Pros: Length, Elevation, and Water are featured on this course. The scenery is something else. You're in for a treat at this isolated gem off the beaten path. Several pins feature blue pristine waters as a scenic backdrop as you are throwing beside the water, over the water, or trying to get the disc to land before you skid into the water. One hole, throwing down a giant hill towards a peninsula is not for the faint of the heart. Lucky for me, i was able to make it down there safely with a DGA Proline Squall. No hole felt repetitive. Each invited their own challenge. Mostly long, but still a challenge that differs from the usual courses in the vicinity.
Cons: It took awhile to locate the next tee for the first time. They use natural teepads and have changed a couple holes around. Hole 1 (as of 06/09/16) in the photos became number 9. There is a hike between some holes if you do not pay for the cart.
Be prepared to carry drivers, rollers, and more drivers. Only 5 holes were less than 300' - if you cannot throw over 300' - you may end up frustrated here. The design is meant to enjoy air shots and power rollers to the fullest, not for novice hacks who hyzer early or just started playing.
Other Thoughts: At the time I played it,
$5 greens fee
$10 cart fee
$12 for a sixer from the clubhouse
Empty those wallets, boy-o.
Clubhouse has a fully functioning bar, food, billiards, and pool.
Wind was in effect this day. Very little obstacles in the way when the wind picks up.
The course shares 9 holes with ball golf. Depending on traffic, you may have to wait until the players chip/putt out before you can throw your disc. You will have to remain mindful when sharing the course with them ball golfers.
It is 30 minutes from Birmingham and 30 minutes from Tuscaloosa. Well off the beaten path and no other courses nearby
Great course... with carts!
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Easy to navigate
- Excellent variety of holes
- beautiful scenery on the lakefront
- grass is cut quite regularly
- clubhouse has a pool for those hot Summer days
Cons: - not really a con for me, but there is a small fee to play (most disc golfers are used to playing for free). Go ahead and rent a cart as it's a significant walk otherwise.
- new or lesser-skilled players may be intimidated by the distance on some holes
Other Thoughts: Thrilled to see an active ball golf course/club open to introducing disc golf to their facilities. Good variety of clubhouse bar food and cheap beers. Appreciate everyone who was active in promoting this idea and getting it in the ground.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
A Beautiful Work in Progress
Pros: This course is set on a currently active 9 hole ball golf course meaning there are some amenities available you're not going to find on most other courses. There is a concession stand/lodge which sells some refreshments and has pretty clean bathrooms for use as well as an area to sit and relax before during and after the round.
The course itself is relatively easy to navigate despite its infancy and paucity of signs. There are enough to get you to the next hole pretty easily though.
Distance. Wow, this is a course that finally provides something missing in the Birmingham area. You will be throwing driver on the vast majority of holes and legitimately having to air out some long throws.
Variety of holes is unmatched. For a pretty open course it utilizing the natural OBs (multiple bodies of water and tree lines) to create specific lines to force designated routes. There aren't really very many duplicate holes out here which makes for an enjoyable round.
The elevation here is great as well just adding to the variety of holes. Combined with the distance the elevation provides for some very unique and deceiving holes adding complexity to the open layout.
There is potential for even longer holes and the addition of some pin/tee combinations to create even more par 4s and maybe a par 5 or so. A rarity in disc golf, having the ability to add distance AFTER a course has been designed is something potentially very fruitful here.
Multiple tee pads which are definitely needed on a course with such length.
One major plus, other than length, of being involved with an already established ball golf course is the ability to use golf carts. And with some of the hole transitions this is a very nice perk.
There are strategic water coolers throughout the course.
Cons: The course itself is a ways off the beaten path so if you're not coming specifically to McCalla or to play this course its out of the way. That said, it's worth the 30 minute drive from downtown Birmingham to play.
As a course that's still in flux there is still a lot to be done on the disc golf side of things. While there are some tee signs the current ones are temporary and only provide the hold numbers to them. There is a overhead photo on the DGB facebook page which gives you an idea of hole distances and general course flow but none of this is on the tee signs... yet.
As I often remark the current tee pads are natural. I'm told these will be, once the final setup is complete, turf, blending in nicely with the ball golf course. But for now, when you're trying to throw a hole marked at over 600 feet obviously footing is an issue. I had no problems during my round as it was a nice dry day but you can easily surmise after a rain this could be problematic.
There are a few long walks between holes which if you're walking the course are NOT short. Using a cart negates much of this but it does interrupt the flow and with the current setup can make it a little confusing navigating the course if you're not with something familiar with it.
Not necessarily a con but something to be aware of is the interaction with ball golfers. I don't know how busy the ball golf side of things is. There were at least 3 groups playing when we went out and for the most part there were no issues or conflicts, however, many of the holes do cross fairways so be very cognizant of where you are and where any ball golfers may be to avoid inadvertent injury or altercation. The only real problem we came across was playing 17, whose pin is just short to one of the ball golf greens and a 5-someone was chipping on just after we'd played our drives. They and we were respectful of each other and they let us putt out first but its definitely something to be aware of.
Other Thoughts: Don't let my relatively low review deter you from this course. It is DEFINITELY worth the play. But its still a major work in progress with a lot that can put it easily in the top 10 courses in the country.
This is not a course for the faint of heart. I took two of my friends who are novice level players at best and they had a rough time. You're going to need at least a B+ game to not walk away frustrated with your score out here as there aren't a lot of gimme opportunities. Personally I love that. The course blends in pretty nicely with the ball golf course and for the most part I often forgot we were playing on a ball golf course.
I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the designers after my round and he informed me of a lot of the updates they were planning which I think will take this course to the next level.
With the addition of better signage, benches/bag holders, tee pads,etc this course will easily be in my top 5. I can't wait to get back up and play this course once all the adjustments have been made.
A great addition to the DGB seen its just a shame its so far away from downtown.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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