Sunday, August 03, 2008

Middle Creek DGC

I put in a couple of hours at a work day in Cary yesterday so that I could be one of the first to play the new disc golf course at Middle Creek.

At 9.8 miles from my front door, Middle Creek will nudge Buckhorn by a mile and a half for the honors of public course that is closest to me, and that is undeniably a good thing.

In general, any new disc golf course is a good thing. I'm blessed to be close to so many courses in the Raleigh/triangle area.

That said, I had heard some buzz in the week leading up to the opening that this would be the "best" course in North Carolina on the day it opened. That would be a stretch, in my opinion. (I don't know how many people have played all or most of the courses in North Carolina. I'm partial to Buckhorn and Hornet's Next (in Charlotte). I also think the course in Kinston is pretty good, though I've only played it one weekend.

Some of the things will improve as the kinks get worked out. The huge amount of mulch on the course made for some awkward walk ups on as yet undefined tees. The distances on the scorecards as yet have a casual relationship with the truth. (If Hole #2 is 290 feet, my Valkyrie is a Pig). There are a few holes that bring that skirt traffic, including a long throw into approaching traffic coming around a blind bend that concerns me safety wise. A couple of fariways cross over the green area of the hole that was just shot (I think #4 or #5), though this is generally only a problem when a course is very crowded. There were more elevation changes than I like, and there seemed at first glance to be more right turning holes than normal.

On the upside, there is a nice mix of wooded and open holes. It is not super long (as I've come to expect all new courses catering to boomer throwers to be). Holes 9 and 10 are sure to be crowd pleasers, I think, and it seems possible to start on a couple of different holes if there is traffic. There are Innova Disccatchers (yeah!) instead of Chainstars, and the use of mulch may allow for the eventual marking of a 10 meter circle. Although there is no signage yet, the flow is logical without too many long walks between holes (between 5/6 and 16/17 were the most likely places for new people to get lost). The park looks well maintained and its proximity to local schools means it is likely to be a fairly secure neighborhood. There seem to be enough challenges that very good players will not get bored too easily while intermediates won't be totally crushed by the course. (Doubles rounds yesterday ran from 48 to high 50s; my partner and I shot a 52, albet with a 5 on the last hole.)

On the whole, I'm very happy about the course. While it probably won't displace Lake Sharon Harris as my favorite local course, it should earn a prominent spot in the rotation of local courses and provide fun and challenge for years to come.

1 comment:

Kenneth R. Morefield said...

I played the course again on Tuesday, this time singles. They are still tweaking some of the tee pads.

I think it's a very fair course for a player of my skill level (cusp of intermediate/advanced) with opportunities if you make a good shot. There were some more intermediash players and some kids on the course. Two guys on the course said they thought the rough was somewhat punishing. I hadn't thought about that, but perhaps that makes up for some of the more intermediate distance. I suspect it will be of the distance that will make pros grumble, though I wasn't really looking for possible alternate longer tees. I thought moving the tee box over on 17 was great. I would almost make the first tree a mando so that you are really forcing the anhyzer. It's a makeable shot even for my skill level, but if you underthrow it you can fade away and bring the road and OB into play. The tee box on 18 is fairly close to a jogger path that skirts the ball field and it looks like some people walk it with head phones while their kids have little league practice. You have to griplock a drive to hit that path, but some people will when trying to make the distance. I imagine that as I get calibrated to certain distances that I will probably throw the course at a 51 or so.