0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Amazing views! Great baskets! Pure fairways! Cool greens! Definitely in my top 10 played courses. Great signage and benches!
Cons: Tee pads can be slick since there asphalt. Muddy in certain places and footing can be tough in spots.
Other Thoughts: If you get a chance to play it definitely play it!
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A Let Down of Massive Proportions
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + First off, Grand Vue Park is just an epic attraction. There's so much to do and so much to see, it's alnost overwhelming. It's an epic spot to have fun just on the other side of the border!
+ The #1 pro at Grand Vue is the beauty and epic elevation changes. Most holes have pretty steep changes in elevation, making for several fun tee shots as well as approach shots. Many holes you can air out a massive bomb, but there's a few technical holes mixed in to keep you on your toes.
+ It's a very challenging and long course, so pros can really get a good challenge here. It's a par 72 with several par 5's and 4's.
+ Benches on almost every hole, and I used almost all of them. Its a hike, so I'm glad benches are plentiful.
+ Very well defined fairways on most holes. #10 really comes into mind as a beautiful carved fairway with longer grass on both sides.
Cons: - The "necessities" are all getting pretty worn down. The baskets were pretty ugly looking because each has a pole on top of the basket, but most poles were leaning over and occasionally obstructing the baskets. The tee pads were way too short and all gravel. Some tee pads were very worn away and easy to trip on. A few had plants growing through the box. Next tee signs are rotting and a few were missing. Just not the kind of equipment I'd expect from a top tier course.
- I was so excited to play #18, as I heard it's one of the most fun holes in disc golf. Unfortunately, a parking lot was built right in front of the tee. Also, the hole was closed off due to a ground collapse, so obviously it wasn't playable. I won't lie, I was very upset.
- Only one set of tees. There are two other courses on site for each skill level, but I wish all of them would have unique tees.
- Tee signs don't have a map on them. There's a QR code with the hole maps, but it's a pain to pull it up every hole.
- Some of the 700'+ holes should have distance markers or some sort of direction as to where the basket is.
- The first few holes were very poorly designed. #2 plays over a busy intersection in the park and gets pretty confusing with navigation.
Other Thoughts: * I drove 2 1/2 hours to play and I was a little disappointed. The biggest let down was when I found #18 unplayable! There are some fun holes here, but basic ammentities are really lacking. I was hoping for more, I wouldn't drive too far out of the way to play.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
The Place I Don't Belong
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Black Course in Grandvue Park is an absolute monster.
First off, the park is absolutely massive, a lot of fun things to do within it's boundaries, along with a perfectly groomed interior, paired again with nice views, the location is spectacular.
The course plays at over 9,000 feet, with insane elevation and extreme line shaping, this course has every right to eat you up and spit you out.
The first hole is shared with the yellow course, and I won't sugarcoat it, it sucks. But after that hole, you won't have another experience like it.
The second hole is a nice par 4 that plays out across the open field next to the ropes course, and continues weaving through the hills, valleys and woods of the park.
Each and every hole provides a different challenge, whether it be the distance needed, the accuracy, the angle of landing, you can not take your mind off of your next shot, because if you let your guard down you will be punished.
Hole 18 is the best finishing hole I have played to date. Over 1000 feet, you are throwing a very long ways down hill. I can usually only throw around 320 feet, and I probably doubled that with the throw off this hill. It was fun to watch.
Cons: The tee signs were nice and full color with distance and par, however there is no map on them. If you are playing here for the first time, a map is very helpful, because you are not always looking at the basket from the tee, in fact you are more likely not to see it.
The tee pads are very grippy asphalt, but they are somewhat short and are a little raised. Not bad, but not great. I don't understand why they aren't concrete, which is far superior in my eyes, because if they were allowed to use asphalt, I can't imagine concrete being that much harder or worse to do.
The course has a few duds, like hole one, as well as most of the par 3's. There could have been some better use of the woods as well, as most of the course is in the wide open after the front nine.
A lot of the holes play around, next to, and across park roads. Be careful around cars and people, as they do come in play. Wait for them to get out of your way before whizzing a disc by there heads.
Only one tee and pin location per hole. Beginners will have a very, very tough time here. Don't expect to shoot well if you can't throw far and accurately.
Other Thoughts: Overall the course is very nice. I liked the epic views and astounding shots that could be thrown. I will definitely be returning here in the future.
Although I may not have shot as well as I would have hoped, this course is a ton of fun. Don't let the distance scare you, just come and enjoy the ride!
Bring water and snacks, the walk will kill your legs. Enjoy the beautiful piece of property!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: We're do I possibly start?! This course is simply awesome! It has everything you could want in a championship caliber course. I feel I've played many types of courses in a bunch of different states and The Black Course holds its own with some of the best. So to get a little more detailed:
-lots of elevation changes for cool scenic views and shots
-very clean park
-West Virginia Disc Golf Hall of Fame inside the Barn
-Hershey's ice cream parlor on the bottom floor of the Barn. Yeah, that's right. (Like 20-30 flavors....lol)
-awesome use of land with par 4's and 5's for all those big arms that want to try for birdies and eagles
-baskets are in good shape
-really friendly and helpful staff!!!!!
-great for exercise
-great flow of the course
-generous fairways with really clean greens
-great mix of long/open and tight/wooded holes
-lots of risk and reward!
-the experience of playing this course alone is a pro. It's really a blessing that courses like this one exist.
Cons: Not too many of these. If you don't like hiking or for some reason can't, you may not like this track as much as I did. I don't see holes like these often so I didn't mind going up and down the hilly terrain. So I guess:
-quite a hike if that's not your thing
-tee pads are a touch short for some holes. The bomber holes have a 5-7 ft long pads same as the short holes. The pads are asphalt and are solid for the most part.
-take a good pic of the course map before you leave the barn. (You'll see what I mean) The signs at the tees only tell you the hole number and the distance of the hole, no direction.
-they need a few more "next tee" signs---not hard to figure out if you're a seasoned course tracker. ;)
-you cross a couple roads from the tee which was kinda confusing. No worries though, only minor stuff and it's like the first 3-4 holes and over.
-it's kind of a walk between a few holes, also minor compared to what you get when you get to that next pad. Haha
Other Thoughts: You have to play this course! You owe it to yourself. It's worth the drive, no matter where you're driving from. These are obviously on own opinions but I feel they have an absolute gem there in the hills of Moundsville, WV. They've done an amazing job all around and I'm honored to have gotten to chance to chuck my plastic around their land. Cannot wait to go back!!! I'll be coming for that White Course!....
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Get a workout on The Black Course
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Beautiful and extremely challenging. On top of a mountain in Moundsville and mostly fallows a zip line course through woods. Get a great workout hiking through the mountain. Awesome top of the world 1000' hole to close out 18. Very unique layout.
Cons: Not a forgiving course. Some tight holes where if you don't hit the line, your going down a mountain. Easy to lose discs in tall grass/leafs that are in the rough. There is one ridiculously long hole up hill (13) that is right after you got done hiking through the woods, and it just eats you up.
Other Thoughts: Just go play it. If your anywhere in the Pittsburgh area, I think it's worth coming down to play. The Play it again in Wheeling has a decent selection of discs too.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very clean, well-maintained course. Manicured fairways, well thought-out holes, lots of variety of challenges. Many epic holes. Holes are mostly well-marked with tall pink poles, for the insane distances. Ample parking. Easy to find.
Cons: Confusing layout. Fairways cross streets, parking lots and other multi-use areas. Many fairways veer near to other multi-use areas. Lack of maps on the tee signs. Drives are sometimes just ridiculously long or puzzlingly short.
Other Thoughts: This course sits right next to the Yellow Course, which you can almost see the entire round from the parking lot. It's far too short to be fun for anyone but a novice or a kid. But the Black Course is the opposite -- insanely long drives (far beyond my recreational arm), dramatic elevation changes, and lots of trudging between holes.
Oddly, considering the epic length and size of this multi-use park, much of the course hugs the asphalt (not my kind of layout at all). That said, there are some very scenic views throughout this park/course. And there a re a few holes that get you some seclusion, only to drag you back next to a park administration office or a playground or yet another parking lot.
I could see this course being an ideal setting for a pro tournament -- players who needs these kinds of distances to shine. And plenty of park to hold a crowd. But for the typical player, the holes were almost too epic, too big in scope. Most you can't even see from the tee (and the tee signs have not even a rudimentary map).
I don't know what to say about this course. I liked it. It was clean and a pleasant setting. But it was just too much for me. Maybe for others, this kind of round is favorable. I do love a few long holes, or a serious elevation change. But this course was filled with them.
I'm glad I stopped and played a round. I agree this is a nice course. I'm sure the locals love it. I made a bit of a road trip out of getting to another destination so I could play the Black Course. I'm glad I did, but I doubt I'll be going out of my way to head back here next time I'm traveling south.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -The closest thing to a completely immaculate, trash free course I've ever come across
-The park itself is beautiful, scenic, and well organized
- Park offices offers scorecards, vending machines, cold water and clean bathrooms
-Further Information and small Pro Shop located in Red Barn by Tee #1.
-Layout of course makes excellent use of available land
-Difficulty of most holes will challenge all types of players to push their skills, and physical endurance, to the limit
-Elevation changes keep things very interesting
-On Site Cabins For Rent, Nearby Camp Sites
-Most tee pads have benches and small waste bins
-Active, Committed, Helpful, and Very Hospitable Volunteers/ Club Members Take Great Pride In the Course, and It Shows
-Reasonable, but challenging pars set
Cons: -The complete opposite of "beginner friendly course"
-Terrain and elevation changes are physically demanding: May not be suitable for players with certain health issues
-Long distances to cover between holes
-A few temporary holes in place (ex: Hole 1) at time of writing this.
-Moderate amount of opportunities to hit a pedestrian or moving vehicles on select holes
-Most trash cans at tee pads are very small, like for cigarettes and light pocket trash only
-As the course layout is not 100% complete, not all pads are concreted
-Concrete pads were occasionally "rough"; not always flush or smooth. This was only a minor issue on two or three pads.
-Signage was decent, but not great, partly because course isn't entirely set in stone
-Duration of play: Played doubles with 3 other teams. Course took 6 hours to complete!
-Huge Ravine to lose discs on hole 15.
-Don't Believe in ChemTrails? You will once you look up into the sky for thirty seconds. Crazy amount of Air Traffic Overhead.
Other Thoughts: Even if you are in decent shape, this beast of a course will still leave you spent by the end of the day. Just walking the property is exhausting; now try walking it and throwing 400 feet up hill! Plenty of beautiful, shaded places to rest thankfully. If you have been playing for at least three years and want to see where you are at in terms of skill, play the Black Course. It is grueling, it is challenging for sure, but it is a world class course for very good reasons. I feel like my confidence and overall skill got a noticeable upgrade from playing the Blacks just once. I would like to thank all the volunteers and the fine people at the Disc Golf Farm for their hospitality and camaraderie my friends were shown during this wonderful past weekend at Moundsville. The park itself is unforgettable, but you guys really made our whole trip a mini-vacation.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Have you ever judged a book by its cover? I certainly have. I had heard a lot about the Black Course before I decided to veer off the highway and make a trek to the course. I decided to play the Yellow Course first to get all warmed up and then walked over to the first hole of the Black course, which shares a hole with the Yellow Course. I was confused....this hole is on the Black Course? Like, the Black Course that I have heard is as hard as walking up the slopes of Mt Doom Black Course?
Yes, yes it was. I began to judge the book by its cover. Holes 2 and 3 were harder but pretty open so I still was confused. I had gone 2 3 2 up to that point and so I was feeling good about myself. I began thinking to myself, "What's the course record?"
MISTAKE. Hole 4 goes into the woods and shows its black, charred teeth. Any thoughts of comparing this course to the Yellow Course (a 3500 foot course) go out the window. Easy? Hole 4 was a winding par 4 through the woods that spit me out and gave me a 5. Was it fair? Yes. I birdied hole 5 and tasted the sweetness of a deuce. It was the last time I would taste that number for the day. I had 16 2's at the Yellow Course (who's counting?) so Moundsville, WV decided I had enough.
Hole 6 was another winding par 4 with some tough rough. It was a fair hole and I took another 5. Hole 7 was easy but I found myself unable to throw it fair enough up the hill. Its only 188 feet but my putter didn't have enough in the wind that day.
Whatever...I figured hole 8 would give me a chance at redemption. No. Redemption would not come. Hole 8 was a marvelous, downhill MONSTER. Rough to the right? Check. OB to the left? Check? Massive downhill drive? Check. Tough green? Check?
I caught my breath enough to look at hole 9 and say, I should deuce this hole. It was a neat hole with a cool green (turnover hole). It was only 228 feet but I was still exhausted from hole 8 and didn't get the deuce. Holes 10 through 12 were some nice holes with HARD written all over it. Hard has nothing on hole 13 though, especially when it was 25 MPH wind IN YOUR face. This hole is actually pretty much wide open but 848 feet is 848 feet. Into the wind? I am pretty sure I threw three straight destroyers as hard as I could and somehow made a 4.
Once again they teased you with a short hole as 14 was a wide open fairway with a brutally difficult green to access. There actually wasn't a huge gap to get to the green but it was an interesting hole. Its best for a RH flick shot (low skip at the end). 15 and 16 were more of the same....LONG, HARD and mostly open with enough obstacles to not make it boring. 17 was a breath of fresh air, but unfortunately I was so hot and wind exhausted (try playing this course in 20 MPH winds) that I misjudged how uphill this hole was and didn't make a deuce. But as Gandalf said in the Return of the King...."Its the deep breath before the plunge."
And by plunge I mean hole 18. Wow. That is all I can say about this hole. 1000 feet? Check. Massive downhill driving opportunities? Check. Amazing views of the mountains? Check. Sweet view of some random red barn? Check. Being able to see the basket from 2/10's of a mile away? Check. Throwing a MASSIVELY overstable destroyer into a 30MPH headwind on a vertical hyzer angle and not having the disc go left? Check. Getting down to my drive and having no wind after climbing down the mountain and then throwing a 500 foot destroyer over the woods to the right and fading back inside the circle to make an eagle 3? Priceless.
Cons: Not a lot of cons but here are mine:
1) For being such an epic course the course had a few dud holes. Hole 7 seemed better fitted for the Yellow Course, as did hole 1. Hole 1 is actually part of the Yellow Course and it maybe should have just stayed there. It was kind of nice to have a few easy holes but the Black Course was designed to be an eternal beast and it would have been nice to keep it that way.
2) The tees were not up to the standards of what a championship level course should be. If the tees were concrete I would immediately raise this course to a 4.5. The tees also need to be a lit longer.
3) The back nine was brutal. Brutal as in "I want to go home I am not having any fun" brutal. It was so epic in the distance and if you play on a windy day...well....its tough. Actually, its beyond tough in the wind. Make sure to have overstable plastic if you play in the wind. Its not unfair but its just not a ton of fun. Since there's only one set of tees there are no options for easy. If you want easy go play the Yellow Course. Do not subject yourself to the Black Course if you can't handle hard.
4) The back nine does not offer a lot of protection from the sun. It literally BAKED my body. I felt like I was walking on the plains of Mordor and the great eye of Sauron was shining on me and trying to force me to melt into the ground. Be prepared to sweat. Bring lots of water. Bring lembas bread, wrapped in sweet green leaves. I ran out of water on hole 12 and it was not pretty when I found myself panting on 17.
Other Thoughts: This course, paired together with the Yellow Course, makes for a great adventure. The Yellow Course is so easy and short that it makes the Black Course feel like 20,000 feet. Its not, but bring your A game. Don't play the Black Course expecting to have fun. Play the Black Course expecting to say....I survived.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Mr. Sias Means Business
Pros: The Black Course is big - over 9,000'! the longest course in West Virginia! - but don't let that fool you into thinking it gets by on sheer spectacle. There's a lot of nuance here, and some particularly great usage of elevation and OB that make for a fantastic and challenging round.
Variation is abundant, with some tightly wooded par 3s that can turn from birdie to bogie in the blink of an eye, but The Black Course's bread and butter is its monstrous par 4s and 5s. Many of these are relatively lightly wooded, but use their constituent obstacles extremely well, forcing a specific angle off the tee or requiring good placement to have an advantageous second shot. The elevation on many of these holes further constrains your options, as does OB, often found on the RHBH-unfriendly lefthand side of the fairway, and rough, which is an effective deterrent that isn't overly thick. Big arms will find rarely-encountered opportunities to carve huge lines here, but even us mere mortals can appreciate the placement-challenging and hazard-rich golf. I've never played a course built to such proportions. These massive holes lodge themselves in your mind's eye, be it 8's scarily tight downhill shot, 10's hillside lined with disc-snatching trees, 13's gradually sloping fairway with a big drop off, or 18's spectacular downhill bomb that requires good placement and decent distance. The Black Course's big but technical air is really unique.
Navigation is pretty transparent, thankfully helped by consistent signage. The course was extremely well groomed on my visit. The raised gravel tees aren't perfect, but they get the job done; I rarely thought about them, which is a good thing. Parking is plentiful, bathrooms are available, and the course is easy to find within the park itself.
Cons: The Black Course has a few duds, such as 7. These occur almost uniformly when the course steps outside its comfort zone of the long open par 4s and 5s. The effort to break things up is very welcome, as the back 9 can get very grueling - holes 8 to 18 only have three holes under 488 feet! - but it's not always successful, unfortunately. While the variety is good here, the course flow and occasional throwaways could be improved. The course presently leans a bit too heavily on its standout long holes.
Speaking of which, the grind is a real thing on this course: it's long, the elevation is significant, and there are a lot of open stretches where the sun can beat down on you. Come prepared for a hike, and to stay hydrated: water is only found at the course's beginning and end.
With only one set of tees, The Black Course doesn't provide any beginner-friendly options, although it's understandable that a course built around length and par 4s and 5s wouldn't want to compromise. The result though is a course that is decidedly newbie-unfriendly. Players without a lot of distance might also struggle to appreciate The Black Course, though my ~350' arm did fine. Beginners at least have The Yellow Course on site.
The road comes into play a lot: you're throwing over or along it at many points. Traffic isn't hopping out here but it wasn't desolate when I visited, either; I had to wait for a vehicle to pass on several occasions. On holes with extreme elevation such as 18, it's important to make sure the coast is clear before you go throwing, as the wind and long way down can cause a disc to fly unexpectedly (take it from me).
The tees could be a bit longer in a few spots, and having them level with the ground would have welcomely allowed for longer run ups on many of The Black Course's distance driver tee shots. That said, they got the job done.
Other Thoughts: Park officials seem to be proud of this course, and with good reason. I had the opportunity to chat with someone who works at the park, and they were both knowledgeable and enthused about the course in particular and the sport in general. That investment shows, as this course is a standout, and really unique. They also said that there are plans to put in a new course lying somewhere in between Black's challenges and Yellow's casualness. Just one more reason among many to return!
I hope the West Virginia disc golf community is making a push to host World's: The Black Course, Orange Crush, and Seth Burton would make for one heck of a tournament.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Great, but needs a little tweaking to be awesome
Pros: There are lots of really fun holes with major elevation changes. There seemed to be tons of other stuff to do at the park, including a massive zip line course. The layout makes great use of the land. The only lame hole was #1, but after that it's all good.
Cons: The teepads could use some improvement as they are currently blacktop which is falling apart and lumpy. Also, they are kinda small/short.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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