Nice pit stop!
Pros: I debated a long time with this rating between a 2.0 and a 2.5. I feel like 2.5 is pretty generous, but when I stack it up against the courses I've played, I decided that a 2.5 is deserved. I try not to give points for convenience to major roads. I feel like courses should be graded on their own merits, then you should decide if it's worth the drive, long or short, to get to it. But with that said, I ultimately gave Black Mountain a 2.5 because of the convenience to I-40 -- a plus the designers obviously took into account when imagining and installing this course.
+ First and foremost, this is a fantastic pit stop off of I-40. I've driven past this course dozens and dozens of times and never made the stop. Mistake! Usually, when I look for pit stop courses to break up long trips, I look for 9-holers right off the interstate. (That's why I've never stopped here: it's an 18-hole course and I assumed it was too much of a time investment.) Black Mountain is essentially two 9-hole courses with similar, but slightly different feels, one on one side of the interstate and one on the other. Yes, this course is bisected by I-40 (has to be a one of a kind). You can play one 9-holer or both without spending too much time. I played fast and finished the whole 18 in 30 minutes. So, if you're a road traveler -- the target demo for this course -- don't assume this is an hour-long stop. You can do 9 holes in under 15 minutes or 18 holes in a half hour. It's worth the stop.
+ I was also expecting a pitch and putt style course. While that's true for many holes, there are blue tees for added distance on the back nine. Also, while there are a lot of short holes, there are some obstacles you don't normally see on a pitch and putt -- namely, water. A picturesque creek borders several holes on the front 9 and one on the back 9. Probably my favorite hole on the course is the 150-foot hole #2 (184 from the blues) that looks easy enough, but you play a RHBH hyzer over the creek to a peninsula green. Under-shoot the hzyer or put too much distance on it and you'll be swimming in a cool, refreshing mountain stream!
+ Navigation is straight-forward. Park in the lot by the first tee. Start there or play the back 9 first, if you choose. To get to the back 9, use the walking path tunnel under I-40.
+ Black Mountain is a well-maintained, aesthetically pleasing public park. It has a beautiful mountain stream, a vegetable garden and a butterfly garden on the campus. There are also athletic fields. The road noise takes away a good bit of the peaceful ambiance, but it still looks nice and the surrounding mountains are also picturesque.
+ There are very good concrete tee pads for the blue tees (and tees shared with the whites). The white tees are just grass.
+ Good baskets with good visibility from the tees.
+ Porto-john on site, if you need it.
+ For what little land is available for the course, I feel like they used it well. Several fairways are quite close together, especially on the back 9, but there actually are not any crossing fairways. You still need to be aware of walkers and other golfers. For a "pitch and putt" course, there is some elevation on a few holes, man-made obstacles (a berm guarding the 17th basket, telephone poles near the 11th and 18th tees), natural obstacles (the stream, trees). Yes, it's a short course, but it gives you things to think about. The front 9 is shorter and has 8 wooded holes (some with just a couple trees guarding the basket, like #2, or the tee, like #9, but wooded nonetheless). The back 9 is longer, has more elevation, and is almost completely open, except for the berm on 17, the telephone poles, and a few scattered trees, mostly defining the wide fairways. This isn't the most challenging course in the world, but right around average in terms of the fun factor.
Cons: If you're looking for a championship-level course, this isn't what you're after. These cons come more with the territory of what the course was designed to be, as opposed to flaws. It's a quick, beginner-friendly course to lure travelers to exit and spend a little time in Black Mountain, nothing more, nothing less.
- Not very challenging. Many of the holes are wide open and somewhat redundant.
- Foot traffic was my biggest issue. There were a number of other golfers on the course when I played, plus some others just walking the foot paths. Be aware before you throw, especially on #8, which is a blind shot around the trees bordering the creek, and #11, which essentially has the walking path as a fairway.
- This is a nit-pick, but based on the challenge offered at this course, instead of white and blue tees, I think they should be red and white tees (or even green and red tees).
- Again, this comes with the territory of this course, but one con is the noise from I-40.
Other Thoughts: When I read DGCR reviews, what I'm essentially trying to determine is, "Is this course worth the time investment to play?" For Black Mountain, especially because it's so easy to get to as you drive through Western North Carolina, I say the answer is Yes!
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun Pitch and Putt Style Course
Pros: Pretty open and a lot of fun. Not too challenging - very short. Some use of elevation ...overall, straight forward and great for beginners.
Cons: Long grass on back 9 is a nuisance - you will eventually find your disc and still will have a wide open second shot.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Fun Beginner-Intermediate Course
Pros: - The variety is fantastic; the front nine are mostly lightly wooded while the back nine are very open.
- Great for making birdie runs, especially in the back nine with accuracy. Intermediate players can certainly finish under par.
- Quick course, by oneself all 18 holes can be played in under an hour.
- Every hole is a par 3, makes score-keeping easy.
- Navigation through the course is easy with plenty of trails from pin to tee.
Cons: - As aforementioned, this course can be a birdie run for the experienced player, so it doesn't pose the biggest challenge to those looking to test their skills.
- The holes are located rather close to one another throughout the entire course; you must be aware of players around you.
- Although the tees on the back nine are nice turf pads, the front nine do not have any tee pads.
Other Thoughts: I would certainly recommend this course to any beginner or intermediate disc golfer in the area or just passing through. Also, with the variety, one could practice throws in slightly wooded areas by playing the front nine a couple times through and practice throwing for distance in the back nine. The course is very well maintained, so depending on the weather, this course makes for a fun afternoon all year long.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Convenient, easy, quick
Pros: - Great location - right off 40 (you have to walk under 40 to get to back 9).
- Right at the base of the mountains - some nice views as you are playing.
- Multiple tees on most baskets.
- Back nine makes good use of gentle elevation changes.
- Decent amount of benches
- If you play quickly (with no one else on the course), you could probably get a round done in 30 minutes.
Cons: - Probably ace runs on 15+ of the 18 holes, so the course is very short (and those who throw them feel obligated to sign them).
- Teepads are pretty bad. Non-existent on most of the front nine. Back 9 has astroturf which is kind of "lumpy".
- Signs need to be redone. They are kind of weathered. The ones that are there are adequate.
- The course is pretty tight. The only reason why it would not be dangerous if several groups were playing is because they should be playing with blunt-nosed putters (or maybe that's why it is dangerous because those throwing drivers may not quite be as accurate as needed).
- Minimal variation in holes - it's OK, but not great.
Other Thoughts: This is close to where our church does a retreat, so I have been able to play this course a few times. It's actually a fun little course. 2 is a great hole over water (that you can fish your disc out of if you hit the tree branch). They changed 9 so it's not over the bike path anymore. That was a quirky, cool hole, but no longer....:( The back nine are similar in the open field - they actually do a decent job mixing them up, and it seems like the field is mowed and fairways maintained, so you feel like you're playing on a course rather then in a field. Navigation is a little tricky the first time since you can see all these baskets. The first time I played was early in my DG "career" and I found the course very challenging. When I played a few years later, it really was a putter and mids course. I think it would be a good course for beginners to learn on, but I will say it again, it is very, very short. If it weren't for the convenient location and mountain views, I would have given a 2.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Nice pitch and putt
Pros: Nice location, Good flow to the course, creek runs along the front nine and can play some degree of difficulty. Can play a fast round, put in 2 solo rounds in 2 hours and took my time, I think the put it together well for the amount of land available, I dont think there is any other way it could have flowed that well
Cons: Front 9 tees are terrible, puddles of water in the middle of each one, didn't have to use any other discs other than a roc and a sole, did use a teebird on the first hole, the longest by far on the course. Back 9 is good to work on your putter driving game, definitely lacked obstacles though.
Other Thoughts: Easy to get too, i was wanting to get in rounds quick so it did the job, in town visiting and will check Richmond Hill for more of a challenge.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Updated review of the full 18
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is located in a well maintained county park and is split between two sides of I-40.
The course started as a 9-hole pitch and put type course with 2 holes allowing you to open up a little with more than a putter. It has since expanded to 18 holes, but they are distinctly different in character.
The front 9 (original) allows you to hurl a driver in a flat field for hole 1, but then slams on the brakes as holes 2-9 require little more than a putter or midrange.The high probability for an ace will keep you playing. Hole 2 is a really cool hole with the basket perched in the river bend, forcing you to throw a hyzer over the river and hope it bends back enough. Hole number 9 is a one of a kind hole, however i don't see how anyone would expect to run it through the drain. The front nine, while all mostly short, still requires a little technical precision to be mastered, so don't think it's a walk in the park.
The back 9 is a mostly open, longer affair with the chance to pull those drivers back out that you stashed away earlier. Water is only in play on 10, however you'll need to be wary of the woods line as you finish up on the last 3 holes.
The course utilizes the water hazards well and number 2 might be a hole you remember for while (signature). Navigating between holes is very intuitive, so you shouldn't worry about getting lost. Just know when you finish hole 9, you walk UNDER the interstate to get to hole 10.
Cons: The course isn't very challenging. The only technical shots required, you'll do so with a putter.
More could be done with the back 9. The majority of holes are in an open field with little to no elevation change. There also isn't any additional hazard in the back such as water (only on hole 10). Sure it may be a little longer than the front, but you'll probably post a lower score on the back.
Other Thoughts: This course is so close to the interstate (literally underneath it!) that it would probably be a mistake to skip over it when driving through. If it were located further away I wouldn't tell you to go play it. A fairly average course that is OK with wearing that title. I used to be a local with Richmond Hill in my backyard and I still managed to come out to play Black Mountain fairly often. The local club is very active in the community so you'll easily be able to find people to go play with.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Water, water everywhere
Pros: Hole 9 is hilarious and shows a good sense of humor - the pin is visible from the tee through a pipe under a pedestrian bridge!
Hole 2 is actually quite challenging, with a pretty high risk to reward ratio. If you screw up, you're going swimming as your disc will almost certainly land in the creek.
This course would be a great place to hone your skills as there is a decent variety of obstacles to get around: hallway-type tree setups, hyzer and anhyzer shots, some tees require a rather delicate touch.
You only have to cross your own tracks once, and the flow is logical. I had no trouble whatsoever finding the tees and pins. The signs were fairly clear about pin location.
Cons: The creek will be a problem for novice players, as it's located very close to most of the pins.
Too short. I don't remember anything being longer than 250 feet, though the alternate tees could certainly add a bit of challenge.
No elevation changes.
Alternate tees not clearly marked - but are they ever?
Tees were very, very muddy.
Other Thoughts: I played this course on a very rainy day, and the creek was rather deep. On the second hole I was unlucky enough to hit the giant tree over the creek - I had to wade in and grab my disc (which was, luckily, brightly colored even in the rather muddy water).
I'm not sure exactly who this course is for. It's short, but not exactly appropriate for novice players (though it's certainly easier than the nearby Richmond Hill).
This course seems like it could have decent replay value - I was definitely trying to avoid the creek and that hampered my shots a bit, but I'd love to play this again after I've had my fill of Richmond Hill.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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