Unique, but falls short
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: ATMOSPHERE - Small, family friendly, forested park in a designated "natural habitat" area. Chiefly hardwoods, of mature and adolescent ages. Suburban surroundings, with that "backyard" atmosphere. Borders the Four-Mile Creek greenway.
CHALLENGE - Despite 12 holes, a very technical course requiring fairly advanced-level accuracy.
AMENITIES - Bathrooms, water fountain, trashcans on 2 or 3 holes, several benches or psuedo-benches.
TEEPADS - OK. Concrete and appropriately sized.
ELEVATION - Superb use of NC Piedmont hills. Fairways vary up and down, with the topography ultimately descending into the Four Mile floodplain.
DIRECTIONALITY & DISTANCE - Good variety, including a few longer holes and par 4's.
BREVITY - (Also a con; see below) Allows for a quicker game without resorting to beginner-level 9 hole courses.
ROUGHS - Surprisingly well-worn in and forgiving for the most part.
Cons: FAIRWAYS - Many are tight, tight, tight. Throughout SL trees were left in the fairways to preserve the canopy (this park being a designated natural habitat). Often your throws just come down to dumb-luck. Very frustrating even for expert players. Many holes would be dramatically improved by the removal of 1-2 trees.
BASKETS - Many are single-chain. Your putts can and will slip through.
LITTER - Garbage and broken glass in some places.
SIGNAGE - Less than ideal. Only show par and distance, with no fairway maps.
NAVIGATION - May be confusing. Double-backs and short trails. First-timers bring a map. (Though there are small signs pointing to the next tee)
HOLE 6 SAFETY - This hole's fairway now runs parallel to a walking path and road. Bad drives could easily hit a car or passerby. Play with caution and respect.
EROSION - Already looking bad in some spots. Steps ought to be taken to mitigate this.
BREVITY - Only 12, now and forever.
Other Thoughts: Ahh...Squirrel Lake. The "black sheep" of Charlotte. Everyone loves to hate and hates to love this course. I grew up playing here and it has a special place in my disc-lovin' heart.
SL defies classification. Some holes are easy and for beginners (1, 8). Some are stupidly tight and/or have no fairway at all (3, 4, and parts of many). Other holes...others are magnificent...the kinds of holes you dream about (2, 7, 12). This eclectic mix attracts a variety of players, but it makes you wonder about what the designers intended.
Is it worth playing? Yes. SL isn't a "great" course, and SL doesn't give a damn. It'll make you angry, and then you'll make yourself angry by playing it again and again.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Nature Trail Disc Golf
Pros: A true test of accuracy, Squirrel Lake Park DGC is a very tight course. This course is a walk-in-the-park, with mild elevation changes and heavily wooded.
The course is equipped with concrete tees. Tee signs at every tee shows par and distance. Baskets in excellent condition, bright targets which are really necessary. Makeshift signs point to next tee.
All holes are in the woods, except for #6, which drives over a semi-open area, then turns left back into the woods before reaching the basket. Course cannot be played well without accurate drives.
Holes have a variation in distance, but no "air it out" holes.
Cons: There are some cons to the course(not all are cons to me, but I'm sure they are to some).
-There is one trash can within the course located at the #4 and #6 tee pad, which is an "L" shaped pad used for both holes.
-Dense trees require as much luck as it does skill.
-A few holes lack a "fairway" or "landing zones". If unable to make it to the vacinity of the basket on these holes you will be shooting an out shot.
-Not at all a technical course, requiring few types of shots to score a decent round, but have your thumber or tomahawk ready...you will be using it
-12 holes leave me with an incomplete feeling that I don't get with an 18 holer...or a 9 holer for that matter. (Rumors of Squrrel Lake expanding to 18 holes, but this is not in the near future)
-Park lacks proper restrooms, Port-O-John on site.
-No practice basket to warm up on putts before a round, no open area to throw some warm up drives, or get some practice in with a new disc
-Tee signs do not depict a map of the hole and baskets are tough to see from tees, which is extremely troublesome if you are playing the course for the first time.
Other Thoughts: Definately not the best course in the Charlotte area, but offers a round unlike any others around. Located a few minutes off of I-485 in Matthews, Squirrel Lake is easily accessable from all areas. Little foot traffic, allows a faster moving pair to play 12 in under 45 minutes. I'm not sure if its worth driving from a distance to play, but sufficient if you are a local.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very fun, challenging course. For local comparison, it's a tougher, better version of Reedy Creek.
- Good variety of holes. A couple of major doglegs really challenge your game. The course seems to have more LHBH-esque holes than many courses. Not a bad thing, just an extra challenge for most throwers.
- My favorite hole is #10. Sharp dogleg to the right. It takes 2 good shots to get to the hole.
- Quiet, small neighborhood park. Lack of park traffic means course isn't crowded. I'm impressed how you can get such an "out in nature" feel in such a small park.
- Holes are close to each other. Signs point to next hole.
Cons: Poision ivy all over the course. Needs some serious spraying. This is hopefully a temporary problem. NOTE: As of August '09, it's still a problem. Pay attention when playing the course.
- Course map or diagram on holes would be helpful for first timers.
- On several holes you have to walk up the fairway to the tee pad. For example, after finishing #7, the path leads you to the fairway for #8, where you then walk up the fairway to the tee pad. You'll need to pay attention to make sure you don't walk in front of someone teeing off.
Other Thoughts: The course looks like it'll be staying 12-hole course. Local board has voted against adding an extra 6 holes for the sake of the nature preserve.
- If the course were 18 holes, it'd deserve a 3.5 rating. I only gave it a 3 because it's only 12 holes.
- Course is actually more wide open than I would have thought. Very little underbrush, trees are usually your only obstacle. You do have a chance to redeem yourself if you get off the fairway.
- No restrooms (porta jon only) or water fountains at the course.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
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