Stay Classy Clay
Pros: Clay DGC is a great course circling a hilly park with good mixes of open grassy holes and wooded brushy holes that often feature significant elevation change and some water. Long and short concrete tees that were pretty good. A few holes had more than one basket. The signs were mostly pretty decent. Hole 1 is just flat and brutally long with trees lining the left side of the fairway. 2 is fun, throwing blind over rough up a small hill, and bending right medium distance. Man made obstacles on holes 3 and 4 in the form of wood fences and bamboo walls. Number 5 is uphill and pretty long with a mando making you go right of a tree and use the center of the fairway from the long tee. 6 is where the woods come into play, and will be present throughout the center portion of the course. Fun shots of all shapes up and down through trees with nice fairways. It opens up some on the later holes. 16-19 play on the fringes of the parking lot, open left side and basket tucked into trees along the right edge. 20 is short and open, uphill, with a funky double basket target. 21 is a long downhill bomb with lots of open airspace.
Cons: A map would have been great to have, I overlooked hole A, as well as hole 20 somehow. It was the third course of the day and I was to tired to double back. Having multiple baskets on some holes can create confusion if you are not familiar with the layout. Mud was pretty heavy in a few areas because of recent rain.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course very much, but it could have been even better with improved navigation, and maybe a little dryer. Not as intense as Inverness, more elevation than the Trussville course, and more difficult than George Ward. A very good course that compliments the others nearby very well. Definitely worth playing, glad to have made the trip.
Pros: Wow! So this course is super great. Long distance holes ( which I really like) , lots of obstacles, man made structures, and elevation change.
Cons: Only con that I can really state is that it's a really long course, so you might not have the energy to play a 2nd round.
Other Thoughts: Definitely a must play course. It is tough, but fun nevertheless.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a solid course for any level of player. The course starts out on a wide open super long hole that has distances measured out to the pin that is 600'+. It is a great way to get warmed up for what is ahead. Quick tip as this confused me, head to your left after 1 to the gate that says no trespassing and that is where you walk into hole 2. That was confusing to me...just pointing you in the right direction. Hole 2 is a blind toss up the hill with plenty of nasty stuff and a drop off behind the pin. The next 2 holes are "man-made" challenge holes, 4 being a near exact copy of the bamboo mando hole at USDGC. I thought that was fun to see how I would do there. It plays slightly uphill being the only noticeable difference. After that you start up the hill playing a double mando uphill shot that takes you to the holes on the top of the hill. While those got a bit repetitive and had a few mosquitoes here and there they provided an excellent challenge. You really have to play your shots right to not roll down the hill. I was fortunate enough to not have any rollaways. Double astroturff covered pads with 2 pins on almost all holes. That confused me a bit (saw the same thing at George Ward) and is not something I am accustomed to. I get the plus in retrospect after I got over just being confused at what I was looking at. Coming back down the hill was fun although they could have made better use of throwing down the hill around holes 13-14 with a lot of wasted space walking between those holes...would have made a fantastic "top of the world" shot. The last few holes were fun and challenging at the bottom of the hill. Good to know there is a nasty little pond just past 19s pin and a creek right behind 21. Just something I wish I had known from the tee.
I was impressed that they put tee signs on all pads. I know that costs money and is one of those extra nice touches. All in all, a spectacular course and I can see how this is rated the highest in the state at the moment. I think George Ward is prettier and Inverness is harder but this one had the extra things that made it overall the best course of those three.
Cons: Like I said above, wasted space between holes 13-14 and 14-15 that could have been used for a top of the world shot. Just a missed opportunity at one more cool feature to an already cool course. The course doesn't favor rollers even though a few holes would have been ideal as the grass was too high and has grass trimmings on it that kill your roll. That's it...everything else was right on track.
Other Thoughts: Tough call between a 4 and a 4.5 on this course. If I am ranking it against all Alabama courses then definitely a 4.5. If I am ranking it against a larger number of courses then a solid 4.0. Being most people reading this are from all over the place I went with the 4.0.
Can't wait to play this again someday when passing through...great job to whoever designed and upkeeps this course!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Clay DGC didn't disappoint at all!!
-Great Layout in a very cool environment. Loved playing up, on top, and down the hill.
-Quality turf tee pads. 2 pads and 2 pin positions for almost every hole. Signs at every pad with detailed and useful information.
-Hole #1 doubles as a driving range with concrete distance markers in the ground.
-Plenty of practice baskets, benches and trashcans throughout the course.
-The first couple of holes and the last few are out in the open without any tree coverage. It can get really hot on a sunny summer day.
-Holes 3 and 4 with the man made barriers. I'm just not a fan of this type of thing, but it does add some variety to what otherwise would be wide open holes.
-I felt like 16-19 were pretty much the same hole with very little changes.
This course has a really great feel to it. It starts out pretty open, and really tightens up as the holes move up into the mountain. There are some really excellent holes at this course. Playing from the short tees this is a relatively easy course, great for newer players. From the long tees this course really forces you to hit your lines to score well. The rough can be very brutal if you miss the fairway. You can really see how much hard work was put into making this course what it is. It is definitely worth playing a round if you are in the area.
The future of golf – elevation, length, open, wooded with par 4’s
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I played this course blind from the long tees during the Bamboo Classic in August 2014 and although I played badly this course is still one of the best I have played of the top courses I have played which include, BRP, Rollin'Ridge, Grand Central, Stoney Hill, Warwick, Ashe County, Trophy Lakes, IDGC courses and others. Below are thoughts on several holes,
#1 - Start off on a no frills, straight forward par 4/5 which is around 1000' in in a field. It was neat for some of the younger guys playing the hole because the fairwary is marked with distance from the tee throughout the fairway and many people warmed up here as well to measure distance.
#2 - Do not take this hole lightly. The hole is a good 350' - 400' up hill over a mound and a 2 is a great score on the hole.
#4 - Bamboo hole - Similar to #7 at Winthrop but longer and no ob but the wall has thick bamboo surrounding the green If you throw passed the green you still have a putt.
#5 - Monster uphill hole that looks much longer than expected with double mando. If you can get 30' - 50' through the mando, you still have a treacherous putt. I was told that someone aced this hole which is incomprehensible to me.
#6 - #15 - Majority are masterpieces and some of the best and most challenging holes I have ever played.
#6 - Great, short, tight hole that is a slow anhyzer for rhbh up a hill into the woods.
#11 - Accuracy is a must on the teeshot but I get the feeling that 2 for many ams is phenominal.
#15 - Another possibility for my favorite hole because it is a midrange or putter across a valley to a tight green with lots of elevation.
#16 - Great, short, downhill hole from a narrow teeshot to wide open green but do not go long or you will be in the woods. Can be played with a putter or throw a thumber for more accuracy
#18 - Another great hole that I played in the long position that can turn a 3 into a 5 due to mando, creek and elevated basket. The short pin placement also looks fun to play as the hole is on an island.
#19 - Fun short downhill with lots of ob. Great chance at 2 or circle 4.
#20 - One of the most unusual holes I have played and only about 125' - 150' uphill to a blind shot (reminded me of the tee shot at Rennaisance from the gully but the mound is much higher at Clay). It seems many private courses now have hanging baskets and a basket in the ground (the first time I ever both was Trophy Lakes in 2005 and once again TL has this now) but this hole has two (2) baskets stacked on top of each other (the top basket is for Pro, bottom basket for Ams). I have no real positive or negative perspective for this but I do think it is a throwaway hole and when I posted a pic on social media, a few people were outraged which was a little startling. The designer did a great job having a hole here due to the terrain (slope next to building ) and it would be too dangerous to make this hole longer or to the right.
#21 - Great finishing hole with a chance to bomb a drive to a well thought out green.
Cons: Could be frustrating for first time players or players without distance as you start out having to throw bombs on the first few holes until you get in the woods and up on the mountain which require accuracy.
Other Thoughts: Between Inverness and Clay for best course in the area. Birmingham has fantastic courses and I wish they would host a Worlds or a US Masters as the courses are phenominal. I think I would have started the Clay course with a tee near the bottom of the mountain between #5 and #21 or have the course start on #5 as the open holes are not great but fun if you like to throw bombs. I also do not like seeing lack of originality on holes such as the bamboo hole. This happens a lot now such as baskets in the ground or hanging baskets as well at other courses. If it were not for #1 - #5 I would have easily rated it 5 stars.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
One of the Regions Best Courses MUST PLAY!
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent design, Multiple tee pads and pin locations, Hole 1 doubles as a driving range with distance markers, very well manicured property, lots of trash cans, the great wall of Bamboo and DANNY SELF
Cons: no restroom on site...unless the baseball fields are open.
Other Thoughts: from the AM pads the course is relatively easy and really fun for beginners. From the Pro pads you get to experience the area's best course!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is incredible. It feels out of place in middle of nowhere Alabama and would probably feel more at home in Charlotte,NC.
The variety you find on this course is perfectly balanced. When you approach the first tee to find a wide open bomb for a very, very long way, it's underwhelming, although you do have the very nice distance markers to let you know that last time you posted in the daily "how far do u throw plz reply" thread on DGCR was accurate or not.
The course immediately gets more interesting over the next few holes, with a much improved version of a very famous USDGC hole.
Upon getting to hole five, you look upon a very, very steep uphill shot. At the very top, you see trees, lots of trees, suddenly granting you tremendous energy and strength to get to possible superior holes.
And superior they were.
From hole six on, this course shows you why those first five holes are needed, this course is complete in every way, every type of shot in every type of terrain with every type of elevation. All of this in a public course that was meticulously groomed upon my visit.
All of the shots are so well thought out and visualized, and you have incredible teepads and perfectly taken care of baskets so you only have yourself to blame. I did not sense a tree branch that needed to be removed, or a stump that needed to be shredded, everything here is as it should be.
This course feels so isolated from everything else in the world, but it's only a short drive away from civilization. Complete private course feel.
Cons: None. It can't be a five solely because it's just not that level of golf, but it can be a 4.75 easily.
Other Thoughts: This is a players course, truly. This is a course you can improve all aspects of your game on, you'll learn to throw big in the woods, you'll learn that your touch approach game could probably use some work. This is an absolutely wonderful job and the land is used to it's potential perfectly.
I love this course and every single aspect about it. Everyone may not feel the same, but this is a course you come to with your friends, have it to yourself, and waste the weekend away on.
Please play this course.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1 -The Course plays to every skill level, you will be able to throw different setups each time you play and work different parts of your game. You'll use every shot in your bag,long,short,open,wooded,left,right,uphill,downhill.
2-The Fairways are fair and if your inside of 30' you've got a putting chance.
3- There's a bulletin board with a large map and map handouts.
4-There's a Driving range at hole one with orange markers every 50' starting at 250' to over 800'.
5-Two practice baskets.
6- Large Tee Pads 14' long 8' wide in back and 6' wide in the front.
7-There's 21 holes with multiple tee pads and baskets. And Multiple pin positions.
8- Tee Signs on all AM and Pro pads with orange pins marking what position the baskets are in.
9- A third of the course has two baskets.
10- Each basket has an arrow pointing to the next hole and there are also next tee signs pointing the way.
11- Bench's on all holes, both Am and Pro pads.
12- Where most Courses may have one signature hole this one has multiple signature holes such as Mini Me, Bamboo Beast, Down and Out and Double Decker Putter Wrecker.
13- All New 28 Chain DISCatcher Pro Baskets
14- And Beautiful Scenery to boot.
Cons: No Cons if your a player that loves to be out doors.
Other Thoughts: The Course is looking Great. To only be a year old and have this much done to it already is fantastic. I have never seen a New Course be this complete right out of the gate. If you are in the area or passing through this is a must to play. Like most Courses that are put in you have to work with the lay of the land and this one gives you everything. Once you start you'll have all 21 holes ahead of you so carry water. The City of Clay has a true Gem on there hands with this one.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
One of the best!
Pros: Very nice variety of shots to be played.
Will challenge every shot in your bag.
Beautiful scenery while playing, very quiet and easy to immerse yourself in nature and your surroundings.
Many "Fun" holes mixed with very challenging holes as well.
Cons: Will wear you out if you are out of shape!
Other Thoughts: My 9 year old son and I played this course today and had a very good time together. One of THE best in the Birmingham surrounding area. Can see this becoming a top level pro course in the coming years. For only being around almost 1 year though, this course is very nice. Big props to the course designer and caretaker.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Worth the Time
Pros: This course offers plenty of holes with both open and wooded terrain. This course has both long and short holes, so bring your whole arsenal. Most holes have two tee pads and two pin locations. Some holes have baskets placed in both pin locations. Overall, the best part of this course is the time and effort put into it, including: tee pads, signs, man-made wood/bamboo obstacles, clearing woods for fairways, a double over/under basket(s), practice baskets (2) and a driving range that is part of the first hole with orange distance markers on the ground.
Cons: Unfortunately, the fun factor of this course does not match up with the energy you must expend to play it. This course's layout and originality are a bit lacking, which is revealed in the redundancy of most holes. For a first time experience this course is a little tough due to many baskets are blind (even though they are not long in distance). The types of throws on this course lend themselves more to a left-hander or a RH forehand thrower. The pro tees are more like intermediate in difficulty. My biggest gripe was that the huge potential of the area wasn't exploited to produce everything that it could be, especially in the downhill portion of the course (longer distance and more elevation for tees would have been appreciated).
Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a very good course that gives you ample opportunity to work on your game on a moderate difficulty level. This is a great course for the area locals and worth playing at least once if you don't live nearby. I live in Birmingham and would not go out of my way to play this course, since Indigo and George Ward offer more.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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