1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun Short Course
Pros: I absolutely love this course. Not because it is the best course on earth, but because it is both convenient and fun. It is pretty short, but has a good mix of wooded and open holes. Par 54.
Location. Neighborhood is not nearly as bad as it is made out to be by older reviews. Not to say those were wrong, just that the area has gotten much better in the past 3 or so years. It is right next to the new Stone Brewery east coast location. Its only a 5 minute walk from course parking to the taproom. Also very close driving distance to new Triple Crossing Brewing location.
Most holes make you hit a line on your drive, but a good player will have a birdie look on every hole. For me, I get a birdie look on about half of 'em and hit far less than that.
The short compact layout means you can play it really fast. Like 1 hour if you're solo and moving at a decent pace. 2 hours max if you're playing slow with a partner or two.
Rarely crowded, I've been coming here for years and can count on 1 hand how many times I've waited for other groups. Only ever encountered nice folks who help me find my discs.
Well Loved. Not the cleanest place, but clean where it matters. Baskets rotate pin locations every few months. Great benches and tables for chilling between holes and rounds.
Interesting History. The park used to be a neighborhood that got bulldozed during the dubious slum clearance policies of the 70's. Some features from the neighborhood are still left. At hole 12 tee is an old public mailbox, now used as lost and found, and the fairway follows the old street patches of concrete roadbed still hanging on . Hole 9 has you throw your drive downhill trough a tree tunnel over somebody's old stoop. It still has the old address in the concrete.
Cons: Navigation here is impossible if you're solo and new. Have a guide. Grouted in tee numbers are straight up wrong. Some old tees/concrete patches that look like tees will fool you. The map on this site is correct, but you really need to print it and bring it with you if you want it to be any help.
If it was ever crowded there would be some minor safety issues. There are many holes that have you throw at a hole in one direction then drive back at the next hole on a parallel fairway. None of these are blind shots though, so you'd have to be a real dick to hit somebody.
Very Short. Not really any holes much over 300.. Most are pretty well under. Hole 1 Pin A would be a jump putt if there wasn't a mando.
Pretty Flat. Hole 5 downhill is fun. Course uses the variations it has, but its a pretty flat place.
Do not throw your drive into the creek on Hole 6. It is the grossest creek I've ever had to touch.
Clean where it counts, but not clean. Just general random trash of a downtown city park. Years of smokers not getting their butts in the trashcan. Lots of dumb sharpie writing on benches/tables. Nothing really in the fairways or greens, but it is noticeable.
Other Thoughts: There are better courses in the area, but this is my favorite place to play in Richmond.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Decent but Confusing
Pros: Great variety of open and wooded holes. You can tell that the parks and rec dept are trying to do their best to mold this parcel of land into a nice, well kept course.
Generally nice concrete tee markers.
Changing basket locations makes for nice variety.
2 sets of tees.
The layout asks a lot of different shots of the player and has great opportunities for both forehand and backhand. Lines are challenging enough but not overly narrow. Missed shots are fairly penalized but there are a lot of good birdie opportunities out there.
Cons: Navigation is very difficult at times...tee markers and baskets are in very mysterious locations. There are 2 sets of tees, but we felt lucky to find either one on any given hole. Some of the tees have incorrect tee numbers on them from an old layout, and some don't seem to be in use anymore.
Players there were pretty annoying. 2 groups cut in front of us in the middle of the round and slowed the whole course up. 1 group cut to the hole directly in front of us and slowed up the whole course.
The first tee marker is a street corner.
Lots of parallel holes makes play slow because you are always waiting on someone to get out of the way.
I hate to even mention it but crime is also an issue at this course. I never had anything happen to me personally, but there are lots of reports of muggings, etc.
Other Thoughts: This place really needs signs to the tees, and to the baskets. There are some tee shots where you can't see the basket in the winter...I can't imagine navigation is any easier in the summer.
The 12th hole plays straight down a paved maintenance road. Not very nice on the discs.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Lots of Potential
Pros: DG stuff: Concrete tees, solid mix of open/wooded holes, some decently long holes to offset the slightly short ones, all requiring a mix of shots.
Amenitites: Parking 20 feet from first tee, bathrooms and trashcans on site, nice park, DG board @ 1 with club info and map drop, picnic tables.
Cons: Navigation here is weak, as are hole markers. Lots of trash and pretty busy course.
Other Thoughts: So...I'd always heard that Gillies was garbage, because the guy I play with that taught me had always heard that Gillies was garbage. Today, I FINALLY talked him in to trying it out (he'd never shot it,) and we couldn't have been more surprised. This course feels a lot like a short 9 crammed in a city park, yet somehow, there are 18 decent holes out there. We played with a mix of big drivers and short throwing beginners, and everyone had a great time. This is a really fun course. That being said, the only thing this place is lacking is some TLC and signage. Luckily the park was busy and many locals were out...without them, I'm not sure we would have been able to follow the course. The concrete tee pads are spray painted with the hole number, but the paint is faded. Also, when the concrete was originally poured, rocks were inlaid to designate the hole number. The holes have changed though, so you may be teeing off on 10 according to the paint, but the stones might say 8. Go with the faded white paint. Also, there is no posted map, and no signs at the top of the holes. For the most part, this is a non issue. Most of the baskets can be seen from the tee, or the lanes are clearly defined. The course crisscrosses at times, and a couple shots could be dangerous with traffic, as you might be shooting up a fairway that's opposite another one coming at you. Also, 18 plays down the side of the road, so watch for traffic. This is still a fun course, and I recommend making it out. If this place had tee signs and "next tee" labels, it would be money. Also, first tee is NOT by the club board....it's literally at the corner intersection next to the stoplight. Have fun...it's really an enjoyable course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I liked it. Simple course, good layout and had some challenging shots. Good pads, could use a little better signage, but overall a good course.
Cons: Location isn't great. Needs a little better signage. No really long holes and no "spectacular" holes like some of the other local courses.
Other Thoughts: I'll play it again. Nice to take a day off and hit the big 3 in richmond. Bryan, Dorey and Gillies.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Very close to downtown Richmond.
Fun 18 hole course with concrete tee boxes, and changing positions.
Cons: Course is still difficult to navigate at times, even after playing many times. Near the end of the course you run into a lot of close together holes which can become congested when crowded.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Solid but Uninspiring City Park Course
Pros: Gillies was the original Richmond Park and its heavy use shows, for good and bad. For positives it has good, if a little short, concrete tees, which is a rarity in courses around here unfortunately. Gillies also has a nice mix of open and wooded holes, with 1 - 6 and 10 pretty clear and the others more crowded. The course is also pretty well worn in, with little significant rough. Therefore, the risk of losing discs is not oppressive. The baskets are in good shape and are moved occasionally for variety. Although overall the course is fairly short there are a few air it out holes early in the round. Also, the course does not favor any one throwing style due to a mix of doglegs. In most setups the course is very easy to navigate. Parking and play are free. The course has good benches and many tees are located next to each other, which leads to more social interaction with other players but also a few backups when the course is crowded. This course is definitely growing on me and I think anyone living in Richmond or other locales should give this course numerous tries. However, If you are only stopping through Richmond and can play but one course it should not be Gillies.
Cons: The course is not much to look at. The course is well designed but the creators did not have too much to work with. There is very little elevation and no water (except for a mostly dry creek to the left on hole 6). The course is packed in tightly so check for players on other holes before you let one go. As the title of this review suggests this course is well built, designed, and maintained, but it will not make anyone say "wow" or inspire a newbie to obsess over our great sport. Finally, the park is not in a great neighborhood and I would not suggest playing there at dusk without at least a few other friends, ideally ones who can fight back. Two guys who were playing got mugged there a few months ago.
Other Thoughts: I just played the supercourse setting for the first time yesterday and it raised my expectations and opinion for this course. I have always had some difficulty with it even though it is not that hard and perhaps that is clouding my review. Richmond old timers love this course and play it primarily. League is played here every Wednesday at 6 and I always run into people I know when I play here. I think my appreciation for this course will only continue to grow. This is truly a locals course. Every hole is birdieable. All praise River City Disc Golf Club
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Good variety, some nice wooded holes you won't find at Bryan Park, short course - good for those of us without canons, but decent accuracy.
Cons: Very difficult to navigate.
Other Thoughts: I played this course for the first time today with my 12 year old son. I'd not read the reviews, so I wasn't aware of the "bad neighborhood" and didn't really notice it while there. Luckily, there is a Wednesday night league, and we were able to talk to many regulars who helped us find our way around. The course is so poorly marked we accidentally threw hole 12 after hole 3. Without the friendly help of the league players, I might have given up.
That said, it is a decent course, fun to play if you know where you are going. But as a visitor to Richmond for only one week, I much prefer Bryan Park. But I do like the wooded holes at Gillies Creek - something that is sorely missing at Bryan Park. Not recommended for players who don't know the course unless you go during a time where there are other players around.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Gillies is a great course. It's the first course I ever played on and I still play here often. It has a good mix of open and wooded holes, and lots of interesting shots are required throughout the course. There are uphill shots (#6 is great but watch out for that nasty creek), downhill shots (#9), tunnel shots (#11, 18), etc. There really is a bit of everything here. While the holes aren't particularly long, there are plenty of trees around that make them difficult to reach par on. Many of the holes have pesky trees right in front of the teepad, and trees come into play on every hole except #3.
Cons: The most noticeable downside to this course is the lack of any signage. This really only presents a problem for first timers - the teepads are confusing because they have numbers on them from a previous course layout. If you are playing here for the first time I recommend trying to get someone to show you around, or follow somebody.
Gillies is a technical course - there are some opportunities to air it out, but overall the course requires more finesse than it does power. I enjoy the variation, but if you prefer a longer course I would recommend Bryan Park.
Other Thoughts: The varied holes provide a nice contrast to heavily-wooded Dorey and the longer, more open Bryan Park. If you're passing through town, I would definitely recommend stopping by and playing a round - so long as it's at a time when other people will be playing the course to show you around.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Inner City Course
Pros: Good mix of wooded and open throws. Baskets and concrete Tee pads.
Cons: Near Impossible for first time players (Visitors). The concrete tees are poorly marked and in some cases improperly marked. Some holes nearly overlap. Trash all over the place.
Other Thoughts: Ok, To be fair, Gilles Creek is a nice 18 hole DG Course if all you are concerned with is baskets and throwing, but if you want an entire DG experience (Fun atmosphere, nice setting, good hike between throws) I feel it falls short of other area courses Bryan, Dorey, White Bank and Goyne offer 18 baskets in far better shape and with far better flow. I must mention again, that for a player coming here for the first time it was almost impossible to navigate this course. We needed to rely on the kindness of a pair of players in front of us. I titled this as Inner City Course, and that it is...to the letter. The tee pad on Hole one is part the street corner, and if your forehand goes too far right you will be hitting a car! Litter can be found everywhere on the course. One of the other reviews mentioned it being in a rough neighborhood, but when playing on a Saturday afternoon it seemed great. Looked like a neighborhood on the rise, families and people out everywhere. I know Gilles is well known and beloved by locals, but remember I reviewed the course as a first time visitor and to be honest it was somewhat disappointing. Sure it has baskets and is in a park, but there are nicer places and courses with a lot more to offer nearby. Thus the average score.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
2nd place richmond course
Pros: This is a fun course. 2nd best in Richmond I'd say. All par 3. I've played the course about 30 times now, and have liked it a lot since the second time I came and knew where I was going on each hole.
Cons: The course is a little hard to navigate your first time and is a little short. The concrete pads are short in length (I like to take off from a little further back on the 2 longer holes, but the pads are raised too high so it would make it awkward to take off from the dirt behind them.)
Other Thoughts: Favorite holes: 5: nice downhill open shot. 9: down hill to the left wooded shot. 18 - a little longer left turn alley shot.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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