Best Open Course Ever
0 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Course was built in old-ball golf (abandoned by town), but still maintained by UNC, meaning amazing open fairways. Mowed by UNC, but completely built, maintained, updated by current and previous students and volunteers.
Cons: Major drainage issues on hole 4,5, 6 and 8.
Other Thoughts: Doubles fundraisers every Sat, 10:30 at hole 9 (Gen Admin parking lot). $4 goes to the club (to buy discs, maintain course, Tar Heel tourney, etc.) and $1 for ace pool. CTPs, etc.
0 of 13 people found this review helpful.
If you're in the area, this course is a must
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -This course utilizes elevation changes well, and the holes are quite varied and interesting
-The basket locations are moved frequently to keep the game fresh
-This is the place in the area to drop 400+ foot bombs
-Aces are difficult, but possible and very rewarding
Cons: -The signage is still not quite up to date, but if you play it once, you will not have a problem with organization
-At times the course can get muddy (the drainage here can be an issue)
-Because this course is one of the best in the area, can be quite crowded. Try this course early in the morning or later in the evening
Other Thoughts: -By far my favorite course in the RDU/Chapel Hill area
-If you aren't totally confident that you can throw over the water on hole 3, don't try. That lake eats discs
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Course has every type of hole, wooded, open, even one requiring you to clear water
-Many of the holes just look awesome from the tee box. The use of terrain makes just about every hole feel different and fresh and keeps it interesting throughout the full round
-There are 6 air it out holes on the course which you don't find much of in the area
-Many holes offer great risk reward shot layouts
Cons: -Poor signage. The first time you come to play the course, good luck. Finding holes 16 and 17 was particularly challenging.
-When the vegetation grows in some holes can be real disc eaters
-The course drains water terribly. If it rains within 3 days of when you are playing get ready to get a little bit muddy
-The course is a huge loop which makes it nearly impossible to just play a quick 9. Be ready to play them all.
Other Thoughts: This course is the best in area in my opinion. When you want to find a course that will truly test all aspects of your game this is the course you should play in the area. Just make sure before you go out that you park at hole 8/9 so you don't get ticketed, remember if its rained lately you will get muddy, and get ready to be tested on all your shots. This is a great course and one I would consider a can't miss if you're in the area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
The only thing worth doing in Chapel Hill
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: -Mixes it up with a solid variety of holes
-Some truly beautiful holes
-Excellent use of the topography
-Just plain fun
Cons: -Poor signage
-Can definitely be confusing the first time
-Less than family friendly
-Broken glass everywhere!!!
-Missing the fairway is gonna cost you, hopefully just a stroke or two, but possibly a disc or two
Other Thoughts: Yes, I look up and see more cons than pros, but do not let this keep you from playing this course! UNC's course is, quite simply, the only reason I ever need go to Chapel Hill, or indeed, step foot on University property. Almost every hole has something to offer.
As a non-student, I started on Hole 9, which is the recommended starting point for non-students with non-parking passes. You'll find a putting basket here, so that's nice. These couple of wooded holes (9-11) are generally free of the thick underbrush that you'll find later on if you miss the fairways. All 3 all use elevation and tight passages quite well. Hole 12 is short and simple, but gives you a glimpse of the fact that 1- you're on a college campus, and 2- all that 2 foot tall crap on your left is in abundance on this course, so tread carefully or lose plastic. Holes 13-15 are open, air-it-out kinds of holes that are just beautiful, and wonderfully designed holes, especially 14. Holes 16 and 17 take you back into the woods and traverse a deep ravine, so land that shot correctly or risk rolling down a long way. Hole 18 is in a creek bed that is apparently also a garbage dump. It has two baskets, neither of which have the number 18 on them. Its not terrible, and due to the bracken, clutter, and debris, its definitely a challenge. Once you've made the journey to Hole 1, passing by the tennis players and failing to navigate the rock wall, you'll find another nice hole in the woods. Its followed by Hole 2, which is not a nice hole in the woods. Its probably the most difficult hole on the course, with no discernible fairway or lane through the trees, which is a darn shame because its still pretty great. It boasts a pin placement stuck between some large boulders on a steep hillside that is definitely a putting challenge no matter where you are approaching it from. Too bad then that my pretty great tee shot hit some low-hanging leaves that not only killed it, but caused it to roll downhill and backward. This hole needs some major maintenance to be the fantastic hole it could be. Hole 3 tees off over a small pond, and the close pin placement is aceable if you've got the guts to risk your disc to make it. Hole 4 is a throwaway- longish and straight and flat, and at a par 4 its just plain dull. Its also low, and usually quite wet. Hole 6 is similar but shorter- 4 and 6 are the least interesting on the course. Hole 5 is really nice however, forcing your tee shot to curve right then back left. Neither is a fun place to be, so you better hit that fairway! Hole 7 has a fantastic pin on the edge of a 12 ft high cliff, making putting interesting. Finishing up with Hole 8, which is nothing too dramatic or challenging, but it nicely brings you right back to where you parked. All the tees are plenty big enough.
The course wasn't too crowded when I played, but neither time was when Spring or Fall classes were in session. There were a few students however, and they were nice enough to curse quite loudly and vulgarly near my kids, whom they knew were there. But everyone seemed friendly enough. The signage is just horrendous though- I don't really consider a laminated sheet of paper much of a sign, and that's assuming they are actually there. They also don't relay par information. Many holes have benches, which is always appreciated, and some are even equipped with disc chargers, though I've had mixed results with them. Unfortunately, not all the benches are secured to the ground, which came as a surprise. Trash was also a problem, no doubt a result of the large number of drinking college students who play and the lack of trash cans on any hole. The bigger issue for me was the large amount of broken glass around the course. When you are traversing rocky, hilly terrain with lots of exposed roots, you can probably expect to trip or slip at least once, and the amount of glass present is unsettling. Navigating the course the first time is difficult- I've been told the course has been changed multiple times, and probably as a result most baskets are marked with the incorrect hole number. The official course map isn't much help if you ask me. There are numerous walking paths and trails criss-crossing the course leading you away from your next hole. The area around 9-12 was problematic, you may never find 16 after finishing 15, the walk from 18 to 1 is long and not marked, and the walk to 6 from 5 is also a hike. However, once you've walked it once its easy enough to remember, so take someone who knows the course with you the first time. For those starting on Hole 1, I guess Hole 18 is not really close to where you started, but you are also probably a student and walked to the course, so this is also not really an issue.
All in all, though it has some definite issues, this is one of my favorite courses, and I jumped at the chance to play it again. It could use some grooming and the signs and baskets need updating, but the course really plays well and certainly challenges you.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: UNC brings a ton of variety and not just in itself. The course stands in stark contrast with most of the area courses, with multiple open holes and numerous chances to fire off bombs. That just doesn't happen around here and I can see why people would relish the opportunity.
But there is also a lot of variety on this course itself. It moves from tight wooded holes to the aforementioned open spaces, back to the woods and once again on open, freshly mowed fairways. Holes go left, right, up and down. Sometimes more than one direction at once. There is just a ton of different things happening on this course.
And there are some great holes. The highlight for me is that second set of opens. The 13 tee is at the exit of the woods and its a long, 467-foot uphill climb across a gorgeous glen. 14 is next and its an over-the-valley shot across a loooong valley, daring you to make the distance. The final shot in the meadow is a straight downhill burner to a pin backed by shrubbery.
16 is equally awesome if you can find it. It's over a valley again but this one is wooded. The holes leading up the meadow,(9,10) uphill, through the woods are also outstanding. The set of good holes here are well worth coming back for. The chance to throw a bunch of everything only enhances the desire.
Cons: A lot of factors keep this course from being the top-notch course it could be. First, the signs are old, worn-out and all but useless. On 2 I shot blind to where the basket supposedly was. Finding no basket, I was confused. In the distance there was a basket marked "3." More confusing. Eventually I figured out that it was mislabeled and misplaced.
Then there's the baskets. From the looks of them, they were the first disc golf baskets ever fashioned. But that's just the extra stuff. The bigger issue is the flow, or lack thereof. There are some long walks and in general it does not transition well from hole to hole. The route you are expected to find between 15 and 16 is insane. (Have a map, or walk to the 17 basket and backtrack) That's not the only tee that expects you to know how to find it. 3 and 6 are plenty hidden.
Yet still, the biggest problem is the dud holes. They needed three completely flat, completely open holes? (4, 6, 8) 5 is open too, but it's nice with the creek crossing midway. All-together, the 4-9 stretch is not very interesting or challenging.
18 is ok, but after the long, long, long walk to get there from 17, it's completely anti-climactic. But that dings the flow more than the hole design. The good hole probably outnumber the problematic ones here, but unfortunately, all the "other stuff" here is subpar.
Other Thoughts: So in summation, there are things I really like about UNC, and things I really dislike. It's not the best course in the area, but it probably could be. There is a lot of variety and some very good holes, but also some bad ones. It's a true mixed bag.
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: - Awesome mixture of wooded, hilly, open, technical, and water holes.
- Plenty of parking
- Never to crowded to play right through
- multiple courses close by
- some holes on the back 9 you can really open up and rip a few good long drives
- some holes require thinking
Cons: - Directions dont take you to the right parking lot.
Other Thoughts: Good tough course that anyone can enjoy.. Watch out for that pond near holes 2 and 3.. Its bigger than it looks.
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 12 Not
Well rounded course
Pros: You will use every shot in your arsenal to play this course. So many different shots. It is well maintained and the scenery is great. It has never been busy when I've been there however I am from wisconsin and have only played there in Nov.
1 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course is nestled in the heart of Chapel Hill and is at the old Chapel Hill country club. A lot of the course is on old golf course fairways and is very well maintained. This is something you can't find too many other places and makes the course definitely worth a play. The best holes are hole 3 over the water, hole 14 across the valley, and hole 5 down the hill. There are concrete tee pads, benches, and trashcans throughout the course.
Cons: A .5 point deduction in my rating is because of the signage. There are bad little signs on the holes and some holes don't even have them! The baskets don't have the correct numbers on them. Sometimes there are 2 tees or 2 baskets on the same hole and no direction on which one to use. There are some places where it is extremely confusing where to go and all it would take is $10 worth of arrows to be put up. The first time I played I spent a few hours wondering around. You WILL get lost if you don't have someone helping you. The hardest to find are 16/17 (Go half way back up the hill and into the woods(look for little paths) to the right of the basket of 15, don't go down the hill!). The other 1 point deduction comes from the lack of par 4s (only one I think)/5s(none) and the lack of interesting holes. Most holes are straight shots through the open or straight shots through the woods.
Other Thoughts: The area doesn't drain well and even a few days after rain can be muddy, wear shoes you don't care terribly about!
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
One of the best in the Triangle
Pros: - Great mix! Elevation changes. Left, right, straight. Hole shapes. Open vs. wooded. Short and long. A water hole. I don't feel like there any "throw-away" holes (we need to get 1 more so we have 18....).
- This course is worn (other then 18), but not worn-out. There are benches at many of the holes. Concrete teepads for all holes. There are trash-cans (it's a clean park). If you know how to read the "tracks", you can find your way.
- I think what is best about this course is the overall design. The open holes are long - so you are rewarded for airing it out, and have the room to do so. The shorter holes are wooded, and reward accurate shots. They had a great piece on land to work with, and utilized it to it's fullest.
Cons: - The signs are adequate, but not great. It seems like there are out of date for some holes. Probably back in the day, they were good - now with the newer signs on many courses they are sub-par.
- Course flow - not the best. If you play regularly, it's probably not a big deal. For visitors, make sure you bring a map (if possible). The challenging transitions - 7-8: halfway down the fairway to the left, look for the little plank bridge. 15 to 16: look for the low orange sign marking the path in the woods to the right, about half-way down the fairway. 17-18: head back towards the basket for 15. Thanks for the paper signs. Hopefully some permanent ones get installed. 18 to 1: walk around the tennis courts to the right - you're heading towards the spot where the road that you can see coming down the hill hits the bottom.
Other Thoughts: - I have played starting at 1 and starting at 9. I prefer 9 - you get a little easier hole to start on.
- I think they have moved baskets around, so some of the numbers may not be correct. Don't be thrown by this. When I played, there weren't really places where you can get confused (maybe 9 - you might see 7, but if you look at the map on the tee, it's very straightforward).
- I don't particularly like the new hole 18. With the development of the high-ropes course, I see why they moved it, but that old hole was better then the long, straight tunnel shot. When I played, baskets were in both short and long positions, and I didn't see the long one from the tee - I was really disappointed - the short basket (don't know the distance, no tee sign) is a short, tight ace run. The long almost doubles the distance and puts the basket slightly to the right. To be honest, there are a lot of other great holes, if you start at 1, to end on 18, it's not quite up to par with the rest of the course.
- My personal favorite holes: 12 (I like throwing thumbers, that is an ace-run with no risk of losing a disc onto the softball field). 15 (down-hill straight shot onto a peninsula). 2 (tight, downhill to a basket on a rock-outcropping).
- I don't get to play this course too often - it's a little further for me then other courses, but it's a great course. If you're visiting the Triange for DG, it's a MUST PLAY.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Terrific Course, Lacking some refinement
Pros: 18 hole course set in an athletic/recreational section of UNC-Chapel Hill's campus.
- Plenty of parking where I ended up starting (holes #8 and 9 - see below for other thoughts)
- Variety of holes - half the course plays through some tightly wooded sections, while half plays in more open areas (apparently the site of an old ball golf course) that appeared to be mowed
- Gorgeous views - the ball golf holes really were something to see - from the long tunnels on 4 and 5, to the valley throw-over on 14, this course looked great
- U, D, L, R - this course had all shapes for its holes - among others, #10 and 13 playing uphill, #2 and 15 playing downhill, other going down then up, #7 and 12 going left to right, #8 and 9 going right to left - these are all mixed with woods and open
- Noted above, but good use of elevation - this course has some rolling hill sections, as well as some more rugged areas across small valleys/ditches in the woods - these are in contrast to the numerous flat holes that are interwoven - overall, the layout does not wear you out
- Nice DisCatchers stand out in the wooded sections
- Tee signs were there, showing distance and par, but they were in rough shape and I don't think they had a hole map
- Flush, concrete tee pads wider at the back for easy runup
- Multiple tees on some holes, multiple pin locations (one basket) on some holes
- Course map is available online and is pretty accurate
- Even the wooded holes were not too thick with downed foliage, so relatively low chance for lost disc, unless you really yank a drive on some of the open holes (13, 14, 15) - #12 is a short hole, but has some high stuff, I did spend some time looking for a drive gone long on #7
- There are some challenging pin positions here - #2 next to a drainage ditch, #15 on a plateau in front of a dropoff, etc.
- Not sure if there is any OB - water in play on a couple holes - pond throwover on #3, small creek on side of #4 and across #5
- Restrooms near hole #1 (which was mid-round for me)
- Benches on many holes
- No trash that I remember
- As mentioned, some real nice golf holes - #2 is a tight, wooded downhill shot to a pin perched near a drainage ditch, #3 is a pitch over a small pond, #5 is an absolute beauty playing slightly downhill, through a gap in trees growing up out of a creek bed to an open finish, #7 is an anny line through a wooded area, #12 (not popular by most apparently, but I really liked it) is a short, little anny that requires you to stay right or risk dropping down a fairly steep hill that runs down to a softball field (cool to overlook it), #14 is another beauty playing across a grassy down-up valley to a pin perched near a large, shady tree
Cons: - Course start and navigation - as mentioned a lot, the most common spot for people to park and start is at hole #9 - I'm sure there is a way to park and start at hole #1, but it's not the most accessible (maybe not at all for non-students?) - it could be worthwhile to re-number the holes and have a course map near this lot
- Navigation was a litt tough, even with the map, in a couple spots - had to search a bit to get from #15 to #16 (compounded by the "hole closed" sign mentioned above), also had to hunt for tee #1 - bit of a long walk from #5 to #6 with no clear directional sign
- Tee signs were not in good shape and I had to walk up some fairways to see where I was headed
- A couple fairways were a bit mucky after rain during the morning (#6 and 8, I think)
- A couple holes play under a ropes course zip-line and although I didn't encounter anyone, signs indicated that they will always have the right of way while you are playing
Other Thoughts: - Many reviews on here note that the baskets are mis-numbered - I don't really remember that, but since some of those reviews are recent, I have to assume it's still the case and I just didn't notice - using the course map should make this inconsequential
- Their tournament had just been played the weekend before and there was something about hole #16 being closed and being replaced by some alternate - I think I "ignored it properly" and played the correct/normal layout
- Another tourney sign said that basket #18 was in some long position, but I never found it and re-played the hole, assuming they mvoed it back to the short position
I think the course itself is top-notch and I was close to giving it a 4.5 due the variety, beauty and challenge. However, the poor tee signs, navigation, parking, hole #'s, etc. could all be improved upon to make it an overall top-notch experience. Once you get past those things, the holes themselves were terrific. This was my favorite course during my visit to the Raleigh area (out of 6 - UNC, Buckhorn, Zebulon, Middle Creek, Cedar Hills and Leigh Farm) and I hope to get back sometime. Would have loved to play it a second time, but I went up this way on my last day and still wanted to play Leigh Farms in the afternoon.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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