Disc Golf Nirvana
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has held legendary status since it opened a couple of years ago. Friends told me of this course was a must play when in the region (not just in the province but when in the region its worth stopping at). Driving to Halifax I took the hour detour to stop and check out Hillcrest.
This course is out of the way unless you are going to Prince Edward Island but it is worth it. The people who designed this course wanted it to be long and as tough. Not tough as in crazy hard lines, but tough for course management and mentally tough (especially mentally tough). Every 200'-300' there is another throw and a different choice towards the basket.
No two holes have the same game plan, highly creative design.
The toughest part of this course are the basket placements, probably two are not on an incline with roots and ground down stumps around the basket. The perfect storm for discs that want to roll away from the basket.
Some say Delaveaga in Santa Cruz has difficult pin placements and hard rolling greens. This takes it to an all new level.
Large cement tee pads, great signage and direction markers to find your way between holes.
This course is a hike. After 18 holes my Fitbit said I'd climbed 25 flights of stairs!
Cons: None. I found the basket placement on 7 a bit much sitting on a finger of land 10' wide and 20' long. No great landing area around the basket. But that is a personal preferance.
Other Thoughts: Love love this course! A must play for any disc golfer and should earn a reputation as the best course in Canada. It is less than an hour away from the Trans Canada Highway (at the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border) and a $40 bridge toll to get to PEI but it worth it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I Was Blown Away On PEI By This Course!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Clubhouse-Named Dragonfly Clubhouse is simply amazing. It's homey, welcoming, has a comfy couch, game table, toilet and a deck complete with barbecue. There are probably 20 disc golf bags, each with a couple disc inside for rent for $2 a day. There are tubes of sunscreen and cans of insect repellant for you to use. The lost discs are sitting there.
Amenities-Large color course map at beginning. Colored metal tee signs by John Houck at both blue and red pads. Large (6' x 12') concrete pads which are roughened for better traction in adverse weather at both blue and red pads. Many little metal next tee signs pointing the way to both red and blue tees. Four or five benches placed at different holes. Discatchers baskets with the yellow band. Hillcrest DGC actually uses a Discatcher basket out on the Hi-way to help point you in the right direction to the course. The lane driving to the course is called Frisbee Lane. There are a number of little bridges crossing creeks each with wire meshing for additional traction help. On hole #17 where it gets a little wet/marshy, there are several small wooden boardwalks built over the wettest areas. Only one other course in the country that I know of might have better amenities than Hillcrest, that's Bryant Lake in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Course Design-It's a John Houck design isn't it? Giving Mr. Houck this wonderful piece of land to design a course on, is akin to giving Michaelangelo the Sistine Chapel ceiling to draw on. There is so much delicious elevation to tackle here. It seems you're always throwing up, down or over valleys, often on the same hole. The course features eight par fours and two legitimate par fives (one of 891' and one of 811'). The blues and the reds play from the same tee on seven holes. On others, the blues can be as much as 350' longer.
Setting-The hilly, wooded terrain is just about perfect for a disc golf course. The underbrush is mostly kind of sparse, making it easy to spot or locate errant throws. There is water on the course in the form of two small ponds and they both sneak up on you if you haven't played the course before. #7 is 604' from the blue tees down a fairly narrow fairway. As I fired up my approach shot (after two poorly thrown ones), I was shocked to find the basket I was aiming at was sitting on a small peninsula maybe 15' across with water on three sides. I never would have been so aggressive with my approach shot had I realized the danger lurking thereabouts.
Cons: I would guess this course would be quite wet and boggy much of the year.
I stand corrected on this point. I love this course and have absolutely no problem paying $10 to play but for some younger/unemployed/homeless types who would like to play it quite often, that might present them with a problem. Is there a monthly or seasonal pass available?
Other Thoughts: I have two main thoughts here. The first one, I'm going to disagree with everyone here, reviewers and the course description in DGCR, who call this a championship level course. I love this course but I don't think it plays at a championship level. Those courses totally kick my behind (plus 15-20) Yeah, I know I'm old and not very good). I'm talking about championship level courses like:
Blue Lake-Portland, Oregon
DeLaveaga, Santa Cruz, California
Hornigs Hideout-North Plains, Oregon
Blue Ribbon Pines-East Bethel, Minnesota
And the three courses at the IDGC in Appling, Geogia
WR Jackson Memorial
Steady Ed Headrick Memorial
Jim Warner Memorial
Hillcrest plays about 10 strokes easier than these championship courses. If an old weenie armed man like me can shoot plus 7 from the Blues, I can't call that a championship course. What to call it? I don't know? How about the best course in Canada? One of the best anywhere?
My next thought. I've played about 725 courses and I've only given five courses a rating of "5 stars". Well, this is a 5 star course all the way. Easily one of my five favorite courses I've ever played. I just wish more players could get out to PEI and experience Hillcrest DGC.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Top quality championship course
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Welcome to the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, the vacation capital of Canada. Come for the disc golf, stay for a vacation of warm ocean currents, perfect white sand beaches and attractioins for all.
All pads are concrete probably 6'x12', excellent! There are two concrete pads per hole.
Professional looking signage with a sign at both the short and long tees. There are also markers beside the green pointing to the next hole.
Course is in excellent shape. Owners get out once the snow is gone and prep for the year. No compaints about course conditions.
The quality of design is by far the best part about this course. Wow. This course demands everyshot you have. The design has ample shots favouring both left and right handed players. At 8000' this course will challenge the longest of arms. Garunteed you will use every disc in your bag. Truely this is the complete course.
Prince Edward Island is 4 hours from the US-Canadian border but don't make this a reason to stay away. This course is worth the trip.
Wetness. The land can get soggy so bring a pair of waterproof shoes just in case.
Other Thoughts: This is the 'complete' course. Unlike most park courses that are limitted in what you can cut, the course designer was given 'the keys' to the property. The course is a gem. It is creative, demanding and exceptional. Expect to use every shot in your bag.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
This One has It All
Pros: The Setting.
Prince Edward Island is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world and this course accentuates that beauty. The trees, the foliage, the hills, the water, and the secluded location... Everything combines to make this one of the best places I can imagine to play.
This was such a pleasant surprise! It is a great place to hang out before or after a round, with a great view, board games, a bathroom, and even a deck with a grill outside. Not only that, but there are discs and bags available for rent. There were about a dozen Fade bags hanging on pegs, each with a few discs inside and a sign asking just $2 per day for rental! What could be more perfect for beginning players?
The Tees and Signage.
The tee pads are first rate concrete runways and are well placed (more on that later). The signs provide accurate descriptions of the holes, with obstacles noted and distances given in both meters and feet. They all are planted in spots that make the direction of the hole clear, but will not interfere with run-up or follow-through.
The Course Design.
There is no uninteresting, ho-hum, transition hole on this course. Every hole is well thought out and all require shot planning and accuracy. There are risk/reward decisions to be made not only on every hole, but often more than once per hole. There is a great variety of distances and variation of right/left backhand/forehand favorability. Even on the very long holes (and there are several), accurate shot placement is necessary to stay out of trouble, but the landing zones are fair and not arbitrary. There are many elevation changes. Trees line all the fairways, but the woods are not so thick that no routes are possible out of there. You don't want to be off the fairway, but recovery is possible in many places without just a pitch out. Water comes into play on at least two holes and is used in creative ways. The course par from the long tees is 66.
The Multiple Tees.
The short tees on this course are not just a way to give less experienced players shorter distances to throw. They change the approach to each hole, sometimes offering the option of a completely different route to throw to the pin.
The Added Touches.
There are many wooden bridges placed throughout the course in places where the ground may become marshy. At least one hole has a heavy gravel pathway up the steep incline of the fairway. The gravel was made of granite! (I know granite is much more plentiful here, but we were still surprised!)
Cons: The remote location and the fact that relatively few disc golfers will get the opportunity to place this magnificent course is the main "con" that comes to mind. Absolutely the only thing I could think of that might improve the course would be multiple pin placements. However, the way the course is designed I think moving a basket would only give the advantage of allowing someone who plays the course regularly to have some variety. It probably would detract from the character of the hole while the basket was in the new and less optimal position.
Other Thoughts: My wife walked the course with me as I played and took lots of photos. When we were driving away, I said, "That course is definitely in my top five." She asked, "What course beats it?" I didn't have an answer. As I reflected on that question over the next week or so, and compared it to other great courses I have played, I realized that no course I have played does, in fact, beat it. It has everything. I have never rated a course "5" before. This one is it. Go play it if you can.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Clubhouse...is an actual house/cabin.
It has washroom, tables and chairs if you need to take a break or lunch. It also has a selection of (beginner) discs and bags that can be checked out.
There are excellent hole description signs at each tee showing the hole layout and distances (as you would expect with a full meal deal Houck course). There are also arrows and signs on the course to direct you to the next tee box. As a result actual course navigation is a breeze.
Large concrete tee boxes are present on each hole. There are long and short positions.
The holes are what you would expect of a top quality Houck design. Mostl holes are a Par 4. There are some long tough holes coming in at close to 900 feet from the longs. The holes are very well designed with various widths of fairway, some getting narrower others opening up and then funnelling down again. As you would expect placement and shot selection is important and being an accurate thrower is better rewarded than a person who throws far.
The course makes great use of elevation with holes that play both up and down within the same hole.
As for shot selection you will mostly use backhand. Forehand will also probably be required at times. Given the trees and canopy there probably isn't a massive need for Overhand shots. Other than the odd get out of trouble when off the fairway this is likely not a course where you will need to use a roller.
Cons: I can't think of too many. The wetness of the course might be one issue. Perhaps there could be a few more benches on the holes.
Other Thoughts: You might want to wear goretex shoes. The course was a little wet when we played it. PEI gets its fair share of rain and there are streams on the property so it is quite soggy in places.
There are 2 holes that a pond comes into play on. Very thoughtfully there is a swimming pool net at the pond for disc retrieval. The water isn't overly deep but you can sink in the mud making an otherwise retrievable disc not so. However, all discs that find their way into the water should be reachable with the net.
The "Hidden Gem" hole (hole 10 I think it was) is an absolute beauty. Not long. Just very very pretty.
Overall this is an excellent course that is very challenging.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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