On the flip side of this truth are the courses which take the game to a new level. Their design is excellent, but more importantly, their aesthetic beauty redefines the sport. Courses like Winthrop Gold, Blue Ribbon Pine and Pier park are great courses, but its their beauty that makes them memorable. These courses are actually worth going to see even if you can’t play them. That’s saying a lot. Of course, I don’t know any disc golfer who could go “watch” a round of golf without wanting to play it.
I visited a few hundred courses in my mind long before I actually made the trip to the course and played it. I have watched disc golf TV and spent hours watching video on YouTube of courses and players all over the globe. I have a list of courses that I discovered on dgcoursereview.com which I must play before I die (this past year I have played almost all of them). I recommend using these resources if you want further images of the courses I have described during this saga.
I have two levels of courses which I recommend to people. A list of “BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK” courses, which are the must-see, must-play, great experiences courses; and the “HARDEST CHALLENGES EVER” courses, which are exactly that – courses designed to push you past your comfort level to find out if you love disc golf or if you are just a tourist. You will know if you are tourist if you start complaining about how much you dislike disc golf while playing it.
BANG FOR THE BUCK COURSES:
1. Pickard, Des Moines, IA
2. Blue Ribbon Pines, Minneapolis, MN
3. Frontier Park, Hays, KS
4. Waterworks, Kansas City, MO
5. High Bridge, Spokane, WA
6. JB Rolling Hills, Lamoni, IA
7. Victory Park, Albion, MI
8. Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO
9. Ed Hendrick Memorial, Appling, GA
10. Pier Park, Portland, OR
11. Mesker, Evansville, IN
These are in no particular order and the list will differ for everyone. These courses are fun to play for NON-tourists. Tough, beautiful and you will brag about them to everyone.
And here are the…
1. Renaissance, Charlotte, NC
2. Delaveaga, Santa Cruz, CA
3. Toboggan, Detriot, MI
4. Charlotte’s Web, Charlotte, NC
5. Blue Valley, Kansas City, MO
6. Diamond X, Billings, MT
7. Hyland, Minneapolis, MN
8. Winthrop Gold, Rock Hill, SC
9. Flyboy Aviation, Whitesburg, GA
10. McNaughton, Peoria, IL
Again, in no particular order.
I can review the rest of the courses on a blog on this site starting in a few days. I have so many other courses that I want to tell you about. Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois… And a set of reviews of the Kansas City courses to give you a sense of how fair I am to a course. Up till now, most readers have no idea if I am misleading them or not. For those who have played the courses I’ve reviewed, I hope I have done them justice they deserve. I would love to hear your stories about disc golf courses. I love to talk about disc golf.
At my recent 20 year reunion, I was able to reconnect with all of my former classmates who told me all about their wonderful lives since our days in school. Then they asked me about my life and the only thing I could think to say was, “I’m a pretty good disc golfer. I play a lot.” Their looks of confusion didn’t phase me, I was proud.
As I come to the end of the 90 days episodes, I have really tried to come up with something memorable to say about the experience. I don’t know how to put into words how much fun all of this was. Each course was special no matter which side of the disc golf scale it fell on. Even the worst round of disc golf is better than no disc golf at all(but the best round of disc golf is pure bliss). I have played thousands of rounds and I have loved more of them than I have hated. My hope for everyone who reads this is that you get to live out your disc golf fantasy too. If you think there was something special which made this possible, there wasn’t. We just saved the pennies and took off. Little trips and a few big ones. We slept in the car a lot. We shared tiny meals a lot. It took a lot of grit but it was worth it. Some day my body will quit and I won’t be able to play anymore. I will be forced to the sidelines to watch people play and when that happens, I will have these courses, and these rounds, burned into my memory to fuel me through those long days. I will sit and watch some hot shot Pro card a 3 or a 4 on Hole 27 at Delaveaga and I will smile and say quietly to myself, “I parked that for a drop in two!”