I got two new pairs of shoes, they should be the last I will need on this trip leaving me a few for when I get back too. There was a Cabela's near Austin so I shopped around for awhile, and ended up with two that I've already worn through before, a pair of Columbia Tigertooth (really long lasting and tight grip, great support and my old pair still works great but have been used for 150+ rounds) and a pair of NB- 521 (bought some for pro worlds last year, wore em through winter at work they are great for smooth cement tees and soft on your feet.
I didn't play the courses I planned, deciding to skip going into Austin due to being tired, extremely windy, and taking long to buy shoes. I had tried to play Bartholemew (one of 2 courses in Austin I haven't yet played) last time, but it was under construction and I remember seeing lots of ivy so I didn't bother today. Glad I didn't because there was PLENTY of ivy at 3 of the other courses, I must have put a dozen discs aside during my rounds today, I am so sick of it on courses in ways where you can't even throw a good shot and not get it all over, those courses are NOT FUN no matter how well designed they are, I don't have a good time tiptoeing around it and reaching with a stick for my disc.
The course with absolutely no ivy to be found also happens to be one of the best courses in Texas, not as much to my personal tastes, but undeniably top 5-10 courses in the state.
Kyle, TX- Steeplechase:The reviews warned of ivy, but only on #4 did I realize why. It's absurd- there are warning signs about it. Do not play here if at all allergic, it will get on you and your discs on at least a dozen holes, it's on every tree and around baskets. Disgusting, and makes it not fun to play here. Well marked, good dual cement pads with a looser than usual conrete mix, clean and well mowed. A small creek lays stagnant along many holes, sometimes dry sometimes just deep enough to lose a disc in it. Tight wooded shots with a few LONG open holes, no rough, but the trees can get very tightly packed and there's some tough shots. Even tougher in relentless winds strong enough to bring my drives backwards towards the tee at the end of their flight! The directions were horrible, only stating the park address. A few long walks between holes (Texas style disc golf), but there are signs telling you where to go.
Leander, TX- Williams County DGC:This course gets LONG and tight, often at the same time. Featuring a plethora of par 4+'s, and a few twisty open tunnels lined with woods that take 2 great drives an upshot and a putt to complete. If not for the low ceilings, it'd be my kind of course but I can't stand throwing low. Trees just don't get tall around here. The ground is a mix of grass, dirt and small white rocks. Tees marked with big white boulders with a # on them, paths between holes lined with rocks. It's cleared out of thick woods of Oak, Cedar, bushes, thorny vines and cacti, but it's NOT a rough course, even if you go off the widely-cleared fairways, you can get to your disc and get back out, without even seeing ivy. The fairways seem meticulously cleared and clean. You can't get lost with all the paths, and a giant map. But, no lengths are listed anywhere. Not many chances for a 2. Flat, no water hazards. Long walks plus long holes means long round. One problem: I found it to be very biased, to a LHBH or RHS throwing player, with about half the holes majorly favoring that shot, a few straight and only a few favoring RHBH shots. It felt like it was designed by a lefty to make up for all the righty biased courses.
1$/round, 40$ a year. Self-pay box at first hole across the street from the parking lot- bring you 1$ with you, signs warn of prosecution. Also, course closed when raining according to signs.
Temple, TX- Lion's:Long, hilly and a mix of open and woods on an ever-changing landscape. Uses a massive area around the middle of a park. One shot over a small pond to a basket with water on the right and behind it as well. #4 had a large fallen branch completely blocking the line from the tee, recently fallen though. Full of unique, incomparable holes, which is a good and a bad thing here. Several holes had me scratching my head, wishing I had the keys to the basket to move it somewhere logical. Well marked, with way too many long walks between holes to wear you down including a near 1,000' uphill walk, but there are signs and a map. Hole #2 is 800+ and downhill, nothing in the way but a strong headwind. Two flat back-to-back 600' holes along a dry creek with a few trees. Ivy is a major problem on the last few holes, and off the fairway on several others. It's pure distance and wind management, with a few akward tight lines thrown in. Hole #11 is one of the oddest holes ever though. You throw uphill into the woods over a short tree line through a gap, curving right to land on top of a bell shaped hill. If you don't clear the line and the gap, you are downhill in the woods and ivy. The shot is blind. If you land on top and roll left, RHBH turnovers might, you will roll downhill towards a road. Then from the hilltop throw a 200' straight upshot between a couple trees, woods on right road on left. Example of overzealous design (more typical Texas).
Temple, TX- S. Temple Community:Many fairly boring long open holes with trees blocking good lines at the pin. Flat, with a creek in play, lined with ivy. A few holes over 600', and a few guaranteed deuces. Strong winds today made it tough to play, nothing blocks it. Plenty of long walks between holes here too, but very well marked and with a course map. I have a concern with hole #14 to any local who cares to hear it..it shoots through a tunnel 630' with a creek the length of it on the left, scattered trees/bushes on the right and a wide middle. I threw my drive about 400' straight, left with a circular green-like area 200' in front of me, I walked up and searched around the trees and couldn't find a basket, so i thought it had been stolen or something. I picked up my drive and stalked off to #15, to find #14's basket across the creek, about 100' longer than it said, impossible to see because of tall weeds along the creek. I thought that was kind of silly, someone should cut some down so you can tell where it is, and since you are throwing blindly over the weeds, AND over a WALKING PATH used by the people who live on the side of the course, someone is bound to get beaned in the head really bad there.
Tomorrow: Waco- Woodson
Nagodoches- Both courses
Tyler- something of the 4
...Shreveport then Dallas, or just straight to Dallas...