15 Helpful / 1 Not
Living Long and Large
Very well-maintained large public park with long, gently-flowing hills and very large hardwoods scattered about. Bathrooms, water fountains, other activities available. Close to I95.
Practice basket. Two nine-hole loops. Easy-to-see baskets. Near water on several holes. Probably a good course for glo.
Dirt tees. Very few turning shots. Holes four and eleven cross fairways - maybe simply switching their tee positions would avoid this, and still leave long/interesting holes.
Many opportunities to let it rip, as several of the fairways and baskets were fairly open, and long. From the blues, about 1/3rd of the holes were 450'+, topping out at #11 at 700'. Most holes will have some change of elevation - up, down, up-down, and down-up. Large trees will also come into play on every hole, but only #15 would be classified as a bit tight.
Online map made the course fairly easy to navigate - and necessary, too, as the tee markers are very low. Distance also available at tees.
Two throw-across-pond holes, but only need to clear 175'~200', so not too far. Couldn't find non-across-water options as suggested by the map.
Favourite hole: #14, 520'. Small woods to the left, scattered trees with long branches narrowing the fairway from the right. Up a small rise the first 1/3rd of the distance, then down a moderate slope the remainder of the way.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Bryan Park is Great for Visitors
Pros: Well marked, easy to find and navigate. Beautiful setting, long tees, open fairways that are great for all levels of play.
Cons: Lacks the challenge of wooded holes. Hole 16 is tough for those with short drives since the only two options are over a pond (with no elevation to the tee I lose discs, so I avoid this option) or a drive so ridiculously short you can use your putter.
Other Thoughts: I love this course. I've played for four years and found this course when visiting Richmond for a week. It is a stunningly beautiful and well maintained course. I play in the early hours of the morning (6 am) and there are very few people in the park at that time - mostly friendly dog walkers.
The course is very well marked and I was able to navigate it alone the first time I played - even without a map. Great for visitors to Richmond!
This is a great course for beginners or intermediate players who want to work on thier drives. Wide open tees give you the opportunity to let loose and see how far you can throw without much fear of trees. A gorgeous hole 11 is 700 feet and a very reasonable par 5 that can be regularly birdied by players who can drive for distance.
The only drawback is the lack of wooded areas. Most of the courses I've played weave in and out of the woods and trees create the greatest challenge. The lack of trees makes this a friendly course for beginners and kids, even though it is fairly long.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Well maintained, long, mostly-open winding course through one of Richmond's most beautiful parks.
Cons: The park can get crowded during peak hours, the long holes play a bit more slowly.
Other Thoughts: If you have an hour and a half to kill PLAY THIS COURSE. I played disc golf in Richmond for over a year and this is in my opinion the complete package. While it lacks the tight shots like Dorey Park or the history like Gillie's Creek it definitely is an amazing course.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Great park setting
Pros: Very scenic park, big old growth trees, moderate elevation, and a few holes where you can throw over water.
The baskets have blue and gold paint on the top spokes pointing the way to the next blue and gold tees; very helpful for first timers here.
Cons: Dirt tee pads, which is about my only complaint about Bryan Park.
Seems to get crowded at times.
Bryan Park should be renamed Squirrel Park for all the squirrels around holes 1-3 and 9-10.
My buddies and had a hard time finding a few tees the first time we played, so I highly recommend printing the map from this site and taking it with you the first time you play: http://www.friendsofbryanpark...sc%20Golf.htm
I'd give Bryan Park an extra half disc rating if they had concrete tee pads.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
A Pretty Park
Pros: Beautiful park, well kept. The park itself has a lot to offer (tennis courts, picnic areas, azalea gardens, and more) It's on the National Register of Historic Places.
Practice basket by the parking lot & info sign.
Yellow and Blue tees for your difficulty level. The Yellow (easier) tees are still challenging.
Long and short shots (Yellows range from 150' - 690', Blues from 202'-701')
Water hazards for everyone. There is one hole for each tee color where you have to tee off and throw over the water (for blue it's 16, for yellow it's 18) and everyone has to get over the canal on 11.
The park smells good. Something must always be in bloom somewhere on the grounds, because the place just smells good.
I love the colored spokes on the top of the baskets pointing you in the direction of the next tee (except the basket for 5 has been moved a bit, and the spokes aren't quite going the right direction to get you to 6)
Cons: Not enough trash cans or benches.
Crossing fairway. 4 & 11 cross each other. These are two of the longest holes on the course (11 is the longest), so I would imagine the crossing here can really cause bottlenecks on the front and back nine on a busy day.
Every shot is straight. Where are the doglegs??
The ice-cream man. That's right; the ice-cream man drives in a big circle around the outer park road. Over and over again. And as if the song the truck plays isn't bad enough, it also says "hello" in a voice that's like a cross between Curly from the Three Stooges and a parrot. Obnoxious.
Other Thoughts: If your disc goes in the water at 16, I hope you've got a retriever of some sort. Signs are posted "No swimming, or wading".
I kinda want signage and I kinda don't. The par and distance are marked on most of the tee blocks and the painted spokes on the baskets point you to the next tee. And since every shot is straight, you don't really need a diagram sign. That being said, sometimes the tee blocks are hard to spot, and an actual sign would be easier to see. Which is also why I don't want the signage, this park is beautiful and multifunctional. It's not just here for the sole use of disc golfers. Signs sticking up all over the place may take away some of the beauty of the landscape. Maps are available in the links section here. I recommend printing one out, at the very least it will make it clear when you need to cross the road for your next hole.
About the multifunctional park...I've played Bryan twice now; once on a Saturday afternoon, once on a Tuesday evening. On Saturday the park is crowded with people oblivious to discs. I had the fear that I was going to hit someone. And like I said, they are oblivious, you may yell "Four" or "Heads up" but they may or may not realize you mean them. Be Careful! On Tuesday evening, the park was much less crowded, mostly disc golfers and dog walkers. Way more conducive to throwing a round.
I like this course. It's beautiful. But if you've got distance, if you can "grip it and rip it" there's not much challenge here for you. This course is made for people who can throw far and straight. Yes, there are trees to be avoided, but it is a very open course. And it is relatively easy to recover from an errant throw, or evil tree bounce.
If you find yourself in the Richmond area, Bryan Park is definitely worth a stop. And since it is just off of 95, it's easy to get to even if you're just passing through.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Best in RIchmond
Pros: Huge course. Beautiful landscape. Very challenging. I hated BP until I finally learned how to drive the disc far. There are always people playing but not enough to make you wait too long or get frustrated, and 90% of the people will say hey and ask how the day is going for you.
And of course, hole 15 from the blue tee is by far the greatest hole I have ever played. I think I have only birdied it once but the location is extremely unique. On a hot day, its the best for the shade and cool breeze that comes up off of the creek.
Cons: None really, except for my Leopard being at the bottom of the lake.
Other Thoughts: Play it! Enter the tourneys and have a good time. Dont let the water scare you. Some of the people I play with dont even throw on those holes in fear of losing the disc. Once you get your confidence up, let that thing fly.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Piece of Land
Pros: This is a fantastic piece of land for a disc golf course. Big open green spaces, with enough terrain changes, and just enough trees to make it interesting and challenging. Next tee marking system uses painted links on top of basket to point to next tee. Course winds around and over water, you cross two cool little water falls. Water should not really be in play if you are a decent player, or you can use the forward tees which basically take the water out of play. Two sets of tees, although dirt. Really good mix of long and short holes, par 3's, 4's , and even one par 5 (700 feet plus). You can let it rip on the long holes, and then still have good birdie chances on the shorter holes. I nearly aced number 1. I really liked this course. Some reviewers call this course wide open, but I've played much more open courses. This has just enough trees. Its almost as if the land was just begging for a DG course. Course is close to I-95 if you are on a road trip.
Cons: Tees are dirt / grass. Not really smooth when we played. For the really bad tees, we simply stepped to the side. Most tees have distance only (some distances are gone). No hole maps or other signage at tee. As first timers we were guessing or walking forward to take a look on the longer holes. It is possible to lose discs in the water with errant or short throws. Even with the directional next tee markers, we still wandered around a bit looking for some tees.
Other Thoughts: We actually played 27 holes here over two days (rain on day one). Locals gave us the scoop on the directional next tee system on our second day. The first day we wandered all over the place looking for next tees. The info board at hole one has a map, and describes the directional system. Too bad we didn't bother to read it the first time.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: BP is easily the most scenic course in Richmond. It is my home course and by far my favorite, for several reasons. First of all, the park is gorgeous. It is very well maintained year-round. It is also the most open park in the area, with a lot of opportunities for long drives (Par 4 on 4, 8, 9, 10, and 17; Par 5 on 11). A very hilly course, with a few short/flat holes in the mix. There are gold and blue tees on each hole, with one water hole on each so you don't have to throw over the water if you don't want to. Having a practice basket right by the parking lot is nice, and the course is quite easy to navigate. I have heard people complain that the course is too open and doesn't provide enough of a challenge, but I disagree. Although only 2 holes play over water, several others play next to it so you have to be careful. Also, while it is an open course, there are still some large trees on nearly every hole. While there are plenty of grip-and-rip holes, the trees and water make for plenty of technical shots as well.
It's also right off of I-95 (park is literally right off the exit), so it's perfect for a quick round if you're passing through town.
Cons: After a rain the tees can get pretty muddy, and some of them have some big roots to watch out for. The best thing that could be done for this course is to put in better tees - the natural tees don't drain well after a rain, and many of them will either be covered by puddles or too muddy to throw on. The course would also benefit from having access to the park bathrooms - there are some across from the parking lot and behind the tee for #11, but the doors are often locked on both. Also - bring water; there are water fountains in the same locations as the bathrooms, but also aren't always functional.
Other Thoughts: Bryan is a great park that everyone should try to play if given the opportunity. My favorite park in VA. There are lots of hills throughout the course - it's a great walk, but be sure to wear a good pair of shoes.
If you're in the Richmond area and want a scenic course with varied terrain, water hazards, and plenty of chances to air it out, Bryan is the place to check out.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Truly Park Golf
Pros: This is the best park in Richmond. If you are driving through and are looking for a quick round stop by. It has easy access right off of 95. Free to play and easy parking. The primary pros for this course are its visual beauty and variable length. While it is indeed very open it is not a pure grip it and rip it course. Most of the 400 plus holes require a stylistically altered drive. Some uphill, some downhill, some over water, some through or around big trees(hopefully around). These holes are peppered with birdie holes and solid par holes.
The elevation changes from hole to hole cause pause for the first time player before his/her drive. The few water holes are not overbearing but the possibility of lost discs is very real.
The course is well maintained, although more permanent tees would be nice. For the most part it is easy to navigate. Painted bars on the baskets highlight the direction of the next tee. There is very little rough to speak of so most lost discs come to rest at the bottom of a body of water.
Most baskets are visible from the tee and therefore big drives are a beauty to watch. Gold and blue tees are situated so as to create a new hole rather than just a longer one making Bryan really 1 1/2 courses.
Again, visual beauty makes this course what it is. It has good length but players with less distance can compete on most holes with consistency and accuracy. This course pulls the absolute most out a picturesque setting. You will walk a lot, which I think is a good thing.
Cons: There are very few truly technical holes on this course. Big trees can and do create obstacles but should for the most part be easily avoided by the experienced player. Does not have the perfect mix of open and wooded holes as do elite courses.
The tee pads, while constantly under improvement, are natural and often muddy or root ridden. Also, there are no signs, only distance indicators on the tee pad markers.
As the sport grows and this course is discovered by more people it will become increasingly overcrowded. Already, it is getting to the point where the serious player should avoid it on nice weekend afternoons. I would like to see an expansion to alleviate some of the pressure. But hey, its free and we want the sport to grow, right?
I can burn myself out on this course and will make a day trip to Dorey or Spotsylvannia to mix it up. But with a group of friends this course allows for a great day of discin.
Other Thoughts: While the hardest holes are to be found on the back nine, also therein lie the most birdie opportunities. Many sloping greens can lead to three putts. This course can get really windy with its openness. Watch out for clueless pedestrians and cars passing through the many park roads.
This is my home course and I hold it dear. It will only improve over the years as the river city disc golf club coalesces and grows. Come out for doubles on Saturdays at 11. This may change to Fridays at 6 as the days lengthen and the weather softens.
Casual run down of holes:
8-11 is a brutal stretch
1. Short, avoid trees to right and water to left.
2. Slightly uphill, short, with trees and water.
3. Long, straight and slightly uphill.
4. Hate this hole, long, curvy, with trees I always hit and a second shot I haven't figured out yet.
5. Elevation change makes it play longer than it looks.
6. Just don't hit a tree on the drive and you'll be alright. Easier said than done.
7. First must have birdie opportunity.
8. Long, just don't end up behind the big tree and you should par it.
9. Love this hole, long and straight and beautiful to watch drives
10. Uphill and challenging. Usually requires a long putt to par.
11. This is the signature hole, very long. Try to get over the creek on your drive.
12. Deceptively hard must have birdie hole.
13. Another birdie, don't hit the greenhouse.
14. Very hard blind drive from blue and beautiful shot from yellow. Stay out of tress on left.
15. Another deceptively long birdie hole uphill. Great for forehand drives. The rocks will always stop your disc.
16. Get it over the water and get a birdie.
17. Most technical hole on course with an elevated basket. Easy blow up hole.
18. Uphill shot over the water. A good drive makes for an easy birdie but a poor second shot leaves you with a hard par.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Extremely challenging, very beautiful, a lot of variety, and a lot of great scenery
Cons: Certain Shots are "water shots" and you will lose your disks if you are not careful.
Other Thoughts: I play at Bryan Park more than any other course. It is by far my favorite. Playing there is great exercise, and the course is exceptionally challenging. Here is a hole by hole break down:
H1: Can be aced if the disk is thrown right.
H2: A straight long fairway drive.
H3: A fairway drive on a hill.
H4: A wide open shot into an open field. Thrown your fastest disc.
H5: A strategic hole. The trees will attempt to thwart your drive.
H6: Even more trees to block your drive. This one is down a nice hill.
H7: Picnicing families beware. This shot is right around the picnic area. But be careful, one wrong shot and you could ruin a family outing.
H8: This basket is on the other side of a giant pine tree and can not be seen. This hole is very complicated and requires perfect throws to par.
H9: Another open field shot. These types of holes are what make Bryan Park so grand.
H10: An easy fairway shot IF the giant tree doesn't grab your disc.
H11: The hardest hole in all of Richmond. This basket is almost on the other side of the park, across a stream. Discs get lost on this shot every day. This hole is ridiculously hard. Only the most trained can birdie this basket.
H12: Massively toned down from H11. However your disk can roll down hill into another part of the park, and that's a bad thing.
H13: Almost too easy. The most challenging part is not hitting oncoming cars. This basket can be aced.
H14: Going down towards the river. Massive trees and forest terrain will stand in your way.
H15: Never underestimate this hole. One wrong throw and you'll be in the river, or, even worse, on the rocks.
H16: Two choices, across the lake, or a super easy throw from an almost ridiculously close location. Coming from H11 this one is a joke, almost surreal in it's simplicity.
H17: From the first shot you have to go between two large trees. Your disc can easily stray into a swampy brush that will eat it alive. This is a very difficult hole. Even the basket sits on a mound, on a hill. Miss the basket and you will throw your chances as your disc will roll down the hill.
H18: The "Gut check" shot. Use a ragedy old disc. THIS shot eats discs EVERYDAY. I have seen it, and I have lost plenty discs myself doing this shot. The shot requires you to make a throw across a lake BUT that's not all. After your disc crosses the lake it must contend with a hill. If the disc is thrown wrong, gets blown by the wind, or rolls down that hill into the water, you can kiss it goodbye.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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