21 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging in every sense of the word
Pros: - Beautiful course way back in the... well.. hills. Offers the solitude that only a private course can.
- Built for Pros by a Pro. Howie, a 951 rated player, has pulled out all the stops to challenge even the most advanced players.
- Interesting tee and pin positions. One hole has you driving from the top of a rock to the top of another rock. A couple of others also include throwing at the tops of boulders. You haven't lived until you've tried to throw your putter 30 feet nearly straight up.
- Printed directions for each hole (including consequences for missing your shot in any direction) coupled with signs on trees make it hard to get lost.
- Excellent tee signs with hole description at every hole.
- Trashcans and benches at nearly every hole. And you'll need the benches.
- Amazing use of elevation. No other course I've played even comes close. The elevation also has a staggering effect on the risk/reward factor. You'll find yourself simply overthinking a lot of putts.
- Camping available on site during tournaments.
Cons: - I didn't see any restrooms. It's possible I missed it, though. I didn't think to ask Howie.
- Unless you're a top pro, you're virtually guaranteed to throw several discs into unwanted places. And by unwanted, I mean off a cliff, into a creek, into a pond, into waist-deep rough (I'm 6'7"... waist deep on me will completely swallow the vertically challenged) or any combination of the above. There are long poles and water retrieval tools laying around the course to help, though.
- I think my biggest gripe with the course are the mismatched temporary baskets. There are a couple of decent portable innova Discatchers out there, but for the most part you're going to be shooting at inferior targets. I understand the reason for this (baskets cost a lot of money) and I also don't expect permanent baskets on top of boulders, but the current basket setup will eventually need to be improved. The decreased margin of error adds another layer of difficulty that simply isn't needed.
Other Thoughts: - I'm going to go ahead and label this course "The Flip City of the South." That's actually being a little unfair to Holler, now that I think about it. The main gripes against both Flip and Idlewild, that I can see, are that they have too many mediocre holes to truly be flawless. I'm thinking of the first two merely satisfactory holes at Flip that leave newcomers momentarily wondering what all the fuss is about and the easy (and short) birdie holes at Idlewild. What about Holler, you say? Well, let's put it this way... Holler in the Hills can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. This is non-stop torture for anyone who isn't in prime physical condition. There simply aren't any "ho hum, it's birdie time" holes, you have to earn every shot.
- Getting back to the Flip City comparison, Howie is a one man band just like Bill at Flip. He hasn't been at it nearly as long as Bill (early 2007 compared to the early 1980s), but the amount of work he's accomplished is staggering. You have to understand that anything done at this course, like paying $6,000 to get a lake filled in, getting numerous truckloads of gravel for the parking lot, or simply keeping the grass mowed are Howie's responsibility. His current projects are building an information billboard with awning in the parking lot and building a guard rail to ensure that you don't fall off of the tee on the 'rock to rock' hole. The sheer financial cost coupled with the countless hours he's pouring into this course are staggering. That adds to the charm of private courses, in my opinion... you can almost see the blood and sweat put into these courses when you play them.
- I recommend visiting the course's website and contacting Howie to try and play the course with him. His guidance helped me avoid some sticky situations and I think I might have even learned a thing or two.
- According to Howie, Al Shack holds the course record with score of 50. This includes a missed putt that went in the water on hole #5. Proof that even the best are going to make mistakes here.
- I also recommend being as generous as you can at the donation box. Just know that your funding will help to continue the development and refinement of this extremely challenging, and destined to eventually be in the top 10, disc golf experience. I'm proud to have Holler in the Hills as my 200th career round.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays on private land through wooded hills. There is a creek and a pond, along with boulders and other natural obstacles. The water comes into play on a few holes, and is used very well to make a player really consider their shot. Nearly every hole on the course has some kind of elevation change, and the hills are used extremely well to add interest and variety. There are a couple holes where the tees or baskets (or both!) are on top of boulders, and these holes not only looked very cool but also made for unique challenges.
The layout of the course made really good use of the available land. There are all kinds of holes, from short ace runs to long holes where it'll take a couple controlled drives to get there. There is also a nice mix of straight shots and shots that curve left or right, and no two holes on the course felt the same. The course was clearly designed by someone who is passionate about the sport, and who really took the time to challenge every type of player.
When I played, there were signs on the first half of the course, along with a detailed written set of directions that you could carry with you throughout the course. With these, there were no navigation issues at all, and the course was easy to follow with nice flow. Supposedly the rest of the tee signs are up now, so it should be even easier. The tee pads were a mix of wood, rubber, and concrete. All were nicely leveled, and provided perfectly fine footing. Most were plenty large, even for longer drives.
It is abundantly clear how much effort and love has gone into making this course, and it shows. This is by far the best private course I've played, and one of my favorites overall.
Cons: There's not too much to complain about here, but there were a couple minor things. The baskets were a mix of various portable baskets, many with added chains. They didn't catch quite as well as professional level baskets, though they certainly weren't a major issue.
The tee pads were mostly fine, but the mix of surfaces is a little hard to get used to. I'm also not entirely sure how well the footing would be on some of them when wet.
There were a few fairways that play right along one another, and the 18th hole throws right down at another fairway. If there are other players, keep your eyes open on these holes, and it won't be a big deal.
Other Thoughts: This course is challenging and fun, and is worth driving out of your way to play. It will test the accuracy of even experienced players, with poor tee shots punished on most holes. Beginners might find the course frustrating, and there are definitely places to lose discs, so this course might be better for players who are ready for this type of challenge.
The course can be a little hard to find, but if you call ahead the course owner is very helpful. The $5 donation is more than worth it for a fantastic course, so don't let that keep you away.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: It's an absolutely beautiful course. Great use of terrain. Some of the most unique shots in the world. Have you ever had a teepad on a 7 foot rock? I didn't think so. Have you ever had to throw a righty hyzer around a school bus? That's just two examples that you will rarely see in this world. Previous reviewers have said no tee signs but they are now up and the course flows magnificently. The only possible back up is number 3 because I've personly witnessed a triple circle eleven. Another thing is on more days than not Howie would be more than welcome to show a new comer around the course. Also previously reviewers have commented on the rubber teepads but I've talked to howie about it and he said with the terrain he said concrete teepads can get ruined easily due to the ground so he said he can always move a rubber one that suits the point in time. I encourage you all to come play because howie has but in years and money out of his pocket to make this a championship caliber course.
Cons: There are really no cons except the single chain baskets don't like my hyzer putting. But then again what's a good course you don't have to adapt too.
Other Thoughts: One of the greatest during tournaments for a few bucks his son will get in the creek for your frisbee.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Holler In The Hills is an amazing disc golf course, a nice addition to the BG area. The course provides a challenging layout that is built on land that was made for disc golf. My review is a bit lengthy, so I tried to break it down into sections.
The majority of the baskets are In-Step brand modified to have a second set of chains. There were a couple of Innova DISCatcher Sports and one other brand that I did not recognize. Most of the baskets are in great shape, only a couple had some rust on the chains. Hole 1 and Hole 3 have concrete tee pads, the rest of the holes use rubber or wooden tee pads. All tee pads are level, and the rubber pads are secured to wood frames. I was concerned initially about the rubber pads, but they were textured and provided good grip (dry conditions). There are alternate tees/drop areas on a few holes. There were tee signs on the first 8 holes, but none on the rest of the course. The available tee signs provide clear, accurate representations of the hole layout. Course navigation was pretty easy, even without a map, and next tee signs were posted as needed throughout the course.
Course Flow and Maintenance
The course flows well from hole to hole, and makes 2 9-hole loops. There are no crossing fairways, but there are 2 pairs of holes (3&4, 7&8) where the fairways run parallel in opposite directions, be aware of other golfers as you navigate these areas. The fairways are very well-defined and clearly marked. All questionable fairways and/or mandos are marked with ribbons or reflectors for clarity. The course maintenance, especially considering the terrain, is excellent. If you miss the fairway, you'll find quite a bit of foliage/underbrush, briars, etc. I do not consider this bad maintenance, the areas in play are very well-maintained, consider it a penalty for a bad shot. There are plenty of places where missing the fairway can easily add 1+ shots to your score. There are benches and trash receptacles appropriately placed throughout the course. Steps and bridges have been installed as necessary to help in navigating the course.
Course Layout and Hole Design
Holler in the Hills offers one of the best course layouts in the area. Hole design and pin placement are well thought-out, and strongly cater to the risk/reward strategy. Several pins are located near drop-offs, aggressive putting/approach shots could easily put you in the creek (Hole2/Hole3), or down the hill (Hole 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17). Elevation changes on this course are amazing and are used to create some really great golf shots. Don't be deceived by some of the posted distances on these holes, especially on Hole9, 11, and 12, these holes play up the hill, and play much longer than they really are. Once you reach the peak of the hill, there are a couple of really great shots back down the hill (Hole16/Hole18). There is a nice variety in shot types and hole lengths throughout the course. You have to play the course to appreciate the elevations, the pictures are great, but don't even come close to portraying the severe ups and downs of Holler in the Hills.
Camping and portable toilets are available. Parking is sufficient for casual play, an over-flow area is used for tournaments.
There are several really great holes at this course (I'll mention a few), many which stuck out as some of the nicest and most unique holes that I've every played. The long par4 3rd hole features a large tree wall with a 40ft gap near the edge of the creek. Once you clear or go around the tree gap, the basket is located another 400+ft back into the trees with the creek bordering the right-hand side of the green. Hole12, a nice and long uphill shot to a basket positioned on the top of a 10ft boulder. The hole only measures 260ft, but it would really take a big throw to get up the hill to the basket. Miss the putt, and your back down at the base of the boulder, if you don't roll back down the hill. Hole14, you literally stand on the top of a boulder, and throw to a basket 150ft away positioned on top of another boulder, very unique feature and great hole. Hole15, a sharp left to right shot with the basket tucked behind a natural rock wall formation, beautiful hole and placement. Hole17, serious "wow" factor when you step up to the tee, basket straight across from the tee, but you are throwing over a ravine, I'm guessing it drops down 100ft, and back up, pictures definitely don't capture how amazing this hole truely is.
Cons: The following are for info only (does not affect the rating): The rubber tee pads were fine because the conditions were dry. A couple of the holes still had some residual moisture from the light rain, and the rubber pads that were wet were a little slick (one of the cons of rubber tee pads). Some of the steeper elevations willl be difficult to navigate in wet conditions. Lots of insects and such outside of the fairway, wear some repellant and keep an eye out for ticks, spiders, snakes, etc...
Other Thoughts: Holler in the Hills is a fantastic course that is well-designed, visually appealing, challenging (but fair), and a lot of fun to play. It is obvious that the owner (Howard Baird) has put a lot of effort into this course, and his efforts have paid off. The result is one of the finest courses in the area. I had a great experience at the course. Mr. Baird even came out to the course to make sure that we were finding our way around okay, and to welcome us to the course, very cool. The course is a little out of the way, but definitely worth the trip out to play. This course is the newest addition to my "Favorites" list!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Greatness tucked away in a small town
One of the best in Kentucky! Bear with me for the long review, there is so much to talk about with this course!
Other than the fact that I'm out of shape and the hills here wore me out quickly, I had an absolute blast on this newer course. The owner (Howard) is very helpful and accommodating, and even talked us in from several miles away because our maps were incorrect.
This course is clean and well maintained, and despite being a private course on the owner's property, it doesn't have that "playing-in-the-backyard" feel to it. There were several long flat holes, many hill holes, and some very unique challenging shots as well. See below for some memorable hole descriptions.
Port-o-john available if necessary, not many other amenities there, so bring what you need.
There was even a local that offered to go in after wet discs, which luckily I didn't need.
Some holes had concrete tee pads which were nice, most had rubber (over gravel I think), which you wouldn't think are great for x-steps, but they played very well. A couple others are wooden platforms that are solid, with rubber mats. One tee is even on the top of a big boulder (alternate tee next it on the dirt).
Baskets are a mix of In-steps (great condition with extra chains added, and solidly mounted), couple mach baskets and a innova discatcher, all in great shape.
Tee signs were somewhat there on the front nine, looks like they are still a work in progress on the back nine, but the course is very easily navigable with signs pointing to the next tee, and the course website has excellent pictures of each hole at www.hollerinthehills.com/spring_2009
My memorable holes:
2 - Really neat anhyzer out from the trees to the basket on the right, which is perched right over the edge of the creek.
3 - LONG (740+) over a treeline, with OB immediately left (4's fairway), following the creek back to a basket nestled in the trees. This hole really got me, mostly due to two OB strokes.
5 - Neat shot over the pond. If you are confident in your shot, take the long tee which requires some annie to hit the landing area on the far side. If you turn it over too much it will probably be wet though. Also a shorter, direct shot from a Am pad about 100 feet shorter.
6 - Shoot around an old school bus (how often do you hear those words on a DG course?), gentle hyzer. I just about parked it then botched my putt. DOH!
9 - Very deceiving length. Plays up a path on a semi-steep hill. Doesn't look to long until you throw. And end up only halfway up the hill. Stay out of the trees to the right or your score will really suffer. Ask me how I know. Basket is on a tire, on top of a rock outcropping where the hill drops off behind. Don't miss your putt!
11 - BIG hyzer throw up a huge hill, then drops off left to the basket, what a visually stunning hole design.
12 - Another uphill shot, no flat ground. Then the basket is elevated on a huge rock. You have to check out the pictures, which still don't do it justice.
14 - Boulder-to-boulder shot. Tee off from a boulder, pin on another boulder. Not very long, but I don't suggest an ace run, an RHBH hyzer will be going WAY downhill if you miss. I hit a deuce but I feel lucky to get even that.
15 - Sharp anhyzer, then finish up to a basket tucked in a corner of shear rock faces. Awesome layout.
16 - HUGE sweeping downhill anhyzer shot, if you can make it to the bottom staying in the fairway, don't go long or you'll be down the hill. I have never seen a hole set up like this one.
17 - There is no way a picture can show the extreme elevation change on this one. The pin is just higher than eye -level, but you have to cross the huge ravine to get there. Plays a little over 300 straight out, but you have a very narrow window to hit on the other side to stay out of the brush. I happened to be blessed with my best shot of the day with my monarch, almost deucing the hole.
18 - Throw all the way back down the hill next to 3's fairway, but if you go long there's OB. Great way to finish out a great course
There was not one single hole on this course that seemed average or mundane. I like that there were a couple more "mild" hyzer holes mixed in to keep you from feeling too bad about yourself
Cons: Not much but here we go:
Tee signs need completed, the ones that were up were very good and informative, but I think only the front nine were posted. Would be nice to know distances and pro par for each hole.
A little hard to find. Google maps failed us once we got close, but as I stated we were able to contact the owner and he talked us in.
I only got one tick, but you have to watch out for all the wilderness-related caution issues, but nothing bad at all.
Not anything that detracts from the course, but it would be awesome if the baskets are eventually replaced with mach or innova pro-type baskets. The in-steps work, but not as nice as the high-dollar ones. I understand it being a private course that is hard to do.
Other Thoughts: My rating of a 4.5 I hope shows that this is a very AWESOME course. It stills needs some work, true, but I wish it were a lot closer so I could play it more often. Even considering what flaws it might have, the course design is just sick, I love it!
Kind of rough terrain to negotiate. Make sure you're ready for a bit of hiking on the back nine, but nothing too severe.
If you are going to be near Bowling Green, go a little further north and PLAY THIS COURSE!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 9 Not
what a course
Pros: one of the best courses let aloneprivate courses I ever played. has everything you could want: water, elevation, risk reward shots a real jewl
Cons: not many....a couple teepads could be longer.....baskets, some are single chains.............but these are trivial not a real problem at all
Other Thoughts: Thanks to all the guys that put alot of time and effort into a top notch course....and the hospitality
3 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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