2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Technically demanding: tight lines through the forest, with shots that veer off the fairway being pretty heavily punished due the density of the underbrush etc. I found myself discing down and accepting less distance to gain control on quite a few holes, and realizing I probably should have done so on a few more. Did not feel repetitious at all: pretty much every hole felt like a fresh challenge. Design: success.
Tee pads are fake green stuff (think putt-putt course) over gravel in a wooden frame. It's a novel setup to me, but I like it. Tee signs are reasonably illustrative color signs on metal, and indicate multiple positions where present, distances, and par (3 throughout, except for the long pin on 11). Baskets are new Discatchers, and the few that are suspended are still at "normal" height. Also, on nearly all (or maybe all... now I'm unsure) of the holes with two pin positions, there are two baskets, allowing play to either the longer pins or the shorter as desired.
Practice area is pretty dang sweet. Two baskets, well apart from one another, with room enough to work some practice upshots as well as putt.
Cons: Pretty dang flat, but that's the land that was available, as far as I can tell. Given everything else this course demands, this doesn't wind up feeling like much of a noticeable drawback - it's mostly level, but not a field by any means.
Other Thoughts: There are a few tees that are just gravel in a frame without the turf/carpet stuff yet, but they're just as serviceable/playable for the time being, whether played with a run-up/step-up or not.
About the terrain: Rough, rocky. Mostly level, but this feels like a small hike nonetheless. If you drive a cart, expect to have to pick it up a lot. Also, the flying dragon has to be mentioned. It is way worse than a regular brier plant, with pinkie-sized spikes. I might recommend pants if you expect to go off the fairway very many times. There are particularly large clumps of it right of the fairway on 16 and left of the white pin on 14.
If playing in a group, consider spotting each other on 18. The rough is exceptionally tall.
Check out the photos here on DGCR - they give a good impression of the course's character.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Flying Dragon course is a creative 18-hole technical woods course. I appreciate the thought put into the theme of the course (the name and the lettering on the signs) to go along with the imported signature foliage found throughout the course.
The overall design is good. It is what you would expect from a parks course of this type. There is some variety in distance from hole to hole and the fairways are shaped with straight, left, and rights. The very creative dual fairways make the most out of the given space giving the round 18 holes vs 12. I liked that these dual fairways had baskets in very different locations ensuring the tee shots were not repetitive.
The turf-covered tees here are sufficient they were flat and in good shape. The Discatchers are in great shape and have numbers on them.
The signs are terrific, colorful, and detailed. They clearly explain the hole numbering and which tees are shared and who has the priority to tee off if groups arrive at the same time playing different holes. There is also plenty of good navigation signs, which are important since you loop back to many tees twice, so there are lots of paths from holes to other holes. I had no trouble finding my way the first time playing here. The large course map at the parking area is also very nice and informative.
Also included is one of the best practice areas around with 2 baskets-1 by itself in a well-manicured grassy area (like a ball golf putting green) another near a tree and small hill with a putting game of 21 built around it. The rules for the game were posted on the tree and the basket is surrounded by several multi-colored stone markers worth different point values- very cool!
Cons: I felt a couple of the holes on the back 9 need some wearing in still (understandable being a relatively new course), the terrain on these holes was still pretty rough and there was lots of dead or dying foliage in the fairways ruining the beauty that is found on most other holes.
Some of the paths between holes were overgrown, a challenge in the summer to maintain I know.
The dual holes work for sure, but I do think 18 separate holes is preferred (which seems to be in the long term plans for the course.)
I do wonder what impact the dual tees would have when the course is crowded or during a tournament, it might get backed up waiting on others to tee off if groups get there at the same time (instructions say to defer to the higher number hole.)
Other Thoughts: This is a decent technical wooded course that should only get better over time as the course wears in a bit. Be sure to bring good shoes as some holes on the back play over lots of rocks and many paths on the back are large rock stepping stones. Also, be careful if wet.
I could not figure out the purpose of the two hanging baskets (3 and 9) that were suspended above the ground at normal height. There were no issues with their playability, just seemed unnecessary to hang them considering they were placed over ground that appears it could have been installed the normal way.
I could see myself, if playing here regularly, just throwing two drives off each dual fairway and playing both holes at the same time if there was a way to do this and not skip other holes, example: 1, 2, 6/3, 4, 5/7, 8, 15/9, 10, 11, 16/12, 13/17, 14/18.
Overall, I enjoyed the course and would not mind playing here again in the future.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Challenging, but one of the best courses I have played. I enjoy the scenery as it relates to the name. The dragon is unforgiving and relentless on your golf game. If you want to hone your throwing skills you must play this course.
Cons: Course has many rocks and thorns which relates to the theme. Dress appropriately for these conditions.
Other Thoughts: Come slay the Dragon if you can. Perfect theme for this Dragon of a course.
Whomever designed this course did a great job. A lot of work was done to make this experience so enjoyable.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun in the Shade
Pros: Well layed out, challenging, map on each hole.
Cons: Lots of undergrowth if you get off course. Watch out for poison ivy.
Other Thoughts: Short course because entire course is layed out in dense woods. Narrow fairways but a fun course to play, even for a beginner as long as you don't become frustrated.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The tees are astroturf-covered gravel beds for the most part and while uneven, aren't generally problematic. A few of the tees are starting to age with use and weather but most are in good shape. Most of the fairways were "paved" with wood chips which help with defining the fairway. There are tiny garbage cans scattered throughout the course. Navigation is pretty easy with the provided signage/indicators. The hole signs are great and provide all the necessary info. The holes are pretty balanced from a righty/lefty standpoint and reward line-shaping with many birdie opportunities and the occasional ace run on the front nine. The underbrush exists, but it isn't overwhelming and wayward discs were easily located. I'm always a fan of hanging basket and the one on 6 was a surprise that I enjoyed!
The course is nominally flat with some typical north Alabama rocks and scrub throughout. The last few holes featured this terrain and had some signature feel to them. Plenty of length too. Overall the course reward straight-shooting mid and fairway placement without catering to big arm egos. You hit your line or you're adding a stroke on pretty much every hole.
Cons: The choice to use the astroturf-on-gravel for the tee design is somewhat questionable as I know from experience that this construction can deteriorate quickly and provide a somewhat hazardous tee in the future. Currently, the bulk of the tees are level and in pretty good condition. There's on walk that's a little long (13 to 14) and the trail could use some beating in, but wasn't too bad really. The garbage cans don't have the largest capacity so they fill quickly.
There is some real proximity issues in the front 9 as several tees/fairways/baskets are really close to each other. However, nothing some heads up play won't address.
The way the course utilizes double fairways is both a pro and a con, in my opinion. While I appreciate the effort into getting a full 18 holes into the limited land available, it does add a touch of repetition to the course. If there is the ability to expand this course, this nitpick will quickly disappear. As it stands currently, a busy course might make for some confusion and frustration.
The operating hours for the soccer complex may turn off a few people, but parking outside of the gate and walking in wasn't a big deal.
Other Thoughts: The bulk of this course is of the short, technical, line-shaping quality through the woods. Balanced play, plentiful parking and a couple of practice baskets are all great features. The double-use fairways are a unique solution to a available land issue, but aren't that big of a detractor from a solid addition to the north Alabama golf scene. While not the longest course, it was both challenging and fun and I look forward to playing it again.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
landscaped with Rocks!
Pros: Placement, a technical course. Very nice looking landscape, the fairways were paved with wood chips. The rocks are very cool and unique to the course. Very nice local players! Great signs, best I have seen, and new baskets. More than one basket (usually) per hole.
Cons: Shorter course, no longer open holes. No water hazards, still not completed. (as of 3-12-13).
Other Thoughts: I gave this a 3 disc rating, but will be surprised if this course does not shoot higher as soon as the final 18th hole is put in. There were two new holes in the ground when I played. They were great holes, using the natural terrain with the rock formations, it was beautiful. The rocks (and they were profuse) add some difficulty as they can stop a drive dead or they can give it a serious skip.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Finally a course in Decatur
Pros: Nice new baskets
Short for new players
Great for working on accuracy instead of distance
Informative map a beginning
Most holes have multiple 2 basket locations
Practice basket outside of course
Cons: Put at Jack Allen Complex which is only open 7-5 Mon-Fri...closed on weekends when most can play. So on weekends must park at gate and walk uphill to the course to the left.
Will be a whole lot better when the other holes are completed.
Can be a little rough in the summer with the vegetation...a lot of thorns.
Needs concrete pads instead of outdoor carpet.
Other Thoughts: Nice course that's not yet completed (only 10 holes)...if u do not have a lot of time its a good place to go with a good mid range and putter and be done within a hour or could play twice. Again would be nice of the city to actually put it somewhere that was 7 day accessible but hey it is a start, would have gave it 3 instead of 2.5 cause of this.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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