7 Helpful / 0 Not
Well cared for
Pros: Excellent tee and direction signs, large, grippy tee pads, ubiquitous benches, water, and garbage cans, quality baskets, convenient parking, and central location in Winchester make this course an enjoyable outing. The newly expanded, 18-hole layout improves the course tremendously. Each hole has clearly marked pro and am tees which provide significantly different levels of difficulty. The flow, aided by good signage, is pretty good, though it's a single-loop course with some long walks. And the park is very well mowed and kept. Woods with thick underbrush are available if you really have no control, but the places you're disc will probably land are pretty well thinned out.
The course winds through a manicured and heavily used multi-function park (with lots and lots of facilities). The most unique part of this course is that although I had to throw past 12 parties, volleyball, horseshoes, model car races, playgrounds, and more, the holes are laid out so that no one was in direct danger from my throws. That's pretty impressive.
Cons: There are long (though mostly well marked) walks between holes, and a few sketchy throws around the many, many people and facilities. The course hosts lots of poison ivy, one (otherwise-nice) shot across a paved road, and a fair amount of debris on the tee pads. Distance is a challenge on a few holes, but apart from that, the shots in general aren't demanding. A few fairways are sort-of tight, but they require no technical expertise apart from moderate accuracy. There is no real danger (to your disc - pedestrians are occasionally in danger). Risk-reward decisions are lacking, recoveries are easy, and you can play the whole course with a basic, straight, RHBH throw. Also, the new number 6 is a bit gimmicky and its basket is too high. I guess that was a necessary evil of expanding the course; they had to cram one more, short hole in and make it as interesting as possible.
I recently played this course in the rain; both of #17's tees were under more than a foot of water.
Other Thoughts: Several fairways - particularly #18 - provide no possible path to the pin on your drive. Some people find this objectionable,so I thought I'd mention it.
Hole #15, for some reason, is not as well marked as the rest of the course. You get to it by walking around the brick wall, not up the rocky path, and after #15, go up the steep hill to the left of the pavement.
Lastly, hole #1 is in the back-middle of the park, across the parking lot from the main pool building.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
New holes + New Layout = A Worthy Course
Pros: All holes have white (novice) and blue (advanced) concrete tees with good grip on them.
Good mixture of course features. First portion of the course is made up of the original 1st 9 that have been there for awhile plus the new ones. There has been some reconfiguration with the new integrated 9, so if you have played before prepare for some changes.
There are a few holes worth mentioning. The first is hole 6 which is a faux water hazard course. If you land outside of the ring off the tee then you automatically get a stroke and will have to throw from the alternate pad. This is more of a skill shot. The other one I really liked is hole number 13. It is a nice long downhill shot over the road and into the woods. This hole could be done in one with a really really good well placed shot but that is unlikely. I have managed to deuce it a few times. The pin stands behind a row of boulders so that normally stops you but if you have a good arm and good driver... well you can really sail on this one. A fantastic hole to air out your driver!
All in all a very good but very technical course. The nearby Sherando course is also good if you want fun but not too technical.
Officially kicks the crap out of Sherando at this point. PDGA needs to get over here and make it official as this is one of the best courses I have ever played.
Cons: Be prepared for a walk and follow the arrows toward the next holes, they are in that direction, really I promise.
Sometimes you may have to walk a bit along forest paths, around large obstacles, or up the big sledding hill (follow the white arrows on the ground).
Other Thoughts: There are several places that are very marshy, bring shoes that you don't mind getting muddy. Hopefully this will get better as we get into the drier summer days.
Leave yourself a good amount of time to find the holes the first time you play it through. You can also make a day of it and play a first round of 18 from the novice pads and then a second round of 18 after lunch from the advanced pads. Two completely different experiences.
One more thought that needs mentioning. May 1st was Weekend in the park event with thousands of people. I highly recommend that you avoid the course when there is a large event going on as we had to dodge cars at some places and the first hole was completely unplayable because of all the cars in the way.
There is adequate trash cans and restroom facilities throughout the course but I always carry a trashbag to help keep the mess down and pickup the trash that others leave.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
9 more holes
Pros: Good mix of tight wooded holes with open field shots. The white and blue tee pads offer different shots at each hole. The course flows much better with the new holes. Hole 18(previously hole 9) from longs is the equalizer hardest hole I have ever played. Great long course with a great variety of shots. New holes are a great extension on the previous 9.
Cons: There are not signs for the new holes yet. There is always trash to pick up. Some areas of the park hold water and is almost like a swamp through the winter or when it rains.
Other Thoughts: The course added 9 more holes, 2 tee pads each and one basket. Hole 6 a green island will be built up throwout the year. 1-5 stayed the same 6 added, old 6 becomes 7 holes 8-15 added old 7-9 becomes 16-18. When it is nice out watch out for people
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Itís Always The Little Ones That Get You
Excellent long, wide, and grippy concrete tees at both the long and short positions. Fantastic colour signs at the long tees showing the location of the short tee, baskets, and both distances. Next-tee signs on top of baskets. Just off I81, near many amenities. For something different and if you have the time, checkout the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema just off exit 310 for a unique experience.
Hole-6 breaks both the flow and concept of the course. A good deal of trash in the woods.
Except for number-6, the course plays along the wooded slope in the midst of a large, multi-purpose park. The trees on the slope vary from quite large, i.e., you'll be throwing beneath their branches, to quite small - and it is these little ones that always manage to keep any particular line to the basket from being perfectly clear. With a few exceptions, holes are relatively short, so the emphasis is control, vice power. The straightest line will typically be the narrowest line, but there are too many trees to simply swing wide - subtle S-shaped shots will definitely be required as you experiment with which line is best suited to your abilities. Several baskets are located near/on slopes to add to the challenge.
From basket-5, a right turn will lead you to ... tee-7. To find tee-6, turn about 45-degrees to the left, cross the road, and head for I81. After you find the tee, look right - basket-6 is several hundred feet away, with I81 on your left and the driveway leading to the pavilion and shelter on your right. After completing the hole, hopefully having avoided the pavilion and any parked cars, re-trace your steps back across the parking lot to find tee-7
Good course, and another nine holes of equal quality would certainly make it even better. Looking at the current online map, it appears as if some of the holes will be re-numbered and current-6 will be better incorporated into the flow.
Update 12/31/11: Now has 18=holes, with the excellent teepads and signage continued on the newer nine (6, 9-17). The newer holes are more open but longer than the original nine, providing a nice spectrum of hole types.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Lots of Excitement for a 9-holer!
Pros: - To start off, the teepads and signage are heavenly. Great grip and size. Dual tees are provided to placate both recreational players as well as more experienced ones.
- Absolutely stunning in the autumn season. I'm no stranger to fall foliage, but the colors in the nearby trees is great. I can imagine this place getting ridiculously crowded around the pool in the summer months, however.
- Most of the holes play in the wooded section of the park, which I enjoyed. Technical challenges require threading rows of trees and some baskets are well-guarded. However, there are one or two holes that are more open and #6 gives you a chance to really bomb your disc.
- Very well-maintained and already has the sign of being slightly broken-in despite its youth.
- LOVE those "next tee" metal placards that are on each basket. Definitely gets the award for best "next tee" marker out of all the courses I've visited!
Cons: - A lot of people were walking their dogs and jogging here when I was playing. Not sure if that's common, but make sure to watch out for other park patrons while you're driving. The several blind drives (notably 3,5, and 9) make this even more imperative.
- Some holes play close to the road
- Only 9 holes--which I know isn't a fair criticism, but this course really leaves you craving for more!
- I'd like to see another hole or two be situated in the open fields for more balance in terms of terrain and shot variety.
Other Thoughts: Hole for hole, I think this course is actually better than the nearby Sherando due to a more technical challenge, longer distances to the basket, and a topographic endowment that makes for some steep drops. There's no doubt that this would get a solid 4-disc rating if it could be expanded to 18.
Regardless, it's a great companion to Sherando and a fantastic place to work on your technical game. Definitively one of the better 9-holes I've ever played!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice course in a very nice park
Pros: * Course is located in a nice city park with many activities; fitness trail, indoor or outdoor pools, tennis, basketball, horseshoes, and miniature golf. There is also a fitness room and a racquetball court. Many picnic areas - and rest room facilities
* Two (long and short) excellent, large concrete tee pads at each hole - many of the longer tees do not just add length but require a different path to the basket.
* Very nice hole sign located at the long tees
* Distance from short tees marked on some of the short tee pads
* The park, including the disc golf area is very well maintained.
* New baskets with signs indicating the direction to the next tee box.
* A variety of semi-wooded holes may offer a challenge for the veteran player while not being too frustrating for a new player. Very little underbrush to speak of through the woods - a little on holes 8 and 9.
* Located within minutes of a large number of eateries, shopping and entertainment opportunities - Right off of Interstate 81.
* Only slight elevation changes throughout the course
* Nice distances on the holes, giving you the opportunity to try technical shots
* Large course layout sign at the beginning of the course near the swimming pool parking lot.
Cons: * Not many negatives to speak of
* While there is not a great deal of distance between basket and next tee, the flow of the course is broken from hole 5 to hole 6. You must cross over the road and down to your left past the pavilion.
* Only one very open hole to air out your driver.
* The day we played there was not many park users but you can see where people using other areas of the park may come into play.
Other Thoughts: Had the opportunity to play here while passing through Winchester. Wish it was closer than the 90 minutes. We stopped in Winchester to eat and shop on our way through. Will certainly head this direction in the future because of this park. Set in a beautiful city park that offers many activities for the family you could certainly make a day for your family hear. Should be great when they open up the additional nine holes. Is not to strenuous a trek through the woods with hole 8 playing slightly up hill and then a little climb up to the tee pad for hole 9. Also, not much poison ivy on this course like many I have seen in the MD, PA, WV, VA area. Course was filled with many, many squirrels and my wife almost took one out. Can't wait to get back here in the future!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Picture Perfect Park Course
Pros: Teepads, signs, park landscape, upkeep
Other Thoughts: The disc golf course at Jim Barnett Park has most of the factors necessary for an exemplary disc golf experience. The course features excellent tee pads, both pro and am (but labled advanced and novice), and perfect signage. The landscape is a well maintained park, and the course winds around the other facilities but does not dangerously overlap with the playgrounds and picnic areas. As a result, the course plays a bit in the open, a bit in the woods, and even has a couple holes that transition from one to the other. Lots of clearing has been done on the holes that do play into the woods, and so no hole is even close to unfair, or even really tight by the standards of Mid-Atlantic woods holes. Finally, while there are no uphill grinds or downhill chucks, elevation does factor into a few holes, and challenging basket placements on the edge of declines make for a tight putting game.
Unfortunately, for now at least the course is only nine holes, and except for #9 maybe, is not particularly long. The "advanced" tees do serve to add length, in some cases a good deal of length. It's also one of those courses where you think "wow that was a pretty decent hole," on most every hole, but none could really be called "signature." If Jim Barnett is a finished product, then it's still a terrific addition to the strong and varied array of courses that travelers can now hit along Virginia's I-81 corridor, and since it already has two perfect sets of tees I'm sure makes a solid locals course. If it's a work in progress though, and adds nine more equally good holes, or even better creates a back nine with more length, then Jim Barnett will be one of the finer courses in the Old Dominion.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A good course with more to come
Pros: Wide concrete teepads are nice (wish they were a half step longer, but I'm greedy like that). Multiple teepads per hole. In most instances the short tees are slightly offset from the long tees so it's not just a shorter course, but there is actually a different look at each hole offering new lines and closing some old ones.
There are signs on each basket guiding you to the next hole. Some of them don't seem to be as accurate as they could be, but if you glance at the course layout prior to starting you should have no difficulties finding the next hole.
The course is brand new as is all of the equipment, so everything is in great shape at this point. Parking is ample and is right next to the first hole.
Cons: The park is heavily used on weekends and there are just a few too many amenities too near the course. Most of the actual playgrounds are a safe distance beyond baskets meaning you would have to really over-cook a throw to hit someone, but there are a few shelters and volleyball courts next to fairways leaving plenty of potential to hit someone on a throw that isn't even that bad. Some of the shelters have paths connecting them across fairways and people tend to wander through the middle of the fairway without realizing they could be in danger.
Other Thoughts: This is an 18 hole course in the making. There are already plans for the next nine and I'll come back to rerate this once the final nine is put in, but I thought the course deserved some attention in the meantime since they've done such a nice job with it so far. You finish where you started which is nice right now, but once the final nine is put in there will be quite a hike back to where you started.
Right now the flow is pretty good with the small exception of hole six which is segregated from the rest of the holes by being on the other side of the road, but it's a short walk that doesn't greatly interrupt the flow of play. There are a few holes with sizable slopes near the basket which makes for some interesting choices in going for a putt or laying up to prevent the 30' uphill putt on the comeback if you miss. There is a reasonable amount of variety in terms of right and left shaping holes, so the course shouldn't favor a particular type of throw over another. The rough can be brutal in a few places, but the worst areas are visible from the tee and should be fairly easy to avoid barring a risky line or a horrible ricochet.
It's more of a technical course than anything else with only one bomber hole right now (possibly two if you want to try your luck on the first hole). There isn't any one factor that stands out for me, but it's a solid course on the whole leaving me patiently waiting for the completion of the final nine.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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