Charlottesville's Best Disc Golf Course
Pros: For starters, if I were a disc born and thrown in Central Virginia, my last wishes would to be lost after being tossed in "The Tub" at the bottom of Hole 17 at Walnut Creek. This is certainly the finest local hole for any disc's final resting place. (And potentially resurrected by one of the local snorkelers if you use a Sharpie...)
Anyway, this course is hands-down the headiest in the Charlottesville area. With everything from fair wooded fairways to open fields with beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain views, the variety of Walnut Creek keeps disc life spicy, salty AND sweet. In an ideal world, be sure to time your round to be perched up at Hole 17 around sunset for surely one of the more picturesque "Top of the World" style holes ever.
Cons: Yes the signage could be better, yes it could be free to play (it mostly is, depending on the time of year and how "attendant" the parking lot attendant is), and yes there could be free beers and snacks and live bands at every tee-box 24/7, but come on - don't be that guy. Just be happy to have 36 sets of dangling chains in such a beautiful area, 20 minutes south of Charlottesville.
1.) Hole 1 can be tricky to find upon first visit. From the parking lot, go past the Disc Golf sign, through the open air pavilion, and down to the left towards the lake.
2.) Holes 2 and 17 are great spots to discretely celebrate not losing your disc in the water.
3.) Watch out for an old barbed wire fence that runs about 10 yards deep in the woods on the left side of the fairway for Holes 12 & 13. A lot of it has been pushed to the ground at this point, but still.
4.) Cell phone service is very limited.
5.) By joining the Blue Ridge Disc Golf Club ($20 annually), it gets you 50% off a season pass entrance to Walnut Creek. This essentially pays for the club membership itself, and is a great way to support the local throwers.
First time playing, will return
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Really liked the combinations of tees and holes. Some beautiful views and well layed out to take advantage of lake, fields, and woods.
Cons: Some of the signs are damaged and unreadable.
Other Thoughts: Played this after heavy rains, but not too muddy. Brought my 10 yr old son along and we were able to play together off the same tees and then white baskets for him and blues for me. Worked out well.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
The Walnut Firecracker!
Pros: Dual color coded boxed astroturf tees and dual color coded baskets on just about every hole provide multiple playing options. Phenomenal use of the available elevation and terrain and dam. Challenges include white and blue level par 3s and 4s with every variety of elevation changes, lengths, water, hardwoods and line shaping. Fun factor here is also great. Two loops of 9 holes back to parking lot is very much appreciated on a course with this much hiking elevation and distance. Navigation and signage is pretty good now, kiosk in parking lot with sign describing how to get to hole 1. Well maintained and very little underbrush. Bathrooms, water fountain, pavilion, beach, swimming, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, beautiful views overlooking the lake.
Cons: Very minor things. No Gold level layout. Short basket on hole 10 is right in the path of the long basket. A few holes play a little too close to the next hole. Could use signs on both tees and numbers on baskets but it's really not hard to figure out. Decent chance to lose a disc in water. High slope = roll aways. Hiking trail near a few holes, other people around the park, but doesn't seem to interfere with holes much. Could use some benches. Biting flies in summer, found tick on leg after round.
Not really a con, $3/day to play in the summer, well worth it. Might be too hard for rank beginners and people that aren't physically able to hike the elevation.
Other Thoughts: Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Walnut Creek is one of the most B-E-A-utiful courses I've played and it might be the best blue or advanced level course I've ever played. This course should be rated much higher than it is. The previous low rated reviews can be ignored since the major navigational and signage issues have been addressed by the local club for the most part, I only had to refer to the map to figure out which baskets were on hole 5 vs 6, and after hole 12 you backtrack instead of following the path to 16. Hole 2 sports a sign about the legend of Stud Muffin's review on here, lol.
Hole 2 reminds me of Deer Lakes signature hole 15 over the pond. Hole 3 is open bomb sloping uphill to a basket slightly tucked into the woods. Hole 5 is a par 4 with elevated tee across the street and the basket on a downslope and the lake behind it, reminds me of Moraine's signature hole 15 with the Lake in the backdrop. Hole 6 is then a monster par 4 back uphill. The next 7 holes takes you through a gauntlet of heavily lined wooded fairways and ravines. Hole 13 is a flat par 4 bomber hole with a little trouble right off the tee, then mostly open middle section and then the basket tucked 100' back through some hardwoods. Holes 14 and 15 test your U-turn skillz in the opposite directions.
Then comes the crescendo of perhaps the greatest 3 finishing holes. Hole 16 has an elevated tee with slight hyzer wooded fairway and ravine to the basket on a very fast sloping green. Hole 17 is probably the signature hole here, it's one of the most unique and memorable holes I've played as it drops almost 100' vertically with ob water to the right of the dam and ob mini waterfall left of the basket and fast right to left slope to the basket. What a hole, but hold the phone, there's still number 18! Hole 18 features a drive to a peninsula green to the short basket or landing area to the long basket, if shooting to the long basket you then have a water carry to a fast sloping island green.
So with all that said, I'm tempted to throw a 5 Disc Rating at Walnut Creek. It's one of the easiest 4.5's I've given. I put Walnut Creek in a similar category to Moraine, Deer Lakes and Nockamixon, but the main difference is that those have gold level layouts and Walnut Creek is only a white and blue level course so it's a little shorter, but also a little more fun. It would be nice if there was another high quality course in the area to make this more of a destination, but at any rate I still highly recommend anyone play this course, it's Virginia's finest public course!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very well thought out course 2 tees and 2 baskets extremely beautiful park.water elevation and a dam shot. Everything you could dream of in one course. Also very nicely kept.
Cons: Didnt see any!
Other Thoughts: Everyone said it would be hard to navigate, but after finding hole one,(looked on map by parking lot) it was extremely easy to follow. Once you find the long basket to each hole you arnt far away from the next 2 holes. Dont let other reviews stop you from coming here. Well worth a many hour drive.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: great elevation change
nice tee pads for both tees
Heck of a workout
17th hole is INCREDIBLE
A tad hard to navigate w/0 a map
Other Thoughts: Took a 2 hour road trip to play this place and it was worth it. Really enjoyed this course and hole 17 was the most amazing hole iv ever played!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 12 Not
Good Night, Johnny Boy
Pros: >Challenging, mostly wooded course, with multiple tees and baskets.
>A few stand out holes.
*First, without telling someone, just try to find the first basket.
*The multiple Tees were not confusing, green carpet=white, blue carpet=blue. What was confusing is 2 baskets standing on each hole, so while playing in a match, if you do not determine which basket you are playing to before you throw, you will always find yourself in a argument with which basket to play, since we always want to play with what worked best with our tee shot..
Other Thoughts: A enjoyable experience.
Could be a 5 rated course (in my book) with a few simple little corrections like:
*Put up a sign on a tree near the Pavilion that says "Tee #1 This Way".
*Only have 1 basket up at a time, rotate their positions.
*Signs to next tees when it is not obvious.
But the biggest downfall to this course is it's location. You have to be either a toothless, or buck tooth hillbilly to live near this course.
...hope you like curvy roads. :D
4 of 16 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Very beautiful, very scenic course. A quiet, serene experience.
- A must-visit for anyone playing in Virginia. Centrally located in the state, it is well worth even a two or three hour drive.
- Four different tee/basket combinations available, on most holes.
- Tee/basket combinations range from moderately difficult to very difficult.
- Course has a wide variety of hole types including wooded and open with varying elevation changes.
- Great use of water hazards on several holes.
Cons: - Course can be difficult to navigate without a map, at least for first-timers.
- Not all of the holes have the long baskets in place. This can be very confusing for those trying to play the long baskets, but who are unfamiliar with the course.
Variety:5 Balance:4 Strategy:5 Character:5 Fun:4 Avg: 4.6
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 4 Not
Phenomenal Fun Factor
Pros: Large, scenic and located off the beaten path in the Blue Mountains, Walnut Creek Park is the quintessential destination course. The park itself is multi-use, has amenities and is well maintained.
The World Class layout includes:
Pro/Am tees (labeled blue/white respectively) for each hole with multiple baskets on some and alternate pin positions on others which equates to a variety of options for multiple skill levels.
Elevation change on practically every hole - from the gradually mild to the greatly extreme!
A well balanced mix of right/left/straight throws, open, semi-open and woods holes, uphill/downhill, risk/reward, fast greens, elevated tees, blind holes, water hazards, etc - basically most of the characteristics found in top rated, championship quality courses.
The tee signs are descriptive, the gravel tee boxes presented no footing issues and the baskets were in good shape. The course is well broken in and devoid of excessively thick, disc eating brush which reduces frustrating searches and disc loss possibilities (with the exception of the water hazards of course!).
The design and flow was flawless - while most certainly created with physical and mental challenge in mind, it registers highest on what I feel is the most important aspect of a course: Fun Factor!
Cons: Since its pay-to-play, I'll nit-pick here a bit.
While I did not have difficulty with the gravel/natural tee pads, some players may and honestly, rubber or concrete would be ideal but not necessary. Additionally, some of the blue tees were only marked with blue blocks rather than being carved out boxes with a wood defined border (as the majority were). I'd prefer there were tee signs at all the tee boxes as well. Navigation could be improved some with more directional arrows, etc (I had a map, did not have an issue but sense it could be a concern). In a perfect world this would be a disc golf only area. However it is not and DGers should be aware and mindful as there are mountain bikers, fisherman, and other park goers nearby/passing through the course (not a problem when I played).
Other Thoughts: I played from the Blue Tees; while it was tough both mentally & physically and challenged my game, I felt it was extraordinarily fair. None of the annoyances to detract from enjoying a round were to be found here (such as tedious navigation issues, excessively long walks between holes, flow or design flaws, overcrowding, etc). Therefore I could concentrate on my game which is a necessity if you want to play well here.
The flow was just perfect. It felt like the balance and sequence of hole types was always kept 'in check' and never seemed repetitive. The anticipation grew on each hole as the course unfolded which is a tell tale sign of a top notch course.
Most reviewers mention the last two holes as some of the best finishing holes anywhere. While that's true, I felt as if #16 (from the blue tee) needs to be included in this sequence. It's an elevated tee through a nearly 400 ft, tight wooded fairway sloping down into a ravine with the basket uphill at the edge of the woods. After playing this hole and stepping out to the majestic view of the lake, all I can say is 'wow, these may be the best THREE finishing holes I've ever played'.
Walnut Creek Park is pure disc golf delight which I'd recommend as a must play destination for any serious disc golfer.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: World Class layout employs every element to test your game...employs elevation, fast greens, tight woods, open air wind holes, doglegs,water , and length to challenge your game and your psyche. Plenty of treats here that you will remember:
#1 has a constructed elevated basket
#2 is a reachable throw across the pond if you can negotiate the tight off the tee trouble
#3,5,6 are elevation shift open bombs
#7 is a down and up over a ravine dogleg L that is quite fun finishes uphill to a fast green
#8 is quite a thrill..it's a downhill tight drive that L Hyzers back uphill like a J but all along the R side of the fairway theres a drop into steeper woods and stream...misplay here and you are in all kinds of trouble...challenging fun.
#11 has a crazy fast clay green that can cause havoc
#15 is another down and up dogleg but this one fades R uphill.
This all brings you to the greatest Tri-fecta of holes I have encountered in Disc Golf:
#16 shoots from atop a wooded hillside and you must throw straight a great distance through a fair but punishing gauntlet of trees over a valley to a basket perched on a hillside across the valley. Just pure wooded perfection here..the view of the lake from the basket and the lookback to the tee are amazing. (did I really just make that drive)
#17 is the funnest hole I have played to date...the signature hole that tees from 45 feet above the dam and the lake and then drops another 40 to the basket..which is placed just 10 feet from a 20 by 30 ft healthy deep pond. Oh it is a glorious view and best of all it's a glorious drive...you have to actually throw over the dam..often my discs would turn over the water in a terrifying way before fading hard down the steep sloped green grass of the dam. I parked my drive and missed the putt for birdie here...damn! Has got to be amongst the best holes ever made..makes a great course elite and a must play.
#18 Got balls how about a tee that shoots 250ish over water to a peninsula and then from that placement it's another 250ish to the basket over the lake again..oh and the basket is tucked on a hillside guarded by trees that might doink you into the drink. It's possible 4 here but also possible to double circle triple bogey as well. It's also a very pretty hole that will scare the hell out of you at the same time your taking in the view.
Overall not a bad hole here....not one bad hole..just some more epic than others. Multiple tees and a few multiple baskets here and there. Immediately makes my top 20. Water available near hole 1 and 9. Kiosk and plenty of parking.
Cons: Natural tees...not a problem for me but many want perfection and the luxury of perfect tees. Lots of sunbathers and mountain bikers for such a secluded park. I doubt they ever get too overwhelming but the public was nearby.
Other Thoughts: I love this place and the anticipation builds as you come to the finish...Play the long tees for a bigger thrill...many of the pics and video are from the shorts and these are not nearly as dramatic. Designed for the serious DGer and not for families and newcomers. Simply an amazing and beautiful while challenging and unique experience.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Scenic! Great for experienced players but less experienced players will still have a good time.
There is a nice variety of holes using elevation, water hazards, and obstacles. Multiple tee and basket placements are always a plus. Course wasn't crowded while I was there.
*Edit (4/12): The natural tees are gone and turf tees are in. Green turf for short tees and blue turf for long tees.
Navigation can be an issue for first timers.
The first tee is tricky to find, from the parking area go towards the beach then to the right.
Bringing a map will help.
Other Thoughts: The fee is to get into the park during the summer season. Bring the family because there is plenty for them to do if they aren't disc golfers. I enjoyed a swim after my round. You get a great view on #17 where you may want to slow down and take it all in, maybe bring a camera too. This is one of my favorites to play!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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