9 Helpful / 0 Not
GREAT Course, but not quite "Perfect..."
Pros: Detailed Color Signage Available at most Tees; Almost every type of challenge available; Light to Moderate woodland fairways; Light to Extreme Valleys & Hills; Multiple Tees on Select Holes; Maintained Concrete Tees; Nice scenery, a former Ball Golf Course; Water Hazards (Pond & Creeks); GREAT use of all Terrain Elevation Types; Brand new Benches at almost every Tee.
Cons: EXTREMELY muddy even after light rain; Heavy traffic on the course during peak season; Missing Signage on a few Tees; Mis-Numbered Baskets throughout the Course; Certain Holes have fenced & locked O.B. Areas; No General Info/Map of the course at Tee #1.
Other Thoughts: The University of North Carolina's (UNC) Disc Golf Course is definitely built upon the reminance of a former ball golf course. I couldn't tell you what the former course was called, but when playing Holes #13-15, you can definitely tell the origins of this course.
UNC DGC is a smorgasbord of everything that could every challenge an avid Disc Golfer. The first nine holes feature moderate to heavily wooded valley shots, water hazards in the form of a respectable sized pond and creeks, tight wooded shots, blind shots over hills and through valleys, and even some open fielded holes.
According to the official UNC DGC scorecard that I recently received, "All Holes Are Par 3." However, especially on the back nine, there are several legitimate Par 4 holes (Holes 13-15). The back nine features three of the most beautifully crafted open-field valley shots in the Triangle, ranging from 350-467 ft in distance; a challenge for any long distance thrower.
While on paper, the course should be my favorite course in the Triangle, however, I feel that it just doesn't meet what I would personally expect from a course maintained by UNC. The first nine holes are littered with debris from previous course construction and storms. Signage is available at almost every hole, while some signage has obviously been vandalized.
There are only restroom facilities near the parking lot and tennis courts, where you first came into the course, and the course takes you quite far away from those facilities, so please keep that in mind. For those who require rest areas (benches) along the way, there are what looks to be brand new wooden benches at almost every tee, so rest assured on that.
Unfortunately, the baskets are completely mis-numbered, which leads to massive confusion on the course. We played between two groups of new players to the course, which is a good sign that the UNC DGC is getting new found attention, however, neither the group ahead, nor the group behind us had a map, so we ended up leading both groups. I had printed out a map of the course, but was amazed at how easily lost we became while playing the course, mostly due to mis-numbered baskets.
The best way to play this course is to print out a map, completely ignore the numbers of the baskets, and follow the navigation tips outlined below.
Navigation Tips for the UNC DGC
We used Google Maps to give us instructions, and going down 15-501 from I-40 is not the best option. I of course did not pay close enough attention to the overall area, so I should have gone down Hwy 54 West from I-40 (toward Chapel Hill, NC), turned LEFT onto Country Club Rd, and made a RIGHT turn into the Outdoor Education Center.
The parking lot is at the top of a hill that looks down upon a steep drive/pathway, with tennis courts to your right. Please use caution, as the driveway and even the steps are angled downward and may be are quite steep for some.
Tee #1 is on the left at the bottom of the steep hill, opposite the rock climbing wall.
The course is laid out hole after hole while following trails that encircle the entire Outdoor Center (Park).
From what I was able to tell some holes have multiple tees, while others do not. Some tees are the usual rectangular concrete tees, while others are trapezoid shaped concrete tees. There's signage indicating the hole design and distance at almost all of the tees.
Hole #2's tee is located to the left of the pond on the pathway, so you'll have to back-track a little bit. It is a blind shot and the basket is on the other side, slightly to the left.
Hole #3 goes directly over the pond.
Hole #4 is an open field which after and during rain (even light rain), becomes extremely muddy and treacherous to get through. There's a creek to the left side, surrounded by semi-dense brush and bushes, avoid it. It also appears that people have been "mudding" in this field, even after UNC has tried to grow new grass, hence the light straw coverage.
After Hole #5, you'll see two paths to the right of the basket. DO NOT take the path on the right, which goes over a small wooden pedestrian walking bridge. Take the path on the LEFT which goes down a few meters and goes under a stone bridge. If you see a chain that looks like it's blocking the path under the bridge, ignore it. When you arrive on the other side of the bridge, you'll see that there is a small opening for pedestrians to pass through this chain fence. You'll immediately see Tee #6 straight ahead.
After Hole #6, head behind the basket to the LEFT, and up over the ROCKY pathway that curves uphill and to the left to Tee #7.
After Hole #10, DO NOT follow the path with the fence. Back-track and head back toward Tee #10, and you'll see Tee #11 on the RIGHT.
Take CAUTION on Hole #12, as a stray disc too far left will go very far down hill and into the baseball field. There have been reports of the field being locked periodically.
After Hole #15, you'll go down a path behind the basket and downhill. Your natural reaction will be to follow the path toward the Ropes/Challenge Course, DO NOT do this! You'll see a broken asphalt path on your RIGHT that goes back up hill toward Tee #15. Follow this path 1/2 way up the hill, and you'll see a VERY SMALL path on your LEFT. This path will take you to Tees #16 & #17.
Hole #18's Tee is located next to the Ropes/Challenge Course. Please take CAUTION, as the gate is ALWAYS locked, and a stray disc to the RIGHT would land your disc in a "No Trespassing" area, and the fence is quite high, and VERY difficult to climb... ;)
In summary, I enjoyed playing at UNC's DGC. However, while I find the challenges to be quite varied and spread out throughout the course, I also feel as if the course itself still needs improvement. The current state of the course, leaves much to be desired in terms of SAFETY, NAVIGATION, DESIGN, and cleanliness.
With so much debris on the course during the first few holes, the course can be quite treacherous compared to other courses such as Buckhorn, Cedar Hills, or Valley Springs. Navigation is impaired due to vandalized signage, missing signage, and mis-numbered baskets throughout the entire course. The design is slightly flawed in that quite a few of the baskets require a player to backtrack to find the next tee, and without proper signage, can be extremely difficult to accomplish.
In regards to cleanliness, UNC has provided plenty of "Carolina Blue" themed trash receptacles, and yet some of the players that frequent this course choose to ignore the luxury of trash receptacles. This of course is in no way a fault of UNC, but does reflect upon the caliber of a small group of players at this course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It's always fun to play here because there's so much variety! UNC has just about everything you could want in a course. There's great variety of terrain from wide open crush shots over manicured grass on former golf fairways to very tight woods shots that demand lots of accuracy. (Terrain: 8 Woods holes, 2 Open, and 8 Mixed.) There's water with a drive over a small pond on hole 3 and a creek around the pretty peninsula green on hole 8. There's also excellent length variety, with two long legitimate par 4 holes mixed with shorter very tight holes. (Length: 3<199/ 8 of 200-299/ 4 >300/ 2>400/ 1 of 666 ft.). There are also elevation changes on almost every hole (8 Up/ 9 Down/ 1 Flat) and a good mixture of left, right, and straight fairways. Put it all together and you've got up, down, wide open, very narrow, straight, sharp doglegs, a little water… They've got the basics covered well too. Some tees are trapezoids and some are raked concrete. Some tee signs have maps. There are even lots of benches and a few trash cans. No wonder they've been able to build a strong college club!
Cons: The course flows well so it's pretty easy to navigate, but there's a long walk to tee 6, and tees 7 and 16 are up paths that could be hard to spot. Also, 8 baskets are hard to see from the tee so they'll need a little scouting.
*If you don't have a parking sticker parking is difficult. It's best to park down near hole 8 and start there.
*The online map and score card need to be updated on holes 1-4 to incorporate the newest layout.
*With all of the changes to the course layout some of the baskets aren't numbered correctly so this can be confusing to first timers. The new holes 1 and 2 also need better signs.
Other Thoughts: Course Level: White (most suited for Intermediate players rated 900.)
My favorite hole- 14. It's just pure fun to rip a full power shot over the valley and get lots of extra D because it's downhill. Just don't turn it over into the woods on the right because it can be nasty thick in there.
They seem to like variety in the course design too, because over the years this course has had more design changes than any other course in the Triangle. But the changes have usually been improvements, and it continues to become more challenging. Now the course is the best it's ever been. All of the changes can make it hard to keep up with the latest layout, though. This was my home course from 1998-2000, so it's always fun to go back to. I'd highly recommend that you play here!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A Course to Keep You on Your Heelz
Pros: Terrific variety. Long shots over rolling hills. Short shots through tight woods. Water holes, and holes were if you over shoot, or pull your disc you will be screwed. Most holes have very discriptive maps. Great surroundings.
Cons: Basket placement is decent, but most baskets are labeled incorrectly causing confusion to first time golfers. Holes 1 and 2 were missing maps, and the two Tees around the pond were verry confusing to determine what to shoot at, and what hole you were playing. Unexpected hike after hole 5. I would have been lost if it weren't for other people playing. This course was obviosly rearranged, but the baskets have not been updated.
Other Thoughts: Starting at hole 9 there are tight heavily wooded shots for a couple holes. They are not very long, but if you find yourself off of the narrow fairway you will be in trouble. Then the holes open up into wide open rolling hills. Rear back and watch the discs soar. 15 ends the wide open at the edge of a steep hill. 16 and 17 are back in the woods with tight precision. The front nine got a little confusing 1 and 2 had no maps, but are laid out well. 3 is a beautiful hole over a pond. But the map was labeled wrong. The rest of the holes are pretty open till you get back to 7 with some more woods, then ending on 8 with a great open shot ending in a cove surrounded by water.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great but crowded
Pros: I think the other reviews have it covered. Good variety of holes, easy to navigate, some memorable shots, discatcher baskets. And the pond on the water hole actually has water in it again!
Cons: This course has had a lot of people on it every time I've played, especially when school is in session. Only 2 holes have an alt tee. Numbering is kind of weird because of the new first two. Very thick brush in the rough of a few holes.
Other Thoughts: Park by hole 8 and start on 8 or 9. There is a practice basket there and you won't waste time and energy walking up and down the hill to hole 1 and from 18. Online scorecard is wrong- a new 1&2 were added, which is made up by combining the old 3&4 into new #4 and renumbering the old 2 to 3.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Course is Sick
Pros: Great course one of the best in the state, and that is coming from a NC State Fan. Halton Smith has done some great things with the club and course and has it in prime shape for the Tarheel Tournament every year. Two new #1#2 holes have helped this course out, and I absoultely love the valley hole, as it is one of the best throws/holes in the state.
Cons: This course has it all and I have no complaints.
Other Thoughts: They have a great course and if you are in the area this is a most play. Google UNC Disc Golf to find out about when they hold weekly events.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Variety. Offers a really nice mix of wooded holes followed by interesting open ball golf holes back into woods then open again back into woods.
Has surprising amount of elevation change. The wooded holes are much tighter than most courses, but I loved the challenge.
Very active local club works hard to continually improve course.
Cons: The only "ugly" hole on the course is 18 which plays between two chain link fences. Beware of copperheads !
Other Thoughts: The new holes on 1 & 2 are major upgrades and make this course a must-play in NC. I think you could play alot of rounds at UNC without ever getting bored with the layout. 666 feet is a bit long for a par 3. Is there a better disc golf course on a college campus ?
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Nice Medium/Short Course
Pros: Easy to navigate, good variety of shots, well maintained. Overall a very enjoyable course.
Cons: A few "huck and pray" holes, no discernible lines for an Intermediate to Advanced player anyway. A little short in places for anyone that can throw over 350'.
Other Thoughts: With a little more thought to some of the lines on the shorter holes this could be a top notch course.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
My all time favorite course so far
Pros: Course offers quite a bit of value. Control shots and wide open fairways! My absolute favorite hole for opening up your arm and letting your disc fly is #14! Downhill and the pin is slightly to the left behind a big tree!
If I lived closer I'd play this course every day!
Cons: ***UPDATE 1/19/2008****
I have to say, they really need to put up some sort of schedule when the people working on the ZIP line are going to be using it. When this happens they 'close' holes 3 and 4. This is really a pain in the butt! The last 2 times i've gone to play this course, they have had it closed for some sort of zip line activity.
I completely understand that this course is a shared course, but some sort of schedule would be nice - I would not bother driving the 40 minutes out there if I was going to miss 2 of my favorite holes. (Dropped rating from 4.5 to 4 as such).
More rocky than expected, this is a pretty good mix of rocky/freshly clipped grass. All in all not to bad, it just happened to have more hills and quite a bit rougher terrain than I was expecting.
Other Thoughts: I loved this course. It's a bit of a walk from the parking lot to the first tee box, but once you find that, everything else is very clearly marked. The first time I played it I had a friend that knew the course, but feel comfortable that even without him the course was easy to navigate.
Watch out for THE BEAST! 666ft is a haul! :)
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The course is laid our nicely with wonderful tee signs. Once you find hole one (down the hill, past the tennis courts) you can make your way around the course with relative ease. There is a good mix of holes here. Some wooded and some open. There's plenty of opportunity to open up and throw hard. You also have to back down on many of the holes and be accurate. There is also a lot of topography.
The course has good tee pads and signs. Distances between the tees and pins are such that there you are always safe from stray discs from other holes. I don't remember any place where I thought I was in danger of being hit by a stray disc.
A round here is thoroughly enjoyable now that they have relocated the first few holes. This is definitely one of my favorite courses in the area.
Cons: I originally didn't like the first few holes of this course. They used to be quirky and not very good. The original 1-3 left a bad taste that effected my thoughts on the rest of the course but they have recently changed the first 3 holes and now it's hard to find Con's here. The course is really nice now.
The land for this course holds water so it will be a bit swampy after a rain. We played today and it hasn't rained for about a week but there were some swampy places on the course.
Other Thoughts: UNC has disc golf as a club sport. That's so cool that I'll up my rank for this course up a point. I'll definitely come back here often.
There is a better place to park that's near hole 8. The parking lot near hole 1 is not always available for people who are not students at UNC.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Course features all types of holes: long wide open fields, into woods, out of woods, this place has something for everyone.
Cons: Bring a water bottle, lots of walking!
Other Thoughts: Great course, if it was closer I'd play it everyday!
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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