She's a disc eater!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a beautiful course! One of the reasons I started playing was to get out in nature, but not just hiking. This course is perfect! You will walk a bit, but the scenery and layout is beautiful!
I really liked holes 4 and 13/14. Hole 4 is elevated tee across a narrow ravine to a basket off to the right. You have to have a straight shot to get there. Reminds me of ball golf tees. 13/14 is really open, but the baskets are guarded by the woods - 13 the woods are on the right hiding the baskets and ditto for 14. But there is also an old abandoned barn and silo which are beautiful and very scenic!
This is a technical course, especially for beginners. It requires a lot of different shots and approaches, which helps me as I'm learning.
Cons: So the other reviews say it, and I'll repeat it: thorns and ticks. The front 7 holes are easy to access lost discs. Once you cross to 8-16, if a disc rolls into the woods, it isn't pick it up, it's chop it out. I wish I would have taken a picture. It isn't little thorns plants that you can brush aside. It's thick, woody, tangled masses of thorns. One guy who was playing saw his disc and said, "Nope." I looked and it would have literally taken a chainsaw not to rip your skin off.
Also, when you get to the 4th hole baskets, you will see about 5 sets of baskets. 4/5/6/17/18 all share a field. Make sure you use a map (TAKE A MAP!) to figure out which baskets you are shooting at.
In addition, I only saw 2-3 signs. The boxes are nice concrete and all of them have posts with white boards, most have numbers, only a few had laminated course maps. I would pitch in to help buy nice map signs even, as it would really make things easier with some blind baskets.
Other Thoughts: This is a beautiful course in a nice park. The prison is literally next to it - you shoot towards the prison on #2.
Don't be a hero on this course - don't make this the course you swear you're hitting 400 foot drives on, because you will be like me and make a trip to the store to replace the 4 discs you lost afterwards.
The pro tees to silver baskets are serious stuff. Especially 16 - anyone who says they even pared that hole is a pro or a liar. It's 910 feet with two blind throws in narrow (see: 15 foot) gaps.
I would recommend tall socks, bug spray, lots and lots of water, extra discs, and something to poke through rough with - I took a 4 foot piece of 3/4" PVC pipe and that helped a lot. I met 3 other groups and all of them were searching for/had lost discs. The rough is rough - no forgiving.
As others said, there is a near 1/4 mile walk (1300 feet) from #7 to #8 and then from #16 to #17. But it goes down in a ravine with a little creek and is quite nice actually. There are some jaunts from various tees to tees (#14 to #15 to #16 come to mind) with some doubling back. But take a map and you should be good.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Fun beauriful course, but the rough is bad
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Two large concrete tees and two permanent basket positions on every hole with widely varying distance between the four setups. Course is in a scenic park and has nicely mowed fairways that are mowed fairly regularly (the grass is occasionally shaggy, but never too long). The course is set among some nice rolling hills, with a large variety of distances and shot shapes. There are some holes that you always try to ace/birdie, while there also a handful of legitimate two-shot holes to reach the basket (hole 16 from the long tee is probably a good three-shot hole to reach the basket). Most of the holes are fairly open, with just enough obstacles to provide some challenge or force you to work the disc one way or the other. Course makes pretty good use of the elevation in this park. Hole 4 is a fun shot over a valley with a tight gap in the trees to reach the other side of the valley. Hole 12 is the only other really tight hole on the course and is a fun tunnel hole through a bunch of trees.
Cons: The thorns. The thorns. And, oh yeah, the thorns. They are on almost every hole. On some holes, they are pretty thin, but on others they are really thick. I used to always wear jeans, a long-sleeve shirt, and carry an old 3-iron I don't use anymore to help extract discs from the thorn bushes. The thorns are especially ferocious on 15 ad 16 for the long tees/baskets.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I really thought the course design here was fun. If it weren't for the thorns, this course would probably be a 4.5, but going in to the thorn bushes even 2 or 3 times a round sucks the fun right out of it. After playing this course regularly for a couple seasons, I got tired of it, and started playing the other area courses to avoid the thorns. Print off the map for your first trip or two around this course. There are a couple of tricky navigation spots, particularly between 7 and 8 and then again between 16 and 17, as there is a decent length walk through a small valley and across a river to get between these holes. As a hiker, I never minded the walk, and even enjoyed it, but it is something that you should know about before playing your first round here.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Run Giles Run
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 beautiful mostly open but challenging holes with nice dual concrete tees and baskets and tee signs. Excellent use of the terrain, rolling elevation and unique features of the property to create a variety of looks. Well defined fairways and rough creating great risk vs reward choices. Course was manicured like a ball golf course.
Cons: The rough is quite rough with lots of thorns, some poison ivy, and a prison fence. High probability of losing a disc or more, not a good course for beginners to cut their teeth on, or literally cut their body up from the thorns. Hole 3 plays a bit close to the parking lot. Navigation is little tricky in places. No bathrooms or water.
Other Thoughts: I played long to long in some 30+mph winds which made this course play very tough as it's mostly open with lots of rolling elevation, fast greens, and punishing rough. Despite the old prison which is now a bible camp, the property is quite scenic and has a bit of a menacing character to the course. It's quite deceiving looking at many of the holes from the tee because of the straight forwardness of the mostly open and defined fairways, but you really don't want your disc to land in any of the roughs that tend to sneak up on you in places. One of my fav's was hole 2 where I lost my firebird over the prison fence on a 50' putt that boomeranged back over my head from the wind howling up off the lake up a huge fast green to the basket. Luckily there is a guard at the bible prison who was nice enough to retrieve my disc and give it back to me. He said that happens quite often. Hole 4 was a tight valley shot I liked, deuce-able and quite bogey-able. Hole 6 is one of those beautiful deceiving holes throwing from an elevated tee 426' to the basket on top a peninsula with rolling elevation away to the rough and pond. I was fairly confident with my drive as it left my hand, however my adrenaline was pumping as I couldn't stop watching the disc to make sure it didn't veer off into the abyss and it ended up parked. After finding hole 8 it's a monster uphill par 4. The rest of holes take you through a mix of elevation and fairway directional changes and some scattering of trees with the always present rough on the sides that take a mental toll on your game with a variety of hole lengths from a long tough ace run to monster downhill par 5 loaded with risk vs reward.
I generally prefer some more wooded courses, but I'd recommend Giles Run to any competitive player that can keep a disc in the fairway and wants a challenge in the Nova area. The long to long layout however should have a warning like Beth Page's Black course "The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers." Beginners should play any of the other courses in the area unless they are masochistic.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Wide Open Fun
Pros: Beautiful course. As abandoned on the day I was here as the neighboring prison. 2 pads and 2 pins on all holes. 54 holes to play of alternating baskets and pads. Signage is decent. Some missing info. Some transitions marked well. Others a bit more vague. Good use of area. Course is spread out so that on a buiser day you would not be on top of other golfers. Lots of walking in a fabulous area. feels remote from the urbanness of the world around here. 25 min ago I was at the car rental counter at Regan Airport.
Cons: Some hole transitions are not well signed. Some distances are a bit long between holes... But if you came here to DG you have no reason to complain about walking. More benches would be nice. Bag holders would be great. Grass is long-ish which makes for tougher walking, but is consistent with the prarie feel set up here.
Other Thoughts: Zero trash on this coures. Kudos to the locals.
A few hole-by-hole comments:
The 12, 13, 14 pririe combo is a great example of well done open prarie golf.
The transition from 7 to 8 and from 16 to 17 is one of the nicest surprises in DG I have encountered. What a treat.
The 123 sequence is a bit detached from the rest of the course. A main course info board with map would be nice here.
3 is a ace run that if I played here I would tee of 5 or 6 times each time I played seeking that chain ringer.
4 is the signature hole of the course. Up and down. Tree gap. Fall away woodisness. Tight fairway. Great view. Nothing missing on hole 4.
Hole 16 from the pro pad is supposed to be a ball golf hole. Just a small mistake there... but a sweet, long bomb, let-out-the-arm hole.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a large park that has some hilly parts, with clumps of forest on top of a ton of rough. Also a popular place for mountain bikers, but it seemed like only a few spots where trails were close.
- Let me start by describing the rough here. It ranges from pretty tight, to thorny death that is impenetrable without full body suits of some sort. I thought the map on here was exaggerating with the "Death Valley or Disc Graveyard" label, but it is right on. Even if you know where that disc landed, exactly, it's gone. A lot of the rough is on a much lower elevation, too, meaning you went deep and downhill into thorns. This is serious stuff here. Also lots of additional OB all over the place, on top of the natural hazards.
- A lot of the holes use this rough to dictate the lines needed. A few RHBH hyzers, a tight anny/flick shot on #5, a long right curve on #9 and #15, and lots of straight shots. Some of these are very tricky, like a left-curving valley shot on #4, that tunnel anny on #5, the downhill make-or-break rip on #16, and additional longer ones or uphill ones. If you are going to try for birdies, you had better be damn sure you mainatin accuracy.
- Other holes utilize patches of small trees to force shot shaping. There are those that have obstacles in the fairways, like a simple hyzer on #11, or a wide right or left line on #12, and the like. Some holes have trees to protect baskets, like #7 and #12 again. For the most part, these are pretty straightforward, but are a good break from the other do-or-die holes.
- As mentioned before, there are some noticeable elevation changes both on the hole and off to the side. Some upslopes on some shorter and longer holes, a long downhill bomb on #16 (again, god help those who don't stay on the fairway). A high quality valley shot on #4, short but by no means easy.
- Great mix in hole lengths, especially with the dual teepad/dual basket combinations. Can play as a simple pitch-n-putt to a long, 400+ average length bombfest.
- Awesome teepads and baskets, signage is great, but missing on a ton of holes (post is there with #, but no map). There are some helpful pointers, but the map is highly recommended for the first time through.
Cons: - There are definitely some filler holes here, with little to no obstacles at all in the way. #6 is wide open, and #11 has two trees on the left. It's nice to have some breathers, but they are very lackluster. Course is pretty wide open in general, not many places where accuracy is needed over general shot placement. Similar feel throughout.
- Some long walks between holes; the one from #16 to #17 is a doozy.
- A few fairways/baskets/tees are kind of close to each other, heads up in some places.
- Two fairways under construction, it is just mud right now. Hopefully a temporary issue.
Other Thoughts: - This course does an awesome job of catering itself to your desired round, with some longer baskets and tees dramatically changing the difficulty and line of each hole. White to white will seriously test your shot placement, accuracy, and length to the extreme. Red to red, some tricks but much more accessible. Two setups in between to mix things up further.
- Too rough for beginners, even the shorts. Intermediate to expert players, choose your destiny.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 5 Not
i came, i bled...
Pros: So easy to get to. It's right off the exit. Plenty of things to do in the D.C metro area, and this course is close to gas stations, restaurants, etc. It's free of charge.
The course itself is a beast. all kinds of elevation, and plenty of sloped baskets keep it interesting. The course doesn't really conform to right/left handers, you'll need to make a variety of throws. Some risk/reward shots. Hole 1 i ended up is the middle of the briar patch by the pin. Hole 16 is another challenge. Nothing like traversing through 50 feet of thorns on hillside to retrieve your favorite disc. Hole 6 stood out as a gem. The large pond off to the right swallows a la linda lovelace. 4 was nice valley shot.
Signs at every hole. Two tees, two baskets also.
It covers a huge area so its peaceful and private. Only saw two other groups of golfers on a saturday morn.
Challenges decent players.I got a +3 from the long to longs.
Cons: I don't mind the hiking aspect, but this is a tiring course. There are a few long walks, and some backtracking on some holes. For a virgin, you could become lost. Remember to check out the location of the next tee on the signs.
Nearly killed a biker on hole 5. Had no idea he was coming. Some trails intersect the course or come close. Usually they are protected by woods so the danger is minimized.
Prolly should wear pants if you cant keep it out of the briars.
Other Thoughts: The place oozes like a blistering cold sore, but in the best possible way. There's an abandoned prison near the parking lot, a battlefield and lots of non-disc possibilities to keep you here all day.
a true drive for show, putt for dough course.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Beautiful in the Fall
Pros: Multiple tee boxes and cages for rec and pro players. Very well maintained. New cages with good flags. Excellent elevation changes as well as a multitude of shots are required to score well but make for a challenging beautiful course.
Cons: Not very well marked so you might get lost if no locals are around for help. Not really a beginner friendly course which would only be a con to a beginner of course.
Other Thoughts: I only got to play the front 9 due to darkness, but what I did play I really liked. You couldn't beat the scenery at this time of year with the leaves changing and you're out playing DG so it doesn't get any better.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I have played this course about 15 times prior to this review.
This course has a number of really well laid out holes! As you start your game it gives you a few nice starting warm up holes, believe me, you'll need them! My friend and I came to try this course out for the first time for both of us and it was mid day on a Monday so we had no traffic to contend with what so ever, but we were also on our own to find our way from hole to hole. Which can prove to be difficult with all of the hiking and jogging trails intertwined through out. When your starting each hole take a close look at the Tee markers to see where they guide you to go for the next hole. This can save you a 1/4 mile hike in the wrong direction a couple times.
Our normal style of play is "Lett'er Rip" Well at Giles Run if you can't "lett'er rip" and land it in a 30-40ft area that your aiming for, take it easy, A well placed shot can prove to be a very smart and less painful decision. You might end up with an extra stroke on the hole but your Disc will still be with you to play again if you do!
Getting to this course is easy and a round of great Golf will cost you nothing but gas money to get there!!! I live in Arlington and I highly expect I will back back again soon! I might bring a Machete for those hard to reach places!
Cons: Lack of trail signage, we got turned around several times looking for the right path to take our first time out to Giles! We actually missed 3 holes the first time and didn't even know it. We thought we just forgot to write in our scores for a couple holes.
Go to the Links/Files tab at the top of the Giles Run course review and get your self a map! I didn't see that option before we went so we added about 1-1 1/2 miles to our course!
From 4 to 5 - Go up into the fenced in area and pass the little climbing apparatus and down the gravel path, it will lead you to Tee 5
From 6 to 7 - Turn left from 6 basket and head around the south side of the pond, from there you will see signs for Tee 7
From 7 to 8 - You will come to a fork in the road, go left, this will lead you down the hill and across the stream and back up again to Tee 8
From 11 to 12 - Don't miss the small trail heading off the back side of Tee 15, you dont want to miss those Holes.
From 15 to 16 - After 15 go check out the great view from the multiple benches located just past the 15th Difficult Basket, you will see a small grass trail that comes to a fork in the trail, turn right and follow it to the inside of 15's Dogleg, it will lead you back to 15's fairway and gives you a straight walk back to 16 from there.
16 is a really neat hole to play, but after 16 you have the long trek back to 17, I know you can figure this one out because you follow the same path you took from 7 to 8 and that path will eventually get you back to 17.
Other Thoughts: Good Luck, Have Fun, and Remember Accuracy over Distance can be rewarding, if not in your score, at least in not having to find your self a replacement disc that you lost in the Blackberry Bushes!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Beautiful park, long and difficult holes, pets allowed on leash, and playing in the shadows of the abandoned Lorton Prison (where DC sent all its felons for decades) makes for an interesting and a somewhat spooky environment.
Cons: Thick brambles surround many of the holes, and if disc goes into one of these patches, it's like throwing a disc into a black hole. Do not make the mistake of being optimistic and venturing into these patches after a disc, or you are in for a rough combination of cuts and poison ivy. Also, this summer the fairways seem narrower than they did last year, and this weekend, the fairway grass was high enough to obscure a bright red disc I saw land on the fairway near the hole. This weekend, I lost 2 discs and my opponent lost 3 (and he's actually a much better player than I am)!
Other Thoughts: In summary, great course in a lot of ways, but make sure you bring a backup driver or two.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Stay on the fairway
Pros: Two teepads and two baskets for each hole. The teepads are cement and are very big and flush and level to the ground. Nicest pads I've seen. Fairways are well defined and baskets strategically placed to optimize all different shots. Lots of nice views from the rolling hills. Parking lot is huge. Isolated from rest of park, so pedestrian traffic should be minimal.
Cons: No restrooms or water on premises. As mentioned before, lots and lots of thick thorns and brush surrounding all holes (bring sacrificial discs). Very long walk from #7 to #8 and #16 to #17, hopefully, with future trimming, short cuts will be established.
All the previous talk of the tick problem had me a little concerned and paranoid about playing the course. The night before, I sprayed my clothes with Repel Permanone
($5 at walmart). I don't know if it was because of the Permanone or early in the morning (8am) or the cooler temps (mid 60's), but I didn't see one tick.
There was a small pond that would have been nice for a water shot.
I also liked the view of the old Lorton jail.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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