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.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: I liked the elevated basket and a few of the greens.
Cons: I just moved here and have played about six courses in the Raleigh area and this was my least favorite by far. Went with some locals to this course and we had trouble navigating from hole to hole. I think that the course is too compact. Baskets and fairways are too close for my liking. I didn't like the long grass out there. I would wear pants or long socks for some of the shots out in the field area. Unless we played the wrong holes there are too many crap shoots.
Other Thoughts: I realize this course is fairly new so that was considered. If they remove some trees and make the lines cleaner, put up some signs or have maps, and get concrete it would be better. My rating might change to a 3.5. For a North Carolina course I was really disappointed especially when I just played the UNC course right before it. Would rather go to UNC anyday anytime!
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Leigh Farm is a really fun course and the best in the area. I also play ball golf and Leigh Farm is much like real golf. You must manage the course. In the triangle area, I believe that Leigh Farm is first, UNC is a close second, Valley Springs is third, and Cedar Hills is fourth.
Directions on pdga.com were good and the signage is adequate for a new course. I have only played the advanced course and the white rocks to short baskets and gold tees to longs or gold pin placements. Some holes do not have longer tees so they must share with the white rock pads.
My favorite holes were 1,2,4,5, 6,7,8,9,11,12,13,14,15,17 because they are great holes. Holes 10, 16, and 18 are good but not great. Hole 3 is too easy for this calibre of a course.
Here are short descriptions of the great holes. (I am a righthanded thrower) Hole 1 is a great starting hole where I throw a putter from the tee and hopefully birdie with a good putt. Hole 2 is a tough par 4. From 2's tee, I forearm an Orc to the area just past the blue rec basket. With a good drive you will have a look at the basket. I use a putter or midrange and punch it between the trees. Hole 4 is an awesome Par5 hole. You must stay in control mentally or take a 6 or 9 on this hole.
Hole 5 is wide open and long with a few trees at the end. Hole 6. Right handed players without a flick shot will struggle unless they can throw a good turnover drive. Holes 7-9 are all really open holes on and around some huge manmade mounds. I believe they are building a pyramid on Hole 8.
The Par4 Hole 11's fairway is shaped like an L. You can drive a putter straight for 150 feet or try to forearm a shot and have it fade to the right. The fairway is tight so having a forearm and backhand is a plus.
Hole 12 seems like a Par 3 from the white tee and maybe a Par 4 from the gold tee on the mound. Hole 13 is similar in that it plays like a Par3 from the white pad and a Par4 from the long pad to long basket.
Hole 14 is awesome because the ditch comes into play as OB. Risk/reward is great. You can play it safe or try to go across the ditch. Hole 15 is tight but fair. I really like the gold tee to the gold basket placement. If I get a '3' then it feels like a birdie. Hole 17 plays around a barn and this hole is probably my favorite at Leigh Farm. Both basket locations are fun.
Cons: Tee signs would be good whenever they get time and money. However, I am more interested in getting a new great course. Hole 3 is too easy for this calibre of course.
Other Thoughts: I am glad I did not listen to the negative reviewers. Real men step up to the challenge of a tough course. Leigh Farm is the real deal.
8 of 15 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Great new course, challenging
Pros: I played the advanced layout from the gold tees (where they exist). I found this layout to be very interesting, challenging and rewarding. Lots of placement shots, well guarded baskets, and elevated or otherwise interesting pin locations. There is adequate signage to find your way around the course (no problem finding all 18 w/o local knowledge). There is a good mix of open/wooded and long/short holes. Fairways in the woods are tight but fair and will continue to evolve with traffic.
It is great to have a course with legitimate and interesting par 4's and 5's (definitely some 4's, maybe a 5?). These are achieved with more than raw distance as well; forcing very interesting placement shots and doglegs to setup subsequent shots.
Cons: Rubber tee mats are cool and make course redesign easier, but have a tendency to be lumpy. This will get sorted out with more traffic. There are currently no hole signs indicating distance/layout/par. There is a good bit of broken glass and otherwise hazardous debris out there. Of course, everyone can help out with that...
Other Thoughts: Currently, the only downsides to this course are related to it being relatively new. Signage will improve (although it's adequate now), fairways will widen and groundcover will be trampled down, tee boxes will level out as folks take the time to repair the divots and lumps, and there SHOULD be less trash on the course with each playing.
For me, the 5-star standard bearing course is the Web at Ho's Nest (Charlotte, NC). Leigh Farm will, no doubt, improve to a solid 4-star course with traffic, additional signage, and clean-up. It lacks the inherent aesthetics of a course like the Web (although it definitely offers similar shots) which would prevent it from being a 5-star course for me personally. That will not keep it from being in my top 2-3 courses in the area, though. I'm feeling mighty spoiled to have UNC and Leigh Farm as my local courses.
In short, I loved this course and am thrilled to have it in the area. I expect to be playing this course quite often. This course will get better and better as more people play it. So, bring your friends, your straight fairway drivers, and have a blast.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: My favorite part of this course was leaving it and knowing I will never have to play it again.
Cons: Let's see, where to begin. 90% of the holes had no defined fairways and the few that did were in fields. Most of the holes had little skill separation as they were distances where almost no one would reach the hole but a 3 is very easy (which are the worst holes in disc golf), there is dangerous liter around the course such as rusted metal and glass, one hole has a barn in the middle of the fairway and you can tell the people working on the course clearly have their objectives backwards. Instead of making fairways and picking up trash, they are busy planting flowers on walking paths. Sure those things are nice, but after the obvious things are done first. It seems that anytime there was a raised area they put a basket there with no thought of how to get that pin from the tee. And finally, the course in no way is fun. Probably the worst thing you can say, it's just not fun to play.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area, go play UNC. It's less than 5 miles away and MUCH MUCH more worth your time. The designers seriously have confused the difference between a hard hole and a bad hole. A hard hole should still reward good shots, this course does not.
4 of 16 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
THIS IS WHAT $80,00 GOT US?
Pros: this course has two sets of baskets and rubber pads. different colored rocks(yes rocks) tell you the am and pro tees. some holes u play same pad (am an pro) just throw to next holes basket. no very 1st timer friendly. you hav to know the course to play it and then its still not cool.........
Cons: ...........i would like to think the guy that got the $80,000 for this courde will be rashambulled(nut shots till one of u hits the ground 1st) DID YOU REALLY PUT RUBER MATS OUT HTERE WITH 2 PIN PLACEMENT. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE COUNTRY OR MIGHTY SLOW!
Other Thoughts: PLEASE TELL ME YOU HAVE MORE MONEY LEFT FOR TEES AND TEE SIGNS...........COME ON DUDE. STEP UP OR HAND OVER REST.
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Leigh Farm has a good recreational layout for beginners and a professional layout for experienced players. If you like par 4's and 5's then you will love Leigh Farm. Looks like there will be some long tees too. Good maps and next tee signs.
Cons: The course is not finished. I talked with one of guys working on the course and he said the course will be completed soon. Some rec tees are close to baskets but i think that is so that folks on the previous tee can see you and not throw while you are teeing.
Other Thoughts: Leigh Farm keeps getting better each time I play it.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Potential to be the Best
Pros: Two courses in one. There is a good mix of long and short holes, and elevation comes into play on a few of them. Many baskets were to the left of the tee, so RHBH players may be favored somewhat. This course really offers something to the Chapel Hill-Durham area. Although the course is heavily wooded, none of the fairways are too tight. (You still have to be accurate though!) The woods that line ever fairway are pretty punishing if you throw an errant shot. On the recreational course, pretty much all of the holes are in the woods. The Professional-level course is something else entirely. It has quite a few long, open holes. The fourth hole is probably 800-900 ft long. Some holes are shared for both courses. The holes where the barn comes in to play are really interesting.
Cons: This course has potential to be the best in the area (by far). However, right now the recreational course is a little hard to navigate. The Professional course is basically impossible to navigate unless you either have played it before or have the map. Even with the map, I got confused many times. Basically, this course really needs some signs/guide posts. I talked to someone who was working on the course and he told me that they were trying to get some signs, so hopefully this will not be much of an issue in the future.
Other Thoughts: The recreational course is much easier than Southern Community or Anderson Park, so if those courses kicked your butt, you should definitely try this one. The first hole is across the little street from the parking lot.
You would be hard-pressed to find a course in this area even near as challenging as the pro course.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Work in progress...
Pros: Loved the layout of the holes. Good mix of straight-on play, corners, short, and long. Also enjoyed the elevation changes and ravines that affect decision-making.
Some baskets are very close to drop-offs, but these were my favorite holes because of the added challenge. I think a few of the later holes, 14-16, were among the most challenging (and most fun) due to length and basket placement.
This is a heavily wooded course, and you get a good sense of being back in the deep woods on some of the holes. It quickly became dark at sunset when I played because of all the tree cover. Fun stuff.
Cons: It's still in need of some work, but this course is already fun to play! It's hard to find some of the tee boxes as they're not well-marked. It doesn't cause too much of a problem though; usually you can find a trail to follow.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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