Just know that according to UDiscs’ Disc Golf Growth Report 2022, at the time of publishing, Feb 16, 2022, there were 13,323 disc golf courses worldwide. Of the whole lot, only 14 of those courses can boast both a 4.9 score and at least 100 ratings total- worldwide.
Rocky Hills, with a stellar rating of 4.9 on UDisc, is not the type of place that you randomly stumble upon, unless you just so happen to find yourself about 24 miles south of Abilene, TX.
That rating means that the course that Cam Hurst built, Rocky Hills Disc Golf Course, in Ovalo, Texas, falls into the 0.001% percentile of highest rated courses on earth! Funny enough though, Rocky Hills didn’t crack UDisc’s Top 100 Courses of 2022 List. We imagine that will change once the 2023 Report is released.
With 21 holes on the back of a sheep farm in what some would call the middle of nowhere, this course is currently free to play because of the effort players must put in to get there. The 2.5 to 3 hours that it will take you to play this course will be more than worth it, though. While you are there, don’t forget to stay hydrated, because you are in for a hike. You will be taking in 6836 feet of some of the finest scenery Western Texas has to offer- and it will be deserving of every last sweat soaked step.
It isn’t just the scenery that makes this place special either. A lot of time and effort has been put in to make sure that visitors find themselves having a wonderful time.
The course begins in front of a true log cabin which doubles up as a clubhouse. As you head out towards the 21 holes you will not only notice the stunning elevation, but also that each hole is easy to find with obvious directionality and great signage. You might even notice that most holes have two placements, which are switched over between rounds during tournament play. As you continue with your round, you will find that it was important for the course owner and builder, Cam Hurst, to allow for approach shots from just about every angle while inbounds- this course is meant to challenge you, not to be a physical representation of impossibility. And that inbounds? It is clearly marked by Cam’s almost daily mowing in the summer months. He knows that with this distance, the ground needs to be smooth enough for rollers, with the tall grass being used to mark out of bounds.
With some holes wooded and some not, one of the best parts of Rocky Hills is the surprising West Texas elevation. This course comes with both beauty and challenges in spades, so bring your discs, your camera, a big water bottle and good walking shoes. You’ll need all of them!
Some added perks? There is a fire pit to help warm you up on winter days, an observation deck on the side of a hill to watch from up high, and the hanging basket on the 10th hole acts as the cherry on top!
Hurst prides himself in accepting the input, advice, and opinions of seasoned veterans who play the course. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was this. It took a lot to get from a beautiful, remote location to a world class course. Cam Hurst explains how Rocky Hills came to be:
“When I bought the property I was mainly interested in hunting. It was covered in cedar trees with oaks scattered through it. It’s a long story, but I hired a bulldozer guy and we went to work. It took two years to burn the piles of brush.
Thus began a course when I had never played the game. But the local college disc golf coach was my consultant. It took four years to level the ground and seed the fields with my tractor. Finally, I had nine holes. In 2012, I had my first tournament with local players and they made a lot of suggestions which I put to work. I developed a love for the game. The caliber of players got better and one guy, Nick Rowton (a top ten player in Texas who has won the New Mexico Open) took a liking to the course. He redesigned it into what it is today. Occasionally, he’d take time to work with me.
Over the last few years it’s become quite popular. Once players sign a release, I tell them where the key is and if I’m not around they let themselves in and lock it when they leave.”
Cam goes on to share that he bought the 180 acre property, with the course nestled on 30 of those acres, from a classified ad in the Thrifty Nickel.
Hurst isn’t just good at buying stellar real estate or building courses- if you look at the reviews on UDisc, they are about 50/50 in complimenting the course, and the other half, complimenting Cam.
Thomas Veal, the co-owner of Low Putt Disc Golf, based out of San Angelo runs tournaments at Rocky Hills was very clear when explaining that it is, “Miraculous to see the views! You have to be there to understand the beauty.”’ It seemed apparent that Thomas’ opinion of Cam isn’t much different than his opinion of the course- he called Cam, “selfless” and said that, “Cam is a Christian, a leader, an all around good guy, providing a good time for everybody… An all around amazing person.”
All of this high praise seems to be warranted, as Cam accepts donations, but doesn’t ask for them, works on the course in his free time and according to Thomas, takes advice and others’ perspectives, while remaining open and keen to try to help out the game. Veal shares, “He just really wanted to build something spectacular.”
It seems apparent that when playing Rocky Hills, the course that Cam Hurst built, lifelong memories are forged on fairways and hilltops that will be beautiful additions to your own personal disc golf history.
So, if you believe it is worth the drive, call Cam, make a reservation and go see what a 4.9 rating will get you. Go check and see if people were too generous. Go try to figure out how that 0.1 rating was lost. Just be sure to leave a comment after you go.