Fun, Varied, and Well-Conceived
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I went to Center City hoping to be challenged, and the course did not disappoint. It's not exactly a gauntlet of terror, but it does feature tight shots, serious elevation changes, some scary pin placements (at the edge of drop-offs or on sloping hills rife with rollaway potential), and many rough-lined fairways or guarded pins that will punish you if you're off the mark. From the tee you face a range of elevation changes, all of which are sound and interesting. The course features a large variety that consistently forces you to string a series of strong shots together to score well. I appreciate the diversity that Center City threw at me, all of which was effective in its own way, be it 6's upward sloping putter or mid shot through a tight window ending with a hanging basket that is just the right height to add challenge while avoiding gimmick, 9's elevated tee throwing down into a densely-lined fairway with a well-guarded pin, 12's big and challenging anhyzer in the woods with a lot of potential for disaster if you're off the mark, or 1's all-to-unkind tight midrange shot with a pin at the edge of a noteworthy (but not unsafe) precipice. These cumulative challenges force you to shoot consistently from holes 1 to 18, which helps make Center City such a quality course.
Center City features a nice balance of holes with definitive lines and holes that give you options to choose your route and pick your poison. I like the forced decision making, but appreciate the occasional insistence that I just hit a particular line. There's a great give and take between choice and the unavoidable.
Further variety comes in the form of levels of woodedness: holes range from mostly open to sporadic obstacles to thickly tree-lined fairways to being completely in the woods. It's a nice, effective mix that keeps the course from repeating itself. There's a nice range of hole lengths, too, causing you to reach for a variety of discs off the tee.
Alternate tees for the majority of holes.
There are numerous signs to help you navigate the course.
Baskets are quality DGA Mach 2's which are in good shape.
Cons: My biggest critique of the course design is that more than a few pro tees are set immediately behind uber-tight windows that you're forced to throw into. These aren't simply challenging, but often tight to the point of absurdity. With the smart, challenging lines Center City regularly throws at you, these windows strike me as gimmicky, unnecessary, and ultimately detrimental to how the pro tees play.
I'm no stranger to or enemy of natural tees, but a few of Center City's impede a good drive - 4, for instance, was quite sandy when I visited, making a run up unsteady and uncertain. Overall I thought this was a minor problem, but it was present enough to bear mentioning.
While the course was very playable during my December visit, I've been told by locals that it can get overgrown in the summer months. I can see how; Center City definitely felt a bit rough around the edges when I was there. Still, the course was in overall fine condition when I visited, and I wouldn't hesitate to return. Just a fair warning.
Other Thoughts: While I've presently only played one other Jackson course, I was a bit surprised at how much I preferred Center City to Chautauqua. The holes seemed better, more maturely designed, there was a greater diversity across the board, and the overall challenge and risk/reward ratio seemed much more worthwhile. Jackson seems to have an enviable surfeit of quality courses, but I'd recommend finding time to play Center City upon your visit. It instantly went to the top of my list of regional courses to return to.
Thanks to Travis ("WSP420") for being a willing and knowledgeable guide and all-around hip guy during my visit.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Rugged and Fun
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The layout utilizes the existing terrain; topography, vegetation, and general ambiance to make a super fun course full of different looking shots. No two consecutive holes match up in terms of looks, distance, elevation change or shot style. This keeps the flow fresh and interesting. Starting from hole one the surprises start off with the ~20 foot shear drop off immediately behind the basket into a red sand gulley. Each shot off the tee provides for a little something different. Distance-control off the tee is prized much more than old fashion distance. No hole lets you just open up the big guns without some control. Otherwise you'd be searching and wondering why you did that in the first place. The fairways are fair and balanced; some tight with a dash of luck required and others more open to allow for some shot movement. The greens give a chance of a roll away on most with some hidden slopes behind the baskets if you're not careful. On some of the more spread out treks between holes there are navigation signs which is nice and helpful.
Cons: As noted by others the grass can tend to get long in areas though I didn't see this as being much of an issue. With the tee signs only indicating the hole number with no distances, tee designation, or visual representation they didn't really do anything. On multiple occasions I had to walk one-half to two-thirds the hole length to get a visual on the basket. This could be eradicated with better tee signs. Luckily my phone was not dead and I could look up the course map on here. I'd recommend that to anyone playing it both blind and solo. A course map near number one would help this situation too. The tees are all natural with two or three being carpet and my only complaint is that some are not level and/or loose footing.
Other Thoughts: This was a tremendously fun course that provides a good shot variety in a pretty secluded area of the park. Even though this isn't the hardest course it does provide some challenge, especially on the back nine. Being off your lines on the front nine where a lot of birdies are waiting will leave you ruing the chances. Players of all skill level will have a good time here. Advanced and pros should be able to shoot under par without too much worry while intermediates and below can manage a few birdies and do well to keep out of trouble.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Thorns and canyons and mud... oh my!
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Free to play
-Pro and Am tees
-Trash cans and benches at most holes
-Challenging with a good mixture of holes: uphill, downhill, fading doglegs, tight doglegs, "cliffs" & "canyons"
Cons: -The park is a little crowded on the weekends during baseball season (the park not the course)
-As the title suggests there are plenty of thorns in the rough and it's usually muddy
-The tees are dirt / natural and like everything else can get VERY muddy and slippery. Not having concrete tee pads is a big con
Other Thoughts: BRING A TOWEL! Unless you like throwing wet discs. This course has a drainage problem... there are many holes that require a long(ish) walk around water/mud to avoid wet/muddy shoes.
The course is not regularly maintained. It's usually cut back only once or twice during the summer, The Winter and Spring months, with cooler weather and less-dense deadly plant life, make this course much more enjoyable.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Full 18 now
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Very good baskets (mixed Mach's with Innova's).
- Each holes has tee signs indicating the tees
- Multiple tees are present on many of the holes. The primary tees are marked with blue rocks; alternate tees marked with pink rocks.
- Very unique terrain for the area.
- Good variety of shot types and hole types.
- Lots of elevation changes.
- There has never been a crowd, so you can play very quickly and without being rushed.
- Benches at many of the holes.
Cons: - Natural tees.
- Course has a tendency to get a bit overgrown in the summer. Holes 11, 14, & 15 are the most troublesome and your disc can be hard to find in the fairway.
- Some drainage issues during the really wet times of the year. This affects holes 4, 5, & 6 the most.
Other Thoughts: The red sand canyon is very interesting(holes 1 and 3).
Elevation is in play on many of the holes. Some hole tee low and go to a higher basket; while others go from high to low. The hanging basket on hole 6 is unique and cool.
The large field in the middle is mowed infrequently, so the grass seeds will sticking to your legs/pants. In general, the course is maintained pretty good. The high grass as well as some briars on the borders of some fairways are a negative.
I recommend this course to anyone in the area. Now the course is a full 18, and it's really exciting.
There are restrooms near the course.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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