Neat Course, But Feels Out of Place
Pros: This course tests your accuracy on shots in the 200 to 300 foot range.
I really liked the short tight gauntlet holes on #7 and #17. It was a great opportunity to test driving putter accuracy.
Every hole seem to have a different flavor, which I really enjoyed.
As a railfan, I appreciated the view on holes 13 and 14. Too bad the ACWRR sees very little daylight traffic.....
Cons: As much as I enjoyed playing this course, there were a couple things that hindered my review.
Signage should be much improved on some of the long walks. This did not affect my rating for this 'new' course; however, the long walk from 7 to 8 in particular seemed quite odd. I realize the designer was limited on space, so there probably weren't too many alternatives. One option, you could throw from the opposite angle on the field for hole #8 and the walk is almost gone. However, this would remove the water shot from the long teepad. Speaking of field and water, this area is the central 'meeting place' in the park for park goers. I played on a weekend with few visitors, but I foresee a safety hazard when this area gets busy around the picnic shelter. The said area was designed for large parties, family reunions, athletic banquets, etc.
The walk from 17 to 18 most definitely could have been entirely avoided. Simply move 17 closer to the middle between 16 and 18 and lengthen the hole. I did mention earlier in the pros each hole has its own flavor, but 17 is similar to hole #7 in that it's a gauntlet, just flatter and narrower.
(Update on Hole #18)
The Mando sign is missing which nullifies my previous review for the hole making this a legit Par 4 with risk/reward.
Finally, this course is located where it probably will not receive a lot of traffic. I know it's new, but look at Fox Chase for example. The current technicality of this course from the long teepads is rewarding, fun, and challenging for the experienced player; however, I feel the short layout is not 'beginner friendly.' With that said, I feel this course benefits us disc golfers who travel just to play a new course or it's on the way to/from a prior arrangement.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I enjoyed this course. Oakboro appears to be a neat small town. I definitely will come back to play and check out the Railroad Museum right by the park.
I feel like the majority of courses being built in North Carolina are for experienced disc golfers. It's like building strictly high-income housing and pushing everyone else out of the way. I would be curious to know how many beginners give up after their first time, or couple of tries, at disc golf due to more time spent retrieving a disc then actually playing?
Designer Response by: BraveThrower43
Thank you for your Review!!
The signage at Oakboro has been a work in progress for some time. The town has been able to come through with the money to improve the course and improved signage will be in the ground soon!
I disagree with your assessment of the course not being beginner friendly. The holes are shorter and many of the angles not as drastic from the shorts. While I understand the lines are still tight the holes are not nearly as difficult as many other courses that you can take a new player and offer opportunities to birdie for shorter arms and newer players while challenging them enough in places to improve their game. We have seen growth in the area and many of our newer players have been playing Oakboro much more often than the other courses due to the lesser difficulty. We have also had a marked growth in people picking up the sport in the area thanks to this course.
AS far as the long walks go during the design we were unfortunately facing the problem of limited space and lots of activities in the park. With the main pieces of usable land being on opposite sides of the park we had to find a way to traverse the middle of the park with as little conflict as possible. While I agree on 8 that the walking path situation is not Ideal we were able to have clear lines of sight and it takes the Shelter out of play as much as possible. The scenarios that you put forth with 8 & a possible 17 were thoughts that we had during the design process however we decided that the conflict with the Amphitheater and Shelter was too much of an issue. Even if they have a concert in this layout or the shelter is in use the course can be played even if it requires the short pad on 8.
Our decision to put the pad in that location on hole 18 was done for 2 reasons.
1. It was the closest we could place the pad to the walking path ensuring that there would not be walkers hit because there is no way you can miss someone walking up on you that close.
2. The tree on the left side of the pad kind of prevents players from throwing up the walking path on the left. The first tree across the path is a mando tree as well. Unfortunately the Sign is missing.
The hole itself was designed with the thought that your big arms will feel tempted to go for it and bomb one u however with that shot comes the risk of hitting a tree into jail. Meanwhile a well placed shorter drive will give the opportunity to make it up to the green for birdie. It is the only hole on the course that has the potential to be an advantage for a bigger arm so I do not see that as a bad thing for varieties sake.
Thank you again for your review!! When you come back around shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to try and join you for a round!!
Don't Overlook Oakboro
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Like many of you, I play disc golf because I like going outside, and atmosphere is crucial. Oakboro is scenic and unique. Ironically, the park is mostly dominated by pines. The course is almost entirely wooded, with parts of the park alternating between completely pine (of varying maturity) and the classic Piedmont forest succession of encroaching hardwoods under a towering evergreen canopy. In some of the areas of total pine dominance the
atmosphere is very cool, with high, vertical timbers and a disc-skipping ground of pinestraw. The park itself seems very new and clean...all while preserving nearby downtown Oakboro's small-town feel. On one part of the course, the woods off to the side of the fairway open up to a field of soybeans. Great location for disc.
-Alternating directionality and hole design. Some are short and highly technical--others are longer (yet still test your accuracy). Well-thought-out layout here, with a wide variety of shots required. Designs are fair but challenging, and trees near the basket are well selected. You won't get bored with Oakboro, that's for sure.
-Two sets of teepads
-Signage pointing to the next tee
-Great bonus: two sets of bathrooms with water fountains and vending machines. One at Hole 1, one at hole 7-8. In addition, 18 finishes right by hole 1 and the practice basket.
-Teepads were a good size and the rectangles were comprised of geometric squares and seemed to be made of superior concrete than normal.
-Not a very hilly course, but excellent use of elevation where it exists. Hole 15's basket has a drop of on either side of it--don't miss your putt!
-Hole 8 long tee is a short water carry, and of an excellent design. Not too far over the pond, but there's a fence by the shoreline...meaning you've got to clear the pond and the fence or else your plastic is probably getting wet. There's a footpath just beyond the fence but with clear lines of sight and passing parkgoers shouldn't be a problem.
-Hole 16, in my opinion the signature hole...it's just so cool. In front of the tee is a small hill full of boulders. Beyond that is a leftward bend through a narrow fairway. This hole basically forces a full-commitment, giant hyzer. You've got to hit it just right and I felt epic hitting my drive.
Cons: -Hole 1 was the only fairway that I had a problem with. Along the right side of the fairway is an admittedly tall barbed wire fence belonging to some kind of light-industrial facility. I could see an errant throw going over it. I noticed their front gate was open if a golfer needed to retrieve a disc...but trespassing is bad and good luck if you mess up on a weekend.
-As of this review there were no signs for the tees and the only map I could find was on the opposite side of the park. This is a new course, however, so I didn't detract points.
-Similarly, there were only a couple of benches and trashcans, but I am confident that will change as the course matures.
-A small navigation difficulty at hole 8 (particuarly it's long tee)
-It's a small thing, but Hole 17 is short and very, very tight through exclusively young pines. As those pines mature their trunks will get fatter...making the fairway even more ridiculously narrow. I'd suggest taking a few trees out in the distant future.
Other Thoughts: Well, well, well...Stan the Man does it again. A beautifully designed course that does not disappoint. It's new and still a little rough around the edges, but it is creative and enjoyable. With all the great courses in Charlotte, it would be easy to overlook Oakboro in the eastern countryside. That would be a mistake, and the trip out here would be well worth it for Charlotte folks looking for something new and different.
I read some reviews before going here and I expected a "beginner-level" course. A true beginner wouldn't enjoy this course. It is soldily intermediate-level, which in my opinion is something Charlotte has been lacking the past (kudos!). The short tees aren't impossible, but they're technical enough to be challenging even to players with a couple of years under their belts (it's harder than Elon Eager Beaver). The long tees are another beast entirely--and even experienced players might struggle to maintain par on the longs. It's enough to be engaging even to a professional.
I couldn't tell for sure, but there seemed to be adjacent wooded land that could be used for additional holes--perhaps even a second course?
Thanks to everyone who helped make this course. It's a great addition to the greater Charlotte disc scene.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: BraveThrower43
Thanks for your review!!
The town is currently bringing together funds to improve signage in the near future.
Unfortunately the land that is adjacent to the park is not owned by the town so there are not any opportunities to add to the current course. It's pretty much squeezed into the useable land that the town gave Stan and I to work with.
The course is still maturing and hopefully will continue to improve in the near future!!
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Great Course & Pretty Surroundings
Pros: Very technical course, heavily wooded, and knowing the area for the past 23 years it really brings enjoyment to see growth within the area.
Cons: No tee signs yet but I know they are coming. Also knowing where the baskets are without having to walk the hole would be appreciated, with that some of the tees could be confused from time to time...
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Welcome to Oakboro
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Oakboro Park is a great, beginner-friendly course. With two sets of tees, you get a mix of ace runs to tough, near evil tee shots.
- I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this course. Lots of great work and effort put in by parks department, Pat & Stan. A good mix of fun and challenge makes this a very solid course…for what it's intended to be.
- There's a fair amount of variety here. Yes, it's mainly a wooded course, but it still offers a little bit of everything - doglegs, tight & wider fairways, one tee shot over water (love this layout) and a little elevation that comes into play. The shortest hole on the course, #17 also has the tightest fairway, so prepare yourself for a gauntlet-light shot. The sparse amount of elevation is used nicely on #7 - slight downhill, short, narrow layout - and on #15 - basket on top of a mound, with a big drop-off behind,, bringing in a huge risk/reward element.
- The tee shot on #8 long is fun. It's a semi-narrow shot over the edge of the park's pond, over an open field, to a basket protected by trees. You shouldn't have an issue avoiding the trees and clearing the water. The challenge is avoiding the trees that are protecting the basket. This is the type of hole where you could be 25 feet from the basket, but have 3 trees in the way.
- There's a very nice flow to the course. The course, overall, gets tougher as it progresses. I appreciate that the toughest four hole stretch are the closing hole #15 - 18. It's easy to be on cruise control through #14, as I was, only to be slapped in the face by the jump in difficulty. The approach to the basket on #15, the intimidating tee shot over the rocks on #16, the gauntlet on #17 and tight tee shot that might actually require a driver on #18 can all go wrong, and suddenly bring bogeys onto an otherwise blemish-free scorecard. First time I played here, from the long tees, I was under par through 14, then played the last four holes 4 over par.
- Great, great, great course for beginners and casual players. The short layout avoids most of the potential pitfalls that you see on the long course, i.e., you're not throwing over water on #8, you avoid the crazy rocks and have a reduced dogleg tee shot on #16. Average hole length from the short tees is just under 200 feet, with only one hole longer than 300 feet - #18 - and only one other more than 250 feet - #16. Plenty of chances for birdies and a lack of blow-up holes and/or lost disc chances should also appeal to beginners and families.
- Great mid-range practice course for more experienced players. From the short tees, more experienced players probably will be throwing mid-range or putters almost exclusively. Even from the long tees, there are only three holes longer than 300 feet, so the driver won't be needed much. I only threw my Eagle on #6 & 18; other than that, mid-range discs for me off the tee on the other 16 holes.
- The long and short tees give a nice variety of looks. There weren't many holes where the long pad was directly behind the short. And even on some of those holes, as in #15, just 20 - 40 feet difference created a different look.
- Amazing all-around park. One of the best small town, community parks I've seen anywhere. Everything was immaculate, clean and well designed. The first thing that caught my eye was the pond, with its water fountain and great bridge. Add in walking trails that run throughout the park, various playgrounds, ball park, shelters and restrooms, park is wonderful throughout. I had to Google Oakboro's population (1,864 in 2012), and it seemed 10% of them were at the park on the Friday morning I was there.
Cons: Three main issues stood out to me as potential problems. They're all related and seem to be typical new-course problems. I hope that's the case and these get fixed in the near future. The three issues are navigation, lack of hole numbering and lack of tee signs.
- Navigation - it's very spotty at times. There are several long walks on this course, mainly going from #7 to #8 and from #17 to 18. These transitions make the walk at Hornets Nest in Charlotte, from #1 to #2 , seem like mere steps. Adding to that is lack of signage pointing you where to go. After each hole, there's an arrow on a tree pointing in the direction of the next hole. That's suitable for short transitions. For first time players, when you're walking from #7 to #8, or #17 to #18, you have no clue where to go until you spot a second, and final, arrow (as is the case for #8) or stumble upon the tee pad (as is the case for #18). More signage throughout these transitions, and others as well, or more clear identification when you arrive at the next hole would be a tremendous help. Add to that, at a couple of points, you'll finish a hole, see another tee pad close by, but be pointed in a different direction by the single arrow on a tree. These markers better not come down or navigation would be nearly impossible. If only there were a way to fix that.
- Hole numbering. As mentioned above, when standing on the tee, there's no signage of what hole you're on. It'd be very easy, especially on the back 9, to finish one hole, get onto the closest tee pad, and only discover you're on the wrong hole when you get to that basket. One glaring example is on hole #9 (front 9, I know). You're walking down the path, see an arrow up on a tree, and suddenly there's a tee pad. I rightly assumed this was the next hole. Others may not, or may just miss that tee pad entirely. Maybe having hole numbers on the tee pads would work. But an even better way to fix that problem would be…
- No tee signs. There's no indication of hole lengths anywhere on the course, so if you don't print out a scorecard in advance, you're having to eyeball distances. You don't want to be wasting birdie chances because your eyeball estimate was say 30 feet off. Along with that, tee signs would help let players know what hole they're on, and perhaps provide a map/better directions to the next hole.
- Those three issues could, and should, be fixed as the course ages. What won't change is the amount of times you're throwing over or next to the walking paths. I played two rounds on a Friday morning. That's not peak time for park use. Even then, I had to wait three times for walkers to get out of the way so I could throw. This could be a huge problem during peak times on nights and weekends.
- There seemed to be a little more room in the back that could be used. Hole expansion or different hole layouts perhaps? This could help alleviate the issues with holes coming into play with other aspects of the park. For the basket on #15, I'd have liked that layout a little more the basket was used for hole #9. It would add a little more distance, adding length and risk/reward challenge to the approach shot.
Other Thoughts: - Oakboro Park is a solid course throughout. For me, this course has two strong comp courses: Elon Eager Beaver and Wellspring in Burlington. Neither is a perfect comparison, but they're all of a similar design, flow and feel.
- There's not a huge risk/reward vibe at this course, at least through the first 14 holes. Up until then, on most holes, the trees are sparse enough, that you can recover from a bad throw or unfortunate bounce. The risk/reward factor is much higher at the end. Even then, smart, straight throws should lead to, at minimum, four pars to finish the round.
- My favorite hole is the long tee from #8. You get all the best parts of the park, plus a slight challenge over the water and around the trees. Add to that the slight creek in front of the trees and basket (is it considered OB?), and you've got the course's most diverse hole. It should be a simple three for most people. Well, people who want to play it safe an easy.
- This course will probably always get overlooked, and underplayed, because it's considered out of the way. It's relatively close to Charlotte, only 35 minutes from the Scrapyard and Reedy; but, for many, it's not good enough or close enough to justify making a trip just to play. It is, however, on the way to Fox Chase from Charlotte. In that case, it's worth the stop as an opening act, or cool down round. For others in the area, enjoy this course. It's a nice one.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Short Warm Up Course
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: The four finishing holes are nice and challenging.
Cons: The first 14 holes are short and of average design; many of them are too short even from the tips. Not a lot of technical difficulty, even for the average disc golfer.
Other Thoughts: Not a bad warm up course for the many superior courses in the area. You can play the entire course with a putter.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A delightful, short, technical course carved out of nice pine woods. Two sets of masterfully poured concrete tees for I think every hole. Shorts are great for beginners and acerunners while the longs ratchet up the skill needed to park the basket without adding a tremendous amount of length.
The park is very nice and although you're mostly kept away from other park areas like playgrounds, you're never that far away from restrooms or water fountains which is nice for a change.
The course itself is a great example of a technical, park-style kind of NC course. The abundant pines are great and making spotting baskets a breeze. Most of the holes are pretty straightforward, literally, and the lack of tee signs wasn't that big of a deal as it was pretty easy to figure out where the basket would be if you couldn't see it from the tee. That being said, from the longs in particular the course does a good job of making you bend a disc left and right and the fairways are shaped well enough to make you debate "turnover or FH here?" off the tee occasionally. Makes good use of what elevation there is, including an interesting "hump hole" where the view of the fairway is obscured by an outcrop of large stones and ground right away. Also from the longs is a nice little water carry over a small pond on hole 8, not really a big threat to send any of your discs to Davey Jones' locker unless you completely spazz a drive somehow. The course flows quite well and intuitively and directional arrows illuminate the transitions superbly. Nice new Discatchers as you can expect.
Cons: Not many. Being really new, you can expect to see some broken ground in the fairway from stump removal, etc so footing isn't ideal. Briers and poison ivy are definitely a formidable foe for the maintenance people, I wish them luck with that. The briers were noticeably becoming bad but the poison ivy seemed well in check for the most part during my visit. Also noticed some remnants of a rusted barbwire fence here and there and on hole there is a pile of old, rusted pipes in the fairway.
Hole one has a fence running alongside the right side of the fairway. There's a good amount of trees on that side but I suggest throwing a mid or putter to reduce the chance of being kicked over that fence, just to be on the safe side. The only non-ideal design element on the course really.
Hole 7 could use a little limb lopping to remove those remaining pine branches creeping into the fairway, in my opinion.
The tees, while being really nice, need to be brushed off b/c most of them were covered in a fine layer of gravel dust, nothing major. No tee signs yet but I expect they're coming. You don't really need them too much anyway. Not much elevation available for use but the course used what it had well.
Other Thoughts: This is a really fun course. I definitely recommend a visit, makes a good pairing with Fox Chase nearby. Very appealing course for beginners and introducing people while being a fun challenge from the longs for intermediate level DG'ers. Advanced and above will likely find the course a deuce or die variety but still worthwhile.
It reminds me a little of Bradley Center in Gastonia or a scaled down, par 3 version of Castle Hayne. I aced hole 17 from the longs with an Ion, FWIW.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Bring your accuracy to Oakboro
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is placed in an absolutely beautiful and well maintained park that I am very excited to bring disc golf to.
Nice tee-pads and directional signage.
Cons: The course is still in the early stages so there are a few issues that currently plague this course as it plagues all new courses.
Poison Ivy. You have no idea how much I have already killed and yet it is still everywhere!!
Briars -Same as above
Barbed wire is still around from when this property was a farm.
Holes in fairways and rough are around. This is likely due to old stumps that have rotted.
Other Thoughts: Ok so this is basically an introduction review to give info on the course. As a designer I will always have a bias so I don't want to get too deep into the pros and cons.
The short pads on this course were designed for beginners and families to enjoy themselves with a little challenge but many rewarding holes.
The longs add more of a challenge not necessarily in length but in the accuracy required to make the shot. The course is not designed to be a Renny type of challenge but if you are off of your line even a little it could lead to a really bad round. If you need to work on line shaping and accuracy this course will teach you how to improve your game in both of those categories.
We are looking forward to the growth of this course and disc golf in the area.
Tee-signs are in the works and will be in very soon.
I hope that you enjoy the course!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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