9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Live Oak offers some of the best features of low country disc golf. Despite being close to Columbia, this feels much closer to a Charleston-area course.
- There is a lot to like here. I mean, it's got aspects of an excellent course from challenge to fun factor to scenery. Add to that, this is a disc golf exclusive park.
- Course has a solid flow to it. You start out throwing alongside US-15, a four lane highway. You'd have to really shank one left for the road to come in play. Just know it won't take much to get close to it.
- From there, the next six holes take you straight back to the deepest part of the park. #2 is a fun, multi-shot par four that weaves between open and wooded. The next two holes have lesser elements of this too.
- #6 is a raised short hole. Throwing off a mound and a (currently) small, square, have-to-throw-flat-footed tee, this is only a 180-foot semi-tight fairway. It's a pre-cursor to #8, one of the prettiest tee shots in the entire state.
- #8 is as picturesque of a tee shot as you'll see. Standing on the raised tee, you're looking straight at a magnificent live oak. It's a dogleg right, par 4 so don't get too lost in the moment or you're facing a difficult second shot. Still, take an extra moment to savor this view.
- Course does a good job with varied layouts. Lengths range from 180 to 481 feet. There's a good blend of open layout to heavily wooded, tight fairways. #13 is just an ugly, don't try anything fancy, get out of Dodge alive type of hole. Four is a respectable score here. Three is outstanding, or extremely lucky.
- Course has some quirky layouts to add some sizzle. Placing #18 in the remnants of an old brick building with the remains of the chimneys still there. Throw in the hand-painted wall in front of the green, and it's an unique way to end your round. Others of note: #15's green surrounded by a wall. #16 with a smaller, raised mound and another live oak to throw around. #5 having a tight gap to hit to be in putting range. And, #14 has a sunken basket.
- There's a big line between a good and great round here. Accuracy is premium on the wooded holes. The stretch of #10 - 14 can make or break a round. Lots of tight, winding fairways. You can see 5 straight pars by throwing short and straight. You'll need to throw long and straight to see birdie chances. So, do you risk your par for a birdie chance knowing a bad kick off a tree could lead to bogeys or worse.
- Cool, hand drawn(?) tee signs. I like the simple feel of them, even if they're not completely accurate.
Cons: I hope the course was still a work in progress when I played on New Years Eve '21. Lots of small areas need some more attention that it adds up over the course of the round.
- Tee pads. Absolutely needed on several holes. Would be nice on all holes, but would several for just the ones that are a must. This includes the short pads on the hill on #6 & 8, but also includes some of the poor footing, potentially muddy wooded holes too.
- More clearing is needed on some holes. On #5 and 6, the fairways seemingly are as wide as walking paths. For anyone who's played Fire Swamp (fka Tidal Creek) in the Charleston area, these two holes will bring up painful memories. #14 needs some widening too.
- Signage could be improved as well. From next hole signs to mando arrows to hole numbers on baskets, it would be helpful. On #16, for example, I had no clue which basket I was playing to. After throwing, and walking down the fairway, it appeared (maybe?) that I was OB and/or had missed a mando? It's nice playing as the course designer intended. So, clearer instructions would be helpful.
- Back 9 isn't nearly as fun, or good, as the front 9. Front nine had more variety and creativity. With that stretch of #10 - 14 (really just through #13 as 14 is fine), you lose the variety.
- A general lack of amenities. Very few trash cans. I didn't notice any benches. And no bathrooms or water fountains here. Just come prepared.
- #15 could pose a safety risk of hitting cars. The fairway runs alongside the right side of the parking lot. Seems like it would be an issue when the lot is packed. Maybe move the tee up 200 feet to eliminate the risk?
Other Thoughts: For a good, but not great course, would you have a lot of consistently good holes (nothing memorable and nothing bad), or more of a roller coaster design with some amazing, memorable holes and a couple lesser/filler layouts? Live Oak is in the latter category. And that's a good thing.
- Really, big picture, who cares that #5 isn't great, #10 has an awkward fairway, or that #13 is better playing one short shot after another? Give me some high quality holes (#2, 8, 9, 14, and 16) and I'll take the forgettable layouts. Who cares that there are brussel sprouts on our plate if we have an outstanding steak to eat?
- I suspect this course is going to be tough and tight in the summer. With some fairways already tight when there aren't leaves on the trees, just imagine the added challenge when some lines disappear.
- Good flow throughout. You could nitpick about a couple of layouts, but generally this is a good design. I didn't like #18 as a closing hole. It's one of the simplest layouts….unless….there's a mando/island factor to the hole I'm not aware of. It's a no doubt par 3, and a realistic 2 for better players.
- Is there a way to flip the final 3 holes (make existing #17 the new 16, #18 becomes 17, and existing #16 becomes your closing hole. You now end with an island fairway/OB, making this a tougher closing hole with more risk/reward. The chance for a larger scoring variance means 1-2 stroke leads on the final tee may not be safe.
- Excellent compliment to Dillon. This may be better than Dillon. I might like Dillon slightly more. I'm not sure?? I think this being disc golf exclusive compared to Dillon (where I once had to skip multiple holes because a youth football team was having a walkthrough on several fairways) might give this the edge. Plus, this has a better signature hole than Dillon.
- Throw in the fun of playing at Shaw and the unique quality of Hidden Park (reminder: IT IS the park entrance and NOT a driveway), and you've got an interesting day of disc golf in Sumter. Hats off to Kelly Melton for his work with the Sumter disc golf scene. This is a solid mid point between Columbia and either Charleston or Myrtle Beach.
- I am giving this a 3.0 for the time being. Once the tee pads are installed and a little better signage, and I'll give this a half point bump.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Don’t Whine- Hit You’re Line
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Single use (Disc Golf) park - I did not notice any other activities.
- Excellent use of space - this is 18 holes on a small parcel of land
- Parking away from the road
- Course map sign at the edge of the parking lot
- Practice basket -easily seen from the parking lot
- Tee signs at Blue tee pads with fairway layout, par, distance to pin, location of red tees, location of white tees, and next blue tee (Blue tees are longest distance)
- Baskets are colorful enough to find through the trees
- Rug for Blue tee pads on most holes
- Several signs to next tee
- Mostly technical (trees in the fairways) holes but 2, 4, 8, 15 & 17 give an opportunity to air out some longer throws
- A good effort at elevation change though the park is generally flat
- Several beautiful tunnel shoots
- Off fairway brush is brutal so finding errand discs is not bad but getting back on the fairway may seem impossible
Cons: - Typical amenities that raise course ratings are not there yet, for example, toilet, benches, trash cans
- Holes 15 & 18 the fairways run along the parking lot posing a minor risk of hitting a parked car - better than street parking or shortening the fairways
- Park is not well marked - there is a small sign but it is easiest to find by the business across the street - Sumter Coatings
- Be aware of other golfers when in the open areas. The fairways of adjoining holes (4 and 8 come to mind) are not clearly separated.
Other Thoughts: - I'm rating this course a 3 because the golf is a good challenge for a recreational golfer like myself. It does not have several amenities but it is a new course that does not look like it has seen any other activity in a while. So I'm very hopeful that more good things are to come.
- I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the variety and challenges this small course offers. There are some pretty open longer holes, tunnel shots, right & left doglegs, and technical 'pick a line around the trees'. There are challenges with a low canopy and even a little elevation change. Serious players will likely find mids and fairway drivers more than enough disc for this course but recreational players should find quite a challenge. Most of the course is about control and hitting/throwing the disc on your intended line. Hit your lines and the course is easy, miss your line and frustration will haunt you.
- A few comments on some of the holes without giving everything away.
o Four is about getting under or around a large tree which I assume is an oak. Looked easy but I put my disc in the foliage every time.
o Don't criticize the short length of the number six tee box, remember it is only a straight 180 feet to the basket.
o Be aware that 9 has a double mandatory (mando) in the middle of the fairway.
o 10 might be the most challenging of all with a clump of trees and bushes just before the basket
o 14 has a twist on basket positioning I've not seen before.
o 15 is getting a new bamboo back drop for the basket that will help protect the basket and fairway behind it (great idea)
o 16 look at the sign closely this is an island hole - meaning out of bounds from the tee to the walkway.
o 18 a nice use of what there was to work with on basket placement
o A bonus - there is a little tee pad to the right of the 18 basket that can be used to play the practice basket as hole 19
- I hope you enjoy this course as I have. The crew making & maintaining this course are doing a wonderful job.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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