Loooong Walkouts Soured Me On This Course!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I had a difficult time actually finding this course. My GPS led me to the other side of the park. There is a sign over there and a path leading into the woods. I wonder if that trail would ever lead to one of the courses? Using my highly developed disc golf course finding intellect, I finally drove around and found the actual course beginnings.
Both courses start near a large picnic shelter. There is a kiosk here as well as a big trapezoid shaped concrete tee pad. Unfortunately, other tee pads are dirt with just a front board. but nice wooden signs. The baskets are older, yellow Discatchers with the #'s on top. They show up well in the thickets here. A rung is painted black pointing you to the next tee.
As I happen to love these short, hilly courses, Black Bear featured a number of fun little throws. I really like # 3. It's an almost straight down, 177' touch shot. I think the only other courses I've played that features a hole this steep, straight down in one of the Rooster Rock courses in Oregon.
This course has three pads for each hole. The Reds are children's lengths, lots of sub-one hundred foot holes. The Whites probably average 200' and I believe there were longer Blues but they weren't exactly easy to locate.
After a long hot, walkout I came to # 12 and it's extremely comfy bench. I could have taken a nice long nap on it.
The course fell apart on the back nine. There were two or three extremely long and confusing walkouts followed by three short uphill holes in a row.
Cons: The back nine rates about a 1 in my opinion. The long walkouts and less than thrilling uphill holes. I was more than ready for my round to end after the first nine.
The teepads are not good and would be treacherous in wet conditions.
The overall lack of distance is a turn off for many players.
Other Thoughts: After nine, I was digging this course. Midway through the back nine, I was tuned out and ready to get off the mountain. The back nine is really a poor design. By the end of the course, I was tired, sweaty and ready to hit the road.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Went from promising to underwhelming in 3 holes...
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Do you like hiking? If so, this course is for you! No, really, apart from maybe Highland Hills in NC, this course and it's twin brother will require the most hiking you'll experience on a course.
There are multiple "tees" for each hole, in typical Mitch Hoeppner fashion, just in case you want to throw your putter from a little further back...
Holes 1-3 had me excited. Neatly manicured fairways and gaps to hit, nice pads and signs and hole 3 is a sweet shot straight down the hill. If you float a putter, you might lose it. I recommend flicking a firebird as hard as you can at it! (Read as sarcasm)
The scenery is really nice. As I previously stated, this is essentially a hike with a little disc golf sprinkled in. There is plenty of wildlife, trees, creeks and other natural beauty to behold, so soak that up.
I recall a few benches here or there that were definitely necessary along the way. BRING LIQUIDS. Especially in the summer, you'll need all you can carry. There is also a very nice gazebo area at the entrance to both courses which will give you a perfect picnic spot between the two or a break at the very least.
Cons: You know how when you hike you discover little things along the way? It's the same here as well, but what you discover are disc golf holes. I don't mean that in a good way, I'm alluding to the fact that there are significant navigation issues here. There are several spots where the walk between holes are FAR too long and spread out. It isn't intuitive in the least and you'll regret not having a map.
The holes here are really too short. Apart from the first few holes and maybe 1 or 2 in the woods, you'll be throwing mostly putters and mids.
The tee pads aren't pads at all once you get inside the woods. They're toe boards. Like I said, you won't really need much of a pad to stand-still bomb your aviar.
You know how the hiking was a pro above? Yea, well some could certainly view it as a con. My wife was ill-prepared for our round and I suspect others will be as well. This isn't a course to go casually play with your family unless they love that sort of thing...
You won't really test your entire game, at all...Tight wooded putter shots will be the name of the game here. If you need work with that sort of thing, this is a perfect place to start.
Other Thoughts: Plenty of ace runs to be had out here, all the while soaking up the natural beauty the blue ridge mountains have to offer. Don't expect to bomb out any drives, you'll be practicing your putt and approach. Bring hiking boots and plenty of liquids/food. You'll want to play Golden Bear too, it's the better of the two courses.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Crazy...sometimes too crazy
+Engraved signs at each tee pad
+Easy to drive to/free parking
+Bonus hole (#19) for tie-breakers
Cons: -Hard to navigate in spots
-Almost entirely wooded
-Some fairways feel almost non-existant
-Terrain can be very steep
-Occasionally the next tee pad is hundreds of feet from the current basket
Other Thoughts: The Black Bear course is fun overall but can be obnoxious with the amount of trees in the fairway and at times feels a little random. Certain holes, such as hole 14 are very steep and have virtually no fairway. Still worth playing but in my opinion it is not quite as good as the neighboring Golden Bear course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Good course, not great
Pros: 1.Good use of elevation
2.Well placed in woods, one of the best woods courses I've played.
3. Variety of fairways, tight ones and open, fun for all.
4. Baskets easy to spot in woods.
Cons: 1. No real open holes/long holes. With a few of these it would be a great course.
2. Easy to navigate once you play the course a couple of times but difficult for new players. Paint on the baskets pointing to the next hole would be nice.
3. Three medium length walks between holes. One shorter one between 5 and 6 and a long one between 11 and 12. Then a long one that can be confusing from 13 to 14. Cross the creek and follow the path.
4. Tee Pads. They look nice in the woods but they are all dirt (except 1 which is concrete). They get slippery in the rain.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and I have played it more than any other course. For a course without any long holes it still has a good variety, some lefts, some rights, and you do still need a good variety of shots to play this course well.
The crowds have been lessened significantly when the added another 18. Trash isn't that big of a deal but a few trashcans would be nice (even though the people too lazy to carry out would probably still litter).
The use of woods is perfect on this course, been playing it all year since it opened and still finding myself in a new spots with new looks.
Best Holes: 3, 13, 16
Worst Holes: 7, 14
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Miss the old Golden
Pros: - Nice tee signs
- Good workout
Cons: - Bad tee pads
- Poor layout
- Long walks between holes
Other Thoughts: Miss the old Golden, just because you put in 36 holes doesn't make it a good course. the tee pads are really rough ( saw a couple of near wipeouts because of dished fronts and obstruction). The numerous long walks between holes is a big part of the poor layout. Some of the fairways could use work to keep shots from being pure luck. Overall i was disappointed with this course. I think it really shows, not just anyone should be able to design a course.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice walk in the woods - ok DG
Pros: - Nice small wooden signs
- Good course to practice mids
- Nice park
- Orange flags marking trail to next tee
Cons: - unlevel natural tees
- trails are muddy
- difficult to find blue tees
- red tees are silly short even for rec level (<100')
- a little repetitive wooded 200' holes
Other Thoughts: I had high hopes when I pulled into the parking lot and saw all the signs and pavillion. But unfortunately I was underwhelmed by the actual course. The flow is a little odd with long walks across the creek and back just for two holes. Most of the tees are so small or rough that all that's safe is "stand-still"; which is okay since none of the holes are long enough to require more than that. It's a good course to go practice your up-shots and you won't need more than mids and putters. Maybe they can find some places to add longer tees.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Weaves through the woods. Some of the original great woods shots are saved
Cons: Mando signs can't be read from tee pads. Wooden signs pointing directions to baskets are very hard to see. (maybe paint them). 2 of the worst walks I've ever experience on a woods course where disc golf is the only thing other than nature trails. Tee pads are awful. Really seems half done and half luck in the woods and too much uphill walking and bad disc golf
Other Thoughts: Really disappointed in general. Signage is nice. Even short holes can be fun. Experienced players need a mid range and putter. Okay beginner and rec course but the flow is so bad it's hard to even recommend for thar
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: 1. Large natural tee pads
2. Tees have distance, map, and elevation change
3. Multiple tees
4. Easy navigation
5. Great use of elevation changes throughout the course
6. Benches at some holes
Cons: 1. No trash cans
2. Undergrowth, but as it's played more it will get better
3. Tight paths and a couple long walks between holes
Other Thoughts: So this course was split from the old Golden Hills course. The first 5 holes are from the old course and I believe all the others are new. Course has a really good layout through the woods and mountain. Undergrowth is still rough because it hasn't been played much since it opened. All par 3's and really a fun and easy course with plenty of short holes that can bring you back from a bad throw. Ends at the parking lot which is nice. If you have played the old course pay close attention to the orange flags so you don't start playing the Golden Bear course. LOVE hole 3. The park has a portapotty, 2 practice baskets, and a pavilion. Update sidenote - How about instead of thumbsdowning the only 2 reviews you post a review? The review below has 5 thumbs down and 2 ups, and only 5 people have marked this course as played so you people need to chill out.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Beautiful part of VA - OK Course
Pros: - Beautiful trails, great hike
- Carved Wooden tee signs
- Orange marker flags help first timers
- Elevation changes make for pretty shots
Cons: - Layout could use an edit. Four holes in a row are straight up hill and can be frustrating.
- Trash throughout course. Needs a disc golf clean up day.
Graffiti: People, if you ace a hole, celebrate! Then go on with your day. Don't then whip out your sharpie and write your name on the sign. Act like you've been there before.
Other Thoughts: The area is a gorgeous part of the state, but this course could greatly benefit from a redesign of half the holes and better maintenance.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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