You should be Ashe-amed if you pass on Ashe Lake
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Ashe Lake's 18 hole DGC makes excellent use of a modest sized patch of woods and the surrounding area to offer a fun round that leans towards the technical. The majority of holes feature at least moderate tree cover, although the specifics are pretty well varied to avoid repetition. There's a focus on hitting tight windows, and a few holes force you to consider landing zones beyond what a typical par 3 course does, in a welcome addition to the course's mental game. The lake comes into play on a few holes, bordering fairways or backdropping pins. It's largely avoidable, but factors in enough to add some wrinkles to your shot. There's a nice mix of distances considering the par 3 format, and even one or two opportunities to air it out, such as on hole 18.
Line shaping is in demand here: everything from tunnel shots to gradual hyzers and turnovers to more severe angles are needed. Shot repetition is truly minimized. There are places where an overhand or controlled roller will do you well, and FH/BH versatility is rewarded throughout. While not incredibly technical, Ashe Lake's 18 has enough challenge to keep you on your toes and challenge you on most holes from drive to putt. It doesn't beat you unrelentingly, but it does make you earn a good score.
Elevation isn't significant, but there are a few holes on the back 9 that take advantage of the slight downward sloping hill towards the lake, most notably the downhill tunnel shot on 14 with a watery border beyond the basket that makes you pay for overshooting. Given the rarity of elevation in the area, even a few such holes such as Ashe Lake has stand to be noted.
The rough is thinned out well which really minimizes the chance of losing a disc. Fairways seem to be regularly mowed. Parking is ample and navigation is clear, especially with a picture of the course map on hand at the course's entrance.
Cons: I struggle to come up with any major cons for Ashe Lake's 18. It's a very solid, enjoyable course as long as you don't mind wooded golf. I'd highly recommend playing a round here.
The biggest quality that sticks out to me in the con department is that Ashe Lake is simply unspectacular. It's very workmanlike, consisting mostly of par 3s that emphasize a single challenge, shot, or feature. Many of these holes work, but some can be bland. The course breaks things up better than most such modest par 3s, but the end result won't wow you, steal your breath away, or redefine your concept of what a disc golf course is capable of. I suppose that if this is a course's lead con, it's doing rather well for itself.
Par 4s and multishot/multistage holes would add some variety here. The majority of holes put you on one specific line, and you either hit it or you don't.
Many of the pro tees are untended and becoming overgrown, making them unplayable. Which is a shame, because they often looked like solid shots that added something to the course.
Controlled burns to regulate underbrush seem to be normal, and while that helps reign in disc-swallowing plant growth it can make for a smokey round.
Other Thoughts: Ashe Lake's 18 holer was the high point of my four round trip to the Hattiesburg area in which I played here and at Paul B. Johnson State Park. I love courses in wooded environments and this one was a very enjoyable balance of challenge and fun. It's well designed and easy to get to, and a quick 15 minute drive from PBJ. I'd highly recommend it if you're in the area!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
a little rough
Pros: nice wooded setting with lots of different shots. good mix of holes with some water in play along with heavily wooded holes and some more open shots. beautiful setting and no one else was on the course.
Cons: hard to navigate. The tees have numbers but no description of the holes or even yardage. On 2 holes we all threw at a basket that was straight ahead of us only to find out when we got to it that it was the wrong basket. The tee pads are big but in bad shape. They are made of crushed gravel with a type of pad over it but the padding is coming apart and it makes the footing uneven. No amenities right there but you can go back across the lake to the other course for restrooms and water fountains (short drive)
Other Thoughts: This is a long and challenging wooded course. There are some pro pads that make it even harder. This could be a really excellent course with a few changes and additions.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good variety of shots and great use of terrain and foliage. The fairways were a little high (mid calf) but not overly noticeable. Water is only in play in one or two instances on the full 18 hole course. Tees were good to average depending on the wear and tear, but none were unusable. Each tee is marked with a numbered PVC pipe marker and all were in good shape except for hole 3. All of the baskets were in great shape except for 18 which was a little crooked.
The 9 hole handicapped course was a blast as well. Played it with an approach and a putter as a Par 2 course and had fun. It would be an ideal warm-up before tackling the 18 hole course across the lake. Great spot for a picnic and a round of 9 with smaller kids or novices. Peaceful park and serene surroundings.
Cons: The gravel/carpet tee boxes are kind of a mixed bag. Some are in OK shape and others are pretty rotted. Scraping off the carpet and a couple of inches of gravel and replacing with concrete would vastly improve the play of several holes.
It was a little tricky to navigate at times for a first time visitor, but the baskets are numbered so a little bit of scouting if you have any doubts would allay any confusion. Underbrush is controlled for the most part and only had thick brush on a couple of holes.
No signage on the road to indicate a parking lot for the course or even the existence of the 18-hole course. If this site didn't list this course, you'd never know it was there.
You have to pay the $5 park fee to play (if you're honest) and for a solo thrower that may be a bit much, but for a car load of guys, it's pennies. Not a big "con" for me personally.
Other Thoughts: This course is a diamond in the rough. Just a little bit more maintenance, an online map (or other improved navigation), and some promotion by the local community and this course would easily be rated a 4 or higher.
As a visitor, I can't really stress how much a little bit of maintenance by the park service or the local DG community would go a long way. There wasn't any trash or anything like that, just an overgrown parking lot, some fairways that need attended to, and perhaps a re-thinking of the gravel/carpet tees. The forms are there (around the gravel) for concrete boxes so an upgrade wouldn't be difficult and would add a half rating in my mind. Navigation is the biggest issue after maintanence and a posted map in the parking lot (similar to the excellent maps on the 9 hole course across the lake) would be awesome. I intend to play this course every time I visit the Hattiesburg area and I enjoyed it more than Paul B. Johnson even with it's warts.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
My own Private Course in the area
Pros: Opening thoughts: The first time I was here, I was not a disc golfer, but I made note of the fact that there were baskets, in my mind. So when I returned to the area, because it's a great place to camp not far outside of New Orleans, and it's on the way to Minnesota, I knew I had to play a round. So I stepped up to the first tee and was like, wtf? 110 feet, wide open. Hole two was the same, as was hole three. The whole time I was complaining, I just didn't understand this course at all, the tee boxes are proportionate to the length of the holes, extremely small. At some point, my disc golf companion said something like "I think this is a course for the blind." Now that makes a lot of sense! Awesome, that's why there's bells! They were not to let the group behind you know that the hole is clear, as if you can't see me from 100 feet away, well, unless you couldn't see me period, that would mean you couldn't see the basket either and would need somebody to ring the bell for you to throw towards the sound. Awesome! So that shattered my hopes of playing an incredible new disc golf course, until I noticed a Discatcher across the lake, there's a real basket over there, there must be more of them! Upon inspection, there was an entire 18 hole course, incredible.
Now, I really like this course, especially because it's like my own private course when I'm in the area (free to play with a national parks pass!). The rest of this review is regarding the full 18 hole course.
Remote. This is a course that I feel like I have my own private course, I have never run into anybody else on it in the handful of times I've played, only occasionally fisherman, and they usually stick to the opposite side of the lake. This also means that with no people playing it, there's no trash, so it looks very natural.
Beautiful. Tucked away in the woods, I found myself constantly oohing and ahhing about the scenery, and wild flowers, and with the lack of people, I could easily take my time to smell the flowers.
Multiple Tee's. There were a handful of tee boxes (the longer holes) that had multiple options for tee boxes.
Variety of holes. Most of the holes are relatively short, mid 300's or less, but within this frame there is a great variety, some open, some short and technical, some long accuracy shots. Water comes into play on a few holes, though wasn't really a concern, as long as you have decent control, you should be able to keep it out of the water, that being said, I nearly lost a disc as it hit the very edge of the lake, was able to retrieve it rather easily (after getting a soaking wet foot).
Cons: Hard to find. I stumbled upon this course without knowing it existed. The course itself isn't terribly hard to find, but you have to be paying attention to find the parking lot.
Pay to play. Now, I usually post this as a pro, as paying a course to play there, the proceeds usually go directly to improving a course, or at least towards a department that upkeeps the course. Thus pay to play courses are often leaps ahead of any other courses as they have steady funding. Now, this is a National Forest Recreation area, so you have to pay the $5 day pass to get in, or face a $625 fine (or some ridiculous number). I'm fairly confident that none of this money goes towards this course, it goes to the National Forest service, which is a huge government organization and from what I can tell, there is no upkeep from them on this course so why should I pay them to play! That being said, I always carry an Annual Federal Recreation pass ($80 from a national park, good for all national parks and recreation areas), so if you have one of those, it's free, just leave the card face down on your dash.
Poor Tees. Now, I've accepted gravel teepads as a decent form of tee, not ideal, but workable most of the time. So if you take a gravel tee pad and put a sheet of carpet on it, it should be even better right? Maybe for the first few months, it could have been great! But several years of sitting in the elements doesn't treat carpet well, rotten lumpy carpet is rather difficult to tee off from. Most of them it was fine, but on a few holes I ripped off some of the carpet and laid it on the side to expose the level gravel.
Not Maintained. From what I can tell there is little maintenance done on this course, the fairways are overgrown and the underbrush is quite thick. Lack of play adds to this I'm sure - it does look like a local league is going to be using it, so maybe they will improve this (not that it should be on them to!!) Stupid Forest Service.
Rape Grounds? I know that doesn't sound pleasant at all, but I can think of no other way to explain the large variety of undergarments strewn across the course. (no trash besides this) It looked like somebody had cleaned it up since the last time I was there, but still - there were a couple pairs of undies laying around. I don't know, but it's kind of disturbing.
Hole 7 was disappointing. I only say this, because I approached the tee and saw what I thought was the fairway - a long slight dogleg right, it looked like an awesome hole with a beautiful fairway, in search of the basket, it was not the fairway, the actual basket was in the trees, 'sigh' another 'luck shot', I don't know why they didn't use the obvious fairway that ends directly at the next hole's tee box (maybe it's an alternate basket, I didn't look that closely).
Navigation. There is no signage besides PVC pipes at the beginning of each hole, these may have a rough map, yardage, and a number, or just a number. There are no other hints on navigating the course, no map or any arrows. For the most part it's laid out logically, but the first time I missed 3 holes, threw from the 6th tee to the 9th basket and didn't feel like figuring out how I messed that up so I finished the round from there. The second time through I realized that 6 was a sharp dogleg left, not straight ahead to the basket that is visible.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoy this course, as it's rather challenging and nearly like having my own private course in the area. Worth the stop, especially if you have a national parks pass. I probably wouldn't go out of the way for it if you have to pay the 5 bucks though.
Favorite Hole. Hole 2. I walked up to the teebox and thought I remembered a slight dogleg right (was correct) Threw a beautiful Anhyser maybe close to 300 feet. A nice, simple dogleg right, landed about 2 feet from the basket.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great course located in the DeSoto National Forest. Good mix of long shots and technical shots and even some long and technical shots.
Cons: None because I like it all.
Other Thoughts: This course needs more play. Holes 13 and 14 are in need of some serious bush hogging - grass as tall as the basket - but I think that is because who ever mows the course didn't know about those. Other than that it seems to be well taken care of.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good design, with some long holes and some legit. par-4's. Different landscapes from tight woods to cleared wide fairways lined with rough, to tight yet cleared pine forest on a hill by the lake. Tees are not just slapped down, but built up on a box of gravel to ensure smoothness over time. Tees are numbered, not hard to navigate once on it. Water shot.
FRONT 9- an entire extra 9 hole super short and open course across the lake. It's WHEELCHAIR accessible and set-up for blind disc golfers, which is a huge PRO for some of course!
Cons: Somewhat tough to figure out where to park and find the 18 hole course. Heavy growth and tall grass in some wooded fairways.
Pay-to-play (even though that system allows courses like this to exist, it's always a con in my mind).
Other Thoughts: NEW COURSE, WORK IN PROGRESS (I'm guessing). Has potential yet good as is, check it out.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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