Fall Branch, TN

Harmon Hills

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4.715(based on 77 reviews)
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17 0
Ryal
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 6.8 years 216 played 182 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Harmon Hills' Harmonious Thrills

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 28, 2023 Played the course:once

Pros:

+ Tees are long, wide and flat concrete.
+ 'Next' signs where needed. Otherwise, the layout is pretty intuitive.
+ Benches, either natural or constructed, at each tee.
+ Eye-catching speckled orange baskets.
+ The property is a peaceful place with lovely hills and tree cover.
+ Link9 ends at the parking lot.
+ All links have tee signs, but...

Cons:

- ...The promiment tee signs are leftover from a passed tournament. The course's own tee signs are lacking.
- A few safety hazards here and there.

Other Thoughts:

I regret that I only had time to play the first eighteen links. I was meeting a friend in Nashville later that night and couldn't stick around to experience the other half of the course. I admired the forest behind the parking lot where I could hear discs hitting chains and wondered what kinds of challenging fairways I was missing out on. So, before you read any further, just understand that this review is based on just the first half of the course.

Even so, Harmon Hills is a tremendous place to enjoy our sport!

As soon as you step out of your car, the first thing you notice is the pleasant silence. This place is implanted in the middle of rural America far far away from any intersections, freeways, developments and businesses. Maybe you'll hear the occasional chainsaw in the distance. Otherwise, birdsongs, the rustling of leaves in the wind and your own footsteps are the only sounds you'll hear at this place.

The second thing you'll notice is the presentation. Healthy hills, towering trees, fragrant fields and more await the player. The venue is expertly cared for and looked after. During my round I marveled at the perfectly manicured fairways distinct from the reasonable rough. I didn't see any serious instances of course erosion, and the flow was easy to follow. It has a large footprint, yet none of the land felt wasted or underutilized. It was a breeze to navigate and a joy to play and look at.

My favorite one to play is hard to pin down. I loved the satisfying downhill tee-offs of links 1, 9, 14 & 15. I loved the devious tree puzzles of links 5, 8, 13 & 17. But maybe I enjoyed link6 the most? It starts and ends in the woods, but the middle portion has a crazy mix of open valley and a sprinkling of trees for the player to contend with. As for looks, I enjoyed the downward bumpy wooded texture of link3 finishing with a floor of dead leaves. Special mention goes out to that cave tucked away to the right of link9! I really wanted to take a peek inside but decided against it. Who knows what lives in there...?

On the criticism side of things, I really didn't like link10. That was the most boring one to my mind. Despite its hills, it was way too open and featureless. Furthermore, I saw and threw towards the basket for link35 before I even noticed the basket for link10. That could have just been a 'me problem,' though. Perhaps link13 is a bit too narrow and constricted for most players. The first two fairways have rock hazards hidden underfoot. Also, the tee signs were strange. Every link that I played had a sponsored plastic board sign that was clearly produced for a tournament that happened in the past. Were they not there, the course's own tee signs are simple tiny wooden brown hand-painted diagrams anchored to trees, if they can be found at all. On a course this good, that was shocking to see.

But let's be real. If those are the only criticisms that I can level at Harmon Hills, then this place is obviously doing way more things right than wrong. Even though I've only played the first half, I still give Harmon Hills a strong recommendation. It's definitely worth every cent of the $10 cost.

Not many other courses have terrain like this, which is honestly the determining factor in so many great courses. If I ever make it out here again and get the chance to play the back18, you can fully expect me to update my review. I can't imagine that the second half loses much quality, if any. So, I'm keeping this course in my wishlist because this review isn't 100% complete in my view. I really want to get back out to Harmon Hills one day and play the whole thing.

If you're lucky enough to make it out there youself, bring extra water and a snack for a satisfying day of disc golf.
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16 1
Tom_oconnor
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 9.4 years 63 played 24 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Did not disappoint drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 5, 2023 Played the course:once

Pros:

Really love 1-18 layout. Great mix of shots, beautiful fairways and design. The gaps are fair and good shots are rewarded. Bad shots get punished. Was easy to find next hole.

Cons:

Only con is a few tee pads on the wooded holes 19-27. Hole 23 is very narrow and oddly shaped. I think there was one or two others. Nothing that takes away from a solid 4.5 star rating.

Other Thoughts:

I've wanted to play this course for years and ended up playing it for the first time in a tournament. I don't recommend doing this. Knowing the course, greens, and shapes is important on this one with all the par 4s. I had a card mate really help out on every hole, but there were still a few that I misunderstood. For all the hype I've heard through the years, this did not disappoint. I loved the mix of natural boulders, elevation changes, grass fairways, and gaps to hit.
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29 0
pmay5
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 20.8 years 479 played 245 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Harmon Hills - worthy of its Top 10 Rating

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Sep 3, 2021 Played the course:once

Pros:

My first, and so far, only Top Ten rated course. I had thought about making a road trip here from NC, and pairing it with a stop at Ashe County, couldn't make that, but it worked out OK, since the drive from Kingsport was much easier. I contacted the owners and signed the required forms and paid the $10 per day ahead of time, well worth the price!

I was lucky to make my visit just one month after the 2021 Pro World Masters, so everything was in top condition. The new DISCatchers have a unique "Volunteer" orange band color and very easy to spot, especially on this mostly wooded layout. The tee pads, concrete and a great size, both width and length, were great also. Many appeared to be new additions.
I did get to see several examples of the legacy tee signs, small wooden signs, mounted on a tree near the tee with a basic hole layout, Par and distance. Thankfully, those have been upgraded to standard PDGA signage for the Worlds, very descriptive and full color. I hope they can be retained for future use.

This private property is maintained very well for Disc Golf, the grass is not manicured like a golf course, but kept at a level that can be maintained without constant mowing. Most of the rough are at a good level that doesn't require a lot of time looking for an errant shot. There were some thick spots, but mainly well off the path of the hole.

To say there is a variety of hole layouts, would be an understatment. Open fields, heavy woods, partial woods, sinkholes, rock covered, and just about every hole has some type of elevation. It really is a great property for a course and the elevation is used perfectly. The only type of hole not found here is a wide open or flat hole, I'm sure we've all played enough of those.

Being a private course, the only people you are going to run into here are other players. Its nice to play such an awesome course with others that appreciate it as much as you do.

Cons:

I didn't find any Cons with any of the holes, there are only one tee pad and what appeared to be just one basket position on every hole, while some could consider a Con, but this insures that you play the same, old school, classic layout that others have played for years.
The off course facilities are not what players come to HH for. The owner's farmhouse is about the only structure (in addition to barns and a shade structure) on the property. Only a Port-a-John for restrooms and no Pro Shop or merch opportunities. (I would have loved to picked up some HH apparel.)
The shade structure, between #6 and #7, was being used as packet pickup for an upcoming tournament. While is was good sized, had cool lighting and appeared to be the camping HQ, its not easily accessible from the start of the course.

Other Thoughts:

As great private courses begin to face their fate and pass into the Extinct status, it was great to play one of best. Located in an area of East Tennessee known for an abundance of good courses (hence the site of the 2021 PWMasters), this is the best in the area and served as the host course. (I played the Front and Middle 9s, the original 18, so am basing my review on those.) Currently there are 6 different holes starred on this Site as Favorite Holes.

With these great holes to challenge any golfer, it was a good selection:
#1 is a gradual downhill, opening in the trees of about 30-40' halfway down, then a turn to the right to a guarded basket on rock outcroppings. The tee is right as you enter the property, next to the payment mailbox, a great starting location and opening hole.
#3 tees slightly elevated, to a mostly open fairway, that quickly enters scattered trees, then through a valley to the basket on a sidehill, a 505' Par 4.
#6 is a hole I will probably never birdie, or even par, the only Par 5 that I played. The 720' has every element of course design, elevated tee to a left to right turning fairway, then it turns left and goes up and over an open ridgeline, then right and into a final wooded fairway stretch of 150-200'. It really requires many different types of shots.
#9 and #18 both have the same feel as you finish your nine, open drive that has to turn left up and over a grassy ridge, then #9 continues going left and uphill to the basket near trees, but on #18, after the drive, the fairway turns right, around a big tree and uphill to the basket. Both are Par 4s, at 420' and 586', but 18 seems to play a lot longer.
There are a couple of Ace Runs also, #16 is probably the flatest hole on the course, just 177', turning left through a wooded fairway, #5 is downhill, a tighter drive and turns right for 265'.
Two of the best holes at Harmon Hills are probably the signature hole #17 and my favorite #12. #12 is Par 4, 484', the drive is into an ample wide fairway, then, as the woods begin, there is a sinkhole on the right side, avoid that for obvious reasons, then the fairway drops slightly, through scattered woods again to the basket on a left slope. How epic is #17?, another Par 4, 523' with probably the tightest drive on the course, after crossing another, smaller, sinkhole, the fairway is covered with rock outcrops and a few trees, then the fairway drops down to a grassy green. Just an awesome hole.
As I write this review, a year and nearly 100 courses after playing Harmon Hills, my biggest regret is that I only played the course once in our two months spent in East Tennessee. I still remember every hole on the course, so am comfortable pushing the 1 year limit on writing reviews. The great variety of holes, excellent use of the elevation and requiring just about every shot you have, leads me to the biggest question, how high to rate this gem? Thinking back about all the different types of holes, heavily wooded all the way, tee in the open, but finish in the woods, tight tee shot that finishes in the open, HH has just about every type of hole you can think of.

I've thought for the longest time that for me to give a course a 5.0 it would have everything, great holes, great use of the terrain, great equipment and even a Pro Shop with facilities. As our game continues to grow in popularity and attract new facilities, eventually I hope to play a course that checks all those boxes, but this truly feels like the "Best of the Best".
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38 0
wolfhaley
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 19.9 years 970 played 542 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Reviewed: Played on:May 9, 2022 Played the course:once

Pros:

Harmon Hills is a beautiful, private but open to the public disc golf course in rural eastern Tennessee. The views all throughout the course, most notably on holes 1 thru 18, are stunning. You're really out in the middle of nowhere. It's such a serene place to play a round.

The course consists of 3 distinct loops, each of which is 9 holes. These all start and end by the parking area, which is fantastic since it will allow you to refill on fluids and anything else you may need. The first two loops play on one side of the road and are mixed open/woods. The third loop is across the street and is completely wooded. There's elevation on almost every hole here though.

The baskets are beautiful loooking, newer Innova Pro-28 Discatchers. These have a bright orange top band and really pop in the woods or tucked into a treeline. One position per hole from what I could gather. These have been here for a few years now I believe, but are a major upgrade over the old Mach's they used to have.

The tee signs on the first 18 holes are solid, if not spectacular. They feature the hole #, Par, distance and a hole layout map showing the intended line to the pin. Any applicable OB is also noted where it applies. The signs on the last 9 holes are very basic. Hole number and distances. Don't remember if they had pars on them or not, but I don't believe they did.

This course will test your whole game. There is everything you could ask for. Uphill, downhill, left and right turning shots, you name it. The undulating terrain is used fantastically, with numerous holes that go downhill the play back up to the pin. And vice versa.

The flow of the course is pretty intuitive for the most part, especially so on the first 18 holes.

The course is pay to play, but at $10 a person, is a bargain. Especially when you see all the work that is put into this place. If you're local an annual pass can be purchased for $100. If I lived near here I'd most certainly buy one.

This course is a hike. In a good way, but if playing here, plan on at least 2 1/2 hours I'd guess. Dependant on weather and group size and speed of play. But you certainly get your money's worth at this one.


Cons:

The back 9 is in desperate need of some new tee signs. This is the completely wooded loop, that needs a hole map the most. It was kind of frustrating seeing this after playing the first 18 holes.

Speaking of the back 9, these tee pads are less than ideal. There were grippy for the most part. However, they are very short and very narrow. Mother nature appears to be encroaching over the top of a few as well.

I'd imagine the chance to lose a disc here only increases as the weather gets warmer. It wasn't too gnarly off the fairways in early May, but it sure looks like it'll thicken in quite a bit. Not a con per se, more so a warning, especially with the large number of blind shots.


Other Thoughts:

This course is an absolute gem. It is truly deserving of it's top ten rating. I knew I'd love it here, but it actually proved better than I was expecting. And I was already expecting a top ten caliber course. That's saying a lot.

The only thing holding this one back right now is really the lack of amenities and general feeling of ruggedness/neglect on the last nine holes. If all things were equal in that department, I'd probably
like those holes the best.

Regardless, this is absolutely a destination worthy course. There's a reason it's regarded the way it is. It's that good. This course reminded me of a couple other HH courses. The first 18 reminded me of Highbridge Gold. The last 9 reminded me of a longer Highbridge Woodland Greens. I don't know if the feel of isolation amplified that or not, but that's what I kept thinking. And that is a great compliment imo.

Can't recommend this one enough. And with all the other good to great courses in the general area, this is definitely a destination for disc golf. I have no regrets about making the 14 hour drive. Must play.
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34 1
MikeK
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 28.8 years 330 played 128 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Still going strong 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 5, 2021 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

+ Innova Pro 28 Discatchers with custom Tennessee Volunteer-orange metal-flake painted tops
+18 great concrete teepads (holes 1-18); 9 passable concrete teepads on holes 19-27
+hilly
+pretty rolling hills make for pleasant vistas
+triple-loop design allows players to circle back to their vehicles after each 9 holes
+cave near hole 9 with spring-fed pool inside
+nice variety of hole shapes and varying degrees of tree thickness throughout the course
+site of several past PDGA major tournaments
+multiple par 4 and two par 5 holes. The par 5 hole 6 is easily my favorite hole on the course. Features a blind RH hyzer downhill tee shot, then a steep steep uphill second shot to a landing area on a ridge where it's possible to then attack the wooded tunnel at the end of this marvelous hole.
+every hole is birdieable, but there are absolutely no gimmes. Almost every hole's fairway is wide enough to eliminate unlucky tree kicks; if you hit a tree with your drive, you just weren't very accurate.
+private course with no competing activities going on for that pure disc golf experience

Cons:

-three of the dreaded disc golf U-shaped holes. Actually they're more J-shaped here, but still aggravating to behold. I'm just not a fan of holes this shape. Not saying that they shouldn't exist at all, but something about them just bothers me; maybe it's that I don't want to throw the opposite direction of my tee shot on any hole (something about it doesn't seem like pure golf). I will say this however...hole 27 which is one of these U-shapes is actually a decent par 5. Requires good placement more than once to card a par or a birdie.
-not the prettiest or most informative tee signs
-only one set of tees

Other Thoughts:

I had the opportunity to play this course at the 2021 PDGA Pro Masters World Championships and it provided a fair and challenging experience worthy of a top-tier tournament. It's definitely one of the best courses in the world and has earned its place in DGCR's top 10. Interestingly, at the 2021 Worlds only holes 1-18 were played, and to be honest, while 1-18 are great, they left a just little to be desired (I'd only rate this course 4 1/2 discs if it was only the front 18). However, once I played 19-27 to warm up before the tournament rounds, I was hooked. These holes are more to my liking in that they're tighter than 1-18 and so the accuracy required is dialed up a notch; the danger factor that gets my blood pumping is there. The scoring spread on these tighter holes appeals to me; on 1-18, it seems like double or triple bogeys are rare, but on 19-27 bad shots can really punish people. So, these tighter, steeper, rockier, holes really put Harmon Hills over the top in my book.
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32 0
Shadrach3
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 5.4 years 318 played 306 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Solitude 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 31, 2020 Played the course:once

Pros:

A beautiful and isolated 27 holes full of curves and hills.

-Layout: Not necessarily a pro, but something to establish at the outset. My impression of Harmon Hills was like an 18-hole course paired up with a 9-hole course. The terrain, amenities, and style changes substantially on (19)-(27), which are also geographically separated from the first two loops.

-Terrain & Environment: The most peaceful course I have ever played. There is virtually no trace of civilization except for the house, a pavilion, the little-used road, and a couple holes near a property line. A mix of meadows and moderate woods in the first 18, and thick leafy forest on the back 9. All beautiful. Playing on a Friday morning, I saw one other human through the first 18 and was almost kind of annoyed to encounter a group of four pulling in as I transitioned to the final nine.

-Elevation: The title Hills is well deserved, as without exception each hole plays up, down, along, or over slopes. It's constantly changing, and you'll see hills from just about every possible angle and approach. One of the sources of exceptional variety that keeps 27 holes engaging.

-Length: It's a par-100 course, which averages about par-3.7 per hole. There is no feeling of unfinished dissatisfaction after finishing Harmon Hills.

-Shot Shaping/Gameplay: Although the two portions play somewhat differently, they are both superb. The par-3s are all very entertaining, but more holes than not are par-4s of varying length from easily birdieable to terrifying efforts for par.

The front 18 has a lot of meadows which, while generous, will require careful placement to take the birdies. However, these first 18 also have tighter woods shots, especially on the back nine. Many holes are two-shot holes that go open to closed or vice-versa. The degree of tree coverage really falls all over the continuum, which keeps the course fresh throughout. I would be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite hole (17), which is an incredible downhill tunnel shot followed by a downhill split fairway to a blind meadow basket.

The back 9 is more claustrophobic, and was where I stuck exclusively to my midranges for accuracy's sake. There are some crazy elevation features like drop-offs and sinkholes. The precise shape of your shot begins to matter a lot more, but I thought it was always fair. The course concludes with its second par-5, a somewhat left u-turned shape over rocks. Even though it had less variety, this was actually my favorite section of the course for its enchanting forestry and extreme elevation plays.

-9 & 9 & 9: Three loops of nine provide you with opportunity to return to your vehicle.

Cons:

-Amenities: A lot of reviewers' biggest gripe here is with the amenities. I found them adequate but not impressive. On the front 18, when I played there were yard signs with good maps and distances at each tee, but if those were temporary I could definitely see having issues with the old brown tee signs out here. The back 9 need upgraded amenities. Tees are too small and there are either no signs or long-rotted signs that convey no useful information. A course map would benefit these nine holes. Some next tee cues could also be added.

-Maintenance: The back 9, in addition to reviving tee signs, also needs some leaf control to make the tees visible and playable again.

-Pay-to-Play: $10 well spent. Or, if you're lucky enough to live close by, a $100 annual membership would be a sweet deal.

-Length: It'll take you a long time to play. Even trying to go pretty quickly I think I took about 130 minutes.

-Remoteness: The cost of having a superbly tranquil round is that there aren't any major metropolitan areas very near. Obviously I'm not taking points off for that.

-Many Meadows: To be nitpicky about design, there are just a few too many simple meadow holes on the front 18 to make it perfect.

Other Thoughts:

I wish Harmon Hills were listed as two courses, because the front 18 feel like a different course than the back 9. If that were the case, I would give the first 18 a 4.5 and the back 9 a 3.5 since they exhibit less variety and poor amenities. Considered as a whole, I really want to give it a 5.0 due to its superb and unrelenting variety, because the amenities don't really detract from the experience of playing once you know how the course goes. However, per DGCR guidelines, on a 5.0 "there is absolutely nothing that could be done to improve the course. It is perfect in every possible way." That doesn't quite apply, and so this one is Phenomenal, a 4.7499 if you will. This was the most serene round of disc golf I've played to date, and I look forward immensely to playing it again.
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22 1
nothinbuttree
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 5.9 years 153 played 36 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Worth the trip 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 31, 2020 Played the course:once

Pros:

Ample parking, easy to find, only 15 minutes south of the I-81/I-26 interchange near the Tri-Cities.
3 distinct loops, all of which end at the parking area, so you can bite off 9,18, or all 27 holes.
Scenic course.
Friendly owners, always appreciate those owners willing to share their backyard with complete strangers!
Good elevation changes, but nothing that will kill you
Course flows well for the most part, with most next tees easily visible from current basket.
Plentiful benches.
Good shot variety, with some nice doglegs being good.
Bomber holes, tight lines, and everything in between.
I think even better players will have to earn birdies here, there are only a couple seemingly easy ones out there. Many holes are par 4 and require two good shots to get to circle 1.

Cons:

Very difficult on first timers to know where to throw. By far my biggest gripe. Even with a map and Udisc, many pins were not visible from tee pad, some not even after 1st throw. The hole signs do give some info, but with more than one pin position, and not knowing which position basket is in, I imagine even those familiar with course may not know where the pin is. Some bright flags would help.
Baskets are older (I didn't note the name, older Machs maybe?) and don't catch great--chains are sounding pretty brittle.
No bathrooms
The first several doglegs were OK, but the course just has too many, meaning one has to throw to many landing zones. Again, a few of these are fine, but it seems there are too many, especially in the woods, where the gaps are small on top of this. So an early tree can be big trouble.

Other Thoughts:

I'm a rec level player who can throw about 300' max, and I felt par was a good possibility on each hole if I stayed clean. Also had a few birdies, so certainly a fair course. But if you are not clean, strokes can add up fast. Mids are your friend here, despite the length, as many holes are in the woods.

Add in a porta-potty, newer baskets, pin positions on tee signs, and bright flags on baskets, and I would bump this to 4.5. The golf itself was worthy of that.

If you are playing all 27 holes, pace yourself, and bring an energy bar/water. Its a long course with a good amount of ups and downs. A rec level twosome should take 2.5-3+ hrs to play the whole course. Better players not as long.

Stay out of the right side rough on hole one--its nasty!

We traveled 4 hours to play, and are glad we made the trip. Not sure I would travel that far again just for this course, but if ever in east TN again, will definitely come back.
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11 28
Trilogy4
Experience: 6 played 5 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Good, not spectacular 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 13, 2019 Played the course:once

Pros:

The property is beautiful.
The "extras" such as the tire basket are fantastic.
The farm dog was great and loves to play fetch.

Cons:

One of my fondest memories is of the dog, not the course.
A lot of distance shots to set up another distance shot or a routine upshot.
I threw very few lines.
Kinda boring other than being aesthetically pleasing.

Other Thoughts:

I've played many of the "top courses" on the eastern side of the U.S. (maple hill, idlewild, Winthrop ropes, new world, etc), and this course just simply doesn't measure up. That may have been the issue with my experience. My expectations could have been too high. Whatever the case, the course wasn't great to me. It was good (hence I rated it as such), so dont think it's not worth visiting. Just also dont expect elite unless you are prepared to feel let down.

Just to reiterate where it stands in my rankings (for those that plan to travel for destination golf), I will be headed back to maple hill and that's a 10 hour drive for me. I'll also make the 7 hour drive to idlewild again. I will not however, be driving 3 hours back to harmon hills at any point in life.
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30 1
Hector Chain
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 15.8 years 222 played 189 reviews
4.00 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 23, 2019 Played the course:once

Pros:

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains (do the Appalachians have foothills? I'm going to say yes), the 27 holes have some big distance and big elevation.
The course is mostly wooded but pleasantly ducks in and out of the forest with more than a few wide open areas. I can't remember any holes that didn't have trees come into play.

There are several holes that have some Houck-ian design elements, turning what could be two or three fairways into one epic, multi-shot hole. Hole 6 starts shooting out of a wooded gap on a hill and requires a straight shot to avoid an errant fade into the woods to set up a shot around the corner and up a steep hill. Then it's over a plateau into another narrow gap to hit a basket maybe 100 feet into the woods. It's a 720-foot monster.

Hole 10 is a fun open blast down the hill to land on an upslope on an upslope. You then have to manage a shot over the hill to set yourself up for a left-to right approach to the basket. Fun, tough hole.

Navigation from one hole to the next (as opposed to navigating a particular fairway -more on that in a second) was pretty easy.

On a Thursday before a holiday weekend, I had the course completely to myself.

Cons:

Doglegs. Normally this would be a "pro" for me. When used well, they add some nice flavor to the course. But the designer here fell in love with the dogleg and never got over it, even when the dogleg said, "You need to move on! We can't be together anymore! I'm in love with another designer!". I can only think of two or three holes out of the 27 where I could see the basket from the tee. It got old. It felt like a comedian who heard people laugh and then just kept telling the same joke.

Lost discs. I spent over 45 minutes looking for discs, and I was generally staying in the fairway. The owner was mowing when I played, and it probably would have been a little better the next day. But it wasn't just the grass in the fairways, but the thick weeds lining nearly every fairway (or the 3-foot tall grass that popped up next to or in the middle of fairways). I know there is no way to weedwhack this sort of property, but I have never spent so much time looking for discs after good drives.

Navigation. The holes are long, and many times I threw my drive and then couldn't tell where I was supposed to go next. The hole 6 I mentioned earlier? Case in point. It was really tough to tell where my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th shots were supposed to go.

Tee pads. They are concrete, but narrow and fairly short.

The final 9 are a little underwhelming after the front 18. Some of them are very good holes, but they felt repetitive.
Oh, and there are a couple U-shaped holes on the course. I've never played a U-shaped hole I enjoyed. Holes 13 and 27 are garbage holes. It's disappointing to finish on a hole like that.

Other Thoughts:

As of this writing, I've played 8 of the current top 10 courses (and 15 of the top 25). If you're like me, you've spent many evenings dreaming of when you'd get to travel to the specific part of the country that would let you play those courses ("when am I going to be passing through Knoxville?"). This course is not a top 10 course, and at no point did I consider giving it a 5.0. So many courses have left me blown away in a way that Harmon Hills didn't quite. I believe a highly rated course should be able to stand up to some honest feedback, even if it's an overall great course (and it is).

Enough criticism, though. This is an excellent course with some imagination and challenge. I coupled this with a trip to Great Smoky Mountain National Park and am glad I did on both accounts.
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7 9
Baysinger
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 14.8 years 93 played 55 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Harmon Hills DGC 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 24, 2017 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Everything about this course is amazing!

Cons:

No real cons for this course, just some small areas where improvements could be made. Maybe with new tee pads and more informative tee signs.

Other Thoughts:

Harmon Hills DGC... if you have heard of this course and haven't played it yet, what are you waiting on? This is East Tennessee's true gem. As home of the 2017 USWDGC, this course lives up to all the hype. There are 27 Holes on this course, all with concrete tees and tee signs. This course has the best mix of literally everything you could ever ask for in hole designs. Beautiful scenery, professionally designed course, and a huge test for your skills... at any level of play! One of the most impressive things about this course in my opinion, is the fact that each of the 9 holes end at the same area. You can play 1-9 and start/finish where you parked. You can play 10-18 and start/finish where you parked. And you can play 19-27 and start/finish where you parked. This shows how well the course was designed and you will notice that on every single hole. If you live anywhere near East Tennessee, don't waste anymore time without yourself having played this course. If you are well outside the area, this is still definitely a course you need to add to your bucket list! Do yourself a favor and make sure you play this course! If you want to see this course on video, check out the playlist of videos below...
https://www.youtube.com/playl...ttPMz8IXv-Ndc
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25 0
thrembo
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 48.8 years 242 played 194 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Farm Discing Is The Life For Me... 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Oct 3, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

Beautiful rustic hilly private mountain farm course. Every hole here has elevation changes, some with multiple elevation changes. The course features mature trees and a good variety of hole types and lengths (though it leans towards the long side). The concrete tees were better than expected, and the tee signs were adequate. The course offers a healthy challenge and will appeal to those of mid to higher skill levels. There are plenty of benches to take a break on. There are Gnomes on the course judging you. There are other cool features like the disc golf sculpture by hole 10.

Cons:

Sure, the course could use some updates, like new tees. The rough is tough in spots. There are blind basket placements. The grass was wet and a little tall when we played it. But these nags are minor and should not dissuade anyone from playing here, except for new/rec players and those of weak constitution, which might want to avoid this course anyway. There are a few red tees sprinkled around, but most were not in or were hard to find.

Other Thoughts:

This is an epic level course that could be a five if it wanted too. It's a private course though, so they can do whatever they want. Thanks for the privilege of throwing here. Well done!

Good restaurant alert: The nearby Rooster Robs has some of the best home cooking around. It will remind you of having dinner at grandmas house.
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33 1
blake833
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 13.9 years 160 played 140 reviews
4.50 star(s)

The old man who can beat you up 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 14, 2018 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Harmon Hills has been on my wish list for a long time, and it did not disappoint! This is one of the most unique courses I've ever played, and loved that it was three different nine hole loops. Each loop was pretty unique, especially the 19-27 final nine.

Holes 1-9 were probably my favorite. Big open shots around hills and patches of forest, through big openings in the woods on a couple holes too. Of the three loops, has the highest par (34, while the other two are at 33), but feels so much longer than one stroke. Holes 10-18 were on the other side of the house on similar land, and also make excellent use of the rolling hills of Harmon. The Final Nine are the tightest and most technical as they chew you up and spit you out in the woods across the street. But they also, have some incredible holes.

There are features on this course I just don't think I've seen anywhere else. Valley shots are one thing, but craters in the forest are another. The long par 4s and 5s were more exciting than on some courses where it's just a length problem (don't go there you guys). There were a couple signs on some of the longer holes that helped you figure out which way the fairway went on blind throws, which really helped.

Some 27 hole courses, or even most courses over 18 holes, really make me grateful that 18 is the standard. Harmon is the exception. There were a couple holes I did not like, but I with they were different rather than not there at all.

Cons:

There is however a lot of room for improvement at Harmon Hills, and it's the fact that there is so much room for improvement that keeps it from being a 5.

The tee pads really need to be updated. Most of them are not big enough for a full run up needed on the big throws, and the ground isn't level enough to start off the tee pad. The hole signage was also terrible. I was lucky enough to play what I'm assuming is soon after a tournament while the temporary signs were still up on the first 18. Even then I couldn't figure out where the basket was going to be on some of these holes.

Most top-notch, best-of-the-best courses nowadays not only have phenomenal hole design, but great tee pads and signage. I completely understand why 10-15 years ago this would have been one of the absolute best in the country, and still is in many ways. But it's going to take using some of those course donations (to which I did contribute) for some higher standard pads and tees to see this course as one of those near-flawless 5.0 courses.

Hole 27 is one of the least satisfying finish holes I've played. The whole final 9 I thought was a little tight in some places (not just because of summer growth, but super small gaps 150ft from the tee), but 27 is just a big C shape. On my last hole, after a long semi-frustrating round, I want to let it rip. Or throw over some water. I want to see something nice to keep in mind as I leave the course. This one just missed that for me.

Other Thoughts:

A total par of 100 is a long day. Be prepared to have some water on you, and pace yourself. It's totally worth playing each loop, but consider their differences when picking your order.

I would love to see Harmon Hills get all doll'd up with new pads and new signs with accurate hole maps and info. That would take the experience of playing some of the best holes on purely picturesque land to the next level, and really I think give it a new life. Disc golf is growing, and course standards keep getting raised in the modern version of the sport. Harmon Hills' holes seem to have been premoniscient of this growth direction, and it's time for the equipment to match the level of play this course reaches. I think that explains the difference in the course rating when you filter reviews for just Trusted Reviewers- it reflects just that little desire for polish, and poise. As of right now this course is the old dog that you love and is your companion. But it needs a bit of love to get back to show-dog status.
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33 0
wellsbranch250
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 10.1 years 651 played 627 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Exceptional Variety and Beauty 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 21, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

(4.305 Rating) A 27 hole, par 100 layout, that will entertain just about every veteran player in the game.
- UNIQUENESS - The hole to hole variety at Harmon Hills is almost unparalleled. Up shots, down shots, left hooks, right hooks, valleys, ridges, sinkholes and mounds. Heavily wooded and open and everything in between. The way the layout uses the mix of open fields abutted to heavily wooded areas is wonderful. Several tee shots start out wooded and play into an open field only to dive back into a wooded portion. Hole (6) does just this and it's also a 720 foot double dogleg par 5. This is the only time I've ever played a double dogleg par 5 out of 4,326 unique holes I've experienced. In addition, hole (6) starts with a down tee shot, then the next shot is up and the approach shot is back down again. Ie V\ , what an amazing hole. Hole (27) is another monster par 5 that's a 135 degree left turning hole. That's not a typo. The tee shot is down and then it levels at the middle portion only to rise up again. The hole is a continuous tunnel play and it's littered with large rock elements. The hole is only 636 feet long for a par 5, but making a 3 here has probably been attained by less than a handful of players. Harmon Hills will require the use of every shot in a player's arsenal including thumbers and tomahawks to get up the high inclines or to get out the woods from a bad ricochet. The only missing element on this 27 hole layout is water. There are some gouging creek beds on a few holes, most notably on hole (12), but it appears that they are all headwater creeks as every creek bed was dry on my appearance.
- SIGNATURE HOLES - Picking my favorite hole out here is like deciding on which hundred dollar bill to choose out of a stack of them. Between playing and posting this review, my favorite has already changed twice. Right now it's hole (17), but I also loved (1), (3), (6), (7), (11), (12), (14), (19), (24) (25) and (27). Yeah I know, it's a lot. As for holes I didn't care for, (8), (13), (22) which all have a bit of a hokey pokey element to them. All this stated, none of the holes have "blow you away" looks with epic elevation or killer water or amazing backdrop views. In my spreadsheet of my favorite 100 holes, I have hole (17) at 53rd.
- RAW BEAUTY - Piling on the before mentioned pro, the overall beauty is top tier. I can count the number of course I've personally ranked higher on these terms on one hand. I came to Harmon Hills about two weeks too early. The tree buds were just starting to pop on a few tree species. For those that love beautiful courses, I would recommend showing up during the first week of May. I'm not sure when peak fall foliage is in these parts, but that would be another ideal time to show up.
- CHALLENGING - This course requires a great mix of power, precision and shot shaping. Course management is also major key in shooting low. Players that continually go balls to wall, will be punished. I had a goal of shooting an even par 100 as an intermediate level player, but I finished +1 on all three 9 hole loops for a total score of 103, with a couple mullies. There are some definite birdie holes for players at the intermediate level. The third nine reads as the most difficult where the par 3s average 370 feet and these holes are nearly fully wooded. To shoot well out here, a player has to have a complete game. I think that a balanced 950 rated advanced player should average around par out here.
- CHARACTER - Some good stuff but also some work to be done. Seeing brand new color signage for the front 18 was a surprise. Unfortunately they are the vinyl temporary type so they probably won't last thru the year. Most tees are shaded from the elements. If I recall correctly, there was seating on every hole. The baskets were adequate MachVs on the first 18. (Not sure what happened, several recent reviews noted Prodigy). The final 9 woods portion were DISCatchers. There's a practice basket, although located too close to the parking area. The scorecards have a course map on them and they were a life saver for navigation. These are located at tee (1). There's a fridge on the house deck with cold water and there's a porta potty. As for missing items, proper tees and signage for the final 9.
- MAINTENANCE - The front 18 was trash free and completely mowed.
- LOCATION - Although a ways from every city of size, the course is less than 10 minutes from the interstate 81.
- DONATIONS WELCOMED - Harmon Hills is not a pay to play private course. However, anyone that plays here and doesn't throw at least a few bucks into the donation bucket is not a person I'd want to throw with. It's remarkable what the owners have done here without a park's department budget to work with. Please do what you can to support and thank them for their efforts.

Cons:

A couple capital investment issues and preferential items.
- TEES - This really is the only item here bringing down the score I've given. The only three wooded courses I have rated higher than Harmon Hills are Rolling Ridge, Hobbs and Inverness. Harmon delivers just about every element these three courses have with the exception of the tees. The surface on many of the tees is questionable and the fact that the dimensions are 10 foot long by 3 foot wide at front and 5 foot wide in the back is very much subpar for even the courses I've rated at the 3.0 level. If Harmon Hills wants to stay as an elite level course it's going to need to address this. I figure it takes about 1 cubic yard of concrete to deliver a championship quality tee. That's roughly forty-five 80# bags, and it will make a 4 inch thick, 5 foot by 13 foot pad that widens to 7 feet in the back. Just for the concrete that's $220 dollars a pad or $6000 for all 27 holes, yikes. However, this is what is takes to stay top tier. Worrying about footing or being dissatisfied with footwork spacing will take away from the experience for many players today.
- SIGNAGE FINAL 9 - Without the scorecard with course map image, navigating (19) thru (27) would be extremely difficult. Other than numbered baskets, there really aren't any navigational aids.
- FORGIVENESS - The first 18 isn't overly punishing to errant shots. There are some good thicket areas not to throw into, but there also lots of thinned out areas as well. The same cannot be said of the final 9. It's a completely different animal with lots heavily wooded tight tunnel fairways. Lots of rocks to damage plastic on as well. On (27) I ricocheted hard left 75 feet in and spent the next 3 shots trying to get out by cutting the corner. Note, although I didn't see any poisonous plants during my April round, this course looks like it could be an offender
- DISCONTINUITY - The final nine is located across the street. More of a note than a con however.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - I personally wouldn't bring a beginner out here or anyone with less than 50 rounds in the bag for that matter. This course was designed for those that have been around for awhile. No beginner I know wants to slog around trees and overgrowth for several hours.
- TERRAIN - IMO, I thought the course was somewhat cart friendly. Probably not the best course for those with knee or joint pain. Perhaps playing just the first 18 and skipping the final 9 would work for those with these issues.
- PARKING - A gravel and natural grass parking lot, and as noted, the practice basket should be moved farther away.
- TIME PLAY - Harmon takes the cake on long rounds, so players need to plan accordingly. This one took me just over 120 minutes solo, the longest of any course I've ever played. I could see a group of four seasoned players playing all 27 in 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Other Thoughts:

Harmon Hills is one or the more unique experiences I've ever had. I've never played anything close to a par 100 course with this many special par 4s and par 5s. It's truly a showpiece course that will continue draw in adventurers from all over the eastern United States. I only met the owner Aaron briefly on arrival, and in that short time I could tell that he is fun-loving hospitable owner who's continued to carry the torch for Jerry Harmon. A big thanks to him for his contributions to the sport. As for the course, I have currently placed Harmon Hills as the top course in Tennessee. I've played 6 of the top 10 rated Tennessee courses as of this review and have also researched the others I haven't played. I've concluded that my feeling on this won't change any time soon. Yes, there are some substantial lacking aspects at Harmon Hills, such as tees, signage and a refinement of the final 9. However, there are also killer aspects at well, such as beauty and variety that would blow away many of the higher rated course I've played. Harmon Hills is truly a destination course for the region and beyond.
- NAVIGATION - The scorecard map is a little hard to read, so even with it I still spent an additional 10 minutes walking around aimlessly, mostly on the back. Seems like an easy cheap fix with a few more navigational cues, especially on the back. If scorecard maps are not in the box, I personally would not advise playing the final nine blind.
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31 0
markmcc
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 11.8 years 278 played 254 reviews
4.50 star(s)

A Dilemma : Hole Quality vs. Infrastructure Quailty 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 22, 2018 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

If ever there was a place to consider the quality of the individual holes versus the overall quality of the course, this is it.

To begin with, Harmon Hills offers 27 outstanding holes of disc golf, arranged in three, 9-hole loops. The variation in hole distances is remarkable, from a 177' shorty out to 720' with great distribution of everything in between. At a par of 100 for the 27 holes you can see that there are plenty of par 4 holes and even a couple of par 5's.

The first 18 holes play over beautiful rolling hills with endless combinations of woods and open ground. Many holes begin over open ground and play into the woods, or begin and end in the woods and play over open ground in the middle. Some holes are mostly wooded but nothing extremely tight.

The final 9 holes are across the road in a less hilly but completely wooded area, with much tighter holes. Quite a contrast from the original 18.

Straight shots? Check. Gently curving shots to the right and left? Check. Doglegs? Tunnels? Check and check. Open greens, lightly guarded greens, tightly guarded greens. Check, Check, Check.

The elevation on the course deserves special mention. They've made great use of the rolling hills and you are presented with majestic downhill shots, across the valley shots, over the rise shots, and straight uphill shots. Throw in a creek and a couple of sinkholes and you've got all of the elevation you'll ever need!

Cons:

I've had the opportunity to play the Selah Ranch, Trey Texas, and Harmony Bend courses all in the past 5 months, and they have set in my mind what a Top-10, 5-rated course looks like. And while the number and quality of the holes themselves here at Harmon Hills is as good (or in some cases better) than those courses, the rest of the experience does not add up. Why:

Tee Pads - The tee pads are narrow, short, and extremely rough concrete pads. They do the job, but the texture is so extreme that it borders on unreasonable.

Signage - I was lucky enough to play the week of a tournament, and the first 18 holes had temporary signs with enough detail to be useful. The permanent signs that were in place (on only some holes) were very crude and did not give much detail regarding the hole layout itself.

The final nine holes had no signage or markings at all. No tee signs, no basket number, no next tee arrows, nothing. To say that my first time through on the back nine was frustrating would be an understatement.

Navigation - While there were no "next tee" signs the well-worn trails from hole-to-hole made navigation simple. However, with the long holes be prepared to walk forward, and in some cases WAY forward before you drive to get an idea of where you are going.

Scorecards - The provided scorecard has spots to write your score for 27 holes, and some tiny, difficult to read maps. No hole distance or par are included. The maps are so small and the hole numbers so tiny that I had to take it home and look at it under bright light to decipher the maps.

Other Thoughts:

I'll be the first to admit that my experience is from the perspective of a travelling disc golfer playing a course for the first (and second) time. While the holes were great the signage issues made my initial round something of a chore, especially on the final 9. Had I reviewed the course after that initial play I'd have been thinking along the lines of a 3.5.

But I played it a second time a couple of days later, and found the experience much more rewarding. I spent less time trying to figure out where to throw and where to go, and more time enjoying the fantastic variety of holes.

I am awed by the amount of time and effort this course must require from the owners. The mowing task alone is simply enormous, not to mention the overall maintenance of the remainder of the course. Hats off to these guys and please, PLEASE, make the donation when you play.

In the final analysis I don't think that this course is on par with the other Top-10 courses I've played, but those courses are newer and built in a different era and to a different standard. I was torn between a rating of 4.0 and 4.5, but ultimately bumped it up based on the amazing variety and quality of the holes themselves and the recognition that the signage is a non-issue to folks who play the course more than once or twice.
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28 0
BogeyNoMore
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 19.8 years 479 played 183 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Getcha’ some Appalachian Goodness! 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Dec 31, 2017 Played the course:once

Pros:

Beautiful rural course set on rolling hills, just minutes from the interstate - yet miles away from it all.

• Variety: Phenomenal. Harmon's 27 holes run the gamut, offering all you could want. The first 18 range from sparsely to well-wooded, with most falling into the moderately to well-wooded range. The final 9 (across the street from the house) are decidedly well-wooded, and really challenge you to hit your lines. Love the range of distances here. Lots of holes where distance can help, but not stupid long, so even my noodle arm didn't feel completely overmatched. Wonderful mix of fairway shapes and shots. Nothing felt cliche or filler.

• Challenge: Excellent. A recurring theme is a tight window off the tee, playing to a relatively open landing area, leading to a gauntlet of trees between you and the basket. Slopes can really make you pay for missed putts or poorly placed approaches. Depending on time of year, and your distance off the tee, some holes may not be too challenging until your 2nd or 3rd shot. But if you've got a cannon, aim it carefully, or the only thing you'll destroy is your score. Great venue for tournaments. 1-18 are a nice but fun challenge. 19-27 take no prisoners.

• Elevation: Best of the Best. The topography figures prominently on the majority of holes and really hit the mark for me. Superbly employed, it comes into play every way you could hope for: uphill, downhill, gulleys, crests, rollaways, slopes. Ranging from moderate to magnificent, somehow it's ever-present, without feeling overpowering. I've played courses where repeatedly dragging my carcass up and down plain kicked my ass (Iffy Hollers & Carly's Playground come to mind). But this Grandmaster didn't feel at all gassed after 27 holes at Harmon (probably helped that it was 20°F when I played).

• Fun Factor: Phenomenal. Had a blast, and thought the discplay here was out-freakin-standing.

• Aesthetics: Excellent. Rolling hills, lush fields and woods combine for a beautiful setting with a boatload of scenic holes. I may have been cheated by my timing, because I bet this place is absolutely stunning in the spring/fall.

• Memorable holes: Excellent and more numerous than I'll list.

#6 Downhill off the tee, turning to the right, to a landing area below. Then you to the left for a long, uphill finish. Big Arms can throw a monster S-shot that if properly executed, will get them where I want to be after my 2nd shot.

#12 Slight downhill off the tee to an open landing. Next shot plays over a creek through some sentinel trees, with the basket quite a bit further behind them.

# 14 Downhill tee shot thru a tight window, to a landing an open area that plays mildly uphill to nicely guarded green.

• Equipment: Very good. All 27 holes had decent concrete tees and great baskets. 1-18 have nice tee signs, next tee markers where necessary, and new, green Prodigy baskets with the hole # on the band and flags on baskets obscured by elevation. None of that was present on 19 -27 at this time. 19-27 has yellow Discatchers... easy to spot in the dense woods, but please number them. Scorecard w/map near 1st tee.

• Routing/Nav: Good (with definite room for improvement). Three, distinct nine hole loops start/end near the owner's house.1-18 went very smoothly, thanks to good signage, fairly intuitive flow, and the fact that the baskets were numbered, (confirming you indeed spotted the proper basket when you had walk a fairway). Finding your way through 19-27 is quite a bit tougher because there's no signage (yet?) and the baskets aren't numbered. Even though 19-27 are on the scorecard/map, I thought I played to the wrong basket or missed a hole a couple of times (but that never actually happened).

Cons:

Cons: most of the cons relate to things I mentioned above, but they're valid.

• Plenty of long, blind holes means lots of scouting ahead to find baskets. Really didn't get to me, but you can't blame anyone for thinking it sucks when the holes are as long and hilly as this.

• 19-27: These holes really need signage. And $10 worth of 3" black, vinyl hole #'s on yellow bands would be a big help (about 50¢ a piece at Home Depot)... https://www.homedepot.com/s/3...mbers?NCNI-5.

• Truly appreciated the map on the scorecard (final 9 would've been a complete bear without it), but the hole #'s printed on the map are minuscule. If you wear reading glasses, you'll need 'em for the final 9. I'm being totally serious here. The good news is you don't need the map for 1-18, and you can snag your readers out of your car on your way to #19.

• Tees were decent, but on the small side, and some were a bit rough...but none struck me as bad.

Other Thoughts:

A destination course, without doubt. If you like disc golf, Harmon will put a smile on your face.

I played New Year's Eve, so pretty much all the leaves were on the ground. I'm certain some of the holes I describe as sparsely wooded don't feel that way come June, and I'm sure the final 9 can be a real beat down during peak growth.

No doubt my "fun-factor" rating is inexorably linked to the fact that fairways weren't as tight, and missing lines not as punitive as in the summer. Other's mentioned a prevalence of poison ivy... again, a non-factor for winter. Just some things to consider when planning your visit... but plan your visit!

1-18 merit high marks for variety and challenge on their own, but I really think the increased density on 19-27 adds something missing (or at least not prevalent enough) in the original 18. Nice to see a course expansion add a missing design element, rather than adding "more of same, just because we could," which can make a good course feel repetitive.

I thought the posted pars were fair, but see how players throwing 400+ might think they're a bit generous.

All the hills and scouting mean you'll want to be fresh for this course. For that reason, I recommend making Harmon your first of the day.

Jerry Harmon: thank you for seeing what this could be and R.I.P.
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5 6
Shenley2
Experience: 27 played 2 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Immaculate 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 1, 2017 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

What can I say. Harmon hills is a gem of a disc golf course in America. 27 holes holes that are all different. Every hole has a unique and rustic feel.

It's one of the few places that is a disc golf only land. No parks, runners, passerbys to come in the way of your round.

Each 9 starts and ends by the house. You are with in a long jump putt of your car at the end of each 9.

Hole 1, 6, 12, 13, 26 and 27 are my favorites.

Seriously make time to come play this course. You won't regret it.

Cons:

My only con is that the teepads are rough and the baskets are a bit aged. I think the course could use a bit of an updated makeover but this is being extremely nit picky.
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14 9
DustBorne
Experience: 1 played 1 reviews
4.00 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 7, 2017 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

-Pretty good variety on the first 18.
-Good place to play controlled golf.
-No gimmick holes to force 27 holes.
-Mostly thin undgrowth. Off-target shots are pretty quick finds.
-Well maintained. Grass was recently mowed and no downed trees/branches on fairways or teepads.

Cons:

-Teepads need some work.
-Signage is often inaccurate or absent.
-You're often lucky if you can see the pin after two shots on your first round. It's not a fun feeling to have to throw twice before you can see the pin. There was a lot of time spent scounting/searching for baskets.


Other Thoughts:

I visited this course when I was down in TN on a family vacation. It was an hour and a half away from our stay, and it was #4 on the charts on this website so it was definitely on my to-do list for this vacation. I played 1-18 twice and 19-27 once.


My overall feeling when I left was, "I'd come back if I was in the area, but I'm not aching to return here"
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21 1
goosefraba1
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12.2 years 80 played 39 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Top Tier Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 4, 2017 Played the course:once

Pros:

Let me preface this review with my experience thus far in DG- Have now played 60+ courses in 14 states. I have now played 5 courses that were at least once in the top 10 on DGCR. I have designed/co-designed 2 courses. I regularly perform course maintenance at my local course that I designed. Highest pdga rating was a few years ago when I was less busy in life (925). l have won a few tournaments, but will never be "Pro".

Harmon Hills is located in the Northeastern corner of Tennessee. Lots of natural beauty and history in this area. Seriously, the drive had several pull off spots for scenic views, and they were great. As you know, this course is privately owned, and as such is a totally different monster in terms of course maintenance. They have to worry about not only cutting what has to be at least 50-60 acres of rolling land, but weedeat, take care of tees and the like. Serious hats off to the owners, and locals that are willing to do the work. That is a ton of work on a course of this length and caliber!

This course really has some opportunities for scoring separation. The long D guys get some bombers to throw. The very acurate guys get some nice pucker moments. Lots of elevation change for those that are familiar with how to play it. Just a great variety course.

Again the natural beauty. We loved the several opportunites to see some really cool rock formations. There is a cave on one of the holes. I think it is just to the right of fairway 12 that there is a cool scenic view of other local farms.

For me, the highlight holes were 1,2, and 10. Lots of great shots in between though.

It also looks like they are working on a tiki course? That would be a fun second round for sure.

Cons:

Just a few negatives-

The pads will destroy your shoes. Somebody didn't understand the concept of a light broom finish. However, no slips the whole round from the pads.

Tee Signs- Basically, pay very little attention to the Tee signs. The only help they will give you is basically distance and direction. We had to scout several holes because almost every hole is a blind par 4. This was probably my biggest negative to the course.

Some holes had pin positions set that I would call halfsies. Hole 13 in particular was a heavily wooded, U-shaped par 3. I had a great tee shot and was pin high... still had easily a 120 foot upshot through dense forage.

You can't help this in the region... but Poison Ivy. Make sure to wear very long socks.

Other Thoughts:

This is a can't miss course if you are in the region. Is it top 10 in the world? Going to have to say no. It just doesn't compete with Idlewild, Flip City, Holler, or Coyote Trace. Is it top 10 in the SouthEast? Maybe... but there is a ton of competition (Flyboy, IDGC, Charlotte courses). Top 10 in Tennesse? It has to be. This is my only TN course played thus far, but it has to be... if not the best course in TN. That isn't a demotion. Just where I believe it should be.

Again, it is definitely worth playing. Just probably not deserving of top 10.

Thanks again to the owners and locals that keep this course up. Make sure to leave a tip at hole 1 so that they can keep up with the mowing!
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18 0
dr.chainslove
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 24.9 years 330 played 42 reviews
5.00 star(s)

An embarrassment of DG riches 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Apr 12, 2017 Played the course:once

Pros:

The reviews on this have been glowing and I anticipated 4.5 - 5.0 rating greatness. Harmon Hills exceeded my expectations and can't wait to return. The land here is incredible! You'll have huge elevation changes, boulders, sinkholes, ravines, light to dense woods, open fields, etc--all cleverly intertwined to make for some very challenging yet fair disc golf. I've never played a course with this much variety.

The owner Aaron (couldn't ask for a better host, btw) joined for a few holes and showed us the cave! He's unveiling ANOTHER 9 HOLES in a densely wooded hillside and he graciously guided us through. This section is all par 2 holes between maybe 80 and 150 ft. I found myself throwing lines I rarely encounter. The challenge here was still daunting despite the shortness. Oh, and you won't be shooting towards your typical basket. Instead, you'll find metal cylinders perched on PVC pipes (old CO2 tanks that look about the size of a 5 gal beer keg) that sound like a gong when you hit them. Very, very cool! This section is brand new and still may be undergoing some additional tweaking. Definitely check it out as a welcomed change of pace (take a hard right into the woods at the 11 basket).

UPDATE 7/11/17: made it back for another round. The aforementioned tiki course is getting more holes! Work is in progress knocking out some new lines further into this densely wooded area. Navigation in this section is still tough but the additions look great. I saw a few more tone poles getting a paint job on the front porch of the house. I wouldn't be surprised if they were expanding this section to 18 holes. One of the new holes has a tone pole mounted 15 ft up a tree, making it visible from a tee down the hill. This place just keeps getting better!

UPDATE 1/9/2018: The old Mach baskets on the front 18 have officially been upgraded to green Prodigy baskets! #10 tee has been widened. Tiki course still in the works. Navigation here still isn't clear but well worth a walkthrough.

Cons:

For a solo first-timer without a map, this could be a frustrating tour around the property. Many baskets are blind from the tee. There's no signage on the 9 holes across the street. I was lucky enough to play along others that knew the way and could also help with spotting. Cell phone coverage may be limited here so, before you come, I'd highly recommend printing off the satellite image course maps in the links section.

Other Thoughts:

I had the pleasure of playing a round with the reviewer below (Hi Marvin!) and another traveler from MI. Allow yourself plenty of time here. We got to 34 of the 36 holes in about 4 hours with the fading sunlight preventing us from getting to the final 2.

You can easily enjoy a few days here. Camping is available in a nicely arranged area down the hill from the house with a giant pavilion, solar panels for power, and a porto-pot. This now tops Bud Hill and Brown County Country Club (IN) for my favorite destination course. You'll also be close to other great courses in the tri-cities/ Knoxville area. To name a few(!): Warriors, Winged Deer, Panther Creek, Rotary, Cherokee, Kiwanis, Tommy Shumpert, Morningside, and The Claytons.

Be sure to show some love at the donation box by hole 1.
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12 1
BowlingGreenMarvin
Experience: 207 played 1 reviews
5.00 star(s)

True destination course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 12, 2017 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

*Excellent risk/reward layout
*Demands creative shots
*Distance and Technical ability tested
*Good tees
*Well designed signs
*clean of underbrush and garbage

Cons:

*One (one) hole sign was missing, but it was an important one.
*Going up the hill on 16 is like hitting the wall during a marathon
*The dogs want to help

Other Thoughts:

I rarely review courses and have been able to play well over 100 in many states. This one got my attention. It is in the country, wooded, beautiful and always surprising. While driving distance will definitely benefit, placement is much more important. A round with some practice shots is necessary in order to shoot your best score. You won't luck out on this course. I've not played a tournament here but I bet a 60 would warrant a 1000 rating.

If you're within 100 miles you should definitely make it to Harmon Hills.
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