A Great Course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Fair and interesting length with a nice mix of long open holes and short wooded with every other combination in between.
- Scenic, it does overlook the blue ridge mountains.
- Occasional benches
- Relatively easy to find lost discs due to less dense foliage, which mostly consisted of ferns.
- Multiple tees
- Well Maintained
- Markers (on trees and on the baskets) for the next hole were easily understood and makes it hard to get lost.
Cons: - No signage at the beginning of the hole (but you can pick up a map at the front desk)
- No trash cans
- The drive up the mountain from the lodge is a bit much for most. It's one lane, steep and heavily wooded, if you encounter someone along the way I hope you have fun. Would not recommend without 4-wheel drive, but it's not impossible for cars without, it could just pose a challenge especially if the road is muddy.
- gravel/dirt tee boxes
Other Thoughts: I highly enjoyed this course, it's challenging but fair. Some really interesting holes and some great scenery on hole 15 and 16. Hopefully they plan on finishing it with signage and possibly concrete tee boxes.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Design - I'd like to buy the person who installed this course a beer. Fantastic use of the property.
Elevation - Lots of it made for a fun and challenging round.
Scenery - It is the most isolated place I've ever played disc golf and I loved it. I kept looking around expecting to see bears looking at me like what are you doing here. At times I felt like I could have been in a rainforest. Thousands of ferns everywhere. We bumped into 5 wild turkeys who quickly ran off. Exploring the old rock clubhouse building and surrounding views was enjoyable.
Length - I never felt like the long holes were too long or the short holes were too short. I liked the differences between the blue and white tees (we played the whites).
Navigation - Couldn't have been easier.
Condition - The grass was cut nice and low in the fairways and on walkways to each hole. It also seems that someone cleared the fairways on the wooded holes of knee high undergrowth. This is clearly an impressive amount of work and was very appreciated!
Friendly shop employees - They even offered to let us borrow discs to play!
Cons: Teepads - While the current dirt/rock mix were the best natural tees I've ever used (and never really affected my throws or bothered me) I would still always rather have large, flat, level concrete pads. This would be a bigger problem if it rained.
Variety - I didn't experience any sweeping hyzers or turning par 4's. Mostly straight-ish shots (maybe playing from the long pads would add this?).
Ferns/grass - Right off many of the fairways (and covering one fairway) are knee high grass and ferns. They look nice but can make finding a slightly errant shot tricky so take careful note of where your disc lands or you could be walking around an area until you walk by it.
Bears - I didn't see any but I know they were out there. Probably. Maybe not, but still... bears! And maybe even mountain lions!
No camping - I would enjoy a weekend of camping and playing here. C'mon, let us camp!
Flies - Lots of some sort of black flies that would land on you (not the biting kind). They don't fly away when you swat at them. At one point I had 10 or 15 on me at once and it was annoying. Maybe a seasonal thing.
No cell reception - Is this really a con?
Other Thoughts: The road up to the course wasn't difficult to traverse in my sedan at all. I just took it slow and never had any issues driving right up to hole 1.
The weather was 10 degrees cooler than the bottom of the mountain. Fantastic.
TL;DR All in all the course was well designed (difficult but not ridiculous) and easy to traverse with the scorecard (with map) from the shop. I felt like I was on a disc golf vacation during the round. Just away from it all. I will definitely take the chance to play here again and after playing around 150 courses I can say the overall experience of playing Mountain Lake puts it solidly in my top 10. If you have the chance to play here you should not pass it up. Just watch out for bears!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Baby? Not in the corner!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Scenic: The course is set atop a ~4100' mountain plateau, originally cleared for a ball golf course. Nice views across to the neighbouring mountains, and the view down into the valley, from the stone remains of the former clubhouse behind basket-15, is most impressive.
Your car will hate you for the final mile - the dirt "road", barely a car wide, with potholes, ruts, exposed rock, nearby tree branches, etc., Minimal amount of parking. I had no cell phone reception.
This nicely presented course is one of many outdoor activities offered to the guests ($5 for non-guests) of Mountain" Lake" (its size varies greatly, depending upon precipitation) Lodge. While food might be available at the Lodge, cheaper food (aka Subway) and petrol are found ~6 miles down the hill in Pembroke.
The course is located upon a mountain plateau, and was originally a ball golf course. The disc golf course uses the fairways cleared for the ball golf course, the copses of trees used to define/separate these fairways, and the forest of hardwoods which formed the border of the ball golf course. Plays in a counterclockwise manner, with holes 1-14 zigzagging their way down the landscape, while the final four holes return you directly along the opposite side. Some of the baskets are located on the edge of the former ball golf greens.
Two tee locations per hole, averaging ~320' from the whites, and ~425' from the blue. Tees are long-n-wide, framed by logs and/or stones, and natural (dirt and/or bits of gravel). Only tee-7 was poor, i.e. a protruding tree root in the midst of the box. Excellent, easy-to-follow course, which includes both distance and elevation change details. Blue/white arrows pointing towards next corresponding tee.
The design uses the available assets well, Even blend of completely open holes, completely wooded holes, and holes that begin one way, and end the other, combined with elevation change on most holes. Basket-4 set upon an impressive rock formation, basket-14 nestled, at the end of a narrowing tunnel, underneath the few evergreens to be found within a mass of deciduous trees, and white tee-18 cut out from the hedgerow separating fairway-2 from fairways 8, 9, and 18, are all nice touches.
Score/challenge-wise, as a middling-advanced player from the whites, I faced good variety: some birdy opportunities, some cut-n-dry par-3s, some challenging par-3s, and some holes that essentially were par-4s for me. Birdied open 8&11 both rounds, took 4s on rolling-elevation/twisting-and-turning wooded #6, and open, upslope 639' #15. The most difficult hole (for me, popped me with a double bogey both times) was 669' number-9 - open initially, you then enter a narrowing and descending tunnel, needing to be straight for a long duration.
The title? Much of the movie "Dirty Dancing" was filmed here.
A bit out of the way, and a bit rough (the final section of "road", especially), but quality disc golf in a scenic environment will be your reward if you make the trek.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Play on the Mountain Top!
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Private 18 championship caliber holes on the mountain top featuring 18 Discatcher baskets with dual white and blue natural/gravel tees. The course has some excellent variety of holes with par 3, 4 and 5s over lots of elevation with a nice mix of open and woods holes and plays in and out of the woods, Phenomenal use of the unique land features, terrain and elevation. Once on the course navigation is pretty breezy, there are blue and white arrows on the trees and paint on the baskets to point you in the right direction to the next tee. There is nice bright orange tape around the trees to mark the intended fairway of the hole for you to see from the open tees that play into the woods as the baskets are blind and far away. I liked the elevated tee on hole 18, guess it used to be a ball golf tee, and the green is slightly raised from the slope. Seems to be well groomed and has little underbrush. Lots of wildlife and bugs I've never encountered before, there was a giant hawk soaring over the course most my round. Remote mountain location with views!
Cons: Just a warning that you are in the middle of nowhere and unlikely to see other players or people and on top the mountain that is hard to access, so if there is an emergency you may be SOL. No tee signs although its really easy to figure out with everything else well marked. There is a little deja-vu on some holes, especially the last 4 all going back uphill with the basket to the right. The course is basically one giant counter clockwise loop although you could hike back to the golf parking lot after hole 8 and might as well play hole 18 back if needed for refreshments. If you hike it from the outfitter store you best prepare with everything you need for a very long round and long hike, bring lots of H2O.
Other Thoughts: I don't think I've ever driven uphill non-stop for 8 miles before let alone to get to a course. Make sure your brakes are in good condition for the drive back down. The drive features many blind curves and switchbacks up the mountain with drop offs the side you don't want to think about. Once you get to the resort, you still have to go another mile uphill OFF ROAD either by HIKING or driving if you can. If you hike it from the outfitter store it is a HIKE! For some reason my GPS thinks the speed limit is 55mph going up the mountain, yeah right, I could barely go 25mph with the turns. Follow Mountain Lake Road all the way up until the first turn and the outfitter store is right there.
Mountain Lake Resort reminds me of the Black Course in the Moundsville, WV but Mt Lake is fairer with the basket placements and has less dramatic elevation slope on the course although it's still plentiful and just as extreme if you somehow venture off the fairway/course. It's pretty cool to play around on top the mountain and there are some spectacular views, especially the overlook by the basket of 15 with the old golf club house. Apparently there used to be a ball golf course there, follow the signs to the golf course/golf course rd when you see them and I think it was the signs to Blue (Ridge or blue something) on the off road path before golf course rd.
This monster course is definitely worth the 45 min or so detour from I-81 in Blacksburg and probably the best course in a 2 hour or so radius. There are lots of other fun adventures to do at the resort as well. I would definitely play again and recommend to anyone that likes championship style golf with gorgeous views!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Best course in area
0 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: beautiful scenery and course layout,a little bit of everything.When permanent tee pads installed will be a epic course
Cons: only con is the drive,a bit of a haul from Roanoke,road has blind corner after blind corner
0 of 10 people found this review helpful.
One to Watch
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 hole course with nice new Innova Discatchers. Course is in a secluded section of Mountain Lake Conservancy. I'll stick to the course Pros here and discuss other features in the Other Thoughts Section:
2 tee postions for each hole. Blue tees are long and challenging. White pads provide a break for us humans. Right now pads are clearly marked with painted wooden stakes. They are all very large, and have been cleared and tamped in a nice firm space. Many of them also have a nice gravel base at this point. All were flat, level and playable.
Tremendous landscape variety. There are lush, grassy meadows, long sloping downhills, steep uphills, and thick woods. Tons of great variety for a disc golf course. And beautiful views top it all off. Just a great location.
A nice blending of open holes and technical holes. There are some long, tight wooded holes here as well as long open bombs. And being up on a mountain be prepared for wind to add to the fun on the open holes.
Maintenance was excellent. Grass was low, paths cleared, and tee pads were in good shape. It was obvious that tons of work has been done to get a nice foundation started for this course.
Front 9. I felt that the front 9 might just be one of the better stretches of disc golf I have played in a long time. Variety, challenge and beauty. Just well done.
Hole #4 is an awesome 185' hole that rises steeply up the hill to a basket perched on a gorgeous rock formation. Reminded me of something from Holler in the Hills.
#9 is a 1027' monster that is just really cool. You tee off out in the field, and need to throw somewhere around 600' to reach a gap in the trees. Then the fairway slopes downhill through the trees to the basket. It is a tough hole, but beautifully constructed.
#3 and #12 are both cool down hill shots that play mostly open, but end at a basket either in or near the woods. Fun shots to make your long range ace run. #3 is 303' and 12 plays 433'. Both are empty your bag kind of holes.
Overall hole lengths go from 185' all the way to 1027'. Lots of variety and challenge. Total course length from Blue tees is 8158' so bring your arm and some good shoes.
Cons: Natural and gravel pads. An upgrade is certainly possible.
No tee signs.
#11 seems like a lame filler hole. It just doesn't belong among the other nice holes.
Lots of straight shots. Length seems to be favored over line shaping. If you throw 500' maybe this isn't a con.
Some of the design seems repetitive. Lots of throw out the woods into a field, and back into the woods holes.
Other Thoughts: Ok, now for the rest. The Mountain Lake Resort offers a hotel with restaurant and bar. There are also really nice looking cottages you can rent. There is a pool. There are virtually unlimited hiking and biking trails. There is a zip line area. IT's huge and diverse. If you like the outdoors this is a great destination course. It is pretty great looking all the way around.
Stop at the outfitter store and pay your $5. They have trail maps, scorecards and course maps there. If you park by the outfitters it is about a 2 mile walk up the hill to get to the course. They will direct you to a road that will get you to the first tee pad if you want to drive. The last 1.2 mile of road is dirt, gravel and washed out rock. Be careful if you have a Smart Car, Prius, Fiat or other small, low clearance car.
The temperature is about 10 degrees cooler at the course than your smart phone App will show you for Blacksburg or Pembroke. Dress appropriately.
This course is a work in progress. It was opened in June, and has had a heck of a lot of work done already. Very impressive. Despite my cons and comments I could see this course being as good as they want to make it. Yes, all the way to the mythical, magical 5 disc course. It has everything you could ask for in landscape, and an excellent start already. I can't wait to get back again, and see what progress has been made. It is a definite must play if you like mountain courses.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Long course in a beautiful location.
Good hole variety with wooded and open fairways.
Blue and White tees.
Course map available at first tee.
Cons: No signage yet.
Other Thoughts: This course is a blast. Some wooded holes and some open with long fairways through a mountain top meadow. Bonus scenic overlooks. Check it out bro.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1. Length- A great mixture of reachable holes and holes that require well placed approach shots.
2. Variety of Shots- Left turns, right turns, uphill, downhill, open holes, wooded holes, and everything between.
3. Scenery- On top of a mountain with beautiful views.
4. Multiple tees- Most courses have this, but at Mountain Lake the designers did a wonderful job of making the different tees different approaches. Instead of just adding length to the harder tees they actually made some of the holes completely different approaches.
Cons: 1. Tee pads. They are dirt but have gravel laid down now to help when wet.
2. No tees for beginners. The white tee would be a little difficult for someone starting out.
3. Not a lot of signage, make sure you have a copy of the available map or you could get a little lost
Other Thoughts: This is my new favorite course. It is quite challenging but at the same time very rewarding. Bring different types of discs, chances are you will need them.
The course is wooded and open. Several holes take place all in the woods, several all out in the open. There are also holes that start in the open and go into the woods and holes that start in the woods and end up in the fields.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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