The Best woods course I've played to date
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Immediately upon getting to hole 1's tee pad, I knew Whitetail would be better than Dogwood. Whitetail feels more manicured (like a ball golf course) while Dogwood feels like every other woods course (rough and newly cut). This might change with time as Dogwood ages, but for now Whitetail stands out.
The number one thing I look for when reviewing woods courses are how fair the fairways are. Sure a course could be "challenging" if it has an old growth tree too many in the fairway, but if your holes are "poke and pray" I won't reward it with a high review.
The fairways at LC - Whitetail are more than fair. If ball golf courses had wooded holes, they'd look as nice as Whitetail. The only hole that came close to being a poke and pray was hole 6?, but it's still fair if you hit the tight line.
I hope you're comfortable throwing drivers in the woods! When I said this place was the best woods course, part of that was because I threw more drivers through trees than I usually do. Normally it's smart to club down in the woods, but if the pin is 1000ft away (as it is on 16) what else are you to do? You'll probably have to throw a confident driver or two in these woods, which ups the challenge.
Looking back, I believe I threw 8 Putters, 2 Mids and 8 Fairway/Drivers off the tee. I tend to throw putters where most might throw a mid, so all things considered this is as well rounded of a woods course as you can imagine.
Counting left/right/straight shots, the pattern continues. You'll throw a lot of straighter shots to start things off, but depending on the pin position, they could be doglegs also. It doesn't noticeably favor one particular throwing style. You'll need to do it all.
Speaking of alt pins, it's always a good idea to have many alt pins if you can, and Whitetail does for most holes. It also has 2 sets of pads per hole which is also important to be able to reach a wider range of players.
Whitetail doesn't have any navigation issues as far as I could tell. We navigated without a map and were just fine. (same couldn't be said of Dogwood). The signs are very nicely made and give you all of the information you need.
My favorite hole was 17. It was close to being a semi-open hole, but was SO WELL DESIGNED. It reminded me of the longer par 4's and 5's of Europe. I loved this hole and wished there was 1 or 2 more like it out there. Hole 18 is also a fantastic finished hole, really allowing you to end on a high note, both aesthetic and challenging.
The property itself is breathtaking, especially as you make your way towards the water. It's not only the best woods course I've played, it also is one of the prettiest. I saw plenty of wildlife and many whitetails (imagine that). It's a place you'd spend a weekend with the family at, regardless if it had a course or not.
Cons: I wrestled with the fact that the tee pads are only natural. Part of me feels like some turf or similar pad would really up the respectability of this place. At the same time, if there was ever a natural/beautiful property that deserved to stay as close to natural as possible, Whitetail is it. They really do work out here, BUT since you already have big hunks of metal and chain + signs everywhere, maybe a proper tee pad wouldn't be terrible.
There weren't many (if any) benches to take a quick rest at. If this course were highly trafficked (the location makes this rare, I imagine) it would need benches. If any huge tournaments were ever held here, with the long waits at holes that are inevitable, I feel some nice seating would really help.
It was strange to have all of the longer holes on the back nine. Not really a con, but it would've helped the flow to have a few more on the front.
The course isn't two 9-hole loops, so there's no going to your car during the round. This also makes it harder to host tourney's/weekly's as many people will have REALLY long walks to their starting pad. For the traveling player, however, this doesn't matter.
Other Thoughts: I can't really say too many good things about this course. It deserves the praise it garners. I'm a very nit-picky reviewer, but it's because I believe constructive feedback (and never settling) is the only thing that will push the envelope. Dream big and grow the sport!
As I've said before, I can't find myself giving a "one-trick-pony" course a 5. I believe you have to challenge ALL aspects of a players game to be considered perfect, and to date I've only given a 5 to two courses (Selah Lakeside and Hawk Hollow). This is one bad ass woods course, however!
That being said, there are places for woods only courses in our sport and many would say they're arguably MORE challenging than mixed courses. Lake Claiborne is, simply put, the best woods course I've ever played. I feel kinda bad that my 4.5 will pull the rating down slightly, so normally I wouldn't review the course, but at the same time I feel my review is needed. I'm a trusted reviewer and this course has very few of those reviews. It's also a newer course that doesn't have the number of reviews to gain a reputation, so hopefully this helps.
As an aside, it seems like there is camping on site. If you're into that, I'd certainly recommend it as it's a drive from the closest town (Ruston?). It's feasible to stay in West Monroe and drive in early if you need more stuff to do at night.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: teamudgp
Thanks for the review. Glad you enjoyed playing!
Risk and Reward
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Amazing scenery. The hole type features all sorts of elevation changes and obstacles that strained my newbie skills. Great terrain to play on (cut grass and straw). Very detailed teepads. Amateur tees included. Nice baskets. They give you scorecards.
Cons: Its hot in Louisiana.
Other Thoughts: I played the first time as a beginner and it was very difficult but it was still very fun with mixed success. I would recommend coming prepared with all sorts of shots.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Championship Caliber Course
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a challenging course that rewards shots that stay in the fairway and punishes those that don't. The course is well-maintained, so the rough is "clean" and you won't have a problem finding your disc, but you probably won't have much more than a pitch out if you stray off the fairways.
You'll need every shot in your bag as the course mixes left/right, short/long, and up/down. Many holes offer multiple routes with risk/reward considerations in play.
Excellent signage with detailed tee signs and additional navigational signs as needed.
Cons: There is a bit of a walk from hole 3 to hole 4.
Limited cell service.
Seriously, that's about all I could come up with for negatives.
Other Thoughts: Whitetail is the original course and the longer of the two. If you're only playing one, I'd recommend Whitetail just because there are more "signature" type holes (1, 10, 16), but both are worth the trip.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Well worth the drive!
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Beautiful property
Good mix of distance and elevation
Challenging but fair
Cons: Needs more trashcans and benches
Other Thoughts: I loved this course. Very challenging and very well designed. Absolutely beautiful woods. This is located in the most hilly part of Louisiana, a bit different than our flat swamps and bayous. I would like to see some gravel on the tee pads, and maybe a few more trash cans. I hope to do a disc golf camping trip here soon. As others said, better be in shape, because this one's long and hilly.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
World Class Scenery
Pros: The terrain is very unusual for Louisiana. The scenery is awesome. The course is shady and very relaxing. There are two courses at the park. You can play and stay too. You can't find a better spot.
Cons: The course is new and needs playing. There are a few things they are working on but the guys are adding new stuff all the time. With a little more work this course can be a premier course!
Other Thoughts: Better be in shape. It's not your mommas DG course. It's bad a$$. It will really work you.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Glad I stopped by
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I had a chance to visit this course on business last July and was surprised of the caliber of course that was in a state park. IT had very nice full color tees on the Blue tees on every hole with shorter red tees with just wooden posts and number plates. Course has a cool entrance with a heavy metal signed hanging over as you walk through.
Hole 1 starts off like a roller coaster and drops you into a fun filled round including a scenic hole 10 (or 11) that looks over the lake. The last bit of holes will test you on all levels. the last 5 or 6 holes changes dramatically into par 4's and 5's finishing on a large uphill par 4 back to parking.
Cons: Bring water! I'm not used to the heat down in Louisiana. Not any on course that I saw.
Other Thoughts: There is a $2.00 fee to play, but well worth it. I was told there was another course be install on the property.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This is an excellent course that plays on beautiful land. You'll throw every shot there is, and you better throw it well because this course will punish a bad shot as much as it rewards a good one. Holes 1-12 are birdie-able for most players but once you cross the road to 13, it's long, technical golf at its finest for pros and ams alike.
Other Thoughts: Bring plenty of water and bugspray, you'll be taking a hike while playing your round.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course has many different elevation holes on it. Very scenic and requires many different types of shots to score well on the course. The first twelve holes are definitely birdie able. You'll need them for the last 6 holes. Holes 13-18 are the longest part of the course and require the utmost accuracy to score well. My favorite course in North Louisiana!!!
Cons: No Cons in my opinion,
Other Thoughts: This is disc golf at it's finest. It is not a course for whiners who do not like to walk between holes or go up and down hills. This course will challenge you and definitely make you a better golfer.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
This place is a gem
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Tons of elevation. A wide range of shots required. Beautiful fairways, surrounded by wildlife and nature. The lake is enormous and well taken care of. The Ranger is supportive of the sport and very friendly. Cabins available and fun is welcomed!
Other Thoughts: This course has been recently updated. You guys should go check it out if you haven't been out there in a month or so!
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Outstanding Course in the Woods
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: It is fantastic to see a course of this quality in a State Park. For the princely sum of $2 you can play this course all day long, if your legs hold up. Be sure to ask for the excellent map/scorecard when you check in.
Easy parking right right at the Headquarters Building, with a beautiful cut-out steel sign marking the entrance to the course. Restrooms in a couple of places on the course, with benches, trash cans, etc. all available as well.
This is an outstanding piece of land for a course. Plenty of elevation with rolling hills and creeks cutting through the area, and a healthy forest of mixed hardwoods and evergreens. The ground is mostly clear, so locating discs isn't much of an issue,even if your drive kicks hard off of a tree.
Very nice tee signs at the Blue Tees, with a simple distance sign marking the Red Tees. Two basket positions for most holes, which are clearly shown on the tee sign. However, there is no marker to show which position the basket is in. Baskets were Innova double-chain models that looked brand new.
Navigation was easy, with "Next Hole" signs where necessary and dozens of arrows on trees.
Every hole requires lacing your drive through the trees, with many requiring significant shaping of your shot. Hole 17 is a great example, requiring a sweeping right-hand turn to a landing area, followed by a second shot that turns left toward the pin.
There is a lot of up-and-down on the course, with many baskets placed on hills so you have to consider the risk/reward of running your putt. I had an outstanding approach on hole 4 get up on an edge and roll about 75' down the hill.
Only Hole 10 brings the lake into play, but it is a scenic hole with the lake directly behind the basket to discourage a too-long drive.
Hole 16 is an arrow-straight 1054 foot hole down a pipeline right-of-way. While not really creative, it will test your ability to throw long, straight drives.
Cons: My only real con is that there was no indicator for which position the basket was in at each hole. Several holes required a walk up the fairway to make that determination.
While I usually consider "natural" teepads to be a con, in this setting they fit very well, and all were flat and smooth. I don't know if they stay in this shape all year but they were perfect the day I played.
Much of the length on this course is on the back 9 with 50% of the total course length on the final 6 holes. It would have been nice to have distributed that length a little more evenly.
Other Thoughts: Just a great course out in the pristine woods. We had the entire thing to ourselves on the Tuesday afternoon that we played.
The addition of the adjacent Dogwood Course effectively turns this into a 27 hole monster.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: teamudgp
Thanks for the review. Glad you liked it. Tee post will have basket indicators this spring. The Dogwood course will be complete this spring as well. It will be completely different and I'll add it to DGCR when it's done.
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