The Most Beautiful Gems Are Extracted by Labor
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -This is a delayed review due to personal reasons (anxiety over graduation, work, grad school, and this corona virus going on). But this is worth mentioning. This course is amazing! It's courses like this one that you'd drive many hours to play. It's exquisite! Exquisite like a real gemstone! There's elevation, water, danger, and curveballs are thrown at you with the various hole distances. Course takes up a good amount of space, but there's more than 18 holes designed here.
-David is an awesome guy! He's very friendly and fun to talk to! He walked with us and talked about many different events held here and the different changes the course has been through. The Sauls do an amazing job maintaining their course. Chris is an awesome guy as well. Very nice! I was having a hard time working with paypal and he was very helpful when I purchased a disc and paid through paypal. Travis and Jay are awesome guys too.
-You pretty much step on the tee pad and say "WOW!" Every hole here is special in some way. There are many signature holes here. I'm running out of fingers here. The big downhill bomb has two pin placements. The left pin is #1 diamond. 580' and downhill the whole way. It's a tough par three. Seems like it should be a par four, but it plays less and is reachable for distance throwers. The right pin is #3 on the Garnet layout. Very hard par four. In a major pro tour event, the average score on this hole would probably be a 4.7. The pin is to the right side right beside the creek. The basket is guarded by some trees, and the creek kind of curves to where the upshot is more daunting. Scary but awesome hole. Another awesome downhill hole is #8 garnet/#12 diamond. This hole is STRAIGHT downhill and you'll play it whether you play the Garnet or Diamond. If you play both, then you'll get to play this hole twice! It's 281' island hole. That may not seem fair, but it plays a lot less and is actually a great challenge for all players. There is a drop zone further down the hill if you miss the island. Beware of the creek that's on the island! Great hole!! #6 garnet is a fun steep downhill ace run over the creek!
-Oh yeah there's more! A whole lot more here! We are talking about the pond now! #16 diamond might be the only hole you play where you have two water carries! 608' and OB everywhere. The short pin (#14 garnet) is fun too! Either way, you have to avoid the pond and the OB path to the right side. #15 garnet is an awesome par four that's back over the pond and to the right side. I think #17 diamond was my favorite hole. You are backtracking the fairway for #15 garnet on this hole. It's a 760' par four. The drive is significantly downhill and the water is in play to the left side the whole way. The basket is perched on a hill so there's a scary putt once you make it there. Hole is beautiful. If you know exactly how to navigate it, she'll cure your heartache but she can also leave you out in the cold and let you freeze.
-Both layouts are challenging; as you'd probably expect at a private course. I've played some private courses such as Brackett's Bluff, Harmon Hills, Legacy Trails, Black Jack, Torma Town, etc. All of them are at least moderately difficult. The Garnet Layout here at Stoney Hill is harder than Harmon Hills and Black Jack in my opinion. The Diamond Layout is maybe a little bit harder than Brackett's Bluff I think (even though the rock green there is insane). You really have to play smart on every hole here. The local 930 rated player could very well likely beat the 1000 rated player that hasn't been here before. Often times, it really doesn't matter at all if it's your home course. But it might matter here.
-Plenty of parking space, and once you are close you'll see a couple of signs with arrows directing you to the course.
-Crazy pin placements. #9 garnet/#13 diamond has a hanging basket. Not high off the ground no. But the ground is NOT level at all and the creek is just in front of it. I crossed the creek and rolled in it twice. Yikes! #10 diamond. Pin is on a hill that drops over 20'. Yikes! #18 (both layouts) is REALLY intimidating. There's a ravine in front of the elevated basket. It is about 20' deep in spots. The basket is on a mound that's shaped like a cone. Yikes! But pretty awesome! The ravine is actually quite difficult to avoid. And it's OB. You really have to be in an ideal spot to have an easy second shot. If not, you'll probably have to throw a pitch up to one of the gaps. The basket is in a more open area in the woods, but in order to reach that area, you have to take one of the two gaps. They are on opposite sides. Yikes! There are more pin placements that I mentioned previously and maybe a couple more. Yikes!
-Carpet pads are cool in my book! The tee signs are nice too.
Cons: -This is the optimal outcome I think, so it's not a con in my eyes. But #18 crosses the fairways for #1 diamond/#3 garnet and #2 garnet. But all are great holes so.....
-Par confusion on a couple of holes. I think #6 diamond is a hard par four instead of an easy par five. I think #3 garnet is a short par five with a whole lot of danger. It takes a really long throw to have a look at three. Both holes are excellent regardless.
Other Thoughts: -This course has been in my wish list since I was fifteen. It took a long time to get the opportunity to play Stoney Hill. But I'm so glad that I did. It's a very hard course, but it isn't impossible. When you see long par fours such as #3 garnet or #17 diamond, you feel the urge to throw about as hard as you can because you want the full distance. When you see shorter par fives such as #14 diamond, you feel the urge to throw as hard as you can since 714' can be reached in two shots for some players and everybody loves an eagle opportunity. When you see holes like #6 garnet or #7 garnet/#11 diamond (a 167') ace run, you feel the urge to go for an ace. Slow down! Take a few more seconds to analyze more thoroughly.
Pretty recently, I realized that is one of main things that is holding me back. I don't take that few extra seconds I need to take. I played horrible in the tournament here. My biggest piece of advice in disc golf in general would be to not throw too hard. It's like playing wii golf. If you swing the remote too hard, you'll shank the drive. That advice is very important here at Stoney Hill. I was intimidated on #16 diamond. I got lucky on my tee shot by staying in bounds and being left with a 320' approach. The wind was stirring and I let it mess with my mind. I threw my midrange too hard and it made it to the edge of the land, but didn't cross. I had to rethrow and I hit the water again and had a lucky water skip that put me across. That was another terrible shot that I released too hard. I did that hoping to go past the water since the basket is another 60' away. On #17 diamond, I took a little less power off and had a much better drive and I had a great second shot that gave me a birdie on this brutal par four.
-As difficult as Stoney Hill is, it's incredible. Garnet and Diamond are found by labor. The amount of work the Sauls put into this course is what makes the layouts the beautiful gems that they are. Along with Harmon Hills, I'm giving Stoney Hill a 5. Don't turn down any opportunity to play here.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
First Visit to the Hill
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Challenging layouts with no "gimme" holes
-Labor of love keeping up with a private course like this.
Cons: -Challenging layouts with no "gimme" holes
-Tee sign detail
-Carpet tee pads
Other Thoughts: Played Stoney Hill for the first time this weekend. I would like to thank David Sauls for allowing me to come out and play it. I was thankful that he was able to join me and show me around.
At the time of this review, I had played and reviewed almost 60 courses including Selah Ranch, Langley Pond, Tyger River, Grand Central Station, Pipeline, and Holston Creek. This was by far the most challenging course I have ever played.
What is challenging about it? There are no breaks. There are no gimme holes. And despite what David said were a few "birdie-able" holes, there are no easy chances for birdies. If you shoot par out here, consider going pro. If you consistently shoot par out here, you are a pro.
As I reviewed this course in my head over the weekend, I came to the decision that I would never host a tourney on this course and allow a MA3 division. If you are not a 900 rated player, I strongly encourage you to get better before taking on the Stoney Challenge.
I can see this being a destination course that you tell yourself to play once in your life, and it is probably a great doubles venue, but I seriously doubt a ton of people would play here regularly if they wanted a casual and fun round. The challenge is too great.
That all being said, that is what the "Saulsies" were looking to create and they were successful. David told me they did not want people walking away remembering 2-3 holes, they wanted them all to be memorable. Well technically they are, but with all being incredible holes, none of them end up standing out from the pack. Except maybe that darned down hill #12 on the Diamond course. Yeesh.
What do they need to do to improve the rating? Find a way to improve detail on tee signs. Include recommended landing zone distances for par 4s and 5s. Improve signage on the course to lead people from basket to tee. The overlapping of three courses on one property with multiple shared holes was confusing without someone to guide even having a map in hand. Also, upgrade those tee pads to at least football field turf instead of carpet. I know these can be costly, so I understand if a private course cannot afford such things. Just wanted you to know the gap between where you are and perfection in my mind. Oh, and some sort of net or disc catching grate in that darn pond would be nice, but then you are talking major cash.
Once again, I thank David for hosting me. They have one heck of a course out there in Newberry. With some good tee pads, better signage and navigation, this could push for a 5 star status.
Out of the 60 I have currently reviewed, here is where Stoney currently falls:
6-Shaver Recreation Center, Seneca, SC
7-Selah Ranch - Lakeside, Talco, TX
8-Tyger River DGC, Reidville, SC
9-N.E. Lions Park, Norman, OK
10-Grand Central Station, Central, SC
11-Stoney Hill DGC, Newberry, SC
12-Mekusukey DGC, Seminole, OK
13-Foothills DGC, Easley, SC
14-Regional DGC, Ardmore, OK
15-Dolly Cooper Park DGC, Powdersville, SC
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
What more could you want?
18 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!
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Very cool private course with multi layouts
14 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.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
The Challenge Of Stoney Hill
15 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.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 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.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
12 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
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 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 10 people found this review helpful.
3 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.
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 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 9 people found this review helpful.
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