Rock (Yeah) Ing (Yeah) Ham (Yeah) Disc (Yeah) Golf (Yeah)
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hinson Lake is a great new course in the Sandhills of North Carolina. With a lake as your backdrop, it's also one of state's most scenic courses east of the mountains!
- This is one of the best short-length courses I've played. 12 of 18 holes are 250 feet or less, with three more ranging from 259 - 267. Overall, the average hole length is 248 feet; take away #13 (518 feet) and the other 17 holes only average 233 feet.
- Don't let the shorter length fool you. With lots of hills- as in sandHILLS - you're throwing uphill or down on a majority of course. #5 for example, is an uphill 249-foot layout. With the elevation factor, it's closer to the 300-foot range.
- Plenty of obstacles, doglegs, obstructed views mean the course isn't a cakewalk. For a short course, there's a high risk/reward factor. Once spring & summer are here, and there are leaves on trees, underbrush is thicker, some fairways are going to play much tougher and missing fairways will really be a penalty. Shoot, I bogeyed #2 (all of 210 feet) because I got a nasty kick off a tree and end up deep in the rough.
- Course gets much better as it progresses. The worst hole is #1 simply because it's a slight dogleg, 130-foot hole. You just can't have a 130-foot hole here.
- #13 is the course's apex. It's not only the highest point on the course, it's also the signature hole. A 518-foot, open, downhill bomber hole. It's a perfect change of pace. On a side note, I checked out the satellite image of the park wondering why this is the only open layout. Looking at the map, this is the only plot of open land in the entire park. And they used it perfection!! Great job!!
- #11 & 12 is a great back-to-back sequence. (And yes, I know with #13 it's a greater 3-hole sequence) #11 is a level, slightly uphill shot across a slight valley. It's only 205 feet, so be aggressive and get your birdie. From the tee, you think the basket should be further up the hill. That hill ends up being the path to #12's tee, which up to that point was my favorite hole on the course. It's a 259-foot downhill hole that offers a couple of routes towards the basket. From the tee, I felt I should be able to park a disc. After hitting different trees with 4 discs I realized it's either a little harder than I imagined, or I'm just not that good.
- Easy to navigate course. Tee signs are fine. Good next tee signs, especially on the long walks. Other than that, easy to follow paths leading from hole to hole.
- Great scenery. If you park by the lodge, you're next to the lake, with a great walk over a bridge and next to and around said lake. The first sign of a disc golf course you'll see is the basket for #18. Head left on the path and start your round.
Cons: Signage from parking lot to first hole could be better. The only indication there's a course is the park map at the kiosk. The course is a part of the entire park's map, so it's easy to ignore.
- Biggest negative is hole #1. As the course got progressively better, this hole stood out more and more as a sore thumb. It's just so bad relative to the rest of the course. I understand wanting to start easy, but this is a step too far.
- There's a smell to the course. I don't know if it's from one of the businesses or if the lake has a swampy part to it. But it was there in different parts of the park.
- The course, at times, seems to be playing on or across walking trails. I felt I was still on one of the trails and suddenly it becomes a tee pad and fairway. Just be aware of walkers in a couple of spots. #17 is one of the biggest culprits.
- I didn't see a single trash can on the course. Don't recall any benches either. In the parking lot, I couldn't tell if the lodge was open, or if it had regular hours. I came here from the east, so there wasn't much along the way. Coming the other direction, you're 5 minutes from downtown and have plenty of food, drink, and restroom options.
- A work-in-progress issue. There's a little more clearing and cleanup needed in a couple spots. Probably a short-term issue.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed Hinson Lake. I can't emphasize that enough. In terms of shorter courses, this is one of the best ones I've played. There are some fun ones in the Carolinas (Kentwood in Raleigh, Wellspring in Burlington, Horizons Park in Winston-Salem, Elon Eager Beaver in Charlotte, Timmons in Greenville, SC, and Trails in Anderson, SC) and Hinson is in that same class.
- For a shorter course, I can see a larger-than-normal scoring variance. I hit too many trees & branches that limited my birdie chances and I still ended up with a decent, under par round. I could easily see my score varying by 8 - 10 strokes between a great round and a bad one.
- This course reminded me of scaled down versions of Fox Chase (Albemarle) and Rock Ridge (Pittsboro). You've got the same terrain, at a course that's 2/3 the length of those courses.
- After some tighter and frustrating holes, it is nice getting to unleash a drive on #13. It was only one of two holes I pulled out a driver - #10, uphill 349-foot layout being the other. The tall grass rough wasn't an issue in February but come summer, good luck finding your tee shot in waste high grass.
- #18 is a great scenic closing hole. Having the lake as a backdrop is a great closing note. Now, if you park in the secondary parking lot, this ends up being your first hole.
- I did notice lots of unused land. It wouldn't take much to either lengthen or replace some existing holes and suddenly you have a 6,500 foot elite level course.
- If the course maintains this level of upkeep, it's going to stay a hidden gem. If you're coming from out of the area, you'll need to combine this with other nearby courses to make it worthwhile. Or, if you're like many in the state, you're on 74 as you're heading to the beach. Make it a priority to stop here and play.
- Being objective, I'm giving this a 3.0 rating, and that might even be generous. In terms of fun-factor and scenery, the course rates much higher. I feel this course will test you while being more of a challenge than your typical short-length course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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