Bradford Raises the Bar
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As I've gotten into reading and writing reviews I've considered a hypothetical question: "Can a shorter, easier course, earn a 4+ rating?"
Until I played Bradford I would have said no. I didn't think that a short course could be so well designed, maintained, and executed to earn this high of a rating from me. I was mistaken. Bradford raises the bar on what what I previously though possible from free to play public property courses that are playable by any skill level. It really is that good.
Course was meticulously well maintained. Spring in NC is hard to keep the weeds at bay, and the rough was very well managed, keeping the lost disc factor very low. There was not a fallen branch or unmowed strip of grass to be found anywhere.
The little touches make a big difference. The course was easy to navigate, tee signs were very good, and benches were frequent as well as very nice.
In my opinion disc golf is at its best when played in the woods, and Bradford shows why. The course design requires a high degree of technical control of your disc at a variety of different distances and lines. Despite being a bit on the short end compared to my other favorite courses I still felt like this course challenged all aspects of my game.
The few holes through the cedar grove were very nice. A little bit of distance, which always makes someone with power happy to pull a high speed driver out, while still needing precise shot location.
Well developed long AND short tees. I usually play with my girlfriend, so having holes that play awesome from BOTH tees really adds to a course. A lot of courses throw longer or shorter tees in as an afterthought without really looking at how they play, but at Bradford they were very well executed.
Cons: I don't really have any. I guess I will say that not a lot of holes stick in my mind as spectacular. The par 4 through the cedar grove was very nice, but other then that the holes blurred together a little bit. They were all tight, wooded, technical, and reachable off the tee (for me, sans the par 4s). I think for Bradford the whole is greater then the sum of its parts
Other Thoughts: Bradford really grew on me as my round progressed. I didn't have particularly high expectations, I figured I'd get a standard issue Charlotte wooded course. But it kept growing on me as I progressed from one hole to the next. By the back nine I was telling myself "this is a really good course". By 18 I was telling myself "This course is incredible!" I don't feel like there is much to add. I get to Charlotte a couple times a year and Bradford is definitely going to be a go to course for the foreseeable future. I think it belongs in the conversation with some of the giants in the area.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Fun, challenging, beautiful course
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Well maintained, you can tell the club? city? takes good care of this course
Gorgeous park this time of year (February)
Cons: Nothing jumps out at me as big Cons for this course
There wasn't much relief from tight wooded holes, but it didn't get aggravating
Clay/dirt ground is slick and muddy in some places
Other Thoughts: I'm new to town, and this happened to be the first course I've played here. And what a course to play first!
Its obvious that the club members or city takes great pride in this course, as the pathways, tees, benches etc. were all in great shape compared to some other courses I've played.
The "Cedar Alley" section of the course is a cool change of scenery from the tight wooded fairways, but doesn't offer much relief as far as difficulty.
Overall a challenging course that really focuses on accuracy and shot shaping. Very fun to play, even the first time through.
Generally easy to follow the course as most baskets had signs leading to the next hole nearby.
Some cool variation in elevation was also a nice change coming from Florida where its flat flat flat.
I look forward to playing this course again, and hopefully lowering awful score.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Solid - it grew on me
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - great DG course setting. Nice benches (like what you would find in a lodge style hotel, not 1"x8"s bolted to 4"x4"s). Great signage (plus directional arrows between holes when needed). There was a garbage bag at every sign (and the course was in great shape - there was garbage in the park, but it was probably from the non-DG activities - kudos to the locals).
- lots of variation. For a NC course, multiple "open" holes to bomb on. Challenging, tighter (but not unfair) wooded holes. Good mix of long and short holes (so a few ace runs without feeling like they were trying to squeeze in 18 from the short tees). There are four holes (on called cedar alley) with a lot of cedar trees - unique to this course in this part of the country.
- nice park, have only played on weekdays, could see it getting busy on the weekend. The bathroom in between 11-12 has drinking fountains.
- two pads on most (if not all?) holes. Many of them offer a truly different shot (some much longer), not just slightly different angel tucked behind a tree so we can call it two different pads.
- water that doesn't "really" come into play, but will make you consider your shot.
- bridges, stairs, etc keep you out of the mud in low lying areas
- course layout is pretty intuitive (plus signs all show next hole) so it's easy to navigate and there is plenty of space between holes, so minimal risk of getting drilled by someone else.
- there's a 9-hole loop (jump from 4-14) if you don't have time for a full round.
Cons: - fairly ticky-tack, but it's not super convenient to get to from 85 corridor (if you're not coming from that direction, guess it won't bother you).
- relatively high disc loss risk on the cedar holes if you shank a shot (which it's so tempting to go high and rip, because it's "only" ~300' to the basket..... )
- one other minor one, the transition from 15-16 isn't super intuitive, (or maybe I just missed the directional sign). If you have the map, or have a good sense of direction, it's no big deal, the rest of the course is so well marked, it stuck out.
Other Thoughts: When I came back and played this course the second time, I liked it much better. Don't know if I was in a rush the first time, having a bad day - glad I waited to review it until the second play. Although not "unfair" with super tight fairways, I would call this course more of an intermediate course. I can't quite out my finger on it - don't know if it's design, if it's my disc selection not quite being dialed in, but it seemed like I spent a lot of time looking for discs without really having terrible shots. So, maybe not the best course to start someone on.
5-10 years from now, the cedar alley holes are going to be tough (although maybe you will be less likely to lose discs because you will have to hit the tunnel instead of trying to bomb over them).
My favorite hole was 13 (probably just because I hit the line) nice valley shot. 12 is enjoyable, get to rip with the RHBH hyzer going into a hill, then you have to deal with the retention pond on your approach shot.
Bottom line - super solid course. Challenging, well laid out, varied course. I'm not a local, but travel to charlotte for work on a regular basis. This course is good, but it's in a rotation of several courses (Nevin, kilborne, idlewild, hornet's nest) that I am going to get through before I'm back here. If this were my home course, I'd be stoked.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Let me start out by saying Schleppy is an awesome guy. He was out picking up garbage while we were out there and you could tell he cares about the course a lot. He helped us navigate the front 11 or so holes and told us about the rest of the course.
Now about the course: This course had a good variety of holes and gave opportunities to score well while also the challenge of staying in bounds and avoiding roll aways, etc. I was very impressed with the signage, the flow of the course, and the overall layout of the holes. Each hole was very unique and that makes it hard for me to pick my favorite hole. The signage was top notch, and we never had a time where we were wondering where the basket was or looking around for a tee pad. The paths in between holes were very well defined and there were signs going to every hole.
Cons: Upon entering the park, there is a sign that points towards the disc golf course, but maybe it could be placed in a better place or made a little bigger. We didn't notice it at first and took a wrong turn. This wasn't a big deal but for some out of towners, like I am, it proved an issue. I would also say that 2 and 18 are kind of lackluster compared to the other holes. This is something that may not can be done, but the addition of some small trees or bushes in the open areas would at least add a little challenge after the initial tee shot. Outside of those small cons, there is not much negative to say.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this was a very fun course. It had its challenges while also allowing us to score well. This was one of the many courses we played, and are still playing, on our big road trip to Charlotte and it did not disappoint. As I said earlier, thanks to Schleppy for the help getting around and for your dedication to keeping the course nice and tidy. That goes for other locals as well. Thanks for a great experience Bradford!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Check out the Big Brain on Brad!
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 18 Discatcher baskets with dual concrete tees on most holes. The variety and design of holes is outstanding as the available terrain and elevation are used nicely. The course plays a bit a of everything from open bombs to short technical shots that go into, out, and through the woods and around a pond and creek. Mostly par 3 with a couple par 4s. Navigation and signage is great. Bathrooms and vending machine after hole 11.
Cons: It's really hard to think of much, the course plays a little close to the parking lot on 2 holes. I could see it being crowded because it's such a playable course.
Other Thoughts: Bradford is an excellent course for anyone. The course just flows and transitions it's variety seamlessly from hole to hole. The only knock I can come up with which is no fault of anyone, is that there is not much elevation to provide some truly epic holes. That said I enjoyed pretty much every hole, the par 4 hole 12 was probably my favorite like many others, I like how the drive makes or breaks the approach shot to the basket next to the pond. I could play this course everyday it's like a mighty tasty Big Kahuna burger!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course has a nice amount of variety. About 2/3 is wooded, with some being very tight lines to hit (#9) but with most leaving a little room for error. There are a few pretty open holes as well. I liked the use of the cedar trees on holes 8 and 11, a little reminiscent of Maple Hill.
One of the better holes is #12, which begins with a drive from an elevated tee across a small valley to an open area before sweeping to the right. The second shot is tough, as you either lay up on the near side of a pond or go for the pin with danger in front and behind (a hill leading down to the woods). I'm still thinking about how I should have played this hole.
Elevation is moderate and comes into play on about half the holes. All holes have two tee pads, both concrete.
Navigation was easy, and I never consulted the map. The tee signs did a decent job of showing the contours of the fairway, but many of the holes are short enough that you can see the basket (from the short tees, anyway).
Cons: The alternate tee pads are almost always located right behind the short pads, so you don't get to throw more interesting shots, just longer ones (with a few exceptions). There are a couple that are way longer, though. About half of the extra 1000 feet from the long tees comes from just two holes: 8 and 18.
The distances on the tee signs can not be right. They seemed too high, but more to the point, there are times when the two tee pads are clearly within 30 feet of each other (front to front), and the tee signs show a distance of something like 60 feet.
Other Thoughts: The course is mostly pretty friendly to rec players who can throw fairly straight, but holes 12 and 15 feature a murky pond that is just waiting to eat a RHBH hyzer. I like the pond and the use of it, but just know that newer players could easily lose discs here.
Also, while I like the cedar holes, your only option is to throw right over them, and if you can't throw 350 feet, you are left with some awkward shots out. So these holes are a bit less rec friendly as well, for what it's worth. But I don't mind having to throw a thumber now and then.
This felt more secluded than many of the Charlotte courses I played, and I like the country feeling of it, including the nice wooden bridges with railings. If you are looking for a course that is not the championship-caliber beat down that some of the big courses in the area offer, this is one of the better options.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful Fall Foliage
19 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Absolutely Beautiful
Dual Concrete Tees
Great DisCatcher baskets
Great Tee signs (layout, length, number)
Navigation is easy with the "next tee" signs
Good Benches at every hole
Trash bags at each hole
Plenty of parking
Bathrooms/vending halfway (perfect timing)
Great use of the land
Variety of elevation change (up, down, flat)
Loved having to choose a flightpath. (Options)
Good layout balance (right, straight, left)
Distance variety was perfect (long, mid, short)
Some open, some into/through/out of the woods
Great course to work on your overall game.
Good for Intermediate to Pro players.
Makes you work on line-shaping, not just see who can bomb the farthest.
You'll use your whole bag to play well here.
Challenging in a fun way, not brutal
Well kept (thanks Schleppy)
Clear of trash
Trees and brush trimmed and shaped not just butchered to open a freeway to the basket
Baskets and Tees/teesigns in great shape
Stairs when you need them
Bridge when needed
Favorite Hole(s): 12, 16, 17
Cons: Very few cons
The parking lots at 1/18 and 12, if full, MIGHT create a safety/property hazard. (If your as bad a shot as me)
Would like to see Trashcans instead of bags (no big deal, I understand why)
Just a little nit-picky, but, playing through/over the field of small cedars (twice) is not preferable but you only have so much land/terrain to work with
--None of my cons are a big deal just barely enough to keep it from 5 discs.
Not really a con, but, in the fall play with brightly colored discs and save you and your cardmates the hassle of kicking through a lot of leaves looking for your disc.
Least Favorite Hole(s): 2, 8
Other Thoughts: This is my favorite kind of course. Challenging enough to test anyone, but fun and not a beatdown. I played horribly here but still had a blast. Some of this is probably because of the company I played with.
All in all I would consider this course a Must Play if you're in the Charlotte area. If traveling through or coming to Charlotte to play, put Bradford in your plans and you won't regret it.
I only played three courses in the area while here for work. Bradford is my favorite of them. Flag down Schleppy for a round or just to say thanks for all the work making Bradford a rewarding experience.
My disc rating is based heavily on "Fun Factor" which this course has tons of. I then bump it up or down a 1/2 disc or so for amenities or lack thereof.
PM me and let me know how I can make my reviews "more helpful."
19 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Best in Charlotte Area
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Bradford Disc Golf Course is everything you ask for in a disc golf course. Hard enough to challenge the best players but easy enough to take a rookie too. What makes this the best course in the Charlotte area is the "Signature" Holes. From Cedar Ally to the Rock Hole and the Snake Pit. All classic's in my mind. And great variety, open parkey holes to tight wooded shots. There is a small pond to maneuver around on a long Par 4 but is in a perfect position to the pin to either go for it or play it conseritaly. Bathroom and vending machines right around half way make a great stopping point before you go down the home stretch. A well maintained course with benches and garbage cans at every hole make it my favorite disc golf course.
Cons: Its hard to think of Cons for this course. Since I lost one here, it can be pretty difficult if you really let one get away from you to find, but for the most part not to bad. Highway 73 can be parking lot if you catch the traffic right, but what's not in this area. But as you can see not too much to complain about.
Other Thoughts: Giving a course a rating of 5 I think is almost impossible in my book but Bradford comes as close as you can. The park in it self is gorgeous and the uniqueness this disc golf course gives you make it the best around. If you are making a trip to Charlotte and consider yourself a disc golfer you must check out Bradford.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: I Love this course! It has a little bit of everything here. Hole 2 is just a bomb hole good for the players that have big arms. Hole 7 is a pretty narrow fairway througt the pine trees. Every hole is fun in its own way! The course is in great shape, most of the tee boexes have benches with garbage bags. Very easy to navigate with the tee boxes clearly marked.
Cons: Not very many Cons, maybe trash cans instead of just bags.
Other Thoughts: Overall really enjoy playing this course its very well maintained and just a great place to play!
4 of 12 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 10 Not
Other Thoughts: Course is situated in a large regional level park, of about 120 acres, entering its second major phase of development. Park's scale provides ample opportunities for future course developments, especially as other park phases complete. Course is, in the main, sequestered from other park activities and covers moderately hilly piedmont landscape and drainage catchment earthworks. Course starts on the park's eastern side and is a hybrid style between one that circles the park (clockwise in this case) and one that has switchbacks and parallel holes.
Bradford has above average signage, equipment and amenities. Lack of trash cans could be a negative, however, when reviewed, course was spotless and hanging plastic bags were available for refuse near many tees. Bradford DGC is exceptionally playable, well maintained and will be enjoyable for most skill levels, although it might be a bit too hilly for very small children. Course does not feature returning 9's, although a abbreviated loop is available when time is limited. Way finding is carefree; no transitions are out of proportion or confusing. OB areas (and the mandatory) are limited and a bit vaguely marked, but all abide common sense. A few minor drainage issues were noted.
The designers have shown considerable maturity and discipline with this track, and Bradford would fit very well into the 'canonical' standards promoted by the disc golf course design group. Considering the special nature of this regional park (a group effort by several municipalities) and it's place more or less in the heart of one of Charlotte's largest satellite 'growth' communities, this course has a special chance for more of the type of credible public exposure many feel this sport deserves. That being the case, it is vitally important that the course not alienate neophytes with an over ambitious design. Bradford certainly fits this bill.
From the white tees, average hole length is a bit over 315' and from the blues almost 380' (note: 60%+ of the blue tee distance differential comes on only 5 hole extensions). Long throwers receive several extra scoring chances on this track, but as is typical for Charlotte area courses, power is not the sole requirement for scoring well. Flat straight shots up to 300', with moderate fade control are richly rewarded from either set-up. Fairways, as a rule, are of ample width, frequently with a 'gate', none super-constrictive. Penalties are in direct proportion to the throwing error. Despite heavy penal rough in some areas, scrambling and recovery chances are ample. Bradford is a forgiving course, despite its youth.
More than any other course of this length this reviewer has played in Charlotte, Bradford possesses three essential qualities of 'returning fun', which are elevation changes, balance and variety. Its length is also most appropriate for the widest variety of golfer. Shot shapes from the tee just barely favor the straight shot shape. The golfer must deal with significant play affecting elevation changes on most holes. Course is about half 'inside' and half 'outside'; wind can frequently be a factor (several 'pocketed' tees, which shield the golfer from an accurate wind read- and just when he needs it - accentuate the wind's affect on play). Straightforward open greens predominate and are forgiving of even middling mistakes. Greens' spin receptivity is evenly balanced and varied with regard to slope as well.
Despite a relative lack of truly memorable individual holes, Bradford has several very good ones - the long dogleg right #12 immediately comes to mind as does the iconic #6. Routing is perhaps the single most difficult design skill to express well, and yet Bradford's exhibits a variety and syncopated rhythm unmatched by any area course. The shifts from inside to outside combined with the cross-up-down hill changes are seamlessly blended. The opening (1-4) and closing (15-18) sequences are particularly strong. In a tight match, leads may be very hard to hold here. At the turn, two consecutive birdie holes give the golfer a chance to gain some momentum going into the back nine. Bradford's routing is an impressive refined result and it's defining feature.
Bradford Park DGC is a very smoothly wrapped package on many levels. Travelers would do well to start with this gem in North Mecklenburg County, before proceeding to the tougher or more traditional Charlotte favorites.
12 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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