Written By: Ernst Schneidereit
The City of Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation has recently turned an empty field by the railroad tracks into a park and disc golf course dotted with oaks and challenges. The John Mackey Memorial Park and Kenwood Oaks course demonstrates thoughtful disc golf design and planning. While it only features nine holes, it is an excellent addition to the area’s courses.
There are a number of trees in the Kenwood Oaks, and every tree is used to its maximum potential for the course. The first tee illustrates this, with a large oak protecting the right side off the tee and two smaller trees preventing a direct approach. The shot is left to right, like it or not.
The second hole continues the trend. Two sentinel trees on the left and the sloping, bushy roadside on the right narrow the four hundred foot fairway considerably. A long, straight shot is only a slight possibility, but if you stay out of the bushes you will be rewarded with an open approach.
The fifth hole demonstrates that dead trees can be course obstacles too. Felled timber blocks your shot and protruding roots would love to snag a poorly released drive. An elevated basket rewards a drive to the small mesa and creates a deceptive shot for your approach. If you are putting at basket level, be careful about over-powering your putt or you could be looking at a long comeback shot.
Golfers must pay attention to the out-of-bounds railroad tracks on the eastern edge of the course. The natural tendency on hole three is to avoid them, since the basket is well left of the fence line, although the tee is right next to it. On the sixth hole, however, an over-powered drive will easily leave the course and a dicey approach shot could do the same. The seventh hole really challenges your desire for risk, as the fairway runs along the tracks and the basket is very close to the fence on the left and protected from a direct shot by a large tree.
Winter will add water to the hazards, as a dry creek bed meanders throughout the course. Sufficient rain might even add a pond to the hazards on holes one through four! While trails and concrete tees are present, your disc is likely to end up in weeds and some are thorny, so come prepared in your footgear. Most of the holes are over three hundred feet, and a few are very close to that mark.
Overall, the course demonstrates that someone in the park system knows how to design a disc golf course. Good baskets, excellent tee signs and concrete pads are featured on every hole. This is a fitting recreation opportunity. Mackey Memorial bridges the gap between the large eighteen hole courses east of town and the smaller nine hole courses to the west. You will find the park on the southeast corner of the Marconi Avenue/Kenwood Street intersection. http://www.cityofsacramento.org/parksandrecreation/parks/sites/kenwood_photo.htm
- Difficulty - 4
- Aesthetics - 2
- Tees - 2
- Baskets - 5
- Signage - 4
- Variability - 2
- Amenities - 1
- Design - 4
Total Score (40 possible): 24