Pros: I like the rubber tee pads, but they are a con if you play soon after a rainstorm. They get slick. But in ideal conditions, I like them better than concrete pads.
Cons: Trying to figure out the navigation is really frustrating. Two tee pads, two or three baskets per hole...just give me a nice tee, a good layout, and a decent basket to throw to! There is signage and yardage for the gold (pro) and white (intermediate) tees, but not red (red). From the red tees you throw to the blue baskets (?), for the white tees you throw to yellow, and from the gold tees you throw to the furthest...? I don't know, it's just a mess.
Other Thoughts: I may give Leigh Farm ONE more chance, if I play with someone who knows the course well, but otherwise, it's not worth it. UNC is 8 minutes from here and it's a fantasic course. Better options than Leigh Farm in the area.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Another course in Chapel Hill to draw players away from cool courses like UNC and Dogwood.
Cons: This course has so much potential, but the dyslexic awkwardly designed fairways and the trash everywhere makes for a frustrating day. Before the course was designed, several of us were invited to check out the proposed lay-out. The land had a lot of potential, but for some reason the final design included dumb placement holes, shots around barns, ridiculous long holes that could easily be cut into three holes, missed opportunities where awesome holes could be (huge mound), etc. etc.
I got lost and missed several holes even though I've played the course (and saw it get designed/built!!)
Other Thoughts: If you like strange placement shots where an amazing ace-run could be, this is the course for you.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A good mix of long and short holes: par 3's, 4's and two 5's.
A variety of shots and elevation, open and wooded holes.
The wooded holes are open enough for there to be a discernible route, which makes these holes more like UNC's course and less like Southern Community course. Some holes start in the open and end in the woods and some start in the woods and end in the open, which makes for fun variety and shot making.
The par 4's are pretty interesting holes. You don't have to be a power player to reach them. A lot of doing well here is placement.
Cons: When it rains, you can hurt yourself slipping on the rubber tee pads if you're not careful. I noticed that many people have moved the tee pads off of the tees.
In the summer time, you have to worry about ants near the tee pads. Plenty of people have been turned away by this course, because they got ants all over them at some point.
If you're a visitor without a course map, it'll be hard to find the tee pads on some holes. So, visitors, print a map or use your phone.
Other Thoughts: Next Tee signage, new tee boxes, and getting rid of the ant problem would improve the course.
#15 is a strange hole. I'm not sure that this hole is a con, but I think the gold tee is.
This course mostly has Innova Disccatchers, but now they have silver metal baskets (DGA?) on some of the long placements. I think they'll end up changing them around, but if you want to play the long version, look for the DGA baskets on a few (5?) of the holes.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Course is now open, but I suggest waiting.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Other Thoughts: Lots of potential, but after all the construction, lots left to do. Signs need to be changed for hole number and for distance, signs for next tee pad are either small and bare wood (making them nearly impossible to see) or nonexistant. Some holes are being worked on still and if combined holes are upposed to have yellow-only baskets, they need to get the blue band off of them. My party met two guys that gave up (a little too easily, IMHO) after playing only 4 holes. When they get this right, it should be really nice. As it is, it's still fun, and I shot 4 birdies on my first time playing the course. So, if you want a little adventure, I say, go for it!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The rec course at Leigh Farm is a decent play. It would probably earn a 2.5 on it's own merit. There are some interesting holes. There are a lot of short holes, fourteen of them under two-hundred feet, but a bunch of those are fairly interesting. (Particular 17, which passes one of the park's historic structures and finishes in a tunnelish area) They're pretty much all wooded and while tight, they aren't too tight for the intended audience. It it called a rec course. It certainly gets more interesting towards the end where many of the holes are just shortened versions of those on the longer layout. 10 and 13 stand out. Two of the longer holes on the layout at 277 and 334 feet respectively, they both shoot down hill and 10 finishes nicely to the right while 13 crosses a creek just before the basket. On average, it plays with a similar difficulty to the nearby Cornwallis except some of these holes are far easier than anything at Cornwallis and some of them are far tougher. It's much less consistent in it's level of challenge.
Some work is still going on here, but if you download the map before you go, you won't have any trouble following the rec course. It's fairly intuitive and as long as you have the map letting you know which general direction to go from the basket, you should be fine. Remember, the signs are inaccurate. (Sometimes they depict the hole correctly but the numbers are still wrong.) Don't use them. Use the map, and look for the blue numbers on the tee pad. Those indicate you are at the right place. It was recently closed for a good time and a lot of work has been done. There is nearby construction where an apartment complex is going in but the construction at the park is mostly done and it's a good looking clean park now that should provide a quick, fun round.
Cons: A bunch of the holes are less interesting. In particular, those pairs of holes which are combined into one hole for the advanced layout. I'm speaking of 1 and 2, as well as 3 and 4. They very much feel like hole segments. It's tricky putting two layouts into the same area and some of the holes of the rec course suffer that. Even beyond that, the experienced player will find little challenging here. Too many of the holes are just short pitches, as described above. I'm not really knocking it for the incomplete nature of the course as that will be finished soon enough and there are really only a few transitions that need much in the way of aid. (13 to 4, 15 to 16 and 11 to 12) That said, I'd recommend playing the rec course once before playing the advanced layout. It will help you understand how the course is built and it will make navigating much easier. Because right now, the advanced course is not the easiest to follow.
Other Thoughts: Now to Leigh's Lair. The advanced course here has a ton of potential. I think when it's all done, it will be a 3.5-level course on it's own. It's a nice design that boasts some real challenge while remaining playable by all but the most inexperienced players. It's got some long, curving holes with real distance for wooded holes and I doubt many will complain about the throws that the layout allows. Three of the holes combine two fairways from the easier layout, typically resulting in a one solid bend as you transition from one to the other. Six of the holes are on their own and this includes some of the best holes on the course, specifically the ones around the mound complex. 6 throws form ground level essentially up a ramp to a high placed tee on the edge of a sharp drop-off. 7 plays from the top of that mound to the top of a another smaller mound and 8 throws off that one. It's a nice sequence and it's made better when you come back that small mound and climb the back steps to throw once more from a ledge half-way up. The other holes are more like long pads for the regular course. In some cases, much longer pads.
As of now, it's one of the tougher courses to follow, even with the map, which as linked to here is hand-drawn and thus vague. Additionally it seems to be inaccurate in a few places, so I'll guide you through a few instances of trickyness, at least for now as I assume there will eventually be signs to help with this. (At least numbers on the pads, for most of the round I had no idea what number I was on and it took playing the rec course to better understand Leigh's Lair.) The first tee is the same as the rec course first tee. That confused me at first. 1 plays from the rec 1 tee to the rec 2 basket. Likewise, 2 plays from the rec 3 tee to the rec 4 basket. Both pretty nice holes. Then the layouts separate and there is a sign that indicates this. 4 does not tee off near the pump station as the map would indicate. Walk down the road to the bend and you well see the short pad in front of you. Turn around and find the long pad imbedded on the hillside. 5 is along the service road but it is much shorter than the map makes it look. The basket is tucked to the right of the road. From that basket, cross the road and you'll find a tee pointing straight at the mound. (This is labeled 7 on the map but I'm pretty sure it's 6 now as I couldn't find what was 6) From there the map is mostly accurate other than the numbers being one off. Most of the holes down the end stretch are matched up with short course holes. You just need to find the long pads.
Honestly, if you can wait until the course is finished being worked on, it would be advisable. Save yourself from the navigation nightmare. But even now, there's great golf to be played here with some of the toughest holes in Durham.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Long and Grueling
Pros: "Pro Level" 18 hole course, mixed with "Rec Level" 18 hole course (courses share some tees, fairways and baskets) in a quiet, mostly wooded section of a "nature-y" area
***I played the pro course from the long tees while I was here so my review will be mostly based on that, but I'll touch on a few rec course things I noticed
- Grueling - this course (the pro/advanced course) is long and challenging - it's both an endurance challenge and a disc golf challenge and will test your skills
- Parking right near hole 1 - bulletin board/kiosk with rec course map, pro course "sketch", basket position for pro course and a few flyers
- 2 tees for the pro course (white and gold - shared on some of the holes) and 2 basket positions
- Tees are rubber flypads for uniform surface
- Baskets are DisCatchers (some wear/age) with yellow band to help to pick out of the wooded backgrounds (rec course has blue ribbon over the yellow band to differentiate from the gold course)
- Very nice tee signs showing an accurate hole map, distances and par for each tee and basket position combination - these were some of the best I've come across (but surprisingly not the best during my visist - nod to Middle Creek for theirs)
- Good variety of hole types - numerous tightly wooded holes and numerous open holes - some long playing as true par 4 or more and some short ace runs
- Good elevation changes - from soft wooded downhill (#1), to a big bomb off the top of a hill (#8), to an uphill drive to a blind basket up over the lip of a grassy hill (#7), to a gradual uphill through trees (#4)
- Some real nice views in the middle of the course - basket #7 and tee #8 are up on a big hill giving you a nice look at the fields and trees around you
- Cool elevated basket (built up on some sort of step pyramid thing) on hole #8 (I think) - made for a challenging putt (which I probably missed)
- I thought some of the woods holes were really cool - hole #14 stood out to me as my favorite - precise drive needed through the trees with the basket perched on the other side of a mostly dry creek bed protecting from lazy layups - hole #17 was also very fun with the unique obstacle of a big, old barn smack right in the middle of the fairway, given you lines around both the left and right, but more trees await behind it between you and the basket
Cons: - Navigation "within" a hole - this course may be the most confusing one I've played yet in terms of some of the holes, in and of themselves (once a hole was figured out and completed, navigation from basket to next tee actually wasn't horrible, even without a map) - the interwoven rec course made for a head-scratching walk up and down some fairways - for instance, on hole 1, from the gold tee you can see the rec basket with the blue ribbon around the chastity belt, but the gold basket is beyond it hidden from sight - there is a rec tee up and left a bit, in between your tee and the visible basket, but I think that is actually the tee for rec hole #2 (so you backtrack uphill if you're playing the rec course) - I think rec hole #2 plays to gold hole #1's basket? Then I think gold hole #2 plays along the same fairway as rec hole #3? Very confusing - this needs to be explained better online, at the bulletin board or somewhere, probably with better maps for both courses, maybe overlaid on top of each other
- No overall course map for the pro course (the sketch online and on the bulletin board don't quite cut it) - to me, this is a must for any top-level course - even though hole to hole navigation wasn't too bad overall, I had to hunt a bit for some pro tees (holes 5 and 16, I think, come to mind)
- Parking lot was in pretty rough shape (potholes and muddy)
- A few of the fairways and areas around baskets were a bit mucky (I think behind basket 10 and the area around 16/17/18 and the walk back to the parking lot)
- Fairly high chance for lost discs, especially if playing solo - I know this is an inherent risk playing solo, but the many blind shots enhance this issue - spent a while looking for my disc in the tall grass at the bend on hole 3 and partway down the fairways on holes 5 and 9
- I admittedly don't have a huge arm and don't prefer super-long holes, but I've come to accept them and deal - however, holes 4 and 5 here I thought were annoying since they each almost played like 2 different holes - start with a big, wide open drive and then you have to play into a precise wooded entrance only to be greeted with more hundreds of feet of wooded golf - I dunno, maybe others will view this differently (as a cool, good feature), but it seemed like a "cheap" way to have a super-long hole or two on your course - maybe this could be a way to add more holes to the complex? I'm not sure how much additional un-used land there is to work with
- Hole #3 - doglegs are fine, but u-turns are annoying
- The rough was pretty abusive and I walked away with less blood than I came in with (starting on hole 1 on a RHBH that turned too much, too early into a big thorny bush)
Other Thoughts: - Course was overall pretty dry when I played, so I can't really say how the tees fare in wet weather
- Benches on a few holes, but probably not the majority
- Tight, gravel entrance road - don't bring your fancy, newly-washed car
- For the relative "remoteness" and isolation, it was interesting to climb the hill on hole 7 and see a modern office complex and parking lot out off the edge of the property
- Could have been an anomoly, so I don't want to list it as a "con", but when I finally found my drive on hole 5, my disc was covered...I mean covered...in ants - put my bag down in what I thought was a clear area maybe 20 feet away to clean the disc and take my second shot, but come back to find that my bag was now covered - not a fun way to spend the rest of the round, picking ants off you, your bag and your disc
This course was...unique. It was challenging and had variety, but was fairly unpolished. It seemed like a cross between an educational nature center, a rustic farm and a backwoods moonshine complex. The confusion over the first few holes was mostly an afterthought once the sign guided you to the rest of the pro course (except for the few other holes where they co-mingle again with multiple tees and baskets). This was probably the toughest course out of the 6 I played on my visit to the area. Normally that doesn't deter me, but in this case, it wasn't for the right reasons (confusing navigation, high chance for lost discs in abusive rough/foliage, etc.) - I'd rather play other tough courses that are in better shape and more refined (Buckhorn in this area, for instance). I think there is a lot of room for improvement and I think there is a lot of potential. If some things get fixed up (clarity on navigation, trim up the firways/rough a bit), I'd be interested to try it again and seeing some of the other reviews from frequent players mentioning improvements gives me hope that it will become even more spectacular over time. However, given my one-time fly-by (even considering the navigation issues that I know would be less of a issue playing a second time), I probably wouldn't go out of my way to play this one again if I'm only in town for a short visit again, given the many other solid course options in the Triangle. However, I give a lot respect to whoever built these courses. Installation of 2 courses over a wide spread of land, however rough they may be, is no small feat - hats off to you.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
This isn't going to be pretty
Pros: 18 challenging holes set in a wooded property right of I40 in Durham. Multiple tee pads. There are an Advanced and Gold position as well as Rec positions marked with red rocks.
Blue baskets for Rec layout and Yellow for Advanced and Gold. Signs at each pad showing positions and lengths.
Technical wooded course with a little bit of everything. Woods, hills, creeks, ups, downs, and many tough lines to hit.
Good variety of hole lengths. There are a few short ace run type holes and there are some long tough holes that wander through the woods. Don't expect to come out and play your typical Par 3 round of golf.
Long basket positions are significantly tougher than the shorts and add a whole new challenge to this course. Gold layout can crush you if that's what you're in to.
Seldom crowded as this course doesn't seem to be a favorite of local players. I played on a Saturday afternoon, and was the only person there.
Challenging. Arguably the toughest course in the Raleigh area.
Cons: Layout and navigation can be difficult. I would advise a guide your first time. I suspect there are still some lost souls out there from when it first opened.
Rubber tee pads. They are functional, but get muddy and washed out with debris at times.
Some would say that a few holes have 'unfairways'. Scattered trees in a few fairways can lead to some shots that are as much luck as skill.
A scenic beauty Leigh Farm is definitely not. Think of this as a reclaimed redneck garbage dump and you get the idea. There is garbage on some of the fairways and rough. This can include a lot of broken glass so wear good shoes.
During summer there are some kid's camps at the nature center. I have had to skip holes 16-18 at times due to dozens of kids near the baskets. It's rare, but possible.
Other Thoughts: The key to playing Leigh Farm is attitude. It isn't particularly scenic, nor does it offer any memorable holes. Just know that your round won't be a thing of beauty. Chances are you'll have to pull some creative get of trouble shots, and you'll nail a random tree or two. The over/under on eaten spiders is also about 3. As you wander through the woods, you'll most likely encounter a few of our friends that live in webs. It's just part of playing here.
But there are a bunch of challenging holes that will force you to use a ton of different shots. There are some elevated baskets, hillside shots, creeks to cross and many dog legs to navigate. This isn't my favorite course in the area, but playing it on occasion will show you where your game lacks.
The other nice thing about this course is that it does continue to get better. Every time I play Leigh Farm I can see the results of the work being done by volunteers. When this course first opened it was virtually unplayable. Now it is a good course that can offer one of the better challenges in the area.
The parking lot by Hole 1 is fairly small and can be muddy. I usually park behind the office building you'll see when you first pull in. Walk down the gravel driveway and you'll see the pad for Hole 5 on your left. This is usually the best place to start.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: NOTE: This review is for the old layout. Construction forced some holes to be redesigned, and the newest (2014) layout has not been reviewed yet.
Gary Rains was the mad scientist who cooked this one up in his laboratory and he did a great job. He deserves a great deal of praise. But Carl Shumacher was Gary's tireless henchman who has put in countless hundreds of hours and an incredible amount of work building this course; without him the course wouldn't be where it is today! Please make sure to thank Gary and Carl for all of their very hard work!
*Variety and more variety! By my count there are 12 different layouts. The Advanced course has 2 sets of tees and 4 layouts for each tee (baskets in A, B, A&B, or B&A positions). Then the Rec course has 4 more layouts. If you want to frequently play something different then Leigh Farms is the place to go!
*2 basket positions on all holes!
*2 sets of tees- White and Gold. 11 holes have 2 tees while the rest have one shared tee.
*Length variety is excellent. For example, in the White-Short layout: 3<199/ 8 of 200-299/ 5 of 300-399/ 2 of 500-510. In the Gold-Long layout: 3 of 255-295/ 10 of 300-399/ and 425, 455, 525, 735, 800. By contrast, the Rec-Short course has 14<199/ 3 of 200-265/ 1 of 335.
*Elevation changes on most holes, but most are moderate
*Fairway shape variety is quite good
*Terrain variety is pretty good. Most layouts have about 9-10 wooded holes, 6-7 mixed foliage, and 2 open grassy holes.
*The Rec course would be a good place to bring beginners (if you help them navigate it).
*Tee signs are top quality! They may be the best in the Triangle.
-For first timers the course takes a lot of mental effort (and some time) to fully grok how all of the Rec and Adv holes fit together and how to navigate your way on the two courses.
-You can't see 9 baskets from the tee, so first timers will need to do some scouting, but there are excellent maps on every tee sign.
-Map: The Rec course map has a few holes that are inaccurate and need to be redone. The Advanced course needs a better map. Both maps need to have both basket placements marked.
While the course was being built I heard some grumbling (but many disc golfers grumble anyway). I think the problem was that the designers had a vision for the finished course that they could see in their minds, but most others couldn't look at the current state of construction and see or understand where they were going. Then the work to produce the vision proceeded in an unusual way that appeared haphazard, so some people got frustrated trying to figure out what was going on, and they gave the course a bad rap. Now that the course is finished I think we can all see more clearly what the designers were envisioning. The course has turned out very nicely especially as it has gotten more amenities and navigational aids. I only hope that some of the bad vibes don't linger because I really like this course.
~My favorite hole- Advanced 14. A straight slightly downhill wooded hole that requires you to hit your line. The basket is guarded by a small creek bed in front.
~Course beauty is above average overall. Some holes are very scenic while others are merely average.
~Tee material: concrete is not allowed so they have large rubber mats. They work well, but may not be everyone's favorite.
~Location: the course is 3 minutes off of I-40 so it's very easy to get to if you're in that area.
Overall this is a really good, solid course that offers tons of variety. Pros and Advanced players will enjoy the long tees, Intermediate players will enjoy the white tees, and beginners will like the Rec layout. Leigh Farms is well worth a visit to play!
A note about my rating:
My rating is a subjective measure of my enjoyment
of the course, on the day I played it, and it is NOT intended to be a measure of the quality
of the course. My Enjoyment Ratings are given "on the curve" in relation to all other courses I've played.
Look in the "Links/Files" section for my files with Hole-by-hole ratings and a more detailed Overall review. You can also read more of my review philosophy and rating notes at Disc Golf Course Reviews
I'm always trying to improve my reviews, so if you mark this review unhelpful or you find a mistake, please send me a Personal Message to tell me what is wrong with it. I'll be grateful for the feedback.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Lost in 'Leighs Lair'
Pros: Starting off I like to let everyone know what Im personally looking for in a course. I love the scenic aspect of disc golf (this includes boulders, lakes, wildlife, and plantlife- I do study horticulture). With that being stated, I rate a course based on a combination of the scenic factor and the overall course aspects (this includes layout, fairway lines, divesity of holes, and amenities)
Diversity, diversity, diversity! I found myself throwing every shot in my bag the two rounds I endured on the lair. This includes flicks through super tight lines, backhands throughout several open bomber holes, and some overhanded shots trying to scramble to save par.
Super challenging fairways lined with all sorts of native shrubs, grasses, and geophytes.
Several elevated baskets that most certainly provides for the risk/reward shot.
Cons: I am not a fan of the rubber tee pads, I feel like they get slick with just the slighest amount of moisture and mud/dirt/particles. On many of the holes when it has been raining a day before you should stand and deliver, or risk busting your bottoms.
I enjoy woods golf, and will not complain or view tight fairways as a con.. There were just a few scraggly trees that I may cut down if it were my course, it is good to keep a course tough tho.. Eventually some of the fairways may open up and if it does look for some high calibur tournaments here..
Me and my buddy played first day of April and the inchworms/silkworms(not sure of the species of lepidoptera) were really bad. Like we played singles first round and then doubles the second round and by the time we came back through the main fairways were once agian covered in these larvae
Other Thoughts: Overall I really enjoyed my experience at Leigh Farm. Personally I think some of the other reviewers were to harsh on this place, and their review probably reflected on hitting many trees and becoming frustrating with tight line after tight line. It seems I am running into alot of courses that stack up in between the numbers, I would call this one a 3.75 in its current state. Trying to be optimistic I will vote up and give it a 4
My Score first round +5 course par and I'll take it and run
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Hidden change of pace
Pros: Challenging and well laid out. Two courses in one, with beginner and adv tees.
Cons: Can be confusing first time through, heavily wooded. Little parking.
Other Thoughts: Pay attention to the board at the front as to what configuration the holes are in. The maps show two holes but there are only one set of baskets out there... if you've not played a course that moves baskets around this will confuse you.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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