Float and Sting like a Hornet (Forget Butterflies and Bees)
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Its hard to find a good starting talk when discussing the "pros" of this course. I will, however, preface the rest of this review by saying, "There is a reason this course is well known among the pros- and why big names such as Barry Schultz, have it listed among their favorites."
The park itself is in great condition, and is absolutely beautiful. There are a lot of amenities, such as multiple ball fields, gazebos, picnic tables, bathrooms, etc. The course itself does an amazing job weaving around the park with 2 layouts: the traditional "Hornets Nest", and the more advanced "Charlottes Web". Though I have never played a full round of Charlottes Web, the holes I have played were super fun, and the layout is definitely on my must do list once I feel I am more accurate when trying to hit tight gaps.
The brush has been beaten back a lot over the past few years. I am guessing a lot of work was done before 2012 Worlds, and have stayed back due to increased traffic. My last time playing there seemed to be a lot of people out on the course, but (another "pro") I never felt like it was crowded while I was out playing my 18. The park has a lot of land to utilize, and it never feels cramped at all.
The front nine are fairly open shots that make good use of more open areas of the park before cutting into the woods, without the feel of just throwing around in a field at randomly placed baskets. Each hole on the front nine remains extremely distinguishable from each other. Hole 9 ends right next to the starting parking lot allowing you a chance to use the restroom and refill your water bottle before starting the back nine.
The back nine is wooded, and more technical, though not many of the fairways are too demanding and multiple lines exist on most of them. The sign at hole 12 is a little misleading. There is only 1 basket to throw to, and it is the arguably the more fun par 5 that dog legs right. 14 is a great hole that many inexperienced players will look at with disdain, but there are multiple lines to throw. You can try to break through the green on the right or left of the gauntlet, throw a laser down the middle, or thumber through a hole with one of the most intense lines in the Greater Charlotte area. Both layouts have amazing holes to end on. 18 Original is a huge par 4 that has a Kilborne-esque fairway. (Though the pin was taken out semi-recently by a wreckless driver who tried to do a U-Turn in the grass.) 18 on Web is a really nice island shot, that I have played each visit, even if it is just for fun. There are a good number of benches along the course, and they are really comfortable.
Cons: Some of the pins have been moved recently (to better locations in my opinion, but make sure you check before throwing a disc.) But like every course, there will be trash out off the fairways, and I did see some out there. The layout itself is great, and the double layout never becomes a problem since they are not completely overlapped throughout. The brush isn't nearly as bad as it once was, but it can get a bit dodgy at times. If you play with a group, make sure you spot for each other, and keep eyes around the blind turns. (Just in case.) There seems to be some erosion issues on some holes, but it seems like the CDGC (Charlotte Disc Golf Club) has been doing a lot to help prevent this. But seeing the erosion is definitely upsetting. It would be a shame for some of these unique holes to wash away. I don't remember passing a lot of trash cans, but I also don't remember seeing a large amount of trash around (so I am guessing they were there). Be careful when sitting down on a bench, they are so comfortable, and the park is so peaceful it is easy to lose track of time.
In all honesty there aren't many cons right now, but that could be due to the recent work that has been put into the park. New tee signs would be a major plus though. There are some that are covered in graffiti or have false information. I am not going to take points off for the missing basket on 18, it hasn't been down for too, too long.
Other Thoughts: To me, this course is the quintessential Disc Golf Course. It has a great challenge to it, while maintaining a super amazing and relaxed feel on sunny days. I wish I lived close enough for this to be my "Home Course", but sadly it is on the other side of town.
Favorite Holes: 7, 8, 12, 14, 18
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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.
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