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.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Awesome Course w/ Tricky Turns
Pros: DISCatchers (YES!!!!), long course for a great practice session, concrete pads, excellently maintained, well-marked, water in play (holes 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, & 17), ample parking spaces, scenic views of Harris Lake, & in park fishing, hiking, mountain-biking, and more!
Cons: As previously stated, hole 15 could use a bit of enhancement in regards to the pond which lies approximately 6 feet behind the hole. This probably wouldn't be such an issue if there was a longer landing area & or if the pond didn't drop off to 2 1/2 feet deep in 6 inches. Since the course lies within one of the largest parks in the county, there are often times when families or large groups of people are on the course.
Other Thoughts: From the reviews I've read before posting this one, and as a local to this course, I must say that people have began to dub this course as "very difficult". I do agree to a certain extent, however, I do feel that this course is an excellent one to learn on. Yes, you may lose a few discs, but without the possibility of failure, advancement is often futile.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
SCHWEBBIE SHOT A 39 ON BACK PADS ROUND RATING 1100 PDGA EVENT
Pros: great advanced course. techinal and over bearing ruff. tight water nasty alge covered ponds well in the wood. pins placemets are great as well as the pads. felix will fish your disc out of the pond, so if u see a guy of asian decent ask him about your disc he might hav it in his car
Cons: in the middle of nowhere
Other Thoughts: bring your walking shoes, longest walks in between holes ive seen yet
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Awesome course. Elevation changes,water,long shots,a couple of short shots,multiple tee pads,excellent location and setting. Relaxed area very courteous players generally. Fantastic fairway upkeep as well as course maintenence do to the regular work of volunteers.
Cons: Alot of water on four holes but this is mostly a mental problem as all shots over water are very birdable.extreme rough and bugs in warm months but nothing to keep somone away as the fairways are constantly groomed it seems
Other Thoughts: This park should have at least two courses with such a nice piece of property to work with.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Water hazards are very well in play.
Very scenic holes.
Great well worn in fairways.
Great range of distances from fairway driver down to putter.
Not much outside of disc golf intermixed in the course.
Cons: Wind coming off the water really creates an unfortunate situation for plastic at times.
Some good shots have unlucky kicks back into the water... never to be seen again.
Hole 3 is a WTF hole... needs a little changing.
Other Thoughts: If you can play good here, you are bomb proof as far as discgolf is concerned.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A great walk through the woods. The course is clean and scenic and not crowded. Very challenging with risk/ reward everywhere. I had no trouble navigating. Multiple concrete tee locations are nice for those really scary shots over the water. If you have good control these shots over the water are fantastic.
Cons: It's been said but it's true, this is not for a beginner. Hole 15 seems like a bit more risk than I would like because you need to throw up an embankment to the basket and hiding 10-15 feet behind the basket is a pond covered in algae. The land slopes slightly down past the basket too, so the pond really wants to eat your disc!
Other Thoughts: If you feel confident with your disc golf skills this is a must play! If you don't feel confident yet, start practicing because you need to play here too!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
A challenging walk through the woods
Pros: Tremendous challenge on a tightly wooded course that includes many holes where water is in play. This is amongst the most difficult courses in the area because mistakes are very costly. Buckhorn isn't an especially long course but you must be very accurate to survive. Bring your collection of Rocs and mid range discs and expect shots that cap at around 350'. However, this course is carved out of the woods and the fairways are narrow. I love this course because each fairway is distinct and reasonable, but also very tough to stay within. If you make a mistake, you can end up taking another shot or two just to find your way back to the fairway. Water holes are a ton of fun because they are long and the winds are often adjusting the flight pattern of the discs.
Cons: Neither the front nor the back form a loop to the parking lot to allow for playing only 9 holes. Tough for beginners to enjoy if they want to hang around par. No food in general area so you better bring snacks or sandwiches.
Other Thoughts: Great course for dogs to wander without a leash. Along with UNC, Buckhorn is one of the best two courses in the area. Be prepared for a single mistake to turn a solid round into an average one.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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