It's a 30+ yo course that plays like one
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.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Late 70's Technical
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.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
A Good, Fun Course
Pros: There are a variety of hole types, from relatively wide open fairways to tight shots that need to be made in and around trees. Holes ranging from about 150 feet to 400 feet allow you to disc down and focus on technique. The course has great equipment; nice concrete tee boxes, good signage and Discatcher Pro baskets are all found here. The course is not super affected by weather. Water drains pretty well from most of the course and the wind can only be a factor on a few holes.
Cons: The first half of the course is quite short, and a couple of those short holes have pin positions that are simply not challenging. During peak season, the park gets busy on the weekends. Parts of the course run along other recreation areas, so you have to watch out for people both on the trail and meandering through the course. Many of the holes are quite close together, so you also have to ensure you aren't going to be hitting any other players. Because this course is so accessible, you may find very large groups or groups with kids using inadequate discs.
Other Thoughts: This is a good wooded course. It's not outstanding in really any way, but it's one I enjoy playing often. There are 18 holes, many of which have multiple pin positions and/or two tees. It's a perfect course to introduce somebody to the game, as the holes skew short and can be played with only one or two discs without much trouble. Leave your distance drivers at home, as the most you'll need here is a speed 8 or 9 driver. During the week and the winter, it's often empty. You can play a round in an hour, which is great if you're limited by time. There is a $10 fee per car to get into the park if you aren't a resident of the county, but that's only collected on weekends and holidays during the spring, summer and early fall. They sell a very limited selection of Innova DX discs at the park office, which is on your right when entering the park. Camping is available in the park from mid April through the end of October for $28 per campsite.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Disc Golf at a carnival
Pros: Great signs and teepads. The holes start off criss-crossing in a small patch of woods, but it soon opens up and you get to a few in the open that give you a chance to throw a little harder. Most holes are pretty short through the woods. Great course to work on your mid-range game and accuracy of your drives.
Cons: The beginning of the course is right next to a small park with a carousel and a small train. There were a lot of people around and they got in the way a few times.
Other Thoughts: There isn't much chance to really grip and rip any super long drives like I usually like to do, but overall it was a very nice course to play.I would recommend it to anyone in the area. It says pay to play, but there was nobody in the booth when we got there.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pretty sweet course
Pros: Variety of shots - You'll throw all kinds of shots here. You can save yourself many a stroke if you have a good RHFH
Holes are pretty well marked, close together, and naturally flowing. I get lost on the simplest of courses, and I have never that issue here.
Very beginner friendly - Rough is pretty forgiving, pretty hard to lose discs here too.
Great tee signs - Accurate and tell you everything you'd wanna know
Awesome pro tees - Rather than just adding some yardage, the pro tees give you a completely different, and more difficult, look at the hole, that will really spice up the round if this course is a bit too easy for you
The holes start off easy and get harder
Rounds typically take 45 minutes or less, so you can play as many as you want.
Well placed trees - each tree on each hole is a clever obstacle that will make or break your score
Most holes are wooded but the woods are not too thick, making for lots of tricky but very possible shots.
Theres a small additional parking lot for the back 9 if you'd rather start there.
Cons: You never really get a chance to use any muscle - Some would say you don't even need a driver on this course, I only use it for 1 or 2 holes
Lots of traffic - always very crowded, by disc golfers and pedestrians alike. I've had to explain to many a bewildered mother that the disc golf course was not part of the playground.
Only 3 open field holes and even on these ones the trees will give you trouble
theres no water fountains anywhere. (in the whole park, not just the DG course.)
Pedestrians with small children often wander through the fairways
It's easy to fall off the high tee pads and sprain your ankle during your drives
If you're not a Fairfax resident, it costs $10 to enter the park, but this is rarely enforced.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and I play it nearly every other day. While there are quite a few cons, most of them are pretty negligible. This course makes excellent use of a small space, and is a great quick round to get in after school or work.
You can apparently buy Innova discs at the park, but I have never seen anything like that.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Vacation Disc Golf, loved it!
Pros: I would have never thought there would be a course here.
Uses lots of different shots. i had to use BH, FH, AND OH.
It is situated on a 888 acre lake with a merry go round and a small train.
Then, you step up to hole one and it is right across from the 7 hole, so you step onto the awesome concrete teepads and look at these beautiful tee signs. They have real pictures of the landscape and and the pictures of the different pins for each hole. the pins are marked with a screw that is in the specific hole on the sign. So you see all this and the hole is one of the easiest holes i have ever played, 146ft.I deuced the hole and the baskets were innove discatchers in nice shape.
The first 5 holes were my favorite holes on the course, elevation was good, lots of drops and easy deuces.
However, once you got to get to the back 9, it gets way more difficult. Hole 9 is a hole with 250ft, and lots of elevation and the basket is kind of tucked away in the woods. hole 10 and 11 are the only open holes on the course, and of course i manage to lose my black dyed monarch on hole 10, the most open hole on the course.
Then you cross the street and its back to the very tight, wooded area. On a couple holes i threw a fh and it skimmed past a tree but hit a tree right behind it -_-.
On 18, it shoots back around to the beginning of the course, and then on the way out you can get some ice cream!
Cons: very crowded!!! On the first 5 holes there is a jogging path with lots of people and children.
There also was lots of dgers and i had to wait for some guys from holes 10-18 and then there were some guys behind me waiting for me.
The fairways were very close together and i had to stop several times because im not the most accurate player and feared i might hit other people.
Also, there were people walking across the fairways on hole 1 and 2.
Costs $10 if your not a fairfax county resident( but when i rented a car with a virginia plate, I just said i had just moved here and didnt have any proof and they let me in for free.)
Other Thoughts: very beginner friendly and would love to come back. I got a 53, -2 :) next time i go and see my aunt i must come back on a weekday though because it was too crowded. I didnt get to actually see the shop, but i hear that there is a place where you can buy some discs, like 15-16 for champion. they only carry innova and nothing special, like kites and maybe a teebird. also if you have the time, the fishing was also really fun, i caught a bass and a couple catfish. :)
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
my local spot
Pros: New hole placements! This has made for some significant change in course play. Maps are very nice.
Cons: soda machines are constantly only take change. people/families strolling threw the course, there is a sign that warns them but they don't care. I just don't pay attention to them either. People get offended I don't understand!
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - 2 Concrete t-pads for every hole
- Baskets are in good shape (especially since its such an old course)
- Lots of amenities, great place to take a family for the day.
- Nice mix of shots, very forgiving layout makes for a casual low stress round
- Very difficult to lose a disc
- Holes are easy to find and have VERY nice new signs that show both t-pads and all pin placements
- mostly wooded keeps it cool during hot days, as well as a nice lake breeze
Cons: - Can be extremely crowded and unsafe, I think i heard "FOUR" yelled 5 or so times today haha.
- Might be too easy / short for some
- Some of the holes cross over other holes, so you have to keep an eye out for other players alot.
- No place to practice putting
- costs 8$ a car to enter the park on weekends / summer
Other Thoughts: I played 2 rounds today, the first one was really quick with noone in the way. The second round was much the opposite, lots of large groups and discs flying over other fairways and regular park goers walkin dogs down fairways and things about doubled the amount of time it took to play.
I was considering giving this course a 4, its close, but some of the layout decisions and safety issues are kinda a big deal. The pro t-pads are great even though few people use them. I really appreciated the extra work taken to put them in.
The course is VERY beginner friendly, short holes, not alot of places to lose discs at, very forgiving. The signs are absolutely awesome, very nicely done and informative. I really enjoyd being able to work on my mid range throws alot at this course.
I would definitely play this course again, but I wouldn't pay 8$ to do it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Excellent layout, tee pads and overall environment. A variety of hole types requiring a variety of throws.
Cons: Due to the time of the year, the LEAVES on the ground made for finding your disc even in the middle of the fairway difficult. Any other time of year, I'm sure this place is awesome. Cages could be painted a brighter color for easier location.
Other Thoughts: Great all around course with lots of different challenges to include different throws and hazards. Highly suggested!
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Excellent New Signs were recently added. This course has now had all new baskets, newly cemented "pro tees" and new signs added over the last 2 years. This shows how much the park management has committed to the sport, and I certainly appreciate it! Kudos also go out to the Rotary Club who sponsored the new signs and pro tee cementing project.
This is my home course. and I've played it hundreds of times in all kinds of conditions. The course features 2-3 alternate basket placements, and concrete tees, with alternate dirt Pro tees (rumored to be concreted soon) on most holes.
Hole by Hole:
1. This hole is a short clear shot with the basket usually hidden behind some trees on the right, this hole favors a forehand throw.
Hole 2: A short downhill throw, on a quartz outcropping- be careful of discs coming from tee offs from hole 1, as many go near the tee box. The hole has two basic paths, both on backhand throws.
Hole 3: A fairly long hole, with some trees in the fairway, and a path along the left side of the fairway. Hole doesn't favore any particular type of throwing style, I've seen people do forehand, backhand and tomahawk with success.
Hole 4: A very short "Ace" hole.
Hole 5: A short down hill hole with a Mando tree. The hole pretty much makes you throw backhand around the mando, but I have developed a floppy forehand throw that works as well.
Hole 6: A medium uphill shot, with the basket bracketed by some trees.
Hole 7: A longish (par 4 if you play marked) hole with a nasty set of trees close to the tee box that seem to eat up alot of tee offs. The hole is infamous for it's proximity to the Carousel, so be aware of the music :).
Hole 8: (Par 4) Is a nice downhill hole, that bears right. I like to use a nice forehand flick on this hole.
Hole 9: (Par 4) Located across the street from 7, this is a longer uphill shot, with a power pole in the middle, that seems to get hit all the time. I've seen some players use a roller on this one.
Hole 10: This is a short downhill throw, with a nasty "Charlie Brown" tree guarding it.
Hole 11: (Par 4) is a long downhill shot with a nice clear meadow then thin woods. This is a good hole to let loose on.
Hole 12 Back across the road, this is a short uphill hole which bears right, definately is one to use your forehand on.
Hole 13: A very sharp downhill right throw, one you must be able to throw a sharp forehand, or a backhand with a ton of hizer.
Hole 14: (Par4) This is one of my favorite holes, it's long, with a slight slope to the left, which can kick your disc back to the woods on the right.
Hole 15: The toughes hole on the course, it's short- only 156 feet, but the hole is on top of a hill, and the fairway is a sharp dogleg to the left.
Hole 16: (Par 4) This hole features a mando to the right, and is one that can be challenging for backhand throwers.
Hole 17 (Par4) I call this one the "Cathedral" because of the way trees line this very straight fairway,
Hole 18: (Par4) Finally, this hole is a long one, that has a fairway through a dry creekbed, Errant throws can get stuck in a marshy area, so be careful!`
Cons: Traffic...lots of foot traffic through Hole 1, 2 and 6. I've had to chase a few people off the fairways by reminding them that they're walking on a golf course. Another thing- there's a lot of young kids who like to play in large groups, and smoke weed/drink while playing. Nothing wrong with that, but it can be very distracting.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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