An old school classic
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beyind anything else, Lake Russell is a fun course to play. And fun is good, right? (That's what Dr. Seuss says)
The aesthetic of the course is quite good. With mowed fairway and slightly higher "rough" outside, the course has a golf course feel.
The course is set in rolling hills on abandoned (or acquired through eminent domain) pasture land near Lake Russell on the Georgia-South Carolina line. Things I love about the course.
The course has a good mix of straight shots and shots which require an anyhyzer/hyzer line (depending on your throwing style)
Good signs on each hole which give a rough map, distance, and par (see cons for further details on par)
Decent concrete tee pads
Good maintenance on the fairways, with a well mowed fairway with higher rough. The higher rough is not so high you can't find your disc, though.
There is a good mix of shorter ace runs and longer holes where a strategic first and second shots leads to a 3.
Risk and reward is present on many holes with the evergreen trees (Cedars and Junipers, I think) that swallow up discs if you stray off the fairway.
The course has one of the best flows of any of the 100+ courses I have played. It just seems like a natural progression from hole to hole. There are signs after 6 that lead to 7, rather than the visible pad for 9.
Hole 9's basket loops back near the parking lot, so if you want to just play 9 (or a multiple thereof), you can.
The course doesn't get much use, so there is little worry for backups. On the last 2 days I played, I did not see another disc golfer. I did see a energetic turkey and several deer, though.
Benches are scattered throughout the course.
I really like 16a - i. It is almost a different course, with dirt teepads in the woods and 9 relatively short holes. It's a good break from the rest course on a hot sunny afternoon. You have a good chance for a birdie, but also a good chance for a bogey with a bad kick off a tree. Due to the lack of vegetation on the understory, you have little chance of losing a disc unless you bury one under the leaves.
Cons: Pars. Maybe the pars remain from when the course was first installed. They do seem rather generous. I'm not sure what others think, but if I was assigning pars, I would make 8, 15, and 16 par 4 with the rest par 3.
Some of the baskets, especially on the back nine and 16a-i, are older and in less than desired condition. I don't think it a affected my score much, but I am not a fan of the old sloped Innova baskets.
There are no restrooms. water sources, or trash baskets on the course. There is a trash basket and aluminum can recycle bin at the parking lot. Plan accordingly
Holes 9, 10, and 11 are basically straight shots in an open field. Some elevation comes into play, but these holes lack a little of the shot shaping required on the rest of the course.
Some might say the $5 vehicle entrance fee and $4/day disc golf fee is steep, but I have the annual park pass and family disc golf pass.
When I most recently played the course, the basket for 16i was missing.
Other Thoughts: This course is one of my favorites, and I'm not exactly sure why. There are more challenging courses, longer courses, and courses with more elevation. This course has such a nice flow to it, with the scenic appeal, that I always list it among my favorites.
This may sound trite or stupid, but I love the walk from 12 to 13. After you hole out on 12, you walk downhill on a rock lined path through the trees, to the ace/birdie run that is 13.
It is off of the beaten track, which is both a plus and minus. My wife and I camped at the state park, and I was able to get in an early morning round each day before she woke up.
The course is off the beaten track, so stock up on snacks and drinks before hitting the course. There is a decent selection of newer Innova discs at the office. One of the rangers is a disc golfer. He pulled out the Innova flight chart when I checked in and some ball golfers were talking about disc golf.
Cell phone service is spotty at the park. I found the vicinity of the practice was the only place I had cell service (Verizon) in the park.
With updates to the old and rusting baskets, I could easily bump up my rating to 4.5.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: When I played here the grass was a mowed down on the fairways and the ruff wasn't really that ruff at all, if you land in the deep grass you will find your disc quickly other than that birdies are to be had all thru out your round. The tee pads are all concrete on the 18 holes and natural on the extra 9 holes, on the extra holes 8 shots are short so get a little creative and have fun with them
Cons: No real cons here except for the 5 dollar entry fee at the gate then 3 dollars inside the office by the gate how stupid is that
Other Thoughts: I had a blast here and you will too ace runs are all over this course (enjoy)
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Love this course
Pros: Elevation, cut fairways, challenges all over.
The holes have been designed in such a way that you need to be on your game to score well.
The extra 9 is tightly wooded. You can pick up some birdies in there but there are plenty of bogies and dbl bogies if you aren't careful.
You get a private feel here. No back ups on tees or loud noises.
Cons: None except it will wear you out!
Pay to play.
Other Thoughts: Wish it was closer.
Watch out for ants.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Great weekend outing!!
Pros: This course is well maintained and has a good overall flow. Its nice that you can chose to play the front 18 or include the "woods" holes. The course has nice benches to sit on while waiting your turn on the tee. the mix of woods and open holes is also a great attribute.
Cons: I think the only downfall is that many of the holes marked as par 4s should really be par 3s. I shot 7 under on my first time playing the course "as is ".
Other Thoughts: This park makes a great weekend outing for discgolf. We stayed in one of the cottages on the lake.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a great course situated in the cozy and relaxing Richard B Russell State Park. Coupled with the course, ample accommodations in the park make it tough to talk yourself out of not visiting and once you do, you'll wonder why you waited. After all, the course itself makes it worthwhile and the rest is just a bonus. Surely a weekend trip won't be a disappointment for anyone.
This course has lots going for it and you'll probably notice it before you even get the first hole behind you. After parking you'll approach the roomy practice area with its own basket and scenic view from the top of the hill that overlooks the course. It's a perfect introduction of what lies ahead. Moving to hole one's downhill shot quickly introduces you to some of the varied elevation changes that pepper the course. It's a nice shot that'll demand a right fade at the end. Hole two is flat, tight, and you'll need a left turning shot this time. Of course there is a big "local route" for the big arms over the trees coming in from left to right.
And so it goes for the rest of the round. There's variety galore with plenty of ups and downs, left and (maybe a majority of) right turning shots. As you might imagine, there's varied shot lengths too. All the way from hole three's 211' must make birdie shot to 16's 450' par 4 there is a hole for everyone. Not once can I imagine someone getting the feeling of repetitive holes. Over all, this is a well thought out course and just a pleasure to play.
The second highlight beyond the scenery would be the course maintenance. Neatly cut fairways meander their way through the course. Pressure to place your disc accurately is punctuated by the rough intentionally left long outside of the fairways and at times is waist high. Beyond that you're sure to notice the unforgiving cedar trees scattered throughout the course that seem to reach out and slap your disc strait to the ground.
The course itself is marked well with tee signs with plenty of info to lead the way. Widespread benches are available as you wait for your turn to tee off. Concrete tees pads are the icing on the cake. The main course does two 9 hole loops with holes 1, 9,10, and 18 bringing you right back to the parking lot.
A big bonus for those interested is the "woods course". It has 9 short, optional, and very wooded holes spurring off of hole 16, hence the numbered holes 16-A through 16-I. Sufficient tee signs lead the way as you play across gravel tee pads and traipse across the forest floor. These holes have a completely different feel the main 18 holes and for me offered a fun way to warm up for a tournament round. Overall, most of the holes will frustrate you if you don't get a birdie on each one. The ninth hole (16-I) is the exception as it's a 260' shot that I think plays a little longer and is heavily wooded and is a satisfying three.
Cons: Although the taller rough outside the fairways adds a nice look and challenge, errant shots can be difficult to locate. It also impedes a clean run up if needed for a good upshot. There's a few fussy, older baskets mixed in but you might not even notice unless you get one of those nasty spit outs.
The course/state park is off the beaten path and will likely require a decent drive to visit for most. Others will complain about the fee to play. The consolation is that it's well worth the time and money.
Ignore the posted pars.
Other Thoughts: This was a very fun course that I could probably find room for on my top 5 course list and could easily stick it in my top 10. I played 4 rounds on my visit with the later three being tournament rounds. This course is an ideal for causal rounds and tournament rounds alike. By the way, the legendary Lake Russell Open is all it's said to be.
The state park has lot's to do with its lake, bike and hiking trails, canoe rentals, and what I've been told is a very good "traditional" golf course. It's perfect for a guy's weekend or a family outing. Of course, the disc golf is the real reason you'd want to visit. Enjoy!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Very Nice... With an update
Pros: This course has a nice layout with multiple types of challenges. There are some narrow fairways that challenge a beginner such as me, but there are some that you can really let it sail. There are enough woods, elevation changes, and right and left hand turns to keep everyone honest. Overall a very nice course that I will play again.
Cons: On the day I played, the fairways were in desperate need of having the grass cut. On a couple holes, the baskets had been relocated and weren't very close to what was indicated on the map.
The biggest thing to be aware of is the fact that while it only costs $5 per carload to enter the park, if you tell them you are entering to play disc golf, they will charge you an additional $3 per person. I questioned this and was told that is policy. The person at the gate even inquired at the check-in station and that was confirmed. However, if someone enters to go swimming or visit a camper, there is no additional fee. Go figure. You be the judge as to how to use this information.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Course is well maintained. Wide open holes that will give you a chance to really open up your throws. Variety in the layout of the course makes it a challenge for both left-handed and right-handed players. All tees clearly marked for easy navigation.
Cons: Wooded holes are a little short, most of them are under 200 ft. This is possible due to the fact that it is in a state park. Wooded holes not shown on the course map so, you really have to know about it to find them.
Other Thoughts: Great course, but I feel that the most of the hole should have been rated par 3's than, par 4's. Camping in the park makes it easy to make a trip out of the experience, since this course can be a bit out of the way for most players. If you are in the area it is worth checking out.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
And now for the whole story...
Pros: -27 Premium Holes with enough variation to keep it fresh throughout
-Very forgiving pars for the front 18, and the back back nine has a really good use of very tight woods, making up for distances under 200 ft by creating very specific lines for each hole
-The abundance of benches was impressive, at least every other hole if memory serves.
-I personally LOVE seeing nicely mowed fairways with really tall rough, similar to Chattooga Belle Farm or Central Park in Cumming.
-The Athens crowd seems to travel here often and made great company
-The park maintenance people were very nice and welcoming
-This State Park is a great place to visit with an apparently world class Ball Golf Course
Cons: -Number 1 flaw would have to be the confusion at Hole 6's basket. The natural way to exit is to 9's tee, and of the 3 groups I saw out there all of us missed the 'Next Tee' sign pointing at 7. I suggest repositioning the sign and/or basket to make the flow better
-The pars are forgiving, yet I felt that there were entirely too many 4's for the distances given. I would like to see longer holes or lowered pars on at least 5 of the main 18 holes
-I prefer 27 hole courses to be either 18 and 9 or 3 individual nines, as opposed to a 9 hole 'growth' or 'detour' between 16 and 17 using letters... Cumming has the same concept between 11 and 12 and it just leaves a sour taste behind no matter how premium the holes are!
-Though the mowed fairways are interesting and rare to see, I would like to see a few more basket options mowed into the fairways
Other Thoughts: Walking into this PREMIUM course I had little to no accurate information. There were few pictures anywhere online, incorrect and misleading par/distance to pin numbers, and ABSOLUTELY no word on the layout of the 'back back nine.' Not a flaw with this site, as the info was absent everywhere I looked, even though nothing about the course seemed newer than 2 years old. I guess I was the first person to give enough of a schule! Now with the pictures, par and distance info, and this review, hopefully more people will make it out to this excellent example of Southern State Parkery, and perhaps the course will continue to evolve and thrive (as there appear to be few if any truely 'local' players)
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Amazing views of the surrounding countryside
-A few "Top of the World" shots. Hole 10 is incredible. It's 385' down a rolling slope.
-Fairways are regularly mowed with true "rough" (knee high grass) to either side.
-Long concrete tees
-The old barn/farm house on hole 3 adds a lot of character to this hole and the course
-Brilliant balance of field/trees. The course is very well planned out.
-Variety of shots. The course forces you to use every disc and use it well.
Cons: -Some of the baskets are the old style with one chain and the low basket which makes spit-outs more likely.
-Evergreen trees on most holes eat discs as does the rough
-This course was moderately windy when I played which greatly affected all of the "Top of the World" shots.I hesitate to put the weather as a con, but wind affecting those shots appears to be a common occurrence no matter what time of year.
Other Thoughts: This course is well worth the $5 parking fee and hour drive to get there! I will definitely be back and will invite people to come and experience this course.
This is a course I would describe as a hidden gem and a must-play if you're in the South
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a true gem to the disc golfing community in northeast Georgia!
The course is far away from any highways or even main roads in a wildlife/ camping ground. No traffic noises, lots of wildlife to see(the deer don't seem to be afraid of discs or disc golfers at all!).
Lots of different shots to try. Great variety. Some shots are downhill, some are up, some are dogleg left, some right.
The elevation changes, while not steep, will challenge you, largely due to the wind differences. Really explore your bag and what your discs can do with the wind, even on a light wind day.
Tee signs are excellent, with hole layouts and o.b./ obstacles clearly marked.
The extra 9 holes play deep in the woods, and are a nice break into the shade and seclusion of the forest. The lines for these holes are very tight, but it's a great addition, and your choice to play them or skip them.
The fairways are well maintained, and we didn't see much trash/ debri at all. Park is very nice!
Cons: Many of the pins are one-chain, with no looping a second chain. This isn't really a big con, but it's something to consider when going for it as there are less chains to hit than a two-chain pin.
The course is a good bit off the highways. Not hard to find with today's technology though. Be sure to plan the day for this course, or at least a road trip.
Pay to access the park, but well worth it.
Other Thoughts: We played through the break of a Georgia DG tourney, and we made it through playing doubles in just over an hour, and we played even the 9-hole extra in the middle. I would have prefered to play slower, but it was fun nonetheless, and will definitely be back to conquer this gem in Georgia!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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