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.
there's gold in.....
4 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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 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 4 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.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: -Most challenging course I've played
-Trash cans and benches and hooks at every hole
-Fun mando's and OBs
Cons: -Signage can get a little confusing
-No chances to really do a full power drive
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Wow... is a word that comes to mind
- Gimicky Stuff. Lance and his crew came up with some extremely cool and unique "Gimicky Stuff" for the course. Some of the most unique raised baskets and hanging baskets I have ever seen. (However, also see cons). Their hanging basket has to be one of the most secure hanging basket structures I have ever seen, and their elevated basket on the last hole was a engineering masterpiece.
- Amenities Stuff. Stairs, bridges, trails, benches, tee-signs, etc… all done with the utmost care. The course looks like it was professionally installed by a landscaping company as opposed to just some disc golfers who slapped it together over a few weekends.
- Use of Elevation and Natural Features. Wow… is the word that comes to mind. From the extreme drop on Hole 1, to playing along the river on Hole 2, to climbing up the hill on Hole 3, to playing down the massive drop on Hole 4, to playing back along the river on Hole 5, etc… all the way through Hole 18… the Holes used the natural features amazingly.
- Triangulation. If you are going to have multiple tee-pads for every Hole (white, red, blue), triangulating them from the previous pin is only way to do it correctly. Meaning that, the shorts aren't simply shorter than the longs, they're completely different… playing from a different angle. This triangulation of the next tee-pads also meant that everyone has an equal distant walk (most of the time) to their tee-pad (red, white, blue) from the previous pin.
- Gorgeous Woods. Wow… is the word that came to mind several times as I walked through the forest that the course plays through. Some of the largest trees and most beautiful forest I have ever had the opportunity to play through… which is why I didn't personally enjoy some of the Gimicky Stuff as noted below:
- Gimicky Stuff. As noted above, the forest is absolutely beautiful. So, when I came upon the 6th (?) hole and the basket was elevated on a tractor tire, I thought to myself, "That's Ugly. Why in the world would they introduce an ugly tractor tire to this beautiful setting?"… then a few holes later, they introduce even more tractor tires to the forest when they stacked them up 3 high to make another elevated pin position.
- Tee-Pads. I played from the longs and it seemed as if those tee-pads were not as developed as the others. Most of the tee-pads were natural dirt… and on one of them I had to trample a crop of Mayapples that were growing on the tee-pad to get my shot off. In a beautiful forest such as this, I don't want to be trampling mayapples on the tee-pad.
- Overall… North Wilkesboro is an amazingly great course. When one of the most beautiful forests you could ever want to play through combines with elevation and natural features galore, and a disc golf club that has meticulously maintained the course, you get one hell of a disc golf experience - sans the tractor tires. After having designed and installed a course myself, I know how much work this course took to complete… major props to Lance and his crew.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
No Hills, No Glory
Pros: All 20 holes are unique and exciting to play. Very high addiction factor here. Awesome ups and downs, secluded nature setting, and some sneaky ravines and water hazards force you to respect each hole despite their relatively short distances. Top quality par 3 course, and will only get better with age. Bring your shot shaping skills, you will need them. I threw discs that i didn't know still lived in my bag. Some early holes skirt the yadkin river, which will claim your plastic if you are careless, especially #5. The course becomes noticably less treacherous after the first few holes so don't be too inimidated at first, there are quite a few ace-ables out there. Oh and I was told to look out for bears. Top quality and very colorful baskets, if you miss them its your fault. I rate this course right up there with Yadkinville, Castle Hayne, and Johnson Street. Not sure if anything around here can compete with Ashe county but this sucker sure is tryin, they may be kin somehow. (i haven't played the Charlotte area yet) Played 2 rounds with a "beginner" and he had a great time as well, we can't wait to go back and find those bears....
Cons: Hole 16 seemed like the only hole to let her rip( i played white tees) and the asphalt to the left will chew your disc up if you don't put enough juice on it. Some holes have treacherous footing, was not a big deal to me, but it may be to you.
Other Thoughts: Thanks to Jim for pulling my bud's shark out of the water! This was my first review on DGCR, i am happy to give a shout out to H!ghland H!lls.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 2 Not
Manly Man Disc Golf
Pros: Best par 54 course I've ever played. Beautiful scenery, terrific elevation, clever hole design that never seemed repetitive, the works. You've got 3 sets of tees and the long tees aren't just the regular tees except farther back, they actually give separate lines. You've got to navigate slopes and hillsides, creeks, valleys, and avoid a river and some designated OB (road mostly).
The course plays mostly in the woods, with downhill bombs, across valleys aka hillside to hillside, and along valleys, creeks, and slopes. Not really any "uphill march of death" holes where you feel like you're trying to scale Mt. Everest. You've got for your discing pleasure a hanging basket (#13), elevated baskets, mandos, a bamboo wall, etc. The baskets themselves are extremely visible, fluorescent orange Disk King's with chartreuse poles. These baskets catch perfectly.
The hole variety is great, no two holes seem the same. Big hyzers/anhyzers, hyzer-flips, flicks, OH and any other tricks up your sleeve can be called upon. The only playing variable that's not really present is length, all the holes are honest par 3's, no long 4's or 5's. It's basically a pitch and putt for mountain men.
Amenities: Top notch. Bench on every hole, bag hangers everywhere, a bathroom at the shelter, tee signs are ridiculously helpful, next tee arrows keep you from wasting precious energy looking for tees. They've even got loaner discs to borrow @ hole #1, don't be a cad and return them b/c they operate on the honor system. Not much for the rest of the family to do, there's a couple of sad playgrounds that look like they're from the 1950s (I felt like I was at one of the model towns they used for nuclear bomb tests out in the desert), a short basketball goal (~9' tall) and that's it except for nature to look at.
Cons: Update: See Other Thoughts.
Fat guy advisory: Course is a workout if you eat as much as you disc. It's not terribly hard or exerting if you play flawlessly and stay on the fairway but it's very easy to get treejected down the hillside.
The course is not super hard but feels that way thanks to 2 things: Elevation and natural tees. The long, steep walking you do b/w holes and retrieving discs wears you slap out. The white tees were pretty playable but a few of the blue tees were just spots on the hillside to throw from, impossible to x-step. Some steps cut into the trails up and down the steeper hills would be a welcome addition.
Be careful on the slopes, much of it is soft dirt and gives away easily. While the course is very well maintained, it's easy to throw or have a disc roll into a brush pile of felled trees and briers on a few holes, removal of these would be perfect.
Hole #8 is the only dumb hole, it smacks of a filler hole. There's no line all the way to the basket, it's a mando enforced L-shaped hyzer through several skinny trees. You also have to cross hole #6's fairway to go to #3, though it shouldn't be a safety hazard unless Stevie Wonder is teeing off on hole #6, drunk. Also, I question the necessity of the blue mando on the bamboo hole.
These little green plants that grow all over the place smell kind of musky, almost like body odor.
Some of the holes have some leftover garbage (80's beer bottles, tires, etc) from when apparently there was nothing to do in the park but toss some junk away.
Other Thoughts: Update: Why now a 4.0? Haven't seen much progress in the tee department and nature is trying to reclaim the fairways. On a positive note, the steep fairway on #4 now has a zig zag trail cut into it. Some branches could use some trimming as well but it's still similar to the butt-kicking I got at Renny but actually fun and a heck of a lot prettier to look at. You could argue that there are no holes over water, not enough open holes, and no long, par 4's or 5's and you'd be right but I didn't miss them, not one bit. Every hole had a bit of clever to them, the terrain/obstacles were never monotonous and it's as pretty of a course in a public park (a park where only DG'ers seem to inhabit, mind you) as you can get.
Fave/signature hole: Probably #1 b/c it sets the tone, both in fun factor and in challenge. It's a downhill bomb that makes you contemplate the best line. Hole #7 is also gorgeous, a short but sweet hole along a mountain creek. The river is nice too, but you can definitely toss a disc into it, as my brother found out.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Many challenging holes that require the use of a variety of throws. Many holes that are possible to ace. I threw it in the basket on 18, but the chains did not hold it and it barely fell out. Other holes I have hit the basket on multiple times. Great scenery along the way and the benches along the tee boxes is a nice accommodation as well. The hooks on the tree are also nice as well as the bright color choice used for the baskets. Red, white and blue tees allows for a variety of tee-shot options. Already has a hole #19 and it appears hole #20 is in progress already.
Cons: The first few times I played this course, the hills and all the climbs wore me out; but since I have played it over a dozen times now, I am use to it and the Big Hairy Route also makes play easier. Hole #5 along the river needs some of the orange plastic fencing put up along the left side of it to prevent discs rolling into the river.
Other Thoughts: Wish people would stop bringing alcohol and marijuana out onto the course. I get tired of seeing beer bottles/caps every where and marijuana defiantly has no place out there. Respect others and do that stuff on your own property if you are going to do it.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Love the terrain
Pros: I really enjoyed the course... Best Signage, nicest baskets, best benches, well made stairs and bridges over rough terrain.
Some of the holes have terrain that made watching the disk fly a thing of beauty ... or frustration. I'm sure you know what I mean.
Cons: The only problem was that it was a little muddy, making some of the hillsides rather treacherous when recovering some disks from where the trees decided to send them.
Other Thoughts: I'm an old fart, and it was a challenge for me, but for the younger guys it was perfect.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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