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Montross, VA

Lake Marshall - The Lambs

3.795(based on 7 reviews)
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11 0
DumfriesLizzie
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 5.7 years 111 played 102 reviews
3.50 star(s)

18-hole format review: Fun, quality short course

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Dec 30, 2023 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

Please note that I am reviewing this course in its 18-hole format. I have not yet played the 9-hole format, which I hope to do in the coming year.

I just played a tournament in the 18-hole format which was quite delightful. I had not played this course before though I had been to Lake Marshall as a spectator for a professional event on the Lions course.

Lair and Lions are so far above my pay grade that I don't even consider them as something I could ever do myself. For those of us who fall into the recreational class of player, having a course that fits our skill level on this property of three courses is wisdom$$$ (a facility to attract most all skill levels). Indeed families and other groups that are not at the same skill level can play the different courses according to each person's ability and be in the same place (basically) at the same time! Drive to one park, choose your poison, and everybody has fun!

This little course is largely wooded, has a good deal of elevation change, and because the fairways are short in the 18-hole format, one is not demoralized if one is off the line. Recovery of some ilk is possible on most holes.

Seeing how two different layouts are integrated on one track is very intriguing and (I think) very well designed. When I play the 9-hole format, I will be able to judge better if the intervening baskets are in the way to the point of being problematic. At this point, I don't see that as being the case except perhaps on 9-hole nos. 1 and 3.

For those of us who struggle in the woods, this is a very good course to play to fine-tune your technique without a lot of concern about making a decent score. I think that's very encouraging.

Previously, I imagined that the course was flat, but it is far from that. It plays around the rim of ravines that feed into a very large marsh that borders maybe 1/3 of the course. You are walking down and then back up a good deal during the middle portion of play. These elevation changes give the small course (along with all the trees) a great deal of challenge.

Cons:

The baskets do spit out your disc on occasion. Too hard of a throw and too light of a throw may end up on the ground. Something to keep in mind.

Tees are rather short. Varying materials. Some tees (2 and 16 on the 18-hole format) are really close to the previous hole's basket. Not a problem if few folks are on the course with you.

The hole markers can be initially confusing (1 or 2 low posts at the head of the tee pad) as well as hole signs on trees. The markings attempt to cover both the 9-hole and the 18-hole layouts. Once you get that straight in your mind, you know what you're doing and where you're going.

Where you are walking up or down a ravine, the wet leaves in fall and winter can be quite slippery. Take your time. Consider using a walking stick. Cut log "stairs" would be most welcome at some of the holes. I won't try to give the hole numbers because it would be confusing which I mean... But the designers know the places that are the steepest and slickest.

Since you pay money to play the courses at Lake Marshall, you'll have to think about how to get your money's worth if you are only playing Lambs. Lambs by itself (in either format) is probably not worth the effort to get to the place if you are coming from afar.

I have two ideas about that for myself: Play Lambs as part of an outing at Lake Marshall to attend a pro event as a spectator (if that is allowed). Or play Lambs with two discs (in either format, for 18 or for 36 holes) and walk around once. Even then I need to be doing something else in the area to support the effort to get to the place. Maybe I tack on Barnesfield and Turkey Hill for a full disc-golf day trip in Northern Neck Virginia connected to southern Maryland by the new Nice Bridge.

Other Thoughts:

Comparing it to other small courses, I'm very impressed with Lambs. I think it is a very good little course. As noted by others, it can be used as a warm-up to the bigger courses on the property for those who are playing at intermediate level and above. However, if you're only playing Lambs and you are a recreational/novice player, you will not be disappointed.

While the course is often listed as a beginner course, it really isn't! I think if you brought your little children out here to teach them disc golf, they would be exhausted and in frustrated tears when you leave. Not the thing to do!

However, for teenagers and adults who have played some disc golf already and mastered the flat, open, true beginner's courses, this would be a good step up!

I play the ukulele and consider myself to be a low-intermediate player at this point in time with that instrument. There's a such thing as the advanced beginner in the ukulele world. Lambs is the course for the advanced beginner disc golfer.
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14 0
DiscGolfCraig
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 20.1 years 605 played 550 reviews
2.50 star(s)

Two out of Three Ain't Bad

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 17, 2022 Played the course:once

Pros:

As top tiered as Lions and Lair are, Lamb is just ok. Don't let its inflated ratings deceive you. This course isn't the level of those.
- If this was a stand alone course, it'd be just another nine hole layout.
- First several holes are basic warm up holes. Here, that means either loosening up the arm, or just wrapping up a day of playing.
- #4 is a 500 foot par 4. The next longest hole is 302 feet. If you're like me, and you've already played nearly 20,000 feet of holes in the previous 4 and a half hours, your whole body is shot. Lucky for this relatively simple, straight ahead layout, you can throw a lot of 200 - 250 foot putters/mid-ranges and shoot par after par.
- Course plays mostly in the woods. There's minimal elevation, especially compared to the other two layouts. #3 and 7 are nice downhill runs. #4 is a solid up and down, dogleg left.
- Easiest of the three courses to navigate. Layout is compact. Signage is easy to spot.
- There's a short, 18-hole layout overlaying the course. Each hole has two shorter holes. Many of those holes are in the 100 - 150 foot range. It would be an interesting layout to play at some point. You've got to get birdies somewhere after all of those bogeys on Lions.

Cons:

There's nothing inherently bad about this layout. This is the generic wedge salad at an upscale steakhouse. Sure, someone gets their jollies over blue cheese and bacon bits, but it's nothing flashy.
- After playing 36 elite level holes (both courses have arguments about being 5.0 rated courses), this isn't that. You're not confusing those layouts with this one.
- Perhaps unfairly, this course seems somewhat basic. Although, based on it's bloated rating on this site, it seems most people lump the entire three course layout together as one.
- A higher than normal lost disc / long search factor compared to most nine hole courses. With so many trees, and some of the elevation variances, one bad kick and a disc could kick deep in the woods.
- The pictures on this site were taken late Winter / early Spring, without any leaves on the trees. It's a much tighter layout in the Summer.
- Disclaimer I'm making about all three courses. You're 20 minutes back into town. Come prepared with the essentials - drinks, food, towels, bug spray, suntan lotion, sunglasses, aspiring, etc.
- The course ends on a flat note. Last three holes are simple and straight ahead. All birdie runs, or simple pars at the worst.

Other Thoughts:

Lambs is an appropriate name for this course when compared to the other two courses. I'm not sure how Lair fits into that narrative though.
- Nobody, well almost nobody (hint, hint), would drive this far out of the way for a nine hole layout. If Lambs didn't exist it would make zero impact on people's desire to play Lions or Lair. It's an added bonus, or stat padding round, to play this course.
- You can see the makings of a quality course here. It has aspects of Lake's Edge in Reidsville, NC with the wooded layout.
- I saw a small red fox running across #9's fairway. That's one of the few aspects of this course I'll remember.
- #7 is a nice downhole layout. Trees in the fairway give a split layout, picking one route or the other. #8 is shorter, at 235 feet. It's a good, aggressive straight ahead shot, with several trees protecting the basket. You can get close while not having a clean look at the basket.
- All told, it's a fine, above average nine hole layout. It's a sub 2700-foot layout for 9 holes. An 18-hole version of this course is, at best, a 3.5 rated course. I'm not sure how a half course is so overrated.
- It's above average, but nothing more. Don't confuse this layout with the truly elite here.
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24 0
Monocacy
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 24.1 years 501 played 76 reviews
3.50 star(s)

This lamb has teeth! 2+ years

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

Pros:

The Lambs packs a wonderful array of challenges into a 9-hole course. Tight lines, ace runs, scary drop-offs near the baskets, and an undulating par 4. Elevation comes into play on most holes, sometimes in dramatic fashion. This was a fun round to play in a beautiful setting on a warm February day.

Other than one 500' par 4, the rest of the holes are 300' or less. Even so, players must earn birdies by hitting gaps or shaping lines off the tee. The Lambs is an excellent warm-up before playing the other courses on site, but also a challenging and enjoyable course in its own right. Nice mix of straight, left, and right-turning holes.

Generously sized carpet or turf teepads are well secured over fine gravel (but see cons). Low blocks on each tee show hole number and distance. No hole map but baskets feature an orange pole and yellow mini-band for visibility and are generally easy to spot. Benches are available throughout the course.

Navigation is pretty straightforward, with white arrows pointing the way between holes. I only checked my navigation app once or twice.

Ample parking near the payment box, with a practice basket, port-a-pot, and trash can located nearby. Practice basket has putting distances marked out to 60'. Signs to each of the three courses are clearly marked.

Had a very pleasant chat with the owner after my round.

Memorable holes:

Hole #4: The aforementioned 500' par 4 travels across a valley and then back up a big hill while turning gently left the whole way. Lots of adventure packed into one hole, especially if you kick off the fairway. Or so I hear.

Hole #3: Steeply downhill and tight, with an even steeper drop-off past the basket. One of the more treacherous 240' holes you are likely to play, and reminiscent of #4 at Maple Hill (and a variation on #10 at The Lair).

Hole #6: Straight 300' drive with undulating elevation along the fairway. The basket is raised on a stump and just visible over the last rise.

Cons:

Single-chained baskets caught reasonably well, but better baskets would improve the course.

Teepads were carpet secured over fine gravel. Some tees seemed slightly uneven and affected my run-up.

The Lambs is strictly a woods course. A very good woods course, don't get me wrong, and I love playing in the woods, but The Lambs has less variety than the other courses on site.

The Lambs course and an 18-hole junior course occupy the same fairways, so sometimes baskets or teepads may be in range off the tee. The course was empty when I played so this was not a problem (other than chaining out on a "black ace") but players would need to exercise good judgment if the course was crowded.

Other Thoughts:

This is a gorgeous site for a multi-course disc golf complex in the Northern Neck of Virginia, a peninsula between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. Sandy loam soil supports a picturesque forest of holly trees, tulip poplars, beeches, and laurels, and the course meanders through these woods with the lake serving as a scenic backdrop (and disc golf challenge at other Lake Marshall courses). I played during winter, but I would expect the site to be even lovelier during the growing season.

For a 9-hole course, The Lambs is a pretty good workout. You will hike up and down a quite a few hills, especially if (like me) you manage to kick off the fairway a time or three.

As of 2/2022 the daily fee was $10 weekdays and $15 weekends. With three fabulous courses included, this seems like a bargain to me. Clearly, fees are being used to create, maintain, and improve the courses.
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20 0
lee76007
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 4.8 years 113 played 112 reviews
4.00 star(s)

The Course is a Ram! 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 21, 2021 Played the course:once

Pros:

-A unique 9-holer in the image of the Lair course on the same property. Some downhill, uphill, and level fairways. Very tight gaps off a few tees and fairways. Water borders a few holes, a roller fairway, and a few roller basket placements.

-There is an 18-basket pitch & putt course within the Lambs for family's and beginners.

-Tee pads like the other two courses are turf. The tees are numbered with distance on blocks.

-Navigation is clockwise, most of the baskets can be seen from the tee. Short walk from basket to next tee.

-The Lambs ranks #2 as my favorite 9-holer behind The Bear at Midlothian Virginia.

-Beginners and Recreational players will be extremely challenged and given a good temperature check if they decide to venture onto the Liar and Lions course. Intermediate and advance a very solid warm up for the other two courses to give you a taste of what's waiting for you.

Cons:

-The baskets being used are single chained, normally that means possible splashed out for a long putt. I didn't hit chains on any long putts to find out for sure, but plenty of experience with single chains on other courses. The baskets are well planted, so no movement on made putts.

-The putter course baskets can create some confusion for the first-time player or infrequent visits. There will be a putter basket between tee and the hole basket you're playing, and a putter tee as well. Check the color code on top of each basket, it will match the color of the red tee for lamb course. Some putter baskets can get in the way.

-No. 1 and No. 2 look very similar from tee to basket. Gap off the tee, fairway slightly right, an O.B. field to the left, and baskets protected. But they're both very difficult from the tee.

-Lost disc potential can be high. On holes 1 and 2 a farmer's field to the left had bushy crops. Hole 3 a roller into the water, and 4 as well. Some heavy rough here and there.

Other Thoughts:

The Lambs? After playing Lions and Liar prior sure, but if I had started on the Lambs, not quite. The Lambs is more like a Ram! I thought it was going to be a leisurely round, nothing of the sort. The Lambs is a great tune-up course to check your game prior to the far more difficult other two courses for any level. If you're a beginner, you can decide to stay with the Lambs or just have some fun on the other two courses. All other levels of play a chance to check your game. The biggest con for me was the single chain baskets, I yet returned to a course with single chains, but the fun of the layout will bring me back when I play the Lair and Lions as a tune-up on separate visits. If I had decided to play all three courses on a single visit, it would have taken me about 4.5 hours of play.

With the difficulty of the layout and a chance for a tune-up round for the other two courses on future visits, my overall rating is anchored on a 5.0. The time to play took 30 mins.

Notable Gap Holes:

-Holes 1 and 2 look a lot alike from the tee within 80 feet are some very narrow gaps to a fairway that slopes left to right into the brush and trees. An O.B. field to the left as well that offers open space but risky, so you're pretty much playing thru the gap. The gaps between trees are no bigger than 6 feet. On the 2nd tee I realized this wasn't going to be a gentle lamb course. I hit trees off both tees.

Notable Hole:

No. 5 Par 3 at 302 feet is a straight away hole with the basket slightly to the right tucked with a few guardian trees. The tee is elevated, but the basket is elevated slightly higher. The gap between trees in the fairway is no more than 20-feet. Along the fairway at the bottom is a small ravine, as you rise at about 220 feet is a clump of trees in the middle of the fairway, so you need to maneuver to the right toward the basket. I thought it fun to throw elevated up a fairway that was higher and was a little awkward and challenging from the tee.

Signature Hole:

-No. 4 Par 4 at 500 feet reminds me of the Lair's No. 16 a long lazy dogleg left, and the Lion's No. 10 a sloping fairway into a marsh area. But No. 4 has its own identity with a slightly elevated tee (No. 16 goes up hill from the tee) fairway with gaps all the way to the basket with the lazy left dogleg with the fairway offering the possibility of a skip or roller into the marsh on the left (No. 10 open fairway). At a little less than the halfway point the fairway starts rising towards the basket as it continues to meander on the dogleg. The hole from the tee is very challenging, and scenic. I like the reminders of the Lair and Lions courses.

Trouble Hole:

-No. 3 Par 3 at 240 feet is a straight away elevated tee shot with a fairway that keeps dropping to the basket. On your way are gaps in heavy woods no more than 20 feet wide with trees in the fairway as well. The basket area is a roller into the water, which is 70 feet behind, but it continues to drop steeper from the basket to the water. On the right of the basket is a small ditch area where the disc can continue to slide down and should eventually slow your disc down with an up-slope putt. From the tee it's a touch shot to land into C1. The worse thing you can do from the tee is run it past the basket if you make it thru the gaps, its possible to find the water. I hit a tree on the left halfway down, and very gently laid up and watched my disc slide into the ditch. Made the uphill short putt but could have been from much longer or splash out of the single chains with the up angle.






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13 0
gtg888h
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 18.1 years 40 played 27 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Best 9-hole/warm-up course you'll play 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 10, 2021 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

+Challenging 9-hole layout for adults that doubles as an excellent 18-hole kids/beginner/pitch-n-putt layout or glow course.

+9-hole layout features mostly 250-350' par 3s and one par 4 with very tight lines, elevation gain and loss, and lots of danger if you kick off the fairway (although the rough is well-maintained like everything at Lake Marshall).

+18-hole layout shares the same course, but with a bssket and tee pad at the halfway point of each 9-hole-layout hole (without getting in the way)

+Both layouts have tee and distance markers, well-maintained carpet tee pads, and well-marked baskets. Baskets are cheaper practice baskets but just fine for what the course intends.

+Plays great for glow golf after dark.

Cons:

Only thing keeping this a 4 is only 9 holes and cheaper baskets. Hole designs are superb.

Other Thoughts:

On the exceptional Lake Marshall property with the championship-caliber Lions and Lair courses. Lambs is a 3-min walk from the Lair parking lot, just down the owner's driveway and past his house. Course is well-marked and easy to follow.

$10/weekdays $15/weekends and holidays to play all day. The property is worth triple that. Check the Lake Marshall DGC Facebook group to make sure there are no events before you go.
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10 1
seayhorse
Experience: 28.1 years 22 played 16 reviews
5.00 star(s)

Solid 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 31, 2019 Played the course:once

Pros:

This course doubles as a 9 hole par 3 course and an 18 hole par 2 course. There are 2 baskets per hole. ]
It's a very good course in its own right, and is the easiest of 3 courses on the Lake Marshall DG 'complex'.

There are some challenging holes on this course, and even for advanced players, it makes a great warm up round for the more challenging Lair and Lions. It's also a great practice pitch n putt or ace race type course for all of us. It's cool to have all the options right there in one place. You really can play just this course for a great day's DG.

Lake Marshall collectively is the best course I've ever seen, and among the best in the US. It's on the short list of good stuff in the East, and superior to most if not all courses in the region.

Cons:

The only cons I see are related to its youth. The complex is under development, so there are unpoured teepads and impermanent baskets if that's truly a con... it will be more of a con in nasty weather

Other Thoughts:

$10 a day is very reasonable and well worth it. Try to plan for a day's worth of DG- it's really 45 holes (currently 36+) of DG. Bring a cooler, and picnic, because it's a little ways from the grocery and drive through's.

I'll be coming here as often as possible. It's about 2 hours south of DC and about 2 hours north of Williamsburg VA.
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13 0
mshelton
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 22.1 years 140 played 32 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Not so innocent 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 6, 2018 Played the course:once

Pros:

Well maintained
Challenging layout
Variety of shots
Beautiful setting
Top notch people there

Cons:

Only 9 holes

Other Thoughts:

Girlfriend planned a weekend day for us and she chose Lake Marshall as the first destination course of the day, which in itself is a pretty good start.

We pulled into the parking lot, she found the kiosk with the maps and I hit the port-a-potty. We looked around to try and figure out the map and where the starting hole was when a guy pulled up that does a lot of the work on the course (sorry but I forgot his name) and gave us a map that had both the Lambs and the Lion courses detailed, seems the kiosk map was for the Lair. Talked to him for a while and he told us that to tee off at the Lions #15, which was near the parking lot and that would take us right to hole #1's tee pad for the Lambs. After the tee shots we ran into the owner who was bushhogging the fairway, talked to him for a while then ran into another guy who does some of the work there on our way to our upshots. These 3 people couldn't have been nicer, here we were, beautiful setting, top notch courses and great people.

After playing the one hole on the Lions and looking at the maps, we decided that the 2 of us together would have a better time sticking to the Lambs, neither one of us has a big arm and both kinda enjoy woods play.

So on to the course, first, don't let the name fool you, this is not a cupcake course, it's not the 9 hole pitch and putt deuce fest you're probably expecting. It's got some difficulty, if I could relate it to anything people might be familiar with I'd say maybe a longer Blockhouse - Sunnyside and with the extra length come a bit more width of fairways. I can't think of any hole that I took for granted or felt like a filler hole. Also nothing felt unfair, tight-yes, tough-yes, pushing control distance-yes, unfair-no.

I don't think I could come up with a negative if I tried, teepads were in good shape, signage was good, navigation was pretty intuitive as I think we only made one wrong turn. I had heard that there had been some grumblings about the baskets but when we played there were some nice Prodigy ones in place though I did see the inexpensive line DisCatchers off to the sides of the green, there was a tournament the following day so the better baskets could have been for that.

We ended up playing a couple of rounds then heading to lunch, if she had some more distance and I wasn't dealing with the previous nights Rolling Rock express in my head and colon then we might have given the Lair a try but we had a good time on the Lambs all the same.
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