A Hidden Gem in the Middle of Nowhere
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I'm a sucker for a course that is so much better than I expected. Typically this happens with small town, out-of-the-way, less reviewed courses. This is Halifax DGC.
- This is a mostly very good course. Lots of variety. Great flow. Creative layouts. Fun layouts. Tough layouts. Little to fault.
- You want wooded layouts? you have two stretches of wooded holes. You want wide open holes? Plenty of those.
- Elevation comes in to play, most notably on the final four holes. The best downhill hole on the course is #18, a blind tee shot. With a decent crosswind, I only ended up 75 feet off line.
- I enjoyed the use of the water on two holes - #12 & 14. There's a lone pond here. And it's used in both direction. The water is murky, so you won't see your disc if it's more than 3 feet from the edge. You can probably wade in if needed. Or, be like me and skip your shot on the water and make it to water's bank.
- Some of the best holes are the ones that take advantage of limited trees/tree lines, creating some creative lines to baskets. #5 - 8 was a great stretch of holes that all featured minimal trees to create four different layouts. On #6 & 8 - 536 and 742 feet respectively - where you land your first or second shots is going to determine how much you can attack the basket with your next shot. #8 starts in the open. After two shots, I was at the edge of the woods. Expect, I found out I missed the gap for the fairway. So, I had to throw parallel to the woods to simply get to the opening.
- I did like the variety of following up a tougher, longer hole with an easier, birdie-able layout.
- There are some hidden risk/reward shot here. On #13, for example, it's a blind, dogleg left tee shot around the edge of the woods. The closer you hug the tree line, the more direct your route. However, you do risk your shot landed in a mini-ravine, which could potentially be an extremely challenging up and down. Or, you throw further right, creating a potentially more difficult birdie putt, but guarantee a simple 3, at worst.
- Course is easy to navigate. Good flow. Good signs.
Cons: I have close to no complaints with the layout itself. It's a solid design.
- My biggest issue with the layout is #16. The winding, seemingly ongoing layout is forced. For starters, you're going uphill through a tight fairway, or a wider, out-of-the-way route. From there, you're throwing to a gap along the left side. The issue here is having no clue which way to throw. I cleared the gap, saw a single basket, which was to the right. I threw at it, just to discover that was #18. This layout is essentially an upside down J.
- The reason for this layout, along with #8, is, at least from my perspective, is to incorporate disc golf into the two longest transition walks on the course. I'd like #16 a lot more if the tee shot was aiming for the gap, essentially teeing off near the bee hives. However, to do this means you're left with a longer walk from #15 to 16.
- Signage in a couple spots could be improved. Going back to #8 and 16. Have arrows pointing at the gaps, letting players know which way the basket is and/or which gap in the woods you're supposed to be aiming for.
- This course isn't close to much, and there aren't bathrooms, water fountains, or soda machines. To the west, it's 5 minutes to I-95. Coming from the east, I don't remember the last gas station I saw before arriving here.
- The parking lot is way too small. Five cars essentially took up all the space in the gravel. I guess it's ok to park on the grass?
- Also, please make the entrance sign more obvious. I drove right by lot, thinking it was a driveway for the 4H building alone.
Other Thoughts: Halifax is a really good course. Whenever I play a new course, I instinctively compare it to the disc golf scene in Charlotte (my hometown), and whether a course would fit into our local rotations. It's clear you could dump this into the Charlotte region, and it'd have immediate fans.
- I always like fun backdrops or scenery. Having #6 play in the shadow of an old barn really added to the 4H vibe of the park. If only #16 or 18 could have played closer to the theater stage, it'd be another fun backdrop.
- Take advantage of your birdie opportunities. #1 - 3 all offer chances for 2s. #4 is a fun shoot-the-gap tee shot where you want your birdie, but deep down, you really just prefer to miss the trees and get your par 3.
- There are multiple holes where you'd want to throw extra tee shots, between the water, downhill shots, tight gaps in the woods, etc. This is a course where you can easily take a more leisurely stroll through your round.
- You don't need a big arm here. 11 holes are under 300 feet. Only three holes (#6, 8, and 16) are longer than 373 feet.
- I'm guessing this course is played mostly by locals and people wanting a reason to stretch their legs, and arm, while driving up I-95. For a one-time only course, this ranks highly.
- As much fun as I had playing here, I did realize throughout my round this is more than likely the only time I'll play here. It's a 4 hour, vey indirect drive from Charlotte. When playing a good course, I do take more time to soak in the layout, appreciating my time here.
- This is an easy 3.5 in my book. One more good, challenging layout, and this becomes a 4.0. Still, hats off to the designers and everyone who keeps this course a true hidden gem!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Shes no Kentwood....
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Plenty of holes to air it out. The mix of open and wooded is great. Placement is key on this course on many holes. If you can throw a straight drive your gonna love it. Rural is the correct name for this place as it is very seldom crowded and usually very peaceful. It gets better and better as it is being broken in. The wildlife is incredible.
Cons: Not really a con. Hopefully some alternate pins can be added as well as some alternate pin placements.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Fun open course with a few wooded holes
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: New DISCatchers are nice to have on this course.
Concrete tee pads are nice, but a little too small.
Great tee signs with all the important information.
A lot of variety on this course at a County farm facility. Most of the hole are in the open with plenty of chance to air it out, but there are several tightly wooded holes and even a surprise pond at the back of the property.
Most of the wooded holes have two routes to the basket, but more on that below.
A few multi-shot holes, with the area this course covers, it feels like there could be more.
Cons: While its nice to have concrete tee pads, they are pretty short (especially for the long, open holes) but they are not flush to the ground. This could be remedied with some fill in around them and definitely behind them.
While all the wooded holes have two routes to the basket, they are pretty tight and have some strange angles. I feel it would have been better to make one fairway to the basket, but make them larger. Hopefully, an equal number of right and left turning holes.
#2 is the best example of this, the tee shot is open, then about 150' down, you have to hit a left or right gap in the trees, leading to the basket. These gaps are not wide at all, only 10 to 15'.
With this being on a County Farm property, including a riding/rodeo ring, several holes will not be available during certain times in June and July.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a good use of this property, there are some buildings up front as you pull in, but most of the holes are away from those, even though some are near the farm areas. It is nice to find a course with so many open holes, yet a few holes to keep you honest on your technical game.
There are some fun and unique holes at Halifax that you will remember after playing here:
#6 - Par 4, 536' the tee shot is across an open field with large old-growth trees across the fairway at about 300-350'. There is a gap right side and an opening on the left of these trees, plus an old school ballfield backstop right in the middle, so you have to pick a route off the tee. Once you pick your gap, the basket is another 150' or so beyond the trees, in a clearing in front of a farm building.
#13 - at just 267', this Par 3 isn't long, but the tee shot has to hyzer around trees on the left and clear a 20' foot deep by 50' wide drainage area. The basket is on a grassy peninsula around the trees. An interesting carry shot, over a dry drainage area.
#16 - Probably the Signature hole of the course, Par 5 - 671' with a little bit of everything. Uphill tee shot choice through a split fairway, then downhill and left through a gap in the trees, then further left and into the trees to the basket. A definite possibility of scoring separation.
A few other noteworthy holes, #17 and #18 have an interesting Uphill and Downhill finish to your round. #11 has a deep ditch along the fairway, that crosses right in front of the basket.
A nice addition to the courses available in this area of NC, there is a small Niner in Roanoke Rapids, but that has limited availability, so it is 24 miles to the next closest course.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Farming with Disc Golf
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -A Course with open holes, open tees to wooded baskets, wooded tees to open baskets, water holes, guardian ditches, and wooded holes. An outstanding variety of disc golf, and the course reminded me of 7 other courses I have played, the most I have recognized in the courses I have played for the first time.
-The course is on the property of a 4-H Rural Life Center navigating clockwise. The navigation is outstanding with arrows under the basket, pointing to the next tee and in the wooded holes extra signs helping you find the next tee.
-The tee box experience is above other courses I have played. A course map greets you at the first tee with scorecards. On the tee is concrete pads. The tee signs are superior to other courses I have played with traditional par, distance, hole number, and map. The graphics on the tee signs are unique, where there is a barn, water, a house, and even a beehive etc just off the fairway is featured on the tee sign. There's also a bar code on each tee sign that you can scan with your smart phone and a video will play of the hole. I rank the tee box experience No. 1 of the courses I have played.
-The 4-H Rural Life Center course experience is unique. The course meanders around barns, houses converted to offices and classrooms, chicken coup, tractor museum and other features that you find with livestock and crops. The experience reminded me of the Currituck Rural Center Disc Course that features horses. Halifax is a far more difficult course.
-The Par 5 16th hole with its difficulty, topography, fun factor and scenery I rank No. 1 of the par 5's I have played. But it's not the most difficult I've played.
-Course designers did an excellent job of lulling you to sleep with the openness and using the terrain to make you take notice of obstacles to wake you up. The fun factor is high.
-Beginners and Recreational players will find the course extremely difficult, but fun. Intermediate players will find it challenging, but doable. Advanced if on there game should be able to do quite well, with some challenging holes.
-Maintenance will be kept up by the Life Center Staff. They were mowing as I was finishing up.
-Several of the tee areas had picnic tables.
-Easy access off of I-95 of about 3 miles.
Cons: -The focus of the Life Center is to teach 4-H techniques to students and campers. There are summer camps that start in the 2nd week of June thru end of July Monday thru Fridays. Course access could be restricted depending on the activity. The course stays out of the way of the Life Center for the most part, except for the corral areas on the left of hole 8 and other activities off a few other holes. I suggest contacting the office during those two months for course access.
-Those hole signs I pumped up, there only about two and half feet tall and the lettering and numbers were so small I had difficulty reading them without my glasses that I left in the car. I did 18 deep knee bends to take pictures. Regardless, still the best signs I have experienced yet.
-There's disc lost potential either from the ponds or heavy woods and brush on some holes.
-With winter rains, the course is likely to be swampy.
Other Thoughts: Halifax is my second Rural/Life Center course, the other Currituck. I enjoyed my time on the course and the pleasant distraction of the Rural/Life Center. But Halifax is a far more difficult, but not punishing. Halifax openness can give you a false feeling of security, but there is going to be something there to make you pay attention to every hole on the course whether it is a gap, water, trees, and barns. Halifax may appear to punish you on an errant shot but will give you a way out to recover, except for a few holes. The course is a very satisfying disc golfing experience, the seclusion even makes it better. I just happen to be hitting stride that morning and did quite well. No. 13 left me an everlasting memory with a high arching anhyzer (I'm a lefty) which is a weakness in my game.
The scenery, topography, seclusion, playing thru the Life Center, fun factor, and the challenge of the course rates a 5.0 with me. 75 minutes for the round taking pictures. I will return to the course at least once a year, and worth the two-hour drive.
-The two water holes are ponds No. 12 225 feet to carry, No. 14 245 feet to carry. Nothing else in the way.
No. 3 Par 3 at 218 feet heavily wooded with pine trees. You are not going up the middle, clutter with pines. You can either circle left or right on fairways of about 15 feet in width. Both fairways meet again about 40 feet from basket, basket has guardian trees.
No. 6 Par 4 at 536 feet has an open tee pad and directly ahead is a row of heavy pines that bend inward toward the basket on the other side, but boomerangs back toward you on the tee. The basket cannot be seen from the tee. There is a small middle gap about 12 feet wide at about 385 feet out, a left gap about 25 feet wide 335 feet out, and a right gap 20 feet wide about 360 feet out. I mistakenly thought the basket would be right behind the middle gap, but its not, its 150 feet upslope. The backdrop behind the basket is a red barn converted to an antique museum, and antique tractors. I loved the scene!
No. 10 Par 3 at 269 feet tee sits in the woods driving out to the open thru tree gaps. Two gaps to choose, one in the middle at about 8 feet wide, and one on the left at about 13 feet wide. Both gaps about 75 feet out. There a drainage ditch around 190 feet out that runs across fairway then runs along the left side all the way up 11's fairway, then cuts across 11's basket. On the other side of ditch is heavy brush with lost disc potential. The left gap angles towards the ditch and brush. Basket sits out in the open.
No. 13 Par 3 at 267 feet is a dogleg left across a pond, and canopy for the first 120 feet. As you walk from the 12 basket to 13 tee take a good look at the hole in its entirely, you will not have that view from the tee. The pond is also about 120 feet out, and to reach C1 is on the other side of pond at 235 feet. But you need a solid right to left and avoid the canopy and turning at about 35 degrees across the pond. You can go straight across the pond, but you need to clear about 230 feet or just go around the pond on the fairway and you are likely to burn a stroke. The basket is in the open, with heavy brush on the left side, and a roller about 25 feet behind the basket. I threw what is now my best anhyzer (lefty)a little too high but managed to miss branches as the disc sailed towards the green. Not possible to see the shot land from the tee.
No. 15 Par 3 at 373 feet straight uphill and nothing in between. There is heavy brush and trees all the way up to the left. This hole is where disc golf and the farm mingle. To the right were some older tractors just off fairway, a shelter, red barn going up fairway. Behind the basket another red barn and what may have once been someone's white house. I liked the setting, it was scenic, and the hole plays a lot longer than 373.
No. 18 Par 3 at 274 feet is a nice finishing touch to good round of golf. The hole is straight down hill to an unseen basket. About 220 feet out is cluster of tall trees left center in the fairway to block a direct approach to the basket. At that point, the fairway slumps down to the basket. You can go either left or right around the cluster of trees. Along the left at the point of the trees is a ditch along the fairway that meanders behind the basket just outside C1. There are more trees and brush behind the basket, and the basket sits as a roller. Another barn behind the ditch, and a bridge to take you back toward the parking lot. I liked the setting.
No. 16 Par 5 at 671 feet is like riding a roller coaster and shaped like a fishhook. There are 4 doglegs, the first three are lazy right, left, left, and the last a 90-degree left into the basket area. The hole runs along a slope of the hill all the way to the basket, sloping right to left, and on the left is heavy brush and trees all the way to the basket. From the tee is an up slope and a cluster of young pine trees in the middle running about 200 feet out. A fairway in front of you, and a line to the right. If you go straight out up slope and dogleg right at the end of the pines, and to the top of the slope and a beehive to your right just off fairway. Now you are going back down slope towards a barn along the fairway. The barn is about 400 feet from the tee, just before the barn the fairway breaks to the left with the same down slope, as if you are riding a rollercoaster with the basket arriving at the station. To the left of the barn is a line of trees that will need to be crossed to continue the fairway to the basket, the gaps are doable with one at 30 feet and smaller ones. Big arms can make a hard breaking right to left to reach the basket, others will likely end up on an upslope open fairway. If you end up on the open fairway, you will turn around and see the basket at the end of the fishhook, and your now again on a downslope, you could be as far away as 200 feet. The basket has guardian trees at 40 feet out. A lot going on with the hole, but I found it fun and now a favorite.
No. 8 Par 5 at 742 feet is a wide-open fairway all the way down the fairway until a tree line at about 600 feet. Does not sound like much, but this hole is all about positioning. First you need to get off the tee pad, and just 20 feet off the tee pad and a little wider than the tee pad is a trio of pine trees. Hit those, and a bad way to start the hole. You need to stay right center on the fairway all the way to the tree line as you stay in line with two split pines at the tree line staying to the right of them. The basket is left center about 150 feet into heavy trees, and its pitch black in the woods from heavy canopy, nothing can be seen from the fairway. The basket has guardian trees in the middle, and the right. Behind the basket at 5 feet is a roller into a ditch if you roll could be as far as 50 feet away and putting upslope. When its time for your approach you want to come into the left of those two split pines with a very slight right to left and staying to the left of basket where its slightly open. When I made my approach, the disc flew into the tree line and disappeared into the dark, I heard it clip a tree having no clue what direction the disc had landed since you can't see anything. Found it 50 feet offline and basket high to the right and had spent some time looking for it. No open putt at all from the right and cost me a stroke.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
A gem in the countryside
Pros: I noticed that this course only has two reviews, so I thought it would great to give my 2c on it. It's a course I've really enjoyed and I'd like to explain why, along with a couple improvements that could be made.
There is a lot of shot variety and routes on the various holes. I like that they included multiple ways to attack the fairways. Most holes could be played with any type of shot you prefer, versus having a dominant line. This seems like it would be a big plus to replayability, for a local or someone who comes through often.
There's a nice variety on the distances and fairway sizes. Just about every hole can be birdied with a 300 ft throw, but there isn't a single short "gimme" to be had. Even the 220-240 ft holes require precision. I like this focus on precision over distance, especially for a course that is mostly open.
There was pretty clever use of the woodlines and windows throughout the par 4 and 5's to make them legitimate. A player with 500 ft hyzer bombs won't be able to eagle them without also meeting the lines they need to throw. That's a strong feature that reminds me of my favorite holes at Sunset Gold (a relatively close by course that I enjoy). I strongly prefer when these multi shot holes favor accuracy, as I feel it caters to a wider variety of players and skill levels.
Maintenance is good for a relatively new course. When I played it this summer for the second time, it was improved a bit from the first. But, this third time, it's really looking good - hugely improved in the last 4 months. The open holes are mostly perfect, and the wooded holes are coming along nicely.
Big smooth concrete pads and Innova DisCatchers are always a pleasure. There were full color tee signs that appeared to be accurate with distances that also seemed pretty accurate. I met a young man cleaning out the ditch on 16, and he said that the spigots throughout the course were potable county water. I tried that and it tasted fine. That's a neat feature, as they are literally through the whole course. The practice basket beside the parking lot was in a really nice area with picnic tables and a bit of elevation to play with for putting. A really serene area for warming up or down.
Cons: The woods and ditches throughout can still use some work. The ditches had a fair amount of brush in them and some had a bit of standing water. An errant shot may need to retrieved from some "less-than-fresh" water. It's nice that there are no stray trees or branches in the middle of the fairways, but recovery opportunities could use improvement. If I had one suggestion for a fast way to improve the wooded holes, it would be to continue clearing brush off the fairways and cut the smallest saplings. This way, an "almost good" shot can still get up and down when followed by a high quality upshot. The fairways are fair, but they are tight. Failing to thread the needle is OK, but you should still be able to save par with an expert recovery.
When I played in July, there was really tall grass on a few holes like 16 and 17. Yesterday, it was all really nicely trimmed and freshly manicured. I'm not sure which is the norm, but it looked really nice. However, the last time around I definitely spent a few minutes looking for discs that weren't that bad of shots, just a little off. So, it's only a con if it doesn't stay mowed, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
There are buildings in play on 1, 6, 15 and 16. They aren't in the way of perfect shots but could easily be hit by slightly errant ones. Luckily, according to the maintenance worker I met they are completely unused except during the camps when the course is closed anyway. But, I know some folks do not like this sort of "artificial" obstacle, so again, worth mentioning.
Other Thoughts: It's excellent to have another strong choice along the interstate. My driving schedule sometimes has me a little early or too late to play Sunset or Bryan, south and north of here. This is another great choice that I might be able to slot in at those times. I look forward to my next stop here at Halifax County DGC.
The environment really enhances the experience for me out here. It really feels like the countryside considering that it's not far from the highway. The start and finish do play nearer to the highway, but it's not too busy. However, the back of the property really feels secluded and serene. So far I've only shared the property with some young men playing basketball, lots of stray cats, a heron, and some deer. That made it easy to slip into a groove and have a great time. Isn't that what it's all about?
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Good mix of long, medium holes. Easy to navigate with score card.
Cons: Open field areas tend to hold rainwater
Other Thoughts: 16 IS A BEAST!
There’s an orange and white male cat that roamed the course with us for the first 11 holes. We called him Buzz. Take Buzz some kitty treats. He’s a sweet and friendly cat.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great to see an 18-hole course emerge in Halifax County, and it's a fun one! If you're looking for a course off I-95 between Richmond and Rocky Mount, this is your best bet by far.
+ Really nice mix of holes. It's mostly an open course, but a few holes are tightly wooded. There are holes that shape to the left/straight/right, and some holes even have multiple fairway options off the tee, which is a very nice bonus. Two par 5s and a par 4 are also excellent to see. Something for everyone!
+ Two holes have water carries over a pond, and they are just the right distance to inject some adrenaline into most players, while still offering bail-out zones to those wanting to play it safe.
+ Some clever design elements are sprinkled throughout. There are guarded baskets, blind baskets, early gaps, late windows, subtle use of elevation, etc., that all make for a very fun round.
+ Excellent smooth concrete teepads, clear tee signs, a course map at the kiosk, a practice basket, straightforward navigation, all very nice amenities that make for very smooth play. I think there were even QR codes to provide videos(?) of the course, but I didn't try this.
+ Nice, peaceful views from the back of the property, looking back towards where you started, over the rolling hills.
+ My favorites were probably Hole 6 (par 4) and Hole 8 (par 5). Both of them involve a shot that must be carefully placed in front of a window/gap, to allow for a clean approach to the basket, smartly designed holes.
Cons: - Hole 16, the second par 5, is a fun and interesting design in theory, but in reality is still a little raw in execution. Off the tee, you have a choice of two tight uphill tunnels. But past those tunnels in the landing zones, there are scattered plantings, small buildings, and fences that can severely compromise your lie, but are hidden from the tee. I thought I'd absolutely laced the right-side tunnel, only to find my disc over a (OB?) fence and behind a building, and so my next shot was a backwards pitch-out. I do recognize that this is a difficult part of the property to design around, but perhaps this hole needs a re-think.
- The course is on the grounds of a 4-H summer camp, and the course plays around camp buildings, basketball courts, a playground, and other facilities. For the most part, the course is out of the way of these things, which is good, but buildings in particular come into play on a few holes. I believe the course is closed while the camp is in session, so perhaps conflicts aren't a major issue, but still may want to play carefully around these holes.
- The wooded holes are all very very tight. I do think they're fair, there are very clearly defined fairways that are definitely do-able, they're just tighter than I think some people might be happy with. Fortunately these holes are all fairly short.
- In the summers, the grass grows tall in a few places, and especially affects hole 8, forcing a much wider play that isn't quite as fun.
- Hole 11 has a fairly steep-sided ditch guarding the basket, and retrieving your disc from here can require some care and agility, especially if it has rained recently.
- The back 9 is more open, and can be a hyzer-fest if you have a big arm. If you have an average-or-below arm, they are somewhat more interesting, as elevation and water come into play more.
- Not sure if restrooms are available, if you can't find helpful staff.
Other Thoughts: This is a fantastic course for the Roanoke Rapids area to have! Hopefully the presence of the camp will help increase awareness and participation in the sport locally too.
This is undoubtedly one of the best courses along the I-95 corridor in NC. I'd rank Sunset Park in Rocky Mount higher, but at least in the excellent gold layout, that course is long and draining to play. For a fun round to break up the drive, this is a great choice.
Kudos to the hardy few Roanoke Rapids disc golfers for their outstanding work on this fun course!
13 Jun 2020 update - added cons on tall grass and deep ditch, plus minor edits. Course plays more like a 3.0 in the summer for that first reason, as it significantly changes one of my favorite holes, but I still feel it's likely a 3.5 in other seasons, and will keep the rating there for now.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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