A Little Slice of Disc Golf Heaven
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Other Thoughts: South Mountain is one of the more unique courses out there and because of that I believe it's one of those courses where a Pro and Con list is going to be far too subjective to be of much use. If you like heavily wooded courses where elevation change is the name of the game and there are lots and lots of rocks... SoMo is the course for you! If you don't like ALL of these things, you're going to have a bad time, m'kay. It plays between 800 and 1000' above sea level which isn't high enough for thinner air to affect your discs, but it is high enough that some days you can literally find yourself playing inside of a cloud!
Most of the holes involve interesting shot shaping to follow the fairways, some have multiple lines that will get you to the basket and the more open holes aren't as open as they seem. There are now two concrete tee pads on almost every hole and every basket has multiple positions. For the purposes of this review (and my 4.5 disc rating), I will be talking about the throws from the regular tees unless otherwise indicated. To be completely honest, I'm not a fan of most of the new tee boxes that were added last year. Some are so close to the original box that they make no sense and some just ruin a great hole (like 1, 4, 6 and 11). If I had to rate the course on the red tees (I think that's what they are calling them), it would be a 3 or a 3.5 disc course at best. Good thing I'm ignoring those tees here the same way I do on the course. I've played them a few times when friends who haven't tried them feel the need to see what all the work is being put into but would never play them by choice.
On to the course!
Hole one comes at you hard and fast with everything SoMo brings to the table. It's a steep, rocky, uphill annie throw with a utility wire that follows the fairway the first half of the way up. Missing right can leave you in a mess of thorns.
Hole 2 is a blind uphill hyzer.
Hole 3 is basically straight but you are playing across a hillside. The green is grassy and flat with a drop off that goes all the way down the mountain. Great for taking pictures but makes for a scary downhill death putt if your drive went left. Roll aways here can be costly.
4's newest basket position is up on one of the two massive fallen trees down in the green area, it's pretty darn awesome.
5 is a killer uphill with a mando on the right side of the fairway.
6 is a crazy uphill annie with a somewhat open area to start your drive out and then lots of trees as you get closer to the basket. The hill rolls away left of the basket.
7 is more open especially in the straight (you're throwing along a road), but you're still probably going to find yourself in the woods off to one side or the other.
8 is a straight shot with a strong fade needed at the end to get into the green area. If you get through the early trees this hole is about as wide open as it gets here.
9 plays up a fire road towards a water tank and communications tower. They built a nice pedestal off in the woods to the right and put in a bright orange permanent alt basket, but they forgot to make a fairway to get to it.
10. Magical. This is the one where you get to throw over the top of a mountain. Sure, it's really just a blind shot over a little hill but it has a special feeling to it. I was mentioning this to a friend once while playing here and he said, "It's funny you use the word 'Magical' here, the first throw at this basket when it was installed was an ace!"
Speaking of aces, one of the coolest I've ever seen was a skip ace here on hole 11 on Christmas day 2014 (Merry Discmas!).
Hole 12. Oh boy. There is a fairway here. Honest. No, really, there is. And I've seen a thumber line at the basket work. I usually throw a poke and hope flick through the woods right at the basket. Keep an eye on your shot and mark where it lands. I had a hard time finding my disc on this hole the first dozen or so times I played SoMo, and a few of those times, once I found my disc, I had absolutely no clue where the basket was anymore!
There's a picnic bench behind 13's tee, it'll help you find it from 12. There are a lot of tiny little lines to the basket here.
14 is a wide open downhill grassy fairway. Most throws here seem to end up in the woods anyway. As an added bonus, there are utility wires going down the left side of the fairway that I've hit from below multiple times. I've heard but not seen that a disc on top of the wire can ride it down the hill. Oddly enough, my first bird here after many many rounds came from the long tee when they first put in the form for the concrete. It forces a big annie or a roller to get in the fairway, I went with the latter and it went all the way down.
15 is a lot like 12. There's a bit more of a lane.
16 is a straight downhill shot and the first place on the course that OB comes into play (the parking lot). The wind on this hole can mess with your disc like nothing I've ever seen outside of the course at Burning Man. I had one a few feet away from an ace shoot 40' straight up in the air and land half way up to the pavilion.
17 is deceptively difficult. It's just a straight throw up a hill (unless it's in the new short pin position off to the right). The most wide open throw on the course. But the big grassy hill you're throwing up tilts down hard to the left. The basket is tucked in the woods and there's a huge pine guarding the right side entrance from the fairway.
18 is a straight downhill shot with a fade. Once again there are utility lines and poles along the way and too much fade will put you in the OB parking lot. The basket is perched on the edge of a plateau making roll aways likely. I've seen people go so long here their discs have left the park.
Final Thoughts: Of the 77 courses I've played to date, South Mountain is easily in my top 5 most favorite to play. It's the farthest course from my house that I drive to somewhat regularly to play. It's a challenging par 3 course but you can score well here if your throws are on line. One of the other things that makes people use the word Magical when they talk about Somo is that you can ALWAYS play here. When other courses are muddy soup, you can wear your good shoes to SoMo and they will go home clean. When it's super hot on all the courses around, the elevation, shade and breeze make it a lot more pleasant to play here than anywhere else. Even rainy days seem better up here under the canopy of trees. It's almost never crowded, I've often found myself alone on the mountain throwing a weekday round. And I know I already mentioned this, but where else can you throw a round of disc golf inside a cloud?!?!?!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
I Miss This Course
Pros: Great Elevation Changes
Lots of Trees
Wild Deer and Chipmunks
Variety of Shots
Cons: Dirt Tee Pads
Telephone Poles in Play
Other Thoughts: I use to live in this area and this was my favorite course to play. It really improved my game. If you can make it to the pin in one shot it feels truly satisfying. I currently live in central Texas and I still contemplate driving all the way up there to play this course once more. Before I die I will throw South Mountain DGC again.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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