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Disc Golf Courses

Course Guide: Jones West, Emporia, KS

I’m really excited to share with you all the first of many photo-based course guides I plan on creating.  I got the idea to start these when I realized that many members of the Dogleg community would not have the opportunity to practice the courses for Amateur Worlds until they arrived for the competition.  Since Columbia (my hometown) is only 3.5 hours away and St. Louis (where I go to school) is only 5 hours away, I figured I was in a great position to help non-Midwestern disc golfers prepare for such a big event.

But, making a trip to Emporia was easier said than done.  I sat on the idea for a month or two before Adam and I decided Valentine’s Day weekend would be the best time for us to take a disc golf trip.  (Jealous?  Refer to my last post: Love Is In The Air.)  After a few near-death experiences caused by our failure to realize that some highways outside of Kansas City were icy, we made it safely to my first Emporia course:  Jones West.

According to Disc Golf Course Review, Jones West, an 18-hole par-54 course, was established in 1989.  The topography has some gentle hills, but is mostly flat.  After all, it is Kansas we’re talking about!  Trees—ranging from broad and branchy evergreens to skinny deciduous trunks—definitely factor into the strategy on this course, but not to the degree that it creates the feeling of playing in the woods.  There are two ponds on the course, which create water hazards on 5 holes.  Each hole has two different pin placements, red and blue, for the Mach 3 baskets.  (For more info:  http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=1403)

As with most other Midwestern courses, the difficulty will vary with different weather and seasonal conditions.  Wind wasn’t a huge factor the day we played, but I’ve heard it can be pretty extreme in Emporia (there was a tornado nearby during the weekend of the Glass Blown Open last year).  The seasonal changes to the course will be a little more predictable.  Just like anywhere else, in spring and summer trees will be thicker and have more leaves; in the fall and winter they’ll thin out and leave more gaps.  The size of the ponds will change depending on precipitation in the days and weeks before.  This will cause the water hazards to be more or less extreme on some holes.  (The water was pretty low when I took these pictures; there was a drought last summer, and the heavy snow didn’t hit until a few weeks later.)

After playing the course, we swung by the Dynamic Discs store and talked with Adam Searle.  He said that all of the courses in the area will be getting new tee signs before hosting Am Worlds.  (The ones they have at Jones West now are pretty nice, but several have been vandalized.  I edited most of the vandalism out in my pictures.)  As of my correspondence with Dynamic Discs on Thursday, I learned that Jones West will not be used for the Glass Blown Open this year, but it will be for Am Worlds.  They are in the process of finalizing which pin placements will be used for the tournament.

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Now that I have all the details out of the way, enjoy the pictures!

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Hole #1:  We played this hole in the red placement.  For those of you who have played at Jones before, you may notice that the giant tree in the middle of the fairway (the one on the tee sign) is no longer there, which makes the hole play out a lot easier.  Water shouldn’t affect you on this hole, even though it can be seen on the tee sign.  Scores: Emily 4, Adam 3

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Hole #2:  We played this hole in the red placement.  The road on the left is OB.  Scores:  Emily 5, Adam 2

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Hole #3:  We played this in the blue placement.  Righties, beware of the road that runs down the left of the fairway, it’s OB!  Scores:  Emily 5, Adam 4

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Hole #4:  We played this hole in the blue placement.  The fairway is gently sloped downhill.  When the pin is in the red placement, water may come into play.  Scores: Emily 7, Adam 3

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Hole #5:  We played this in the red placement.  Scores: Emily 4, Adam 5

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Hole #6:  Based on the pictures I took, I can’t remember which placement this hole was in.  Tee for this hole is right up next to the edge of the pond, whose width will vary depending on rainfall.  I didn’t quite have the distance or confidence to go across, so I played around it.  The top center picture shows the view from the pad.  The far right picture looks back at the pad from across the pond.  The picture across the bottom shows the length of the pond; you can see the tee pad on the left.  Scores: Emily 7, Adam 4

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Hole #7:  We played this in the red placement.  I didn’t get any pictures of this one because I ended up in the water (which shouldn’t typically happen for lefties, but I kept griplocking REALLY badly).  Water will come into play though for right-handed hyzer shots if they go too long.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3

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Hole #8:  We played this in the red placement.  Scores: Emily 6, Adam 3

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Hole #9:  We played this in the red placement.  The fairway is slightly downhill overall, with a drainage creek running across it.  There is a cluster of skinny trees surrounding the tee pad, and a few larger evergreens guarding the basket.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 4

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Hole #10:  We played this in the blue placement.  The big tree on the tee sign that used to be in the fairway is gone.  It previously played as a mando, so the shot to the basket is significantly more open than it has been in the past.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3

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Hole #11:  We played this in the blue placement.  The fairway curves to the left for both placements.  The green slopes down then back up, creating a bit of a valley.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 5

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Hole #12:  We played this in the red placement.  The right side of the fairway is lined with trees; the left side is relatively open.  The basket is within the treeline on the right, and is surrounded by trees on 3 sides.  Scores: Emily 6, Adam 3

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Hole #13:  We played this in the red placement.  The road on the right is OB.  You can see that it is roped off on the edge of the pictures; the ropes are a few feet from the edge of the road.  Scores: Emily 4, Adam 3

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Hole #14:  We played this in the red placement.  The basket is tucked between two evergreen trees, and behind a smaller tree.  Scores: Emily 3, Adam 3

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Hole #15:  We played this in the blue placement.  The road on the right of the hole is OB.  Past the evergreens on the left is wide open, in the event a shot doesn’t land in the fairway.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3

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Hole #16:  We played this in the blue placement.  I didn’t get any pictures of this hole because, for me, it was long and frustrating, and Adam’s shot didn’t turn over and landed in someone’s yard across the road.  Whoops!  Scores: Emily 9, Adam 3

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Hole #17:  We played this in the red placement.  There is OB on both sides of the fairway (road on the right, houses on the left).  Water comes into play for the blue placement, but not the red.  Scores: Emily 5, Adam 3

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Hole #18:  We played this in a special placement that is usually used for Hole #1; it goes all the way across the pond and rests on the edge instead of being on the left side of it, as is seen in the red and blue placements.  You can see the basket from the tee in the top picture, where it is to the right of the brown trees.  The water makes this placement especially difficult.  We learned from experience that, if faced with a difficult putt, it is vital to throw a shot that will not roll if it hits the ground.  I ended up 50+ feet from the basket more than once on a roll.  Also, for the blue placement, it may be important to know that the road is OB behind the tree line.  Scores: Emily 11, Adam 4

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Weekend Recap Part II: White Oak Park

Our disc golf-filled Saturday last weekend concluded with a trip to White Oak Park DGC.

After a successful round at Deer Lick [Read Deer Lick DGC Recap here.], the three of us headed down the road to the next course on our list, White Oak.

White Oak Park Disc Golf Course is a very large, open park with long, beautiful rolling hills located in Dallas, GA. It is one of my Top 5 Georgia disc golf courses that I’ve played around here. Although I wish it was a lot closer to where I live, but the experience and the views never fail me each time I go. Two things that really draw me to White Oak Park are: 1) Several elevated teebox areas set you up nicely for long, open drives to a downhill basket and 2) Signature Hole #17’s pond-flyover to a peninsula green [See image inset below.]

Signature Hole #17 at White Oak Park. Yellow line indicates roughly a 180-200ft shot over the pond. Or take your chances on the blue line with a 380ft shot to the bank in front of the basket.

Signature Hole #17 at White Oak Park. Yellow line indicates roughly a 180-200ft shot over the pond. Or take your chances on the blue line with a 380ft shot to the bank in front of the basket.

Once we got there, the disc golf part of the park (in the very back) was nearly vacant. Awesome, for disc golf. We met up with fellow contributor and Doglegger, Destin here to join us for this round. The weather was nice, mid 50’s and overcast with little wind. I was a little disappointed to find out that the park had temporarily removed holes #13 and 14 due to frolfers disrespect to neighboring properties. I started off with a rough start dropping me to +4 after just the first 2 holes. I think I hit every tree in sight. I turned it on at Hole #7 with a short-lived birdie streak run. Pulled it back together at the end and finished at +5. Not bad for me for that course.

Here’s a look at some pics from that day at White Oak along with videos of our Hole #17 pond-flyovers! I apologize for the crappy quality uploads from our phone.

Destin launching a killer drive from atop Hole #8's elevated teebox area. Over the treetops.

Destin launching a killer drive from atop Hole #8’s elevated teebox area.

White Oak's Hole #17 — Looking back towards teebox.

White Oak’s Hole #17 — Looking back towards teebox.

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*To read Destin’s White Oak Review and his tips on adjusting your grip and disc weight for winter weather, click here.


Weekend Recap: Deer Lick Park DGC

This past Saturday marked the first chance I’ve had this year to actually get out on the disc golf course. Prior to last weekend, I hadn’t played a round since being home for Thanksgiving. I was going through some serious disc golf withdrawals let me tell you. I normally play once a week. But with a strew of nasty weather, long work days, and being out-of-town on the weekends, I haven’t been able to.

Last weekend brought cloudy skies and milder temps reaching the mid 50s. Finally, it was nice enough to get out and throw. I had wanted to try a different course that I’d never played before. It’s a course that’s roughly an hour south of here called Deer Lick Park in Douglasville, GA. I actually tried to play this course last February when I just happened to be in the area. I only made it through the first six holes before calling it quits because I couldn’t feel my fingers any more. Obviously not dressed warm enough, temperatures were in the lower 40s that day with wind gusts near 20 mph. No condition to play in favorably. I wanted to give it another shot. So I called up the guys and it was time to roll!

jtDLP-4Deer Lick starts out with two shorter holes barely breaking 200 ft. With not having played in well over a month, I was pretty satisfied when my first drive landed within 15 ft from the basket and sinking my first bird of the new year. Hole #3 got a little more interesting when the length doubled from the previous two holes and ran parallel to a large pond on the left. Not only did you have the pond and increasing wind speeds picking up, the fairway consisted of varying tree obstacles and being completely on a downward slant towards the pond.

Hole #4 we got to tee off throwing around powerline support cables to a downhill basket tucked into the wood line which was protected by a small, winding creek [Inset on right]. The next few tinkered through the woods and then back out to a field and across the street. In the pic below is Justin with a long par save attempt on #7.

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#8 introduced us to a 463′ long straight, slightly downhill fairway that ran parallel to a county road. The only thing stopping a wayward disc were two rows of 6’+ tall shrubs. All three of us landed near the road if you were wondering. I had a terrible drive when I released the disc too late which pulled it way left (I’m LHBH thrower). It went smack into the thicket and dropped at the inside edge. I had a killer approach shot from ~300 and parked it within 10′ from the basket…Not sure how that happened, but I’ll take it.

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As luck would have it, my bro lands behind a set of trees on Deer Lick’s #13. You can barely see him through the trees. Up and over for par save? You got this bro! [Inset image above.]

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As we got to the back 9, #15 was pretty interesting. A kudzu-filled hole. [Inset image above.]

I really enjoyed Deer Lick Park. It sets less than 5 min off of I-20 West coming out of Atlanta. Very quite and serene in the disc golf area, hardly anyone playing disc golf. I like the courses where we can play at our own speed and not have to wait on the group ahead of us. This course was built back in 1997, but it well maintained. At this park, there are ball fields, a gymnasium, batting cages, skatepark, mini golf, and whatnot! This disc golf part of it is mild-moderately hilly with a good mix of long open holes and tighter, wooded holes. I did pretty well and lucked up with some incredible approach shots. I finished at +2—not too shabby considering not playing for over a month and being a newbie to the course. We had a good time all around and was a great first round for me of the new year. I will definitely go back and play there again.

-jt

UP NEXT: WHITE OAK PARK: WEEKEND RECAP COMING TOMORROW, STAY TUNED!


Mancation 2012: Denver Disc Golf (Part II)

Continued from Mancation 2012: Denver Disc Golf (Part I)

After Saturday’s windy experience and lack of elevation at Arvada’s Johnny Roberts DGC, I was a tad bitter with my Colorado disc golfing thus far. First of all, I thought Denver was mountainous and had a lot more hills than it turned out to have. I expected Colorado disc golf courses to be filled with firs, spruces, and aspens, elevation changes, cool breeze and impeccable, breathtaking scenic views. Don’t get me wrong, now the Johnny Roberts course was indeed fun, but it was just not the scenic course I was hoping for. We needed to find a bigger, better course before this trip was over.

Then I remembered back a few weeks prior to our trip, North Colorado Disc Golf (@NoCoDG) tweeted us and mentioned that we needed to get up in the hills—that that’s where the bigger, better courses are. We researched that night and found out about Conifer Park at Beaver Ranch. The only problem?, it was about 45 min north of Denver and we had no car. After calling around town, we luckily found a car rental place that actually still had cars available. [There were several big events and conferences going on that same weekend, so it was hard to find any still available.] Locked it in for Sunday, check. Now we’re headed to the Mountains, boys!

Goodbye city. Hello Mountains.

Conifer Park at Beaver Ranch (Conifer, CO)
The whole drive up to Conifer was really nice. The Rockies—once off in the distance—were finally now getting closer and closer. Steeper inclines ahead as we winded up the hills leaving the city behind. The directions we had were horrible..or either it was that stupid GPS. Either way, once we got off the main road it felt like we drove in circles for a half hour trying to find one little road. I don’t know how many times it redirected us after we’d make a turn. The address on the GPS took us up one hill into this mountainside trailer park. Yea…don’t think there’s a disc golf course in this mess. “Heya Billy, 2 points if you ding one off da satellite dish into the plastic kiddie pool.” Yea..no. Ok after a different address confirmation, we’re back on track and finally get there. It’s already starting to look and feel like the “Colorado Disc Golf Experience” I was hoping for. Beaver Ranch is located down a long dirt road with a small dirt parking lot at the base. There to the side is a small cabin store-looking thing that reminded me of what you’d see atop a mountain while skiing. It is cool out, light breeze and the air is thin. Then you catch the subtle scent of the mountainous, evergreen air. Yes, this is it.

Some locals pull up about the same time we do and tell us Hole #1 is about a half mile from the parking lot.. Half a mile, seriously? Gees. That first time you know how it always seems like it takes forever? Well we walk and walk—crossing an overgrown, brush-filled creek. I’m talking thicket so thick, there could be bears hiding in there.

We get to #1’s teepad and the excitement and thrill level could not be any higher! This was intense. Hole #1 is straight uphill? Yes—with a very tight, heavily wooded fairway window staring right back at us. Hole #1 you’re basically teeing from ground level and throwing high and up into the mountain. Leaving no room for error, the first hole was a little intimidating. With the majority of us being from the Southeast, we’re not used to this level of drastic elevation change on the holes to follow.

There was a courtesy box and sign at the bottom of the wooden stairs leading up the fairway to basket #1. This was to put in your $3/per person (highly worth it) and grab a dated tag for the day’s round. After teeing off, the elevation change kicked in. I believe Tim was the only one that had a decent tee shot on this hole. On our next throws, we found ourselves fighting for a steady balance along the hill’s steep incline. I’m glad the day was cool, because with all the hiking/climbing we were about to endure, it could have been miserable.

Joe at Teebox #1

Joe Approach Shot on Hole #1

Basket #1 looking down fairway to #1 Teepad

The first four holes you’re playing your way up the mountain. So each hole the hike gets a bit more strenuous and the air gets thinner. Beautiful views of the trees and mountains off in the distance as you play. Tight cut lines surrounded by tall, thin pines and firs filled the landscape. Didn’t see any wildlife, but loved the nature sounds. I also did like how there was not a lot of small plant life around. This made it much easier to find your disc in the dirt or pine straw. Really the only thing you had to watch out for was if your disc became a roller and rolled off course…and down the hill. On Hole #10 I believe it was..we searched nearly a half hour for one of mine that skipped and rolled away. One of the zipline guides actually spotted it for us. Whew, did not want to lose that one. Oh and Yes, they had ziplines (next time I’m adding that to my list)!

Hole #2 Basket


JT on #4 Teebox


Joe on #5 Teebox

Needed a breather.

After the first 7 holes (1/3 of the way done), we needed a breather. Lots of walking, hiking on this treacherous hilly mountainside already. I’m glad we brought all of the water and snacks that we did. Come prepared if you play this course! Especially with this tight #8 (pic below) coming up, we needed to think about just how in fact we were going to pull off this next laser drive. It required roughly a 100+ft straight shot just to clear the tree line with literally less than a 15-ft window to work with. Here in the pic below, Jason’s eyeing the fairway leading up to the basket. Throw it soft to lay up and keep your line? or risk pinballing one through the trees and down the left side of the hill with a burner? Decisions. I’ve scored par on every hole up to this point and up by several strokes, so what do I have to lose? I’m going for it, son. Indeed did hit a tree or two, but would end up serving me well on this one.

Hole #8 Teebox and view of mountain from basket.

I managed to hang on at even par through the first 9, then I started to fall apart…as did everyone else. I would go on to bogey the next 6 in a row…ouch. The holes were getting longer and more difficult. We were feeling the burn from all the walking/hiking and arms were getting sore after the next handful of holes.

Jason about to ding the top of the #12 basket on a 310′ shot.


Basket #13…Anthill Mound. Unforgiving to say the least.


See the basket? Neither do we. But it’s in the midst of the Aspens in the back. #14 Approach Shot

I feel like we’ve been playing across the top of this mountain for hours. Isn’t it time the holes start making its downward spiral? Yep. Here goes. Hole #17 was a beast of a downward distance hole. This hole is some odd 430’+ long, but you’re pretty much teeing off from on top of the hill aiming to a downward basket. With a steep incline directly behind the pocketed basket, you could huck the hell out of your disc and not worry too much of overshooting the hole..As long as you angled it downhill. My goal, spike it in the hill behind the basket. Or at least hit it hard enough it would catch an edge and roll down to the pin. Check out the view from the teebox down to the basket.

JT on #17 Mountain Teebox to Downhill Basket. Seeyahhhhhhhhh. Bomb.


Tim bombing one at Hole #17. 435’+ to downhill hole.


Jason on #17 Teebox


Tim sinking a solid on #18.

Then the rain came. And it fell hard! With nowhere to go, we found slight shelter under some low-lying branches. The next few holes we played in the pouring rain. We were this close to the end—can’t stop now. Conifer Park is made up of “21” holes, but could not seem to find Hole #21. Hole #20 was a steep downhill hole with a heavily-wooded line to the basket. This hole you needed one to lay low and set down or your disc might be rolling all the way to the bottom off the mountain. There was one last teebox after Hole #20, but was not designated by a teesign. Could this be #21? It was long and far and required throwing over that overgrown, hellish creek I mentioned earlier. And the bad part about it? The creek lied maybe 50-ft in front of the basket. You either had to lay up before the creek, or bomb one hoping to land on the other side. We turned this into a CTP hole instead.

Course Recap:
All in all it was an excellent course with 21 beautiful holes. By far, the absolute BEST disc golf course I have played yet (yes, even topping Flyboys). Conifer Park at Beaver Ranch has the whole package. You’ve got the cool weather; the beautiful scenery; the mountains; the tall-standing thin trunked trees; challenging elevation…everything. This course is not for the beginner nor would I recommend for people out of shape. It’s rough. It demands lots of stamina, walking and hiking up steep terrain. Some holes have loose footing on the dirt and straw on the hillside. Bring LOTS of water/snacks. You’ll be out here for a few hours with just the amount of time to walk the entire course. It’s challenging and I loved every minute of it. I would catch myself taking in the scenery and snapping pics and missing some of the great shots we made. Ahhh if I just had some of those on film. No aces, but a few close ones. I love the outdoors, nature and I certainly love the mountains. This course made my “Colorado Disc Golf Experience”. It was everything that I imagined disc golf in Colorado to be like. I would’ve been highly disappointed to make it all the way out here from Georgia, and to have not gotten a chance to play something of this caliber.

Course Rating: 9.8/10

If you’re ever in the Denver area, you have to go play this course. Set aside a few hours to play..and of course, transportation to get there. Like I mentioned earlier, it is a ways out of the way but you will not regret it. No wonder it is rated a 4.6+/5 on DGCourseReview.com.

For a full look into our Denver Disc Golf Experience and over a hundred more pics, please check out our Dogleg Flickr page.

If you liked this post, don’t forget to “like” it and share below! Thanks guys!

-jt


The Importance of a Fairway Driver

After reading J.T.’s review of Legacy Park, I thought I would take the trip to Kennesaw and check out the lil’ 9-holer. The course is in a beautiful community that is extremely well maintained, but as you may have already read in previous posts, the course is private to residents and/or their guests.

I LOVED the little course, and it may be my number one favorite course in Georgia so far. BUT… I feel the reason may have been the day I chose to play Legacy. 68 degrees, perfect breeze, leaves falling and squirrels everywhere gathering for winter. It was simply beautiful disc golf or no disc golf.

The best thing about Legacy may be it’s downfall. It is extremely accessible to beginners and is certainly the course that hooks a newbie into the sport, but serious disc golfers may be bored with it’s mainly ace-able holes and lack of diversity on the land.

What this course is PERFECT for is working on your straight game, and I can’t stress enough the importance of a fairway driver. While not as fast as a distance driver, it will go where you put it without a lot of fade.

I throw the Innova TL, and exclusively threw it playing Legacy. I don’t know if I was just having a good day on the course, or the TL is truly amazing. I’m not a hard thrower, so it tends to go just as far as my distance drivers anyway, but it’s placement is reliable.

A lot of players think that throwing a distance driver means getting distance, but what may happen is they under power the disc and it doesn’t go any farther than a mid range would, and the disc dives to the ground where you didn’t want it. I’ve been there.

What I love about a fairway driver is not only how they fly, but how they feel. When I toss the TL, The grip is much more comfortable than a sharp distance driver, and it rips out of my hands with grace.

After having a wonderful day with the TL, I know what my go-to disc is now. The next time you need a straight beautiful drive, reach for your favorite fairway driver.

Here are a few pics from beautiful Legacy Park:

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Mancation 2012: Denver Disc Golf (Part I)

Whew, what a trip!

I’ll start with that. Months in the planning and almost as long to finally get a review up on the blog. This past Labor Day, several of the Dogleg crew flew out to Denver for a guy’s weekend full of local brew tours, good eats,  and of course, disc golf.

There is soo much to cover from our trip that it’d take me hours to write up. So I’m breaking this trip review down into two parts to spare you all the details. I’ll sum it up the best I can and try to focus on mostly the disc golf part of it. At the end I will also provide a link to our Dogleg Flickr account so you can see most all of the pics we took from our trip (Special thanks to Jason for submitting his pics and for being the only other one to take a camera).

We had been talking this trip up forever it seemed, but just couldn’t get it all worked out on finding that perfect weekend to go that all of us could make. It’s always nice to get away from your local routine courses, terrain and weather and branch out to something new. Something far away that has very different terrain and weather conditions. Here at Dogleg, all of us share a strong passion for disc golf and (the majority of us) good beer. Where else has an excellent selection of both? Denver, Colorado. Home to several big beer names as well as loads of microbreweries. Not to mention all the disc golf courses!

With so many courses to choose from and so little time, I had to turn to our Twitter friends for Colorado disc golf recommendations. North Colorado Disc Golf (@NoCoDG) shot us back some of their favs which included Johnny Roberts, Badlands and Birds Nest. They also told us we should really go higher up in the mountains and play Beaver Ranch. One minor problem, we lacked a car. The closest course to our downtown hotel was roughly 6 mi away. Too far to walk and about a 45 min bus ride…exactly. We walked most places or either took the bus. Either one, it took forever to get longer distances.

Johnny Roberts DGC (Arvada, CO):
Saturday, we decided upon Johnny Roberts DGC located in Arvada to be our first course of the trip. We checked into renting a car for the day, but everywhere around was rented out. So we took to the ol’ trusty local metro transportation of the bus route. After waiting nearly 20 min for the bus to come to our stop, we were now on a 6 mi journey to Arvada. 45 minutes later, we were to our stop in Arvada.. Don’t get me started on local transportation. 

Anyway, after walking a few blocks we come up on the park. Doesn’t look like the best part of town, but heard that we just had to play this course for the history of Colorado disc golf. A couple of people calling it the “granddaddy” of  Colorado’s courses. You could tell. The park was crowded and the signage wasn’t real clear of where the start of the course was from walking up to it. Hole #1 you throw across an open field, which seemed a bit dangerous for other people and young ones playing around and running through it. There were a few holes where you threw across the sidewalk, which also seemed a bit dangerous to pedestrians and bicyclists.  One of my favorites parts of the course early on was the creek that runs through the park. This intertwining–very wide, yet very shallow–creek became a great obstacle through half of the course’s fairways. Several holes had the pin placement fairly close to the edge of the water. I thought this was pretty clever and as it required much more accuracy in laying up on your throws.

Hole #2 Basket next to Ralston Creek

In general, this was a very tight course. It had several very narrow fairways off the tee pad with lots of trees and brush lining the sides. On the holes that had open fairways, you had to deal with pedestrians and young bicyclists crossing by as you were about to launch. I could see where people could get hit often. They had nice, concrete tee pads and decent signs on each hole. The sign’s graphics were a bit weathered, but were designed very well. Each tee pad sign had an actual photo of the fairway, prominent hole number, distance to each pin location, and an overhead graphic of the fairway. Awesome! But, it was a little difficult–once you got to the basket–to figure out where the next hole began.
[Review continued after the jump.]

Joe on Hole #3 Tee Pad

Tim on Hole #6 Tee Pad

Hole #6 was a longer hole and liked to suck discs into the creek off to it’s left. Not only did they roll into the creek, it left an almost impossible clear shot out through the thick brush. Here’s Joe tossing up towards #6’s basket.

Joe for Par on #6

Thanks to the tip from a few fellow locals, that there is no longer a Hole #8. Apparently Hole #8 line of throw used to cross back over Hole #7..all out disc war, right? Throwing towards one another and high speeds of spinning plastic.  Hole #7 was neat too as you threw over the bridge down the creek line to a basket way off to the left alongside the sidewalk. Hole #9 was an Ace-able hole for sure. You tee off a slightly elevated pad and toss ~150 ft down to a lower pin placement on the edge of the creek. This is when the sandstorm hit. I mean hit hard! This is some of the hardest wind I have ever played in. The sky got dark and the wind blew furiously. Much of the course alongside the creek is dirt–which was where we were. I have never seen wind pick up dirt and blow it like that. It was ridiculous and you could hardly keep your eyes open but for a few seconds. Dirt, debris and leaves were flying everywhere. The wind storm lasted a good 15 or 20 min as we scurried as fast as we could through the next several holes. The wind in general made it very difficult to get in a good throw. Lots of our throws were picked up by wind changes and taken way off course. Bogeys and Doubles to follow.

Jason looking for his disc in a tree on #18.

The wind stopped, but the holes kept getting harder. More lines along the creek, more mandos, and tighter tee shots. Back 9 I fell apart and finished +7. All in all, I’d like to give this course at least another shot. Too crowded for me, but loved the challenging and technical game that it brings out of one. Not much for the scenery, I was expecting to be surrounded by more firs, pines and aspens..and hilly, mountainous terrain. I wasn’t going to stop at this course to my “Colorado Course”. I am, however, glad we got to play this one–especially to appreciate the history of Colorado Disc Golf.

Course Rating: 7/10

*CLICK HERE FOR PART II – CONIFER PARK @ BEAVER RANCH!

-jt


Cheers to Deer, a Legacy Park DGC Review

Now with the sun setting earlier than ever it seems, my disc golf adventures are being forced to the weekends. The closest two 18-hole courses from where I work are a mere ~30 minutes away. If I leave work on time, drive a half hour, I maybe have a good 7 holes in before I’m swamped with darkness and straining my eyes following my disc through the air down the fairway…or through the trees. Not worth it, especially when you spend more time looking for your discs in the dark than it did to play the first 5 holes.

But there’s Fall/Winter weekday hope. It’s called Legacy Park and it’s only 10 minutes away from my office. It’s only 9 holes, but it’s a fair course that’s very well maintained and landscaped. Biggest downside is that it’s located in a very nice Kennesaw neighborhood that’s technically only for the residents—unless you tag along with one.

It’s a great course to get in a very quick game after work that requires your short, technical game. Being in Legacy Park, you get a family friendly atmosphere as these 9 holes are laid out along the winding walking trail, nestled in the woods. I’ve played here maybe 5 times and every time I recall seeing at least one deer or more. Last month I played one evening around sunset and counted a total of 7 deer walking through different fairways; pretty cool! Ok, to the hole descriptions..

At Hole #1, there is a large course map sign. Pay attention to this as the course is poorly marked past this point. If you follow the walking trail, it will help you out if you’re looking for the next teepad. But don’t rely solely on this. Each “teepad” is marked by 6″ red pavers that are set in the ground. These are flush with the ground meaning you cannot see them from further than 15′ out or so. Keep your head down and look for the bare spots in the grass areas. More than likely, the pavers are set around that area and the grass is worn out from the disc golfers.

Hole #1 is tricky in that—for me being a lefty—it requires a hard anhyzer down the tree line. You tee off almost under a large overhanging limb and are required to curve it around the trees maybe ~270 ft. to a basket tucked approximately 15 ft. in a small cutout in the woods on the left. My suggestion, throw as far as you can and keep it wide in the fairway closer to the road. This leaves you a more open shot into the tucked pin position. If you hug it around the woods, you’ll more than likely have to throw it back out to the open, then turn around and throw back into the pocket. Another thing I don’t like is none of the teepads have teesigns with par/distance info. This is a fairly short Par 3 course with several Ace-able holes. This course will definitely test your precision and accuracy because most of the holes require tighter, straight shots through narrow fairways and low-hanging limbs.

PROS:
-Really close to work. Great for a quick 30 min. round right after work.
-Never seen it crowded.
-Wildlife! Good bit of deer around towards dusk.
-Several <270' Ace-able hole opportunities. Keep it low and straight!
-Improves your level throwing accuracy

CONS:
-Disc Golf Course for residents only. Find someone that knows somebody that knows somebody that lives there. Call ’em up!
-Only 9 holes
-Half of the hole’s fairways are actually the walking path. Watch out for joggers/walkers coming around the corner ahead of you!
-Course slightly difficult to navigate after Hole #1. Pay attention to course map on Hole #1.
-No teesigns. Pavers hard to see/find in the ground for first timers.
-Hole #9 ends a good ways from Hole #1. Requires a good little walk back to where you started from (where you parked)
-Parallel parking on side of road.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
-Don’t plan a weekend road trip to this course. Definitely play it if you’re local and/or know someone that lives in Legacy Park. Enjoy wildlife, nice landscaping, trickling stream and watch out hucking towards pedestrians!

-jt


Urban Atlanta’s Perkerson Park: Course Review

This past weekend I got a chance to play a course down in the city called Perkerson Park with a few friends. I really enjoyed the course layout itself, but as we finished, we each had mixed reviews. I’ll give my review.

I first came across this course a few months ago in a listing on DGCourseReview.com. I was doing a local search trying to figure out what all courses were located within an hour radius of where I live. Perkerson Park came up as one of them and also had one of the highest ratings of any within my radius. So I’m thinking Why haven’t I heard of this place before?. With a rating of a near 4 out of 5 on DGCourseReview, I thought Man, I’ve got check this place out! So, research I did…

Let me preface this by saying I’m not that familiar with all the different suburbs of Atlanta. After reading mixed reviews online, I was curious about where in Atlanta this course was actually located and it’s surroundings. The reviews online talked about how nice the park and the course layout was, but there were several concerns with the people that frequent the park. I even read where someone said that they carry a taser with them to the park…Now I’m thinking Oh gees, do we need to bring something? or yet even play?. We give it a shot. How bad can it be in broad daylight?

We get there a lil earlier than the others and we sit in the first parking lot for about 10 min. There’s a good bit of people around, maybe a reunion or birthday party. From the car, I’m not seeing where the first basket could be. I check the website on my phone and realized I need to be in a different gravel lot. We pull out and around to the next entrance which had the gravel lot. A lot less cars down there. In that first lot, I wouldn’t say I felt unsafe, but indifferent maybe.

So anyway, we get out and you have to walk down the creek about 300′ to the practice basket and trail for Tee #1. They had a really nice large, flat area with a practice basket and large stones marking 10′, 20′, 30′ and 40′ distances to putt from. After a bit of flippin’, we head up the short trail to teepad #1. Hole #1 is pretty sweet to start off the round. Picture this. You’re teeing off from halfway up the hill in a cutout in the trees. You’re roughly 30′ up teeing off over the creek, through the clearing and up the hill on the other side to a basket nearly 360′ away. Nice!

This large creek (trickling stream) bed runs through the park and comes into play for the first four holes and 11 and 18. I love how open and large this park is. There are trees in the open parts, but it’s not dense and the mature trees are spread nicely down/across the fairways for obstacles. After the first 6, you start into the woods where the fairways get tighter as your technical games comes out.

The course consists of mostly longer holes with the shortest only being around 240′ and going to the signature Par 5 Hole #18 at a hella-long 850′! I had a great time and never once felt unsafe once we actually got onto the course past the parking lot areas. I would definitely go back and play again with a group. Either way, I wouldn’t play the course alone. Play in a group.

You can tell how hard the crew works to keep this course up as best as possible. The landscaping, lines, and pin placement is excellent. I know they constantly work every Saturday mornings on the course using all 100% volunteer labor. There’s still lots to be done and they do only have carpet tee pads and temporary signs for now. I’m listing it as a con for now, but I know this park will be Awesome when it’s finally done. =)

PROS:
-Great layout and terrain. Loved the elevation changes and long open fairways.
-Enjoyed the Fall weather/leaves changing color.
-DG Course not crowded at all.
-Excellent balance of open and wooded, tighter fairways. Really tests your skills requiring a variety of shot types.
-Nice park in general! I hope they can keep this park up and going!

CONS:
-Surrounding neighborhood/area
-One of the trashiest courses I’ve played as far as garbage, shopping carts, baby strollers, baby cribs, random clothes lying in the woods/creek beds along the course. The park itself is really nice, don’t get me wrong. Just needs cleaned up in the woods.
-Temp signage; one was missing. I wish they had the Par listed on them. I had to constantly check my internet to see what DGCourseReview.com had each hole listed as.
-Carpet teepads; I know they’re working on getting concrete teepads.
-Hole #14…where is the basket? We couldn’t find it. Threw down fairway through mando, then ended up throwing 90 degree to the right across the creek to basket? Later realized this was Hole #17 basket. Do they share a basket?
-There is a good bit of walking between some baskets to the next teepad. We spent some time trying to find where the next holes were. Better directional arrows would help.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I say, GO PLAY IT! (midday, with some friends)

-jt


Wanna go to Indigo?

I haven’t posted in a while due to the fact that other than league night on Wednesdays at George Ward, I haven’t played that many different courses lately.  This post is long overdue for the course and this could be a blessing in disguise that I’ve waited such a long time to recollect my experiences in a nutshell.  On my first two trips to this park I was accompanied by Tony Sanders – props to him for giving me valuable insight into a straighter drive with added distance.

The course = brutally awesome

The park = sketch

Highlights

  • Coming together quickly for such a new course due to the efforts of volunteers associated with DGB – great job guys!
  • Great layout with an intimidating first hole
  • Very scenic hike – can even catch a glimpse of a rusted out car hull from the 50’s
  • Tee pads are poured concrete
  • For such a heavily wooded area, poison ivy is contained to the perimeter
  • Gate at front entrance – doesn’t go anywhere but looks cool
  • Amateur and pro pads – diggin’ this even though not playing pro pads

Sketch/This sucks/Why is this happening to me

  • Got into chiggers – left and right legs from knee down covered
  • Weird hiker on course
  • Called a friend in the medical industry about the empty packets I found on the course  and apparently it is similar to methadone – sketch
  • Stung on right jaw bone by yellow jacket on hole #18
  • No trash cans on course or parking lot area
  • Slow drive bys in parking lot
  • Found a shoe and backpack off gully on right side of #1 – don’t need a ‘Stand By Me’ moment
  • Pulled tick off stomach and got a slight infection on the area it attached
  • People sitting and/or sleeping in their cars at park entrance – because I normally like to pull my vehicle into a city park’s parking lot to catch a little shut-eye
  • Traffic coming in and out of Lake Heather’s gated access for boats

Keep in mind that for beginners looking to have an enriching first time to play disc golf, this is not the place for such an experience.   Out of the local courses, George Ward is still the best place to take people new to the sport due to:  chill folks playing, easy walk, not difficult keeping up with your disc and most importantly, Tom is there.  For those that haven’t met Tom, you are definitely missing out on affordable merchandise (discs, accessories, etc.) and solid advice.

Four of the Dogleg crew (including myself) returned from Denver this past Monday.  Stay posted for some stories on this adventure.

Joe


Sudden Death Defeat

What an eventful weekend it was. Our short trip to Alabama did allow for a few rounds of disc golf at my hometown’s North Jasper Disc Golf Park.

This course is a fairly easy and short course but the unforgiving wind conditions always take a toll on your scores. With few trees on this fairly flat and wide open course, knowing how to play into the wind becomes a vital factor.

Saturday morning, Stephen, Jeremiah and I took on the rolling flatness of this fore mentioned park. The previous week’s rains left for some marshy areas and muddy tee pads. Great. The wind came into play on the back 9 and really got me on #18 when it took my sailing disc and carried it damn near the parking lot. Awesome…I now have as long a drive to the basket from here than I did from the tee pad. Bogeying that hole knocked me to +1.

Saturday, a few hours later, Dad and Eliz join me for yet another round. It’d been awhile since I’d played that course with my Dad–granted too that he’d only started playing several months back and a handful of times at that. So I was just about to find out how much he’d improved. To much of my dismay, he took an early lead as I struggled hitting long putts. He had me on those shorter holes for sure as trees instantly became magnets to my throws. So Dad kept a 1-2 stroke lead up until about 15 when I tied it up. Got another back on 16. Missed a gimme putt on 17 to drop back and even it back up…Tie on 18.

Can’t stop now, it’s sudden death son.

Tie #1. Hole #2, Dad lands less than 10 ft from the hole. I fly about 20 ft past the basket leaving me up to my trusty Leopard and my putting skills. Hit that long bird shot to tie #2. Hole #3, I’m up and sail one 30+ ft past the hole and, of course Dad, lands a few feet from within the basket. Gees. This is it, my only hope. 30 ft ringer—which I practice regularly in my yard—to send it into Hole 4 Sudden Death or either a few month’s bragging rights for Dad. No pressure, right? I toss one high and straight on…banks slight right clanking the chains and sails on past…done, that’s it. Game over. Dad goes Crazy; calls my bro on speakerphone to tell him the news and I have yet to hear the end of it. Haha great game Ham! Well played, well played. My Dad beats me at my own game. He loves it.

-jt

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