Mountain disc golf at its finest
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is a prime example of what a "backyard" private course can be, and should be a benchmark for others looking to do the same thing.
The work and dedication that has gone into making this course what it is is apparent, and it is a blast to play.
Challenging tight wooded shots, longer distance holes, shorter ace runs, it has it all. This course should use every shot in your bag. Left to right doglegs, Right to left doglegs, straight laser beam shots, uphill, downhill, you name it!
Plenty of extremely challenging greens, offering a fair approach, but huge penalty for error. (Baskets on boulders/cliffs) And also some beautiful scenery for a disc golf course.
The usual 18 hole course always seems to leave me wanting more. But to play it again is too much. In the most recent layout, this course is 26 holes! The perfect amount of disc golf, where at the end, I didn't want anymore. Not in a bad way, just worn out.
The course design uses every available terrain of the mountain side, bring your hiking shoes as you will be throwing uphill, downhill, along the side of hills etc. Fantastic use of the available terrain.
Most baskets make great use of the natural terrain and were my favorite part, some are nestled between trees, others are on the edge of rock ledges or up on a boulder. It's rare to say that putting was my favorite part.
The risk/reward factor is high on this course, and it favors a smarter more cautious shot over the aggresive "go for it" shots. An errant throw off the fairway can make it a struggle to save a bogey.
The owner/proprietor is also extremely helpful, nice and welcoming in general! We were greeted on the first tee as he was working on the green for #1 and tee for #2.
Fun Fun Fun
Cons: There are only a few minor things keeping this course from being the perfect 5. All in all adding up to only a half point deduction for me.
The course navigation was mostly adequate, but in a few places left me questioning where to head next. As this course isn't a public course and doesn't see nearly as much play, the path to the next tee wasn't as worn in as more used courses. There were arrows on most holes guiding the way, but when absent, I was searching. Not major, but could be better
Also a slight con, were the varying tee pad surfaces. Some carpet, some natural. The carpet tee pads were ever so slightly slick with the recent rain, and the natural tee pads were gravel.
Last but not least, as mentioned, since this course is not as heavily traveled as other public courses, the rough was rough. Simple solution, don't throw in the rough! ...but easier said than done. Be sure to keep an eye on your disc.
Mostly nit-picking to find much in the way of cons, but just enough to keep from garnering a 5 disc rating from me
Other Thoughts: 100% worth the drive from Charlotte, and absolutely worth stopping in if you're near the area.
The course winds its way from the parking area up and down the mountainside and doesn't let up until you're back at your car. Plenty of variation in difficulty, par and shot selection, this course has it all.
Bring your hiking shoes, and I'd suggest long pants as the rough is rough! Bug spray in the summer may be a good idea too as the Carolina mosquitoes could carry you away.
The close proximity to Asheville, and Blind Squirrel Brewing (which also has disc golf) can make for a perfect day trip!
Will definitely be back, and would highly recommend this course. One of the most fun I've played in quite a while
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: The most amazing DG course for hundreds of miles. Great layout with lots of elevation change. Precise shot making required and lord help you if you miss some of those putts. Many baskets are on rock outcroppings with 15-30 foot drop offs around the basket. We played during a bachelor party weekend on day two ... nothing like a 2+ mile uphill hike to clear the head. The owner and designer, Rich, is a great, hospitable guy. If you get the chance, throw it!
Cons: Difficult walking conditions at times if wet. Baskets are mostly of a hanging variety and can be tricky ... usually allow just one disc at a time or they will tip.
Other Thoughts: A truly memorable experience!
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Lend me some Suga
Pros: A beautiful course, lots of elevation change ,great tee pads, lots of hard work went into this course , Amazing Pin placements although treacherous if not accurate, But enjoyable.
Cons: Although Unique the hanging baskets are a bit unstable Putting must be Dead Eye and even then you will have a spit or too but challenging!
Other Thoughts: Better be in shape!
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 10 Not
My favorite course to date!
Pros: Unique holes that force you to use every shot in your arsenal.
Great use of elevation and cliffs.
Best part is playing with Rich. Me and my friends had more fun that day than any other and hope to come back this spring.
Cons: It is a difficult course but is that really a con?
Other Thoughts: Nothing can really descibe this hidden gem. The course is layed out in a great way to challenge the best of us. Playing with Rich was alot of fun and I cant wait to visit again this spring.
1 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: The other reviews say it all. This is my 2nd mountain golf experience living in South Florida and playing one course on FLAT terrain only. That said, I absolutely loved every second of my round and the owner Rich was a gem of a host/guide, and an excellent player. Spectacular setting and mostly shaded. Also, not nearly the steep elevations of Elk Mountain which is the only other Mt course I have experienced.
Cons: Absolutely None!
Other Thoughts: Rich was most acomodating when called a day in advance. This is a very special place and you should not hesitate to "Shake it Sugaree" (just don't tell him you know me)
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Every day is Christmas at Sugaree
Pros: Sugaree is as close to a disc golf destination as I've ever played. A private course, set in the mountains, with tons of challenge and amazing views, plus an awesome host. What more could any disc golfer ask for?
- I waited a week after playing to let everything sink in, and I still had a hard time identifying the best part of the experience. Normally, I list things in order of importance, for Sugaree, it'll be sequential.
- It all starts with the pre-round setup. Rich is a gracious host, quick to respond to e-mails and very flexible in setting up times. Above all that, I think he just is looking for an reason to play as many rounds as possible at the course.
- One of the first things you'll notice is the setting. Ranging from the breathtaking view of being surrounded by mountains, playing in and around, and over Christmas trees, to taking in the smells. Above all that, no sounds of cars, roads or anything else. You're in nature hear.
- Finally the course. As if you didn't already know you're at a Christmas tree farm, #1 eliminates any doubt. Your tee shot is over rows of trees, followed by a walk through them. As the trees grow each year, it's going to make an increasing challenge on the throw, never mind looking for a tree that lands in the trees.
- #2 could easily be one of the signature holes of this course. At more than 600 feet, it's the course's longest. It's a downhill, dogleg left, to a basket that plays slightly behind, and next to, the first of large rocks that comes into play throughout the course. Another pattern that starts here is the abundance of trees. You might hit a tee shot 100 feet away, 200 feet away, or you might clear them all and have a shot sail forever.
- One of those "best features" about the course is the challenging, but fair, hole layouts. I don't mind a hole being difficult, as long as it's fair, or there's a reason for it being difficult. You'll see that on most holes at Sugaree. For example #3 tees off from the top of the rock that was next to #2's basket, and plays to "relatively" easy basket that's 10 - 15 feet from a drop-off. A great tee shot can lead to an easy birdie putt, a bad tee shot, or bad putt, can roll away.
- There are some great holes with baskets next to slopes/edge of rocks. Nothing tests your mettle like an otherwise easy 10 foot putt than knowing if you miss, it could roll 50 feet, or more, past the basket. You'll see these on #3, #7, #12,14 &15.
- I love the big rocks that come into play. On some holes they can be your friend, and you can use them as a wall to bounce your shots off of. On other holes, they're your worst enemy. Nothing's worse than being directly behind a 20 foot rock and not being able to advance your shot. Some of the better holes that incorporate the rocks are #2, #4 (awesome hole), 7, 8 (potential skip shot off the rock for an ace), 15 & 17.
- The overall scramble factor here is tremendous. Sugaree has a real (ball) golf feel to its layouts. I had tee shots where I was punished for throwing too far, and others in the group, who were 50 - 75 behind had much better approach shots. On some holes, the correct shot is going Roc (or any midrange)-Roc - tap-in for 3, versus trying to be a hero and pull driver out on the tee.
- And to make things even better, an 18-hole course wasn't enough for Rich, so he's adding new holes. I was able to play a rough version of some of the extras, and was very impressed. They'll be tough, they'll be fun, they'll be all things Sugaree.
Cons: Nothing major here. This course is great for a reason. Consider these more of suggestions, or observations, than real problems.
- It'd be nice if there was one more long hole. Another kick-you-in-the-pants par 5 would have been the cherry on top.
- It'd be cool to see an uphill hole that plays to one of the big rocks. Trust me, I got plenty of practice throwing uphill towards the rocks with bad shots.
- Potential for frustration exists here. Between the potentials of discs rolling down the hill, bad bounces, searching for discs for too long, slow pace of rounds and high scores (especially for people who aren't used to double bogeys or bogey streaks), one could easily be getting too worked up during there round here. Lucky for me, I tend to have those problems on EVERY course I play, so that wasn't a problem for me.
Other Thoughts: This was a destination course if I've ever played one. All the quirks, new experiences, and other happenings are all just part of one big ol' adventure. I felt like a kid in a 100-acre, Christmas tree, mountain farm version of a candy store.
- I wasn't going to list this under cons, because I didn't think it was one, but it needs to be mentioned. Some people, and you know who you are, are going to have problems with the homemade, hanging baskets. I feel they fit the course perfectly.
- Four holes stood out a little more than others. Not that the others were bad, just think of it as picking the four best of your 18 children. #2, which I listed above, #4 (awesome dogleg right around, or over a big rock), #8 & #15.
- This is an absolute, no-excuse, must play for anyone in the area. I thought this course would be good, but it blew away all expectations I had. On a 10-course disc golf, it says something to me when one course stands head and shoulders above the rest, which did include an impressive list. It's worth driving hours to play here. My guess is you'll get hooked. Hats off to Rich and all the effort he put into making one the best courses I've played.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Great wooded course
Pros: Great course through the woods. We played with 8 people on a Bachelor party and it was plenty of fun for all of us. We played with the owners son and his friend (Mitchel I think) and he was the nicest guy around. There are some beautiful holes with the trees and rock outcroppings playing into each shot. I would recommend this course to anyone of any skill level that wants a great course and a unique experience.
Cons: Would be difficult to play without a guide. Luckily we had Mitchel to show us the ropes.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Stellar Views, Stellar Pin Placements, Stellar Tee Pads, Stellar use of Time & Property on top of the ridgeline. Playing Sugaree was an absolute treat for this long time disc golfer. The integration of large rock outcroppings into the course layout is both stupendously appealing and stupendously butt-puckering when making putts outside of 25 feet. No need to repeat what all the other's have said about this course (I agree with comments in PRO's section)....just PLAY This Course if you can (and have skills and love of the game). Your ability, imagination, creativity, course management, and patience will all have opportunities to be tested while hiking this wonderful course and if you're lucky you'll have a personal tour with the course architect. We played several mountain courses over a long weekend and this course gets my vote for most aesthetically pleasing (so many 'signature holes' to choose from).
The homemade baskets are just one more, very positive, signature element. THANKS to Rich & his kids and all the folks that put their time into making this gorgeous course!!!
Cons: I didn't experience any cons on this course. Some comments from other's I just consider part of playing a true mountain course and/or a private course. One thing I didn't get at Sugaree that I did enjoy at some other mountain courses was the tee shot looking out over an extreme elevation drop. These shots can be perplexing for disc selection, initial direction and thrust. However, Rich has incorporated equally challenging downhill shots that require precise distance control which may be a better test of skill (with stroke choking consequences for miscalculations or poor execution). Any course that can put a smile on your face at the same time you're thinking 'double bogey will be good after that drive' makes my A-list.
Other Thoughts: If you're coming from the flatlands allow plenty of extra time to complete a round in the mountains, especially if it's a new course to you. This course has a great South & West exposure which makes for an excellent afternoon on a sunny winter day. I will definitely play this course again and again as often as I can arrange to get there!!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Pros: Sugaree is probably the most beautiful course I have every played!! Rich Minford, owner and visionary of Sugaree has created the ultimate mountain course that uses the shape of the land perfectly. I had the pleasure of playing doubles on Rich's team against my two friends Slim and Charles. I guess you could say we had a slight advantage since the architect was on my team. Rich walked us through each hole and explained the layout and what shot was preferred. This was a great help since many of the holes feature blind shots, steep terrain, huge rock outcroppings, cliffs, millions of trees, and oh yeah I forgot to mention, the basket are HANGING. Rich being a Christmas tree farmer has created hanging baskets out of tree holders, chains, rope, and some elbow grease. At first I was slightly skeptical, but when I was practicing behind Rich's house (warm-up area) I found that they were actually more receptive and forgiving than standard baskets and they could also handle a hard shot. Once you drain a few putts, you'll forget that the baskets are even hanging, until you play the course and see a few of the nasty pin placements on rock outcroppings and some even on small cliffs. Rich also spent a lot of time on the tee pads. They are unlike any that I have played and they are by far the best. The pad is made out of a mulch mix that is covered by carpet. The pads are longer and the carpet provides better grip. Many of the boxes are also elevated and I was amazed how many rocks were moved to each box to level them out. The main holes that really stood out to me were holes 1, 4, 8, and 15. Hole 1 is a long hyzer from an elevated tee pad over the Christmas tree farm. The view is spectacular, especially in the fall with the mountains bleeding yellow, orange, and red. Rich threw a great shot and I drained a 90 foot putt to start out with a birdie. Hole 4 is a challenging par 4 that gives two options on how to play it. The hole bends to right and follows a huge rock wall on the right side of the fairway. A good drive down the middle will leave you with a long flick (forehand) around the wall up to the rock garden where the basket is OR you can throw a Rich "HAMMER" or thumber up over the huge rock wall and park it under the basket for an easy birdie. Your choice. Hole 8 is an excellent par 3 that bends left to right with a rock wall on the left (backstop) and the pin hanging just above a 30-40 rock out cropping. A great photo hole and it really shows the amazing terrain the course is on. Then there is Hole 15. A tuff par 3 the break from left to right through a few tree to a basket tucked into some rocks. The hole looked pretty straight forward until Rich showed what lay beyond the basket, which was a 40-50 cliff maybe 3-4 feet behind the basket. Needless to say we all threw short and took par.
Cons: Bring toilet paper or you're using leaves.
Other Thoughts: Rich has made an awesome course and I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to play a first class disc golf course. If you are not distracted by the beauty of the landscape, a good score can be made if you "STAY HUMBLE". What I mean by "STAY HUMBLE" is that you must use good course management and always be aware of what is behind the baskets. I would say about 70-80 percent of the holes have huge drop-offs behind the holes which will lead to bogies and much worse. Accuracy and distance control are more important than aggression at this course. I would also recommend playing the course around the month of October the leaves changing in this area turn the mountains into a sea of gold, yellow, and orange. Make sure to stop by a store and load up on snacks and drinks. Also proper foot attire is necessary to tackle the extreme terrain here. My thanks go to Rich for all the hard work and the hospitality. This is truly a Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Where it's Christmas everyday.
Pros: - Intimate mountain setting. Not only is the course memorable, but the drive off the beaten path to get there is also a neat journey.
- Goes with the flow of terrain... doesn't try to manufacture difficult uphill shots as many other courses do.
- Soft and comfortable unique teepads. I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but these pads are actually better than concrete. They consist of a base filled with mulch with carpet on top. This allows the carpet to be removed (it's screwed down) to re-level the mulch anytime it needs it. Teeing off on mulch is a welcome change of pace.
- Baskets are another unique feature. They were designed by Rich's kids utilizing baskets that would normally hold trees. They hang from the air and are a bit wider than a conventional basket but still catch discs like a charm. I didn't have any problems with them.
- Several different routes can be taken on a few of the holes. One that sticks out in my mind is hole #9 where you have the choice of shooting on to the top of a fifty foot tall rock or playing through a narrow fairway with a steep dropoff.
- Rich grows Christmas trees on this property; they're integrated seamlessly into play and give the course character that you won't see anywhere else.
- The elevation of the course allows it to be 10-15 degrees cooler than the surrounding area.
- Four or five benches along the course allow you to take a load off every once in awhile.
Cons: - No restrooms. Make sure to stop at a gas station on the way in to prepare yourself and get something to drink.
- No tee signs. These aren't really necessary, though as Rich seems more than happy to guide visitors.
- Some may consider the lack of concrete tees and standard baskets as a con, but I don't believe they are in this case.
Other Thoughts: Rich has created a unique disc golfing experience deep in the Carolina hills. The course has only been in the ground for a couple of years and will continue to improve as Rich makes subtle changes to it. He seems to have a vision for each hole and is more than happy to listen to input from visitors regarding the fairness of shots. I recommend this course to anyone driving through who wants to spend an afternoon totally immersed in a unique and challenging environment. Rich cut a vacation with his family short by a couple of days to play his course with me. Drinking a beer with him and his friend Burt before the 12th hole will be one of the defining moments of my summer 2009 roadtrip.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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