King Of The Valley Shot
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.857 Rating) A beautiful wooded technical course with lots of elevation change.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - This was a common thread I read from the previous reviews, and my gosh is there some beautiful scenery here. There really aren't any enchanting backdrops like other courses I've played in the Appalachians, but the terrain the course plays through makes up for it. The entire layout plays through an older heavily wooded forest with substantial up and down elevation change. I snapped several tee shot lines and sent them to friends. On (9) I dropped my bag in awe and fear.
- ELEVATION - There are some diabolical valley plays at Richmond Hill. The tees shots on (9), (10) and (14) all play over a 60 foot deep gorge. Hole (15) plays just down the gorge and (17s) approach is up to a protected elevated green. Anyone one who a fan of lots of terrain movement will get giddy here.
- UNIQUENESS - In addition to elevation, the hole type variety is well above average. Lots of subtle moving lines but also some good breakers going each way. There are a couple of par 4s depending on basket placement although no par 5s. I enjoyed the terrifying raised basket placement on (6).... but only after miraculously saving par. I think some could argue that there's a little monotony in all the tunnel shots, but I think the lines are changed up well enough to continuously give fresh looks. Also, no water in play.
- CHALLENGING - The perfect challenge for many Intermediates and Advanced level players. Lots of heavily wooded lines in the 250 to 350 foot range. A few par 4s in the mid 400 foot range depending on basket placement. Richmond Hill requires a steady hand and adequate distance. Advanced players here with technical prowess will bury the Advanced bomber.
- CHARACTER - The vibe here appears to be great. Nothing like showing up before sunrise and not being the first in the parking lot. This course has just about all the bells and whistles one would expect from an established course. Big community board and a course map. Free scorecards and pencils. Practice basket and toilet. There are benches at every tee and 90% are fully shaded. Lots of alternate pin placements and I even saw a shoe scrubber. The only thing I wish they added would be multi-tees and an upgrade of the tee surface to concrete. The turf tees were alright, see cons.
- NAVIGATION - Not flawless, but really good. For one, as noted above, free scorecards with map that works wonders. It's detailed enough that it covers up for the less than adequate items like tee signs. The tee signs were a touch sub-par and could use a complete overhaul. It would also be nice to have some sort of pin placement indicator. I ran up a few fairways, which sucks on heavily moving terrain.
- BILTMORE ESTATE - The main reason my wife and I traveled to Asheville was to go the near-by architectural wonder and also largest house in the United States, The Biltmore. The gatehouse alone is twice the size of my house. The Chateauesque Mansion is 178,000 sq ft and it is owned by one of the most prominent families in American history, The Vanderbilts. Unfortunately, we never made it in. Please buy your tickets in advance online. My wife and I weren't willing to shell out $70 per ticket for "day of" sales.
Cons: A solid course that will have newer players begging for mercy.
- FORGIVENESS - There are a lot of tight lines out here. Ricochets in the wrong direction could be quite punishing. My disc found a few areas of some substantial thicket areas and losing a disc is a possibility for those that don't want to conduct an half hour long search.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - Way too difficult for beginners and perhaps Novice players. Some Rec players might not like this course as well. If you haven't played over a fifty rounds of disc golf, this course will systematically pummel you. There is only one sets of tees and it plays like a tweener between Intermediate and Advanced. As a player with about a 920 rating, I was humbled and shot +4.
- TEES - Turf tee that have seen better days. Several were inundated with mud. I played at the break of dawn and so a couple of the dirtier tees were a little slick. All stated, they are not a total lost cause. Several were in great shape and the surfaces are large. Probably only a handful need a complete fix.
- TERRAIN - The definition of not cart friendly. The fairway slopes on (5), (9), (10), (14) and (15) are equivalent to old home stairs. Most of these fairways had wood stairs worked in but I think it's needed in even more areas. Players that struggle with steep terrain need to stay away from this course.
- TIME PLAY - I can tell this course gets a lot of play based on the erosion of the fairways. As stated, I showed up at the break of dawn on a Sunday and I was not the first one here. I worked the round in 90 minutes solo, but solo players showing up at a prime time might need two hours. Figure close to three hours for a four-some during prime times as well.
- EROSION - I don't take off points for this directly as not all erosion impact is negative, but the exposed roots in several fairways did have an impact on how picturesque a couple fairways looked.
- TICKS/POISON IVY - there's a sign posted at the community board warning of ticks, poison ivy and poison oak. I saw the poison stuff but thankfully post round I found no ticks.
Other Thoughts: Richmond Hill is wonderful place for an experienced player to come to and throw a round. Several memorable shots and memories of ricochets in horrifying trajectories. Richmond Hill I think has a lot going for it and it has aged well over time. This course has to potential to be even better with a few tweaks and infrastructure improvements. A second set of tees would be awesome to make the course more user friendly, but also perhaps to toughen up a couple of the easier lines. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like many tweaks have been made in the past 10 years. The scorecard posted on here from 2008 is still the same layout. Kind of depressing to know that a course this established isn't still evolving. I'd be willing to bet that there are some awesome local holes just begging for some tee pad recognition. Regardless, players traveling to Asheville need to find a way to work in a round here. I personally work up 6:30AM and was back at the hotel before my wife even knew I was gone.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Vacation Stop #1
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: +Well maintained fairway and paths
+Great tee pads of concrete and turf
+Signs at tee pads show yardage, par, and shape of hole
+Benches available for rest
+Scorecards available which provide a great overview of the course.
+Wide variety of basket placements, obstacles, and shape of hole
+Almost solely a disc golf area. A few hiking/walking trails but they are almost completely separate, sharing maybe one walkway with a hole.
Cons: -If wet, extremely muddy
-Tee pads can be slick with sand/water
-Poison everywhere, but stay on the fairway and you're fine
Other Thoughts: Great up and down course, with a wide variety of layouts to keep you always thinking. Took my family, who are a mix of avid and novice golfers. One person lost a disc to the brush, but for an avid golfer, that's avoidable.
Most people golfing here know the general layout, but especially know the game. Provided a great atmosphere.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Perfect 4 stars
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is basically the epitome of excellent. Not blow-you-away phenomenal, not a contender for the best-of-the-best, but definitely great and a step above the rest.
Richmond Hill plays entirely through a very hilly pine forest. It does a great job of creating some mostly open and fair lines through some otherwise dense woods, and occasionally dense rough. If you are a fan of the valley shot, where you start on one side and throw over it to the other side, this course will be your favorite because I've never seen so many various valley shots in one course.
But they also have some great uphill, downhill, left/right finishing holes. The tees are.. honestly I don't remember so they were probably concrete and did just fine. The baskets were light blue discatchers. I've never seen light blue before, but that made this course stand out a little bit for me. They seemed to keep their color well (at least better than yellow), but do get scuffed up pretty easily.
The raw beauty of this course reallly makes it. No matter how frustrated I got not being able to find a hole or basket, it only took a minute of looking around to remind myself I was in my happy place: out in nature. This course is pretty secluded, and very scenic. I loved every view from ever hole
Cons: Other than not personally liking every other hole be a valley hole, my main gripes with this course are navigation, and too many pins.
There are a lot of small trails through the woods that can easily lead you astray. The map is pretty accurate though, so really this can be totally negated if you are less stubborn than me and just use the map.
What is a little trickier though, and I don't like this on any course, is the three pin placements on almost every hole. They are never far enough apart to make a significant difference, and when they are you don't know where to go because they are all blind. I lost a disc in the underbrush down a steep hill because i thought the basket was left when it was right, up the hill.
The signage in general was just a little unhelpful. It was ok for knowing which hole you were on, and a rough approximation of distance (unless you don't know whether the basket is in A, B, or C placement), but some "next tee" arrows on the trail, and more prominent less tree-brown colored hole number signs would really help out.
Other Thoughts: This course does a lot of things right, and I would have so much more fun playing this the second and third time around once I know my way around and where the baskets generally are. The unceasing up and down hill wasn't as bad on this course as I've seen in other hilly wooded areas, and most of the time I think the design of the course compensates for how exhausting some of the terrain is. Overall a pretty wonderful round.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Riches in the Hill
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Course is set in a heavily forested mountain area consisting of 18 DisCatcher baskets with multiple positions and single turf tees with nice tee signs and benches. Mulched practice basket area and some steps going up some hills. Mostly disc golf only area, there are some hiking trails. Two loops of 9 holes back to parking lot. Navigation was fairly intuitive.
The design incorporates the mountain elevation very well providing fun and technical shots playing uphill, downhill and across ravines and tricky basket placements. Hole 1 starts in the open and plays flat which contrasts with the rest of the course until you get to hole 18 which is the other "open" hole and only plays slightly downhill, but you need to hit on of the two fairways off the tee and land on a narrow ridge top with a steep slope to the left and woods to the right, and beside the treachery of this hole you get a beautiful view of the mountains in Asheville.
Cons: Single tees and mountain hiking and rough make this an intermediate to advanced level course and not a good place for a novice or the weak. For me the course was a little on the short side, and I wish there were some more par 4s, only 1 -hole 5 and was my favorite.
Poison ivy patches throughout the rough of the course. A couple of the turf tees were a little slick.
Other Thoughts: After reading some of the other reviews about Richmond Hill I was worried that it was going to be packed with players. I was pleasantly surprised that there were only a handful of other players and no mob golf groups when I played. The weather was perfect on this early Saturday evening and I finished just as the sun was setting behind the scenic mountains on hole 18.
IMO the designers did a good job throughout the course and provided different looks on the ravine holes without feeling repetitive. Overall I really enjoyed my round here and managed to stay out of the poison ivy. I wanted a couple of longer, more epic holes given the setting, and so while I don't consider this a true epic destination course like some of the other mountain courses in northern NC, I'd still recommend here as a great course for intermediate-advanced level players in the vicinity that enjoy technical mountainous disc golf.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Lots of unique holes
Multiple pin locations give a new challenge each one you play
Cons: Lots of big groups, most of which won't let a smaller group pass
Steep inclines can turn a great shot into a bad one with an unfortunate roll. I've hit the basket more than a few times on a birdie shot only to end up with a bogey or worse
Other Thoughts: Front 9 is the easier half if you are only playing 9 holes for the day
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Has practice basket
Has turf tee pads
Has tee signs
Has many benches throughout course
Has multiple basket placements for most holes
More wooded than open fairways - which will be challenging to the casual player
Most holes have changes in elevations - some have a steep grade with wooded steps serving as a nice touch
Most of the holes are under shade where this can be really appreciated in the hot and humid summers
Nice split of the front and back nines in case you want to start on hole #10 (that comes in handy when there's a large group teeing off on hole#1)
Needs next tee signs (had to consult the course map for a few times)
Turf tee pads needed cleaning
Some grassy areas needed mowing at holes #1, #13, & #18
This is a nice challenging course that I enjoyed playing while visiting Asheville. This course is pretty solid and will require a variety of shots to shoot a low score. The course is scenic and well established with no shortage of trees and a good amount of shade. Fairways are tight enough here where you will need some control on your drive to avoid hitting a tree and deflecting across a ravine. As others have posted, this course is a workout so make sure you're in shape and have good shoes. I understood why this course would attract a lot of players so I went early Saturday morning around 8am to get a good head start and therefore didn't have to wait on anyone. I definitely recommend playing if you're in the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Challenging lines, elevation, uphill shots, downhill shots, and a really beautiful park. It's a fun place to go play if you are in Asheville, definitely worth the trip.
Cons: I think the local club could probably do a little bit of chain sawing to make a couple of the fairways a little bit more accessible. And the Lord help us all, please poison the poison ivy! They can also stand to put in some "next hole "signs.
Other Thoughts: The course was kind of messy, it needed mowing and the tee boxes are in need of new turf. I think they must have had a storm recently because the tea boxes were basically mud and turf mashed together.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Good but not great
Pros: The front Nine were very fun, and had variety. 6th basket is over 10 ft high from the back and has a small step up to the front nicely designed. Each of the front 9 seems to be well thought out and are very enjoyable. 1-9 start and loop back to the lot and 10-18 do the same. bathrooms for players is a nice plus, and the parking is ample. Good elevation changes.
Cons: I was not impressed with the back 9 much at all. its just weaving back and forth acrosss the very large ravine. Two shots like this would have been plenty, but 4 or 5 of them doing the exact same thing got old quickly. Especially if you have some shots that dont go your way. You can end up in a big struggle to get back on track. We played in late winter conditions so vegetation was down. I can imagine it to be much worse in the other seasons
Other Thoughts: If you find yourself in Asheville, a wonderful town, definitely give Richmond Hills a go, but I would probably play 10-18 first because it can sap your strength if you aren't ready for it. I wouldn't travel more than an hour to play this course as the primary stop on my Disc Golfing road trip.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Epic Setting and Course
Pros: Some courses just have that unique feel about them that differentiate themselves from any other course out there. Richmond Hill has this feel. You have to drive through a residential area to get there, but once you make the turn into the parking lot the environment changes immediately. This seemed like its own disc golf sub-community set off in the mountains. There's a huge parking lot, practice basket, porta-potty, and bulletin board with a course map and local club info located near the first tee. The course also conveniently winds its way back to the parking lot to make two 9 hole loops.
It plays up, down, and around the mountain through various degrees of woodenness, with bookend holes that play more in the open. Even though you're mostly in the woods, there's a nice variety of really tight shots as well as lines that are more forgiving. There are elevation changes throughout, sometimes subtle and sometimes DRASTIC. The ravine is very cool and offers some truly epic shots, both extreme uphill and extreme downhill throws. Even the more subtle elevation changes cause you to carefully choose your disc, like 13. It doesn't look too scary from the tee, but the green drops off about 15 feet and continues to slope down past the basket. Elevation factors in interesting ways like this throughout the round.
Pin positions are really well thought out, often tucked away in a corner, behind a patch of trees, or located near a scary slope. The baskets are in great shape and the blue rims do a nice job of standing out among the trees. Multiple pin positions do a nice job changing up the shot off the tee and approach.
It's clear that a lot of care has gone into designing and maintaining the course. I couldn't imagine trying to create and carve holes on this type of land - well done. Great efforts have been made to build the tee areas and steps that help you get around, without which it would be very hard to navigate through. There are 'next tee' arrows pointing you in the right direction.
Plenty of mandos and double mandos make things interesting. 18 is a great finishing hole in that while it's more open, you have to hit one of two sharp lines. Both of which can easily fade way down over the hill. What an awesome view from there too.
Cons: There's not much wrong with the course, as long as you like this type of setting. I really enjoyed my round but must take into consideration that the course offers a pretty specific type of round. Not everyone would enjoy playing here with the combo of some really tight lines and drastic elevation changes.
Even with the steps there are still times where footing is kind of sketchy, particularly if you land on a slope near the ravine. I'm sure it gets very slick after rain. The worn in tee pads also can be a little uncomfortable. They are big enough but the carpet was slippery at times. There are sometimes steep slopes at the end of the tee too, so you don't want to slip off past the end.
The fairways are very well maintained, but the rough gets thick in places.
When we pulled into the parking lot, I said, "There's no way all those cars are here for the course." Sure enough, there were just that many people playing. Definitely one of the more crowded courses that I've ever played. Be prepared to get stuck behind multiple groups. Though, it's very cool to see such a dedicated disc golf community.
Other Thoughts: I can see why Richmond Hill was ranked so high back in the early years of DGCR, it's definitely a unique course with a faithful following. I would love to have this as my home course and appreciated the balance of difficulty. You're bound to hit a few - or maybe a lot of - trees and fade further down a slope than you intended, but recovery is fair and the holes aren't too brutal. This is a course you have to play if you're in the region.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: many uphill/downhill shots
free to play
Other Thoughts: This course was very fun to play and you are rewarded greatly after a good drive. Elevation change on just about every hole, tight fairways so accuracy is very important. I have never played a course like this and I highly recommend this course to everyone.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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