A Good Walk NOT Spoiled
2 Helpful / 1 Not
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.]
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Great local course
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.
1 of 3 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
2 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.
2 of 8 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.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Great course from beginner to advanced
Pros: Red, White, and Blue tee boxes to choose from. The reds are very short and beginner friendly. Blues have a lot more distance to cover and are challenging with more tree obstacles. The holes are clearly marked with signage making the Tees, Basket, and Feet information easy to find.
Course was in great condition when I played. Lots of mulch. If you get caught playing in the dark, don't worry, hole #18 has some lights.
The bathrooms are the most luxurious public bathrooms I have ever seen.
Mosquitoes are not that bad.
Hole #1 located off the circle drive, left of the pavilion and practice putting area.
Several water holes which are dry and sandy, so you don't have to worry about having your disc sink or float away.
Cons: Short course. It would be nice to have a little more distance and variety. Favors RHFH or LHBH.
Slightly hard to find. Do not go in the first park entrance on the right, take the second entrance.
No water fountain at the pavilion.
If you start on the back 9, there is quite a walk from 18 back to 1.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Gorgeous Woodland Course
Pros: Lets start with the atmosphere. Quiet, scenic woodland course just a discs throw from the heart of the triangle. One of the nicest practice baskets I have ever seen. Open flat plane right next to hole 1's tee.
Signage was excellent! Detailed sign with fairly accurate footage and lines at every white tee. The red and blue tees also have small markers with the footage at their tees.
Almost every fairway was dry and mulched. Decent use of elevation when available and excellent use of the creek on the back nine. I loved hole 12 which sits on an island amongst a maze of creek beds. Creek plays OB but its a nice element of difficulty added.
Cons: Not too many cons but a few benches here and there would have been nice. Was not the easiest course to find. There are two park entrances and you have to drive by the first in order to get to the park entrance where the disc golf course. Some signage on the road directing you to the right parking lot would have been nice. What really kept this from being a 5 star course is its lack of distance. There were a few par 4's thrown in but I would of loved a few 700 or 800ft par 5's here and there.
Other Thoughts: I can always tell the difference between a park that was built with a disc golf in mind, and one where a course was added later. This was definitely the former. Park was gorgeous with excellent amenities, but there was little to none intrusion with the rest of the park features. Will definitely be playing it again when I am in the Raleigh area.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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