Bold and Beautiful with Bits of Bland
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Arboretum-Spiker gets its hyphen by being split between neighboring city parks, and the resultant sprawling layout has plenty of variety. There's an abundance of hole types, from short deuce-or-dies to longer multistages the require placement and planning, with opportunities to air it out and a variety of levels of woodedness and types of elevation, usually in the form of gently rolling hills. Water comes into play at several points, creating some tense shots that avoid being unfair by allowing you to press your luck or play it safe. If variety is the spice of life, Arboretum-Spiker is extremely well seasoned.
Arboretum-Spiker is at its best at its longer points, when individual holes weave into and out of the woods, across elevation changes, or a combination of these. Hole 5 is a good example of this from the longs: a tunnel shot off the tee hyzering down a slope that levels out into a tree-lined fairway ending with a sapling-guarded basket. Holes like this feature well-executed movement across various topographical features and are unique and memorable.
Most holes here are significantly more straightforward, accentuating individual shots or obstacles, such as 10's tight window that opens into a field and 15's hyzer around trees. Still, cumulatively they provide a ton of different looks, shots, and challenges, and there's a great mix of distances, too. Arboretum-Spiker offers something for everyone.
Concrete tees are great; parking is plentiful.
Cons: While there are some great holes here, there are also a lot of duds that seem extraneous or simply serve to push you onto the next hole. The stretches of openness are partly to blame, particularly when you cross into the second park starting at hole 6. The designers did all they could to muster interest and variety over this stretch, but you'll find a lot of easy, open, boring upshots at times, especially if you don't have a big arm to chase the longer birdies. It took a bit of wind out of my sails after a very strong opening five holes. Similarly, the final six are in their own section of the park and have little to offer; they feel tacked on. The quality in general is very up and down, and while the variety is nice, the straight forward 250'-ish shots or nondescript tree-dotted holes seem especially lacking when adjacent to the best Arboretum-Spiker has to offer. Again, this is much more a product of terrain than design; I can't imagine a much better course on this site. It's just a shame that the consistency isn't always there.
Navigation gets wonky at times, either when transitioning between parks, moving from one hole to the next, or tracking down the basket. A map is quite needed.
There are some opportunities for conflict with other park goers - I had a dog snatch a driver of mine when his owners decided to play catch somewhere near hole 12. Be mindful.
Other Thoughts: Arboretum-Spiker is a fun course, but I found it hard to rate. The best holes here hold their own among many a course, but there are definitely some throwaways, too. Quantitatively the bland outnumber the bold, although the strengths nevertheless seem to outweigh the weaknesses. The large variety is another point in A-S's favor. In the end I think a 3.5 is fair: it marks Arboretum-Spiker as being well worth a visit and an enviable home course, but not the kind of place you should travel hours to play, which in a nutshell is how I came away feeling. Well worth a visit if you're in the area, with enough other solid courses nearby to make a day of it. Enjoy!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through mostly open grassy park with some wooded areas and scattered trees. A handful of holes play through the woods with some underbrush to punish errant shots. A couple holes play across a small pond, and another couple bring the edge of a larger pond into play, adding a little bit of risk/reward. Several holes have some nice length mixed in to keep it from being too repetitive.
The wooded holes and the holes that have baskets tucked into the trees have a decent variety of left and right turning shots, and the open holes often have at least a tree or two to make you think about your line. The short and long tees are concrete, and change up the length and difficulty quite a bit. The signs are fine, and offer enough information to know where to shoot for the most part.
Cons: There is only one set of tee signs, so you have to walk to the long tees to know the hole information. The baskets were pretty old and not in great shape when I played, though I heard they might be putting in newer baskets. The course is very open, I prefer more wooded holes and defined lines, and most holes didn't really punish errant drives. The course is pretty flat, the minor elevation changes available were used well but there just aren't many interesting hills.
The walk between the two sections of the park is confusing at first, we didn't see the first sign and had to wander around for a while to figure things out. There were a few other spots where the obvious tee wasn't the next one and some navigational aids would have been nice.
Other Thoughts: This course is a great place to air out some drives and work on distance, but just doesn't really require accuracy or good shot placement to score well. Beginners will find the shorter tees accessible, though the couple water holes might be a bit daunting. More experienced players can work on some parts of their game here, but the open fields can get a little old.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice open course
Pros: Two concrete pads per hole. Each pad varies not just in distance but also lines and difficulty. Particularly in Spiker Park, where the course was more open, the long tee's were more fun and challenging due to some cool placements.
Great length. Many holes in the 400ft range. A sweet tendem was hole 10 - a 700ft bomb, out through an elevated shoot in the woods to an open field, followed by a 500+ft shot back into a tucked basket from the open field. This course boasts a respectable 9660ft over all distance.
Very well maintained. The trees and shrubs are all trimmed and the fairways are kept mowed and tight.
Cool water holes throughout. There are several holes over and/or near ponds. Holes 6 & 7, 14 and many of the 18 through 24 holes play through water hazards.
You gotta love 24 hole courses
Cons: The course is on the open side. This may not be a con to some, but I have alway felt complete balance is needed for excellency.
Besides the water holes, there is little in the risk/reward department. The rough (when there is rough) is typically forgiving. Bad tee shots can often be recovered with little effect.
Other Thoughts: Bring your distance drivers.
This course begs you to air it out. Ideal distances. Big guns will go from driver to putt and approach where typical players will need driver then mid then p&a off many tee's.
The course has respectable elevation for the location. You are not gonna shoot up or down anything significant, however, the course has rolling fairways throughout.
There are some nice pin placements. Some pins are blind. Some pins are guarded.
A map is not essential but if it is your first time you should bring one. The signage is pretty solid. It gets a little tricky in a couple areas. You have to understand this layout spans 2 parks. Holes 1-5 are in Arboretum Park. Then you cross the street to Spiker Park to play 6-14. Holes 15-24 are back over at Arboretum.
I recommend this course for a road trip. Close by you will find Deis Hill and Oak Ledges. Also, Roscoe Ewing isn't too far. There is some good disc'n up 'round here. Check it out.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: My "boys" and I played this course on a beautiful sunny fall day. The park itself is very pretty, and the surrounding homes on well maintained and upscale. I had five males in my group ranging from 11 to 54! All enjoyed. We liked the mixture of wide open spaces and wooded areas. If you are there for the exercise, then this is a good course, because there is a good hike in between holes. I found the tee area signs to be helpful and even though we are rookies, the testosterone surging through my group made them want to throw from the Pro holes, just like in ball golf they can't resist playing from the blue or white tees, instead of the juniors or ladies tees. If you can throw it straight, then you will love this course.
Cons: The ponds and creeks look like they should be out of play except on 7, 13 and 20 but they are definitely a factor, and we lost two discs : ( .The ponds may not be deep, but they are dark and slimy and noone from my party was about to venture in as long as I was around. It would be nice if someone would mark a tree with an arrow like at some other courses, to let you know which direction to find the next hole, with so many "tee boxes" for pro, am and novice, it was hard to figure out where to go next.
Other Thoughts: It was nice to have real restrooms in the parking area. I am thrilled to find in this new pasttime how helpful the other experienced players are.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
24 holes. 3 tee positions per hole (blue and white concrete, red natural). Tee signs, which show a map of the hole, location of the other two tees, distances, and pegs to hang bags, are located at the white tees. Trash cans scattered about. Grass kept low. Bathroom at parking lot, between tee-1 and tee-20
If technical is your preference, you'll need to look elsewhere (try Freelander). Right-turning #4 throwing blindly past tee #5 is less than ideal.
The course plays in the gently-rolling open space of two (nearly) co-located public parks, just a few minutes from the NFL Hall of Fame. With some exceptions, the types of holes on the course cluster into various groups:
- Holes 1-5, 12 & 13, and finale #24 have some elevation changes, bring groups of trees and/or bits of woods into play, and often required turns of various degrees,
- Holes 7-11 are long, mostly open, and straight, although 9-11 bring the edge of the forest into play.
- After hole 15's short-n-sharp left-turn, 16-19 are shorter versions of 7-11 - straight, flat, open with typically a tree or two to avoid.
- Water potentially comes into play on 1/3rd of the holes. 6 & 14 have you throw diagonally across a rectangular-shaped pond, with baskets fairly close to the water's edge. 7 has you go across water early, and 10 has water some distance behind its basket. 20-23 play in a counter-clockwise fashion around a pond, so water will be on your left side on 20, 21, and 23. There is a stream not too far away, behind basket 22 and to the right of 23, making #23 a challenging hole due to water being on both sides
Favourite hole #20: a left-turner which needs to trace the shore of the oval pond, to a basket somewhat elevated on a slope and partially protected by a couple large hardwoods.
Navigation: After finishing basket-5, exit right to reach the side road, turn left to access the main road, go right, then crossover at the first side-street on left to find tee-6. Optionally, there is a small parking-lot near tee-6, so you could play 1-5, 15-24, then drive over to play 6-14.
The water makes this not the best course for beginners, and the relative flatness/openness probably makes it less interesting to pros, but the course is quite well-suited for intermediate and advanced players. Was fun to play, easy to find (near I77), and worth the visit.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: A real pleasure to play in this park. It's a garden (arboretum, after all). Well manicured grass, specimen trees to shape shots around, ornamental ponds, surrounded by a pretty nice neighborhood and away from heavy traffic noise.
The course offers 24 holes, a bonus in itself. Many are in pretty level areas, with trees to dictate flight paths but little underbrush to deal with. For variety, there are also a few holes with good elevation and/or dense foliage defining fairways.
Water holes---which add risk/reward excitement, yet it's not to difficult to play cowardly---uh, safe---and avoid them. (An unusual feature is that 2 fairways cross over water; crossing fairways with little danger of hitting anyone).
There are plenty of opportunities to boom a shot 350' or more, not completely wide open but open enough to let it rip, and some nice roller opportunities as well.
Multiple teepads. I played only longs, but looked like course would play well, if rather short, from the shorts.
Cons: Barely a "con", but no real signature holes. I thought all were fair and most were fun, but none with the "wow" factor that would elevate the course's rating.
Other Thoughts: The course is actually split between two nearby parks. After hole 5, you don't just walk across the street, but down through the neighborhood a block or so. A fairly long walk between holes, but at least a pleasant walk.
My visit was on a weekday in a steady drizzle,so I had the course to myself. I had very little problem navigating. I have no idea what crowding issues or non-disc-golfer issues there may or may not be on busier days.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 10 Not
Very Nice Course
Pros: This is a fairly open course. Very well maintained. Water is in play on some holes. A few long holes. 24 holes. Nice tee signs and pads. Front nine designed by "Steady Eddy". Players of all ages will like this course.
0 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: + Course was in great shape
+ Challenge comes in distance and accuracy.
+ Best Tee Signs I've seen yet
+ The course layout is cohesive
+ Water hazards provide extra psychological challenge but are all avoidable.
Cons: - Old baskets on most holes, but its not like they don't work.
Other Thoughts: This course really challenged the stretch of my distance throws, and at the same time required me to be fairly accurate. Hole 10 felt a mile long to me.
The balance of obstacles from trees to ponds, and creeks along with some elevation changes kept the course from feeling as long as it was.
The tee-signs are really nice. Very detailed and easy to read maps.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 3 Not
Home Course of Just Disc Golf
Pros: Originally designed by Steady Ed, here is some history, The original Canton disc golf course was a 9-hole recreational course located in WaterWorks Park, downtown around 1981. The course was built through the efforts of Robert Miller, then City of Canton Park Maintenance Foreman. He was introduced to disc golf at a Park Convention in California at a presentation by Ed Headricks, 'Father' of the Frisbee and disc golf. There were conflicts with other park users in WaterWorks Park which became apparent after the course gained more play.
In 1986, Ed Headricks designed a 9-hole course in Arboretum Park which is essentially the 'front' side of the current course. New 24 is old 1 except the tee was moved about 50' further northeast. Short holes 1(old 2), 5(old 5),15(old 6),16(old 7),and 17( old 8) are original. Hole 3 used to play from current tee 2 to a basket which was on the side of the hill 100' west to tee 4. Tee 4 is original but the basket was moved from just inside the 'path' to 15 up on the hill to commemorate the unexpected passing of Eric Hickman. The original hole 9 has a concrete tee 100' south of the new short 18's tee and played to where the practice basket is now located. Many trees have fallen and others have grown as the course continues to change. The original design was significantly harder.
In 1988, the early club (Chris Pelligrino, Dan Kilgore, John Franks, and Jim Tanley) designed the 'back'-9 in Spiker Park and physically relocated the baskets from the WaterWorks course. The club developed the layout with Chris Pelligrino as the lead designer.
In 1999, the City of Canton Park Department (Doug Perry, Director) added holes 19 through 24 complete with the short concrete tees. Hole 18 was modified at that time. The club developed the layout with Chris Pelligrino, again as the lead designer. It was at this time that the course was officially named the "Robert E. Miller Disc Golf Course".
The baskets are all DGA Mach II basket. The chains were replaced on the original baskets in Spiker Park in 1999.
The original tees were grass with treated 4x4 toe boards. In 1997, the club obtained permission from the park to construct the short concrete tees for holes 1 through 18. At that point, hole 1 was removed and new holes 2 and 3 were then created. In late 2002, the park department and the club partnered in the installation of 24 concrete, long tees. The concrete tees and the long layout was designed by the club with Bill Griffith as the lead developer. The front 10 loop is challenging if you dont have a big arm and can teach you placement. Many things to happen in 2009 by the reforming SCDGA club...
Cons: The baskets are old but usable and the SCDGA has created a basket fund to help replace the courses baskets...
Other Thoughts: This course is located close to two fine disc golf establishments Qhut on Cleveland ave. @ 3 miles away where you can get disc golf supplies and all your head shop needs and Just Disc Golf Ohio's premiere disc golf pro store,located at 1416 Whipple ave NW Canton, Ohio 44708 @ 2 miles from course.. We specializes in disc golf accessories as well as a full line of apparel. Just Disc Golf also has Ohio's only 80 foot indoor putting arena to aid our customers in that difficult putter purchase... a Driving Net to keep your arm in shape over the winter as well!!
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Great, challenging course with variety.
Pros: Brand new tee signs -- new style of map and they are great.
Well-maintained course. Not too busy when I have been there, but active. Nice variety of holes, will require multiple skill shots at times.
Water hazards, but nothing too risky. Long concrete tee pads.
Beautiful park, easy to find. 24 holes! And the added 6 holes do not feel tacked on. Not sure if they were added or it was built like that all at once.
Cons: Baskets are old, but still in working shape.
Some of the holes on the main 18 are a bit of back and forth.
Course has a weird split after hole 5(?); just a short walk, but disrupts the flow a bit.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is an excellent course. Maintained and not much traffic except for other disc golfers.
It's an active course, but nothing unreasonable. Good to see people out there playing. Locals are friendly and seem quite into disc golf.
As I mentioned there are brand new tee signs this year and they are excellent. A new style I haven't seen before, but really let you know where all the baskets and obstacles are. Pro, Am and a Novice tee, which are really short.
Nice variety of holes, but primarily this is an open course with lots of opportunities for long bombs if that's your thing. That said, there are a decent number of holes for those like me that drool over technical shots.
The course is one of the few in the NE Ohio area that I have played (and I have played most of them) that have actual water hazards. Nothing serious, but adds a nice challenge.
The course/park is expansive and nestled in a quiet neighborhood, resulting in a relaxing game.
Not much in the way of activities for the non-disc golfer (or I missed them). Bathrooms right by the start of the course, and I believe a water fountain as well. No concession stand or anything like that.
Not much trash on the course, but there are garbage cans and they seem to get emptied regularly.
Not really sure there is anything in the way of a "signature" hole on this course, rather an overall solid course that is not only enjoyable, but challenging. If you are in/near the area, definitely check this one out.
And if you do play Arboretum-Spiker, be sure to hit the Lincoln Park course in Massillon, which is only 15-20 minutes from here and another great course. A bit more technical and hilly, but one of my faves.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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