8 Helpful / 0 Not
Old School Course with some Altitude
Pros: This eighteen hole course is located in beautiful Cloudland Canyon State Park. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure this is the oldest course in the greater Chattanooga area. The actual land that the course rests on is gorgeous with very few signs of vandalism or littering. Expect to see wildlife everywhere. The park employees and other visitors were extremely friendly (every person I saw waved to me). Signs up Lookout Mountain and in the park made finding the course very easy. There's a "pro shop" on the right after you pay to enter the park if you don't have any discs. This is a nice addition, but there is very little selection, so bring your own to be on the safe side. The course has excellent signage on every hole and concrete tees that have held up wonderfully. There are also a few trash cans throughout the course, but not on every hole.
The actual course reminds me of a lot of old school courses. What I mean by this is that most of the holes are short and are only accented by a few trees. The old Innova baskets also add to this. Other than a few trees most of the fairways are completely clear. On average the holes were about 200 feet throughout the course, with a few right around 300. Although the majority of the holes are open, the last three holes are back through the woods changing things up a bit. What this course lacks in distance it makes up for with some elevation. Pretty much every hole has you playing downhill, uphill, or over a valley. I also thought the course had excellent flow, in that I could always find the next tee without needing a marker.
Cons: The park fees are getting a little pricey here. The rate is now $5 per car and then an additional $2 per person per round. You can pay for the whole day, but they don't monitor you at all after paying, so there's nothing stopping you from playing another round. When I went the grass was still dormant, but I talked to a local that bought a yearly pass and he said that they don't mow often in the spring or summer. The high costs and high grass would probably keep me from driving out of my way to play this course in the Summer, and that's a shame because the setting is absolutely beautiful.
The holes aren't very long here. This can be a pro or a con, but seasoned players might not find enough challenge here. Although the baskets aren't rusty and look like they've held up well, their catching ability begs to differ. My group had putts spitting out left and right, but it kind of intensified the round and made us really focus. Just be aware of this.
Only other con sto speak of is that the course is kind of out of the way. Although this adds to the atmosphere of the course, it also means driving 30 minutes from the city. I would recommend making this an afternoon outing instead of trying to play it while driving through.
Other Thoughts: I kind of found myself in a love/hate relationship with this course. The setting and character of this course made it something to remember. I could literally picture tournaments being played here a decade or more ago when courses were generally shorter and more open. The downside of this course is that it's far away and (according to rumor) not well maintained in the summer.
I would recommend playing "The Sinks" and Jack Mattox Rec Complex before making the drive to Cloudland.
If you do drive up to play this course enjoy hole 11. It's a straight, downhill 300+ ft drive. I felt it was kind of the signature hole if the course had one.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Variety of shots, Wednesday free parking, concrete tees, map signs with distance, shade, very little traffic.
Cons: $2/round + $5 parking, thorny bushes in play, front of tee pad drop off, not enough benches and garbage cans along course, most of grass not mowed so what am I paying for?
Other Thoughts: Optional yearly passes for parking $50 and golf $15 individual or $25 family. I wouldn't mind paying to play if it was reflected in course upkeep. Someone needs to record the distances to update this site. My group of players with under two years experience will be back to work on our games.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Cloud Cayon state park
Pros: Cloudland Canyon DGC is pretty nice. It is one of those courses where it appears that they have tried to make a recreational course while at the same time appeal to advanced players as well. While we all know this is an impossible task they somehow pulled it off, at least to a certain extent. Most of the holes are comparatively short with a few longer holes sprinkled in. I didn't mentally note the lengths but it is safe to say you'll not find anything over 350'. What you will find however are some pretty fun holes. The overwhelming majority of holes are open with a few obstacles here and there. Most of them are trees on the backside of the baskets. Overthrows will punish you by first making you to search for your disc and then finding a clear line to a lay up. Then it's a quick putt and most of the time you'll finish with an easy three. The fairways also hug the woods on several holes as well. From time to time you may find yourself deep in the woods if you don't play safely and you'll end up deep in some pretty thick foliage if you get a bad ricochet off a tree. That is where most of your extra strokes will come into play. Birdies are also easily picked up out here as well. There are three wooded holes on the course and I think they should be highlighted as the best out there. Fortunately, they are 15, 16, and 17. I think that is for the best too. After all, it's nice to finish on the better holes and leave with a good taste in your mouth. I never like playing course where the worst holes are at the end.
I guess I should mention the variety of shots too. Seven and eight both have some serious dog legs. Seven's is a 90 degree left and eight almost spells and upside down "J". I only wish they would have figured out how to split it up with one going right and one going left for variety's sake. Additionally, there are some elevation changes as well. Nothing major but there are a few up's and down's mixed in.
The amenities aren't bad. Signs are always a good thing and these are pretty nice. They're old but they're in good enough shape and serve their purpose pretty well. The concrete tee pads are really nice and have an extra rough surface to help with traction. Even when they're wet you won't slip.
There is a "pro shop" in the visitor's center with an impressive selection of discs. I should say this though, if you don't like Innova, you won't be impressed at all. That's all they carry. Buy they do have upwards of 100 discs. They have all of the different plastics too (dx -star). You will also find maps, score cards, and what I have found to be pretty friendly people to give you directions to the course from the visitor's center. The baskets are in good shape even though they are the older, single chain Innova models.
Cons: There is one big question. And it is the most obvious Con. Why, with all the absolutely beautiful land that's available did they stuff it in the blandest area of the park? There is no doubt that they could have masked a lesser course with some incredible scenery and no one would have noticed. It is a shame. It really is nice up there and it could have been in a better area of the park.
The poison ivy is absolutely horrendous. If you get off the beaten path you can expect to be laying in it, you really have to be careful. If you get in the woods at all be prepared to see/walk through it. I think number six is the worst. Ten feet behind the basket you will find a sea of it the size of a small pond. It is nasty. Don't over throw this one for your own sake!
The grass is also very unkempt. The fairways have been cut to highlight their path but even the shorter grass there is shin high. The area that would be described as the "rough" is literally waist high. I saw a note at the visitor's center that read, "Due to cutting back on resources we will only be cutting the fields periodically". I guess that explains the tall grass. As I mentioned, the fairways are cut but are still unsatisfactory. I played out here last fall and found deep grass clippings that absolutely ate discs. I assume they wait until growing season is over and then cut it all at once and it leaves some bad consequences. It looks like you are either playing in really tall grass or really deep clippings.
The holes can get a little repetitive, especially on eight through fourteen.
The walk from eighteen to the parking lot is a little farther than you would like but certainly is not deal breaker.
Other Thoughts: This course is good enough to get a three but with the tall grass I have to knock it down a half point, to two and a half. What a nice park though! The camping, hiking and the scenery are enough to make it worth while to drive here even if it takes you a few hours. The disc golf course is just a bonus on what could be made into a great day just relaxing and spending a day out at Cloudland Canyon State Park. Take it for what it's worth but most importantly… Enjoy!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: good place to go if you are into "ripping" your disc. Lots of wide open spaces
Cons: Went today and was very disappointed.
First the price to play is now $5 dollars! Three for parking and two to play one round.
Second the course itself was totally unkept.
The entire course had weeds anywhere from knee high to waist high. Was always sure to track my disc when I threw to make sure I would not loose it.
Due to lots and lots of rain the bugs were out in full force today!Especially bad were flies and gnats which constantly swarm around your face and get in your eyes,nose,ears,etc.Bring lots of bug spray or expect to pay the price.
Other Thoughts: First time I have been here in awhile and can not believe how forgotten the place looked. Would not have stayed except I had already paid my five dollars and if I had known the weeds were so high I would not have gone there at all.
Five bucks just seems a little high when there are other courses near by that are free.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great scenery, Good mix of open and wooded holes.
Cons: Sticker vines, paying to play, Often encounter groups of 8 or larger who never offer to let you play through.
Other Thoughts: One of the best courses around with a good mix of open and wooded holes. Despite what some people think, a course that isn't exactly like The Sinks CAN be a good course, even if you don't have to throw through a thicket of trees to get to the basket.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Ok but not the best
Pros: The course is easy to navigate, has concrete teepads and is in a beautiful park.
Cons: Somewhat short, easy holes, and not enough woods comes into play.
Other Thoughts: The park itself is worth the visit, but if your only coming to play disc golf you might be dissappointed. I kept expecting to see some woods holes as I started out, but I did not encounter any untill I reached hole 15. By the time I did the course was pretty much over. I understand that there are only som many areas that parks will allow disc golf courses, but it almost would have been better if a better spot had been found.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Concrete tee pads and good signage.
The course design is fair and has all the typical qualities of a good course...and, no water in play.
The trees and grass were maintained well enough for good play. The park facilities are also nice. The course starts and ends by the parking lot with restrooms and drink machines.
Cons: The shot variety seemed a bit bland considering the surrounding terrain.
Three dollar entry for the park and one dollar course fee to play a round.
Also, there didn't seem to be enough benches and trash cans along the way.
Other Thoughts: The course it set in a great Georgia state park that has some tremendous elevation changes and intriguing terrain. The course on the other hand, is placed at the top of the mountain on a relatively flat, open field. The course uses very little of the woods and most shots are similar distances in the open fields.
Holes 7 and 8 are some of the best to me. They are both blind dog leg holes that make good use of the elevation and trees.
Holes 15, 16, & 17 are the only holes completely in the woods. Those were fun holes for me.
The baskets are single chain innova in fair condition.
In general the course flows well and is setup well for high traffic; although, it was very quiet the day I went.
I had fun on the course, but it was disappointing to drive through the park and see all these great cliffs, gorges, and ravines with natural corridors through the trees -- only to see the course was in a wide open field without much elevation in play.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice Course...Bad experience
Pros: The views from the top of the mountain are amazing. From the tee at 18 you can see along way. The hole plays away from the view but you can't help but notice. The signs are excellent and contain distance and par. The design is solid for a short course. There are a good mix of hyzer and anhyzer, uphill and downhill. The tee pads are not smooth on the top, which I love because it means they would not be slick in the rain.
Cons: DiscCatchers...no center ring of chains. Distance-wise the holes were fairly redundant. Most holes were between 220 and 320. It is in the middle of nowhere. Not really close to anything.
Other Thoughts: The problem that I had today had nothing to do with my rating for the course. I think the course itself is good. It is nothing spectacular as far as "signature" holes, but does have good signs and design which is more than most. I learned today to not play this course alone at this time of year. There are a number of blind tee shots. Those are fine most of the time. However, the parts of the course that are in the woods, including a number of pin locations, are covered with leaves...nearly 3-4 inches thick in some points. I lost discs on back to back holes and I can say with all sincerity that both are within 20 feet of the pin. But they are under leaves. If the pins are in the woods, and you have to pay to play, the greens need to raked. It made the round frustrating. After hole 7, there were a number of holes where I would throw and immediately run to follow the path of the disc. That took a lot of the fun out of my round. In the summer this is probably not a big deal, so I tried to not let it affect my rating. I like the course, but I will never play it again by myself at this time of the year.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice short course!
Pros: This course is in an awesome park that has some great views and great scenery. There are nice signs and large concrete pads for every hole. The course is very well kept and very easy to play and follow from hole to hole. This is an easy course that is very fun to play and if your throwing well you can score really low.
Cons: The course is a little short by todays standards with nothing over 350ft and many of the holes are mostly open. With all of the great woods and mountains around I wish they would have taken better advantage of them with the layout. You also have to pay to play. Not a big deal to me, just letting you know.
Other Thoughts: This course has a few wooded holes at the end but is mostly open up or down hill shots with a few trees. There are several holes that have the baskets in the woods or on the edge of the woods. Overall a fun course to play if you are in the area. A good player will easily shoot in the 40's though.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Hilly But open Course In The State Park!
Pros: This park is a lovely, hilly, wooded area to have a course. The course starts and ends right next to the public restrooms. The signs are very clear making the course mostly easy to follow. The teepads are concrete and serve the purpose. There are some holes with some elevation and about 6 are in the woods. Although it's short (many holes between 200' and 300'), I found it to be somewhat challenging, especially playing it for the first time. There are some severe doglegs, baskets are placed in and behind trees enough times to keep your interest up.
Cons: Obviously, it's a little shorter than many players would like. There are no holes to really crank it up on. The single chain baskets can be frustrating at times. The $3 park entrance fee is OK but the $1 per round fee is just kind of annoying. There are a few holes on the back nine that weren't real thrilling, just kind out in grassy area. At least they placed the baskets in the trees.
Other Thoughts: Sitting atop Lookout Mountain, the drive to and around Cloudlands is beautiful. The park area around the course is pretty but doesn't give you the drop dead gorgeous views you get on the drive there. I agree with reviewer blang that with all this park land, the course does seem somewhat squeezed into a small area. And my final question, for someone from the Pacific Northwest visiting Tennesse, what is this Kudzu that previous reviewers have mentioned? Sounds like an African antelope to me!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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