An Abundance of Elevation
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -An 18-hole course on an ex-ball course with 16 holes having tees elevated, whether teeing above fairway or teeing to a fairway higher than the tee pad. Holes are mostly open, but tees can be more elevated than trees or brush laying gullies in front of tee pads with interfering branches. A few wooded holes, and a few water holes. Ex-ball greens and sand traps come into play.
-Each hole has three tee pads and have two baskets. Offering a variety of challenges based on player abilities and preferences. Course distance range from 5198 feet to 11755 feet.
-Majority of tee pads are on ex-ball tee boxes and grass is kept short, even, and good footing. I had no issues teeing from them. Short tees were mostly open, some long tees were out of the woods. Fairway grass was also short.
-Tee signs are small placards attached to tee block, having hole number, par, distance, and OB if present.
-Short baskets are kept mostly open and away from trouble. Long baskets are tucked in woods, near water, and a few elevated with rollers.
-Navigation is clockwise and all you must do is follow the cart path. I only pulled up UDisc to check basket location. In the warmer months with foliage, I would imagine the course to be very scenic.
-Out of the bag on the tee fairways and drivers I played short tee to long basket.
-Beginners and Recreational will find short to short very manageable and enjoyable. Intermediate and Advanced will find themselves more challenged on the long baskets and just find your distance from preferred tee.
-As a Disc Golf property Raptor's Roost ranks #1 on my courses played. On the property are a total of four courses 1-9-hole putter course The Woods, a beginners 18-holer Little Wing, and a second18 hole course with full distance Talon. A disc driving range. A fully stocked pro shop with a large disc selection. Also, a grill that opens Thursday thru Sunday with a chef, other days snacks and beverages including adult with indoor seating.
-Raptors Roost is located on the Shenandoah Crossing Resort property and would be a family destination with several options for lodging including camping and RV hookups. A large variety of outdoor entertainment.
Cons: -On most of the elevated tees looking out over the fairway you're seeing the same scenery with some settled differences hole to hole, with a few wooded and water holes to break it up. I would imagine for some players this would be too repetitive. As a flat lander playing Virginia Beach area courses, please give me more of Raptor's Roost elevated tees, I didn't mind the repetition, however leaving some holes not memorable.
-The tee signs are very small and for someone like me who just can't wear glasses when playing it was quite difficult to read. No hole map at the tee, UDisc will be helpful to located some of the long baskets. I hope eventually some larger signs will be posted.
-Some of the long tees had ragged turf especially in the woods which were lumpy, and I threw off a few of them. On the ball course tees, I would step to the side and throw off the smooth grass.
-Holes 1-2, and 16-18 share some tees, fairways, and baskets with the Little Wing course. It's possible on a warm weekend you may mix it up with players on Little Wing. On both of my visits on winter weekday I was the only one playing on the property.
-There's a lot of extra walking basket to tee which I don't mind. Need some strong legs and wind a few uphill fairways, and on 18 you're going to feel it.
-Lost disc potential not too bad. Water does come into play on 12-13, and there were heavy leaves on the two wooded holes 8 and 16. Some shallow gullies to cross, and woods bordering fairways.
Other Thoughts: If you want to hook me onto a course, just put me on elevated tees and Raptor's Roost Wing has them! There are elevated tees every which way, whether elevated going downhill or elevated tee to a fairway elevated higher uphill, elevation crossing gullies or over branches from trees trying to grab your disc as it passes over. Watching my disc fly high over fairways was a pure joy. Walking into the Pro Shop was a wow experience everything there for the Disc Golf experience and not to be shared with any other activity. The owner David is very kind gave me a free pass on my next visit when I told him I travel from Virginia Beach to play, and on my second visit repaid his kindness buying a Star Roc. My only personnel con was I would have liked to see more of the ball greens and traps worked into play for OB, but I would find out on my second visit playing Talon Course those thoughts would be waiting for me, to be shared on a later review.
My overall rating is anchored on a 5.0 based on the consistent elevated disc golf experience, a course in good condition, the scenery from elevated tees, and an outstanding pro shop. The time to play taking pictures was 90 minutes.
Notable Holes: All short tees to long basket
-No. 2 Par 3 at 430 feet straight down hill a dogleg left around a hill covered with trees and brush. The dogleg is about 320 feet out, the basket has guardian trees and the green slopes left to right and the disc can get away from you. From the tee it slopes until about 130 feet out and the fairway drops not able to see fairway from the tee. A strong drive can get away from you sailing toward a gully and past basket. Long tees are behind you to the right coming out of a wooded gap. I threw one of my better drives hugging the hill and got caught up in high grass just another 10 feet I would have had a clear line to basket.
-No. 6 Par 3 at 484 feet is a straight down hill drop with basket sitting in the middle of a ball green. It's a tunnel shot all the way down with tunnel at a lower elevation from where you're teeing at with branches crossing over the fairway at your height. Very awkward tee shot and more difficult from the long tees behind you. I dropped my disc lower in my stance and was looking pretty good until I got hung up in branches halfway down. Disappointed not to get a picture the sun was reflecting off the green, and a basket to tee was looking up into the sun, none of the pictures turned out.
-No. 14 Par 4 at 411 feet is an elevated tee, but the fairway is elevated higher uphill. At about 280 feet out doglegs right to basket, even more straight up hill to a basket on a ledge with guardian brush to your right, if not careful can roll back to you. From the tee crossing gully with trees growing out of it and branches sticking up a little higher than your elevation. I got a hold of my drive, but a late release (lefty) had me streaking down the left side of fairway and a long way from basket.
No. 13 Par 4 at 433 feet is the only level hole from the short tee, from blue and gold tee elevated and out of the woods thru gaps and more difficult. There's a pond between you and the basket, to clear pond need 410 feet. There is fairway along the right side of pond. The basket sits on a ledge about 15 feet wide and rolls into the pond and into the woods on other side of ledge. The most scenic hole on the course, and intimating! I had a 20-foot birdie putt that I wanted badly and hit the band.
No. 12 Par 4 at 516 feet is an elevated tee with a drop down to the fairway, the blue tee is 600 plus feet, and gold a par 5 900 plus feet, both tees straight back from short tee. From the tee fairway wraps around a hillside with heavy trees and brush as a dogleg left with the turn about 200 feet out. The entire fairway wraps around sloping left to right. Straight ahead from tee at around 280 feet is the same pond for #13. The rest of the way in from the dogleg the fairway continues to slope left to right towards the pond and tightens up as you get closer to the basket with about 30 feet of fairway width, on the left heavy trees, and right the pond, the basket a roller can't be seen from the tee. At this point the most scenic hole seen until you move onto #13, and greatest lost disc potential. If you have the distance best play would seem to have the disc bite into the hill above basket. As I pondered my approach shot with concern, I decided to bite the hill but didn't have enough loft, and watched a cut roller head towards the pond, thankfully the reeds kept my disc out of the water and was playable for a dump putt.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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