Around the Buckhorn
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Buckhorn is one of the best courses in the Triangle area, if not the best. If somebody wanted to know what NC golf is about I'd take them here. It combines a great location with a solid layout and setup to shell out great rounds of disc golf.
It's located in a park on Harris Lake and it's a great atmosphere. It's very secluded and never crowded. It's primarily very wooded with some slightly open holes by the lake.
The signs, baskets and teepads are in good condition, there are signs telling you where to go where it's not obvious. There are benches and trashcans throughout the course. Multiple tees for most of the holes that change the shots and offer different looks.
The layout is very well done. It offers a great mix of shots and creates a very technical course but fair. It uses the water on the course very well. My favorite aspect of the course is that they designed to have a ton of risk reward shots.
Cons: There aren't many but the main drawback is it doesn't incorporate a couple of more open holes to give it more of a mix on hole type. The wooded holes are great but the addition of just one big bomber would make it much better.
Every now and then you run in to non-dg'ers on the course who are up to no good, usually teens but it can be a nuisance. In the summer you might run in to water snakes so be mindful of your surroundings.
Not much elevation to work with on the course but it is what it is.
The one teepad that makes no sense is #16 long (blue). It basically plays 150' up to the short tee (white) then takes a dead left. It's practically impossible to do anything but throw to the shorter tee.
Other Thoughts: Holes that stand out.
#1 - it's a great starter hole. wider fairway than most of the course, beautiful fairway, gets you in the mood for the round.
#3 - Biggest elevation change on the course, drops down in to a valley and comes back up a bit. Multiple routes on this one.
#4 - Longest hole at 486 feet. Big tight dog leg, you have to start off with a solid drive to score well.
#6 - Another long dogleg from the blue tee which doubles the length of the hole in comparison to the whites. Creates a really difficult drive that you have to land accurately to setup an approach shot.
#8 - It's a short dinky downhill hole right towards the lake where the basket sits on the shoreline. Looks great and puts a fear in you that makes you not want to go for it.
#10 - The blue tee gives you a shot across a cove, another great looking hole.
#11 - This one runs along the shoreline, you have to basically go out over the water and bring it back in right to left to where the basket sits. One of the funnest holes on the course
#12 - Great looking hole that's slightly uphill, past two large trees that make an X. It curves hard left to right then goes back up again a bit. Fun anny hole for righties.
#15 - Huge risk reward hole. The basket sits right on the edge of a pond retention wall. If you go for it and miss you're in the drink.
#17 - The signature hole in my opinion. Long hole that goes slightly down through a tunnel where you need to keep it low where it opens up to the pond which you must cross to hit a sloped bank where the basket sits about 30' from the water.
Not many people can make it across and not many dare.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course was just breathtaking. From the awesomely different from our pine forest area topography including many hardwoods and rock formation to the lake and the Nuclear power plant behind some of the most scenic greens I have ever played.
Awesome parking, nice sign and maps, scorecards and trash cans!
Front nine were nice and wooded, a few big holes with large doglegs in them from the pros but very manageable from the Am tees! The back nine open up a little bit along the lake inlets with some nice big hyzer bombs out over the lake then back to land. For me the pro tees here were an easier shot than the Ams.. thats just me! Coming up on 15-18 there are some awesome elevation changes with my favorite hole having the basket be about 20-30 feet straight up at the top of a retaining wall for a little lagoon with VERY little working room if you over shot the basket! AWESOME course!
Cons: The cons here have to do with the locals, not the course. We played past 2 guys out there (the only other people we saw ALL day) we said hey and merry Xmas and all that, they wished us a happy game and we played on. I chucked a disc into the lagoon coming down on 17 and we decided to play to 18 and find a stick to come back and get it out. while we were walking back with a stick we passed the locals. by the time we got back to the lagoon they had walked threw the chest high semi toxic pond and taken not only my disc, but a bunch of others. I would have been fine with it if they had called me, but they didnt so i assume they called no one else either. They were driving a dark-lime-ish jeep cherokee (mid 90s) if your a local too and know these squids kick them in the balls for me.
Other Thoughts: Great course, but get your disc when it hits the water if theres others out there playing!
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Technically a great course. It has a lot of good attributes; very well designed course. This is my favorite course by far.
Cons: There may be some wildlife you need to worry about. Bring bug spray and wear good shoes; I have encountered a snake on hole 13 about 30 feet from the pin. This course is long.
Other Thoughts: Things you will need: Bug Spray in the spring/summer/fall, Water, good shoes.
I have lost 3 discs here, 2 at the reservoir at the back of hole 15 off the tee, so be careful with this hole.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Now that I've lured you in with sugary treats,let me begin by saying this course was seriously awesome,I'm just going to start listing why now.
- Awesome mix of holes,seriously,just come here and play this course.
- A nice solid blend of finesse shots + water meant fun shots off the tee,including an ace run for me.
- Almost the entire course is in the woods,so there's shade pretty much the whole round,which is nice in the southern heat.
- I think there was almost a bench on every single hole,which is always nice.
- I really enjoyed the teepads,they were a bit more narrow than what I'm used to,but they were all very long,which is always a huge plus in my book.
Cons: - Depending on what you're used to,you can't really let a disc rip here,there was maybe two holes where I really aired one out,but this wasn't a major con for me.
- Not that big of a deal,but I don't remember there being any trashcans,so just take out what you bring in.
Other Thoughts: I'm really bad at pros and cons so i'm just going to get in depth here.
Buckhorn is a tough course,but fair,you can probably play the whole course with a putter and a mid,I think I did do just that for over 85% of my shots.
I think they said the course was designed by a lefty,and you can definitely tell,there are some holes that are righty friendly,but at least 65% of them you're going to be wanting to throw a forehand,or be a lefty.
I can definitely see how some of the water holes could be extremely challenging,you're throwing over a pretty large lake,and fortunately the wind was very mild,but on a gustier day I can imagine it being near impossible to get really close off the tee.
I wish there was maybe one or two more holes where you can air one out,I think if they were well designed that would bump the course up to a 4.5 for me,but regardless,we still had a great time,definitely make sure to check this one out.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 18 Not
Good course minus the WATER
Pros: Fun Holes with two sets of tees. Descent size fairways. Well marked!
Cons: WATER... (Still not a fan of water on a disc golf course. I mean losing a golf ball is one thing but possibly losing a disc that's another!!! And what fun is it if a beginner goes out and loses the 3 discs they have on the first round?) (And for you idiots that like water and have a problem with my last comment , I DID NOT LOSE ANY DISCS IN THE WATER!)
Other Thoughts: Great other than 11 and 17
#15 SERIOUSLY WHO DESIGNS A HOLE WHERE YOU CAN BANG CHAINS FROM THE TEE AND LOSE YOUR DISC IN THE WATER..............
2 of 20 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great remote location. If you like to fish bring your gear and your NC license. Lots of tight wood shots. Lots of water risks. 17 if you don't throw 300 and straight you need to lay up or throw an old disc. 15 is really neat where you are shooting uphill at very little landing area. An overshoot and your disc is in the pond. You may also have a disc roll back down and pass you after not staying up top. You have got to see the curved tree in front of, as I remember, hole #2. I would love to know the original cause.
Cons: In the winter due to the leaves a bright disc is a plus.
Other Thoughts: What a lovely country atmosphere. Saw chipmunks, wild turkeys and 2 deer. Since I was playing by myself I could just stop and observe and enjoy nature. I do not have much distance. I played around the pond on 17 for a bogey.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Secluded beauty, lots of woods, good water risk
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The location is the number one pro. It is remote, peaceful, quiet, beautiful, and it even smells great. 100% under a canopy of large old growth forest, this property is amazing and throws in a lake and pond to boot!
The curved tree on #2 looks like it was made for a disc course. Great job of incorporating it into the design.
There are two to three tees on every hole (#8 has just one tee for all). This spread in skill/challenge is great for courses.
Memorable holes galore on this course. #8 is a short putter drive over a bridge and at a pin perched on the edge of the lake (here's a tip, the water is shallow and clear, run at the pin!). #17 is a downhill 400' throw across a NASTY pond and the pin is perched 10' from the other edge. There is also a bunch of low branches which force you to 'tunnel' through the downhill and straight at the pond while trying to get enough lift to get over. #10 and 11 are decently long hyzers (RHBH) almost entirely over the lake. Lots of reeds and weeds make finding waterlogged discs tough (I shanked my surge in on #10 cus it had too little LSS). There is no decent short bailout area, and the greens each slope back down to the water. #9 is probably the most difficult water hole because you need to be straight and accurate through a 20' wide, 175' long wooded tunnel before sweeping over the lake (shallow bay) and finishing left to the pin very near the edge. #15 is a great short hole from atop one side of a ravine, throwing across the low spot to the elevated pin on the other side with a pond 5' behind it (hint, DON'T go long here). #16 has a great 120 degree dogleg left design. You can pitch up to the short tee and then down the main fairway for 275', you could try and punch through the narrow openings in the trees straight at the pin like I did (and missed). #18 green is under a ton of huge old trees that frame it perfectly.
OB water and fairway edges are in play on a number of holes.
There are no benches and trash cans. Yes this is a pro because sitting on a bench just promotes lazy losers to begin vandalizing or tagging things, and trash cans in this period of cutbacks especially in parks are NOT NECESSARY. Why pay a parks employee for his time to collect your trash when you can take it home yourself (afterall you had room to bring it in) and you can also recycle it then!
Cons: Only one pin placement. While many of the pins were extremely risky, having alternate pins just increases variety and shot shaping that much more and makes for an even more rounded experience in terms of available variety.
Most of the tees were unfortunately above grade. These can cause you to roll your ankle off the front and they limit longer approaches from the back. However, most are long and wide enough and texture is good.
Unfortunately many of the holes are all the same repetitive, non glamorous wooded style. Essentially every hole is wooded and the only mix you'll get is via distance or right/left/straight turn. But that balance within the wooded holes is very good. If you crave variety of all kinds of holes like I do (at least 1-2 of every type of hole imaginable), then Buckhorn falls short.
Other Thoughts: I played blue tees here, and there was just one pin location. Once again I'm torn on this rating, but at a different threshold. I'm thinking 3.75 would be perfect, but need to fit this into the existing scale. While Buckhorn is an excellent course that offers plenty of challenge, a ton of watery risk, and some very unique features, I'm afraid that it is variety that I crave on my courses. You don't get any big elevation here, but there are lots of neat wooded ravines and ridges. You have 6 holes with water definitely in play. You have the very long wooded holes 4 and 6 and some short narrow ones. You get a more than 90 degree bend in fairway 16 but a peak at an alternate fairway throwing straight at the pin through a 4' gap. Oh wait, I can't forget to state once again that Buckhorn is remote, quiet, peaceful, and beautiful. Yeah, I guess for a 100% wooded course Buckhorn offers some amazing variety and plenty of great risk that I love. It's not like it's flat. It doesn't feel as repetitive as Valley Springs. Having an alternate pin location on each hole would have made it a 4 without question, but lack of long/huge downhill and a few open rippers would still keep it from a 4.5. More holes here along the access roads would allow you to open it up a bit and rip on some. Maybe a second 18 could even work its way into a clear area somewhere and also utilize more elevation. Then we'd be looking at a destination course.
There are cross country mountain bike trails all over the park as well.
I'd say this is a Blue skill level course (from the long tees). There are plenty of forced shot types with the water and all the trees. I never play as well my first time through a course, but it did challenge me much more than others in the area with a mix of length, water OB, and tight woods.
(The order of favorites on my Raleigh trip is as follows - UNC, Leigh Farms, Harris Lake, Cedar Hills, Zebulon, Middle Creek, and Valley Springs. UNC and Leigh farms were runaway winners but with vastly different reasons. Harris Lake was repetitive being almost all wooded, but real fun to play and lots of risk. Cedar Hills, Zeb, and Middle creek were all tied around the average for different reasons. Valley Springs was very fun, but repetitively grueling.)
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great elevation changes.
Lots of challenging water shots.
Good mix of short and long holes.
Good mix of hyzer and anhyzer drives.
Cons: A little confusing to find the next hole a couple of times.
Other Thoughts: Not for beginners or if you're worried about losing discs into the water.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Tough, but Fair
Pros: Challenging course that demands accuracy and distance. Blue, White and Red tees for different levels of skill. Fairways are not wide, but they are wide enough to give you a line. They twist and turn somewhat, so this is a great place to work on your thumber and hammer. Permanent concrete tees and Hole signs.
Cons: Not really a con to some people, but lots of ways to lose your discs on this course. The woods off of the fairway can get disc hungry. The forest floor is very loose. Discs can slide out of sight quickly. I probably don't need to mention the water, but it bears mentioning that the water comes into play on about a third of the holes. Park regulations prohibit fishing your disc out of the lake, I believe.
Other Thoughts: This a fair but challenging course that has all Par 3's on the signs, but a few of them are honest Par 4's or even 5's. I had a lot of fun, especially when I kept the disc in the fairway. Good Risk/Reward. Good mixture of short and very long. Most holes would reward conservative play with a par, but risks were in order for the occasional deuce. There are no facilities for the wives or kids. no playground or bathrooms at the course entrance. A little hard to find. Course navigation was adequate. Occasionally, there are long transitions to the next tee. No practice basket. Bring your A-game, you'll need it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course is ten minutes from me so I play it al lot. Doesn't get that busy at least when I've played it. Requires you to throw your lines and hit your fairways. You learn control and finesse at this course. Need to be able to throw a wide range of shots including different putting stances because of all the trees and where your shot could lie. Has everything I look for in a course: elevation, water hazard, technicality, concrete, dual pads. Lots of wild life.
Cons: Not a lot of bad things I can say. I would like to see maybe a putting basket close to hole one. Maybe clear out the area around there for warming up. I've seen some snakes out there one I was told was maybe poisonous but watch where your walking. The flys get really annoying out there too. I usually play the longs out here but I don't really like hole 17 long. I think it would be dumb to ever go for the green. I would also like to maybe see more risk reward on hole 16 by making a tough shot to the basket through the trees.
Other Thoughts: I really like this course and would recommend it to anybody. It's peaceful, scenic and you will leave satisfied.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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