It's a Big One!
This 18 hole DISCatcher course is sprawled out in a sizable community park. The course has a mix of open and wooded holes with some elevation in play. I played this course as part of a disc golf road trip where I played 12 courses in 12 days. This was the only course I played in the state of Virginia.
I used bullet points for those that don't want to read the entire review.
This course winds through some open areas of the park, but also plays through some lightly wooded areas. The gently rolling terrain also provides some shots with elevation. Although there were some blind holes, it was a pretty straightforward design. There were no random trees in the fairways to frustrate advanced players. Big arm players should enjoy this course as there are plenty of opportunities to go for big distance.
Each hole had two fully developed concrete tees. The longer Blue tees had professional tee signs with full color graphics. The Blue and White tees had blue or white paint patches on the back corners to denote which tee. Only one or two Blue tees had benches. Only a few tees had trash cans, but there are plenty of trash cans located throughout the long walk.
All 18 in a row
Once you tee off on Hole 1, you do not make your way back to the parking lot until the end of the round. It is a long hike and it took nearly 2 1/2 hours to play this course on my own. Partially because of some backtracking, but mostly because it is a very long walk even if you stay on course.
Overall, the course was in good shape. Most of the tee signs were in good shape and free of graffiti. Only a few of the DISCatcher target bands had stickers or Sharpie signatures from players that got aces. The wooded fairways were a bit shaggy in the rough areas and could use a little trimming. Overall, a very clean course.
Kids and Strollers
You can absolutely bring kids, carts and strollers. There are a couple of rough patches with some roots and a small creek on Hole 15 to navigate. The course is a fairly easy walk, but it is a long walk. This will wear out the kids if they walk or play along. Probably only older kids will have enough attention span or energy to play all 18. There You don't get back to the main parking area until after you play Hole 18.
I played on a rainy weekday afternoon and had the entire park to myself. However, I can see how some holes would easily become unplayable on a busy weekend or if there are other events in the park. I played in the rain after it had been raining in the area all day. I was surprised how well the course played in such conditions. Most tees drained properly and there was very little standing water. I was unable to fully play Hole 15 as there was water on the tees and fairway from the creek.
It would be pretty tough to lose a disc on this course. There are a couple of rough areas off the fairway that could make it tough to find a disc. It could be possible to lose track of a drive on some of the blind holes, but that would be some terrible luck.
There are restrooms near the parking lot and near the shelter at Hole 10.
There was a lot of (unnecessary) walking. Even though I had a map and there are accurate tee signs, it was hard to navigate at times and I was forced to backtrack and wander about looking for the next tee.
Sad to say, but this was one of the least memorable courses I have played. This was just an ordinary disc golf course in an ordinary city park.
I don't mind one or two, but it is bothersome when you are playing a course for the first time and have no idea where the target it located. The problem was compounded by the size of this course. I simply didn't have the motivation to add more walking to see where the pins were located.
Apple Blossom Festival
Pros: Two concrete tees with good signage and a Discatcher basket for each hole. Very nice variety of open and wooded holes in city park setting. Great use of the available elevation providing some fast greens and diversity of fun and tough holes playing up and downhill as well as flat. Good mix of pars and distances from ace run islands to some decent multi-shot holes mixed in. There is some navigational signage to help in spots and benches.
Cons: Beware of other park users in the fairways and festivals may temporary close the course like the Apple Blossom festival where I got chased off the course by security my first attempt playing here and there was no signs anywhere saying the course was closed. Trash and bottles on the course. Poison ivy and underbrush control is not the best here. Only one big 18 hole loop back to parking main lot. Course is not in own separate disc golf only area of park.
Other Thoughts: As the review title suggests, the Jim Barnett Park is host to the Apple Blossom Festival in the spring which is a pretty time to visit, but not to play. Being from the DC area I'm more familiar with the Cherry Blossom Festival downtown, and so the Apple Blossom Festival was something I'd never heard of before and those dates don't match up either and can change each year. It is best that the course is closed during this festival because the course plays through shared park space and there would be some issues. I came back park another day and this is a very good course overall, not quite destination worthy, but if you are in the area should be enjoyable for most players.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Not what I was hoping for
Pros: Will challenge most player.
Has a couple of big arm holes, as well as some for those whom play with a bit more finess.
Multiple tee pads
Good signage - even when you need to make a longer walk between holes. Signs have accurate information
Cons: While signs are accurate - cannot see the pins from majority of tee pads. Flora and fauna cause sight line issues. DiscCraft baskets have a yellow ring up top - perhaps a red one might be better. Maybe flags above baskets for those holes that are down and away
Course upkeep - some holes are well maintained (6, 7, 10-13, 16) while others looked horrible (5, 8, 9, 17) - to much debris or undergrowth.
Some holes make no sense - the ending hole should a memorable one - the design is just all wrong. Completely blind off tee pad. Down hill tee shot, back up narrow lane, basket can't be seen until the other hill is reached, and then your still hammered by over growth.
#6 is artificially designed as an ace run (cute- but not needed)
Other Thoughts: Heard about this course while playing Rockland earlier this year. Made the trip out, and 4 of us played the course.
It took 3 hours. Yes we had some errant throws (we all do) but a skip off a tree shouldn't be hole killing shot.
Played from the Blues - (75-76-78-84) I shot the 75.
If out this way again, may give it another shot, but would not make special trip.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Fun and challenging course!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Jim Barnett park is a very large park in the heart of Winchester VA. The whole park is well maintained, and full of activities.
The disc golf course is a pleasant mix of open and wooded holes. It offers a fair variety of challenges, from obstacles to island greens to elevation change. i found the pseudo island green (number 6 I think?) to be quite fun, and there is plenty of opportunity to air out your drives.
I very much enjoyed this course. It has a good mix of challenges. It doesn't favor technical play or wide open bombing, but rather having a complete game.
Cons: Being a newcomer to the course I found navigation to be a bit tricky at times. There are a few holes that have longer walks to get to, and sometimes aren't marked extremely clearly. That said I didn't get lost, just had to backtrack once or twice.
It has been a wet winter in this area, and as such the course of as very muddy in a lot of spots, and even submerged in one area. It's nothing that made it unplayable, and it may well dry out in the warmer months.
Not a lot of cons really.
Other Thoughts: I like this course quite a bit. I work very close to it now, and look forward to the after work rounds. The local club seems to do a good job with upkeep, and it's a clean course that is a lot of fun to play. The group of friends I played with ranged from playing for a couple weeks to playing a couple years, and we were all challenged and had a great time.
If you are in the area, it is worth getting a round in!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
- Good variety of Field and wooded holes.
- Wooded holes utilize clever shots and windows; not just a bunch of random trees in the middle of the fairway.
- Open holes encourage specific lines and strategy; not just a basket in a field.
- Many par 4s and 5s, (subjective, but I see this as a pro)
- Course utilizes a variety of shot type, especially a nice S curve. It constantly put my hyzer flip to the test.
- Good use of elevation and landscape.
- Helpful and detailed tee signs.
- Beautiful landscape.
- Generally good, concrete, tee pads. Many tees have benches or tree stumps as well.
- Many holes really let you rip the disc; Something most courses don't let you do enough in my opinion. Even the wooded holes ask for some mustard.
- Par info makes some of the short tees ridiculously easy.
- Pedestrians on course, though most of them seem to know what's up and will get out of your way when they see you.
- Hole 17 pro tee pad is a swamp.
- Course flow was tough to follow at first, but most baskets show the direction to the next hole, and there are signs guiding you on the longer walks.
Many holes appear to be easy birdies or even eagles, but there is a steep hill behind the basket. Not noticing this or failing to adjust will land you in some really unforgiving rough.
All in all, this course is just short of perfect in my book. There wasn't a tee shot, short or long, that I didn't like. I plan on attending as many tournaments as possible at this park.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Beautiful Park
-Nice variety of holes
-Easy to read signs with two tee pads
Cons: -Flow of the course can be difficult but the next tee signs on the baskets helped alot.
-A couple tees were muddy and somewhat covered.
Other Thoughts: I was in town for the day so stopped by and put a game in. Overall great course and would love to play it again. There are not really any cons unless you are just that picky over little things. If you love disc golf and like to have fun or looking for a challenge then you will like it here.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
like the course dont like the upkeep
Pros: Fun course to play at. Makes for a good hour to hour and half play. Good mix of short and long holes.
Cons: You run the risk of hitting someone with a disc. Its in the middle of the public area where people could be anywhere and you might not necessarily see them. The grass on holes 5, 8, and 13 needs mowed always. I and people I know have lost discs in the middle of fields because the grass is so high on some holes. And there's usually litter at every hole. Not a lot but just enough to wonder what the park and rec people actually do.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course. I live right down the street from Jim Barnett park. I play here all week long and do enjoy every round I play there. But something has to be done about about the upkeep of the grass on some of the holes. It would be a lot better if there wasn't the chance of losing a disc in the middle of a field (which happened to me the other day).
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Has all the fix ins on a good course
Pros: In terms of amenities this course has it all. Two concrete teepads, benches, signs to next hole, tee signs with distances from short/long, trash cans. Course is situated in a nice clean city park. Course itself flows nicely from hole to hole. Equal number of shots for lefty's and righty's. Uses what elevation it has in grand fashion on a small handful of holes.
Cons: About 3 holes from the longs/blues are poke and pray holes with no professional route or fairway available. Really that might be the biggest knock about this course. I played it several times from both tee pad locations and those holes were very frustrating considering how fair the other holes were. I would guess the city park probably prevents these trees from coming down? Several of the holes do play close to shelters and park grills. I would bet some of these holes do have poor drainage.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed my rounds at Jim Barnett park overall but didn't leave with a passionate desire to come back in the near future. Besides maybe 6-8 holes the rest don't have a ton of character and play kind of eh. I would be very happy if this was my local course with all the great amenities and to get some good practice in but I wouldn't stop in or go out of my way to play here unless it really was easy to pull off.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Jim Barnett is a great park in general. The course for the most part is isolated from other park goers
- great mix of open and narrow wooded holes
- signs are awesome, there are regular and pro tees that both offer different experiences
- easily navigable, with arrows pointing to where the next basket is
- lots of parking
Cons: - can sometimes run into other park goers, but very rarely
- poor drainage, this place can get soggy and muddy after the sprinklers turn on or on a rainy day. Even a full day of sun sometimes does not dry the sloshiness of the course at times.
- easier to lose your disc here vs Sherando Park (the other local course), keep your eyes peeled
Other Thoughts: The highlight of this course is hole 13, a "top of the world" type hole. I mostly play the regular tees on this course, but on this hole I play the pro tee because its so much fun to watch your disc glide down into the "stone henge" surrounded basket. Be careful not to lose your disc on the following holes:
Hole 7: on your left is the freeway and massive amounts of shrubbery, so try to avoid a shot that curves too much to the left.
-NOTE: in the pictures, I believe he lists hole 7 as "hole 6". Hole 7 is the photo with the telephone/electricity poles to the left
Hole 13: if you accidentally throw your shot too far to the right, you risk losing the disc in those parts of the woods as its full of thick bushes. Other than that, this course is awesome and may be my 2nd favorite course I've ever played (I've played 9 courses total up to this point).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Nice course in a park
Pros: -A very beautiful park
-A good mix of wooded and open holes
-All the holes have a novice and advanced teepad
-No cost to play
Cons: -The largest criticism I have with the course is that it is in a park and a couple of the holes are designed around picnic shelters as well as a playground or two. Hole 8 has been rendered unplayable at times due to people cooking out on the teepad as well as tying up their animals on the fairway.
Other Thoughts: It can be hard to gauge when the park will be busy and when it won't be. Weekends are the worst but there are sporting events throughout the week that can make it busy. Weekdays seem to be the best if possible.
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