Long and Grueling
8 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
This isn't going to be pretty
7 Helpful / 2 Not
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
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. Carl Shumacher was Gary's tireless henchman who has put in countless 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.
Lost in 'Leighs Lair'
5 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
On the farm
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: It's a very technical course that has a great mix of holes. There's basically two completely different courses interweaved on the grounds (rec and advanced) and the advanced course has two levels which are both challenging.
Layout - The advanced courses force you to use a lot of different shots. You'll need to not only hit tight gaps throughout but place your disc in a good position as well on the longer wooded holes.
There's a great mix of long/short holes as well as wooded/open holes. One thing I always like about the layout of a course is a mixture of hole types and this place has it all covered.
There's elevation changes that weave in and out of the woods. Some big throws off of mounds and one up on to a mound. The course uses elevation exceptionally well, especially with the basket locations. More than a few are perched on a hill or drop off.
Tons of risk/reward placement shots on this course, especially on the dog legs. If you try to get ahead of yourself you can get punished. The basket locations can be tricky to, go for a long putt and you can be looking at 3 putting easily.
Multiple routes and the ability to try different shots is another huge plus here. Some times the more direct route is much tighter and makes you think twice.
Two basket locations on the advanced course holes, one short / one long, that switches based on the season.
Atmosphere - The parts where you get in to the woods are nice and secluded. The course is built on an old farm and that comes out in a few places. The two mound holes look great when you're throwing off of them, a highlight of the course.
The landscaping has improved vastly since it has opened. A lot of the trash has been cleaned up and some tall grass areas have been chopped down.
The course is never crowded. That's a huge plus considering how busy UNC is right down the road.
Equipment - There's signs up now which are great, they show hole info and a great map. Following the course has become much easier now that it got some wear on it along with next tee markers. There's a map and info at #1.
The tee pads are large and the baskets are in great shape.
****The Rec course is mostly pitch and putt but is good for less experience players and kids. In my opinion it's better than most beginner style courses because it's not a bunch of baskets in a field, you still get to go out and throw through the woods.
Cons: Layout - The Rec and Adv courses being interweaved causes problems because in a few places the Rec baskets are halfway up the Adv fairways. It's not usually a problem of people from the other course being in the way but has obviously been a problem with people getting confused.
The fairway for #5 is partly on a gravel road, the road comes in to play on #3 as well but my main gripe with #3 is the B pin position, it's just ridiculous.
#18 isn't the best finishing hole in the world, kind of forced in at the end. A lot of people rectify that by parking next to the buildings at the entrance and starting on #5, which lets you finish on the monster #4.
There's a couple of places where I wish the immediate rough was cleaned up a bit more, you can lose a disc easy out here if you land in the wrong spot.
Atmosphere - There is some glass and trash on some fairways from before the course was built, it's getting a lot better though. The course is still a bit rough around the edges but again, it's getting better.
An office building and parking lot comes in to view on a few holes and you hear traffic from the interstate on a couple.
Eqiupment - There's not many benches and no trashcans on the course.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the most underrated courses in the area because so many people got confused on their first trips. So if possible play with a guide your first time. If you do go alone remember, Blue band baskets = Rec course, Yellow band baskets = Adv course.
Personally I really like this course, it's very rough around the edges but it's a technically sound course that will challenge you.
Update (12/12) I still like this course, way more than most people in the area. However after more than a year since my original review there are still some areas where I think fairways need to be cleared out more (especially a few landing zones) and there is a lot of small vegetation and vines that imo create un-fairways and should be trimmed.
Other than that I still believe the course has come a long way and you can tell some hard work has gone in to it to for better. Another possible improvement would be to possibly make it less confusing for new/out of town players who so often get lost and frustrated. Not sure how to do it, perhaps make a better map or more signs on the course.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Great new course, challenging
Pros: I played the advanced layout from the gold tees (where they exist). I found this layout to be very interesting, challenging and rewarding. Lots of placement shots, well guarded baskets, and elevated or otherwise interesting pin locations. There is adequate signage to find your way around the course (no problem finding all 18 w/o local knowledge). There is a good mix of open/wooded and long/short holes. Fairways in the woods are tight but fair and will continue to evolve with traffic.
It is great to have a course with legitimate and interesting par 4's and 5's (definitely some 4's, maybe a 5?). These are achieved with more than raw distance as well; forcing very interesting placement shots and doglegs to setup subsequent shots.
Cons: Rubber tee mats are cool and make course redesign easier, but have a tendency to be lumpy. This will get sorted out with more traffic. There are currently no hole signs indicating distance/layout/par. There is a good bit of broken glass and otherwise hazardous debris out there. Of course, everyone can help out with that...
Other Thoughts: Currently, the only downsides to this course are related to it being relatively new. Signage will improve (although it's adequate now), fairways will widen and groundcover will be trampled down, tee boxes will level out as folks take the time to repair the divots and lumps, and there SHOULD be less trash on the course with each playing.
For me, the 5-star standard bearing course is the Web at Ho's Nest (Charlotte, NC). Leigh Farm will, no doubt, improve to a solid 4-star course with traffic, additional signage, and clean-up. It lacks the inherent aesthetics of a course like the Web (although it definitely offers similar shots) which would prevent it from being a 5-star course for me personally. That will not keep it from being in my top 2-3 courses in the area, though. I'm feeling mighty spoiled to have UNC and Leigh Farm as my local courses.
In short, I loved this course and am thrilled to have it in the area. I expect to be playing this course quite often. This course will get better and better as more people play it. So, bring your friends, your straight fairway drivers, and have a blast.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Work in progress...
Pros: Loved the layout of the holes. Good mix of straight-on play, corners, short, and long. Also enjoyed the elevation changes and ravines that affect decision-making.
Some baskets are very close to drop-offs, but these were my favorite holes because of the added challenge. I think a few of the later holes, 14-16, were among the most challenging (and most fun) due to length and basket placement.
This is a heavily wooded course, and you get a good sense of being back in the deep woods on some of the holes. It quickly became dark at sunset when I played because of all the tree cover. Fun stuff.
Cons: It's still in need of some work, but this course is already fun to play! It's hard to find some of the tee boxes as they're not well-marked. It doesn't cause too much of a problem though; usually you can find a trail to follow.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Teesigns installation in progress
Pros: Long and short course integrated, with the long course using a few holes from the short course and combining another few, plus adding 6 that are unique to the long course. Map for both is on hole one (and online I think), and indications of which way to go are found at the more confusing points on the course. Teesign installation is in progress, I think about half are in at this point, but I think they are only for the long layout. The short course is good for a pitch and putt round or for less experienced players, and the long course will challenge even the best players with its length and toughness. Two teepads and pin positions for almost every hole on the long course. I like the rubber teepads, some are still a little uneven but will level out over time. The rubber teepads can be moved if necessary or desired, an obvious advantage over concrete. Also much easier on your shoes. Not very crowded, but getting worse. Good variety of left, right, and straight holes. Discatcher baskets. A few memorable holes, including the one off of the hill to an elevated basket and one where an old barn comes into play. Not much else happening at this park, especially on the course, so you are unlikely to run into other park patrons other than near the parking lot. <15min from other good/great courses in the area- southern village, anderson park, chapel hill, cornwallis, and valley springs.
Cons: As others have said, teepads too close to baskets in a few cases, but this place is usually fairly empty so not much of a problem yet. Apparently parts of the course were used as a dump, so there is old trash around in some places. The long course can still be a little tough to figure out in places. Some of the roughs are still pretty nasty. The long grass on some holes does suck, I recommend pants or long socks. It can be easy to forget what position the basket is in and alot of them aren't visible from the tee, but I think the layout is posted on hole one. Not much parking near hole 1, especially since other park patrons use it, but there is plenty by hole 8 (the big hill).
Other Thoughts: STOP WHINING! This course is made in the NC tradition, meaning it is very wooded, but was also made with champion caliber players in mind, which means it is long. If you don't like tight courses, don't come play here, go to UNC as others have recommended. The "tweener" argument is simply not true, a number of the holes are true par 4s and the par 3s are mostly reachable with a very good or excellent shot, although this depends a little on the layout. The long course can still be a little tricky, so please contact me if you need a guide. This course is still developing, so I expect my rating will go up to 4 eventually. You can park by the office buildings and start on 8 or 9 if you have a low car or the lot is full. Singles are twice a month, with a handicapping system. I was doubtful at first, but is is actually very fair and still rewards a great round no matter how good you are. Check out the DORDA website for dates/time. The duck flies at midnight. This course is fun, challenging, and much less crowded than the more "polished" courses, like UNC, but if you want to go play with a million frat boys by all means skip this course and go there.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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