oldy but goody
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: No undergrowth
Clear basket shots
Shaded from the hot sunny days
Cons: can be crowded on certain days
Some of the wood benches need repair
Other Thoughts: may need some newer baskets but overall it is a fun course that everyone needs to play while in the area.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
The Birth Grounds Of Disc Golf In Alabama
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (2.633 Rating) (REVISED - replayed October 2018) A historic pine tree filled layout that's fun to play.
- HISTORY - According to the PDGA, this is one the first courses to have the chain baskets in the world, somewhere between 3rd and 5th. A Steady Ed Headrick and Tom Monroe creation back in 1976. This notice by itself, makes Brahan Springs a destination course.
- FUN FACTOR - The perfect place to bring three friends and a six-pack. There are ample opportunities for birdies. Errant throws are not further punished even though there are lots of pines to weave around. The odds of losing a disc is near zero and for the most part, just about no areas where you'll have to search in the overgrowth. On my first 2 rounds here I showed up solo but ended up finishing in a group. It's just a fun place to throw a laid back round.
- ACEABILITY - There are lots of opportunities to run at the chains. Most of the holes play between 200 and 300 feet and have a clear line to the basket. The windows to the basket are tight on many holes but there's always almost always path. Skip plays are a very real possibly and its often the best way to run at the chains. I have three aces as of this revision on holes (6), (8) and (18) and about dozen or so chain outs in 90 rounds.
- CHAINS - Brand new MachXs. Hole (2s) basket was damaged in June 2018 and was swapped with the practice basket.
- CHARACTER - Above average. To start, average adequately sized 4 by 10 concrete tees. All the tees are shaded and wind protected, except for the open holes (1) and (2). Benches are at 80 percent of the tees. There's a community board with course info. Practice basket and two shelters with a couple tables. The only substantial drawback is no extra tees and extra basket placements are limited to four holes.
- SHOT SHAPING - Although the holes are on the shorter side, players will still need to put some thought into just about every shot. Lots of flight path planning is needed. Several holes have multiple lines to the basket. IMO, (7) is the only wooded hole without a pure line.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - This course draws a wide swath of skill leveled players. You'll see Advanced players out here working on their short game lines but also Beginners as well.
- QUICK PLAY - I've run all 18 hole solo in 40 minutes. Groups of four will generally take about an hour and a half.
- HOLE SIGNAGE - Brand new rocket themed hole signage. Leap years better than the non-existent signage pre spring 2018.
- NAVIGATION - Improved as of May 2018 as the tee signs have next direction arrows on them. There are also a few directional cues in the trees. There are a couple tricky transitions, (5) to (6) and (11) to (12), so be sure and peak at the sign on these holes. I have already had a few occurrences where first timers have asked me for directions.
Cons: Not too many issues of substance with Brahan Springs Park. The biggest minor drawback is the uniqueness of the last 16 holes.
- UNIQUENESS - For an almost fully wooded course, one of the lowest courses I've scored in terms of variety. Holes (1) and (2) are both wide open shots and then the last 16 wooded holes all have a similar feel. These 16 holes all weave through a tall ageing pine canopy. Sure the lines will cut left and right, but the surrounding elements are always the same. The lanes are moderately defined. Pockets to skip into are either loosely defined or non-existent. There are no water elements to contend with other than maybe the casual water in the ditch along holes (3), (11) and (12). No par 4s or 5s, no doglegs or forced overtop plays.
- ELEVATION - Very little out here. Maybe 3 or 4 holes dive or climb by around 10 feet. Mastin Lake is the only area course with a bunch of good elevation changes.
- AVERAGE CHALLENGE - The difficultly out here is just south of average. As an Intermediate player with about a 920 rating, I've been averaging about 5 down out here on league and tourney rounds. There are only four holes that will challenge advanced players; (1), (3) (7) and (17). Advanced players I've met seem to typically shoot 6 to 8 down or more, unless their talent is skewed heavily to throwing bombs. Advanced bombing type players sometimes can't even break par.
Other Thoughts: This originally was my 100th review in 2017 and its now my current home course. The course is great for Beginners through Intermediate level players. Some Advanced players will enjoy it too, as the lines require just enough thought to not make it a bore fest. Perfect for big groups with wide skill level differences and for those looking to shoot a laid back round. All stated, the biggest reason to check out Brahan Springs is the History. There are no older basket courses anywhere outside of California.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Average. The 50 to 60 year old pines that occupy 90% of this layout looks really nice on first arrival. However, after you run 5 or 6 holes of what seems like the same backdrop, you'll realize that the course has a real monotonous feel to it.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A little bit of history
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A good course for beginners and experience players alike.
A little bit of history being a Steady Ed course.
There is a decent variety of holes (two longer open holes, the rest wooded requiring a variety of lines).
Plenty of ace chances.
New Mach X baskets (I believe I'll double check next time I am there) and nice concrete tee pads.
Easy to navigate.
You are very unlikely to lose discs (only place I can think of is the big puddle of water in the ditch to the right of pin 2).
Cons: It is probably the busiest of the Huntsville courses as it appeals to all skill levels and does not take long to play through (I often go a play a round a lunch without it taking too long).
Not the longest or most challenging course you will ever play
Other Thoughts: It is a fun course with nice baskets, tee pads and marking. I have found most people enjoy it whether they are just starting playing or have been playing forever. Plus it is a throw back to a different time in disc golf (honestly if it wasn't for that I don't think it would have the rating it does but just for that I think it is well worth a play if you are in Huntsville).
If you want to make it more challenging see if a local can show you the Brahanzilla tee pads (if they are marked at the time).
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Toughest Steady Ed course I've played to date!
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.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
A Walk in the Forest
Pros: Signage, I found the tee signs helpful in navigating the trees to the hole. Very informative and accurate.
Amenities, located in a larger park so a bathroom was nearby and parking was more than adequate. Benches on most holes and frequent trash cans.
Variety, uphill, downhill, righty, lefty, straight, two open holes.
Challenge, you'd better be able to hit a line, or your experience may not be enjoyable. Lots of tight lines and early trees right off the tee pad. Frankly, if you are a beginner or if you cannot hit a line, you may want to find another course.
Navigation, I found the navigation better than most. There are next tee directional signs on just about every hole and the players have worn out a path to the next tee. Just follow the path.
Not crowded, but not deserted.
Upkeep, very well maintained when I was there, 8/21/15. Obviously, some TLC from the local club.
Oldest existing course still in use, accroding to the sign on the kiosk, but I believe the layout has changed somewhat since Steady Ed was there.
Baskets, both a Pro and a Con. I like that the same baskets are on all holes and they are still in good shape, but they are old and smaill-ish. None of my missed putts were the fault of the basket, they caught adequately well.
Cons: Not many, but a few.
At least two tees were missing those nice tee signs talked about above.
Frankly, some of the lines to the basket just seemed like "poke and hope" I'm not saying the lines weren't there, but I could not see how any LHBH was gonna reach them.
Length on some holes were fairly short, but that is probably due to the age of the course.
Other Thoughts: Loved the course, OB was generous, design was interesting and challenging.
The whole course is in a grove of trees and quite beautiful.
Didn't really match up to a modern course, but fun in its own right.
2 and a half stars for the quality of the course, 1 star for hisory and fun.
3 and a half stars.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Great mid course
Pros: 1.Concrete Tee Pads.
2.Hole layout sign at each Tee pad.
3. Well maintained.
Cons: 1.Can be hard to navigate.
2.Trees and lots of them.
Other Thoughts: I had a blast playing this course the other day. It was my first time there and I was quiet impressed. I live about 1.5 miles from the Indian Creek course so I play there all the time. However, I was in the area and decided to play this course with a co- worker. I enjoyed how the course has manageable distances between the tee box and the baskets. This is now my number 2 course in Huntsville.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice for a quick round! Accuracy over Distance
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.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
HOLY GINORMOUS PINE TREES
Pros: This course is great for all levels of play! Chance of losing a disc for beginners is almost zero. The course plays through giant pines that outlines the lines you need to through on a lot of the holes. One set of boxes when we played it, but we also played from some locations that I believe are future "pro" tees that will add to the length. We were in town for a tournament and plate this course once, but we also went by for a practice round the day before and again after the tournament and there were always people of all ages throwing plastic! It was a great experience to play one of the oldest disc golf courses around! Not to mention my friend aced the hardest hole there I the tourney! BOOM! This course will need you to be able to throw a variety of shots/discs...... Look for different lines high/low, hyzer/Anhyzyer, thumbers/overhand..... They are all there!!!
Cons: The only con really was the length. It was relatively short, but with the new tee locations we played, it will lengthen! Also, with the various routes you can take, this course can play as long or short as you want it to.
Other Thoughts: Great course! Minutes from Redstone! PLAY BOTH!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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