High in the Hills
7 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great potential here.
Pros: - Several signature holes.
- Very good use of elevation throughout, offering variety in the holes.
- Multiple tee locations.
- Potential to be much more.
This course makes great use of the available elevation! It is easily one of the most exhausting courses to climb at times, which I enjoy for the workout. Previous reviewers were correct about the baskets being nice and bright. It made it fairly easy to find the basket on my first run when I couldn't easily spot it from the tee. I can tell that this course took a healthy amount of work simply to make it safe to traverse, so I applaud the locals for making it happen. There is a lot of potential for making this course more than just fun to play. I'm hoping that others will agree with a few of my cons in order to make some necessary adjustments, turning this course into a destination event.
Cons: - Foliage not well refined for skilled play.
- Some tee pads need concrete or a completely new approach.
- Some safety precautions needed on steep slopes.
While many of the holes are laid out with fair openings through the forrest canopy, I found myself disappointed on several occassions when a lucky shot was favored over skill to make it to the basket. Being from Charlotte, I know that the woods can force some difficult throws when the fairway is tight or you have to hit a corner just right. Although I end up in the trees on many of those holes, I still respect that it was due to a bad throw on my part. What I didn't enjoy from several of the tees on this course, was thinking that I needed a miracle to find a line to the basket off the tee. If there are too many low hanging branches or small trees on a hole that don't contribute to simply forcing a certain type of shot, then I consider the hole cluttered and lacking refinement. If the local club went through and trimmed up several of the holes where unnecessary foliage is in the way, then this would be a course I would suggest fellow players travel to play. Since many of the holes seemed like 90% of the work was done, leaving a very important 10% of trimming to be done, I felt like everything fell a little short of final refinement.
Some of the tees seem borderline dangerous for someone that uses the full pad. Instead of elevating a tee and building up below it, several tees are cut into the earth, giving you a dead end stop to bump your knees into. This is common at many courses for a hole or two, but the size of the pad is usually larger, allowing for run up. The ones here were short and made me very concious of not knocking any edge or tripping when I should have been focusing on my throw.
More handrails and roping are needed in some areas. It seemed like hand line was provided, at times, when it wasn't needed. Then I'd go a bit further down a hill to more treacherous areas, and there was nothing to hold on to. This is mostly a safety concern and doesn't effect the play of the course.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this course is really cool. It has several different tee locations, making it possible to feel like you're playing three different courses if you mix it up for each round. There are also several holes that could be considered signature here. I like when a course offers several looks from the tee that you remember for one reason or another. I will certainly go back to play this course again, even if it is still in need of some trimming. I have no doubt though, that the course's full potential falls short due to its tendency to favor a lucky throw over a skill shot. As I stated before, a bit of trimming around the course will really make the holes shine and feel fair at the same time, which would push me to spread the word about Wilkesboro disc. I'd like that to be a reality, so I hope to see this refinement over time.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Makings of something special
Pros: Highland Hills is a good course with untapped potential for greatness. The holes with elevation offer fun, challenge, and general greatness. It's the other parts of the course that need to play catch up.
- You get a sense of the quality of the course as soon as you get out of your car. Hole #1 tees off from the parking lot (unless you're playing the short tees) and plays to a downhill wooded basket. As with many holes, there's a definite risk/reward factor on this hole, but there's also a bit of the luck factor - hills = potential rolling shots.
- Great wooded, elevated course overall. Very good natural beauty, especially on the front 9. I also like how the Yadkin River comes into play on #2, 4 & 5.
- #7 might offer the most natural beauty of any hole I've played. Amazing view of the water, hills, woods standing on the tee pad. I was skeptical about the hole after reading about the fairway was the creek, but they pull it off. This hole wouldn't work if it were longer, but it's set up perfect the way it is.
- Great tee signs. If they're not the best I've seen, definitely in the top handful. I haven't seen (or can't remember) ever seeing tee signs even mark where they are in relationship to the tees. Very, very helpful, especially on the holes where the three tees are spread out.
- I was a big fan of the bright orange baskets. They were very easy to spot, which is always a huge plus on wooded holes.
- Course is easy to navigate. When you're standing at the baskets on many holes, you can easily see the next holes tees.
- Lots of work and effort has gone into amenities. The warning sign and ropes on #4 are a good safety precaution. Lots of benches. Good specific OB signs on certain holes. I like how they explain what's OB and where to re-throw from. Also, the "welcome disc golfers" and "come back soon" along the park road are a nice touch.
- I've never seen a course have an honor system for loaner discs. Granted they're written all over and couldn't get sold anywhere, it's a great way to reach out to newbies.
Cons: I had such high hopes for the course, and even though it was mostly great, there were a few glaring problems that couldn't be overlooked. I hope, and feel, all of the problems are due to the course being so new, and still in the "work in progress" phase.
- Too many holes are uninspiring, short, and feel too cramped. Here's why it was frustrating. Based on the rusting, ancient playground equipment and one basketball goal in the parking lot, I'm guessing the park isn't used for much other than disc golf. That said, some holes could be lengthened, toughened and spread out. The problem area was #8 - 13, with the exception of #10. All of these holes were a combination of flat, short, relatively straight and/or relatively challenge free.
- #18 simply needs to be removed. I know this course has 20 holes, but if you don't play the extra 2, you need something better than this to close with.
- A little more TLC throughout the course. Some hills and paths could use more steps. I played 2 days after it rained and had an interesting time navigating some of trails up and down hills.
Other Thoughts: Highland really felt a lot like Glenn C. Hilton in Hickory, with a little bit of Timmons (Greenville, SC) mixed in. This course has more elevation to work with, and could one day be just as good, or better than Hilton, if it's utilized.
- I thought it was interesting they offer an alternative loop to the first six holes. On the tee for #6, there's a sign directing you back to #3 if you're playing the alternative loop. As slippery as the steps to #3 can be, and after reading other reviews, maybe this alternate loop should be the real loop.
- Others may disagree with me, and I'm sure I'll get enough thumbs downs, but I think the negatives that were listed above are actually good problems. I don't expect the problems to go away overnight, but it's a realistic expectation that over the next several years the club will see what works and doesn't work on the course, and how some holes could be improved. I expect this course to look very different several years down the road.
- This course has all the makings of a hidden gem. Just down settle for good, when greatness is possible. Based on the several filler holes, I'm "only" giving it a 3.0. With a little more work, a 4.0 or higher seems very realistic. Still, everyone in the area should be checking this place out.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Hunting for Birdies
Pros: Beautiful wooded course. Nice mix of holes. Relatively short if anything. Some tight, technical tee shots. Great use of elevation changes. Not too many level holes out there, which is using the terrain well. Some nice mix of risk and reward on plenty of holes. You could make your fair share of birdies but you can also have the errant bogey or worse. Good ace runs. Baskets are nice. Easy to spot in the woods, which becomes a problem at some courses. Three tees, all of which provide a unique look at the hole. I prefer the whites, which I've played basically every time. From the reds, the entire course is nearly ace runs. It would be a great starting place for beginners and others to improve their game and then move back, however. The blues provide a good challenge, though you can find a couple tees that are much more appealing from the blues and open up certain holes.
Cons: While the terrain isn't so treacherous to me personally in terms of being able to physically walk the course, be careful when it's muddy. The hill between 3 and 4 can be slippery. They've attempted to make some paths for walking but the angle is quite steep. Number 10 can also get a bit tricky once you get up toward the basket. The mando on 8 is somewhat of a crapshoot. From the whites you're forced well right of any path to the basket. At best, it's a forced layup, approach shot, and par putt. I also see 16 as the finishing hole. It's signature material. Sadly, 18 is a short swinger that isn't much of a pleasure to finish on.
Update: A better path is now on #4 along with a rope to grab. Makes things much easier.
Other Thoughts: For the most part, this course is filled with great holes. There is the possibility of shooting a low round if you play your shots right. Definitely several holes that can pose a threat. I enjoy it because it does bring most shots out of my bag and there are plenty of birdies and ace runs to be had. You just have to keep it in the fairway and near the basket to do so.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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