Habeas Corpus Christi January 11th and 12th, 2011
After spending the night in Houston (and a handful of drinks to help us revisit the “good old days”) with some college friends, we decided to head to Galveston. We spent the night here because we really wanted to see what a town looked like that is in constant threat from hurricane damage. The city was completely destroyed at the turn of the 20th century and has suffered serious blows from hurricanes ever since . . . . . . check out the history of the city and the Hurricane of 1900 that destroyed the entire city on the wikipedia entry. It had also recently suffered a hit from Hurricane Ike in 2008. We found that the city had been virtually rebuilt . . . but there were still signs that had obviously not been fixed, buildings and stores that remained boarded up, and tarps on many roofs in the area. It was a sad sight to see, but at the same time, it showed the peoples resiliency. I know I wouldn’t be willing to live in a place subject to regular destructive weather events. Would you?
We stopped at the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum to see what an offshore oil drilling rig was like, a pretty unique experience if you ask me. There seems to be plenty to do in Galveston if you want to find a variety of things . . . unfortunately this was the beginning of the realization that the weather was not going to cooperate. It was between 35-50 degrees virtually the entire time we were in the state of Texas. Not what we expected from a mid-winter get-a-way. At least we could still disc golf!
We woke up the next morning and had breakfast at The Original Mexican Café . . . I found the food to be excellent . . . but then again I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD. I could literally eat it for every meal of every day and not get tired of it. Just change up the preparation and play with a few ingredients and it will be different every time. We headed out of town towards Corpus Christi in hopes the temperatures would increase the further south and west that we went. At least we could still play disc golf!
The temperatures remained very chilly . . . it felt even worse because we expected 60′s the whole time. I don’t think it got above 45 when we were along the coast.
Clute Park, Clute, TX
This course was simply the easiest course for us to hit on the way between Galveston and Corpus Christi.
Hole #2 Which way do I go?
Hole #3 Lots of trees . . . at least they provide nice shade from the Texas heat.
Hole #5 Straight shot?
Hole #7 Split the gap or go around?
The only other thing worth mentioning about this course is the fact that 3 or 4 holes play very close to a fenceline that borders the property line. One the other side of the fence are homes and apartments and one could easily throw into the adjacent property. I am sure the homes came before the disc golf, and likely before the park . . . but that is one scenario I will always avoid if possible. The minute neighbors get upset, disc golf courses could be shut down. Sustainability is key and this type of likely scenario could be detrimental to the long term life of our disc golf courses.
We headed out from Clute Southwest towards Corpus Christi. Before playing anymore disc golf we decided to visit the USS Lexington . . . an old retired Naval Ship turned into a museum. Take a look at the Banshee I found while on the USS Lexington.
Gotcha . . . were you expecting the overstable driver? . . . nope, just a cool plane called a Banshee!
Live Oak Red, Ingleside, TX
After we finished the tour of the USS Lexington, I knew we had time for at least one more course . . . I decided on Live Oak Red because it was short. I had no idea I was in store for such a cool unique property. The Live Oaks are what make this course so much fun. They are not the tallest trees in the world (partly because they take so long to grow) but they are unique in their growth habit. They grow up but also laterally but they leave really clean lines for disc golf while creating ceilings that need to be avoided.
This course is simply put a solid course . . . there aren’t jaw dropping holes, just a lot of decision making and fun and challenging shots. It is unique because it is based on a completely sandy soil and the trees are also a huge factor in the uniqueness. Don’t shy away from this course just because it has the color Red in it . . . and is on the same property as the Gold course. They both have their own merits and are fun and challenging too.
Hole #1 Live Oak Alley
Hole #3 A nice tight flick shot is required on this hole.
Hole #4 Disc golfing on the beach
Hole #14 What trees?
I had a lot of fun on this course, and as far as I know, this was my first exposure to Tee-signs made by John Houck. His signs really re-define course accessory.
Waldron, Corpus Christi, TX
We had time for one more course, and the Gold Course would have simply taken too long, so we decided to head around the bay and play Waldron Park. I had pretty low expectations for this course because I had just played Live Oak Red which I felt was underrated.
Hole #1 Forced water carry to get you all warmed up.
Hole #4 Flick it straight down the sidewalk and let it fade to the right.
Hole #4 Basket tucked over the sidewalk and up the hill under the low ceiling.
Hole #5 I am surrounded!
Hole #6 Tight shot with the basket perched on the top of a small rise.
Hole #7 From the beach to the beach.
Hole #8 Another forced water carry . . . this one has no bailout.
Boy was I surprised by the design and playability of this course. There was a lot of variety and some unique basket locations . . . what more can you ask for from a 9 hole course. We finished the course as the sun went down, so it was time to stop for some dinner.
We found a restaurant . . . yep another Mexican restaurant . . . called On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina, associated with the parent company of Chili’s. I know, we should be supporting the local economy by eating at local places, but we had gift cards to use up from a number of the chain restaurants, it makes it so much easier to eat when on the road to have those gift cards where you get more for your money. Unfortunately for us, I am pretty sure somewhere along the way here, I dropped a $100 gift card. We headed back to the hotel as I fumed about losing $100 basically (well actually $80 since the credit card rewards get us an extra 20%).
Live Oak Gold, Ingleside, TX
Because I enjoyed the Red course today so much, we decided to head back to Live Oak Park and I would play the Gold course, while Loriena looked around the park, watched the birds, and snapped some photos.
Here is Loriena feeding some ducks or other birds . . . look at her surprised look when two of the ducks really seemed aggressively seeking our stale bread!
Hole #1 It is clear this was freshly carved out of this property.
Hole #2 What a unique fairway through a grove of young Live Oak trees.
Hole #6 Work your way through this fairway to a drainage ditch.
Hole #6 Here is the more open approach shot with a unique feel because of the sand.
Hole #18 Throw to this point out of a tight tunnel and go around the shrub or risk a shot over the water. Great approach for an open hole.
This course was carved out of the same type of property as the Red course. It was a lot longer and was most definitely more challenging. The design effectively uses a drainage-way through the sandy dunes all throughout the course. There are baskets near the ditch and also throws that force you to go over the ditch. This is a unique feature of this course and it truly adds to the character and feel of the course.
West Guth, Corpus Christi, TX
We left Live Oak and hoped to play 1 or 2 more courses on the way towards San Antonio. It was very apparent when we pulled in that West Guth is a park-like course. There were some trees sporadically spread around the course, with some rolling undulations a man-made pond and a drainage ditch that comes into play. The unique feel of this course compared to many of the Texas courses is that this course had some elevation change, nothing super dramatic but it was noticeable. As I played this course and after looking back on the course I realized that there was something unique and different on every hole. That is what makes this course so much fun.
Hole #1 Great visual for a hole with the man-made pond on the right and the basket beyond those trees.
Hole #3 Slight undulations with a couple trees as obstacles.
Hole #8 Nice down-hill towards the river/drainage-way.
Hole #9 Over the river and up the hill.
Hole #10 Another downhill shot into the trees.
Hole #12 Roll-a-ways might happen here a few times.
Hole #13 Side-hill with the roll-a-way potential again. Putting is scary here from above the basket.
Hole #14 Another downhill shot. Keep the disc low.
Veteran Memorial, Beeville, TX
My wife was not feeling great so she stayed in the car and slept while I played this course. It has a big ditch that splits this course in half, but they use the ditch to make you throw across it 4 times at a minimum. There are sporadic trees again and some more densely planted areas. There are only a couple of really tight holes but it makes for a really good mix of holes and shots.
Hole #1 Across the ditch and off to the left. Great hole.
Hole #3 This hole will be with me forever since it was my first really successful roller. It went 350’ and while I tanked the putt, it gave me a chance at a deuce on a hole much longer than I can normally birdie.
Hole #9 Straight back across the ditch with plenty of tree branches to knock your disc down.
Hole #11 Low ceiling with some sidehill thrown in there.
Hole #18 Nice elevation drop on this hole. Out the tunnel , over the ditch, and slightly back up the hill.
All in all a decent course with some elevation changes, some forced trouble carries, some open holes, and some tight holes. It wasn’t my favorite on the road-trip, but it was worth the stop.
Off to San Antonio!!!!