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.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
UPDATED REVIEW - ALL 18 HOLES
Pros: 18 holes. 2 sets of tees. 2 sets of baskets. That means you can play the course 4 different ways, so it's like a 72 hole course.
Lots of elevation changes. Uphill holes, downhill holes, holes across valleys.
The course is very fair. If you make smart shots, you can score low. If you don't, the course will punish you severely. The key: don't be a hero.
Luck doesn't play much of a role on this course. While there are some trees out here, they are not the main obstacle.
The course is nicely maintained. All the tees and baskets are brand spankin' new.
Challenging, but not miserable. Long, but not killer.
Excellent course for those seeking some physical activity from their round of disc golf. It's quite a walk.
A lot of nice scenery. The old prison near the first three holes is cool.
The course is nicely divided. Beginners can enjoy the first six holes and 17 and 18 as a nice mini course that is not insanely long and difficult. These holes are all together and flow nicely. If you're bringing kids out here to play, that's nice.
Cons: Thorns. Lots of them. My buddies and I speculate that the thorns were placed there intentionally when the prison was in use to drive any potential escapees in a particular direction for easy roundup. When the course first opened they were much worse, so hopefully this situation will continue to improve. Wear long pants when you play this course or you will go home with blood on your legs. **UPDATE** Timber (the course designer) and a lot of the local players continue to improve the course by beating back the thorns. They are doing a great job and the place is looking better and better all the time. Pretty soon, this is going to be one of the real gems of the mid-Atlantic region.
Ticks. Lots of them. During the summer months, they have been out in force. Bug spray is a must. In the early spring and fall, they weren't an issue at all.
The course can be hard to follow for first timers. The walks between holes 6 and 7, 7 and 8, 11 and 12, 14 and 15, and 16 and 17 are not as well marked as they could be. Several of these walks are of a significant length. If possible, take someone who has played the course before with you your first time out. (The walk between 7 and 8 and 16 and 17 covers about a half mile each because of the twisting path through the woods.)
Other Thoughts: Not a lot of stuff in the immediate area. There is a BK down the street a bit as well as a couple of mom and pop restaurants, none of which really distinguish themselves. Two exits south on I-95 you will find the Potomac Mills area, which has just about every restaurant chain known to man as well as just about every retail store you can imagine. It's a great place to leave your non-disc golfer spouse while you're frolfing your life away.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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