Posted by randomtiz
Welcome back to Part II of my 4-part blog series covering our North Georgia & Chattanooga, Tennessee disc golf trip during this past MLK weekend. Good times were had at Heritage Point DGC which was our first stop. If you missed out on that article, you can read it here. Our next stop on the trip was a beautiful drive up into the mountains further into the northwest corner of Georgia.
Cloudland Canyon State Park (Lookout Mountain, GA)
Cloudland Canyon State Park is located in Lookout Mountain, GA and was about an hour’s drive from Heritage Point. We actually had to drive up through parts of Chattanooga and then back down around the mountain to get there. From Chattanooga, you take I-24W to I-59S to Trenton. The actual drive up the mountain was the more scenic than the park itself. It would be quite a beautiful drive up in the Fall. I guess I was expecting somewhat more “grandiose” scenic views from the top where the park was, but it fell short in that department. There were some elevation changes along the course, but by no means was it situated on the side of the mountain or anything. I would rate the course as more of a “family-friendly” course with all of its shorter, open fairways and only a handful of pin positions in the woods. It was by far the easiest of the four courses we played though, so it made for a laid-back casual round. It was a fun course because the shorter holes made for several good Ace-runs for us and the few long, wide open fairways were great for ripping those long bombs.
Cloudland Canyon’s course is a full 18-hole with distances ranging from 190′-347′. The total distance on the course is 4585 ft with a par of 54. The state park entry fee is $5/per car and then roughly $4/per player to use the course. *For those that live within the surrounding area or plan to play it often might want to opt for their $25 annual pass. The Visitor Center located near the entrance to the park is where you pay-to-play and can purchase discs. In the Visitor Center, they do sell a variety of Innova Pro/Champion custom-stamped Cloudland Canyon discs. You can play for FREE if you buy any of their discs! TIP: If you’re going to buy a disc, buy it before you try to pay for the round. They won’t credit you a free play for purchasing a disc if you’ve already payed to play…found that out the hard way haha (Daniel).The first hole is actually the longest at 347′. It’s a fairly wide open fairway with a tall, skinny signal tower (see pic above) that’s slightly offset from the middle of the fairway. For LHBH and RHFH players, it will come into play for you. Or test your accuracy and try to fly through the triangular gaps within the tower structure. The first five holes zigzag back and forth amongst one another and butt up against the parking lot area. A 241′ Hole #2 has one of the best Ace-run chances with a slightly downward run towards the basket. Holes #3-4 bring challenging obstacles consisting of a wall of trees between you and the basket. On Hole #3 the tree wall is set a little lower down the hill (about halfway to basket) and is easier to fly over/around. Hole #4 is the shortest on the course at only 190′, but challenging. The basket sets higher on the hill and positioned directly behind a very tall set of trees. A big hyzer or scooby shot works best here as you tee off from the woodline throwing back towards the parking lot. You’re going to want a shot that’s going to come it hot, fast and at a angle that will stick the landing beyond the trees. Or…you could just test your luck and throw straight at the trees in hopes of breaking through. You might have a better chance during the winter for that route, but I wouldn’t recommend it; too thick and branchy.
Hole #5 was set up more for a RHBH thrower. There’s a large bush that sticks out on the left of teepad that will prevent any ideal line for lefties or righthand forehand throwers. For righties, it is a straighter, slightly downhill shot to the basket. The basket sets back at the woodline about 253′ away. Be careful here not to throw to the left of the fairway–or much further beyond basket–because it drops off significantly to a very steep incline below. A 235′ Hole #6 includes a more, unobstructed teebox area with a huge oak tree sitting in the middle of the fairway. The tree is directly in line with the teepad and the basket nestled into the woods. This hole requires a hard hyzer route around the large oak or one might could skim one low enough to stay under the overhanging limbs.
Hole #7 fairway runs parallel with the road that leads up to the disc golf parking lot area. Don’t be confused though, this is a blind, left-meathook hole. Take note of the huge rock formation setting on the rightside of the fairway along the road. That is where a gap opens in the fairway leading to the basket that you’ll want to hit. You want to at least throw past this huge rock in the air before your disc starts breaking back down towards the basket. You can’t miss this rock, it’s huge. Sitting about 250′ away, #7′s basket can be reached with a high hyzer shot around the rock and over some trees for a RHBH player.
Hole #8 is the second blind hole in a row. It’s another long, dogleg-left blind drive to the 270′ downhill basket. For RHBH, here’s your chance to rip a high hyzer shot out around the initial tree set into the open and back around. It’s windy up this high, so let the wind carry your disc high into the air and allow it to push it back towards the mountain and basket. Hole #9 is a 260′ line drive shot that hugs the tree line. Hole #10, you’re throwing out from the woodline into the wide open to an uphill basket. Wind and elevation come into play here–baskets always appear much closer than they really are. Be sure to arm up even though it’s only ~280′; it’s deceiving.
Holes #11-13 are out in the open and really give you a chance to show off your guns. Hole #11 is the second longest hole at 346′. Be mindful of the crosswinds and not let it divert your disc OB over the road on your right. The road runs parallel, very close to the fairway. However, there is a drop point further down if you happen to fly out or land in the road. Hole #12 is a 256′ shot to the basket. The hole is protected by a short row of trees with low hanging branches that create a protective canopy over the basket. It’s better to land on leftside of fairway so you’ll have a better angle putting to basket. Even straighter drives that fall short in line with the basket will provide a challenge putting opportunities with those low-hanging limbs. Some of us had to putt kneeling down.
Hole #13 basket takes you back up the hill about 300′. The teepad is close to the woodline, so throw one long and stay right. If you get into the woodline mess, you’ll have trouble feeding one back through and could struggle to save par. #14 is a straighter ~210′ shot to a set of trees protecting a slightly nestled basket. Be sure to hit the clearing in the set of trees or at least, stay further left to leave you a nicer view of basket. My drive went right and I ended up having to skip a disc under the brush & trees to land near the basket on my approach.
The next 3 holes take you into the woods where you’ll find tighter fairways and more subtle elevation changes. Hole #17 is an uphill route through a very wooded, narrower fairway to a 232′ basket that rests barely outside of the woodline. It is positioned out in the open, but you’ll need a long, straight pull uphill to get out of the woods. Hole #18, you’re back up top with an open teebox area and tossing into woods again to the shallow-placed basket position. Overall, it’s a fun little course up on the mountain with mostly open holes and few challenging holes. Like I said, it is more of a family- and beginner-friendly course though. Great for families camping or for taking younger players. There were very few people playing when we went, which was nice so we could take our time and try other shots. It might be one to check off your list, but to me, not worth the admission time after time.
Photo credits: Rick M.
Missed Part I of our 4-part North Georgia/Chattanooga Series? Read Dogleg JT’s course review on Heritage Point DGC.
Posted by randomtiz
Wednesday is here, and you know what that means… Well Hump Day, yes. But that mean’s a disc golf weekend is closer in view. MLK weekend, a couple friends and I went on a weekend disc golf road trip up through North Georgia and the Chattanooga area for one of the guy’s 30th Birthdays. Along the way we crossed four courses off our lists starting with Heritage Point Park (Dalton, GA), Cloudland Canyon State Park (Lookout Mountain, GA), Sticky Pines (Ooltewah, TN) and The Sinks (Chattanooga)!
We’re at the start of February in 2016, and I’ve already crossed off five disc golf courses that I’ve never played before. With a lil one on the way (less than a month!), I’m trying to cram in as much disc golf as I physically can (or at least as much as the wifey will let me these next few weeks) haha. So to celebrate Rick’s 30th—and I guess, my last hoorah—they guys and I took off for the mountains for the weekend to hit up several courses along the way to our final destination in Chattanooga. We dubbed the trip “Mahan Mayhem” after Rick and I designed a custom print mini to commemorate the wild weekend. We had my design printed on a mini for each of the guys that went (Standard for trips of ours haha).
Our goal was to hit two courses a day during our 2-day trip. We had researched parks along the way and chose the ones that higher rated via DgCourseReview.com that were on our route. I have gathered several pics from our trip and will showcase those below as I briefly discuss each course we played.
With so much to cover for each course, I’m going to break this up into a four-part series with each post dedicated to each course. I don’t want to overwhelm you guys with a daunting, seemingly infinite scroll of course coverage, pics, and who knows what else [I'm currently sippin' a Funky Buddha Sweet Potato Casserole Strong Ale so there's no telling how this will go. Don't knock it 'til you try it. It's actually pretty good by itself.]
DAY 1: North Georgia
Heritage Point Park (Dalton, GA)
Only a little over an hour north of us up I-75 is Heritage Point Park which would become our first stop of trip. According to DgCourseReview.com, Heritage Point is rated 3.16 built in 2009 and is a very hilly and heavily wooded mixture of 18 holes. It was a fairly tight and technical course that had lots of elevation changes. That’s what we were looking for heading into mountain territory. There is a pretty big creek that runs through the course that comes into play on 15-17. Although the morning was chilly and windy, we were left with bad course conditions considering the enormous amounts of continuous days of rain earlier that week. Much of the lower areas of the course were flooded. So it was pretty muddy and marshy to say the least. I loved the elevation changes and it was a good workout climbing up and down some of the hills going from hole to hole. It only had two holes over 300′ (305′ longest); but the tight fairways, elevation changes, and heavily wooded areas made it a challenging course to kick off the trip.
Hole #1 you’re teeing off 305′ from a slightly elevated tee box into the woods to a lower set basket. Even though the basket sets lower than the teebox, it still is on a downward sloping hill all around it. You overshoot the basket of go way off the left on your drive and you’ll find your disc setting some 100-150 ft at the bottom of the hill. Hole #2 is only 215′, but it’s a slight dogleg right and WAY up on a steep, muddy hill.
Hole #3 was also a pretty short hole around 200′. You have a blind drive towards the basket. The basket sets much lower than the teebox again and is positioned on another steep downward hill. This hill had a lot more trees so they were either your friend or your worst enemy depending on whether or not they stopped your disc from rolling all the way down the hill or prevented you from having a clear upshot back towards the basket.
Hole #4 (see next two pics) was one of the worst flooded holes on the course. The entire thing was incredibly marshy.
Holes 5 and 6 were muddy as well, but at least they weren’t flooded. #5 was a slight dogleg left to a 285′ basket position. The trees were not my friend on this hole and had an unlucky run getting close to the basket. Hole #7 I redeemed by self with a high hyzer flick and parked it at the basket some 165′ away. The basket was tucked way to the left in a tight corner protected by tall brush in the front. Hole 8-10 were a bit straighter fairways. #9 teepad sets behind a set of trees that you have to split to throw uphill towards a slightly elevated basket. With me being left-handed, #10 played well for me with a stiff hyzer to a dogleg right pin position around 220′. #11 brings you out of the woods and up to the backside of the tennis courts. Here you’re throwing over an exposed sewer pipe back into the woods.
The creek was unforgiving to me on Hole #12 when I drove a beat Wahoo and that took off into an extreme anhyzer line and lost sight of it through the tees. We looked and looked but figured the creek swallowed it. The creek isn’t even that close to Hole #12 although it does run parallel to #16–which runs right next to the creek. I hated to lose that disc; that was my floater. The creek was moving so fast it would’ve been long gone by the time I reached it. Hole #13 was very tight and wooded. It was a dogleg left right around 200′ to the basket. Short hole that needed a strong hook to make the dogleg. Hole #14 was a bit longer at 250′ and had more elevation change. The teepad is positioned higher up the hill and you throw down & over a dip/low valley, across a runoff creek, and up to the basket. The next three holes follow the large creek. It gets pretty thick on the right side which acts as a pretty nice buffer between the fairway and the water. With all the rain we’d had lately, the creek was high, murky and moving rapidly. You weren’t finding anything in it.
#18 was a long 290′ foot hole where you teed off from an elevated tee box through a fairway valley and played up a steep hill to the basket. We had one or two throws up the hill that caught an edge and rolled all the way back down…fail. I’d love to play this course again once it really dries up. The mud and the sheer amount of flooded areas made it difficult to navigate and play. Great lil course though. If you’re up for a wooded, hilly technical course with elevation changes, you should check out Heritage Point. Great start to the trip!
Check back later for Part II of the series!