Bring your wading shoes
Pros: - Fantastically maintained course, clean of both brush and trash. Its in a mature pine forest, so you don't really get much of that nasty underbrush problem that a lot of heavily wooded courses have.
- WATER! Not many courses utilize water hazards, so its a treat to play one that does with some frequency. Makes for great scenery and a new sort of anxiety on your drives.
- Played with a friend who hasn't played much disc golf. Holes were reasonably distanced and reasonably open so both of us had a good time, while still presenting some decent challenge
- Favorite throw was #17 over the pond. Straight shot through some open woods, hit the gap near the pond and make sure you put enough mustard on it to make it over the water. I missed acing it by a foot or two and ended up about 8-10 feet behind the hole, but its a nerve-racking throw until you see it land.
Cons: - Not much variety in hole design from the white tees, which is what we played. Almost entirely straight or RHBH hyzer, almost all in the woods. There are a few RHBH anhyzer holes thrown in, but not many.
- While I love the fact that water is in play, several baskets are in my opinion unreasonably close to the water hazards that make this course unique.
- #8, I believe it was, is short, has water directly behind the basket, and a big fricking bridge directly in your path to the basket for what seems to me to be no good reason. There is simply no comfortable way to go around that stupid bridge. Really ruined what would have otherwise been a good hole.
- #9 is so swampy its not really fun. Not a whole lot of truly dry ground to work with once you're out of the woods near the tee.
- #15 needs warning signs that there is deep water DIRECTLY behind the basket. Do NOT try to ace this hole, because unless you throw a 1 in a million shot if you clear that hill looking for an ace on the fly your disc WILL end up going for a swim and be gone in that nasty, and immediately deep pond. Buddy lost one of my discs behind it because we had no idea that a mere yard or so behind the basket on top of the steep hill that pond was lurking.
Other Thoughts: All in all, a very enjoyable course, and if I lived in the southern Raleigh region I would probably play Buckhorn quite a bit. Just be prepared to lose a disc or two, any mistakes near the water hazards will be punished severely by this course.
Oh, and if nuclear power plants creep you out or something, stay away. Directly across the lake is the massive Harris Lake nuclear power plant, billowing huge clouds out of the stack. I thought it was pretty awesome looking, but I know some people don't want to be anywhere near one of them.
Pros: Buckhorn DGC is a wonderful disc golf course. I liked the variation from hole to hole. Mainly wooded, but with reasonable fairways and moderate elevation change on several holes. Mix of short and long distance, with 3 par 4's if you play the blue tees. Both left and right turning shots are represented, with a couple of serious doglegs, as well as some straight shots. Really good layout that keeps the shot making interesting and minimizes walks from one hole to the next. There is a warm up hole between the practice basket and the first hole. It was nice that most of the course is shaded on a hot summer day. There is water in play on a few holes. Equipment was excellent, and you can see the staff of the park crew takes their work seriously. Scorecards were available near the first tee. Tees were large, level concrete pads, with good signs. Baskets all looked to be in good condition. The course was bone dry when I played, but wooden footbridges had been installed to get across areas that tend to stay muddy after rain. I saw no trash on the ground. My favorite holes were 8, 9, 10 and 17. All have water to contend with. 8 is a short birdie opportunity, down hill with the lake lurking just behind the pin. Making the turn by the lake, 9 & 10 both play along the shore, with tall reeds punishing bad drives or unlucky ricochets. 17 is a longer hole, downhill, with a pond before the green. I would like to see someone going for it off the tee, but I chose to lay up a mid range on the landing zone in front of the pond and play it safe.
Cons: May be unfriendly to new players, due to water hazard on several holes, and some kind of thick woods in areas. Signs prohibit swimming and wading in the water, so retrieving those lost to the water may not be possible. I was not able to play hole 15, because there was a crew installing a bridge over the fairway in an area that held water after rainstorms. It looked like a fun hole, kind of the opposite of 8, shorter and uphill with a basket atop a dam and the pond directly behind it. There were not any trash cans on the course, so pack out what you carry in. They are available at the parking lot. I don't remember seeing benches at the tees, but there may be a couple.
Other Thoughts: Buckhorn is a real beauty, I kind of felt like I was in Springfield as I looked at the massive nuclear cooling tower across the lake on hole 9. I almost wanted to drop a fishing line in to see if I could pull Blinky out. A fun and well maintained course that you should absolutely play if you get a chance.
Great blend of fun and challenge
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Buckhorn plays through a mature pine forest and near/over water on several occasions. It's set in a beautiful park and is the type of course that I would love to have as my home course - a good challenge without being a brutal beat down. I enjoy playing among pine trees because there is often little undergrowth. The park was very scenic and well-kept with virtually no trash or rough to lose discs in.
The best part of the course is that it caters to many different levels and is an almost perfect balance of challenge and fun. You play in thick woods but the holes are forgiving if you miss your line and you will have endless recovery options; there aren't any pitch-outs here. The water that comes into play in the form of a lake (holes 8-11) and pond (15 and 17) is also a great example of this. While the water definitely provides some scary drives and approaches, there are ways to lay up and take a less risky approach. This gives you great risk/reward options.
The two tee positions also do a nice job of changing difficulty and looks. The white tees allow you to constantly make birdie runs and the blue tees make you fight for a birdie or par. The concrete tees were very long and in good shape.
I enjoyed choosing from the multiple lines that were offered on some of the holes. There was usually a clearer lane, but you could still get by if you didn't always hit the main one.
The navigation was easy with very little walking between holes.
Again, this is a very scenic park with the tall pines and great views of the lake. A nice place just to hike through.
Not a ton of elevation, but it was used when present. The course begins with some fun downhill shots and there are some cool pin positions that play on slopes. 15, especially, is a fun ravine type shot with a pin on top of a slope and a pond right behind it. It's well-designed in that it's short enough to tempt you to make an ace run, but landing more than a few feet away from the basket could be dangerous.
Cons: You're not going to use your high speed drivers too much. 17 may have been the only one I did. This is a fairly short course with 11 holes being <303' from the long tees.
I really enjoyed the water holes, but if even if your disc falls in close to the edge, you're most likely not going to find it between the thick algae and tall grass.
As I said, I'd love to have this as a home course, and it seems that the locals love it here too. Lots of groups playing during a Wednesday evening.
You had to walk through part of 18's fairway to get to 17.
While I'm not complaining about my own personal preference, it did seem to have a lot of RHBH hyzers/a few too many similar holes in the woods.
Other Thoughts: This is definitely a course where you can both learn the game as well as still be challenged after many rounds here. This is the kind of place where you can play a casual round with your buddies but you will still have to execute some specific shots and pay attention to your game. A welcoming course still without being too chucker-friendly. Definitely a must play if you're in the area and a great compliment to the less forgiving Rock Ridge only 20 or so minutes away.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: My four-word review: Buckhorn is a BEAST.
Tons of fun to play. Very challenging. Tight and technical with fantastic water carry holes. My favorite was #10.
The things I look for in a course are difficulty, fairness, variety, elevation, risk/reward, multiple ways to play holes, and the aesthetics of the surroundings. Buckhorn gets an "A" in all of these categories.
Cons: My only con is the bugs. Nothing you can do about this, but wear bug spray and be prepared to battle mosquitoes, giant horseflies and who knows what else...in addition to this monster of a course.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Watch OUT on 15!!!!!!
0 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: I really liked the course and had a fun time playing... Until hole 15. See cons.
Cons: Very very bummed to walk up to the basket on 15 after an ace run and find that I lost one of my favorite discs in the water.... Need a huge sign at the tee warning about the water behind the basket.
0 of 15 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 17 Not
Very lefty unfriendly!
Pros: Nice level tees. Clearly defined fairways. Beautiful woods. Lots of parking.
Cons: This is a righty centric course. It has no balance at all. There are a couple of "lefty holes", but they have wide fairways and don't favor lefty's that much. There are three difficult water holes on the course, all with OB, deep water on the right side. They are super easy natural hyzer shots for RHBH, and very difficult for LHBH. The course designer simply had no imagination. It's like they set up each hole with a left fade in mind. As some others have pointed out, the hole with the basket perched on the damn in front of the pond is interesting, but it's really silly that a chain out ace run would result in a circle 3. And anyone putting from below the damn for the first time might not realize that there is deep water directly behind the pin, and even a slight overshot will result in a lost disc.
Other Thoughts: Lefty's beware! Beginners beware, you will lose plastic in the water.
3 of 20 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Want to return
Pros: Great wooded course in almost total isolation from the rest of the world. There was almost no undergrowth and the fairways are more than adequately wide. From this perspective I would equate Buckhorn to be an equivalent of Kilborne in Charlotte EXCEPT there is water that comes into play both with carries and along a few of the fairways. Water almost always acts as a magnet for my discs!
I played the short tees (alas I had tweaked my back a few days earlier and was operating at about 60%). The longer pads simply added distance (30' to 150') and challenge for most of the holes but did not radically change the shape of the shot; hole 16 was the exception which was an acute dogleg from the long and a relatively straight shot from the shorts; hole 10's short pad allowed a non-water carry but water still was a major factor.
The course was exceptionally clean despite a lack of trashcans (only few were near the beginning); it was obvious the frequent players were responsible to keep it clean. AND, there actually were score cards available at the first tee (always nice)!
Cons: Most of the holes felt like they had about the same shot shape for the drive favoring the RHBH hyzer; those that required a little turnover were near the end of the fairway (approach shots for me). Many repetitive feeling shots.
I found myself searching for the next tee on many of the holes (and I had a printed schematic map). There was one next tee directional sign I noticed on hole 14 or 15.
I found the concrete tee pads a little lacking--they were plenty big enough but were more that roughly textured (not brushed but textured by the work end of a rake), I nearly tripped on a few of them.
Other Thoughts: Although not really close to any of the other "triangle" area courses, it is a very solid course that should be on the itinerary of any serious disc golfer when in the area. I want to play it again when my back is in better condition (I might bump the rating up another notch if I felt better).
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Feels Just Like Carolina
9 Helpful / 18 Not
Pros: There are so many courses like Buckhorn in central North Carolina, though none as well imagined or constructed. Nice, clean lines on well defined fairways. Perfectly delineated paths leading from hole to hole. It doesn't bring much that hasn't been done before. It just does it a bit better than most.
The one thing that Buckhorn has that other similar courses don't is water. There's not a ton of it. Most holes look like the shore might be miles away. But what it has comes into play quite a bit. The water here is not just aesthetic. There's a pair of holes down by the edge of the lake, where the best path is to hang the disc over the marsh and then fade it left. There is one where a small pond will punish you for being too aggressive towards the basket. Finally, you throw directly over that pond, in a shot which gives you the chance to make a long carry from the tee or lay up to the water's edge for an easier toss across the pond.
Other than that, there aren't a lot of memorable holes here but they are almost all solid. Challenging and fair, it will be tough to stay in the fairway but if you do, there are no single trees left in the middle of your flight path. Good play is rewarded.
It's a bit out of the way. It's farther from the cities of the Triangle than many courses. But it's definitely worth the extra travel.
Cons: At the same time, while all the holes are solid, few are memorable, and there is a lot of sameness about many of them. This can be a good thing, if you like what you see. But you should know after the first fairway what the majority of holes will be like.
16 and 18 are both strange holes that I did not really care for. They turn at very strange angles (16 is extremely sharp at a very early juncture) essentially to "get to" certain places. 16 takes the path to get from 15 to 17, the two holes that use the pond. 18 is the only way to get from said hole to somewhere near the beginning. It's probably a net positive as it allows the two more memorable holes, but it makes for a strange ending to the course. (And the OB on 16? I say if someone wants to go through those woods and avoid the oddly shaped fairway, it's on them.)
Other Thoughts: The two sets of tees actually does a nice job of providing two distinct difficulties. Those far tees are far. They probably the most challenge that a player will find for 50 miles in any direction.
9 of 27 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Quality Wooded Course
Pros: 18 hole course set in a wooded, secluded corner of a large park, close to edge of a lake.
- Secluded - Very serene, nice setting in a quiet, wooded, shaded section of woods in a park with many large, mature trees
- Not crowded when I was there (weekday morning), but appeared to be plenty of parking with a short walk to the first hole
- Bulletin board/kiosk for club/league postings as well as warnings about ticks (no course map when I was there - see "other thoughts")
- Navigation was pretty simple, regardless
- Mailbox near tee #1 houses scorecards for the taking
- Benches and trash cans in a few spots
- Solid tee signs showing colored hole map and distance for each tee pad on each hole
- Multiple tee pads on each (most?) hole to a single basket position - allows for variety if you're a frequent player or short tees can be a good intro to wooded courses for newer players
- Concrete tee pads
- Some tight wooded lines create the necessity for precise shots - there's a bunch of everything here - left and right shots - subtle elevation changes that aren't greuling
- Water throw-overs on #9, 10, 11, 17 - nice change-up as these are more open than the rest of the course (well, 17 is still wooded/tight), but still have a lot of risk - #9, 10 and 11 are over the marshy shore line of the big lake, while #17 is over a nasty, funky pond with the pin perched just on the opposite shore
- Nice course maintenance - no trash, well-defined paths, boards over a couple wet spots or ditches, stairs/planks on #15 help get up to the berm, etc.
- Basket #18 brings you right back to the parking lot
- I thought hole #1 was a terrifc opening hole - nice long, wide tunnel with a generous green near some sporadic trees
- Loved hole #8, short little par 3 pitch to a pin perched up rocks with the lake looming close behind with rocks/ditches creating for some interesting footing on your putt if you come up short
Cons: - Only played the long tees, but I remember many of the short tees being along the same lines - I like having the short tees create some new lines or looks
- Decent amount of loose underbrush creates some potential for lost discs - spent about 20 minutes looking for my drive on #4 that hugged the left side a bit too much and didn't make the turn
- Warning for ticks was right on - found 2 crawling on me when I got done
- Course map doesn't show water throwover on hole #9, but it is definitely there
- A lot of people seem to like #15's pin perched right on the edge of the pond - in and of itself, that is fine (like pin #8) - however, I don't like how you have essentially to shoot up a small cliff at the basket (big ditch in front) and anything long you lose in the drink - tough holes are fine, but there is nowhere to truly layup and getting aggressive could cost you a disc - if the area in front of the green was more equal elevation, I think I would like this more
- Maybe there's a reason, but the random roped-off section of OB on hole #18 seemed kind of silly
- Some tee pads aren't as flush with the ground as they could/should be
Other Thoughts: - Can't decide if I like hole #16 or not - short pitch, then 90+ degree left turn to another long "fairway" - definitely unique and forces a precise "drive", but for some reason I felt annoyed not really being able to go in the direction of the pin off the tee
- No course map online or at site when I played, but I now see that a course map has been added to this site. Although it's not overly detailed, I think a map is a must for all top courses
- Nice view out over the lake on holes 8, 9, 10, 11 - somewhat spoiled by the nuclear plant exhaust stack on the other side...
- I believe this park/course actually closes at dark
This was a very nice course that presented some interesting challenges. The woods make you play very precise golf and the holes at the lake and pond create some danger. Definitely a great stop during my visit to the Triangle.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 14 Not
Grab your swim trunks
Pros: Its a beautiful course with a lot of terrain and elevation changes. A good mix of short and long holes. Easy to score under par on every hole. Good for any skill level.
Cons: The swamp, its nasty and will eat your disc.
1 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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