Woods by the Waters
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Serene playing environment, first time friendly, surrounding park
Cons: Lack of variety among the holes, some tees a bit rough.
Other Thoughts: Northwest River Park is a hidden gem, passed by unknown thousands of travelers bound for the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The park features a pristine lowlands waterway environment, with kayak rentals, long trails, a playground, and a campground with a camp store. It's all a nice oasis down there in the rural corner of Hampton Roads.
The distinguishing aspect of the disc golf course here, however, is the flat woodlands. This course plays entirely in flat woodlands with no water in play or in sight, barely an undulation, and really not a lot of light filtering through the canopy. The fairways are all reasonable - double track at a minimum in hiking parlance - and shot shaping straight, right, and left is needed throughout the course. Veer off and you'll be playing pinball all right, but that's on you.
This course is par 3 for 17 of its 18 holes, every one of them in the woods. Every hole has two tees, and the longer tees do present a different angle in addition to more length in most cases. The tees are boxed-in crushed gravel, and vary between decent and tripping hazard. The shorter red tees all have good signs, and wayfinding is no problem once you find the first hole.
Overall, the course at Northwest River Park is Decent, and worth checking out if you're passing by. It's a serene environment, probably ideal in the shoulder months with nice fall foliage or spring green coming in on the trees. I don't doubt the bugs are a problem in the summer months. If you find yourself thinking of Bilbo's trek across Mirkwood, just keep the discs flying low and straight and you'll find your way out of the forest soon enough.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Great wooded course
Pros: Nice scenery, the entire course is wooded which makes for a nice challenge. Had two sets of pads for different skill levels. Signs are great. Tee pads boundries are concrete to hold in the gravel.
Cons: Tee pads aren't paved. Most of the holes on red pads are just a straight shot to the basket, but I guess the trees keep things interesting. The course is on low ground so I can see it getting pretty swampy in winter time with lots of rain. I played in the spring and had to be careful where I stepped.
Playing fee is $2 and no alcohol allowed.
Other Thoughts: Overall a really enjoyable course! Only gave it a 4 because the tee pads aren't paved.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A Wooded Game Builder
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: ****November 2022 Update
-A heavily wooded course with tight lines, gaps, tunnels, and protected baskets. This course with discipline will develop your game.
-the hole maps on each tee pad are outstanding. they show the best flight path to the basket and some holes have a second and third flight path to choose. These maps are your best friend, baskets cannot be seen on most holes. That is how clutter the trees are on the fairways and rough.
-Wind for the most part is non-existent on the course due to heavy trees and foliage. There can be a strong wind outside the course, but you may only feel a calm wind. This gives you a chance to evaluate your form.
- Theirs a large and wide-open field to make some practice throws on while walking to the course.
-With the heavy woods, the directions from basket to the next tee are well marked with signs and arrows painted on trees. A rung on the basket is painted in the direction to the next tee. The course has good flow clockwise.
-The back tee pads (white) are in good shape, because very few people play them, their difficult.
- From the long tee pads, No. 16-18 are strong finishing holes.
-Beginners and recreational players will struggle. Intermediate will be challenged and Advanced will be challenged from the back tees.
****The course is isolated in an exceptionally large park, not likely to see other players on the course. I've seen no more than two dozen players total in three years. If you like quick rounds, this is the course.
****Theirs a club that preps the course for a yearly tournament. This past June a few of the short tees had fresh gravel poured. Some lines have been cleared and are now open.
****I have seen deer on the course. Still waiting for my first encounter with Cheesy the Black Bear, and I still haven't met Cheesy or any other bear.
Cons: ****tee pads are more narrow than other courses I have played, and the gravel is very uneven and sunken in on the majority of the red or short tees.
-Some of the lines you see on the hole maps have disappeared from overgrowth.
-Some holes are repetitive, and not memorable.
-Horse/Deer flies are awful in the summer months. A good bug spray will keep away other insects. Picked up no ticks this year.
-no wind also means no breeze during the summer months. It can be stifling.
-footing is treacherous, there are branches, logs, rocks, roots all over the place including fairways. Some of it hidden under thick brush and grass. I have stumbled and tripped several times.
-if you play the back tees, there are no hole signs. But par and distance are stamped on top of a white painted pole.
-Heavy rain can make the course swampy and muddy. During the winter can take weeks to dry out, summer just a few days. Any torrential downpour can flood out the trail from the open field to the first tee, closing the course.
****Theirs a pond beside the trail to the course, be careful of snakes. I've only seen snakes on the course once May 2021, when I saw four including my disc landing between two.
****There is high lost disc potential off fairway high grass and leaves. I've only have lost one disc in casual water after heavy rain. But I've found several on the course.
Other Thoughts: ****I've now have played 58 rounds on the course at the time of this update. It is a course where patience must be played and let the course come to you. It is a great course to develop your game with all the tight lines off the tee box. I try to get at least a hundred feet down fairway before hitting a tree, the short hole distances will keep in the hunt for a par. The fairways on most holes open to the basket after a hundred feet, but there's still guardian trees by the basket, you just have more room. Getting a 200-foot drive is a plus. From the back tees extremely more difficult lines and gaps, I have yet to birdie a par 3 from the back, ****still waiting. To score well, you must take advantage of the Par 4's and 5's. Out of the 107 courses I have played, its still one of the most difficult from back tees. ****My biggest personnel con is the majority of the short or red tee boxes are now rutted down effecting throws off of the tee.
**** Based on game development and an outstanding wooded layout I give the course a 5.0 rating, and that is where my overall rating is anchored on. However, with the short tees overall getting worse, ****I've knocked down the overall rating by a 1/2 point. The time to play from shorts avg. 60 minutes, longs 70 mins.
-With the isolation in a darken woods, I can get creep out sometimes, and always think of the movie "The Blair Witch Project". With little sunlight can also feel dark and dreary, and the hearing of unseen footsteps likely deer can heighten the creeped out feeling. Just to give you a feel what it's like to be alone on the course.
No. 5 Long tee Par 3, 315 feet has a 20-foot-wide fairway that lazy to the right, at about 115 feet turns left at the short tee pad and runs rest of the way straight and tree lined. The basket is tucked away on the right with guardian trees. However, I like to cut across the rough and there are gaps thru trees, rejoining the fairway at 200 feet. Fauna grows 2-4 feet high where your disc sails over the rough its very scenic, and no other flight like it on other courses I have played. Hit a tree, you are likely to be okay for an approach. Shoot across the fairway you will be blocked off.
No. 6 Long tee par 5, 606 feet. A lazy dog leg left at short tee pad at 156 feet. It's very narrow straight down the fairway and protect by large trees all the way down, just a little more room for a semi to pass thru. If you miss the fairway, the trees are too thick to pass thru and you're tossing your next shot with very little advancement. There is a 90-degree dogleg right 300 feet from the short tee pad. There is no short cut because of the trees. You need to place your shot precisely at 300 feet give or take 20 feet. The last 150 feet to basket is narrow at 15 to 20 feet cluttered with skinny trees, these trees also protect the basket.
No. 8 Short tee Par 3, 217 feet is a grove of trees in front of the tee pad at 20 feet. You can go right or left. Both fairways are 15 feet wide. The gap is more severe to the left at 6 feet, not so bad to the right at 8 feet. To the left a very sharp turn to the right on the fairway at a hundred feet. To the right you have a straight throw but can run into the woods at 180 feet from tee. I've never have hit the fairway either way. Approach putts are always cluttered with small trees with no clear shot at the basket.
No. 17 Long tee par 4, 406 feet is a dog leg right that slopes down to 180 feet to the dog leg. Then straight up slope for the rest of the distance where the basket is tucked to the left with guardian trees. There are a few lines to cut thru the woods and to the basket starting about 100 feet from the basket. It is the widest fairway on the course at 45 feet with grass. Sunlight can appear from above, that can't be seen on the rest of the course. With sunlight and some thinner leafy trees its very scenic with a large tree at the end of the fairway, halfway up the tree (30 ft) is a zip line stand (not in use) The stand can be used to target your approach shot. The basket is short and to the left of the tree, you'll find yourself on the edge of the putting circle.
Signature Hole No. 18 Long tee par 5, 525 feet is a dog leg left at the short tee pad at 140 feet. Then straight down to the edge of the putting circle where the basket is tucked on the left with guardian trees. Its narrow fairway from tee to basket at 20 to 30 feet. From the short tee is a small pond just off the left fairway at 15 feet, 180 feet from short tee pad. At 200 feet the fairway slopes down for 40 feet and levels out the rest of the way. 75 feet from the basket are a few lines to cut thru the woods to the basket. It's a fun and scenic finishing hole.
Trouble Hole No. 16 Long tee par 4, 485 feet dogleg left at the short tee pad at 175 feet with a 20-foot-wide fairway with protruding and over hanging branches that can slap a disc down. From the dogleg to the basket the fairway opens to about 35 feet, there is a group of trees in the middle just 10 to 20 feet in front of the dogleg. These trees can block an approach shot. The fairway bends left at 75 feet from basket and narrows to 25 feet, then hooks right to the basket at the putting circle. The basket is tucked to the right behind guardian trees.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: For a heavily wooded course it had manageable fairways. Some were pretty tight but but not 1 hole was a poke-and-hope. Not a lot of trouble off the fairway, if you smack a tree and shoot right or left not only can you find your disc but you might be able to save par... maybe.
2 tee pads per hole
New MachX DGA baskets
Great course for practicing accuracy!
Cons: The white or long tees have no tee signs, so if you need a distance or possibly a direction you either have to walk up the fairway or refer to the red tee. Every red tee does have a tee sign. I can't say for certain if the course is always like it was when I played it but it need some serous maintenance. And what grass was there it was almost knee high. With some motivated individuals and some leaf blowers armed with weed eaters this course could be top notch!!! If it was well kept when I played it, this course has 4 star potential!
Other Thoughts: I wish a disc golf club could adopt this course and get some traffic out there!!!! This was a very well shaded fun wooded course to play! If you are looking for a course to work on accuracy and control then look no farther!!!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Creepy as a mofo
Pros: If you are looking to get into the deep woods of Virgini, this is not a bad place to start. It can be very peaceful if you are looking to be centered while playing... Intresting terrain and layout.
Cons: Muddy, and depending on time of day dark. I went around 630-7 and the light was leaving this place. I felt like I was isolated but it wasn't a good feeling.
Other Thoughts: Play the course, it's disc golf. I would hit this course earlier in the day anytime before 5pm and than swing over to Minden point for anot her round.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Northwest River Park is Knarley
Pros: Very challenging wooded course. You have to be creative with your shot selection and be a good distance putter to birdie most holes. The course is knarley. It will make you a better player. New benches have been installed at each hole and there are new directional
Cons: The course may be too tight. Tee boxes need some work.
Other Thoughts: Better played in fall.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Heavy woods Course
Pros: One of the more challenging courses in the area. Have to have some control over your discs.
Cons: It is easy to go over par and hard to get it back needs to have a couple of holes cleared out some more to make up bad shots like most places.
Paths to the next holes need to be better. Some metal signs would be nice you can get turned around on a few holes easy
Other Thoughts: Still has some work but with some help it will be nice course.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -The baskets and tee signs were high quality and pretty.
-The fee is very cheap ($2 day pass).
-There were two tees for each hole, though they switched the color of the tees from convention. (The pro and amateur tees were white and red respectively, and all other courses I have seen have been the reverse.)
-While finding the first tee was a different story, once in the woods it was easy to navigate from the basket to the next hole. (Arrows directing to the next tee are spray painted onto the trees.)
-A few discs are available for sale in the park office.
Cons: -The signage for the start of the course is atrocious. None of the maps of the campgrounds indicate any disc golf course, and there are no signs posted directing to the first hole.
-There were no trash cans or benches, and while the spray painted arrows did help with navigation, they are done rather crudely. These things can be easily addressed, but I feel compelled to rate the course as it stands the day I play it and not based on its potential.
-Every hole was in the woods, and while trees can be a fun element to any course, these were demoralizing. There were many thin, young trees that added zero tactical value to the course and just made it like trying to throw through a cheese grater. Some holes had only about 5 feet of fight path room, which is simply unreasonable for players that are not at the professional level. Difficult tree shots always have their place, but the entire course is a series of holes where the "fairway" has not been adequately cleared, to the point that the shots can't hardly be attempted. This is the main reason for my low rating, as the course was not at all enjoyable due to the trees.
Other Thoughts: -To find the park entrance, go to parking lot #4 after paying the fee. To the left as you face the woods there is a clearing with a playground. Go towards the playground and double back on the far side of the water. There is an opening into the woods that marks the entrance of the course.
-There are an incredible number of ticks at this park. I recommend people with long hair wear some sort of covering for peace of mind. If you seriously can't stand bugs, then avoid this park altogether. Over the two hours it took to play the course and drive home, I picked 27 ticks off of my shoes and socks. None had bitten yet, but I can say that gradually finding that many ticks on my person was a traumatizing experience. Bug spray and long articles of clothing are your friends here.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: •Well designed & thought-out course that plays entirely through a wooded and shady area.
•A good balance between risk and reward that keeps each hole fun and challenging
•Flows nicely with holes that are easy to follow.
•Course map on scorecard is very accurate in guiding you through the course
•For 1st time players unfamiliar with course, tee signs show suggested flight paths through trees from both white and red tees. NOTE: Tee signs are located at red tee positions only.
•Sitting benches and post to hang bags
Cons: •Only a few white tees were sometimes difficult to see or find as the well-traveled paths mostly lead to the frequently played red tee locations.
•Just couple holes with soggy spots
•A few trash cans strategically place would be nice
•Watch out for tripping hazards although many have been painted to help you see them
•Once in the park, parking lot #4 is the designated parking area for the disc golf course although I saw no directional, roadside "Disc Golf" signage to lead me to this lot. Additionally, once parked in lot #4, there was no signage guiding you the 6-700' hike though an open field, past the children's playground and pavilions then, around the water's edge to the course entrance.
Other Thoughts: •Make sure that you sign in at the park office/camp store, pay your $2.00 and receive your "Disc Golf Day Pass" with a 4-digit number on it. A park ranger did ask to see my pass midway through my round. If you are over 55 and a Virginia citizen, you can sign up for a free annual membership that entitles you to unlimited play on the course for free!
•I suspect that as the warm summer months approaches and like most wooded areas; ticks, mosquitoes and poison ivy could be a problem but very manageable and preventable with proper clothing, a good DEET spray and ivy block barrier skin-care product.
•This course has a lot of potential to become Southeast Virginia's premier disc gold course for league and tournament play!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice easy to see baskets. Arrows on trees makes finding the next tee easy. Holes are challenging yet fun to play. Trees make for a shady round.
Cons: Finding the first tee was difficult. The terrain was challenging, lots of tripping hazards. No garbage cans. The tee pads were lumpy and a mess. Nothing that cant be fixex. One bad tee shot can lead to a 6 on a par 3. The place looked unkept. Overgrown, bugs everywere. Great place to pick up a dick tick. I played today because i heard it was in better condition then when i originally reviewed in 2014.... it was not.
Other Thoughts: After entering the park, stay left at the fork, follow road all the way go lot 4 at the end ... head towards the play ground equipment on the right...then the 2 pavilions to your left will lead you to a path entering the woods. A practice basket will be on your left. Continuing down the path will lead you to the first tee..
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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