My home course for years
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Beautiful, well maintained park with large mature trees throughout.
-Good mix of holes, especially in terms of distance. Par 3's are interrupted by longer multi-throw holes.
-The long holes especially are just fun. 9 is a long drive that is less open at the pin than it first appears. 11 is probably the signature hole and plays from elevation, over a creek, and then up the far side through the live oaks.
-Uses trees, water, and sloping greens well to add a little risk to the shorter holes on the property.
Cons: -Signage and tees are terrible. Its really a shame that a course that has the potential to be really a great course is so impacted by these things but they really do lower the rating. The club has been prevented from installing permanent tees by the park and moves the natural tees as often as they can but the tees are just not sufficient for the kinds of power you want to put on the longer throws here. With the tees being blocks in the ground and no signage there are often first timers wandering around looking for tees.
Other Thoughts: This was my home course for several years, right around the corner from my house and i still put in a couple rounds a month here. I think it's the best of the Richmond courses and therefore feel a sense of frustration that the little things that would make this course a 4 or 4.5 can't or haven't been done. That being said the park and holes alone make this a great round of golf and a ton of fun. It requires a different kind of golf than the other courses in the area, in particular it requires an approach game instead of just presenting you with 18 reachable par threes. I encourage anyone in the area to stop in and play here and if improvements ever get made to tees and signage this will be one of the best courses in the state.
EDIT (11-30-14): The club has completed the installation of tee pads for every hole! The tees are typically installed at the longer locations throughout the course, making the championship layout really nice. I have subsequently bumped my rating to a 4 and will add another 1/2 a point if better directional and distance signage is added for each hole.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Close to and easily accessible from the highway. Pretty park - huge trees, open grassy, hilly fields, a stream, a pond. Two tees on every hole. A nice variety of shots. There are a few trees on just about every hole. They don't force any one line, but they rule out several lines. So you'll need a variety of shots to get through the course. Some very memorable holes - 11 is a long downhill with one tree between the tee and a creek, at the bottom of the hill. Then the hole runs uphill on the other side of the creek, with a few more trees to contend with. Very long hole. 16 was a water carry, but a very do-able carry. Unlike a course like Fountain Hills in AZ that requires a long toss to keep your disc, this may be about 175 or 200 flat feet of water. Lots of birdie opportunities and a few ace runs.
Easy access back to the highway.
Cons: Navigation. The directions get you to the park, but not to the first tee. Tees are dirt, some of them are hard to see. They're only marked by wooden blocks on the ground. The maps on this site are helpful, but you need the maps for just about every hole (and they still require some searching). You don't often see the basket you're aiming for. Sometimes you see a different basket, which can be confusing. There are also holes with crossed streams - you're sharing fairway space with another hole. And there was at least one hole where the basket is very close to another hole's narrow fairway. I can't remember which holes are involved, but I heard a disc whiz by me as I was putting out. No benches or trash cans, though that doesn't really affect my rating. The dirt/rocky tee pads caused me to slip a few times.
Other Thoughts: Half the time I liked this course and half the time I hated it. That seemed to warrant a 2.5 but I bumped it up thinking I'd like the course more if I lived here and knew my way around. It wasn't in great shape, but I might have just caught it at a bad time. Grass was growing up, patches of weeds made obstacles where they didn't really need to be. A little TLC and some amenities would have really helped. Just up 195 from Carytown, which is a cool place to drop off your roadtrip guests if they're not into disc golf. A good place for a beer afterward, as well.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A Pleasant Surprise
Pros: The scenery at this course is second to none. The park is filled the old oak trees that provide a tranquile feel throughout the entire course. The layout uses the unique characteristics of each tree to pose a challenge on each hole even when the fairway is predominately wide open.
This course is a Birdiefest! The par 4s are short in overall distance and you will have a birdie putt on nearly every hole. That being said, the architects did a nice job of putting slopes running away from you behind many of the baskets causing a risk/reward style of putting throughout the round.
Cons: Signage!! This course desperately needs hole signs at each tee. If not for having my smart phone on me and using a course map from the PDGA website, I would not have found a few of these tees. Since the park is mostly open, there are times you may see 3 or 4 baskets from a tee box so the map is key to navigation.
Other Thoughts: I was impressed by how well the course flowed once you knew where to find the next hole. You realize you are weaving back and forth within a park and are seeing much of the same surroundings multiple times, but the character in the trees and lakes makes you feel as though you are going for an endless stroll with plenty to look at.
Hole #14 is truly incredible. It is a downhill par 4 with a slight dogleg left, but with a neighborhood street far right and water to the left, it really gives you all you can handle. Forcing you to throw your drive on a rope to avoid a line of trees and allow for an open shot to the basket, the tee shot requires full concentration. Although the hole is not long, the basket is well guarded by water and wasteland so a birdie is not a guarantee even after a perfect drive. Definitely a signature hole!
I look forward to playing this course again soon.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: - Located in a great city park.
- I interacted with several local players on my round, and they had so much pride in this course. Played the back nine with a local player recommend doing the same if you visit the course.
- The trees on the course are majestic. It is a real joy to play so many holes with all of the towering oaks.
- Nice mix of long and short holes
- I also love the use of the hills and of course the two water holes.
- Some courses are much more memorable to me than others, I instantly loved this one and would strongly recommend anyone to check it out. Can't wait til my next round there myself.
Cons: - Would be nice if they invested in tee signs. You would be able to gauge the outline of each hole and more easily navigate from one hole to the next.
- I saw a few other posts commenting on the natural tee pads. I have never minded natural tee pads myself and found virtually all of them to be level and in good shape. So no problem at all for me.
Other Thoughts: - Great location off of I-95
- I pass through Richmond fairly regularly and I have struggled to figure out a go to course. Can't believe Bryan park has been off my radar. Definitely the best course to go to in the Richmond area in terms of convenience and quality.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -Beautiful landscape
-Variety of distances
-Fun to play
-Some challenges, such as throwing across the large pond
Cons: -Natural tees
-Almost too open; it would be nice for variety's sake if one or two holes were a little more heavily forested
Other Thoughts: Every single time I throw across the pond/lake I get so scared that I will lose a disc, but I never have
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Great, but missing a little
Pros: Pretty much wide open, feel free to unload your best shots.
Extremely well kept, people normally hunt for lost discs so don't give up hope just because you lose a few discs.
Technical in the sense that it pushes your creativity, ability, and your arm depending on what you decide (i.e., multiple different options, some easier than others)
Wide variety of holes requiring different shots at different distances with different angles and different ceilings
Cons: Natural tee pads - You most likely won't twist your ankle, but you have to be careful. The course would widely benefit even just rubber ones, but preferably concrete. The park is mainly used for soccer, and disc golf so park needs to pander to their market.
Signage is very necessary for players who don't know the course. There are wooden blocks marking the tees, but you have to know where they are. Veterans could go from hole to hole from their eyes closed, but that doesn't help the guy from who knows where visiting his family or something.
Other Thoughts: Great course for all playing styles and experience levels. A must play if you're in the area
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Lots of space
Variety of hole types
short and long holes
Other Thoughts: This is one of my favorite courses. Its got a good mixture of long holes that really concentrate on distance, and others that involve more precision and accuracy. A great course to play at for people of all all skill levels.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - a variety of holes: short and long holes, placement of pins, over water etc
- beautiful setting, especially so close to a major city
- very open: I'm sure the pros and pro-wanna-be's would prefer a more technically challenging course but for those like me who like to be able to air it out, awesome.
Cons: - tee pads (or lack thereof)
- not well marked: the map from the website only get's you within a few miles
Other Thoughts: - my perception going in was that it might not be a good course since it is in Richomd proper; however, I was very pleasantly surprised
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Always fun, always challenging
Pros: Great course design, good and varied use of terrain, easy to navigate once familiar. The recent weather brought down lots of trees and branches, and the park staff has cleared them with good speed. There are only a couple spots where fallen limbs are still present, and considering that the park was nearly wrecked from the storm, that's a good response time. Lots of benches, water fountain, public facilities. Good parking. Each basket has 2 tee areas. You can find maps of the course by google searching it. I set the map as the wallpaper on my phone. They have a practice basket as well, so it's an 18+1.
Cons: No tee signs or pads, just wooden post markers. They are pretty old, but they serve. Each is marked with the distance and par. It was hard to navigate my first time around, before I had a map.
Other Thoughts: If they put in Tee pads and course signs, this would be a 4.5 or 5. After the big summer storms, it looked like a 3.5, but they have worked hard to clean it up.
I don't consider joggers or picnic goers to be a negative to this course. It's a public park, what should one expect?
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Long and Open
Pros: Layout - The course flows through a large park that is mostly lightly wooded or just open on some holes.
Multiple tees on every hole, usually two but sometimes three. The different tee changed the shot completely sometimes, sometimes it was just a longer shot.
There's a good balance of long and short holes, every time you play a longer hole you get a few shorter ones afterwards. Half of the holes are over 300' and let you get some big drives in.
Most of the holes here were designed pretty well. There were multiple routes and the longer holes had a lot of visual appeal off the tee.
Risky greens and elevation change was a huge plus to this course. There were baskets perched on hills and near water.
The course uses the elevation very well in the design by making you throw long shots around obstacles, down hills or over valleys where fading out to soon or turning over leaves you in a bad spot.
A few holes where going long can you leave you in the water. Two shorter water carries included where coming up short can cost you a disc.
The course flows well in most parts, there's no super long walks but in a few places it is a bit confusing without a map. The course is done well so that you don't really interfere with any other park activities.
Atmosphere - It's a great looking park, seems to be used by a lot of people. Big rolling hills and giant trees sprinkled about the park. There's a great large creek running through the park that is used well in the design. There's small man made waterfalls in a few places and the holes really showcase off the beauty of the park.
Equipment - Course map at #1 and the baskets are in good condition. The tees are marked by colored wooden markers, for the most part these have the hole # and distance listed.
Cons: Layout - My main gripe about the layout is the holes get a bit redundant. A lot of straighter shots through a few trees. You don't need to shape many shots here that much.
Some of the shorter holes are just fillers, thrown in between some great longer holes. While a few are designed well some are just boring.
There's not much technical golf here if that's your thing. The only holes that make you really be accurate are the longer ones if you have distance for it to matter.
One hole (#13) does cross a road so be careful. Holes #4 and #11 cross fairways which is kind of confusing.
Atmosphere - There's a lot of trash in the park, for some reason people just leave there bottles and cans all over the place; often half full.
Some downed trees, and big limbs barely hanging on that need to be taken care of.
Equipment - I can not stress enough how badly this course needs concrete tees. I don't know if the course is allowed to have them or if the funding isn't there but it NEEDS pads.
Some of the dirt pads are okay but on some of the longest holes the pads are completely uneven and full of roots and rocks. It only makes getting a good drive in very difficult but it's a safety hazard.
Tee signs are also needed here, in some places it's kind of confusing which basket you're going to and the distances on the markers seem to be very inaccurate in a few places.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed my round here, so much that we played it again from the shorts after doing round one from the longs. It's a bit of a walk but a lot of fun if you love to drive discs in big open spaces. I encourage everybody to make this a priority stop if you hit Richmond.
#9 is my favorite hole, a gorgeous long downhill shot with a waterfall in the background. #15 is great because you tee off beside the creek where it gets rocky.
This course probably deserves a 4 but with the state of the tees I just can't give it out. When you're throwing 500'+ and have 3' of semi level space to work with because the rest is big roots and rocks you've got a problem. If the course ever gets any type of decent level pads I'll go back and bump it up.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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