The Chick-fil-A Of Disc Golf Courses.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (2.846 Rating) A light to moderately wooded park style course with some good elevation movement.
- FUN FACTOR - I have a feeling that Dallas Island is going to be local utility favorite. There are ample opportunities for birdies. Errant throws are rarely further punished. The odds of losing a disc is near zero and for the most part, no searching in overgrowth areas. The course flows pretty smooth as well.
- RECREATIONAL FRIENDLY - This course is perfect for players learning the game and no doubt will produce some new disc golf addicts. At 5,000 feet, this course will definitely please recreational players offering just the right amount of length and mild technical challenge.
- CHARACTER - The basics are sufficient. Adequate Chainstar baskets and bumpy but passable turf tees. Word is that they are going to re-level the tees after the current grade below them settles. There are benches at every tee too. Dallas Island also has a bunch of typical park facility amenities. Shelters, restrooms, vending machines and even camping is available. Also a kids playground, which is how I talked my wife and daughter into making the trip here. Missing items include no multiple tees, no alternate basket placements and no practice basket.
- ELEVATION - Could have been awesome, but still really good. Hole (10) is a wonderful downhill right hooking shot. (15) is another nice down play where a Recreational player will feel like the Hulk when their mid range eclipses the 300 foot mark off the tee. From studying the topography maps, the elevation hits about 35 to 40 feet down on those two holes. I'd stay another 5 or 6 tee shots play up or down around 20 feet in grade.
- NAVIGATION - There are arrows tied below every basket which made this course a breeze to navigate. The only drawback being their flimsy nature, and a few likely won't make the end of the year. Fingers crosses that the park staff or a kind volunteer maintains them. Also note, hole signage does not indicate next tee direction and there was no posted course map on site as of April 2019. The course map link on DGCR appears to be accurate as of this review. Despite the moderate elevation, this course is very cart friendly.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - On an island between the Tennessee River and Dallas Bay. The backdrop views on this course are impressive and constant. The grounds are very well maintained and mowed. Holes (8) and (9) were my favorite in terms of beauty because they overlooked the steepest slope and they had the fewest man-made objects in view. In addition, hole (9) is punctuated with huge downed tree guarding the basket. Overall I scored the course roughly 65 percentile. Drawbacks being the numerous buildings and RVs in view. There's an eyesore on (14) with the basket adjacent to a chained link fence housing utility equipment. Finally, I personally don't find park style courses as beautiful as heavily wooded courses.
Cons: A solid Recreational course that should please a majority of the locals. My cons are either preferential issues or extreme ticky tack stuff.
- SPACING - About average. A couple fairways edges feel partially shared. Discs will occasionally end up in other fairways. Lots of fairways parallel walking paths, and during my round I waited 4 or 5 times to tee off. Overall a very minor issue.
- HOLE (6) - Walking up from a 100 feet away and seeing the tee on the bluff edge, my mind started playing Rocky montage music. "This is going to be awesome" I thought as I could start to tell the direction was down the steep slope and along the water. When I got to the tee there was no cut fairway down this epic landscape. I had to play the hole 180 degrees in a different direction. Total bummer.
- LACK OF CHALLENGE - This course is set up perfect for lower end Recreational players. I personally felt underwhelmed by the challenge as an Intermediate level player. Several Advanced players I know would be displeased by the challenges presented as well. Way too many light obstacle holes in the 200 to 300 foot range. Substantial shot planning and shot shaping is only a requirement on one or two moderately wooded holes. Throwing long isn't a requirement either. The longest par 3 is 363 feet and its way down hill. I could see a 950 rated Advanced player averaging 10 down or more out here. A second set of tees on a few holes where space is available should be considered.
Other Thoughts: Busy... A common misconception is that if a course is busy it must then be a great course. McDonald's is busy, Subway is busy, Wal-Mart is busy. Courses, and places in general, that are busy are often so out of convenience and ease of use. Not because they are a can't miss. If I were to give Dallas Island a 5, it would be a slap in the face to numerous amazing courses in Tennessee that I've played, such as Harmon Hills, Cedar Hill, Panther Creek and Bud Hill. Dallas Island is the Chick-fil-A of disc golf courses, not a Ruth Chris. This is not the place you send an out of towner traveling to the area to experience the best the area has to offer. I have a feeling that a lot of players in the Nashville, Atlanta and Huntsville areas have recently put this course on their wishlist, as the course is getting a glowing review start on several apps and websites. I finished my round up with 5 other players, (four from Dalton GA and one from Hixson TN) and I was sure to ask them their thoughts as we finished up the last six holes. Their answers to the best course in town? The Sinks, Sinks, Sinks, Sinks, Sinks. A couple even said their second favorite was Camp Jordan when dry. Again, nice course with great utility and perfect for local leagues. IMO, not a regional destination course like the Sinks. Reminded me of courses like Winchester City Park and Woodland Park in Tennessee.
- TIME PLAY - This is already a popular local course, so despite the short length and easy navigation, foursomes are still going to average close to two hours.
- UNIQUENESS - About average for an 18 hole course. As stated above, this is a park style course with a mix of lightly wooded to moderately wooded holes. Only a couple holes have a modest technical aspect to them. There are a couple nice blind basket plays on (9) and (10). As noted in the pros, a good mix of elevation. Despite seeing a lot of water, it never comes into play. There are two short par 4's on the layout that the big armed Advanced players could deuce.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
The course Chattanooga needed
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Top notch course for the amount of land provided by the county.
A course close to Chattanooga that has elevation.
Good variation of shots required throughout.
Mature trees throughout which will provide a good amount of shade in the summer.
Cons: Super busy usually (although that isn't technically a bad thing)
It will have to be pulled out for roughly three weeks every year due to the Hamilton County using the grounds for the County Fair.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Here a tree, there a tree ...
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: During my first drive to the Dallas Island disc golf course, my lingering question was regarding the area's topography. So I viewed Google Maps to confirm that, yes - Dallas Island is an island.
The course resides on what use to be called Dallas Hill; a spot that marked the county seat until 1840. Now that hill is home for recreational camping and a fine addition to the Greater Chattanooga disc golf scene.
The turf tees are a nice feature on the course. The turf seems to have good traction, though the teepads are already showing some wear, resulting in some uneven spots. (Edit: One of the designers shared with me that the teepads will receive maintenance and be refilled on a twice-yearly basis.)
The "traversability" of the course is excellent. Most of the fairways feature grass - though, in the fall, expect some heavy leaf coverings in spots. For the few holes that border a heavier wooded area, retrieving errant discs shouldn't be difficult. In the summertime, frequent mowing will be important.
Regarding course difficulty, intermediate players and above will likely generate a bunch of birdies. Half of the holes are 255 feet or less without too many obstacles. The two longest holes - the gradual uphill Hole #9 at 393 feet and Hole #12 at 525 feet are indicated as par-4s.
The course design is typical of a park-style course. The holes have loosely defined fairways - here's a tree, there's a tree - and scrambling after wayward drives shouldn't be too challenging. Several holes bring some notable elevation into play - Hole #10 features a sharp dogleg right and downhill turn while hole #15 offers an air-it-out downhill drive.
Navigation is fairly straight-forward in finding the next teepad. Each basket has a small arrow pointing to the next teepad. The new teepad signs are attractive and excellent - colorful with useful information. A solo player can complete a round in less than an hour.
Due to nearby camping areas and sidewalks, be on the lookout for other park-users on several of the holes.
Cons: With the course being in a slightly compact area, including large numbers on top of the baskets would aid first-time navigators. Also, a large course map at the first hole or parking lot would be a nice addition. (Edit: One of the designers shared with me that an information kiosk with course layout and rules should be installed by the end of 2019.)
Regarding obstacles, wind can be a factor. While the surrounding Chickamauga Lake doesn't feature on any holes, there are several OB sidewalks that serve as boundaries. Also, a few of the holes have mandos. Fortunately, the mandos are for safety measures regarding walkways and adjacent fairways and not to arbitrarily force certain shots.
The designers did a good job utilizing the space available and seeking to provide a variety of holes. However, the course design feels slightly redundant. Without clearly-defined fairways, the holes can blend together and there's no clear signature hole on the course.
Dallas Island is a bit off the beaten path. While the course is a welcomed addition to the North Chattanooga area, the nearest disc golf course is 20-plus minutes away and is a half hour from the closest Interstate 75 exits. The neighboring lake serves as an inconvenient boundary and limits favorable routes to the park. Of course, the distance and location might lessen the crowds after the initial spike in attendance following the course opening.
Other Thoughts: Since the Dallas Island DGC is part of Chester Frost Park, a county facility, the area offers a pleasant ambiance. Alcohol and drugs are prohibited and camp rangers patrol the area. Plus, the scenic views from the course outskirts are fantastic.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Really fun park style course for everyone.
14 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Well maintained park and campground with beautiful views
- Turf tee pads
- Plenty of elevation
- Good mix of long and short holes throughout the design
- Good mix of anhyzers, hyzers, and straight shots (I didn't keep track of the balance as I did not notice an imbalance)
- Adequate temporary signage
- Nice bathrooms in the campground.
Cons: The only con I could find with this course is the water never comes into play.
Other Thoughts: Great addition to the Chattanooga area that desperately needs more courses. Not a championship course, but is challenging and maintains the fun factor for beginners and families. Perfect course to take a newer player and get them hooked on disc golf. I predict this course will stay very busy.
I played it in the off and on rain, and still look forward to returning for another round!
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Total Slam dunk
5 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: - Enough forest to add challenge but not frustration
- Good infrastructure for course in the park. i.e parking, paths, mowed grass, roads, rangers
- Great views of water and nice breeze
Cons: - Busy because it's a good course
- 1 dinker hole (you'll know the one)
Other Thoughts: Course is great especially considering they didn't lop down sweet mother nature to make it. They left in some old growth fallen logs, so you can tell they understand the film fern gully.
Course designer kept giving everyone finger guns like non-stop and asking if we had a "tea time". He had a mug of yerba matte, so that was the joke but the finger guns combined with his tiny black spectacles were very intimidating. Eventually apathetic golfers behind us would answer him with a nervous laugh while he finger gunned them relentlessly and left his matte on every hole.
5 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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