3 Helpful / 0 Not
Grooving in Groves Park
~4 sets of tees to appeal to every type of player
~Great flow in a wide open natural setting
~Baskets are in good shape
~Quiet, serene atmosphere that is very peaceful
~Beautiful views of surrounding hills
~A monster of a course requiring power and accuracy
~Natural tee pads provide loose footing
~Minimal signage, but tees have colored indicators
~No official indicator that you found the course
~Very primitive and basic amenities (which can be a pro)
I found myself at peace with the surroundings and completely satisfied during a long pleasant round at this exceptionally beautiful course. Played with a friend while visiting Oak Ridge on a warm, cloudless Saturday Autumn morning. We drove up and down the road a couple times as there really is not official indicator letting you know that you've arrived. Hopped out, geared up and played from the Blue Tees which proved to be a fairly long and utterly enjoyable experience. The natural tee pads were mostly muddy and slick so we threw from the grass beside each tee box. Footing was solid, but concrete tees would help with confidence on the long drives this set demands. A medley of holes ranging from long open bombs to wooded areas with a heavy dose of mature trees mixed throughout that traverses gradually sloping terrain. Water comes into play here and there. Don't let the openness fool you as skilled lines and a handful of throwing styles are needed throughout. A spectacular setting with ample room for many groups to roam. Highly recommended...epic experience.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Mounds is fun and long but laid out great!
Pros: Despite the setting and length of this course it is laid out very well. much better then Victor Ashe (down in Knoxville).
As noted..Long open holes but the new 9 in the woods do give you some added variety.
Great use of an abandoned golf course. They can probably add a few more long open holes on other parts of the golf course and make this even bigger if they wanted to...However not everyone is into 50 holes of power...
It's still under the radar for the most part. I've yet to run into crowds when I play here.
A lot of elevation changes.
Great use of the water hazards.
Cons: I have to drive forever to get there?
It's sitting on nuclear waste?
Watch out for the snapping turtles if you have to take a swim for a disc.
Other Thoughts: I cannot wait to hit the new 9 up in the woods. It will also be nice when dgcoursereview gets that information added.
This is one great little gem in East Tennessee that is off the radar and you can really get out there and work on your power/long game.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As fans of country music will know, or anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to be bombarded with this dreck while attending a state fair, Oak Ridge, Tennessee is most famously know for them there "Oak Ridge Boys'. The group that brought you Elvira. Indeed, that's all I know this fine lil' town tucked into the hollers of the Eastern Tennessee Mountains. However, Oak Ridge should be known for their disc golf.
- Tee Pads. Each hole on this course has FOUR, count 'em up kids, FOUR tee pads. Red for short, white for intermediate, blue for long and gold for "where is the hole!"? Each tee pad location changes each hole dramatically and makes the course different every time you walk on to the course.
- Baskets - Brand new Innova baskets that catch like the soft hands of a guardian angel. And if I could learn how to putt, I am sure that I would take advantage of them.
Shot variance - the holes range from long and wide open to super tight, wooded holes that challenge the most experienced golfer.
hazards - bad ass water hazards that come into play, along with a creek that can bother any shot.
scenery - yes, I add this in here. the hills and the use of the terrain is amazing on this course. this is such a beautiful course that it's hard to put into words. coming from someone who plays in city parks, it sure is nice to play where there is ZERO car traffic and no aimless boobs wandering into your fairways. Disc golf belongs in the country.
Cons: buhhhh..I am going to have to nitpick here.
I am not a huge fan of the gravel tee pads...but these were really not that bad. all of them were marked well. but honestly, I find it tough to give a perfect score to a course with gravel and grass tee pads. totally personal preference here.
the signs could be improved. now, there are signs at every single hole that shows the distance from each tee pad, but some of the pads have been moved since the signs were put in I guess.
it's a long walk. and that's only a con for me because I am totally out of shape and need to stop smoking. plus, it was muggier than an alligator's rear when we got into the trees.
Other Thoughts: built on an old ball golf course and repurposed into a great DG course, this place is a must play IMHO. great community and very welcoming people playing this course as well. I can't recommend this enough!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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.
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