1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -Very well maintained
-Great tee pads
-Great disc catcher baskets (two on most holes)
-Great man made course accents
-Informative club/course map and bulletin board
-4 unique course layouts depending on the pad/pin combination that you play
Cons: It's reaching to come up with a con...but I guess some of the walks from tee to tee were long. Not bad though compared to a lot of courses out there.
Other Thoughts: I was super impressed with the time and money I saw invested in this course. I was visiting from out of town and only had a putter to play with so I played the short/short combination which was still fun. I was eyeing the Long Long course layout as I played and I was drooling over the chance to come back and play it. Looks challenging! Can't wait to make the drive up from Charleston to play a tournament here!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
One of the designer's impressions.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Intro: As one of the course designers, hopefully this won't come across as overwhelmingly biased. I've played many of Maryland & Virginia's best since Turkey Hill was first opened. And now 4 months after first opening the course I honestly feel it holds up very well by its own merits. Turkey Hill will continue to increase in challenge as many areas with immature trees grow up taller and fill in some trivial gaps. Until then, every hole is still enjoyable and unique in its own right. I rate this course "4.5 - Phenomenal" because I feel that is an accurate description of the course.
Equipment: Quite simply, no expense was spared. This course features dual 6'x12' concrete tee pads (Red and Blue) and dual baskets (Red and Yellow as of 8/26/14) on almost every hole. #10 and #12 have one tee pad, and #11 currently has one basket. #12 and #13Red have rubber fly-pads mounted on beautiful wooden platforms. Professional tee signs at each teepad are accurate to fairway distances, measured with both a wheel and laser, which we used only to measure over water and rough terrain. There are benches and trash cans at many tee pads. There's a practice basket next to the dedicated course parking lot. A gigantic course map and kiosk at hole 1, with a beautiful brick patio leading you to the first Blue tee pad. From hole one, directional signage will guide you to the next hole which continues throughout the course, with many foot bridges and even a beautiful wooden stairway-to-heaven between 13 and 14. There are porto-jons by the parking lot, near 2's tee pads, and some behind the tree line after hole 9.
Designing the Course: The course plays as a large counter-clockwise loop around the perimeter of the park. Hole 18 ends where 1 begins, and hole 10 starts on the opposite side of the park. During the design process, we were restricted to where the course would begin and end, so we had the choice of designing clockwise or counter-clockwise. Many reasons were identified why counter-clockwise was the best choice, namely saving the large lake water carry for 18 instead of 1, and also forcing the long walk between 1 and 2 in the beginning of the round instead of the end. Given our options, we chose the proper play direction.
Hole Layout: We started by identifying the best holes on the course and designing the rest around them. Holes that are prime examples of this are #4, #8, #10, #13, #14, #17, #18, which IMHO are the stand-outs. Every hole on the course was designed with the Blue teepad and B-pin in mind first (the long-to-long format), and then the Red to A-Pin (short to short format) second. We made sure both basket locations were diverse enough to allow for 2 permanent baskets per hole without much interference created from each other. Our ultimate goal was to build a course that challenges the adept and entices the beginner. I strongly feel we succeeded at both. One example is that both water carries are forced from the blue tee pads on #4 and #18. However they are not forced when playing from the red tee pads.
Hole diversity: This course will challenge the player to execute every throw style. Long bombs, tight tunnels, uphill, downhill, dog legs, sweeping turns, split fairways, specific overhand options, water carries, ob zones, fast greens, elevated putts, downhill putts. Be careful of some of the more innocent looking fairways. They can be the most punishing, such as hole 11; A short 200ft steep downhill throw, tightly guarded by trees, with an OB ravine 40 feet behind the basket. So carry a diverse bag of discs. You will need them.
Cons: Having helped with the design, my only true disappointment was not being able to design/play further back into the north woods (where 10-13 are). While that option is not yet completely off the table, there are many environmental hurdles that must be overcome before the course can be extended. Holes 11, 12, and 13 will likely be revamped if the opportunity ever exists.
Many comments have been made about drainage issues on the fairways, namely hole 1, 6 and 14. This year (2014) has been one of the wettest years on record and yes these spots often had inches of standing water days after the last rainfall. To address this issue, the Parks department has installed a swale across hole 1, an elevated wood chip foot path down hole 6, and has relocated the B-pin basket position on hole 14. Drainage has not been an issue since these changes were implemented.
Some fairways as you progress through the course have a feeling of being too wide open, namely Holes 1, 6, 14, and 18. The Parks department has future plans to plant some trees on the left side of hole 1 and 18. Hole 6 and 14 were bush-hogged completely during the design phase and we have identified areas on the fairways where gum trees will be allowed to grow up. Gum trees grow fast. By 2016 the trees should be 15 feet tall and the flight lines should tighten up.
There is a long 700ft walk around the left side of the dog park between hole 1 and 2. It is really the only tricky navigation area, but 3 or 4 signs guide you along the path. Once you play hole 4, the walk is most likely forgotten about.
Holes 2 and 3 play close to practice soccer fields and can be prone to pedestrian traffic on school nights. It isn't terrible, but it can be a concern for errant throws depending on the tee pad or basket you'd prefer to play to. These fields go more or less un-used during the day and on weekends.
Many comments are made about 13's Blue tee pad (par 4) being not positioned perfectly. While yes it could have been better, the 2nd or 3rd time you play from it, you'll find it's not as "useless" as some claim. It definitely requires a skillful throw to make the dog leg and avoid running out of bounds down the side slope of the fairway. Not every hole should be trivial and this one is far from it. As for not knowing where the baskets are when first played, look at the tee signs and go walk down the fairway halfway. A completely blind throw will likely result in a rough experience.
There is still some poison ivy on the course, mainly in the high-rough areas of the fairways. But the Parks department has done a very thorough job eradicating the ivy from the wooded fairways and some other portions of the course. The tick and chigger population in the woods has subsided as well, and will continue to as the course receives more foot traffic.
Other Thoughts: As many have stated, this course is in a great location and is very easy to get to. There are plenty of nearby food options. If you like craft beer, check out the Red Oak Bistro a few miles south on 301. They have over 70 brands of craft beer to choose from, and even have 4 wines on tap.
The Southern Maryland Disc Golf Club and Charles County Parks Department have entered a partnership in caring for the course. The park has staff & equipment onsite daily to upkeep and maintain the entire park. The guys do a heck of a good job keeping the fairways mowed, including mowing around a couple tee pads that in the woods with grass growing around them. The SOMD DGC organizes clean-up days, prepares the course for events, and runs weekly leagues and volunteer clinics for the public.
Last but not least, there is a very large, well established dog park between 1 and 2 and as such the course is very pet friendly. We are grateful for the local dog park patrons allowing us to invade their existing park land and strive to fundraise for the local Humane Society as often as possible.
The TL:DR version - Turkey Hill Park is full of features that every disc golfer no matter your skill level will enjoy and be challenged by. It's right off highway 301 and is clean, family friendly, and pet friendly. With dual tee pads and dual baskets on [nearly] every hole, there are 4 different playable configurations to try to conquer in one day, or spread it out into multiple trips.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Turkey Hill - She was my first
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is the first disc golf course I ever played. Must say - this sport is harder than it looks. I was great at ultimate, but this is a whole other beast!
The course itself is very nice. It is spread out in a large circular pattern around a sports complex with baseball fields, soccer fields, a dog park, etc.
The front 9-ish is fairly open and exposed. Starting with the back 9, you are in the woods - a lot, until I think about 17. The woods holes are nice (minus 13 - I hated that hole).
I like that the course is open and is a good course for a first timer. There are two sets of nice tees for each hole, so for someone like me who wanted the challenge of playing from the blue tees, but didn't want to go swimming to find the Frisbee, I could use the shorter tees on 4 and 18 (where there are big water carries).
Cons: We were lost on a few holes, as there are hidden signs or signs that point and then don't really lead in the general direction. I also hated 13. I see other people love it. I couldn't tell where the hole was at. Lost my disc twice, fell down the hill and was scrapped up pretty badly.
Also, as others said, I kept looking for this second set of holes, but they didn't exist.
18 water carry is pretty easy as long as you stay straight, but 4 is tougher. I cheat up a little, but it's still a tough carry. Lilypads means you can probably find your disc.
Other Thoughts: I went on a Friday and there were maybe 10 other people in the whole park. They do have Monday night tourneys, so that's a good option for anyone who wants to get competitive. I think once the other baskets are in, it will improve (EDIT: they have been added and are great! Really gives you options and improves several holes, namely 7 and 17). Maybe plant some more obstacles. But for a first course, this was a gem!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jrawk
Hi there. Thanks for the review. The second set of baskets (reds) were installed this past tuesday (8/26/2014). Looks like you played right before they were installed. Check em out the next time you're there!
Gem off 301
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: LOCATION! this course is right off 301 so anyone travelling 301 can easily add this course to their list. There is no other course for over 30 minutes in any direction. Course is just 30 minutes from the Virginia Bridge, 6 minutes from Waldorf mall, and less than an hour from DC.
Great shot variety and variety in hole distances.
2 pin positions and 2 tee pads for nearly every hole.
Tee pads are generous concrete pads. Tee signs on both pads in color.
Specially made stairs created to climb the hill from 13 to 14.
The only 2 water hazards on this side of the bay bridge. Both are moderately low risk and offer a safer option for newer players.
Hole 14 features a mound built specifically for that basket. Hole 18 features a Winthropesque elevated basket.
Practice basket near a parking lot specially for disc golfers.
Porto potties at parking lot, hole 3, and hole 9.
Cons: Drainage is an on going issue. some steps have been made to correct this, but the course is often wet,
Tee 13 long has a tree directly in front of it that is not very popular, but it does force a different shot than you would normally take on that line.
Walkers can slow down speed of play at times, but it is rare only a brief pause.
Other Thoughts: Long to long a 55 is about 1000 rating. 50 is around 955, 70 is around 865.
I did not want to review this course due to my involvement in it, but I am writing as a player and hope this does not wreak of bias.
This course is still an infant and some changes are coming in the very near future. But I feel this course can hold it's own with the other great new course, Ditto Farms, and the other top classics.
For food you can go north a few miles for a small plaza that features a few options, or drive 6 miles south into waldorf and have your pick of any time of food you want.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Enjoyable and forgettable
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Signage. The signage is fantastic. It was easy to find the course, easy to find a place to park, easy to find each of the holes. This shouldn't be a big deal but on new courses, it often is. The designers have spent the time and the resources to ensure that you don't get lost.
-Hole 13. By far, my favorite hole on the course. If they had 8 more of these mixed in with some open, the course would be world class. It reminded me of hole 1 at RL Smith in Charlotte, one of my top 5 favorite course
-Forgiving. The course is fairly forgiving in regards to shot placement. The rough, when there is some, is still easy to find your disc, you can take an am here and they will still find it enjoyable, unlike a course like Giles Run.
Teepads. Concrete and well built.
Cons: Lack of Challenge. The bulk of the long holes require a controlled 300-350 foot drive, a mediocre upshot, and a putt. If you can do this consistently, you will shoot well. At no point did I find myself having to make multiple golf shots in a row to shoot well.
Openness. The bulk of the course plays through fields with clumps of trees that are easily avoidable. I found myself throwing over trees rather then around them to avoid any likelihood of getting into trouble.
Forgettable. I played the longs and the shorts back to back and the only holes I wanted to play again where holes 11-13. I only wanted to played 11 & 12 again for the ace potential, while hole 13 is noted above.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed the 2 rounds I played at the course, but can't see myself visiting the course again. If you're in the area, it would be a great place to play for casual rounds but to call this course championship level (as was stated somewhere else on the site) is just not true.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jrawk
Jrawks response: As of 8/26/14 the course now has double baskets. 18 Red Discatchers in the A's, and 18 Yellow discatchers in the B's. The course can now be played to anybody's skill level. I hope you will return to see the other changes as well.
Prerubes earlier response: I hope you will return when the baskets are not all in the A (short) Pins. You played the course while it was set up for a Vibram Birdie Bash. It was set up to be purposely easier.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great mix of woods and openness.
Pros: Love the tee pad post signs identifying the A & B basket positions and the signs directing you to the next holes, and the creative use of the grounds around the park for positioning the pads and baskets. Having the course loop around the park allows for three different places to park and start playing.
Cons: Very few cons. It would be convenient for tee pad post signs to have a moveable indicator to identify in which position the basket is currently set. There are some holes that happen to cross some spans of ground that don't soak up heavy rains very well, so your shoes will get wet or muddy walking to the basket. The other thing is that some of the wooded holes are shorter than expected, so birdies are not too difficult - if you can avoid the trees.
Other Thoughts: Very grateful that any new course nearby is constructed. Thank you for designing and providing yet another great course to enjoy in the region.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
The Great Turducken Hill
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Dual color coded Discatcher baskets with nice red/blue concrete/flypad tees per hole. Practice basket, plentiful benches, trash cans, sweet tee signs and navigational signs make this course great for the first time visitor and is an excellent intro course to an area of Southern MD that has been devoid of any courses and should serve as a model for future professional course construction in the area. Good use of the ponds and the features of the more open holes in general. Nice mix of distances from ace runs to solid par 3 and a few generous par 4s. You get a chance to air out the disc on a few holes and it generally comes with some risk the further you try to go. Other holes will test your accuracy and hitting the line. Really enjoyed holes 3, 4, 6, 8, 15, 16, 17 and, hole 18 was fun to end with over the pond. The park and course was nicely manicured and easy on the eyes. Port-a-potty in the parking lot. Easy to find the course.
Cons: Nothing major that should keep anyone away, overall the course is fantastically playable. These are just some mentionables. The Waldorf Rt 5 / 301 area is prone to heavy DC area traffic. The course plays through some shared areas of the park and there are other park users that dgers need to be aware of and may need to wait for the hole to be clear. The fairways are generous for the most part, but the rough can be tough get into to retrieve discs even if you see it. Moderate chance of losing discs, more-so on the holes that play sneakily near water rather than the ones that play obviously over water. One big loop of 18 holes, bring H2O for the whole round. The only decent elevation on the course is in the woods, but the few holes in woods leave a bit to be desired. The flypads in the woods get slippery. A few of the short baskets get in the way of the long baskets and the short baskets are often much better placements than the longs. A couple of the long baskets really don't add anything to the course. Some of the actual basket placements are different from the tee sign and map. There a number of longish par 3s that are not going to provide much scoring separation or a reason to attempt going for a 2.
Hole 1 from the blue tee to long basket is going to yield a lot of 3s with little variation and basically a NAGS approach. Fenced in Dog park behind the basket, beware of dog poo around the basket. IMO reversing the hole would be better to tee close to the dog park playing away from it rather than throwing toward it. The walk transition from hole 1 to 2 is a little long especially for the first holes of a course.
Hole 2 playing between the practice fields is a bit weird and a little concerning if/when they get used.
Hole 3 plays over walking path and near practice field.
Hole 11 is more like short upshot than drive.
Hole 12 short basket is right in the way of the long basket.
Hole 13's blue tee unfortunately was not put it the correct position, and renders it borderline useless, which could have been a really sweet hole. Also on 13, currently without bridging/steps, getting into and across the creek to retrieve discs is difficult, and anyone using the blue tee will likely end up there unless you go at the wall of trees and hope or throw a layup. Poison ivy on 13 as well.
Hole 17's approach to the baskets is a bit narrow with good chance of losing a disc if it fades out or gets kicked toward the pond. The short basket is right in the way of the long basket.
If I were designing the course I actually would have reversed the entire course. Holes 18 and 4 backwards would make better use of the ponds for more risk vs reward, and many other holes would actually play better reversed IMO. The flow would also be better to start on hole 18 as the weird long transition would be avoided from hole 1 to 2.
Other Thoughts: In the world of great culinary creations, one triumph reigns supreme during the holidays: the Turducken. For those not intimately acquainted with this meat masterpiece, the Turducken consists of a de-boned chicken stuffed inside a de-boned duck stuffed inside a de-boned turkey. Each layer is padded with stuffing. This new beast is then prepared as a traditional turkey would be: roasted, braised, fried, grilled, barbecued, it's up to you. In its glory days, the Turducken was popularized by the great Chef Paul Prudhomme, but no one is exactly sure who invented it. We do know it originated in the specialty meat stores of South-Central Louisiana. There is some evidence that it may have found its American origins in a meal created by the unnamed owner of Corinne Dunbar's, a Creole restaurant in New Orleans.
While its past can be debated it's safe to say that the future of the bird-within-a-bird-within-a-bird is in America. Some chefs have taken the recipe and made it bigger by adding a small pig into the mix - it essentially swallows the Turducken and is then cooked. Others have tamed the monster and made it more elegant. The Quaduckant is the upscale version consisting of a quail stuffed in a duck stuffed in a pheasant. The fowl-based Frankenstein monster may be viewed as a symbol of American decadence, but its history suggests so much more, so eat up and know you're participating in a great tradition.
Speaking of food, I stopped in the Red Oak Bistro for some good beer and food, highly recommend this place! They are sponsors of the first tournament here, so I support those companies that support disc golf. They have a really nice selection of craft beers. I really liked the Schlafly Pale Ale, and the Jailhouse Double IPA. I had the crab tacos and they were delicious! The bartender is also an avid disc golfer so we had a lot to talk about between beer and disc golf!
Much like the Turducken, courses will have variations of the recipe that maybe bigger, longer, and stuffed with other ingredients that some will like better that others. Turkey Hill is stuffed with the all the variety and professional niceties you can ask for and reminds me of a slightly longer Scarboro Hills with less elevation, they are both more geared toward intermediate level players, and do a great job in that regard. I could sense the influence of John Houck in the design as I had some deja vu of Harry Myers in places, but shorter.
That said, I prefer playing more elevation and harder layouts in general. I also prefer playing through more mature wooded areas with a shaded canopy. Turkey Hill reminds me too much of Texas style golf with unshaded open fairways and thick rough to the sides. If I were to rate this course on the professional build and amenities alone I would rate it 4.5, but personally these niceties don't mean much to me in any of my reviews. The design is excellent for beginners to intermediate players to the short baskets and I can understand players of this level giving it a high rating, but IMO the course is lacking for more advanced to pro level players. Turkey Hill also reminds me of New Quarter in Williamsburg which is an excellent course I rated 4.0, but I have a hard time justifying giving Turkey Hill the same rating because it's not quite on the same level, I would give it a 3.75 rating if I could. At any rate I would definitely recommend Turkey Hill to anyone in the area looking for a great course to play, you will enjoy it!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jrawk
I prefer my Turducken deep fried in peanut oil, served with white wine and tarter sauce.
Thanks for the constructive review.
The practice fields are rarely used. The parks department is prepared to modifiy the facility without impacting the disc golf hole if the fields become an issue. Hole 4 and other recovery options will be opened up as we vet and fine tune the course. Hole 1 and 6 drainage is being addressed by the Parks Department. HOle 11 is planned for expansion beyond the ravine in the future. Hole 12A pin is awefully short, i agree. The B is much more diverse. Hole 13 concrete was set slightly out of original position as i understand it was necessary for a proper foundation. From the blue tee the throw is a down hill RHBH left fade shot to run along with the side of the hill, which is not a hard throw to execute. There is more room to navigate the fairway than it appears from the Tee. We will explore adding more signage to deter first time players from intentionally throwing accross the creek.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Possibly Maryland's best course.
Pros: Overall, it was a joy to play this course. I really liked the variety of holes: some through the woods, some over water, and some open in fields. All concrete red and blue tee's was also a really nice touch.
Hole 3: Nice scenic basket placement near water.
Hole 4: Blue tee throws over water.
Hole 7: Painted tee box on abandoned road.
Hole 11: Incredibly short hole to the extreme right.
Hole 12: Uphill and short.
Hole 14: Basket on a mound.
Hole 17: Basket A is brutal. Approach is through a narrow, curved path that leads to the basket off of the fairway. Woods on right, water on left.
Hole 18: Two tiered retaining wall "wedding cake" style that the basket is placed on. The water on 18 is very intimidating and hard to clear.
Cons: When I played in early May, there was only one basket on each hole. I am looking forward to having both sets of baskets on each hole.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
don't get stuck in cat town
Pros: -Has a good variety of holes, topography, and cover.
-Uses available land sensibly with other park users with minimal conflict of use.
-excellent park infrastructure and intuitive layout.
Cons: -didn't see any dedicated water/restrooms
-the water carries are interesting, but the final one is fairly aggressive, maybe too much so though there are closer tees that get around them.
-underbrush is thorny which might be a problem as the season progresses
Other Thoughts: The course felt raw, but it is brand new so that is to be expected. This was a worthwhile destination course. Definitely a good add to the area.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: prerube
There was a porto potty in the disc golf parking lot on the day you played as well as on holes 3 and 9. Calling a course raw on opening day when there is mulched trails, new signage, manicured fairways makes no sense. The walk up to 14 now has a brand new set of stairs.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
- My 250th Course. I was extremely happy to have this be my 250th course... not only was the course worthy of filling a milestone in my list of courses, but it was the courses opening day! (random luck)
- Completely Complete on Day 1. WOW... having designed and installed a few courses myself, I found it AMAZING that these guys were able to open the course with 2 sets of beautiful concrete tee-pads on every hole, beautiful tee-signs at every tee-pad, benches, trash cans, next-T signs, trails to the next tee, bridges, a mounded pin placement, and more... Wow!!!
- The Par 4's. Most of the Par 4's were very well done and really fun holes. They definitely added to the championship quality of the course. Holes 8 and 17 especially!
- Redundancy. A few of the holes seemed redundant in their distances... being placed in the 340-390' range. The designers did this to create a more championship feel for "pro" caliber players, but in my opinion, that doesn't make it quality design. I feel as though the holes will simply yield a lot of Pars and keep scoring spread to a minimum among the top players.
- Wooded Holes. I didn't think any of the wooded holes were very good (Hole 10, 11, 12 and 13). Coming from NC, the wooded holes here were severely lacking. Hole 11 is way too short and goofy; and, Hole 12 is also too short... especially for a course that wants to be on the upper end of championship courses. And, Hole 13 wants to be a great hole but the placement of the blue tee-pad screwed up a good hole (beautiful trees on that Hole though).
- My Apologies. I think I made some of the course designers upset when they asked me what I thought about the course after the round. I didn't mean to sound harsh by calling some of the holes "contrived" (Hole 10); and if I came off like an ass, I am sorry - please accept my apology. It's just that when I play a course, I compare it to the other 249 courses I have played... and thus, when you ask me what I think about the course--especially one that wants to be a championship course--I am comparing it to Iron Hill, Idlewild and WR Jackson.
- Overall. I was really happy to have this be my 250th course. I was in DC for work and drove the 45 minutes down to play... luckily for me it was the courses opening day! The course definitely has some Championship tendencies, with a few holes that seemed contrived (the woods holes). Some of the holes were seemingly repetitive in terms of distances, such that scoring opportunities were hard to come by (especially in the wind). However, with 2 sets of tees, beautiful tee-signs and all the other amenities you could ask for, this course is excellent.
- My Score: an unimpressive 60 from the Blues
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jrawk
Did not offend us after your round. Very constructive comments and we thank you for your honesty. If anything was "incomplete" with the course today, it is hole 11. Currently on 11 there is only one basket because we plan/hope to expand the hole beyone the ravine after exploring options to overcome difficult environmental hurdles to do so.
The grand-openning did not feature a "tournament" prefered basket layout, as we needed to diversify the configuration to cater to players of all skill levels. The redundancies i think will be aleviated when configured for tournament play. Thanks again for making this your 250! Hope to see you back again some time.
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