11 Helpful / 0 Not
Super NoVA 9 holer!
I really like this course! For over 5 years it's kept it's top position as the best 9 hole course I've ever played. What a treat to have this compact course on a hill inside the Beltway. Variety makes it great. Every hole has 3 concrete teepads and 4 basket positions, so there are 12 possible layouts for each hole! Hole lengths range from 153 ft to 539 ft with everything in between, and there are a great mix of straight, left, and right fairways. There are lots of uphill and downhill shots too. There's even a little bit of water with a creek in play on holes 4 & 6.
There are good Amenities, with an excellent color map, bag holders, and tons of benches. Here's an added bonus-- hole 5 has a permanent extra basket in the longest position.
Not a whole lot…
-With so many basket positions and lots of trees it can be a little hard to figure out where the basket is. On the layout I played I couldn't see 5 of the baskets, so that took a little extra scouting. It would help a lot if they had a good way to show the current basket position.
-Par… To my way of thinking, many of the pars are too high. I don't think they're using the notorious "Rec Par" because the designer, Tim Beron, is far too savvy for that useless system. Bluemont's sign par is based on the best recorded score from each tee to a specific basket plus 2 throws. I guess that means that every hole that hasn't been aced in a tournament has a minimum of par 4. This results in the following pars: Red-B, 1881 ft. = par 30 / Red-C, 2064 ft. = par 33 / Red-D, 2385 ft. = par 34. The longest, Blue-D, 3423 ft. = par 44 (with five par 5s.). I use Close Range Par, so I think these are too high. I just can't imagine nine holes at 1881 ft (average of 200 ft. per hole) with a par of 30. Personally, I wouldn't put par on any of the Red tee layouts above 27.
My Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)
According to my values, to get my highest ratings a course has to have at least 18 holes, so that means that even the greatest nine hole course has an upper limit to how high I'll rate it. Bluemont sets the standard for me with the highest rating I've given to a 9 hole course. It's too bad that they're limited to only 9 holes.
If you want to have lots of fun, with unending variety, and if you want to see a model for how good a 9 hole course can be, then make sure to play Bluemont!
NOTE: Look in the "Links/Files" section for my files with Hole-by-hole evaluations, and a more detailed Overall review. You can also read more of my review philosophy and rating notes at Disc Golf Course Reviews
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Maximizing a Minimum
Pros: 9-hole, 4-basket positions, 3-tee positions mean this course can play very differently each time.
At each red tee, good signage listing the distances from each tee to each basket. Post with multi-hooks to hang bags. Benches at most holes. (Mostly long) concrete teepads, with coloured number painted upon, at each hole.
Good blend of right/left/straight, fully/partially/minimally wooded holes.
Favourite hole #4C from the whites: About 250', slightly uphill, slightly right-turning, basket not visible because it is in the woods and below the slope of the hill, guarded by a OB creek behind and to the left.
Cons: Because the course is set-up on a small, wooded hillside of a large public park:
- Many holes play quite near to walking paths and other public general-use areas
- Some tee positions will play across other holes' fairways (e.g. blue and white #1 tees play across #9's fairway; blue tees #2 and #4 across #8's fairway)
- Some tee positions are in danger of being hit by throws from other tees (e.g. throwing from red/white #2, you may have an errant throw buzzing at your head from #3, if the mando is missed)
Most visible basket may not be the one for your tee! The day we played, the most visible basket from tee #1 was basket #3; from #3's tee, the most visible basket was #7.
From the parking lot, take the paved path at the end of it to find the 9th tee (and sign for 1st tee) just past the basketball court.
If you are first-time visitor, you may want to walk the course (its not very long), to see which baskets go with which tees (as mentioned earlier, the most easily visible basket may not be the basket you are supposed to be playing!)
The maps available on this site, or at http://www.geocities.com/blue...oursemap.html
(which as further links for details on each hole) are quite useful.
Link at http://md-discgolf.com/phpbb3...25&t=1890
may contain useful current-position information.
With the recent addition of two new baskets, #5 and #9 D both have permanent baskets.
Because you have so many combinations of tees and basket positions, the distances can vary wildly. All red to all A? Nothing over 200'. All blue to all D? Average about 375', with one over 500'.
Good use of making the most of the space available!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Top notch nine.
Pros: Bluemont sure surprised me. I wouldn't have thought so much variety could be put into a small area. Whomever design this course got every little bit out of the space available. Bluemont has a little bit of everything. Elevation, water hazards, good use of mandos and OB, tight shots and multiple layouts. Each hole has 3 concrete tees (a couple i noticed 4) varying in length and shot angle. If this wasn't enough, each hole has 3 or more pin placements. I'm not sure how many different layouts this comes to, but its a lot. And no 2 holes were alike. Multiple baskets are slowly being integrated giving players more options.
Bluemont is a beautiful park, I was fortunate to have played on a day when the trees were in bloom. This also brings a lot of other park goers, joggers etc, but it was nice to see that the DGers and other were getting along well and sharing the small space. Local golfers were very friendly and playing was a great experience (even in the rain.) My favorite i think was hole 4. Straight away fairway that hooks to the right to a basket placed on the edge of a ten foot drop off with a creek at the bottom. Took a well placed upshot to walk away with a 3.
Cons: The only con I have comes from having a course in such a small space. Fairways come close together and can sometimes interfere with play, especially from long, blue tees. A couple holes that run near jogging paths could also be hazardous to other park goers.
Other Thoughts: My first time playing Bluemont was for the Cherry Blossom C-tier event. I played the beautiful course for 4 rounds, each from a different tee or with different pin placements. This is easily the best 9 hole I've played to date as well as the most challenging.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
This is a great little course. The multiple tee-pads make it more like a 27 hole course than the advertised 9. Multiple basket positions help to keep it seem fresh, even after repeated play.
Cons: Busy on weekends.
Other Thoughts: 1.5 mile walk from the Ballston Metro stop on the Orange Line. Visiters to DC have easy access this way. From the subway station, go through the Ballston Shopping mall and walk straight down Carlin Springs Road. The park has an alternate entrance of this road which is not always listed in published directions. It is the closest entrance to the course. (local players parking lot)
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has 3 different tee pads for every hole: red, white and blue, each respectively further from the basket. The course is very aesthetic, having a good balance of fairways that play level, uphill, to the right, to the left and downhill as well. It is wooded course but not extremely tight. The pin positions are changed up often enough to keep your game exciting every time you go. The shorter tee pad provides a great ace run opportunity and easy birdies, the in between tee pad adds a different angle changing the approach to many of the holes and the long tee pad can change your entire style of throwing plus adding a lot of distance. This course is pretty well kept, Mach III baskets with very enjoyable views. Different parking lots available and restrooms are close by as well as other courses like a basketball course and soccer course. There is also a jogging trail and in may there is are trout in the stream if you want to do a little fishing as well. The course provides a pretty nice challenge from the long teepads but an especially difficult challenge when also throwing to the furthest pin positions from the tee pad. There is also a good chance of running into a few pro's while you're out there who can help you play the course and find the tee pads or baskets. This course is just overall a fun experience and I hate that I don't play it as often as I like.
Cons: There is a possibility of losing a disc in the fall and winter as the leaves are VERY thick and conceal discs pretty easily. One slight problem could be hitting a jogger with an errant throw, but I've never seen this happen, it's just hypothetical. There aren't really very many cons at all, this is just a really nice course that can be both fun and VERY challenging.
Other Thoughts: For a nine hole course you'd be surprised how well it plays. All you have to do is mix it up and play each round from a different tee-pad. In fact, playing from the different tee pads changes up the game so much you may even find yourself a little disoriented, which is fun because it won't become so redundant as you think it would in a 9 hole course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Quality 9 hole course
Pros: Multiple tees and basket positions give variety and make the course suitable for all skill levels. Good signage and scenery. Well maintained with many garbage cans and posts to hold your bag/jacket.
Thorns and poison ivy are not an issue as other area courses.
Edit: Played a Tourney here and have changed my mind, this is the best nine holer I have ever played.
Cons: It is only 9 holes, but if you play all 3 tees it's like a 27.
There are 2 sections of Bluemont Park, if you park by the tennis courts it is quite a walk and it took a little while to find the course.
Picnicers were in the way on hole 8.
Other Thoughts: There is a secret 4th tee on hole 6 you have to search behind the blues.
You want to park by Bluemont Picnic Pavilion. If you find yourself up by the Ranger Station, walk past the tennis courts and past ALL of the baseball fields to the parking lot. You will start seeing tees and baskets near the stream past the restrooms. (If you get tired and set your bag down the super social squirrels will come investigate it, possibly from the inside)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice surprise in the big city
Pros: Very cool 9 hole course tucked away in a corner of a neighborhood park. It almost makes you forget that you are in such a densely populated area. Excellent use of elevation especially on hole 5 -- straight up a "big" hill. Hole 2 is also a bit of a climb. It is not long, but you need control. I played 3 rounds using the local's "red, white, and blue" pattern (there is a red, white, and blue tee for each hole). It is surprising how differently each hole plays based upon which teepad you use, they are aligned to place different obstacles between you and the hole.
Other Thoughts: Very friendly locals, and I got to see the park's resident bird of prey, a beautiful hawk, perched right above us on the teepad of hole 4
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 13 Not
Good Short Course
Pros: Good par 3 course, short but can be challenging depending on the placement of holes.
Cons: Short, relatively easily parred.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice local course - course I've probably played more than any other. Multiple tees give you the 18 hole feel. Hole 5 is very unique with a huge dip between the tee and hole - then you still have a ways up hill to go before you reach the basket.
Cons: The holes get moved around a lot more than they need to. Since it's in a good location on a popular bike trail, it can tend to be crowded. The long tee on hole 7 makes the fairway annoyingly tight and can be frustrating.
Other Thoughts: Again - popular area park with soccer, softball fields, basketball court, playground, and picnic area with bathrooms.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Decent DG Inside the Beltway
Pros: Amenities, layout
Other Thoughts: Bluemont is a nice little locals course set on a hillside in the woods in the heart of Northern Virginia. On the downside the course is only nine holes and is all in the woods. But on the upside there are three concrete teepads per hole, good signs, benches, and poles to hang your bag on, the course takes maximum advantage of the limited space with some uphill, downhill, right and left, and is not painfully short like the older NoVa courses. And it's a good woods course; there's trees on every hole, but the trees are a reasonable challenge, not an annoying one.
The Bluemont course is all about making the best use of the land provided. Three tees per hole and frequently chainging pin placements make up for the fact that the course is sitting on less land than most. And the holes themselves are all interesting, playing along the side of the hill, up and down, long enough to be a challenge (for recreational players, at least), with enough trees to require some decent touch on your drives. Again, the individual holes do a great job making the most of the land available. I visited on a cold winter day, however, and I'm told that on a nice day this place gets crowded, and the holes are all close together, so be prepared.
With land so expensive, and the population so thick, NoVa residents are lucky to have Bluemont. The course offers a varied challenge in a good setting, is well maintained, and sits in a prime location as the only Virginia course inside the Beltway. It's a nice oasis in an otherwise crazy part of the state and well worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood.
Favorite Hole - #6, right fading slight downhill shot with drop to the creek on the left.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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