Paths in the forest
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A brand-new course in fairly dense second-growth hemlock/cedar forest, Rainshadow requires precision, versatility, and a sense of humor. It will challenge you with left turns, right turns, uphills, downhills, over hills and between hills, usually with walls of trees crowding you on both sides, and a few more cluttering the fairway. You won't encounter any 1000-foot fairways here, but if you want to practice your technical shots, this is the place.
The planners did not treat this as a project that drags on for years; they opened it this year as a complete course, with a smooth gravel parking lot, fences, a big map kiosk, even little brown "Disc Golf Course" directional signs out on the highway. All the tees have excellent signs, as do the trails between fairways and shortcuts back to the parking lot. The only thing the signs don't show is the elevation changes. There's a lot of that. Besides gravel and a sign, the parking lot boasts a shiny, new outhouse and a practice basket, placed the way a practice basket oughta be: on a broad ledge, partway up a bit of a hillside. While waiting for your partner to show, you can practice uphill putts, downhill putts, and level putts, all within conversational range of the cars.
Cons: It's not in my backyard. If you live in Seattle and want to devote a single day to playing Rainshadow, you can, but you'll get up early and drive a lot, and take a couple of ferry rides.
It's still raw. Some of the fairways look like fresh Cat tracks in the forest, because they're fresh Cat tracks in the forest.
A few places are steep enough that if you have problem knees or ankles, you'll be reminded of them.
There's no pro shop, no snack bar or convenience store, no picnic shelter, no drinking water. Just a nice place to drive to and play disc golf.
Other Thoughts: Veterans Day is only 5 weeks short of the shortest day of the year, but it gave me enough time to drive from home (an hour north of Seattle) in daylight, take a short, enjoyable ferry ride, and test out the first 5 holes before joining up with the regulars here for random doubles (11:00 Saturdays). I could have followed the trails and signs and maybe the map stored on my phone to play alone, but the people I met led me around, gave me hints, and generally made the day a blast.
Watching from the tee as your disc veers into the forest, it looks like it's gone forever in impenetrable jungle. Until you walk up the fairway and find the trees are spaced more widely than you thought, the brush isn't nearly as bad as it looked from back there, and the disc is in plain sight. Mostly. Some of the fairways are bounded by brush that's almost as bad as it looks, but on most holes, what looks like a disastrous throw turns out to be a problem only in terms of your score.
I finished early enough to continue west to Port Angeles and a round at Lincoln Park, and still catch the ferry home that night.
The Olympic Peninsula easily has courses that justify an overnight road trip, but if you only have a day, you can still do it.
And Rainshadow is worth it. I'm definitely going back and dragging friends along.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Rainshadow DGC Is A First Class Operation!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is the way a disc golf should be planned out and then constructed. You start with a large wonderful piece of land. Next you have the complete and total support of the county and their resources. Then you add a course designer with a vision, an active local club, a free chain gang labor pool and then you finish with a young man looking to earn his Eagle Scout badge. No bake sales needed here. This course was done right.
As you get near the course you'll see three different road signs announcing, "Disc Golf Course." You turn into a nice parking lot with a great little wooden fence surrounding it. There is a giant, well made kiosk (Eagle Scout Project) here complete with course map, professional score cards, rules, etc. There is a sani-can, a practice basket and steps leading up to the first tee.
The signs are small but very workable and are mounted on 8" x 8" posts. They're not coming down anytime soon. The pads are rubber mats nicely sized.
The course loops back to the parking after 9 and 18 finishes right there, too. There are many places on the course where the chain gang constructed needed stairs and walkways.
# 1 is 224', straight with about a 50' wide fairway. On the left is a deep gorge with ugly rough. You want to stay out of there.
# 2 is 489' and the hole almost makes a u-turn so you need to lay up to a landing zone before throwing back toward the basket. We looked and looked and didn't see a way to cut the corner through the thick woods.
Much clearing, cutting and trimming has been done. The fairways, while possibly filled with trees, are cleared of brush. I thought some additional clearing could be done on the left side of # 14.
There are shorter holes, under 200', but they always demand a tight, technical route or a giant hyser or a steep uphill throw.
A couple of holes play up and down this old, raised road. # 7 is the only hole on the course with two tee pads, a Red and a longer, higher Blue throwing off this very large hill. It's about 600' from the top. The fairway on this hole is only 30' wide but has a big drop off on both sides and thick, ugly rough everywhere. You need a spotter and about a 300' laser straight tee off.
I felt there were lots of good holes but not one that stood out or could be considered as the signature hole. This is a definitely a course where spotters are recommended on a few holes. Losing a disc or two is a distinct possibility.
The course is intermediate in difficultly. Rec players could enjoy this course with proper supervision and a spotter or two. I would not call the course beginner friendly
Cons: Rough is deep and nasty on 4-5 holes.
The holes that play along the raised roadway are scarier than most.
Quite a few sharp doglegs where you lose sight of your disc. Spotters needed.
No hole where a big armed player can really crank it up.
The course is miles and miles away from the world.
Other Thoughts: I really wish this course was closer to the Puget Sound population base. It's a long trek out here from the Tacoma-Seattle area. It's a wonderful course, easily a top 10 course in the state, and probably will end up in the top 5. It's not as long and challenging as Sea Tac or Shelton Springs but offers a better variety of holes and better elevation for your enjoyment.
My rating....If I could, I'd probably go with a 3.75 but since I'm forced to, I'll award it an excellent rating of 4.0.
I understand there are always players here on weekends so that would probably be the best time to hook up with some regulars or to hire yourself some spotters.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
The View from hole 1 is awesome, but
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great parking lot. Has an outhouse. Signs are the best around. Gives you length par and a picture of the route your throwing. Fairways (even the 'Mounds') are very clean with little or no trip hazards. Signs through out the course point the way to the parking lot if you have run out of time or gas. Signs directing to next pad for every hole...this is a super plus! Course is fun, fun, fun. Highly recommend it for almost all players.
Cons: 4 holes built on 'mounds' that are only 50' across punish an errant throw with the chance of a lost disk. The sides are steep off the mounds and are full of black berry's and other thick underbrush. I lost a disk first throw on hole 1, off the left side of the mound...no way to find it. Next round I threw different and birdied the hole. Hole 7 another mound hole has two pads, a long one and a short one. Long one just about guarantee's you a trip into the under brush. The short one if you throw fully to the basket on the left side of the mound you will do well. COME prepared for steep walks down the fairway on a couple of the holes...take your time going down or you might find yourself on your backside sliding down the hill. These cons are all really about nothing...Pro's totally out weigh the cons or the whatevers.
Other Thoughts: Beginning players may struggle with the "Mounds" holes. If you can throw fairly straight with no super big bend...recommend you throw a 1,2,3 approach. A mid range a mid range a putter. You will do awesome that way. Hole number eight (a "mounds" hole) that's exactly what I did both times. Two pars is a-okay.
Builders of this course did an excellent job and the course is well thought out. Have fun...we did!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Very fun course
Pros: Very easy to navigate. Signage is excellent. Two 9 hole loops means you can easily return to the parking lot. Well planned course. Lots of birdie opportunities. A few very challenging holes.
Cons: Errant throws on 7 and 8 are punished severely. Could be longer, found myself throwing a putter off the tee too many times.
Other Thoughts: It's definitely a great course. Excellent views, beginner friendly. Shot 4 under, and had 2 bogies, so there's plenty of birdies to be had.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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