Insert dam pun here
2 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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
June Lovely Day
0 Helpful / 1 Not
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 / 6 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 6 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.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
I felt like i was in an episode of lost
Pros: First 11 holes were awesome and had a terrific variety, good use of elevation, wooded sections and open sections really great atmoshpere and a good challenging course plus 28 holes!
Cons: It was the most difficult course to navigate no signage at all holes pretty much random placed and no real great place to start i started on hole three because that is where the main parking lot is and played most holes however once i started to reach 14 holes disappered i would throw on 16 then discover i was throwing at hole 20 something also grass is getting high and plenty of ticks are waiting
Other Thoughts: with a little work and some signs this would be an amazing course and could really stand out however there are some major roadblocks, they are working on some holes now and it seems they are attmpting to make it easier to navigate
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
B+ = Be Bery Bery nice!
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 and more hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == B+
(Several huge downhill holes (1, 14, 16) have water in play big time and really force you to make the go-for-it versus play-it-safe decision - I imagine that decision is often influenced by the wind (it was calm the day I played). I love the creativity of hole 10 with 2 different fairways......but it easily could have been 3 with even better choices. Other than those holes (and some artificial OB (yellow rope) along the rocks of the dam), Buffumville is a pretty low risk course which makes the rewards on many beautiful holes much less rewarding.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == B+
(About 1/2 of the holes just right for me, 1/4 are too long, and 1/4 are too short. It seems like the course was designed to make everyone happy.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == B
(This course is unique and amazing in both the aesthetic and the use of the dam. Great disc golf terrain too. Overall, the course is too open to really force a challenging line on the majority of the holes. There seems to be an inordinate amount of left-to-right shaped holes.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == B
(There are some incredibly beautiful spots - I would hold basket 21 up against any spot anywhere - a basket on a secluded bluff over a beautiful lake. The aesthetic of the dam is unique and rugged and interesting....but not beautiful in a classic sense (other than the amazing tee shot off the top of the dam on #16). Much of the course runs along the park road and that it a real downer in my book. That takes a lot away from the huge "upper" of having a beautiful lake in view for a lot of the course and in play for a few holes.
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == C-
(Holes 16, 19, 22 and 27 were set up in positions that took 2 shots to reach the basket. None were particularly taxing or required a lot of strategy. But it is great to see multi-throw holes!)
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (150+ 18-hole, 90+ 9-hole as of late 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me…..and that's the fun of things here.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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