I rate courses subjectively based on my personal preferences and enjoyment. My rating reflects, "How much did I enjoy the course?" In other words, "how high is the Euphoria Factor for me and how much would I like to return to play there again?" In my rating I'll try to take into account the player level that the course is intended for, but this often quite hard to do. For courses below my player level I'll give them some grace, and for courses above my level I expect them to be tough for me. I can't really guess how a Gold level player might like a course, though, and I'm not at all certain about Green level players either. I try not to take my own play into account, but I have to admit that I'm I don't enjoy courses that are too short for me. I get bored if the course is too easy, but a beginner, low power thrower or a kid might love it. I generally most enjoy courses that are White or Blue level, but I don't mind getting punished by a good Gold level course.
I do not seek to rate the quality of the course, as if there is some sort of objective quality standard. Since I've only played ~990 out of over 13,000 courses, I haven't even played 10% of all the courses in the world. I also haven't played many of the courses that are highly acclaimed, so if I was attempting to rate quality my standards might be uninformed. In addition, everyone has their own preferences so what I like may not really appeal to another person. I love water holes the most, yet some people dislike them. I prefer hole with scattered trees and wooded holes, yet some people like more open holes.
Having said all that, I will acknowledge that there is hopefully some correlation between what I enjoy and quality. I analyze the courses I play for many characteristics of Design, Basics, and Amenities. I enjoy courses the most when the factors in each of the D-B-A categories rate highly. On the flip side, if too many factors are missing I enjoy the course less because it seems like something is missing. Of course, my preferences still differ from other people, so my rating of each factor is still subjective. Also, many factors such as beauty and terrain quality are somewhat subjective.
• Variety. This includes variety of terrain, elevation, and fairway shapes. like a mixture of tight wooded and mixed holes.
• Fun- at least 3-6 exceptionally fun holes
• Water. I love well designed water holes! These are holes that aren't too long to clear the water, that add risk vs. reward, and have bail out options. Water holes boost a course's rating, so to get my highest enjoyment rating a course usually has some.
• Natural Beauty. I love being out in nature totally away from civilization. The best courses create a sense of awe, and spectacular views are a plus. Wildlife sightings increase my enjoyment. There may also be some man made landscaping features added purely for the aesthetic value. For me, structures like buildings or roads detract from my enjoyment of the natural setting.
• For terrain I really like manicured grass with scattered large trees, but I also like wooded holes that offer a good challenge.
• Unique terrain. I enjoy terrain that is beautiful, unusual, and unique to an area. The mountains of Colorado, the huge ferns and pines of Washington, the ocean of Hawaii are examples.
• Fairways- well cut and good shape variety- St/ Rt/ Left/ S sharp/ L bend. Many different shots needed. Good risk vs. reward. Many holes require careful thought and good shot selection.
• Terrain- I usually don't like open field holes without obstacles. In the same way, I don't like greens that are flat and too open and offer little challenge.
• To get my highest rating the course must have multiple tees because these add variety and allow people with different skill levels to enjoy the course. Even more credit is given for multiple basket positions. The highest ratings of all are for those few courses have multiple tee pads AND multiple permanent baskets because these courses have the maximum of variety.
• I give extra credit for 6 or 9 extra holes because of the variety that they add, and I rate 9 hole courses a little lower because I feel like I didn't play a full round.
To earn my highest rating
• Difficulty- challenging for the course level it's designed for.
• Design- Several stellar holes that give you a sense of awe.
• No design flaws: e.g.- no crossing fairways, no bad routing walking back up a fairway to the next tee, no excessive walks to the next tee. No safety issues
• Fairways have a legitimate route. There are no random obstructions. Narrow is OK, but not "too narrow".
• Terrain- variety of technical wooded holes, some mixed grass with a few trees, a few pretty open "rip it" holes. Unique features- rocks, trees, water, vegetation, desert
• Elevation changes- lots of variety. The ideal is all Up or Down, but no more than 6 Flat. Big changes are a plus.
• Good length variety- a few short ace runs, with some longer par 4s and par 5s.
• Lengths are suitable for the course playing level it's designed for
• Tees- excellent. Trapezoids are the best. Concrete preferred but allowance made for good rubber pads.
• Multiple tee pads. 3 is best
• Tee signs- very good to excellent
• Baskets- in good shape. I prefer Mach V or Chainstar, but double chain DISCatchers also fine
• Greens- challenging, trees guarding basket, some sloped, proximity to steep drop offs, lots of risk vs. reward.
• Map of the course- on many courses a map is essential, so needs to be available either at the course or online
• Easy to navigate. Good directional signs, can find next tee easily. Good to excellent map available.
• Potential for lost discs is low. (Unless there's lots of water; then this is an acceptable risk.)
Nice to have, but not essential
• Score cards- best if available at the course, but online is OK
• Other amenities: benches, warm up basket, message board, restrooms
• Beauty of the surrounding area- has nice natural beauty
• Trash cans- the course is clean
• Extra touches- bag holders, basket location markers
Overall for the whole course
Euphoria factor is high and stays high. Good memories that leave a deep impression. You'd spend hours to drive there and go out of the way to play it again any time you could.
-Every course took vision, money, and labor to install, so I try to be as charitable as possible in my reviews.
Practice Areas I have played that DO NOT count on my Courses Played list (9 total):
• Carmel Knolls Park, San Diego CA. 1 basket
• Broad Creek Middle School, Newport NC. 9 baskets
• Hawley Middle School, Creedmoor NC. 6 baskets
• The Island, Marshall NC. 3 baskets
• Kenan Park, Kenansville NC. 9 baskets
• Red Slide Park, Haw River, NC. 3 tees and 3 baskets
• Sheetz. Durham, NC. 1 basket
• Belleview Elementary, Rock Hill SC. 1 basket
• Charlotte-Fort Mill KOA, Fort Mill SC. 1 basket
No preference, I work at SPCC so I call it SPCC most of the time...A co-worker and I are the original designers and builders. He had never played disc golf, and he had no idea what he was getting into. My dream was always to get the longs to par 70, and with the help of so many (Stan, Dickie, Brad, Skeet) I have finally gotten it there over these last 3 years or so. The new building on our campus was the main driver, I lost original 1, 2, 17 and 18. I feel like the course is better than it ever was.
Currently, Stan and I are working on some new red tees and basket locations to help their speed of play. I plan on moving some old unused pads here within the week or so for both the red and yellow layout, that then leaves about 4 pads to be poured. That may have to wait until spring.
Very close. I see you played a Scorpion event this June, huh? I was down in Charlotte this July and played in a league at Eager Beaver, got a chance to sit and chat with the TD Devin for a while. Cool guy. We actually stayed in an Airbnb right outside of Elon Park. The backyard backed up to the park. What a great place to visit and play golf. We hit up about a dozen of your courses down there.
I spent some time playing in N and S Carolina and a few in Florida. I’m still slowing ticking them off in Michigan, but 2 years of plantar fasciitis has made that a very slow process, and new courses are going in like crazy. Hoping to play a couple in New Hampshire in November.
Counting down the days to ski season, of course. ��
That is a great course. I’m glad to know someone who has hit every course in the state would is aligned with my opinion. Anything I have played in VA was one and done on road trips, so deep familiarity isn’t something I have in the region. That terrain is ideal, and the Disneyland squirrels eating airline almonds out of our hands was a fun greeting. It really is my favorite style of course with the woods, elevation and versatility. It’s in my top 20 east coast for sure, probably top 10 even. It’s hard to rank when I only get 1 crack at most of the courses I travel to, but Waller Mill is a stand out. Thanks for the feedback. My lady and I both have family in VA Beach. If we get back that way maybe we can get a round in. Hit me up if you ever check out the KC disc scene.
Lucky! I will be in Molokai this summer, where we have created a course on the old ball golf course where they had states in early 2000. I'd love to get back to Kauai and Maui. Glad you're still bagging courses in HI.
Hola, Olorin - Thank you kindly for the request. You have the somewhat dubious honor of being the first person on this forum to request my friendship. Either you have the most discerning taste of all, or you're missing some facet of my personality that makes everyone else throw up the Cross and Garlic when they see my fearsome name...
Let's golf sometime!
Olorin, Thank you for reaching out. We exchanged messages last year about Silver Beach on the Eastern Shore. I actually called them this morning to see if I could get on this week, and they said no, only for summer camp. They actually admitted the course was a mess, and needed some work. I replied back "yes that's what I've heard", that was after I got the no, lol.
That’s by Jeff Ash. He calls his dyes, Brainwave. He does customs and is a really cool dude.
My avatar is a Prodigy thumbnail. I bought 19 from them last September but couldn’t get that one! (Just sold the last one of mine except for my F7 thrower)