13 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautiful disc golf, could only get so much better easily
Pros: This is the one that made me want more on my trip to the area. I loved it and played it twice. While I love challenge I don't necessarily crave the distance that Gold level courses bring into the mix, so this Blue level course was just what I needed with a great mix of shot selection required due to the varying hole types and unique terrain.
The area is beautiful with great site work and landscaping done in part because it was an old ball golf course. Now the disc golf course reaps the benefits of that previous work, but also gets to dive into the unique wooded ravines and valleys that surround the manicured fairways.
The variety and balance here was outstanding. From tight woods, to wide open rippers, to downhill bombers, water hazard, elevation, and valley edge to valley edge touch shots, this course has great variety for 18 holes. Some longer wooded holes and eliminating the throwaway #6 would make it even better.
The signs were great with a good depiction of the hole and accurate distance.
There were indeed some memorable holes. I wanted to jot down and describe more than 75% of them! #1 has a nice fast green and some terraced fairway landscaping in a great wooded valley. #2 is stunning beauty of a hole. A fairly long downhill wooded valley with scattered trees to shape your drive. Then punch out to the pin in the open but very near a stormwater drain ditch for some risk. #3 is picturesque and over a pond off the tee. Not a simple over the pond shot either. #4 and #13 offer the wide open 400'+ ripper hole. #5 is a beautifully framed and elevated tee and green from a former par 3 bolf hole - makes a great disc golf hole. #10 is a great uphill wooded hyzer (RHBH) with a pin near the edge of a ridge for some risk. #14 is a rolling valley with great elevation (50-75') throwing downhill to a pin hidden behind a lone giant tree. This is your downhill bomber hole. #14 is a downhill touch shot. 75' elevation change to a pin on the edge of a raised green with severe threat of blowing past it and winding up another 30-40' below the pin with no view on your upshot (here is an example where an alternate pin way down below in that valley would offer a GREAT option to crush a drive downhill). #16 and 17 are those excellent valley edge to valley edge wooded holes than I love so much where you throw from an elevated tee, over a gully, and up to the pin on a risky rollaway slope. #18 is a beautifully framed hole with some manmade fields and tennis courts as possible OB. You throw uphill and try to thread in between a few major trees to a pin perched on a good slope that loves to skip your disc away if you can even make the s-curve drive.
Cons: Only one pin placement (although I saw a few alternate sleeves on various holes). Having a second pin placement on many holes would showcase much more of the unique and beautiful terrain, offer some more needed distance, introduce some risky greens, and add needed variety in skill/challenge.
Only one tee on many of the holes. A second set of tees would really wake up the variety and skill challenge throughout this course. The best option might be to leave the current tees as a white level tee and install shorter red level tees and some even longer blue level tees. Plus, there seemed to be older style and shorter concrete pads for holes 3, 4, 5, and 6.
I think there was wasted potential on the walk between #5 and 6, and not incorporating the wooded ravine and the bridge. But my opinion is that I like manmade obstacles incorporated into the design. This wooded potential is even more squandered because #6 is just a wide open throwaway hole.
Hole #2 had no tee sign but it was probably due to the recent redesign.
Despite the clean and beautiful setting, there is some annoying road and traffic noise on holes 4-9.
Baskets were old style DISCatchers modified with an inner layer of overlapping chains. They caught fine. They had numbers on them that didn't match the hole at all.
While the setting was beautiful, it was not secluded. Lots of road noise, private residences, and college activity all around.
Other Thoughts: I was never torn on this rating. The fun, unique, and beautiful terrain and the well balanced variety in design was screaming high rating after playing a third of the round and things just kept getting better. This course is a solid 4.0. Lack of multiple tees throughout and multiple pin placements keeps it from being more. Also, lacking good par 4 holes, longer wooded holes, and having a throwaway hole #7 will keep the rating down. The redesign on hole #2 is becoming a thing of beauty, and it looks like commitment to the course is strong. Installing some more option for skill/challenge would be ideal. Add longer tees, and add riskier alternate pin placements. Although with the challenge of Leigh Farm, this course will fill a great par 3 niche in the area with its setting, terrain, balance, and variety.
I'd say this is a Blue level course. When you have the option, the longer tees fit the bill of a blue level skill course. I never play as well my first time through a course, but this course did challenge me on almost every shot. A few excellent drives and LONG putts kept me in the game.
(The order of favorites on my Raleigh trip is as follows - UNC, Leigh Farms, Harris Lake, Cedar Hills, Zebulon, Middle Creek, and Valley Springs. UNC and Leigh farms were runaway winners but with vastly different reasons. Harris Lake was repetitive being almost all wooded, but real fun to play and lots of risk. Cedar Hills, Zeb, and Middle creek were all tied around the average for different reasons. Valley Springs was very fun, but repetitively grueling.)
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course is well mixed with open, wooded, easy and difficult holes. Can be very difficult or laid back. In a well kept area, course is well maintained.
Cons: No signage. We missed two holes because we did not know where to go. Some simple updates make this a great place to play. A sign in the parking lot pointing to tee #1 would have been nice also, we started on hole 5...
Other Thoughts: We went with a group of beginners and experienced players' everyone had fun. Awesome terrain overall, just needs some up-keep for non-regular players navigation.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Best in the Area
Pros: On the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. Well groomed course, very clean. Grass is always mowed and there are trash cans at most tee boxes. Benches at every hole.
The best layout in the area, by far. Built around the Old Finley Golf Course on campus, there are everything from epic bombs to tight technical shots. Water in play on #3 is more of a distraction, but the pond will eat plastic. Distance and accuracy are both required to score well. Long layout has 650'+ bombs (#4) and 200' technical shots (#16, #17). Use of elevation and the existing ball golf course are phenomenal. Very picturesque.
Signage is pretty good, hole #, distance and diagram for all, although the baskets move every now and then on some holes and that isn't always reflected.
The Carolina Disc Golf Club of UNC-Chapel Hill also do a lot of work and upkeep on the course. It's always in great shape.
Cons: Parking - the only place to park during most hours is behind the Admin building on Raleigh Rd, near #8 and #9. All Permit Required lots are monitored. Hole #1 is near the Outdoor Ed Center lot, down the hill and to the left.
Not the easiest to navigate your first time out. The tee signs are good but some of the "next hole" directions are kinda vague. From #5's basket head to your right down the path and then fork left. Go under stone bridge and #6 will be in front of you on your left. From #18's basket, head right down the right hand side of the upper tennis courts, #1 is just past the big sign in front of you.
Some of the baskets are mis-numbered and in bad shape so it can be confusing for first timers. However, there are only a couple places where you can see two baskets from the tee, and the signage at the box is pretty explicit as to which is which.
The field that holes #6-#8 play around gets very wet and muddy after rain.
Restrooms and water at the Ed Center, but course is one long loop so no mid-round trips to the car.
Other Thoughts: Course can get crowded, but that's just a testament to it's design and reputation. A must play if you're in the Triangle area.
Best Hole - #14, 410' bomb over a huge valley. Too much fade either direction and you can end up off the fairway and scrambling for par.
Most Fun Hole - #5, 371'/444' One of the old golf holes, plays from an elevated tee box over a dry, overgrown, creek bed to a basket tucked back in the middle of the old green. RHBH hyzer bombs...
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
UNC disc golf amongst best in area
Pros: This is a great course with a wide variety of necessary shots. It has big holes for big arms including a 666' monster on #4. Also has short finesse shots through the woods. Nice elevation changes as well. Great excercise to play the full 18 because of all the hills. The 13th is an absolutely brutal uphill par 3 at about 450' with a narrow landing area from the tee pad.This course requires an all around game to score low. Course is very well maintained and is constantly being altered.
Cons: Impossible to play only 9 holes because neither the back nor the front loop back to the same parking lot. Parking is tough during the week as there really isn't any place that you can park without at least the threat of a ticket. Forget trying to park on Saturday home football games.
Other Thoughts: This course does not contain very many "chuck it and pray" type holes that are so wooded there isn't a clear path. A must play when in Chapel Hill area!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Remote Campus Course
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Nice track that runs through rolling hills and forest AWAY from most campus activities. It has a great mix of wooded holes and grassy open holes bordered by thick woods. The wooded holes will challenge your medium to short game mostly, but the open holes will allow you to launch a few (they will punish you if you don't stay on these fairways). Challenging fun course. Good tees and brightly colores "Carolina Blue" benches.
A couple of really memorable holes here - #2 is one of the more difficult holes - downhill, slightly left turning, harrow fairway, and pin perched in the middle of some large boulders on a sloping hill - but don't despair! They are not all quite this gnarly. Hole #3 short pin is just over the pond at about 230', with a grassy slope just behind the pin. Don't fall short or you are wet, but go too long and you are putting uphill with the pond only 20' behind the basket. I thought I was on an ace run both rounds but ended 60' past the basket each time. Hole #14 is simply beautiful, a grassy rolling fairway with dual pins on each side of the fairway. The setting sun makes it even more picturesque.
Cons: Difficult to find the next tee in some cases (especially 16 & 18). Use the map posted here! The dual pins on #3 confused me as you could only see one of them from the tee, and one of them had both a
#4 & 5 on the basket. I would at least recommend placing a 3a and 3b on those pins (for us first timers).
Other Thoughts: You can park at hole 1 or 8 which can be a nice thing, but it's always better if #9 ends up at the clubhouse.
If you are looking to grab a few more quick holes - and are parked by hole #1, you can play 1-3, walk halfway back to the 3rd tee, cut left, and find 16 tee, then play your way out.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A course that has it all. 4 or 5 holes that let you air it out a little, and a good mix of wooded holes. Even a throw over a pond to kepp things exciting. Easy to navigate if you disregard the hole numbers. Flow is good with no long walks. Only the hole by the tennis courts get a little tricky, and good tee pads on every hole. Being a RHBH player it seems that most of the wooded holes are designed for RHFH players, but that just helps me work on shots I need to learn. Need to use a variety of shots to play a good round. Good use of hills and natural landscape throughout the course.
Grass fairways are always mowed nice and short, and basket positions are changed periodically on a few holes to keep things interesting.
Cons: One wooded hole on back nine with no real fairway. Kills me every time. You will be punished if you don't throw straight and controlled. Not a course that is full of scenic beauty and majestic views. 2 straight boring holes.
Baskets are not numbered correctly, and new players and visitors can be easily confused. Most locals park by #8 and start there.
Signs are hit and miss. They could use an update.
Other Thoughts: Becoming one of my favorite courses. Has everything you need for a fun round. Not that busy for being on a college campus.
This course can be very nice, but it seems like it gets no love. Once a year the fairways get trimmed and cleared for the Tarheel Open, but that seems to be it. Signs and navigation need help, and it just always seems like it could get better. Still a fun course to play, and worthy of a visit if you are in the area.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Just a Freaking Blast
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Not a lot I can add that others haven't. This course is the most fun in the Triangle IMO. It is well managed and maintained, the baskets are in good shape (love how some are painted yellow like the tops). Good signage on most holes. Good length, flows fairly well with good open holes and some really quality wooded holes. Has at least one hole with water in play (it got my TL). Although there isn't hole variety in the strictest sense of the holes, (most play straight) the changing topography of the holes makes them unique enough to break up the monotony. Multiple tees, nice benches on nearly every hole, lots of trash cans. Really clean considering it's on a campus. Makes really nice use of the elevation.
Cons: Some of the baskets are numbered incorrectly and there are some trails that will lead you off course if you' aren't careful. Getting to 6 was tricky, go straight into the woods after 5. Some signs missing on the front 9 but there weren't any blind tees so no biggie.
Be prepared to run into old ladies walking their dogs everywhere like they own the course and college students doing it up TDD style. I've had more than enough run ins with the brosephs and frat guys. Not really a con, they can just cramp your style if you're looking to have a serious round out there.
Other Thoughts: 2nd Update: Hole 18 has been changed. There are signs up directing you to it but in case they all blow away, just hail a left after hole 17 back towards hole 15's long position and go straight into the woods. Hole 18 has two baskets, a short straight putter rip away and a longer one that's kind of hidden out of sight on the right. Both are tunnel shots with lots of vegetation on the fairway still. It's on the other side of the tennis courts so the swampy valley that is the fairway is filled with rotting tennis balls, like a tennis ball graveyard. Yeah. And now the walk back to 1 is way longer but at least the water fountain/drink machine is along the way.
Update: BATHROOM LOCATIONS: There are some restrooms located in the main building at the 1st softball field you pass if you parked at the parking lot like most out of towners, it's left of the 3rd hole (#11 overall). You have to pass through a gate but it was open when I needed it. I think there are some restrooms at the end of the tennis court complex b/w holes 18 and 1. I know there's a drink machine over there. This course isn't the most difficult but the length, scenery, and playability makes the repeat factor really high. Some will complain about the variety but if you factor in that topography changes a bit that really helps. Could have used a good horseshoe hole or 2 though. Favorite hole: Hole 2 is 300' ish down hill with a boulder lined hillside/slope on the right. This isn't the best technically designed course but it really strikes a great chord in terms of fun and playability for novices and veterans alike. The quality of the Chapel Hill courses make it well worth a road trip. Buckhorn is better and prettier but this is much nicer to your game and more fun/relaxing.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Concrete Tee Pads, multiple hole layout (water hole, wooded, open, long, short), DISCatcher Baskets, Handles large crowds well, Good clearing in woods and good mowing on open holes. Holes in woods all have clear defined fairways. Although most holes baskets are directly in front of you they require different styles of throws to twist through the trees.
Cons: Some holes heavily wooded which makes finding discs difficult. If not first time playing here, could be challenging to navigate between holes. Some holes are tucked away in woods after being in open fields such as #7 or #16.
The course has a tendency to stay pretty damp on certain holes, even after light rains.
Other Thoughts: Very good course, challenging but fun.
Two places to park, you can make a left off of 54 towards Chapel Hill into the Softball field enterance, or up by the Law School for UNC, parking at the law school requires a long downhill walk and hole 1 will be on your left. If parking by the softball field you can start on holes 6,7,8 or 9.
Just played on 6/2/09 and they have made some changes to the course. Hole 8 has been extended and is now a dog leg right. They have built a nice wood bridge to cross over to the new tee for hole 9. The 9 tee box had not yet been poured but I would assume will be soon. It is now more of straight on but with a tight path.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 Not
A- = Almost As Good As It Gets
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- B+
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- A- (A in tournament setup)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- A
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- B+
5) Bonus amount for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- N/A
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 the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 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.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I can add anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me….that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
A dissenting opinion
Pros: All the holes are signed with decent hole diagrams and pointers to the next tee. Plenty of elevation variety and a mix of open and wooded holes. 13-15 are well designed open holes that are fun to play and make good use of the hills. 5 and 18 are decent open holes while 1, 2, 16, 17 are decent wooded ones; none except 2 really present much challenge though.
Cons: Course maintenance is good as far as grass cutting and such goes, however the standards are not in very good condition and are not numbered correctly. A few of the signs have somewhat inaccurate hole diagrams.
Unlike other people I do not find this course presents a ton of shot variety. Most holes are straight or have only a slight curve left or right. The beginning and middle of the course are fairly generic straight and/or open holes; 4, 6, and 8 being the worst candidates here. 10 is a very aggravating "pray it doesn't hit a tree" hole that presents little to no flight line and, as a result, it plays too long.
12 is an annoying hole because it plays alongside a baseball field.... that is down an extremely high and steep slope. It is much too easy for a beginner to throw a RHBH and have the natural disc curve take it over the small fence and onto this slope or even down onto the ball field. 18 also plays along a fenced area, but the fence is much higher so takes a much more errant shot for it to come into play.
The course is not too hard to navigate thanks to the signs. However, after #5, as you exit to the right, there are two paths that split off. If you take the left one that goes away from 5's tee you get to 6, if you take the other one you start backtracking and get dumped out on 14 after a long walk, so be careful.
Other Thoughts: NauticalUrge's directions in the review below are slightly inaccurate due to course additions. 2's tee is very close to 1's basket and heads back parallel to 1, though is longer. The next holes are a bit confusing. #3, as NU says plays from the left of the pond. Then there is another hole with two tees that require a little backtracking. One tee plays over the pond and the other is on the side of the pond opposite of #3. This should be #4, but according to the signs #4 is the hole after that is a long throw into the field. I think this is the old #2 and the hole signs have yet to be updated.
I'm not a big fan of the trapezoid tees because they limit your ability to shape your run up. I'm pretty sure #1 and/or #2 are "new" or altered holes not in the original layout so some signs may not yet be updated. I'm not really sure though, I'd like to see an official map of the course.
I've never figured out the deal with the parking lot. There is a sign marking this as a "T" student parking pass area for UNC-CH but I've never gotten a ticket there and few cars actually have UNC parking passes on them.
Finally, I've noticed I've gotten several "thumbs down" ratings for this review. As I mentioned, many people like this course so my 3.0 rating is just a reflection of my personal opinion, please don't rate me poorly just because you like the course and I put it at a 3 (which is still a "good"). Also, if my above hole directions are incorrect, that is only because I have no way of finding out what the official layout of the course is supposed to be (the map in the links appears to be outdated).
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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