From Asheville With Care
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There are a few basic reasons for a course to be considered amongst the elite. The natural terrain could be so fantastic that you could throw up baskets anywhere and the course would scream to be thrown on. It could have a killer design and impress with the creator's genius. It could also be how well the course is cared for. That attention to detail and dedication to maintenance. Now, Richmond Hill may have some quality terrain, especially that valley that runs through half the course. It also boasts a quality design, with memorable holes that take full advantage of the terrain. But where the Asheville course stands above the rest is that third category. From the the first hole, it is obvious how much is put into these fairways.
Unless this is the first review of Richmond Hill that you have read, you know about the valley. Four holes cross this valley, each an incredible shot from high on one side to high on the other. Tremendous reward if you make it across. Great risk if you don't, because if you end up on the bottom, it isn't likely you can get up in just one throw. Fantastic natural landforms. But these holes aren't nearly as playable without the hundreds of steps carved into the sides of the valley because the players, unlike the discs, can't fly across the gap.
Beyond the valley shots, there are some fantastic uphill lines that are made all the better by a lattice of logs, keeping rollaways from rolling too far away, and helping the new players keep their cool on some difficult holes. My favorite hole might be 16, in which after descending to the valley floor, the hole follows the valley as it climbs oh-so-gradually towards 18s top-of-the-world viewpoint. It's great and made all the better by the complete lack of brush creeping into the low-lying area. There's plenty of brush at Richmond Hill but thanks to what I assume must be absurd maintenance, it stays where it should be and the often generous fairways remain free for play.
Cons: While the first two valley shots were perfect, the second two would be better off with a few trees removed. There is just not big enough a window to reliably make it across and it would be nice if somewhere along that gap, there was a specific aiming point to ensure landing on the other side. Maintain the risk/reward factor but take away some of the chance for bad luck to knock a good drive to the bottom of the ravine.
There also seems to be an excess of straight shots, though different basket positions might have changed that. I used my straightest driver for a majority of the holes and a little more left and right action would be welcome.
Other Thoughts: Asheville seems like a place that would have a ton of disc golf courses but it really doesn't so I would be recommending this course even if it was mediocre. Richmond Hill is not mediocre. It's a well-kept gem of a course over some pretty terrain with a ton of elevation and some memorable holes. It's also that rare course that could be enjoyed by people of any skill level. Beginners can play here without feeling overwhelmed but vets should find challenge here too. If you're in the area for any length of time, you really need to get out there.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
The valley through the middle of the course is the hero!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Off the beaten path, very worthwhile 18-holer in Asheville
+ Fun hike featuring many scenic, dynamic throws over a valley
+ In fact, a highlight of the course is definitely the dynamic hole layouts and terrain: island greens, hillside pins, up and downhill valley shots, tight woods, gnarly roughness
+ Well-defined lines with a mix of tree coverage and moderate to thick bushes
+ Very visible baskets: blue Discatchers > yellow or Chainstars
+ Not overly challenging first round with pins in a mix of short/long spots
+ Lots of logs and steps to help prevent rollaways and to keep stable footing when climbing up and down the hills
+ Although I did see a little poison ivy/oak (might help to review how to identify), we wore shorts and didn't have a problem
+ Great wood chipped holes #1 and #18 (really liked 18 as the hilltop finish)
+ Busy, but not crowded
+ Great parking/portapotties on site
Cons: - Lots of straight shots with baskets in full view
- No directional signage (sometimes really needed), especially for navigation from 6 to 7 and 13 to 14
- Some of the slipperiest tee pads I've ever thrown from
- Only one basket in place for each hole in a random short or long position
- I liked the simple painted log tee signs way better than the full color printouts
- Short pin locations really minimized the risk vs reward
Other Thoughts: We decided to add Richmond Hill into our last day in Asheville and we were very happy we did. Even after two full days of hiking, this hilly course was exactly the right amount of challenge for my wife and I. Although, there were a couple holes my wife didn't want to throw because she was nervous about the reports of poison ivy/oak (#7 especially, but #13 short as well), she didn't really have any problems throwing the rest. For a quick take-home message, I have to say that Richmond Hill was a highlight of the city of Asheville itself, one that I would consider a must for any visiting disc golfer no matter their skill level.
In terms of scoring, you'll enjoy the round most if you plan accordingly. As an intermediate level thrower, I threw two over par on my first round here with the pins in their current locations. I think perhaps the short position of the pins reduced the challenge a lot. I brought my full bag, but only threw three discs the entire round. My advice for other first time visitors (like we were) is to bring stable to understable discs and throw straight and safe. The holes aren't very long even with the pins in the long positions and even on the two(?) that hit 400' you'll benefit greatly from just keeping your throws as straight as can be. You'll also benefit from not having to navigate around what might or might not be poison ivy/oak.
I have to agree with the reviews saying the tee pads are a bummer. I would rather throw from natural tees than the turf tees, which were slippery even though they were dry. The tee boxes themselves are very nice, so if there is one way this course could be greatly improved, it would be by pouring concrete tees. I'm also a big stickler for directional signage. If it's not obvious which direction to walk, put up a small arrow please :) #7 is straight behind #6's basket in line with the fairway, and #14 backtracks to the right a little. I do see arrows in pictures here on DGCR, but didn't see them in person. Anyway, there are two types of tee signs here, maybe half were full color and kind of cluttered, and the other half were minimalistic. Just a cut log with the hole #, distances, and intended lines/pins painted in white. I liked the minimal tee signs better.
There's an awesome valley running through here and the slight elevation change it gives the terrain is the biggest hero for Richmond Hill. As a whole, the course plays slightly downhill at the beginning, then slightly uphill at the end, with back and forth valley shots sprinkled in the middle (the hikes down, up, and back down again were a nice little workout). I did miss throwing dramatically uphill and downhill, though. The throws over the valley are basically straight across. I suppose if you hit a tree in the middle of the valley you'll get that kind of throw, though. I didn't pay much attention to the distances on the tee signs, but the valley holes are a lot shorter than they look. Also, it's good to note how much we liked that the holes in the middle play back up towards the parking lot (and portapotties). Considering the overall flow, Richmond Hill is a breeze to play. We were surprised how quickly we got to #18.
All that said, labeling Richmond Hill a "mountain course" hypes its size and difficulty unnecessarily. And you can't see the surrounding mountains from anywhere on the course. The course does shine with a charming taste of the hills of the Appalachian Mountains, but it's not huge or extreme the way "mountain" implies. Especially after you go out for some of the hiking that Pisgah National Forest has to offer. Anyway, even though you can throw straight and score low, the diverse use of the terrain and valley was awesome and memorable and would prompt me to play this course again on a return visit instead of hitting any of the other much lower rated 6, 9, or 18 hole courses around Asheville.
Thanks for reading!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Hiking meets disc golf...perfect combo
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent course. It was nice to see many disc golfers out and enjoying the course. Often when I play, I'll have the course to myself mostly. My wife and I played this course on our way to SC and GA for a road trip which involved a ton of disc golf ;-) Richmond Hills was one of our favorites because it seemed to have more elevation change than we've played yet, (was a great mix of hiking and disc golf) and all of the signage, tee boxes, benches and baskets were in excellent shape. I would highly recommend this course to anyone visiting the Smokey Mountain area....it will definitely put your skills to the test!
Cons: A couple of holes seemed nearly impossible to make par (to me).... and seemed to depend more on luck than skill to have even a shot at par.
Other Thoughts: Would definitely love to play this course again if in the area.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Hope you like wooded holes!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Multiple pins! I don't think I have played this course twice in a row where the pins were in the same place.
-They have new signs that show the different pins and the footage.
-The tee pads are nice but there is a problem I'll address in the cons.
-It is laid out like a traditional golf course where the front nine and back nine start very close to each other, so if there looks like a large group teeing off on hole one you can start on hole 10
-Nice, light blue Innova Discatchers
-Not too difficult to navigate by yourself but I would still suggest a guide if there isn't a group ahead of you that you can keep up with
-A great mix of elevation and distances throughout the course
-Nice stairs on the steeper parts of the course.
Cons: -There are a lot of muddy areas if has rained much any time fairly recent
-The tee pads can be very slick even if hasn't rained very much at all, so do a mock run up if you think they may be wet (I have about slid off the front of the tee pads a few times)
-There is a walking trail mingled in with a few of the holes, so keep that in mind and watch for non disc golfers
Other Thoughts: I like the challenge this course provides. If you don't have consistent accuracy you will start working on it after playing this course a few times. You will also get worn out if you aren't used to hiking up hills on every other hole. There has been some vandalism on the mirror on hole 6. If you haven't played before, you can look at a mirror behind the tee on hole 6 to see if the basket is clear. It is still usable, but it ticks me off that some punk would do this.
I feel that I rated this course a little higher than I normally would, but there is not much of the course that is shared with something else in the park. I can really only think of 1 or 2 holes that the trail is in play. I really like courses that I don't have to worry about throwing into pedestrian areas. That adds another half to full point in how I rate courses.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Play disc golf while you hike!
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Nice tee pads, challenging even for the best of players, lots of change in elevation and different looks at the baskets, *if you enjoy hiking then this is the best of both worlds as you will be climbing up and down many steep hills throughout the wooded course.
Cons: Almost too challenging for scratch players, course was somewhat hard to find, even with course map some holes were difficult to find, *if you are not a fan of hiking then you may hate this course as it requires lots of trekking up and down steep hills throughout.
Other Thoughts: Overall interesting course as it provides a very tough challenge. I would not take a newcomer here for their first time as I could see them getting discouraged quick. I would also recommend using the premium plastics here as your cheaper plastics will get dinged up pretty quick due to the amount of trees on this course.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Great course, best in Asheville
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice course, good location as It's not far from downtown, definitely the signature course Of Asheville. Great elevation changes throughout, you must hit the gaps tO score well. Lots of subpar 300 ft holes with very tight fairways. Great baskets and easily visible once you spot them. Big ups to the volunteerism, it truly is the sport of disc golf, great mulch job On a lot of holes, could only imagine how long that took.
Cons: Tee pads, the turf is nice unless it's worn and covered with mud, scary footing, but after knowing how much rain they get every year what can you do. Just have you learn to throw 1-2 step. I had trouble fInding the pin location so I had to walk the hole before I threw it, should mark the location on the sign with a colored nut and bolt.
Other Thoughts: Would definitely play another if I had the time.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Gotta Play this one
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Carved out of the mountain itself, this course has something for everyone. Mostly very techincal, there are a couple holes that are wide open. And even the technical holes are somewhat forgiving if you misplace a shot with a line to throw. Excellent sinage at the astro-turf covered tee boxes. Benches on every hole. All the locals were very friendly.
Cons: A little difficult to find initially, but well worth the seach. A few of the climbs through the valleys could use a little bit of care.
Other Thoughts: One of the most (maybe THE most) senic courses I have played. If you are afraid of heights or not in decent shape, this course may not be for you. The valley shots were amazing (and a little maddening when my disc would roll to the bottom). If you are anywhere within 200 miles you need to make the trip.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: this course was a huge breath of fresh air from brevard college, which is where i always play, cus im right down the road. this course is challenging. it is heavily wooded, the holes are well marked, and the course is layed out very nicely. i havnt played many courses that you have to use a large arsenal of shots, so this is a fun course.
Cons: for me, its tough cus im used to a wide open course and not having to make many technical shots. there were a lot of people on the course, including joggers, bikers, and hikers. so just watch before you throw.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course was a ton of fun to play. I mean what more can you say about a park thats dedicated solely to disc golf.
I played with a group of four and we played doubles so I didn't get as much variety in my shots as I would have liked. We started on the back nine because late in the day there is a lot of traffic with people being out of school and work. There is a lot of elevation change on numerous holes which challenge you to place your shot just so to have a solid look at the basket.
I've read some reviews that say there isn't much variety in shots but I found that there were multiple lines are almost every hole that provided for either a BH or a FH. I guess its all in whether you utilize every available shot in the bag or just one.
One of my favorite holes I think its #6 is a slight dogleg right down hill to a blind basket. They've rigged a mirror on a tree towards the back of the tee box and you can watch your shot once it goes over the hill. I mean how sweet is that.
One thing I loved is how detailed the hole signs were. They showed both pin selections and really help you to decide what sort of shot you want to play. Although in some cases they aren't needed because you can most of the baskets from the tee.
All in all I love this course its a blast two play with a group or alone and I would suggest anyone to go and play it.
Cons: Umm some things that you may be find as a con are certain tee pads are subject to flooding after a heavy rain. I encountered three maybe four.
Another thing that some may find bothersome is the amount of traffic that goes through everyday. But what can you expect when the course is great and is dedicated only to the golfers that walk the trails.
Really only other con I can think of off the top of my head is that most holes do have steps but between the sets of steps its extremely slick and can be hazardous so be sure to wear a good set of shoes with great tread for traction.
One another con at least when I was there the hole maps didn't have the screw in place for which pin selection was being used for the day. But as I stated in the pro section you will be able to see the basket from tee in most cases.
Other Thoughts: Really a great place to come and play with a group of friends. Offers a great time and as you will see if you ever play a ton of people seem to enjoy the experience as much as I did.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
asheville needs more of these
Pros: nice tee pads- wooden raised boxes w/ astroturf surface
good signs/ hole descriptions at each hole
the cleanest porta-potties i've ever seen at the parking lot- no worries if you need a #2.
navigation is very intuitive, even for a mapless first-timer- trails from basket to tee pads, steps in steeper areas, bridges over creeks(the creeks are normally dry).
pretty good variety of possible shots on many holes- RHBH players: try a gentle hyzer to the right on #11 if the pin is in the far position- you'll dig it!
the trees add a very necessary element of risk, since almost none of the holes are very long(5long,7long,8long,17 being exceptions)
multiple pin placements on every hole(at least i'm pretty sure- i've never seen 6,9,13,or 18 in a different spot though)
disc golf-only course, no other traffic
Cons: poison ivy- use the usual precautions
often crowded- close to asheville and UNCA, this place sees a lot of use, but it's been good for the clearing of the undergrowth over the years
some fairways are close to each other, so make sure and yell "fore!" when you throw if there's people around! 2/3, 6/8, 9/10, 13/14, 14/15 are the main danger areas for this, so look out!
astro-turf tees can get very slippery when wet
trash around the course, despite there being a trash can/recycling can in the parking lot- c'mon folks, bring a bag with ya, drop trash after hole 9, drop rest after 18- easy!
Other Thoughts: some have complained about the lack of multiple tees, but there are very few holes where that wouldn't require a lot of logging. it does seem like there is room for a few more holes in the park, though- i'm not sure of the park boundaries, but it seems like another 6 holes or so could be added without disturbing too much... just a thought.
all in all, a great course in a nice forest with great terrain features- a big hippie town like asheville could use some more courses like this around, we've got the perfect terrain! and as the sport grows here, this one course won't be able to handle everybody! cheers!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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