Wooded Tight with Gaps
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -A 9-hole city park where the course meanders thru moderate to heavy woods with tight gaps off the tee, and a few holes along a creek and a few other holes along the Tar River. There is one elevated tee, the rest of the course is flat.
-There are two concrete tees per hole, and one basket. The Dynamic Veteran baskets catch great! Baskets are well protected by guardian trees and a few placed close to water. I played long tees.
-Navigation is counter-clockwise, and tee signs have hole number, par, and distance. Most tee signs can be spotted from basket played.
-As a collective group 8 of the 9 long tees are a grind to get off the pad with either tight gaps or tighten fairways, or a combination of both. Long tees 4-7, and 9 will have your attention.
-#9 long tee with its elevated tee to elevated basket across a fairway depression with woods ranks a personal #2 for the 9-hole courses I've played as a finishing hole.
-River Bend Park DGC ranks #3 in the 9-hole course's I've played behind The Lambs at Lake Marshall and The Bear at Midlothian, Virginia.
-From the bag on the tee putter, mid's, fairways, and driver. A good mix for the best disc to hit gaps.
-Beginner and Recreational will be extremely challenged, but using the short tees are doable. Intermediate and Advance should be challenged with disc selection. Woods golfers will love it!
-The portion of River Bend Park that doesn't include the course is beautiful and where the Tar River is moving faster with some rapids and light woods, there could be room for another 9-holes?
Cons: -Hole #8 is an odd ball hole compared to the other 8-holes on the course. Its open from tee to basket where the other 8 fairways are wooded. I don't think much could have been done to match #8 with the rest of the course.
-On most to the holes would have been nice to of had a tee sign map. A few baskets not seen from tee, and UDisc navigation not much help in obstacle location such as guardian trees and water location.
-Easy enough to navigate the course, except between basket 8 and tee 9. Without UDisc app would have been difficult to locate tee 9. The #9 tee sign is missing. I didn't see next tee signs on course.
-It's possible after heavy rains the course could flood on most fairways, the tell-tale signs were there from previous years. When I played on New Year's Eve the fairways were very firm, no evidence of any recent flooding, and had fairway skip on some shots.
-Any type of standing water is going to attract mosquitoes, and likely other nuisance bugs.
-Lost disc potential is high. There is water on most holes where a tree kiss or deflection can put you in the drink. There is heavy brush off a few holes. This is a course where you need to keep your eyes on your fries.
Other Thoughts: River Bend Park was a joy to play! Starting from long tee #1 your introduced to wooded golf with gaps and some tight fairways, but fair. I like the progression as you continue your round each hole gets a little nastier, and #4 gives you a big hello from the tee and gets more nastier as you continue. It's the type of challenge I enjoy, the only interruption was #8. It seemed to me that in the 5-years since the course opened, it's been beaten down with the traffic from rounds played and looked great. River Bend was the opposite of the 18-holer Owens Park that I played earlier in the morning. If I had to pick one of the two courses to play on a return visit, it will be River Bend. My personnel con is #8, with its openness from tee to basket it just didn't fit with the rest of the course, but still a challenge going off fairway left into heavy brush or to the right the river awaits you, and I saw no other reroute option for the hole. As I was driving home thinking about the course a Sesame Street rhyme popped into my head "one of these holes doesn't belong with the other, one of these holes are not the same…."
My overall rating is anchored on excellent wooded golf with some difficulty long tees, and a fun factor at a 4.5. My time to play was 35 minutes.
Notable Tee Pad:
-#6 a straight away par 4 long tee is a tree hanging over just 8 feet in front of the pad, and about 7 feet high. Theirs skinnies waiting for you down fairway, and a tree kiss to the right will send you to the creek. It's the closes I've had an overhanging tree to a tee pad, and a very scenic look.
-#5 Par 3 long tee at 222 feet is a straight away hole with two tree gaps about 70 feet out in the middle and to the left both gaps about 12 feet wide. At the gap is spillage ditch from the creek which runs all the way to the basket on the right. There are skinnies scattered thru out the fairway, and the basket is protected by skinnies with the creek just outside C1. As a lefty I went for the left gap and deflected off the inside tree.
-#7 Par 3 long tee at 290 feet a straight away hole that slightly meanders left. At about 60 feet is a cluster of skinnies with one gap of about 8 feet that seemed reasonable compared to others more difficult. On the left skinnies, on the right heavy brush with trees, on the other side of brush the Tar River. The brush on the right bends into the fairway past the gap at about 100 feet out. The basket is protected by skinnies. For a lefty it's a nightmare, I threw an easy pig to get myself a little more than halfway to the basket.
-#9 Par 3 long tee at 276 feet is a straight away hole with the basket middle left and elevated, the tee is also elevated but both only about 5-6 feet. About 20 feet out is a gap 8 feet wide, past the gap the fairway drops to depression circular in shape all the way until about C2. Inside the depression are trees cluttering the fairway with gaps as small as 6 feet, and a few mounds about 3-4 feet high. The depression is cleared of brush but could hold water if there's spillage from the Tar River which runs on the other side of a bank to the right. The basket is protected by guardians to your left. A tree deflection from the tee over the bank could take you into the river. The hole has a crusty look to it and scenic, reminded me of a few holes a Dorey Park in Richmond, Virginia. I faded into the bank with a Mid.
-#4 Par 3 long at 250 feet is a fairway that meanders left then back to the right with a blind basket from the tee. The meandering to the right starts across a spillage ditch from the creek on the right side past the turn. To cross the ditch is about 150 feet, at the crossing are two gaps middle left and middle right. These gaps are about 15 feet wide, on the right heavy brush and trees that block sight of the basket from the tee, turning the hole into trouble. The basket hangs to the right towards the creek on the border of C1 and has a layer of guardian trees not seen from tee. The left gap is the safe play, but the right is very inviting, and a tree deflection could send you towards the creek or into the brush not seen from tee. I took the right gap and was very pleased until I saw the wall of guardian trees blocking my birdie run.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice course in a great setting
Pros: Real cool, brand new, Red, White and Blue Veteran baskets.
Good tee signs showing both tees, good tee pads on most holes.
Set in a largely unused portion of this park, so there shouldn't be much interaction with other park users. Only a couple of blocks from the center of town, nice location.
Good mix of left and right holes, most are wooded, but #8 is the most open on the course.
Not a lot of elevation available, but they used all the elevation they could on #9, set right beside the Tar River.
Possibly the only public course in Franklin County.
Cons: Course can get (and stay) wet pretty easy, mainly due to the numerous low spots and being very wooded and shaded.
A few of the fairways are pretty tight, but these may get thinned out as the course matures.
The rough can be pretty bad in several places too, it just needs to be broken in.
A couple of tees were covered in sand, washed up from the river.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice addition to downtown Louisburg. The other part of the park is set along a pretty stretch of the river and contains playgrounds, picnic areas and mature trees on cleared land. They used this area (with the park closed) to set up 9 more holes for a tournament.
Just couple of blocks from Main St., which includes a Brewery, it is in a great location.
The first three holes play in the main part of the park, then you move to the back side for the other 6, and play the last 3 mostly along the river. #8 is a mostly open fairway that you don't want to stray too far from, #9 is a pretty cool finisher, both tees are on ridge lines, over the sunken fairway to the basket on another ridgeline.
All the work put in has gotten this course off to a great start, once all the tee pads are in and the rough is beaten down some, this will be a real good niner.
The county has several private courses (once frequented by Barry Schultz when he lived here) so this public course is a welcome addition.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Difficult intermediate-level 9-hole track
Pros: River Bend is a challenging, intermediate-level 9-hole track (from the white tees). Advanced players will get a challenge from the white tees too. The red tees are a good intro to disc golf for beginners, but also have enough challenge and solid course design to entertain intermediate-level players.
I have no idea if an 18-hole track is possible on this property. It *looks* like there is some more land that could be used in the already-cleared, established park area. If that were to happen, this has the potential to be a fantastic course.
+ The park itself is really beautiful and peaceful. The Tar River appropriately *bends* and forms the border for the park on three sides. The more established section of the park is very scenic and open with mature trees dotting rolling hills. Picnic tables and playgrounds are scattered around for people to enjoy, although I didn't see many people on the days I played here. (Update: the town hosts various festivals and events here, so sometimes the park can be busy, but there is no impact on the disc golf course, as it is on the other side of the park and in the woods.) The Tar River on the open, non-disc golf side of the park has some gentle rapids. My #1 suggestion for improving River Bend DGC, if at all possible, is to try to squeeze in 9 more holes in this more open area with clear views of the river. This would require moving some picnic tables and possibly some of the playground equipment, so that might not be in the cards, particularly given the town hosts events here from time to time.
+ While the rest of the park is open, the course itself is very wooded. The first 3 holes are in view of the regular park area; the other 6 are back in the woods and closer to the other side of the park, bordered by the calmer section of the Tar River. The setting is very pretty and peaceful. They only open hole is #8. The other holes are all tightly wooded and technical.
+ Navigation is straightforward, with tee signs for both sets of tees. The first tee is close to the picnic shelter. After playing the first hole, paths leading to the following hole are easy to spot and follow.
+ River Bend has some really nice, brand new red and blue DD Veteran baskets.
+ It's great that the builders had the foresight to go ahead and plan for red and white tees. The red tees are appropriate for beginners; the white tees are suitable for intermediate players.
+ The holes are well-designed and have a good variety of shapes and shots required. I'm a noodle arm and top out at about 300 feet. On the red tees, I used fairway drivers on two holes, mids and putters everywhere else. On the white tees, I used drivers or fairway drivers on 6 holes and mids on the other three. The course is well-balanced for lefties and righties.
+ Nice concrete tee pads for both sets of tees except for #9. (Dirt tee from the reds for that one.)
Hole 1 - 273' Red, 393' White (I measured with the UDisc app; if the builders have the correct and exact measurements, please feel free to update. Thanks!)
This hole is mostly straight, with a more open area closer to the tee, but lots of guardian trees about 2/3 of the way down the fairway. If you can make it through those trees, the basket is slightly to the left at the back of a large green. By my estimation, this is the longest par 3 from the White Tees (I'm assuming #6 is a par 4) and one of, if not the longest hole from the Red Tees.
Hole 2 - 228' Red, 311' White
This hole plays back towards to park road, straight through a well-defined fairway. From the White Tees, there are two lines you can take, straight and one to the right for a hyzer finish (RHBH). Play the road as OB for added challenge.
Hole 3 - 151' Red, 245' White
This hole plays over and parallel to a small tributary to the river and requires a technical shot from either tee. From the reds is a short anhyzer or flick for righties. From the Whites, it's a flex shot.
Hole 4 - 158' Red, 234' White
#4 is in thicker woods and also requires a short anhyzer or flick for righties.
Hole 5 - 202' Red, 217' White
I think my measurements are off on this hole. The Whites are definitely further back than 15 feet from the Reds. Anyway, this hole is straight with the small creek bordering the entire right-hand side of the fairway -- and behind the basket. This requires a technical shot with finish from RHBH to stay safe and go for the ace run.
Hole 6 - 271' Red, 461' White
This is the longest hole on the course. Again, it's very wooded with the creek bordering the right-hand side of the fairway. Birdie is very doable from the White Tees with a decent drive and approach. (This might be a tweener hole, depending on your skill level.) Lots of trees to try and avoid, but you mostly want to stay left and out of the creek and underbrush.
Hole 7 - 195' Red, 281' White
The river is to the right of the fairway. This hole requires an anhyzer from the Red Tees. (Just don't overcook it or you'll be in the river.) The White Tees are much longer and require a flex shot that are beyond my abilities as an intermediate player. Again, lots of trees to contend with.
Hole 8 - 207' Red, 294' White
This is the most open and straight-forward hole on the course. It's wide open. The basket is on the left at the end of the fairway. A straight shot with hyzer finish puts you on the green for a birdie try.
Hole 9 - 157' Red, 274' White
This was my favorite hole on the course. Each set of tees are on different ridges. A winding valley and trees lead to the basket, also on higher ground. This hole again forces a tight, controlled line. Keep the disc low, but not too low or you'll hit the ridge with the Red Tee (if you're playing from the Whites). Slight hyzer finish on this hole.
Cons: This course doesn't get a whole lot of use, so it's taking a while to beat-in. After rain, the mosquitoes here can be unbearable. But when the weather is good, and especially in the cooler months, this is one of the best 9-hole tracks in the Triangle.
- If the mosquitoes are out, you might as well head back to the car. This is a mosquito breeding ground after rain. Lots of standing water. Which leads to my next con...
- Flooding, mud, and standing water to contend with on several holes after rain. I would only recommend playing here if there have been several dry days.
- This course offered a decent challenge, but I thought some of the fairways were poke-and-hope. (Of course, if more trees are taken out, the course might be too easy.) My preference would be to tailor the course to the white layout and make the fairways a little fairer on some holes (i.e. take out a few more trees.) If that makes the red tees *super* easy, so be it.
- Only 9 holes.
Other Thoughts: Go give River Bend a try, especially when they add the 9 temp holes in the open area of the park for the annual PDGA C-tier in the spring.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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