4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Excellent layout and variety
- A few "signature" holes
- Multiple tees and baskets on every hole
Cons: - Thorns
- More thorns
- Even more thorns
- You get the idea
Other Thoughts: Giles Run is so infuriating. Not just because of the thorns, but because it is such a great layout - but the rough is the worst I have seen on a disc golf course.
Giles Run is a mostly open, park style course. I think I've seen it described as a links style course. I'm not sure that it really fits the definition, in terms of how that word is used in ball golf, but it feels accurate. The fairways are mostly open, with trees or tree lines providing an obstacle on most holes. The design makes use of the rolling hills in the park, providing elevation change on a number of holes and some tricky basket placements on down slopes or side slopes.
The fairways are usually generous (although there are a few tighter holes - nothing I would call wooded, though) - but the rough is just terrible. A previous review said that the course was carved out of 10' tall blackberry bushes, and in many places, that's what you're dealing with if you get off the fairway. In a couple of spots, it might as well be a water hazard because you just aren't getting your disc back (although I thought this a couple of times, and then months later got a call from the local club saying someone had found my disc). Because of this, I play the rough as OB, and from reading a few reviews, it seems that the local club does the same.
Ignoring the thorns, the layout really is excellent. There are a couple of epic, memorable holes. On Hole 2 (long to long), you play your first shot to a landing zone and have to consider placement because the second shot plays to an artificial island. Hole 9 (long basket) is a dogleg right where you have the option to play out around the trees on the corner, or cut the corner and risk landing OB. And Hole 16 (long to long) is a monster par 5 - a placement shot off the tee followed by a big shot out and around the trees over OB the entire way, and if you execute both of those shots well enough, you're rewarded with a long downhill shot that needs to stop on a down slope, with OB on both sides. There are other great holes as well, including a couple of ace runs. Overall, Giles Run has a ton of variety for such an "open" course.
But the thorns...
It gets to a point where you can find yourself playing super conservative (or skipping the long baskets altogether) just to avoid losing a disc, which takes away some of the beauty of the course.
So, sometimes I love it - sometimes I hate it - but I keep coming back. It's not as bad in late fall and during winter. I think it's still worth it during the summer as well. Just be careful.
A few other notes:
- There are a few spots where the navigation isn't obvious, so I recommend bringing a map.
- This course is a hike, and there isn't a lot of cover from the sun. It can get very hot in the summer.
- Watch out for ticks.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Best course in NOVA.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Gorgeous land. Two tees and two baskets allow every difficulty level from very simple (red to red) to incredibly challenging (white to silver).
Creative and varied hole design. Switching tees/baskets makes many holes completely different.
Has beat in well regarding ticks and mosquitoes, which are still present in summer, but less oppressive than a few years back.
The only course in NOVA where you can really air out your shots (but still requires you to play placement golf).
The best lost and found box/system of any course I've ever been to.
Cons: The rough, in spring and summer, is very rough. This course was carved out of 10' tall blackberry bushes. The park has kept the invasive thorns in place to serve as bird habitat.
Wear long pants and bring a grabber.
Can be very discouraging to beginners.
Other Thoughts: Most locals play red to silver or white to silver. Locals also play tournament OB, where the rough is out-of-bounds (general rule is if it's in thorns, it's OB).
Spray DEET on your bag as well as yourself to keep ticks from hitching a ride.
Please place any found discs in the Lost And Found mailbox near hole 4's red basket.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
a coarse well worth playing ALLTOUGH
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: A great track of land. rolling hills a lot of open spaces Coarse is designed to accomidate the long thrower as well as an average player. there are two sets of tees as well astwo baskets per hole.
Cons: On a windy day I would not play here.If your disc goes into the ruff you may not be able to get it the thorn bushes are herrendise through out the coarse. to play a round you will walk about 3 miles+. It is possible to get lost. If you could get a map or talk to a local. to find trouble spots there is between I think it is 6 and7 or 7and8 it is along walk and you have to cross acreek
Other Thoughts: I though a lot of the coarse.It was fun to play.Control is a must.Fairways were more than fair.If your disc goes into the brush. You will find that you unable to go into brush to get it thorn bushes are really that bad.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice course, but thorny as hell! Fairways are wide open but keep it straight or you will end up in the throny bushes that remind me of the movie SAW. Good mix of holes, up hill, down hill, lefties, righties, lunch eaters, aceables.Playing with a pair of grabbers is advised.
Cons: Um, the thorny bushes that will eat your discs. It's a long course to walk, no the distance of the holes but more so some of the walks between holes. Be mindful of throwing your favorite discs out here. Your sign that this course will wreck your day and game is the lost & found box, it's an old postal mail box. And it's jammed full. The only thing that I didn't care for was the Out of Bounds lines, they're painted with white paint, at least when I played, and seemed to change depending on who paints them. I would like to see a more permanent OB line with stakes and rope, so there's no guessing and wasting time.
Other Thoughts: I liked the course when I played in an Ice Bowl tournament there. I will definitely try it again when it warms up.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
I love this course
Pros: Two pins and two tees on each hole give you several different ways to play and cater to different skill levels. The baskets are sturdy Mach 3 types and the tee boxes are concrete. There are a wide variety of hole types here, from short ace runs to 1000 foot grip and rip holes. There is a good amount of elevation change on this course for the area. The course is almost always empty and I've never had to wait more than a minute or two here. The area is quite beautiful as well.
Cons: Thorns and lots of them. If your disc is more than ten feet off the fairway, prepare to venture into them. I have a specific pair of jeans and a ratty shirt I always wear to this course, as the thorns will snag even denim. The course layout is confusing for first-timers. The signage is only so-so, with some holes missing a good deal of info. Ticks are everywhere in the summer.
Other Thoughts: Most holes are fairly wide open, but there are a few that have either tight fairways or some trees to make it interesting. I'd recommend printing out the map if this is your first time playing the course, but you can also find your way by paying careful attention to the arrows on the baskets and some on the ground. There is a long (but enjoyable) walk after hole 7 and again after 16. There are trails in the park that mountain bikers use; you won't really have to look out for them while playing but be aware of them when you're walking from hole to hole. I see people with their dogs here all the time, so it must be a good place to bring them. Please pack out what you bring in, as I've been noticing an increasing amount of bottles next to tees recently.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Adventure at Giles Run
Pros: Giles Run has professional tees/baskets as well as Recreational tees/baskets. It has something for players of all skill levels. There are good signs at each hole indicating distance and basket location. The course is near highway I95 making it convenient if you are traveling nearby, less than half and hour from Washington D.C. Plenty of friendly disc golfers on the course helped me find my way around and even letting us play through! Lovely use of elevation and terrain. I love this course!
Cons: Needs a course map for first time players. Thick thorny growth around several holes making it difficulty to recover discs without getting stuck/slashed. I saw other disc golfers bloodied by these thorns, myself and my friend were bloodied by thorns, in Winter.
Other Thoughts: Park has a small playground for kids. The park also has running and mountain biking trails. A beautiful park! I will definitely play again if I am in the area.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Multiple Tees/Baskets
- Excellent Elevation Change
- Open/some wooded holes
- Solid O.B.s
- Decent mix of shots
- Practice cage
- Solid ace runs
- Extremely well kept and maintained, beautiful course
Cons: - Sometimes hard to follow with long transitions between holes
- primarily open holes
Other Thoughts: Giles Run is situated on the old land tract of the Lorton Reformatory. The area is currently designated for recreation, although the county is currently seeking approval to convert the old prison to office/warehouse and apartment space, as well as to add more mixed-use development in the area. For the time being, the park is strictly recreational, and includes disc golf, golf and a playground.
The course itself is in great condition, and the garbage that detracts from courses (litter/graffiti/etc) seems to be kept under control here. While the course is not heavily wooded, (from what I understand, this use to be a working prison farm) the designers have used what trees are available. The fairways are well defined and well kept. The O.B.s are all marked, and you definitely want to avoid them, as they are mostly thorn thickets. The O.B.s add in some solid challenges...hole 16 pro tee comes to mind. There is enough variation in the holes that the course does not get monotonous and, from talking to one of the locals that joined our group, the people responsible are proactive about switching things up and maintaining a solid course.
There is a practice cage at the start of the course for warming up which can also serve as a bonus hole, if you know where to play it from. There is also a 15b, again, if you know where to play it from. Multiple holes offer some solid chances for aces, especially from the short tees. The short tees are also very beginner friendly. At any given time, there are two basket placements on each hole, so you can pick and choose your game. Also, from a beginner's standpoint, most of the short baskets are visible from the short tees, so blind shots are not necessary. Also, tees are all concrete, and they are nice and long/wide.
The locals are all super friendly, and the course is beautifully maintained. This is a beautiful, fun and challenging course, which has moved up to my number 1 to play when I am visiting. I would recommend it for novice - intermediate players...I can't say that it would be overly challenging for someone with a pro level game, but that's not me, so I can't fully comment.
If you're not playing with a local, print the course map, because some of the transitions are long walks with minimal signage. The locals are super chill though, and more than happy to join up and show the ropes.
The elevation changes can be challenging if you're used to throwing across gaps or flat ground, so bring your A game. Also, given the location of the course (on top of a hill,) wind can be a factor.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Winter at Giles Run
Pros: Two tee boxes and two baskets on each hole. Well groomed course.
The holes are set up nice offering some wide open holes for long drives and many challenging and narrow approaches to the buckets.
The out of bounds areas are well marked and placed in challenging locations.
Easy to get to course. I enjoyed the hilly terrain. A nice workout!
Cons: No rest rooms, not that it really matter sbut would be nice. No fresh water.
There is some construction on the course but it did not interrupt play.
The path to hole number 9 is not well marked. I highly suggest downloading the map on the official site. Also tricky is getting to holes 12-14......like i said GET THE MAP, and you are fine.
Other Thoughts: Since it was December we did not have to deal with the thorns and brush however the thros were still thick and if a disc went into it deep it was pretty much lost. There are extensive trails in the thickets to get around. I recommend some type of tongs or a grabber to retreive discs.
We really took our time playing this course and it took us 3 hours.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Loved this course.
I played the white tees to white pins.
It was loooong.
Very much a control and placement course.
Only lost one driver in the lake on #6.
The course was well maintained and in great shape.
Cons: As mentioned by many there are some very thick blackberry patches. If you don't want to bleed play another course (or have more control than me--not hard).
No water available that I saw. Take your own.
Other Thoughts: I am an out of towner and really appreciated the course directions and advice about the ticks in earlier posts by the locals. Thanks folks. I didn't get lost more than a couple of times and that was because I was playing the white tees.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Two tee (red=rec, silver=pro) locations and two baskets per hole. Each teepad is concrete, long-n-wide. Signs at each teepad listing distance to corresponding basket (rec-to-short, pro- to-long), show location of other pad-basket, and directions to next tee. Flags atop each basket, making them easier to spot, and providing an indication to what the wind is like near the basket. Tape on basket spoke will also direct you towards next tee. Benches. Trash cans. Practice basket.
A couple minutes off I95. Near strip mall with lots of food options. Plenty of parking. Very active group of people improving (i.e beating the thorns back) the course on a regular basis - see http://md-discgolf.com/phpbb3...25&t=1330
for more details.
Whomever invented razorwire must have studied the thorns at this course! Baskets seem just a tad low. Flow is a bit "choppy" - play 1&2, walk across parking lot to 3&4, walk across open area to 5&6, walk past pond to #7, long walk down to creek then back up to play 8-14, re-trace your steps to play 15-16, back down-then-up creek/hill to finish on 17&18. Have the map or a guide with you your first time out - otherwise you may start at #3, or go from 7 to 17.
Course plays on two open, elevated plateaus (i.e. somewhat windy), separated by a creek/stretch of woods (1-7, 17-18 on one side, 8-16 on the other side). A few uphill, over-rise, or flat holes, but a good number are somewhat downhill or across valley, presenting you with many opportunities to enjoy watching your disc fly! This is not a wooded course - other than the scattered trees the entire length of #12, trees typically only come into play for a small portion of a hole, either at the beginning or midpoint of your drive, or somewhat guarding the basket. If you can throw straight, and make necessary changes due to wind and moderate elevation changes, you will do well on this course.
Favourite hole #4. Across-a-valley drive, with a line of trees forming a fair-sized window about 75' before the top-of-hill basket location.
I am a big fan of multi-tee/multi-basket courses, especially when BOTH tees and baskets are top-quality, and these certainly are! For the most part, each hole's two tee and basket locations are quite different from each other, and there's a lot of variety amongst the holes, making this a great course to play when you have time for multiple rounds, and/or players of differing abilities.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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