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.
1 Helpful / 14 Not
worth the drive
Pros: aurprise landing areas, great hike.
Other Thoughts: WOW. awesome course. I had to walk some holes first, just to see them, but awesome. One basket hangs from a chain and one is in a 6' tree stump. VERY creative and bring your A game.
1 of 15 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: What a great course! not much more I can add to what others have said.
Cons: -tee signs need a little work
-thick underbrush, consider wearing long socks or pants
- If you play in summer bring mosquito repellent
Other Thoughts: This is a rigorous mountain course, be sure to wear good shoes and carry lots of water. I love this place and look forward to going back next year.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: I have to hand it to Will and his associates. This place is awesome! The course layout is very well thought out. The front 9 take you winding up into the mountainside (a moderately strenuous hike), then the back 9 is downhill and tons of fun. The whole course is just technical enough to make for some challenging approaches, but if you stick to the fairways, you'll do just fine. All in all, I had a blast and I will definitely be back for another adventure before too long.
Cons: Bring some spare discs. I had a beautiful drive sailing down the fairway on hole 12. I missed the basket by only a couple feet (thought it was gonna be an ace) then the disc went careening over the hillside and lost in the underbrush. Didn't really care too much, it's just part of the game, but this is the only "con" I could think of. The whole place is fantastic.
Other Thoughts: A special shout out to Brewmeister Aaron! By far the best home-brewed beer I have ever sampled. Also, if you are going to Plumtree to play disc golf, you should consider the zip-line canopy tour as well. It's really fun and 100% worth every penny.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Plum Tree Paradise
Pros: Most importantly the people at Elk Mountain are some of nicest I've met here in the High Country. Much thanks to Will and his wife, and also his entire family. They all work extremely hard to make this course such a special place. The Course itself is a very diverse and challenging 18 holes. Great variety from the front nine to the back. A wonderful hole is #5, a worthy par 5 that can work you over if you fade to the right on your drive. The course has lots of elevation change. The front nine is almost completely uphill. The back nine gives you a break from the hike but replaces it with the opportunity to severely overdrive the holes and throw away the bird. A great course overall and also a great weekend for the family or for any couple. It's really got something for everybody.
Cons: If you aren't used to mountain golf this course can be very challenging. You can two to four many of the holes due to precarious basket placements. Also the hike could be quite strenuous to a flatlander. The front nine is very steep in many areas.
Other Thoughts: Between the camping, yurts, trout, zip lines, bed and breakfast, brewery (some very tasty brews, thanks Eric), disc shop, and the course, this is definitely one of the best places to play golf in the state! Get out there and play!
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Creative hole placement. #11 is cool and my only 2. My first hanging basket every played-very cool! Facilities are top notch. Beautiful mountain scenery. Challenging and beautifully simple all at the same time. Great hike that will give you a workout. A lot of thought and care went into this course.
Cons: 50 minute drive from Boone and not in my back yard.
Other Thoughts: Disc Golf camping weekend was so much fun. The family that runs this place are super friendly and have put in a lot of hard work so that others may have a good time. Rent a yurt! I can not wait to go back. They have so many fun weekends planned for the summer.
2 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Disc Golf Vacation in the mountains
Pros: The disc golf course is just one part of this camping paradise. The course is a tough challenge probably best sutied to the int/pro player. It is in the mountains so it is a bit of a hike. Great scenery abounds. Large, sturdy wood benches at most holes. Tee signs & cigg. butt cans at each hole. Good flow with 'next tee' arrows & well worn paths. Lots of variety with uphill, downhill (both steep & gradual), rights & lefts, long & short, blind & open etc. There are a couple of mando's & a water hazard or two. Lots of trees & roll-away hillside pin placements. Lots of variety with #11 basket elevated 15' in the air on a pole & #8 basket hanging from a tree. Instep style baskets with double-chains. Bright orange flags top each pin making them easier to spot.
Cons: Tee pads are a mix between wood-framed paving stones to dirt. Tee signs are basic. Could use a bit more description of routes to holes, etc.
Other Thoughts: The hosts are ever accomodating. The choice of camping styles range from basic plot of land to full on bed & breakfast. Even the most basic plot has electric outlets & restrooms close by with showers.
The have zip lines, climbing tower, trout pond (pay $ per pound). The place is beautifully landscaped with material grown on site. Full commitment to sustainability & recycling/re-use. Great destination that I will recommend to family & friends!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Mountain discs at its finest
Pros: An ideal location, nestled away in the rolling North Carolina mountains.
Navigation is easy, with white markers placed to indicate where to find the next tee.
Red baskets and orange flags make the holes very easy to find, right from the first round.
Lots of elevation changes requiring a range of shots. Uphill, downhill, tight threads, lefties, righties, straights, and true 4s and a 5(true in my opinion).
Some of the most picturesque holes you'll ever find. The pin at the long hole 5 is perfectly placed against a lone rock wall, some 30 feet or more above your approach shot. The views all around are excellent, and feels secluded from the rest of the world.
Hanging basket at 8 is a great touch, as is the basket on top of the 5' stump at hole 11.
A lot of thought has gone into the design of this course through some tricky terrain, and it shows. Inlaid brick teepads on some holes are impressive. Benches and stairs also prove the level of work into making this course truly enjoyable.
Camping, private yurts, and a bed & breakfast accommodate all types of travelers.
Winery, restaurant, souvenirs, and cold drinks in the lodge.
The Blind Squirrel Disc & Brew Shop is such a great addition. A great selection of used plastic and brand new discs. Add in the smell of mash, hops and barley and it's a true slice of heaven.
Cons: Some holes play near the campsites, but only a couple, really only 17 and 18, and it's not all that close.
Needs tee pads on all holes.
Other Thoughts: If you haven't played mountain disc golf, or you already know you love it, come hit this gem! Just walking the path is a hike, but actually playing the course, climbing to the pins to retrieve your putts, climbing back down, etc -- you will get a full body workout. I played two rounds, back-to-back, and that was by FAR the deepest muscle burn I've ever had from playing any course twice in a row. Well worth it!
Course will be constantly updated and improved. Expect some holes to change/ move over time. Also, talk of adding another 18-hole course, which would really make this place unavoidable for any disc fan.
The Youngs and everyone on site are friendly and great hosts. We met Will as we entered, he showed me what to look for on a couple holes before letting me throw a round, then met me for my second round, and we had a great time. Plumber John, Edie, Aaron, everyone here welcomed us like family. The Youngs are doing great work for anyone who loves this sport. Go have a great discin' getaway weekend!
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: This course is a placement course with beautyful mountains and streams. Very easy to get from hole to hole. Course is a must play course with camping, zip lines, trout pound, and good mountain cooking. I would recomend wearing hiking boots.
Cons: Need more parking spots.
Other Thoughts: Would be an awsome HGT course.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Diamond in the Rough
Pros: You're surrounded by beautiful mountains. The course requires a nice variety of shots including a number of holes with severe elevation change as this is a true mountain course. The course is difficult & long enough to challenge the serious player. There are a number of really fun holes. Nice benches on several holes that come in handy. Primitive camping sites available at the course. The Vance Toe River Lodge & Restaurant is a couple minutes away and provides great food and disc golf supplies. Rob the course pro & Plumber John will show you around & make you feel welcome.
Cons: The course is still a work in progress so a couple of the hole designs could be improved i.e. #12 & the fairways that consist of gravel roads. There aren't rubber or concrete tee pads but it wasn't too much of an issue. It should be kept in mind that this course is continually being improved.
Other Thoughts: Me & some buddies found this course through this website & decided to make the road trip & give it a try. We ended up camping & were very pleasantly surprised by how awesome the course was & by the hospitality shown. Props to Will for his unbelievable cooking skills at the Toe River Lodge Restaurant. If you're considering playing this course, DO IT.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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