15 Helpful / 0 Not
Another great private course!
Pros: 1) Another property bringing an easement into play. There seems to be a lot of good disc golf land around these easements and you can use the open area as some of the more forgiving fairways. This is something I am going to keep my eye on in the world of disc golf course design.
2) Signs with Hole # and distance on them.
3) The carpet they use for the tees is actually the best carpet I have ever played on and makes me think twice about being such a proponent of concrete. If done right, an all weather carpet would be the best option if it can play consistently. Not once did I feel like I was going to slip so my confidence was high with my plant foot (which is something I need in order to play well).
4) Benches are available in a few places around the course and appreciated because it is not the easiest walk in the world.
5) Private course that doesn't even "require" a fee. I gave David $5 because I believe that is the least I could do to thank him for opening up his private land to me and other people. I hope no one abuses this course by just coming out without permission.
6) Excellent variety in hole distances out here. There is a huge differential between the shorter holes and the longer holes, but there are many different distance holes in between. This allows you he opportunity to throw all sorts of different shots and discs.
7) The final basket location and green area is by far one of the coolest things I have ever seen. It rivals Renny Gold in how extreme it is, and is well done.
8) Excellent course design taking full advantage of all the key spots on this awesome property. They have excellent variety of shots needed which makes this course that much better. You need to be able to throw all sorts of shots
9) Water is in play on a few holes and a they are not simple shots, there is true risk reward. There is also a creek that plays as OB also and comes into play on a handful of holes.
10) Elevation is used very well here to alter some shots and make the holes tougher to judge. They go up and down and a few lie on sidehills making a standstill throw necessary on occasion. Some might consider that a negative, but it truly helps to test all your skills (like balance and being able to adjust to no runup).
11) David is a good guy and fun to play a round with. He was very complimentary to me and is a better disc golfer than he would have you believe. What more can you ask of a private course host?
12) Some artificial OB on roads and a couple of fenced areas to help create a tougher hole. (see also cons).
13) This course is appropriately named, because the hills here do have a lot of stones and rocks. It just adds to the character because they realize it is there. It is also a con because of conditioning but it is "part of the course' in this instance.
Cons: 1) #1 and #18 fairways cross. The only time this would really be an issue is during a tourney as I doubt there are ever that many people out here at one time. This could have been avoided by tucking the #1 tee against the woodline just below the fairway without losing a whole lot of distance and actually creating a slightly tougher hole because of the risk of losing the disc left into the woods more quickly.
2) This course is on an awesome property but it lacks the polish I see on a lot of the top courses. I understand this is a private course and it is only a couple people doing any maintenance so I am not sure it will ever get that polish. It isn't like David is trying to make this a top caliber pay to play so it shouldn't be of any concern of his. He wants the course for himself and can only dedicate so much time to it and that is understood. With this said, I do respect David for the design, the hard work and installation, and I appreciate the fact that it was available for me to play. This is only a negative because the course is that good as a design, it might not even be worth mentioning if it was just another public course. I doubt this comment would offense David, and I hope it isn't taken that way, but if I am comparing my top courses to each other I need to mention it.
3) Obviously this place has a lot of shule because the course was carved out of these areas in a lot of places. There isn't much that can be done to thin the areas out because it is all invasive stuff that will just fill right back in. This is a negative in my book, but it also should force you to just play smart and keep it on the fairway.
4) I would say this is not a beginner friendly course. I don't think it was really designed to be friendly but I do like to see all courses accessible to people of all skill levels. With that said if I had my own private course, I probably wouldn't worry about it being accessible to beginners either unless it was a pay to play course where I wanted as much traffic as possible, so I do not blame David.
5) I like the OB idea on one of the holes that falls away to the left, but I wish there was a way to be able to see the OB. I ended up 1' out of bounds here and if I knew exactly where the line was I could have played much safer. I don't normally mind artificial OB's but I like to be able to see where they are.
Other Thoughts: This is such a well designed course on a property that had apparently gone to hell. They were able to find and use the best spots on the property and overcome the issues with the really thick underbrush. I love the balance of the course in terms of shots as well as challenge, but I also like the variety of the water, the contrived OB, the elevation, and the unique basket locations. All in all this is a really well done course and it is quiet and private and I love it. I will come back if I ever head back to this part of the country and hope to play another round with David.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Beautiful course and very challenging!
David and Chris are excellent host and guides.
Some of the most challenging holes in any of the area courses.
Water need I say more, very intimidating to throw 250 feet over water.
Some very tight wooded holes and some awesome very open holes to rip on!
Cons: I have no cons about this course, I loved it and cant wait to play again
Other Thoughts: I heard complaints about it not being maintained and if what we played today is what people complain about thats just sad. I did not have any problems with it at all!
5 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Up on the Hill
Pros: Stoney Hill DGC is a terrific course that will test your skills, even playing the shorter quartz layout. Elevation changes are a factor on most holes, which is evident from the first tee box. There are some open fairways, and some with tighter lines. Nice mix of left and right, with most baskets tucked out of sight from the tee pad. All baskets were in decent condition. Pins were often placed on the edge of a ridge, dropping off behind the basket, or in close proximity to O.B., forcing good approaches. "The Quarry" on hole 18 is one unique feature, a large O.B. pit in front of a tall mound where the basket is perched atop. Each tee box had a bench, and a sign noting distances. Tees are not concrete, but are consistently level and firm. David Sauls guided us through the course, giving pointers on each hole and posting the best score out of our trio that day. He claimed to be the worst disc golfer to live on a course, but I'm not convinced that is true.
Cons: This course is not perfect, but most of the issues that frustrated me were shortfalls in my game that left me in tough spots. The elevation means wind comes into play on occasion. My drive from the first tee was blown way out of the line I had picked out. That brings me to the rough, that is very dense and full of briars. Keep two eyes on the disc. I spent too much time searching for my disc after an errant throws. There are spots where the layout might cause delays during tournament play, such as fairways crossing, or two holes sharing a tee box. These spots shouldn't be a problem most of the time, I imagine.
Other Thoughts: The land Stoney Hill occupies is remote, but my GPS accurately lead me there after many twists and turns. The summer growth shrinks some of the fairways and windows, and I'm told the course is better manicured in the fall leading up to a tournament. However it is still very playable in July as well, if you can take the heat. I had a great time on my first trip to Stoney Hill, and would like to play there again soon. David was a friendly host, and the course did not disappoint.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Excellent course and owners
Pros: Great mix of different types of drives and approaches. I love the feel of the land and the way the tee boxes are laid out. No one in your way, like I have found on other courses. Great views, elevation changes, and some intimidating tee box shots. The #16 pond drive had me on my toes, happy I did not get wet though! Hanging basket was something I have never seen. Both Chris and David (owners) guided me on a 95 degree August late afternoon day. Extremely nice guys, I can't wait to get a chance to go back again.
Cons: I came back with chiggers, but I was in the country. Briar patches. I have nothing else to say that would be a con.
Other Thoughts: The course is not maintained the entire year. Recurring annual tournaments and fall weather probably determine how well kept the course is. This is not a con, just FYI. I to also maintain and modify a course in Camden, SC, so I understand how much work it is.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Special Course = Long Review.
- Private Property. I love private courses. They have a special ambiance you just don't get at public courses. And when the owners put as much thought and effort into the course as David and Chris Sauls have here, it makes for a great DG experience.
- Accuracy or Else. If you're not in the fairway, you're either OB or in ruff so thick you might as well be OB. Fairway accuracy is a must if you want to score well. If you don't play smart, that's dumb!
- Pin Positions in Relation to OB's. Several of the pin positions are in close proximity to OB (1, 4, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 17a, 18)… including "island" greens, peninsula greens, and a hanging basket that practically dangles above a creek. I played two rounds and went OB 9 times (and was OK with it).
- Every Kind of Shot. Huge wide open bombers, short tight alleys, open to tight, tight to open, forced landing zones, uphill, downhill, sidehill, hyzers, anhyzers, sidearms, s-turns, etc… the only shot you really don't need to throw is a roller.
- Concerned about Improving the Course. I could tell from my conversations with David that they were very concerned about making the course as epic as possible. He told me they have gone as far as to interview players and pass out questionnaires at the end of tournaments to get feedback about the course. He knew the average scores for every hole and said they used the stats to redesign holes. While we played, David pointed out many "old" holes that had been removed because they weren't quite up to "Par" (pun intended) and said that the course is constantly evolving. In fact, while we were there, a work crew was clearing a section of forest so they could extend one of the fairways.
- Unhealthy Forest. The only real downside to this course is that the forest it plays through is relatively unhealthy. Before David and his family acquired the property it had been decimated by a massive clear-cut. A few big trees were left on the property, but on the whole the forest was wiped clean. Now, the forest is haphazardly re-growing and the underbrush is THICK, not to mention UGLY. It's going to take years to recover.
- Close to Houses. Three of the holes play past David and Chris's respective houses. This is great for them because they can step out off their porch and just start playing, but aesthetically it's not the best design.
- You Need a Guide. Because this is a Private Property course THEY WANT TO GUIDE YOU your first time. Because of this, they purposely have not installed any next-tee arrows or professional tee-signs. Therefore, USE THE LINKED WEBSITE (in the links section) to contact David or Chris and ask for a reservation to play. They'll be more than HAPPY to guide you.
- Demanding. You need to constantly focus and play smart. The course provides plenty of opportunity to succeed, but offers just as many opportunities (if not more) to fail. As an example, I played two rounds… Round 1: +8 with 5 birdies, 5 bogeys, 1 double, and one hole where I took a +6 (I don't even know what you call that)… Round 2: +7 with 2 birdies, 5 bogeys and 2 doubles… However, if I was to combine these two rounds (by using my best score on each hole) I would have shot -2 with 7 birdies, 3 bogeys and 1 double, (1 OB). So, good scores are available if you can put it all together.
- A big THANK YOU and congratulations go out to the Sauls for creating the one of a kind gem. I'll be back!
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Very Challenging Course
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very good use of land...Each hole is different from the rest. Good variety of forehand, and backhand shots. Some technical holes, as well as "grip it and rip it". 1 basket is hanging from a tree nearly over a creek which adds a unique touch.
Cons: Is on private land, which is good and bad, but you just can't go on a weeday if you happen to be off work like you could on a public course. LOTS of briars, if you happen to have an errant throw, or you bounce off a tree you will be in them.
Other Thoughts: This was one course that kind of "grew" on me. I've played it now about 8 or so times, and overall enjoyed it, but I just didn't have the "long arm" to be competitive. However after the last few times playing I found that if you can control your shots and stay on the fairways here, your score will show it. This course is usually windy, so that will also affect your throws and your scores. If you plan on coming and spending a full day here on a weekend, plan on bringing a lunch with you, it is out in the country a good bit, and there are not any "fast food" places close by. Fall/winter is a great time to play here, leaves are off the trees and you have better looks at the baskets.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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