Get some signs!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Sycamore features varied and interesting hole design on the vast majority of its holes. The woods holes (1, 2, 4, 11, 12, 13, 16) all feature clear, purposeful design, even when the distance is short. Holes 5-10, 15, and 18 are all open, grassy holes. 8, 9 and 15 even feature honest-to-God fairways, demanding both relative power and accuracy. Only a few holes demand (and reward) a powerful drive, chiefly 3, 14, and 18 and, to a lesser extent, 6 and 7. I also appreciated the concrete tee pads and trash receptacles.
Cons: As nearly every review mentions, navigating from hole to hole is difficult. A copy of the course map (which is actually a solid map!) is a must. And yep, about half the holes lack tee box signs. A complete set of signs and clear navigation between holes would raise my rating from a 3.0 to a 3.5, maybe even a 4.0. On a lesser note, Hole 17 seems like an afterthought; it's a short hole with a moderate elevation gain on the edge of the woods near a picnic shelter. It's a bit of a letdown amid so many stronger holes.
Other Thoughts: The technical demands of this course put it alongside Handyman Ace Hardware in Fairborn in my book. But it's so disappointing to see the same negatives aired time and time again reading the years of reviews of this course. I'm not from Miamisburg nor plugged into its discing community, so I don't know where and when the navigation of this course will improve. Work is clearly done on the course, as grass is mowed and the underbrush is bearable, even now in the height of summer foliage. I live in Dayton, and, until improvements are made, I am going to have a hard time justifying a trip here versus Handyman, Belmont, or Englewood.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Course is fun, Navigating it is not
Pros: -Some of the tunnel shots are really fun.
-Plenty of open holes for those who like to air it out
-A pretty looking park in general
-Good variance between flat holes and holes with elevation change.
Cons: -Course signage is minimal and flow from hole to hole is not always intuitive. (Going from hole 7 to 8 specifically)
-A lot of the tee signs are missing.
Other Thoughts: If you are playing this course for the first time I highly suggest you go with someone who is already familiar with it. Otherwise a fun design that could maybe use a little TLC.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
A rewarding Course
Pros: There are a few holes that at a glance appear "impossible" but when you finish these holes you get a sense of accomplishment!
I always like a course that has both wooded and open field holes, this course delivers that.
Lots of blind holes, which I have always thought were fun.
Hole 1-2 can easily break your spirit, but they are my favorite holes on the course.
Cons: HARD to navigate, bring a map or another who knows the course.
Easy to lose discs in some of the wooded holes (and inherently find some discs), however I couldn't find a "Lost and Found."
Some signs were broken.
Other Thoughts: I would recommend this course only to advanced players. It is not only kind of a "big arm" course, some of the tactical, "thread the needle" shots will be needed to play this course successfully.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth the trip
Pros: Solid, well laid out course making good use of terrain features, especially the creeks on 1, 2 and 9. Many holes require planning to make par, such as 15, where an overdrive can land you in a moderately wooded gully. My personal favorite hole was 11 though, which was a relatively tight tunnel shot from the tee, that opens up down hill right to left to the basket. Last, the downhill bomb of 18 to wrap things up was also an enjoyable hole to shoot.
Cons: While the individual holes are well thought out and designed, the course as a hole loses cohesiveness on holes 11-16. Getting to 10 from 11 crosses the tee for 14; going from 14 to 15 crosses the teepad for 18, and getting to 16 crosses the long tee for 18. Last, the path from 11 to 12 could use some widening and reinforcement to reduce erosion as it was a bit narrow to walk down.
On the course itself, while the teepads and baskets are both in good shape, there are several holes with missing and damaged signs. Also, without a map, I don't know that it would be possible to navigate the course easily. Even if you do have a map, bring your land navigation skills.
Other Thoughts: While the biggest improvement that could be made to the course is a partial redesign, focused on improving the flow from holes 11 to 16, some smaller improvements would be welcome. Repairing/replacing tee signs as needed, and adding markers to help folks navigate from hole to hole would also be an outstanding addition here.
Overall, this is a very solid course and well worth the trip(about a 25 minute drive from where I am), but with a little bit of work could be that much better.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Sycamore Hills has a quality collection of open/woods holes. On the technical wooded holes, the fairways are generally quite narrow but thankfully are shorter in length so errant shot recovery is manageable (for example: #4, 12, 13 & 16 are all < 200ft. with only one woods hole - #2 - being over 300ft.) . The more open holes are generally longer (= or > 300ft with none more that 445ft.) but not excessive as to frustrate newer players or too easy for the more experienced player.
The course compels shot variety & has a decent balance of right/left/straight holes. Elevation was incorporated as much as it could be when available. In addition, pin placement consideration was noticeable with some on steep slopes, near water, tree jailed, etc. There is water in play on three holes as well (1, 2 & 9).
My favorite hole was #9 (despite it bordering Rt. 725) - a 420ft, lightly wooded, slightly downhill hole which meets a narrow strip of woods at the end, then introduces a modest ravine divided by a small creek. On the other side is the basket, uphill & placed on very fast, sloping green. A very enjoyable par 3 compound hole.
The most challenging hole is #2 - immediately off the tee is a throw over the creek through thick, technical woods, reverse S curving to a basket elevated on an extremely steep incline. It plays longer than 322ft and is one tough par 3 as roll away putt potential is probable.
The always preferred concrete tee pads were in good shape & the tee signs were sufficient as far as distance and hole layout. There were buckets on some tee signs for trash which, while a little odd and esthetically detracting, accomplished the objective.
Conveniently located off I-75 south of Dayton, it's definitely an easy drive-by play.
Cons: A map is essential for a first time player here. Navigation is sort of a mess and the 'layout by committee' design leaves much to be desired as far as flow is concerned - making the course feel disjointed and fragmented. Add in some long walks between fairways (passing other tees that are closer/seem like the next logical tee) as well as across fairways and these design flaws stick out like a sore thumb - significantly lowering the 'fun factor'.
There were some missing tee signs (vandalism?) but hole #1 having no sign whatsoever was a glaring omission . At the very least, spray paint the tee # on the concrete tee pad.
I liked the idea of 18's downhill bomb to end things but having it be blind is a safety issue.
Tee signs without par was noticeable however I just assumed all were a par 3.
Other Thoughts: This course undoubtedly has its fair share of challenging and enjoyable holes but suffers from some design/flow issues. It honestly feels like a 'tweener' in several ways....newer players may find it somewhat difficult (tight fairways/some longer holes) while the more experienced may find it lacking in some aspects (no real 'wow' factor and a lack of true pro-style holes magnifies the repetitive feel). It also doesn't feel quite mature (quirky layout/inconsistencies/underdeveloped holes) but at times flirts with perfection (holes 1-4 being a really stand-out sequence). It's as if the course hasn't yet found its identity and its potential not quite realized.
I have such ambivalence towards Sycamore Hills that I find it tough to recommend but can't not recommend it (if that contradiction and double negative makes any sense). While it's somewhere between a 3-3.5, this is one of those time where I feel a rounding down is necessary. Hopefully the next time I'm in the area, my schedule will allow another play in anticipation of growth, improvement & development.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Definition of Homey
Pros: Many unique and challenging tee shots, good use of elevation, gorgeous scenary in fall and spring, well, as far as Ohio is concerned.....
Cons: The course is fun, but the trickery of some of the "fairways" are akin more to putt putt than golf. A share of illogical fairways, many are reachable in one shot but blind, the flow of the course is confusing as well ( bring a map). More of a what not to do than do from a golf course design perspective.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Mix of Shots
Pros: - This course will require a multitude of different shots and would be challenging for almost any level of player.
- No two holes were alike. There were a good mix of wooded holes, water hazards(1,2). and longer holes mixed throughout the course.
- Most of the tees had signs showing you where the hole was and the next tee in relation to that basket.
- A nice practice basket to warm up.
- Locals were nice in helping me find my way around the course.
Cons: - The first two holes are lacking signage. Once I got through those there were only a few other walks between holes that were tricky. (definitely take a picture of the course map before playing).
- #4 had a large downed tree that made navigation difficult.
Other Thoughts: - 1 and 2 are tight wooded holes
- 3 opens up into a field, but then 4 is right back in the woods for a nice challenge.
- Although 5 and 6 are out in the field they have a nice little challenge to them.
- 7 you have to hit a 10 yard opening to come back to the basket. 8 feels a little out of place.
- 9 requires a good tee shot and then back across the creek. 10 is a nice open anyhyzer shot.
- 11 is a cool tunnel hole. 12 and 13 are shorter wooded holes.
- 14 is a shorter version of #7. and #15 is also somewhat of a similar set up with a straight drive then an abrupt dogleg.
- 16 is a very short ace run. 17 is an uphill pretty straight forward hole.
- And then 18 is a long bomb, over a hill, blindshot.
- I love courses that require a good hike. and this course definitely has that feel. Only a few of the holes are in wide open fields otherwise you feel as though you are playing along trails.
- This wildness also seemed to hinder some of the holes as they felt overgrown in areas.
- This course is a good stop for anybody heading through the Dayton area, it was easy to find off the highway.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Lots of potential
Pros: The course plays in a hilly park with a nice mix of open areas and tight woods. Many holes play through tight corridors, with some cool shots into or out of the woods and some open shots mixed in. A couple small creeks come into play adding a little bit of risk/reward without being disc eaters. The rough on most holes is thick enough to really punish you for missing your line.
There is a really good mix of lengths and hole shapes here. There are some ace run holes and some longer shots where you get to pull out a driver, with a nice variety in between. You'll need a good mix of shots to score well here, with a fairly balanced set of left and right turning holes. The baskets and concrete pads are in pretty good shape, and the signs that are in place are helpful with hole layout and distance, as well as direction to the next tee.
Cons: The navigation here is pretty weird, and often hard to follow even with the tee signs pointing the general direction. There are some long walks, you're often closer to a different tee than the one you need to go to next, and a couple walks cross other fairways. I had the course map up on my phone, without that it would have been difficult to find our way around.
The course info says this was designed by committee, and it shows. The course doesn't really have a consistent feel or really seem to be designed as a whole course, it really feels like a bunch of people came up with an idea for a hole and all of those got put together. The course doesn't use the elevation available nearly as well as it could have, which is a little disappointing. The best example of this is the last hole which has the potential to be a cool downhill finishing hole, but the tee was moved back on the top of the hill to make it more difficult. This turns the hole into a blind downhill shot where you don't get to see the flight of the disc, and you're throwing at two parking lots.
Other Thoughts: There are some fun holes here, and enough variety and challenge to make it worth a stop. It's a little disappointing that it feels a little run down with broken signs and trash, and fairways that need a little more clearing, some work could make this a really cool place to work. Beginners might find the challenge level a little high here, with several tight holes and some distance. More experienced players will enjoy several of the holes here, and will need to bring a variety of shots to score well.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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