A step in the right direction
5 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!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 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.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
9 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!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Enter the Beast
11 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.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Its for real
0 Helpful / 25 Not
Pros: This entire place is quite a testament to disc golf. Nice facilities, professionally run. Beautiful scenery, And tough courses.
Cons: Length of courses, not for the faint of heart.
Most holes can be easily navigated, but lots of terrain changes
0 of 25 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.
Kicked my butt
3 Helpful / 4 Not
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.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Distance, accuracy, and versatility were all very much required, yet virtually the entire course was completely fair.
Signage was great.
Cons: The only thing keeping me from giving the course a perfect rating was the lack of wowing features aesthetically.
Other Thoughts: Tee pads were okay.
The course was am extreme yet fair challenge and a pleasure to play.
The entire IDGC experience is first class.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1) Incredible practice area with all of the types of baskets represented as well as plenty of angles and approaches to be thrown. I didn't warm up (because I already played Lake Olmstead and had to make sure I was able to finish all 3 courses) but if I was playing a tourney this would be greatly appreciated.
2) Designed by one of the premier designers in the game John Houck. I played a lot of his courses last year when I was in Texas and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. He has a knack for challenging you with all your shots.
3) Pavillion and picnic tables are available along with a soda machine outside. There are restrooms inside the IDGC and a couch to sit down on too. Check out the pro-shop while you are there and help support the PDGA through other ways than just your annual dues. Check out the history of the sport and our founder Steady Ed Headrick in the Disc Golf Hall of Fame
4) Scorecards and maps available in the pro shop . . .always a bonus on a world class course that you have not played before. There also is a small mailbox on the course map at the entrance to the course) that usually would have maps and scorecards in there too in case the pro shop isn't open.
5) Nice big sign and map along with sponsors and contributors to the course listed on another sign. I love the entrance gate that you walk through to get to the course.
6) Excellent use of distance variation as a design element. There are all sorts of different distances with multiple holes over 700, 800, and even 900' out here so you need all your discs in your bag. You will also never have the same shot twice which is awesome. SO many courses get stuck on the 275-300' shots where you can only have so many hyzer shots before the holes become repetitive. Here the distances vary so much you never have the same shot on two holes.
7) Very clean woods . . . meaning Jason works very hard to keep the peripheral areas free of fallen limbs and debris. It is pretty rare that you see something that is in play off the fairway and that is greatly appreciated and it helps make the course look just that much better.
8) They did an excellent job keeping the trees that frame fairways and cleaning out the ones that do not need to be there. The fairways are very fair but they do still make you make the shot.
9) Excellent variety in shot shaping on this course. There were a lot of different shots off the tee but your recovery shots bring even more shots into play . . . I love throwing different shots all day . . . it keeps things from feeling boring.
10) .Very nice grippy trapezoidal concrete just like on Steady Ed.
11) Excellent place for the Yellow banded Discatchers. Just like the Steady Ed course they have the thee flags on top of the Discatchers too. They are much easier to spot in the dense woods than any other basket.
12) There is a ravine that is roped off as OB on multiple holes on this course. This is a feature that you rarely see because no one wants to spend the time roping off an area that constantly needs tweaking .. . but they do here at the IDGC. This way there is no question whether you are OB or not and this is one rule that can be very confusing unless you really understand the rules.
13) They have the nicest rain shelter that I have ever seen. It was big and it had seating inside. It rivaled the one at Blue Ribbon pines, but this one seemed like it was nicer and newer.
14) This course loops back at the end of 9 holes to the parking area and you might need it in summer. Fortunately for me it was a nice 55 degree day and overcast so it was no big deal, but this is certainly a positive during the Georgia summer.
15) Shot shaping here is a lot of fun because they often times give you plenty of room to work your discs. You might have to hit key spots in the fairway but you can generally work your disc either direction on at least one shot per hole. It just depends on how close to the tee the fairway bends and if you can keep the disc in the fairway initially.
16) This is the most open . . . and I use the word "open" as a relative term . . . because this is the IDGC in the Georgia woods. There are no wide open holes, but the fairways are wider and more "fair" than the other two courses. You do not have to be pinpoint on WR Jackson . . . you just need to hit the gaps and control your disc at the end of the flight to score well. With that said . . . there are still quite a few tight holes on this course . . . but the true fairway line is well defined.
17) (I apologize in advance I was watching this video today) As Timmy Gill says in Clash I (Rennaisance Gold) . . . this is the future of our sport with Par 4's and Par 5's. This is where or sport needs to go . . it needs placement shots and true risk/reward shots where if you want to throw 450' you will have to execute a much tougher shot than someone throwing a two 250' shots.
Cons: 1) The hole maps are very generic here . . .and this is super nitpicky . . .because the fairways are wide enough here on most holes that the simple "outline" of the fairway is just about good enough. There are way less trees on this course (at least in the fairway) so it isn't like on Steady Ed where there are key trees scattered all through the fairways, there are treed areas (rough) and turfed areas (fairways) and rarely do these areas intersect with each other.
2) The distance here is a little demanding for beginners. There is no way any beginner could withstand a round here and even though the course is designed with Advanced and Pros in mind I like courses to be accessible to all. They could easily put in short tees at about half the distance of the long tees so that beginners would have a chance to play and even enjoy what this type of course is like. I still had fun because I knew what I was getting into and I can execute good shots . . . it just might take me 3 or 4 or 5 to get to the basket.
3) The only thing I noticed that could really have more attention paid to it is the OB line along the ravine. While I appreciate that it is there . . . there were a few placed where some erosion may have happened and the rop is actually hanging down at the base of the ravine . . .creating confusion (not really a conflict of the rule but confusion). This is more of an issue because I come from a long history in golf course maintenance where the routine maintenance is taken to another level. If you paint a line that is the line, if there is no line the line is between the posts. And in this instance the intent is to keep the OB line above the ravine so there is no question if you are in bounds or out of bounds. But the intent is also a safety issue where you do not want someone trying to recreate a lie on the banks of a ravine (so in essence the rope should always be above the edge of the ravine, but there were a few places where I noticed the rope hanging down in the ravine making a true "drop" impossible to recreate.
Other Thoughts: I know a lot of this courses pros were basically the same as Steady Ed's review, but there were also a lot of other things I noticed too . . . so if the review sounds familiar it is because I used the same wording to accomplish the same thing for this course, but there should be plenty of other useful info from my review too.
This course is the most unique (as compared to the other two on site) course at the IDGC. It is through the woods but it is LOOOOOONG and the fairways are often time very wide. Sure you need to avoid the peripheral areas but you are more likely to really get your disc out there on this course. There are all sorts of landing areas but depending on what you choose to throw you will have to pick you landing areas. I found it hard to "layup" and chose my favorite driver on most holes . .. sometimes I was rewarded by threading the needle, but often times I was punished and had to throw out to the fairway as opposed to trying for a miraculous recovery.
I would rank this course 3rd of the three courses but only because I do not have distance as a strength in my game. I feel I am accurate but there is no way for me to take my throw to the next level and pump one out there really. I am satisfied throwing my 275' on any given throw. I just have no difference between golf distance and pure throwing distance. I know it is designed for gold level players and I am far from I so it is less enjoyable for me. I can totally see how the advanced and pro level players might enjoy this more than other courses at the IDGC.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 4 Not
Bring your control to go with that Big D...
Pros: With over half the holes clocking in at 500' or more (and hole 2 at 499), the Jackson course is plenty long, but still manages to squeeze in some variation in hole lengths with 4 holes in the 200-300' range and 2 more between 300-400'. Strikes a good balance between being well wooded and just open enough to air it out and let fly (if only I could), but able to punish the foolhardy or errant shot for straying from the fairway. The holes on the Jackson course are quite well conceived and manage to be challenging enough for pros, yet inviting for intermediate players.
Truly a gold level course (which kicked my red level butt) with legit par 4's & 5's. Many strategically placed bends really do emphasize placement as much as distance. Staying on the fairway alone isn't enough to score well. Unless you have both, the distance and control to put a tee shot onto the fairway beyond where it bends, you really need to hit the landing zone to set yourself up nicely for the next shot. Landing short, long, or on the wrong side of the fairway, can leave you a tough shot that could easily end up adding a stroke for that hole.
Nicely groomed, well defined fairways typically offer at least a couple of routes, with some obvious landing spots.
Wonderful mix of hole shapes to maintain your interest and exercise your entire shot-making portfolio.
Mostly flat on the front 9, the terrain and stream comes into play on the back 9, especially on some of the shorter holes.
Navigation is OK with next tee signs, great tee markers and course map to help find your way, but course layout left me wondering where the next tee was a few times. Not as foolproof as the Headrick course, but certainly not bad enough to list as a con.
The shelter just before 8's tee is a great place to take a break from the sun or rain, and refresh and recharge before setting out again - something I'd recommend before teeing off on that 900'+ monster.
Bright yellow Innova "chasitity belts" are easily the most visible targets out there, and make things easier for visitors (let's face it, this place is gonna get visitors).
IDGC Bonuses like:
Great tee pads: spacious and grippy even when wet.
Best practice putting green you'll find anywhere.
Benches and wonderful signage at every basket.
PDGA HoF and Pro Shop, tournament pavilion with drink machines.
Boot cleaners located just outside the Pro Shop to brush the mud and dirt from your shoes.
Cons: Cons: As expected, things were done pretty well here, so there aren't many cons to list.
Course layout seems a bit strange, resulting in some long walks between some holes that interrupt flow of the course.
I don't mind pay to play, but that's in addition to the park entrance fee - still worth it to play these courses.
Other Thoughts: Personally, I didn't enjoy the Jackson as much as the Headrick or Warner, there's no doubt this is an excellent course and part of a phenomenal facility. Quite frankly, it's intended to challenge those with more skill than I've got, so I can't knock it because it kicked my ass. I have to rate it based on the fact that it's intended to create score separation among top level players
something I would say it should excel at. A wonderful course that can stand on its own, it comes with all the plusses this location offers. Kind like what Leviathan would be if those guys had these resources.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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