probably be the first basket you see when you park.
Picnic tables are located at many of the holes. These are helpful for giving a much-needed rest, at some points, and also aid in navigation of the course, since when you see a picnic table you can be pretty certain that you have found a tee box.
All of the tee boxes are natural, but have been cleared and leveled and are in good shape. They are most often marked with rocks and sometimes have cross ties or other timber to delineate the outline of the box. This is especially helpful on some of the holes, where otherwise the ground is very rocky and hilly and teeing off would be a problem.
The approach to hole 3 is guarded by the wreckage of some old vehicles that have been carefully positioned. (See photo) This is a cool feature. It could be a danger for kids, but for me it adds a unique appeal to that hole and to the course.
I enjoy the rugged terrain and exercise is a positive aspect of disc golfing for me, so I consider the elevation changes and long walks along trails over rocks to be a "pro." Others may disagree. Which leads us to "cons."
Cons: Navigation is a serious problem on this course for a first-time player. Without the map, you will be hopelessly lost. With the map, it was very difficult. I never found any number on any tee pad throughout the course. Approximately half of the baskets have numbers on them, but many of those are in the more open areas of the park and not back in the rocky/hilly area where they would be very welcome. Several of the tee boxes for holes going one direction are close to the boxes for holes that play in the other direction. Since no boxes were numbered, I was constantly referring to the photo I took of the course map to determine where I was. I never saw any arrows or "next tee" signs throughout the course.
I should note that there are numerous trails within this area that have nothing to do with disc golf and do not lead to tees or baskets. Keep this is mind as you consult the map and explore in search of disc golf holes to play.
There is a long walk from the basket of hole 4 to the tee box of hole 5. Players must walk the entire length of hole 4 in reverse and then walk several hundred more feet. At least I thought that was a long walk, at the time. The walk from hole 5's basket to hole 6's tee is very long and over much more treacherous ground. On this journey, you will cross in front of hole 12's tee pad. (Keep this in mind, because the only way to get from hole 12 to hole 13 will be to walk hole 12 in reverse and then take that trail again, in the other direction.)
Exploring this course and looking for the next hole each time is almost like studying the artifacts of an ancient civilization of disc golfers in the hope of discerning the path of the course they designed. I think in that respect the course name is very appropriate.
You WILL get a workout hiking this course. I mentioned this as a "pro" for myself, but I believe that most disc golfers I know would consider this a "con" and would greatly dislike this course. The middle part of the course really feels like a long hike with an occasional throw of a disc. On that subject, I should also note that the course is most definitely NOT cart friendly.
The baskets are a hodgepodge of Disc Nation baskets, DGA baskets (some double chain and some single chain) and some that appear that they could be a combination of cages from one and chains from another.
There is cactus growing throughout the park, which might add a cool look to a hole or two (see photo of hole 2), but watch out!
Other Thoughts: I can't stress enough that you will need the map if you are to have any hope of navigating this course successfully.
I never threw a high-speed driver on this course and I only threw a fairway driver twice. I suggest taking midranges and putters and maybe one or two fairway drivers. The lighter load will help you on those hilly hikes.
With a bit of effort to place "next tee" arrows in key places and numbers on the tee boxes, navigation could be greatly improved and that is this course's major problem. Once players find their way around the course one time, the navigation will become easier and the course has a certain fun factor, for me. Thus the 2.5 rating.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
First visit to Apache Shores
Pros: Pretty scenery, good hole variation, lots of ace opportunities with technical skill, valley and tree cover keep it cooler
Cons: Can be a physically exhausting hike, poor signage and tee box demarcation makes it easy to skip or miss holes
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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