12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A nice little rec-level course with a touch of elevations and appropriate smatterings of trees.
-Amenities: Concrete tees. DISCatchers. Signage with slightly helpful maps.
-Navigation: Pretty straightforward to play. Most tees are visible from the previous basket, with minimal meandering transitions.
-Rec-Friendly: Generally open spaces with sparse trees and woods lines to create some interest without making it difficult at all. The shorter distance makes this new-player friendly, which I guess is what the designer was going for in a state park.
-Shot Shaping/Gameplay: An acceptable mid-level course. As noted above, mostly open, but there are quite a few low ceilings, pocket greens, and shrubbery clusters blocking baskets. (15)-(17) also provide a wooded trio needing slightly more precise fairway hits. Some mild elevation change comes into play on a few holes. Other than a couple of left-turning holes, I don't think the course favors BH or FH, being pretty flexible. All in all, it's a basic course with a little bit of interest, but nothing particularly good.
Cons: Some issues of design that has gotten out of control, but otherwise it's just very underachieving.
-Course Growth: A couple of holes would originally have been good, but have since become weird due to the continued growth of trees. Hole (4)'s basket is too defended and requires a silly spike hyzer. Hole (6) has grown in and made it a very difficult low-ceiling bullet of a shot. Hole (8) is also much more challenging than it once was. The major culprit is hole (9). Once this might have been a nice hole, but now leftward motion forced by grown-up trees is far too great for its length, and it's truly ridiculous. These aren't "design" issues as in bad ideas from the designer, but I'm sure he would never in a million years plan out these holes the same way given the current foliage situation.
-Bleh Factor: Not much exciting going on here. No stunning beauty or fun lines that will make an experienced golfer have an aha moment. Maybe a couple of the last ones will be fun putter runs with rock formations, but that's about it.
-Cloudland Canyon: When I first saw that this park had a disc golf course, I was thrilled. Crazy elevation perhaps? Great views? Nope. None. Perhaps the air feels slightly crisper being on top of a ridge, but otherwise there is zero appeal to being in this state park for disc golf.
-Pay to Play: In fact, being in a state park is a con, as you'll have to pay to park. Perhaps there's also a fee for disc golf? I can't remember. Shows you how memorable a course this is.
Other Thoughts: This is a squarely typical course with a touch of foliage and variety. No, it's not a bad course, but it's thoroughly unspectacular. Not worth getting behind the paywall for me, but GA state park aficionados could get some use out of it.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
The Ultimate Recreational Course.
Pros: (2.587 Rating) A Flat Mountain Top Course
- RECREATIONAL FRIENDLY - At 4,685 feet, and with simple obstacles, newer thru recreation players will love this course. There are a couple longer holes, to test and encourage the development of a bigger arm. There are a few short technical plays to test and encourage the development of greater accuracy. The hazards are minimal with just a few areas with moderate overgrowth.
- TEES - 18 large concrete tees that are 6 feet wide by 12 feet long. It was great not having to stand from off the tee for a change.
- CHARACTER - In addition to nice tees the overall amenities were about average or a touch above. A great shelter with picnic table next to tee (1). Seating is at a few holes spaced along the layout. The baskets were in great condition. Nice hole signage and a community board. As for things to add? An additional set of back tees are most warranted.
- QUICK PLAY - Plays really quick for an 18 hole course. I completed my round solo in 50 minutes. Figure a group of 4 should be in and out in an hour and a half.
- NAVIGATION - Adequate. I forgot to download and print a map before arriving. Normally not an issue for most courses but I lost cell phone service. Even with this conundrum, figuring out the layout isn't terribly difficult and I spent no more than 5 minutes doing recon. The course is mostly open and the next tees are often in view from the prior basket. Regardless, I would still advise printing or download the map before arriving.
- MAINTENANCE - The course grounds were in marvelous shape during my round.
- RAW BEAUTY - I gave Cloudland an above average score (3.0/5.0). Unfortunately however, the course is located in one of the blandest portions of this stunningly beautiful park. The State Park is 3,500 square acres (4.5 sq miles), and it's 98% wooded. Yet on this course layout, there's only one fully wooded tunnel shot, hole (16). The vista views are very much subdued or non-existent in this portion of the park as well. No water features in play or to look at. There are a few minor rock elements that the course plays through but I came in here expecting to see a whole lot more it.
- THE REST OF THE PARK - If you enjoy hiking in addition to disc golf, this is the place to go. There are two highly photogenic 50 foot water fall hikes in the park. There are amazing vistas of the canyon. There are hiking trails all over the place. There are cabins and camping locations as well. Cloudland Canyon State Park is one of the few places I've been where my enjoyment of the rest of the park exceeded my disc golf experience.
Cons: No major flaws with Cloudland, but it could have been so much more.
- UNIQUENESS - Cloudland has way too many open shots and it very much impacted my experience of the course. The course is an all par 3 layout with holes ranging from roughly 350 to 200 feet in length. 16 of the 18 holes are straight or veer by less than 10 degrees. The only exceptions are holes (7) and (8) which are back to back 90 degree left benders. In addition, no water is in play and as for elevation... see below.
- SURPRISING LACK OF ELEVATION - For being on top of a mountain, I had assumed there would have been some 50 plus down shots or perhaps even a "top of the world" shot. Nope, not one hole on this layout varies by more than 30 feet. A few holes in the beginning (2) (3) and (4), shoot over a shallow valley but they all pretty much start and end at the same elevation which lessons the elevation's impact . Hole (7) and (8) were the only decent down shots but they are both 90 degree benders where you can't admire your glorious run at the basket. My favorite elevation shot was on (17) where the 25 to 30 foot up shot starts in a framed tunnel and opens up at the very end.
- LACK OF CHALLENGE - The difficulty here is underwhelming to say the least. I'm an intermediate level player and I threw 6 down on first attempt. Advanced players should be able to flirt with 10 down or more from time to time. The challenge from the one set of tees is aligned closest to the recreation level. Very few shot shaping opportunities and only three holes that exceed 300 feet in length. The course could really benefit from a second set of longer tees.
- MISSED OPPORTUNITY - I'm going to assume that the location of the disc golf course was not chosen by the course designer. That said, it still seemed like the design could have gone a lot farther to engage the surrounding fringe elements. Perhaps the direction was to deliver a family friendly layout, if so, design success. However, if there was ever a desire to bring in tournament level play, lots of changes would need to occur. I think the site has the potential to deliver, but I have no clue whether the park leadership even wants that aspect for this course.
- POISON IVY - I spotted a few small poison ivy plants. From reading a few of the other reviews, it appears that it gets really bad during the summer.
- PAY TO PLAY - As of November 2017, it was $5 for the parking pass and an additional $4.28 per person to play. IMO, $9.28 for the course itself is not a good bargain. However, players coming here for the other park amenities as well, the cost may very well be worth the price of admission.
- WIND - Very few trees on most holes and the course is on top of a mountain. I was very fortunate to get a day were the gusts were under 10 MPH.
Other Thoughts: Upon arrival and driving through the park, my hopes were really high that this was going to be an exotic thrilling gem. After playing a few holes I realized that my initial hopes was really just some wishful thinking. Don't get me wrong, Cloudland is a really nice course and if I lived within ten miles I would play it all the time. But make no mistake, this course is not a destination like the actual state park itself. If the course wants to make a grander appeal, it's going to have to offer more to skilled players. A second set of longer tees would probably be the easiest solution or perhaps adding alternate longer basket locations. An even better, but more costly solution would be to redesign the layout to incorporate the existing terrain features more thoroughly.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Cloud Cayon state park
Pros: Cloudland Canyon DGC is pretty nice. It is one of those courses where it appears that they have tried to make a recreational course while at the same time appeal to advanced players as well. While we all know this is an impossible task they somehow pulled it off, at least to a certain extent. Most of the holes are comparatively short with a few longer holes sprinkled in. I didn't mentally note the lengths but it is safe to say you'll not find anything over 350'. What you will find however are some pretty fun holes. The overwhelming majority of holes are open with a few obstacles here and there. Most of them are trees on the backside of the baskets. Overthrows will punish you by first making you to search for your disc and then finding a clear line to a lay up. Then it's a quick putt and most of the time you'll finish with an easy three. The fairways also hug the woods on several holes as well. From time to time you may find yourself deep in the woods if you don't play safely and you'll end up deep in some pretty thick foliage if you get a bad ricochet off a tree. That is where most of your extra strokes will come into play. Birdies are also easily picked up out here as well. There are three wooded holes on the course and I think they should be highlighted as the best out there. Fortunately, they are 15, 16, and 17. I think that is for the best too. After all, it's nice to finish on the better holes and leave with a good taste in your mouth. I never like playing course where the worst holes are at the end.
I guess I should mention the variety of shots too. Seven and eight both have some serious dog legs. Seven's is a 90 degree left and eight almost spells and upside down "J". I only wish they would have figured out how to split it up with one going right and one going left for variety's sake. Additionally, there are some elevation changes as well. Nothing major but there are a few up's and down's mixed in.
The amenities aren't bad. Signs are always a good thing and these are pretty nice. They're old but they're in good enough shape and serve their purpose pretty well. The concrete tee pads are really nice and have an extra rough surface to help with traction. Even when they're wet you won't slip.
There is a "pro shop" in the visitor's center with an impressive selection of discs. I should say this though, if you don't like Innova, you won't be impressed at all. That's all they carry. Buy they do have upwards of 100 discs. They have all of the different plastics too (dx -star). You will also find maps, score cards, and what I have found to be pretty friendly people to give you directions to the course from the visitor's center. The baskets are in good shape even though they are the older, single chain Innova models.
Cons: There is one big question. And it is the most obvious Con. Why, with all the absolutely beautiful land that's available did they stuff it in the blandest area of the park? There is no doubt that they could have masked a lesser course with some incredible scenery and no one would have noticed. It is a shame. It really is nice up there and it could have been in a better area of the park.
The poison ivy is absolutely horrendous. If you get off the beaten path you can expect to be laying in it, you really have to be careful. If you get in the woods at all be prepared to see/walk through it. I think number six is the worst. Ten feet behind the basket you will find a sea of it the size of a small pond. It is nasty. Don't over throw this one for your own sake!
The grass is also very unkempt. The fairways have been cut to highlight their path but even the shorter grass there is shin high. The area that would be described as the "rough" is literally waist high. I saw a note at the visitor's center that read, "Due to cutting back on resources we will only be cutting the fields periodically". I guess that explains the tall grass. As I mentioned, the fairways are cut but are still unsatisfactory. I played out here last fall and found deep grass clippings that absolutely ate discs. I assume they wait until growing season is over and then cut it all at once and it leaves some bad consequences. It looks like you are either playing in really tall grass or really deep clippings.
The holes can get a little repetitive, especially on eight through fourteen.
The walk from eighteen to the parking lot is a little farther than you would like but certainly is not deal breaker.
Other Thoughts: This course is good enough to get a three but with the tall grass I have to knock it down a half point, to two and a half. What a nice park though! The camping, hiking and the scenery are enough to make it worth while to drive here even if it takes you a few hours. The disc golf course is just a bonus on what could be made into a great day just relaxing and spending a day out at Cloudland Canyon State Park. Take it for what it's worth but most importantly... Enjoy!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Disc golf on the mountain top.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This a fun course on top of a mountain. It is a shorter course overall, but there are some longer holes that let you air it out a bit. The course makes excellent use of elevation and some thick rough to add some challenging aspects to it, but there are numerous chances for aces and birdies. Most of the holes are fairly open with the last few in the woods.
Everytime I have played here the grass is nearly mowed. The signs, baskets, and tees are still in fine playing shape even as the course has aged.
The park is located on the backside of Lookout Mountain. (Home of Rock City, Ruby Falls, See Seven States, etc.) This course is on the very top of the mountain providing modest scenic views. It is a pretty cool course that I would recommend at least playing once if you are passing through near Chattanooga.
Cons: It is a very short course, and can get very windy being exposed on top of the mountain.
It does cost to play ($4/round + tax as of Oct 2020, on top of $5 fee to enter the park.) It is a little more than I think the course is worth, personally. All day play maybe, but per round?
Fun course, but not one I would want to play regularly as it just won't offer much challenge after a few rounds for most intermediate to advanced players.
Good course for families, but at $4/person, not sure many would be willing to play ~$20.
Other Thoughts: The park also has nice camping, scenic views of the valley, and hiking trails that lead to nice waterfalls. I wouldn't drive there and pay just to play DG, but if you factor in the total park experience, it is a nice feature not found in every state park.
I had played here in 2007 and in 2008. And even though I have visited this park a couple times since for hiking, I was not too interested in playing the course again- or at least going to the trouble of driving back to the entrance, paying the $4, then driving back to the course. But in 2020 I gave it another go. I had a fun round, but revised my rating dropping from a 3.0 to a 2.5, mainly as a comparison to the other courses I have played, especially since reviewing this one back in 2007..
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Open course located in a wooded park
Pros: -Professional signage and tee pads
-Restrooms are close by at one and between 3 and 4.
-Nice elevation changes
Cons: -Open holes may be redundant for many players
-Baskets are missing middle chains
-3 bucks to park per car and an extra dollar to play per person
-Kudzu on hole 17
Other Thoughts: I was very surprised to see that a park with so much land would squeeze its 18 holes in such a small portion of the park. I think that a little more could have been done to stretch out the course a bit. There is defiantly room to add to the course if the park see fit in the future. I was also surprised to see that a park that has acres and acres of wooded areas only has 3 wooded holes in their course. I would have liked to have seen more technical holes mixed in using some of the woods. The challenges on holes 1 through 14 and 18 do not come from obstacles or natural boundaries but elevation changes and basket placement. You will often have a fairly open shot with the basket nestled behind some trees to the left or the right of the fairway or located right at the edge of a hill. If you see any tree areas on this open course you will often find briar patches that will prevent you form throwing where the disk lands. So even if the trees come into play you still end up crawling through the briar patch to retrieve your disk and throwing from the fairway anyway but now with a penalty stroke. The three wooded holes will continue to challenge you with the elevation changes as well as add the much needed change in avoiding trees. You will need to watch out for the kudzu monster located to the right of 17. The kudzu ate one of my most cherished discs without remorse even when I saw where it landed.
The park does use Innova pro disc catchers but for some reason did not install the middle chains. I had two putts go straight through the basket before I figured out why the chains were not grabbing the disc. The tee pads and signage are both top notch. It gives the course a very professional look and your rarely have to figure out where you need to drive when the sign points directly to the big yellow Innova ring. It looks as if this Georgia course has been adopted by Chattanooga disc golfers and is mostly ignored by the Atlanta crowd.
With many left side doglegs, this course seems to favor right handed players.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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