3 Helpful / 0 Not
Other Thoughts: Course is set in a multi-use community level park of about 50 acres on rolling piedmont terrain. Park as a whole is nearly completely developed and so future additions or expansions to the course should be limited at best, although there is some decent undeveloped acreage across one of the creek's forks which bisects the property on the east side.
Course, in the main, is sequestered from other park activities and features returning 9's. Equipment is above average as are park amenities, but only when the park is open. Otherwise, come prepared with water and proper footwear. Tees are natural and could be an issue depending on weather conditions. Signage, benches and markers are inconsistent, but every tee is marked well enough; way finding is not an issue. The mandatories, 3 by my count, are all well marked and the course also features several 'distance to the pin' markers that are quite helpful. Course conditions overall are somewhat rough (or maybe I'm just spoiled), consisting mainly of tree litter and work day cullings. Should you visit, bear in mind that the stewards of this course request all refuse be packed out.
In general, the course's atmosphere exemplifies the type of east coast technical course that was standard fare in the early-mid 80's. As I played, I had some strong nostalgic flashbacks to the days of my youth when I was just learning the game. Bradley has that intimate old school scale and feel, but does offer some improvements on that model, not the least of which is more length overall. Back nine is several strokes tougher than the front via length and more extreme elevation changes encountered. One of the issues for courses of this type is the buffering between parallel fairways; as foot traffic increases, these areas tend to get 'wallered out'. Negative effects on play result, especially on crowded days. The designers at Bradley Center DGC seem to have foreseen this problem, and their routing largely minimizes this potential issue.
For the 18, average hole length is about 285'. 4 of the 5 longest holes (all >350') are on the back nine. Scoring chances for most players abound as 9 holes are 250' or less. Regarding balance, Bradley is decidedly clock spin centric from the tee and approach, as half the holes favor this spin's stable shot shape from the tee and nearly as many from the approach. Flat, uphill, downhill, 'cross-the-valley', 'over-the-hump' and cross-hill holes are all represented. Greens are largely neutral with regard to spin receptivity, although there are frequent drop-offs and crenellations that strongly encourage prudence around the greens, especially so on the back nine. Generous scrambling and recovery chances also abound, as it seems one must WANT (via reckless play) to find the really tough penal rough or ob areas. Of note thematically are holes # 6, 9, 10, 12, & 14. All to a certain degree all exhibit what I'd call the 'button-hook' shape. Button-hooks are largely straight holes but terminate in a very sharp turn at or near the green. Faster discs with a high fade rating might take easy advantage of this type of hole.
For such a relatively short, tight course, Bradley has several holes of particular note.
#4 - This hole exhibits superior 'geometry'; it is a very laterally compressed 'S' shape. From the tee, the line of play sits slightly offset from the main line of the fairway which consists of a narrow parallel row of pines. The green is similarly offset from the fairway, but at the opposing angle, quite the brain-buster.
#12 - At 190', a very compelling tough short hole - left to right, slightly downhill over a 15' deep gorge with a very tight low ceiling fairway.
#15 - a very unusual fairway shape for a disc golf hole - the question mark.
#18 - A very tough finishing hole, a right to left dogleg with a mandatory right about 125' out. Although this mandatory protects a ramada from errant shots, I feel this particular contrivance unnecessary, as the layout of hole encourages this natural shot shape from the tee. Moreover, this mandatory nearly eliminates the possibility of the 'heroic' play to finish the round. I suggest an adjustment.
Bradley Center DGC, according to the DGCR page has 7 designers, who are most likely the fellows personally responsible for all the work there. In general, I am not a fan of design by committee, mainly due to the dilution of vision and design unity that normally occurs in this situation. I am edified that, in this case, the designers have transcended this pitfall to arrive at a solid offering. The main issue going forward would be polish and refinement, that I'm sure will come in time.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Nice and Fun Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good course that's challenging. Good tee placement, with good basket locations. Easy to navigate from hole to hole. I like the stairs they built to help in walking up and down the steep hills and cliffs. Very little brush, making it very easy to find your disc if you have a bad shot. Overall fun to play and will be looking forward to playing it again.
Cons: Needs permanent signs. Tee pads need more work.
Other Thoughts: I see a lot of people saying they need concrete tee pads. I like concrete tee pads, but I like for them to be longer and wider. Natural tee pads give you plenty of room to throw and different looks for when you shoot. I feel like concrete tee pads limit your shot. I think maybe some more work to the natural tee pads would be a great idea. A lot of the tee pads had roots and were slick when muddy.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: R-Intermediate
Thanks for the review! I am glad you liked the course. The up keep of the natural tee pads are a constant battle, and this is why we are raising funds for concrete pads. We also have one of our club members currently working on some very unique permanent tee signs, look for these to start being installed within the next couple weeks.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: A combination of open land, lightly wooded, and heavily wooded play.
Out of bounds woods is light, making it easy to find lost discs.
Practice Putting Basket.
Cons: No maps or signs to designate pars on a majority of the holes.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Bradley provides really good practice for anyone. Narrow fairways help your improve your game and the baskets are in excellent shape.
Cons: Some drop offs at holes are dangerous. There are no tee pads and some tee markers are nonexistent.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Fun at Bradley Park
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Many holes make you feel like you're in the mountains with all the elevation changes. Lots of trees so shade is a plus for the hot days
Cons: Too many sharp dropoff's alongside many holes. If you don't throw right you may or may not be able to safely treck down the mini cliffs to get your discs
Other Thoughts: Definitely provides a challenge at any skill level.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Solid wooded course with big hills.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Bradley is a very nice course in Gastonia and it's nice to have another course in the town I live in.
It finally has a practice basket which now means you can practice your putts if you need to. The baskets are in great shape on the holes too.
This course has many different shaped fairways which make this course very tricky and your birdie opprotunities can go away very quickly. Be sure to hit the fairway because this course is wooded.
The use of elevation is also great. Hilly courses are not always designed and you can tell if every hole is uphill or downhill.
In my opinion, hole 13 is the best on the course. It's straight downhill and not very long but it's very technical and a tree is in the middle of the fairway not far from the tee. The tree could keep you from making your birdie. It's easy to sneak to the right of the tree and throw a small hyzer and thats what 13 requires.
The par 4's are short but all difficult 3 is a double dogleg and fairway is narrow. 11 is a legit dogleg right and watch out for the giant hill to the left of the fairway after the landing zone. It's hard to get out once you get there. 14 is STEEP uphill and a small dogleg left. Good luck with your birdie. 15 has a dogleg left and even more narrow than 3's fairway. Throw right of mando sign and 18 is another dogleg left. Get to the landing zone and you're in the field (Thank God) it has a mando pointing you right.
The course is short but if you miss the fairway, you're dead and I'm serious.
-I agree with heelboycraig. #13 and #14 are both the best holes on the course. Greatest elevation. #13 fades left a bit, it's a mess past the basket so on this steep downhill shot can get you stuck in the deep woods (-25) plays only 179". #14 is the hardest, it's UP the hill and has a major gain in elevation (+45). Only 366" but plays 532". Literally.
Cons: Bradley doesn't have teepads yet and it's been around for a year. It's improving, but very slowly. Until then, don't go past the orange and yellow tees with the hole number.
There are a TON of trees and they are hit very often now. This course needs lots of clearing out and birdie opprotunies are getting lower. Especially on hole 9, a birdie is pretty much impossible since a tree is in the middle of the fairway like 30 feet out.
The fairways are also a little too narrow. Making this course better for intermediates.
I hope this course gets a little easier soon.
Other Thoughts: Bradley is great and is a fun course. I enjoy playing here and the course has many birdie opprotunies. Just don't miss the fairway because if you do, you will be lucky to save par. It's a decent challenge and if you love wooded courses then this could possibly be your favorite. It's short and VERY technical.
Hole by hole
#1. One of the most frustrating on the course. It has a nasty turn left and trees are straight ahead. This allows a big hyzer.
#2. Much better and it's open. It turns to the right a good bit. Get to the right turn and you have a clear approach shot.
#3. Tricky hole, it's a double dogleg and and poison ivy and other crap is to the right. Hard hole with barely any birdie chance. Fun challenge though. I've birdied it once.
#4. Very narrow and that makes the hole look longer. It's a small turn to the right. Throw sidearm.
#5. It would maybe be the best on the course if those two trees were not right in front of the tee. It's challenging.
#6. Has red tees and white tees. The white tees are the tees most players play from. It's a tricky position since a circle of trees is in the front of the tee.
#7. Open and next to the road. Still a lot of trees and they can be hard to avoid. Great challenge though.
#8. Tough hole to get to. It's the longest par 3 but it's nicely downhill. Throw right of mando tree and straight and you have a clear approach shot. (-16) so it plays 262'
#9. Like on 5, it would be the best if that tree wasnt straight ahead. Throw right of it and avoid the trees to the right.
#10. Nice little ace run. Drop off to the left. Use a midrange or putter so it will go straight.
#11. Longer than 396 and and the faiway is narrow. Avoid the hill or you will be on it if you go too deep at the langing zone.
#12. Great ace run over a ravine. It's challenging and sweet. Sidearm will do.
#13. Best on the course it's downhill and slightly challenging and avoid the tree in the middle of the fairway and throw right of it.
#14. Very tricky and most challenging. It's way uphill. Going up it is good enough.
#15. Narrow fairway and also a dogleg left. Throw right of mando sign. It's literally shaped as a 7.
#16. Straight downhill and straight. There is a dropoff behind the basket. Don't go deep. Plays 202 feet.
#17. Uphill ace run, moderate turn to the left. (+14) Plays 237 feet.
#18. Disappointing finish to me but many people love it. Tough, narrow shot from the woods and a pointless mando by the time you're out of the woods.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Short and sweet
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Nice setups, tunnel shots and open shots, people who play there are very nice and I've gotten a call back on the only disc I've lost there and respectfully returned the favor on the two I've found.
Cons: Needs permanent teepads
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Better than it looks.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Discatchers and a practice basket.
Some shade on the course. to give a break from the heat.
2 loops of 9 incase you need to run to the car.
Moderately wooded. Good enough for expereinced players, but not overly frustrating for a new player.
Hole 4 was a nice long narrow shot, mostly straight with just a slight lean to the right.
Good use of scenery and elevation available, the course finished with a very scenic shot into a brightly colored, well lanscaped area.
I thought this was a very fun course and I would return
Cons: very few:
Natural tee pads.
Bugs were really bad, but that is such a weak con since the course designer did not import the bugs.
3 notably weak holes: Hole 3 was a sharp horseshoe that every one on my card agreed was the worst hole on the course, Hole 5 had 2 goofy trees DIRECTLY infront of the tee pad, and hole 15 had an oddly shaped line with a blind mando (mando very simple to make) .
Road in play on #7 on the right. It is not a major safety risk, but worth mentioning.
Other Thoughts: Hole 8's Mando is really not vital it only penalizes really bad shots, no one would try to go any where near the mando .
There was really no need to review this course, Heelboycraig's review is all you need to read.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Holes were spaced out decently and had a lot of challenge to them.
Cons: No signs telling you where to find next tee. No signs at tee box to show you hole lay out (some had them). Definitely bring a can of OFF and a walking stick, mosquitos tore me up and im sure during warmer months you will find a copperhead near the creek and brush piles.
Other Thoughts: Other than bugs and not having a can of OFF with me, i enjoyed the exercise. Needs a little more clearing out in areas of course to keep bugs and snakes down.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great course for a beginner/intermediate player like myself. Both parts of the course (front and back 9) have a little bit of everything and require an array of shots and discs. Lots of elevation change with a good mix of distance and mostly precision required especially on the back 9. The back 9 are really fun to play and challenging in my opinion. There are several blind shots and also areas where if you overthrow your disc it falls off a cliff so to speak and can be a pain to retrieve.
Cons: No concrete pads or signs at the tees. Lots of roots, stumps even in some tee boxes which really makes you concentrate more on your footwork than your throw in some cases. Some areas need more clearing out because they look like snake pits. I imagine that since this course is so new they will be making any necessary housekeeping changes and adding all the other amenities.
Other Thoughts: All and all this is a good course for a beginner or intermediate player. A tale of two different 9 hole courses in the same park. A good alternative to the more challenging Rankin Lake course which is close by.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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