Begins at the gallows!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Set in a beautiful park beside a picturesque lake, and weaving into piney and deciduous woods, and some late elevation, Buffalo Trace features 19 holes laid out to challenge the Intermediate disc golfer and above. The first 18 holes have DisCatcher baskets, while the 500+ footer hole 19 finishes on a deep, sturdy, single ring of chains basket meaning that up-shot better be a good one. You'll be immediately struck by the signature, hanging basket on hole 1 that looks for all the world like a gallows, with its steps up to retrieve your putt from the cage.
Amenities include medium sized concrete tees (only at the 'long' positions listed here: I didn't see anything indicating tees at the shorter distances listed), reasonable signage (see below), and frequent picnic tables and trash receptacles. The flow of the course is fairly intuitive, and there are some next tee signs for the trickiest transitions, though first timers can make it a breeze by bringing the map. Based on the parking limitations (also see below), you may opt to throw the bomber on 19 first.
As you play through the wooded holes, you'll be able to see lines of flight available to more seasoned players, but you have to decide if you've got the forehand accuracy to skip that one in low and close, ...or if you've got the combined distance and accuracy to get your backhand to "S" through the gap on the next hole that you need to hit. The challenging holes for me included #5 (a wooded 325 footer), 14 (a shot that runs down the wooded valley and up to the right, not up left, per the tee sign), and 16 (a blind ridge overflight that needs an accurate line to hit the 100+ feet of 'secondary' fairway on the approach). I particularly liked the downhill lanes into the woods on holes 12 and 15 (love me some downslopes, to boost my meager arm ego).
Overall, the course is laid out with a great variety of lines, good usage of the limited elevations available, and even better use of the woods to challenge the intermediate to advanced player to a satisfying round. The 'gallows' on hole one and the 'terraced' basket on hole nine are neat features to make the 'greens' even more challenging. And the views of the lake make this a real treat for the senses.
Cons: The only parking areas are a dozen or so spots near the bathroom in the middle of the campground, 800 plus feet from the first tee (but closest to the 19th), or the larger lot all the way on the other side of the lake. There appears to be a course map kiosk and mailbox at the top of the slope looking down toward the 19th basket and 1st tee, but they are both empty. There are some signs in disrepair (7, 9, 11...), and some seem to suggest basket positions that may have since been moved (14). The concrete tees seem to be just a little small (just under 4' x 8') for the length of some of the drives. There are two park benches in play on hole 6, and folks on the 7th tee need to make sure others crossing between 2 and 3 are clear before throwing. And it seems a little odd that none of the holes used the lake as a feature or an obstacle. Of course, since there's a walking trail circling the entire lake, they might not have been able...
Other Thoughts: There is a $5 fee, but it's seasonal (see course description for details). Buffalo Trace is a course worth going out of your way to try out, but folks looking for a simpler (family, novice, etc) level of challenge: be aware there are only tees at the 'longs' now.
Reviewer Background as of this writing: age 54 w/ 4 yrs experience, rated 900+/-, played 238+ courses in 23 states, 80% w/in 3hr drive of Cincinnati. Thrown with folks rated 600's to 1000's, ages 9 to 85 in events and leagues at all tiers. Seldom drive beyond 300-330, but have a solid up-shot and putting game. I haven't designed any courses, but try to lend a hand (with my severely desk-job limited skill set) when I can.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - This course had a great layout. Some open holes mixed in with some technical wooded holes.
- Because this is a state park the grounds are well maintained. When we went the grass was cut and it looked to be in tip top shape.
- This course had some beautiful scenery. It's set right up against a lake. Wish the water came more in to play but that is being nit picky.
- That baskets are good. Never had a problem with spit outs. They are Innova Discatchers.
Cons: - We had some confusion at times finding the next tee pad. Seems to be signs on about every 3rd hole. Sometimes it's pretty logical to find the next pad, other times it isn't.
- Parking is a pain in the rear. There is no designate disc golf parking. We ended up just circling the camp ground and took an empty camping space.
- The tee pads seemed a little short at time. This isn't a course that requires a big run up but you did find your self trying to spot the end of the pad on your 1st throws.
Other Thoughts: This was a great course. We'd definitely come bad. Was the perfect mixture of challenging vs. fun. My buddy and I shot a +2 on our first time playing the course. The rough wasn't too bad. We didn't really have a difficult time finding discs that went wayward. If your in the area stop by, you won't be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Worth the Drive
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Love the variety of basket types and positions.
-Long course that really puts you in the woods.
-Lots of terrain types to challenge everyone.
Cons: -No nearby parking.
-The amateur tees are made of rubber that gets terribly slick with any sort of moisture. We always play the pro tees to keep our feet under us.
-Signs at each hole need updated with both graphics and Par listings.
-If goes from fairway to rough pretty quickly. Probably need to wear long pants on this one, just in case you have to go off-roading.
Other Thoughts: It's a "Pro" for me, but may be a "Con" for others -- I like some of the "blind" tees that are along the course. You sometimes have to wander back and forth a little bit to figure out where the basket is, but you get there in the end.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) Hanging basket on #1 . . .unique, challenging, and deadly. . . like hanging from the gallows.
2) Signs are decent with Hole #, distance and a very simple layout that helps the first timer decipher where some of the obstacles and baskets are.
3) A really nice variety of shot shaping on this course. There are a few open holes where you can throw any shot you want. There are some tight hyzers, spike hyzer, flex shots, and some anhyzers of flicks.
4) Really tight tunnels on a few of these holes, there are ceilings that force you to keep your disc low so throw hard and flat!
5) This course was set on what seemed to be an old tree nursery or perhaps the trees were intentionally planted in rows for a windbreak or something. Those rows create some real challenge when you get off the intended line.
6) Concrete tees are always a positive, but they are just about 2' short for me . . . and I do not have a big runup. Still doable and absolutely essential on this course because grass tees wouldn't cut it out here. Short tees have rubber tees in place. They also look short
7) Short enough holes that beginners will not want to walk off even if they are errant on a few shots.
8) Really works your recovery shots which is something I have never really thought of as a design element, but you are bound to get offline a few times in every round . . . how you recover from those bad lies is part of the fun and challenge. If you don't want to throw any recovery shots . . . you could decide to just execute the first shot instead.
9) Some unique holes out here which are shots I have never had to throw before.
10) Some decent elevation changes on a few of these holes. There are only a couple holes that do not have some undulation.
11) Nice Basket perched on a small retaining wall.
12) Roll-a-ways are a possibility on a handful of baskets, while frustrating, fast greens are a crucial design element.
13) Practice basket available by #1 but it also doubles as a nice long bomber 19th hole.
Cons: 1) Concrete tees are just a little bit too short and I do not need a hug runup.
2) Maintenance seems to be lacking . . . there were little branches and large branches down all over the place. Perhaps they only clean and maintain the course "in season" but it was messy.
3) The turf is thin in a lot of spots. There seems to be a lot of soil erosion here because of the thin turf.
4) I know I played right after a rainfall, but it is clear to me with the amount of clay in the soil that this course will hold water. We had extra water hazards.
5) A coyote scared the crap out of me back on hole #12, but fortunately it just scooted along the fence-line instead of coming after me or my disc.
Other Thoughts: $5 to enter the park is reasonable considering it is per car. You can bring in a 4-some for $1.25 a piece. This course is enjoyable, challenging, and frustrating as well, but it is all pretty fair. There are some real unique features on this course like the hanging basket on #1, the timber wall green, the hole that goes up and over a hill with a really tight and low ceiling. The downhill hole that goes hard right is also a shot I have never had to execute before. I chose to layup short of the water (which isn't always there) with a mid-range rather than trying to make such a sharp bend right and risk another disc in the water . . . since I already had to walk into another rainfall pond to snag my wife's disc.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Good challenge for everyone
Pros: Good variety of throws. Technical enough for good players, but short enough for beginners.
There are still hopes of adding additional holes. These would be in the wooded area adjacent to hole #14.
*Update as of 6/17/13---There is still intent to add an additional eight holes, however, these will now be placed beyond hole #5, continuing along the backside of the lake (including a hole that will force you to throw across the corner of the lake with the basket on the dam,) back along the backside of the softball field, into the woods, and back to hole #6. These will not likely be in place before the Buffalo Trace Open in August but they will probably be played as temp holes. These will be among some of the most challenging holes on the course. Also, when these holes become permanent it will be only a short walk from the back (free) parking lot to one of the new holes if you don't mind starting on a hole other than #1. When these new holes are open the rating will go up from 3.5.
As for the mowing (or lack thereof,) there will soon be a new park manager and hopefully he will be able to address that issue.
Cons: There are a handful of trees that broke off during the recent storms,some of which are blocking faiways. Most of them snapped from the top and haven't opened up wide gaps in the fairways to affect the course permanently, but for the time being they're in the way.
Mosquitoes (and ticks,) can be thick. There is nowhere for water to run off and it can pool in some fairways, affecting some shots.
Take your water bottle with you and have it filled before heading out because there are no places on the course to get a drink.
Ignore the pars on the signs---only #19 (from the pro pad) plays as a par 4.
Other Thoughts: Others have mentioned the $5 entry fee (applicable from about April to around October,) however there is an alternative free parking lot near the back of the park if you don't mind a bit of a walk. If you choose to do that, my suggestion is to take the path around the back of the lake (either follow the path around the softball field or go past the field and walk between it and the lake) and start on hole #6.
#1--Can be aced by a decent arm. Slightly upill and fairly open shot that splits a fairly wide gap between two maple trees. The basket is hanging from a large beam with the bottom about 7' off the ground, which creates difficulties putting when the wind is blowing (and it generally is off the lake.)
#2--Relatively short hole that has a somewhat low ceiling out of a line of trees up a slight hill. The hill drops off and the basket is only visible by a flag atop it. This is probably the most likely ace.
#3---Narrow gap from the teepad that opens wider. Several trees in the fairway through which to navigate. Too far left or right finds rough with likelihood of blackberry briars. Basket is tucked behind a tree.
#4--Probably a RHBH flick. Semi-narrow gap that opens to the fairway with the basket back and to the right. You can't get your drive too high or you'll hit a ceiling; hit the gap but get too far right and you'll be OB (or in a small pond on private property.)
#5--Low ceiling through pine trees with OB right. Drive should land somewhere near a line of trees with the basket about 60 feet beyond it. Sidewalk to left is also OB, but should rarely come into play.
#6---One of the longer holes. Sidewalk to right is OB (with the lake looming about 15-20 feet right of that.) Watch for walkers/bikes coming around the corner. Basket well hidden amongst trees.
#7--Narrow, low ceiling, hole to the right. I throw LHFH and like to roll it but water often stands in the fairway eliminating that option. Other golfers will have to cross in front of your teepad going from #2 basket to #3 tee but this is rarely a problem.
#8---Narrow fairway through a line of pine trees on either side, basket tucked behind a large pine tree with thick rough to the left and behind the basket.
#9--Fairly narrow opening from tee, opens up with rough on either side of fairway. Basket sits atop a platform made of cross ties (about 3 1/2 to 4 feet high and about an 8'x8' surface.
#10 Low ceiling. Slight downhill drive. Basket on a hill going up at the end of the fairway. There is a stump in the middle of the opening that seems to kill an inordinate amount of shots for no taller than it is.
#11---Go left or right around a tall tree in the center of the fairway. Two lines of trees to the right of the fairway, Thick rough with thorns to the left. Get too far right and you'll be throwing your second shot with a very low ceiling to approach.
#12---This is where things get tougher...Crest a short and open but (but not overly wide,) hill into a fairway that has a low ceiling at the bottom of the hill. Fairway has thick rough/briars before the trees. A three here is a solid score, as lines to the basket are often obstructed. A good drive will probably be thrown so low it almost skims the top of the hill because anything higher will just hit the canopy instead of getting beneath it.
#13---Two lanes. Straight ahead looks the most open but probably leaves you a poor approach on your second shot. Go right and hope you don't hit any trees and you'll have a better shot to park your next shot where the basket sits atop the small hill where the fairway opens up. Don't get right (rough) or too far past the basket, as you can roll away.
#14---Narrow, downhill drive doglegs right. Second shot back uphill to basket. Make sure you're in the fairway or you might not have anything.
#15---Drive goes into a narrow gap back into the trees, then downhill. Basket is back uphill to the left. Another hole where your drive has to be fairly low to the ground to avoid hitting the canopy.
#16--Narrow drive uphill with little margin for error on either side (nor can you throw too high.) Fairway then turns barely to the left with the basket tucked behind a tree.
#17. Narrow out to an open fairway that goes sllightly uphill. Most will throw a RHBH and let it turn back to the right. Basket is under a bit of a canopy eliminating high approaches/flop shots.
#18. Short, uphill. Tree in the dead center of the narrow fairway; thick blackberry bushes to the left--go in them you may lose a disc, you will lose blood.
#19---Grip it and rip it. Pretty wide open par 4. You can be OB if you get left onto/over the road circling the campground. Trees to the right with a similarly bad shot the other direction. The information sign is also just to left of the fairway beyond the road and could be an obstacle if you get that direction.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has a little bit of everything, open holes, elevation changes, tough doglegs, woods, and on some holes an unforgiving out of bounds. Tees and baskets are well marked, and baskets that are tough to see usually have a flag on top, there may be one or two exception but from almost every tee you have a visual of where the basket is. All concrete tees, a good course for beginner and pro
Cons: It's definitely not the toughest course in the area, challenging enough but more experienced players could get bored with it easily. A few holes have standing water or thick mud after rains, mosquitoes can also get really bad after a rain, and many of the fairways looked as if they haven't been mowed in weeks, making the mosquitoes worse and making it difficult to find your disc, not to mention you won't any get bounces or rolls on the holes.
Other Thoughts: I liked this course, however if the grass doesn't get cut on the fairways then this course is dead to me, I'll play through it on a free course but not a pay course that regularly mows the rest of their property. The nice thing about coming here though is there's a nice lake to jump in and cool off when your done, you could also rent a boat, go fishing, and even stay and camp and make a weekend out of it. Would be a great place to spend the day grilling and golfing.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Attractive course set in a pretty park. The nearby lake doesn't come into play during a round, but it adds to the beauty of the course.
-Upkeep looks good, appears to be regularly mowed. Mulch around the baskets is a nice touch that I wish more courses would employ.
-Picnic tables near most (all?) teepads. Very nice.
-Concrete teepads on the longs (a bit small for my liking, however)
-Signs were good, navigation from hole to hole was smooth. As first timers without a map, we had no trouble finding our way around.
-Course makes good use of the available land. Some of the holes are sort of bunched up near each other, but there's just no more land to be had here.
Cons: -What is the par on this course??? The hole info listed on this site is completely different from what is on the teepad signs. In fact, the pars on the course signs were the most ludicrously generous pars I've ever seen. I don't buy into the "everything is par 3" line of thinking. I like to measure my game against the expected score for a given hole, ie par. But....par 4 on a 250 open hole?? Really? I don't think I've ever played a course where it felt like I was getting charity, but going by the tee signs, it felt exactly like that. Our round was like this: birdie, eagle, birdie, eagle, eagle, etc. Who are these pars set for? Children? Old ladies?
I think if you took the pars posted on the teepad signs, and subtracted 1 stroke from every one of them, you'd have a decent, semi-challenging par. That's probably how I'll play this course the next time I go.
-We played this course after a heavy rain, and being mostly flat, there was some puddling in places.
Other Thoughts: Despite the fact that you have to decide upon your own par when you play this course, this is a nice course, and I'll play it again. In fact, I want to bring my kids to play this course. With the posted pars being so generous, it will probably make them feel really good to be able to get some pars and birdies of their own!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun deceptive course
Pros: This course provides a fun test of depth perception and accuracy. Not very long but the fairways are demanding. Most wooded holes don't allow for errant throws and have low ceilings with which to work with. Not much elevation changes except on a few holes. These elevation changes are incorporated well into the overall feel of the course. Course maps, scorecards, and pencils are supplied at the front gate so in case you forget these items. The course also lies next to the campgrounds but it does not come into play. So its quite convenient if you plan on camping.
Cons: The rough has poison ivy, sumac, etc. throughout the entire course so beware and take protective measures. Also the bugs can be irritating so bring bug spray or play fast enough to outrun them! More advanced players may gripe at the lack of length on this course but this is a more technical course than a big bomber course. Some blind shots may require extra walking to locate the basket before actually playing the hole.
Other Thoughts: It costs five dollars per car for an all day pass. Park provides several other fun activities - swimming, paddleboating, and camping. Generally nice people can be encountered here so enjoy the surroundings. The entrance to the park is marked by a half hidden sign (if you're coming from Louisville) and I miss it every time so be aware of your surroundings when you're getting close.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I must admit I was weary of this course when I stepped up to the first tee pad but this little course will surprise you. This course has a lot of character and really demands your respect. The first nine is a great place to build your score with short throws through really cool lanes. Then, the back nine happens. Here you will experience some different looks at shots you have probably thrown before but your skills will be tested a little differently. The anhyzer shots force you to use some different angles that normally you might not think about. Disc control is a must or you will get frustrated. Take your time here and you will have a great chance at a great scorecard. Also, great tees. The length of the tee generally matches the length of the hole, good job to the builders. The baskets are great, the lanes are cleared and mowed nicely.
Cons: I'm not sure what the designer was thinking as far as scoring this course but the whole thing needs to be played as a par 3 course. My wife played from the am tees and even she thought that they were kind of ridiculous. Other than that the front nine could be toughened up a bit and the am pads are rubber.
Other Thoughts: Fun course to play. I am planning on making this one of my main courses in this area so as I become accustomed to it then I will edit my review but this is definitely a cool course. The park charges five dollars to get in but apparently after the season is out (Oct 31) then it becomes free. Play hole 19 before hole 1 and it will save you a little walking and it will warm your arm up.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Oh give me a home where the Buffalo roam...
Pros: There are some very tough technical holes; and a few grip and rip to boot. The scenery is nice as several holes line the large lake in the middle of the park/campground. When through with a round you can go fishing, canoeing, or for a swim.
Cons: There are some lower lying areas for several holes which can become mesquito heaven (Or hell based on your point of view!); so be forewarned and forearmed with some Deep Woods Off! Very little in the way of elevation changes.
Other Thoughts: There has been inquiries from the park owner's in 2009 as to adding more holes; and there are some more elevated terrain areas that could be well utilized which would help increase this courses overall rating. If you like to camp and play DG, this is a fine destination.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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