2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Big concrete tees; if anything, they seemed a touch longer than "standard" (whatever the heck that is), and baskets in fine condition. Most are Discatchers, and several holes (1, 8, 9, 10, 12, 17) have two baskets in the ground (not just two sleeves, like hole 17, and I believe also 3 and 4). Although a few of the less frequently played pins are elder Mach baskets (8B next to the tracks, 9A next to the ordinary tee for 9), these are in fine shape as well. All the baskets have a silver paint job on the band and pole, adding a nice flair. The exception is hole 18, an elevated basket with additions above and below in the shape of a rocket. You will not forgot this is Huntsville.
The course has more than enough length to satisfy most disc golfers. On my most recent visit, I played 18-hole layouts measuring approximately 7500 and 8500 feet, the latter being close to the longest normally available (it might stretch out to roughly 9000 playing everything long, including 8 and 9 both tips). This length heightens the challenge of otherwise reasonably familiar hole types.
The principal challenges on this course, aside from the distance, are water and OB roads/sidewalks. The majority of holes have some penalty strokes waiting for players who think "well, I'll just throw it kinda that way, but hard." There is some tree cover throughout, but only holes 3-5 read as truly wooded.
These three holes, however, are some of the most beautiful spots on the course, and quality holes as well. Hole 3 is a short but sharp turnover with teeth, hole 4 is a 650' tunnel finally breaking out to a green immediately left of the far end, and 5 is a lovely dogleg par 4 with Brahan-style pines defining multiple options sandwiched between rough right and an OB creek left. The same creek comes into play on 6, 7, and 8 as well. Holes 8 and 9 have two tees and two pins each, laid out such that each could be played as two separate holes; alternatively, you could play 9 from the back tee to the long pin as a moderately soul-crushing 1195' par 5, if that's your thing.
The back half of the course is much more links-style than the front. OB is a huge concern, with roads and sidewalks exerting substantial control of the lines available. The course features water carries on 11 and 17; the pond is also lurking long on 16. 18 is a great finishing hole: a reasonably gettable par 4 with a truly unique and memorable elevated pin (rocket, see above) to spice it up.
There are a few mandos throughout; all serve to protect something like an athletic field or parking lot, and all seem to make rather than break the hole. Very tasteful.
My favorite holes were 4, 5, 16, and 18.
Cons: After 5, aside from rough along the creek on 6 and 8, vegetation is more toward the light park-style end of the spectrum. I could have used so much more of the woodsy stuff, although there isn't really room to add any more, so I can't fault the design.
As for facilities stuff, only two points really stuck out. The first was the signage: tee signs were missing on some holes and missing info (alt pins etc.) on others. I saw one next tee sign total, although the layout has several unexpected turns etc. The second is that the drop zones/wimpy tees on 11 and 17 are natural and don't ordinarily have anything marking their front corners, so I had to make a bit of a judgement call and try to play honest.
If I were going to call any hole out, it would be 11, with OB water, an ill-positioned root (rolls things down), and an OB culvert all lurking next to the basket within about 10 feet - a bit too close for comfort.
If I were to pick unfixable nits, I would say the pond is icky, but how many aren't? It is unfortunately easy to lose a disc, though.
Other Thoughts: About hole 17: if you want to actually attack the basket, the water carry is 345'. I agree with the numerous previous reviewers who have asserted that that is somewhat intimidating for mortals, being mortal myself. However, where I do not agree is the assertion that the bailout zone left is unreasonable. It is touchier than most, in that there is also OB left, but it seems more than wide enough to make; however, shooting for this area left of the water is a true layup in that the water is still threatening on the second shot as well, even if much less so. Overall, I don't feel that this makes the hole unfair or unplayable, but the scoring separation between people who can carry it and who can't will be wider than on many water holes. Then again, the rest of the course has already done plenty to reward big, controlled drives, so it isn't really out of character; in fact, it might well be somewhat of a signature hole for the course, albeit
one I can't truly love at my skill level.
As a bizarre anecdote, I had to wait on not a pedestrian, but a boat on hole 17.
Overall, this course slides in behind Indian Creek in my ranking, but not by much, and a few small touches like tee signs, a map onsite, and a few directional cues could bump it up to the 4 star category (though I would still consider Indian ever so slightly the better of the two). It does seem to take longer to play than Indian: for me, 80 minutes versus 60.
For first-time visitors, the map on DGCR is a must if not playing with a guide, though it varied in a couple points from what I saw: no short tee on 4, two pins on 17. Still, though, it will get you from hole to hole without the issues you would have otherwise.
History buffs: ask around for pictures of the culvert course.
I recently had the chance to play the Blast layout. Every year, some temp holes are added for the Rocket City Blast, and some other alterations may be made. This year (2018), there were three temp holes added. One teed off near course hole 16 and played across the pond (450'). The other two were around the northern pond: one ran down the west bank and the across to an island green (794'/567', depending on tee); the other ran back up the east bank (650'/506'). Additionally, course hole 17 was played over to 11's basket (course hole 11 was not part of this layout, so it worked). Fun set of changes, especially the holes around the north pond.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: (3.076 Rating) A longer links style course with a few technical plays.
- UNIQUENESS - One of only two courses in the area to sport a 1,000 foot plus par 5 (Redstone). Several longer par 4s, a couple 400 foot par 3s and a couple sub 250 foot par 3s. A very long 340 foot water clear on (17) and a few other parallel water features. A few woodsy holes on (3) (4) and (5). The course however is generally set-up more like a links style course being more long and open rather than being short and technical.
- CHALLENGING - A moderately challenging layout. I'm about a 900ish rated player, I've thrown -2 and even par. I could see an advanced player shooting 5 or 6 down on a routine basis. Players who can't throw 350 and have a mediocre mid game will struggle here.
- CHARACTER - About average. To start, really nice sized concrete tees. 5 to 6 feet wide and about 12 feet long. There's a practice basket at the entry to the parking and the baskets are nice looking silver painted DISCatchers. There are several extra baskets (not placements) on the layout. Holes (1) (8) (9) (10) (12) and (17) have two baskets each. Course map also claims an extra one on (7) but it's no longer there. There are a few extra tees as well. Holes (8) and (9) can be turned into two extra holes if desired due to the location of both the extra tee and basket. However the extra baskets and tees leads to some navigational confusion as there's some absent hole signage. The course also needs some benches. This is the longest course I've played without a single bench.
- SIGNATURE HOLE - No doubt (17), but it's not played often. (See cons Flawed Hole.)
- NATURAL BEAUTY - About average and I scored the course just above a 2.5 out of 5. Well maintained and some landscaping on a few holes. There are several pleasing water holes like hole (17) noted above. There are drawbacks however with all the roads and buildings in play and in view.
- MAINTENANCE - The grounds had been well mowed prior to both of my rounds. The course appears to be constantly trimmed and manicured. There was very little trash spotted despite a lack of garbage cans along the layout.
Cons: A great layout plagued by some substantial issues.
- SAFETY HAZARDS - Wow do the roads come in play here and they parallel several fairways (2) (9) (10) (12) (15) (17) and (18). In my two rounds I found myself constantly stopping for cars to pass. In addition, several of these roads also have a paralleling sidewalk, so joggers and walking will hold up the flow of play as well.
- WATER HAZARDS - The baskets for (8) (12) and (17) are located less than twenty feet from the water. I'll say that the holes are definitely exhilarating to play, but a small error could definitely mean some lost plastic. There is ample bail out room on the drive for two of the three, but a newer player could still easily drop one in on the approach with a misjudged aggressive putt.
- FLAWED HOLE - In addition to the water on the entire right side on (17), there's a fairly busy side road on the left. IMO the hole itself is flawed as the in-bonds fairway approaching the hole is only 40 feet wide for the first 340 feet. I've asked around the area and it's not uncommon for entire groups to skip the hole. There's a short tee but it's listed as a drop area.
- DISCONTINUITY - The course kind-of goes all over the place. Players will have to cross a road six times. downloading the course map to a phone or printing it is a must.
- NAVIGATION - A very confusing layout to follow. There are extra baskets on a few holes and also a few extra tees. Signage is present on many holes but its absent on a couple of the confusing holes. Someone recently posted new hole signage over the older ones but they omitted information. For instance, hole (10) has two baskets, yet the new posted signage completely ignores the longer ones existence. Navigating the course is very doable with the map, but well traveled players will scratch their heads a few times.
- ELEVATION - Not all that much. Perhaps hole (4) changes close to 20 feet and a couple others vary by ten feet or so. Hole (18) has a raised basket that's been built to resembles a rocket. A nice finishing touch.
- BEGINNER FRIENDLY - Not a beginners course. I recommend these two area courses instead; Southside and Brahan Springs.
- TIME PLAY - I'm not able to play this one in under an hour solo and I consider myself a quick player. Figure a group of four could be here 2 1/2 hours or more.
- WIND - With most of the holes having an openish feel to them, expect wind to play a big factor here.
Other Thoughts: I had to privilege to play my first round out here with fellow course bagger, Tmcalist. What awesome guy to throw a round with and talk disc golf. We had a great battle going for a while but in the end we decided that my car was better than his rental. As for the course, it reads as intermediate that's one of the longer layouts in the area. Probably a bit to open for players that prefer technical courses, but players that like to admire 450 foot drives will love this place. I personally put it as the third best course in the area behind Indian Creek and Redstone but I do have UAH rated really close to both Monte Sano and Mastin Lake.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Roller heaven / noodle arm hell
- Aging Innova Discatchers with a decorated chastity belt. Kind of a nice touch. They may be a bit rusty but still catch just fine.
- Excellent tee pads. All concrete with perfect finish.
- For the most part, decent tee signs.
- Nice mix of right to left and visa versa.
- Get your bomb out. If you can crank it out far you'll love it here.
- If you're a fan of rollers well then welcome to heaven. The nicely mowed grass is idyllic for the rolling type.
- Hole 11 has to be the most scenic hole of the course and is what I would consider the signature hole. It's a gutsy shot over water to the front and left through a gap in the trees or a LONG spike hyzer around the other way.
- Navigation is a disaster. With exactly 2 "NEX-T" signs on the entire course it is well short of what is really needed. Get the map off this site and print it out or save it on your smart phone because there is no other way to navigate some of this nonsense. Here is where you'll need the map: Hole 2 to 3, hole 4 to 5, hole 5 to 6, 11 to 12, 15 to 16. Egad.
- 8b and 9a are holes just for the sake of having extra holes. No obstacles, no trees, no nuttin'. Just boring wide open shots. Yawn. Same thing with 10 and 10b.
- Crossing Technology drive is interesting especially going from 11 to 12 with the three way intersection right there.
- For the first time in my life I walked away from a hole. #17. I understand that this course is supposed to be hard but that is redonkuous. Not only is it difficult but that's just a silly safety hazard with busy Technology drive right next to it.
- Benches? Where are the freaking benches? My 44 year old knees hate you UAH DG Course.
- The design seems like it's just long for the sake of being long.
Other Thoughts: If I would envision disc golf hell, this course would be it right in the middle of a good ole Alabama heat wave. There is a rather notable lack of shade here so water is real important if it is at all hot. If you're a noodle arm this is not going to be a pleasant experience for you either.
To the left of 5 and left of 6 there is a rather nasty drainage ditch with stagnant water so cheating shots to the right a little is a good idea. On 7 there is a sign which states there are snakes in the ditch so be sure to watch where you step there.
This is a nice course if you have A LOT of time to burn and are in the area. Don't drive way out of your way to play here. If you want a decent challenge with good course design in the Huntsville area go to Indian Creek instead.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Good Holes, Bad Design
Pros: -Lots of activity if you want to play with other people.
-Each individual hole is pretty well designed for challenge. It definitely will separate your average player from the pros.
-Course was very clean, but that may have just been due to the tournament that happened earlier that day.
Cons: -The course layout hole-to-hole was pretty tough to follow sometimes.
- Some of the holes were very unforgiving for beginners and did not offer many options for safe shots, especially if you want to get anywhere near par.
- Holes 7/8? are along a (what i would guess is supposed to be) a creek, but seems more like a rain water runoff that was pretty bad to get through if you want your disc back.
-Very little thought into the flow of difficulty from one hole to the next. You have a couple of easy holes, then get hit with the hardest 2 holes on the course back to back. Doesn't really make any sense.
Other Thoughts: All in all, the course was well thought out with each hole, but the course flow (from hole to hole for transitions as well as difficulty flow) was very poor. Still, a course worth trying if you have the time and are not too scared of water hazards.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: It's big. Big and you will need max distance to play this course. There are a few holes which are nasty and are tough shots near or over water. The open holes get really boring after the sixth one.
Cons: Dull. Not really worth playing given the focus on distance. Also, the back holes are not maintained and you should skip them. Hole 5 had no basket.
Other Thoughts: If you love to crush shots this is your course. Go out and show off to all your buddies. If you can't throw 400 feet this course is a nightmare. There will be no deuces for you.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This was a very challenging course for myself, who is still a novice. I really enjoyed it, the campus is beautiful.
Cons: I don't know if I'll EVER be good enough to par some of the holes. Seems like more than a few should be par 4.
Other Thoughts: Really fun course and a beautiful walk.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
- Beautiful college campus setting
- Well maintained grounds and course
- Lots of OB increases difficulty and adds interest
- Great signage on every hole
- Big concrete tee pads on every hole
- DisCatcher baskets are like new and have big, bright yellow flags for easy spotting
- Nice layout and course flow, with a few blips (see cons below)
- Decent variety: many long and open, some through trees, a few wooded, plenty of water to avoid by going around or over
- Many of the open holes are great throws: super long fairways with rolling hills and just enough trees and/or water to make you have to think
- Great water hazards on holes #13 and #17
- Hole #3 is impossible to find without a map
- Must cross busy street between holes 11-12, 13-14, 14-15, 16-17 and 17-18
- The holes along the creek get a lot of standing water for days after heavy rain
- Holes #1 and #2 are located on intramural fields and can be unplayable when games are in progress
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course located on the University of Alabama Huntsville campus. While some players may find the open holes a bit repetitive, what the course lacks in variety it more than makes up for in beauty. The campus is pristine, the course is well maintained, and I really love the green grass fairways on rolling hills built along the wandering creek. Be sure to check out the numerous photos on this site that better illustrate what I am talking about. It was a bummer that the first two holes were relocated to an open field because this seems to be a downgrade from the previous layout. It also appears that some of the long holes have been further lengthened. For example, hole #10 is shown as 453' but is clearly longer than the adjacent hole #11 which is 609'. Finally, I absolutely loved the two over water holes (#13 "The Leech" and #17 "The Dragon"). Both offer challenge to the advanced player (a tight tree-lined opening on "The Leech" and a 350' shore-to-shore throw on "The Dragon") while offering less daunting yet enjoyable options for the less talented player such as myself. I look forward to playing UAH on my next visit to the Huntsville area.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course is nice to play if you can throw 250 to 350 ft. It is a good course to practice on getting more distance. I trained on it almost 3 times a week and it was definitely a good challenge. I enjoy playing 1-8 the most. Most of the holes require basically the same throw.
Cons: Some holes are near roads, which one road is quite busy. And some are by the creek/lake, which can be really annoying especially on a windy day. People lose discs in there quite frequently. That's why I like 1-8. Only problem is 3-7 are back in a slightly wooded area and they don't always cut the grass frequently.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: UAH is a challenging 18 hole course set around the perimeter (not buildings) of campus. There is an excellent mix of hole style here as it plays across both manicured campus lawns mainly around the lake and then in an area that looks like park land and not part of a college campus. Most of the holes would be considered more open, but there are several tight wooded holes too. Though relatively open there are usually some trees to avoid, lots of O.B. usually in the form of paved surfaces, of course wind, 2 creeks are in play on 3-4 holes, and the lake is a major factor on another 4-5 holes. Solid mix of hole distances, but most holes are at a length (400'-500') that most people will be playing for a 3 as there is no chance for a birdie as most people will have long approaches. This to me is a strength of the course testing your ability to approach accurately with your fairway drivers and mids, unlike so many courses where it is all about getting it under the basket off the tee on every hole.
The course is equipped with your standard concrete tees (except for new 1 and 2), great signs with map and distance, and 2-tone DisCatchers with sponsors on the band. In the grass island where #1 used to be the disc golf kiosk and a practice basket.
Cons: The redesign/move of #1 and #2, which used to be some unique and difficult holes have been deleted and moved to an adjacent open field. They are now nothing more than a good warm up, are pretty boring, and currently have natural tees. I would guess the holes were changed because of safety as the main campus road bordered both 1 and 2, however, the road easily comes into play on another 4 holes at least, so I am not sure why these had to be changed only. Navigation is a little confusing because #1's tee is still there by the kiosk, but it is now unused. #3 is always hard to find (and even harder with the redesign). Check out the course map as it is accurate from holes 3-18. Cross the street and cross the bridge towards some buildings and the tee is up what looks like a maintenance path in the woods.
UAH lacks any major elevation changes (not the course's fault, the land is just mostly flat) with #4 slightly downhill, #10 on a small sidehill and #11 slightly uphill, but that is really all there is. Every time I have played here, holes 5-6 were marshy because it is lower ground and is close to the creek, and, as a result, the fairways were not mowed. As the course plays around the lake use caution when throwing around the roads and sidewalks.
Con for some- there is good chance of losing discs. They are usually retrievable in the creeks, but the lake will swallow discs up.
Other Thoughts: UAH has hosted the PDGA Worlds twice (in 1983 and 1993), but it is a good indicator of how the game has changed so much since then. Just keep this in historical perspective as it is probably not the caliber of course that would be used for Worlds presently.
Park in the lot by the practice area island (what used to be hole #1). Huntsville may not have any top 50 national courses, but it does have several solid courses each with their own personality and style and they are all pretty close together. (For a good variety play more than one when you are here.) UAH used to be my clear cut favorite in Huntsville, but without the old #1 and #2 UAH loses 0.5 points in my rating for getting rid of what was possibly the most intimidating first tee shot on the planet and replacing them with junk filler.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Revered course earned my respect...and my discs
Pros: A well designed course considering the grounds. I'm sure it's not easy to ask the school to let you cover their front lawn with yellow baskets.
The holes nearest the road feel picturesque, with the pond and fountains to close.
Cons: The day I visited the course, it felt pretty dilapidated. The grass was nearly all dead looking, there was a lot of undergrowth in the rough (had a briar needle penetrate my shoes!) and there was litter here and there.
I expected a bit more from what I'm told is a champion level course. Anyone with 500ft of driving power could murder this course on a calm day.
There's really not a lot of shot selections required. Even if it weren't as windy when I played it, I probably would have used only 1 or 2 different discs off the tee. Driver straight, appropriate approach disc, putter, repeat. Certainly, there are a few holes that this doesn't apply to, but I guess I was just expecting more.
Other Thoughts: This course takes an ugly turn after the front 9. You'd better get your birdies before you make the turn.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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