Brahan Spring Park
Huntsville, AL 

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The Birth Grounds Of Disc Golf In Alabama
Rating:
Review By: wellsbranch250
Played: 200  Reviewed: 160  Exp: 3 Years
5+ 12/6/2017 12/7/2017
9 Helpful / 0 Not

Pros: (2.719 Rating) A historic pine tree filled layout that's fun to play.
- HISTORY - According to the PDGA, this is one the first courses built in the world, somewhere between 3rd and 5th. A Steady Ed and Tom Monroe creation back in 1976. This notice by itself, makes Brahan Springs a destination course.
- FUN FACTOR - The perfect place to bring three friends and a six-pack. There are ample opportunities for birdies. Errant throws are not further punished even though there are lots of pines to weave around. The odds of losing a disc is near zero and for the most part, just about no areas where you'll have to search in the overgrowth. On my first 2 rounds here I showed up solo but ended up finishing in a group. It's just a fun place to throw a laid back round.
- ACEABILITY - No aces for me yet but there are lots of opportunities to run at the chains. Most of the holes play between 200 and 300 feet and have a clear line to the basket. The windows to the basket are tight on many holes but there's always a path. Skip plays are a very real possibly and its often the best way to run at the chains.
- CHAINS - Brand new MachVs
- CHARACTER - Above average. To start, adequately sized concrete tees. All the tees are shaded and wind protected except for (1) and (2). Benches are at 80 percent of the tees. Community board with course info and a course map. Practice basket and a shelter with a couple tables. The only substantial drawback is the hole signage and navigation, (see cons navigation.) There are also no extra tees or basket placements.
- SHOT SHAPING - Although the holes are on the shorter side, players will still need to put some thought into just about every shot. Lots of flight path planning is needed. Several holes have multiple lines to the basket.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - This course draws a wide swath of skill leveled players. You'll see advanced players out here working on their short game lines but also beginners as well.
- QUICK PLAY - I've run all 18 hole solo in 40 minutes. Groups of 4 will generally take about an hour and a half.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - About average. The 50 to 60 year old pines that occupy 90% of this layout looks really nice on first arrival. However, after you run 5 or 6 holes of what seems like the same backdrop, you'll realize that the course has a real monotonous feel to it.

Cons: Not too many issues of substance with Brahan Springs Park. The biggest minor drawbacks are navigation and also the uniqueness of the last 16 holes.
- NAVIGATION - This is not the easiest course to navigate on first or even second attempt. I was fortunate to join a group on hole (4), otherwise I would have been walking around aimlessly several times. There are a few directional cues in the trees, but there are not enough on several holes that have walks over 100 feet. (5) to (6) is probably the biggest offender. I have already had a few occurrences where a first timer has asked me for directions to the next hole.
- HOLE SIGNAGE - Subpar. Currently the signage is only the hole number and a couple of these signs are falling apart. This course really needs an update to stay on pace with the other area courses.
- UNIQUENESS - For an almost fully wooded course, one of the lowest courses I've scored in terms of variety. Holes (1) and (2) are both wide open shots and then the last 16 wooded holes all have a similar feel. These 16 holes all weave through a tall ageing pine canopy. Sure the lines will cut left and right, but the surrounding elements are always the same. The lanes are moderately defined. Pockets to skip into are either loosely defined or non-existent. There are no water elements to contend with other than maybe the ditch along holes (3), (11) and (12). No par 4s or 5s, no doglegs or overhead plays.
- ELEVATION - Very little out here. Maybe 3 or 4 holes dive or climb by around 10 feet. Mastin Lake is the only area course with a bunch of good elevation changes.
- AVERAGE CHALLENGE - The difficultly out here is just south of average. As an intermediate player with about a 900 rating, I've been averaging about 4 down out here. Advanced players i've met seem to typically shoot 6 to 8 down or more.

Other Thoughts: My 100th review of 2017 and now my current home course. This course is great for beginners through intermediate level players. Some advanced players will enjoy it too, as the lines require just enough thought to not make it a bore fest. Perfect for big groups with wide skill differences and for those looking to shoot a laid back round. All stated, the biggest reason to check out Brahan Springs is the History. There are no older courses anywhere outside of California.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
History teebook
Rating:
Review By: wericsson
Played: 37  Reviewed: 18  Exp: 4 Years
5+ 6/2/2017 8/1/2017
3 Helpful / 0 Not

Pros: Pretty much obligatory course to play if in town. Older than the dirt at a lot of courses - an old Headrick/Monroe course. New Mach X baskets have replaced the old stuff, which is a plus unless you're looking for a dose of history there too. Shade everywhere, and a decent mix of fairway shapes. Very beginner-friendly. Lots of traffic.

Cons: Flat. Very nearly dead level everywhere. Aside from the first two holes, everything shares the same basic theme of threading the not-too-dense pines. No real risk-reward, just reward or upshot. Tee signs are numbers only, and seem to occasionally wander off (!?). Basket numbers are a pain to read from afar - we don't all have perfect eyes. Lots of traffic.

Other Thoughts: Layout is a touch confusing at times, but not worse than middle of the road. Also, someone will almost certainly point you the right way if you goof up - there's always a crowd. Drake Springs is right across the road.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A little bit of history
Rating:
Review By: 93EXCivic
Played: 12  Reviewed: 4  Exp: 0 Years
5+ 5/1/2017 5/5/2017
2 Helpful / 0 Not

Pros: A good course for beginners and experience players alike.
A little bit of history being a Steady Ed course.
There is a decent variety of holes (two longer open holes, the rest wooded requiring a variety of lines).
Plenty of ace chances.
New Mach X baskets (I believe I'll double check next time I am there) and nice concrete tee pads.
Easy to navigate.
You are very unlikely to lose discs (only place I can think of is the big puddle of water in the ditch to the right of pin 2).

Cons: It is probably the busiest of the Huntsville courses as it appeals to all skill levels and does not take long to play through (I often go a play a round a lunch without it taking too long).
Not the longest or most challenging course you will ever play

Other Thoughts: It is a fun course with nice baskets, tee pads and marking. I have found most people enjoy it whether they are just starting playing or have been playing forever. Plus it is a throw back to a different time in disc golf (honestly if it wasn't for that I don't think it would have the rating it does but just for that I think it is well worth a play if you are in Huntsville).

If you want to make it more challenging see if a local can show you the Brahanzilla tee pads (if they are marked at the time).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Toughest Steady Ed course I've played to date!
Rating:
Review By: GMcAtee
Played: 410  Reviewed: 56  Exp: 8 Years
5+ 7/8/2016 8/14/2016
3 Helpful / 0 Not

Pros: Great beginner course that plays through mature pine trees. Many different lines and shot shaping needed here. Plenty of shade in the hot Alabama summers. Brand new baskets! Good concrete teepads. Tons of ace runs and even two holes for the long bombers. Can be played quickly and is not strenuous due to the flat terrain.

Cons: Tee signage - It's movable and doesn't give you the distances or a layout of the hole.

Can be very busy. Especially for league night on Wednesdays. Seventy to 90 players are currently showing up for leagues.

Other Thoughts: This course can challenge all skill levels. It's very easy to shoot 10 or more under par on a good day when you're hitting your lines or shoot a 10 over par when you're smacking trees just missing your lines! The pressure for advanced players to get those birdies is immense.

I say it's the toughest Steady Ed course I've played to date due to the others being almost void of trees. These tall pines at Brahan Spring have just kept growing. It gives today's players an idea of what disc golf was like in the late 70s/ early 80s. Maybe they will try throwing a lid here instead?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 A Walk in the Forest
Rating:
Review By: DiscJunkie
Played: 39  Reviewed: 27  Exp: 9 Years
1 8/21/2015 8/22/2015
2 Helpful / 0 Not

Pros: Signage, I found the tee signs helpful in navigating the trees to the hole. Very informative and accurate.
Amenities, located in a larger park so a bathroom was nearby and parking was more than adequate. Benches on most holes and frequent trash cans.
Variety, uphill, downhill, righty, lefty, straight, two open holes.
Challenge, you'd better be able to hit a line, or your experience may not be enjoyable. Lots of tight lines and early trees right off the tee pad. Frankly, if you are a beginner or if you cannot hit a line, you may want to find another course.
Navigation, I found the navigation better than most. There are next tee directional signs on just about every hole and the players have worn out a path to the next tee. Just follow the path.
Not crowded, but not deserted.
Upkeep, very well maintained when I was there, 8/21/15. Obviously, some TLC from the local club.
Oldest existing course still in use, accroding to the sign on the kiosk, but I believe the layout has changed somewhat since Steady Ed was there.
Friendly locals.
Baskets, both a Pro and a Con. I like that the same baskets are on all holes and they are still in good shape, but they are old and smaill-ish. None of my missed putts were the fault of the basket, they caught adequately well.

Cons: Not many, but a few.
At least two tees were missing those nice tee signs talked about above.
Frankly, some of the lines to the basket just seemed like "poke and hope" I'm not saying the lines weren't there, but I could not see how any LHBH was gonna reach them.
Length on some holes were fairly short, but that is probably due to the age of the course.

Other Thoughts: Loved the course, OB was generous, design was interesting and challenging.
The whole course is in a grove of trees and quite beautiful.
Didn't really match up to a modern course, but fun in its own right.
2 and a half stars for the quality of the course, 1 star for hisory and fun.
3 and a half stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
  Great mid course
Rating:
Review By: colkiewicz
Played: 4  Reviewed: 1  Exp: 3 Years
1 2/5/2015 2/7/2015
1 Helpful / 2 Not

Pros: 1.Concrete Tee Pads.
2.Hole layout sign at each Tee pad.
3. Well maintained.

Cons: 1.Can be hard to navigate.
2.Trees and lots of them.

Other Thoughts: I had a blast playing this course the other day. It was my first time there and I was quiet impressed. I live about 1.5 miles from the Indian Creek course so I play there all the time. However, I was in the area and decided to play this course with a co- worker. I enjoyed how the course has manageable distances between the tee box and the baskets. This is now my number 2 course in Huntsville.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Nice for a quick round! Accuracy over Distance
Rating:
Review By: davetherocketguy
Played: 68  Reviewed: 59  Exp: 13 Years
2-4 4/15/2016 4/22/2013
This review was updated on 4/15/2016
5 Helpful / 0 Not

Pros: - Older baskets but in good shape.
- Appropriately sized concrete pads with the perfect amount of roughness for grip. Seriously, you do NOT need a 20' run-up for these holes - mmmkay?
- Not a lot of signage for "next tee" but the course flows well enough and is small enough where this is not an issue.
- I really like how 9 and 18 end near the parking lot which makes just playing a quick 9 a real possibility.
- Many of the holes have multiple paths to the basket making shot selection easy for both LH and RH players alike.
- The lack of any sort of shule makes it easy to recover from errant throws.

Cons: - The design of the course is a little repetitious and other than #1 and #2 there really is no place to grip it and rip it.
- This course is almost too easy. Anyone above an Am2 should be scoring well below 54. #18 for example is just a 198' spike hyzer to an easy peasy deuce.
- #16 has a missing tee sign.
- For some reason the walk from #6 to #7 is confusing as all get out.
- Baskets are really starting to show their age. As I understand it, some of the locals stated that they are in the process of installing new ones. They could really improve this layout by installing some extra sleeves and having alternate pin positions.
- This plot of land is really flat.

Other Thoughts: I would love a course like this near me. This is an easy but challenging enough course to be interesting which favors accuracy over distance. I honestly believe that players at all levels (except for maybe Am2s and above) would have a good time here so that makes this a fantastic course to introduce newbs to the sport.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
 Oldie but a goodie
Rating:
Review By: BamaSlamaJim
Played: 65  Reviewed: 14  Exp: 9 Years
1 7/31/2012 7/31/2012
1 Helpful / 2 Not

Pros: It's fun to play here to see how the game has changed over the years. The course is fair and fun with very cool, pretty tall pine trees. You won't lose any discs here and it's fun for the whole family.

To keep it real, I play this course with two cyclones and an aviar and wear really tight short shorts. (Sorry about the visual)

Cons: Normally, I'd say that the short length of the course is a con, but in this case I think it's great to be able to play an old school layout.

I really don't have any major complaints.

Other Thoughts: If you're in the area, I recommend stopping by for a quick, fun round.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 HOLY GINORMOUS PINE TREES
Rating:
Review By: DiscKey
Played: 78  Reviewed: 5  Exp: 8 Years
1 5/27/2012 6/17/2012
1 Helpful / 0 Not

Pros: This course is great for all levels of play! Chance of losing a disc for beginners is almost zero. The course plays through giant pines that outlines the lines you need to through on a lot of the holes. One set of boxes when we played it, but we also played from some locations that I believe are future "pro" tees that will add to the length. We were in town for a tournament and plate this course once, but we also went by for a practice round the day before and again after the tournament and there were always people of all ages throwing plastic! It was a great experience to play one of the oldest disc golf courses around! Not to mention my friend aced the hardest hole there I the tourney! BOOM! This course will need you to be able to throw a variety of shots/discs...... Look for different lines high/low, hyzer/Anhyzyer, thumbers/overhand..... They are all there!!!

Cons: The only con really was the length. It was relatively short, but with the new tee locations we played, it will lengthen! Also, with the various routes you can take, this course can play as long or short as you want it to.

Other Thoughts: Great course! Minutes from Redstone! PLAY BOTH!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
  
Rating:
Review By: Mike7807
Played: 8  Reviewed: 1  Exp: 7 Years
5+ 5/8/2012 5/8/2012
1 Helpful / 3 Not

Pros: A very easy going course that can give you a great round if you hit the all gaps. A few ace runs makes this course fun for experienced players and beginners.

Cons: If you have problems hitting gaps, it can be a beast.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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