Slipping but still great
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -- Challenging course requiring accuracy and distance.
-- The short and long tees are generally so different as to make it feel like two different holes.
-- With another highly-rated course (Dogwood) at the same location in a state park with cabins and camping, it's a great destination course.
-- Elevation changes are epic. You start with a 70-80 foot drop in elevation on hole 1. Several holes have uphill and downhill shots on the same hole.
-- Scenic views of Lake Claiborne on a few holes, although the lake only really comes into play on one hole (10).
-- Fairways are kept free of tree limbs and brush. You might have trouble getting back to the fairway if you miss it, but you shouldn't have much trouble finding your disc.
-- Restrooms available near hole 1.
Cons: -- Tee signs look good and are mostly accurate, but at least two of them have the short tee marked on the opposite side of the trail from its actual location.
-- Natural tees are not in good shape and are getting worse. I've visited three times (playing multiple rounds two of the three times), and the tee pads were worse each time.
-- The last six holes are MUCH longer than the first 12 and almost feel like a different course.
-- No pin indicators. With really long holes and lots of trees and elevation changes, it is really important to know where the pin is. However, many of the holes force you to walk up the fairway to find the basket and then trudge back to the tee.
Other Thoughts: -- $3 to enter the park for day use.
-- Far away from civilization. Few (no?) places nearby to buy basic beverage and snacks.
-- Cell phone service is spotty at best. Don't count on having service.
-- Wildlife is abundant. I saw four deer on my last visit.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: teamudgp
Thanks for the review. There is a store about a mile or 2 when you leave the park to the right. Kels Kove is the name.
Yes, some of the short tees were moved after the signs were printed.
18 Poster Shots
9 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: (4.076 Rating) A medium length, moderate to heavily wooded course, that's no doubt a Louisiana destination course.
- RAW BEAUTY - Personally one of the most beautiful course I've ever played and currently sitting on top of my list of 283 courses played as of this review. Perhaps it was the time of year I arrived as everything was in spring bloom. I'd say every hole on this layout looks well above average and a bunch would be signature looks on 90% of the courses out there. Carved mostly through pines, but what makes this course special is the constant rising, sinking and twisting of the elevation. The downhill tunnel shot on (10) with water beyond is killer. Holes (3) and (4) where both awesome valley shots over a headwater creek. Anyone like me who's a sucker for beautiful courses will love this place.
- ELEVATION - Flip'n awesome. Hole (1) starts with an 80 foot down shot. Several other holes exceed 40 feet in elevation play. Then number of holes with less than ten feet of elevation change can be counted on one finger.
- UNIQUENESS - Absolutely superb. In addition to elevation, almost all the other plays are here. Twisting holes to the left and right. Lots of shot shaping opportunities. A 1000 foot 50 foot wide bomb-it par 5. Several par 4s and a stop it short of water play on (10). The one glaring miss was not having an additional play along the lake. From checking the park map though, it appears that other park features occupy the remainder of the lake's edge.
- CHALLENGING - The back tees read Intermediate level and the front tees read Recreational level. This course with the two tee configuration should work for a wide swath of skill levels, 750 to 925. I'd say that the challenge is above average but short of what I expect of a phenomenal course.
- SIGNAGE - Gorgeous tee signage and course map. No doubt they would make my top twenty on artistic appeal. It has almost all the info one would need and the artistic description is not only just beautiful its accurate.
- NAVIGATION - About as good as one would expect from a heavily wooded course. Accurate course map, navigational cues between holes and intuitive pathways. I personally I only looked at my photo of the course map once.
- CHARACTER - A touch above average, In addition to signage and solid navigation I appreciated the several picnic tables spaced evenly along the layout. Tee shading was on all 18 holes and there are restrooms and shelters in the park. Glaring missing items are quality tee pads (see cons) and a practice basket.
Cons: I wish there were better tees and a more intense challenge.
- TEE AREA - I knew coming in that both the courses here had natural tees, so my dissatisfaction was not a surprise. I also came the day directly after a tournament which probably didn't help with tee condition. The tees were not in good shape. Some mild pitting, some roots and unevenness was observed. A course this good deserves proper tee pads. They don't even have to be concrete if that's an issue with the environmental sensitivity within the state park. Turf or rubber tees are acceptable alternatives that are better than natural ground. The tees here are just going to get worse over time if a different option isn't chosen. In addition, I also wanted to mention that due to the elevation on this course, benches should be on every hole. There were five tees with seating on my appearance, holes (4,7,11, 13 16). Thankfully these seating areas are well spaced.
- NO ADVANCED CHALLENGE - As stated in the pros, a solid intermediate challenge. Still however, for a course of this type of caliber it should offer more to higher skilled players. As an intermediate level player myself, I should generally not be able to throw under par on a top tier course from the back tees on a blind solo round unless everything goes right. The backs need to be toughened up by 4 or 5 throws in my opinion. The fronts can stay the same.
- NO BASKET LOCATION INDICATORS - Having to run up blind fairways to check basket placements on an elevated course is not fun. They are needed for this style of course.
- HOLE 13 - This is a poor hole from the back tees. I walked down and up 250 feet to the top of a ridge to try and identify where to throw, only to find no defined lane anywhere. What's the point of having a blind 700 foot hole where you have to pray to hit one of a dozen 8 foot wide lanes over a ridge. The throw off the tee is complete luck and the approach after that is a crapshoot.
- TERRAIN - If you have bad knees or ankles I'd stay clear of this course. As stated above, lots of elevation changes and also rocks and roots to stub a toe or twist an ankle on. Although not the best course for the disc golf cart, it looks doable.
- PARKING - Very few parking spots next to the course. I think I counted five. Perhaps all the course traffic comes from those at the camping locations and the ones by the course don't fill up.
- TIME PLAY - Whitetail is going to take a chunk out of your day. This one took me 90 minutes solo playing the back tees. I could see a group of four seasoned players playing the back tees at around 3 hours.
- LOCATION - This gem is unfortunately out in the middle of nowhere.
- PAY TO PLAY - Only $3 the day I arrived to enter the park. 100 percent worth it.
Other Thoughts: What an awesome course. Whitetail makes my top 20 as of this review. Personally, the best course I have ever played without proper tees and this was also the second highest rating I gave out on my 5 day road trip, a trip that included courses like Bud Hill, Harry Myers, Roy G and Brazos Park East. The Whitetail layout is a technical players dream course. I take no issue with anyone giving this course a higher score if tees or advanced difficulty aren't a factor in their experience of a course. To me, I personally need to see more. Similar courses I've played like Inverness, Panther Creek and Austin Ridge Bible Church all have the same beautiful epic-ness to them. However, all of those courses have better tees and a more intense challenge, which is why I have them all ranked higher than Whitetail.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Beautiful course that plays in a forest with 2 pin placements and nice elevation changes. Hole 1 was a huge downhile left to right, hole 16 was a 1053 ft monster that I got a 4 on, a long fairway down a pipeline path. 4 or 5 holes that are 400-1000 ft. the rest are in the mid 300s.Good mix of lefty and righty holes with a dead straight hole 10 that you could drown your disc in the lake if you overshoot by 30 ft. No real poke-n-hope holes. Easy navigation to the next hole and no nasty underbrush to hide discs.
Cons: Read the reviews by Discbear, Joshwest, and Qikly. These a spot on. The clowns that rated this a "5" have never played a truly awesome course like Hillcrest on Prince Edward Island , Rollin' Ridge,or Branson Trails Blue. Too many of you guys that rated it a 5, rated the PARK, not the course. Yes , the park is gorgeous. Yes, this is most likely the best course in Louisiana. But it is positively not a 4.69 or even a 4. 75% of the holes were reached with a fairway driver . i felt like many of the holes looked alike and redundant. Even a old 59 yr old low-intermediate like me threw a 58 from the Blues w 3 mullies.(par 61) No Tpads and no marker indicating where the pins were. I had to go trudge down the fairway 9-10 times looking for the pin, then trudge back to the dirt tee. Major P.I.T.A.(Pain In The Ass) Discatcher baskets suck when you whamp the chastity belt instead of hitting chain and dropping in. Few trash cans or benches.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course that I would play again if i lived in the region. I rode the Gold Wing 525 miles from St. Louis with high hopes, expecting an EPIC course and was disappointed. The lack of Tpads wasn't a real issue, as the ground was dry and smooth, but the real pisser was the lack of pin indicators on the signs; an easy, cheap fix that needs to be addressed.
7 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Beautiful state park course
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course was a huge amount of fun to play.
There were several holes that have great lines - the sort of lines that make you want to throw again and again just to try and nail the perfect shot.
Great variety - in length as well as type of shot: putter shots, hyzers, forehands.
As other reviews mention, most of the longer holes feature at the end - not a problem, and there are some excellent par 4s and 5s there, requiring placement of shots on the fairway.
All of this in a lovely wooded state park, near to a picturesque lake. Only one hole plays anywhere near the water, which is fine as I'm happy not to lose a load of discs!
Cons: This is just minor nit-picking:
The dirt tees - these were fine in the bone-dry conditions I played but I imagine in wet conditions they could be hard work. They can be quite small and there's the odd tree-root around.
It's nice for a course to have alternative basket positions - however, would be v. helpful if there was an indication on the tee of which was in use, or just a general 'all baskets As' at the entrance: on several holes I had to go basket hunting because I couldn't see which one was in play.
Other Thoughts: $3 all-day entry to park = bargain.
I drove to Homer to get lunch and brought it back for a picnic by the lake, which turned out to be an excellent decision.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
I didn't think I would ever give a 5 disc review
11 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course really is a "Best of the Best." (the description of a 5.0 when choosing rating for a review) Playing this course had the sense of trail hiking at some points, sending my back to my camping days growing up, and leading camping/backpacking trips in college. The park is beautiful, and Whitetail shows off just how much.
The fairways are well-maintained, and the most open and fair ways (badum-tsh) I've ever seen on a wooded course. It gives you a real shot at staying on the fairway, but still is punishing for missing your line. But the rough isn't thick, so for at least the front 9 you could save your par.
Using elevation and using elevation well are two different things on a disc golf course. This is one that does it well.
It is almost breathtaking how beautiful the course is on a few holes. I have been to many state parks, and national parks, and wilderness areas, most of which were more scenic. But making the land into a disc golf course brings you into it in a different way. This course brought me into itself like no other course, even on very scenic land, has.
Cons: As mentioned, the lake is underutilized for being such an incredible park feature. I don't know if I would really change anything about this course (I mean, this is the best and highest rated course I've played to date), but if Claiborne State Park thinks about putting in a third course, that's where it should be.
I agree with reviewer MikeK about not having all the par 4/5s on the last 6 holes. I was sitting 4 under feeling great about my round after 10, but ended up 2 over on the day. Not that that's the course's fault, but once you get into a rhythm, an abrupt change of pace seems like you've just stepped onto a different course.
On hole.... shoot I can't remember. But on one hole the basket is placed on the ledge of a sharp drop off, and you can't really tell until you're there. I think that's not a great use of elevation, but mainly I worry about people going up to the ledge, even just to get their disc out of the basket, and the ground giving out. That happened to me on a creekbed about 6ft high, would have been way worse on a 20ft bank.
Other Thoughts: Being far away from civilization and cell phone service I don't think is much of a pro or a con. Just pick up a paper map/scorecard from the office and write your scores down. You won't need the map part.
This is by far a better course than any I thought Louisiana would be capable of. It is a must play for anyone in the area.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Best Course in Louisiana By Far
11 Helpful / 5 Not
+Easily the best course in Louisiana
+Challenging course requiring accuracy and distance
+Paired with the Dogwood course at this same location in a state park with cabins and camping, it's a great "destination course"
+Hills add to the experience with dramatic elevation changes on several holes
+Scenic views of Lake Claiborne on a few holes
+Fairways are kept free of tree limbs and brush, and even off the fairways for many many feet as well, so it's rare to have to look very long for errant discs
+Signage is very good, navigation is pretty easy
+Course ends on perhaps the best 4-hole stretch anywhere
+Good baskets in good condition
-Natural tee pads. Although the tees are still level and seem to be root-free, expect erosion over time to make this more of an issue. During rain also don't think these tees will provide foolproof footing
-All the par 4s and 5s are on the last 6 holes. Would be nicer if it wasn't 12 par 3s in a row to start
-Cell phone coverage is very limited. On most of the course you probably won't get a signal. Seemed like the only place to get a signal at all was by Hole 1.
-Away from civilization, closest towns are many minutes away (could be a plus for some)
Other Thoughts: While Whitetail is not perfect, I rate it 4.8, and round up to five since we can't do 4.75 or quarter points on this awesome website. It's by far the best course in Louisiana and worth going out of the way for. The second-best course in Louisiana is in the same place too (Dogwood), so this state park is a bargain at $4 a car or whatever small entrance fee it is.
11 of 16 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: - The park is really nice. Always seems quiet and never too crowded. Very few places can compete with the beauty of the lake and forest. Always well kept and for a wooded course, never noticed a lot of sticks and branches on the ground.
- The course is very well designed. A lot of variety, challenges you to hit the fairway, but for the most part, rewards you for great shots and punishes bad ones. The difficulty of the course is right at the perfect line where you are challenged enough, but not overwhelmed by unreasonable lines or distances. Extreme elevation changes, which is very well used. A vast majority of the holes, you have to account for it, or you won't be successful.
- Baskets are well-kept, seen a lot of baskets in the woods turned into spider's paradise, never noticed that here. Tee signs are extremely well done. They look very professional, nothing more you could want.
- Aesthetically, the money hole is 10. Straight downhill tunnel to the gorgeous lake. Stunning. As far as hole design goes, #17 is the best. Forces you to crush a left to right that has to hit a smaller-than-you-think fairway. Then you have to hit one of two tunnels, and the whole time, you feel like you could reach the basket with one good throw, but it's so far uphill, it is a smash.
Cons: - They aren't the worst natural tees I've played, but they can be inconsistent, which just comes with having natural tees.
- I don't like being negative about a course for the city/surrounding area, but this is literally the middle of no where. I wanted to grab a bottle water before I got there, and there was only one random convenience store within miles. Unless you are camping onsite, just not easy to go out of the way to play it.
- Really wish it had gone near the lake more. Lake Claiborne is a beautiful lake that is perfect to have a disc golf course built on it. But the only time you see it is #10. Really disappointing for it not to be featured more. It is the biggest asset of the area, and it's just not used to the extent it really needed to be.
- Parking is an issue. Both courses start just to the right of entry gate. There is some parking there, but for the most part, you have to drive all the way down to bottom of the hill and walk back up.
Other Thoughts: - This course really is really good. But to me, it's just not great. Every time I have played the course, I've thought to myself, "This place is alright", not the "so happy I came here" feeling I have had at other premiere courses. It is really good wooded course. Good, just not great. In the Cons section, the only complaints about the course itself are natural tees and lack of using the lake, neither is a major issue. But there isn't anything great enough to me to make me think it is excellent or anything more than just another very good course.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
No flat place in the woods
17 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: This is a very beautiful place to have a disc golf course, or in this case 2. It is so quiet and scenic with just the sounds of nature. If you like to also supplement your disc golf with good exercise, the consistent hills will help you achieve that. The tee signs are great with 2 pads on every hole, blue for long and red for short and I believe 2 basket positions on at least most holes if not all. The red and blue pads can differ by 300 plus feet to please various skill and distance throwing levels. Hole 10 was just epic with a very reachable basket which tapers to a good gap in the trees perhaps 15-20 feet across 40 feet in front of the basket, but woe to the thrower that is too frisky as the waters of Lake Claiborne await perilously close behind the basket. Other holes are within ace range if you can possibly find a line and a great deal of luck.Other baskets can take an average thrower 3 shots to get there and of course 3 more if the trees are unkind which will probably happen to most of us there. So, there is a good mixture of distance and holes that favor forehand for some and backhand for others. If you are over 62 you get into the park to play for free all day. Yippee!!! It was surprisingly easy to keep track of your discs despite all of the trees. Also its a great destination course for the day because there is another fine 18 hole course right on site.
Cons: My disappointment was that when I made arrangements to play here the course was rated no. 8 in the nation with a 4.80 rating, which to me would mean that it is nearly flawless. I stepped to the 1st tee and it was a dirt tee box and I looked around thinking there must be a better tee nearby. There wasn't, just another dirt tee for the shorter red tees. Even the dirt tee wasn't the best. I thought that maybe the other holes would be concrete pads. They were all dirt as were all of the adjacent 18 holes on the other on site course. Needless to say my jaw dropped and although I know I will rock the boat of those who rated this course so high I can say that at least in my opinion this is not a top 10 in the nation course nor should it have a 4.77 rating (it's current rating). Also, virtually every hole is a very tight fairway with a very high % of hitting a tree early on or drifting into the solid lines of trees on both the left and right. Trees are great and necessary but way too many holes that you can't make a shot because if you miss the 1st tree you'll hit the 2nd or 3rd or be in woods right or left. It just gets old to have every shot set up that way. Same on the adjacent course. But, hey we're disc golfers
. We take what we get and shoot the lowest score we can possibly think out manage.
17 of 26 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Lake Claiborne's Whitetail course is defined by an interesting combination of a tightly wooded environment with near-constant elevation changes. Many otherwise-straightforward shots are jazzed up through different manner of elevation changes from the subtle to the drastic: mid-fairway ridges and dips, uphill and downhill shots, and more varied undulations are all seen. The elevation is a highlight, especially in combination with the thick woods. It can make for some interesting approaches, including contending with the occasional behind-the-basket drop off.
The course does a good job in my estimation of combining technical with fair. Tight windows and lanes abound, but recovery shots are reliably available relative to the thick woods in play. Underbrush is thin enough that discs are easily found should you end up in the rough. Stray branches are kept to a minimum, so hitting your lane cleanly is usually rewarded and unlucky snags are uncommon, a breath of fresh air for such a wooded course as this.
The setting is utterly beautiful. Navigation is greatly aided by signage. Grooming was well done during my visit in April.
Cons: I feel as though Whitetail's design is slightly conservative and repetitive. There are a lot of straight up the gut shots, especially if you have forehand/backhand versatility. The elevation helps mix up the feel but I found myself throwing the same disc on similar, mostly straight lines again and again. Some more drastic line-shaping beyond slight variations on how your disc finishes would go a long way.
There isn't a lot of risk versus reward decision-making owing to holes being pretty straight forward in how they play. A lot of holes have an up and down feel that doesn't get deviated from enough IMHO: so much rides on your shot off the tee, which seems a missed opportunity given the richness of the terrain available. Some of the few longer holes feel more longer for the sake of it than providing a truly distinct par 4/5 feel. That these all occur in a bunch on the back 9 seems odd and feels a bit unwelcome given the moderate intensity of the walk this course provides.
The blue tees occasionally add gratuitous distance and don't otherwise seem to enhance the challenge/experience of the hole. Sometimes the shorter tees seem the more natural fit for the design, whereas at other points it's the opposite. The course experience thus isn't well balanced between both sets of tees.
Other Thoughts: Lake Claiborne is an excellent course. There aren't many in the region with its combination of woods and elevation, and less so that are as well-tended as LC seems to be. That said I didn't find it to be among the best courses I've played. A great course to visit, but not one I'd push to add to your bucket list.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Natural beauty, well-defined fairways, extremely well-maintained
Pros: -Easy to find, the course entrance is right by the park entrance
-A ton of elevation throughout, with a dramatic downhill on hole 1 and uphill on 18, a number of tricky rollaway-inducing greens
-The natural tee pads give great traction, even after a bit of rain
-Backhand holes, forehand holes, a couple of tunnels, and one or two that will reward the long bombers, particularly the 1054 ft 16th; very well-rounded course
-Very fair, with achievable golf lines on every hole
-Excellent new Discatchers
-The blue tees are a good deal harder than the reds, which are great for a quicker fun round, especially if you don't have the greatest accuracy off the tee
-Not crowded at all, I have played here solo probably 25-30 times and have had to play through like twice
-Incredibly well-maintained given the relatively low foot-traffic it seems to receive, even when the leaves were falling the tees and paths were always cleared and fallen trees, branches etc. are quickly removed
-This course definitely rewards you if you are having a particularly good day, you can pile up lots of 2's on the front 12 if you hit your lines.
Cons: -A couple of the teepads, the reds on 2 and 8 come to mind, have tree roots sticking up that can disturb your runup
-The lake only really comes into play on 1 hole
-Cell service is sketchy at best and not many people around to hear you scream, try not to break a leg
-Some turf tee pads would definitely bring the place over the top, the existing ones are just as good as concrete ones though and much better in wet weather.
Other Thoughts: Beautiful and well-designed course in a not-particularly-active disc golf region, cool to see that it has broken onto the Top Rated page. Would love to see a pro tour-type event come through here someday.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: teamudgp
Thanks for the review. Glad you enjoyed it.
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