18 Helpful / 0 Not
Best Course in SC
Pros: Let me preface by saying that I have played this course at least 6 times and the most recent was yesterday. I have not reviewed it yet because I like to write a review right after I have played it.
Now. This course is the most well designed course I have ever played. I was lucky enough to play a round with David and Chris as well as an out of towner. having the Sauls brothers there brought new insight into why they did what they did.
This course has 2 layouts. both equally challenging.
Diamond is an 18 hole beast with multiple holes over 700 ft. long water carries and overall punishment.
Quartz is a 24 hole layout with some of the longer holes being split up into multiple holes. dont let that fool you. you will still need every shot imaginable to shoot well.
they also added 4 new holes to this layout and changed a hole since the last time I played.
Here are some of the highlights of these changes and additions,
Hole 1a is a tough island hole. just how you want to start your rd. its a very fair sized island but the pressure is on from the get go.
Hole 1b is is a placement shot followed by a narrow fairway to the basket.
Hole 1c is like the Diamond Hole 1, you still get to bomb a drive down the hill, but instead of going to the left, the basket is in on the right. ( I got a three!!!)
no other changes for me until we get to 15b.
this hole is a low gap off the tee to a basket behind the dam.
this is not a change, but a highlight of my day out there; I parked the first water hole and hit the putt for a 2 for the first time. even though the carry is only 240, its still a scary throw and can make even the most confident player think twice.
17c is the last new hole, it starts near the top of the hill and plays to the basket for 17 Diamond. this basket sits on the dam, and has a large drop off behind it.
Ok, now that I have described all the changes, what else can I say. These guys have put so much thought into this course its amazing, every hole is designed with the utmost care. they also try to alternate throwing styles. while the first few holes are lefty friendly, the next couple go the other way. If you do not stay on the fairway you will be punished, and the best thing to do is pitch out. trying to make up for a bad shot by throwing something you are not comfortable with will result in more strokes added to your score.
OB is everywhere. but its not there just to be there. It serves a purpose. It prevents you from just winging it. you need to think before, during, and after each throw.
Cons: Nothing that I can think of. except that it isnt closer to my house. The Sauls brothers have really made something special here. anyone who loves true Disc Golf, played the way it was meant to be needs to pay these guys a visit.
Other Thoughts: Hole 18 is one of the coolest holes i have ever played. the green is a giant mound with the basket on top of it. there is a giant ravine on the backside that is all OB. Treacherous, but fair. a perfect finishing hole!!
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 1 Not
I'm so lost without you..
Pros: Elevation...so much of it, so much glorious land to throw across. Uphill, Downhill, Sidehill, crazyhill and all other hills known to man exist on this property. It makes for some extremely fun and challenging greens.
OB. Why do I like the OB on this course? Because it was executed and used perfectly, the OB on this course forces you to play golf, or at least strongly suggests it, if not, you end up shooting scores like I did, you don't want that.
Tee's - Some of these tees were extremely grippy, even though it had rained a good portion of the weekend, the course was in excellent shape and I had a great time.
Pin position - this kind of goes hand in hand with the OB thing except, wait, what is this...? Is this a pin hanging off a tree limb with a creek OB in front of it? Well i'll be damned, this gave me a shit-eating-grin like you couldn't believe, this is not only challenging golf, but it is freaking fun.
Design - This is my biggest pro for this course, every single type of shot is required here, literally, there are long holes, there are short holes, there are downhill hyzers and uphill annys, everything I have learned about disc golf in my short career thus far was required here.
#18's green is one of the best green's in disc golf.
Cons: Tee's - Yup. Some of these were not so grippy, they were all some sort of carpet type tee's, some worked extremely well, but others seemed to absorb the water and were incredibly slick, i lost my footing on my teeshots once or twice, and a playing partner who will not be named ate grass..lol. I think Chris(Thank you for letting us come play!) mentioned this is something they were trying to take care of soon, hats off to the Saul's for such an incredible course.
Other Thoughts: I want to give this course a five so badly, for me this course was amazing, I had so much fun even when the course was kicking my ass, it is FAIR, I made the mistakes to have a poor score.
I hope next time I come here, it is slightly less windy(30-40ish all round) and it is drier outside. Regardless though, this course is an incredible time. Go play it.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful.
16 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.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 7 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 12 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Superb variety and balance, even with single tees and pins
Pros: Stoney Hill is a private course, on an amazing varied piece of land, that offers up a design that rivals the best as far as balance and variety. Amongst all the quiet, peaceful, and secluded beauty you'll get wide open ripper holes, downhill bomber, across water holes, downhill touch shots, across hill, tight short wooded holes, long wooded holes, creek in play on multiple holes, some par4/5 holes, ace run holes, and plenty of OB.
Memorable holes galore. Let me do a quick run through of my favorites...
#18 a 500'+ bomber across hill (although it crosses #1). You must first drive through a wooded 'road' and across the t-line ROW, then some gaps through trees that you must hit in order to approach OVER an OB pit and up to a super risky elevated pin. Rollaways are common and also include rolling away into OB for another stroke. I loved the challenge and ultimate beatdown, I had approached over the pit for a shot at 3 on the safe side but uphill to that pin. I nailed the yellow band and rolled just over the edge of OB and took my 5.
#12 a great downhill tunnel touch shot needing to cross an OB road and land on a tree riddled green.
#13 a decently long sweeping RHBH anny, across a creek, to a hanging basket (hang it over the creek!)
Over the pond throws on #16 and longer on #17A.
#4 is a tightly wooded curving hole completely bordered by a creek on the right.
#10 and 11 have risky greens sloping down to a creek OB.
#14A has a cool arched tree off the tee, and #14B has a great peninsula green surrounded by creek.
#9 a touch downhill along the t-line ROW with OB along the left.
#1 to start it all off is a downhill bomber along the t-line right of way.
Water OB. A creek cuts through many of the holes and is used perfectly from every angle and direction to induce suffering and penalty strokes on RH or LH players and any type of throw. A huge pond is in play and must be thrown over without any real bailout zones on two holes. String OB lines define lots of other OB areas throughout the course.
Risky greens. I don't know if I can count them all, but many pins are perched in precarious locations, on the edge of drop-offs or creeks, on a slope, on a mound, and protected my trees or other OB. Still some wide open greens for those people who hate running at it and being punished for a miss.
A desire to replay holes, after shanking my way down the fairway on the longer ones, because I just couldn't hit what appears to be a simple landing zone for easy pars. This is an attribute to a great psychological design that messes with players heads (I like it, anyone who plays with me knows about 'psychological warfare').
The tees are outdoor carpet but worked perfectly well. Seeing as how they were outdoor carpet, I'd suggest adding another tee for lesser skill level players (and to get the wives and kids involved and not discouraged).
Cons: Just one tee. This is one of the biggest cons I will always list. Not only as someone who travels with family (wife and young kids who could use shorter tees), but as someone who seeks more variety and balanced offerings on a course. Since only one pin is in the ground at a time (despite multiple placements) one tee lets you play only one layout. For some variety, that second tee offers another complete hole, and as many more options per tee pad as pin placements per hole. Multiple tees can greatly increase variety as far as design/layout, as well as skill variety.
Just one pin placement (although the pins are portable models I believe). Multiple placements could showcase even more of the amazing terrain and offer a good overlay of the multiple course configurations, rather than playing so different layouts (or maybe that's their intent).
Quite a bit poison ivy. I will always dock for these types of ecological problems when they are rampant, which it is not here, but especially the power line holes have a lot. Not only because the stuff is in all sorts of locations everywhere that you can walk through, land in, or set your bag in, but because I am a travelling player and it sucks to have to quarantine a set of shoes/clothes because they are full of poison plants oils, and even worse to get a rash while on vacation. We played this at the end of our vacation and must have gotten into some because we brought rashes home.
Hole 1 and 18 cross one another.
Hole 6 and 9 share a tee.
Other Thoughts: I think the private nature, guided tour, warm weather, and worn out family members took away from my experience as a whole. I'd say we prefer our quiet and leisurely rounds, but playing with David was great in pointing out landing zone distances, and offering tips on shot selection. I left there feeling like it didn't live up to my expectations, but as I think about it and rank the course analytically, it has every bit of design elements, variety, and balance that I could ask for. One could argue that #1 isn't like a true downhill bomber ski hill type hole, but its close, and then you add in all the creek OB, across pond shots, and OB in precarious places like the killer #18, and you've got a disc golf players paradise.
I would play here again, definitely. We played the course in the midst of a roadtrip from WI to SC. It was hot, we all walked around the course as a family, my wife and I played, and despite having to constantly keep the kids from walking through the poison plants, we had a good time and did not regret playing here.
The course ranked out as a 4.2 in my spreadsheet, but it was amazingly high in the Design and Setting section that I weight the highest. Despite me rating it a 4.0, the design, balance, and offering here is an excellent course without question. You should play if you love a challenge and are anywhere near the area. Being private, some amenities were missing from that 'disc golf country club' style/feel like benches, mowed/manicured fairways, kiosk, etc. But the biggest downfall that I score on is lack of multiple tees, and second most is lack of multiple pins. Stoney was punished in my scoring for having neither. Gold/Diamond/Quartz layouts are neat and all, and something that can be done on a lesser used course, and something that will be done if you have a disc golf fanatic who owns the place, but they don't change the available variety on a specific hole like multiple tees and pins can do.
Thanks to David for playing along with us, and Chris who would have if our schedules worked out.
10/11/2011: BTW, I LOVE the design, variety, and balance at Stoney Hill. If you look at my quantitative spreadsheet, this course tied for the highest score in the 'Design' category (course design accounts for 63 of the 100 points I give). I know without a doubt I'd play here again and again and love it. I'm bumping to a 4.5 - and there are only 1 tee and 1 pin placement on each hole here.
18 of 18 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.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
King of the Hill
Pros: Very challenging course with a lot of variety, designed more for the advance level and above player. In a remote location, so there isn't any non disc golf traffic to deal with. Plenty of practice baskets to warm up before the round. There was some type of seating at each tee area.
There is a great use of elevation changes. Many holes have you either throwing up or down some elevation, from steep to mild. A perfect balance of open, semi-wooded and wooded holes. Nothing outrageously tight, but accuracy is important on those holes.
There are some long holes (true par 4s) as well as reachable deuces. However, to get the deuce, you are usually having to make a pretty tough shot, no luck here. Each hole is unique and the balance of lefty/righty is about the same.
The course is designed to be either 18 or 20 holes. You can make the decision on the back nine how you want to play it. The 18 hole configuration tends to have the longer individual holes. Either configuration has you battling water, whether it's throwing over the pond, or staying out of the OB streams that line some of the fairways and greens.
The gracious hosts, David and Chris, are two very dedicated and talented disc golfers, who have built a top flight course on the perfect piece of property for disc golf.
Cons: The availability to play is limited, since it's a private course, so plan ahead. In a remote location, so get your supplies, gas, water, food, etc before getting to the course. There are also no bathrooms.
The following cons only matter, when the course is crowded, most likely during a tournament, because they would slow down play. As previously mentioned, fairways 1 and 18 cross. Also tees 6 and 9 share the same location.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the best courses I've ever played on. It has everything that I look for in a course. I'm very impressed with the hosts time and dedication to build and maintain the course, without the luxury of a public parks crew and equipment.
There seems to be a consensus from previous reviews about the carpeted tee pads being a con. I have a bum knee, so I'm very aware of tee pads, and I didn't have any traction problems with them.
This is a must play if you are in South Carolina. Schedule a tee time, bring your discs and some water, and be prepared to play one challenging course, while playing with two of the best disc golfing hosts.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging and fun!
Pros: The course plays through a hilly forested piece of private property. There are a few open holes, all of which bring elevation and/or water into play. The rest of the course plays through various widths of fairways through dense rough. The shorter holes often make you thread tight lines while the longer wooded holes offer more generous but still difficult alleys. You will almost certainly pay in strokes (and blood) for an errant shot that leaves the fairway, think carefully about how much of the hole you want to bite off.
There's awesome variety here, not a single hole felt repetitive, and there are no filler shots. You'll need all kinds of shot shapes to score well here, and the way they're mixed throughout the course keeps you thinking. With the pond and creeks, ob comes into play on lots of holes. It's used very creatively, so that you're sometimes bringing it into play on the drive over the pond or along the creek, and sometimes leaving yourself a scary putt with water lurking right behind the basket (or under a hanging basket.
Every property feature I saw was used to make challenging, interesting, and fun shots. There's even a diamond layout that offers a couple more multi-shot holes including one that plays over the pond twice. There are fun downhill shots mixed in with tough uphill shots, and many holes give you options on how you want to play them.
Cons: The course has limited availability. David is a great host and a lot of fun to play with, but you do have to plan ahead to make a tee time that fits with the Sauls' schedules. The signage here only shows hole number and distance, not a big deal since you'll have a course guide that describes the hole much better than a sign could.
Holes 1 and 18 cross fairways, it's done in a way that minimizes the safety and flow issues though. The rough is some of the roughest I've seen, I like being punished for errant shots, but you'll definitely find thorny nasty spots on nearly every hole.
Other Thoughts: I had a blast playing here, and would definitely play it again if I was in the area. The property has been used to the fullest, leaving a course that challenges every part of your game and makes you think hard about every shot. Beginners will be frustrated by the difficulty and punishing rough, it just wouldn't be a fun course for a new player. Experienced players will find the course fun and difficult (but fair).
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
An Owners Perspective
Pros: Private Course in a country setting. Uncrowded, quiet, and very challenging. The course was designed for the players that can throw forehand and backhand. Thumbers also play a big part in scoring well out here.. Sorry, you will not find any roller holes . However, you will find that you will use every shot you have + some you've never really tried while getting around this layout. There are tight wooded hyzer shots, anhyzer shots, and straight shots. There are big bomb shots off hills, medium downhill, and short down hill shots. Several uphill shots to keep it even, and a handful of level shots surrounded with O.B. Although the length may discourage some, just about all of the par 3 holes are reachable by anyone that can throw 275'. The fairways are generous but the rough is....rough.
Bring a towel. A decent size creek comes into play on about 9 holes and 3 holes wrap around a large pond with the first 2 of these 3 involving a water carry of 220' or so.
Cons: CARPET TEES - While they are grippy, they can become uneven with ground erosion and bumpy. They are leveled out about once a year.
SIGNAGE - Very little but enough to help you find your way around. More could be done to help mark where the holes are on some of the blind shots.
LOCATION - We are 5 miles or 10 minutes from the nearest store in Prosperity. It seems close to us, but my seem like a day trip for most.
THE ROUGH - Can be extremely difficult in the summer to retrieve discs that miss the fairway on some holes.
SEASONAL - The course is well groomed from Sept - April but can be come shaggy in the summer months, but not completely unplayable.
SCENERY - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You will not find a course where this statement is more true. I still see the debris piles and remains of the clear cut forest from 7 years ago. Others may find a diamond in the rough.
Other Thoughts: First of all, I'm one of the owners and designers so let that be known. However, I also know the course better than anyone so hopefully my review is based on my unbiased opinion....
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Stoney Hill = Lots of Stones and Hills
Pros: >>>You'll use every shot in your bag over the course of 18 or 20 holes (depending on the layout you play); long, short, left, right, up, down, over, under, and more.
>>>The course web site invites you to call one of the owners when you want to play. I'd recommend taking them up on the offer. Having a tour guide for at least the first round is a great benefit.
>>>Stoney Hill, if you're looking for it on a map, can be found waaaay out in the sticks. That's a plus if you're up for a long day (2+ rounds) of golf. Probabaly a negative if you have only time for one round.
>>> The pond is pretty cool. It's an intimidating shot but not unreasonable for most players.
Cons: >>>While the property is huge and private it isn't very scenic. There are a few holes in a not-so-densely-populated hardwood/evergreen grove but otherwise there's plenty of open space with small trees, LOTS of thorns, rocks and dirt.
>>>I mentioned the pond as a positive above but it's a bummer if you don't get the plastic across the water. It's not clear water. And it gets deep fast. If you're more than 1' off the shore line say goodbye.
>>> If you insist that the courses you play have permanent, all the same type of baskets, then you're out of luck here. It's a mix and match set up.
Other Thoughts: Bring your own drinks and food. There's not even a gas station "down the road" from this place. You're 20 minutes from anything when you play Stoney Hill.
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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