Beautiful Wooded Course
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has excellent design from both the short and long tees. I played all 18 of the red tees (short) with my 13-year-old a couple of days ago, and they're well designed in themselves, often having their own fairways or at least partial dedicated portions of fairways for those tees. You're not simply playing a few feet up from the advanced tee, nor are the advanced tees simply "pulled back a bit". The course design obviously has both in mind from the start. I played the first 9 last week with all three of my younger kids aged 12-15 and they made for a good beginner round.
I went back and played the blue tees (much longer) today, by myself, and really enjoyed the course. The course really flows well from the longer tees with little walking in between. The blue tees are an awesome challenge. There's plenty of yardage on many of these holes, and several will require multiple shots regardless of your level of skill.
This is a wooded course with some serious elevation, but it's definitely not "tightly wooded". These are decent, wooded fairways, especially in relation to their lengths, that will force you to make the difficult risk/reward decisions that a real course demands. Not staying on the fairway can cost you with rolls down the hills or into woods costing you strokes. There's also not a lot of really tight brush if you do get off the fairway.
The course is apparently much updated since earlier reviews. The laminated tee signs are still temporary, but have yardages and a mini-map for all pin placements and tee pads on each hole. Most of the first 5 or 6 holes have very nice benches. With bench placement, they must be starting with the front holes and working forward. I didn't really notice plants growing in fairways, and all of the baskets were marked with large hole numbers on the top rim of the basket and had large, yellow flags above with numbers on them as well. The course was pretty well marked, and we didn't have too much trouble finding our way as newbies to it all by ourselves.
All 36 tee pads have excellent, level, huge, concrete tee pads. As this is probably the most important and labor intensive part of laying out the course, (especially with these slopes!), I think it's safe to say that this course is well underway to being a serious draw to real players.
I played this course in October and it was beautiful with a mountainous feel. Much of the course plays by streams with running water. If you're a hiker, you'll love this one.
Cons: The back 12 or so holes have no benches. This can really be an issue if you're not in pretty good shape and is much more pronounced when hiking from the previous basket to the next short tee. Some of the short tees are a good 200-300 feet up steep hills from the previous basket. If you're playing with kids or beginners these hikes can take away some of the appeal of playing from these very reasonable amateur tees.
The temporary signs are small and low to the ground for nearly 40-year-olds such as myself. Most were well laid out and clearly marked, but I felt that a few suffered from too much detail, especially regarding surrounding fairways and such (maybe mark the adjacent tees, pins, etc. in a lighter color?).
Also, a couple could stand to show more directional perspective from the actual tee being played. (They probably used the same image for both tees.) I found myself having to turn my head to the side and orient myself with other markers to figure out what I was looking at. Honestly, I think these will improve with permanent signs as will play to "blind" pin placements.
Other Thoughts: I was surprised at how much more easily the course played in terms of "hiking" from the *long* tees. My son and I lamented the lack of benches on later holes when playing the shorter tees. Honestly, I was expecting it to be worse playing the long tees, but it didn't bother me much at all, today. I think playing uphill is experienced much differently than just hiking up with long distances from basket to tee. The course flows really well from most of the long tees. The next time I play with my kids, I'll definitely play long and allow them to play short. It'll break up the hikes for everyone.
As an alternative to simply hiking up to the am tee, a player of a little experience could probably "lay up" the first shot to a point even with the amateur tee on most holes within 1 or 2 shots. So, just call it a par 4 or 5, throw from the longer tee, and have fun with it, especially if the long tee's fairway plays right past the am tee anyway. (On some holes, the two tees are located in different directions.)
How many disc golf courses do you play where you have to lay up on a blind dog leg with a remaining *drive* for your next shot? That's fun stuff and more like what you might find in *ball* golf.
For me, this course answers the main question that a course should: Will playing it regularly improve my game? That's a definite "yes" on this one. I've spent several years playing local courses in another area that *hurt* my game.
With other Birmingham area courses temporarily closed, this course is much needed and appreciated.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Mountain Golf. Brutally good challenge.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: First off, as all other reviewers have noted, this is a new course that's still in development so it can only get better as kinks are worked out. The course has two sets of awesomely large and level concrete teepads that are some of the best I've seen -- which is saying a lot given the extreme elevation some of the pads were poured on.
The course is set in a beautiful, disc golf only forest with extreme elevation changes ... it really feels like you are in the mountains in spots (especially the first few holes). It's a very challenging course, has multi-shot holes, plenty of character, requires many different shots and the ability to throw accurately, not just far. Bad shots will be punished with OB or potentially dramatic loss of elevation resulting in plenty of extra strokes.
Some very good holes which coincidentally, are the ones on which you can see the basket from the teepad, or at least tell where you need to throw. #4-#6 are fun/solid holes, and 18 is a great finishing hole.
Cons: It's a new course and is still very ROUGH around the edges -- think plants growing in fairways that haven't been cut yet or need to be trimmed, lack of stairs in steep areas, minimal signage, etc -- all temporary things.
A couple of things I didn't like about this course, and let me preface that I played from the long pads both times so I can't comment from the shorts.
1 - WAY too many of the holes are very blind, like walk halfway up the fairway to see the basket that is stuck in the blindest possible spot on a downhill slope (i'm thinking of you #2) or tucked way off to the side in the woods (#1 and #8 in the left positions = why?). There are multiple pins on most holes, and on literally more than half you can't tell from the teepad which position it's in without walking as much as 300' up the fairway, often up or down extreme elevation ... not sure why the designer didn't make them easier to see from the tee.
2 - some of the fairways force awkward shots or lack interesting lines that make for bland holes, which may be a function in spots of lack of current clearing. In my opinion, even if the course becomes pristinely maintained over time, the design (in spots) and the blind holes limit its overall potential ... although it seems highly likely that the people building it are still in the process of tweaking the design.
Overall flow seems like it could be improved by changing #6 to #1 instead of starting the course on the 3 most brutal holes
Can't help this one but location sucks -- it's off Hwy 280 making it difficult to access Mon-Fri without sitting in a traffic jam
Other Thoughts: As noted, I've only played the long tees so my comments are aimed at those. Most people I've seen playing here are using the short tees, which are MUCH shorter.
I really enjoyed this course and will play here as much as possible to better my game (and my physical strength!). It's got AWESOME land and tons of potential, definitely check this one out if you are in town. This is a great advanced/pro level course that will challenge you.
If you are a beginner or are out of shape, you will probably not enjoy this course. If you enjoy hiking and spending time in a beautiful mountain-like setting and enjoy challenging courses, you will probably enjoy this course. Wear sturdy shoes (don't play this one in sandals).
Big props to the guys who have put in the work to make this course happen.
This course will definitely improve with time and becomes solid 4.0 with permanent signage and continued cleanup. Maybe a 4.5 but needs tweaking in a lot of spots.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wow, the back tees are tough on this course! I tend to always gravitate towards the longest tees on most courses, but here I stick with the shorts. It is a great thing that there is a big difference between the two sets.
I love the physical workout of the ups and downs, plus it makes for many interesting shots. This is truly one of the courses that will test "every shot in your bag".
The tee pads are HUGE!
This course is already very nice and will get better with time. It has the potential to become a 5.
Cons: I was lucky to play with a couple guys that had already played the course. It would be tough to find all the tees without a guide.
It can be pretty tricky to find your discs at certain places. Be sure to keep a close eye on your plastic!
The big ups and downs might be tough for little kids and/or older people to walk. It could make for a tough walk, if rainy.
Other Thoughts: I'll definitely be back! Playing this course will only make me a better player (I hope).
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: -Pro course
-Plenty of shade
-Works on your cardio
Cons: -Paper signs for each hole
-This course is not beginner friendly
-Takes a LONG time to finish this course
-Works on your cardio
-No benches as of yet
-No map of the course
-Extemely HOT in the summer months
Other Thoughts: You need a straight long throw and good technique to play this course successfully. A lot of up and down elevation will work your legs as each hole will give your arm some excercise. Very tight wooded fairways make this course a challenge for anyone. I have to admit I did not know the course had not officially been opened yet. I do have to say until then, if you are a beginner be prepared to look for your discs. For beginners, if you have never played this course, play with a group. Some baskets are difficult to locate first time playing. I can only speak from my experience and since I have been playing for a year now, this is how I see the course. Looking forward to playing again when things are finalized.
I have now played another course very similar to this course, Jack McLean park in Tallahassee. These must be for more advanced players. This course is challenging to say the least. I hope, and if, I reach a higher level of play such as pro I will enjoy courses like these more. As of right now I have a lot to work on.
2 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Finally Birmingham steps up to the rest of the State
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is much needed in the Birmginham area. Complete set of 36 tees (blue and white/red) provide for a great mix of holes suitable for different skill levels. The tees themselves are HUGE so for those of you who require 15 steps for your drives have no fear, you will have excellent footing, at least off the tee. Great use of the terrain of the area with outstanding elevation change adding to the difficulty. There are even a few water holes to give you that extra challange. Nearly every shot in the game is required to actually score well. You can't hide behind big booming hyzers.
Cons: Still a very very young course at this point. Lots of design alteration still pending more rounds and feedback. Tee signs are extremely rudimentary at this point basically only providing distance with a general gist of the direction of the fairway. I would highly recommend until the permenant signs are installed that you play with someone who's been there before. 1 or 2 very long walks between holes with no benches currently making for some winded shots. Obviously the fairways themselves still need some good foot traffic to beat in walking paths.
Other Thoughts: As a Birmingham native I remember being there when this course first became a possibility. This is the course the dgb has been waiting for and they've provided the lattice work for an amazing championship level course. A great comparison would be the IDGC courses. You're going to get worked from the first tee shot to your last putt. This is not a sunday stroll kind of course. This one will force you to make good decisions off the tee lest your score can easily be in the 80s. Course par is, as on all courses, the topic of discussion at this point. General consensus is somewhere around the 60-62 mark with several true par 4s and potential par 5s. This course alone has helped Birmingham, in my opinion, rise to the level of Huntsville and Mobile in terms of disc golf quality in the state of Alabama. LIke the previous poster this course has so much potential. It could easily get a 5 rating with the adjustments listed and they are all in the process. This course has only been open for play a couple of months if that.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Real Deal Holyfield!
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: First haha! This course was recommended to me and a friend yesterday after playing George Ward and we were not disappointed. Located tucked away from almost all roads and other activities this course provides for some great secluded golf. Near hole one is a little mailbox with scorecards and course maps and I recommend grabbing at least the course map before beginning. Starting off the round you better bring your A-game otherwise you're gonna get spanked. Hole 1 sets the tone for the rest of the round with a testing uphill dogleg legit par 4. Elevation changes are on every hole with some hidden slopes throughout the course whether behind the basket or the middle of the fairway. The fairways are nice and wide for as wooded a course this is. Getting off the fairway is not recommended and will cost at least a stroke per errant shot. Each hole has dual tees (Blues for Pros/Advanced & Red for Intermediate/And below) with each tee providing a vastly different look down the fairway and shot shape. We ended up playing a hybrid of Blues and Reds due to lack of daylight but made the effort to look at both before deciding which to play. In several instances, it is a full drive from the long pads to the shorts. Most holes out there had dual sleeve placements marked on the tee signs but only one basket in the ground as of now. The different sleeves could affect the scoring, shot selection to reach the greens, and the flow of the course greatly. On each green were small directional signs to the next tees. Its important to pay attention to these because in several cases the long pad is in a very different spot than the short. The flow of the course was good overall with flags marking the beaten paths on longer walks.
Cons: I will address this the next time I play the course. From reading the other reviews it appears that my initial list of cons has been taken care of by the DGB, other players, or another club.
Other Thoughts: Overall I thought this course was a lot of fun. I enjoy these types of courses a lot and it reminded me of several others I had played before (thinking North Carolina golf). It has great potential to be one of the top courses in the South but only after it ages more and becomes more polished. When the course was recommended to us we were somewhat skeptical with what some locals said but I was very impressed and surprised at the level this course already is at. Due to running out of daylight, I am eager to come back and give this course another go round.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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