Solid Fun at Forked Run
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Forked Run is located along the OH-WV border and the course plays widely throughout this state park. It starts near a small pavilion on the left shortly after you enter the park, with signs pointing you to hole 1. It presents a desirable level of difficulty: a great blend of tight, technical shots in the woods and longer, open shots that make you have to fight for par. Distance with accuracy is tested here. However, it isn't challenging to the point where it's not fun. The two sets of tees truly give you a nice option for the level of difficulty you want to play.
There is good signage here, with tee signs and a lot of 'next tee' signs throughout the course. This helps out a lot since the course is so spread out and plays in different parts of the park. Since it is a long hike, benches are plentiful. The tees are awesome, concrete and very large.
There's a great mix of holes with a variety of wooded and open shots as well as moderately wooded holes that force placement shots. Hole 3 comes to mind as a perfect placement shot. It starts out open but a solid approach depends upon a well-executed drive in front of an opening into the woods. The design also makes nice use of the elevation provided with some steep uphill (7-10) and fun downhill (13, 14, 18) throws. 14 is a highlight, a downhill left to right shot in the woods with a challenging pin position on a steep hill. Being 24 holes long, I didn't feel that there was much redundancy. This is uncommon for a 24-hole course that isn't championship level. I think this is mostly due to there being a sequence of open then tight holes back to more open shots, etc.
Well thought out pin positions add to the challenge, with many being on a slope or among a patch of trees. Hole 17 is an open shot on top of the end of a reservoir. The pin is on a very steep hill that calls for a touchy approach.
The land is very well taken care of, with limited rough and chances to lose discs.
Cons: While the navigation is aided for the most part, there are some tricky areas and the direction of the next tee isn't always obvious. I had trouble finding holes 7, 14, and 23. For each one, head to the woods on the left.
I'm not sure how regular this is, but a few holes were pretty swampy when I played. Hole 7 had a pond in its fairway that I just played around.
There is a great variation of holes, but some of them were pretty straight forward. There weren't really any true signature holes that were a blast to play. That more than anything keeps this course from being among the excellent (4.0 and higher) rated courses for me.
With the state park being in a secluded area, the course itself doesn't always feel secluded. There are times where you play around a parking lot and a fishing area. A few holes play near the park road.
A little nitpicky, but the tee signs had 3-6 pin positions marked out, often being very different. This caused me to have to search for the basket on the blind shots. The marked positions didn't always correspond with where the pin was located.
There is no real parking area by the start of the course, I just parked next to the pavilion which is out of the way from other park activities.
Other Thoughts: Forked Run is a very solid course that offers a lot of variety and makes great use of the state park's land. It offers a nice balance of challenge, difficult to achieve par without being too demanding. There aren't any real big detractors to the course, so I think any player would enjoy playing here. Unfortunately, it is a little out of the way in terms of other courses and pretty much anything else. I definitely encourage a stop here if you are near the area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: There is diversity here. With open field flat holes weaving amongst sycamores, dense woods, extreme uphill climbs, floaters downhill, a unique along the dam shot, and long and short holes. Multipole tees and baskets provide variety for locals and different skill levels. Bathrooms and water available in the camping area to the rear of this pretty and remote park. The course starts out tame and then cranks it up a notch.
(best holes are 7-16)
hole 7, a steep climb through woods to a protected pin.
Hole 8, floats downhill out of the woods to a grassy green.
Hole 9, another climb upward
Hole 10, extreme uphill and then a precise lane to the basket..sloped danger abounds here
Hole 11, floater through woods to basket below
Hole 12, very long arduous journey through woods to creekside green
Hole 13 & 14 play with the gorgeous lake sloping to your left to pretty pin locations.
Hole 15 shoots across the top of the dam with a drop to the right and the lake to your left WOW!
Hole 16 either a fun ace run putter downhill off the dam or a longer right turning shot from further away.
From there its more open and flat with a few longer holes to test your big arm before ending up technical in the woods. I really enjoyed the long championship holes and the chance at a few aces sprinkled in.
Cons: A few walkbacks confused me, especially after holes 10 and 12. Seems 2 of the best holes were abandoned and replaced with duds. See fairway to your right on tee 4 that cuts an alley of trees and also notice the amazing fairway between the final 2 holes that would have been a perfect finisher with a fast green falling down a bank after a long controlled drive through the woods. (maybe these were old holes or not current pin positions?)I hated the tightness of hole 10s approach..not fun and equated to playing disc golf down a miniscule trail with a massive dropoff to the left....goodbye hyzer....too punitive w/o any real shot other than putt putt putt. Speaking of that dropoff..I saw all kinds of disc golf potential down in that wooded hillside that far surpassed many of the holes here. Hole 12 was a bit overgrown and tree/bush laden for it's length. The true letdown for me were the first 6 holes of blah and then the final batch of holes that were just flat and open or technical yet unremarkable. It's hard to leave a good impression when a course ends this way. I also felt there were too many ordinary holes for a supposed 4+ rated course.
Other Thoughts: I am sure the greater Ohio community is gonna hate me for this but I drove a far way to get here and dealt with major flooding to find a course that simply was not that special. I think it has potential though and there are a few standout holes that I will remember. Maybe these holes got lost in all the blander holes. I would start at hole 17 and play the course finishing at hole 16 so that the best holes come last. Or I might skip holes 1-5 and just play 6-24 as the first batch of holes do little for me other than warm up and wear out your arm. I almost think this is such a piece of land that the flatter portion to the front of the park could provide a beginner friendly 18 that would cater to campers and recreational players as well as be a great glow course and then some more dramatic holes could be added in those woods along that cliffside of 10 with plunges downward and climbs upward to make a separate killer championship pro level 18. As it stands now its a mixed mess of 1/3 great holes and 2/3 boring holes. There are far better courses that deserve the 4+ rating out there. If it were 2 distinct courses..one that kicked your ass and one that healed your ego I think it would be more of a true DG destination.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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