Turning an 8800 foot course into a 3700 foot layout? You Beech!
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beech Mountain Resort is known for, and offers, many different activities. There are many great things to do there and many amazing views. Oh, and then there's the disc golf course.
- Apparently this course in its former life was pretty enjoyable. Take the ski lift to the top, play a lot of bomber holes down the mountain, and repeat to complete your 18. Now, you take the ski lift to the top, and all 18 holes are played in one trip down the mountain. And what you get is a lot of short, downhill or across the slope holes.
- Almost every hole has a great view. Some of the holes are somewhat enjoyable as well.
- Baskets are in great shape. I also liked the hand-carved (or what appeared to be hand-carved) tee signs. Gives it a rustic, mountain feel.
- You can lighten your load by leaving the drivers and most discs in the car. 10 of the holes are under 200 feet long, and the longer ones - 300 feet plus - are downhill shots, which play much shorter. The longest 'real feel' hole is #18 simply because at 275 feet, it's relatively flat.
- Course lets you focus on your short game and accuracy. You better be a good estimate of distances and making adjustments for elevation, because if you don't, you're going to have shots sail far past the basket.
- Lots of birdie chances and ace runs.
- The view. The view. The view. If you come here to play, plan for extra time to stop at the deck at the top, maybe grab some food and a drink, and enjoy the scene. It's incredible how far you can see when you're more than a mile up. This in all reality, was the best part of my visit here.
Cons: The course is horrible. With the advantage of having incredible terrain and elevation changes, this course somehow managed to still be dreadful. Instead of creating fun and/or challenging layouts, the designer(s) decided to make as many simple and unimaginative layouts. Even if the course was kept as a very simple, short layout, something as basic as moving many baskets left, right, closer to a ledge or slightly deeper in the woods, for example, would have spiced up almost every single hole. These wouldn't even be drastic changes, with many layouts requiring a basket movement of less than 50 feet.
- There was so little thought put into the redesign, that's it's infuriating. I played this course with a fellow DGCR Diamond level reviewer, and time & again, we were appalled by the obvious flaws with the layout. The re-designer(s) clearly are not disc golfers because so many pin placements defy any sense of logic, challenge and/or level of enjoyment. If the re-designer is a disc golfer, please let me show you what a real course should look like. And also, make sure I never play another course you helped design.
- There are major issues with the general upkeep and maintenance. In many places the grass is very high, to the point you have to be on top of your disc to actually see it. On other holes, the rough is so thick and/or dangerous, that you're putting your own safety at risk. On #9, my tee shot sailed past the basket 30 - 40 feet. Searching through the rough, I had several close calls where there were steep drop-offs that were hard to spot because the undergrowth is so thick. Other holes have added danger as you're climbing up or down rocks that pose the danger of being slick and or possible slipping hazards.
- The failed course maintenance, design, and overall attention can be attributed to Economics 101. During the summer, the two primary activities at the resort are mountain biking and disc golf. On the sunny, August Saturday afternoon I played, besides me & my playing partner, there was one other group playing disc golf. Compared to that, there had to be 50 - 100 mountain bikers, if not more, riding the bike trails. As a result, the mountain bike trails looked awesome while the disc golf course was a complete afterthought. We want the course back to its original layout? Dollars speak.
- Hole distances are often inconstant and/or inaccurate. On some holes the scorecards and tee signs had different listed lengths. As stated above, with the issues I had on #9, when you're throwing downhill, it actually is important if the hole (for example) is 150 feet vs 175 feet. The difference could lead to parking a shot or ending up in dangerous rough, or just simply leaving your shot way too short of the basket. Other holes/tee signs were just flat out wrong. The worst culprit was #16. It's listed at 410 feet, when in reality it's probably about half of that.
Other Thoughts: My visit here was broken into three components: ski lift ride, stopping at the bar at the top for a brew and a view on the deck, and the round of disc golf. The worst of those three by far was the round of disc golf. Even if the course and ski lift ride were free, this would still be a horrible course. As stated in the Cons, I totally understand why the resort has done a lot to appeal to mountain bikers, mostly at the expense of the course.
- The course is so bad, and my round so frustrating that I almost forgot about the $15 cost to play. That's the most I've ever paid to play. By the end of the round, that had actually become a joke to me, that I was the sucker who paid that much for this course.
- Playing with a fellow Diamond-level reviewer, our round took almost 2 ½ hours to play. Part of that was navigation issues - getting lost and some long walks between holes; part due to having to walk extra slow while walking perpendicular to the slope of the mountain; and part due to the time we were talking. What really turned this from a 60 - 75 minute round into a marathon was the amount of time we had to search for lost discs. On #8, I had a putt hit the basket, bounce over the rock formation and get lost. We found it after 15 minutes in the thick grass at an odd angle. Apparently the rough is so thick that you can't even spot a pink disc more than two feet away. I already mentioned the hazards of looking for a disc in the rough behind the basket of #9. Then on #15, we had a disc sail long, downhill, past the basket and disappear. We searched the clumps of grass in the open field behind the basket as well as the woods. Somehow this disc got lost on a simple throw on a wide-open hole.
- There was not one single great hole here, and really not any much above average. Take away the mountain aspect - elevation and scenery - and put this into a normal park, and this would be a horrific pitch-n-putt layout.
- I'm glad I was able to enjoy everything else about my visit to Beech Mountain. Add to that, I had played an elite private course in the region earlier in the day. If not for those factors, I would have really bashed this course. As it is, if your only goal of coming to Beech Mountain is to play disc golf, save the time and money. Use the $15 fee to buy a disc, or a pizza, or donate it to charity. Until this course gets another re-redesign, I won't think about playing here again.
- I'm giving the course a 1.0 rating because that's really all I can justify. Remember that I'm rating a completely different course from what the other reviewers were rating, hence the huge discrepancy. I was slightly tempted to give it a half-point boost simply for the ambiance. That thought was quickly vanquished when I reminded myself it costs $15 to play here.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Good but needs fine tuning
Pros: The location is absolutely amazing. Probably the best course that I've played as far as that goes. I mean, what course has a chairlift to take you up and beautiful mountains all around? It's pretty fun to play too. Most of the holes are straight forward and you're playing downhill on the majority of shots, there are no uphill shots. So, you get a lot of distance out of your shots. Like the other review said you don't need a driver for a 500ft hole. I thought I was even being conservative a few times and threw way past the basket. You need to be accurate though. The trees are not forgiving.
Cons: Although it is overall a fun course, there are things that need improvement and things I didn't like.
First, it's $15 to play 18 holes and the chairlift closes at 6. I think $15 is a little steep to play, but not a big deal.
Second, it actually gets old having to constantly walk down hill. My knees were hurting pretty badly by the end of the round.
Third, there really isn't a big mix of shots. Most are straight ahead and maybe a couple with a slight hyzer to them. Most are just downhill shots of varying distances. There were a few that played on a kind of level fairway. I actually think it would be more interesting with some uphill shots in the mix.
Fourth, my biggest issue with the course is trying to find my disc. The grass on a lot of the fairways is quite high, in some cases up to my waist. So, even if I have a nice shot in the fairway and see where about where it landed I'm still searching for 5 or 10 minutes. It got really frustrating having to search for my disc on every single hole even when it wasn't a bad throw. If you throw it into some trees you might as well forget about it. I lost five discs playing here so I might be a little upset about it. But when I have to leave a disc just sitting in a fairway because I can't find it because of the grass, it's a problem.
Other Thoughts: Overall, it's fun. But throwing downhill does get old. I think if they mixed up the shots a little more and kept the fairways clear it would be much better.
Also, it does play through mountain biking trails so be aware of where you are standing/walking.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
The Most Unique DG Experience You'll Ever Have
Pros: The little town first off is simply amazing. If youve never been to the ski resort, I HIGHLY recommend it. From the jump, I'll warn everyone that my friend and I only got to play the first seven holes. THE LIFTS CLOSE AT SIX, so plan to start your round early in the day if you want to get through all 18 holes. I'll start off by saying that the chairlift up to hole 1 is the most amazing experience I've ever had on a disc golf course. Just amazing view after amazing view. This course literally feels like you are on tour with the pros, be prepared to bring your A game or prepare to face the consequences. The close is mostly open but that doesn't mean you don't need excellent shot placement. All the holes have six foot flag above the cage so most are relatively easy to find. A great mix of giant technical holes blended with unique ace runs. Looking at the lengths, one might then this is a course where you'll use your driver on every hole.....NOPE. I guarantee you've never faced elevation change like this on any course. It's not something you get use to after the first couple holes either. The 100+ft elevation change will require you to use a midrange off the tee on a 700+ ft hole. It's that crazy! The course follows a pretty easy to see path. You'll almost always be able to see the next teepad from the putting after on the previous hole. Teepads are a very nice rubberized material that is fantastic for footing. Bathroom breaks after holes 7 and 14, before you ride the lifts back up. very convenient. With some improvements, there is no doubt in my mind this could become a course where a national tournament is held. Wouldn't surprise me one bit
Cons: Only a few things kept this from being a 5*. the course is played on the same land as Mtn biking trails, so watch your step and always be aware where you are. The bikers coming flying down the hill and the routes cross the fairway of some holes. The signs at the teepad need to be more detailed, you get a distance and par but no real idea of the route you are suppose to take. On some holes you look at the sign, see 700+ft, and automatically pull out a driver. Don't make this mistake! Consider the elevation before every shot during the round. Using a midrange on more shots than a driver will probably help your score by a few shots. The roughs are...ROUGH. It'll probably be hard to maintain this course in good shape, a little weed eating would help between the fairway and tr rough. A few more trashcans would also be nice
Other Thoughts: Like I said before, this is the most unique experience you'll probably ever have on a disc gold course. If you aren't physically fit, forget about it. If you are though, your $15 will be well spent. The views alone are worth that much. Again, only a few things stand in the way of this being a national caliber course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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