One of my Favorites!
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Wow! Spiker is an awesome 24-holer located in Canton, Ohio. The course poses many challenging, technical shots. The "Risk Reward" factor on this course is what makes it a blast to play. There are two sets of concrete tees and multiple basket positions. The water comes in to play perfectly. There isn't enough water to make you leave with an extremely light bag, but enough so that it makes you think about every shot when water is involved. The park is one of the nicer ones in northeast Ohio, and is maintained beautifully. The kiosk is phenomenal, and includes a map, scorecards, and a lost disc drop. The course appeals to both the pro player and beginner, depending on what tees you choose. There was a restroom and drinking fountain on site. All of the tee signs were in pretty good shape, and provided all of the information needed to play the hole. The signs were also very accurate. It is one of the few courses that doesn't require a lot of elevation change to be fun. #3, #14, and #16 are my favorites on the course.
Cons: I really can't think of many cons for Spiker because I thoroughly enjoyed it. The navigation is decent, but can get a little tricky in a few spots. The baskets are starting to wear, and might need to be replaced in the future. There were a few pedestrians that held up play, but nothing too crazy.
Other Thoughts: Overall, Arboretum-Spiker Park was a very fun, clean course. This course is in the top 3 courses I have ever played, and I'm glad it's close to where I live. This is a must-play in Ohio, so come out for a fun 24!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Fun Course for any skill level
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: A mix of both beginner and advanced hole and basket locations.
Wider holes which leaves room for error
Challenging for some advanced players, but not too bad for beginners.
Offers 24 holes so you can skip water holes and still play 18
Very well taken care of
Cons: It's a pro but also a con, some holes need to be skipped by beginners.
Changing of basket locations mid way through summer sucks.
If you're playing without anyone who knows course, challenging to navigate.
Other Thoughts: Overall I did really enjoy this course. I'm a beginner and play with advanced friends. They still enjoy it and is challenging for them. One of the best courses around by far.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A staple for the area
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Arboretum-Spiker offers a fun park-style course that makes for a more casual round at the end of the day. It is located in a nice residential area and uses the expanse of two separate parks. There is plenty of parking space, benches, a practice basket, and rest rooms located near the first tee. This is a highly played and appreciated course in an area littered with courses.
There are multiple sets of tees and multiple pin positions on every hole. The concrete tees are great and the tee signs are very descriptive. The different tees definitely create a variety of challenge. First time/casual players can enjoy this course just as much as serious players. This is also the first course that I have played that utilizes bag hangers, which is a cool idea.
Constructed by a bunch of respected designers, this is a course that truly maximizes the land's potential. While most of the land is flat, the course uses elevation changes any chance it gets and does a nice job of incorporating the water carries (holes 6, 7, 14 and 20-23). Hole 3 is the stand out elevated shot that provides a fun blind downhill shot and plays as an extreme anny (RHBH). The water holes are nicely done and value risk/reward decision making. The attempts at landing close to the basket AND out of the water are often too close for comfort and require precise shots, rather than simply throwing over a pond. I'd say the water holes are what best give A-S its identity and fun factor.
The course is very nicely maintained and there were hardly any spots that you have to deal with thick rough.
There is a lost disc drop box at the opening bulletin board and I saw a man wading through the ponds and marshy areas to find discs - I assume to put into the drop box.
Cons: Combine 24 holes, mostly flat land, the spacious/open park, and you are going to get some boring holes. This was a fun round, but there are a few too many open holes here for my taste. Outside of the water holes, there isn't much risk/reward play here. Often times, a bad drive could easily be recovered with a good upshot as there weren't many challenging second shots here due to the course's open nature.
On that note, I would have liked to play some multi-stage holes and a few par 4's within this 24 hole round. Just some holes that required specific line shaping.
Holes 6-14 play in a separate park, so that disrupts the course flow. The signs are well marked, however, to direct you to and from the separate parks.
There are some marshy areas - particularly towards the end of the course - and I imagine they get pretty swampy during heavy rain.
Other Thoughts: Arboretum-Spiker is the kind of course I would enjoy playing at the end of a long day either from playing other courses or after work. It is the kind of course that allows room to be creative and try new shots without being too punishing. Being so close to Portage Lakes and Lincoln Park, this course adds to the great balance that is found in the Akron/Canton area.
Though it may be a little too open for my specific taste, it still provides a fun round and has been created by some of the best in the business. I'd recommend saving this course for the end of a long day of course baggin in NE Ohio.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A-S 24 Throwdown
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A few extra holes, and the flavor of the disc golf O.G., Steady Ed himself, make Arboretum-Spiker Park in Canton a course worth noting. There are 24 holes through fairly open grassy park space, with some slight elevation changes and water on a handful of holes. Mature trees, that are not heavy, except in a couple of instances. The disc golf course begins and ends in Arboretum Park, and the central portion is across the road in Spiker Park. I liked the Arboretum portion a little better, holes 3, 5, and 20-24 were some of the best for me. 20 is a great hole, but a tough one that took a good disc from me on a poor drive. The fairway crosses over a small pond with heavy reeds surrounding it, the basket on a hill on the other side. 23 has water on both sides, and I nearly lost another disc there. There are some nice ones in Spiker as well, 6, 9 and 12-14 the highlights. 6 and 14 both play over a pond also, but the banks are clear of vegetation here. Dual tees on each hole, concrete with signs. Chainstar baskets are just fine. The course was very clean and fairly easy to follow.
Cons: More open holes than I usually like, but that what is there to work with, and choices are limited in places. Still plenty of good disc golf holes here to play. There was a bit of soggy grass, but not much. Some other park users may wander near the course, keep a lookout.
Other Thoughts: Arboretum-Spiker may not be one of the best in the world, but it is fun and has a little danger with water near several pins. A popular course I guess, there were many people playing there on a Monday afternoon. I can see why, not a bad course, especially in the great weather I experienced while there. You may want to check it out if you get the chance.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Bold and Beautiful with Bits of Bland
3 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!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Big Air Monster
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.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Course for All, One of my Favorites
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.
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.
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