Fairfax Station, VA 
Burke Lake Park Share
Uploaded By: Timber Hole #17 (Taken 8/2009)
3 / 250ft.   3 / 282ft. Par / Distance:
Hole #17 White Tee



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Old Faithful

5+    10/20/2011   10/12/2016
Review By: jsemales
Played: 40  Reviewed: 39  Exp: 12.5 Years
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: It's not a super challenging course, but it does allow practice for all types of shots. Beginners and advanced players can play this course and get enjoyment from it. Advanced players will generally score very well here, but it still provides an element of interest. I grew up playing this course and would still play it today. There are a lot of ace runs that are great for confidence building. Highly recommend this course for anyone just getting started or advanced players who want a relaxing afternoon.
Cons: Course plays just long enough to keep you from playing 3 or 4 rounds, but short enough to make you want to play 3 or 4 rounds. Beware of thorn bushes in the woods.
Other Thoughts: Get out and throw, it's a fine course considering the area. There's no place like home.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

It's a 30+ yo course that plays like one

5+    1/2/2016   1/2/2016
Review By: DNap4
Played: 9  Reviewed: 3  Exp: 3.6 Years
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Multiple tees and basket positions on every hole. Signage is present on every hole with current basket position. Very nice use of mandos on 5 and 16 (mandos could be added on 8, 13 and 15 that would make them more interesting and more technical). This course has a bit of everything that will test your accuracy and shot selection depending on the basket position. The people that maintain the course try to keep the positions in interesting positions. Elevation is mildly a factor throughout the course, most notably on low angulated uphill 9 and 15.
Cons: The course is very compact with many holes running sub 250ft. Many of the holes also run side by side on every one which make it easy to overlap into another person's hole if your shot is off, you overshoot, or if you get an unlucky tree bounce. Some of the notable examples: Hole 1, which is short and that if you overshoot or get bounced will end up in the way of hole 3; Hole 13 which curves right can easily land in the direct path of hole 8 and if an unlucky bounce back into hole 12; With all the trees on Hole 15, it's possible to get an unlucky bounce into the path of hole 17. Also the long tees add an increase in technicality without adding too much distance due to the compactness of the course.

Also, the first half and the last half of this course run right next to a walking path around Burke Lake and often has a good amount of traffic on it during midday. It is possible to have your disc reflected into the path if your shot is off. Another issue is that sometimes walkers on the path will decide to do a little off-the-trail walking into the disc golf course. I've been here over 10x and have seen this happen twice, and though it will rarely happen, it can sometimes happen.

Although signage is great for showing the layout of the hole, there is currently limited signage directing traffic to the next hole. This is notably an issue on hole 6 to hole 7 as you have to go right back to the start and left to see it; hole 8 to hole 9 as you have to cross the street to get to hole 9; and a warning sign on hole 18 to be aware of hole 6 because in order to get to the big parking lot you have to directly cross into the throwing path of hole 6 which can sometimes be dangerous. Since the course has been around for so long, the path to many of the next holes are worn out and visible, but it still would be good to add more signage to direct the flow of traffic of players playing on the course.

IF you are NOT a resident in the area, this course costs money to play (it costs $$ to enter the park). Usually it is free during holidays and certain times of the day on weekdays where there will be no one at the gate but the gate will be open. Be aware of the cost and plan ahead if you intend to play here.
Other Thoughts: I believe ratings and reviews are highly subjective. My review reflects my experience playing the course over the course of a year and with an intermediate level of playing experience. I understand that others may have a different view and different opinions. My review will attempt to be as unbiased as possible.

This course reflects its age. It's a 30+ year old course that plays like one. Back then discs and flight properties were different than are today, courses were few and there were less people playing. If anything I appreciate the fact that this older course has stood the test of time for more people of a newer generation to play in.

Other thoughts that are neither a pro or a con as they are subjective to the player and their preference on what they feel a disc golf course should be:

This course is short and highly technical. The only long open shots are on 9, 10 and 11. Every other hole has you selecting shots around trees or hitting precise lines and finishing accurately. There is a good variety of shots that reward good shot selection. There are no water features and there is no significant elevation change in this course (though mild elevation is present). The course does though have a good selection of other challenges already mentioned above. A lot of complaints have been about course traffic both of players and of walkers along the Burke Lake trail. The only suggestion I would have to alleviate this would be to add signage next to the trail on the holes that are next to the trail: hole 2, 3, 4, 5, 15, 17, 18, and by the road behind basket 8 and 13. I would also add directional signage leading to the next basket on hole 6 to 7, 7 to 8, 8 to 9,15 to 16, 18 to start (and also a warning sign by the trees near hole 18 to be aware of hole 6).

In summary this course is a typical course of the era it was made. It will appeal to players who like technical ace runs due to its short nature and its very good use of the trees to force players to think about their shot selection. It has a little of everything while not being the best at any of them, which is typical of almost every course. Shots in tight corridors, dog legs, elevation, short open bombers and sharp corners are all throughout this course. As I stated above, there are a few things that can be done to make this course flow better and minimize player/pedestrian interaction and delays. As it is, the course is a decent course worth trying out, both fun in it's technicality and interesting in it's layout. Try it out and you may find something you like here. I certainly did and hope you will to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Avoid this course on the weekend

1    5/31/2015   5/31/2015
Review By: siac4
Played: 32  Reviewed: 2  Exp: 8.5 Years
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Each hole position was adequately marked and for the most part, baskets were clearly visible. There were two tees for each hole. There were a fair amount of technical shots required. The back nine had some longer holes which was much needed.
Cons: The front nine are ridiculously short and often the tees for the next holes are so close the baskets of the other tees that there was a constant barrage of discs from groups behind. The main road is has to be crossed over twice and thrown near three times. There are several walking and biking paths that are adjacent to fairways so if a shot goes astray it is important to be vocal to joggers and bikers. Overall the layout is very cramped, and was often more distracting than engaging. The tees are cement, very narrow, and wood framed. which made getting a good run up quite a challenge when necessary.
Other Thoughts: This only applies to weekend visits specifically summer. As a non-resident the $10/car cost to visit is an absolute deal-breaker if 4 people aren't going in one car. I will never visit on a weekend, summer day again. If you are not a resident and want to check this out, absolutely go during a time when kids are in school. There was a lot of rate of play friction from players of different caliber and group sizing issues.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

 3.19.15

1    3/19/2015   3/19/2015
Review By: drs2991
Played: 21  Reviewed: 1
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Wooded course, with some tight shots. The course has great signs at each hole which have the length of the hole and alternate pins/pads.
Cons: Not too many long holes, the course is pretty tight for most of the holes, and the course fairway's cross over each other.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful.

 Nice, clean course

1    12/8/2014   12/8/2014
Review By: polishedmarvel
Played: 31  Reviewed: 9  Exp: 3.5 Years
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Nice terrain
- Well marked and mapped holes
- Good variety of shots
- Some challenging spots
- 2 tees and 1-4 pin locations!
- Free during the winter
Cons: - A bit short
- A bit easy
- $10 per car in the summer
Other Thoughts: Great to have a free, high quality course during the winter!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 Decent amateur course

1    6/22/2014   6/24/2014
Review By: boondongle
Played: 2  Reviewed: 2
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: * Signage was decent
* Rough was pretty mild everywhere
Cons: * Crowded, with fairways stacked closely together...several discs from other holes were thrown onto the fairway I was playing.
* Not particularly difficult (I threw about 20 strokes less than my average at home).
* No significant elevation or water challange.
* No water fountains.
Other Thoughts: I was visiting some friends who had never played disc golf, and they really enjoyed themselves. I'm a bit spoiled in that my home course is excellent - Tyler Park, PA), but this one seemed uninspired to me.

Overall, it seems like a good, friendly course for new/amateur players to get into the game. For pros or experienced amateurs, this won't offer much in the way of challenge.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  Like playing in the middle of disney land

1    4/6/2014   4/6/2014
Review By: Thorgnash
Played: 15  Reviewed: 1  Exp: 13.3 Years
3 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Decent baskets
Cons: Tourists everywhere
is a zoo
lines to play
not private or outdoorsey
commercialized
graffiti on everything
Other Thoughts: This course is the opposite of why I play disc golf. I play disc golf to get outdoors and have fun with a few friends. This is a complete zoo playing here. there are too many people walking right next to you on the path built right next to it to even throw confidently and not worry about hitting a baby carriage

do yourself a favor...Go play giles run.

3 of 14 people found this review helpful.

 Fun, tight course

5+    2/5/2013   11/11/2013
Review By: djros
Played: 34  Reviewed: 14  Exp: 6.6 Years
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Nice park with good amenities near the first tee, including snack bar (closed in winter), a nice playground, and a kiddie train. Concrete tee pads and multiple basket positions per hole with long tees on a few of the holes. The signs here are excellent with nice diagrams of the holes and markers to indicate the current basket position and distances to each of the positions. While there isn't a ton of distance here, the fairways are tight, and require good accuracy with all of your shots to score well here. A few more open holes to allow you to open up and throw a nice long shot.
Cons: A few of the holes play a little close to some of the walkways in this park. The worst hole for this is #3, where you basically start your disc directly towards a path to have it come back to the fairway. I mostly played this course when it wasn't busy, and occasionally put my disc right on this path, which is a bad shot, but would still be a concern when the park is busy.
Other Thoughts: Regarding the other park users in the fairways, in the roughly 30+ times I've played this course, I've only had people hanging out in fairways a few times, and only once was it an unpleasant experience with a couple that chose to have their makeout session on a log in the middle of the 15th fairway. They looked like the type that would be confrontational about it, so I skipped the hole after waiting on the tee for a little bit. I rarely played this course at its busiest times, so I may not have experienced the worst of the park patrons. The few times I had families in the fairway, they were out of the way fast enough that it never bothered me. A couple of the long basket positions (15 and 16) should not be used anymore as they are in excessively thick trees, but fortunately they are rarely used basket positions.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.

 Late 70's Technical

5+    9/22/2013   9/25/2013
Review By: curmudgeonDwindle
Played: 18  Reviewed: 16  Exp: 37.3 Years
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Other Thoughts: Course sits in mildly rolling piedmont watershed of a 900 acre regional park with mature canopy. Park is very busy, especially in season, and features a wide variety of facilities. The lake comprises about 25% of the park's total acreage and the course covers about 15 acres of land.

Course is sequestered from other park activities, but nearby biking/walking paths and the generally crowded park milieu make alertness, patience and consideration a requirement for playing here. Originally, the course featured returning 9's, but currently it has 6 and 12 hole loops. Equipment is above average. Tee pads, signage and amenities are superior, almost to the point of being overkill for this type of course. Tee signs, which include topographic information and current pin location information, were some of the most detailed and aesthetically pleasing this reviewer has seen. Course is very playable and way finding simple. Rounds are swift for those on a tight time budget.

In all fairness, the first thing to consider about Burke Lake DGC is its age. It is nearly 40 years old, and despite at least one major renovation during that time, this is reflected in the average hole distances for the 18, which range from about 220' (reds) to 250' (whites). Burke Lake is an early east coast technical style course and has probably seen more than a 500,000 rounds during its life. For the advanced and above level golfer, it is probably not the golfing challenge that they would prefer, however, it's still a great course for new, young and/or recreational players. It's also a rare chance to observe the effects of massive foot traffic when paired with fairly limited and sporadic management practices directed specifically at the course. It is also interesting historically, as the seeds of what many take for granted in today's 'modern' disc golf world were planted in places like Burke Lake DGC.

All the basic fairway shapes are represented; decidedly favoring stable clock spin throws overall. There's no real guile here, although the 'hidden tree' effect is present in a couple of fairways. Greens are largely neutral with regards to slope and spin receptivity. Undergrowth in the main has been pounded away by foot traffic, and although roughs are frequently filled with downed trees in various stages of decomposition, they offer generous recovery and scrambling chances. These downed trees also offer some spatial definition and separation between adjoining fairways; courses of this vintage frequently are very compact spatially and over time the separating roughs tend to get worn thin.

Holes here are outstanding mainly for their historical precedent, as subsequent examples elsewhere have long since outpaced them. That being the case, I would mention #8, which is an early example of the split fairway concept and #17, an early example of the straight shot with fade control skill test.

While I wouldn't say this course is a 'must play', it certainly still has a vital role for the sport, certainly if you are introducing newcomers to disc golf or are with your family on an outing. I would also suggest a limit of speed 4 or less discs OR playing with your off-hand to make the contest more 'fair'; certainly the lessons here in technical consistency may be applied elsewhere. Burke Lake is also a perfect course for vintage/super class events.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful.

 Duck Duck Goose

1    5/24/2013   6/8/2013
Review By: sidewinder22
Played: 166  Reviewed: 149  Exp: 10.4 Years
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 18 fairly short technical wooded old school holes with dual concrete tees and single basket. Variety of throwing lines required and the available elevation is used well. Signage is ok and navigation fairly easy. Very low chance of losing disc. Bathrooms and water in park by playground.
Cons: Holes play very close to each other and other park patrons in very busy park. Guess it's why there's a tourney called Duk Golf here.
Other Thoughts: Burke Lake is a geriatric course and it shows with most holes reachable with a putter as many would call this your local pitch and putt. Back then I'm sure it would have rated much higher, however it's been a bit left behind with beveled edge disc technology. This is a great course for beginners as long as no one gets hit by discs. More experienced players can also enjoy the course to work on short game with many ace runs, but may find it a bit short and cumbersome. It's $10 for non-county residents to play on weekends/holidays April through October. The park has a good amount of other activities and amenities for a nice family day.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

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