Spring has finally (almost) sprung, so we all know what that means: we can go back to playing disc golf without either gloves or frostbitten hands. Not only is the weather warming up to be more conducive to playing outside, but the trees are regaining their thick lushness to provide that extra level of difficulty on particularly wooded courses. Here are 10 of the best disc golf courses on the East Coast.
It doesn’t get much more beautiful than the mountains of Virginia. So even if you’re not yet a pro at disc golf, this course is worth visiting just for the views. The course isn’t bad either, though—18 holes, hilly and wooded without being intimidated to beginners but still challenging for everyone playing. It also happens to be located at a resort where you can round out your visit with mountain biking, hiking and craft beer tasting.
North Garden, Virginia
Located just a few miles southwest of Charlottesville, this course is tucked away in a park that also features about a dozen miles of trails for hiking, running and biking. Each of the 18 holes on this challenging course have more than one basket, and you’ll get plenty of opportunities to send your discs flying over a body of water (and then cross your fingers you’ll see it again). If you pay the annual membership fee to join the Blue Ridge Disc Golf Club, you’ll get 50% off a season pass to Walnut Creek.
3. Harmon Hills
Fall Branch, Tennessee
Located on an old farmstead about 25 miles west of Johnson City, this hilly and wooded course features 27 holes for those of you for whom nine or 18 holes just don’t cut it. Home to the annual Memorial Tournament, Harmon Hills doesn’t require reservations ahead of time, and overnight camping is available on the expansive property.
Be sure to bring your entire bag of tricks for this course, because you’ll need everything in there. Located in Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park (named after Olympic track and field sprinter Wyomia Tyus, who’s from the area), the championship-style course features two nine-hole loops with a mix of par threes, fours and fives.
You’ll get the best of both worlds in this course, with the front nine being densely wooded and the back nine providing a little more open space to make your shots. Tucked away off GA-92, the private, secluded course is about 20 miles west of Atlanta, and the holes offer a variety in terms of distance and skill required. The baskets are new Discatchers, and the big signs at the teepads make the course easy to navigate. The course also happens to be about a 15-minute drive from Deer Lick and Frog Rock courses, so if you’re going to make the trek out there, you might as well pack a cooler and make a day of it.
Asheville, North Carolina
Not for the faint of heart, Richmond Hill is a challenging course with 17 holes that have alternate pin placements. Don’t be fooled by the neighborhood you’ll drive through on your way in—it’s a heavily wooded course with significant elevation changes that provide both uphill and downhill shots. And while nothing beats romping around in the woods with your friends all day, consider wearing long pants, even during the summer, to keep the poison ivy at bay.
Matthews, North Carolina
The Charlotte area has become a disc golf mecca of sorts, and it’s easy to see why. The Scrapyard, located just 10 miles southwest of uptown Charlotte, is known for being a challenging and technical course, complete with two water carries over a small lake. As for the name, it was inspired by the Charlottesville Disc Golf Club President Ralph Vickers’ efforts to raise funds to build the course by selling scraps of metal.
Rock Hill, South Carolina
We all know that a love of disc golf is born from more than a desire to throw a round piece of plastic. It’s also about being outside, often in a place that feels so secluded it’s hard to believe so many others have managed to find it. Canaan Riverbend does not disappoint, as the 20-hole course winds through a densely wooded property with views of the Catawba River along the way. The entire course will make you think, but the back 10, with two par fours and two par fives, will challenge even the well-seasoned golfers.
Davidson, North Carolina
Brackett’s Bluff may be a backyard course, but don’t be fooled—it’s known as one of the best courses in the area. It’s a small space, but the owners designed it well in the thick hardwood forest, utilizing the stark elevation changes and natural challenges of the land. You need a membership to play, but once you fork over the $50 you get unlimited access for half a year. It’s been around since 2002, and you can tell the owner takes good care of the space and updates it whenever needed.
10. Orange Crush
Fairmont, West Virginia
As you might expect in West Virginia, this course is settled in deep, mountainous woods. It’s located in Morris Park, which is also home to the Seth Burton Memorial course. Orange Crush is full of character, with unexpected twists and turns and elevated baskets, including one right in the middle of an ancient stone fireplace at hole number eight.