What have you done to yourself?
19 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great course for those with strong imaginations, that enjoy picturing what a course could have once been like. You can walk up to a tee and picture what throwing the fairway must have been like. And there are some potentially epic holes here. Huge climbs and descents. Fairways that are strenuous just to walk. Extreme risk/reward with chances for severe roll-aways on almost every shot. Incredible basket placements.
Also, come here if you want to gain appreciation for the maintenance done on other courses. It's amazingly how quickly a course can go from a four-star course to essentially the Mayan ruins of disc golf courses.
Cons: Fairways covered in waist high weeds. 4-7 were merely overgrown. From 8 on most holes were unplayable. This isn't a few weeks of growth. I'm aware that there is new management here. I'm not sure when the sale took place but it is clear that nothing has done for the course since last summer.* I got a hint of this when the person as the desk told me that there were no maps but that I could "hunt" for baskets, and was surprised that anyone would be playing.
*Someone had taken the time to place handwritten signs on some of the tees and next tee arrows that did not show much weathering. As if someone would want to play the holes that were labeled.
Absolutely miserable navigation. Not from basket to tee so much as from tee to basket. This is mostly because it is frequently impossible to tell the fairway from the not-fairway. A long hole is impossible to follow. You can identify the first landing zone perhaps but if there is a bend, the direct is impossible to figure out. And if you miss one basket, you are wandering around looking for another tee. This happened a number of times, where I eventually stumbled onto a different or basket and could backtrack.......sorta. There are also a ton of what seem to be abandoned pads.
Bottom-line. It's an absolute mess. Not only should players not travel to reach this highly-rated course, but locals would be better of making an hour drive to a nine-hole school course than playing here.
On the other hand the last six holes are very playable. I'm not sure if they were the original final six here because I can't imagine this set being a third of a highly rated course. They run either down a gravel road or through a campsite. Again, there are some nicely placed baskets by a running stream but the rout there is beyond bland. Or dangerous. I'm unsure because though those seem a bit much. Even the original 5 is a boring fairway down a dirt road and the original 3 is essentially on someone's driveway with buildings in play. On the other hand, there could be more overgrown holes somewhere else on the mountain.
Tees are holding up well but they are about a quarter of the size that most would want. The tees should perhaps be in pros as it adds to the archaeological feel of the place. Wandering around in the jungle saying, "look, this is where the ancients played disc golf."
Other Thoughts: Could this course be resurrected? Yes. I just don't don't think it's likely. It should probably be listed as unplayable for now, but technically masochists might want to play here. I'm not exaggerating for effect with the 0.0. It is by far the worst experience I have ever had on a course and three baskets in a field would be a lot more fun.
19 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Great location and course
1 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Course is nestled in the most beautiful wooded mountain terrain. It is well maintained and all fairways are clear and well marked. All holes have signs, although some of them could be improved. The course has many very difficult holes that go straight up the mountain. Most holes are also highly technical with a very tight path that must be followed. There is an even amount of left and right turns, and even some that force an S-turn. Camping is available right onsite and is worth it just to play this course a couple of times on a weekend.
Cons: The trails are very steep in places and will wear you out. Some of the teepads are rather short and require you to stand and deliver a 300 foot shot, down a very narrow path. It can get frustrating.
Other Thoughts: The location couldn't be prettier. I stayed in a tent campsite for 3 days. I met Sean, the owner, and talked with him about the property, He is a super nice guy and is quite proud of his place. Besides tent camping, they also have cabins and even a lodge. I highly recommend taking a long weekend trip out there, staying a few days and soaking it all in.
1 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Great experience, great people
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This is a serious mountain course. Tons of elevation change, especially the uphill shots early on, to challenge you. Absolutely beautiful setting. Decent baskets, and most tees are great. There are benches and paths all over. Super well maintained, especially given that it's privately owned.
Cons: Can't say much about it except that it's exhausting. You just have to be prepared for that. Otherwise, can't complain at all.
Other Thoughts: The guys running this course are super nice and put a lot of work into it. We weren't really sure if it was open to play so we just showed up and they accommodated us even though we were inconveniencing them a bit. They let us play and then gave us some of the beer they brew there--and I can honestly say that the nut brown ale was the BEST brown ale I've ever had. A full adventure, well worth the trip.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun track, tough hike!
Pros: This is one of the most interesting courses I have played. It isn't particularly difficult in terms of the shots required; however, the hike is just brutal. The first 11-12 holes play almost straight up the mountain, making you work for even short par three's. The last 8 play more or less down the hill with some very interesting blind shots (we had a guy throw a putter on a 200 ft par three and go 200 ft past the basket!). They claim 20 holes but there are quite a few that are "off the map" - we found at least 5 additional holes (including pads, benches, baskets) on the back side of the mountain, including one basket suspended between two trees by a steel cable. The campgrounds and facilities are quite nice and the course, given it's remote and not-well-trodden nature, is pretty well maintained. The first hole might be my favorite in all of DG.
Cons: As previously mentioned, the hike here will absolutely exhaust you. 6 of us played a morning round; only 3 could muster the energy for an afternoon round and we struggled to get through it. It's difficult to overstate the importance of a good pair of hiking shoes and extra water- you'll definitely need them. WEAR PANTS, regardless of the temperature! There is stinging nettle all over the course and it will light your legs up. Baskets are of relatively poor quality but they are at least consistent. You can get confused/ lost easily since there are numerous holes that are technically not in play but still very much in existence. The extreme elevation of this track also means that a bad kick off a tree can send your shot hundreds of feet down the mountain. Once or twice, no big deal, but when you are chasing your 15th shot down a 60 degree incline with no path back to the fairway it gets a little frustrating. The tee pads are generally quite small which was challenging for some players with longer run-ups.
Other Thoughts: With the right expectations this is one heck of a fun track. The distance on the tee markers is almost irrelevant given the extreme changes in altitude- you definitely have to think about how throwing a shot 45 degrees up/down will affect the flight path. There are logging trails that wind around the mountain so I'd personally love to see ATVs added for transport.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
I Have Seen the Mountain Top, and it is Good!
Pros: Elk Mountain DGC is a KILLER 18 hole course on some of the most extreme terrain I have seen yet. Don't get me wrong, it's not Everest, but extremes in elevation change is a strong theme. It seems like uphill holes outnumber downhillers 2 to 1. The fairways are fair, but numerous trees will make you define a line and hit it on most holes. This course starts with a couple of uphill holes that take a good long drive to get a chance for two, but they're relatively open. Three takes you uphill even steeper, and into the trees. Then the lengthier holes with woods and elevation begin. Pin placements also start to get more and more interesting: rocky hillsides, hanging basket, down in a hole, atop a 5 foot stump, and finally down to the banks of the creek. Hole 11 is the crescendo of pain on a 770 foot monster. After this, the back 9 gets back to more average distances, and trends downhill. Get your shots in the bank where you can. I could only manage two birdies, both on par 3's. My girlfriend, her two tween girls, our dogs and I all enjoyed the hike around the campground and mountain side. Beautiful land and nice people working at the lodge and campgrounds. The layout and the physical challenge of the course was quite formidable.
The equipment is not the finest, but is totally adequate. The tee pads are not consistent, but they are flat and generally all roomy enough. The baskets are pretty good, but not top of the line by any means. Posts mark most tees, and arrow signs point direction to the next hole nicely. I understand the course has evolved to this point, and will continue to do so. I'm sure it will only keep getting better.
Cons: You have to pay $5, and sign a release form to play the courses. The remote location doesn't make for quick access. The tee pads, baskets and signage could all be upgraded. Physical exertion is a must to finish this bad boy, wimps and geezers beware.
Other Thoughts: For once, I finished a great new course, and didn't want to play it over again right away. This was a great one, but too hot and physical for back to back on this summer day. Wish I could have talked the girls into letting me play the other shorter course, though. Lace 'em up tight, cause this Elk Mountain's a real doozy. As well as disc golf, camping, fishing, and zip lines, are on this site. The other course is just over a mile away at the lodge, which offers discs, food and drinks, and more for sale. Very unique, matched by few other courses I have played in terms of difficulty, and totally worth checking out.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
I love mountain golf!!
Pros: The new layout is extremly long and challenging! I love getting out there for a good workout and this course fits the bill having holes 1-11 going uphill with number 8 being like a 50 degree angle up the hill to a hanging basket. A tomahawk is the way to go on this one, was playing two weeks ago and a buddy of mine tommyed off the tee and was still about 100-125ft out. decided to tommy again and flew it right in the hole! One amazing birdie I will not soon forget!! Good sinage on the new design and the length has to be a total walk of like 3 miles. Even though the fairway on most holes is an old logging road, it is still ultra challenging. I have yet to break par on this course, and im always trying to do so but it is really tough.
A great course always makes you use all of the shots you have, and I guarantee you will play many left-to-rights, right-to-lefts, over the top shots, shots from your knees, everything...
Cons: Number 11 is quite ridiculous. A 770 ft uphill par 5 with a mando in play about 200' away from the basket, be ready for the best bogey of your life and thats even if you can make a 6.
-Some of the brick tee-pads can get slick so watch your step, especially if it has been raining within the past couple of days. Was playing with a buddy that turned his ankle on hole #4 and tore several tendons and was out of DG for nearly a year. We all want to keep playing so anytime you are playing mountain golf (Simple Pleasures, Elk Mountain, Sugaree, Ashe County) always be aware of your rocky/steep/slick footings.
-In spring and summer wear pants cause their is stinging nettles everywhere.
#16's green is insane, most likely you will get a rollaway with no roller barrier to stop it..
#14 will make you or break you, a short downhill ace run really but if you drift right 5 ft of the pin your literally off the side off a STEEP mountain with no chance at salvaging par, bogey, or maybe even double
Other Thoughts: Favorite holes-- 5 is a great uphill legitamate par 5, if you dont hit a tree at some point you will proabably have a look at bird at a pin nestled in front of a HUGE boulder, one of the most epic holes in WNC in my opinion
8- Although I cant say the elevation is my favorite, this is still a very picteresque hole.
12- Basket perched atop a stump provides a difficult, but super fun putt
17-There is just something about this hole that I love, I cant quite figure it out. Its your basic hyzer off the tee hoping you clear a tiny collection of water that Will said is a hazard. Left is dead, and right is no good and there is a couple of boulders mid-fairway all the way to the green. Its just a downright good for real par 3, you wont see to many two's on this one.
Overall Elk Mtn is a great disc golf course if your in the mood for a challenging workout and course. Im not so sure the course itself is as tough as the neighborly mountain course Sugaree, but the terrain is most defiantly
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Cool Course !!!
Pros: This course is definitely a true mountain course. Love the par 5 and all the unique pins. Accuracy is a must. Hoping to go back when there are leaves on the trees. I'm sure it will play tougher.
Cons: The only cons might be the short tee pads on some holes. Oh yeah maybe the rollaways possible on many holes could also be frustrating.
Other Thoughts: Courses like this one make you a better player so just keep throwing!!!
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Really fun up/down mountain course.
Narrow fairways and sloping lies make hole distances longer than posted length
Cons: Short tee pads
Difficult to see baskets from tee - required extra walking to overcome blind shots
Other Thoughts: This is a cross between disc golf and backpacking
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
First Mountain Golf Experience
Pros: Very well marked for first time play. Amazing elevations and design. Extreme workout during first 12-holes with majority steep up-hill climbing.
Cons: Going it alone first time requires extra hiking to spot pin placement, but really not a negative to my personal overall experience.
Other Thoughts: Being a DG player for only 10-months, and only playing in FLAT South Florida, this was certainly a treat, and I imagine a very good taste of what mountain golf is about.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Mountain disc golf at its best (and getting tougher)
Pros: Elk Mountain is the ultimate mountain disc golfing experience. Be prepared to battle the mental and physical grind while playing.
- Elevation, elevation and more elevation. No extreme drop-offs like High Country (Jefferson, NC), but plenty of dramatic up or downhill shots, or major drop-offs just off the fairway. #3, 5, 6, 9 & 11 all have major uphill shots, highlighted by #9. It's a relatively short hole (187 feet), but the elevation is so extreme that even throwing a drive (I'm in the 300 - 325 range), left me 30 feet short. A buddy had a putt hit the basket, then roll 200 feet downhill, right past the tee, so yeah, elevation plays a factor.
- Woods, woods and more woods. #1 & 2 are open, and then you're in the woods the rest of the round. Fairways range from extremely tight (some fairways are actually roads up the mountain) to wider open, despite being surrounded by trees.
- Great variety of layouts. From tight to wide(r) open, up & down holes, and up-and-down holes. Plenty of shorter, birdie chances to longer par 4s and 5s that force you to throw multiple good shots. #5, 10 & 11 will challenge anyone with their mix of length & elevation.
- Great scenery throughout the course. This is mountain beauty at its finest. Some holes were still a work in progress, but once they're completed and cleaned up, you'll get even more of the nature feel.
- Clubhouse has a great selection of new and used discs. Some of the used discs looked brand new. The Vance Toe River Lodge, which is where the clubhouse and sign-in point is located, overall is a solid place. They brew their own beer, and make their own wine. Wish I was able to sample a couple of their crafts.
Cons: This course is not for the faint of heart, both literally and DG-wise.
- On the DG hand, the course is tough. At some points, I felt it was bordering on unrealistically tough. I think Will is turning into a younger version of Stan McDaniel with some of his evil hole layouts.
- On the physical side, I've never been as worn out playing a course as here. This is much more of a grind than Sugaree, High Country & Richmond Hill. My bag felt like an anchor by the end of my round. Anyone not in good physical shape is really going to be struggling, or playing a 5 hour round with all the breaks involved. Along those lines, you better bring plenty of water and energy drinks. You'll need them.
- A couple holes were poorly designed. The two that stood out to me as needing the most tweaking were #14 & 16. Neither had a good fairway (#14 was a narrow road, #16 several narrow routes through trees) and both severely sloped off to the side. If you didn't keep your shots low, they could easily sail a couple hundred feet away, somewhere deep into the woods. On both holes, you were better throwing 100-150 foot straight tee shots, 50-100 foot second shots to the basket and tap in for your par. I just feel any time you can throw two junk shots and still get an easy 3, something needs to change.
- A lot of blind tee shots. Part of it could be aided by having maps at the tees. On most holes, not a major problem, but it does reign in some aggressiveness, especially for first timers.
Other Thoughts: As stated, be prepared for a grind while playing here. It took more than hours for 3 of us to play a round. Our course guide said his last group played a five hour round.
- Some people may have mixed feelings about a course guide. With all the work/improvements taking place, the map is incorrect, and a guided is definitely needed. Down the road, with tee signs, updated map, etc., you probably won't need one.
- I'm a fan of the changes they're making to the course. Based on the pics, the new holes are longer, tougher and better. Now, if they could replace the several weak holes, it'd be even better.
- My favorite hole is #10. It's one of the new holes, so don't go by the info on the site. The hole is in the 500 - 550 foot range (they haven't measured yet), with a slight uphill tee shot, second shot playing around several big rocks to a basket that is a 20 - 30 drop-off. If you go for it in two, you could easily sail past the basket. If you lay-up, you should have a short third shot from the edge of the drop-off to the basket, and an easy tap-in for 4.
- I'm probably underrating the course by giving it a 3.5. When all is said and done, I have no doubt it'll be in the 4 - 4.5 range. It's in the road construction phase right now. Once the road is widened and the construction cones are gone, you see how good things are.
- I'm looking forward to playing here again in another year or so, to enjoy all the fruits of labor going into the course. Everyone should check it out as the course stands now, so soon, this will be a must-play for everyone.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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