2 Helpful / 0 Not
Has practice basket
Has concrete tee pads for all tees
Has excellent tee signs with locations of the various basket placements
Has multiple basket placements for most holes
Has some mandos
Has next tee signs posted throughout - easy to navigate
More open than wooded fairways with some holes having slight changes in elevations
Challenging, long course with variety of pars
Quiet - had whole course to myself on a Saturday afternoon
Most holes have trees with low hanging branches and need more maintenance
Some holes require blind shots - recommend a spotter
Long course can be demanding and intimidating to those not ready for a challenge
Long walks between the parking lot and first tee/last hole
Pay to play
This is a nice, long 18 hole course in Macon that I enjoyed playing on a windy Saturday afternoon. The pay to play course is $3/day plus tax at the clubhouse. I was surprised that the course closes at 7pm - well before sunset when I played in early May so you may want to call ahead to verify closing time before traveling here. There's definitely a long walk to the first tee and last basket from the parking lot - up there with one of the longest walks of all the courses that I played to date. I was amazed to see a lot of short cacti with yellow blooms and sandy soil throughout the course - unlike many of the courses in Georgia that I have played. As others have noted, the course is long and can be quite unfair if your disc finds its way into one of the many trees where there are low hanging branches which can add a quasi-penalty stroke just to pitch out of and recover. The girth of some of these trees are enough to make it difficult to locate a disc thrown far. With over 8000 feet in play, the overgrown trees seem to be even more punishing if you're not in an open fairway for the next shot. If I recalled properly, the course didn't have any benches to rest on. This is a very good course to play but not the destination course you hope you would be paying for. This course makes a nice day trip with nearby Claystone Park if you're looking to bag courses in the Macon area like I did.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course length is impressive. Just about every hole gives you a chance to throw your disc as hard as you possibly can. It gives you a perspective into what the pros have to deal with. The design of the holes, for the most part, is challenging and fair. This course will eat you alive if you're not ready for it.
Cons: Wear jeans and consider light boots. There are cacti, thorns, prickly pears, and chiggers everywhere on this course. They will tear your ass up if you try to hippie foot it. This course is tough, but fair. It will really test every shot you have and require every disc in your bag. It's REALLY easy to lose discs here despite there being no water. If you get up under a tree... be prepared to do some searching and don't forget to look up. I've found a couple discs stuck up in the trees.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
A decent LONG course, expected better for pay-to-play
Pros: - Very long holes, you'll get to throw your drivers and fairways more on this course than others. There is still a good amount of hole length variety though.
- Clubhouse with some discs/vending machines on site
- Some holes with a separate pro tee that makes the hole considerably more difficult
- Good signage for the most part, there are some areas where going to the next pad can be confusing though.
Cons: - When I played it, almost every hole had grass that was knee to waist high that not only made the holes much harder than originally intended but made finding your discs near impossible.
- Burrs, briers, and ankle high cacti everywhere. Very painful.
- Some of the holes seem to be long just because they can be, not because it necessarily adds anything to hole
- The course is a considerable walk from where you pay.
Other Thoughts: The reason I gave Bowden a 2.5 is because while my personal experience was more like a 2, I think that if the grass had been cut it could have been an easy 3+. To my knowledge the course is usually pretty good about cutting it down before winter, so if I'm able to get back out there and play with the grass cut down I'll update my review and try to give some more details.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Bomber's Delight-Finesser's Fright
Pros: The $3.00 fee for a full day of play is a great value. There's an 850' elevated driving range just beyond the putting basket and to the right of the first hole. The concrete pads are ample in size and have a grippy surface. New DISCatcher 28s are in great shape. Despite some higher grasses & weeds off of the fairways, an errant disc is usually fairly easy to find.
Several multi-shot holes. A few offer scoring opportunities for smart course management.
Good use of topography. Some elevated tees that allow for long glide. The disc golf area is exclusive to disc golf and does not provide many opportunities to throw on to the golf course. The course was fairly well-signed and easy enough to find the next tee. Nice looking tee signs.
Cons: There were no course maps available... going into a tournament. Limited disc selection available in the clubhouse. Maybe 40 total.
It is a 1200' walk from the clubhouse to the 1st tee, which is tucked away behind the maintenance area. Golf carts are NOT allowed in the disc golf area due to the high # of cactus on the course, which is probably best, given the high percentage of disc golfers that abuse the privilege of having a cart. Coolers are also frowned upon. Both would be a welcomed addition to the experience, given how hot this course can get mid-day.
As of May of 2014, it is said that Bowden dgc is the 2nd longest course in the country (perhaps world). Either way, this course CLEARLY sends one message... "Distance = Championship Golf".
A player incapable of a 450'-500' throw is at a distinct disadvantage on well over half of the holes, many of which can be reached by a massive hyzer bomb around the trees on the fairway, that the less gifted thrower must throw UNDER to have any chance at a birdie or par. Unfortunately, several of the fairways required LOW branch trimming in order to provide reasonable & equitable lines. The less power a thrower had, the more evident this oversight became. (In particular, holes #4A, 8 & 17A)
I believe there are only 5 holes with shorter tees. No water hazards.
The course is roughly two years old, but still has many of the issues that are usually associated with a brand NEW course, but are often forgiven because we understand that the designer/builder just hasn't gotten to them yet.
One of my biggest pet peeves with course maintenance is piling up the fairway trimmings directly behind the basket, just off the fairway...or even IN the fairway. ALL of which I noticed more than a few times. This was the site of the 2014 GA State Championships, but, in my opinion, the course was NOWHERE near properly prepared for tournament play, let alone a State Title event. No age divisional play was offered.
With a 500'+ par 3, many of the par ratings are skewed heavily to the power thrower, and all-but-impossible to birdie, making them 'tweeners' for 95% of the field. Many of the longer "A" positions are too long for par 3 or 4s and too short for par 4s & 5s.
Restrooms etc located at the club-house but nothing on or near the course.
I don't know if it's a bar or lounge or restaurant, but JT's Dawghouse didn't seem to have air conditioning. On a 90+ degree day, it was missed.
Oh, and once you get home, don't forget to get nekkid and check yourself for ticks. If you're in a relationship, perhaps this should be listed in the 'Pros' section.
Other Thoughts: All in all, it's still a fun course to play, but not an equitable course for tournament play, especially when not offering age-protected divisions.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -Great course for drivers
-Nice teepads and baskets
Cons: -Pretty boring for the most part
-Needs more shaded areas
Other Thoughts: Considering this one is pay to play I'm hoping it sees many improvements on the horizon
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a challenging course, especially using the pro teeboxes(holes 2, 4, 5, and 15 have amateur teeboxes) and when the pins are in the second position. There are no water hazards to deal with so it is unlikely you will lose any discs. Most holes are of average length with a few short holes and several long holes. Many courses I have played have all par 3's, but this course has a few par 4's and a par 5. There is plenty of elevation change on most holes and a good variety of left and right turns to deal with. All teeboxes and baskets are in great condition.
Cons: The fairway on hole #1 is still being filled in with dirt and the grounds crew at the golf course doesn't seem to be in a hurry about it. That being said, it isn't much of a problem and is still playable. It would be nice to have it filled in. This course is not very friendly on a windy day. Due to the length of some holes, high winds could add several strokes to your score. There is still some need of debris cleanup, but most of it is unlikely to be an issue. There are plenty of cacti all over the course, so watch out for those, but at least they removed all the sand spurs that plagued the course a short time ago. If it is your first time playing I recommend using the map found in the clubhouse and maybe even walking the course once before playing. They have recently added next hole signs, which help tremendously for first-timers here.
Other Thoughts: This course still needs some work, but our local disc golf club has made huge strides in cleaning it up and making it a very playable course since it has opened. I love playing this course opposed to the other local course because it is more challenging and it has no water hazards(the other course is all par 3's and the last 5 holes sit by a lake). Overall it is a great course for pros and amateurs alike.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun and challanging
Pros: Excellent baskets.
6 X 12 Concrete teepads.
Seperated from other non-disc golf activities.
Cons: Extremely difficult to navigate due to poor or missing signage.
No benches or rest areas.
Still needs some "love". See notes.
Other Thoughts: Overall Bowden is a good course that is still being broken in towards a goal of being an established course. Aesthetically speaking the course is not very remarkable. The terrain is pretty much the same, so visually speaking the course does not alter much from hole-to-hole.
The designers did a good job with the course. There really is some nice variety despite the lack of changing scenery mentioned above. I really appreciated the use of the burns and mounds that were on the course for teepads, and pin locations.
Besides signage, the course still needs some prep "love" to take it to another level. Many of the greens need to be cleaned up so that low-lying limbs don't obscure some of the longer putts that happen from time-to-time. At least one of the teepads (3 maybe?) was on a raised burn, and because of the soil, erosion control will be needed to prevent the teepad from cracking.
This course is worth the $3 to play it. I don't recommend taking newer players to it because it is a longer course to play.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pads are installed and Fairways Cut
Pros: 6 x 12 Tee Pads, 4 holes with Am pads. Risk/Reward on every hole. Fairways cut. Fantastic layout. Cactus no longer an issue. Great map in club house, use it!!!
Cons: Next tee signs needed. Tee signs needed. Benches needed.
Other Thoughts: Course is still being developed. Cut fairways and new tee pads have made a huge improvement. Home of the GA Disc Golf Championships.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Long course with some thought required before throwing.
Cons: lack of signs. The map is a necessity.
Other Thoughts: About 1/3 of the tee pads have been poured and about 1/3 have been formed for pouring. Signs much needed. It took me 2 hrs to play the 1st time, about 1 hr the 2nd time through. When all the pads are ready, permanent signs installed, and they stop borrowing sand from fairway #1, this will be a good course to play.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very nice use of what used to be a par 3 ball golf course converted to disc golf. This is still mainly a ball golf course, however all the amenities are available to us disc golfers. There is a nice selection of discs available in pro shop. The people working here were all nice and very helpful. I did not have an opportunity to inquire in the pro shop about a disc golf pro but that would be a nice addition. Grab a map in the pro shop you will need it. There is a great 850 foot driving range available. Nice addition I have not seen in other courses.
Course design makes good use of the rolling mounds and elevated tees from the previous ball golf layout. This is by far the longest course I have played, definitely designed with the advanced player in mind. If you have a big arm this is the course you have been dreaming of. There is a good mix hyzer, anhyzer and straight shots with enough trees to punish an errant shot while being mostly open so you can really air it out. Most holes offered multiple lines to make you think about how you want to play the hole. I liked that most of the baskets positions were protected by either trees or a mound to make you think about your up shots. There is really not any elevation change here, I would describe as rolling mounds or hills, enough to add character to many of the holes. Not really up or down hill shots. You will definitely have your skills tested here.
Cons: This is a course that is yet completed so we need to keep that in mind.
Here are the "cons" as the course is currently constructed. Signs, there are temporary tee and next tee signs out however I still had some difficulty finding some tees. A few more next tee sign or better paths would really help here. It was difficult picking lines on a few holes as I was not sure where the basket was. Again better signs would help. I understand that concrete tees are coming and this will help a lot as the ground is very sandy and the tees are chewing up pretty quickly. Benches would have really been appreciated on this hot August day and trash cans to help keep the course clean. There quite a few briars or thorns in the grass to watch for. There is enough room and would be nice to see an actual "fairway" cut into the grass, this would also help on those holes where you can't see the basket from the tee. Once again I understand this is a work in progress so I expect most if not all will be rectified in the future.
Other Thoughts: This is most definitely not the place to bring a newbie. A new player will be discouraged trying to play this course. If you have some experience and can throw at least 250 with control you can handle this course. However to really score well you will need a big arm with control. There are some opportunities for improvement but this is still not completed so I am sure they will be addressed in the future. Nice to see an advanced player course in the state and as improvements are made this course has the potential to be a jewel.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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