6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Layout - Fontana is primarily what I call park style golf with the exception that the park is a beautiful mountain resort with almost no foot traffic throughout the area of the course.
2 pads on every hole and many holes had two possible pin positions. How the long pads change the shot, length and challenge of each hole is done superbly here. It's perfect for this place because you want to give more novice players at the resort something fun yet challenging to introduce them while also layering in a stiffer challenge for better players on top of it.
You could say this course is open and compared to most NC courses it is but the beauty of the design is how well the landscape is used to create variety and challenge. Each hole has a unique look as you go through and offers up the chance to be really creative with how you attack the hole.
It balances long/short holes nicely and also makes you focus on being precise over distance due to the elevation changes, slopes and OB provided the resort road. You do get a handful of holes to really let one rip which is always fun.
The greens here are designed nicely. When possible the basket is tucked in to some wooded areas that makes you consider placement and often you'll see the basket on a slope or near a drop off.
As I said earlier the rolling hills give you some great elevation changes and it's used very effectively to make you shape shots and consider what angle your landing in places. There's also some areas with huge drop offs and those are used well to keep you from attacking some of the holes super hard.
There's some par 4's mixed in and this also adds a nice element from the longs (I don't consider the short pads on those holes to be actual par 4's). A couple of these really make you place a shot while throwing over elevation changes and these are a solid challenge and good addition.
Course flows well through most of it, no super long walks or awkward transitions.
Equipment - Dual pads on every hole (mostly concrete, sometimes off the asphalt). Baskets in good shape. Tee signs on both pads that show a hole map, distance. Benches scattered throughout. Scorecards with course map are available at the recreation hut by the mini golf.
Atmosphere - Again, this is a resort in the mountains. It's a beautiful place comprised of mostly sparse cabins, a lodge, some stores and food options. The course utilizes a lot of area that doesn't seem to be used for anything else so you really do get the place to yourself it seems.
The course is maintained well and overall you almost feel like you're at a nice country club playing ball golf due to the amenities, beauty and space you're playing in.
Cons: Layout - I do wish they could of utilized some of the forest on the property to create some true wooded holes. As is there's a few filler type holes that are a bit boring in comparison to some of the other holes. If they could of snuck in some wooded holes instead that would take it up a notch.
A couple of the par 4's are not the best in the world if you have big D. I get you want to cater to a wide demographic but that's what longs are for. 10, 11 and 18 are at weird distances to be true par 4s from the longs. 10 should back the basket up more and 11 I was on the green from the tee (long to long).
Where there is rough here is very rough. There's some thick brush and a ravine/creek running with a few holes you want no part of but could easily end up in if you're off. In a way it adds challenge and could almost be considered OB because you can lose your disc if you go in.
You do play near the resort road quite a bit but it should be noted that I saw very few people driving/walking on it and it was never a problem for us to wait and let them pass.
There's a couple spots where tees are near each other that can be confusing for a second, just remember to grab a map or look it up on here for reference.
Equipment - It would be nice if they could indicate which pin position is in on the tee sign because there's quite a few blind shots here where you're not really sure where to go.
Atmosphere - The thick rough is all I can really think of and honestly it's excusable when you consider how much maintenance it takes to keep this course open.
Other Thoughts: This might be the best park style course I've ever played, right up there with Bryan Park in Richmond, VA. It's way out there but it's definitely worth the trip, not just for the dg but for everything else you can do while in this gorgeous part of the world. Fontana Lake is right there and is one of my favorite lakes in the world.
On top of all of that the course is just super fun and a really good place for people of any skill level to play disc golf. I brought my 7yo son on this trip with me and this is his favorite disc golf course so far. He loved throwing off the hills and having all the space to let discs fly in comparison to the wooded monsters we usually play in NC.
So treat yourself to a vacation and get out to this neck of woods and play this course. I didn't stay in the resort but it looks like a super cool place to stay.
I'll also note that I'm not sure if this is still pay to play. I tried to pay but was told it wasn't necessary.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Great course, glad we drove there
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: We played this course while on vacation in North Carolina. The drive was near an hour and a half from where we were staying. Let me just say, it was well worth it! If you are from out of town and want to see not only a good disc golf course but beautiful scenery on the way, make the day trip to this course! The roads are so fun to drive the trip flies by.
As far as the course itself, it has every shot you could want to throw. Short straight putter shots to long downhill anhyzers. You throw near small creeks that add to the tranquility of the course but won't lose your disc in the water. The grass was being cut as we played and it's on a resort's property so I imagine they keep up with it pretty often. My friend forgot to bring discs with him on the trip and he was able to use a set from the resort. I was slightly worried about it being at a resort but at no point were we throwing anywhere near people. I really don't want to type resort again. Resort.
Elevation. I'm from flat land so it was awesome to experience some elevation. I will say, my legs were cramping towards the end of the round.
There's a restaurant on site that has good local tap beer and decent food. We took a break at hole 12 and had a bite. If you aren't renting a room there you can pay a small fee to use their pool and other amenities. How nice to get all sweaty and take a nice dip afterwards! There were lots of bikers in the area so as we walked to our disc we often got to see some neat bikes and sports cars. Great disc golf course and great experience too.
A couple different times as you play you get back near some of the buildings. We used the facilities and enjoyed a quick hit of AC :)
Cons: No mapping of the hole layout on the signs. Just distances. This led to a lot of figuring out where to throw and slowed us down considerably for our first round there.
I think we may have missed a couple long pads or the signs were missing, couldn't really tell.
Some baskets were looking beat up. (10 especially)
Some baskets are near other fairways. If it was a busy day it may be an issue. We were the only disc golfers when we played.
Other Thoughts: If you parked your car by the check-in area, move it to the bottom of the hill by hole #1 before you play. Your legs will thank you when the course is over and you don't have to walk / crawl up that big ass hill to get back to your car. =]
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Fontana Dam beautiful!!
Pros: -Fontana is secluded! Far from civilization! But it's a gem. Both the course and the place. My family and I stayed there for a couple of nights. This is definitely a family place, particularly for vacation! About the course, it's awesome! It's very scenic! It's maintained well. It mostly has concrete pads, some are rubber but I'm fine with that too. There is a general store, a good dam restaurant, an outdoor store, and there is also a mini golf course that has scorecards and discs for the dg course.
-Benches on many holes, some trash cans which is good enough for me.
-Dual sets of tees. They are either marked by rocks or tee signs.
-The restaurant down the road past #1 is really good! The spicy dam burger is especially good. There is also a convenient store down the road past #16's fairway and to the left.
-Good variety and elevation. Course kicks off with a short #1. The hole is only 162' long and is a pretty simple putter toss, but the basket on the hill adds a bit of challenge but is still an easy birdie. A par can be frustrating but if you roll down the hill, you probably will settle for that. Things get awesome with #2! A big downhill drive onto a wooded green. It's 538' from the long, I have a big arm and I stayed in the hotel room literally beside the long pad so l had a blast bombing understable drivers and trying to make it to the green. Things get even more interesting throughout your round with the steep downhill on #4 and the dangerous green with the OB road 15' past the basket, the elevated rock green on #6, the major downhill flick on #8 and so on but then, the back nine comes and really gets tough....
-#10 is a huge uphill drive. It's barely over 400' from the long but it feels like a par 4! The short is like 230' and I could barely make it up with a mid. #11 is back downhill and turns left at the last 100' feet.
-#16 is a legit par 4! By distance, it seems like a doable 3 but there is OB on both sides. The hole is pretty wooded from both sets of tees but it isn't too difficult if you play safe.
-Tim. Guy who works here. Very cool guy, very friendly, also hosts disc golf lessons here. He works very hard around the course, keeping it well maintained. He is also planning on having a tournament here around fall.
Cons: -Can't really do anything about this but this course attracts snakes in the summer! There was a snake on the mini golf course! I saw a few on the course, luckily they were all black snake but they all snuck up on me which was frightening.
-Construction could be somewhat better. Course is really steep in some places, #7 and #8 play on a very steep hill. I'm 18 and I'm really slim! Skinny by many standards so I didn't have trouble but if you are out of shape, you may slip!
-"Ravine of blood" The ravine on #2 and #11 is steep, thorny and dangerous! Don't take my advice on bombing a stalker down #2's fairway unless you can throw 400+ on flat ground! It's very deep and it comes to play on #15. #15 isn't a problem because of the ravine being close to the tee pads. But #2 and #11 take a bit of thinking. I don't think pain is part of the fun and I don't think it should be the consequence for being a bad throw.
-Some holes are too close to each other. #10 and #11 basically face each other! #3's long pad is also in front of #12's pad.
Other Thoughts: -My cons are really just nit picks. This place rocks! The whole course rocks. It's just the ravine that should really bother you. Everything else isn't a big deal because it's secluded. I would recommend this course to anyone, at anytime. I would especially recommend staying here, sure it's a little pricey but it's totally worth it due to the scenery, food, arcade and how nice the lodges are. There are even guitar hero tournaments up here sometimes. I never could find it in the arcade but they did insist on having them. Which is always fun for me.
-I went here on a birthday vacation. There is a girl I'm very close with and that I hang out with all the time that is on a mission trip in Cherokee so my family and I stayed there on Thursday night. The Smoky Mountain area is awesome and if you were to have time, I would recommend you hang out around the whole area! Not to mention, I'm thinking about going to Western which is maybe an hour and fifteen minutes from Fontana.
-You can also camp out here for $15 and you don't really have to pay to play here. That is just if you want to rent a few discs.
Favorite hole: #2. Narrowly beating many others like #4, #8, #10, #11, and #16! I don't have a least favorite either. If the ravine was less rough, I'd give this course a 4.5! I wish there was a 4.25 rating.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is one of my all time favorite courses! Long, tight, open and short...bring a full complement of plastic. Oh, and you'll want to bring a spotter. There are several holes (the approach on 2, the drive on 8 and 17) that can save you from pulling your hair out searching for lost plastic
And you can't beat the drive in or views around the course. Just absolutely beautiful at times. You will also want to bring snacks. This course is serious up/down and across hills. Fatigue factor is a biggie on this one.
Course is fairly easy to Navigate and flows well. No real issues with finding yourself around. Though the transition from 1 to 2 is odd. 1 is by the Fontana Disc Golf sign, but 2 is way up the hill from it.
Hole 3 took us a few minutes to find, but after that it was easy.
Cons: No real cons. Course can get really shaggy off the fairways with lots of gnats and other bugs. But if it's windy, that helps.
There is a major, major disc eating ravine between holes 2 & 11 (I think) that had devoured much of my plastic. The drop off is near straight down off of 11 with think foliage. Off hole 2 it was briars, briars, briars (as of June 2014). Use extreme care when searching in this ravine (and same off 16/17. Lots of slippy rocks that move and have gaps between them covered with leaves. I still have heavy scars from my last foray through the rocks - seriously.
Other Thoughts: No easy way to Fontana dam (unless you stay in the village!) but worth the drive no matter how long/far you are away.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Rounding into shape
Pros: -Setting. Wow factor. Hard to beat really.
-Facilities. Meals-Lodging-Bar-Pool etc.
-Gorgeous course in The Smokies...nice. .
-Improvements keep coming
-No 2 holes alike w/ Up-Down-Left-Right etc
-Many Risk vs Reward Birdie/Bogie holes.
-Brand new concrete pads- both Pro and Am.
-Lots of elevation without TOO much hiking.
-Quality Baskets, decent signs, benchs etc.
Cons: -LOCATION. Really isolated. See below.
-Some pads too short for full run-up.
-Confusing Resort Map. Get the new map.
-Steep/tangled ravine in middle of course.
-Hard to play when wet. Bring real shoes.
-Not currently Beginner friendly...but soon?
Other Thoughts: Fontana is a huge, full service 3-4 season resort. Disc Golfers will seldom be in the majority here at this Christian Family Retreat, but with the pool, the lake, the hiking, the Smokies, and so much more, it is hard to believe that players won't find something to fill the rest of the day here after a round.
Fontana resides near the imfamous 'Dragon', simply one of the most thrilling stretches of road in the world. Pictures 100s of turns on quality pavement in the woods and you'll understand why Harleys and Corvettes often frequent the area. But get real directions and figure on an hour longer than it looks and it looks like a long way from anywhere.
I really loved this course. LOTS of changes have been made, including especially the concrete pads on both Pro and Am. They're not as long as you'd like for a 5 step run-up. However, having just played a round with 'The Course Bros' JP and Rob, they assure me they will have a run-up area behind the pads that need one soon. They had lots of ideas for other changes and this sort of hands on 'Love' means a lot to me. They are looking at BOTH some longer pins up in the woods AND some beginner friendly third teepads. This will be a 4.5 star course pretty soon if they get that done.
GETTING AROUND: Don't bother with the old map found on the resort site. It is obsolete. Hole 1 has been moved to a better location. While JP and Rob just park at a central point near #12, 15, and 3, guests need to know that you can just walk out the Lodge Room's Hallway directly to the #2 Pro tee. This alone would make me think about the lodge rooms instead of the dozens of cabins. Remember...this place is huge. Can't describe how cool it was to play a round.... grab a shower... have a gourmet lunch.... crash.... and play round 2 totally rested.
Seasons: I here there are skeeters of course, and summer days must get pretty hot with all the climbing around here. But for me, early November was a little too late. Lots of slick leaves and the Lodge was kept pretty chilly considering how few people were around. I'll aim for October next year.
I believe in the Wow Factor. There are at least 6 great holes here and only 3 or 4 'whatevers'. Throw in a unique and beautiful setting and this place is worth the considerable 'Destination Drive'.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Fontana Village People! D-G-C-R!
Pros: Very fun course at Fontana Village Resort. I stopped at the desk to sign in, they were very nice offering frisbees without charging or signing in. The disc golf shots are magnificent on several holes. Elevation is significant on every hole. Started with an easy birdie on one, and got another longer birdie on nine. Had chances for a few others, could not convert. Hole two is a doozy, three and four are nice also. Distance is longer on the majority of holes. Six is a shorter hole, and seven was longer but reachable, both uphill. Not a lot of gimme deuces. Woods are prevalent on a few holes, but way more open than I was expecting. Eight is a fun RHBH anhyzer steep downhill out of the trees. Nice baskets, and signage. Solid rubber mats mounted on plywood. Made a good par save on ten, and eleven is another real toughie. Maps are printed on the scorecards available at the desk. Fifteen is a short one that got me for a lost disc, mountain style. Sixteen is epic, long and downhill with trees in the middle, road left and water right. Benches on most holes. Seventeen and eighteen are both solid back up the other side of the road.
Cons: Footing was extremely slick on slopes, grass was consistently boggy, and tee boxes were covered with slippery condensation in freezing cold conditions of the season. Concrete might have been preferable. Wind was there but not terrible. I went out of bounds in the water 3 times. I also lost a double ace TeeBird with a low drive that bounced into the boulders on the 15th fairway. Water was sadly very low in the lake, but high on the course. I think it may have snowed the previous day there. I think hole two would have made a better opening hole, and finish up on number one instead. Maybe better still, start at three, finish two The lay out crosses itself and roads many times, and is not to hard to follow, but maps are available.
Other Thoughts: I loved it. In nicer conditions, and with upgraded tees, I could argue for a 4.5 rating. Lengthy but not super technical. Shot a 61, and was pretty happy with it. The drive there is slow and curvy mountain roads, and worth making the trip to me. The resort personnel was friendly, and disc golf was terrific. Reminiscent of Mars Hill, or Meeks Park but less wooded. Good birthday road trip, and Sunshine noted the small, pretty flowers on the scorecard.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This was an all-day disc golf resort experience. Early round of disc golf (with carts!), lunch at the wonderful and reasonably priced on-site restaurant (they had Asheville Brewing Company's Shiva IPA, my personal favorite beer, on tap, and we got a free pitcher to boot), and then a long afternoon of swimming at the big pool/lazy river. The prices were more affordable than advertised. We rented 2 carts at $7 an hour each, and they didn't charge us extra when we brought them back half an hour into the 3rd hour. The advertised fee was $5 a round, $10 a day, but instead we paid about $8 a person (adults) for an all-day recreation pass that included disc golf, the pool, the game room, putt putt and whatever else we wanted to do. Great deal.
Onto the course. Truly beautiful, challenging and a great mix of hole types, from totally wide open longer holes to far more technical holes. Even on some of the more open holes, the designer was careful to make use of whatever guard trees were available. So many great holes on this one, from the long and obstacle-laden #2 hole that ends over a stream/dam to #14 that winds around a mound and island of trees. Tee boxes are great, and the course is clearly marked where it needs to be with guide signs. Holes find some way in each case (less #1) of challenging the player, either with distance or risk or obstacles. No pedestrian or vehicle interactions, though a few holes run along side the roads, though those are not much in use except for light resort traffic.
Oh, and did I mention that the course is absolutely gorgeous, meticulously manicured and in the middle of one of the country's most beautiful areas? Worth the drive. Get a room or cabin. Eat. Drink. Play DG.
Cons: Fontana is out in the middle of nowhere, but luckily I live just a little east of the middle of nowhere. If you're coming from another state or say, Charlotte, get a room, it's a long drive and the miles belie the time if you get caught behind slow traffic on the one lane portions of 28.
The course itself is a little too open in some places. Holes 9, 12 and 13 are a little too simple, and prevent this course from a rating higher, along with #1, which I agree with another poster as far as that hole not fitting in. The only decent rationale is that a hole where visitors to the lodge can see tee to basket (it's the closest hole to the lodge) could stir some interest.
Other Thoughts: Despite a small minority of lackluster holes, this course was a joy to play. Carts were a major bonus (I don't mind walking, but the novelty was worth it), and the amenities at the resort were affordable, high quality and lots of fun. For me, this was the first time that I was successfully able to integrate my family (wife and two younger kids) and my disc golfing passion in a way that everyone had a blast. The family loved riding on carts, loved the restaurant and my kids loved the pool. It was awesome to be able to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies with my family in this way, which was the truly one of a kind service that Fontana DGC and Resort provided.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Fontana Dam good course
Pros: Fontana Village is an awesome mountain course. It's right up there with the best mountain courses in the region (Sugaree, High Country in Jefferson, etc.).
- True feel of playing in the mountains. Lots of elevation throughout gives you a great mix of uphill, downhill and level holes. There are enough chances for you to let your disc fly on downhill open holes (3 & 11), while also giving you downhill holes that force you to throw accurate, or face some serious punishment (#2 - road/cars on left & thick rough on right; #12 - rough & serious drop-off behind basket).
- There are some great hole layouts on this course. You have some solid doglegs, wooded holes and other challenging basket placements, and it just gets magnified with the elevation. The two I'm going to point out here are #8 & 15. #8 starts out in the woods, and is a dogleg right, 315 foot hole. You have to clear through the opening in the trees to a downhill shot to the basket. With a little skill/luck or a bad bounce off a tree, anything from a birdie to double-bogey seems likely on this hole. On #15, it a 256 foot, slight dogleg right basket. You throw over a rock-laden drop-off to a basket protected by trees. A buddy had a bad bounce off the trees and into the rocks. It was a journey getting down to his disc. Again, a birdie seems just as probable as a high score. My favorite hole, however, was #2, but I'll get to that later.
- Good variety in length - from the long tees, six holes under 300 feet, five from 300-399, seven at more than 400 feet. Of course the elevation changes make some holes play longer or shorter than their listed lengths. The only slight blip about this is that there isn't one truly epic, long hole, in the 600 - 700 foot range.
- Good tee signs and scorecards. It's easy to navigate your way through the course with a map.
- I'm usually a fan of concrete tee pads, but in this case, I really like the rubber ones used here. They're in very good shape and they blend in better with the natural feel of the entire course. Concrete ones would have stuck out like a sore thumb.
- Amazing scenery throughout. In terms of pure views, both the views throughout the course/resort, and the drive in, this is even better than Sugaree & High Country. You're really out in nature in Fontana/the resort/the course - pure beauty throughout.
Cons: Both tee pads weren't clearly visible on every hole that has dual tees. Also, it wasn't always clear with basket locations the cages were in - long or short. It was pretty self explanatory on most holes; however, on at least one hole, it was hard to tell because of the depth perception. On #12, it's 222 for short vs. 332 for long. Throwing into an open, downhill basket throws off your depth perception. With woods and a deep slope behind the basket, you don't want to be wrong on your guess.
- Also, the distances on the tee signs and scorecards didn't match. Most were relatively close, so not a major problem. Again, on some holes, a 40-50 foot difference could pose a problem if you're aiming for one distance over the other.
- There's a disc valley of death to the right of #14, and to a lesser degree, the left of #16. On #14, it's a steep drop to thick, thick, thick underbrush. My buddy had a disc land in there. We didn't find his disc, but I found two others and some angry yellow jackets, so it was a mixed bag.
- This is a slow playing course. The holes are spread out (though no major walks between holes) and you're going up and down hills. With that said, prepare for a longer than normal round.
- This has nothing to do with the course itself, but it has to be mentioned. This course is in the middle of nowhere. Yes, that puts you out in nature, as stated above; but, it also means it's a long drive to get here. It's about 1:30 from both Asheville and Knoxville, the two closest major cities. Along those lines, the Knoxville route includes a a long stretch of winding roads. If you get car sick, this is a rough stretch, and even if you don't normally, you'll feel 20 miles of hairpin turns.
Other Thoughts: Fontana Village is a special course. The resort itself seems to have a lot to offer, so you could easily spend a fair amount of time here. It also doesn't hurt that the gal at the front desk let us play for free.
- As I mentioned above, it would be nice to see a truly epic hole. There's enough room to extend some of the holes to add distance. Either #10 or 11 could be pushed further up the mountain - basket for #10, tee for #11.
- I really like the flow of holes here. There aren't many lazy transitions, meaning you don't go uphill for one hole, and turn around and go downhill the next. It's easy for some courses to do the back and forth flow way too much. #10 & 11 was the only back-to-back like this.
- My favorite hole was #2. The longest hole on the course - 538 feet - is a tight, downhill shot with danger on both sides (as state above, road on left and thick rough/dropoff on left). If you took away the elevation for this hole, making it flat, you'd have #7 at Hornets Nest in Charlotte.
- #11 was a close second in terms of the best holes, especially because of the tough approach shot. It's a slight drop-off for the first 80 - 90% of the hole, until there's a steep drop-off down to the basket. If you're more than 100 feet out, it's a blind second shot. It's very easy to have your approach shot sail long.
- I loved every part of the course. There wasn't a bad hole here - a couple of average ones, but not a dud in the bunch.
- This is a notch below Sugaree and a slight, slight notch below High Country. So, to differentiate, I'm giving this a lower rating than both of those. Still, this course should be getting a 4.25, if that rating were available.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Makes me want to come explore NC!
Pros: Fontana Village has a surprisingly high quality and well maintained course laid out on the Fontana Dam Resort property. I've always loved the Southern Appalachians, so playing disc golf in this kind of terrain is a real treat. The mountain views, the pleasant weather (at least this time of year), and the lush green mountain foliage, combine for a lovely environment to throw in. Given the mountainous setting, there is a lot of elevation to keep things interesting throughout the course, including many holes with elevated tee pads either playing long, sailing, downhill drives or drives across a valley. There are also a number of holes that play uphill the whole way. There is no chance of getting bored on this course.
You will need to pay careful attention to your drive placement here, not just because of elevation, but because of the high-risk shule just beyond the well-maintained grassy fairways. The fairways are plenty wide and clear on every hole to reward good shots with good lies, but if you miss the fairway, prepare to be punished. This course is long and open enough to reward long, powerful throws, but only if they are well controlled. If you can't throw over 400', there are a limited number of birdie opportunities from the long tee pads, but a player throwing 300' to the choice landing spot is going to beat a big arm who doesn't keep it in the fairways. This is the kind of thinking man's risk/reward tradeoff that we should see on a disc golf course.
There are several holes that might be considered "signature" holes, but probably my favorite is #2. It is a looong, steep, downhill hole that I could probably reach with a driver, simply because of the steepness of the hillside, but my preferred shot is to sail a midrange or slow fairway driver down to a landing spot that gives me a comfortable approach to the basket for a 3. This course will really show off the flight of a disc, especially on this hole. #16 is a similar hole, but its fairway has a bunch of trees down the middle, so you really have to think about placing your drive before running down to the basket. 16 is probably the toughest hole on the course.
Another favorite of mine is #13, about 350' across the crest of a hill. The fairway slopes away sharply to the left, with terrible shule below it. There is also big danger on the right, with the hillside dropping even more steeply towards the road below. With these dangers on either side of the fairway, which itself narrows to a point near the basket, you have a decision that matters: how close to the basket can I risk throwing my disc? Getting to within a putt is a legitimate, fair option, but the closer you try to put your drive, the riskier the shot gets. Once you're safely in the fairway, the approach and putt is no problem, so it all rests on the accuracy of your drive.
Pardon me while I try to rein in my long-windedness. The only underwhelming hole on this course is #1. Clearly the designer is a disc golfer and knew what he was doing, though as another reviewer commented, it looks like they laid out 17 holes and oops, they needed one more. There is a lot of room for creativity, but you'll be playing real disc golf lines to real landing spots, not pitch-and-putt, poke-and-pray, or boring flat upshot after boring flat heave. I could almost give this course a 4.5, but for the cons below.
Cons: The most significant downside to this course is related to one of its best features, the terrain. While I love throwing from elevated tee pads or up long slopes to a creatively set putting zone, I don't so much like some of the walking paths that get you from tee pad to fairway. There are several places where I would have liked to have had my trekking poles with me, or at least a good walking stick. I didn't fall, but I slid or nearly slipped several times, and that was in the fairways. The rough shule would be even worse in many places. To graduate towards a 4.5, this course would need to get some steps or better trails installed in a number of places.
While the rubber tee pads are well installed and level, I played on a rainy Friday and the following sunny Saturday. Not only are the rubber pads dangerously slippery when wet, but many of them seem to take a couple of days to dry out. In the Smokies, you may be waiting a long time for a fully dry, safe set of tee pads. Brushed concrete pads may have been a better choice here, or perhaps some kind of rough or astroturf-like surface on the rubber pads. The tee signs also listed distances for two tee pads at every hole, but I only found the "long" ones where the rubber pads are. Eventually I figured out that the "short" pads are supposed to be natural pads marked by a couple of Innova brand stakes in the ground, but many of these have gone missing or have been misplaced. With this situation, you'll basically only have one option on the course. That shows a bit of neglect, even though the fairways themselves are generally very well cut and maintained, and the baskets are in good condition.
Other Thoughts: Walking this course is a workout, but you may be able to mitigate the effort of walking by renting a golf cart on site at the resort. You can do a 5-hour rental or an all-day rental of the cart, which will get you all over the resort property, as well as into most of the disc golf course, since there are roads and cart paths snaking throughout it. It won't take you right up to every tee pad, but would get you close to most. There is also a pretty good restaurant on the property, so you can break for lunch if you're here all day. You can also rent discs with a bag at their rental building. The fee for renting equipment is $5, and is good for a full day of playing, but if you bring your own equipment, nobody is going to charge you $5 to play here. I literally had the course entirely to myself for two days.
There is a lot of other stuff to do here besides play disc golf. In addition to the nearby hiking and site-seeing, the resort itself hosts a miniature golf course, features a couple of game rooms, and has daily activities to keep your whole family entertained. If you're staying overnight with family or significant other, you might give these activies a try.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great rubber tee pads, nice hole signs, and very well kept grounds. Good mix of long rips and tight shots. I love the elevated tees on 2, 3, 4.......lots of really fun drives.
Cons: No hole layout map on tee box. If you haven't played here before, it's hard to tell where the basket is located on 5 or 6 holes. Once you have played the course a time or two, this should no longer be a problem. Also, there are a few holes where you can miss the basket and way down in a ravine....a little warning would be nice.
Other Thoughts: One of the most fun courses I have played. The drive up to the Fontana resort is a lot of fun too.....if you have a sports car, you are in for a treat!
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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