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.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course will challenge your skills more than most the courses I have played. Will show you what you are doing wrong very quickly. No room for error. You mess up and have a bad throw you can kiss your par goodbye! Yes these are all pros for if you are playing against someone! If you are playing in the summer months if will be nice and shady for you!
Cons: You can beat in your discs pretty quickly here. It isnt very novice friendly as there are a lot of tight bends that will be sure to give novice players nightmares for days to come. There are a few holes with think underbrush grown up that you can easily lose a disc in. I lost one of my favorite discs in there during a tourney.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area and are up for a challenge... Head to this course. It will show you whats up pretty quickly. I have always had a great time out there and will be playing it for years to come hopefully!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Requires technical, precise shots. Great for working your finesse game, although a few holes require some pop. Fairly easy to follow, I played it solo in the heat of summer without much difficulty.
Cons: Not a particularly inspiring course, and hard on your plastic.
Other Thoughts: I sweated out about 10 pounds playing this course in the middle of the day in June while driving from Florida to California, but played two rounds cuz it was fun!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
cottage hill park
Pros: This course has a hole for every disc in your bag. Most holes are more about accuracy rather than distance. However, some of the holes can be a nightmare if you break off of the fairways. Self managed course in heavy woods. Nice and cool in the summer time, completely shaded and virtually wind free.
Cons: VERY dense undergrowth makes it difficult to find a lost disc. Tends to get a lot of traffic after school hours (2pm-5pm). If you choose to play later it will get dark, fast. Tee signs need to be repainted or updated.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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