Pros: The Flying Dragon course is a creative 18-hole technical woods course. I appreciate the thought put into the theme of the course (the name and the lettering on the signs) to go along with the imported signature foliage found throughout the course.
The overall design is good. It is what you would expect from a parks course of this type. There is some variety in distance from hole to hole and the fairways are shaped with straight, left, and rights. The very creative dual fairways make the most out of the given space giving the round 18 holes vs 12. I liked that these dual fairways had baskets in very different locations ensuring the tee shots were not repetitive.
The turf-covered tees here are sufficient they were flat and in good shape. The Discatchers are in great shape and have numbers on them.
The signs are terrific, colorful, and detailed. They clearly explain the hole numbering and which tees are shared and who has the priority to tee off if groups arrive at the same time playing different holes. There is also plenty of good navigation signs, which are important since you loop back to many tees twice, so there are lots of paths from holes to other holes. I had no trouble finding my way the first time playing here. The large course map at the parking area is also very nice and informative.
Also included is one of the best practice areas around with 2 baskets-1 by itself in a well-manicured grassy area (like a ball golf putting green) another near a tree and small hill with a putting game of 21 built around it. The rules for the game were posted on the tree and the basket is surrounded by several multi-colored stone markers worth different point values- very cool!
Cons: I felt a couple of the holes on the back 9 need some wearing in still (understandable being a relatively new course), the terrain on these holes was still pretty rough and there was lots of dead or dying foliage in the fairways ruining the beauty that is found on most other holes.
Some of the paths between holes were overgrown, a challenge in the summer to maintain I know.
The dual holes work for sure, but I do think 18 separate holes is preferred (which seems to be in the long term plans for the course.)
I do wonder what impact the dual tees would have when the course is crowded or during a tournament, it might get backed up waiting on others to tee off if groups get there at the same time (instructions say to defer to the higher number hole.)
Other Thoughts: This is a decent technical wooded course that should only get better over time as the course wears in a bit. Be sure to bring good shoes as some holes on the back play over lots of rocks and many paths on the back are large rock stepping stones. Also, be careful if wet.
I could not figure out the purpose of the two hanging baskets (3 and 9) that were suspended above the ground at normal height. There were no issues with their playability, just seemed unnecessary to hang them considering they were placed over ground that appears it could have been installed the normal way.
I could see myself, if playing here regularly, just throwing two drives off each dual fairway and playing both holes at the same time if there was a way to do this and not skip other holes, example: 1, 2, 6/3, 4, 5/7, 8, 15/9, 10, 11, 16/12, 13/17, 14/18.
Overall, I enjoyed the course and would not mind playing here again in the future.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Challenging, but one of the best courses I have played. I enjoy the scenery as it relates to the name. The dragon is unforgiving and relentless on your golf game. If you want to hone your throwing skills you must play this course.
Cons: Course has many rocks and thorns which relates to the theme. Dress appropriately for these conditions.
Other Thoughts: Come slay the Dragon if you can. Perfect theme for this Dragon of a course.
Whomever designed this course did a great job. A lot of work was done to make this experience so enjoyable.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun in the Shade
Pros: Well layed out, challenging, map on each hole.
Cons: Lots of undergrowth if you get off course. Watch out for poison ivy.
Other Thoughts: Short course because entire course is layed out in dense woods. Narrow fairways but a fun course to play, even for a beginner as long as you don't become frustrated.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a relatively new course that is starting to get broken in. The tees are astroturf-covered gravel beds for the most part and while uneven, aren't generally problematic. Most of the fairways were "paved" with wood chips which is an excellent idea. There are tiny garbage cans scattered throughout the course. Navigation is easy with the provided signage/indicators. The hole signs are great and provide all the necessary info. The holes are pretty balanced from a righty/lefty standpoint and reward line-shaping with many birdie opportunities and the occasional ace run on the front nine. The underbrush exists, but it isn't overwhelming and wayward discs were easily located. I'm always a fan of hanging basket and the one on 6 was a surprise that I enjoyed!
The course is nominally flat with some typical north Alabama rocks and scrub throughout. The last two holes featured this terrain and had some signature feel to them. Plenty of length too. Overall the course reward straight-shooting mid and fairway placement without catering to big arm egos. You hit your line or you're adding a stroke on pretty much every hole.
Cons: The choice to use the astroturf-on-gravel for the tee design is somewhat questionable as I know from experience that this construction can deteriorate quickly and provide a somewhat hazardous tee in the future. Currently, the bulk of the tees are level and in pretty good condition.
There is some real proximity issues in the front 9 as several tees/fairways/baskets are really close to each other. However, nothing some heads up play won't address.
The way the course utilizes double fairways is both a pro and a con, in my opinion. While I appreciate the effort into getting a full 18 holes into the limited land available, it does add a touch of repetition to the course. If there is the ability to expand this course, this nitpick will quickly disappear. As it stands currently, a busy course might make for some confusion and frustration.
The operating hours for the soccer complex may turn off a few people, but parking outside of the gate and walking in wasn't a big deal.
Other Thoughts: The bulk of this partially-complete course is of the short, technical, line-shaping quality through the woods. Balanced play, plentiful parking and a couple of practice baskets are all great features. The double-use fairways are a unique solution to a available land issue, but aren't that big of a detractor from a solid addition to the north Alabama golf scene. While not the longest course, it was both challenging and fun and I look forward to playing it again.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
landscaped with Rocks!
Pros: Placement, a technical course. Very nice looking landscape, the fairways were paved with wood chips. The rocks are very cool and unique to the course. Very nice local players! Great signs, best I have seen, and new baskets. More than one basket (usually) per hole.
Cons: Shorter course, no longer open holes. No water hazards, still not completed. (as of 3-12-13).
Other Thoughts: I gave this a 3 disc rating, but will be surprised if this course does not shoot higher as soon as the final 18th hole is put in. There were two new holes in the ground when I played. They were great holes, using the natural terrain with the rock formations, it was beautiful. The rocks (and they were profuse) add some difficulty as they can stop a drive dead or they can give it a serious skip.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Finally a course in Decatur
Pros: Nice new baskets
Short for new players
Great for working on accuracy instead of distance
Informative map a beginning
Most holes have multiple 2 basket locations
Practice basket outside of course
Cons: Put at Jack Allen Complex which is only open 7-5 Mon-Fri...closed on weekends when most can play. So on weekends must park at gate and walk uphill to the course to the left.
Will be a whole lot better when the other holes are completed.
Can be a little rough in the summer with the vegetation...a lot of thorns.
Needs concrete pads instead of outdoor carpet.
Other Thoughts: Nice course that's not yet completed (only 10 holes)...if u do not have a lot of time its a good place to go with a good mid range and putter and be done within a hour or could play twice. Again would be nice of the city to actually put it somewhere that was 7 day accessible but hey it is a start, would have gave it 3 instead of 2.5 cause of this.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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