Fun ball golf design, but value isn't there
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course is always in great shape because it's independence. You're paying for not only that name, but for them to make sure it is always in wonderful condition. Of course is fairly easy to navigate once you get there, with a hole or two being interesting. If you are looking for a ball golf course to play disc golf on similar to the Las Vegas open, this will be your best bet in Richmond.
Staff was super friendly and accommodating, you felt like they wanted you there to play disc golf which was nice
Cons: $20 for 18 holes is pretty steep especially when you compare it to other paid courses around Richmond that offer better disc golf value. It's a half mile walk to the first tee box from the pro shop, but you can drive your car to a back parking lot. The course design isn't super challenging. Beginner to rec players will find it suitable, but intermediate and up might not find much of a challenge here.
Other Thoughts: Replayability of this course is pretty low due to how many open shots there are. That said, I do think it's worth checking off your Richmond course list and playing it at least once. I would also plan to play again with some out of town friends to give them a different change up of course style
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: ***Confirmed that rates are still $10 for 9-holes or $20 to play all day. Thier's a selection of 3 tees per hole and based on your skill level.
-A course meandering on a ball course at the Historic Independence Golf Club. The course plays thru open fairways, a few baskets with guardian trees, tee throws over water with lily pads, elevated tees, upslope, and down slope fairways. Heavy woods and brush border most of the course. Very scenic!
-Obstacles include ball greens which are O.B, and knolls which can dictate direction of your disc when it hits the fairway or green. A few greens are a ski bowl shape offering a unique roller experience.
-Fairways are tightly mowed providing outstanding skip shots, rollers, and pop up's when your disc lands on the fairway. Also provides a distance that you may not be used too with the fast fairways.
-Tees are shared with the grass tees of the ball course. Tees are marked by a long stake off the ground. There are three tees:
1. Red/short, two which are played from the cart path and the rest on the grass tees.
2. White tees are all on the grass tees.
3. Blue/Long tees, three are further back from grass tees to provide more distance. There are no holes less than 300 feet.
I played red tee the first hole, my legs were stiff after a 2-hour drive and a shorter water carry, and white tee on 9, wasn't about to give a disc donation. The blue tees on the other 7 holes.
-Fairways and tees are manicured and rank #1 for both fairways and grass tees I've played. They looked to be mowed every 2 or 3 days.
-Wind can dominate most of the course offering awesome air bounces from the elevated tees.
-Course works counterclockwise from the completed basket played, look for next ball tee. A course app will help!
-On a Tuesday morning light traffic. Two ball golfers ahead of me a few holes, and 1 keeping pace behind me one hole. Didn't feel rushed.
-Very friendly staff!
-The Bear ranks #1 on the 9-holer courses I've played for the unique fairway/green disc experience. It's the first 9-holer I've favored.
-The property offers indoor dining with steak and lobster and full menu, a taphouse with happy hour, and the Monster Taco stand right next to where you pay for your round.
-Beginners and Recreational will have the open space for a comfortable game and shorten tees if desired. Intermediate and Advanced will experience unique shots off the tees, fairways, and greens, and can be challenged.
Cons: -There are no tee signs, and no navigation aids. A course app will help, or just look for the next ball tee.
-Its along walk from 1st basket to 2nd tee at least an 800-foot Par 5, most of it you're walking across water on a bridge. About 500 feet from 8 basket to 9 tees.
-The course being wide open veteran players that can bomb it will have an advantage, and may find the course too easy or not? But you still must deal with the knolls, ball greens and bowl shape basket greens. 6 thru 9 from tee to basket will look familiar from a traditional disc course.
-Lost disc potential I would put at high for the two water carries over lily pads, your disc is gone. Also a few holes where heavy brush borders the fairway, disc will be difficult to find. I was so excited to throw a down slope 360-foot drive on No. 4, that I want to see it again, my second skipped right into the high rough, gone!
-The .5-mile driveway from where you pay to the disc golf parking lot only enough room for 1 car, but there are turn offs where you'll need to negotiate if you meet another car going the opposite direction. It's a very scenic short drive.
Other Thoughts: I've watched the Las Vegas Challenge where the big boys have those incredible shots across ball course fairways and greens with the huge skips, bounces, and rollers wondering if it was possible that could happen for me. The answer is yes! To my capability. Adding on the elevated tees and air bounces it was a very surprising round with a highly elevated fun factor! The fast fairways added about 75 feet on one level hole, on one down slope hole about 90 feet, and an upslope hole about 25 feet, something I've never seen anywhere else matching those three holes. I would love to play with a long-distance player and see how their disc reacts on these lightning fairways.
The Bear and the Independence is a good place to bring friends offering a unique disc golf experience and a dining/beverage experience as well. With fast fairways, unique holes with their obstacles, wind play, a few traditional disc holes, and the amenities of the property my overall rating is anchored on 5.0. I will return yearly as an only course visit for the day and take advantage of the property. My round took one hour, the longest by far for a 9-holer.
No. 1 Par 3 at 460/390/303 over a water carry with thick lily pads the basket is about 150 feet from water edge. An elevated tee shot past the water that rises upslope to the basket, with the fairway sloping left to right, with knolls kicking the disc to the right. Open fairway past the water with bushy trees both sides of water with plenty of room at the gap, a ball green sits to the left of basket just outside C1.
No. 3 Par 3 at 382 feet long tee is a straight away carry to the basket and level, except you can only see the top portion of the basket. A ball green 50 feet wide and to reach at 200 feet is right in the middle of fairway. About 50 feet each side of the green is a downslope right into heavy brush. The basket sits about 50 feet past the green and is ski bowl shaped, the bowl smaller than a C1 circle. The basket sits on the left portion of the bowl on the up slope, the outlet is to the right of the bowl and is a roller right into the brush just within C1. I decided to try to skip thru the ball green but hit a knoll just in front of it and slowed my disc down. Took my penalty drop to the left and thought I had parked an easy approach as my disc disappeared into the bowl. Found my disc on the edge of brush for a two-putt double bogey.
No. 5 Par 4 at 504 feet is a straight away to the basket, the fairway is level but has a wave effect all the way down to the basket and can speed up your disc when it hits. The ball green is right center to reach at least 325 feet out. There are pine trees to the left of fairway but shouldn't come into play. The Basket sits about 40 feet past the ball green, and ski bowl shaped. Basket sits in the middle of bowl on the right, and the outlet roller is to the left of the bowl. A knoll in front of C1 hides the bowl on your approach. I found my approach and birdie putt just 15 feet to the left of basket in the bowl. I don't have that kind of distance, but with those fast fairways, at the Bear I did on this day. I made the putt.
No. 9 Par 4 at 564 feet blue/longs, Par 3 at 371 feet white/middle. Red shorts are on the other side of the water. The carry from blue over the lily pads water is at least 380 feet, white is 185 feet. After the carry the fairway upslopes all the way to the basket and gets steeper. The ball green sits left center about 60 feet past the water and runs another 60 feet up fairway. Your squeezed right center of fairway about 30 to 50 feet where on the right is uphill brush and trees. The last 50 feet to the basket are straight uphill where it sits on a knoll with guardian pine trees and a roller back down toward the fairway. I played from the whites; I don't have a 380-foot throw before the up slope. I was amazed to see my drive skip upslope onto the ball green thinking I was safe. Took my penalty stroke. The hole is scenic from the tee, but far more beautiful looking from the basket down slope towards the tee.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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