We are up there...
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Ashe County has a signature hole all right and it's so fun they found a way to do it twice. 9 and 18 close out their respective nines with the sickest downhill tunnel you have ever imagined. Even from the am tees, it is a tough challenge to keep a disc straight through for the amount of distance it is going to travel as it rips downward along a slope you need to use switchbacks to walk down. If you can clear it, there is an open approach to the pin. (a long approach on 18 though.) That is a big if, though. Word are not sufficient how steep the decline is. You need to stand on the top to imagine how far down it is.
It's 8 that sets the stage, at least from the pro tees. Am 8 is at least uphill and is a nice improvement over what came before, but pro 8 takes that uphill, gives it a tunnel start and keeps climbing uphill past the am basket through a narrow channel on a double curve. From that point on till the end, the elevation changes are thunderous. Up down, all around. With the exception of one filler hole(10) it's non-stop great holes. I'm not going to describe any of the individually, because that has been done before but the design is impeccable throughout.
The pro tees provide significantly more challenge, especially when the pro baskets are also used. They provide a little variety for second playthroughs as well as just adding to the epic flavor of the holes. It's awe-inspiring to reach the yellow basket and see the blue basket higher still, and additional climb left to make.
While there are some long walks between holes, there is rarely doubt that one is on the right path. Navigation is intuitive, even with multiple tees and baskets. In keeping with the quality of the course, tees, baskets and signs are all that could be wished for.
Lastly, it's one of the most picturesque parks that you will ever play in. Wonderfully scenic. Wonderfully atmospheric and just really makes you feel like you're in the mountains. It's a hike to get there. It's a hike and a half to play it. But completely worth it. And the back nine might just contain the best 8-hole stretch I've ever played.
Cons: As much as I like variety, and appreciate when a course has a few open holes, the first seven here are a little on the bland side. A couple of them could be considered rolling hills but there is not much hill in that roll. There really isn't even much distance to them so they aren't the air it out sort of open holes. Even the water carry doesn't do much for me here, though I can't put my finger on why. 5 across the depression and stream and towards a tucked away basket is probably the best of the bunch, but it's not especially memorable. The hole are gets points for extreme aesthetics with the pond framed by a solitary peak in the distance, but ultimately, that view is more interesting than the throws. Don't get me wrong. This course gets great, with epic holes that you won't see any place else. But it takes until hole 8 to get good.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Holy Hills Batman!!
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Full 18 hole course in small County park. Multiple tee pads and basket positions.
Ok, you all know about the mountains. You've heard of this course before. But after playing it a few times I am also impressed with the variety. The course warms you up nicely with a simple little 325' open shot over a small hill. But with the wind that seems to always be here it can be some fun. Hole 2 plays along a nice slope with some pines near the basket to add some risk. Then the fun starts. #3 is 400' over a pond from the longs. IMO the trees in front of the pad could use a little trimming because even if I had the arm for that shot I don't think the room is there. There is a short pad for your disc's safety.
Holes 4-7 all play mostly in the open with a few trees mixed in and the pond adding some excitement to the basket positions. A really nice set of fun, basic open holes to start the round. Very underrated. You could play a nice little 9 hole loop without ever venturing up the big bad mountains.
But why the heck would you come here if not for the mountains? Starting on #8 up you go. 8 plays to the tune of 443' of uphill fun. Challenging, but fair. From there you get a sweet 660' downhill bomb. Simply awesome. Out of the hills and into the field. The rest of this course takes you up and down and around the hills. It is a great workout, and offers a tremendous mix of shots. And yes, the chance to hike right back down after a bad roll or bounce. Mixed in there are some nice tunnel shots and some truly unique features. The rhododendrons on #11 have caused me to shake my head every time I play here. From the tee you are forced to throw a shot straight somewhere around 250' or so and lay up in front of a wall of rhodo's. Then you have an open zone followed by another wall of rhodo's, followed by the basket. It's a strange hole that seems to beg for a thumber or tomahawk. But even that can be tough. I wouldn't want to face a bunch of holes like that, but once is OK. It is truly unique.
The other nice aspect of Ashe County's variety is the hole length and shape. It never gets repetitive. There are lefts, rights and straight tunnel shots. There are shots totally in the woods, and shots that start in the woods and come out to open grass. There are shots that go from woods to open to woods again. There are baskets by water and basket on hillsides. There are baskets you can reach from the tee, and holes most of us won't ever dream of even hitting in 2 shots. Just well done.
Cons: I am not a big fan of the net on 16. I completely understand nets or mandos for safety, but to cover a perceived course design flaw is kind of weak. It doesn't spoil the hole, but just reeks of a know it all trying to dictate the shots at that location.
Quick Update - Rumor has it the net might be to contain errant discs. Seems there might be a problem with errant throws going into a neighboring property. I didn't see it, but that may be the case.
Other Thoughts: It seems to me this course gets forgotten a little when people talk about NC mountain golf. There are a lot of great options and Jefferson can be a little out the way. Sure there's more to do in Asheville when playing nearby Richmond Hill. But if you are simply looking for a great mountain disc golf course in a public park this is it.
When you are up in this area be sure to check out the Ashe County Cheese Factory in West Jefferson. It not only has tons of cool unique cheese, it has salsa, sauces, jerky, and snacks galore. Plus a candy shop for the kids. If you are looking to clog some arteries it is your spot! Plus right down the road is Boondocks. It is a cool little brewery/bar and grill. They usually have several good local brews plus a handfull of other craft beers. And rumor has it the burgers are tasty too.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is, by far, one of my favorite courses to play, thus far in my disc golf game. The scenery is beautiful and the course is amazing. A great variety of distances and baskets. I'm pretty new to disc golf and while I found this course insanely tough for my skill level, I enjoyed the challenge and look forward to playing it again. Expect to go swimming on 3 if you don't play it to the left bank unless you can park it right under the basket, which is merely a few feet from the water's edge.
Cons: Nothing that I found detrimental to this course. There were a few areas that were a little swampy and a few others that were very thick with thorns but that's what happens if you go off the lines here. Finding discs is tough.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
The High Country
21 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Layout - Ashe is a very solid course played out on a mixture of terrains that gives you a little bit of everything and a few moments of pure awesome.
2 sets of tees and multiple pins on some holes. I played the longs for reference.
I think the best thing about Ashe is how balanced the course is. The front 9 plays out in a more open/sparse tree, rolling hills type terrain. The back 9 finishes with a more wooded and mountain type terrain.
The entire course also has a nice balance in terms of hole length. The front 9 is mostly par 3's but mixes up some shorter shots with more open bombs. The back 9 mixes in more higher par holes but demands more accuracy on those lengths.
Great par 3's that are very well designed. The real strength of this course is in the par 3 designs. Everything from the angles of the lines to how the greens are shaped seems exactly how it should be. The lines force different shots and make you think about how the disc is landing while also giving you freedom to be a bit creative.
Solid par 4's. With the exception of 9 & 18 the par 4's and 5 are nothing amazing but very solid and force an accurate gap hitting shot off the tee with good placement for the next shot.
As I've mentioned the elevation here is used in multiple ways. The rolling hills area was designed nicely. When you get up in to the more severe slopes you get some lines over valleys, up, down and way way down.
I liked the greens and basket placements, made you think about where to land but wasn't overly fast causing unlucky rolls.
The course blends in two elements I like but rarely see on courses. There are some holes that force low lines along elevation that makes you think about the height of your disc more than the lateral positioning. It also has a hole that forces an up an over shot.
There's also the small pond that comes in to play on three holes. It's used well in the design and mixes it up. One shot over, one up to and one along side.
Really good flow to the course for the most part, there are a couple weird walks for first timers and a few uphill hikes but it comes with the territory.
Multiple signature holes. The first is 3 with a huge bomb over the pond. The second is 9 with the top of the world shot. Really you could make the case for others but those were my top two.
Equipment - Concrete pads in the lowlands and the rubber hexagon pads in the hills. I really like this mixture because the concrete pads would be slick up in the wooded mountains. They're large and work great.
Great tee signs with pictures of the hole and good directional signage letting you know which path to take. There's also a course map and amazing scorecards at the beginning.
Benches, and yes you will be using them after some of the walks.
Atmosphere - One of the nicest public parks with a course I've seen so far. You've got the beautiful lush grass on hills at the bottom with a quaint little pond then you get up in to some prime Appalachian terrain at the top.
The park also has a lot of other amenities and features that would be great for the whole family. I wish I could of spent more time exploring the rest of it.
Cons: Layout - There are a few less inspiring holes on the course but they're still very solid in design. I do wish a par 4 could of been squeezed out in the open area.
Like many I'm not a fan of #10 the mando hole. It's a gimmick and takes away from the place.
It can be quite easy to lose a disc here, not only because you're throwing off huge hills but because off the fairways there is dense vegetation.
Some weird transitions and walks but the course points them out nicely so you don't get lost.
Equipment - The tee signs are nice but I wish they had something at the long pads as well.
Atmosphere - The briers and poison ivy are rampant in parts. You might find some people in your way in parts of the course, especially around the pond.
Other Thoughts: I had a great time at this course not only because it's so beautiful but because it has a bunch of really awesome shots. I highly recommend playing this course, it's probably the best public mountain course NC has to offer.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: This course is set in a beautiful park with an extremely broad range of shot requirements. The High Country Disc Golf Championships made the whole experience of playing this course multiple times from shorts and longs an absolute blast.
Cons: There is a lot of climbing. Not so much a con considering the payoff.
Other Thoughts: If you were asked by a new player what the best disc golf experience could possibly be, playing this course is what you would describe.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
WOW! Just WOW!!!
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -This place is amazing! The land is beautiful!, it consists of epic holes and it is very family friendly! It has a playground and a fishing pond but the disc golf course is maybe the most noticable thing at the park.
-The tee pads are very large, I'm doing the tournament tomorrow so I was very worried that they wouldn't be big enough and I was wrong. I had 0 foot faults. They are maybe 13' long!
-Teesigns are beside the short tees, even though there are no teesigns by the longs, the next tee signs are very helpful, I never got lost even on the long transitions because they help you get there. The long tees do have signage and it is not great but on the teesigns, it shows were the long tees are. I promise you won't get lost!
-Breathtaking shots!! Particularly #9 and #18! Just from the shorts they have elevation drops of 65+ feet. If that's a lot for you, just wait until you play #18 LONG! That hole's drop is HUGE! Well over 100 ft. As awesome as those two are, the are out of the woods and a throw with a driver will have a major turn left.
-#11 is really sick as well! Especially to the long pin position. You start off with a crazy corridor shot and you throw over not one but two rows of rhododendrons. It's a par 5 and only 471' feet long. You may think you could easily eagle that but let me just say, going for it can get you an 8 or worse.
-There are restrooms beside #10.
-I remember a few benches. I sat down on #15's. You will need to sit for a moment because this course is super hilly.
-The mando on #7 didn't bother me at all actually. I birdied that hole. The tee is by the pond and the mando prevents you from bothering people who fish. It also keeps you in play :).
-#9 and #18 are not the only hilly holes, the elevation (particularly on the back tees) is drastic! If you have read most of my reviews, you probably know that I love hilly courses. #6, #8 and #14 are all uphill holes, #14 in particular. #14 is uphill all the way until you get to the basket and #15 long drops over 50 ft and rises about 60 ft! #17 long is also majorly uphill!
-#16 is a very cool, downhill gauntlet! It only has one tee but this hole doesn't need a back tee as it is already punishing enough. I thought it was an awesome hole even though I double bogeyed it. As difficult as it is, if you land in the woods, it's not terribly hard to get out of.
-In the annual High Country Throwdown (I'm doing tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!) instead of re-teeing if you miss the mando, you have a drop zone in front of the mando so you won't risk getting a huge number. Also, the road on #9 is not OB.
-This course is in the Top 25 and you don't have to pay to play! WOW! There are many courses that are not as good as Ashe and you still have to pay to play them. Be grateful that you don't have to because I'd definitely pay to play this course!
Cons: -I got a couple complaints. the woods can be pretty dangerous to get into, especially #12's woods. If my starfire stayed straight, I would have been super close but it didn't and it was under a cluster of thorns and I'm also worried about copperheads. I didn't lose it, I didn't lose any discs but there is a good chance that you will.
-I think #10 long's through and under mando is a little silly. It's alright though, the drop zone is right behind it so if you miss it in a tournament, you won't miss it again. But still, it has no purpose, #7's does. #10 also needs to be cleared out behind the basket. I liked the hole but it's a little silly but it's still fun nevertheless!
Other Thoughts: -This course is amazing and I will say this, if you get the chance to play Ashe County, you don't blow it. I'd give this course a 4.8 and that is rounded up to a 5 but on this website, a 5 is perfect and this course is on the edge of perfection but I can only give it a 4.5. I have waited a while to play it and now I did and the tournament has not started. This is my favorite course now and I could not be more excited about the tournament tomorrow!! There is not one hole I disliked here. I loved it!
-A mountain course is always a course I would desperately want to play, wishlist this course if you haven't and find time to play it if you can. It's not in the top 25 for nothing! Cause it's hilly, it has all variety and it is very scenic. If you think the Charlotte courses are amazing, just wait until you come here! It has so many amazing holes.
- #3 long, sweet risky shot over the water. This hole is over 400 feet but plays a bit less.
-#6, WOW, you can throw through a seem in the woods or hyzer around it.
-#9, Downhill isn't enough to describe this hole, it's major downhill out of the woods and a slightly uphill approach shot to the green.
-#13, Very cool dogleg right that goes out of the woods.
-#15 long, WOW, what an amazing, wooded over the valley shot. This hole is breathtaking.
-#18, Want something more major downhill than #9, here you go, a truly amazing finishing hole.
-If you think those are the only great holes then you are so mistaken. Every hole on this course is fun. I'm SO glad I live in North Carolina because it has some amazing courses and this is probably the best in NC. There are many breathtaking tee shots which are also amazing views! You got to come play this course! It's too great to miss! Keep in mind that it's in the top 25 and most finishing holes do not end like #18. You might not have played any holes as good as some of the holes here. One of the holes at Ashe may be the best one that you have played! You have to come, my friends from church were going to play this course but instead, they settled for skiing. Don't settle for something else if you get the chance to play Ashe County.
Props to DSCJNKY! He won the 2013 High Country Championship with a -10 score. Charlie Coleman also shot -10 but they had a three hole playoff. The open players played the first round from the longs, second from the shorts and third from the longs. Dave Wert, a grandmaster shot -11 but the grandmasters played two rounds from the shorts. If you can, take a moment to congratulate DSCJNKY because he really made it look easier than it really is, with some long drives, good putts and he play safely when he needed to. Don't ask me about my score because I brought my D- game during the tourney but it was all me, this course is awesome and I will do the tourneys every year, and I'm not crossing that out and settling for something else. Harold Duvall has issued an amazing course!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: This is an outstanding course nestled neatly in the Appalachian Mountains. What strikes you first is how well elevation and the woods is used in the layout of this course, something I think some courses could really use. On hole 18 you literally drive off the side of a mountain almost 500+ feet down. There are also multiple lines and the holes are versatile in how you want to play your game. This best part however is most of the time crowds are very low.
Cons: The possibility of losing discs is very high especially in the summer.
Other Thoughts: This course truly is a hidden gem and if possible everyone should play
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Mix of Elevation
Pros: Great layout overall. The first seven holes on the front play pretty open while the back nine are all in the woods. Most holes have two tee pads, 15 has an incredible pro look across a deep valley on the side of a mountain.
A lot of skill is required for the pro tees unless you get really lucky, which happens more than you think. An alternate route is available after #7 that keeps you out of the woods and back to the parking lot.
One of the best, most versatile layouts I've played in the area. I have never seen it really busy so that is a major plus.
Cons: Both extremes of the seasons tend to be unfavorable to blind landings. The summer is beautiful but the green essence of the forest on the back 9 can disguise a lot of dark colored discs. The late-fall/winter causes the trees to drop what seems like 6 inches of leaves. If you happen to throw a shot that runs parallel to the slope of a hill, beware, it probably is buried deep.
The lake seems refreshing in the warmer days, but rest assure that it caters to loch ness monsters and dead fish. If you muster up the courage to retrieve your sunken disc, don't say I didn't warn you. Ha.
Other Thoughts: Even though this happens to be my home course, I feel very strongly about the quality of game here. It plays rather challenging but in my eyes, that is only going to make you a better golfer. Be wise about the discs you throw, especially when water is in play, and you'll come out feeling great.
The only other comment I am going to add is: holes 9 and 18 are TIGHT, straight fairway shots, down a mountain, with an elevation change of approx. 175-200ft!!! Choose a disc that has a low loft or be prepared to search in the woods for hours if you don't nail a straight drive.
Have fun and enjoy the mountain of North Carolina!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
The course everyone can enjoy!
Pros: This course is well designed and offers a little bit of everything- open, grassy fairways with few trees, and denser technical woods; holes of all lengths; right, straight, left; holes with options and holes with only 1 way to go; flat, moderate hills, relatively steep up and down; ace runs to hard-earned par 3's to maybe even a couple of legit par 4's due to strategic shot placement.
2 sets of tees, a couple holes had a pro (UNC blue) in addition to regular basket. Two 8's and 9's- the 8-9 to the left is more advanced, the 8a-9a to the right is easier, but still good and challenging holes (no good way to play all 4 in a single round without a long walk). These aspects are what make this course accessible to many different skill levels.
The front 9 is more open playing around the pond and a creek, then the back goes into the woods and up the mountain, with #18 playing all the way back down to the bottom and out into the open- fun finishing hole. I like that each hole is unique and has its own challenge, and that the difficulty seemed to increase overall throughout the round. This course is a great test of your skills and you will need a solid variety of shots.
Great baskets, tees, signs, scorecard, practice basket, kiosk- it is all here. The course was clean and I don't remember any signs or baskets missing or broken. Navigation for first timers is pretty good, a little confusing in some spots due to the multiple tees and the optional 8a-9a loop, but not hard to figure out with the map on the scorecard. Great explanation of grounds rules on the scorecard about water, roads, OB, etc. for each hole. In fact- this is the best scorecard I have ever seen- and thanks to the sponsors (I was shocked to see the sponsor for hole 1 and 18 was from the town of my home course- Smyrna, TN about 350 miles away!)
Before you get to the course parking lot there is a really nice restroom in the lot on the right- a welcome sight after the very long and curvy mountain drive to get here.
Cons: Though I appreciated some of the easier holes to give me a break, there are a couple of holes that are just not up to the level of the rest of the course- 1, 4, and 10 for example (but I do like that the weakest holes are the first of each 9 and not a filler in the middle or, even worse, a terrible finishing hole.)
#11 Advanced basket makes no sense. There is no way to get there, and you will not find it on your first round there until you walk to the next hole- maybe. A helicopter would be helpful to drop you down into the area where the basket is if you happen to throw a blind tomahawk that lands near it. I recommend playing the regular basket as this is still a tough hole.
Lots of people swimming and fishing that could get in the way of a few holes on the front.
This course is hard to get to from any Interstate, and there is no great road to get here- the road we took was up and down the mountains and curve after curve- pretty time consuming and could be nauseating for some. Allow plenty of driving time, the Internet and GPS may say it is only 20 miles away, but those 20 could take up to an hour!
Other Thoughts: Though in a park on the outskirts of the small town in the mountains of NC, you still never get that alone and out-in-nature-away-from-it-all feeling because of all the other park activities and people that never really get out of sight for long. However, this is one of the best parks courses out there. It just did not have that epic wow factor or extra special feel that would have me give it a 4.5+, but it is no less than a 4.0 for me, and I see why others have rated it higher. (Although if you go in thinking this is a perfect/top 10 course, you might be disappointed as it is not quite up to that level in my opinion.)
I would recommend this course to any disc golfer (other than beginners) as you can choose the level of difficulty on each hole that best suits you. Duvall did a fantastic job of building a course that is both fun and challenging for almost any skill level disc golfer- this is not an easy thing to do for sure. So, if you don't mind the drive, then come on and play!
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Worthy of a roadtrip
Pros: Very challenging, very pretty, nice use of water, pretty easy to navigate, multiple tees, some really scenic looks from the tees. This course has several holes which would be signature holes for other courses. The hole 11 with a drive to a landing zone where you have the fairway completely blocked with two stands of 15-20 foot high trees between you and the long basket. This was completely baffling to me as I have never seen anything like it--but that's what made it cool. They have a guestbook at the start and there were many players who were from the far reaches of the country who really liked the course, that is pretty neat, I mean you would kind of assume they didn't make the trip specifically for disc golf, but I think they had to go quite a way from their destination--I'm glad they enjoyed--
Cons: lots of uphill/downhill, test of endurance, with the massive downhills it is super tough to figure out where your disc landed as you can't really see it and shots that would normally be pretty straight end up 100's of feet right or left. I personally lost 3 discs in a round, a couple of which were ill advised water hazard shots, but one of which was a great drive (so I thought) on the big downhill that we looked and looked for but you couldn't really see where it landed
Other Thoughts: Would love to have this for a home course. Of the 40 or so NC courses I have played, this is probably my favorite
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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