15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Darkside is a tour de force of pain in the par 3 world - a constant barrage of mental intimidation that starts right from the *relatively easy tunnel shot on hole one to the toothpick alleyway that lines the finishing hole 18. When the course finally gives players a chance to breathe in the mid-section, a more sinister less visible danger in the form of out-of-bounds areas waits for shots that are off the mark. All players will absolutely need to have a well-honed bag of technical shots to save pars when the tee shot is anything less than perfect. In addition to trick saves, players will need to keep a cool head when they encounter serious trouble so that they can pitch to a better position and cut their losses. Become impatient and the course will gladly add another stroke or two to punish greed and overzealousness.While the Sunnyside is a better test of a player's well rounded physical skills, the Darkside complements by testing a players mental mettle. Once doubt starts creeping in after a shanked tee shot or a lazy approach, only the strongest mental game will be able to survive with minimal damage. Great players shooting hot rounds on Sunnyside can erupt on Darkside and shoot well into the 60's (a good round is ~54 or better) - it just tests a very different set of skills and course management than Sunnyside.
Hole #2 profile: Hole two is often seen by players as a hole they have to 'get past' in order to keep a good scorecard in tact. This hole very, very rarely yields a '2' and frequently drops 4 strokes or more to an otherwise clean scorecard. From the tee, the right-hand backhand thrower immediately encounters a classic choice between aggression and defensive play with two diverging fairways which are split with a row of small trees. The left (aggressive) fairway is a straight tunnel which runs rather tree-free to within 80' of the pin. Players who can land a drive or midrange shot with minimal fade in this tunnel will be set up great for a three. However, if the shot fades out or kicks further left beyond the defined fairway, a nearly impossible wall of trees spells certain trouble barring a miracle roller. Choosing the right-side more conservative fairway is the answer to avoiding the death-zone on the left side of the fairway. Players choosing this route will be throwing a long hyzer which has to avoid several guard trees and will ideally land about ~150-180' from the pin. The penalty for choosing the safe route is that the second shot will have to navigate many more trees on the approach than the well-placed aggressive shot. From the landing zone, players will have to think creatively to get past the remaining trees though tight windows or with shorter trick shots. While I think the aggressive choice is more likely in the long run to yield a three, players who miss the drive are almost certainly looking at big numbers. Those on the conservative side are usually conceding a large percentage of 3's but will rarely score higher than a 4.
Cons: The main drawback of the Darkside is the lack of many par four and five holes (hole 2 is likely the only hole which approaches a true par four). I do feel that some of the unique flavor in having such a brutally challenging stream of par 3's would be lost but a lot would be gained in having holes with multiple drives/approaches. Par four and five holes force players to plan and develop course maintenance skills that 'regular' par three holes just aren't able to do. However, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the designers to add holes with adequate length to create multiple shot holes without absorbing some of the Sunnyside course as well - a trade-off which is probably asking too much. The only other 'con' that comes to mind is that this course plays almost entirely over mud-covered hills and can get sloppy when it rains. The course drains fairly well but you might want to make a quick check of the
recent area weather before heading out.
Other Thoughts: As others have said, the Grange facility is at the tip-top of private disc golf world with two championship-caliber courses, an awesome tiki par 2 course (with late night illumination), a mini course, and a giant arcade. With side-trips to Loriella and Hawk Hollow also within a short drive, there really isn't much else to ask for in a weekend of disc golf fun!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: amazing course. complements the sunny side very well. or contrasts maybe i should say. very challenging. i shot well on the sunnyside all weekend but the darkside had my number. beautiful scenery. great hospitality. can't wait to go back.
Cons: it kicked my butt
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I stopped by The Grange today on my way up 95 and I am really glad I did. As we got there, Albert, Matt and Ben were about to play and invited my friend and I to tag along. It was great to get to play the course with those who designed it work to make it what it is today.
The Darkside had a great mix of hole types and challenges. The tightly wooded course was kept very nicely. Many of the tees had seating and shelters. A few of the holes have a lot of fun character, i.e. the "fish hole."
Overall, this was an awesome course. It was challenging, but definitely playable for me even as a somewhat new player to the sport.
Thanks guys for letting us tag along today, we had a great time.
Cons: Navigating from hole to hole could be somewhat difficult if it is your first time and you are alone. This wasn't a problem for us though as we were with the regulars.
Other Thoughts: Great course, don't pass it up.
Call ahead. Leave a donation to help them keep this place going and improving.
Oh, and THE POOL IS PRIVATE!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
a little slice of heaven
Pros: The front nine is what most wooded courses strive to be. Literally carved out of the thick Virginia woods are nine tight but fair fairways of varying lengths, three will feel good on all (especially #7) except for #9. The premium here is accuracy off the tee, hitting any of the fairway trees likely means a struggle for par, but not to find your disc. The back nine wends in and out of the woods towards the back part of the property, and includes some water and/or swamp hazards (depending on the time of year). The back contains a few more birdie opportunities but you'll still have earn them.
Another championship course and the world famous Tiki course are co-located with this gem. Three other championship course located within 15 miles makes Spotsylvania The disc golf destination for the Mid-Atantic, imo. Well graded and sized turf or carpet tees on each hole, with shelters on several tees.
Cons: Only one tee and pin position per hole. Bugs can be a pain, particularly the flies in the spring. It can get muddy following rainy weather, but not too bad. You can lose a disc in some of the rough on the back nine.
Other Thoughts: This course is arguably the crown jewel of the disc golf resort that is The Grange. I say arguably because Mike has been tweaking The Sunnyside and adding diffculty. I've been coming here since shortly after the first course opened and seen it evolve from a really nice 19 holes to a full blown disc golf resort. There's a nice clubhouse to provide shelter from weather, and an arcade stocked with vintage games from the 80's and 90's. Please take a moment to consider all of the costs and labor that has gone into this place when you're passing the donation box, and remember that you're sharing a family residence.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Come to the Dark Side
Pros: Elevation changes on almost every hole, that provide very unique holes, no two holes are alike. Combine that with a great variety of short, medium and long holes, not to mention the evenly distributed left, straight and right turning holes, gives you one challenging course.
The tee pads are large and are either crush stone or synthetic turf, nice and flat. Each hole has its own tee signs, with the hole number and location of the pin. There is a tee box shelter at most holes, which include a seating area and some form of shelter from the weather.
Course navigation is good, so you don't really need a map to get around. Some next tee signs through out to help out.
Because it's so wooded, there is plenty of shade for the hot days.
A bathroom, snack bar, and pro shop on site. Very convenient to I-95, about half way between Richmond and DC.
Cons: Gets kind of swampy when wet, and thus, some tee pads don't drain very well.
Distance on tee signs missing.
Other Thoughts: A very unique disc golf experience on this course and disc golf complex. Of the three courses on this site, the dark side is the hardest IMHO.
Privately owned and operated, it has certain perks that public parks are not able to do. There is an old school disc golf vibe I get here, with all the tie dye shirts and stuff, it's like I'm back in the 70s again.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
World class course
Pros: Mike and his crew are some of the best nicest people that I have ever met. No negative vibes here at all.
2 pro 18 hole courses 1 18 hole lighted tiki course for night play, pool, hot tub, camping ground, grill, ping pong table, arcade games, awsome stage and band playing with Dj.
This is probably one of the coolest laid back chill courses in the country.
I got too drunk at night after chilling with the crew for the whole day and they even hooked me up with a tent to sleep. How cool is that.
You might just meet a Disc golf legend at this course.
Cons: Could be a few more signs on the sunnyside but still pretty good.
Other Thoughts: When playing the Grange be sure to bring plenty of food and water or other drinks because there are no stores nearby and once you get there you will not want to leave. For sure.
Bring swimming trunks and bathing suits for the pool and hot tub.
Be sure to bring a tent or something in case you drink too much because they really don't want you drinking and driving.
Plan to make a full day or two of your trip.
Be sure to make friends with mike the dude with the Jester hat on most of the time. He is the owner and one of the coolest guys you'll ever meet.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Holy F'n Crap Batman!
Pros: How good are you? If your not good there aren't any. This course is hard. Long, tight and twisted. Most holes have a decent box
beutifuly done with a real golf atmosphere
Cons: Where to start. only because i am not a pro, this course is hard but worth the trip. (really, no con's except it's hard.)
Other Thoughts: This is an awesome courese. I love this guy's setup too. He has the life. GO NOW!!!!!!
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Classic Wooded Course
Pros: The Darkside is what wooded courses should all strive to be. Every hole is different, and even though it's a wooded course there are still opportunities to let it rip. After a round on the Sunnyside course, being in the shade for most of the round is awesome. There are a few open holes toward the end of the round, but for the most part this course is very technical.
Like the Sunnyside course, you can really see how much work has gone into the place when you play here. The teepads are all excellent, the signage is perfect, and there are plenty of interesting things to look at (I won't spoil it for you). If you're planning on coming out, be sure to give yourself enough time to play all 3 courses here. After two long rounds you'll be worn out, but the Tiki course is a great wind-down to end the day.
Cons: I could complain that this course isn't open enough, but that would be silly, huh?
There really are few cons to speak of here. Some of the guys I played with had a very frustrating round on the Darkside because they were tired (we played Sunnyside first) and were hitting lots of trees. It is a challenging course but it's great for your game.
Other Thoughts: If you live in VA, the Grange is a must-play. It's only a little ways off 95, so if you're passing through it's convenient to play - but I'd plan on making a day of it so that you can see all that it has to offer. It is pay-to-play, but it's definitely worth it. If you're looking for a technical course, the Darkside is one of the best around.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
Pros: Mike Trapasso and company have created a most enchanting and hospitable disc golf experience. Two 18 hole championship courses plus a bonus Tiki (par 2 night course) await you. Plan an entire afternoon to enjoy this labor of love.
This course was the second edition to the property. As Mike told me "we purchased the land and just started carving away!". With a thin blade did they do some carving, as this layout is almost fully in woods and technical. The lengths are not terribly long, nor do they need to be. Accuracy is required to score well, yet there are many opps. to birdie. You will want to take something off your throw to keep in the fairway- it's the best chance to get par. Many playful elements (carvings nailed to trees). Check out the fish hole, which has a hut behind the tee with seats and a marlin mounted on the wall, and little glass figurines. There's even a mystery "spotter" on one hole who never says anything.
The course opens up a little on the back 9 for a couple beautiful holes then goes right back to thick woods again.
Cons: The only improvements I can think of were that there were a few holes that would be fair to call par 4's and think it would be just fine to label them as such.
Other Thoughts: The pro shop is being built and is nearly complete- hundreds (maybe thousands) of discs are available. Many have "Grange" stamps that will commemorate your visit.
This course is consistently tighter (and possibly more difficult) than the Sunnyside, but is a must play if you have the time.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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.
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