Darkside of the Moon
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Aesthetic-- plays on a DG exclusive property.. 'nuff said.
Baskets-- all in great shape with flags to help visibility in the woods. I didn't see LED's here like Sunnyside for night golf.
Teepads-- large turf pads with long blades kept the surfaces tight and not slippery.
Teesignage-- large, full color and descriptive. Only thing I can say is that "exit" arrows could have been used to help guide you to the next hole.
Routing and nav-- not really an issue. Paths were well worn and easy to follow. A couple of places were the "exit point" wasn't crystal clear but not a big detractor.
Challenge factor and variety-- high. We felt completely at home in this dense wood. Being from Michigan, we are used to more technical courses and this truly fit that bill. The holes around the sink holes #15/16/17? were a unique blend of awesomeness with a little splash of water hazard I wasn't expecting. Expect to pull out all the tricks on this course.
Facilities--benches, shelters and water jugs throughout were welcome on a very sticky june day.
and these are nit-picky.
Signage leading you to the course-- there really is no signage from the driveway leading you to the start of the course.
Uncontrollables-- Holly heavy in the rough and deer flies abound.
truly a special place and an honor to be able to throw here. I am hoping by them "closing" the courses that some of the BS that has ruined parts of this course can be laid to rest and they can re-open to one of the top destination courses in the country, as they should be...
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Your Feeble Skills are No Match for the Power of the Darkside!
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Private course with 18 very tight and technical holes to test your mental game and needle threading skills playing through thick Virginia woods, rolling elevation, creeks and ponds. The Darkside is very straight forward, hit this line all the way to the basket or else you are taking a stroke, and then the basket is often on a fast green with OB lurking nearby. Every hole here is solid with a defined fairway.
The large astroturf tees here are my favorite, nice Mach III baskets with flags, navigation and signage, tee area shelter and interesting nicknacks. Very little underbrush, which is surprising given how thick the woods are.
Other amenities on site include a second professional 18 hole course, awesome Tiki course, arcade, concerts, camping, pool and bathroom.
Cons: Some of the seating like couches were home to some bugs. Holly in the rough. Deer flies.
Not really a con for me, but the Darkside will absolutely destroy beginners and even many pros like the fully operational Deathstar. There is going to be a war between your discs and the trees. If your X-wing veers off the trajectory of the fairway, which is fair/well defined, and trust me you will veer off it, you are most likely facing a pitch out recovery shot and hoping for bogey unless master yoda can levitate you from the muck with the force.
The course can feel repetitive as it's all par 3 and you are forced to hit a certain line on every hole, the front 9 is mostly straight tunnel shots, and the couple "open" holes on the back 9 don't really change things much. There's no real signature hole, no chances to air a disc out, no holes to mentally relax on.
Other Thoughts: I find your lack of faith disturbing as you have no idea the power of the Darkside, it's a true mental challenge and one of the toughest courses you will play. You are probably best off playing with Han Solo's attitude and telling yourself before every shot, "Never tell me the odds!" You can typically see the basket, it's right there and it's reachable from the tee, but trying to actually force your disc to the basket is another story, as the tunnels make them play further than they appear. You will be forced to use lots of midranges and understable fairway drivers off the tee because you can't afford to have your discs fade off of the line.
The Darkside course has a place in disc golf history when Brian Skinner shot a 41, first ever 1100+ rated round, and still one the highest ever at 1117, and IMO that is the best round ever. Having played with Brian, I can attest he is well deserving of that record. I can't even imagine shooting a 41 on this course, I'd be stoked to just shoot a 54.
The Blockhouse(formerly Grange) is a true country club experience for disc golf. If you get the chance to play here, consider yourself lucky.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Nice Tees and signage. Well layed out technical course. Some especially fun shots over swampy valleys full of OB.
The course flowed well. No long walks and no chance of getting lost
Cons: No real monster holes.
Other Thoughts: This and sunny side make for a great day.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: With two 18 hole courses on the property this place is very cool. The Darkside is appropriately named as every hole plays in the woods. It has some minor elevation in places.
The course has some great tee signs. Very descriptive.
The tee pads are very large and astro turf. They were great throwing off of.
The DGA Mach 3 baskets were in good condition.
Although this entire course is in the woods locating discs was not a problem.
There were several water coolers on the course.
There were some great seating areas throughout the course.
Cons: Navigation can be an issue in a few places. Bring a map.
This course gets repetitive as every hole plays in the woods. There are 9 holes in the 297 to 317 foot range.
This is traditional par 3 golf for the most part. There is only 1 hole over 400 feet.
Other Thoughts: This was well worth the stop during vacation. With the 2 permanent courses on site and the super fun tiki course you have to check it out.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
You'll need the Force
Pros: Layout - It's appropriately named the Darkside and for good reason. It offers up very challenging fairways and fast/guarded greens. Going off the fairway leaves you in fairly thick stuff as well.
You'll need to be very accurate and be able to throw straight up to 300' to have looks at 2 on most holes. The back 9 offers up more variety than the front with some more open holes and a slightly wider fairways.
The open holes still require you to be accurate through gaps either near the tee or basket. Plus most of those have water/OB coming to play.
The greens here will give you problems, many are heavily guarded by trees or on fast slopes. There is some slight elevation on the front and a bit more on the back.
The course flows pretty well and once you find it the paths are well beaten in and easy to follow.
Equipment - Large tee pads. Benches (more like cushoined seating and couches) and cool decorations all over. Good signage.
Atmosphere - Themed holes and some cool stuff set up around the course that adds to the experience. Definitely gives you a dark vibe at certain points.
Cons: Layout - Biggest con for me was the repetitiveness of a lot of holes, especially the front 9. Most are straight shots through tight gaps in the 250-330 range. Even the more open holes require a straight shot through a gap at some point.
Some greens were maybe to guarded and tight at the end, definitely an experienced player type course.
Not many holes really stand out when I think back, this course is definitely the lesser of the two on the property.
Equipment - Some of the pads were a little rough in places. Some of the baskets were old and not up to par.
Atmosphere - Not an incredibly fun course, especially in comparison to Sunnyside. It gets a little monotonous. Lots of prickly holly bushes and hornets on the course... watch out.
Has good facilities such as an arcade, tiki course, pro shop, bathrooms on the property.
Other Thoughts: The combination of this course and Sunnyside gives it a boost, definitely a yin/yang type setup. The Blockhouse as a whole is a great experience and a must hit if you're in the area. A lot of work has gone in to the place and it definitely paid off.
Courses are pay to play but it's worth it.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a fun course for all. Not too difficult, but not simple either. It was me (intermediate) and a friend who had never played before, and if was fun for us both. The holes were thought out nicely and played well. Awesome use of elevation change and left/right doglegs. Plenty of seating thourghout.
Cons: Tee pads were horrible. They were all of different materials and it seemed like none of them were the same size. Some were dirt, some artifical turf, some carpet. Kind of annoying, especially when there isn't a place to the side of the tee to throw from...so even if the tee was muddy or wet etc, you couldn't even throw from the side of the tee box to prevent ingury.
I didn't see any trash cans. Not a big deal, but might be nice.
$5.00 greens fees is a little pricey for this course. I wouldn't go to this course again if I had to pay $5 every time.
Other Thoughts: Overall it was a nice course.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Nice layout and well signed. Easy to navigate and has a lot of shot variety with some water coming into play on a few holes. Liked the rest areas at each tee box with the car bench seats and the fish themed hole. Really fun course.
Cons: Not many open holes, almost all of them are wooded, but thats why its called the darkside I suppose.
Other Thoughts: Nice private course with 2 other courses on site. Not quite as good as the Sunnyside but still one of the best courses I've played.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
This course is amazing
Pros: Very fun, interesting course that was clearly made by a person who loves this course and plays it themselves. The darkside is 100% in the woods with a ton of skill shots to both the left and right down tree lines. Varying lengths and elevation changes.
My favorite part about this course was probably the placements of baskets, they are very creative throughout the entire course.
Some of the holes near the end play through various water areas ranging in sizes.
We drove 2 hours out of our way to hit this course back up and play the darkside. We didn't have time to the first time through. Had a blast here!
Cons: Not for beginners, tons of insects. The owner has made really excellent sitting areas, but they are overwhelmed by bugs living in them (bees, ect)
Other Thoughts: Course has an excellent selection of discs in an on site pro store. Tons of stamped discs, shirts, ect. There's a 'country club' that is pretty fantastic!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The tees are great. It was easy to find each basket and the next tee pad. Really enjoyed the "Themed tee pads and fairways" it is a must see experience! Loved the elevation challenges. On the way out we did play a few holes on the Tikki course for the kids and I threw a hole in one on #7 - made my day :)
Cons: We got there around 4:30 in the afternoon and were able to complete the course but it would have been nice to play all the different courses.
The entrance is only a driveway marked with a basket and we drove past it and had to turn around.
Other Thoughts: It had rained real a lot the day before and the course for the most part was not overly muddy as I would have thought. We drove over 2 hours to play here and it was worth it. 3 kids, 5 adults
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Woods Golf Baby!
The appropriately named Darkside is a wonderful example of technical woods golf. That is not to say that the entire course is in the woods but the pain you suffer on the tightly wooded holes will be what sticks with you after you are done with this course. This plays as a nice contrast to Sunnyside
The design of this course really makes you focus on accuracy, shot selection, mental toughness and bad tree kick recovery. Even the more "open" holes will require you to at some point hit a tough gap if you want to steal a deuce. I really think every hole with the exception of #2 is dueceable but aggressive play can just as easily yield a 4-6 if something goes wrong. For us lesser mortals, 3 is a good score on each hole except #9 which should probably be deuced. The tight lines on the wooded holes, the OB on the more open holes combined with some tough pin positions make for a very good challenge. In my opinion the pin positions on this course are significantly more dangerous/difficult than on The Sunnyside. They seem to be guarded by more trees, often on slopes or surrounded by fast greens. There is a very nice balance between RH/LH holes, some gentle elevation throughout the course and a complete absence of pinball type holes. Each hole has a distinct, reasonable "fair"way. The flow to the course is pretty good so that just when you think the beating in the woods is too much then you get a few open holes to get some relief before heading back in to finish up.
Even though this course is carved out of thick Virginia woods the fairways are clear and well kept. The tees are in a little bit poorer shape than their Sunnyside brethren but still provided excellent footing on every hole. The seating and wooded shelters are a great touch providing ample places to take a break or escape the weather. The baskets are in great shape and the tee signs are great. They show an accurate overview of the hole and distance.
Once we found the first hole we had no navigation issues even without a map except for the gap between #9 and #10.
The Blockhouse pro shop/arcade/clubhouse area is awesome. It was a great place to chill out before and after playing. There are lots of baskets around to warm up your putting (tiki course)
There is a completely separate 18, Sunnyside on site to play plus the super cool Tiki putter course and a mini disc course that is really widespread.
There is camping onsite.
Cons: Going over to the Darkside was not as easy as the emperor claimed. Maybe I just didn't get angry enough. Seriously we did not see a single sign that directed us to where the course was at and the only path that lead there was blocked by a huge fence. We just kind of walked around in the general area of where we thought it might be, found #18 and circled out from there. Even after playing the course I am not sure what the proper way to get there is. Maybe just walking through the Tiki Course? This was repeated to some extant after we finished #9 and were looking for #10.
Only one tee and pin for each hole. A beginner would get destroyed on this course especially since most of the fairways are tight and lined with hollies which are uncomfortable to throw out of.
Other Thoughts: This course is another part of the great Blockhouse experience and a shining example of private courses doing it right. The $7 or $5 after 5 o'clock is easily worth it. And with Hawk Hollow and Loriella in the area this becomes a true destination course. I was able to play all four in 1 day.
The course emphasizes accuracy and consistency. That unfortunately means if you like the wide open bomber courses, then this is probably not gonna be a good time for you. But you should try it anyway!
I had a great time on this course since it is the type of golf I really enjoy; the feeling of complete seclusion out in the woods, hitting tight lines and having to do some real scrambling when you miss. There is lots of personality through out the course in the forms of faces on trees, the fish hole and signatures in the tee sheds that just makes you feel welcome.
My favorite hole was #1. Not a difficult hole, only 280ish through a tight fairway and over a bit of a gully but man, standing on the tee it is just beautiful to me.
Overall the Darkside is a nice challenge, tons of fun and I am really looking forward to coming back here to play in the future (though I will make sure to bring some kind of fish to add to the collection next time).
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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