There's nothing else like it - and it's fantastic
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Elevation, elevation, elevation. The best disc golf elevation in all of the mid-Atlantic. The elevation here is so unique, dramatic, and astounding that the fainter-of-heart actually think it's a con. There are 27-holes and it's a good mix between technical and open. It's a GRUELING round of extremely challenging golf. This course will kick your ass physically and mentally. It takes a 4-some nearly 4 hours to play the original 18. The Park itself looks like some billionaire endowed half his fortune to Antrim Township to build it. As "Township" parks go, this one's a Ferrari, Lambo, and Rolls Royce.
Cons: It's true..... if you are obese or have bad ankles or knees, you might not be able to play Hole 3 to the long basket or Hole 10. This walk in the park ain't no walk in the park. The tee pads are fly pads and they're short and getting beat up with age. Erosion is whittling away at the dirt underneath some of the fly pad tees, making them uneven. In the Summer, it's possible there will be cars parked on the fairway of Hole 11, even to the point of making the hole completely unplayable. The tee pads and the cars on 11 are why I regrettably can't give the Falls the 5 stars I truly believe it deserves.
The course layout is a bit disjunct and can be confusing to first timers. The first 2 or 3 times I played here was with people who knew the course - so I've never dealt with the frustration of not knowing where the next hole is. I can see where it might be hard to find the path to 8 and the path to 10. Going from 16 to 17 can be confusing too. For people wanting to play all 27 holes, you basically go from the basket of 16 to the tee of 19. After 27, you play 17 and 18. If you plan to play all 27 holes and came with friends in a separate car, it's not a bad idea to park a car at 16 with extra water and supplies. This course has a 1000 parking spaces and there's a bunch near 16.
There are holes where the rough is so rough, it's a good idea to have a spotter.
Other Thoughts: I'll start by saying this is my 2nd favorite course, second only to Lake Marshall, VA. It's 75-minutes from my home, and I've probably played it 20 times - every time to the long, yellow baskets. The reason to play the Falls is for the grueling challenge, so I don't play to the short red baskets. In my opinion, the Falls is truly a 5-star course, a best-of-the best. I LOVE Whispering Falls. But I've played it enough with many different groups of friends that I understand the complaints. It's a grueling round of golf. I'm 56 and I still enjoy the grind. When I play here with 20- and 30-somethings, the complaints are few. When I play with guys my age, the complaints are many and typically about the tee pads. You have to be in relatively good shape to play the Falls. And your ego needs to be in check because you will be humbled.
Others have written hole-by-hole descriptions, so I won't don't do that but I do have thoughts (all refer to the long yellow baskets). Holes 1 - 3 are a humbling way to start any round. If I shoot 4, 4, 5 on the first 3 holes (something I've done only 1 or 2 times), I feel like a World Champion.
Hole 3 - it's the craziest elevation on any hole I've ever seen and the reason to play here. I still can't fathom how any Park manager stood at the edge of the hill and said, "Sure, no problem". But I'm glad he did! Yes, the hill on 3-long is so steep that you have to hold onto the rope to go down the hill. Is this a safety issue? NO. The big hill is located on the latter half of the hole - there is a short red basket on 3 that completely avoids the hill. You are NOT FORCED to play one of the best hills in all of disc golf. So don't call it a safety issue - play the red basket and completely avoid the hill if it scares you.
Hole 5 - the old picture currently posted on this site is misleading - most of the early 'fairway' is rough, but a lot of it has been cleared and it no longer looks like that picture. The yellow basket on 5 is shared with Hole 17, the only place where 2 holes share the same basket. It's typically not a problem. I have yet to play it simultaneously with the 'other' hole and it's wide open enough that you would see all shots coming at it.
Hole 8 is so hard, so awesome, and so humbling. The fairway is fair but the rough is not. Deploy a spotter, it's no big deal. Hole 9 is really tough too.
Hole 10 is another really steep downhill hole, but not as steep as 3. No rope required but it's still steep enough that you will be taking slow, short, measured steps as you go down the hill. Hole 10 is awesome.
Hole 11 can be a bummer if it's loaded with cars. Otherwise, it's one of the few completely flat holes on the course and has a river as a water hazard (you have to TRY hard to go into the water on 11 but yours truly has accomplished this embarrassing feat).
Many people complain about the long walk from 12 to 13 (the Whispering Falls trail). Aww.... poor baby. It's a gorgeous walk when water is flowing down the creek. It's uphill but gradually uphill. The locals walk this trail all the time just to walk it! You don't hear them crying. I love the Whispering Falls trail and have no sympathy for anyone who cries about it's length. There's a bench on 13... take a 5 minute break when you get there.
13-18 are all great holes. If you plan on playing 19-27, you access 19's tee after playing 16. After your done playing Hole 27, you play 17 and 18. I don't love 19-27 like I do the original 1-18. 19-27 are mostly open holes with a lot of wetland OB and Parking lot OB. It's an excellent complement to the technical holes of 1-18. If you do land in the OB wetlands, you aren't 'breaking the law' to retrieve your disc. Believe it or not, Antrim township police have more to do. The signs asking people to stay out of the wetlands are posted to keep people from walking through them... but it's understood that DGers might need to go into the edges of these areas to get their errant discs.
Whispering Falls is an awesome spectacle of grueling, challenging disc golf. I'm convinced the people that gave it low ratings did so because it's really hard and it humbled them like no other course has (or they got lost and frustrated). It humbles me every time I play it. Bring good shoes, extra water, your humility and enjoy the challenge. It's awesome.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: There are some creative, challenging and even fun holes on this course but one has to have a set of unexpected skills and run the risk of injury or breaking the law in order to enjoy those holes. See Cons.
Cons: If a disc golf hole involves one of these things, there simply should not be a disc golf hole there.
Terrain where safety is a concern - Between holes 2 and 3, the slope is so steep there is a rope anchored to trees one has to hold on to in order to safely ascend/descend the hill.)
Expert Mountain Climbing Skills - My fitbit indicated I climbed 45 flights of stairs after 18 holes.
Supreme Navigational Skills - Signage was so poor, we had to use our google maps and gps to find some of the holes and even then, we still wandered around many trails in vain, having to backtrack to the previous hole in order to find the next tee box.
Risk of Injury - The risk of being cut or injured while searching through thick trees, and thorny bushes to retrieve a disk which was thrown just a bit off line is high. And, some of the bridges/steps you have to use to move through the course were not in good shape.
Potential of breaking a law or injuring someone else with a throw - With many of the holes winding through crowded sections of the park where people are jogging, walking, walking their dogs, kids are playing, many vehicles are parked, and one hole (17) where protected wetlands are much of the fairway, a player is highly likely to throw a disc that will result in a violation of some law, park rule or even worse, hitting someone or someone's property with a disc.
A fairway which is a creek/stream bed - For one hole (I believe it was #5), the fairway was a creek/stream bed with a steep incline/decline so you had to throw your first shot into this bed and navigate your way out.
Other Thoughts: All of the cons are potential hazards at the Whispering Falls disc golf course and they are not the normal hazards associated with the game of disc golf. Any course where safety is a concern can not be a good course. Also, the layout of the holes is illogical. There are some distances between holes and the next tee box which take 5 to 10 minutes to get to. It took us about 10 minutes to find the tee box for hole 17. It was in a parking lot with of course no signs to tell us where hole 17 begins. And from the tee box on 17 you have to throw over protected wetlands (one of the few sings we did see) so if your disc goes in there, you are not allowed to retrieve it. A disc golf hole simply should not have the threat of damaging the environment.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Disorganized mess of course
Pros: Lots of options, Challenging
Cons: Disorganized, dangerous, hard terrain, Not marked well
Other Thoughts: It will take you a while to understand this course and how to even get around. The maps will not help you. Many holes are in the woods and are poorly designed and unsafe. It would have been better if they had designed this course with 18 safe and well laid out holes. Many places to loose disks, This is not a course for beginners.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Tough Course, Good Exercise
Pros: - 27 diverse holes
- Fairly distant, challenging holes
- Good hiking workout
- Baskets still in good shape
Cons: - 60% narrow, wooded throws plus extensive underbrush in Summer
- A few holes over tall grass/thorns
- Be prepared to lose discs in the Summer and find new ones in the Fall
- Navigating between holes can be difficult with signage placed too far after a path turn (I'm looking at you, Hole #2)
- Tees and benches are starting to deteriorate
Other Thoughts: Excellent challenge for more experienced players.
Spring and Fall play allows you to find discs, but once the plants begin to fill out, it is too easy to lose discs. (Even if you have a friend spotting for you)
Holes 19-27 were added on at some point, so the flow is a bit off.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Hike and Disc
Pros: Very beautiful. Challenging technical course. Only was able to play the first 18 due to time restrictions. Many of these fairways could be described as so he track trails 😁. Wear your hiking boots, pack plenty of liquid refreshment. You will be hiking.
Cons: Missing a couple signs on tee pads, causing me to home a couple directions to find out how to play the hole. Although you can find a large map of the course in quite a few locations, take a pic of it at the beginning. They could ise more trail markers directing you to the next hole. I might have had time for all 27 if I hadn't had to back track around so much.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
I don't get it.
Pros: Whispering Falls offers a 27-hole disc golf course with lots of variety. In addition to a round of golf, you're also getting a tour of the entire park, complete with several loooooooong walks.
- The parts are greater than the sum here. There were plenty of solid hole layouts throughout the round. Those good vibes are negated by some major flaws that made me think about quitting mid-round multiple times. And that was before I got to experience the 5-minute walk between #12 - 13 that took me through the deepest parts of the woods.
- Course flows back and forth from wooded and open holes. It really feels like several different courses rolled into one. From tightly wooded holes (#6) to a creekside hole (#11) to ending your round in an open field (#22 - 27), you get several variations of a round.
- The course has multiple identities (or maybe none) that will take your round from having some easy birdie chances to tough pars to just hoping you won't lose your disc on the next throw.
- Course offers dual tee pads. Course also has excellent tee signs. They're useful on blind tee shots.
- You'll get plenty of exercise playing here as the course through the entire park. As a positive, you don't have the longest possible walk from hole #27 back to the first tee. That would only be the case if the course ended after #24.
Cons: The entire layout is a cluster. Due to a lack of signage within the park, I started on hole #21. Just as well, because this was the only stretch of holes I played chronologically.
- The wooded area is where all logic, reason, and sequential number go to die. Signage from one hole to the next....leads you to a completely different hole. I played #15, followed the arrowed path, which led me to the basket for #6. And then it gets better.
- Did I mention how some fairways also doubled as walking trails? Yeah, I found that hard way after nearly hitting someone on a blind tee shot. Later, I found separate walkers on a different hole. Nice!
- The upkeep here is virtually non-existent. In the woods, the grass is tall. On #10, not only do you have to search for discs in the fairway, the tall grass also hides the rocks, roots, and downhill slope. So, you can lose a disc, twist an ankle, and faceplant on the same hole.
- Holes #11 & 12 become a parking lot and camping area for creek-goers. I had to skip #11, but got to walk the hole, and could (cautiously) play #12. #11 looks like a great hole so I was bummed about that.
- The walk between #12 and 13 is the stuff of legends. You walk a narrow path through the woods that is on the edge of a slope. The thought crossed my mind that if I fell down the hill how long would it be before somebody came along? It's at least a 5-minute walk. To top it off. You finally get an arrow pointing you in one direction....and it leads you to a fork in the trail. Good news: I guessed correctly. You really couldn't put in a second arrow?
- The locals I ran into on the course spent their entire time talking with me pointing out the course's flaws. When the advice is to either take two cars - one at the first tee, the second to drive back - or to play half of the course, get your car and drive it to the back end - that's checkmate.
- I ended up playing all but several of the holes. Two were missed simply because I couldn't find them in the woods. The others because of other park goers using occupying the space.
Other Thoughts: Whispering Falls needs a dedicated local club that focuses on maintaining this course. The parts that were in decent shape were the makings of a solid course. The problem is that there's about half of the course that needs improvement.
- Just because the park can hold 27 holes doesn't mean that the best choice. A more centralized 18-hole layout that cuts down on walking and on overlapping with other park activities is the best option here.
- It was frustrating that two of the course's best holes were unplayable when I was there. #3 looked like a great layout, easily having the makings of the course's signature hole. #11 was the course's other long hole, one of the only multi-shot layouts on the course.
- Based on other reviews, it seems the course is cut down maybe thrice a year. If you play the course after the woods are cleared away, this could be a fun course. Holes like #10 & 15 would become excellent risk/reward layouts. Even a hole like #14, with a thinned out rough, would become a more enjoyable layout
- My review is based on an anecdotal round. Maybe this is as bad as it will ever get. That said, others have noted navigational issues. One of the fairway walkers noted the downed tree between #7 & 8 (which is still part of the walking trail) had been down for a while. My impression of the course would also be better if I played the course sequentially rather than playing it PacMan style.
- All that said, the course is far from a 4-star level course. Of the ten 18-hole courses I played over 2 days in this region, this was both the most disappointing and overall, weakest quality course. If I had been able to play all 27 holes (even if they weren't in order), perhaps a slight ratings boost would be in order. As it is, I'm giving the course a qualifying 2.5 rating. Fix the course's problems and this will be a better play.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Played for the first time here today. The first hole really sets a good mood for the round, which is important because this course is a challenge. Some very tight fairways and good use of elevation here. Some quite long holes, some good technical shorter ones.
My favorite hole was hole 10 (I think) which is a big swooping hyper down hill through a moderately wooden fairway. Really great hole, awesome to watch the disc fly on that one, cringing as it weaves down through the trees!
Challenging putting, with slopes playing a part on several greens, very tricky but rewarding.
Cons: Navigation is not great. I think they just had a tournament here recently, so I think some of the signage was from that, but there were 2 or three different iterations of tee signs throughout the course. Could easily make a wrong turn and miss holes.
The rough is absolutely brutal! Normally not bad, but a lot of dead fall and poison ivy lines the fairways, very thick, very punishing. Thorns!
19-27 feel disconnected from the rest of the course.
Other Thoughts: Overall I will try it again. The rough is very harsh, and if you hit it you are in real trouble. High lost disc chance on several holes.
A challenging course, more so mentally than anything else. Definitely worth playing, I recommend checking it out.
Edit: I originally had the hike from #12 to #13 as a con, but in retrospect it isn't. Its a fairly long walk, and a pleasant one, but if you aren't expecting it, it may be a con for you. So get ready for a walk at that point. There is a bench at the tee to #13 to sit and collect yourself before continuing on.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
You Gotta at Least Play it Once
Pros: Whispering Falls is a unique disc golf experience, literally testing your mental and physical durability throughout the entire round. This is truly one of those courses that you should at least experience once. This is due to its unique setting. It starts and ends like a typical town park, but for most of the course, you are deep in the woods playing daunting holes that allow little room for error with heavy rough, thick tree lines and constant elevation changes. I also feel this way because it's worth playing just to test where your mental game is, to see how much you can hold it together when things go bad.
With 27 holes, you will get a ton of different looks and shot types. There are plenty of holes that play through super tight paths, ones that are more moderately wooded but have risk factors to it, and plenty of chances for long open bombs at the end of the course. A huge difference in hole lengths and multiple par 4's are offered. There are even chances to get wet on 11 and 17. The variety is good here.
Hole 1 is a great hole and was actually my favorite. A 685' par 4 that starts out in the open and plays downhill through different patches of trees. I wish more holes were like this one, playing from the open into the woods and vice versa.
There is moderately elevation change on most of the front 18, which raises the fun factor in the woods. Hole 10 is a huge downhill shot that plays through a lot of trees. 15 is another fun downhill shot, an ace run with a steep slope behind the basket.
Since the setting was so cool, I actually enjoyed the hiking aspect to the course. It just needed more navigational aids. If I always knew what path I for sure needed to take, I would've paced myself and enjoyed the scenery more. I didn't mind the walk from 12-13 like others, it was a cool hike. I can see how some wouldn't like the length of the walk though.
Multiple pin and tee locations add to the variety of the course. The pin positions are so different that I'm sure locals really enjoy the changing aspect to this. The tee signs where the most detailed I've ever seen in terms of explaining where the pin was and how to get to the next hole. With the challenging navigation here, I really appreciate the effort put into the tee signs.
It's a long, exhausting round, so I also appreciated that it looped back to the parking lot after 9 and 18.
Cons: Ok, so I don't want to beat a dead horse, but the navigation here is something else. Definitely the toughest course I've played to navigate through, and I had a map. The tee signs were tremendously detailed with information to get to the next hole and I really did appreciate that. But, when it takes a paragraph to explain how to get to the next hole, navigation's an issue. There were a few signs pointing you in the right direction, but there were also times where multiple paths intersected and there was no way of knowing for sure which way was correct. I read that vandals take the signs down, and that's tough to deal with. But when I played, more signs were surely needed.
As I said, I liked the hiking aspect here. Physically and aesthetically, it was enjoyable. There just needs to be more clarity. With a map and reading the tips on the tee signs, I still had a few extra long searches.
There is definitely a push to play this course with someone else for the first time through. With the amount of heavy rough present right off most fairways, the challenging navigation, and the length of time that it will take you to play this course, having another person present will help keep you sane. Playing this course alone definitely hurt my experience. I know, some people think, "Just make sure you play with a local - problem solved." But the fact that this course is designed in a way that heavily favors having a partner with you hurts it for out of towners and first-time players. I generally travel to and play different courses on my own, so that isn't always an option.
Hole 27 finishes nowhere near 1. Since the course loops back to the car after 18, I recommend driving to 19 by the basketball courts so you'll be closer to the finish.
The finishing holes offer more variety to the course, but they didn't do much for me. They are pretty much wide open shots with a little bit of O.B. here and there.
Other Thoughts: If I am just rating the quality of disc golf holes offered here, I would give the course a 3.5. There is nice variety with some unique holes thrown in. However, with the problems that are present with the navigation and serious rough factor, I feel that the experience as a whole is a 3.0. It's not very often that I base much of my rating off of "experience", I generally try to focus on the golf holes offered since that is what I most enjoy in my round. However, the experience here is too much of a factor - especially for first-time players - for it not to be counted in my rating.
Maybe someday I will return, but I will definitely make sure I am playing with someone else. Make sure you give yourself a lot of time to play here, this isn't a course you will blow through.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
you need a guide
Pros: clearly people are taking care of the course.
it has a lot of potential.
am sure they run some wicked fun tournaments there.
Cons: well, when i found hole 19, i parked my car thinking, "i'll just start here and end on 18 at same place". that was never going to happen. holes 19-27 are fairly open and decent but unexciting. the real problem was the 30 minutes i spent walking from hole 27-1, eventually giving up on hole 1 and starting up again on hole 2. no bueno.
Other Thoughts: am sure if you are local or with friends this place is a blast. dual tees are always helpful (assuming they can be found!)
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Nice, but too much
Pros: 27 holes. The holes are very well designed. Lots of variety with some very long distance holes and some short ace opportunities. Some holes are open and some are densely forested. Very challenging and difficult. A course for experienced players. The park is nice and the scenery and trails around the course are very nice. Score cards are available in the mailbox at the kiosk near hole 1.
Cons: By far the biggest con of this course is the lack of signage, and directions. This course also has the longest walk between holes I have ever seen, Hole 12 to 13 has a walk that seems at least half a mile or more long, all uphill. Very easy to get lost for a first timer. Not worth the lost discs in the summer. Rough is VERY dense and even good players will struggle to stay out since many trees deflect discs in the wrong direction. Hole 5 is a nightmare for losing discs. There are a few walking paths that overlap the course and I almost hit a few people going by when they stepped out of the woods. A few holes have no tee signs or are in really bad shape. A few holes have tables, benches, or other places people might be in them. The tee maps usually show multiple baskets but sometimes there is only one or the others were very hard to find.
Other Thoughts: I usually don't mind if a course has poor signage or maintenance, but this was the one exception. I got lost many times and never finished because i was wondering around the trails in the woods trying to find the next hole. What makes this worse is that I had taken a picture of the course map on my cell phone (I would recommend this) and that still wasn't enough help. The gap between hole 12 and 13 was not only like a half mile walk up hill, but it has many unmarked trails that branch off to the sides which make this even harder to figure out if you're a first timer. I really would like to give this course a better rating because it had some good holes and decent variety, but I know I am probably not gonna play here much again since I can just go to nearby Hagerstown Md and play a better course with less of a chance of losing discs. This course is still good though, just be aware of getting lost as a first timer and the potential for losing discs.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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