4 Helpful / 5 Not
Spend your time somewhere else!
Pros: Its a private course, and has loads of potential.
Cons: This was possibly the first time ever, that a course was boo-ed during the opening ceremony at PDGA World Championship.
I could see what the designer was trying to do. However, the off-fairway areas were far too thick, especially, since you find yourself off-fairway so easily.
The owner of the course thought that it was hilarious that people were turning in such awful scores, saying, "I guess they just don't have the skills for my course." For the record, it takes ZERO skill to hit a 6ft gap, with a 1ft wide disc, at 250 ft, on a 450ft hole. That is the very definition of a "Poke & Hope". No thank you. I'll spend my time somewhere else.
Far too often will you find yourself with the perfect thrown line that gets redirected into the THICK. And when I say THICK, think of the thickest off-fairway that you have ever played... Now, multiply that by a thousand.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Still New & Evolving?
Pros: : I had the chance to play the newer of Spinski's courses as an Advanced Grandmaster at last month's 2015 Am Worlds, and had already heard a lot of, ...shall we say, ' constructive criticism' floating around by our day-two encounter. I was expecting brutally tight to nearly impossible fairways, so I was actually somewhat pleasantly surprised that they weren't impossible, they just mandated discing down and control. It's actually a good thing that so few of the holes have much in the way of distance. There were five short holes (between 136' & 232'), nine medium ones (251' to 330'), one at 363', one at 372', and a pair of 535 footers to keep the big guns at least a little happy.
Boasting new, level, concrete tees, DisCatcher baskets with flags where needed, orange 'next tee' signs where applicable, and the signage there for Worlds, the course flow was really fairly intuitive. The paths between holes were well-worn, showing a lot of local play leading up to the big event. I heard rumors that the local folks wanted the course to actually remain even tighter, but the PDGA insisted they open it up at least a little bit to be used this summer for Am Worlds. If that's true, then prepare yourselves for a very technical course if you choose to visit in the future (they might let it grow back in some, before it weathers in and stabilizes).
In terms of difficulty (as it currently stands), this is a tough play for any casual to Recreational level player, and might even frustrate the less seasoned of Intermediates. It's a course targeted at wily veterans: lay up short of the split in the fairway here, or try to shape one all the way to the 'green'? Hyzer up and over that nasty, thick rough, or is my arm just a little too weak for that shot, and force me to stay controlled in the lane? Shots do shape in all directions, and use the elevation back in the woods extremely well. The tournament OB is a good application of the concept, as the rough is brutal if you try to play it too loosely.
Feature holes for me included the Island on 6 (thank you spotters!!!) the Mando / landing zone and tough up-hill, up-shot on 9, the ace run downhill on 10 (had a card mate wedge one in the side!), the gut check uphill on 11 (with OB fence just past the basket and blind from the tee), and the sweeping ravine woods back to the house on 18. There are others to amuse different arms and skills. In all, a pretty well-rounded and fun layout.
Cons: The critics say it's too tight, or that it's not a course appropriate for a Worlds event. That may be so, but this wasn't Pro Worlds, and the variety after playing Timber Ridge helped make the event more interesting to me. The drawback to holding a bigger, course-filling event, however, were the handful of places where the possible lines of errant flight could've caused safety issues. The woods between 2 and 3 need to stay thick, to protect those two fairways from each other. They need to make sure good signage stays in place after the 4th and 7th baskets (easy to turn to the wrong tee). The 15th fairway requires a (rhbh) hyzer shot, bringing the 8th green into possible play.
The biggest challenges they have here are related to the low-lying land, the mud that remains forever after a rain (it's so mucky in places, they've tried laying out lumber to walk on), the bugs that follow, and the limited parking for a place that has two good courses on-site. Being 'private' certainly takes care of some of the parking concerns, but it was definitely a 'con' for over 100 cars to find a place for the event. The bugs and the mud are going to be persistent, seasonal issues, and may dictate the best (and worst) times to arrange a visit. Come prepared with about a gallon of bug spray and at least ankle height mud shoes.
Other Thoughts: Could be I'm not as critical about the Spinski's Championship layout because it didn't beat me up too badly (I consider myself lucky there), but mostly it's the fact that I really appreciate all the work that goes into any course, and know that a private course even close to being capable of hosting a World class event, is practically like having another child in the family. I tend to overlook the imperfections and focus on the joys!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a very technical course. Most holes are narrow and wooded with often punishing rough and OB. The course isn't super long, but it's long enough to be challenging given how tight many fairways are. Nice concrete tees and the course is well signed an easy to follow. There's a decent amount of elevation on the course.
Cons: Course is in a swamp and drains very poorly. The second time I played it, it hadn't rained in almost a week and the course was still very muddy. There also isn't a good way to avoid the mud, at best there's a few boards put down. Much better drainage management is needed.
The course has some safety issues. The most glaring is the tee for hole 11 is in play (in fact a good landing area) for an overhand shot on hole 10. I was almost hit by a drive standing on 11's tee. Several other holes have fairways too close -- especially 13&14 and 8&15.
The course also seems gimmicky in a number of places. Holes 6, 9, and 15 especially have weird shapes that don't seem like good holes - the designer seems to be trying to be too clever. There's also too much random OB for my taste. The dirt road runs which runs across several holes seems especially capricious as OB.
Other Thoughts: This course is very tight, with both narrow fairways and low clearance. If (when) you don't hit your lines, you might find it frustrating. If you're looking for a place to air out big drives, keep looking.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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