Epic course (in good and bad ways)
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Simply put, Highland Hills is epic. It's the most monstrous, mountainous course I've ever played. I love courses with elevation, but this actually takes it to an extreme. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of fun, unique holes. But the hills are soooooo steep that simply walking the course is hazardous. Some holes are downright dangerous. You've heard of death putts. "H!H!" (as they like to abbreviate it), has lots of death putts, death drives, and death approach shots. To sum up before I list my pros and cons, Highland Hills is fun + extremely strenuous + downright dangerous. In other words, epic.
1. Stupid crazy elevation.
2. Really beautiful course and surroundings.
3. Very challenging.
4. If you like extreme hiking / mountain climbing, you'll love this course.
5. One of the most unique courses you'll ever play.
1. This course is dangerous. It's way too steep for solid footing on upshots...and even walking from hole to hole. I played in the fall after days of rain. Slick leaves + mud everywhere + mountain goat paths = twisted ankles and busted asses.
2. Huge disc loss risk on this course, from blind tee shots to autumn leaves to discs rolling down hills for MILES to thorns to creeks to a river! (Did I mention this course is epic?)
Those are really my only issues with the course (but pretty big issues).
Other Thoughts: If someone asks you to join them at H!H! for a round, first, ask yourself if they're planning to do away with you in the woods and dump your body in the river. Then get your heart checked and put on your hiking boots. Seriously, this course is not for everybody and be careful.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Rolling Pines is better
1 Helpful / 16 Not
Pros: It has decent baskets and hole 16
Cons: Basically everything else. My opinion is that this course is dangerous to the public. You should sign a waiver before you play this course. The last two times I played this course I rolled my ankle severely. But on a golf course note the lines arent there. We were trying to prepare for the Wilkesboro Wide Open and play the blues. It seemed that the blues were far less taken care of than the whites and knowing some locals there thats all they ever seem to play including their league stuff. Well then why play the blues or ever have them installed? Half the tees were natural and uneven, the other half were out of sandboxes. The basket locations on alot of the holes were unfair and the lack of lines to them really hurt this course. The mandos are just silly honestly.
Other Thoughts: I played the "I played it first tourney" my division was forced to play the blues. During that time my thoughts were "I hope some of the blue holes improve over time" It has been 6 years since that day and they have gotten worse. I have seen considerable work on the white tees honestly but the even the lines from those arent that great. The overall unsafe play and the lack of well thought out lines makes this course one of the worst I have played. Side note I have played almost every quality public course and many good private courses in NC. Rolling Pines I played the same day and I love that course its great! I continue to hear good things about Ft. Hamby as well, however if the WWO is played and I have to play this course I will not attend.
1 of 17 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 26 Not
Go to Rolling Pines instead.
Pros: It has baskets
Cons: They wasted good money on those baskets.
Other Thoughts: If you enjoy fairways, watching the flight of your disc, not snapping your ankle while throwing from the sandbox (excuse me "teepad"), quality course design, fun and puppies then this is not the course for you. Avoid at all costs.
1 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Eccentric and fun.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is one of the more eccentric I've seen. It hearkens me back to holes from Brackets bluff in Davidson, NC. I knew the course would be fun the moment I walked up to the first tee. "Wait, the hole is way down there?...sweet!"
"Way down there" or "way up there" I found myself thinking the whole round. This course has some of, if not THE, most elevation change I've ever played. I felt like I needed a hiking stick in several spots, which could be a pro or a con, depending on how you look at it. Be careful out there because you could slip. Some rubber cleats would be an asset to have while playing here.
I mentioned eccentricities but never expanded, allow me to do so. I'll start by mentioning the basket colors. They have a bright orange color scheme. Many courses don't steer from the traditional yellow DISCatchers or similar. The orange baskets are easy to see and fit in well in the atmosphere of the course. One hole is perched atop 3 tractor tires, one is hanging from an artificial tree branch and a third is behind a bamboo wall (someone has been to Winthrop). My favorite hole, however, was hole 7. It looks like you're standing in the middle of a creek and shooting straight up the middle. The basket is actually in the creek. That hole is something I'll remember for a long time, more so than the somewhat gimmicky basket tricks.
The amenities were great on this course. Every hole had benches (that I remember) and usually a well constructed tee pad with retainer walls.
There are lots of ace opportunities out here, which would be one of the things keeping me coming back. I have no doubt nearly every hole out there has been aced at some point.
Cons: Most of the holes are extremely short but allow the elevation changes to create the distance. I found myself playing the majority of the holes with a putter. For what it's worth, that doesn't make a course excellent in my book.
I mentioned gimmicky baskets in the pros. I think some of the basket placements were unnecessary and take a little away from the experience. Not that they aren't cool, it just felt too intentional. If it were me, I'd get rid of the bamboo wall, and choose either the hanging basket or the tire basket and get rid of the other.
Hole 20 was actually pretty cool and probably the other hole I'll remember from the course, but it was brought down by hole 19. Hole 19 felt like a connector hole, not really having it's own character but merely serving the purpose of getting you to hole 20. And in the case of 19, if the parking lot is in use it is unplayable. Hole 5 also felt like a connector hole, utilizing the road that is cut out near the river as the fairway. One of the only flat holes on the course and it felt out of place.
Sometimes the elevation changes lead to blind shots/ non-golf shots/ lost discs. Playing for the first time by myself, I found myself wincing at the thought of throwing some of the holes, not knowing where my disc will end up. Hole 4 is unplayable in my opinion. First, you can't see the pin from the tee box, in fact you have to walk all the way to the stairs at the bottom before seeing it, then walk back up the steep hill to "throw" the shot. Really you're just dropping the disc off the cliff and hoping you don't hit anyone on hole 5.
Navigation wasn't a huge issue in terms of finding the next basket, but there were spots where you have to cross over fairways to get to the next hole, and I always consider that a flaw.
Be prepared to walk the course twice if this is your first time playing. Many of the holes are blind shots and you'll need to walk the hole to find the basket. Slightly takes away from the experience. For the locals, this wouldn't matter at all.
There are ample opportunities to lose a disc, in fact I lost one myself on hole 1. The mountain swallowed it whole it seems and trying to hike around on the steep slope to find it was difficult.
There is only 2 holes I would consider "open". Out of 20, that is far too few to consider this a well rounded course, thus the lower rating.(remember guys, I'm judging this against every other course I've played). There was plenty of every shot type other than that, but nearly 0 holes that required a driver. As I stated, I used my putter on what seemed like 80% of holes.
Other Thoughts: Don't let my cons get you down. I have to judge every course I play with any other course in the nation. This course is certainly fun and unique, but doesn't offer many of the things I look for in a world class course. That doesn't mean you shouldn't play it, you should indeed! It's certainly a fun time and has holes you'll remember for a long time, but if you're looking for a course to challenge every aspect of your game, this one isn't it. Tight and precise putter shots, rinse wash and repeat with a little bit of spice added in the form of basket placements. I hope the locals understand I'm not trying to tear the course apart, it was very fun and I'll be back!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Short and sweet, constant elevation change, mostly wooded, and often water in play. There are 20 holes at Highland Hills DGC in North Wilkesboro, NC. All par 3, and all of them are fun. Short average hole length. You can get a good feel for the course on the first hole. Steep downhill and through thick trees. I birdied 2 and 10, and wound up 4 over par. Hole 7 is a great one, uphill with the pin in a great location. 13 is a very unusual inverted pole on the basket, that drops from a tree. The pin for 20 is surrounded by OB, and in an odd position. I was rushing to finish the course before dark, and have to thank Dan for showing me the first 10 holes or so. I did think the entire course was fun, and mixed up the looks from hole to hole nicely. Several tees on each hole, and very cool, easy to spot, bright orange Kingpin baskets with snazzy fluorescent yellow poles.
Cons: The tees could be improved, but function as is. I had no course map, and the tight layout can make navigation tricky.
Other Thoughts: Highland Hills DGC definitely has plenty of hills, and is a very fun course. Will have some tough shots, and a lot of chances to birdie, if you can avoid the trees and hit the lines. The two extra holes are a nice bonus. I thought this was an excellent course, based more on fun layout than difficulty.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
there's gold in.....
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A wonderous place tucked into a city park with an incredible amount of elevation, and a bunch of killer holes. Probably the most aesthetically pleasing course I've seen to date. In addition to the river that bounds the course and borders the fifth fairway, there are multiple streams, a waterfall and steep climbs that make you want to take out your camera.
The first wow moment is the far tee on 1. From the parking lot it turns left and fades down a ravine. A long way down. Looks great, plays great. Sets the tone for a course that meshes aesthetics with quality holes throughout. The longest climb leads to 3, which plays along a side slope with severe drop off potential to the right along length of the hole. The basket is awesomely placed, like many here, up above the majority of the fairway, so while the tee shot is an attempt to place a disc flat on the fairway, the approach will be uphill.
6 is a really fun one. Drive down a flat valley, with steep inclines on three sides and then putt straight up one of those hills. That leads to a series of holes with smaller but quicker ups and downs, many of which play along a stream. They are short but fun with varied lines and great pin placements. The best of which throws directly up a bubbling waterfall. The water finds different paths down the slope so there is some luck involved in landing zones. But it is throwing up a waterfall.
It's tough to imagine a course that throws upwards as much as this one does. The baskets are just so well placed to make approaching them always a unique challenge. The final hole does the course justice. The basket is ten-feet high and on a slope very encouraging of roll-aways. To get there one has to throw over a large ravine. So deep and wide that it makes more sense to walk back to the parking lot and approach the basket from there then walk down into the ravine.
Lastly, there are three sets of tees. The Blues don't always provide too much additional difficulty but I'm so glad that the red tees provide a significantly easier experience. This is the type of course that everyone should be able to see and play. The reds don't take away from the strenuous hike but it eliminates most of the risky or difficult throws. I can easily see taking a friend or family member who isn't serious about discing here and letting them play for the reds. The whole course is so visually stimulating that I want everyone to be able to play. Really, I don't have the words to describe how many times you will be wowed by a view here.
Cons: Sometimes seems a little gimmicky. 4 is essentially dropping a disc off a cliff and not a real golf shot. 5 features to the river on the left but it's just tossing it down a dirt road. The great wall of bamboo seems unneeded and ruins a little of the natural feel. I know it is just there to get to 20, which is really cool but 19 is ruined if people are parked in some sections of the parking lot, the first half of the fairway is the very lot that disc golfers will be parking in.
The course leans a little heavy on the very short holes. For a course with so much going on right, there are a lot of holes under 200.
Tee surfaces are inconsistent. Some of them are not as flat as I would like, and while that is fine on the shorter holes, there are definitely great holes here that makes you want great tees.
Navigation could use some work. Especially between 13 and 14. If you remember one thing before you go, after 13, walk left down the path into the meadow that looks like there is now way it would be right. The course could benefit from an arrow there and a widening of that path.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
One of the best I've played
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: One of the most fun courses I've played. The extreme elevation change and otherwise unique holes make this an incredibly fun time to watch your discs fly.
Cons: It's a bit tiring, so be ready for a hike. Otherwise, throw a couple discs per hole and have fun.
Other Thoughts: A great twist on a normal fairways-through-the-woods style course. Can't wait to come back.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Awesome layout,neat basket locations.Marked very well,the club has really done a good job on the course!!i really loved the baskets near the river,over throw and your disc takes a dip!lol
Cons: A lot of climbing,which is ok with me.Exercise is always good!
Other Thoughts: Go play this course!!!
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
High in the Hills
Pros: Layout - Overall it's a mostly wooded short technical course with elevation.
Three sets of tees. The blues are tight and have some harder angles to hit, especially with the elevation changes. The whites have some tough holes but it's mostly easy lines to hit without much danger. I didn't look at the shorts all that much.
Solid mixture in shot types and allows you to be creative with lines. The course has some interesting lines to hit from the blues.
Mixes up more challenging gap hitting holes with wider fairway holes where placement is the key due to elevation/OB.
The course utilizes a creek, logs/rope and the road as OB. It gives parts of the course more teeth where needed and was used well in design and to keep some cramped fairway areas apart.
A couple open holes come in to play at the end over valleys which provides a nice change of pace.
The elevation here doesn't involve any huge up and downs it's more short and undulating. However it does get very steep over short distances and makes you think about your placement and how the disc is landing on greens.
I like how the course mixes in some faster greens with ones that are more plateaued. It gives it a nice mix so you're not constantly worried about rollaways.
The course flows nicely and is easy to follow. Blends the ups, downs and flats in a nice way to keep it interesting.
The signature hole is the #7 waterfall hole. It's very picturesque and is designed nicely.
Equipment - Super bright baskets which I liked because some of the lines are blind. Great hole signage and directional signage. Benches on the holes which were necessary. There's a shelter/bathroom at the parking lot.
Atmosphere - Beautiful little area that gives you a nice secluded feeling on most of the course. Wooded hills with a waterfall.. what could be better in terms of the environment?Course looked well played but not crowded.
Cons: Layout - The main complaint I have here is that there is a stretch on the back 9 that is boring and has that pitch and putt feeling. It's like they had some really strong holes then crammed a bunch in. IMO they should cut go back to 18 and lengthen a few.
There are parts that give you this gimmicky feeling because some of the holes seem jazzed up.
The course needs limbing and has some unclear flight lines. I understand how tough it can be to upkeep a course like this but some of the big downhill holes are almost throw and prays because you can't really see where they're going. There's also lost disc potential due to that and some more overgrown parts.
Equipment - Gravel/Dirt pads. They weren't in bad shape and worked for the most part but not my preferred pad.
Atmosphere - If you're not used to steeper hills be warned it can be a bit slippery in a few parts especially if it's a bit wet. It's not a hard walk but not a cakewalk either.
Other Thoughts: I think it's a pretty fun little course but I think the layout isn't as strong as it could of been. It's a pitch n' putt with quick elevation changes and some jazzed up lines and features mixed in that add to the course but not enough to get the high praise others have given it.
I highly recommend playing it at least once to see for yourself, I did enjoy my round and think it's a good but not great course. If not for the golf but to see this beautiful little park.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Was driving to tennesse and stopped at the smokehouse for lunch (which is totally worth the stop as well) and saw this course was only a mile away. Had to convince my lady friend that we should go but very glad I did. Its a very fun and interesting course though I only got to play 10 holes. Hoping to stop on way back and play other 10.
- great usage of elevation
- interesting hole designs
- 3 pads for different types of challenges
- Great usage of available water.
Cons: Not a lot of cons. Signage for OBs would be nice, I didn't notice there was a river behind the first basket and might have lost my disc if I had put anymore on the throw. There was a road on hole 10 that is probably OB but I didn't know it was there so called it a birdie anyways.
Other Thoughts: Would play again, but its steep, might be tough right after a hard rain. You will get a workout climbing up and down the hills.
Great course for such a small down!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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