Fun, tight course
1 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.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Late 70's Technical
6 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.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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.
Don't hit the kids!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great course for both beginners and experts!
Concrete tee boxes and detailed tee signs make for a great start.
They occasionally will change up the hole locations which keeps the course new and exciting every time you go.
Course layout is well thought out and maintained.
Lots of traffic on the course makes it easy to follow and difficult to lose discs.
Cons: My biggest complaint is the parents pushing their kids in strollers and moms having conversations in the middle of the fairways, totally oblivious to the fact that they are on a disc golf course. There are paths to get down to the lake, and the course is NOT one of them! The park needs to put up some signs at the entrance of the course to deter these clueless people or something.
Besides that, great course!
Other Thoughts: Vending machines in front of the concession building always steals my quarters!
There are bathrooms in the concession building.
During the summer, the concession building is staffed and they sell ice cream, food, drinks, and will give you a free water cup if you ask!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A Good, Fun Course
1 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Course Near the Train Tracks
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The signs and tee pads were great which is the first thing you notice when you walk up to the first tee. Easy to follow course. It has nice medium length holes that seem longer sometimes which is nice. The signs have the pars on there for you which is awesome.
Cons: The first 5 or 6 holes are right near the entrance to a kiddie train ride and an ice cream stand and a playground. So on a busy day ( like when we went) kids will wander on to the course and put sticks in the baskets which we had to remove and warn kids to get out of the way so they wouldn't get hit. But not to many course cons I can think of which is great.
Other Thoughts: The first few holes are very short but after hole 5 it gets a bit longer with some tougher drives to make the course more challenging. This course requires a good mid-range game and putting well will help get those birdies.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Disc Golf at a carnival
1 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
Pretty sweet course
5 Helpful / 1 Not
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, (until the last one which is a refreshing birdie every time)
Rounds typically take 45 minutes or less, and it's a fun course to play more than once
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, its not uncommon to be stuck behind someone while people are stuck behind you
Only 3 open field holes and even on these ones the trees will give you trouble
Despite being part of a park, theres no water fountains anywhere
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.
Also you can apparently buy Innova discs at the park, but I haven't actually been able to find where; not that I've looked very hard haha.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Beautiful scenery, tees in good condition, nice signs, enough variation between different holes.
Cons: People not playing disc golf wandered occasionally to the fairways which caused some delay.
Other Thoughts: Being a Finnish player the Burke Lake Park was an exotic experience. Lots of beautiful scenery and very different flora and fauna.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Fun little course
Pros: I really enjoyed the flow of this course. The signs were very well done (Full color, showed path to next hole, pegs showed which current hole was in use). There were plenty of ace possibilities, as a few holes were very short. Manditories were also well marked.
Cons: The biggest complaint I have with this course are the ultra-high tee pads (There were more than one occasion where I was sure I was going to fall off and twist my ankle). My other big complaints were the foot traffic around the course, how close each hole was to one another, and the amount of other players on the course. Not that a lot of players is a bad thing, but when the holes are that close to each other, you run the risk of hitting someone on another hole and visa versa. As for the foot traffic, the course is situated between a carousel, train, and trail. One hole was so close to the carousel that we got heckeled by the riders. The joggers with thier kids also made the way onto the course as they used it for a short cut to the train or ice cream shop. My last complaint is all the trash. For a public park, there were a ton of empty beer cans and no trash cans.
Other Thoughts: I know I rambled on with my complaints, and while there were a lot of them, this was still a fun & exciting course to bring a couple newcomers to. They had a great time and so did I !
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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