The Shawshank Disc Golf Course is positioned on 23 acres of a pine tree plantation that sits on the edge of the Sam Houston National Forrest. The 21 hole course is owned by the DuFrane Family. It derives it’s name from the famed movie, The Shawshank Redemption. The irony is the family name is the same as the main character from the movie, Andy Dufrane. That combined with the location near the state prison has resulted in a prison type theme throughout the course. Each hole is individually named by it’s own characteristics as it might relate to another prison name, a crime or another crime or prison story. It is a unique place that is both beautiful to visit and challenging to play.
The course starts out meandering for 3 holes before sending you into one of the thickest parts of the pine tree forest where the smaller pines are planted in straight rows resembling jail bars. These first four holes are appropriately named, ’1st Offense’, ’2nd Offense’, ’3rd Offense’ and then ‘Jail’. The theme continues on to other holes such as ‘The Green Mile’ which runs along the front border of the property measuring 598 feet down a greenway lined by pine trees. As you continue on through you eventually come to a tranquil meadow hole named ‘Solitary’ followed by a short but extremely challenging placement hole called ‘Deathrow’. Although the hole only measures 276 feet, the thick brush and required flight line have been known to kill your score.
The Shawshank course has evolved over the last 5 or so years to become a destination. The DuFrane family has continued to put time and effort into upgrading the course with custom built rubber mat tee pads, wrought iron tee markers and in the winter, rye grass 10 meter putting circles around the baskets. The spearhead disc golf activists of this family has been Steve Dufrane (with input from his father). Steve is known for being somewhat of an assertive kind of fellow who has honed his game over the years with the sidearm throw. John Houck nicknamed him the Texas Sidewinder some years ago. His favorite weapon is a sidearm throw or roller with the Roc and he’ll gladly invite you out for a round with his customary challenge, “Come Play Shawshank…I’ll Beat You With a Roc!!”.
As a result of the facility’s gaining popularity, it will host the Tim Selinske US Master’s Cup, a Professional Disc Golf Association Pro Tour Major in April of 2011.