I loved this course
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Victor Ashe is a thing of beauty. A perfect mix of fun and challenge, and arguably, the best open course I have ever played.
- Some pieces of land were made for disc golf, and you see that here. The course is built across rolling hills, which give it some surprisingly challenging layouts. There's almost a good mixture of trees, water and rough to up the difficulty level.
- As much as the terrain is important, you actually need to have a well designed and laid-out course. And that's exactly what you find here. You see that in the variety of the first five holes: #1 is a downhill shot over water, back to an uphill putt/second shot to the basket. #2 is a long dogleg right. #3 is a long, mostly open shot, with three trees potentially blocking your path. #4 is an uphill blind shot. #5 is a downhill shot, which, depending on the layout, will either penalize you for going long, left of right.
- Difficult holes throughout, some of which are deceptively challenging. #6 and 9 both look tame on the tee (throw around the trees on #6, stay right on 9), but end up being much tougher. #12 and 13 both go over a creek bed, with narrow openings to go across.
- This is one of the biggest risk/reward courses I've seen. If you're aggressive, throw great and hit your lines, you will see a lot of birdie putts. If you're aggressive and can't throw straight, you'll see lots of bogeys, double bogeys or worse (lost discs). The course also rewards smart, conservative play with a lot of (relatively) easy pars. It might not be the most glamorous way to play, but getting an easy three on most holes is a good score. The best example of this is #12. It's a par 4, downhill tee shot, across the creek bed to a basket protected by trees. Unless you can really rip a straight tee shot (probably 400 foot+), the smart shot is a well placed, mid-range disc. That sets you up with an easier second across the creek, and may leave you a birdie putt, or an easy par.
- Distance and accuracy are both important here. Unlike Groves Park, which puts too much emphasis on distance, Victor Ashe has a great blend of both. Shorter throwers (less than 300 feet) can still score well here if you throw smart and strategic shots.
- Extra long tee pads. You could get a five step run up on these, which just further tempts you to be aggressive.
- Good, descriptive tee signs. There are enough blind tee shots on the course, and the tee signs were a huge help in knowing where to throw.
- Great, overall park with lots of amenities. The course is in the back, and other than a walking trail you cross on several occasions and people fishing the pond on #1, you're almost completely isolated from everyone else. The pictures gave the course a more rugged, older look, so I was actually surprised how good things looked in person.
Cons: As a testament to this course, these are all relatively minor issues. If one of the 'cons' is that you have to play all 18 holes, I think you're doing something right.
- The basket positions need to be more consistent. When I played, most baskets appeared to be in the red, shorter layout. On some holes there were multiple baskets (#3, 5 & 13 come to mind) and at least one appeared to be in the other (blue) layout - #14. Also, #16 was in a new position not listed on the sign, scorecard or website.
- The ending to the course was a little disappointing. #16 & 18 especially felt different from the rest of the course that it was a little bit of a letdown. After 15 solid holes, plus #17, I would like to see something with a little more punch on #18.
- On some holes, the grass Is pretty thick and unforgiving. On at least two holes (#17 for sure, I forget the other), I threw big tee shots that got no bounce or roll once they hit the ground. That lack of extra feet made second shots seem even longer.
- There are some long walks between holes. After #5, there's a long walk to #6, in the back of the park. And again, after #14, there's a long walk back up to #15.
- As a continuation of the above comment, the way the course is laid out, you can do a nine-hole loop if you choose - #1 - 5 & #15 - 18. The negative is that you're missing out on the meat of the course, and there's also really no way to get to those back holes without playing a full 18.
Other Thoughts: Victor Ashe far and away blows away the Knoxville area's other open course - Grove Park. Fair or not, my buddy and I played these courses back-to-back during a visit to the region, so all the good things about Victor Ashe were even more magnified than if they were played separately.
- I could play this course all the time. The added element of elevation/hills is what makes this open course go from good to great. This same layout would be as exciting if it were flat.
- There was a great variety in terms of hole layouts. Even on holes that looked similar from the tee, there could be a huge difference in the way subsequent shots looked and played. I was forced to play more shots and discs here than at most courses.
- There are so many fun and challenging holes throughout the course. Anytime a course/hole is both fun and difficult at the same time is a great sign for me. It's a great sign that you can both love and hate the course at the same time.
- This is a no-doubt, must play. Between this course and Morningside, Knoxville has as great of a one-two punch as what you'll find in most cities. I'm surprised the ratings on this are somewhat low. I'm a pretty tough critic - look at my course ratings compared to others - and I thought this course was great. This is one of the few times I think others are being too tough on a course.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
The Long Haul...
Pros: Concrete pads. Plenty of space for long drives. With exception of the first water hazard discs are easily found.
Cons: There are very few technical holes, most others are long fairways with a few trees here and there. I have never seen this course without the trash cans overflowing onto the ground. No signs showing the way to the next hole, bring a map!
Other Thoughts: The first hole has a bunch of fallen trees in the way. This course is for the player who wants to work on brute force drives and not finesse.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Mediocre at best
Pros: Concrete pads..
Cons: No real navigation aids...
No course map at the start...
no "next tee" signs..which can really ruin your day after hole 5 if you don't know where you are going.
No innovation as far as the layout.
It's got some long hole, over rolling hills, that really take no skill to hit.
The wooded holes are run of the mill
and the "moderately wooded" holes (fields with trees) are tough, but not because they require skill so much as luck...
Longs of overhanging branches that cover shooting lanes, and if the hole isn't mowed, it's fairly easy lose a disc.
Other Thoughts: For a "well since we are here" kind of day...it served it's purpose...
We got lost after hole 5 because there was nothing that said..."hey, you have to walk a half-mile around the trees to get to #6...which admittedly tainted the rest of the round.
Play it if you are in town...but this is not a destination course.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Distance and Terrain
Pros: 500' holes are a norm on this course so it'll give you a chance to work on your arm. It blends open space, hills and trees into a great combination of challenging holes. This course provides the rare opportunity to throw over the tops of trees while standing on the peak of huge hills...this is a shot you'll want to toss a few discs on for novelty sake.
It's a long course so wear your walking shoes. I would play this course again.
Cons: The pros could also be viewed as cons. There is more focus on the length of your drive and less on the precision of the placement.
The holes aren't marked very well either. I tagged along with a local which was the only reason I was able to find half the holes.
Other Thoughts: It's hot in the summer so bring water.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Victor Ashe Park
• Huge park, huge course.
• Big concrete tee pads and signage on every hole.
• Get ready for some sort of challenge on every hole.
• Mostly long holes with lots of challenging obstacles and pin positions. Chicks dig the long ball.
• Lots of rolling elevation.
• DISCLAIMER: These cons are sort of picky, but they need to mentioned because you could have trouble if you are not aware of them. They definitely do not detract from the overall playability of the course.
• The signage is pretty generic and doesn't accurately show you where the baskets are. No way to know what position the pin is in if you cant actually see it from the tee pad. We had a local guide and would not have known where to throw without him.
• The course flow is a little weird with the holes being in three groups (1-5, 6-14, 15-18) in different areas of the park, with long walks between the three groups. The course map did not seem to match the actual layout of the course, so take your time navigating.
• Not a course for beginners, kids, families, etc. The water on #1 is unplayable for many. Although the map showed an alternate tee pad for weenies like me, I could not find it so I just started on hole #2.
Other Thoughts: This course really feels like a championship caliber course. It is obvious that whoever laid out this course knew what they were doing. I have a weak game, but still really enjoyed playing here. The course appears to be built on old farmland based on the appearance of barbed wire fences here and there. The holes are not wooded but have plenty of rolling hills and big old trees to make you think before you throw. Big arms will love this course, lesser arms will love the opportunity to work on their distance throws. Definitely the "must play" course in the Knoxville area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Definitely worth it
Pros: It is a beautiful park and is very well maintained. Nice tee boxes and signs at every hole. It was a good mix of holes with a nice variety of shots needed. It was a decent challenge as well. Definitely will be returning here.
Cons: Trash cans were overflowing. Without the help of some locals I dont think we would have ever found some of the holes. We didnt feel like the signage quite accurately represented the holes such as the distance being off.
Other Thoughts: Now that I know my way around the course the next play through will be even better.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
If you can, play it!
Pros: I've played Victor Ashe probably 20 times and really like this course. Is it the nicest/best course I've ever played? No. But I'd say it ranks better than many in most aspects. It sits in a really nice park. Huge teepads. Practice basket. Feild next to parking lot to warm up in when soccer games aren't going on. Multiple baskets on several holes. Almost all of the single basket holes have multiple placements. Tons of parking.
I think this course will challenge most mere mortals.
Cons: The distance on this course isn't out of control, but for beginners or those who just can't throw too far, this course is tough. I don't see many beginners getting too many birdie looks on this course.
There are plenty of trash cans on this course, but most of the time they are overflowing.
Maybe this is just me, but there are a few basket placements that aren't reflected well in the signage. But for the most part signage is good.
If you're looking for a woods course, this isn't it. There are trees, you're just not in the woods.
Most reviews state the course layout is a big con. It doesn't bother me at all. The flow from hole to hole isn't seamless, but I've never once gotten frustrated because I had to walk a little bit from five to six, or from 14 to 15.
Other Thoughts: I know not everyone can play this course during the week, but week days are far less crowded then weekends. And earlier in the day is almost always better. I've played this course before and been the only person out. I've also played it when its been extremely crowded. It'll take you a long time to play when its crowded.
This is a very spread out course, so you'll be doing some walking. I think they could fit in at least 9 more holes no problem.
This is a very nice park, and so there are a lot of people that aren't disc golfers that show up. They are usually smart enough to stay out of the way. Playing a course this open in a strong wind can be a bear, I've done it a few times.
The first hole is awesome, but I think most people skip it and just start on hole 2.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Rude Golfers Spoil the Course
- Great Golf. Victor Ashe has some great golf to be played... I can see why Will Schusterick and Kris Orrick have gotten so good... Victor Ashe has it all. Long open Holes, short technical Holes, elevation, a little water, punishing ruff, etc...
- Multiple Pin Placements. Every Hole seemed to have two or more pin placements that the baskets could rotate between, and 5 or 6 Holes that had two pins in the ground, giving the players options to play the Hole as Long or Short. This is a good touch that allows more advanced players the ability to play the Longs, while more recreational groups play may prefer to play the shorts. (However, see also Cons).
- Amenities. Victor Ashe has proper concrete tees, decent enough signage, benches on a few of holes (could have been more), and restrooms (on the other side of the park).
- Rude Golfers. I have never before been to a course with players that had less etiquette than Victor Ashe. Groups of golfers were cutting the course left and right. For example, as we were finishing Hole 1, two groups raced over to Hole 2's tee and jumped in front of us??? This is probably common as beginners would be scared to play Hole 1.
Similarly, the tees for Holes 3 and 5 are close together so when there was a back-up on 3, groups would cut to Hole 5, which created more back-ups. And finally, since the back-up on 5 was bad (4 groups waiting), the group in the back of the line decided to skip to Hole 6... so as my 3-sum finished Hole 5, a five-pack was racing past us trying to beat us to the tee of 6. When we got to Hole 6, they were looking at us like, "We got here first".
- Speeds of Play. Because they have 2 pin positions on 5 or 6 of the Holes (Long and Short), and we were playing the longs... there was a lot of conflict between our group and the groups playing the shorts. It can become frustrating to always have the short groups running up on you every hole and wanting to play through. By the time we had finished the long pin positions, the group behind us had rushed through the short and raced over to the next tee-pad trying to get in front of us.
Bottom Line: The course is packed... there 5-sums on every hole... I'd love to let you play through... but, there's no where to go... So, you need to wait for your f-ing turn people.
- Overall... Victor Ashe is definitely a championship level course. Big arm holes, technical placement holes, Par 4's, a testy water crossing, punishment for bad shots, lots of elevation, and lots of different types of shots required. It is definitely more Open than Wooded, but trees are a factor on almost every Hole and definitely force particular types of shots.
- My Score: 68 (on the Longs, Lefty)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: 18 hole course very spread out over some spacious land in a city park. This course is in a nice area of town that makes you feel safer about being here, playing, and leaving your car unattended for a couple of hours (unlike nearby Morningside). Each hole has a concrete tee and serviceable basket. The tee signs are not the newest, but are still decent and, most importantly, informative.
General hole design is pretty good. There is variety here as some holes are wide open, many play through an orchard-like area of several isolated trees, hole #1 plays over water, and #18 plays through more dense woods. There is some minor elevation that comes into play on some of the holes as well. This course is longer and spread out so it takes a lot longer than normal to play 18 holes which tests both your physical and mental toughness along with your shot making skills.
Hole #1 is one of the better disc golf holes around, and maybe the best opening hole your will find anywhere. The slightly elevated tee plays across the large pond to a basket located on a peninsula that is well protected by trees and other plants. This is a tough opening hole (no warm-up holes before trouble here!) with a chance to lose a disc on your first throw. And then if you do it will be a mental challenge to forget about it over the next 17 holes.
For those who have the ability to throw it really far, this course provides some opportunity as there are several really long holes that are wide open. These holes are also good for newer players trying to improve length or learn shot shapes without having to worry about losing a disc .
Cons: The layout is pretty bad. The flow does not seem logical and is very unnatural in many spots. There are a couple of places where there are long walks to the next hole, and then there is the walk from 15-16 that has to be the longest walk between holes in the world. What makes these walks worse is there is absolutely no signage telling you which way to go or that you still have a mile to go before you will see the path to the next tee. Thankfully the course was crowded and there were locals to assist us. It was obvious by the comments that they know navigation is a problem, but nobody seems to see the need to fix it.
Speaking of crowds, this course is very popular by players of all ages and skill levels, as it viewed by many to be the best in the area, so you probably encounter lots of other people playing here, and many may be in larger than normal groups. Also a factor is the walking trail that runs along and through the same area of the park. You will possibly have to wait on walkers, runners, dog walkers, etc. as this park is very popular for these activities as well.
I am not a huge fan of really long holes that are completely wide open, and this course has several of them, often back to back. Most of the other holes in the middle are just ok, nothing that really stands out, and they do start to get repetitive. As listed as a pro, hole #1 is awesome and you hope the whole course is up to that standard, but unfortunately it goes downhill quickly after that. (We joked that if we ever came back, we would just play #1 a few times and then leave!)
This course is a long walk and takes extra time to play because of its length, long walks, and popularity. It does not loop back to the car in the middle of the round, and there is little shade. During the summer months, add in the TN heat and humidity, and this course can take a lot out of you- almost to where it might not be fun if you are not prepared.
Other Thoughts: This course is very popular locally and many seem to really enjoy this course, but I personally found it to be average and generally uninteresting. There are a few good holes here, and I can see some positives, but there are really just too many cons for this to be a top level course and major disc golf destination. Knoxville as a whole for disc golf would rank in TN below the Nashville, Memphis, and Bristol areas in my opinion. OK if you are passing through, but don't make it a priority destination.
I was debating between a 2.5 and a 3.0, but I give it a strong 2.5, which is the rating for a decent/typical course. It does not place in the upper half of all the courses I have played, it is just on the outside.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
A Round at Victor
Pros: Concrete tee pads, tee signs, practice basket, some nice elevation changes and contoured pins. Long tees and baskets on many holes and helpful locals.
Cons: Very tough on a windy day. Could use some "next tee" indicators.
Other Thoughts: Very challenging course with very few opportunities for twos. I like that but not too beginner friendly. Awesome course and definitely a should play!
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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