It's the little things
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a nice course nestled into a cute little park. It has everything that you'd want from a course: beautiful bright baskets, clear signs complete with the footage, multiple permanent concrete teeboxes, and some great ideas for holes. I was able to navigate the course quite easily. (I did ask a couple of locals if there were any tricky spots, and they did let me know that the jump from 5 to 6 could be tricky if you weren't paying attention.)
Cons: Despite all the pieces being present for a great course, I found that there were several little to medium-sized things that made the course ultimately frustrating.
-The teeboxes were a good size, but the majority of them were oriented badly. The one on 2 was about 45 degrees off.
-The course was nicely wooded, but there were some really clear fairways and gaps to hit with some riskier lanes for we gamblers who love our risk/reward throws. However, I must've hit 3 or 4 "hangers" on my drives. You know, those little 1/2" branches that stick out 3 or 4 feet from the side of a tree. Some people may disagree with me, but I think these make a course worse. To me, having these hangers in your fairway creates the dreaded effect of "spray and pray." Reward your players for hitting their lines by getting rid of these little puppies.
-I really felt like the course was "forcing" holes in a few places. Hole 6, for example, has this really cool, nasty... I guess I'd call it a pit. Clearly the designer(s) wanted to use it, but they didn't do a very good job. This hole, unlike the others, didn't have a real fairway, but the basket is in such a place that you're forced to throw over the pit. Holes 5 and 7 were similar in that they had a neat feature or two each, but the feature of each hole is kind of thrust on you rather than being a natural part of the hole.
-In a similar vein, I felt like the course designer(s) were trying to force their idea of "par" on us. I know that this question of what par should be in disc golf is a huge debate, and I understand that I may be picking a scab here. However, I felt like some holes were unnecessarily long or had a ridiculous first or second throw simply to make a hole a par 4 or 5. A really clear example of this is hole 5 which is a par 5, but it's only about 340 feet from the longs. I threw a four on it, even with a goofed approach. Again, I get that what you throw is what you throw, but forcing a par on the player is unnecessary.
-These last two are particularly small, but even my non-disc golfing wife was scratching her head about them. The first one is the sign location on the holes. They have beautiful signs, but they put them directly between the long and short teeboxes, making them inconvenient for everybody. Either choose one teebox or put a sign at each one. The second thing is flags. The baskets were a beautiful, bright orange color making them super easy to see. But there were two different times when I threw to the wrong basket because of a slight elevation change that hid the target basket from my sight. I'm always amazed that more courses don't use flags. They're such a little thing, but they're so useful and make a big difference for the golfer.
Other Thoughts: This course has a lot of promise. My 2.5 rating is labeled "decent/typical," and I think that's fair. I could easily see it jumping to a 3 (good) or 3.5 (very good). I'm sure it's a huge pain to move baskets around, and obviously permanent concrete tee boxes are just that, permanent. However, some of the other things could really make for a better experience for the disc golfer. I would definitely play here again next time I'm hiking out in the park or tubing the Shenandoah.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Great course, Thick undergrowth in summer
Pros: Great tees.
Verity of shots and technical from longs.
Cons: the growth of vines thorns and grass was thick when I was there making it hard to find your disc even in the fairway. I ended up using a mid and putter for most shots as I did not want to lose plastic.
The flow is great but nav. can be confusing for a first timer.
Lost of walking trails having to always watch for non golfers.
Other Thoughts: I bet this course is great in the fall as the growth dies down only reason for not giving it a 4. Play with a friend and keep track of your plastic, very easy to lose.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging, Fun, and Extremely Wooded
Pros: It's always a great thing when you stumble upon a course that is much better than you had anticipated going into the round. This was my experience at Rockland Park. This new course is very, very well designed and needs to be on the radar of more players on the East Coast who like to travel to new courses. It's located in a pretty small, quiet park set away from the busy roads. There is a playground and pavilion next to the course, which conveniently makes two 9-hole loops back to this area and the parking lot.
This is primarily a woods course, but the holes are very well thought out and offer many different looks. There is a good variety of hole lengths and par 3's, 4's, and 5's, with a total par of 71. It's definitely the kind of course you go to when you want a technical/difficult challenge, not one that you can come to and play casually. There are a few moderately open holes sprinkled in as well to give you some relief. But mainly, you come here for the thrill of playing in the deep woods.
Elevation is incorporated nicely and is present on almost every hole in some fashion. There are a few up/downhill shots, but it's mostly in the form of rolling hills and sink holes. This greatly adds to the fun factor and challenge. The steep downhill hyzer shot for hole 1 is a great way to start the course. Pin placement is a great attribute as well, often being near these slopes and sink holes. 13's basket was placed near the edge of a cliff that leads down to the river. A missed putt here could mean never seeing your disc again.
Between the park itself and the extremely wooded setting, there is a sense of tranquility here. This is a great course if you're seeking seclusion.
The tees, tee signs, and baskets are all new and in great shape. The orange baskets are highly beneficial in the woods. The two tees do a nice job of varying the hole's look and challenge from hard to really hard.
Cons: There aren't many cons here, and definitely none that are glaring. Depending on your skill level and the type of course you enjoy playing, the constant heavily wooded nature of the course may be discouraging or feel redundant. There are a few open-ish holes, but this course is mainly all woods. And tight woods. The course is mostly fair, but some of the holes could do without a couple trees.
The rough must be getting better here, or it just wasn't near being fully grown on my April 29th visit, but it really wasn't as bad as previously mentioned. That said, I could see it getting pretty nasty in the peak summer months. Combine that with the many blind shots here and you could being possibly looking at a lot of searching. But again, I didn't experience any real problems.
With many long, windy holes, I had to do some scouting ahead of time.
Other Thoughts: I teetered along the lines of a 4 and 4.5 rating, and I feel that Rockland is definitely underrated at this point. It's a very good balance of challenge while still being fair, but know that this course will cause you to step your game up. I highly recommend playing here if you are in this area. This is a great addition to an area that has many solid courses. Between the other area courses that I've played (Ditto Farms, Signal View, Seneca Creek), this is actually my favorite. It's that good.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Rock land Prak Review
Pros: New course
Good elevation changes
Maps and score cards available
A couple great holes
Two different tee locations
Cons: In the woods
Way too many trees including a lot in the fairways
Can be confusing to navigate
Long walks in between holes
Map isn't always clear to were holes are
Hard to find holes from tees sometimes
Other Thoughts: The biggest problem for me is the trees. Even for your more experienced players it can be hard to navigate between the multiple trees in the fairways combined with the tons all around you too. If they could maybe fix this it old be a top notch course. Also they need signs to point to the next holes, right now there is only a foot trail and arrows on trees.
After playing this course again I think I was a little tough on it. Actually a pretty good course to play
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Great Challenging Course
Pros: Two tee pads at every hole and the difficulty is challenging but not impossible. There are a few risk/reward shots that are really interesting throughout the course.
Cons: The signage is in the middle of the tee pads which is awkward but I understand it for the overall layout.
Other Thoughts: A great stop with a park and pavilions and all the amenities. My second favorite course in the area behind Jim Barnett.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
I really like it!
Pros: Plenty of challenging holes
Only 3 open holes (a + for me, maybe not you?)
Course maps and scorecards
Need all of your discs
Just a great hike...playing or not
Park is right off I66 - easy to find
Cons: Plenty of challenging holes
Might be dense in the peak summer months
On a bad day, you will be cussing the trees
Other Thoughts: Over 5000 feet of throwing from the short tees. 6000 from the long, makes this a pretty long course. Longest is 457 (short) 541 (long).
Lots of elevation change. Hole 12 is the only flat hole. Took me 1:10 to play 18 by myself.
I rank this course up with Scarboro Hills (MD), Patapsco (MD), and Coyote Hills (PA). Plays a lot like a longer version of Ditto Farms (Hagerstown). Starts out great with a downhill bomb into the woods. Some great views of the Shenandoah. Couple of small ravines, ledges. I used every disc in the bag. One or 2 plinko holes, but most have a well defined fairway. About 5-6 holes you can't see the basket from the tee. Well marked, and they have score cards and maps at hole #1. Staying out of trouble and in the fairways is the key to scoring well. Big bombers, with big hooks won't fair well here. As others have said, I think this will only get better with time (like Ditto in Hagerstown).
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I liked the course perhappes could have rated it higher at times fair ways were very tight.In general there were real fairway and open enough space to work a shot toward basket. Park is in great location wright off interstate.
Cons: There were a lot of spider webs
Other Thoughts: It is the kind of course you may need to play several times to figure out how to play it.I think there were two tee shots that were not fair meaning serious tree trouble.A certain amount of luck was required off of tee
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Rock the Land
Pros: 18 single position bright orange DGA baskets with dual concrete tees. Easy to navigate. Awesome elevation changes, terrain, and rock features and pits. Great variety of shots throughout the course. Tee signs were between the two tees. Very little underbrush to lose a disc. Two loops of 9 holes back to parking lot. Portapotties in the parking lot. Pavilions, playground.
Cons: The tee signs were not always helpful/descriptive and in-between the two tees. Plays a little close to some walking paths. Inflated par on some of the holes. Spider webs everywhere, probably will be better as it gets played more. A little bit of poison ivy in places, but not bad at all.
Couple of the long tee pads could use some more low tree limb trimming and a tree or two taken out to provide a defined fairway. Couple of the long tees had some sharp turns I wasn't fond of.
Other Thoughts: Rockland is a little bit of a weird course for me in places, don't get me wrong I really like the course for the most part and would recommend this course to anyone in the area as it's one of the best courses in the NOVA vicinity. I was reminded a lot of Ft. Hamby in NC and the back 9 of Harmon Hills in TN with the rock pits. Several of the long tees at least at this point in time, likely being a brand new course seemed a little ridiculous. I felt like I was starring at a wall of trees a couple times or the turn of the fairway was too much. This was a rare course that I mostly played from the short tees and I really enjoyed them. The back 9 holes here are great.
Some of my notes:
Hole 1 is a nice downhill shot, but the fairway is a little small especially from the long tee.
Hole 2 was fantastic, mostly open then the basket tucked uphill into the wooded.
Holes 3, 4 and 5 were ok from the short tees, but poke and hope from the long tees.
Hole 6 took me awhile to figure were the basket was and where the fairway was after finding the basket. The only fairway I saw was from the short tee and was a huge thumber over the trees and massive rock pit. I almost aced it and then almost rolled down into the pit.
Hole 7 is probably the only legit par 5 on the course. It's a great hole from both tees, tunneling uphill then downhill and turning to the left with a slope left to right.
Hole 8 is ok it's a short semi-blind and slightly downhill ace run.
Hole 9 is ok, it's a bit poke and hope going for the green, but not a hard par 3.
Hole 10 is a big right turn from both tees, but seemed ridiculous from the long tee. I liked the drop-off behind the basket.
Hole 11 is a solid hole.
Hole 12 is one of my favorites, slightly downhill and straight 400'+ reachable par 4 although probably should be a par 3. The basket protected by trees and a big pit in front of the basket.
Hole 13 was another favorite, short technical valley shot over the rock pit and danger behind the basket in the form of a massive river and cliff. There is the wooded tree line to help protect discs from going over the cliff however I'm sure one day someone will eventually pure through it over the cliff and in the river and into oblivion.
Hole 14 was yet another favorite from the short tee, it's one of the shortest par 5's ever although it's an uphill tunnel. I had a long putt for albatross, but had to settle for the drop in eagle.
Hole 15, wait for it... another favorite from the short tee, it's a par 5 RHFH technical bomb through the woods uphill with a roll-a-way landing zone. Then you have a tunnel to the basket uphill still.
Hole 16 was ok, although the fairway could use a couple less trees. I took a safe huge RHBH hyzer route off the short tee that put me in an ideal landing zone to approach for birdie on the par 4.
Hole 17 was a welcome sight of openness for a change, solid hole.
Hole 18 might be considered an open hole, but it's still a technical straight tunnel shot that's hard to execute and the valley elevation makes it play tougher if you mess up off the tee. Nice way to end the course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course but Blair Witch is on #12
Pros: - two concrete tee pads on every hole with very different play from each (not just additional distance)
- very nice metal tee signs which should last
- bright orange baskets which were easy to spot
- flags on top of baskets 8 and 14 making them easier to spot
- good quality scorecards with course map and individual hole maps and pencils at the kiosk
- plenty of parking
- course is isolated from other park activities (for the most part)
- port-a-potty, two pavilions with lots of picnic tables and a playground
- dogs welcome
- good challenges (for the non-pro) from the blues
- good mix (mostly wooded holes but a few open ones)
- good ego boost from the reds (if you believe the par values)
- good replay value (will be even better if they offer multiple pin locations in the future)
- park is very attractive and close to Front Royal with all its services and attractions
- easy navigation (mostly)
- mostly short walks from a basket to the next tee
Cons: Not many.
- on 2 of the holes, the blue tee seemed easier than the red
- no amenities at the park (e.g. water fountains, real bathrooms, food, disc golf shop)
- some poison ivy but not as bad as Pennsylvania courses
- pars on some of the reds are ridiculous even for beginners - e.g. par 5 on a 281-footer and a 309-footer;
going by the pars, I shot -12 from the shorts (3 eagles, 7 birdies, 1 bogey); I shot even from the blues (2 birdies, 2 bogeys); I am a Rec level player.
- had a weird experience at #12 (see below)
- lots of spiders that survived swatso's visit including one that started a web across my bag when I set it down
for a minute
- #7 is probably the only legitimate par 5 on the course (from the blues). With a few more rounds, I think I could play everything else in 4 or less (at least once).
Other Thoughts: Hilly - could be a positive or negative depending on the player. Good sense of fun - interesting basket placements on some holes. Finishes with two open holes
which helps shut up that guy in your group who says "I'm not great in the woods but can really rip it in the open". Has a pond off to the left on 18 which is no issue from the red but could get you if you RHBH meathook it from the blue. After 14, backtrack down the fairway about 20 feet from the basket for the turnoff to #15 (not marked).
After 16, go straight at the fork to get to blue's tee for #17.
Blair Witch 12
From the reds (short), the fairway to basket #12 has two sets of trees about 2/3 of the way down. I threw my drive and watched it skirt by the first pair on the right and then split the second pair and skip ahead a bit farther. I walked down the worn path in the middle of the fairway and spent 10 minutes looking for my drive. I even checked the gully which is 400 feet from the tee (if you believe the tee sign) which is well outside my range. I was getting very frustrated as the undergrowth was not very heavy. Eventually I was going to abandon my disc but decided to walk back to the tee and reconnoiter. I walked back to the tee but couldn't see anywhere that my disc could have gone that I hadn't already checked. Walked down the dirt path again toward the basket and there was my bright red disc in the middle of the path about 20 feet short of the first pair of trees. If anything, the fairway slopes gently down so there's no way it would have rolled back up hill 40 feet. There's also no way I could have missed it on my first two trips down and up the fairway. Spooky. I was alone on the course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Down, Up, and All About
Two 12-feet long, concrete teepads per hole.
Teesign showing both tees, basket, and next tees.
Two nine-hole loops. Map, scorecards, pencils at kiosk.
Amenities less than five minutes away.
Teepads seem a bit narrow, not quite 4-feet.
Only one sign per hole, typically located between holes, which sometimes isn't a problem, and sometimes is awkward.
Thick shule along open fairways, some quite narrow.
Lots of spiders - I think I ran into as many webs as I made putts.
Too long on short number-6 may find the walking path not too far behind the basket.
This new course is set in a new public park at the end Fishnet Blvd. There's parking for ~60 cars, two pavilions, a port-a-john, and a large playground for younger kids. A gravel walking path meanders through the woods shared with the course, but shouldn't come into play (often).
While a few of the holes are open, they are not easy, as thick shule narrowly funnels as the fairways nears the baskets. Most of the holes play in the woods, containing variable-sized trees, thickly scattered across the rolling slopes. The most prominent features of this course are the elevation changes - I think there is only one flat hole (#12, with its trench-guarded basket). Only a few of the holes have up OR down elevation changes - most are up AND down, with valleys outnumbering humps.
Some holes are tough because they have early, sharp turns. Some holes are tough because they have a lot of random trees mid-fairway. Whether these holes are fair or not is for you to decide, but for the most part, the majority holes are achievable, but challenging. Holes of note / favourites include:
#1 Throws the gauntlet down immediately - sharp turn, thick woods, steep drop, regain of elevation to an openish fairway, flanked by thick shule.
#4 A double-jointed, 2xmild-left, with subtle up-down-up elevation changes.
#7 is similar to #4, but longer, with more severe elevation changes, but wider fairways
#13 A short right-turner (from short) or left-turner (from long) from one small rock outcropping to another.
#14 Upslope to a narrow passage through rocks, with the basket some length down the passage, sitting in a large dip.
#15 Right+upslope. Repeat. Repeat again. Eventually get to basket.
From a shot-shaping perspective, there were a few meathooks, but most turns were subtle. From the shorts, the disc I used most often was my gentle right-turning fairway driver. From the long, distance drivers and left-turns came into play more often. Overall, used a variety of discs/shots against the course.
While there are certainly some par '4's and challenging par '3's on this course, the overall par of 71 seems a bit high. As data points, I consider myself a lower Advanced player, and shot -14 from the shorts, and -6 from the longs. That said, this is not a course for recreational/lower intermediates, given the thick shule and dense trees.
A good course which should improve as it breaks in, providing yet another solid option in NoVa near I81.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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