4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Huge variety. I started out thinking this is a simple par 3 pitch and putt and it changed quickly. The course lulls you into a false sense of security with 2 simple holes before each difficult hole.
This course is definately the step child of the other 2 courses. It does not have the fun factor that the Headrick course had or the challenge of W.R Jackson. But if this course were located in your neighborhood park it would probably rate between 3.5-4 stars. Once you add in the pro shop, museum, other 2 courses on premises, powerade vending machine, paper map and score card given, and other amenities offered, this course deserves the 4.5 rating.
Cons: There was a little confusion from hole 9 to hole 10
Lots of blind baskets.
paying to enter and paying to play is a con, but the fee is modest and worth it.
Other Thoughts: It kind of felt like a normal course plugged in between 2 giants.
If this course did not have the IDGC amenities, It would still be great, but closer to a 4 star course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
The Third Sister
4 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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
The IDGC's Third Tenor
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Jim Warner is the 'other' course at the IDGC. While Jackson is the 'epic' course and Steady Ed is the 'fun' course, Warner, in Seinfeld-ese, is the third tenor.
- With all regards to Ed Headrick, Warner is actually the steadiest of the three courses. It's not flashy, just consistently excellent throughout. I wasn't blown away by any amazing hole layouts, but was deeply impressed with how good-to-great each hole is designed.
- Accuracy is crucial at J-Dub. The fairways are a little tighter than at Jackson (and the rough seemed a little tougher as well) and the holes are longer than at Steady Ed. If you can't keep your disc in the fairway here, you're really going to struggle. If you can throw 350 feet and straight, you'll be in great shape. If not, it's probably better to throw 275 and straight than 350 and be deep in the woods.
- Great use of terrain. I really enjoyed the elevation these holes had to offer. #10 was a great, long downhill par 4, at 477 feet. It's somewhat similar to #1 at Steady Ed (long basket location). Great way to begin the back 9. #15 and 18 were the closest to this course's 'epic' holes. Both are long, uphill layouts, #15 at 690 feet and 18 at 617 feet, which obviously play much longer. You're either thankful they saved these beasts until the end of the round, or are already totally exhausted by this point, and dread having to attempt surviving them.
- Warner forces you to take advantage of the easier holes. There are five holes (from the long tees), shorter than 300 feet, and all are birdie-able, especially by IDGC standards. Or, like me, you're just pleased to finally get an easy 3 in order to slow the bleeding.
- Very solid variety throughout the course. I mentioned the elevation, which Warner seemed to take best advantage of. This is most wooded of the three courses, so, other than #8, good luck finding the green stuff. There's a great blend of layouts, challenges and lengths. Even with the 5 'shorter' holes, the average hole length is still 413 feet from the longs. The shorter tees come in at just under 352 feet, and can take a bite off some of the more challenging holes. Also, at a par 63, you get your mix of par 3s, 4s and 5s.
- The course rewards smart shot making. The risk/reward scale tilts heavily towards the risk side, so throughout your round, playing conservatively is the right choice. You get a taste of that on back-to-back holes - #8 & 9. Both are 550 feet plus, with #8 playing long and straight for 80% and then having a sharp dogleg to an opening in the woods to the left. You can be aggressive and try to get to the basket with your second shot. If you miss it, however, you could be deep in the woods and taking several shots to get out. On #9, you have a narrow gap to shoot through partway down the fairway. Clear it with a smart, well-placed shot, and you're doing well. Miss the gap, and you're wasting strokes to get back to the fairway.
Cons: The grind here is brutal, both physically and mentally. Jackson plays longer, but has more forgiving fairways, giving you a little margin for error. Warner makes you be on your game, which can wear a player down. Regardless, whatever course you play last, you'll be hurting by the end.
- This course seemed to have the least amount of variety of the three IDGC layouts. For a wooded course, it's great variety, which is why I listed that as a pro. Compared to Jackson and Steady Ed, which featured great variety with open and beach holes, Jackson is "only" a wooded course. Now, if you want an exclusively heavily wooded course, you'll probably like this one best. I'm sure also playing this course last, when I was running on fumes also contributed to the course handing me my lunch.
- There's a definite 'lost disc' factor here. Throwing long shots on heavily wooded holes means you'll probably get a horrible kick off a tree, deep into the woods. Along those lines, this could be a tricky course to play in the fall, right after the leaves are off the trees, making the 'lost disc' factor really shoot up.
- This is going to be a copy and paste comment for all three IDGC courses. The overall difficult of the courses, terrain and elements are going to be a negative for some players. Basically, if you're not a good enough player, you should not play here. Know what you're getting into before you tackle this three-headed monster.
- Another copy and paste note. These courses probably present a higher than normal 'lost disc' factor. For errant throws, be prepared to spend considerable time searching or be prepared that you might lose a disc or two while playing.
- Final copy and paste note. Be prepared when playing. Pack plenty of food, water, bug spray and other essentials. You can purchase some items inside the center. Besides that there's one gas station a mile from the park. After that, it's another 15 minutes back towards Augusta and restaurants, gas stations, etc.
Other Thoughts: Jim Warner feels like the course that gets the most overlooked. It feels like it suffers from middle-child syndrome. Jackson is the oldest child, the overachiever. Steady Ed is the youngest, the wild child. Then you have Warner right there in the middle, trying to create its own identity without having any of the flair of the others. Take Warner out of the IDGC and place it somewhere else, and it'd be a 'must play.'
- Warner does get increasingly tough throughout the round. The front nine is overall 'easier' with the back end just being brutal. In that regard, the course reminded me of a layout you'd see at a golf tournament, especially at the U.S. Open, when you see the top players hanging on for dear life in the closing holes. At least Warner does give you two shorter holes on #16 & 17, between the two killers.
- The course does offer a number of holes with shorter tees. Really thought, what fun is that? Taking your beating like a man. At least then, you can convince yourself your round could have been better if you played the shorts.
- The back nine feels like you're going up and down hills on every hole. #10 is a great downhill, 11 is a long uphill gauntlet, 12 is back downhill, and so it continues on. As if it weren't tough enough already.
- This was the only course I felt I had played in some regards before. I kept thinking Nevin in Charlotte when I played this course. Granted Warner did have more elevation, but Nevin makes up for that with tighter fairways. And maybe because Warner had a comp, it didn't wow me as much as the others, both of which felt truly unique.
- All that said, this is still a great course. It just so happens two more elite courses are on the same property. And that's a great thing for the disc golf community.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Challenging with many long S shots. Lots of elevation to bomb a sky roller, thumber or any trick shot you have.
Cons: Very thick tick infested woods. Lots of signs down or missing on Red tees. Thin on next tee signs in some areas & we got lost for a while looking for 2. Thought we had map on us & we did not. Be sure you have it.
Other Thoughts: Make sure dog's tick meds are up to date. We brought our dog who is on tick meds and were picking them off an most every hole. Found one in his paw when we got home. Who knows how many are in my car & bag? I did rate a 4. However, could easy be a 4.5 in winter when bugs are down or with the signs fixed.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
An Up and Down Charmer
Pros: If there is one hole that I will remember from the entire IDGC, it is 14 on Warner. The fairway runs downward through a narrow tunnel but the throw needs to stay level as to land high on the other side of the valley. In the middle, a wide stretch of shallow water. If there is stretch of holes that I enjoyed the most at the complex, it's 14-18 here. With the exception of 17, that's four holes that cross the stream, dry creek bed or inlet. 18 is an uphill slog that makes a great finish to the course and for me a great finish to the day.
I think in the end that Jim Warner was my favorite of the three courses, and the reason is entirely the elevation. Most of the hills are strongly uphill or downhill and some, like 14, have a heaping portion of both. There's not as much length as WR Jackson, and it doesn't have as much water as Steady Ed, but it has a little of both and it sets it all against a hilly backdrop. In some ways, it's not as flashy, and perhaps it doesn't have as much challenge, but it's undeniably a solid, solid course that knows what it wants to be and comes closer to the goal than either of the other two.
I can see this course being overlooked at the complex. It was an afterthought for me. An if-I-have-time course at the end of a long day. It's the lowest rated and on paper it seems so standard. For someone familiar with Carolina courses, it looks in pictures to be a standard woods course. And it is that, but it's just really well done throughout. The fairways hit that balance of tough and fair perfectly. The shape of the holes is varied and frequently clever. And with the hills, this is just a real solid play. It's the type of course that I'm glad I traveled to play, but also one I could play on a regular basis.
Cons: It doesn't "go for" as much as the other two courses on site. It doesn't have the multiple paths to the basket that WR Jackson has. It doesn't have the length. It's not quite as challenging. And though there is the stream in play, there's only the one actual carry. It's not championship-caliber the way that Jackson is and the way that Headrick might be to the long pins.
The baskets are inferior to those on the other courses on-site. After playing to the blue baskets on Headrick and the towards the yellow bands of the Jackson course, it can be really tough to spot the plain grey baskets among the trees and branches.
Other Thoughts: All three of the IDGC courses are top notch. Picking a favorite is tough. They all have their own unique qualities and each excel at something. But forced to choose, I think Jim Warner is the course I'd be most anxious to play again.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
the Middle Brother
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 this course itself.
If the three of these courses were a family, I think this would be the middle brother. It's kind of long, but not too long. Has the best elevation of all the courses, but seems to be a bit similar to both of the courses.
Two sets of tee pads(on most holes) which makes it nice. We place a lot of the shorts and a few of the longs to not get to beat up this weekend.
in the middle of the round you get a chance to get back to the parking lot, makes it nice as you may need to fill up water or anything else.
Cons: For a gold Caliber course, there were no trash cans on the course.
Some people may not like all the up and down of the course,
I think this had the least amount of seating around the park of the three courses.
Other Thoughts: The other two courses at IDGC is the biggest flaw to this course as this is just kind of the MEH of the three of them, that being said it's still a great course.
I came down here for a camping trip in the park and a meet up and it was well worth it to fly from Michigan and play this.
A small issue for some is that there is no drinking on the course, which isn't horrible, but needs to be known.
The Pro Shop is great, but for some people may make you spend more money then you need too.
The whole course is for sure a huge destination to come to all three of these, and depending where you come in, there are plenty of nice courses within a few hours.
If you do not like my review, please give me a PM on what I can improve. Thanks!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
(Though my aching legs would give it a 2.0)
Pros: It goes without saying but, being at the IDGC with all the amenities and other stellar courses on site, is a big plus before you ever start.
The Warner course has the most elevation of the three. Holes that throw down huge hills. Holes that go back up big hills. And holes that do both. (The first two level holes are just to sucker you in).
It also has very clearly defined fairways. Not as tight, threading through trees as many are on the neighboring Headrick course.
The two nine-hole loops get you back to the parking lot midway through the round, or allow you to mix-&-match with the two loops of the Jackson course, or the closest 9 holes on the Headrick course.
The holes are consistently good. Not a bad or filler hole in the bunch. And, with perhaps 1 or 2 exceptions, they're so varied that you don't get to a hole and think, "This reminds me of...."
And the Warner course is perhaps the most scenic of the 3, set among towering deciduous trees instead of the upland pine forest.
Cons: Perhaps the uphill & downhill is a little too much of a good thing. There comes a time when you wish a few shots had run along the grade or angled down, forcing you to land on a hill sloped from side to side.
The routing, while not hard to follow, is a little peculiar. Hole 1 is across the street from the rest of the course, and a few times you walk right by one tee on your way to the next one.
Other Thoughts: I finally got to play the Warner, after playing the other two IDGC courses multiple times and playing the front-9 once. It was a great joy. I was a bit surprised because, just glancing at it, it looked very similar to the Headrick course, but playing it, it has its own, rather different personality.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Distance, accuracy, and versatility are all required.
Signage was great.
Very significant elevation change.
Cons: No real great aesthetic features.
Other Thoughts: Tee pads were okay.
The course was mostly fair.
The entire IDGC experience was great. I recommend it.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
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