Urban Golf in a Rural State
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The individual holes on this course are excellent. This is an exceptional mix of right and left, elevation that borders on being bluffs or cliffs at times, and some of the slope and that elevation causes great confusion about disc choice. Advanced to pro players alike will find great challenge in the technical aspects, and even the most fit athlete will find the walk demanding (not to mention the heat and humidity adding to that).
Hole 18 was the signature to me, a steep long downhill that even those with average distance can reach. The question will be whether or not you get it onto that narrow green (I was 30 feet right, behind a 5 foot diameter oak, and barely able to stand on the slope, causing me to clang my putt).
Cons: The park is a beautiful urban park with a visitor center and other facilities which aren't used much, so there is little interference with other park users.
The biggest cons are that the course map is terrible and the signage is awful. It's nearly impossible to find one's way around the first 6 holes, though the course becomes somewhat easier to navigate at that point (it seems obvious where the next hole is at that point). Those first few holes also cross an area with tennis courts and the fairways are a little too compact and close together, with numerous baskets visible (I played hole 6 tee to hole 7 basket in 3, which very much impressed another old timer out there).
Other Thoughts: It's a beautiful park and challenging golf. If the first few holes could be redesigned and it were easier to follow, I might have bumped my rating up a half disc. If I lived in the area, I might make it my regular course, as it's easy to find and beautiful.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -There are lots of interesting lines at Earlewood. Every hole seems to have "That one tree" that forces you to take an unconventional or unexpected line. This is really what makes the course fun.
-There are no filler holes or waste of space at Earlewood. It's not a large course, but it feels like the course is carefully crafted to maximize the space available.
-There is a surprising amount of elevation for a course in the midlands.
-This course has older baskets with a dome on top. This adds to the character of the course.
-Navigation is a little tricky until you realize that each basket has a sticker on top of the dome pointing you in the direction of the next tee. Not to mention the random green bar on the cage of each basket pointing you towards the next basket. This was a nice touch.
-Not a ton of places to lose a disc.
Cons: -The biggest con for me at Earlewood was several key maintenance issues. The worst one being that the tee pads for holes 9 and 12 were almost completely covered with dirt and gravel. Another big issue is an abnormal amount of litter scattered throughout the course. And, finally, there is an abundance of poison ivy in the middle of the fairway on hole 7.
-The course is fairly short as are most of the holes.
-This course appears to be constantly busy!
Other Thoughts: Earlewood Park is not the isolated disc golf oasis just outside of downtown Columbia, but I did not leave disappointed. It's a fun play that forces you to throw a variety of lines in order to score well. Earlewood has the elevation changes of the upstate, but the swamp by hole 18 doesn't let you forget that the coast is not far off.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - parking no problem
- well placed baskets make course challenging for beginners
- several open fairways make for easier play
- overall a fun course for all type of players
Cons: - fairways on most part are tight
- hole 6 has a lot of weeds around basket, easy to lose disk
- hole 17 has guy wire from power pole in front of tee.
Other Thoughts: Fun course to play. Watch out for walkers! (Not the Walkimg Dead kind)
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -The first pro about Earlewood is if you live in Columbia and cant drive very far, this course is the funnest to play in the area. Starting at hole 1 you know this course is going to have a treat in store for you.
-The course features holes that are moderately wooded, open, and heavily wooded. Hole 1 is what I would consider "moderately wooded" due to the trees located in the fairway. Not hard to miss them, but there are still trees. Hole 14 is an example of an open hole. A 200ft straight shot that, while having trees on either side, is very easy just to stay in the fairway for that easy bird, and it's even an ace run. Hole 18 is the most heavily wooded hole, but it's also one of the most fun. It's one of the longest holes, so if you're trying to put power in your drive make sure you watch where it goes because it can be very tedious to find.
-Elevation changes are abundant within Earlewood. Some holes you throw uphill, such as hole 7, and some holes you throw downhill, such as hole 18. They are just tremendously fun to play and if you get a lot of glide on one of those downhill holes it's definitely a blast to see. Hole 18 rivals that of R.L. Smith and Robbins as best downhill finishing hole for me.
-If you are new to disc golf, like I was when I first played here, you will love it. It's not hard to find the next teebox, holes are not too difficult with the pars they're set at, and you always have a chance at making a good run at the hole. Be wary of rollers though!
-The teepads are all concrete, and the baskets are the old Mach 1 baskets, although they catch very well and seem to fit the park.
-Restrooms and water fountains near hole 12, which is greatly appreciated!
Cons: -It is not in the best of neighborhoods as far as I can tell. My buddy and I were playing hole 10 and there was a guy just sitting right off the fairway with his shirt off looking out of it. I assume he was homeless. Not all homeless people are bad, however, and this has not affected the rating at all.
-There are hardly any trashcans and no benches besides the occasional tree stump.
-If you are trying to play through a group ahead of you, I would just skip the hole they're on. Countless times I've had to sit there and wait for groups of 3, 4, 5 and once even a whole family of about 15 to play without them asking if we (2 of us) wanted to play through. I asked a group of 3 if we could play through, and you'd think I had asked them to commit treason on the king the way they looked at me. Again, this didn't affect my rating, just trying to let you all know.
-Pedestrian filled. It's close to two baseball fields, and when there are tournaments you cant even play some of the holes. Kids and adults alike just running around or sitting on the fairway.
-When there are mandos (hole 2 is the only one I know of) they're hard to spot. I didn't even realize hole 2 had a mando until my fifth time playing there. I think the lack of mandos makes it dangerous as well. I about clobbered someone on a shanked drive from hole 1. I was trying to go right of the trees, and even though I did go right, it was way way right. A mando would have prevented me from doing as such.
-If you do shank a drive, such as hole 5, be prepared to get dirty. To the left of hole 5 is a deep treacherous ravine and even in the dry summer days it can be a challenge.
-Hole 17 has great potential, however the grounding lines (?) that are right in front of the teebox really frustrate me.
Other Thoughts: Very fun course within the Columbia area. It has its flaws, however it's still an amazing course.
My favorite holes are hole 4 (easy bird and an ace run, even with a simple overhand shot), Hole 8 is a wonderful and difficult shot; right off the teebox there are two trees you have to sneak your way past, but once you do (and you miss all the other trees) it's wonderful to play. I have to throw at least three drives if no one is behind me. Hole 16 and Hole 18 are good holes if you want to watch your drive soar!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Nice course in pretty area
Pros: Beautiful shade trees, hills, varying terrain. Holes are encouraging as par is not difficult for intermediate players. Lots of trees and other to avoid.
Cons: Again, maybe par is set too low on most holes.
Other Thoughts: We enjoyed the course a lot and will return if we are in the area.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: -it has a large Varity of elevation, and it is well kept.
-path does not cut though the holes as much
- open and tight holes
- a good Challenge
Cons: -no restrooms
- Sometimes tiring
-hardly any benches
Other Thoughts: there is a new building being bulit, and it looks like it will be pretty big Compared to the old one.
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Just playing through
Pros: Great mix of ups, downs, lefts, and rights, not any tight doglegs though
Some open fairways as well as some tight ones
Very well maintained, didn't see any trash
Hole No. signs with footage
Nice players on the course
Cons: Wish they had signs designating which basket goes with which hole, only a problem as it was my first time playing and the holes are fairly close together.
Many fairways and tees are very close together, so be mindful of other players.
Other Thoughts: Played the course quickly on my way through town but was very impressed. Ample parking and a great mixture of different holes. Had a great time and would definitely play it again if I go through Columbia again.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Lots of elevation changes
and all around a nice course
all the creeks and streams have dried up and there is no water hazard unless it rains.
it is very challenging and i love to play this course
Cons: the mach 1 baskets seem old school and narrow but i had no trouble putting into them at all but the baskets could cause problems and i believe restrooms on the course would be nice.
on hole nine there is a big drop off and in some spots it is hard to retrieve discs maybe they should do like the course where im from in florida and make bamboo poles with hooks.
Other Thoughts: it is not really for new players but it is a fun challenging course
this course is very fun and there is no problem with navigation.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Classic Old School
Pros: A nice mixed of holes that allows for all skills level a sense of challenge while not pandering to one skill level or another.
The course offers cement tee pads and utilizes the parks natural features really well as far as the available land, creek beds and elevation. I thought the flow of the course worked well too...even though others say the course is hard to follow for first time players.
The best thing about the course was the sense of community I felt when first arriving at the park. All the players that were just heading out on to the course or had just finished 18 were pleasant with saying hello and general chit-chat. I don't hear that as often at others courses.
Cons: Cons would be the real old-school Mach I (I think) baskets...they're a bit narrower than more traditional baskets and the basket itself is shallower than others and allow for more putts to be rejected
I also felt like some obstacles like the Amphitheater on hole 16 wasn't well thought out as it appears to have been built after the course...at least it looks newer than the course looks.
Other Thoughts: All in all Earlewood is a classic neighborhood park that works its way through an older area of town and the course is a very classic old school feel.
When I hear people talking about "World Class Course" they'e always saying things need to be longer. Earlewood shows how limited space with other activities at a park can still showcase the best of Disc Golf...at least what Disc Golf was when I first began playing.
The best ways to increase my rating of this course would be to update the baskets and maybe make the tees slightly bigger. Those are 2 minor things.
Earlewood is a course you will want to play if you want to learn where Disc Golf came from and why all the old timers still throw a lot of short range control discs. This course shows that you can leave the bigdogs at home.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Nice course to get a workout playing
Pros: Shaded course helps to keep you cool in the hot months. The hills will give you a little bit of a workout.
Cons: Construction around the first hole made it a bit difficult in figuring out where to start. One tee pad per hole. Several holes surround the baskeball court and ampatheater, which could cause some issues when they are being used.
Other Thoughts: Wear long pants and closed toed shoes. Poison Ivy, oak and sumack line the course. Also, snakes and ticks could be an issue if not careful.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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