A Great, Fun Course
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: First of all, the IDGC is an amazing Disc Golf destination. With three outstanding 18 hole courses it is hard to imagine a better place to spend a day or several.
The Steady Ed course is described as the "fun" course of the three and I agree. It offers a great variety of long and short holes, water carries, elevation changes, and loads of trees to work around (and hit).
Two concrete tee pads for each hole, and two basket placements. Pads are large, level concrete with good texture. Tee signs are the outstanding John Houck signs that give an excellent graphic of the hole, including the various routes to the basket. Baskets are in excellent condition and catch well.
Hole lengths vary from as short as 215' to the 685' par 5 Hole 15. The shorter holes are typically tighter, while the longer holes have wider fairways. But all holes place a premium on accuracy and the ability to hit a line with your drive. Being off of the fairway even a few feet will often place you behind a tree and force an awkward approach shot. I used my flick more here than anywhere I can remember.
This course makes the most of the large lake and various streams. Holes 4, 5, 12, 13 and 14 all encourage drives out over the lake, with the obvious danger of dunking a disc if things go wrong. But for the most part the water is clear and fairly shallow, so most discs are recoverable with a Golden Retriever or by just wading. Hole 12 from the long tee is most memorable as you are carrying about 275' of water if you go directly at the basket. Hole 8 brings a small creek into play, where discs are also easy to fish out.
Along with the great course goes the amazing scenery. The courses are in unspoiled forest, and while I was there it couldn't have been nicer. Birds singing, trees just leafing out, cool breezes. What else could you want in a DG course?
Cons: It is hard for me to come up with cons. I am an intermediate player and found this to be the most enjoyable of the three courses here. There is a ton of challenge, but much to enjoy.
Other Thoughts: Great pro shop on site, along with the PDGA museum and hall of fame. The location itself (Wildwood Park) is a great place to camp. We spent four nights here and enjoyed ourselves.
The modest fee to play ($3 a day for PDGA members) is more than fair, considering how nice these courses are.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 4 Not
This is my favorite course!
Pros: This is an amazing course at an amazing center in an amazing park! Of the three courses at the IDGC this is my favorite!
Steady Ed has absolutely everything in a disc golf course. The beauty is unparalleled. There are fantastic trees, lots of elevation changes, and great views of the water. It's amazing enough just to walk this course, yet alone play it. It's great that they have short pads. I played the longs, which are tough, and my girlfriend played the shorties and we had a great time!
The course has tons of variety in shots. It's got ups, downs, high shots, low shots, all kinds of curves, and there are lots of places with multiple options. You get the chance to decide to "go for it" or "play possum". If you throw a bad shot, there's trouble, but it's not super-brutal and it's easy to find your plastic. Just don't throw it in the water and you're good to go.
I got to meet Brian Graham and see the museum in the clubhouse and I caught a 7 lb. largie right by my campsite. What more do you need?
Cons: Zero, seriously, the Steady Ed rocks!
Other Thoughts: Can't wait to make another trip to the IDGC!
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
The most fun of the courses at the International DG Center
Pros: The proximity of the IDGC pro shop, the DG Hall of Fame, and the Headrick memorial museum make the three courses located on site worth every penny of the fees associated with going there. Add onto that the upkeep that the three courses on site receive from the IDGC workers and you've already got yourself a decently high rated course. The clubhous also provides disc golfers with plenty of practice baskets to putt on for busy days as well as a station to fill up water bottles, hang out, and relax between rounds. That right there makes this course better than many others, but Headrick was my favorite of the IDGC courses, each of which also benefit from the proximity of the facilities. Therefore I am giving it my third 5.0 rating. Here's what set it apart:
*Scenery. This course had breathtaking shots that just weren't present on the other courses at IDGC. It brought the beach into play, giving many disc golfers a brand new experience (especially for those of us from Illinois).
*Good mix of blind and visible-from-tee shots. Usually I enjoy throwing towards a target that is visible withing a few yards of the tee more than throwing towards a landing zone, but I don't mind it when a course has a few of these on its more challenging holes. The mix in this category was perfect.
*Challenge. The holes here were not daunting, but they all demanded specific lines to be hit as they wove their way through the trees.
*Distance. Excellent variety in this category. Some short ace runs mixed with some long bombs. This variety is even further enhanced by the fact that there were two sets of concrete tee pads with multiple pin positions for each hole.
*Elevation: Because this course played down onto the beaches, it had very good elevation changes from hole to hole.
Cons: Though this course definitely had challenging holes, if you are looking for the most difficulty, Jackson is the course for you.
Other Thoughts: This course (as well as the entire International Disc Golf Center) should be a destination stop for every disc golfer out there.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
A Complete Disc Golf Experience – what didn’t they think of?
Pros: The Headrick course (in fact,this entire complex) serves to show what disc golf can be given the proper resources and planning.
Great shot variety and elevation changes with many beautiful views of the lake, and several holes where it comes into play (depending on the water level). Mostly wooded with a few tee shots that are fairly open, as well as a good variety of distances provide a nice mix. Multiple lines have you thinking about how to play virtually every tee shot. Holes 12 and 14 were my personal favorites, but there's no lack of quality holes on this course.
As you'd expect, the course itself is excellent, but all the amenities and little touches put this place over the top:
• Best tee pads I've ever played on; coarsely textured concrete - spacious and grippy even when wet.
• Best practice putting green you'll find anywhere
• Several tricky pin locations
• Very little underbrush, so it's easier to recover from shots that bounce off trees, and easier to find discs.
• Drop zones serve as short pads for less accomplished players, and have red tee posts and grippy rubber mats.
• 3 colored flags on each basket not only enhance visibility, but are different weights so they indicate wind speed: red for 6 MPH, white for 12, and blue for 18 MPH… simple, yet ingenious.
• Benches and wonderful signage at every basket.
• Navigation: Next tee pointers at bottom of baskets and next tee signs all over the place along with maps available near 1st hole. If you don't find the next tee in 60 seconds or so, you're not trying.
• PDGA HoF and Pro Shop, tournament pavilion with drink machines.
• Boot cleaners located just outside the Pro Shop to brush the mud and dirt from your shoes.
• Camping onsite
Cons: They got so many things right that the cons pale in comparison, but:
• I don't mind pay to play, but that's in addition to the park entrance fee - still worth it to play these courses.
• Signs don't show pin positions, and you can only play the single location they're in (some courses keep pins in both positions - Lemon Lake Silver/Gold for example). Would have been nice to at least have seen the long pin positions.
Other Thoughts: I highly recommend a visit here to any serious player who's inclined to make a road trip. I would rate the course about 4.0 - 4.5 on the disc play alone, but feel justified in awarding 5.0 based on this as a destination: two add'l championship caliber courses on site, along with the long list of amenities and all the thought that went into this place make it something truly special indeed. I could go on and on, but won't. You already know whether or not you want to visit this place, and I doubt anything I say here is going to change your mind.
As for those who listed all the trees as a con, I have to assume they just prefer a more open layout. I found the fairways on the Headrick course challenging but quite executable rather than "pitch and pray" and anything but unfair. I can't believe someone mentioned the trapezoidal shape of the pads as a con… really?
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Excellent Course For An Excellent Man
Pros: The Steady Ed course is an excellent example of what you can do if you have the proper land, money, designer(s) and desire to put in a fantastic course! I'm really torn between this and the WR Jackson as my favorite of the three courses but why worry about that now, I can just say that this is what disc golf should be and that this course has been done right.
The biggest differences between this and the other two courses here is that this course has more of the nearby lake coming into play as either danger off the fairway or just straight throwing over the water to your landing zone. The other thing that really stuck out to me about this course was the use of double fairways, landing zones and approach lines. It looks like the designer(s) went and walked this property over and over and test played holes over and over to find the optimal distances, lines, landing zones and rough areas.
One of my favorites was hole #5. While I was playing here this basket was in the long position and played as par 4. I really enjoyed the double fairway; the right route out and over the lake for those more daring and trying to get a three and the left route for less confident golfers who want to play more conservatively. Neither of these fairways are easy to get through and even a nasty kick on the safe route could have your disc heading for the drink.
Cons: The biggest issue I have with this course is that the long positions aren't always playable and these are moved around at random during the year.I know this isn't exactly a con but everyone's experience here is a bit different and I think that if I hadn't had 6 long positions in while playing my rating might be a bit lower but don't get me wrong the short positions aren't bad they just aren't as challenging and not as fun as some of the long positions. A friend of mine said that it would be nice if they both positions in all of the time and just have two basket for each hole, long and short and I actually agree with this. Going along with all of that I think that some of the short positions on the par four holes aren't long enough and create a tweener hole where the long basket would really help out.
Other Thoughts: Holes 2, 5, 7, 13, 15 and 16 were all in the long position while I played and I really enjoyed the contrast of the back and forth short and long positions. I believe that if both pins were in all of the time I would probably play a mixture of the best short and long pins.
This is an excellent course and combined with the other courses on site you really get an awesome disc golf destination here. You have to check out the IDGC building and the Steady Ed Museum which was some cool disc golf artifacts and pictures and discs from long ago. One of my favorite things in the Museum is the hand written PDGA member book of the first 3000 members that Steady Ed wrote down himself! Things have changed a little since then but nothing will change the way we feel about this great man.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 4 Not
A Fitting Tribute
Pros: Out of the three courses available at IDGC, I feel that the Steady ED long course offers up the best challenge for Gold level players. While the WR Jackson course is a close second, ol' Steady has the best variety and challenge out there.
Similar to his work at the Highbridge facility, Chuck (and Tom) have done a fantastic job of creating holes which incorporate enormous variety and challenge, both physically and intellectually. Several of the holes here allow for players to choose clearly delineated separate routes off the tee - each offers its own rewards and challenges. Most all of these choices come with clear tradeoffs such that the more difficult of the routes (either because of danger or skill needed), when executed properly, also have the highest potential to reward. If you are afraid of the water, be prepared to pay the price by throwing a much tighter fairway for par or the unlikely birdie.
Cons: The main con that I had about this course was that only the short pins were playable on the day that I visited. It seems like the IDGC would want to showcase the course a bit by at least having a mix of pins (or better yet dual pins) in place at any given time.
My second (and very small) con is that the course plays too easy for the pro-level player when in the shorts. I threw mostly pretenting to go to the long pins after a few holes because I felt it provided a more realistic challenge - although the long pins were really a bit above my skill level. Par's came too easily on the short version, even when my tee shot was poorly executed. Birdies were challenging still, but there just wasn't enough penalty for poor throws (remember, short tees only!).
Other Thoughts: I think many players will probably drop this course a few points because they feel the "luck" factor is too high. I'd challenge them to evaluate whether the fairways are simply demanding (but fair) or if they really are just luck. My feeling after playing the course was that hitting lines off the tee was significantly rewarded by birdie opportunities a high percentage of the time.
Out of the three courses at IDGC, this was my overall favorite (although only in the longs) and that is a huge feat considering the caliber of WR Jackson and Jim Warner!
17 of 21 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Steady Ed course
Pros: -First and foremost this is one of the IDGC courses, So all of the elements are available: Multiple Pins, Signs with maps, Concrete tee pads, well maintained. As well as scorecards and maps are available in the pro shop. Also Vending machines, Discs, place to rest and cool off in the proshop.
-It's exclusive, it's a challenge, and it can be a lot of fun. (or it can be really frustrating)
-In the woods, so that can offer some relief from the heat. …some relief.
-Solid Disc Golf course only. No other activities to interfere with a persons round
-Caters to both Forehand & Backhand players equally (As well as Right and left handed)
-Not for beginners or casual players*. You can try, but you could get frustrated REAL fast!
-Challenging, strategy and precision is the key here. As well as having an accurate straight drive.
-Great use of the terrain, and challenging pin placement.
-A course that traverses up and down hills, with narrow shots cut through the woods, and a few water shots.
-Fairways are tight, but not overly tight. There is still enough room in the fairways to work a finesse shot, and have a little more room to move. But the rough is still there, and an errant throw could cost you, and have you tomahawking back into the fairway.
-Course requires accuracy over power. There are long distance shots on this course, but here it's about setting yourself up for a second shot. In some cases a third shot.
-There are a couple of shots that throw from the side of a hill. Namely #5. Very cool scenic hole!
-Some holes let you choose your line, Go back to #5; Here you can either hyzer out over the water, or throw in through the trees. Or #11 which has two routes, offering lines to both right and left handed throwers.
-Even though this statement is subject to being my opinion. This course was a challenge, and it had a good fun factor for me! I'll play here again in a heartbeat! I am aware that others may disagree with me on that statement.
-It is the shorter of the three, but it still requires strategy and thought in the execution of these holes. You will still be required to play smarter. (Forget the "Par 3 only", it's not happening here. So you might as well enjoy yourself.)
*I like the fact that this place is a challenge to play, and requires some skill to play here. Augusta has many a course that is beginner friendly and even more accessible. So beginners are taken care of.
Cons: -Didn't really have an area to stop and take a break. Jackson and Warner are split so that after 9 holes, you can stop for bathroom breaks, lunch, or just to cool off. Headrick is straight through 18.
-This is just an FYI for those with allergies to the Pollen in the spring, this place was covered in pollen last april. My boots and pant legs were solid florescent green.
-Maybe this isn't the case for everyone, but I had a little trouble locating the 18 basket when I played there. It was just inside the tree line.
-When I played here, they told me what position the pins were in. If you show up after hours, it could be hard to tell.
-Bring a lunch, no restaurants nearby
-Watch out for Snakes!
Other Thoughts: The key to playing here is to play smarter. Use discs that you know you can control. It's tight with varying terrain! Many a blind hole to throw down. So, unless you can keep your destroyer in an absolute straight line, it's not going to work well for you here. In my opinion, I think that people should disc down and use discs that are more easily controlled. Even if that means throwing mids and putters. Now, I was guilty of breaking out my wraith when I probably shouldn't have, needless to say I was hacking my way out of the woods back on to the fairway. I used my putter for some of my drives, and I was able to make par.
I realize though, that some people may not like the Woodsy courses that are tight and narrow. There is always a chance you are going to kiss, nick or even taco into a tree on the Headrick course. If you are a person that doesn't like playing in the woods, then you might want to reconsider playing here altogether. It's ALL woods, with a couple of water shots!
I know some mentioned that this course is smaller, but it is no less. It is nice to have 3 courses that have different personalities, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing Headrick. I enjoyed trekking up and down hills, and I love the challenge of throwing in the woods. Sometimes I call it being a glutton for punishment, but I love it anyway. I just like being in the woods!
I would recommend wearing shoes made for hiking, because you will be walking up and down a lot hills. Definitely bring liquids and possibly a granola bar or two for a snack! Once you start, It'll be a while before you get back to the clubhouse! There is a fee to get in to the park itself (2 or 3 dollars), and it costs 5$ to play all three courses all day long. It's all totally worth it! Just remember, there are no restaurants or gas stations nearby. Bring what you need, including liquids and a lunch. The nice thing is, you can sit down in the Headquarters for a break.
Final thought: This is the IDGC, these courses are going to be challenging and quite possibly a little frustrating. I say this, go out there and have fun because you are playing at the PDGA headquarters. Expect to hit some trees, and have a rough round. Just remember, you are at the PDGA headquarters. Not everyone gets that opportunity. If you taco into a tree, don't get frustrated, just throw another one! ...unless you are in a tournament. The point is to enjoy the experience, this is our version of the Masters. Enjoy it!
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
The Best of the Best
Pros: The Steady Ed Headrick Memorial course is on the grounds of the PDGA International Disc Golf Center with two other 18 -hole gold courses. As you would expect, the course is very well taken care of and the tee pads, signs and baskets are the finest. In fact, it even has special baskets made especially for the course. There are lots of trees (and shade), but, the course is so well maintained that a disc from even a very errant shot can still be located. The course also is located on a lake and the scenery is really nice. Additionally, navigation is smooth as silk, even if you are out for the first time.
Cons: For the sake of not leaving the cons section blank, the only con I can conjure up is that is that it is a pay course, but it is so nice that I really don't care.
Other Thoughts: Steady Ed Headrick Memorial is long course that is fairly heavily wooded. Sixteen of the baskets have alternate locations that vary your look (i.e., one tee pad per hole). On the day I played Steady Ed, the length was around 6,885 (as of July 2, 2009). So, the average hole is 382' and fairly heavily wooded. Steady Ed sets up well for the finesse player that still has a pretty big arm (i.e., 350'+ drives). If you don't stay in the fairways, your score will suffer. The course humbled me, but I still loved it and think it is the best course I have played to date. Holes 8, 9 and 17 also had some really neat catcher placements that were nestled into boulders. Steady Ed Headrick Memorial is a must play course if you are anywhere near it and, even on its own, it is worth traveling and a hotel to play at. Throw in two other eighteen hole courses on the same grounds and you are in a disc golfers dream. It really doesn't get any better.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 10 Not
A+ = Top Shelf!
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- A+
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- A+
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- A+
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- A
5) Multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- B
Other Thoughts: I ranked this course subjectively based on my own personal enjoyment factor…more accurately my "personal addiction factor". Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they chose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I say adds anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
7 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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