It might have its way with you!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
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!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Hope you’re feelin lucky...
Pros: -Water spigots located around the park were great and very welcomed.
-High quality DISCatcher baskets.
-The park it's located in was attractive and looked to be well maintained.
-Concrete teepads and signs on all holes which included distances.
Cons: -Far and away my biggest complaint about this course is that it places far too high a premium on luck. I like to play courses that reward skill. Luck comes into play here in two primary ways: #1 - a number of holes have no defined fairway, just a mess of trees with 3-4-5 foot gaps between them. You literally throw and cross your fingers. #2 - most pin placements are on the side of a hill. As such, you can throw a perfect shot and park it right beneath the basket, but if your disc catches an edge you can easily roll 50 feet away from what should have been a drop-in. Not even pros are capable of reliably hitting 3 foot tree gaps and avoiding punitive rolls down hills. You shouldn't have to rely on luck in order to throw a good round.
-The signs have no map on them, and a number of the pins are not readily visible from the tees. We had to go hiking several times to find where we were throwing.
-This is one of the hillier courses I've ever played, and there were no benches at the tees. The course plays in and around several picnic areas, but you have to walk 50-75+ feet to reach a place to sit down.
-No garbage cans at tees.
-Teepads looked as though no effort at all was made to level them. Some were leaning front to back, others even leaning side to side.
-Many holes played left to right (from the long tees) and felt redundant.
-The multiple tees were very strange. In some cases, the long tee was only about 15 feet away from the short tee. In several cases, the short tee had a defined fairway to hit, whereas the nearby long tee had no defined fairway as it had to deal with several trees right in front of the teepad. Effectively, the only difference between the long tee and the short tee was a worse line to play.
Other Thoughts: -I need to reiterate how hilly this course is. Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise, given the location, but we played both the White and Blue courses on a hot summer day and we were flat out whooped. These courses are insanely hilly.
-There are not many courses in this part of the state, and even fewer good options. I'm of the opinion that the somewhat generous ratings this course has received are a reflection of the scarcity of better options nearby. This is not a course that's worth driving hours to play.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Great Day at the Park
Pros: This course is a great companion to the blue course. It may not be quite as challenging, but together they make a pair of wonderful courses. It has a somewhat reduced level of difficulty when comparing to other great Kentucky courses, but it a great day at the park. I have adopted Kentucky as my second home. Disc golf is obviously a priority there and I love to be part of it.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Easy to find; convenient parking; easy to navigate; multiple tee pads; water spigots all around the park; beautiful park; free to play; baskets in good condition; nice variety; but best of all, great way to warm up before playing the blue course.
Cons: No special holes; a little short; minor interference with other park users.
Other Thoughts: If this course did not have a big brother, I probably would have rated it a 3.5 - fun to play once or twice but not challenging. But since the Blue course is also here, it serves as a great way to warm up and get a feel for the terrain before playing that course. The heat index was 106 when I played and I really appreciated having the water spigots around so I only had to carry one water bottle.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Distances are very manageable for newer players. I have not played that many courses but this one ranks up there with anything I've played. Course design makes good use of terrain and incorporates park facilities.
Cons: Finding the next hole is a problem in two places.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course that should definately be checked out if you are near. All holes have defined fairways although a couple are tight. This is a good course to work on your accuracy.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Beginner friendly.....sort of.
Pros: This course is very beginner friendly in the sense that none of the holes are too long. It is a good course to build your game. All but two of the holes are par 3. The other two are very managable par 4's.
Another thing that I love about this course is the multiple tee's at each hole. You can play the white tee one round and play the blue tee in the next round and you will feel as if you have played two courses!
Because of the close proximity of the road to the fairways, a player will learn accuracy very quickly if you play this course very many
times. Also, while I consider this a beginner friendly course, it is not too easy as to not be a challenge to more experienced players.
There are many restrooms throughout the park, and places to rest if necessary.
Overall, this is a great course. ENJOY!!
Cons: The OB situation can make it frustrating to players before they learn how to better control the flight of their discs.
During the summer months, if a disc gets away from you and flies into the woods and/or rolls down hill into the woods, they can be very hard to find. Try to use discs that are easy to see and/or have a friend spot your throw.
Once a player is experienced enough to make the OB a non-issue, there are no other cons in my opinion of this is course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Very Nice Course
* Very nice 18 hole course set in a beautiful park with many amenities. Another 18 hole course is set in the same park.
* Course seems to be maintained very well and is a central part of this park
* Two nice large concrete tee pads
* Very nice baskets offering two pin positions, white tops to differentiate between the white/blue courses.
* Very nice signage listing both the distances and direction to the basket. Also, signs to the next tee pad (except to #3 - read below)
* Distance are not too far for the amateur or new player but the do require a variety of shots.
* Nice offering of open shots and shots through the woods
* Much broken glass and trash through the wooded holes. Although there are some trash cans at the pavillions may need some at tees (But, this may not stop this problem)
* Basket #3 has been pulled from its old position and a new #11 has been added. From basket #2 you will need to go to the #4 tee pad - and the basket will read #3 this will go on until you reach #10 and then a new #11 has been added.
* Some of the hole are very close to the roads through the park and potentially other park users.
* Some of the wooded holes do not seem to have any defined fairway and you feel like you are just throwing through an area of trees.
Other Thoughts: Were able to play this course while I was in Huntington, WV at a meeting. Really enjoyed this course but, did not have time to play the blue course. Good use of the elevation by offering a number of up hill and down hill shots. The parked seemed to be kept up very well - also had a water pump to wash off after your round. Nice playground and other amenities for kids. Would be a great place to stop if you are passing through the area.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 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.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice Quick Round
Pros: Armco park is located in a nice and very large park. Many trees are planted along some of the fairways, and some holes are just very open with no trees what so ever. The baskets are nice white topped innova discatcher baskets. This is the only course i've seen with white topped baskets. It is nice so that you can tell it apart from the blue course. The one very nice thing that they have here is the shelters. There are shelters everywhere. The pedestrians here are very nice. I was talking to some of them and they were very helpful. There is a decent amount of elevation changes. I wouldn't say there is as much as there is on the blue course, but there is still a decent amount. The best part about this course is thats a well taken care of nice course. The people take really good care of the park. There is like no trash laying anywhere. There are restrooms all over the course, which can be very helpful.
Cons: Due to the elevation changes it does get quiet windy here. The one really bad thing is that it does not get any use. When i was here there was not one other person there playing disc golf. The pedestrians can also get in the way sometimes when you are playing, so you will need to wtch out for that. It can get a little bit confusing at times if it is your first time. They dont really offer a variety of different holes. The holes are either down hill or up hill. Almost all of the holes are par threes. That takes alot of fun out of a course.
Other Thoughts: Really this course is plain and simply fun. You can come here and play a quick round in a little bit over an hour. If you go to the links/files you will see that there is a course map. When i was there i had one but really you dont need one at all. Always look out for the people walking, they will get in your way. If you haven't already learned to play with the wind you will learn here, it gets very windy.
2 of 2 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.
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