Where to start
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Its hard to start where you could give the pros to a home course like this. So I have listed a few.
1) Chris and David are some of the nices guys you will ever meet. They take the time to make sure each and every person knows where the next hole is and make sure your having a great time
2) Don't just show up thinking this is going to be a pitch and putt. You will need just about any shot you have in your bag
3) the 3 different layouts give you a chance to play all the holes in different combinations which is a bonus when your make a day out of it.
4) water water everywhere. Well maybe not but you will think twice before you throw a couple of holes with water ob carries. you can play it safe or play with the big boys.
5) Dis golf heaven. I once told David I thought Stoney hill reminded me of what Flip city would have been like in it earlier days but with water.
6) Benches on most holes if not all the holes.
Cons: This ones a little hard to post cons because it a great place and I have talked with the owners and such. With it being a private course you really cant ask for public bathrooms or running water. Tho you most likely could get both if you asked.
This course is a lauber of love and cons are just projects just farther down the list.
Other Thoughts: Stoney Hill is a destination course that a person should try and make anytime are in the area. Its a diamond in the ruffs (course layout and difficulty) That doesn't need that much more polishing. I always love coming back to see if my game has gotten better. Looking forward to many more rounds out at stoney
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent variety- in elevation, distance, and scenery. Nice wide open shots downhil, tight wooded technical shots, water in play, a little bit of everything.
Well maintained- the fairways were clear, and the brush wasn't so thick that a misplaced shot was too hard to recover.
Actually felt like playing golf- this course made me think about my shot placement a lot more than most courses I have played. The norm around charlotte is just don't hit a tree and stay in the fairway- needed a little more strategy here, and that was a nice change.
Challenging, but not overwhelming- I am a fairly new player, and the course was tough, but I never got discouraged- I like a good challenge though.
Cons: Not much here- distance from me is my only real complaint.
I was a little skeptical of the carpet tee pads, but after using them they didn't bother me at all. Felt fine.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth the trip to play. It was spur of the moment for me and David was extremely helpful. This is probably my favorite course I have played so far, and look forward to coming back in the future.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: First, a big thanks to both David and Chris! These guys are the epitome of Southern Hospitality. Each one walked/played/guided our group through 18 holes of amazing disc golf. They went above and beyond any expectations I had. Chris even went back and found a disc I lost in the water for me while we played with David. This course has pretty much everything you could ask for; it truly is fit for pro tournaments. These guys have put in a lot of work and it shows. There are so many memorable holes and none are unenjoyable. This course blends accuracy, length, and technical shots. You will need every shot from your arsenal to get through this course. The land and area are beautiful and fun just to hike. The final hole alone is one unlike I've encountered before and is the perfect ending to a course.
Cons: I sure there are some cons to the course but they would just be nit picky.
Other Thoughts: Everything great about a course can be found here, so make a reservation to play. FYI, don't play this course unless you can accurately throw over 300 feet as you will have a very difficult and long round.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Cons: I can't think of anything bad to say about this course. I know some people complain about the course needing to be mowed more often...but being that it's a private course run by someone with a full time job I think it's kept up beautifully given the circumstances.
Other Thoughts: Highly recommend this course. I can't wait to go back and play it!
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Not a Round, and Experience
27 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A lot of times people claim courses have variety, because they feature holes of different lengths. They have holes that finish in different directions and maybe some elevation changes. And that is one type of variety. There are courses that feature a few different landscapes. Those courses typically weave in and out of the trees, offering both wooded and open holes. That's another type of variety. At Stoney Hill, there is yet another level of variety. When each hole is significantly different both in feel and throw from all the rest. That's true variety and this course has more of that than any I've seen to date. It would be tough to identify a signature hole at Stoney Hill. It's daunting to even pick highlights. That's because they're pretty much all highlights. Most of the holes here could be a signature hole at another course.
I will mention a few holes, not to single them out as the best, but to try and represent the type of challenge that awaits. 1, the third Quartz hole, tees off on top of the hill. It's a long way to the bottom, and some real air can be put on a disc here. It's wide open, but it's not as straightforward. The basket is tucked down a small tunnel into the woods, so unless the drive is placed well, there won't be a smooth approach shot. The next hole is another favorite: it's a narrow tunnel that opens up to some space where the disc needs to go up and to the right.
I'd also like to mention 12, a long, straight, narrow, downhill that leads to a basket partly surrounded by a small creek. It kicks off an amazing stretch of holes that feature the creek. 13 is a shorter woods hole that wants you to fade it right over the creek, while 14B is a long open hole that leads to an opening in the woods. It's downhill through that opening to a basket that's perched in the center of a bend in the creek. Actually, that one may be my favorite.
But enough with the specifics. I want to get back to that variety. There are holes that are somewhat open, and holes that are in channels. There are also a ton of holes that have sections of each. (Most of my favorites, as described above) There are uphills and downhills, (some serious elevation) and one on a tricky slope. And yeah, there is a variety of distances. My favorite feature though, is how there are fairways of all different widths. I said before that each hole stands out. Each hole is memorable. Yet somehow it all comes together. Each hole flows naturally to the next. I think it's that rawness. Though very-well taken care of, the course feels pristine, natural. I know that nature doesn't groom that way, but maybe it should?
If there is one signature of Stoney Hill, it's danger on the green. Places where a disc can slip away are frequent. From the last basket, perched on a mound where any missed putt is likely to lead to a throw as equally tough as the one just missed, to one on the side of hill, where a slide away might find you down the embankment and into water, there is tons of peril even after navigating the fairway. There are pin placements with water behind them and targets just before of a significant drop in elevation. The clever basket locations mean that almost any shot requires some thought and even a parked drive isn't necessarily "parked."
And there are water carries, significant ones, as well as an additional layout with even tougher holes. There's a lot here, but I think, or hope, that I've painted a fairly accurate picture here. It's one of those courses that you really should see at one point. I can't imagine you'll be disappointed.
Cons: Well, it's not that accessible. It's out there. A long way from most places. And while the hosts are very hospitable, it's not a course you can play on a whim. You do have to plan ahead. Both in terms of availability and in terms of bringing all you need to play. It's not an easy course, it's not one that can be played without thought and it's not a course that will go down well for the inexperienced. It's also not likely one that you could play everyday. It's too long, too grueling and too much a test of skills to be the course that you could play several times a week after work.
But as for the course itself, the only thing I didn't love was the faux island hole. I know some love the challenge that can be added with holes like this but they just aren't for me. Especially considering how raw, real and natural most of the course is, it feels a little out of place to pretend that you can't stand in certain areas.
Other Thoughts: There isn't much in the way of navigational aid at Stoney Hill. The tee signs are minimal. The hole number. The distance. But this isn't a course that you pull over and play in an hour. It's an experience. Your host guides you through the course, and owns more knowledge of the course than could ever fit on a sign. Pin locations, target landing zones, alternate lines. And history. Of course history. Without having to find your way, it's easy to escape here. More often than not on the course, I lost track of the hole I was on. I guess if you played here enough times, a round would eventually just be a round. But your first time, as I said before, it's an experience. And one I can't recommend enough.
27 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Glad I made the trip!
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Good variety with a mix of wooded/semi-open fairways, L/R/straight, up/down hill and varied terrain, long and short.
Wonderful terrain is well-employed to bring elevation into play on most holes; both off the tee (making holes play longer or shorter and step up challenge) and on putts and approaches (increasing risk/reward).
Judicious but reasonable use of OB makes you place shots rather than simply chucking down the fairway in hopes of a decent lie.
Many well-tucked placements also make you place shots. Still other pins feature guardian trees which force you to find and carry a line on upshots if you want to score well.
No filler holes - each hole stands on its own and presents a legitimate challenge and forces you to execute or make a difficult recovery. Fairways are reasonable but the rough can be nasty in spots, costing you a stroke if you miss the fairway badly or cut corners leaving yourself a bad angle to the pin
but shouldn't bad shots be reflected in your score? ;)
Multiple layouts to suit most skill levels. Quartz and Diamond layouts share several holes but each has several holes unique to that layout. The holes unique to Quartz make it well-suited to intermediate players, with the Diamond layout being a reasonable challenge for Advanced and Pro players.
Wind can raise the stakes and was a definite factor on the longer, semi-open holes during my visit. I had to change my disc or shot to compensate on quite a few holes (often unsuccessfully). :(
Nice to play a round at your own pace, without having to wait for other groups to finish or worry about pedestrian and other non-disc traffic.
Several memorable holes, including The Island Green, Hole 14 (plays differently on both layouts) Diamond hole 5, and 18 is a unique finishing hole where a couple stroke lead may not be safe. Well conceived water caries that offer shorter bail-out routes round things out nicely.
Hard to knock them for not pouring concrete, because temp tees allow them to update things on an ongoing basis, but I recall wishing I had better footing off the tee a couple of times.
Not conveniently located near other destination courses. Unless you already have a reason to drive past on I-26, you'll have to go out of your way to play here.
Thorns and briars - unfortunately, I found some spots where they were pretty nasty
but you're supposed to stay on the fairway, right?
Other Thoughts: You'd be hard pressed to find nicer hosts anywhere. David and Chris are quite proud (and rightfully so) to share their creation with you, and do so hospitably, sharing their insight, likes and dislikes about many of the holes. It's nice to hear how a hole evolved into to what it is today. One of the great pluses of private courses is that almost all owners are players, and can change things they don't like to improve the course over the years... obviously the case here, and something that isn't a big priority for most Parks and Rec departments.
I played the course the first day of winter, while the course was probably looking about as drab as could be, and it still had quite a bit of visual appeal. I can only imagine how beautiful Stoney Hill looks at the peak of fall color or how lush it is mid-season.
Likely to prove too frustrating for beginners, but that's not what they were shooting for. People don't drive for miles to play beginner courses. This is most definitely destination discing - take the time to play both layouts and really enjoy all this gem has to offer.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great variety, not just in the shots but in the layouts you can try. A 24-hole layout, two 18-hole layouts, etc. They often change the layouts, so you can play a year later and it's a new experience.
While there are tight holes (and some thick rough, and water), many of the fairways are open enough to let you air it out and play for placement.
The owners are very friendly and accommodating, a couple of cute kids running around give it a nice family vibe.
Beautiful lake, stream, trees, hills, etc.
Cons: Can be hard to follow, but the course owners are extremely helpful with guiding you. A few times you see a basket but have to throw to a hidden basket. Again, can be tricky but the guides help.
There are carpet tee pads, though they worked fine for me. I played after a hard rain and didn't slip any more than I would on a concrete tee.
Other Thoughts: The course is pretty remote. Stock up on drinks and snacks before you come. Lots of back-roads ways to get here. I went through Chester State Park on my way back to Charlotte - didn't take any longer than I-77 (so you can hit that new course if coming from Charlotte). The Sauls told me they have a pro-shop with hundreds of discs in Columbia, in case you're coming from that way. The reviews pretty well nailed it. I read a lot of them before playing and they were very helpful. It's hard to add anything new but I had this idea - no one lists the best place to take a leak on a course. On this course, walk behind #10's tee pad, behind the bench, and you've got a great view of this beautiful little stream hidden back there in the woods.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Diamond in the Rough
27 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Layout - Stoney Hill is a premier disc golf course set on private land in the back country of SC.
It starts with two layouts, Diamond and Quartz. Quartz is 24 holes and incorporates a few more ace runs. The Diamond layout combines and adds on to some Quartz holes to make longer par 4's which gives you a more difficult course.
To understand the course you first need to get an idea of the landscape. It's big rolling hills with a few dramatic elevation changes. The fairways are carved out of thick woods comprised of thin and compact trees in between the larger ones. There's a pond and a creek running through the property that adds some dramatic and more pleasant views on the course.
The design put it in to all of the holes is top notch and easily one of the top 5 courses from a straight design perspective that I've played. There's a combination of placement and gap hitting throughout the course that makes you constantly consider your options think about each shot.
There's a superb mixture of more open and technical holes throughout the course and it's all sprinkled in to give you constant variety.
The multi-shot holes here are incredible and combine technicality with an openness to choose how to attack each throw. In most cases you'll have a defined fairway that's open enough to work a few different lines or shots but the landing zones are very well placed and make placement accuracy a key.
To me the real beauty of these multi-shot holes is that when you nail the drive you're set up for a second shot that is still challenging but much friendlier than if you were off. However the other great thing is that there's usually risky but doable lines if you didn't get in the right place.
These lines, which are also available on many of the drives on the par 3's as well, usually include going over the top and bending the disc which introduces tons of risk/reward in to the course because being off the fairway here is absolutely punishing.
The par 3's here are an assortment of super fun open shots to more technical multiple route holes. The ability to take different lines on a lot of these holes adds layers to the course than most places just don't have.
There's some par 3's that are more straight forward and almost must birdies if you want to score well overall. These holes usually throw in a fun factor that helps break up the challenge of other holes.
The greens here and basket positions to me are exquisite. The baskets always seemed to be tucked right in to that corner, cove, hill, creek and drop off that makes your placement on drives and approaches vital.
On top of all that you have the water holes. There's no long water carries but they're not short either and not being on point will leave you wet along the pond. Some of the funnest and best looking holes on the course can thank H20 for the assist. There's a few holes where the creek come in to play that are just awesome not only from a visual standpoint but from the design angle as well.
There's two or three holes that stand out as some of the absolute best holes I've played. The signature hole to me is the finishing hole which is a par 4 out of a gap and out in to the open, that gives you a second shot with two gaps then over a chasm and on to a peninsula surrounded by OB with the basket perched on a knoll... yea it's sweet.
Atmosphere - This is private land and it gives you this remoteness that I strive for every time I play disc golf. It's not the most polished landscape or course out there but it's got some great views and beautiful holes mixed in that just makes you feel good about playing disc golf.
The Sauls are incredible hosts and it's obvious how much they care about making your experience at Stoney Hill great. The amount of work that has gone in to this course is second to none; when you realize what they carved it all out of you just have give it up to their commitment.
Equipment - The baskets are all in good shape and catch well. There are signs that give you the hole # and distance of each hole. The pads here are carpet and to me they were sufficient but not ideal.
Cons: Layout - There's no major cons here at all just some nitpicks and most of it is not controllable.
As I said before the woods here are super thick. Getting off fairway is in many cases a pitch-out or an OH with a prayer.
There are a few crossing fairways and one shared tee pad area. Due to the private nature of this course it's not really a problem but it's still a con.
There's only one pad and basket position per hole on each layout. No real biggy considering how well done everything is but the addition of those things would put this course over the top.
This course is not beginner friendly which isn't a con for me but something to think about if it applies to you.
It can also be a hike; It's not strenuous but coupled with the amount of time and shots you'll need to finish it's something to consider if you you're limited in mobility.
Atmosphere - Again this isn't a polished course, it's rough out there. There's bumps, ditches and rocks in the fairways and off fairway it's really thick and you'll run in to briers if you stay in there long enough.
There's also some areas where runoff has carved some tiny ravines in the ground which you need to watch out for when walking.
Equipment - The tee signs are simple and don't give you a map of the hole; not a big deal because you either know the hole or you're playing with a guide.
As I said above the carpet pads are sufficient but not ideal.
Other Thoughts: It took me about 5 holes to realize I was playing a truly great course. I can't say enough about how well the design elements are combined throughout. The Sauls have truly done amazing work here and they deserve all the praise you can heap on them.
Stoney Hill is a destination course and worth the drive out in to what many would call the middle of nowhere to play it. I suggest anyone in the area make plans to get out there and experience it.
27 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Some of the best Golf around.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Private Course, built and set up by the Sauls, and from the drive in to the last hole, you are reminded how much work and BEAUTY this course has.
Everything in disc golf is here, from longer to shorter holes, Elevation, water back drops, water carriers, great basket placement, hyzer, anhyzer,
This is really some of the "Best" Disc golf I have played. And not in me playing well, but just all out good golf. Every hole here is worth while to play, no fillers.
Two lay outs, both of them are covered on the map shows them well.
Great use of land to fill to make some of the best golf holes ever.
One of the coolest last holes ever, and the floating basket on
Cons: This course has three things bad with it, and really it's just getting nit picky.
1. The grooming could be a little better to make this place more pretty. (Once again the course is groomed nicely, but it's rough around the edges, but for a private course this is really just getting nit picky)
2. Carpet Tee Pads (Once again this is really nit picky) - when we played it rained the day before and they got slippy on about 3 holes.
3. could be a confusing course to find your way (Once again this is super nit picky as there is a map, but I played with someone who knew it, if I had to check the map every time it may take an extra 30ish minutes)
Other Thoughts: I took a 3 day disc golf trip where this was the 3rd course I played. I loved every bit of this and thank the guys for putting in the time and making one of the best courses I have ever played.
I would say that I can completely understand when people give this course a 4.5 because of the teepads, however I think because of the overall course play it makes it an even trade.
When you play hole 1 A you can see the road in the distance, once you have turn to 1 B you will be alone in the course with no one else, and no other things left besides the course.
I would plan on bringing water and food if you come here, because it is out there and will take about 2.5 to 4.5 hours depending on the pace of play.
Don't have to pay to play here, however I paid ten bucks and I feel like I should of left more. This place easy makes my top 3 favorite courses played and is hard to really place because I don't know if I will ever play another course like this. Great Time! and Thanks for everything!
If you do not like my review, please give me a PM on what I can improve. Thanks!
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
One Stoney Hill
20 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Stoney Hill, quite simply, is a special course. If you're not careful, it'll beat you down, eat you up and spit you out. Yet, I'm betting you're like me, and wanting to do it all over again.
- The course offers one good hole after another. Maybe it's because I played the quartz, 24-hole layout, but there was a much slower, grind-it-out feel to my round than what you'd expect at most courses. Because of that slower pace, and the fact it's easy to lose track of hole numbers (hole numbers don't align up properly for the quartz layout), there was a lot more time to focus on the hole at hand rather than looking ahead. David and Chris did an amazing job taking advantage of the land, and the wide variety of terrain, to create some great holes. You can tell a ton of hours have gone into this making this place what it is.
- The course offers a ton of variety. Holes with elevation? Check. Open holes? Check. Wooded holes? Check. Holes with water? Check. Risk/reward holes? Check. Holes that might require a smidgen of luck? Check. About the only thing the course doesn't offer is a lot of chances for rollers. But, so what?
- There's a very natural flow to the course and each hole. No holes really felt like they were there simply as filler or transitional holes. All offered different looks, from one hole to the next. Of course to achieve that, there were some long walks between some holes; but, I think most disc golfers would rather have to walk an extra minute to play a great hole, than have no walk between holes and play lesser ones.
- Solitude, solitude, solitude. No sound of cars or highways. No airplanes overhead. No park goers to deal with. It's you and nature out on this course. When you have to drive on two dirt roads to get to the Sauls' property, you know you're in the middle of nowhere. See how many hunting stands you can locate while playing.
- This might seem very contradictory, and it probably is, but the course will reward both aggressive and conservative play. For smart, conservative play, if you throw straight and stay out of the rough/trees/water, you're going to see a ton of easy pars, along with some real birdie chances. For aggressive players, many holes are either open, or open enough (if they're wooded), that you can see some real birdie chances if you're willing to throw big. Even on some of the narrowest holes (fourth hole on the quartz layout), you can throw over the trees to reach the basket.
- Then, there is the level of genuine risk/reward, perhaps best exemplified on the course's shortest hole (13th hole on the quartz layout). The 167 foot hole has a creek running along the left side of the fairway, with the fairway sloping towards the water. You can play safe, throw to the right, and have a relatively easy chance for par. Or you can make a run at the basket, but also bring the creek/OB into play.
- Now to the best part of the course, the whole reason to come to this course, the quality of the holes. A quick disclaimer that the number system is somewhat out of whack. Because there are two different layouts, with a different number of holes, hole numbers don't necessarily mean a lot until you play the course. You'll see 1a, 1b, 1c, etc. on the quartz layout. You'll also see the final hole listed as #18, when it's the 24th hole on the quartz layout. For the sake of my review, when I list a hole, it's in the order I played it, and may not necessarily match the number listed on the tee sign. For example, when I talk about how much I loved the long, downhill hole, with a basket in an opening to the right of the fairway, it's listed as 1c on the tee sign, but I'm referring to it as the third hole, as in the third hole I played. To add to the confusion, the pictures on this site also don't all match up to the correct hole numbers, so you'll already be lost if you haven't played the course before.
- That said, here are some of the goodies. I've already mentioned the 3rd and 13th holes:
4th hole - 285 foot, uphill, slight dogleg right. It's a tight, tight fairway off the tee, but it opens up halfway down the fairway. Steer clear of the trees, and you can really be aggressive.
5th hole - 315 foot, downhill, dogleg right shot. Hole includes the first hunting stand you'll spot on the course. You can be aggressive, but don't go long, or you'll end up in the shallow creek.
12th hole - 236 foot, uphill shot. Tee off in the open to an opening in the woods. Basket is at the edge of a drop-off towards a creek.
17th hole - My favorite hole on the course. 476 footer, tee off from an open field to a wooded basket on a peninsula green. A well place tee shot gives a chance to reach the basket in two shots. Having a creek on three sides of the basket add a huge risk/reward element to this stellar hole.
24th, and final, hole - 492 footer to a basket on a hill, protected by a large hole, a la #18 at Renny. A well placed tee shot gives you options on how to play your approach shot. Even with two great shots, you'll still have to nail a put up the hill. Just a wonderful finishing hole, one of the best I've played anywhere.
Cons: I was hard pressed to find any major problems. These are all small, potential nuisances that may be problems for some.
- This is a rugged course, lacking some of the basics a lot of courses offer. The biggest example of this I noticed is the taller grass. David & Chris cut it only several times a year. It only poses a problem because it eliminates rollers and a lot of skip shots. This is going to reduce a lot of distance that many might be accustomed to.
- If you don't play with one of the Sauls' or someone who's played here before, course will be difficult to navigate for first timers. There's a fair amount of overlap between holes, and even with a map, it wouldn't be hard to miss a hole. Along those lines,
- As mentioned, the hole numbers don't match up. As long as you can remember how many holes you've played, you'll be fine. If you're overly particular, you'll be fine.
- The Sauls property is in the middle of nowhere, so come prepared. While the location is great for disc golf, hunting, fishing and camping, it's not so great if you've forgotten to bring food, drinks or bug spray. You'll have to drive more than a couple minutes to the nearest store to stock up if you've forgotten anything. The drive is even worse if you're coming the south, from the Lexington/Lake Murray area.
- Along those lines, be careful for snakes, black widows, ticks, fire ants, poison ivy and bristles. You are out in nature, so plan accordingly.
Other Thoughts: Stoney Hill is under-the-radar great. Even while I was playing, I didn't have that blown away feel. But about two-thirds of the way through my round, it dawned on me that I've been playing one good-to-great hole after another. This place is the San Antonio Spurs of disc golf courses. Very solid, one of the best around, but isn't very flashy.
- Out of the 24 holes on the quartz layout, there were only two that I felt were just so-so. The most 'normal' or 'non-exciting' hole on the hole course might just be the first one. It's a no frills, straight ahead, downhill shot to a large island green, landing area. It's a solid warm-up hole, so it does serve its purpose.
- I can't speak enough to how much time and effort the Sauls' have put into this course. Even from little things, like placing OB and drop zone markers, you can tell there's been countless hours of work and thought put into this place. On top of that, David is a great host, a disc golfer to the extreme.
- In some ways, this course has grown on me more in the days since I've played. Or maybe that's just the poison ivy. Either way, I'm more eager to play it again now, than immediately after, or during my round.
- This course is not meant for everyone. It's not beginner friendly. A lot of walking, and endurance is required for here. Beginners and casual players may get overly frustrated. For everyone else, never mind the drive, and check this place out. It's a must play. One of the best I have played anywhere. Just keep on driving until the road turns to dirt. Then you know you're getting close.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
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