Misses the mark on so many fronts
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Bethel Elementary is a decent nine hole course. By decent I mean there are nine baskets, and from those you can make nine decent holes out of them. Come for the views, try and stay for some disc golf.
- There are nine baskets. Baskets are in great shape. That's pretty much the high point for this course.
- The baskets are set up for some potentially good layouts. Whether or not there are actually good layouts is another issue.
- There could potentially be a good variety of holes. There's elevation already in place on some holes, plus a couple strategically place holes (#4 & 5 come to mind), that could present some challenge.
- Great scenery all around. There are tremendous views of the mountains every which way you turn. It makes one want to pitch a tent and go camping right there.
- This is a course at an elementary school. I hope this course encourages kids to start playing disc golf, and doesn't frustrate them enough to quit.
Cons: I could go into depth about the problems here, but I'll keep the list short. This is just a basic, nine-holer, so no need to pound on it too much.
- There are no tees, next arrow tees, actual hole layouts or general course concept. Other than that, things are ok.
- The idea this is a course is a very loose notion. Holes #1 & 2 are in the fenced in area directly behind the school building, next to the playground. I'm guessing these are the only two baskets that ever get much use, being used by students during recess. Just by seeing where the two baskets are located, a red flag was already being raised for me. Then, when I couldn't find a tee (do I throw over the playground, over the fence from the track or from next to basket #2?), there were red flags, warning signs, flashing lights, etc. So, my buddy and I pick a location to throw from, finish the hole, and the proceed to search for a tee for #2. You'd think this one would be easy. You can see the basket 200 feet away, so there should be some marker. Nope.
- From there, you walk further behind the building, past the creek, to where you see the basket for #3. Again, there is no tee pad, sign or any indication of where you should be throwing from. The process is then repeated again and again.
- So, I'm not sure if you're supposed to just wing it by picking your own tee, or if the locals know from which grass patch to throw from.
- As everyone else has mentioned, the layouts they appear to be aiming for is much too difficult for an elementary school student. The holes are either way too long with some walk between holes, or the holes are really short with way too much walking between holes. You make the call on this one.
- It's on school property, so you obviously can't play during school hours. Also, no facilities for players - bathrooms, water fountains, etc.
Other Thoughts: Bethel Elementary is never going to get confused with any great course. That said, with all the land that's available, and even with the current basket positions, this should be a much better course than is offered. It's a true waste.
- It seems too obvious to use the current basket layouts and put in long and short tees. You would still have too many long walks between holes, but at least you could make the course more appealing to beginners/students and more advanced players.
- Other than the first two holes, the other baskets do have some decent layouts if you want to make your own holes. If you're a local, there might be some appeal to this. If you're just passing through, you don't want to waste your time making your own layouts.
- I wouldn't have played this course if it weren't a personal mission to visit. A buddy and I camped nearby two years ago, and we tried to play the course. However, at that time, the info was listed for the old school building, which had already closed down, and not for the current location. So, after showing up at an abandoned school, and wasting way too much time searching, we gave up, but made sure to play it at some point.
- Unless you're as determined as we were, or live down the street, there's no reason to visit this course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice views but the course needs work
Pros: Nice views of the mountains. Mostly open grassy flat shots. Brand new Innova DisCatchers. Trees come into play on #4. Baskets set on roll-away hills on #2,6 & 9 add challenge to the shot. #3 is a great top-of-the world shot (my favorite).
Cons: No tee pads, benches, tee signs, maps. Most holes seem way too long for kids/elementary school. The course design is lacking.
Other Thoughts: The layout is just too weird. Starts off with some boring holes & does not get much better as the round goes on. I probably would not go back or recommend it to anybody unless major upgrades are done.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Way, way, way too long for kids!
*The concept of having a disc golf course at an elementary school is a fantastic idea! Let the kids play disc golf for PE class and get them hooked while they're young. It's so cool to see a disc golf basket by the road in front of an elementary school!
*Beauty- the school is nestled in the foothills of the mountains and it's a beautiful area. I bet the Fall is simply gorgeous.
*Elevation changes. After the first two flat holes there are decent elevation changes. 2 Flat/ 3 Up/ 4 Down
*Baskets- new double chain Discatchers
-The holes are all way too long for elementary school kids. When you figure that the vast majority will be playing their first round of disc golf the course needs to be much, much shorter! The designers should study the design of William Yates- Sprint
in Independence MO and use that as a model. At Bethel hole 8 is about 430 ft long, plus it's uphill with +30 ft. gain so it plays as 520 ft. Kids are going to get really frustrated and bored taking at least 4 shots just to get to the basket.
-Crazy long walks to some tees. Tee 5 was a ridiculously long walk of over 600 ft. from basket 4 and you had to back track to get to it. Tee 4 was also a very long walk from basket 3 and thus quite hard to find. I doubt many first time kids could find tee 4 or 5 without a guide.
-Navigation. First timers, especially kids, would have a hard time finding the little tee marker flags.
-Thorny rough- a few holes (5, 9) have really thorny thick rough that kids could easily throw into. I hit the rough on 9 and it wasn't fun.
-Safety issues. Holes 8 and 9 play very close to the main school entry road; kids could easily spray discs into this road.
-Fairways are repetitive. There are way too many straight holes and no dogleg left holes at all. 7 St/ 2 Rt.
-Terrain. Too open for my taste. 6 Grass/ 3 Mixed. In one way open holes are good for new players as they spray discs around, and there are limitations since much of the school property is cleared. Still you don't want kids first disc golf experience to be boring.
-Signs. There are none.
-Tees. Most are marked by little flags, but there were none on holes 1 and 2 so I just made some up. The natural tees work OK, but they need to mark out the tee boxes.
Amenities: None. No map, score cards, practice basket, message board, benches, or trash cans. Perhaps some of these may be added in time.
Course Level: White (most suited for Intermediate players rated 900.) Not suitable for school kids.
~The course is a long drive from I-40, so all but the hard core course baggers should think hard about whether it's worth the trip.
Frankly, I'm baffled to figure out what the course designers were thinking by designing such a long course at an elementary school. I'm guessing that they just designed the course for their own level, but if so they badly neglected the most frequent players. School kids, especially new players, will find the holes way, way, way too long. I fear that this will make them so frustrated and bored that they will quit the sport. That would be a shame! I'm going to be so bold as to suggest that they redesign the course so that the holes are shorter and closer together.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A little more than Elementary.
- Getting Kids to Play. Hopefully, having a nice DG course at a beautiful new elementary school will attract a lot of families to the sport.
- Alternate "Tees". ALL of the holes were too long for an elementary school course (see cons), and it was good to see that some of the holes had alternate, shorter "tee" boxes.
- Gorgeous Vistas. The school is nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by Blue Ridge mountain ridges, beautiful views of Appalachian farm land, old barns and silos, a stream…
- Deer Tracks. It excites me to know that DG can be the game that gets kids reunited with nature. From the beautiful mountain and farmland views, to the creek, to the close contact with thick blackberry brambles in search of discs, to deer tracks… DG exposes kids/adults to nature in ways baseball or soccer can't.
- Too Tough for Kids. If an elementary school is going to have a DG course, the holes should be designed appropriately for kids. Four of the holes had thick, thorny vegetation located exactly where beginners would likely throw their discs. Several pins were located on steep hillsides, and in general the course was…
- Too Long for Kids. Since there were no signs, I guestimated the distances to be: 260, 240, 310, 270, 285, 260, 320, 480+ (uphill), and 240. I was expecting a putter course and had to throw my Boss more than once?
- Plays Near Roads. Kids and roads usually don't mix and six of the holes play near roads. Hole 7's pin is only 40' off the main highway and Hole 8's fairway crosses the school's main entrance road?
- "Tees". The "tees" - marked by little orange construction flags - could easily get moved, removed, blown away, etc… (However, if the rest of the school is any indication, then I'm sure proper tee-pads and signs are on the way).
- New. New. New. This course is NEW. It's only been in the ground two-weeks (as of Nov 28). I fully expect it will be developed further and become much better.
- In General… An advanced player could have a great time here… Kids, not so much.
- Readjustment Needed. If the course wasn't located at an elementary school, it would be great. However, since it is, a readjustment is needed. The property has a lot of unused space that could be utilized to make a more kid friendly course.
- My Score: -2
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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