That Dam Course!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a very scenic course which plays along a huge rock barrier, through woods, and over the dam spillways. Buffumville Lake is in full glorious view for several of the holes as well. Don't be fooled by the first two holes - the course varies beyond these 2 open holes.
The course provides nice challenges with elevation changes, a few water hazards and fair punishment for not staying on the fairways (OB on the Rock barrier, and some thick trees and underbrush on the edges). I found that this course will make you shape your shots in many different ways, and each hole was very unique and different from all the others (except hole 1 and 2 - see cons).
My signature hole - #15. This throws over a dam spillway with a dam wall on the right. Yes, I did throw one of my discs over that dam wall, but it's because the hole is very ace-friendly and I threw many discs at it!
Unique hole - #11. A slight uphill BH anhyzer shot that's basket is nestled in a grove of boulders in the woods. The pin is actually mounted on one of the boulders. Not only a fun shot, but a very scenic one.
The signs were top-notch and unique in that they give information at the bottom about local history, fauna, etc.
Cons: Holes #1 and 2 go along the tall rocky barrier (called "rip rap"). They are kind of a strange way to start the course because they are asking you to start by throwing bombs when your arm is not warmed up, and accurate bombs (rocks on left are OB, and the woods on right are thick and can force a stroke dropping pitch out). Having two nearly identical holes in a row is almost always a con for me...
Hole #9. Arguably the most scenic hole on the course BUT your have the lake on the right and the rock barrier on the left. It takes 300' or more to clear these OB obstacles and there's no layup zone other than a very thin pathway in between the two. We both ended up in the lake and on the rock wall (the scary headwind didn't help). The group behind us skipped the hole. It's poor design, as the majority of people below the advanced range can't reliable clear the obstacles. A local told me they wish to move the tee forward, but that requires building a stairway up to the top of the rock wall first….. You can't call it risk/reward. It's just risk/risk at this point.
Other Thoughts: In mid summer I was eaten alive by skeeters. Note to self: "apply bug repellant, sweat…….re-apply bug repellant!"
A possible solution for the Hole 1 and 2 repetitive - remove hole #2 on long course and take the section of short course (holes 3A - 6A) and use that area for long hole #2. It would still allow several good holes for the short course.
The short course seems to cater well for the crowds that want to get in a quick round at the end of the day and allows you to bail out in several places as you are racing the setting sun.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Lots of good here. A bunch of sweet wooded holes with nice lines and clearly defined fairways. The run from 4-6 is particularly nice, with some variety in the flight paths and even a little elevation. The best hole, though, is 10. A shot over the dam spillway, which drops off rather dramatically in front of the tee, and a left fade through the woods for the finish. Fun. The return shot on 15 isn't as aesthetically pleasing since it's a bit closer to the actual dam and areas are fenced off but it's still a nice shot. 11-14 comprise another woods loop with a few shorter holes and one of moderate distance.
Alltogether a mostly solid, if unspectacular course that is well worth a stop.
Lots of meh here as well. The first two holes are just long. Not interesting at all. Just long. The rock slope are more of a nuisance than a challenge. They are OB and people aren't supposed to walk on them but who are we kidding? Discs will end up on them and people will climb them to retrieve them. Most of the holes that play alongside the ledges are the weak parts of the course. Especially 9, which could have been a cool carry, but ends up begging players to aim for the rock OB. It might have been better to replace some holes, especially the first two, with some of the holes from the second set of twelve, which head deeper into a wooded area but could still have you finish near the start of the current 3. Anything to limit the amount of times that the rock slopes are in play.
There's also some confusion about exactly where the throw is supposed to go on the later holes, particularly 17. 16 also feels like you are throwing somewhere that you are not supposed to.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Insert dam pun here
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The scenery here is my favorite kind. The day I went, the fading fall foliage reflected nicely in the expansive lake behind the dam.
The first two holes are long bombers with OB rip rap (did you know that's what those rocks are called? I didn't) to the left and the road or woods to the left. I like that they require an accurate straight shot, but I was worried the rest of the course would be like this.
But you cross over the dam to play five semi-wooded holes before getting to one of the signature holes. Hole 9 has you throwing over water with no safe landing area to a peninsula on the other side, where you still have another 300 feet to get to the hole situated maybe 20 feet from the water. Lots of things can go wrong here. The course crosses over a spillway and into the woods for several heavily wooded holes before working back along the dam again.
The second signature hole is 15, a downhill drive across the dam's spillway, which is about 325 or 350 feet away. There is a ton of risk/reward on this hole. Lay at the short tee pad for an easy shot across the spillway (that might be tough to park)? Throw a spike hyzer, forehand, or thumber to the more dangerous terrace below (part of it is fenced, but part will allow your disc to roll into the water)? Or do you think you can make it all the way across? Great, unique hole.
The last signature hole is 17, a great drive across a pond that requires either a straight shot with no fade (to avoid the wood on the left) or an S shot. I somehow threw a shot that turned to the far right side of the pond before improbably skipping on the water to the shore.
Navigation was too tough, especially after reviewing the helpful map at hole 1.
In addition to the main 18-hole layout, there is a shorter 12-hole layout with some overlap but 8 or 9 separate holes. I played these as well. They are much shorter and rec-friendly, but most of them are somewhat technical, so they're fun.
Cons: The tee signs show distance and elevation change, but they aren't helpful in showing landmarks on the fairway, so you'll end up walking a few fairways before throwing.
Hole 9, while scenic, has no risk/reward since there is no bailout option. Either you make it across, or you don't. You either lose your disc to the water or end up OB on the rip rap.
Too many of the holes along the rip rap favor lefties or forehand throwers. The only holes I can think of that favor righties are 9, 12 (I think), and 14.
Some of the tee pads are a little short.
Other Thoughts: The course was re-designed at least 3 years ago based on the reviews, but the map on this site still reflects the old design. You can see remnants of the old design. I have only two complaints. One, could they not have used a wooded hole or two in the 18-hole course that are part of the 12-hole course? This is great terrain. Two, why did they get rid of the absolute signature hole, the downhill peninsula drive (old #16) that was replaced by the far less fair and less interesting #9?
Overall, I had a great time here. It's a really attractive, quiet area that requires a pretty complete game to score well.
This is the kind of place that you'd probably only discover if you lived in town or if you play disc golf here. I love out-of-the-way spots like this. Kudos to whoever got this place installed.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
June Lovely Day
Pros: Course is great for exercise and long throws to set up nestled putts. Many wildflowers and rustic setting around a seriously engineered lake created behind a dam. All baskets are in good shape and the variety of shots could not be a better equalizer for those who can drive deep and often.
Cons: The course is open to the elements and so plays a bit like a midwestern course when windy (my round was relatively mild with just enough wind to cut the heat of the day). A fair amount of trash on the course as there is no obvious place to put trash on the course.
Other Thoughts: The swim was great in the smaller pond, although the official beach is on the larger lake. $4 to swim in the lake but free to swim the pond (I entered via the small beach near the fishing dock to the left of the boat ramp.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Full Day of Golf
Pros: Want a full day of golf? Buffum has it. 29 holes total for you. Open shots and tight wooded technical shots. Swimming is allowed. Have a picnic and throw some discs and go for a dip.
Cons: Get packed. Some pretty bad water hazards. Rocks all along many of the holes from the Dam.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Bring your arm
Pros: - very well marked, great tee pads, cool shots, sweet terrain
Cons: -course really benefits people that can throw the farthest, most of the baskets do not have any high risk/reward shots, except for one shot over the dam (my disc blew into the spillway)
- Front 18 are great, but must really play the back 9 also to get some tight wooded shots. However, the back 9 are poorly marked
Other Thoughts: If your within an hour and half, make the drive. it is a very long course and very fun, people with big arms will really enjoy, but shorter arm people will need to be on their putting game to compete
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Grip and rip!
Pros: The amenities are all there. The tee pads (concrete or rubber) are all in good shape. Although a few are a bit short. The signage is great (and educational) and navigation is a breeze.
The course is well maintained and clean. The fairways are clear and grass is mowed.
It's also nice and quiet. You may encounter a couple walkers along the front half or some fishers on 9, but for the most part, you don't need to worry about bystanders impeding play.
There is a "mini nine" made up of remnants of the old course that offers a nice change of pace from the standard 18 hole layout.
There are a couple individual holes that I think are really well designed:
Hole 1: This hole requires a big drive with relatively few obstructions. The closer you end up to the OB rip-rap on the left, the better look you have at the basket. This opens up a nice risk/reward scenario.
Hole 10: Tee off over a channel to a tree line on the other side. Hit the gap in the trees and there is a nice landing zone offering a nice approach shot. Miss the gap and it will cost you a stroke.
Hole 15: This hole will mess with your head. The tee is on the dam playing over the channel. The tee is perfectly placed such that just about anyone that really goes for it and comes up short will end up in the channel. So you're forced to power down and hit a blind, tiered landing area short, or take your chances and go for it (about 400' to clear the water).
Cons: Distance is king here. The course is heavily biased to the players who can throw the farthest. This is particularly evident early on with hole 2. It is a straight shot, slight uphill approx 700 feet. The fairway is lined with OB riprap on the left and a tree line on the right. However, the fairway is wide enough to allow just about any distance line you want. As long as it finishes between those lines, you're all set. The trees and rip-rap are enough to punish bad shots, but anything inbetween will provide an equally good look for your next shot.
This tends to be the theme of the course. A large number of holes emphasize distance over placement. The holes that require a long drive leave plenty of space to use just about any disc or shot you need to get max distance. There's no real test of long range accuracy.
The OB rip-rap continues to be a factor throughout the course. Five holes (1, 2, 3, 7, and 8) are lined by OB on the left, favoring the LHBH or RHFH player. Holes 9, 15 and 17 also have OB to the left, but it doesn't come into play quite as much. Hole 14 is the only one with the OB to the right. It doesn't take long for this to get very repetative and boring.
Hole 9 is particularly frustrating if you can't clear about 325' in a usually swirling wind. This is what is required to clear the water and OB rip-rap (which has a tendency to kick discs into the water). If you don't have the range to get to the other shore, you may as well just accept the penalty and head down to the drop zone located on the opposite shore.
Other Thoughts: This course was clearly designed for advanced players. Casual players will be frustrated and possibly turned off to the sport after playing here. Having alternate tees on all but the shortest holes would be a huge help in that regard. There are a couple alternates already (on 1, 2, 9, 16 and 17), but there are many more holes that could use them.
Even the big guns that have the distance needed to play this course will find the layout repetitive and boring. There need to be more reward opportunities for good tee shots, particularly on the longer holes.
I only played the old 27-hole layout once, but I enjoyed that layout much more than the new 18.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 27 holes to play! The course wasn't too hard to navigate without a map, you really just have to check which tee you are at before teeing off. Water comes into play several times which keeps you on your toes.
- concrete tee pads
- clean, well maintained
- elevation used
- mix of open/wooded
- some multiple tee options
- helpful locals
Cons: The course was very crowded on a Friday afternoon which really slowed us down. Some holes play near or overlap each other.
Other Thoughts: As if 27 holes aren't enough, there is a 9 hole course (Hodges Village Dam) just a few minutes up the road.
There are plenty of fun holes here and I really enjoyed it. It is definitely worth playing, I would just avoid peak hours.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: great for beginners
cool tee locations
Cons: some tees are over water which isn't good for beginners
some holes aren't marked and some tees have moved
not to sure if there in process of moving tees but hard to find baskets
Other Thoughts: fun course lots of holes makes for a good day
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I'm sure that the course will be labeled, re-mapped, and playable soon. A couple of the new holes are very challenging, and it's nice to see the back side of the dam... plus its always fun to play the holes before they are completely cleared.
Cons: There are no updated course maps, scorecards, navigation help, or anyone with a clue at the moment. The new 18-course loops onto the back side of the dam, across the waterside path you see from old hole 16, thru the back-back 9 area, and back to the first parking area. See "other thoughts" for directions on the course as we've figured it so far.
Other Thoughts: The 27 holes have been split into a beginner-9 and a pro-18. Beginner-9 is the loop from old-3 to 11. Directions for Pro-18 as follows, as best as we could figure.
#1: tee from old 3, basket at old 4. (3 and 4 combined)
#2: tee from old 5, basket far ahead by road.(at end of dam)
#3: tee from top of dam, basket on right treeline (in a cluster of pines)
#4: tee from in woods, basket to the right (blind corner)(next tee is uphill & a little back from basket)
#5: tee from dam treeline, basket on mound (straight thru on next rise)
#6: tee on trail entrance, basket on rock hill in woods
#7: tee on dam treeline, basket in gully on right (just past large birch)
#8: tee on dam treeline, basket in woods on right (just before end of tree line)
#9: tee from waterside, basket at old 16 (over water, disc eater)
#10: tee from canal, basket at old 19
(#11 & 12 not marked/ played old 20 & 21)
#13: tee from old 22, basket into left treeline at red trail marker
#14: tee in woods, throw out along dam to basket in gully on left
#15: old pro 27? not marked yet
#16: old 18? not marked yet
#17: old pro 1? not marked yet
#18: tee from old 14 pro, basket at old 2?
Hope this helps... I know I was lost the first time out. I'll update as it gets clearer out there.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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