Sweet and Sour
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A hodgepodge of a course with good and bad elements.
Mars Hill is on an unassuming piece of park near a school. It utilizes a 50/50 mix of open and wooded land, starting and ending near the same parking lot. The park is small enough to know right where you are throughout, so getting seriously lost isn't an issue.
The equipment is meh, as noted below, but the infrastructure on the whole is respectable. The flow is mostly clear and intelligent, there's no doubt what the lines and teeing places are, and each hole has an obvious basket. The park is maintained. This should also be a quick play.
When it comes to the actual disc golf portion, Mars Hill is okay. The open holes (1)-(2) and (8)-(9) are pretty straightforward drives with only basic shaping considerations (treelines, an early gap). (3)-(5) are very tight and wooded for a nice change of space, and are all good ace opportunities if you weave through the trees. The standout holes are (6) and (7). The former is an atrocious low ceiling dogleg right, while the latter is the hardest hole on the course as a dead-straight, downhill 300' drive with a gap 100' from the tee and a treeline all the way on the left.
Personally, I found this a pretty fun layout. Don't get me wrong, it's not notable, but for a quick course it offers a decent variety and plenty of birdie chances.
Cons: The first con to come to mind is the equipment/amenities. Tees are natural (though well-marked), signs only include hole info with no map, and seven of the baskets are single-chain DISCatchers that spit your putt right back at you. Two baskets also lean. This combination gave me at least two spitouts, which is way too high a ratio.
The limited scope of the course is certainly a talking point. The open holes aren't that interesting, and the wooded holes are so short as to prevent full throws. This is a very basic course from a design perspective.
Hole (6) deserves a special mention. I parked the 160' hole only using my fastest, most overstable driver and a humongous skip under the low-hanging tree. I did not like it (Sam I am). This hole would be much better if it was thrown to basket (7), but then that would eliminate the all-star hole following it. On the other hand, (7) is so clearly out of step with the rest of the course difficulty that such a change might not be terrible.
Other Thoughts: Mars Hill is a very basic course, but one that I enjoyed. The equipment is a bit lacking, but other than the baskets it's entirely harmless to be built up so little. A mix of hole designs and solid flow make it a solid Reasonable in my book. A perfect bagging stop.
~Similar Courses: Jack Mattox Recreation Complex (Ringgold, GA); Blair Mill/Crooked Creek Crossing (Stallings, NC); a flat version of VHCC Wolves (Abingdon, VA).
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Great Place to Learn
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Course is short, which is great for kids and beginners. Signage was adequate. Course appeared well taken care of. All baskets were in place and serviceable. Course can be played in 20 minutes which would make it a good lunch break option.
Cons: Course lacks long distance holes, but this course wasn't designed for that. When I played, there were no outdoor school activities taking place. If there were, they may restrict play.
Other Thoughts: I rated this course a 3.0 because I think it is good for what it is intended for. That is, beginners and kids. When starting out, you are told to throw mid-ranges and putters. Well this is the course for that. The holes are short, but accuracy is rewarded on holes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7. It is a great place to learn and sharpen your short game.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Elem School Course
Pros: Short, fun course with tight woods & open grass holes. Perfect for elementary school, beginners, families & a fun short, practice course for all others.
Less than 10 minutes off I-95. Perfect quick stop break with food options on the way.
Cons: Several baskets & poles are leaning and need repair. (still very playable). #5 basket IS back in place. Tee pad 6 is lined-up toward basket 7. (6 basket is a tight left/right shot.)
Other Thoughts: Played 9 holes in 15 min with 3 disc.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Easy 9 holes that play really fast.
Some technicality in the wooded area.
Good for practicing mid-range discs.
Cons: Not much here to complain about other than it's small and not very difficult. But it wasn't designed for amateur or pro level players.
Other Thoughts: While traveling, I decided to stop by. Glad elementary schools are giving their kids the opportunity to learn the game and play at school. It's a huge positive for the game overall. Wouldn't travel here to play this course; but it's good for the community and kids locally to learn.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Mars Bluff is a short, simple 9-hole layout. If you overlook the flaws, you will see the makings of a decent, beginner-friendly layout.
- Short and fast. That's your round here. Average hole length is 164 feet with only two longer than 175. I carried three discs and that was one too many.
- Course offered some decent layouts. #1 starts out throwing between two trees, but that's only to disguise a wide-open layout. Holes #3 & 4 play in the woods. #7 is the best hole by far, a 272-foot, slight downhill shot throwing through a generous gap to an open field. Course needs several more holes of this caliber to be taken seriously.
- Holes #3 & 4 are nothing more than glorified long/lag putts. I nailed my long putt on #3 - can't call a 95-foot shot an ace - and skimmed my putt on #4 to within 3 feet of the basket.
- There's plenty of room to grow and/or modify layouts here. You could easily remove one of the lesser holes - #4 or #8, for example, and create a better layout with minimal effort.
- Aimed at kids/beginners. Course is behind an elementary school. Enough said.
Cons: Course is in a state of disrepair and neglect. The basket for #5 is gone. Several other baskets are bent and/or leaning. Also, I couldn't find a tee marker for #6.
- The course is lacking challenge and enjoyment. Except for #7 or 9, I felt like I was practicing approach shots, trying to get up and down in 2. I guess that's what happens with a course that features 4 holes at 111 feet or shorter.
- No amenities here: benches, bathrooms, water fountains, or trash cans. That's only going to be an issue if you're trying to play a 24-hour marathon. Everyone else will be gone in 20 minutes or less for their round. It was 13 minutes from the time I turned off my truck to when I was back in it.
Other Thoughts: This wasn't what I expected. Had wanted to bag the course for a long time because it wasn't 'that far' out of the way. I pictured it in a neighborhood park; didn't realize this was a school course.
- This course is best served as a practice spot. With open fields and baskets, you can be practicing all types of shots, angles, and goals.
- That said, even if I were going to college across the street, I don't know how often I'd stop by here. It's clear the course isn't a priority for anyone.
- Florence needs a better course than this. There's got to be a park with enough room to make a more enjoyable layout than this one.
- With a little attention, course gets a ratings bump from me. As it is, it's a one-and-done for me. At least I carded a 1, which is the rating this course deserves.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course for the kids!
Pros: -Great ace race chances with short holes and a great beginner course to teach on.
-Easy to navigate layout with good signage.
-Greens are kept very well.
-Baskets are in decent shape (except hole #5 is missing)
-Very quiet and relaxing location.
Cons: -Too easy for more advanced players. (this course is designed for kids)
-Wildlife on holes #4 trough #6 can become a problem during the summer months.
-Only open on the weekends or when School is closed.
Other Thoughts: I had a blast at this course with my 6 and 7 yr olds. They really got into this course with it being easier. I loved that the smaller layout engaged them into the sport of disc golf. A great place to hold Ace Races and family gatherings with the course also having a huge picnic area with tables.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is probably the most fun of any of the elementary school courses that I've played. I wouldn't have said that after the first two holes. A wide-open shot 90-foot shot across a field. A 200-foot similar shot. But then the course actually veers into the woods. Yes, the shots are short. Very short. But there are some tight channels to throw down. Though little more than upshots, at least these are interesting upshots.
There are some more open shots at the end but the open shots here are well-maintained and look much nice than those at similar courses. I think it has the potential to provide a great introduction to the game for kids, mostly because of how interesting the holes are. They won't be making throw after throw across open space, especially since most holes are under 100 feet. (If this were close to the highway, it'd be worth a stop for those that want ace runs.)
I also appreciated how much the course stayed away from parts of school property that could be damaged or would often feature other student activities.
Cons: The major issue is the tree down across the middle of the fairway that at this point, I would assume is never going to be removed. On the one hand, it's not a big deal, no one is here for an elite experience. On the other, kids are going to trying to cross this hazard.
A third of the tee shots are approaches. The course is an elementary course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Where Is the Love?
Pros: It's a disc golf course at an elementary school, and right next to a university, so it is terrific exposure for the sport to people who could well become life long disc golfers.
There are a couple of interesting holes, mainly 4, 5, and 7, but 5 is in need of major maintenance, and 7 needs a little love too.
Hole 5 is a nice right turning shot through the woods with a finish out in the open, but was only barely playable on my visit (more on this in the cons section). Hole 7 is a slightly downhill shot through an early gap between two rows of trees, but if you've got the arm for it there's a monster hyzer line out to the right over the trees, but a bit of trimming is needed to make either of these lines play well. I also enjoyed the first hole, teeing off between two trees to a fairly close by basket for a good ace run. Speaking of ace runs, this course is full of them, and that's not a bad thing.
Cons: This course needs some love. It needs somebody to love it. It needs maintenance. When I visited, hole 5 was only barely playable due to two downed trees. Hole 7 needed some good trimming to make it play better. While I personally like the potential challenge hole 7 could provide, I don't think it's a very appropriate hole for elementary school kids. There was a damp swampy ditch not too far off the tee, right at the gap in the trees that would likely come into play heavily for an elementary schooler, especially if they missed the gap a little and caught a tree.
Several of the holes are kind of filler-ish, if you know what I mean. After two holes, I thought this was going to just be 9 baskets in a field. In reality, it's more like 4 or 5 baskets in a field, and 4 or 5 holes that require at least a little shot making.
Hole 3's basket is only 15 or so feet from the middle of 4's fairway. Speaking of hole 3, it's basket is not the one right in front of you as you walk up to the tee from the previous basket. That's the basket for hole 6. 3's basket is off to the left, into the woods, a little confusing on the navigation front. And speaking of hole 6, I kind of thought this was a weird-ish hole. It seemed to me that the turn to get around the trees to the basket within the given length of the hole was a bit too severe, although in retrospect, I think a cut roller may work well there.
The tee sign posts were easy to spot, but many of the actual tee markers were nowhere to be seen, and some of the baskets were in rough shape, bent from what seemed like close encounters of the lawnmower kind, but still quite functional.
Other Thoughts: I ran into a group of what appeared to be Francis Marion students playing the course, and queried them about the maintenance issues. They indicated that hole 5 had been blocked since December 2012, 10 months earlier, which leads me to ask, "Where Is the Love?" It seems that this is a course with potential, in an area that has few disc golf options. It needs somebody to care for it. I would probably give this course a solid 2 disc score if it were well kept, as it is, it's a one for me.
There is a convenience store within quick walking distance of the course for any snack/refreshment/restroom needs. I don't recall seeing any benches on the course, or any restrooms or water fountains at the park.
Hopefully, someone will start to care for this course and it won't fall into a state of unusable disrepair. While I wouldn't go too far out of my way to play, I think Mars Bluff could be a great success with a little love.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Ace Race Place
Pros: *All Innova Discatcher Pros
*All Tee's are marked with numbered post.
*Easy navigation with good signage.
*2 of the Holes had fairly wooded designs.
*A great course for children to learn the sport.
Cons: *Very short distances that offer little challenge
*Located on School property, this course is too congested to play on weekdays.
*A Beginner Course or Ace-Race course, there is no-real challenge for better players.
*The goal for #6 is damaged.
Other Thoughts: Although this course is small, I still found it worthy of at least playing as a warm-up or ace race course. The design for this course was perfect taking in consideration the small amount of land used. If in the neighborhood, I would recommend to at least try once.
*Great course to introduce children or new players.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: A great course to learn on.
Cons: The design is boring--lots of flat, open fields with no obstacles. Access is limited to hours when the neighboring school is out.
Other Thoughts: Holes 3 and 4 cross over each other. If playing on a day with heavy traffic (which is unlikely), it could create a problem.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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