The Portland area has many options for courses, whether you are a beginner, or a pro. I will talk about the different courses including short courses and long courses. I'll also discuss how busy courses are on which days and which courses are best to play in different types of weather. Disc golf courses are not limited in Oregon, and there is plenty of them to choose from.
We will start with the most popular course within city limits. Pier park Disc Golf Course. The course was established in 2003. If you want a difficult course to play, this one will challenge your skills. Pier Park DGC has it all. Most popular for tight technical fairway shots between huge Douglas Fir trees. This is the best place to beat a disc in. There are many elevation changes on the course including uphill, and downhill. There are short holes and long holes ranging between under 300ft to over 400ft. Recently, the baskets were changed to DGA mach 5 baskets and have a bright neon color which helps for visibility. There is not much for blackberry bushes or any plants that can harm you. Pier park is a great place to play and to make sure you leave with all of the discs you brought. The holes are all rated at par 3. Pier Park is a great place to play when it is raining. The huge Douglas Firs provide a cover on most of the holes. When it is windy out, it can be a little dangerous due to tree limbs falling. I urge you to exercise caution when playing on windy days. Pier Park is the closest course to the Portland metro area. With this being said, it can be very crowded on nice days. Weekdays are your best bet for a quicker round. This course is free to play. The disc golfers that play there are very friendly. Larger groups should be kind enough to let smaller groups play through.
Next we will talk about Blue Lake Park DGC. This course is a very difficult course. You will get a lot of exercise here. The holes are very, very, very long with six par 3s, nine par 4s and 3 par 5s. The holes range from 265ft. to way over 400ft. There is a lot of out of bounds, and bad throws can easily go out of bounds. The baskets are DGA Mach 2. You can easily lose discs here. The course is kept up really well and is in great condition. There is not much for trees in your way, but it can be technical on some holes. You do have to pay to park here, but once your in you can stay all day. The holes are very open and wind can be a factor here. If its a rainy day, you will get very wet. There is little to no tree cover. The course is not very crowded any day of the week. This is not a beginner course by any means. The course is easy to navigate with nice signs. Beware, there is blackberry bushes on most holes. If you want to test your skills, this is the place.
Dabney State Park is located in Corbett, Oregon along the Sandy River. It's about a 20 minute drive from downtown. It costs five dollars to enter the park, yearly passes are available. No dogs are allowed. Public restrooms are available during the summer months and are locked during the winter. Created in 1998, Dabney State Park DGC is moderate in difficulty though still somewhat challenging. Great for intermediate players. The terrain is varied, mostly hilly, with elevation changes, small creeks, a pond on hole 3, tight wooded areas and 2 open field holes. The course consists of concrete tee pads, Mach V baskets and is easy to navigate with signs at every tee. All holes are par 3's, most of which are under 300 ft with one hole over 400 ft. Course length is 4,953 ft. Some alternate basket locations. Dabney dgc can get crowded during the weekend on nice days and during the summer months the parking lot can fill up fast with people going there to swim and float the Sandy River. The course is fun to play year round. During the rainy season it can be soggy and being located close to the mouth of the Columbia Gorge sometimes windy as well. Use caution when searching for your disc, in spring stinging nettles are common. Dabney is a fun coarse in a beautiful setting. After a hot day on the coarse you can cool down with a swim in the Sandy River.
Rockwood and Vance are both short 9 hole courses located a couple blocks from one another. Let's start with Rockwood. It's located in Rockwood Central Park in Gresham OR. This course is a permanent course established in 1980, with concrete tee pads and Mach 2 baskets. All holes are par 3's, as they should be, with a total coarse length of 2,145 ft. It's a great course for beginners and for intermediate to advanced players to practice the short game. The terrain is very flat and minimal trees and obstacles. The main obstacles to try and avoid here are other people within the park and sometimes other disc golfers on crowded days. The park itself is quite small. On nice days many people are having picnics, sometimes right in the fairways, and walking the paths that meander through the dgc. There are many signs warning people that the course is there, though it can still be quite dangerous. This course can be wet on rainy days. Now lets talk about Vance DGC. The course is located next to an old rock quarry. This course has a variety of holes with lots of trees and a couple holes that are more open. This is a great beginner course. The holes are not too long, but can be challenging for intermediate and advanced players. It can be very crowded on nice sunny days. This course is a good place to play if it is raining. There is a lot of tree cover. The course has DGA Mach 3 baskets. You don't have to worry about losing a disc unless you throw it over the fence into the rock quarry. There can be bystanders at this course, so use caution when throwing.
I will talk about more courses at another time. These are just a few. So grab a friend, head out and go chuck some plastic and grow the sport. What are your opinions on these courses?