Rounding into shape
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Setting. Wow factor. Hard to beat really.
-Facilities. Meals-Lodging-Bar-Pool etc.
-Gorgeous course in The Smokies...nice. .
-Improvements keep coming
-No 2 holes alike w/ Up-Down-Left-Right etc
-Many Risk vs Reward Birdie/Bogie holes.
-Brand new concrete pads- both Pro and Am.
-Lots of elevation without TOO much hiking.
-Quality Baskets, decent signs, benchs etc.
Cons: -LOCATION. Really isolated. See below.
-Some pads too short for full run-up.
-Confusing Resort Map. Get the new map.
-Steep/tangled ravine in middle of course.
-Hard to play when wet. Bring real shoes.
-Not currently Beginner friendly...but soon?
Other Thoughts: Fontana is a huge, full service 3-4 season resort. Disc Golfers will seldom be in the majority here at this Christian Family Retreat, but with the pool, the lake, the hiking, the Smokies, and so much more, it is hard to believe that players won't find something to fill the rest of the day here after a round.
Fontana resides near the imfamous 'Dragon', simply one of the most thrilling stretches of road in the world. Pictures 100s of turns on quality pavement in the woods and you'll understand why Harleys and Corvettes often frequent the area. But get real directions and figure on an hour longer than it looks and it looks like a long way from anywhere.
I really loved this course. LOTS of changes have been made, including especially the concrete pads on both Pro and Am. They're not as long as you'd like for a 5 step run-up. However, having just played a round with 'The Course Bros' JP and Rob, they assure me they will have a run-up area behind the pads that need one soon. They had lots of ideas for other changes and this sort of hands on 'Love' means a lot to me. They are looking at BOTH some longer pins up in the woods AND some beginner friendly third teepads. This will be a 4.5 star course pretty soon if they get that done.
GETTING AROUND: Don't bother with the old map found on the resort site. It is obsolete. Hole 1 has been moved to a better location. While JP and Rob just park at a central point near #12, 15, and 3, guests need to know that you can just walk out the Lodge Room's Hallway directly to the #2 Pro tee. This alone would make me think about the lodge rooms instead of the dozens of cabins. Remember...this place is huge. Can't describe how cool it was to play a round.... grab a shower... have a gourmet lunch.... crash.... and play round 2 totally rested.
Seasons: I here there are skeeters of course, and summer days must get pretty hot with all the climbing around here. But for me, early November was a little too late. Lots of slick leaves and the Lodge was kept pretty chilly considering how few people were around. I'll aim for October next year.
I believe in the Wow Factor. There are at least 6 great holes here and only 3 or 4 'whatevers'. Throw in a unique and beautiful setting and this place is worth the considerable 'Destination Drive'.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Fun in the mountains
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Nice course. Laid out well with lots of variety....Long and short holes, up and down. Enjoyed the challenge of it a lot and would love to go back.
Cons: IF by some chance you think you want to play there because they rent golf carts, forget it. The entire resort only has 4 and they rent them to people for their kids to drive around so good luck ever getting one. Anyway, this course would not lent itself to driving one on several of the holes. The rubber mats on the tee boxes are covered with mossy slime from being under trees and can be very slippery. They could use some cleaning.
Other Thoughts: It had rained a lot the night before we played there. That made footing on the slopes of the fairways very tough. Also, the grass had not been mowed for quite a while...it was about 4-5 inches high. I will go back though. I would love to play this course after freshly mowed and dry. It would be wonderful. I did not realize until signed on today that we were supposed to pay to play but that would not stop us from going back. Lastly, the map is critical to help you navigate because signage lacks some.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Well worth the drive
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Reading about this, I found it hard to believe that a resort dedicated in large part to motorcyclists and driving enthusiasts has such a wonderful disc golf course. Yet, there it is. It is a challenging course with beautiful scenery and relatively well-kept grounds.
The course is long. With the exception of hole #1, which is the disc golf equivalent of mini golf, the are many long holes with mostly open fairways. However, there are also medium to long holes with decorative trees or tree clusters in the middle of things. Holes 2 and 16 are good examples. You are driving over a landscaped area with dogwoods dotting an otherwise open lawn.
The course designers took advantage of the elevation changes. Hole #4 was a love/hate sort thing. You are throwing off the edge of a very steep hill, through the trees, and down to level ground at the basket. Hole #8 has a wonderful long drive down a hill with a right turn out of the trees into the open. I birdied that one and was thrilled to have done so.
No two holes are alike. Most all of them represent a challenge, yet nothing that should scare away new players.
Cons: Whatever you do, stay on the fairway. Maybe it's because I'm a yankee and not familiar with the vegetation in the south, but I lost one driver and we were lucky to find a few others. The "fairway" under hole #8 is a narrow bike path cut from a slope covered in waist-high briers, vines, and ferns. Any disc that fades too hard and lands in the woods may also fall down into a 40 ft deep ravine.
Footing can be treacherous. If it has rained within the last 24 hours, slopes will be muddy and your feet will slip out from under you.
Signs on the course itself are weak. Take a course map with you and you will have no problem. My group forgot the map and walked a few extra miles going in the wrong direction.
Other Thoughts: The tees are reasonably well maintained. Most have a rubber mat covering either a crushed stone base or a plywood platform. The only exception that I can recall is #8, which is bare earth and in the middle of a bike path.
The road leading to the course (US129) is nicknamed The Tail of the Dragon. It is famous for tight curves and switchbacks. If you have a choice between taking the Camry or the WRX, drive the WRX. Just stay between the painted lines, please.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful mountain course
0 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Scenic course in a mountain setting with great course design! Friendly staff and golf carts fof rent! This course truly will leave you telling stories over the years!
Cons: Weather is unpredictable and is very difficult to get to and locate. Tucked away in the mountains away from Everything!
Other Thoughts: Truly remarkable course from start to finish.
0 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Scenic with Variety
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Overall hole design is Fontana's greatest strength- I would use words like variety, scenic, challenging, and fun to summarize it. Look at the pics, they will make you want to play here, and you won't be disappointed!
It offers a great mix in the following: hole length, required shot shape, and degrees of elevation. There are no two holes the same. It is challenging without being frustratingly impossible to non-pros, which is how it should be since this course is part of a family style resort. Some of the challenges include length, elevation, strategically placed baskets, single trees, dense trees, thick rough, ravines, creeks, roads, and even a storage building. The grounds were well-kept, no trash, and the grassy fairways appeared to be regularly mowed. And who doesn't love a course with several elevated tee-shots!
It is located in a beautiful setting in the Appalachian mountains (but not completely out in nature as many of the buildings are nearby and rarely out of sight.) Despite this, the course still has several peaceful scenic holes. I would also theorize that this course rarely gets crowded, being so far away from any dense populated area. The course itself is nicely spread out, each hole gets its own space, so even a lot of people were playing you won't feel crowded.
Along with the course is the really nice Fontana Village facility- offering cabins, an inn, mini golf, game room, restaurant, etc. Large and beautiful Fontana Lake is just across the street for boating, skiing, and fishing. And of course nearby in the App. Mtns you are close to hiking, camping, rafting, etc. Fontana Village is a great place to take the whole family or have a group retreat as there is plenty to do, the disc golf is only 1 activity. And I would encourage anyone coming to this area to definitely do more than disc golf.
Cons: Rubber pads are ok, but I prefer concrete- for footing and a more professional and permanent look. Website and scorecard said there were 2 tees, but they were not there- there were a couple of Innova ground markers on a couple holes, but most of the time they were at the concrete tee. So it would seem that the "2nd tees" are temp natural tees, probably only set-up for tournaments.
The 1st hole is weak- a super short shot straight into a hill/cliff covered in overgrowth, this hole is out of place, and does not fit the style of the rest of the course. (Good news is you get the worst hole out the way first.) But then the best hole is #2- great hole, but it stinks to get it over with this early- would love to see this hole much later in the round.
#8 is a unique challenge- sharp downhill C-shape moving from woods to open and blind- takes a specific well played shot to hit the required line, but it was so overgrown in mid-summer that the tee was practically blocked by super tall (over my head) plants taking away from the desired shot shape- I was forced to throw it really high making it impossible to play the hole as intended. Would like to see a little bit of regular fairway maintenance here.
Roads are in play on several holes, always a danger there with cars, walkers, and golf carts.
Other Thoughts: The best course in a very wide radius.
Pretty exhausting. I am in decent shape and the elevation is not insanely steep, just a lot of it.
Offer golf carts- not for the course, but for the whole complex, but they can be, and are often, used for disc golf. I was pretty tired after 1 round, could be worth to split the cost of one if planning on playing the whole day.
Supposedly pay the play. The workers that day said that since I had my own discs and did not need to rent, then just go play.
Allow for more time than usual both driving here and playing. Curvy mountain roads always take way more time than it looks on a map. The course is spread out and hilly and takes longer to play than most standard 18 hole courses.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Fontana Village People! D-G-C-R!
Pros: Very fun course at Fontana Village Resort. I stopped at the desk to sign in, they were very nice offering frisbees without charging or signing in. The disc golf shots are magnificent on several holes. Elevation is significant on every hole. Started with an easy birdie on one, and got another longer birdie on nine. Had chances for a few others, could not convert. Hole two is a doozy, three and four are nice also. Distance is longer on the majority of holes. Six is a shorter hole, and seven was longer but reachable, both uphill. Not a lot of gimme deuces. Woods are prevalent on a few holes, but way more open than I was expecting. Eight is a fun RHBH anhyzer steep downhill out of the trees. Nice baskets, and signage. Solid rubber mats mounted on plywood. Made a good par save on ten, and eleven is another real toughie. Maps are printed on the scorecards available at the desk. Fifteen is a short one that got me for a lost disc, mountain style. Sixteen is epic, long and downhill with trees in the middle, road left and water right. Benches on most holes. Seventeen and eighteen are both solid back up the other side of the road.
Cons: Footing was extremely slick on slopes, grass was consistently boggy, and tee boxes were covered with slippery condensation in freezing cold conditions of the season. Concrete might have been preferable. Wind was there but not terrible. I went out of bounds in the water 3 times. I also lost a double ace TeeBird with a low drive that bounced into the boulders on the 15th fairway. Water was sadly very low in the lake, but high on the course. I think it may have snowed the previous day there. I think hole two would have made a better opening hole, and finish up on number one instead. Maybe better still, start at three, finish two The lay out crosses itself and roads many times, and is not to hard to follow, but maps are available.
Other Thoughts: I loved it. In nicer conditions, and with upgraded tees, I could argue for a 4.5 rating. Lengthy but not super technical. Shot a 61, and was pretty happy with it. The drive there is slow and curvy mountain roads, and worth making the trip to me. The resort personnel was friendly, and disc golf was terrific. Reminiscent of Mars Hill, or Meeks Park but less wooded. Good birthday road trip, and Sunshine noted the small, pretty flowers on the scorecard.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Not bad overall
Pros: Quite a few long holes, with just enough obstacles in the way to balance making it fun and giving you fits.
No heavy crowds, depending on vacation season, I guess.
Cons: There may have been *one* hole where I saw the alternate short tee pad (#4, I think). Aside from that, I couldn't tell if they were all supposed to have alternates, or if the distance was dependent on the pin placement.
The signage on the tee pads doesn't have a hole layout, just the distance. Especially on holes like #11 you'll be walking around trying to figure out where the pin is.
The walk from #1 to #2 is ridiculous. Not a good way to start the flow of the course. Afterwards, some holes aren't clearly marked, though if you walk in the direction you think the teepad *should* be you're likely to find it.
Some holes play really close to each other, such as #3 and #4, #9 and #11.
Holes #16 and #17 play down and back up the main driveway, so depending on the time of year, you may have to deal with a lot of cars coming and going.
Other Thoughts: So apparently the way to get to the course is called "the Dragon" and is one of the more famous roads for motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts. News to me. The last 10 miles of my trip took about 45 minutes, between going 15-20 mph around the mountain and pulling off to the side constantly to let groups of bikers go through. Be prepared.
Also, you don't have to pay the $5 if you bring your own discs.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 11 Not
Nice course, but.....
Pros: Nice terrain, well maintained, and baskets in good shape.
Cons: NO short tee pad markers that I could find except on hole 2 and that was really hard t see where the placement was next to a bush. I think I found another short tee marker somewhere.
There are no basket position indicators and no visible wear on the short tee areas where ever they are..... So the course is really long playing from the marked long pads.
Other Thoughts: The problem I see here is a nice course that rarely gets played and Those factors make the course harder than necessary to navigate and play. You would think an innova sponsored course would do a nicer job on the signs and install short tee pads. It truly is in the middle of nowhere with very limited routes to get there. I'll never go back mainly because from gat
I burg it takes about TWO hours to get to despite only being 30 miles by air.
2 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This was an all-day disc golf resort experience. Early round of disc golf (with carts!), lunch at the wonderful and reasonably priced on-site restaurant (they had Asheville Brewing Company's Shiva IPA, my personal favorite beer, on tap, and we got a free pitcher to boot), and then a long afternoon of swimming at the big pool/lazy river. The prices were more affordable than advertised. We rented 2 carts at $7 an hour each, and they didn't charge us extra when we brought them back half an hour into the 3rd hour. The advertised fee was $5 a round, $10 a day, but instead we paid about $8 a person (adults) for an all-day recreation pass that included disc golf, the pool, the game room, putt putt and whatever else we wanted to do. Great deal.
Onto the course. Truly beautiful, challenging and a great mix of hole types, from totally wide open longer holes to far more technical holes. Even on some of the more open holes, the designer was careful to make use of whatever guard trees were available. So many great holes on this one, from the long and obstacle-laden #2 hole that ends over a stream/dam to #14 that winds around a mound and island of trees. Tee boxes are great, and the course is clearly marked where it needs to be with guide signs. Holes find some way in each case (less #1) of challenging the player, either with distance or risk or obstacles. No pedestrian or vehicle interactions, though a few holes run along side the roads, though those are not much in use except for light resort traffic.
Oh, and did I mention that the course is absolutely gorgeous, meticulously manicured and in the middle of one of the country's most beautiful areas? Worth the drive. Get a room or cabin. Eat. Drink. Play DG.
Cons: Fontana is out in the middle of nowhere, but luckily I live just a little east of the middle of nowhere. If you're coming from another state or say, Charlotte, get a room, it's a long drive and the miles belie the time if you get caught behind slow traffic on the one lane portions of 28.
The course itself is a little too open in some places. Holes 9, 12 and 13 are a little too simple, and prevent this course from a rating higher, along with #1, which I agree with another poster as far as that hole not fitting in. The only decent rationale is that a hole where visitors to the lodge can see tee to basket (it's the closest hole to the lodge) could stir some interest.
Other Thoughts: Despite a small minority of lackluster holes, this course was a joy to play. Carts were a major bonus (I don't mind walking, but the novelty was worth it), and the amenities at the resort were affordable, high quality and lots of fun. For me, this was the first time that I was successfully able to integrate my family (wife and two younger kids) and my disc golfing passion in a way that everyone had a blast. The family loved riding on carts, loved the restaurant and my kids loved the pool. It was awesome to be able to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies with my family in this way, which was the truly one of a kind service that Fontana DGC and Resort provided.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Fontana Dam good course
Pros: Fontana Village is an awesome mountain course. It's right up there with the best mountain courses in the region (Sugaree, High Country in Jefferson, etc.).
- True feel of playing in the mountains. Lots of elevation throughout gives you a great mix of uphill, downhill and level holes. There are enough chances for you to let your disc fly on downhill open holes (3 & 11), while also giving you downhill holes that force you to throw accurate, or face some serious punishment (#2 - road/cars on left & thick rough on right; #12 - rough & serious drop-off behind basket).
- There are some great hole layouts on this course. You have some solid doglegs, wooded holes and other challenging basket placements, and it just gets magnified with the elevation. The two I'm going to point out here are #8 & 15. #8 starts out in the woods, and is a dogleg right, 315 foot hole. You have to clear through the opening in the trees to a downhill shot to the basket. With a little skill/luck or a bad bounce off a tree, anything from a birdie to double-bogey seems likely on this hole. On #15, it a 256 foot, slight dogleg right basket. You throw over a rock-laden drop-off to a basket protected by trees. A buddy had a bad bounce off the trees and into the rocks. It was a journey getting down to his disc. Again, a birdie seems just as probable as a high score. My favorite hole, however, was #2, but I'll get to that later.
- Good variety in length - from the long tees, six holes under 300 feet, five from 300-399, seven at more than 400 feet. Of course the elevation changes make some holes play longer or shorter than their listed lengths. The only slight blip about this is that there isn't one truly epic, long hole, in the 600 - 700 foot range.
- Good tee signs and scorecards. It's easy to navigate your way through the course with a map.
- I'm usually a fan of concrete tee pads, but in this case, I really like the rubber ones used here. They're in very good shape and they blend in better with the natural feel of the entire course. Concrete ones would have stuck out like a sore thumb.
- Amazing scenery throughout. In terms of pure views, both the views throughout the course/resort, and the drive in, this is even better than Sugaree & High Country. You're really out in nature in Fontana/the resort/the course - pure beauty throughout.
Cons: Both tee pads weren't clearly visible on every hole that has dual tees. Also, it wasn't always clear with basket locations the cages were in - long or short. It was pretty self explanatory on most holes; however, on at least one hole, it was hard to tell because of the depth perception. On #12, it's 222 for short vs. 332 for long. Throwing into an open, downhill basket throws off your depth perception. With woods and a deep slope behind the basket, you don't want to be wrong on your guess.
- Also, the distances on the tee signs and scorecards didn't match. Most were relatively close, so not a major problem. Again, on some holes, a 40-50 foot difference could pose a problem if you're aiming for one distance over the other.
- There's a disc valley of death to the right of #14, and to a lesser degree, the left of #16. On #14, it's a steep drop to thick, thick, thick underbrush. My buddy had a disc land in there. We didn't find his disc, but I found two others and some angry yellow jackets, so it was a mixed bag.
- This is a slow playing course. The holes are spread out (though no major walks between holes) and you're going up and down hills. With that said, prepare for a longer than normal round.
- This has nothing to do with the course itself, but it has to be mentioned. This course is in the middle of nowhere. Yes, that puts you out in nature, as stated above; but, it also means it's a long drive to get here. It's about 1:30 from both Asheville and Knoxville, the two closest major cities. Along those lines, the Knoxville route includes a a long stretch of winding roads. If you get car sick, this is a rough stretch, and even if you don't normally, you'll feel 20 miles of hairpin turns.
Other Thoughts: Fontana Village is a special course. The resort itself seems to have a lot to offer, so you could easily spend a fair amount of time here. It also doesn't hurt that the gal at the front desk let us play for free.
- As I mentioned above, it would be nice to see a truly epic hole. There's enough room to extend some of the holes to add distance. Either #10 or 11 could be pushed further up the mountain - basket for #10, tee for #11.
- I really like the flow of holes here. There aren't many lazy transitions, meaning you don't go uphill for one hole, and turn around and go downhill the next. It's easy for some courses to do the back and forth flow way too much. #10 & 11 was the only back-to-back like this.
- My favorite hole was #2. The longest hole on the course - 538 feet - is a tight, downhill shot with danger on both sides (as state above, road on left and thick rough/dropoff on left). If you took away the elevation for this hole, making it flat, you'd have #7 at Hornets Nest in Charlotte.
- #11 was a close second in terms of the best holes, especially because of the tough approach shot. It's a slight drop-off for the first 80 - 90% of the hole, until there's a steep drop-off down to the basket. If you're more than 100 feet out, it's a blind second shot. It's very easy to have your approach shot sail long.
- I loved every part of the course. There wasn't a bad hole here - a couple of average ones, but not a dud in the bunch.
- This is a notch below Sugaree and a slight, slight notch below High Country. So, to differentiate, I'm giving this a lower rating than both of those. Still, this course should be getting a 4.25, if that rating were available.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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