Solid Wooded Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The thick woods and often-middling distances at Cottage Hill Park are built to challenge your accuracy and touch, especially with your midranges. With tight fairways and numerous obstacles therein, hitting your line off the tee is a must to score well, and there's often little gray area between success and failure: six inches to the left and you wind up in position for an easy birdie, six inches to the right and you're scrambling for a bogey from within the shule. Still, the shorter distance on many holes balances out this fact; it's only on the few 300'+ holes that you can really get punished, and the red tees alleviate the difficulty if you're worried about the challenges this can present. I appreciated Cottage Hill's emphasis on touch, and the fact that whether or not you hit your line off the tee matters, as it rarely lets you off the hook for failing to do so.
Overall, there's a nice balance between butt-kickers and birdie opportunities on this course. Some of the birdie opportunities require you to weigh risk versus reward in choosing to make a run at the basket, like 13: layup at the mouth of the twin saplings guarding the basket for an easy three, or try to run past them and risk getting knocked into the rough? I like when a course forces me to make tough decisions like this. Virtually all of the birdie opps retain such a level of interest, often avoiding feeling like throwaways or gimmes.
The course is nicely shaded, the paths are well cleared, and the rough is graciously thin relative to how thick the woods are. It felt like a pretty private setting, tucked away in the woods. For a heavily wooded course, opportunities to lose a disc are minimized. Still, you can wind up with some real pitch-out-shots off an errant drive that can wreak havoc on your score.
Benches on most holes are welcome. The shade can be a boon on sunny days, considering how it gets in the south. Navigation was a snap; it's a well-laid-out course.
11: It's only 189' from the whites, but what an unforgiving width! The ultimate test of control.
16: The slightly elevated tee differentiates this tunnel shot from numerous other ones; the foliage on the sides runs thicker here, too.
Cons: This course has a relatively limited shot selection, owing partly to the consistent tightness of holes and partly to the fairway lines mostly avoiding extreme angles (15's right hand bend a notable exception). I used four discs off the tee for the entirety of my round, and wasn't forced to shape different lines with each of them: a straight shot with a neutral midrange sufficed at least half the time. Now, that's not an easy shot to land consistently (as my crash-and-burn experience on 16 attested to after many a fine drive earlier), so it didn't lead to boredom. But I would have appreciated a more imaginative array of shots and further efforts to individuate holes (like that found in 11's extreme tightness). As it stands, I remember this course as a few longer holes, the three holes that kicked my butt, and a mish mash of tight midrange lines, save for a few particulars (such as 10's pin guarded in the shadow of an oak). It was an enjoyable overall experience to be sure, but the holes seem to have run a bit together for me.
I think the course's difficulty is mostly well balanced, but it does threaten to cross over into poke-and-pray territory at a few points, notably 5 and 15. The latter is possibly the tightest fairway I've ever thrown, and that's saying something considering the wooded monsters I've played in the northeast. I'm always hesitant to play the unfair card, as that's usually more my fault than the course, but there a few points here where that might be said. It's worth noting however that I think this is the exception rather than the norm.
While most of the baskets were serviceable but not great, 11 was missing its chains entirely when I was there: it's just basket and pole. Hopefully that gets rectified soon.
Tee signs simply marked number and distance; some lines would be useful on holes where you can't see the pin from the tee. I had to scout ahead on several occasions.
The concrete tees were short, often causing me to start my drive from behind the tee. Thankfully this was usually easy and safe to do.
The park and the course were not easy for me to find. Be advised that the park sign actually says "Medal of Honor Park." The course begins as a small path entering the forest at the left side of the parking lot behind the tennis courts; a billboard marks the entrance, though it's hard to equate it to disc golf unless you approach it up close. Not a big deal, but it was a harder course to find within the park itself than most I've played.
Local park goers seem to use this park for scenic walks; after all, it's an unmarked and well-cleared path through the woods. This led to some frustrating moments on the Saturday afternoon I visited where I waited for pedestrians to walk out of the fairway. Given the tightness of the fairways, there's no real way to throw around interruptions.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed my stop at Cottage Hill Park as part of a larger day trip to Mobile. Its tight and technical setting offered me a kind of golf I can't get in New Orleans. I'll probably opt to try some other courses on my next visit to Mobile (and there will be a next visit - what a great cluster of courses!), but after that, I can see myself returning to try my hand again at Cottage Hill. Recommended if you're in the area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A lot better than you might have heard!
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Lots of trees and shade in the hot deep south. Concrete tee pads. Lots of benches. Challenging, pro-level course. If you like 'em tight, and I do, you'll like Cottage Hill.
Cons: Grafitti, and not the best baskets. A couple of holes are alike here and there, so the variety factor isn't the greatest especially since there are no open holes. Not the easiest place to get to in Mobile; seems like it takes forever to get there from any direction.
Other Thoughts: I don't understand the low ratings for poor Cottage Hill. Sure, it has some trash on it here and there sometimes, and the baskets are bent and vandalized often by the neighborhood teenage flunkies, but it is fun and it's definitely a challenge. Some fairways are very tight but they are fair...if you can hit your line you will be rewarded, and if you can't you'll be punished, just as how the sport is meant to be.
I tend to rate courses by the design and variety of holes, and not as much by factors like signs and baskets and ease of navigation and trash, so that's probably why I rate this place higher than most. I really enjoy a tight, challenging course where getting off the fairway means a real struggle for par, and that's what Cottage Hill is. Yes, there are a lot of short birdies that are all around 240 feet long, but the course is well-balanced although it could be said that it favors a lefty. It does seem to be best to play this course early in the day before the crowds of kids take over. The five pro blue tees add to the challenge and I recommend playing them.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Despite its location in a city park, its very woodsy, with a few 200+ yo oaks spread throughout the 20+ acres that are dedicated to disc golf. Believe it or not, the course was very clean except for a used condom---hey, maybe someone lost a bet...
This is like a slightly longer version of Chicasabouge to the north, with very defined fairways, a good mix of hyzer/anhyzer/straight shots, unforgiving rough, and disc-redirecting trees everywhere. Tommys seem like a bad idea but sometimes its all you've got. Almost zero elevation change. Expect skips and slides on the hard-packed fairways. Vertical putting is useful, as some baskets have close-in shrubbery.
From late fall to early spring, the ground cover[in the rough] is slight enough not to lose discs, and the bugs are hardly noticable.
Each 9 holes start clockwise and finish near the parking lot, but the public only sees you teeing at #1: you're hidden the rest of the course.
This is a tolerable course for rainy/windy days, though the sandy washes will collect large, shallow puddles in a downpour [I was here on an overcast, drizzly day, and was only aware of the 10-15 mph gusts when I stepped out of the woods].
Benches and trashcans on almost every hole. Most baskets have a "next hole" pole, but you shouldn't have much trouble figuring it out, as any wrong direction is heavily wooded.
Cons: When the growth is on during spring you're going to lose discs, especially among the evil thorny vines, resilient as barbwire. A spotter is a wonderful companion.
Locals do clearing in the winter[best time to play], but that only seems to encourage more dynamic plant growth in the spring--use of the course is all that keeps the fairways open. Bugginess can be overwhelming in summer.
Look at the pictures---all the holes seem similar, yes? Playing with locals, we spaced the next tee, crossed through one of the very few interconnecting paths, and threw on a hole we'd just thrown 5 holes ago. But the technical nature of the shots still intrigues you---there's no boredom here.
Other Thoughts: The park is 300+ acres with ballfields, a kids playground "city" [huge!] near #1 tee, tennis courts, several miles of wooded trails, skatepark, and plenty of parking. Stores, bars, eats, and a hookah lounge at NW corner of park[2 min. drive, long walk].
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: There are some very cool "Roc" shots requiring a variety of shot shapes.
Cons: There are several holes that you better be "livin right" to get off the tee.
Other Thoughts: First off... I am no rookie. I have played courses all over the southeast and used to play as a pro (990 rated, for what it's worth). I have played many "tight" courses and understand the difference between skill and luck. This course has many holes that require alot of precision but there are some holes that Ken Climo would admit was lucky to get through the "fairway". I follow that statement with this. You can play some of these type holes as two shot holes and still walk away with a 3 with a well controlled upshot. Summing up, You should be prepared to beat in some discs at this course and if you play this course smart you can definitely shoot 7-8 under. But if you shoot way over par... don't give up hope this course can defeat even the most seasoned pros.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging course with narrow fairways makes accuracy much more important than being able to drive a long way. Nice park and the course itself has a certain woodsy charm which I like. Reminds me of a couple of my home courses, just a bit more difficult. I like a mid range challenge, especially coupled with a round at Langan the same day, which works the long drive game.
Cons: Trash. Lots of it on the fairways and off. Crowded. Don't get me wrong. It excites me to see so many folks out playing a round but when families have 4 year olds throwing and holding up a train of people behind them, learn to offer to allow others to play thru. The large # of people playing takes me back to the trash thing. Doesn't anyone see all the trash but me? Bring a bag and pick it up! Jeez. Kills me that everyone wants to use a course for free but will not lift a finger to keep it nice. Grafitti. Lots of that too which makes a course have a trashy feel to me. Tee pads are concrete-great. Small in most cases-bad. Exposed tree roots around tee pads makes follow thru at times hazardous. Lots of stoner types here. Lots. Next tee signs pointing out direction would be helpful.
Other Thoughts: Played this along with Langan/Municipal park on same day as part of road trip. This course was by far the trashiest I have played. If the course was better kept up and dumbasses didn't grafitti everything here, I would give it a higher score and come back. As it is, no to both.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Tough Wooded Course
Pros: Well designed and layed out, secluded and peaceful in the mornings, a great course to learn to hit lines off the tee and throw solid accurate approaches.
Cons: The tee pads are concrete, but a little short for my liking. This course is going to make the ams feel like they are back at novice level, and can be crowded with idiots in the later hours of the afternoon.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course, it is the hardest course in Mobile to me, but that is not a bad thing. If you average around even par at most courses, expect to shoot around +5 out here.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
nice wooded course
Pros: at least 2 sets of tees for each hole and sometimes 3. Nice shady course for those hot summer days. overall nice design with navigation not a big issue. in a nice park with restroom and other recreational facilities. not crowded at all on the sunday I was there. concrete tee pads.
Cons: very little variation in terrain ie no water no real elevation. All the holes are wooded.
Other Thoughts: We played 2 sets of tees and the tees often change the character of the hole not just add distance. I really like this course. although the fairways are tight I did not see any holes without a path to the basket. If you throw accurate shots you can score well. If you have a big arm and like to air it out this is not the course for you.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Welcome to Cottage Hell!
Pros: Very shaded. Will force you to work on your midrange game. Several other courses within 10 minute drive.
Cons: You can have a good shot on this course and end up with a terrible result ( this is normal in disc golf just not on seemingly every hole ). Very dirty course with lots of trash and few trash cans. The trash cans that were there were overflowing. Awful shule if you are off the fairway ( watch out for all of the briers ). Very redundant with a midrange and a putter being really the only discs that you need ( if you hit anything with a driver you will probably be in very bad trouble due to an errant ricochet ). There really isn't an hole where you can actually reach back and let one rip.
Other Thoughts: If you are around this area and only have time to play one course then your time would be much better spent at either USA or Municipal.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: It's nicely shaded? There are easy birdie shots. The tees are cemented.
Cons: Navigation in between holes can be gruesome. HEAVILY WOODED. The people that attend this course are all either drunk or under the influence of another substance. There are benches, but they are defiled. The trashcans are full or overflowing with garbage, mainly beer. The trashcans also have a lot of writing all over it, usually themed by the Alabama Crimson Tide. The cemented tees are breaking and are very small and tight to begin with. Be aware of roots and other things sticking out of the ground, can cause injury.
Other Thoughts: The best thing about the courses within Mobile is how close they are to one another.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
A little tight and frustrating
Pros: Very challenging. Shaded at all times.
Cons: Too tight at times and not marked well. I can see half of the holes being a little tight but this is not fun. Not for beginners.
Other Thoughts: This is a lousy course. Worst course I ever played. You got to let a frisbee run for a few holes in a round and this one does not allow it.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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