2 Helpful / 1 Not
Not to be taken lightly
Pros: -The ability to play 27 challenging holes in one round is unique in this area.
- The signage and tee pads were excellent.
- Some unique pin placements keep things interesting.
- Elevation everywhere!
- Some good use of water hazards
- Great views of escarpment
- Variety is excellent
Cons: - Hadn't seen maintenance in months.
- Could not clearly define fairways because of high grass. This also made it very difficult to find discs in the Fairway and nearly impossible to find discs in rough.
- Layout does not allow for convenient exit after 9 or 18 holes.
- Finding the first tee is confusing (it's located up the hill from the practice pins after you walk through the woods).
- Very muddy (last rain was 2 days earlier).
- Briars. are. everywhere.
Other Thoughts: The variety is amazing on this course. You have a little bit of everything. This could be a championship caliber course if only they took care of it.
Come in the winter when the vegetation is not a factor and the heat isn't oppressive.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Holston Creek has it All
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Holston Creek Park is pretty great in my opinion. 27 holes that take you through a hilly landscape that has good variety of wide open, densely wooded, and shots near water. Distance and accuracy are a must on almost every hole, as the rough is punishing in many places. Luckily I didn't leave any plastic out there, but I did have a long search through really nasty, thorny brush off to the side of one fairway. Legs are still itching a week later. Russell Schwarz and company did a great job on this one. The installation of the tees and baskets was really well done, and the neon pink rims on top of the new Discatchers is easily spotted if you have any sightline at all. Hole 9 is hanging basket on a giant mailbox, which is a new one to me. I would like to know what the story is on that. There are also pin positions with fences, mounds, circular berms, and man made obstacles that add some interest. I am not familiar enough with the course to give the hole by hole account, but I really loved the up and down fairways, and variance of open/wooded holes with lots of different shapes and looks.
Cons: I hear those who don't like the layout, or the overall difficulty, but do not share the opinion. Short tees would be a nice addition for many of the holes, to make it friendlier for the new players and the guys who don't have a power game. There are plenty of chances to sink one into a pond, or in the middle of briar patches. Really not set up to play an abbreviated round without having a long walk back to the car. Google maps got me close, but not the right place. Apple maps is better for this one if you are navigating with an iPhone.
Other Thoughts: First time out, I hit the century mark on my scorecard. Even hundred (+9), with 3 birdies, 13 pars, 10 bogies, and a double bogey on hole 20. My putting could have been better, and there were many holes I wanted to throw second shots from the box. With a couple more rounds I am pretty sure I could get close to par. There are so many good courses in the area, and this one is right up there with Pipeline, Tyger River and Shoally Creek. All have high degree of difficulty and distinct personalities, but if 18 holes isn't enough this is the course for you. Highly recommend it, a great place to spend a weekend exploring a disc golf scene that is now among the best in state.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: It has a few good holes to where you can see the basket but on most of the holes were blind tee shots with no visible fairways.
Cons: too many blind tee shots with not knowing where the fairway is, a lot of briars in the fairway.
Other Thoughts: probably won't be back unless its winter time or they the briar situation resolved, this course has potential to be a great course but there is still some maintenance to be improved on
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
A great 18, but....it's 27 holes.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Holston Creek is a tough course. It tries to be tough. It's frustratingly long. And if edges of the layout were smoothed down, this would be a fantastic course.
- I loved this course after the first third. I still really liked it after 18 holes. Then after a needless extra nine, I was sick of this place. After #18, you're unfortunately a third of a mile away from the parking lot (as the crow flies, or about a half mile following the paths), so you're stuck having to play the final 9. The worst part is that the final 9 is easily the worst and most boring third of the course.
- There are some fantastic, elite-level holes here. The ceiling for this course is championship level. #3 is an awesome, test-your-nerves layout. It's 575 feet from the long tees, with a split fairway that forces players to pick the easier, wider, longer-layout fairway, or take the road less travelled, narrow, next-to-the-water, route. Whether you survive this test, or already find yourself in a pinch with 24 holes remaining, you'll get to be aggressive on the next hole, with a simple-yet-fun layout.
- Course does a great job of using all aspects of this terrain. After the first two holes, I thought this was going to be a relatively flat layout (a la Tyger River), then you notice the elevation and the weaving of the course from open to wooded holes. The open holes offer a nearly constant cross breeze as well as tall grass serving as rough. The wooded holes range from not-too-bad to rough and tree-lined fairways that are disc eaters.
- One of the best all-in-one holes I've ever seen is #7. It's a 560-foot downhill layout starting in an open field. Hitting the gap into the woods is no sure thing by itself. Throw in the cross breeze makes it feel like you're playing Duck Hunt and you don't want that dog (who's long dead 30 years later) laughing at you. The breeze hooked my disc 50 feet right. Once you get to the gap, the hole continues downhill through a semi-wooded approach shot to a heavily wooded area around the basket. A challenging hole that offers three different dynamics makes this hole special.
- There also a fabulous, under the radar back-to-back hole duo that needs proper attention. #13 is a decently tough, 340-foot downhiller that starts open, gets narrow mid-fairway then leads to a basket that's just close enough to the water to penalize over-aggressive shots. A smart mid-range tee shot leads to a reasonable approach and (hopefully) a par putt. Take your 3 here and be happy.
- That's followed by #14, a great risk/reward hole that should be an easy-ish birdie putt if it weren't for the edge of the water you have to throw over. It's a 285-foot split fairway that goes over the water if you throw right, or has your disc curving back towards the drink if you go down the left fairway. These two holes are better considerably shorter than holes #24 & 25, but show that length is not what makes a great hole.
- For a course that's so spread out, navigation is great. Tee signs have next tee markers; but, what's even better is that the baskets have arrows as well. The biggest navigational issue I had is that I aimed my tee shot on #12 towards #18's basket because that's the only one visible from the tee. I incorrectly assumed the signage was wrong rather, so I blew a birdie chance.
Cons: The final 9 add nothing to this course. #26 is memorable only because of the island green - and only if that means anything outside the sand ring is considered OB. Otherwise, it's just for looks, and you've got to walk through sand. #27 could be good, but it's is a tweener position. Too long for average players to clear from the longs, especially after playing 26 holes (par 87 up to that point) and walking 3 - 4 miles. My arm was a total noodle so I laid up...except that the water is too close to lay up. So my 175 - 200-foot downhill layup shot went straight into the water. And, if you have a big arm, it's easy to clear the water, so this ends up being an easy finishing hole.
- Through the first 18, the course had a great flow to it, with lots of variety. The final 9, however, consists of 4 flat holes that all ran together in my mind; an uphill gimmick hole (#23); a downhill gimmick hole (#24); another flat hole; then the two I just mentioned. I think #26 could be a solid closing hole if it were hole #18 on an 18-hole course.
- The back nine is also ridiculously spread out. Just look at the map, and you'll see that the final 9 takes up as much space, and nearly as much walking as the first 18 combined. Another reason this course should have stopped at 18. The designers got greedy and it backfired.
- High lost disc factor here. I lost 2 discs on the course and had to spend about 20-30 minutes searching for two others I nearly lost. The rough is a little too rough and the grass is way too tall for a course that's making people constantly throwing big shots off the tee.
- The course will wear you down making endurance a key here. For much of the course there is little to no shade. In the summer, that sun beats you down. So does the 3-4 mile walk. I played solo, and this was still close to a two-hour round for me.
- There's no realistic bail-out point if you want to/need to cut your round short. You can cut a couple holes off by going from #13 to 18. Other than that, you'll be doing a long walk between holes if you're trying to play a partial round. If you want a quick round, this is not your course.
Other Thoughts: Let me be clear: if Holston Creek only existed with the first 18 holes, I would be tempted to give it a 4.5 rating. I think I'd even rank that 18-layout higher than Pipeline and Grand Central as the upstate's best course
- The problem is that Holston Creek was a course that kept going downhill. The first 9 were a 4.5; the second 9 a 4.0; then the final 9 were probably a 2.5 - 3.0 at best. My gripe is that the final 9 was made unnecessarily long. The proof: holes 1 - 18 average 352 feet; a nice 6,340-foot layout. The final nine come in at 3,845 feet or 427 feet per hole.
- There's a sign before the first tee warning players for all sorts of wildlife that can be found throughout the course. I didn't stumble upon any wild pigs, but I was keenly aware of how fraught this course is with places for snakes to be found.
- I think the course designers got so caught up in making so many different layouts, that they got carried away. They had to be like kids on Christmas morning when they saw this property and the potential for all the fun, creative layouts. It's as if they built the first 18 holes, then realized they had a half-mile walk back to the parking lot, so they tried to incorporate nine more holes in that walk. Twain would agree the final 9 are a good walk spoiled.
- My rating for this course is 4.0. The final nine did eliminate any thought I had of giving it a 4.5. This course has some great aspects, and should be appreciated. Come prepared with plenty of patience, water, sunscreen, bug spray and even long pants and/or sleeves. Spend any time in the rough, and you'll be glad you're wearing long pants. Opinions might vary here, but it's a must-play at least once for anyone in the region.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Long Hard ......
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Quality Baskets
Concrete Tee Pads
Cons: Uneven Ground
Other Thoughts: This has the potential to be a good course but there are several things that kept me from rating it any higher than I did. First off, when you pull up you have to pull off to the gravel lot on the right but there's nothing telling you that that is the lot for the course. A sign indicating this would be a nice start. Second, Once you exit the car you have to assume that the beginning of the course is to the left of the lot since that's where the practice baskets are located. The course itself has a lot of potential. The Tee pads and hole signs are some of the nicest I've seen. On the down side, if you don't know this course there are a lot of blind holes where you're throwing 400+ft without being able to see the basket. Also, the ground is very uneven and rough. This will smooth out over time but for the time being it is very rough. The course is long; 10,000+ft long and if you don't have the arm you will be sore by the time you reach 27. The layout doesn't feel very well thought out. It's like someone took a bush hog and a chainsaw, cut a path, and said here you go! About the time you reach hole 25 it feels like someone said "How do we get them back towards the beginning?" That's when you hit hole 26. 800+ft straight back towards hole 1. It just doesn't feel like anyone really said down and thought about the layout. It's not my favorite course but I'll eventually make it back out there.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
NOT A RECREATIONAL PLAYER COURSE!
Pros: I have never left feeling like there was a hole missing from this course. The layout is extremely easy to follow and tee pad signs are immaculate. Not only do the signs show a clear overview of each hole, they also give elevation gain, or drop!
Cons: Only one bad thing.......
But thats nature, and this is disc golf, which is played in nature.
Other Thoughts: The extreme challenges of the course will weed out the little arms, forcing players to throw long distances with extreme accuracy.
The course is designed to be a professional level course, so if throwing over 300' is a struggle, players should not expect to be anywhere close to par.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Up Down and All Around
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As my title states this course truly goes 'up down and all around'. There is while not the steepest, some great elevation changes throughout the course, with great diversity. Many up hill tee shots are followed by down hill shots on the following hole.
Same thing with length and terrain. Very rarely will you play 2 holes in a row that remotely resemble each other. One hole you may need to crank out a 500 ft drive while the next may be a light putter or midrange drive. In addition to the lengths of holes having a nice variation, some holes are quite wooded, some quite open and some include water hazards and bunkers. This will keep you on your toes.
In it's entirety, it's a monster, spanning what I've heard to be over 6 miles. Be sure to bring water and take breaks along the way. Trash cans are starting to be put in and benches exist at several holes for rest breaks.
This course sports pink innova discatcher pro baskets. Not only do these support a great cause in breast cancer awareness, from my understanding, but they truly pop when out there on the course. I like a good diversity in basket colors, I personally get tired of the same old yellow heads round in and round out.
Spartanburg Parks and Recreation do a fantastic job upkeeping their courses, and this one is no different. Look forward to this course improving in time as more players play it and the parks department cleans it up.
On top of all said, Holston has several elevated baskets to mix up the green game, one basket hangs on a zip line, which enables it to be moved to a multitude of different locations when fitting. Another basket hangs under an enlarged mailbox over 360' away, very uphill, entitled 'Air Mail'. It truly is an air mail delivery for any player to get a shot up there. Not only the raised baskets were constructed, but many mini bridges were put in to make navigating the course safe, more aesthetic and enjoyable, plus a raised dock tee pad on one of the over water shots, reminiscent of the tee pad of the long par 5 at Winthrop Gold.
To boot there are several alternate tee pads to make this course a little more playable for entry level players. It is not going to be a walk in the park for anyone, don't come expecting to shoot a hot round, but it is certainly playable. One can get creative, especially by parking in the parks normal lot and partition the course into a shorter loop. I know more work will come regarding an 18 hole circuit and 9, but it's truly not that bad to take a good look at the course map and make a plan if you don't want to play the full 27 which can take a good chunk of the day.
All in all I love this course and am excited to see where the future takes it.
Cons: Course is still young and very thick off many of the fairways. I've lost 6 discs there in 3 rounds.
9, 18 hole loops aren't perfectly intuitive but doable if you take a look at the maps. The generic 1-18 doesn't quite wrap back to the disc golf lot.
Other Thoughts: Didn't quite add this in my original review, but the course tee signs are top notch. Not only show distance, lines, but they show the elevation changes for each hole, every tee.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A gem! But be prepared!
Pros: This course really does feature a wide variety of the best of disc golf.
birdie or die
signature holes (at least a handful)
Over the water (3)
Roped OB (3)
Bunkers and hazards! (not BUNCRs, sorry, Chuck)
Hard to fit all that into 18 holes... so they made 27!
Mailbox hole (9) is one of the coolest ideas for a hanging basket and well crafted.
Zipline hole (10) just invented the multi position placement with no ground installation!
Really, just a beautiful piece of property. Glad they chose Disc Golf.
Hot Pink targets are SUPER easy to see. Not obnoxious, just a really good color to see in the woods/fields/dusk.
The Bunker bullseye thing on 26 is one of the coolest greens in disc golf. can you hit the bullseye? If not, you may want to lay up! Penalty for landing in the sandtrap/bunkers.
There's a driving range!
Separate disc golf parking!
Parks people that REALLY want to see disc golf thrive! They built THE. ENTIRE. COURSE. No volunteer labor that I'm aware of.
This is a must play if you have a half day. It's not a quick round, but it's a really enjoyable one that you'll remember for a long time. One of the most memorable courses I've played.
Cons: These aren't cons, they're recommendations so you don't get frustrated. This is a long course, and there's no break until you are done.
Wear comfortable shoes. Bring some water to wash your feet after, mine were dark brown from dirt getting through my socks
Eat and use the bathroom before you go. No easy jaunt back to the car. This course doesn't "cloverleaf", so when you leave your car, you probably won't see it again till you finish.
Bring extra water. As it gets hotter, this course will be more demanding. Water is a necessity.
Be prepared. If that means a snack, a phone, a cart, an umbrella. Preparation will make your rounds more enjoyable.
Con: Shows me how out of shape I am... Sometimes I wanted to take a picture, but that was extra effort and focus I didn't have the energy for.
No easy access to a bathroom or water. Hopefully that'll be addressed in the future. this parks department seems to be very disc golf positive. Hopefully they have plans to put some sort of rest/water station at hole 10/21 junction.
Other Thoughts: Some shorter loops will soon be listed for those looking to play shorter loops. I thought a nice 21 hole loop would we 1-12, 19-27. It skips holes 13-18 and avoids two water holes, but finishes with the really tough holes.
Well worth the drive! Spartanburg is knocking it out of the park! They're already planning their next course!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: - Obviously amount of holes
- Driving range
- Diverse layouts
- Creative elements that make this such a unique course
Cons: -Its the sarlacc of disc golf courses.
Other Thoughts: Holston Creek DGC, wow you're a beast. I don't think I have played a more balanced course than this so far. It has very tough holes, and holes that give you obvious birdie chances. I don't think this course benefits neither the left or righty thrower either. First time through, I'm extremely impressed and am excited to play it again this thursday.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 9 Not
A Minority Report
Pros: -great signs
-separate gravel parking added for disc golfers
-nice big tee pads (even thought they were very muddy after a rain)
-litter cans placed around the course (let's keep it clean)
-several holes with hanging baskets and sand traps(nice touch)
-benches on some of the holes (more would be good, and a few under a shade tree would be even better
-herculean effort by the Spartanburg Parks & Recreation Department in carving the course out of a wilderness and getting it ready for the scheduled opening day (kudos)
Cons: -very bad layout design (Want to play only 9? You'll have a long walk back to your car. Want to play 18? You'll have an even longer walk back to your car.) The layout almost forces you to play the full 27!
-most of the holes are too long for junior, senior, recreational, or newbies (5 out of 9 of the so called "short" holes are over 300 feet, 2 of those are over 400 feet! Only 1 of the 27 is under 200 feet, and it involves water)
-several long throws over murky ponds, with no alternate routes. (unless you're Ricky Wysocki, you'll be feeding a few of Innova's best to the fishes)
-more uphill throws than downhill (but then, everybody loves a good uphill throw, right?)
-many of the long closing holes have out of bounds stakes for no apparent reason (other than to make the hole more difficult) Come on now, everyone is dead tired by then, the holes are difficult enough without the OB
-biting flies (hopefully, only seasonal), I had to keep a disc in my hand the entire round for swatting (didn't see any mosquitos, I think they were afraid of the flies)
The vast majority of the reviews for Holston Creek will be positive, hence my tagline. For me it was exhausting, with very little fun factor. When the course was first announced it was planned as two separate courses, an easy 9 holes, and a championship18. (http://www.spartanburgcounty.....aspx?AID=17)
Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way. Holston Creek follows Spartanburg County's pattern of building only challenging championship courses, designed for upper intermediates and advanced players. Since that covers about 75% of the people playing disc golf, I completely understand the reasoning behind Tyger River, Pipeline, and Holston Creek. If you're in that group (throws 300 to 450 feet) then, by all means, give the course a try, you'll probably love it. On the other hand, if you're a recreational player living in Spartanburg County, and you're looking for a fun, relaxing round of disc golf, you'll probably be better served at Shoally Creek, Century Park, or even USC Upstate. Sadly, we're never going to grow the sport if designers continue to ignore juniors, newbies, and recreation players. I can't even image taking a new player to Holston Creek and telling him/her "this is what playing disc golf is all about". My wife would have lasted only two or three holes before heading back to the car and searching for the nearest QT. And, did they really expect a 9 or 10 year old junior to be able to throw over the lake on #27, even on the "shorter" tee?
So, what could be done to improve the course? First and foremost (not going to happen), change the layout. Designer's should take a hint from the way most ball golf courses are laid out. The 1st and 10th tees, and the 9th and 18th greens are always located reasonably near the clubhouse/parking lot. (Did Innova really come up with the Holston design?) Even if you're an advanced player, you're not always going to have time to play 27 holes. I've tried to come up with a 9 or 18 hole loop that would start and end reasonably near parking, but so far nothing. (maybe some "safari" holes?) When I finally rattled the chains on #27, after spending half a day on the course, I half expected someone to hand me a tee shirt which said, "I survived Holston Creek". Second suggestion (not going to happen), take some of those white ob stakes and delineate a third set of tees for those of us that throw less than 300 feet.
Sorry for the negative review, I'm sure it will result in some "hate" emails. I just wanted to make the point that Holston Creek is definitely not for everyone!
10 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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