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.
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.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is set in the beautiful and cozy Fontana Village Resort. The views of the Smokey Mountains are all around and they lend themselves to some pretty decent elevation changes. Some hills are more pronounced than others but you really won't find much flatness to speak of. You'll find mixtures of open to somewhat wooded holes on the majority of the course. Nothing is really heavily wooded but lots of holes have little features to add difficulty to them and they were fun to discover. A few stuck out in my mind. Number one which was comparatively short has a creek which I played as OB and it's tucked behind a few boulders. It was a nice way to be introduced to the round. Two is a long downhill shot that also plays near a creek. Six stood out as an open fairway that plays into some trees and up and over a stacked stone wall and can challenge you putting skills nicely. Hole nine was the most memorable of all to me. From the tee the fairway goes strait in a fairly wooded area for about 100' or so and then cuts hard right and goes down hill another 200'. It loses about 60' or so in elevation in the last 180' and ends in a field across a street. It offers a good risk/reward if you want to go for it. Eleven was also nice for a big open downhill shot with the basket tucked down a slight bank to the left and again added some personality to the holes. The rest of the holes finish out with some more variety and leads you back to hole number one/parking lot.
The friendly staff at the rec center was happy to give directions, score cards, pencils, etc. The course was fully stocked with benches an almost every hole. The tee signs were in great shape and pretty informative although I was a little confused by them a bit. I am not sure how accurate they are in terms of lengths. I think some things may have changed out on the course since they were installed. The main tee pads seem to be built on some type of wooded platform and covered with rubber mats and serve their purpose pretty well. The short pads are natural with nifty Innova markers. The baskets are in great shape and are numbered to help with an already pretty easy course to navigate.
The course is clean, well maintained, and seems that the course gets a fair amount of use. Overall it's very fun and will leave you wanting to come back for more.
Cons: There are a few roads that cross the fairways so look out for cars or even a chance of damaging a good disc. As you look around the area you can't help wondering what the course could have been if it had crept into the woods a bit. It should be noted that walking the hills can wear you out if you are not in shape.
It's not the course's fault but it is out of the way if you are not from the area.
Besides some personal pet peeves defined by some individuals personal preferances, there really isn't any majors cons here.
The resort has some other activities that might add to the attraction to visiting the area. Check out Fontana Village resort for more info, www.fontanavillage.com
. Others have mentioned $5 per round but I was told to help myself for free. They told me the $5 fee was only if you are renting discs/equipment from the rec center. It didn't really probe the issue but it might be because I was a guest at the resort. With that said there was no way the guy at the counter in the rec area could have known if I was staying there or not. I can't imagine anyone not liking this course. It should appeal to beginners and seasoned players as well. Enjoy!
It's a dry county but beer is available at the restaurant and general store on site for those who are interested.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Fontana Village DGC: Winter 08
Pros: Moderately long at over 6000' from the pro blues. Only 1-2 shorter holes. More moderately open fairways with fewer narrow wooded lines. Ride a golf cart , drink beers, and get 72 holes or more in a day. Very challenging roughs in some places. Lodging available overlooking the course. Somewhat significant elevation change on this mountain valley course. Young course with mucho potential.
Cons: New course, open summer 07 at private resort. Still much fine tuning and beautification to do / in progress .Pay to Play+cart fees but packages available.. Some sports car and motorcycle traffic in the summer on Tail of the Dragon.
Other Thoughts: Great layout from Disconcepts, just needs some tweaks and polish. Multiple pin placements and alt tees to come. Easily expandable/changable in the future for some solid tournament action. As interest in the course/area grows, additional courses are projected.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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