Best we've played in the area
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: We played Buckhorn for the first time yesterday and were blown away. The course is in great condition. They've done great job of clearing underbrush on most holes (don't throw left on the first hole though). There's a nice mixture of hole types. Some with many trees, but still fair and playable. The water holes are daunting. All but #17 give you a decent chance to play around the water. 17 is just a bear. We saw 4 discs go into the pond while there. We'll probably substitute 19 for 17 the next time we play.
Cons: 17 is unplayable if you don't want to chance losing a disc. As others have said, there are a couple of other holes with water RIGHT behind the basket. Lots of risk/reward there.
Other Thoughts: We absolutely love this course. Worth the drive.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Not great for rec players
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Beautiful, for the most part, course. A good mix of holes that go left or right, up or down, etc. Plenty of parking.
Cons: 9, 11, and 17 are unsuitable for rec players, as there is no "safe" spot from which to take a bailout shot. There are no red tee boxes. And you will never get a disc back if it goes in the water here.
Other Thoughts: Hole 0 is a good replacement for hole 11 except it is too long.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Beautiful park in pine forest around a beautiful lake
Lot's of elevation change
No interference from non disc golfers
perfect amount of challenge with short and longs
Cons: A bit of poke and pray on a couple of holes with no reasonable / clear path
Other Thoughts: This is in my top 5 favorite courses. It is awesome and beautiful course with a nice challenge. Every time I'm in town for business this is my must do course.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Bring your wading shoes
Pros: - Fantastically maintained course, clean of both brush and trash. Its in a mature pine forest, so you don't really get much of that nasty underbrush problem that a lot of heavily wooded courses have.
- WATER! Not many courses utilize water hazards, so its a treat to play one that does with some frequency. Makes for great scenery and a new sort of anxiety on your drives.
- Played with a friend who hasn't played much disc golf. Holes were reasonably distanced and reasonably open so both of us had a good time, while still presenting some decent challenge
- Favorite throw was #17 over the pond. Straight shot through some open woods, hit the gap near the pond and make sure you put enough mustard on it to make it over the water. I missed acing it by a foot or two and ended up about 8-10 feet behind the hole, but its a nerve-racking throw until you see it land.
Cons: - Not much variety in hole design from the white tees, which is what we played. Almost entirely straight or RHBH hyzer, almost all in the woods. There are a few RHBH anhyzer holes thrown in, but not many.
- While I love the fact that water is in play, several baskets are in my opinion unreasonably close to the water hazards that make this course unique.
- #8, I believe it was, is short, has water directly behind the basket, and a big fricking bridge directly in your path to the basket for what seems to me to be no good reason. There is simply no comfortable way to go around that stupid bridge. Really ruined what would have otherwise been a good hole.
- #9 is so swampy its not really fun. Not a whole lot of truly dry ground to work with once you're out of the woods near the tee.
- #15 needs warning signs that there is deep water DIRECTLY behind the basket. Do NOT try to ace this hole, because unless you throw a 1 in a million shot if you clear that hill looking for an ace on the fly your disc WILL end up going for a swim and be gone in that nasty, and immediately deep pond. Buddy lost one of my discs behind it because we had no idea that a mere yard or so behind the basket on top of the steep hill that pond was lurking.
Other Thoughts: All in all, a very enjoyable course, and if I lived in the southern Raleigh region I would probably play Buckhorn quite a bit. Just be prepared to lose a disc or two, any mistakes near the water hazards will be punished severely by this course.
Oh, and if nuclear power plants creep you out or something, stay away. Directly across the lake is the massive Harris Lake nuclear power plant, billowing huge clouds out of the stack. I thought it was pretty awesome looking, but I know some people don't want to be anywhere near one of them.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Buckhorn DGC is a wonderful disc golf course. I liked the variation from hole to hole. Mainly wooded, but with reasonable fairways and moderate elevation change on several holes. Mix of short and long distance, with 3 par 4's if you play the blue tees. Both left and right turning shots are represented, with a couple of serious doglegs, as well as some straight shots. Really good layout that keeps the shot making interesting and minimizes walks from one hole to the next. There is a warm up hole between the practice basket and the first hole. It was nice that most of the course is shaded on a hot summer day. There is water in play on a few holes. Equipment was excellent, and you can see the staff of the park crew takes their work seriously. Scorecards were available near the first tee. Tees were large, level concrete pads, with good signs. Baskets all looked to be in good condition. The course was bone dry when I played, but wooden footbridges had been installed to get across areas that tend to stay muddy after rain. I saw no trash on the ground. My favorite holes were 8, 9, 10 and 17. All have water to contend with. 8 is a short birdie opportunity, down hill with the lake lurking just behind the pin. Making the turn by the lake, 9 & 10 both play along the shore, with tall reeds punishing bad drives or unlucky ricochets. 17 is a longer hole, downhill, with a pond before the green. I would like to see someone going for it off the tee, but I chose to lay up a mid range on the landing zone in front of the pond and play it safe.
Cons: May be unfriendly to new players, due to water hazard on several holes, and some kind of thick woods in areas. Signs prohibit swimming and wading in the water, so retrieving those lost to the water may not be possible. I was not able to play hole 15, because there was a crew installing a bridge over the fairway in an area that held water after rainstorms. It looked like a fun hole, kind of the opposite of 8, shorter and uphill with a basket atop a dam and the pond directly behind it. There were not any trash cans on the course, so pack out what you carry in. They are available at the parking lot. I don't remember seeing benches at the tees, but there may be a couple.
Other Thoughts: Buckhorn is a real beauty, I kind of felt like I was in Springfield as I looked at the massive nuclear cooling tower across the lake on hole 9. I almost wanted to drop a fishing line in to see if I could pull Blinky out. A fun and well maintained course that you should absolutely play if you get a chance.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Great blend of fun and challenge
Pros: Buckhorn plays through a mature pine forest and near/over water on several occasions. It's set in a beautiful park and is the type of course that I would love to have as my home course - a good challenge without being a brutal beat down. I enjoy playing among pine trees because there is often little undergrowth. The park was very scenic and well-kept with virtually no trash or rough to lose discs in.
The best part of the course is that it caters to many different levels and is an almost perfect balance of challenge and fun. You play in thick woods but the holes are forgiving if you miss your line and you will have endless recovery options; there aren't any pitch-outs here. The water that comes into play in the form of a lake (holes 8-11) and pond (15 and 17) is also a great example of this. While the water definitely provides some scary drives and approaches, there are ways to lay up and take a less risky approach. This gives you great risk/reward options.
The two tee positions also do a nice job of changing difficulty and looks. The white tees allow you to constantly make birdie runs and the blue tees make you fight for a birdie or par. The concrete tees were very long and in good shape.
I enjoyed choosing from the multiple lines that were offered on some of the holes. There was usually a clearer lane, but you could still get by if you didn't always hit the main one.
The navigation was easy with very little walking between holes.
Again, this is a very scenic park with the tall pines and great views of the lake. A nice place just to hike through.
Not a ton of elevation, but it was used when present. The course begins with some fun downhill shots and there are some cool pin positions that play on slopes. 15, especially, is a fun ravine type shot with a pin on top of a slope and a pond right behind it. It's well-designed in that it's short enough to tempt you to make an ace run, but landing more than a few feet away from the basket could be dangerous.
Cons: You're not going to use your high speed drivers too much. 17 may have been the only one I did. This is a fairly short course with 11 holes being <303' from the long tees.
I really enjoyed the water holes, but if even if your disc falls in close to the edge, you're most likely not going to find it between the thick algae and tall grass.
As I said, I'd love to have this as a home course, and it seems that the locals love it here too. Lots of groups playing during a Wednesday evening.
You had to walk through part of 18's fairway to get to 17.
While I'm not complaining about my own personal preference, it did seem to have a lot of RHBH hyzers/a few too many similar holes in the woods.
Other Thoughts: This is definitely a course where you can both learn the game as well as still be challenged after many rounds here. This is the kind of place where you can play a casual round with your buddies but you will still have to execute some specific shots and pay attention to your game. A welcoming course still without being too chucker-friendly. Definitely a must play if you're in the area and a great compliment to the less forgiving Rock Ridge only 20 or so minutes away.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
One of the very best in the Triangle
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Buckhorn is one of the best courses in the Triangle. If you're in the area, it's a must-play.
+ Very high on the fun factor: challenging, lots of variety, great water course. This is a heavily wooded course with the only somewhat open holes being water-carry holes.
+ Easy navigation.
+ Blue (advanced) and white (intermediate) tees. It's a challenging course for rec players, but there are alt tees to minimize disc loss risk on the water holes.
+ Nice elevation.
+ Beautiful course, from the lake to the forest. Peaceful, quiet. What disc golf should be.
+ Nice risk/reward elements on the course. Some examples... Hole 15 isn't long, but the basket is on the edge of the hill with water right behind it. The front side of the hill is a hazard area (must putt from the front of the hazard). Do you go for the extremely small area between the hill and the water where the basket is? Play it safe? Try to have it both ways? Hole 8 is probably the shortest hole on the course and a tempting one to go for the ace. But if you go for it and fly over the basket, you can end up in the lake. Hole 17 is a long water carry (from the short or the long tees). Do you lay up or go for it? Hole 10 might be the signature hole as it's a pure water-carry, 285 feet from the blue tee. You can play a safer shot that hyzers earlier than that, but then you have a tough up and down for par.
This course will challenge your mental game AND it's fun to play. Perfect combo.
Cons: My only real con is the bugs and snakes. Nothing you can do about this, but wear bug spray and be prepared to battle mosquitoes and horse files. Watch out for snakes around the ponds and lake.
Other Thoughts: You've gotta play this one if you live in North Carolina or travel to the Triangle. Destination course for sure.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 16 Not
Watch OUT on 15!!!!!!
Pros: I really liked the course and had a fun time playing... Until hole 15. See cons.
Cons: Very very bummed to walk up to the basket on 15 after an ace run and find that I lost one of my favorite discs in the water.... Need a huge sign at the tee warning about the water behind the basket.
0 of 16 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 18 Not
Very lefty unfriendly!
Pros: Nice level tees. Clearly defined fairways. Beautiful woods. Lots of parking.
Cons: This is a righty centric course. It has no balance at all. There are a couple of "lefty holes", but they have wide fairways and don't favor lefty's that much. There are three difficult water holes on the course, all with OB, deep water on the right side. They are super easy natural hyzer shots for RHBH, and very difficult for LHBH. The course designer simply had no imagination. It's like they set up each hole with a left fade in mind. As some others have pointed out, the hole with the basket perched on the damn in front of the pond is interesting, but it's really silly that a chain out ace run would result in a circle 3. And anyone putting from below the damn for the first time might not realize that there is deep water directly behind the pin, and even a slight overshot will result in a lost disc.
Other Thoughts: Lefty's beware! Beginners beware, you will lose plastic in the water.
3 of 21 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Want to return
Pros: Great wooded course in almost total isolation from the rest of the world. There was almost no undergrowth and the fairways are more than adequately wide. From this perspective I would equate Buckhorn to be an equivalent of Kilborne in Charlotte EXCEPT there is water that comes into play both with carries and along a few of the fairways. Water almost always acts as a magnet for my discs!
I played the short tees (alas I had tweaked my back a few days earlier and was operating at about 60%). The longer pads simply added distance (30' to 150') and challenge for most of the holes but did not radically change the shape of the shot; hole 16 was the exception which was an acute dogleg from the long and a relatively straight shot from the shorts; hole 10's short pad allowed a non-water carry but water still was a major factor.
The course was exceptionally clean despite a lack of trashcans (only few were near the beginning); it was obvious the frequent players were responsible to keep it clean. AND, there actually were score cards available at the first tee (always nice)!
Cons: Most of the holes felt like they had about the same shot shape for the drive favoring the RHBH hyzer; those that required a little turnover were near the end of the fairway (approach shots for me). Many repetitive feeling shots.
I found myself searching for the next tee on many of the holes (and I had a printed schematic map). There was one next tee directional sign I noticed on hole 14 or 15.
I found the concrete tee pads a little lacking--they were plenty big enough but were more that roughly textured (not brushed but textured by the work end of a rake), I nearly tripped on a few of them.
Other Thoughts: Although not really close to any of the other "triangle" area courses, it is a very solid course that should be on the itinerary of any serious disc golfer when in the area. I want to play it again when my back is in better condition (I might bump the rating up another notch if I felt better).
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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