Branded as “the golf capital of Tennessee,” the city of Crossville can also boast about their excellent disc golf course that provides fantastic variety, a well-designed layout and a signature hole with picturesque views that will “rock” your world.
Meadow Park Lake delivers 18 unique holes with a little bit of everything regarding distance, woodiness, direction, elevation and challenge. There are ace runs and tricky par 4s. There are a couple demanding technical holes and a wide-open bomber over a valley. The cliché “you’ll use every disc in your bag” is overused, but I could see that promise being fulfilled here.
The course design deserves top marks for basket placement. The designer optimized the position of each basket relative to the teepad and fairway to create sophisticated holes while keeping the bulls-eye devoid of trees on most holes. The fairways are reasonable and luck doesn’t seem to have much of a role.
The signature hole at Meadow Park Lake has to be Hole #12. The nearly 600-foot bomber is the first hole you will spot while driving into the park. The initial sight is the basket mounted on a huge rock with a large grassy dale behind and towering trees serving as the backdrop. From the vantage below the basket, it’s about a 10-foot ascension from ground to top of the cage. There’s also a little evergreen growing on the rock, so accuracy is paramount on your upshot. Too short – you risk hitting the rock and rolling back 40 feet. Too long – you are eye-level with the basket but with a huge “death putt” that could go crashing down beyond the basket. Being on the side near the evergreen isn’t easy either.
There are several other awesome holes at Meadow Park Lake. Hole #1 is a perfect start that requires a slightly downhill, 260-foot drive with a bit of turn and accuracy needed to stay on the fairway. Hole #5 is a par 4 that demands two well-placed throws to tackle the slanted fairway that threatens to push your disc toward the rough. Hole #11 requires hitting a gap before turning right and navigating one’s landing zone as there’s a significant slope with rollaway potential near the basket. Hole #14 is a technical ace run in the woods with the teepad perched on an enormous rock and several wayward trees below. Hole #18 is a cool, very wooded par 4 with high score variance likely. Birdies are expected if you stay on the narrow fairway with two modest throws; inversely, trips to Bogeytown are promised if you detour to far from the path.
The most technical holes on this course are on the last one-third of the course, but there are plenty of gaps to hit and approach angles to consider before reaching the final six holes. The course is described as moderately hilly, though there’s at least some elevation to consider on nearly every hole. However, there aren’t any grueling or treacherous climbs, and the course should be playable for all ages.
There’s plenty of parking and a practice basket near Hole #1. The course pops out of the woods just a minute’s walk from the parking lot. Most of the walks between holes are short, though the course does cross over the park road after Hole #11.
The teepads are adequate in length, though a little narrow. The Black Hole Gravity baskets are easy to spot with their white banners and seem to catch well.
The course just hosted a C-Tier tournament, so every basket included a blue painted circle around the basket. Though it’s difficult to keep permanent, I love this feature on a course. I think it helps my putting too!
The fairways for Holes #7 through #11 all run a bit close to each other, which could be a concern when there are multiple parties on the course.
About half the holes have a second basket. Some of the signs indicate a second basket but there isn’t one; some of the signs specify only one basket but there are two available. In most instances, the original and longer basket is the better design. Several times, the shorter option is placed in a slightly goofy spot that diverts from the overall quality of the course.
Hole #17 strikes me as one of the weaker holes on the course, but it doesn’t have to be. The straight-ahead option is plain, but I’d love to see the longer basket option be a legitimate par 4 and improved by removing a few trees to better designate the fairway, pushing the basket closer to the road, and utilizing an elevated basket to give the design some oomph.
As for unappealing areas, there are a few holes where the rough can be rather difficult. There’s a tall, chain-link OB fence on Hole #5 to avoid.
The course is in a disc golf desert. By ignoring the little campground course nearby, the closest authentic courses are a 45-minute drive away.
I really enjoyed the Meadow Park Lake course. The designer did an excellent job with basket placement and varying the design and challenges throughout the entire layout. Meadow Park Lake deserves a top rating for fun, but overall, it’s not in the extra-special echelon … yet. The lack of pizzazz holes keeps it from being labeled as phenomenal. However, it’s an excellent course that is worth visiting and playing multiple rounds. The quality and variety reminded me of courses like Kudzu Cove (Guntersville, Ala.) and Sugar Hollow (Bristol, Va.).