The Third Sister
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is considered the "middle" course at IDGC. It doesn't have the epic length of the Jackson course, nor the water carries and "fun" holes of the Steady Ed Course. So I found it to be the most typical of the three courses, and that is not a bad thing at all.
I was told at the Pro Shop that this was the hilly course, but after nine holes I wasn't convinced. I played this course last and wasn't finding it to be significantly more hilly than the other two. Until Hole 10.
Hole 10 begins a string of holes that plays down and back up a large hill that runs down to the lake. The elevation difference is significant and makes the holes play much shorter or longer than their stated distance.
Hole lengths vary from 231' to the 690'. Hole 15 plays longer than 690' because it is significantly uphill and and it is the sole par 5 on this course.
Only Hole 14 brings the lake into play by requiring a drive across a shallow cove. The carry is modest, but trees on the far bank are ready to knock your drive back into the water. This happened to me, but the water is clear and I was able to easily recover the disc with my Golden Retriever.
Two tees per hole. I played from the longs and enjoyed the excellent concrete tee pads. Tee signs were the usual quality Houck signs with excellent graphics and hole information. Baskets were in good shape and caught well. Numerous next tee indicators and well worn paths make navigation simple.
The course is set up as two nine-hole loops so a return to the parking lot mid-round is easy.
Cons: This is a very solid course, but it lacks the uniqueness that would make it a 5 for me. In many other places this course would stand out as the best, but at IDGC it has some fierce competition.
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Stop reading… just come here and play!
To condense this review, I'll just say:
Basics nailed: great signage, wonderful teepads, good baskets, superbly maintained course. This course comes with all the wonderful atmosphere and splendid amenities that are part and parcel with the IDGC complex. They're not trivial and certainly factor into my rating, but I chose to focus solely on the discing for this review. If you're looking for more depth about the amenities themselves, or the complex as a whole, they're well documented in several of the other reviews, as well as my review of the Steady Ed Headrick Memorial
• Perhaps the best topography of all three courses here; it is well utilized over most of the course to keep things interesting.
• Nice mix of fairway shapes and distances: straight, left, right, some sharp bends, some gradual, and check out the variety of distances on the score card/course map.
• The view from the tees makes you think and execute. Rather than lots of holes with multiple lines, it seemed most holes had one more obvious line that made me think about how to attack it to set myself up well for the next shot.
• Many wonderful holes: I really liked 12, 14, & 16, but your game might favor others.
• Not a lot of nasty underbrush to lose discs in, but the position and density of trees lining the fairways certainly makes recovering from a bad shot tougher than on the Headrick course.
• Dual pads on many holes for different challenges and skill levels.
• Lake comes into view on a couple of holes, and the stream winds through a few more. The water on this course does more in terms of eye appeal than it does in terms of play, and presents no threat of losing discs. Nonetheless, if the level's up, a misplaced (or more likely, bounced) tee shot it could cost someone a penatly stroke.
• Some may think the walk from 9 to 10 is a bit of a flow killer, but I like that it comes back to the complex should you need to refuel or take a bathroom break.
Cons: Take these with a grain of salt - perhaps more "observations" than actual cons, they certainly didn't enhance my experience.
• I'm not hatin', but after playing the other two courses with their flagged/blue DGA baskets and yellow chastity belts, you realize just how much harder it is to see plain 'ol Chainstars from a distance… in the woods. I sometimes found myself looking right through them wonderering, "Where's the basket?" This course is bound to get a constant flow of first timers, as well as people who haven't played here for a long time. Being able to see exactly what you're aiming for isn't a bad thing. Perhaps Discraft should have colored these Chainstars (if nothing else but to keep up with the Dunipace's, so to speak).
• Some of the blind baskets really have you walking back and forth to get a solid idea of where you're throwing.
• Course flow is pretty decent for the most part, but because it's a bit disjointed at times. Warner could really benefit from the next pin navigational aids employed on the Headrick course.
• You have to cross the road to get to 2nd hole, and a few holes play along or near park roads. Perhaps it's because the park's so pleasant and pristine, roads just don't do a thing for me during a round, and kind of dampen that "away from it all" vibe by sticking civilization right in my face.
• A few benches would have been nice. I don't need them at every hole, but it wouldn't cost to steal a few from the Headrick course and scatter them every 3rd or 4th hole. There's a good chance this is likely to be one of three rounds people play on any given day; help them pace themselves.
Other Thoughts: Beautiful course that could stand on its own anywhere - only enhances, and is enhanced by, the IDGC complex. Wonderful terrain, woods and balance of distance as well as L-R fairways make The Warner course interesting and fun to play, but don't mistake this for an easy round - if you aren't up for a challenge, this can be a frustrating course. 15 might have been the most demoralizing 690 feet I've ever played. Perhaps because it was my 3rd round that day, or maybe I was tired of all the rain that day, but it the way it bends out to the right and just… seems… to… keep… going… uphill… just kicked my ass.
The well wooded, rolling, terrain in this section of the park is pervasive, and gives the course its personality. Specifically for that reason, some may think Warner feels a bit repetitive. Perhaps if this was a stand-alone course, I might buy that argument, and list that as a con. However, The Warner Memorial was destined to be a member of this family from the moment of its conception. The variety comes more into play among the courses, than perhaps it does within them. Like children, each of the IDGC courses has its own personality:
Ed's the friendly, outgoing kid, who's easier to play with (at least to the short baskets, didn't get to see the long pins).
W.R. is the serious child, with longer, more open fairways that require good placement to set up the next shot, tougher recoveries, and pretty much only features elevation on shorter holes to add challenge with a risk/reward variable.
Jim's the unpredictable kid that demands your attention, with continuously variable terrain, tight woods and mix of distances requires you to be attentive to what it's doing to stay out of trouble.
It's only when you look at the family portrait (i.e. play all three) that all their similarities and differences come clearly into focus. While I stopped short of giving Warner a 5.0, I'd have to give IDGC a 5.0+ as destination and experience.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Warner by Kenner
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) Pavillion and picnic tables are available along with a soda machine outside. There are restrooms inside the IDGA 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
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) Excellent use of distance variation as a design element. There are all sorts of different distances although not quite as extreme as WR Jackson . . . the distance is a big factor in what you want to throw off the tee here.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) .Very nice grippy trapezoidal concrete just like on Steady Ed and WR Jackson.
9) Chainstars are my favorite chain configuration . . . could that with the yellow band of the discatcher and you have my ideal basket . . .I just love the way these tend to catch. Make the chainstars more visible and you have my ideal basket.
10) The greens here are probably what elevate this course above the others in my mind.
11) This course also comes back to the parking lot after 9 holes making it easier for those who want to only play 9 (losers) or those that need the bathroom or refreshments (losers).
12) This is simply my kind of course . . . I love wooded courses and I love having fun, which is certainly going to happen for me here. I loved the other courses but for different reasons . . . this course is simplydesigned for my tastes.
Cons: 1) Blind baskets are all over this course making your drive more difficult to figure out. It would help if there was an Innova Dicatcher chastity belt on the baskets but even still there are a lot of baskets that would be tough to find.
2) This course seemed to be the worst of the courses in terms of brush in the peripheral areas. I assume this is partly because it is the most extreme portion of the terrain and tougher to get to with a cart and machinery. It is far from horrible and I have played so many courses that were worse than this so it is possible I just ended up in the worst of the areas on the course (my fault I guess).
This course was designed by Jim Kenner . . . who I have to apologize but I have never heard of. Granted, I have only been around the sport for 3.5 years so take that with a grain of salt . . .(as I head off to research who exactly Jim Kenner is for my own frame of reference). Oh . . . what's that you say . . . he is founder of Discraft . . . no wonder why I have never heard of him because Innova got their hooks in me early on and I have not let go since. You can read my blog entry about how Innova won me over if you want by clicking here http://www.thediscgolfexperience.com/?p=69
. . . they did it all with their disc flight rating system so please do not take this as a criticism of Discraft. . . it is simply how I learned what discs did what and it was consistent so I stuck with it.
I know a lot of this courses pros were basically the same as Steady Ed and WR Jackson reviews, 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.
I would rank this course 1st of the three courses because of the intense elevation changes and some of the more extreme basket and fairway locations. This seems to be the most balanced and most diverse property at the IDGC location. Perhaps this is because I was tired from playing Steady Ed and WR Jackson, but I felt like this course had more variety and was simply more fun to throw than the other two (and take that with a grain of salt because I loved throwing the other two courses). This course is definitely more accessible to beginners because the length is not ridiculous but the challenge is every present to keep the intermediate, advanced, and pro level players interested.
Part of the reason this course is my favorite of the three is because it is heavily wooded but it also features more elevation and extreme basket positions than the other two. It is the most suited to my game so apparently that has a lot to do with how I have rated courses to this date.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Time to Be Had!
Pros: -Large Tee Pads
-Great tee signs with picture & distances
-Very nice Chainstar baskets
-Good flow to course(You have a chance to stop at your car half way through the round)
-Fairways are just that Fair, yet very challenging still.
-Next tee signs
-Elevation(Ups & Downs & in between)
-IDGC clubhouse/Pro shop on site
-Pavillion to sit under
-Drink vending machine
-Amazing warm-up area behind clubhouse
-IDGC staff is very welcoming
-DG Hall of Fame on site
-The area is completely dedicated to the courses.
Cons: -Pay to Play
-It was raining while I was there
-It's located in a park that is pretty secluded
Other Thoughts: This was my favorite of the 3 courses on the IDGC complex. Stresses all shots in the bag. Believe me, there is a chance to use every shot you have at your disposal. I thought the total length was perfect. Slightly tired at the end of the round.
If you are planning a disc golf vacation this is one spot you def need to investigate. You will not be disappointed.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
The core of Appling
I highly enjoyed this course because it has tons going for it!
*Elevation changes- 9 Up/ 7 D/ 2 F. Many very big elevation changes, especially on the back 9. Holes 10-15 offer these elevation differentials: -40, +33, -35, +40, -20, +36 ft.
*Terrain- excellent! But I really enjoy woods courses. 17 Woods/ 1 Mixed
*Beauty- a beautiful wooded area with ravines, lots of hills, and some water.
*Fairway shape variety- Excellent balance! 4 Lt/ 4 R/ 3 S/ 7 St
*Length variety- it's hard to imagine a better spread of holes. 7<299/ 2 of 335/ 3 of 405-475/ 4 of 500-585/ 2 of 615-690. (OK, if you wanted to be ultra picky there could be a couple less in the 200-299 ft range and a few more of 300-399 ft.)
*Water- a stream or finger of the lake is in play on 5 holes and in view on 4 more holes.
*Greens- challenging and well designed. I liked the back 9 greens a little more than the front.
*Tees- quite long, raked concrete trapezoids
*Chainstars- one of my favorites! These were fantastic!
*Tee signs- colorful, sturdy Houck signs with detailed maps. These are ideal and couldn't be better.
*Rough- even though it's a woods course the rough is "just right". It's not too thick, but it does punish errant shots, as it should. The only places to lose a disc were a few spots near the lake.
*Beauty of surrounding area- the serene drive out in the country builds your anticipation to be out in nature and away from it all.
*Warm up baskets- the largest area I've ever seen. About half a dozen various baskets in back of the IDGC.
*Map- colorful and detailed; its ideal. Online.
*Next Tee markers- an arrow on a ring at the base of the pole
*IDGC- pro shop, museum, PDGA headquarters. Everything one could ask for!
*Restrooms in the IDGC.
*Benches- quite a few on the course.
Not very much…
-Navigation to blind baskets: you can't see the basket on 12 holes (1, 3, 5-13, 15) so having a map is essential.
-Markers for the current basket position would help, especially on the long holes.
-Navigation to next tee: tee 2 was across the street and kind of hard to find; tee 5 was a long walk and rather to find; tee 10 was a long walk back to the parking lot of the IDGC.
Course Level = Blue (most suited for Advanced players rated 925-975)
~Pay to play. $5 to play at the IDGC, plus $3 to enter the park.
This is a majestic course on fantastic terrain! But just in case that's not enough then there are also two more top tier courses on the property. A fantastic weekend would be to camp at the park and play all 3 courses until you drop-- then play glow golf! This park is a true disc golf destination; it's worth at least a 250 mile drive. Appling is appealing. Make every effort to play this course!
A note about my rating:
My rating is a subjective measure of my enjoyment
of the course, on the day I played it, and it is NOT intended to be a measure of the quality
of the course. My Enjoyment Ratings are given "on the curve" in relation to all other courses I've played.
Look in the "Links/Files" section for my files with Hole-by-hole ratings and a more detailed Overall review. You can also read more of my review philosophy and rating notes at Disc Golf Course Reviews
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Jim Warner course is the more hilly and treed brother to the other two courses on site. When the Steady Ed course has more holes in their long basket positions this course is actually the shortest of the three but is the most wooded and has the toughest rough to deal with. While I enjoyed the front nine I actually think the large majority of my favorite holes are in the back nine and more specifically in holes 14 through 18. That stretch of holes is also where the underbrush dies down a little and getting out of trouble becomes slightly easier.
Hole # 14 is 350 feet or so across a ravine with a slightly elevated tee pad and trees on either side of the fairway forcing you to throw a very straight shot without too much hyzer at the end. A strange kick off a tree here could make your disc splash down into the lake water located off of the left of the tee pad here, putting you out of bounds and losing a disc. Even though it's a longer distance par three with the elevated tee pad an advanced or pro level player will be more than likely be throwing putters on this hole for a straighter, more controlled flight and less hyzer at the end.
Another one of my favorites is hole #18, the par four finisher. This is another fun elevated tee pad with a downhill, open drive (more open than normal here anyway) to a landing zone that is going uphill. From there you have a large left to right throw uphill to a guarded basket location on the top of the hill, near the street. Getting a three here takes distance, accuracy, and smart play.
Cons: Like some of my fellow previous reviewers have stated the rough is a bit nastier than the rest of the courses here and sometimes it can be a little tough to distinguish between fairway and rough. Also some of the lines are a little on the strange side and could use a couple of alternate routes opened to create a few more options. This course just seemed to not have the creativity that the other two courses had. This is the last of three courses to be built and it seems like space was an issue with the design of this course and it has more of the longer walkouts than the other two courses here. Holes 10 through 13 are less quality than some of the other holes on this course and do remind me of some Steady Ed holes but with a little less magic. All of these cons though are getting pretty nit picky.
Other Thoughts: I don't feel right as I write this review as I feel as though I am trashing this course even with the high rating I am giving. If this course were by itself in the middle of nowhere I would still go and play it and it would still be a magical place but I think with the other two courses here to compare it to it gets overshadowed and looked down upon unfairly and more often than it should. Overall this course is a pretty darn amazing place to play!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Out of the three courses available at the International Disc Golf Center, the Jim Warner course may have some of the most memorable holes for the car trip home. Several shots over long ravines both excite and challenge the player to throw downhill shots that land flat rather than fade - a difficult shot indeed! Similar to the other two courses at the International Disc Golf Center, the designers have done a fantastic job of creating holes which are challenging both skill-wise and for course management. You'll need a well rounded bag to score well here and you'll need to really learn the shorter par three holes to make up for the inevitable bad drive or two along the way. Poorly executed drives are punished with effective 'rough' and good drives are usually rewarded with either proximity to the pin or with great position on the fairway, setting up easier approaches for birdie 3's and 4's.
Cons: The main con that I had about this course had to do with a few of the shorter par 3 holes which seemed slightly repetitive, requiring a short to medium right-hand forehand shot. This course is a bit newer and showed a little bit of roughness around the edges in certain places where the shule was a little close to the fairway. I'm sure this will beat-in with time so I'm not going to hold it against the rating for the course currently, but do know that if you visit the course in the next few months, you may encounter a little bit of extra rough. Likewise, the course flow is a little jumbled compared with the other two courses. My guess is that this designer had to work with a bit of the leftovers from the Steady Ed and WR Jackson courses and had to manage with more restrictions than these other two. While a little bit interrupted, the routing still works plenty good enough although a few more signs would be beneficial in helping first-timers find their way around.
Other Thoughts: Out of the three courses at IDGC, this course was my least favorite mostly due to a tiny bit of repetitiveness on the birdie holes and the back-and-forth nature of the skill level required BUT that is getting really nit-picky because the Jim Warner course is still awesome! Also, as you can see from other reviewers, there is a lot of debate about which course is the fan favorite - I think this speaks a lot to the overall high quality and design of all three of the International Disc Golf Center courses.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Technical course in woods
Pros: Fantastic course that starts with a challenging first hole and 6 of the first 7 holes are good birdie chances if you play smart but you could also bogey or worse if not patient. Long and technical from the back tees and the short tees are just as challenging. #8 can be a beast from the long tee if you do not play smart and keep it in the fairway and #9 can also challenge bad tee shots if not in the right position to approach the uphill basket. #10-#14 are fun holes that go up and down the hills of the IDGC and birdieable. #15 is a very difficult teeshot and I have never been able to get the teeshot in a position on flat land other than throwing a short shot before the creek but you have chances for birdie on #16 and #17. Very challenging for all.
Cons: #8's fairway severely needs more fill dirt or wood chips due to the lack of footing from moisture and rain. This was brutally evident during the 2013 HOF Tourney when it was very slippery and major puddling was evident.
Other Thoughts: Stay in the fairways on all holes if possible. Plan to spend a few days in the area. The campground is great and close by. Worth the daily park fee.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Best course at the IDGC
Pros: The IDGC is a disc golf exclusive facility. There is a well stocked on-site pro shop, disc golf museum and an awesome practice area. I would give the entire facility a solid 5. The Jim Warner Course was the fairest of the three courses at the IDGC and my favorite. I played this course twice from the long tees and twice from the short tees.
I enjoyed the fact that this course (like the Jackson course) is made as two nine hole loops. You get a chance to come back to the IDGC center and refill water or use the facilities. There are textured concrete tee pads on both the long and short tees. All the long tees had benches and well made signs. There is evidence of hundreds of hours of work on this course. It did not seem rough to me. There is sufficient signage guiding players to the next tee. NOTE: watch out on the walk from Hole 4 to Hole 5 as you walk right by the tee for Hole 8. Just keep going!
I liked that the baskets on this course had highly visible orange decals on the poles. They were easy to spot, even in the shade and through the thickest of woods. The fairways on this course were actually fair. They were wide enough and the hole lengths long enough to allow drivers to be thrown on most holes. There were not many random trees left in the fairways or "guardian" trees blocking routes to the baskets.
Again, I give the facility a 5.0. I would rate the long tees on this course as a 4.5 and the short tees a 4.25. I think it is by far the most fun and the fairest of the three courses at IDGC (from either set of tees).
Cons: Some of the short tee pad locations seemed like afterthoughts. One would think short tees would be meant for less skilled players. However, both of the short tees on Holes 2 and 10 have a group of trees directly in front of the tee requiring some finesse play. Also, there were only eight holes with short tees. Hole 13 did not need a short placement and there were not short tees for Hole 11 or Hole 15 (the longest hole on the course).
Only Hole 14 played over the lake where it would be easy to lose a disc to the water. (When lake level is normal.) There are several small creeks (more like water filled ditches) on the course, so it is possible to take an extra stroke or perhaps lose a disc in the murky water.
I do not care for the trapezoid tee pads (as found on all tees at IDGC). They are six feet wide at the rear and taper down to only four feet wide on the front. It seems counter-intuitive to shorten the width of the front of the tee when there is plenty of room to make traditional 6 x 12 tees. I am afraid players will leave this facility thinking these tee pads are what they should put on their home courses.
Other Thoughts: If you only have time to play one course at the IDGC, play this one from the short or long tees.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Impressive, Heavily Wooded Course
Pros: The Jim Warner Memorial course is on the grounds of the PDGA International Disc Golf Center with two other 18 -hole gold courses. As you would expect, the course is very well taken care of and the tee pads, signs and baskets are the finest. It has lots of topography and forces you to compensate for elevation differences. There are lots of trees (and shade), but, the course is so well maintained that a disc from even a very errant shot can still be located. In my opinion, water is a non-issue and is only in the form of little streams (i.e., you won't loose the disc but you might loose a stroke).
Cons: The only real complaint I have about Jim Warner Memorial course is that it could be better marked to get you from hole to hole and the numbering is a little odd. They just changed the holes around and the signs are a little confusing. I left the basket on hole 4 and spent solid 20 minutes trying to find the tee pad for hole 5 (oddly enough hole 8 is between holes 4 & 5). If it were not this it would be a 5 star in my opinion (as something has the separate the best of the best and 5 star is perfect). However, after you have played Jim Warner Memorial a couple of times, this wouldn't even be an issue.
Other Thoughts: Jim Warner Memorial is fairly long course that is heavily wooded. From the short tees you are looking at a course length of around 6,740 (as of July 2, 2009). So, the average hole is 374' and fairly heavily wooded. It sets up well for the finesse player that still has a pretty big arm (i.e., 350'+ drives). If you don't stay in the fairways, your score will suffer. Hole 15 is a particularly brutal hole that is meandering, heavily-wooded, and 680' long--almost all uphill. However, the course is very fair and very well designed; you just have to hit your gaps. Jim Warner Memorial is a must play course if you are anywhere near it, and is worth traveling a little for.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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