18-hole layout is making this course even better
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: **This is my new, spring 2014 updated review of the 18-hole layout. Review has been completely rewritten to reflect changes and updated hole numbers.**
- A lot of hard work has gone into making Naval Weapons Station into an 18-hole layout. Through the efforts of this team, the course is now a fun layout that should have something that appeals to most skill levels.
- The new layout is a big improvement over the old one. It's still nothing special, not to the level of Trophy Lakes, but it offers a n increased challenge, along with some fun new layouts. Add to that, it is another 18-hole layout, something this area still needs more of.
- In essence the new layout takes the old 9 holes and turns them into holes #1 - 2 & 4 - 10. For those who aren't fans of counting, that means hole #3, 11 - 18 are the new ones; with the last 8 holes laid out in the back portion of this land.
- There's a good mixture of holes from heavily wooded to partial to wide open. Add to that, hole distances range from 192 feet to 524 and you get your taste of everything here. This is definitely more of the buffet-style of variety in that you do get a little bit of everything, all of which is solid, without being stellar.
- The new holes even give the course it's only elevation, albeit, low country elevation. #16 is actually a real good hole, the type where you want to throw multiple shots. It's a 253-foot, downhill (again, low county elevation) shot with trees forcing you to throw either right or left. It's very easy to park your shot next to the basket, but there's also the chance you smack a tree and have to settle for a par.
- This is a great course for beginners and casual players. There's moderate challenge on many holes - from woods to doglegs to obstacles to throw around - ball fields, fences, etc. Even the shortest hole - #8 at 150 feet - is a narrow fairway in the woods, meaning there is challenge for players.
- Course is pretty easy to navigate. The hardest part is finding the first tee. From there, things seemed pretty straightforward. The online map is a great help, plus it has a scorecard, but I'm not sure how much you'll need to be looking at it.
- It's great that there's such a solid course here at the NWS. It's a great course for service members and their families to play the game. Plus, now that they've relaxed the rules about access, anyone can check the course out. That said, this is the type of course we should all being showing respect on, making sure to not leave any trash or causing any problems that could negatively impact the course or access. This would be the type of course I'd be an advocate of having a kiosk with loaner discs at the first tee. You really want to introduce people to the game here, supply them with loaner discs? If/when those disappear, replace them with another 5 - 10 loaner discs. The more good will here, the better it will be for the course and community.
Cons: My biggest beef is the design on #18. It's meant to be the tough, test your mettle, finishing hole. While I always love that idea, the one fails to execute. It does offer challenge, just not in a fair or logical way. Once you get through the trees at the beginning, there's a narrow landing area with a ball field on the right and a line of trees on the left. The concern is the fence on the right and having a disc sail over it. You either have to climb the fence or walk the whole way around to get onto the field. From there, you have a challenge second (or third) shot approaching the basket. To its credit, once you get past the ball field and the risk of a disc sailing over the fence, I think it's a well-designed approach to an elevated basket. With limited space, I'm not sure the option to fix the problem, unless you shorten the hole (easier solution) or have to potentially redesign multiple holes to move the tee away from the ball field (not so easy).
- I've only played this course, in all its formations, on weekend mornings. Half the times I've played (out of 4), there's been a soccer game going on at the field. This can either slightly impact, or make unplayable, holes #5 & 7 - 10.
- No amenities here, from restrooms, benches, drinks or trashcans. It's almost like the NVS expects the public to be as respectful and disciplined as the service members. Go figure.
- More advanced players will have a field day here due to the lack of overall difficulty. #7 & 18 are true par 4s, but everyone other hole is a potential birdie chance for better players. For intermediate level players and up, you should expect to see at least several 2s on your scorecard. I also suspect advanced players will sense there's less variety than I do. If you can control your disc up to 300 feet, it probably doesn't matter to you if a hole has two trees or 10; whether the hole is a slight dogleg or moderate; whether a hole is flat or slightly inclined.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed the improvements made to the Naval Weapons Station course. The course isn't as challenging as Trophy Lakes, or even the nine-hole layout at Eagle Landing, but it does serve a great purpose in this community.
- The course is never crowded. The last time I played, I only saw one other group playing. That's been the norm for every time I've played.
- The course has more variety than most Charleston area courses. Of the region's 18-holers, it's more beginner friendly than Trophy Lakes, more wooded than Park Circle and is more open than Tidal Creek or James Island. So, if you're wanting a good variety, at an intermediate level, this is probably the course for you.
- This course always seems to have a cross-breeze, at least the times I've played. Whether is strong gusts, or just a light breeze, the air never seems to be still here. That can really add a challenge, turning a lot of birdie chances into scrambles for par. The last time I played, there were gusts above 30 mph. And as anyone who's played in wind like that, it makes putting an adventure and adds challenge to approach shots. Depending on one's perspective, the wind element can be viewed as a pro or a con, or make no difference. How's that for taking a stand?
- I'm giving this course a solid 2.5. It's a very solid average course. There's fun to be had, along with some challenge, but it's not a killer. It's great having another 18-holer in this area as the Charleston disc golf scene only gets better.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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