Fun for what it is.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Clemson U's Outdoor Lab is a unique, change of pace course. This is disc golf's ultimate version of a mini-golf, so be prepared for an atypical round.
- Let me get this disclaimer out of the way first. If you don't like object baskets (in this case, having wooden signs as the target), you either won't like this layout or just won't appreciate it. If you want to throw big shots, drive 15 minutes to Grand Central Station. Now if you want a change of pace course, you'll find it here.
- The prior hole's target is the next hole's tee. The target for #18 is #1's tee; #1's target is #2's tee, and so forth. You're then aiming for a small square, wooden marker (maybe 12" by 12") as your target. The course rules, according to the scorecard, state that just hitting the tree (or post) counts as a made shot, so you can be as liberal with the rules as you want.
- This is a pretty interesting course layout. Technically, there was very little creativity or effort put into the course design. Instead, the course winds through the Outdoor Lab's space, playing on walking paths, around buildings and over roads. Still, you get to see a big chunk of this space and get views you won't see on other disc golf courses.
- There are some interesting holes. #7's target is on a fence post, over a man-made rock and babbling brook formation. On #8, you throw over, around or through an outdoor shelter to the basket. On #11, you tee off from the archery range to an uphill basket. This reminded me a lot of #8 at Sertoma in Walhalla with this being a narrower fairway. And on #17, you again throw over or around a building to the target.
- The course gives you a chance to pull out shots you wouldn't normally try. How often can you throw over building or skip a shot off a road or building? There is a certain gimmick feel here so you can either embrace the fun or be fraught with disgust at the desecration this course does to disc golf.
- Course was actually very easy to navigate. Once I found the kiosk, my buddy and I were able to play our round, with a little help from the scorecard/map, without problem. For first timers, drive to the back of the park. Follow the walking path that goes to the right, around Kresge Hall and look for the kiosk with the loaner Frisbees and scorecards. Of course, I'll fully support the rules of the course by calling ahead and/or checking in. If you choose not to do so, I surmise you could play without an issue. My buddy and I did this, and had no problem.
Cons: I'll state the obvious. Some people aren't going to like this type of course. This is the first time I've played an object course, so for me, it was an interesting change of pace. Would I like to play this type of course all the time? No. But, it's something different. It's like bypassing the wine, beer or liquor for a fruity mixed drink with an umbrella. Sometimes you just want a strawberry daiquiri.
- That said, my biggest issue is that the majority of the 'fairways' are pavement. I played the entire round with one disc, and by the end it was pretty scuffed up. In hindsight, I should have played with a junk disc instead.
- Without many obstacles, gimmicky/unique layouts and short/bad layouts, It is hard to take this course seriously at times. That goes back to the whole idea that some people won't like this course.
- If there are a lot of people at the Outdoor Lab, the course would be virtually impossible to play at times. The day I played, there was a wedding taking place later on. So, I guess if you really have your heart set on this course, you probably should check ahead before arriving.
- The course has loaner Frisbees at the kiosk. Yes, actual Frisbees rather than discs. That might be the biggest disservice this course could do by giving a first timer player a false sense of what the game entails. I guess if you want a challenge, you could play this course with a loaner Frisbee, and you probably would increase the challenge.
Other Thoughts: My buddy and I camped one minute up the road from the Outdoor Lab - shameless plug for Twin Lakes campground - so we almost couldn't not play this course. That said, after playing some disappointing courses in the area, this was one of the few that actually exceeded our expectations. Granted I was expecting the worst, so just the fact it wasn't bad was a positive.
- Now that I've played this course, this would actually be a fun course for a glow round. It's so easy to navigate, you could really have fun here late at night.
- This course would be perfect for beginners and kids. There's no length, little elevation and no chance of losing a disc. The longest holes are #12 & 17, but I doubt either are more than 175. I'd estimate most holes are probably in the 100 - 125 foot range.
- You could fly through a round in no time. First timers will spend a little more time searching for the next target and/or making sure you won't be hitting anyone than actually playing.
- This course is overly simplistic and does have some obvious flaws. The fun factor is much higher than the course quality. I'm giving this a 1.0 rating because it is so basic. It's properly closer to a 0.5-level course, but having a full 18 gives it a slight bounce. Like I said, this is a mini-golf version of a disc golf course if I've seen one yet. If you're in the area and you're not in the mood for a full round, sure, check it out.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Good for kids/campers
Pros: -Makes good use of available space by going through all parts of the camp.
-Short holes, which is great for kids/campers.
-Easy to navigate if you have the provided map. (Not the one they give you at the office, but the one at the hut at hole1).
-There is a good variety of lines it forces you to take on different holes.
Cons: -Many of the fairways are on paved roads so your disc will get scratched up.
-Too short for intermediate and up players.
-No baskets. Only signs on trees or posts. Hitting any part of the tree or post counts. So putting becomes too easy.
-No tees. Simply throw from the previous hole's sign.
-Can only play if there is not a group already there.
Other Thoughts: Not worth going out of your way for unless you have young kids or want to pad your course count :). But it's a great way to get campers introduced to the game.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
This is a NON course
Cons: Bad Object Course. Very short. Not really even worth calling a course.
Other Thoughts: This course is for a family who has never played disc golf, are having a picnic there, and pick up a Frisbee and try to hit the signs with their 7 year old daughter. Cannot be actually considered a course.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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