Johnson City, TN

Winged Deer Park

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3.445(based on 44 reviews)
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17 0
wolfhaley
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 19.8 years 969 played 542 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Reviewed: Played on:May 10, 2022 Played the course:once

Pros:

Winged Deer Park DGC has been around since 1992. This was my first time playing it, and man was it a fun round. It appears to have only gotten better with age.

There are 2 baskets on every hole now, as stated in the previous review, and is such an added bonus. We don't have many courses with this kind of set up in WI. I wish we did. There are the older machs, which are still in pretty decent shape. Those things seem to just last forever. There are also newer Dynamic Discs Veterans. These have a white cage and top section which sticks out well in the woods. They caught fine for us.

There is a single concrete tee on every hole. These are very well done. Level, flat and plenty of traction. About your standard/average size for these too. No complaints on these. There were benches on most, if not all of the holes as well.

The tee signs are excellent. They have a nice detailed hole map, showing any pin placements (usually 2, but a couple had 3), par, hole #, distances to either pin and a next hole arrow. These are top shelf and contain all the info you'd really need. There are also next tee signs after every hole where there is a little bit of a walk.

The design is superb here. There is only one hole, I believe, playing to the white pins that is over 400'. That is one of the handful of more open holes. The majority of the course is in tight, undulating woods. There are trees in every fairway, but every one of them had a fair line. Whether you can hit that line is a whole different question.

The are almost equal amounts left and right turning shots it seemed. The elevation, while nothing crazy, is prevelent on nearly every hole. Shot shaping is essential here. If you can't or are struggling to do that, your score will suffer.

The course is permanent and free to play. I'd imagine that this one plays nicely all year long, especially in the heat of the summer, being that it's mostly in the woods and shaded.

Cons:

My main con with this course is not knowing which pin position on the sign matches up to which basket. You'd generally think that the Veteran baskets would be the pins in the long position, but that is not always the case. Mostly, but not always.

The course seems to be very popular, therefore very busy. We played it on a beautiful early May afternoon and were backed up from hole 1 until 7 or 8, before finally getting in the lead and not having to wait again.

As the previous reviewer alluded to, most of the holes have a basket off to the left and one to the right or vice versa. Maybe one left and one dead straight. But there were a couple that played inline with each other. Wasn't really a fan of this myself.


Other Thoughts:

This course was better than advertised in my mind. If I lived near here I'd be out here a lot, probably more than any of the others. Just probably not during peak hours.

The more courses I play around here, the more and more it's becoming evident that this general area is an underrated disc golf destination. There are some true gems to go along with some of your more standard campus type courses. Which is a good thing. But it's pretty heavy on the top end of the scale. This one may not be your first choice if you could only play one course in the general area, but it's near the top of the list. And you wouldn't be disappointed if this was the one you choose. Really fun course.
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17 0
pmay5
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 20.7 years 479 played 245 reviews
4.00 star(s)

One of the best in the Tri Cities of East Tennessee 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 26, 2021 Played the course:once

Pros:

Two sets of baskets on nearly every hole. Even though these are labeled A and B positions, they are both permanent, with the A position being the shorter, ""White"" level course and B being the longer, ""Blue"" course. So while there is only one set of tees, there are essentially two courses that can be played anytime.
The As are older Mach baskets that were in decent shape, but showing some age, the B baskets are brand new white, DD Veterans, with the course name and hole number on them, most likely a result of the recent Pro Masters Worlds held here in early August.
Good concrete tees on every hole, that were also a good size. The tee signs, most likely not new, but still well done and informative.
The course sits in what looks like a DG only part of this beautiful park, there is a Mtn Bike trail near #1 but I didn't see any crossover. You do cross a park road once and overlook a ballfield on #11, but other than that, no other interactions.
Most holes are wooded, but there is a sprinkling of open and partially wooded holes throughout to make a nice variety.
There is a decent amount of elevation in play, especially #1, straight uphill, but after that, most of the elevation change is gradual. Makes for a challenging round, without wearing you down too much like other courses in the mountains.
Large parking lot and Practice basket right at the first tee.

Cons:

Playing the Blue level course, nearly half the holes turn right, or finish on the right side of the fairway. At least 6 holes played nearly straight with only about 3 holes that go to the left. I would have liked to see a little more balance in this area. It was not a good day for my forehand to not be working.
Most of the A baskets were off to the side of the fairway and didn't interfere with play to the B basket, however #7 and #11 had them right in the middle and could affect shots.

Other Thoughts:

I really liked Winged Deer and couldn't believe it's only rated 3.42 at this writing. Several recent reviews are 4.0 so its on the rise, it will probably see more increases thanks to the Pro Masters Worlds.
Most of the wooded holes have fair and cleared fairways. Enough fairway to make your shots, but none that would be considered poke and pray. #12 and #14 were probably the tightest, but they are still fair. I understand #13 used to be overly tight and a mess, a rerouting has made a good, up and down hole, even if its another right turning hole. :)
Only a few open holes, #4, #8 and #11, with #8 being the longest and best of these. At 426' it would normally not be a Par 3, but with the downhill tee shot and mainly just long grass to avoid, you can really open it up. #11 is open to the A basket, then the B basket is right and uphill to a guarded basket at 290', I don't think there will be very many 2s on this hole.
Several good partially wooded holes are bordered by rough and long, #7 has an elevated tee, then uphill to the long basket at 398' and Par 4, #15 is a gentle downhill with the basket in a clearing, then the Beast of these is #16, runs parallel to #15, gentle uphill, but a couple clusters of pine trees need to be avoided on the left and the basket is at 577', on a sloped grassy green.
Since the course starts with a straight away hole, it finishes with anything but that. #18 goes over a slight hill with woods on both sides, then turns right and downhill, before going back left and gradually uphill to a narrowing green. OB road on the right can provide some scoring separation.
Winged Deer will be 30 years old next year, its obvious that Johnson City continues to take care of this course, as much as they have with the entire park. Its great to play a course with a variety of shots needed, fairways that are wide enough to hit, and with a variety of basket positions, it gives you some choice of how much course you want to play.
I can see why this course was used for the Pro Masters Worlds, it doesn't have the huge elevation changes of Harmon Hills, but will still challenge most players.

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8 1
Bennybennybenny
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 13 years 302 played 285 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Meet the Mountains at Winged Deer Baby! 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Aug 25, 2019 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

-Finished a great tournament here. Didn't place well in the open division but had a 966 rating average even with the screw ups. I think this course could best be described as "shreddable but difficult." The long pins offer a tough challenge; they were harder than I anticipated. The short pins were easier, but not as easy as I thought they'd be. There are no gimmes here, but nothing impossible to birdie either. Just about anyone can enjoy this course.

-I read some of the previous reviews. It looks like some of the addressed issues have been worked on. Hole 14 was the poke and pray hole that it was described to be. It's down a pretty tight fairway, but it's very clear and defined. I almost aced the hole the first two rounds, and missed the fairway the final round and still saved par. There is also a hyzer route over the trees that I saw a few players take on my card. Another issue they seemed to have fixed was the elevated basket on a rolling hill. I saw it on the media, and it's no longer there.

-The long pins are nice dynamic veteran baskets. I like those baskets a lot more than I like machs.

-When I first arrived and checked in, I saw a hole that is steep uphill. That is the first hole on the course. 229' and plays about 300' at least. The short pin is 210' and I can barely reach it with a putter. Some open and advanced players were throwing fairway drivers to the long pin. If you look at the media, this course doesn't look as hilly as it really is. You'll be in for a shock and be pleasantly surprised if you love elevation like I do. #2 is a primarily downhill hole off a really sweet elevated pad.

-#8 is a super fun downhill bomb. Not quite what I'd consider a "top of the world" shot cause the hill isn't entirely huge, but it's enough to watch your disc sail. The woods to the right side are a tougher obstacle to avoid than they appear. The short pin is tucked into the woods and is a cool sidearm par 3. Hole 12 looked super fun from the long pin. It's significantly downhill and out of the woods. It's like a straight version of #8 at Meeks Park in Blairsville, GA. The short pin was played every round. It's a difficult touch shot with a few tight lanes. The green is dangerous and has serious roller potential.

-#17 could definitely be your favorite hole here. It's very downhill. More than 30' below the pad from the long pin. The short pin is down there as well. This hole has several lanes available, so if this is your home course, then hopefully you found your ideal shot. The short pad gives the option to throw straight and through a small lane, or a wide skip hyzer. The long pin is to the right so it's more lefty friendly. Righties will have to flick something that won't turn too much or anhyzer down the middle gap. Course ends with a legit pro par 3. The short pin is a difficult righty backhand hole. The long pin is spectacular! It's the kind of hole that you like to see on a championship course. 360' anhyzer, wide enough fairway with a few branches to avoid. If you have the perfect height, you'll be in good shape. If not, you're down a hill in the woods and have a very difficult shot out.

-Scenic fairways. Course is beautiful. I'm a sucker for scenery. The fairway on #3 is probably the most picturesque with all those rocks. It's all beautiful here. #15 is a gorgeous tunnel shot in the woods. Super fun hole; my favorite hole here.

-Course was looking superb when I played. Hardly any tall grass and it's still summertime. Nobody that I played with lost any discs, and I saw a bunch fall into the dip on #4 and land far into the rough.

-OB. Not a ton of it, but it's brilliantly used here in my opinion. Isn't really an obstacle on hole 4's short pin. But it's a valuable challenge to the long. It's very scary. There is a pit on the right side that is probably 30' deep. It is OB. The long basket is close to the road, so placement is crucial. The hole is also enjoyable because of its look. Downhill and facing the road. #9 is another great hole. The concrete to the left is in play the whole way and is OB. The short pin is actually a little harder than the long since it is to the left side.

-Nice tee signs, tee pads, and there are enough trash cans on the course.

Cons:

-The mach baskets seem a bit outdated. They don't catch as well as others do. We played the short pins first round, I had a few good putts that didn't stick. If they did, I would've had an 1000 rated round. The short pins aren't nearly as fun as longs. Some of them are fun, cool and well designed, but if you don't play the longs, you won't see the best in Winged Deer. There's more variety, more shock value, and more holes that'll get you hooked on the long pins rather than the shorts.

-Some holes are close to each other, hole quality is great to say at the worst so my rating was not lowered. However, if you play here in a tournament, you might have to yield to other players throwing on the next hole or putting on the previous hole.

Other Thoughts:

-If you want to find the best in this course, then play the long pins. The shorts are fine, but cannot compare to how great the long pins are. That is an awesome course to those pins. I really, really loved the longs. There isn't a bad hole on the long pins and they alone make this course worth it. If you played here a few holes ago, I'd advise you to come back because it seems that it has improved. There aren't any long pads, but there isn't really any room for them or any need to be honest. I think Winged Deer is a very underrated course. I didn't expect it to be as good as it was with a 3.38 rating.

-The elevation is utilized very nicely. Nothing extreme, but can influence the shape of your shot. In order to shred this course, you'll have to throw some weird shots. Many people dislike holes 7 from the long pin and #13's long pad, the only long pad here. #7 long requires a huge spike hyzer in order to get past the last tree in the fairway. I felt like I should've thrown a midrange, so I did and it didn't go far enough and I hit the tree. There is a forced height above the trees, so throw an understable driver. #13 requires a very specific disc to reach. It's really hard, in my opinion the hardest hole. But isn't too difficult to par if you play safe. It's a lefty friendly hole, so righties could suffer since it's a sharp right turn with a low ceiling. I'm a righty and think that if I threw a higher speed overstable driver, I could probably reach this hole. It isn't long, but it's intimidating. I saw a 2 with a backhand, so it's definitely not impossible even though it looks so hard.

-The gorgeous fairways, the high hole quality, and the sudden change once you play holes 15 and 16 I consider to be a great reward. #15 was considered a par 4 in the tournament in the long pin. That is debatable. I saw a 2 on this hole, and I got all the way to the basket. But it's a low ceiling and is over 400' long. #16 was considered a par 5. That is also debatable. It isn't unfair as it is listed on the sign as a par 4. The pin position was actually pushed back about 30' so it's just over 600' and slightly uphill the whole way. I saw one 3 and a bunch of 5s. I missed a 30' putt for 3 and got a 4 both times I played it. So par was 57 because of those two holes in the tournament. Course ends with a super fun downhill hole 17 and a great challenge on hole 18.

-I played again in July of 2020. It really is a great course, but I think it fits more with my 4.0 ratings.
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4 2
Baysinger
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 14.7 years 93 played 55 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Winged Deer Park DGC 2+ years

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

Pros:

Winged Deer Park DGC is a fantastic course located in East, Tennessee. As one of the hosts to the 2017 USWDGC, this course lives up to its reputation as one of East, Tennessee's premier courses. This course has some very tightly wooded holes that are reachable if you hit your line, as well as a few holes where you need to pull out your long range distance drivers! The city of Johnson City put a lot of money into this course to get it ready for the 2017 USWDGC and you can still enjoy the course improvements today. If you stay in the fairway, you can play this course fairly quickly as there are some very short holes, but if you are having trouble off the tee, it can make for a longer round. Definitely some tricky, must play fairways! Overall this is a very fun course to play that helps you practice hitting your lines.. in other words... this course keeps you honest! If you want to see the original course layout on video, check out my crew playing this course in the video below...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-cvwVc09rg

Cons:

Long uphill walk after playing Hole 18 to get back to the parking lot, but not exactly a con. Course can be hard to find as Winged Deer is a large park and there are multiple places to enter the park.
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11 1
blake833
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 13.8 years 160 played 140 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Beautifully Frustrating 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Nov 25, 2017 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

This course is in a beautiful park, and has some incredible holes.

Being from Louisiana, I loved the elevation, and how easy it was to park and play immediately.

The new tee-pads and baskets really elevate this course. (Especially benches by each tee-pad, where we could leave some car keys we found)

There was a great mix of open holes for long bombers, and short technical holes for precise throws.

Each hole seemed to have a thought process to it, and an intentionality to the layout, rather than just a "let's make a hole here to here because that's where we need to go."

Cons:

The very first hole is up a steep hill, and that can be daunting to new players, and enforce bad habits.

On more than one hole, there were too many trees in the fairway to make any clear alleys. Even with all the leaves on the ground, The trees were catching discs it seemed the course was made for.

Other Thoughts:

If it was a little thinner in the trees, and a few holes less drastic on the elevation, this course would be one of the greats. It's still worth a play whenever you're in the area, and I will definitely play it again when I visit Johnson City.

UPDATE: It's been a couple years, and some work has been done on this course. Every hole as two pins permanently in place: Old Mach's on the short pins, Dynamic Veterans on the long ones.

Some trees have been taken out on holes 7 and 10 to open up those lines a bit more and make them more accessible, less luck dependent.

I've up'd my rating from a 3.5 to 4 to reflect these changes, and my feelings about how I'm still addicted to this course which reignited my disc golf passion two years ago.
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7 0
jjtwinnova
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 8.6 years 246 played 97 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Deer In Limelight 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 15, 2017 Played the course:once

Pros:

Here I am, visiting family Easter Weekend for the second year in a row. Last year, I had played Harmon Hills (WOW!!!) and Warrior's Path (So-so...) and this year, I did something similar and played Sugaree first (WOW!!!) and then Winged Deer (So-So...)

After a very long and tough round at Sugaree, I was heading back to Bristol, but wanted to hit another well regarded course in the area, not to be distracted by the two Wow courses I did play.

I was pleasently surprised. Winged Deer sits in a nice looking park in Johnson City, and is very accessible for out of towners. Navigation served fairly easy, and the tee signs served their purpose.

The baskets were older Mach IIIs but caught well, not that I had any putts that should have spit out, but I have played places where those putts have been spit out.

The course weaved it's way through the woods, with different shots able to be thrown. There were twists and turns, ups and downs, which was nice, especially on a primarily par 3 course.

Also, don't get me wrong, for a park course. It was tougher than I thought it would be. It beat me up more than it should have, but it wasn't easy in the longer pin positions that it was in.

Cons:

Winged Deer is showing some battle wounds from it's many years of service to the Tennessee area. The baskets, while functional, were beaten up a bit, and sometimes hard to see through the thick woods.

Some of the holes presented what I thought was too much of a challenge. The lines below the trees were a lot less appealing than the ones above, and for a player who does not throw hard, or has a lackluster overhead throw, these could be frustrating.

At a park course, in order for new players and casual groups to have fun and appreciate the course, I think there should be multiple tees. Playing in mostly B pins provided a rough course on a par 3 layout, frustrating people on seemingly good shots.

The tees in question were concrete, which is nice, but they were somewhat short, and cracking from age and repeated use.

There was one hole with a tall elevated basket on a metal pole. On a tight hole through the woods, I'd like to think that making the gap should reward a birdie, but having a fifteen foot putt on a 7 foot tall basket was silly.

The course could definitely get crowded with the occasional chuckers and others. Some holes are near each other, and with an errant throw, or impatience, it could cause trouble. It also can make a quick round longer.

Other Thoughts:

All in all, I enjoyed playing here. It reminds me of what a clean, park-style course should be. Relaxing fun in the woods and fields. It was a nice change if pace from the monster courses in the area. I like playing tough par threes and courses that challenge everybody. It was definitely worth the stop!
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4 1
Rosco
Experience: 12 played 4 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Home Course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Nov 14, 2015 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

The course is clean, and it is dedicated without crossovers by pedestrians or other rec activities. There are 2 basket positions per hole, and are rotated fairly frequently. It has enough variety to keep you interested throughout. Most tee's have signs, and can mark the basket position. The city keeps it mowed frequently, and you rarely have to deal with high grass.

Cons:

It can be easy to lose track of your disc with a wild throw. Especially on 4,13, and 14. Hole 4 has a huge sink hole down the right side, and growth in it is very thick. 13, and 14 are very densely packed with trees, and I usually just try to rocket over the tops of the trees. It is much harder to do this in the summer time when the canopies of the trees are full. Some of the tees need repaired, or should be a little longer.

Other Thoughts:

Hole 10 has a very narrow corridor to get through but opens up into an easy to get to basket. Hole 16's sign is incorrect due to a downed tree that caused a re-positioning of the 2nd basket position.
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6 0
BigAl724
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 11.5 years 178 played 144 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Challenging for a par 3 layout 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 4, 2015 Played the course:once

Pros:

Winged Deer Park offers a pretty unique setting. It has the feel of a city park at times, while other sections of the course make you feel like you're deep in the woods far off on your own. This offers a variety of holes and shots, with chances to run the basket on more open fairways as well as playing some really tight, multi-staged holes in the woods. The course definitely serves its purpose in this regard.

A variety of shots and hole types are offered throughout the course, which weaves its way in and out of the woods. This gives it a great mix of holes in terms of woodenness. It starts out with a few tight holes and then starts to open up a little bit on hole 5. From there it begins to take you through tightly and moderately wooded sections, with a few more open fairways here and there. For being mostly a par 3 and somewhat shorter course, it's surprisingly difficult. There are no gimme birdies here, you really have to be accurate on your drives. This ups the course's replayability, having to fight to get birdies.

Elevation isn't a constant contributor to the round, but is incorporated up to its potential. There are some steep uphill shots on 6 and 7, while 14, 17, and 18 offer a couple downhill throws.

Amenities are nice with brand new looking tee signs, great concrete tee pads, and quality baskets. Multiple pin positions do a good job of changing up the look of the holes, and the current position is indicated on the tee sign. There are a good bit of 'next tee' signs located throughout the course as well.

This huge park is very well maintained and the course seems to get taken care of as well. No interference with other park activities as this section of the park is dedicated to the course. Only on holes 11-12 will you be able to see the main part of the park, but there shouldn't be any conflict.

Cons:

While not quite the typical old school style course that Warriors Path is, Winged Deer also plays primarily with a par 3 design. It could've used more than just one long par 4, and having only three holes greater than 400' limits its appeal and disc selection a little bit. Nothing stood out to me as being too memorable.

Navigation and signage is good for the most part, but is confusing between a few holes (7-8 and 16-17 in particular for us). I'd recommend bringing a map.

Hole 14 felt way too tight to me. It could be a cool hole if some of the trees were knocked down. The sharp downhill hyzer to and elevated basket was a good idea to change it up, but it felt hard just for the sake of hard.

Other Thoughts:

Winged Deer Park is nothing spectacular, but offers a solid round without too many big detractors. You won't be blown away by too much, but this challenging par 3 course is one I could play on a weekly basis. Set in a huge, popular city park, the course conveniently takes you away from the crowds and gives you your own space. Not a course worth coming to play on its own, but certainly worth combining with the nearby Harmon Hills and Warriors Path for a full day of disc golf with little driving.
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7 0
Qikly
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 11.6 years 181 played 148 reviews
3.00 star(s)

2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 4, 2015 Played the course:once

Pros:

Winged Deer Park DGC is at its best at its most extreme moments, in which thorough tree cover and prominent elevation come together to challenge your game. This can take a variety of forms, such as 7, in which a snaking fairway through pines tempts you to make a run at its landing zone at the risk of crashing into serious rough, or 12, a tight corridor with a drop off either before or after the pin depending on its position. Winged Deer's most memorable holes make smart use of such rich topography.

There's a nice variety of woodedness throughout that mixes up both style and level of challenge. Some holes require precision, some will cause you to weigh pushing distance versus the associated risks, and others are much more laid back while allowing for enough creativity to avoid boredom. If you have an array of shots such as rollers, thumbers, and forehands, they'll be put to use here. The multiple pin positions only enhance the variety, putting different, quality spins on many holes.

Course is well signed and seems well groomed. While it does play out into more public areas of the park, much of it is nice and isolated. Little room for conflict with other park goers here.

Cons:

A few of the more wooded holes seem to enter into unrealistic territory in their search for a challenge. 14, for example, is a perfect example of poke and pray, and comes off as gimmicky. Given that there are some smartly designed and well-balanced holes elsewhere on the course, these such holes stand out and feel forced.

Alternatively, there are some gimme holes that, while allowing for a pleasant variety in how you approach them, let off the gas too much. Combined with the above, Winged Deer feels a bit all over the map with its varied challenge factor. On the one hand the variety is nice; on the other hand most everyone is going to encounter at least a few holes that clash with the kind of round they're after. This is exacerbated by the single set of tees: rec players can't tone it down and more advanced players can't turn it up. The challenges are significant enough at points to frustrate some but low enough at other points to disappoint others.

Conflicting with the sense of a casual city park round is the threat of dense foliage at certain points. It can be a positive in enhancing the challenge factor but can also really bring your round to a halt and force you to search if you have an unfortunate landing. This is more due to dense trees than unkempt shule, as the course feels quite broken in.

Other Thoughts:

Winged Deer comes off as a largely casual park course, but there are still plenty holes that are worth your while. The mild schizophrenia is real, but, it's worth a visit, especially given its proximity to Warrior's Path and Harmon Hills.
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2 3
SikMonkey
Experience: 18 played 3 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Fantastic Course! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 17, 2014 Played the course:once

Pros:

Love this course! A very well thought out course in the beautiful TN mountains! It's challenging without being discouraging and has a great mix of shots. Some potential for a lost disc, but surprisingly low for such a large, wooded course.

Cons:

None that I can think of. I only played it once though so I was more focused on learning the course.
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8 0
lammersk
Experience: 10.7 years 37 played 12 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Tough and Fun 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 10, 2014 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

This is the toughest course I've played (#2 is Warriors Path and #3 is Richmond Hill) and it is still my favorite. Almost every pin rewards accuracy instead of simple brute strength throwing. There are a number of pins here which could be "the" tough pin elsewhere and while there are some distance shots, none of them are across a wide open grassy field (although some look deceptively like they are). This means that even on the long throws people have to maintain control.

There are a variety of fairways which will expose you to just about anything you would want in a disc golf course.

Uphills: 1 & 6 - Both of these in the long position are challenging. 1 has the steeper incline with small trees to shoot around; 6 has a rocky hill to shoot up with a large tree in the middle that knocks a lot of discs down. 6 is almost always in the long position. Unfortunately, 1 seems to spend more time in the short.

Downhill: There are a number of downhill shots, but the best of the lot are 4 & 8. Both of these have a tee up on a hill overlooking significant rough which you have to throw over to get to an open, grassy field and then shoot for the basket. I really like these pins because there is a significant incentive to make that throw off the tee (roughs here are actually rough), but you generally don't lose your disc if you don't have the arm or screw up.

Flat: 5, 15, & 16 are most representative of this class. Yes, there are some pins you can uncork that massive cannon of an arm that I hate you for. However, you need to be accurate too. You can't crank out a huge throw off to the right and count on the disc to hook back into the basket. That way leads to lots of tree strikes and shooting from wherever the ricochet lands. 5 is something of an exception to this, but even it requires you to shoot under an overhanging branch so that you will probably be forced to throw flatter than you might like.

Tough: While there aren't any pins here I would call cupcakes, there are several that separate the men from the boys, women from the girls, and pros from the ams.

On 13 and 14, if you get par you should pat yourself on the back. An average player can do it, but it ain't easy. On 13 you do a short shot just to the curve in the fairway. Then you shoot over the hill. Then you putt. On 14 I've had some luck shooting just up into the trees and then throwing overhand to get an uphill roll to the open area. If it works, I putt for par. BE ADVISED: This only works for me about every 3rd time; yesterday, my whippet rolled perfectly between the trees, into the open area, and then turned around and rolled about thirty feet back into the woods (as I yelled obscenities at it).

A pro player can high-hyzer both these pins for a shot at an ace or birdie. Although I've never seen it, I've heard of several people doing it on 13. I didn't think it could be done on 14 until I saw a guy do it about three months ago. He threw that disc high enough that it must have hit clouds. Then, it came down right smack in the middle of the open area. Of course, that was mid-winter. There are a lot more leaves in May, so I'm not sure he'd be able to do it now (after all, it's always possible someone slipped him some kryptonite over the last couple months).

16 is almost always in the long position (577 feet). It looks like it's going to be just a series of heaves. However, the trees on both sides are closer than you think and that tree in the fairway on the right means you aren't going to be able to just heave it down the right hand side. This is the only par 4 on the course and I have never gotten anywhere near par.

Cons:

1 (in the long position) - I think this is a solid pin which takes skill to play, but I've talked to people who did 1 in the long position and left to go play somewhere else (usually Warriors Path). The tough uphill shot combined with a climb that winds anyone older than thirty can be rough. I think this is the reason that the basket seems to be most often in the much easier forward position.

4 (the pit) - After you clear the rough and you are on the grass, there is a large drop off on the right hand side. If your disc goes in there, you have to decide whether it's worth the risk to try to climb down and get it. I left a DX Shark there yesterday which was on top of shrubs ten feet from the edge of the pit and the only "path" near it would have qualified for mountain climbing training. Given a choice between buying another $10 disc and possibly falling and breaking my neck, I left the disc where it was hanging.

Could use some signage. I play this course every week, so I can find everything, but there are a couple places where signs would be helpful: 6 to 7; 9 to 10 (the natural place to go seems to be 11).

Finding the course: A lot of people complain that they have trouble finding the course. There are signs as you drive up. Don't go to the ballfields; instead, follow the signs to the lake (Carroll Creek Road). The course is across the street from the parking lot for the boat ramp.

Other Thoughts:

I play this course almost every week. It's the most frustrating, enjoyable course I play. To give you a point of reference, I've been disc golfing for a little over 9 months now and most places I get a few more pars than I do bogeys. In contrast, at Winged Deer I'm shooting bogeys with a smattering of double bogeys (see notes above about 16) and a few pars. This is the one course I play regularly that I've yet to get a birdie on (missed one on 2 yesterday by the skin of my teeth).

A lot of people bypass this for Warriors Path. Winged Deer is a little tougher and a little more apropos for a more serious disc golf crowd. The way I'd describe it is that at Warriors Path you're playing to beat the person next to you while at Winged Deer you may have someone playing with you, but you're both playing to beat the course.
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4 0
mjs2055
Experience: 11 years 145 played 10 reviews
4.00 star(s)

mostly secluded 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 17, 2013 Played the course:once

Pros:

This course is away from most of the other activities at the park. It is in a wooded area but has some open holes that give it a nice variety. The rough was well traveled enough that I did not lose a disc. It is a fun course that requires a variety of shots which did not seem to favor lefty's or righty's. Navigation was not that difficult and there were plenty of benches and trash cans. The course was well maintained and no other park activities interfered with the course. They used the land they had available very well and incorporated as much elevation as possible.

Cons:

The pin placement did not always match where it said it was at the tee, which is not too big of a deal. This is not a gold level course however it poses enough challenge that both intermediate and advanced players will have fun. Met some crazy rednecks in the woods that were not even discing and I have no idea what they were doing there.

Other Thoughts:

A nice secluded park that offers a wide variety of shots. As with any course that is rated around a 3.5, you will have a fun round. I would definitely play here again due to the variety of open and wooded holes. If you are in the area you should come play it at least once and you will not be disappointed.
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7 0
aPfaff
Experience: 14.4 years 78 played 11 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Better than warriors Path 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 29, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

- Beautiful teesigns
- Little bars that indicated what pin it was in
- Grass was freshly mowed
- Hole #8 was just a brilliant hole (500 ft downhill)
- No litter
- Disc golf course secluded from other park amenities
- Some DGA Mach 3's that were pretty new.
- Concrete tees
- Nice elevation changes
- Difference of hole types (right, left, up, down, wooded, open)
- Benches at most or all holes I can't remember.
- Some of the areas were mulched
- Beautiful scenery (MTNS.)
- This is a biggie for me... diferent types of trees (Pines, Maples, etc.)

Cons:

-Tees were a bit small on some holes
- Holes 13 and 14 were kind of weird, but if you have an arm you can just launch it over the trees
- Warm up basket isn't the same type of basket as the course
- No bathroom on site.
- some of the rough was well Rough!

Other Thoughts:

It is a much better course IMO than Warriors Path. If I'm ever in the area I'd play Winged Deer again.
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4 1
porchmike
Experience: 21.1 years 34 played 19 reviews
3.50 star(s)

great course! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jun 25, 2012 Played the course:2-4 times

Pros:

It's obvious that this course has been around for a while- the places where a bad shot would normally go into the woods have obviously been well traveled and are relatively free of undergrowth, and i played in the most "growth-y" time of year(early summer in the southeast). Also, well-worn paths from baskets to next tees that were fairly obvious.

Of course, a REALLY bad shot will go into some bad rough, but how would that be different from any other woods-y course?
UPDATE: whoa was i wrong about the rough! there's crazy rough on many of the holes that will eat your disc on a bad shot. to the right on #4 is probably the worst- i can only imagine how many discs are in that crazy ditch!

great variety of shots, and the shorter holes were technical enough to not be giveaways.

#16 is a really challenging hole for a good RHBH drive: uphill, 570+ft, fairway sloping from R to L, made it feel like my anhyzer was broken, so I played this hole about 10 times before I was satisfied!

Nice benches on every hole next to the concrete teepads made finding the tees easy for this first timer, and many tee pads had trash cans.

nice signs with hole layouts/distances/location of next tee.

Grass had recently been mowed, and fairways were very nice.

The layout of the holes starts and ends you at the parking area, which is nice.

Cons:

#13 and #14(if i remember correctly) were dumb to me- way too many trees in the way for a drive, and the pines here are very thick so throwing blindly up and over the trees seemed like a good way to get a disc stuck way up in a tree in an undisclosed location.
UPDATE: there is a legit sky-hyzer shot for a RHBH on #14. i still think 13 is dumb.

I thought it was odd that a course this old even kept these two holes around, or didn't at least cut some trees down(I mean, it's not like we're dealing with pristine old-growth trees here)

the signs didn't indicate pin position, so on many of the holes I had to walk to see the pin- not really a big deal to me, and would be a really easy upgrade to the signs. Some color on the baskets would help with that as well.

there is a lot of trash in the woods on this course. not much in the open, but it's pretty ugly in the woods. with trash cans on almost every tee pad, there is no excuse for this.

Other Thoughts:

Not very far from mars hill(my favorite home course), winged deer is a great, challenging, and fun course that I will be visiting again soon!
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5 0
sloppydisc
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 15.2 years 201 played 147 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Little bit of everything 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Mar 29, 2012 Played the course:once

Pros:

Full 18 holes tucked into a mostly wooded park. Concrete tee pads and signs at every hole. Signs were pretty accurate, and showed the multiple basket positions. There was a peg system in place to indicate the proper basket position, but that had been vandalized on many holes.

Good variety of left, right and straight shots. Nothing repetitive or over done. There is also a good mix of tightly wooded holes, and some open spaces to throw through.

Mostly 200-300' wooded holes, but there was also a 577' and 443' thrown in to keep things fun for bigger arms.

Course was well kept. Trails were clear, benches were available, and there were no issues with other park users.

I played with a local so navigation was not an issue. But it seemed to be pretty intuitive. No long walks or crazy paths to follow.

There is a good use of the elevation here. Nothing extreme, but you do need to throw up hill and down hill on a few occasions.

Cons:

Not really too much to complain about. There are a couple blind shots that are very tough for the first time player. Without a guide I would have had to walk the whole fairway. Tough holes if you don't know them.

There are also some holes that appear to have no clear route, but after a brief explanation from my playing partner I understood. But they are not typical lines, or shots easy to figure out.

This course could probably use more length in spots. I really enjoyed it, but it doesn't offer the longer fairways requiring multiple good shots to score well.

Other Thoughts:

Most of this course is tight, wooded and technical. It is fun since you need to throw a lot of different angles and shots. But if you are clean off the tee you can rack up some birdies. There are multiple basket positions to help change the look from time to time.

Most of the course is under 300', but #16 is a 577' uphill monster that can really challenge your game. #15 has some length at 443', but it is mostly a typical straight golf shot. #12 looks like a SOB from the tee. When I played it was in the short position (229'). The fairway was a very tight tree lined route all the way to the basket. Fortunately for me there is also a thumber line over the trees, and I was able to drop my XXX right under the basket. Tricky hole since the basket was elevated about 15' up on a pole while being positioned on a small hill side. Some might call it gimicky, but it worked well on that short hole.

This is a nice course to play if you are in the area. The locals were friendly and helpful, and navigation shouldn't be too difficult for a first timer. I wouldn't drive a long ways out of my way to get here, but once you're here, it is a fun round. While there are no unique or top of the World shots here, there is a lot of fun disc golf holes.
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4 0
Hamlet
Experience: 2 played 2 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Good Course. Needs Better Maintenance 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 22, 2011 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

Very technical
Good hike for all 18 holes so good exercise
Enjoyable course--mostly short technical holes with 3-4 longer more open holes.
Multiple pin locations for variety.

Cons:

Poor/Unpredictiable Maintenance--sometimes the fairways are nicely cut and sometimes it looks like it may have been months.

Very easy to lose dics here.

On many holes there are multiple pin positions with no indication of where the pin is currently located. Needs pin indicators at all holes.

Hard to find next tee unless your with someone who knows the course.

No running water. No pro-shop.

Other Thoughts:

I really like this course and would have rated it a 3.5 or higher but the cons listed above (especially the poor Maintenance) can be very frustrating.

I like that on several holes there are interesting choices to make regarding taking high risk/high reward types of shots.
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3 0
Scazmatic
Experience: 13.7 years 12 played 11 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Tournament caliber course. 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 30, 2011 Played the course:once

Pros:

- Great variety in every aspect of course design. Changes in elevation, both open and wooded holes, left-hand and right-hand doglegs, and good mix of distances.

- Concrete tee pads in great condition, with signs indicating all possible pin placements, distances, and location of the next tee.

- Alternate pin locations on all but one hole, with some having as many as three options.

- Ample parking, practice basket, and friendly locals.

Cons:

- Navigation between holes is often difficult. While signs point to next tee, there is often a great distance to be covered from one hole to the next, including backtracking at times, which can lead to confusion.

- Rough is extremely unforgiving and finding an errant disc will be difficult on some holes. Copious amount of pine trees on course will also cause a lot of discs to hang up in the branches.

- No bathroom or water facilities, at least that I could find.

- Entrance to course is somewhat difficult to find, as access road to the course is separate from the rest of Winged Dear park and not necessarily intuitive to find without specific directions.

Other Thoughts:

My brother attends graduate school in Johnson City, so while visiting him I decided to give Winged Deer a try. Though there are at least five courses within a reasonable drive of the area, reviews I'd read suggested this might be a good place to start.

First of all, I had a bit of a hard time finding the actual course. Winged Deer Park sits right off the main highway and features the softball and soccer fields, walking path, etc. as well as park offices. However, other than being able to see Hole 12's basket, you can't access the disc golf course from this area. Rather, the access road to the course (Carroll Creek Road) is located immediately past the park to the west. Once you realize that, signage to the start of the course is very easy to follow.

I was able to join up with a group of locals just starting their second round, and always that was a big help in navigating the course for the first time. Though the tee signage is very good at giving hole information and even directions to the next tee, there is a lot of room between holes on the backside of the course and I definitely would have gotten lost at least once if I hadn't had a guide. Apparently the course was originally nine holes, with the additional holes added about three years ago around and among the last holes on the front nine, so the transitions back there are a little complicated.

The course itself was a blast to play. My skill level is somewhere between avid beginner and intermediate, and I felt like this course suited my wants and needs for a course perfectly. The front nine starts off in the woods with some tight technical holes with guarded baskets, then works it's way out into the open for a few holes before crossing into the woods on the other side of the park. There is ample opportunity to let big drives go as well as test your precision game. Both backhand and forehand shots are required, and distances are varied enough that it's neither overwhelming or boring. I was also a big fan of a couple holes that required an "up and over" shot type. Hole 13 specifically comes to mind. My local courses don't require drives above the treeline, so that was both an intimidating and entertaining addition to my round.

The course is by no means a cakewalk. It's definitely more of an expert course than it is a beginner, and I can imagine novice players being frustrated or overwhelmed by some of the holes. Hole 16, in particular, is a beast and will really test a shorter drive. But with that said, I think it was perfectly fair and very well designed. I understand there was a major tournament on site the weekend after I played, and that doesn't surprise me at all based on the quality of the facilities.

I should mention the rough, which is very unforgiving. The guys I played with commented about how much brush had been cleared since the last time they had played, but even with that there is still a lot of places where a drive out of the fairway is going to require a lot of hunting and digging to find the disc. There are also a lot of dense pine trees on course, and if possible you might want to have a spotter down range to track drives as it's very easy to get stuck in a tree and never be able to find your disc.

There's also a nice little bonus hole at the end of the course, as I was shown by my guides, throwing from the paved walkway about Hole 18's basket across an empty parking lot to the practice basket on the opposing hillside.

I didn't see a restroom or a water fountain, and given the heat we've been seeing this summer, I can't imagine playing here without bringing your own drinks. But as for other amenities, there were benches and trash cans at various spots, and I can't really complain about course conditions in general.

I had a blast playing at Winged Deer and would have loved to have played a second round if not for the stifling heat. The course is well designed and maintained and I will definitely be back the next time I'm in the area.
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1 2
bama9125
Experience: 16 played 9 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Challenged like winged foot golf 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 14, 2011 Played the course:once

Pros:

it has everything that PDGA would use for tourney. #1 hole go uphill big time. and rest of the course has variety of elevation! ll trees in play! and every tee area has nice sign layout and even tell u where the next tee would be.

Cons:

no bathroom!! and few hole in between has long gap! i dont mind the walking but if it has no layout as to tell where the next layut then it ll be hard to navigating. and hole 15th and 16th hole are brutal and both deserve par 4 and 5 respectevily.

Other Thoughts:

nice to play in summer bec lot of trees shades but need to put bug/mosquito spray on before play during summer. i went there when i visit my parent in law. i will go play there every time i visit. definity worth play!
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2 2
Prototype
Experience: 6 played 6 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Winged Deer Park 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:May 30, 2011 Played the course:5+ times

Pros:

This is a great wooded/open course. I really love the fact that you can use mid range discs alot on this course. Skilled shots are rewarded, but bad shots will punish your score. This course has an equal setup for back hand and forehand players. This is my home course.

Cons:

There is alot of trash always flowing out of the trash barrels. The rough is very bad in the late spring and summer. You will lose discs 3 feet off of the fairway if you arent careful. The course gets really backed up on the first 6 holes during a busy day.

Other Thoughts:

Less trash and better kept roughs would make this course 10x better. There are also some very ignorant trees left as obsticles. These arent nescessary because the holes are already challenging enough.
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8 2
DiscGolfCraig
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 19.7 years 579 played 531 reviews
3.50 star(s)

This Deer hasn't fully spread its wings 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:May 29, 2011 Played the course:once

Pros:

Winged Deer is a solid, well-rounded course. If courses were restaurants, it would be the all-you-can eat buffet with all the variety of hole layouts.
- Yes, Winged Deer has just about every type of hole you could imagine. Pulling into the parking lot, I can see that #1 is a wooded, uphill hole, so I'm expecting a lot of elevation throughout the course. Wrong. Nothing had the elevation like #1; although, other holes do have decent elevation, including #4 (downhill), #6 (uphill), #8 (downhill) & #17 (uphill). Course also offers layouts from wide open (#8) to semi-open (#11, 15 &16), tight (#2, 7, 10) to no fairway (#13 &14). Through in doglegs, straight shots, S-layouts, and you have everything except water holes.
- Course does use the terrain very well, presenting some challenging holes. #7 is a daunting tee with trees/thick rough on both sides of the s-shaped fairway. You keep the shot in play, and can be aggressive with your second shot. Hit the trees/rough, and you could waste several shots just to get back in the fairway. #16 has a right-to-left sloping fairway on the course's longest hole. If you can keep your shots in the fairway, once again, you can score well.
- Along those lines, course has tremendous risk/reward factor. Again using #7 as an example, a smart shot might be throwing Roc (or any mid-range) off the tee, sacrificing distance for accuracy. If you're feeling lucky, and throw driver on the hole, in the fairway will put you in great position. Hit the trees, and double bogey, or worse, is in play.
- Great course map online. There are some long walks between holes, blind tee shots, overall potential confusion, so you'll be thankful for it.
- Course is mostly isolated from the rest of the park. I didn't see any walking trails cross over, play through the course, so DGers have the space to themselves. You play near ball fields on #9 & 10, but barring a horrible shot on #10, they're not even in play.

Cons:

There was an overall sense of inconsistency throughout the course, which was more disappointing than frustrating. For every two or three great things the course offered, there would be some sort of issue.
- The first, and biggest, problem was the inconsistency in hole layouts. There was no sign or notice at the kiosk what layouts the holes were in. After playing the first several holes, I noticed they were all in the "A" position, so I assumed it'd be that way throughout the round. Nope. I then noticed some tee signs had a marker indicating which position the basket was in, so that was nice, except it appeared on less than a third of the holes. It gets frustrating to either A. walk a hole before playing to see its layout, B. play a generic, safe shot that will put you into an ok position for either layout, or C. hope it's in one layout, and hope you're not wrong.
- Holes #13 & 14 are terrible. Neither has a fairway, unless you count trees as a fairway. Now, if they were short holes (say 150 - 200 feet) where you could throw a big arching shot over the trees to the basket, that's one thing. But there really wasn't a place for that. They were just bad holes, that offered no fun, or anything at all.
- Several other holes just seemed to be fillers. The worst of these were the two most open holes #4 & 8. Both had trees around the tee, but once you cleared those, you were throwing into wide open fields. On #4, it was weird going from three wooded, mountain-esque holes to a polar opposite.
- The metal baskets are hard to see in the woods. As always, yellow baskets, or any other bright color is such a great thing when you're throwing in shadows.

Other Thoughts:

Winged Deer is a good course, but I felt like it should have been better. That's why the issues were so frustrating. If the holes were all in one pin position, or if every hole had an indicator, that would be huge. Also, there seemed to be plenty of room to replace, or change, the bad holes.
- I loved the variety the course offered. Depending on your taste, there will be some holes you'll really like here, and some that will frustrate you. Then there's #13 & 14, which I don't think anyone will like.
- The course offers plenty of challenge, but there are also some really good birdie chances here. At the end of the day, most DGers will probably think there are some holes they should have done much better with, and probably acknowledge they also got lucky on a hole or two. I think that's you're looking for in any course.
- #7 and #16 are probably the signature holes of the course. They're not necessarily the most fun, but these are the ones where you really need to step up to get a good score. You'll really need to earn a birdie on these two.
- This is a good course for eastern Tennessee. It's definitely a notch below Warriors Path, but still good nonetheless.
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