Where discs go to fly like Hawks!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hawk Hollow's open cattle pasture, massive rolling elevation and wooded areas are pretty much the ideal combination land for a professional level disc golf course and the course design is perfectly blended into it. The large hollow terrain here is also unique from the rest of the surrounding mid-Virginia area.
You get to throw a couple awesome downhill and uphill bombs, some tight technical shots through the woods or from the woods to the open and vice versa with varying par 3s and 4s and a par 5. The 18 hole - par 64 layout is probably the best overall I've played. It's not too short and not too long and has just the right mix between the holes.
The snaking OB creek often comes into play around the baskets and landing zones adding to some hesitation to your decision making of risk and reward. The OB barbwire fence also factors in a bit on a couple holes. The course plays very fair while being tough and if you end up OB you know that it was you that messed up, and not some random fluke of the course.
The course consists of two equally awesome loops of 9 holes back to the parking lot area, which is great for tournaments and casual play to restock necessities or take a break from the nature hike. Private course is almost always a pro in my book and no exception here.
Cons: One would be remiss to say there are no cons however they do not weigh-in enough to detract this course from being one of the best of the best IMHO.
Tees are probably the biggest issue people may have here which consist of natural or carpet and not always level. Tee signs are not the best, no benches or restrooms.
Cow pies and cattle can be prominently found throughout the course and barbed wire fences on a few holes. The course is prone to flooding and closes for the summer and calving season.
Only one set of tees and baskets placements geared for gold level players, so rank beginners should probably not play here or they should expect to struggle as if they were playing ball golf at the Black Course at Bethpage that has the warning sign at hole 1 about high handicappers playing it.
Other Thoughts: John Biscoe himself told me he probably wouldn't give Hawk Hollow a 5 and has never seen or played what he considers a 5 rated course, however he also stated that he would put up all the holes at HH vs any other top rated course out there and would stack up against them, and I agree with that latter statement. However I've also played more courses than he has and HH is still one of my all time favorites which is why I have to give it a 5.
When I first played here shortly after I started playing I probably would have agreed with John, but I also didn't know much back then and also partly why I waited so long to review this course. I think HH was the tenth course I had ever played and was the first private course I had ever played. The more courses I've played, the more I've come to appreciate Hawk Hollow as truly one of the best courses and surely a special treat to play!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
You'll be hard pressed to find a better course anywhere!
Pros: Pros are almost too numerous to list. The reason this course is as highly touted as it is, is namely the shot variety and challenge. HH has as much shot variety as you'd ever need in an 18-hole course.
There are some VERY steep elevation changes, more subtle rolling hills, flat shots, etc...There are several shorter holes for variety and potential 2's, but most holes are longer shots which will challenge you with plenty of OB (on almost every hole). HH does favor bigger arms, but smaller arms can compete just as well with precision.
You'll start on the crest of a large hill, overlooking the valley and large creek below. Almost every hole seems to be a mixture of wooded and open, with only a select few being exclusively one or the other. It's impossible to give the design too much credit, it simply is amazing.
The creek is really the defining feature of the course. It's almost a stretch to call it a creek, it becomes very wide and semi-deep in spots. This becomes your main obstacle to avoid on nearly 3/4 of the holes at HH. The pins are precariously placed near the creek when possible, requiring your approaches to be conservative and precise to award a birdie. In addition to the creek, there are several barbed wire fences in play which are OB's as well. In a tourney situation, this course plays like USDGC where you're concerned with your landing zones on almost every hole, but less so on drives and more so on approaches. There is OB everywhere, and that's a good thing.
The course is technically two 9-hole loops, but you shouldn't plan to go back to your car or anything between 9's as it's another small hike to the parking lot from 1 and 10.
This really is one of the pinnacle's of our sport. It lives up to the hype and the exclusivity perhaps exacerbates that. Pictures don't do this place justice. Just do yourself a favor and try to get here as soon as you can. If you don't enjoy HH, it's likely the case you need to switch hobbies.
Cons: Here's where my review gets a little interesting. Those who've followed my reviews know that I'm a stickler for aesthetics and amenities. I often write at length regarding tee pad design, material, etc... I appreciate the little details like navigation signs when needed. I've let a lot of those concerns go with HH, for reasons which I've listed below in "Other Thoughts". Please take a moment to read that section of my review, but I'll still be listing the "cons" here as I would with any course, just know they didn't result in any point reduction.
Firstly, the tee pads. They're natural and/or carpeted areas. That is 100% to be expected in an operating cow field. I don't really see how this could be remedied at HH, but is a con none-the-less.
The signs at HH are, well, dilapidated, for lack of a better term. This is a privately owned/funded course with support from tourneys/clubs who sponsor baskets etc.. The more of you that support these events, the better these signs could become. The maps provided at my event were ample for the information necessary to play, but the signs could be improved.
There are obviously no permanently installed seating at the course, and it's a LONG course with many hills that will wear you out. Again, can't feasibly be remedied, so plan to bring a stool with you.
The only non-amenity complaints I could come up with are the following items:
1) The course has several spots (holes 6/7 as an example) where during a heavy traffic day (like a tourney) you'll need to be mindful of errant shots coming near other tee pads. This also leads to some delays in play as you'll have to wait for others to tee/putt out as to not distract them.
2) The baskets are a hodgepodge of different manufacturers. Almost all are in perfectly acceptable condition, but you'll be throwing at multiple types of targets, which is strange but not terrible considering the baskets are almost all totally funded by events/clubs and are purchased 1 at a time.
3) The exclusivity of the place is a pro and con. It helps build the lore of this place, for sure, as you can't play it very often. People flock in droves during tourney time here and they fill up within 24hrs of posting. For the traveling player just looking to hit this on a road trip, it's not likely to happen. Thus a con.
Other Thoughts: DISCLAIMER: This review is a 5/5 because I've "overlooked" detractors I've previously factored into many courses which resulted in them getting a 4.5 vs a 5. The reason Hawk Hollow is an exception is as follows:
A) Hawk Hollow's design, course features, shot features, landscape etc.. are all worthy of the accolades that have been assigned to it and are superior to most other courses in this aspect.
B) Hawk Hollow was the first course where comparing it to EVERY other course I've given a 4.5 blow-for-blow just didn't seem fair. This is a private course, opened only several week a year, operating entirely on a working cattle farm. This isn't a typical course by any stretch of the imagination and for that reason, I'm holding it to a different standard as far as "amenities" goes. I'll still list them in the "cons" with the understanding that they'll likely never be remedied and with just reasoning.
C) I simply couldn't let a 4.5 vote help drag down the current rating of this magnificent course, which is over 4.65 as of my writing.
I hope my followers can understand my reasoning when it comes to this 5/5, only the 2nd such rating I've ever given out. If you don't agree with me, feel free to PM me to speak further.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Wish I would have found this place sooner
Pros: There are very few courses out there that are truly great courses. This is one of the great ones. The property is some of the most beautiful that you could ask for on a disc golf course. Water runs through the course, there are big hills, rolling hills, views in all directions. You are in a paradise for disc golf. Sure there are lots of cow patties around, and you will walk and throw into them, but that's no big deal. Actually part of the fun.
There is just about every type of shot to be thrown on this course. One of the few courses that makes you throw many different drivers off the tee. Backhand, forehand, uphill, downhill, all of the shots are there, and the fairways are fair. The course tests all of your skills as a good course does. You might feel the pressure of a tight wooded gap, or the wind howling as you are about to launch your drive off of one of the large hills, hoping it doesn't flip over. It's all here, and it's all done in a spectacular way.
Cons: Some debris on the course, but I know it's a lot of work keeping up with a private course and winter was pretty bad so I imagine there were more limbs down this year than in the past.
A few of the tees are in dangerous spots in relation to previous holes or other fairways. But not really a big deal if you are aware of the certain trouble areas.
Other Thoughts: I will drive 6+ hours here year after year because of the pure enjoyment of being here. It's one of those must-play places. And one of those places that you will not forget after playing it. Every hole has a place in my heart and mind and I will never forget my experiences at Hawk Hollow. I couldn't imagine a better place to get together and play disc golf with some friends.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Have to agree with all the pros in previous reviews. Although its been 5 yrs since I threw this monster, I spent the past few days (March 2013) in caddying/supporting friends during the recent Virginia Team Invitational (team match play). Walking this course during the VTI only reinforced my opinion/rating.
It is one of the best courses anywhere. The big armed bombers will love some of the holes and hate most of the technical ones. To score well, you'll need 450'+ open field throws and 300'+ tight wooded threaders.
Every hole gives you a challenge.
Cons: Natural tee pads (not really a con), limited signage (presumably you'll be with the owner or another course veteran), and avoiding cows and their droppings.
Other Thoughts: This will be one of the most amazing courses you will play. I found it more interesting and challenging than Winthrop Gold or Renny Gold.
I wished I took a full series of photos, but photos do not do justice to what awaits..
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 0 Not
Holy Cow Patties!
Pros: 18 holes of private disc golf set in a near perfect piece of land. When I parked and looked out over the landscape at Hawk Hollow I knew that I was about to experience something special. The view showed large hills, a good sized creek and lots of woods with some large open pasture land scattered about. Just about everything a savvy course designer would need to create a fun and challenging layout.
The key to Hawk Hollow in my humble opinion is the perfect balance and variety created with all the features available. Mr. Biscoe didn't get enamored by one cool feature or shot, and beat it to death. Instead, this course challenges you in many ways, and never gets boring or repetitive.
Hawk Hollow has holes from 210' to 975', and every hole uses some feature to add to the design. Some holes use elevation up or down, some use the trees, and some use the large creek that meanders throughout the course. Seldom is there a hole without a risk/reward feature or some additional challenge. But sometimes, as in the case with the 975' hole several of the hazards can get in your way all on one hole.
Open holes have either enough elevation, trees or creek to keep a power player from simply bombing a drive without control. The shorter wooded holes offer tight lines, risky greens or OB water to keep them from being easy ace runs. Every hole is simply well done. Fairways are all well defined, and always offer a decent path to the basket.
The fence lines and the creek offer abundant OB to force players to play smart golf. Risky shots here can lead to some ugly scores.
Tee pads were all flat and playable, and baskets were of mixed variety, but they all caught very well.
Cons: Private course that is not always available for play. It's a farm first, so the cows rule.
Cow patties. They are there. Watch where you walk.
Pads and signs could be improved. But if you are there you are probably playing with the host or someone that has played it before. So this is a very minor issue.
Other Thoughts: I didn't expect to enjoy this course as much as I did. I knew it was great from other people's comments, but expected the length to overly challenge my noodle arm, and the cow poop to mar my pretty discs. But neither really happened. Sure I could have used another 100' of arm a few times, but my poor execution on wooded shots hurt me more than the length.
This is probably the best course I have played that blends length with the more technical aspects of disc golf, and forces a player to be well-rounded to score well. You can't be limited or a one-trick pony and do well here.
There are mostly open holes that are 975', 804', 693' and 654'. There are also mostly wooded holes that are 210', 240', 291', 354', 228' and 400'. Variety of length and hole type is simply awesome. There is also a tremendous mix of shots that must turn left or right. And of course there are nice ups and downs. Probably more elevation than any course I have played not in a mountain region. The course is so varied and well done that I didn't even notice how bad my score was until I finished. I got battered, and smiled the whole time.
As with most private courses this course is not a city park. There are no benches, trash cans or paved paths for your baby stroller. Pack it in, pack it out like it's your land. This course is all about the golf, not gimmicks or amenities.
If you are anywhere close, and you have the chance to play Hawk Hollow, do it. This is definitely one of the best courses you'll ever play. It's scenic, challenging and fun. There aren't many places in its league so enjoy your time here. Even if your score isn't what you hoped.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Layout - Amazing. Giant bombs, huge elevation changes, holes that weave in and out of the woods and hug the creek. It's just a great mixture of hole types and distances.
The wooded holes help offset the giant open bombs, many have tricky and fast fairways by OB. They're not extremely tight or technical but they get the job done with difficult basket locations and forcing accuracy over distance.
The open holes are usually huge bombs off a hill or back up it. Though most will still require a good amount of accuracy to score well, especially on approach.
The greens here are very well done, the basket will either be on a slope, near a drop off or by the creek most of the time.
A lot of fairways weave in and out of the woods often forcing a technical shot in/out and then a long bomb. A lot of downhill and then a lot of going back up; makes every shot feel so much bigger.
The fun factor here is ginormous on top of a lot of risk/reward which makes for a great setup.
The course flows well in most places and the open/wooded is blended nicely. Some truly great par 4's out there.
Atmosphere - Beautiful property, there should be more courses on cow farms in that part of Virginia. Has a real special feel to the course when you're out there. Some great looking holes. The creek is bad ass and beautiful.
Great hospitality from Biscoe and the locals.
You're not worrying about chuckers and other distractions getting in your way here.
Equipment - Good signs, some baskets were in good shape.
Cons: Layout - As fun as it was going off the hill, throwing straight back up it 3 times got a little old.
There's a few weird transitions, nothing major.
Atmosphere - Cow patties and mud, it's there and you'll find one or the other at some point.
A lot of walking up big hills, bring water. Be prepared.
Equipment - The natural tees are really not great in a few places. Some ruts have formed in a few making the footing hard for some big bombs; plus there's a lot of tees on hills.
Some of the baskets were in the best condition either.
Other Thoughts: This place is really bad a$$. One of the best courses I've played by far. It's a true gold level destination course. It has some of the best holes in disc golf (Thinking of 3, 10, 15, 16)
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Phenomenal piece of property
- Incredible Elevation
- Great basket placements near creeks
- Very fair
- Par in the mid 60's
- Very challengeing
Cons: - Cow poop everywhere (it is a working dairy farm)
- Barbwire in some areas and if you throw OB, you have to crawl under it to get the disc
- If it's wet, the tee pads are pretty slippery
- Some baskets, while being replaced, are not the greatest.
- The tee signs, while giving distances, don't really help with knowing where to throw - which is very important on longer courses
- No distances from certain points (i.e a par 4 that plays to the creek, it would helpful to know how far that creek is to the pin).
Other Thoughts: Here are the letter holes.
Hole A - This hole is played after hole 9 and tees between 9's basket and 3's tee pad. This downhill par 4 is open for 99% of the hole. The 1% comes from a small double mando found 5 - 10 feet off the tee. Once entering the field, it is best to be as far as possible. If you can't throw 500 feet, it' s better to miss left as it gets you the best angle to the pin. The pin is found near the front entrance of the property and is surrounded by OB. Most upshots either flirt with the pin on a hyzer line, or are sidearms or anhyzers around the fence line.
Hole B - Tees right by the entrance and just to the left of hole A's basket. This downhill par 3 plays approximately 290 feet, but is very deceptive in distance. An OB fence lines the right side and narrows as you get closer to the pin. A swampy area behind the pin is OB as well and it's easy to both overdrive the pin and go OB as well as putt OB. The basket sits in a corner between the two OB areas.
Hole C is a shorter uphill par 3, roughly 240 feet and tees just to the left of hole B's basket. There are multiple options here. You can throw straight it between a few narrow gaps, throw an overhand over everything, a big sidearm around everything or a big hyzer over everything. This hole is probably the easiest 2 on the course and it's rare to see a score higher than 3.
At this point, you then go to hole 10, found at the top of the hill behind C's basket.
After playing 14, you go to hole D, which is found beside the chorale behind hole 15's tee.
Hole D is a 300 foot, roughly, par 3 across a field. The only true challenge comes at the basket as the basket sits about 30 feet on a down slope in a narrow opening. It's very easy to come up short here and putts roll away pretty easily. Most players throw a soft hyzer and hope to enter the mouth.
Hole E tees just to the right of D's basket back in the field and is about 430 feet. An initial gap off the tee brings challenge, but after that, no challenges unless you throw a very poor shot (OB well right and if you hyzer out early, you are in the woods). The basket sits behind three mature pine trees and offset to the left. Most players try to bomb it up to the right leaving a shorter approach. A big arm can get around the trees for a putt at two. The pin sits on a drop off and it's easy for putts to roll away. 2's a great score and 3 isn't bad either.
Hole F tees just behind E's basket and is a 570 foot par 4. This is a fantastic hole and brings in the true risk reward element of Hawk Hollow back into play. OB runs the entire fairway on the right and eventually narrows parallel with the pin and squares off behind the pin. The main set of woods are well left, and another set of woods show up just off to the left at about 375 feet or so. The fairway, defined by these woods and the OB Line, narrows the closer you get to the pin. A huge drive brings OB into play, but leaves a very simple 150 simple hyzer to the wide open pin. A safe drive hyzers out and leaves a very hard second shot.
Hole G tees just to left of F's basket in the woods. Roughly 500 feet and a par 4, the tee shot starts in the woods and requires a very accurate tee shot to get out as the a tree in the middle of the fairway narrows the margin for error. Once you get out of the woods, most players prefer to be on the right, but too far right puts you back in the woods. From there, there is about 200 or so feet of field before a very narrow opening on the left side that leads to the basket. This ceiling is also very low which makes it even more challenging. The basket sits up a hill about 100 feet past the opening.
Hole H tees to the left of G's basket and behind F's tee throwing in the opposite direction. A shorter more open par 4, the only real danger off the tee is the same fence line from F on the left side of the fairway and a larger tree about 350 feet offset to the right. Most players try to hyzer around this tree or in front of it. Your second shot is usually only about 200 feet, and wide open, but uphill. The pin sits in a chorale which forces very accurate upshots. Thumbers and big spike hyzers are common here as cross boards in the chorale block the pin.
After playing H, you are now back at 15's tee.
The final added hole is hole I, played after 15. Instead of walking directly left towards 16, continue walking down the river about 100 feet or so to get to I. I is a shorter uphill par 3, but wooded and challenging. The pin is up and slightly right so most players choose a flippy midrange or even a thumber. The only real challenge on the hole is missing the trees off the fairway. Almost every kick goes left and out of the kicks, probably half of them go all the way back down into the creek.
After playing 15, you now walk to 16's tee to finish the course.
This is one of the few courses that I truly get excited to play. Everyone I tell about it I istantly tell them it will be in your top 5 and so far, no one has disagreed. The landscape, the challenge, the variety of shots. Just amazing. If you haven't played the course do two things. 1. Slap yourself. 2. Go there yesterday.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Beauty in the Boonies
Pros: This course has it all
-A great ix of holes ranging from 970ft - 250ft
-The course is private which is always a bonus (no trash)
-The people here (biscoe and others) are all very good people
-I like that even though some of the holes are long that "most" of the longer holes actually don't favor the long arms "too" much
-ELEVATION- this course uses the property's elevation to the fullest extent. Most of the holes are either playing uphill or down. When I say up hill or down I mean huge changes in elevation. Some holes you are throwing straight up a hill and others straight down.
-The use of the trees on the property keeps the course fair to the the "lesser arms". (e.i. 4, 6,8,9,12,13,15,16, )
-The course isn't lefty or righty friendly it's pretty well balanced with holes that cater to both hands.
-OB comes in to play on 16 of the 18 holes making it more of a challenge which is always fun when your home course is pretty easy
-The course design makes it so that most of the holes are just placement shots, which again evens out the difficulty of the course
Cons: This course only has one
-Cow pies everywhere. Just forget they are there and they really won't bother you much
Other Thoughts: I don't really know what else to say that hasn't been said, just keep reading the other reviews and you got it. Also if you know where to go there are 9 letter holes that are not always in play due to not having enough baksets.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Veni. Vidi. Obstipui.
The terrain may seem well-suited to be a cow pasture, but its true calling is to be a disc golf course. The rare blend of openness, lines of trees, patches of woods, and varied elevation changes form a perfect landscape for a scenic and challenging course.
Course maps, extremely important for the first-time/infrequent, unguided visitor, and score sheets are available in the mailbox near the parking area.
The land the course is set upon is a private cow pasture first, and a disc golf course second. This means:
- the course isn't open 365 days a year
- there will always be cows
- there will always be a seemingly endless supply of cow pies
- most tees, those located in the open areas, are natural
- signage is minimal, as the owner knows where the tees/baskets are located, and the cows don't care
Variety is on display as the course plays up, down, and across the open pastures, and into, out-of, and within the lines of trees and pockets of woods that form the pasture boundaries, with the omnipresent creek wending its way through the middle of the course
Elevation changes: Only a few holes are quite flat, but these, except for 975' #7, require specific lines to be hit to score well. About 1/3rd of the holes have extreme elevation changes, both up (2, 5, 9), and down (1, 4, 10). Up-then-over, down-then-up, gentle ups, gentle downs, mainly flat with an extreme-but-short drop or gain can be found on the other holes
Tightness: About 1/3rd of the holes are quite open, but will challenge you with a major elevation change, a tree line to swing around, or have the creek lurking not too far away. About 1/3rd of the holes are tight throughout, forcing a specific line to be hit. The remaining 1/3rd of the holes are a blend of open and tight, requiring a specific window or line to be hit early/middle/late, but more open during the other portion of the hole.
Distances range from 210' to 975', with an average of ~450'. The five holes under 300' are on the tight-side, requiring specific lines to be hit to have an ace run/ birdy opportunity. The four holes over 600' are primarily open, but challenge you with either elevations changes (10, 18), or woods early (7) or late (15).
Shot-shapes/types: While you'll need the occasional left/right turner, being able to throw straight, hold a line, and account for elevation changes will be the primary challenge presented by these holes.
My favourite holes - all of them? Standouts included:
#4. Steadily down an open slope the first ~200', then passing through an opening of hardwoods, to a steeper descent past scattered trees to a basket an additional ~200' away, just before the creek.
#12. A steady-but-moderate right-turn is needed for ~275', then a slight ~75' fade left up a gentle slope to a basket atop a tree-lined ridge. Turn too sharply, and find the creek running parallel to the optimum flight path. Don't turn enough, and find the trees directly in front and following the left side of the flight path.
#15. After crossing ~400' of relatively flat open space, you hopefully will be aligned with the small opening into the woods, as the basket is another ~250 away, downhill, with a tree-filled left-to-right slope along the left side of the optimal flight path, and scattered trees and the creek over to the right.
Consider yourself lucky if your feet and your discs manage to miss the cow pies.
Consider yourself fortunate if you ever have opportunity to play this course!
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
One of the best
Pros: I have played many nice courses - this was one of the best I have ever been privileged to play on. I do consider it a privilege, given that the owner and the locals have clearly put a lot of time into setting it up and maintaining this beautiful piece of land. The holes are long and challenging, but fair. If you have a decent set of shots, you can hit the right lines and feel good about your score, even if you are getting 4s and some 5s. The cows you see on the holes are also unlike anything you would see anywhere else.
Cons: Not really any cons here - except one semi-con. This property is primarily a working farm and secondarily a disc golf course. Because of this it is not a place that one would call their home course. It is more of a treat for the passionate golfer. Again, not a con, but i would love to play here often but do not want to disturb the farm environment.
Other Thoughts: A big thank you to the owner and the great local players we met while playing here. It made the trip and rounds at Hawk Hollow that much more memorable.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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