Tight, Wooded, and Elevated
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Stumpy Creek is a great course! Good distance for both short and long throwers. If you play the blue or white tees, both require control and disc placement. Hole 1 is great to start with due to open field to basket tucked in the edge of woods. After 1 it's time to bring out your tight flying discs until 14 when course opens up again. Elevation is great and good exercise. Stumpy is wooded, but very hard to lose a disc here. You always can hustle out of a bad shot and make good with the next. Fairly clean and always friendly.
Cons: Not many cons with Stumpy. I would say that more info would be posted at practice tee about course and course layout. Trash seems to build up in trash cans, but good thing is that almost every hole has a trash can! Hole 18 can sometimes have vehicles on fairway due to soccer games, I guess people don't understand what yellow tape means!
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and I wanted to post an honest review due to I have played at least 8 courses in this area including some Charlotte courses and Stumpy is a hidden gem! We now have a group of us in the area that will help with some of the cons I mentioned above, so this course will only improve in the future. Thanks to Stan and Mark for creating a great course!!
I'll try to get some new photos of course. Photos uploaded do not show how good Stumpy looks right now.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Very nice mix of wooded, and open holes. Start in the open, then hit the woods. Just when you grow tired of chopping down trees, back out in the open you go.
-Dual Tees, so when you have a group of 9 like we did the shorter length helps out the novice players.
-Makes excellent use of it's large elevation changes. Hole 4 felt like throwing across a canyon, heh.
-Good facilities. Bathrooms, drink machines, and snack bar.
Cons: -Some of the signage was missing, so finding the next hole was a bit hard. Also nothing pointing you to Hole 1 start. You do drive by it when you pull into the park, and there's no number visible from the street. There's a community billboard, and it says Stumpy Creek Disc Golf Park, but had nothing to do with disc golf. No layout, no maps, no arrows. We found some helpful players who had just finished who directed us where to go.
-The park can get real busy with other sports. Baseball and Soccer mostly, so parking can be a premium.
- Garbage left at holes by other players. There weren't a whole lot of garbage cans out in the wooded holes, so it made some players lazy I guess. Sad.
-Since there's a lot of elevation changes, there are many wooden steps to take down the hills. But they have been packed down past the wood frames, making them almost more of a hazard than the hills themselves.
Other Thoughts: -We went on a Saturday at noon in what can only be described as perfect weather and were only one of maybe 4 groups out there. We had 9 people so this worked out well for us. Maybe because of how busy it was from the other activities, local players know to steer clear at these times. Which could make sense, since some holes are very close to the fields, and may influence your shot choice.
-Overall the more experienced of our group liked this course, despite the long walk, and seemingly endless game time with so many people at once. It was good fun though. Seal of Approval!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
If you are quite accurate...
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The use of elevation change does make for some "out of the ordinary" hole layouts and challenges.
The course is well marked and does have benches.
The course does have long and short tee pads.
Cons: In my opinion, too many of the holes seem to be practically the same in that one has to throw through tight or very tight 'tree gauntlets'. If you can't throw your mid-range exactly where you want it, then you will not be having too much fun on this course. For experts and very accurate throwers, this may be a great course; but for the rest of us, not so much.
Other Thoughts: Maybe some holes could have their fairways widened and others could be left as is in order to dispel the idea that too many of the holes are just tree gauntlets.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: 1978
1/2 of Stumpy is about placement, however, tree guantlets is an opinion. I find many other courses in Charlotte to be tighter like Idlewild and Elon Angry Beaver. Much care has been given to create fair fairways. Additionally, only 9 of the holes are really wooded; the rest are in the open. IMO, Stumpy is more balanced than this review would portray.
A Decidedly Mixed Bag
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Other Thoughts: Course is in an 83-acre municipal park on typically rolling (although the more queasy might say 'heaving' in this case) piedmont landform, in parts accentuated by grading for other park amenities. Most of the course is under mature canopy. It should be noted that this park is one of two 'official' parks in the county (a third is in the planning/fundraising stage) and may be considered Iredell's flagship. It has been many years since I've visited the site, and the course overall is vastly improved.
A quick note about 'course conditions': Considering the overall economy and this county's relatively small budget, this reviewer found the property's conditions to be above average. That being said, I was disappointed to find copious litter on nearly every hole, many of the targets lightly vandalized and a few other noxious 'indiscretions'. Granted, there are not trashcans on EVERY hole and there appears to be very light foot traffic at this site. Conscientious and observant golfers will bear in mind the aforementioned local constraints and act accordingly in an at least a quasi-responsible manner. Screw the rest of you, while I dismount my high horse.
Course circles the park in roughly a counter-clockwise fashion and does not feature returning nines. Targets, including a nice variably sloped practice green, and pads are above average. Signage, benches and other amenities are poor to fair; the lower ranking due, in the main, to incompleteness. Park amenities are good, but park is often officially closed after rain events to forestall damage to the more maintenance intensive facilities. So preparedness may be in order. Way finding is straightforward and intuitive, although signage may be lacking at times and transitions are often extended and sinuous affairs, especially so between #'s 13 & 14.
For a piedmont course in general, Stumpy Creek has tremendous elevation changes throughout (#3 being the sole exception), and there is extensive bulk heading in place to aid walking (green sites too) and despite it's lightly played nature, erosion is already an issue in many areas, which is a good indicator of this parcel's steepness of slope. Proper footwear and hydration will enhance one's round.
The heavily wooded portions (12 of the 18) exemplify 'tightness' especially off the tee. While making good use of the land available, the designers' hand in forcing a particular play style from golfers is undeniable (I believe 'placement golf' is the term). One might say that Stumpy Creek DGC is a disc golf course in the same way scales are for the piano player, while the holes change and one moves through the landscape, the types of shots needed to efficiently negotiate the course do not change much.
From the shorts, average hole length is just over 310' (for the longs add 100'), so no surprise, straight flat shots of up to 300' with good fade control are what's required for good scoring. (A note on the term 'fade control': no doubt some readers will understand what is meant, which is not the same meaning as the golf term. Fade control means the ability to control the disc's angle and attitude at the flight's end, when it is losing momentum. Naturally the higher the disc's speed rating, the more difficult this is, even if one plays it to 'hyzer out' and this skill is really a big key in getting it to come to rest exactly where one intends and another reason why many players prefer a stable or 'over' stable disc. They are more consistent and predictable under a variety of conditions).
Conservative controlled play is the only rewarded style at Stumpy. From either short or long tees, half the holes are blind, which, combined with other factors, translates strategically into the question: Just EXACTLY how aggressive can I afford to be here? Fairways, two-shot in particular, are often a tunnel, distinguished only by the convolutions of slope, with no obvious landing zone visible from the tee. Some experience with the course will help one find that 'sweet-spot' for your up. In defense of the designers, some very nice features will be taken up later in this review.
By my count 13 holes are 'straight', most with no other option. The remainder is equally divided between right-left and left-right shot shapes. Thick penal rough awaits mildly errant shots and in most instances the scrambling or recovery chances are limited at best. Reviewer observed some limited attempts on the front nine to ameliorate this condition via select clearing, which brings up an interesting issue. Given the limited resources available to husband the course, combined with the low foot traffic and desire to promote the sport to 'locals', is additional labor of this sort the best expenditure of effort? Even from the short tees, I feel this course is a bit much for the novice, even a motivated enthusiastic one, and I'm equally as dubious as to Stumpy Creek's 'family friendliness'. Stumpy Creek, while a decent course, just doesn't seem to fit the situation too well. Certainly unless one belongs to a particularly sadistic fraternity, Stump Creek DGC is not for the uninitiated.
Greens, given the elevation changes throughout, are strangely neutral in character. 11 of them are either flat or dead up/down hill conferring no great receptivity advantage to either spin from the approach. The rest are divided 4 clock/3 counter and should be noted, the clock 'ad' is gained mainly on the 'outside' finishing holes, where a counter spin thrower must be PAST the pin have the disc work into the slopes, but don't worry, most of the holes there are 400'+.
Did I place my foot in the high horse's stirrup again? Pardon me. I realize that's just how things work out sometimes…
Several holes here have the raised basket feature, as has been discussed ad naseum on many disc golf forums. I feel it more proactive to just deal with it and create a special shot with a special disc one carries for just that special occasion. It's not going away anytime soon.
Several holes and features deserve particular mention and for varying reasons.
Several greens at Stumpy, #2 comes to mind, are 'pocketed'; their shapes resembling something like the appendix hanging off one's colon. I enjoy this feature. (lol) It adds complexity to the approach game and depth to the course without obvious contrivance. I also believe this type of feature is relatively simple and cost effective to employ. Another feature on several holes here that I appreciate is what I'd call 'gate variability', which is placing the fairway pinch points at various distances from the tee and having gates of varying width. The effect actually makes a tight 'frozen rope' shot even tighter, and is a good idea with so many straight holes.
#6, despite its need for a spotter off the tee, is a wonderful hole. No surprise, the best shot seems to be a frozen rope, but the distance of 400' tempts one to swing it out wide and (typically) there's trouble waiting everywhere for shots with poor spin control. The green sits pocketed in a terrace below.
#8 is possibly the low handicap hole on the course at 180' and deserves mention, as it is one of the rare instances where a left-to-right hole can actually favor a clock spin thrower, especially if it's BH, as it's much easier to get the needed shot height for an uphiller like this one when the fairway is shaped in this manner. In addition, the slight angle of the slope to the line of play makes this green a bit more receptive to the clock spin, certainly if the shot is decaying on entry. Most players won't find this hole an issue. It's an interesting little hole.
#13 isn't that tremendous of a hole overall but the green is certainly the best on the course, aesthetically speaking. One emerges from the woods into a gently sloped shady grassed glade with just enough obstacles to make your putt interesting and challenging.
The long tee pad on #14 is absolutely the best look on the course, a long downhill tug in free air, especially nice after just emerging from the woodsy cloister of tunnel shots, but don't let down your guard there's trouble everywhere on this hole too.
#15 is the lone 'cookie' for the power counter spin player. A better hole might have been dead straight ahead, but 'fair is fair', no?
#17 is a good experiment, albeit somewhat controversial in the 'contrived' manner, with the forced dogleg (a bit paradoxical considering all the free air in this part of the course. Ah, there's that heavy designer's hand on your back again…), but a small bit of thinking about it should reveal the logic, utility and purpose behind this hole's design. I'll leave that up to the player.
In sum, Stumpy Creek DGC is a decidedly mixed bag, which favors a clock spin control thrower by a few shots at least, but overall it's a worthwhile experiment and solid application. Insofar as a design school characterization goes, Stumpy Creek is primarily a penal golf course with a dash of the strategic and freeway. Pacing isn't the best, as the major rhythmic variation comes with the player's emergence from the woods - very deep into the round; there is no intense and memorable sequence of holes, despite several excellent individual ones. While I doubt, for many reasons, this course will become the favorite of any but locals, it IS a difficult test of golfing skill primarily for more advanced and above level players. I feel it also a great place to practice a certain type of golf and a certain mindset while golfing. That being acute self-knowledge (of one's game and capabilities) as they relate to a certain course. This gap will be starkly evident to even the thickest golfer immediately, myself included. On the downside, I don't feel Stumpy Creek is the most fun place to golf by far, as there's just too small a margin for error to ever really let loose and there's more fun close by, which is the thrill many seek when golfing.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: 1978
While a bit wordy, great review, I appreciate the thought rendered. Benches will come in time. Probably stating the course slightly favors righties would reduce gazing over of reviewers.
While stumpy doesnt have a "loop," bathrooms are very close to hole 6 basket and the transition from 13-14. Making a tri-loop for bathrooms with accessibility on 1,6, 13, 18. If time is an issue, you can play the original 8-9 holes around the ball fields or a number of combinations of holes to create 8,9, 11, 12,15 hole loops.
I notice that things like next tee signs are often commented on in reviews, and commonly there but missed. Early July I updated signage on 13-14. As of mid-July there are 6-10 directional arrows (unless they have been torn down)recently.
Any course with this much to discuss (if you take into account all the other reviews) is one I would suggest visiting and experiencing.
Want a Mountain Course Without Driving to the Mountains?
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: --Best use of elevation in the Charlotte area. For those familiar with Richmond Hill in Asheville, I feel like this course has even more elevaton related holes. Where some of Richmond Hill's design uses contouring to make it a bit easier walk, no such luck @ Stumpy...bring water and springy legs.
--Not much traffic. For a < 1 hour drive from Charlotte, this course offers nice seclusion...even the holes that play around the park area have very little chance to interfere with park activities...
--Challenge. The long layout is tough, as the designer notes below, this layout is all about playing smart "within your game" position golf. Basically, use a driver on 1, then put them back in the car, and grab them for 14-18, and don't tempt yourself to throw too many otherwise, nothing but trouble if you do. The short layout is not as demanding, but based on your skill level, it's not necessarily "easy." This is a plus IMO, because newer players who can't get upper level D with mids can play the shorts w/out losing the character of the course.
--Tee pads/baskets are adequate or better on every hole. I imagine the pad pours were something of a nightmare.
--facilities (including a snack bar open sometimes if you need a hot dog to salve your mental wounds) are great, and are accesible before you start, and after 13.
--Pretty good variety of looks/shots. I like how just when you're getting tired of threading needles with putters/mids, you get a few opportunites to take out your frustration with some big bombs on the closing holes.
Cons: Not too many, but we have to nitpick, yes?
--A couple of spots where an errant shot could be trouble/safety issue. #1's long tee shot, if griplocked, or over-flipped, can make it into the road, but there's not too much traffic on said road. I think it's #5 where it's possible to hyzer out early and land in one of the baseball fields...only effects your play really if there's a game going on.
--The great use of elevation always has it's downside, depending on how you feel about the Stairmaster. I don't mind the hump, but one needs to be prepared for an above average aerobic work-out getting around Stumpy.
--First time through, the transition from 13 to 14 can be confusing...though it's been marked better over time, and since I've been out there maybe is better still. Map a must here probably for a first timer. I understand that tee signs are in the works. For a first time player here, there will be a couple of blind tee shots that you'll either have to spray/pray, or add to the considerable hike to scope out.
--More benches are coming....the more the merrier.
--Any tight course with severe elevation changes will offer lots of chances to lose discs...leave your Champ Boss in the car!
Other Thoughts: This course, like Fox Chase in Stanly County, would be jewels in any players eye, but since Charlotte is now loaded with a dozen high quality 18 holers, Stumpy, though w/in easy distance, is sort of a "best kept secret" in the area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Great course. Extremely hilly and tight wooded fairways have definitely shaped my game with this course being so close to home.
Cons: the amount of leaves and dead grass on the fairways can hide discs and stumps sometimes causing a very unlucky bounce and i happen to get that bad luck quite a bit.
Other Thoughts: I've lost a disc on hole 10. White innova leopard i got when i was starting out. I don't entirely miss it but it absolutely disappeared. I have NO idea haha
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Great use of elevation!
-Great risk/reward shots
-Little to no trash on the course
-Long and a short layout
-Little course traffic
Cons: -No benches
-2 more pads need to be poured
-10's fairway isn't exactly fair
-17 is boring and too easy in its current configuration
-18 is also easy and boring
Other Thoughts: I played this course today for the first time in about a year today (both longs and shorts). I have drastically improved my game over the past year and I can say that this course is tons of fun. First I played the longs and was definitely challenged on most holes. The shorts was less of a challenge but hitting your lines is still super important. Leave your drivers in the bag except for holes 1 long, 14 long, 17, and 18 long. This course will teach you how to throw a Buzzz or Roc 300-330 accurately off the tee every time. It would be hard to score well if you cannot do so. The lines are tight, but fair (except 10s fairway). It's a shame it's not in Charlotte because it would get played a lot more but we can't have everything in Charlotte. I would jump all over the chance to play in a sanctioned tournament here. Bring water and be prepared to be worn out after your round(s) due to the extreme elevation. Don't wait, if your in the area give it a try as soon as possible.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: 1978
Benches are an issue with such a strenuous course.
Trees have been cut 11/4/2012 on holes 7 & 10 to make the course a bit more fair. #10 is a short par 5 that requires 4 short shots to navigate the "w" shaped fairway. The removed trees help from both pads.
#17 - A dog park was scheduled to go in this field so permanent work could not be completed. #17's Mando pole has been planted. Must pass to the right of the pole. Following this path makes 17 a difficult birdie. A 25' 4x4 & PVC pipe Mando pole (visible from the tee) is installed, elminating eagles except fairway aces.
#18 is an 80' wide by 500' long fairway that slopes right to left. It is surrounded by OB road and fence posts. It is an easy par and birdie (for some) if you stay in bounds. The slope of right to left aids in discs flaring out of bounds. The relative shortness invites players to over throw as well, causing flipped discs to land OB. Turnament rules for OB on hole 18 will be stroke and distance.
Benches - Building 12-15 and the park department will have them all installed by mid-February.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: very challenging. for those who have played glen hilton in hickory will like this one. a lot of different shots are required to tackle this course. you do think twice about how you want to throw the next disc.
Cons: very hilly and a lot of walking required. stumps throughout the course to trip over. a lot of blind shots so you kinda throw your disc wondering where it might end up.
Other Thoughts: could use some better maps for the holes but the ones they have work well enough to know where to throw. spent more time looking for discs on the holes that have blind shots than it took to actually play the hole. would take a walking stick cause im sure you might run up on a copperhead being close to the lake and deep in the woods. during summer and fall months bring a can of OFF cause im sure mosquitos will tear you up. dont walk during the day.....unless its under 80 degrees and bring water.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: 1978
Fairways are very inviting at Stumpy and drivers are used inappropriatly. The course was designed for placement midrange shots, Good execution of these shots will leave you with birdie/par attempts on every hole. Players that decide to throw high speed discs poorly will see them sail, off the elevation changes, deep into the woods.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Bring water and A game.
Pros: A tough challenge, lots of up and down holes in the woods that take a great deal of thinking twice about shots.
Cons: The name is very fitting for the course, stumps and roots will be tripping you all along the wooded holes.
Other Thoughts: While it makes the course more technical, the way the hills are along the course it's not wise to try and tackle this place in the middle of the day from June to August unless it's below 85 degrees out. This course at one time was a 9 hole course and it has two ways it can be played one with 18 holes one with just 9 that stays pretty well out of the wood. There is a way to play 9 holes without going deep into the hills if you play the old basket on 4 from 5's white tee box.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Mix of open holes and woods
most holes have a long and short tee
baskets are easy to identify in the woods
challenging course- difficult for beginners
the course really opens up in the winter time
the course will benefit the consistent and accurate player
Cons: at the tees you'll find some distance markers and a few hand drawn signs, but nothing permanent
if it rains, good luck making it through without falling or slipping.
Unless you know the course, you can get a little lost. Not all the holes flow to the next tee and there aren't a lot of signs
Other Thoughts: I like playing here. It's close to my house, but there's a lot of work to be done. Stumpy could be a great course, but it needs some TLC. It's a good, enjoyable course for the competitive player, but I don't think the casual player will find it as fun if they play alone. I'm hoping to get out and do some clean up to it this spring and start a regular league that will meet during the week.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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