Truly a Hidden Gem
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is laid out in a city park maintained by the City of Crystal Springs. The course is in great shape and makes excellent use of the available land and the existing nature trails. One thing this course has in abundance is elevation. Uphill shots, downhill shots, and ravine shots are in play on all but a couple of holes. Even the open "bomb" holes have an up-&-down walk involved to get from the tee to the pin. You will get a workout for both your arm and your legs on this course.
Throw variety on this 19-hole course is also one of its strengths. Backhand, forehand, uphill, downhill, overhead, s-curves, hard hooks, hyzer bombs, tight controlled approaches, risk vs. reward putts, and grip-and-rips were all necessary during our round (from the am tees) and not just for get out of trouble shots. Multiple lines on most holes and several good birdie opportunities are present for well-executed shots.
The existing stone walls and walking paths are a nice feature of the park and are welcome on the few holes that utilize them for navigation. The park features several nature trails, pavilions of varying size and location, a nice modern playground, the aforementioned community center, and a picturesque lake. The vast majority of the tees (am and pro) are concrete and the baskets are in spectacular shape. The fairways are well cut and beaten in and the majority of the underbrush is manageable and it's easy to locate a wayward drive without getting too deep in the shule. Plenty of tunnel shots on this one and both righty and lefty shots are favored/penalized throughout the course. Extremely well balanced but still very fun course. The hanging basket hole sneaks up on you and is very well done!
The difference between the am and pro tees on some holes was drastic. I'm thinking specifically of 17 as a good example. The am tee punches right out of the edge of the woods and has a slight left turn as the flightline follows the parallel road. The pro tee however nearly doubles the length of the hole and you have to throw over a 15-20 foot embankment to get anything close to the same flightline.
Some benches are distributed throughout the course and three or four pavilions are just off the travel path between holes. The community center near the beginning of the course has maps and a small selection of (mostly) Innova discs. They have air conditioning too!
Cons: Signage, Signage, and Signage. Navigation signage is a must. We were able to find out way using some temporary signage that had been erected for a recent doubles tourney. We got to the park early enough that the community center building near hole 1 wasn't open yet so we didn't have the ability to get a map (It has been uploaded to this site now). Also the mailbox adjacent to hole 1 didn't contain any maps as mentioned in previous reviews. Still, we did OK with navigation but I can imagine that first-timers will struggle without the map or similar signage as the flow isn't intuitive at a few locations and the course kind of winds around and through itself. Also the first three holes and the last two holes are located in a somewhat separate area of the park. The tee signs are Sharpie marks on little wood blocks set into the ground with some rebar. Not exactly easy to find if you're hunting for the next tee or even the difference between the am and pro boxes.
The lake is only really in play on the first two holes and then you're into the elevation portion of the course with a couple of small, winding creeks. They're of the size that you can easily stride across.
A couple of boxes are of the natural, root-filled, and sandy variety. Not an issue as the run-up isn't exactly integral on those holes, but since the vast majority of the am and pro tees are nice long and wide concrete tees it is noticeable on the handful that aren't. Speaking of traction, be careful traversing some of the slopes (up and down) as this is a pine forest and the floor is covered in needles and dead leaves that add an element of treachery to your descents and ascents. Any recent heavy rains could cause issues in spots as well as muddy treks would become part of the experience.
Other Thoughts: This course was flat-out fun! Plenty of mature growth woods and isolated trees make for playing a variety of holes and the elevation component of this course is extremely unique for Mississippi. My brother commented that it was like hiking the AP while playing disc golf! I highly recommend wearing good, sturdy shoes, packing plenty of water (and maybe a snack), think about bringing a walking stick, and allow plenty of time to enjoy the course.
I would play this course again in a heartbeat. I know I listed a few cons above, but they are fairly minor in my experience and the terrain is both potentially problematic (slippery when wet, etc.) and also an integral part of this course's character and challenge level. But at the end of the day, I loved this course and hope to get a chance to play it again.
Note: Never found the mythical 20th hole and the course map (that we picked up in the community center building after our round) only indicates 19.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Unique and Great
Pros: What a wonderfully unique course! This course felt like something I have never seen before. I really can not say enough good things about the design of this course. Bring your A game as all possible shot types will be used. The people around the course were also great. We were the only disc golfers out at the time but the grounds crew talked to use as did other folks out on the course, just chatting and asking about the sport.
Starting out with a great risk reward downhill shot, just be careful not to overdrive as the lake is right at the bottom. The first three holes play around the water of the lake and make shot selection important. As you move on to the fields you'll find that elevation plays a massive role in the design and difficulty of the course. Downhill, Uphill, Valleys, and a stream make this course an amazing use of topography in course design. Errant shots here are severely punished as you can end up sitting at the lowest part of the valley.
While I play any course for the first time I really try to pick out my favorite hole. It was impossible at Chautauqua due to the number of unique and interesting shots.
#8: I think the sign next to the tee box says it all. "Path for those who throw successful shots." Well I aced it, that's right my first ace. I got to use path. My wife, however, had to walk down the side of the large hill down into the valley and back up the other side. A large valley separates the tee from the basket leaving any short shots severely punished.
#9: I can only assume that the basket was put in place and than the area all around it eroded. If it did not happen that way I really don't know how they poured the cement for the basket where they did. Your drive goes blindly over a rolling hill and any putt that misses the basket will be punished. You'll be putting from 15 under the basket. Really love the design and the placement of the basket.
#11: Look down. No seriously that's the basket way down there. All the way down at the bottom of the hill. Just put you disc out there and watch it float to the basket, right on the other side of a small stream. Be ready for twelve as you have to go back up.
I can honestly say I wish this course was closer to my house, I would be there all the time. I loved this course.
Cons: As others said this course is still unfinished. Tee box forms are at some of the holes, with no tee box. Signs are just paper on sticks, or little chunks of wood. I would love to figure out how distances were measured, as they almost always seemed off by 100' or so. There is a distinct lack of amenities for the disc golf course, the park in general is well appointed, just out in the middle of the course you are on your own.
The other big problem is the distance between holes sometimes can be annoying. There are paper signs directing you so it was not always the hardest navigating, but the distance was annoying and possibly treacherous. Some of the wooded paths had cobbled steps and such, but sometimes you were going up and down relatively steep inclines with the choice of loose leafs, or loose gravel, one time it was loose sand. I'm just glad it was dry, I could see large injuries if it was wet out.
I did not know this course had 20 holes and only played 19. It is advisable as you walk the course to pay attention to basket numbers and tee signs to help you navigate as you go along.
Other Thoughts: It was said a lot during our round and I think it bears repeating here. This course is brutal. If you aren't used to the up and down and the trees it'll punish you. And I love this course! Just know what you are getting into and come prepared. Good shoes are a must. If you have accuracy issues get ready to spill some blood in a sticker bush. There are negatives associated with this course they are just severely out weighed by the positives. If you want a prim and proper polished course go up to Jackson and play The Rez. It'll be fun and entertaining, and the course will be comfortable. If you want to feel that primal joy of disc golf Chautaugua is the way to go.
I would love to see the finishing touches added to this course. A hands down 5 with that.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: *Note: the course I played doesn't really match the information that DGCR has as of today, seems like a work in progress to get the distances figured out and such. A bunch of pro tees are present as well.*
- Course is set in a very hilly park that also borders a lake for two holes. Pretty much an even split between holes in the denser forest and holes that are more open with lots of mature trees. There are some walking paths, but the disc golf is well separated from everything else.
- Holes in the forest provide a ton of different shots, in so many different ways. In terms of lines, there is a great mix of left (#12), right (#3, #14), and straight (big time). While the majority are more or less straight, there are extremes that are very tough. Though the hole lengths are on the short side, in a big way, the overload of elevation changes make each shot a true test of distance control. #1, #10, and #11 are extreme downhill shots, #12 and #13 are decent uphill shots, and #3, #4, #7, #8 have deep valleys to shoot over. Some spots are really, really punishing, like #7's deep and sloping ravine-filled fairway.
- Holes outside and next to the forest are just as diverse as those inside the forest. A great need to shape shots out here, too: left (#17), right (#6, #19), and lots of weaving around trees and hitting windows on all of them. Tons of elevation changes out here as well, mostly downhill shots (#9, #16, #19) and valley shots (#16, #18).
- A few longer holes out here that should be considered legitimate par 4's from the pro tees. #15 is a 570ish hole that ends with a downhill curve to the right, and #5 is a long bomber that has to be well placed in between a few sets of large trees. Should be satisfying to the biggest arms in the world. The variety of hole length, especially with some pro tees, is fantastic.
- Two holes by the lake make excellent use of the water. #1 is a nice, short, very downhill hole with a left hook at the end, with water waiting on anything that goes too long. #2 is a forced RHBH anny (or similar), with absolutely no room for error on the left. A small creek is also present in some parts of the forest (especially in front of #11's basket), which provides great hazards in many spots.
- Lots of protected baskets, due to trees and water. #6/#15 and #7 use big and small trees, respectively. Two other baskets are very close to the lake; #2's is practically surrounded on 3 sides. Also a great amount of sloped greens, in almost any spot where there are elevation changes. This means there are a ton. #9's is positioned on the edge of a big dropoff, with only one sliver of land to gain access.
- Good baskets, overall good signage, tees not so good. Navigation is pretty easy, with #3 to #4 being the biggest challenge (go away from the lake and cross the road; follow the path). Lots and lots of signs are present in almost every spot, and the wooden tee markers on the ground are actually very good.
Cons: - Tees can be very tough to traverse, as some are uphill or uneven with roots and such. Luckily, most of these are on shorter holes so a run-up isn't that crucial.
- A little more length on some holes would add a lot of difficulty, some are right around 200' and can be easily deuced with a good shot. Of course, that adds to the fun in a lot of spots, with big risk/reward. Still, a lot of more or less straight and shorter shots to be found.
- #18's fairway is dangerously close to #19's; discs could rain from above here.
- Is that hole #20, or a practice basket? If that's hole #20, it has an unmarked tee and unmarked basket, and is a 100' (or less) ace run. I might have completely missed something here, but that is the king of all throwaway holes if it is. The road OB adds some challenge, but it is otherwise just a long putt.
Other Thoughts: - In terms of fun factor, this course is full to the brim!!! Almost every shot is completely different, with few exceptions. Between the huge elevation changes, tough lines to hit, big bomber drives and ace runs, tricky water placements in the form of a lake and some running water, well protected baskets and sloping greens, I really can't think of much that this course is missing. The only thing that keeps me from laying down a 5 spot on this course are some rugged tees, and the large number of shorter holes. Ending up with a 60 can be very doable for experienced players, if you can get the birdies where possible.
- Some other nice touches are present here, including a hanging basket on #13, a VIP trail to the basket on #8, a short brick wall that rejects short shots on #16, a drop zone on #2; lots of little things that add up to make the course truly special.
- A few spots are tough to traverse, like getting up and down some valleys and crossing the creek in other spots. Being in shape is highly recommended.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Almost Extreme Elevation
Pros: For those who like courses with steep fairways and lots of strenuous hiking, this is a must-play. Pretty good signage to find your way around. Hole 16 is a gem, (525 feet). 15-A is a stunning shot off the top of a valley to a blind pin that's straight ahead. A beautiful, scenic park with lots of shade.
Cons: Hole 9 is a squeezed-in hole that interferes with 8 & 10 and should be skipped. 4-5-6 also crowd each other too much. No concrete pads yet. Would like to see less straight holes and more with bends or longer dog-legs.
Other Thoughts: Looks like the pins will have multiple placements and the longer pins should be amazing. Also a longer course can be laid out that's world-class caliber.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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