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.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
A Close Second....
Pros: ....to Castle Hayne.
- Very challenging, great layout, and extremely well taken care of.
- Wide variety of holes. Some you can air it out on, but many are extremely technical. There are even a few holes with signs that say, "No overhead throws from tee." This adds another degree of difficulties as the holes that sport these signs seem ideal for a hammer or a tomahawk.
- Some tight fairways, but quite a few that allow you to open up and let 'er rip. Definitely a course worth checking out if you're looking to improve your accuracy.
- Solid baskets and tee boxes. Benches on every tee and the baskets still have the price tag on them.
- Exceptional layout. Whomever designed this course was obviously determined to challenge the players.
Cons: - Trees like to "eat" discs. Have had to shake my disc out of a treetop on more than one occasion. (But that's more my fault than the trees.) Errant shots can be punished very severely.
- If you've never played the course before, the maps on the tee boxes can be a bit misleading.
- No topless Hooters girls frolicking along the #8 fairway.
Other Thoughts: Having played all the courses in Wilmington, I have to put Joe Eakes at a close second to The Castle. It's a challenge and the area is very nice. If you're heading to the beach, do yourself a favor and remember your discs. You'll be glad you played this course.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
A little longer than Arrowhead
Pros: -Longer drives than Arrowhead park(other course in Wilmington)
-Great use of space
-Away from other public utilities
-Lots of challenging throws
Cons: -Not as friendly for beginners because of a lot of trees.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course. Arrowhead park is home course for me, but this would be second. One big thing unfortunately is that there are a lot of bugs. My buddy and I went and both had bad cases of the chiggers. So when yall want to play this course, bring bugspray and reapply constantly to prevent. Overall, good change of scenery and good course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Wind, Sand, Trees
Pros: Well Maintained course.
Unique course with beach sand and maritime forest. Also, unique for the area since most courses here are wooded with huge trees you can not throw over. This course gives you the chance to throw hyzer bombs and over hands quite a bit.
Nice little park, convenient parking, and course is pretty easy to find.
Has a practice basket
Fun Course that is not too long for recreational players.
Not my main course but I really have fun every time I come here to play.
Make it a beach and DG day and you will not regret it.
Completely different course if you choose to follow the fairway lanes under the trees rather than playing this course high which I think is kind of cool.
Cons: Very few trash cans.
Tee diagrams are very misleading. Walk ahead and find the basket before you throw or you will make some really bad shot choices
The double mando on 10? is really aweful. Overhead and to the right away from the left facing fairway is ridiculous. Also the bushes are growing over onto that tee pad making the tee pad really hard to play and reducing the space you have to make throws. As a lefty I end arm trough the bushes almost every time. Most annoying tee I have ever played.
The par rating on some of the holes is too forgiving for experienced players. Makes this course really easy sometimes. I shot 3 under last I played here. At the other longer course in town that I play everyday I shoot more like 8-10 over.
Bring bug spray the ticks can be really bad.
Sand on the tee pads makes some of the tees really slick. I almost went down twice. Not sure how they would even fix that since it is the beach but it is worth a mention.
Other Thoughts: This course has holes facing many different directions which means when the wind is up you will have holes with headwinds, tailwinds, hyzer facing crosswinds, hyzer against crosswinds all in the same round. Bring your wind discs or play the fairway lanes when it is windy.
If you cannot find a disc it is certainly stuck in a tree. These trees eat plastic. Do not give up on your discs keep looking up you will find them. I find discs every time I play here. Found three yesterday and now I gotta figure out how to get them all back to people.
I love throwing hyzer bombs and this course lets you throw a lot of them. I really enjoy playing here.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Keep it low
Pros: Well laid out and beautiful scenery very technical course need to control the disc to get around the trees. The course map is laid out on a large board at hole one.
Cons: need to keep the disc low so as not to get into the scrub oak limbs. TICKS!!!! lots of bugs in the summer and spring months
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: In my opinion this is a very fun course to play. The course makes good use of the land with what resources were provided. It has a balance of short technical holes and lengthy ones you can really let your disc air out on. All tees and baskets are clearly marked and have a natural flow. The sand all but eliminates skip shots and the beach wind forces you to play the course by keeping it under the tree line. It is rarely crowded probably due to its remoteness. Signature hole is that little par 3 with the tree. And hardest put is on hole nine, good luck with the wind... Overall its a great course for players of all skill levels.
Cons: Ticks. Jiggers. Cops. And lately I have been tripping on alot of roots and stumps in the fairways.
Other Thoughts: What is up with all the mandos? I dont think its fair to those with long distance capabilities. Also the keep it the right mando on the par 5 seems unnecessary.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
My type of course!
Pros: This is a recently built course that I think should make almost everyone happy! The course is built on the state land on Pleasure Island and is in a spectacular place. You can actually glimpse the ocean (in the distance) at some places on the course! There is a nice gazebo, message board, and practice basket at the first hole. There is also a baseball field right next to the course which makes a wonderful place to practice throwing before or after playing. There is a bench on every hole, trashcans often, and the tees flow very logically. There are big signs with the distance, par, hole number, and a drawing of the general outline of the hole. The course is nicely maintained. There are multiple par 4s and a par 5. The best holes on this course are more likely to be subjective than other courses I have played, but I think most people would agree hole 4, very short par 3/ace opportunity, through a cool beach tree growing along the ground is the best. The best part about the course is that you are challenged to make a lot of different shots. Many holes have sharp curves, S curves, and other interesting factors.
Cons: The biggest problems on this course are caused by, as another reviewer put it, mother nature. There are actually warning signs for ticks. My personal experience was stumbling into chiggers and having about 30 bites on my legs. The guy I play with stumbled into ticks. I started using bug spray on my shoes and below my knees and have never had any more problems. Another one of my friends also had a close encounter (walked over it) with a copperhead. Be mindful of where you walk here! Another negative of this course is the wind. In most cases there is low wind and it isn't a problem, but due to its location the wind can sometimes/is more likely to be severe.
The other thing that I can think of that could have been done a little bit better is the drawing of the shot on the signs. It will give you a general idea of what you are doing but I would describe it as a cartoon representation, not a scaled diagram. Doesn't bother me because I never make a shot totally depending on a signs picture.
Other Thoughts: This is a subjective issue, but the tee pads are rubber. I personally don't think concrete would do as well here, due to the terrain being loose sand on many of the tees.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Holes 1, 9, 10, 15, and 16 are really professional style holes. Trees in jutst the right areas for you to get excited about weaving your disc through.
-Benches on every hole and garbage cans every few holes keeps your feet happy and garbage away
-Rubber tees are perfect for the beach. Sand on concrete could be dangerous. They are big and give you good grip.
-Front 9 are more open, then the back 9 have more woods to them, creating different feels for both.
-So close to the ocean, walk on down to the access and take a swim when you're done and cool off!
-Signs point you to the next tee after each basket.
Cons: -Some of the holes are pretty open with no shade. It gets hot and humid. Bring something to keep you hydrated!
-Ticks can be an issue. I use them as motivation to stay out of the rough...
-Being so close to the beach means it can get windy down there. Heed my warning and throw it low if you can hear the wind.
-Holes 7, and 8 are too similar to each other to be in a row. I know there was limited land to develop on. And I toss lefty anyway, so it works to my advantage.
Other Thoughts: This park is underrated in my opinion. I think being so close to Castle Hayne means people expect too much out of it sometimes. But I love it. It's off the beaten path, so it's never too busy. You are playing at the beach, which makes it so much different then most other courses out there. I think some alternate tees like they have recently added on Hole 6 can only make it better.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Close to nice beach
Baskets in good shape
Cons: Needs more clearing in a few areas
Concrete tees would be nice, existing tees decent
A few minor safety hazards should be addressed
Ticks abundant in warm weather
Fairway lines on signs not accurate. 1st time through you should walk ahead and spot the basket on the many blind shots.
Other Thoughts: This course is definitely worth playing if you're in the area.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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