4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Good signage
Good fun challenge
Decent direction from hole to hole
Cons: Nitpicking, but I'm not a fan of mandos unless they are totally necessary. A couple of the mandos were a little unnecessary in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: This was a fun and challenging par 61 course. The designers made good use of the beachy scrubby terrain they were dealt with. The par 4 and 5 holes really made me use hole management which I really like to see on a course. Overall I had a great experience playing this course and I highly recommend it to anyone that is visiting the beaches of southeastern North Carolina.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
A beach course with little wind!
Pros: The course is nestled in the back of a small little sports park with a few amenities like portable bathrooms, but you'll need to go a few blocks over to find anything substantial.
The course itself utilizes the existing land fairly well, however it appears there is some underutilized areas near the back of the course. I'm not sure who owns that area and if it would even be available for use so I can't unjustly fault the designers, if fact I'll merely make the suggestion to expand to 27 holes!
For a beach course, this one doesn't hold water hardly at all, unlike many including Castle Hayne in nearby Wilmington. This means that even on those typical summer days at the beach that involves a light shower, you'll still be able to play without tromping around in galoshes.
As for the layout of the course, I'll venture to say it is fairly extensive, however that may be a bit of a stretch seeing as most of the holes have a low canopy to prevent you from really opening up. Big arm players could do really well here by going up and over the canopy to avoid having to be tight and technical. There is a nice variety of short/long, left/right holes but almost zero elevation change (you are at the beach after all!) and surprisingly no water hazards either. Apart from that, however, the shot variety is pretty well planned out.
The course has ample seating as well as tee signs that are well made, however some appeared to have old/misleading hole layouts on them. Perhaps the locals should take a look at re-making those.
Navigation between holes is not hard at all, and in the few instances that signs are needed, they are present. It's always nice knowing you don't have to worry about navigation when playing a course for the first time, and you shouldn't here.
The front nine and back nine both play back to the starting pavilion/practice basket area, which always is a pro in my book. Often times you'll need to play the back 9 first and this allows you to do that.
Cons: I've already briefly touched on some of the cons in the above, but to be thorough I'll mention them here.
There aren't any holes that require traversing a water hazard. Additionally, there is little to no elevation change on the course, which is to be expected at a course located so close to the ocean.
Several of the signs have hole layouts depicting something slightly different than the actual hole. Perhaps they made the signs before finalizing the design? In any case, a slight negative.
The shrubs/canopy is extremely thick in some places. The fact that you can go out and over this canopy lends itself to discs becoming stuck/lost amongst the trees. Be aware of this, especially on the many holes that require a blind shot, and if you have a spotter, use them!
The Difficulty of the course is diminished for big arm players who can muscle the disc up and over the canopy for big hyzer shots. Casual players shouldn't notice. I have a feeling that a pro could come in and tear up the course after playing/walking it over.
Other Thoughts: This course lends itself to being played. If you're going to be in the area, don't hesitate to play it, even if it recently rained. It's a fun and semi-challenging course and I'm glad the Carolina Beach community is beginning to show support for disc golf! Take some speakers out there and put on some Buffett and lose yourself in some golf!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Joe Eakes Park
Pros: Using DG Course Review made it easy to find this course and where to start. By the parking lot where the first hole begins is a large course map! This course is very fun to play. It has narrow, but not impossible fairways. I only needed to throw long on a few holes. I really liked how the course designers used the lay of the land to make this an interesting course. You'll probably want to play this course once or walk it before you really try to attack it. There are many holes where you cannot see the basket from the tee. I really liked how I was challenged to really think about each shot and not just throw as hard as I can to get to the next basket. The course is well signed to make it easy to find the next hole. I love courses that can end the 9th hole at the parking lot so if you only have time for 9 holes you can! I definitely plan to play this course again. I must have been lucky today, I did not find a single tick!
Other Thoughts: I met a friendly dog walker on the course. There is a dog park near the 18th hole. There are tennis courts and a playground. The course is very close to Kure Beach which is a great place to cool off after a hot round.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Fantastic Beach Course
Pros: This course is great. There's a good variety of holes, from par 3 - par 4, and good distance. There are a lot of narrow fairways and low trees that make it tricky, but they're a fun challenge.
Cons: There are warning signs for ticks everywhere, so watch out. Also, it's a beach course, so there's a lot of sand. It can make for tricky footing, both throwing and walking. Also you'll probably be taking some with you.
Other Thoughts: I didn't get to use my driver too much because the course is pretty trick in certain areas, but it was a lot of fun. One of the best in the area!
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: One of the trickiest parts of constructing a course review is separating personal enjoyment of a course from a more objective take on its quality. So many things can make a course better for a person than it will necessarily be for everyone else. And I don't mean things like the weather, or the group you play with. I mean things about the course that appeal more to you than they probably do to the average player. I mention this now because Joe Eakes is one of those courses that hits all my sweet spots. The beachy vibe. The multiple turns on fairways. Just how unique the atmosphere is. I loved it all and I definitely got at least a 4.0 experience. But this is one of those times where I think I can be more objective than that.
That said, Joe Eakes is still a very good course and one that I think could grow on people with multiple plays. The trees are mostly low, in many cases begging to be thrown over. Familiarity with the course would allow a player to take advantage of that. It's tough to do that the first time as with these bending fairways, a new player does not know where he wants to actually land if he takes the high road. He is thus restricted to the low road, and I mean the low road, since these low branches take away several options to throw at head-level or higher.
That leaves a player with throwing down the dead center of the fairway. Considering that many throws are blind from the tee, this can be difficult. In a good way, that is. The fairways aren't overly narrow and they are well shaped to be able to throw a disc down them and hit the appropriate curve. It's really a nicely designed course aimed at intermediate players. There is a solid flow from hole to hole and a series of nicely distinguishable holes can be played by all ability-levels.
The vibe is also enhanced by all the little touches on the course, like the stone-lined pathways. It's one of the courses that sticks in the head. It's memorable. It's memorable and good. It's really one that if you're in the area, you'll want to play. Especially considering how it is unlike pretty much everything else in the state.
Cons: My experience was good enough that makes it tough to find things wrong, but obviously, it is perfectly flat and without water. I don't think that every course needs those, but I've yet to play a course that I thought of as elite that didn't include at least one of them. Partly for that reason, and partly because of what I mentioned about being able to go over the top if you know the course, I think elite players would eat this up if they knew the layout. At the same time, it doesn't stroke me as entirely beginner-friendly, though I saw groups of younglings playing, so perhaps that notion is incorrect.
Other Thoughts: I've played courses close to the beach before. I've never played a course this good close to the beach, though. It's a pretty unique experience and for those accustomed to Carolina golf, this is something different that needs to be played.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Great old-school style course
Pros: Has a very "old-school" feel to it. Worn fairways with single- or double-doglegs, a few 4/5 pars. Well maintained. Good signage. Just enough trees to make you try hard. Fun beach environment (what species of trees are these?).
Cons: Not many to speak of. The vegetation can be pretty unforgiving, so keep your shots in the fairway if you can help it. Otherwise, have a great time.
Other Thoughts: Bonus points for having #9 circle back to the parking lot. A bit of a hike down south of wilmington, so not ideal if youre coming from out of town, but if youre in the area, definitely check it out.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 4 Not
A Close Second....
Pros: ....to Castle Hayne.
- Very challenging, great layout, and extremely well taken care of.
- Wide variety of holes. Some you can air it out on, but many are extremely technical. There are even a few holes with signs that say, "No overhead throws from tee." This adds another degree of difficulties as the holes that sport these signs seem ideal for a hammer or a tomahawk.
- Some tight fairways, but quite a few that allow you to open up and let 'er rip. Definitely a course worth checking out if you're looking to improve your accuracy.
- Solid baskets and tee boxes. Benches on every tee and the baskets still have the price tag on them.
- Exceptional layout. Whomever designed this course was obviously determined to challenge the players.
Cons: - Trees like to "eat" discs. Have had to shake my disc out of a treetop on more than one occasion. (But that's more my fault than the trees.) Errant shots can be punished very severely.
- If you've never played the course before, the maps on the tee boxes can be a bit misleading.
- No topless Hooters girls frolicking along the #8 fairway.
Other Thoughts: Having played all the courses in Wilmington, I have to put Joe Eakes at a close second to The Castle. It's a challenge and the area is very nice. If you're heading to the beach, do yourself a favor and remember your discs. You'll be glad you played this course.
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
A little longer than Arrowhead
Pros: -Longer drives than Arrowhead park(other course in Wilmington)
-Great use of space
-Away from other public utilities
-Lots of challenging throws
Cons: -Not as friendly for beginners because of a lot of trees.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course. Arrowhead park is home course for me, but this would be second. One big thing unfortunately is that there are a lot of bugs. My buddy and I went and both had bad cases of the chiggers. So when yall want to play this course, bring bugspray and reapply constantly to prevent. Overall, good change of scenery and good course.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Wind, Sand, Trees
Pros: Well Maintained course.
Unique course with beach sand and maritime forest. Also, unique for the area since most courses here are wooded with huge trees you can not throw over. This course gives you the chance to throw hyzer bombs and over hands quite a bit.
Nice little park, convenient parking, and course is pretty easy to find.
Has a practice basket
Fun Course that is not too long for recreational players.
Not my main course but I really have fun every time I come here to play.
Make it a beach and DG day and you will not regret it.
Completely different course if you choose to follow the fairway lanes under the trees rather than playing this course high which I think is kind of cool.
Cons: Very few trash cans.
Tee diagrams are very misleading. Walk ahead and find the basket before you throw or you will make some really bad shot choices
The double mando on 10? is really aweful. Overhead and to the right away from the left facing fairway is ridiculous. Also the bushes are growing over onto that tee pad making the tee pad really hard to play and reducing the space you have to make throws. As a lefty I end arm trough the bushes almost every time. Most annoying tee I have ever played.
The par rating on some of the holes is too forgiving for experienced players. Makes this course really easy sometimes. I shot 3 under last I played here. At the other longer course in town that I play everyday I shoot more like 8-10 over.
Bring bug spray the ticks can be really bad.
Sand on the tee pads makes some of the tees really slick. I almost went down twice. Not sure how they would even fix that since it is the beach but it is worth a mention.
Other Thoughts: This course has holes facing many different directions which means when the wind is up you will have holes with headwinds, tailwinds, hyzer facing crosswinds, hyzer against crosswinds all in the same round. Bring your wind discs or play the fairway lanes when it is windy.
If you cannot find a disc it is certainly stuck in a tree. These trees eat plastic. Do not give up on your discs keep looking up you will find them. I find discs every time I play here. Found three yesterday and now I gotta figure out how to get them all back to people.
I love throwing hyzer bombs and this course lets you throw a lot of them. I really enjoy playing here.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Keep it low
Pros: Well laid out and beautiful scenery very technical course need to control the disc to get around the trees. The course map is laid out on a large board at hole one.
Cons: need to keep the disc low so as not to get into the scrub oak limbs. TICKS!!!! lots of bugs in the summer and spring months
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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