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.
I love this course
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Two pins and two tees on each hole give you several different ways to play and cater to different skill levels. The baskets are sturdy Mach 3 types and the tee boxes are concrete. There are a wide variety of hole types here, from short ace runs to 1000 foot grip and rip holes. There is a good amount of elevation change on this course for the area. The course is almost always empty and I've never had to wait more than a minute or two here. The area is quite beautiful as well.
Cons: Thorns and lots of them. If your disc is more than ten feet off the fairway, prepare to venture into them. I have a specific pair of jeans and a ratty shirt I always wear to this course, as the thorns will snag even denim. The course layout is confusing for first-timers. The signage is only so-so, with some holes missing a good deal of info. Ticks are everywhere in the summer.
Other Thoughts: Most holes are fairly wide open, but there are a few that have either tight fairways or some trees to make it interesting. I'd recommend printing out the map if this is your first time playing the course, but you can also find your way by paying careful attention to the arrows on the baskets and some on the ground. There is a long (but enjoyable) walk after hole 7 and again after 16. There are trails in the park that mountain bikers use; you won't really have to look out for them while playing but be aware of them when you're walking from hole to hole. I see people with their dogs here all the time, so it must be a good place to bring them. Please pack out what you bring in, as I've been noticing an increasing amount of bottles next to tees recently.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Adventure at Giles Run
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Giles Run has professional tees/baskets as well as Recreational tees/baskets. It has something for players of all skill levels. There are good signs at each hole indicating distance and basket location. The course is near highway I95 making it convenient if you are traveling nearby, less than half and hour from Washington D.C. Plenty of friendly disc golfers on the course helped me find my way around and even letting us play through! Lovely use of elevation and terrain. I love this course!
Cons: Needs a course map for first time players. Thick thorny growth around several holes making it difficulty to recover discs without getting stuck/slashed. I saw other disc golfers bloodied by these thorns, myself and my friend were bloodied by thorns, in Winter.
Other Thoughts: Park has a small playground for kids. The park also has running and mountain biking trails. A beautiful park! I will definitely play again if I am in the area.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Multiple Tees/Baskets
- Excellent Elevation Change
- Open/some wooded holes
- Solid O.B.s
- Decent mix of shots
- Practice cage
- Solid ace runs
- Extremely well kept and maintained, beautiful course
Cons: - Sometimes hard to follow with long transitions between holes
- primarily open holes
Other Thoughts: Giles Run is situated on the old land tract of the Lorton Reformatory. The area is currently designated for recreation, although the county is currently seeking approval to convert the old prison to office/warehouse and apartment space, as well as to add more mixed-use development in the area. For the time being, the park is strictly recreational, and includes disc golf, golf and a playground.
The course itself is in great condition, and the garbage that detracts from courses (litter/graffiti/etc) seems to be kept under control here. While the course is not heavily wooded, (from what I understand, this use to be a working prison farm) the designers have used what trees are available. The fairways are well defined and well kept. The O.B.s are all marked, and you definitely want to avoid them, as they are mostly thorn thickets. The O.B.s add in some solid challenges...hole 16 pro tee comes to mind. There is enough variation in the holes that the course does not get monotonous and, from talking to one of the locals that joined our group, the people responsible are proactive about switching things up and maintaining a solid course.
There is a practice cage at the start of the course for warming up which can also serve as a bonus hole, if you know where to play it from. There is also a 15b, again, if you know where to play it from. Multiple holes offer some solid chances for aces, especially from the short tees. The short tees are also very beginner friendly. At any given time, there are two basket placements on each hole, so you can pick and choose your game. Also, from a beginner's standpoint, most of the short baskets are visible from the short tees, so blind shots are not necessary. Also, tees are all concrete, and they are nice and long/wide.
The locals are all super friendly, and the course is beautifully maintained. This is a beautiful, fun and challenging course, which has moved up to my number 1 to play when I am visiting. I would recommend it for novice - intermediate players...I can't say that it would be overly challenging for someone with a pro level game, but that's not me, so I can't fully comment.
If you're not playing with a local, print the course map, because some of the transitions are long walks with minimal signage. The locals are super chill though, and more than happy to join up and show the ropes.
The elevation changes can be challenging if you're used to throwing across gaps or flat ground, so bring your A game. Also, given the location of the course (on top of a hill,) wind can be a factor.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Winter at Giles Run
Pros: Two tee boxes and two baskets on each hole. Well groomed course.
The holes are set up nice offering some wide open holes for long drives and many challenging and narrow approaches to the buckets.
The out of bounds areas are well marked and placed in challenging locations.
Easy to get to course. I enjoyed the hilly terrain. A nice workout!
Cons: No rest rooms, not that it really matter sbut would be nice. No fresh water.
There is some construction on the course but it did not interrupt play.
The path to hole number 9 is not well marked. I highly suggest downloading the map on the official site. Also tricky is getting to holes 12-14......like i said GET THE MAP, and you are fine.
Other Thoughts: Since it was December we did not have to deal with the thorns and brush however the thros were still thick and if a disc went into it deep it was pretty much lost. There are extensive trails in the thickets to get around. I recommend some type of tongs or a grabber to retreive discs.
We really took our time playing this course and it took us 3 hours.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Loved this course.
I played the white tees to white pins.
It was loooong.
Very much a control and placement course.
Only lost one driver in the lake on #6.
The course was well maintained and in great shape.
Cons: As mentioned by many there are some very thick blackberry patches. If you don't want to bleed play another course (or have more control than me--not hard).
No water available that I saw. Take your own.
Other Thoughts: I am an out of towner and really appreciated the course directions and advice about the ticks in earlier posts by the locals. Thanks folks. I didn't get lost more than a couple of times and that was because I was playing the white tees.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Two tee (red=rec, silver=pro) locations and two baskets per hole. Each teepad is concrete, long-n-wide. Signs at each teepad listing distance to corresponding basket (rec-to-short, pro- to-long), show location of other pad-basket, and directions to next tee. Flags atop each basket, making them easier to spot, and providing an indication to what the wind is like near the basket. Tape on basket spoke will also direct you towards next tee. Benches. Trash cans. Practice basket.
A couple minutes off I95. Near strip mall with lots of food options. Plenty of parking. Very active group of people improving (i.e beating the thorns back) the course on a regular basis - see http://md-discgolf.com/phpbb3...25&t=1330
for more details.
Whomever invented razorwire must have studied the thorns at this course! Baskets seem just a tad low. Flow is a bit "choppy" - play 1&2, walk across parking lot to 3&4, walk across open area to 5&6, walk past pond to #7, long walk down to creek then back up to play 8-14, re-trace your steps to play 15-16, back down-then-up creek/hill to finish on 17&18. Have the map or a guide with you your first time out - otherwise you may start at #3, or go from 7 to 17.
Course plays on two open, elevated plateaus (i.e. somewhat windy), separated by a creek/stretch of woods (1-7, 17-18 on one side, 8-16 on the other side). A few uphill, over-rise, or flat holes, but a good number are somewhat downhill or across valley, presenting you with many opportunities to enjoy watching your disc fly! This is not a wooded course - other than the scattered trees the entire length of #12, trees typically only come into play for a small portion of a hole, either at the beginning or midpoint of your drive, or somewhat guarding the basket. If you can throw straight, and make necessary changes due to wind and moderate elevation changes, you will do well on this course.
Favourite hole #4. Across-a-valley drive, with a line of trees forming a fair-sized window about 75' before the top-of-hill basket location.
I am a big fan of multi-tee/multi-basket courses, especially when BOTH tees and baskets are top-quality, and these certainly are! For the most part, each hole's two tee and basket locations are quite different from each other, and there's a lot of variety amongst the holes, making this a great course to play when you have time for multiple rounds, and/or players of differing abilities.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Well designed holes
- Big tee pads
- Baskets in superb condition (Flags to indicate wind and position for first timers)
- Elevation Changes
- Beautiful Creek
- Good for a hike
- Sweet Prison Overlooking the course
- Course is very well groomed
- Pro/Rec Tees and Baskets
Cons: - Thorns ( If you throw more than 4 feet into them, in most cases your disc is gone)
- Could've made more use of the pond/creek/woods
- Some of the walks between holes can be confusing
Other Thoughts: Make sure you take the path left after 7 to get to 8. Get the downloadable map. Anyone within an hour's drive should check this course out at least once.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Another Excellent VA Course
Pros: The first pro at Giles Run is the practice basket - any course that gives me a chance to warm up before a round gets bonus points. Each hole has 2 tees and 2 baskets, providing 4 different course layouts, so playing here won't get old fast. All 36 tees are cement and good length, and the baskets are all pretty new and in great shape as well.
The course was very well manicured when I played - the grass on the fairways is nice and short, and at times it really feels like a ball-golf course. Playing in the shadow of the old prison for the first 3 holes is pretty cool, and definitely gives the course some character.
The course layout is great, too. There's a great mixture of tight, wooded holes for your technical game as well as open holes to air it out some. There are also several opportunities to try a roller, if you're brave enough to risk going into the thorns after it.
The out-of-bounds areas and thick thorns lining the fairways force you to play a little conservatively at times, but that just makes things interesting.
Cons: The biggest con here has got to be the thorn thickets. As other reviewers have mentioned, the course is carved into VERY thick thorn patches, which still line many of the fairways. These bushes are sure to cause you some pain during your round, but if you throw carefully (and don't end up TOO far into the thickets) you can often still retrieve your disc. In one round with 3 players, we went into the thickets about 15 times, but always found the disc. A lot of the locals that we saw playing were carrying metal grabbers with a claw at the end to save themselves some trouble.
Other Thoughts: Aside from the thorn situation, I really have no problems with this course. It is well thought-out, well-maintained, and has excellent tees and baskets. It is conveniently close to the highway, and only a few miles from Pohick Bay - if you're passing through on 95, try to hit 'em both up!
After just one round, Giles is already one of my favorite courses. It seems to get a lot of TLC, and as it continues to develop it will easily be one of the best courses in the state. I'm looking forward to playing it again at the Wind Up in a few weeks!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Miles of Smiles at Giles
Pros: -Easy access - Just off 95
-Beautiful, well-maintained park and course - Great job by the county, Timbre and the Giles Run Golfers.
-Outstanding use of terrain & land - Some really pretty views (Check out the overlook at the long pin on 15)
-Great course for tournament play and tournament players.
-2 tees & 2 pins for each hole help keep the course fresh.
-Fairways clearly marked and maintained but not great for rolling.
-Fair tee signs (Some missing), gorgeous concrete tees, pins are clearly marked and flagged (Red & Silver in color), Some OB is clearly marked.
-Picturesque Fairways and pin placements - Very similar to Ball Golf look & play.
-Fresh Blackberries mid to late summer - You may have to contend with a pedestrian picker crossing the fairway.
-Minor course maintenance, mainly cosmetic, back in action.
-A round is a workout - Course is a hefty hike on its own. - Hiking type footwear recommended.
- Playing multiple formats of front nine is an option (1-7+17 & 18)
-Great course! - Keeps you coming back for more!!! - Challenges ALL levels of play. Pro par? Good Luck!
- Friday $5 Random Doubles / 6 PM Tee time
-Workhouse Arts Center near by to send the family while you play.
Cons: -You may have to deal with DC/NoVA Metro Traffic - Especially during rush hour.
-Ticks - But they are not as heavy as they have been in the past years - Still take precautions.
-Poison Ivy and other overgrowth itchy yuck.
-Give yourself plenty of time to play - one round could take up to three hours, especially if you are looking for lost discs.
-OB Everywhere - Large, thick, thorny Blackberry thickets and overgrowth line most fairways as do elevation changes in the rough.
-Course gobbles disc - Bring Extra Drivers!!
-Long walks between a few holes may lead to some longer walks looking for a few holes.
-Weather - Super Hot & Humid during Summer play - Bring Plenty of water & possibly an umbrella - There is little shade. Some nasty Thunderstorms roll through this area and there is almost always a Breeze/Wind. (Usually wind)
Other Thoughts: Back in the day, we would travel all over to play and compete. But life and priorities would take me away from the sport for over 10 years. Little did I realize that one round at Giles would bring the sport back to my life with such a vengeance. That's what type of course this is, it kicks you in the tail but you keep coming back for more. You really need to play it to love it.
This is my home course and I play it often. The hike isn't so bad once you know where you are going. There is also the option of just playing the Northern 9 (Holes 1-7 +17 & 18). The course use to be a 9 hole but 8 & 9 became 17 & 18 when the "Southern 9" was added (8-16) So there is about a 1/4 mile jaunt between 7 & 8 that takes you down and across Giles Run and back up to the southern 9. It is a darn scenic little trip.Then after 16, you mosey back the way you came to hook up with the northern 9 again. Also 11 to 12 can be tricky. Make sure to follow the fire road to 12, 13, 14 then back out for 15.
Tips for play:
-Respect the OB - It's everywhere and can frustrate you quickly.
-Try to stay in the fairway! A mistake could cost you a penalty, a disc or a finger. You will learn to hate blackberries!
-Rolling doesn't work well - Those beautiful fairways look like a rollers paradise, especially when freshly mowed, but underneath is a bumpy, rough ground waiting to redirect your roller towards the previously mentioned OB.
-Always make note of the wind
-Remember: The one that has the most fun wins!
I love this course and I'm sure you will too. Thanks for all your hard work Timber!!! This is a "gotta play" in the DC area. Maybe we'll see ya some Sunday.
Conditions UPDATE 10/24/11: Work days have been allowed again. Most OB is back to its original marks. Make sure to keep your eyes on discs. "Looking away may make it go away." With the coming of Fall, the tick issues are low but still take precautions. The course is looking and playing the best it has in a long time. A great place to play, just be careful and have fun!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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