Waller Mill for Real
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I loved Waller Mill. Lots of elevation change and woods will almost always garner a high rating from me. Adding dual tee pads and dual baskets on every hole can't hurt either. Water is in play, but only on a few holes. There are signs at each tee that help when you don't feel like walking the fairway on a blind tee shot. I used different tees and baskets on some holes, but mostly used white tee to blue basket. This is a course I would love to play a few more times. It would factor in as a major benefit if I were to consider moving to the area.
Some of the tees are carpeted. Not ideal, but they were pretty good. Chainstar baskets were doing their part well. The layout is pretty easy to follow, but having the map can be helpful, starting with finding the tees for hole 1. A sign here and there will aid in navigation between holes. There are blind drives on several holes. Usually the line is pretty intuitive and the tee signs offer a general idea of where to aim.
Every hole presents a different look and a challenge. All are good, but hole 7 grabbed my attention. A major downhill drive, over a creek at the bottom with baskets on the opposite side. There are trees that need to be avoided out of the box, but lines are there.
Cons: Upgrading to concrete tees all the way around would be nice. The existing ones are fine, but if I had a con I guess that's it.
It is a pay to play course, but it is well worth the price of admission. $2 park entry and $2 for disc golf.
I wouldn't bring a beginner here, it is an advanced level course. Even the short tee to short pin layout requires a good skill set to play well.
Other Thoughts: Awesome course. It's been quite a while since I played New Quarter, but I think Waller Mill is the best the area has to offer now. Not a lot of the classic grassy park vibe here. Intense play through dense woods, with plenty of elevation change, and a little water that could eat some plastic.
I think the combos I played added up to par 64, and I was not close to that. I did manage to make a couple of birdies, but was a dozen shots over at least.
The weather was excellent for mid February, and the course conditions were good. Inevitably some leafy debris lingered toward the end of winter. Recent rains left a bit of mud and a few puddles along the side of the 14th fairway, but everything else was great.
It is worth the drive from Virginia Beach. Traffic was congested due to construction, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Interesting, well maintained course; beware of chiggers and ticks
Pros: Interesting and unexpected use of elevation
Very well maintained; nice, secure turf tee pads, signage on all holes, obvious signs pointing to next tee
Two tees and two baskets per hole so you can really change up the course
Cons: Bugs in summer (serious issues with chiggers, ticks, and ants)
Pay to play AND pay to park
Some holes with very narrow fairways can be frustrating to new or not-so-new-but-still-not-very-good players (not really a con, more an observation for anyone looking for easier courses)
Other Thoughts: Overall, Waller Mill is a really nice, really interesting course. There are no open holes, so you really have to work on your more technical shots. Several holes are "more" open, but still in the woods. I love the downhill shots and the ones over little dips in the hills - as a not-so-great player, it makes me feel like I'm much better than I am when I see my disc sailing down the hill. Of course, the opposite is also true; the uphill shots provide a good, but not insurmountable, challenge. The combo of the heat and humidity in Williamsburg in the summer is pretty killer; throw in the unexpected hills in this course (who knew W'burg was so hilly??), and you'll have sweat pouring off you. At least it's all in the shade!
I have to address the bugs and I don't say this to be prissy. DO NOT take your dog on this course in the summer. I've never been to another course that has this severe of an issue - my husband and I come home covered in chigger bites that last for over a week; you don't know the full extent until the next day when you start itching. The ants (big fire ants) have gotten much more controlled but still watch out for them and especially watch where you set your bag. We noticed a definite decrease on the number of ticks after pre-treating our bag and shoes with Permethrin spray but we each had several ticks the first time we played without it. Ticks are a serious problem - Lyme disease is not uncommon in this area. Also watch out for snakes.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Water Hole's Suprise
Pros: -Tee Box area has excellent hole signs with elevation graph. Its a ravine type course.
-Tee pads are a mixture of field turf and rubber mats. The majority were field turf, and I liked the spongy feel, but not slippery. Felt like I was getting a little extra on my throws. Their were also brooms to sweep off leaves.
-Most fairways are hard pan, which I like for extra distance.
-Majority of the tee pads are elevated, their are target areas on the next hill, or to the next ravine or fairways.
-Looks like several trees have been cut down to widen the fairways, some just recently. Good for beginners and recreational players. This may of been done to also help reduce ticks on the course.
-Baskets looked recently painted blue and white.
-Fairways are clear of debris.
-Water Holes 5 thru 10 are the best 6 hole combination I've seen in difficulty and scenery. They border a 360 acre lake.
-Blue baskets offer the best challenge on all holes, they are very well protected by foliage. UPDATED: The majority are rollers, and 5-6, 8-10 death putts into the lake. White baskets some rollers, and 5-7, 9, 14 death putts into stream or lake.
-Outstanding navigation on hole signs, and big white signs with black arrow pointing to the next tee after leaving each basket.
-UPDATED: Long tees/long basket (blue) present 6 each of par 3's, 4's, and 5's. Enjoy the variety.
-Water hazards marked by white and red stakes with rope. I've only seen that on ball courses.
-UPDATED: Have seen deer on every visit, a snake once, and first time today the American Eagle multiple times.
-UPDATED: Haven't really been bothered by bugs, I like to put a good layer of bug spray on me. Only have found one tick this year, not much of a tick haven.
Cons: -Trees cut down may of changed the fairways enough where those who have played here in the past, may not recognize them now? UPDATED: But, they still offer a good challenge off of the long tees to the blue baskets.
-White baskets are either to the left or right of the fairway with no or very little protection. But, good for the beginner or recreational player.
-After a good rain, the hard pan I like could turn into muck for a few days.
-Most of the holes are non-water, and some are not memorable. But, they still offer a challenge. UPDATED: After 5 visits and 10 rounds still have difficulty separating a few holes on the back.
Other Thoughts: UPDATED: Today was the first time playing long tees/long baskets, and it was fun! Its demanding off of the tees where it can be very narrow on most holes, challenging basket placements, and a good physical work out! I STILL Think of holes 1-4 as preparing you for 5-10, and then afterwards a recovery period. 5-10 I give a 5 rating, and that's where my overall rating is anchored on.
UPDATED: Short tees/short basket takes me about an hour, long tees/long baskets took an hour and 50 mins today, that should speed up as I become more familiar. Their seems to be at least an extra mile of walking for long/long? The other two combinations takes about 90 mins. That too should speed up.
The notable holes:
2. ADDED ON: Par 3 Long/blue 420 feet lazy dog leg right on a ridge, a gentle down slope, with a drop into a ravine. At the bottom a stream that flows into the lake. The white basket is on the way and a roller. The journey to the blue basket is narrow on the ridge clutter with trees. Best to stay on left side of fairway, and if your disc flights straight into the heavy trees on left, your at least safe.
5. Par 5 long/blue 740 feet. Gentle down slope dog leg right. Second shot, white basket comes in view which is a roller into lake and that's where the lake begins. Throwing up hill to narrow line, back down to blue basket which is a roller to lake. Trees to the left, water to the right.
6. Par 4 long/blue 445 feet. Lazy dog leg right, across a small ravine clutter with trees, with lake on the right. White basket is a roller into the lake, and on a shelf. From the shelf for your approach is a sharp down hill drop to the blue basket. And a roller into the lake.
7. Par 3 455 feet long tee/blue. Wow! Big drop off of tee to ravine area, short tee/white basket at 280 feet. is most fun on the course. White basket can be seen from tee and a narrow tunnel with trees and brush to the left and right down hill all the way. The stream meanders in front of green, and along right side of fairway, with the hill angling towards the stream. Its a fun throw! and my favorite hole on course. About 260 feet to cross stream, but a solid straight throw will do it. Blue basket is back up another hill. Walk gingerly down the hill, theirs a few steps to help you at the bottom. Very picturesque.
9. Par 3 long/blue 350 feet. Long tee has one line straight down the fairway with trees on both side, but the lake can be reached with a bad throw to the right. The short tee is straight down fairway with trees on left and right, but lake is on the right, fairway is a narrow shelf, over the shelf and your disc is gone. The fairways are hard pan. Both baskets are death putts into lake. The hole looks harmless from the tee area, because the fun is hidden.
No. 10 a par 4, 480 feet long/blue Its a hard pan fairway just like 9. From the tee across a small ravine, up and over to the landing area, with a gentle down slope. The gap is narrow with heavy trees after crossing ravine. Trees and white basket on the left, with the lake still on the right with ravine and trees, don't go down the ravine. The rest of the way to the blue basket is heavy with trees and a few lines to work with it, gentle down slope. The blue basket sits on a crown, depending on your distance to putt or approach can be a roller or a death putt to the lake.
14. Par 3 395 feet long/blue basket. This is a fun hole that has a slow moving creek right in the center of the fairway. Elevated tee box. White basket on left side of creek is a death putt, and can also be reached from right side of creek. Blue basket reached on right side of creek only, is up hill, and a roller. Moderate tree protection. Very scenic.
In my opinion:
Signature Hole is No. 18 par 4 long/blue basket 680 feet. Theirs a holding pen to the left of the tee pad, likely a dog park? There's a cluster of trees about a hundred feet down with a line thru them or stay right avoiding trees on the left. The fairway is actually level. As you get close to the white basket, another cluster of trees in the middle of fairway with a small gap or go either way around. At the white basket the fairway drops down to the blue basket, the white is a roller. The best line to blue, avoid trees throwing left to right, and blue is a roller. Behind the blue basket is picturesque of the lake and boating dock. A postcard moment. A great way to end your round! The lake shouldn't come into play?
Trouble hole is No. 8 Par 5 long/blue 585 feet. Elevated tee box thru a gap of trees, across a ravine, then up a more elevated hill with moderate trees. Aim for the white basket on top of hill, stay left to keep from rolling, and a good path to the blue. Lake is still on the right, but for the most part out of play, unless you throw wild to the right. From the white basket area the fairway becomes a gentle down slope to blue. The putting area is the most dangerous on the course to lose a disc for an approach shot, because the lake is right behind blue. The fairway is safe until about 30 feet from blue. At that point the putting area down slopes or funnels to the basket and lake. Its a death putt. You can place your approach on the shelf about 40 feet from blue to figure it out or just go for it.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
A Natural and Ever-improving Beauty
- good baskets in two permanent locations (blue Prodigy long pins, modern Machs short pins)
- two sets of tees (tee surfaces are a mix of dirt, turf, and mats but are all good in terms of size and levelness of surface)
- excellent tee signs (including a depiction of elevation change throughout the hole) and navigation queues
- good wooded golf with tight lines and use of elevation throughout
- relaxing outdoor environment with natural beauty such as greens overlooking water, various wildlife (e.g. birds of prey & deer)
- several lines just a bit too tight (particularly the approach to hole 5's long pin)
- the downsides of a natural environment: snakes, ticks, spiders, probably poison ivy, etc.
- few amenities (trash cans, benches)
- cost? ($2 per vehicle entering, $2 per person to play)
This is a beautiful and challenging long 18-hole course in Williamsburg's Waller Mill park. The park itself also has a dog park, playground, hiking trails, and a 360-acre lake with boat/kayak rentals. My family enjoyed the playground and trails, only not long enough to last my entire round. Access is easy (not far from I-64) and parking is close to the disc golf course. A small park office (you pay here) has some discs and water/snacks.
Overall, the course provides challenging, fun disc golf in a serene and picturesque natural setting. The 18 holes, particularly from long tees to long baskets, require golfers to hit diverse lines and will challenge even top pros. As an Intermediate to Advanced player, it challenged me in the best ways, making me want to return to replicate successes and to remediate failures. Hole after hole was unique and memorable, with shot after shot rewarding thought and requiring good execution. Its theme is tight, wooded fairways with elevation used to effect throughout. Well-placed slopes create uphill and downhill shots in addition to sloping greens (often toward the scenic lake) or additional elevation changes within fairways that reward hitting landing zones.
The course isn't totally refined, but course essentials are all there. First of all, the quality of golf is excellent in terms of tees, fairway maintenance/clearing, and quality baskets placed in good locations. Hole 5 was really the only hole that struck me as being too tight in the final 150' or so approaching the green. Even then, there was a line. Second, navigation is easy. Paths between baskets/tees, with frequent arrows/queues, are very helpful. Tee signs are excellent, with standard maps as well as elevation information. Course flow is excellent. One nice touch was a sign after hole 6 suggesting to continue to holes 16-18 for a shorter, less exhausting 9-hole round.
Relative lack of amenities was the only criticism. E.g. there were almost no benches, which is a significant drawback considering how exhausting the round can be. I also don't recall trash cans. Once leaving the parking lot, make sure you have what you need in terms of snacks and water. What it lacks in these frills, however, it more than makes up for with its excellent tee signs and navigation.
Though there were plenty of memorable holes, I'm hard pressed to pick one or two signatures. #5 was one possibility, with a layup zone near water, then that tight gap to a green elevated not-too-precariously above more water. #9 was another memorable one for its tight gaps and a green with rollaway potential. All holes are aesthetically similar, but the varying shots prevent any boredom from setting in.
The combination of long/short tees with two permanent basket placements is a nice addition. It doesn't add to the course's rating, as I tend to grade these courses by their most challenging layouts. Nevertheless, this sort of two tee & two pin layout is relatively common in this part of the country. This arrangement is growing on me, and would be especially nice for anyone living within striking distance. You could play once or twice every week, and the various configurations would keep it fresh while allowing more casual and more demanding rounds. As an aside, this is part of the reason I played Waller Mill more than New Quarter Park during this visit to Williamsburg, as NQP was set up in its shorter layout.
Rating: This easily makes 4.0 "excellent" for me, based on several plays in May/June 2019. It's the first course I'll return to in the Williamsburg area, even with fewer amenities. With a little polishing, this could approach 4.5 "phenomenal."
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: My son and I love woods golf.....this course certainly did not disappoint! We vacationed to Williamsburgh and this was the only course we made time to play. Good choice! Excellent elevation changes, tight fairways and challenging putts. To those who complain about the bugs and difficult lines.....cowboy up punks! It's woods golf....you should expect bugs and trees. Afterall, we're in there house when we play outdoors! We enjoyed the natural tees and the overall layout of the course. Great exercise as well!
Cons: No cons to speak of other than make sure you bring lots of water and a few towels with you! You'll be thirsty and you'll get dirty!
Other Thoughts: Many thanks to all that are involved with maintaining and making this course possible! You all are rock stars!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: First off, I didn't encounter any bugs. Sure there are two tees and two pins per hole, but here that actually means something. The long pins and tees aren't just a few feet apart, they are totally different looks in most cases. I love woods golf and WM delivers. I dubbed it Iron Hill(like the one in DE) of VA, except with more elevation changes, water hazards and tighter lines. Spent a Friday afternoon here and had the place to myself.
Cons: There are some really tight lines, as in hit that 10 foot gap 200ft away...
Not being able to see the long pin on almost every hole and the short one on a few too.
Other Thoughts: The people complaining about bugs are a bunch of p***sies.
The tees are natural but compact. Yes there are roots in some of the pads and the course is a work in progress, but it is still better than most courses on the east coast
I suppose the water could be used better, with a couple of water carries to make it more hazardous, but I really hate losing discs so I'm not too mad about that
I'd go to Waller Mill over New Quarter any day
The current rating does it zero justice
Pictures! we need pics of this place to point out the awesomeness.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Up and Coming Course!
Pros: First of all I played this course in the winter, so bugs and ticks were not an issue. Without them this course is so much nicer! I love the variety and elevation changes this course has to offer - up, down, left, right, short and long. Water is nearby enough to factor in several times as well. The tee boxes are currently dirt, often hallowed out boxes in the ground when teeing off of hillsides. The course is very easy to follow even without much signage yet and loops back around to the entrance. This course is entirely wooded, but it is uniquely more open than most woods courses, meaning you don't have to get lucky to score well - just make solid throws and decisions.
Cons: The biggest con currently is the price - a combined $5 to park and play, and this course is not yet complete so definitely a steep fee. There are no bathrooms on the course besides at the entrance point. As other golfers have stated, beware of bugs in the summer! From the sound of it this course is nearly unbearable in the summer months. The baskets are good, but not great. (No upper band or coloring), but they do have flags like New Quarter.
Other Thoughts: If you want the woods experience on a professional - feeling course, play Waller Mills in the cooler months of the year. This course is still being completed and will only grow better with time. It stands to be an absolute gem someday.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Good combination of long and short holes. Lots of obstacles and elevation changes.
Cons: We were told there were ants on the 9th pin. What we weren't told was that these things are big enough to tote you. Huge 1/4 to 1/2 inch red ants from pin 9 to the 13th pad. There are tunnels in the path you have to dodge. I can deal with ants but these biting things
own that side of the woods. Once past the ants , the ticks start. You can see them crawling all over you. I pulled over 20 off after I left.
Other Thoughts: Could be a good course with some upkeep. Nice park with boat rentals and fishing. Use the 2$ and spray for critters. Pour some pads. The course is set up right with some really nice shots but as of now it's not worth the battle to play it.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
On the verge of being Awesome!
Pros: So I met the course designers/builders at New Quarter Park and they raved about they're new course. After having a cold one at the Virginia Beer Co, I went to play Waller Mill. The cost to get in the park is $2.00 and $2.00 to play. As others have said once they install permanent pads and some better navigation signage (not bad now, just could be better), this course will be a 5 Star! I prefer this style of course over New Quarter, shorter holes (there are long tees) but requires much more technical skills! I threw more mid ranges (Wasp & Buzz) rather than drivers and was able to carve the narrow fairways better. I didn't feel there was a huge penalty if you went off the fairways other than dodging additional trees. There was a nice mix off up hill and down hill shots to keep the interest and the variety of shot choices was much appreciated! Great job on the design and layout of this course, I can see this courses becoming a local favorite and one to add to the "must play" when traveling to this area.
Cons: The natural tee pads aren't terrible, just will be nice when permanent ones are installed. Better navigation signage will be welcomed as well.
I'm from Arizona so we don't have nasty tick issues...I was a little freaked by pulling 5 of them off of me!! Beware!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very challenging 18 holes - all wooded. Two tees on every hole and multiple pin placements. Very scenic. Many high risk/reward shots. Requires accuracy and stamina. Easily a +4 rated course once completed.
Cons: Still not finished. Watch out for stumps. There were a lot of trees cut down recently and a lot of small stumps throughout the fairway.
Other Thoughts: Course costs $2 to play. Once the course is finished with tee pads and permanent baskets this will be one of my favorite courses. It will definitively be one of the best courses in the region. No trash cans so pack it in and pack it out. Two pins on the original 9.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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