Deer In Limelight
Pros: Here I am, visiting family Easter Weekend for the second year in a row. Last year, I had played Harmon Hills (WOW!!!) and Warrior's Path (So-so...) and this year, I did something similar and played Sugaree first (WOW!!!) and then Winged Deer (So-So...)
After a very long and tough round at Sugaree, I was heading back to Bristol, but wanted to hit another well regarded course in the area, not to be distracted by the two Wow courses I did play.
I was pleasently surprised. Winged Deer sits in a nice looking park in Johnson City, and is very accessible for out of towners. Navigation served fairly easy, and the tee signs served their purpose.
The baskets were older Mach IIIs but caught well, not that I had any putts that should have spit out, but I have played places where those putts have been spit out.
The course weaved it's way through the woods, with different shots able to be thrown. There were twists and turns, ups and downs, which was nice, especially on a primarily par 3 course.
Also, don't get me wrong, for a park course. It was tougher than I thought it would be. It beat me up more than it should have, but it wasn't easy in the longer pin positions that it was in.
Cons: Winged Deer is showing some battle wounds from it's many years of service to the Tennessee area. The baskets, while functional, were beaten up a bit, and sometimes hard to see through the thick woods.
Some of the holes presented what I thought was too much of a challenge. The lines below the trees were a lot less appealing than the ones above, and for a player who does not throw hard, or has a lackluster overhead throw, these could be frustrating.
At a park course, in order for new players and casual groups to have fun and appreciate the course, I think there should be multiple tees. Playing in mostly B pins provided a rough course on a par 3 layout, frustrating people on seemingly good shots.
The tees in question were concrete, which is nice, but they were somewhat short, and cracking from age and repeated use.
There was one hole with a tall elevated basket on a metal pole. On a tight hole through the woods, I'd like to think that making the gap should reward a birdie, but having a fifteen foot putt on a 7 foot tall basket was silly.
The course could definitely get crowded with the occasional chuckers and others. Some holes are near each other, and with an errant throw, or impatience, it could cause trouble. It also can make a quick round longer.
Other Thoughts: All in all, I enjoyed playing here. It reminds me of what a clean, park-style course should be. Relaxing fun in the woods and fields. It was a nice change if pace from the monster courses in the area. I like playing tough par threes and courses that challenge everybody. It was definitely worth the stop!
Challenging for a par 3 layout
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Winged Deer Park offers a pretty unique setting. It has the feel of a city park at times, while other sections of the course make you feel like you're deep in the woods far off on your own. This offers a variety of holes and shots, with chances to run the basket on more open fairways as well as playing some really tight, multi-staged holes in the woods. The course definitely serves its purpose in this regard.
A variety of shots and hole types are offered throughout the course, which weaves its way in and out of the woods. This gives it a great mix of holes in terms of woodenness. It starts out with a few tight holes and then starts to open up a little bit on hole 5. From there it begins to take you through tightly and moderately wooded sections, with a few more open fairways here and there. For being mostly a par 3 and somewhat shorter course, it's surprisingly difficult. There are no gimme birdies here, you really have to be accurate on your drives. This ups the course's replayability, having to fight to get birdies.
Elevation isn't a constant contributor to the round, but is incorporated up to its potential. There are some steep uphill shots on 6 and 7, while 14, 17, and 18 offer a couple downhill throws.
Amenities are nice with brand new looking tee signs, great concrete tee pads, and quality baskets. Multiple pin positions do a good job of changing up the look of the holes, and the current position is indicated on the tee sign. There are a good bit of 'next tee' signs located throughout the course as well.
This huge park is very well maintained and the course seems to get taken care of as well. No interference with other park activities as this section of the park is dedicated to the course. Only on holes 11-12 will you be able to see the main part of the park, but there shouldn't be any conflict.
Cons: While not quite the typical old school style course that Warriors Path is, Winged Deer also plays primarily with a par 3 design. It could've used more than just one long par 4, and having only three holes greater than 400' limits its appeal and disc selection a little bit. Nothing stood out to me as being too memorable.
Navigation and signage is good for the most part, but is confusing between a few holes (7-8 and 16-17 in particular for us). I'd recommend bringing a map.
Hole 14 felt way too tight to me. It could be a cool hole if some of the trees were knocked down. The sharp downhill hyzer to and elevated basket was a good idea to change it up, but it felt hard just for the sake of hard.
Other Thoughts: Winged Deer Park is nothing spectacular, but offers a solid round without too many big detractors. You won't be blown away by too much, but this challenging par 3 course is one I could play on a weekly basis. Set in a huge, popular city park, the course conveniently takes you away from the crowds and gives you your own space. Not a course worth coming to play on its own, but certainly worth combining with the nearby Harmon Hills and Warriors Path for a full day of disc golf with little driving.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Winged Deer Park DGC is at its best at its most extreme moments, in which thorough tree cover and prominent elevation come together to challenge your game. This can take a variety of forms, such as 7, in which a snaking fairway through pines tempts you to make a run at its landing zone at the risk of crashing into serious rough, or 12, a tight corridor with a drop off either before or after the pin depending on its position. Winged Deer's most memorable holes make smart use of such rich topography.
There's a nice variety of woodedness throughout that mixes up both style and level of challenge. Some holes require precision, some will cause you to weigh pushing distance versus the associated risks, and others are much more laid back while allowing for enough creativity to avoid boredom. If you have an array of shots such as rollers, thumbers, and forehands, they'll be put to use here. The multiple pin positions only enhance the variety, putting different, quality spins on many holes.
Course is well signed and seems well groomed. While it does play out into more public areas of the park, much of it is nice and isolated. Little room for conflict with other park goers here.
Cons: A few of the more wooded holes seem to enter into unrealistic territory in their search for a challenge. 14, for example, is a perfect example of poke and pray, and comes off as gimmicky. Given that there are some smartly designed and well-balanced holes elsewhere on the course, these such holes stand out and feel forced.
Alternatively, there are some gimme holes that, while allowing for a pleasant variety in how you approach them, let off the gas too much. Combined with the above, Winged Deer feels a bit all over the map with its varied challenge factor. On the one hand the variety is nice; on the other hand most everyone is going to encounter at least a few holes that clash with the kind of round they're after. This is exacerbated by the single set of tees: rec players can't tone it down and more advanced players can't turn it up. The challenges are significant enough at points to frustrate some but low enough at other points to disappoint others.
Conflicting with the sense of a casual city park round is the threat of dense foliage at certain points. It can be a positive in enhancing the challenge factor but can also really bring your round to a halt and force you to search if you have an unfortunate landing. This is more due to dense trees than unkempt shule, as the course feels quite broken in.
Other Thoughts: Winged Deer comes off as a largely casual park course, but there are still plenty holes that are worth your while. The mild schizophrenia is real, but, it's worth a visit, especially given its proximity to Warrior's Path and Harmon Hills.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Good Course. Needs Better Maintenance
Pros: Very technical
Good hike for all 18 holes so good exercise
Enjoyable course--mostly short technical holes with 3-4 longer more open holes.
Multiple pin locations for variety.
Cons: Poor/Unpredictiable Maintenance--sometimes the fairways are nicely cut and sometimes it looks like it may have been months.
Very easy to lose dics here.
On many holes there are multiple pin positions with no indication of where the pin is currently located. Needs pin indicators at all holes.
Hard to find next tee unless your with someone who knows the course.
No running water. No pro-shop.
Other Thoughts: I really like this course and would have rated it a 3.5 or higher but the cons listed above (especially the poor Maintenance) can be very frustrating.
I like that on several holes there are interesting choices to make regarding taking high risk/high reward types of shots.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
This Deer hasn't fully spread its wings
Pros: Winged Deer is a solid, well-rounded course. If courses were restaurants, it would be the all-you-can eat buffet with all the variety of hole layouts.
- Yes, Winged Deer has just about every type of hole you could imagine. Pulling into the parking lot, I can see that #1 is a wooded, uphill hole, so I'm expecting a lot of elevation throughout the course. Wrong. Nothing had the elevation like #1; although, other holes do have decent elevation, including #4 (downhill), #6 (uphill), #8 (downhill) & #17 (uphill). Course also offers layouts from wide open (#8) to semi-open (#11, 15 &16), tight (#2, 7, 10) to no fairway (#13 &14). Through in doglegs, straight shots, S-layouts, and you have everything except water holes.
- Course does use the terrain very well, presenting some challenging holes. #7 is a daunting tee with trees/thick rough on both sides of the s-shaped fairway. You keep the shot in play, and can be aggressive with your second shot. Hit the trees/rough, and you could waste several shots just to get back in the fairway. #16 has a right-to-left sloping fairway on the course's longest hole. If you can keep your shots in the fairway, once again, you can score well.
- Along those lines, course has tremendous risk/reward factor. Again using #7 as an example, a smart shot might be throwing Roc (or any mid-range) off the tee, sacrificing distance for accuracy. If you're feeling lucky, and throw driver on the hole, in the fairway will put you in great position. Hit the trees, and double bogey, or worse, is in play.
- Great course map online. There are some long walks between holes, blind tee shots, overall potential confusion, so you'll be thankful for it.
- Course is mostly isolated from the rest of the park. I didn't see any walking trails cross over, play through the course, so DGers have the space to themselves. You play near ball fields on #9 & 10, but barring a horrible shot on #10, they're not even in play.
Cons: There was an overall sense of inconsistency throughout the course, which was more disappointing than frustrating. For every two or three great things the course offered, there would be some sort of issue.
- The first, and biggest, problem was the inconsistency in hole layouts. There was no sign or notice at the kiosk what layouts the holes were in. After playing the first several holes, I noticed they were all in the "A" position, so I assumed it'd be that way throughout the round. Nope. I then noticed some tee signs had a marker indicating which position the basket was in, so that was nice, except it appeared on less than a third of the holes. It gets frustrating to either A. walk a hole before playing to see its layout, B. play a generic, safe shot that will put you into an ok position for either layout, or C. hope it's in one layout, and hope you're not wrong.
- Holes #13 & 14 are terrible. Neither has a fairway, unless you count trees as a fairway. Now, if they were short holes (say 150 - 200 feet) where you could throw a big arching shot over the trees to the basket, that's one thing. But there really wasn't a place for that. They were just bad holes, that offered no fun, or anything at all.
- Several other holes just seemed to be fillers. The worst of these were the two most open holes #4 & 8. Both had trees around the tee, but once you cleared those, you were throwing into wide open fields. On #4, it was weird going from three wooded, mountain-esque holes to a polar opposite.
- The metal baskets are hard to see in the woods. As always, yellow baskets, or any other bright color is such a great thing when you're throwing in shadows.
Other Thoughts: Winged Deer is a good course, but I felt like it should have been better. That's why the issues were so frustrating. If the holes were all in one layout, or if every hole had an indicator, that would be huge. Also, there seemed to be plenty of room to replace, or change, the bad holes.
- I loved the variety the course offered. Depending on your taste, there will be some holes you'll really like here, and some that will frustrate you. Then there's #13 & 14, which I don't think anyone will like.
- The course offers plenty of challenge, but there are also some really good birdie chances here. At the end of the day, most DGers will probably think there are some holes they should have done much better with, and probably acknowledge they also got lucky on a hole or two. I think that's you're looking for in any course.
- #7 and #16 are probably the signature holes of the course. They're not necessarily the most fun, but these are the ones where you really need to step up to get a good score. You'll really need to earn a birdie on these two.
- This is a good course for eastern Tennessee. It's definitely a notch below Warriors Path, but still good nonetheless.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course starts out great. The first 5 holes are realy good, and some others( 7,8,12) are also pretty good. A few holes that you can realy let your disc fly. Good signs.
Cons: This course is NOT well kept at all. Some holes have NO fairway to speak of(13,14), and the rough is crazy thick(very easy to loose discs). Plus #4 has a huge sink hole that is very easy to loose your disc in.
Other Thoughts: I've given this course many chances and it never impresses me. There is a weird feeling to the park like something is going on (probably because of all the stories that I don't need to mention). But if you are near the course and you are bored you should play it just for the experience. Like I said there are some realy enjoyable holes. I think with some changes and better keep up this could be a realy good course withing a short period of time (revise some holes and clean up the rough and fairways).
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Wide variety of hole layouts. It's definitely challenging. The park is pretty nice. We had a deer run right up to us while we were playing.
Cons: It's impossible to know where the baskets are unless you just go look or you've played before. Even if you've played it before you can't tell what the pin's position is from the tee box on many of the holes. Sometimes you're just throwing blindly.
Other Thoughts: I played with some guys who'd been to the course before, so that definitely helped. I wouldn't recommend going if you don't have someone to talk you through.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Good variation of hole types, challenging and super fun
Cons: Two blind holes with no conventional method of driving the basket, Hole 12 is 8-10ft high?!?!?!, poor signage
Other Thoughts: This course began as a wonderful course, but after the first 6 holes it got a bit strange. Holes 7 through 15 definitely didn't "fit in" with the rest of the holes. They were fun for a random play, but would have been disappointing if I was trying to play a serious game. For a fun weekend I definitely recommend this course...but for a competitive game with a friend it will bite you in the butt! All in all I have to admit I enjoyed this course and will return for some more...
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
How About Some Signage???
1) I REALLY liked how this course was laid out and the variety of woods, open, left, right, up hill, down hill, and even the hidden baskets. This is a WELL designed course and I appreciated the challenge it gave me.
2) Nice warm up area and basket that is RIGHT at the tee pad for #1. This is a great place, right out of the car, to warm up, get focused, and make clothing changes (especially now that it is fall).
3) Risk versus Reward. The way this course is laid out FORCES you to make decisions...do I follow the obvious route or do I attempt a money shot that MAY be just out of my rage or ability? If you make the shot, you have a birdie or better chance. If you miss, it hurts...bad...But I like that characteristic about this course.
Cons: Con 1- SIGNAGE SIGNAGE SIGNAGE....If there were signs, direction pointers, and hole layouts, this review would EASILY have been a 4+. I drove over an hour to play here and it is frustrating to have to figure out where to go, break the rythm by having to walk a hole before you play it because there is nothing denoting basket position, hole layout, etc. If it were not for the doubles tournament today, I am not sure if I would have even known the actual length of each hole....come on guys, sqaure this away.
Con 2- Tee pads...the tee pads are VERY short and most are not long enough for a run up or decent X-step...I was forced to a single step or modified X-step to get any momentum RHBH.
Other Thoughts: Winged Deer DG Course is an AWESOME course and will test your every shot and mental game....but the signage and course markings MUST be addressed. Nice job on directions into the park and there is ample parking that is safe no matter what day or time of the year.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The Winged Deer
Pros: A lot of the holes on this course are very nicely laid out. The holes that are wooded often have a distinct suggested fairway to take, however there are a couple of nice little risky shots to take to get you closer to the hole. These, of course, will bite you in the end if you don't pull them off.
I like the way the course plays into and out of the woods a few times, keeping the feel of everything fresh and non-repetitive. Also, the chances of running into someone on the course who is not a disc golfer is slim to none, so you don't have to hassle with the occasional passer by you'd find at most park courses.
Cons: What starts out as a strong attempt at decent signage, benches, and trashcans quickly dissipates. You slowly start to lose trashcans, then benches, then navigational signs and info. I really don't see why the park stopped short on what they had going, unless they're doing it piece by piece as they get the funds. Either way, they should continue their early work throughout the course.
Hole 13. This hole was interesting. I can't decide if it was a Pro or a Con. What I mean is, there is absolutely no fairway here. You can't see the basket from the tee. You basically end up having to hurl your disc into the sky and hope it comes down around the very small clearing surrounding the pin. When I saw it for the first time, I couldn't help but laugh. As absurd as it was, I sort of had fun with it, so take that one for what it's worth. Definitely not a conventional hole in the least.
Other Thoughts: Cool course with decent variation. This course really could rate anywhere from pretty good to simply decent depending on you as a player and what you look for in a course. My advice is to anyone playing here, have fun with it and you'll enjoy some of the craziness of it a bit more. Take it too seriously, and it could potentially get on your nerves at times.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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