Short and sweet
Pros: -Bonclarken retreat is a disc golf course at a church camp that I go to. It's easy and short and good for beginners and recreational players.
-The course has some elevation. Most holes you can tell if they are uphill or downhill.
-Not everyone loves very easy holes so #12 is a very challenging hole. It's uphill and past the road and on the hill a big herd of trees is in play. Birdies do not come often but it's a great challenge.
-There is a gift shop. Where you see #16's tee, go right past the playground and go to the second right and go straight until you find a big building. Giftshop is inside of it and it has discs. Great staff members! At the gift shop.
-#13 in my opinion is the best hole on the course. It's straight downhill and across the road. My dad aced this and then I teed off and almost aced it.
-Lot's of OB is in play (Water, woods, the road) It doesn't seem to be a lot but there is a bunch of it. Perfect for disc hunting.
-Nice diagrams of the holes and a kiosk is beside #1.
-Amazing camp with great houses to stay at. My family and I come here often too.
Cons: -No tee pads and the course has been around for a long time. Just woodchips.
-Baskets #2 and #3 are not in good shape. It's because of those crazy nutballs playing paintball. There is a paintball field in the woods where 2 and 3 are. I've played paintball and it was awful.
-I don't like #8's design. It's 80 feet and the tee shot is throwing throw a small gap. It would be better in my opinion if the teeshot was open and the basket goes into the woods past #9's tee.
-If you camp here then then people will probably be in your way. Also there is a zipline on #18's fairway and it goes down to #10 and #11. It's annoying when a bunch of really good looking teenage girls ask you to skip a hole or wait for a few moments to tee off.
-I like that there is OB in play but discs are lost frequently because there are too many woods. If you lose a disc then go disc hunting. I found my neighbor's groove on 13 and my friend from church, Tyler's eagle and his twin brother Hunter's eagle as well on #14. Disc hunt on holes 4,9,10,13 and 14 but watch out for snakes.
-Crabby staff members. There is this weird guy who made me leave so he and his little kids could play their stupid paintball game and wreck holes 2 and 3.
-Not well maintained at all.
Other Thoughts: I started playing disc golf at this course while I was at the spring retreat with my church. I saw some baskets and I really wanted to play disc golf and I got obsessed with it quickly. This is a good course for beginners. My grandpa played with me a few times here and he actually birdied a couple holes.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Hole by hole
#1. Easy and short and woods are in play to the right but a lot of land is to the left. Sidearm a bit to the left or throw an anhyzer.
#2. Could be lengthened but it goes into the woods and the paintball net is in play. You can open it and have an easy shot if it's too hard for you. There's two routes so any throw will do.
#3. Downhill and super short and debris is everywhere. It's better for a sidearm since trees are everywhere right.
#4. Really needs to be cleared out and if you don't hit the fairway then you're going disc hunting and thorns and everywhere. RHBH cleanly if you want a birdie and sidearm if you want to play safe.
#5. Great ace run with trees in the middle of the fairway. Go right or left. The left is a better ace opprotunity.
#6. RHBH hole because it's to the left. It goes in the woods a little bit. Another fun hole.
#7. Pretty much a miniture hole #1. Woods are to the right and lots of fairwayis left. Sidearm a bit left.
#8. Bit of a gimmick because you throw through a small gap. It's very short and any throw will do.
#9. Nice par 4 that is slightly downhill. Woods are to the right but the opening is left. RHBH is a better choice since woods are to the left as well.
#10. The only reason this is a par 4 is because water is in play left and the woods are in play right. Sidearm or throw an anhyzer and throw a disc that floats in water like a hydra or wahoo or dragon.
#11. Nice par 3 that has water to the right of the tee and it's fun to throw a big hyzer since the basket is right of the water.
#12. You will hate this hole if you are a beginner. It's more than 243' feet because it's across the road and goes steep uphill. Avoid the herd of trees in the middle of the hill.
#13. My favorite hole and obviously my dad's favorite too. It's 211' feet and across the road. A RHBH can get you super close but woods are all around to the right. My dad sidearmed and made an ace.
#14. Another test of your skill. This is across the creek and the creek is over 200' feet from the tee. Use a disc that floats and rip it.
#15. Some people don't get across since trees are past the water. Basket is on a hill and it's crazy that Gill aced this. It's over a creek and trees are hit frequently and a building is straight ahead. RHBH will get you a birdie.
#16. One of the 2 or three holes I hit the basket on. It's straight downhill and across the creek. It's a great hole and the right gap has trees blocking it now. Anhyzer or sidearm.
#17. Great par 4, it's the longest and a ditch is to the right and the basket is right of the ditch. Another hole that allows you to rip it.
#18. Used to have a fence behind the basket that was a great challenge. It's gone and now a super easy birdie. Needs to be lengthened and over the ditch past the basket.
-Really 3.5 is really a bit too high for this course but it can easily be a 3 with some work. Just to warn y'all, again, #4 is really a tough hole to avoid all the weeds. I never said I didn't like it but I lost a DX Cobra in there. It can really cut you up. So can #1, #9, #10, #13 , #17 and #18. There is a ditch dividing #17's fairways and it's to the right of #18. If it's summer, SCREW IT! Don't go in there, I've seen poisonious snakes in the water and tall grass ditches. Since this is updated, this course is lowered to a 2.5 because it was a real jungle. Sometimes it's completely playable and sometimes, it's not. It's closed to the public and some people here are not very polite.
Pros: - This course had a laid-back feel to it, which was really kind of nice. Maybe that's due to the "retreat" aspect, but I really felt like I could play it at my own pace and not really get stressed out. It was a much more relaxing round than usual.
- The flow was good. You don't have to walk all over the place to get to the next hole, and the layout makes sense. Along with avoiding confusion, this keeps the round much shorter.
- I don't know how crowded it normally gets, but the course was deserted when we played it. I think we saw maybe two other guys playing the entire time, and you can see a good portion of the course from any hole.
- For a short course, it definitely provides some surprising challenges. I wouldn't call it difficult by any stretch of the imagination, but most holes have something - trees, bushes, water, street signs, softball fence, etc. - to provide an obstacle. That helps keep holes from running together as well.
- The designers did a good job with what they had to work with. There isn't a ton of land devoted to the course, but it all fits well. The holes don't crowd each other much, and - as noted before - somehow the holes are fairly unique relative to one another.
Cons: - The course map is a little misleading in some areas. Upon first glance at the map, it looks like a row of trees separates the baskets for 9 and 17. But, as you can see from the photos, it's actually a ditch between the two. That's probably what the map is trying to depict, but it's a little confusing with the dark green coloring for both.
- Also, beware of retrieving a disc from any of the areas around the ditches. They were muddier than they looked the day we played and immediately engulfed my whole foot, which made for a "fun" rest of the round.
- Aside from the nice tee signs, there weren't any other amenities/perks that really stood out about the course. That's to be expected with a private course designed for campers, but it's worth noting for anyone making the trip to play it.
Other Thoughts: - I played this course with heelboycraig, so you can read this review in tandem with his because they pertain to the same round.
- I definitely agree that the three best holes were the three with elevation. Aside from #8, they were the only three that really stood out in my mind.
- #16 is just a fun hole to play. We chatted with some guys walking by on the road as we were about to tee off, and I can imagine that there are often curious onlookers passing by this tee. It definitely creates some good conversation.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Straightforward birdie runs
Pros: Fairly wide open with minimal obstructions in the fairway, a definite Pro in my book compared to the vast majority of tightly wooded courses here in NC that offer limited long, air-it-out shots.
Birdie runs on every hole, tree trunks, OBs, and the occasional vegetative ceiling/barrier certainly keep things interesting.
Pin placements often have high risk/reward as they're placed close to water hazards.
Cons: Mostly wide open and short with several holes under 200'. Keep your putter close at hand.
The odd vibe of being a private retreat area kept me on my toes - I tried to check in but no one was there. I didn't see another soul the first time I played, and only a couple the second time. No one around to witness my ace on 15 - definite Con!
Other Thoughts: Loved the shape to some of the holes, but as a previous reviewer said, safari out here would be pretty sweet - I originally thought pad 5 to hole 6 was the actual hole, which would be fantastic.
Not a terribly challenging course, but it is pretty fun and I didn't mind the single chain baskets or natural tees. Clearly some thought was put into this course and it's worth a play, especially if you're staying at a cabin at Highland Lakes (my shameless plug!).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Be on your best behavior.
- This is a great way to introduce kids to the sport, as noted in a previous review where the reviewer was the one introduced.
- The front nine is short enough to keeps the kids interested... let's face it, nobody wants to take nine shots to finish a hole - especially beginners. Shortness helps keep the campers interested and the visiting players feeling good about their game. And, the holes that are short... require you to hit a gap or through a bender... so they're not all gimmes.
- There is plenty of OB opportunity, which makes the shorter holes a little more interesting. I'd say more than half of the holes have OB (if you include roads).
- For a camp course, there were some interesting shots that were memorable. Hole 9 was a beautifully designed blind shot with a tree lined creek on the left and lots of disc eating bushes on the right. Hole 16 utilized the limited elevation on the course with a blind basket on the other side of a creek, perfectly positioned through a tight gap of trees ready to knock your disc in the water - a worthy birdie.
- Signs were helpful in locating the next tee-pad, and the information was accurate.
- Some of the baskets and tee-pads are near cabins that the camp uses. There were no kids there when I played (Sunday), but if there were kids in the cabins I would feel weird about playing near them.
- This is a private course located in a church camp / religious community. I had no trouble playing here in terms of people asking me what I was doing there... but, it could happen. You're supposed to be or be with a resident, so I guess you could get kicked out. A local golfer - who was not a resident - told me as long as you're respectful, they won't bug you... although they did question him once.
- I guess gravel tee-pads are better than no tee-pads... and single chains are better than no chains... so, I guess they're not "cons"; but, I realize to some they are cons, so I decided to mention them here.
- This is a christian camp... so we must be on our best behavior in order to keep this course as an option. I would NOT suggest going out as a five-sum if you don't have permission to play... it will just draw un-needed attention and possibly spoil it for everyone.
- This is a great opportunity for local disc golfers to get involved in helping teach the game to our youth... (I'm talking about quality people, let's not just send anyone out there to teach the kids). This could help establish a report with the camp and community, and thus help us, the disc golfer, be able to play without hassle.
My Score: -8 with a bogey.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is alot of fun. Its not heavily played and stays in fairly good condition. Good use of elevation on the back 9. The front is short and slightly tight with some ob with the stream that runs through the land. The back nine will test your use of distance and acuracy (3 or 4 holes play well over 400ft.). Good baskets. Good atmosphere. Good tee signs.
Cons: Tee pads are natural and not great. The baskets on 2 and 3 are coated with sticky paint (because the area around those baskets is a paintball field used by the camp).
Other Thoughts: This is a great course to learn how to play on. I learned on this course while at camp and during the first week i started playing there i got my first ace on 16. Make sure you are on top of your manners as it is private property and they will not tolerate any shenanigans
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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