4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: John's Island Park's DGC is a simple, straightforward affair. The light tree cover is used in a variety of ways, providing a low ceiling on 1 and tight windows on 3 and 6. Water comes into play on a few holes, bordering both fairways and pins, factoring in enough to matter but not so much as to create unreasonable risk. 1's hillside pin adds a bit of rollaway potential and further spices up the hole a bit. 3 forces landing zone consideration with its considerable bottleneck. All of these design elements are simple, but executed well enough to create shot variety and engagement relative to a casual round.
The park seems extremely well-tended, navigation is intuitive, and the concrete tees are great.
There's a tendency to automatically call any short rec course a good beginner course, but John's Island DGC really is that. The short hole lengths are kind to beginners, the rough is virtually nonexistent, and there's enough variety of lines and obstacles to expose newbies to ideas of both shot-shaping and risk/reward. I've taken my uncle, who is not a disc golfer, to play a few courses with me, and this is the first course he truly enjoyed: the lines and obstacles were interesting to him, and the distances were well within his comfort zone. I think this is a great course for beginners.
Cons: John's Island DGC is super short and super basic. Holes like 2 are as throwaway as can be, with simply a tee at one end of a small field and a basket at the other. Many other holes have basic line shapes or a few trees in the fairway, but are too short and too open to provide any real threat. The challenge factor here is quite low for any regular player.
Hole 3 plays directly alongside a tennis court and tempts the serious player to throw over it, creating some potential for conflict with other park goers. Ruling out that route, it's an ill-designed tunnel shot.
Other Thoughts: John's Island DGC was quite fun for what it is. Short courses like this frustrate when they're unkempt, hard to navigate, have unrealistic hole design, or factors that swallow discs. John's Island avoids all of these pitfalls while having enough design consideration to expose the beginner to various aspects of the game, so it's a win in my book. My low rating is simply a product of where it stands in my experience relative the the wide spectrum of courses I've played: against the field, it just doesn't stack up, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a visit for a quick, low-key round!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Short, fun course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Concrete tees in good condition
- Park is clean & well maintained
- Bathrooms, playground, tennis courts, volleyball, and baseball on site
- Quiet little park without much DG traffic
- Great use of the pond. It is close enough to be on your mind for errant throws, but never forces a carry. There is always a way to play it safe for a beginner.
- The park is fairly open but does a good job with the trees there to force a variety of shot types.
- If offline or in a tree - you aren't punished as there is always a route to save your par (unless you hit the pond).
Cons: - Hole 3. I'm not sure what the thought was here. First it is hard to find and doesn't flow well. Then you look at the shot and wonder what they wanted you to do to play this. IMO the ONLY way to play this as a decent hole is to go over the tennis courts which is obviously a bad idea if they are occupied. If you tried to play it around it leaves several short throws that aren't quality DG throws. Throw ~150' to the corner of the courts. Throw ~75' to the opening. Throw a 75' putt/approach. Meh. Playing over the course makes it a nice more challenging 3 (for the course) but is a no-go with folks on the course, which has happened a few times I played it.
- Hole #9. It is a 175' throw to a small 'island' where you have OB road left and OB parking lot right with a ~25' wide island. There is a tree almost dead center in the way taking a straight approach away. The shot I'd want to throw on this hole is to the right, over the parking lot and letting it fade in. If the OB island were defined by anything BUT road/parking lot this would be fine....but something about designing a hole that is best thrown over a parking lot isn't a great idea. Again ok if the lot is empty...but if they are playing tennis there is a good shot holes 3&9 are drastically impacted.
- Playground comes into play on hole 7 (I think, from memory).
Other Thoughts: Of the three John's Island 9 hole courses, this one is by far my favorite to play of the bunch. It requires a more complete game (for a short 9) with some thoughts on risk/reward on the few shots with the pond in play. Like the others, you can easily get a round in less than 30 mins. The safety concerns I have with holes 3/7/9 have prevented me from giving this a higher rating. I have mostly played this during the day when it was open and I wasn't impacted but when I played an evening round I had people on the tennis courts and the parking lot which interfered with holes 3&9. I was able to "make do" with #9 with a more boring approach to the hole but #3 was out and I ended up making up my own safari alternative.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I thought this was a nice beginner-appropriate course which is actually a rarity. It's a nice park and there's a pretty lake so it can easily be an enjoyable experience for any discer but for once, someone made a collection of holes that will be both playable and interesting for new players.
The first couple holes are very easy. One plays to a nice little mound. The other is a straight and open shot. From there it gets tougher but not too much tougher. 3 introduces trees as obstacles without making the gaps too narrow. The next few holes circle the lake. None of these holes are too long and they play around the water without forcing difficult carries. Really, the course has everything that a player will eventually encounter, just on a smaller and easier scale.
Additionally, experienced players could play some nice safari here. With some of those basket locations, great carries could be created with some made-up tees.
Cons: There are two problems really. The third tee, which everyone seems to have trouble finding, and which I eventually skipped, needs navigation aids. And the ninth hole is going to lead to discs in the road, regardless of what is declared OB.
Fix those two things and this is a course I would eagerly recommend to those who want to try the game for the first time. It still won't be a course that veterans will find much challenge or thrill at, but rookies need courses too.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Nice baskets, concrete run-ups, well maintained park and a fun layout. Good beginner course, but interesting for a seasoned player as well.
Cons: I'm not sure what the thought process was for hole 3, but the teebox is hard to find, and the best approach to the basket is to lob it high over the tennis courts or play several short shots around them. I can't seem to make it make sense in my mind.
Other Thoughts: Great course for a lunch-time 9, you can finish in less than 20 mins. and the park in generally empty midday.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Short Course in a Park
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Innova Discatcher Baskets...always nice.
Actually a good, interesting mix of shots required for such a short course. Requires you to throw high, low, left, and right.
Lots of fields around the course for warmup.
Nice concrete tee pads and hole signs...its always a huge plus to have quality teeing grounds.
Water fountain, Porta-John on site. Always nice to have the basics
Definite ace runs for the intermediate/advanced player, while not being too easy.
Cons: Only 9 holes.
Baskets on 6 and 9 are somewhat bent. The one on 6 is very wobbly.
Hole 3 is a very poor design. It is obviously an attempt at a short S curve hole, but it really leaves nowhere to throw the disc without endangering tennis players.
Hole 9 plays way too close to the road and parking lot!
Other Thoughts: The course's local rules declare something to the effect of roads, walkways, and "recreation areas" being out of bounds. Considering this course runs through a park, that leaves a bit of ambiguity. Is across the road out of bounds? Is the tennis court out of bounds? How about the volleyball court and the parking lot that are involved in hole 9? Overall the local rules could just use a bit more clarification, as they can become a bit vague as you are actually playing the course.
Navigation - course starts near the tennis courts. Look for the green sign. Hole 3 is dififcult to find. From basket 2, walk down the sidewalk between the tennis courts.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
fun course with a playground
Pros: This is my favorite course, it has all discatchers with all concrete tee pads, very well kept greens. It offers me a 9 hole round and my kids can play at the playground that surrounds hole 7 and 8. It is the best of both worlds if you bring your family. The course also features a water hazzard and hole 4, 5, and 6 offer a little better challenge for control.
Cons: On a weekend their are a lot of kids at the playground, some may wonder into the disc golf path, or fishermen on hole 6 can get in the way.
Other Thoughts: A great course to add to your list.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Relaxed 9 hole!
Pros: *Very quiet compared to the other local courses (traffic at park circle, or jet ski's at trophy lakes.)
*Very quick 9 hole, easy to navigate.
*Great for beginners or intermediate players.
*Great scenery with little wildlife.
*Nicely kept greens with all concrete pads.
*Free to play, Free to park.
*All Innova Discatcher Pros
*Public water fountain, and a nice picnic shelter near hole 7.
Cons: *Hole 9 is very close to the parking lot.
*Although the course water hazards are small, they do exist.
*Alligator warning signs are never a good thing.
*No alternate tee's.
Other Thoughts: Park Circle is a fun 9 hole with alternate tee's offering a bigger challenge than this course for Free. Trophy Lakes offers the best challenge for $5 play with bigger water hazards and great scenery.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very scenic, mostly-open 9-hole course in a local park. Overall, not a challenging or demanding course.
- Very good nature feel to many holes. Part of course plays around a pond present very nice scenery. #5 was a great looking hole with some nice trees and the pond to the right.
- Paved tee-pads. Nice for such a new course.
- Good course for beginners to intermediate players. Lots of birdie chances, but also some lost disc potential.
- Park has other nice amenities - nice tennis courts, ball fields, playground, pond for fishing.
Cons: Course has a couple simple, "no challenge" holes -#2 & 9. It's also lacking a true, challenging "signature" hole.
- #3 has a poorly designed layout. It a rough S-shaped hole that starts out with a narrow "fairway" with tennis courts on right and thick, disc-eating rough on left; goes behind tennis courts, back to the left to a narrow fairway and basket in the woods. You can't cut the corner over the tennis court (unless its empty), and you don't want your shot going too far (or you end up in the woods). The hole is under 400 feet, so it's either a really difficult par 3 or uninspiring par 4. I understand what was trying to be accomplished, and if it had been successful, it'd be a really good hole. But as it stands, something with the current layout needs to be changed to make it enjoyable & fair.
- No tee signs, maps or arrows pointing to next holes. Unless you've played the course before, it's a challenge finding #3 tee.
- Rough/underbrush is extremely thick on #3, 5, 6. Water also comes in to play on #4 - 6. Water is covered with green algae and has alligator warning signs, so any disc that gets wet is probably a lost cause.
Other Thoughts: This is another decent Charleston area DGC. The area has plenty of 9 hole courses, but it's still screaming for another 18 holer.
- It'd be nice if some of the rough was cleared away, especially on #3 (because of the narrow fairway - it leaves no margin for error) & #6 (you're right next to the water, that you don't want to be reaching into underbrush, especially right next to alligator warning signs).
- The course would be nice to play before or after a stop at Trophy Lakes, which is only a few minutes away.
- This course didn't impress me as much Park Circle or even Tidal Creek. It was much closer to CSU's Buccaneer Bay in terms of overall quality.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Beginner Course
Pros: Very Compact, quick play, low risk fairway shots. The second shot is nearly always a putt of some distance.
Cons: Spooky pond in the middle covered in green slime, no way to get a disc back if it goes even in the edge of the water. Signs say don't feed the Alligators. However, there's a playground there too. It can't be that dangerous.
Other Thoughts: This is a great first course to take someone to. Also the type of course one could play every day since it just takes about 20-30 min to play nine holes.
Not a lot of shot variety. I could see even intermediate players who use this course on a regular basis scoring at or below 20 consistently. #3 is probably the only one that would prove difficult to get in two. I carried a bag of about fifteen and never pulled more than three discs including the putter. A better player wouldn't have even used a distance driver. The water generally just comes into play if you flip a disk right, so low chance that a beginner has to worry about the water. I shot a 25 having never played it before. Only one hole would actually be difficult to consistently birdie. If you are looking to pick up a quick nine in the area without losing any discs, this is it. Just don't expect to be challenged if you have played much at all. Lot of Ace opportunities for intermediate players.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Warm it up
Pros: As the previous review said, this is a great little warmup course before playing Trophy Lakes, or practice for beginners/approaches/putting. The course plays so fast that I played twice in about 30-40 minutes. The atmosphere is kinda nice. The portos on hole one are a nice amenity. The posts for the tees look nicer than most courses, and the concrete pads help make this worth the play (especially if you're going to Trophy).
Cons: Really short holes, pros/highly skilled players could have an ace opportunity on almost every hole. The pond in the middle is a nice little obstacle, but it sucks that you could lose a disc on such a mediocre course (which I did).
Other Thoughts: This is the kind of course you could play everyday if it was in your backyard, but not worth going out of your way for. All in all, well worth the play if you're already going to Trophy Lakes for sure.
I lost a disc in the trees/vines on hole 6, and honestly I wasn't going ANYWHERE near the water that was closeby. There's a champion disc over there for some brave soul.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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