1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Bradford is a fantastic course in northern Mecklenburg County (outside of Charlotte in the suburb of Huntersville). It's legitimately one of the best courses in the Disc Golf Mecca of Charlotte. I rank it behind Nevin and R.L. Smith (barely), out of the courses I've played, but I admit that this is partly situational, as I played Bradford on a soggy day and after Parks & Rec pulled two holes for a park construction project. I imagine on a sunny day with better conditions, and all 18 holes in place, I'd rate Bradford a 4.5.
+ Navigation is simple, even with holes 11 and 12 not currently playable. There are next tee signs everywhere needed, good tee box signs, easy paths. If you're playing alone as a first timer, you won't have any problems.
+ The property is really beautiful, with mature forest and what they call "Cedar Alley," a series of holes with lots of cedar trees. When my son and I got to the first hole of cedar alley, with rows of young, perfectly aligned cedar trees, our reaction was, "Whoooaaa." It's a neat looking hole. (The fog, when we played, contributed to the mystical look of the hole.) Aesthetically, Bradford is one of the nicest courses I've played, and certainly so in Charlotte.
+ The course design and hole layouts are terrific. Great use of elevation. Several holes on ridges with slanting fairways, forcing you to place shots with the right angle and right amount of skip. There are a couple of death putt baskets. A creek is in play on a couple holes. There are wide open holes, wooded and technical holes... Bradford has it all.
+ Long and short tees available. I'm an intermediate player and played the shorts. I thought they were sufficiently challenging for my skill level: not too difficult, not to easy. Very fair. The long tees are significantly longer on a few holes and only slightly longer on others.
+ They did a great job of using the unique topography of the property. For example, a huge boulder is directly in front of the 10th basket. You have to try to hyzer your disc in over that obstacle to the green. I mentioned Cedar Alley already. Hole 17 is a great downhill hole with the basket on a slope opposite the tee -- with a creek bisecting the fairway. There's another creek hole with a peninsula green. The course concludes with a death putt basket on a steep hill for #18. The designers had a lot to work with on this property...and they took advantage of it.
+ Good mix of hole distances, hyzer, anhyzer, and straight lines.
+ Good concrete tees, not to short or narrow. (Some were a little slick though.)
+ Good baskets.
Cons: As much as I enjoyed Bradford, I feel like there are some pretty easy upgrades that would take this course to a 4.5, in my book.
- First and foremost, it's a bummer to have two holes pulled. I hope this is only temporary and they're able to re-open holes 11 and 12.
- I played Bradford after a day of rain, so I will admit that my experience there would have been better with dry conditions. There's construction going on in the park, so there's a good bit of mud. I didn't see any major drainage problems though.
- The biggest con for me was the underbrush and grass. On the open holes, the grass desperately needed to be cut, when I played. (It didn't help that it was wet grass.) There is some real rough on a few holes, including briars. It wasn't too bad, but enough to land Bradford at a 4.0 for me. I think with a good local club work day, all of it could be taken care of.
- Bradford is par 54. I wish it had a couple of par 4's and 5's, like many other Charlotte courses. (This is a nit-pick, as I stated I played the short tees...I could've played the long tees to get the par 4 difficultly level on a few holes.)
Other Thoughts: I would love to come back and play Bradford, especially with some of the improvements mentioned above. If you're traveling to Charlotte, make plans to bag this one.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Has practice basket
Has concrete tee pads
Has excellent tee signs
Has a bench at every tee pad if I'm not mistaken
Course navigation without a map is fairly straightforward
More wooded than open fairways with some elevations - which will be challenging to the casual player
Few opportunities to lose discs here in the water on holes #3, 12, 15 & 16 - recommend backup discs
Lots of trees where some fairways can be quite unfair for those who haven't mastered disc control
Some holes have fairly long walks in between such as #5 & #6 , and #10 & #11 - not really a con in my book but some may not like the additional walking
This a nice, challenging 18 hole course in Huntersville that I enjoyed playing while vacationing out here. I probably would have had more fun if it wasn't raining on the day I played. The course is really beautiful and a joy to play even when it rained. Most of the holes are wooded, straight, and had some degree of elevation to them - which made it even more challenging playing here in the rain. A few holes had water murky enough where you can lose discs. Most of this course is wooded where some fairways are tight enough to add a challenging dimension of required control. Cedar Alley is tough on discs not thrown accurately. Holes #1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, & 16 were memorably tight for me and reminded me on why I don't play in the rain as often, but it was my last day of vacation in the area so I had to make the best of it. Some hole transitions had fairly long walks but they weren't that bad for me. All in all, this is an excellent course not to be missed and definitely worth bagging if you're in the area.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Nice, clean, but difficult for newer players.
Pros: This is a well maintain and very scenic course. The wooded holes are more cleaned out than nearby Robbins Park. While tee shots can be narrow or long at times, the approach shots are typically clear from underbrush and places to lose your disc are minimal.
I am still a newer player but usually still play long tees. I will say that I am not good enough to be playing the long tees on this course. An 11 on hole 8 is testament to that. While this is a con for me some better players might find this good news as the long tees offer more added challenge than simply adding length on a lot of the holes.
Next time I will play the shorter tees and very likely have much less difficulty. Hole 8's long tee requires a long and straight tee shot just to make it to the short tee and hole 18 has a mando requiring you to hyzer around a tree through a narrow opening and away from the hole!
Cons: Not many. There were several holes that did not have the signage telling you distance and direction.
Also, I did not see any arrows directing you from the 11th hole basket towards the 12th tee, which is off to the right along the roadway.
Other Thoughts: There is a practice basket near the first tee, which is always a plus.
If you're coming from out of town and need a second course to play, Robbins Park is only a few miles away and would make for a great one-two punch!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: First time on the course and played the short tees for the upcoming CAC (MG1). Very impressed with the variety of shots required, most of which require a higher level of technical skill. Each hole has it's own merits which are unique to that particular hole. Forehand, backhand, power drives, they are all there.
The course if VERY clean and well maintained. Flow from basket to tee is smooth and protected from upcoming players. The concrete, brushed finish tee pads are excellent. Benches are at all tees and some (most) are artistically produced.
Cons: Hole #11 left me wanting for a homing device on my disc. By the time I found it, I was itching like crazy and by the time I got home, I had at least 5 chigger bits on my legs. Yuk! I guess I need to have a bit more control or at least a spotter :)
Could have used a little arrow after hole 8 to help me find hole 9. The on-line map and the real-world didn't match exactly.
Honestly, if that's all I have to complain about, I guess you could say the course exceeded my expectations.
Other Thoughts: When I started out to find Hole #1, I met a gent, to whom I told it was "my first time" at this course. He politely pointed me in the right direction and had so many good things to say about the course that I wondered if it could be true. I am a believer :) I just wish the course was close to Clover so I could play it every day! A 5 rating hasn't been given by me yet because I've never been blown away by a course. A 4.5 is reserved for what I consider the best so far. So, a 4.0 is the highest I can give this course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Bradford Raises the Bar
Pros: As I've gotten into reading and writing reviews I've considered a hypothetical question: "Can a shorter, easier course, earn a 4+ rating?"
Until I played Bradford I would have said no. I didn't think that a short course could be so well designed, maintained, and executed to earn this high of a rating from me. I was mistaken. Bradford raises the bar on what what I previously though possible from free to play public property courses that are playable by any skill level. It really is that good.
Course was meticulously well maintained. Spring in NC is hard to keep the weeds at bay, and the rough was very well managed, keeping the lost disc factor very low. There was not a fallen branch or unmowed strip of grass to be found anywhere.
The little touches make a big difference. The course was easy to navigate, tee signs were very good, and benches were frequent as well as very nice.
In my opinion disc golf is at its best when played in the woods, and Bradford shows why. The course design requires a high degree of technical control of your disc at a variety of different distances and lines. Despite being a bit on the short end compared to my other favorite courses I still felt like this course challenged all aspects of my game.
The few holes through the cedar grove were very nice. A little bit of distance, which always makes someone with power happy to pull a high speed driver out, while still needing precise shot location.
Well developed long AND short tees. I usually play with my girlfriend, so having holes that play awesome from BOTH tees really adds to a course. A lot of courses throw longer or shorter tees in as an afterthought without really looking at how they play, but at Bradford they were very well executed.
Cons: I don't really have any. I guess I will say that not a lot of holes stick in my mind as spectacular. The par 4 through the cedar grove was very nice, but other then that the holes blurred together a little bit. They were all tight, wooded, technical, and reachable off the tee (for me, sans the par 4s). I think for Bradford the whole is greater then the sum of its parts
Other Thoughts: Bradford really grew on me as my round progressed. I didn't have particularly high expectations, I figured I'd get a standard issue Charlotte wooded course. But it kept growing on me as I progressed from one hole to the next. By the back nine I was telling myself "this is a really good course". By 18 I was telling myself "This course is incredible!" I don't feel like there is much to add. I get to Charlotte a couple times a year and Bradford is definitely going to be a go to course for the foreseeable future. I think it belongs in the conversation with some of the giants in the area.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun, challenging, beautiful course
Pros: Well maintained, you can tell the club? city? takes good care of this course
Gorgeous park this time of year (February)
Cons: Nothing jumps out at me as big Cons for this course
There wasn't much relief from tight wooded holes, but it didn't get aggravating
Clay/dirt ground is slick and muddy in some places
Other Thoughts: I'm new to town, and this happened to be the first course I've played here. And what a course to play first!
Its obvious that the club members or city takes great pride in this course, as the pathways, tees, benches etc. were all in great shape compared to some other courses I've played.
The "Cedar Alley" section of the course is a cool change of scenery from the tight wooded fairways, but doesn't offer much relief as far as difficulty.
Overall a challenging course that really focuses on accuracy and shot shaping. Very fun to play, even the first time through.
Generally easy to follow the course as most baskets had signs leading to the next hole nearby.
Some cool variation in elevation was also a nice change coming from Florida where its flat flat flat.
I look forward to playing this course again, and hopefully lowering awful score.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid - it grew on me
Pros: - great DG course setting. Nice benches (like what you would find in a lodge style hotel, not 1"x8"s bolted to 4"x4"s). Great signage (plus directional arrows between holes when needed). There was a garbage bag at every sign (and the course was in great shape - there was garbage in the park, but it was probably from the non-DG activities - kudos to the locals).
- lots of variation. For a NC course, multiple "open" holes to bomb on. Challenging, tighter (but not unfair) wooded holes. Good mix of long and short holes (so a few ace runs without feeling like they were trying to squeeze in 18 from the short tees). There are four holes (on called cedar alley) with a lot of cedar trees - unique to this course in this part of the country.
- nice park, have only played on weekdays, could see it getting busy on the weekend. The bathroom in between 11-12 has drinking fountains.
- two pads on most (if not all?) holes. Many of them offer a truly different shot (some much longer), not just slightly different angel tucked behind a tree so we can call it two different pads.
- water that doesn't "really" come into play, but will make you consider your shot.
- bridges, stairs, etc keep you out of the mud in low lying areas
- course layout is pretty intuitive (plus signs all show next hole) so it's easy to navigate and there is plenty of space between holes, so minimal risk of getting drilled by someone else.
- there's a 9-hole loop (jump from 4-14) if you don't have time for a full round.
Cons: - fairly ticky-tack, but it's not super convenient to get to from 85 corridor (if you're not coming from that direction, guess it won't bother you).
- relatively high disc loss risk on the cedar holes if you shank a shot (which it's so tempting to go high and rip, because it's "only" ~300' to the basket..... )
- one other minor one, the transition from 15-16 isn't super intuitive, (or maybe I just missed the directional sign). If you have the map, or have a good sense of direction, it's no big deal, the rest of the course is so well marked, it stuck out.
Other Thoughts: When I came back and played this course the second time, I liked it much better. Don't know if I was in a rush the first time, having a bad day - glad I waited to review it until the second play. Although not "unfair" with super tight fairways, I would call this course more of an intermediate course. I can't quite out my finger on it - don't know if it's design, if it's my disc selection not quite being dialed in, but it seemed like I spent a lot of time looking for discs without really having terrible shots. So, maybe not the best course to start someone on.
5-10 years from now, the cedar alley holes are going to be tough (although maybe you will be less likely to lose discs because you will have to hit the tunnel instead of trying to bomb over them).
My favorite hole was 13 (probably just because I hit the line) nice valley shot. 12 is enjoyable, get to rip with the RHBH hyzer going into a hill, then you have to deal with the retention pond on your approach shot.
Bottom line - super solid course. Challenging, well laid out, varied course. I'm not a local, but travel to charlotte for work on a regular basis. This course is good, but it's in a rotation of several courses (Nevin, kilborne, idlewild, hornet's nest) that I am going to get through before I'm back here. If this were my home course, I'd be stoked.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Let me start out by saying Schleppy is an awesome guy. He was out picking up garbage while we were out there and you could tell he cares about the course a lot. He helped us navigate the front 11 or so holes and told us about the rest of the course.
Now about the course: This course had a good variety of holes and gave opportunities to score well while also the challenge of staying in bounds and avoiding roll aways, etc. I was very impressed with the signage, the flow of the course, and the overall layout of the holes. Each hole was very unique and that makes it hard for me to pick my favorite hole. The signage was top notch, and we never had a time where we were wondering where the basket was or looking around for a tee pad. The paths in between holes were very well defined and there were signs going to every hole.
Cons: Upon entering the park, there is a sign that points towards the disc golf course, but maybe it could be placed in a better place or made a little bigger. We didn't notice it at first and took a wrong turn. This wasn't a big deal but for some out of towners, like I am, it proved an issue. I would also say that 2 and 18 are kind of lackluster compared to the other holes. This is something that may not can be done, but the addition of some small trees or bushes in the open areas would at least add a little challenge after the initial tee shot. Outside of those small cons, there is not much negative to say.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this was a very fun course. It had its challenges while also allowing us to score well. This was one of the many courses we played, and are still playing, on our big road trip to Charlotte and it did not disappoint. As I said earlier, thanks to Schleppy for the help getting around and for your dedication to keeping the course nice and tidy. That goes for other locals as well. Thanks for a great experience Bradford!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Check out the Big Brain on Brad!
Pros: 18 Discatcher baskets with dual concrete tees on most holes. The variety and design of holes is outstanding as the available terrain and elevation are used nicely. The course plays a bit a of everything from open bombs to short technical shots that go into, out, and through the woods and around a pond and creek. Mostly par 3 with a couple par 4s. Navigation and signage is great. Bathrooms and vending machine after hole 11.
Cons: It's really hard to think of much, the course plays a little close to the parking lot on 2 holes. I could see it being crowded because it's such a playable course.
Other Thoughts: Bradford is an excellent course for anyone. The course just flows and transitions it's variety seamlessly from hole to hole. The only knock I can come up with which is no fault of anyone, is that there is not much elevation to provide some truly epic holes. That said I enjoyed pretty much every hole, the par 4 hole 12 was probably my favorite like many others, I like how the drive makes or breaks the approach shot to the basket next to the pond. I could play this course everyday it's like a mighty tasty Big Kahuna burger!
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course has a nice amount of variety. About 2/3 is wooded, with some being very tight lines to hit (#9) but with most leaving a little room for error. There are a few pretty open holes as well. I liked the use of the cedar trees on holes 8 and 11, a little reminiscent of Maple Hill.
One of the better holes is #12, which begins with a drive from an elevated tee across a small valley to an open area before sweeping to the right. The second shot is tough, as you either lay up on the near side of a pond or go for the pin with danger in front and behind (a hill leading down to the woods). I'm still thinking about how I should have played this hole.
Elevation is moderate and comes into play on about half the holes. All holes have two tee pads, both concrete.
Navigation was easy, and I never consulted the map. The tee signs did a decent job of showing the contours of the fairway, but many of the holes are short enough that you can see the basket (from the short tees, anyway).
Cons: The alternate tee pads are almost always located right behind the short pads, so you don't get to throw more interesting shots, just longer ones (with a few exceptions). There are a couple that are way longer, though. About half of the extra 1000 feet from the long tees comes from just two holes: 8 and 18.
The distances on the tee signs can not be right. They seemed too high, but more to the point, there are times when the two tee pads are clearly within 30 feet of each other (front to front), and the tee signs show a distance of something like 60 feet.
Other Thoughts: The course is mostly pretty friendly to rec players who can throw fairly straight, but holes 12 and 15 feature a murky pond that is just waiting to eat a RHBH hyzer. I like the pond and the use of it, but just know that newer players could easily lose discs here.
Also, while I like the cedar holes, your only option is to throw right over them, and if you can't throw 350 feet, you are left with some awkward shots out. So these holes are a bit less rec friendly as well, for what it's worth. But I don't mind having to throw a thumber now and then.
This felt more secluded than many of the Charlotte courses I played, and I like the country feeling of it, including the nice wooden bridges with railings. If you are looking for a course that is not the championship-caliber beat down that some of the big courses in the area offer, this is one of the better options.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.