This Academy will take you to school!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Jay Wile's private disc golf course would be the envy of any of us addicts, with its creative lines of play, excellent use of the available woods and elevations, and the whimsy of many of the homemade baskets. The woods holes absolutely cater to the player who prefers technical line shaping over big power. The course has an extensive array of signage, as well as clearly marked OB lines. And all the drop zones seem to have been cleverly placed to force a little gut check before you run for the basket.
Most of the baskets catch just fine, being made up of wooden posts, plastic barrel 'cages', and chains suspended from bicycle wheels. Having played Greg Shearer's Goat Path course in Kentucky, I'd say the two courses share a lot of similarities (and I feel comfortable giving them the same rating). There are a couple of completely unique baskets out here at the Salem DG Academy, which range from brutal (the hollow of a stump being the 'cage', with the 'lip' of the stump NOT being 'holed out'), to generous (the fantastic hanging porch swing basket made in honor of his dad - sing 'Amazing Grace' for your front-side deuce!).
There's an island hole shortie up a hill, there's a shot out from behind a falling tree to a dastardly knolltop green surrounded by OB (with a drop zone from the opposite end of the bridge to the knoll). There are holes that wind 400' through wooded lanes which defy your chance at a deuce, and there are medium long, open field shots to satisfy the bigger arms, BUT you need to get off the cleverly placed tees and trees to get out there. Shots slightly favor right handers, with beautiful lines that fade right to left, but there are lines out there for Sidearm Don to hit, as well. ;) The 21st hole back toward the original house is perfect and picturesque: through a gap in the trees (of course), over a valley, and holing out on a basket elevated on a tree stump...you can't ask for more.
The course is like a box of chocolates, as you never know what you're gonna get: they keep seeing better lines, keep clearing new and improved lines for an even better hole, and sometimes find out that a different basket position will make it just THAT much more fun. So I'd definitely say you want an invite and a guide to play here the first time, then, if you're lucky enough to be a local, come play every event they host (nice 'balanced' doubles format, for instance)...and make sure you offer to help when they need it, clearing out that next awesome hole!
Overall, the course has enough technicality and distance to challenge Recreational to Advanced level players, but it's just plain fun for all skill levels.
Cons: It's hard to put a number rating on a course like this. It's not super long, and only has a few real 'bigger par' holes (Open players might only consider 16 (and maybe 12) as 'true par 4 holes). There are a couple of places where the course flows near another fairway (1 to 2 crosses 9' fairway, 4 to 5 passes 7's tee, etc), or you have a long walk to the next tee (10 to 11), but otherwise, the flow is easy.
Obviously, short, carpet or bare tees and homemade baskets keep it from being a sanctioned tournament style course. If Jay and his 'helpers' have the capacity to upgrade the tees sometime in the future, as the course 'settles in', more folks will be willing to give it the 'high' rating number I did (but I love this kind of course!). I'm not sure if having fancy baskets here seems right though. It's got whimsical, rustic charm as it is. And they should never take out the porch swing basket, anyway.
Other Thoughts: I want to say Thank You to 'Sidearm' Don Alexander for inviting us out to play here, and for introducing us to Jay & the gang. Hopefully, Frodo can stick around for a long time in the future, helping to show folks the ropes, even though he's not as sprightly on his four paws as he once was.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a private course, please get permission before you play. The owner is friendly and helpful. He also has a random draw doubles there each week. About 15 there each week. Good use of the land with some open holes but mostly wooded tight fairways. Some elevation but not much. Has a hanging basket over an island green. A fun course that flows well. He had his first tournament this year and filmed the lead card the second round. You can find it on youtube. While he does use home made baskets they catch fairly well. He has maps of the course.
Cons: Natural tee pads and home made baskets. He is attempting to raise money for concrete. Don't go on the property at night, his dog wouldn't like that. While Frodo (his dog) is as gentile as a lamb he is a good watch dog. This course is out of the way for most people. The closest course would be Paint Creek
Other Thoughts: It's worth the time to drive there and throw.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: A beautiful private course with custom baskets. Very tight challenging fairways make these short holes look like beasts. Jay has done an excellent job making this course challenging and fun at the same time.
Other Thoughts: N/A
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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