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Charlotte, NC

Hornets Nest Park

4.35(based on 28 reviews)
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12 0
Moose33
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12.5 years 221 played 218 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Hornets Nest can sting a little

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

Pros:

I've tried to play this one a few times, and both previous it was closed due to being the week before the tour championship once and construction the other and I finally got to play it.

I played from the longs, which is a mix of the blue tees and the DGPT tees. It was a great mid of semi open and park style shots on the front including the iconic island hole 2.

The back is multi shot par 4s through the woods that make for some interesting shots as well as a couple of tough mandos and rolling elevation shots. That were a mix of fun and anxiety inducing.

Pads were mainly large concrete pads but they did have a couple of smaller ones or partial sidewalk ones in a few spots.

Signs were beautiful and flawless, some of the best I've seen.

Baskets are disccatchers and look good even if some of the bands are a bit stained(many are white ads so they stain more easy than the yellow powder coating).

Super fun, unique and complete course.

Cons:

As far as play goes not a lot, the biggest flaw is the navigation, super long walks across sometimes roads or parking lots. 1-2 and 6-7 I think were the worst.

A few of the pads could have been better but were overall not bad.

Some of the mandos were a bit tight but I understand it's a gold level course from the long pads.

I would have like just a little more polish on the transitions from a course of this level.

Other Thoughts:

It's really fun and I loved it, but it's not quite as epic as I had hoped. It does have some really nice moments but nothing where I went "oh wow" like the genius hole at Milo or the shot over the lake at Winthrop.
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16 0
LLmanu10
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 3.1 years 24 played 23 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Hornets Nest

Reviewed: Played on:May 8, 2023 Played the course:once

Pros:

Hornets Nest is an awesome course in Charlotte that is a big fan favorite. A calming layout that provides lots of fun will forever be a great course.
-The course features three different layouts: Nest, Web, and DGPT. A lot of the holes have three tee pads, the shorter one being Nest, and the longer ones being Web and DGPT.
-Perfect variety of hole layouts. There are short, technical holes, there are doglegs, there are wide open holes, you name it. Hornets Nest has it all.
-Good use of elevation. The park's land seems relatively flat, which made me surprised by some of the elevated holes. The designers did an excellent job of locating these areas to be a part of the course.
-Basket locations were amazing. There were many baskets perched up on the side of a hill and multiple raised baskets.
-Navigation/Routing was very well done. There are some long transitions between holes, which could have caused some serious navigation issues. But the routing signs present were very helpful and easy to read.
-If time is short, playing #1-7 and then holes A and B is a good nine hole loop that leads you back to the parking lot.
-Maintenance is beyond great. I'd say about 1/3 of the holes play in a grassy area, which was cut to perfection. Fairways are very defined, and there was no trash on any of the holes.
-Good course amenities. Baskets seem old but they catch well. Tee pads are a good size and have good texture. There were benches on most, if not all of the tee pads. Hole maps are the standard CDGC design, which are very nice.
-Interesting how there is a regular practice basket, and a raised practice basket. I've never seen that before, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

Cons:

-It can be tricky to find the first hole. There are three different parking lots, and there is no indication as to which one I should park at. First timer issue only, though.
-As I mentioned before, some transitions between holes are long. This issue didn't effect me, but it could definitely effect others.
-Pretty much the whole front nine plays in and around other areas of the park, which non-DGers are actively using. Also, holes #5-7 play alongside the park's road.
-Although navigation was great, the only hiccup that I had was finding #8's tee. After playing the two extra holes (listed as A and B), you pretty much just got to follow the path and hope you find the tee pad near the parking lot. That's what happened to me.
-The transition from #11's basket to #12's tee pad was weird. The first tee pad you see is the DPGT pad for #18. You got to walk across the field to find #12's tee, which is used for all layouts.
-When I played, the basket for #17 was in its short position, which disappointed me. I think playing to the long pin would have been awesome, but the short basket was the only option and it felt like a filler hole. Same thing for #18. I think they should just keep the long position active on both holes all the time.
-Obviously, it sucks not being able to play the island #2. There must be some way that us casual players can be regulated from swimming in the lake to retrieve discs.

Other Thoughts:

I had a particularly good time at Hornets Nest, and I can't wait to return. After playing the Nest layout, I think Web will be even more fun. The park itself is very nice, and it has countless amenities to keep the whole family active. A must play for all DGers in the area, and hopefully we can play the island #2 one day!
-To me, this course does not quite earn a 4.5 rating. I just don't think that Hornets Nest meets or exceeds the quality of Nevin, which I recently rated as a 4.5. If 4.25 was an option, then I would choose that instead of 4.0.
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19 0
Sethamphetamine
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 82 played 12 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Historical Status drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 14, 2023 Played the course:once

Pros:

+Free to play. Charlotte takes their parks seriously. Hats off. +Discatchers, the Charlotte standard! Great baskets for a free city park. +Excellent variety. You will get beat down by tight woods in Charlotte. Same thing at Hornets Nest but some more open and technical shots than some other courses in the area.+So many layouts. Multiple pads on most holes.+Challenging. From the DGPT pads, this course will verify your amateur status. It will also help beat in those new discs you just bought.+Nice rolling elevation. Uphills and downhills in abundance. +History. An old course all things considered. Big name recognition. It feels cool to be playing Hornets Nest.

Cons:

-Concrete used for pads is very rocky. Or it\'s just worn down? Might beat your shoes up a little quicker but didn\'t have much of an effect on footwork. Many of the long or gold pads were pavers and played smooth. -Very busy park. Pedestrians found their way to some fairways at times. Happens in a city park. Give them the right of way!-Some may be bummed to miss the island position on hole 2. Go play, you\'ll see why it\'s impossible without closing the park. The permanent hole 2 definitely stands out as a "filler" hole. Like the awesome disc golf plan was to always have the basket on the island and a desk worker for the city said "I\'ll give it to you for 3 days a year."-Water hazard pretty much only in play on a terrible hole 2 shank.

Other Thoughts:

Would be tough to play Hornets Nest and not have fun. When you take this and place it next to the difficulty level, it speaks to the quality of the course. Most holes are long, all of them with their own challenge. It is in a city park so nothing too crazy or DG-centric can be permanent, buts it\'s about ideal city park golf. In the young game of disc golf, this course has the allure of history. I have heard about some major renovations and redesigns through the years. Seeing efforts of what I assume to be mostly volunteers is always a plus for me. You can feel the care in places like this and it shows. Imagine your most played local course, change next to nothing about the layout and imagine top pros having a hard time going low and gushing about the course being great. Lucky residents of this city get that with this park. If you\'re reading this review you know about Hornets Nest. It\'s worth it, get out and play!
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17 0
SneakyJedi
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 15.1 years 149 played 83 reviews
4.50 star(s)

A Jewel of Charlotte

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 21, 2022 Played the course:once

Pros:

- Variety abounds with a great mix of more open and tightly wooded fairways with many exciting and iconic shots. Straight, left, and right turning par 3's, 4's and one 5.

- Two or three tee pads on most holes provide challenge for all skill levels. Newer players will struggle on the longer wooded holes.

- The limited elevation is used well, particularly on the greens. Elevated baskets are employed well.

- Well maintained course in a very pleasant park setting to play through

Cons:

- Even with some of the best directional signage I've seen, routing is occasionally confusing with some long transitions between holes. Glad I had UDisc up to help with navigation.

- Island hole 2 being limited to tournament play only is a shame and removes some variety and a fun and iconic element from the layout.

- Tee signs are a mixed bag, especially from the short tees. A few had just the hole number and distance, a few seemed to be missing, some had incorrect or corrected distances.

Other Thoughts:

Hornet's Nest (and Charlotte disc golf in general) had been one of the longest standing courses on my wish list. I finally managed a trip, albeit far too short of one for my liking, and Hornet's Nest did not disappoint. There is certainly an added sense of excitement and enjoyment finally playing a layout you have seen several times on professional coverage; attempting shots you have seen the pros make (or miss). This course is not without its flaws, but the quality of the golf is among the best I've played.

I won't give a detailed description of the holes and golf as the myriad youtube videos will do an infinitely better job, but I do have a few general comments I think are of some value. I played mostly from the short tees, and found that they gave me a good challenge for my skill level (~930 rated) while still maintaining the feel of the course you see played on the Pro Tour. My wife also played (FA3/FA4), and while she had a good time definitely struggled on the longer wooded holes. The variety of golf here is excellent, and no hole felt repetitive or like a filler, with the possible exception of Hole 2.

It has been mentioned before, but I think it bears repeating: it is a shame that the island pin location for Hole 2 is only available for tournament play. I can understand the park district's concerns with people constantly entering the pond to retrieve discs, but it really feels like something is lost from the course without that shot. The replacement fairway is a much inferior hole and doesn't really add anything to the course.

The equipment is a bit of a mixed bag at Hornet's Nest. The DISCatchers are nice, currently with the DGPT wraps on the bands of most baskets, and the tee pads are serviceable, if slightly smaller than preferable. The tee signs were a little all over the place, generally fine, but a number had issues with accuracy or were missing and there were a few different types. I played Diavolo in Cary two days later, and a similar quality of signage as what they have there would be very welcome and go a long way to improving the feel of the course. Benches at just about every tee is a nice touch (tho occasionally odd when they are in the middle of the fairway for longer tees). My favorite bit of course equipment was the plethora of next tee signs and indicators, which are definitely needed. Right off the bat you have an extended walk from Hole 1's basket to 2's tee. Even with all of the navigational aids, I still relied a bit on UDisc to help me navigate to the next tee in spots. The issues with signage and navigation are non-issues for locals, but certainly a bit of a problem for visitors or new players. That said, I had basically no issues with a little help from UDisc, but I knew I was likely going to need some help going in.

You don't get quite the level of isolation or natural beauty as some more secluded courses, but this is a pleasant park to play through and very well maintained. There also isn't really an empty-the-bag type of hole you can get on courses with more elevation, but there are so many quality holes that this is barely missed. Hornet's Nest is about as good as a parks style course can get, and is certainly one of the jewels in the crown of the Queen City.
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13 0
Doofenshmirtz
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12.1 years 122 played 72 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Gem with no care for your time.

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

Pros:

My rating is based on how a I, a traveling player, experienced this course.

This is an excellent course. Most of the hole layouts are fantastic, It is a mostly heavily-wooded course that requires varied shots from the tee. There are holes that are more open and in a park setting, but all are designed well with distances, at least from the short tees, well-matched to the tightness of the fairways.

The course starts with a wooded hole, moves on to a hole that had alternate baskets and tees (this will be addressed below) and is either an short 209' forced water carry or an exceptionally tight 200 ft hole near enough to the waters edge that a kick off a tree can lead to a lost disc. 2 is back into the woods for a right turning par 4 that keeps turning right for the entirety of the hole.

This is followed by a long, right-turning, downhill gem in the woods. and is followed by several more open holes before going back into the woods for hole 8 and finishing up with several holes that play in and out of the woods and a power line right of way.

The course is spread out with plenty of land to keep holes from interfering with each other and with other course activities. There is a medium amount of elevation change with some tees on slopes to increase putting degree of difficulty.

One of the things that I especially liked about this course was the balance achieved through the use of holes that require right turning throws. Hole 3 is a great example of this. If you don't know how to throw turnovers, you'd better have a decent forehand when you play here.

Cons:

As a traveling player, one of the most frustrating things about courses is attempting to navigate a course whose caretakers have been inconsistent about marking for navigation. Add 30-45 minutes to your time to play here because of an apparent redesign that did not include the tee signs. On multiple occasions we had to ask how to play a hole (eg. a hole with three tee pads, one not in regular use that the signs take you to). On hole two, there were two tee pads, two baskets (this was the day before a tournament). We were trying to play the gold layout and the signs clearly pointed players to the water carry, but some locals told us that the "real" tee box was the non-water carry clearly marked as a red tee. This hole was also a long walk from the previous one.

Two holes later, we walk to a tee box that isn't marked correctly on to have two locals tell us to play a different tee box that was also not marked consistently. The course looked as if it had been re-designed, with some of the old tee signs not replaced and which used different color designations for different level tees.

When we finished hole 7, signs pointed us across the #1 fairway after which we found ourselves near a parking lot with nothing pointing us to another tee pad. Another local (locals are very friendly here) pointed us to number 8, a great hole but not the easiest to find.

After a few more holes, we found a tee box with two signs describing playing the hole in different ways, one of which was clearly incorrect, leading to throwing at the wrong opening in the woods, at the wrong basket, backtracking and starting over after, you guessed it, another local told us what basket to play to.

These navigational issues ultimately cost my group another round as we finisned much later than we anticipated. The navigational issues, to my eyes, is the primary negative, and a pretty big one.

TO PEOPLE WHO CARE FOR THIS COURSES (and the other courses in Charlotte), PLEASE UPDATE ALL THE SIGNS WHEN YOU CHANGE THE COURSE CONFIGURATION. I come from an area that is notorious for having a local tournament director screw with course layouts and not care that players not familiar with the course may have difficulty navigating it. This is apparently what you has been done here.

The tee pads are poured and well textured but seem to be inconsistent in size. Some were noticeably shorter than the rest.

The only other negative, though minor, is that there are several of the more open holes that are just more open holes with nothing special about them. Most courses have these, of course, and Hornets Nest is no exception.

Other Thoughts:

I also played Renaissance Gold, Canaan Riverbend and Chester State Park on this trip and noticed some of the same issues on all but the State Park course. I'd have rated this course a 4.5 but for the annoying navigation issues. Of course, if I played this course often, that would not be a problem, but I don't so it was.
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9 0
chris deitzel
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 30.8 years 286 played 54 reviews
4.50 star(s)

It's changed a lot since my first play in 98. 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 31, 2021 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Hornets Nest is a beautiful course in a public park that has a ton of amenities. There is a BMX track, small lake with walking trail, tennis courts and some other stuff like that going on in the park. The parking lot by the start of the course is huge and there are nice bathrooms right there. Definitely a nice park.

The course itself has changed many times over the years since the first time I played it back in 1998. I really like the way that the course has evolved over the years and it has held up as a challenging and beautiful course for 25 years now. Some really nice wooded holes mixed in with a little bit of the "park" grassy areas with a pond along the way. It's a nice adventure from the start to the finish. You also loop back to the parking lot after 9 holes which is always a nice.

Cons:

I can't really think of many issues with the course. There are one or two holes from the original design that I still wish existed, and perhaps a few trees were lost on the gauntlet.

Other Thoughts:

I first played Hornets Nest in 1998 when I was 21 years old and I absolutely loved the course back then. I played it quite a few times between 98-01 along with Reedy and Kilborne, and Hornets Nest always just stood out as being a top ranked course. It's a lot of fun, the walk is beautiful through some amazing woods with some great disc golf holes thrown in for good measure. Some unique holes that you will most-likely remember for the rest of your life.
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14 0
BigAl724
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 11.8 years 179 played 144 reviews
4.50 star(s)

My favorite in the Charlotte area 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 11, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

I had been looking forward to playing this course for years, it being in the first Final 9 Worlds video I watched with McBeth winning his first title. This is one of those courses that truly feels complete. There is great variety in and out of the woods and fantastic variation throughout some holes, like 4, 10, 14-16, and 18. These are some of my favorite type of holes, combining multiple aspects of play.

The course has very fun pin positions where pretty much every basket has an added challenge for an approach: on a slope, elevated pin position, among trees, etc.

While the park itself doesn't have a lot of elevation changes, the designers did a tremendous job creating it and using what was given. 16 is a great blind downhill shot from the open into the woods and 17 stood out to me as a great par 5 and with the approach being among several mounds.

The web and nest layouts offer a great variety in challenge. The Web layout is over 9,000' and while the Nest layout is no cakewalk, it accommodates recreational players. On most holes, you have a risk/reward shot preference.

Just a beautiful spot with the lake on hole 2, the mature woods, and very well-maintained park and course.

Cons:

It wasn't a huge deal during our round, but I can see the front half of the course interfering with other park users and activities being near the road and benches on some holes. We had a couple laying down on a picnic table right off the fairway on 10. I'm sure that kind of stuff can happen from time to time as the course isn't always secluded. However, the back 9 is much nicer in this regard.

Navigation could be tricky for newcomers with having both layouts, but something that becomes clearer after playing through once.

Other Thoughts:

A previous reviewer related HN to a radio station that everyone loves - and I think that sums it up really well. I can see pretty much everyone enjoying themselves here. This is one of the best city park style courses out there and is on the top of my list of Charlotte-area courses. If you're driving through the area and only have time for one course, this is my recommendation. An easy 4.5 in my book.
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27 0
Shadrach3
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 5.7 years 321 played 314 reviews
4.50 star(s)

The Perfect Park Course 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 2, 2020 Played the course:once

Pros:

The epitome of park-style disc golf, with interest enough to challenge the pros.

-Layouts: A note of explanation for those confused by other reviews. The Hornet's Nest layout is the short tees, while Charlotte's Web refers to the long/pro tees. I played the longs, which are very difficult, as you might know if you watch any professional coverage. I can't speak to the difficulty of the shorts, but I can't imagine they're any easier than an intermediate difficulty.

-Amenities: Quite good. Concrete tees, DISCatchers, good signage, not infrequent benches, navigational aids.

-Upkeep: This course is obviously well-cared for, as it deserves.

-Terrain: Thick woods, open grounds, and hills. Plus a nice lake on hole (2).

-Shot Shaping/Gameplay: It's a pro-level challenge, and an interesting one at that. No weak holes to be found here. A good mix of wooded and more open holes, with the front 9 definitely being a little easier. The woods have clear and achievable fairways throughout, but they aren't overly spacious and will punish anybody not landing softly. Open holes aren't too boring, with ceilings, strategically-placed old trees, and the occasional sloped green. A lot of holes play open to closed or vice-versa, so it really does feel fresh. From the longs, the distance is substantial, and paired with the required accuracy makes it a deadly course. Off the fairway you'll truly be scrambling. Hornet's Nest is possibly most exceptional for the number and variety of multi-shot holes. These par-4s and 5s value smart play and placement, but have plenty of opportunity to thrill with good execution. Overall, I can't really think of anything about the design and gameplay of this course to criticize, and many different holes could be personal favorites of the players who play there. It's truly Phenomenal.

-Beauty: Pretty good for a park-style course. The back nine have moments of seclusion in the woods that make this a better than average aesthetic.

-Difficulty: Looking for a hard course? Look no further. I think this course will be enjoyable for anybody intermediate-level and higher.

Cons:

You have to get super nitpicky to criticize Hornet's Nest.

-Navigation & Transitions: Sometimes it's not clear which short tee belongs to which hole, at least for DPGT (12) and (18). DGPT hole (12) (listed as (14) on DGCR) can also be confusing, as at first it looks like DPGT basket (13) is the destination, but actually the pocket is several hundred feet further down. Some long transitions, esp. (1)-(2) and connectors to (8).

-Difficulty: Yeah, it's a hard course. The trees will be brutal when you miss. In my opinion, it is not unfair, just very demanding.

-Signage: I would love to see exceptionally detailed signage on every single pad here, with distances to landing zones and elevation change.

-Limitations: Hornet's Nest is ultimately a city park, and it feels somewhat like it. There isn't the space and beautiful terrain to make it the Best of the Best. It may well be as good as an urban city park gets, though.

Other Thoughts:

Hornet's Nest is basically a flawless park-style course. It's a course that is undeniably challenging, but it manages to maintain a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere nonetheless. Any metro area would be thrilled to have it.

-Layout: The course is the 18 holes used at the DGPT Finals, plus two connector holes between (7) and (8) that are substantially shorter than the rest of the course. (1)-(7) and the connectors are on a different side of the parking than the rest of the course. On DGCR, the connectors are labeled as (8) and (9), and DGPT holes (13)-(14) aren't included.

-Water Carry: The more famous version of hole (2) is only available during tourneys. The alt is a short technical woods shot along the side of the lake.
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10 0
pmay5
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 21.1 years 486 played 248 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Top 3 in a Top 3 Metro 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 21, 2019 Played the course:once

Pros:

New, updated DISCatchers, great tee signs, concrete tees on every hole. Most holes have two tees, so you can pick your challenge.
There are several holes on the front 9 that are mostly open grass, in the mult-use portions of the park. Its good to warm up your drives on these, before heading to the wooded back 9.
Good use of elevation on the Back 9 to provide even more challenge to the heavy woods on most holes.
Stays away from other park users, although you have to play along the entrance road on 3 of the front nine holes. Back 9 is in a DG only area.
This course really makes you throw all of your shots, with the short tees at 6500' there's only a few short holes, but the fairways are fair, even on the heavily wooded holes.
Nice large multi-use park with restrooms and water available, parking is also abundant.

Cons:

#9 is basically a filler hole, behind the tennis courts. To add something, the CDGC put an elevated basket on this 160' hole. If anyone goes for a straight on ace, they could end up OB.
#18 does not feel like a finishing hole. The short tee is 370' downhill in an open area with the basket in the open. Not a lot of trouble to find, although a few drives in the DGPT Championship last fall found some trouble there. #17 feels more like a challenging finishing hole to me. I guess the designers felt they had beaten you up enough on the Back 9 and gave you a breather on the final hole.

Other Thoughts:

I was real happy to get the chance to play this course last year, one of the Top 3 in Charlotte, the 3rd best DG Metro area. Then, it was selected as the site of the DGPT Championship last fall, so it was awesome to watch the Pros on a course I had played.
It has a good combination of open and wooded holes and uses the elevation very well. So many good holes, its tough to not write a description of all of them, several of my favorites:
#3 - long Par 4 completely in the woods, tee shot goes downhill a little, then turns right over a small creek then uphill to the basket still to the right. Really makes you think about where you want your drive to land to have a shot at the green.
#4 - 318' Par 3 that is mostly open, softball fence to your left and assorted large trees in the fairway (for shot shaping) to a basket with a steep downhill beyond it, right to the OB parking lot.
#7 - 585' Par 4 along the entrance road (OB) with scattered trees in the first half, then down the second half, the fairway narrows with thick woods on the right. This basket was placed about as far back as it could be, while still providing an ample green.
#10 - gets you into the mostly wooded Back 9 with this one being uphill, 384' Par 3 with an unusal ridge/depression in the middle of the fairway. This could lead to an tricky stance for your birdie putt.
#14 - Tees at the edge of the sewer line ROW for a wide open drive that has to find the opening in the treeline, far right side of the fairway. This 640' Par 4 then heads into the woods, fairway slopes right to left, as does the green.
#17 - after a couple more wooded holes, this Par 4 requires a drive that will fade left into a nearly 90 degree turn in the fairway, then uphill to an elevated green, thru scattered trees. If you miss your putt here, it could roll away on the rocks and cost you more than one more shot.
This really is a well designed, challenging course. Holes are long, especially from the Blues, but not just to have a long hole. They added distance to make it tough and really earn your score. Personally, I enjoy a course that has a mix of open and wooded holes, and Hornets has that great mix.
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1 5
rustman1
Experience: 5 played 5 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Longs 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jan 3, 2020 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Long and wooded with some subtle elevation and elevated baskets. The front 9 is more open with OB and the back 9 is tighter. You need all the shots for this course. Some holes really make you think.

Cons:

Some holes have standing water and there has been some erosion. Flow can be poor from traffic and park goers.

Other Thoughts:

Hard and FUN!
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15 0
dndelli
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 16.9 years 144 played 139 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Hornets Nest 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Sep 9, 2019 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

I decided to wait quite a while before sitting down to write a review for the new Hornets Nest layout. I wanted to make sure I gave the course redesign enough time, and enough rounds played, to marinate with me before I cast my final judgements on it. This is in part due to the fact that the old layout was one of, if not my favorite course at the time it had its baskets pulled - and I didn't want my nostalgia or subjectivity affect my opinions on the new layout. Especially since this wasn't just some random tinkering to an already great course, in an attempt to make it better. The changes made were necessary due to various construction reasons, if I remember correctly. Well, without further ado, let's get started:

Hornets Nest Park, which features the eponymously named disc golf course, is a stunningly beautiful city park that features all sorts of amenities, such as multiple ball fields, gazebos, picnic tables, bathrooms, etc. There's even a BMX track right next to the course! This course manages to weave through the park with its two layouts: the traditional "Hornets Nest" course (which is labeled as a Red course, but plays a lot harder than a red course) and "Charlotte's Web", which is a Gold level course that will really test your mettle as a disc golfer. One of the first significant changes you'll notice, is that the first tee is on the other side of the parking lot, and its approach trail features a sweet archway/sign with the courses name on it. The course features sweet signage that helps you navigate around the course, and distinguish between the two layouts. Baskets are all top notch, and tees are in great condition. Each tee has great tee signs, there are benches at every tee, the fairways a nicely manicured, and the rough is never overly oppressive. While the new layout does have one awkward transition between Holes 1 and 2 a lot of work has been done to make sure that first time players won't get lost. In fact it is blazed almost like a hiking trail, making it is very easy to follow.

Hornets Nest features a healthy mix of technical shots, open shots, placement golf, long bombs, etc. It's going to require that you reach into your bag of tricks and discs for a variety of shots. This course will test you on your shot selection, ability to shape your line, and your ability to recover if you have an errant throw. Above all else, this course will test you on knowing your limits. (Which is a staple of Stan McDaniel courses.) All throughout your round, Hornets Nest is going to dare you to put a little extra umph behind your throw, to cut the dogleg corner a hair tighter, or to take a run at a basket you should probably lay up to - all in the hopes you manage to lower your score with better fairway positions. What really makes Hornets Nest shine, is how well it will reward you if you manage to execute these kind of moves. Just be warned, it will also you around for trying, if you aren't completely on. Hornets Nest also features four different par 4s, and they are evenly spaced throughout the round to help break up the round. Holes 3, 7, 14, and 17 are all fun par 4s, that will surely test how well you can set up a second shot, if you want to try for that birdie.

Charlotte's Web takes everything I love about Hornets Nest, and kicks it up a notch. I could simply state the obvious, about how Charlotte's Web is a beast of a course, taking an already challenging course and really amping it up. Instead I'll just let you simmer with the reminder that Charlotte's Web has less par 3s than Hornets Nest has par 4s. In fact, other than Holes 2, 7, 8, 9, & 14, each hole has a unique layout - with longer fairways that play from a second, further tee - and at least once (on Hole 6) to a second, further basket. Most of these tee shots have tighter gaps to hit with different angles that must be thrown. Throw a couple of bad lines off of the tee, and you'll see the number on your scorecard start to skyrocket.

Both layouts use a couple of elevated baskets to help spice up a couple of holes, and really make you consider whether you want to give a putt a serious bid or not. Hole 9 does this beautifully, but even more so. You have to truly decide whether you want to take the safe play on this 161' hole, or if you'll risk it for that ace biscuit. If you try for the ace and miss, you're likely gonna sail way past the basket. Of course, even if you play it safe, your birdie putt might not be a gimme putt. Each hole has its own distinct characteristics, that make it so you never feel like you are playing the same hole twice. None of which feel like filler holes. Even the "casual" Hole 2 feels like a good hole, somewhat resurrecting the old "Gauntlet" hole as best as the redesign could. Only now its slightly more consequential if you take a bad kick to the right.

Cons:

The only real detractor for this course is that other aspects of the park can occasionally bump right up alongside the edge of the course. A couple of holes play near roads or areas of the park, and while I've personally never really had an issue with this, I could see it becoming an issue on a nice day where the park was very busy. While there are signs to warn disc golfers to be careful of the roads on tees holes that play near the roads, it would be nice to see some signs installed to warn other park goers to be mindful of flying discs near Holes 4 through 7.

The fairway for Charlotte's Web Hole 16 still has some debris scattered around before you reach the Hornets Nest Tee. But is still definitely more than playable!

I mentioned this earlier, but it is a nitpick I've had with Charlotte disc golf in general in recent years, so I figured I'd expand on it here. It doesn't take away from my personal feelings of the course, but I could definitely see how it might affect others' opinions on it. Especially if they show up expecting one thing and end up experiencing something completely different. The PDGA has established guidelines for course design, with general designations between the differences of Red, White, Blue, and Gold courses. I just don't understand why Hornets Nest is labeled as a Red course, which are generally considered good places for beginners. Let's take a second and realize that old layout felt appropriately labeled as a Blue course - and that it was a shorter course with the same par. I honestly would feel bad for a player who showed up expecting a course whose difficulty was around the same level of difficulty as Reedy Creek, which many would consider a signature Red course in the Charlotte area.

Other Thoughts:

When I wrote my review for the old layout, I described Hornets Nest as the quintessential disc golf course. I know I wasn't the only person who had such strong feelings about the old layout, so I don't envy the position Mark Huether and the CDGC found themselves in when trying to resurrect this course. While there are certainly aspects of the old layout I will always miss, if I remove the rose-tinted glasses I think the new layout is probably at least functionally better. Some of the holes lost (like old 14 aka The Gauntlet) were really outside the control of the course designers, so that can't be helped. Plus they did their best to create a hole with a similar style. The only other hole I know is gone, honestly was a nightmare in terms of rough, kudzu city! The new holes, and many of the changes that were made seemed to really try to keep true to the spirit of Hornets Nest. Plus the course got a much needed facelift during the redesign and has better signage than it has ever had! So all-in-all I'd say that the new layout is in no way a downgrade from the old course. Plus, it is nice that the two layouts are more or less just a short and long version of the same course, and no longer two courses that are overlapped. Which makes things easier to navigate for the players, and likely easier to maintain for the club.

I know this review is long, but I have strong feelings about this course. I'd like to reiterate, though slightly amend, what I said about Hornets Nest in my other review. Hornets Nest is the quintessential city park course for disc golf. I am going to give it a 4.5 rating, with the added notion that there's really not much that can be done to improve this course. As I come back to this course, if I notice that the other, newer aspects of the park aren't interfering with the course the way I think they could on busy days (and if Hole 16's on Charlotte's Web is cleared up), I still might feel inclined give it the nod anyway.

Charlotte is a special area for disc golf. Not only is it home to a plethora of amazing courses, but it still boggles my mind how Hornets Nest and Nevin are almost next door neighbors, with Renaissance Gold being just down the street. These three courses are gems, that I think should be shown off within the PDGA a lot more often than they are. Fortunately, the PDGA Tour Championships for 2019 have been relocated to Hornets Nest this year. It'll be nice to see them bust out the Tournament version of Hole 2!

Favorite Nest Holes: 3, 7, 9, 10, 14
Favorite Web Holes: 5, 13, 15, 17, 18
Special Mention: 2 Tournament Layout
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10 0
LeftyRob
Experience: 24.6 years 46 played 16 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Exactly what I thought was coming! 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 6, 2019 Played the course:once

Pros:

A giant of a course with some pretty good hills to head up and down! A nice selection of everything you'd want in a well designed course. Dog-legs in both directions, uphills, downhills, a few long TIGHT tee shots, a couple of short ones with really tight lines, with a bomber or two thrown in for good measure!! I'm primarily a LHBH player, but the forehand was necessary on more than a few occasions The tee signs were very descriptive, and the local club (I'm assuming) have colored mini's on trees near each basket pointing you towards either the Nest or Web upcoming tees. There were also mini's along the fairways giving the distance in to the baskets. Really nice touches you don't see many places.
Cement tee pads, creative tee positions, and some iconic basket locations( jutting from boulders, atop wooden platforms, etc.) all added to the experience!

Cons:

Coming up dry for a negative!

The course isn't responsible for the 95 degree temperature today, so that's out...

Other Thoughts:

Just a thought about how well taken care of the course, and the park in general, was. Fantastic groundskeeping at all 4 parks I've played in the Charlotte area this week. All were very enjoyable to play, and for me, this course in particular.
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11 2
aredoubles
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 8 years 260 played 41 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Oct 6, 2019 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

A demanding test of your abilities as a disc golfer, physically and mentally. On a nice variety of open and wooded holes, you'll be required to through demanding straight shots, hyzers through tight gaps, turnovers through tight windows, and careful hyzer flips or flexes to hit small landing zones. Requires distance, accuracy, shot-shaping, and knowing the flights of your discs to absolute perfection.

UPDATE 2019 Oct - Just played the new gold layout, put in for the 2019 DGPT Championship. I'm bumping up my rating by a half-star.
+ The new gold 13, which uses old 14's teepad and plays up old 15's fairway, is an outstanding addition, and is now my favorite hole on the course.
+ The new gold 14 is basically a par 3 version of old 14's second shot, and plays much better that way.
+ Old hole 9 is not part of this layout, hallelujah! Good riddance to that gimmicky hole.
+ A few pin locations have been changed shorter or longer, and for the most part I like most of these changes.

Cons:

I find this course to be frustrating and unpleasant to play. Most people seem to disagree with me, so I'll do my best to explain why I think so, trying to be as objective as possible. Some of this inevitably delves into personal feelings and philosophies on course design.
- Holes 5-7 run alongside the entrance road, which is pretty much always full of slow-driving cars. There's also typically picnickers, walkers, birthday parties, etc. on the edges of these holes, plus on Hole 4. Not only are there safety issues here, but they are also just distracting and un-peaceful, not what I'd associate with a top-level course.
- Quite a few holes feature highly elevated baskets, and to me in these cases, this is just lazy design. For a few, the elevation is completely unnecessary, and are overly punitive on holes that are already difficult as-is (ex: Hole 17). Then on Hole 9, this stupid-simple hole is overly-compensated for by the exaggerated height of the basket (update - this hole is not part of the newer gold layout, hooray!). A 'perfect' drive under the basket suddenly has no angle for a putt, and then what do you do? At least lower the basket a foot or two, but even then this is not a good hole, and I'd prefer something entirely different.
- A number of the Par 4s feature a relatively straight tee-shot, followed by a near-90-degree dogleg, then a long alley to the basket. Examples include holes 3, 10, 12, 14 (update: replaced by gold 13, which is much more attackable and much better), and 17. This is not a design that I'm in favor of. There is no way to cut the corners on these doglegs, and most people's tee-shots will come up short of the corners, or be slightly off-angle. This then essentially requires a lay-up to perfect position on the corner, and given how long the second alleys are, practically guarantees a bogey at best for many players. This is related to the principle of preferring early gaps to late gaps, but in this case, it's not just a late gap, it's an entire late fairway that must be carefully positioned for. This design is overly demanding and punitive, and to have it repeated so many times is unwelcome, exasperating, and uncreative.
- Tournament hole 2 on the island is certainly better than the permanent hole 2, but it's still not that great. The basket is tucked too far into the trees, and there are too many low-hanging limbs. Plenty of good-looking shots get caught by branches or take a tree kick, and end up in the water.

UPDATE 2019 Oct - Just played the new gold layout, put in for the 2019 DGPT Championship. I'm bumping up my rating by a half-star, but most of the above cons still apply, and I'm still lower on this course than most others. In addition,
- Gold 15 is the new gauntlet hole, with a mando and an unbelievably tight gap off the tee, and it just feels too gimmicky to me. Some players may elect to just jump-putt off the tee to make the gap, and that doesn't seem fun. Curious to see how the pros play it, but it's hard to imagine anyone consistently running it for birdie.

Other Thoughts:

I've never played well at this course, casually or competitively, which I've always blamed on what I see as serious design issues. I'll concede that perhaps I'm just projecting my personal failures onto the course. But I do think these design issues are valid, and even putting those aside, I just don't really like most of these holes, and I've never enjoyed playing the course. None of these holes would make my Charlotte 18. It surprises me that so many players love this place, and I have a very hard time understanding those positive feelings. I've done my best to be reasonable and open-minded before playing and before presenting my criticisms, but I do want them to be on the record for this course. I'd rather play Nevin 100 times before coming back, but I inevitably will, just to give it another shot.

UPDATE 2019 Oct - Just played the new gold layout, put in for the 2019 DGPT Championship. I'm bumping up my rating by a half-star, mostly because I like gold 13 and 14 so much, and because old 9 was removed. Gold 13 would certainly make my Charlotte 18, so at least there's one or two holes I really like now. Though it's an improvement, there's still 4 or 5 Charlotte courses that I prefer.
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8 0
jjtwinnova
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 9 years 246 played 97 reviews
4.00 star(s)

It's All Nice at the Nest! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 30, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

Hornets Nest is a course that I have been hearing about since I started browsing this site, and I knew it would be a must play during my trip to Charlotte, even if I only had time to play a few courses.

I'm glad I did. This course is a fan-favorite for many years, and for good reason. With two distinct layouts, this course has stuff for everyone. The Nest layout is the perfect park course, at 6534 feet and a par of 58, the holes average at just around 362 feet. This is a perfect layout for a newer player looking for a challenge or an experienced player looking for a fun round in the park.

Charlotte's Web is another beast. 9015 feet, Par 70. Holes average a touch over 500 feet, and these aren't your open hyzer holes either. These are the S-shaped fairway, double bogey maker holes. The holes that make local pros quiver with fear. This layout is a beast's beast.

This course has excellent tee signs, those shiny yellow discatchers that everybody loves, and some of the best concrete tee pads I've played on. Navigational signs help on the longer walks, and everything here was super well-manicured. Somebody is putting a lot of care into this course and the park as a whole.

While this course isn't set in the mountainous regions of North Carolina, the designer(s) used every hill and valley to create dangerous greens and rolling fairways.

Other than the pond on hole 2, there isn't much opportunity to lose a disc here. The rough is well-groomed, and there aren't many places where the disc will get too far out of sight. This is very helpful when you don't have a spotter, or are having an off-day at the course.

There is a great mix of the tight wooded holes, and the more open ones, something that I picked up on as rare in the Charlotte area. I threw most of my discs in my bag in order to navigate this course, and I still didn't score as well as I would have hoped!

Cons:

I think Hornets Nest is one of the best park-style courses to have ever been done. A park course should have the ability to serve every type of player, and this course fits the bill. However, making the perfect park course comes with some cons.

There isn't a hole that would make my dream 18 here. No real downhill bomber holes, the water shot is a putter or midrange, and it's only playable during tournaments for unfortunate, but reasonable, circumstances. For a course this long in total distance, the longest hole is only 727 feet. There wasn't a 1000 footer that a lot of courses at this length have. Just a lot of middle distances.

The wooded shots were a lot of fun, and there were quite a few that I really liked, but some of them were a tad repetitive, forcing a single line down the middle of the fairway. Not that this is a bad thing necessarily, but sometimes I like to think about what line to take when standing on the tee, not just grab the straightest disc in my bag.

Some of the walks from hole to hole were longer than I would usually prefer, but when the walk is to get to another fantastic hole, I really don't mind. Navigation was well-marked, but with this being my third course of the day, I got a little tired.

Some of the holes played close to other park activities, mostly a parking lot or a park road, where cars aren't going over 20 miles an hour. In most places, I don't think this could have been avoided, but I wanted it to be noted. I can also see this place being very busy on a nice day, so backups may happen.

Other Thoughts:

I think the course at Hornets Nest Park is one of the best home courses that anybody could have. It's not the most grueling, even if it's super long, it has multiple layouts to create a myriad of courses for a local to play, and allows out-of-towners to pick and choose their favorite shots.

There were a lot of fine holes, and it was a fantastic way to end my day of disc golf. While I didn't think this course was the most challenging, or breathtaking, it was one of the more relaxing and fun rounds I have played in a long while!

To get an experience of both Hornets Nest and Charlotte's Web, I played the 2018 Amateur Worlds layout. I would recommend this to all players who can only play here once.
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11 0
Chained Evil
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 14.1 years 1121 played 232 reviews
4.50 star(s)

The Web 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 8, 2018 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

This is a solid course and a local favorite for many reasons. This is a course that will test your accuracy for sure.
The tee pads are more than ample and the signage is very nice giving the player all the needed information.
The flow is logical and the quality of golf lines here are very tasty.
Elevation change is present on several of the holes but not to the point that you feel like you are hiking up the side of a cliff.
Good mix of short, moderate, and longer holes as well as holes that are dog leg right and left.
There are a couple of open holes but pretty technical for the most part. You will need a good solid overall game in order to score well here. Multiple pins locations to keep things from getting stale.
The elevated basket on hole 9 is pretty sweet and from the pad you want to run at it for the ACE but hope it doesn't leave you with the death putt.
Hole 2's pond shot adds a nice pucker factor and you will want to go for it and stick the island.
This course has the IT factor and the quality of golf is here.

Cons:

There aren't many and these are a tad nit picky.
Some of the holes might be a bit sloppy after a good solid rain. Hole 8 sits in a bit of low spot and might have some standing water when it rains heavily.
There is a bit of a long walk from 9's basket to 10's tee and from 18 to the parking lot is a tad long as well. Overall not much to complain about.

Other Thoughts:

I was lucky enough to finally make it to the Charlotte area for 2018 Am Worlds this summer. I've known that the Charlotte area has many stellar courses to play and Hornets Nest didn't disappoint. This course has a bit of everything and I love the fact that you had to be accurate in order to score well. There are a few holes that you will pull a driver out on like hole 4 and 14 but for the most part using mids and putter to set up the next shot might be the better and smarter play. I played this course on a Sunday afternoon for in a practice round for Worlds and it was busy but not overly crowded.
The course was in phenomenal shape for Worlds and this is a course that I would highly recommend to anyone while there were in the Charlotte area. I really like this course and hope to return and get the chance to play here again. There is a little bit of something for everyone on this awesome course.
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11 0
KenanFlagler01
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 14.2 years 198 played 192 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Incredible 1-2 punch: Nest + Nevin 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 10, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

I'm trying to wrap my head about what an amazing 2-course combo Hornets Nest and Nevin are in North Charlotte. Two 4.5-rated courses (in my book), both top 5 in North Carolina on DGCR...and only 5 minutes apart. Incredible.

+ Tremendous course design and hole layouts. Great mix of par 3's, 4's, and 5's. Every shot in your game will be required.

+ I think my favorite distinguishing feature of this track are the greens. They did a fantastic job using elevated baskets, but not in a gimmicky way. You have baskets on hills, elevated on pedestals, stumps. Roll-aways are a great part of the game, in my opinion, as it forces risk/reward decisions and makes putting more difficult (good and necessary components of today's game, in my view).

+ This is a mostly wooded course, I would say, but there are some more open holes. All of the fairways are "fair" -- appropriate fairway widths for their lengths.

+ I love the true par 4's and 5's. You have to throw a good drive to a landing zone, mouth of a fairway, or elbow of a dogleg to have a good chance at an upshot that can reach the great. Great design.

+ The front 9 is more open in the park area of the course. They do a great job using roads as OB on holes that would otherwise be easier than tight, wooded ones. The roads are just interior park roads and not busy, so not a problem for course design. Just make sure the road is clear before throwing.

+ There's not tremendous elevation here, but they use what they have...and create elevation where they can (see comment above about greens and baskets). There are some ridge holes (uphill over a hill and then downhill to the basket), and a couple of slight uphill and slight downhill holes.

+ Good tees, tee signs (with accurate yardage and hole layouts), and baskets.

+ The park and the course are well maintained and clean. It's also a very pretty course, especially the more wooded back 9.

+ This is one of the best short tee / long tee combo courses you will find. "Nest" is the shorter red tees. "Web" is the longer gold tees. I didn't have time to play Web, but it's significantly longer and more difficult than Nest. I'm not sure that it's worthy of the gold label or not. I'll leave that to Advanced and Pro players to decide. It's at least a blue-level course though. I think Nest would be better categorized as a white-level course (intermediate).

Cons:

There aren't many, but here are my nit-picks:

- I wouldn't say navigation is a full con. They have lots of helpful red and gold arrows and markers on the course to signify Nest and Web, respectively. But it's still not simple for a first timer. There are some long walks between holes (and a long walk after 18). I was confused by the "W-18" spray-painted on many of the concrete tees before I realized that it signified the Am Worlds '18 layout (which I assume was a hybrid of the Nest and Web layouts). Again, not a major issue, and I'm not really sure how to improve it. Maybe new course map signs at hole 1?

- This also isn't a major con for me, but hole 2 seemed out of place. I think if the island basket could be used all the time, it would be the signature hole. Unfortunately, as it stands now, the concrete tee is suited to the island pin location and there's not a concrete tee for the short, tightly wooded hole location.

Other Thoughts:

I've been waiting for a few years for the right time to play Hornets Nest after the redesign (and not living in Charlotte). I finally got my chance and it did not disappoint. I put in Nevin on my GPS, another one of my all-time favorite courses, and it's only 5 minutes away. Amazing. I can believe the density of great courses in Charlotte, overall, but especially these two gems right next to each other. Without a doubt, if you have one afternoon in Charlotte, your plan should be to play these two courses. Period.
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9 0
RamsFan1
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 13.7 years 91 played 91 reviews
4.50 star(s)

One of the Area's Best 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 24, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

Beautiful and challenging 18 hole course located in a well-maintained town park. Ample parking in multiple locations and a nice indoor pavilion with clean bathrooms await visitors, along with a wonderfully crafted wooden sign at the entrance to the course itself. An excellent balance of wooded and more open holes. Features two different basic layouts that accommodate most skill levels: the Web (more difficult) and the Nest (shorter, though far from easy). Nice signs and ample sized tee pads at each hole, with good quality Innova Disc Catcher baskets. Navigation is generally very easy from hole to hole with "next tee" arrows spaced throughout the course. Many outstanding holes, including hole 2 (an island green which is as cool as any hole anywhere), hole 9 (a super-high elevated basket) hole 4 (Basket enclosed by a retaining wall above an OB parking lot) hole 5 (featuring a basket perched on a 4x4-enclosed platform above OB entrance road), hole 16 (tee on a rubber fly pad secured to an oversized deck) and hole 17 (a monstrous par 5 from the Web position). Benches and trash cans are plentiful throughout the course.

Cons:

Cons are of the nit-picking variety. Some of the walks, specifically from holes 1 to 2 and from holes 9-10, are overly long. Two elevated baskets in a row (three in total) are gimmicks which aren't needed on a course of this quality. Players must be aware of pedestrians and nearby roads/parking lots near some of the holes. No significant elevation to speak of. I'm told the hole 2 island is only used for tournaments, which if true is an absolute shame, such is it's appeal.

Other Thoughts:

If Hornets' Nest were located in 95% of the rest of the country, it would be given a 5 star rating by many. It is absolutely as good as Warwick, Nockamixon and Iron Hill- three phenomenal courses here in the Northeast- and comparable to other 5 star venues. But when you're near places like Renaissance and Winthrop, the bar gets raised and the inevitable comparisons get made. Hornets Nest is a wonderfully constructed course; difficult, yet very fair throughout. Despite the challenge of the course, one never feels restricted or overwhelmed here. There is plenty of opportunity for scoring separation- always a plus during tournaments The Web and Nest layouts provide very different looks at many of the holes, avoiding repetition and adding to the overall playing experience.

As with the other courses I was privileged to play during Am Worlds, tremendous care and work have gone into Hornets Nest. The retaining walls, elevated platforms and baskets, and hole 16 tee off deck are just a few of the features not seen at the average course and helps set Hornets Nest apart from other disc golf venues. A must play if in the Charlotte area.
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13 0
Qikly
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12 years 181 played 150 reviews
4.50 star(s)

2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 11, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

The current incarnation of Hornets Nest pairs an impressive variety of terrain and tree cover with a design that maximizes this variety's impact in creative and just plain fun ways while at the same time providing a heck of a challenge.

The layout is split between thick woods and tree-dotted park lawn, favoring the former but often using the latter as an effective change of pace from one hole to the next or during the course of one hole. Movement between wooded and more open environments is excellently done, lending the course a unique character that constantly rotates the particular brand of challenge it's throwing at you. Transitions into and out of the woods within a single hole are some of the very best I've seen. All this changing of pace helps the strictly wooded holes - which are generally tight with not a lot of shot choice - from feeling overly restrictive.

Hornets Nest sports the full range of technical play with tight lanes, wooded landing zones, must-hit windows, mid-fairway obstacles, varied shot choice, and OB. There are a fantastic mix of hole lengths, pars, and shots.

The more open holes are an effective, well-conceived complement to the more iconic wooded ones. Hole 5 for example sports a mando and tight-ish window off the Web (long) tee, some mid-fairway trees to negotiate, road OB to consider, and a hillside basket to liven up your approach a bit. Being able to uncork a bit of distance on a hole like this while still maintaining an array of technical considerations helps balance out the wooded confines of other holes while not letting up on the challenge and intrigue. Such tempo changes are strategically placed throughout the layout to great effect.

Wooded holes range from short tunnel shots to daunting par 4s and 5s. They favor single-lane holes that dictate particular lines.

The signage here is easily the best I've ever seen and turns what could have been a navigation nightmare into a demonstration of care. Next tee direction is clearly indicated after each hole, and the transition path is marked throughout so that you always know you're on the right track. This takes the guesswork out of what otherwise would have been some dodgy transitions. Hornet's Nest sets the gold standard for course signage.

Parking is plentiful and there is restroom access throughout.

Cons:

The wooded lanes in Hornets Nest largely lack options, forcing you on particular lines. Normally I would criticize such wooded holes for not offering a lot of shot choice. At HN however there's so much dynamic movement into and out of the woods that this restrictiveness is quite balanced out. Still worth being aware that you'll be throwing a lot of tight lanes, though, even though I found them to be quite fair.

The course seems to lose a good bit of character from the short tees, especially in the woods, where many of the shots become dead straight. I feel like many of the qualities that make Hornets Nest distinctive are only really experienced when playing the longs. As such it's got a somewhat narrower appeal than many other top-tier courses I've played.

To my outsider eye there seems to be some capacity for conflict with other park goers given the proximity to roads and walkways at several points. Elsewhere I had to tee off cautiously to avoid spooking some park goers relaxing on a bench. It's hard to judge for certain as a one-time visitor just how much interference takes place, but I'd keep an eye out for park goers on busy days.

There's little elevation to be found here.

I don't inherently hate raised baskets, but the one on nine seemed a bit gimmicky, perhaps because it was the only defining feature of an otherwise standard short tunnel shot. It felt a bit cheap on a course with as much character as Hornets Nest.

Other Thoughts:

I came to Hornets Nest slightly skeptical that it would live up to its reputation, but I found that reputation to be well-earned. It's got loads of character, with a healthy and thoughtful balance between tight and more open environments while always remaining technical. There's the opportunity to both test your game and let your hair down a bit, a fantastic combination. I had a blast playing here.

Of the "Big Three" Charlotte courses I played I would rank them Renaissance Gold > Hornets Nest > Nevin. That being said, Hornets Nest is the course I'd play the most often if I lived in the area, given that it remains quite interesting without being the more-consistently tight technicality of Nevin or the one-of-a-kind-but-kind-of-a-beatdown epic experience that is Renny Gold. All are fantastic courses in their own right, and with each having different styles there's something for everyone in Charlotte. Despite the bias of my western Pennsylvania roots, it's hard to argue with anyone who claims that Charlotte is as good a city as disc golfers get.
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15 0
sjberry2017
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 11.1 years 51 played 19 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Absolutely a blast! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 17, 2017 Played the course:once

Pros:

18 Innova Discatchers

Concrete tees, with most holes having two tees. Bonus: most of the tees don't just shorten the hole, but make the tee shot very different.

There are plenty of benches scattered throughout the course, providing a moment to catch your breath if you need it.

Excellent navigation signage throughout the course, with explanations of the two layouts and coded arrows to point you to the proper tee

Two baskets on hole 6, always love seeing this on holes shaped like hole 6.

Good mix of throws; wide open, wooded, short, long, two-shot holes, birdie or die holes, right, left, and straight holes. You really get a chance to throw a lot of different shots, and while challenging, they're all super fun to throw.

Gorgeous sign to walk through to get to the first fairway, really adds a little bit of gravitas to starting your round.

Practice basket.

Water fountains and restrooms are sprinkled in the park throughout the course, super convenient.

There are some unique basket placements throughout the course: holes 4 and 5 have baskets on flattened platforms on hillsides, holes 8 and 9 have raised baskets on platforms built entirely over the hillsides, and 17 is on a raised ridge.

Cons:

Holes play next to and around some walking paths and roads, so you may need to wait for vehicles or walkers to clear before throwing.

Several of the walks between holes are long. Hole 1 to 2 is particularly bad, as is 9 to 10 and 12 to the Web tee on hole 13. Hole 2 to 3 is also somewhat confusing even with the arrows.

There is a mando on hole 3, but I have no idea what tree it actually is as none of them are marked, at least as far as I can tell.

With all the leaves down and blind shots, it can be difficult to find your disc and it is possible to lose a disc.

The raised basket on hole 9 is a little too tall for my taste, and makes putting more annoying than challenging. Lowering it by 3 or 4 feet would make it still challenging, but not annoyingly so. It's also annoying to have two raised baskets back to back (hole 8's is raised as well). I would remove the raised basket on 8 and instead build one more structure on the green, with the basket mounted normally. I know this is mostly just personal preference though.

Several of the Charlotte's Web tees are right next to each other (holes 10 and 12, 14 and 18), which would be kind of annoying for tournaments.

The easiest way to get to the Web tee on hole 16 is to backtrack along 15's fairway (and even when they cut a path it will be in the first cut of 15's rough), which is something I don't like to see on courses, but in this case is pretty much necessary. If you are playing the course, keep alert while walking to the tee and you'll be fine.

Some of the first cut of rough is really rough and makes it almost impossible to do anything other than pitch out. If the first 3 to 5 feet off the fairway on all the wooded holes were cleared of vines, it would make the course even more fun to play.

Actually finding the first hole is difficult, as there is no sign telling you which parking lot it is. You need to drive through most of the park, and then when you have a restroom building and the tennis courts on your left, it is the parking lot on the right. My girlfriend and I went all the way back to the caretaker's house before turning back and finally spotting the practice basket.

Some of the holes can interfere with each other, particularly 15/16 (as mentioned previously) and 17's green and 18 Web's fairway. Just be aware and it shouldn't be a problem, but still not the most ideal setup.
If you play the Web layout (as I did), groups playing the Nest layout will probably catch up to you.

Other Thoughts:

Hornet's Nest is the first disc golf course I have played in Charlotte, and it certainly lived up to the Charlotte area hype. With a good balance of wooded and open holes which flow nicely together, and a nice mix of dealer's choice versus more constrained fairways, and a great variety which ensures you don't throw the same shot twice in a row, this course certainly does not disappoint. With two layouts which are significantly different, this course has excellent replay value. While I never was able to play the original layout, the redesign with the pipeline easement is a super fun course. Here are some of my thoughts on the most memorable holes:

Hole 0: I really love the sign you enter through for the course; it's gorgeous and really sets the tone for the rest of the round.

Hole 3: a fantastic wooded hole, with a shorter initial fairway that calls for a RHFH/LHBH hyzer to get into position. The fairway then plays down a wooded stretch to a slightly sloped green.

Hole 5: really fun and long park hole, with the trees and basket on the hillside making the hole challenging but fun.

Hole 8: I really like the platform for the basket, it makes any putt from a position other than parked that much more challenging. I feel like the raised basket is slightly overkill; positioning the pin closer to the edge of the platform would have achieved much of the same effect.

Hole 10/11/12: really great sequence of wooded park holes, with elevation and tight lines coming into play.

Hole 14 - 16: Having played a course built along pipelines before (Pipeline DGC in Spartanburg, SC), I know how fun they can be. However, Hornet's Nest sets this to another level with the finishing holes. Hole 14 is a position shot off the tee along the pipeline, which then plays down and along a wooded fairway with lots of elevation change. Hole 15 then plays along a wooded fairway to a basket set on the side of a hill in the easement with new trees planted around it. As the trees mature this will probably become the signature green on the course. The Web tee plays down a somewhat tight but still fair tunnel fairway to the main fairway from the Nest tee, which is more open and leads to the aforementioned green. Hole 16's Nest tee is a must play, even when playing Web. Right now the Web fairway is still rough (although it will definitely be a fun hole), so your best bet is to play the Nest tee. And what a fun tee it is; you tee from a deck built on the side of the hill down one of two fairways, which drop significantly in height to a well-guarded pin. Overall, an extremely fun sequence of holes.

Hole 17: An absolutely monstrous par 5, not due to its length, but due to the technical nature of the fairway. There's plenty of room to bomb a drive off the Web tee, but hit on the trees along the fairway and par is going to be your best bet. The pin is set along a slight ridge and is slightly elevated, which makes longer putts more risky to run and puts a premium on placing the upshot well.

Hole 18: Extremely fun finishing hole. From the Web tee, the initial fairway is a heavily wooded left to right turning tunnel which plays back into the pipeline RoW in front of the Nest tee. The Nest tee is a must throw, as it tees from beside the woods and lets you really rip on a driver one last time. If you got into the fairway off the Web tee, it's basically the same shot. The designers used the woods on either side to really frame the shot, with the pin tucked far to the right. From the right woods side, it's a huge turnover, while going across the fairway to the left woods will make it more of a straighter approach.

Overall, Hornet's Nest is an absolutely gorgeous and fun course, with a healthy mix of shots and situations to test anyone's golf game. With two tees on nearly every hole, and two baskets on 6, everyone from beginners to pros will be able to test and improve their game.
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2 0
adamwn9
Experience: 11.1 years 63 played 11 reviews
4.00 star(s)

1st Tournament 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 6, 2017 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

-Nice signs and tee pads
-Different distance tee pads
-Good combo of wooded and wide open holes
-Good combo of long and short holes - 17 killed me, but there a couple shorter par 3's that I had birdie putts on
-Very accessible parking lot directly beside where the course begins and ends

Cons:

-Odd transition between 1 and 2
-If you get off the fairway on some of the wooded holes you're score is done - took an 8 on 17 and I didn't even think I played it that poorly
-I remember being worried about hitting cars and people on 5-7 because they are so close to the road and a few picnic shelters

Other Thoughts:

I played this one in my first tournament ever last weekend. I really enjoyed the course, but I wouldn't say it is my favorite ever. I had super high expectations coming in because of things I'd read about it. It does have a nice balance of varied hole types, it is well kept, it isn't too hard to navigate, but it didn't amaze me. I would definitely play it again, but I think I'd rather play RL Smith.
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