6 Helpful / 2 Not
will become GREAT
Pros: The challenge presented by The Black Course
is immense to say the least. It is a very LONG course with the most obscene elevation changes throughout that I have even seen on a non-ski hill DGC.
#18 is one of the most spectacular tee shots you will encounter; similar to a ski lodge shot dowhill.
This course was built for the Advanced or Pro player in mind, do not come here as an amateur or bring a beginneer here as you will be overwhelmed!
Paul, the local 'course guide' found on this site provided a huge service by walking with me and pointing me in the right direction, THANKS!
The stategy invovled to score well here makes you think about placing your shots very carefully, this is a very well designed course with numerous par 4's and 5's!
For being located in a somewhat remote area,
it is not far from interstates I-70/I-470 and Wheeling,WV.
Cons: On a WV mountainside, the wind can be a major factor here.
Most of the tees are very hard to find, even with a map it would have been hard to navigate. More next tee signs are neeed just to get you to the right spot. By Sept 2010 this problem should be fixed.
With heavy rough, a lost disc is a strong possibility especially on the shorter wooded holes.
Other Thoughts: "The Black Course" name simply doesn't do this course justice, I think "Grand Vue" should be included in it's name since the scenic views are stunning, this park is tremendous.
I'm told up to 3 other courses are planned for here; when the natural tees are upgraded and more clearing is done on the tight holes this course will immediately jump to a 4.5 or 5 star rating!
A few shots are near or over a parking lot (#18)
but I don't see this as a problem since the lots were basically empty on a Saturday.
I plan on returning once a year as I drive from the East Coast to the Midwest annually.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 7 Not
Great View Of The City
Pros: Out of all the courses that i have ever played this has got the best view of a city. Not even just courses, in general its got the best view of a city. The great view is the pin for hole #2 and the tee for hole #3. Also the pin for hole #17 and the tee for hole #18. The pins are the nice yellow top innova ones. That really helps when looking for it from so far out. This course just has such great elevation changes. So you start out level on the ground then you end up at the top of a gigantic hill. It is really amazing. It is usually easy to navigate throughout the course. The practice pin is very nice. It is portable so i was surprised that they trusted nobody to steal it. The one thing about this course is that it has alot of potential. I know that is was just made and is getting better by the day. The potential is crazy here. I think that this could potentially be anywhere from a 4.5 to a 5.0. It is sometimes hard to see the flag that you through from but that is nice how they have that there so you know where the tee is actually located. The park that it is located in is just magnificent. It is purely beautiful out here. When you come here make sure you bring your camera because you will really want to capture this moment. Too bad i forgot mine but if i do come back i will for sure bring it. Well that just about ends it for the pros, so lets see what the cons have to bring us.
Cons: Well to start out the cons it has to be that there is no concrete launch pad. I think that if any course wants to be nice it will have to have a nice launch pad area. There is not even one little sign at the tee box telling you where the pin is located or the par or even what the distance is. Good thing that i printed out a map of the course before i went, because if i didn't i would have gotten lost right away. To get to the parking lot it is kind of challenging going up a very big hill with your car. When i went there was not even one other person there. I dont think that this course gets much use. That is sometimes a good thing but for the most part it is a verey bad thing. To find the first tee is very tricky. I couldn't find the first tee so i just made up a spot and threw from there. The one big thing that caught my attention was that on like holes 4 and 5 the stuff on the side was so thick i almost lost my disc. They just need to get a lawn mower and take all of that down because there is practically no fairway. Actually on hole #8 i lost a disc. It was on the side and i just couldn't find it. On some of the holes the pin is almost impossible to get to because there are just trees surrounding it. The holes are just too hard to find and i almost got lost many times. It is a very challenging course. The one thing that i didn't like was that it didn't challenge you in different ways. It only made you throw far because most of the holes were just wide open. Well thats about it for the cons so i hope you enjoy this course besides all of the things that i just mentioned.
Other Thoughts: To tell you the truth i dont think that it is even really worth going. I went expecting a nice course that is a true 4 and well lets just say that it wasn;t what i got. I was really disappointed. I may or i may not ever go back, it just depends on if they fix up the course alot. The really nice thing here is how they end the course. They end it on a signiture par 5 1008 ft hole that drops, it is really nice. They really do take care of the course on the open fielded portion but when you back into the woods it is just terrible and very unkept. So Really dont even go. But if after reading my review you are still planning on going wait a couple of years while thay are trying to fix up the course. But if you still wont listen to me after saying that, Only go if you print out a course map. I did and if i hadn't printed one out then i know there would have been no way i could have made my way through this course. So all of you planning on going i wish you good luck.
5 of 12 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Once You Go Black You Never Go Back!
Pros: Probably the Best Open Course in the World. With signature #18's 1,000 ft downhill dropping 100 feet to a basket nestled on a small sloping hillside with dense woods to the right and the clubhouse barn to the left. I could sit at that clubhouse and watch drives all day dive bombing from the mountain above. The Black Course boasts 10 holes over 485 feet and 5 of those are over 725 feet. It is gargantuan and plays exclusively on top of a West Virginia Mountain Top that makes Paw Paw look like a speed bump in comparision. Inspiring Vistas and equallyspectacular disc golf make this what will be known as the greatest disc golf course for power arms known to mankind. There are massive open shots here but there are also some memorable long wooded holes and 5 of the best holes under 260 feet you will see anywhere. The open shots are long but everyone of them requires careful consideration as the greens and fairways play particularly fast with sloping hillsides utilized as well as trees and elevation shifts ranging from 50 foot elevation gains to 100 foot drops not to mention the valley holes which play flat tee to basket but play over 40-60 feet deep canyons of grass. Yeah that basket is really 850 feet away and at the exact same elevation as the tee but theres crescent shaped canyon that drops 60 feet that if you fail to land properly your gaining an oob stroke and shooting uphill 50 feet and 750 away so the hole will play well over 1000 feet. OUCH! Quite simply there is no other course built to such a massive scale on this planet. Need more proof? OK Hole 2 plays a mere 498 feet but uphill straight up a 50 foot rise with no protection from mountain winds and steep fast slopes. Imagine throwing your driver nose up in those winds...its either gonna hyzer glide away or roll away if you don't throw it just right. Hole #1 is a simple 228 foot opener....but its perched in front of a dropoff to the valley below..go ahead and ace run it I dare you. #3 is a relatively short and open run across the crest of the mountain but it's fast before and after the basket. #4 and #6 are perfect long woods holes one hyzers and the other anhyzers along long low precise lines traversing over 500 foot fairways. 8 is a downhill drive of close to 800 feet with a drop of over 50 feet in elevation to a pin nestled in a wooded lane on a hillside.10,11,12,13, and 15 play across enormous sloped valleys and require multiple huge drives to set up delicate approaches to par. 16 is a precise 750 footer that if bent to soon will result in you simply dropping 70 feet to a valley below when you want to stay above and shoot on a very pretty green nestled in a nook. 17 just kills your arm as it's 288 feet of straight up 50+ ft of rise to set up the Greatest On Top Of the World Shot ever made #18. Theres also a slew of interesting short holes here such as #5 a tight fairway of 258 with plinko hell if you stray right or left. #7 is just 188 feet and open but its over 30 feet of rise and pitches severely...an ace run perhaps if you can throw a disc straight up that high. #9 is another tight fairway of just 228 ft but the green has a cliff that falls into the wilderness below just 5 feet from the basket. Then theres #14 a basket in jail...an open drive to a stand of thin trees with the basket set in the middle. Try to break into jail and save par. I may sound like a frontiersman telling tall tales here but trust me this one is for real. The combination of length and elevation changes on the big arm holes, the clever shorter holes and the scenic isolation make this the one course that I think should be on every serious DGer radar. 9,114 feet of disc golf atop a wild mountain but relax the course was built in such a way that even with such massive drives few holes are blind and the area is maintained enough that disc loss should be at a minimum so go ahead and unleash your best driver as hard as you can..chances are you will watch its full flight and not lose it like other mountain courses where ski slopes have high grass or woods are nearby to gobble up errant drives. That doesn't happen here that often as most of the time it's you against the wind with an expanse of distance in front of you so tracking your disc is not so difficult. Ski hill type terrain but a permanent actual DG course!
Cons: It's raw as of May 2010 with natural tees, lackluster signage and still needs some debri removal and perhaps a tighter mow on a few of the open holes on the backside of the mountain (10.11). Has an abandoned feel and would benefit from some sprucing up with amenties particularly around the barn. I was the only player on the course the entire time...so sadly, despite the truly world class disc golf here it's in a backwater town that could never support the course. This course needs players. I hope they hold a top level tournament and theres video of the top players playing this course....anything to spread the word. I will admit this course was way above my playing ability and after a while I stopped keeping score and more or less just marveled at the course and imagined massive drives that I could not make. I don't think many players will be able to handle the mammoth distances here. The access road and lots do come into play on 4 holes but it's really not a busy park so I dont think it will ever be an issue. 12,13, and 15 utilize the same horsheshoe shaped canyon of grasslands over different elevations(12 across the top, 13 in the middle and 15 at the base of the canyon...all of them require mandos/oob to separate the fairways from one another...with the nearby valley of steep woods below the canyon and with the expanses of sloping fields beyond this area I tend to think a more creative use of space could have created something even more amazing. As an amateur I would have loved a floater down one of these huge valleys to a pin below rather than constantly playing above them and using them as punishers I would have loved to have a few little drives from top to base to add some fun!
Other Thoughts: I did get a birdie on hole 11...actually it was a drop in birdie. Was the personal highlight of my day. If there were more benches and Info as well as when the tees and signs improve..instant 5. I have one crazy thought...on the jail hole #14 I think it would be cool if a back door lane was opened up as I think the trees are low enough to be thrown over and a backdoor hyzer lane to the basket would be an instant signature hole. Be sure to drive to the rear of the park and visit the office and get a map and be sure to let the park personel know you are there to disc golf. I would recommend this course for the 18th hole alone but the other 17 holes instantly screamed potential top 10 course. I also love the fact that it's designed to be a Championship level pro course. I am sure subsequent reviews will whine about the lack of amenities and lack of short tees and the lack of pegs to hang my bag full of bosses even though I only throw 250 etc......if your an experienced player and want to play one of the best "layouts" in the country....Come Play The Black Course....I promise you that you will not regret it.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
A Tribute to a Work in Progress
Pros: + The course layout is massive, though doesn't rely solely on "grip it and rip it type shots."
+ The lot is huge and parking should never be a problem.
+ Located on site is a small "Skill-Shot" course which can provide beginners with an understanding of the basic nature of disc golf.
+ A practice basket and numerous professional facilities throughout the course/park add to the appeal of the Black Course.
+ Shot variety on the course will never be a problem. I was constantly forced to go outside of my comfort zone in order to get a good lie (including making up new throws on the fly).
+ The level of wildlife that inhabits the course will at times make you forget that you're actually on a disc golf course.
+ The location of the course is perfect. The big hills give way to amazing views of the Ohio Valley that are unmatched with any course within 50+ miles.
+ The course allows for shots that disc golfers dream about/antagonize over on the drive home. Every type of hole is represented and the variety is unmatched. Epic top of the world drives with unforgiving O.B.'s to tight tunnel shots through the woods. The Black Course truly embodies the challenge that drives me to the game.
Cons: As my title stated, this course is a work in progress. The following "cons" are minor in nature and in due time will be rectified as the course is fully completed.
-No tee signs or tees are currently installed on the course.
-Without a map, the course would be nearly impossible to navigate in it's current incarnation.
-According to the map, the baskets for Holes #12 and #14 are switched (a.k.a. Basket #12 is labeled as #14 and vice-versa). While this caused some mild confusion during my first round it is by far the simplest fix on the course.
-Some of the wooded holes will require some additional clearing and upkeep before the course is complete.
-Currently no alternate tee/basket placements.
-You are required to throw across a road on Hole #2 and a parking lot on Hole #18. This has not been a problem during the rounds that I have played on the course due to the lack of people in the park at the time. However, I could definitely see this becoming a problem if the popularity of the park increases.
Other Thoughts: I'm a disc golfer that normally carries a mental checklist in my head when I play a course for a first time. I like my tees concrete and large and my signs descriptive and immaculate. I love multiple tees and/or alternative basket placements. The Black Course contains none of these. After the finishing the second hole, however, I couldn't have cared less.
This course has more potential then any I have ever played. The layout is near perfect and incorporates every shot and disc that I possessed. When frustration got the best of me, a view came into sight and made me forget about the last shot. Once it is officially completed I will have no reservations about changing my rating to a 4.0/4.5 (and I am a harsh critic).
The Black Course is not for the light of heart or beginners. It is huge, windy, hilly, and very unforgiving if an errant throw goes off the fairway (ask my Destroyer still at the bottom a huge ravine). A beginner or novice will become frustrated at what is expected of them on this course but I can't take away points for that. The course was designed at a championship level and that is the skill it will take to succeed.
The Black Course is an ultimate test your game. It has the ability to either boost your ego or destroy it. I finished +2 on my first round and felt like I had won the lottery. Two to three hours should be set aside for each round and bring something to drink or regret it later. I have recommended this course to every disc golfer that I know and it is well worth the drive and should become the standard to which all Ohio Valley courses are measured.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Welcome to Disc Golf Ohio Valley!
Pros: Huge and Hilly
Big Holes and Huge Altitude Changes
Several Holes on on top of giant steep hills, it's so much fun to let em rip and watch em soar. Watch them carefully though, they may be tough to find if they don't land where you want them to
In an area that badly needs to be introduced to the sport
Land they used is fantastic for disc golf
Combination nature hike and killer game of Disc Golf
Well defined fairways
Great shot variety
Difficult but not frustrating
Perfect balance of open, wooded, short, long, turns and hills
Cons: Huge and Hilly
Still needs work
No signs and tough to Navigate (they're working on that though)
Natural tee pads, Some consider this a Con but I prefer them
Rough Terrain, be ready for a hike
Other Thoughts: I lived in this area for most of my life, I ended up moving away to the big city where I discovered Disc Golf. It's nice to see a course in the Ohio Valley. There are no other Courses within an hour of this one. It's an area that badly needs to be introduced to the sport and they got a great course here. Unfortunately most people who live around there have probably never heard of Disc Golf so they won't know what a gem they have.
This course is great now but it will be spectacular with time. This place is just overflowing with potential. It was snowing and cold when I went and I had a tough time navigating, but as I played I tried to imagine this course, with a little more work done, and in the summertime, I can tell its gonna be special.
There is more than one hole where you tee off on the top of a giant foothill, it's fun watching your drive it feels like it sails forever. The final hole is fantastic, it's over a 1000 feet down an enormous hill.
The holes in the woods can be tricky but have a well defined fairway. Like I said earlier, be ready for a hike. You'll be sharing the course with plenty of deer and wildlife.
The problem with it right now is that it's tough to navigate. If you play this course be sure to visit it's web site and print yourself a map before you go. Also When I did find where the hole was, I had trouble finding where to Tee off. I ended up making up my own spot on several of them. There is a sign at the Barn on the 1st hole that says signs and tee pads are on the way so this is a problem that should be fixed soon.
I imagine this course will draw a lot of first timers which in a way is unfortunate. This one might be a little tough for a beginner. Also one might get spoiled being introduced to the sport on a course as good as this one. Most courses aren't as good as this.
Great place to play, I'm excited to have a course to hit when I visit back home. I would have been happy with an average course but I'm happy for the people of the Ohio Valley because this one is outstanding!
* I'm adding to this review on June 1st 2010. In this review I said that I tried to imagine what this course would look like in the summer, well it's summer and I came back. It lived up to what I was hoping for much much more.
I don't have a huge arm but I have a good one and I was in over my head at the Black Course. But if I did have a big time power I would travel any distance to play this course.
I met the one of the guys that helped get this course up and running. He was friendly and I liked him a lot. He said he has sent Discs to the local schools and gave them a heads up that this place is here, I thought that was a great idea. He also plans to build more courses in the park. If the new ones are anywhere close to being as good as the ones they already got this could quickly become a Disc Golf Mecca.
I've played it couple times now and have never seen even one other person playing. Most people in this area have never heard of Disc Golf (the guy I talked to said people keep thinking the Disc Catchers are deer feeders) This place is probably gonna attract 2 kinds of people, first timers and road trippers. My concern is that this course may be to difficult for people to learn the game on, I know I learned on smaller courses and worked my way up. A first timer would definitely bite off more than he can chew here. Hopefully with patience and time the Ohio valley will be loaded with Disc Golfers. I guess you gotta learn some how.
Flock to this course, I don't care where you live or how far you need to go. Drive here, fly here, walk here, swim down the river if you have to, but find your way to this course. You will love it. I promise
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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