Bad original layout + (less) bad new layout = one time visit
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Ellis Park has a few flashes of enjoyment with some decent holes. But they are overshadowed by the majority of holes that are below average.
- This review will focus on the newer 9-hole layout - holes #7 - 15 - that are across the street. For a complete recap of the original layout - holes #1 -6 & 16 - 18 - check out my review for old course layout.
- The first two holes across the street (#7 & 8) are poor. To my surprise, five of the next 6 holes were all relatively enjoyable, even featuring one really solid layout.
- #12 is hands down the best hole, and the only one that's truly an above level/advanced layout. It's a 440 foot, mostly open hole. There can be a debate about whether this is an easy par 4 or a really challenging par 3. You can safely throw a driver here, setting up a short to mid-range second shot. Two good shots will get you in putting range for your 3.
- In addition, I enjoyed holes #9 - 11 and 14. #9 is a good mid-range slightly uphill shot. #10 is a fun, 210 foot uphill shot with a narrow fairway, forcing you to shoot the gap. #11 is a downhill, 250 foot hole with a big tree blocking the right side and all high shots. A left-to-right throw will get you in birdie range. #14 is another tight, uphill hole. It's only 170 feet, so a putter or mid-range that you can throw straight will set you up nicely. I even enjoyed the concept of what's trying to be accomplished with 13 & 15. A lot of maintenance and/or relocating the tees will be needed. At least the concept of a decent hole is present here, more so with #13 than 15.
- There are enough birdie and or ace runs on this course that allow you to be aggressive. The problem goes back to the idea that the easy holes are seemingly too easy (or not challenging/boring), while the harder holes are either horrible layouts or ridiculously challenging, or unfair.
- Totally random sighting. To the left of #11 is a really nice looking horse riding arena and tower. Much of the park has been neglected - check out condition of the tennis courts if you need proof - yet somehow, there's an awesome looking ring for equestrian events. Go figure.
Cons: This is, for the most part, an uninspiring and uncreative, layout. It's very clear that there wasn't much input from disc golfers, or at least ones with course designing experience. The original 9 has its problems with atrocious layouts, and so does the 9 across the way. #7, 8, 13 & 15 have fairways that aren't much wider than a walking path. And actually, #13's fairway is a walking path down a hill. Narrow fairways are acceptable on a shorter hole (see #10 & 14), but not so much when the hole is 445 feet, as is #7. On that hole, you can either throw mid-range or putter, and sacrifice distance, or spend lots of time searching for discs in the woods. Even then, a shot slightly off-line, by only a couple feet, and you're in the woods.
- As bad as that is, I'd rather end up several feet into the woods, than have a shot sail deep into the kudzu, as is the case with #8. If there weren't kudzu, this hole layout might actually be fun. As it is, this is a dogleg right that will pretty much devour a disc if doesn't go right. If your disc sails straight, that kudzu is deep and thick. Who knows what else is in there, if you throw a disc in that stuff. Just glad I didn't have to find out.
- As much as I spoke (somewhat) kindly of the better holes above, if this were a good, above average course, most would quickly become some of the worst on a course of that quality. It's only by comparison do some of those holes seem good.
- There's just not a lot of flash here. Even during the four-hole stretch from #9 - 12, the stretch I called the best set of holes, I wasn't wowed. It was more of a sense that 'this isn't bad.' There aren't too many marketing slogans that center around the theme of a product not being too bad.
- Depending on other activities at the park, there will be times when parts of the course will be unplayable. It can range from ball games taking place, or something as simple as people playing horseshoes, with the pits being part of the fairway on #17.
Other Thoughts: I'm glad I played the complete 18 at Ellis Park. Now I know I didn't miss anything when the extra 9 holes were added.
- The standard verbiage of a course's front 9 and back 9 are somewhat different here. I referred to the original and new(er) 9 depending on what side of the road they were on. For many, I suspect the front 9 will be holes #1 - 6 & 16 - 18; with the back nine being holes #7 - 15 across the street.
- This course just feels neglected and depressing. It's less than 10 minutes from being in busy parts of Salisbury, but it's one of the most rural feeling courses of anywhere I've played. It's eerie playing on a weekend afternoon, and not hearing any sounds, whether it's cars, planes, birds, whatever.
- There are plenty of good practice holes here. There are also holes that have too much of a 'lost disc' element for a beginner/casual level targeted audience. If you plan accordingly, and live nearby, you can be efficient with your time here.
- I was overly generous with my 1.0 rating for the original 9. That layout was closer to a 0.75. The new layout would be in the ballpark of 1.25 - 1.5. Add them together, and you get a 1.0. At best, and with some work and redesigned holes, I could see this approaching a 2.0.
- As it is, anyone rating this course above average (meaning the five 3.0 ratings) needs to travel outside Salisbury to play disc golf. No way can someone try to convince others that this course is above average.
- I played the original layout once in 2011. Now, I've played the entire 18-hole layout in 2014. Barring something unexpected, this was my one and only visit to the course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Good Discatcher baskets. The holes across the road aren't all terrible. Tee signs tell you hole # and distance but that's it. Um, plenty of bocce ball courts?
Some signs on the holes across the road keep you from getting terribly lost.
Cons: This is basically an 18 hole course that was squeezed into a park more suited for a 9 holer. The first 6 holes (and #s 16-18) should be surrounded by yellow caution tape. Squeezed into the business end of the park, practically every hole has a major design flaw or safety hazard. Probably the worst part is that the holes that aren't inherently awful (by being beside a ball field or barbwire fence) are made un-fun by the dumbest tee locations imaginable and/or impenetrable rough.
The course would be pretty hard to navigate if I didn't have a map or a guide. The transitions have no rhyme or reason to them sometimes. Some holes have blind baskets and some holes have only the wrong basket visible from the tee, making it pretty easy to throw to the wrong basket. A few holes have fairways that can't be navigated by a disc in flight.
Maybe my biggest critique of this course is that it isn't suitable for anybody. Good players won't like it b/c it's just short and dumb and beginners won't like it b/c it's unfair and chaotic. A tweaking of most of the holes could conceivable make it at least a fun pitch & putt for most people, would be the best case scenario.
Other Thoughts: #1 has that infamous razor wire fence but it's actually not the worst hole on the front 9. The tee needs to be moved left IMO. Try a roller if you're scared of going over the fence.
#s 2-3 are crappy short holes using a walking path for the fairway.
#4 has some hit a bystander potential.
#5 is a crime against humanity, volleyball court directly in fairway as well as tennis courts.
#6 challenges you to avoid parking the basket without killing someone playing bocce ball or smacking a car in the parking lots.
#7 is one of the most WTF?! holes I've seen in a while. The tee asks you to hit a small doorway sized gap some 100' away with the added bonus of having a 95% chance of being in terrible rough if you make it. Then it's a driveway sized tunnel slightly uphill with the impenetrable rough on both sides. Probably one of the least fun holes you can design. At the very least the tee needs to be moved to a less FUBAR location.
#8 and 9 are decent.
#10 needs serious limb removal to provide a fairway worth trying. I opted for the spike hyzer over the top like Stallone.
#11 is fun but the basket or tee should be moved to raise the low ceiling of that nice oak tree. As it is, if you want to reach the basket you need to use a driver or be a pro.
#12 is cool but I'm not crazy about the pin placement. #13 is arguably one of the worst holes I've ever seen. It had to be designed by someone that has never played DG before. Extremely tight, sharp, downhill horseshoe. I tried a roller b/c there is no way to get anywhere down the fairway through the air.
#14 needs thinning out, isn't fun at all b/c it's straight uphill.
#15 similar to # 7 needs to have its rough thinned out and fairway widened a little but at least it's downhill unlike #7.
#16 has big potential to hyzer out and hit an outfielder. Big arms risk going past the barbwire fence directly behind the basket.
#17 dares you to kill bocce players, fitness enthusiasts or people watching the softball game. The basket is guarded by the left by a large sign advertising the Senior Games and that barbwire fence on the right.
#18 has more ball field chaos and tempts you to throw towards #2's basket.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
An interesting course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I played this course on my trip through Salisbury. All in all I would say it has potential to be an ok course with a little work. The pros are most of the holes have decent length and require a lot of technical throws. The baskets are in good shape and are in decent positions. 7 - 18 shows the courses potential. The holes follow the walking trail and have alot of nice elevation changes.
Cons: Where do I begin. The course design is horrible. The first 6 or so holes are in multi use areas. If there is any kind of gathering going on you would not be able to play them. Hole 1. Lose your disc over the fence an its gone forever. I had a difficult time finding the tees, in some cases had to walk over 100ft to find the next one, alot of needless wandering went on. Fairways are very tight through 7-18. 6ft at best.Give or take. Bees were everywhere on the back 9. If your allergic definitely bring your epipen lol.. Over all a bad experience.
Other Thoughts: This course has potential to be fun... It needs to be redesigned to where all the holes are across the road, the land is there. The fairways need to be opened up to allow the disc to fly. And I would recommend putting in some rubber or concrete tees. Also an illustration of the holes on the signs would be very helpful.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Drive on by...
Pros: Great elevation variance on the back 9, which is really utilized by #8 (into a risky and protected pin position), #10 (a uphill OH or spike hyzer shot) and #11 (a smooth shorter downhill drive with some risk of a tree). A fun bunch of holes and the only highlight of this course.
Cons: Fairways are in multi-use areas (#2 is actually a walking path, #16 along the outfield of a ballfield, #17 over a horseshoe pit and bocce court) and if activities are occurring there, it makes the hole unplayable. A dad and son were walking on #2 and I was the only other one in the park.
This course needs clearing and maintenance in the worst way - debris from fairway clearing on the back 9 is just left on the side of the fairway. Any sightly errant throws often end up in this debris (#7, #8, #13, #14 and #15 were prime examples) making footing and actual shot making difficult.
The design is awful - period. Standing on #1's tee area summarizes what is to come - barbed wire fence on left and in back of fairway. I assume the designer had some limited options in terms of clearing, since he has designed some much better courses (Creekside, North Carrabus). #7 is a disaster. A 400'+ hole that goes about 100' into a wall of trees, except for a 10' gap. Throwing over seems like the best option, only no landing zones (into debris from clearing) or a 15' wide fairway up the hill to the basket. Like another reviewer stated - looking like a Bobcat just drove through the woods and...bam...fairway. I understand that this course was expanded to 18, but sometimes is getting a full 18 in really necessary if the design and flow is greatly flawed? I walked out of here thinking "Northeast Park" - not the same type of course, but both had some similar feel to it - just thrown in and left.
Other Thoughts: This park really has some great amenities - bocce, ballfields, playgrounds - it is really a fun park - but it seems like they tried to cram 18 holes into a park that has so much else going on. Holes in the main part of the park are almost not necessary and more attention may have been spent on making 9 good/great holes.
I didn't put the typical comments about signs being a positive, since there are many blind shots here and signs with some detail would help a first timer. Yes, after playing once or twice - it isn't an issue, but still would have been a great help.
In reading the reviews and comparing this course to others with similar ratings, there is no way this is a 3 (at the time of my rating). It is barely a 2 with about 4-5 fun holes.
From a road trip perspective (Raleigh to Charlotte), this is not worth the stop at all. Not playing Kelsey or Catawba College, I couldn't make a comparison in the immediate area.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Two courses for the price of one!
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: With the addition of the 9 new holes, this course is now complete. It will suit the beginner and advanced player alike. The "front 9" can be played in about 30 minutes; the "back 9" offers a challenge--it can be tough to beat par sometimes.
All-in-all, a very fun, balanced course with long, short, easy, difficult, uphill, downhill, left-turn, and right-turn holes.
Cons: The gap in the razor-wire fence down the left side of the fairway of hole #1 has been repaired--don't mis-throw anything you want to keep.
Although Poison Ivy has been contained on the fairways and greens, there is still plenty of Poison Ivy throughout the rough areas.
Other Thoughts: Although some of the "front 9" holes border other activities, there is really no danger of being interupted/interupting others. Horseshoe pits, badminton courts, and bocce courts are rarely in use in the afternoon/evening.
Most of the holes are easy to figure out in regards to reaching par/birdie.
Mis-thrown discs on hole #1 can still be retrieved with a partner's help (you won't do it alone without damaging the fence) by scooting under a lifted fence on the back side. I prefer to birdie this hole by flicking an overstable disc over the fence on the left side and letting it fade back over the fence to the basket.
Hole #3 can be easily birdied by backhanding a putter to the right of the front tree.
Hole #7 has a new tee placement and is brutal! It runs about 80' to a tight gap then inside the gap, the fairway "tunnel" doglegs left and slightly uphill to an open green where the basket is slightly right of the opening. To par this hole, you practically have to lay up to the small gap with your tee shot.
Hole #8 can be parred by right-handers by flicking on a hyzer or by flicking an overstable disc. My buddies who backhand this rarely reach par here.
Hole #10 is an easy par/birdie by tomahawking your drive up the hill to the basket.
Hole #13 is another easy par/birdie with a strong tomahawk drive over the wooded area. Using the horseshoe-right turn is tough without lucking into a roll.
Believe it or not, hole #14--a straight, tree-filled, short, uphill hole--can be tomahawked as well. I rarely tomahawk when I don't have to, but this course has three holes where it can be used to an advantage.
Hole #15 requires much finesse to reach par. This tight, tunnel fairway esses right and then left, moving slightly downhill. Too hard, too soft, too early, or too late and you're into the treeline.
The first time I played #18, I was excited to play a great shot right to the basket pole. Unfortunately, it was the basket for hole #2--the #18 basket is off to the right another 50'. To birdie this hole, you'll need to go long and right off the tee.
The park staff has stated repeatedly that they don't mind if you play past the park's closing time. They will barricade the entry, but allow you to drive around this to exit the parking lot.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very Nice DiscCatcher Baskets
Navigation was very easy and the teesigns were very nice.
The new holes 7-15 are well designed and have promise to be solid buuuttttt(see Cons)
I really like holes 9-12
Cons: No Trashcans or benches.
The original 9 holes are still there and I know that there was little to work with in this part of the park but that does not make it a good course. The issues with holes 1-6 &16-18 are that they throw very close to many other activities in the park.
4- Over a Horseshoe pit
6- over bocce courts and close to a parking lot.
17- the basket is right next to a fitness center and there is a sign for that center only 5-10 feet away.
There is a large razerwire fence that means a stray shot on hole 1 can lead to a non retrievable disc. Also while on the topic of barbed wire there is more that is right behind the basket of 16 and to the right side of the fairways on 17 and 18.
Now for the new holes 7-15. Most of these holes look like someone took a bulldozer and ran it through the woods and didnt follow up with trimming or anything. The holes need Major trimming because limbs are now encroaching many of the gaps and fairways.
The rough is very bad and there are very large drag piles practically on the fairways in many places.
Hole 8's entire green is covered in what I believe was poisen Ivy.
Other Thoughts: I had been told about all of the improvements that the new 9 had made to the course and that it was sooooo much better(including one claim that it was better than Charlotte courses) however I was VERY disappointed.
The course has been shown little love and is in a very poor state. I had very little if any fun due to the fact that the lines on the new holes were nonexistant and I had to search for my discs forever in the nasty rough. The original 9 wasnt that great in the first place and it is still a part of the course.
The Design of the new part of the course has lots of potential but the course needs major work
This course is in my opinion the second worse Complete 18 hole course I have played thus far(behind Fun Junktion.) I would not recommend that anyone go out of there way to play this course unless they are a courses played junky.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
A slow afternoon
Pros: A beginner course: with the exception of a few tight fairways and doglegs through the woods, this course is a simple yet fun way to spend an afternoon. A good mix of open, obstacle, and wooded fairway shots.
Cons: Lack of next tee signage. The course tends to cross near (or through) a lot of park attractions: fields, horseshoe pits, bocce courts, picnic sheleters, etc... I agree with jedwards that this feels like two distinct courses, an entirely amateur intro and outro with a 9-hole tough intermediate thrown in the middle.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this course keeps things relaxed with a few twists and turns through the middle section. A few more signs for navigation would be nice, but it's a pretty easy place to get around. Just make sure to go when the park isn't crowded.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: I like the mix of the easier holes in the beginning and end of the course, and the much tougher ones in the middle. This course, with it's elevation changes, will give your legs a good workout on the newer holes. Benches throughout the course are a great idea, especially for catching your breath after scaling the ups and downs the new holes have to offer.
Cons: Navigation could be better throughout the entire course. We almost could not find the 15th tee; there were 2 different directional arrows guiding us and there was a fairly long trek through the woods to find it.You have to cross the road to find the middle holes but this isn't much trouble as it's on a fairly straight road and easy to see approaching vehicles. Almost lost a disc on 1st toss from #1 tee, wind caught it and over the fence it went. Staff in office were no help, so my gf/playing partner called the Dept. of Parks and got in touch with a very nice man, also a disc player, named Jeff who was very helpful. He called the State dept. responsible for the reservoir and got a guy to come out and retrieve our brand new disc for us. This only cost us about 30 minutes of playing time and we were very grateful.
Other Thoughts: We will be playing this course again. It has a lot to offer a beginner; you'll warm up on 1-6, go mad on 7-15 and then calm down and cool off on the final holes. Some of the first and last holes go around the softball parks and bocce courts so there was a fair amount of other users to lookout for in close proximity, but that's not really a big deal for me. You really do feel as if there is nothing else in the world when you are on those damned wooded hills on the newer holes, which I like.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Feels like two, 9 hole courses. Beginners will enjoy 1-6, and 16-19 and experts will enjoy the middle 9. Ams will get a good warm up, get trashed, and then try to salvage their score at the end. Well maintained. Good variety in hole type - each hole is fairly distinct. #7-16 are secluded. Map is accurate - use it!
Cons: No pads. Holes #11 and #12 are next to an equestrian center and the field can be a minefield. Try putting with a fresh pile behind the basket if you miss. Very difficult to find the next tee on several holes; I printed out jedwards' review (excellent) and took it with me so this wasn't really a con for me. The fairway/walkability of #13 is a joke (still fun). I don't want too reiterate some of the other "Cons" that are frequently mentioned because for all of them I think, "YES, BUT..." (see "other thoughts")
Other Thoughts: YES, hole 1 has a big scary fence, BUT nobody I've been with has ever permanently lost one (there may/may not be a gap to slide under 3/4 or the way down). YES, hole #4 has a horseshoe pit in the middle, BUT they look like nobody ever plays there. YES, hole #6 plays through boccee courts, BUT I've never seen anyone over there. If you like courses that loop back the the parking lot in the middle, drive past the park entrance and use the gravel lot on the left. That way you can start on #16 and have a easy front 9 and cross the road to the hard back 9.
When you are standing on the tee for #18 you cannot see the basket on the far right of the field; the basket for #2 is in plain sight and first timers will think it is #18.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Pros: The new holes #7 - #15 add quite some challenge to this course. #7 and #12 are par 4's.
#8 is listed as par 3, but it is a tough 3 if you are RHBH. The hole is a dogleg right downhill with a narrow window from the pad. Come out wide/early trees, cut in early/griplock trees, get it through the gap but fade out, KUDZU! There is a landing area but it is not easy to find throwing backhand. I put this is pros because it adds to the challenge.
Cons: I still do not like tee placement on hole #1. I'm only 5' 7" and after playing this hole the other day with guys taller than myself I see a big disadvantage for disc golfers my height or shorter. I have to throw the disc up high and let it fall out before getting close to the fence or cutting into the tree line. While the hill in front of the tee-pad adds challenge to the hole, it seems a bit unfair since shorter players are forced to release at a positive angle while taller players can release at a negative angle (which is ideal for using the back fence as a backstop.
Other Thoughts: In all I believe this course serves the community surrounding it well.
Perhaps signage for the pseudo-beginner loop for those just starting to know to go from hole #6 to hole #16?
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