Woods, Gaps, and Tadpoles
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -A newly constructed course on a college campus that's away from the main campus. The course meanders up and down soft hills, thru heavy woods with gaps, a few open tees and one open basket, and a few holes with an influence of water. Wooded baskets have tree protection.
-There are two sets of tees, the short tees are called "Frog Arms" and are very manageable. The long tees are called "Frog Legs" and more difficult. There's one basket each hole.
-"Frog Arms" tees were installed just prior to my playing the course and are very well built turf, tee box is firm and even. What I liked best was the bright Papa Smurf Blue Turf. On a day when leaves were falling the tees were easy to see thru the trees, and on most holes didn't even need a next tee sign. "Frog Legs" tees are expected to be built in the warmer months of 2022, at this time is grass. "Frog legs" has tighter gaps and longer distance.
-Since I've played in early November, tee signs have been installed. Tee signs have hole number, par, distance, and the map looks good enough.
-Navigation is counter-clockwise with the course wrapping itself around Tadpole Pond. There were temporary next tee signs, but those Smurf tee pads light up on most holes. From hole 1 tee to hole 18 basket very scenic and easy walk. When I played fall colors were shining brightly!
-On a first visit most holes are memorable, with each hole having its settled differences in a wooded course.
-From the bag on the tee, I used a good variety of putters, mids, fairways, and drivers.
-Hampton-Sydney College a private men's school dates to 1775 is a beautiful drive on campus as you approach course parking.
-Beginners and Recreational will find the course a true test of wooded golf. College students should find it manageable and a good introduction. Intermediate and Advanced will find "Frog Arms" a good scoring round, and "Frog Legs" off the tee challenging.
Cons: -Some of the gaps off "Frog Legs" are very tight, which is fine for me. Looks like that's going to be remedied. There were several trees marked for cutting on several holes some for good I'm sure, but I saw several not so sure. IMO too much hacking into a course may not be necessarily a good thing.
-The course is short which is good for "Frog Arms". "Frog Legs" has the protection of short gaps off the tee, so this takes us back to cutting too many trees, too many trees you may lose some of that short course protection.
-It's a beautiful course and walk. Even though the course is away from the main campus, its possible to find walkers and joggers using the trails and fairways. #1 shares the same fairway and basket as the 9-holer #4, but likely to be a rare problem. The 9-holer #5 tee is not marked, it's possible the #5 tee could be mistaken for the 9-holer #5 tee facing the opposite direction.
-There is debris piled up in the rough off some fairways from course construction, adding onto lost disc potential. Since the course is primarily wooded with a water loss potential, a disc can be lost at any time. However, for the times I found myself off fairway the underbrush was very clean and a disc easy to spot if I kept my eye on it during flight.
Other Thoughts: Tadpole Holes had been completed just 3 months prior to my arrival and was in much better shape than other new courses I've added too DGCR. I prefer woods play, and Tadpole's didn't disappoint with the gentle hills, gap play even for the shorts, and the scenic beauty of the course all added on to my enjoyment. When I saw the 1st hole blue smurf tee, I just knew that's where I had to play from, and the longs could be played later. I think the 3.0 for my overall rating is a good place to start the course at, and I expect a jump when the long tee's are installed and the finishing touches with the removal of some trees, I just hope too many are not eliminated. I do plan on returning one day for double rounds. My only personnel disappointment was for the first time on a road trip, I forgot both my camera and phone charger. So, I only have a few photo's for you, perhaps somebody else can fill them in before my return trip whenever that may be.
My overall anchored is based on a 5.0 for solid hilly wood play with a sprinkle of water influence, an easy beautiful walk with no navigation issues for a new course, and the desire to want a return match on "Frog Legs". The time to play taking a few pictures was one hour.
The rest of this review will be from the "Frog Arms" tees only since that's where I played from.
No. 12 Par 3 at 322 feet is an open tee flying into a heavily wooded fairway. For the most part it's a straightaway with a very slight lag to the right. From the tee its downslope and the gap into the woods is about 140 feet away and 25 feet wide. All the way down very narrow opening some to about 30 feet and with canopy. The right rough is full of nasty debris when I played which is where I found my drive, and the basket has guardian tree protection. Very scenic from the tee.
No. 13 Par 3 at 218 feet tee and basket in the woods, straightaway, and narrow. The downhill slope as with No. 12 continues but gets a little steeper. From the tee you can see a glimmer of water behind the basket, so your wondering how close is the water, but you do see heavy trees at the end of the fairway. Just outside C2 the fairway glances off to the right towards the basket with guardian trees, and a roller is likely to be caught by the heavy brush behind the basket and shouldn't reach the water. A hot throw from the tee could reach the water.
No. 15 Par 3 at 241 feet upslope thru a heavy tree setting straightaway tee to basket. Very heavy trees on the left with heavy debris seem to be a possible place to lose a disc. From the tee the right center of fairway has a narrow line all the way to C1 with basket hidden. I really liked the green setting just on the edge of C1 is a fallen tree to aim and get over. Get over the tree and you have a 45-degree left angle to the basket for a birdie putt avoiding guardian trees. I got over the fallen tree.
No. 16 Par 4 at 355 feet is an open tee to a heavily wooded fairway. The gap to the woods is about 120 feet out with a 30-foot gap, the left side is blind with heavy woods, the right you can see through. The fairway doglegs left about halfway down, and the downslope picks up until within C2 drops to a potential roller to the basket. Guardian trees around the basket, behind the basket heavy trees and brush, and Tadpole Pond just outside C2. Another scenic hole. Never saw the fairway, drive went left not touching trees, and hit a good tree on approach in C1.
No. 5 Par 3 at 213 feet is a gorgeous tee box location. The tee box in the open sits on a dam supporting Tadpole Pond. Facing the fairway upslope to the basket which sits in the woods center left. The wood line is about 170 feet out with a 40-foot gap. The fall colors were in full bloom facing the basket. But it's the tee box area that will remain the same year-round. As you face the fairway to your left is the pond and for skilled players shouldn't come into play. To your right below the dam is the #4 basket, behind your right is #5 longs offering a more difficult tee challenge to get back up the dam and dry. Behind longs is the #2 tees. Directly behind you is an old-timer's park bench looking out over the pond. The 9-holer #5 basket is across the water in the opposite direction where you're playing. Just a beautiful tee setting.
No. 9 Par 3 at 182 feet straight away down slope hole to the basket with Tadpole Pond right on the edge of C1 behind basket. The left center fairway is blocked with trees all the way down. The basket lingers in the open, but a few middle trees keep away a straight run at it. The right is cleared until a bundle of trees in C1 right center, so you need to work the disc some. The basket area is bare that can provide a hot skip, with some bushes and trees offering protection from the pond, however enough gaps to watch a disc slide into it. Anything flying basket high could be gone? You're going to want to go for it! I hit one of the trees to the right.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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