10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A very nice little park course. Lots of elevation changes -- the pictures don't do this justice, as the ups and downs are quite steep. Pin placements on a lot of these slopes add to the challenge. You must learn how to park your putts so they don't roll down these hills, or you'll be looking at long return shots.
The layout is nice, no repeat back-to-back holes -- a longer, uphill hole will be followed by a shorter, downhill hole. A lefty hole followed by a righty, although there are no major doglegs.
I love the challenge that seems to slowly develop over the course. As you get to the back 9, the holes start to take a different shape and very unique lines.
I love the amphitheatre shot, a nice long run with the amphitheater in the valley between the pin and the tee. I also loved 18 -- almost 400' downhill tunnel with trouble to the left.
Excellent signage. I questioned the measurements on a couple holes, but the signs themselves are quite nice.
Cons: If you're an experienced player, you should ignore the listed par and play everything par 3. No hole over 400', and no major doglegs = par 3 course(imho).
Older baskets, gray tops that are often hard to see. The chains were fine though, which is the most important piece :).
Navigation was not great -- I was in a group that knew the course but tried to see it as if I were alone. A few "next tee" signs help, but you can see a lot of baskets and tees from most places, and it could be confusing without a guide or map.
Church bells - again, not a BIG con, but when they ring, they ring for 10 minutes or more!
Traffic. Lots of people out and about wandering through the course. Some looked to be bums.
There's a basketball court all alone in the middle of the park. While it doesn't interfere much with throwing, it was very popular when we were there, lots of people and loud. Again not a big deal, but they definitely didn't know what disc golf was -- one person picked up one of our drives and might have kept the disc without us yelling that it was ours. Many more just casually walked down fairways straight at us, and I wouldn't want to start trouble with them either.
No trashcans, except at the front of the park. No restrooms either.
Other Thoughts: I like the course and I'm looking forward to playing the upcoming tourney, but with no hole over 400', the baskets, the location, the lack of amenities, and by comparison, I rate this as a "Good" 3.0
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: lots of elevation changes. plenty of "in-play" trees to force you to try different lines and lots of LARGE standing trees make for a nice walk in the park
Cons: It is early in the year but there was a TON of leaves all over, made disc hunting challenging at times. I think I saw 2 blades of grass so there was a lot of packed dirt, leaves and other ground cover but not much grass at all
Other Thoughts: probably a nicer course in the mid to late summer, keep this in mind when trip planning.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Lots of fun, no big arm required
Pros: Compact course with lots of elevation changes. The park is very well kept, and the course is well maintained. Some great signature holes (#18 and the ampitheater are my favorites) Local players are very friendly!
The course has a very good amount of activity, and it's easy to find a tour guide.
Cons: While no long distance walking required between holes, lots of up and downhill walking. Parks dept recently added a walking path that runs through some fairways, but no walkers when I played. Soil compaction along the wooded fairways means lots of exposed roots to trip over.
Other Thoughts: I love this course! You can knock out a solo round very quickly. I dropped in on the wednesday doubles, and joined 17 other players for a round. The locals are super friendly, and offered quite a bit of help with this old man's technique.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Course, Great Elevation Changes
Pros: The elevation changes on this course are epic! I really enjoyed the scenery and the layout was great. The holes all had very different challenges to them. Some were more wooded than others. Some had greater elevation changes than others. The hazards were very nice because they would definitely add a stroke but you were able to get your disc back unlike some water hazards I've played. I also have learned to treasure cement tee pads when they are present. This course is filled with signature holes the three that come to mind are:
6 - Which has a great blind drive downhill. Great reward for going all out with your drive but you could very easily end up in the ravine.
15 - Which plays around the amphitheater. This hole was fun being forced to play along the left side. A good drive sets you up for an easy 3.
18 - What to say about this hole? Long, beautiful view, enormous elevation change. A nice straight drive on this hole can easily travel 300-400 feet. This was a unique fun hole to play and made the hour drive well worth it.
Cons: The layout is definitely not obvious and printing the map is a 100% must. I had some beginners with me and this course was definitely not for them. The par numbers on this course are weird but really doesn't matter that much. Just according to course par I shot 5 under. If I played all par 3's than I shot 9 over. Small thing but mentally I had the greatest round of my career. The only other con, and I don't think everyone will deal with this, but a large group of people were walking back to their car and walked right in front of the 15th tee box. There was obviously no hurry to get out of the way or care that we were waiting on them, they did not thank us for waiting for them or apologize for taking so long. It was just very rude, I know most courses are mixed use parks but a little courtesy would be nice.
P.S. It was fall and all of the leaves had fallen, one of our group was playing primarily with a red disc, this was very hard to find. I'd suggest this time of the year bringing bright discs.
Other Thoughts: This course was great. The facilities were all nice, and it was well worth the hour drive that it took to get there. I really enjoyed this course and will make a point to visit every time I'm near Columbia. Also there has been a lot of comments on the type of baskets. They all seemed just fine to me and I never had a problem with missing puts because of the chains.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth the stop...
Pros: -Lots of elevation changes.
-Big magnificent looking trees towering overhead, still leaving fairways open.
-Pretty easy to find your way around.
-Epic ditches (almost canyons) if your shot goes awry.
-Old school pars that make you feel awesome about your game.
-Close out your game chucking down a humongous hill. Always awesome.
-Good peoples, see other thoughts.
Cons: -A few places that give you the opportunity to really damage your disc.
-Old baskets, but still good ones. (Apparently upgraded before I had a chance to write this)
-Old school pars that make you feel awesome about your game, even when you suck.
Other Thoughts: I really, really, enjoyed playing this course. Being from Michigan, the flora was just different enough to be exotic. It was very hot, and I didn't know there was water located in the circle island by the parking lot. After nine holes, I saw someone else who directed me there, and I filled up. The people seemed very nice, and there was a lost disc sitting by a trash can, unmolested, and someone had some signs posting about finding a lost disc and wanting to return it. My fiancee had the joy of impressing some locals throwing some of the best shots of her life in quick succession, and they were cheering her on.
I definitely will be stopping by again, if I find myself in Columbia.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautiful woods with great variances in elevation. Lot of blind tee to catcher holes. Interesting area and throwing over the outdoor classroom was different. You simply have to play Hole 18 and find out your level of confidence.
Cons: Even with most holes having an arrow on top of basket to next hole a course map is useful. If you have trouble going up and down hills forget this course. More elaborate info posts giving at least a hint to the basket location would be helpful.
Other Thoughts: While I was there they were improving the catcher baskets as was mentioned in another player's review.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Gotta play it
Pros: You can use a variety of discs on this course. It challenges your whole game. Sure it is short and the pros can tear it up, but since almost every hole has elevation it can bite back. Earlwood is known for its' rollaways. #18 is just beautiful to look at, but your mantra on 18 is throw low because a nasty dose of bushes await you on the immediate left and a swampy area on the left more down toward the basket. This is really the only hole you can lose a disc (maybe 9 in the ditch or over the railroad tracks.)
Cons: Old school baskets can lead to blow throughs. Just pull out ye ol' blowfly! Baskets are in the process of getting extra chains though. (#11 already has them installed and they work great) Restrooms in the rec center are rarely open. Can interfere with other park users on some holes #11,12, 16
Other Thoughts: Ignore all par signs. This course should be played as all par 3's--par 54 (did some math for you there)
Favorite holes: 4, 8, 16, 18
Holes that can piss me off: 7.
Saw a drug deal near hole 8 one day.
This is a great course for beginners too. It open enough for errant shots. Somewhat of a playground for your kids to play on.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: One of if not the funnest course I've ever played. This is hands down without a doubt the best course in the world without a par 4 or 5. Elevation on this course is awesome and just so many fun shots. 18 might be the best par 3 finishing hole in the world and just when you play a great hole, there is another great hole around the corner.
Cons: The basket's are old and you get some funky spits and lip outs. It's not in a very good area of town and there are a lot of roll aways which can get frustrating.
Other Thoughts: A must play. That simple.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
A great course in the Capital of South Carolina
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Earlwood is a classic course from the 90's that is well worth your time to stop and play.
-Located in a nice urban park. Well maintained & clean
-Trash Cans & Benches
-Beautiful Terrain. The course plays up & down hills continually.
-Decent Navigation. Some of the baskets have arrows pointing to the next teepads. (I'd still recommend printing off the map.)
-Courses navigates back to the parking lot. Allowing for a "quick 9" on either the front or back 9. This also allows for a stop off at the car if needed.
-Course interactions with Non-players was minimal.*
-#18 is a spectacular finishing hole. Definitely the courses signature hole.
-Throwing over the Amphitheater on #16 was a fun experience! It's the type of hole where you will two more discs, beyond your initial shot, just to watch them fly!
-It may be a challenging course to start out on, but I think beginners will do just fine playing here.
-Earlwood still offers a challenge to the regular player. It may not be as challenging to the professional player, but a professional player could still have a good time here.
-Big "Fun Factor" for me!
-Course requires strategy over distance, but still offers holes that will let you drive for distance.
-The majority of Earlwood is shaded with trees, this can offer a little bit of relief on hot days.
Cons: -Walking trails have been added to the course, which may cause interference from Non-players.
-*(flip side of the pro) Though interactions were minimal, I noticed a few areas where crowds could cause a stop in play. Perhaps a family reunion at a shelter house, some type of Concert in the park in the Amphitheater, or even just a busy Saturday when everyone is "out & about".
-Signs, although they were very nice, offered limited information. (Hole #, Par and Distance only)
-I didn't have any major "Issues", I've been told that the bathrooms aren't readily "accessible".
Other Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed Earlwood! It's a fun course that is not overly challenging. Don't mistake that, Earlwood has challenges. I'm saying that there is a great (Challenge:Fun) ratio. Earlwood is located in a really nice park, in downtown Columbia. It was well maintained, and clean.
Play at Earlwood will have you working that right line through the trees. You will be throwing up and down hills. Sometimes throwing on a blind shot, as you throw over the top of a hill. There are a few risk/reward holes, as well as numerous holes that will make you consider the lie for your second shot. (i.e. You may have a great drive, but you could end up with a bad roll going downhill.) 18 is the signature hole, and the epitome of "Risk/Reward". You throw down a steep 382 ft tight & narrow wooded fairway. All it takes is one tree to ruin a nicely executed drive. #18 can be painful, but it's also a fun challenge! You may even find yourself emptying your bag, just to see if you can pull it off.
If your trip has you in, around or near Columbia, SC then this course is definitely worth a stop. I drove from over an hour away to play here, and I was not disappointed. No special footwear is needed here, but you will be trekking up & down steep hills. I was also warned that Poison Ivy, Sumac, and Oak can be bad in some places, so take proper precautions. You would be well advised to bring some liquids, because you will get a work out walking this course. If you can hook up with a local, that will help with some of the blind shots and other navigation issues.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: nice course, concrete tee pads, multiple pads, pretty open
Cons: Way over parred. My friend had never played before and shot a -17. I played like crap and shot a -6. I usually shoot about +5 or 6.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed it, my friends didn't. But they were mostly disappointed by the high par. Well maintained.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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