10 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: The course had some very well designed holes. Number 3 required 2 very good shots to cover the 740ft. Number 8 made a hole under 250ft about as hard as you can without taking away the lines. Number 17 was a pretty throw that required no margin for error while throwing from one top of a hill to the other. There was a lot of very creative design that made this course different than any other that I've played. Also the aesthetics were amazing. It's hard to see a cooler hole than number 15 with the basket hidden back in the right angle of a rock cliff.
Cons: Tee pads. Plain and simple. The majority of tee pads are rubber pads, some of them are uneven which causes problems in your footwork as you're throwing, a lot of them are probably typical length (although I didn't measure them), but there are a few that are very short and most of the long ones have no room to start your tee shot from behind the pad due to a drop off. There had been a good rain before we got there and after we played I would tell anyone not to go after a rain storm. It killed the tee pads, leaving puddles and making them slippery, and it made the course very muddy.
Other Thoughts: I had been looking for a chance to play this course for a while and after the fact I was a little disappointed. I will say that Howie did a good job given the materials that he used. It is well designed. But the tee pads took away so much from it. Playing after the rain definitely didn't help, so if you are planning a trip to play here, check the weather!
10 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Just freaking fun!
14 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Terrain. The first three holes play along a small river, both picturesque, and risk/reward rich. Holes 9-18 play up and down the mountainside. Basket placement is extremely interesting, with many of them on top of rock formations. Risk/reward is high, with the slope of the mountain in play. I thought I had a moment with God up there on hole 15. Sat at 16's tee pad for about 45 minutes. I just didn't want to leave. But, finally, the promise of 16's awesome long downhill anny shot thru a tight technical "airway" got me up and throwing again. 17 is a long shot over a deep ravine with a creek at the bottom. Ah, another respit on the small bridge that crosses the creek. The sounds of the moving water, combined with the awesome experience that is Holler had me more relaxed than I've been in a long long time. 18 is another long downhill hole, making for the perfect finish to a nearly perfect course.
Cons: Considering the overall experience, I wasn't that impressed with holes 4-8. Yes, they are good holes, and would fit right in on any other quality course. But Holler is so over the top awesome on the rest of the holes that these 5 holes did not shine so brightly in comparison. And, I wasn't a big fan of the bus. So, even though these holes are good, they're not as good as the rest of the course. But I'm really being nit-picky here, and I didn't see any reason to lower my rating based on those 5 holes. The overall experience is better than I've had at any other course, including Flip City (which is a close second to Holla!)
Other Thoughts: I couldn't figure out if Howie is a genius, or if he put the donation box on the last hole just because it's closer to his house. But, it's the perfect spot. Who could walk by the donation box without contributing after an experience like that? Howie got a $20 from me, and I was glad to give it. Thanks Howie for allowing me to share in your paradise, if only for a short time.
I wish I could play here every day. But I live almsot 400 miles away. Don't miss "Holla" if you pass thru the BG area!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Holla is amazing
Pros: This course has it all. A great combination of hyser/anhyser shots and long and some tight fairways. The elevation changes are awesome. The teepads were nice and the baskets were also nice.
Other Thoughts: The course is the most fun/demanding course I have played in a while. If you happen to be off line you could really get punished with almost every hole playing on some kind of slope or hill.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Everything. This course is fantastic. The course uses its unique setting to enhance the overall play - water, rock walls, elevation barns, a bus etc.. Some of the tee shots make you want to stand there and unload your whole bag because they are so cool. Challenging, but VERY fun.
Other Thoughts: If you are reading this to determine whether to visit this place or not - GO! If I didnt live 500 miles from there I would be there all the time. The courses in BG dont even compare to this place.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Howie's Disc Golf Heaven
9 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Disc Golf Sanctuary
Pros: On my recent Tour of 'Kentucky's Best' I managed to stop here in, what is now, my favorite course. I camped out here and then played the course all day, multiple times. To me, this course is what Disc Golf is all about. Owned and maintained privately by Howie Baird (a disc sport enthusiast) this course has it all. It encompasses just about every technical shot and
-One of my favorites about this course is that it is divided into several parts due to the topography.
(1) The Flatlands - Holes 1-5
These holes have a mix of water hazards great OB lines (not too generous, not too strict) and perfect use of trees and slight land elevation.
(2) The Hills - Holes 6-10
As the course name foreshadows, lots of hills and brilliantly used in the course design. Tight fairways and obscure obstacles. (Hole 6 is a short hole with a tight fairway between an old shack and none other than a school bus.)
(3) The Mountains - Holes 11-18
Steep drop offs, pins on top of boulders, trees and more trees. Be prepared to pay for a bad throw.
- As my review title says, it is a sanctuary. Beautiful surroundings. Astounding, breathtaking views. I didn't want to leave.
-Annual events. Tradition! Although I was 2 days early for the Halloween Tournament, I got to see all of the hard work Howie puts into this event. Lots of decorations and a beautifully groomed course. I had the opportunity to talk to a regular too and he attested to the greatness of the yearly event(s). Howie told me of how during tournaments you can smell lunch marinating on the grills down by the pond and when everyone gets together it is something to never forget.
- As mentioned above, well groomed course with lots of amenities. I never had to walk through tall grass or had trouble finding the next tee. There were no obstructions on the paths and any possible slick ground was well marked out with signs. Handrails and benches galore. Most tees have a broom and garbage bucket.
- Holler in the Hills essentially has a mascot. Cooper, the owners dog (Jack Russell Terrier I believe) follows you through every hole and never grabs your discs. If you play 18 holes, you know Cooper.
- Mark your discs, if you lose one. Next time you visit, ask Howie if you can look through his massive box of lost and found discs. It is huge and he usually calls/emails etc. about lost discs that are marked.
- There are benches and tents on the right side of the fairway of hole 6 which surround a fire pit and overlook the pond at hole 5. I sat here and relaxed several times between and after rounds.
-Tee signs are accurate, descriptive and easy too read yet simple.
-Bring cash: $5 cash fee at the box on hole 5. This course will continue to get better and better and is well worth $5. There is a donation box at hole 18 or you could just give any donations to the owner, he is around most of the time.
Cons: - It is far away. Howie told me he gets about 5 visitors a week on average and he has a couple of regulars. (This is more of a selfish opinion, I wish I could play it more and that all disc junkies could play it regularly, but its' remoteness is one of the courses greatest qualities.)
-Although I did not experience this, I heard stories of severe flooding due to the location. Which could put the course out of commission for up to a month.
+ A local told me this story: During the major flood in the past year, the water was so high that Howie got in a boat an rode over to hole 3 and cut the tops of some of the trees (roughly 40 ft high) so that when the water receded there would be a path to throw through. ((hole 3 has a small tree line cutting through the fairway 340 ft from the pro tee and 400 ft from the basket))
Other Thoughts: Underrated. I live five minutes from Idlewild and play it regularly, I would rather play HotH any day. It does not have the difficulty that Idlewild has but it has everything else. Technicality, amenities, well-groomed, beautiful surroundings. This course should not be overlooked and is well worth a 1-2 hour drive, even if it is out of your way. Thank you Howie!
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
A Hollerin' Great Time!
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There aren't enough words in the English language to adequately describe this wonderful course tucked into the middle of nowhere. The scenery here is beyond anything I've ever seen. It felt like I traversed mountains with all the ascending and descending we did today. Water hazards, OB's, shooting around a school bus, boulders galore, and oh those hills! Howie here has created a course on his own property that rivals the best courses I've ever played. The front nine is very challenging with OB galore, and an awesome pond shot on #5. #9 is probably the hardest uphill shot I've ever tackled, and an awesome looking hole to boot. The back nine however, brought this course from great to utterly amazing! #14's shot on top of the boulder was a unique and amazing shot. #15's rock wall was the coolest looking hole I've ever seen, and #17's insane gap of an a down hill and uphill shot is probably the coolest and most difficult wooded shot I've ever thrown. Your hiking skills as well as your entire disc golf game will be challenged here. One of a kind and a MUST play! Played the 5 new holes today. As the holes work around the rock bluff beyond 15, it keeps with the amazing back side of the course. The shot out of a cave opening was unreal!
Cons: It's hard for me to think of any cons because I knew of the dangers and hills before coming here. Just prepare yourself with proper footing, plenty of fluids and follow common sense as far as safety. This is the Chuck Norris of topography for a disc golf course.
Other Thoughts: $5 is chump change to play this course which is maintained primarily by Howie himself. The work of love he has done on this course is obvious, so please be courteous, clean and respectable. Please pay him for his efforts, this course is worth much more than that! Sign the waiver, don't trash the course, and pay in the box next to the pond on hole 5. The kiosk at the beginning was very informative and had tons of information. Brooms on most teepads, and a hole by hole description. Most PUBLIC courses don't even have all these amenities! Howie, you are awesome! We drove 2hrs to play this course, and every minute of sitting in the car, plus some was rewarded here! Not my last time for sure! Update: The first time I went, Howie wasn't home. Yesterday when I went for the 2nd time, his son and him were both home. I got to meet his friendly dogs, and his son and his great hospitality. Howie said by next year 5 more holes will be added behind the rock bluff wall on 15, one of which you throw OUT of a cave! I can't wait to see these new holes next year as part of this already outstanding course!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
10 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.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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