Today was a highly disappointing day. I still do not understand why Texas gets such great reviews and talk-up. I've played near half the courses here now, and am just not that impressed on an overall scale. Sure there are a few killer courses I'd die to have back home, but so many are *poorly marked, *bad tees, *insane poison ivy to the point I can't even play it, *blind shots w/low ceilings, shots over huge rough and tree line, *lost disc potential in mucky water full of poisonous snakes, *etc. There may be 170+ courses here, but it's a huge state, and so far only about 10 out of 65 I've played are above just 'good'.
Also I played probably the only park that has 2 courses in one park, where I'd recommend playing one but not even playing the other even though you're already there!
Tyler, TX- Lindsey RED:The good course in this park. Well marked with solid rock signs (don't point to next tee, and have to walk up from long to read length but still easy to navigate and play). Has a practice basket and a msg. board, dual cement tees, mostly mach-5's but some Disccatchers. Well mowed, rolling hills with stands of large trees with branches down to the ground to form tight fairways, a few holes go along the edge of woods with a dry creek bed. Park road comes into play, on one hole almost enticing a RHBH hyzer skip off it and another with the basket on an island. Easy from the shorts, significantly tougher and longer from the longs, I did shorts because I had 72 holes planned for the day. Reminds me of the more open side of Charlie Vettiner park in Louisville, KY. Ends with some tight woods holes, one steep uphill gently to the right through pines, with the basket through a less than 10' wide tunnel of cedar-bushes at the end. Ivy definitely in play too much on the last couple holes, but no big deal on the rest. Last hole is 310', over the crest of a hill blindly, road right behind, no trees.
Tyler, TX- Lindsey BLUE:My frustration over this course comes mainly from personal issues with ivy and from navigation issues due to no maps. If you happen to be there when they have the maps stocked, or have a guide, by all means play. If not and allergic, don't bother. I don't know where to begin, so I'll start with the pros. Tough and LONG design allowing big arms to bomb away (900 ft hole), but enough short tight woods holes to equalize the field. Well maintained, dual cement tees, signs. A couple cool signature holes. There are two MAJOR problems here (for me). Obviously, poison ivy- growing like a carpet on some woods holes, at one point i could not even walk up to the basket to putt out because I'd have to touch it to get within the 10m circle. Those woods holes are ridiculously tight too, one being 5' wide and turning 90 degrees right, with a layer of ivy, therefore unavoidable. The course seems neglected and unused, and those holes need some serious work. Navigation- no maps were in the box, no course map board, none available online. From longs, to read the length (and to find out which hole you are on, which is crucial because of the bad layout), you have to walk to the short tee and then usually walk way up to find the basket too as the fairway isn't shown on the sign. On hole #2, which is 900+ ft, I threw to the wrong basket, the one that I could see way down there. Only to find out after my upshot that the right basket was way over to the right, impossible to see from the tee pad or from a good drive. Then, the tee pad right by #2's basket is actually #14 so I drove it and found out it wasn't the right hole. #3 is actually about 750' away and across the park road, hard to spot. #5 backtracks from #4. I gave up looking for #6 and stumbled on #7's basket so I backtracked it but could NOT even find #6's basket, so I gave up and went to #8 which like #7 has too much ivy to play. After #8, I found #6, which is one of the worst holes I've ever seen, super tight alley lined with ivy, then you basically hit a wall of cedars and go right then left into the woods. So akward of a fairway, I thought the basket was missing until I spotted it through a cedar. #16 could have been a great hole, but the tee is 10' off to the side of a good spot. Add to this about 1/3 of the tees were buried in sand, sometimes 8 inches deep. Not fun at all.
Tyler, TX- The ROC: What a cool name first of all, and seeing a big ROC sign from the highway is just killer. Search the pics on here for "The ROC" to see. On a church's recreational facility, playing around soccer fields, baseball diamonds, a small lake and picnic areas. Dirt tees but in good shape, dual. Marked well enough to navigate, map on wall at bathroom, and in box. Thanks to the guy on the mower for getting some. Has some truly large hill shots for Texas, like #1 shooting uphill to the right then through a gap in the woods, at an angle and distance that's near impossible to hit, supposed to lay it up. #2 probably drops over 50', open and the basket is on a small bump, with a ditch and then road behind it. Some of the vegetation is more like what you might find in Washington or Oregon. Beautiful, calm surroundings. Very easy even from longs, pros should hit double digits under. A few shots over and around a lake at the end. #18 is a unique hole, very scenic.
Tyler, TX- UT Tyler:Jekyll and Hyde type course, with the front being mixed tight and open, in the grassy area at the edge of campus and the road. A big hill to shoot over on #1, 2 and onto the side of on #6. Very well maintained, clean and tougher than it looks. Dirt tees, dual- same system as ROC. No map/lengths listed. Front 9 is fun and easy to figure out and play, great views (college tennis courts). The back 9 is a whole different world, on terrain similar to what we have in the woods behind our house. Extremely tight tunnel holes, on some hills and with a creek. Very very hard to navigate the back 9, many times have to pick a trail and walk it for awhile, then go back and try the next one to find the next hole, always having to walk far up to find the basket. #10 is straight across the U entrance from #9. But then #11 is down a trail through the woods, then cross the parking lot to the far right corner, enter the woods through a tiny gap. Very hard to figure that out without signs!!!!!!! Then, #11 isn't even playable, with ivy surrounding the green is such a way if you do not make the putt you till be in it, but the fairway up to then is clear of it. Most of the rest is like that (with less to no ivy), so tight and somewhat overgrown right now that it's hard to get a shot off. Needs some work. #16 has a large tree fallen onto the tee. For the back 9, picture #10 at Cass Benton- but twice as long, tighter, add in ground cover plants and ivy, and dirt tees and no signs- that's what it's like.