Close to heaven
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hank Williams has a song..."If heaven ain't a lot like Dixie, I don't want to to." You can change this up to..."If disc golf heaven ain't a lot like Harmon, I don't wanna go!"
Even the drive in was sensational. Long winding, twisting roads that climb higher and deeper into the mountain. This just whets the appetite of what is to come. Then you crest the hill and like a magical house rising out of a field, there it is: an old farm house with baskets in the yard. Upon seeing this another of my favorite lines came to mind, this one from Saturday Night Lives 'Wayne's World" - I'm not worthy!
Enough of the praise on to the course...
If you want to be remote, no sounds of traffic, planes or people, you're in the right spot. Harmon Hill is SECLUDED, pack in food or drink 'cause there ain't no close store. And eat before you come 'cause this place is LONG and HILLY and EXHAUSTING! And not just the physical part. Your brain will get a serious work out trying to hit lines that are at times tight and long. And even the open shots take some reading of the land and wind to land to hit the landing zones.
You'll be throwing up and over, down and through, so patience and accuracy is a huge virtue. The woods are for the most part open, but there are sections that can be really dense. An errant shot can have you searching for a while in the thick, green brush. I wouldn't recommend bringing anything green to this course, not unless you are a sadist.
Navigation, for the most part is easy, even for someone who's never been there. A few holes are tricky. It took me a moment to find #7's tee pad (back behind 6's basket) and #12 is kind of hidden, with #18 being where you'd expect #12 to be. 12 is down and to the right, set back in the woods.
And with the holes being really long, for the most part you can't see the basket, sometimes not even on the 2nd drive. If you have a chance to play with someone who's been there, that is a HUGE plus. Plus a spotter can speed up your round tremendously.
There are small signs that give a rough estimation of the hole design, but not much. I found myself throwing in the approximate direction on a lot of holes only to find out I was not real close. I find that there were more for showing if a course went left/right but not much after that.
I believe all the holes had benches which really helped to rest the legs. And you'll want to rest. I was completely gassed after 18 holes (I walked a lot of extra steps figuring out holes and walking back to the tee)
Cons: This is like saying you don't like the blue pin striping on a 'vette, but...I really wasn't fond of the short tee pads. In the early morning dew, even though they looked rough and grippy, they were very far from it. I was afraid to really crush a shot for fear of slipping. And even through I'm relatively short 5'8", I take long strides and had to start off the tee to throw. Might be better playing later in the day.
Also, several holes come close to sharing fairways. I believe 4 & 6, 6&7 along with 10 & 18 come close together. A flipped shot on 4 could nail someone setting up their 2nd shot on 6. 7's drive uses a tough of 6's approach/lading zone, and a hyzered out shot on 10 could nail someone on 18.
Other Thoughts: Because of the tee's and shared landing zones/fairways I had a hard time giving 5 stars. .4.75 would be spot on, but due to this being a private course and gorgeous terrain, I felt I should give the benefit of the doubt and give my first (think it's my first) 5-star rating
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Near perfect course
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Harmon Hills is easily the best course I've ever, and that includes Idlewild and Hornets Nest. My only regret is that I played it blindly by myself. This especially came into play on the final 9. No baskets are visible from the tee so I found myself teeing off with a putter on every hole and just playing the fairway, next time I intend to go for some of those throws. That being said I was happy with my 102 3 over par. The course forces you to throw every disc and shot in your arsenal. For the amount of land and being a private course it was in great shape. The rough if you missed the fairway was punishing but I feel it should be. Tee pads while short were perfect for me as I dont use a huge run up. As I work in the tri cities a lot this will be my go to course when I'm in the area.
Cons: Only cons I can think of is I had a slight navigation problem on hole 12 as I ended up going up 17s fairway into the woods instead. Also i don't advise playing this course for the first time alone. I did and it really came into play on the final 9. No baskets could be seen from the tees so I found myself teeing off with a putter on every hole just for placement for my second shot. Now that I've played I know I can go for it on some of those holes.
Other Thoughts: Everyone needs to play Harmon Hills at least once in your life. It is as close to a perfectly laid out course as I've ever played. It is the kind of course that will beat your ass but you still enjoy every second of it.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Harmon Hills gives you everything you could ever want in a disc golf course! Long holes, placement shots, short holes, and it will test every level of your game. The new owners of the course and the property have done an amazing job keeping Jerry's dream alive. The course flows extremell well; every section of 9 holes ends at the parking area/house.
Cons: No real cons at all.
Other Thoughts: If you are ever traveling through East Tennessee Harmon Hills is a must stop!
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Makes my top 3 courses ever played no problem. Plenty of shot diversity during this scenic 27 hole course. Elevation change and well laid out holes make this course very enjoyable to play. Great use of all the old sink holes and rock formations. Met and played with one of the locals which was very beneficial for getting around the course. Thanks Jason Grubb.
Cons: Not really a con but I will say to all the beginners out there with this course on their wish list..... Step your game up before you even try.
Other Thoughts: Putting a sign by the house with a map and course info like " it's ok for anyone to play this private course as long as you respect the property " just so newcomers who aren't as lucky as I was to run into a local feel welcome.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: My home course is Richmond Hill in Asheville, and I have played roughly 70 courses all over the United States. Harmon Hills is like no course I have played anywhere.
The course is super scenic and creative - you will play throwing over a cornfield and the teebox on two is concrete poured between two huge boulders - the natural beauty of the landscape will present a welcome distraction when the course is trying to shove a fat slice of humble pie in to your face. And you might have to eat that pie because Harmon Hills is a challenging course.
But the course is challenging in a super fun, fair way. I think there where about 3 holes that were aceable - hole 1 and a couple of others. But generally, this course will have you working to get in the basket in three throws with lots of holes requiring two pretty perfect drives to get within putting range. I definitely had a couple of 3s that I was very proud of.
The first 18 holes play over rolling farmland and you will have to the opportunity to crush some drives - a welcome change of pace for me from Richmond Hill where you pretty much never need to throw the long rip. The holes meander in and out of the woods and offer stellar variety and fun factor. Navigation was intuitive, although due ot the length of the holes, you will have to scout out some baskets.
The last 18 holes play through the woods and you will be punished if you can't hit tight, long lines. Hole 27 is an insane horseshoe shaped hole through the woods, and you'll impress me if you can get below a 5.
Play this course if you are anywhere in the area - I shot a 104 and can't wait to go back to improve on that score. Update - went back and shot a 97 and can't wait to play again! The fun factor is immense and I can't recommend highly enough. Oh, and after each set of 9 holes, you end up back at the parking area which is really nice!
Cons: This course will make all of the 'normal' courses seem like pitch and putts.
I feel like I'm nitpicking but a couple of the holes on the last 9 could use signage showing distance.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Great Challenging Dynamic Course
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: Course is in great condition. Could use some new teepads on a few holes, but is a long Champion-style course. Par is 33 on each 9 so you're allowed some par 4s. Great dog course because so few roads around. Very dynamically built as to fit all RHBH and LHBH style throwers.
Cons: Off the beaten path...that's it.
Other Thoughts: Everyone leave behind some donations so they can keep the place looking so great and build another club house!
0 of 12 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
26 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!!!
26 of 27 people found this review helpful.
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