Challenging for a par 3 layout
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Winged Deer Park offers a pretty unique setting. It has the feel of a city park at times, while other sections of the course make you feel like you're deep in the woods far off on your own. This offers a variety of holes and shots, with chances to run the basket on more open fairways as well as playing some really tight, multi-staged holes in the woods. The course definitely serves its purpose in this regard.
A variety of shots and hole types are offered throughout the course, which weaves its way in and out of the woods. This gives it a great mix of holes in terms of woodenness. It starts out with a few tight holes and then starts to open up a little bit on hole 5. From there it begins to take you through tightly and moderately wooded sections, with a few more open fairways here and there. For being mostly a par 3 and somewhat shorter course, it's surprisingly difficult. There are no gimme birdies here, you really have to be accurate on your drives. This ups the course's replayability, having to fight to get birdies.
Elevation isn't a constant contributor to the round, but is incorporated up to its potential. There are some steep uphill shots on 6 and 7, while 14, 17, and 18 offer a couple downhill throws.
Amenities are nice with brand new looking tee signs, great concrete tee pads, and quality baskets. Multiple pin positions do a good job of changing up the look of the holes, and the current position is indicated on the tee sign. There are a good bit of 'next tee' signs located throughout the course as well.
This huge park is very well maintained and the course seems to get taken care of as well. No interference with other park activities as this section of the park is dedicated to the course. Only on holes 11-12 will you be able to see the main part of the park, but there shouldn't be any conflict.
Cons: While not quite the typical old school style course that Warriors Path is, Winged Deer also plays primarily with a par 3 design. It could've used more than just one long par 4, and having only three holes greater than 400' limits its appeal and disc selection a little bit. Nothing stood out to me as being too memorable.
Navigation and signage is good for the most part, but is confusing between a few holes (7-8 and 16-17 in particular for us). I'd recommend bringing a map.
Hole 14 felt way too tight to me. It could be a cool hole if some of the trees were knocked down. The sharp downhill hyzer to and elevated basket was a good idea to change it up, but it felt hard just for the sake of hard.
Other Thoughts: Winged Deer Park is nothing spectacular, but offers a solid round without too many big detractors. You won't be blown away by too much, but this challenging par 3 course is one I could play on a weekly basis. Set in a huge, popular city park, the course conveniently takes you away from the crowds and gives you your own space. Not a course worth coming to play on its own, but certainly worth combining with the nearby Harmon Hills and Warriors Path for a full day of disc golf with little driving.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Winged Deer Park DGC is at its best at its most extreme moments, in which thorough tree cover and prominent elevation come together to challenge your game. This can take a variety of forms, such as 7, in which a snaking fairway through pines tempts you to make a run at its landing zone at the risk of crashing into serious rough, or 12, a tight corridor with a drop off either before or after the pin depending on its position. Winged Deer's most memorable holes make smart use of such rich topography.
There's a nice variety of woodedness throughout that mixes up both style and level of challenge. Some holes require precision, some will cause you to weigh pushing distance versus the associated risks, and others are much more laid back while allowing for enough creativity to avoid boredom. If you have an array of shots such as rollers, thumbers, and forehands, they'll be put to use here. The multiple pin positions only enhance the variety, putting different, quality spins on many holes.
Course is well signed and seems well groomed. While it does play out into more public areas of the park, much of it is nice and isolated. Little room for conflict with other park goers here.
Cons: A few of the more wooded holes seem to enter into unrealistic territory in their search for a challenge. 14, for example, is a perfect example of poke and pray, and comes off as gimmicky. Given that there are some smartly designed and well-balanced holes elsewhere on the course, these such holes stand out and feel forced.
Alternatively, there are some gimme holes that, while allowing for a pleasant variety in how you approach them, let off the gas too much. Combined with the above, Winged Deer feels a bit all over the map with its varied challenge factor. On the one hand the variety is nice; on the other hand most everyone is going to encounter at least a few holes that clash with the kind of round they're after. This is exacerbated by the single set of tees: rec players can't tone it down and more advanced players can't turn it up. The challenges are significant enough at points to frustrate some but low enough at other points to disappoint others.
Conflicting with the sense of a casual city park round is the threat of dense foliage at certain points. It can be a positive in enhancing the challenge factor but can also really bring your round to a halt and force you to search if you have an unfortunate landing. This is more due to dense trees than unkempt shule, as the course feels quite broken in.
Other Thoughts: Winged Deer comes off as a largely casual park course, but there are still plenty holes that are worth your while. The mild schizophrenia is real, but, it's worth a visit, especially given its proximity to Warrior's Path and Harmon Hills.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Love this course! A very well thought out course in the beautiful TN mountains! It's challenging without being discouraging and has a great mix of shots. Some potential for a lost disc, but surprisingly low for such a large, wooded course.
Cons: None that I can think of. I only played it once though so I was more focused on learning the course.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Tough and Fun
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is the toughest course I've played (#2 is Warriors Path and #3 is Richmond Hill) and it is still my favorite. Almost every pin rewards accuracy instead of simple brute strength throwing. There are a number of pins here which could be "the" tough pin elsewhere and while there are some distance shots, none of them are across a wide open grassy field (although some look deceptively like they are). This means that even on the long throws people have to maintain control.
There are a variety of fairways which will expose you to just about anything you would want in a disc golf course.
Uphills: 1 & 6 - Both of these in the long position are challenging. 1 has the steeper incline with small trees to shoot around; 6 has a rocky hill to shoot up with a large tree in the middle that knocks a lot of discs down. 6 is almost always in the long position. Unfortunately, 1 seems to spend more time in the short.
Downhill: There are a number of downhill shots, but the best of the lot are 4 & 8. Both of these have a tee up on a hill overlooking significant rough which you have to throw over to get to an open, grassy field and then shoot for the basket. I really like these pins because there is a significant incentive to make that throw off the tee (roughs here are actually rough), but you generally don't lose your disc if you don't have the arm or screw up.
Flat: 5, 15, & 16 are most representative of this class. Yes, there are some pins you can uncork that massive cannon of an arm that I hate you for. However, you need to be accurate too. You can't crank out a huge throw off to the right and count on the disc to hook back into the basket. That way leads to lots of tree strikes and shooting from wherever the ricochet lands. 5 is something of an exception to this, but even it requires you to shoot under an overhanging branch so that you will probably be forced to throw flatter than you might like.
Tough: While there aren't any pins here I would call cupcakes, there are several that separate the men from the boys, women from the girls, and pros from the ams.
On 13 and 14, if you get par you should pat yourself on the back. An average player can do it, but it ain't easy. On 13 you do a short shot just to the curve in the fairway. Then you shoot over the hill. Then you putt. On 14 I've had some luck shooting just up into the trees and then throwing overhand to get an uphill roll to the open area. If it works, I putt for par. BE ADVISED: This only works for me about every 3rd time; yesterday, my whippet rolled perfectly between the trees, into the open area, and then turned around and rolled about thirty feet back into the woods (as I yelled obscenities at it).
A pro player can high-hyzer both these pins for a shot at an ace or birdie. Although I've never seen it, I've heard of several people doing it on 13. I didn't think it could be done on 14 until I saw a guy do it about three months ago. He threw that disc high enough that it must have hit clouds. Then, it came down right smack in the middle of the open area. Of course, that was mid-winter. There are a lot more leaves in May, so I'm not sure he'd be able to do it now (after all, it's always possible someone slipped him some kryptonite over the last couple months).
16 is almost always in the long position (577 feet). It looks like it's going to be just a series of heaves. However, the trees on both sides are closer than you think and that tree in the fairway on the right means you aren't going to be able to just heave it down the right hand side. This is the only par 4 on the course and I have never gotten anywhere near par.
Cons: 1 (in the long position) - I think this is a solid pin which takes skill to play, but I've talked to people who did 1 in the long position and left to go play somewhere else (usually Warriors Path). The tough uphill shot combined with a climb that winds anyone older than thirty can be rough. I think this is the reason that the basket seems to be most often in the much easier forward position.
4 (the pit) - After you clear the rough and you are on the grass, there is a large drop off on the right hand side. If your disc goes in there, you have to decide whether it's worth the risk to try to climb down and get it. I left a DX Shark there yesterday which was on top of shrubs ten feet from the edge of the pit and the only "path" near it would have qualified for mountain climbing training. Given a choice between buying another $10 disc and possibly falling and breaking my neck, I left the disc where it was hanging.
Could use some signage. I play this course every week, so I can find everything, but there are a couple places where signs would be helpful: 6 to 7; 9 to 10 (the natural place to go seems to be 11).
Finding the course: A lot of people complain that they have trouble finding the course. There are signs as you drive up. Don't go to the ballfields; instead, follow the signs to the lake (Carroll Creek Road). The course is across the street from the parking lot for the boat ramp.
Other Thoughts: I play this course almost every week. It's the most frustrating, enjoyable course I play. To give you a point of reference, I've been disc golfing for a little over 9 months now and most places I get a few more pars than I do bogeys. In contrast, at Winged Deer I'm shooting bogeys with a smattering of double bogeys (see notes above about 16) and a few pars. This is the one course I play regularly that I've yet to get a birdie on (missed one on 2 yesterday by the skin of my teeth).
A lot of people bypass this for Warriors Path. Winged Deer is a little tougher and a little more apropos for a more serious disc golf crowd. The way I'd describe it is that at Warriors Path you're playing to beat the person next to you while at Winged Deer you may have someone playing with you, but you're both playing to beat the course.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is away from most of the other activities at the park. It is in a wooded area but has some open holes that give it a nice variety. The rough was well traveled enough that I did not lose a disc. It is a fun course that requires a variety of shots which did not seem to favor lefty's or righty's. Navigation was not that difficult and there were plenty of benches and trash cans. The course was well maintained and no other park activities interfered with the course. They used the land they had available very well and incorporated as much elevation as possible.
Cons: The pin placement did not always match where it said it was at the tee, which is not too big of a deal. This is not a gold level course however it poses enough challenge that both intermediate and advanced players will have fun. Met some crazy rednecks in the woods that were not even discing and I have no idea what they were doing there.
Other Thoughts: A nice secluded park that offers a wide variety of shots. As with any course that is rated around a 3.5, you will have a fun round. I would definitely play here again due to the variety of open and wooded holes. If you are in the area you should come play it at least once and you will not be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Better than warriors Path
Pros: - Beautiful teesigns
- Little bars that indicated what pin it was in
- Grass was freshly mowed
- Hole #8 was just a brilliant hole (500 ft downhill)
- No litter
- Disc golf course secluded from other park amenities
- Some DGA Mach 3's that were pretty new.
- Concrete tees
- Nice elevation changes
- Difference of hole types (right, left, up, down, wooded, open)
- Benches at most or all holes I can't remember.
- Some of the areas were mulched
- Beautiful scenery (MTNS.)
- This is a biggie for me... diferent types of trees (Pines, Maples, etc.)
Cons: -Tees were a bit small on some holes
- Holes 13 and 14 were kind of weird, but if you have an arm you can just launch it over the trees
- Warm up basket isn't the same type of basket as the course
- No bathroom on site.
- some of the rough was well Rough!
Other Thoughts: It is a much better course IMO than Warriors Path. If I'm ever in the area I'd play Winged Deer again.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: It's obvious that this course has been around for a while- the places where a bad shot would normally go into the woods have obviously been well traveled and are relatively free of undergrowth, and i played in the most "growth-y" time of year(early summer in the southeast). Also, well-worn paths from baskets to next tees that were fairly obvious.
Of course, a REALLY bad shot will go into some bad rough, but how would that be different from any other woods-y course?
UPDATE: whoa was i wrong about the rough! there's crazy rough on many of the holes that will eat your disc on a bad shot. to the right on #4 is probably the worst- i can only imagine how many discs are in that crazy ditch!
great variety of shots, and the shorter holes were technical enough to not be giveaways.
#16 is a really challenging hole for a good RHBH drive: uphill, 570+ft, fairway sloping from R to L, made it feel like my anhyzer was broken, so I played this hole about 10 times before I was satisfied!
Nice benches on every hole next to the concrete teepads made finding the tees easy for this first timer, and many tee pads had trash cans.
nice signs with hole layouts/distances/location of next tee.
Grass had recently been mowed, and fairways were very nice.
The layout of the holes starts and ends you at the parking area, which is nice.
Cons: #13 and #14(if i remember correctly) were dumb to me- way too many trees in the way for a drive, and the pines here are very thick so throwing blindly up and over the trees seemed like a good way to get a disc stuck way up in a tree in an undisclosed location.
UPDATE: there is a legit sky-hyzer shot for a RHBH on #14. i still think 13 is dumb.
I thought it was odd that a course this old even kept these two holes around, or didn't at least cut some trees down(I mean, it's not like we're dealing with pristine old-growth trees here)
the signs didn't indicate pin position, so on many of the holes I had to walk to see the pin- not really a big deal to me, and would be a really easy upgrade to the signs. Some color on the baskets would help with that as well.
there is a lot of trash in the woods on this course. not much in the open, but it's pretty ugly in the woods. with trash cans on almost every tee pad, there is no excuse for this.
Other Thoughts: Not very far from mars hill(my favorite home course), winged deer is a great, challenging, and fun course that I will be visiting again soon!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Little bit of everything
Pros: Full 18 holes tucked into a mostly wooded park. Concrete tee pads and signs at every hole. Signs were pretty accurate, and showed the multiple basket positions. There was a peg system in place to indicate the proper basket position, but that had been vandalized on many holes.
Good variety of left, right and straight shots. Nothing repetitive or over done. There is also a good mix of tightly wooded holes, and some open spaces to throw through.
Mostly 200-300' wooded holes, but there was also a 577' and 443' thrown in to keep things fun for bigger arms.
Course was well kept. Trails were clear, benches were available, and there were no issues with other park users.
I played with a local so navigation was not an issue. But it seemed to be pretty intuitive. No long walks or crazy paths to follow.
There is a good use of the elevation here. Nothing extreme, but you do need to throw up hill and down hill on a few occasions.
Cons: Not really too much to complain about. There are a couple blind shots that are very tough for the first time player. Without a guide I would have had to walk the whole fairway. Tough holes if you don't know them.
There are also some holes that appear to have no clear route, but after a brief explanation from my playing partner I understood. But they are not typical lines, or shots easy to figure out.
This course could probably use more length in spots. I really enjoyed it, but it doesn't offer the longer fairways requiring multiple good shots to score well.
Other Thoughts: Most of this course is tight, wooded and technical. It is fun since you need to throw a lot of different angles and shots. But if you are clean off the tee you can rack up some birdies. There are multiple basket positions to help change the look from time to time.
Most of the course is under 300', but #16 is a 577' uphill monster that can really challenge your game. #15 has some length at 443', but it is mostly a typical straight golf shot. #12 looks like a SOB from the tee. When I played it was in the short position (229'). The fairway was a very tight tree lined route all the way to the basket. Fortunately for me there is also a thumber line over the trees, and I was able to drop my XXX right under the basket. Tricky hole since the basket was elevated about 15' up on a pole while being positioned on a small hill side. Some might call it gimicky, but it worked well on that short hole.
This is a nice course to play if you are in the area. The locals were friendly and helpful, and navigation shouldn't be too difficult for a first timer. I wouldn't drive a long ways out of my way to get here, but once you're here, it is a fun round. While there are no unique or top of the World shots here, there is a lot of fun disc golf holes.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Good Course. Needs Better Maintenance
Pros: Very technical
Good hike for all 18 holes so good exercise
Enjoyable course--mostly short technical holes with 3-4 longer more open holes.
Multiple pin locations for variety.
Cons: Poor/Unpredictiable Maintenance--sometimes the fairways are nicely cut and sometimes it looks like it may have been months.
Very easy to lose dics here.
On many holes there are multiple pin positions with no indication of where the pin is currently located. Needs pin indicators at all holes.
Hard to find next tee unless your with someone who knows the course.
No running water. No pro-shop.
Other Thoughts: I really like this course and would have rated it a 3.5 or higher but the cons listed above (especially the poor Maintenance) can be very frustrating.
I like that on several holes there are interesting choices to make regarding taking high risk/high reward types of shots.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Tournament caliber course.
Pros: - Great variety in every aspect of course design. Changes in elevation, both open and wooded holes, left-hand and right-hand doglegs, and good mix of distances.
- Concrete tee pads in great condition, with signs indicating all possible pin placements, distances, and location of the next tee.
- Alternate pin locations on all but one hole, with some having as many as three options.
- Ample parking, practice basket, and friendly locals.
Cons: - Navigation between holes is often difficult. While signs point to next tee, there is often a great distance to be covered from one hole to the next, including backtracking at times, which can lead to confusion.
- Rough is extremely unforgiving and finding an errant disc will be difficult on some holes. Copious amount of pine trees on course will also cause a lot of discs to hang up in the branches.
- No bathroom or water facilities, at least that I could find.
- Entrance to course is somewhat difficult to find, as access road to the course is separate from the rest of Winged Dear park and not necessarily intuitive to find without specific directions.
Other Thoughts: My brother attends graduate school in Johnson City, so while visiting him I decided to give Winged Deer a try. Though there are at least five courses within a reasonable drive of the area, reviews I'd read suggested this might be a good place to start.
First of all, I had a bit of a hard time finding the actual course. Winged Deer Park sits right off the main highway and features the softball and soccer fields, walking path, etc. as well as park offices. However, other than being able to see Hole 12's basket, you can't access the disc golf course from this area. Rather, the access road to the course (Carroll Creek Road) is located immediately past the park to the west. Once you realize that, signage to the start of the course is very easy to follow.
I was able to join up with a group of locals just starting their second round, and always that was a big help in navigating the course for the first time. Though the tee signage is very good at giving hole information and even directions to the next tee, there is a lot of room between holes on the backside of the course and I definitely would have gotten lost at least once if I hadn't had a guide. Apparently the course was originally nine holes, with the additional holes added about three years ago around and among the last holes on the front nine, so the transitions back there are a little complicated.
The course itself was a blast to play. My skill level is somewhere between avid beginner and intermediate, and I felt like this course suited my wants and needs for a course perfectly. The front nine starts off in the woods with some tight technical holes with guarded baskets, then works it's way out into the open for a few holes before crossing into the woods on the other side of the park. There is ample opportunity to let big drives go as well as test your precision game. Both backhand and forehand shots are required, and distances are varied enough that it's neither overwhelming or boring. I was also a big fan of a couple holes that required an "up and over" shot type. Hole 13 specifically comes to mind. My local courses don't require drives above the treeline, so that was both an intimidating and entertaining addition to my round.
The course is by no means a cakewalk. It's definitely more of an expert course than it is a beginner, and I can imagine novice players being frustrated or overwhelmed by some of the holes. Hole 16, in particular, is a beast and will really test a shorter drive. But with that said, I think it was perfectly fair and very well designed. I understand there was a major tournament on site the weekend after I played, and that doesn't surprise me at all based on the quality of the facilities.
I should mention the rough, which is very unforgiving. The guys I played with commented about how much brush had been cleared since the last time they had played, but even with that there is still a lot of places where a drive out of the fairway is going to require a lot of hunting and digging to find the disc. There are also a lot of dense pine trees on course, and if possible you might want to have a spotter down range to track drives as it's very easy to get stuck in a tree and never be able to find your disc.
There's also a nice little bonus hole at the end of the course, as I was shown by my guides, throwing from the paved walkway about Hole 18's basket across an empty parking lot to the practice basket on the opposing hillside.
I didn't see a restroom or a water fountain, and given the heat we've been seeing this summer, I can't imagine playing here without bringing your own drinks. But as for other amenities, there were benches and trash cans at various spots, and I can't really complain about course conditions in general.
I had a blast playing at Winged Deer and would have loved to have played a second round if not for the stifling heat. The course is well designed and maintained and I will definitely be back the next time I'm in the area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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