1 Helpful / 0 Not
Long and mean
Pros: I haven't played the 18 hole course at Statesboro in a few years, not since it was first opened anyway. I figured with the introduction of a new weekly PDGA sanctioned league and an upcoming tournament, it's time for another try. It's about the same distance as many of the Savannah courses from where I live, so it was due.
This place has a reputation for being punishing... and downright not enjoyable. That seems to match what I remembered a few years ago, but honestly after playing it again recently, it's not bad. It's still long, it's still technical, but it was actually quite a bit of fun.
One of the biggest complaints about this place is the rough. It's soooooo thick... it actually reminds me a lot of the UK courses I've played. However, I think that much of this has thinned out over the years. The wear and tear of golfers looking for their drives has started to beat in paths and corridors to look for plastic. Either that or it's so thick that your disc bounces off of it instead of falling in. In any case, I'm putting the rough as a Pro because it's better than it used to be. You can actually go in the woods, find your disc, and play on.
Now that we've talked about that, let's talk about the course itself. It's looooong. They have permanent concrete Gold teepads on every hole. Blue pads have been installed with flags as well. The blue tees are significantly shorter and straighter than the gold counterparts. We played golds, but blues reminded me a lot of the way Tom Triplett part in Savannah offers not just distance changes between tees, but line differences. Blues are almost a different course entirely.
My favorite hole has to be hole 4. It's just beautiful. When we got there, a slight layer of haze was lit up by streaks of sunlight sneaking through the trees. It was gorgeous! Hole 10 (the bridge hole) is quite fun as well. The grounds crew did a good job framing the fairway in the grass on hole 18... it was also quite memorable.
One thing I really enjoyed about this long course was it felt like you we're actually going somewhere when you played. Each hole, while similar to the others, was different and progressed nicely. The east side of the course is different from the west side, and they're both different from the airport side.
Some holes are very long, but there are also a handful that are under 300 and reachable on the drive for most players.
Parking is easy by hole 1 and there's a great map of the course right by the teebox. A practice basket is also available.
Some of my favorite things in summary:
- Concrete gold pads
- Easy parking
- Practice basket (and room to practice drives too)
- Variety of hole types and lengths
- New baskets
- Maintained fairways
- Clearly marked OB (with white flags)
- Cool airplanes and skydivers overhead
- Next tee signs and markers
- Friendly club
Cons: It's long and it's tough. No way around it, this course will punish you. Again, it's better than it used to be, but it's still tough. You'll spend a significant amount of time looking for your drive if it gets a tree kick. Bring some high socks too because some of the plants aren't very smooth.
The walk from 18 back to the parking lot is long too. There may be room to add a couple more holes in here too just to fill the gap.
Due to geography, this place can be HOT in the summertime. Bring bug-spray!
Other Thoughts: All in all, it's really a great course. As more time progresses, it will definitely "break-in" more and more. It forces you to be accurate, and that's not a bad thing. It's worth a visit if you're in the area. The club is very active on Facebook as well, so if you let them know you're coming you may be able to play with a buddy. The holes are long enough to need a guide!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Good quality facilities / infrastructure: nice concrete teepads, decent signage, good baskets, bathroom adjacent to start and shorter 9-hole option adjacent. If you wear shorts, you'll appreciate the hose by the bathroom to clean off your legs, which will be extremely itchy when you finish.
Cons: I played this course yesterday and it was one of the least enjoyable rounds I can remember playing. I'll elaborate.
To me, this is an overly ambitious design that isn't appropriate for the setting and terrain. I played at 11am on a sunny summer weekday and was the only person playing either course for the 2 hours I was there ... which is interesting considering its the only course in the region in a good sized college town. I probably wouldn't use this course either if I lived in Statesboro, it's just not fun to play.
As others have said, the course has long, tight fairways carved out of a forest with a few playing in the open. The forest is first growth, with little to no canopy and rampant undergrowth that isn't being properly managed. Maintenance and course condition was bad, even though it was dry when I played so water was a non-issue. The fairways had mid-thigh height ground undergrowth and many of the air routes were partially to fully obscured by branches that had either grown there since the course was installed or were never sufficiently trimmed. If you throw off fairway, which you will, you'll encounter disc eating shule full of constant giant spiders - I've literally never seen more spiders. I only lost one disc, but spent at least 30 minutes of my round looking for other discs.
The holes are punitively long given how tight the fairways are, with little risk/reward. As an example, hole 9 is 408' with low hanging branches, super tight fairway, and OB swamp lurking immediately off fairway right from about 200 to the basket. This would be a lot more reasonable with a 325' range, but at the current length, I imagine nearly all open players would lay up with a putter. On the majority of the holes, you'd be better off laying up than going for it, because the lines are too tight for how long the holes are.
Many of the holes had invalid fairways based on the concept of being able to reasonably throw a disc down a defined line. Some were obscured by growth, some had trees in the middle of the fairway or the throwing line, and some just had unreasonable lines. The par 4's and 5's lack much definition; more of a throw as hard as you can and hope you don't hit a tree than trying to execute a strategic shot.
Many of the holes felt needlessly long and were needlessly blind. None of the holes were memorable in a good way, but I definitely scratched my head trying to figure out the design logic on a bunch of them.
Other Thoughts: In its current condition, this course was miserable to play ... at least in the summer. I would probably opt not to play at all next time I pass through Statesboro, or will maybe just check out the short 9 holes. If you do play, wear pants, regardless of how hot is and pay close attention to your shanked shots to limit your time looking for lost discs.
Areas for improvement: There are shorter tees, but they are poorly marked with dirt and don't have their own signage. This course is way too long and difficult for the vast majority of players, so the short tees would probably much better suit most people. Case in point, it looks to get very little use, especially for being the only option within 30+ miles.
Consider a redesign or embrace the short tees by adding better teepads and signage to them. Consider taking a chainsaw and pole saw and removing a lot of trees - you know which ones, the ones in the middle of the viable line and the ones that limit the basket's visibility.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Great start for a future course!
Pros: Very enjoyable course, lots of technical shots but not without plenty of grip it and rip it holes. Very well marked and easy to follow.
Cons: Not set up for drainage, lots of wet fairways this time of the season. Narrows the choice of how each hole needs to be played. Hole ten is a stretch, kind of just seems like an afterthought and could have been placed better.
Other Thoughts: I feel that a mix between extremely long holes and shorter holes would help the playability of this course. I couldn't find the basket on hole 9, I think the cutting 9 down to a 750ft hole and then stretching ten out where you could lay up before the water or go for the big arm throw if you want to would help this course. Only took 5 shots on the 1042ft hole and enjoyed it a lot.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Long and Challenging
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very good tees and baskets. Variable spots for multiple hole location a plus. Defined fairways on the front. Good signage for the most part leading you to next tee. Everybody has done a good job keeping the course clean. Good variety of holes that make you turn shots left and right. I like the boardwalk bridge feature of throwing over the creek. Driving area and practice putting basket by #1, as well as bathrooms.
Cons: VERY LONG, at least for me. I felt like there were some holes that should have been par 4 but were unreasonable par 3. Now understand I'm a beginner/low intermediate player. But even when I get to where I want to be with more distance, I think some of the par vs. distance is too much. Big arm players can discount this part of my review. It is completely flat, and I enjoy more undulation. It retains water after heavy rain for days/weeks. Other than the length and retaining water after rain I have nothing bad to say about this course.
Other Thoughts: Concrete tee pads are being poured now to replace the temporary flags for Blue/Intermediate tees. Also, a few concrete pads are being poured for "Black" tees as well. Blacks is just a combination of the Blues and Golds except it will now have a distinct Blacks tee on #5, #10, and maybe # 18.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Advanced course with perfectly defined wooded fairways of generous width. When you are off course here, you will know it. The fairways are defined channels coated with pine needles. The rough is typically a brush wall that will swallow up a disc quickly. Taller, older trees periodically line the fairway to prevent throws from going high and off the fairway so discs will always need to be thrown on line. Those tall trees are frequently in the middle of the fairway as well and though a few times they obstruct lanes at the end of the fairway, they typically further restrict possible lines successfully.
While the fairways are typically generously wide, difficulty is provided by how long these holes are. These are fairways that would be appropriate for intermediate players at 200-300 feet, stretched to over 400 feet. There is length all over the place here. From the wooded holes to the open bombers upwards of 1000 feet. This course is made with the big arms in mind.
In the trees through, what this course is really going to test is your ability to throw straight and land without fading to either direction. Yeah, there are some shapes to the fairway but most of that turn will be in the approach. You need to throw straight on a line over and over again here. This isn't a course that is going to wow you with the design but the construction effort was tremendous and the challenge that it offers is superb. It will really test your ability to play within your ability and not reach for too much. You need to stay on the fairway and your furthest drive, while not far enough to reach the pin, is not going to be your best bet because going off fairway here is not an option.
Lastly, the tees are massive and basically perfect. The tee signs are quality, if sometimes inaccurate. (The course map available at the kiosk has the accurate distances) Next tee signs are huge and make navigation a breeze.
Cons: Some of these holes seem lengthy just to be lengthy. Or maybe just cover ground. Two holes hover around the thousand foot mark and they are mostly uninteresting. The second has a basket tucked into the woods because reasons. I guess a great way to make a thousand foot hole interesting is not being able to see the basket until the last 50 feet? The first does have a cool approach across a marsh that requires a bridge to cross but why there needs to be 800 feet of open field to get there is beyond me. And again, the basket isn't on the other side of the marsh but around another corner and down a ways making the cool approach really just a forced layup.
The course is inappropriate for new players in other ways. The wooded holes have nice fairways but considering their width, quite a few are excessively long. I get the point that this is supposed to be a challenging course but sometimes, it is challenging just for the sake of making it so, and I feel this could be a turn off to new players in an area that has no other courses. The rough is rough and though pitch outs are rarely difficult, the search factor is high.
This is compounded by the amount of trees in the fairways. While an excellent job was done in clearing the little stuff and the fairways are immaculately defined, the large trees are left standing(and I would hate to take these beauties down) and they have a propensity to kick good drives into the rough. I wouldn't say any of the holes are plinko but a few lean in that direction.
While the conditions were great when I played, (middle of winter) I have a feeling that this course takes on water and badly. I'm judging mostly based upon the amount of boards and such placed on fairways to enable walking when the water is high. If there is water there, there is going to be water everywhere. I don't think I would play this course in spring or summer. Throw in the proximity of swamp land with standing water in winter and I imagine the bugs alone will drive people away.
And yeah, completely flat.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Challenging and Technical
Pros: First off, I'm a hard @$$, so for me to give this course 4 stars says ALOT! Very challenging and technical course. Awesome diversity in holes and will require many different shots. Quiet a few water holes, and even more water holes when a good rain came through (which is when I played it). This course will require many different shots and will challenge even the best pros. Very well maintained and easy to navigate, with directional signs after most holes. It is easy to see that the locals really want to make this course top notch. Some of the longest tee pads around, and also some long "arm buster" holes to go with them. Benches & trash receptacles are everywhere. I was VERY impressed with the quality of the course and attention to detail for such a small town. It is easy to tell that the folks in Statesboro LOVE their disc golf. I thoroughly enjoyed playing this course and will go out of my way to play it again. I can't wait to see how it develops in the future! Amazing potential here guys!
Cons: Quiet a few of the signs have incorrect pars listed on there (sign will say a par three, when it is really a par 4). Course is too challenging for AM's and beginners. Many beginners will find it frustrating. It would be a 4.5 course in my book if there were another set of tee pads. Also, I came after a big rain, and many of the back holes were underwater and nearly unplayable. Locals told me it was usually not like this. Also, the "roughs" are VERY rough, especially on several front holes! Course could use more brush cleared out, as it is very easy to lose discs in thorns and thick brush areas. Also, hole 12, the 1,000 foot par 5 water hole can be TOO challenging for some players. It requires players to throw 180-200' from bank to bank to clear the river / stream. This could be impossible for some beginners, so hole should possibly be skipped for new players!
Other Thoughts: Bring bug spray. Mosquitos and other bugs were pretty bad, and I'm sure because the course is wooded with some areas of standing water, this could be an ongoing issue, even as the course develops. Also, try to wear pants / jeans. Even the best players will throw a few discs in the thick brush, which has some thorn bushes and very thick brush around. Either way, again, I would give very few courses a 4.0 rating. This one truly deserves it! Great job guys!
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Starting statesboro disc with a bang
Pros: I'd known a Statesboro course was in the works for a while now, and was excited to check it out. A close friend of mine goes to Georgia Southern University, so I knew a road trip was in order once the course opened up. For a course of this caliber and style to be the first course in Statesboro blows my mind. I give a ton of credit to the designers and guys that got this course in the ground, because they introduced Statesboro to disc golf by building a MONSTER.
Bulloch reminds me of Jackson at the IDGC(one of my favorite courses of all time) only tighter. The course wraps its way through classic towering old growth Georgia pine trees. There was not much elevation or any spectacular features that stood out as particularly memorable, but I still found the course to be very pretty in a classically Georgia way.
The fairways were very well cut into the brush, but many trees were left in place. The fairways vary in size, but seemed very fair to me. On the more open holes many trees were left scattered throughout the fairway, so even the more forgiving shots needed accurate placement. Other holes had you throwing down some tight, intimidating tunnels.
I love playing long courses, and Bulloch has that in spades. There were a few shorter holes, but the long grinder holes where par means having to string together several excellent shots abounded. That is by far my favorite way to play golf, even if it means fewer birdies for me.
The flat terrain made the length pretty easy on the body. A course this long with lots of hillls will wear you out. Even though the round at Bulloch is a bit of a grind I found myself feeling better physically after this round then I have at most other courses of similar length.
Cons: Course was muddy, wet, and/or swampy in several areas that were clearly supposed to be part of the fairways. March is a very wet month in Georgia, I'm not sure if this will be a year round issue or only seasonal.
I thought many of the pars were too challenging as listed. As far as I could tell the pins were only in the long locations, with only 1 par listed on the tee sign for both pins. Many of these pins were extremely long. I have an above average arm (can drive about 450 feet) and several holes signed as par threes were not reachable off the tee by me with a perfectly executed drive. I don't think that it is good course design for a par 3 to be reachable off the tee only by elite players who can accurately place shots over 500 feet. I thought some of the signed par 4's played more like 5's as well.
The rough off the fairways was brutally thick. If you missed the fairway or took a bad kick into the rough the best case scenario was pitching back to the fairway, and even that was impossible at times. This is to be expected from a course that has only been open for a few weeks. I'm sure over time this will become better as more work is done and the course just gets broken in by players. Right now though lost disc factor is very high when you miss a fairway.
Some of the gaps you have to hit between trees are REALLY tight. Combining the super tight gaps with the impossibly thick rough and long holes can make holes rapidly go from bad to worse. I think most holes would play better with a couple more trees removed. Obviously for a brand new course its much better to leave too many trees in then to take too many out, so I'm curious to see if any changes are made as this course continues to develop.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course and a fantastic start for disc golf in Statesboro. Its still in its infancy, but I am excited to see how this course develops over time. I think in another year or two this could be one of the better courses in the state. Its still rough around the edges, and that is to be expected from a brand new course. I can easily see this course growing into a 4 or 4.5 rating in the next year or two
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: This course is really challenging to every throw that you are about to throw if you haven't played it yet. It was for me. First tee pads; all concrete and large, plenty of room for long run ups if you need to. Second; Every tee looks down a fairway that has a some trees to negotiate not many but if you catch a bad bounce the rough can be rough and you may be scrambling to save par. Third; the balance of this course is fair plenty of long throwing as well as a several reachable baskets.
Cons: No cons here unless you play it after the rain falls, standing puddles to small ponds but still easy to play
Other Thoughts: waiting for the summer time to see how bad the bugs will be here, just might be treacherous bring the bug spray
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
A Fun Challenge
Pros: I have only played the 18 hole course so thats what ill be reviewing.
This course has everything and will force you to exhaust ever shot in your arsenal. The variety of shots are both challenging and thought provoking. Most holes can be tackled from multiple angels all from the same pad.
Tee pads are concrete and baskets are brand new. Signage is appropriate and course flow is easy to follow.
This course is all about staying in the fairway and playing smart. The locals will see their games increase dramatically by playing this course on a regular basis.
The long holes are a lot of fun. Throwing 3 accurate 350ft shots just to have a look at a birdie putt is not something you see everyday.
If you love a challenge, this course is for you.
Cons: Standing water on hole 3 right side is deep, not sure if it will dry up (aim left.) If your drive lands even a couple feet off the fairway you are immersed in thorns and thick bushes. The big course is not for beginners, you will get discouraged.
Other Thoughts: Hole 5 is unique, but could be reworked. Didn't see any while I was there, but I'm sure snakes will be present in the summer months. Rounds can take a long time, so bring a snack.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Statesboro's own course
Pros: Great lay out given to showcase the land the course is set on. Good combination of long, short, tight, left and right holes. Nicely cleaned being such a new course.
Cons: Course can be very swampy due to the nature of the land.
Other Thoughts: Great course and nice scenery. It has serious potential once the new course kinks are worked out. You can even see planes taking off from the airport adjacent to the course. If your there on a nice day you may even see some skydivers. Would definitely travel to play this course or make it a stop in your travels.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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