Great SOMD course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Excellent signage, tee pads, and baskets. Always nice when a course hits all three of these.
-Pretty park setting that, over a number of visits, does not seem to have much overlap between park-goers and disc golfers.
-Really nicely laid out par 4 holes on the open and lightly wooded stretches.
- Uses a nice mix of different elements - left and right breaking shot shapes, water, elevated greens and pins, ect.
-The 4 possible layouts and ability to mix on any hole you want keep this course really fresh. My review is mostly my thoughts on the gold layout but i have played all the availalbe layouts and found them enjoyable.
Cons: -Really the only thing keeping this from being a 4.5 or even a 5 for me is the wooded holes - holes 10-13. I'll expand on that a little in the thoughts below.
Other Thoughts: I really like this course. I want to be over the moon about this course but the middle stretch of 10-13 is holding me back from the big numbers.
I'll start with the holes I love...
#4 is a signature-worthy hole on some other courses. Pretty multi shot hole over a small pond and then finishing left to right. Not much technical danger off the tee but nice aesthetics.
#8 great gold par 4, right to left off the tee and left to right back to the pin with danger on the drive and approach if you bite off too much.
#9 From the gold its a really fun but technical anny flex (or really mashed hyzer if you've got it). Get it too turned over though and you end up in the frog pond :)
#17 What a great hole. You have to control where you land your tee shot to give you the approach you want to the peninsula (water on one side and woods on the other). combined with the elevated pin this is maybe the most technical hole on the course.
#18 Not too technically demanding but a pretty closing hole over water to a beautiful raised pin location. In casual play i rarely can resist emptying the bag here.
For the stuff thats holding me back...
#10 From gold its a flukey tee shot. Poorly defined fairway where similar shots can get very different results.
#11 The short tee here is actually the much better shot. downhill with OB behind the pin so you really have to control your speed. The gold tee is poke and hope and then when you get through hopefully you don't end up wet.
#12 This hole is a decent wooded hole. My complaint with the gold layout here is that the short pin is right in the way of a good shot to the long. I have seen more than 1 shot to the long piped up the fairway that has hit the short basket.
#13 The short here is again a much better shot. The short hyzer from the longs leaves you a random second whether you execute it fairly well or fairly poorly. I love the woods back here and love the short pad but I do not like the layout from longs.
So that's it. the only reason I took the time to detail the holes that i feel don't work as well is because i feel like this course is really close to being a real 4.3-4.6 rated course and i hope it keeps getting better.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Pros: - No crowds. Had course to ourselfs.
- Great options with the 2 pads and 2 baskets on almost every hole. Very nice pads also.
- Nice setting and scenery. Very clean!
- Great signage and mapping. I didn't even use the map I printed from web site. (Even for hole 2 which isn't that bad of a walk to pad. I've had worse.)
- Well use of land they had. Decent variety of lefts, rights and elevation change available.
- Loved the mix of open shots and wooded.
- Most of course is very forgiving of mistakes made. Good for beginners from red pad.
Cons: - We were the only ones at park on Good Friday but I could see some potential conflicts with other park users on a busy weekend. Especially on the open holes.
- Could use some trash cans. ( This wasn't a problem but as the course gets more popular it could be)
Other Thoughts: This is a solid 4. The dual pads really change the holes. I used the red pad to yellow baskets. Mostly cause I had 3 bigginers with me and it worked REALLY well for all of us. It gave me enough of a challenge as an intermediate player but still made it fun for them. If it only had red to red, I would probably not come back. If I make it back here again (from California), I would want to play blue to yellow. I agree with the other review, I would be hesitant to throw over the first pond. Unless you throw a floater or you land near the edge, I'm not sure you would get you disc back. Looks close to 280' across and it's not clear water. The 30' pole they have to use is awesome, but not sure I would risk it. ( I know, what a wuss) Worth playing if your in the area.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: less than 1 minute from highway 301...DG sign indicating to use the 2nd entrance...very clean port a john...2 cement tees on most of the holes...2 baskets on most of the holes...open front 9 and wooded back 9 making it feel like 2 different courses and 4 configurations are available..color coordinated tee signs (red/blue) and baskets (red/yellow)...wooden bridges built over wet area's...
Cons: the walk btw 1 and 2 as mentioned by many isn't all that bad as I was expecting it, it's well marked...twice the sign showed a right to left long pin position and I threw accordingly without seeing the basket but the long basket ended up being on the right...when playing long baskets on 14 and 17 the walk to the next tee was backtracking the hole just played...tee mats on 10-13(?) were un-level and slippery (why not cement like the others?)...#15 felt completely like a filler hole...you throw over a non-OB park road twice (3 and 18)...
Other Thoughts: I understand why this course gets a 4 star rating from most golfers as the amenities are great but the golf shots were rather repetitive.
I played short tees to the long baskets. I used the same driver on about 15 of the 18 holes. I skipped playing a 2nd round of long to short as planned and continued on to my next course over an hour away.
The water carry required from long tees 4 and 18 were about 300', I throw only 270' max right now and didn't see a bail out route that could be used if throwing from the long tee.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jrawk
There are no 300ft water carries. That is enormously overly exaggerated.
Hole 4 is a 230ft carry at most, much shorter in summer when the lake is low. Hole 18 250 ft carry is easily bailed out on the left side of the lake any distance you are comfortable with since it is a triangular lake. Cut the corner for 160 ft. Split the different for 200ft or run at the short basket which is 35 feet from the edge of the water.
The Parks department is addressing the rubber tee mats in the woods. Concrete is not an option there right now as those parts are protected forest areas, but that may change in the future.
For those reading this, the course was designed around the blue tees. If you are a disc golf junky wanting to play the best, most diverse layout, play the blue tee pads. If you're simply a weekend warrior wanting an easy time, play the red tees.
One of the Best in the Area
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Perfect Signage for every tee, basket and inbetween make it easy to find baskets and not get lost when moving along the course. Very open course layout for people that love to drive long shots with min-mod technicality. The open layout is great for novices and intermediate players, and a good warmup/style course for advanced players. The water features are all playable, and unless you drive it into the center of the pond, you can easily get your disc back because of the 30-40ft poles that are positioned on each major water feature. This is a great course to practice driving over water shots (4 and 18) without fear of losing anything because of the recovery poles. There is a little of everything on this course tees on/towards hills/elevation (12, 14), driving downhill (11), technical woods (some of 10/16 and *13), over-water drives (4, 18-B), low-technical open distance drives (6, 8, 17, 18). It is pretty impossible to lose your disc on this course, there are no inaccessible terrain features or overbrush that will consume your worn plastic.
Cons: There really isn't too many cons for this course. This course does a little of everything without being the best in any of those areas. A lot of the more technical shots or interesting shots are short sub-350ft range. There is a small natural ravine bordering the wooded shots that make it difficult and mildly dangerous to retrieve your discs if they end up in them. The ravine is noticeable behind 11, which is the only significant downhill shot, and one that can easily be overshot into the ravine, and also noticeable on 13 if you try to drive around the path from the blue. Another note on 13 is that it feels completely different from the rest of the course, almost like walking on a completely new course. That feel is because 13 is really the only true wooded technical shot in the entire course, well, half of 16 and 10 as well (but both are relatively short).
Other Thoughts: This course fits my style. I'm an intermediate player with a little over 2 years experience playing in Colorado, Virginia and Maryland. I'm still working on my driving control and this course fits my need while not being a complete technical challenge. The two girls I played with, who had limited experience playing loved this course because of the lower technicality and it also gave them confidence in their drive and release. Overall course traffic seemed to be low, which may be because of the course being relatively new and also it being Winter (but hey, I would play in my snowshoes in Colorado..). As for the amenities around, there's a mall within 5miles of the course with a food court that has pretty good food. There are a bunch of liquor stores in the area, and restaurants to grab a beer within 5-10mi.
Overall, it is a great course that has a completely different feel from a lot of the other courses in the area and a worthwhile drive to try it out. I currently drive an hour from Fairfax to play here, mostly because my girlfriend (and also I) love it, but also because it beats out my local courses Bluemont, Burke Lake and Bull Run in a variety of ways.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jrawk
Thanks for the review. The course does play significantly easier in the winter without leaves on the trees. Also there are many young fast growing trees that will continue to grow and tighten up some of the lines as years pass. And hey, I'll have to try playing in snowshoes sometime. Sounds like fun!
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Patapsco & Seneca Creek: Move Over!
Pros: Great signage. Lots of variety and flight choices with 2 tees and 2 baskets on most holes. Nice scenery and environment. A lot of thought and work went into this course.
Cons: The course is sort of a perma-bog but as the whole park is a wetlands area that kind of fits. Plenty of reptile and amphibian life can be spotted on a round. It's a bit of a stretch but everything else here is so great I'll mention the traffic noise from Rte 301 and tees that are on an asphalt roadway on #7.
Other Thoughts: The course designers probably just couldn't find a good solution for wanting the course to start and end at the same place with #18 as a magnificent finishing hole. Hole #1 is an unexciting bog and then there is a looong walk to #2. Most other things here though are at an A level and this brand new course is one of if not already the best in Maryland.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: prerube
Charles County has recently made several improvements to drainage. If you play a course in April, it will tend to be wet. "April Showers bring May Flowers".
The course was designed to have it's own private parking lot. Hole 1 was an obvious plug and play, but we could not play anywhere near the dog parks. The walk is under 700 feet and appears after the first hole, so there is not time to be tired yet.
The tees on Hole 7 are still on the asphalt, but have recently been painted in the color of the tee that you are teeing off from.
Thanks for playing.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Play this course, it was great!
Pros: * Very well maintained with excellent baskets and excellent signage.
* Great mix of open grip-it-and-rip it shots and wooded, technical shots.
* Multiple pads and baskets on every hole make this a great course regardless of skill level.
* Easily accessible with plenty of parking.
Cons: * Long walk from #1 to #2 around the dog park - directions from 1 to 2 could be better for a first timer, but I was playing with someone who had been there a couple times.
* A couple more trash receptacles would be good, but this is a minor quibble
Other Thoughts: Went out with a friend who has been here a few times before and raved about it every time. The experience didn't disappoint. I had a fun time on the course despite being severely punished on a couple of wooded, uphill putts I missed. This may be a 40 minute drive and across a state line for me, but I would gladly make that drive to play this course again. It doesn't quite have the scenery like you would find at Seneca, but I think the course is just as enjoyable as Seneca's original 18.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: -Very well maintained
-Great tee pads
-Great disc catcher baskets (two on most holes)
-Great man made course accents
-Informative club/course map and bulletin board
-4 unique course layouts depending on the pad/pin combination that you play
Cons: It's reaching to come up with a con...but I guess some of the walks from tee to tee were long. Not bad though compared to a lot of courses out there.
Other Thoughts: I was super impressed with the time and money I saw invested in this course. I was visiting from out of town and only had a putter to play with so I played the short/short combination which was still fun. I was eyeing the Long Long course layout as I played and I was drooling over the chance to come back and play it. Looks challenging! Can't wait to make the drive up from Charleston to play a tournament here!
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 2 Not
One of the designer's impressions.
Pros: Intro: As one of the course designers, hopefully this won't come across as overwhelmingly biased. I've played many of Maryland & Virginia's best since Turkey Hill was first opened. And now 4 months after first opening the course I honestly feel it holds up very well by its own merits. Turkey Hill will continue to increase in challenge as many areas with immature trees grow up taller and fill in some trivial gaps. Until then, every hole is still enjoyable and unique in its own right. I rate this course "4.5 - Phenomenal" because I feel that is an accurate description of the course.
Equipment: Quite simply, no expense was spared. This course features dual 6'x12' concrete tee pads (Red and Blue) and dual baskets (Red and Yellow as of 8/26/14) on almost every hole. #10 and #12 have one tee pad, and #11 currently has one basket. #12 and #13Red have rubber fly-pads mounted on beautiful wooden platforms. Professional tee signs at each teepad are accurate to fairway distances, measured with both a wheel and laser, which we used only to measure over water and rough terrain. There are benches and trash cans at many tee pads. There's a practice basket next to the dedicated course parking lot. A gigantic course map and kiosk at hole 1, with a beautiful brick patio leading you to the first Blue tee pad. From hole one, directional signage will guide you to the next hole which continues throughout the course, with many foot bridges and even a beautiful wooden stairway-to-heaven between 13 and 14. There are porto-jons by the parking lot, near 2's tee pads, and some behind the tree line after hole 9.
Designing the Course: The course plays as a large counter-clockwise loop around the perimeter of the park. Hole 18 ends where 1 begins, and hole 10 starts on the opposite side of the park. During the design process, we were restricted to where the course would begin and end, so we had the choice of designing clockwise or counter-clockwise. Many reasons were identified why counter-clockwise was the best choice, namely saving the large lake water carry for 18 instead of 1, and also forcing the long walk between 1 and 2 in the beginning of the round instead of the end. Given our options, we chose the proper play direction.
Hole Layout: We started by identifying the best holes on the course and designing the rest around them. Holes that are prime examples of this are #4, #8, #10, #13, #14, #17, #18, which IMHO are the stand-outs. Every hole on the course was designed with the Blue teepad and B-pin in mind first (the long-to-long format), and then the Red to A-Pin (short to short format) second. We made sure both basket locations were diverse enough to allow for 2 permanent baskets per hole without much interference created from each other. Our ultimate goal was to build a course that challenges the adept and entices the beginner. I strongly feel we succeeded at both. One example is that both water carries are forced from the blue tee pads on #4 and #18. However they are not forced when playing from the red tee pads.
Hole diversity: This course will challenge the player to execute every throw style. Long bombs, tight tunnels, uphill, downhill, dog legs, sweeping turns, split fairways, specific overhand options, water carries, ob zones, fast greens, elevated putts, downhill putts. Be careful of some of the more innocent looking fairways. They can be the most punishing, such as hole 11; A short 200ft steep downhill throw, tightly guarded by trees, with an OB ravine 40 feet behind the basket. So carry a diverse bag of discs. You will need them.
Cons: Having helped with the design, my only true disappointment was not being able to design/play further back into the north woods (where 10-13 are). While that option is not yet completely off the table, there are many environmental hurdles that must be overcome before the course can be extended. Holes 11, 12, and 13 will likely be revamped if the opportunity ever exists.
Many comments have been made about drainage issues on the fairways, namely hole 1, 6 and 14. This year (2014) has been one of the wettest years on record and yes these spots often had inches of standing water days after the last rainfall. To address this issue, the Parks department has installed a swale across hole 1, an elevated wood chip foot path down hole 6, and has relocated the B-pin basket position on hole 14. Drainage has not been an issue since these changes were implemented.
Some fairways as you progress through the course have a feeling of being too wide open, namely Holes 1, 6, 14, and 18. The Parks department has future plans to plant some trees on the left side of hole 1 and 18. Hole 6 and 14 were bush-hogged completely during the design phase and we have identified areas on the fairways where gum trees will be allowed to grow up. Gum trees grow fast. By 2016 the trees should be 15 feet tall and the flight lines should tighten up.
There is a long 700ft walk around the left side of the dog park between hole 1 and 2. It is really the only tricky navigation area, but 3 or 4 signs guide you along the path. Once you play hole 4, the walk is most likely forgotten about.
Holes 2 and 3 play close to practice soccer fields and can be prone to pedestrian traffic on school nights. It isn't terrible, but it can be a concern for errant throws depending on the tee pad or basket you'd prefer to play to. These fields go more or less un-used during the day and on weekends.
Many comments are made about 13's Blue tee pad (par 4) being not positioned perfectly. While yes it could have been better, the 2nd or 3rd time you play from it, you'll find it's not as "useless" as some claim. It definitely requires a skillful throw to make the dog leg and avoid running out of bounds down the side slope of the fairway. Not every hole should be trivial and this one is far from it. As for not knowing where the baskets are when first played, look at the tee signs and go walk down the fairway halfway. A completely blind throw will likely result in a rough experience.
There is still some poison ivy on the course, mainly in the high-rough areas of the fairways. But the Parks department has done a very thorough job eradicating the ivy from the wooded fairways and some other portions of the course. The tick and chigger population in the woods has subsided as well, and will continue to as the course receives more foot traffic.
Other Thoughts: As many have stated, this course is in a great location and is very easy to get to. There are plenty of nearby food options. If you like craft beer, check out the Red Oak Bistro a few miles south on 301. They have over 70 brands of craft beer to choose from, and even have 4 wines on tap.
The Southern Maryland Disc Golf Club and Charles County Parks Department have entered a partnership in caring for the course. The park has staff & equipment onsite daily to upkeep and maintain the entire park. The guys do a heck of a good job keeping the fairways mowed, including mowing around a couple tee pads that in the woods with grass growing around them. The SOMD DGC organizes clean-up days, prepares the course for events, and runs weekly leagues and volunteer clinics for the public.
Last but not least, there is a very large, well established dog park between 1 and 2 and as such the course is very pet friendly. We are grateful for the local dog park patrons allowing us to invade their existing park land and strive to fundraise for the local Humane Society as often as possible.
The TL:DR version - Turkey Hill Park is full of features that every disc golfer no matter your skill level will enjoy and be challenged by. It's right off highway 301 and is clean, family friendly, and pet friendly. With dual tee pads and dual baskets on [nearly] every hole, there are 4 different playable configurations to try to conquer in one day, or spread it out into multiple trips.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Turkey Hill - She was my first
Pros: This is the first disc golf course I ever played. Must say - this sport is harder than it looks. I was great at ultimate, but this is a whole other beast!
The course itself is very nice. It is spread out in a large circular pattern around a sports complex with baseball fields, soccer fields, a dog park, etc.
The front 9-ish is fairly open and exposed. Starting with the back 9, you are in the woods - a lot, until I think about 17. The woods holes are nice (minus 13 - I hated that hole).
I like that the course is open and is a good course for a first timer. There are two sets of nice tees for each hole, so for someone like me who wanted the challenge of playing from the blue tees, but didn't want to go swimming to find the Frisbee, I could use the shorter tees on 4 and 18 (where there are big water carries).
Cons: We were lost on a few holes, as there are hidden signs or signs that point and then don't really lead in the general direction. I also hated 13. I see other people love it. I couldn't tell where the hole was at. Lost my disc twice, fell down the hill and was scrapped up pretty badly.
Also, as others said, I kept looking for this second set of holes, but they didn't exist.
18 water carry is pretty easy as long as you stay straight, but 4 is tougher. I cheat up a little, but it's still a tough carry. Lilypads means you can probably find your disc.
Other Thoughts: I went on a Friday and there were maybe 10 other people in the whole park. They do have Monday night tourneys, so that's a good option for anyone who wants to get competitive. I think once the other baskets are in, it will improve (EDIT: they have been added and are great! Really gives you options and improves several holes, namely 7 and 17). Maybe plant some more obstacles. But for a first course, this was a gem!
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jrawk
Hi there. Thanks for the review. The second set of baskets (reds) were installed this past tuesday (8/26/2014). Looks like you played right before they were installed. Check em out the next time you're there!
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Gem off 301
Pros: LOCATION! this course is right off 301 so anyone travelling 301 can easily add this course to their list. There is no other course for over 30 minutes in any direction. Course is just 30 minutes from the Virginia Bridge, 6 minutes from Waldorf mall, and less than an hour from DC.
Great shot variety and variety in hole distances.
2 pin positions and 2 tee pads for nearly every hole.
Tee pads are generous concrete pads. Tee signs on both pads in color.
Specially made stairs created to climb the hill from 13 to 14.
The only 2 water hazards on this side of the bay bridge. Both are moderately low risk and offer a safer option for newer players.
Hole 14 features a mound built specifically for that basket. Hole 18 features a Winthropesque elevated basket.
Practice basket near a parking lot specially for disc golfers.
Porto potties at parking lot, hole 3, and hole 9.
Cons: Drainage is an on going issue. some steps have been made to correct this, but the course is often wet,
Tee 13 long has a tree directly in front of it that is not very popular, but it does force a different shot than you would normally take on that line.
Walkers can slow down speed of play at times, but it is rare only a brief pause.
Other Thoughts: Long to long a 55 is about 1000 rating. 50 is around 955, 70 is around 865.
I did not want to review this course due to my involvement in it, but I am writing as a player and hope this does not wreak of bias.
This course is still an infant and some changes are coming in the very near future. But I feel this course can hold it's own with the other great new course, Ditto Farms, and the other top classics.
For food you can go north a few miles for a small plaza that features a few options, or drive 6 miles south into waldorf and have your pick of any time of food you want.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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