A Challenging Wooded Gem, Beginners Stay Clear
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (4.451 Rating) One of the best courses I've ever played, and no doubt one of the top courses in Alabama, if not the best. I've also played highly rated Clay and George Ward in the Birmingham area, and IMO, Inverness is clearly the top course of the three.
- TECHNICAL ACE RUNS - Several downhill shots that are just filled with thrilling suspense. The front tees have several technical sub 250 foot ace runs. Watching your disc glide through these well defined downhill lines is heart thumping. Most of these runs need a well thought out line with proper execution to run it to the basket clean.
- CHALLENGING - The blue tees here look insanely difficult. Several +350 foot par 3s that weave through a 15 foot lane. Missing the lane early is almost certain bogey or worse. In addition, there are several tight 90 degree placement dogleg par 4s. The doglegs cut both ways and sometimes even introduce a finishing pocket shot with a fast green. My guess would be that only players with a rating over a 975 rating will crack par from the backs on a routine basis.
- SHOT SHAPING - A requirement on just about every hole. You'll probably look in your bag sometimes and wonder if you can throw a disc that will move the way you need it too. I really appreciated the amount of thought I had to put into my throws. Some courses you'll play, any disc or angle will do on many holes. Not the case here at Inverness.
- EPIC HOLES - Several holes on this layout could be the signature hole for 90% of the courses out there. I keep a running list of my top 50 favorite holes and I had to drop 5 holes off the list. My favorite 5 holes in order were (18), (9), (10), (2) and (1). Hole (18) is an amazing downhill tunnel shot that drops 80 feet (source topoquest.com) and it finishes over an eight foot wide creek. What an incredible way to punctuate a layout.
- RAW BEAUTY - Stunning, and in my top 5 as of this review (179 courses played). There are well-designed beautifully carved wooden fairways, loads of elevation changes and a plethora of downhill views. A few views of ponds and creeks as well. There are just about no manmade structures in view through the entire layout. Hole (6) was pretty much the only average looking hole. The other 17 holes are all gems.
- CHARACTER - Full of amenities and extras. To start, a great community board with course map and a disc return box. Two sets of great concrete tees at each hole and they are both long and wide. The tees are also fully shaded along the layout and there is very nice seating at every hole. Hole signage is appealing and informative. Alternate basket placements at every hole and the tee signs incorporate basket placement indicators. As for things I didn't see, no practice basket or restrooms, but I may have missed them in my haste.
- NAVIGATION - Not to bad for a course this wooded. I took a picture of the course map and I got turned around only once, which was after hole (1). Be on the lookout for colored rectangles on the trees. They are everywhere and they will direct you to the appropriate tee. The red rectangle is for the red tee and the blue rectangle is for the blue tee. I'm not sure what the white rectangles are for. Perhaps from a time when there was only one set of tees. Tee signs also indicate path to next tee.
- UNIQUENESS - Well above average. As stated, lots of elevation changes, although a vast majority are downhill shots. Water will come into play on (16) and (18) and possibly (5) depending on the basket placement. There are three 90 degree dogleg par 4s from the blue tees. Two are to the left and one is to the right. There are lots of tunnel fairways, basket windows, tee gaps and pockets to hit. There are also several fast greens where an aggressive putt from the high side could lead to two more throws. Missing items include an open bomb-it play and a par 5. Hole (12) is however labeled a par 5 on DGCR at 593 feet, but I don't count it. (1) and (2) are the same length and are par 4s and are more challenging.
Cons: Inverness's issues are limited to just the side effects that make a top caliber courses. All my other listed cons are just nit picking and have minimal to no effect on my ratings.
- FORGIVENESS - All the fairways widths and lines to the basket appeared fair to me on my first play. However, missing you line can have disastrous consequences. On my first drive (short tee), I ever so slightly pushed it right and caught a branch 200 feet down fairway and it kicked further right. Not a good place to be as the right side slides down 60 to 80 feet at a 45 degree angle. Getting to my disc was an adventure in its self. This is just one example of numerous places not to throw a disc. The overgrowth can be heavy in spots and losing a disc, or just deciding to leave one in an irretrievable location, is a real possibility. Playing the shorts with alleviate some of this issue, but not it all.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - Way too difficult for beginners and perhaps some recreational players as well. If you haven't played over a hundred rounds of disc golf, this course will eat you alive. There are 2 sets of tees, Blues (advanced) and Reds (recreational). But they play more like Gold (pros) and Whites (intermediate). As a player with about a 900 rating, I think the red tees gave me all the challenge I needed. The one downside of throwing the Reds is that only two holes during my round were at placements over 300 feet (2 and 8). Thus player the reds may mean that your driver could spend the entire time in the bag. I personally only brought out a driver 3 times. (1, 2 and 8)
- TERRAIN - If you have bad knees or ankles I'd stay clear of this course. There are lots of rocks and roots to stub a toe or twist an ankle on. Probably not the best course for the disc golf cart, you'd need some big wheels.
- PARKING - Sand and gravel, but I've seen much worse. Don't bring your newly washed Bentley out here, It will get dirty.
- TIME PLAY - Inverness is going to take a chunk out of your day. This one took me over an hour solo playing the front tees. I could see a group of four seasoned players playing the back teed at around 3 hours.
Other Thoughts: An absolutely astonishing course. Inverness is a technical player's dream layout and it had me reliving my shots for nights after. This course was briefly the highest rated course I had ever scored but I played Rollin Ridge (Rated 4th in the world on DGCR as of this review) 4 days later. Inverness does do a couple things better or on par with Rollin Ridge. For one, the most fun downhill technical ace runs I've ever played. Two, the fast greens at Inverness are thrillingly gut checking. Lastly, I think the back tees at Inverness are just as challenging as Rollin Ridge's black to black configuration.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very fun and challenging course. Pro tee pads are challenging, no matter how good you are. And AM tee pads are very fun, still technical, and are not freebies. My second favorite course in the Birmingham area, Clay is my favorite.
Cons: the tee pad signs are not very accurate. Some of them do not look like the hole you are playing at all.
Other Thoughts: Heavily wooded, so discs will hit trees. Very hilly so you will be hiking a whole lot. This course will wear you out quickly, great exercise. Some of the steep hills can be treacherous (I fell down one, in dry conditions, and it hurt a lot). 100% recommend this course though. It is a must play.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Well setup, beautiful area plenty of good tech shots Preety well marked only had trouble finding one pad and I think it was 12
Cons: If you are a flatlander and not used to hills get ready for this. I play quicker than most and it took me 3 hours to do this course and I was not looking for many discs. Not used to the hills I guess
Other Thoughts: Restrooms would of been nice
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The short tees would make a respectable technical course in their own right: tight woods, large elevation changes, treacherously fast greens, some nice water holes, alternate pin positions for variety, good signage, new DISCatchers, and large concrete tees. The long tees, though, take it to the next level. The distance grows to about 7000 feet, the lines get tighter, and the elevation changes get yet bigger. A few of the longs play as 90º doglegs with narrow "joints" requiring accurate placement over a sizable distance - and then yet more distance.
More than one hole left lasting memories. 1 long is an immediate manifesto of sorts for the course, playing up a steep hill to the short tee - along a narrow fairway with a big dropoff right - and then turning ninety degrees left and running almost 300 feet further through the woods to the pin.
Hole 12 long is an honest par 5. The fairway would most definitely fail a field sobriety test: it bends and twists and generally can't stay straight along the 593 feet to the basket. Flat overall, but not without its ups and downs along the way.
Hole 18 from either tee is just plain fun: downhill to a basket slightly off left of straight, with a 10-15 foot wide creek running across the fairway immediately short of the green. Absolutely gorgeous, too, which brings me to the next point.
This course is a beautiful forest, a wonderful nature trail that frankly has no business in the commercial heart of the city... yet here it is. Feels wonderfully secluded, a truly remarkable feat considering the fact that US 280 is within two miles.
Cons: Parking is minimal, though it wasn't an issue while I was there (a Sunday). Still, though, I have no clue how you would pack folks in for a tourney or such. (NB: I am told DGB does it; I just don't know how.)
Some stepping stones or a foot bridge/log across the creek on 18 would be nice.
The tee signs don't always seem to have everything strictly to scale, but they're good enough to show the line well regardless.
Other Thoughts: Next tee signs are in the form of blazes on trees - red for shorts, blue for longs. Conveniently, the tees have a big paint dot of the corresponding color to identify them.
Having played Clay now, I'd have to say that while the two are surprisingly similar in many ways, and both are courses of a high caliber, this is the one to pick if you can only play one.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Excellent Course with a secluded feel
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is an excellent course in the city but you wouldn't know it was in the city due to the secluded feel. The tee pads here are more than ample and the signage is great too. Multiple pin placements on most holes and the tee signs have a piece of wood with A or B on a bolt that will tell you what pin placement the hole is in.
The elevation here is extreme and adds to the challenge of your round. Very wooded course but there are lines and gaps that can be hit. You must be accurate in order to score well here.
Hole 6 had a bit of "park golf" feel to it and will let you air it out a bit. Great mix of both dog leg L and R holes. Good mix of short, moderate, and longer lengths holes.
There are trees that are painted, like directional arrows, to show you were the next corresponding tee is.
Some baskets set on the sides/slopes of hill so the roll away threat is present to add to the pucker factor. Hole 16 had water behind the basket to make you think before you ran your putt or upshot.
The finish hole 18 is swwweeet! Downhill to a island basket that has a lower ceiling and a stream to cross right before the basket.
There are also benches, which come in handy during your round especially if you aren't used to the elevation. Trashcans here or there as well.
Cons: There are no other park amenities here so pack and prepare accordingly.
There might be a stump or two that isn't flush with the ground so watch your step.
Also I could see the terrain becoming slick after a hard rain so footing could be tricky in spots.
These are minor cons however.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is a super fun course that will test both your mental game and your accuracy game. There aren't many holes in which you would just rip into a high speed driver here but instead your will need to be able to hit gaps and staying in the fairway will be highly beneficial.
There are 2 sets of pads which provide different looks at the hole and each set of tees provide their own challenges.
This is one of those courses in which you will want to play multiple times to really take it all in. I can't say enough good things about this course. I highly enjoyed my round here and would play it again in a heartbeat if I was ever back in the area.
If you are within driving distance of the greater Birmingham area, or just want to take a road trip to play a stellar course then you owe it to yourself to get in a round here. You will be glad that you did.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Long and Difficult Challenge
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Well laid out. Serious challenge.
Cons: Long. Extremely technical. Very steep. Slippery when wet.
Other Thoughts: Enjoyed the course. It was very hard and required a lot of shot making. Want to go back and try it in nice weather. Was cold with light rain when I was there.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Extreme Disc Golf
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I'm a huge fan of steeply elevated disc golf courses and so Inverness to me is a beauty. Long, steep, and very woodsy. The fairways are all wide enough to avoid the luck factor that plagues some wooded courses. Huge concrete tee pads on both the short and long tees, and benches on almost every hole. Two pin placements on every hole. High-quality colorful tee signs and a nice map in the kiosk by hole 1. In a nice part of town too. Hole 1 pro tee is a monster right out of the chute and will grab your attention. Another favorite hole of mine is the par 4 #7 which plays up a hill and over a ridge to a basket over the ridge which makes for a fast green with plenty of roll-away potential.
Cons: Not for beginners even from the short tees, and can be dangerously slippery when wet because it is so steep and slick. Even when bone dry, hiking shoes should be worn. This potential for injury is really the only thing that keeps me from rating Inverness a perfect 5. I don't think it would be realistic to stop the erosion problems though so it's always going to be an issue.
Other Thoughts: Perhaps some stairs could be built on some of the steep hillsides and that would catapult Inverness into the top 25 on DGCR.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: At Inverness Disc Golf Park you will see a lot of heavily wooded fairways and a whole lot of extreme elevation change. There are nice concrete tees, long and short, and there are good baskets on all holes. There are often tight runs through trees and dangerous pin locations rolling down hillsides. Multiple times I wanted to throw more than shot, but the oppressive heat and humidity mostly stopped me to prevent unnecessary climbing to retrieve extra discs. I did have birdie chances on two or three holes, and enjoyed the very challenging course while struggling through much of it.
I won't do a hole by home summary, but I really like holes 1, 2, and 4 starting out, and from about hole 8 to the end this course really rocks. I played the blue tees, but the red are good for different looks and shorter distance. I would rate difficulty at very high.
Cons: There were puddles, and a little mud after the rains earlier, but nothing really too bad. A few branches down and limbs covering one tee. Wet conditions and oppressive heat made it even harder and drenched me with sweat, but I would totally do it again.
Other Thoughts: My score for the first and only round was +11, with 2 birdies (holes 2 and 15), 6 pars, 7 bogies and 3 double bogies to go along. Ouch. This is a perfect place for a disc golf course, very well designed and fun to play. Some of the poor footing and bad rolls were frustrating, and I nailed several trees too. Perhaps with better conditions and maybe after a round that I fared better on the scorecard, my mood would have been good enough to call Inverness a 5, but it could use a little clean up, and is still a monster. Really great course with lot of different looks requiring power and precision.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Cheated myself by playing from the short tees
Pros: But even playing from the short tees this course ROCKED!! The greens we're fast (meaning the baskets we're placed in a position where a missed putt could roll away and possibly far away). and even playing from the shorts one wasn't playing a gimmie course and was challenged to even score a par on some holes.
I loved the elevation on this course and how the designer used it to each holes advantage. I don't think there was a "flat" hole on the course. As each hole had some kind of protruding rock or hill popping out on each fairway or the basket was on a hill's crest or ledge. but the fairways we're very fair for well placed shots. If your shots weren't well placed you we're scrambling and that is good :)
Good signage to where I could find the short tee @ the long tee sign
benches on this course is a must, but at some holes they had 2 sets of benches. Very cool !!
Multiple basket locations that allows the course to differ from time to time and not become mundane or allow erosion to happen.
The course flowed well, no repetitiveness. Lefty holes we're mixed up well with either an occasional ACE run or a grip and rip through a fair fairway through the woods or a righty hole with the same flair. I liked most of the holes as each had their own great merit, but I liked # 16 short and # 18 short as water came into play as well as elevation.
As much as I prefer DGA Mach 3 or 5 baskets. The Innova Discatcher baskets made it very easily to located the basket in the thick woods. I think if DGA baskets we're used at this course that my rating would be a notch lower.
OB was well marked
Cons: I didn't see any restrooms and little parking for a course of this caliber.
not for your novice player, this is more an advanced course as the holes are challenging and the land is pretty treacherous (no flip flops or sandals or even tennis shoes should be used on this course, as this course is definitely a hiking boot course).
Other Thoughts: I don't know what more one would want after playing this course <and I played from the shorts>. This park in itself is majestic and beautiful in it's own right, then you add a championship caliber Disc Golf course and------- - + Abundant awesomeness all around !! I know the next time passing through Birmingham, I'm going to play this course from the long tees to really test my game. This course is a must play if in the area. It's in a Nature preserve and a very well to do neighborhood. Very little worries for this traveler.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
One of the areas best courses
-Course design is excellent, terrain/elevation is showcased in an great way on many of the holes.
-Well defined fairways that made finding the baskets easy on the blind tee shots.
-Tee signs with plenty of information and a pin placement designator on every sign. Although I noticed a few pin placements were marked incorrectly on a few holes.
-Multiple Pin locations and 2 concrete tee pads per hole with very different approaches from either pad.
-Navigation can get a little difficult between some of the holes. I noticed markers painted on trees to help navigation to the next tee and a few of those tress were laying down on the ground.
-Not a great course for beginners as the short tees are still significantly challenging.
-Terrain can be quite difficult, trekking up and down some of the hills especially on the first few holes can be a little hazardous if you are not prepared for it. It would be nice to see some steps added for some of the steeper elevation changing spots.
This is an excellent, challenging, and technical course. There is so much variety here, every hole is unique and different. The fairways are moderately tight with well defined lines to the baskets. The risk/reward factor is present here and the risks are constantly changing. The red tees are a decent challenge for the average player. The blue tees add a whole lot of distance and they really add a high level of difficulty to the course. The terrain here is quite hilly and the rough can be unforgiving in many spots. Be prepared to trek up and down a few large hills multiple times throughout the course. Overall this is a great course and a must visit course.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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