13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It seems there are standard ingredients needed for a good course: elevation, trees, water, varied hole designs.
- This is near the top of my list of best predominantly open layouts, where the majority of holes have little to no trees. The best is North Cove Boulders (Marion). This is easily in my top 5.
- To make up for a lack of trees, that means there has to be other obstacles instead. That challenge is found in the rolling hills terrain that constitutes this course. You see that right off the bat, with an uphill shot on #1. It's 270 feet and uphill. And, throw in a possible crosswinds, and it's a hole that's just tough enough to start your hole on the wrong foot.
- I loved #4. It's an outstanding layout. It's a 5 out of 5 (or 10 out of 10 for certain people). It's a near perfect blend of aesthetics, fun, and challenge. 303 feet from the longs, 240 from the mid tees (where I threw from) to a small green. Go right and you're in the woods, and may be searching for a long time. Long and you're in less punishing rough. Go left, and you're rolling down a hill, leading to a potentially blind upshot. In a tourney, I could see this becoming an island green, leaving no margin for error.
- #9 is a fun uphill hole. It's a setup to the first long, bomber hole. #10 is slightly downhill and 771 feet. It's the first time players can really air it out. A perfectly nice multi-shot hole.
- #16 is the toughest hole on the course. If you're going to have a blow up score, it's going to be here. 495 feet on one of the steeper inclines, throwing through a gap in the trees. Land your tee shot safely in the middle to set up your dogleg right second shot. Two good shots and you will be in putting range. A bad tee shot and you're in the trees or far off line to the point you're not advancing that far with your second shot. This could be a hole with a multi-shot swing during an event.
- #18 is long and tough. After climbing up and down hills throughout your round, the highest point on the course is here at the end. At 855 feet, you're throwing downhill for your tee shot only to have the course slowly slope back up towards the basket.
- I enjoyed how many of the holes were laid out on angles on the hills rather than simply straight up or straight down. It's a small but subtle added challenge.
- Outstanding tee signs. They provide all the info you need. Baskets also have arrows on them. I didn't need to pull up the online map once during my round. Side note: wifi sucks out here. So pulling up the map or trying to Google directions after your round may be a challenge.
Cons: You're 15 minutes back to town. There are zero amenities out here. Come prepared.
- If you're a stickler for details, it will bother you that the layout is broken into a front 8 and back 10. The basket for #8 and the tee for #9 are close to the parking lot. So, if you're wanting to stat playing mid round, you're starting on #9 rather than 10.
- There are a few too many simple layouts that feel like filler holes. There's very little challenge or excitement to holes #6 - 8, 11, and 13. Unless the woods are someone else's property, I feel there was some missed opportunities to improve the quality.
- If you're playing when the course is full, there will be times you'll need to keep an eye out for discs sailing from other holes.
- Carpet tee pads. Some people won't like them. I had no issue with them, but I know some will.
- Lack of trash cans on the course. Pack it in. Pack it out.
Other Thoughts: Overall, Bull Creek really impressed me. This course could have turned out poorly. Instead, it's a rousing success.
- This goes without saying, but it needs to be said. A lack of trees = a lack of shade = constant sun = bring plenty of fluid and sunscreen.
- I saw one other player on the course the Saturday afternoon I was playing. Put this course closer to the Triangle, and it would be packed.
- I only stopped by to play because it wasn't that far out of the way of my trip. I was partly expecting this to be a baggers only course. Instead this ended up being a highlight of my trip, which included a visit to Lake Marshall. 18 'courses' in two days (by course, it simply was anywhere I could marked as played on DGCR), and this ended up in my top 5 on the trip.
- #3 and 15 were the sneaky, under the radar fun layouts. Both were downhill. Both have gaps to hit. Both could result in trouble if your disc sails long. These are the holes that won't get attention, but you need these on a course to provide quality depth.
- This is an easy 3.5 in my book. Like every other course I've rated 3.5, it has some really strong aspects. In my book, anything 3.5 or above is a course I'd be happy to play again.
- This is well worth the visit. Just come prepared. Enjoy the layout. Enjoy the solitude.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Mostly Open Fairways and Baskets
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -An 18-hole course on an ex-ball course with wide open tee's, fairways, and basket placements. A few long tee's have a gap off the tee, and a few basket placements in the woods, also a few lightly wooded fairways. There are elevated tees and uphill fairways, and roller greens.
-Long distance throwers will love the mostly open course, and wind can dominate.
-Three tees per hole with turf tee pads in good shape! One basket per hole in good condition!
-The tee signs are excellent with map graphics, hole number, distance's, par, and next tee indicator. Navigation is counterclockwise and will be able to see next tee from played basket for just about all holes.
-From the bag on the tee I played mid's, fairways, and drivers.
-Beginners and Recreational will enjoy the ease of the forward tees and can move back to middle tees if found appropriate for their game, and scoring can be good! Intermediate and Advanced may want to play the long tees to create the challenge.
-There are a few ball course relic's, a reminder of what once was, very lovely granite tee signs. That disc golf is steadily consuming these ex-ball courses!
Cons: -The course is with repetitively open holes, and most of them forgettable. But I'm sure the long bombers wont mind it. Wooded golfers may find it boring.
-A big miss not incorporating the ball greens and sand traps with O.B whiskers, this would have created more challenge to the more skilled players. There are mounds around the ball greens where some were utilized for roller greens with baskets, but without the O.B. lost some effectiveness.
-Lost disc potential will be high on a few holes that border heavy brush and trees. For the most part should be able to walk right up to your disc.
Other Thoughts: Owens Park @ Bull Creek with its wide expanse of open fairways and some elevated tees provided a chance to let it air out from the tee. Regrettably I had some soreness in my rear knee and decided to throw it nice and easy from the middle tees. But from the most elevated tees just had to sling it. That's where the fun is at Owens the elevated tees with a few guarded baskets. As a woods golfer I was pleased to see from the long tees a few gaped tee shots to keep you honest. However, as a woods golfer my biggest personnel con is the wide-open expanse with only a few lightly wooded holes to catch my attention. When my eyes start wandering across the course and seeing a lot of baskets in the open, that's not a good personnel sign, and a miss not putting those greens and sand bunkers into good O.B. use to challenge. I do recognize there are those who will love Owen's for the bomber effect.
My overall rating is anchored on the long-distance elevated throws, the tee box experience, some roller greens, and a few good holes at a 4.0. My overall rating holding the line at a 2.5. The time to play was 65 minutes.
Notable Tee Gap:
-No. 4 Par 3 at 405 feet an elevated tee from the woods with a gap 20 feet in front of you and about 8 feet wide, get past the gap its wide open all the way downhill. No. 10 is the only other gapped tee.
Notable Basket Placement:
-No. 3 Par 3 at 333 feet long/233 feet middle tee from open tees to the only heavy wooded basket placement on the course. The tree line starts within C2 and begins a roller green towards the 4th fairway.
-No. 9 Par 3 long at 261 feet/short at 201 feet is an uphill hole with the basket sitting on the front edge of a ball green creating a roller back toward you. What's unique about this hole are the three Pampas Grass bushes creating an open-air tunnel from long tee with the help of a few pine trees to tighten the line. The first Pampas Grass is just off the right edge of the long tee 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide, the 2nd Pampas is about 70 feet in from of middle tee and a smaller Pampas is a straight on the line from long tee about 160 feet out, and a few pine trees with extended branches. A different kind of tunnel shot, and scenic. Rammed in a birdie putt where a miss could have sent me back down the hill.
-No. 15 Par 3 long at 294 feet is a straight away to the basket which sits on a ball green right center, the fairway starts on a downslope and then drops to the green. From the tee a mando tree with canopy on the left at 40 feet out and about 100 feet out another tree with extended branches on the right creating a gap of about 20 feet, you'll need to create an S line to work the disc. The middle tee is a straight downhill shot to the green. The ball green is surrounded by heavy trees and brush on three sides, but a generous 100-foot gap on the approach. Miss the green right you may roll deeper into the brush.
-No. 18 Par 5 at 855 feet long/768 feet middle tees are both elevated downhill to a wide-open tee shot with very few trees to get in the way. A grip it and rip hole then the fairway starts uphill about 550 feet from the basket. The basket sits on the left in front of a ball green on top of a mound and can create a roller disc back towards you if short. The hole represents most of the course open tee to open basket with both a downhill and uphill fairway. I decided to forget the sore knee and laid into it for some good distance but was so far left didn't really cut the distance down much at all. The tee experience a great way to end the round.
-No. 16 Par 4 at 495 feet long/393 feet middle tee. The long tee is open with the fairway closing with canopy and a 30-foot gap just in front of the middle tee, and where the uphill climb begins. Trees on both sides, heavy brush on the right. A sharp dogleg right steeper uphill 200 feet from the basket. The basket sits on the edge of a ball green to the left creating a roller on the mound and a large guardian tree to its left, prior to that tree, a cluster of trees. The heavy trees and brush continue on the right up the hill towards the basket. With the heavy brush on the right lost disc potential is high, and a wasted stroke to get out. Could waste a stroke in the trees on left. On my approach went too left with tree blockage from the guardian tree for any hope of a birdie run.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
A rare wide open NC course
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Owen's Park at Bull Creek (I don't know if the locals in Franklin County call it "Owen's Park," "Bull Creek," or the full name), is a rarity in the Carolinas: a wide open bomber course where the wind is a bigger factor than trees.
+ If you have a big arm and/or enjoy bombing drives from the tees, you will love OP @ BC. There are some scattered guardian trees here and there, and some fairways are lined by trees (but not on both sides of fairways), the trees are not a big factor on this course. Precision accuracy is not always required. The wind and rolling hill greens are the bigger challenge.
+ Unobstructed putts on wide open, rolling hills are the most difficult -- at least for me! OP has that in spades. Multiple holes have very fast greens to challenge your putting mettle, not to mention breezes fo rattle any weekend warrior.
+ Really all skill levels can be challenged and enjoy this course with Red/Rec, White/Intermediate, and Blue/Advanced tees. The three layouts seem very appropriate for each of those skill levels.
+ Easy navigation with Next Tee arrows on every basket, well-marked tees, tee signs for the Blue and White tees, and red, white, and blue paint clearly marking each tee.
+ No issues with tics or mosquitoes when I played. That's definitely not a given in a rural Eastern NC park in July.
+ This is a great public course for Franklin County, the first and only 18-hole public course that I'm aware of. And in my opinion, this course exceeds the other options (a public 9-hole course, River Bend, and some private 18-hole tracks), despite being a little one-dimensional, yet humbling for noodle arm players like me.
Cons: Owen's Park at Bull Creek is a pretty piece of property, and obviously a former ball golf course at one point. It's well-maintained, while the grass was pretty high when I played, detracting from the aesthetics and enjoyment of the round.
- Obstacles and shot-shaping opportunities are few and far between. It's mostly just wide open, grip and rip.
- While there is a smattering of par 4's, there's really not a whole lot of variety here.
Other Thoughts: This is a great public course for the area. It's probably not worth the drive for people in Wake County, except for folks in the northeastern corner of the county. But it's a clean, well-maintained park and you get to throw discs, so stop complaining! Also, there's a stocked fishing pond on-site at the park if you want to mix hobbies or you're bringing along family members who would rather cast than throw.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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