Toughest Course Around
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: When I was a young kid I remember the first time I tried to eat with a spoon. It was impossible. I literally failed many many times at doing that. After playing my first round at Iron Hill (I have since played again) that's how this course makes you feel. Fail fail fail. But that's the beauty of it.
Iron Hill has to be the hardest course in the world. What an amazing test - I shot an 80 and felt like I played well. I actually shot a 71 from the gold to gold layout the second time I played and felt like I played nearly flawless. I played the back tees to the back pins, and the course challenged every aspect of my game. Iron Hill was simply brutal - the average hole length was somewhere near 600 feet. Only two holes were less than 400 feet when I played the course, and the course was almost completely wooded. Holes 3 and 4 were the only non-wooded holes on the course, and really were my favorites. Hole 17 was a fair but brutal beast - 900 feet uphill through the woods to a darn near impossible green to reach with your 4th shot. A big pro for me was the par for the course - even though I shot +8 my first round I felt that the par for the course was fair. Having multiple tees and pins was really neat. Even though the course is completely wooded and very very long, the holes were very fair. I shot poorly because I tried to do much with holes that should have required a 300 foot shot. If you want to get your butt kicked, then play Iron Hill. If you don't want to get your butt kicked, play Iron Hill anyways to say you played the hardest course in the world. Out of the nearly 135 courses I have played, this is easily the hardest. In addition, even though this course is almost all in the woods, it really is pretty easy to find discs off of the fairway (trust me, I had some).
I can't think of a better test of disc golf than Iron Hill. There are courses that are more scenic and more fun but Iron Hill demands your attention...EVERY...SINGLE...SHOT. You can't breathe. When you throw your drive (if you throw it well) you know you have another tough shot coming up. Even the two holes under 400 feet are not easy. The word easy won't be found within 10 miles of this course. Iron Hill? How about Iron Fist!
Cons: The course simply doesn't let up - it's truly brutal from a fun perspective. As much as I would like to say differently, it's not fun throwing 80 times. Also, the back nine became somewhat repetitive - 600 feet through the woods eventually does get boring, even if the designers of the course did a great job distinguishing these holes. In addition, even though I listed the alternate pins as a pro, I can't help but think what they could have done if they had just built a second course.
Other Thoughts: I would highly recommend Iron Hill to anyone capable. If you are a newer player than avoid this course at all costs - Iron Hill is such a tough course that it will totally frustrate you in every way. After hole 10 I was exhausted, and to be honest I didn't have a lot of fun that day. However, the course wasn't supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be ridiculously difficult. Mission accomplished.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
A long walk...
Pros: Turn down Whittaker and drive past two parking lots all the way to the end of the rode and the larger parking lot. The course opens with holes 1 & 2 in the woods just next to this parking lot. From there, get ready to walk from a wide open field with a protected hole just past the tree line (Hole 3). This will lead you into and out of technical holes in the woods. I'd say that the trees here are mostly second generation following early settlers use of the trees they found there. The brush is readily available but not often too thick and discs are easily found. The land features many smaller rock formations and outcrops. The wooded fairways can be littered with roots and these rock outcrops. Roller shots can prove too risky on the wooded holes.
The course also features elevation shifts throughout the course. Some of these were slight with a mild drop or rise in elevation gradually from tee to basket...proved useful to add to a discs glide time. Other holes showed
off hilly elevation shifts usually in the middle of the hole. These could also be the breaking point for sharp dog-leg turns.
Every hole can play very long with the gold tees boasting 600'+ holes! Gold tees were cement and spacious.
Blue tees were on every hole and were often at intermediate lengths. Most of these were still fairly long and very challenging. Some of the blue holes were also labeled as gold (hole 7 comes to mind). Blue tees were cement, crush stone or natural.
White tees were generally easy to spot and could provide an excellent challenge to newer players or for Ace run attempts. That being said, most of these could also prove risky as a slighly errant disc will find a tree or two along it's path. The white tees at the time of this post were often natural and labeled with two small white flags in the ground...several were harder to spot initially.
In addition to the multiple tee settings, an A and a B basket existed on almost all of the holes. The A baskets were Mach V's and the B baskets were DisCatchers. The A and B baskets were often separated by one hundred feet or other appreciable distance. This alone can provide for randomization from every tee setting making a hole seem completely different.
Next tee signs were on large white-painted rocks showing the next hole number and a large arrow directing where to go next. Very easy to navigate without a map. I found that I did not use the map that I printed out and brought with me.
Cons: Not very many trash cans. While the course was fairly clean, there was some litter around from those less inclined to walk out what they walk in.
Overall, there really isn't anything that could be a con really. This course is incredible for those willing to walk more than the average course and to deal with the treejections.
Other Thoughts: Extremely well thought out is my walk away impression. Be prepared for a very long walk. The course flows naturally from the B basket to the next gold tee pad. If you are playing the blues or whites (or A basket) you will need to walk a bit especially if playing the white tees. It wasn't rewarding enough to hunt out the white tees. The course feels like a gold course as a result. Well aimed shots and safe shooting is rewarded often here. The canopy is generally high enough to allow for lower over-hand shots. Anhyzer / turn over shots as well as forehand shooting opportunities on many holes. A good distribution of tunnel shots both tight and wide are peppered in the wooded holes.
Hole 17 (860' Gold tee to B basket) stands out among all the holes. A truly memorable experience (no spoilers here) making the entire run up to here well worth it. Finish 18 and take a break. You will want to go for a second round or bask in the glory of the first. What a truly amazing experience! Take the drive to come here if in the area.
A truly excellent course and easily one of the best around Delaware, NJ and eastern Pennsylvania.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
best of de.
Pros: ultra-challenging...much more difficult than any other course in delaware, but without it being unmanageable. I see that alot of these other reviews say things about the course not being complete, but as of 7/1 it seems to be fairly complete. all holes now have alternate pin AND tee positions. great scenery here-loved the rocks and how they were utilized, especially around the pins. signs are wonderfully detailed compared to most courses. It was also very well maintained, brand new baskets/tees/signs/etc. lovely mix of uphill/downhill; left/right dogleg holes.
Cons: not for those who are easily frustrated. if your drives from the tee are off, you will have a VERY difficult time recovering and saving par if you're playing from the gold tees and going for the far pin positions...i personally dont see this as a con, but to beginners this can be a real morale breaker. the only true con i can think of is the location-the park can be somewhat hard to find since it is located inside of a neighborhood.
Other Thoughts: I.love.this.course. everything about it is PERFECT...and the creators of the course are still working on perfecting it. when we played we came across the course pro and a crew removing trees and fine-tuning the course. Iron Hill disc golf course is a true masterpiece. bar-none the best course in Delaware.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
As Iron Sharpens Iron
Two baskets per hole. Gold-level concrete teepads with excellent signs, showing distance to each basket and elevation change, too. Plans for multiple tee locations per hole. Lots of length, and plenty of challenging basket positions. Two practice baskets. Next tee signs, benches, trash cans. Conveniently located to I95 and not too far from food/petrol options.
Tees still a work in progress - if not playing from the gold, need to scout ahead to see if the blue and/or white tees are available. Closer baskets, since they have no flag nor colour band, are not always easy to spot. Despite playing primarily on mildly-sloping land, some areas manage to hold water.
Looking for a challenge? Come here to experience an incredible combination of length and wooded-tightness, requiring a great mixture of shots in your arsenal. Other than a couple across-meadow holes near the start, this course will keep you in the woods the entire time. Well-defined throwing-paths, ranging from generous to tight, but nothing ridiculous. With so much length, you'll have plenty of opportunity to work on your shot-shaping - and/or recovery shots. Very even blend of left/right/no/S-turning shots needed off the tee - and, at times, from the midpoints of the fairway. About 2/3rds of the holes had modest elevation changes. The last 1/3rd of the course can, at times, feel a bit like pinball.
As you enter the park, there is a small parking lot to your left - #14 starts in the near left corner; Farther on, there is a small parking lot near tee #4; Finally, the larger parking lot near the practice baskets and tee #1.
Some favourites: Hole #1 - a long, flat, sweeping right-turner. Long-basket #5, nestled amongst a small collection of boulder and trees. Hole #13 - a long, downhill, slow left-turner. Long-basket #17, sitting atop a small raised plateau.
Very much looking forward to the complete installation of the blue and white tees with corresponding signage. With new and improving Carousel not too far away, northern Delaware is quickly becoming a mecca for disc golf.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Multi tees and dual baskets on the majority of the holes. Well defined fairways, though some are very tight. Plenty of next tee signs and course navigation isn't too difficult, even if one doesn't have a map. Tee signs at each hole's gold tee. Tee sign gives plenty of information, such as basket locations as well as alternate tee pads. Gold tees are very nice, big and flat concrete. Most of the alternate tee pads were nice as well, however, they are crush stone.
Trash cans and benches throughout the course. Nice use of elevation to increase the challenge and/or beautify the course. Good mix of left and right turning holes. Because it is so wooded, plenty of shade for the summer heat. Good mix of par 3, 4 and 5.
Very convenient to I-95, just a few minutes off the highway. The free park entrance for us out of staters is a big plus :-). Porta Johns on site. Tot lot for the younger family members.
Cons: Shade prevents the course from drying out, and can be swampy in some parts. Rugged and long terrain might be too much for the young ones. Tight lanes make a lot of ricochets off of trees. This puts you off the fairway and can increase the possibility of losing a disc.
A few of the holes seemed too similar, long and tight. Hard to locate some of the alternate tees, not sure if I couldn't find them or they were not installed yet.
Other Thoughts: Northern Delaware is becoming a hot bed for champion level courses, with Carousel Park around the corner and the already existing courses in the area. Even in the shortest configuration, this isn't really a beginner level course. The course reminded my a lot of the South central courses of Pennsylvania, then the other Northern Delaware.
Some memorable holes, lots of challenge we want you coming back for more, even if it kicks your butt.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: This course is very well maintained and very well marked. It has concrete tees (for the pro/gold tees, some other tees are not done or not there on some holes, see below) and new baskets. It is well designed in a loose figure 8 with holes 1 10 and 18 all near the parking lot/portapoties. Some benches and trashcans throughout.
Cons: Not finished yet. Missing or incomplete tees on some holes, misssing alt/silver basket on some holes.
Other Thoughts: I did not find this course to be very fun. It consists almost exclusively of long tight wooded lanes. This is a great place to improve your game, but not a good course for a day out with the crew. Getting through this course felt like a real workout.
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: The only reason I don't give this course 5 discs is it's just not done yet. Very beautiful and challenging. The fairways are long and tight but mostly open and defined. Just enough elevation change with hills and large rocks to make it very fun.
Cons: Not all the tees and baskets are in. Once the "shorter baskets" are in this course will be fun for all skill levels.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: Great design, room for expansion, good tees, extremely challenging but fair at the same time - love it
Cons: A few of the fairways in the back are a bit difficult to navigate unless you've played them before. No other cons that I can think of - this place rocks!
7 of 21 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is absolutly the prettiest and best course that I have played. Check the reviews for some of the Charlotte NC courses where I normally play. This beats them all. The designers seem to have had a compulsion to make an even amount of straight, L, R turning up, down and flat holes. All holes had very clear and fair pathways. Many holes have multiple lines that allow for RH and LH shots. The length of the course is not a problem. Most players can throw over 200 ft. Multiple 180-220 ft shots get you to a average upshot and/or easy putt for par. Par was set very fair. I feel like there is a large variety of hole types. I can't imagine a DG course prettier in the front 9. (and my home course is Brackett's Bluff in Davidson NC ((check reviews there)) Beautiful woodlined fairways wtih almost manicured mowed grass. Tee signs were some of the best that I have seen. Loved the end of 17. I really dislike courses that are made short then shoe horned into being longer with odd tee and basket placements. This was made long and short locations added making the flow of the course awesome. Most of the woods are huge old trees with little to no prickers. Any errant shot is easily thrown back into the fairway or even advanced up the fairway. If you play smart here and can putt you will shoot near par at the long locations par of 71.
Cons: I have to be really picky to point out some cons. After building a few courses myself, I know how hard it can be to complete all the details. Especially when players like to destroy them.
I was confused getting from the long baskets to 5-6 of the next pads. In the long pin placements you have to walk back up the fairway 50-80 ft to find the cut over paths.
The baskets need numbers. You can buy black ones from THD or Lowes for like $3. I might just number them for the club myself. (I GOT INNOVA TO DONATE NUMBERS, SO THIS ISSUE IS RESOLVED. THANKS TO INNOVA)
I don't mind the old fallen trees or rocks in the fairways. Really old dead trees can add to the beauty. It would be nice if the dead fall was taken and thrown off the fairways...(should be done as players play).
I picked up some trash but found few trash cans. A few more could be added right along where the course borders the park road.
Next hole signs could be added. Most of the holes are long enough that you can throw either BH or FH and have a landing area. The real technique comes into play on second and third shots. Not sure if this is a con, but I can see how this can frustrate or bore some players.
If you throw an errant shot or get a bad skip, the course from the longs is so long that you probably will not be able to get par. I would rate this course a 5 with some better signage.
Other Thoughts: I read some of the reviews. I think that it is a shame that people might get scared away from this course because of some of the bad reviews. There are short locations for every hole if length bothers you. I did not find the course to be narrow. I can throw 200 feet straight almost every time so I didnt really feel stressed out. I have really played mostly on NC courses, and I was dissappointed with the North DE, South PA courses. This one made me want to move back and deal with the snow. Some DG'rs out there have a bad hole and let it carry through a round then write bad reviews. A bad score sometime is not the courses fault. I would pay just to walk the course if it was labeled a nature trail but you get to play DG on it too... Sorry this review lacks some specifics but I don't like doing hole by hole reviews.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Will mature into greatness one day......
Pros: I'm glad I was forewarned of the length and percieved par of this course, as it helped put me get a proper frame of mind for tackling it's challenges. There were a few par 5's and many par 4's. Anybody who can't count above 3 needs to go back to school. Also, having a variety of pars makes it more fun and won't discourage those who think that these holes should play as all 3's. As for the course, I am thrilled! This is really a challenging and pretty course. It plays different than most, as many fairways are very narrow, and a few others don't seem like fairways at all (a reasonably open drive followed by thick trees that requires a lot of luck in addition to skill). Some light elevation changes on several holes adds to the variety. No water. Nice pro (gold) tee pads with great traction. The signs are excellent which show the footage and hole layout. There are multiple pin placements that (I hope) will all become permanent so that one has a choice to play a variety of layouts - 6 total with the 3 tee pads!!
Cons: I would recommend a map to get around as there are a few confusing points. There are a few "next tee" signs, but there could be more. I played in the fall with leaf litter and many paths were nearly invisible.
I am a little mixed emotionally about the gold to gold layout. I scored about 5 over the posted par my first time and much worse my second time. It is a quite difficult affair for an advanced player like me, but I know this is designed for pros. Keep this in mind. I plan on playing the shorter tees next time, and think it will be more fun. The main frustration is that you should be using fairway drivers or mid-ranges on most of the holes because the fairways are SO NARROW, you need to set up for good approaches, and if you stray from the fairways, you often have to chip out of the (mostly) thick rough, and will likely bogey.
What I'm trying to say is that when you're new to the course, the hardest thing to predict is the landing zones (on longer holes) that will set you up for the next shot, so you can tend to overshoot everything and end in trouble- making it a frustrating round. Compare this course to the WR Jackson course in GA, which has similar long holes, but much wider fairways.
Another suggestion - for variety , I thought there should be at least 2 or 3 holes from 250-300 that are aceable (from all tees). This is part of the game of golf that has always existed and a major part of the games fun factor. They don't have to be easy aces- but should be there.
Other Thoughts: I think that this course, having multiple pins could follow the wonderful idea that Tyler St. Park in PA has shown. They have a rotating dial below the hole map on the tee that rotates to indicate what the current pin placement is. It's much easier than walking down the fairway to investigate.
I have not played the blue tees yet, so can't say if this is suited for beginners, but I think this course is a great place to hone your skills and will only get better with time. Stay in the fairway with controlled shots, and you will find you will score better.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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