Night Heron: The Least Famous Super Hero
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Night Heron is a simple, straight ahead nine-hole layout. It's also the easy place to divide the haves from the have-nots.
- This is among the simplest, easiest designed courses I've played. You play a backwards C loop around the outskirts of this park and you've got a quick round.
- For such a simple course, I found myself throwing multiple discs on every hole. Granted they were attempts at cubby aces, but this was the best part of this course.
- Short layout is perfect for kids, beginners, and mid-range game players. Average hole length is 221 feet. Take away hole #1 (308 feet) and #5 (270 feet), and the other seven average only 201 feet.
- Easy to navigate. Pulled into the parking lot and first saw the baskets for #7 & 9. Took all of 4 minutes to walk backwards, find the first basket, then the tee markers for #1. It was also very easy finding the tee markers after each hole the remainder of the course.
- Holes #1 - 3 & 5 are virtually wide open; holes #4, 6 & 7 have minimal tree/branch protection between the tee and basket. #8 is easily the hardest hole as it's the only with legit obstacles. #9 finally ends with two trees protecting the basket.
- I played aggressive, essentially taking the most direct path towards each basket. Even with trees/branches knocking down discs on several holes, I had EASY up and downs on said holes.
- Picturesque park and local. You are on Kiawah Island after all. With that comes money. Other than the hired workers, I don't think I saw a local under the age of 70. Let's just say it was easy to say that I wasn't a local.
Cons: Biggest negative would be the relative simplicity of the course. There is no risk and all reward here. Unless you somehow go 200 foot right on #3 (into the wooded area); 200 foot right (into the condos); or 200 foot right on #7 (the road), there's no chance of danger or lost discs.
- Biggest obstacle may be getting past the guards at the front. Followed the instructions on here about where I was going, and the girl was fine letting me in. You're not likely to find any problems while playing. If you start loitering around after you're done, you may start getting noticed.
- Because there may not be much else to do on the island, if you're coming here simply for the disc golf, it's a long way out and back. I drove 30 minutes from downtown Charleston, played one round in 15 minutes, and drove 30 minutes back.
- Advanced players are going to destroy this course. Sure, you can use the open portion of the park for practice. You could also create a safari layout. But really, you're probably playing here to catch a glimpse of Kiawah and/or to pad your stats.
Other Thoughts: Picture a simpler, shorter version of Park Circle. That's what Night Heron is. I almost missed crossing all the side streets as is the case with Park Circle.
- As simple as this course is, this is the type of course you wish were in your neighborhood park. After a day at work, we'd all enjoy walking across the street for a quick 9 or 18 holes. Or field work. Or 30 minutes of putting practice.
- Somehow this course just 'fits' in the Charleston disc golf scene. I feel like every course in the area is 15 - 20 minutes from the next one. This just happens to be the one on the outskirts.
- This really was too simple of the course. The only 'dogleg' aspect to the course was having to throw a disc around a tree/branch. That said, if you throw under the branches, you could throw straight towards the basket on every hole.
- The surrounding beauty can't hide this course's simplistic layout. If you're trusting the ratings of others and thinking this course is above average, or even close to average, you're in for a surprise.
- It's a fine course for what it is. It is enjoyable. It is however, a very simple & rudimentary design. Even by 9-hole standards, this course doesn't meet the requirements of an average rating. This is on the lower end of the Charleston disc golf scene.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
The most beautiful disc golf course!
Pros: *Excellent cut greens with great scenery.
*All Innova Discatchers in good shape.
*Easy to navigate course with great signage.
*Easy Ace Race holes, perfect for beginners.
*Pro-Shop nearby for food and disc.
Cons: *Short holes can be too easy for better players.
*Playground plays close to some holes, kids unaware of disc golfers can become a problem on busy days.
Other Thoughts: What a cool place to play disc golf, with a ton of extra amenities within walking distance. Great place for the entire family.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Championship Level (Ball) Golf
Pros: Who would have thought you could play a round of disc golf at the site of a ball golf major championship!
9 well maintained discatcher baskets. They even have the Kiawah logo on them - pretty cool!
Very beginner friendly layout. All short holes that are mostly open. Baskets are strategically placed so a few trees come into play to keep it from being simply a pitch-and-putt. 6 and 8 come to mind. 6 is a pretty shot with the basket tucked behind a palm tree, while 8 is a really fun tunnel shot under some old oaks.
The grounds are manicured. This park gets a level of groundskeeping that is on another level and rarely seen in the world of disc golf.
Other reviewers say you can rent discs on site. I didn't go in the Night Heron center, but it is always nice to be able to rent discs to new players.
Cons: Only 9 holes.
Natural tee pads are a bit uneven, especially on the holes that tee off from in the wooded areas. There isn't much need for runups because of the short length of the holes, but the tees definitely leave some room for improvement.
All of the holes are very short and there is overall little challenge to the course.
Holes 2 and 3 are a bit close to the housing, that could be problematic for beginners.
This is very much a multipurpose park so there are definitely chances for interference. One has to keep an eye out for non discgolfers.
Though every hole has a sign, they are a bit small and finding the first hole was tough as it is somewhat hidden from the parking lot.
Other Thoughts: I'm not sure if this course is open to the public or not. Many parts of the island are whereas others aren't. Based upon previous reviewers, I am assuming it is open.
This is a very nice stopover or distraction if you are on vacation at Kiawah. It goes to prove there is more to the island than the Ocean Course, the Sanctuary, and the spa.
Keep in mind this is a leisurely resort course. It is not meant to be a championship level course. The ball golf courses, however, most certainly are!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Beginner Friendly Short 9
Pros: - The park / resort this is in is absolutely beautiful. Immaculately maintained. Tons of other activities on the resort.
- Tees are well marked and navigation is very easy.
- Lots of ace chances.
- Although the course is generally VERY open through the park, a good job was done mixing up the approaches to force those playing for 2s to use a variety of shots and keep it a bit more interesting.
Cons: - Very short
- Natural tees
- A lot of other activities going on that you need to be mindful of. Soccer fields, walkers, bike riders, etc. who aren't necessarily paying attention to the DG course. Just be mindful and it isn't a huge issue, but it was there.
- A few of the next tees are in range of the prior pin. We were following another group for a few holes and I had to wait as I was ace running and a missed ace run could easily reach the next tee on a few.
Other Thoughts: Of all the courses I've played, this is the course I'd take a beginner to over any other. It is beautiful. There is almost no chance of a lost disc (something always on a beginners mind). Even if they miss the line and hit the tree, there is always a way back to the pin (no jail). It is short enough that they will hit some pars, and maybe a bird if they get lucky.
For a more experienced golfer, it isn't much of a challenge. But for a resort park golf course, it is a perfect fit. I had 2 beginners with me who had a great time with their competition (my brothers). There was another group of obvious total beginners (family of 5) who also seemed to have a blast as well. I had a good time and experimented with some creative lines to make it more challenging.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Simple but Fun
Pros: In a beautiful resort, always well-maintained.
Baskets in great shape with yellow band on top that are easy to see.
Just steps from resort pool and water park.
Quick 9 holes, can play in 20-30 minutes.
Cons: Natural tees.
Random pedestrians and bicyclists sharing park.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed having this course on the resort property where we stayed for vacation. It was super convienent, as the park is in the center of the resort, easily accessible if you are at Kiawah. For me, the wife and kids would go swimming at the pool (or waterpark) and I'd go throw a round or two. I'd join them in the pool for a bit, then go back and throw some more. You can easily walk from the pool to the park.
Course is certainly beginner friendly. I bet several people have been visiting Kiawah and seen the course and picked up a disc for the first time. The resort will allow newbies to borrow discs if that is needed.
Just be certain to watch for the pedestrians in the park. Course plays counter-clockwise around the outer edge. Soccer field in center of park. Random bicyclists will obliviousily ride through the fairways (which is odd since they have dozens of miles of bike paths) so keep a heads up!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Good Vacation Course
Pros: *Good beginner course to introduce to new disc golfers
*You can rent discs at the nature center
*New DisCatchers with Kiawah Island logo
*Tee signs and baskets are easy to find
*Very nice scenery
*Good ace races for advanced players
*Slim chance of losing a disc
Cons: *It can be too easy for advanced players
*Dirt tee boxes can get wet after a rainy day
*Soccer field and park right next to some holes
Other Thoughts: This is a nice course for a starter and a relatively nice course for a vacation.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Excellent Vacation Course to Get Your Fix
Pros: If you're vacationing on Kiawah Island, and you're a disc golf player, you'll get your fix here. The baskets are in excellent condition and the course is kept very nice as Kiawah spends a lot of time making things look pretty. A lot of time . . . There is also a nice variety of hole types. Some are wide open, others are in the trees. Some turn to the right, others to the left. This is also a great place to learn and Night Heron Park will even let you borrow some disc for free (well a $20 deposit, but you'll get that back when you return them).
Cons: The main problem: the holes are short. Most can easily be birdied by a decent player. Also, there are times when the park is busy and you'll need to play thru archers, soccer players and/or people riding bikes thru the middle of the park (why? I have no idea). Also, a lot people there have no idea that disc golf even exists and may just stand right in front of a basket while watching their kids play on the swings completely oblivious to the fact that you are wanting to throw a disc right where they are standing. Usually once you throw your disc near them they catch on . . .
There was a temporary basket at hole #5, but it was in fairly decent condition.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I enjoyed playing this course, even though it is short. The nice thing about it though is that I got my wife to play with me almost every day we were on vacation. That was great! She even enjoyed it! Who would have guessed?! The course is completely flat so walking it is not strenuous at all. Most of holes are within the trees so the key at this course is to keep the disc low. If you're disc is thrown up, it's going to hit the tree limbs. I enjoyed hole #5 because you finally have an open field to launch one! Even though there are a fair number of gators on Kiawah Island's regular golf courses, I have yet to see one on the disc golf course. Just watch out for those bikers! They are completely oblivious! If you're on vacation at Kiawah Island and you like disc golf, get your fix here. Play thru a couple of times or more if you'd like!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Good for Beginners
Pros: Fairly wide open course served as a great introduction to disc golf for me. I say wide open but there are still tree canopies on a few holes.
Innova DisCatchers had custom Kiawah Island logo on them and were new and nicely kept up.
Beautiful course, plays around a fairly open field but has some trees that come into play now and then.
Baskets stood out nicely. It was obvious where the next tee and basket were.
Ponds nearby but not threatening play much, and the same goes for the road. I'm calling this a "pro" because beginners won't have to worry about these things.
Easy to walk. Other things to do in the park. Nearby restrooms. Reasonable design of holes - go both directions and you could ostensibly play rollers, forehands, and other types of shots.
Cons: Tees were just dirt with posts to each side. Adequate, but maybe not great in the rain.
You have to go around the playground on the ninth hole in particular.
Other Thoughts: I imagine better players will have fun with ace races from the tees or making lots of birdies.
Lots of other things to do at the park. You can play the course twice, chill for awhile and do other things, and play nine more at the end of the day.
Guests can rent discs for free, otherwise I think it's a $20 deposit.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
One Great Place!
Pros: *All Innova DISCatchers in excellent condition with their own custom logo.
*All tee's are natural, but with very easy to navigate post.
*Very beauitful scenery, the best looking course that I have seen in the Lowcountry.
*Great course layout offering a decent challenge for beginners to intermediate players.
*Ace race chances for the more advanced players
*Park amenties feauture a pro shop, restrooms, volleyball, basketball, soccer and a waterpark and playground.
*Very small chance of losing a disc , there are no water hazzards and the course has great upkeep.
Cons: *Hole lengths can be too easy for better players, featuring some holes around the 170 mark.
*The playground is very close to a few baskets, which could cause problems on a busy day.
*Very little buffer zone between holes, hole 1 and hole 2 cross each other. The rest of the tees are about 10 to 20 feet behind the previous basket. On longer holes this might not be a problem, however with the distances here being short, it does cause backup on busy days.
Other Thoughts: When entering Kiawah Island, you will have to go into the main gate, just tell them the name of the park your going to, otherwise you will have to explain "what disc golf is" to a security guard and upset the car behind you!
There is no fee to play unless you rent disc from the pro-shop, if so, than it is a $20 deposit.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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