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.
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.
0 Helpful / 17 Not
Pros: gorgeous terrain, lots of woods but plenty of space to work the disc, and the guy that lives on the property was so nice. Excellent outing!
Cons: the rocks in the fairways damage your disc but they make this course unique in its appearance
0 of 17 people found this review helpful.
This course is at the top of my list
14 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.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 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.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 1 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.
20 of 21 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 Courses Anywhere
14 Helpful / 1 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.
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.
We caught the course in pristine conditions as they had a big tourney coming in a couple of days. I wondered if they were able keep up the fight with nature in the summertime- that would be a big job, (but it appears from the many positive reviews since I played that the course is consistently in great shape.)
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.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
One of the best!
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.
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