Pinto Lake: 18 holes of (choose your own hyperbolic statement)

Played Pinto yesterday for the first time since the “upper” nine holes were added, to make 18 holes and 8000-plus feet, not including a couple short walks between holes and one longer one (to get to the upper holes). Here are a few first impressions:

  • The new holes are not the front or back nine, but instead inserted between hole 4 and what used to be hole 5, but is now 14.
  • The new holes are the antithesis of the previously extant nine holes, which are filled with trees, severely-sloped, extremely narrow fairways, water hazards, poison oak, OB, or all of the above. The new holes are meant to appease the ‘big arms’ at the championship level, and somewhat placate out-of-towners who frankly are much more familiar with wide open, flatter disc golf holes.
  • I like them because it’s something we don’t have at any other course in the area: wide open and brutishly long with enough rough off the wide fairways to keep it interesting.
  • Speaking of that ‘rough,’ on the upper holes it consists mostly of the wild grass that grows waist-high where it isn’t mowed.
  • Where it is mowed, lovely wild California Poppies are already poppy-ing up in the fairways.
  • The upper holes have some poison oak too, but only in the wooded areas. The open areas seem to have none.
  • I was even par after 10 holes, and feeling pretty good about myself. The I lost my disc and took a 7 on the par 5, 1300-foot hole.
  • When we got back to the familiar part of the course, I felt like we had been playing for almost three hours . . . and we had! The round ended up taking four hours, and much of that was spent looking for discs.
  • When you go, I suggest you bring extra water, long pants and long-sleeve shirt, and some expendable yet dependable plastic you don’t mind losing.
  • My final tally: Six over par, and two lost Star Destroyers.
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