4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Joe Eakes Park is a fun and challenging course at Kure Beach. It's true beach disc golf: all sand terrain; scraggly, thick underbrush; pine trees; lots of insects; and all the heat and humidity you can stand! If you're making beach plans, go to Kure or Carolina Beach and have this course in your backyard. I did. It was worth it.
+ Very challenging, well laid out course. Lots of s-curve fairways, sharp hyzers and annies. Stay on the fairways though! Did I mention the beach underbrush? It's no joke.
+ Very unique setting. It's the only course I've played that I'd truly call a beach course.
+ This course will force you to use every shot in your bag. There are long holes where you really need to rip. There are all kinds of different lines and angles. There are risk/reward elements. For example, do you lay up in a landing zone on a par 4 or try to zig-zag or go over some brush and risk a big number...or a lost disc? I thought the course was really challenging and had me thinking the whole time.
+ Good baskets, navigation.
+ Other park amenities: tennis courts, baseball field, etc.
Cons: - Far and away the biggest con for me is the mix of numerous blind tee shots with short but thick brush. It's very easy to lose a disc here, especially without a spotter. If you do lose a disc, look on the ground *and* in the brush/trees. They're so thick, sometimes the disc doesn't make it to the ground. I made the mistake of throwing my favorite disc, which happened to be white, same color as the sand and the glaring beach sunlight, off the fairway and never saw it again. (If you find a Lucid Escape on hole 2, I'll pay you a reward for it!)
- Obviously, the biggest pro of this course is its uniqueness and proximity to the beach. This can be a con too. Why? Three words: Heat, humidity, and bugs.. I'm serious. It can be oppressive. I was on the beach in the morning -- a normal July day. It was low 90s, but very breezy. Felt fine on the beach. But get to the course, with thick brush blocking the breeze, trapping the heat, and it's like a sauna. The humidity was probably 99% when I played. Throw in some sand gnats, mosquitos, and ticks (there are actually warning signs about the ticks) and it's just beachy! Plan your round accordingly.
- Some of the rubber tees were uneven and/or had sand buildup on them.
- Minor nit-pick, but par 61 for this course is pretty generous. There are some tweaner holes that could be par 3 or 4. They went with par 4 (and even one 5) on all of them. I played this course blind the first time and shot 2 under, which *never* happens for me at a true white level (or intermediate) course.
Other Thoughts: Make plans to play this one. The disc golf scene in Wilmington is really strong. Castle Hayne is the crown jewel, but Joe Eakes is a great undercard course. Throw in the two beginner courses, including Trinity, which is 5 minutes away from Joe Eakes, and you have all the elements for a beach/DG vacay destination. Tip: play Trinity at the Good Hops Brewery as a warm-up or cool-down paired with Joe Eakes.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Close to the beach; easy to head right over to the ocean to cool off after a round. The ground is also very sandy which I enjoyed.
- Great signage. There is a large map by the first hole and every hole has a nice sign at the tee pad. There are markers to help direct you to the next hole for the ones that are not obvious.
- Benches at every hole.
- A variety of left and right shots that make you use all your skills.
- Each hole has a pretty clear line that you can take to the basket; however if you get off to either side you can plan on adding a stroke or two (or three).
- There is a dog park and baseball field at the park, but the course is separated enough that there is little chance of a bad throw landing there.
Cons: - Lots of blind shots. I've only played it once but there was a number of times I was throwing my second shot without knowing exactly where the pin was (even with walking a bit further down the fairway to look).
- Some holes are very close to each other. If it's busy you will need to keep an eye out for errant shots from other holes.
- Minor nitpick but the par on some holes seems pretty generous; you can mess up on some of the par 4s and the par 5 and still manage to get par.
Other Thoughts: - I had a lot of fun playing this course. I definitely enjoyed it more than the storied Castle Hayne which I played earlier in the day.
- Depending on your abilities and knowledge of the course there are a number of ways to attack it. I tried to stay low and along the fairway but I could see someone throwing some hyzer bombs to get over the trees and avoiding the required line to make it to the pin.
- Speaking of the trees, these are short scrub beach trees; it would be easy to get a disc stuck in them if you air it out. Very different from most other North Carolina courses that have tall pines throughout.
- If I lived closer I would make it a point to play this course regularly. Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Honestly this course is way up there on my lists of courses. It's just the right blend of some tight lines with nice open gaps. The atmosphere is awesome and it's just a really fun course.
The huge hyzer routes that can be taken were a nice bonus and trees/shrubs used to creatively protect baskets was cool.
Cons: Course navigation was difficult at times and not knowing where baskets were truly located made life a bit difficult.
More Tee pad info would be nice but can't complain it's a great course.
Other Thoughts: This course is a true gem and if you have the free time to stop by u should totally play it. Great course. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Beach Course Through and Through
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -My favorite feature is that almost every hole requires thought.
-Most holes are completely different
-Benches on every hole I can remember.
-Trash cans were recently emptied
-Some of the best signage I've ever seen. A huge course map sign right near tee 1, great signs to start each hole, and small signs near the end of many holes pointing to the next.
Cons: -biggest con is that some tees start too close to the previous pin. In other words, be careful if someone is ahead of you or behind you.
-all flat. There are three holes with elevation that comes into play, and the largest change is maybe +5.
-some holes invite you to throw over the short trees, but those same trees will catch your disc with an iron grip if you miss the fairway. I spent probably 20 minutes knocking my discs out of three trees, and I only threw high off the fairway 5 times.
-5/6 and 7/8 are similar holes. This happens on courses, but I didn't like them being back-to-back.
-sand everywhere. impossible to avoid it.
-par is not accurate at all for advanced/pros. I shouldn't throw two below average shots, then a good 60' approach and be rewarded with a drop-in par or birdie. This happened four times in my second round.
Other Thoughts: Like I said in the pros section, almost every holes requires a good decision. There are options on many holes, and you have to make the best choice for your abilities. Few courses require you to think on more than 9 holes, and this one makes you think on about 15. You can play the short safe shot down the fairway or put it on a rope. You can go over the trees or between them. You can take the left route or the right one. This course asks you to use the mental side of your game unlike most courses.
Conclusion: The negatives aren't design flaws, they are simply the lay of the land. The course designers did a good job with what they had (aside from the par issue, which is easily ignorable if you don't like it). Really smart hole design with many different options. Grab some water and a snack at the Sunoco if you don't have any, cause this course is hot!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Good signage
Good fun challenge
Decent direction from hole to hole
Cons: Nitpicking, but I'm not a fan of mandos unless they are totally necessary. A couple of the mandos were a little unnecessary in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: This was a fun and challenging par 61 course. The designers made good use of the beachy scrubby terrain they were dealt with. The par 4 and 5 holes really made me use hole management which I really like to see on a course. Overall I had a great experience playing this course and I highly recommend it to anyone that is visiting the beaches of southeastern North Carolina.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A beach course with little wind!
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is nestled in the back of a small little sports park with a few amenities like portable bathrooms, but you'll need to go a few blocks over to find anything substantial.
The course itself utilizes the existing land fairly well, however it appears there is some underutilized areas near the back of the course. I'm not sure who owns that area and if it would even be available for use so I can't unjustly fault the designers, if fact I'll merely make the suggestion to expand to 27 holes!
For a beach course, this one doesn't hold water hardly at all, unlike many including Castle Hayne in nearby Wilmington. This means that even on those typical summer days at the beach that involves a light shower, you'll still be able to play without tromping around in galoshes.
As for the layout of the course, I'll venture to say it is fairly extensive, however that may be a bit of a stretch seeing as most of the holes have a low canopy to prevent you from really opening up. Big arm players could do really well here by going up and over the canopy to avoid having to be tight and technical. There is a nice variety of short/long, left/right holes but almost zero elevation change (you are at the beach after all!) and surprisingly no water hazards either. Apart from that, however, the shot variety is pretty well planned out.
The course has ample seating as well as tee signs that are well made, however some appeared to have old/misleading hole layouts on them. Perhaps the locals should take a look at re-making those.
Navigation between holes is not hard at all, and in the few instances that signs are needed, they are present. It's always nice knowing you don't have to worry about navigation when playing a course for the first time, and you shouldn't here.
The front nine and back nine both play back to the starting pavilion/practice basket area, which always is a pro in my book. Often times you'll need to play the back 9 first and this allows you to do that.
Cons: I've already briefly touched on some of the cons in the above, but to be thorough I'll mention them here.
There aren't any holes that require traversing a water hazard. Additionally, there is little to no elevation change on the course, which is to be expected at a course located so close to the ocean.
Several of the signs have hole layouts depicting something slightly different than the actual hole. Perhaps they made the signs before finalizing the design? In any case, a slight negative.
The shrubs/canopy is extremely thick in some places. The fact that you can go out and over this canopy lends itself to discs becoming stuck/lost amongst the trees. Be aware of this, especially on the many holes that require a blind shot, and if you have a spotter, use them!
The Difficulty of the course is diminished for big arm players who can muscle the disc up and over the canopy for big hyzer shots. Casual players shouldn't notice. I have a feeling that a pro could come in and tear up the course after playing/walking it over.
Other Thoughts: This course lends itself to being played. If you're going to be in the area, don't hesitate to play it, even if it recently rained. It's a fun and semi-challenging course and I'm glad the Carolina Beach community is beginning to show support for disc golf! Take some speakers out there and put on some Buffett and lose yourself in some golf!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Joe Eakes Park
Pros: Using DG Course Review made it easy to find this course and where to start. By the parking lot where the first hole begins is a large course map! This course is very fun to play. It has narrow, but not impossible fairways. I only needed to throw long on a few holes. I really liked how the course designers used the lay of the land to make this an interesting course. You'll probably want to play this course once or walk it before you really try to attack it. There are many holes where you cannot see the basket from the tee. I really liked how I was challenged to really think about each shot and not just throw as hard as I can to get to the next basket. The course is well signed to make it easy to find the next hole. I love courses that can end the 9th hole at the parking lot so if you only have time for 9 holes you can! I definitely plan to play this course again. I must have been lucky today, I did not find a single tick!
Other Thoughts: I met a friendly dog walker on the course. There is a dog park near the 18th hole. There are tennis courts and a playground. The course is very close to Kure Beach which is a great place to cool off after a hot round.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Fantastic Beach Course
Pros: This course is great. There's a good variety of holes, from par 3 - par 4, and good distance. There are a lot of narrow fairways and low trees that make it tricky, but they're a fun challenge.
Cons: There are warning signs for ticks everywhere, so watch out. Also, it's a beach course, so there's a lot of sand. It can make for tricky footing, both throwing and walking. Also you'll probably be taking some with you.
Other Thoughts: I didn't get to use my driver too much because the course is pretty trick in certain areas, but it was a lot of fun. One of the best in the area!
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: One of the trickiest parts of constructing a course review is separating personal enjoyment of a course from a more objective take on its quality. So many things can make a course better for a person than it will necessarily be for everyone else. And I don't mean things like the weather, or the group you play with. I mean things about the course that appeal more to you than they probably do to the average player. I mention this now because Joe Eakes is one of those courses that hits all my sweet spots. The beachy vibe. The multiple turns on fairways. Just how unique the atmosphere is. I loved it all and I definitely got at least a 4.0 experience. But this is one of those times where I think I can be more objective than that.
That said, Joe Eakes is still a very good course and one that I think could grow on people with multiple plays. The trees are mostly low, in many cases begging to be thrown over. Familiarity with the course would allow a player to take advantage of that. It's tough to do that the first time as with these bending fairways, a new player does not know where he wants to actually land if he takes the high road. He is thus restricted to the low road, and I mean the low road, since these low branches take away several options to throw at head-level or higher.
That leaves a player with throwing down the dead center of the fairway. Considering that many throws are blind from the tee, this can be difficult. In a good way, that is. The fairways aren't overly narrow and they are well shaped to be able to throw a disc down them and hit the appropriate curve. It's really a nicely designed course aimed at intermediate players. There is a solid flow from hole to hole and a series of nicely distinguishable holes can be played by all ability-levels.
The vibe is also enhanced by all the little touches on the course, like the stone-lined pathways. It's one of the courses that sticks in the head. It's memorable. It's memorable and good. It's really one that if you're in the area, you'll want to play. Especially considering how it is unlike pretty much everything else in the state.
Cons: My experience was good enough that makes it tough to find things wrong, but obviously, it is perfectly flat and without water. I don't think that every course needs those, but I've yet to play a course that I thought of as elite that didn't include at least one of them. Partly for that reason, and partly because of what I mentioned about being able to go over the top if you know the course, I think elite players would eat this up if they knew the layout. At the same time, it doesn't stroke me as entirely beginner-friendly, though I saw groups of younglings playing, so perhaps that notion is incorrect.
Other Thoughts: I've played courses close to the beach before. I've never played a course this good close to the beach, though. It's a pretty unique experience and for those accustomed to Carolina golf, this is something different that needs to be played.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Great old-school style course
Pros: Has a very "old-school" feel to it. Worn fairways with single- or double-doglegs, a few 4/5 pars. Well maintained. Good signage. Just enough trees to make you try hard. Fun beach environment (what species of trees are these?).
Cons: Not many to speak of. The vegetation can be pretty unforgiving, so keep your shots in the fairway if you can help it. Otherwise, have a great time.
Other Thoughts: Bonus points for having #9 circle back to the parking lot. A bit of a hike down south of wilmington, so not ideal if youre coming from out of town, but if youre in the area, definitely check it out.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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