You don't need Woodward (or Bernstein) to solve this course's problems
4 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.
4 of 4 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.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: has a small variety of open and close holes. and they have lately been keeping up with it a little more. and the hole near the bridge has been fixed.
Cons: some baskets are missing, it sometimes floods, and the signs are falling over.
Other Thoughts: good for intermediate, or beginners. not that hard of a course
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Woodward Park: Rough and Rugged.
Pros: -Very Challenging.
-Tight wooded fairways.
-One fairway has an island hole. (Which I enjoyed!)
-Tunnel shot on #17.
-Segregated from the rest of the park.
-Scorecards w/map in Mailbox
-Course is currently being renovated and redesigned to help with the navigation and overgrown brush problems
-Some directional signs pointing to the next basket.
-Good pin placement.
-Strategic drive placement. The second shot is a big factor here.
-Improvements are in progress here
Cons: -Navigation is probably the #1 issue at Woodward. Some tee's can be hard to locate. The new location of the 8 tee was hard to find.
-There is a lot of overgrown brush, which lends itself to the statement of "being precise".
-Some overlapping and crossing of fairways occurs.
-Map could use some landmarks to help in locating and navigating ones way throughout the course
-Bugs can be bad as well (I've been using Avon's "Skin So Soft" and it has worked great! Just an FYI)
-Keep in mind, as you go from #11 to #12 you have to cross, and walk towards the teebox of #7. Look both ways before crossing the fairway. Otherwise you could take a disc to the face. ...I'm just sayin!
Other Thoughts: Woodward Park is all about being accurate, and in some cases it's about being precise! You will find tight wooded fairways, that are narrow. Now, if you aren't a fan of the "Tight and Narrow" then this course may not be for you. However, if you like an accuracy challenge, and you enjoy playing in rugged elements then Woodward might be worth checking out. If it's possible, I highly recommend hooking up with a local. The navigation here is a challenge in it of itself. Just trying to locate the next tee can be a challenge. Holes #4 & #5 are lined with some seriously dense brush, so it would behoove one to stay to the left of the fairway! As I said in the first sentence "It's about being precise here!"
There is a cadre of people that are working to renovate the course. Remember, it's not an overnight process, but one that takes time. ...and $$$! If you can get past the navigation and brush issues, it's not that bad of a course. People are in the process of improving the navigation issues, as well as the brush issues. I would play here again. I wouldn't make a special trip, but if I was in the vicinity I would stop and take in another round. (Now that I know where I'm going! ;) )
I really enjoyed playing the wooded fairways and I really enjoyed the island hole. I also have to say that the tunnel shot on #17 was my favorite hole of the course. I enjoy the challenge of a tunnel shot, especially ones with a healthy Risk/reward. Just remember to keep this in mind: Woodward is a work in progress, and it's not finished yet. I'm not opposed to bumping my rating, as it improves. This course definitely has potential.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Its right off the highway. I like natural tee pads so I can wear my soccer shoes. The park has potential.
Cons: Poorly maintained. I played this course a couple of years ago and it was fun, but not maintained. Now it is just odd. I was playing while there was another group there and we almost hit each other with how the holes played next to and on top of some times. I wish they would have just cleaned the course up. I live about 2 hours away and won't go back unless it gets "redesigned" again. The course does have 4 ok holes, but most of them I question the experience of the designer(s). I don't like putting on a hole and then having to walk blindly into another fairway to get to the next tee. It is not a very safe idea. Also a group in front of us threw on top of this shed that attaches to a building, it doesn't have to be a bad shot because the shed is right in the middle of the fairway. This building looks like it is about to fall down. I hope nobody gets hurt at this course.
Other Thoughts: Not worth going too. I wasted a good bit in gas to get there because I heard it was "redesigned".
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The field on #1 and #2 floods after rain, which can hang around for weeks, and the county cannot do anything about it because it is a SCDOT drainage problem. We have made the right contacts and have come to the conclusion that nothing can be done. Therefore, we cannot do much for #1 and #2. We extended #2 past the bush line, where we cut out a fairway opening to the tennis court fence and to the left to avoid the flooding. We were forced to move the new #3 to the left side of the tree line because it was totally under water after just a little rain.
We are thinking of moving the #4 tee pad over the ditch on the embankment of the bridge. The current location of the #4 tee pad is a blind dog leg left for a long birdie putt. We like the #5 shot up to the railroad track basket. We cut back the overgrowth on the right along the embankment of the bridge to allow for a clear shot up to the basket. A right handed backhand anheizer or a forearm heizer can make this landing for a birdie. It's a beautiful glide when made correctly. #6 is original. #7 now has a mound past the initial tee box that can be used as an alternate tee box. Using the mound would make this a possible ace shot.
We skipped the old #8 after interviewing serveral local disc golfers about which hole they would eliminate. The new #8 basket has been extended out to the open area behind the baseball field. We moved the tee box up another 30 feet to allow for a low drive to skip out to the left in the open area for a birdie. #9 is a possible ace shot, after we cleared out bushes and trees on the left. The county extended the shed overhang. This is something the recreation department had informed me that was going to happen. We now need to cut back the trees and bushes on #10 on the left side of the fairway (left side of the big trees) to eliminate the shed being in play.
#11 - #14 is original. #14 is the "island" hole that still needs attention. We cut back trees on the left of #15 to open up the fairway for another possible ace shot. To give some relief from the tight fairways in the woods, the new #16 allows for a "grip it and rip it" drive. We cut back trees and bushes on the left side of #17 for a possible ace shot. #18 has two tee boxes. The new alternate tee box is located by the #3 basket and is to be used when the soccer field is occupied. The new # 18 tee box (follow the sign down the gravel road by the trash can) is where the soccer field is located. This allows for one last long drive over the fence and up the hill to the basket by the tennis courts.
Cons: BUGS, bring the spray during the summer! A little too much overgrowth, needs more maintenance.
Other Thoughts: Check out the FB page: "Woodward Park Disc Golf Course" I have not seen many players in the area. If you read this contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help with the upkeep and workdays.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Needs some lovin'
Pros: **DISCLAIMER** I've been informed that this course has recently undergone significant changes, so many things mentioned in my review may no longer apply. This review was from June 2009
There are some fun shots on this course, I particularly like the first two and last two holes. The spread out the lines between lefties and righties fairly well and the fairways are generally fair. Island hole is an interesting idea. Tee signs were excellent when they could be found. The park was in good shape and well used, but the course never interfered or vice versa.
Cons: Dirt teepads, which often made it hard to determine where to actually tee from. Lack of signs on many helds led to some confusion and I wandered around a bit looking for the next tee, a couple times just guessing. The island hole, while a fun idea seemed a bit contrived. The course has some very wet and marshy areas. While there are some shots in the open a lot of the holes are tight in the woods, which could lead to some tree frustration.
Other Thoughts: I think with some help this would be a real nice course. Tee signs need to be replaced where missing and tee-pads are always a plus. Otherwise, despite throwing pretty crappy I thought that this was an enjoyable course, and worth the relatively short drive from Columbia.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
C- = a little below average
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == B
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max. == B-
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == B
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == D+
5) Bonus points for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == D+
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (125 18-hole, 64 9-hole as of mid 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I can add anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me….that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
It grows on you
Pros: Since most of the course is in the woods--no one is in the way (from the adjacent baseball fields). Most of the course is in the shade.
Cons: 80% of the holes are tightly wooded giving you no choices on the tee. You will hit a lot of trees and when it rains some of the course is under water.
Other Thoughts: 1, 2, 5, and 18 are the only open holes everything else is very narrow. With the renovation add 3 and 16 to the open holes.
This course will grow on you. Yes, the course needs some work done and there are some issues with some holes, but there are some cool holes as well.
Holes I enjoy: 1,2,7, 11, 13, 16, 17, 18
Holes that need to be redesigned IMHO: 4,5,8, 10 maybe 15
Holes that need tweaking: 3--there is an annoying little pine tree right in the way of the only viable route. Maybe cut that sucker down.
4--build a teebox way up the hill (if you have elevation, use it right?)
5-- maybe put the tee box on the side of the hill as well. Or at least an alt.tee
8--a little silly. maybe cut the trees a little more on the left so it is possible to a least make it into the opening
10--total redesign due to the shed
Try this course it may grow on you like it has on me. It is very peaceful out in those woods.
Remember this course is a work in progress and needs support, but has huge potential.
5 of 5 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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