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Homer, LA

Lake Claiborne SP - Whitetail

4.65(based on 36 reviews)
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Lake Claiborne SP - Whitetail reviews

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16 0
Upshawt1979
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 21 years 550 played 429 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Where the Deer and the Disc Golfers Play

Reviewed: Played on:May 13, 2023 Played the course:once

Pros:

This place is beautiful. The layout has a good flow and variety of distances, shot shapes and plenty of woods and elevation. Tees are concrete and the signage is great. Multiple pins on many holes, with good Innova baskets.

Following a considerable rain in the region this course drained nicely. I forgot to put on my tennis shoes and played it with some slip ons that I drive in, it turned out fine.

Fairways are almost always wooded, but on the long holes you are afforded a wider berth. The elevation changes combine with the trees to create some beautiful tee shots, evident on the first hole.
It's a downhill bomber, and the long pin takes a dogleg right. 3 is another cool downhill shot from the box. 4 is a cool top to top kind of shot over a creek bed that requires a zippy line drive. The front 9 are all par 3 and so is number 10, a short downhill to the edge of the lake. From hole 13 on are all par fours and fives. 13 is a 700' par 5 that has some good placement shots. 14 is super fun hole with an interesting pin placement. 15 is the par five monster that measures over 1000'.

The park is also home to another killer 18 hole course, as well as camping and other recreational activities. There are trash cans and picnic tables if you wanna pack a lunch and make a day of it.

Cons:

This is a kind and gentle par 63. The professional might not have the same level of appreciation as I do. If I can go 2 under par on the first visit in casual footwear, maybe the challenge could be a tad bit higher.

I did run into an unfortunate raccoon on the 13th hole that had likely contracted canine distemper. I heard birds making an unholy racket from the tee box, and saw this critter hobbling across the fairway as I approached the basket. Two woodpeckers and a blue jay were heckling it mercilessly. What a way to go.

Other Thoughts:

My favorite course in Louisiana now. The adjoining Dogwood course is equally good, making the $3 admission to the park a bargain. Make the trip to play here if you can, you'll be happy that you did. It's quiet, clean, and as nice of a setting as you might find anywhere.

I took 2 bogies, but offset them with 4 birds (3 of them in the last 6 holes). The long holes let me get back under par finishing with a 61 (-2). Felt great about that, and it warmed me up for the next round waiting very nearby.
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20 0
Shadrach3
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 5.7 years 321 played 314 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Carved through the Rolling Woods

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 2, 2022 Played the course:once

Pros:

A consummate woods course with hills and privacy.

-Amenities: Numbered DISCatchers, concrete tees, excellent signs with maps, next tee arrows. Multiple pin positions on a lot of holes. Course kiosk, practice basket, and the second course on site (which I didn't have time to play, sadly).

-Setting: This is what I would expect a good state park course to be. Maintenance is pretty good, the woods are lush and secluded, and there are amenities in a couple of parking lots. Plenty of activities for families if you're the kind of player that does both. The only surprising aspect is that you only get lake views on hole (10) and nowhere else.

-Elevation: Ups, downs, and valleys. It's not on every hole, but distinctive on quite a few. Especially well used for the par-3s.

-Woods Fairways: Pretty well defined throughout, despite the thickness of the pines. Lines are fair, and of varying width so it doesn't get too old.

-Difficulty: For me, this is a really nice slot of difficulty around the intermediate level. The course looks scary, but the fairways are such that it's very possible to play mostly clean. A good balance of risk/reward that requires you to know the bag but can still offer up birdies.

-Shot Shaping/Gameplay: Twelve varied par-3s in the woods followed by six varied par-4s and -5s in the woods. Each hole out here requires some kind finesse with angles and power, as they tend to be somewhat straight but with fairway bends and/or slopes that necessitate pushing tree lines to make it to the end. I divide the course into three - the first third are basically straight, the second third are more quirky with weirder gaps, and the last third are simply long. Scrambling is very doable from a lot of points out here. This is one of the rare courses where I thought the par-3s as a whole matched up to the multi-shot holes, as the latter were pretty straightforward other than elevation changes. Smart course management will go a long way towards cutting bogeys while still giving yourself the occasional birdie putt.

Cons:

-Poison Plants: The undergrowth is noticeable in several parts of the course, and includes copious three-leaf shrubs.

-Invasive Limbs: Some fairways need one or two selective branches trimmed, IMO. These are branches that look like they've grown in since the course was built - not giant obstacles, but really annoying if you happen to hit them.

-No Pin Indicators: With the multiple pin positions sometimes playing blind, a simple pin indicator on the tees would be much appreciated. I parked one hole only to discover that the pin was in the turnover position instead of the hyzer position.

-Line Variety: As one previous reviewer mentioned, most of the holes are a variation on straight, with no dramatic or creative curves to speak of. Traveling, I threw the course with two pretty neutral fairways and two approach discs, and there were only a couple of times I really wanted something different. Very few jaw-dropping holes.

-Pace: I wish the progression of holes mixed the variety throughout. As is, the different sections of the course create a segmented experience. The most notable issue, as pointed out by many, is that the final six holes are all multi-shot, and there are zero par-4s or -5s prior to then. Along with the fatigue factors of swampy weather and hills, this made it feel like the round ground to a complete stop around hole (14) or so.

Other Thoughts:

Whitetail reminded me of most of the other top-notch all-wooded courses I've played. It's got pleasing lines in a pleasing environment with pleasing elevation and variety. That said, there were definitely a few detractors, and I just didn't see this course having the pizazz that my true top courses possess. It's an Excellent course that was well worth the detour from I-20.

~Similar Courses: IDGC Headrick (Appling, GA); Chester State Park - Advanced (Chester, SC); wooded portions of Langley Pond (Burnettown, SC); Cane Creek Park (Waxhaw, NC); Fort Yargo State Park (Winder, GA).
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20 0
Horsman
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 17.8 years 222 played 100 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Transportation Station 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 6, 2022 Played the course:once

Pros:

+ Innova DISCatchers. They seem like they are brand new and catch just as expected.

+ Large, seemingly brand new tee pads. The grip is phenomenal, they are plenty long for the tall crowd and they would be Conrad approved in my mind.

+ Teesigns are great. They give you almost anything that you need. The distances were different from what uDisc had but the distances on the teesigns seemed more accurate.

+ There are next tee arrows on some trees and some dedicated signs to show you to the next hole. Without those, this course was the easiest course to navigate that I have played in recent memory. I didn't need to use uDisc once to figure out where to go next. Everything was natural and the course flowed perfectly.

+ Hole 1 and hole 18 start and finish pretty much next to the parking lot.

+ There are two courses located at the park and both hole 1's are about 100' away from each other.

+ Bathrooms located near the beginning of the course.

+ Benches were present on some but not all holes.

+ Elevation is used perfectly to me. I wasn't expecting to find a ton of elevation here but was pleasantly surprised with the terrain. I loved how the elevation was used. Almost every single hole has some sort of elevation change.

+ This course is an excellent example of fair wooded golf. I have played far too many courses that are in the woods that don't have fair lines to the basket. Hole 6 is the closest hole to not being fair but there are lines and its a short hole. I really enjoyed playing every single hole. There was never a time when I had to stand on the teepad and contemplate life and try to figure out what shot the course wanted me to throw. Every hole has at least one clear route to the hole.

+ I used a good mix of forehand and backhand and about half of the discs in my bag. I leaned primarily on mids and fairways since staying in the fairway is key here. I didn't have to pull out a distance driver until I hit the last 6 hole of the course. I really enjoy a course that is this style, that forces you to have accuracy and not just raw power to score well.

+ Hole 1 starts out with a bang. This hole is the biggest downhill hole on the course and its a great way to start the course. The hole is downhill and straight for 90% of the hole then it turns right. If you bail out long or left then you risk going OB. Its a great way to start the course off.

+ Hole 10 is the closest hole to Hole 4 at Maple Hill that I have played. Its the one hole on the entire course that brings the lake into play. Its a booty hole puckering, straight and slightly downhill shot that if you go 15' past the basket then you will lose your disc to the lake. Of all the ways you could have brought the lake into play, this would probably be my favorite way.

+ Hole 16 is one of the fairest and most fun 1000'+ holes that I have played. It plays along a clearing in the trees where a pipeline has been put in and because of this there is a straight 1000' hole that is about 50' wide the entire way.

Cons:

- A few holes play a bit to close to the road. There aren't many but the main culprit here is hole 17. I didn't even know there was a road until I came up to my approach shot and was about 5 feet from it.

- No pin indicator. There seemed to be 2 pin positions for every hole. It would be nice to see the addition of pin indicators so that you dont have to run up the fairway on every shot to see what position the basket is in. Most baskets could be located pretty easily but it would be nice if you didn't have to run up the fairway.

- No loop back to the parking lot half way thru. This is just nitpicking.

Other Thoughts:

This course is probably in my top 5 if not top 10 for sure. I would travel out of the way to play this course if I am ever in the area again. I really wish that I would have had more time here so that I could play dogwood as well. If you were to place me on this course and ask me where I was, I would have guessed that I was in northern Wisconsin and not in northern Louisiana. This course transported me to a course that has my favorite style of golf.

Those that might be put off by the length of this course should still try to play here. I never felt like any hole was too long and I was able to get in a round in just under an hour and a half.

A complaint that I would have (not a con) is that I wish that all the par 4's and 5's weren't all clumped together in the last 6 holes. I would have loved to see these mixed in a bit more but it does make for some fun mental games.

I can't express my love for this course enough. If this course was closer to me I would choose to always play here. I truly loved every hole. Its a good mix of everything and has every element that I look for in a course. I will be coming back here one day and camping here so that I can spend a weekend playing here. There are some glamping tents that are right off of some fairways that would make for a great place to camp for a boys weekend. This course is out of the way but should be on your list of courses to play if you are in the area.
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16 2
flatflip
Experience: 4 years 2 played 2 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Stretches of world class disc golf 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 9, 2021 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

The stretch from 13-18 is some of the best disc golf on the planet. All par 4/5, requiring specific landing zones. There are probably another 3 par 3s which are on the epic side of awesome.

The rest of the course is a good mix of fair lines through the woods. nothing terribly special but a good corrective when I am feeling sentimental for North Carolina after spending too much time on the Texas prairies.

I like this place. The woods are piney on the high spots/ west faces, hardwoods in the lowlands/other aspects. Healthy ephemeral population in the understory in the spring. Huge elevation to play with and the designers made the most of it. A few really rich beech groves, which compounds the enchantment.

Cons:

The long holes are all in a string. I could play the last six holes over and over. It's obvious the designers know how to draw up a course. I wish they could have kept it up for 18.

The track crosses back and forth across the main hiking path through the park. Not a huge problem as noted below but something to keep an eye out for.

Other Thoughts:

The park itself is a beautiful piece of property.
The legislature of Louisiana, in an effort to pander to the rabid right wing of their populace, has seen it fit to turn over the management of the park to a for-profit entity. This means that they extract as much revenue from the place without putting much back. The campsites are overpriced and poorly maintained. The benefit is that the park is mostly empty. The downside is that it will likely be shuttered and clearcut within the decade in the name of stewardship of the public purse.

Other notes:
Hole 13 requires a 400' shot through a tunnel before it opens up for the second shot. It's not unfair. It's just hard.

I recommend walking the course before trying to play it. There are blind shots. There are specific landing zones. You figure it out if you play it more than once.



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12 1
aclay
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 39.7 years 326 played 244 reviews
4.50 star(s)

New tee pads improve rating

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 24, 2018 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

-- Challenging course requiring accuracy and distance.
-- The short and long tees are generally so different as to make it feel like two different holes.
-- With another highly-rated course (Dogwood) at the same location in a state park with cabins and camping, it's a great destination course.
-- Elevation changes are epic. You start with a 70-80 foot drop in elevation on hole 1. Several holes have uphill and downhill shots on the same hole.
-- Scenic views of Lake Claiborne on a few holes, although the lake only really comes into play on one hole (10). The water is 15-20 feet behind the basket, so an overthrow likely means saying goodbye to your disc.
-- Tee pads were natural (and definitely a negative). With multiple confirmed reports of concrete tee pads, I'm moving tee pads to "pro" and raising my rating from 4.0 to 4.5
-- Fairways are kept free of tree limbs and brush. You might have trouble getting back to the fairway if you miss it, but you shouldn't have much trouble finding your disc.
-- Restrooms available near hole 1.

Cons:

-- Tee signs look good and are mostly accurate, but at least two of them have the short tee marked on the opposite side of the trail from its actual location.
-- The last six holes are MUCH longer than the first 12 and almost feel like a different course.
-- No pin indicators. With really long holes and lots of trees and elevation changes, it is really important to know where the pin is. However, many of the holes force you to walk up the fairway to find the basket and then trudge back to the tee.

Other Thoughts:

-- $3 to enter the park for day use.
-- Far away from civilization. Few (no?) places nearby to buy basic beverage and snacks.
-- Cell phone service is spotty at best. Don't count on having service.
-- Wildlife is abundant. I saw four deer on my last visit.
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Designer response by zeromiles2empty
Thanks for the review. Concrete tees have now been installed.

There is a store about a mile or 2 when you leave the park to the right. Kels Kove is the name.

Yes, some of the short tees were moved after the signs were printed.
17 0
wellsbranch250
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 10.4 years 662 played 642 reviews
4.50 star(s)

18 Poster Shots 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Apr 9, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

(4.283 Rating) (RE-EVALUATED) A medium length, moderate to heavily wooded course, that's no doubt a Louisiana destination course.
- UPGRADED BACK TEES - I received word that the blue tees were recently upgraded to concrete, hence this revision. The tee conditions at the time of my visit were horrible and it was the sole reason I scored it a 4.0 instead of a 4.25. The new pads are 5 feet by 12 feet and so I elevated my score for the course about 2 tenths of a point.
- RAW BEAUTY - Personally one of the most beautiful courses I've ever played and currently still in my top 3 on my list of 482 courses played as of this revision. Perhaps it was the time of year I arrived as everything was in spring bloom. I'd say every hole on this layout looks well above average and a bunch would be signature looks on 90% of the courses out there. Carved mostly through pines, but what makes this course special is the constant rising, sinking and twisting of the elevation. The downhill tunnel shot on (10) with water beyond is killer. Holes (3) and (4) where both awesome valley shots over a headwater creek. Anyone like me who's a sucker for beautiful courses will love this place.
- ELEVATION - Flip'n awesome. Hole (1) starts with an 80-foot down shot. Several other holes exceed 40-feet in elevation play. Then number of holes with less than ten feet of elevation change can be counted on one finger.
- HOLE VARIETY - Absolutely superb. In addition to elevation, almost all the other plays are here. Twisting holes to the left and to the right. Lots of shot shaping opportunities. A 1000-foot long by 50-foot wide bomb-it par 5. Several par 4s and a stop it short of water play on (10). The one glaring miss was not having an additional play along the lake. From checking the park map though, it appears that other park features occupy the remainder of the lake's edge.
- CHALLENGING - The back tees read Intermediate level and the front tees read Recreational level. This course with the two-tee configuration should work for a wide swath of skill levels, 750 to 925. I'd say that the challenge is above average but short of what I expect of phenomenal courses.
- SIGNAGE - Gorgeous tee signage and course map. They roughly make my top twenty on artistic appeal as of this revision. It has almost all the info one would need and the artistic description is not only just beautiful its accurate.
- NAVIGATION - About as good as one would expect from a heavily wooded course. Accurate course map, navigational cues between holes and intuitive pathways. I personally only looked at my photo of the course map once.
- AMENITIES AND EXTRAS - A touch above average. In addition to signage and solid navigation I appreciated the several picnic tables spaced evenly along the layout. Tee shading was on all 18 holes and there are restrooms and shelters in the park. It would be great if they added a practice area with basket. Perhaps it's there now.

Cons:

With the tees fixed now, the only thing I now would have wished for, is that the challenge had been more intense.
- NO ADVANCED CHALLENGE - As stated in the pros, this course offers a solid Intermediate level challenge. So, although I had to work for it to card pars and even some birdies, the subdued aspect of cerebral intensity left me yearning for more. I've given 18 courses a 4.5 or higher as of this revision, and among those, Whitetail is the third easiest. As an Intermediate level player myself, I should generally not be able to throw under par on what I consider a top tier course from the back tees on a blind solo round unless everything goes right. The backs need to be toughened up by 4 or 5 throws in my opinion. The front tees can stay the same.
- HOLE 13 - This was by far my least favorite hole on both courses here. Please note again that I threw from the back tees. Anyways, from the tee I couldn't see the basket, so I walked down the fairway approximately 250 feet to the top of a ridge to try and identify where to throw. When I got there, there was no defined lane anywhere. What's the point of having a blind 700 foot hole where you have to pray to hit one of a dozen 8 foot wide moving lanes over a ridge. The throw off the tee is complete luck and the approach after that is a crapshoot.
- NO BASKET LOCATION INDICATORS - Having to run up blind fairways to check basket placements on a course with lots of elevation movement is not fun. They are needed for this style of course.
- TERRAIN - If you have bad knees or ankles I'd stay clear of this course. As stated above, lots of elevation change and also rocks and roots to stub a toe or twist an ankle on. Although not the best course for the disc golf cart, it looks doable with a Zuca.
- PARKING - Very few parking spots next to the course. I think I counted five. Perhaps all the course traffic comes from those at the camping locations and the ones by the course don't fill up.
- TIME PLAY - Whitetail is going to take a chunk out of your day. This one took me 90 minutes solo playing the back tees. I could see a group of four seasoned players playing the back tees at around 3 hours.
- LOCATION - This gem is unfortunately out in the middle of nowhere.

Other Thoughts:

What an awesome course. With this re-evaluation, Whitetail re-enters my top 20 out of 482 courses played. The Whitetail layout is a technical players dream course. Both the beauty and variety here are among the best examples I've ever seen. It shares a lot of traits with courses I've rated highly such as Inverness, Wilderness and the IDGC trio. The only aspect I see lacking is the preferential one of challenge intensity. This is a no-doubt destination course and it should be highly sought after by those that live within a 4-hour drive.
- PAY TO PLAY- Only $3 the day I arrived to enter the park. 100 percent worth it.
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Designer response by zeromiles2empty
Concrete tees have now been installed.
10 11
klooster
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 27.3 years 392 played 23 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Highly Overrated 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 14, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

Beautiful course that plays in a forest with 2 pin placements and nice elevation changes. Hole 1 was a huge downhile left to right, hole 16 was a 1053 ft monster that I got a 4 on, a long fairway down a pipeline path. 4 or 5 holes that are 400-1000 ft. the rest are in the mid 300s.Good mix of lefty and righty holes with a dead straight hole 10 that you could drown your disc in the lake if you overshoot by 30 ft. No real poke-n-hope holes. Easy navigation to the next hole and no nasty underbrush to hide discs.

Cons:

Read the reviews by Discbear, Joshwest, and Qikly. These a spot on. The clowns that rated this a "5" have never played a truly awesome course like Hillcrest on Prince Edward Island , Rollin' Ridge,or Branson Trails Blue. Too many of you guys that rated it a 5, rated the PARK, not the course. Yes , the park is gorgeous. Yes, this is most likely the best course in Louisiana. But it is positively not a 4.69 or even a 4. 75% of the holes were reached with a fairway driver . i felt like many of the holes looked alike and redundant. Even a old 59 yr old low-intermediate like me threw a 58 from the Blues w 3 mullies.(par 61) No Tpads and no marker indicating where the pins were. I had to go trudge down the fairway 9-10 times looking for the pin, then trudge back to the dirt tee. Major P.I.T.A.(Pain In The Ass) Discatcher baskets suck when you whamp the chastity belt instead of hitting chain and dropping in. Few trash cans or benches.

Other Thoughts:

This is a fun course that I would play again if i lived in the region. I rode the Gold Wing 525 miles from St. Louis with high hopes, expecting an EPIC course and was disappointed. The lack of Tpads wasn't a real issue, as the ground was dry and smooth, but the real pisser was the lack of pin indicators on the signs; an easy, cheap fix that needs to be addressed.
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9 1
LostMeow
Experience: 14.9 years 53 played 5 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Beautiful state park course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 14, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

This course was a huge amount of fun to play.
There were several holes that have great lines - the sort of lines that make you want to throw again and again just to try and nail the perfect shot.
Great variety - in length as well as type of shot: putter shots, hyzers, forehands.
As other reviews mention, most of the longer holes feature at the end - not a problem, and there are some excellent par 4s and 5s there, requiring placement of shots on the fairway.
All of this in a lovely wooded state park, near to a picturesque lake. Only one hole plays anywhere near the water, which is fine as I'm happy not to lose a load of discs!

Cons:

This is just minor nit-picking:
The dirt tees - these were fine in the bone-dry conditions I played but I imagine in wet conditions they could be hard work. They can be quite small and there's the odd tree-root around.
It's nice for a course to have alternative basket positions - however, would be v. helpful if there was an indication on the tee of which was in use, or just a general 'all baskets As' at the entrance: on several holes I had to go basket hunting because I couldn't see which one was in play.

Other Thoughts:

$3 all-day entry to park = bargain.
I drove to Homer to get lunch and brought it back for a picnic by the lake, which turned out to be an excellent decision.
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Designer response by zeromiles2empty
Concrete tees have now been installed.
17 2
blake833
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 14.1 years 160 played 140 reviews
5.00 star(s)

I didn't think I would ever give a 5 disc review 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 2, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

This course really is a "Best of the Best." (the description of a 5.0 when choosing rating for a review) Playing this course had the sense of trail hiking at some points, sending my back to my camping days growing up, and leading camping/backpacking trips in college. The park is beautiful, and Whitetail shows off just how much.

The fairways are well-maintained, and the most open and fair ways (badum-tsh) I've ever seen on a wooded course. It gives you a real shot at staying on the fairway, but still is punishing for missing your line. But the rough isn't thick, so for at least the front 9 you could save your par.

Using elevation and using elevation well are two different things on a disc golf course. This is one that does it well.

It is almost breathtaking how beautiful the course is on a few holes. I have been to many state parks, and national parks, and wilderness areas, most of which were more scenic. But making the land into a disc golf course brings you into it in a different way. This course brought me into itself like no other course, even on very scenic land, has.

Cons:

As mentioned, the lake is underutilized for being such an incredible park feature. I don't know if I would really change anything about this course (I mean, this is the best and highest rated course I've played to date), but if Claiborne State Park thinks about putting in a third course, that's where it should be.

I agree with reviewer MikeK about not having all the par 4/5s on the last 6 holes. I was sitting 4 under feeling great about my round after 10, but ended up 2 over on the day. Not that that's the course's fault, but once you get into a rhythm, an abrupt change of pace seems like you've just stepped onto a different course.

On hole.... shoot I can't remember. But on one hole the basket is placed on the ledge of a sharp drop off, and you can't really tell until you're there. I think that's not a great use of elevation, but mainly I worry about people going up to the ledge, even just to get their disc out of the basket, and the ground giving out. That happened to me on a creekbed about 6ft high, would have been way worse on a 20ft bank.

Other Thoughts:

Being far away from civilization and cell phone service I don't think is much of a pro or a con. Just pick up a paper map/scorecard from the office and write your scores down. You won't need the map part.

This is by far a better course than any I thought Louisiana would be capable of. It is a must play for anyone in the area.
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13 4
MikeK
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 29.1 years 330 played 128 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Best Course in Louisiana By Far 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 19, 2017 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

+Easily the best course in Louisiana
+Challenging course requiring accuracy and distance
+Paired with the Dogwood course at this same location in a state park with cabins and camping, it's a great "destination course"
+Hills add to the experience with dramatic elevation changes on several holes
+Scenic views of Lake Claiborne on a few holes
+Fairways are kept free of tree limbs and brush, and even off the fairways for many many feet as well, so it's rare to have to look very long for errant discs
+Signage is very good, navigation is pretty easy
+Course ends on perhaps the best 4-hole stretch anywhere
+Good baskets in good condition

Cons:

-Natural tee pads. Although the tees are still level and seem to be root-free, expect erosion over time to make this more of an issue. During rain also don't think these tees will provide foolproof footing
-All the par 4s and 5s are on the last 6 holes. Would be nicer if it wasn't 12 par 3s in a row to start
-Cell phone coverage is very limited. On most of the course you probably won't get a signal. Seemed like the only place to get a signal at all was by Hole 1.
-Away from civilization, closest towns are many minutes away (could be a plus for some)

Other Thoughts:

While Whitetail is not perfect, I rate it 4.8, and round up to five since we can't do 4.75 or quarter points on this awesome website. It's by far the best course in Louisiana and worth going out of the way for. The second-best course in Louisiana is in the same place too (Dogwood), so this state park is a bargain at $4 a car or whatever small entrance fee it is.
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Designer response by zeromiles2empty
Concrete tees have now been installed.
14 3
Joshwest
Experience: 11.3 years 106 played 28 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Swell Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 13, 2017 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

- The park is really nice. Always seems quiet and never too crowded. Very few places can compete with the beauty of the lake and forest. Always well kept and for a wooded course, never noticed a lot of sticks and branches on the ground.

- The course is very well designed. A lot of variety, challenges you to hit the fairway, but for the most part, rewards you for great shots and punishes bad ones. The difficulty of the course is right at the perfect line where you are challenged enough, but not overwhelmed by unreasonable lines or distances. Extreme elevation changes, which is very well used. A vast majority of the holes, you have to account for it, or you won't be successful.

- Baskets are well-kept, seen a lot of baskets in the woods turned into spider's paradise, never noticed that here. Tee signs are extremely well done. They look very professional, nothing more you could want.

- Aesthetically, the money hole is 10. Straight downhill tunnel to the gorgeous lake. Stunning. As far as hole design goes, #17 is the best. Forces you to crush a left to right that has to hit a smaller-than-you-think fairway. Then you have to hit one of two tunnels, and the whole time, you feel like you could reach the basket with one good throw, but it's so far uphill, it is a smash.

Cons:

- They aren't the worst natural tees I've played, but they can be inconsistent, which just comes with having natural tees.

- I don't like being negative about a course for the city/surrounding area, but this is literally the middle of no where. I wanted to grab a bottle water before I got there, and there was only one random convenience store within miles. Unless you are camping onsite, just not easy to go out of the way to play it.

- Really wish it had gone near the lake more. Lake Claiborne is a beautiful lake that is perfect to have a disc golf course built on it. But the only time you see it is #10. Really disappointing for it not to be featured more. It is the biggest asset of the area, and it's just not used to the extent it really needed to be.

- Parking is an issue. Both courses start just to the right of entry gate. There is some parking there, but for the most part, you have to drive all the way down to bottom of the hill and walk back up.

Other Thoughts:

- This course really is really good. But to me, it's just not great. Every time I have played the course, I've thought to myself, "This place is alright", not the "so happy I came here" feeling I have had at other premiere courses. It is really good wooded course. Good, just not great. In the Cons section, the only complaints about the course itself are natural tees and lack of using the lake, neither is a major issue. But there isn't anything great enough to me to make me think it is excellent or anything more than just another very good course.
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Designer response by zeromiles2empty
Concrete tees have now been installed.
19 9
Discbear
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 24.5 years 1508 played 25 reviews
3.50 star(s)

No flat place in the woods 2+ years

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

Pros:

This is a very beautiful place to have a disc golf course, or in this case 2. It is so quiet and scenic with just the sounds of nature. If you like to also supplement your disc golf with good exercise, the consistent hills will help you achieve that. The tee signs are great with 2 pads on every hole, blue for long and red for short and I believe 2 basket positions on at least most holes if not all. The red and blue pads can differ by 300 plus feet to please various skill and distance throwing levels. Hole 10 was just epic with a very reachable basket which tapers to a good gap in the trees perhaps 15-20 feet across 40 feet in front of the basket, but woe to the thrower that is too frisky as the waters of Lake Claiborne await perilously close behind the basket. Other holes are within ace range if you can possibly find a line and a great deal of luck.Other baskets can take an average thrower 3 shots to get there and of course 3 more if the trees are unkind which will probably happen to most of us there. So, there is a good mixture of distance and holes that favor forehand for some and backhand for others. If you are over 62 you get into the park to play for free all day. Yippee!!! It was surprisingly easy to keep track of your discs despite all of the trees. Also its a great destination course for the day because there is another fine 18 hole course right on site.

Cons:

My disappointment was that when I made arrangements to play here the course was rated no. 8 in the nation with a 4.80 rating, which to me would mean that it is nearly flawless. I stepped to the 1st tee and it was a dirt tee box and I looked around thinking there must be a better tee nearby. There wasn't, just another dirt tee for the shorter red tees. Even the dirt tee wasn't the best. I thought that maybe the other holes would be concrete pads. They were all dirt as were all of the adjacent 18 holes on the other on site course. Needless to say my jaw dropped and although I know I will rock the boat of those who rated this course so high I can say that at least in my opinion this is not a top 10 in the nation course nor should it have a 4.77 rating (it's current rating). Also, virtually every hole is a very tight fairway with a very high % of hitting a tree early on or drifting into the solid lines of trees on both the left and right. Trees are great and necessary but way too many holes that you can't make a shot because if you miss the 1st tree you'll hit the 2nd or 3rd or be in woods right or left. It just gets old to have every shot set up that way. Same on the adjacent course. But, hey we're disc golfers
. We take what we get and shoot the lowest score we can possibly think out manage.
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19 3
Qikly
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 12 years 181 played 150 reviews
4.00 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 14, 2017 Played the course:once

Pros:

Lake Claiborne's Whitetail course is defined by an interesting combination of a tightly wooded environment with near-constant elevation changes. Many otherwise-straightforward shots are jazzed up through different manner of elevation changes from the subtle to the drastic: mid-fairway ridges and dips, uphill and downhill shots, and more varied undulations are all seen. The elevation is a highlight, especially in combination with the thick woods. It can make for some interesting approaches, including contending with the occasional behind-the-basket drop off.

The course does a good job in my estimation of combining technical with fair. Tight windows and lanes abound, but recovery shots are reliably available relative to the thick woods in play. Underbrush is thin enough that discs are easily found should you end up in the rough. Stray branches are kept to a minimum, so hitting your lane cleanly is usually rewarded and unlucky snags are uncommon, a breath of fresh air for such a wooded course as this.

The setting is utterly beautiful. Navigation is greatly aided by signage. Grooming was well done during my visit in April.

Cons:

I feel as though Whitetail's design is slightly conservative and repetitive. There are a lot of straight up the gut shots, especially if you have forehand/backhand versatility. The elevation helps mix up the feel but I found myself throwing the same disc on similar, mostly straight lines again and again. Some more drastic line-shaping beyond slight variations on how your disc finishes would go a long way.

There isn't a lot of risk versus reward decision-making owing to holes being pretty straight forward in how they play. A lot of holes have an up and down feel that doesn't get deviated from enough IMHO: so much rides on your shot off the tee, which seems a missed opportunity given the richness of the terrain available. Some of the few longer holes feel more longer for the sake of it than providing a truly distinct par 4/5 feel. That these all occur in a bunch on the back 9 seems odd and feels a bit unwelcome given the moderate intensity of the walk this course provides.

The blue tees occasionally add gratuitous distance and don't otherwise seem to enhance the challenge/experience of the hole. Sometimes the shorter tees seem the more natural fit for the design, whereas at other points it's the opposite. The course experience thus isn't well balanced between both sets of tees.

Other Thoughts:

Lake Claiborne is an excellent course. There aren't many in the region with its combination of woods and elevation, and less so that are as well-tended as LC seems to be. That said I didn't find it to be among the best courses I've played. A great course to visit, but not one I'd push to add to your bucket list.
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10 3
sirbedevere
Experience: 8.8 years 48 played 1 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Natural beauty, well-defined fairways, extremely well-maintained 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 11, 2017 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

-Easy to find, the course entrance is right by the park entrance
-A ton of elevation throughout, with a dramatic downhill on hole 1 and uphill on 18, a number of tricky rollaway-inducing greens
-The natural tee pads give great traction, even after a bit of rain
-Backhand holes, forehand holes, a couple of tunnels, and one or two that will reward the long bombers, particularly the 1054 ft 16th; very well-rounded course
-Very fair, with achievable golf lines on every hole
-Excellent new Discatchers
-The blue tees are a good deal harder than the reds, which are great for a quicker fun round, especially if you don't have the greatest accuracy off the tee
-Not crowded at all, I have played here solo probably 25-30 times and have had to play through like twice
-Incredibly well-maintained given the relatively low foot-traffic it seems to receive, even when the leaves were falling the tees and paths were always cleared and fallen trees, branches etc. are quickly removed
-This course definitely rewards you if you are having a particularly good day, you can pile up lots of 2's on the front 12 if you hit your lines.

Cons:

-A couple of the teepads, the reds on 2 and 8 come to mind, have tree roots sticking up that can disturb your runup
-The lake only really comes into play on 1 hole
-Cell service is sketchy at best and not many people around to hear you scream, try not to break a leg
-Some turf tee pads would definitely bring the place over the top, the existing ones are just as good as concrete ones though and much better in wet weather.

Other Thoughts:

Beautiful and well-designed course in a not-particularly-active disc golf region, cool to see that it has broken onto the Top Rated page. Would love to see a pro tour-type event come through here someday.
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Designer response by zeromiles2empty
Thanks for the review. Glad you enjoyed it. Concrete tees have now been installed.
1 14
jeremyl77
Experience: 1 played 1 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Best in Louisiana 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 9, 2017 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Best course in LA
Elevation like none other in the state
Well maintained
Offers a variety of different shots for different skill levels
Great signage
Navigation is easy

Cons:

Needs trash cans
Not cart friendly

Other Thoughts:

Would love to see some concrete pads out there, but not a necessity to enjoy this awesome course!
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2 13
Egdirreb
Experience: 1 played 1 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Best in the universe! 2+ years drive by

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

Pros:

A beautiful course that meanders through the entire north side of the state park. Excellent scenery and views are available on every hole. The course has two set s of tees (Blue and Red). The Blue tees require more advanced skill and will test you game, while the Red tees are set up for Amateurs and first time players. Excellent signage with some of the best tee signs I've ever seen. Hole 10 has to be one of the signature holes as you throw down towards the lake. Course is fair at the beginning, but stretches out on the finishing holes which makes it perfect for tournament play. The natural tee pads are a plus since it's in a State Park and helps keep the "nature" feel. You can tell the course is constantly maintained and in good shape. $2 to play, but well worth it. Scorecards provided at entry station.

Cons:

none what so ever.

Other Thoughts:

Course has another 18 hole course on the property.
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4 9
bjflash
Experience: 30.3 years 1929 played 3 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Homer's Odyssey 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 4, 2016 Played the course:once

Pros:

Good fairways thru well-maintained wooded areas, multiple tees and pin locations. Beautifully crafted course entry sign, and a gorgeous view of the lake on #10's green. Tee signs look great and every hole has a name, which is way more fun than just calling them a number.

Cons:

Six months after playing, I don't remember anything negative about this place.

Other Thoughts:

I added this to my list of favorites, it's the better of the two at the lake, and both are worth the trip if you are a discgolf traveler!
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4 11
niklpenny
Experience: 12 years 55 played 5 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Best Course in Southern United States 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 8, 2016 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

two teepads for every hole
amazing scenery in a state wildlife park
camping and cabins onsite
Course design is phenomal.

Cons:

bring toilet paper, cuase its far far away

Other Thoughts:

This is hands down one of the best courses in the country, the amount of different shots, elevation change, terrain change, distance of holes, degree of difficulty, and just how beautiful it is be in this area of nature, make this a contender for best course in the country.
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Designer response by zeromiles2empty
Thanks for the review!
7 3
FlyFish84
Experience: 8.1 years 7 played 6 reviews
4.50 star(s)

Great Wooded Course!! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 3, 2017 Played the course:once

Pros:

Played the long tees here and really enjoyed this beautiful course! I feel like the course makes good use of the elevation and the terrain to make a beautiful destination.. Two tee pads and two pin positions actually make for a more diverse course, and also gives players with less experience the option of a shorter route.. Really nice tee signs on the long tees. There are also arrows for navigation from basket to next tee..

Cons:

Natural tee pads, not sure its really a con because they are fine to throw from. But they can be hard to keep in perfect throwing condition. There is also a bit of a walk between some of the t baskets and the next tee. Probably the biggest detraction for me was not knowing what pin position was being used. It didn't seem like there was any rhyme or reason to it.

Other Thoughts:

This would be a great place to spend a weekend playing disc golf! There is another great course on site here too! be prepared to do lots of walking! There is some fairly intense hiking involved in playing both courses in one trip.. Also if you like camping there are great camping spots, and places to park an RV so you can spend a few days playing. Cabins are also for rent here. We only seen one other group playing here so its not a crowded course at all!
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Designer response by zeromiles2empty
Concrete tees have now been installed.
8 3
AByrd
Experience: 19.2 years 57 played 2 reviews
5.00 star(s)

The Best in Louisiana 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Oct 23, 2016 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

While there are a couple of opportunities to reach back and let one go, course management skills and accuracy are a requirement to be successful. A varied skill set of shots is needed here. Fairways are tough, but fair. Rough will punish, but not thick enough to be unfair.

Design is similar to that of ball golf courses. Landing areas, dog legs, and water are used to challenge advanced players.

Some of the best use of terrain I have seen on a disc golf course. Holes along ridges, rights of way, downhill shots with water behind the pin, creeks in front of green, and uphill approaches are all encountered at Whitetail.

Aesthetics, in my opinion, are a very important aspect of disc golf design. After experiencing some of the scenic views at Whitetail, you will understand.

Lodging (cabins, improved camping, and primitive camping) is available. Hot showers and restrooms. The park is isolated from traffic, sirens, and trains. Wildlife is abundant. Deer will be seen...and maybe, wild turkey.

An outstanding family vacation destination. Isolated swimming beach, boat launch, fishing, and playground are located in the park.

Easily the best course in Louisiana.






Cons:

While natural tee pads are not, in themselves, a con...some were "loose" and could be improved.

Course could be difficult to safely navigate in wet conditions.

Other Thoughts:

There are a very few courses where the scenery will force you to stop and absorb the beauty of nature....forgetting about everything....and transcending into an almost "enlightened" state. Lake Claiborne Whitetail and Dogwood are two of those courses.
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Designer response by zeromiles2empty
Thanks for the review. Glad you enjoyed it
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