5 Helpful / 2 Not
- Golf Like. Because the Mounds is on what were formerly the grounds of a Ball Golf course, it has some ball golf qualities... and as a former ball golfer, I appreciate that.
- Great Holes. The Mounds uses the available elevation, vegetation and other obstacles to perfection, creating some great disc golf Holes. Sure, some of the Holes are wide open bombs... but that can be fun too; especially when the topography is used to make those bombs all that more fun to throw and watch.
- Multiple Options for Play. With 2-4 tee-pads on every Hole, there are multiple options for how you can play the course: Gold, Blue, Red, White. One great thing about the way the multiple tees are laid out is that they played from various angles, completely changing the way the Hole played... it's not like the shorts tees were simply shorter than the longs. (Note: the Gold Tees seemed less developed than the blues and reds).
- Flow. As a person who has designed and installed a course, I was blown away by the poor design in terms of flow at the Mounds. For example... after Hole 6, you come out of the woods and land on a tee-pad, but nope... that's not Hole 7's tee-pad, it's Hole 8's tee-pad. What's worse is that after playing Hole 7, you have to practically retrace your footstep all the way back down the fairway to get to Hole 8's tee-pad which plays parallel to Hole 7, in the same direction?
Similarly, Hole 9 plays back toward the parking lot, which is usually a Pro; however, to get to Hole 10, you have to walk all the way back up Hole 9's fairway, past Hole 9's tee-pad to get to 10??? Why?
With that being said... Holes 7 and 8 and Holes 9 and 10 are really great Holes. And since there probably wouldn't have been a way to make those Holes work without having long walks backwards down the fairways, it's somewhat forgivable.
Here's how it goes... as your walking back down the fairway to get to the next tee-pad, you're cursing the designer, "What kind of idiot would design such a thing"... But, when you reach the next tee-pad, you think to yourself, or your playing partner, "This is a cool Hole!"
- Hole 6. Someone just wanted to get into the woods for a minute. Don't get me wrong, I love woods Holes, but Hole 6 has nothing to do with the rest of the course in terms of its style of play. Hole 6 also contributes to the bad flow.
- Colored Plastic Plates? The tee-signs were colored plastic plates that were stapled to the tee-post and labeled with sharpie. Plastic plates - really? Some of the plates were broken, cracked, blowing away, etc... Do you really want your awesome course to get slammed because your tee-signs were colored plastic plates? I hope someone who cares fixes this.
- Overall... the shots were fun; actually the shots were pretty great. I was often mentally disturbed by the poor flow and design choices, but that usually went away when we played the Holes themselves. The old ball golf course property really lends itself well to disc golf, creating ball-golf-esque feeling Holes... which is a check plus in my book. The tee-pads and tee-signs were lacking considerably, and there weren't any other amenities in the park (bathrooms, water fountains, benches, etc...). So bring a lunch and plenty of water because, if you're like me, you'll probably want to go around twice: reds and blues.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
The John Holmes of DG?
Pros: Mostly open course. Very clean. Concrete tee pads. Readily accessible.
Cons: Serious lack of parking (gravel only). Finding the next 'primary' tee can be challenging.
Other Thoughts: Bring out the cannon's as this course is assuredly for those who like to grip 'n' rip! Although this course is a little out of the way per se, it's not like it's in the middle of nowhere either as you're only a couple of minutes from restaurants et al. For those who like technical courses this won't do at all; but for those who like a goodly amount of exercise it will as the course is very long from the pro pads.
0 of 8 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.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: a lot of fun. very open. on an old ball golf course. i'd like to see more of these for sure. big arms will love it. i would definitely go back.
Cons: can be windy. too open. too much like victor ashe.
Other Thoughts: pro tees are HUGE shots. it's still not better than morningside.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Very enjoyable course to to play
Pros: The overall playing experience on this course was very enjoyable. Since this property is primarily a disc golf course, there are no other park users, such as walkers/riders to be concerned about. The layout has a variety of shot types and hazards, and with 4 different teepads usually per hole, you can dictate the level of difficulty you prefer. Grass height was not an issue, and roughs were not so overgrown that you could not locate discs. Discgolfers with dogs will love this course too, for its privacy/seclusion from other users.
Cons: Natural teepad traction when wet is my only significant con. The teepads need to be improved to a crushed stone surface at least, to cut down on the slick muddiness in some areas when wet. The course design does make for some longer walks between holes, depending on the pad preference. But not enough to warrant any redesign IMO. Signage was adequate, though there was room for improvement.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this course rocks. Big Arms to noobs can be accomodated. The scenery is beautiful and the design is solid. As a former ball golf course with rolling hills, random mounds of vegetated earth, and pond, the terrain is varied and challenging. Tree coverage is a good mix, with many somewhat open bombs along with some tight wooded lines. Assuming that eventually there will be hard surface tees such as concrete here, this course will be 4.5-5 stars in my book.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Long Throws and Deep Grass
Pros: Multiple tee boxes, four on most holes. I like the option to play from a variety of tees, especially since my wife is always with me and she is able to play up a tee so it is more even between us. The baskets are all really nice. There are a lot of benches and there are hole layout signs on each hole (the distance might be off in some cases though). Nice scenery and you won't be bogged down by other golfers out there. Bring your drivers because you can cut it loose on most holes.
Cons: The times I have been out there, the fairway grass was really deep and the rough was rediculously deep. I had to search for several discs that I had thrown right in the middle of the fairway because that grass was above ankle deep. The tee boxes got a little haphazard on the last couple holes (I still don't know where the blue tee is on #17). Also we couldn't use some tees because they were basically bushes from overgrowth.
Other Thoughts: Let me say that if the grass wasn't so long EVERYWHERE then I could have rated this a 3.5 easily if not more. I would absolutely love to play this course when it has been cut and hasn't been raining constantly. This will be awesome when those other holes are done off of #6. If they'd improve at least the blue and white tees (maybe concrete) that'd be wonderful, and the grass really needs to be mowed (could just be the times I"ve been there though). I'll want to check this out in the fall. I liked the course more than it seems but I have to rate it honestly and will be happy to update the next time I play if it changes.
**UPDATE** I've changed to a 3.5 because I just played and all the grass was short, brush cut back and really a good course to play. The do need to update a sign or two though.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Long Holes with marsh areas, creeks, turns, extra rough roughs and nice brand new tee boxes. Course maintained by the local disc golf club. I have enjoyed this course every time I have played it, and it seems to have the most variety out of every course. One of the biggest Pros that puts this course over VA for me is the lack of traffic, the quality of the people, and the cleanliness of the course. I have never worried about losing a disc to a punk kid here. The locals who play this course frequently have been adding another 9 holes in the woods off of 6, which will tie in the rest of the course making it a 27 hole course. IMHO, this is one of the best courses I have played in a long time, and is perfect for practicing or for tournaments, and is much more remote and peaceful than the big courses in Knoxville.
Cons: Although there has been quite a bit of work, there are things that still need addressing on the course. Tee Pads are coming along nicely, as are repairs to parts of the course that needed some work.
Other Thoughts: This is an amazing course to go out to. I am sure if you give it a shot, and stop at Pluto's sports of knoxdiscgolf.org you can pick up a map of this course and save yourself some trouble walking from baskets to pads. This course was a ball golf course, so the layout of the holes is going to be different than a course built on a blank slate. I believe this to be one of the most fun courses I have ever played, including hole 6. (Which is an easy ace for an experienced player). I think 6 gets a bad rap because it is unforgiving. If you overshoot or tail off to the left you are going over the hill. I will agree it does not flow with the front 9, but it does tie the soon to be added extra holes in. Overall, this course is a blast to play, is less crowded than VA, and is beautiful - which makes it worth the extra travel time, and the walking.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Need Better Layout
Pros: Lot's of open holes and long distance holes for you to crank on some discs if you like to just throw hard. Great big baskets. Baskets are nice, and I like all the different options for the tee pads for different levels of play.
Cons: It's all the same to me. All the holes are long and out in the open. Only one hole in the woods and it is just completely different from the others. The course needs more variety. It took me a little over 2 hours to play with one other guy because we couldn't find the next tee. The next tee pad was never close to the basket. We walked all over the place looking for he right tee. We always ended up at the wrong one. Also, I counted off a few of the holes, and the footage was pretty far off on a few holes. Need to get the measurements right. We passed the course the first time as well because the sign was so small. Also, no tee pads.
Other Thoughts: I threw the same 2 discs all day. My 2 big drivers. I like a course to challenge me and have me use everything in my bag. I like variety, and this course had none of that.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Amazing layout spread out over about half of the old golf course its built on. My favorite shot is the drive off of the blue tee for #13. You have to watch where your drive lands on this one. If it goes over the right ob line it becomes government property. Overall an amazing experience.
Cons: Hole 6 does not fit with the rest of the course and even throwing from the gold tee it is way to short, Also the pond at the right-side of 10's fairway ate one of my discs. It almost got my sidewinder off of the tee from 17 as well.
Other Thoughts: This course is beastly long and beautifully planned. Other than hole 6 this course has a whole lot to offer a big armed thrower and if you really wing it it also has a lot to offer for a sidearm driver like me.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
My Least Favorite Course So Far.
Pros: The setting is something really special. Some great water obstacles and great opportunities for beautiful holes.
I played on a February Saturday with near 60 degree weather, no wind, and skies so clear that you could see the Smokies from anywhere in Knoxville, and there were still only 8ish groups playing on the course. We didn't have anyone slowing us down in front of us, and no one hurrying us from behind.
A huge space to maintain, and it is in fact maintained excellently.
The best basket brand out there. Without the numbered baskets we would have quit this course.
Cons: Course layout, course layout, course layout. As mentioned, hole 6 is something terrible. It's gimmicky, super short, and as the only really "wooded" hole on the course it doesn't fit in at all. I had a big issue with 9 and 10. Their tees are right next to each other, and go in opposite directions. For holes 2, 3, and 4, fairways shared some overlap. One of our players, in the fairway for 2, was almost hit by a drive from 3 (and it wasn't a terrible drive by the guy from 3)
I had a huge problem with tee signage. I found that MOST of the time the different colored tees were not at all where they were marked on the tee sign (number 2 is laughably wrong). Sometimes near the basket the course would tell you where to go for the next tee. That was a welcome occasion, but not the norm.
The tees themselves had major issues. The tees for 7 and 8 are all in the same area, kind of confusing (bad bad flow from 7 to 8, have to backtrack on nearly all of 7 to get to hole 8's blue). Some of the tees for hole 16 were in the middle of the fairway for hole 14, hole 11 and twelve's tees were really scattered.
The baskets were typically very far away from the next tee. Transition time is boring, if a course is designed well you should not be walking 150 feet or more to get to the next tee every hole.
Other Thoughts: I don't think a course ever needs 4 tees. Three would suffice here, being less cluttered, more definable as beginner, intermediate, advanced, and cheaper to eventually build those concrete pads out of. The reds are too easy here anyway, anyone who feels like those fit them best would probably have more fun on a course that requires less walking.
Overall plenty of potential for this course with its location, but I constantly found problems with execution and design throughout my visit. Victor Ashe has a lot of similarities in size to this course, and is easily my pick of the two for the Knoxville area.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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