Hayley Haywood Helmsley has two words for this course.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Ugh. Do I have to write another review for a mediocre course? Fine.
-Hayley-Haywood Park does indeed have nine hole. As of when I played it in June '22, there were seven baskets. I guess I'll never get to enjoy the fun of #8.
- Course is in a single open field. To achieve the complete layout, that means holes have to cross back and forth. If it feels repetitive like you've thrown back and forth across the field, don't worry. You've completed holes #1 & 2. Only seven more to go!
- The chance of losing a disc here is very small. You'd have to go 40 feet past the basket on #7 or 9 into a sparse wooded area (not likely), go extremely far off course on #3 or 6 (also not likely), or throw a second shot for the heck of it and leave that disc in the field (most likely).
- Based on my round here, and comments from others, this course seems to have a cross breeze pretty regularly. That can add a small layer of challenge.
- Good for casual players. It's actually good for practice. With all the baskets close by, you can practice all sorts of approach shots, angles, types of throws, and what not.
- Good for a quick round. The entire course barely takes up two acres.
- Everything seemed new and clean. Baskets were in good shape. The walking trail winding through the course was freshly paved.
- It's a gorgeous, quaint downtown. There were several of nice towns like this along the way from Roanoke Rapids to here.
Cons: For a layout with zero trees, two acres of grass, and seven or eight baskets, this is probably the best we can expect. That doesn't mean it's good though.
- If you are going to have seven, or eight, baskets in close proximity, how about have them numbered? I'm not talking about numbers inside the cage that you can see from 10 feet away.
- Ummm, it's just a boring, open layout. I knew what to expect as soon as I saw the layout. I felt the same when I finished. At least I was out of the truck for 20 minutes.c
Other Thoughts: Hayley-Haywood is there. And because it is, some of us will go out of our way to play it. Shame on us.
- I'm still undecided which wide open hole was my favorite. Was it the one that went to the left? Or was it the one to the right? Or the one that was straight ahead?
- All said, this is actually a good spot for practice. Pick a basket and empty your bag practicing jump putts, flicks, rollers, or whatever else you decide.
- Good for stat padding. It's not close to any other courses. Luckily for most players, you won't accidentally stumble upon this course.
- This course is even lowly rated on UDisc. I didn't even know they had ratings that low on that site
- Seeing how I've lived in North Carolina for 35 year, and had never heard of Warrenton before, I doubt I'll be back here again anytime soon. This course will soon go in the forgotten memory space.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Wind Heightens the Play
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -An open 9-hole course with 8 baskets with sloping fairways. Three sides of the course have a tree line that shouldn't come into play.
-When the wind is blowing, it will be very dominant and for skilled players offers an abundance of wind play. The wind was blowing 15-25 mph when I played, and 8 of 9 holes I was able to ride the wind. On those holes the wind was either facing me or behind me some great hyzer and turnovers.
-8 of 9 tee boxes has it least some slope/elevation to offer. Tee boxes are raised off the ground offering a little more height.
-Unique tee sign maps that show tee and basket locations for all holes, with the intended tee and basket you're playing highlighted, and larger than the others you're not playing. Some tees are shared, there will be two tee signs. This is to help orient where you are on the course. Tee sign will also have hole number. Course map at the entrance will also reinforce with a map, and state "a par 3 course".
-Navigation is a weave pattern will need to pay attention to the tee map. Some baskets had a hole number laying in them.
-From the bag at the tee a variety of discs putters, mids, fairways, and drivers. With the wind fun I was throwing extra disc enjoying the wind bounce.
-No potential disc loss when I played in the month of December with short grass unless you no longer want your disc.
-Beginners and Recreational can get an assessment on how well they're throwing, and a chance for good scoring. Intermediate, Advanced, and Course Baggers I would only come here when the wind is blowing unless you don't like wind play.
Cons: -The holes themselves have nothing. There are no defined fairways, some cross each other, and nothing unique about them. No unique basket locations.
-The gravel tee boxes are just bad! Its compact mud with oversize rocks. The rocks make the tee pad uneven and a twist the ankle hazard. I found my spot and did half-step throws not wanting to turn an ankle on a follow thru.
-No. 7 crosses fairways from tee to basket on the upper portion of the course and was down wind offering no wind play. The tee pad is shared with No. 1, so you are throwing with the width of the tee pad, no room.
-There are three baskets on the lower portion of the course, three on the upper portion, and two in the middle. The lines are weaving in all directions. If there are more than two groups, you may get an introduction to a "Disc Golf Suicidal Disc Firing Squad."
-A few baskets are leaning over, and the baskets are aged. Likely used from another course when installed. You may experience some splash outs.
-Plenty of parking that is overgrown with tall weeds and has trash. Large rocky gravel on the lot, hmm, I wonder if that's where they got the gravel from for the tee boxes.
Other Thoughts: Hayley-Hayward Park I'm sure is enjoyed by those who play in the community. I found terrain very appealing offering some elevated slopes going in both directions and with the 15-25 mph wind gusting across the fairway offered some very memorable wind play with my discs. My home course Munden Point offers the overall best wind play, but never have I experience 8 tee throws riding the wind watching my disc bounce in the air like I did at Hayley-Heyward, and with all variety of discs. I threw a few extra discs on all holes except for #7 I couldn't get enough of it. My personnel con is the lack of personality of the course, there's just nothing there for each hole, and very blah. In my reviews I like to include Notable holes, Signature hole, and a Trouble Hole. When those are not there, at least a "hole worth mentioning." But none of those apply at Hayley-Hayward. If I lived within 30 minutes of the course and the wind was kicking, I would make the drive and empty out my bag throwing at different baskets, and not bother playing the layout. What I don't know is how often does the wind blow like it did when I play, so the wind has little effect on my overall rating.
With the unique colorful tee signs, the terrain, and a slight consideration of the wind my overall rating is anchored on a 2.0. The time to play was 25 minutes, without throwing the extra discs would have been less than 20 minutes.
I don't like wearing my glasses when I play so it takes a moment to focus on smaller tee signs. When I walked up to the first tee with both signs for 1 and 7 and saw every tee and basket on the signs my eyes popped open, I couldn't believe somebody would do that. Then I noticed the highlighted tee and basket for No. 1.
The course slopes in one direction holes 1, 3, 5, and 8 elevated higher tees and 2, 4, 6, 9 lower tees. There's a shallow gully closer to the lower tees and this created a wind tunnel in the gully with the wind running with the gully. The lower tees have some elevation throwing to a higher basket across the gully. No. 7 played across the higher elevation of the course and had no effect from the gully.
A cold front was pushing high wind into the area and course. From the higher tees wind directly on my back I'm LHBH, lower tees wind in my face. When I threw turnovers to ride the wind or Hyzer when the disc passed over the gully, my disc would pop up rising and increase speed riding air bumps creating some remarkable flights, and a fun round on the course! I might get a handful of those on my 18-holer home course, but never 8, let alone on a 9-holer course. If I thought the wind had this type of effect on lower wind speeds, and this type of disc play was mostly consistent on the course, I would have increased my overall rating, but I just don't have that information.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
The Disc Golf version of Guts
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There are baskets, 8 for this 9 hole course. They are Mach1s that catch pretty well.
6 tee pads for the 9 holes, they are large, chunky gravel so not the best. In fact, several times I used the grass next to the tee.
Course map at the start is nice and there are signs at most holes, but this is your first Warning. When you look at the map for this course, you'll see how little imagination was used in "designing" this course. Every fairway crosses at least one other, except the lone wolf - #8. #3 is the big winner, it crosses 6 other fairways! #7 comes in next with 5 fairways crossed!
Completely open property with no trees in play, so little chance of loosing a disc, unless you lose it in the perpetually long grass.
Cons: Long grass, chunky tee pads, crossing fairways, shared tees (and 1 basket), its pretty obvious the person that laid this course out (I can't use the D word anymore) did not know what they were doing. There was no attempt to avoid the other fairways (except for #8), many tees very close to the previous basket, basically throwing from one end of the property to the other, are there any course layout errors they missed?
Normally on courses like this, small town park, wide open area, they would lay out short, putt putt style holes. Not here, these holes average 240' with #9 stretching to 350', so anyone that plays here with more than 1 or 2 discs is probably going to have higher speeds discs. If anyone else is on this property (players or walkers), getting beaned is a distinct possibility.
The sad thing is, there are trees on the edge of the property and one small section with scattered trees, that could spread this course out enough to make it somewhat interesting. But no, throw them out in the middle and see how many lines you can cross.
Other Thoughts: If you ever did have more than, mmmm ... 1 group playing here at a time, it would be like that old Frisbee game - Guts. In that game, teams line up across from each other and take turns throwing a disc as hard as they can at the other team, trying to land it in their opponent's court or get a dropped catch. I could see multiple groups of players here facing off against each other, from opposite tees, and trying to play most of these holes without hitting anyone.
Its kind of tough to do a normal review on a course like this, since all the baskets are wide open, with no shot shaping needed, the only challenge is distance. #5 is the only one a little different, in a slight depression in the middle of the property. Yea, I threw a few spike hyzers at that one, but couldn't get one to stick. Look at the tee pics on this course, very difficult to tell one hole from another.
Just like bbwrenn, I'm kind of unsure about this one, is any course that has decent baskets a good thing in a DG desert, exposing new people to the game, eliminating a 25+ mile drive to the next closest course? OR, would new players come here and think this game is stupid, a total wreck of a layout (still not using the D word), possibly dangerous and not bother with it again? I guess since this probably gets very little traffic, so the layout and safety are not big issues. Gee, wouldn't anyone who starts here, then goes to another course, be surprised how all the holes are separate and go around the whole park and NEVER cross each other!
I did play all the holes on the Friday afternoon I was there, even finishing in a light rain, and never saw anyone else. I imagine that's pretty typical for this property.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Baskets in a desert
Pros: The course exists. This area is a complete disc golf desert and to some extent, having a course is better than not having a course.
The holes allow you to practice any line you like, since there's no obstacles.
The distances are varied so you can try throwing with different amounts of power.
The mach 1's are fine, especially for a course of this nature. They caught well.
The teeboxes aren't as bad as I would have thought they'd be, and are better than nothing. (I don't think there'd be enough play to stomp them into dirt, if they were natural)
The course map will get you there. I noticed that the proximity of the tees/baskets in relation to the path, which is your only landmark, was a bit off on many of them, but it allows you to at least find what you need. They did at least make it navigable, which is helpful since it is all in one big field.
Cons: Phew. I'm not sure where to start.
Grass is a foot tall in some places. There's no prickly plants, or poison leaves in it at all, so it's not terrible. Basically, if you keep your eye on your disc, and don't mind your feet being a little wet, it doesn't really affect anything. Although this is an issue that could easily be fixed, I'm thinking that it is the rule, not the exception. It doesn't look like it gets regular maintenance.
Every fairway except 8 crosses other fairways. The course just zigs and zags across an open field multiple times. For some reason, 8 was placed kind of alone on the side.
The holes play all over the walking paths. Warrenton only has 850 people living in it, and it is in the middle of nowhere. It's still not a good idea, but it is probably fine. I have serious doubts that people walk here with any regularity. If the city insisted on putting a walking path in, which they did, then there's no way to have holes here too as a separate entity, there's just not enough room. They have to co-exist, or not exist at all. It's still a bad look.
The baskets and teepads are multi-use. 8 baskets total. Holes 2 and 4 share a basket. There are 6 pads total. Holes 1 and 7 share a pad, holes 3 and 5 share a pad, and holes 2 and 9 share a pad. The hole 1/7 pad is worse than the others, because hole 7 is 90 degrees from the tee, so you only get about 3-4 feet of sideways space.
Teeboxes are bad. They performed better than expected, to be sure, but a quick glance at the photos will tell you this is no ordinary gravel. No no, this is SUPER gravel. There are rocks the size of a golf ball in there. I suppose the rain has packed it down, because surprisingly, it never felt too loose or uncomfortable.
One thing that made me belly laugh when we were pulling up is that the baskets do have metal signs indicating their hole numbers. However, these metal signs are placed IN the baskets. Literally 8x8 aluminum sheets just draped into the sides of the basket, propped up against the wire so you can read them from afar. Never seen this one before. It was funny looking, but definitely not good design. It would be hilarious that if you played here enough, you'd eventually surely have a putt that ramps off the sign back out of the basket like an ATV. That would be worth seeing.
Other Thoughts: NEVER make a special trip to play here. It is terrible.
The reason I'm giving 1 disc instead of none or a half, is that compared to other courses I have seen on here, it actually works for what it is. Yes, it's terrible, but they have all their baskets in, and undamaged. Yes, it's terrible, but there are usable teepads and the course map is "almost" accurate. Yes, it's terrible, but there aren't any other options within any reasonable distance. Despite the course being quite bad, there are small positives to be had.
I think what breaks my heart the most, is that the archived footage on Google Earth shows a plot of woods here. If they had gotten ANYBODY with disc golf experience, even a casual player or beginner, this would have turned out better. The city literally just clear cut a plot of woods that could have surely built a decent/reasonable course. Even just six holes from 150-225 ft through light woods, that didn't zig and zag across each other, would have been decent. Instead we got this mess plopped in a field.
When I said above that "to some extent" having a course is better than not having a course, I feel like it is at least debatable.
After all, there are negatives to having a course like this too - people think this is what disc golf is. A kid plays this at their family picnic growing up and immediately writes the game off as a joke. A busy mom or dad who might have gotten into the game if they played a better course, plays here for their first time, and immediately thinks the game is silly.
So it's not necessarily all good, just to have a course. It's good to have it, but at the same time, it's a really poor representation of what we are, to many people who will never see another course.
It is what it is, and certainly nothing more. :)
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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