The ever growing city of Meridian is a close neighbor to the capital city of Boise. Idaho. And, much like Boise, Meridian really supports the idea of family friendly outdoor space for active people. This had sadly been lacking with disc golf opportunities though.. Or so I thought!
Even though I’ve been in this area many times over the last 5 years, it still came as a surprise to me when my good friend John, who has lived in Meridian for quite a few years, told me about Julius Kleiner park and its 9 hole disc golf course right behind one of the largest and newest business/shopping complexes in the city, The Village.
Thanks for the heads up John!
Find the Quick Course Guide by clicking HERE.
Despite my best intentions I arrived at this course in late morning. It was already 98 degrees out on what was supposed to be the third day of very dry 105 degree heat. Not knowing what to expect with this course or even the park itself, I was pleasantly surprised by the low, rolling green hills, with both dirt and blacktop footpaths criss crossing the large swaths of well maintained grass, plus many water features, playgrounds, an amphitheater, basketball courts, a variety of well spaced/placed trees, and, to every disc golfer’s delight, the familiar sight of yellow banded Mach V baskets.
As I visited this course on a weekday, I found ample parking right near hole 1. I can easily foresee the lot being quite full however on a weekend. On first impression, the park looks really nice, and left me excited to see what the rest of the course would have to offer!
Hole 1 was quite indicative to what the course as a whole would be like, with brand new signage printed directly on metal, making it not only a look clean, but also a nice commodity that should last for some time. The tee pads however leave something to be desired. For hole 1 you throw from a dirt and gravel path. Not the worst, but also not the greatest. Most holes however will have one throw from all grass “tee pads” (Click here for terminology). Every hole on the course is less than 300 feet in length, and a majority of them are under 240 feet. At these lengths finding the baskets from any of the tee pads is not difficult, and the only marked Out of Bounds is the street going around the outside of the park, which really should never come into play.
Julius Kleiner Park seems relatively new, and has many beautiful trees, but most of them, while nowhere near being saplings, are also nowhere near being fully matured. I don’t think a single tree in the park topped 30 feet. This, combined with the generally short hole length, meant that my round was not affected by the all-grass or dirt tee pads. For most players who have any basic skills and are above the age of fourteen the preferred route (which should be either a hyzer over the trees or a straight shot at the pin) should not require any kind of run up, so the tee pad quality should not be a big issue for the time being.
To make up for the short hole lengths, some challenge is added in a number of the later holes which include small but moderately steeper elevation changes, which are about the only different feature from the relatively flat hole 1.
The course’s flow, for the most part, is real nice and well thought out. There is a jump from hole 6 over to 7 however that requires crossing the street in the park, and the sign for hole 7 can be kind of hard to spot.
Julius Kleiner is also a multi-use park and seems to be popular for good reason. The course itself though is quite cleverly designed to help avoid throwing at many of the heavy use areas which really helps keep down the risk of hitting someone. (Although I can still imagine that on the weekend there would be a decent risk of hitting someone if you are not communicating (nicely please) with people (players and non-players) on the course.) Still, even with heavy park use, the risk of hitting someone is reduced by the overall short hole length.
Since the trees haven’t come close to maturity yet shade is still pretty limited on the course, but I am really excited to see what this course grows into. 10 to 15 years from now, the length of the holes won’t matter too much because this will become a very technical (and fun) pitch and putt course.
I had a lot of fun on this course. It was definitely shorter than most courses I normally choose to play, but I am very hopeful that the city of Meridian will expand on this course (they definitely have landscaped, but otherwise seemingly unused, space in the park that could be utilized for this). With a little extra length and improvements in the tee pads, Julius Kleiner Disc Golf Course could become an extremely fun and challenging course for all ages, and quite convenient to those living and working in the increasingly busy Meridian area.