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.
You HAVE to come!
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -This place rocks!! It's beautiful. It's the most beautiful course I have played! It's very family friendly and the course is truly a great experience and I'm coming back for sure!
-Great 28 chain baskets that catch well. There is also a practice basket on your way to #1.
-VARIETY!!! The cedar alley, some good elevation, rocks, an open bomb almost 500' feet, fun wooded holes, a gauntlet, several valley shots, and the most memorable par 4. I've played Ashe County and if you have played it, I know you remember #9 and #18, two extreme downhill breathtaking par 4's. Well the par 4 here, you will see something sick! EVERY hole has something unique and will leave you excited about the next one! Kilborne park has some fun holes but some were unexciting.
-The par 4. #12 rocks! It's an awesome 565' foot dogleg right. On your teeshot, you must rip your driver over 300' to get a straight second shot over the retention pond and you need a precise 250' anhyzer to get a 3. I parred it both rounds and felt like I could have birdied.
-Sweet sixteen. My "sweet" sixteen was three weeks ago when we traveled back from a mission trip in St. Louis. #16 at Bradford is a sweet downhill ace run with the basket out of the woods. It has two pin positions and it's in the long. I think there should be an "empty your bag" rule on that hole.
-#2 is the best open bomb I've played. It's the most scenic hole on the course as well. 460' foot par 3 sounds difficult but it's a straightforward hole. It's another "empty your bag" hole. Just rip it as far as you can, unless you can throw over 460 ft.
-Trash bags on some of the tees. There is a trash can on #8's tee.
-Great tee signs and diagrams! A tee diagram on #12 was needed so it wouldn't be hard to follow and maybe a few others needed tee diagrams of the fairway.
-This is close to downtown North Charlotte and had many places to go to. Many restaurants, department stores and a super target. The park is in a great neighborhood as well. Several courses in Charlotte are in bad neighborhoods. Like West Charlotte.
-#18 finishes by the parking lot and is close to #1. #18 from the short and long are different holes but share the same basket and fairway. The short is a straight shot and the long's tee in the woods and plays out through a different opening and plays as a dogleg left!
-Doubles on Friday nights out here! That means I can come out here on Fridays when I can!
-I played two rounds here! I played the first one solo and the second with Schleppy and his friends Jonathan, Steve and Joe! Schleppy's kind enough to guide you here and it's always fun to play with Schleppy. We played the shorts and Schleppy shot a 51!! I shot a 58 while Jonathan shot 55 and Steve shot 59 and Joe is a really good recreational player! So yea! The second round was much funner!
-Soda machines and bathrooms on the transition from #11 to #12. I ran 7 miles the day I played and then played here and needed fluids.
Cons: -It was hard to find any. #18 from the short's tee shot is over very tall grass so you will need to throw something that doesn't go with green.
-#12's second shot is fun and all but you won't be happy if you lose a disc in the retention pond. Or should I say the "Chocolate milk pond?" First round, I threw my starfire in there and wanted a better shot SO IT TURNS OUT MY BEAST IS IN THERE TOO! OUCH!
-"Cedar alley" it's very fun and interesting but #11 has a high lost disc possibility if it goes to the right, you should be okay but left, it might be gone.
-Most importantly. Schleppy found a 10 dollar bill in the middle of #11's fairway. I should have found it because I played a round there before the five of us played. That grinds my gears. Here's a helpful tip "Look for money as hard as you look for discs." I think Schleppy agrees with that statement.
Other Thoughts: -Bradford is a very, very, very fun course! It's such a shame shame shame that I didn't play here 18 months ago because I was desperate to play it for that long. You will find 18 great holes here with at least a third of them really standing out! This is definitely the best course designed by Stan McDaniel and so many other people including Schleppy and BraveThrower43 being a big help maintaining it and being a part of designing it. Easily something that you should play whenever you can, I could've at least twenty times and blew it by playing something else or settling which is never fun. Don't settle when it comes to disc golf in general. Don't ski, go to a hockey game or sit on the couch if you love the game.
-I said "This hole is awesome" on quite a few holes with 2, 12 and 16 standing out and there were couple I didn't love as much but every hole here has something fun to it and I really hope to go to doubles here soon!! I never got that birdie on #12 and thought I would and I know that I will someday!
-There are so many signature holes and the ultimate was #12! I call this a signature course as it is one of the most asthetically pleasing and it's in my top 3. Taking the second slot which knocks RL Smith to the third! The main point of this review is to tell all you readers to play this course! Really you can just read BennettUA's review because he nailed it. I just had to get my thoughts out here!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Best maintained course in Charlotte
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: **DO NOT JUDGE THIS COURSE BY THE PICS! These are older pics -- many before teepads were installed, and before the course had matured and worn in to the sharp condition it is in now**
Bradford is a near ideal disc golf course in my opinion.
WHOAH. That's a BIG statement. Especially in the disc mecca that IS Charlotte. Allow me to explain.
The park itself is new and clean. Park is very safe, Huntersville is a nice area. Big restrooms with good soap and Vortex air hand dryers. Vending machines stock Coke products and Powerade. Also nice to have restroom in the middle of the course rather than at the beginning or end(hole 11 plays right up to one). Ample parking so long as there's not a base/softball tournament.
As for the course itself ---
My ideal course design can be summed up in three simple words: "challenging, but fair." Bradford is exactly that. The course is not easy by any stretch, but birdies are possible on every hole with a good shot, which is how I feel a course should be scored.
As for "fair" -- This course does not have any "luck" trees, meaning if you pure a drive down the center of the fairway, you're not going to hit a tree that's smack in the middle of the perfect line. The same can NOT be said about many courses in the area.
One of my favorite design features that largely goes unnoticed at Bradford is that it has more BALANCE than an Olympic gymnast. Evenly matched for straight, left-, and right-turning holes, uphill vs downhill, and blended very well --- the longest holes are separated by shorter ones, no back-to-back hard turns in either direction off the tee, etc.
Knowing Charlotte has very little elevation, the use of the land by Stan and Schlep MUST be appreciated.
For such a young course, Bradford feels well worn-in. This is largely due to the relentless, near daily upkeep by Schleppy. For instance, hole 8 -- a beautiful shot through the cedars -- but just two short years ago anything that didn't land on the green required a search party through briars surrounding the cedars. Hard to imagine if you see it now. Even harder to believe it's in such incredible shape after just two years of installation.
Benches -- nice, new, cedar, and on every. single. hole.
Innova Discatcher baskets.
Signage is excellent, distances are accurate.
Navigation is great as well -- there is some signage, but even without it, you should be able to find the next tee with ease.
I also love to feel alone in the woods when I'm playing disc golf, and Bradford delivers on that as well. Very little noise here, save for the soccer/baseball fields when in use, but these never come into play with the disc golf course. Feels very much like a private course. We've seen a few small lizards and snakes, some deer, even heard some coyotes howling in the distance one night in the spring during a glow event.
BEAUTIFUL. Some very memorable tee shots and pin placements here. Growing cedars line the fairways through the middle of the course, with a fantastic set of gap shops on holes 8 through 11.
Hole 12 is easily one of the best holes in Charlotte. (Again, I appreciate full well the weight of such a statement.) From either the short or long tee, your drive is a placement shot of 325-350'. To the left is OB road; to the right is punishingly dense woods that assures an extra stroke. The second shot turns right and plays between 200-260' to a pin perched atop a small crest of a sloping hill -- to the left, an OB retention pond -- to the right, more dense woods. The hill makes for tough putts from most anywhere -- if you're near the pond, you're putting slightly uphill, and a missed putt will send you down the hill toward the woods. If you're near the woods, you're putting uphill about 10', and a missed putt could put you in the pond. Birdies are common with both a good drive and an accurate upshot, but only with both.
Concrete teepads = good pooridge(not too big, not too small). Always a big plus to have two teepads at any course. Some of them here make for longer shots, but many do make for a much different golf experience, especially #8.
Course was used for 2012 Worlds, and is part of tourneys such as The Carolina Clash, Powerade State Games, and more. The Bradford Open will see its second year this fall.
Cons: Not a knock on the course itself, but when there's a base/softball tourney, parking near #1 can be tight, and sometimes a soccer mom will park too close to #18's basket.
Also, if there is a soccer tourney, some cars may come into play on the drive for hole #12, but it takes a big event to get them overflowing off the parking lot, which is OB anyway.
Other Thoughts: One of if not THE best maintained course in Charlotte. Schleppy is working his disc golf baby nearly every day, even carries a pair of hand shears in his bag to trim briars and branches off as need be.
To sum it up, my highest-rated courses are:
-- challenging but fair,
-- private by feel of play, and
have that little something extra, so you REMEMBER the course instead of just logging on to DGCR and checking it off your list.
I've played well over 50 rounds here, and I play it more than any course in Charlotte despite being 40 minutes away.
There's a reason for that.
In fact, there are 18 of them.
Schedule a round and see what the Bradford fuzz is all about. You'll likely find Schleppy out there, mowing/weed eating/pulling/picking/playing/loving his little slice of disc golf heaven.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great course i Love to play this course you can tell people clean it up! There are benches on every hole and they seem to place the baskets in great spots too! There is no trash at all with trash bags on every hole(:! It is very clean and you can find some discs! People there are very nice and it is in a great area so you will feel safe. And there is also water just before the par 4 with a bathroom
Cons: There are not any cons at all all of the grace is cut and it is ready for the summer season!
Other Thoughts: The course is in a Great location the people are nice there are trash cans on every hole! And you feel safe while you are there there is water on your way to the par 4 there is also a bathroom. I feel this course is in tip top shape and is updated and i love to play here a real fun place to play at!
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Gotta Love Bradford! I fell in love with this course the first time I played it and will continue to play it as often as I can. It's a challenging yet fun course to play. There's flat holes, hilly holes, long holes, short holes, it's got it all. A very nice gem in Huntersville. I'm not a great player but I come out with a handful of pars on both sides! #9 is my favorite so far. Made par on it the first 2 times I played there. Cedar Alley is always fun. Very clean course with trash bags at every hole. Very nice Cedar benches to sit on too!
Other Thoughts: Definitely a Must Play if your in the area. Can't wait to play it again!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
A park course that's scenic??
Pros: Starting off I like to let everyone know what Im personally looking for in a course. I love the scenic aspect of disc golf (this includes boulders, lakes, wildlife, and plantlife- I do study horticulture). With that being stated, I rate a course based on a combination of the scenic factor and the overall course aspects (this includes layout, fairway lines, divesity of holes, and amenities)
Wow for just outside a residential area what scenery! Boulders, well kept grass fairways in the open, and very well defined lines throughout the wooded holes (Which mix three types of forests perfectly)
I love how this course meanders the player through a middle aged hardwood forest, a cedar grove, then back into the open all in just holes like 7-10. Amenities are top-notch also.. Benches on every hole (many of which are handcrafted from cedar logs) Great tee signs(both giving the line and signs directing you to the course and next hole), huge concrete pads, etc.
This course is very well taken care of and you can tell as there is few to little trash on the property.
One thing that got me going (in a good way) about this course is the designers amazing use of natural features. Like hole 3 has a beautiful boulder filled green next to a creek and then you make your way through an Autumn-Olive patch where sweet smells await the golfer if they get off the fairway. This grove separates holes 3&4 by a barrier of pungent vegetation (awesome design and incorporation!)
Cons: Nothing really major at all, just a minor few nit-picky stuff. I like how there were trash bags on every hole, but trash bins/cans would be a little nicer.
Other Thoughts: The fun factor is very high here. The course is challenging enough to keep advanced players on their feet but fair enough they can score. I love this course and will most certainly be back!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Course that grows on you as you play it
Pros: Excellent mix of birdie holes, tough 3's and a few 4's.
Good mix of open and tight shots
My favorite holes are:
9: nice cedar lined tunnel shot
16: good downhill shot through trees, rocks, over a creek.
Has a nice option to cut from 4 to 14 to play a 9 hole loop
Cons: Just a couple of minor things:
Two of the "long" tees are gravel and will likely be completed in the future (1, 2)
Ponds are dirty - don't throw in them
Deep hole on 16 by the rocks - would be beneficial to cover up.
Other Thoughts: The first time I played it I was only OK with it, but as I've played it more and more it definitely ranks with the top courses in Charlotte.
If playing alone, I suggest not playing long 8 for risk of losing a disc in the "cedar alley"
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Sometimes straightforward, sometimes insane
Pros: + Variety of hole layouts - really dig playing into the woods, out of the woods, and back into the woods
+ Course was in decent shape even after heavy rains the week before we played
+ Some mighty fine teepads and easy to see Innova baskets
+ Classy end tables at some of the first holes to place your bag
+ Confidence building amateur tees
+ Scenery: mature w00ds, fields, a variety trees, awesome bridges all over the place... Really appreciated them bridges. No trolls, thankfully.
+ Next tee signs are always helpful and I appreciated the hole nicknames being written on them
+ Decent elevation change, super fun to throw over valleys and creeks (or cricks as my dad calls them)
+ Really appreciated the whiz palaces on hole 1 and 11
Cons: - The biggest downside for beginners was the little water hazards that, while cool, were positioned to MESS with you (5 holes with hazards)
- Drainage mudpit with sarlacc to the left of hole 3's fairway almost swallowed a disc, but was recovered barefoot
- A couple holes had mean and nasty bushes with huge thorns on them
- Did not like throwing next to the parking lot
Other Thoughts: Biggest take away point that I think you should know about is that the course, while known as an intermediate/advanced course, can definitely be a good learning course, too. It's hard, that's a fact, but not so hard that beginners won't have fun.
The environment was the absolute best part. It's secluded and out of the way of the other courses. There was no one around (early on Friday) and we had such a great time. My buddies had never played a full round of disc golf anywhere, and although Bailey was really nearby and is supposed to be the best course for a beginners, we chose Bradford because of recommendations on the DGCR forums. It was actually a really good course to teach on because Bradford has it all: straight holes, doglegs (both hyzerz and anhyzerz), long bombs, and short shots. We were all using brand new discs (Volt, Axis, and Anode each) and that was all we needed to feel well-equipped to battle the course. We did somehow lose one disc on 16 (red Neutron Anode to the left of the bridge, may have went into the stream as it was moving quite a bit after the rain), but we also had an adventure recovering one from the sarlacc mud pit on 3. In the end we all agreed we enjoyed this course immensely. It was a great course to learn judging each shot's risk and reward.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Bradford Park in Huntersville NC is a very nice course and very much in line with the high quality of disc golf in the Charlotte area, and across North Carolina. Mixed into the course are different looks from elevated tees or baskets, water, woods with different varieties of trees in isolated areas, and versatile length on many holes with long and short tees. I played the short tees and still found the course very fun and challenging. I loved the layout, which was well marked and easy to follow. A short 9 hole loop is an option if you have to rush, but it would be hard to skip the inner circle to me. Wind and elevation added difficulty on the more open holes, and the fairways were always nicely defined in the woods. Some long holes, and some good birdie chances as well.
Located in a multi use park, most holes are out of the way from roads and other park patrons. Benches were abundant. The concrete tees are all nice and level, and the baskets are good too. Signs mark each tee box, and signs guide the transitions between holes also.
Cons: There were not a lot of trash receptacles on the course, but not entirely absent, and more could be added. Water was in play at several points, and could easily result in lost plastic from errant throws or bad rolls. Also some thick rough in places. Not the most beginner friendly course.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed Bradford Park immensely, and recommend a visit to any serious disc golf enthusiast who happens to be nearby. A great setting for a course, and very well executed. A bit of room for improvement, but excellent as is. Sort of reminds me of Redan or Deer Lick in ATL.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
My area favorite...
Pros: Fantastic course!! Awesome variety of shots, some open, some wooded, some elevation, some water...a touch of everything. Any night of the week you can see improvements being done.
There is a public restroom with water fountain just past the halfway mark...very handy for refilling water bottles.
There is also a 9 hole option incorporating the first few holes and the last few holes that is a seemless transition if you are short on time or can squeeze in 27.
Cons: While holes 8 and 11 are unique with the "Cedar tree farm" feel, it is helpful to send a spotter upfield as discs can get intercepted by the trees or lost in the underbrush.
Other Thoughts: This has become our "go to" course during the week.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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