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.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Awesome course and Private
Pros: In my top 3 courses played and I would have to say the best course I have ever played which includes 3 of the current top 10 courses on DGCR. Some of my favorite holes in golf including,
#1 - Elevation is great for a short thrower like myself. I have made about 100 feet short of the creek before which is by the far the farthest throw this old guy has ever had.
#3 Really cool challenging short downhill anhyer shot with ob behind
# Prettiest hole on the course and lots of danger on the hole. Pierce the small gap and put for a 2,miss it and hope to make 4 if in the water.
#5 one of the best hole in golf. Teeshot is a placement shot, a perfect shot will five you a chance a birdie, a bad shot will have you hoping for a bogey.
#12 Funnest hole on course, short and straight downhill to an island green,
#14 long - One of the best holes I have played ever and is a par 5 with a tight island basket placement.
#16 long- you cross the water twice, if you have a perfect tee shot you can go for the green in two for birdie. This hole can really change a tournament if you do not play it smart and take not only the water but the wind in play.
The Sauls do a great job on this course and make it more challenging on a consistant basis. Par 3s, 4s and 5s with short and long tees. Spectacular views.
Cons: Nothing ,just suggestions which may be out of line (please don't ban me Sauls this is my favorite course on earth). I have been reluctant to say anything about this course negative but I am not a big fan of #11. I will say it is a very good hole but accuracy and some luck on this hole is a must to birdie it and not end up in the creek. I also wish the tee on the hanging basket hole was a little closer to see players have a better chance of trying to go for the green. Not sure if anyone has ever made it but currently that would be a great shot. The majority of teepads are carpet which is fine but I prefer the rubber mats that a few courses are starting to use such as Grand Central Station, Kure Beach and Sewee.
Other Thoughts: This course is ever changing due to David and Chris's vision for perfection. I have only been on property for sanctioned tournaments and this is a special place during those weekends. Each sanctioned event it seems the course has something new to make it even better. The camping the weekend of a sanctioned event is epic from hanging out with lots of golfers to dinner at Roma's Friday night and dinner on the property on Saturday. Also, Chris has started a casual mini golf round after the Saturday rounds of the April event which is a blast when hanging out with friends and Roscoe the dog who loves to camp with everyone and hangout. This is a must visit destination whether you are local or living out West,in the NE, MidWest, Southwest, etc.. If you have a chance to play in this area when visiting I would plan to visit the IDGC for a couple of days and camp and then contact the Sauls to camp and play at my favorite course in the woods. If you are attending the USDGC, there is usually a 1 day sanctioned event the Sunday after the USDGC finishes the day before and a perfect end to a great week. I just visited Stoney Hill (April 2014)for the first time since 2012 and the course looked better than ever and the holes 1a, 1b and 17a or b were newly added since my last visit and they are spectacular in keeping with the rest of the course and I now rate is a 5. 1b is one of the most challenging holes I have played.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
A Phenomenal Mess
Pros: Excellent use of the available land has been made. There is a terrific variety of left/right and up/down along with short and long. There is also a great mix of wooded and open, along with a few throws over and across a pond. I think the variety is the course's biggest strength. There is wonderful golf to be played, on multiple layouts. The course flows as well from hole to hole and shot to shot as any that I've played.
The course owners/designers are extremely dedicated to disc golf and very gracious hosts. Many thanks to Chris and David for letting us play on their land. They sought out a piece of land to buy and live on with the main purpose being to build a course. They even built a small pond to make the course better. The amount of work that has gone into the course shows, and is appreciated.
Several of the holes leave you wanting to empty your bag, particularly hole 1. I really enjoyed the occasional multi-shot holes, such as holes 5 and 6.
I'm generally not a huge fan of forced water carry type throws, but the Sauls have done it well here, and I enjoyed those holes here. None of the throws are ridiculously difficult, but all will make you think in a way that only having to throw across a pond can do.
The courses challenges you to do your best on nearly every throw, whether it be a putt with a precarious pin placement, a tight fairway, or a pond in front of you.
Cons: Don't throw off target. Part of the challenge is the really thick punishing rough on some of the holes. Errant shots will be punished at Stoney Hill, some times maybe a little too much due to how thick some of the woods and weeds are if you get off the fairway. Keep a good eye on errant throws that go off the fairways, particularly on hole 2.
Also, fairways 1 and 18 cross, but it's not a big deal, being a private course that doesn't see much traffic, that's not much of an issue,
Other Thoughts: There are benches at most, if not all tees. There are also signs with hole number and distance at the tees. The tees are level, big, and flat, and are made of carpet, providing excellent traction, even in the odd snow shower. (I was fortunate to get to test this in the "mess" that was the 2010 Chris"mess" Bash.) There aren't any trash cans out there, so as always pack it in, pack it out.
Stoney Hill is a must play. A great road trip could be made combining Stoney Hill with Crooked Creek, and more so, the not too far away IDGC. I'll be back to Stoney Hill.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: very challenging, with open and medium wooded areas. and the area is well kept. and it has a lot of cool features like a hanging basket, and on 18 there is a huge gulley with the basket right next to it on a hill. and it has a lake, and it has alt. tees/holes,
Cons: lots of chances to lose discs, and when its hot, those hills feel steper. and they could put in more benches.
Other Thoughts: on number one, be careful to not take that wide fairway for granted. and sometimes on 18 it is best to lay up.
0 of 10 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.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Dedicated effort results in a great course!
Pros: There is a wide variety of shots at this course. Uphill, downhill, Hyzer & anny. There are tight wooded alley holes & wide open bomber runs.OB's, a pond & creeks to contend with. Unique hanging basket (#13). Large benches on most holes.
Cons: There are not too many complaints here. Nitpickers may not like the carpet tee pads but they are mostly layed out on flat ground & offer good traction.
Mixed basket types. There are tee signs on every hole but they are rough (piece of wood with the hole number). He said they are working on getting new signs made.
Other Thoughts: The host David Sauls, his family & friends are dedicated to making this a great course (and it shows). There are steps & water bars landscaped in. While playing there I saw people cutting briars & cleaning out fairways. David seemed to really enjoy showing us around the course. He explains all hole layouts & then throws first so you can see the proper line to take. Very accomodating host!
My favorite hole: #18. 2nd shot is critical. Also hole #12. Downhill Ace run.
There is plenty of food & stores on the way to the course.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Very Challenging Course
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.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
Unique private course
Pros: Designed for Pros & Advanced players, owned by 2 longtime disc golfers, course offers tremendous elevation, great variety of long, short, open, tight, lefty & righty holes, lots of OB and some unique challenges. As a private course, none of the hassles with non-disc-golfers you get on public courses, and no back-ups.
Cons: During summer, course isn't kept well-groomed. If you get off the fairway, the rough includes some dense briars. Between the rough and the pond, you may lose a disc or two.
Due to challenging nature, not suitable for beginners or casual players.
Limited availability; free to play but reservations required, seldom available on weekdays until after 6 PM.
Other Thoughts: As one of the course owners, there may be some bias in my review.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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