4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a beautiful course, for the most part. The scenery is great, gorgeous mountain setting.
The course has a good mix of open holes, upshots, hyzers, annies, and wooded shots. Lots of elevation change -- you will get a good workout just walking the course.
Not much foot traffic at all for us, barely even a few students on campus, but it's also Easter and Spring Break.
Cons: As everyone has said, the navigation is just plain BAD. We were lucky enough to have a guide -- if you're going for the first time, find a guide to show you around, otherwise you're adding a good 30 minutes to an hour just trying to figure your way around the course.
Some pins and shots are tricky due to the slopes and elevation changes. It was dry for us but I can see some of the hills and valleys being tough work in the wet/ rain.
No tee markers. This would be an easy fix and add another 1/2 star.
The layout. It's been said by others, but it's true, you just won't figure this course out easily without a guide.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth the trip, but only with a guide. There are a few holes that are true gems, and aces to be had with good angles and throws.
We had a great time, but who doesn't when you get in a great round with the review master himself, DSCJNKY?!?! Without him, we wouldn't have finished, or had nearly as much fun. Thanks again bro!
This course is right on the edge of greatness, just needs some simple touches, like a cleaner, more natural walking layout, and tee markers. Those alone would make this a 4 star.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Where's the next tee?
Pros: Great variety of holes. Some long, multi-throw holes. A mix of tight, wooded holes and open holes. Great use of elevation. Beautiful mountain setting. Wind and elevation comes into play quite often. Great baskets and great placement variety. Some thought went into the variety and difficulty of tee shots. Most tee pads are cement. I played the long basket positions, which can be quite challenging. A lot of work has gone into the course, especially the wooded holes. Paths have been laid out in consideartion of the awkward footing. Log steps and sidehill supports were a very nice touch. Very tidy course, not much litter.
Cons: Navigation and flow is the worst of any DG course I've ever played. Definitely get a local to play with you the first time. Could use some more signage. Maps are available at the kiosk but they can be confusing. A lot of sidehill stances. Don't come if it's been raining. I was there the day after a rain and it was downright dangerous. That's not really anyone's fault, just reality.
Other Thoughts: I give this course points because the designer took enough space to put in some long Par 4's. I took away points because the flow and navigation is HORRIBLE. You literally walk over the 13th tee to get to the 11th tee and then you walk past the 11th tee as you play the 13th. Maps available at the kiosk at the first hole. Watch out for cars and pedestrians. The course is on a college campus; foot and car traffic is common. Look before you throw. The course is challenging, especially if it's windy or wet. Definitely worth a drive, if you're in Western NC. Bathroom facilities available in the Student Union, next to the football stadium. I was also told that they sell DG stuff in the Student Union.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
A great course, once you've learned your way around.
Pros: This course brings a lot to the table. The land the course falls on is utilized perfectly with great variety in elevation, obstacles / lack there of, and shot types required. Even though the course is on a college campus, you wouldn't notice most of the time, as the longer you play into the course, the further away from the heart of campus you get, until at one point you even forget there's a school anywhere around.
The land is beautiful, as is most evident on Hole 7 (one of my favorite holes one the course). You are looking down at the pin from the top of a massive drop in elevation where the clearing on the hillside funnels inwards towards the basket. In the background is an amazing view of some classic smokey mountains. It's just cool.
Cons: Lots of other reviewers have said it, but I'll say it again as it is definitely a problem (especially for those playing the course for the first time). Navigation is complete chaos the first time around. Some tees are marked by spray painted boxes on the ground that you really can't see unless you're right on top of them. This makes searching for them even harder.
Worst example of this is making your way from Hole 2 to 3. Hole two flows in one direction. When you finish 2, you turn back on yourself, go around the front of a dorm building a couple of hundred feet or so, and finally find the painted tee box on the ground at sidewalk intersection. It took myself and the group I was playing with a good 10 minutes or more to find it the first time we played here.
Another navigation nightmare is from Hole 10 to 11. You actually walk a few yards down a path into an opening, cross right over the tee pad for Hole 13, down a slight hill, cross a road, and halfway up a side road on the left is the tee box for Hole 11 (again spray painted on the ground making it hard to see from afar).
Signs for the next tee and 18 solid, stand-up signs marking the tee boxes could greatly help this debacle... not to mention a good map. If you can go with someone that's been before, great. If not, do your homework here by piecing together the course from these reviews, and you'll be ok... maybe.
Other Thoughts: As the title of this review claims, once you learn your way around, this really can become one of the best courses in the area. You'll need a lot of shots and even more tricks up your sleeve, but needing to be well rounded, to me, means it's a pretty sweet course.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Great... but, only good.
- Awesome shots. This course has some really well designed holes and would score higher if not for a few major flaws (discussed later). The course really requires you to play golf.
- Good shot variety: long, longer, short, open, tight, hyzer, flick, thumber, etc...
- Great use elevation. I think only two of the baskets are on flat ground and no holes are without some elevation issue (up, down, sidehill, etc...). Although some of the sidehill stuff could have been excessive.
- Beautiful atmosphere. The college campus is wonderfully manicured, the mountain views are beautiful, and the "ball" golf feeling are what makes this course worth playing.
- I love the Par 4's. Holes 1, 6, 13, and 18 are really great holes... and legit 4's. And, as of last weekend (7/18), a new Par 4 position to Hole number 8.
- Most of the tee-pads are excellent. Concrete with scratch marks for traction.
- Navigation, Navigation, Navigation! You Need a Guide! It would be a nightmare to play this course without a guide. I had a guide... and will sign up as a guide for anyone who wants one.
- Layout Flaws. The 10 to 11 transition is especially lame... (You come out of the woods and immediately see a tee-pad. But, nope, it's not that one. Instead, you have to cross the street and walk up the service road and look for the tee-pad spray-painted on the ground).
- Crazy Walks. The walk between 2 and 3... (walk up the hill in front of the brick dorm and look for the tee-pad spray painted on the sidewalk). Hole 6 to 7... (go up the road and around to the right... tee-pad by the do not enter sign). Hole 7 to 8... (look for 8's tee-pad below you as you're on 7's tee-pad). 10 to 11...
- No Signs. Without tee-signs, or even numbered posts sticking up out of the ground, it is almost impossible to spot the next tee-pad in the grass. Since most of the course is grass, there are no trails heading to the next tee-pad; and they're actual direction is not always intuitive.
- Probably the best "local" to Asheville course... If, you can get past the major flaws.
- This course is a gem with the potential to become a diamond. If there were tee-signs or directional help of some sort, and some slight tweakage to the layout... this course would be top notch.
- My Best Score: -5
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Some nice holes, but very confusing
Pros: Let me start off by saying that this course has some abosultely great holes. There were a couple that were top notch but it also has a ton of things going against it.
The course is set on a nice little college campus. There is a nice mix of open and wooded holes. The are some huge changes of elevation on this course that make for some great views and unique throws. The course is pretty long and has many holes that you can absolutely bomb on. 18 is made for crushing it downhill.
Cons: -No tee signs. We thought no big deal we will print off the map and be fine. Even with the map we had trouble figuring out what to do. It was pretty hard to find some of the tee pads
-None of the wooded holes had been mowed at all when we played. The weeds were a couple feet high
-The course does not flow. At one point you walk right by a teepad as you leave the woods and have to make a long walk down a hill to another teepad? I have never seen anything like this before. If we didn't have a map telling us this we would have been completely lost and even with the map it was confusing.
-One of the baskets was smashed by a down tree
-There is a ton of side hill walking that is brutal on the ankles. Some of the side hills seemed silly they were so extreme.
-There are several natural teepads mixed in.
Other Thoughts: This course has a ton of potential but needs a lot of work. There are some really great holes. Those holes make it worth playing if you are in the area. The flow and overdesign is just not put together very well though.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Course... after you find the next tee.
Pros: Every hole is unique. There is a good mixture of open and wooded shots. If you want a challenging course without as many trees as Richmond Hill, this course delivers. Almost every hole avoids walkways and foot traffic (Except no. 3, and that would have to be a pretty bad shot).
In my opinion, this is the most challenging course in the area, although some might consider that a con.
Hole 15 is one of my favorite shots ever. It's a tight dogleg right with a massive drop that starts in the woods and ends in the open.
Cons: Like other reviewers have said it's a pain to find the next hole, but always worth it. There are enough holes that favor a big arm to tilt the game in the most powerful driver's favor.
Hole 17 is pretty unfair. I have yet to throw (or even see) a drive there that didn't roll down the hill to the left. And there is a road down there so your chances of going OB on a roll are decent.
Other Thoughts: It can be tough to navigate, but I think some reviewers have blown it out of proportion. Just remember to go in front of the building to your left after 2, not behind it. After #10, go down the road that leads to the maintenance area. The tee is spraypainted on the left side of the road. And after 13 there is a small path to your right that leads to 14.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Worth the Trip, Nav Issues
Pros: - Dynamic shot selection
- Beautiful holes
Cons: - Layout can be tricky (no need to write 2 paragraphs about it)
Other Thoughts: This is one of my favorite courses in terms of raw golf since each hole so unique. The course has a nice blend of technical shots and power shots. OB and elevation make some holes very interesting. It's not a pretty as Idlewild but it has a very cool and natural feel to most holes. The course had a rare ability to get me excited about a lot of the shots before I threw them. I rate courses based on raw golf and not the amenities and thus, it seems my review conflicts with the others. I think it is worth a brief trip from Asheville to give the course a shot.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Your Average Course
Pros: A good mixture of really open to really technical wooded holes. Great opportunities on three holes or so to really air it out. Does have some alternate pin positions which can change the holes entirely, although they rarely move.
You'll actually have a better chance to bomb some drives here than at Richmond Hill (The better course). Mars Hill is the only course in the area that has a great mixture of open and wooded holes (If you can find the tees!)
The scenery and landscaping is top notch. Being located on a college campus, you'll find well manicured fairways and an overall clean atmosphere.
Cons: NAVIGATION !!!! i couldn't find a lot of holes until i was notified that there was a map at a facilities station. There was a ton of walking involved and sometimes the wrong ways looking for the next tee.
Speaking of tees? some on driveways, some dirt some grass some concrete. Its a little weird but its not a big hassle.
Some holes are just weird with some stupid hills.16 for example. You'll almost require a walking stick to navigate that hole.
Needs signs and some established pars.
You have a very good chance of losing a disc. All of the wooded holes have thick underbrush and you'll even be shooting blind on a couple of them. Try your best to keep an eye out in these areas.
There are several spots on the course where you cross back over holes to get to the next. This is not only poor design, it is also dangerous for golfers. Please be aware of this when teeing off.
Other Thoughts: A fun course to play if you're in the area but not worth traveling out of the way to play. If you do play go get a map at the facilities station around hole 13 so you can find your way around.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: good open shots, its nice that its put around campus
Cons: needs better markers tee 11 was hard to find. seems to be fading by the rain and weather. to long of walk between some holes
Other Thoughts: i like the fact its down the road from my work so i can hit it up after work
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
B = Bery Bery Nice!
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- B
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- B
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- B
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- B
5) Bonus amount for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- NA
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage...if what I can add anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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