3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Edwin M. Griffin Preserve is an interesting location for a disc golf course. As a preserve, this is a nice piece of land. As a place for disc golf....not so much.
- The biggest positive of my review is that I'm not going to give this course a zero. **SPOILER ALERT**: I'm giving this course a 0.5*** Now if you want, you can skip the rest of this review.
- The best thing this 'course' has going for it is that it's a very nice piece of land in the rich, expensive part of town. Driving to and from this course, I passed million dollar homes. I had no idea Spartanburg had such a nice part of town. That said, having a disc golf course, even in its most simplistic version, doesn't seem like it fits in this part of town.
- The concept here is simple. Tee off from the previous hole sign and aim for the next hole sign. To give some credit, there are some decent hole layouts here. I enjoyed any combination of holes #6 - 9 that involved throwing up or down a slight hill. The problem is that you basically throw down to the baskets on holes #6 & 9, and out of it on 7 & 10. Playing one hole here would be nice, but not using one nice plot of land on 4 holes.
- There's a wide variety in hole distances. If the course map is correct, #18 is a legit long hole, throwing across an open field. I bring that up because I spent several minutes searching for #17 (which would be the tee for #18) and couldn't find it. There are also plenty of holes shorter than 150 feet.
- The preserve keeps going a ways further past where the course ends. Behind the back end of the course - near holes #10 & 11 - is an impressive bridge that crosses a wide creek. This would actually be a nice spot to go for a trail run.
Cons: I'll keep my negatives brief and pretty toned down. You can't deny the fact this is barely a functioning course. Anyone going here looking to play is wasting their time. I can only see this course being visited as a means of adding to your played total.
- This course has no logical rhyme or reason to it. I'm guessing it's intended for beginners and families. If that's the case there are basket locations that are way too difficult/offer too high of a risk of a lost disc. #4 for example is located on a narrow walking path. To the left and right of the path are drop offs to thick underbrush and/or water. Add to that, holes like #5 which is longer with a narrow fairway and the same water/underbrush to the left of the fairway and #18, with its length, seem to also play above a first-timers skill level.
- Without a map, this course would be virtually impossible to play. To give credit, even though it's poorly hand-drawn and not to scale, the map on this site is pretty accurate. Without the map, you would be lost after hole #3. At other points, you'll see multiple baskets and would have no clue where to throw.
- Some holes are complete jokes. As mentioned above, a fair number of holes are short. That said, there are several that are straight, wide-open and can't be longer than 100 feet. How can you have holes that might be 500 feet+ (#18) and 75-foot holes on the same course? Again, who is your target audience?
- There's really nothing appealing about this course. The open field in the front of the course has tall grass and a ton of fire ant hills, so it's not even conducive for practice throws. Add to that the fact there aren't real baskets here, and you can't even practice putting. Even if I lived in one of the nice houses close to the preserve, I wouldn't even consider this a place to use for practice.
Other Thoughts: The EGP is there. It's a course and can be played. I've been wanting to check out just how 'different' this course was for quite some time. Let's just say I wasn't disappointed.
- Call me crazy, but if this were only a 9-hole object course, you could actually turn it into a semi-decent short course. As I said, there are some nice holes. By some, I'd say maybe a third of them weren't bad. Take those four to six decent holes, polish them up a little bit, and add a couple more holes of that same caliber, and there's a pleasant, neighborhood nine-holer. As an 18-hole layout, this course just isn't sustainable.
- This isn't the worst course I've ever played, but it's not too far from the bottom. On top of that, I don't think the locals even know this is a course. I passed a lady who was walking the preserve, and she seemed a little confused that I was throwing discs on the walking trail.
- The course seems to be a complete afterthought. I have a feeling the basket markers won't be replaced as they rot/break down/disappear. Over time this course will probably have less and less holes until there are just several markers remaining. And that might not be a bad thing.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The preserve property is beautiful and has great potential. Intersecting streams and a
river all provide great potential hazards. There is a variety of open field, opens woods,
and dense woods, as well as some elevation change. There appears to be more wooded area which could potentially be used for several more holes on both sides of the river.
The course is easy to find and access with a good parking area. There is enough room for a
really good 9 hole course. The conservancy is doing pioneering work on invasive plant control by mowing kudzu and skid steer removal of privet. Map box mounted next to #1 tee. As
a final positive, there has not been a great deal of development that would be difficult to undo.
Cons: No facilities, just a parking lot. Minimal sign-age. The potential as a disc golf venue
is largely unrealized. The holes are mostly ridiculously too short for serious disc golf,
even for Super Class. It might work with a vintage class frisbee. The "Rustic" designation
apparently means there is no intention of doing any tee development beyond marking. Rustic
also means "no ugly metal baskets". The goals on this "Rustic Frisbee Golf" course are 4x4 posts with a 10x12 wooden number plate. The rustic rule of teeing from within 15 feet of the last goal is potentially dangerous and ill conceived. There is a 6'x6'x6' bamboo mound
covered with poison ivy about 6 feet behind the #3 goal. Fairways 6 and 9 cross each other - a huge no-no. Apparently bicyclists and disc golfers use the same wooded paths without being able to see each other approaching. I refused to throw hole #13 for this reason. Walkers and runners are also on the shared paths. There are deep weeds (Kudzu) within the putting circle on most of the left side of the #9 goal for no apparent reason.
Other Thoughts: I wish I could give it a lower rating without doing 0. It does just barely deserve more than 0. The course was put in as an Eagle Scout project - my props to the scout(s) and that effort. While I was playing I met Ed Griffin himself who lives right next to tee #17. He told me he is 86 years young. The map which is available on dgcoursereview.com was sketched by Ed Griffin, and it appears that he is the designer of the course. I didn't realize this when I talked to him. He explained the Spartanburg Area Conservancy's desire is to maintain a "Rustic Frisbee Course". While that clearly meant the goals will remain wooden 4x4 posts, it was not clear to me if permanent tee markers might be OK. Frankly, I greatly prefer real "ugly metal" goals, but that is not what keeps the course from being viable. Posts would be OK if the holes were a reasonable challenge. Unfortunately the only challenge is for those using rustic old fashioned frisbees. In some places any modern beveled edge driver is a safety hazard. To make this course safe, separate paths for walking and bicycling need to be established.
The design attempts to put 18 holes in a space that is just not large enough for a real 18 hole course. There is ample room for a good 9 hole course, where dual tees (and dual goal placements) could provide for both blue and red level holes. I have designed a nine hole layout using existing objects which should provide a satisfactory experience. Please feel free to play my layout. I only ask that you credit me for my design work when you do. A spotter is going to be needed for any serious discing at the preserve.
Tick's "Ed Griffin Preserve" layout:
#1 Tee at the existing #1 tee and play to the #17 goal downhill right about 350'.
#2 Tee about 15' right of the existing #3 goal straight up the middle of the two pipelines
to the existing #4 goal.
#3 Walk up the wooden pole powerline to the next nearest wooden pole and tee next to it to
the #9 goal. A spotter would be a good idea here.
#4 Tee at nearly the highest point of the property next to another wooden power pole towards the far right hand corner just before the river. Use the black area on right front leg of the metal power tower as a goal.
#5 Tee beween the other metal power tower and the river to the #11 goal, playing a gentle
right curve parallel to the river.
#6 Tee through a tree gap over the small creek which is directly past the picnic tables from
the last goal to #14 goal sign. There should be a mando tree designated on the right side so
as not to throw into the next tee.
#7 Tee next to the #13 tee (or 30 feet behind it) to the #15 goal or the 4' tree stump another 40 feet beyond.
#8 Tee from the #16 goal sign to the "Turkey Run Trail" sign.
#9 Tee next to the #2 goal to the blue trash barrel next to the parking lot.
Keep having fun!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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