For Gym Classes and Beginners
14 Helpful / 0 Not
9 baskets making an 18 hole layout around middle school athletic fields
+ Extra credit for making the 9 baskets into an 18 hole layout by placing 9 additional teeing locations around the grounds
+ Good use of the property tree line along several holes, and incorporating drainage swales into basket placements; Landing your disc on slanted ground adds a bit of challenge
+ Almost every part of the course is out in the open, so wind will create some shotmaking challenge that the layout itself doesn't have
- The tees are marked by short white wooden posts with numbers on one side and because there are 18 of them scattered around, you're going to do some wandering around to find the correct order on your first play
- Hole #8 has a contrived dogleg left by forcing a throw around a baseball backstop looming over the left side of the tee. The hole is unbalanced, with the forced turn being about 60' into the 450'hole. Unnecessarily poor design
- Most of the holes intersect other facilities (the track, basketball courts, baseball diamond, soccer fields) and you're not going to be able to play disc golf when they're in use
~ I support any school installing baskets (and hopefully, making disc golf part of the physical education program. Disc golf gym class? Yes please!). But, the school also placed large steel storage containers on either side of the 9th basket. which completely change the focus of a pretty good downhill finishing hole. Maybe they'll be gone soon. If not, they ought to move the basket a little bit to take them out of play
~ This facility fits into a really narrow niche: it isn't meant for experienced players unless they're looking to throw practice, or bagging area courses (like me). It's a good place to bring a beginner, but you can't play the whole course if there are other activities going on. If you live nearby, use the facility a few times to introduce a newbie to throwing before moving on to "real" courses
I guess you could pair this with nearby Stonewall Middle School, but that course is in really poor shape due to neglect. Or you could use either/both as a warmup on the way to Bull Run or Burke Lake
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
No destination course but not bad at all
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I've been playing disc golf for a little over 2 years and still trying to develop a winning game. For disc golfers of my skill level and less, this is an agreeable course for you to play if it is convenient to you.
The first thing I thought was what a better course it is (so much better) than the Potomac Middle School course in Woodbridge, VA. I have played the latter alot because it is convenient to me, but it drives me nuts with its awful thorny vegetation and lack of maintenance.
This little course (Eagle's Claw) is very well-maintained and offers the learning dolfer a course that helps develop skills you will need for the more-challenging courses: Throwing turnovers or forehands over little and not-so-little rises (nos. 2, 4, 7, 8), throwing straighter through a tunnel (nos. 5, 6, 8); finding which discs work best with pronounced doglegs (no. 8).
School is still closed due to our global COVID19 crisis, so perhaps the usual volume of people is much more than I encountered at 6pm on a Friday night (the first time I played the course). There were several walkers and a few tennis players. We managed to successfully stay out of each other's way. On other occasions, I had to concede a stroke at no. 1 to not hit the basketball players (intentionally threw wide).
There is a path from the nearby residential neighborhood that borders the school along the nos. 1-5 edge. I like that the school is welcoming the neighborhood to come walk, run, and play the sports we are allowed (disc golf, basketball, tennis).
Holes 10-18 are indeed creative. They are not always just longer. For example, no. 12 is a different angle than 3, ditto 14 to 5. 8/17 are one. No. 18 is actually shorter than 9. I think the designer, working with a relatively small and congested property, has done a good job.
I like that the pavement (there is lots of it) is OB. Adds a little more challenge. Although there is too much pavement at the start and middle of nos. 8/17. Perhaps all that should not be OB, but only for this hole.
I'm attempting here to raise the Eagle's Claw rating because it is not a bad little course at all!
In addition to middle schoolers, developing dolfers, and neighborhood people, this little course is not far off the I-66 and would make a nice traffic break for drivers who just want to get off the road for 30-60 minutes. There are two marketplaces on the way to the course (Heathcote Blvd; Marshall Hwy/Linton Hall Rd), so you can get some food and gas too.
Cons: For those of you with a solid game, the little course will be boring to you. So unless you are already in the area and just looking for a quick diversion or rehabbing from an injury, don't bother.
Yes, the flight lines require you to play this course off-hours from its busier times because you are playing over a basketball court, walking paths and the track multiple times. You need to stay off the grandstands and out of the ball fields. I suspect neighborhood people will find it most peaceful on ends of the day, weekends included.
Finding the quiet time will be the major issue when the kiddos are back in session onsite and resume their full athletic regimen.
With a tall-fence ball field right in your face at the tee of nos. 8/17 and a dogleg required to play its 450 feet, this hole should be par 4 IMHO. Even for those of you with a solid game.
I'd previously said, "Perhaps no. 10 should be par 4 as well for amateurs and 3 for pro-level folks. I don't know how far that post is away from the basket, but I suspect 350-400 feet." After a second round, no. Leave it par 3. I was mistaken; it's not that long. And for us short throwers, clearing the initial OB pavement is a good challenge.
BTW the post for 10 is the only concrete one; the rest are short wooden posts painted white. The 10 tee is along the edge of the track, so exit right from the no. 9 basket, walking left of the grandstand and towards the track to find it.
And, yes, beware the many storm drains. If there is a depression in the fairway and you cannot see its bottom from the tee, assume there is a storm drain there.
No tee pads at all. Well, it is a middle school course.
Other Thoughts: In addition to Potomac Middle School, I have played a portion of the CSU San Marcos course, played the Peake course at Chesapeake College, and have Goucher College on my to-do list. I realize that school courses are going to have this terrible multi-sport interference and that we patrons have to play off-hours to be safe. This little course, so far, is the best school course I have encountered.
You can play the paired holes simultaneously and walk around once, but that is a little jumbling in the mind. Walking around twice is perhaps better. Certainly not a hardship for most.
These little 9-holers serve good purposes, and I welcome them. I am looking forward to what Unity Braxton MS (previously Stonewall MS; in Manassas) ultimately does to reconstruct their disc golf course.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Safety hazards galore
Pros: Nine decent baskets. Moderate elevation changes add some interest to a few holes. Location at a school might spur a child to develop an interest in the sport.
Cons: Safety hazards everywhere. Hole 1 plays over a basketball court. Several holes play over or adjacent to the track and field areas and baseball fields. Hole 9's basket is squeezed between a grandstand and a back entrance to the school.
Hole 8 is probably the single most dangerous hole I have ever played - a semi-blind hyzer around a baseball backstop and over the running track. A decent drive would cross the track (again, partly blind from the tee) at runner's face height. Don't take my word for it, just check the course map which shows the preferred flight path directly over the running track. Yeesh.
Alternately you could throw a big anny over the baseball field, hoping not to fade early and hit an outfielder.
I played on a winter weekend. School was out but there were school activities taking place and plenty of people running on the track, playing basketball, etc. In other words, even during non-school hours lots of folks were in the direct line of fire.
Other Thoughts: A course like this is dangerous and can give disc golf a bad reputation. I hope that the baskets can be redeployed to a safer location.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Deceiving, In A Good Way
Pros: The addition of a 2nd set of tee markers has created an 18 hole course, playing to the original 9 baskets. Nice creative use of elevation and superstructures in the schoolyard as obstacles.
Cons: Odd drain holes could lead to a lost disc. Basket positions and multiple tee markers seem odd and confusing, until reaching a tee marker #10 while walking to the parking lot after basket #9. Then it becomes clear it was intended that a second circuit of the 9 baskets be played, using tee markers #1 - #9 on the first circuit and #s 10 - 18 on the second loop.
Other Thoughts: At first glimpse this is just some rinky-dink school course, especially when standing at tee #1 and seeing how the hole plays over and beside a basketball court. But after a few holes it becomes apparent that accuracy and distance control are important and there is more decision making and skill testing to be had than initially assumed. A slight error can lead to long rollaways on some putts and approaches. Tall baseball fences and backstops alter tee shot planning as do teeing surfaces at #8, #17, and especially the grassy, sharply upsloping, tee at #5. The elevation changes and buildings seemed to create pockets of dead air where discs just didn't carry or distances were being misjudged. I played with two locals who agreed that a few holes curiously play longer or shorter than they appear. Most interesting is hole #8 / #17. I see an earlier reviewer thinks the obvious shot is to hyzer around the backstop but this choice leads to a tee shot being launched at about an 70 degree angle away from the basket with a significant downhill then uphill elevation change plus 2 disc-hungry storm drains to contend with. A football field and track might be considered OB by some, increasing the degree of difficulty on this route. But 2 other lines are present and equally obvious to adventurous players, a long right curving shot over the ball field and hoping to clear the right field fence or a more dramatic hyzer going over top of the backstop and hoping not to fade back into the ball yard. The tall fence and imposing backstop right in your grill when standing on the tee pad are suggestive of the Fenway Green Monster. Overhead shot specialists will love exploring the lines.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Average middle school course
Pros: This course was a decent one to check out if you live close. There are actually 18 tee positions for 9 baskets. The back nine tees are about 50 feet longer on average.
Cons: Not very challenging or long of a course. Most holes are wide open and relatively short. There are a lot of storm drains around that look like they could easlily swallow up a rolling disc.
Other Thoughts: Not bad for a middle school course. Definitely great for beginners.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Very Typical Middle School Course!
Pros: The Eagle's Claw course at Bull Run Middle School is very similar to many courses on schools around the country. They're done a nice job designing a course here to introduce middle school students to disc golf. The terrain they had to work with is fairly limited so players will have to cooperate and respect school hours as well as other school and recreational activities such as ball games. At times, a few holes will likely have to be skipped over.
The course features DGA baskets with the red numbers on top. The numbers are not always facing the right direction, that is back towards the tee. The tees are small white poles with house #'s on them. I had no problem following the course with the on-line map.
# 1 was a simple little ACE run just over 200 feet and wide open. # 7 was another shorter little ACE run of 140 feet.
I thought # 8 was interesting when there's no ballgame being played. It was obviously designed to hyser around the backstop going from the 3rd baseline all the way around to the basket over past the 1st base side. But for any average Rec player, it's a fun toss over the field.
Cons: The big con for me here, would be to show up and find baseball games being played and thus rendering half the holes unplayable. I'd make sure I played at non-baseball game hours. It's not designed or intended to challenge the average Rec/Advanced type player. It's for middle school students.
Other Thoughts: If you don't try to analyze this course too much, you'll see that it well designed for it's target audience (MS Students), it uses the existing terrain and obstacles pretty well and it has it's niche in Disc Golf. Don't try to compare it to some uber-challenging 18 hole monster course somewhere. The Claw is great for families, newbies, MS kids, or those who live close and just want a quick little 9 or who want to practice a new throw or break in that new disc.
And after reading gottafixit's review, I finally figured out why they didn't name this course after the school. There's already a nearby course at a park called Bull Run. Actually, I played it a few years back on a previous discing trip.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Middle of Much
Change (moderate) of elevation on most holes. Variable lengths. Ace/birdie opportunities.
Like most courses that skirt the open spaces between sports fields and walking paths, there's always a chance to negatively interact with non-players. Natural tees, tee signs do not orient you in direction to throw, numbers on baskets not facing tee.
Other than #8 - long, left-turning, down-then-up - it is pretty much a straight, wide-open look at each basket.
When you reach tee #3, the obvious basket, ahead of you with a walking path just to its right, and houses to your left, is actually basket #4. To find basket #3, look about 45 degrees to your right, and locate basket #3 in a wedge of grassy space defined by two walking paths.
Suitable to introduce people to the game, practice for intermediate+ players.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Better Then No Course At All...
Pros: -Course made to introduce players to the sport. (Built & designed to be used for middle school PE classes)
-9 Mach II baskets
-Fairways are mostly unobstructed but does play around school facilities & ball fields.
-Some OB to provide more challenge (asphalt & some ball fields come into play)
-Good for practice - especially accuracy, approach, putting & novelty shots.
-Clean & Well maintained area.
-Great promoting of the sport to young people.
Cons: -Plays on school grounds (Many restrictions and potential interruptions to play)
-May not challenge more experienced players.
-No Tee pads (Posts mark tee position but are no help in navigating hole or identifying target)
-Basket numbers do not face tee pads (Really adds confusion to which target to play)
-Very difficult to navigate course (MUST play with someone who knows course)
-Design is repetitive.
-Must deal with other facility users.
-Parking near course is limited.
Other Thoughts: If given a choice of no course or the Eagle's Claw, I would not hesitate and take the Claw. That said, it is still just a little 9 hole made for middle schoolers to play during PE class in the middle of a large planned community. It is not well marked so near impossible to play unless you know the course. It can't be played during school hours and after school activities may impede your play. Your best bet, if you need to play this course, is to do so during summer recess.
The design itself isn't so bad considering the terrain & property available. The holes are mostly wide open and a few will let you fire the cannon. I enjoyed the last four holes the most: #6 between the ball fields, #7 a dandy ace run with a back stop, #8 over the ball field is like trying to hit a foul ball & #9 a nice huck from elevation to behind the bleachers. With so many great courses in the DC Metro area, its hard to place the Claw anywhere near the top. But if all those other courses didn't exist, the Claw would be the Bomb! It serves a great purpose and I hope it will be enjoyed by kids & community for a long time.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is an excellent course to teach people skills or introduce people to disc golf.
Course taunts you with multiple ace attempts. I threw my entire bag on hole 7 my first time because I kept coming so close to ace (I know I couldn't count it as an ace, but I'd still be happy)
Cons: It's a nine hole course with short flat holes and no obsticles. This makes the course less appealing to more advanced players.
The baskets face the wrong way so you can not see the numbers until you make your putt. No tee signs to make sure you are shooting at the right basket. My first time a local pointed out that I shot at basket 4 from tee 3 and missed a hole.
There are white pegs at a tee spot, but they do not indicate what direction you should be pointing.
You can not play much during the week because it plays so close to the track and football field. The course also plays between the 2 baseball/softball fields, hole 8 is a long huck over the field or tight around the outside.
Other Thoughts: This is on school grounds so no drinking or drugs. you may even need to check before using tobacco on school property.
Maybe the school can plant a few trees in honor of past coaches/teachers/ect. That way there are some obsticles to add some degree of difficulty and someone is being honored.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
For What's It's Designed To Be...
Pros: This course is playable in wet weather, which can't be said for a lot of courses in the area.
The baskets are nice - brand new Mach 2s, I believe. Double chains.
No stupid/goofy holes.
Pleasant setting which is neatly maintained.
Most importantly, this course is growing the sport by helping kids learn how to play.
EVERYONE I've met out here in the evenings has been really nice.
Cons: There are no tees, just posts in the ground. Pick a place to throw from near the post and rip it.
Very open. Not one hole has a tree in the path of your disc.
Close to many other athletic fields - soccer and baseball fields, basketball courts, running and walking track, etc. Dangerous for others.
Most of the holes are pretty short with only one long-ish hole which is still pretty three-able.
Other Thoughts: The course is behind a middle school, so it is likely designed to be used by middle school-aged kids who are learning the game. I even hear they have a "disc golf team" of some kind at the school.
I live in the area and I can leave my house, play the course, and go home in under 40 minutes. I wouldn't recommend the course to anyone who lives more than a 10 minute drive away.
I would never bag on the course, though. It wasn't designed to be one of the greatest courses of all time. It was designed to teach kids the game, and I appreciate that someone at the school is trying to make that happen.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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