All Disc Golfers Go to Heaven at Roy G. Guerrero Disc Golf Course

Roy G Guerrero Disc Golf Course HoleThis guest blog post is by Hunter Stanford.

All day we saw six people, were never in danger of being hit by a car, never once wondered just where the heck we were, and actually caught a glimpse of some seemingly unspoiled nature.

Further, there were no hordes of joggers, groups of stubborn mothers hogging the walkway, or middle school punks with their glares.

These, my friend, are some fine stats for a disc golf course.

The disc golf course at Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park is most likely so slick because of the fact that it just opened this past year. You play in a large loop. At the start, a sign warns you that there are no turn-offs.

Once you get started, it might take anywhere from one to three hours to make it all the way through. But unless you’re just plain elderly, fret not: it took my buddy and me just under two hours from basket one to 18.

The Skinny

Before I paint this picture, let’s get some specifics out of the way. The park itself is located at 515 S. Pleasant Valley Rd. To start this course, pull into the second entrance (if you’re driving south) of the Krieg Softball Complex and wait until the road curves to the left.

I say park right here because out in the woods to your right is where the course ends. There’s a little distance between the start and the finish, and why not get that walking out of the way right off the bat? Keep walking down the road until a trail leads off the pavement as it curves left. Follow that trail over a bridge and the course starts just to the right.

Roy G Guerrero Disc Golf Hole MapTwo big issues of disc golfing a disc golf course are where is the basket now and where do I walk next. Someone thought this through nicely at Roy G. Guerrero, and kudos to them. Every launch spot comes with a handy slanted rock with a topography map of obstacles to expect and just where that basket is, with distance measurements to boot.

Each tee also has two launch spots, one closer than the other for an option of difference in difficulty. Some of the launch spots are so close that I wonder what the point is, but I don’t work here. Most are appropriately spaced and the option is nice.

The layout of the whole park works. You end one basket and *gasp* there’s a clearly marked trail leading to the next hole. This may seem like an obvious point to you, but tons of courses leave you at a basket with zero inclination of where the next starts. You start wandering and all of the sudden you’re in a Walmart parking lot missing a shoe and wondering what just happened. That has never happened to me, by the way.

Some Finer Points

Roy G. Guerrero Disc Golf Course in Austin, TXBut dude, you say, everything can’t be perfect! And you would be right. The Roy G. Guerrero disc golf course falls just short in a few respects. As I mentioned earlier, this course takes the better part of two hours to complete and it’s a loop. In other words, once you start the course, you are more or less committed to the whole thing. Even as a someone who loves long walks on the beach, sometimes this loop can be a little much. It’s not even close to impossible though. A light snack and a hired laborer to supply piggy-back rides throughout the day should do you fine.

Next complaint: there are no trash cans. Now, if there weren’t the jerks of the world who insist on leaving their Bud Light Lime tall boys in the tee 5 basket, this wouldn’t be an issue. But, alas, this type exists. And in seemingly high numbers. The place isn’t a trash dump by any means, but it’s quite unfortunate that people cannot respect a scene of nature by leaving no trace. Jerks of the world, stop being jerks!

Playing Disc Golf at Roy G. GuerreroBut hey now, let’s end on a high note. Roy G. is pretty unspoiled. It’s a great hike in the woods, where you can also play some disc golf and almost escape the noises of a city. In fact, Roy G. Guerrero seems almost like a heaven for disc golfers. Nature as far as the eye can see, clearly marked trails, and baskets that gleam under the eternal sunshine. Finally! A refuge for those who take the time to throw the straightest and can live out their eternity away from throwers less worthy. That’s a silly thought though, because everyone knows that all disc golfers go to heaven.

Roy G. Guerrero Specs

Distance from the State Capitol Building: 3.2 miles

Overall distance of course: 3-4 miles

Playing level: Intermediate

Number of baskets: 18

Bathroom facilities on site: None, sorry ladies

Ease of navigation: Great

Cleanliness: Slightly less than great

First date material: Not quite, I’d say third if things are going well

Overall Rating: 8.5!

Roy G. Guerrero Disc Golf Park

Hunter Stanford is an Austin-based web designer with a passion for all that is awesome. That may sounds vague to you, but to him it’s quite specific. Refer to HunterStanford.com for awesomeness discrepancies. 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Stewart/1073221268 Dave Stewart

    I’d say rating this course intermediate is slightly misleading. It’s more difficult than Bible Ridge or Circle C. It is a beautiful course. Great write up!

    • http://www.facebook.com/hunter.stanford.3 Hunter Stanford

      You know I was on the fence about this too. In the end it just didn’t seem like an advanced rating. I guess if there was a word between intermediate and advanced Roy G would get it. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/texhop58 a. michael hopper II

    It is one of the nicest courses i have ever played. I made a mistake of making this my last of a 130plus holes over a week of courses. This was also the longest course i have ever played or atleast felt that way. With no arm left all those 600 foot plus holes were brutual. the only thing for me, from keeping this from being a great course, is there is really no change of elevation. i did feel like i was getting in a rut through the mid level holes, seemed to be a lot of predictability.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hunter.stanford.3 Hunter Stanford

      Dude I know! I did a Zilker morning and then Roy G in the evening a few weeks back and my right arm pretty much hung limp at my side for for the next few days.

  • Dirk C.

    Good review! It matches my experience with the park pretty spot on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hunter.stanford.3 Hunter Stanford

      Thanks for the kind words.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1158574418 Troy Herman

    Hunter thanks for the good review and good writing… In an effort to clarify and shine some insight on our great Roy G. DG Course I would like to add a few comments for the community.

    First, thank you all for enjoying the course and the great effort that was placed into.

    *DISCLAIMER* I was one of the group members that fought, pandered, struggled, rallied and debated to get the course installed. Thank you to the partnerships of:the community groups, the City of Austin, the Parks and Rec Dept., the Waterloo Disc Golf Club, and the volunteers/disc golfers who volunteered to help do their part as well.

    Next, I will do my best to address the concerns. These are NOT in contrast to Hunter’s article or opinion, just mere bits of information to let the public and readers know.

    Trash cans –

    + they were proposed and thought about heavily.

    - it came to the conclusion that we would not install them on the course due to that fact that it would absorb large amounts of money from the P&R budgets, it would require consistent workers/maintenance, and it would simply damage the area from the vehicle traffic needed to collect from them almost daily.

    - it was consensus from some workers in the project that the cost vs. benefit was not acceptable. It would cost too much to maintain that process and we learned through other parks and projects that the cans would not yield a benefit to outweigh the costs. It seems that no matter how many recepticles you put out there, people still pile trash around them or do not pick it up when they throw/miss the recepticle.

    - People simply need to PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT. It is a mindset you must learn. After all, if it is easy to BRING IN your beverage or food, why is it so hard to not BRING OUT an empty beverage/food container or wrapper?

    - there are MANY people that I personally know that play there often and they do their best to clean up the trash and clean stickers off of the baskets. If you see them out there THANK THEM and why not coordinate a clean up day yourself or your work group?

    - lastly (in my opinion): rodent control. That place is a deep set of woods that contain: deer, dogs, foxes, rats, owls, mice, buzzards, snakes, raccoons, and many other types of foragers (I have seen them ALL out there). Knowing this, large containers of trash would be a buffet and breeding ground. They would also scatter the trash everywhere. If you ever see trash in the high trees out there.. blame your climbing furry friends for that.

    Length of the course:

    + Austin NEEDS these big courses.

    - there are about 30+ courses just in the Austin area and MORE once you get out of Austin/Travis County. There are very few BIG courses. This course challenges your MENTAL & PHYSICAL Disc Golf Game. It was designed by our own City Employee and Vibram Pro Sponsored Mike O.(name witheld for privacy) Some of you may know him and may have seen him play when he can, but he was the work horse behind it.

    - the course was made to specifically challenge players to “move up” their game. It allows for MANY risk vs. reward shots. It is brutal in the summer, so bring lots of water and snacks. If you can play this course consistently, you WILL improve your game in many ways mentally/physically.

    Additional notes:

    + the course has been a landmark of innovations

    – we have established a GREAT drainage plan

    - al the mulch was used from trees removed on site, this was equaled in TONS of limbs, rocks and trees

    - other cities have come to see our course innovations and development process so they can do it in their city

    - look at the rubber rings around the baskets on the ground.. these were placed to avoide shoe dig outs and erosion control around the baskets when you pull your disc out

    - look at the Tee pads, they are long with extra space for your feet to plant and impact as the ground absorbs the force. This prevents digouts around the tee pads

    Overall:

    - please spend a moment to play the course or simply walk the course. There are great walking, jogging, and bike paths. Go there in the early or late hours and watch the wildlife… all at the horizon of the City skyline.

    Hunter thank you for the article and I would love to play a round with you sometime. Ask @Austinot

    Play well, Play often, keep it in the fairway, and remember: the rough isn’t bad all the time!

    • http://www.facebook.com/hunter.stanford.3 Hunter Stanford

      Hey Troy. Thanks so much taking the time to follow-up on this. This is a great addition to my review as you were one on the guys in on the job of getting Roy G started. I said it above, but it’s worth saying again, this course is fantastic. The scenery, the layout, the flow…unmatched in the ATX area.

      I appreciate you giving the other side of the coin to my complaints. Rounded everything out quite nicely:)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1158574418 Troy Herman

        @facebook-2010195:disqus …. nah, they are not complaints, but they were good notes on concerns (I always look at the positive side of things); plus, nothing is ever perfect in this world, except those things in our own minds (lol).

        There is actually SO MUCH more I could have elaborated on…lol… Thank you for appreciating the years of hard work and fights it took to get the course in. Side note, it has been over 20+/- years since the City has built a DG course, so this was a fight for the land, the ideas, the culture, and the growing DG community globally. Once again, thanks and I am pleased that you enjoyed it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/hunter.stanford.3 Hunter Stanford

          oh you know it! i had read that a good generation had lapsed since a course had been built. “we are not worthy” as they say:)

  • Garrett Freberg

    My wife and I have a condo on the east side of town and I am lucky enough to play this course often because I can literally walk to it. I am fairly new to town and still work and live partially in SF Bay Area and lucky enough to play disc golf in both areas. Austin is an amazing community for disc golf and when Pease Park was taken away from us, guys like Troy and Mike O , who I don’t personally know yet, must have put in 100 hours of work. I want to take a moment out now to say thank you to these guys and all the other volunteers who make this course and all the courses out there so memorable. I have been a member and active volunteer at the SF Disc Golf Club for some years and I would recommend to anyone who loves this beautiful sport to actively participate with your local club. Because of the hard work of the local clubs in Austin all players get to enjoy such fantastic places as Roy G.
    You guys have done an amazing job out there and thanks Hunter for a good article that points out the beauty, difficulty and potential pitfallls.
    I have to admit I have been a leave no trace camper and I always pack out what I pack in, but I too wondered about the park and the decisions that went into not having trash or recycling bins.
    Thanks Troy for taking the time to explain this issue. It totally makes sense to me why the decision has been made and I truly support it. However, it is a shame how quickly the trash and mostly cans/bottles of beer can pile up out there. I try to pick up some every time I play there and I always remind people I see out there to pack there stuff out, but clearly lots of players are not being mindful. The beauty of the course is often times being scarred by this problem. I saw a homeless person recently out there with a garbage can picking up the free money that is lying around in the form of aluminum and bottles and it reminded me that this could be a solution. In SF the only city course is in GG Park and the club decided to put some small wooden containers at each hole and players leave behind the cans and bottles only to be collected several times a day by industrious people looking to cash in on the recyclables. I was wondering if this might be an option at Roy G?
    Otherwise, I am down for no trash cans and I’ll pick up 5-6 cans everytime I play and pack them out, but I encourage all who play here to PLEASE help teach the idiots who continue to trash the place that it is not cool, not funny and not responsible to leave behind there trash.
    Also, please stop TAGGING all the wonderful signs that are so nice and informative. It is a shame that in a little over 6 months more and more “tags” are showing up all over the course. STOP IT.
    THANKS again for all the efforts it took to build this socially responsible, challenging and incredibly green disc golf course.

    • http://www.austinot.com/ Brittany Highland

      @a42a2b5f0efb1d28c1bad501116bcbb3:disqus, so kind of you take the time to submit this thoughtful comment. I do know @facebook-1158574418:disqus personally, and he is an amazing individual who passionately cares about this sport. Hope you get to meet him soon!

    • http://www.facebook.com/hunter.stanford.3 Hunter Stanford

      hey thanks for taking the time to write this! I always appreciate some complementary thoughts…

  • Sarah

    This place my sanctuary. Much much love.

    • http://www.austinot.com/ Brittany Highland

      How often do you go, @5fc265316ce1fb45e1c25b36edc394d8:disqus?

    • http://www.facebook.com/hunter.stanford.3 Hunter Stanford

      i made the heaven comparison for a reason:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.dahmus Mike Dahmus

    Sounds like a great course. I wish we hadn’t had to give up Pease, where a ton of people could walk to it, for it, though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hunter.stanford.3 Hunter Stanford

      yeah but apparently people walking the course was messing with the ecosystem around there. i guess that’s more important than disc golf:)

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.dahmus Mike Dahmus

        I meant walking TO the course, not walking on it. And it’s a myth anyways, the real reason the course moved is the rich people up the hill didn’t like the clientele.