17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Perkerson Park is a beautiful city park nestled in the Sylvan Hills/Capitol View neighborhood in downtown Atlanta. Among other things, the park offers a playground, ball fields and pavilions but most importantly, it is home to what many regard as one of the best disc golf courses in Atlanta.
The park itself seems like a place that just radiates disc golf. You cannot deny that you have driven by some random piece of property and said to yourself, "There's a disc golf hole!" Well, this whole park is full of areas like that. Mature trees pepper the property as rolling hills define the landscape. Deeper in the course you will play through a more wooded area/hardwood forest. Nearly century old stacked stone walls line a creek that meanders through the park and shows itself several times as you play through. There are old stone fireplaces throughout the course that just add to its character. The course has a one of a kind atmosphere and it will certainly be memorable.
After several years of folks only being able to enjoy playing it as a temporary course, it is finally a permanent fixture. As any of the locals will tell you, it was well worth the wait. Many folks will miss some of the holes in the old temporary layout that were not included in the final design. However not many will complain about what the new design has to offer. After all, the new design incorporates something that the old design was missing, wooded holes.
From hole one's memorable tee shot shooting off a cliff all the way through hole eighteen's challenging par 5, you see a little bit of everything. Complementing the round finishing par 5 is a trio of par 4's on holes nine, twelve, and fifteen. Overall, depending on which pads you choose and the current pin placements, you will be playing somewhere between 5284' and 6867' on this par 59 layout.
You will discover that just about every design element is here! You will see plenty of elevation changes with both up and down shots scattered throughout the design. In addition, they are not just straight up and down either, most of them sweep left and right as well. Hole nine's par 4 is especially nice as it plays up and over a hill, across a shallow valley, then finishes slightly uphill again. You will find a great balance of open to tightly wooded shots as well. While the open holes allow for the big arms to "air it out", they cannot just indiscriminately throw without concern. The designs on the open holes ask for good placement for follow up shots and there are some obstacles to navigate. Once you get into the woods, you will have to be much more precise. Not many folks will accuse these holes of being unfair, but you will have to play smart. Overall, you will find that many of the park's features come into play including the creek. Almost half of the holes have a risk of OB water with some more dangerous than others. Eleven and eighteen are probably the most common OB water shots as the holes play alongside the creek. You will find unique holes throughout with greens situated on an island peninsula, a rocky hillside and even a terraced elevated basket. Overall this a well thought out and well-designed course.
As far as amenities go, this course has a lot to offer. Beginning with tee pads, they are a really nice and unique rubber surface. From what I understand, the pads poured in place from a batter of ground tires and EPMD rubber. It created a synthetic surface similar to what you may have seen on playgrounds or walking trails. They work great and appear to be holding up pretty well. All but one hole has duel locations with the shorter of the two geared to the recreational level player. 6x6 timbers border the pads and they look great. On a few, they are elevated with some nice hand laid stacked stone retaining walls. In both cases, they are unique and everyone seems to love them. The baskets are the very rugged and heavy duty Gateway Titans and they are top notch. Interestingly, they are much quieter than any basket I have ever played before. There are multiple pin locations with the majority holes boasting three placements. The tee signs are custom-made galvanized steel stands with Houck Design "Premium" signs. As a bonus, there is a second sign on the short pad as well the long pad. Volunteer installed stone steps (repurposed from an old structure in the park) on a few holes are also a welcome addition. Three bridges existed prior to the course. As luck would have it, they are in the perfect locations and work great for the course's layout. There is a nice pavilion between the parking lot and hole one that is great for tourney central or just a place to have lunch. There is also a covered area with several charcoal grills if cooking out is of interest.
Cons: As far as course design or playability is concerned, I really do not have a whole lot of complaints. There is a time or two where weird transitions from hole to hole can trip you up. The transition from eleven to twelve and from fourteen to fifteen comes to mind. Some good next tee signs would be helpful in this area. Printing a course map your first visit will save you some time looking around.
No bathroom (or at least it is usually closed) and no drinking water at the course. There are no trashcans on the course and some say that is a con. Pack it in/pack it out. (There are trashcans at the pavilion)
Not unlike a handful of other Atlanta courses, most of the maintenance is by volunteer labor. The city takes care of the grass in the open areas but during the summer, some of the wooded areas can be overgrown. (Note that a volunteer/adopt-a-hole program has recently been implemented. I am hopeful the majority of this will not be an issue in the future).
The course, although in a neighborhood undergoing revitalization, is in an economically and culturally diverse area. It may not hurt to be cautious and observant during solo rounds, and maybe even while playing in small groups. The bigger issue is car break-ins. While comparatively rare given the number of visitors to the course, I certainly would recommend you leave valuables at home and not in the car.
Other Thoughts: It has been fun watching and playing this course as it has transformed into what it is today. I remember when it was a temporary course set up for a weekly league and occasional tourneys. The tee pads were flag marked grass areas and the majority of the baskets were fabric. To see where it is today is just special.
To John Ritger and the others who made this course possible, thank you! Moreover, thanks to the countless others who put in the incalculable hours to make the course what it is today. This course is one of the reasons Atlanta disc golf is great. I cannot wait to see it improve even more in the years to come.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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