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.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is long - over10,000 feet from the long tees to the long pins. Mostly wooded with narrow fairways, this course will offer a daunting challenge to any disc golfer. The multiple rubber/crushed stone/natural tees (3 for each hole but they weren't all installed as of the date I played) allow players to mix and match tees to the pin positions which certainly adds variation and a creative element. The rough was punishing for errant shots but not so thick so you'd lose a disc. The signs at each hole were good with regard to tees/pin positions but no sign ever built can possibly prepare one for the reality of this course. It's quite demanding and not for the casual player -at least not right now 'cuz the course is being broken in. I was pleasantly surprised with the condition however. It certainly looks like this course has been given some thought as to the layout & all the hard work shows. It's both humbling and enlightening.
It's easy to find (a few miles off I-95) & large with many amenities. Appears the course has minimal incursion by non-disc golfers (only one remote possibility the entire round). The vision of this course is obvious in the design. It's just not there yet which reduces its rating.
Cons: It's hard to criticize a course that kicked your ass (unless you're bitter about it).
Again, these heavily wooded east coast course are what they are, mostly wooded without much water (or any in this case but I could see where it would be possible if it had rained recently) and lacking open holes. Some may view this as repetitive and it's certainly a valid claim for this course. There was elevation but don't expect anything epic. I guess navigation could be an issue but only mildly. Course isn't 'finished' and needs some breaking in. All the more reason to visit and help break it in!
Other Thoughts: I was greeted at the practice pin by some area players who graciously invited me to play the round with them (I readily accepted). I basically got a tour of Iron Hill by players who, even though the course is relatively new, are intimately familiar. They played a custom setup of the course which I was told averaged out to be a par 4 for each hole...and it was still crazy hard. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and greatly appreciate the courtesy extended by the local players. I just wish the course was closer to where I live.
If you're driving on I-95 through the area and haven't played this course, I highly recommend you take the 2+ hours out of your schedule and play this course....oh, and write a review also.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
If you like a challange then you will love this course!
Pros: Two large concrete tees with signs, and 2 baskets per hole. Markers by baskets to next tee. Course flows nicely and figure 8s the two 9 hole halves to the parking lot. This is a long par 72 10,000'+ long course... Whew! Most holes are either up or down 40 ft of elevation and through heavy woods with avg distance of almost 600' per hole. There are clear fairways, they are tight and you will be punished if you veer off it. There is very little underbrush so I did not have trouble finding discs off the fairway which is always a good thing on a course this heavily wooded. Didn't notice any poison ivy and bugs were not much a problem. Port-a-potties, water fountain by parking lot. Easy to get to and only 2 miles off I-95 with UDel just down the street there is plenty to do or eat around. Map in parking lot.
Cons: **Warning** the gold course is meant to challenge the best of the best. The Silver is also pretty tough and may not be suitable for beginners.
Parts of the course was a bit muddy though and it hasn't rained in awhile, so I'm not sure if it gets bad after a storm, but there are interesting steps and bridges to get through in any case. Found a deer tick on me on the way home.
Other Thoughts: Iron Hill is the only true par 72 disc golf course that I know of, and sets the standard of future championship level play. You must have every shot in the bag to score well here. You will be tested on accuracy with distance. There were many times I wanted to throw a roller, but its discouraged because of the huge rocks and trees/roller dams laying across the fairway, so it really challenges your low ceiling air shots in particular and your recovery shots. If you like to challenge yourself physically and mentally against the best then this is an absolute must play! If you like to just grip and rip in the open, this course will the bane of your existence. I can't wait to come back and get redemption.
Fenced in playground, dog park and dogs allowed, good mountain biking.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Multiple tees and basket locations make this course very playable for all skill levels. Extreme challenge Gold to Long. This is a very nice park setting with many other things to do. Perfect concrete tees.
Cons: This course should have a Bethpage Black sign "Extreme Golf, only for professional disc golfers". Way too many good drives that land in the "fairway" are directly behind trees with no chance at reaching green for a birdie. Very narrow dirving lanes. All holes seem the same.
Other Thoughts: This course will make you a better disc golfer on any other course......you have to see it to believe it.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 0 Not
Iron Hill is here.
Pros: A little over a year old and fresh off its first PDGA tournament Iron Hilll is really coming into its own. The course winds up, down and around the hill through dense woods on all but 2 or 3 holes. (compared to the rest of the course #6 is kinda open) On most holes the foliage is dense and when playing from the gold tees for an Am like me the name of the game is 'Stay On the Fairway.' Rounds here I've done this I felt I scored well. As a result, playing here has greatly improved my game on less difficult courses (which is every course I've played to date save Paw Paw)
Iron Hill has BIG distance, long to long is over 10,000 feet! Even the most seasoned pros are sure to find challenge here. Signature hole 17 is 860 ft uphill through the woods to a basket on a mound way above your head. Its like the mound's whole existence was waiting for a basket to be placed on top. To sweeten the hole, a stone staircase was build on the steep hillside to the basket and is one of the most beautiful man made things I've seen on a course. I love that a course this big was put in less than 10 mins from me.
If distance isn't your game Iron hill has 2 and sometimes 3 tees per hole, put in for players of all skill levels. Not all tees are completed yet, but they are marked and the gold tee signage shows where they are. The white tees certainly take the teeth and the distance out of the course and provide a challenging yet not overwhelming round for Am and Rec players. Some Am friends of mine who played the long tees to long pins first time here swore they weren't coming back, but after a round from the whites (which provide several 2 opportunities for players who drive 300ish feet) they love it. The Gold tees are the largest concrete pads I've ever thrown from and the shorts will eventually all be nice rubber fly pads.
Almost all holes have short and long pin placements, for added variety and challenge. Hole 4 is one of the best differences, short pin is one the edge of the field you throw across (yes there are 2 field holes here) and the deep pin is through a 100 ft tunnel starting at the field and ending at a pin with OB behind it. A few pin placements are right in the middle of awesome rock formations. In the future there will be 2 permanent baskets at each hole, further increasing your playing options at Iron Hill.
Tee signs have recently been installed at each gold tee, giving tee locations, pin placement distances and even elevation changes. Some of the nicest I've ever seen. Paths from basket to next tee are becoming much more clear/trampled and are lined with logs on both sides.
Another interesting and somewhat unique trait is the terrain. Rocky on most holes and on some fairways you will find shallow dips and trenches. The result is even a fairway drive could end up giving you questionable footing for your 2nd (or 3rd) shot. Maybe not a pro, but an interesting feature. Come with sturdy foot gear.
Fairway paths and directions have a nice variety and good mix of up and down hills. Course is laid out in true par 4s and 5s were if you get a birdie on them you earned it. Some holes just making par feels like a win. I wish more courses would adopt this system.
Other pros- trash cans and benches available on many holes. Port a johns on site as well as pavilions and grills. Oh, and for those that complain- Iron Hill is one of the few Delaware courses that you don't have to pay the park to play!
***UPDATE*** Several holes now have 2 permanent pins! (Gold and Silver) More are on the way. Most short tees now have either flypads or packed stone dust, awaiting flypads. The options now are plentiful and Iron Hill is now much more beginner friendly and has layouts for golfers of any skill level. Fairways are being constantly improved, the volunteers at Iron Hill are awesome. Look for this course to be nearing its full potential in summer 2010.
Cons: My only real con is playing through dense woods for 16 of 18 holes can feel redundant. (Especially if I'm having a bad round/difficulty staying on the fairway.) I just like a bit more variety. Players who don't like or aren't ready for long holes will be turned off by the long tees, but now that the short tees are in Iron Hill should be fun for everyone. That said, heck if long to long isn't one the hardest rounds out there. Someday I'll finish at par.
Other Thoughts: Iron Hill provides a challenge for all skill levels. Not only will you need a variety of shots and great accuracy, but a tough mental game as well. This is where over the past year I've really learned to play for the fairway or the layup for my next shot instead of going for the basket everytime. I also really learned here when to swallow my pride and throw a putter back onto the middle of the fairway instead of going for it. This has helped my play in several tournaments at other courses. I've learned some smart golf.
Along with providing another place to play in the area the course at Iron Hill and the constant presence of players (along with a few other park additions, bark park, etc.) has helped deter some 'riff raff' that was making a home here.
Iron Hill has come a long way since it opened last year. For those that played it and had problems with the navigation and signage, come check out the excellent tee signs put in and bring the map provided on this site and the Delaware Disc Golf site. For those players that were way to turned off by the distance and difficulty, come out and give the short tees a try. DDG volunteers have put a lot of hours in here and the course is going to be a great tournament destination on the east coast.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As the course pro here I'm a little biased, but I will try to give a true review of the course.
Iron Hill was designed to be a pro par 72, with tournaments in mind. Right now Gold to long comes in around par 70. The lengthening of two holes is in the works to complete the goal by the end of the year.
All Gold tees are 6X12 concrete pads that have the best grip I've played in 12 years. New tee signs with footage to both pins as well as elevation changes were installed earlier this year. The next tee is a good distance from the pin, no waiting for the next group to tee. Running water and numerous pot-a-pots are available. Parking in two separate parking lots is always open, with a third open for tournaments.
The course is long and tight with a lot of elevation changes. Too score well you'll need a lot of different shots and skill. This is the beauty of the course. Every hole you must decide to go for it or play safe. Do you play for par or for birdie? Play safe and shooting in the 70's will win you many matches with your friends and probably cash in a tournament. Go for it and you could shoot in the 60's or get close to that 80 mark. This is the most mentally challenging course I've ever played. Every round ends in, I could have.
The first PDGA tournament was just played there with some of the best players in the Mid-Atlantic region attending. 1000 rated players shot from 63 to 79 on the Gold Par 70 layout. Watching 400'+ drives down a 20' fairway was a thing of beauty.
Cons: This course can eat an Am player alive. Everything that makes this a good course for pro level players can become a draw back for Ams. Notice I did say can be a draw back. I've played with a lot of Ams that love the challenge.
The back 9 can be extremely tight. This can leave you feeling as though you just played this before. Holes 15, 16 and 17 were thinned out a little to alleviate this.
The course is only one year old and the rough can be extremely rough. Don't get off the fairway. You may have to throw backwards to get out.
Other Thoughts: In order to get the full scope of this course you need to play from the correct tees. The course was designed with the idea of playing par 72 for everyone. If you are not a Gold player you could easily get frustrated playing the gold tees. The course was put in Gold tees first with the idea of utilizing the land provided. The Blue and White tees are in the process of being finalized and will make the course play more Am friendly.
A lot of upgrades have been made over the last year and many more are in the works. The stone steps on 17 are a thing of beauty. If you haven't played it recently check it out.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Layout and distance. Each hole offers a different shot and not just one unique shot per hole. Some holes are well over 600 feet long and require precise disc placement on the fairways.
Cons: Terrain. Lots of rocks and tree stumps. Avoid the worm burners as you can really damage the discs.
Other Thoughts: This course will test your ability as well as physical and mental toughness. Pack light, as the long walk will definitely put a crimp in your back/neck.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 1 Not
The Meanest Course Ever Built
Pros: This course is conveniantly right off I-95. There are 2 practice baskets to warm up on so you can putt and throw at one and then putt and throw back at the other. Cool! Plenty of trees around those practice baskets. Trust me you will need that practice. There are 2 sets of concrete tees on every hole. These are huge concrete tees in a deep forrest. Not very often do you see such perfect tees in such a difficult setting. The course is by far the most challenging course and I doubt there is a more difficult course out there. Many seem to describe this course on a whole rather than appreciate each hole for what it offers. I suppose this is because it might be like trying to describe 18 boxers who beat your ass...the punches all begin to feel the same after awhile. Tyson upper cut me, then Ali stung me, then Holyfield head butted me, then Foreman bombed me, then Sugar Ray humiliated, I can't keep it straight I am just in pain.LOL! These are the meanies in all their wicked glory!
#1 a 605 foot drive downhill anhyzer to a protected pin....this fairway is wide open and fair but as all do on here it punishes you if your off of it.
#2 One of the only birdie/par chances on the course a downhill Hyzer to a pin with random trees to negotiate but not impossible...easiest hole on course.
#3 Fun 660 drive through relatively open field to a well placed pin. Consider this the open hole!
#4 Another relatively open 675 downhill shot to a fast protected green! Your done with grass hope you enjoyed it..haha
#5 690 foot tight uphill drive makes it feel like 1000 feet due to 55 foot elevation gain to a boulder laden protected pin perched way up there. I loved this hole.
#6 Nice fairway here 625 with option to go right or left early..then it plays very fair to a protected green. A par/birdy hole.
#7 Wild 370 downhill fairway to a basket tucked behind trees you have the choice to go right or left around trees to reach basket..Killer Fun hole here!
#8 605 uphill journey with twist in middle of fairway..40 feet of elevation gain makes it play longer.
#9 555 only flat hole on course but it's very hard with plenty of trouble off fairway
#10 675 A long couple of drives up to a basket this is just about sheer long distance control
#11 630 Another long one that will just break your spirit if you let it...this is where most players start to emotionally breakdown I think
#12 520 Fun downhill hyzer basket is down around the bend
#13 360 a controlled downhill drive to basket this one is a birdie/par chance
#14 370 simpler hole but still tree laden
#15 480 uphill with a big lane and a tight window option..gently hyzers to the left I found this a fun hole.
#16 515 Tree whipping make it stop!
#17 860 What many say is the penultimate signature hole on course..Its long uphill, tight, and plays to a wonderful basket atop an elevated bank on top of the hill...It can be conquered!
#18 460 finish your day down a reasonable fairway to a rocky green..then walk out of the forrest and finally relax. The combination of elevation, distance, and woods makes this the one course I want to play every year and one that has left a deep impression on me.
Cons: At times it seems those responsible maybe have bitten off more than they can chew. That is the amount of work is a herculean effort and once one fairway is cleared another is quickly overgrown. I played it in the early spring and found it dense I cannot imagine this place in July.
Other Thoughts: This course is so underrated. This course is relentless in what it demands of you. You don't come here for a pleasant day of disc golf. You come here mentally prepared to play the most difficult course ever built. I have played some tough wooded courses with epic length, but this is far and away the most difficult. Don't take that as a bad thing. It is fair. Yes this course is fair. Other reviewers seem to think it is not fair but it is if you play within yourself and keep your emotions intact you will be amazed at the player you can be. There are no breather holes here. It seems to get harder and harder with each hole. The woods are huge hardwoods with elevation gains/drops of 30-50 feet on many of the holes. The fairways are not terribly tight...they are just long. Some players cannot adjust to reaching for their fairway driver on shot 2. Often I think players are disheartened by hitting a tree early but recovery can be just as satisfying early as hitting a tree late can be frustrating. One has to really keep focused here. I am not an expert player but I really enjoyed my round here. It is a completely different experience. People rave about Paw Paw but thoise fairways are far worse and unfair than these. The woods begin to engulf you after awhile and your looking for that open field hole or that little gimme 3 but it never comes. I think the mental beating is what irks people here. I loved it. It gets to be a bit like the Blair Witch project out there...you can lose your mind and in the end your just relieved to be out of those woods no matter how it ended. Whenever I am on I-95 in this area of Delaware I swear I can hear Iron Hill teasing me..."come on bitch come here and get your beating...yeah keep driving bitch you can't handle me" like Tim I want to beat this course one day.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 25 Not
Pros: A few good holes in the beginning, featuring both open drives and skill shots. Its a challenging course for sure, and will be better when its complete.
Cons: Its very long, and hilly, which is fine, but some holes are 1000' uphill battles that test your willpower. Its obvious that a lot of work still has yet to be done at Iron Hill.
Other Thoughts: I was excited about this course when i first heard about it, being its so close to me. I was hopeing to have a nice course close by, but it's easily my least favorite. I've played it about 4 times now, and have told myself i'm not going back until its done...its just too frustrating for me right now.
7 of 32 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
You've come a long way baby!
Pros: When I first played this course last summer it was very raw. The concrete tee pads for the pro tees were in place but little else. It looked like some malevolent deity had dropped them in the middle of the wilderness as a challenge to disc golfers everywhere to come battle the untamed beast.
Today the course is still punishing as documented by several of the other reviewers but for all the right reasons. For example:
1) All the fairways but holes 3 and 4 are tight and lined with trees, punishing even the slightest lapse of concentration. I do not think that 3 really even counts as an open fairway because of the giant tree in the middle of the fairway which requires a very precise, low and controlled shot to get out into the open.
2) The epic length has been WELL documented but if it were just a long "air it out" course it would be one thing.
3) The designers did not forget to work the natural altitude changes of the area into the course. This is seen most diabolically on Hole 5 which feels like a slap in the face after the relative openness of Hole 4. Holes 7 and 15 are not too shabby either.
4) Tight turns at the beginning of the fairway and then a long approach shot (or two or three) to get within distance to putt. This is best noticed on holes like 1 and 10. While one of the first three courses that I played when I started this is still the most challenging course that I have ever played.
However, this course is no longer punishing for the wrong reasons.
1) The new tee signs are awesome and point you right where you need to go. This is in stark contrast to my experience last summer when I wandered around the woods for over two hours and I even HAD A MAP.
2) An incredible amount of work has been done on the fairways and the rough to improve the quality of play. Last summer if you happened to throw your disc off the fairway (not difficult to do) it was an epic struggle just to find it. While by no means completely open (there are still thorns aplenty) on the sides of the fairway it is 100% better than it was when I first played here.
3) If you are a beginner or looking for an easier round of disc golf then this course can provide that too. Each hole has at least one if not more finished shorter tee pads (crushed gravel or rubber mats) if you prefer to battle the beast while it has one arm tied behind its back.
Cons: Because of all the work that has been done on this course I have only one complaint. It is designed for two pins per hole but there is only one permanent pin now. This is a minor thing and I hope when the state has a little more revenue it will spring for 18 more permanent baskets to make this truly a world class course.
Other Thoughts: This is an awesome course and it was really inspiring to see it improve over the short time I have been playing disc golf. It has truly come a long way through the efforts of many volunteers and a few visionaries. I would like to thank all of them and hope that some of them are members of this site.
When I finished my round today there was a threesome standing at the first pro tee pad. They called out to me while I was making my way to my car and asked where the pin was located. They then said that they were used to playing the Lum's Pond course, only had one disc each and one of them was even wearing sandals (ouch). I knew immediately that no one warned them about the beast that lurks in the Iron Hill.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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