That Dam Course!
3 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.
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 / 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.
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.
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.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Interesting Dam course
Pros: The navigation is pretty easy if you have the course map (you must bring your own as the only one they have there is on a bulletin with all the walking trails and is confusing). The tees have post next to them with the hole number, par, distance, and bag hooks. The tee pads are concrete and level. There are benches scattered throughout the course near slower playing holes. The pathways in between holes are lined with fallen timbers. The upper parking lot has a porta pottie (near hole 5). There is an amazing assortment of shots between holes. A great use of OB between the dam rocks is used (marked by a faint blue line painted on the rocks). Some holes are grip and rip while others offer a variety of pathways for tunnel shots. There is also a warmup basket in between holes three and twelve(which share the same teepad). Hole sixteen was my favorite as the basket sits on the edge of the water and it's a long downhill par four. Hole twenty was pretty amazing too as it's a tight wooded shot with the basket sitting in a pile of rocks.
Cons: A large majority of the holes overlap at some point; whether it be the fairways or the walkways to get to the next hole. Although the tee pads are level and concrete they are wide at the back and narrow near the front. They are also shorter and I would like. Throughout the wooded area it looks as if there are random saplings just sitting there trying to guard the basket. There are poorly placed next tee signs (I.E. 10` in the air or right on the ground nowhere near the basket). Throughout the course there is probably almost a foot of difference in height of the baskets. Hole fifteen is a dogleg left over a small parking lot (which seems to be crowded with dog walkers vehicles). There are no scorecards and/or course specific maps available.
Other Thoughts: There are Ace tags on all the tees. The tags have the name, date, and pin location of the ace engraved on a small placard. There is a bulletin board for the course on hole three's and twelve's tee pads.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: liked alot of the holes. some interesting water play and use of elevation makes this course worth trying out. well maintained when i went. 27 holes.
Cons: hard to find your way around,,,tees not well marked and i rarely could find the blue tees.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Nice looking course. It has a wide range of holes. Close ones, long ones, up hill, down hill, tight ones, and open ones. I would recommend playing it.
Cons: It isn't marked off well. I got lost looking for the first hole. It is by a small pond not by any parking lot. If you park in the second lot you will drive by it. There is a small map by the billboard at hole 3.
Other Thoughts: Very nice course. It is nice to have 27 holes. You can stop at 18 or if you are on fire keep shooting.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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