Nest = 1 of the Best
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Layout - I can't say enough about how much I love this course. It combines a ton of elements that make disc golf fun and challenging.
First of all there are two different layouts stacked in to one course with some shared holes. The original layout is more suited for Blue level players but has elements that accomodate even beginners. The web layout will challenge the best of the best and is more suited for experienced players.
Both layouts combine short and long technical holes that weave in and out of the woods. The front 9 for both is more of park style golf while the back 9 is mostly in the woods.
The web layout trades in some of the more manageable holes from the original for some extremely technical par 4's and 5's.
The mixture of hole types here is great. There's some short holes with tricky greens and long par 3's that require you to hit tight gaps.
The par 4/5's here come in different shapes and sizes. Some require you to be very precise with a placement shot off the tee to set you up at a turn while some dare you to rip a driver down a tight corridor while working the disc or playing it smart biting off a bit less.
All of this combines for a course that has huge risk/reward. There's so many holes where your mental game is challenged to a high degree. You'll need the ability to hit tons of shots and different lines to score well here.
There's not a lot of elevation change here but it's used well on the greens. There's also some places where OB comes in to play that adds more dimensions to the holes.
The flow of the course can be a bit tricky at times but for the most part it flows well and mixes up the shorter/longer holes.
As tough as the harder holes can be I don't think there's one hole on the course that can be considered unfair or where luck plays more of role than skill.
Equipment - The original layout baskets are in really good shape, the web layout baskets are older but still seemed to catch decently. I like how the two baskets are different colors so it's easy to tell.
The pads here are getting a bit old but are large and get the job done. Signs on every hole with distance and a map of the hole. Directional signs throughout the course guiding you to each layout.
Benches and trashcans throughout the course as well. There's also other amenities at the park such as fields, bmx track, bathrooms...
Atmosphere - I've yet to play it when it was crowded so that's a plus. The wooded section is nice and secluded from the rest of the park. While the front part which flows throughout other parts of the park isn't as secluded it's landscaped very well and taken care of.
Cons: Layout - Not much to complain about here. On the original layout you will play what some may consider some filler holes on the front 9, there's a few that don't offer much of a challenge other than a risky green.
A few of the baskets that are either raised or perched on a hill have some erosion problems and it makes it a bit unfair because of the rollaway factor; I'd like to see something done about that.
Park roads do come in to play on a few holes which isn't really a problem due to the low traffic in that part of the park.
Equipment - Some of the web baskets weren't in which is kind of a letdown when you go to play that layout specifically, could confuse some as well that don't have a guide.
Some of the traschans were overflowing with trash.
Atmosphere - The course doesn't drain particularly well, some soggy areas. Some of the rough in places is very thick and full of briars.
Other Thoughts: Out of the courses I've played in Charlotte so far this is by far my favorite. It's just fun, it's hard not to enjoy your round here. On top of that it's one of the best designed courses I've yet to play. What more can you ask for?
IMO as well known as this course is it's still highly underrated. Go play this course if you haven't and if you have go play it again and again. It's one I want to play everytime I go to Charlotte.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Cream of the Crop
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Excellent layout
-All types of holes for all types of players
-Very well maintained, located in a city park
-Tee signs are nice
-Tee pads are in good shape
-Option of playing "Charlotte's Web" as well
Cons: -Only con is "Charlotte's Web" baskets could be replaced but are still in playable condition (I understand how expensive baskets are so no big deal)
Other Thoughts: This was one of many stops for my buddies and I from Ohio in Charlotte. We came down a week before Worlds and wanted to check out the courses and have an awesome experience. Hornest's Nest did not disappoint. Hands down one of the best courses I have ever played. There are many different types of holes, long, short, sidearm, backhand. I also loved all the routes you could take from the tee box. Really makes you think before you reach in your bag. You will find yourself emptying your bag on a few holes because of how fun they are. The morning we played, we met "Cubby" (commentator for Disc Golf Monthly) and THE Mark Ellis. It was an amazing experience I will never forget. If you are visiting the area or live nearby this is a MUST play. It won't let you down.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A Genuine Classic
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is one of the most balanced courses that I have ever played. You will need every shot in your bag to shoot well at the Nest and that may not be enough. as soon as you start to feel like you are in control, that is when the course takes over. Basically the course is split in half, Front nine is more open long holes, and medium touch shots. The back nine is in the woods, and its Charlotte Golf at its best. I am mainly reviewing the Original layout because I have only played the Web once. I have played this course at least a dozen times and something different gets me each time. the elevated baskets on 8 and 9 are tricky, I have taken very high numbers getting greedy. The gauntlet hole always gets me, I do not have the shot necessary to get through those gaps! Like I said earlier it mixes everything. you get opportunities to rip your longest drive on hole 2 and have to throw a touch putter or mid shot on 4. hole 7 is a nice par 4 that really tests distance and accuracy. Hole 12 is a BEAST. a genuine 3 shot par 5 that i am happy to take a 6 on.
Cons: As others have said it is a busy park, but if you can handle your plastic then you should have nothing to worry about. Yield to pedestrians and educate them when you get the chance.
Other Thoughts: Its obvious why this course is the most played course on DGCR. It is fun for every skill level and keeps you interested by mixing up the shots needed. anyone who has not taken the trip to Charlotte needs to, and make sure you get a round in at the Nest. you will be a better golfer for it. If you show up at the right time, you might catch MJ (Michael Johansen) parking holes with his Comet!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Beginner/intermediate-skilled review of Nest
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Well-documented, popular, and clean course
+ Not confusing, even with Nest and Web layouts (Nest this way, Web that way)
+ Comfortably difficult, not over the top crazy, which made it very enjoyable
+ Good variety of long/short holes
+ Happy surprises (8's basket placement, the hole with the huge and steeply curved dogleg right)
+ Hole 10 starts at hole 1, which makes good use of the restroom facilities by the tennis court
+ Practice basket
+ Charlotte's Web looked killer!
Cons: - Holes 1-7 could be unplayable if the park is really busy
- 1-7 also not great for brand new throwers at risk of wild throws
- Throwing by the ballfield on #3 and #4 limited throws, but no more so than trees/rough
- Throwing next to roads/parking lots isn't that fun
- Hole 15's tee sign is kind of misleading
- Same rocky textured tees as Renny, which I personally didn't like
Other Thoughts: A good way to describe Hornet's Nest, even in the winter, is that it's a groomed and exciting course that can definitely surprise you. Every hole was like, "Ooooh, what do we have here?!" My main take-away thought from Hornet's Nest is that it deserves to be played through twice to play it decently. I would have thrown the course differently if I played a second time. Maybe I could have had a couple more birdies and a decent round overall (only birdied #6). In hindsight, what I learned was that emphasis is placed on calculated approach shots. For beginners/intermediate players that are still working on decently accurate drives, you have to know that the pace of Hornet's Nest isn't drive-putt, drive-putt, then drive-putt again. It ia approach-approach-putt and sometimes approach-approach-putt-putt ;) I think I was so excited to be finally playing Nest that I didn't take enough time to slow down and enjoy the round as much as I could have if I gave it more thought. Perhaps I was still in Renaissance-mode with holes that required long drives, long approaches, and/or long putts.
Hornet's Nest was as nice as everyone says it is, though. I wasn't surprised by how clean and groomed the course was. And I know not every disc golf course can be self-contained, but the integration of the front 9 as part of a sometimes-busy park is definitely worth highlighting for this otherwise stellar course. We played on a Monday morning around 9-9:30, (2 beginners, 1 intermediate player) and had the park to ourselves except for employees and two other golfers playing Web. If the course was busy, we wouldn't have been able to play it because the risk of wild throws from our beginners would have been too high. Once we hit the back nine around 10am more people showed up, so that might be something to keep in mind for beginners.
I definitely envy the players who throw such excellent courses on a regular basis. The guys in front of us on Charlotte's Web seemed to be having a much more difficult, but fun round. That's an added bonus and I think a big part of the appeal that keeps people coming back. I know it would keep me coming back!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
A Tale of 1 and 2 1/2 courses
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is laid out into one pro level course (The Web), one urban park setting half (the normal front 9), and one natural in the woods half (the normal back 9). The web layout is definitely the most challenging and, in my opinion, the most fun because I prefer longer more technical courses.
The front 9 on the normal course can be fun when the park is not crowded. Mostly open fairways with a couple OBs for the ball field and road, with the road OB being the most prevalent. The best birdie and ace opportunities for the course are here.
The back 9 on the normal course is a great exercise in shot shaping and control through the trees. It throws about all the shot types and distances at you whether is 500 ft dog legs to the right with a fairly wide fairway or a 200 ft tunnel shot where no trees were harmed in creating the fairway.
The course is easy to navigate with the both hole #9 and hole #18 ending near the parking lot.
With The Worlds having been in town this course got a bit of facelift with some landscaping and new baskets. Some of the tees are a little worn but not enough to be a problem.
Cons: The normal front 9 has all of the cons on the course,and to me they can be major. When the park is busy the front 9 can be all but unplayable because of picnickers and road traffic.
I not a fan of throwing near groups of people that have no idea what I'm doing and are not aware of the potential danger that they are in (not that I'm that bad, but I'm prone to bad shots at the exact wrong time).
Also the parks road can get busy. I prefer to wait for cars to get out my threatened are before I throw and when the park is busy that window of opportunity isn't long. On the flip side it seems some other golfers aren't aware or don't care about the road traffic. When a disc comes close to or actually hitting a non-discgolfers car that's bad P.R. for all of us.
I also would like to have seen the pond factored into course in a more meaningful than just window dressing.
As a personal preference I'm not a fan of placing baskets on top of pyramids. It just seems gimmicky, like the windmill at a putt-putt course. If it's used once in a course I can let it slide, but there are 3 on the normal course here.
Other Thoughts: Do not even try to play the front 9 when the park is busy especially the 4th of July weekend.
Overall this course has almost everything a disc golfer could ask for. All that's missing is a serious water hazard.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
It can sting you badly
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: -Hornet's Nest is a nice challenging course in Charlotte that is very punishing. It is one of the oldest courses in Charlotte and it is one of the best courses in the world.
-The course has nice teepads that are long enough for a big drive. Some of the longest in Charlotte.
-The course got new baskets from what I heard. I didn't play it since then but I will say, the old baskets were not in good shape.
-Benches and trashcans are around the course.
-Although #9 is very short, the basket is super tall. I have to stick my hand out under the basket to get my disc. But I'm only 5'2". I still think that it's a cool hole.
-There is variety when it comes to the distance on the course. #9 is 165 feet and #12 is an 80 degree dogleg that goes into the woods. It's 638 feet but it's a Par 5. It's not long for a par 5, but don't be disappointed if you par this hole. It has a sharp turn to the right and you have a long tunnel shot. I love this hole, easily my favorite.
-The fairways are nice and cut but there still is OB and woods occuring which makes the course nice and fair.
-Although #12 is the best hole according to more advanced players. If you are a recreational or beginner, #5 will probably be your favorite (If you avoid the pond past the basket). If not, it's probably #9.
-Most fairways are away from the other sports areas like the dirtbike track and the basketball court.
-If you have played Renaissance and found it a bit too hard. This course is a little more lay back. It's the course for intermediates and experts.
-#14 is another amazing hole. The gauntlet requires a midrange throw which I should be throwing. Some of you would throw a putter but I can't throw a putter that straight. Also, the creek is not OB.
-UPDATE Next tee signs for the longer transitions and for the Charlotte's web layout.
Cons: -I don't like the design for #15. It's a little brutal, you have to hit a very small gap. It's cool but very irritating because you can't see where it lands from the tee. Hole is straight downhill and the teeshot plays uphill.
-If you play the web layout, the walk might be confusing to get to #17 long. It's a narrow teeshot about 180" feet and #18's original fairway is #17 long's fairway. Heads up to the players who play the original. When you tee off on #17 or #18 short. Be worried if you get hit in the back. The players who play web might hit you by accident.
-If you think a tweener hole is less than 500" feet. Well think again, #10 long is an utter bust and it's a dogleg right. Getting to #10 originals green is a great shot but it gets very hard once you get to your approach shot. If you land in the woods then good luck finding your disc.
-Baseball stadium is OB and it's too close to #4's fairway causing to make this hole a bust.
-You might get confused if you are playing the web layout on your way to #11 web. Go to the left and follow the trail and once you the the fairway, turn right.
Other Thoughts: -Hornet's Nest is an easy course for professionals but not for recreationals and amateurs. About my title for this review, I'm just saying, This is Hornet's nest park. If you don't hit the fairway, you could get badly stung.
Hole by Hole
#1 web. Your teeshot has to go around 250" feet and your next shot goes in the woods uphill.
#1 original. Same as #1 long except it doesn't go in the woods so you can bomb a big drive. Basket is elevated on a hill and going for the putt further than 20 feet can blow you up.
#2 web. Same fairways and the back tee is on the gravel. Hit the fairway or your in OB, the basket is by the fishing pond.
Original. Just bomb your drive! It's easy to hit the fairway and the basket barely goes in the woods.
#3 web. Holy peanuts, a U shaped fairway in the woods. You better hit the fairway or you're in the REAL woods. At least it's wide.
original. Same basket but different fairway and tee. It's uphill and open and nothing like #3 long.
#4 long. Not as bad as original because it's easier to go right of the original tee. Ballfield is left. Throwing a hyzer to the right of the trees and hoping it goes left is risky since the gravel is beside the fairway.
original. Hard to avoid the ball field. Sidearm would be necessary so you can avoid it. The basket is on a hill and there is a drop off past it.
#5 web. Great par 4! Different tee but same basket. Avoid the trees and keep your tee shot at least five feet high. Any lower and you could hit the fence.
original. Great as well, birdies are very common. Just don't go too far or you're in the pond. Road is left and it's OB.
#6 web. Same tee but different basket. The big tree can mess you up on your putt. A sidearm is needed for your approach.
#6. Shorter and nothing to it except avoid the tall grass to the left and don't hit a tree from the tee.
#7. Brilliant design! The road is to the left and the woods are to the right. A herd of trees are in the middle of the fairway. You still have a good bit of room.
#8. In the woods and very challenging. A sidearm should do it since it's to the right. Don't park beside the basket and you have a tricky uphill putt since the basket's elevated. Also don't go right if you don't throw over 200" it's hard to get out.
#9. Pretty good and easy until you get to the green. It's on a small mountain and the basket is about 8 feet tall. Aces have happened here but not from me.
#10 long. NOT a tweener. You are lucky if you par this hole. It's a dogleg right and the only chance for a birdie is if you get close on #10 originals basket.
original. Sidearmers can easily birdie this if it doesn't turn or fade. Throw a bit left and let it turn right.
#11 web. Narrow and very hard. It's hard to hit the fairway and if you don't, then you might get lots of poison ivy. It's not a long par 4 but it's not pleasing and the woods are super thick. Play the original course if you lose discs frequently.
original. Downhill ace run that goes left after 130" feet. Go right of mando and still give a big but not long hyzer.
#12. Maybe the most memorable par 5 you will play. Your first drive should go about 260" feet and go a little bit to the right. If you go too far then you might want to give a small shot in the woods so your next shot isn't so hard. Nice -20 foot drop.
#13 web. Bad dogleg left par 4 that is almost impossible to birdie. You have to get close to #13 original's basket for a small chance in a birdie. If you don't get there, you don't have a clear 300+ second shot.
original. Slightly goes left and a RHBH can get you a birdie. A sidearm probably will get you in the woods to the right.
#14. Super narrow and only 239 feet but the fairway is only like 5 feet wide. The creek is NOT OB. That would be a great shot.
#15. Awful and I can't see why people enjoy this pain in the butt. The teeshot is frightening because you go through a small gap. If you don't, good luck getting out of the woods. Good elevation though. -20-30 foot drop.
#16 web. People say it's the hardest but it's not bad. It's a fun par 5 that goes striaght until you hit #17 original's tee and fairway. You basically play straight until 287" feet is left. It's narrow though until you find #17 original's tee.
original. A 426" foot par 4 that is a tweener. It's a dogleg left that you have to throw about 265" for an easy birdie. The fairway isn't wide. BE CAREFUL.
#17 web. Throw your drive out of the woods is good enough. Then you are in #18 original's fairway. The rest of this par 4 is open.
#17 original. Seems like #16 long's approach shot. It's pretty steep uphill and it turns left quite a bit. It's the first elevated basket in charlotte. A hyzer from the tee is a good idea.
#18 web. It's shorter than #18 original because #17 long is #18 original's basket. It has an island green and just avoid the road and small trees and you should be close on this ace run. My friend Joe is 14 and he hit the basket on this hole. He made 4 aces as well.
original. Downhill and then uphill approach shot. The fairway is wide enough and since the fairway goes left then right so a sidearm or anhyzer would be a better shot.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Brand new baskets! Good use of park land and wooded areas. Good variety of shots. Trash cans at just about every hole. One of the cleanest courses I have ever seen. Consistent tee pads. Several baskets were raised to provide an extra challenge. In a park with lots of other ameneties including tennis and ball fields. Well marked paths to get you from one hole to the next. Tee signs at every tee box, including the special web layout. Bathrooms near the start. Plenty of parking. The front 9 and back 9 start in the same place and could be two independent loops for those who might want to just get a quick 9 holes in. The fun level on this course is pretty high and I can only imagine new players getting frustrated at times with the long and tight holes.
Cons: Some of the tee pads are starting to look well used to the point of breaking down a bit. There are a few tee pads in the more wooded areas that are rather slippery. In only a couple of places you will find that park traffic might be crossing or near certain holes. These are all pretty small issues considering how good this course really is.
Other Thoughts: I am reviewing this after my practice round in advance on the 2012 Am World Championships. This course definately has the charm of a historic course. I think the new baskets are a great start to updating this course and better upkeep of the tee signs and tee pads would go a long way to making this course even better. I cannot speak to the issues of traffic on this course but for the quality of it I would imagine that it gets a lot of use. If it doesn't, it should. I am always a little bit concerned about playing courses that have a rich history, but this course lived up to the hype.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Definitely a fun course with a nice mix of distance and technical shots. I have enjoy working on precision and airing it out so I had great time.
You can not complain about the course amenities. Trashcans at nearly every hole and as the course wraps through a nice park so there is easy access to restrooms from a few holes (which is especially nice for the female players).
Cons: The on-course maps need to be updated and they should add directional guides. Luckily I read a review that recommended printing and map as I had to reference it on two occasions in order to find the direction to the next hole.
Very crowded course and many small groups (1-2 person) that push the speed of play. I am not an extremely slow player and have never had as many people riding my tail as what I experienced here. I don't have any issue letting people play-through but just a heads up on what you might find.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Dont get content on the Front 9
Pros: Nice signs, teepads and benches.
I absolutly love the design and how it starts out in the open or semi open and seems to lul you to sleep and then BAM Tight and Technical with a raised basket!
The course always looks nice and is well beat in. Its usually not too crowded and things move smoothly as you play.
I love the risk reward of the raised baskets and the fast greens that the course has.
Cons: Wow this is a first for one of my reviews but I cannot think of any cons.
Other Thoughts: This Course is absolutly Amazing. It is my favorite course to play because it is very tough but fair and offers a great variety of shots from open to tight woods(and I mean Tight). Newer players will not find it to be as much of a beat down as renny and veterans will find it to be a fun challenge.
The Fun factor and atmospere here is just great!
This is a must get if you are visiting Charlotte!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Disc Golf School
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Other Thoughts: Course is in what appears to be a regional level park featuring rolling piedmont terrain with mature canopy. As a typical park in this area, it is 'buffered' and it also features a long entrance road, along which facilities are developed. Select clearing and then grassing has occurred around the more traditional park activities and the course's front 9. Park is about 150 acres. Course is, in the main, sequestered from other park activities and appeared well maintained at the time of play. Equipment, tees, amenities, and signage are above average, although vandalism appears on some shared 'Web' layout tees.
This is the first time this reviewer has played the course in nearly a decade, so some comments on the course's condition and development will be in order. Since that time, the course has undergone a major revision, substantially or completely changing almost 1/3 of the course. The course's essential character has remained the same and has softened gracefully. The biggest difference in play value is the 'forgiveness' of the roughs, which were downright penal, even for minor errors, 10 years ago. Course is significantly more 'playable' today, meaning that chances for recovery while scrambling have greatly improved all over the course. Also notable, aside from the 'Web' layout (the subject of a future review), is that many trees have since matured and clear cuts have begun to refill the open canopy spaces. The result is an additional need for accuracy, as some route options are not feasible anymore and other key windows have tightened up. There is also more shade, which yields a more consistent 'feel' throughout the course (and cooler play time during summer months). Also, before this reviewer played, the turf was recently mown, opening up the roller game. Significant play affecting wind still is a factor on this course, especially on the front and less so on the back. Interior paths are well worn and an appropriate width for fairly comfortable single file bi-directional foot traffic. Way finding was easy although some transitions are extended and longish. Few play affecting drainage problems are evident, despite the course's proximity to a large creek.
Hornets' Nest is almost perfectly balanced between the extremes of tight woods and 'open' parkland, which greatly adds to its playability, 'fun' and fairness. Course will richly reward straight flat shots of up to 300', with even more scoring opportunities if one can extend that to 350'. Average hole length for the 18 is less than 350', which means that only average to good power is needed to score well, even though long throwers will always get more scoring chances. Nine holes are less than 300'.
Elevation differences between the tee and the target are fairly subtle at Hornet's Nest. There are no tough uphill tugs or majestic downhill pumps. Perhaps the greatest elevation difference one traverses from tee to green, on any one hole, is 2 meters, with the exceptions of #15 & #16.
From tee to green, the golfer most commonly approaches a slightly elevated green (12 holes). Everywhere on Hornets' Nest, but especially on high handicap holes, there is a very strong emphasis on placement and distance control, as it is nearly impossible to overpower these holes and the results of many conservative plays will not even yield an 'open' line to the target. Reviewer appreciated the relatively limited ob areas, all of which are well enough away from play, clearly visible and/or intuitive (if not explicitly marked). 7 holes are completely blind from the tee and 3 of these are the top 3 handicap holes; their landing zones are well apparent from the tee. All fairways are well defined and approach an almost standardized width. The routing's flow is intuitive enough. On 2 of the 3 three 'road holes', stable counter spin shots are favored with regard to landing ob.
Greens do not feel as potentially punishing as some other Charlotte courses. 2/3 of the course features greens that are between 0% and 3% average slope and all are generally unobstructed within 10 meters. Don't worry though - there are ample chances to get stuck behind a tree at Hornets' Nest. Greens are either neutral or generally more receptive to the fade of counter spin tee shots/approaches.
Perhaps the most controversial issue regarding Hornet's Nest would be the 'elevated' baskets (also present elsewhere in Charlotte). Reviewer really appreciates these experiments; this sport is not yet so hidebound, that such elements be automatically disregarded on some 'formal disc golf' basis. Reviewer also appreciates this trend toward more specifically constructed features in disc golf, but the articulation of these specific elements is generally crude and begs for improvement. The current appearance is likely due to budgetary and time constraints; they function well enough however. A direct comparative example is available at Hornet's Nest. If you visit, please compare the masonry erosion protection wall around #5's pin with the elevated target feature on #'8's green and decide for yourself which solution is more 'professional' and 'safety conscious'.
#9 is a very playful hole, but seemingly out of character with the rest of the course, which might lead some to the term 'contrived', but a regular player of Hornets' Nest might quickly learn to develop a new type of putt to add to his/her 'bag of tricks', specifically to deal with an 'elevated' green's unique 'topography'. It is for the reader to decide the value of this trade-off.
#14 is certainly one of the top-ten 'short' holes (<275') in the world, a super-fine division between the limits of human skill and the grace of luck.
Perhaps a response to 'fairness' criticisms, #15 now features an added fairway route to the left, a fairly labor intensive method to silence the naysayers, but it adds at least one more 'important' decision to the round. Before this change, this reviewer felt #15 was one of the toughest tee shots in the city for a hole of this length (320'). Eminently reachable from the tee, it is/was one of the few holes that forced a player to get the disc relatively high into the air and exercise flawless fade control through a typically narrow fairway over that entire distance. This is tough for either spin, as extreme throwing angles relative to horizontal will not work well with these constraints. High speed discs do not work so well either.
Hornet's Nest is a solid course, with no terrible glaring defects. The technical skills and power required to play well here, while not especially deep or varied, can easily lead to success on most any other course in the sport.
This review update concerns the Web layout at Hornets Nest Park and based on this layout's ambition alone, I feel a higher rating is in order for the entire facility. In my earlier review, I more or less ignored the Web layout, as it is nearly a different course entire. This merits a separate treatment. Let's start with the technical details…
Course has 10 par 4's, 3 par 5's and 5 par 3's and the average hole distance is just under 510'; 13 holes are 480' or better. This is much more in keeping with a standard golf course in every respect, but most importantly strategically. While this may seem obvious to some, it's important to keep in mind this course is a fairly early example of this type of disc golf course and overall is still fairly rare in the disc golf world. When Hornets Nest opened in '96, 6000'+ permanent courses were somewhat rare and now this average distance is a standard expectation for advanced and above level golfers. The Web layout offers some new expectations for those with the fever, and thus we have strategy working on a few different levels here…
Regarding how the course plays, much of my earlier review talking points still applies, but is amplified. Straight flat shots up to 350' are the most richly rewarded play over the entire course. Placement of tee shots is crucial to scoring, as 7 holes are un-cuttable doglegs. Note that there are no holes with distances between 320' and 486' and how that might affect scoring chances for those with above average power. Of the straight shot shape par 4's, all have various restrictions, obstacles, height restrictions, incredible length, etc., which further blunt a power player's advantage off the tee. From a competitive standpoint, this enables a wider range of players to be in the hunt. Noodle-armed control players don't lose heart!
Course overall is generally balanced regarding spin advantage with a slight advantage going to stable counter spin shot shapes from the tee and approach. This advantage is most pronounced on the front 9 and shifts to a stable clock spin advantage on the back 9. As with the Nest, a few more greens are counter spin receptive than clock, but most are neutral. As the Web is younger and also receives less play, the roughs are generally thicker and more penal. Your ability to scramble and recover will depend a lot on both your humility and the breadth of your 'bag-of-tricks'.
Naturally, with all these long holes most holes are blind or semi-blind. Web first timers may have some difficulty off the tee, as many of the best landing spots are not immediately apparent or obvious from same. #17, in particular, has a devious visual perception trick, due in part to the slightly depressed tee box. If you have poor depth perception, I advise pre-walking the fairway here for a better look before you throw. Web first timers would also be well advised to print a course map as way finding isn't quite as obvious as with the Nest, and some transitions are long and a bit awkward/non-intuitive (#13-14).
Specific holes worth mentioning:
#4 gets a lot of flak for being too close to the baseball field, which is a valid, but there's nothing to really be done about it. There's no such thing as a 'perfect course'. Well, maybe in heaven…. Otherwise, I feel it gets a bit overlooked for its cleverness. At about 550', it's in range for a legitimate putting eagle for those with exceptional power from the tee, BUT, the tee is slightly depressed and pocketed, hiding the wind direction and speed from the golfer. There are also both height and width restrictions off the tee; these factors effectively nullify any 'big air' type of attempt. In addition, the drop-off-and-roll-away slope with ob behind make the approach dicey for everyone, especially clock spin dominant players. This hole epitomizes the risk/reward concept from the approach, as a routine birdie (for the good to gifted) can easily turn into a bogie or worse.
#16 in my opinion, easily the most difficult hole on the course, is an absolute nightmare for a counter spin dominant player. Not just because of its length, constricted fairway and harshly penal rough throughout, but because these factors are compounded by the left-to-right downward slope, the ridgeback green (which repels fast shots from all directions) WITH an elevated basket and its place late in the round. I've personally carded many relatively simple 3's on the Nest's #16, but can scarcely imagine that result on the Web's. Good thing it's a par 5. Think again if you believe this designer doesn't have a mean streak.
Since this is an overlay design on a popular course, conflicts and confusion may arise between players of different tracks, but how is this different from any other busy course? On crowded park days, some areas of the course are a bit close to other park activities/goers, which may be an irritation to golfers, but the trade-off is more exposure to the uninitiated. I still feel #9 is a 'sore thumb' hole, out of character for the rest of the course and I like to think the designer built this hole on purpose with the express objective of provoking controversy and irritation. That's fine. #18's tee box is blind to the benches and tee boxes for #'s 1& 10, and although it's a short hole, this is a conflict for a conservative play on the most congested area of the course.
The Web most closely adheres to the strategic and penal design schools and while some may feel the dearth of heroic opportunities here a negative, for most 'normal' golfers it's more than challenge enough. Played well, in the manner intended, the Web sharpens the golfing tools which will bring the most success and enjoyment in the long term: mid-range consistency, course management and a solid mental game (solid putting is not really course dependant). Most of my negative criticisms address minor points, as in the main, the Web is a solid offering that aspiring designers and golfers alike can go to school on.
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