Great Fun, Could Be Even Better
Pros: The Big Armfield course is a truly underrated disc golf course. 18 holes here take advantage of a really wonderful piece of rolling terrain that includes steep hills, wide open clearings, dense but navigable woods, and some holes in the flat by a small creek. There is a little bit of everything here. There are really long holes that let you air it out in the field, and other holes that are less than 200 feet that ask for extreme precision. Fans of all styles of disc golf will find holes they enjoy here.
There are 3 sets of tees. There are the whites which are great for beginners. Blue tees (which are now mostly solidified with nice packed sand tees) seem to be the local tee of choice - they are fairly difficult and are a really good course. The gold tees seem to be for pros and/or masochists. They are much longer than the others, and also have some very tight lines.
Hole 2 was a really pretty throw down and into an open valley. Watching the disc sail down that hill was fun. There was another great downhill hole, # 7, which starts up on a rocky ridge and throws off a cliff down a narrow alley to a protected basket. This was one of the most unique and picturesque holes I have ever played
I really enjoyed hole 9 as well. It is a monster of a par three that charges up a steep hill and really requires some nice work to make a par. It is very tough, but also fair. That was perhaps one of my favorite things about this course. The tough holes were fair, not gimmicks.
17 was another really pretty hole. The tee is very near a nice bridge and the hole is a beautiful hyzer line with a sneaky creek bordering on the right.
This course also has some of the best signage I have ever seen. They seem to be illustrated satellite images that show the location of all 3 sets of tees, hole par, the hole lengths from all tees, elevation changes from each teebox, layup distances to specific targets on some of the longer holes, and directions to the next hole. There are also wooden arrows on the baskets which point golfers to the next tee, and extra navigational signs that point golfers to the next hole when it is less intuitive.
This park is also has a ton of extra amenities including running trails, baseball, basketball, restrooms on site, etc. The disc golf course is nicely distanced from all of those other things except for the running trails, and definitely does not seem like an afterthought as often happens in big parks like this. The disc golf course is on a really nice piece of terrain. Being able to play in this region during the fall leaves change was also really awesome. Pilot Mountain is a beautiful area.
Cons: The baskets are a bit disappointing - the Lightning-DB5 baskets are weak single chains and really don't catch well. They spit out shots that I feel would likely go in on many other basket types. The gold tee target on hole 15 is unfortunately a tonal pole instead of a basket. The basket on 17 also is a bit bent and warped - it is still usable but it looks like a vehicle hit it on the right side.
The tees are a bit inconsistent too. The blues are mostly nicely framed packed sand style boxes which are really good. Unfortunately, #4 is simply a part of the walking trail. #7's teebox is also in the middle of a large rock formation and could be a bit dangerous. The white tees and gold tees are natural tees marked by small rocks. Some are a bit uneven and difficult to find. Some standardization of the tees for all 3 layouts would be a good thing. I will say, though, that the ornamental garden tile box on 15 with the mulched shrubs was really pretty.
The tee sign seems to be missing on hole 9. It was a bit tough to figure out what was going on there because the basket is blind from the tee.
There are a few poorly designed holes. I will discuss them below
The gold tee on hole 1 is back on a hill and asks for a throw over the gravel road and parking lot. Im not sure that was necessary.
#4 is a sharp dogleg right that throws right down the narrow running path, and is a somewhat blind shot. #3 shares this path as well, which really isn't a problem because it is straight away and open. #4 is partialy blind, however, and could be trouble if a runner comes around the corner.
Holes 8 and 13 were really headscratchers. Both are really short par 4s, which would be serviceable as par 3s from the white tees, but the blues and golds are set about 100 feet away at a 90 degree angle to the rest of the hole. So they basically play as straight 100 foot approaches to the white tees, and then the holes start. Both of those teeshots are throwaways and I don't think they add anything to the course.
Hole 14 has an old campsite in the fairway, so take a look before throwing.
15 is a really fun par 5 that plays down under a stretch of old power/phone lines. When the hole opens up to the right for the regular basket, there is another campsite right behind the basket so again use caution and look ahead. My main issue with the hole is actually the separate target for the gold tees. It is a much longer hole which is fine, except for the fact that the target is tucked behind a row of trees that seems nearly impenetrable and im not really sure there is a well-thought-out approach there. In addition, the target is a tonal pole, the only one on the course. This hole seemed like a lot of creativity went into it, but the final product really didn't seem to pay off.
Hole 17 is really pretty, but the 2 bridges again bring pedestrian traffic potentially into play. Visibility isn't really hindered on this hole though, so I think there is ample ability to keep an eye out for pedestrians on the bridges, but it does force the player to be a little extra cautious.
It looks like some of the distance measures on the gold tees are a bit off, I wonder if some of the tees have moved a little bit over time.
Other Thoughts: I really had a great time at this course. Though there are a few poor hole designs as I mentioned above, it is clear that this course is evolving and is getting better and better over time. There are old basket sleeves in the ground that show that some of the baskets have been shifted into better positions. Most of the holes are very well designed and the variety here really keeps the golfer's interest.
This is probably one of the most underrated courses I have ever played. It is a great place to come play. With a few tweaks of the layout, some better baskets, and some consistency with the tees, it could be even better!
New and improved Pilot!!
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The blue tees now have tee boxes!! Granite dust filled,very good.Plan for nest year is to build tee boxes for the white tees.Surry County Disc Golf Club has done an awesome job improving Big ARMfield disc golf course!! Alot of variety to this course,a great challenge!!
Cons: Not really any i can think of!! lol
Other Thoughts: Awesome course if you have not played it yet come give it a try!!!
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Much improved, but still needs work.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Armfield Civic Center has the makings of a solid 18-hole course. Based on older reviews, the redesign is a tremendous improvement; however, there are still some big issues keeping this course from reaching its full potential.
- Let me start off by saying I was extremely surprised by how good Armfield is, overall. There are a lot of fun and/or challenging holes, along with a great variety of layouts. I had always avoided playing the old layout because of how poorly it was rated/viewed, but decided to give the redesign a try. Good choice for me.
- This course had a lot of elevation in play, more so than I expected. Holes #1 & 2 both play downhill, making for a fun start to the round. Hole #7 is a short, steep, downhill 150-foot shot that ends up being not much more than a long putt. I suspect everyone's going to have a strong opinion about this hole, whether they love it or hate it. Hole #13 is one of the course's best, a 366-foot S-curved, down and uphill shot. Throw in a fair number of others with solid changes, and you've got elevation being an impact on more than half the holes.
- There's a good variety of wooded and open holes. Most of the wooded holes are open enough that you can be (somewhat) aggressive. As for the open holes, the rough/trees on the sides are thick enough that you're often in trouble if you can't keep it in the fairway.
- Tee signs are fantastic. They're satellite images of the hole (think Google Satellite or Bing Bird's eye) showing the tee pads and lines to the basket. Very visually helpful. What I liked even more was showing the elevation factor (although several elevations seemed inaccurate) and showing distances to certain landmarks on a hole - distance to the bend on #8, distance to a telephone pole on #15, etc. These are the little factors that go a long way to helping players.
- Good variety in distances and hole layouts. From the blue tees, which is where the tee signs are located, the two shortest holes are #16 (141 feet) and #7 (150 feet). Both are also downhill, not that it makes them any easier. The longest hole is #15 at 744 feet, with another four holes longer than 350 feet. Throw in a good mix of doglegs (try curving your disc enough on #8) and other layouts, along with some well-placed baskets - a fair number of open holes have baskets on the edge, or just into, the woods.
Cons: This course has several major issues that cannot be ignored if it's to be taken seriously. If not, this will still be a second-rate course that can pose major risks to disc golfers or other park goers.
- The biggest issues, which actually should have been addressed as soon as the baskets were put into the ground, is the fact holes use the walking trail as fairways. Holes #3, 4 & 8 all present the risk of a disc hitting a walker/jogger, which could lead to bigger issues - lawsuits, course being pulled, etc. That's unacceptable, no excuses needed. These holes have varying degrees of blind throws, so without a spotter you could be putting a person at risk with every shot.
- The secondary issue with these three holes is that because the fairways are walking trails, they are too narrow and poorly constructed. The rough is too thick on the left side of #3 & 4 , alongside the creek. As for #8, it's just a horrible designed hole. It's a 330 foot, 90-degree dogleg right about halfway up. Again, the fairway on this hole is 10 - 15 feet wide with a 'safe' landing spot not much bigger than that. Because the hole is so poorly designed, the compensation is that it's a par 4. As if that justifies this layout.
- Signage could be improved. There are other spots on the course where the trail and disc golf course cross paths. Unlike the three holes mentioned above, it's not part of any hole. Still, after finishing some holes, there are different directions you could take.
- A couple other flaws with the course I'll point out. The tee markers on #2 are pointed slightly in the wrong direction. They need to be turned about 45 degrees to the left to be properly facing the basket, and that includes still leaving a sharp dogleg layout.
- As others have mentioned before, I'm not a fan of the fairway for #15. I did like the hole layout better than expected. But, in order to ensure I was in the 'fairway', I threw two mid-range shots to get down to the open field near the basket. On a hole that's 744 feet, you would expect it's a hole to pull out driver.
- There needs to be better stairs on some of the downhill walks. It could be a tricky walk, especially if the course is wet/muddy on holes such as #7 & 16. Even with it being dry, these holes forced me to walk cautiously downhill.
- Finally, the tee pad on #17 should be moved to the right, taking out the risk of potentially having a shot thrown at the bridge. Again, it only takes one errant throw and one walker at the wrong time. Instead of second-guessing, let's eliminate an issue before it arises.
Other Thoughts: Armfield Civic Center was a pleasant surprise for me. I played it as part of a 3-day, 8-course trip. Out of the courses I played, this one most exceeded my expectations.
- There are 15 good holes here (or at least acceptable) and three horrific ones - #3, 4 & 8. Because of the major issues with those three, they drag down the rest of the course more than should be. There are simple ways to fix these problems, such as pulling all three, and just incorporate a couple long walks from #2 to #5 and #7 to #9, then plug in other holes somewhere else in the park. I'd rather have two long walks than having no course here.
- The course had a fair lost disc/searching for discs factor. Between the thick rough, elevation factor, sharp doglegs and other factors, discs can sail offline pretty easily. For example, my tee shot on #17 didn't start turning before the fairway did, and I sailed it straight into the woods. It took a couple minutes to cross the bridge and walk through the woods to get to the area where my disc was.
- There are some really good layouts here. I enjoyed the challenge of the uphill layouts on #6, 9 & 18. #18 is a solid closing hole, a 264-foot shot that starts in the open to a narrowed, uphill fairway in the woods. If you don't hit the gap in the woods, you're not going to have a shot to the basket. Add to that, the basket is close to a drop-off and you've got the makings of a solid closing hole.
- Here's the best thing I can say about this course. Several points during the round, my buddy and I both noted how the course had strong similarities to Kilborne in Charlotte. At its best, this course could be Kilborne-esque, but with an added elevation factor. It has that much potential. The problems with this course, however, are so severe that I'm knocking this course down to a 3.0. You take the best 15 holes on this course, and you're looking at a course in the 3.5 - 3.75 range, that's how much I was impressed by it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
"Big Arm-field" is a lot of fun
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice mix of open and wooded holes.
Signage gave distance and elevation +/- to the basket.
Three separate tees for most holes
I found the whites just fine by referring to the signs at the the blue tees.
Beautiful property with creek and rock formations.
There was ample signage from the time I pulled into the park until I came to the first tee.
Each basket had an arrow pointing to the next tee, no issues navigating the course.
Open holes were well maintained.
Cons: Only the blue tees had any gravel.
Walking trails/5K course are in play.
There were a few blind shots where I could have used a spotter. I spent about 30 minutes total looking for discs.
Other Thoughts: I played a mix of the blue and white tees. I thought this course had a nice variety of open vs. wooded, left and right basket placements, uphill and downhill shots. I had the park to myself early on Sunday morning. My opinion might change if the park was crowded.
I had the course to myself for two rounds and only saw one dog walker. There would be issues if there was a 5K the day you are playing as the trails weave in and out of the course. The signs I followed from the park entrance said "Big Arm-Field" Disc Golf Course. Good signage goes a long way for me. No trouble finding baskets or tees here.
This one is not far off US-52 and I would definitely play again if passing through
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Good bones but overall disappointing
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: - variety of holes and shots
- secluded feeling
- beautiful landscape
- tee signs are pretty
Cons: - abismal "tees"
- white and gold tees near impossible to find; only blue tees have signs
- navigation a bit confusing
- dangerous holes throwing over walking trails, over picnic areas and into picnic areas
- desperate need of tree removal
- some uses of elevation are borderline ridiculous
- poor drainage, course is slippery after heavy rain, combined with elevation changes can be hazardous
Other Thoughts: the tees absolutely suck. the only tees that have signs are the blues. You have to hunt for the painted rocks if you want to play the whites or golds and it just isn't worth it. The blues for the most part are no longer dirt. They look like someone just dumped unmixed quikrete on them. The golds and whites that I could locate in passing were just natural. The blues were uneven, lumpy and small. due to recent rain it was extremely muddy and any step not on the "tee" was slippery.
The actual holes for the most part were either pretty open or just ridiculous pachinko shots. after reading other reviews it sounds like this is being redone but to me it looks like they just gave up. I do appreciate that they tried to make dog legged holes with landing zones. But if you do hit the landing zone you are still throwing at a bunch of saplings. They also have too many holes under 200 ft. I guess they justified these since they are just absolute crapshoot throws through 5 ft gaps. Also some of the elevation changes are just insane. you have to throw 45 ft up hill and through absolute jail.
once you get past trying to find all the hidden baskets you start to notice how close you are to hiking and running trails. One hole (14 I think) plays through a camping/picnic area. This is just dangerous. Other reviews note how unsafe a lot of shots are. I played on New Years day and luckily the course was empty save for a few dog walkers.
Oh and let's talk about these "baskets". I have come to understand that many of the larger more reputable basket makers require course design check before selling baskets to a park. I can tell that these "baskets" were bought online with a credit card on the cheap. They have single chains and they all sit about 1 foot lower in the ground than normal baskets. Half of them have broken/failed welds on the trays.
Hole by Hole:
1 - okay
2 - throw over trail and foot bridge
3 - fairway is walking trail
4 - fairway is walking trail
5 - nice open hole
6 - 5ft wide "fairway" needs pruning
7 - Pretty with rocks but kinda dangerous tee on top of rocks and then the winding path down to basket causes you to lose sight of your disc
8 - nice dogleg but still could use some trimming
9 - Uphill shot with no clear path to basket needs trimming, tee is on picnic area
10 - simple hole
11- nice hole, but too close to trail IIRC
12 - decent
13 - has potential, needs trimming and throws over picnic area
14 - throws through camping/picnic area
15 - throws down power line right of way, lazy use of land IMO, still could be good dogleg hole
16 - short down hill pachinko shot needs trimming
17 - Throws over path and footbridge
18 - decent hole
The course has good bones but the execution is just horrid. The "redesign" feels abandoned and haphazard. There are also way too many unsafe throws. Overall I would say it's not worth the drive unless you live in the area and absolutely have to play DG. Please play safe.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is a new gem in NC! This course plays through beautiful wooded hills with a few grassy holes mixed throughout. The course challenges a variety of lines and distances, from touch putter shots to long drives. The design uses the available land well to create a challenging layout. Some other reviews have mentioned tight fairways or punishing rough, but for a new course it is perfectly acceptable, as it will thin out with more traffic. The course is fair and requires a variety of lines to score well.
Cons: The baskets are cheap and do not catch well, and seem to be easily bent out of shape. Teepads don't exist yet, and the signage is almost non-existent. Bring a course map with you to make sure you can navigate through the course. I would have liked to see a few more Par 4-5s to require a bit more strategy. Lastly, it seems that the course overlaps with walking trails, which could be a hazard if walkers were on or near the fairways. Besides these facts, the course is really well designed.
Other Thoughts: The rough is really thick since this re-design seems recent and the course doesn't seem to get much play. Poison Ivy was present in large quantities, so wear high socks and wash asap! Some highlights are: Hole #1 is gorgeous downhill with a grassy fairway. From the teepad of hole # 5 you cannot see a river running just off the fairway to the left of this 440 foot bomb. Hole #7 is a 150 foot wooded toss down a hill that drops 40 feet, just a jump-putt or a light toss. Hole #15 is a 740 foot par 4 that plays down a powerline clearing and requires two good throws for a putt at birdie.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A walk in the park
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -a fair amount of elevation changes
-nice view with some interesting holes
-mix of long and short holes
- multiple tees
Cons: -little to no signage
-a few holes that don't work
-the course is built in and around numerous running and hiking trails and picnic areas
Other Thoughts: I approached this course with some trepidation, knowing that it was recently redone and that it was still in the process of being finished. I arrived at the Civic Center and drove around for a while looking for the start of the course. There were no signs directing me to the start, and I was lucky to find it. I found a sign lying on its side near the first hole that signifies it as the start. There was a post that said "hole 1, par 3," and some flat rocks spray-painted blue. I came to realize the white, yellow, and blue painted rocks were the "pads," which were grass. The post signifying the first hole was one of few, if any, posts that identify where holes begin. The yellow tee, which was supposedly on the other side of the road, was not to be found. There was no course map on the kiosk near hole 1, nor were there copies of the map.
This beginning should have been a warning to me about the rest of the course. In fairness, the course is not horrible, but it is unfinished. Faded spraypaint on rocks in high grass or dirt on uneven terrain does not make good tees, and they are hard to locate to boot. Thankfully, the map linked to on this website is accurate, if sometimes hard to read. Each basket has a red and white arrow pointing to the next hole, and there are blue spraypainted arrows on the ground as well to help guide you. The baskets are old and wobbly, but certainly playable. One problem is that some of the holes, while interesting ideas, just don't work. Hole 7, for example, is a short throw from the edge of a cliff to a basket surrounded by chest high foliage. It's a concept hole that just doesn't work- hit the green or don't. 13 starts with the dreaded lay-up shot, then a steep, uphill turn. Hole 4 is a medium range throw with a 90 degree turn at the end. Another issue is numerous areas that need trimming of some sort. Overhanging branches on hole 2, and 10, the harsh turn on 8 that allows for only one lane to the basket where there could easily, and probably should be two (if some clearing was done on the right side of the trees larger trees at the bend it would be a better hole). In fact, quite a few of the holes could use some clearing, whether high or low (beware the poison ivy!).
But the biggest potential problem I foresee, is that the course was built in and among walking and running trails. Signs for the trails litter the course, making course navigation difficult. And a lot of the holes run alongside trails, or throw over, through, or at them. 17 throws at and over a foot bridge, while 3, 4, 5, and 8 double as fairways and trails. I threw long on 12, and realized a running trail went right behind the basket, and with all the trees on the course people will be coming from behind blind spots and in the line of fire on a busy day. 13 throws over a picnic table, and 14 throws into a picnic area! Luckily, I went on a Monday about lunchtime and I never saw another person throughout my round. But understand that on a busier day you will be interacting with people who don't know what it feels like to get tagged by a disc.
All this is a shame. There could be a really nice course here, and someday perhaps it will be once finished. Tee signs with proper distances are a must if no map is available. Uneven ground makes for poor tees- concrete would be appreciated, but gravel tees might be a better option. And I hope the designers realize putting the yellow tee 20 ft behind the blue tee doesn't really much change the hole or add anything new. At the same time, the short white tees offer very little challenge and will likely not interest any but the youngest players. There are some beautiful parts of the course- The green for 8 is gorgeous, and the short 16th is an interesting little challenge. 15 is by far the signature hole- 744 ft downhill in a tight fairway centered around telephone poles- all in a par 4, where landing outside the fairway is devastating to your score. Overall the course isn't as challenging as it could be, but it does what it can to make use of elevation changes, and for an area with no other courses it's the best available. It's a bit of a shame Pilot Mountain doesn't make much of an appearance in the view once on the course itself, but the landscape on the course is pretty enough. I wouldn't call it a destination course by any means, but if you're traveling through the area its close to the highway and good for a few hours of fun.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
REDESIGNED! Come try it now.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Now this course has a challenging layout based on skill level instead of the old fractured layout.
Beautiful new setting behind the Armfield Civic Center with many holes bordered by Tom's Creek.
Water and huge rock formations come into play.
White and blue tees in place with gold tees almost completed.
Good mixture of shorter and longer hole distances.
Many holes have baskets placed out of view from tee making for very few tee shots that can reach the target. Challenging for all skill levels.
Wildlife abundant: lots of birds, deer, turkey, snakes, salamanders, possum, squirrels, and frogs spotted so far.
Bathrooms located at front section of park and porta-john near hole #2 of new layout.
Cons: Some fairways are really tight as the course is still getting "played in" as a new layout. This will only get better though, and some consider this a "pro" rather than a "con."
Signage is improving rapidly as volunteers get holes dug and posts relocated.
Watch for hikers, dog-walkers, and 5K runners since these trails are intermingled with the disc golf route.
Other Thoughts: Much better course now after redesign....Thank you to the fine people who made the new layout possible!
Redesign allows disc golf to utilize a far better area of this park. Previously disc golfers had to skip holes that were played next to baseball fields and parking spots.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Seems like it will end up being a decent course once they get it planned out and executed.
Alot of the tee indicators and next tee that way signs were leaning up against a fence, so in the future that should be available.
Cons: This course still seems to be under construction. I think I was only able to find a few of the front 9. The tee areas are only painted on the grass, so in a few days I dont think you may even find those. They anchored the baskets in the concrete with PVC pipe, I can forsee issues with this if they dont shim them up as a few rattle.
Other Thoughts: On the hole up the hill, I think the small tree in the middle of the "fairway" should be considered to be removed. I would love to see someone snake it through the current layout and park one in the ring. Near impossible even going up over the top.
All in all it seems like it might turn out to be an interesting course. They need some work with signage and some kind of actual teebox. I will be in and out of the area and I will be sure to check on and it in the future.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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