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 / 7 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 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
A great course in the Capital of South Carolina
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 / 7 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 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A Nice Easy Little Course
Pros: - Elevation changes: A great mix of elevation. In some cases, it made the hole a little more of a test if you didn't land the perfect shot. You had to sometimes think of what approach shot or putt angle to go after in case you missed.
- "Thought" needed to maximize score: Like listed above, some holes required you to think of your exact angle and power of your approach. If you made a mental error and didnt take obstacles, hills, etc. into account, you could go from makable birdie to tough par in an instant.
- A good amount of obstacles: Not as bad as courses where just not hitting a tree is a pro, this course has a solid blend of trees and other obstacles in the way making a duffed shot more difficult to find par.
- Scenic (both park and people): There were people playing basketball and softball and walking on the scenic trail, which made it nice to be around others and people watch. At the same time, I never found any of these people to be in the way or have to worry about them. The holes did a good job of maneuvering around that.
Cons: Bathrooms never open?: A few people said they were rarely open, which is odd considering the amount of people there. Made it very uncomfortable for the round I really need to go!!
- Par 5's: Even my worst attempts at the Par 5's resulted in birdies. I had one where I hit the first tree possible and still had an easy birdie. I'll discuss "Par" below, but I didn't care for these Par 5's.
- Signage for Beginners: The signs didn't point toward the basket. My first round I had to start over because I was playing the wrong baskets. After one time through with some local players, this wasn't a problem.
No changes in pin placement, which could make it too easy after playing the course repeatedly.
Other Thoughts: I am not an advocate of "everything is a par 3". In regular golf, there are some courses that are extremely difficult (like the US Open) where breaking par over 4 rounds is ideal. Other courses, -4 might not be all that great for a round. A lot of the holes on this course are too easy to birdie. My biggest problem would be the Par 5's. If they were made into Par 4's, they would still be legit and relatively easy to birdie.
Again, I don't like a course where you feel like you never have a real birdie chance and par is easy if you stay conservative. I wouldn't mind seeing some of these get a little closer to realistic.
Overall, I really enjoyed this course. I'm not from South Carolina and enjoyed the change in scenery (being from West Texas right now). The 18th hole is great (should still be a par 4) but I loved it. The course really setup to my game well (the majority of my shots are power shots and I throw sidearm a lot, which helped with a lot of holes. Almost had the shot of my life on 18. Threw a near perfect over-correcting snapper (side arm) that bounces off the ground and hit the basket! Tapped In for double eagle.
Overall, a great course that I would love to play again if I ever get back to Fort Jackson.
My Scores: -9, -13, -11
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Classic City Course.
- Classic Golf Course. Earlewood is what I would consider a "Classic" style disc golf course. It's definitely an older course that was probably designed pre-beveled edge discs... however, the design holds up. All the holes are influenced by trees, but trees do not dominate. Rather, they force you to shape shots and hit gaps... with good shots being rewarded with a birdie opportunity.
- Great Golf Shots. There are just some really great golf shots here. Perfect use of natural features (foliage, elevation, ravines, creeks, thick ruff, etc...) and manmade features (OB roads, parking lots, and trails). And, it seemed as if for tournament play, there were lots of "add-on" restrictions that could be put in place to give the course an added challenge (i.e. OB trail and beyond, "island" greens, extra mandys, etc...).
- Hole 18. An extremely picturesque 380' tunnel shot, dropping steeply downhill, through a 20' wide window and under a ceiling, then flattening out for the final 250', all the while with Extremely Thick Disaster Left and OB road right. It's unfortunate that 96% of disc golf courses don't end with a bang like this one.
- Primitive Signage. I'm glad they invested in signage; however, Hole number, distance and "Rec" Par is all you get. It would have been nice if they had invested in some more informative signage that had a diagram showing the Hole layout with OB's and Mandys clearly marked. There was more than one hole where we didn't know that there was a Mandy, or that the pin was perched next to a potentially OB trail, until after we had thrown and walked 200' up the fairway.
- Traffic Issues. There was a walking path / Nature trail that bisected much of the front 9. There was also a basketball court and pavilion area that could come into play for novice throwers. We didn't have any issues (on a beautiful Sunday afternoon), but if the park was busy it could slow down play.
- Only One Pin Position. The pins seem to be cemented in the ground with no way to change their location. Not only does this not allow for course variety over time, but it also increases the amount of erosion surrounding the baskets... Lots of exposed roots.
- Posted Par. If you've ever read the threads regarding Par on this site then you know it's a hot topic. Let me clearly state that I am not a member of the "everything's a Par 3 / Pro Par" faction. And, let me say that I am in favor of having courses with Recreational Par labels as a way to get beginners motivated... However, with that said, the posted Pars here are false. Unless you're an extreme beginner, everything's a 3.
- Congrats DiscChainBasket18. DCB18 and I have been traveling around hitting up courses like crazy since I moved to NC (30 courses together in 10 months). This was his 50th course. Awesome milestone! Thanks DGCR!
- My Score: -4
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This place is a jewell. Beautiful park setting. The course is played through a stand of old growth trees. These majestic giants provide shade & challenge as each hole seems to utilize a path through the forest. Wooded but not thick. Space between the trees allows a great course layout. Benches on most holes. Tee signs & large cement tee pads await you on each hole. Garbage cans meant a clean course. Walking paths & picnic areas with good parking nearby. Creative use of elevation comes into play on nearly every hole although it's an easy walk. A small creek also comes into play from time to time. The baskets are the old design with a small rounded top & single-row (heavy) chains. These make a distinctive 'tone' sound when the disc hits them. It only adds to the unique vibe of the course.
Cons: Walkways & park benches are in the way of some throws. Tee signs could be a bit more descriptive. No super-long holes for big arms.
Other Thoughts: I had heard a tourament at this course that seems to sell out VERY quickly each year. I wondered what made the course so popular (review voting seems high as well). Now that I have played it I see why people enjoy it. It is a very cool 'old-school' course.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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