A great location undone by poor hole design
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The majority of this course plays in disc golf only portion of the park. Ths is great from an experience and a safety point of view. The fairways are well-maintained and the teepads, although rubber, are in great shape. Each tee is marked with hole map as well as a small sign indicating par and distance. Some of the holes are true beauties, including the holes which play over a winding creek in the middle of the course.
Cons: Unfortunately, well designed holes are somewhat of a rarity on this course. I'll highlight some of the most egregious designs.
Hole 4: this hole actually used to play as a straight/slight turnover mid. Wanting to spice the course up a bit, it was redesigned a year or so ago. It is now a sharp dogleg left. Unfortunately the addition of the left leg of the fairway is a complete mess. The turn is somewhat falsely indicated by an arbitrary and completely pointless mandatory on the left side of the fairway. I say falsely indicated because just after the mandatory a small cluster of trees blocks any path to the basket. The designers cleared out a small alley between the cluster and the mando, but it's only accessable from a small landing zone. The only landing zone that truly gives hope for a 3 is the exact same spot where the basket used to be, and even from there you'll be lucky to have a clearly defined path to the basket.
Hole 8: this hole features an abrupt twist a third of the way down that would seem to lend itself to a tight flex shot. However, too many trees remain in the path where the disc would inevitably come out of the flex. It's telling when the highest percentage shot is a poke and pray forehand to the left off of the fairway. Perhaps this hole was designed with tomahawks in mind. I can't think of any actual disc golf shot that can actually fly within the parameters of this fairway.
Hole 14: up until now I have been speaking of the long blue tees. The blue tee on this hole is tucked away up the hill and behind the red tee about 100 ft back right. The shot itself is not bad. Throw a turnover mid into the gap and try to land on the fairway. It won't matter of course because the number of trees left on the fairway inside the woods means you're guaranteed to be pitching out from behind a tree and scrambling to finish in 4 strokes. A row of trees has been inexplicably left running 4 o clock to 11 o clock right through the main fairway as if to define a competing fairway for the short red tee.
Hole 15: once again the tee shot is a rather tame turnover mid to a well defined and open landing zone. It won't matter again because the basket is tucked away behind a sea of trees with no real continuation of the fairway. I threw a forehand roller and ended up about 60 ft off to the left. Layed up and hit the gimmicky wooden pyramid that the basket is raised onto and rolled 25 ft. Naturally I missed the par attmept (but that's on me I suppose). On all of the other problems I have written about, at least an attempt was made to carve out a path to the basket. The crew must have left the chainsaws at home on this one or moved on to another hole.
These may seem like the complaints of a middling rec player. And they are. However, the designers have failed to understand that they should have been designing a rec course. Even a fun hole like hole 6 which is a big hyzer flip to flat fundamentally misses it's target audience. It's a fun shot, but most will never sniff the basket. Even a perfect hyzer around the cluster will leave most ams with a 50ft look for birdie. The hole designs reek of an attempt to fit pro caliber hole shapes into rec level distances.
Other Thoughts: The designers have confused difficulty and challenge. The former leads to frustration, while the latter ultimately leads to reward. It's a shame because the course really is on a beautiful and well maintained parcel of wooded land. I would look elsewhere if you are looking for a well thought out set of 18 holes.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Shady with Great Bathrooms
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This technical course plays through a 100 year old pine forest and around Beaver Creek. It is nice and shady and feels great on hot summer days, but can get muddy after it rains. There are three different tees for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players. There are nice signs located next to the intermediate (white) tees, which is where most people will play from.
Cons: The tees are made out of rubber mats attached to what looks like wooden pallets. Most are too short and some (tee 17) is soft, mushy, and uneven due to the wood rotting away underneath the rubber mats. If the town of Apex would put in longer concrete tees I'd give this course 4 stars. There are no wide open long holes; all the holes play through the woods. Since most of the trees are pine trees there is not a lot of under growth so it's pretty easy to find your disc if you bounce off a tree and into the forest.
Update: 10/13/2017 - The loose rubber mats and most importantly, the rotting wood under tee 17, have all been fixed! Good Job Apex!
Other Thoughts: This course is part of the reason why we choose Apex as our new home town. It has the nicest bathrooms I've ever seen at a public park. There is a small amphitheater near hole one that the bathrooms must have been designed for because they have excess capacity for a disc golf park. Even if you don't have to go, you should at least walk in there and wash your hands or something just to see it. There are a few picnic tables under a roof near the bathrooms as well.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
A Good Walk NOT Spoiled
Pros: Well manicured, for the most part, with generous fairways and enough schule to make you work to get up and down if you're off the fairway but not enough to make a heroic par save impossible.
Multiple teepads, appropriate to intended skill level, make it possible for players of varying skill levels playing from their skill-appropriate tees to compete head-to-head on a reasonably level playing field.
The risk-reward from each teepad is appropriate to the intended skill level for the hole. Conservative play will yield a par on every hole; birdies (and the occasional eagle) can be had by aggressive play and errorless execution, a minor error in execution will still provide a realistic look at par, while a major error in execution will leave you scrambling hard to save par (or bogey).
Tests the full array of shot-making skills (including one's ability to see (and hit) alternatives to the "obvious" lines). A number of holes test not only one's control of line and length, but disc angle and speed as well.
Cons: As several previous reviewers have noted, many of the teepads are too short. (This is especially the case for the par 4s.) Also, the rubber mats (which were great when new) are starting to tear out in spots so you need to pay attention to the line of your runup and your plant foot placement.
The course intersects with walking paths at various points, and I've encountered walkers on fairways on a fairly regular basis. A little common sense (i.e., look before you throw, and don't throw if there's even a remote chance of hitting a pedestrian) goes a long way to avoiding problems.
Other Thoughts: I'm somewhat torn on Apex Nature Park. On one hand, it's a very enjoyable and satisfying course to play; on the other hand, for a player of my temperament (conservative, "I hate bogeys more than I like birdies") and skill level (~930-940), it doesn't quite tick the boxes that induce me to take the riskier lines in search of a birdie/eagle/ace so it can feel somewhat boring. Overall, though, it's an enjoyable experience: you get typical NC disc golf ambience (wood course that tests your shotmaking skills), without the overly punitive schule, bugs, and poison ivy. A good walk NOT spoiled!
I disagree with alecfalzone's assessment of several holes. As I see it, from a RHBH perspective:
Hole 4: a placement high (or spike) hyzer around the mando off the tee with a glidey midrange to set up an upshot, leading to a putt for 3. While not a great hole, it's an improvement over the previous iteration, which was basically a longer version hole 5.
Hole 5: an excellent test of one's ability to thow a straight 250-270' standstill shot with a putter or midrange through a defined gap. In that respect, it's not all that different than holes like Cedar Hills #17, Cornwallis 1 (Long) and 17, UNC 10, 16, 17, or Cedarock. Focus on hitting a window between the trees a third of the way down the fairway that define the fairway rather than on the basket.
Hole 7: a relatively simple standstill floating high anhyzer with a putter (I throw it like I'm throwing a Patent Pending): as long as you put enough juice on it to keep it from flexing out, it will end up parked.
Hole 8: a late turning anny down the right side with an understable midrange. Don't try to force the disc over: gIve it a good tug and let it do its thing.
These may not be shots one commonly throws off the teepad, but they're all common enough from the fairway.
I can see, and sympathize to an extent, with alecfalzone's critique of hole 3, and concur that it's one of the weaker holes on the course and could do with a redesign. On the other hand, in its current configuration, take away the trees "in the middle of the line you are trying to hit" and hole 3 turns into a boring "throw a shallow hyzer off the tee and drop in your deuce" hole.]
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Great local course
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Awesome local course. They are always updating and changing the layout to keep it interesting. Facilities are top notch. This course is maturing well and I see a lot of interest from local families playing. The ground work is always being improved upon in some swampy areas with nice foot bridges.
Cons: That dang creek can eat some discs!
Other Thoughts: Great place to play disc golf with other options within the park for other interests.
20 Oct 2017: The Glow tournament was a lot of fun and a great challenge!
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course is very well made/designed and it is kept up and running nicely. There is a large area to practice putting, and a shelter with VERY nice bathrooms. You couldn't ask for much more in a course made by the town.
Cons: On some holes (I think 11 or 12) there are trees right in front of your tee box for the little kid tees. It is really easy to lose a disc if it had just rained on hole number 12 (i think). My dad lost a disc when he threw into the water and it swept it away and they couldn't find it. (it is an island hole.)
Other Thoughts: Its amazing, and they have tournaments there all the time. Its great to see the town putting a lot of effort into this course, and even the mayor has come out to play this course.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Fair yet challenging
Pros: This course has every type of shot you could want to throw! Good course to learn new shots and tune in for a wooded game. The most fair/but challenging course in the area.
Well taken care of with the nicest bathrooms than I ever seen in a public setting.
Cons: No real open holes for beginner/intermediate players.
Families like to walk through the course backwards(toward you throwing).
Not many long holes(2 drives for normal players), sometimes it's fun to air a couple bombs out.
Other Thoughts: Good course for a windy day.
Minimal chances to lose a disc.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Fun course when it is dry
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very nice wooded course, almost all holes are through the trees but not always tight. A few up-hills and down-hills but mostly flat. All holes have three tee locations, fixed basket locations. Good mix of right-turns and left-turns and straight shots. Good signs and easy to find next holes. Easy parking, toilet facilities, waste baskets at some holes. Stream in a few holes but you will not lose your disc except in high water.
Cons: The course has poor drainage and after a heavy rain there is standing water for several days and mud for another day or two.
Although there are several par 4 holes, there are no real opportunities to let loose on a long open hole.
Other Thoughts: Rarely crowded, almost empty on weekday mornings and not bad in afternoons. Trees but not so much underbrush that you will lose your disc.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Among the best in the Triangle
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - As other reviews have stated, the facilities are top notch. Even if you don't have to use it just step into the restroom to check it out. It smells like cedar.
- Great signs for every hole. Easy to find your way to the next hole.
- Multiple tees for every hole: blue, white, red.
- A couple holes may be in close proximity but I never felt like there was any overlap or a real chance that there would be any interference between groups even if it was busy.
- Nice use of elevation.
- Even though it is pretty heavily wooded there are some longer holes laid out so that it doesn't seem unfair despite all the trees.
- Beautiful trees and a nice clear creek winds its way through the course. Be aware that the water moves quick though if it lands in the water. There are nice bridges at several spots to traverse the creek.
Cons: - It was VERY muddy when I played. To be fair there had been a lot of rain in the area recently, but I played a few other nearby course the same day and this was by far the worst. There were places where mulch had been put down to combat this but I still had to trek through muck on almost every hole.
- Very few benches. This wasn't a problem for me as I was playing by myself and only saw a few other golfers during my round, but if you are playing at a busy time or need to take an occasional breather this would be a downside.
- This may be nitpicky but for a couple holes I felt like there wasn't a great line to make it through the trees. More like chuck and pray. That being said most holes had a clear line to go down (although like many NC courses if you get off the fairway you can add a couple strokes to your score for that hole).
Other Thoughts: I was very impressed by this course. For me it is easily in the top tier of courses in the Triangle area, along with Rock Ridge, Buckhorn, Cedar Hills. The biggest downside was how muddy it was, but of course this wouldn't be a problem during dry times. If you're in the area do yourself a favor and play it.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Great Ideas, Poor Execution
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: UPDATE: The drainage issue on Hole 8 has been corrected (for the most part). A foot bridge constructed on Hole 17's fairway seems a little excessive, but does work well.
Amenities and Park Upkeep
Everyone who plays here will agree that this course has 5 Star amenities. The bathrooms? Sweet baby Jesus they're better than most of us have in our homes. The pavilions and vending machines? Top notch. The safety of the course and community? It's Apex, duh. Walking trails, amphitheater, practice green? All fantastic. The town clearly put some serious money into Apex Nature Park. Garbage and recycling available throughout the course and they're emptied on a regular basis.
2 - Great downhill putter shot
6 Short - Two fairway options, RHBH or RHFH
10 - Great downhill putter shot
11 Short and Long - Great straight to right finish hole with an OB creek in front of the basket
12 - Great downhill putter shot
14 Short and Long - Pretty awesome Par 4 from either tee pad
16 Short - Solid RHFH drive
17 Short and Long - Pretty good hole from either pad
18 Short - Great uphill midrange shot, albeit not a great finishing hole
When they're not stolen or vandalized, they have all relevant information and are very clear.
Cons: UPDATE: The teepads are worse off than they were a year ago with no improvements. The drainage issues on Holes 10 and 16 have worsened. The mando sign on Hole 4, which has been stated to be placed in correctly, is still in the same spot it was last year. The foot bridge placed between 15's basket and 16's pads have dangerous gaps on the turns. Very few tee signs have survived the short time that have been installed. The bridge leading to Hole 13's blue teepad has been washed out for months now, cross at your own risk!
They opted to use the Innova rubber teepads, which are fantastic when implemented properly (Jones Park, Rock Ridge, etc.). However, these were not installed properly and already need replacement less than two years into the course. They are nailed onto wooden boards without any filler, which leads to tearing of the pads. Almost all white pads are done, the blues are still in decent shape because not many people play them.
Speaking of teepads, they are all built on gravel mounds which are not level with the ground. The teepads are not long enough to begin with (especially on 3 Blue, 6 Blue, 8 Blue, 11 Blue, 13 Blue, 15 Blue, 16 Blue, 18 Blue). Can see a trend here? Most teepads do not allow you to have a proper run up, especially on the longer holes and the Par 4's. From the whites, (most) teepad lengths are fine, however a lot are awkward and not long enough. Raising them above ground level prevents you from running up from level ground behind the pad. IMO all of these need to be re done.
1 - Not a bad hole, but also not a great hole 1 for a course.
3 - There are trees in the middle of the line you are trying to hit. Not a good disc golf hole. To make this a "Par 4", they moved the basket back 30' and raised it onto a platform. The hole needs a redesign to make it a real Par 4.. Which brings me to Hole 4...
4 - They recently cut out a fairway to the left of the old basket position, put in a mando, and made it a Par 4. The mando is completely unnecessary and in a terrible spot. You can have a great drive, and miss the mando. If there is ever a PDGA here (not likely from those of us who have looked into it) this will punish players unfairly. Move the hole back 100' (there is room) and get rid of the mando. Make the turn more gradual and not a dog leg.
5 short and long - Not a fun hole. The line is unreasonably tight and the teepads don't allow a proper run up. Not fun.
6 long - They recently moved the hole back 200' to make the hole a "Par 4". I am not a fan of forced Par 4's, and this is another one. Again, the teepad also does not allow a proper run up on a hole that needs it.
7 - This turn angle is ridiculous for most players. 50' forward then a 85 degree righthand turn followed by another 200' with low hanging limbs and trees in the middle of your line. What?
8 long - From the shorts this hole isn't bad. From the longs, a whole different story. There is a tree to the left on the teepad that prevents the RHBH anny shot. Forcing you to throw the impossible RHFH line. Not a fun hole.
9 short or long - There is a dead tree which was left in the middle of the fairway. The top of the tree fell off, leaving the base and about 60' of trunk. Not only is it an eyesore but it also isn't the best line from the longs.
12 long - Another hole where the shorts isn't bad. But due to the teepad and tree right next to the pad, the longs is not a good hole.
15 short or long - Again, teepad issues. There is a fantastic fairway for the first 300' of the hole; then it stops. It turns into Plinko. There is no defined fairway, only random trees, 175' and in from the basket. This seems like another forced "Par 4" as it is reachable from the teepad, but these random trees force you to scramble (from the fairway) to save a 3/4.
18 long - There is absolutely no room for a run up (due to the teepad) to have a good drive.
Other Thoughts: UPDATE: I would still rate this course as a 2.5/5.. There are tons of changes which have been discussed and problems which have been identified.. However very little has come to fruition.
I held off on a review because I knew the course had changes coming.. But now that the changes are being implemented I am very disappointed. This course is not fun for a player of decent skill level. The fairways are for the most part unreasonable. The teepads don't allow a run up. And the blues are not fun, mostly due to the teepads. This is the closest course to me, but it is less fun to play than Kentwood. I would choose ANY other course in the area to play over this one.
Again, the amenities of the park are top notch. However the DG course was not implemented properly. This course has/had so much promise.. But to me Apex Nature Park is a huge let down.
This course could be amazing for beginners.. But the lines and basket placements are not beginner friendly at all. Personally, I would not play a PDGA here, not that there will ever be one.. $$$$$
Bring the family out here for a casual round... But the experienced golfer should spend their time at Jones Park in Holly Springs or Buckhorn in New Hill.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - great layout and variety
- clear signs: on the tees and next tee signs
- great mix of elevation
- nice streams and water hazards throughout - they did a great job of incorporating the water hazards into interesting hole designs that were both fair and challenging.
- good, challenging placements for baskets and for back tees
- three sets of tees for all levels: red, white, and blue tees
- really nice facilities and area
- what par 4's are on the course were really fun, challenging, and well-thought out
Cons: - drainage issues: on the holes where there were streams, the ground wasn't too soggy; but on holes where streams were lacking the ground was not fun to walk through
- one hole, number 7, felt lame. (I probably would extend hole 6 to hole 7's basket and make it into a par 4.)
- some of the holes have distances - from tee to basket - that are farther than what the signs indicate (e.g. hole 6 is listed as being 316 feet from blue tee, but hole is evidently 370 to 390 feet). My guess is they calculated the distances using straight lines from tee to basket instead of considering the curves of some of the fairways (which was fine for the holes that have straight fairways).
Other Thoughts: I debated between a 3.5 and 4.0 for this course, but I give I'll give it a 4.0 to help get it's average up to a 3.75.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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