7 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun and Interesting Course
Pros: I finally had the opportunity to play the lengend, wati for it, ary Grange! This is a privately owned and operated course and features some of the funkiest decorations and hazards I've seen.
The entrance to the Darkside Course is behind a designated sign in area with a well stocked pro shop featuring a ton of discs, towels, t-shirts and the like. Mike also has an outstanding course guide with maps for each hole on both the main courses (Dark Side and Sunny Side).
The Dark Side course is pretty wooded, for the most part, and features some tight fairways.
Hole 1: 280 feet, straight ahead with a tight! Fairway. Two trees guard the tee box, 56 feet from the tee, making this a much harder shot than normal.
Hole 2: 384 feet, with a dual fairway, so you can play it along two paths, this hole is a slight uphill shot.
Hole 3: 248 Feet, straight shot, with a large mound and dead tree guarding the elevated basket. This hole challenges you because not only do you have the mound to contend with, but there's a group of trees behind it as well.
Hole 4: 358, with a snake like fairway, and the basket located in a small depression.
Hole 5: 302 feetm fairly straight shot, has a small stone wall and two ditches you need to contend with on the way to the basket. The ditches and wall remind me of a civil war battlement...perhaps this is an artifact? I know there was a ton of action around the area!
Hole 6: 295 feet with a set of trees in the center of the fairway about 141 feet from the tee box.
Hole 7: 419 feet, with OB road running along the right of the hole (woods should keep you from hitting the road). This is a good hole to "let her rip" with a good hyzer forehand, the hole is a slight downhill with a well defined fairway.
Hole 8: 316 feet, fairly straight, but the basket is guarded by some trees to the left.
Hole 9: 171 feet, slightly uphill hole, Good for an ace run, but there is an obstacle in the middle of the fairway, and the basket is tightly bracketed by small trees, so an ace is earned here!
Hole 10: 307 feet, Long downhill left turner, great hole to unload a good backhand throw on, nice fairway with some nasty trees bisecting the faiway at the dogleg.
Hole 11: 314 Feet- Slight downhill dogleg right- the "Fish Hole" with a fishy theme, including a Jesus Fish hanging from a stump about halfway down the fairway on the left side. Not sure what happens if you hit the sign. There are two stream beds the bisect the fairway at the fish, and the dogleg is severe, so be carefull to hit it at the right place, as the woods are hard to cut through on an up shot.
Hole 12: 300 feet straight shot, with a large dead tree guarding the basket.
Hole 13: 318 feet- straight hole with a large OB stream bed bisecting the fairway 127 feet from the tee box. Getting over the stream is one thing, but the hole also has some smaller trees guarding the basket to add difficulty.
Hole 14: 350 feet, with small pond on the left sideand stream bed bisecting the fairway at 198 feet. Pond and stream are OB, and are marked with ropes. The basket is tucked up and to the left of the fairway.
Hole 15: 270 feet with large OB pond and small stream about 133 feet out. If you "go for it" be aware of the walnut tree- I think squirrels were trying to hit me when I three my upshot!
Hole 17: 303 feet, dogleg left, with small OB pond and stream (132-165 feet), and a mando on the left side of the fairway (87 feet). The mando and pond make this a highly technical hole, and if you can't count on accuracy, I would suggest laying up in the grass under the mando sighn. the dogleg is behind the pond, and narrows greatly toward the hole.
Hole 17: 344 feet, fairly straight, with the basket slightly to the right. A good hole for strong forehand throwersm but as usual for the Grange, trees in the fairway add to the difficulty.
Hole 18: 299 feet, straight shot...sounds simple, right? Well it is except for the two trees that encroach on the fairway at 215 feet, and the narrow little clearing where they hid the basket!
Cons: As with any wooded course, flys, snakes, squirrels and other critters abound.
Other Thoughts: This course has earned it's reputation for being a great place to play. I was there when the place was empty, so I didn't get to partake in any of the other fun activities they featute, such as a stage, video games, a bar and pool.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Wooded but fair
Pros: This is an exceptionally well maintained course. The tees are all well packed and have rakes alongside to fix any problem spots. All the holes have seating available for the rest of the members of your party and many of them even have covered spots to get out of the elements or the sun. The seating is everything from wooden benches to old connected "airport" chairs. There are new looking tee signs on every hole and they look great. While heavily wooded this is one of the easiest courses to navigate that I have played. There were signs pointing to the next tee in almost every situation where there would be a question as where to go next. Additionally even though there is a great possibility of a couple of throws going off the fairway this is not a huge problem because it is very easy to locate your disc. There is really no underbrush to speak of and most discs stand out well in contrast to the leaf covered ground. While many have said that this is a "technical" course completely in the trees that is not totally true. There are several holes on the back nine that allow you to play across some open space (once you get out of the tree line where the tees are located).
Cons: Not too much to say here. A little more of a mix of open holes would be nice but I think it is wrong to request this because this course is complemented nicely by "Sunnyside" on the same property. Also a lot of the holes felt like "tweeners" to me. They are difficult to birdie but almost more difficult to bogey (if you can stay on the fairway with your drive). Of course this observation might just because of where I am as a player right now.
Other Thoughts: This was my first experience with a privately owned course. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive at first. It seemed very strange to pull into someone's driveway and then get out and play disc golf. I quickly got past this because of how welcoming Mike and his family/friends. It is amazing the amount of work that they have put into these courses and continue to keep them open to the public. The five dollar requested donation is a small price to pay.
I appreciate very accurate directions on the "course info" section of this site because when navigating my way to a new course I am always wondering if I am going the right direction. Once exit I-95 and get on Rte 606 it turns into Rte 208 after about 6 miles. If you go straight through this intersection then Rte 648 is two miles down the road. The rest of the directions are perfect.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Great golf and great enviroment.
Pros: As part of my father's day gift my wife told me to go play golf for the day and I chose to play the 3 courses here at the Grange. What a women!
The course is referred to by the locals as old school and it is.With its tight fairways and obvious sadistic charm.
The baskets are well placed with the area surrounding them well maintained. They are all in good shape and do a good job of catching the disc.
The tee pads are built up stone dust and chips. There were a couple of them that had worn down areas but I saw rakes available and Preston the caretaker ( I played around with him and had a great time) makes sure they do not stay that way for long.
They have just put up new tee signs and I like them very much. They are colorful and easy to understand.
They have used the course topography as well as any I have seen. The fairways are kept clean and are manageable.I saw no crossing fairways and the no areas where you could be in harms way when someone else is throwing from another basket. The fairways are exceptionally well defined. Accuracy and patience are the name here. Forcing the throw and getting into the woods will add many throws. While there are a lot of trees finding a disc was not abnormally hard because they do work at keeping the undergrowth down. There is a variety of straight, left to right and right to left. Some will give you multiple looks. There is enough variety in distances to have an ace chance and to go for distance (no open bombs of any kind though).
To me the best part was the flow of the course. It just seemed to fit. Because of this and the obvious wear on the paths it was a gem to get around the course. Even without a map.
I did not see any foliage that was hazardous (poison ivy, oak and such) but I do hate those prickly hollies that are everywhere.
There are plenty of benches and several of the tee areas have small covered structures to get under (don't forget to sign the wall on 6. Its tradition and sharpies are provided).
There are regular events to take part in. Every Friday is a glow game, The monthly played on Saturday mornings, and the Virginia Open is played here.
The attitude of everyone I met was great and Mike, the owner, is one of a kind.
There is a good pro shop on site.
Cons: There are not many cons here but its not perfect.
Bring plenty to drink.The physical exertion is high here and there are no water fountains. There are a few 5 gallon water jugs spread out but I could not bring myself to use them. Its not Mike and the gang but not everyone is as trustworthy.
Parking could be tight on a busy day.
This course is not for the faint of heart. Which could be a pro also. Depending on a persons perspective. One of the guys I played with said it is played less than the other 2 because most people view it as being harder.
I would have liked a couple of open bombs because I like a course that mixes it a bit more evenly. Almost everything here is too wooded for that.
There are no par markings on any of the baskets and it is assumed that all are a 3. Some of them are 4's and 7 (which hasbeen increased to 460' and that added another slight left to right to it) maybe should be 5.
They serve beer here and while I did not see anyone acting inappropriate it may be an issue with some.
Other Thoughts: While this course kicked my hind quarters it was one of the most enjoyable places to play.
Everyone from Mike to the players were nice and willing to work with a first time player to this course.
With its old school charm (hippie and course) and overall quality experience I now understand why this place has become sort of the holy grail for disc gold in Virginia.
There is also a nice in ground pool here. So bring the family and they can swim while you play. Then dive in when you or all of you are done playing golf.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
The Purity of Wood
Pros: There is a certain purity in the quality of the Darkside. This course is a 90% woods course, with but a few "open" shots. The purity I refer to is a purity of line. The Darkside is a rarity, in that neither its length, or its technical difficulty are overly imposing. But in order to score well, your lines must be pure on virtually every single shot.
There is only one or 2 holes which are not considered duecable (but they are still gettable) - and yet it is not uncommon for players to walk away with no dueces.
This course was literally carved out of hilly, wooded terrain, with only a few of the holes using already available alleys.
Control is at a premium,combined with moderate distance (most holes are over 300') - the use of overstable/high tech plastic is a risky proposition on the Dark Side.
So how do I summarize the PROS of the Darkside.......hmmmmmmm.
Tight but fair
Lots of fun, visually appealing/intimidating shots
Great teepads - some of the best anywhere - Built up boxes 8'x16' filled w/compacted stone dust and sometimes either carpet or astroturf filled w/sand - no ruts.
Cons: It'll make yo mama cry.
Other Thoughts: Lots of other fun qualities on this course; there are a number of sculptures on trees, and a number of stone monuments (get the birdie - add a rock) scattered throughout the course.
The Darkside is the course where the highest rated round ever was recorded (Brian Skinner shot an amazing 41 and got a 1105 rated round - breaking my own course record of 46 by 5 strokes).
Any score under par of 54 is regarded as a good round on the dark side. When you couple this course with the Sunnyside, add in Tiki, and the rest of what The Grange has to offer - the DG experience gets rated a 5 - it really doesn't get any better than this.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Tough Course!
Pros: Old school feel. This course is on private land owned, I'm sure, by Disc Golf enthusiasts from the old school. Baskets everywhere! Not even counting the ones on the courses! A tent clubhouse with old arcade video games and a Lost & Found for missing dics. It has an honor system box for Pay to Play ($5) and just feels like its owned by one of the original Frisbee Golfers (Didn't get to meet the owner, got there early and it was in winter!)
Now on to the course! Tough! Make no mistake, The Darkside (there are three courses on the property; Darkside, heavily wooded, Sunnyside, good mix and Tiki, small novelty par 2 course) is a hard course. Very wooded and unforgiving. I'm not a beginner, but I'm not on Tour either, and it was a rough day for me. Very nice atmosphere. Each hole has a sponsor and signs to show the way. Baskets have a flag on top so you can see them from far away (Blue flags for Darkside, Yellow for Sunnyside). Benches at almost all Tees. Nice Tee boxes (Exception; played in winter and all were frozen over, no X-step in the winter here!) Excellent array of throws, BH or FH you will all have your turn on this course. Nice basket placements. Overall, a well laid out and wonderful course. Flowed well from hole to hole and pretty easy to follow. Challenging to any player.
Cons: No Restrooms that we could find. There were no distance markings on the signs other than what was handwritten by players (Not sure how accurate). No Par markings either (someone told us they were all Par 3). Which brings me to the other issue. I'm not sure if this is a Con or not, but Par 3 for this course is asking a lot. Unless your a Pro or been at this for years, Par 3 on all Darkside holes can be a bit much for the casual player. The only reason I make this a Con is that this can become frustrating to a recreational player. Some holes should at least be Par 4. Not much else to complain about.
Other Thoughts: As I mentioned before, this course is a great visit. Its like going back in time to an era of early Disc Golf. Like stepping back to the roots of the game. Everything from the old school video arcade to the Cookout/Music area. Look for all the displayed VA License plates, all DG themed at the cookout area. Loved DG NE1.
Favorite Holes: 13 an uphill throw over a creek and across a small bridge. 14 downhill throw back over same creek. I might have liked these two because of the scenery or the fact that they were a bit less wooded the the rest!
This would be the higest rated course I have played yet, except that New Quarter Park in Williamsburg is maintained slightly better and has more amenities. The fact that three courses are on this property makes it a hard call. Both are great DG Courses.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Disc Golf Mecca
Pros: *The grange overall = Two 18-hole challenging & immaculately groomed courses, an 18-hole lit practice course, a clubhouse with an old-school video game arcade and a pool -- all on the same piece of private land!
*Challenging holes with variety of open & wooded, short & long
*Defined fairways - I thought both courses were tight but very fair - good shots are rewarded and bad shots punished
*Character - lots of it, in random artwork, varying teepads, etc
*Aesthetic appeal - beautiful & beautifully maintained piece of land
*Extras like covered tee areas - I haven't seen this before and imagine it would be amazing on a super hot or rainy day
*All 3 courses are extremely fun to play
Cons: *Not all tee signs have distances marked
*Not very beginner friendly
*Par 3 courses
Other Thoughts: We played the grange courses immediately after playing the courses in Paw Paw, WV -- so they seemed very friendly in comparison. The courses alone are probably 4-4.5 star courses, but when you combine the setting, atmosphere & having everything at one location, this sets the bar for courses in my opinion.
Sunnyside has a mix of open & wooded holes & seemed to be easier; Darkside is entirely wooded & seemed a bit tougher. I liked both about the same - different in a good & complimentary way.
This is an amazing place to visit and should definitely be high on your list of places to play.
$5 to play and worth every penny
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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