11 Helpful / 6 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 17 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 / 74 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 82 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.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Another Charlotte Gem in process
Pros: Challenging course with good variety of shots necessary to play a good round. A couple short holes that give the player and Ace or birdie opportunity and a bunch of longer holes that require control and a plan. No real bias as to backhand or forehand. A decent amount of risk/reward shots. Various hazards including pond, creeks, fences and a few possible road OBs. Fairways are cleared and offer good, descernible lines for each shot. Nothing unfair. But not much easy either. Very rudimentary signage, but enough to keep me from getting lost. I was never confused or lost. Located in the back of a park. Quiet and secluded form surrounding area.
Cons: A work in progress. Doesn't play like a new course, but as you play you can see where new additions such as bridges and steps have been added, and you can see where new features will be added. There are some great concrete pads, and there are still some natural pads that have roots and uneven surfaces. Some pads have the frame built for concrete to be poured so you know this course will only get better. Signs and navigation are very basic right now. You won't get confused, but you won't be impressed either. A good course, but it offers no real scenic beauty if that's your thing. Not any huge elevation or beautiful lake vistas. Just good ole Carolina woods.
Other Thoughts: Course starts out looking like a nice short easy course. The first holes offers a standard straight shot through some trees. A tough ACE, but a hole you could birdie of you play it well. Hole #2 is an Ace calling your name. Short and wide open. But there is a pond right behind it that you can't see. Don't overthrow too far! #3 is a big RHBH hyzer or forehand around an island trees. Fun shot with a road behind the basket. A big arm could overthrow it easily or ace it. #4 finally starts the long distance plan of Elon Long. Through the woods you go. OB creek on your left. #5 also offers some water in the form of a small pond once you get out of the woods. #9 is a cool tight fairway that goes over a small creek, uphill and then takes a sharp left turn. It requires good control to stay out of trouble. #10 is downhill across the creek again and out of a very tight fairway. #12 and #13 are also up and downhill shots with tight fairways. There are no bad holes on this course. Just solid Carolina disc golf. Worth a stop if you are in Charlotte. It's not quite Renny or Hornet's Nest, but it is pretty good. Enjoy. Once all the pads and features are finished on this course I'd gladly give it a solid 4. Nice job again Chalrotte, and thanks for everyone that has obviously worked very hard to get this course good so quickly.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Elon Park Long Course
Pros: This course is designed for highly skilled players! I am avid at best. I have not held a disk in my hand for more than a year but I have found this course to be relentless. It is a very new and challenging course. I found that no two shots could really be the same for any hole. Trees, Distance, Water, and Landscape are all factors in shots. More often then not though, it's the distance that makes you say "Woah".
Cons: This course is marked with blue ribbons for the time being. It is a relatively new course and all signs are Paper that has been laminated over. I got lost playing hole #5 and ended up on #8 then back on #5 again to play it in the correct direction! The blue ribbons became confusing because of the distance to the holes.
Other Thoughts: Wear BOOTS. This course is truely in the woods. Once you pass hole number 5 you do not see civilization until Holes 17 and 18. Be prepared to spend several hours if you are taking your first trip out. I played with one other person and we tipped the charts at three hours our first time out. This course is brutal on the arms! Take your time in throwing and relax, It's one Big Course! Quite the opposite of it's neighbor (Elon Short).
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Still to rough and new to give a 4 or higher!
Pros: 1) Very nice layout of this course. It has a nice variety of holes making it a pretty diverse course. There are some more open holes like the first 3 holes, then you head back into the woods. There is a pond in play on the second hole if you overshoot the basket and a stream comes into play on multiple holes in the woods also.
2) Blue ribbon marks your path to the next holes which is always helpful especially on such a new course.
3) The course has some pretty good directional signage in spots to help with navigation. These things are most important now as so many people playng the course have never been there before.
4) Nice new style white rimmed discatchers. This seems to be customary for the Charlotte area to have the white baskets for the longer layouts.
5) Concrete tees are in the near future. The forms are up on almost every hole and it should be done int he coming weeks. I assume that it is hapening after Nevin which was supposed to be today January 23rd.
6) Shot shaping is a requirement here which is an awesome feature for this course. There are multiple double doglegs which make you hit landing areas in order to have a clear shot to make the next dogleg. Multiple shot holes are huge in my book.
7) Temporary tee signs are decent and help you figure out each hole. I am sure they will have good signage on this course when all the other construction is complete and the funds have been raised.
8) Challenging wooded course just like the other Charlotte area courses. This is lower on my list than the others but I see the potential for it to be a great course over time.
Cons: 1) Currently the setup of this course is a single tee and a single basket. Eventually I am sure they will throw in some shorter tees because this course can be brutal on the best players.
2) This course is still a little rough. It needs to be played in for better fairway definition. It needs to be trampled in to show the rough areas in terms of navigation so that the problem areas can be solved. There already are spots where blocks are put in place to help walk across a drainage way but they will need to have more permanent fixes for these areas.
3) Too much luck is necessary on this hole because it is simply that tight and tough. I prefer courses that allow a slightly less precise shot. I am not saying I want them wider and easier, because I love the challenge, but often times your score on a hole might be determined more by luck than by skill.
4) Risk/reward is less of a factor on this course. Sure you risk ricochets off the trees lining the fairways, but the baskets do not really offer a major risk/reward type of shot. Overtime they could make some better basket locations which will become more apparent the more the course gets played.
5) There are still a lot of roots, stumps and other trippers on this course. These should be taken care of over time because they will only get worse as the soil compacts more and more.
6) Wire fence was visible and dangerous ina few spots along with some erosion control fencing. These things perhaps needed to be in place while the construction of the course and the drainage was being worked on, but should be removed eventually.
7) Course is not beginner friendly, but that is what the SHORT course is for. At least there is a course for all people on one site!
8) Course is very wet in spots and muddy. These areas need some drainage or at the very least some more permanent walkways or steppers.
Other Thoughts: I am assigning this course with a 3.5 disc rating given its current condition. I think it is a well designed course on a pretty cool property that has a lot of variety and challenge. Within 1 year I expect so many of the negatives I have mentioned to be taken care of and I will rate this course accordingly, but I can only truly rate the course based on its current conditions. If you have a problem with this type of reviewing let me know and I can further explain it, but there is no way to "KNOW" what the course will be like after 1 year of play. I think to rate this course nearly as high as Renny or Hornets Nest is a disservice to this site. Sure it may be that good of a course when all is said and done but right now it is not. It is too rough and needs more play and traffic to help it improve. The DG alone is great right now, but even that will get better within a year as it gets played in a little. Please give it some time, and I will be sure to update the review when I see things have changed. I have noted the important things here and as I see them change like tee signs and concrete tees and as phots get updated I will be sure to raise my grade. I also do plan to be back to Charlotte every year or perhaps every other year so I will be able to update the review based on what I see down the road, but like I said this rating is how I feel about the course as it is right now!
I realize I played the course after only 1 month of being open, so I am being a little lenient, but I do not see this course being equal to renny, hornets nest or some of the others without some more work. It is on the verge of a 4 disc course after teesigns and concrete pads are in, but without some work on the drainage and walkways, along with some natural breakin of the course it will top out as a 4 disc course IMO. If they take care of everything and it breaks in nicely this course could be a 4.5 disc course but I think it is a little ways away from that rating.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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