13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.328 Rating) A city center course with some adrenaline pumping lines.
- HOLE VARIETY - The terrain at Morningside is awesome for a city park course and thankfully the layout takes full advantage of the natural features here. The course starts off with a rather vanilla park style shot, but after that, the layout is fantastic till hole (15). There is a ton of elevation change on this course. From checking the topographic maps, the grade change is in the 50-foot range on a couple holes. Holes dive and rise, and bend left and right. Hole length variation is great too, from +500-foot par 4s to technical sub 200-foot par 3s. The course is a little light on the wooded technical plays, but the one example on (14) is killer.
- RAW BEAUTY - Parts of this course are serene. I'll bring up hole (14) again, which was my personal favorite. This hole is a heavily wooded tunnel shot with slanting elevation and crevices. Add in the fact that ornamental ivy has taken hold on many of the fairway flanking trees, it made this already eye-catching hole look even that much better. Without question this was my favorite hole during my entire work trip, which included two additional courses. In addition to (14), the overall landscape is a joy to observe and walk along. I liked the open downward tee shot view from (9) with the new apartment towers along the right. The creek mound on (7) was a neat basket placement too. Unfortunately, there are a couple drawbacks though. There was an excessive amount of trash littered throughout the park and the park maintenance, excluding mowing, was poor in sections.
- CHAINS - Older DISCatchers, but still superior to new baskets of other models. Two baskets are in place on more than a dozen holes. A couple even had three baskets in play.
- CHALLENGING - I played to a mix of front and back baskets, and it was the perfect challenge for my Intermediate level skillset. There are some really tough basket placements on this course and it tickled my brain when trying to formulate a plan to score well. Throwing to all the back basket placements is going to produce an Advanced level layout where the 930 to 940 rated players will hover around par the entire round.
- TEES - Big concrete tees, although built backwards with the widened portion in the front.
Cons: A great layout can only cover-up so much.
- NAVIGATION AND SIGNAGE - This aspect was real disappointing. First off, no course map posted on the big disc golf community board. Then when arriving on tee (1), the sign image was no longer present on the wood backing board. There are maybe a handful of intact signs left, and they are all in bad shape. I got turned around on the course a couple times too as there are no navigational aids. It will be near impossible to follow the layout without a navigational app on the first go around.
- LOCATION - Not in a good part of town. I felt super uneasy about leaving my car unattended. There were several sketchy looking individuals in the park as I threw my round. I would not advise leaving valuables in the car here.
- MULTI USE HAZARDS - The course layout encroaches on a lot of other activities as well as on itself. Several holes have walking paths in play. A multi-use field boarders the right side of the fairway on three holes. Even putting a disc into a road is possible on a couple tee shots. Overall, the set-up is not ideal, but I've seen far worse examples.
- LAYOUT FLOW - There's a substantial flow gap between (6) and (7) and then again at the same spot between (15) and (16). Low traffic city roads have to be crossed four times. Six times if you count going to the parking lot.
- MAINTENANCE - Large branches were down on numerous holes. Perhaps I came right after a big storm. There was a built-up pile of branches on (12) where the mowers were going around. This site left me pondering if maintenance is spotty.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - To complex for young grasshoppers. It will be hard to lose a disc here however.
- TERRAIN - I found the undulating terrain here to be flipp'n awesome. If I had knee or ankle pain issues I would likely not play here.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is a really great course. What makes this course ranked as high as it is, are the holes themselves as this aspect sort-of covers up some of the flaws. I could see myself easily dropping a 4.0 rating just based on the hole quality. However, there is just a slew of moderate to minor issues at Morningside that detracts a bit from the experience. I really think a new navigational overhaul effort would bring some much needed sparkle back to the course. I've only played 3 courses in Knoxville as of this review and this is my favorite by far as my other two, Inskip and Sarah Moore, are beginner courses. Regardless, I would have to believe this has got to be one of the better ones in the area considering the awesome gameplay. Any Recreational to Advanced level player passing through town should definitely come check this one out.
- TIME PLAY - 69 minutes for this quick solo during a weekday afternoon.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
A Hike in the Park
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Concrete tee boxes and baskets are in good condition.
- Two baskets on multiple holes allow for some variety in difficulty throughout the course.
- Great variety in hole length and variety in terrain and landscape throughout the course. Moderately wooded through the majority of the park, but there is a solid mix of tree and hidden obstacles.
- Great course for players of all levels of experience. I'm an intermediate player and brought along a couple friends who are new to the sport, and we were all challenged and had so much fun throughout the day.
- Technical challenges through the course. You will have to use multiple types of shots and get creative with your approach.
- The park is easy to find, fairly simple to navigate even without proper signage, and you can easily begin your day on almost any hole and end up back at your car.
- This course WILL make you get better. With tight fairways, a mix of uphill and downhill shots, blind shots,and tough putting, it's very easy to learn here.
Cons: - Lack of sufficient signage for individual holes and course navigation. For the most part, these aren't needed, but can be frustrating when it's needed.
- The road and walking trails run throughout the park, so you must be vigilant. Do not take shots when a runner is passing by and be weary of those out for a picnic on a pretty day.
- Although the majority of obstacles are trees, there is some heavy brush scattered around the park and a disc can get lost.
- Not the best flow to the layout. Holes cross one another and you will have to cross the road a couple times. Not necessarily a bad thing, but prepare yourself for a hike.
- No graffiti, but you will find the occasional beer bottle or water bottle laying beside of tee boxes.
Other Thoughts: I used to live in the apartment complex beside of Morningside Park, and unfortunately I played many rounds without keeping record of them. After having played it for a couple years, I'm familiar with the terrain and course navigation, but I understand that newcomers may have difficulty on some blind shots and navigating the park in a couple places. All in all, this is a park where I love bringing friends and dedicating a whole afternoon to play. There's no doubt you'll have fun with the wide variety of hole types, hole lengths, and different types of drives and putts needed.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Located in downtown Knoxville
-Beautiful sloping course with lots of mature trees and a nice mix of slightly open to slightly wooded holes.
-Two baskets on almost every hole
-Quality tee pads
Cons: -It is almost unplayable if it is wet because several fairways and greens are on a steep slope with no grass.
-Two trashcans in the park.
-Not many benches
Other Thoughts: -This course is a hike with lots of elevation changes.
-Lots of death putts and roll out opportunities on almost every whole.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Underrated But Lacking
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: -very fun layout that utilizes the hills and slopes of the park
-lightly wooded with a great mix of open and slightly wooded holes.
-lots of shade
-two baskets per hole
Cons: -By far the worst thing about Morningside is it's location. Unfortunately, the park is located in one of the worst parts of Knoxville and is super scetchty. I would recommend not playing alone, especially if the park is empty, which is often the case. The last time I played a man and a women were having an altercation. Four days after my brother and I played here a few years back a kid was murdered in the park. A women was beaten and raped in the park as well several years ago.
-There are so many shady people in the park that I often just leave because I feel very uncomfortable. I probably encountered about 6 homeless people the last time I played, which is not inherently bad, but they get in your way (eg: standing in the fairway or setting up camp by a basket.
-No signage at all. The signs have completely faded away. Without any usable signs, navigation can get a bit tricky if you're not experienced on the course.
Other Thoughts: I truly think this would be the best course in Knoxville if it were not located in such a bad place. It is very unfortunate that such a nice layout has to be spoiled by the surrounding area, but that is the case. Morningside is a thoroughly enjoyable course. If you just consider the course design, I would give it a 4. However, the lack of signs and the park's location really spoil the fun. I still think it is an underrated course.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Loved it > Hated it, but overall pleased with it!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Great use of landscape with elevation, trees, etc.
- Challenging layouts for both novice and skilled players
- Convenient location
Cons: - Signage is an embarrassment to whoever maintains the course. It needs a complete overhaul.
- Due to poor signage, navigation to the correct basket and next tee was near impossible
- Course maps or a main signboard detailing the layouts would have been nice
- Multi basket placements without proper signage
Other Thoughts: With proper navigation, this would definitely be a favorite course.
Even with having to seek just about every basket and tee, it was still a very fun course to play. I prefer wooded challenges rather than long and open courses. Morningside fit the bill! I would give it more stars if the signage was adequate!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Morningside Park - A Storied Course
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Having played Morningside Park off and on ( on of my first out of town courses ) since the mid to late 90's , I have been seeing morph from an 11 hole short course to its present status as a much longer and challenging 6233' and 18 holes . The oldest version of the course sat where holes 7 thru 15 now sit . A good city course for its time ( circa 1982 , the oldest standing course in the Knoxville area ) , but enough about it's history . It looks like Stan Mcdaniel was given some freedom and more park space to make the course what it is today . There is a small parking lot on your left as you drive a couple of hundred yards down Hazen . You can always park in the shade on your right in parking spaces along the road across from the lot , too . I did not see a kiosk here . Print A map , or you will be all over the course . The map must be older , because it fails to show you the second pin placement . All of the 18 tee pads are long trapezoids and give your shoes a good grip , very important for a course that sits over 6000' long . These are my favorite tee pads . The baskets are Discatchers and in good shape .There are 2 baskets positioned on most of the holes ( 2- 15 , I think ) giving you length and different looks , which is a great feature . It's a nice option for someone who's arm is tiring out , or playing with someone that is not the same strength , to have an alternative . The signage ? Well there are signs on the course but only a couple of them are legible . The grass is well cut and park seems to be maintained well . Branches trimmed and grass cut . There are a few picnic tables , a couple of them sheltered , scattered in parts of the course .There are only a few places you might lose a disc here , the 2 worst being heavy growth to the left of #2's tee , and the left fairway on #15 . The course design is what stands out in this course . The parks natural boulders , hill formations , elevation , and basket placement are very good . Sometimes the elevation can be extremely uphill , like on #2 ,#10 , #12 & especially #18 , but also give you some long slow downhill gifts like #3, #4 , #7 , #9 and #15 . Others go downhill and uphill . Many of these holes are unique , and the fun factor is all over the place here . Bomber holes , roller holes , low ceiling shots . The course is cut up odd because of the course flow , but you can still play 9 holes and be back to the start . You can play 1-6 , then walk right over to 16 and play 16-18 . The course is cut up into odd sections 2-3 play on the same side and down from the parking lot , 1 and 4-6 play right below it , and 7-15 play in the older section of the park . If players want length , concessions must be made . Once you get your bearings straight , the map you printed will start to make sense . #1 can be tricky to find because the pin sits on the opposite side of the parking lot and you tee off on a walkway . This is the only non tee on the course . It is a downhill short drive that runs parallel to the road on your left . #2 makes you cross the street and is a challenging uphill 460' hole that gets steeper , finishing on the left of some deep brush near the top of the park . The next hole descends slowly to Hazen with some canopy coverage ( 445' ) . #4 makes you cross back over the road , with the basket sitting on the side of a hill . #5 , one of my favorites , with the tee pad somewhat close to #1's fairway , is a drive ( don't be fooled by the short tee dug into the brush in front of you , aim to the basket on your left ) throwing left of the trees and brush , slightly downhill to the basket , which is surrounded by park boulders . Makes for a cool green . 6 is a level bomber 360' to the basket , sitting on a light hilly grade . After your walk to the older section of the course , the better holes are #7 A great 375' slightly downhill drive with a few trees and canopies forcing you to control it , to a tall man made mound, with the basket basket sitting on top . #9 is the longest hole , #555 with a hill , then eventually some brush , on the right side and a tree line on your left . The long pin has a green and sits at the very bottom , which you can see. I think that this was #11's fairway in the 90's . #10 ( 440' ) stats you on the level then ascends straight up a steep hill to the pin . #11 is a great hole . It is on the right of #10's basket and throws through a window to either the short pin on the hillside ahead , or a hyzer through the window to the more challenging basket on a plateau , up an embankment and flanked by 2 large trees . 12 tee is somewhat behind the #11 basket and goes straight down a long fairway to the basket sitting on top of the hill on your left .You have to walk back down the left side of the fairway that you just threw , keeping the edge of the park to your right , and you will see #13 tee ,. It is an interesting drive , short but with a canopy at the tee and the less challenging basket in front of you (280 ' ) and the harder placement up against a side of the lower part of the hill to the furthest edge of the park , on your slight right . You have to then trudge up the hill towards the #10 basket to find the #14 tee , in part of the woods , which #15 will send you back the other way in a more open fairway but the basket disappears downhill to the bottom left after you clear the brush lining the fairway to the left . You will cross the street to 16 and 17 , drives that go to the edge of the park woods and partly up the hill . Leading to some possible rollaway putts . #18 is one of the more interesting finishing holes for a course . It is a elevator drive , only 170' but playing like 300' + , almost to the top of the hill where you parked , with a tree or 2 guarding it in the fairway . The risk involved is that at any time during your drive up the hill or your putt hitting the basket or falling out , you could roll into the brush from the tight fairway , or roll all the way down the hill and to the side . I probably talked too much explaining most of the holes , since it was the best to talk about . This course is a great city park course and a worthwhile play in the Knoxville area . Think about coming here . The pros outweigh the cons and you will get some fun and memorable play . My signature hole was a tie between #11's window shot the right and back up an embankment , or #7 , a long downhill drive where the pin is up the manmade mound .
Cons: Here goes . #1 The park is full of shady people walking or sitting around the park . People sitting in their cars by themselves , seeming to eye you and your vehicle ( please hide your electronics , luggage wallet , etc in your car ) . Maybe take a selfie of yourself and send it your best friend or relative , so they can post that picture in the city if you are snatched up ( LOL ) . There was a man that was sitting down on the hill next to #1's tee , greeting me while he was sucking down a bottle of vodka . YIKES ! There was also a man yelling at his woman down close to #13's tee because she was too drunk to make the walk through the park . Crazy ,,,,, #2 . Signage . There are sign posts with the flat for the signs , and only a couple of the tee signs inside them still exist , the rest looking like they were vandalized or stolen ( Gee , who knew ! ) . This course would navigate so much better with some descriptive signs . #3 you will have to hold up while some of the park locals drift through . This park is shady , but some of locals are nice and just want to share the space with the disc golfers . #4 I saw No restrooms , no benches besides the picnic table , no water fountain , only a couple trash bins in the park itself , which brings me to the park being trashy , with some broken glass on some of the cement paths and dirt . Carry out what you carry in . #5 Long walks from 6-7 and 15-16 . Pay attention to where you are . #6 . A good part of the course is both steep and dirt . If it has been raining or is raining , there will be many places for you to fall . Be careful. .#7 Teeing off from the cement path on #1 ? You want a makeshift tee like this to start off your course ? Really ?
Other Thoughts: Any 1982 course that has withstood the test of time like Morningside deserves credit . It is a city park that is convenient to both locals that live or work in the city , or travelers on I-40 or I-75 looking to score a good course just off the highway .Easy in and Easy out . I know I piled a boatload of cons on this course , deservedly so , but the pros outweigh the cons . What you WILL get here is a quality and fun round of disc golf here . If you can be patient and follow your map , control your drives , and take in some of the natural beauty , it will be more than worthwhile for your stop here . There are many good places to eat close to the Tennessee River , like Calhoun's which is a short drive from here ,along with a host of other places off of Neyland . If you are staying in Knoxville , this is a must play , just because it is so close + the fun factor on some of these holes soars . If the course is dry , it is ideal for group play . No amenities , but so what ! It is probably almost a full rating point down from Schumpert and Victor Ashe, but I still gave it a 3.5 rating because of it's heritage , it's fun factor , it's access and most importantly , it's design . My recommendation : PLAY IT !!! Couple it with Victor Ashe , Morningside , The Mounds and/or the Claytons and make a full day of disc golf in the Knoxville area .
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Morningside Park DGC
Pros: Overall a very fun design to play. Concrete tees and discatcher baskets. Great use of parks elevation throughout the entire course. Good mix of open/wooded and short/long holes.
Cons: Tee signs have seen better days and definitely need updating. Not in the best part of town. Rollaway city.
Morningside Park DGC in Knoxville is a very fun course. It gets a bad rep locally at times because it's not in the best part in town, and because of the amount of baskets on hills which can cause lots of rollaways. But this is a course that I really enjoy. There are multiple pin locations which is also a plus in my opinion. Concrete tee pads and discatcher baskets which is pretty common in this area. If you play this course, yes... you are going to have more than your fair share of rollaways on drives and putts, but thats part of the sport. The course has some short ace run holes and some long open holes that you can really open up on as well. Great use of the elevation in the park and just an overall fun course design. I have played this course more than a handfull of times and I definitely plan on going back many more times! If you want to see thsi course on video, check out my crew playing this course in the video below...
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Ok place to sling some discs
Pros: - Open spaces
- Easy disc finds
- Downtown location
- Nice tee pads, generally
Cons: - Terrible info signs at tees (old, rotted, etc.)
a) Hard to find hole path
- Course layout is odd
- No great features
Other Thoughts: Fairly good course for a downtown location, although better signage at the tees is a must. Be sure to take a picture of the course on your phone.
Park doesn't seem especially well cared for, but decent size course. Mostly par 3s, toss in a couple par 4s, maybe.
I wouldn't go out of my way to play hear again. Would rather make the drive up to Panther Creek State Park.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Could Use A Little TLC
Pros: A medium to long length course set in a very hilly inner city park with plenty of trees to work around. The course features generally one decent concrete tee and two full-time baskets per hole. (Hole 8 had three baskets for some reason). The course is very challenging and has some cool looks.
Cons: The course needs some TLC now though. The baskets are dingy and roughed up. There are trash and broken glass on the course. The tee signs are deteriorating to the point that several of them are unreadable. Baskets are misnumbered. There are downed branches in several places on the course. The sidewalks are crumbling apart in places and covered in mud in others. There are fairways that play dangerously close to sidewalks, pavilions, playgrounds etc.
Other Thoughts: Even so, there is enough cool golf here to make this course worth playing. If this course was modernized and polished it could be something very nice. The elevation is extreme on a few holes and with the length, I would caution new/rec players and those with weak constitutions.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: -Course is fun. It has many great elevation changes and a great mix of open and wooded. It's not an easy or very difficult course. It's very fair, but does force you to play smart. Many courses won't penalize you a ton if you aren't careful, but this one will. One special aspect of Morningside is that many of the pin positions have high risk for rollers. About half of the holes have dangerous greens that force you to be careful.
-You can play an easy nine hole loop here. You could play hole one through six, and then the next tee pad you will see is number sixteen. If you are playing here in a tournament blind, I would recommend playing this loop.
-There are some par fours, not many but some. There are mostly pretty soft. For instance, #2. It's 460' long and uphill the whole way on the side of a hill. But it's actually not very hard to birdie. The gap past the pad is wide enough to through a rip on without a whole lot of risk. If you miss, you may still have a pretty good chance for par. #8 is probably the toughest par 4. It's slightly uphill the whole way. Like #2, it isn't super long; it's under 500'. There is a low ceiling and OB on both sides. In tournaments, only one of the sides was OB, so that kind of made this hole less difficult. #9 is slightly downhill the whole way. When the whole way is 555', that means there's a big elevation change. Some pros can reach this hole because it plays maybe 470'. #10 is flat for the first half. #10 to the short pin is actually flat the whole way. The long pin is at least 30 feet below you. The pin placement isn't all the way up the hill. You know what that means. Scary pin position that's almost on top of the hill. If you go long enough, you will have a terrifying death putt.
-#14 and #15 are both excellent holes as well. #14 is in my opinion the hardest hole on the course. It's wooded, it's mean, and you'd have to park this hole in order to make a confident birdie putt. It's 290' and a bit uphill. The fairway is quite fair, but the rough is really brutal. The dropoff past the pin is extremely brutal. The hill is steep and the deep woods aren't too far past it. #15 is a unique hole. Something I haven't played anything real similar to. It's a 330' touch shot. It's flat for most of the way and then the hill goes straight down like 30 feet. I've thrown putters 100' past the basket on this pin placement. The other one is more traditional but it's still straight down the hill. You have the option to go left or right around the tree.
-The last three holes are all under 300', #18 is only 170'. You don't want to get on their bad sides. #16's pin is probably the least intimidating, but it's still enough to turn a two into a four. On #17, you can either go up the gut and hope your disc rests on the steep sliding hill, or you can try and throw a skip hyzer (preferably if you're a rhbh thrower). If you land right by the pin, you probably will roll. #18 could be the scariest 170' you ever play. Steep uphill! The hill is really steep. From a side view, the tee pad area and the basket probably form an angle that's no more than 105 degrees, meaning that it's barely obtuse. Almost feels like throwing up a wall. Disc golf feels like rock climbing here.
-Ample parking. Many parallel spots but if you hate parallel parking like I do, there is another parking lot.
-The teesigns are nice and accurate. The pads are long enough.
Cons: -Few filler holes here and there. Not very many, as there are dual pin positions on some holes. I wasn't all that fond of #13. It's a flick shot along a sloping hill, but all in all is kinda bland. Some people may disagree with my opinion here, like what you like.
-Course plays along a cart path and a sidewalk. I know that there are many pedestrians that hang around here. Most sidewalks are played casually in tournaments. And I'm not sure if they were intended to be casual.
-This course is pretty sketchy. There's no convenient bathroom, and there's a good bit of litter. Some of the locals really don't seem to care here.
-Because of some sloping fairways and dangerous greens, it can be dangerous after a rainfall. We didn't play 18 and it wasn't even that wet. I think 18 needs stairs for safety. It's very dangerous to play. It's scary enough to walk up on when it's dry.
Other Thoughts: -This course is for anyone. Most holes aren't very hard for most advanced or pro players, but they aren't the easiest holes you'll see either. The greens and your putts will most likely be the reason for how you play here. It's nice to see a course with that interesting of an aspect. The elevation changes make this course really fun as well. I love it.
-I recommend this course. It's a great one! If you were to play here often, you're confidence in making 30' putts may be strong since this course has many scary pin placements. If you come here for a day, I'd try to play all three 18 holers in Knoxville. They are all special in their own way and should please you somehow.
6 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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