A Good, Challenging Beginner's Course
Pros: Lots of shot variety. Very nice park. You'll be playing through lots of trees, and there are a lot of vertical changes. Just about anything you can imagine in a disc golf course, this place provides it!
10 Helpful / 0 Not
It might have its way with you!
Pros: If it were the only course in the park, Ashland, KY's Armco White DGC would get high marks for its technical, (mostly) uphill holes that play really tough with tourney OB and sloping rough, along with its fairways littered with park trees. But it will inevitably be downgraded slightly because it sits next to its more magnificent big brother (Armco Blue).
The White course boasts two concrete tees and two basket positions on each of its 19 holes, with the long tees being roughly 1000% tougher than the shorts. ;) . Played long to long, and strict OB rules (like in yesterday's inaugural Oil City Classic), this course is a real challenge for the Intermediate level disc golfer (and even a technical workout for Advanced and Open players). But for variety, it looks like the short tees to short baskets would still be fun for Recreational and casual players who have a little experience under their belt (I would not recommend it for absolute beginners, though).
The layout does tend to favor rhfh or lhbh players, because the majority of the holes play left to right with the driveway running down the left side of the fairway. There are a LOT of trees, because (I'm told) they were not allowed to cut anything for clearing lines during installation. The flow is good, with no crossing traffic on the course, and makes tremendous use of the impressive elevation in the area. If you play here often, you won't learn to crank big distance drives off the tee, but you will develop a lot of mid & putter control, along with a nice 'touch' with uphill and downhill shots. ...unless you really enjoy brutal recovery shots back up to the basket from the deep woods!
The park infrastructure and maintenance looks really good, with shelters, bathrooms, water fountains, and so on. The baskets are white DisCatchers that grab your disc nicely, and they have deep cages to keep your disc in.
Having two tournament caliber courses, both with twin sets of pads and basket positions, all in one park, is incredible. You will be exhausted playing them back to back. But in a good way. Between Ashland and Huntington both having this type of setup, they appear to be vying to make this a destination region.
Cons: The concrete tee pads are decently sized, but were usually poured above grade and conformed to the slope, instead of being level, so run-ups can be awkward.
Though the short tees seem to have been located to create decent fairways, there were a lot of times when the longer tees were sited to be a bit brutal, with trees forcing overly precise lines. I found myself giving up on the idea of deucing most of the holes. Combine that with the fact that the sweeping left to right lines with the OB driveway down the same side each time, and the holes seemed to get a little repetitive after starting the day on the Blue course.
Being a huge fan of downhill shots, it seemed a little bit unfair to 'pay' with so many uphill holes, only to have seemingly disproportionate (few) downhills. A couple of times, early on (like hole 3), you go from the top of a climb, walk down to a tee, and shoot another uphill.
Just like the Blue course, Armco White has places where first timers can get confused. The map is good, but a guide would be better. And since they've added a hole, some of the info on DGCR needs a little updating. Though the tee signs are very well done, the trees obscure basket positions, and the longs are not indicated on the map. In a dream world, the tee signage would someday get an upgrade to the type with a hole layout diagram for each position, plus 'next tee' diagrams. I know, it's only money, right?
Other Thoughts: Having just played each of these courses once, in a tournament setting, no less, I have to admit that I was really worn out by the time I finished the White. I hope my review caught the flavor of how a first timer might see the course. But the overall takeaway is that these courses are challenging, exhausting, and still fun. Don't expect to have it easy with them, or they might have their way with you!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Good beginner's course at public park
Pros: - Well maintained course at public park. Easy to find off of the highway with ample amenities nearby.
- Multiple picnic shelters, bathroom facilities, and trash cans throughout the course.
- Lots of variety in terms of distance, shot type, elevation, and difficulty. Both wooded and open holes.
- Challenging yet fair course suitable for beginners but tough enough for more experience players.
- Additional course on site.
Cons: - Course plays along the park access roads. Passing traffic is often in play, and throwing OB is always a concern.
- Signage from hole to hole could be improved. Having the online course map helps in navigation, but even then the course can be confusing at times.
- Multiple pin locations are not marked on the tee signage. Several baskets are not easily viewable from the tee pad.
- Broken glass and debris not unusual.
Other Thoughts: I played Armco for the first time last year and posted a review then, but we went back to play this week. After playing several courses in several states, and having played this course a couple times now, I felt like I needed to update my review. I'll preface by saying a lot of this is copied directly from my Blue Course review, as most comments hold true for both courses.
Armco Park is located in Boyd County, Kentucky about five minutes off of I-64. It's very easy to find the park entrance just off the main highway behind the state police barracks. The park houses two courses, the longer and more difficult Blue Course on the left hand side of the park upon entering, and the more moderate but still challenging White Course on the right hand side. Both courses are tournament caliber, well maintained and well designed, and are worth a trip if you're coming from out of town.
In my opinion, the White Course is the more casual and less difficult of the two Armco Park courses. The lengths are much more managable, and though there is still a certain degree of difficultly and accuracy is always tested, it's definitely the more enjoyable of the two. If I were bringing new players to the park, this is the course I would play, but if a more experienced player was coming in from out of town, I'd point them to the Blue Course.
The course makes good use of the topography. There are a lot of elevation changes, both uphill and downhill, and several holes that require tight placement, both in terms of trees and the access road that serves as the OB line that wraps around the course. Holes are not particularly long but by no means are simple. There are definite ace and birdie opportunities available for bigger arms.
The course does play to the top of a hill and back down, so there is a considerable amount of walking and hiking. The rough is also in play on several holes around the turn, and it's easy to misplace a disc in the unmowed portions. As with any wooded course, bugs and poison ivy are not uncommon off the beaten path, so take precautions as you feel necessary.
The park itself is a really great facility, with lots of picnic shelters, playgrounds for the kids, public restrooms and water spigots. It'd be very easy to combine a round with a family trip or cookout.
All in all, I think Armco is a great course and a real asset to the community. Though it's very challenging, it's ultimately very fair and players of all skill level can get something out of a round here.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
NICE and CLOSE!!
Pros: After playing Peaks View Park in Virginia three times, I figured I was ready for something new. Armco is the closest course to my house, and I'd heard really good things about it, so I headed over there after a short work day.
The layout is outstanding, except for a couple things I'll mention under 'Cons.' Risk-Reward is present all over the place, with multiple lines to the basket from every tee. This one has more distance than I'm used to (see the specs on Peaks View if you're wondering how that could be), but it's still accessible for beginners. After playing the shorter course, I had a lot of confidence in my disc golf ability. After playing Armco, I know how much work I still need to do.
Plenty of facilities here, and the park is beautiful. Several playgrounds for the kids to have fun on while you're golfing too.
Cons: I got spoiled by the hole signs with diagrams in Virginia -- the signs here don't have that. Most of the time that wasn't a problem; I could figure out where the hole was based on the layout of the land. On some of the longer holes, though, it would have been a big help.
I got lost going from 11 to 12. (Follow the road and you'll see the tees for 12 on your right.) From 2 to 3 you need to just walk straight up the hill and head slightly right -- you'll see the tee pads across the road). The course doesn't flow as well as it could, but once you've played it one time you'll know where things are. Everyone has mentioned the broken glass on the course; I didn't notice it until about #7 or so.
#15 is my LEAST favorite hole. Landing area is NARROW, and of course I missed it. Very unforgiving hole.
This is a new course, and they're still putting in some things that are really needed (steps from 15 to 16 would be GREATLY appreciated -- and if I'm off when you build them, I'll even help!).
Other Thoughts: Two sets of tees for each hole. Two pin positions for each hole. And of course, they changed to the LONG pin positions right before I play the course. This is a fun course, and a GREAT addition to disc golf in this area.
Update just to say that this course plays completely different in the fall and winter. There are lines there when the leaves are down that you'd never be able to try in the spring and summer.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Fast and fun
Pros: Short, fun course. Creative basket placement. Several different ways to get to the basket. Even difficulty for both right and left handed throwers. Beautiful park with interesting wildlife. Great family environment. Allows of beginners to shoot for birdies. Solid concrete tee pads. Tough, even for a beginner, to lose a disc.
Cons: Some tees are located close to the road, which could be dangerous for some players who can't control their throws. Lots, surprisingly, of broken glass. Short tees could be VERY easy for more experienced players. Arrows and permanent signs needs to be made. Some course improvements would be nice too.
Other Thoughts: I REALLY enjoy playing this course. You can throw it fast with friends with only a putter and midrange. If I lived closer or didn't have a gass guzzler I would play Ashland once a week.
Things to remember; watch for cars driving through the park and head back around the war memorial to throw hole 4 after getting your disc on basket 3. My home course is Rotary Park in Huntington, which is amazing, but these two courses in Ashland are a great start to bring disc golf to the region. If you're passing through, want to get in a quick round or want to take up the sport Ashland's White Course is the way to go. For a challenge, check out Ashland's Blue Course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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