Duck Duck Goose
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.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great signs. Good mix of open and wooded holes.
Cons: Busy. A lot of other foot traffic through the course; dog walkers etc. I couldn't find any maps and I am sure I couldn't have navigated this course without help of a local player I joined. Fairly congested, long throws will put you in another fairway
Other Thoughts: This is a good recreational course. Other enjoyable things to do while in the park.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
mini amusement park
Pros: the best part is the amenities: vending machines, restrooms, mini golf, ice cream parlor, Carousel, train rides, playground, etc.
Beautiful new tee signs that have a screw to mark basket location.
Concrete tee pads.
excellent place to introduce the sport.
Good Discatcher baskets
Cons: $8.00to get into the park
Holes are really short, 1/3 of the course is under 200 feet. Average hole is 217 feet. Longest hole is 293, so Drivers are not needed.
Course is crowded, pedestrians are often in dangerous areas and walk very close to baskets.
Other Thoughts: Course looks like it is a very family friendly place and disc golf is a side attraction. This course would be a place to bring the family and you can sneak away for 45 minutes to play and get back to your family, or introduce them to the sport here.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Solid Family & Beginner Course
Pros: Burke Lake Park is a large, well-maintained park in Fairfax county. The park is fairly easy to get to, there is good signage directing players to the section of the park where the DG course is located, and the course itself is in decent shape.
The course itself is a short, wooded, and fairly technical. In terms of the course layout, there are a good mix of left-to-right and right-to-left doglegs. Although short, the layout should provide a good challenge and learning experience for new players and a nice place for more well-seasoned players to practice their short-mid range.
Burke Lake Park features two concrete tee pads per hole on most holes. For the most part, both the concrete tee pads and the DISCatcher baskets appear to be in great shape.
Most holes had useful tee signs* that included distance, intended flight path*, and par (* see cons).
Cons: Safety is something that concerned me during my round at Burke Lake. The course is located in a multi-use park and in close proximity to bike paths, playgrounds, and a miniature train. Bystanders pass through the course frequently and have no idea that they're in the middle of a fairway (which is a great opportunity to educate them about disc golf). Additional safety concerns include some layout issues involving the close proximity of tees to baskets and the location of tees to one another*. This sets up some degree of confusion and danger.
Though wooded, the challenge factor at this course is somewhat diminished due to the short fairways* which average 217 feet (* see other thoughts).
While tee signs are always a nice amenity, on several of the holes some of the tee signs were missing while others had inaccurate pin placements depicted. There are several open holes located across a street in the park that are difficult to locate. I had to have a few locals point me in the right direction.
Other Thoughts: This is an older course. Some issues that had been identified with regard to hole length and layout were probably not an issue when the course was first developed as disc technology wasn't as refined as it is now. This had to be taken into consideration when rating and reviewing this course.
The par values shown for each tee appear to be beginner values. While I didn't allow this to impact my rating, each hole should likely be a par 3 across the board regardless of skill level.
All things considered, Burke Lake Park is a quick play and is pretty fun. There aren't too many courses in this area of northern VA so if you have an itch to play some DG, Burke Lake Park isn't a bad option.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Disc Golf 101
Pros: Dual, paved tees per hole.
Trees make for excellent shade on a typical blisteringly hot and humid Virginia summer day. In the summer time the leaves fill up more making it a bit more challenging.
Pro shop with fairly priced Innova discs for sale.
Good course to hone your skills on your mid-range and putters, which makes it ideal for beginners and good for pros who want to practice approaches.
Bathrooms and ice cream parlor/snack bar during spring/summer.
Generally a well kept course as Fairfax County does have a well managed Parks Association.
Although a few fairways are near the lake, there are generally no water hazards here. You'd have to really shank a drive to the left and then miss about a million tree branches to actually land your disc in water. You'd probably have a better chance at acing a hole on this course than losing a disc to water.
Moderately hilly but no severe elevation changes.
Bathrooms, vending machine, ice cream parlar/snack bar in the woods near the first hole.
This could take a minute...
No hole is over 300 feet. Although I generally don't like courses littered with big arm, open holes, I do think a course needs a few 4-500 footers to break out your distance driver. An avid player could ace this course with just a mid-range or two and a putter.
An avid player will only find this course the least bit challenging when playing it all par 3's.
On three occasions in the past two years I have encountered Copperhead Snakes, a venomous snake which can be very difficult to spot since its skin is camouflaged like dead leaves. These snakes LOVE to burrow under fallen trees and are very common in Virginia. Beware looking for discs around the fallen trees that are used as boundary markers along fairways.
Though each hole has two tees, several of the pro tees are unplayable as fallen bushy trees and webs of briar patches make your drive from those tees like trying to drive a disc through a soccer net. The park hasn't really cleaned up those tees in a while (as of 4/6/2010). Very good example of this is the picture here: http://www.dgcoursereview.com.../1f7527c9.jpg
Bike path around the lake is heavily used and comes close to several baskets and fairways. Most joggers/bikers are wearing headphones and can be totally oblivious to flying discs even though there are plainly marked signs warning people to flying discs, and hippies. Some even get downright mad if a disc so much as approaches their 'territory'.
Some signs missing at various tees and when you do find a sign, it's not really accurate.
Very crowded course. From noon - evening you can expect large groups of sub-par players who could generally care less about the game and fling their discs every which way but towards the basket. You can also expect crowds to build up at tees while you wait for some of those same people looking for their lost discs under leaves.
Baskets can be close to one another on a few holes. On one hole in particular you can expect discs to come flying in from three different directions as those people teeing off are confused to which basket their aiming for as well.
Finding your next tee can be confusing on a few holes as well. In fact, every time I play this course I see people walking to tee off at hole number 6 after finishing hole number 2 as number 6 is actually closer to the number 2 basket than number 3 is! By more than half the distance!
Parking can be challenging during summer weekends as all sorts of events and parties take place in this park.
No practice basket or warm up area.
$8 fee for non county residents on weekends and holidays.
Other Thoughts: Good course for beginners to learn how to throw and control discs, which is a good thing since newer courses I've noticed are lending themselves more to the big arm with very long and wide open fairways in the 500-700 foot range. Some of those courses could be discouraging for beginners since they generally can't handle the long, over-stable discs.
In short, this course is nearly average, a little below. It gets old very fast if your a decent player. Seneca up in Gaithersburg MD is a much better and challenging course for experienced players. It also boasts 27 holes.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Like a Fine Wine
Two decent teepads per hole. Multi-pin positions per hole. Hopefully the course will obtain the new signs discussed at http://md-discgolf.com/phpbb3...5&t=2689,
which should greatly enhance the playing experience. Part of a very nice multi-purpose park with plenty of activities for non-players. Minimal chance to lose a disc.
Out-of-date tee signs, some missing. Some holes play quite near walking paths. Course is quite compact, so some tees and baskets are a bit too close to other tees or baskets, and navigation could prove to be difficult for a first-time visitor. $8 to enter park on "weekends and holidays only (no charge on weekdays), April through late October".
Most of the course plays up-down-along a gentle slope fairly filled with trees, with holes 9-11 in a more open area with some scattered, larger trees about. The course starts off a bit slowly - the first six holes are short (146'-201'), elevation change is minimal, nearby walkers are plentiful, mostly need straight shots with minor turns. Things begin to improve with #7, as the holes lengthen (195'-293'), elevation changes increase, interference with walkers diminishes, sharpness of turns and amount of trees increase, and throwing lanes remain fair. More-open holes 9-11 offer a change-of-pace to the previous wooded holes.
Navigation: To find the course once inside the park, take the left turn after entering the park, and then park in the large lot to your right. Keep the first building to your right, second building to your left, and the first tee you'll see to your right is #7; tee #1 is slightly ahead. The first five holes will weave back and forth down a gentle slope, bringing you ever closer to the walking path, then #6 brings you back up near to tee #1. Walk past tee #1 to reach #7, play #8 down the hill, then #9-11 are across the path in the more open area - don't go left from basket #8, as that is tee #14. After #11 return across the path for #12-13, past #8's basket for #14's tee, play #15-16, then ... be surrounded by familiar looking baskets and tees! :-( To find #17's tee, begin walking down #16's fairway a bit, and look for an opening to your left. #17 plays down the hill, #18 back up, finishing near #6's basket.
Favourite hole #17. A slightly downhill 250' down a narrowing tree-lined fairway requiring a subtle right-turn at the end.
An olde course but still fun, with a new set of alternate tees and hopefully new signs coming soon. Not overly impressive the first third, but improves as the course extends and elevates as you continue along.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Godd place to learn
Pros: A well established course that has trees and water hazards and some open grass shots. Well marked and maintained.
Cons: Holes tend to be short. Park gets a lot of use. Sometimes takes a while to get parking.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Beautiful Park and decent baskets. Most shots are form a concrete slab.
Cons: Too easy, and the holes are not easily marked. We couldn't even find Hole 18.
Other Thoughts: This course is worth your time. It's fun and relaxing. Personally I believe if a course is to be easy, it needs to be laid out better, like Dunncroft-Castle Point Park. This course is minimally challenging, with no risky shots. I'd play it again, but I'm glad I live in Richmond where there are more challenging courses.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very pretty setting. Nice park - during summer months there is a full-size carousel, a mile-long train ride, and an ice cream parlor for the spouse and kids. The lake is lovely and there are walking trails all over the place.
The course is well-maintained. If a tree falls in the woods, it's cut up and gone in a matter of days. The grass on the course's three open holes is mowed regularly.
The holes are creatively laid out, and they make effective use of the terrain. There are several nicely placed mandos as well.
You will have occasion to use just about every type of shot you've got in your bag. I throw flicks, backhands, thumbers, hyzers, anhyzers, and floaters off of different tees on the course. A nice variety of shots.
Regular league action. Doubles events happen weekly.
The course is perfect for adult beginners.
Cons: At times, there is a large amount of traffic on the course.
It's shorter than most good courses.
Honestly, it's hard to find much to complain about other than that.
Other Thoughts: Since the course is well-used, Fairfax County must be doing something right. There are better courses in the area, but it's clearly the "everyman's favorite" over nearby Giles Run, which is a better course by a long shot.
George Mason University is just up the road. There are often college students running in the park - many of them are fun to look at.
There isn't much in the way of food in the immediate area, however I did find quite a gem hidden just up the road, George's Steak and Things. George's is located at 5624 Ox Rd (aka Rte 123). It's tucked in a little plaza that is inexplicably set pretty far back off the road. The plaza is about a mile north of the park on the west side of Rte 123. The place has really good regular cheesesteaks and a PHENOMENAL cajun cheesesteak. The fries are really good, too. My buddies and I spend a lot of evenings there during the NBA playoffs because the owner is always watching the game on TV.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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