Decent but Confusing
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great variety of open and wooded holes.
Generally nice concrete tee markers.
Changing basket locations makes for nice variety.
2 sets of tees.
The layout asks a lot of different shots of the player and has great opportunities for both forehand and backhand. Lines are challenging enough but not overly narrow. Missed shots are fairly penalized but there are a lot of good birdie opportunities out there.
Cons: Navigation is very difficult at times...tee markers and baskets are in very mysterious locations. There are 2 sets of tees, but we felt lucky to find either one on any given hole. Some of the tees have incorrect tee numbers on them from an old layout, and some don't seem to be in use anymore.
Players there were pretty annoying. 2 groups cut in front of us in the middle of the round and slowed the whole course up. 1 group cut to the hole directly in front of us and slowed up the whole course.
The first tee marker is a street corner.
Lots of parallel holes makes play slow because you are always waiting on someone to get out of the way.
Other Thoughts: This place really needs signs to the tees, and to the baskets. There are some tee shots where you can't see the basket in the winter...I can't imagine navigation is any easier in the summer.
The 12th hole plays straight down a maintenance road. Not very nice on the discs.
EDIT: Played the course again today. Once again I largely enjoyed the course itself. But once again my enjoyment was interrupted by the people there. Multiple groups started on 12, 13, and 15 tees. One of them started a single hole in front of us (on a largely open course), and then had the audacity to tell us to hold up when we threw remotely close to them. Unfortunately the patrons at this park sometimes take away from the overall enjoyment
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Nice, little 18-holer in Richmond. Far from a perfect course, but still has its fun & challenging holes.
- Gillies somehow squeeze 18 fairly decent holes in a small amount of space. Look at the course map and you'll see how crowded parts of the course are. Even with this, most holes have their own space/fairways.
- There are some nice wooded holes. #8, 9 & 17 all stood out to me as fun holes. None was difficult, or long, but those stood out as more enjoyable.
- The course is almost entirely in the woods. #2 - 6 are the only open holes. #5 is a nice, downhill (off a little hill) shot to the basket. It's the type of hole you want to throw multiple shots on.
- Concrete tee pads. Out of 4 Richmond-area courses I played, it was the only with concrete pads. There are long & short tees to present a little more challenge.
- Lots of birdie chances. Not a lot of length, so you're throwing mid-range discs off the tee on a lot of holes. If you can avoid trees, you can shoot low here. It's a good course for beginners.
Cons: Navigation could be better. Signs would be a big help. For example, after #7, you cross #16's tee to get to #8. And in turn, after #15, you cross #8's tee to get to 16.
- Also, standing on #10 tee, the only basket visible was #12. Didn't know #10 was playing long. Even by looking at the map, you can see how close #10 & 12 tees could potentially be.
- #12 and 13 share a space that's a little too tight for one fairway, so you'll need to keep an eye out for discs possibly coming your direction.
- #12 is a poorly designed hole. It's fairway is a concrete walking trail, which a buddy and I found out after throwing shots. The concrete path runs all the way to the basket. If you don't want to scuff up discs, then you are forced to throw down the entire fairway for #13.
- There seemed to be a lot of open space in the woods, and fields beyond #5 & 6, and even behind #18. If this space was ever utilized it'd make the course a lot better.
- No amenities at this park. Horseshoe pits and a ball field were the only other things I saw at the park. There's one port-a-jon, but no water fountains. Even the parking is unmarked, across Stony Run Dr. I ended up parking on Old Nicholson, and starting in the middle of the course.
Other Thoughts: Gillies is a simple, straight-ahead course. No frills whatsoever, and that's not a bad thing. Just be prepared before arriving - bring your own drinks, etc.
- First-time players really need a map, or be prepared to waste time searching for baskets, next holes, or playing holes out of order.
- Course reminded me of Sugaw Creek in Charlotte, with less hole variety. Not as many open holes, but the tight, mid-range wooded holes were very similar.
- Another thing that may bother some is that hole lengths were almost all in the same ball park. From the short tees all the holes are between 180 - 310. The only long hole from the long tees is #2 at 639, and that's a wide-open hole.
- This is your typical average course, a perfect 2.5 rated-course. I enjoyed playing here. It's not the best course in town, but it's also not the worst. It won't be my first choice to play next time I'm in Richmond; but if I lived there, it'd be in my regular rotation.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 3 Not
Great for locals, not for visitors
Pros: -18 holes with alternate tee positions in such a small area is an amazing accomplishment.
-It's a historic course with concrete tees and interesting benches with built in ash trays and several garbage cans.
-Gillies Gold creates an interesting variation (see DaKine's review)
-Course is beginner friendly with limited variety in distance (180-310), but can still provide a challenge for more experienced players.
- Course navigation and flow was weak. Course could easily add the pointing arrows on the basket like Bryan Park.
No tee signs or navigational aides other than the online map (that you WILL need if you are not a regular). Even with the map, locals had to point out where the next tee was a few times.
- This course fails to account for safety in numerous ways:
Discs were flying in from all angles and you had to rush to your disc after throwing or you risk having someone pick it up. On several holes you are throwing directly towards people walking at you.
Hole 18 goes right along the road with cars parked all along the right side. Hole 1 also throws along a busy road, while hole 2 has a road on the right that could be dangerous for oncoming cars if you go to far to the right.
On the tee for #4, a car drove with in 2 ft. of me while I was driving (a dirt road goes right in front of 4 and 9)
- Sketchy area: I found a crack pipe on hole 4 and other players hint the course is unsafe to play alone.
- The one water hazard is a putrid brown creek off of hole 6.
Other Thoughts: This course was insanely crowded. I had to start at hole 14 because it was the only hole open.
Course has a rich history, but history doesn't enhance the enjoyment for out of town players.
Risk of disc loss is low, but risk of disc theft can be high, discs were scattered all over the ground and less honest players or kids can easily grab your disc and take off.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Slice of Heaven
Pros: The course has alternate pin positions. The course layout flows nicely, no confusing detours to the next tee. It has seemingly equal amounts of righty and lefty holes.
Cons: No bag posts or signs. But that is reaching as they are not really necessary, yet are a nice touch.
Other Thoughts: Great course, makes you think more than most. Great atmosphere on busy days. Also, Edge league in the summer is awesome!
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Nice course for a quick game.
Pros: A great place to play if you just want to hang with some friends and enjoy the day. Concrete tees were nice and the park is reasonably well maintained. Some of the tee areas are a real challenge because of some steep drops behind them.
Cons: This park is in a rougher part if Richmond and could be a bit uncomfortable if you play alone.
Other Thoughts: A great place for a quick game.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Richmond's Old School Course
Pros: Variety of shots and skills required.
Cons: Tough to follow for first-time visitors.
Other Thoughts: The first course I ever played, and still my original home course, so I'm biased, but the variety and superior layout of this course makes up for shortcomings in terms of setting and lack of signs. Gillies Creek is a basic par 3 course, but features a good mixture of longer and shorter holes. Plus, while most people just play one set of tee pads, several holes have pro teepads or an alternate approach, which means the course length can vary a good bit, especially since a couple of holes can be moved around entirely. Even as I play more and more courses, this one remains one of the more varied and flexible.
Yes, except for the long version of one hole, Gillies Creek is definitely a strict par 3 course, but to get a good look at a birdie you're going to need a different kind of throw on every hole; just throwing long won't help you much out here The course is about half woods, half open, eight of the baskets have two placements and another two holes can be moved around entirely, about six of the holes have long tees, and you need to break out left and right fades, a fair number of control shots, a couple of just straight-out chucks, and two cool downhill holes. So little distance, no water, and not much uphill, but Gillies has everything else, and a couple of views of the Richmond skyline too.
Again, I'm biased, but Gillies is a great course to build your game, holds up well after many plays (though perhaps doesn't make the best first impression), is kept mowed and somewhat litter free most of the time now, and looks pretty good on a nice spring or fall day. All in all, Gillies Creek has a great balance of holes and shots - long and short, right and left, tight and open, and even a little bit of up and down. In addition, every hole has at least one good concrete teepad, the only course in Richmond with this significant benefit. Since playing is the point, Gillies Creek stacks up well.
Way finding notes: Every basket is correctly numbered, and most (but not all) teepads have the number painted on them. Ignore the embedded rock numbers on some teepads; they are remnants of a much older version of the course. #2 has one tee, but a short basket and then (don't ask me why) a much longer basket set maybe 300 feet beyond the first basket. The tee for #3 short is to the right after #2 short; #3 long is just beyond the #2 long basket. #4 is straight walk up the thin alley beyond #3 to a tee next to a big rock, next to the tee for #9. The extra teepads in between #2 and #3 are confusing; one is for the alternate hole #12 (which is rarely set up) and the other one must be left over from an earlier layout. If it's not too crowded you can use these extra tees to make up three extra holes in this area if you want. Otherwise the course isn't too hard to follow, as the next tee is pretty close to the previous basket.
Favorite Hole - #9 - long downhill into a wide alley of established hardwoods.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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