Put on your Big Boy Pants...
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is considered the most difficult of the three at the IDGC, and I agree. It is crazy long, with an average hole length of over 500' and a course par of 69. I didn't time my round, but wouldn't be surprised if I was out there for three hours.
What sets this course apart from most others is the excellent design of the par 4 and par 5 holes. These are not just stretched out par 3's, but rather holes that require a drive to a specific landing area to properly set you up for your next shot. Cranking out 400' drives isn't going to get you anything if you cannot hit your line. Better a modest, but accurate drive than a long one out into the trees.
Many of the holes offer two or even three different lines to play. Having a choice of BH or FH adds interest to many of the shots.
Like the other courses, good level concrete tee pads with perfect texture. The usual excellent John Houck signs with accurate hole diagrams, routes to the basket, etc. Baskets are all in good shape and catch well. And plenty of "next tee" signs to aid navigation.
The course is set up so that you loop back to the parking lot/pro shop after Hole 9. This is handy if you need to pick up additional discs, water or a snack.
The forest in which the course is built is a beautiful plot of land. The various courses are separated from the rest of the park, and you feel like you're alone in the woods while playing.
Cons: The only thing that keeps this course from being a 5 for me is the lack of "something else", like water or significant elevation. The Steady Ed course has some great water holes, and the Warner course offers plenty of elevation. This course lacks either of those elements.
The other potential "con" for some folks is that this is a tough course, plain and simple. If you don't enjoy a challenge I'd suggest skipping it and playing the other two.
Other Thoughts: Great pro shop on site, along with the PDGA museum and hall of fame. The location itself (Wildwood Park) is a great place to camp. We spent four nights here and enjoyed ourselves.
The modest fee to play ($3 a day for PDGA members) is more than fair, considering how nice these courses are.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Jackson is LONG and wooded. Coming in at 9325 this course is probably the longest of the 100+ courses I have played. It really challenges your physical game as well as your mental game. Most courses that set out to be "Long" end up with poor hole design which equates to less fun DG. This is not the case for Jackson. Houck's design is fantastic and a lot of thought appears to be put into every tree.
While Warner had the thick rough where you essentially add a stroke every time you get off the fairway, Jackson was a little more forgiving. While the rough here is definitely a tough out you still have the opportunity to save a stroke in most cases.
I loved the gulleys and creeks winding through the back 9 that add to both the challenge and the beauty on many holes.
There are so many fantastic holes on this course that it really is impossible to pick just one. My personal favorites would be holes 1,5, and 12.
Cons: I believe that the length of this course is both a pro and a con. It does not tailor to newer players, that's for sure and will even leave experienced players wondering why they still play this sport. It gets a little daunting when every other hole is 500+. Hole 10 is a beast.
Navigation gets a little tricky after hole 9. It leads you to two paths, one leading to the club house and the other back to hole 1 and it isn't immediately obvious where to go. A little sign is needed pointing you past hole 1's tee pad.
While the clubhouse is fantastic complete with museum and pro shop, I really wish there was more in the realm of food options. There is nothing out here and you are really in trouble if you brought no snacks. I think a food truck here would make bank.
Other Thoughts: This was the best $3 I have ever spent. $3 to play 3 incredible courses it really doesn't get any better than that. If you're serious about disc golf, you need to make a trip out to the IDGC!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
One of the best of the best
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I've played some beastly courses in my 10 years in the game. There very few courses on the planet that can compete with Jackson's length and difficulty, and of that elite crop of courses I'll take Jackson over the field. This is the best monster course I've ever played. The fairways are decently sized, while still punishing poor throws. The rough is a pain and will make you scramble, without wishing you'd have brought a machete. Most of the other championship level courses have at least one hole that made me say "No effing way... this is impossible". Jackson is challenging but fair from 1 to 18. This is the one course I've played that I can't pick out a signature hole, because so many of them are so good. (1! 2! 5! 8! ...I give up)
I can't rave enough about Houck's design of this course. It is virtually perfect. Every tree is there for a reason. Almost every shot has multiple approaches, with a risk/reward factor that will make you question how much fairway you really want to bite off every throw. Blind guardians are frequently lurking around corners to punish guys who want to bomb, but the more you lay up the longer it'll take to get to the bucket.
This courses is heavy on the par 4's and 5's, which is a direction I love that the sport is heading it. Even the 6 par 3's are not easy by any stretch of the imagination.
Speaking of par 3's, I like the 3 in a row aspect of 11,12,13. It makes for a really nice change of pace from all the big holes to have multiple tee shots in a row that you can get to the basket in 1. Especially coming off of the monster #10, throwing midranges from the tee for a bit is welcomed respite.
This would normally be the part of the review where I single out particularly nice holes I haven't mentioned yet, but they're all great.... so.... yeah.
The facilities and amenities at the IDGC are great, as is the fact that you can get a classic golf style pre back nine break back at the club house. Refill your water bottles before teeing off on 10, you're gonna need it!
Cons: I only have 2 incredibly minor nitpicks.
1) Hole 10 is very close to too hard. Having the teebox 100 feet back from the already challenging fairway tunnel makes getting off the tee brutally difficult. Even the professionals struggle mightily with this tee shot. Its already a beast, the tee being set so far back makes it cruel and unusual punishment.
2) the 11-13 cycle is a shooting gallery during tournaments. I love these holes during casual round, but it sucks when there are 12+ people piled in that small area.
Other Thoughts: If you can't throw at least 300 feet accurately with control (350+ would be better) this is NOT the course for you, and I don't think you'd have much fun.
Pack lots of water, snacks, bug spray, ect. This is a lot of golf and it will wear you out. My buddy and I have a rule: No Jackson on Sundays, because we can barely make it through work on Monday.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
So good that Chuck Norris wears WR Jackson pajamas
29 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: WR Jackson is a whole new level of disc golf course than I've played before. Take a great course, make everything bigger, and you have this course.
- From the first shot off the first tee until the final putt, this is as close to 18 great holes as I've played. The first 10 holes is the best stretch of holes I've yet to play. Things only slow down for several holes before picking up for a challenging stretch.
- The best way I can describe this course is that it's a great course that is then expanded by 50%. For example, two very good to great courses I've played are Hornets Nest (in Charlotte), which plays at 6100 feet and Fox Chase (in Albemarle, NC), at 6500 feet. Stretch those out by about 50% and you have WR Jackson at 9300 feet.
- To its credit, Jackson doesn't feel like a killer long course. The fairways are, for the most part, wide enough that you can pull out driver and attack this course. The course lets you be aggressive without penalizing shots that are less than perfect. You see this displayed on hole #8, the longest at the IDGC at 916 feet. The course has a split fairway, while giving you plenty of room to chop it down to size.
- Plenty of chances to make up for mistakes here. One of the benefits of having so many par 4s is that you can still salvage par even with one poor shot. On hole #4, a 642 foot, winding fairway hole, I played a perfect tee shot, my best at the IDGC, uncorking one in the 350 - 375 range. Don't worry. I'm not bragging. That's also the number I bench. That shot was followed by a dud that smacked a tree 125 feet down the fairway. I was still able to salvage par with a good up and down, thanks to this being a par 4.
- Course takes great advantage of the terrain. #5 is an awesome looking, but somewhat intimidating tee shot. It's a downhill, 631 foot, dogleg right. Don't worry, there's an even more intimidating tee shot on the back 9. #15 is a tight fairway to land on this 524 foot, par 4. From there you have an uphill shot to the basket.
- One of the best things I can say about this course is that it's tough but fair. I've played tough courses where it seems the designer was just trying to stroke his ego, making holes and pin placements comically tough. This course almost penalizes shots that are too cautious. In that vein, this is a course clearly aimed at experienced players, not one for the faint of arm. Or noodle-armed. Or one-disc owner. Whereas Warner is a mental and physical grind, I could enjoy this course while playing it.
- I enjoy the station-to-station hole layouts on this course. By that I mean there are holes that you want to hit a certain distance to set up your next hole, often on doglegs. You get a good sense of this on #2, a 499 foot dogleg right, #17, a 512, uphill dogleg right and #18, a 716 foot, par 5, multi-station-to-station layout.
- There are plenty of benches throughout this course. You'll need them quite often throughout the round. Also, these are the best tee signs, and most useful of any of the IDGC courses.
Cons: The biggest con, and it's relatively minor, is the three-hole stretch of #11 - 13. They're the three shorts holes on the course, all between 238 - 285 feet. All three have the same basic vibe to them - wooded and tight gaps to hit. Maybe because they were clumped so close together, and were all in a row, they felt a little repetitive. Ideally they would be spread out a little more, and not in such in such a tight awkward loop. They feel like they had to be squeezed in between #10 and 14, so they jump clumped them together.
- There were two long transitions and places where it could get easy to turn around. Going from #2 to 3, you go past #7, and then from #7 to 8, you (naturally) go back past #2. The hardest hole to find was #3, simply because it seemed to need another 'next tee' sign or two.
- This is going to be a copy and paste comment for all three IDGC courses. The overall difficult of the courses, terrain and elements are going to be a negative for some players. Basically, if you're not a good enough player, you should not play here. Know what you're getting into before you tackle this three-headed monster.
- Another copy and paste note. These courses probably present a higher than normal 'lost disc' factor. For errant throws, be prepared to spend considerable time searching or be prepared that you might lose a disc or two while playing.
- Final copy and paste note. Be prepared when playing. Pack plenty of food, water, bug spray and other essentials. You can purchase some items inside the center. Besides that there's one gas station a mile from the park. After that, it's another 15 minutes back towards Augusta and restaurants, gas stations, etc.
Other Thoughts: There are courses one plays when you can tell it's something great. I've only played a couple that seemed like they have access to the VIP room. Jackson is part of that club.
- This course seems like it's so effortlessly great. You see Usain Bolt blow past the field in a 100m race, and it seems like he's not running hard. Courses like Renny, Stoney Hill and Sugaree are great (and are also in the VIP room), but those are all grinders. If a course could seem great without appearing to try too hard, this is it.
- There are about five or six holes on this course that would probably be the signature hole on a majority of courses. At Jackson, a couple of those are nearly forgotten.
- This course wasn't the most challenging, and didn't have to be. I really enjoyed that pars were all tough, but fair expectations. For the intermediate-level player that I am, getting par after par was a good thing. It beat the alternative.
- It goes without saying that the IDGC is a must play, must visit for any serious disc golfer. While the museum, shop and other courses are all great, this was the highlight of my visit.
- Jackson did seem to have the best mix of everything on any course I've played to date. I've played courses that were more fun, courses that were more challenging, courses that were more scenic and courses that had other small aspects that were better. Despite all of that, this seemed like the best overall course I've played. It's the new standard bearer in my book.
29 of 30 people found this review helpful.
A step in the right direction
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course is a step in the right direction for many reasons. John Houck is responsible for easily the strongest design on the IDGC grounds and clearly has his finger on the pulse of the future of disc golf course design.
Lucky for me, I was in the area for a wedding last summer and was able to visit the IDGC for an extended afternoon. As a dg lifer, I was pretty excited at the prospect of playing these courses and seeing the museum. I'd been following the development of the facility online for years and was anxious to see the finished product for the 1st time.
The museum was certainly small but cool at the same time. It was great seeing the first golf discs and Steady Ed's Tribute. Also, Stevie's statue delivers.
I started my day on the Steady Ed course but that only lasted for about 5 or 6 holes as the "fairways" were riddled with trees and near impossible, flukey gaps. I wasn't having it.
I quickly made my way to WR Jackson and found what I was looking for.
This is the best course I've played thus far. It's well balanced, safe, and fair but it goes far beyond that. This course represents the next level of disc golf course design. Par 4's and 5's outnumber par 3's to create a challenge worthy of carrying the name "golf". I think it was a shame they couldn't squeak a par 70 out of this track but that aside, this course was a pure joy to play.
For the most part, the fairways are ample and on many occasions, offer options of attack. The landing zones are quite generous and I feel like they really nailed the correct proportions and distances for the blue/gold level player. The tee boxes, signs, and baskets are all top notch and the bridges that span the creek crossings add a touch that helps elevate this place from excellent to memorable. This course is a must play! I can only hope designs like this become the norm in the future. Golf is not a par 3 game. It's nice to see that concept recognized and a solid design executed.
Cons: There aren't many cons to speak of. WR Jackson delivered on many levels. That being said, holes 11-13 don't belong on this course (at least not together). This series of holes represents a weak link in the design. These holes are sub 300' par 3's and feel like they were all kinda stuffed here because the builders were running short on space. Hole 13 really isn't a bad hole but after playing 11 and 12, it just seemed redundant. This may sound nit-picky but this series of holes was kind of a sore thumb on an otherwise delightful course.
Other Thoughts: Aside from the problem of holes 11-13, the only way to improve this course would be to add lower level tee boxes, add multiple pin placements, and shape greens for added challenge. Overall, very well done indeed!
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: the day I visited the IDGC, I woke up at 6:30. I didn't need to leave for several hours but the anticipation kept me from returning to sleep. It would be cliche to liken the experience to Christmas morning but in this case it was, in fact, the day after Christmas. It's a long drive to Appling, GA. It seems like it's a long drive to the Augusta area from anywhere. Then you take that left off the main park road, catch a glimpse of a few baskets and even before you park, you see the gates. Jim Warner. Ed Headrick. WR Jackson. Intoxicating.
I managed a few throws at the putting green before the lure of the gates called me and I walked into WR Jackson. The view from the first tee makes an impressive promise. A long, tough hole. A wooded, clearly-defined fairway bending to the left. Trees interspersed along said path to the basket. Tree-lined rough that will definitely force a pitch-out but isn't that nasty to walk through.
The rest of the course delivers on the promise. This is a long, tough course. At over 9000 feet in distance from tee to target and plenty of space between holes, the walk along can be grueling for the unprepared. These fairways are wide enough to offer different lines to the basket, but narrow enough so that it will be a challenge to consistently keep it in-bounds. True par-fours, with doglegs at the appropriate points and multiple opportunities to choose the right or left route to the basket.
Many of the fairways have trees in the middle here, and this is something I usually dislike. Often mid-fairway trees can introduce randomness to the outcome of drives. Not so here. These trees are spread out enough, and thick enough that all can be seen and lines can be carved around them. It makes the course tougher, but it in a fun, challenging way, not in an aggravating way.
While many of the holes maintain a similar look, the third hole introduces the ravine. It's a small creek that was dry when I was there. It winds through several of the shorter holes and on 3 it bends so that you pass over it twice on the way to the pin. Dry or wet, you don't want to land down there, as it's a hazardous climb and it's OB as well. It adds a aesthetically pleasing challenge to several holes and they're some of the best on the course. As much as this course boasts length, it's the shorter holes that often have the most ingenuity. 13 is probably my favorite. Over the ravine/creek and hang right all the way to the basket.
There may not be a standout hole here, but I think the way that 1 sets the tone for the rest of the round is enough to make it the signature hole here. With the anticipation provided by those amazing gates, its great to settle into a hole that represents just what the rest of WR Jackson will provide.
Cons: That said, it's hard not to compare it to Rock Ridge Park, the only other Houck design that I've played, and I feel that it didn't quite live up to the newer course. The terrain was probably better here but it wasn't carved through as exquisitely as at the course I'd experienced previously. I freely admit, however, that specific imperfect is not much of a con.
A slightly bigger issue is the flow. The hole-to-hole flow is a little out of whack here, and though there were plenty of naigational aids in place(except, oddly, at the place they were most needed, the 2-3 and 7-8 jumble) it still takes away from the pure enjoyment. And again, it's hard not to compare it to Rock Ridge which, unfinished, flows intuitively without map or sign.
And as much as I like the ravine, maximizing it's use means that the OB area for some holes is the fairway or green for others. This is particularly an issue for 15 and 16. It also creates the situation where unless you have eagle eyes that can read the numbers on the basket from a hundred yards away, you will likely target the 13 basket when teeing off on 11.
Other Thoughts: This course is not for the novice, and it is clearly intended for upper-echelon players, but I do feel that it is very playable for rec players of some experience. It will not be easy. They will be sorely tested, and likely worn out. But they should enjoy their time, and won't be too frustrated.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As most people have said this course along with all the other courses on this land have the basics plus. Great Signs, Lots of benches, huge practice area, pro shop, grills before the course, maps/scorecards for all the courses and a power aid vending machine.
But lets get to WR Jackson
I will start with saying this I played doubles on this course and as a very bad REC player this may be to much of a course for me to play by myself.
Of all the long courses I have played, this one is the most fair, without being easy. There are multiple looks on almost all holes, and a good amount of short to help make things go well.
A good amount of Benches around the hole course.
Disc Catcher baskets with the charity belt, although not my favorite, still great baskets. Also they have next tee pointers on the bottom of all baskets.
A huge Pavilion (I forgot which hole, but I am pretty sure it's half way through the course)
This place is groomed to a tee, all courses here are groomed, and groomed well. They are all truly gold level courses.
Elevation on some of these holes were probably my favorite use of it over all.
Cons: Playing solo as a rec player makes this course very hard.
Not very many trash cans.
Other Thoughts: This course was by far the best over all course on the land to me. It's long, but fair, good short holes and a lot of great stuff. I can understand how others may not like it, but I think all three of the courses on the land are good in there own way, and two people who play the exact same, may think that others are better or worse.
Once again no drinking here, but that isn't a huge deal.
Camping close by in the same park.
The IDGC is worth coming to from anywhere. Great Pro Shop, and all three courses are of the Gold Caliber.
If you do not like my review, please give me a PM on what I can improve. Thanks!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Enter the Beast
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Huge teepads that are all equal and wonderful. Something that you'll find on each course out here.
DiscCatchers are on this course and they are all in excellent shape, it only seems fitting that the toughest of the three courses also provides you with a ringing sound of failure if you're a bit high on your putts.
An amazing amount of shot variety, close to what I would consider a perfect balance of up, down, left and right.
It's beautiful. Although I'd say Steady is the prettiest due to the water, all three of these are really lovely. Some of that Appalachian Beauty a la Dave242.
After you wrap up 9, you're right back at the clubhouse for a possible break,snack,drink, what have you, and you may want it if you're playing all three in one day.
Due to the length of this course it is extremely nice and appreciated to have excellent signage to help with your shot selection and also benches on every hole, huge plus.
Cons: To me, it's just not the most fun I've had on a course, it's probably not even in the top half in that regard. I'm a blue level player and this is a gold level course. I could still shoot even or maybe one or two better on a really, really good day but it won't ever be easy, which is where the "Other Thoughts" come into play.
Other Thoughts: This is an extremely rewarding course. If you're playing well you will probably be smiling a lot and having a great time. It is also very tough, but extremely fair.
Playing Steady Ed from the longs is more fitting for my skill level, which is probably why I enjoyed that course so much more. I'm an intermediate to advanced type player and Jackson is a beast. You will need to have distance, you will need to be accurate, but it is completely do-able to score well here.
Regardless of this course being challenging, it is still excellent. The layout is damn near perfect and you can't ask for much more in that sense, especially with two other great courses on the property.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
A sweet piece of the pie
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A finely maintained 18 hole championship caliber course at the IDGC complex in Appling, GA. One of 3 courses on the property along with a great pro shop, practice baskets, picnic tables and gazebo. Everything you need for a phenomenal disc golf destination. Maps and scorecards are available in the pro shop and a large map is by the 1st tee.
Large concrete tee pads and well done signs at each tee pad. This course is fairly open and grassy in spots, and everything was trimmed and cut nicely. Undergrowth isn't bad and there really isn't a huge risk of losing discs until you reach the holes along the creek.
Great hole length variety. There is a 916' beast as well as a few holes under 300'. There is also a great mix of shapes and turns to the fairways. As far as FH, BH or even OH shots I never felt there was anything repetitive. I needed ever shot I had and then some just to hold my own.
If you like fair, technical golf this is the course for you. Many of the holes present you with a tee shot that offers up a landing zone to set up a second shot, and multiple fairways to the basket. Fairways are ample, but when you are throwing on holes from 600-900' there are many chances for errors. I also noticed that even if you hit some landing zones you soon realize you would have been better off on the other side of the fairway for the next shot. Or possibly even a little shorter to change an angle. There are some subtleties to this course that probably take a few rounds to understand. That makes it a lot of fun IMO.
While most of the course is long and somewhat open, or partially wooded, the back 9 does offer some nice, technical holes along the creek bed. This is also the area where elevation most comes into play.
Cons: Basket 13 is visible from 11's tee pad. Somewhat confusing as you step up to the tee pad. I had to walk down the fairway a bit to spot 11 and make sure I knew where I was throwing.
I wouldn't say there is an awe inspiring hole at this course. I couldn't easily choose what the 'signature' hole would be.
Navigation is somewhat long and wandering in spots. Be sure to bring the map.
Other Thoughts: While I didn't feel there was a truly great hole at this course, I also didn't notice any bad holes. The long partially wooded holes with multiple routes and landing zones are fun and offer players several ways to tackle a hole. It also makes the course more fun to play multiple times as there are different shots and tactics that could be used to improve your score.
The creek along the back 9 was very low when I played so I only had to fish my disc out of a few inches of water when I shanked a drive. But at certain times of the year the creek could be a real hazard. On holes 11-13 and 15 the baskets are also positioned on slopes to make the risk even higher. Fun holes to play, with tight lines and risky greens, but be prepared for some ricochets, rolls and wet discs.
This is definitely a great course, and offers something for every player. Open bombs, tight woods and even a little elevation to mix things up. I highly recommend a trip to IDGC, and a round at WR Jackson.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Kicked my butt
Pros: Probably the hardest course my wife and I played on our recent trip to the southeast from Indiana. Also, it was probably the first course I've played which you could really tell was purpose built to challenge a professional level player of which I am certainly not.....(yet!). Though challenging, it's still fair. I literally used my whole bag and just about every type of throw throughout the round. I only wish we had time to play the other courses in the park.
-Concrete tees in excellent shape
-Professional signage throughout making navigating the course easy
-Excellent facilities. The practice facility was quite cool and had what looked to be every type of basket out there. (the indoor facility was closed when we visited the week of Thanksgiving so I can't comment on those)
Cons: There were only 1 tee pad on each hole, though my wife and I saw evidence of flags marking what we presume to be a 2nd set of tees to be added later for ams and ladies.
Other Thoughts: We'll definitely be back someday.
It was $5/person, but well worth the money.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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