More Scattered than My Brain
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A constantly shifting layout that, on my appearance, presented a few good holes.
I'm not 100% sure how to write this review, because the layout of the course was altered again shortly after my play to once again go down to 9 holes. (The previous reviews are all for the original 9-hole version; this is for the 18-hole version that re-used a handful of holes; the new version is different and doesn't look to me like it reuses any holes. So what exactly do I review? I'll try to give a snapshot of the course when I visited.
The two pros of the course are the natural environment and the gameplay. Being located on a resort, there are some nice garden features including water, fields, and trees. It's not stunning beauty, but it is definitely a nicer space than a crowded urban park.
In terms of gameplay, there were some nice holes, especially early on. Holes (2) and (3) were especially fun - one throwing over a field to a downward sloping green in front of a creek, and the other playing between a road and the creek with plenty of trees as well. There was one other I really liked, as (11) required touch, and likely multiple shots, to avoid a pond and land on the peninsula green.
Cons: On my visit, this was a janky course that I would have simply left if there weren't a GPS feature on UDisc. As was, I spent a very long time poking around for next holes and baskets.
For starters, the amenities are next to none. There are decrepit single-chain baskets, but most of the tee posts are gone, and there are no tees either. This is especially egregious when it comes to navigation - I spent forever trying to find the next hole. Navigation is compounded by some atrociously long hole-to-hole transitions. The course is split into what feels like a million pieces - four holes here, three there, two there, one here - and none of the pieces meet up.
The safety hazards on this course are the worst I've ever seen. Hardly a hole goes by that you aren't throwing over a path, directly next to a building, along a road, through a gazebo, near a swimming pool…the list goes on.
Three of the 18 holes were simply missing, so there's that.
And, despite the fact that I mentioned gameplay as a pro, that's only about 1/3 of the course. The majority have either questionable fairways or just boringness. Possibly these holes would make sense for a newbie using an ultimate disc that only throws 100' and then can easily make a right turn by way of a second throw. For real discs thrown properly, it's pretty frustrating to not have a flyable path to the basket.
Other Thoughts: I have no clue what the state of the course is as of the posting of this review. When I was there in August, it was not worth venturing to. Bad baskets, no flow, poor fairways, and atrocious safety hazards make for a killer combo. Hopefully the update to nine holes has left the resort with a respectable course.
-Access: Several people on multiple sites have posted that it's free to play if you bring your own discs, regardless of whether you're staying at the resort. I was allowed to enter and play with no fee myself.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Barnsley Gardens Resort
Has tee signs only indicating hole number
Natural tee pads are flat and fair to tee off from
More open than wooded fairways - beginner friendly
Some holes have slight changes in elevations
Quiet - I was the only player out on a nice Sunday evening
Free parking - but it's a walk to the first tee and from last basket
InStep baskets - cheap, portable, and catch poorly
Hole #9 basket is near hole #8 tee - shouldn't be according to the map
Course design and flow could use improvement - long walks between holes 3&4 and 4&5 and hole #2 plays across a road
This is a nice destination to visit but not to really play disc golf here. According to earlier reviews, the course has not evolved to where it could be given the good amount of land and scenery here. The baskets here are the worst and just one step above from putting into posts in my opinion. Beware that there is a man-made beehive near hole #6 basket in case you're allergic to bees. The pars from the scorecard are inflated and plays a par 29 or maybe 30. The staff here is very nice and accommodating as I had trouble locating The Sport Hut or The Outpost to try to register and get a course map. To find The Outpost, once you're past the gatehouse, go straight at the 4-way intersection and it's the second building on the left - across from the guest parking lot. The lady at the counter was nice enough to not charge me a fee for playing my discs.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
great course with beautiful view
Pros: i had always wanted to play this course and it was well worth the $10 to get in. beautiful scenery throughout the resort. the holes are not overly challenging for beginners and still enough of a challenge for experienced players.all baskets and tee markers are functional and well maintained.
Cons: some baskets may require a quick peek to verify where they are and the course is split from one half of the resort to the other.
Other Thoughts: some modifications may need to be made of the pars for each basket. all par 4s are really par 3s and the par 5s are par 4. if you don't have any disks you can rent them from the sport hut for $15.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Barnsley: Barely disc golf
Pros: Beautiful resort. Well manicured. Hole 3 is a visually pleasing and challenging fairway.
Cons: Very poorly thought out course. Holes 1 & 2 had no tee or basket. Probably a 500 yard walk from hole 4 to 5. Absolutely NOT worth a trip unless you plan to be there to play golf etc. The baskets are the super econo "In-Step" portables that catch poorly.
Other Thoughts: $10 to play the course for non-guests of the resort. I very nearly asked for my money back because it wasn't fully set up and what was set up was rudimentary at best.
Plenty of room for an excellent course if they actually wanted to do it properly.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 2 Not
A Very Simple Course
Pros: The course serves its purpose as a small fun activity to do at this village-resort. The course takes you around Barnsley Gardens' beautiful property and it is very well kept up landscape wise. The staff is very nice and will give you a map and directions to the first hole. The last couple of holes present fairly difficult elevation changes. If you enjoy airing it out and testing your arm strength, this could be a very enjoyable course.
Cons: First of all, there were no tees. All there is to mark each hole is a wooden stake with the hole number carved. We had to guess where to start each hole.
If you don't get a map, there is no way to figure out that hole five is on the complete other side of the property of hole four. There are no signs pointing you in the correct direction.
Besides Hole 2, there is nothing particularly special about any of the holes. They are for the most part flat and open. This is understandable as most of the property itself is flat and open, but the designer might have fared better using the creek or going into the woods rather than staying on the main part of the grounds.
Other Thoughts: As a resort activity to complement billiards, badminton, and ball golf, this course works really well. As a disc golf course, it simply isn't worth any effort to convince the gateman that you just want to get in and play a round.
If you're looking for an open course to practice driving and accuracy, try out the Chamblee Church DGC in northwest Atlanta instead. The two courses have similar hole layouts, but the church is definitely open to the public (and has tees).
That said, Barnsley Gardens is an excellent vacation destination. The staff there are just too kind (including their famous "Fairy Godmother"), and they supposedly have a world class ball golf course. But don't start looking into rooms just because they have a disc golf course. It's worth playing if you're there, but not worth a special trip.
BEWARE: Renting out discs will cost $15 per person, even if you are a resort guest. They do not mention this anywhere in any of their resort guides. Although I'm not positive, I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to charge you if they caught whiff of you playing for free, so if you do play you may try to be quiet about it.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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