Destination disc golf experience
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Blockhouse is a phenomenal disc golf "country club" located a few miles off I-95 in the Virginia countryside. If you are in the area, passing by, or if you reside a drivable distance from Fredericksburg, make plans to get here! And of the 3 extremely fun courses -- and 2 traditional and very challenging courses -- Sunnyside is my favorite.
+ Sunnyside and Darkside are both technical, mostly wooded courses. I would say that the difference between the two, and the reason for the name choices, is that Sunnyside does have some open holes where you can bomb. But it's still a technical, wooded course. Even the open holes have tree-lined fairways, guardian trees, OB or other obstacles to contend with.
+ This is what disc golf is all about. This course is super fun, extremely well designed and challenging, and aesthetically beautiful.
+ Navigation is simple and intuitive. There are descriptive tee signs and helpful next tee signs. Albert was very gracious about coordinating the logistics of me being there, but I played a solo round and didn't have any issues.
+ Fantastic mix of hole designs and shots required, from very long to very short holes. I used drivers, fairway drivers, mids, and putters off the tee. There are hyzer lines, anyhyzers, flicks, and thumbers. Bring every shot in your arsenal.
+ Risk/reward elements on some holes. I'm thinking specifically of holes 15 and 16: 15 is uphill with a berm and OB area right in front of the basket. If you go short, you're OB. Hole 16 is downhill with the basket right in front of an OB pond. Go long and it will cost you. These are two of the most simple holes on the course, and certainly not my favorites, but I mention this because there are challenges and wrinkles thrown in on every hole.
+ I really like the par 4's on this course. They are not just long par 3's. They require a good drive to a landing zone to set up the second shot. Great hole design.
+ The wooded holes are terrific. The fairways are the appropriate length and width (i.e. they are fair). Good technical shots are rewarded. Bad shots can kick in unforgiving ways. Birdies are out there if you play smart golf.
+ Challenging, but not punishing like Darkside.
+ Different layouts for different ability levels.
+ I should mention the other amenities at the Blockhouse. You've got to play all three courses. There's also an arcade with old school games.
Cons: Not many to mention here. This was one of the top 10 courses (out of 147) that I've played.
- The only hole I really didn't like -- or think fit with the rest of the course -- was hole 17. It's basically a short plinko hole (133 feet) with no discernible fairway. You're best options are an overhead shot or just hope to get lucky. Not a fan of this hole. It doesn't fit with an almost perfect course.
That's all I got!
Other Thoughts: Make plans to get to the Blockhouse. You can make a case for why each of the 3 courses are the best. My choice was Sunnyside. All 3 are fun and worth the trip in their own right.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
The Good, The Bad & The Decay
11 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Large tee boxes with picturesque signs for hole layout and yardage indicated. Two courses on one property for $5, down from $10. Lost and found box for lost discs. Camping on-site. Super Challenging for all levels; parents aren't bringing their kids here to learn to play.
Cons: Unforgiving fairways. You could literally throw a great line and you'll likely hit a tree at 200-250' and have little to no hope of any kind of recovery shot...and that's on 80% of the holes. The TURF grass (people reviewing this course misidentify this as AstroTurf, which is far superior for this application) on the tees grab your shoes and make it difficult to rotate through the shot and follow-through. Can be confusing to navigate by yourself; a course map would be a welcomed addition as there are many trails in the woods that don't lead to the next hole. Course definitely could use some maintenance, tree-trimming and clearing of debris.
Other Thoughts: At one time this course may have been phenomenal, as it's rated #2 in state, however living on reputation alone eventually dissipates, much like the upkeep on this course. Think of a Hilton that eventually got sold and is now a Travel Inn. The foundation is there, but the furniture is outdated, the pool is closed and they're letting folks rent as an extended stay. The aesthetics are distasteful as trash is littered throughout the entrance, the pool water is green and un-leashed dogs are running amuck and barking like they're ready to bite. There are lots of holes with seating at tees, but much of it is either rusty and mossy bench seats from the back of old Chevy Blazers or school buses, or some kind of theater seats that have been outside so long, that all the vinyl seats and cushioning are long gone so they only make a good seat for your disc bag. As for the course, it's challenging, especially when they use multiple pin placements but some of the tee signs only indicate placement and yardage for one. Hole #17 is only 133 feet long, and you can literally close your eyes on the tee and have just as good of a chance of getting near the basket as you would actually trying to navigate all the trees. Just about all the landscape timbers on every tee box are rotting away or have been consumed by termites. On holes with OB, sometimes it's an actual guessing game of the boundaries as poles/ropes are either partially there or maybe buried. There are also cardboard signs that might be tournament leftovers indicating for you to head in an incorrect direction of the next hole. I just played the #3 course in the state, Greenfield, last month, and this course can't compare. Loriella Park and Cannon Ridge which are nearby, easily outshine these two courses in terms of aesthetics, pace of play, maintenance and are almost as much a test of your skills. Plus they're free.
11 of 16 people found this review helpful.
A Challenge at My Level
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Challenging mix of open big-arm holes and tight technical wooded holes, with the emphasis on the latter. I needed every shot in my limited arsenal, and many more that I didn't have. The wooded areas are open enough to create no problems finding or getting to your disc, but they are often jail with the only option being to pitch out. And that stinking holly, which is everywhere, is picky!
A lot of thought clearly went into this layout, and every hole presents its own challenge.
Cons: I have been playing about two years, I'm working on accuracy off the tee, and I don't have a workable forehand flick at this time. Thus, many holes on this course exceed my capabilities. If you are at my level or below, you will be playing plinko off the trees quite often.
A couple of holes with multiple potential basket locations can be confusing.
Other Thoughts: The course beat me down at my current level, but I see it as a course I will like more and more every time I play it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
keep on the sunnyside (but play the darkside too)
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Other Thoughts: The Blockhouse in general is phenomenal, with two top notch courses, the Tiki course, and everything else there. It is an experience that you will not regret. I recommend coming for a tournament. They have camping onsite. If I had known that at the time, I would have stayed there.
The Sunnyside is the more open of the two Blockhouse courses, although it has a stretch of very demanding and tight wooded holes. This is simply one of the best courses I have ever played. The open holes are long and demanding, requiring power and accurate placement. The shorter holes all feature a unique twist or challenge of their own. The wooded holes require tight lines and the ability to hit landing zones. There are numerous quality multi-shot holes. And it is all so picturesque, particularly hole 10, which plays down a hill, through a gap in the trees, and back up to a basket guarded by manicured bushes that look like something off of a Victorian estate. There are a couple of water carries -- a long tee shot (not over water the entire time), and a short, downhill ace run. There is one hole that is really short but has a fairway like a plinko table with no obvious line to the basket. And it works.
There is something for everyone on this course. Do yourself a favor and visit the Blockhouse.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
One of my All Time Favorites
Pros: The Lightside of this course is another fantastic addition to the Blockhouse. It involves plenty of big arm throws and incorporates a nice balance of technical shots through the woods. There are few courses I've played that compare to the Blockhouse and would gladly bring anyone to play here. The astro turf tees are a great addition to the course. This course comes with my highest recommendation for any level of player.
Cons: I don't like paying to play, but it's totally worth it here.
Other Thoughts: Bring bug spray and enjoy the company of the hosts.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Sunny side up
Aesthetic-- plays on a DG exclusive property. 'nuff said there.
Baskets-- all there and in great shape, flags and LED's add visibility on the more wooded and long holes.
Teepads-- Turf. Normally I hate turf but these were longer tined turf and really didn't provide any issue for traction even after rain.
Routing and nav-- fairly straight forward. Follow the worn paths to the next tee which is usually fairly visible from the previous.
Teesigns-- great. Full color. Only gripe is they could use some "exit" arrow to help guide you out of some stickier places.
Challenge and variety-- I found this course to be a little bit more vanilla than the darkside course. #1, 9 and 10 are definitely the signature holes here. Also, oddly enough, the wooded fairways here seemed much tighter here than Darkside (#2 for example).
Shelters/benches-- nearly every hole as a shelter or bench which is very welcome on the hot days we played.. Also, water coolers were spread throughout the facilities.
Facilities-- top-notch. It's unfortunate that people haven't honored the facilities as they deserve and they have "closed" the course.. Truly truly a shame. Three 18 hole courses on one property that is disc golf exclusive and you can't respect that? seriously...
Variety/challenge-- a little more vanilla than the Darkside course. The challenge factor here isn't as high as the obstacles aren't as many as the other course.
I really can't think of any other cons..
Contact them through the Facebook page and see if you can make it out.. seriously, enjoy the honor of playing here.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
It's Always Sunny Compared to the Darkside!
Pros: The private 18 hole Sunnyside course consists of more variety than the Darkside as it plays over a little different terrain with some more open areas, grass fairways, interesting greens, a berm, corral, and also plays through the same thick Virginia woods, rolling elevation, creeks and ponds. There are two loops of 9 holes, a couple ace runs, a couple par 4s, and more variety of distances, use of elevation changes and danger of water. The Sunnyside is more suitable for players of all skill level.
The large astroturf tees here are my favorite, nice Mach III baskets with flags, navigation and signage, tee area shelter and interesting nicknacks. Very nicely maintained mowed grass fairways and little underbrush in the woods, which is amazing given how thick the woods are.
Other amenities on site include a second professional 18 hole course, awesome Tiki course, arcade, concerts, camping, pool and bathroom.
Cons: Holly in the rough. Deer flies. Some of the wooded holes are unfairly tighter compared to the Darkside. Couple deuce or die holes. Hole #17, I'm not a fan of this short 133' hole of plinko.
Other Thoughts: It's alway Sunny compared to the Darkside! The Sunnyside is more fun with it's variety of terrain and distances, but still a very technical course. This is probably most people's favorite of the courses on site and I'm in that camp. I wouldn't call Sunnyside an open course, but it's open holes are where the course really shines and provides some truly memorable signature holes...
Hole 1 - an open par 4 with the tee shot over the pond,
Hole 9 - a short open downhill par 3 with the corral surrounding the basket,
Hole 10 - a par 4 with undulating elevation with somewhat open tee shot and my favorite green scattered with sculptured shrubs,
Hole 11 - a somewhat open par 4 with sloping elevation,
Hole 15 - an open uphill par 3 with a berm/bunker protecting the basket on a shallow green,
Hole 16 - short downhill par 3 tees from the woods into the open and across the pond with the basket just across it.
The Blockhouse(formerly Grange) is a true country club experience for disc golf. If you get the chance to play here, consider yourself lucky.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very nice mix of open and wooded holes. The turf tees are surprisingly good. Several really tight fairways and some long bombs. Also had a good mix of elevation changes and hazards. Some very unique holes such as the cattle chute hole where the basket is surrounded by fences.
The staff was friendly.
Cons: Only con would be that based on the terrain they have there they could have easily added a few really cool watershots that would've spiced things up a bit.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: With two 18 hole courses on the property this place is very cool. The Sunnyside was my favorite of the two. It has a great mix of wooded and open holes. Elevation and water comes into play. There is a small pro shop on site, pool, and camping. This course was very fun to play.
The property is well manicured and clean. They've put a lot of work into sitting areas around the tees.
There are several unique greens. Hole 9 and 10 come to mind.
Excellent tee signs. Very descriptive.
DGA Mach 3 baskets.
Large and level astro turf tee pads. I liked them a lot.
There is an awesome mix of distances. I threw the entire bag on this course. A lot of traditional par 3 holes with a handful of par 4's.
Navigation was pretty easy. I did not have to use the map one time.
Cons: Most holes have only 1 pin position and only 1 tee per hole.
Some baskets had flags on them. All the baskets could use flags or bright tape on them. Some were hard to spot.
Hole #17 is the only hole on the course I did not like. It's a 133ft prayer shot thru the trees.
Other Thoughts: This was well worth the stop during vacation. With the 2 permanent courses on site and the super fun tiki course you have to check it out.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The Sunnyside Course uses a great combination of wooded and open holes to always keep you guessing. There is a challenge to the course, but it plays fair at the same time. The conditions are excellent and the facilty is accomodating of all skill levels.
The maintenance of the facility was quite impressive, a lot of time and thought go into the design details which makes it well worth the $5 price to play all day.
The pro shop on site had Innova and Discraft discs to purchase at prices that are cheaper than most retail stores.
Cons: There was the occasion where I was not sure how to get to the next hole. But, a long look around allowed me to figure it out pretty quickly.
Other Thoughts: I have only been playing disc golf for a couple of months, but I am really impressed with the Blockhouse facility. Great pro shop, friendly staff. I feel like this course was difficult enough to challenge an experienced player yet not so tough that a beginner would get frustrated in the least. I will definitely be returning here.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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