New Kid on the Block
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Overall it's a shorter and technical/wooded style course.
Atmosphere - Apex Nature Park is a new edition to the area and the city spared no expense putting this one in. The facilities are top notch and a lot of time and care went in to the construction of this place.
The course itself flows the wooded section of the park and although you never get the real secluded feeling it's a pleasant little area with some great geographical features.
Layout - The course offers up three tees which I would say suits the skill level of novice, intermediate and advanced. The majority of my review will focus just on the two harder layouts.
The entire course consists of wooded holes although a few holes have wider more forgiving fairways that allow you to work a disc in a number of ways.
A few holes give you multiple routes to choose from though for the most part you're trying to hit a particular line the length of the fairway. Most of the holes are heavily walled with a mix of trees so getting off line can mean trouble.
The white/intermediate course consists mainly of shorter shots under 300'. There's a good wealth of shot shapes and the flow of the layout does a good job of mixing things up so it stays interesting; even though you'll mainly just be using mids/putters.
For less experienced players this course can be a fun yet challenging task; probably a good course to learn to shape shots on. For more experienced players you'll be looking to get birds although there's more than a few holes that come with danger; good shots get rewarded.
The long/blue course is meant more for experienced players, less skilled players will probably have a hard time navigating fairways due to the added length.
The blue tees do a good job of changing the look of the tee shot just a bit on some holes so the gaps you need to hit are squeezed. Or in some cases the blues just back you up enough so that hitting that first gap while also staying on the correct line becomes more challenging. Most players will probably pull out a fairway driver on a handful of holes that require more D.
The front 9 from both layouts is more about hitting straight tighter gaps while the back 9 gives you holes that generally require more shot shaping.
There's a few par 4's on both courses; all reachable from the tee if you have the D and skill. However for the most part you're just playing a technical layup shot then moving forward.
The course has decent elevation changes with short but quick slopes though overall there's no drastic up and downs. What is there is used in a really solid way to add difficulty and create some faster greens.
A creek comes in to play on the back 9 on three of the holes. It's used very well and creates some cool greens, especially on #12.
The flow of the course is easy to follow and intuitive. There's two different parking lots for the park and you can jump on the course at any number of holes.
Overall the course does favor LHBH/RHFH but I personally don't consider this a con, us RHBH guys have plenty of courses in our favor. If anything it helps you work on your game.
Equipment - Brand new discatchers. Rubber hexagon mat pads for the two longer layouts. Tee signs located at white tees with map/distance of each hole. The other tees do have smaller signs listing just distance.
Park facilities conveniently located. Course bulletin board by #1.
Cons: Layout - To me the biggest problems of the course come from the limitations of the land. It's all a bit squeezed in together although the course does a good job of keeping fairways separate.
There wasn't a lot of land to really be creative and this is apparent mostly on the front 9 which was designed with some prior limitations. The lines here are less imaginative and mostly straight gap hitting.
There are some holes that still have that one tree in the middle of the fairway that makes it based more on luck than skill.
In a few areas the course comes back to the walking path and you will have to watch out for casual park goers before you throw. It's nothing serious because they'll be visible and most of the time the tee is right beside or on the path in these situations.
If there were a few more shots that went right to left the course would be more balanced. There's also no real open shots where you can rip something if that's what you're looking for.
Atmosphere - Again, there's a few areas where you need to be considerate of other park goers and err on the side of safety. You're in the woods but you're not alone.
A good portion of the course is in a low area so when it rains the course can get very mucky, it's best not to play right after a rain; although the parks dept has done a great job with throwing done a ton of mulch to combat this.
Equipment - The rubber pads are nailed down on to sunken wooden platforms. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me and only time will tell how well these hold up but I don't consider it the best way to do it; although I think the rubber mats are the most appropriate for this course.
Other Thoughts: To me with some tweaks and more breaking in this course could be a 3.5 but it's getting better every time I go.
I think this is a great addition to the area even though it doesn't really add any diversity in terms of what was already here. It's just more NC style technical golf in the woods; yet it does a good job of dishing out fun and challenging rounds depending on your skill level.
The park itself is super nice so if you're traveling with your family I'd put it up there as a really good place to stop. Check out the bathrooms by hole 1 they're insanely nice, it's ridiculous.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Good course, but not the apex
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Solid addition to the triangle area. Apex is a little less tight and a little more lengthy than a lot of the courses here. While there are no real open holes, many of the fairways are much more generous and the rounds here should be more fun and light than those at any other area course. There is also a decent amount of elevation and a few holes that are memorable.
Those holes? The ones that feature the creek. 12 is probably the best of the bunch. Downhill to a basket that is protected by a bend of the creek, nearly surrounded by water. There is another hole that uses the stream more as a guard line. I'm told that the stream tends to be a trickle, which is a shame. When I was there after some heavy rain, it was raging and that really amped the fun level of those holes. A disc that goes in there might be retrieved, but you better be on your toes and attempting to head it off downstream.
Thrown in good enough tees, nice tee signs and simple navigation and you have a course that is ready to play. Just a lot of variety with holes that are more less open, finish in different directions and have a bunch of different types of elevation changes, from gradual climbs and descents to those that area bit more steep. A bunch of different lengths, from ace runs to holes are really long for par threes. Very well appointed with all creek crossings done by bridges that look to stand the test of time. With this much effort behind it, so should this course.
There are fairways here that need to be thinned out a bit. A few too many unfairways, where there is no real path to the basket. Sometimes it's fun to thread these but really, it's not as nice as a clean line. At the same time, the trees that would need to be removed are old trees that I'd be loath to cut down. I think Apex has 3.5 potential but it is probably fine as what it is. It seems to be very popular for a new course so it's probably fine as a fun, everyday-style course.
It's not a course with major problems, but it's not a course with major successes. Limited in ambition somewhat, it clearly targets the type of play that wants a fun round in a nice atmosphere without a lot of challenge. It's not incredibly interesting at many points. The one thing I regretted is that the creek did not come into play more often. It was running fast when I was there and as I was sprinting downstream, keeping pace with my floating blizzard wraith, I noticed a lot more creek that could have been potentially used.
The last thing is that the blue tees rarely provide substantially more challenge than the whites and never provide a different look. The red tees are significantly easier but won't provide much interest for players of any experience.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Wooded with variety
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Practice basket near the first tee at the end of the parking lot. For the most part, this course was separate from the rest of this well-done, multi-purpose park. A natural surface trail and paved walkway were crossed on a couple of holes, but you only had to throw over them on one hole, #12.
The hole signs are posted on each hole and are very well done. It looked like #2 was inaccurate but all the others were accurate.
Great mats for Blue and White tees, natural surface for Red (Rec) tees., so, three separate tees for all experience levels. In most cases the Blue tees were just longer than the Whites, but there were some holes where they required different lines.
For a new course the fairways are in great shape, well-defined and recently mulched. The brand new baskets were easy to spot through this wooded course.
The restrooms at the first tee really are the Taj Mahal of course restrooms. Well, they aren't there JUST for the DG course, there is also a decent sized amphitheatre right there, but we can act like they are there for DG!
Cons: Trying to think of any major cons and can't come up with any. If you like RHBH friendly courses, this would be a con for you. I play RHBH but didn't mind this course, it forced me to work on my forehand and anny drives.
The first few holes after #1 are a little repetitious, but then variety starts on 6 and 7 and continues through the back nine. Not a lot of distance on any of the holes, I was really hoping #14 would use the open space behind the tennis courts, but few chances to let one fly.
Other Thoughts: The original 19 or 21 or 22 hole layout is gone. They have made this a solid 18 hole layout that's pretty fun to play. Without the mulching I could see how it could get soggy, especially on the back nine, but there were no issues the day I was there.
Some of my favorite holes were: #8 - a drive that has to bend right through an opening, then back left to the pin. #10 - tee from the paved walkway on the pond dam, tight tunnel shot to the pin protected by a huge, leaning tree. #12 - elevated tee, across the walkway, down a tunnel to the pin protected by a bend in the creek. #15 - long par 4 that starts right, then goes left to an elevated basket. #18 - the most open tee shot on the entire course, back in the central part of the park to a wide fairway, one lone light pole in the middle of the fairway that might just assist with finishing a round late in the day.
This new course was a lot of fun to play, well defined fairways, lots of shaping of shots required, secluded but never too far from anything in this large park, that also has a playground, dog park, tennis courts and soccer fields.
Good to see the Raleigh area has another quality course, hopefully there will be more on the way.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
On the path to awesome
Pros: The course has multiple tees for different experience levels. Runs through the woods with differing elevation levels and obstacles. Signage is good and work continues to be done. New course that will only improve as time goes on. Fun to play.
Cons: Not fully 'finished' but this is no surprise as the park itself is brand new.
No signs for beginning of course at playground parking lot - didn't realize until getting to hole #1 that there was another (and better) lot to park in which to park.
Other Thoughts: Can't wait to play this again in about a year when visiting again and see how the course and the park have both progressed.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Coming along nicely...
Pros: They've spread a zillion yards of mulch, and made a park-like atmosphere under the trees. Nice signage (not yet complete on later holes), and easy flow means you never get lost. Very pleasant to play.
Cons: Not a huge variety of layouts, but enough to keep it interesting.
Other Thoughts: Nice to see a course that favors LHBH (slightly) - need to get my lefty son out here to give it a whirl.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A work in progress
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 hole course set in a large multi use park. 2 tee pads for each basket plus a spot to play red tees for beginners and kids. Baskets are all nice new disc catchers.
Course is very well maintained, and it is obvious the town of Apex is going all out to make sure this course succeeds. There are stairs, bridges and an unbelievable amount of mulch that has been installed. It is also obvious that some serious equipment and effort has been used to install drainage, clear fairways and help speed things along. If only all courses has these resources.
Course is pretty much 100% technical wooded holes. There are several very tight fairways that require accurate shots over length.
Hole length variety is pretty good given this course's location. There are some nice short ace runs as short as 185' and a hole that is 481'. Most holes play well with a putter or mid, but here are a few spots to let loose a driver.
Cons: Tee pads are not great. They are rubber mats on top of wooden pallets. Some are uneven, some have nails popping up, and at least one has broken wood. They are also a little short if you like a big run up. Many of these simply aren't going to last. Or people will be breaking ankles.
Course does not have great variety off the tee. By my count there are 10 shots that favor RHFH shots and 6 pretty darn straight shots. Only one shot really requires a RHBH off the tee. There is a couple spots where an s-curve or multiple shot types might work. Either way, this course is very RHFH or LHBH friendly. Maybe they can have two SSA's for it. One for righty's and one for lefty's.
Not a ton of real line shaping. Many of my discs get to rest in their bag here.
A couple tees that force you to throw over a walking path.
Light poles in 18's fairway.
A few baskets and tees are a little close to each other.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is a decent little course. It was squeezed into some wet, low lying land that holds lots of water, snakes and bugs. There has been a decent amount of improvement since it first had baskets in the ground. Given the limitations in landscape, and fitting in around the rest of the park activities, it is pretty good. Hopefully as work continues it will get a little better. They've redesigned a few holes to keep players out of the worst wet areas, and cleaned up a safety issue or two. IMO it will never be an exceptional course due to its lack of shot variety, but it is certainly worth checking out if you are nearby.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 10 Not
Nice with it!!
Pros: The course is finally nearing completion, and man have they done a lot of work to this course!! Technically its new, but I haven't seen courses that have been open for years, this far a long in the process!
What this course lacks in length, is clearly made up by accuracy. The fairways are more than fair. Good mix of right, left, and straight shots!
Love the creek that comes into play on several holes on the back nine.
Tee pads have been drastically improved
Very easy to navigate
Tee signs look great!
Love the DiscCatchers in the woods. Really POP!!!
Bathroom, drink machine, and other park amenities are beautifully designed, and really fit in well to the surrounding settings.
Cons: I prefer concrete pads to rubber.
Need additional grading on selective tee pads.
Other Thoughts: If you havent played this course lately, I suggest giving it a shot. They have done a lot of work, and even redesigned some of the original holes with water and drainage problems. Clearly the town of Apex wants to draw disc golfers in to play this fantastic layout.
2 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Good course, good design
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Once this course is completely finished and broken in it will be an excellent NC course. I liked having to reach into my bag of tricks to reach many of the baskets - this course is especially nice if you prefer precision to power.
Good tee pads at white and blue, and clearly marked red tees for beginners. Placed where most users can have fun.
Cons: There are a few spots where you have to throw over a walking path. Basket for 15 was not there, but 9 was.
The new map shows holes 19+ but they must not be built yet.
Other Thoughts: This part of Evans Road doesn't even show up yet on many GPS systems, and Kelly Rd. is partially closed too, so if you haven't been there allow extra time and use Olive Chapel Rd.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Much better than Avalon Peaks
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Apex Nature Park surprised me when I entered the parking lot. It's a beautiful course situated in a park that does not involve a lot of city noise. One thing I really dig about Apex and Cary area is they really do care about the presentation of their parks.
-I liked that even a hole under 300 feet still felt challenging for par. There are gaps you need to hit and fairways to keep in. Fairways are pretty definitive for being such a new course.
-Brand new DISCatcher targets line the newly sculpted fairways.
-Easy navigation. You finish out and can clearly see where the next tee is.
-Course is active. It might be a con for some but I didn't run into any bottlenecks or long waits.
-High quality signage installed throughout.
-Excellent facilities/restrooms near Hole 1. Food and Drink machines under the shelter with picnic tables. I will have to admit, some of the nicest bathrooms you will see at a disc golf course.
Cons: - A few holes that require the use of walking paths or discs to be thrown over them near the tee. I've seen other courses in the area use this method for tee's but this course is getting lots of foot traffic, so I noticed a few times I needed to slow up on the tee as kids were riding their bikes in front of the throwing zones. "Be aware of flying discs" signs positioned around the main walking paths would help park pedestrians be a little more aware of the throwing areas, Especially up near Hole 13 where the baseball field walkway turns down toward the walkway bridge.
-Right now the layout won't challenge the most experience player. I could see Pro's shooting 8 to 10 down fairly easily from the Blue Position where the course currently stands.
-Briars are still present in the fairways so be aware as they will cut your legs up. As soon as all the mulch is laid out, It will greatly decrease the amount in the walking areas.
Other Thoughts: The course is getting better and improving every month. Hole 15 was completely redesigned with an elevated pin and ALL the drainage issues have been addressed.
Everyone expects to encounter some growing pains with a new course that goes in the ground. I had a fun few outings playing the new course. The back 9 seemed to be the holes I remember the most, especially the holes playing around the creek (Holes 12-15). The designers and workers on the course are listening to feedback and making the necessary changes that are imperative. I think the speaks for itself when you get out to play Apex Nature Park.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Okay, it's not really a disaster. I just felt like dropping a 311 reference when it's mildly apropos. This is a really nice park and the course is a fun excursion. Very wooded, technical golf predominately with some downhill elevation and meandering creeks coming into play here and there. We're mostly talking mature pines which make for nice courses. The course has nice tee signs and despite the newness it's not terribly difficult to transition from hole to hole. The tees are pretty good right now, more on that later. Really liked the nice, open greens and fairways were fairly existent for a new course.
They really seem to be going all out to make this course nice; there was a Bobcat and a ditchdigger out flattening the fairways and there was fresh wood mulch everywhere.
Cons: Design wise, this course is a bit sub par. Biggest problem is that it's highly bias towards lefties, I can't hardly recall a hole that ended to the left. A few fairways were angled pretty harshly and made me reach into my bag of tricks of rollers, thumbers, and super flippy base plastic to navigate decently. Not ideal. Pars are a wonky as quite a few holes seemed to suffer from 3/4 'tweener-ism. Another problem is what I call clustering, tees and baskets too close to each other, fairways running beside each awkwardly. We had an occasional disc come crashing onto our hole from other groups from this, could be an annoying place to play when busy.
Another design no-no was some holes playing across walking paths. I've seen worse but this park looks like it will be popular in the community so there will undoubtedly be some waiting on some tees while walkers pass.
The tees are rubber mats affixed to wooden pallets. They were pretty solid today but I don't have a lot of faith that they'll hold up too well. I can easily see corners breaking from golfers constantly stepping on them to make the gaps bigger off the tee. Some were wonky. If they can fill them with dirt or gravel underneath to make it more solid and flush with the ground they might actually last a while.
It's extremely muddy and rutted on many fairways but this will be ironed out over time.
Other Thoughts: This is a fairly nice course in a nice park. It's more of a fun course than a particularly well designed one but that's okay. It reminds me a lot of Creekside in Archdale when it was new. If it got some kinks ironed out as it matures I think it tops out as a 3 disc course, firm.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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