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.
RUN TO THE HILLS
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Richmond hill is a very good course in the Appalachian mountains on a nice part of a hill. This place is all about disc golf and hiking! Definitely worth the time alone or with a friend who loves the game.
-Very large parking lot for a place only for disc golf or going on the hiking trail. Parking should never be a problem here.
-It's close to downtown Asheville so the rest of my family dropped me off to play a couple rounds and they could go somewhere nice to hang out or do something fun.
-At the kiosk beside #1, there are maps with a scorecard on them. Navigation was no trouble at all.
-Extreme elevation comes to play here. Many valley shots that drop up to 75 ft and gain just as much if not more! Hole 9 comes to mind here and some holes are the other way around. Hole 10 drops about 25 ft and then rises maybe 60 ft. My favorite hole is 15. It's all the way downhill, nearly extreme downhill. Drops maybe 50 ft! It was in the long position and its 326' feet but I could get down there with a putter!
-It's very hilly so it has benches on every hole and there are trash cans on your way to the first tee. There are portajohns as well.
-Very cool pin positions, usually they have a hill beyond the basket so you could catch a roller. Definitely a test of your putting game! #17 long is on a 15' hill which is always great. I love elevated baskets!
-I liked the Tarheel blue baskets! They were something different and very easy to see. They catch well too! There is a practice basket as well!
-Great tee signs. Baskets were easy to find. The layout is great as well. I think this is definitely a fun mountain course and has many well placed holes!
-#18 ends close to the parking lot making this course layout a circle. #9 is close to the parking lot as well if you are in a hurry.
Cons: -If you read a lot of my reviews, you know that I love hilly courses! I prefer them to any flat course just like New013. I usually rate a hilly course higher than 3.5. That's because this course isn't maintained well. This place has extreme elevation which is good but it also has extreme vegetation. It's not maintained well on the front nine and #12 already has an erosion problem. I lost a white Dx rhyno on 12 and I'd like it back. I lost two other discs in the crap. Three Holes here have extreme vegetation. Those holes are #6, #7 and #13. It's just fine if you stay straight or to the right on #6 but there's a 90% chance you will lose a disc if it goes left, #7 is really bad to the left as well and on #13, it's just wild. Especially to the right and if you throw it in the crap, you're disc has been released for the last time. RICHMOND NEEDS MAINTENANCE!
-Carpet tee pads. They aren't as good as rubber or concrete. After a rainfall, they can be intolerably slippery. They were fine today but they are not always dry.
-I really wish there was a water fountain out here but there isn't so you better bring your cooler or you won't feel well after a while.
Other Thoughts: -Great place to stop by! I love mountain courses and I think this place was fun and I think it could be better with some maintenance. After hole #13, the lost disc factor goes down. I think that this course is probably the best in the area but it can be frustrating when your shot goes bad. It can happen and I just need to get out there that your disc can very well vanish. Even with a good tee shot. I lost an XL on #3 and I had a good throw with it. I lost my beloved pro wraith as well on #6. I recommend this course if you are within 45 minutes away but not alone. I would want someone to lookout for my discs.
-Very many signature holes here! So many epic tee shots. Prepare for a very fun mountain course and bring hiking shoes and bring a cooler of water and then go to Mellow Mushroom.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Fun mountain course.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It's in Appalachia so all that scenic goodness and nature vibes are in abundance. The holes are mixed up pretty well thanks to the elevation change and topography, although it suffers a bit from "straightness." The only thing that felt monotonous was the hiking but it's mountains so you have to expect that sort of thing and as a fat asthmatic that played 2 more mountainous courses the day before I didn't think it was that bad. Plenty of steps and bridges, etc to help ease your traversing.
I really liked the light blue baskets, made them easy to spot in the woods. A variety of tees, most of them a sort of lumpy astroturf variety but they get the job done for the most part. Benches galore, many set up kind of like theater seating. The fairways are nicely defined and the greens are mostly fair, although some better placed logs to prevent bad rollaways would be appreciated. But the mostly old growth trees and many valley shots are well worth a visit.
Cons: A bit of erosion here and there, to be expected with its popularity. On the whole though it seems well taken care of, for example mulch being put down in numerous spots. Hole 8's fairway I believe, could use some choice tree removal IMO. It has roughly 3 distinct fairways off the tee and goes slightly left. The problem is that the fairways kind of disappear after that. Seems like a hole that rewards luck as much as skill because even a good drive can be spoiled by plenty of late trouble.
I've read some reviews that said the valley shots got repetitive, I can't really agree. There are a couple holes where they're strung together but it doesn't feel like you're playing up and down all day to me.
Concrete tees and some longer, more strategy inducing placement style par 4s and 5s here and there would have greatly boosted this course's rating.
Other Thoughts: Just a highly enjoyable course. It felt like a much more mountainous Reedy Creek to me. This course is more fun than it is necessarily challenging for more experienced players. You do need a certain level of skill to hit placements over valleys and such but you don't need to be an advanced player to have fun here. It's basically a difficult terrain par 3 course in a way. A little dated but I highly recommend it.
11 of 11 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.
1 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Great course with a good mixture of holes. I love the tee pads here and the course is in a nice location. Has a nicd practice area with tons of parking. I always get excited when we head to play this course.
Cons: Dont really have any.
Other Thoughts: Make sure ur in good shape cause there is plenty of hills to walk up and down. Also make sure ur on ur game when u go here cause there is some tight shots.
1 of 11 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.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very, very cool mountain course. Several reviews have said it, but if you can drive it straight and get over the large "canyon," you can score well. This review comes after my second time playing the course. I felt much more confident in my throws. Elevation change is what makes this course fun. Be ready to huff and puff!! Tee pads are nice and baskets are visible. Pick your lines and let it fly! I switched to a forehand drive and had a lot of success. I watched several other groups and saw a lot of forehand drives, as well. Something to consider.
Cons: This is a strenuous mountain course. If you're not prepared for that, you will run out of steam very quickly. It was rainy when I played, and the course got really muddy. I'm not whining, just bring several towels if its wet.
Other Thoughts: Being from Charlotte, this is such a great change of pace! If you're in the area, give it a shot! The locals are always happy to help keep you going!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Be in shape for this bad boy
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Supreme edge to those who can drive with accuracy. Good tee boxes. Easy to navigate. Underbrush is beat down well. Porta toilets at the parking lot are greatly appreciated with how far this is from a public bathroom. Friendly local players.
Cons: The grand canyon ravine. A good half of the holes go back and forth over this enormous ditch, 200ft across and 100ft deep. If your drive hits anything on these holes, or doesn't get a solid landing on the other side, you will be dead in the bottom of this ravine. This also takes a lot of energy to navigate up and down, and to make heavy uphill throws if you are unlucky enough to grip lock one or have a slightly off center drive.
Other Thoughts: Dogs are allowed on leashes and are common to see off a leash, I don't mind it but some people do. I wouldn't suggest a tourny bag your first go around on this course. Take something smaller and lighter and you'll thank me later.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Up, Down, Up, Down, Up....
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Layout - Richmond Hill is the epitome of mountain disc golf. Elevation defines the course and the layout itself. While some courses try to skate around long up and down hikes throughout the course, this course embraces it.
You're more likely to be throwing up, down or over a valley then you are on relatively flat ground here. Even the holes that play sorta flat have severe drop offs if you ricochet the wrong direction. All of that elevation forces you to be incredibly accurate not only through gaps but in where you are landing your disc; because a miss can really cost you.
Most of the course is wooded and the elevation can cause some serious headaches but the fairways are fair here. Nothing to tight to make it overbearing, nothing that easy either.
The course does a really good job of mixing up the holes so that it doesn't get monotonous; even though many of the shots are relatively straight ones. It mixes in some hyzer/anhyzer holes here and there as well as sending you up and down in a way that keeps in fresh and interesting.
The course also does a good job of keeping the holes mixed in terms of length. You'll find some shorter shots here and some long shots over valleys that are crucial to hit; if you don't you're at the bottom looking up and that's where your score will go.
There's multiple basket locations now and in some cases it changes the direction the hole ends or it makes the hole play much longer.
The greens here are tough mainly because of the elevation. In some cases a missed putt can leave you hundreds of feet down a hill. It adds an entirely new level of pressure to putting.
The course flows really well, it's always pretty easy to see where you're going next, and the paths throughout the course are well defined.
Three or four signature type holes that will stop you for a second just to take it all in.
Equipment - Solid baskets with light blue bands that really stand out in the surroundings. The signage is done in a neat way here, the layout and distance is put on a log top sliced at an angle. Mulch used very well to keep fairways and paths sturdy. Benches, stairs and bridges everywhere they're needed.
There's only portajohns out there but the course loops back to the parking lot multiple times.
Atmosphere - Beautiful Appalachian land framed perfectly for a disc golf setting. The course is always in great condition. Some awesome looking holes on this course, probably one of it's best upsides.
The vibe you get out there from the trees and fellow discers is amazing, everybody is down to earth and friendly.
For a course not that far outside of Asheville you really get a remote feeling on parts of the course, if there wasn't as much traffic it would be even better.
Cons: Layout - I wish there were more holes that made you shape your shot instead of just going straight up/down hills. In a way you might just get to much of that even though it's done well.
A few more open holes within the middle of the course would serve it well but it's not possible. 1 & 18 are open but 1 is just a short little shot that almost seems out of place and forced in at the beginning. 18 is great and more holes like that would really put this course over the top.
I could see a few holes needing a shorter tee designation for less experienced players. As it stands beginners shouldn't come here unless they just like to hike and don't mind throwing uphill a lot.
Equipment - The pads are large but astroturf. I personally didn't have a problem with it but if it was rainy and wet I could see that being a problem. Concrete tees would really help I think.
I think the signs are cool but at times I thought a more traditional descriptive map would help describe the hole better.
This is one course where it really got to me that there wasn't traschans on the course. You need water/beer out on this course because it's such a hike and to not have a place to dispose of it is insane.
Atmosphere - It is normally really crowded here because the course is so great and the other options around aren't that great. It takes away from it all even though everyone is usually cool.
Other Thoughts: Richmond Hill is a good course and will give you a super fun round if you don't mind the hike.
I know some people don't like all of the poisonous vines here, and there is a lot of it. I'll just remind everyone that these types of plants really help stop erosion and that could eventually be a huge problem here.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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