15 Helpful / 0 Not
A Solid Classic
Pros: Earlewood is your classical older city park style course that is mature, seasoned, and perfectly worn. Elevation is the major challenge here playing both up and down on many holes, but it is tasteful and fun, not sadistically difficult. The course offers many other challenges and obstacles: trees are as you would expect, some thicker rough, creek hazards (site shows half the holes having water, but the creek really comes into play on just a couple, and it is small and seems like most of the time retrieving discs would not be a problem), and finally the unique structures like a pipeline and an amphitheater. Variation in hole distance is better than the it looks on paper due to the elevation changes utilized on most holes. The concrete tees, basic signs and older baskets get the job done. Course contains two loops of 9 holes. Navigation was not too bad as there are mostly short walks to the next tee, but print a map first to make it easy.
The finishing hole is one of the best around- long, downhill, narrow fairway between tall trees- it is gorgeous, challenging, and one where you will want to empty the bag. The downward elevation makes this 380' hole aceable for many, but get into trouble off the tee and you could be facing a bogey or worse. I bet many rounds have been decided on this hole with a multiple shot swing possible.
Cons: The course is integrated into other park activities somewhat- walking trail, the amphitheater, a road, picnic tables, tennis courts, and basketball courts. (And a note on the basketball, there was an intense game going on by some hot-tempered foul-mouthed locals and I would have not been shocked to have heard gunshots at some point--- we kept our distance!)
A few design issues- 1) the front is not as strong as the back, 2) the first few holes almost play on top of each other with no distinct division/barrier between them, and 3) the walk from 9 to 10 takes across #1 fairway that is blind because of the tennis courts (be sure to peek out before crossing to avoid a disc to the head). Also, the parking lot is not really close to hole 1 & 10 as we had to wander and hunt for it over some construction and we did not find any restrooms in the park.
This course does not provide the "removed-from-the-world" feel- it is your average city park with other park users around and you can see much of the park and course from just about anywhere on the course.
Other Thoughts: Earlewood is a great public course that thankfully has survived from an earlier era of disc golf. There are several run-of-the-mill holes, but there are also several good and unique holes here, too. This is a course I wouldn't mind playing over and over again. It has its challenges, but gives you a chance to work on your game without too much punishment. Overall, it is just fun to play and worth the stop it you are passing through the area.
*Note: At first glance it appears on the hole info link of this site that there are two sets of tees, but there is just one. This is just done to show both pars (the old ones shown on the tee signs and then the standard pro par of today).
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Mature Course
Pros: Challenging, yet forgiving holes.
Elevation changes add color and variety to the course. Unique holes that you will remember and look forward to playing again.
Fairways are open but trees add the element of good decision making for placement of shots.
Locals were firndly enough to direct me to the start and other places where the basket was blind.
Cons: Some fairways overlap and a few holes you have to walk through another fairway.
Lots of other activity in the park that could disrupt your game.
Baskets look old.
Tee pads have a lot of debris on them.
Par noted is questionable(very forgiving)
Signage is poor.
Other Thoughts: First time to this area and looking for a place to play. Earlewood offers a varaity of shots needed and a great place to work on your game from different aspects. Like other reviewers noted. each hole brings a unique character to the course and the holes are not repetitive. This is a course that if you lived here, you could play a million times and continue to enjoy it. While the baskets could use a bit of sprucing up and the tee pads provided some brooms, the upkeep of the course is very good. The signs from baskt to next tee are poor and I found a few times early on in the course wandering around trying to figure out which way to go. With a little sprucing up, this is easily a 4 star course.This was a nice surprise to add onto a out of town trip. I would encourage you to add this to your wish list if you're in the area.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Concrete Tee Pads
Maintained very well, very clean
Several elevated shots
Great for new players or experienced players
Classic course from the 90s
Cons: I have been out when its packed and you have to wait to play a hole.
Watch out for people with a wild throw coming at your head due to the course being compact.
Other Thoughts: I love this course, I play it several times a week.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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.
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