A sweet spot
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I finally got to play this course I'd heard so much about, and it was a delight from beginning to end. It's cleverly designed, full of fun and challenging holes, with not a single bad hole among them, and lots of variety. It should provide enough challenge for better players, and at the same time be accessible to newer players, which is quite a trick.
The course covers 3 or 4 types of terrain. An open grassy hilltop, dotted with small trees (destined to become greater hazards in the coming years). A steep wooded hillside. A low, level creekside area with huge, and I mean huge, trees. And long, sloping powerline right-of-way.
Many of the par-4s, or even long par--3s, place an emphasis on shot placement---not just hitting the fairways but hitting the right spot in them to line up the next shot.
With the possible exception of the open area, there's not a bit of redundancy. After 1 round, I could remember every hole; no two seemed alike.
There are multiple tees on some holes, multiple pin placements on others. I played in a tournament, so don't know how often baskets are moved.
And this is a disc-golf-only public park, not sharing the land with other park activities. That's always a pleasure.
Cons: There are a handful of fairly open holes on the grassy hilltop, and how challenging they are depends greatly on your arm. If you've too little arm, they're routine 3s. I would imagine if you've got a big arm, they're routine 2s, at least when it's not windy.
On the wooded holes, the areas off the fairways are pretty dense. "Jail" is the word that comes to mind, and if you don't control your shots, you may be pitching back to the fairway a lot. Sometimes, even that is challenging.
Other Thoughts: The place is beautiful, and a joy to play.
It has a railway theme, with the excellent tee signs and even the "next stop" directions between holes. And railway lines on the hill in the far distance, so that a half-dozen times a day trains come cruising by, whistles blaring. You don't get ambience like that very often!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Great and challenging course
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great course because it has a tremendous mix of holes that tests all parts of your game. The first few holes give you a chance at a couple of birdies because you will need them if you mess up on hole 8. After hole 8 there is a great mix of shots that require you to make a distance shot through a tight corridor. Several of the holes on the back 9 are shots that beg for you to "go for it" but if you miss, you are gonna have a hard time getting out of the woods...lay up and play safe and you lose your birdie chance. Great risk/reward holes on the back 9.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
The center of the upstate SC disc golf scene
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Grand Central Station is simply fantastic. The course offers some great holes, lots of challenge, plenty of fun and just enough birdie chances to keep you wanting to come back for more.
- No doubt about it, this is the best course in the entire upstate of South Carolina. There are some other good ones in the region, but Grand Central is a step or two above every other that it's not even close. This course should be on the short list for the best courses in the entire state.
- The course has everything. I all acknowledge courses that have great variety, which this one most sure has, but it's the level of, and type of, variety that really stands out for me. There are tight wooded holes, where if you're on the wrong side of the fairway, you almost have no chance to advance or take direct aim at the basket. The best examples of this are #11 and 13. On #13, I threw what I thought was the perfect tee shot, I thought it was my shot of the round. That perfect tee shot ended up being too long and to the right, (I know, the story of my life), that I couldn't get a good shot around the bend. If my tee shot landed 20 feet to the left, I'd have had an easy up and down for a birdie 3; rather, I have to settle for a frustrating 4.
- On the flip side, I love how the open holes present multiple ways to play the layout. On #6 & 7, the fairways are wide open, meaning you'll have approach shots from wherever your tee shot lands. The biggest hindrances on these holes will be the lack of big arms, plus the surprisingly wider and deeper creek on #7.
- Now to the obligatory push for the course's variety. That said, this course really does give you that feel. Just take a quick stroll through the first five holes. #1 is a 290 foot, open hole; the perfect warm-up for a birdie chance or an easy 3. #2 is 444 feet, with a fairway that narrows in the middle, leading to a dogleg right approach shot for your basket. #3 is a slight downhill, dogleg right, shorter hole at 209. Another potential birdie chance or easy par. #4 is 442 foot hole that starts narrow and opens up near the hole. And #5 starts in the open to dogleg left as the hole enters the trees. It's only 313 feet, but will take a great tee shot for a birdie chance. So, just on the first five holes, you get birdie chances; longer, multi-shot layouts; wooded and open layouts; and a little bit of elevation. That trend goes on for the following 13 holes.
- It can't be understated how awesome it is that this huge piece of land is dedicated solely to disc golf. It takes so much land to be able to have big holes like #7, and the fact disc golfers don't have to worry about other park goers means it one less thing you'll have to worry about. That said, the drive into the park, down an old, narrow, country road makes you wonder if this isn't some cruel joke. But, once you get there, it's just you and the course.
- I thought it was a great move that the course designers didn't try to trick up every hole. There were definitely parts of the course where length could be added simply for making holes longer (I'm thinking of #4 & 16), but I feel that would have taken away from the course. The worst offender for a hole seeming to be overthought is #11 with a long tee shot to an opening into the woods, followed by a narrower fairway to the basket. I hope the designers resist the urge to constantly tinker with the course. Don't mess with a great thing. We get enough of that in Charlotte.
Cons: Very little to complain about here. These are more observations that out and out faults.
- I think the course would flow and/or play better if the front and back 9s were reversed. As it is, the course's best three hole stretch is #6 - 8; whereas the current stretch of #14 - 17 are all shorter, birdie chances. I've always felt you want to end your course with the toughest holes/ending on a high note. You flip the front and back 9s, the tough stretch of holes become #15 - 17, and the birdie stretch becomes holes #5 - 8. You want to get your birdies early on, then hold on for dear life on the back 9. More than anything else, this brings up the debate of hole placement and whether the place in a round holes are placed has any impact on the course's flow and feel.
- Be careful on hole #2 as you're throwing over the entrance road. I didn't realize this until I actually threw. The only people driving here are disc golfers, so they should also be aware of this layout as they either just played the hole or are about to.
- The course has nothing in terms of amenities. There's a porta potty by the parking lot (at least there's lots of privacy and wooded holes throughout the course). No water fountains and also a lack of benches and trash cans throughout the course. That said, there's something enjoyable about the primitive feel. Disc golfers don't need to be pampered with luxuries such as benches.
- On #15, you play the hole, then have to turn around and walk back down the fairway to get to the bridge. This is more important for the group behind you to know, so you don't get thrown upon.
- Better signage is needed in a couple spots on the course. After #8, the closest two holes are #14 & 18. You actually have to walk past #18 to get to #9. Transition from #12 to 13 and better signage to indicate you cross #10's fairway after finishing #18 would also be helpful.
Other Thoughts: It's been a long time since I had so much anticipation for a course. Grand Central Station was everything I was hoping, and then some. One of the best, new courses I've played in a long time.
- Whether you enjoy the idea, or think it's a little overdone, you have to commend the idea that the designers buy into the GCS theme. You see the railroad logo on every course sign. Now, if they really wanted to go the whole 9 yards, we'll need to see the railroad crossing gates and lights set up at the front of the course.
- Also, what's up with the spiral staircase at one of the picnic shelters at the front of the course? What do we need to be looking for that we need a spotter?
- It'll be interesting to see what improvements are made to this course. The best thing that could be done is adding a permanent restroom and water fountains by the parking lot. The problem, I guess, is the issue of having all of that maintained. You're only 5 minutes from gas stations and restaurants, so it's not like you're really roughing it.
- There's just so much to like here. It was a thoroughly enjoyable round from start to (mostly) finish. Maybe I was just worn down by the end, or that the hole really is simple, but #18 felt like a hole that was a mundane, straight ahead 4. The energy wasn't there to try for getting a 3, so maybe I missed the intended challenge.
- I couldn't spot a true doppelganger for this course. I could sense elements of Hornets Nest and Renaissance in Charlotte and New Quarter in Williamsburg, VA. That's a compliment that this course has its own feel, it means you'll have to check it out.
- The course is a solid 4. I easily could go higher, and see why people are giving the course a 5. If a 4.0 rating is on the low end, that's all you need to know. This is a must play for anyone in the region, or driving along I-85. This is now a course I'm looking forward to visiting again in the future.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Ridin' that Train
Pros: Layout - It's a good one, very well designed. Good mixture of open/wooded and long/short. Big variety on shot types and you'll need to work the disc over a range of distances.
Shots that come out of the woods and some that go in. A nice mixture of placement shots as well as gap hitting shots.
Multiple pads on about half the holes which usually shortens the hole on the same fairway. Seven par 4's and one par 5 which combine different elements within the hole.
Good elevation change here, some bigger hill shots as well as smaller changes throughout holes.
Nicely designed greens that are guarded well or use elevation to make your approach tricky.
Water and OB come in to play via a creek. Though it never presents any real danger of disc loss or trouble.
I really enjoyed how the holes fit together in terms of weaving the short/long holes and open/wooded. Allows for an interesting round that never gets boring by changing things up.
Equipment - Baskets in great shape. Some of the best signage I've ever seen that gives you a colorful map and info. Pads are large. Big Kiosk at the beginning with a course map and other info. Trashcans throughout.
Atmosphere - DG only park... awesome. Gives you a private feel to the place because you're not going to run in to anyone else out there but disc golfers and an occasional dog walker. Really beautiful park with rolling hills and a remote wooded feel in parts.
You might catch the train in the distance which gives you the full effect.
Cons: Layout - Biggest con here is the flow of the course, it's quite confusing and you loop back upon places you already were more than once.
There are a few less inspiring shots thrown in. Is probably a side effect of so many great holes but it is what it is.
Some tweener holes.
A lot of my complaints about the place are due to it's lack of play; it needs to be broken in more. The rough here is super rough; there are places not far from the fairway where you are in total jail. I'd like to see at least the immediate rough cleared out a bit more.
I didn't think the back 9 was as enjoyable as the front but it's still good. I do like the finishing hole.
Equipment - Pads are nice and big but they are the hexagonal filled with gravel type. I didn't have a big problem with them but they were starting to get un-level in a few places.
No bathrooms or water access here and it's kind of remote.
Other Thoughts: It's a great course that is a super fun round and some beautiful holes. Highly recommend anyone in the area stop by. I only wish it was a bit closer to town so it would get the play it needs.
I could see with some more breaking in and attention this course getting a higher rating from me in the future.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
One of the best in SC!
Pros: What a super layout! Very nice mix of open and wooded holes. And as everyone has mentioned, the signage is now the Gold Standard of what signage should be. If you're planning a course, check this one out.
This course also had a good mix Grip-and-Rip holes where you can open your bag and watch'em fly, down to precision putter shots and strings of birdie-holes
The wooded holes definitely reward well placed shots, and can HAMMER you if you don't!
Cons: Very few, primarily a mix bag of tee sizes. Some are HUGE, some are short. And there is some slippage with the aggregate used to fill the boxes. But overall, they work just fine
Other Thoughts: Even though the course looked really long, we found that you can play with 3 discs: Stable Driver, Midrange and Putter. I through a DGA Squall and Discraft Wasp on more holes than I through a driver
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Well Worth a Detour
Pros: --Challenge: Nice balance here. Even the toughest holes were reasonable, nothing here feels impossible or makes you think too much about drawing devil horns on a photo of the designer. The pacing of the more troublesome holes vs the more straightforward was particularly well thought out, I thought, adding to the fun of the round; the toughest shots (for me,) the super-snug, snaky wooded holes, were mostly on the back nine.
--Layout: good, interesting piece of land that was probably asking for a course, and well used. Several different "flavors" as you progress through the round, two different feels to the early vs later wooded holes, non-repetitive open holes, good use of elevation, big D, open-woods and woods-open transition holes, stretch of ace runs. Great variety and no two holes remotely similar.
--"Best signage in the upstate" is not an exaggeration. Massive kiosk with a practically life-size map of the course right by the parking lot. Tee signs are consistent, descriptive (even 1st time through, only a couple of the blind shots made me feel like I needed to do serious recon,) and naming the holes is a touch that makes you feel the love...and leaves no doubt as to the signature hole. Made navigation pretty self evident for the most part.
--Tee pads of ample size, and played pretty close to concrete for me, but I have mixed feelings about them...more below.
--other amenities: the covered picnic area with an observation deck on the roof overlooking the open holes is a cool idea, loved it. Property is DG only, no other park activities to deal with. Plenty of trashcans, though the day I played the vast majority on site were around the parking lot. They were wheeled, making me think that maybe they're more spread around usually? The course was pristine, so trash not an issue either way. One portajohn...new looking, clean.
Cons: Not many.
The tee pads are currently made from the plastic no-slip mats like used in restaurant kitchens. All but two were framed and filled in with some sort of aggregate. All done this way played close enough to concrete that I didn't notice. The other two, 1 and 15 I think, were just the mats, so I teed from the dirt. These mats alone are problematic in my mind because they don't really allow a consistent pivot, and depending on the shoes you play in, could result in NO pivot and injury. As long as the aggregate fill is maintained, and the feeling the course gave me is that it will be, then these pads are really no problem in my book. I don't know if the plan is to pour 'Crete in the future....
No water on site that I saw, but it's maybe 10 minutes to Walmart etc, so don't forget to stop!
1 portajohn may not be ideal for some, no sweat for me.
If one of your rating criterion is total natural seclusion, you might have a beef with the line towers as obstacles on 6, the crossing of the entrance road on 2, or possibly even the old shacks near the parking lot (these are part of the flavor for me,) but none of these really ding the course for me, given the "make the most of the available land" heroics of my hometown layouts.
The rough here features some of the pinky finger thick briars that will tear you apart. I put my tee shot on 7 onto the OB islandish obstacle just over the creek to the right and got chewed up good retrieving it. OB/rough should be rough, I think, but this felt like a double penalty. Note to self: keep it in play, a&$!
Other Thoughts: This is one of the courses that makes me wish for quarter disc reviews, because it's solidly at least a 4.25 now. Still pretty new, but doesn't have many of the "new course" issues that some will. Feels pretty finished.
I played after dropping someone at the GSP airport, from Charlotte, so drove the extra 30-40 min to play here, and it was absolutely worth it. It's made my list of courses to hit when driving down the I-85 corridor. Total DG fun for a wide range of players/skill levels. Don't miss out!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Course is laid out on a beautiful piece of property. Quiet country setting with the occasional train whistle blowing in the background. Mown grass fairways & mulched woods holes. Disc golf only (no hikers, bike riders, etc). Excellent mix of long & short holes. Straight shots, lefts, rights, up & down hill shots! Elevation was in play but it was not a difficult hike. Wide open & heavily wooded shots. Holes that start in the woods & throw into the open & open shots that throw into the woods! Par 3, 4 & 5's! Large wood benches, trash cans, practice basket, bathrooms (port-a-johns), information kiosk with course maps & score cards. A large covered gazebo area with picnic benches. Outstanding tee signs & directional signs bring you in to the course from the street. New DisCatcher baskets & large tee pads. Some O.B., mandos & a small creek in play. Ammenities nearby (WalMart, BBQ, Subway, etc). Good flow to the course layout with next tee signs. Enough design change from hole to hole to keep play interesting. Large parking lot. Hole 9 ends at the parking lot if you need a break or only have enough time to play 9 holes.
Cons: Tee pads are a flat, corrugated plastic grate design with wood frame. They were fine for me (large with good traction) but some players may prefer concrete.
Other Thoughts: I was able to play the course with the designer & he was very open to any suggestions. The course recieves maintenance assistance from the city/county. He said he designed the course to be everything that a disc golfer could ever want. I'd say he succeeded!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: - can't add more than the other reviews but overall great layout, great variety of types and lengths of holes, elevation changes etc
- the mats are pretty unique but effective - plastic snowcone foundation with gravel - I guess preventing the grvel from becoming worn
Cons: stretching here but:
- holes 14-17 are sort of bland for a high caliber course
Other Thoughts: I keep forgetting the course is new so time will only help; lots of prickily brush so be careful
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Quite Grand Indeed
Pros: Grand Central Station DGC is a terrific new course that is fun and well conceived. The front and back 9 both begin and end near the parking lot, but I can't see playing only half of this course because it's too good. Varying degrees of elevation change mixed into several holes throughout the course, and fairways ranging from short to long, and wide open and nicely mowed, to dense woods and rough provide ever changing looks from hole to hole. To add to the pleasure, the course is furnished with awesome tee signs, boxes, and baskets. The tee signs give the name of each hole as well as distance, and a accurate illustrated map. The tee boxes are not concrete, but they are a great alternative I found as good or better, somewhat to my surprise. They are large rubber mats on flat foundations, and they have cells in the tread that were filled with a fine grained gravel. I liked the feel of them under my feet after a little getting used to: firm and level and allowing very smooth pivots. The baskets are very nice new Innova Discatchers. There is a practice basket next to the parking lot as well. No trails or other recreational uses in this area means only disc golfers are likely to be seen on the course.
All of the holes on this course are nice quality, with several that are quite memorable. The wide open (except for the massive power lines), downhill, 760 foot number 6 comes to mind. A couple of holes later, number 8 is not as lengthy at just over 450', but displays the opposite extreme with going over the stream and through the woods, but not to Grandmother's house. Number 11, Beauty and the Beast according to the sign, is the reason I was 3 over, instead of par. Tee over 300 feet of open fairway into a small window into the woods, then take a turn and negotiate the trees another couple hundred feet. There are some good chances to make 2's on the last few holes, and these will all take different shapes, keeping the flow fresh and fun.
Cons: Not much to pick on here. There were not much in the way of benches. I only remember one trash can at the parking lot. The second hole crossed over the road leading into the park, so keep an eye out for cars.
Other Thoughts: The Grand Central Station DGC is really excellent. There are points that are challenging, and possibly even frustrating, but at all times it is fun disc golfing. In a vicinity with a few nice courses, this is probably the best, and also among a handful of the best in the state.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This new course as a lot to offer. Nearly every type of hole imaginable exists here - up, down, left, right, open, tight, long, short - you name it!
Grand Central Station is a real treat and I'd HIGHLY recommend this as a must play course if you're anywhere close to the park.
Tees are not concrete but instead a grid and filler system - very cool idea that seems to be easier on my old joints.
Cons: Get ready for a hike - this is not a "con" for me but some might consider it a difficult trek.
Only legit con is that the course is too far from my home for regular play!
Other Thoughts: This will be a great tournament host course - plenty of land and a great venue!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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