Neglected Shorter course falls short
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Shorter University is a private institution in Rome, Ga., that offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including about 20 varsity sports programs.
Disc golf isn't one of them.
The Shorter course starts out with some promise, with a couple of pleasant on-campus holes, including a cool elevated basket on the first hole. And the round ends on-campus as well, finishing with a lengthy, sloping dogleg-right that might be the prettiest hole on the course. Plus, Hole #17 is a fantastic risk/reward design, as the 210-foot grassy hole includes a tightly positioned basket near a steep decline (and university building) on the left side, making missed drives and putts susceptible to a 100-foot rollaway into OB.
The signage is good and includes distance, a map and well-identified out-of-bounds areas. Thankfully, the signs provide a necessary clue of where to tee off on several holes as well as navigation to the next hole. Accessing the course map will be helpful too.
Cons: The "natural" teepads are in horrible condition. Carpet was used to mark some of the teepad areas, but in many instances, the carpet is muddy, missing or in shreds. On Hole #1, the teepad area is outlined by small rocks but runs uphill and is covered with leaves. On other holes, a dirt (or mud) spot is the only indication of a teepad.
The Prodigy baskets appear worn and the Hole #7 basket is damaged.
After the second hole, the course departs from the university setting and disappears into the woods. The following 13 holes are a mishmash of bizarre designs, troubling terrain and unkempt areas along a path on the outskirts of campus.
The challenges start with Hole #3, which is one of the worst holes I've ever played. Wooded utility poles serve as annoying obstacles in the middle of the 500-foot fairway. Briars and unmowed weeds are plentiful. And there's garbage everywhere, including bottles, cans and broken furniture. Hole #4 features an extremely narrow fairway with tons of trees dotting the 187 feet to the basket. Hole #5 descends steeply and while the view from the teepad is to be appreciated, the trek down the hill is treacherous, especially with heavy leaf cover. Traversing this hole is dangerous, and Hole #6 continues the challenging downward journey.
Holes #7 through #11 return to level ground with Horseleg Creek serving as an imposing right-hand boundary. These holes are slightly redundant and poorly maintained. There's more garbage around, plus designing holes within 20 feet of the creek is not ideal. The teepad for Hole #11 was difficult to find, while tons of weeds and unmowed areas mark its fairway and surround the basket.
Hole #12 is an awful filler hole; the nearly 400-foot hole goes up a steep hill with heavy brush on both sides. The heavily wooded Hole #13 features the most egregious design on the course; at only 167 feet, the intended play seems to be a 100-foot toss through a narrow gap, then a nearly 90-degree turn up the hill with a drainage pool and open manhole area seeking to punish inaccurate drives.
Other Thoughts: While the Shorter University property appears limited in its disc golf potential, the current layout missed the mark with too many poor designs, including a couple of hazardous holes. In addition, the signs of neglect are obvious, from disintegrated teepads to an abundance of litter on the course.
A rating of 1.5 might seem punitive, but I believe it's deserved. The design flaws and trashy conditions at Shorter are disappointing and perhaps correlated. If the neglect continues, this course might follow nearby Ridge Ferry Park DGC into extinction.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Short and Technical
Pros: (2.506 Rating) I was pleasantly surprised by this course after reading some of the reviews.
- UNIQUENESS - The holes themselves in terms of variety is above average. Although the course is indeed short, it plays longer due to the technical lines required. I rarely found myself driving past the hole. The hole types include, water elements along a creek, 30-40 foot elevation changes up and down, tight tunnel shots, a wonderful 90 degree dog leg right finisher on #18. There are also several basket windows, raised basket elements, 4 par 4's and ace run holes. Really the only big things missing are an open bomb it hole, a Par 5 and a dog leg left.
- DIFFICULTY - Above average due to the amount of tight lines, Most advanced players should be around course par or a couple under. Intermediate players should typically finish a few over.
- CHAINS - All the baskets look nearly new and have heavy chains.
- CHILL AREAS - There are lots of secluded nooks to take a break in, that is if you brought your own seating or if you don't mind sitting on the ground.
- RAW BEAUTY - The raw beauty of the course is about average. many holes play along a 50 foot or so deep valley split by a creek.
Cons: The biggest issue with Shorter will be the tight lines and dense overgrowth.
- OVERGROWTH - The rough is rough, try not to go into it. I spent significant time looking for errant discs in the over abundance of nooks and crannies and vegetation. Poison ivy was spotted on my visit as well.
- FORGIVENESS - Due to the tight lines on holes 4-15, good shots seem to always get picked off. This course will test the placement of your shots. Being off your mark by a foot or two sometimes isn't good enough. In addition, if/when you hit tree. the resulting punishment is sometimes more than one throw. I had to make a couple pitchouts.
- TEES - There is mixture of carpet and dirt tee areas. Several of the carpet pads are already torn apart. Many of the dirt tees are marked by orange flags at front. Several of the dirt tees are in pretty rough as well. needless to say, the tees areas are far below average in terms of footing.
- NAVIGATION - Tricky in spots and lots of places to twist an ankle if you're not watching your footing. I highly suggest printing the map on DGCR or downloading it to your phone. A first timer without it, would get lost. Despite the map I had, I still struggled on my trek between 15 and 16 as the hole signage was missing, and I walked by the tee pad. Hole signage was also missing on 17 and 18. Considering these are just laminated sheets of paper, they should be easy to replace. There are a few next tee directional ques along the course.
- PARKING - I did not see anything on the other reviews, but I was not able to get into campus as the gate was closed. Perhaps due to the holiday week I played on (Thanksgiving) I parked on a nearby street only to be told that the road was "private" by a resident. I told the resident "sorry, and I'll be gone in an hour" ;)
- CHARACTER - The course is really just baskets along a trail. No seating, no map, no community board, no trash cans, no tables, no extra pin placements, no multi tees etc. However due to the woods, most tees are shaded which will be good during the summer season. There is also hole signage (albeit paper) on most holes. (none observed on holes 16-18). I'll also add that there is a practice basket near one.
- SKILL LEVEL FRIENDLY - This really is not a beginners course, despite the short length. The course requires the skills of an accurate shot possessed by seasoned players.
Other Thoughts: I did somewhat enjoy the short technical layout of this course as it saved my arm for the other state of Georgia courses I hit this day (Perkerson and Kennesaw) It was my second favorite of the 3. I personally would probably not play this one often if I lived nearby. I'm not much of a fan of losing discs and I have a feeling this one claims a lot when the overgrowth peaks. If you do feel the need to play here, I suggest during winter when much of the vegetation is dead.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Needs some work but it's a start
Pros: It's cool that Shorter, where I went to school let a disc golf course be put in. It plays through the start of the "S Curve" as we called it and then along the walking trail.
There is some potential here. The woods and rough terrain makes the course pretty interesting.
The baskets are the new Prodigy ones that are pretty nice and the light green is pretty easy to see on most of the holes.
There are just a few great looking holes here. One is nice, five Is pretty good, and all of the final 4 are At least interesting.
Not a bad job of design in the extremely limeted space of the smallish campus.
Cons: It's not quite there yet. Tons of litter and old mini fridges, tires etc behind the dorms and near horseleg creek Rd.
Most of the wooded holes need some more clearing out to have a real line. And I'm not complaining for my game, but if you don't have a flick or are a lefty, it's not going to be a good day.
Personally I'm not a fan of how hard you have to putt on the Prodigy baskets, but they don't detract from the experience.
The walk between holes is pretty long on a few, and a lot of the paper signs have fallen down.
I'm fine with carpet teepads they have, but they are small and only about half the holes have them.
A lot of work still to be done.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I'm glad it's there. I'd love to see it improve, but more than that I wish it had been there when I was a student. You can learn some shots here and with some serious handiwork this could be a 3-3.5.
I'd love to see some cleanup and clearing out, and this place could be really nice as a technical course.
Don't look to air out your arm here. It's pretty short on most holes and even the long ones they aren't reachable in one because of the trees.
A good fairway and a stable mid will hit most lines on this one.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Bring your Hiking shoes
Pros: A few nice holes specifically 1, 5, and 18 were available. I would say there is a "mix" of open and wooded play, but that's true and not true at the same time.
Honestly, had it not been for me sinking my longest putt ever, a 56 footer, my time on Shorter's DGC would have been borderline miserable. I immediately went and played another 18 holes at the Log Cabin Course at Berry to cheer up my unmet expectations.
Cons: I don't look for much when it comes to a DGC as long as it offers 18 holes and signage. But even though it technically meets those two things, well...it was bad.
First, let me put it this way. This isn't a DGC. This is a hiking trail with DG baskets. 1, 2, 17, 18, and sort of 16 were on the campus. All of the rest were on a hiking trail around the campus. A literal trail, there were a few signs that said Shorter walking trail along the way. At one point I forgot my putter in the basket of 5 as I stopped to drink water and had walked all the way (emphasis on all the way) to the basket of 6 before I realized it. I had to stop to catch my breath on the way back the terrain was so bad. This is a good place to say, I wouldn't recommend this course for some of the clumsy, frail, or elderly players. I hike often and ironically was wearing my hiking boots and still almost fell down a very steep hill twice.
If you aren't extremely accurate, prepare to get into thick rough of trees, bushes, and poison ivy. If you come regardless, definitely wear pants and take advantage of my mistake of finding the thorns and poison ivy. There is also a small stream on the right of a few holes, but it doesn't come into play very much unless you completely go off course (but if you want to be fully prepared maybe bring an extra pair of socks as the water is shallow enough to retrieve your disc).
There was some signage on the occasional tree, but it was missing in some crucial points. These points especially include going from hole 2 to tee 3 which you have to walk through a dirt path between a building and woods & from hole 15 to 16 where the path seemed to simply end in the middle of the woods forcing you to walk back to where you came and up behind the tennis courts.
Other Thoughts: I had such high expectations for this course. I had read a review or so saying that this was the best DGC in Rome. Having played all 3 18-hole courses in Rome, let me steer you to Berry. It's right up the road and offers 2 18 hole courses on its campus (Log Cabin Course and Winshape DGC). These courses are pristine in comparison Shorters course. I appreciate what Shorter tried to do for the city and its students. However, it's clear that there was an existent walking trail before the DGC and that they simply put up baskets and signs. That's how it seems and that's definitely how it plays.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Shorter University DGC
Pros: Has practice basket
Good mix of open/wooded fairways with doglegs and elevations
Water comes into play on holes 7-10 on the right side but none requires shooting over water
Had whole course to myself on a Sunday evening
Cons: Some tees are missing signs
Some of the natural tees are not flat
Some holes are very short
Blind shots on some of the holes
Lots of dead leaves on the ground can make the experience of finding your disc harder
Course flows pretty good except between holes 2&3 and 6&7
Other Thoughts: Wear shoes with good traction for this course. I found myself slipping and sliding at times when throwing and walking. Course is still new and haven't been broken into yet - lots of cut saplings that still protrude from the ground. Horseleg Creek runs mostly clear along holes 7-10 and didn't appear to be deep - shouldn't be much of a factor in losing a disc than the leaves on the ground would be. This course is fun and a nice addition to the Rome area with a stark contrast of play to Winshape DGC and Log Cabin DGC.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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