7 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I see that I won't be the first person to compare it to Nevin and to be sure, there are some similarities. Both frequently require long straight shots. Both sport a distinct feel, a look and feel to the holes that pervades the respective courses. I'd probably describe the advanced course at Chester as a more forgiving but prettier Nevin. More forgiving in two ways. One, the fairways are a bit wider. It still requires those straight shots, but there is a little more room for error. Two, what is off the fairway is lot easier to walk through and search for shots that do get kicked out there. I actually don't see it as all that difficult a course. I found that it fit right into my skill level and walked away thinking it was perfectly aimed at intermediate players. And prettier. Well, Nevin is a city park and the view from most tees is the thick surrounding brush. Chester has the advantage of being by a lake in a sprawling state park. The towering pines that line the fairways at Chester support branches high above flight paths, allowing the eye to see far in every direction, to the lake from some fairways but everywhere, everywhere, tall, majestic pines. And then there's the fairways, which even in March were green. Brown needles and underbrush everywhere else. Paths of lush green marking the fairways. Between the ground and the trees it has almost an unreal, almost Hyrulean quality to it.
So then there's the golf. That's pretty good too. I wouldn't say there is a signature hole, but they are all solid. Some courses are like that. There is some serious length for a wooded course, with a number of holes over four-hundred feet and a pair that top 800. There is definite variety of length though, with a smattering of holes under 300 feet. I'll add that the lines are solid and as a RHFH dominant player, there were numerous holes that were really set up perfectly for me. (Did this bias me somewhat? I had tons of fun watching drives flow smoothly down these fairways.) There isn't a ton of elevation but there is some.
I also want to point out the greatness of the amenities. The tees are perfect. The teesigns are attractive and informative. And on a course where it would be easy to wander in the wrong direction, the next tee arrows are painted right onto the basket. With those, I had no navigation issues and the course flows nicely from glen to glen.
Cons: It's not beginner-friendly at all. While there is a beginner nine on the property, the difference in difficulty between the courses is massive. New players attempting to step up will have problems.
More significantly, there is nothing really special. The vibe sticks in the mind more than any particular hole. It's a little bit of "too much of the same thing." Not that the thing that the course does is bad but a true elite course should do more than one thing, if that makes any sense.
Lastly, the short tees that are available on some holes do a lot to make the course more accessible. The holes that don't have a shorter option would benefit from a second tee.
Other Thoughts: To me, this course is an obvious 3.75 and I swayed between 3.5 and 4.0 for a while. I want to say I had a 4.0 experience but I feel that someone who wasn't as much of a forehander would not have enjoyed it as much as I did. Or I don't know, maybe it's just lacking a truly memorable hole.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Chester State is Great
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Chester State Park advanced 18 is a terrific new course. Beautiful grounds and super clean. In the parking lot there is a directory and scorecards with a map on the back. The woods are prevalent throughout the course, and there are some long holes that bring par up to 63. Fairways are not wide open, and in places pretty narrow. Elevation changes are there on many holes ranging from slight to moderate. Water is in play on a couple of holes, but not high risk of losing a disc. The baskets are still like new. I really liked the arrow decals on the top belt pointing to the next tee. Tee boxes are concrete, and alternate red short tees are an option on several holes. Each tee pad has its own illustrated sign with distance. The fairways seemed like they were well established trails, for a newer course. Very nicely done in terms of layout, there were doglegs to the left, the right, and a couple of straight up the middle shots. Very few looks at a 2 on the scorecard after the first hole. Not any one in a million type disc golf holes, just really solid all the way through. Holes 8 and 18 are 800+ foot monsters. 9 and 14 are cool holes with tees elevated, and baskets about the same elevation, crossing low valley between. Birdies are possible, if you can avoid the trees. We played the blue tees, and I was 6 over on the day. I lost a couple of strokes bonking off trees teeing off the 800 ft 8th hole, and found my disc under water somehow on the 15th for a circle 4 bogey. Miss a putt here and there and you're +6.
Cons: Not much wrong with this one people. Not a beginner friendly course, but there is an easier 9 hole course on site also. There was some moisture, and muddy spongy spots, but not in places that affected my game. No trash cans, pack out your trash and keep it clean and pristine. No benches on the course either. Signs indicate alcohol is prohibited and all dogs should be kept on a leash, and if anyone asks, I was in full compliance (wink wink). Cost to enter the park is $2 per person.
Other Thoughts: This one really impressed me. Major props to the designers and builders. Right at the top of my list of South Carolina favorites. Liked the winter rye grass lining the fairways. Quiet, clean, and awesome disc golfing. Sort of reminds me of the Magnolia DGC at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Tight, Tough but a Blast!
Pros: If you want to get away from it all and play golf in a QUIET place, this is the course for you. MILES from anywhere, serene and secluded.
The amenities of this park are superb. Nice picnic shelters, big lake to canoe/relax on and scenic place to camp.
Tee pads can't be beat. they're long, wide and very grippy. Nice thing to have when the course is very damp (as it was for us) after inches of rain. Also have easily marked red/blue tee markers.
Baskets have arrows pointing toward Red/Blue Tees. A great help
I was amazed at how clean the course was. Usually newly opened courses have debris piles, muddy fairways, etc, but this place was great. Sure there is some debris, but I've seen long-established courses that were littered with limbs.
In a couple of years, this place is going to be superb. As with any new courses, the rough is rough at times (dang near cruel at other times), but, for the most part, still playable. You might not be able to drive the basket from the rough, but in many places a careful upshot/pitch out will get you back to the fairway for a Hail Mary putt at the basket
Now, this is not a course for the faint-of-arm. If you can't through (RHBH) anhyzer shots, or have a very accurate forehand shot, you're toast. If you can throw low, accurate drives, you're golden. Hyzering off the course will kill your round.
I found that I really only needed a few drivers - Roadrunner/Sidewinder - to carve my way through the woods. All the big bombers (Vulcans, Katanas, Nukes) can be left in the car. There's not many places to use them. This course is accuracy, accuracy and placement
Cons: No benches. And with the length of this place, you'll want them! There a few trees I would take out that seemed to have been forgotten when the course was cut. Could use a few directional signs. Some of the transitions are long, and could be confusing to new players.
Other Thoughts: Not a course for beginners. Even the beginner course isn't easy for beginners.
Lasty, if the $2 to pay bothers you, then quit playing! This course is well worth the $2 it cost to get in the park!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
very nice, wooded course
Pros: Great course in a South Carolina State Park. Very mature trees. Grass filled fairways provide a nice visual appeal. Some tough par 3s, 4s and 5s- providing a good mixture.
Cons: what the other reviews mentioned- trash cans and benches would be ideal. Not much else to complain about.
Other Thoughts: It is pay to play- but Ill gladly pay for the pleasure of Chester State Park. Worth every cent!
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Great tougher course!
Pros: -Tee pads are fantastic...concrete, and are both wide and long. Those holes with shorter tees are marked in red on the corners, and longer ones are marked with blue.
-course is easy to navigate, each basket has a next tee arrow, and for holes that have short and long pins, the arrows point to them.
-the layout is such that hole #9 ends up at the kiosk where you start at, so that if you just want to play 9 holes, you would finish up at the parking area. Hole #18 also finishes up there.
-unlike Craig's review, our group found that there was elevation on a majority of the holes, some more than others. Some were just rolling hills, while others were a downhill or uphill shot right off the tee. They are not severe hills as in Richmond Hill in Asheville, but still more elevation than many other courses.
-Picnic area right at the entrance to the course. Our group was at the "Grand Opening" festivities, and since there was a good bit going on, we started on Hole #10 to get away from the crowd. We played through #18, came in and had lunch, then played the front 9.
-Winter rye was planted on most of the fairways, so for the Grand opening it looked fantastic. How well it will look once it gets to the warmer months will remain to be seen.
-Short and long tees on many holes on the front 9.
Cons: -No trash cans at the kiosk/picnic area.
-No shorter tees on the back 9.
-Back 9 is geared more for advanced players, and not as friendly for beginners.
-not many benches on the course
-no trash cans on the course
Other Thoughts: -There is also a shorter 9 hole course just beside the 18 hole course that is more "family friendly", however, these are also VERY tight fairways on most holes. There is a more "Kid friendly" set of tees on those which makes it better for them.
-although this course is brand new, it is not nearly as rough as many other courses that I have played. Don't get me wrong, you catch a tree and go way off the fairway, you will be in rough, which is the nature of the game, however, it's not nearly as thick as many other courses I've been to.
-This course WILL make you throw accurately, or suffer the wrath. You will need to have several different shots to do well here (forehand/backhand/thumber). Also, you need to have some experience with good midrange discs.
-The longer par 5 holes are just that...true par 5's. The 816' hole (cannot remember which one) on the front 9 is one that can be done in 5, but you need to make great shots accurately.
- I really love this course, it is punishing, yes, but it makes you HAVE to throw accurate shots to score well. You have to plan where you want to land, to set up best and make your next shot. It is NOT a "grip-it and rip-it" course. Everyone who has played it so far has commented on how many trees are in the fairway, however, it's the same for everyone, so the person who makes the most accurate throws will do better. It's not all about distance on this course!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 1 Not
Chester State Park, a.k.a., Nevin's little brother.
Pros: Chester State Park is a wonderful addition to the South Carolina disc golf scene. It offers some of the qualities of a tough, Charlotte course feel without having to drive all the way to the city.
- Course still had that new course smell to it when I played. Everything was in perfect condition. The designers and the park itself seem to have put lots of resources into making this a top of the line course.
- This course has that classic heavily wooded, Carolina feel to it. There is not a single 'open' hole in the entire course. Get a look at some grass as you loop your car around to the parking lot, because you're not going to see any during your round.
- For having 18 wooded holes, the course does offer a fair amount of variety in those holes. There are some wide fairways that let you get more aggressive with your tee shots. Some are narrow where throwing a shorter, straighter disc is the wise choice. Plenty of variation in hole length - the long layout has holes ranging from 234 to 819 feet. Some holes allow you to be more aggressive; some holes make you work just to salvage par. The only thing this course seems to lack is much elevation. A couple holes have slight variances, but for the most part, this is a relatively flat piece of land.
- Course puts almost all the emphasis on accuracy. The one consistent theme on this course: if you miss the fairway, you're in serious trouble. Even on the longer holes, it might be a wiser choice to throw a midrange disc multiple shots and have an easy par than pull out a driver and see your score balloon. I played #18 - an 804-foot hole - throwing only mid-range discs for each shot, and it ended up being a simpler hole. Sure, I could have been aggressive and shot one stroke better, but the risk was possibly adding several strokes if I ended up in the woods.
- The tee signs are great. Very descriptive with pictures of the layout, which is important with so many blind layouts. The tee pads are also nice and big. I love that the baskets have next arrow signs on them, especially when the long and short tees for the next hole are in different directions.
- There are a lot of fun holes here that will remind many players of other regional courses. The two courses that I kept coming back to as being most similar were Nevin in Charlotte and Fox Chase in Albemarle. With all three courses, you sometimes have to swallow your pride and play a smart shot.
- I thought the short tees on the front nine offered a nice change of pace for casual players and locals. It would really be nice to see short tees added to the back nine. This course has a chance to target a lot of new, local players, and I'd hate to see them overwhelmed by the challenging back nine.
- There is some great scenery throughout the course, and the park itself. Several holes on the front nine offer really nice views of the lake. The view is somewhat obstructed by the trees, but it's a great view nonetheless. Add in the nice drive through the park, and the course really has that great nature feel to it.
Cons: Very little to complain about here. Only a couple small things that could be improved.
- The first thing, and easiest to fix, is that there piles of branches on almost every hole. As with every new course, the downed trees have to go somewhere, so these were dragged just off the fairways. I'm sure in time they'll all be removed, but this will be a slight issue in the beginning.
- There was a lack of benches and trash cans throughout the course. I didn't any on the course. Again, this could be a work in progress as we speak.
- Signage could be improved. There are a lot of crossing paths throughout the course, so more signs between holes, especially on the longer transitions, would be appreciated.
- As stated above, the course, especially the back nine, is not beginner-friendly. With no other course within 20 - 30 minutes of here (Rock Hill courses to the north; All-Terrain to the south), this course could have an influx of beginners and casual players. You don't want to discourage them with wooded, 800-foot holes.
- I don't know where else to put this, so I'll throw it in here. The pay booth is an honor system, stand only. I nearly passed it because a truck was parked in front of it. I don't mind the $2 to get in, I do mind the potential risk of having a park ranger nab you because one could drive right past the pay locale without knowing it.
Other Thoughts: I didn't know what to expect when I played here. I played before the course was 'officially' opened. But, wow, did Chester State Park exceed my expectations. When it two closest comps are Nevin and Fox Chase, you know it's good.
- I love the idea of this course being in a state park. If all goes well here, this could open the market for more courses in state parks. Imagine the possibilities.
- This is definitely an advanced, pro-level course. Casual, average level players like myself are going to see very few birdie chances, especially on the par 3s. This course, like Nevin and Renny, makes one appreciate getting pars.
- That said, on most holes , the risk/reward factor tilts heavily towards risk. On hole #5, for example, the tee shot from the longs (819 layout) is to such a narrow point in the fairway, that there's a good chance you won't even reach the short tees. It's always humbling when it takes two shots and you're not much past the short tees. But that's what happens when you get aggressive and it doesn't pan out.
- Some players may get frustrated with the lack of birdie chances. Getting a bunch of easy pars isn't glamorous, and I could see how it gets frustrating after a while. Or put more bluntly, if you can't throw straight, you're going to get familiar with the woods. Even when the course finally lets up with an easier hole, you have to decide if you're going to be aggressive for a birdie chance or just enjoy having an easy par for a change. #16 is the shortest hole on the back nine (234 feet), but by the time I got there, I was too drained to make a run for the basket. A tap-in 3 was good enough for me.
- There's a lot to like here. The challenge factor is extremely high, somewhat at the cost of the fun factor. Still, if you like having to craft shots, get creative, know when to get aggressive, you'll really enjoy this course.
- This is a great stop between Charlotte and Columbia. Add in All-Terrain 30 minutes to the south, and you have an awesome one-two punch just off of I-77.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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