Very Narrow with Touch Shots
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -A mix of a primarily heavy wooded course with some elevation and ditches, and an open portion of narrow rolling fairways with high heavy rough and well-placed cedar trees on the edge of fairways. Baskets are placed in confined open spaces giving you a peak from the tee or approach, and a few rollers. The course is scenic and offers variety.
-Very generous par and distances, but there's a reason for it with the challenge coming off some tees.
-#16 a short narrow tunnel hole, a mini-me of famed Loriella Park #3 2019 USWDGC which is located not too far away.
-Those who enjoy precision touch shots from tee or approach will enjoy the course, including the open narrow fairways with the guardian trees and heavy rough. You're going to be using your imagination in shot creation. From a 25-disc bag, I used more than half my bag and every type of disc from the tee putter thru driver.
-Tee signs are very new 11 of 18 have been installed at the time I played. Signs list hole number, distance, par, and hole map. Paver tees were in the process of being installed with 11 of 18 and a few being prepped.
-Navigation is clockwise with some next tee signs and mostly a short walk from basket to tee. On a positive note, there are signs warning BMX riders and horseback riders to stay clear of Disc Course on intersecting trails. That's a first, I've always seen signs warning Disc Golfers of other activities.
-Majority of the course memorable, just a few holes a little foggy.
-The Disc Course has its own parking away from the ball fields by about 1/3rd of a mile and can't be seen from the ballfield parking. Important, on a Saturday morning the ballfield parking was full while I was the only one in disc parking.
-If you like solitude this, is it, I was the only one on the course Saturday morning teeing off, and at least one other when I concluded. I could hear the sweet sound of tree hits.
-Beginners and Recreational can find frustration with the narrow fairways that could result in lost disc. But will get a good lesson in touch shots. Intermediate and Advance will find out how creative they can be out of the bag.
Cons: -This course is ranked #1 with the nastiest rough I've played yet. A lost disc is going to be extremely high with the deep rough in the open narrow fairways with some blind shots. Not much better in the woods. Thru out the course are sticker bushes just off the fairway and poison ivy. At times playing out of the rough came home with scratches. Lost my longest disc in service of almost 2 years on #5 when I clipped a tree and went left deep. The 4-foot-high sticker bushes kept me from giving it a good search, so I reluctantly moved on.
-Tee's 4 thru 10 are still dirt a little uneven and rocky, but it seems like that will be taken care of when the paver tees are filled in along with the rest of the course. On those same holes only hole number and distance very likely to have new tee signs as well.
-Had a snake cross right in from of me in the wooded portion of the course.
-Keep your eyes peeled crossing the BMX trails, had a biker cross in front of me by about 50 feet, don't think he saw me.
-It would help to be in good shape going up and down some hills a few steep short climbs and down as well. Foot bridges to help.
Other Thoughts: Pleasant Grove Park I very much enjoyed my round! It's a thinking course from the tee with narrow fairways whether in the woods or the open with the high thick, rough. Peek-a-boo baskets from the tee and some just completely hidden on a dogleg or over the hump. The variety of discs I pull out of the bag after thinking the shot over, the more I intend to enjoy a course and it will reflect in my overall rating. I plan on coming back hopefully this summer to check out the completed paver tees, more importantly I would like to see the course in full foliage and its possible I could give it a bump in the rating and favorite it. I did that with Indiantown on the Eastern Shore of Virginia when I came back in the summer.
My only grip on the course is the high lost disc potential, but I take it because IMO it's that nasty rough that helps make Pleasant Grove Park a challenge to stay on fairway. I really didn't like losing that Echo Mamba almost 2 years in the bag.
My overall rating is a 5.0 that's anchored on creativity of disc selection, a few elevated tees with gaps to hit, and a different kind of scenic walk mainly the open fairways with high rough. The time to play taking pictures, and a short look for a disc was 65 minutes.
No. 2 Par 3 at 222 feet is short and a sweet hole. The fairway starts off down hill sliding right to left thru a heavy tree line with a tree bulging out from the right, just a short way off the tee. The gap is about 12 feet all the way down and then the fairway breaks left straight down at 90 feet out. The baskets sit on the other side of a ditch about 6 feet up and on a ledge, a roller. Very difficult to reach basket! At the break a tree gap on the other side of fairway that if passed thru can give you a long birdie look or as a lefty a draw down the fairway instead, righty's an easy fade. TL3 for a soft draw and found myself clean on the ledge basket high right in C1. The flight was a beauty, and a memory to keep.
No. 6 Par 3 at 345 feet is a dogleg left that starts on a down slope thru a gap of about 30 feet and 60 feet out, an outcrop of boulder at the gap and very scenic. Pass the gap the fairway opens heavy trees both sides. The dogleg is about half the distance to the basket with bulging trees on the left. You're playing for the dogleg right center. At about 100 feet from the basket the fairway rises back up to the basket crossing footbridge over a ditch and a small rock outcrop around the basket area. Very scenic hole.
No. 9 Par 3 at 235 feet I thought was the most scenic hole on the course, the most elevated tee shot at about 15 feet, and another touch shot. From the tee the fairway drops straight down over a ditch with a nice bridge crossing it. To cross the ditch only about 110 feet, there are 4 trees offering three gaps just past the ditch, the best gap is in the middle and only about 10 feet wide. At that point the fairway has a gentle dogleg right, fairway slopes left to right into the ditch that has some water in it and rises hill. At the time I played it about 140 feet was a clump of bushes on the right next to the ditch blocking view of the fairway and basket. The basket sits slightly open. I managed to hit the middle gap but faded right over the clump of bushes found my disc in high grass just short of the water.
No. 16 Par 3 at 130 feet is a very difficult Ace run! Straight down the middle tee to basket, fairway slopes right to left. Gaps are from 5-10 feet with canopy overhead. Instantly reminded me of #3 at Loriella Park except longer at 377 feet. I gave no thought of an ace run but managed to hit a tree about halfway down.
No. 15 Par 4 at 370 feet an elevated tee to a dogleg right about halfway down fairway. Fairway slopes right to left towards a thick of trees, sticker bushes, and a creek. Gaps about 20-30 feet wide all the way down. From the tee I would imagine scenic with foliage. On the right mostly trees and a mound going up and over past the dogleg and upslope to the basket and a cluster of skinnies protecting the basket. Basket sits on a mound and can be a roller if careless. This was my favorite hole on the course scenic with difficulty, represents the wood portion of the course which is the majority and plays well for LHBH or RHFH. Don't want to miss the dogleg going straight could find yourself in the creek.
No. 13 Par 4 at 373 feet is a straight away from the woods to an open straight uphill fairway for the first 140 feet and to a blind open fairway from the tee. By this time, you know the course is peppered with high grass, sticker bushes, some heavy trees with a high loss disc potential. Going uphill to a blind fairway with high grass on both sides was concerning after all ready losing one disc. Coming out of the trees there's a gap to hit about 60 feet out and 20 feet wide. When you clear the hump, the fairway has a lazy dogleg left with a right to left slope, and slopes down and back up towards the basket. At the 250-foot mark the gap narrows to about 25 feet there are cedar trees lining both sides with extended branches. If you have the arm to fly over those trees you need at least 30 feet in height to clear all trees, the fairway opens back up around the basket at about C2. This would be a fun hole for the big arms, for everybody else hug the right-hand side of fairway for the best approach to basket. My not big arm clipped branches at the gap off tee, my turnover approach from the left side went straight for a cedar on the right and dropped on the fairway. I felt relieved.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Over the Hills and Through the Woods, but Please Don't Throw Me in the Briar Patch
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Serene wooded landscape, upkeep, balance of skills required to succeed, way finding aids to keep you on the right path.
Cons: Thick, punishing rough on many holes.
Other Thoughts: Pleasant Grove Park is full up on outdoor opportunities: swimming in the Rivanna River; extensive hiking trails; ball fields galore; playground; and of course, disc golf. The disc golf course takes full advantage of the landscape, playing right to the sweet spot of those players (like me) who love the space where disc golf and hiking meet.
The course starts out on the long and open side, a legit par 4 through mown grass, uphill and to the right. A nice paver tee pad and sign point the way. But #2 is more typical of the course - straight ahead into the woods, and working around a huge tulip poplar, a truly impressive specimen. Then #3 sets the first of several holes where you must really consider your tee shot, as the fairway bends left downhill to a small gully, with the basket hard to spot on the other side. The course has excellent balance, in terms of uphill and then downhill, and fairways going right and left. You'll get more practice than usual throwing uphill here. You'll also get more exercise than usual scouting each hole as most baskets are not visible from the tee.
The course stays mostly in the woods until the back nine, and loses the pavers and nice signs along the way, stepping down to gravel tees and small signs on the tee boxes. Wayfinding is excellent, however, with plenty of directional signs where needed. Otherwise, this course would be a real challenge to get around, as it overlaps with the trail system in many spots.
The back nine features a few nicely groomed, picture perfect holes. #14, for instance, is the bookend to #3; a short and pretty manicured hole that could be a disc golf postcard. But the postcard would not show the thorn-filled rough that awaits your disc if you veer off of that picture-perfect fairway. #18 finishes with a hole like #14 x2 - longer, beautiful fairway, and with tougher penalties for leaving that fairway.
The rough is the biggest negative to this course - thorny brambles, thick undergrowth, and cedar trees galore, all ready to eat your plastic. We stood on one tee and remarked that the entire hole looked like the rough, just the fairway was a little less rough.
Overall I rate Pleasant Grove as Good, and well worth checking out. The plus side, for me, is the serene arboreal environment, the exercise, and the consideration off the tee for most every hole that the course requires. One must be mindful of disc choice and approach throughout this course, and thus it is the kind of course that has the ability to grow on a player as they learn its ways. The negative side is the downside of veering off course and thus spending a fair amount of time disc hunting. In terms of way finding and upkeep, Pleasant Grove is first time friendly, but in terms of lost disc potential and blind shots off the tee, less so. Yet I keep thinking about a return trip and how it will play better the next time around.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Added to my favorites list
Pros: Beautiful and long (walking), mostly wooded course that is well-maintained, scenic, and serene.
There are enough unique holes here to make you forget about some that are repetitive. And those that look somewhat like another are nicely spaced and not back-to-back.
For example, nos. 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18 are unique. Twelve though is rather pedestrian; however, a pedestrian break is not a bad thing at all. These other holes are more creative and exciting.
Holes 2, 5, 11, 16 are tunnels. Yes, I agree 16 (as the narrowest of tunnels) is indeed special.
Holes 4, 7, and 10 are short or shortish uphillers (steep start or steep middle) doglegging left or right.
Next-tee signs are on trees like a hiking-trail blaze, so navigating to the next hole and distinguishing hiking vs golfing trails from one another is now a no-brainer.
Cons: In the woods, the thorny rough is close at hand everywhere. You can get your disc back though if you do two things before you leave home: (1) wear long pants and long sleeves; (2) bring a stick of some sort. And if you have long hair, wear a cap or put your hair up in a knot.
Only one tee and one basket per hole. Because it is mostly woods, it's understandable why this is so. However, for those of you who expect shifting pin placement and/or a short pad as well as a long pad, you are out of luck.
All pads are framed and have a gravel bed, but only nos. 1-3 and 18 are totally complete with a paved, tiled top layer. I hope there will be fundraising tournaments to help complete these and also to install hole signs with yardage, par, and flight lines. And, yes, a few more benches. I believe I saw nice benches at nos. 1, 4, 7. Not sure I saw them elsewhere, but I could be distinctly incorrect. I didn't sit much though I should have.
Other Thoughts: It's a challenging, exhausting course but wonderful. You are walking a great deal and (unless young and strong) will be pooped when done. But it will be a happy pooped.
Because you are walking a lot, don't think you can play this course in 1.5-2 hours. Count on being here 2.5-3 hours. If you don't have that sort of time to give, you can leave after hole 9 and be right back at disc golf parking.
Seems many holes favor a forehand or turnover though hyzer flips are frequently necessary as well.
You cannot be aggressive in the woods. You have to be methodical and strategic. Whatever skill level you are. The terrain slopes too much, the woods are too narrow, and the wiry thorns are ever-present.
A note about finding the course: The park has two segments. If you are traveling south on the 15 (from the 64) and turn right onto the 53 west, the first park section "Eastern Trailhead" is NOT the disc golf section. This first section is for hikers, horses, picnics. Continue west on 53 to the main park which has vast, open meadows at the entrance. Between the main park and the "Eastern Trailhead" section you will pass a church (on the left if traveling west on 53) and a county government center (sheriff's office and public library) on the right. Inside the main park, the drive bears right around soccer fields. Said fields will be to the left. The roadway becomes unpaved (gravel) and ultimately bears left. You will then pass a playground on your left. Before a baseball field (you see the fencing to your left), you will see a turnoff for disc golf (also to the left). I parked in the field off the gravel strip. I assume that is okay...
This is a beautiful course that I hope gets played more. I don't want it crowded (of course), but I don't want Fluvanna County thinking it is underused either! It is a tournament-perfect spot, and I hope the local/regional disc golf club(s) are hosting said there already or will do so soon!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
30 Helpful / 0 Not
A Pleasant walk in the Grove
+SERENITY: Fluvanna county is a rural area, so the course is quite serene. As soon as you get into the woods, starting on hole 2, you are out in soul refreshing nature, and you feel secluded and away from everything.
+BEAUTY: there is an inherent aesthetic beauty to the woods and land that I find pleasant and refreshing. I especially like the rock and boulder formations on holes 6 and 10.
+There is an active maintenance team that has been keeping the course in immaculate condition! When the leaves fell last fall, they were quickly blown off every fairway and path. I think this was largely the work of one dedicated guy out with his leaf blower!
+FAIRWAY SHAPE VARIETY- There are very solid bones in place with nice fairway shape variety! 7 Left/ 3 Right/ 6 Straight/ 2 S shape.
+All fairways are well cleared and fair.
+ELEVATION VARIETY: The ideal mix of 9 up and 9 down. Most elevation changes are moderate.
+TERRAIN VARIETY: predominantly wooded with some more open holes. 13 Woods/ 5 Mixed. They vary in openness from the mostly open hole 1 to the tight tree corridor on hole 16, to the more open hole 18 bordered by thick trees, thorns, and rough. The other holes are on a spectrum of woods shots (2-11, 15-16) and more open with mowed grass surrounded by trees and rough (12-14, 17-18)
+NICE GREENS: especially on the woods holes. My favorite green is hole 5 where the basket is surrounded by trees. I also like the approach into basket 10 with the rocks and small boulders.
+BENCHES- There are already a few benches (on 1, 4, 7), which is nice on such a new course.
Since this is a new course you need to give it some grace. There is still work to be done, and there have been course work days. Since the course is still in progress, there are undoubtedly plans to work on many of the following areas...
-BLIND BASKETS: 8 holes have baskets that are not visible from the tee (1, 6, 9, 10, 13, 15, 17, 18) so they require some scouting up the fairway. That makes these holes low on being First-Time-Friendly (FTF).
-NAVIGATION is the most outstanding difficulty, so this is one of the biggest challenges for first timers (low FTF rating here). Since there are many hiking trails that cross there is great potential for confusion because at intersections you don't know whether to turn or continue going straight. This may change one day with next tee arrows. [I have posted navigation notes on the Wall and in the Course Description.]
-ROUGH, especially THORNS. On some holes you do not want to go off the fairway because you will land in thick thorns! Hole 13 has many thick thorns on the right and left where your drive could land, and hole 18 has thorn patches for short drives and closer to the basket. Hole 1 has a thorn patch too, on the approach on the right side. I would highly recommend only playing in long pants, and make sure to stay on the fairway. Many thorns have already been cleared out, so I am hopeful that ongoing course work will get rid of even more.
-TEES are currently only wood frames filled with fine gravel. They are wide enough and long enough, so they work fine for now, but over time they may get uneven. They also may be improved in the future.
-Restrooms are minimal. There is a pit toilet fairly close to the course, near the playground. This is a minor factor to me.
Items to work on:
-HOLE LENGTHS: 8 holes still needs lengths measured and marked on the tees (1, 4, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18). I'm confident that this will be completed before long.
-TEE SIGNS: as of May 2020 there are no signs, but they will most likely be added in the future. Right now the course is still in it's initial settling in period.
-NAVIGATION AIDS: a COURSE MAP would help tremendously, and Next tee signs would be a great help.
Course Level = White (most suited for Intermediate players rated 875-925)
You be the judge-
My FAVORITE HOLE is 16. Even though it is only 160 ft, and one of the shortest holes on the course, it also has the tightest fairway in a narrow tree lined corridor. It is easy to kick off a tree into trouble, so it still takes great finesse and a well-executed drive to get to the basket. I also enjoy hole 5, a slightly downhill woods shot. Hole 18 is a nice challenging finishing hole; you must keep it in the more open fairway. It is a short par 4, really a tweener, but you have to execute two exceptional shots to get a birdie 3.
CEDAR TREES: there are quite a few disc eating cedar trees scattered around. They are very scenic obstacles, but it is easy for discs to get stuck in them as well. Holes 1, 13, and 18 have quite a few.
MUD: the dirt walking paths can get muddy and slippery after rains, so watch your step. The trail to hole 10 and then tee 10 are on low spots that collect water.
WIND frequently blows very strong, so it can be a factor. Wind is strongest on hole 1 because it is the most open, and it is usually a head wind in your face on an uphill drive. Wind also comes into play on all of the more open holes such as 13-14 and 17-18.
WATER: there are no permanent water hazards; there are only dry creek beds for seasonal storm runoff.
My rating is currently slightly inflated because I gave the course lots of grace for what it will become. I assume that one day there will be tee signs and with them hole lengths for every hole. My rating is actually 6.8 out of 10, so it is currently just short of a 7, or a 3.5 on DGCR. I also expect to increase my rating when the resources are there to add some more of the Basics.
DISClaimer- this is my new home course, but I am trying to be objective and overcome home-boy bias. The course has great terrain, nice elevation variety, and a solid challenging design. I really enjoy the course, so I am thankful to the designers and the crew who did all the work to install and keep it maintained! Even though the course is kind of out in the country, it is well worth making a trip to play. If you can make the time to play Walnut Creek on the same day that is a very satisfying combination
A note about my rating:
My rating is a subjective measure of my enjoyment
of the course, on the day I played it, and it is NOT intended to be a measure of the quality
of the course. My Enjoyment Ratings are given "on the curve" in relation to all other courses I've played.
Look in the "Links/Files" section for my files with Hole-by-hole ratings and more detailed Overall review notes. You can also read more of my review philosophy and rating notes at Disc Golf Course Reviews
I'm always trying to improve my reviews, so if you mark this review unhelpful or if you find a mistake, please send me a Personal Message here on DGCR to tell me what is wrong with it. I'll be grateful for the feedback.
30 of 30 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Relatively new course so not much traffic. Many narrow lanes that require accurate throws. Nearly all holes are wooded. No significant water hazards so much less chance of losing a disc.
Cons: Signage is lacking. Lots of thick rough including brambles and cedar trees eager to eat a disc. Can be very muddy along paths.
Other Thoughts: Come and play this course!
This course has great potential. The narrow lanes demand accuracy and the more open holes pit the player against the wind. Not too many gimmes here. Shot shaping is key to many of the wooded holes with limited alternate throw lanes.
This is a really nice park and the trails are shared by hikers, horses and bikes though the course is pretty much relegated for golf. The county parks and rec has done a great job clearing the course and maintaining it. I am certain that in the near future there will be top notch signage.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Lots of Potential
Pros: Course is a lot of fun, majority of holes are heavily wooded making this short course still fairly challenging. I say short course because most of the holes are 220-250 ft long, but there is a lot of walking in between, I consider this a pro because it provides some exercise. Unlike some other courses there doesn't seem to be a lot of dog-walkers, so dog droppings don't seem to be a problem. There are walking, riding and biking trails connected though, so be aware during warmer months.
Cons: Course is very poorly marked. It took us a long time to find the course itself as it is part of a larger park. Throughout the course some of the holes had a plaque on the tee to indicate the hole number and length, but the majority did not, and arrows to next hole did not exist at all.
This can be a pro for newer or more casual players, but there is no water hazards to speak of.
Other Thoughts: This course needs to add plaques to each hole (preferably with some detail on the layout of each hole) and signs to the next hole and you have yourself a great course. Its new and they just added the back nine, so I'm sure these improvements won't be far off.
If you struggled to find the course like we did, go to the main park (not the dog park), proceed toward the main brick building, but turn right before you get there, go down past the "end of state maintenance" sign, past the playground and you'll see the first tee down below what I believe is a ball field. First hole is fairly long compared to the rest, and doglegs to the right at the top of the hill, after that good luck!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.