1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Creative use of space putting in two permanent baskets and two tees per hole giving this course 4 possible layouts/versions. (I played red to red, then black to black which on most holes seemed to be the intent. )
Course has all the essentials: tees, signs, baskets- and all in excellent shape, plus kiosk with color course map.
Land offers a bit of everything- short/long, elevation up and down, a pond, trees, some interesting rocky areas.
The course was quite challenging due to length, elevation, disc losing hazards, and it seemed that most of the tee shots were blind.
Cons: Downside of so many tees and baskets is that navigation can be confusing the first couple times through. Often the first things you see are not what is next. However, using the map coupled with a bit of scouting and one should have no trouble as everything is numbered properly.
4 layout options seem good in theory, but I question how logical some of the holes would play if going from red to black or black to red. Again, matching colors seemed to be the best option to play.
Though being a college campus, this is apparently the area that gets neglected as far as mowing and weed eating is concerned. It wasn't horrible and still playable, but the fairways were just thick enough to hide your drives if not paying attention. Also, a couple of the tee areas were overgrown by grass and tree branches. The lack of ideal maintainence gets rubbed in when you get mid-round and can look down and see all the beautifully manicured athletic fields, but then see the disc golf area almost looking like a forgotten wasteland. There were also piles of debris/rocks/tree branches (not trash, but just waste) randomly placed that detracted from the natural beauty potential here.
Some holes practically play in the back yards of some businesses and homes, which feels somewhat encroaching. There was an area housing university tools and equipment- everything was just laying about and was somewhat of an eyesore- clearly the place they put all this stuff to keep it out of view.
The worst part was some of the tall stuff on hole 9 growing in and around the numerous large rocks that make up most of the "fairway" between the tee and green- hard to describe in words. I thought this hole was bad in general- walking down the slope having to navigate from rock to rock is a hazard, especially when surrounded by all the tall weeds because you almost could not see where to step. Plus the fact there is a good chance your drive may land in this stuff and finding it in there was a real chore. (I really did not want to even attempt the hole, but did just to be fair in my evaluation.) You had to traverse this area to get to both baskets, and then again to leave the course after the red basket.
After playing red 9, there is no other alternative route but to retrace your steps back up 9 and then go around the pond, or go around the pond the long way passing holes 8 and 1 along the way.
Hole 3 also seemed a bit unreasonable- with narrow gaps and very blind. Maybe if you had a group where others could spot your drive high over the trees? 7 is another that throwing over the trees blindly seemed to be option #1. Maybe not a con, but very different than any other course I have played.
Other Thoughts: I personally found the course a bit underwhelming, but I could see where others might enjoy it quite a bit (especially in the right conditions). Peak summer may not be the best.
This was also the 2nd attempt I made to play here. Last visit I made, the gate to the course was closed, and the neighboring businesses make it clear with plenty of signs that their lots are NOT for disc golf parking. NOTE- this course is not on the main campus, but on the athletic satellite campus.
I did not see any snakes, but if I were a snake wanting to live on a disc golf course, this would be the one- numerous rocks, tall grass everywhere and a pond. I was very careful to watch where I was going.
Not the best course, but not the worst either. My rating is 2.5- Decent/Typical, which is not bad for a 9-holer. Very serviceable, has some challenge. Flexibility for the locals and college students to keep it fresh. Could use some better upkeep though. Had it been in great shape with some control of nature, it would be near a 3.0 for me.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Two tees, two baskets (not just sleeves) per hole, concrete tees, and nice tee signs. The course has a wee bit of everything, it seems: moderate elevation, enough vegetation to add challenge and direct certain lines, though not fully wooded, water holes of a few different sorts (though all around the same pond), a mixture of shorter and longer holes (some par 4s, though none quite 500 feet, and some which I felt I could potentially have eagled on a better day), and an overall naturally beautiful setting.
Little things in life, I know, but some kind soul had left a nice long wooden board by the pond for disc fishing. Kudos to you, stranger.
Cons: The alternate layouts - red to black/black to red - impressed me a whole lot less than the shorts and tips did - several lines felt easy, holes less interesting, etc. Overall I got the vibe that red to red and black to black were the ones designed in detail and the others were the byproduct of their placement.
All the benches had been blown over when I visited, and the ones I thought to check had suffered some structural damage in recent storms.
Other Thoughts: I have a strong suspicion 7 was laid out with a thumber in mind as the "intended/most encouraged" play, which is odd, though not in a bad way at all.
I'm not really sure where the best parking is. When I arrived, the gate to the athletic fields was shut and the business next to hole 2 had signs posted asking me to park elsewhere. I wound up parking at the (different) school across the road, but that probably isn't a great plan for weekdays.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A Top Tier Nine Hole Course
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.302 Rating) Don't be fooled by the 9 hole moniker, this course is executed very well.
- DUEL TEES AND BASKETS - What sets up Red Hawk to be a very good course is the two tees and two permanent baskets at every hole. Red tees and baskets for front locations and Black tees and baskets for back locations. This set-up allows players between recreational to perhaps lower end advanced, to have a fair challenge. In addition, the tee basket combo allows players the opportunity to never throw the same layout twice, as a player could randomize the tee and basket choices at each hole.
- UNIQUENESS - For a 9 hole course, outstanding variety. Water clears, parallel water plays, and keep it short of water shots. Really nice approachable elevation plays in the 20 to 25 foot range. Some go up, some go down, some are across valleys, while others have baskets placed on the edge of a bluff. In addition, there are fairways that twist both right and left and there are a few shorter par 4s with the longest in the 500 foot range.
- NATURAL BEAUTY - Just a lovely setting. The course encompasses an undulating landscape that's well maintained. A few beautiful water features in play and view. Several holes play over rock features and the red basket on hole (5) is framed by two quarry boulders. Holes (3) and (7) play along and threw a wooded evergreen patch and there are also a couple of larger deciduous trees sprinkled along the layout. In addition, the backdrop views include fully wooded 200 to 300 foot high ridges to the North, East and South. The only sort-of eyesores are the baseball diamonds and associated buildings, which are in view along holes (5) and (6).
- NAVIGATION - Super easy to navigate. There's a great course map posting just before tee (1). I guess they really wanted to be sure it was seen as the map is on both side of the billboard. The hole signage is professionally done and has next tee direction arrows.
- CHARACTER - Great amenities and extras. As stated, great course map, hole signage and duel baskets. The course map area also has a posting of the rules of the game and it has all the hole distance combinations. There's a practice basket before arrival to the first tee. The tee pads were constructed really well. 5 to 6 feet wide and 10 to 12 feet long. There were also benches on every hole but they were damaged on my visit (see cons)
- QUICK PLAY - Playing nine holes or even eighteen will not be an all day adventure here. I played the black to black configuration in forty minutes solo and I was conducting a full course photography. Figure a group of four playing 18 holes will take around an hour and forty-five minutes.
Cons: It's hard to knock Red Hawk for anything of substance. It's a rock solid course.
- WATER HAZARDS - A few of the baskets are perilously close to the water. (1) red, (8) black and (9) red and Black, all have water within the 10 meter circle. Considering I didn't want to leave any souvenirs an hour's drive away, I really babied my approach to the basket on these holes. I still however very much enjoyed the risk reward thrill on these holes.
- NO ADVANCED CHALLENGE - I played the black to black (longest) configuration and thought it most closely aligned to the intermediate skill level. Due to the par switching between the configurations, I'm not even sure if the black to black set-up is the most challenging to course par. Regardless however, advanced players should be averaging at least a couple under on all of the tee and basket combinations.
- BENCH VANDALISM? - Every bench upon my arrival was tipped over. There was a severe storm that came thru the night before, but man, every bench? The benches were also busted along the backrest in many cases which I noticed when I tried to turn them back up right. Regardless whether a natural occurrence or self-inflicted, what a loss, they were really nice benches.
- NO TUNNEL SHOTS - Players that crave fully wooded courses and not going to score this course as high as I initially have. That aspect is important to me as well, but it only makes up for a faction my score and I have rated courses that are both open and fully wooded at the 4.5 level.
Other Thoughts: I drove out to Red Hawk expecting a course in the 1 to 2 rating range, and left totally surprised. Red Hawk is the 3rd course I've played that has the two basket and two tee set up (Heritage Park and Gardens, Airport Lakes), and this one is no doubt the best of the three I've played. As of this review, Red Hawk also the highest nine hole course I've of scored in my spreadsheet, and by a wide margin. It's almost as if HB saw my playbook and designed a course to match it. I wouldn't quite call Red Hawk a destination course, but if you live within a 90 minute drive, you need to check this course out. This course is a great combination of Fun, Beauty, Moderate Challenge and Uniqueness, a rarity among 9 hole courses. I will be back to this one.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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