15 Helpful / 1 Not
THIS is what golf should be!
Pros: The quality of the course can pretty much be summed up with the number of times I said to myself: "THIS is what golf should be!". From the start to the finish, almost all of the holes on this course are solid. Solid design, solid distances, and just plain smart design. If you have a slightly easier tee shot on a par 4, be sure that you will need to land in a smaller landing zone or that your approach shot will be a bit more difficult. When you have to hit a super tight window off the tee, rest assured you will reap the rewards when you hit it.
One of the techniques Mr. Houck uses frequently is a moderately narrow, but open fairway with a landing zone between 300 and 350' and then a sporadically treed fairway between 250 and 350' to the pin. This is a really great formula for rewarding those who can A) Keep their drive on the fairway and B) Achieve adequate distance while doing so. I really wish I had multiple rounds on this course so that I could start figuring out where my ideal shots should land and how aggressively I should pursue my tee shots.
This course would easily stand on its own (5.0) but being in the IDGC facility elevates this course amongst the best out there.
Cons: My cons almost entirely rest in the stretch of holes 11-13. My two points about this strech is firstly that having 3 of the total of 6 par 3 holes consecutive just throws you for a loop right in the middle of the course. Similarly, you begin the course with 6 par 4's in a row - while the design might not have accomodated it, more temporal variety of holes would have been ideal.
More importantly, while they are fun to throw, several of the shorter holes (mostly 13) in this strech are on slopes which make safe landing a spin of the roulette wheel. While there are methods for sticking to the steep slope, off the tee, I feel like some of these landing areas are a bit unreasonable.
Pretty few cons for an amazing course!
Other Thoughts: Although I think I prefer the Steady Ed long course, I think a strong case could be made that this course is the best of the bunch. With slightly more forgiving fairways, this may be the least stressful course at the facility.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is the premiere course at the IDGC and is designed for the pros. Yet a patient amateur can play here.
With its mostly long fairways that are lined with big trees it is a beauty. Though they are mostly long and mowed there are obstacles to work around such as single or clumps of tress, doglegs, "s" curves, water,and elevation.
Baskets 11, 12, 13, and 16 are under 300' and provide a chance at an ace run. Albeit a slim one, but a chance.
You will encounter water via a stream that is situated down in a gulch on holes 3, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, and 18. These are some of the best water hazards I have played. Long slopes with the basket often in a spot where the disc can and will roll into the water. A lot of O.B.'s will be had here. The reason I liked them is because they flowed with the course. Many water hazards seem to be just thrown in so the course designer can say there is a water hazard.
Concrete tee pads, plenty of benches , and trash cans make the course workable.
Pin placement was phenomenal. Each pin provided a huge challenge without being a pain in the @!#$% to get too. Again they did not just stick the pin in some trees to make the putt difficult. The placement flowed with the hole but required plenty of work to get you into a good putting position.
Cons: With the fairway on 8 along a road and the tee for 18 below the 16th tee on "Steady Ed" I could not go a 5 here.
Have a map. There are some directional signs to the next tee but some are missing and the next tee is not always in sight.
Other Thoughts: This course achieves its goal. It is a Gold level Pro course.
As a decent amateur player I can play this course but my score will reflect my play level. So be patient and you will enjoy it here.
Bring plenty to drink.
With this being here at the International Disc Golf Center the atmosphere and amenities add to the course.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 1 Not
WR Jackson, A Championship Caliber Course
Pros: Every hole on the course is a winner, each uses the beautiful land to great effect. There is not one filler hole. Lots of variety is on offer, with a variation on length, turn, and elevation. More of the holes are multi-shot par 4's and 5's than par 3's, with properly challenging fairway shapes. This course is all about shot placement, and that, in my opinion, is the future of disc golf. The fairways are fair, and aren't very tight, providing multiple throwing lanes on several holes, and a few trees left in the fairways to provide proper challenge. Getting off the fairway will cost you strokes, but not too many, and properly punish bad shots. If you can execute the good shots that the holes were designed for you to throw, you will score well here, if not, your scores will suffer. This is a championship level course, and a fine example of such. Thanks to John Houck for the great design, and to the PDGA for maintaining such a great course.
The tee pads, hole signs, baskets, and benches at every hole are all top notch. These are the kinds of amenities all courses should have. Every basket has a flag on top, making it easier to spot through the trees, and giving you an indication of what the wind is doing. There are next tee signs at every hole, as well as maps and scorecards readily available on site, so navigation is a breeze, even with a couple of long-ish walks between holes.
An awesome club house with well stocked pro shop, selling anything you would need for disc golf is on site, and includes a really cool museum, and the PDGA headquarters.
There is a large area behind the clubhouse with several practice baskets, as well as an adjacent covered picnic area with several picnic tables.
The last time I played it was a chilly overcast day, after a little rain, and there were no issues caused by the wet weather, so the course holds the moisture well. There were also no signs of erosion on the course.
Cons: Holes 6, 11, 12, and 13 play fairly close together, and hole 16's tee is a little close to 17's fairway, but it's not so close that it's a real problem.
You can see 13's basket from the tee on 11, but 11's basket is to the left, sitting a little lower, so don't throw to the wrong basket. This is clearly indicated on the tee sign.
There are a couple of long-ish walks between some of the holes, but they're easy walks, with signs pointing the way the whole time.
A very minor point is that there are no trashcans on the course, but I also didn't see any litter, so I guess people are smart enough to pack out what they pack in here.
Other Thoughts: With all the par 4's and 5's, it's a long course (around 9400 feet) and will take time to play. You will also make a lot of throws at full power, probably twice or three times as many as at a typical par 54 course, so it can be tiring. Trying to play all three IDGC courses in one day can be a bit much. It would be a great place to spend a weekend camping out and taking your time with the courses.
It costs $5 to play at the IDGC per day, if you aren't a PDGA member or resident of Columbia County.
There are restrooms inside the clubhouse, as well as a water fountain outside on the deck behind the pro shop.
The museum is worthy of an article of it's own. If you're interested in the history of disc golf, and Frisbees in general, it's a must see. There is an impressive collection of discs from the last 100 or so years, as well as memorabilia from the last 35+ years of disc golf.
There is a cool campground inside the park just down the road from the clubhouse, so a camping weekend would be great, if you're into that sort of thing.
The nearest store or restaurant is about five miles down the road from the park entrance at Highway 221.
Everything about the IDGC is done right, and is an example of how courses would be in an ideal world, from the amazing piece of land it sits on, to the tees, signs, and baskets.
Bottom line: The W. R. Jackson course is a destination worthy course on it's own, but combined with everything else about the International Disc Golf Center, it's a must play for any disc golfer who enjoys traveling to new courses, and wants to play the best of what's out there.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The longest course at the IDGC was truly designed as a pro-caliber championship course. At over 9,000 ft., be prepared for a workout physically and mentally. The course plays through the Georgia pines on the most moderate of elevation changes and along a creek bed later in the course.
The primary attraction is that it plays much like ball golf mixing in par 4's & 5's, making placement on the fairway the most important aspect. It will get into your head- "Boy, this hole is long, I'd better crush it way down there!". This makes it likely (as I modestly found) that my accuracy suffered, and I would be losing strokes by pitching out of the rough. If these mistakes would be transformed into modest 250-300' drives into the fairway, I would have had a reasonable opportunity for par on most holes. The mental part is just as important as the technical here. The fairways are very reasonable - stay in them, because the rough can cause many (bogey-causing) pitch out shots. Risk vs. Reward at it's best.
Cons: This is not a beginners course- even if they installed shorter tee pads, it's a really long walk and the rough would discourage these folks anyway. Go play Steady Ed for more fun.
Hole # 3 is kind of goofy, being such a narrow, sharp dogleg- it's hard seeing a great "drive" here- it's more like a pitch, pitch hole. Also, the tee at hole #11 looks right at #13 pin (which you would think IS # 11, but you can't tell until you walk up to it.). I love this series of holes (11-13) but it's kinda weird to have 3 of the shortest holes together on such a long course (minor complaint).
Other Thoughts: I played during a week of heavy rainfall and there were many little runoff steams everywhere, but surprisingly was very little mud on the course. Beware, though, of the creek (when raining) on holes 11-13 & 15. It can get quite deep and murky- I lost two discs in one round, which won't appear until the rains subside.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
My arm fell off..........
Pros: Challenging. If you can get good at this course, you'll be good anywhere. Keeps you out for a long time. Benches have been put in.
Cons: LONG!!! my arm fell off, still waiting to get it reinstalled. We were planning on playing this one and another while we were out at the IDGC. However, after we finished this course we were done.
Other Thoughts: I'd definitely play this course again, not on a day that I had anything else to do though. Some of the par 4's should be 5's in my opinion. I can launch a disc pretty well 320' about, and there were a few par 4's that are impossible to birdie i believe.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Serious Disc Golf
Pros: When you're ready for a challenge, W.R. Jackson is ready for you.
This course is cut through tall pine forests, both level land and big hills. Most fairways are long, but fair. There's a lot of fairway management here, not just hitting the fairway but the sweet spot in the fairway to line up the next shot. True par-5s.
....with a break in the middle, a series of short, rather technical shots clustered along a deep ravine.
And, since it's at the IDGC, you have all the amenities---pro shop, restrooms, water, air conditioning, multiple practice baskets. You also have 2 other courses you can play, if you've still got the energy.
Front and Back 9s loop back to the HQ, so you can break halfway through if you need it.
No water, little underbrush, little risk of losings discs.
Cons: About the only bad thing I can think to say is that this course will wear you out.
Oh, and it takes a long time to play. I think my tournament round there was 5 or 5 1/2 hours. Casual play is quicker, of course, but you can't sneak it in on a lunch break.
Not especially scenic.
No benches---and if ever a course needed them, it's this one. (I've heard that bench installation is pending some design tweaking).
Other Thoughts: I think I'm in the minority of liking this course better than the Steady Ed---despite the mismatch of my 280' arm on this 9000'+ course. It's just one great challenge after another, particularly on 2nd & 3rd fairway shots.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Truly A "Holy Shit" Course!
Pros: This is one of the three courses here at the PDGA International Disc Golf Center. This course isn't as picturesque as the Ed Headrick Memorial Course but it will take you for a ride. I call this an "Holy Shit" course. As in, you walk up to the tee and say, "Holy Shit! What madmen designed this hole?" I mean that in good way that there are players in this game who are so strong and accurate that they need a course like this to challenge them. Everything about this course from the over-whelming length to it's always narrow fairways to the constant elevation ups and downs make this a Gold level course. It has the best signs, teepads and baskets anywhere, just like the Ed.
Cons: I have to agree with the previous reviewers who asked when two more sets of pads were going in so that all the players who aren't pros can play and experience this amazing course. And while it's an amzingly difficult, challenging disc golf course, IMO, it's not a beautiful course. There's no water in play other than a small mostly dried up little creek and you're still playing in the Georgia woods with the bugs and ticks and not in a beautiful, green park somewhere.
Other Thoughts: I've played a couple of the monster courses around the country which are considered amongst the toughest, Paw Paw in West Virginia and the Circle R courses in Wimberly, Texas. While they were totally long and brutal and completely over my head, I don't think they in any way compare to the overall constistent challenges presented by the WR Jackson Memorial Course. Play it and Good Luck!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Beast of a Course
Pros: The WR Jackson 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. It has lots of topography and forces you to compensate for elevation differences. 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. Water is a non-issue and is only in the form of little streams (i.e., you won't loose the disc but you might loose a stroke).
Cons: This courses only real drawback is the lack of shorter (or alternate) tee pads (there is only one set). It would be nice to have another set of pads that would allow players of lesser caliber to enjoy the same wonderful course the big boys do.
Other Thoughts: The WR Jackson Memorial is very similar to the Jim Warner Memorial except it is considerably longer. The WR Jackson Memorial is a very long course that is fairly heavily wooded. The course is around 9,325' long (as of July 1, 2009). So, the average hole is 518' and fairly heavily wooded. The WR Jackson Memorial is a course that was designed to challenge pros, and that is exactly what it does. There really are true par 4's & 5's for top notch players (i.e., 970+ rated). Two great examples of the extreme length in a wooded course are hole 8 (915' par 5) and hole 18 (810' uphill, par 5). In order to score at the WR Jackson Memorial you must not only possess a big arm, but you also must be able to control it. That being said, the course is fair. There are adequate holes, but they are long and once you are offline, it is hard to get back on. Being a recreational-intermediate golfer (i.e., 840-860 player) it really did eat my lunch. If you are in the area I would recommend it to anyone, but if you aren't a very skilled player, I wouldn't travel to it unless you have time to play the other courses as well; as you will be frustrated.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
One of the best anywhere
Pros: For a challenging, gold-level course, WR Jackson leaves very little to be desired. The challenge is fair and complete, the terrain is beautiful, and it is located in an amazing park with the International Disc Golf Center.
From the challenge perspective: the course has fairways that are the appropriate width for the length of shots required. There is a good variety in distance and shot shape that requires many different discs/types of shots.
There are several "fast" greens with the baskets on slopes and/or near drop-off's that make putting and approaching more dynamic.
Some of the holes are among the most unique and interesting anywhere. Hole 18, in particular is one of the best holes in disc golf. That hole is a 780 ft. par 5 that starts with a drive down and across a ravine, before turning sharply uphill for the next 500 ft. The fairway narrows considerably approaching the basket. It's a great par 5 in that an eagle 3 is possible for the big-big arms, a birdie 4 is desired, but not easy, and 6+ is definitely a possibility following bad shots and/or excessive greed.
Course management is paramount for scoring well. While power comes in handy throughout the course, it is not necessary to have huge D to score well on this track. A 350 ft. thrower could win the Open division.
Much of the course has shade cover from the large tree canopies. The trees themselves are beautiful. For such a huge course, the staff has done an amazing job of prepping the grounds, The hills and valleys make for many pretty vistas and fun shots.
Cons: While this course is nearly flawless, it does have a few opportunities.
At present, there are only gold-level tees. This course is way too beautiful and awesome not to be enjoyed by players of all abilities. I certainly hope that two more sets of cement tees are added at some point in the near future.
There are a couple squirrelly routing situations, with a couple holes crowding each other unnecessarily on such a big piece of property. In particular, hole 16's tee is only 20 ft. from the edge of hole 17's fairway.
Holes 11-13 crowd each other and are an odd stretch of 3 short par 3's in the middle of a massive course. Also, hole 11's basket isn't visible from hole 11's tee, but hole 13's basket is.
Hole 12 is somewhat of a random-luck hole as many discs come into the side of a hill, with some getting "parked" and some rolling into the ditch that may or may not have OB water. A winding ditch with random puddles of water is not a good hazard. I guess the problem could be fixed by making any water in the ditch casual.
Hole 3 is either just plain silly or not done. The tee sign says 440 ft., par 4, but the hole is a classic luck-luck-dink-dink tweaner. I play the hole by standing and flicking a Roc and then standing and throwing a putter. 75% of the time my tee shot lands clean and it's an easy upshot for a tap-in 3, but 25% of the time the disc gets a funky deflection or bad landing that causes it to roll into the OB ravine. No difference in shot quality, just dumb luck. The hole could be fixed and become an interesting par 3 by cutting a tight, direct route to the basket and taking out some of the "pimp" trees on the existing route. Then a decision could be made on the tee to go for the risky deuce route or play the dink-dink par route sans the luck-luck.
Other Thoughts: Find a way to get to the IDGC! It is absolutely worth any length of trip. The courses, the park, the museum, and the friendly PDGA staff make this an absolute must-visit for all disc golfers.
Remember: Don't be a dirty disc golfer. If you pack it in, pack it out!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Par 4 Golf: Yummy Yummy Yummy!
Pros: This is Disc GOLF. Requires a full arsenal of left, right and straight shots at a variety of power ranges. Optimal landing zones demand precise control of 150' to 400+' tee shots, with multiple routes to many of the baskets. The front nine is long and challenging, and places a premium on long (350+) drives with tight landing zones for setting up the next shot. The back nine features a stretch of deucable holes with fast greens and a nearby creek that require mostly straight finesse shots with the proper length and landing angle, and scores can range from 1 to 5+. Do not relax, or this course will eat you alive! You must execute the shot with the next shot in mind, and when you get in trouble you have to be creative, play smart and minimize damage. I could play endless rounds at this course, since shots that land a few feet apart can require completely different lines of attack. This is a great course for top level pros. I highly recommend visiting the IDGC for some serious DG.
Cons: Multiple tee pads would help make this course accessible to the older or less advanced players who cannot throw 350+ with control. Several fairways along the creek on the back nine are very close together which can result in waits, but the land is so pretty along this stretch that it is worth it (provided it is not raining heavily). Don't forget the bug spray, as there are ticks and horse flies.
Other Thoughts: I look forward to returning every two years for the Hall of Fame Classic, which is a wonderful tournament held at the IDGC. The three courses are amazing. I wish I was 20 again so I could enjoy attacking these courses for years to come!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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