The better of the two bears!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As I stated in my review of Black Bear, this course is a hikers dream. You'll find yourself meandering the hills of Christiansburg soaking in the natural beauty all while getting to indulge in some ace-runs along the way.
There are, again, 3 tee pads per hole. This course, unlike it's brother(bear), will allow you to pull out at least a fairway driver on occasions. You won't fully test your game on either course, but you'll get a little more out of Golden Bear.
Most of the holes are tight, heavily-wooded tunnel shots, some with more elevation change than others. If you get an ace on these holes, you'd likely be more proud of it than one on Black Bear.
Hole 19 is a cool concept and works well at destinations with multiple courses like Golden Hills. Either as an addition to the round, CTP or tie-breaker, the additional open island shot is neat.
Neither of these courses, despite being shorter, are without challenge. You'll need precise shots to do well out here, but hardly any of those will be with a driver. If you're familiar with Peaks View in Lynchburg, this is a little longer and A LOT more challenging.
Cons: Like most heavily-wooded courses, the chance to lose a disc out here is pretty high. Even in the fall/winter when underbrush is dead and gone, you'll have the leaves to contend with. Not to mention the extreme hills you'll be perched on. One wrong roll and your disc may be 40 feet below you.
Navigation is the major issue I have with both of these courses. I feel like they were designed for the inquisitive/boy scouter adventurist type. If you like hide-and-go-seek disc golf, this is right up your alley! For those who prefer more structure, you may find yourself more frustrated than anything. I kept an open-mind and enjoyed my tromp through nature the best I could...Thrill-seekers and casual golfers alike will definitely want to print a map!
Neither of these courses do a 9-hole loop. If you want to play 9 holes, you'll be walking out of the woods quite a ways to get back to the parking area (if I recall correctly). Whatever the case may be, it would be difficult to organize a large tournament here.
Final complaint would be the natural tee pads. I get that it's probably necessary and would be a tremendous undertaking to have concrete at those remote holes, but something like rubber or AstroTurf might enhance the place a little.
Other Thoughts: If you want a nice, chill, relaxing type of open-park golf day, this IS NOT your course. At the very least, you'll have wished you had a hiking stick (I picked one up along the way) and some nice boots. Coming in flip-flops is not recommended.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1. Elevation change. Just like Golden Hills Black Bear they put a lot of thought into some tricky uphill and downhill shots on this course.
2. Hole directions. There are quick left and right turns, straight holes, uphill and downhill, and gradual turn holes.
3. Beautifully placed in woods.
Cons: 1. Length. You can play this course and only need a driver on a few holes. Getting into trouble off the tee doesn't always hurt you, good second shots can erase bad first shots.
2. I play this course a lot but can understand how it can get confusing for new players to find each hole. Not nearly as hard to navigate as Black Bear.
3. 1 long walk between 5 and 6 and one medium walk between 15 and 16.
4. Tee Pads. They are just dirt and when it rains they are a problem. Well marked, but footing can be an issue.
Other Thoughts: I think this is the better of the two Golden Hills courses offered in Christiansburg. I go back and forth but recently have been enjoying what this one has to offer. There is a great variety of holes, lacking only a true long hole. Everything is scored to 3 which makes it easy to keep track.
A round takes a couple of hours to play at most, less if you are experienced and familiar with the course.
Overall a fun experience and a course I recommend to all my friends.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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