My boyfriend, Doug, recently got me into disc golf and we’ve been checking out different courses in the area. Today we went to the Elysian Park course, Chavez Ridge. I have to say that it was really great! We were torn between going hiking in the mountains or doing disc golf, but this course combined the best of both. It begins near the edge of the baseball diamond and follows a series of switchbacks first on the west and then on the east side of the ridge. (I noticed a couple of guys huffing and puffing up the hill commenting on the incline.) Technically it is a much more interesting course than many of the ones we’ve tried — you have to throw just so or else your disc winds up stuck in brush all the way down the hill (hence the huffing and puffing…). We both averaged around 4-5 par for each hole.
The really great thing about this course, though, are the vistas of LA. By the 8th hole you are up on top of the mountain looking out over the towering skyscrapers of downtown. The east side of the ridge gives you great views of the Elysian Resevoir. When we were there — late morning — it was shady and there was a cooling breeze once you got up top. Perhaps the best thing, though, is that the course really is fairly self-contained. We only saw a few hikers and one somewhat drug-dealer-looking dude (hey, it is LA after all!). The rest of the people we met were fellow disc golfers. The course wasn’t crowded at all and there were no waits to tee off.
I’m not the most technically-inclined player, so I can’t really say anything about the types of discs or throws that work well. But, because of the obstacles in our way and the hills, it was by far the most interesting course for me to play. I’m not really good at the long distance throws but love to putt and do medium-range throws. This was a great chance to practice these throws because anything long distance winds up at the bottom of the hill (which, of course, means that you have to not only hike uphill but also throw uphill.)
The only thing (aside from the strange dude) to watch out for in the course is on the east side of the ridge. Holes 17 & 18 seem to go through a homeless settlement (if I were homeless, I’d live there too it’s so beautiful) and there was quite a bit of trash — some a little less than savory — near them. (We skipped these holes & I think the guys playing before us did too.) But this in no way hampered our experience.