Tri-Courses in the Tri-Cities
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: * Chance to air the disc out.
* Love the three nine-hole loops, allowing a chance to return to car for more food and water.
* Par is fair, as good shots are rewarded and bad shots are punished appropriately.
* Variety of different shots required off the tee.
* Quiet and peaceful
* Navigation between holes was easy.
Cons: * Back nine is extremely difficult with some near-impossible lines and good shots can still be punished unfairly.
* Short teepads.
* Poison ivy. LOTS of poison ivy. Wearing long pants or high socks advisable if you stray off the fairway.
* Some signs leave basket placement still unclear.
Other Thoughts: Play Harmon Hills, Winged Deer and Warriors Path on a trip to the Tri-Cities and you'll have a blast.
Favorite hole: Hole 1, picturesque and leads to a beautiful green among trees and rocks.
Least favorite hole: Hole 27, crazy horseshoe with lots of trees in fairway. Disappointing to end the course with such a rough hole.
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Private and Pleasing....
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very large private course in a nice rural area in Eastern Tn.
The course has easy access off of I-81. You can be there in less than 10 minutes.
The course itself is setup as 3 nines with all the finishing holes ending near the house and parking area.
There is a great variety of terrain on the course.
The tee boxes are small, but they are grooved and they have very good grip.
The baskets are Mach 3's and all were in great shape.
I like to play hyzers, so I really notice the turn holes. There seemed to be a very good mix of holes that fit both types of shots.
The teeth of this course is the changes in elevation. I know that the course says that it is moderately hilly, but I consider it very hilly. Just to clarify, I do consider this as a pro.
There are stumps and chairs/benches available on most of the holes.
The upkeep of the course was top notch. I didn't see any trash on the course at all. The grass was also mowed and the underbrush wasn't too bad at all.
There are tee signs with the distance and a simple diagram of the hole. It was our first time playing the course and we did need to walk some of the holes to get a full layout of the hole.
I played in a group of 4 and I think that I saw just about every shot played during our round. (Hyzer, Anny, Rollers, Thumber/Tomahawks and skips)
There was a good mix of tight into open shots and open into tight area holes.
The people running the course were SUPER NICE. They were very helpful telling us about the layout and also getting some lunch between rounds.
There are alot of par 4's with great variety. One is a horseshoe shaped that plays around 330 ft while there are 3 other par 4's that play over 580 ft on the 1st 18 holes.
Nagivation on the course is done naturally. You will not find next tee signs or arrow, but there are EASY to find paths to the next tee. It was our first trip here and we didn't have any trouble with navigation.
Cons: Some tee pads were a little short.
Other Thoughts: This place is a fantastic private course. If you like grassroots disc golf this place is a MUST play. I don't get to this area often, but when we do Harmon Hills will be on the agenda.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Solid and secluded
11 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Elevation - adds variety and challenge to your shots.
Design - I liked that there were some long open shots and some tight technical wooded holes and some nice turns in both directions.
Concrete pads - were unlike any I've been on before. They had lines in them and seemed nice and grippy. They were level and pointed in the right direction which is always a plus.
Location - While not the most scenic of courses, the property is secluded, quiet, and green. It was very pleasant. Saw a wild turkey and some other hedgehog animal that I couldn't figure out what it was before it ran away.
Maintenance - The grass was nicely cut and there weren't sticks or trash in fairways. The work put in here is well worth your donation.
Cons: No scorecard/course map/next tee signs - Most holes weren't difficult to locate but several times after putting out I found myself standing there looking around wondering where to go. The tee signs aren't anything more than the most basic descriptions of the hole. I don't know what course par is. Playing with a local would have made my experience much better but a scorecard with a course map would have made it more enjoyable. Hole 9 had a long basket that wasn't on the tee sign and I only noticed after putting out on the short and looking for the next tee.
Hole lengths - Several of the holes were difficult to tell if they were tough par 3s or easy par 4s. I feel like some of the holes weren't designed for my skill set. After throwing good tee shots I found myself faced with very simple, short approaches. If I was a pro I probably could have managed to be putting or if I was intermediate or rec level I probably would more often be faced with challenging approaches. As it was the course felt too short in many places (or too long, but I prefer 2 shot holes) and I had 100 or 150 foot upshots for drop in putts.
Blind shots - This isn't really a con unless you are playing the course for the first time by yourself. Several times I threw a drive around a corner only to walk up and realize there was a section of unmown grass in the fairway (as a bunker of sorts) or that the fairway didn't curve quite like I thought. It cost me a little time searching for shots that were actually in the fairway. No big deal but be aware.
Short tee pads - Only affected me on a couple of tees. Hole 10 comes to mind. It is a long par 4 and you want to really throw a good hyzer or anhyzer tee shot and there is a drop off of like 2 feet at the front of the pad. Most of them were fine.
Other Thoughts: The last three days I played Idlewild, Mountain Lake, and Harmon Hills. All three were comparable courses and that definitely shaped my reviews.
I was really impressed with the care and maintenance level of the course. Someone put a lot of sweat into this place and it shows. I enjoyed playing it and would like to go back and play it a couple more times to really get a feel for some of the holes.
I didn't know what the buildings were by the parking area and didn't see anyone around so I just started my round. There was a dog there to greet me at the start and finish.
I didn't play the 3rd 9-hole loop. I didn't even see where it was until I was leaving and noticed someone walking across the street but I was short on time anyway so I'll have to check these out next time I stop by.
Private courses are often the best thing disc golf can offer and Harmon Hills is no exception. I would recommend it to my friends and if I lived nearby I could see myself playing there frequently. Definitely worth the detour from my road trip to check out.
11 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Impeccable Private Course
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Massive private course in secluded location. Full 18 hole course on one side of road with a completely different 9 hole experience on the other side. Lots of disc golf in a great setting.
18 hole course has well done concrete tees on every hole. They are a little small, but I had no problems. If you have a big run up it could be an issue. Signs are basic but informative. Layout and distances are there as well as a simple depiction of layout. Navigation was never an issue.
Course was exquisitely maintained both times I've played it. We're talking about Maple Hill private course level, or pristine public park level. Which given the scale and grass that needs cutting here, it is an amazing feat. Fairways are great, and rough is minimal. Playing here is a pleasure. There is some foot tall grass around the property, but shots need to really go astray to reach it. Kudos to the souls that keep this course in shape.
Front 18 hole course plays threw rolling hills, meadows and some nice woods. There are a few small creeks and some sink holes to keep things interesting. Baskets are typically in sparse woods, but nothing is too tricky to handle. Hole length variety is good. Holes range from about 598' to under 200'. Most holes require a decent shot off the tee with a driver as well as a decent approach. This is not a short technical course.
BUT, there a re a few pretty tight technical holes that will keep the big arms honest. IMO the shorter wooded holes have a few spots of random, plinko tree feel to them, and add a touch of luck this course doesn't need, but they are not so tight as to be offensive. They just aren't as good as some other courses technical holes, or as good as some of this course's lengthier holes.
Most of the longer holes require 2 well placed shots to get you where you need to be. Only on a couple holes can you simply air it out with no thought or control. There are also several nice, winding fairways that require multiple well placed shots. The gradual elevation that is present is used up and down top add a varied feel to the fairways.
Visually this is a beautiful course. It is secluded TN hill country and you won't see or hear any distractions.
The wooded 9 holes across the street are 100% tight woods beat down. Not much variety there, but simply well done, technical golf. There is some nice elevation and some very cool rock formations that add to the challenge. After 18 holes across the road these 9 will simply beat you down. Stay on the fairway as the rough is thick and punishing. It's a nice course, and could stand on its own if it had to. There is a a nice mix of shots and enough length to challenge most arms.
Cons: Pads are a little small.
Signs and navigation on the wooded 18 are a little lacking. Lots of blind shots that could use some guidance from the tee. Walking the fairway on some holes is necessary to figure out where you're going.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course. In any setting the holes here would make a nice round. In a private, rural setting all the better. I'm sure I'll be abused for not giving in to the recent rash of 5's for this course, but I simply don't recall a truly special hole. I've played it twice, and not once did I stand on a pad and say wow. There's lots of good holes here, and really nothing bad. But in my humble opinion it lacks a special feature or feel of the other great courses I've played. There is no extreme elevation, water carries or long range views. There is a couple sink holes, but I doubt most would give a course a 5 for a hole in the ground. But either way, this is a great course that is maintained as well as any, so it is worthy of a special road trip if you ever have the chance.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Amazing use of the whole property with elevation changes, rocks, open fairways, tight wooded shots, this course has it all. The course design forces almost every type of shot possible. The land owners are very friendly and welcome anyone. Please remember to leave a donation... There is alot of grass on this course to keep up with.
Cons: Nothing very important here....
Tee signs are a little off so find your basket before you throw.
Alot of high grass and posion ivy.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Harmony in the Hills
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Private course featuring some scenic rolling elevation, pits, and rocks while playing in and out and through the woods over 27 holes, 3 loops of 9 holes back to the parking lot / house / practice basket. Phenomenal variety of the types of holes and shaping required. There's some long bomber holes and short technical holes. The navigation was a breeze for the most part and has decent signage and some benches. The fairways were manicured nicely and not much underbrush off the fairways. Primitive camping available.
Cons: Beware rather than con, the concrete tees are quite grippy, and there is poison ivy about the trees.
Other Thoughts: I could play Harmon Hills everyday, it's just a fantastic place! I would actually rate this a 4.75 if I could, the only thing it really lacks in my book is not a fault of the design but the land doesn't provide a truly epic shot near water or have huge elevation, but it gets bumped up to a 5 because it's an awesome private 27 hole course with great vibes!
The front 18 reminds me of some of the holes at the Woodshed and Whipping Post in Paw Paw WV, but Harmon Hills is much gentler in regards to the elevation, length, and fairways.
The back 9 reminds me of the Darkside at the Blockhouse(formerly The Grange) in Spotsylvania VA, but Harmon Hills features better elevation and length with true par 4s and fairways.
This is a course that anyone can play and have a great time. It's not to rough for beginners and there's enough challenge for open players on the same layout. I'm guessing the design is for more intermediates because some of the par 4's seem a bit generous or tweeners for open players. The super gold players might shred the course, but I'm sure they would have a blast!
I detoured my trip to Charlotte away from the I-95 corridor to the I-81 corridor to play Harmon Hills, Black Jack, and Mountain Lake Resort and was not disappointed although it made the rest of the trip seem rather bland in comparison. Highly recommend!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Can't wait to show my friends this course
9 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Rolling hills provide elevation changes through the entire course and tricky pin placements on several holes. Harmon Hills has an excellent balance of wooded and open holes as well as holes with both features in play. Accuracy is the game here. Distance with accuracy is better. However, distance without accuracy can leave you scrambling on quite a few holes. Each 9 loops back to the parking area for easy refill of beverages or to pick up a snack. Good signage helps with navigation.
Cons: # 2 tee is close to #1 green. I WOULDN'T CHANGE IT. The green on #1 is hard to reach from the tee for most players and the tee on 2 is awesome. I don't live closer.
Other Thoughts: I have played Idlewild, Holler in the Hills, Sugaree, and Rolling Ridge. Harmon can definitely hold its own with those big dogs. This course would make a great get away with primitive camping on site. Call first to verify availability. Add Warriors Path and Winged Deer to Harmon Hills and you can have a fun filled weekend of disc golf adventure.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful, and suits wide variety of players
24 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I'll reiterate some of what everyone else has already said:
27 holes of great disc golf; with three distinct feels to each nine.
As a 50+ aged player these days, many of the holes would be considered too long for my old body at most courses....
However, the shot shaping here fits well to play true par 3 and par four golf for my skill set. (With a good amount of par fours in there; truth be told...)
Playing best shot dubs this year; my partner and I lost by one shot; to a team that included a big arm Fort Wayne, IN, player who plays with; and took league tag from the gentlemen that just won Am Nats in Bowling Green.
So, I reiterate; that while this course would seem to favor big arms; it is also a very solid; shooting man's course.
Gold level players should enjoy this layout a lot. However, for blue level players; the shot shaping needed allows one to make up the distance on younger/bigger arms; by optimizing upshots. For lesser than blue level skill sets; this is a battle of multiple shot holes; one after another. Rough is not punishing in the sense of having to just toss out and take strokes; and allows for creative second and third shots; even when off the fairway (though, I guess I should note that I've played Harmon only in the spring; and another reviewer mentioned possible disc loss in summer months..).
Each nine returns to home base; which is a very nice touch for a 27 hole layout.
Elevation used well...sink holes a special feature of this course. (Though, they are not like the small sink holes at The Sinks; and mostly just seemed like hilly topography to me.)
Concrete tees not always found on privates; NICE! It was quite wet when we played; and there was no trouble on the tees regarding this.
Tee signs basic; but serviceable.
Vibe of the guys running this place is excellent. I hear there are plans to rebuild the clubhouse.
Cons: Small tee lengths (though this really did not bother me).
Harmon is the rare bird 5 rated course, that does not have a true signature hole, in the sense of a top of the world or crazy water shot. (The overall visual/golf shot experience is excellent; start to finish though.)
Other Thoughts: I've made an annual spring/go south trip; each year, for a decade now. "Charlotte" has been the destination point for the past four years running. Harmon has made the trip list two of the past three years (I'm glad I was able to meet Jerry in 2012).
Five of us in the main crew this year; and a sixth joined us for play here. Everyone noted Harmon as one of the signature courses of the trip; and the trip list was impressive; including IDGC, bunch of excellent private courses (29 total courses played this year, by me, over a span of nine days!), etc. The combined course played count for our group is more than 1,500 total courses played; and three private course owners in attendance; and I repeat, Harmon was a big hit!
I've played 685 courses at this point, and I've only given out four 4.5s and now, five; 5 ratings; in 133 reviews. In other words, I'm not throwing top notch ratings out there; willy nilly...
I've not reviewed much, in recent years, but think that giving Harmon the praise it deserves, was worth the time to make note.
Warriors Path and Winged Deer are also excellent, nearby layouts.
Best shot doubles; our top two teams shot a 95 and a 94 (par 99). Hmmm; I would have thought we were a bit higher than that. It is a bit of a beat down; playing 27 holes here; so bring some refreshments and relish anything under 100 shots!!!
24 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Simple and Elegant
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Before I even saw the course I knew that I was in for something special. As soon as I exited I-81, I started getting chills, because the landscape alone reminded me of Hawk Hollow, with gently rolling hills, occasional boulders, and lush grass interspersed with thick woods patches. This canvas strikes me as ideal for creating interesting holes, and Jerry's design not only includes 27 of the best holes on the property, but flows seamlessly between them. Harmon Hills may be the most impressive disc golf course I've ever played. I felt that every hole was fair, challenging, and could accommodate a wide variety of players. Even throughout 27 holes, I didn't get the sense that I was repeating shots. This makes for a diverse golf experience and fantastic replay value--I believe it would be even more fun, and no less difficult, after learning the preferred landing zones (since close to 20 of the baskets are blind from the tee).
-I looked pretty thoroughly, and I didn't see any holes that could be "cheated" with just a power hyzer, a thumber over everything, or a wacky backdoor route. Here's the fairway, now hit it. I did not feel that the course as a whole favored any particular handedness or throwing style; success requires both power and accuracy.
-The sinkholes on the property make for a great set of features. Numerous holes use them as bunkers or obstacles to frame landing zones. I felt the back 9 was some of the most unique use of terrain I've encountered, as the straight or softly turning fairways required distance control as well to avoid the large depressions and nonideal footing. These sinkholes apparently all feed into a small cave system, visible from near hole 9.
-The three sets of 9 holes all form loops back to the main gathering area, but each have their own different character. The front 9 seemed like I was doing a lot of fairly open placement shots in the 350-380 neighborhood, and then working my upshots through mixed woods. The middle 9 has 2.5 open holes to begin with, and then tightens up considerably. This was easily my favorite set, particularly 14-17, which have three elevated tee shots to work under branches and through narrow corridors to hit a landing zone. The back 9, across the road, were more "woods golf" with large boulders, sinkholes, and several tight, straight shots that demand staying on the fairway, and test your scrambling ability (sometimes even on "pretty good" shots).
-There felt like an unusual number of tweener holes on the course, but only to the extent that it's not dangerous the entire way to the basket--if you execute a quality tee shot, up and down should be easy, or the tee shot is the easy one, but all about setting yourself up so that you have a line for the approach. None of these were "cheap" par 4s.
Cons: -Diagrams on the signs are wildly understated. If the drawing says "gentle left turn" it occasionally means "fishhook from hell".
-The last 9 holes didn't feel quite worked in yet, and didn't have signage. Relatively easy to follow, but required walking up the fairways, as nearly all of the shots are blind from the tee.
-Facilities are limited, for now.
Other Thoughts: -It sounded like the locals are trying to preserve the property and rebuild the clubhouse. If this happened, I could easily envision Harmon Hills becoming a top-flight disc golf destination, both on its own merit and the high concentration of quality courses within an hour or two. There's a small camping area and established fire ring. The time and energy required to maintain this sprawling course must be unimaginable--I wish I had more money and my own time to donate to the cause.
-Within 9 holes, this course had jumped into my top 5 favorites. It will take a lot to displace it. I'm not sure that there was any one hole that made me want to unload the bag, but I'm reasonably sure that I threw at least 4 on every hole--they were all so challenging and fun that I had little hesitation in doing so.
3: A long, straight drive that has to finish straight as well in order to find a lane to the precariously-located basket. 14: I tried everything I could think of, and couldn't get closer than about 30 feet. 17: What a tee shot. Good gravy, if you think you've got skills, 17 tests every bit of it. Probably in my top 5 favorite holes. 27: If I was leading a tournament going into hole 27, I would want a huge cushion. It's a big time scoring separator that requires at least 3 good shots. This one has everything, with a narrow straight tee shot into a long, bending approach with a sinkhole and skinny approach fronting the rocky green.
-I didn't personally know Jerry Harmon, but can easily see that he was a thoughtful and creative person and disc golfer. This course doesn't feel or play as though he designed it based on a checklist, but on intimately knowing the property, seeking the best available holes, and tweaking them based on input and watching others play. When a course is done right and evolves over the course of years, rather than being static based on one walkthrough, the result is pure and sound. After playing Harmon Hills, I can't help but admire Jerry and hope that his course serves as a grand legacy.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Beast of the East
12 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Harmon Hills is a farmstead with rolling terrain and the perfect mix of open and wooded landscapes,punctuated with rock outcroppings and sink holes. It is a visual feast especially in the springtime when redbuds are blooming.
Of the 100 courses that I have played, this is hands down the best terrain for disc golf that I've seen and is somewhat similiar to Brakewell (Warwick NY).
The layout is unique in that 2/3 of the holes are par 4's featuring 27 holes with each nine looping back to the starting point. Many holes are open for part of the hole, but end with interesting basket locations in the woods.
Easy to get to, just off I-81 and just a few exits away from Warriors Path.
Maintenance is off the charts for a private and is done for the most part with riding lawn mowers, which when you see the expanse of the farm is hard to believe. Some of my favorite holes in disc golf are on the front 18 at Harmon Hills; 3,8,12,15,17. Aaron,Kyle & Jack are great guys and the vibe at Harmon Hills is unmatched.
Cons: Jerry,the clubhouse and nearby Fossil Hill are gone.
Other Thoughts: Having played 8 of the top 25 courses and all the biggies on the east coast except for Hawk Hollow and Maple Hill, Harmon Hills is my number one course ! The upkeep of this place is totally reliant on donations and very much appreciated by the crew. Be generous, this is a special place.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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