3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: First things first, a little slice of history. Outside of California, this is the oldest basket course left anywhere. It's pretty remarkable playing a course nearly twice my age.
As far as physical facilities go, Brahan boasts concrete tees and Mach X baskets (definitely not so historic, but man, they catch everything), including a practice basket. Mandos are marked unambiguously, and next tee arrows point the way to many (but not all) of the less obvious tee locations. There are benches on a majority of holes.
After two open rips (formerly wooded, cut down to contain pine beetle), the course plays from a moderately dense stand of pines. There is no undergrowth, and aside from one or two shots, no ceiling that a reasonable shot would challenge, even thrown overhand. As such, it's pure park golf, all about shaping your line through the trees to rack up birdies. That said, although it is forgiving, reasonable good accuracy on a wide variety of lines is required to park holes.
The vibe is also great - you will almost always find a dozen or more other disc golfers out there, and so if you do get turned around between holes, someone will almost certainly set you straight.
Cons: Not much in the way of risk/reward calculation - there's little reason to not go for every hole out here, and the word scramble just doesn't mean much. Also, aside from a slight, gradual drop down to 1's basket and a ~2' drop behind 18, very little elevation is in play.
Tee signs seem to keep wandering off - when I visited most recently (Feb 2018), there was exactly one left. When they are there, OBs aren't marked on them - I think the parking lot, road, and beyond are OB, while the water is casual, but who knows? While the lack of tee signs may have exaggerated the issue, a few holes seemed like they could have used nexT signs in addition to those already signed so. On a pet peevish note, the DGA number plates atop the baskets are really difficult to read from any useful distance.
With the crowd comes a propensity for gang golf and sloppy drunk golf, neither of which is enjoyable to be stuck behind.
Other Thoughts: Drake Springs is right across the road.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Toughest Steady Ed course I've played to date!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great beginner course that plays through mature pine trees. Many different lines and shot shaping needed here. Plenty of shade in the hot Alabama summers. Brand new baskets! Good concrete teepads. Tons of ace runs and even two holes for the long bombers. Can be played quickly and is not strenuous due to the flat terrain.
Cons: Tee signage - It's movable and doesn't give you the distances or a layout of the hole.
Can be very busy. Especially for league night on Wednesdays. Seventy to 90 players are currently showing up for leagues.
Other Thoughts: This course can challenge all skill levels. It's very easy to shoot 10 or more under par on a good day when you're hitting your lines or shoot a 10 over par when you're smacking trees just missing your lines! The pressure for advanced players to get those birdies is immense.
I say it's the toughest Steady Ed course I've played to date due to the others being almost void of trees. These tall pines at Brahan Spring have just kept growing. It gives today's players an idea of what disc golf was like in the late 70s/ early 80s. Maybe they will try throwing a lid here instead?
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Nice for a quick round! Accuracy over Distance
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Older baskets but in good shape.
- Appropriately sized concrete pads with the perfect amount of roughness for grip. Seriously, you do NOT need a 20' run-up for these holes - mmmkay?
- Not a lot of signage for "next tee" but the course flows well enough and is small enough where this is not an issue.
- I really like how 9 and 18 end near the parking lot which makes just playing a quick 9 a real possibility.
- Many of the holes have multiple paths to the basket making shot selection easy for both LH and RH players alike.
- The lack of any sort of shule makes it easy to recover from errant throws.
Cons: - The design of the course is a little repetitious and other than #1 and #2 there really is no place to grip it and rip it.
- This course is almost too easy. Anyone above an Am2 should be scoring well below 54. #18 for example is just a 198' spike hyzer to an easy peasy deuce.
- #16 has a missing tee sign.
- For some reason the walk from #6 to #7 is confusing as all get out.
- Baskets are really starting to show their age. As I understand it, some of the locals stated that they are in the process of installing new ones. They could really improve this layout by installing some extra sleeves and having alternate pin positions.
- This plot of land is really flat.
Other Thoughts: I would love a course like this near me. This is an easy but challenging enough course to be interesting which favors accuracy over distance. I honestly believe that players at all levels (except for maybe Am2s and above) would have a good time here so that makes this a fantastic course to introduce newbs to the sport.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Oldie but a goodie
Pros: It's fun to play here to see how the game has changed over the years. The course is fair and fun with very cool, pretty tall pine trees. You won't lose any discs here and it's fun for the whole family.
To keep it real, I play this course with two cyclones and an aviar and wear really tight short shorts. (Sorry about the visual)
Cons: Normally, I'd say that the short length of the course is a con, but in this case I think it's great to be able to play an old school layout.
I really don't have any major complaints.
Other Thoughts: If you're in the area, I recommend stopping by for a quick, fun round.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Old School Course
Pros: Great course for working on control of mid-ranges.
Cons: Played two years ago and had to wait nearly every hole. Game is popular, so is this really a con?
Other Thoughts: Course have "matured" over the years as the trees get larger and get thinned out. Played here back in the late 70's and early 80's. Back then, it was rare to see someone else. We gotta remember how the game has evolved over the years.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a fun and compact course and it compliments the diverse Huntsville area courses nicely. It's nestled in a really nice mature pine forest with little to no shule. Plentiful shade will be welcomed during the hot summer days. It's also really compact. In fact, you can just about see every basket from anywhere on the course. During non peak times a quick round could be had in about 30 minutes if desired. Although it's almost 35 years old you can hardly tell. It's well kept, clean, and has plenty of amenities.
Beyond the ample parking, you'll find a basket for some quick putting practice. There's a nice kiosk near hole one with plenty of info about the course. Concrete tee pads, nice signs, and next tee indications are all here. A bathroom near the ball fields at the bottom of the hill is there if necessary.
Hole one is the course's longest hole. It's a wide open, gradual downhill shot coming in at around 430'. Hole two offers another wide open shot but is slightly uphill and around 300'. Beyond those two it's into the woods. There you'll find some shorter holes, mainly between 200 and 300 feet. Although short, the holes do ask for some accuracy. There are a few guarded strait shots with several route choices. Also there's some sweeping fairways and even a couple of pronounced doglegs here as well. Given the land available, there is a good design here and it's very fair.
I am told that during high school football season the back nine is lighted by the stadium lights so some night golf is possible.
Cons: Some more elevation would be welcomed. Being so flat and tight, some of the more open course fans might get a little "short wooded hole" fatigued. Additionally, those who prefer the longer holes with some par 4 and 5's mixed in are going to be a little disappointed too. Some might consider its somewhat unchallenging nature to be a con especially if this is your local course and you play it over and over.
I am told by locals that the nature of the course makes it one of the busiest in the area. They say at peak times large groups with less than desirable etiquette can interrupt an otherwise enjoyable round.
Other Thoughts: I thought it was pretty cool playing one of the oldest courses in the world. The nostalgia itself is worth the visit. I really can't imagine anyone being just totally disappointed in this course. For the beginner, the shortness can be friendly training and the experienced will enjoy the birdie opportunities and upshot practice. As I mentioned it's really a fun little course. Enjoy!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Old but Classy
Pros: There are several good things about this course
1. Tees are concrete and long enough for the holes
2. Signs are well marked with throwing options and OB's are labeled on each sign
3. There are arrows hung on tree to let you know which way to the next tee
4. Transitions are easy and out of hams way
5. Course plays really fast and my group was never held up
6. Very begginner friendly. It would be hard to loose a disc here.
7. Most of the hols present a challenging shot that you must think about before you shoot. Its easy to get into a long second shot situation.
8. Very well maintained with no under brush
Cons: There a few of cons that I saw but nothing that would be aggrevating,
1. There are only two long shots, the first and second tees, both of which can be birdied fairly easily, the second hole makes fore a good ace run
2. I think all the other holes are under 300 ft
3. The holes become repeatitive after about the 5th hole
4. There isn't alot of room to work with, you have to be careful to make sure you don't hit someone so keep your eyes open for people who are within your throwing distance
5. I didn't like some of the mandos but the did make you think.
Other Thoughts: Over all it's a good course, not a great one, I would like to see a couple of alternate hole, maybe a couple more long shots. I didn't have lng to play so this was definatly the right course to play. It's quick, fun, and has great potential for a lot of birds. If you have an hour and you are passing through huntsville, stop in and play a course from the 70's. You won't be dissapointed.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Installed in 1976, this claims to be the oldest existing course, and it's still fun and challenging to play. The first two holes start are in an open field and the rest of the holes are played in the woods among many, many mature pine trees.
For the most part, the course is fairly short, but not necessarily easy. There are lots of different lines through the trees which help keep the course interesting.
The tee pads and baskets are in good condition. When I played here on 10/17/09, there were signs with diagrams and distances on each hole. I don't recall them when I was here a year ago and they are a nice addition to the course.
Cons: This course is pretty straight forward. There is little elevation, no water and no OB (except the road which doesn't really come into play).
I felt like the course was crammed in kinda tight, but was surprised when I played in a tournament here I didn't have any problem with discs flying too close to my group. I'm sure it's possible to hit someone with an errant shot here, but I guess the course is a bit more spacious than it appears.
Other Thoughts: I expected a course this old to be a birdie fest, but was surprised to find that's not necessarily true. There are definitely some easier holes on the course, but there are also some more difficult ones. And with this many trees, it doesn't take much to miss your line hit a tree.
Overall I really enjoyed this course. It's a great place to teach newer players some accuracy. Advanced players will enjoy the challenge of seeing how low they can score here.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Built in 1976!
Pros: This 18 basket course sits on a fairly small piece of mostly wooded (tall mature pine trees) land. I think 16 holes are played through the trees. It's short by today's standards but still challenging due to it's technical nature. Being accurate is the key here. The course is well signed. The pads are great. I like the fact that there is a nice balance of hyser, anhyser and straight holes. This courses requires a lot of thinking and looking for the right flight path. At least on the 430' # 1, most players get a one chance to air it out. There's almost no underbrush to deal with.
Cons: This is another course where what you see is what you get. It's not a course for the big arms. There's no water or elevation. It's mostly a recreation course. Hey, enjoy it for what it is. A classic old time disc golf course. Kind of the Wrigley Field of disc golf courses.
Other Thoughts: My son and I brought two professional baseball umpires from the AA Southern League out for their first disc golf experience. I think they're sold on it and will continue to play. I attribute a lot of their initial success and enjoyment to this course. It's very much beginner friendly. No searching for lost discs here. No water hazards to worry about. Just an enjoyable throw in a nicely shaded Georgia Pine forest.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Short, Technical, and Fun
Pros: Good conrete tee pads and Mach III baskets build a strong foundation for the course. There's well defined routes on each hole, and it's a great course to pick up a lot of birdies and have some ace runs. It's also a great place for beginners due to it's friendly nature, and you're likely to meet a lot of the locals out here later in the afternoon (beginners.....great place to pick up some advice and tips ;) ). It's really the best course in the area for a fun, casual round of golf, that certainly won't wear you out.
Cons: There isn't a lot of variety here; minus 1 & 2, every hole winds through mature pines and are all pretty short. It can get pretty crowded during the summer as well.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the oldest courses around, opening in 1976. So there is a lot of history in those old trees, and they have the scars to prove it! The way I rate my courses is how the course delivers in what it is supposed to be. Meaning, if you're looking for a fun, technical, short course, this one most certainly delivers. It is what it is, but I think that it serves a purpose in the area. If you want a bomber's course, go to UAH; a slightly more difficult version of Brahan, go to Mastin, a much longer and more demanding wooded course, go to Monte Sano, and if you just want a sweet mixture of everything, go to Redstone. Some may disagree, but I feel this is still one of the better courses in the area due to it's history and fun atmosphere, even if the big arms and new discs have passed it by. If your in or around Huntsville, you must play Brahan Springs, or you'll really be missing out.
Favorite Holes: 3, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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