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.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Lady's and Gents doubles
Pros: I feel like excellent is a great description of this course. It has great technical aspects, elevation changes, technical lines and open fairways.
Cons: My legs hurt. I would be in better shape playing Earlwood regularly.
0 of 3 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.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
My youth group is going to regret this
Pros: -Earlewood is an old course. It was designed six years before I was born. It has so many of the "old course" qualities. It's a relatively easy course that any player can enjoy. The hole quality here is a 137/180 so that makes it exciting.
-Great balance of open/wooded here! Most holes are in the middle here. There are a few truly wooded holes and a couple open holes. A hole that stands out as an open/wooded hole is 13! It's an uphill hyzer that starts in the open but the green is very wooded. Definitely my favorite green on the course. 18's green is up there with 13's green! 18 has a creek past the basket. I can't believe I got in the creek on my drive! There are plenty of treacherous greens as well (particularly drop offs.)
-Some huge elevation changes here. 18 is one of the greatest finishing holes I have played! It's a long par 3 (par 5 if you play rec) with a huge elevation drop. It's the empty your bag hole! 18 is my favorite hole on this course. 7 is a huge uphill shot as well. It's only 275' but plays right around 400'! Those two holes have the greatest elevation changes but there are several straight ups and downs! There is a six hole elevation combo. Holes 11-16 all utilize elevation very well! 16 is a sweet valley shot over the amphitheater. I would never want to see an event going on around the amphitheater because it would be hard to play the hole!
-Beginner friendly! The tee signs say the par for rec players but you can always play white level by playing every hole as a par 3. I shot 1 under playing every hole as a par 3. The rough is used very fair. None of the rough is used to the extreme but is used solidly and just the way it should. The lost disc potential is low but there is a chance.
-Trees. The trees make it a little bit tricky but nothing over the top. Due to trees, some holes require an interesting hyzer. Particularly hole 12. Very cool hole with very small gaps straight ahead making it a good idea to hyzer to the right. Same with hole 2. A straight shot won't do here. You can hyzer or anhyzer.
-The Teepads are the way they need to be. Perfect size, great shape and concrete.
-The Mach 1 baskets work very well with the course. They are old but still catch fine. Like I said before, I love the basket locations too! Great greens with roller potential!
-Ace opprotunities. Some good ace runs here, they are definitely not gimmes but birdies will come if you hit your lines. An ace can come here but it's not going to come easily at all.
-Nice little park that's family friendly. It has a playground, a ball field, etc.
Cons: -Hole safety can be a real problem. Holes 1 and 2 are so close to each other. 17's fairway is awfully close to 18's Teepad as well. This problem comes around here are there showing there should be mandos.
-Hole 8 isn't a very good hole. It's just crammed in. It's super close to the road and there is a sign warning that the road ends. The hill slopes pretty steep to the left which could bring you back to hole 7. Just not a good hole for this course.
-Lack of amenities. No benches, trash cans, bathrooms.
-Hole 5's gulley is deep and insanely steep. I picked up my dad's disc and had a hard time getting out. It's even worse when it's wet outside. That's the hole that has good lost disc potential.
-I remember when I played here with my church group in 2012 and the bugs can be really bad in the summer.
Other Thoughts: -I love Earlewood and I love how it's still worth a road trip to play the disc golf course. We stopped in Columbia to spend the night so our drive to ocean isle won't be so long and boring. It was well worth my 2+ hour drive over here in Columbia where I was actually born. Even the scary merge from hwy 20 to hwy 26 during rush hour. I was glad to play here again because I loved the course when I played in the summer of 2012 and only played 10 holes. My youth leaders did not know what they missed here. They only played 1 thru 8. I played those holes as well as 10 and 11. They should've made more time to play here. A lot more time! Things get interesting after 11. Hole 12 was one of the best holes here as well as 13. Great greens and very interesting fairways.
-This is probably the best course in the area. I don't see what the hoo plah is about Crooked Creek. I've seen the pictures. It looks like a generic flat course. Same goes for Owens Field. This course is worth a road trip if you mostly play for your personal enjoyment. The hole quality is great! Same goes for Stoney Hill. I'd love to play that course and I will one day! This course is great and deserves this rating of a 4.0. I personally liked the back nine better than the front nine. It's just as hilly but has more uniqueness to it.
Signature holes would be 16 and 18. With 16 being the most interesting and 18 having the greatest use of elevation
Toughest hole-Ehhh I'd say hole 2. It's a very tricky downhill anhyzer shot. Perfect for flicks. Still a pretty easy 3 but requires an unusual anhyzer.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
nice course and fun to play
Pros: Very nice course with varied distances and pars. Every course I played on always is a par 3 for every hole...it is nice to have par 4 and five mixed in. I like the terrain and the holes and tee boxes are well marked. It has up and down terrain giving you a good work out when playing.
Cons: The hills are rough on players like me that have bad knees. The course is very busy at times making it hard to get in a round. Some of the hilly parts can be a little slippery.
Other Thoughts: Overall a great course that I would recommend to anyone that plays disc golf. It is also good that there is minimal pedestrians in the way.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Very well maintained park setting , most unique baskets I have ever played - all silver , slim chains with domed tops . Beautiful layout easily navigated .
Cons: Fairly short overall par 54 , but a nice mix , a couple of blind short holes can lead to hard to find tee shots .
Other Thoughts: A must play in Columbia .
0 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Fun Course to Play
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Well kept up. Beautiful area/surroundings. Plenty of trees and a variety of challenges.
Cons: A couple deep ravines where you can lose a disc. Baskets are "old style" and a bit long in the tooth.
Other Thoughts: A really solid course. It is also pretty hilly. ON a few tees the elevation drops or rises 30+ feet in a relatively short span.
0 of 6 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.
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