What more could you want?
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I've waited 10 years to review this course. I wanted to make sure that no one thought I was biased due to the course being a family-course labor of love. I also wanted to add some street-cred (as the whippersnappers say) with 100+ played tournaments, 20+ wins and a player rating that says I know how to get around a course. That said, let's dig in...
Like my title says, 'What more could you want?'. At Stoney you are provided with rip-snortin' full-power, blow-your-elbow-out rips (#1 diamond layout). Or how about butt-pucker, give your disc it's last rites, and throw a 250' shot across a pond that is always windy. And to make this more fun for RHBH, the disc sweeps back (if you get it up a little bit) to a disc-eating pond that claims many, but returns few. Not sure of the hole number, use to be #16 but there's been so many iterations of the hole numbers, that I can't be positive! But you'll know it when you see it - guaranteed.
You want down hill tunnel/bomber shots, we got 'em! You want FULL POWER uphill shots? We got 'em! Need crosshill shots, those are available for your enjoyment as well! Like testing you accuracy down heavily wooded fairways barely wide enough to walk side-by-side, we got those as well!
How about hitting a 50'x50' island hole from 280' uphill? (Garnet #1)
Or how about a nice 200' uphill turning Anhyzer blast out of shoot that you don't want to grip-lock or early release? Diamond #2
Want more distance, how about Diamond #14 (I think) Under an arching tree branch, over a hill top, down across a meadow, through a pair of 'goal-post' trees following a narrowing peninsula with a creek on either sides, and a basket at the tip of the speak with water on 3 sides. Just a nice little ol' 714' drive.
Want something unique? Lets' go with a hanging basket on the edge of creek bank that almost guarantees a spit out is going to have you rolling into the creek. Or worse, along the creek, then into it 20' feet away so that you get to do it ALL OVER AGAIN!! (Diamond #13)
Lest we forget the signature hole, diamond #18 with the basket on a 15' mound with a small 'quarry' before the basket that is OB. Oh, and it's ALWAYS windy on the basket. Bad putts can find themselves a very long way away.
So like I've said, 'what more can you want'? There's dogleg left holes, tight ridge-line holes with a creek (seems to wind by every freakin' hole!) to the left. To much juice and splash. Hit a tree and splash, hit by the basket and roll...you get the point
At Stoney you will need your forehand, your backhand, good chance a roller, a thumber, a tomahawk. You'll need to throw really hard and long, then turn around and toss an almost pin-point corkscrew shot downhill (diamond #7)
This course takes it all out of you. It demands power and accuracy, patience and forethought. And it takes stamina. Despite the layout you choose - original diamond 18 or Garnet 18/24/27 you legs will take a beating and your back will be abused - all in a good way
I could go into a list of all 30 possible fairways, but you would end up really confused (I do when I try to think about it!)
Cons: The only con I can come up with would be that there are no 'red tees'. This is a big-boy course, beginners need not apply. Even if red tees were installed, it would be demanding.
Other Thoughts: So, why a 5-star rating? Because there are no dumb holes, no 'what the hell were they thinking holes'. I'm a good player, but this place has fed me my lunch and made me eat it on more than one occasion. I don't know of any other course that has me choosing a different disc for every tee. The mental calculation you will use here will wish you were sitting in a calculus course taught by someone speaking Chinese. Your brain will have to account for wind, elevation, trees, water etc.
Course is a long way from anything. If you visit, pack a lunch - a big one. And water. In the summer time this place can leave you parched. You will be tested and bested. Very few escape Stoney Hill with their ego in tact. Tee pads are carpet, but amazingly grippy. Only time they are an issue is when its been wet and cold. They can actually freeze! Signage is at a bare minimum, so you will need a guide to find your way around. Cart friendly if you dare!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Very cool private course with multi layouts
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Remote location, but very cool layout. I finally got to play this one, happened to be a tournament and this is not really one you want to play blind!
To start, this course has at least three layouts that I know of and probably more than that. I played diamond and garnet, and both were really fun plays.
The signs for diamond are really detailed and accurate, and the ones for Garnet are decent though not as plentiful.
The terrain here is a real star. I've not played many courses that have as much of a mix of woods/elevation and water all mixed in. The hilly, rocky terrain has several very heavily wooded holes and some great elevation shots.
There are also a good amount of island OB holes, some crazy par 4/5 holes and shots over the pond.
I actually skipped my shot on the edge of the pond and it skidded under a John boat that was out there.
The mix overall makes you want to bring every shot. On my card a lot of thumbers were thrown as well as bendy midrange shots and forehands. You need to have some tricks and execute them well.
Cons: They have carpet teepads, which are pretty slick in the sort of weather we have had this winter, I slipped several times and it made me a little cautious at times. Only busted it once luckily.
The underbrush in the woods is so thick that you almost have to add +2 every time you go in. My score would have been quite good if not for two holes were an iron leaf claimed several more strokes.
Nicely maintained port a John, as well as a ton of benches for amenities. Well marked OB on most holes too. Very few judgement calls.
Other Thoughts: I am very happy to have gotten to play here. It's a well put together course with some great holes. It's rough in spots, but I think that adds to the charm in some ways.
Someone I read compared it to an early days Flip City, and I can see that. There is similar care and attention, but it's not as polished yet. Since it's play by arrangement most of the time it may never be that polished, but that doesn't mean it's not a gem(bad pun sorry).
Bring your OS discs it gets windy. And though I didn't lose any, a ton of people lost discs in the pond so bring a water disc or two.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
The Challenge Of Stoney Hill
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautiful property with mild to moderate elevation changes in play on most holes. Course uses its naturally occurring creeks and signature pond to provide an array of holes with water hazards in play. Requires a wide variety of throws with both wooded and open holes in long and short positions. Challenging for all levels of players, ams and pros alike will enjoy this course and find challenges. Course can reward both technical and power players having an almost 50/50 split of power throws and technical throws needed off the tee. Various "signature" worthy holes at this course, fun memorable tee pad throws will high replay value.
Cons: Will need maps to navigate or a course guide, it's a private course so this is most likely by design.
Long, steep inclines and walks between some holes some players with less mobility could find challenging.
Carpet laid as tee pads on all holes.
Remote location, bring plenty of drinks and food.
Other Thoughts: I have played around 100 courses in various states, I can confidently say this course can provide you with shots you seldomly can find combined in one single place. Several downhill bombers, scenic water holes, fun ace runs, elevated baskets, hanging basket, island holes, Stoney hill has a little of everything. Much more enjoyable in group play or one of the events ran annually on the property, the owners love disc golf as much as any family I've ever met-3 generations of disc golfers.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Privacy: You are a guest on a sweet disc golf course. The Sauls are gold member disc golf ambassadors.
It truly is a masterpiece of design. Form, function, and finality were put into this course.
This course will punish you. It will crush your soul. And that is what makes it great.
Here you'll find many memorable holes. They keep you coming back. I like what one other review said: 'no fillers' and that is correct. Each hole makes you earn it.
This place is just a masterpiece and has to be in the top 3 in SC.
Cons: There aren't many people that will find a con here. The tee pads are really my only con. I actually really enjoy throwing on them, but I've played on them in early morning dew and now rain. They hold up pretty well, but given the inkling of a slip and it messes with your head.
I know all to well about expenses of tee pads so I totally get it. I commend them for using the carpet. Do to the fluidity of this course, it can't be helped. And it also adds to the uniqueness because those Sauls are always cooking up some new hole!
Other Thoughts: This course is just amazing. It is so much fun to spend a day there throwing.
I'm just glad it has such gracious owners.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Where to start
Pros: Its hard to start where you could give the pros to a home course like this. So I have listed a few.
1) Chris and David are some of the nices guys you will ever meet. They take the time to make sure each and every person knows where the next hole is and make sure your having a great time
2) Don't just show up thinking this is going to be a pitch and putt. You will need just about any shot you have in your bag
3) the 3 different layouts give you a chance to play all the holes in different combinations which is a bonus when your make a day out of it.
4) water water everywhere. Well maybe not but you will think twice before you throw a couple of holes with water ob carries. you can play it safe or play with the big boys.
5) Dis golf heaven. I once told David I thought Stoney hill reminded me of what Flip city would have been like in it earlier days but with water.
6) Benches on most holes if not all the holes.
Cons: This ones a little hard to post cons because it a great place and I have talked with the owners and such. With it being a private course you really cant ask for public bathrooms or running water. Tho you most likely could get both if you asked.
This course is a lauber of love and cons are just projects just farther down the list.
Other Thoughts: Stoney Hill is a destination course that a person should try and make anytime are in the area. Its a diamond in the ruffs (course layout and difficulty) That doesn't need that much more polishing. I always love coming back to see if my game has gotten better. Looking forward to many more rounds out at stoney
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent variety- in elevation, distance, and scenery. Nice wide open shots downhil, tight wooded technical shots, water in play, a little bit of everything.
Well maintained- the fairways were clear, and the brush wasn't so thick that a misplaced shot was too hard to recover.
Actually felt like playing golf- this course made me think about my shot placement a lot more than most courses I have played. The norm around charlotte is just don't hit a tree and stay in the fairway- needed a little more strategy here, and that was a nice change.
Challenging, but not overwhelming- I am a fairly new player, and the course was tough, but I never got discouraged- I like a good challenge though.
Cons: Not much here- distance from me is my only real complaint.
I was a little skeptical of the carpet tee pads, but after using them they didn't bother me at all. Felt fine.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth the trip to play. It was spur of the moment for me and David was extremely helpful. This is probably my favorite course I have played so far, and look forward to coming back in the future.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: First, a big thanks to both David and Chris! These guys are the epitome of Southern Hospitality. Each one walked/played/guided our group through 18 holes of amazing disc golf. They went above and beyond any expectations I had. Chris even went back and found a disc I lost in the water for me while we played with David. This course has pretty much everything you could ask for; it truly is fit for pro tournaments. These guys have put in a lot of work and it shows. There are so many memorable holes and none are unenjoyable. This course blends accuracy, length, and technical shots. You will need every shot from your arsenal to get through this course. The land and area are beautiful and fun just to hike. The final hole alone is one unlike I've encountered before and is the perfect ending to a course.
Cons: I sure there are some cons to the course but they would just be nit picky.
Other Thoughts: Everything great about a course can be found here, so make a reservation to play. FYI, don't play this course unless you can accurately throw over 300 feet as you will have a very difficult and long round.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Cons: I can't think of anything bad to say about this course. I know some people complain about the course needing to be mowed more often...but being that it's a private course run by someone with a full time job I think it's kept up beautifully given the circumstances.
Other Thoughts: Highly recommend this course. I can't wait to go back and play it!
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
33 Helpful / 0 Not
Not a Round, and Experience
Pros: A lot of times people claim courses have variety, because they feature holes of different lengths. They have holes that finish in different directions and maybe some elevation changes. And that is one type of variety. There are courses that feature a few different landscapes. Those courses typically weave in and out of the trees, offering both wooded and open holes. That's another type of variety. At Stoney Hill, there is yet another level of variety. When each hole is significantly different both in feel and throw from all the rest. That's true variety and this course has more of that than any I've seen to date. It would be tough to identify a signature hole at Stoney Hill. It's daunting to even pick highlights. That's because they're pretty much all highlights. Most of the holes here could be a signature hole at another course.
I will mention a few holes, not to single them out as the best, but to try and represent the type of challenge that awaits. 1, the third Quartz hole, tees off on top of the hill. It's a long way to the bottom, and some real air can be put on a disc here. It's wide open, but it's not as straightforward. The basket is tucked down a small tunnel into the woods, so unless the drive is placed well, there won't be a smooth approach shot. The next hole is another favorite: it's a narrow tunnel that opens up to some space where the disc needs to go up and to the right.
I'd also like to mention 12, a long, straight, narrow, downhill that leads to a basket partly surrounded by a small creek. It kicks off an amazing stretch of holes that feature the creek. 13 is a shorter woods hole that wants you to fade it right over the creek, while 14B is a long open hole that leads to an opening in the woods. It's downhill through that opening to a basket that's perched in the center of a bend in the creek. Actually, that one may be my favorite.
But enough with the specifics. I want to get back to that variety. There are holes that are somewhat open, and holes that are in channels. There are also a ton of holes that have sections of each. (Most of my favorites, as described above) There are uphills and downhills, (some serious elevation) and one on a tricky slope. And yeah, there is a variety of distances. My favorite feature though, is how there are fairways of all different widths. I said before that each hole stands out. Each hole is memorable. Yet somehow it all comes together. Each hole flows naturally to the next. I think it's that rawness. Though very-well taken care of, the course feels pristine, natural. I know that nature doesn't groom that way, but maybe it should?
If there is one signature of Stoney Hill, it's danger on the green. Places where a disc can slip away are frequent. From the last basket, perched on a mound where any missed putt is likely to lead to a throw as equally tough as the one just missed, to one on the side of hill, where a slide away might find you down the embankment and into water, there is tons of peril even after navigating the fairway. There are pin placements with water behind them and targets just before of a significant drop in elevation. The clever basket locations mean that almost any shot requires some thought and even a parked drive isn't necessarily "parked."
And there are water carries, significant ones, as well as an additional layout with even tougher holes. There's a lot here, but I think, or hope, that I've painted a fairly accurate picture here. It's one of those courses that you really should see at one point. I can't imagine you'll be disappointed.
Cons: Well, it's not that accessible. It's out there. A long way from most places. And while the hosts are very hospitable, it's not a course you can play on a whim. You do have to plan ahead. Both in terms of availability and in terms of bringing all you need to play. It's not an easy course, it's not one that can be played without thought and it's not a course that will go down well for the inexperienced. It's also not likely one that you could play everyday. It's too long, too grueling and too much a test of skills to be the course that you could play several times a week after work.
But as for the course itself, the only thing I didn't love was the faux island hole. I know some love the challenge that can be added with holes like this but they just aren't for me. Especially considering how raw, real and natural most of the course is, it feels a little out of place to pretend that you can't stand in certain areas.
Other Thoughts: There isn't much in the way of navigational aid at Stoney Hill. The tee signs are minimal. The hole number. The distance. But this isn't a course that you pull over and play in an hour. It's an experience. Your host guides you through the course, and owns more knowledge of the course than could ever fit on a sign. Pin locations, target landing zones, alternate lines. And history. Of course history. Without having to find your way, it's easy to escape here. More often than not on the course, I lost track of the hole I was on. I guess if you played here enough times, a round would eventually just be a round. But your first time, as I said before, it's an experience. And one I can't recommend enough.
33 of 33 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Glad I made the trip!
• Good variety with a mix of wooded/semi-open fairways, L/R/straight, up/down hill and varied terrain, long and short.
• Wonderful terrain is well-employed to bring elevation into play on most holes; both off the tee (making holes play longer or shorter and step up challenge) and on putts and approaches (increasing risk/reward).
• Judicious but reasonable use of OB makes you place shots rather than simply chucking down the fairway in hopes of a decent lie.
• Many well-tucked placements also make you place shots. Still other pins feature guardian trees which force you to find and carry a line on upshots if you want to score well.
• No filler holes - each hole stands on its own and presents a legitimate challenge and forces you to execute or make a difficult recovery. Fairways are reasonable but the rough can be nasty in spots, costing you a stroke if you miss the fairway badly or cut corners leaving yourself a bad angle to the pin... but shouldn't bad shots be reflected in your score? ;)
• Multiple layouts to suit most skill levels. Quartz and Diamond layouts share several holes but each has several holes unique to that layout. The holes unique to Quartz make it well-suited to intermediate players, with the Diamond layout being a reasonable challenge for Advanced and Pro players.
• Wind can raise the stakes and was a definite factor on the longer, semi-open holes during my visit. I had to change my disc or shot to compensate on quite a few holes (often unsuccessfully). :(
• Nice to play a round at your own pace, without having to wait for other groups to finish or worry about pedestrian and other non-disc traffic.
• Several memorable holes, including The Island Green, Hole 14 (plays differently on both layouts) Diamond hole 5, and 18 is a unique finishing hole where a couple stroke lead may not be safe. Well conceived water caries that offer shorter bail-out routes round things out nicely.
• Hard to knock them for not pouring concrete, because temp tees allow them to update things on an ongoing basis, but I recall wishing I had better footing off the tee a couple of times.
• Not conveniently located near other destination courses. Unless you already have a reason to drive past on I-26, you'll have to go out of your way to play here.
• Thorns and briars - unfortunately, I found some spots where they were pretty nasty... but you're supposed to stay on the fairway, right?
Other Thoughts: You'd be hard pressed to find nicer hosts anywhere. David and Chris are quite proud (and rightfully so) to share their creation with you, and do so hospitably, sharing their insight, likes and dislikes about many of the holes. It's nice to hear how a hole evolved into to what it is today. One of the great pluses of private courses is that almost all owners are players, and can change things they don't like to improve the course over the years... obviously the case here, and something that isn't a big priority for most Parks and Rec departments.
I played the course the first day of winter, while the course was probably looking about as drab as could be, and it still had quite a bit of visual appeal. I can only imagine how beautiful Stoney Hill looks at the peak of fall color or how lush it is mid-season.
Likely to prove too frustrating for beginners, but that's not what they were shooting for. People don't drive for miles to play beginner courses. This is most definitely destination discing - take the time to play both layouts and really enjoy all this gem has to offer.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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