Massacre Rocks State Park - Long
Tough course. You'd better plan on taking turns spotting or you WILL lose discs. The high desert vegetation, terrain, and elevation change make this a very unique course. The scenery was impressive. The campground was nice, too. Lake Walcott is nearby, so you can have a nice double-header.
This course is difficult for me to review simply because it is so unique. In my 10+ years of playing disc golf I've been fortunate enough to play many, many courses all across the country, but I've never played one quite like Massacre Rocks. The course is challenging and varied, incorporating narrow fairways, protected greens, and significant elevation changes to keep disc golfers on their toes.
The course design makes full use of the stunning natural beauty of this state park. Greens are perched atop cliffs overlooking the shining waters of the Snake River; baskets are placed intelligently behind, beneath, and atop enormous boulders; tee boxes are carved into elevated rocky bluffs, creating memorable tee shots across valleys and into rocky fairways far below. The course stretches across a decent-sized portion of the park, confronting the disc golfer with a number of different challenges and obstacles while simultaneously displaying the splendid variety of natural features that the park has to offer.
The holes are well marked with attractive signage, and the course is very easy to navigate with or without the course map provided to disc golfers at the state park visitors center (which also has a decent selection of discs for sale). The baskets are of good quality and are in very good condition.
The course can be tough to hike through, requiring disc golfers to hoof it up and down steep, rocky hills with occasional loose footing and scraggly undergrowth. Even fit disc golfers will get in a good workout playing 18 holes at Massacre Rocks.
The combination of blind tee shots, severe elevation changes, and gnarled brush (which can hide a disc from you even if you're standing right over it) means that YOU WILL LOSE DISCS if you play here with any frequency. Having a spotter definitely helps, so play with a buddy or two and make sure that everyone is watching every tee shot.
The tee boxes could use some work. The crushed gravel is a bit too loose underfoot to provide consistently solid footing. This is more of a problem on some holes than others and may be a bigger deal for me than for most people, but I have real trouble getting comfortable with my tee shots here.
If you find yourself in the area set aside some time to visit Massacre Rocks State Park and play this unique course. The course is beautiful and very intelligently designed, requiring you to make some tee shots that you will remember long after the round is over. Bring a spotter along with you and stamp down the gravel on the tee pads before throwing to ensure a fun and memorable round.
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