4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Excellent pin positions. They did a good job of tucking the pins in corners or behind trees, trying to make parking them tricky. 7 in particular was fun, begging for an ace run with water just behind the pin.
+ Good variety. There is elevation at play, both uphill and downhill shots. Left and right turning holes, and straighter shots. A few longer holes, plenty of 200-300' holes.
+ Tons of benches. I counted as many as 4 benches on some holes, they're all over the place.
+ Very scenic. It's a combination disc golf course / walking path / prayer garden, so there are flowers, benches, painted bible verses etc. all around. It's very peaceful.
+ Nice teepads. They're brick, and every hole had them except for 6. The bricks are next to 6 ready to be installed, they just haven't been put into place yet.
+ Good signage. They are bright white signs easy to spot, and accurately depict the hole and line. There are next tee signs all over the course, making navigation easy. One thing I really liked was how the tee signs were mounted on trees instead of generic wooden posts. I thought that really added some character.
+ Ends in a 450'+ par 4, not what I expected at all from this sort of course.
+ Loaner bag at hole 1. Only course I've seen this at. No discs, just a bag, but still neat.
Cons: - Hole 6 is marked as a par 4 when its clearly a par 3. Its a straight hole with a mild left finish that's an ace run for anyone with 360' of distance.
- Hole 6's tee has not been installed, though this should be rectified soon as the bricks are right next to the tee waiting to be used.
- The course also serves as a walking path, so you may have to wait for someone to walk by before teeing off. Its crucial to check any blind fairways before throwing for this reason.
Other Thoughts: Bethel surprised me. I came here after throwing The Rock at Stonewall, wanting a short wooded 9 hole course to contrast with the long, open 18 I just threw. I figured it'd be another forgettable course like most the 9 holes I've played in North Carolina so far, but I was wrong.
Bethel DGC is a perfect example of a well executed short 9 hole course. The course is very scenic, the pin placements are well designed, the holes are varied and it ends in a 400'+ par 4.
It reminds me of Wildwood in Louisville, Ohio. Wildwood was small, compact, pretty wooded, mostly short holes, but managed to be a lot of fun. Bethel is the same way.
This is going to be an easy course for a skilled golfer, but its not full of gimmies. If raw challenge is what you seek there are better choices than Bethel, but atmosphere is here in spades.
It'd be easy to overlook this course, but its worth going a little out of your way to check out. Pair it up with demanding 18 hole course nearby and you've got yourself a great day of golf.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
WSDGC and Bethel UMC - winning combination
Pros: Short-ish, fun, carolina style disc golf. Great for a quick 9 or even a quick 18. Only course within city limits.
Cons: We're still working on some drainage issues, new tee pad for #6 and reworking tee pad area for 3+ holes.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Nice Job! Bethel UMC
Pros: Good DISCatcher baskets, paver stone tees, good tee signs. Well laid out course on the back of the church property.
Good use of the elevation up and down to the creek.
Some fun holes, going left and right and even a couple of Par 4s.
For a wooded course, the fairways were wide enough, not too tight.
Cons: Only 9 holes, really wanted to throw across that open grass on the way out.
Can get a little sloppy down by the creek. It was wet the day I was there, but overall, not too bad. I doubt they could do anything else with this part of the property anyway.
Other Thoughts: A real nice, challenging course. If they build this as a "get some exercise after church", or "kids, go blow off some steam" course, its more than that. This course will challenge a lot of players, a good amount of distance and not just a wide open field of baskets.
I believe it is build over an existing walking path, so this gives everyone another reason to go for a walk in nature.
The paver stone tees are a nice addition, always nice to be to make a run up without having to worry about falling.
#7 was a fun downhill drive, with the basket on the right, just in front of the creek.
I like #4 also, 341 feet, good sized fairway, then over the creek to a protected basket.
Very nice of Bethel UMC to put this course in and have it open to the public. This is the only other course in W-S, so it was great the church stepped up, when W-S P&R has been napping since they put in Horizons over 30 years ago!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A Very Christian Thing To Do
Pros: Like others have written, I really wasn't expecting much, despite hearing an overall positive report from my neighbor, BrotherDave. I was figuring to find nine baskets basically thrown out into some woods on the backside of a church property, with no real rhyme or reason, sense or season. I was prepared to deal with muddy, rutted, uneven natural dirt tee areas and some brand of most basic baskets. I was imagining no amenities at all. I expected to spend a few minutes on a crappy, cruddy, red or even green level course with disc disappearing and skin scarring briers, brambles and underbrush. I was pleasantly surprised to the point of being proud to have been raised Methodist.
First and foremost favorable feature are the tee pads. Expertly laid, interlacing big bricks make for functional and aesthetic tees. Only Par 4, #6 is still dirt, but the bricks are there, beside the tee area, waiting to be placed. As it is the second longest hole in the layout, I hope that they will give it the extra length of numbers 1 and 9. The other existing pads, including the well leveled concrete slabs on #2, I think it is, are all about six feet long and about equally as wide. Except for #2, there is space behind each pad for additional step-up/run-up.
The baskets are, of course new, bright yellow banded Pro 28's, which is always a big Pro to a half blind old man.
Signage is more than adequate, with properly colored tee signs giving hole number, accurately assigned par, distance and a diagram of the hole layout. There is a nice directional sign at the large parking lot and an informative overview sign at the first tee.
Trash cans are spread throughout. I witnessed no litter anywhere through the course. I didn't look, but I'm hoping now that there are no beer bottles or cans, or other adult beverage containers, as this is a church course.
There are some basic benches placed throughout, though they are set for spotters to sit on the blind holes, as a majority of the holes are. The course does share real estate with walking trails, but I don't imagine that they are often used, except perhaps on Sundays, as I encountered no souls anywhere on the property on a Friday mid afternoon.
I could see that there are areas that are prone to wetness. Pallets have been placed to serve as bridges to help alleviate that problem.
Due to the well planned layout and some smartly located directional signs, navigation is easy, with no long, deadhead walks between holes, while there are no instances of too close proximity between green and next tee.
Concrete culvert covers add to the ease of transversing the transitions crossing the creek(s?).
All in all, Bethel is a wonderful walk in the woods, with babbling brooks, a couple of eye pleasing green grass glens between the trees, and other fairways laid out along old farm tractor trails of more than adequate widths to be more than fair. And perhaps the best Pro of this course, is that if you do land outside the discernible fairways, which I, of course did a couple of times, there are little or no briers, brambles, underbrush, tree trash, or overly heavy arbor foliage with which to deal.
Overall, Bethel is a solid, well considered design, with variances in up and down elevations, direction and distances. Available real estate is well utilized. Though I thought briefly that some of the holes' basket placements, creating end of flight doglegs, with guardian trees and close proximity to the little creek(s?) flowing throughout were a bit gimmicky, my final analysis of those is that the creek(s?) are not disc disappearing and that the dog legs add to the course's overall challenge, making it a good, White level Par 29.
Cons: Though not a problem for me, with my simple, three step, bowling style driving motion, many will consider the tees too small. But I was thrilled with them, as I was expecting nothing at all, since the site still lists the tees as dirt.
I favor more open, ball golf style courses, but Bethel, while being technical, is not overly, frustratingly tight, with its well defined fairways. Most of the holes require placement over power, to set oneself up for a simple approach and putt to save par. The two Par 4's do allow for letting it fly. So no real, big cons for this course. It is very good for what it is; a nine holer on private property open to the public.
Other Thoughts: Kudos to the Winston-Salem club and thanks to Bethel UMC. I hope that some, if not all of the early reviewers will revisit their reviews and maybe bump them up a half point or so, as most of their low ratings seem and sound like they were largely based on the lack of tees. Bethel is definitely more than just typical, especially for a church property nine holer. It would make for a well rounded day of disc golf, played in conjunction with Yadkinville's 18 and nine hole Outback courses.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Yeah, I gave a 9 holer a three, get over it. I don't take off for less than 18 holes and neither should you, you elitist!
Seriously though, this is a great example of where an idiot could've crammed 18 perilous/stupid holes into this space but instead put in 9 pretty solid holes. That kind of thinking should be applauded.
This is surprisingly not a dinky course; you won't feel dumb for carrying a bag here. For the most part the midranges seemed most useful but there's enough length and fairway shape to call for drivers. Hole 9 is long enough to warrant a distance driver.
Absolute breeze to navigate thanks to signs and obvious trails. Extremely clean, paver tees functioned well, a little elevation and a creek mixes things up a bit. The tee signs accurately illustrate the line but some of the distances seemed exaggerated. The course weaves along old nature trails behind the church so it's very defined and woodsy. Not all of it is technical though, hole 9 is a respectable par 4 that you can air it out a controlled distance driver on.
Cons: Not too much to add here, actually. Hole 6 hasn't a tee installed yet. Not a terribly ideal course for beginners which is the general audience a church course is probably intended for but it's not really punitive either.
Hole 9 is probably a par 3 for most skill levels but for beginners I think the 4 is warranted. It would take a herculean drive for me to hole out in two but good Blue and especially Gold players could probably do it.
Hole 8 is a blind hole and it would be pretty easy to hit somebody playing on hole 9 if you overthrow 8's basket.
Other Thoughts: This is a really enjoyable course. I stopped here as a warm-up on the way to N. Wilkesboro and it was perfect for that. I'd play here frequently if I lived in the area, make a great course to hone one's putter and mid game. It's also really close to Hanes Mall, I don't know if that's a pro or a con.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Easy to follow this course with good signage. There were a couple of folks out doing some maintenance and emptying trash cans. They were excited to have people playing their course.
There is good use of elevation on this course. The first hole is blind and the basket is downhill to the right. There is a good mix of uphill and downhill shots. I particularly liked hole #4. The basket placement is a bit tricky and a creek is in play on the left. #7 was another favorite. It's a downhill shot with the same creek in play on the right. You can bring the bag for this course. There are all types of shots required.
This is the best church/school course I have played.
A little damp out there, but the course was in better shape than the other three courses we played that day. Tee boxes, such as they were, were not slick. I like the tee on #2 being on the other side of the creek. I don't do much of a run up, so it being short was not an issue. I assume the downed trees will be cleared a bit in the future.
They could have crammed a few more holes in this property. I'm glad they did a decent 9 holes instead of a crappy 18.
Cons: #9 is a long (for this course) uphill hole. Not my favorite way to end a course. It is also a prayer garden.
In fact, the entire course appears to be part of a trail system and caution should be used. There was a lady on a blanket in the middle of #4 fairway. The caretaker of the course came through as we were considering what to do and warned the lady that disc golfers would be coming through. That was positive part of this negative.
Other Thoughts: I think this is a solid course and I don't knock it for being nine holes. If I lived in Winston, I'd play it often. It is not a destination course but if you happen to be rolling down I-40, it's a quick diversion that is worth your time.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid 9-hole course
Pros: I was pleasantly surprised by this course. I was expecting an easy, beginner course (this being a 9-holer on a church's property). Wrong. This is a legitimate, tight, wooded, technical course. If you are in Winston or just passing through, I recommend playing it (with a few caveats below in the cons section).
1. Navigation is easy and intuitive. First-time players can manage it without a map or another player.
2. New baskets. No issues here.
3. I really like the course design. There's a nice mix in just these 9 holes. Several tunnel shots, some uphill fairways, a few fun downhill ones, two par 4's.
4. If this were an 18-hole course, I'd put it right up there with a typical to above average wooded course. Very challenging and fun.
Cons: Despite the surprising pro's in this course, there are a few flaws that caused me to notch it a 2.0.
1. It's only 9 holes. For the challenge this course possesses, it's better suited to an intermediate player, not a beginner. (I would say most intermediate players, like me, would prefer 18 holes to 9). That said, if I lived in the neighborhood, I'd play here often.
2. The tees are a problem. I played after a few days of rain (although at least two days later) and the tees were an uneven, slick, muddy mess. I did s full banana-peel-slip on hole 2 and busted my ass. Not cool, man.
3. Other areas, mainly the fairways closest to the creek, were very muddy. Drainage seems to be a problem. Don't wear shoes you don't mind messing up.
4. Lots of thorns around the #2 fairway. Not a problem if you stay in the fairway, but if you slip and bust your ass while teeing off (see number 2 above), and you will end up in said thorn bushes.
5. High risk of disc loss with autumn leaves on the ground.
6. I didn't care much for hole #1. It's tree pinball around the basket with no clear line to go for the ace run.
Other Thoughts: If you're in the area, go check it out (preferably under dry conditions). Fun course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
NCís Best Bethel Course.
Pros: Bethel Methodist Church's 9-hole course is an enjoyable layout. It's better than most school/church courses while being a great addition to Winston Salem's disc golf scene.
- This is a very solid course, offering a good mix of challenge, enjoyment and creative hole layouts. Too often 9-holers have that negative 'feel' or stigma of simply being a 9-hole course. Bethel actually felt like it should be an 18-hole course that I quit playing after the front 9.
- I enjoyed the wooded, isolated feel of this course. It is on church property, and relatively close to nearby houses, but you are pretty removed from everything else. Add to that, the holes have a good flow winding through the woods while offering some decent variety.
- #1 is a solid starting hole. It's a 280-foot, dogleg right that starts sloping downward towards the basket the final third. That's followed up by a similar layout on #2, with the difference being the hole slopes upward in the final third toward the basket that's set back among trees.
- My two favorite holes here are #4 & 7. #4 is a 341-footer that starts out as an open, slight dogleg left. The challenge here is the approach shot to a basket that's protected by trees and a small creek if you go left or long. My second shot was 15 feet from the basket, but I had several small trees between me and the basket making the putt more challenging than it should be.
- #7 is a fun, potential ace-run layout. It's a 247-foot downhill, slight dogleg right hole. There's heavy tree coverage on both sides of the fairway, adding a risk/reward element to your tee shot. From the tee, be aware the first basket you'll see is probably for #4, so make sure you pay attention before throwing. As it is, I personally thought that would be a great, alternative hole layout, but I'll more than gladly enjoy the layout as it is.
- Course is easy to navigate once you find the first tee. I was slightly disappointed there was no signage or indication of the course on the church property, or better directions on this site. The first basket I found was actually for #9, so I had to backtrack to find #1. Nonetheless, once you find the first tee (I've since updated the directions on this site to help everyone else), there's good signage - both tee signs and directional markers after each hole. It's especially helpful as you use the same walking trail going from #4 & 7 to #5 & 8 respectively.
Cons: My biggest con here would be the natural tees. I played after it rained so the ground was muddy and slick. It's difficult getting any sort of run-up on your tee shots in those conditions. The only other negative about the tees is that the tee 'area' for #2 is very short. I liked having the tee on the other side of the small creek; however, unless that area is cleared out a little more, the tee area is shorter than a regular sized tee pad area.
- I wasn't a big fan of the current layouts for holes #2 & 8. Both holes feel like they need a little more clearing to have a more natural flow from the tees to the basket. On #2, I felt the clearing into the woods, towards the 'green' needed to be widened. On #8, it feels like the fairway was simply an existing walking trail and needed a couple trees on the left side removed to allow players to throw a more natural left-to-right shot.
- In two spots, the holes were squeezed too close together. I thought the baskets/greens for #4 & 7 were too close, as I noted above. Also, the basket for #8 is basically on the fairway for #9. If there ever were a crowd here, players would have to be aware of discs sailing long on these holes and/or wait for others to putt out before throwing.
- Not an issue for me, but there aren't any benches or trashcans. Of course, nobody should have to sit down to rest while playing a 9-holer and people should be able to pack out their own trash. Somehow, this will be a problem for some player(s) so I'm just warning those players.
Other Thoughts: Bethel is a solid nine-hole course. Unfairly or not, I tend to judge 9-hole courses as to whether it feels like it could, or should, be an 18-holer. Does a 9-hole course feel like the stereotypical 9-holer (meaning beginner friendly) or does it feel like a 18-holer that was cut in half? Bethel definitely fits into the latter category.
- There are three courses in North Carolina called Bethel. I've played the Bethel trilogy and can easily avow that this is North Carolina's best Bethel course.
- The course had some similarities to Kilborne (Charlotte) and Crooked Creek (Chapin, SC) with some of the hole designs and general wooded layout.
- I'm giving this course a 2.0 rating. Give me an 18-hole version of this layout, and I could easily see that being a 3.5-level rated course. I don't normally recommend playing 9-holers, but this is a good place to play through twice, especially if you're in downtown Winston. With the nearest course at least 25 minutes away (Horizons), if you're wanting to get in a quick 18, I'd opt for playing through twice here rather than making the drive there.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: There are quite a few courses I've played that I didn't expect much out of. The location was good. Not far off the highway along the route to a destination course. Most of the time, these courses aren't very good and I am ok with it. Have to experience some bad to appreciate the good. Bethel is not bad at all. A quick nine on the way to Rolling Pines, I figured I'd choke Bethel down and move on. But it was surprisingly worthy. Completely cut out of the woods in classic NC style, the course has quite a bit of variety and even some elevation changes. There isn't a lot of length here, but the course makes up for that by carving fairways of pretty much perfect width to make the course playable for new players while also creating a challenge for veterans to score well.
Navigation is easy and I can see new players getting in a round after mass or travelers stopping in for a warmup. This is the kind of course I love to see. Easy but interesting and in a place that could draw new players to the game.
Tees are bad and improving them would be a huge boost to the course. They are natural, of course but I've seen naturals that are ok and these aren't those. Not a lot of real flaws here. The course doesn't strive for more than it achieves.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Thanks Bethel Methodist Church
Pros: Winston-Salem proper finally has its own disc golf course thanks to Bethel Methodist Church. This new 9 hole loop is a surprisingly technical course that plays through a wooded hill and valley behind the church. Being that it is on church grounds, and it incorporates elements of existing church trails (the Myers Trail, the Bethel Trail, and the Prayer Garden Trial), the course here is already in very good shape. Grounds are clean and clear of most debris.
The course itself, though currently in its absolute infancy, is shaping up to be a pretty good test. All of the holes (with the exeption of 9) are relatively short holes that very much emphasize shot placement and tunnel drive accuracy. The layout uses the available land pretty well and I felt that I got good use out of both a forehand and a backhand while I played.
There are ample holes where a good drive will award a birdie putt, but some of the basket positions are a bit tricky and tucked next to the trees nicely to give a bit of protection.
The small creek which comes into play on 4 and 7 makes golfers think a bit about shot placement and strategy.
Though they are not yet in place, the tee areas are nicely laid out (currently in sticks), and there are signposts in place which will presumedly be the home for tee signs and a map/kiosk. I hope that there will be a few navigational aid signs in the future where there are currently arrows on the ground (again made in sticks).
All brand new Discatchers.
UPDATE 9/21/15 - Very nice tee signs in place, plus some awesome navigational signs on the trees. Thanks for everyone's hard work out there!
Cons: The obvious, it is only 9 holes.
There are a few minor safety concerns on this course. The route from 2 basket currently runs back down the hill along the hole. It would be better if it went through the woods to 3 tee to prevent interference. The right side of hole 7 along the treeline appears to have some remnants of old barbed wire so be on the lookout. Hole 9 teeing area is a bit close to 8 basket which seems to be commonly a blind approach.
The only other cons I noticed are due to the course's very new nature. Tees are marked by sticks ( at the time of this review, I hear that maybe changing). Some of the holes need a bit of tree and foliage pruning, and it looks like this is already marked out in orange spraypaint. A large downed tree has blocked some of the approach to #1 as well. As the course is very new, and some of this seems to be in the works, I don't want to be too tough on things as they are now
Other Thoughts: Big thanks to Bethel Church and the people involved to create this course for public use. The folks that I ran into when I stopped by could not have been nicer or more welcoming.
This course really does look like a fun work in progress. It is definitely in an area of town which really doesn't have a course nearby so this is an awesome addition. I look forward to the progress of and continuation of play at Bethel DGC.
I would make sure to bring a map the first time because a few hole transitions could be a bit confusing.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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