11 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - The Angry Beaver layout provides a wealth of quality disc golf. Experienced players will be challenged to hit tightly wooded lines, avoid artifical OB, and cannon the occasional long open shot. Even players without big arms can score well here, as the fairways often place a premium on good placement over raw distance in order to set up the next shot. Artificial OB is everywhere. Keep an eye open for the red-tipped fence posts: they denote OB. A wide variety of hole length throughout: everything from 150' ace runs to crazily-shaped 800'+ monsters.
-Water comes into play nicely in several spots in the form of both a pond and small creeks. #2's green is a small hill with the pin at the top and a pond lurking behind for over-zealous tee shots and rollaways. #8, one of the course's standout holes, winds through woods with a stream comprising the left side of the fairway. #18 is a monster 800'+ hole that twists and turns before arriving at a pin position protected from behind by a creek.
- Slight to moderate elevation comes into play very nicely throughout, often in concert with water in order to provide some excellent risk/reward (especially on #'s 2 and 18).
- Good concrete tees. The signage, although hand-drawn, is more descriptive than most signage I've encountered. All OB is clearly labelled, along with distances, par, and hole number. Painted on various stumps and other markers are random distances to the pin or to a particular area of OB, which helps immensely on some of the longer holes. A few benches and trashcans are scattered throughout the course.
Cons: - Some conspicuous cutting and stumps remain from the initial course construction. Doesn't really impact play at all, but does detract somewhat from the beauty of the course. I imagine as this still fairly new course beats in, a lot of this will fade from sight.
Other Thoughts: - For players of lesser skill, the shorter and easier Eager Beaver course on site offers a great alternative to this challenging design.
- Special thanks to Stan and Diane McDaniel for giving my group a tour of the course, along with all the personal insights!
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Tough and fun
Pros: The course plays through a park with a great mix of open and wooded areas. In the open, there are a few holes bringing water, road, and other artificial ob areas into play for some added challenge. The wooded holes offer some nice lines to hit, with a balance between right and left turning holes.
There is a nice variety of hole lengths here, both in the woods and in the open. The course starts with three shorter mostly open holes, but quickly adds in some longer shots through the woods, and an excellent hole in #5 where a well placed tunnel shot sets you up for an open bomb with lurking ob. The tees are concrete, and are in great shape, and the baskets are still pretty new so they catch great.
Cons: The tee signs drawn by local kids are a cool idea, and I think they're awesome on the shorter course where you can see all the baskets from the tees. Here, they don't have any information other than distance, and several holes are blind. Some had temporary laminated hole maps, but most were missing and many of the rest were on the ground.
It's too bad the pond and the large mound next to hole 5 couldn't be used more, they're both great features of the property that seem like they could add some fun shots. The course is still pretty new, so it needs a little more clearing and cleaning to feel totally finished, several wooded holes still have lots of stumps and roots waiting to trip you in the fairway.
Other Thoughts: This is a great challenge, and a lot of fun to play, definitely one I would recommend if you're in the Charlotte area. Beginners won't have a lot of fun here, accuracy and distance are both tested with lots of punishment for errant shots. New players would have a better time on the adjacent short course. More experienced throwers will find some great challenges, and enough variety to keep things interesting and to test lots of different parts of your game.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 1 Not
A great course
Pros: This course has almost everything a disc golfer looking for a challenge could want. From short, tight shots to long, open bombs this course will test every shot in the bag. If NC courses suffer from one main issue it is repetitive shot syndrome where one finds themselves throwing the same wooded shot over and over again on the course. Elon Long does not suffer from that at all. The holes are varied and are well placed much like a well designed ball golf course. The long holes and short holes are mixed together to keep you from getting into a rhythm (and to keep your arm from wearing out). The fairways on most of the holes are wide enough to be fair (a couple could use a little widening but nothing major) and most of the pin placements seemed very fair. While there are a few very long holes on this course, don't be discouraged if you don't have a cannon arm, the longer holes still place an emphasis on well-placed tee shots setting up second shots.
The tee pads and directional signage on this course are great. The tee pads are long and level with most allowing a follow through off the pad for people who like that. Signs and arrows pointing the way to the next hole are everywhere and even if there is a bit of a hike between holes there is always something letting you know where to go (going from hole 3 to 4 there is an arrow spray painted on the road, that was the only sign I had trouble finding).
Most every basket has a legitimate green around it so if you get within 30' or so you should have a putt at the basket.
Cons: The biggest con by far for me was the tee signs. I hope that in the near future they will be getting good tee signs in with a map of the holes on them. All of the tee signs right now are drawings done by the local school where the kids interpreted the hole number and drew their interpretation (hole 5 has a dollar sign, hole 8 has a spider, etc). The short course also has this but is not a problem there since one can see the baskets from the tees. On the longer holes of the long course, the only way one can really figure out how to play the hole the first time is to walk almost the whole length of the hole. A nicely done set of tee sign would go a long way to improve this course and make it much easier to play.
A couple of the baskets were positioned poorly and much too close to OB and really prevent you from taking a good run at the basket. Hole 4's basket is probably only 15' from an OB stream and hole 9 is also about 15' from an OB stream on a hill that slopes towards the stream. Speaking of hole 9, that was really the only hole I didn't like on this course. It plays as an "island" green where one must retee at least once before going to the drop zone near the island green so you would be laying 5 by the time you get to the drop zone. That is not, by itself, an issue but with how many trees guard the island green the hole becomes some what of a crap shoot off the tee and there is a lot of luck in staying safe on the tee shot.
Finally: watch out for stumps and roots. This course is littered with toe busters. The parks and rec department would be well served to go out there for a day with a stump grinder and take those bad boys out.
Other Thoughts: Am pads for people who want a challenge between Elon Shorts and Elon Longs would be nice.
Hole 5 had a stump in front of the tee pad with a sign on it giving the distance to an OB creek. That was super useful and I loved that little feature. It is something one sees on ball golf courses quite a bit and I would love to see more of on disc golf courses that feature a lot of OB.
Once this course gets some foot traffic, it will really improve because there are still a lot of small limbs and twigs just off the fairway.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 7 Not
Elon Long, Strong, and Bound to get the Friction On
Pros: One of the best I've played, this course offers some of the best variety in one 18 that I've seen. It's mostly wooded with a few open bombs, has great length, realistic and legitimate pars, and the hole design varies superbly from left to right and lengthwise in combination with the good elevation. Practically every hole requires some forethought on disc placement, even the first 3 shorties, and it will punish you with a bogey or sometimes worse if you don't execute your shots wisely. The tees are all in and they are nice and level, there's enough trash cans available that respectful DG'ers shouldn't make a mess and most of the back 9 seemed to have these nice benches with ergonomic back support that was a welcome relief for this weary traveler. If you like tight, long, technical courses in NC woods then you'll love this one. The fairways themselves have their "tough" spots, usually off the tee, where they are pretty tight but usually you can exhale if you clear them, unlike some tight fairways that stay tight from end to end like a lame hipster's pair of jeans.
Cons: You don't tee off from the giant mound on hole # 5.
Some noodle-arms (<300' of accurate D) may be disadvantaged here. (No disrespect to noodlearms, I have one often when I'm tired.)
The first couple of holes deceive you into thinking you might have a birdie fest, the difficulty level gets ratcheted up really quickly so smoke 'em while you got 'em so to speak.
Hole # 9 is a little gimmicky for my tastes, you're forced to land on this tight island area or you're OB. It might not be so gimmicky when that creek is flooded though.
The tee signs were temporary pieces of paper that were taped to poles. Half of them were laying on the ground.
Other Thoughts: I'd rank this a 5.0 easy if there were benches on every hole like the ones that were there and if it had more permanent tee signs.
Signature/Favorite Hole: #5. This hole is like playing Wii Golf, it's a long par 5 that requires strategy and good shot placement on every throw. The tee off is a wooded tunnel with the object of hitting the landing area straight ahead at the end. Then, you have some disc eating marsh directly in front of and to the right to throw over. OB woods on the left and the huge mound to the right means you can't be too careless with the rest of your throws, even though it's a very open hole the rest of the way.
Like bettsjc said in his review, there's just something about those white Discatchers that lets you know that you are in for a challenge in Charlotte.
(Oh, and when I typed '...Bound to get the Friction on,' I meant it. Definitely powder up the ol' inner thighs if you have Scottish tree trunk legs like I do, it's a long walk and you will chafe in this heat.)
11 of 18 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: A rising star in the south end of Charlotte, Elon Park - Long Course, A.K.A. "The Angry Beaver" will test all attempting to conquer it. This 7,000' stroll through the woods has moderate elevation, defined fairways.
There is a practice basket on the opposite side of the parking lot, and essentially an entire practice course starting and ending very near tee #1.
The AB is equipped with large concrete tee pads, laminated tee signs and seating at a few points along the way. Limited trash cans on the course, but there is one that is well placed that can be accessed from 11-14. Decked out with beautiful Innova DISCatchers, double layered chains and deep baskets. There's something about white-rimmed baskets that let you know you are playing against a Charlotte area beast.
Beautiful wooden bridges/walkways have just been added, keeping you from having to walk through marshes and over creeks. Many have just been added and is very much appreciated.
This course does offer variety. Holes 2-3 and 18 stay out of the woods(with the exception of the errant shot), the rest treads through some fairly dense woods. Hole 1 is a typical starting hole, 2 and 3 will give first timers a false sense of security. Drive accuracy is a must-have for a good round. Fairways are defined and fair. Underbrush has been well maintained in most areas, but there are plenty of leaves for a disc to slide under.
Dispite other's reviews, I believe this course is pretty fair when it comes to LH, RH, BH, FH. There is the stretch of holes (14-16) that will favor the RHBH player, but is immediately put into perspective by a punishing #17, which is nearly imposible to get near the basket from a tee shot unless throwing LHBH or RHFH. I believe the course balances itself out in the end.
Its location in the Elon Park Disc Golf Complex is a huge pro. 36 holes on the same area of land, with the short course having two sets of tee pads?! You can make an entire day out at Elon. Play the Short Course for a little warm up, or play it after the Long Course to help yoursel feel a little better after getting beat down by the Angry Beaver.
Cons: There are as always a few cons, not necessarily in my eyes but would be for your average player.
There is ample opportunity to lose a disc on The AB. Hole 2 has a lake directly behind the basket, and a dense pit of woods/brush which pretty much run from tee to basket. I advise using a "throwaway" or floating disc for this one. Hole 5 has a "mudpuddle" laced with sawgrass located 300' from the tee. Send it in there more than 10' away from the edge you probably wont even see it, and if you do good luck getting it back. There are a few other spots that play along the creek where, if playing during the wet season will swallow your disc and have you looking for a long time.
There might be a shortage of bench locations at the current time at the AB. Normally not a huge deal, but with the course being a bit lengthy it would be nice to sit down a few more times than we normally get to. A few more trash cans might also be a good idea, but players seem to be courteous and are carrying their trash to the next trash can.
Its time for the laminated tee signs to be replaced by something more perminant. Tee signs are very descript, showing hole number, map, distance and par. The only problem is the marker is fading on alot of the signs and are getting tough to read. Nothing fancy necessary, just something that will remain for years without having to keep up on it.
IMO, more perminant tee signs, and the addition of a few more benches and trash cans along with a little more breaking in will make this a 4.5 disc course.
Other Thoughts: Course traffic is good enough to continue the breaking in process of this new course, but not crowded enough to keep you waiting all day. The distance of the course can keep groups spread out.
There is alot of scenery here, and then some not so great parts that still could use a bit of cleaning up. There is alot of cleaning up of trees that had been removed to create the course, along with some sections of fencing which exists from whatever activity used to happen on this section of land. You should still be watching where you step and reach, even though there might only be a couple spots where it is a problem.
This is a project built by one of Charlotte's most dedicated, Stan McDaniel. If you are able to get a bit creative with your shots and hit a few well placed landing zones then you should be able to shoot a decent round out here.
All in all this course is still a work in progress, but is breaking in quite nicely. Faster than I expected. Adjustments may still be made to this course in the future, but its main framework should stay in tact. The course, for the most part, flows quite nicely.
I wouldn't advise anyone not to play out here. But if your idea of fun factor is shooting well then you may not find too much enjoyment on the Angry Beaver, especially the first timers. Enjoy this beautiful course and complex in south Charlotte!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Not for beginners
Pros: The course demands precision rather than a big arm.
There are a good mix of holes that dogleg right and left. The course does not give any one type of disc golfer an advantage.
The paths are marked with blue markers to help you find the next hole.
Cons: Water comes into play on too many holes for me.
The "pond" or big mud puddle on hole #5 can make for a very bad round. Stay against the tree line on the left and away from the hill to the right.
I agree with an earlier reviewer that hole 13 seems to be a transition hole that messes with the flow of the course.
Hole 18 is too long with very little thought put into it. I always feel that the last hole should be the signature hole as it leaves you with the last impression of the course.
Other Thoughts: The course is definitely worth playing if you are in Charlotte. I am an intermediate disc golfer, but the courses I have played in other areas do not compare to the ones in Charlotte.
The beginner course starts on the other side of the parking lot. Do not get mixed up if you have never played tough courses.
PS If anyone finds a yellow Discraft Flash in the mud puddle on hole 5 I would be grateful to have it back.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Living in Charlotte, I have been meaning to get out to play this course since it's inception. Well, I finally got the chance to and will definetely be going back soon.
- The course starts out with 3 birdie holes. Even though they should be simple 2's, there is a risk of each hole OB behind the basket to keep them interesting.
- After the first few holes, the course really shines. Be prepared to leave the big drives in the bag and break out the fairway drivers. Even though several holes are "reachable" at 430-480 feet, a big arm will more times than not leave you with a par/bogie, when a fairway drive will give you the up and in opportunities for birdies on this course.
- As stated in another review, the course's underbrush is well managed. The times you are off of the fairway (which you will be) you are often able to advance your disc down the fairway enough to save pars. Because of this, the course feels as it's established, which is a huge plus.
- A few holes stick out as "signature holes" in my mind after playing it. There is a hole (maybe hole 9?) that is an uphill double mando across the creek that I can envision interesting results within your group. Also 18 is a great birdie/eagle opportunity for the big arms. It says 801, but the drive is downhill, so a crush can leave you 350 out with a 3 chance.
Cons: - Not all concrete T's were in yet. (going in soon though)
-Not many trashcans.
-A few holes have, in my opinion it's a "con", putter placement tee shots on par 4's and 5's in order to dogleg 90deg left or right.
-One hole one the back 9 is an obvious "transition" hole that didn't seem to match the rest of the course.
- Parking is very limited.
Other Thoughts: If you're in Charlotte, play this course. It is for skilled players, so be prepared. Probably not quite the best course in Charlotte, but in a few years, it really might be competing for that title.
Revision - This course is still a very very good course, but the more I play it, the less it grows on me. I've updated my rating to 3.5. It doesn't have that wow factor a lot of other local courses have that I would rate at 4 of better.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
If you like wooded courses....
Pros: This is a quite challenging course, cut through a hardwood forest on rolling hills. It starts with 3 fun birdie (2) holes, which is just setting you up for an ambush. The bulk of the course is twisting and turning through the woods, with tight---but not unfair---fairways, and often small landing zones to hit and set up a second shot. You'll hardly see daylight until the final hole, where the fairway is wide and long enough to take out some frustration by really ripping the disc.
Every hole is fun and interesting and will test your control game.
The wooded canopy is heavy enough that, even off the fairway, there's not a lot of dense underbrush to deal with.
If you really like tight wooded courses, this is a 4.5.
As a bonus, the same parking lot accesses Elon Short. It offers two sets of tees---very short, and casual/beginner/youth very very short. This is an asset because you can warm up on the short course, or if your group varies widely in ability, there's something for everyone here.
I played on New years, but am sure it's nice in the Carolina summer to play a round in deep shade.
Cons: While all the wooded holes are well-designed, there are a bit too many of them. Threading the fairways---or, more often, missing them and trying to get back---can get a little old by about midway through the back 9.
Other Thoughts: I'm split between 3.5 and 4.0, mainly due to the lack of variety---not in the shots themselves, but in the style of holes. As I've already said, if a course full of challenging wooded holes is your cup of tea, you'll love Elon.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 75 Not
Pros: None that I can think of. It is a test of your love for the game because it is completely no fun to play this course. If you can finish a round here you must really love the game.
Cons: This is perhaps the worst course I have ever played; even worse than the IDGC. If you thought renny and hornet's nest were unfair wait until you see this. There is so little variety in Charlotte; almost all unfair, long, woods courses. This is yet another gimmicky course with unfair fairways in the middle of a scrub forest. A feature that does separate this course from some of the others is that it is next to a land fill. The fence around the erstwhile mentioned dump reminds me once again of a scene from Stephen King's IT. So there are two courses in the same town designed by the same guy that remind me of a horror movie, what are the odds?
Other Thoughts: When you talk to world class players in private about these types of courses they universally say they hate them. When I say world class I mean world champions. Course design in the game is going backwards because every new course is like this or has rope and circus OB everywhere that is essentially the equivalent of this. I hope the top players in the game at some point step up and put a stop to this insanity.
8 of 83 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Good, challenging wooded-course. After hole #5, every hole is wooded until #18. Some of the holes had a Bracketts Bluff-esque feel to them.
- Elon is easy to navigate. I had a harder time on some holes finding the basket than going from hole to hole. For the couple times you cross the road, there are even pointing towards the next hole.
- Great variety of holes. The little bit of elevation the course has is used wonderfully. Great overall use of terrain/overall lay of the land. Park has a drainage pond? Make it come into play on #5. Course has a creek? Make it come into play on #4, #8 & 18. Have a long greenway? Use it for #18. The only thing it was missing was a basket on top of the large hill by #5; although, I bet it was considered/attempted.
- Excellent compliment to Elon's short course. This is obviously a step (or two) up in skill level from the short course.
- This course has one of my favorite stretches of holes anywhere in #6 - 11. Such a wide range of layouts and lengths, that none is really like the other.
- #8 & 9 is an awesome back-to-back. #8 is a long hole, that weaves along the creek and through the trees, to a basket protected by another layer of trees. #9 is an uphill tee shot through a narrow opening in the trees, to a basket that is halfway down the same hill. You're in trouble here if you don't clear the opening, or go too far past, or left of the hole.
Cons: I was surprised the course has three straight 400 ft+ dogleg left holes on the back nine - #14 - 16. In any competitive round, this would seem to be a distinct advantage (or disadvantage) for some.
- Some people will disagree with me, but I was disappointed by #5. At it's length (821 ft) and S-shaped layout (see the map), it seems to neuter the person who throws 300 feet. You throw 250 - 300 off the tee; throw your next 2 shots in the 250 ft range, leaving yourself anywhere from birdie putt to midrange shot for your 4th shot. In all likelihood, the average thrower isn't going to do better than a 4, and if they keep their shots in the fairway, shouldn't do worse than a 5. A hole this long should have a bigger potential range of possible scores. The hole gives the appearance of difficulty (sharp curves, pond); but, as long as you play smart, it really isn't.
- Better tee signs are needed, especially on the holes where the basket isn't visible from the tee.
- More immediate park spaces near the course would be nice.
- Don't go long on #2, or you'll end up in the pond. The course has several places for potential lost discs, with water and thick patches of rough.
- There are some trashy areas in the woods. For example, on the back nine you come across an old fenced-in area that has equipment that needs to be trashed.
Other Thoughts: Elon is home to Charlotte only true 36 hole, dual courses. Renny, Hornets Nest, Kilborne & Winthrop all have 2 layouts, but the holes overlap.
- Starting at #6, when you really get into the woods, the course really takes off. Four holes stood out to me as true classics. #8 & 9, mentioned above, and #4 &18. All are fun, all are challenging. All deserve credit.
- This course opened the same month as Nevin, so fair or not, the two will be getting compared to each other (at least for locals.) With that said, it's a slight step down from Nevin in overall toughness, layout, fun factor. Par for the 2 courses are relatively close (Elon 66, Nevin 68), but Nevin is almost 1500 ft longer.
- In terms of Charlotte courses, Elon ranks behind Renny & Nevin, and compares very nicely to Hornets Nest. It's a must play for everyone.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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