I've made it. After 3 rounds I made it to the IDGC this afternoon, where Karolyn Garlock, former fellow Michigander and now PDGA staffer offered to put me up for the week. Me and Brian Graham walked a few holes of the 30-minute old Jim Warner Memorial course (the 1000th round course), and everyone went to a Mexican restaurant for a local club meeting. Now I'm watching the new Knight Rider and burping beans.
Winder, GA- For Yargo State Park:TEE PADS: Horrible, maybe the worst ever? SO bad it's not worth playing here, ever, until they get new ones. They are large diameter chunks of limestone, no framework to hold them. This makes it impossible to get steady footing, even standing still, and could be dangerous. Well marked, clean cut woods course in old growth forest and steep hills by lakeside, water not a hazard. A few too many poke and pray pointless tight shots, a few technical tunnels and doglegs. Some elevation play and a 400' wide tunnel. Free entry on Wednesdays but still 2$ for disc golf. 3$ parking otherwise. Mostly short to medium.
Athens, GA- Sandy Creek:Begins with long, partially open grassy field shots for the first 11 holes or so, currently a 23 hole layout. Well marked- map at gatehouse, msg board, and online, tee signs on every hole. Lacking only in a sign to show which pin position it's in (very crucial information..). Well mowed and maintained, very clean. A disc golf only setting for the most part, knowledgeable park staff. OB graveyards! Back half is tight woods, some tunnels and doglegs. Many hills and valleys, no major water hazard. Layup placement drives and crushing down straight tunnels is key. 2 holes in a row a RHBH player can use road to skip to basket. Some vines indicate minor ivy concern in season, otherwise not too rough woods- only lose a disc if buried in leaves. Clean, fair fairways just very tough and technical. 3 sets of cement tees allow for all to play together!
Elberton, GA- Lake Russell:Maybe the best course in Georgia, so far at least. It's got the original 18 holes (complete with nice signs, map) and a newer added on 9 hole loop after playing #16. The new loop is not as well marked, might be easy to miss where it starts and is not on the map. Can be played as 9, 18 or 27. Clean, meticulously mowed. Alt. 9 are all very short (110-260') and tight in old woods, some over a small ravine, and with hills. They balance out the more open course, but are somewhat too tight to be realistic, yet fun to try to weasle your way under the basket. The 18 hole part is near perfection. It has a few long open bomber holes, lined with trees and tall grass to keep you in check, mixed with many tough-to-park but entirely gettable holes. Elevation changes, walls and patches of cedar trees, red dirt, mowed wide fairways. Fire ants abound however. Fairly balanced fun for every level. No real danger but a bad shot is not rewarded but a good shot IS, like what disc golf should be like. Scenic and FULL of wildlife, couldn't count all the deer and wild turkeys (dozens).
Tomorrow: Raining a lot, so maybe a round at the IDGC and hopefully working outside on courses.