12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Huge improvement on the old layout. Finally got to play it today and the course is much better than it was, most if not all pedestrian interference has been eliminated. Nice new Innova baskets and concrete teepads -- improved over the old baskets and dirt teepads. The new wooded holes play through a beautiful wooded area with large trees & magnolia trees. Great bridges built throughout the course area during the recent renovation. This is a fun course to play.
Cons: The biggest con is the lack of fairways on several of the wooded holes (9,12 & 13) -- these holes don't have valid routes and could really use a chainsaw. Overall the course is very short and lacks challenge, even from the long tees -- I only threw my distance driver (wraith) one time in the entire course.
The configuration is awkward (due to the park's constraints, not the design) ... and there is still unfortunately a very long walk between 16 & 17.
Other Thoughts: The design is a massive improvement over the level it had deteriorated to in recent years, so kudos to Keith Johnson and everyone else responsible.
As an open level player, I found this course seemed short / not very challenging. It will appeal much more to beginner/intermediate level players than advanced/open level.
Worth playing if you are in the Alpharetta area, but not a must play course -- this course is not among the top 5 courses in the Atlanta area.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Fantastic new layout. Begins next to the tennis courts and FINALLY has a practice basket. All baskets are brand new discatchers and all holes now have concrete pads. Great job handing the mud by putting gravel and mulch where it was needed. Cleared out alot of the brush and thorn bushes. The newly added holes (12-15) are good woods holes that are challenging and require a variety of different throws. Good tee Shots on most of the holes can lead to birdie opportunities.
Cons: Still alot of mud and I wish they had worked around having to make the long walkbetween 16 and 17. some of the bridges are just wooden planks and are wobbly. Very busy park so you may need to wait for people to pass before teeing off on some holes. Bad Tee shots can lead to high scores
Other Thoughts: Overall, this is one of my top courses. You need many different throws to be able to master this course, which adds a higher challenge. I live within 5 miles of East Roswell (Annual Atlanta Open Host), Wills Park, and Sequoyah Park....Wills Park is now my Home Course.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Born Again DG Course!
Pros: The Godfather of Wills Park DG - Keith Johnson has put in hundreds of man-hours redesigning, constructing and maintaining the course. Since the new layout and concrete tee pads were installed in December, this course gets better every day. KJ should get a Nobel Prize for DG.
Location - in the heart of Alpharetta.
Well thought-out layout and flow. Still a long walk from #16 to 17 but they wanted to keep #18 part of the course.
Although the course lacks length (this is almost entirely due to the growth of other facilities in this multi-use park), there is considerable variety of shot required. For instance, the first two holes require vastly different short to midrange anhys. Hole 7 begs for an accurate straight drive with a touch anhy landing. #15 requires a low, powerful anhy to clear the overhanging limbs in the fairway and penetrate deep enough into the woods to get near the basket. Off the #16 tee is a shortish midrange right bender for a birdie and you close on #18 needing a power drive low and over the creek to clear the trees and then bend it back right to stay in bounds.
Practice basket by the Restrooms. Many of the holes have water hazards but it is very shallow. You would have to get unlucky to get in deeper than your shoes. Some of the banks are steep but they don't call it a hazard for nothing...
Heated bathrooms by the tennis courts. IIRC, even had hot water to wash hands. Nice on those frigid winter days.
This is a multi-use park and DGers should be courteous to other park users (including the horses and dog walkers). A little courtesy and patience with others would go a long way towards improving our sport's image and increasing participation. I have found the other park users to be courteous and friendly when treated with respect.
Cons: Can be muddy - this old park was probably never graded. Although there are plenty of drainage creeks, the park just has a bunch of low spots that don't drain so the course can be muddy during rainy periods. This has improved vastly in the last month as mulch and gravel has been placed in trouble spots.
New hole 11 is going through an "adolescent rebellion". Several huge trees are down and the bridge needs improvement.
Other Thoughts: I started playing disc golf at Wills (and the old Chastain Park course) back in the 80s. Pretty sure this course is older than 1989. After a 20 year hiatus from DG, it's great to come back to where I started.
For what it's worth, here is an idiot's hole by hole assessment of the new layout (that is a right-handed idiot to be precise).
1) A shortish, blind BH anhy off the tee gets you in birdie position. FH hyzer would do it, too. Ace run, anyone?
2) A strong, low anhy drive (or "S" shot) is needed to get within 25 ft of the cage. Fairway pinches down and there is trouble to the left and beyond the basket (short configuration - haven't played the long yet). Probably the easiest hole to get a penalty. Leftys get a break here.
3) Non-pros can huck a flat drive down the narrow fairway (~300 ft). A little hyzer tail at the end of the flight gets you in birdie position.
4) See the basket, hit the basket. Trees/Creek/OB to the right. If you can turnover your driver with any degree of control, you can avoid all the hazards on the right.
5) Slightly uphill (300+ ft?) basket guarded by a row of very mature hardwoods but plenty of openings to hyzer in to the pin.
6) Looks far but it's downhill - easy to overcook your drive the first couple times. Sometimes horse trailers are overhanging the edge of the parking lot and ruin a nice RHBH hyzer run. OUCH!
7) Short and straight but the basket is tightly positioned. Trouble to the left (creek, brush) and behind the cage. Can't tell you how many times I've been rejected by the stairs in front and to the right of the basket.
8) Tricky hole. Kinda like #3 but the fairway necks down farther from the tee. A drive short and to the left can get you into trouble (barbled under brush and a bunch of trees). Requires a precise drive to birdie and easy to get into trouble.
9) Another 300+ ft drive with the basket tucked into the woods and across a narrow creek (but my disc found it today). Haven't seen it during the warm season but this hole could be much tougher with the leaves on. Probably a fun hole for a pro to make an ace run. I'm happy if I can get across the creek with a line on the basket.
10) Plays longer than it looks from the pad. Big tree on the left of the fairway guards the basket. Get past it and finish left and you could ring the chains!
11) Short and downhill. Big trees guard the basket. Throw a putter, dude. Stay out of the ravine.
12) Got an anhy FH? Bust it out on 12 - ace or birdie for the taking. Most RH'ers throw a hyzer down the right side of the fairway but a power anhy FH does the job, too.
13) Hard to see the line here. Update - Throw a flat midrange to the right of the "lying down tree" w/ 3 sucker trunks. Shot should finish left cutting in front of the pine tree in the middle of the "fairway." Bit of poke and hope here...
14) First time out you're like, "WTF is this, Gus?". Just huck it through the opening on the right and fly it down the creek line to finish back into the fairway (hyzer). It's a bit of a hike to 15 follow the signs.
15) Either RHFH or anhy BH. Throw it low and hard. A lot of hook at the end will leave it short with lots of trees between you and the dish. another difficult birdie.
16) Short hole. Any decent throw off the tee will give you a chance to bird. RHBH anhy or a flick hyzer will do. Leftys will like this hole.
17) After a 1000' walk from 16 to the teepad, you have a short (maybe 175 ft), straight hole. Easiest ace on the course but the basket is tightly placed with OB on right (path) and behind plus the creek on the left.
18) Good finisher. 300+ ft but plays longer b/c you have to power a drive up the left side, clear the opening between the trees and bend back to the right. Too far left and you're OB. Too far right - lumberjack city.
Wills Park is back and will continue to improve this year. Step aside East Roswell, Wills is the new Home Course. Schweeet!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 4 Not
Very fun but dangerous
Pros: Wills Park is a really fun course in a busy multi-use park outside of Atlanta. The design has a very traditional feel to it although the baskets, tees, signs, and everything look brand spankin new. The front nine holes, while not very challenging, still require well-thrown shots for birdie. Some of the more picturesque holes on the front play parallel to a small creek and mostly penalize bad shots with OB potential. The back nine is really the teeth of this course. Set in moderately dense woods, errant shots here make recovery much more difficult than on the front and the fairways require that you shape shots rather than just control distance. On both the front and the back, the designer has done an excellent job of mixing up distances, fairway density, and angles needed off the tee.
Cons: My main con with this park is that to get to the magic number (18 holes), the design is inherently dangerous for the front 9 holes. On several holes you play right near walking paths where a shank or bad ricochet will end up with a pedestrian getting hit. Most reasonable players will wait until peds are out of the way but then again, most casual disc golfers just don't have that awareness. Even by dropping to 14-16 holes I believe this course could A) remove some of the "filler" holes on the front 9 and B) Reduce a lot of the pedestrian danger.
All-in-all I had a lot of fun playing here but was just wondering how long this course is going to last before it gets modified or even worse, pulled altogether.
Other Thoughts: Other reviewers have noted the mud and I could certainly see that being a challenge, especially on the back holes. We visited during a dry stretch and had very good playing conditions, so there is hope to avoid the mud!
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Play it again for the first time!
Pros: With the renovation of this disc golf course in late 2010, everything that used to be wrong with Wills is now right. A full set of new Innova Discatcher baskets have replaced the old worn out Mach 2s (or whatever they were), there are newly poured concrete pads on every hole, well marked signs at every tee, useful "Next Tee" stakes at the foot of every basket, and even a practice basket near hole 1.
This course weaves artfully through a high-traffic multi-use park, so there are plenty of "facilities" around in case you need to take a pit stop or you want to set up a picnic at one of the pavilions.
There are a mix of tightly wooded and relatively open fairways on the course, but none of the holes are open or safe enough to be boring. Even the extra-short 17 (formerly 15) has out-of-bounds looming treacherously close on either side of the fairway and basket. Those who like creekside disc golf will love Wills, where most of the holes play along or across a network of small creeks that run through the park.
Cons: All of the major problems have been removed from this course, but there are still a few nits to pick, as with almost every course. The primary problem here is the abiding muddiness of Wills Park. I don't know what the problem is, but there are certain fairways that never seem to dry up, even in the Summer. It can be a pain to negotiate your way around, and frustrating to constantly be wiping the mud off your discs. I don't know what if anything could be done about it, and this con is certainly mitigated by the new installation of concrete pads.
Some of the narrowest fairways run alongside a creek with extremely deep and treacherous banks. The climb down can be annoying or moderately dangerous.
There remains a lot of cleanup work to be done here, especially with a couple of recently fallen trees on the fairways. There is also a significant need for more good bridges like the one that Craigd installed at the nexus of #9, #10, #14, and #15. A couple of major creek crossings have been set up with narrow wooden planks that shift under your feet as you cross. They'll hold your weight but you have to take care of your balance. These latter issues should be resolved in time, but until they are, be careful where you step and be ready to catch yourself slipping on the muddy banks.
Other Thoughts: As I noted in my "Cons" section, all of the major cons are now gone. More specifically, the redesign of the layout has removed all of the walking paths, benches, popular picnic areas, and horse trailer parking zones out of play. You'll no longer have to wait forever to play your next throw, or have to skip two holes because of the equestrian RVs parked in the middle of the fairways. The holes that were formerly affected by these problems have been tweaked to take the problem zones out of play or replaced by a new run of 4 holes back in the woods where only the disc golfers go. The holes that never had any problems have remained unchanged other than their numbering.
About the renumbering of the holes, there are still several parking lots around the park that will give you easy access to the course, and nobody is going to force you to start at #1, but the new hole #1 uses the basket location for the old #13, with the pads moved to the other side of the tennis court, and old #12 is now playing as #18. If you want to play from 1-18 in order, park at the lot by the tennis courts and follow the signs and markers from basket to tee. Much has changed, but much is still familiar, and the personality of the old course has been well preserved. It is still a relatively short but technically demanding course with lots of trees and creeks in play.
Reviewers who put a premium on the little details like concrete pads and bathroom facilities will probably rate this course higher than I have. I will be willing to raise my rating once the course has matured a bit. For now, I'm pleased to be able to raise my rating from a 2.0 for the old layout to a 3.0 in the new, and am definitely having a lot more fun out here than I used to. Those who gave up on this course years ago should come back and give it another chance: you'll be pleasantly surprised!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Tee Signs, Nice wide concrete Tees, New Innova DiscCatcher Baskets, Good assortment of varied control shots
Cons: 1's Tee area is not a good 1st impression of the course.
Confusing course flow @ 9-10, 14-15, 16 (a 10 sign on the right handrail of bridge and a 15 sign on the left handrail would help.)
Other Thoughts: To all who worked on this renovation, THANK YOU. It is now a joy to go back to the course I learned to play on.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Major Course Redesign
Pros: The Wills DGC has had a major renovation. The course now has new Innova baskets and concrete tees. Several of the old holes have been relocated into the woods, making some fun and challenging wooded holes. Some of the holes have been reconfigured away from the walking track, tennis courts and ball fields. Most of the non disc golf interference has been worked out of the course design. The holes have been renumbered, a practice basket has been added and the longest walk between holes has been significantly reduced.
Cons: The course has a thousand foot walk between holes 16 and 17 and hole 18 is uncomfortably close to a picnic pavilion. Course navigation can be a little tricky in a couple of places at this time.
Other Thoughts: Wills DGC redesign has made significant improvements to the course. The course should now be put back on your metro Atlanta's must play list. Wills is Georgia's oldest surviving disc golf course and the redesign is a welcome upgrade to Georgia's disc golf course collection.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very interesting course, player friendly (don't let water hazards scare you- it is just a creek running through the most of the course). I love what they have done with it.
Cons: The temporary signs are pretty good, but it will be better when they get the permanent ones in. It was kind of hard to figure out where to go after a couple of holes (especially 16 to 17), but we were able to figure it out.
Other Thoughts: Very cool course, and I like where they are going with it. Pads are nice, as are the baskets, and even the temp signs are good. I don't see how the other guys were losing discs, at least this time of year. I can see it being overgrown during the summer, and prickly bushes were definitely present even at the end of december, but there were no inaccessible spots (I threw it into the deepest spot of water I saw on the course, and that was only about 1.5 feet deep and I could get it back easily). But the course was fun, and not hard to choose decent shot selection. There are no "impossible" holes, and the wooded sections give you a good technical work out, and there are several very ace-able shots if you get the right line. Looking forward to some permanent signs and bridges for when I come back down here!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Doesn't cross the walking path anymore so traffic is less of an issue.
Has a practice pin at the start.
crosses the creek at multiple places for an added challenge
Several deceiving holes that give anyone who pays attention a huge advantage.
LITTLE TO NO BRIERS on the fairway.
Legitimate bridges in some parts of the course
The new concrete pads make drives less dangerous in wet conditions
Cons: Loads of briers off the fairway.
Still a lot of cut up brush that needs to be trampled.
One hole has a few vines hanging down that will stop your disc directly above the creek.
Lost discs have a tendency to not be returned.
Other Thoughts: Be careful about losing discs on on of the back holes.(still haven't trained my brain to the new hole numbers) but on one of the new holes that cross the river i have seen 3 discs lost in the space of 30 minutes.
Pesonal Message: if you found a brand new orange star groove with a green stamp on old 1 that was mine and i would love to have it back.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Like new Coke without all the suck
Pros: I suppose one could say that the course is completely playable even on a weekend. I never played the old layout but was always warned to play during the week if you wanted to get a round in.
New baskets, usually I am not picky about brand but I was glad to see discatchers since there are many blind or semi blind positions and the yellow band is easily spotted in the woods.
The temporary signs are more informative than a lot of permanent signs. The distances to next tees are on there which is a plus because there are several with 200+ foot walks. The baskets also have next tee arrows on the base which were probably the most accurate we had seen.
Line shaping and accuracy is put to a premium here which is a great thing, if you played here often you would certainly be a force in the woods.
The creek adds challenge without adding fear as it is pretty easily accessed for disc retrieval.
Cons: Still pretty tight confines, especially when you cross the artfully crafted bridge from 9-10.
Lots of briars to get into off the very tight fairways (I know, keep it on the fairway).
Some roughness but no more than you would expect for a "new" course.
The transition from 14 to 15 is odd and we watched several people skip 15 because they couldn't find the tee (signs will fix this).
Some 'poke and pray' holes on the back 9...but they were fun so its not a huge negative.
Lots of muddy areas.
Other Thoughts: There are several fun holes on this course, in fact I would say there are more fun holes than not fun holes.
Hole 5 was one of my favorites, I enjoyed that huge line of guardian trees.
Hole 12 just had an epic look to it as well.
Hole 17 and 18 were fun and hole 6 was a blast with practically the only elevation on the course. (15 has a slight downhill)).
If you live in the area and have not played this course get out there! I can totally see why this course has spawned so many world champions and excellent players. You really have to be able to shoot accurately to shoot well.
This course will easily be a 4 once it is broke in and all the signs are installed.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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