Clearly an Afterthought
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The property where the course is located has awesome potential.
The flow is pretty decent.
9 New Disc Catchers.
Course is technical in nature and accuracy is at a premium.
Numbers 6 and 11 have fun factor and are unique to Low Country environment.
Navigation was fairly easy from hole to hole, not always intuitive, but there were signs.
Beautiful surrounding park.
Cons: 9 Crap baskets getting crappier.
Very rough terrain
Many baskets not visible from tee and no layout markings to help.
Not family friendly at all or noobie friendly
Other Thoughts: This course is similar to Tidal Creek in West Ashley. I realize that the course is new, but it makes me sad to see the wasted potential of such a dynamic piece of land. I understand not mowing down the forest, but some strategic cleanup would improve things dramatically. In the hands of a competent designer this course has the potential to be really good. It would be money well spent to bring in a competent design firm to create a technical challenging course. Maybe it is just my preference but a course can require technical shots without being an overgrown mess. I hope that the reviews given here might spur some action.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Slightly better than Tidal Creek, but a chance to be even better
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: James Island County Park features an interesting course. It's very similar to Tidal Creek, but has potential to be even better than that course.
- There are some fun and/or challenging hole layouts here. The course has some shorter holes that offer a chance to be more aggressive (#5, 6, 11 & 12 are good examples), while there are some challenging ones that require pinpoint accuracy. #10 is the only long hole on the course (462 feet), and it's pretty close to being a really good hole. Make the fairway a little wider so people can be aggressive off the tee, and this hole will be really good.
- The course offered a first for me in the Charleston area: a true hole with elevation. #11 has a drop-off of around 20 feet from the tee down to the basket. The basket is on a raised hill (apparently they do exist in the low country), down to a basket deep in the woods. The hole could be even better if a little more length was involved, requiring more than just a putter or mid-range disc off the tee.
- Course does an adequate job of flowing easily through the woods. There are some next tee signs, which help. After several holes, I discovered that the course map didn't provide much help. But, if you follow the walking path (which sometimes doubles as a fairway, but more on that later) and the next tee signs, it's pretty easy to navigate your way through the course. Things could be better, mainly having better tee signs, and more next tee signs, especially on the long walks.
- The course is isolate from the rest of the park activities. You start behind climbing wall, but after that, the course has the land all to itself. There's also some great scenery throughout the course, with water to the left of #5, the hills on #6 &11, and the water behind #9. #10 had the best nature/wooded feel of any hole on the course. I wished there some more holes like that on the course.
- The course has a better natural environment than Tidal Creek. By that, there were less swampy areas than Tidal Creek; although; mud is still an issue days after a rain. That's still better than the standing water you get at TC. There were also less spider webs, large spiders, and less wildlife (mainly snakes). I'm guessing a lot of that has to do with being further from water than TC, but it's still an advantage.
Cons: The course still appears to be a work in progress, so some of these problems should be fixed. They're what are separating a so-so course from being a pretty good one.
- There's a definite lack of true fairways throughout the course. It's one of the same problems that have hampered Tidal Creek. Too many holes were built based on existing paths, making the fairways as wide the walking trail. You can tell there's a resistance to cutting down trees, but it results in an unnatural feel. That also poses another major problem:
- A lack of variety of shot-making is required to play the course. The first time I played, I threw a used, mid-range disc I found years ago for 80% of the round. I didn't want to search for discs in the woods, so I played something I could throw straight. Basically, I was throwing 180 - 220 off the tee on most holes. And regardless of the hole layout, if I stayed in the fairway, I was ensured of an easy 3. The only hole I needed more disc was on #10.
- Because of the narrow/unnatural fairways, there's way too much luck involved in this course. On too many holes, you cannot see the basket from the tee. After hole #6, I quick walking the hole, searching for the basket. My goal was just to throw it straight down the fairway. Well, the rest of the round, I had 4 blind shots (two tee shots, two long approach shots) land within 6 - 8 feet of the basket. There's something unsettling when you get tap-in birdies without ever seeing the basket.
- Of all the narrow/'not really a fairway' fairways, #16 was by far the worst. It's a straight fairway for the first 100 feet, makes a sharp right for the next 40 feet through a 10 foot opening, and then straightens out/goes back to the left the last 50 - 60 feet to the basket. I'm far from a pro, but I don't know how many people are going to make that shot on a consistent basis.
- In addition to the narrow fairways, some holes have low ceilings because of the trees/branches. After a bunch of narrow fairways, getting to a relatively open fairway on #5, throwing a straight shot, only to have it knocked down because of the low ceiling. So basically, on every hole, you're either having to make sure not to go left or right, or too high, or both. Oh, and keep an eye on the ground so you don't trip on roots/stumps, or step in mud.
Other Thoughts: The James Island course grew on me as the round went on. I think it's because I saw all the possibilities this course could offer is the designers were given the opportunity.
- The course starts out frustrating with bad/no fairway holes, and ends with a couple holes like that (#16 & 18); but, from #5 - 15, I really enjoyed the round.
- It's not like I'm even calling for a ton of trees to be knocked down. For example, if only two or three were cleared on #6, you'd have a real fairway and the makings of a great hole. It's a dogleg left, to a basket on a slight (maybe 8 - 10 feet tall) hill. There's too much luck involved to clear the trees. Or just a whole lot of skill, which the average player at this course probably doesn't have.
- Also, by making the fairways, well, actually fair, you increase the risk/reward factor. Throwing a mid-range tee shot on every hole isn't the answer for making a good course. You want to give players a reason to be aggressive.
- All that said, if given the opportunity, this could be one of the better courses in the Charleston area. Instead, you're presently left with just a slightly better version of Tidal Creek. Oh, but the possibilities of what could be.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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