The land that time forgot
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Full 18 hole course set in a park fairly close to downtown Richmond. Concrete pads and baskets that have seen some time, but still catch well. There are some longer alternate pads at some holes.
There is some nice variety here between open and wooded holes. The mix of woods, tight lines and wide open shots definitely keep things interesting, and almost make up for the course's shortcomings.
A little bit of elevation, and hillside slopes are used to add some variety.
Cons: Navigation is a little brutal. No tee pad signs or navigation aids. There are some hole numbers painted on the pads, but you need to find the right pad first. Plus there is no clear place to park near Hole 1, or anywhere close for that matter. I hopped the curb with my truck, and parked near the horseshoe pits, then walked over to Hole 1.
The course seems kind of forgotten and run down. It felt a little like the land of the lost disc golf course. Plus there are random tee pads that appear to be not in use. I think this course has undergone some changes over the years.
Not a lot of length variety. Most holes are 200'-300'.
A few pads close enough to baskets to make sure your head is up if things are crowded.
Other Thoughts: This is not a terrible course by any means, but from the lack of obvious parking to the difficulties in navigation it is not a course I'd recommend to anyone on a road trip. It's a little more trouble than it's worth, and frankly the disc golf isn't worth the time it takes to figure it all out. While there are some decent holes here, there isn't anything spectacular, or that you probably haven't thrown a thousand times before. If you are going to be nearby then it certainly is a playable course that is better than no golf at all. Just make sure you bring a phone or a map, and be prepared to wander a little as you figure things out.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Decent but Confusing
1 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.
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.
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 while smoking pot and telling us they wouldn't slow up the course...they lied.
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. This course would be a 3, but the people make it rather unenjoyable at times...I can only give it a 2.5.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Lots of Potential
Pros: DG stuff: Concrete tees, solid mix of open/wooded holes, some decently long holes to offset the slightly short ones, all requiring a mix of shots.
Amenitites: Parking 20 feet from first tee, bathrooms and trashcans on site, nice park, DG board @ 1 with club info and map drop, picnic tables.
Cons: Navigation here is weak, as are hole markers. Lots of trash and pretty busy course.
Other Thoughts: So...I'd always heard that Gillies was garbage, because the guy I play with that taught me had always heard that Gillies was garbage. Today, I FINALLY talked him in to trying it out (he'd never shot it,) and we couldn't have been more surprised. This course feels a lot like a short 9 crammed in a city park, yet somehow, there are 18 decent holes out there. We played with a mix of big drivers and short throwing beginners, and everyone had a great time. This is a really fun course. That being said, the only thing this place is lacking is some TLC and signage. Luckily the park was busy and many locals were out...without them, I'm not sure we would have been able to follow the course. The concrete tee pads are spray painted with the hole number, but the paint is faded. Also, when the concrete was originally poured, rocks were inlaid to designate the hole number. The holes have changed though, so you may be teeing off on 10 according to the paint, but the stones might say 8. Go with the faded white paint. Also, there is no posted map, and no signs at the top of the holes. For the most part, this is a non issue. Most of the baskets can be seen from the tee, or the lanes are clearly defined. The course crisscrosses at times, and a couple shots could be dangerous with traffic, as you might be shooting up a fairway that's opposite another one coming at you. Also, 18 plays down the side of the road, so watch for traffic. This is still a fun course, and I recommend making it out. If this place had tee signs and "next tee" labels, it would be money. Also, first tee is NOT by the club board....it's literally at the corner intersection next to the stoplight. Have fun...it's really an enjoyable course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Character, Challenge, but tiny
Pros: >Cement Tees - A treat in the Richmond Area.
>18 holes with character. You can tell this course has been played a LOT. You can see the lines for the disc to travel, the trick is, finding out how to make the disc travel that way.
Cons: >Small, short, and confusing at times. The course runs all over itself. [This could be a +, because 18 here feels like 9 elsewhere.]
Other Thoughts: This is an old course. That is a personal feeling, if you like old or not, I find it neither a negative or a positive. Very tight shots, no holes really over 300'. Still, a fun course to play.
#1 tee pad is the street corner. [No Joke!]
1 of 5 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.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I liked it. Simple course, good layout and had some challenging shots. Good pads, could use a little better signage, but overall a good course.
Cons: Location isn't great. Needs a little better signage. No really long holes and no "spectacular" holes like some of the other local courses.
Other Thoughts: I'll play it again. Nice to take a day off and hit the big 3 in richmond. Bryan, Dorey and Gillies.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course offers a nice variety of open shots as well as woods holes. It also makes good use of several elevation changes. The lengths of the holes varied nicely as well. The woods holes were pretty open which was pleasant. The tee pads were concrete slabs, which was nice especially as it had just rained and would have been a mess otherwise.
Cons: The course could definitely have used signs at the tees marking which basket you were playing for. Several of the concrete tee pads had multiple numbers on them, and there were often no numbers on the actual baskets. Very easy to get lost or not know where you were headed.
Other Thoughts: An average course. Hard to find certain holes or know where you were headed. Nothing spectacular stands out to me.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Relatively decent length holes, not many places to lose a disc, permanent tee boxes, a variety of open and wooded holes.
Cons: Confusing to find certain holes as the markers on the holes are correct though hard to read from a distance, but the tee boxes don't all say the correct number - around holes 9-15, each tee box was numbered for a holes that had preceded it going in another direction.
Other Thoughts: It seems as if Richmond Parks n Rec had recently switched some of the holes around in order to eliminate the cross-fire in the middle holes, but hadn't yet gotten around to re-labeling the tee boxes.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Very close to downtown Richmond.
Fun 18 hole course with concrete tee boxes, and changing positions.
Cons: Course is still difficult to navigate at times, even after playing many times. Near the end of the course you run into a lot of close together holes which can become congested when crowded.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
15 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.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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