This course is at the top of my list
6 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.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course has everything. Open holes, wooded holes, wooded then open then wooded again holes, great elevation change, and I could go on and on. This course is challenging and super fun to play. It is very well kept up and manicured. You cant ask for much more in a disc golf course really. The people who work on the course and who own the property are top notch people. Great down home Tennesseans with southern hospitality. If you live close to this course or for some reason are driving somewhere close to it, you have to stop and play this emaculate course. Disc golf at its finest!
Cons: I really dont have any to tell you the truth.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
14 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.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 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
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
One of the Best Courses Anywhere
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Harmon Hills is amazing setting for disc golf on private hilly east TN farmland. The owners are extremely nice and don't mind having people come play, in fact they seemed to enjoy having people play it. It seems you could play most anytime, but I would always call first just to be sure. There was plenty of room for several cars to park near tee #1 or near tee #10 which on just on either side of the house.
Tees- I was really impressed with the sufficiently sized concrete tees with traction grooves- a rarity for private courses.
Baskets- The original 18 has Mach baskets with flags, and the newer 9 across the road has Discatchers. Several holes on the first 18 also had a shorter basket, optional to play to and they make a good fairway marker of where you want to aim for on your drive.
Signs- 18 basic but effective tee signs posted on trees (new 9 does not have them yet).
Extras- Navigation is a breeze for first timers (with two minor exceptions- see other~). Each 9 begins and ends at the house/parking area. There were benches on almost every hole (I think the first 18 all had benches).
*This is a PRIVATE course that had the features you would expect on a great public course- it exceeded my expectations immensely.
All that stuff above is great, but the course is even better. There is a lot of variety- holes of all lengths, and mostly longer than your typical course (legit par 4's or at least several holes will 4 is a good score.) The hills are up, down, and sideways and some holes are flat; fairways go left right, straight; and many holes are often a mixture and combination of several of those things. I like the even variety of some open, and lots of wooded holes of varying densities, some holes involve both a section of open and wooded. The rocky terrain in several spots adds a nice visual element as well as something else to avoid hitting with your disc. Lots of sink holes, depressions, ravines- nothing dangerous and you can still get your disc, just something that forces a better shot. There is absolutely no repetition- a spectacular and well-though out design.
Most holes don't play like your standard par 3. Not just by length, but by requiring careful placement of one shot in order to set up your next shot. Sometimes a shorter shot is the better play to get a better angle or to avoid one of the deep valleys. Not many courses out there have this style of play (Idlewild, Leviathan come to mind). Each hole at Harmon is challenging, but not impossible or frustrating. Holes are playable by most anyone with a little experience and the proper mind set that 4 (or 5) is not a bad score. There were very few places to lose discs, the size of fairways and landing areas are totally reasonable, just keep an eye on errant shots carefully.
The dog was so cool and friendly, he played the entire first 18 with us, and most of the time he would be waiting on the next tee for us (helping in navigation!) He never barked and never got in the way.
Clubhouse/lounge was pretty nice with a grill, tables, ping pong, foos ball, couches, tv, fireplace- Probably not something you would use in a casual round, but I am sure this makes tournaments that much better.
Cons: A few small things: No major signature holes in my mind that stand out above the rest as being totally unique and memorable- a result of all holes were equally good and challenging, and no hole was a filler.
We caught the course in pristine conditions as they had a big tourney coming in a couple of days. I do wonder if they are able keep up the fight with nature in the summertime- that would be a big job, and you might have the chance to catch it on a bad day (call ahead for conditions) if it has not been mowed in a while.
The first 18 is absolutely terrific. The newer additional 9 has a different feel to it (like a technical woods course on steroids). These 9 are all similar in style and a little repetitive, plus they are newer and have not had time to break in yet, so not quite up to the level of the first 18. If you only have time for 18 or are just too tired, you could skip these 9 and not miss too much.
No water (just not here, kind of like Flip City). Unless you count the small above ground swimming pool behind #18's basket! This also made this basket seem out of place from the others as it was basically in the family's back yard.
Other Thoughts: This a very solid course, that will challenge anybody, but is still fun, and could be played and enjoyed over and over again. An amazing private course that is definitely worth coming out to play. For me it lies somewhere between a 4.5 and 5.0. Does not yet quite have the mystique and aura of my 5.0's like Flip, Flyboy, Idlewild, IDGC Jackson, but it is very close to it (more like Holler in the Hills and Bud Hill and IDGC Ed).
I did not see a pay box, but we just handed some money to the misses. (Highly recommended to donate a little because it is obvious how much work they put into this course.)
~Navigational issues- We played to #5's basket from #4 tee by accident- #4 is straight ahead up the hill. On the new nine, after hole #7 follow the small rocky ledge for a few feet to the right to get to the path for #8 tee.
FYI- #1 tee to the left of the house, #10 to the right by the wooden shed, #19 across the road behind the rubber tire practice basket.
I totally agree with swatso's and DSCJNKY's assessments. Please read those well-written reviews for more good info. And then make plans to come play possibly the best course in TN and one of the best anywhere.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
One of the best!
8 Helpful / 2 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 10 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.
13 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.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The owner is really nice and told us we didn't even have to pay to play but we gave him money for maintenance. Perfect variety of open and wooded holes. Great length range. Difficult yet not frusterating (this is really important to me). Super scenic. Probably my favorite course I have played.
Cons: Not much maybe some trashcans along the way and it wasn't mowed in some places (which is completely understandable).
Other Thoughts: Super memorable holes: 1,3,4,5,10,12, and 16 all stand out in my memory. Very secluded and just a great course.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Wonderful Terrain + Great Design = Fantastic Course
Nitpicks - couple missing signs, tees could be longer, basket-18 near children's play areas
The many gently-rolling hills and valleys, open space defined by lines of trees and scattered sections of woods combine to create a terrain seemingly custom-made for a great disc golf course.
There is so much variety on this course:
* Length: from 177' to 606', you'll have both grip-n-rip and touch-shot opportunities from the tee. ~2/3rds of the holes are over 350'
* Elevation: pretty much every combination you can think of - flat, up, down, across, up-n-over, undulating, very evenly distributed
* Tightness - degree: from quite to wide-open, more fair/open than tight
* Tightness - location: entire length, early,late, midpoint, combinations, typically only for a small portion of the length of the hole.
* Turns - none, left, rights, S - very even blend. #13 is a left-turning J-shape/fishhook!
* Management - about 1/3rd of the holes require a very-accurately placed first shot to provide a reasonable approach for the second shot - too short/long/left/right on these holes, and you'll be scrambling for a bogey.
Two nine-hole clockwise-loops starting/ending near house - tee-1/basket-9 to left of house, tee-10/basket-18 to right of house. The course, even without a map, was easy to navigate, and the family dog joined, and sometimes led, us on our round.
The front nine has a second set of shorter-located, non-uniform baskets. These can sometimes be useful when playing to the standard baskets, as on both #3&4, throwing towards the short basket, then turing 30-degrees to the left upon reaching it, is probably the best line to take
Favourite hole: - many to choose from
* Number-1 requires a sweeping, down-slope right-turner through a midpoint treeline-gap to reach basket-1, framed by impressive large stones
* Number-3 requires a straight throw to exit some woods, cross open space, needing to then fade left into another portion of woods, basket tucked behind a small, tree-populated rise.
* Number-12 exits straight out of woods from an elevated position, across open space, then a sharp right after entering the next section of woods.
* Number-17 requires a long, straight, throw through a smattering of trees on slightly downwardly-sloping land. From there, need to quickly get up-n-over a tree-filled rise then fade a bit left to find the basket to the right of a large tree
This course is a joy to play, and is well worth making the effort to visit - give Jerry a call if you're going to be anywhere near the area.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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