1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1. Great use of elevation changes
2. Mixture of short and long holes
3. Tees and holes are well marked and easy to locate
4. Paths for each hole are well cleared
6. Fairways are clear and free from undergrowth
Cons: 1. Tight fairways
2. Trash is common (desperate need of trashcans)
3. Course gets very muddy
4. Natural dirt tees
5. Broken signs
Other Thoughts: This is a fun midranged heavily wooded course. However the fairways are nice and open and easy to maneuver. Woods although thick off the fairway are very forgiving. Course is difficult but enjoyable and rewarding. They are extending this course to be a 36 hole course and should be open as a 36 soon. Overall this course is great for beginners and pro's alike. This is a diverse course that will really make you think about what you need to throw for the best outcome. Definitely worth checking out if you are in the area. This is by far my favorite course in the Roanoke area, LOVE IT.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Short & Technical
- Makes great use of elevation change, creating some unique shots (3, 4 and 6 come to mind)
- Lots of ace runs & birdie opportunities since most holes are short (150'-200')
- Practice basket near parking area
- Course is maintained & all paths are well-worn & easy to navigate, benches throughout
- Park is dedicated to disc golf, no conflict with other park users
- Four tee pads (blue, white, red, gold) on most holes allow for variety. Have only played the white tees so I can't comment on quality of other tees.
- Bare dirt tee pads don't provide much traction & can become an issue if wet
- Gets very crowded, especially on weekends (VT is only 10 minutes away)
- Long walk between 15 and 16, but I don't think this could have been avoided
Other Thoughts: This is a fairly challenging wooded course with lots of shorter, technical holes. Definitely leave your drivers at home. Great course to work on your midrange game. There are enough uniquely-designed holes that make the course very interesting to play.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Not bad for SW VA
Pros: - very interesting, well designed course that presents challenges even for experienced players, yet is approachable for beginners
- most holes are very short yet heavily wooded. It is rare you get a straight shot to the hole. Therefore, this course is technique course. If you have good control you can get many birdie opportunities.
Cons: - There tends to be some trash build up throughout the course, especially when VT is in session
- On the same token, lots of students play this course. It can get a bit crowded at times.
- the course is starting to show a little ware; it has been quite a while since there has been regular maintenance. For example, steps and containment barriers on some of the sloped holes are falling apart. The tee pads are natural, but still in ok shape
Other Thoughts: This is my home course, it's where I learned to play DG. This course rewards control and accuracy over long drivers. The first 2 holes are relatively open, with holes 3-17 in heavy woods. As others have mentioned, there is significant elevation and plenty of benches. Look for ace opportunities on 3 and 17.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Hit your lines, and be rewarded with ace runs and birdy opportunities galore.
Much-appreciated and oft-used benches at every tee.
Probably not the safest courses to play after a hard rain - built-in steps at
the steepest sections help alleviate this potential problem.
Lots of trash scattered about.
With an average length of ~200', 2/3rds of the holes under that, and only the final hole over 300', your midranges will be your workhorses on this course.
With the massive elevation changes and the many hardwoods defining the challenging-but-fair throwing lanes, control is of utmost importance - typically, the tighter the hole, the shorter it is.
With the steep walks on and between many of the holes, you might be better served replacing your distance drivers with a walking stick.
You'll encounter most of the extreme ups (1,4) and downs (3,6) early. Middle holes 8-11 offer a welcome respite as you play back-n-forth across a plateau filled with the larger hardwoods at the highest portion of the course. Cross-slope 12-15 work you slowly down the hill. Walk downhill, cross creek, turn left to find tee-16 for an up-n-over slope challenge. Cross mini-valley #17 leads you to a (relatively) long-n-open left-turner to take
you back to the finish.
Great course to challenge your mental and physical stamina.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
There is plastic in them thar Hills!!
Pros: loved the views. Really great use of elevation changes, especially on hole #3. Not a really long course but it makes up for that with tight shots. There are still plenty of birdie shots available and even an ace run or two. Hole 1 and 2 are about as "open" a shot as you will get here, maybe 18. A really good "workout" with all the elevation changes. You can pretty much leave your drivers at home. A solid Buzz/Roc and maybe a comet work real good for me here.
Cons: This course is hard on a fat guy (me). whew!! Lots of "steps" put in place that are easy to fall over if you're not extremely careful. There has been a lot of work done here with all of the "steps" but they could be given some more "TLC" with the stakes that hold them in place. Some holes feel like they require the legs of a mountain goat to play with the drastic elevation changes.
Crowded. I repeat, crowded! We had a group of four that were playing at a reasonable pace and we had to let a few groups of 2/3 play through. When we finished up around 5:00ish, there was a line 20-25 people long at the first tee. If I had encountered that earlier, I would have just turned around and drove the hour+ back home.
Other Thoughts: All in all, a great course to play. Enjoy...
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Short and Sweet
Pros: Great little course. First tee pad is GIANT and a trapazoid at that. All "white" tees are marked with a routed and painted sign for direction and distances. Very pretty course with really cool layouts and pin placements. GREAT use of elevation, for such a short course, it will make you work. There are plenty of holes where you will want to throw your whole bag. Tight line management is a premium here. I really liked hole 3. 20' out and 60' down. There is a tree with a disc stuck in it. When you get to the bottom of the valley you look up and it is like 80' in the air. Attention to erosion control is amazing. Thousands of stairs are carved and reinforced into the hill sides. 3 "tees" per hole with signage. Benches at almost every hole and every hole tee. A pretty little creek runs through and come into play but not a disc eater. I shot -11 my first time through. There are birdies on every hole... and bogey's. Hit a tree and you can go farther down a hill than the distance is to the basket. Slightly older but still in good condition DISCatchers. Ace runs are abundant.
Cons: There are a few things that I did not like about this course. For 1, no trash cans. There is a huge Teepad on hole 1 but then no more for the rest of the course. The teepads are in rough shape. Few are level and many are even less than 5'. I think there is one that is like 3' wide and 4' long. It is a shame, that they are not at least regulation 8'. i would suggest removing a tee location per hole and carving out at least 1 6'+ pad per hole. I understand why it wasnt done...the holes are so short, and the elevation changes make for a lot of tee pad leveling. Erosion control was great and the stairs awesome, however, the posts used to reinforce or hold up the erosion logs and step backings were almost always not pounded in fully. On one of the holes (hole 4 or 5) there were at least 100 stakes sticking 4-6" up above logs and steps. These are Extreme trip hazards. And if you fall you have a lot of little stakes to avoid. this could turn into a really dangerous situation. Especially when you get momentum down hill and you snag one of those stakes. You can see where they are worn down, so people are hitting them with their feet. A day with a cordless sawzall or chainsaw trimming all these tripper stakes would really make the course better looking and safe. A few holes have tough to distinguish fairways. The portajohn is tipped over. Some of the blue tee pads were just silly...like 50'. The course in spots seems crammed. With as many trees as there are, giant 80-100' kicks are possible, many tees. baskets, or fairways are within 30-40 ft of adjoining holes. Another Con...is that I played with the leaves down. This course would be SO pretty in the spring and summer. I wish I had seen it then.
Other Thoughts: Bring your thumber disc, midrange, putter, and tommy disc. Thats all you need. I would have played 2-3 times if I wasnt on a road trip. Great little course. Clean up the tripper stakes and the tee pads and I would give it a 3.5. I reviewed it as a beginner course, but probably couldnt give it over a 4 ever, due to the length. The woods are great and it seems like the course is a little crammed. There appears to be plenty of land, I kind of wish this course was 2-3000' longer. Great job on maintenance.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Rugged course with a real "out in nature" feel to it. Plenty of elevation gives you plenty of love-it & hate-it moments.
- Golden Hills is a true wooded course. Hole #1, 2 & 18 are the only open/grass holes. From 3 - 17, you are in the forest.
- Some solid hole layouts. Elevated holes? Check. Doglegs? Check. Tight holes? Check. Risk/reward holes? Check. Holes that you'll score too high on due to disc rolling down hills or taking crazy bounces off trees? Check.
- Elevation changes is definitely the course's identity. There are some crazy up & downhill shots, highlighted by #3's 63 foot drop from tee to basket. You're essentially throwing straight down from the tee, and you better be accurate or your shot will sail away. A couple other holes have good elevation changes, all of which feel more extreme than they really are because the holes are so short. There's also plenty of walking up & down hills between holes, so you're going to get a good workout. The elevation also leads to the rolling disc factor. It's pretty frustrating watching a disc roll down a hill right back at you.
- This a technical course with premium on accuracy over distance. Average hole length is only 230 feet, with only 3 holes at 300 feet - and 2 of those are the open holes. 10 holes are 215 or less, but if you can't throw straight, you're still going to be scrambling for pars.
- Three layouts, with the shortest at under 2500 feet - less than 140 feet a hole. From the short tees, it could be one of the most enjoyable ace race/skins matches you could play. Plus, it's great for beginners.
- Course gets plenty of play. Playing on a Sunday afternoon, saw plenty of large groups (4+ people), mostly college students. Judging by other reviews, seems to be crowded almost all of the time.
- You're definitely in nature here. If it weren't for the constant sounds of traffic, you'd really think you've drive way out into the mountains, away from any cities.
Cons: Would have liked to see a little more length on the wooded holes. With the exception of several holes, the average player is only going to need a mid-range disc and/or putter for most throws. Having a longer, par 4 or 5-type hole forcing people to throw 1 or 2 long shots would have presented an added challenge.
- Luck factor comes into play a little too much compared to most courses, even other wooded courses. Playing with a buddy, there were times we'd throw what'd was pretty close to a perfect shot, only to have it take a crazy bounce off a tree or roll down a hill. Then there were other times we'd throw a poor shot, have it hit a tree and land in birdie range.
- Overcrowding can be a problem. And from what I saw, the people playing were casual players at best. Expect some slow rounds, and/or having to ask to play through during busy times. If the course is this crowded, and that popular among students, seems to me the obvious solution would be to build another course in the area.
- Some basic maintenance could be in order. Some of the stairs needed to be fixed/improved on a couple of hills. Walking down the hill on #6, the steps were too narrow and/ much higher than the ground around them. You were more likely to trip trying to step on them, instead of stepping over them. Seemed to be an erosion problem more than anything else, but still, it's a possible risk. Also, didn't notice many, if any trash cans on the wooded holes. Tee signs were fading.
- There were no amenities at the park. No bathrooms, only one port-a-jon, or water fountains at all.
- And the obvious disclaimer. If you don't like wooded courses and/or are out of shape, this is not the course for you. Unless you just want to play the open holes - #1, 2 & 18 - then you'll enjoy yourself.
Other Thoughts: This was a solid course. It just seemed to be missing one or 2 truly great/longer holes to give it a solid punch. It reminded me of one of those scrappy teams in football, basketball, baseball, etc. that was just missing that 1 or 2 key pieces/superstars to go from a good team to a great team. Compared to other wooded/hilly courses (Hilton in Hickory, NC & Timmons in Greenville, SC) it was just behind them in overall challenge, but right up there in the fun factor.
- There could have been a little more use of elevation, instead of wasting a lot of it on walks between holes. A few too many flat holes, with the elevation behind, or to the side, of the basket/fairway. Now I did enjoy the flat holes that had the elevation drops between the tee and basket - as perfected on 17.
- It's definitely a risk/reward course. It'll let you know real quick just how on your game/accurate you are that day. If you're aggressive, throwing straight, and a little lucky, you will see a ton of 2s, or better, on your scorecard. If you're playing conservatively, or if you're off your game, except to see a lot of 3s & 4s on your card.
- A few holes stood out to me - #4, 13, 14 & 17. All four are tight fairways, #4 is uphill, the others are relatively flat with drop-offs between the tee and basket. The tight, but fair, fairways present you a chance to go for the basket. #17 reminded me of #18 at Hilton, with the big drop-off being woods compared to Hilton's ravine drop-off, and both having a bigger bites than barks.
- Anyone in the area, or driving down I-81 needs to play this at least once. This will give you plenty of practice on the mid-range game.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Close to the Virginia Tech campus - home course for the Hokies!
- A short, technical, wooded course with many birdieable holes.
- Course makes great use of elevation changes. A great hike through the woods.
- Makes for a quick round; can be played in about an hour or less.
- There are several unique holes (particularly #3) that give this course special character.
Cons: - High traffic. If you play during the school year, you're sure to encounter other golfers on the course. If you play slow, be prepared to let the more speedy golfers play through.
- Short distance of most holes allows for poor tee shots to be recovered for par. In other words, consistent accuracy is not necessarily rewarded unless the accuracy results in a birdie. Not much room to create separation during a competitive round.
- The par for Hole 18 is understated. Very difficult for a good amateur player to finish in 3 shots.
Other Thoughts: - For a full day of disc golf, play Golden Hills and then drive over to the 18 hole course at Randoph Park in Dublin and enjoy the full New River Valley 36!
Variety:2 Balance:2 Strategy:3 Character:4 Fun:4 Avg: 3.0
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Hiking in the Hills
Pros: Landscape, hills, distinct challenge of most holes
Cons: Short, natural tees, overall length
Other Thoughts: Golden Hills is one of the most distinctive courses in Virginia, though it may not be to every disc golfer's liking. On the plus side, it's extremely hilly, with a bunch of interesting downhill, uphill, and across gully shots. It's a decent workout to play the course, and the landscape is beautiful. It has tees to fit any skill level, and most every hole places a premium on control and shot selection. On the negative side, at least for some tastes, the tees are natural and carved into hillsides in many cases, thus your X-step will not get used a whole lot out here. The longest set of tees are not at all apparent for first timers, and thus playing from the maintained, signed tees makes for a short course that doesn't require too many shots with a driver, especially for the big arm types. Fifteen of the holes are entirely in the woods, and tree or undergrowth trouble figures prominently into the other three. Finally, it's not particularly beginner friendly; shots that get away from you could end up way way downhill from where you want to be. Even good players may end up doing a bit of scrambling when a shot gets off course out here.
For a player like me though, with a game that's all about control as opposed to distance, that loves the space where hiking and disc golf overlap, and enjoys the challenge of standing on the tee and having to really analyze which disc I want to throw here, and how exactly do I want to throw it, Golden Hills was the perfect challenge. The course starts out a bit open with a steep uphill, average length hole, and follows that up with the most open hole on the course, a nice little birdie run going down a slight grassy incline. Then you move into the woods for #3, which sets the tone for the rest of the course. It's only 180 feet from the white tee but it is the steepest hole I have yet to play anywhere, just straight downhill with no room for error on either side. No other hole was unique in this way, but from #4 to #17 is all holes that are mostly less than 200 feet and at their easiest have little room for error on either side due to the woods or more interestingly, played along such steep inclines, or across a ravine, such that the scoring spread is probably two to five, but with not many results right in the middle. #18 comes back out in the open (sort of) and right next to the parking lot and is the longest hole on the course, though still is only a par 3 (IMO). Appropriately, #18 follows up the ultimate touch challenge of #17, 154 feet straight across a half moon decline, with nothing but steep trouble downhill to the right, and thick woods uphill to the left.
To be clear, though, every one of these fairways is totally fair. This is not hiking trail, single or even double track, disc golf. There's a fair route on every hole, there's just no room for a chuck and pray mentality on this course, and precision is the premium skill. Birdie opportunities abound for those that pick the right disc and get their speed and release point just right. For those with a mid-range kind of game, that don't mind getting the heart rate up and getting a bit messy, Golden Hills is a great course, and is well worth adding to your wish list even if it's outside of your taste a bit, if only for the experience.
Favorite hole - #3 - very steep downhill toss into a ravine
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A Technical Challenge.
Pros: The location of the course makes it equally easy to get to from Blacksburg or Christiansburg, and any other nearby town.
It's definitely a fun challenge. There are a lot of trees, and it feels great when you pick a line and try to thread the needle, then watch your disc weave between some tall hardwoods on the way to the basket. Nothing like it.
The baskets are in good condition, and once in a while they will be moved to alternate locations.
The elevation changes make for some interesting holes, particularly on #3 (shooting down an almost 45 deg. slope) and #4 (going back up a similar hill to end up at roughly the same elevation). The hills also add their own sort of "risk vs. reward" element because sometimes the shortest line to the basket requires you to throw over what is practically a gorge off to one side or the other of the fairway.
If you're a college student, you'll enjoy running into other college-age players pretty often. That might be a nice way to say, "it gets pretty crowded," but I actually enjoy the atmosphere. If you manage to play while there are very few others on the course, however, the course has a pretty rural, backwoods feel to it.
The home-made signs at each hole add to the rustic feel of the park, and (while VERY simple) are detailed enough to get an idea of where and how to shoot.
I think it's a great-looking course, and it's interesting to play in the different seasons.
Cons: Unfortunately, all the college kid traffic means a lot of beer cans lying around. There aren't really any garbage cans along the trail, so I guess it's too inconvenient for some people to just carry their trash back to the pavilion. There are a lot of responsible players who go pick up trash as they play, so that's good to see.
If you're a raw power kind of player, you might get frustrated by this course. Unless you shape some pretty creative lines and can execute them, you'll likely be hitting some trees. Plus, if you do get a huge distance shot off that manages to maneuver through all the wood, you might end up overshooting the basket and risk losing your disc in some brush or under a bunch of leaves.
The tee pads aren't much to speak of. Aside from a few the are out in the open, nearly all of the boxes are dirt with a wooden tee. Of course, although they're a little crude, I think they also add to the rustic atmosphere.
Other Thoughts: Don't let the 3.5 score fool you; I LOVE this course. It's where I learned to play the game, and I consider it the reason I am more of a "finesse" type of player than an all-out distance kind of guy. I think this course presents a unique challenge at every hole, and it is just as fun to come back and try to hit that perfect line or search for new ones. It does seem a little under-maintained, though, and some people might not appreciate the constant threat of trees and elevation shanges.
To do well on this course, you will need to know a variety of different throws. If you go there frequently, you'll definitely see improvements in your finesse game.
For as much walking you'll do to get through the course, it really doesn't take much more than an hour tops (unless you end up spending a lot of time disc searching). It's definitely not a day-long outing.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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