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Re: Watson Trails

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:38 am
by Stubborn Puppet
Basket 8, the one vandalized as described in the post "You've got to be kidding!" has been removed for repair.

In the meantime, I suggest you aim for basket 9 from the tee for 8. It's a great shot that is totally doable and adds about an extra 100' to the length of the hole.

The basket will hopefully be replaced by Sunday afternoon, Nov 13th, if all goes as planned.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but you can thank the moron who decided to break it again and I'm still offering a $300 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the culprit(s).

Re: Watson Trails

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:11 pm
by Stubborn Puppet
After a very tedious and grueling two days of running up against barriers with this darn basket, it's back in the ground, tough as nails and ready to play.

I wish we could have made it a moveable basket, but the unbelievable lengths that the person who installed it in the first place went to in order to make sure it couldn't be stolen made that impossible. We were lucky to have even been able to get it out of the park and even luckier to get it reinstalled, so it's even a bit of a miracle that it was fixable, let alone salvageable to put back in.

thanks to Tom G, Chris K and Joe J for your help yesterday.

Re: Watson Trail

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:29 pm
by Stubborn Puppet
The Sunset Hills parks dept. and I have been talking for months about making changes to this course; everything from new tees and multiple basket positions to overhauls and new hole layouts.
Unfortunately, 90% of those updates and changes have been rejected by the appointed "City and Parks Board". As you're aware (if you've kept up with this forum or have been to the park), we did get a new bulletin board at hole 1 and a local Eagle Scout troop attempted to make new tees at 2 and 7 (it didn't turn out well at all), but the rest of everything was totally axed for now.

That said, there were concerns by the City and Parks Board that discs thrown from teepad 6 could possibly hit the new Rec Center building, so that tee has been pointed a bit away from the building and basket 6 is now positioned about 100' to the west of where it used to be, back into the woods more. It's actually a pretty good position for it and they have cut a narrow second path to that basket so that you can now choose to throw a RHBH Hyzer OR a RHFH Anhyzer with a long fade to get to the pin.

The proposed hole 7 was going to be amazing and really improve the navigation on the course, but several small things led the board to reject that. So, the proposed changes to 7, 8 and 9 are history and the focus will now be on how to improve the runoff and navigation problems on the hill for fairway 9.

There might also be something happening in the way of new tees later this winter, the fubar tees the scouts made WILL get an overhaul and some other minor things are still on the table for discussion. Nothing specific on that yet, but I'll keep this updated as things happen.

In the meantime, the ground at Watson Trail is dry and there's that new layout for 6 to come play. See you there.

Re: Watson Trail

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:41 am
by Lazerface
Look, i mean no disrespect to anyone involved in the design of this course, but it is in my opinion, the worst course in the st. Louis area. Out of 9 holes i would say 3 are terrible (1,7,8) and the rest are mediocre at best. 1 just seems to be a poor attempt at a risk/reward hole, 7 is just bad with no natural line, and 8 is a complete poke and hope. That is just the 3 that are complete throw aways, there are others that are almost good but have a couple of lucky trees to beat. The rest are fun putter shots. The park is nice though. :lol:

Re: Watson Trail

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:59 am
by Stubborn Puppet
It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it. There has never been a course captain here before... it's 3 minutes from my house... here I am.
The important thing to realize when you play this course is that it is a course of compromise: it used to be a pretty awesome course when it was first built and over the course of the last 18 years, every time the park wanted to build something new or improve another part of the park, the Sunset Hills Board of City and Parks wanted to just remove it all together. A couple of fine people at the Sunset Hills Parks Dept. (not the aforementioned board) argued and fought to keep the course. These guys put their reputation on the line to try to keep this course alive and were forced to make one compromise after the other, move yet another hole to a smaller corner of the park and cut more length to make room... but all in the spirit of keeping her alive (even if on life support).

All of that being said, being the course captain there, I have met dozens of folks who seriously do tell me it is their favorite course in St. Louis. There is even a private league of 5 guys who play 4 rounds there every Sunday. Obviously more people don't like Watson Trail than those who love Watson Trail, but disc golf is like every thing else, "There's something for everyone."

Me, I actually do like this course. It's not my favorite course, but in many ways it offers some things that no other courses do.

Here are a friend and my thoughts about the 3 holes you hate:

Hole 1 is a good example of a skill shot as the line to the basket requires a very precise RHFH S-Shot with enough speed and height to round the bend and head up the hill, but must be kept low enough to stay out of the branches. The second shot then leaves you with a a few tree obstacles that you must dodge to park your disc for the putt. The hole IS a legitimate Par 4, so if you can actually get up there and drop your disc in the basket in 2 shots, enjoy that eagle, 'cuz you deserve it.

Hole 7 is tough as nails and will kick your ass if you don't follow your line just right. If you go too hyzer, you are going for a long glide downhill into the underbrush. If you go too anhyzer, you'r disc is going to get caught behind the wall of rocks and trees and you're going to have to figure out how to get back around those to recover for par. There is a true line on this hole, it's going to require a very accurate RHFH or LHFH shot to draw it, but it's certainly there. The fubar tee that the scouts built on 7 is terrible right now, but it will be fixed and longer soon enough.

Hole 8 is a great example of a legitimate blind shot. There is enough space up the tunnel off the tee to give you the flexibility to choose whether you want stay slow and low and cut through the trees on the left, just before the hard left turn to the basket or through a fast and high hyzer shot and try to bomb down on the basket. The risk of this hole is when you miss your line: you're going to bounce off a tree and start sailing back down the hill into the brush. If you nail your line, you're looking at the possibility of a birdie or even an ace - if you miss it, you're going to have to fight for par.

Another thing I can say for this course is that it is the only course in the whole area where you can find a scorecard/map in the box every time you come.

What I have found about this course is that it requires a cool head. There are a lot of trees and a lot of punishment for even the slightest mistakes.

So, with no disrespect to your opinion of this course, I hope you can see how other folks might find challenge and enjoyment for the same holes you find to be "complete throw aways". There is no course designer for this course to offend, but I promise you that things could be a lot worse... it could even be gone. Remember, "There's no wrong way to play disc golf ;)"

The main thing about this course is that it is still a great introduction to the sport for the newbie as well as a blessing for those who cannot, due to physical limitations, throw the long game but still want a challenge. Every day, I also see parents bringing their kids here to learn the game and see others who are just getting started in the game and wanted something smaller. There is no other course within 40 minutes of Watson Trail and the fact that it is here is reason enough for the club to make sure it is kept as nice as it can possibly be. We need it to leave a good first impression of disc golf so that those beginners keep playing and are encouraged to look for other courses. This sport is growing fast and it is the responsibility of dedicated players to shape the future of it.

So, there's my incredibly long rebuttal... :lol:

Re: Watson Trail

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:16 am
by gflap
Perhaps Lazerface has too long of an arm for the trails. I think this is a decent course. Thanks for keeping the course alive.

Re: Watson Trail

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:21 am
by Stubborn Puppet
gflap wrote:Perhaps Lazerface has too long of an arm for the trails. I think this is a decent course. Thanks for keeping the course alive.

I dunno, I've got monkey arms that hang half way to my knees... :P

Re: Watson Trail

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:53 pm
by Lazerface
gflap wrote:Perhaps Lazerface has too long of an arm for the trails. I think this is a decent course. Thanks for keeping the course alive.

Hey, I love a good putter course

Stubborn, I was simply commenting on the current set-up of the course, all other things aside. I appreciate your effort with the "city and parks board" and that sucks that you are getting rejected. When I was playing there I was "seeing" a bunch of great would-be holes. I'm sure you have a great re-design in mind, in fact 6 was one of the best holes, I loved the long fade anhyzer out of the tunnel. Let's hope we can at least keep the course around. You run into a different demographic out there than other courses in the stl. I've seen a lot of "family" golf being played.

I was just throwing out my honest opinion, not trying to stir the pot. It is something me and all my disc golf buddies discuss all the time, and everyone has a totally differnt view on the best/worst courses in the stl. Plenty of my buds defend Watson. I mean, a small percentage...but plenty. :lol:

So, Get up, stand up, stand up for your right - get up, stand up, don't give up the fight!!!

Re: Watson Trail

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:53 pm
by Stubborn Puppet
I wasn't offended, I'm just very verbose when I type. I had discussed the re-design with several people and we all thought it was pretty awesome... but it did not meet the vision the city had for the park. So, it is what it is.

Yes, there is a family crowd here and a lunchtime business suit crowd and a regular local crowd. Unfortunately, Watson also seems to drag in a delinquent crowd. Although they are in the minority, I've frequently come to my wits end with some of the dipsticks who come here to get drunk, come here to yell and cuss and act like barbarians, come here to spray graffiti, come here to tear tee signs out of the ground and destroy baskets and especially this one guy who comes up here, gets drunk, starts cussing and screaming, throws over and over again until he gets the shot he wants before moving on and tries to start fist fights with other golfers who try to say anything to him.