6 Helpful / 1 Not
Bradford doesn't disappoint. The highlight is the two cedar alley holes, which both offer a gut shot between rows of ten-foot cedar trees along with the option of bombing it over the top of it all. Unique holes. Other than that there is a ton of variety with both open and wooded shots. The open shots are appropriately longer and the wooded fairways are just the perfect width to challenge without turning people off of the game. It isn't a mountain course but there are plenty of rolling hills and slight elevation changes.
New signs and easy navigation are bonuses here, as is the signed directions to just play nine holes. I wish I had more to say but Bradford is almost textbook, how-to-make-a-course that I'm almost stumped about what to say about it. After close to 250, I've finally the one that I don't have much to say about. Bradford is completely balanced and varied. If disc golf courses had evolved naturally instead of being planned by people, I would suspect this course to the ancestor from which all other courses had evolved from. Just completely well done and highly recommended.
Cons: I don't think the blue tees added much. Often, the blue layout used the same exact tee so it wasn't an entirely different set of holes. Other times, it didn't change the look much.
I liked the look of the old 15 based on photos and map. It looked like it was a long drive to a right dogleg and then a pond on the approach, which is a reversal of the usual water setup.
Other Thoughts: A lot to like about Bradford and settles into that nebulous region between a 3.5 and a 4 for me. One of those rare courses that despite having only one difficulty, would probably appeal to players of an assortment of skill levels. It works best for intermediate players but I can't imagine a player that I would tell not to go to Bradford. A lot of I'm pretty sure that they layout has been changed a bit recently as all the holes featured new signs and hole distances and sometimes hole shapes did not match with the map I had downloaded here.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 10 Not
Other Thoughts: Course is situated in a large regional level park, of about 120 acres, entering its second major phase of development. Park's scale provides ample opportunities for future course developments, especially as other park phases complete. Course is, in the main, sequestered from other park activities and covers moderately hilly piedmont landscape and drainage catchment earthworks. Course starts on the park's eastern side and is a hybrid style between one that circles the park (clockwise in this case) and one that has switchbacks and parallel holes.
Bradford has above average signage, equipment and amenities. Lack of trash cans could be a negative, however, when reviewed, course was spotless and hanging plastic bags were available for refuse near many tees. Bradford DGC is exceptionally playable, well maintained and will be enjoyable for most skill levels, although it might be a bit too hilly for very small children. Course does not feature returning 9's, although a abbreviated loop is available when time is limited. Way finding is carefree; no transitions are out of proportion or confusing. OB areas (and the mandatory) are limited and a bit vaguely marked, but all abide common sense. A few minor drainage issues were noted.
The designers have shown considerable maturity and discipline with this track, and Bradford would fit very well into the 'canonical' standards promoted by the disc golf course design group. Considering the special nature of this regional park (a group effort by several municipalities) and it's place more or less in the heart of one of Charlotte's largest satellite 'growth' communities, this course has a special chance for more of the type of credible public exposure many feel this sport deserves. That being the case, it is vitally important that the course not alienate neophytes with an over ambitious design. Bradford certainly fits this bill.
From the white tees, average hole length is a bit over 315' and from the blues almost 380' (note: 60%+ of the blue tee distance differential comes on only 5 hole extensions). Long throwers receive several extra scoring chances on this track, but as is typical for Charlotte area courses, power is not the sole requirement for scoring well. Flat straight shots up to 300', with moderate fade control are richly rewarded from either set-up. Fairways, as a rule, are of ample width, frequently with a 'gate', none super-constrictive. Penalties are in direct proportion to the throwing error. Despite heavy penal rough in some areas, scrambling and recovery chances are ample. Bradford is a forgiving course, despite its youth.
More than any other course of this length this reviewer has played in Charlotte, Bradford possesses three essential qualities of 'returning fun', which are elevation changes, balance and variety. Its length is also most appropriate for the widest variety of golfer. Shot shapes from the tee just barely favor the straight shot shape. The golfer must deal with significant play affecting elevation changes on most holes. Course is about half 'inside' and half 'outside'; wind can frequently be a factor (several 'pocketed' tees, which shield the golfer from an accurate wind read- and just when he needs it - accentuate the wind's affect on play). Straightforward open greens predominate and are forgiving of even middling mistakes. Greens' spin receptivity is evenly balanced and varied with regard to slope as well.
Despite a relative lack of truly memorable individual holes, Bradford has several very good ones - the long dogleg right #12 immediately comes to mind as does the iconic #6. Routing is perhaps the single most difficult design skill to express well, and yet Bradford's exhibits a variety and syncopated rhythm unmatched by any area course. The shifts from inside to outside combined with the cross-up-down hill changes are seamlessly blended. The opening (1-4) and closing (15-18) sequences are particularly strong. In a tight match, leads may be very hard to hold here. At the turn, two consecutive birdie holes give the golfer a chance to gain some momentum going into the back nine. Bradford's routing is an impressive refined result and it's defining feature.
Bradford Park DGC is a very smoothly wrapped package on many levels. Travelers would do well to start with this gem in North Mecklenburg County, before proceeding to the tougher or more traditional Charlotte favorites.
13 of 23 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: Great course, alot of variety. Uphills and downhills with some wide open shots. Some doglegs which are personaly my favorite. Like the water that comes in on holes 12 and 15. If in the area definitely stop to play this course.
Cons: I lost my favorite disc on hole 18. It has alot of sentimental value. I was pretty pissed off. There is a basket that is behind a huge rock, some people hate it but i enjoyed it. Other than that no cons.
Other Thoughts: There is a water hazard on a couple holes, just be careful. My buddy went swimming for his disc.
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Radford (yes that was intentionally spelled Radford)
Pros: 1) Nice large concrete tees are always appreciated.
2) There is a practice basket near the parking lot and the 1st tee.
3) Tee-signs have Hole #, par, distance and hole sponsors. Unfortunately there was no map, but most of the holes are self explanatory (see also cons).
4) This course seems to be the furthest along in terms of infrastructure. They have really nice bridges and it looks to me like they did them right!
5) #'d discatchers are in good shape and helpful for some of the more wooded holes. Even on the more open holes I can appreciate just how good these baskets look.
6) Bathrooms, soda machine, and a water fountain (bubbler for you Wisconsinites) on the 12th hole.
7) Dual tees on some holes which makes the holes play a whole lot harder if you play the longs. Most of the longs are simply additional distance . . . but #18 is truly a different hole from the long tee.
8) Lots of Cedar trees in a few places along the course and many of you may know that these are some of my favorite trees for disc golf courses.
9) There is a very nice variety here, ranging from a couple of more open shots, plenty of moderately wooded holes and a couple more densely wooded holes. Having holes play differently through the course really makes the whole experience just that much more enjoyable. I think this is probably the #1 factor in my desire to come back here. It isn't over the top and extreme like so many of the other courses in Charlotte, but it is solid and fun to play.
10) #12 is simply a great hole . . . it plays almost like a double dogleg as you want to lay your drive straight out or slightly left to give yourself a shot towards the baskets which is about at a 100 degree turn to the right and is protected by a pond on the left and a steep dropoff to the right which will leave you at 30' or more if you go to that side of the basket. It is simply the first time I have ever seen this kind of combination on a hole and I really appreciate the design that went into this hole.
11) There is a pretty good mix of birdieable holes and those that will challenge you to make par (or end up with a bogey). I like balance that makes you shoot right around par as opposed to so many courses where you are pushing double digits under par. Sure there is a value in the game for courses that allow you to make a ton of birdies . . . but this type of setup makes the course feel a whole lot more like it is part of a championship or something. Par is something that should be strived for, not something that you can laugh at when you destroy a course (under par).
12) Moderate elevation changes on this course . . . nothing too extreme again but the slopes and elevation change definitely affect your shot selection.
13) Another unique hole idea appears on #10 . . .the rock hole. Basically they slapped a 5-6' diameter boulder right in front of a basket. It is a short hole so the challenge is minimal but you better make sure you are on the right side of the boulder or you will have tough putt because the boulder is s tall as the basket basically. I was short of the basket but was fortunate enough to have a look up and over the basket. It all came down to the flight of the disc and I nailed the putt for birdie. Don't mess around with this boulder, throw it right, throw it left, or throw it past the basket . . . but please don't do what I did and leave it short (thankful I made the putt anyways but I know I left my drive on the only bad side of the boulder.
Cons: 1) No maps on the signs which would be helpful on a couple holes where the baskets are not visible from the tee.
2) No garbage cans that I can remember on the course. I didn't feel like the course was messy because of it but I generally would like to see at least a few around the course in easy to reach areas for the parks department.
3) I really didn't like the evergreen tree nursery hole. It was almost completely luck whether or not you had an upshot or not. Sure I almost got to the end of the trees, but I lucked out to have a simple turnover upshot to the basket. I just don't think that this hole seems fair because you may or may not know where the little pockets of openings are.
4) There seems to be plenty of spots that will suffer from compaction and use. Hopefully alternative baskets and education will keep people from dooming this course to the old standard compaction and erosion.
Other Thoughts: All in all another solid course. I am giving the course 3.5 rating which I think is about where it will settle out, once all the amenities are in, the teepads are done, and the peripherals are completed. It doesn't quite live up to the top in the area but it would be a solid course in many places (like Milwaukee . . . bring it on over). It's biggest asset . . . its variety. It will appeal to the masses like those that want a challenge but not too much. The general public would be all over this course if it was right in the metro area, and they still may be out in the suburbs, but access is everything.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 4 Not
An Emerging Gem
Pros: Luckily, I had the honor of playing this course for the first time with the course designer (Stan McDaniel). The park contains old grow trees and has many picturesque holes. All tee pads are marked with easily visible signage which includes length and par info. The property gives way to a mix of wooded and open holes, allowing players to truly test their skills. Elevation changes come into play on a number of holes, but are fair, fun, and rewarding when you make that birdie !
Cons: Although concrete tee-pads are not installed, this is a VERY new course and they will be poured in the near future (but on the plus side: all the dirt tee-pads are level and marked). If you live in Charlotte, especially on the South side, it may be a bit of a drive (but it's worth it, this course is a gem). Water comes into play on a few holes, so bring some cheap plastic, just in case.
Other Thoughts: This course will played in the 2012 World's and is surely a destination for anyone that lives in the Charlotte area. Stan has done a wonderful job of creating a beautiful landscape which will be appreciated by anyone who visits. This course was easily one of my favorites played so far.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Just played it for the first time today and loved it... Most of the holes a very straight shots but there are some twists and turns.
Cons: Long, short, open and wooded. variety is key to a good course
Other Thoughts: Small and very nasty ponds scattered , almost no fairway
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great use of elevation, open/wood, and mix of shots.
1-2 good warmup holes,
3-4 interesting layouts.
5-7 solid wooded holes.
8 best hope you can hit your spot.
9-18 great stuff on every hole.
the course gets better at each hole.
Cons: no teepads yet, but its a new course, so once those are in place with permanent signage, i'ld give it 4-4.5.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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