William Yates features a wooded front nine and an open back nine, with some elevation on nearly every hole. A small recent redesign gives multiple teepads on a few holes, more dirt or rubber tees (instead of just grass), and use of some previously unused areas (like a new longer tee on 3).
For the most part, the front nine is a good way to introduce a new player to a technical course. The holes aren't too long, so anyone without much accuracy won't get overly frustrated. But there are a variety of shot shapes, elevation changes, and challenges.
There is some uniqueness here. There's one raised pin, one island green (and another one if you call 16 an island), angle control on 1, and distance control on a few downhill shots. These challenges may not be too interesting for more experienced players, but they certainly reminded me of some similar challenges at other courses. As a result, a newer player can have a good experience on these holes.
I know there was little room to work with, but parts of the course left me shaking my head. A few tee shots are super strange, namely holes 5 and 7, though different pin placements or tees may have been better than what I played. Hole 18 has a dumpster in the way, and you're throwing across a fence on hole 2 (the fence doesn't block the tee shot, but it is a bit strange). Finally, the holes on the hillside behind the school (12 - 15) make very little sense. The flow is weird, and playing the baskets the way they look like would produce one super-short hole, and at least one crossing fairway. I adjusted the tees and baskets to something that made more sense.
Because the course is cramped into such a small place, some aspects are a little odd. Hole 6 looks good until you realize a good drive ends up in the creek. That's not how holes are supposed to play out. The area around the tee of 6, baskets of 7 and 8, and the tee of 9 has a bunch of tees and baskets in the same area, and I was constantly guessing if I was in the right place. Some drives course easily fly over adjacent fairways. In addition, holes 10 and 11 are... strange; I don't have a better word to describe them.
An errant shot could easily end up on a playground (hole 1), basketball court (hole 3), and several roads (14, 16, 17).
Oh, and the holes are all really short. I didn't always notice this on the front nine, since there are plenty of trees, and the holes on the back nine are a little longer and have more extreme elevation change, but there wasn't enough variety.
Basically, while there were some good design decisions here, the fact remains that there's just no way to do a proper course here without running into a lot of issues. As a result, this probably should have been just nine holes, or maybe nine baskets with two tees for each hole. That would have let the course keep its variety and ability to have several groups of students on the course at a time but still remove the most boring holes, weird holes, and holes that overlap with each other or other infrastructure.
This course certainly has its merits, but its age is showing and there is enough that's just not good about it that I have a hard time thinking this will be on many people's go-to list. I'm sure it's great for students at the school, but there's not much else.