a work in progress
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Plenty of distances to throw from on each hole, the challenges are finding them. Usually having one or two clear Tee's marked. It is the biggest course I know of with 27 holes. 9 are in the woods near the pond. The entrance being at basket 8. Which is just awesome, but not marked very well, I am sure due to finances. There are plenty of restaurants near by to grab a bite to eat before or after the game.
Cons: You really need to go with someone who has thrown here before if you have not played it yet.
Course gets muddy due to terrain layout and the Tee's are mostly dirt so if it's rained for a day you might want to wait on this course till it dries out. It's a golf course, easy to lose some discs if you are an aggressive thrower like me, but that's part of the fun. I don't think one can complain about high grass and foliage, this is disk golf. :-)
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Not quite Victor Ashe
Pros: Groves Parks is a mixed bag course. There's potential for a solid course, but right now it's more of a conglomerate of confusion than anything else.
- The course is mainly wide open. If you want to swing your sword by showing off your big arm, this is the course for you. The course is on the grounds of an old golf course, and some of the hole layouts seem to follow the ball golf method.
- The course does a good job of using the terrain to provide a good challenge, taking an advantage of the limited obstacles that are prevalent. There are limited trees on the course, so you'll see a lot holes with baskets place behind them - holes #2, 3, 4, 5, etc. Are you noticing a theme? There's also use of water, from a creek on #4 & 5, to a pond in play on #8 & 10.
- The rolling hills (yes, they're more like mounds, or Mounds) provide a little more challenge. #7 is a great example of a tougher uphill shot. You'll also see baskets placed in between miniature mounds and/or rough - #9 & 18 are good examples here.
- Tee signs are great. A suggestion to improve their usefulness would be to place them at the same layout on each hole - i.e. the gold, long layout.
- And, this might be the best thing this course has to offer: this is a disc golf only piece of land. I haven't come across a public park that is nothing but disc golf. What a huge bonus, and a tremendous sign of support from the city. As an out-of-towner, I don't know if it will remain that way. But, for the time being, it's awesome to have this swath of land solely dedicate to disc golf.
Cons: This is where the confusion rears its ugly head. In essence, holes overlap each other, the signage is poor, hole distances are inaccurate, and there's a feel of repetitiveness. And that's just in the first five holes.
- The root of all these issues was the poor signage. Starting on hole #1, the listed distances are way off. My buddy and I teed off from the blue tee, which is listed at 471 feet. I threw a dud tee shot, and just cleared the red, short tee, which is listed 320 feet from the basket. I then landed my second shot, a Roc that I normally throw in the 225 foot range, 10 feet past the basket. Based on the listed distances, I threw my drive about 170 feet (from 471 ft tee to just past 320 ft tee), and my mid-range disc about 300 feet, or 75 feet longer than normal.
- On #2, we spot the tee sign, with no indication what layout it's located at, and then a blue tee about 40 feet behind it. We tee off from the blue tee, only to soon realize that was the blue tee for #4. We'd have known that if the signs were better marked. We finally found the blue, white and red tees, some of which were marked by with paper plates. Yes, on multiple holes, the tees are marked with numbered paper (or maybe they're Styrofoam) plates.
- On #3, the gold and blue tees are almost parallel to each other, but their distances are listed at 486 and 393 respectively. Hmmm.
- And issues like this kept creeping up throughout. When something like this comes up on almost every hole on the front nine, you quickly sour on your disc golf experience.
- The other 'negative' about the course itself is the thick grass. As soon as my disc hit the ground, it stopped right there. The lack of rolls/skips takes away extra distance, which makes some of these holes play even longer.
- When I say this is a disc golf only piece of land, I mean this is a disc golf only piece of land. There's a port-a-jon near the unmarked parking lot, and that's it for amenities here. No real bathrooms, water fountains, drink machines, etc. The parking is right off the side of the road, and if you're not careful, it'd be easy to miss the course.
Other Thoughts: Grove Park, in its current state, is an example of the parts being greater than the sum. I had high hopes for the course and was really disappointed. Knoxville's other
open course (Victor Ashe) does a great job of making an open course fun & challenging. Grove Park, on the other hand, comes up short.
- This seems to be a love/hate course. Some will love the wide open fields and the ability to let tee shots fly. Others will probably sour on the repetitiveness of the course, and the somewhat lack of variety here. Again, Victor Ashe succeeds in making similar, open holes feel different.
- This is the first course I've ever played where I walked off before finishing every hole. With nine extra holes, it now stands at 27. And with the frustration I was having here, I had gotten enough without playing all of those.
- Most of the problems I listed above can easily be fixed with a little work from the local DG club. Regular players tend to miss some of these issues because they're so familiar with the layout. Here in Charlotte, outsiders notice the poor signage at Renaissance, while most locals have never noticed the signs were wrong or missing altogether.
- As I said, a lot of holes, in and of themselves, are good. #1 is a fun starting hole; 2, 3 & 4 all offer some challenging layouts. But, when you're trying to sort through the clutter of finding tee pads and determining distances all the time, they lose their luster.
- #9 was a cool layout. Having the basket surrounded by mounds of tall grass gave a great risk/reward second shot.
- Despite all the issues, I can still recognize the positives this course has to offer. It probably speaks well of the course, that a low score for it is only a 3.0. That said, I feel this course should be closer to the 4.0 range. In due time, I hope it gets there.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Disc Golf takes over Ball Golf Course?
Pros: *Update- I was informed by a local that this course has been reduced to 9 holes due to residential development, but there are plans to put in 9 holes in the woods. The following review is for the 18 hole course I played. Back to the original review...
Groves Park is a unique disc golf course that plays on land once occupied by a ball golf course. (They don't put ball golf courses on useless land like is often the case with disc golf courses.) This fact makes the setting really nice, and the whole area is very spacious, yet the land is dedicated only to disc golf. It is also out of town on a road not often traveled, with much of the course bordered by government property, so when you are here you get the out-in-nature feel, even though it is not too far from town.
Each hole has 4 sets of tees. It is a lot of openness, but there are trees to avoid, small creek/ditch, a pond, some elevation you would expect on a ball golf course like mounds and sloping fairways. There are a couple of holes that are in the woods to mix it up just a bit. I liked the back 9 more than the front, so I appreciate that the course gets better as it progresses. Hole #10 with the pond offers a nice risk/reward situation.
This course is long and fairly wide open, so if this is a pro if this is to your liking. There are 4 sets of tees, and the distances between the shortest and longest is quite large, so you do have options.
Cons: The overall layout. There are unnaturally long walks to #1 and from #18 back to the parking lot. There was also a lot of time walking between holes, along with some backtracking, and searching around for the many sets of tees. The tees are all natural and marked with the ground tee markers that appeared to be left over from the ball golf course that had 4 tee areas per hole. This type of tee marker can easily be moved, thrown, broken, removed, etc. and that was the case for a few when I played.
This course comes nowhere near the parking lot at any point in the round (including #1 and #18!), so if you are playing here in the middle of a TN summer, be sure to carry lots of water with you as shade is limited. (Not a con, but I remember thinking at one point when there were only 3 holes left, yet it seemed we were still playing away from the car!)
Playing disc golf on a ball golf course sounds fun at first, until you play and realize that ball golf courses are terrible places for disc golf courses if you just play the fairways and greens (super long and wide open, with few obstacles that factor in.) Much of the front 9 was like this and was somewhat repetitive- just throw it really far and avoid the single tree and then throw it really far again... And then there is hole 6, which is an attempt to add some woods variety, but it is really out of character from the rest of the course, and, frankly, the hole itself is not a good one- really short, super tight, blind, need some luck, and it is almost hidden on the hillside and difficult to find because you would not expect a hole to be there after playing the first 5.
It is unfortunate that land with this much potential has a course with many major cons. This is a course that is still relatively new, and it seems as improvements are still in the works, so hopefully it will only get better with the locals' help.
Other Thoughts: There is a lot of more space here. The course appeared to play on only half of the original golf course, and I was thinking the whole time that could easily put in 18 or more holes here, and it looks like that is now in the works.
This course is difficult to rate. Big arms are going to love it because as it gives them a chance to really air it out.
There is a lot of potential here because the land is really nice, with a chance to have a disc golf course that could rival the look and style of a ball golf course. But there are so many cons here it really detracts from the overall experience. Add to that, if your driving distance is limited, you may just hate playing here. All these things would explain the wide spectrum of the given ratings.
Recommendation- read all the reviews before deciding to play here. These seems obvious, but I think it really applies for this course- if it sounds like your style then you will probably love it, but if not, then go play elsewhere. I admit that when I read this used to be a ball golf course I wanted to play here more than anything, but was disappointed once I realized the negatives of this. Be sure to have realistic expectations, as this is still a decent course that has a lot of things going for it.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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