Another great Hickory area course
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: With this review coming on the heels of my review for Glenn C HIlton, again I have to praise the work of the local club.
This course is clean, well manicured and in beautiful shape.
There are benches at most, if not all of the tee pads, and new ish tee signs that really help when playing this course for the first time.
The Red/Blue tees are very clearly marked and usually offer two completely different shots. Unlike some courses where the "long" pad is just that...a longer version of the short pad.
The course design uses every bit of the great elevation in the park. Long, open, downhill bombs from platform tee pads, steep uphill and downhill shots, everything! A great variety of shots required just on account of the elevation.
Much like Glenn Hilton park, this course is in what seems to be a great neighborhood, and a nice quiet park. No worries or concerns about theft, or shady personnel wandering about.
Although this course plays near the lake, the water does not come into play. However, there is no shortage of beautiful fairways. Several small creeks, valleys and shots that overlook the lake make this quite the scenic walk through the woods
Cons: There are few cons here.
One of the first that comes to mind however is the crossover between the fairway of 5 and the tee of 16. (I may have the hole numbers wrong, but it is obvious which holes overlap) The tee pads, both red and blue, of 16 are just to the side of the middle of 5's fairway. Although the long bomb shot from 5's elevated tee box should easily clear both tee pads, this is still a potential hazard. Not my favorite...
The last two holes seem like the designer ran out of land to work with. 17 and 18 are both near the road and use the sidewalk for tee pads. 18 was kept interesting by the "island green" rules, but 17 just seemed like a filler hole...
Although not overbearing, there seemed to be no shortage of right dogleg holes. I'm ok with throwing a few in for variety, but this course seemed to really favor the LHBH player.
Other Thoughts: Minor complaints aside, this course is excellent. Shorter hole lengths from the red tees are easily approachable by the novice player, but still challenging enough for the intermediate to advanced player. The Blue tees seem to be an even better challenge for the intermediate to advanced player, and offer a totally different course experience than the red pads. Great design work!
The elevation used throughout the course is a blast to play, and the scenic woods, creek and lake really add to the enjoyment of this course.
Highly recommend making the short trip from Charlotte to play here!
Also, a short distance from Glenn Hilton, so making a day trip out of it is perfect!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Duplicate of Glenn
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Let me start off by saying this course was a great idea. But I f you are in the area to play a course like this please play Glenn Hilton instead. It is very very similar to the course but somewhat better.
Tee signs correctly illustrate where pins are located and distance and that is a huge plus so many courses neglect this part and as a first time player of the course u really need that guidance if you are by yourself.
There are a couple fun unique holes worth playing here that you won't find in many other places
The cours also does a good job of navigating you toward the next tee pad on almost all of the holes I can easily tell where the path is leading me and where the next tee pad is.
Also it has some fun lines to hit on a few holes but after those things that's where this course starts to become shaky
Cons: So first off distance doesn't really exist at all from the Reds on all but maybe 2 holes I can honestly play the Reds with a putter on every hole but 7 (and still probably could there). And I know others in the area that could easily too.
Another thing is there are some fairways that don't make sense to me at all when I look at them I mean how am I supposed to par holes let alone birdy when the only viable shot is a tomahawk
And this course is step up for about 80% flick. So if you flick right handed you can shoot a hot round. That is what a lot of the holes are set up for. But if u want to back hand right handed grab every Flippy disc you can find before heading here.
This course is like I said a great idea but it's bigger and better brother Glenn Hilton makes the flaws here stand out a lot more
Other Thoughts: The course design isn't truly that bad it's actually pretty good. But they had a lot of potential with this place and really didn't maximize it and give the town of Sawmills a home run. The course is always kept in pretty good shape. But drive 10 more minutes and you can play a better course with more open lines and better distances to challenge every part of your bag instead of putters and mids.
Like I said a great idea but it's bigger and better brother Glenn Hilton makes the flaws here stand out a lot more
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Nice park in a secluded area. Course still has plenty of potential and the capacity to be as good as Glenn Hilton. I enjoyed most of the holes because they are unique and some really stand out.
-Love the tee pads and tee signs. Very accurate and well marked. Signs are accurate and there are two next tee signs on every transition. Navigation is a breeze.
-Dual sets of tees on most holes. The reds looked fun and forgiving but the blues sure were not for me. Some are really good challenges on the blues. For instance #16 is a great uphill shot that goes into the woods and slightly left up the hill.
-#5 and #15 were really fun valley shots! Also scenic! I also liked #7. The long par 3 that plays off the deck and out into the open.
-Practice basket close to #1. There is also a kiosk close to #1.
-Good use of amenities. Bathrooms, benches, some trash cans.
-Elevation is a huge factor here and that never gets old for me! There are a few great valley shots, multiple downhills (one extreme!) and also many uphills!
-Front 9 is really fun! It provides a good challenge from the longs. I enjoyed some holes on the back 9. I loved #15-17! Also liked #10. #10 is an uphill par 4? Really short for a par 4 but plays really steep uphill! It is a dogleg left that demands a clean shot and clear the hill to set up for an easy second shot. I missed a 20' birdie putt!
-Stairs on the steep parts of the course. I can't imagine how rough it would be if it didn't have any!
-Some really cool greens on the course. Several baskets are on hills and have roller potential but not a whole lot. Which I like.
Cons: -If you play the blues. You will struggle and stumble! I guarantee you! I don't agree with every fairway on the course! Some are kind of silly and great shots will be sabotaged. Many holes here from the longs provide a real challenge but a few (particularly on the back 9) are challenging but not in the way many people would like. Some are way too narrow, some have too many trees in the way and force weird trick shots.
-#14!! Really?!?! The hole with the greatest use of elevation by maybe 20 feet is the most "poke and pray" on the course? How on Earth do you play this hole?!?! I can't find a legit fairway from the long. The short isn't as goofy but if you can't tomahawk, you won't be happy. This could easily be the greatest hole on the course if it was just wider. It's unique but it's plinko gimmickiness!
-If the walking path is OB on #18, you will be pissed. The fairway is not wide at ALL! If you think the OB on #18 at Stumpy isn't reasonable, wait until you see this! This is ridiculous. It said on the sign "Walking path and beyond is OB." Kind of a letdown after playing #15-17 which are all very fun holes!
-#7 and #16 are way too close to each other. My drive on #7 was terrible and I landed on #16's pad! Loved both holes but keep an eye out. I didn't care really but most people do. Especially in the annual tournament they have here in July.
Other Thoughts: -As tricky as this course can get, I'm a fan of Sawmills and I will be back for sure. It's very majestic and provides a good challenge from the longs and a fun friendly and forgiving round on the reds. It seems completed on the shorts but still needs a little work on the longs. I'm looking forward to seeing improvement at Sawmills. Like the course now but I don't think it is at its best yet.
Favorite hole: 16. Great uphill par 3 that goes into the mouth of the woods.
Least favorite: 18. This hole is a hindrance to walkers and drivers on the road. It's sandwiched in between!
Fun course. Find time to play it!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Spray & Pray
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Really good tees.
Cons: I really started to dislike this course at pin 5. Shooting over a ravine with no real fairway and praying that your disc bounces off a tree in the right direction does not make a good pin.
Then we came to 7 and realized that we were supposed to throw over the tees for 16. Predictably, two of our discs came down around the blue tee. When we got to 16 ourselves, the guy throwing from 7's tee came down a little past the red tee.
By the end of the course one of the guys with me just quit out of frustration. I played to the end, but would not go back unless I heard there were major improvements.
Other Thoughts: By chance, I met two people at the course who had never played it before. They were about my level, so we played the round together. One of them quit before the round was over. Me and the other guy were too stubborn to walk away. And, lest you think this is just grumbling from low level players, on 7 a couple of serious players (with backpacks carrying 50 discs and 350'+ shots from the tee) played through and they were griping about the course too.
Look, it's obvious that someone put a lot of TLC into building this course. There were really nice, roughed cement tees in places where someone had to carry in the cement. However, it feels very much like a work in progress and it really needs the work.
5 and 7 should be signature pins. If you want to know what 5 should be like go to Asheville and play Richmond Hill. At least cut enough trees so that there is a viable fairway. 7 would be a great pin if 16's tees were moved somewhere else.
There's a lot of potential here and if I lived close enough I'd probably swing by once or twice a year to see if the potential had been acted upon, but I would not make this a regular part of my course rotation.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice course on a great piece of property. This course seems to have it all, uphill, down hill narrow, wide open, island greens.... I felt that the course was balanced maybe with a slight edge to the right spinning disc...but many of the left to right holes were decieving and actually need an understable BH disc to complete the intended flight path. The course opens with a few relatively open holes 1-4 and then transitions in to beautiful mountain golf. Up and down hills, across ravines. Plenty of signature views, I think it was 7 that throws from a deck at the top of elevation for a 400+' par 3. Really pretty. The course winds through the woods until you emerge and 17 & 18 are open again utilizing some paved areas as OB. I think this could be an issue sometimes but I am OK with it. Trashcans, benches, and signage were great. Tee pads were mostly appropriate lengths.
Cons: I really struggled with the rating...more than any other course and below is a detailed critique of some of the issues.
I do not agree with the design style of most of the holes. They start wide and then get very narrow at the end, many greens are only 10-15' wide. It is almost impossible to throw the intended line then just land next to the basket. Green areas really need to be widened. Just off memory, I would say that 75% of the holes really narrowed at the end. I found it very frustrating to throw a great shot and navigate tight fairways only to find my disc 20' from the basket with no putt.
3-4 teepads on hill sides end with no run off. Hole 9 or 10 has an 8' tee pad with a 10' drop right after. It is a 300' uphill hole it is very dangerous and hard to throw off.
Use of pine trees. A few holes, most notably the one above ^ use logs as "retaining walls" The log laid down then the concrete frame laid ON TOP of the log then concrete poured. So, in 3-4 years the pine logs (which rot very quickly) will rot away and there will ba 6"-12" void under the front of the teepad. The pad can break once this happens. Not an issue now but will be. Some of the bridges(board walks) also use pine trees and will fall apart.
Minor: Course opened before concrete cured. A number of the holes had the crete worn smooth before it cured. Some tee signs were not creted in, and were installed shallow and are loose. They will be stolen.
When holes were made, the trees were just cut off into the woods or drug in 90 degrees from where they were cut. THey were not stacked in piles. It just clutters the woods and makes it less playable.
Some holes come in contact. Hole 7 throws directly over 16 and all hyzers hyzer directly into the green of 15. Very dangerous. A 30' long 10-12' tall wall along 7's fairway protecting 15's basket would be a great addition.
Other Thoughts: I decided to review the course a 4 but then be critical. Great course with AMAZING potential. It really needs the greens opened up. Some of the cons will take a few years...but if they are fixed now wont affect the course. I would definitely recommend this course...mountain disc golf is so pretty...and this course really captures that.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Sawmills Veterans Park is a good course to visit. Not extreme to a championship level, but requires good placement with drives. Mixes up elevation that can be very considerable, and short to mid-range shots on many holes. Wooded, lightly at first and increasing a lot around hole 9, before thinning way out again on 17 and 18. There are opportunities to birdie on most holes. Some casual water and mud in spots. The problem I had was getting good angles to putt. My tee shots weren't bad, but left me in spots where I had to pitch layups around trees just to get a par putt under the basket.
First hole was open and downhill. Walking trail on the right and road on the left. Woods lurking 15 feet behind the basket. I liked hole 2 with a mando 50 feet from the tee and downhill to a basket tucked to the right in some woods. 5 was also a good one. Down a steep hill across a ravine and up the other side through mature trees. I tend to really like those shots. 6 was tough, long, uphill and to the right. Caught a tree coming off the pad and two putted for double bogey. 7 is an elevated tee from a deck built on the side of a hill, crossing an open grassy area. Long, but should be a fairly easy par. 8 and 9 are shorter wooded holes. 10 is up a steep hill with trees and more distance. 11 is another shorter chance at a 2. 12, 13, and 14 all had some tight, twisty fairways. All fun holes. 15 is another one of those peak to peak drives like hole 5, only bigger and better. 16 tees in the open, but into a pocket up the wooded hillside. Pulled back to back birdies on 15 and 16 somewhat miraculously. 17 is open grassy area with the basket perched atop a hill. 18 is along the walking trail back to the parking lot. Requires some shot shaping to get next to the pin.
The tees were mostly concrete, except for the decking with rubber mat on 7, I think. Blue and Red tees on most holes. Baskets all looked to be in fine shape. Laminated signs give a hole map with distances, and directing transitions between holes. A lot of work went into stairs, bridges, and benches to make this park as nice as it is.
Cons: A couple of the holes are yawners, 4 and 17 in particular. Walking trail is close to holes 1 and 18. Frustrated by the pin positions around corners and on slopes and behind trees that killed my putting game. Several of the blind holes were left me guessing what to do. This is not necessarily a con, it would keep me coming back if I live nearby. I finished one over par, but I think a lower score is definitely achievable.
Other Thoughts: Sawmills Veterans Park is in a nice park, and has a lot of fun shots for sure. I give a 4, only because I can't do 3.75. Worthy of rounding up. Check it out, I think you'll agree.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 16 Not
Pros: Great elevation changes. The lakeside view is amazing and the whole park is a beautiful place. The holes are varied and interesting. The reds are easy to play, but the blues can be very challenging.
Cons: The course could use a little more polishing.
Other Thoughts: Play this course! You will enjoy it.
0 of 16 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 4 Not
I hate to do it
Pros: The following review is based on playing the Long pads.
If you like mountainous terrain then this is the course for you. Elevation change is a theme here.
Hole 8 is beautiful. Teeing off of the deck with a 400'+ Bomb in front of you.
A lot of work has been put into this course and it is shown by the stairs, bridges, and other structures(teepad on a deck). If the course was rated on how much work has been put in then this one would be 5*.
There were several holes that were fun and had a lot of potential.
Cons: However there are even more holes on the course that seem to have perfected plinko woods golf.
As I have stated before in other reviews, I love woods golf and I enjoy it much more than open shots but in my opinion a good woods course has clean and attainable lines that can be hit, rewarding a good shot and punishing a bad one. I feel that most of the woods holes on this course do not meet this concept.
Several holes have lines that are near unattainable and if you do pure it then you have to get lucky and miss trees that are in middle of the suggested line. Others do not really have a line to hit and you have to just throw towards the basket hoping for a clean look of some kind.
While a fast green is fun and interesting when the majority of the holes are on a extreme slope it can get repetitive. Also the greens are so sloped in some cases that you may find it hard to even get a layup to stay.
16's long tee is in danger if a player on hole 8's tee throws a poor shot.
the transition from 16-17 is weird as you have to walk past 7's basket. This is a good way to get hit imo.
You also cross a soccer field which could be weird if a game is going on.
hole 17 might be an issue if the park is busy
Hole 18 is an anhyzer that throws down a walking path which is blind near the basket. This hole puts walkers in danger.
A few normal new course Items. - no trashcans, a lot of growth in the fairways, etc.
Other Thoughts: I hate to give a course that has had SO much work put into it such a low score but I do not think that the design is worthy of a higher score. The lack of clean lines and the feeling that you have to be more lucky than good take away from this course imo.
The property and the course have a lot of potential but in the current condition I don't think that the course reaches that mark.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
One of the best in area
Pros: Nice mix of wooded and open areas. Easy to go from one hole to the next. Just the right amount of trees to still allow a path to target. I like the hole where you go from the woods into a field (I think it's #8) to the target then back again to the next target. Being new to disc golf I really struggled with the course often very frustrated but always fun.
Cons: The holes 17 & 18 while nicely open could involve cars or people who are not observant. Some of the tees could be improved but I'm sure that is already planned for. Not much to not like about Sawmills.
Other Thoughts: A lot like Glenn Helton only better.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Really nice park, really nice scenery with good elevation. The course flows really well and the hole variety is very good. I played from the reds due to time constraints but the blues looked fun as well and thankfully often offered a different line other than just a little longer. The tee signage is excellent and next tee signs do a great job.
For a short round, you can play a loop of 1-7 and then 17-18.
The course is mostly a technical wooded style but there are some open and downhill ones to air it out. Hole #8 for example is a sweet downhill bomb. Also really like the separate fairways for hole 12. Some of the holes are pretty tight but for the most part I think are fair.
Cons: This course isn't without its flaws but they're mostly minor and a reflection of being new.
Lots of rutted, gravel tees. I really hate this when the hole requires a very precise BH line where sure footing is crucial. Put concrete tees everywhere and this course magically jumps to a 4 rating for me.
#5 has a steep downhill portion that could use some steps or something cut into it for safe passage. Quite a few holes could have some erosion concerns in the future if the course becomes popular, similar to nearby Glenn C.
#8 is awesome but noob hyzers could take out people teeing from #16 or walking to it.
#9-10 could have some swampy issues. #11's blue tee does not look like fun at all.
#15 needs some limb lopping to improve the ceiling. Fun hole though.
#17's tee is on the sidewalk beside the parking lot. The blue tee in particular is a grip slip away from a busted windshield. The basket is on an island green made by the road, a park road, and a ball field. Not a great hole but just be wary of other park users and you'll be fine.
#18 is another sidewalk tee with the road directly on your left. Fun hole though.
Other Thoughts: Bottom line is this is a really fun course that I will definitely being playing again in the future. It makes a great pairing with Glenn C. Hilton if 24 holes isn't enough for you. The club is doing a bang up job with this one and I look forward to seeing it progress. It's fun, it's challenging, it's a nice walk through nature mostly. It reminds me a little of Scrapyard or maybe a baby RL Smith in CLT. Some basic improvements that should come in time will bump this to a 3.5 at least for me.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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