Best courses near major cities?

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Best courses near major cities?

Postby some call me...tim? » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:23 pm

I was thinking about the "Best course in the USA thread", where I'd suggested latitude think about what city he'd want to visit, and scope out the courses from there. That got me to thinking this could be a cool topic.

So imagine you're a theoretical businessman who travels from city to city and wanted to play DG. What would be the best course in a certain city, and what would be the best one within say, a 1 1/2 hour drive, give or take (I think probably a lot of the best courses are a little outside of the cities, where there's more land available and whatnot.) Try to keep it to 2 courses...I know there's a lot of cities that have a bunch of great courses, but we're thinking of the theoretical businessman who only has a limited time to play. He might be able to drive out to one course a little ways a way, or he might only be able to play one course nearby. I'l list what I know of, even though I haven't gotten to play all of them.

Seattle, WA:
course 1: SeaTac - by far the most challenging course in the area, and best laid out in terms of flow.
course 2: Fort Steilacoom in Tacoma - extremely confusing course, but baskets galore and I believe it has 9 possible layouts. (just make sure you find a local to show you around)

Portland, OR:
course 1: Pier Park - as has been stated in other threads, one of the most aesthetic courses you'll ever see, accessible to beginners, and challenging for all.
course 2: Milo McIver in Estacada - haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, but it's home to the Beaver State Fling (currently the only NT in the PNW), it has 27 baskets with multiple layouts, supposedly the best course in OR.

San Francisco, CA:
course 1: Golden Gate Park - haven't gotten a chance to play it, but from the pictures I've seen of the work in progress and it looks like it should be sweet when it's done
course 2: Delaveaga in Santa Cruz - again, haven't gotten a chance to play it, but it's legendary on the West Coast, if not through the whole DG community. 27 holes with length and elevation

some additional info:
presidio hills wrote:SF is in a growing stage in terms of dg. if you visit the other thread in this forum i made there's some links with pictures and info about the golden gate park course going in. it will be playable in about a month (all but 4 pads are poured, just gotta take care of the sines and tree protection). there is another course in the planning, on the south side of town in mcclarren park. it's supposed to be bigger with more elevation... that will happen once there is money, which i imagine will take a year or so.

stafford lake is 35 mins away and one of the best courses i've ever played (HUGE, lots of elevation, windy, well designed, beautiful).
napa is about an hour i think... it's a great course too, very beautiful.
vacaville is an hour away and also a cool course, but not as beautiful as the above 2... still killer though.
santa cruz's de la veaga is an hour and a half away and legendary. 27 sweet holes.

other than that there's berkeley which is windy and ugly but still has some decent shots... many over water. and hellyer in san jose is about 45 mins away and decent.

and a few nine holes that won't be worth visiting anymore once golden gate park is up.

i think norcal has a very strong DG community... the one in san francisco is still in its infancy, though, but should grow very fast.


Los Angeles, CA:
course 1: La Mirada - haven't played this one either, but its supposed to be the only 'championship" level course in Southern California. Apparently quite beautiful too.
course 2: Lake Casitas in Ojai (just inland of Ventura) - Very challenging course with a good variation of holes, elevation coming into play on almost all of them. Gorgeous scenery of the foothills situated around a reservoir

San Diego, CA:
course 1: Morley Field - pretty much the only show in town for DG. pay to play, and crowded, but well designed and well maintained.
course 2: Emerald Isle in Oceanside - haven't played it, but it's a Fly 18 course (DG on a ball golf course), and supposed to be lots of fun. I think lots of the serious players in SD are willing to drive the extra distance to play Emerald Isle on a regular basis, both b/c it's a good course and to avoid the crowds of Morley.

Some of New England:
deaddisc wrote:Worcester MA- Maple Hill. Great course, challenging in all aspects. Has some long holes, some shorter technical holes and everything in between. Water, regular OB, elevation changes. All in all a great course and one that is not to be missed when travelling up to our great area.

Boston MA- Borderlands. Really one of the few courses near Boston, but it is still a great course. Set on a historic mansion/estate, so there are some very old pieces of history littering the course. Very tough, mostly wooded but long.

Hartford CT- Wickham. Tough to describe what makes this course so great, but I think mostly it is because it is so challenging yet fair. Many elevation changes, no water but there is some OB. The winds can be wicked here so combined with the elevation it really makes you have to know all of your discs.


Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN:
garublador wrote:For the Twin Cities it might be Kaposia and Oakwood, but I haven't played all of the courses there.


Austin, TX:
Barbikes wrote:We flew down to Austin in Jan 05 and played Bartholomew. When we were there construction was going on so the course was kind of screwed up but it was an O.K. course. Not real challenging and not real scenic. There is a creek running through it but this course (especially the creek) had more litter than ANY course I've ever played.
We then did some road trippin' and played Live Oaks (north of San Antone), West Guth in Corpus Christi, and Riverside in Victoria. I liked Live Oaks best because of water hazards and elevation change (and what is that course? about 32 holes?) but my son liked West Guth best. We both liked Victoria second best. So I guess Bartholomew came in last! But I'd like to play 'em all again!
I enjoyed my Texas vacation a lot. One mistake I made was not taking enough "wind" discs. Texas seems to be one WINDY state in January at least!


Baltimore, MD:
roadkill wrote: 1. Rockburn Branch- Not as well known as Seneca or Patapsco but most Marylanders will tell you it is the best course in the State. I agree. Incredible hole variety. Nice mix of open and wooded. Excellent use of elevation changes and risk/reward factors. To score well here you need to be disciplined and use good strategy as well as good shot execution.

2. Druid Hill- Just a real fun course to play. Not as challenging as other courses in our region but has a manicured ball golf course feel. Many large mature trees enhance the beauty of the rolling hills landscape. Two sets of tees, three sets of pin placements. Literally right next to the Baltimore Zoo and a short drive from the National Aquarium, Inner Harbor attractions and Sports stadiums.

3. Patapsco- Site of the Patapsco Picnic A-tier event. Very challenging mix of wooded and semi-open holes. Two sets of tees, three sets of pins. Very hard in the C pins. Pretty physically demanding with all the walking up and down steep slopes. Would be a better course if the park did more in the way of grooming (read: mow the grass)


Detroit, MI:

Frontman311 wrote:Stony Creek (Utica)

Addison Oaks (Leonard)

Kensington & the Toboggan course there (Milford, AM Nationals sight. Toboggan course is open for a limited time each summer thus far.)


Milwaukee, WI:

Frontman311 wrote:Dretzka is the main one, there is another great one but don't remember it's name, only ever played Dretzka.
Last edited by some call me...tim? on Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Timko » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:34 pm

I'd like to know more about San Fransisco. There are a few jobs I'm looking at in the bay area, and would like to know what disc golf is like there.
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Postby presidio hills » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:56 am

SF is in a growing stage in terms of dg. if you visit the other thread in this forum i made there's some links with pictures and info about the golden gate park course going in. it will be playable in about a month (all but 4 pads are poured, just gotta take care of the sines and tree protection). there is another course in the planning, on the south side of town in mcclarren park. it's supposed to be bigger with more elevation... that will happen once there is money, which i imagine will take a year or so.

stafford lake is 35 mins away and one of the best courses i've ever played (HUGE, lots of elevation, windy, well designed, beautiful).
napa is about an hour i think... it's a great course too, very beautiful.
vacaville is an hour away and also a cool course, but not as beautiful as the above 2... still killer though.
santa cruz's de la veaga is an hour and a half away and legendary. 27 sweet holes.

other than that there's berkeley which is windy and ugly but still has some decent shots... many over water. and hellyer in san jose is about 45 mins away and decent.

and a few nine holes that won't be worth visiting anymore once golden gate park is up.

i think norcal has a very strong DG community... the one in san francisco is still in its infancy, though, but should grow very fast.
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Postby deaddisc » Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:27 am

Worcester MA- Maple Hill. Great course, challenging in all aspects. Has some long holes, some shorter technical holes and everything in between. Water, regular OB, elevation changes. All in all a great course and one that is not to be missed when travelling up to our great area.

Boston MA- Borderlands. Really one of the few courses near Boston, but it is still a great course. Set on a historic mansion/estate, so there are some very old pieces of history littering the course. Very tough, mostly wooded but long.

Hartford CT- Wickham. Tough to describe what makes this course so great, but I think mostly it is because it is so challenging yet fair. Many elevation changes, no water but there is some OB. The winds can be wicked here so combined with the elevation it really makes you have to know all of your discs.
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Postby domromer » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:43 am

How bout Austin, I'm going there in Feb and want to hit up some courses. Where should I go all you Texans?
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Postby Timko » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:41 am

presidio hills wrote: and hellyer in san jose is about 45 mins away and decent.


I would expect that this would become my "home" course, as most of the companies I'm looking at are in san jose/sunnydale/paolo alto (ms in cs). Thanks for the info!
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Postby presidio hills » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:58 am

hellyer's a good course to practice on... some very easy shots from the short pads and some fairly tough shots from the longs. you can play it over and over too, without wearing yourself out too much. i think it's looking good for them to install "la raza" which is another course about a mile away (another 9 hole) that currently only gets set up twice a year for a tourney... it's supposed to be awsome and VERY challenging. this last tourney the best pro round was a 3 over (playing the 9 twice).
plus you'll be that much closer to de la veaga, probably 45 minutes from san jose.
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Postby garublador » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:32 am

For the Twin Cities it might be Kaposia and Oakwood, but I haven't played all of the courses there.
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Postby Barbikes » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:09 pm

Dom - We flew down to Austin in Jan 05 and played Bartholomew. When we were there construction was going on so the course was kind of screwed up but it was an O.K. course. Not real challenging and not real scenic. There is a creek running through it but this course (especially the creek) had more litter than ANY course I've ever played.
We then did some road trippin' and played Live Oaks (north of San Antone), West Guth in Corpus Christi, and Riverside in Victoria. I liked Live Oaks best because of water hazards and elevation change (and what is that course? about 32 holes?) but my son liked West Guth best. We both liked Victoria second best. So I guess Bartholomew came in last! But I'd like to play 'em all again!
I enjoyed my Texas vacation a lot. One mistake I made was not taking enough "wind" discs. Texas seems to be one WINDY state in January at least!
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Postby domromer » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:24 pm

Barbikes wrote:Dom - We flew down to Austin in Jan 05 and played Bartholomew. When we were there construction was going on so the course was kind of screwed up but it was an O.K. course. Not real challenging and not real scenic. There is a creek running through it but this course (especially the creek) had more litter than ANY course I've ever played.
We then did some road trippin' and played Live Oaks (north of San Antone), West Guth in Corpus Christi, and Riverside in Victoria. I liked Live Oaks best because of water hazards and elevation change (and what is that course? about 32 holes?) but my son liked West Guth best. We both liked Victoria second best. So I guess Bartholomew came in last! But I'd like to play 'em all again!
I enjoyed my Texas vacation a lot. One mistake I made was not taking enough "wind" discs. Texas seems to be one WINDY state in January at least!


Thats for the info, I'll be sure to bring my Z crush..That sucks the course was polluted, I hate that.
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Postby the invisible tree » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:49 pm

I am a theoretical business man and theoretical business is good.
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Postby roadkill » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:01 am

Baltimore area has a few courses I like:

1. Rockburn Branch- Not as well known as Seneca or Patapsco but most Marylanders will tell you it is the best course in the State. I agree. Incredible hole variety. Nice mix of open and wooded. Excellent use of elevation changes and risk/reward factors. To score well here you need to be disciplined and use good strategy as well as good shot execution.

2. Druid Hill- Just a real fun course to play. Not as challenging as other courses in our region but has a manicured ball golf course feel. Many large mature trees enhance the beauty of the rolling hills landscape. Two sets of tees, three sets of pin placements. Literally right next to the Baltimore Zoo and a short drive from the National Aquarium, Inner Harbor attractions and Sports stadiums.

3. Patapsco- Site of the Patapsco Picnic A-tier event. Very challenging mix of wooded and semi-open holes. Two sets of tees, three sets of pins. Very hard in the C pins. Pretty physically demanding with all the walking up and down steep slopes. Would be a better course if the park did more in the way of grooming (read: mow the grass)
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Postby MR. WICK » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:16 am

Hartford CT- Wickham. Tough to describe what makes this course so great, but I think mostly it is because it is so challenging yet fair. Many elevation changes, no water but there is some OB. The winds can be wicked here so combined with the elevation it really makes you have to know all of your discs.

word. I live 2 minutes from here but wouldn't call Hartford a major city. The course is so great because of it's mixture of open, long holes and tighter wooded fairways. Plus there are awesome views of the city and the wind blows a different way just about every day it seems.
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Postby Frontman311 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:08 pm

This is an outstanding thread. It would be great if the thread starter could copy and paste posts into his first post too, if not maybe I will sometime down the line. Potentially better than PDGA-ing it 'cause you're never sure what really is the best.

Detroit, MI

Stony Creek (Utica)

Addison Oaks (Leonard)

Kensington & the Toboggan course there (Milford, AM Nationals sight. Toboggan course is open for a limited time each summer thus far.)

Milwaukee, WI

Dretzka is the main one, there is another great one but don't remember it's name, only ever played Dretzka.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:37 pm

Updated the original post with everyone's feedback. Thanks for the contributions guys...c'mon other people, there are plenty more other cities in this country! :D
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