Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Betty G. Ross's 18-hole layout is a vast improvement over the old, nine-hole design. What was a poor course has become a fun, decent course that the locals can enjoy.
- By the time I was standing on the first tee, I could tell this course was already a marked improvement. If you never played the old layout, consider yourself lucky. The old, unimaginative, short first hole was replaced by a wooded, mid-range shot.
- The course takes great use of the land. I'm glad everyone involved in the redesign realized there was lots of unused land in the back of the park, and decided to put it to good use.
- There are some legitimately enjoyable holes on the course. Granted, there are also a lot of average, nothing-special ones as well. My favorite hole on the course is #5. Never mind that I couldn't find the tee pad/markers, if one even exists, I love having a mid-range tee shot of 225 feet to a basket nestled behind trees, located pretty close to the river. If this hole was lengthened, I would love the increased risk/reward factor of people pulling out drivers taking a run at this basket.
- I also enjoyed the couple of holes that were left over from the original design: old #8 & 9 became new #13 & 14. These also used parts of old holes and incorporated them into the course, including the use of hole #5 listed above. The only sentimentality I had was that the old #2 was gone, meaning you couldn't throw a ricochet shot off the rec center building anymore to get to the basket.
- This is a heavily wooded course, with only a couple holes being in the open. Also, only a couple holes on the front 9 come close to other park activities. Besides that, the back of the park is pretty much exclusively for disc golf…with the caveat that I could see a person using the fairways and transitions as a walking path.
- Mostly a good flow to the course. Starting after hole #5, from there on out, there are next tee signs to make navigation much easier. The first five holes do have signs, but because the holes are more spread out, navigation between holes (mainly trying to find tee pads) was more difficult.
- For being a heavily wooded course, the course still offers plenty of birdie chances and ace-runs. The fairways are wide enough, and the holes are mostly mid-range length, that rec level players and above should be able to post low scores here. During my round, I only had to scramble to save par once. Other than that, it was birdies, birdie chances including two ace-runs, and ho-hum pars.
- This course will appeal to casual and beginner players. At its posted length of 4257 feet (which I question some of the hole lengths below), the average hole comes in at 236 feet. 14 holes are listed between 200 - 299 feet (again, I question some of those lengths), meaning you don't need a big arm for this course. I threw Roc or Buzz off the majority of tees.
Cons: I'm not sure if the designers have stopped working on the course, or if the redesign is just going very slow. Either way, in its current state as of April 2015, the course still feels a work-in-progress, creating some obvious problems.
- The first of these problems is the inconsistencies presentenced throughout the course. Some holes have the makings of a tee pad (framed by logs) while others have some other tee marker (#4, for example has a board across the grass) while others seem to be non-existent, most notably #2 & 5. On #2, for example, is the tee pad the one used for the old #3 (there is still the old tee sign there), or is one of the bare patches in the grass? If so, then the hole length is incorrect.
- Also, the navigation between holes is inconsistent. To its credit, navigation gets markedly improved beginning with hole #6. There's a stretch - holes #6 - 11 where there is very little walking from one hole to the next, and you can find the tee pads easily, which is awesome. The issues come up in smaller ways, such as trying to find the tee for #5. Having an arrow on a wood pole 75 feet from #4 basket doesn't provide much help. Also, having more arrows on the longer transitions would eliminate the need to guess which path to walk down to get to the next tee.
- Hole lengths are inconsistent, and clearly wrong on about a third of the holes. On #2 & 5, without clear tee markers, I picked what appeared to be the tee areas. If I was correct, then both holes play a good 50 - 75 longer than their listed lengths. If the listed lengths are correct, then there are no clear tee markers at that distance. Also, #17 & 18 both play much longer than their listed lengths of 255 & 260 feet, respectively. Both are a good 100 feet longer, which is actually a good thing. Designers, just get your distance correct.
- No tee signs. That might not be a bad thing, except when you see the old, bad layout had tee signs. I'm cautiously optimistic that means the designers might be willing to improve the course before it is finalized and signs are created.
- The course does have a sense of monotony. The general vibe of the course is a wooded hole in the 225 - 250 foot range, with the hole being straight or only slightly doglegged. Basically, if you can throw straight at that distance, you'll have birdie putts on a majority of holes. A little more variety would have really spiced up the course.
Other Thoughts: If you were turned off by the old layout, as was I, I'd encourage you to give the new layout a chance. This is actually an enjoyable, short-length course. It's a poor man's version of Trails in Anderson, SC. For a more local reference, I'd compare it to Crooked Creek Crossing in Stallings, a suburb of Charlotte, or Bearskin Creek in Monroe, in terms of skill level.
- The course isn't flashy, but it is consistent. There wasn't one bad hole on this course; conversely, there wasn't one signature, challenging hole. As stated, #5 could be better if lengthened. The same could be said for a couple other holes as well. #17, which is in the 350-foot range, is probably the signature 'challenging' hole. It's the only one that seemed to have an element of station to station throwing to get to the basket. I also enjoyed the design of #9 with a downed tree across the fairway creating an added obstacle.
- Let's hope the local disc golf community maintains and improves some of the issues. The redesign was done last year, and already it seems some issues will be creeping up quickly if attention isn't given. There are still some small stumps on many holes. Also a lot of underbrush wasn't completely removed. And with growing season starting again, this could quickly become an issue/nuisance.
- Who knew that 321 was becoming its own little disc golf hotbed? From Charlotte, get on 321 in Gastonia, knock out Rankin (and Bradley which isn't technically off 321), then head up to Lincolnton (Betty G Ross), Hickory (Hilton) and Sawmills (Veterans Park) and you've got a nice day trip on your way to the mountains.
- If I were rating this course based solely on the course's condition and progress as of the day I played, I'd give it a 1.5. Too much work still needs to be done. I'm giving the locals the benefit of the doubt that the issues I listed above (tee pads, signage, etc.) will get ironed out, and am giving this course a 2.0. Based on its current layout, that's probably this course's ceiling. Now, if you improve a couple of holes and add some more challenge, I'll reconsider my rating at that point. Still, I'm glad I made a return visit to this course and checked out the new 18.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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