Beautiful, and suits wide variety of players
3 Helpful / 0 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!!!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Simple and Elegant
6 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.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Beast of the East
10 Helpful / 1 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.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Beautiful private course! No worry about to many people playing at once. The course has a mix of many different types of holes.
Cons: During the summer time this course would be awful cause of the amount of trees. You could lose a disc or 5 very easily. The tee pads are very small. All though made very well there isn't much room for a run up. Tee pads and baskets are not clearly marked
Other Thoughts: Would recommended this course to ANYONE. Make sure you bring someone with you that has played the course before seeing as it can be hard to find your way around the course, But this course is definitely worth playing at least once!!
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
This course is at the top of my list
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Harmon Hills plays through hilly Appalachian terrain mixing heavily wooded sections with open fields. This is my favorite kind of disc golf, forcing the player to throw good, accurate shots, while keeping both distance and shot placement in mind. It is a thinker's course.
-A good amount of risk and reward is involved here. About half of the baskets have some sort of tricky green, whether it be side slope or rocky terrain, the upshot here is critical for scoring well. All the baskets are located where the golfer has to change his or her strategy before throwing their next shot. This can be an elevation change, a change in tree density or a dangerous green.
-The first two nines are moderately hilly and wooded, with a great mix of l-->r, r-->l, and straight shots combined with a variety of distances. The third nine is a complete change of pace, playing over heavily wooded and moderately hilly terrain. With sink holes and rocks galore and a great mix of shots. You are punished severely for not getting off the tee on this side especially.
-The par 3s and par 4s offer a range of difficulty, but the player needs to work and throw true shots to birdie any of them.
-Not a filler hole on the course.
-HH boasts three 9-hole loops that start and end at the house, allowing the player to replenish drinks or snacks frequently. The player can also choose any combination of 9s if he/she is short on time or energy.
-The course is well maintained. Both times I've been, the grass was freshly mowed and the tees in good condition.
-The atmosphere at HH is incredible and a big draw for me. Some of the most hospitable owners in disc golf. The first time I played the course, we showed up just after dawn and Jerry invited us into the house for coffee and told to go have a blast. The second time was just as hospitable with different folks.
-In addition to the hospitality, you get a good sense of solitude on the course. There is a road that splits the property that only a couple neighbors use and even on a great Indian summer day with the bluest skies in October, there were only 3 groups playing course.
Cons: -A couple of the par 4s can be tweeners. Although I welcomed the opportunity for birdies on this beast.
Other Thoughts: Favorite holes-3, 8, 10, 12, 15 on the front 18 and 3, 6, 7, 9 on the back 9.
-Hole 17 may be my favorite disc golf hole I've played. A tight straight tunnel shot through hickory trees over a sink hole 300 ft to a layup area, the down a short, steep rock lined hill to a basket in the open. Just an awesome signature hole.
This course reminds me a lot of Ozark Mtn in MO, but is just better suited to my ability.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Layout - Harmon Hills might be 1 to 27 the best pure disc golf course I've played to date. There are no filler holes, there isn't that one hole that you say just didn't feel right. It's the perfect disc golf puzzle where no one piece overshadows the rest and you don't see the beautiful picture of it all until it's complete.
It's set on a farm and the first 18 glide effortlessly through open rolling hills peppered with tree lines and rock bluffs.
It's the perfect blend of shots and everything I love about disc golf. The par 4's here are simply astounding and they come one right after another. You have short placement shots through gaps out to points to set your approach to that perfectly placed basket. You have huge bomb placement shots to be right in line with the gap in the dogleg. It's not overbearing or risky it's just fun with a challenge of your skill over distance.
Then you have the par 3's which make you move the disc while hitting gaps and considering the elevation. You earn 2's here the hard way.
Every hole is beautiful in its own way yet there isn't that one signature hole every other great course seems to have. It's not because this course doesn't have great holes it's because they all measure up to such a high standard none stands out. So what you don't throw off that giant hill or over that pristine lake this is disc golf at its purest form.
Then you have the back 9... forget everything I said about gentle rolling grass hills and peppered trees and welcome to thick tight defined lines that move up and down over a craggy terrain. As an NC guy this part of the course looks like a Charlotte nightmare.
While this part of the course trades in the open freedom and long bombs for technical sweat it out disc golf it didn't lose the length.
There's still 6 par 4's on this back 9 and each demands a shot placed in good position while you also hit that tight gap off the tee. Not to mention a slew of gullies to navigate around and over.
The par 3's here continue the trend of tight and forcing you to work the disc while also navigating short but quick elevation changes.
The back 9 is that perfect addition and change of pace for this course, it's only been in around a year but it's wearing in nice.
Equipment - Front 18 has rudimentary maps of the hole and distance. It's not great but it works. They do have concrete pads out here which is awesome considering the locale, they're grooved for grip in inclement weather.
Newer baskets on the entire course; Mach 3's on the front 18 and Discatchers on the back 9.
Atmosphere - The hospitality was great, even though I showed up pretty early in the morning I was greeted and gave the rundown of the course and told to have a grand ole time.
Again the farm is beautifully remote and don't forget private. If you want that secluded feeling in an amazing setting this is your place.
Cons: Layout - Some of the par 4's are tweeners with a second shot that isn't all that tough if your first was good.
There are some points that can be confusing if it's your first time, I was given the rundown and I found my way around just fine.
Equipment - The size of the pads is a bit small for my liking but they're level with the ground for the most part so this wasn't a big problem.
The back 9 doesn't have signs yet so I had to walk up the fairways on 4 of the holes to figure out where I was going.
Atmosphere - The last 9 has some debris still about and some areas that look like they used to also function as old school trash dumps. I'm sure over time this will be handled and I'm not going to rush them because the amount of upkeep on this place is astounding.
Other Thoughts: Instant Top 5 course in my book. Harmon Hills is everything I love about disc golf. I was told it was tough to break par, which is 99 and I left happily with my 95. I went 29, 31 and 35 and I played very well that day.
Go play this course, drive however far you need to drive to experience it. My only regret is that I couldn't make it there sooner and meet the man that started it all. So thank you to Jerry and thank you to Jack and the other people who continue to let this course grace our beautiful earth.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Starting off I like to let everyone know what Im personally looking for in a course. I love the scenic aspect of disc golf (this includes boulders, lakes, wildlife, and plantlife- I do study horticulture). With that being stated, I rate a course based on a combination of the scenic factor and the overall course aspects (this includes layout, fairway lines, divesity of holes, and amenities).
Harmon Hills stacks up amazingly both in the overall scenic factor and course aspect, rolling farmland with boulders scatter the perfectly designed 27 holes.
First off, Jerry Harmon was one of the nicest men I have ever had the pleasure to meet, my group of 10 hellraisers had never been to harmon before, and gladly he welcomed us in letting us chill in the clubhouse and camp on his beautiful property which has what I love on a DG course and thats..
Boulders.. Huge limestone boulders dot the fairways, line the teepads and make for very epic greens all throughout the course. Seems like they are more predominant on the front 9 and the wooded 9 across the road, which brings me to my next point..
THE BEST 9 HOLES I have yet to play anywhere! Labeled the 'death' 9 by the MAN himself, these collection of long tight wooded holes force you to play smart golf. Seems as if everyone of these holes placed a premium on landing your disc in the right landing zone, or your next upshot will leave you scratching your head
27 holes are always a plus, especially when you can incorporate 27 really good ones, there is seriously not a bad hole out here, and where all 3 9's start and finish very close to one another. If there ever was a private DG course that reminded you of playing ball golf in the woods, this is the place
Teepads are handcrafted concrete from the MAN himeself, all are plenty long and wide enough
Cons: Not in my backyard so I could help maintian the fairways. Many of the open bomb holes play through hay fields and if you dont catch it just right the grass will swallow an errant throw
Its not a stop on the PDGA tour, it defiantly could be
Other Thoughts: Im torn between Harmon Hills as my #1 or Sugaree in the mtns of NC as my #1.. Those two are the only courses I have given a 5 rating and I would strongly disagree with ANYONE who thinks they are not
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
One of the best!
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: First off- 27 holes
Most challenging course I have ever played!
Lines are clear but tough.
Alternate short basket on the first 18 holes.
Jerry Harmon is very good guy who's hospitality is second to none.
Tee signs and benches on the first 18 holes.
Course forces you to use every disc/shot in your bag.
holes 1-9 end at the clubhouse, holes 9-18 end at the clubhouse and you guessed it, holes 19-27 end at the clubhouse.
Camping area (donation)
Cons: Little intimidating to newer players but thats what the short basket locations are for.
Other Thoughts: Course is just awesome. This course has a par of 99 and it is a legit 99. Few holes are able to be reached in 2 and even fewer oppurtunities for an ace. The new 9 Jerry just built makes you play real golf. You have to hit your landing areas and play smart. Be patient and manage the course and their is alot of fun to be had. Try to rip and grip every hole and watch the score add up quickly. Harmon Hills is something special and if you have the chance its a must play!
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: i jus like everything bout this course.. you get a lil bit of everything here!!
Cons: dont really have any lol
Other Thoughts: def want to bring your A game here and be ables to sling a disc far.. some of the holes are very very long but in all the owners are very nice and welcome anyone..
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I frequently travel the Interstate 81corridor between Johnson City and Knoxville looking at the rolling hills and thinking about how many amazing a disc courses it could hold. So when I got a call to play a course near Jonesboro, I did not hesitate to join in. I had wanted to visit this course for a while and was eager to see it for myself in spite of the fact that I knew it was going to bruise my disc golf ego. Tales of monster holes with fairways tight enough to scare off Br'er Rabbit, throwing around a 40' deep sink hole (bottoming out in water cave) and very long approach shots had certainly peaked my curiosity. We played two rounds and I have to say it was the most fun I've had getting my butt kicked since High School. I would not recommend that you take a new player to this course as it plays to a par of 66 in 18 holes but if you can throw 300 out of a 20 foot wide fairway and can shape long approaches, you're going to have a blast.
Just to make it easier, I'll write the Pros as features and benefits…
The front and back 9 start and finish at the parking area - Makes it easy to reload on refreshment.
Good mix of open and wooded holes - It's nice to have some grip and rip Tee shots.
More open holes on the front - easier to get your game going in the right direction.
There is a balanced combination of left and right doglegs - adds to the challenge.
Rolling hills, rock gardens, sink holes, big old trees and nice rural views - visual candy.
None of the holes give you the 'it's all up hill' feeling….most play down - Tee shots are more fun.
Plenty of Tee shots where big arms can air it out - even if you can't do it, it's fun to watch someone go big.
A fair number of tight Tee shots - to help those of us with less distance to compete with the big arms.
It's a rural area - you won't see a lot of other groups and you'll feel like it's your private course.
Terrific signs on every hole - you know where to throw even if you can't see the target.
Easy to find your way around - no time wasted searching for the next hole.
Rough finished concrete Tee pads - good footing in all weather.
Nice pro baskets - hit them right and it stays in.
Lots of benches at the Tee Pads - great for bag stashes or taking a breather while your group throws.
Cons: There are none! This is a private course on amazing terrain. This trumps any of the few minor 'cons' that I could come up with.
Oh, actually there was a big one - I did not get to meet Jerry Harmon :) But I'll fix that soon when I return for another round!
Other Thoughts: I played Harmon Hills with a group that included three private course owner/builders from the North Carolina high country so the conversations tend to be about hole design, the flow of the course and optimum land use. Discussions about improving a tee position and comments like "I'd take out this tree'- "would not have cut this one' or moving this basket to some overlooked location are more frequent than those about disc selection or playing strategy. I say USUALLY because it was different at Harmon Hills. We were quickly drawn in to the rhythm of the course and it was obvious that the designer/builder intimately knew the land and took full advantage of it's unique features and terrain. It's an incredible layout on an amazing piece of land - there is not a bad hole in the mix and most are exceptional! Sure, I'd cut a tree or two to make a few holes more playable for the average golfer (like me) but then again, this is no average course.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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