5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Addition to the SC Disc Golf Courses!
Pros: -When you first pull up to this course from the park entry road you see a parking lot marked "Disc Golf" with a nice kiosk with maps and scorecards. Disc golf occupies it's own section of the park and you don't have to contend with other park activities.
-Amenities were great! There are bathrooms located between the 18-hole course and the 9-hole course as well as a fire pit area and shelters nearby. There are also lots of picnic tables surrounding the parking area.
-The course is challenging, but fun. Over the course of a round you will end up using every shot in your skill set and pulling discs out of your bag that you seldom use.
-The baskets and signs are great!
-The course plays in a figure-8 with the parking lot in the center.
-Talk about secluded, this course is way off the beaten path in the middle of a state park.
-The scenery is great with the lake in the backdrop of some holes and grass covered fairways shaded by tall pines.
-The course is not crowded. We were there for several hours and saw cars in the lot and few players walking, but never came into contact with them on the course.
-Very little risk of losing a disc (the rough to the left on hole 15 being the one exception).
Cons: -The biggest con for this course is the repetitive nature. There are many holes that require a straight shot with a right turn at the end. You either need a strong FH or under stable drivers if RHBH.
-This course really lacks a signature hole. There are several great holes, but nothing head and shoulders above any of the others.
-Marshy in several areas. Flooding is very likely after a strong rain.
-While also a pro, the fact that this course is so secluded means that there is nowhere nearby for food or drink. You definitely need to pack your own food.
-The rough is rough! Long pants are a good choice!
-There are only 6 red tees, all of which are on the front 9. They felt pretty pointless to me because there seemed to be plenty of room for them on most holes yet they're only present for 1/3 of the course. I could understand if 3-5 shared a tee pad.
Other Thoughts: The $2 charge may be a deterrent for some, but it is well worth the cost. I would suggest packing a lunch and make a day of it playing both the Green and Burgundy courses.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Beauty in the boonies!
Pros: Brand new course with beautiful scenery set in a state park with a large lake. Mostly wooded holes. Long course layout with Par 4 & Par 5 holes. Awesome!! Two tee pads on some holes give a different look. Some elevation but no mountains to climb. Large kiosk at the front entrance has map, scorecards, etc. Relatively easy navigation through the very quiet & peaceful grass covered fairways. Large concrete tee pads & descriptive tee signs at every tee box (even the short ones!). Very clean park (I didnt see any trash). Lots of challenge for every skill level but I would say geared more towards the Advanced level player.
Cons: This place is kind of out in the middle of nowhere so plan accordingly. Bring your own food & drink. They could use a couple benches (there were none!). There is a very nice lake here but it was not utilized in the course design. If you stray off the fairway there are lots of cut trees laying about making footing tricky.
Other Thoughts: Chester Park DGC stamped discs for sale at the front gate/guard house. Friendly park staff. Camping available! There is a second 9 hole course here that is shorter & would make a good warm-up for its bigger brother. Very cool experience that I can recommend highly!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I see that I won't be the first person to compare it to Nevin and to be sure, there are some similarities. Both frequently require long straight shots. Both sport a distinct feel, a look and feel to the holes that pervades the respective courses. I'd probably describe the advanced course at Chester as a more forgiving but prettier Nevin. More forgiving in two ways. One, the fairways are a bit wider. It still requires those straight shots, but there is a little more room for error. Two, what is off the fairway is lot easier to walk through and search for shots that do get kicked out there. I actually don't see it as all that difficult a course. I found that it fit right into my skill level and walked away thinking it was perfectly aimed at intermediate players. And prettier. Well, Nevin is a city park and the view from most tees is the thick surrounding brush. Chester has the advantage of being by a lake in a sprawling state park. The towering pines that line the fairways at Chester support branches high above flight paths, allowing the eye to see far in every direction, to the lake from some fairways but everywhere, everywhere, tall, majestic pines. And then there's the fairways, which even in March were green. Brown needles and underbrush everywhere else. Paths of lush green marking the fairways. Between the ground and the trees it has almost an unreal, almost Hyrulean quality to it.
So then there's the golf. That's pretty good too. I wouldn't say there is a signature hole, but they are all solid. Some courses are like that. There is some serious length for a wooded course, with a number of holes over four-hundred feet and a pair that top 800. There is definite variety of length though, with a smattering of holes under 300 feet. I'll add that the lines are solid and as a RHFH dominant player, there were numerous holes that were really set up perfectly for me. (Did this bias me somewhat? I had tons of fun watching drives flow smoothly down these fairways.) There isn't a ton of elevation but there is some.
I also want to point out the greatness of the amenities. The tees are perfect. The teesigns are attractive and informative. And on a course where it would be easy to wander in the wrong direction, the next tee arrows are painted right onto the basket. With those, I had no navigation issues and the course flows nicely from glen to glen.
Cons: It's not beginner-friendly at all. While there is a beginner nine on the property, the difference in difficulty between the courses is massive. New players attempting to step up will have problems.
More significantly, there is nothing really special. The vibe sticks in the mind more than any particular hole. It's a little bit of "too much of the same thing." Not that the thing that the course does is bad but a true elite course should do more than one thing, if that makes any sense.
Lastly, the short tees that are available on some holes do a lot to make the course more accessible. The holes that don't have a shorter option would benefit from a second tee.
Other Thoughts: To me, this course is an obvious 3.75 and I swayed between 3.5 and 4.0 for a while. I want to say I had a 4.0 experience but I feel that someone who wasn't as much of a forehander would not have enjoyed it as much as I did. Or I don't know, maybe it's just lacking a truly memorable hole.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Chester State is Great
Pros: Chester State Park advanced 18 is a terrific new course. Beautiful grounds and super clean. In the parking lot there is a directory and scorecards with a map on the back. The woods are prevalent throughout the course, and there are some long holes that bring par up to 63. Fairways are not wide open, and in places pretty narrow. Elevation changes are there on many holes ranging from slight to moderate. Water is in play on a couple of holes, but not high risk of losing a disc. The baskets are still like new. I really liked the arrow decals on the top belt pointing to the next tee. Tee boxes are concrete, and alternate red short tees are an option on several holes. Each tee pad has its own illustrated sign with distance. The fairways seemed like they were well established trails, for a newer course. Very nicely done in terms of layout, there were doglegs to the left, the right, and a couple of straight up the middle shots. Very few looks at a 2 on the scorecard after the first hole. Not any one in a million type disc golf holes, just really solid all the way through. Holes 8 and 18 are 800+ foot monsters. 9 and 14 are cool holes with tees elevated, and baskets about the same elevation, crossing low valley between. Birdies are possible, if you can avoid the trees. We played the blue tees, and I was 6 over on the day. I lost a couple of strokes bonking off trees teeing off the 800 ft 8th hole, and found my disc under water somehow on the 15th for a circle 4 bogey. Miss a putt here and there and you're +6.
Cons: Not much wrong with this one people. Not a beginner friendly course, but there is an easier 9 hole course on site also. There was some moisture, and muddy spongy spots, but not in places that affected my game. No trash cans, pack out your trash and keep it clean and pristine. No benches on the course either. Signs indicate alcohol is prohibited and all dogs should be kept on a leash, and if anyone asks, I was in full compliance (wink wink). Cost to enter the park is $2 per person.
Other Thoughts: This one really impressed me. Major props to the designers and builders. Right at the top of my list of South Carolina favorites. Liked the winter rye grass lining the fairways. Quiet, clean, and awesome disc golfing. Sort of reminds me of the Magnolia DGC at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Tight, Tough but a Blast!
Pros: If you want to get away from it all and play golf in a QUIET place, this is the course for you. MILES from anywhere, serene and secluded.
The amenities of this park are superb. Nice picnic shelters, big lake to canoe/relax on and scenic place to camp.
Tee pads can't be beat. they're long, wide and very grippy. Nice thing to have when the course is very damp (as it was for us) after inches of rain. Also have easily marked red/blue tee markers.
Baskets have arrows pointing toward Red/Blue Tees. A great help
I was amazed at how clean the course was. Usually newly opened courses have debris piles, muddy fairways, etc, but this place was great. Sure there is some debris, but I've seen long-established courses that were littered with limbs.
In a couple of years, this place is going to be superb. As with any new courses, the rough is rough at times (dang near cruel at other times), but, for the most part, still playable. You might not be able to drive the basket from the rough, but in many places a careful upshot/pitch out will get you back to the fairway for a Hail Mary putt at the basket
Now, this is not a course for the faint-of-arm. If you can't through (RHBH) anhyzer shots, or have a very accurate forehand shot, you're toast. If you can throw low, accurate drives, you're golden. Hyzering off the course will kill your round.
I found that I really only needed a few drivers - Roadrunner/Sidewinder - to carve my way through the woods. All the big bombers (Vulcans, Katanas, Nukes) can be left in the car. There's not many places to use them. This course is accuracy, accuracy and placement
Cons: No benches. And with the length of this place, you'll want them! There a few trees I would take out that seemed to have been forgotten when the course was cut. Could use a few directional signs. Some of the transitions are long, and could be confusing to new players.
Other Thoughts: Not a course for beginners. Even the beginner course isn't easy for beginners.
Lasty, if the $2 to pay bothers you, then quit playing! This course is well worth the $2 it cost to get in the park!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
very nice, wooded course
Pros: Great course in a South Carolina State Park. Very mature trees. Grass filled fairways provide a nice visual appeal. Some tough par 3s, 4s and 5s- providing a good mixture.
Cons: what the other reviews mentioned- trash cans and benches would be ideal. Not much else to complain about.
Other Thoughts: It is pay to play- but Ill gladly pay for the pleasure of Chester State Park. Worth every cent!
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Great tougher course!
Pros: -Tee pads are fantastic...concrete, and are both wide and long. Those holes with shorter tees are marked in red on the corners, and longer ones are marked with blue.
-course is easy to navigate, each basket has a next tee arrow, and for holes that have short and long pins, the arrows point to them.
-the layout is such that hole #9 ends up at the kiosk where you start at, so that if you just want to play 9 holes, you would finish up at the parking area. Hole #18 also finishes up there.
-unlike Craig's review, our group found that there was elevation on a majority of the holes, some more than others. Some were just rolling hills, while others were a downhill or uphill shot right off the tee. They are not severe hills as in Richmond Hill in Asheville, but still more elevation than many other courses.
-Picnic area right at the entrance to the course. Our group was at the "Grand Opening" festivities, and since there was a good bit going on, we started on Hole #10 to get away from the crowd. We played through #18, came in and had lunch, then played the front 9.
-Winter rye was planted on most of the fairways, so for the Grand opening it looked fantastic. How well it will look once it gets to the warmer months will remain to be seen.
-Short and long tees on many holes on the front 9.
Cons: -No trash cans at the kiosk/picnic area.
-No shorter tees on the back 9.
-Back 9 is geared more for advanced players, and not as friendly for beginners.
-not many benches on the course
-no trash cans on the course
Other Thoughts: -There is also a shorter 9 hole course just beside the 18 hole course that is more "family friendly", however, these are also VERY tight fairways on most holes. There is a more "Kid friendly" set of tees on those which makes it better for them.
-although this course is brand new, it is not nearly as rough as many other courses that I have played. Don't get me wrong, you catch a tree and go way off the fairway, you will be in rough, which is the nature of the game, however, it's not nearly as thick as many other courses I've been to.
-This course WILL make you throw accurately, or suffer the wrath. You will need to have several different shots to do well here (forehand/backhand/thumber). Also, you need to have some experience with good midrange discs.
-The longer par 5 holes are just that...true par 5's. The 816' hole (cannot remember which one) on the front 9 is one that can be done in 5, but you need to make great shots accurately.
- I really love this course, it is punishing, yes, but it makes you HAVE to throw accurate shots to score well. You have to plan where you want to land, to set up best and make your next shot. It is NOT a "grip-it and rip-it" course. Everyone who has played it so far has commented on how many trees are in the fairway, however, it's the same for everyone, so the person who makes the most accurate throws will do better. It's not all about distance on this course!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Hidden Gem Dulled by Charlotte's Shadow
17 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Chester State Park is a wonderful addition to the South Carolina disc golf scene. Being less than an hour from Charlotte, it gets lost in the shadow of the region's more-known courses.
- This is a Carolina classic: Wooded. Long. Challenging.
- I first played here right when it opened. It had that new course smell when I played. Now, in 2018, it's been beechwood aged to give it better flavor.
- I was impressed that the course is still in great condition. There's always a worry that courses, especially out-of-the-way ones, slowly go downhill and get less attention over time. Everything was in perfect condition. The designers and the park itself seem to have put lots of resources into making this a top of the line course.
- There isn't a true open hole. The most open hole is the final third of #18. Otherwise, enjoy the small patches of grass you may see on several holes.
- Course has a fantastic flow to it. You're going through mini-cycles of harder holes following, or preceding, easy ones. In my round I had 3 bogey-birdie (or vice versa) scores back-to-back on my card. Just when you get a chance to catch your breath, a beast is next. Just after a tough hole, you get a chance to make up the stroke.
- That said, there is a lot of variety in length and layouts. From the longs, holes range from 234 - 819 feet. The shorts, even have one hole at 153 feet - #6, a quasi-island layout. Course also offers slight hills on several holes, enough to impact distances just enough.
- Course excels in its longer holes - par 4s and 5s. I loved #8. At 819 feet, it's the longest hole. It's a dogleg left mid-hole with the basket still two good shots away. With several long throws required, you're upping the chances of missing your line and ending up in the woods. If you've played the IDGC, this hole is akin to #8 at Jackson.
- #10 is a slight uphill, dogleg left par four. Whereas the front nine starts with a sweet, simple par 3, the back nine starts with a tougher hole. If there was any doubt the back nine plays tougher, the answer is revealed on the tee pad.
- #18 is a long, albeit somewhat unspectacular closing hole. At 804 feet, you may choose to play it safe with fairway drivers and mid-ranges to simply stay out of trouble. The challenge hear is the dogleg right is more substantial than what appears on the tee.
- The tee signs are great. Very descriptive with pictures of the layout, which is important with so many blind layouts. The tee pads are also nice and big. I love that the baskets have next arrow signs on them, especially when the long and short tees for the next hole are in different directions.
- I thought the short tees on the front nine offered a nice change of pace for casual players and locals. It would really be nice to see short tees added to the back nine. This course has a chance to target a lot of new, local players, and I'd hate to see them overwhelmed by the challenging back nine.
- There is some great scenery throughout the course, and the park itself. Several holes on the front nine offer great views of the lake. Add in the nice drive through the park, and the course really has that great nature feel to it.
Cons: Very little to complain about here. Only a couple small things that could be improved.
- The course, especially the back nine, is not beginner-friendly. The front nine offers dual tee options. Back nine is all long positions. This gives players the options of playing a beginner friendly 9-hole course, or an 800-foot hole.
- Signage could be improved. There are a lot of crossing paths throughout the course, so more signs between holes, especially on the longer transitions, would be appreciated.
- A little more thinning along the fairways is needed. There are piles of branches along many holes. The rough is very thick with thorns at points. On #13, my tee shot hit a tree and kicked into the thorns. Even on a cold winter day, wearing multiple layers, the thorns were an issue.
- There was a lack of benches and trash cans throughout the course. I didn't notice any on the course. Benches would be nice on hot days, or simply, just to enjoy some of the great views the course offers.
- I don't know where else to put this, so I'll throw it in here. The pay booth is an honor system, stand only. I nearly passed it because a truck was parked in front of it. I don't mind the $2 to get in, I do mind the potential risk of having a park ranger nab you because one could drive right past the pay locale without knowing it.
Other Thoughts: The first time I played Chester was in its first month of existence. My second go-round was a little more than four years later. Chester was just as good, if not better, in January 2018. That's a sign this course is getting plenty of attention and upkeep. It deserves to be hosting tourneys, if only to draw more attention.
- Think of this course as Nevin with regular-sized fairways. Your tee shots don't have to be perfect, simply good. You're not spending your round pitching out of the rough. As such, the course allows players to be more aggressive while rewarding good shot making.
- I love the idea of this course being in a state park. If all goes well here, this could open the market for more courses in state parks. Imagine the possibilities.
- There's so much to like about the course. The 9-holer is a fun, bonus. The biggest hindrance is that it's so far out of the way. I've lived in Charlotte more than 30 years. Chester is only 50 minutes from my house. Before this course, I had never gone to Chester, only driven through it. I'm hopeful the town will get something else to attract disc golfers - good restaurants, a brewery, art scene - to make the trip more appealing.
- All of that said, the course is fantastic. It's oh-so-close to being a 4.5-rated course. If it were in Charlotte, this would be one of our signature courses. It's currently in South Carolina's top 5, and deservedly so.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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