You don't need Woodward (or Bernstein) to solve this course's problems
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Woodward Park is a mixed bag of emotions. There's a lot of potential here for a decent course; yet, everything is slightly askew that your round can easily become a frustrating one. At its best, this can be a fun, beginner-friendly course. At its worst, the course should be avoided altogether.
- Here's my disclaimer right off the bat. The course was in bad shape the day I played. When I pulled up to the park, there were three vans full of recruits from Fort Jackson spending the day to clean up the course. Brad and his two dozen volunteers were knocking out a lot of the problems. With a couple more work days from the group, this course could be in good shape. With that said, I'm looking at a lot of this with a glass-half-full perspective.
- This is overall a pretty simple, shorter layout. There are only two holes longer than 400 feet, and both are open fairways, so you can be aggressive with your tee shots. The longer wooded holes (#12 & 18) have pretty wide fairways as well. The tighter wooded holes are the shorter layouts, requiring accurate tee shots.
- There's a good mix of wooded and open holes here. There are only several, true 'open' holes, but there are others that are half & half - either starting in the woods to an open basket (such as #5 or 18) or an open tee shot to a wooded basket (#4 or #10).
- Plenty of birdie opportunities here, as well as some potential ace runs. With the risk/reward element in play, being too aggressive and potential birdies throws could end up deep in the woods, leaving you scrambling for bogey, or worse.
- With continued upkeep (or even semi-regularly), there are surprisingly (to me, at least) a fair number of challenging and/or fun holes at this course. One of the best examples for a potentially good hole that's going to waste right now is #5. You tee off from the woods to a dogleg right basket, located on a hill. Add to that, the basket is close to being under the bridge, and it presents a visually pleasing layout. The problem is, however, that due to the lack of upkeep, the grass around the hole, and on the slope, was as tall as the basket itself. Look at the picture for the hole, and when you need an arrow to point out the basket from 75 feet away, you'll get a sense of the problem.
Cons: The short answer is nearly everything. The long answer is nearly everything, however….
- It seems there hasn't been a regular crew dedicated to keeping up with this course. Let's hope the current group, along with P&R, will change that.
- Signage was lacking and/or very inconsistent. Some holes had tee markers in the ground, some didn't. Some baskets were mis-numbered; some were broken. One hole even had a broken, temporary basket. I wasn't sure that was even a hole, and nearly skipped it. It wasn't until a couple holes later that I could determine that yes, that makeshift hole actually was a hole.
- Some holes had next tee signs, some didn't. Some holes that had long transitions needed better signs. There were crossing paths, long walks and holes crossing others, so accurate signage is crucial.
- The map needs to be improved. The map, in and of itself, is accurate. The online map, however, only shows holes (tees and baskets), but is missing important landmarks such as the tennis courts (and their relationship to holes #1 & 18), baseball field (and its relationship to holes 10, 11 & 16). It also needs to be drawn closer to scale.
- Perhaps most important of all, if the course isn't well maintained, you don't have a course at all. I've already referenced the issues with #5, so I'll now reference another hole. #2 could also be a fun hole. As stated, it's long and open for your tee shot, with the basket behind some trees and shrubs. The problem is that there isn't an opening in that line to actually get to the basket. So, there's no way to tell if you've thrown a good tee shot because your approach shot relies too much on luck. Or, you just throw a horrible shot too far left (into #1's fairway), then you can go around the line of trees. Add to that, without proper signage, you could be walking around for awhile, trying to find #3's tee.
Other Thoughts: Again, I was very encouraged to be showing up on the day Brad had two dozen volunteers spending the day to work on the course. That alone is going to impact my rating. It's also a good thing he was there, because even with my disc-golf navigational ability, there were a couple of times I would have been lost trying to find the next hole.
- There are a few too many blind tee shots, in my book. You either need better signage (arrows and the like) or tee signs, which I don't foresee anytime soon. #4, for example, had a way-too-narrow/virtually non-existent opening in the woods for your tee shot to land.
- The back nine was in much better shape than the front nine. That's probably due in part to having less overgrown grass and fewer longer walks to deal with.
- This is a beginner/casual-level course, so upkeep is crucial for several reasons. The first is that this is probably the first exposure to disc golf for many locals, and you don't want them turned off by a non-maintained course. Secondly, with poor maintenance, there's too much lost-disc factor in play, which would also turn off a beginner player.
- As I said, there were some fun holes in hiding here. The best hole right now, to me, was #17. It's a short, slightly downhill wooded hole. A great risk/reward factor here, especially seeing how it's the last chance for a birdie on the course…unless you play 18 as a par 4.
- If I didn't see volunteers cleaning up this course, it would be getting a 1.5 from me. That's the (slightly generous) level the course is, or at least was the morning I played it. Seeing the work that was being done, I'm giving this course a half-point bump, calling this a 2.0-in-progress. I see how just a little work would go a long way. At best, this is an average course. It'll be too easy and/or uninspiring for pros, but could turn into a fun course for beginners or casual rounds.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Shows promise ... still in need of work
Pros: A good mix of a couple open holes, several tight tee shots, a few tunnel style, and just a all around fun course
Cons: Basket for #9 was MIA for some reason today. there were no course maps in the mail box as the sign said there should be. Many of the holes weren't marked and looks like some vandals have knocked down several of the signs on the course and the flood potential is pretty high with even a moderate rain unless drainage is improved.
Other Thoughts: with some improvements and TLC here and there this could be a top notch course
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Course has real potential. Nice layout, uses the land well.Nice mix of holes long and short. Technical. Requires accurate throws.
Cons: Course needs TLC, dosen't look like there is a regular club or group that does regulat maintence. Holes are not marked very well. There are small sapplings and brush that could be cleaned up. Some of the land is low lying and holds water.
Other Thoughts: Just my opinion, but the Island hole #15, the Island could benefit from being a little bigger.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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