No matter how excellent your hometown selection of courses is, there's always some far-off fairway that seems greener. Me? I sit in Texas fantasizing about Oak Grove at Hahamonga Park in Pasadena, California. Just take a look at its famous "spider hole" from Central Coast Disc Golf's coverage of the 2019 Wintertime Open—who wouldn't want to play it?
It turns out that plenty of others share my dream because out of all the courses registered on UDisc, there are only 12 that have been added to users' Wishlists more than Oak Grove.
How do we know that? Well, today UDisc turns seven years old, and we were looking for some ideas of what to wish for when we blow out the candles on our data cache. So we've compiled a list of the 100 courses that UDisc users have most often Wishlisted, and, as always, we have a few thoughts about what stories that data tells.
The full list is at the end of this article, and you can see a map of their locations in the Where Are the Top 100? section.
What's a Wishlist?
Every time you view a course on UDisc, you'll see the Wishlist option just under the course rating on the left of your screen. If you click it, the course is then added to your Wishlist. When you search for courses, you can filter by Wishlist and see where the courses are in the world that have most caught your interest.
If you're going on trips, this is a great way to see if any of your must-plays are anywhere near your destination (or if you end up with clusters in certain areas, a good way to plan your next trip). Once you play a course, your wish has been fulfilled, and it leaves your Wishlist.
Where Are the Top 100?
Below is a map of where each of the top 100 most-Wishlisted courses are in the world. Given UDisc's start in the USA, it's not surprising that all but one course in the top 100 is there (the sadly soon-to-disappear Järva in Stockholm, Sweden was the only course outside the US to make the list). We hope to see more European courses make their way onto this list as the sport grows and gets more exposure on the continent.
It's likely no coincidence that the courses that top the list are also ones that have spent a lot of time in front of a rapidly growing disc golf viewership. Though only 29 of the top 100 showed up on YouTube coverage from major disc channels in 2018, half of the top 30 courses—and each of the top three—are perennial sites of much-filmed and widely-watched Disc Golf Pro Tour or PDGA Major and National Tour events.
Perhaps one of the best examples of the camera time-to-Wishlist correlation is Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Home of the fabled United States Disc Golf Championship (USDGC), #9 Winthrop's 4.3 average rating is the lowest of any course in the top 201. However, it's a course that's had full video round coverage almost since becoming a PDGA Major in 1999. You can find footage from the 2000 USDGC on YouTube, and eighteen years later three videos of the 2018 incarnation of the event were among the 100 most-watched disc golf videos of 2018.
This long history of coverage (in disc golf terms) has helped cement the event as one of the most important in the sport in the minds of most fans. And because the USDGC—unlike the World Championships—has taken place at the same course every year, it seems that coverage has also helped cement Winthrop as a bucket-list course for many players.
Along with getting media attention, many of the courses in the top 20 are simply names that come up again and again among disc golfers worldwide. Oak Grove that I mentioned at the beginning of this article? It was the first permanent disc golf course ever installed. And there are other SoCal stalwarts on the list, too, like La Mirada and the most popular course in the state, Morley Field.
But the top of the list really is what we might call the hallowed ground of disc golf, newer and older: #1 DeLaveaga in Santa Cruz, Flip City (the “Field of Dreams” in Shelby, Michigan), Milo McIver in Estacada, Oregon, and Blue Ribbon Pines in East Bethel, Minnesota.
All beautiful. All technical. All challenging. Perhaps they're the Pebble Beaches of our sport.
A look at the map from earlier in this piece shows some clusters of bucket list courses. Many of these places are on UDisc's Top 10 Disc Golf Cities—USA, as you might expect. Two of those areas, Denver and the Twin Cities, deserve attention for their high densities of top Wishlisted courses that have had little, if any, YouTube coverage in the last year.
Minnesota is where UDisc began, so we have to admit it's not bewildering that Minneapolis has high figures. As for Denver, we've discussed the allure of courses to its southwest like Beaver Ranch and Bailey previously.
A few other hotspots:
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- The Cincinnati area
- Emporia, Kansas, home of the the Glass Blown Open
- Scottsdale, Arizona, host of the Memorial Championship
- Appling, Georgia, home of the International Disc Golf Center. All three of the IDGC's courses made the top 100.
The Full 100 and Our Alternative #1
At the end of this section you'll find the full list of the 100 most-Wishlisted courses. Take a look and maybe you'll discover a gem you haven't heard of before. But before you do, take a second to recognize the course we're crowning the All-Around Wishlist Champion. Yes, DeLaveaga is the most Wishlisted course and Base Camp Adventures in Moab, Utah has the highest average rating on the list, but we're giving the gold to Maple Hill.
With its unique and private location, various layouts, pro shop, and a clubhouse overlooking the 18th hole, it's no wonder that Maple Hill boasts the best combination of average rating (#3) and Wishlist rank (#2) on the list. It's also the number one favorite among pros on UDisc Live, with 28 favorites.
Of course, that's just how we look at it. You can give your own grand prize to any of the courses below:
|1||DeLaveaga Park||Santa Cruz, CA|
|2||Maple Hill||Leicester, MA|
|4||Golden Gate Park||San Francisco, CA|
|5||Blue Ribbon Pines||East Bethel, MN|
|6||Riverbend at Milo McIver (east)||Estacada, OR|
|7||Flip City Disc Golf Park||Shelby, MI|
|8||Fountain Hills Park||Fountain Hills, AZ|
|9||Winthrop Univ. Rec. Area||Rock Hill, SC|
|10||Beaver Ranch Disc Golf Course||Conifer, CO|
|11||Riverbend at Milo McIver (west)||Estacada, OR|
|12||Ghost Town||Russell Gulch, CO|
|13||Oak Grove [Hahamongna Park]||Pasadena, CA|
|14||Vision Quest||Oak Grove, MN|
|15||The Canyons @ Dellwood Park||Lockport, IL|
|16||Peter Pan Park - Optimist||Emporia, KS|
|17||Brewster Ridge Disc Golf Course||Cambridge, VT|
|18||IDGC - WR Jackson Memorial||Appling, GA|
|19||Morley Field||San Diego, CA|
|20||Water Works Park||Kansas City, MO|
|21||Brazos Park East (The BEast)||Waco, TX|
|22||La Mirada Regional Park Back||La Mirada, CA|
|23||Jones Park - East||Emporia, KS|
|24||Gleneagles||San Francisco, CA|
|25||Iron Hill||Iron Hill, DE|
|26||Moraine State Park||Worth Township, PA|
|27||Fox Run Meadows||Cambridge, VT|
|28||Hornets Nest Park||Charlotte, NC|
|29||La Mirada Regional Park Front||La Mirada, CA|
|30||Roy G. Guerrero||Austin, TX|
|31||Jones West||Emporia, KS|
|32||Whistler's Bend||Roseburg, OR|
|33||Lake Dillon||Dillon, CO|
|34||IDGC - Steady Ed Hedrick Memorial||Appling, GA|
|35||BuckSnort||Pine Grove, CO|
|36||Rollin Ridge||Reedsville, WI|
|37||Mt. Airy||Cincinnati, OH|
|38||Vista Del Camino Park||Scottsdale, AZ|
|39||Selah Ranch Creekside||Lakeview, TX|
|41||Bryant Lake Park||Eden Prairie, MN|
|42||Selah Ranch Lakeside||Hagansport, TX|
|43||Sunset Park||Las Vegas, NV|
|44||Harry Myers||Rockwall, TX|
|45||Veteran's Park||Arlington, TX|
|46||Kensington Toboggan||Milford, MI|
|47||Harmony Bends||Columbia, MO|
|48||Renaissance Park - Gold||Charlotte, NC|
|49||Adams Hollow||Henderson, CO|
|50||Harmon Hills||Graysburg, TN|
|51||Pier Park||Portland, OR|
|52||Crystal City Underground||Crystal City, MO|
|53||Circle C Metro Park||Austin, TX|
|54||Järva Discgolf Park||Stockholm, Sweden|
|55||Bird's Nest Disc Park||Arvada, CO|
|57||William Cameron Park||Waco, TX|
|58||Richmond Hill||Asheville, NC|
|59||Kaposia Park||South St. Paul, MN|
|60||IDGC - Jim Warner Memorial||Appling, GA|
|61||Fehringer Ranch Park||Littleton, CO|
|62||Phantom Falls||Pine Grove, CO|
|63||Huntington Beach Central Park||Huntington Beach, CA|
|64||Zephyr Cove Park||Zephyr Cove, NV|
|65||Nevin Park||Charlotte, NC|
|66||Deer Lakes Park||West Deer Township, PA|
|67||Chavez Ridge at Elysian||Los Angeles, CA|
|68||Lincoln Ridge Park||Independence, KY|
|69||Kenwood Trails Disc Golf Course||Lakeville, MN|
|70||Picnic Island||Tampa, FL|
|71||Tyler State Park||Newtown Township, PA|
|72||Sky High at Mtn. High North||Big Pines, CA|
|73||Disc Side Of Heaven||Jonesboro, AR|
|75||Base Camp Adventure||Moab, UT|
|76||Cedar Hill Park||Nashville, TN|
|77||Jordan Creek Park||Whitehall, PA|
|78||New World Disc Golf Course||Jacksonville, FL|
|79||Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area||Bloomington, MN|
|80||Lakewood King County Park||Seattle, WA|
|81||Ashe County Park||Jefferson, NC|
|82||Buffalo Ridge Park||Phoenix, AZ|
|83||Silver Creek Park||Manitowoc, WI|
|84||Stafford Woods||Voorhees, NJ|
|85||Lakewood Hills||White Bear Lake, MN|
|86||Coyote Point at Lake Casitas||Ventura, CA|
|87||Hornings Hideout - Meadow Ridge||Mountaindale, OR|
|88||Solitude Mountain Resort||Solitude, UT|
|89||Country Club||Emporia, KS|
|91||Johnny Roberts DGC||Arvada, CO|
|92||Bijou Community Park||South Lake Tahoe, CA|
|93||Shore Acres Park||Gibson, MI|
|94||Diamond X||Rimrock, MT|
|96||Rocky Mountain Village||Lawson, CO|
|97||North Las Vegas Municipal Disc Golf Park||North Las Vegas, NV|
|98||YMCA of the Rockies||Beaver Point, CO|
|99||Sandy Point Resort Disc Golf Ranch||Lac Du Flambeau, WI|
|100||The Valley||Inver Grove Heights, MN|
1. Winthrop's low average rating compared to the other top 20 is likely due to how the famous "ropes" that create the course's demanding hazard and OB lines are only set up when it's USDGC time, perhaps disappointing some visitors.