Underrated, but I get why
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: I'm giving this course a 4 rating in an effort to combat some of the really negative things that have been said about it which are, to my mind, undeserved. A few caveats:
1. I am a relatively new player. Been playing on and off (mostly off) for about 4 years, but I picked it up again this summer with a goal of trying to actual improve.
2.I played 4-5 times a week this summer, and Leigh Farms was the course I played more than any other. I only played the rec course, so this does not include any information about the advanced course. The one time I tried to play the advanced course, the holes were indeed very confusing to find, and I ended up resorting to the rec course halfway through.
3. I admit that perhaps some of my admiration comes from the fact that this was, for the most part, the course I attempted to teach myself to play disc golf on. I tried my damnedest to make this course my own, to play it until I knew every nook and cranny. Perhaps many of the negative things people have said about this course are things I just forced myself to get used to and play through, things that others used to more well-manicured courses would not have tolerated. I also managed to somehow score an Ace on hole 7, the only ace I have ever scored, out of freak luck. So, I'll admit I'm a bit emotionally attached.
4. The first time I tried playing this course, I didn't take one of the brochures with me, and I got lost, and frustrated, and quit. I went back months later, grabbed a brochure, learned the layout, and fell in love with the course.
But there are a bunch of things to love about this course.
Hole 1 and 2 are both short shots that are fun to shoot for ace on with a mid-range forearm and you can easily overshoot.
This course is both so frustrating and so rewarding because almost every hole can either end up as an easy birdie or a double-bogey. You are ensconced in trees the whole time, and slight deflections can send your disc into an abyss of brush and trees. But the reward for a perfectly delivered drive through the trees is oh-so-sweet. This course is an excellent course to drill if you are trying to get better at throwing through trees.
The first 3-4 holes are all pretty similar, but there is some great variation as you get into the later parts of the course.
Hole 12 is a fun shot to practice changes in elevation and shooting down hill.
Hole 13 is one of the longer holes on the course, and requires some interesting choices about which route to take to try to clear the mini-creek. The creek creates a low-risk OB type opportunity for you to practice - discs are easily retrievable, but you do have to climb down into the creekbed to get them.
Hole 14, the gulley hole, is one of my favorites.
Hole 17, around the barn, is just such an incredibly fun, tricky shot to have to drive from.
Leigh Farm takes all of the wonderful, frustrating things about NC courses and packs them all into a tiny little package. I get why some people don't like this course, but I loved learning to play disc on it.
Cons: The key to not getting lost on this course is to grab one of the brochures at the front of the course and take it with you until you learn the course structure. As many have noted, the layout is a bit counter-intuitive, and with the two courses laid on top of one another, it's REALLY easy to get lost. Get yourself the brochure, and read the instructions carefully. For the most part, the instructions do a pretty good job of walking you from basket to basket.
You might get lost a few times, but once you learn the layout, it makes sense and is really easy to navigate. When you're done with hole 13, you'll need to cross the street to the other side of the park closer to the highway. Look for a wooden plank marking the trail from the road/sidewalk to the second part of the course.
The brush is pretty bad, as some have noted, but I think some people's reviews are exaggerating it quite a bit. This is not much different than any other heavily wooded NC course. Pretty standard fair for NC courses in terms of how bad it is if your disc gets out into the rough. The one thing that is a bit worse here than at other courses is spiderwebs. When walking through the rough to get to my disc, I definitely liked to carry another disc with me to wave in front of my face to prevent me from walking into spiderwebs ("Sorry, I'm not home right now... " Sing along if you know the words, kids).
The teeboxes could definitely be better maintained.
If you have no problem moving your disc through trees with ease, you will probably find this course very easy. There are not many holes which require much in the way of distance driving. It is almost entirely enclosed in the woods, so if you need 900 ft fairways and enormous par 5's, the rec course is definitely not the place for you.
Other Thoughts: I get why people may not like this course. It's a bit rough around the edges. But for me, this was a great course to learn how to play disc golf on. It honed my skills in the woods, taught me to throw a variety of shots, and was a fun place to get some good disc golf muscle memory down. Don't let these reviews scare you away. But seriously, use the instructions, or go with someone who knows the layout.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Teaches you to Play Smart Golf
Pros: The Leigh Farm disc golf course is located on City, County, State, and private land. Parts of the course border US Corp of Engineer property and other fairways border Historical property. Because of the many issues with putting a course in this park, the design had to be carefully planned with regards to tree removal, erosion, and the protected wildlife. The result is a very technical and challenging course.
Leigh Farm is not for the technically challenged player. This course will demand an ability to throw any and all types of shots. You cannot simply throw as far as you want to from the tee. Stay in control of your discs and manage the fairway.
My suggestion to new visitors to the Farm is that you just walk the course on your first trip and take some notes. Document the following: Where are the landing zones?, How much risk is involved with getting to the landing areas? , and Is it worth trying to throw further?
Fact 1- Leigh Farm was designed so that the long tees would be played for the long baskets and the short tees for the short baskets.
Fact 2- There are many elevated baskets and one is in the side of a manmade hill.
Fact3- Leigh Farm has blind shots.
Remember this quote- A fairway is only a blind-shot the first time you play it. Play Leigh Farm at least twice and you will see what I mean. You might even improve your game.
Notes for the Advanced Course- white tee pads to short baskets. Par 61 (my best score on this layout is 54, my average is around 59, and my worst round is 65. I have played the different layouts at Leigh Farm around 200 times)
Hole 1- Good hole for learning to throw low. Remember that hyzer shots are easier to keep low and to control. I would just throw a putter.
Hole 2- Safest shot is to throw 225 to 250 to the area near the rec 4 tee pad. Use your putter for an approach shot through the gauntlet of trees for your birdie on this Par4 hole. Green rolls to the left.
Hole 3-Three narrow fairways. Take your pick for this 250 foot par 3. Drop off behind basket.
Hole 4- Keep your wits for this tough par 5. Unless you are lefty or can throw a sidearm with control for 250 feet, I would throw a putter 150 to 200 feet to play it safe. You can make up some distance on your second shot. Do not try to overthrow this 600 foot hole.
Hole 5- Open par 4 hole that allows you to throw 400 plus feet off of the tee but remember that your second shot may be easier if you can keep your first one in the road.
Hole 6- Keep your drive to the right on this par 4 to a good landing zone at 250 feet. Now you will need to throw your Roc or putter to a basket that sits on top of a little mound.
Hole 7- Open ace run. You may want to check the wind conditions at the top of the big mound. Often there is a head wind. If so then I recommend throwing a TL. Major drop offs on left and right of basket.
Hole 8- Another ace run. Wind is always a factor and always different. This is a great hole for practicing your shots in the wind. There are two baskets on this hole with the long shot being to a pyramid.
Hole 9- Wide open or is it. Don't just throw it as far as you can. Think about where you want to be for your next shot. Where are my strengths? Do I want to be on the left, right, or middle? Elevated basket.
Hole 10- Short technical hole so take your time and get a birdie. If you go for the ace then there is a good chance that your disc will fly far past the basket. The alternative is to go for the area just in front of the basket. I said it earlier but don't forget the drop off behind basket.
Hole 11. Par 4 L-shot. Placement is more important on this hole than any of the others. Right-handed sidearm or lefty is easier so learn these throws or throw a putter to the top of the hill.
Hole 12. Challenges Hole 1 for toughest par 3's on course. This one is a bit easier because you do not have a low ceiling to work with off the tee. Drop off behind basket.
Hole 13. Right handed player has a chance to work on that 300 foot sidearm shot. There is plenty of room to just throw a straight shot for a 20 to 25 foot putt.
Hole 14. Trees break this hole into two fairway options. Watch out for the creek/ditch that runs in front and behind the basket.
Hole 15. Throw a tight short-shot for 200 feet and you will be rewarded with a chance to make a challenging putt to a basket on top of mound. I suggest leaving your drive on the left side of the mound because it is easier to putt from there.
Hole 16. Teaches players how to get height on your drive. Another elevated basket.
Hole 17. There are two fairways but the left one is the best one for the short basket. (Fairway on the right is an old historic road used in the 1700's by Cornwallis) Statistics show that this hole is the easiest par 4 on the course. I recommend walking down the fairway to test the wind. If you are with someone just pretend that you cannot remember where the basket is located.
Hole 18. Keep your shot low because there are some unfriendly trees. You can still make your birdie with a bad kick if your drive is low. A low skip shot is good.
The farm house and the property around is on the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy the fact that you can play another challenging disc golf course while touring an historic piece of property.
Cons: The blind trees on Hole 18 are too close together thus making it more of a guess and crapshoot from the tee. I believe that a couple of smaller trees should be removed.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Course keeps getting better
Pros: The New Tee signs for the advanced course are a great improvement. It is clear that someone is showing this course some LOVE. The first couple times I played this course it was confusing and hard to follow but over the last year it has really come into shape. The advanced course offers a real challenge to any disc golfer regardless of experience. The course plays through the forest on most holes demanding distance and accuracy on most holes. It is awesome to have some real par 5 holes in the triangle.
This course is actually 2 courses in one location, so if it is your first time out pay attention to the map that is posted at the first hole and remember the tee signs mark the advanced course and include a nice mapping of the hole. There are usually locals playing the course and you can ask them for directions if you get confused (although this course is never crowded - yet).
Cons: It is a new course and as indicated below, parts of this area used to be a dump. There are some areas of the course where broken glass and debris can be found on the fairway - be careful not to cut your hand when picking up discs.
Other Thoughts: This course keeps getting better. I used to play UNC all the time but Leigh Farm is quickly becoming an equally challenging (if not more challenging) option.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging beatdown you need to be ready for, rough now, but you know where diamonds come from
Pros: What a challenging, punishing, and grueling course. This is not your average course, and it will challenge players of all skill levels while it beats down players of lesser skill levels. The length, woods, uniquely used elevation, fairway shapes, and natural obstacles incorporates into the hole design make this a quality course. The negatives about this course are it's rough edges, NOT the design or the challenge. I think it's incredibly neat to have a simpler recreation course overlapping this challenging beast. That may even be a better design philosophy that just short and long tees (or three tees).
There is some very unique terrain in the park with rolling ridges, washout ravines and drainage creeks that cut through the woods leaving some sharp elevation changes, unique features, and great topography for a challenging and different course.
There are "Next Tee" signs pointing your way around on most greens. Look for the excellent tee signs for the next hole, don't look at all the baskets and tee pads you see all around you.
The tees signs are excellent, top quality post top signs with bright colors, visible numbers, great graphics, good depictions of the hole, and accurate distances.
Design balance is more than adequate here. You get some 250' holes thrown in the mix with 800 footers. The left/right/straight balance is excellent and required shot placement allows you multiple routes in some cases. Open rippers are present on 5, 7, 8 and 9 to balance out all of those woods, and they're not boring because they use elevation well.
Memorable holes galore because of the severe beating they introduce or the neat terrain they incorporate. #3 long pin introduces an extreme horseshoe hole with a pin tucked backwards into some woods and perched on the edge of a risky little ridge. You might want to walk up and see where you need to place your drive on this hole. #4 is a beast of a hole, 600-800' through all kinds of woods and corridors with lots of room for a punishing kick. #6 has a great risky pin perched on a mound. #7 is a neat uphill hole on a mound with some awful thick and strange weeds for rough on either side. #8 nearly fills your desire to launch discs off huge hills. It's not huge by any means, but you can crank some drives out down the hill, at a pyramid basket elevated 8' above ground. Hitting the pyramid on my drive was one highpoint of my round. #11 offers a hard dogleg left that forces a carefully placed drive, then a need to tunnel through the woods for 250'+ to the pin guarded by more trees. #14 has a great stormwater creek that surround the green and crosses the fairway. #15 plays across a really unique washout depression gully with pins either perched on the edge or on top of a mound in the middle of this gully. #16 has a short pin installed right on the edge of a 6' tall ridge that introduced great risky putts. #17 has a great diamond shape fairway with multiple routes around an old wooden barn. It plays slightly downhill.
Tees are rubber mats right now, but they are placed in leveled and framed boxes, and the boxes are larger than the mats so you're not crushing your feet against the wooden sides because they're not directly against the pads.
Cons: What I see for an improvement would be to have two sets of tees on each hole. Only about half of the advanced course had a second gold level tee (I refer to the gold tees as secondary because each white tee has the tee sign installed as a 'primary' tee in my mind). With two complete tees per hole, in conjunction with alternate pins on every hole, the course could offers some amazing variety of skill/challenge as well as showcase more unique terrain at the park.
The amount of garbage on holes 4-6 is awful. Hopefully some cleanup is underway because this not only detracts from your playing experience, but can be dangerous too.
The location isn't exactly ideal due to proximity to I-40 interstate, but the terrain is unique and perfectly utilized for a disc golf course. On many of the holes, the woods shelter you from the noise enough to give you the feeling of secluded beauty.
#1 long pin is an extreme dogleg right with not a lot of room to work around the corner - one of the poorer holes on the course, like a transition to the main event.
The road on #5 should be marked as OB.
#17 could be better if the RHBH route was opened up more. It was way overgrown when I played and I don't know who would even consider it an option. It could be far more enticing.
There is no pond or real water hazard. With all the garbage, some excavation could be in order. This could help create a pond or two which would increase the variety and challenge out here incredibly. How about a pond in front of #4 tee, down in front of #8 pyramid pin, on the edge of the mound on hole #9, or in the area around #13 midfairway.
Other Thoughts: I played the white tees on the advanced course (after having to walk down many of the fairways to see what I was up against). The pins were in the odd long, even short layout. The layout on top of a layout can be super confusing. Once you get the hang of it, it's okay though. Go to all tees that have the nice new signs. There are gonna be white tees on the advanced course (they may also be the gold tees on the advanced course, and also the rec course tee). Study the sign and look backwards to find gold tees if there is one. Look down the fairway and ignore the basket with the blue band. You may need to walk ahead a bit before you even see the advanced course pins (in long or short positions), but at least you'll have an idea what lies ahead because these are not your typical fairways. They will bend and turn and change direction all over on you. You'll have to layup, carefully place your drives, and plan for your next shot. Kicking off the fairway might lead to 2-3 more make-up shots to get back where you need to. This course is a solid 4 in my mind. The terrain, good variety, and good challenging design warrants no less. I think as it breaks in, it will become a big part of the disc golf scene. Adding two tees on each advanced hole, and maybe putting in some small ponds for more challenge would elevate to a 4.5. Do all that stuff AND add 18 more holes like I've heard rumors about and you'd have a 5-disc destination course as long as the new holes kept the variety and balance up and offered more course beautification items like cleanup, woodchips, more signage, etc. The only thing missing would be one of those huge downhill bombers, but the terrain me be there following the stormwater down to the creek in the area.
I'd say this is indeed a Gold level course. The white tees actually border on Blue/Gold skill per PDGA standards. Gold tees that I did not play undoubtedly offer much more challenge. I'd classify the Rec course as having Red/Purple skill level tees. I never play as well my first time through a course, but this course did challenge me on almost every shot. A few excellent drives and LONG putts kept me in the game. I would have liked to play the Rec course for some fun ace runs if I had more time.
(The order of favorites on my Raleigh trip is as follows - UNC, Leigh Farms, Harris Lake, Cedar Hills, Zebulon, Middle Creek, and Valley Springs. UNC and Leigh farms were runaway winners but with vastly different reasons. Harris Lake was repetitive being almost all wooded, but real fun to play and lots of risk. Cedar Hills, Zeb, and Middle creek were all tied around the average for different reasons. Valley Springs was very fun, but repetitively grueling.)
10/11/2011: Next time I'm in the triangle, I WILL play this course again, and I'm confident the improvements will bump the rating!
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Jekyll and Hyde
Pros: Two courses in one place, one Rec and one Pro/Adv. Multiple tees and basket placements, check the signage near #1 for current info. Lots of variety with the layout in this regard if you're familiar with the course. Allows you to make up different layouts and work different shots. Easy for the first-timer as well since current layout should always be posted by #1. Rarely crowded.
The Rec course is your standard pitch-and-putt with a lot of 150'-200' holes with random trees in the way. Shares a few holes on the back nine with the other course so there is more length required there. When the baskets are in the short positions the Rec course plays very short and scores will be very low; when in the longs it can play 3-5 strokes higher.
The Pro/Adv course is just a beast, and obviously a work in progress. I get out here maybe twice a month and there's always something new; it's not perfect yet by any means, but I think eventually it will be a favorite around here...eventually.. Long wooded Par 5s, technical Par 3s, going for it can yield big rewards or big penalties. Only three "open" holes but still long, nothing else really like it around here that I've played.
#1 for both courses tees across from the parking lot and loops back around. You can also park at the office park during off hours and start in the #7-#9 area of the Pro/Adv course.
Cons: Built on an old farm, so NO amenities. Trash can near parking lot, and that's it. No restrooms, no water, just disc golf and the Nature Center.
The farm was used for illegal dumping for a time and so it has pockets of sheer nastiness. Fortunately a lot of that is getting cleaned up, bit by bit, and the course looks better every time I play there, but there's still plenty to be done.
A few more trees removed here and there wouldn't hurt either, there are some ridiculously tight shots from some of the long tees.
Other Thoughts: This may seem weird, but it feels like they want the Pro course to be Renny Jr. Elevated baskets, technical 4s and 5s, accurate distance required etc. but the lack of elevation change and tightness of the lines doesn't quite reach that same level of design. Too much luck involved here right now to score well, but that's obviously something that can be worked on over time.
Best Hole - #17 Pro/Adv, long position, 360' downhill right curve around an old tobacco barn, or take the tighter RHBH hyzer route down the right through the tunnel.
Most Fun Hole - #8 Pro/Adv, long position. Downhill to an elevated basket, tee from the top of a 50'-60' tall grassy mound. Wide open, the wind wreaks havoc with discs, but one of those classic "empty your bag" holes.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Rec Layout Played
Pros: Great mixture of short holes for making a birdie and a few that are longer and you just hope for a par. Being a shorter thrower, I enjoy a hole that if I make the correct shaped shot, I am rewarded. I loved numbers 12, 14 and 17 especially.
Cons: Advanced layout is difficult. The Blue numbers on the rocks on the tees are for the Rec layout - Green numbers for the Advanced. And parts of the course are near I-40 so you can hear the traffic but it is not a big deal.
Other Thoughts: Next Tee signs throughout the course make navigation much easier now.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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