5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Course makes excellent use of the terrain and lakes with a wide variety of hole layouts and shot types. The lake holes always make me nervous about losing a disc but they provide great views and fun shots.
It is a heavily wooded course that provides a good sense of isolation because it rarely has a lot of people playing. The woods make for a very tight course that can be pretty punishing if one strays from the fairways, especially from the blue tees. The positive here is that, from any tee, a good score is an accomplishment.
Baskets are in good condition, there is little to no undergrowth, and almost all holes have signs with blue and white lengths and hole diagrams (as of April 2009 several signs are missing from their posts though, stolen?). There are red, white, and blue tees that (unlike many courses) are appropriately scaled for the skill levels associated with them.
Cons: The lakes provide beautiful scenery. However, the inlet around the middle of the course is very swampy and smells terrible. The smell also goes for the pond that the last few holes surround (it is also covered in moss) and small streams that are around.
Hole #15 is particularly frustrating for me. The basket is up a large and very steep rise (10 feet above the ground from the direction you're coming). This would be fine except the rise has only about 6 feet deep of landing area before the pond starts and part of the landing area slopes into the pond. So it's too easy to either have the disc somehow bounce or roll back down the rise or into the pond. The pond wouldn't be terrible if it didn't immediately drop 2 feet or so. It is extremely murky so it's hard to find a disc, and considering the depth, extract it. With a deeper landing or a shallower pond this wouldn't be such a con, but as it is I just never have a good feeling about throwing at this basket.
Other Thoughts: This is a very expansive park with plenty of walking/hiking/biking trails, fishing, and picnic areas. Nice place to get away for a while.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 7 Not
B = Be too long for me to fully enjoy
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- A-
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- C+
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- A-
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- A
5) Multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- C
Cons: OK, I admit it.....I am a lefty :)
That does not help my opinion - especially the water holes.
Other Thoughts: I ranked this course subjectively based on my own personal enjoyment factor…more accurately my "personal addiction factor". 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 tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they chose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I say adds 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. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
4 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Challenging but fun course
-Aesthetically pleasing w/ views of Harris Lake on several holes
-Other water holes w/ smaller ponds
-Score cards available at hole #1 (sometimes)
-Variety of shots can be utilized and are needed. Anhyzers, hyzers, thumbers, tomahawks, etc...
-Low traffic. Meaning you do not feel pressure to rush through holes. Usually you can take your time and enjoy all the course has to offer.
-Pro & Am tee pads (concrete). Regardless of whether you play from the Pro or Am tee boxes the course will challenge your skills. Each hole changes significantly depending on which box you choose to throw from.
-Course is wooded which provides shade in the summer
Cons: -Can be a morale crusher to less experienced players due to the length and difficulty of many of the holes. Actually it can be a morale crusher for any experience level. Several water holes do provide quite a challenge.
Other Thoughts: Fun course but your first trip or two can cost you some discs. A friend and I played the course for the first time a few years back. By the 9th hole we were forced to leave because we had lost all of our discs except our putters. We lost what was our entire disc supply at that time except for two puters:) A day I will never forget! Not a beginners course per se but all skill levels should enjoy. More advanced players may have a better appreciation for the challenge. GO PLAY THE COURSE
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Tough woods course
Pros: Buckhorn is not a course for the faint of heart. This is the epitome of a technical woods course. Not overly long - but there are definitley a few "longer" holes requiring good power and EXTREMELY accurate placement to set you up for an approach. There is also a nice combination of left and right turns that force you to perform and be very deliberate with the flight of your disc.
I like the overall balance of this course - as there are definitely a few dinkers you just gotta get, a few more medium shots that are there to get if you execute properly, and a few that you either execute - or you pay the piper.
Well kept, well marked, decent tees, great challenge.
Cons: It's an 18 hole circuit - you don't return to the parking lot during the round - not a big CON, but one to be prepared for.
Slightly remote - also not a big CON - but also one to consider as you plan your travel - Buckhorn IS a little off the beaten path. Being that this is a tighter/technical course - I can't see it being beginner friendly.
Other Thoughts: Buckhorn is the course that forced the Raleigh Area Disc League (RADL) to abandon Cedar Hills as part of the X Town Classic. It is plainly a step above Cedar Hills in both overall quality, and in difficulty. Nice mix of tight and tighter. Nice use of water hazards, nice test of skill. If you're not a woods player - you probably wouldn't rate this course as highly as I have. If you are a woods player, you will immediately appreciate what Buckhorn has to offer. Definitely worth a visit, and one of the courses responsible for the high caliber players coming out of this part of NC.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Very well maintained course. Very challenging course. scorecards are set up in the mailbox at the first course. Very long with lots of walking and scenery to look at.
Cons: A few holes with water that can be difficult to cross for beginners. Hole 17 seems to be a lot longer than it is marked for.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 11 Not
What's all the hype?
Pros: The course is in good shape and has nice tee offs. Very easy to follow for the most part. A high difficulty.
Cons: Personally the thought of losing a disc is not one I look forward to. There is just too much water and wind to take chances. It is also next to a nuclear power plant so may not be the best idea to go in after it either. This course was made with the top players in mind. The fairways are no more than 5 feet wide at some points which leaves not much par oppurtunity without having wonderful aim.
Other Thoughts: It is a great course but very difficult. I ended with a decent score slightly above my average and had a great time. I suggest giving this course a try but be ready to take on the challenge!
2 of 13 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 2 Not
It's Buckhorn Or Nothing!
Pros: Buckhorn is indeed one of the most well kept, serene, and challenging courses in central North Carolina.
The course is located on land donated by the Sharon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, so it's an interesting paradox considering it's so beautiful and serene, and yet it is overshadowed by the Nuclear Power Plant.
~ There are different types of challenges on every hole, including a few water hazards.
~ Clearly defined markers and signage, including concrete tees.
~ Well maintained grounds, including pathways, fairways, and baskets.
~ Professional baskets which are also well maintained, and clearly visible.
~ Perfect mixture of woodlands, hills, valleys, and lake views.
Cons: ~ Course can be quite muddy after heavy rains.
~ Weekends can produce heavy traffic on the course, so arrive early or late after the "rush."
~ Pro/Con: Caution on hole #17, because that swampy pond is an infamous Disc-Eater! :(
~ Dogs are allowed at the park, so there are rare occasions where you might have your discs run off with.
Other Thoughts: Buckhorn is my course of choice here in Central North Carolina. It has quickly become my absolute favorite course for it's challenges (especially hole #17), as well as it's perfect mix of topography and scenic views.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Bob Ross would've liked it
Pros: Gorgeous, simply great scenery. The prettiest scenery I've ever seen. Nice wooded fairways, good mix of water hazards. Love the hole that's on an island during wet seasons. For the most part the holes have tight but open fairways, great variety of shots and great length from the Blue tees. Huge tees.
Cons: To be honest, the lake is brutal. Be prepared to lose a disc. I threw a warped Eagle in there for safety sake. At the time I only had like 4 precious discs and was very hesitant to throw them around the lake. I really have no negative things to say except it is a tough course if you can't thread needles for 300-400 ft. Holes 9-11 are tough not only because they play over water but because it can hard to judge where the shore is due to the marshy grasses that abound. It pays to play ultra conservative. It can get kinda buggy, horseflies.
Other Thoughts: I saw a freakin' deer less than 30 feet away from on one hole, kinda hanging out but wary of my buddy and I playing. That's the kind of wild splendor you get to enjoy at this course. I had a miraculous save the second time I played because I turned over a Star Teerex on hole 9 and it somehow landed top down in the lake and floated. I was about to leave it when I spotted a pontoon boat of fishermen near the bank and I pleaded with them to scoop it up for me which they did in a jiffy. Got to love southern hospitality.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
My favorite so far
Pros: Take a really good course and then add beautiful North Carolina scenery and you've got Buckhorn. Single use course, and I was there most of a Sunday afternoon and never had trouble with traffic. I met a group of 3 locals who I played doubles with- they were very cool. White tees were reasonable for most skill levels- I imagine the blues would challenge very skilled players. Very memorable holes, including lake shots and a shot over a pond that forces you to decide to go for it or lay up.
Cons: Wooded holes could use more obstacles in the fairway to shoot around- maybe some trees should have been spared. There are cattails (big reed like plants) by the water on the lake holes, so even if you have a floating disc or are willing to swim you may not find an errant shot. Red tees are not concrete, just a red rock marking the tee.
Other Thoughts: Although I'm fairly new to the game (~9 months), I have been traveling recently and this is the best course I've played so far- I played 3 rounds in one afternoon, about half of that with 3 locals. The difficulty and layout of the course itself is as good as any other I've played, and when you put the lake shots and scenery on top of that it is the best course in the Triangle.
Be careful if it is windy- myself and my doubles partner saw our Beasts turn over into the water.
WARNING: Don't think a floating disc will save you on all the water holes- some of them have vegetation that will make your floating disc irrelevant (I lost a Dragon).
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I've only played 42 or so courses, but this is the cream of the crop for me. I live just north of Charlotte and have numerous courses to choose from, but I loved this place.
-Water holes. This course has some great water holes...8-11 are great. 8 has the water not 5 or so feet from the back of the basket with not much fairway to land. The hole is only 168' but when you step on the tee you will realize you need to land perfect. 9,10, 11 all play around Harris Lake. It's nice and if you can throw a disc to fade a bit left you can have the thrill of watching your disc fly out over the hazard and landing safely on land. The course has an easy layout that is easy to navigate. The previous reviews about finding the first hole have been resolved, there are signs once you park telling you where to go.
17 and 18 are 2 really great finishing holes. If you like a walk through the woods, and a tight but fair woods course this is your course. It has 3 tees for all levels of play.
Cons: A couple of the holes have issues with having the next tee being a walk through the fairway you just played. But this course has not had alot of players the 4 times I've played it. So I don't see it being a big issue.
Other Thoughts: Prior to playing this place Fox Chase was the best course I had played, but this one goes above Fox just for the water holes alone. I will play this course again and again.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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