A 5.0 Disc with a Roar!
21 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -A variety of open, wooded, uphill, downhill, high elevation, lightly and heavily wooded, banking fairways, water carry, island, and a double water carry holes. Great length and difficulty, and wind.
-Theirs's the option of starting on hole 15 if you would rather use the front parking area or make the ½ mile trip to the parking by hole 1 and basket 18.
-Tee pads are turf with solid footing and have hole number on a pair of small blocks. No. 8 tee pad is on a platform with front portion over water, and springy. Long tees have gaps off tee, except for a few that are open. Short tees where tee is shared with longs have gaps, most short tees give space.
-Roller baskets, and one elevated basket. Baskets catch good!
-Course navigation is two figure 8's, counterclockwise from no. 1 and clockwise from no. 15. Direction signs will help navigate.
***Following is Personnel Rankings***
-Ranks #1 in Disc Golf Scenery from 1st tee to 18th basket walking experience with tremendous views of Lake Marshall from elevated tees and views of other holes. Includes scenery of water holes, a scenic heavy wooded hole, and foot trails with foot bridges navigating from tee to basket over water thru woods.
-Ranks #1 in closing holes 15 thru 18 in difficulty and scenery, with the B9 being very strong!
-Ranks #1 in physical exertion with 6 leg burners on uphill climbs. I have swimmer legs, with 1 panting climb from 8 basket to 9 tee.
-#16 ranks #1 with difficulty, for a straightway hole with distance.
-#18 ranks #1 for an extreme steep upslope on the approach. No other hole I've played upslope could prepare me for #18.
-Holes #7, 8, and 10 are unique where I can't think of any hole in tournament coverage that are anywhere close to there layout.
-All holes are memorable!
-On my visit I met the landowner Gary Hutt and Cory who I think could be the course supervisor? Very nice individuals, stopped to chat with me, and made me feel very welcomed to be there.
-The course is undergoing a beautification project with flower beds and bushes.
-If you like seclusion, this is it. As far as I could tell I was the only one on the property on a Monday morning. Others have told me the same thing.
-Very few annoying bugs. I had forgotten to put on bug spray, but only noticed a few mosquitoes on hole 10.
-Beginners and Recreational enjoy the walk and have fun. Intermediate and advanced you're going to be tested with an extreme challenge.
Cons: -The property is a huge piece of land; with that it takes a lot of mowing and time. Mowing fairways, looks like monthly? And for tournaments. The grass was very wet, by the time I completed my first fairway #15 my socks and shoes were soaked. There is a swath of grass kept cut to navigate you from 11 basket to 12 tee, and 17 basket to 18 tee.
-With the grass being tall and wet around the baskets, the rollers were ineffective. Except for 7 and 8. Even if the grass was kept cut, the course would not of made my number 1 list as a collective group for basket rollers.
-Tee signs are on there way, you'll need a course app for par, map, and distance.
-Holes 11-12, and 18 are in proximity, including an elevated tee pad. But, on a weekday, you may not have to worry about getting hit by a disc.
-Lost disc factor. You are more likely to lose a disc if your long and spraying off the tee, than someone who is short and straight. Then there's 7, 8 and 12.
-If you are out of shape physically, the course could be a struggle for you.
Playing the Lions was like riding a freight train that never stops on a roller coast track. Elevated tee pads dropping down to fairways, then looping back up hill, dropping back down over water, a few banking fairways and heading back up again for a repeat. The course is relentless in testing your game with every hole a challenge and unique, and to stay in your memory. The Lions also met my three favorite types of disc flight, from an elevated tee, air bumps, and a few skips here and there, all which elevated my fun factor with the experience of playing the course.
The experience at Lake Marshall Lions was worth the wait and anticipation. It's the opinion in my area, that Lake Marshall will be hosting a DGPT Stop in the future. The Lions does seem to be heading that way. The Lions is my first 5.0 Disc rating, my favorite of my favorites, the Pro's overwhelm the Con's, and the Lions is far ahead of my other favorites. The 16th hole is my favorite hole of all the holes I've played in disc golf for difficulty and scenic. #10 in my memory with two perfect throws for a birdie look. My round took 2 hours and 20 minutes to play.
Notable Fairway Hole:
No.1 a long down slope hole lazy dogleg left. About ½ way down is two pot bunkers on both sides about 30 feet apart, small fairway at that point. Circular and small in diameter about 20 feet about half straight down. It's a disc eater.
Notable Island Hole:
No. 12 1000 plus foot par 5 with the lake all along the left, doglegs left about 500 feet out. The basket sits on a large island with a water carry about 100 feet. It's a favorite of a few I know from my local courses, but they also have big arms.
No. 7 Par 3 at 382 feet shared tee pad. Elevation seemed to be at least 50 feet teeing thru a gap 100 feet out and about 35 feet wide. Your carrying water past that point with a safe landing at least 300 feet. The green area is a roller back into the lake with trees on the right. The target from tee is center right, where there's also trees.
No. 10. Par 4 at 834/719 feet "Daytona 500 hole" is a 60-foot elevated drop. Long tees have a gap, short tees open. The fairway meanders slightly left towards a heavy tree line, then breaks hard right at 200 feet dropping down with a left to right steep banking fairway wrapping around to a dogleg left. Basket sits in the open at the bottom.
No. 11 Par 4 at 915 feet another highly elevated tee pad straight into the open throwing into a left to right 40-degree banked fairway that dams the lake to the left. Heavy woods and O.B. to the right. Fairway at least 250 feet wide, and basket placed as a roller just 40 feet from O.B.
No. 13 Par 4 at 609/543 feet an open tee with some elevation, from the island over water and an open fairway. The fairway rises back up into heavy woods at about 150 feet from basket which sits elevated at about 5 feet to the barrel. To reach the woods you'll fly over a boat dock, that had a boat tied to it.
No. 16 Par 4 at 675 feet another elevated tee at about 30 feet is a straight away tee shot thru heavy woods all the way down to at least 150 feet from basket, with tall trees. Some guardian trees in the fairway with a meandering stream right center of fairway, with fairway about 30 feet wide. The stream crosses to the left and out of fairway. But there's a creek behind the basket at about 20 feet away. 16 is my favorite of my favorite holes. I love elevated tees, looking down at a dark, dreary but scenic hole. My first thought was "I wish I wasn't elevated". I hope to par the hole one day.
No. 17 Par 3 at 285 feet also elevated, straight away thru a tree gap about 70 feet out and 20 feet wide. The basket is protected by a water drain from the lake reinforced by rock along the bank of the drain. To the right is open, to the left heavy woods and O.B, around the basket lush green grass, and very scenic!!
No. 18 Par 5 at 910/820 feet an open tee throwing over Lake Marshall, the fairway doglegs right at the base of an extreme uphill climb that seems to be 45 degrees up. At right center of fairway at the beginning of climb is a clump of trees, to its right a chute of 25 feet wide is O.B. thick woods. Left center of fairway is plenty of room, but also interfering trees all the way up. To clear water from longs and cutting the dogleg would be at least 400 feet. The basket area levels out and surrounded by beautiful flowers and bushes with a few protecting trees for the basket. The hole is a beast, I was laying two at the base, and would burn 5 strokes to take that hill.
No. 15 Par 4 at 747/651 feet from an elevated tee over an open fairway with O.B both sides about 150 feet wide. Longs have a gap to throw threw. The basket sits on top of another hill at about the same elevation with a white backyard fence at top of hill, the basket sits in the woods protected about 60 feet in. To your left on top of the hill is the owner's home overlooking holes 12-13, the first few holes of the Lair, and Lake Marshall. From 15 tee you can also see behind you 14, and all the way down to 11 and 18th holes. This hole represents the owner looking over his vision of Lake Marshall Disc Course from his backyard.
No. 8 Par 4 at 554 feet is a straight away hole with lots of fun in between. The tee sits on a platform with the front portion over water and tee has spring. You have two water carries and can only see the first one. Lake Marshall to the left, heavy woods to the right. Your first landing is level and about 40 feet wide, there is a rise to the fairway at about 315 feet out, and a left tree gap of 20 feet, and a right gap of about 15 feet. On the other side of the rise, it slides down to the water about 50 feet away. The rest of the way to the basket is the second water carry with the basket sitting on a knoll, heavy tree within C1, and a death putt into the water if putting in that direction. It's all about positioning with the rise gap, after clearing the first water carry. In the May tournament telecast last round lead card, two touring pros were in a bad position and could only dump their disc to the other side of the rise gap. I played the short basket, I'm not ready to hit that gap and second water carry. But I did try it with a throwaway, Splash!
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 10 Not
big boy shots
Pros: Great views hard shots lake marshal is a destination.
Cons: Meant for top level players
Other Thoughts: Best course ive ever played and pair it with other courses there its a great weekend destination
0 of 10 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Lake Marshall is quite simply the best of the best. Out of all the courses I have played, it certainly ranks in the top 20 and probably even cracks the top 10 especially when considering that it shares the same property as the also fantastic Lair course.
The Lions course is the more open of the two courses at Lake Marshall and offers just about every challenge a top level course can muster. Out of bounds, water, elevation, length, technicality, risk reward...its all there.
I love the variety of shots on the Lions course. You can go big off the tee or play safer especially when the wind cranks up. A great mix of par 4's and 5's make this place feel like a true Professional level course.
Tee pads are pretty solid (astroturf) and are also large enough to accommodate large run-ups.
Cons: The only con that I can think of is that the course isn't 100% finished. Normally I would never give a course 5 stars that doesn't have proper tee signs but I am making an exception here with the understanding that tee signs are on the way.
Other Thoughts: This course is very long and very challenging. If you're looking for a feel-good easy going round, this place is not for you. If you're looking for a serious challenge, you will feel like this is heaven.
Its so awesome to have a private land owner that has bought in to creating something so special. I hope this trend continues in our sport. As great as it is to have thousands of public courses across the country, they just don't compare to a well built and maintained private course.
Side story- I played this course for the 2021 Virginia Team Invitational. While waring up in the morning I found myself winded from just playing a few holes and trying to get through part of the course quickly. On the way to my first match of the morning, my garmin watch notified me that I had already reached my day's elevation goal. I got a good laugh out of it and strapped up for what was certainly going to be a big day of walking and golfing.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Future PDGA Worlds Site
21 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The level of work that has gone into terraforming and sculpting this course is incredible. A testament to combining a terrific property with a vision and executing on it.
Akin to what one reviewer did for The Lair, I'll go through and rate each of the 18 holes (updated April 2021 with holes 1-3 now open):
#1 - 10/10. Unbelievable starting hole. Par 5 ~1000' from blues, ~900' from yellow. Gently bends left the entire way, with two sets of massive ravine bunkers on either side of the fairway right where your first and second shots want to land, making you have to balance the power you need with the precision to not give yourself a snowman. The terraforming and landscaping done here is astounding and completely sets the tone for the round.
#2 - 8/10. Blind downhill par 3, guessing 380' from yellow/400+ from blue? Probably drops 30-40' from tee to green down a wooded, fair tunnel, with a hard finish left. A stable fairway driver kept low will do the trick. Fun shot to throw and watch.
#3 - 7/10. Par 4 up the hill you just went down on #2. Blue is something like 675' but plays like 950' - a brutal hole for a par 4. Yellow is more manageable (I made it to the yellow tee pad from blue with an okay tee shot), and staying in the fairway will give you an easy-ish par.
#4 - 6/10. Downhill tunnel shot off the tee with OB left; dogleg left to the pin. Challenge is off the tee.
#5 - 7/10. Back up the same hill you just went down, but a much wider fairway and no dogleg. Enough room to crush two shots, and you'll need to in order to have a birdie chance.
#6 - 9/10. STAY IN THE FAIRWAY. 900' par 5 through a wooded tunnel the whole way. Fairway is fair - probably 30' wide or so the whole way - but it's also a tunnel the whole way with OB left and absolute jail to the right. You can do four midrange shots and have an easy-ish par...but you're tempted into doing more and often pay the price.
#7 - 9/10. Similar to hole #17, but the water is not forgiving. Downhill 380', probably dropping 40' on the way, and water over the final 150'. Optional rec pad that shortens it to a flat 200' hole. A lot of fun to throw, even for newer players with the shorter option.
#8 - 10/10. A signature hole on most courses but not here. Not a long water carry to start, but water runs to the left the whole way. You'll need to get 300' off the tee to have a shot at reaching the green in 2. There's a 15' high hill at 300' that blocks your view across the second water carry to the pin. Pin is on a very severe slope surrounded by woods - a terrifying shot. A 3 would feel like an albatross. Sometimes has a par-3 option with the basket visible from the tee on the first peninsula - this is strongly recommended for anyone not at least 850-rated.
#9 - 6/10. Big slope uphill off the tee, similar to hole 3. At the top, flattens out and a fairly simple upshot with OB long. Last breather before an incredible four-hole stretch.
#10 - 10/10. Massive crush off the tee that goes 200' slightly downhill and then another 200' VERY downhill to the dogleg left. Go long and you're in an impenetrable swamp. 200-300' from there to the pin. Lots of open fairway, but believe me - have someone spot your disc off the tee at the crest of the hill.
#11 (915' par 4) - 9/10. Another massive downhill crush off the tee. Fairway slopes downhill left to right down the dam, with OB the whole way on the right at the forest edge. Just so fun to play two massive crushes - likely the first with a distance driver, and the second with a fairway.
#12 (921' par 5, 1000'+ from blues) - 11/10. Best hole I have ever played in my life. Do you have the arm to clear the corner of the lake off the tee? (325' or so from am). Or do you play it safe and right and make your second shot longer? About 400' from the corner to the water's edge in a wide-open flat fairway with OB right and lake left. Then a 175' water crossing to an actual island, with the tee on the top of the slope in the middle of the island. To reach this green in 3, you'll need to either crush your tee shot and then lay up to water's edge, or else shoot a long and risky 3rd shot.
#13 - 9/10. Tee shot downhill over the water to a big slope up into the woods. Second shot to an elevated pin on a slope. Can be birdied; can also be 7'ed.
#14 - 5/10. Uphill wooded par 3 with a fence in the middle. Not a bad hole, but definitely pedestrian for the rest of the course.
#15 - 9/10. Huge crush off a hill into a wide open basin field with OB right and the lake and island beautifully set just beyond. Second shot is another crush up the hill into a wooded green. Great start.
#16 - 10/10. 675' wooded tunnel. Start up top the hill and use a mid or fairway driver for 350' down a 30' slope. Fairway pinches down with OB left for the marsh to a protected green. Friend said "I have never played a hole like this before."
#17 - 8.5/10. Downhill par 3 that finishes just across the dam's outfall stream with OB short, left, and long of the pin. Nice to have a hole with a water hazard but that's easy to get your disc back. Fun throw that's accessible for most players.
#18 - 10/10. Just a behemoth of a hole (par 5, plays like par 6). 350+' water carry from pro tee pad (300' from rec) if you want to take the most direct route. You can take the shore route but you'll lose a stroke at least. At the edge of the woods, you go up a cleared fairway with a few trees that just winds endlessly and steeply uphill to the pin with OB on both sides. A real difference-maker hole.
Cons: No tee signs yet, but that'll be remedied soon.
Other Thoughts: Unbelievably beautiful property. Co-located with the 5/5 Lair course and warm-up Lambs course (which, in itself, is the best warm-up course I've ever seen and a good regular course as those go).
$10 weekdays, $15 weekends/holidays to play. Worth twice that. Camping available. No food or flush bathrooms within 10 min - come prepared.
If you park on the far side of the lake near Lions hole #1, you'll pass by your car again between holes 5-6 and holes 9-10, so it's nice that you can grab extra water.
Bring a disc retriever or a towel and an extra pair of socks. The odds of you staying dry for 18 holes here is essentially zero.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
The Complete DG Experience
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Lions course simply has everything you look for in a course. The Lake Marshall property writ large has the perfect blend across 3 courses of challenging the tight wooded lines, open water carry, tunnel shots - simply every aspect of the game is challenged.
In the case of the Lions course, this has longer holes and is truly setup in a championship level layout.
The best features I appreciated:
- The epic views and use of elevation
- The risk/reward challenge of the water holes and playing to an island
- The picturesque tunnel shot over a jetty reservoir basin to the pin
- Throwing into and out of the woods that demands accuracy
- Every throwing angle is challenged
- There are a few elevated pins and tee's.
This course literally has many signature holes.
Lets also not forget, there is perfect camping available right next to the island which makes for some of the most picture perfect sunset and sunrises. Lake Marshall is basically a DG paradise.
Cons: Objectively, perhaps it would be nicer if there was a better bathroom setup instead of the port-o-johns.
But it's really hard to find anything at all wrong with this property. Maybe there's soo much pristine DG here that it would take forever to master these 3 courses?
Seriously, come check out this property. 3 great courses in 1 visit. Simply Awesome.
Other Thoughts: It is really clear that a lot of time, money and thought went into creating this DG property. I am very thankful this property exists. In the future, when I want to get away- this area will be on my short list. Bring a tent, a kayak, a fishing pole and your discs. What else do you need? Your pooch?
I understand a fair amount of heavy equipment was brought in to shape the land and experience. I say a sincere hearty thanks is due to Gary Hutt and his team.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Great, Challenging Course. Great People Too!
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I recommend this course highly. That being said, it is a little out of my league. I am a 55 yo player who has been playing five years. My max drive is about 300', and I have some ability to shape shots. There are a couple of water carries that I had to bail out on, and a couple of places (hole 8 comes to mind) with no bail outs available. I averaged bogey+ golf on the course, playing from the yellows. The scale of this place is big. Every distance ended up being farther than it looked. It is a beautiful course, and it will challenge every shot you have.
The owner, Gary Hutt, is amazing, He dropped by on his golf cart a few times to give us tips and point us in the right direction. He really wants people to have a good time. Corey as well helped us out on a couple of holes, and they were both there at the end to see how we liked it. Just good people.
I have played one other course considered world class, Brewster Ridge, and I consider The Lions to be in the same category.
Cons: The course is definitely better than I am, which is a con on me :-(
But I enjoyed the beatdown thoroughly.
Other Thoughts: The ups and downs on this course are a fantastic workout. There are a couple of holes (7 and 8) that are definitely cart unfriendly. Gary suggested we drop our carts at the 6 tee, and pick them up at the end of 9, so that's what we did.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 is considered the ultimate
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Lion. Oh my. This is what a destination course is all about. No other course in Virginia compares. You just want to play and play until daylight runs out or you just become physically exhausted from trying to play too much. The Lion's layouts are simply spectacular and challenging to disc golfers of every caliber. I can't wait to return to play some of the newly finished Lion holes.
If you need to be convinced it is worth the drive to play here, you're probably not serious about challenging your disc golf game. If you think Mayflower in Roanoke, VA or any other course is the top course in VA, you haven't played here at Lake Marshall. If you have played Lake Marshall and still think other courses are better, I think you're depriving others of an honest review. There is so much amazing disc golf on this magnificent property you can and will test every aspect of your game, forehand, backhand, roller, thumbers, tomahawks, etc. Repeatedly. You'll leave wanting nothing more than 18 hours of daylight.
The use of elevation, both uphill and down, will keep you powering up or challenging your finesse game. The water carries are challenging but with fair bail-outs for noodle arms. If you have real power and control, scoring separation can be had on water holes. Otherwise, you'll join the rest of us wondering when your disc might get retrieved from the lake. Open and wooded shots? Yes to both.
Great course design, hole after hole.
The cherry on top? With permission from the owner and a modest fee, you may camp next to the lake. How can this not make for a destination course?
Cons: Nothing disappoints me about this course except having to leave. Perhaps the distance to drive to Montross,VA is a bit far or the port-a john as your bathroom isn't the greatest bathroom amenity. These are small cons for a big disc golf experience.
Other Thoughts: Regarding the DGCR objective review guidelines, I honestly consider this the ultimate course in Virginia and perhaps the entire east coast. Gary Hutt, the owner, like the character John Hammond in the movie Jurassic Park, has spared no expense preparing his property for your disc golf experience. If you are lucky, you will run into Gary. If you do. Thank him. Profusely.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: From the moment you pull into the driveway you know you are somewhere special.
This course demands every disc that you own and every disc that you thought you would never have a reason to throw.
The water is not as much of a danger as I thought it was going to be. There are a few shots that you can gain by going overwater or cutting a corner but honestly the water is mostly scenic.
You could sit here and write a thesis on all the things about this course so it's best for me to just say "go play it"
Cons: there are still six unfinished holes but I will be one of the first ones there when they are ready to play
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Robert Trent Jones of disc golf!!
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course has the best layout i have played! I was able to see deer, eagles, fox, and much other wild life on this course. It is very clear to me that the owner and Architects made sure to keep nature in mind.
You get elevated shots across streams, a chance to cross the lake, some of the longest and most challenging fairways, quiet, clean, so much!!
So very impressed with this course as i have played multiple times as it has progressed to what it is today and i have a feeling they arent done yet.
Cons: Had to drive 1 mile for food???
I dont really have any cons on this course.
I live in Alaska and dont get to play there but one time a year!
Other Thoughts: I LIVE IN ALASKA AND I GO PLAY HERE 1 TIME EVERY YEAR!
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Great variety and challenge
Designed for modern play
It will only get better as it is developed.
Cons: Still under development, so this:
No plumbed facilities yet
Still constructing several holes
Other Thoughts: I'm coming back as often as possible. There are 3 courses here and they are all different and very very good. $10 per day is money well spent and while it might seem expensive, it's woefully inadequate to compensate the course staff and developers for the true cost of the course. I'll gladly pay every time.
I hope this becomes a mainstay of pro play in the US.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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