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
A week later and just now getting a chance to sit down on this beautiful, cool morning to write about what I enjoy most, disc golf. Although arguably a better morning to be out on the course, it was important to me to get this post up as promised on our Dogleg Facebook page.
Two months ago I posted about an upcoming Vibram Birdie Bash being held at Hunter Memorial Park in Douglasville, GA. Well the time finally came last Saturday, March 21 as our four-man crew made the trek down to Douglasville. Not knowing quite what all to expect, it was all of our’s first time to play in a Birdie Bash and boy were we excited!
I like to think we’ve got a pretty solid, standup group of guys—Daniel, Rick, Sean and myself. Our four group plays regularly together on the weekends and an occasional weeknight. We try to select tournaments that we can all make and feel like it’d be a fun time. Although this was actually only the second tournament that all four of us had been able to participate in together since forming the group less than a year ago. I enjoyed our hour-long carpool down to D’ville last weekend talking disc golf and even strategizing for the Birdie Bash, haha. We had questions about how players would be split up amongst the cards for the first round and whether or not our 2-disc choices would play to an advantage. Of course it would be fun to all play on the same card the first round, but could that be a disadvantage to each of us four? Based on how we were thinking the point system worked, could we potentially be stealing points from one another? For example if no one scores on a hole, then the point goes to whoever landed closest to pin. Then we tried to figure out if our odds would be better if we played on different cards the first round in hopes to score similar and get paired together for second round. As much as we each love disc golf, we take it serious as well. All while having fun, of course!
Speaking from previous experiences in other tournaments I’ve played where you play with the supplied discs, it’s always good to get there as early as possible to sign in, get your discs and practice throwing them. The discs always seem to fly differently than what you expected or used to. So I highly recommend getting there early enough to get your discs and take them out on a couple of holes to practice. Learn how they fly. Test what they can do and how much arm they can handle. It sure helped me in our ~45 min. worth of practicing Saturday throwing the new discs before the start. I had thrown a Lace before, but not one that was in the weight range I chose. This one was a bit heavy and a little bit more overstable than what I’d thrown before. My other disc choice was an Obex which is an overstable, long glide midrange. I had never thrown one of these before either, so I’m glad I got out there and learned its flight path and how to control it to get it to work like I needed.
We got there really early and was able to get in a few holes with our regular discs to warm up. As soon as the tent opened up, we signed in and got our Vibram swag packs with our discs. I actually appreciated how the swag packs were already put together with the discs already in there. I’ve been to other tournaments where the line gets backed up with everyone carefully choosing their disc weight and color—it takes forever. So I liked the simplicity of the pre-packaged swag packs. The swag packs come with the two discs you selected back during online registration, a tshirt, two stickers, playing cards, and a Vibram rubber coaster. Note: The water bottle is not part of the swag pack. I’ll mention that later. [see pic].
One thing I freakin’ love about Vibram discs is the awesome, tie-dyed swirled patterns in the discs. Check them out! I went with a 170M Lace and a 167M Obex. I prefer the X-Link Medium which is Vibram’s original and most popular material.
The X-Link material is a unique rubber-based compound which resists scuffs, has incredible durability and unequaled grip. Additionally, X-Link has a stronger memory than any disc currently on the market, so if you do manage to bend it out of shape, in all likelihood, it will work its way back.
The players’ meeting kicked off with the introduction, “brief” rules, group pairings and scorecards were handed out and then we were off to our starting holes. One thing I didn’t like was that I felt like the scoring instructions, penalty scenarios and starting rules weren’t as clear as they could have been or the OB rules which weren’t mentioned at all. For example, it didn’t come up until we were halfway to our start hole that we had no idea when we were supposed to start. TD didn’t mention if it was an airhorn start or at a specific time. We were at the furthest hole from the tent too. Also, TD never mentioned the OB rules (later covered prior to second round). Do OB rules apply in a tournament like this? What’s considered OB at this course? etc.
I know the scoring rules were on the back of the scorecard, but I felt there was still confusion in a few scenarios that weren’t covered on the card. However, I did like the fact that the TD gave out his phone number to each group and encouraged any player to call if there was a question. But to my point, I feel like the scoring could have been slightly unfair or different amongst the groups when there were obvious things that were failed to be covered. Did everyone count OB’s the first round? Did people ignore those? Can the same player get a metal point and CTP on the same hole, or does metal cancel out the CTP? I know not every scenario could be brought up during the first player’s meeting, but I feel like it can affect the scoring for sure. And I understand that a scenario might not arise until it actually happens during the round. So, say they call the TD and find out the ruling.. What now? How do the other groups learn of the ruling? Another group could have encountered the same thing and may have scored it differently. I feel like there’s too many variables that could come up. If one group counted it one way, and another group a different way…the points are now different. You see my point.
The first round, players were divided up in alphabetical order by their first name unless you had requested to be grouped with other players during the online registration. That was one thing we learned that we didn’t know about. We might have requested that if we had known during the online registration process. But it was cool though, it allowed us to get paired with others and meet new faces. By the way the names fell, Rick and Sean ended up on same card. I really enjoyed meeting each player and getting to know them a bit more as the round progressed. The first round I got paired with Mark, Michael and “Bull”–all fun guys to be around. I did have a rough start and even took me several holes to score my first point, ugh. But I did better later that round once I was felt more comfortable with my discs. After talking to the guys after the first 18, it sounded like we all had a weak first round.
They gave us about a 1.5 hr lunch which was nice–plenty of time to grab some brews down the road. Ya know, loosen us up for the second round. The second round pairings were based on the scoring of the first round like most all tournaments. First round I had 13 pts and Daniel had 12, so we got paired together with Brian and Will. The second round I was on and already doing leaps better than my first round start. It was also nearly 20 degrees warmer the second round, so I felt more in my element with it being short-sleeve weather compared to our cold morning start. My group started the second round on Hole #16 and two holes later I ended up winning the second round CTP on #18 [see pic]. That CTP win is how I got the aluminum Vibram water bottle seen in pic above.
I ended with 18 pts the second round which was enough for a T-5th place finish of 31 pts. All in all I had a great time at the Bash and would recommend it to anyone, regardless of skill level. It’s fun getting out there, trying out new discs, enjoying the Spring weather and meeting new people. I plan to play in next year’s event too at a different course. My hopes would be that the rules will be more in-depth, OBs covered, and just explained more clearly to keep scoring fair amongst the cards. Check out Vibram’s Birdie Bash Locations to see when/where the next one is closest to you!
Congrats to Zach Haynes for the Hunter Park Vibram Birdie Bash win–pulling in a total of 44 pts! Great shooting.
Reviews from the Field:
The birdie bash was great. The format really allows players of all skill levels to have fun. I had never thrown a Vibram disc before the tournament. I was impressed and they will definitely have a spot in my bag going forward.” –Sean C.
It was my first Birdie Bash, first time throwing Vibram, and only second tournament. My biggest highlight was the player packs. I was able to add the Lace and Ridge to my bag. The Ridge is now my go to putter. The point’s system was new for me. But, it was easy to understand once you started playing and kept the tournament competitive regardless of skill level. Overall, I had a good time and learned a few things.
I’ve been playing for right at one year, and this was my first birdie bash. I thought it was a really cool way to play a tournament. Haven’t really thrown Vibrams before, but really loved the discs we received. The disc material felt great and the look was cool. Everyone was given brand new discs which really leveled the playing field. The scoring method also helped everyone playing be competitive. Really enjoyed the bash!
If I have any tips to share, I’d leave you with this:
- Disc Selection: If you’re not familiar with Vibram discs or have never thrown one, check out their flight paths and compare them to the discs you’re comfortable with on sites like Inbounds Disc Golf Disc Comparison. This might help you select the right Vibram disc that matches your own. Remember, you only get two Vibram discs to play with. Think about the course, the lines. Choose carefully.
- Disc Material: Vibram discs come in X-Link Medium and X-Link Firm. The medium is the most popular and original material by Vibram. The medium has more of a grippy service, gets less skip, and more of a slightly flexible nature. The firm is a stiffer, less grippy rubber compound that cuts through the air and can get more ground skip.
- Online Registration: If you’re wanting to play on the same first round card as your buddies, request that in the comments field of registration. If you don’t, you might end up getting paired alphabetically the day of.
- Arrival to Tournament: Get there early! Sign in and get your swag packs as soon as they start handing them out. You’ll want to get in the extra practice and test out your new discs before the tournament starts.
- Walking the Course: Be sure to walk as much of the course prior to the tournament. At ours, there was a few holes that the teepads were moved up on to lessen the difficulty. These were previously very long Par 3′s. Yellow flags were used to mark the closer “teepad” area. Start figuring out your lines from these new positions.
- Players’ Meeting: Make sure the TD covers all rules, scoring and goes over what the OBs are. Not everyone has played that course before. Be sure everyone’s clear.
- You ONLY get a CTP point within your group if NO ONE else scores a point on that hole. For example, if someone hits metal and you have the CTP, you don’t get the point. Their metal hits cancels out your CTP.
- Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Meet new people, learn new things. Teach others. Have a positive attitude. Strive for that Spirit Award!
Hunter Park’s Vibram Birdie Bash made the local news. – Dogleg JT in the red shirt.
Posted by randomtiz
This past Saturday marked the first chance I’ve had this year to actually get out on the disc golf course. Prior to last weekend, I hadn’t played a round since being home for Thanksgiving. I was going through some serious disc golf withdrawals let me tell you. I normally play once a week. But with a strew of nasty weather, long work days, and being out-of-town on the weekends, I haven’t been able to.
Last weekend brought cloudy skies and milder temps reaching the mid 50s. Finally, it was nice enough to get out and throw. I had wanted to try a different course that I’d never played before. It’s a course that’s roughly an hour south of here called Deer Lick Park in Douglasville, GA. I actually tried to play this course last February when I just happened to be in the area. I only made it through the first six holes before calling it quits because I couldn’t feel my fingers any more. Obviously not dressed warm enough, temperatures were in the lower 40s that day with wind gusts near 20 mph. No condition to play in favorably. I wanted to give it another shot. So I called up the guys and it was time to roll!
Deer Lick starts out with two shorter holes barely breaking 200 ft. With not having played in well over a month, I was pretty satisfied when my first drive landed within 15 ft from the basket and sinking my first bird of the new year. Hole #3 got a little more interesting when the length doubled from the previous two holes and ran parallel to a large pond on the left. Not only did you have the pond and increasing wind speeds picking up, the fairway consisted of varying tree obstacles and being completely on a downward slant towards the pond.
Hole #4 we got to tee off throwing around powerline support cables to a downhill basket tucked into the wood line which was protected by a small, winding creek [Inset on right]. The next few tinkered through the woods and then back out to a field and across the street. In the pic below is Justin with a long par save attempt on #7.
#8 introduced us to a 463′ long straight, slightly downhill fairway that ran parallel to a county road. The only thing stopping a wayward disc were two rows of 6′+ tall shrubs. All three of us landed near the road if you were wondering. I had a terrible drive when I released the disc too late which pulled it way left (I’m LHBH thrower). It went smack into the thicket and dropped at the inside edge. I had a killer approach shot from ~300 and parked it within 10′ from the basket…Not sure how that happened, but I’ll take it.
I really enjoyed Deer Lick Park. It sets less than 5 min off of I-20 West coming out of Atlanta. Very quite and serene in the disc golf area, hardly anyone playing disc golf. I like the courses where we can play at our own speed and not have to wait on the group ahead of us. This course was built back in 1997, but it well maintained. At this park, there are ball fields, a gymnasium, batting cages, skatepark, mini golf, and whatnot! This disc golf part of it is mild-moderately hilly with a good mix of long open holes and tighter, wooded holes. I did pretty well and lucked up with some incredible approach shots. I finished at +2—not too shabby considering not playing for over a month and being a newbie to the course. We had a good time all around and was a great first round for me of the new year. I will definitely go back and play there again.
UP NEXT: WHITE OAK PARK: WEEKEND RECAP COMING TOMORROW, STAY TUNED!
Posted by randomtiz
This morning I got a chance to hit the course early with a few friends that were in town. Since time was a factor, we decided upon Legacy Park DGC in Kennesaw (Check out my full review of this course here).
Legacy only has 9 holes so we ended up playing it twice. This a fairly short course with tight fairways that require low straight shots. I’ve maybe played this course 5 or 6 times previously but had never finished under par.
The weather’s in the mid 60s, cool breeze blowing and beautiful leaves falling all around. I love playing DG in the Fall. That already makes for a great day.
My first round I couldn’t keep out of the trees and ended up finishing +4…on a 9 hole course, yea I know. As short a course as it is, it took the three of us maybe 45 min to play. With time to spare, we continued for a second round.
This round I was ON it. Several great drives starting out left me in good positions for birdie attempts. On Hole #5, my drive left me about ~50-60 ft out. I tossed my trusty Leopard high and to the left to play its hyzer. The disc ricocheted off a tree (about 15 ft from the basket) down and into the chains, score! I went on and continued a par streak after that bird. Had a great straight drive on Hole #9 that left a 15-footer for birdie. Sunk it. -3! Not only did I beat my course record, but I just crushed my previous round’s score by 7. It’s a good day in Georgia.