Albertville, AL

Sand Mountain DGC

2.135(based on 4 reviews)
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10 0
Moose33
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 11.9 years 176 played 174 reviews
2.50 star(s)

Some nice holes, be prepared to walk

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 20, 2023 Played the course:once

Pros:

I have to say coming into this park it’s one of the most beautiful facilities to include disc golf I’ve ever seen. Huge aquatic center/water park, all manner of sports fields, tennis courts and a walking path.

Parking was generous and on a Monday it was occupied but not busy. No one at all on the course.

You begin on some moderately wooded holes and then do some more open ones that line the perimeter of the baseball fields, including one that is on top of a large mound with drop offs towards the OB road on the right and just down into a ditch on the left. Could be the most interesting hole out there.

There are a few more that are over the roads/walking paths and in the wooded area towards the back of the course and then you finish with about a 270ft water carry that is pretty fun.

I loved the Mach 7 baskets and they have a cool tree/mountain scene on the band. Caught well and look sharp also, I really like this basket style.

Large columns with orange signs as tee markers that are easy to see from far off.

Cons:

SO. MUCH. WALKING. In between holes, 300+ft walk and when you finish you are rewarded with at least a half mile walk. Congratulations. Hope your round didn’t suck because now you have a 10 minute walk to think about it.

The design on many holes probably makes holes 4-9 difficult to play if games are going on, and so many throw over roads and walking paths that if you aren’t playing on a weekday in November you are probably going to be waiting all the time.

Also, no real tee pads. They are all on or near concrete so you probably have decent footing, but again if walkers are present you are waiting.

Signs are easy to spot but just have the tee number, if you want any other info you have to use the other mainstream disc golf app.

Other Thoughts:

Honestly there are good moments here, and the park is very well done but when I’m back in this area I’ll be over at Kudzu Cove.
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21 0
wellsbranch250
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 9.8 years 635 played 613 reviews
2.00 star(s)

Bonus Half Mile Hike After 18

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jun 18, 2023 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

(2.104 Rating) (REVISED - replayed June 2023) A lightly wooded sports complex course with several spacing issues.
- PARK AMENITIES - Albertville spent bookoo money on this park. It has the typicals like playing fields, playgrounds and shelters, but it also has higher ticket items, like an amphitheater, RV hook-ups and a waterpark. I ponied up 15 dollars on my second time through and jumped into the pool. What an awesome park feature.
- MAINTENANCE - Although this is a young course, it's already in great shape. The grounds on 90 percent of this property I would define as being in immaculate shape or close to that notion. The course plays in some moderately wooded areas that are not quite in perfect shape yet, but its getting there. I doubt going forward that course conditions will ever be bad here.
- CHAINS - This is only one of 3 courses, as of this revision, that I’ve thrown at Mach7s. Every shot that should have missed, missed, and every shot that should have stayed in, stayed in. I am really liking this style of basket.
- TEES - One of the design drivers of this course was apparently using existing concrete walkways as tees as much as possible. 13 tees have implied wide and endlessly long surfaces to throw from. The few remaining that didn't have concrete, were natural pads. Also, (18s) pad is concrete, but only 5 feet long. They do still need to indicate a throwing line everywhere though, which I only saw on tee (2) second time through.
- CHALLENGING - The challenges presented here are neither cupcake or pro level. Sort-of at the perfect balance between too easy and too hard imo. There is quite a bit of length on this one. The par 3s average over 300 feet long. There's even a 700-foot par 4 which I strangely somewhat liked. Nice gut check water clear at the end and there are a few tricky moderately wooded plays. I'll take a guess and will say that even par will equate to around an 880 rated round

Cons:

Too many unnecessary flaws.
- THE WALK BACK TO THE CAR - For anyone wavering between two ratings scores to give this one after tapping in on (18), the walk back to the car will solidify the lower score of the two. It seemed like a good half mile walk back to tee (1). Such a monumental course flaw. I could see many reviewers shaving off a half point just for this.
- SAFETY HAZARDS - At least 3 holes need to be re-designed immediately. Hole (9) is an accident waiting to happen. The fairway plays down a walking path and hooks left and blind behind a fence. Then hole (11) throws over a gigantic deck with dozens of outdoor tables and chairs. Finally I'll note Hole (12), which starts from a low vantage point and throws up to a blind area with adjacent paved walking areas. These are just the worst of the offenders. An errant throw could bring into play other park amenities on most holes here.
- TIME WAITING - Be prepared to wait often. On busy park days a hole or two may need to be skipped altogether. Holes (10) and (17) have hammock posts in the middle of the fairway.
- SIGNAGE AND NAVIGATION - Players are probably going to need a nav app to navigate this one successfully first time through. Most transitions in the beginning are easy as the large brown tee marker sticks out like a sore thumb and can be spotted from the prior basket. However, there are a couple large gaps, like (13) to (14) and (17) to (18). The tee signage only has a number indication on them. There is no posted course map yet on site or directional cues.
- MISSED OPPORTUNITIES - More of this course needs to be in the shallow wooded valley pockets within this park complex. Holes like (1), (2), (10), (14) and (17) are in these areas and there is room to relocate more holes in these spots.
- AMENITIES AND EXTRAS - Only one tee, one basket placement and one numbered tee post per hole. This is the current extent of the course related amenities. A couple tees have a nearby table that can be commandeered briefly to sit at or stow a bag.
- HOLE VARIETY - I scored the hole variety roughly average compared to the 612 courses I've played as of this revision, but its below average among 18 hole courses. A handful of the holes are featureless. There is one par 4. Elevation change is mild and there is one nice water clear shot.

Other Thoughts:

For a park that spent as much money as it did, 58 million, the disc golf course seemed like a $10,000 passing thought. This course could have easily been much better. Definitely not a destination course, but a reasonable play for those that find themselves in the area or live here. Reminds me of courses like Choccolocco an hour south of here and also Oliver Park south of Birmingham. For those traveling through this area, the nearby Kudzu Cove course should be target number one.
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15 0
Cerealman
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 15.3 years 552 played 159 reviews
2.00 star(s)

A hiking hodgepodge

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 4, 2022 Played the course:once

Pros:

The Sand Mountain DGC exists within the confines of the stunning city park in Albertville, which boasts immaculate attractions, including an aquatic center, outdoor waterpark, tennis center, amphitheater, turf baseball fields and more. The 130-acre park serves many recreational needs with its public play spaces, elite-level facilities and entertainment areas.

The city has recently added disc golf to its menu of recreational offerings. Unfortunately, the course is a mish-mash of holes spread all over the complex that pales in comparison to the high quality of amenities throughout the park.

The course was installed near the end of June, so it appears to still be a work in progress. There are large stanchions indicating each tee area and hole number so far but no teepads … yet.

Some of the scenery on the course is lovely. Several holes feature luscious lawns. The Hole #3 basket is positioned on top of a mound between a couple small trees. And Hole #18 is a fun water carry over a nice pond to a grassy area.

There's some decent park-style disc golf here. The course starts off with a couple of slightly downhill holes that offer a choice of lines that weave between towering trees. The back nine features a few more holes that pose trees as fair obstacles to navigate but not enough to change the course description from "lightly wooded."

Cons:

Oh dear … where do I begin? The flaws are numerous.

This course might have the most walking in between holes that I've ever experienced. The constant hiking isn't rewarded with spectacular hole design, either; instead, the course simply continues at the next wide-open area to throw. Plus, Hole #18 is quite far from the start. Expect a 10-minute walk after finishing the round to return to the beginning. The first seven holes are reasonably connected; after that, spotting the next teepad area will likely require a minute of searching.

Several of the holes could pose quite a danger to other park-goers. Numerous holes run parallel to or over sidewalks. A few of the holes feature blind throws that could endanger unsuspecting pedestrians. Hole #11 nearly mandates throwing over (or very close to) an upraised area that appears to be for eating. I played the course on a Monday morning, but I could imagine that some holes might be unplayable during high traffic times.

Several of the holes play right next to the magnificent turf baseball fields. However, these fields are protected by tall chain-link fences that are difficult to scale and the gates will likely be locked. On Holes #5, #6, #12 and #13, an errant shot could very likely end up in an outfield versus the fairway.

While this feature might be temporary, most of the teepads are simply sidewalks without a definite marking of the designated area. There are no maps yet, so you will have to either search for the basket or make a guess. No distances are posted yet either.

The course is mostly flat. There's little "sand" and no "mountain" on this course.

Other Thoughts:

The Sand Mountain DGC appears to have been created by someone with little to no disc golf design experience. Granted, the space available in a booming park was limited, which likely influenced a course that is shoehorned into various places. But in this instance, opting for a nine-hole, more condensed design might have been a better choice in adding disc golf to the park.

This course reminded me of the non-wooded holes at Choccolocco Park (Oxford, Ala.): flat, open, boring with lots of unsatisfying walking in between.
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13 0
GMcAtee
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 14.7 years 731 played 73 reviews
2.00 star(s)

Smoke a spliff before you play this course.

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 16, 2022 Played the course:once

Pros:

1. Course is located at a beautiful new sports and entertainment complex. Albertville spent some big bucks here.
2. Concrete tee pads (mostly sidewalks) and nice new Discatcher baskets.
3. Holes 1, 10, and 12 are really fun.

Cons:

1. Poor design. This course has so many safety issues throwing down or across walkways, near parked vehicles, and other park users. I played this course at 7am on a Saturday and the park was already packed forcing me to skip holes 9 (people and golf cart near basket), 13 (parked cars near the basket), and 11 (elevated picnic area right in the middle of the fairway). There were so many holes I had to wait on pedestrians to pass, I lost count.
2. The holes that are away from park amenities and dedicated to disc golf had knee high grass that took away from my enjoyment.
3. Signage is unique, but doesn't offer any information besides the hole number and distance if I remember correctly.
4. This may be the longest walk back to my vehicle after the final hole of all the courses I've played. I parked near hole 1.

Other Thoughts:

The only time of day this course may be playable is weekday in the winter! Just not enjoyable when your anxiety is up on every hole because the bad design puts people and vehicles into play.
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