This course has changed significantly in the last year. To make a sweeping generalization; it got harder. There were a handful of open holes mixed into a pretty tough, wooded layout before. Now there are an even smaller number of open shots. This didn’t make things bad, in fact I enjoyed the challenge.
The tee pads were the first highlight of the course. Some of them were brand new, and all were cement with plenty of room for a run-up. I needed every advantage I could get too, because this extremely tight layout offers mostly long, straight shots that curve from left to right. I imagine a proficient, right-handed side arm player would be able to navigate and hit the fairways better than I did. That being said, I played two decent rounds and hit a lot of fairways. Part of me wishes I could play this course every day for a couple months, because it would VASTLY improve my game (my main weakness is the back-hand anhyzer). Some people might think this course is too lefty-friendly, but America is FILLED with righty friendly courses already…
The baskets are all well labeled and fairly new. Last year there was a home-made basket on the front 9- but it is gone now. This brings me to the next point- some holes have alternate layouts. There might be an “A” basket, an “A” tee pad in addition to the standard one, or even a “B” basket or tee pad. It is easy enough to navigate and figure out which one is which because the signs are clear. I don’t really like alternate baskets though- it makes scoring more confusing if you play the wrong basket or tee pad. I feel like there should be alternates on every hole, or no holes- as a rule. This isn’t always possible, but it makes more sense to offer more holes beyond 18 if there are extra baskets instead of putting two baskets on one hole- especially if it’s only making the hole 40 feet longer with a hyzer. This is just opinion though, and didn’t really effect my overall appreciation of the course.
A few of the holes could use a slight “re-design” as well. For example hole number 1 sets up for a basically impossible birdie if you use the fairway provided. The angle is pretty severe and the trees are very thick. After my first round I played with a local guy who revealed to me that all of the good local players throw way out of the fairway to the right, over the baseball field, and let their discs skip back in towards the basket. When I used this method, I got an easy 3. Holes like this are frustrating and gimmicky, and make a weird first impression. I get the feeling though that the course is a work in progress- since it’s already changed so much in the past year.
My favorite hole has to be #13. It isn’t very similar to the rest of the course, but that’s why I liked it. It’s a bit like turning the heat on in your car right before you jump into a pool: you pick your way through North Charlotte Disc Golf course as a right hander, playing carefully and throwing low, conservative shots. When you get to hole 13, you throw from a tee pad in the woods, but the fairway opens up after 30-40 feet to be wide open, with a basket off to the left beyond your vision. Hole 13 is the course’s way of saying, “You think you got a good right-handed hyzer??? Let’s see it.” I didn’t really throw the hole as pure as I thought I might, but it was fun trying!
For a very tight and challenging course, I had more fun than I usually do. This may have been because I was on vacation, but I think more likely it was because the course is obviously new and taken care of. The rest of the sports fields are in great condition, and while the disc golf portion may have been an after-thought, it certainly didn’t suffer. I recommend making the trip to at least check it out- it isn’t a show-stopper, but it IS a disc golf course.