8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Course is varied, challenging and very fun, with the dual tees and baskets making the game challenging for all levels of experience- from newbies to pros.
The best hole is 16, which is a murderous 950 footer, which from the pro tees starts off with a slight uphill and narrow fairway with a sharp drop off to the right, you do NOT want to get into.
Some tips to keep in mind...
The course is confusing for newbies, with some loop-backing between 1-3, 4-5, and 15-16. There's also a long walk between 7 and 8, and back from 16 back to 17.
Each basket has a small peice of red tape that points to the next set of tees.
The course has a large open parking lot, next to the old Lorton Reformatory. There is a cadre of regulars that you can find willing to let you play in with us.
Hole by Hole:
Hole 1: Located Behind the old telephone office a short walk from the Parking area. There's a practice basket next to the Pro Tee Pad, the Rec Tee Pad is located on the otherside of the building, next to the bike path (OB). The Baskets are located slightly downhill from the tee off points, and there's a small group of small trees, plus a signifcant thorn patch on the right of the hole. The woods to the left drop off severely, so make sure to keep an eye on disks that fade into the woods around the telephone pole, as they may roll down in the stream bed.
Hole 2: Both tee pads are located across the bike path, with the Pro tee being back and lower, while the Rec tee is next to the bike path, about 20 feet higher. The Rec basket is located straight across the way, guarded by an old split rail fence bisecting the fairway. The woods and a thorn patch guard either side of the fairway, beware of the OB areas in the woods, due to country regulations (and make you be more accurate). The Pro basket is located well beyond the rec one, and to the left, The fairway doglegs to the left and runs parallel to the old prison fence. This is a very challenging hole Pro to Pro, as it's very long, and the wind coming up from the valley (severe drop off on the left side, as well as a pond) makes the upshot a challenge. Also beware that the bike path runs parallel to the fence line, and is OB, as is the old parking lot.
Hole 3: Rec Tee is located on the hillside, on the other side of the split rail fence from the practice basket. (This is actually the first set of tees you'll see on your way to hole 1.) The Pro Tee is located next to the path, behind and elevated from the rec tee. The hole is located hard to the parking area, with a severe drop off to the right. The distance to both the Pro and Rec basket is fairly short, but this is a high risk, high reward hole, as a mis-throw can end up OB in the parking lot, or downhill in the woods. Word of warning DO NOT PARK NEXT TO THE BASKET!
Hole 4: This hole is located behind the Pro Basket for 3, and the Pro and Rec Tee are about the same location relative to the baksets, but the Pro Tee is elevated, with a slight dogleg left, while the Rec to Rec hole is slight Dogleg right. EIther way, you're throwing over a gulch, with a narrow aperature. The fenced in area at the bottom of the gulch is OB, as is the woods more than 5 meters in on the right side. This hole is great for tomahawks.
Hole 5: This hole is a bit hard to find, as it is across the playground and past the tees for Hole 6. Once you get there, you'll find a long Pro tee location, (about 150 feet back from the rec tee), with a blind shot down a narrow fairway. If you are playing pro tees, you might want to get someone to scout your throws, as it is very easy to lose discs in the wooded area on the left side of the fairway. The Rec tee is located a bit closer to the opening out into the meadow, so it's a good ace-run hole. The Rec Hole is a slightly to the left location, with a slight downhill slope (right to left relative to the tee boxes) while the pro basket is located hard dogleg left, further down the meadow, almost to the pond.
Hole 6: Pro Tee is located up the hill on the meadow, next to the playground area, the Rec Tee is next to the Rec basket for 5. The Rec basket for 6 is halfway down the meadow, and is a good ace run for either fore or backhand.
The Pro basket is well beyond the rec basket, down and around to the left. The wind really rips from the right to the left, so beware not to flip your disc into the Pond, or OB bike trail, located to the left of the pro basket.
Hole 7: Is located beyond Pro 7, and across the dam from the meadown, on the other side of the pond. The Rec Tee is slightly farther along on the path from the Pro Tee, both tees are about the same location, length wise, but give a different angle of approach, since this hole is one of a few on the course where trees come into play. This hole is a fairly straight shot for the rec basket, but the pro basket is buried deep into a grown in area, adding a much higher difficulty to this hole, although distance wise, there's not much between the pro and rec placements, just more obstacles to deal with.
Hole 8: This is the hole where many people get lost. You will find a path behind Hole 7 pro. Follow that path along a ridgeline, then down across Giles Run, then back uphill to the Pro Tee for Hole 8. The Pro tee is a long, uphill shot, closely bordered by woods on the right side, but wide open on the left side. The Rec Tee is about 150 feet up the hill, and slightlty to the left. The Rec basket is pretty much a straight shot (uphill), while the Pro basket is located slightly uphill, behind the rec basket.
Hole 9: Located uphill behind 8 pro, the Pro Tee will be the first one you will come upon. The Rec tee is located along the left side of the fairway, a bit more uphill. The Rec placement for the basket is a straight line shot, with a fairly wide and flat fairway, just beware of the thorns and stuff on either side, as well as behind the rec basket. The Pro bakset is located well beyond, and below the rec placement with a hard, dogled right. Some bombers may try to throw their discs way over to the right from the tee pad, but unless your name is Ken Climo, this is not recommended, unless you can afford to lose some discs! There is a giant flag on the top of Hole 9 Pro to help you spot it from the tee.
Hole 10: Located behind the basket location for hole 9, rec. The Rec tee is located to the right, around the thorny area, while the Pro tee is across the fairway, (on the right side, and set back and slightly downhill. The Rec basket is located hard to the left next to a thorny area, so while the rec-to-rec looks fairly easy, you may end up in the bramble...so beware. Also, the uphill nature of this hill causes many to throw nose up, so lots of people will end up in the woods to the right of the fairway (which are fairly nice). The Pro basket is located a bit beyond the rec basket, in a fairly open area.
Hole 11, This is one of the easiest holes on the course. Short, with a fairly easy line for both Pro and Rec tees. The Pro tee is located slightly behind and to the left of the rec tee (both of them are to the left of the basket for 10). The Baskets are also closely placed, but there is a dangerous bramble area located to the left, and behind the baskets. Beware of wind in this area, as you can get blindsided by a gap in the thorns.
Hole 12: This hole is located off a short path, which runs to the right from the basket for 11. This hole, I nicknamed "The Orchaed" is one of 3 where woods come into play, and is the most wooded hole on the course. The Pro tee is located on the other side of a 4X4 and walking trail (to your left as you walk up to the hole), on the right side of the hole, while the Rec Tee is on the basket side of the path (on your right). The basket is a short one, relatively speaking, but this hole is a deceptively hard one, as the small trees make most shots risky. The Rec placement is fairly straight on from the rec tee, while the Pro bakset is slightly left, behind the rec hole.
Hole 13: Located in a clearling where you will double back from 12, on the left side of the fairway. This hole features a long, undulating downhill fairway, with clear sailing to the left side, but a murderous bramble on the righ. The Pro tee is slightly behind and to the left of the rec tee, but both tee placements are blocked by a pesky set of trees making tee offs something of an adventure. The Rec basket is located in the clearing on the left side of the fairway, while the Pro basket is much farther downhill on the fairway.
Hole 14: This hole doubles you back along the clearing of Hole 14. The tee boxes are along the same line relative to the fairway, with the pro tee being 100 feet further back. The Rec basket is located near the old stables, pretty much straight on to the tee, while the proo bakset is 200 feet further, beyound the stables. The fenced area on the right side of the hole is all OB, as is the old stable and it's fence. There are some small trees in the fairway on the left hand side, but are young and small.
Hole 15: Once you are done with 14, you will go to the left, down the path that took you to 12, and emerge right at the Pro Tee for 15. The Pro tee is only 50 feet behind the rec tee, but this hole has a huge difference between rec and pro! The Rec basket is located straight away, about 250 feet away, making this a good ace run, but the Pro basket is located 200 feet beyond to a severe dogleg right, then an additional 200 feet! The hole is 650 feet pro to pro. Beware of wind coming in from the right side of the fairway, and know that there's a severe drop off and thorns along the left side of this fairway.
Hole 16: The one I call "Death Row" The pro tee pad is located right next to the rec basket for 15 (to the left of it, facing the pro basket). The Rec tee is located some 400 feet down the fairway, and hard left, attop a hillock, overlooking the hole placements for both rec and pro. I could write an entre review on this hole alone! The pro to pro distance is 930 feet. The first tee off is a slight uphill, into a narrow gap, boardered on the left by a heavily wooded (and snake infested) area, and on the right by a huge, thorny canyon, with a severe left to right slope down. This hole definately rewards strategic, accurate throws! The second and third throws are no easier, as the fairway is still narrow untill you reach the hillock, where it opens up. If throwing from the rec tee, you have a nice, open downhill shot, but be careful, as the thorny area to the right eats discs, and has a sharp drop as well. The Rec basket is located about a 3rd of the way down the hill, while the pro basket is allll the way at the bottom of the hill (there's a giant white flag so you can actually see it).
Hole 17: Once you are done with 16, you will walk back across the stream, up the ridge, then along the path near Hole 7, then follow the path around and to the left. The Pro and Rec tees are located fairly close to each other and are almost parallel to each other. The Rec basket is an easy duece/ace shot, located on the right side of the fairway, but beware of the thorns on the right side of the fairway, and the large downslope to the left. The Pro basket is located beyond the Rec basket, in pretty much the same spot, just 100 or so feet futher.
Hole 18. Located to the right of the baskets for 17, Hole 18 is a long, uphill, pretty open shot back toward the parking area. The Rec tee is located on the right side, while the pro tee is on the left side and back. The hole has a couple of small trees that seem to mess with a lot of peoples lines, a wide open area to the right, with some woods and thorns along the left side. The Rec Basket is located at the bottom of the rise, while the Pro basket is higher up and further back relative to the tees.
Cons: Thorns, lots and lots of thorns. The fairways are narrow at some points and the thorns can make it hard to get errant throws back.
The course is newer, (installed in 2007/8) so theres a lack of benches, trash cans and bathroom/water fountain facilities. Plan ahead, and bring water, as the course is a long one- you will walk between 2.5-4 miles depending on your throws.
Other Thoughts: The course is young, and will need some seasoning, but it will be a World Class course in a few.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I really enjoyed playing this course, the use of the land and the layout of the course are unbelievable.
There is ample parking and the course is easy to find. I've never seen an old prision like the one on the property so it was nice exploring before my round. I was luckily enough to play with someone so navigation wasn't an issue but the signage is supurb so I would have been fine otherwise. There are mutiple pin and tee pad locations so you can get a different game everytime you come out.
The pro pads have some insane shots, 900+ ft over acers of brambles... crazy! Threre is a good mix of hyzer and anhyzer shots so everyone is happy here. I also like the fact that you have to
get some exercise in here to get from hole to hole. The elevation used here is also excellent, uphill is a lot harder than it looks. I also loved the wind flags on most holes, I didn't know what I've been missing out on until now.
Cons: Well other than nature this course is great. The brambles are wicked and I bet they are even worse in the summer. The guy I was with said it used to be worse! wow. It's a long course so for those lazy dgers, this course might not for you.
Other Thoughts: Had a blast playing here, lost a disc on 2 in the lake! I didn't know it was there. There is a lost disc fourm for this course so maybe my baby will come back to me one day... This is a must play if you
are in the area, everytime I come to DC I'm stopping here.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is not only one of the most beautifuly maintained courses, but it also plays very well. There are 2 sets of tee pads and 2 baskets for every hole, offering a different round each time. The course takes advantage of the amazing terrain. All holes are different and interesting. There is a pond to watch out for but it makes for a beautiful setting.
Cons: The only major con was the large thorn bushes that line almost every fairway. These will swalllow your discs and you might never get them out! I have also heard that the ticks are bad in the summer so watch out! The walk between 7 and 8 and back from 16 to 17 is very long and winds down a path and across a creek and back up a hill.
Other Thoughts: This course is one of my favs. There's a small playground and some picnic tables near the parking lot. Watch out for some of the people walking or jogging along the paths (they stayed out of my way though). The course is at the old Lorton prison which explains the intertangled thorns to keep people from escaping. It's nice, have fun! You might want to walk a few of these holes before you tee off just to make sure you know where you're throwing. Also you might want to have a spotter when making some shots so they can see where your disc lands if it goes off the fairway.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Finally world class makes it to NOVA
Pros: This is a truly beautiful and well manicured course. All the other reviews captured the highlights: innovative design, great views, good use of elevation, excellent hole variety--from open bombs to technical shots. This is a carefully manicured and truly world-class course. For quality of play, I can't imagine much more I could want.
Cons: The only con can best be described as youth. This is a very young course, and many of the problems will subside with use (including ticks and to some extent, thorns). I was there in the winter, so admittedly missed the thorns in full bloom, but the mowed fairways tell me the course is being well maintained year round.
Other Thoughts: Throw smart and you'll be fine. If you can't throw a 400 foot drive and land it in a 30ft circle, then don't try it. There's enough fairway that even in heavy winds I only hit the thorns three times (but yes, they were three painful times).
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 0 Not
Awesome holes, rampant OB, ravenous thorns
Pros: The obvious pros: two permanent concrete tees and two permanent baskets on every hole result in four ways to play the course, ranging from ridiculously easy to brutally difficult. I'd guess the course has an SSA in the mid 40s on the shortest layout all the way up to an SSA in the mid 60s on the longest layout -- probably a full 18 stroke difference. The four layouts are well designed to complement one another and provide a huge range of shots -- every layout offers different routes, challenges, skills and shot selection.
The course teepads are awesome -- large, well-roughed concrete that should be good year round in almost any conditions. It's rare to be on a course with two permanent tees on every hole -- especially when all the tees are top-notch and well laid out.
The course map is also excellent. Course designer Timber has upgraded his computer more than once just to have enough processing power to keep up with the incredible map he's made for the course. His maps are also in use on the teesigns, which do a great job showing the OB as well as both teepads and baskets.
The course also offers great parking and good signage to help guide you through the course. I played for the first time without any locals, and had no problem finding my way through (I did have a printed map).
This course will do more to force improvement to your MENTAL game than almost anywhere I have ever played. There is more OB here than any course I've ever seen. Shot selection is a must. Many holes often have crazy wind. And when you combine wind with lots of OB and countless thorns, you have a perfect scenario for bogeys, blood and frustration. If you can keep your head together on this course, you can keep your head together anywhere.
The course also benefits from some really beautiful vistas. There is lots of elevation change, and some points on the course (like near the silver basket on 15) offer benches and a place to look out across the course and the surrounding woods -- very peaceful and beautiful.
The biggest cons to this course are the thorns and the ticks. In winter, ticks are no problem, but the stories I've heard from locals are legendary during the summer and fall: 20-30 ticks per person, per round is pretty common. I won't play in those tick-infested conditions. It just isn't worth it to me.
Year round, the briars are the worst I've ever seen on a course. I highly recommend bringing work gloves and -- if you have one -- a machette when you visit this course. The work gloves will at least minimize the pain when you have to reach into the OB to retrieve a disc.
It took my brother and I -- in a team effort -- almost 10 minutes to retrieve a disc we could easily see that was only 5' into the briars, they were so thick. You couldn't use sticks to pry the disc out -- we had to use big branches to prop up and shape a tunnel out of the briars (they are so sticky they almost Velcro to one another when you move them) so we could go in and reach the disc -- and it still cost some blood and thorns. Word of warning: TAKE EVERY DISC WORTH MORE THAN $20 OUT OF YOUR BAG BEFORE PLAYING THIS COURSE.
Few things are more frustrating than losing discs, and this course eats a lot of them. Bring some extras and don't throw your favorites. On the upside, there is a good local community that is great about returning discs -- just post your loss on the local forums (visit www.novadiscgolf.com
), and the locals will help you out.
Other than the ticks and thorns, the only other downsides have been mentioned by others: the walks between 7 and 8, and 16 and 17 are long (but worth it). The course has lots of airshots but not a lot of shots in the woods (it could benefit from a few woods shots). And the course is DEFINITELY NOT BEGINNER FRIENDLY. If you are new to disc golf, play somewhere else (or wear chain mail to retrieve your discs).
Other Thoughts: If you can keep your head together and play smart, this is one of the most challenging courses you will ever play. I've played more than 120 courses across the country, and Giles stands alone as a unique experience -- nothing else like it. So it is worth playing for the experience and for the thrashing that it will give your mental game. Definitely recommend playing it when ticks are not in season (if you want to play in summer/fall, wear long pants, long sleeves, tuck your pants into your socks, and spray yourself head to toe with Permetherin and DEET). When the next tournament rolls around, sign up and venture up here -- and be prepared to bleed. It's a great challenge, if you're up to it.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
nicest all around course i've played in VA
Pros: This course has pretty much everything. Dual tees and dual baskets, with a score card that has the info for all four configs. fantastic cement tees i believe to be 6x12. Very detailed tee signs at both tees. Every basket has a wind flag with at least four around the park have wind guides on them to tell you if it's blowing at 6, 12, or 18 mph. The park is extremely well manicured and maintained. Every hole had what i can only imagine was the tournament putting circle painted on the ground, doesn't do much but
is a nice extra to give you a distance reference. Also a little kiddie park for the rest of the family if you got them and they don't want to throw.
Cons: I guess i didn't notice that there wasn't a bathroom but this is true. The only con i can complain about is the walks. If you park near 1 you have to walk a little to get back to you car if you park near 18 you have to walk to get to 1, then you have a bit of a walk between 6-7, 11-12, 14-15, and 15-16 rec. On top of those is the long walks from 7-8 and 16-17. The thorns and brush is lining just about every hole, so if you get off the adequate and well manicured fairways you could be in trouble.
Other Thoughts: I first played this course as it was a nine hole, and at that point it was prob 3-3.5. It has since been greatly added onto, I forget if they had dual tees the last time i played but added with the dual baskets give you lots of options for what ever mood you in. I wasn't feeling adventurous today so i played the rec to red, really just wanted to see the course again, and the new back 9. The thing that really makes this course is all the details, the awesome pads, the flags on all the baskets, the putting circles, the awesome and detailed signs, wind gauges, and the extremely well manicured fairways. Its hard to back seat course design but there were some nice hills and i would have liked to see a couple more like 16 rec. I'm sure, as it looked they made the right choices to make the best course, and in doing so have created one if not the BEST OVERALL course in VA
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
I Golfer's Fortress of Solitude
Pros: Giles is a premium DG course in NOVA. The tees are top of the line, the baskets are clearly marked red for recreational and silver for pro. Open field baskets have 3 wind speed markers for quick reference on wind speed. The course provides an excellent hike and workout, bring the camera, it is a spectacular view once you reach the back 9, but great view from the rest of the course as well. The course provides short(recreational) tees to short pins and long(pro) tees to long pins, you can mix and match for more excitement and variety. You get to test your skills to the max, you are going to LOVE this course if you have a big arm and more especially accurate throws, if not, you will have to play short pins until you get there, but you can do it all in the same course. There is a lot of wild life, you can see deers, rabbits, foxes and all kinds of other cool things like hawks and falcons on the hunt. This course has a lot of potential for holding pro events as the long(pro) version of the course is an incredible challenge and requires focused course management in order to score low. Lots of elevation, you can really see the full flight of your disc. Great course arrangement and there is 1 practice basket near tee # 1 for putting warm up. There's a small picnic area and a few benches throughout the course.
Cons: When you try to go big and test out your arm and find that the wind, which is a typical factor in these LONG open fields, does something funky with your disc, you will likely find your disc is embedded in some incredibly dense thorns. If you can see your disc and it's only 2 feet deep, that's already deep enough to be pricked to the point of bleeding unless you beat it down A LOT first. Again, when it's slightly windy elsewhere, it's seems much worse at Giles, especially on those long open throws that NEED to hold the line. In the summer ticks will crawl in into the very inch you missed spraying the repellent on. There have been sightings of copperheads so look before you reach...In the summer you need to bring TONS of water and backup water in the car if you plan on doing more than 2 rounds. You're in the middle of nowhere should you be injured or need immediate assistance. The day goes bay so quickly after only 2 rounds and you wish you had more time to play this AMAZING course more often.
It really is a professionals course and you should be proud to play it. There are many gas stations and shopping centers close by to stock up on water. Many restaurants close by as well to find food. If you want more that tight wooded course, Pohick Bay Park has an 18 hole course, TIGHT woods, only 10-12 minutes away. As the course evolves, the OB will become more manageable. If you never played it before and are planning to, please visit dgcnv.com and go on our forum and post that you plan on playing and someone should be able to meet up with you to guide you around. It is a good practice to not play alone as you are literally going be the only person out for miles, there is a good chance of it at least.
that is the map, use it, you'll need it!
Oh yeah, don't kid yourself, play conservatively the first few rounds, unless you like buying new discs and love getting pricked.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Brutal, but brilliant
Pros: Course is well designed and provides a variety of holes. 2 tees and 2 baskets on every hole with perfectly level concrete pads. Good signage makes it possible to navigate if you forgot your map.
Practice basket near hole 1.
Course requires every type of shot and requires you to consider risk vs reward opportunities.
Cons: THORNS. giant nasty walls of thorns will devour your discs. the thorns also currently create alot of OBs. Chance of disc loss is near 100%. Bring a disc retriever.
Course is long. Even if you are playing alone, plan on being there for over 2 hours without a bathroom. The walks between 7 and 8 & 16 and 17 are very long and feel pointless.
If you are crazy enough to play the pro tees hole 16 is a 900+ ft. monster that will gladly eat your discs.
The amount of OBs begins to get frustrating and sucks the fun out of a challenging course.
Bicyclists zooming down path ways can be a danger to walkers on the path.
Other Thoughts: On your first visit be prepared to bleed, lose discs, become exhausted, and possibly pick of ticks. This is not a good course to introduce people to disc golf, and if you are bringing beginners play the "north 9": holes 1-7, 17 and 18.
This is a new course, it has lots of potential and will improve drastically as the thorns are beaten back. Play rec to rec or for a challenge play rec to pro, playing pro to pro is only a good idea if you are planning to win enough money to restock your bag.
The Pizza place in the plaza right before the course makes really good subs and everyone was raving about the meatballs.
14 of 14 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.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Ticks and thorns galore!
Pros: Attractive course in a nice park setting, new concrete teepads, 2 teepads and 2 pins per hole add to replay value, difficulty level is highly customizable for beginners and experienced players, tasty blackberries all along the course in mid summer.
Cons: Ticks, ticks, and more ticks! Thick and thorny brush along many holes make for painful, if not impossible retrieval of OB discs. Signage is limited and sometimes incorrect. Two very long walks between holes.
Other Thoughts: Nice course with decent variety and some elevation change, though most holes are in open fields. The other reviewers aren't kidding about the ticks. After a round in long pants with the cuffs cinched tight at the ankles, I still found 2 tiny tick nymphs, barely visible to the naked eye, attached to my ankles after the round. Be cautious if you play here in tick season. It's a nice new course and with some break-in time I expect it to improve.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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