In to the woods
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Layout - It's a 22 hole technical wooded course with three tees and a few rotating pins.
It's a bit longer than the other wooded technical courses in the Triangle. You'll find yourself letting your mids fly and pulling out a driver a time or two.
It's primarily a gap hitting course from the front two tees although there are a few holes where you'll want to place your shot well to set up an approach. Even the shorts here aren't that short, only a few holes are pitch and putt types and they're still through wooded fairways.
From the long tees you'll get a serious challenge. There's a lot of tight early gaps that'll make you think twice while you're also trying to place your shot nicely to set up an approach. The long tees are more of a survival test on some holes because they use the course elevation to really make things hard.
The different tees are done well, they give you a new look at the hole from each one.
There's a good amount of elevation changes on the course and it's used very well. A lot of times an errant tee shot will leave you looking at a long uphill approach to a tricky green area.
The greens are really nicely done here, they're challenging to hit and in a few places they'll make your putt challenging. Some are on hills and make you wary of rollaways.
There's a lot of doglegs on the course and some have some pretty tight lines on top of elevation changes. You'll need a variety of shots in your arsenal and the ability to be creative.
After the first 18 you hit Fore More which is four extra holes. These holes really change up the feeling of the course. Three are long and require a placement drive to setup a long approach or couple of approaches.
The entire course is full of risk/reward but the last four embody the term. If you try to bite of to much on your drive you'll pay and likely be shooting a high number. Especially on 21 which is a short mostly open shot but beware, the basket sits right on the edge of a 30' drop off.
The course flows well on top of everything, it's always pretty easy to see where you're going.
Equipment - Really good signage on this course. Explains each tee and shows you lines with distances. A few trashcans are located throughout the park.
Atmosphere - It's a nice wooded park that keeps you pretty secluded for the most part. It's seldom crowded and usually kept pretty clean from what I've seen. One of the better wooded areas for a course in the Triangle.
Cons: Layout - My main con for this course is that it gives you a lot of the same thing. Yeah the shots change up but it's all tight wooded shots. The scenery never really changes and it gets a big monotonous.
A lot of the fairways run right next to each other as well. I've never had a problem with it because the course is never really crowded but it could be a problem; that also goes along with the everything seems the same deal.
Equipment - For me the pads are to small here, you're making some solid drives out there and I like a bit more room for that. The baskets are aging as well.
Atmosphere - For me it's just a bit to wooded, I like to come out of the woods a bit on a course to get some balance. I know that's not everybody but for me one or two more open holes in a grassy field makes a course. There's no grass here until you hit 21 and that's about it.
Other Thoughts: Overall I like Valley and think it's a solid wooded technical course that offers different variety via different tees and pins.
It's not a must hit but it's a very solid course and worth a play if you're in the area.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: If you like tight, wooded courses, Valley Springs is the one for you. This now holds my unofficial record for least amount of grass seen growing on any course I've played.
- Course has multiple tee locations giving each hole different looks. Some holes also have multiple pin placements adding another element of variety.
- Course has a variety of hole layouts - good use of elevation to create some good up & down holes. Course really seemed to love dogleg holes, (it seemed to be an abnormally high amount of holes), but at least they went both directions.
- Course puts almost all its emphasis on accuracy instead of distance. From the two shorter layouts, even the average arms will only need mid-range discs off most tees.
- Great tee signs - clear, concise. A perfect example of what they should look like.
- Nice, big map on kiosk by first hole. Kiosk also clearly lists what pin placements the baskets are in. One of my DG pet peeves is when courses don't identify pin placements, so good job here for Valley Springs.
- A true risk/reward course. Play aggressive, and avoid trees, and you'll see lots of birdie chances. Play aggressive and hit trees, and you'll start seeing bogeys or worse on your scorecard. Some holes really punish bad shots that go into the woods, leaving you only a shot to get back into the fairway instead of advancing towards the basket.
Cons: Valley Springs has one enormous flaw that stuck out so much to me, it took away from the overall quality of the course, and my playing experience.
- The course layout is way, way, way too tight. Not the holes themselves, but the spacing between holes. Many holes play next to another one with less than 20 feet, and several trees between fairways. When you have a shot sail only slightly right or left, and land in another hole's fairway, it's too narrow. The one time I played the course, there were 4 holes where the group ahead or behind me had a shot land in my fairway (or the edge of it), or my shot landed in their fairway.
- Another example of too much in too small is space is the netting that protects the teepad for #7 from the #6 fairway. When you need to put up a net for the safety of players, it's a sign of being too tight.
- The signage between holes could be better. Again with the holes so close, there's some confusion because there are so many paths that lead to multiple holes.
- I didn't notice many benches or trash cans throughout the course. A few more, especially on the back 9, would be a nice touch.
- No water fountains or restrooms once you're on the course, just back at the parking lot. The bathroom was in really poor shape, which was a little surprising for such a well-used park.
Other Thoughts: If this course was spaced out better, this would be a really good course and I'd understand why so many people have given 3.5+ ratings.
- Again, I have nothing against fairways so close or overlapping (many courses I've played have close fairways like Sugaw Creek and New Quarter Park), but there were too many here. I almost felt the thin line of trees might have made it worse, because you couldn't see discs flying your direction, or into your fairway, until they landed. I feel this could be a big problem when the course is packed.
- I feel that if there was enough room to add four more holes, they could have instead spaced out the original 18 and eliminated the problem.
- This is a good course that really offers a challenge. It reminds me of a lighter version of Johnson Street Park in High Point. It's definetly worth checking out, just keep an eye out for flying discs.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
B = Better Than Average
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up (From the long tees):
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- B (Too may holes have a wierd shape that makes no sense to go for it. That leaves a strategy of putter, putter, putter....not so hot. Risk is too high to go for a next-to-impossible reward.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- B (half the holes seemed good, the othter half....see #1)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- A- (Great use of topography.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- A- (very nice!)
5) Bonus amount for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- C- (The 1-2 I remember did not add any thing but more length - nothing in the "strategery" department)
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I can add anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me….that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Very Nice Woods Course
Pros: Nice woods course with multiple tee pads and pin positions on every hole. Many different throws required. Very good use of elevation changes. Every hole is secluded from each other. The original setup is a little short but very fun and still chalenging due to how tight it is. The longer tee pads are quite a challenge and anything under par is admirable. There are also a set of short tees for each hole which are great for beginners or kids. There is not usually much traffic on the course except for the wildlife.
Cons: Hard to find discs this time of year due to the leaves.
Tee signs are missing or homemade and are one of the biggest negatives of the course.
Other Thoughts: Very fun tight woods course that you should make time to play if in the area.
There is another layout called the Bluffs course which is currently being installed. It is going to be a lot bigger and longer with several new exclusive holes.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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