8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Arboretum-Spiker DGC sprawls across three sections of park space to encompass well over 11,000 feet of throws if you play all 24 holes from the long tees to the long pin positions, so there's plenty there to appeal to the Advanced to Open disc golfer. We more meager arms (I play Intermediate up to Adv Grandmaster) are actually challenged from the short tees with about a third of the baskets in longer and more difficult locations than listed on the signs. Fortunately, the course also has shorter positions and even some novice tees to keep it relatively fun for casual rounds.
There are serious gut-check opportunities over ponds (like the #14 basket position about 285' diagonally across the water, with a basket only 3 feet from the edge), several huge turnover holes (I throw predominantly rhbh), where you have to hit a woods entry from 300' to set up even a view of the blind basket position, and beautiful clearings leading to ridge-hidden baskets like #5. There's a lot to like here.
The course doesn't seem to get too much non-player traffic, and most lines of flight are safe from other fairways. Generous, level concrete tee pads and a mix of DGA and Chainstar baskets make the infrastructure sound. Shelters, bathrooms, and a fantastic course kiosk (info, map, scorecards, pencils, a lost & found box) join adequate benches, trash receptacles, and informative signage (at the Am tees).
A beautiful feature of hole #6 is the memorial garden for a fallen soldier and the very special red, white and blue basket by the scenic bridge traversing the two ponds there. In all, Arboretum is a big, challenging course with park trees to shade some of your round, enough openness to let you see - most - of your shots clearly, and safe design for handling even a large tournament.
Cons: Personally, I have to list as a con the notion that the course is a bit too big and spread out to make it a really fun round for us lesser arms. Even from the Am tees, when set up with long baskets, there are only a few holes to really let us weaklings go for it and enjoy many deuce opportunities. We're gonna take some 4's (& above) because many holes are set up for drive - approach - upshot - putt. It would be nice to have mixed in a few more ego boosters as well.
Holes 6 & 14 both angle across the same pond, so groups have to wait on each other to clear before throwing.
The fact that you have to traverse three separate park loops means there's a lot of travel between some of the holes. There aren't quite enough signs to point newcomers in the right direction, so it's advised to print a map or touch base with a guide. And the disc eating ponds really hold such a murky odor, I took to calling the one at 6 & 14 "the bog of eternal stench". Gives me mixed feelings on the guy who fishes them out 'for you' (for profit). I mean, I didn't want to go in there…
Other Thoughts: Between a practice round Friday and two tourney rounds Saturday for the Ohio Senior Olympics, we were able to get a decent appreciation of this course at the end of a very rainy week in June (the park actually 'closed' earlier in the week due to flooding, the parks department wasn't able to mow or trim it up that week, as I'm sure they'd have liked to for such an event.
As I mentioned before, this is a course for stronger players, even though there are a lot of very open tee shots involved. As such, it's a bit more on the challenge side for me than the fun side, and folks looking to play just a fun round need to know that. You should try out Arboretum, but be forewarned what you're about to experience. For those bigger arms who like a bit of a challenge, this will be a course you're going to want to visit more than once.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Multiple teepads on every hole for varying degrees of difficulty
-Multiple pin positions on most holes
-Good use of terrain - wide open in some areas, wooded in others, and a few water holes
-Detailed signposts at every amateur tee detailing pin position as well as distance for each tee (apparently there are natural novice pads in addition to the pro and amateur pads on every hole; though there's no significant wear around any of them, still nice to know)
-Lots of fun. This course was co-designed by 'Steady' Ed Hedrick, the 'father of disc golf.' Not too difficult but by no means too easy.
-Practice basket and restrooms right by the parking lot
Cons: -Signposts don't indicate the multiple pin positions, just the 'standard' or 'short' ones. If the baskets are in their long positions, a) the course becomes significantly more difficult, and b) it can be frustrating to try to find the baskets in some areas if it's your first time. Though the baskets all have hole #'s on them.
-Not a ton of trash cans.
-If it's your first time playing here, you might want to have a map. Most holes have obvious paths to the next tee pad, but sometimes you have to backtrack, and there's not always tape on the baskets or signs directing you. Between holes 5 and 6 you need to cross two streets and go to an entirely different park (Spiker). There's no obvious indication at the long basket other than a worn path through the brush.
Other Thoughts: Arboretum-Spiker is top-shelf for Northeast Ohio disc golf. It gives you a chance to test out most all of your game; uphill, downhill, around hills, around bushes, dog legs left, dog legs right, tight shots over water, between trees, huge bomb shots for power throwers, etc. The course skews open rather than wooded, but with plenty of obstacle and technical shots.
It's always busy here. Obviously well-loved by locals, and always well manicured. Lots of fun. With 24 holes and the length of some of the holes you could make a day of playing here. Holes 20-24, on the other side of the parking lot, are a great addition, adding more water hazard and elevation shifts.
After a rain parts of the course tend to get real soggy - especially in Arboretum, which is kind of down in a gully.
All in all, a beautiful and fun course with a variety of scenery and shot selection. Definitely worth the drive if you're anywhere within an hour of here; and you could make it a great day by including Oak Ledges, Portage Lakes or even Roscoe Ewing.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Big Air Monster
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: +Teepads/Signs: The teepads here are awesome! Plus there are two for each hole, plus a toe board for the novice location. The only bad thing about the tee signs is that they don't indicate all of the basket positions. Some of the positions are new and I heard that new signs are in the works.
+Layout: Multiple pads plus multiple pin locations (on most holes). Great use of the large amount of land in both of these parks. Including some new (more challenging) pin locations. I should also note that I don't think this park is used for anything but disc golf, which is kind of nice because I think it limits the number of non-golfers wandering into fairways.
+Variety/Challenge: Excellent variety of shots required. Good use of the water hazards and the available elevation.
+Baskets: Some are in excellent/new condition. Some are looking pretty well worn, but it seems like these are in the process of being replaced.
+Maintenance: It's pretty clear the course is very well maintained.
+Amenities: Restroom and picnic facilities, some trash cans. Awesome bulletin board with a lost disc box, nice score cards and pencils.
Cons: -Layout Hazards: A few throws are close to roads and some holes cross fairways. There is so much space here that it is kind of surprising that some tee shots put people on other teepads at risk of getting hit.
-Repetition: While there is a great variety of shots, there is some repetition, or similarity, to hole layout. I think there are 4 holes that dogleg right and then head into the woods. Some of the short to moderate distance holes are a bit mundane.
-Other: I don't recall seeing one, but a water fountain at the restrooms would be nice. If there is one I just missed it.
Other Thoughts: Arboretum-Spiker is a monster of a course. Not only is it 24 holes (spread out over TWO parks), but it requires some big shots. There are a few holes that are rather forgiving(3, 8, 10 if you hit the window, and 17), but there are holes that will punish poor shots (4, 5, 10 if you miss the window, and 23 with water on each side of the fairway). There are a number of new pin positions which I believe, and based on talking with some locals, really up the challenge this course offers.
Some memorable holes for me were 6 & 14 for the beauty and simplicity of the challenge they present. I managed a bird on hole 6 and I went into the water twice on 14, but got both discs back. 14 has a much more challenging pin location than the one shown in the pictures.
Holes 4 and 5 are also two memorable holes. 4 starts of with a tough dogleg right and then shoots up hill and through a gnarly grouping of trees. I think shooting a 3 on this hole would be quite an accomplishment for most golfers. Hole 5 is a dogleg left and then requires an approach up a steep hill to a well guarded green just beyond the crest of the hill.
I had a great time playing here and hope to get back to the area to take on this course again as well as some of the others in the area.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Great Course for All, One of my Favorites
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - The pros start when you pull in - the parking is within 100 feet of both the starting tee pad and finishing basket. SWEET! Bathrooms are located here too.
- The course has variety of all types - some holes are pretty open, some have holes tucked amongst some trees. Some holes require L to R, some R to L. Some holes are long, some are short. Some holes have water, others have no realistic penalty possibilities at all. There's not a lot of elevation change, but there are a few holes that venture up and down. The variety is pretty darn good here.
- Even the open holes force you to consider the line and shape of your shots. There aren't many "just chuck it really far" type holes.
- Nice tees throughout, good concrete suckers. They seem to be pointed relatively accurately too. The signs are pretty decorative and informative, though they're only at the "Am" tees, so if you play the Pro tees you may want to take a map or have played the course once or twice before so you know what's up.
- 1-5 are shorter holes which play over some elevation and require some shaping. 6-14 are more open and have more of the "bomber" holes. Then you return to Arboretum for some more holes that reward clean lines.
- Course design "open" enough for beginners, but challenging for all but the best disc golfers to shoot a good score.
- Lots of configurations. You can play Arboretum's 15 holes, Spiker's 9. You can start on 20, quit after 19, skip 11-13 in Spiker, etc. The course lets you play as many holes as you want.
- Course is mowed regularly, though we played after some good rains and the grass was LONG, which made finding discs in some of the wider open bomber holes more difficult than necessary.
- The tee signs have pegs to hang your bag on. Nice touch!
- There was a LOT of play when I was here, which was good to see, but play moved along quickly and the course's 24 holes can hold a lot of disc golfers.
- 24 holes! That's a pro in my book. I often want to play more than 18, but perhaps not 36… 24 is a good number.
Cons: - Walking from hole 5 to 6 is confusing the first time. You walk past the basket for hole 14, for example. It's not far, but an arrow or two might help. It's only confusing once, at least.
- Spiker could use some trash cans. There are nine holes there, so people may want to throw away a pop bottle or something.
- The baskets are getting older. They still catch pretty well, but replacements are a year or two out from being required, at most. Some chains are rusted and even if they catch as well as new ones, you'll blame them for any blow-throughs or chain-outs.
Other Thoughts: - The ratings system is biting me here - I'd have given this course a 4.25 if I could have. It's just below Moraine and Deer Lakes at 4.5, so I can't quite go that high here. But it's close.
- Someone else said it, but this is indeed a destination course. I recommend it if you're within an hour or two.
- My brother-in-law, his friend (a beginner), and I played this course the same day (before) we played at Deis Hill. Deis Hill has a higher rating, and I understand why to some extent, but all three of us agreed that we enjoyed the design of Arboretum-Spiker more than DH. The shots seemed "fairer" and the scenery and design was more pleasing.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Very nice dual - park course
Pros: Sprawling course laid out between two beautiful parks.
Pro and Am pads, with novice option at nearly every hole.
Water comes into play on seven holes. Many holes go directly over water.
Near several other disc golf courses and pro shops.
Beautiful and accurate tee signs.
Both parks seem very well maintained.
Practice Basket with Round the World game.
Cons: For as scenic as the park is, most of the holes seem to be out in the wide open.
There are parts of the course that flow very smoothly, (1 - 5, 14 - 24 come to mind) but the course is broken up by crossing a (non busy) street and walking about 1/4 block. Once you've done it, it makes sense. The first time, even with a sign guiding you it's a tad confusing.
There is plenty of water. (ponds, streams, river, etc.) That's a plus. Unfortunately, much of it is nasty with some kind of weird oily film on it. That's a minus.
Said water eats discs. Play conservatively.
Not really a con here, but there are a lot of reeds and tall grass around some areas of the creek, and around one pond. The reeds are thick enough to slow down an errant disc, so check them before assuming your disc has sunk in the water.
Bathroom is scary beyond all reason.
Other Thoughts: My friends and I went to the beautiful Arboretum - Spiker Parks in Canton this past Saturday. It's extremely nice to have so many good courses in the Canton area, and we hope to get down there more often. The courses straddles two parks, and tends to play in the open, grassy areas with the occasional hole in the woods. There is plenty of water, with creeks, ponds, and a river coming into play on 7 of the 24 holes. This water will gladly eat your discs. You've been warned. Not a lot in terms of elevation changes. Holes on the course overall slightly favor LHBH or RHFH style deliveries with their straight to slight right bends, though there are some left bends here too. Tee pads are all concrete, though I only saw the pro and am pads. Am not positive if the listed "novice" pads are actually installed. The bathroom at the hole 1 parking lot if a bit scary, with no lighting, and rumors that made me want to consider waiting till I got home to do my business.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Absolutely beautiful park! Actually it's two parks next to each other. You start at Aboretum. There are many water hazards but only the ponds have murky water so if you toss one in the other waters you should be able to retrieve your disc. Other pros:
-course maps/scorecards at kiosk near tee #1
-detailed tee signs with bag holders
-3 sets of tees
-variety including: distances, some elevation, open/ wooded, and turns
-24 holes is a great bonus
-clean and peaceful even when the course is busy
-challenging for all level players
Cons: I guess my only con would be the lack of a signature hole, all the holes are nice but none really stuck out to me when I was done.
Other Thoughts: The first tee was near the bathrooms and pavillion in the Arboretum. Make sure to grab a map/scorecard to make navigation extra easy because you will cross a non-busy street to Spiker Park after the first quarter of the course and then back. Definitely worth playing this course.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
~24 holes set up for an assortment of various sized rounds.
~Great setting, the course is set throughout two parks dedicated primarily to open green space.
~12' concrete tees.
~Great variety of holes, each hole has it's own individuality and the course contains enough variety to keep things interesting.
~Multiple tee locations
~Easy to navigate.
~Signs at each hole with poles to hang your bag.
~Peaceful setting, the parks are nestled in the heart of the Avondale Community.
~Lots of parking with a large shelter between the 1st and 19th holes and a restroom as well.
~Practice basket next to the shelter.
~The water is nasty.
~Baskets are showing some wear & tear
Other Thoughts: I play this course on a consistent basis, and I am always pleased with the conditions and atmosphere.
Depending on the mood and time frame, there are options for rounds of: 24, 19, 10, or 9 holes.....this also helps if the course is crowded.
Well thought out course design, you can tell that careful planning and enjoyment went into developing the entire course.
Top notch for my preferences.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
good all around course
Pros: Well laid out course, a decent mix of hyzer and anhyzer shots on the course. Cement tees on both long and short tees. Great for practicing distance and also control. Hole ten is still a challenge no matter how many times you play it. If you are on a roll, you can shoot a great score from the short tees.
Its a great compliment to the Oak ledges course in Massillon, which is much tighter and much more technical.
Cons: The baskets are still mach 2's for most of the course, so a lot of spit outs.
The course could use some more trees in different areas of the course to increase the challenge and technicality of the course.
Hole 9's long tee could have definitely been thought out better, because it is basically a lucky drive if you get anywhere near the basket on your first shot.
Other Thoughts: Overall this has always been a great course with the swirling breeze/ winds and the variety of distances of the holes. This course, as any other could be improved, but for now it is still one of the best in Ohio in my book, and home to me forever.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Very exciting layout that makes excellent use of risk/reward scenarios.
- Signs were in good shape, easy to see where pin placements were. Course was well marked and would be hard to get lost.
- 24 holes - always a good thing
- Easy to find, has plenty parking, bathrooms on site
- Concrete tee pads
- Beautiful park
Cons: -Very old baskets
- The tee signs are placed in front of the pro tees which seems kind of out of place. I don't know how many people play the pro tee's out there, but it was kind of pain on several holes to find the sign then go look for where I throw from.
Tee pads seem really short / narrow, not a very big deal though
Other Thoughts: Had this course on my wish list for awhile and was lucky enough to be in the cleveland area for the weekend and ound time to play, and time well spent it was! Had a great time and would recommend the course to anyone.
I played all of the holes from the pro position, some of them are just - WOW when compared to the regular tee. Lots of drives through gaps that really demand accuracy as well as distance.
Water comes into play on several holes, for good and bad... but that much more exciting!
Lost 2 dyed discs on hole 19's pond, I'm from IN so theyre pretty much up for grabs if you wanna go for a swim! :)
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Great "Long" Short Course
Pros: An extremely well-maintained course, everything is top-notch. From the tee pads to baskets, to the course upkeep.
Course design is also phenomenal for the space and length of the holes. While most holes are relatively short compared to regular 18 hole courses, the layout is challenging and varied. The baskets are within reach for families and new players, but the veteran players will love the tight angles. Strategy and solid play are well rewarded at Arboretum.
Use of water hazards is also a unique feature. Many courses simply throw a pond or two in the way, forcing you to drive straight over them. Arboretum's water hazards are designed so that you often need only drive near them, and in many cases can circumvent them entirely. However, a well placed and angled shot will always get your disc within easy reach of the basket, you'll just have to brave some water to do it!
There's also 24 holes! And who doesn't want more disc golf holes?
Cons: This course is very popular (rightfully so), and often packed on weekends.
Holes are shorter on average, so veteran players won't realize as much of an advantage from the extra distance they can generate on shots.
Some holes are a bit too open for better players to feel challenged.
Other Thoughts: This is a superb course that is suitable for new players and experts alike. Although better players might not feel quite as challenged here, there's still enough variety to the course to keep things interesting.
The extra 6 holes really do a lot to make up for the length of the course!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.