12 Helpful / 1 Not
Doesn't get the acclaim it should!
Pros: 1) Course is set entirely in the woods. I prefer this type of course because you really have to execute shots. I do not like holes where the only challenge is pure distance. I like to pick a disc to hit a specific line and try hard to execute what I have thought out. That is why this sport is so addicting to me. I am an analytical fiend and that contributes to my addiction.
2) Elevation is used dramatically on multiple holes. This elevation along with the wooded property create a constant challenge. You not only have to throw through the woods but you also have to evaluate what the elevation chaneg is going to do to your shot selection. An excellent combination of features!!!
3) Concrete tees are needed and done very well on this course. The elevation changes require confidence in footing on your drive and since that is the most important shot on each hole the concrete is essential.
4) The leaf cover on the ground can often times be considered a negative, but in this instance they actually keep the compacted soil underneath from being slick and muddy. It had rained the day I played and a lot the few days before too and the holes were not dangerously slick in many spots. Sure there are always going to be sections where the slope is extreme, but that would be slick no matter what. The leaves simply help keep the soil from being muddy.
5) Risk/reward of trying to thread the needle from tee to green is huge. You know you could layup a nice straight midrange shot then toss up a simple approach and make your putt but you know you want to try and duce the hole so you go for the drive that gets through all the trees, around all the corners, and park it under the basket. I only had 2 dueces on this course and I had 5 4's. Half of the 4's were on holes that certainly required multiple shots where you couldn't thread a disc all the way to the basket. The other half were on holes where I got a bad ricochet off a tree with my wide rimmed drivers. I would be interested to see how I would shoot if I only took a stable midrange out there and a putter.
6) Hole distances are varied. Although there aren't really any short ace runs, there is a good variety between 1 and 2 shot holes. There are legitimate par 4's which I like to have because it places an emphasis on the first shot getting to a spot to allow for a straight or easier approach.
7) I had the best birdie I have ever had on this course. Hole #11 where I threaded the needle all the way to the bottom of the hill and then I nailed a good putt from about 35' for the duece. What a tough hole. This is a positive to me because I executed exactly what I wanted and I was rewarded with a good birdie. These opportunities are everywhere on this course.
8) Next tee signs are visible on most if not all holes. This is a benefit to a wooded course like this.
9) A variety of discs are needed to play this course well. You will need to shape shots both directions especially if you get off the fairway. You will use your mid ranges and drivers, but you might also throw in some non conventional thoughts like throwing an overstable driver for an approach because you need to thread a needle and get more cut out of the disc.
11) There is a kiosk with info at the first hole. Plenty of shelter near the parking lot in case of rain, a portopotty in the parking lot. It is a cool park with a playground and a pond where I saw someone fishing too. Spend all day here with the family and experience the whole park!
12) Discatchers in this park are key because of the dense woods. The yellow band makes them very visible and helps in figuring out your shot.
13) Logs lining walking paths between holes. I have always like this idea, but never given credit to other courses that have these. I guess I didnt think much of it but it certain helps with navigation, and it helps clean up fallen limbs from fairways.
14) Course is actually a fairly quick play despite how denselt wooded it is. It is a small property and the holes flow very well so it helps to contribute to the feel of the course.
15) Course is removed from all other activities. The only place where a disc might be troublesome is on Hole #6 where you throw up the lawn (along the entrance road), but the desired shot cut back into the woods. However an accidentally flipped drive could take out a windshield.
16) Underbrush is not a problem on this course. I am surprised that the wooded area has not had an influx of undesirable growth. It may be naturally kept out becuase of the dense woods shading out those plants or it may be from labor of removing it. It is hard to tell but you won't encounter many areas that aren't in good shape.
Cons: 1) This course is not beginner friendly. Charlotte has some awesome courses but almost none of them are friendly to the beginner player. I think they need to start investing in some courses on school grounds or in more open parks to allow for beginners to come out and learn the sport before throwing them into the gauntlet that is all other Charlotte courses. Beginners need courses too it is what helps promote the game to more people.
2) There are a handful of trippers on this course. Small stumps and roots that will definitely catch you off guard. These things could be easily handles with a special machine that grinds the stump down and will just leave the ground up stumps and soil in a pile. This can be packed right in place and remove many of the safety hazards that go along with the trippers.
3) Wet slick clay is visible in a few spots. For the most part the leaves doa good job but there are some spots where slipping may ocurr.
4) I do not mind that the entire course is in the tight dense woods, but I would like to see an ace run available, and/or perhaps a hole or two where it is more forgiving and a wider fairway. This would bring the difficulty down, but increase the diversity a little. It is a negative but it is a little nit picky because I would play here every day if I lived nearby.
5) Signs do not have a hole layout. I would prefer to see a general fairway width and line with key trees in the fairways marked for distance. It is very tough to decipher how fr out some trees are when ll you see are trees. This would help immensely to the beginner and even the regular who is trying to figure out new lines or shot shapes.
6) The L shaped concrete pad was a bad idea. Sure they saved a few dollars because they used 25% less concrete to make this a shared pad, but it will create issues for people from time to time. I hate to see a couple dollar savings as a reason to create possible logjams.
7) Garbage cans are not plentiful enough. The course seemed fairly clean but I would like to see a few spread throughout the course just to help motivate people to throw things away properly.
Other Thoughts: I absolutely loved this course. It is what I would call this Charlotte Junior. It isnt as difficult as Nevin, Hornets Nest, Renaissance, Brackett's Bluff, or Kilborne, but it has a fair aount of challenge. I was surpsied I was able to shoot a 39 (+3) after finishing the round. It took some good shot execution and it took an awesome birdie on 11 to do so. I had a wonderful time here, and was so happy I had time to get to this course despite the flat tire I had coming into town. I would have missed out on a gem. It may not be considered the ultimate course because Charlotte is already so packed with awesome courses, but I consider it to be just as fun and I would be just as likely to return to Squirrel Lake as any of the other courses. It makes you feel good when you can play well here and it might help you to get over the bad scores you might suffer at many of the other local courses.
P.S. If you are into geo-cacheing as another hobby my wife and I started our first geo-cache in this park. I think she called is Bite the bullet. If you have questions just send me a note and I can help you out.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great layout, challenging terrain, not crowded, fun little course.
Cons: No H2O facilities, somewhat confusing at first, could do with map signs and clearer next tee signs.
Other Thoughts: I like this little course a lot. It's a good place to work on your fundamentals, as the fairways are thin and you'll need to use a variety of shots to keep yourself in play. It's not very long, so if you are distance-challenged like I am, you'll have a good chance at beating some of your higher-ranked friends. I especially like the downed trees with big root balls that act as fairway bunkers. It's also a good place to get some exercise, what with all the up and down. And it's close to my house, so I have found my new home course.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 6 Not
A- = Almost as good as a 12-holer can be
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- A
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- B
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- B+
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- B+
5) Bonus amount for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- C
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I can add anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me….that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
5 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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