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Newton, NC

Jacob Fork Park

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2.55(based on 4 reviews)
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Jacob Fork Park reviews

5 0
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 41 years 1629 played 40 reviews
1.50 star(s)

Needs navigation aids 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 8, 2019 Played the course:once


Decent baskets, concrete tee pads. Interesting enough holes when they could be found.
Navigation is pretty easy on the back 9, especially if you notice tee 17 across the fairway from basket 14 so that you know you will need to walk back to that area.


No course sign with map at start. Very few tee signs, no hole distances or diagrams.
Could not easily tell if there was more than one tee on all of the holes.
Hole 17 required a walk through part of a marsh.
Start of fairway from the short tee on #18 was too overgrown to use.

Other Thoughts:

I am pretty sure that I figured out holes 1, 2, 3, 8 & 9. I found 3 other baskets, but could not find the remaining 4 tee pads.
The basket spokes in the direction of the next tee should be taped or painted in red or blue to aid in navigation.
Seriously, how hard would it be to spray paint tee numbers and distances onto the concrete pads in blue and red for the appropriate tee.
If the issues were addressed my rating would probably be 3.0. Hopefully someone local can take charge and finish the approximately 5% remaining to make the course complete and much more enjoyable.
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5 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 20.1 years 605 played 551 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Jacobs Ladder – Climbing Up or Falling Down?

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jan 9, 2019 Played the course:once


Jacobs Fork seems to be a two-faced course. Lots of issues that have caused people to dislike it. Yet, when I played here (January '19), this was an excellent course. Does this course play much easier in the winter, when most of the issues are dormant?
- I tried to play this course 12 months earlier. Drove into the park, walked around, saw some baskets (none of which had numbers), had no clue where to begin or how the course flowed, didn't want to get lost or waste time, so I left. I then saw more negative feedback on this course and thought maybe it was a lost cause. Then, after more research and checking out the pictures on this site, I felt confident I could navigate the course, I came back for another crack. Glad I did.
- Once I found the first tee, I was in for a solid round. First two holes are bombers. Hope your arm is loose because the big arm hole is #1. Wide fairway lets you really air one out. After two longer holes, you're met with a stretch of shorter, more technical layouts - #4 is on a mound, #5 - 7 have tighter fairways, then you get to play the first true excellent hole - #8.
- #8 is an excellent challenge plus a picturesque design. 224 feet from the short (257 from the long), with the basket on a slight hill, and water on the entire right of said hill. Hope that disc that lands on the hill doesn't roll downhill into the drink. You could aim 40 feet left and have an easy, boring 3. Or you take advantage of an open, relatively straight short hole and play it normal. I landed 12 - 15 feet short of the basket and took my two.
- The back 9 is excellent. It has more of an isolated, hilly feel. The stretch from #12 - 17 is the course's signature. Give me 18 holes at this level, and you're in the 4.0 - 4.25 range.
- #13 is an absolute gem of a hole. The fairway is a wide, rolling hill (down, then up) making you feel like you're out in the middle of nowhere. If you're stopping at any point in your round, this is as good a spot as any. Not a challenging hole, but a highlight nonetheless.
- #14 - 15 are fun, shorter, technical holes. Both are birdieable; but are also an easy bogey if you smack a tree. They serve a great purpose on this course.
- #16 is the third picturesque, memorable hole (after #8 & 13). A long, downhill layout (385 shorts / 593 longs) that lets you bomb one. The disc I used from the short tees typically goes around 275. Here, I had a 30-foot birdie putt thanks to the big drop.


There's an obvious reason I enjoyed this course more than most, and why my opinion is possibly skewed. Playing in the dead of winter, I didn't have to deal with leaves on trees, thick rough, bugs, or heat. I had a very forgiving layout that looks quite different for most of the year. That said, the biggest flaw of this course:
- Signage is abysmal. Course is approaching two years old. Signage must be better than numbers on pieces of wood (at best), or several flags in the ground marking a tee (at worst), as seen on hole #6 amongst others.
- Another big flaw of bad signage is on the long transitions. After hole #11, you walk to an opening that has paths going four separate directions. I could eliminate the path leading back towards where I just came as well as the path that goes around the power grid - although that path would have led to #13.
- Final signage shortcoming is that the baskets do not have hole numbers on them. After playing #7 (a hole where I didn't find any tee signage), you come to an opening an see tee pads and baskets both directions. I correctly assumed the one closest to the parking lot is #9, so the other one must be #8. But, how about numbers on the basket so I would have to guess.
- Tee signs would be nice too. I played Bradley in Gastonia immediately after this course and was reminded how simple, laminated tee signs is all you need for a hole. It doesn't need to be flashy. It just must exist.
- If you're lazy, you can drive from the far parking lot after #9, and park in the first lot next to #10's tee and #18's basket.
- I didn't see a single trash can or bench on the course. The only ones in the park I saw were in the parking lots next to the ball fields.
- Some fairways seem like they need to be better defined. Holes #6 & 7 had fairways that were just wide walking paths. #17 seems like just enough trees were cut out of the woods with a lack of thought towards how one is going to cross the small creek.

Other Thoughts:

For a course with such signage issues, I still managed to like this course. I see the potential here. Maybe that's why others are so frustrated. This is an excellent course that hasn't been given enough attention to get it fully completed.
- The signage issues will only be an issue for first time players. Once you've played here, navigation and flow are a breeze. Then you can focus on enjoying your round.
- The course has a solid flow to it. You seem to weave in and out from easy to harder layouts, tight to open fairways, play smart to play aggressive holes. This course forced me to pull out a lot of different discs based on angles, lengths, and obstacles in front of me. That usually makes for an adventurous round.
- I liked that the basket on #1 plays close to the creek. The park gets a lot of its traffic from kayakers and boaters, so it's a nice touch we get to see the water up close too. Plus, there's a nice view of the dam and waterfall.
- #18 feels anticlimactic. I didn't like the design of the long layout - playing through the woods to get to an awkward right dogleg. The short tee is an open design that provides a birdie chance / easy par 3. I'd rather see #17 playing longer and make that the final hole. If we're posing a hypothetical, let's find a way to make #16 the closing hole. That'd be a great way to cap the round.
- If this course ever hits its potential, this area suddenly has 3 quality courses: Glenn Hilton, The Bear, and here. You have a good day trip from Charlotte, Asheville, or other surrounding areas to this region.
- Based on the layout I played in January 2019, I'd be tempted to give this course a 4.0. That said, I'm deducting a half a point for the signage kerfuffle, and I'm deducting another half a point due to the easiness / limited time the course plays this easy. If I played here in July, I'm thinking my review would be griping about the rough / thorns on #6, 7, 12, 13, 14, and 17. All that said, this is getting a tentative 3.0 with the realization the course should be rated higher when (if?) complete, but realistically probably plays lower for long stretches of the year.
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5 0
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 25.5 years 111 played 34 reviews
2.50 star(s)

Let's all chunk it deep 18 times 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 16, 2017 Played the course:once


-On a hole by hole scale the course has some interesting shots.
-Fairly easy to navigate , especially for a new course.
-Multiple teepads


-Repetitive... Throw deep, putt or approach, throw deep , putt or approach, throw deep
-Briars on top of briars... If you miss the fairway, I apologize

Other Thoughts:

These reviews are always so experience based, if you enjoy slinging the hell out of plastic and then going to get your disc so you throw the hell out of it again, this is going to be heaven for you. Very little technical shots, even from the short teepads it's hella long. It's a fairly attractive course and some of the max driver open air shots are cool, just not when they are preceded by 5 other of the exact same shot. It's good enough that I assume I'll be back in a few years when it's for teepads and has been established, in current condition it's just not an enjoyable course. I found myself ready to head to the house around 12 holes deep. There will be some people that think it is fantastic so I think you should prob give it a chance, just make sure to bring a distance driver
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9 2
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 13.3 years 308 played 289 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Final Update (maybe) 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Nov 25, 2017 Played the course:5+ times


-Back in December of 2016, the course was designed and mapped out. The county helped us out a lot with the removal of trees; they spent far more money than they should've spent. They removed all of the trees in the fairways of a few holes on the back nine, when the designer didn't plan that. But through their eyes, with full respect I take a good look at what would've happened if it wasn't for them clearing some of the fairways.

-Many of the wooded holes have wider fairways. #7 is no longer a tight midrange shot with death all around the rough edges. It's wider and more forgiving and looks like a true pro par three. #12 is much more clear too on the left side.

-Elevation here is great. Multiple fun downhill shots. Mostly on the back nine. Hole sixteen has drastically improved. There is a long pad on top of a hill with the basket being 115 ft down below in elevation! #16 has the most elevation change of any hole in NC aside from #18 long at Ashe County and maybe one of the holes at the new Sam Brown Park course. It's an epic bag emptier and a true par four! The front nine doesn't have much elevation. Hole four has an elevated basket on a mound, holes five and six are both slightly uphill. And seven is back downhill. So if you love elevation, you'll have enough faith once your done with the front nine. #16 is sure to excite you!

-The fairways on holes #13, #14, #16, and #17 (all holes that faced clear cutting) have been seeded. The rough is less dangerous than it was a few months back, and many limbs have been cut down.

-I love the design for hole 18. From the long pad, this is my favorite hole. The short pad is out of the woods and is a downhill 327' midrange shot. The hole is straight and open, but the right side is still really sketchy. The long pad is different. It's a 501' dogleg right. It's downhill out of the woods. It requires a 300' shot to get of out of the woods, and it's a pretty tight fairway. If you get out of the woods, you'll possibly get a birdie on this par 4. But if you don't, you'll be fighting the woods.

- Hole 15, it was me and this local named Shawn. This hole was nothing more than a trail back in December. Shawn and I had to take down many trees and vines. We pulled a LOOONNNGG vine off a tall tree that was completely wrapped around it. I swear the vine was longer than the distance on this hole. Anyway, this hole is a flex shot right to left. Only 235' but is very tight. Beautiful hole though.

-Navigation is easy. There are new tee signs and concrete pads for every hole. The first basket you see on each tee-pad will be the one you throw to. I think the hole design here is really good as well.

-#13's long pad was worked on very well and no longer plays on the narrow part of the ledge. It's now further left on a wide part and is now an excellent par four through a gap of trees.


-The baskets are not numbered.

-Mosquitoes are rampant over the summer, making it better to play in the winter.

-The rough is probably the worst it can ever get in several spots still. There are more parts that are escapable than before luckily, so it's more manageable overall.

-Hole 8's swamp is so large, so impossible to see through, and gets really deep if you take the softness of the mud into account. I lost two midranges last year in thirty seconds. Don't go in there because if you drown, it'll be a LONG time before you get found. Not trying to sound gory here; it's so swampy and the ground is very soft in that swamp. Do not go in there. Nobody wants to file a missing person report. The stems in the mud are painful too.

#4's pad is on #2's fairway.

-#14's tee shot needs to be cleared out. The gap has several trees in between the two trees that open up the fairway into the open and there is no line to hit. #17 in the short pin is a strange hyzer. #17 has three pin locations and I haven't seen it in any other.

Other Thoughts:

-I no longer hate this course. I think it has improved a lot and I'm happy that it has been through an upgrade. The rough here is still very sketchy in places but in other places it isn't as bad. Some fairways just need to be cleared a little bit more and I think #8's short pin is not ideal since it's on a hill that could catch a roller and land into the muddy swamp where you won't find your disc. The newly added long pin position is past the water hazard and gives more options to avoid the swamp. It should be in that pin location from now on.

-I do wish the baskets would be moved to their second locations more often though. I have never seen them moved once and they are in very cool spots.
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