Too much hillside, not enough variety
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great info available on site. Course map is posted, and there were lots of scorecards and pencils in the box beside the bulletin board. The course layout is almost exactly as indicated on the maps.
Lots of hill walking, if that's what you want. A few fun holes: I liked the 8th, and the severe blind downhill dogleg left of the 10th.
There's a different feel to the front and back nine, to limit the repetition somewhat. Front nine holes are primarily back and forth side hill. Back nine has a lot more down and then back uphill. And the holes are all short, which limits the potential for damage to the scorecard, or the heart on the uphill stretches.
Cons: Entire course set on the same hill. There aren't many imaginative options for hole design, and the result lacks inspiration.
Natural tee boxes were thin, and wet after a rain. There was no hope of even a controlled walkup into your drive, especially with the severe slope of the surrounding grassy areas.
Course opens with a tight chute between trees, with the basket set into the woods to the left. There's no way to aim your hyzer (for righties) to break at the correct moment, because there's no discernable gap to the basket. Just grip, hook, and hope.
The course opens up after that, but it's not an improvement. 2-7 are a mundane stretch of back and forth sidehill shots. The hillside is primarily open, with a few scattered trees, which become default basket locations. It seems almost silly to throw across 200+ feet of open space, only to be smacked around by basket-blocking branches. Even when the branches help your shot, the results are too arbitrary to take credit for.
The layout drops down the hill primarily by slotting each fairway below the previous. There are a few holes that reverse the process, but not enough to avoid a ridiculous short uphill ninth.
Four straight downhill holes to open the back nine. The drop was too severe to expect much control. 11-13 the basket is set up tight against the woods each time. It's easy to let the disc float too far.
The course ends with two more short, obscenely steep uphills. Much harder to aim, when the primary task is to keep your disc from crash-landing. Only 200 feet each hole, but all I wanted to do was reach the top. A very frustrating way to close out a round.
Other Thoughts: The open hillside can be deceptive, in terms of tracking throws. If you veer off the low-cut fairways, there's a good chance you'll lose a lot of time searching for your disc. The woods can be thick with thorns.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A cup of tea... just not mine.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Close to many amenities in the Morgantown, WV area... shopping, food, lodging, etc. Very easy to find at just a mile off of I68. The bathroom is inside the building at the parking lot. It was very nice, and warm in there. It was cool outside when I arrived, unlike the hot day mentioned in another review. So the warm facilities were appreciated. Beautiful scenery all around with awesome views of WV mountains!
Once I found tee #1, I actually found the course very easy to navigate, using the map, even my first time around. Without the map, both navigation and basket selection could be confusing. But both the map already posted on here and the map available at the course kiosk are very helpful.
The baskets are my favorite Innova Discatchers with the bright Yellow belts and numbers on each basket. There are basic tee signs at each tee that are far enough away so that they shouldn't interfere with your run-up. The crushed gravel tees are OK. They may be a little narrow, but overall they were fine for me. A couple were a little "rutty" but that could be fixed very easily.
I found the "limitations" of this piece of land to be what made the course so interesting. It plays both across and up & down a "bowl shaped" area. This course is an excellent cardio workout. I'd be in trouble in a tournament, though, as it took me longer than 30 seconds after getting to my drive on #9 to fully catch my breath and get composed.
I think it's awesome that on back to back, similar length holes #9-10, how incredibly different they have to be played. I had to throw a full power driver on the 189' #9 due to the extreme increase in elevation to even get close to the green. Throwing at this extreme uphill angle is not natural, or common, on the courses that I've played. Then on #10 I had to throw a <50% putter to keep from blowing 100' past the hole. #17 & #18 present a similar uphill challenge and #11 & #12 present a similar downhill challenge.
#2-8 and #13-16 all play across either totally, or mostly, open fairways, with the fairways cut out of deep grass. The holes, though, have shape and curves to them. I throw RHBH primarily and there are "forced" hyzers, anhyzers and totally straight shots. And elevation change, again, comes into play on most of them. If you just look at the pictures of the course, they can't possibly represent the overall feel of the holes completely.
#1 stands alone as the only truly "wooded" hole. And it's probably the most level, too. It's a nice little start to the course.
Birdie opportunities are available if you can accurately throw close to 300' and putt a little. But rollaways are also distinctly possible on many holes. So make sure your approaches are accurate.
Cons: Only about 2 trash cans on the course. Fortunately, it looked like most of the people playing there must be considerate as the course was very clean. And no benches other than at the kiosk at the top of the hill. After some of the hill climbs, a bench here or there would be a nice addition.
I love the elevation changes on the course, if you can't tell. But due to the lay of the land, the sequencing of the holes puts a lot of descending and ascending of the hills back to back. #10-12, for example, all play extremely downhill. Then #16, and #17-18 more extremely, gain back much of the elevation change all at once. This is nit-picking, I know. It would just be nice if the land would have allowed the elevation changes to be broken up a bit more.
Even though I like how the open fairways have been shaped, it seems that some wooded areas along some fairways could have been brought more into play. Although it looks like it would be a major undertaking to clear out the underbrush. Having a couple more wooded holes would help break up the feel of the course more, too.
The grass around the mowed fairways was pretty thick when I played, but seemed to be a little beaten down from several days of rain. Definitely focus on where your drives land because I can see this thick grass eating discs pretty easily. ***Don't throw green discs unless they're neon! ;-)
Other Thoughts: ****Update 8-10-13****
I moved my rating down from 3 to 2 for Dorseys after playing it again a couple weekends ago. The up and down, hillside nature of the course, with the fairways just cut into higher grass, that I found "interesting" earlier, was now really more of a let down than anything. The course seemed more repetitive and dull to me this time around. I rarely feel like walking off of a course without finishing, but I felt like it on this day... although I did finish the round.
Several pin locations had been moved, which would normally be a good thing. But I found some issues with the changes. First of all there were no maps at the kiosk so it took some looking around to make sure where I was throwing. Plus most of the signage is gone. So I was totally guessing at distances. Several of the tees were very rutty now and some were also holding standing water in the ruts. These simple maintenance issues really need to be addressed.
The worst thing about the new pin placements, though, was that they simply added length. On several holes, there is a single tree at the fairway... so the pins just got moved behind or under the trees. And on a couple others, they just got moved closer to the woods. Unfortunately, they didn't mow any more grass or clear any area around the new pins. So it simply created a much greater chance for losing discs. Holes #8, 10 and 13 in particular come to mind. They're blind tee shots, with two of them considerably dowhill, and the baskets are basically set right on the edge of the woods with thick undergrowth immediately past them. The new positions simply seem "gimmicky" and detracted from my enjoyment of the course. End of 2013 edit.*******
It was a relatively calm day when I played. But the wind did gust some. I can see wind being a big factor on this course at other times due to the bowl shape.
I was pleasantly surprised by Dorsey's Knob. Again, the pictures on here are very nice. But you just can't get a true sense for how steep the elevation changes are on several holes... or that there are elevation changes at all on some of the others.
#s 1, 8 & 12 are some of my favorites. #1, simply because it's a fun little, right turning, wooded hole. The only wooded hole on the course. #8 is just a "simple" hyzer, not too long, but protected by thick grass to the right and thick woods to the left. Plus this pin sits up high and is a distinct rollaway candidate... just ask gflap. And #12 is my favorite of the big down-hill throws. You're pretty much forced to throw low through an opening between trees. The basket sits off to the right and is guarded by the thick rough to the right, the thick woods to the left, and dense brush long.
Again, I was pleasantly surprised by Dorsey's, and really enjoyed it. It should be playable for most anyone willing to undertake the "hike" nature of the course. Beginners should be able to play it... and will quickly learn how far a disc will go downhill... and how far a disc won't go uphill. The length won't really test big arms at all, but shouldn't be too short to be enjoyable. I throw about 325' on level ground and had plenty of opportunities to air it out.
I wouldn't call Dorsey's a destination course. But if you're going to be in the area definitely hit the course. And if you're playing Seth Burton and Orange Crush in Fairmont, if you have a little extra time I would definitely recommend the short trip up the highway.
I can't believe I waited this long to mention it, but... I aced #13 on my first round. Maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much.
Lastly, I gave this course a 3.0, Good, rating. If 2.5 is typical, I found this course to be anything but typical, due to the unusual layout. I am not questioning the other ratings at all. I just really enjoyed the course. (And Swatso already called what my rating would be. You were right, buddy!)
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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