Incredibly unique and fun temp course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Downtown Urban Open (DUO, for short) course is set up once a year, the weekend after Thanksgiving, for the annual tournament, just completing its fifth year in 2016. The course is available to practice on the Saturday morning prior to the tournament. Saturday afternoon is reserved for a doubles tournament. The main event occurs on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
It's hard to compare DUO to any other course I've played...because it's unlike anything I've ever played! The pro's are numerous, the con's are scant. If you live in the Triangle, or if you've seen the tournament videos online and can get to Cary, you HAVE to play this course every year, whether it's practice rounds on Saturday, the tournament on Sunday, or, preferably, both. The course is just too unique and too much fun to be missed.
+ Incredibly fun course. I will go through the course hole by hole, but to sum up, there are just some fun shots and situations on this course that you won't get anywhere else.
+ A challenging variety of holes: very short (42 feet!), long (500 feet), uphill (as in straight up to the 3rd floor of a parking deck), downhill (as in off the parking deck), diabolical island holes, mandos (including a "double triple mando"), beside railroad tracks, through a parking garage...just watch the videos from previous tournaments. You'll get the idea and you'll want to play it.
+ Lots of risk/reward elements on the course that will challenge any level of player.
+ You'll need every throw in your game: hyzers, annies, dead straight, thumbers, rollers, skippers, and anything your imagination can come up with to help you navigate the course.
Cons: There are not many negatives, in my book. These are the only ones I could come up with:
- Despite closing off most of the Town of Cary Government Complex, there are still a couple of active parking lots on the campus and cars occasionally coming in to play. I saw several near misses when I played in the tournament this year -- fortunately no shattered windows. I don't know if the town or the tournament folks can really do anything about this, other than publicize that disc golfers will be playing on this weekend. Overall, they do a great job of keeping most of the cars far enough away from the course so as not to come into play.
- Your discs take a beating here. Every disc I used got nicks and scratches and dings. On the plus side, if you need to break in a disc, this is your course.
- My only other complaint is hole 18, "Drop in the Bucket." There's nothing technically wrong with it, I just hate it because I can't play it well. It's a 103-foot par 3. I took a 6 one round and a 9 the other round.
Other Thoughts: I'll go through each hole, briefly:
1. "Tone-Pole" - 193 feet. Downhill. Mando right of a large oak tree close to the tee. For RHBH, play a hyzer line through some tree obstacles and a large wind chime.
2. "Corner Pocket" - 168 feet. From the sidewalk of a commercial street downhill to a hanging basket above the crest of a steep hill. There's a hyzer line and an anhyzer line to the basket, trees to contend with on both lines. A death putt awaits you.
3. "Fire Exit" - 128 feet. This is a blind tee shot that plays around a 3-story building to a basket on a sidewalk guarded by the building, an easement, and railing. There are tall trees directly in front of the tee also, so you have to play a huge annie (for RHBH), flick, or thumber over the trees, around the building, and to the basket.
4. "The Gap" - 42 feet. This one is simple. Throw your disc straight up to the third level of a four-story parking deck. You have a gap, hence the name, between the third and fourth levels. If you hit it, you're putting for birdie. If you miss, you have up to 3 more attempts to make it up before you head to the 3rd floor drop zone with a penalty.
5. "Validation" - 274 feet. This one plays on one of the floors of the parking deck, so the fairway is plenty wide, but the ceiling is low! The hanging basket is around the corner of the deck as you move to the two upper deck holes.
6. "U-Turn" - 263 feet. This hole plays from the mid-third level of the deck to the top, fourth level. You have to throw out from under a low ceiling, over the walls of the deck, in between two mando light poles. The safe play is to throw a flat putt about 100 feet, then get close or get lucky throwing over the wall to the basket. More skilled players will throw a hyzer (for RHBH) from under the deck ceiling, out into the open, over the wall, between the lights, and onto the top deck...hopefully without rolling away from the basket.
7. "The Upper Deck" - 269 feet. Throw off the upper deck of the parking garage (haven't you always wanted to do that?), over the #10 green 40-50 feet below you, across a road, to a basket on top of a hill with guardian trees. It's as fun as it sounds.
8. "Up & Over" - 324 feet. Uphill from one parking lot over a hill to another parking lot. The basket is just before thick brush and trees after this second parking lot.
9. "The Rail" - 220 feet. Tunnel shot with a slight annie for RHBH, thick brush and trees on the right, steep hill to an OB train track on the left. This is a live rail, so watch out for trains!
10. "Double Down" - 421 feet. This one plays down the same hill you played up on hole 8. The first 350 feet or so are parking lot, so you can skip or roll downhill for a lot of distance. Guardian trees are at the edge of the road before you get to a large, open, flat green. Look up to see the discs frying over you from the Upper Deck hole.
11. "Back it Up" - 212 feet. Slightly uphill with guardian trees, an OB parking lot (and some cars) to your right. Flick or anhyzer (for RHBH) to a green with guardian trees in front of the basket.
12. "Can't Get Right" - 198 feet. This hole plays uphill, over the same berm you play over on #8 ("Up & Over") to a basket surrounded by guardian trees and handicapped parking signs. Large trees growing on the hill, so you have to choose your line, left or right, to get to the hole. The only OB is the road to the right.
13. "Rail Gun" - 500 feet. This is the longest hole on the course and the only par 4. It plays parallel to the train tracks down a wide road (not in use during the tournament). The basket is next to a large fake Christmas tree. It's reachable from the tee for top-level pros, not for mere mortals.
14. "Skip to My Lou" - 320 feet. This hole is designed for an S-curve shot from the upper level of a parking lot to a lower elevation section of the lot. There's a low ceiling from trees on either side of the lot. The idea is to get the S-curve drive that skips to the hole on the bottom lot.
15. "Double Triple" - 224 feet. This hole has a double-triple mando through two sets of columns with crossbeams on top of them. If you can throw a dead straight tee shot through the two mando gaps, this hole is pretty straight-forward! Some players try to throw a safe putt 100 feet or so, through the first mando gap, but in front of the second one, and then throw another 100-or-so-foot putt through the second mando towards the basket. This, more or less, takes big numbers out of the equation, but 3 is the best you can do. If you go for it, birdies (or aces) are possible, but huge numbers are in play if you miss the mandos.
16. "Kiss the Sky" - 224 feet. This hole requires a big spike hyzer (for RHBH) over a (closed) road and trees.
17. "Hawaii" - 254 feet. This is the first of the two back-to-back island holes. Both are treacherous and can produce round-destroying numbers. From the tee, you have to throw over an OB parking lot to a long, narrow island guarded by thick bushes and trees. If you sail over the island, that's OB too. If you can throw 254 feet dead straight with no skip, you can go right at the basket. If that doesn't sound appealing, you can try to land somewhere a little closer to the tee on the narrow island. Either way, it's not easy.
18. "Drop in the Bucket" - 103 feet. How hard can a 103-foot hole be? Ha! #18 is the true separator hole on this course. There are aces and birdies...and there are 8's and 9's. It all depends if you can make a little flick or annie (for RHBH) from a sidewalk down to a small island green a flight of stairs below you. There is also a spike hyzer route over the trees to the island. If your disc does not come to rest on the island, you have to re-tee with a 1-stroke penalty. If you can't make it by your third attempt, you go to the drop zone where you'll be throwing your seventh shot. "Coming to rest on the island" is not easy. There are trees, the railing from the breezeway, and a water hazard guarding the island. Even if you make it through all that, your disc could skip onto the sidewalk, which is OB too. This hole will make or break your round.
19. "Curbed Enthusiasm" - 235 feet. This is probably my least favorite hole. It plays from in between two buildings, across a road towards the community center. The reason I don't like it is because the road is not closed. It's not busy, but it's the road to get in and out of the campus -- and, because of the buildings, you can't see cars coming from either direction. You absolutely should use a spotter on this hole. As far as strategy goes, it's one of the more straightforward holes. Throw a lot shot (trees form a ceiling about halfway down the fairway) dumping left towards the basket (in front of the community center).
20. "Side Step" - 179 feet. This hole plays uphill with a flick or annie line (for RHBH), across a parking lot to a basket on the crest of a steep hill on the other side of the lot. An OB road (NOT closed) is on the other side of the basket, if you overshoot it. One approach is to play a low flick or annie to the base of the hill where the basket is. From there, you have a steep, but short putt.
In short, DON'T MISS DUO!!!
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