4 Helpful / 0 Not
Holler in the Hills
Pros: The Pros of playing this course are too many to list but here are a few:
1) This course has some of the neatest holes I've ever played. Sick basket placements and views.
2) It only cost 5 BUCKS! I honestly felt like I had ripped them off.
3) The folks that run and apparently maintain the course are super friendly and have done some really amazing things. I mean, they've put concrete tee pads on a mountain! Cmon!
4) I'm not sure how often this happens and it could have been because we played it on a Monday, but we had the whole course to ourselves and couldn't resist taking multiple shots from some of the more amazing tee pads.
5) There are FIVE bonus holes that are probably the coolest holes on the course!
6) there are many holes that could be aced and we're talking about holes where you throw from an elevated tee pad at a basket sitting on too of a boulder type holes!
7) I could go on and on about each neat thing about playing this course but I'd rather dare you to go play it yourself. That's right, I DARE you. It's well worth it.
Cons: Not too many cons but I do have some advice: you'll need twice as much hydration as you think you'll need and you're going to have to carry it on you. You won't reach your vehicle again until you've shot the final hole. Also, be ready to climb some hills. This course plays around a lot of steep areas. Last, you may not have phone service and you need to allot a good portion of your day. The course takes time.
Other Thoughts: My final thoughts on Holler in the Hills: go play it and take a camera! It's SO worth it!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
More than a Course, An Experience
Pros: (1) Out of the 23 holes we played, I'd describe 12-15 of them as absolute jaw-droppers. Unbelievable pin placements on top of boulders; tee pads situated in the mouths of open caves. It's like an amusement park for disc golfers. It's more than a course; it's a destination.
(2) The course was well maintained. Grass was cut and weeds were trimmed.
(3) Course owner and his family were more than hospitable. We first ran into them on the second tee (they were doing some grounds keeping work), and they could not have been more friendly and welcoming. Once we made it to 18's tee (which is basically in their front yard), they all came out to chat and ask about our thoughts as first-timers at Holler In The Hills. Super cool people.
(4) It's only $5 to play this incredible course. After I'd finished my round, I felt like this was a heck of a bargain. It's well worth the price of admission.
Cons: I'm hesitant to call this a con, because the name of the course is Holler In The Hills after all, but give yourself plenty of time and/or make sure you're in good shape before you try to tackle this course. I cannot emphasize enough how steep it can get -- after Hole 9, it felt like virtually every hole was uphill.
Other Thoughts: As a Nashville-area disc golfer, Holler In The Hills is one of those courses you hear about over and over again. Earlier this week, some friends and I made the 1.5-hour drive to Brownsville and -- after playing 18 + 5 bonus holes -- I don't know why we waited so long. I've seen Holler In The Hills referred to as a "bucket list" course, and I could not agree more. If you live within 200 miles, go. Just go. It will be more than worth it. If it's warm outside, be sure to bring about twice as much water as you think you'll need. Once you leave the parking lot, you won't see your car again until you've finished the course. There's no opportunity to stop and re-up on beverages. Also, be sure to mark your discs. We felt very fortunate to make it through an entire round without leaving a disc behind -- I would imagine this is a rarity. Luckily, the course owners seem rather committed to making sure lost discs are reunited with their rightful owners.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Howie is the epitome of hospitality. He does a good job manicuring the course and a great job of making you feel welcome.
The "bonus" five holes are quality! The rock formations around Mammoth Cave make for great disc golf target placement.
Cons: Tee pads are slippery when wet. Might I suggest FiveTen (they specialize in climbing shoes) Stealth rubber soles? It rained the last time we played and my friends with Vibram rubber soles were complaining (they were sliding all over the place) about the slick tee pads. I felt much more sure footed in my FiveTen shoes. In Howie's defense, we all agreed that concrete pads would be overkill (and hard to relocate) and the rubber mats were the best option.
Other Thoughts: Lots of elevation. Two rounds on this course never fails to remind me that disc golf at this level is a young man's game.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Amazing use of space on a beautiful mountainside location. Very imaginative tee and pin placements. I was really Jonesing to play this course and it absolutely lived up to the hype.
GO PLAY THIS COURSE!
Cons: The main drawbacks to the course are the very short tees and the fact that the design tremendously favors right handed golfers. I believe there were only 2 holes that faded to the right.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: What an amazing disc golf course. This course has some of the most unique and fun hole locations I have ever played. It is an odyssey to play and an experience you will never forget. Each hole is unique, many times exceptionally so.
I love the rustic feel for the course. The different tees, baskets and other course cosmetics give this course a real feel of home. It has the perfect mojo for a vacation kind of vibe.
Cons: The amount of vertical to some of the holes is at times a little overwhelming. I think my disc is still flying down the hill on one of the holes. But what fun. I donate it to whoever in the next county found it.
Other Thoughts: Another great Kentucky disc golf course. The views are beautiful. All in all a great experience.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Just freaking fun!
Pros: As with many great courses the key to Holler in the Hills is an unbelievably perfect piece of land. And luckily for us the designer knew what to do with it.
18 holes with good baskets and signs. Teepads vary, but all were flat and very usable. There were fly pads, concrete and carpets.
Variety, variety, variety. There are hole lengths from 150' all the way to 740'. There are some straight shots, some lefts and rights. And oh yeah, there are some ups and downs. You will use every shot you have here.
There is also great variety in hole difficulty. There are some ace runs, very makeable birdies and some that you breathe a deep sigh if you can just make par. I like that it doesn't kick you in the ribs at every hole.
Excellent basket positions. Few holes have simple greens. This course has slopes, creeks, hills, ravines and rocks all over the place. Even seemingly routine holes are made tougher by clever basket positions. Even on some of the straightforward holes there is risk waiting for you. Simply well done.
Scorecards and a great summary of each hole at hole 1. I've never seen this before, but for a player seeing a course for the first time it is brilliant. Each hole is described and all OB and questions are explained. Very nice touch with everything going on at this course.
Cons: Not much without getting picky.
Carpet Teepads were quite swampy. But it has rained every day in the area for a week or so. Minor issue, but an upgrade could be made.
No open air huge bomb holes. Even the 740' forces you to hit your lines. Didn't bother me, but if you want long open fairways, Holler is not for you.
Other Thoughts: Wow, great course. I really enjoy the technical hilly courses I have played. Put this course in the same class as courses like Sugaree in NC, Devens in MA and Hyzer Creek in NY. Just fun hilly, or mountainous courses with great technical lines, risky basket positions and great design.
I won't detail every hole, but there is a 315 shot across a ravine, a shot from the top of a boulder to a basket on top on another boulder, shots with OB creek along the side, and many baskets near big hills and slopes leading to trouble. Heck, there is even a 270' shot over a pond. Too many fun shots to pick a favorite but #12 plays up a hill to a basket on a large boulder. For the NC people it is like a reverse Brackett's Bluff boulder hole. Up to get there instead of down. Pretty cool. The front nine at Holler is very solid, but the back nine is where things really get fun. If you are ever near this course, it is a must play with a host that welcomes everyone to his property. Make sure you remember to fill the donation box on hole 5. A treasure like this needs to be maintained.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Howie's Disc Golf Heaven
Pros: Wow! Awesome terrain and spectacular views, it just doesn't get better than this east of the Rockies. The course has new Innova DISCatchers and is well groomed. This is especially amazing considering the challenge just in playing this course. Imagine building and maintinaing it! Kudos to Howie for an excellent job!
The course offers a begining section of holes along and near a sizable creek. These include some fair terrain change of their own, and are certainly long enough to challenge any player. There is even a small pond that covers the majority of a fairway and will offer you an ace run or an OB.
Then comes the back 9... My ass is STILL sore! These holes play up and down what can only be described as an Appalachain Mountain. The terrain is considerable and plays a major factor on all holes. There is an incredible boulder tee-to-boulder pin hole. Then an awesome pin by a sixty foot exposed limestone cliff. And then a 400'+ downhill killer, that if you over fly it (like I did) you wind up 200' or more down in a creek for your comeback putt! And then there's the incredible massive valley spanning hole #17.... You get the idea.
With lots of benches, good to decent tee pads on all holes. Good signage and the best players waiver I have ever seen, this course offers a lot. And delivers on it. It demands accuracy, distance, control, power, finess, stamina and just a little bit of luck. Well worth the trip to get there and the $5 to play it. This course will only get better and better over time.
Cons: Not much. Of course, because of the location, there is poison ivy to deal with, insects too. Nothing new in the Midwest.
Needs more am tees (some holes do not have one). But I am sure they are coming.
Other Thoughts: This course will challenge you at every hole and take your lunch the second you don't respect it or get careless. The shot variety, incredible terrain, stunning views all combine to form a world class disc golf course. It will only get better as Howie continues to work on it. You should make the trip to play it, if you can!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) Baskets in good condition . . . Discatchers while not my favorite basket . . . are definitely my favorites on wooded courses. The yellow band is so appreciated in helping to find the backets in the woods.
2) Plenty of garbage cans or 5 gallon buckets around the course . . . a nice touch on a private course. While the course doesn't receive a ton of play I would assume the course was pretty clean and I would attribute that to the garbage cans and the locals who use the course respecting the course.
3) Tee signs have all the information needed, Hole #, distance, par and a decent diagram. While they are not consistent signage, they get the job done and truthfully would be the last thing I spent money on if I owned a private pay to play course.
4) Tees are mixed materials, some concrete, some rubber, some have both actually. Each surface I played on seemed to play just fine, although slight inconsistency might be noticeable under certain weather conditions.
5) $5 pay to play . . . it's a top 10 on DGCR course who wouldn't pay $5 for this course. This money definitely keeps the chuckers off the course. Since Howie already has permanent baskets in place on every hole and either concrete or rubber tees, I would hope he can either start making some money or investing in some of the other things that will make this course even better than it is . . . and it is pretty darned good.
6) OB was used with rope on a couple holes to define the shot. It was also to protect the adjacent holes I am sure and it was used effectively.
7) Water features on 5 holes. The beauty of this is the water is in play in different ways on the first three holes. Sure it is always off to the right of these three holes, but on hole #1 which is more of a hyzer, #2 is pretty much a straight shot with a small window with a low ceiling, and then also on #3 there are multiple ways you can get over to the river. Then on Hole #5 there is a pond with the basket within 2 feet of the edge of the water.
8) This is quite possibly one of the top 5 properties I have played disc golf on in terms of the diversity and the uniqueness.
9) The rock formations here are incredible. First you throw to a basket up on a massive 12' rock. Then you throw from an elevated teepad to a basket elevated on another rock that stands about 12' high, then you throw around a large rock and some trees to a basket set beneath a 40' tall cliff. This is such an intense hole and is something you will not see in many locations I am sure.
10) Very minimal underbrush on this course. The only thing I really saw were a couple pockets of vines and some other areas of rapidly spreading shrubs like honeysuckle and such. They help form the holes but are rarely in the path of your throw, so they are barely noticeable.
11) Elevation is used effectively, but there really is only one or two holes with extreme elevation on the hole. The rest are moderate to mild elevation changes per hole, but the overall feeling of the course is that this is extreme elevation because of the workout you get climbing all the hills.
12) Slightly raised basket on #1 and #18 surrounded by a 2' ring of brick/stone. It doesn't change the playability much, but it looks nice and is a good touch.
13) There are multiple unique and unduplicatable holes here. Specifically Holes #14 with the raised tee and the basket on top of the boulder, then again on #15 with a 40' cliff looming largely over the basket.
14) Risk/reward here is awesome. You can go for the birdie and risk a bogey on many holes.
15) Distance variation is pretty good with some around or under 200' some in the 200-300' range and some over 300' plus the one 700'.
Cons: 1) I have to be somewhat lenient on this course because I came just 2 days after a pretty ood amount of rainfall. I would not expect the low areas of holes 1, 2, and 3 to be wet all the time. The worst area was from 100' and in to #3 basket and that was due to the left side of the area being lower than the edge of the creek. Without surface drainage this is going to happen unless draintile is installed, so that might be my first recommendation if money was available for repair (but again this is judged on only one visit to the course and right after a rainstorm).
2) While not extremely long of a course this is far from beginner friendly. I would say it would challenge beginners, but half of them would probably get frustrated the other half would be enthralled.
4) I am trying to become a proponent of safety through proper design and installation. I think this is something our sport needs to continue to progress on over time because the more exposed our courses become, the more issues we will have. I know you sign a waiver but if someone was to get hurt on this property there still could be issues of the course getting shutdown because it would draw negative attention to a course on private property on which the land may not be zoned appropriately. I know Howie and all other private course owners do what they can to make a course safe and accessible, but more needs to be done than just the do it yourself type of mentality. While I didnt have any issues personally with getting up and down the hills or on the stairs, I simply feel like these things need to be addressed. I just think that as a whole we can do things right the first time and they will be sustainable, as opposed to the DIY mentality. I know I can only say this from the outside, but I just hope to move forward on this type of issue.
3) Some people might (and some have) complained about the hills and how it might be nearly inaccessible to those older players or out of shape players. Let me say this . . . if you love disc golf enough you will likely be able to get through this course. I am by no means in good shape and while I took my time (and it was easy because I played alone with no one else on the course) I managed to get through it just fine. I stopped once for a granola bar and some powerade after hole #9, and that was all I needed to get through the rest of the course. I played the whole thing alone in under 2.5 hours and I took a lotof pictures. SO while I personally do not think this is a huge negative for me, it might be for others, but truthfully if I did it without issue, most others could also do the same . . . it just depends how much you want to play the rest of the holes.
Other Thoughts: I have to give this course a 4.5 disc rating because the disc golf, the fun, the design, the property, and so many holes just make this course incredible. The safety issues, the few drainage issues, the slight inconsistency in tees keep this course from getting the 5.0 rating. Truthfully with its current design, I think the max I would give it would be about 4.75 (which squeaks it into the 5 disc rating in my opinion). I feel like it could use a few more longer holes, possibly some more elevation shots which might help it rise higher than 4.75. So basically I am saying I am giving it a 4.5 right now on its current design with its current conditions and infrastructure. I could see raising that up to 4.75 with and improvement to the infrastructure (consistent tees, stairway reconstruction, perhaps a flowing creek (behind hole #4 and across #3) improvement (rocks or boulders lining the creek to prevent erosion and also pretty up the creek). The with the addition of a couple more longer holes and/or some more extreme elevation changes would also garner another .25 point getting it to the perfect 5.0 disc rating. I have no idea if there is any more room for more elevated holes or longer holes in the woods, but it would complete the course to me. This does not mean that I did not enjoy this course. It was by far in my top 5 for pure disc golf experience, but these other small correctable issues take it down just slightly.
I would like to thank Howie for opening up his property to us all to enjoy this incredible course. I understand how much work it is to have and maintain a course like this and can completely appreciate the possible desire to keep this course quiet and to himself, but he still opens it up and lets anyone play with prior approval. I one day hope to have a similar situation to his, where I have my own course on my own property that I can open up for all to enjoy. WIth all of this said, I don't want the negatives to outweigh the positives and I don't want my review to be sound like an attack on what private course owners do . . . I truly do appreciate what the owners are doing by allowing us out there. I think the private pay to play course is the future and advancement of our sport and these people are at the forefront of that shift. these courses need to become the models for what disc golf is and i know that takes time and money so I will always pay someone on a private course even if they don't require it. Thanks again for all your hard work Howie and all of your local helpers as I am sure you have a good group of people who like to call this their home course and take care of it like it is their own!
23 of 23 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Let me start by saying this is a fantastic course with a lot of unique topography (in the world of dg). It has a creek that comes into play on two holes, for multiple shots on the long hole. It has a pond that you throw over, and the most stunning aspect of the topography is the rocks. There are two baskets on boulders, a teepad on a boulder, a and a rock wall you throw along, not to mention all the boulders strewn across the course and the there are the hills
-In terms of course design, howie has come up with a short (its 5500' but plays a bit shorter I think) but challenging design with a ton of risk/reward especially on the greens, I think I counted 13 greens that have a moderate to severe chance of rollaway if you don't place your shot well.
-A lot of variety with hills here: on the front 8 holes there are some slight elevation changes ie # 4 the downhill blind shot, 7 and 8 have a bit of elevation and then the rest of the holes either change elevation on the shot or they are flat, but punish shots off the fairway because of the elevation of the rough part of the hill : such as 10 and 13.
-The uphill holes are great: 9 is probable one of the toughest uphill holes I've seen: approx. 340 on a tight left to right turn off the tee with treachous side hills if you turn it too much or not enough. and then it finishes 80' feet back on the side of a hill. 11 is a shorty up to flat with a dropoff behind the pin. 12 is the first hole with a pin perched on a boulder and is a beautiful hole.
-The down hill holes are just as good: both are putter shots because of the extreme elevation involve. 16 is a left to right floater with an extreme drop behind the basket. and 18 is a shot down the hill from howie's house to a raised basket with ob long.
-Along with all the excellence of the holes, there are also little things that I enjoyed such as rope ob on the first 8 holes. This seems to be mostly for safety's sake as a lot of the fairways are adjacent to each other. The other is that howie leave the decorations up for his halloween tourney, so there are plastic bats hanging from trees, cobwebs on the rocks etc.
Cons: The only con I have for the course is that all the pads aren't concrete. Some of them are and it seems like they are going in as donations come in. So keep playing this course!
-Some of the locations for teepads will be tough to put concrete in especially the pad along the creek (# 2).
Other Thoughts: This course is in my top 5 for sure. It probably has one of the highest fun factor ever and hole 15 is probably my favorite hole in disc golf so far. This is certainly a gem everyone should have on their wishlist. I played it in march and decided to play the SoKY championships because this course was being played twice.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is an excellent retreat for anyone serious enough about disc golf to drive out to Brownsville, Kentucky just to throw plastic.
If you read the directions listed on the Course Info tab, you won't have any problems getting here, and Howie has marked the driveway entrance with two discs at eye level.
Now that you're here, there's no questioning where you start -- a great kiosk wall borders a gravel parking strip, both excellent additions. The wall shows info on the course and you get your safety waiver to sign here. Copies of the course descriptions are available here as well - and they are VERY descriptive! Info on the hole, OB, what to avoid, and next tee detail are a much better help than any map.
No warm-up here -- hole 1 starts with an uphill drive against a wooded hill that slopes to the right towards the river, which can eat errant or tree-poked drives. The course keep you on your toes in similar ways the rest of the experience.
Without excessive detail, this place has it all -- water(Green River, creeks, ponds), rolling hills, steep climbs and descents, rock quarries, mature trees, trimmed woods and fairways, left/right, up/down, tunnel shots, big bombs, elevated tees, elevated baskets, etc.
Innova Discatcher Pro baskets -- those bright yellow rims really make it easy to spot the pins in the woods.
Navigation is excellent -- lots of NEXT TEE signs, and if you grabbed the hole descriptions, you'll know even without the signs.
No worries about repetition -- each hole is certainly unique and memorable.
-- Hole 5 -- pin is just beyond a small, but plenty deep, pond.
-- Hole 6 -- 310 feet slightly uphill and through a gap between a shed and a schoolbus, basket in front of bus.
Hole 12 -- uphill with the basket staring down at you in the trees and on top of a boulder.
Hole 14 -- climb the rock to the tee on top, throw to a basket perched on another rock, protected by trees but lines available from many angles.
Hole 15 -- right-turn into a magnificent rock quarry with the pin tucked neatly in.
Hole 17 - 310 feet, but the gap to the ravine at mid-way and back up the hill to the pin, well, you'll be glad 18 plays downhill!
I always appreciate a great finishing hole, and Holler wraps you up in a warm blanket and sends you on your way wishing you didn't have to leave. 18 is a downhill run at a pin stacked on a beautiful arranged rock podium, with wide open hills behind and the river just beyond that. A great finish to a memorable course.
Other amenities -- benches, trash cans, bridges, steps, and Howie himself.
Cons: Tee pads -- not a big negative since this is a private course, but concrete pads would make this course a 5 star. Rubber pads for most of the holes, but the concrete pads that are there are excellent! We played in the rain over one night and the next morning, while it's been raining in Kentucky every day for the better part of a month. I expected the pads to be slick, but they really weren't that bad. Sure, I've got nice sticky Merrills, but my brother plays in flip-flops, and he turns real hard - yet he never slipped either.
The pads are uneven in spots though, and that's the biggest knock. Other than that, nothing.
Other Thoughts: Lots of wildlife to be seen -- wild turkey, deer, bass/bream/snakes in the ponds, turtles, and the like.
As far as ticks go, we had a group of five, all wearing shorts and short sleeves, and only found one tick between us.
I wish I had taken more pics of the course, as the pictures on here don't show the new Discatcher baskets, and some pins and tees are different. I did upload some videos in the Media tab of a few tees.
Howie is a GREAT host and a true beacon for putting this gem on his private property AND allowing the rest of us that love this sport to throw here. So many of us have said we'd put a course on our own land if we had the money and resources, well Howie DID!
A storm was coming in just as we were getting started -- Howie came to us on hole 5 and let us know where we could shelter up, answered our questions, and assured us that we could finish the next day if need be since we were camping nearby. We sheltered in the bus on hole 6, and the next morning when we tried to finish, the rain opened up just as we got to 15, which is PERFECT as the quarry provided dry shelter and time to reflect.
With all concrete pads, this would be a 5 star hands down by anyone that plays it. If I could rate this 4.95, I would.
$5 is nothing to play this unique and breathtaking course -- leave a tip in the box on 18 if you like.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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