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.
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.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
As challenging as it is beautiful
Pros: Holler in the Hills is a picturesque, challenging course that utilizes the abundant natural features of the land including huge elevation changes, a large creek, a pond, boulders and other rock formations. The shot selection, variety of hole distances, elevation changes and pin placements (including numerous elevated baskets) are all superb. This well designed course will challenge you to hit your lines, make you think about shot placement and has tons of risk/reward, plus there's a couple par 4's.
The course has excellent tee signs which list distance and an OB, benches on many of the holes, it has Innova Discatcher Pro's, and the tee pads are adequate.
Safety is a big concern since this is on private property. There are signs up on the course about safety, plus tripping hazards like roots and rocks sticking out of the ground are painted orange.
Cons: I don't really have any constructive criticism the course.
The course is quite a workout with all the elevation changes. That's something to be aware of but not really a bad thing, plus there are plenty of benches if you need to rest for a minute.
If I had to be nitpicky, I didn't think the landing zone on hole 3 was very fair. If you can't throw the big drive over the trees, the gap in the trees for the layup is right next to the creek and the gap could be opened up a bit. But that's just my opinion.
A few of the tee pads weren't concrete and one had a non-concrete extension. This might be a con to some players but it didn't bother me at all.
Other Thoughts: Be sure to sign a waiver and give $5 to play here; it's well worth the money. Howie has put a lot of work into his course and it shows. This memorable course is well worth going out of your way to play.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Hollerin' Good Time!
Pros: - Holler in the Hills is a privately owned course open to the public for a very reasonable fee of $5. A small river comes into play on several holes, and massive elevation changes keep things interesting throughout. Holler will leave you breathless with its natural beauty, gorgeous hilltop views, and outstanding disc golf design. The course starts out by the river, works its way back towards the house and over a small pond, then up into the wooded hills before ending with another shot over the pond.
- Risky pin positions placed near water, on large boulders, close to rock walls, etc. Tricky greens throughout.
- Good signage, often with PDGA rules pertinent to the hole, shows hole number, distance, par, and a small map. Decent concrete tees on most holes. By the river there is a long pole for retrieving discs. Brooms available at some tees.
- The course was decorated in a Halloween motif when I played it. The remains of large spider webs, rubber bats hanging from the trees, and random skulls add to the flavor.
- "Signature" holes throughout: #15's elevated tee and rock wall, #17's epic wooded gorge shot, throwing across the pond, #14's boulder elevated pin, etc. There is no lack of outstanding holes on this course, especially on the back nine.
Cons: - A few of the front nine's holes possess artificial OB designated by ropes. These seemed to provide the bulk of the risk on these holes, but did help define and separate some fairways from each other. I understand why the rope OB is there, I just don't care for it personally. Still, this is a very minor quibble and more of a personal preference than anything else.
Other Thoughts: - Be sure to fill out and sign the safety waiver located near the main course board. These are provided for a reason. Exercise caution on the course. Stairs, warning signs, and steps cut into the ground all help mitigate risk of injury.
- #15's rock wall is stunning. Easily the most beautiful disc golf hole I've ever had the pleasure of playing.
- If you see Howie, give props to him for his outstanding work and thank him for sharing his wonderful course with the general public. Respect the course and help insure it remains as pristine and beautiful as you found it.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
This is what I've been waiting for!!
Pros: WOW!!!! I had to give myself a few days after playing this to really sit down and give it a good review. The directions to the course were spot on, so thanks for that Howie. Hole 1 starts in a great spot, along a creek with a nicely placed elevated basket. I love the water and how it is used on this course, it really helps define the first 3 holes. The yellow rope seperating holes 3/4/7/8/18 was a great addition and nice safety feature. The elevation changes were some of the best I have seen outside of a mountain course. 1 round here and I truly felt the workout (and I'm not in bad shape). Howie's son even came all the way up the hill too great us on hole 14, he even put on a wet suit and retrieved a lost disc on hole 2. How awesome is that!! The use of the natural terrain (huge boulders) is a great touch and awesome way to incorporate them into the course. The course layout is perfect in my opinion.
Cons: Not many or any complaints I can think of right now, some of the steep hills didn't have steps on them, but you could tell they were working on them. Not a con though really.
Other Thoughts: We each chipped in our $5 and I could really tell the money went towards the course. The grass was cut nicely, the signs, the rope, benches, brooms at each tee, what a great touch. I can't wait to play this again, thanks to the Baird's and their hard work!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Everything you need!
Pros: Holler in the Hills sits on a piece of land that sits in the small valley of some hills. This produces some great elevation changes throughout the course. The course starts at the bottom and gradually works it's way up. The pictures do not do this course justice! You have to play the course to really appreciate the elevation changes. Nearly every hole has a bench and a trash can. Basket placement is amazing on all of the holes. The course loops back to the parking lot after holes 5 and 9. The course is extremely technical so be sure to hit your gaps.
Cons: There is not much to complain about. The only possible thing that I could put here is the water. The water can eat discs if they are thrown improperly. I am not going to decrease my rating because of this though...it's just something to think about if deciding to play this course. Perhaps the best way to say it is "Not for beginners."
Other Thoughts: A HUGE thanks to Howie for all of the work he has put into this piece of land. All of the bridges and steps placed through the land really helps to keep your feet feeling as best as they can. I did not get to camp here but I would love to check it out! It would be a good home base for a multi-day Bowling Green expedition!
UPDATE: I played this course in mid-October and the grass was fine. A few previous reviews mentioned the tall grass. I'm pretty sure this course has been mowed since then. It looks great!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Made My Top Five
Pros: Howie and his family has given us a real treat. This course is well laid out with a great mixture of everything that a great disc golf course needs. There is tons of elevation, great mixture of right to left/left to right shots, up hill/down hill shots, long shots, short shots, elevated baskets, natural and safety OB, open shots, wooded shots, scenic shots, the list goes on and on. Howie really thought of it all. There are some really memorable holes in the woods and along the creek. Hole #17 is easily a signature hole along with a couple holes utilizing some large boulders near a sheer cliff. This is truly a gift to disc golfers.
Cons: The biggest con is that I don't live closer to this course. It's only an hour and a half away though. I'll frequent it as much as possible. There are really no cons design wise. The tees are rubber in most places but Howie plans to pour pads once the funds are there. A few of the boulders that get played on are moss covered and VERY slick. The creek can easily swallow your discs. All small cautions when compared to the greatness of this course
Other Thoughts: DO NOT LITTER ON THIS COURSE AND GIVE A DONATION WHEN YOU'RE THERE!!! Howie and his family have donated tons of time, labor, and land for this course. Show them the utmost respect by living it in the same condition it was in before you came
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: This course has a few remarkable holes like 17, and 18 is a great finishing hole. The baskets were brand new Innova Disc Catchers, and they were on some pretty neat looking rock structures. Hole 17 was one of the coolest holes I've ever played by far. Pretty much 14 - 18 were great holes and memorable holes, that I think were aesthetically pleasing and very fun. Plus, love hiking so it actually really worked to that also.
Cons: The course will also wear you out as you truck up and down hills.
Other Thoughts: Originally the course was kind of spartan too me and really should have waited till I gave a review. Want to play it again just for the fact that I played it with next to no sleep, after a looooong drive. The people were great and even went into bushes whenever we got a disc stuck in the deep, and all and all great people. Glad that they have opened up there property to Disc Golfers and i'm revising my review as I think it was more of my tiredness and crankiness. The course has some of the funnest holes I've ever played and had a smile on my face the entire day. Loved 17 when we yardsaled our bag and the discs just seem to fall forever. The course was fun and not going to stack up against a nice cut grass, and landscaped course but in terms of fun I will give it a high score!
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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