Just Spartan Around
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course feels a little bit like a handful of guys were tasked with design and they just did some holes separately and threw them together into a course later. It pretty much ranges from Ace Race style easiness to surprisingly challenging Blue level par 3's. The course oscillates between pretty wooded to open with the latter being better executed. Despite the shortness of many of the holes, many require a gap or line a bit risky for a BH and prompted me to hit the "Easy Button" with an OH or a standstill flick.
The woods are pretty nice, the grass is well mowed and you probably have the course to yourself most of the time, making it a nice course to play alone and get some practice in. It's also an easy course to get to, not far at all off hwy 9. Tee signs are available but 1st time visitors are behooved to bring a map. Navigation isn't terribly difficult once you get started 'cept for a couple of places.
Design-wise there's a smorgasbord of shots to execute with distance not being a prerequisite save for a couple of later holes. Not a tremendous amount of elevation change but what is available is nifty. The open holes on the back 9 are the shining gems of the course, especially along the ball field. They require good distance and good line-shaping to create really well-done par 3's and they don't come in dangerous proximity of the ball fields which is a pleasant surprise. You also encounter some interesting features like the apparently deserted climbing wall/tower thing on hole 5 to the concrete dam on hole 9.
Cons: What hurts this course more than anything is the rough. Poisonous plants, briers, and all sorts of thick schule abound around greens and similar places for your disc to end up, potentially making every 2-3 holes an Easter egg hunt. The course has a very natural feel in parts, especially near the river/creek which I'd normally consider a positive but running into the very large black snake whilst hunting for discs in the brush can be less than ideal.
Navigation can be a quagmire. Hole 1's tee is a bit hidden in the woods without much of an obvious trail to it. There are loads of parking available which makes it even less obvious where to start. The tee signs are adequate but are prone to exaggerating the angles of the fairway, where the basket is exactly and especially distances. The tees are also borderline rubbish IMO, consisting of 3 railroad ties around a usually rutted out area of mulch. Slip on uneven ground, trip over the railroad tie in front of the tee and go hunt for your errant throw in the brush is a chain of events a little too likely to occur for my liking.
Hole 3's tee is wildly misleading in terms of basket placement. I tried to be cute by hyzering over the parking lot and wasn't rewarded with the easy birdie I anticipated. You also see hole 18's basket whilst playing hole 7, making it very easy to approach the wrong one. Hole 11 could be fairly fun but it's a guessing game where exactly the basket is and it could use some limb lopping to encourage more aggressive throws. Hole 18 is a strange one, asking you to throw a blind shot over some shrubs to a basket below the tee's level. It's not a real big deal except if you've already spent enough time hunting for your drives it feels a little insulting. Hole 17 seems out of place with it being a par 3 over 400' on a course that is mostly suitable for lesser skilled players.
Baskets are decent but the chains are a little light compared to Innova Discatchers.
Other Thoughts: The back 9 is more enjoyable than the front, especially hole 13 onwards. 13 and 14 are probably the best holes on the course IMO. With some landscaping maintenance to take the nasty out of the rough and some better tees this would be a really good course to initiate folks into disc golf, probably the best course for it in the area. It's a solidly fun course to work on your mid and putter game and you only need a spartan bag of must-have drivers to go with them (see what I did there?).
For road-trippers, this is a good course to warm-up before tackling the Va-Du-Mars and Pipelines of the area but maybe worth skipping if time is precious or you prefer courses with a bit more professional polish.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: USC Upstate is a nice 18-hole course in a secluded part of this Spartanburg campus. It's not the most difficult of courses, but it does offer a little bit of everything including some fun layouts.
- There's a nice variety of layouts here. To their credit, the designers did a good job of taking advantage of the terrain. Solid use of elevation, woods & open fields, along with a little bit of water. On this course, you'll see everything from ace runs (#1 & 9) to nice risk/reward layouts (#7 & 18) to holes that offer both aspects (#10). Add it all up, and this makes for a fun round.
- There really are some pleasantly enjoyable holes. I'm not talking elite level quality, but within the context of an average, beginner-friendly course, I did find myself walking away from many of the holes with a positive feeling.
- The four predominant downhill holes are all solid - #6, 9, 10 & 15. Each offers a different element that makes it slightly different from the others. In brief: #6 is a 277-foot, downhill, slight dogleg right that plays in an open area. You're much better off being hole high and 75 feet to the left than being on-line to the basket, but being 30 - 50 feet short. That's because you'll probably be deep in the woods.
- #9 is a dogleg left, 203-foot shot that starts out on the edge of a retaining pond (water runoff area perhaps?) through an opening between trees. You can throw a high arcing shot or a lower, make-a-run-straight-at-the-basket type of throw. Only trouble here is if you go too long (into the rough), or somehow don't clear the trees at the beginning.
- #10 is the shortest hole on the course but could be the most costly. It's a straight, 125-foot shot...BUT...there is a pond (a legit one, not a dried-up one like I mentioned above) right behind the basket. It might be as much as 30-40 feet or so behind, but with it being a downhill throw, it's going to be easy to have a shot sail if you're not careful. My disc, which was only about 5 - 10 feet too high, would have been in the drink were it not for hitting a branch.
- #15 was my favorite of the downhill holes. The hole is 221 feet and requires a possible route throwing over the edge of the same dried-up pond area that comes in to play on holes 7 & 8. Throwing over the trees is easier than throwing around them on this hole. This hole also has the best 'sailing' factor of where you throw your disc and watch it glide on back to the hole.
- Good course for beginners and casual players. Of the courses in the Spartanburg area (Pipeline, Tyger, Va-Du-Mar), this is the most beginner friendly. Great place to get newbies hooked before taking them to those more advanced courses.
- Course had a nice flow to it. Granted, a lot of that has to do with the terrain and natural landscape of the area. That said, there is still a good flow of holes not feeling too redundant, not a lot of similar holes clumped together; not a lot of boring holes clumped together; not a lot of easy or difficult holes clumped together. It makes the flow of your round that much better when you don't get bored with monotonous layouts.
Cons: The biggest problems I had with this course all had to do with navigation/design flaws/confusion. With the exception of the design of #18, the other issues could all easily be fixed. Going in chronological order:
- Distance on hole #4 is way off. Tee sign says 255 feet. Standing on the tee, I saw a hole about 150 - 175 feet away. Walking around, I didn't see any other holes, so I realized this was the basket. I don't know if they were forced to shorten the hole because it does look like the woods were cleared out past the hole, which may indicate this hole could be lengthened. Clarification is needed here.
- I'm not a fan of having the baskets for #7 & 18 so close. Standing on the tee for #7, you can only see one basket. It wasn't until I threw my approach shot at the visible basket did I realize that was actually the basket for #18. The baskets were much closer together than what appeared on the map. Baskets don't have hole numbers on them, which would help.
- Transition from #12 to #13 needs to be clarified. Behind #12's basket are two paths. No signage for the next tee. No indication what the paths are for. Just two paths. I picked one path. I picked the wrong path. GO TO THE PATH ON THE RIGHT. Better yet, the course needs better signage. Spoiler alert: the path to the left is a long and winding, eventually ending up somewhere on the fairway for #14.
- #18 is just off. This seems like it could be a solid finishing hole. Instead, it seems like the designer had a rough idea of how the hole should play, drew up a rough sketch, and left it at that. If you follow the natural flow of the hole design - based on upon the direction the teepad is facing - there are three possible options, and only one is good. The tee shots come too close to the parking lot (option A), there's a small sliver of grass (option B) or there's thick underbrush to the left side of the upper fairway (option C). From there, you've got an awkward, short downhill shot to the basket. That's how the hole plays if you follow the tee pad and sign. There's also a lower fairway. This seems like this should be the better/correct fairway. For starters it takes the risk of the parking lot out of play, presents a higher risk/reward element while making this generally a more fun and challenging closing hole. So, I don't know if this hole is supposed to have two separate routes. If it does, why does one require you to throw at a parking lot?
Other Thoughts: USC Upstate was better than I expected. I thought this would simply be a course I could check off my played list, only playing because I was in town to play Pipeline and Tyger. Instead, I came off #18 thinking I would enjoy playing this course again.
- This is mostly a mid-range course. I only pulled out driver on five holes. That said, this course could easily be played with only a handful of discs rather than requiring the full bag.
- I would like to see something better done with holes #4 & 5. With #4 playing short and #5 already short at 127 feet, you have two uninspiring holes back to back. Maybe combine those two holes into one longer one and add a hole somewhere else on the course. It also would have been nice to take advantage of the downhill open area where #6 is located. That easily could have been a longer, more fun, design if done properly.
- Because this is an easier course, advanced players will probably feel like they're wasting their time here. That notion was validated when discussing this course with locals.
- There's nothing overwhelming about this course. This is really a buffet-style course. Nothing is done great here, but you do get to sample a little bit of everything. And once you find your niche, play one of the better courses in the area.
- When it comes to rating this course, this is a perfect short, beginner/rec level layout. That said, the course did exceed my admittedly low expectations. I wouldn't mind playing here again before playing Pipeline or Va-Du-Mar.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is, if nothing else, a bit quirky. Despite a number of flaws, there is enough fun to be had to make it worth playing.
Most of the holes are short and carved through woods. Some are very short. But they almost all have interesting lines and twists to navigate. There is a bit of elevation and some tricky pin placements as well. It makes it the kind of course you walk off swearing you should have scored about 8 strokes better. Every time.
These are balanced by a handful of holes in the 350+ range---not epicly long holes, but a chance to air the disc out a bit.
Mostly sited in some pretty woods, quiet and pretty much secluded from other activities, except perhaps the occasional trail walker or jogger.
Cons: I almost rated this course a 2.5. It could be a 2.5. But....
The rough is extremely rough in places, often a tangle of briars. And easy to get into, with a bad kick on one of the tightly-wooded fairways, or in many places, with dense rough very close to the basket.
The tees are wood chips, half-framed by railroad ties. Many holes are short enough to permit a standing or 1-step drive, so it's less an issue than it might be, but they're still not very good.
The signs are basic, and in some cases wildly inaccurate. The navigation is a little tricky in places, including finding the first hole. In one case the only basket you can see from the tee, or even halfway down the fairway, is the basket for another hole.
Other Thoughts: It's not a course for top players, but I'm sure it's not meant to be. For others, it's fairly short, interesting, and fun. Not necessarily a course you'd drive a long way to play, or include in a tour of the best of the area. But if you're in or near Spartanburg, and time permits, it's definitely worth playing.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Improvements in the making
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Can complete round in under 60 min. Many ACE opportunities. A team of volunteers from HUB city DGC are making this a place to stay. Some new basket positions, tees moved and leveled out, and brush cleared makes this a lot more enjoyable.
Cons: Natural tee pads can get bad with rain. They need mulch or gravel. Basic course. Tee signs with correct distance are getting made.
Other Thoughts: I wouldn't go out of your way to play there. Better options in the HUB city area. I rated this 1.5 stars a year ago. The new changes bumps it up to 3 stars and could even go a bit higher once we see how well USC Upstate maintains it.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Bring the map
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + Nice campus, I was alone and felt secure. Plenty of paved parking
+ The course was well maintained, the grass was mowed. Little litter.
+ Tee signs were good, except I found no sign for #5. Distances on signs seemed way off on some holes.
+ Baskets in good shape
Cons: - Dirt tee pads. it was dry when I played so they were OK for the shots required.
- Bring a map as there are no directional aids.
- As mentioned above, some signs had inaccurate distances or disc path depictions. I assume some hole redesigns moved tees or baskets, but no new signs were made. Hole #16 sign says 373 feet, it is actually around 130 feet.
- Hole 18 is a new player trap. DO NOT follow the high (right) path as there is no opening to the basket. The rough is a hill with boulders covered in briars.
Other Thoughts: A nice place to practice upshots with a few chances for a 100% drive. Based on my score and rating, par would be an 830 rated round.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: some easy holes
more quiet private feel
Cons: first hole hidden in the woods hard to find
tee pads not so great
Other Thoughts: had a fun time and didnt make as bad a score as im used to from tyger river
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: There is a full 18 hole course. The natural tees are ok, and there are pretty good baskets. There are tee signs, but some distances are inaccurate. Fairways are open for the most part. Elevation is a bit of a factor on some holes, and water comes into play a couple of times. The first hole is wooded, maybe the tightest fairway on the course. 5 is short, with the basket protected by the posts of a climbing wall. 9 is a tricky, short downhill throw into a wooded pocket, with water behind the pin. 10 is a difficult drive, with a slightly elevated tee on the left side of a straight and narrow fairway with trees on both sides. The basket is on the right, and there was some mud around it due to recent heavy rains. 14 is a longer hole, a long RHBH hyzer around a stand of big trees. 15 is a fun downhill putter throw, I overshot the basket, but made a good 25 footer out of the low hanging tree branches right behind it. 17 is another long open drive. 18 is one of the tougher holes, with very thick rough on the hillside between the tee and the basket. I recommend taking a glance at the pin position before taking a tee shot there, if you're unfamiliar.
Cons: Not super challenging, with some ridiculous short holes (4, 8, 16). Hardly have to get th drivers out of the bag. The first hole is well hidden in the woods, to the right of the kiosk.
Other Thoughts: USC Upstate is a quick round, with a couple of fun holes. The casual, college campus vibe, not seriously challenging. Ok, but Va-Du-Mar is less than 4 miles away, and a much better course. If you want a round in between classes, I suppose this may be a good option.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
lots of thorns!
Pros: We only played front nine. Some shorter holes for beginners. We had several par shots on first nine. The signs are decent. Nice location near the campus.
Cons: Looks like a lot of construction was recently done. There are piles of dirt, wood, brush around most holes. The rough is TOUGH! There are many places with thorns. If we played during the spring/summer with everything grown in, we probably would have lost a Frisbee or 2. It's a bit strange to me to be playing around a bunch of powerlines, they go right through the first nine.
Other Thoughts: Thorns need to be cleared out better. It is a nice idea to have this on campus. Maybe update the tee boxes. Lots of potential here.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - this course offers a challenge for experienced players without being too intimidating for beginners.
- a lot of shorty holes to bag a bunch of birdies if you're on your game. if you're off a little, you can get in trouble quick.
- the college seems dedicated to maintaining the course.
- a great mix of shots for RHBH and LHBH throwers.
- some nice elevation changes.
- a nice course to utilize your bag of tricks - especially if you get off the fairway.
- easy to get to.
- course map at entrance.
- a nice addition to the Spartanburg area. It's a great course that finds its place between the short 9 hole beginner course at Wofford College (downtown) and the 18 hole advanced course at Va-Du-Mar (Boiling Springs).
Cons: - not crazy about the tee pads, though i've seen a lot worse.
- distances/pin locations on tee signs need to be adjusted.
- a couple of blind holes.
- don't like the cross-up when finishing 18 and having to cross in front of the basket on 7, which is a blind hole, to get back to the parking lot. definitely keeps a heads up on that one.
Other Thoughts: - if the course is not maintained in the coming Spring and Summer months, you'll spend a good bit of your time looking for discs.
- the tee signs are nice and easy to find - the graphic designer did a good job, but think that he/she was given wrong information on a few holes.
- they've recently removed a few "player" trees which takes the guesswork out on a couple of holes. That's great for beginners, but not as challenging for others.
- i've played this course about 25 times (since before the tee boxes were put in - and both during the summer/winter) and it's nice to watch the course develop. It has potential to be a real nice one as long as the college/club maintains it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Much Better Than Expected
Pros: 18 holes of fun relaxing disc golf with a private feel. We were the only disc golfers there.
-The front 9 plays a lot shorter so you can quickly pick up some birdies here if you have good tee shots. You can easily be seven down by hole 9. I've seen it happen. The back 9 is longer and lends the advantage to your longer throwers. You can still get in trouble on the back 9 if you aren't throwing accurate. You can easily give some of that seven down from the front away. I've seen it happen.
-There are some sweet shorter ace opportunites here.
-Lots of TLC has been put into this course to make it an excellent 18 holes. I'd say this course is one of the best kept secrets of the upstate. There is potential for a 36 hole layout or two distinct 18 hole course.
Cons: -Tee signs lack proper distance. Just pay attention.
-Lots of while here. Some cutting needs to be done. If it were groomed better some of the holes would be more memorable.
-Rough is serious. You need a spotter on several holes.
Other Thoughts: -Teepads are woodchips. They did not bother me at all. I can see how some people don't like them. I did not like the slopes on some of them though. If you are going to make it woodchips make sure they are 10 feet long of woodchips.
A gem of the upstate.
I don't see what all the sad faces are about. I actually enjoyed myself here.
It is within 10 minutes of Boiling Springs so take a road trip and you can play the more technical/harder course there.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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