Punderson gets better and better, now with Island Hole!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Where do I start? Excellent signs. 3 Extra large Tee Pads for every hole. Each one changes how you play the hole. Long baskets on several holes including the new Island Basket for Hole 2. This is a true island shot, throwing to an island in the middle of the lake! There is a walking bridge over to the island to hole out and retrieve your discs. Funding has started to build a platform for an alternate tee for Hole 3. A permanent restroom building is also on the drawing board.
The challenge for this course is high, where a score of 90 for 18 holes from the longs is still a 900 rated round! But it is Lots and Lots of Fun! My favorite course and I have played over 50! Beautiful scenery with hardly a sign of civilization makes for a peaceful round.
Cons: Fairways can get sloppy during wet weather. Still too many tree stumps in the fairways making for easy tripping when walking. The rough is really rough making errant drive retrievals difficult in some areas of the course. Not much else in the way of negatives. BTW more tree stumps have already been marked for removal. Like I said, it keeps getting better and better.
Other Thoughts: If you enjoy a challenging but fair course that will test every throw and disc you got, Punderson is for you! If you want an easier Par 3 type of course there are others in the Cleveland area that will fit that bill.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Awesome woods course
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I don't even know where to start. This course is awesome. Challenging but fair, makes you think about what you're going to throw. Huge fairways cut out in the woods, and you're punished if you miss your lines. Elevation used well, almost every hole has an elevation change. Three sets of teepads which change how each hole plays. Course is secluded in the park.
Cons: Some of the long tees are placed in spots where it's more challenging than it is good - not really golf shots, a couple are tough to make any shot down the fairway. Place gets really muddy in the spring.
Other Thoughts: Hole 15 is one of the best holes I've ever played.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Adapt. Evolve. Survive.
Pros: - Beautifully scenic State Park.
- The course design makes excellent use of the topography available. Constant elevation changes.
- Vast and secluded. Even on the busiest days of play its seems as if you have the course to yourself.
- Wide array of different holes and shot selections.
- Three large tee pads per hole. Rough tee pad surface allows for good footing in inclement conditions.
- Informative signage per hole. Excellent use of arrows to the next hole for easy navigation for each the red,white and blue tees.
- Baskets are in great shape. Multiple baskets on holes 2,9,12 and 15.
- Out of bounds markings are well defined by yellow rope.
- Well maintained and clean. Trash cans throughout the course.
- Good use of picnic tables and benches throughout the course. Each round provides plenty of exercise.
- Local club does a fantastic job of maintaining this huge course. No small feat.
- Large parking lot with bathrooms. Kiosk with disc related information. Practice basket is a short walk to the first hole.
Cons: - Course is not for all skill levels.
- Some rough areas in the trees. A final cleanup or thinning of the course would do wonders.
- Poison Ivy prevalent throughout the course.
Other Thoughts: Punderson Disc Golf Course is an absolutely huge and technical 18 hole course. Beautifully scenic and secluded. This heavily wooded course has narrow but well defined fairways and some low ceilings. Excellent variety of holes and shot selections. Great use of elevation and terrain changes. Water comes into play on holes 1,3,4,6, and 15. Great tee pads and baskets. Comprehensive hole signs and navigation arrows. Excellent flow throughout the course. Course starts and finishes with a short walk to the parking lot.
The local disc club does a fantastic job of keeping this mammoth course well maintained and the course seems to be ever evolving into a championship caliber challenge. Being part of the Punderson State Park allows a wide array of other fun activities for non disc golfers.
Punderson is hands down one of the best disc golf courses in Ohio and it will only get better with time.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A High Quality Disc Golf Experience
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Excellent location, scenery (this would be a great place to simply go on hike in, let along play disc golf)
-Great use of land in the park-elevation is well used
-Course is well laid out; flows excellently from hole to hole
-Tests a variety of shots from each of the three teepads on all 18 holes
-Large concrete teepads for each red, white and blue distance on each hole
-Alternate baskets on many holes
-Signage looks great and is well maintained-no navigation issues
-Benches and trash cans near a number of teepads
-Fairways and greens are quite fair
-Numerous risk reward shots-i.e. ability to simply play for par or go for lower scores and rewards/punishes reasonably
-OB is always marked with rope and well placed to aid in the risk/reward
-A dedicated and attentive local club
-Easy to get to near major roadways
Cons: Really nothing significant.
-More parking might be cool
Other Thoughts: Overall this course offers a consistent experience that is equally challenging as it is fun. From all three tees this course is wooded but a quite fair course. There are a variety of ways to successfully navigate the fairways here; its refreshing to find a course the allows for multiple ways to make it the green and doesn't force players into specific types of shots over and over again. The variety offered here is what really elevates this course. If you were to play two rounds in a day from two different tee pads it wouldn't be unlike playing 36 different holes.
With the dedicated local club always looking to improve the course I see no reason why this course won't get even better with time; like their plans for an alternate basket on hole two.
I would highly recommend anyone passing through Northeast Ohio to stop by here, it will not disappoint.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Walked In a Skeptic, Left a Believer.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wow! Punderson is an incredible course here in Northeast Ohio that is really underrated here on DGCR. Punderson is painfully technical, but not so much so that you become frustrated to the point of quitting. That is the beauty of this course. Almost every hole has multiple lines to hit, with a high risk-reward factor in every choice you make. I like to call this course "The Flappy Bird of Disc Golf". You know you will never beat it, but you keep trying new tactics to get a better score(If you don't know what Flappy Bird is, ignore what I just said). The course flows really well, therefore a map isn't really needed to navigate around. Even though pretty much the entire course is wooded, there are many unique holes throughout the course that would be signature holes on some NEO courses. The park, being a state park, is beautiful, and will appeal to both the disc golfer and non-disc golfer. There are three sets of concrete tees. All three are challenging and very fun to play. This course feels like it is meant for high caliber tournament play. The blue tees would challenge the best-of-the-best in all of disc golf. The course looked trash and debris free. Kudos to whoever keeps this beautiful course in the perfect condition. The baskets were vey nice, and caught well. The tee signs were very informational, and the distances and maps were spot on. A player who prefers more technical play rather that "Rip it and grip it" play will find Punderson extremely fun. For me, it's a preference thing. There is plenty of parking, all of the time. There were benches and trash cans throughout the course.
Cons: While Punderson is one of my favorite courses I have played, there are still a few things that pushed me away from giving the course a perfect 5/5 rating.
A few holes were really tough to navigate if you are playing the course for the first time. Even if you take a good look at the awesome tee signs, it can still be tough once you start throwing. Even from the shortest tees, this course is still a beast. Not really a place to take the kids, or a beginner. There were a few patches of gnats and other pesky bugs, but nothing to extreme. Bring bug spray!
Other Thoughts: I didn't really want to make the hour trip to play here, but it was well worth it. The 3.5 rating made me a little skeptical, but I am now a believer! After playing the course four times from both the white's and blues, I realized what a special, hidden gem Punderson is. Come out and play the course if you are anywhere near Newbury. Trust me, you won't want to play it just once...
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
~Great location, amazing use of the land
~Easy to navigate
~(3) sets of huge concrete tees
~Ample benches & trash cans throughout the course
~Extremely clean and well maintained
~Challenging and fair with risk/reward on every hole
~Tons of elevation throughout a wonderful wooded area
~The best course I've played to date
*Nothing I can really complain about overall, but some nitpicking nonetheless:
~Areas immediately off the fairways are very unforgiving
~Concrete tees have a rough uneven finish
~Some fairways could be widened
My 1st visit to this course was for a tournament in which we played two rounds from the Blue Tees (longs), and the second round was played to the long baskets. First and foremost the Friends of Punderson Disc Golf folks are some of the best people you'll meet and they have done an amazing job on creating and maintaining a top tier course. Layout is 18 epic holes with great elevation throughout a beautiful wooded area near the lake. While water isn't too much of a factor it adds to the gorgeous scenery this course provides. All 18 holes are wonderful, and not one would I consider anything less than great....that is to say there isn't a dud or filler hole on this course. From the Blue Tees it is both a lengthy and extremely technical challenge. Fairways are fair, but land outside the intended path and you will be scrambling. Plenty of curves and undulation, you will need every shot in your arsenal. Solid scores are earned here, and the course will test your mental and physical toughness. Punderson is a phenomenal course and deserves to be considered as one of the best in oHIo!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Disc Golf? Or Carnival Game?
1 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: -Nice Course
-Course easy to follow
Other Thoughts: There where targets like hula hoops and nets scattered through out the course. Wasn't fun to play at all. The weather didn't help the course as well. It's a nice course but needs major "spring cleaning"
1 of 16 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
This could be the best course you've never heard of
Pros: Friends of Punderson is the most underrated course I have played, both in terms of its rating and in the recognition (or lack thereof) that it receives on here. It is always enjoyable when a course far exceeds your expectations - that is exactly what happened when I played here. The course is located in a big, beautiful state park that is filled with many other activities. This is definitely a place you could spend all weekend at.
This section of the park is fully dedicated to disc golf, so the course has a very enjoyable, peaceful ambience to it. If you like playing courses that make you feel in the middle of nowhere and are distraction free, this is your course. It is also evident that a ton of care has gone into the course, as it has a practice basket, course map, bulletin board, and a porta-potty near the first tee and is very well groomed.
It has three enormous concrete tees on every hole. The tees do a great job of changing up the hole and providing different levels of difficulty. The red tees (comparatively) offer more simple shots, the white tees are very hard but still allow for some birdie opportunities, and the blue tees look just insane. The Mach 3 baskets are in great shape and there are even a few holes that offer multiple permanent pin positions.
This is definitely a thinking man's course. If you enjoy having to really think about every shot you take, this is the course for you. Because the lines are so unforgiving, placement is important on your drive, upshot, approach, etc. in a way that few courses can match. Holes like 2, 4, 11, and 16 are prime examples of these unforgiving lines, whether its hitting a turn-over shot through a super tight gap, avoiding the O.B. that winds around the entire hole, or hitting a crazy sharp dogleg while risking the possibility of fading back into the water. The luck factor is pretty much cut out completely here.
Elevation and water are often present and do a great job of making the course more appealing. There are no jaw-dropping downhill or water-carry holes, but it definitely is present in a fun, exciting, and technical way. There are some great downhill shots like on 1, 6, 11, and 15 that look completely different from each other and challenge different skills, while the water holes all felt completely different as well.
Which brings me to another great quality about Punderson - it has an awesome variety of shots and holes within this heavily wooded setting. There is a nice distribution of pars and hole lengths, even more so when you account for the different tee and pin positions. You really will use many different discs in your bag.
There are a lot of navigational aids that are very helpful in pointing you to the respective tee.
Cons: None of these cons are major detractors, but they did hurt the course in small ways:
One thing that makes this course so great is the high level of technicality that it has on every single hole. While each hole has been thoughtfully designed, most of them are very line-specific. It would have been nice to have played a few more holes that allowed the player to be creative and have multiple lanes to choose from.
It wasn't a big deal, but the navigation could be a little better in a few spots. Navigating to 4 and 15 can be a little confusing since you cross near holes 9 and 1.
This course truly has great variety within its wooded setting, but it is in this same setting the entire time. It'd add to the course's appeal if there were some more different types of holes.
Because the holes were often very narrow, long, and complex, I had to scout where the basket was before I played the hole a good bit, adding to the time it takes to play.
Rough wasn't present on every hole, but when it was present it was pretty nasty.
Other Thoughts: I've only played about ten courses around the top 25, so I can't say for sure, but I truly think that this course is on that high of a level and deserves to be in the conversation. I think it has more consistency and is better designed than a few of the other top courses I have played. This is also a course that I would love to see the pros play as it tests and rewards extreme accuracy and which allow for some nice score separation.
I encourage you to go out of your way to check this course out. It truly has the makings of a top course.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
A Top Tier Course You've Never Heard Of
Pros: Friends of Punderson is a course-bagger's dream: that top-tier, well-groomed, challenging gem that you've never heard of. I knew little about the course entering my round, and left truly impressed. There is a ton to like here.
The course plays entirely through the woods, integrating the lake at several points, providing some scary approaches, a risky over-the-water route or two, and a few mid-fairway OBs. There are several signature-quality par 4s that demand an exhausting degree of precision from drive to putt, as well as many lengthy, challenging par 3s from the blues and whites. Birdie runs are in the minority here, and even these are technical enough to go wrong fast, with OB, elevation, and numerous fairway and pin-guarding trees. There isn't a true gimme hole at Punderson, and even breathers are hard to come by.
Punderson forced me to play it safe in a way that few courses ever have. The lines are so specific and so demanding that throwing a safer, more controllable shot was almost always was the wiser decision. A near-perfect shot isn't always good enough, and while sometimes that demand is to Punderson's detriment, it's nevertheless a defining characteristic that I can appreciate. The lines and landing zones are generally well thought out and extremely varied, which keeps things fresh.
The tees are fantastic: three sets of large, level concrete tees on all 18 are in at this point, with all three offering a challenging round. Duel pins on several holes allow you a much-needed say in controlling the challenge. Signage is great and helps with navigation: there are a few quirky spots (such as how the back 9 loops back to cross behind 1's tee), but it's all easy if you grab a map at the helpful information kiosk at the course's entrance. Practice basket with marked distances is a nice plus. Parking is prevalent, and a portapotty is nearby.
Grooming is *extremely* well done. This course is carved completely out of the woods, and a ton of effort has clearly been put into cleaning up fairway and rough alike. While there are still some spots where your disc can be swallowed, these are minimized relative to the thick woods the course plays through. Lots of nice touches marking pathways and fairways.
Cons: Punderson is probably the first course I've ever played that I really thought a slight widening of fairways at points would go a long way towards improving the course. It's always a fine line between demanding and lucky, and that line varies between players, but there are some shots here that if slightly widened or trimmed would maintain all of their challenge and lose a lot of their luck factor. Many are just so particular and so intensive in their combination of angle, window, elevation, and landing zone that they punish anything less than perfect execution. The result is that aggressive play is discouraged, since the odds of something going wrong far outweigh the potential benefits. This detracts from the mental game and gives the course a claustrophobic feel that it doesn't always benefit from. It also deters you from attempting some really interesting shots in the name of preserving your round.
An ideal version of this course would for me do a better job of more evenly changing up its pace. The first eight are all extremely demanding and focus on long, multistage holes. The easier change-of-paces begin to appear starting at hole 9. One or two birdieable par 3s earlier in the course would go a long way towards mixing things up. Hole 4 has the distance to be one, but its unnerving OB and tree-studded fairway prevent it from serving as such. The change of pace is there; I just wish it was better distributed.
The challenge found on even the red tees makes this a pretty beginner-unfriendly course. That's not a huge con; it just limits Punderson's appeal a bit.
Other Thoughts: Friends of Punderson is a fantastic wooded monster-type course that doesn't get talked about enough. It stands with the best in the region, on par with stalwarts such as Moraine, Deer Lakes, and Orange Crush in character and sophistication. I was really taken aback with how great this course was, and nixed plans to play elsewhere during my travels that day in order to take in another round. The low rating on here is clearly a product of an earlier stage in the course's development. Don't let it deter you.
I do think the cons I mentioned keep Punderson from being truly elite, but it's close enough to be unable to call. I'd encourage you to make the trip and see for yourself.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
A Technical Gem
Pros: +Baskets: Nice Mach III's, multiple baskets on four holes (9,12,14,15), alternate pin locations on a few holes (4, 11, and 17).
+Tees & Pads: Three sets of concrete tees, all have tee color and distance on a brick embedded in the pad. The whites just recently got poured.
+Memorable Holes: This place is packed with memorable holes.
+Challenge: This course takes the term "technical" to a new level.
+Scenery/Terrain: There are some really nice views of the lake. Nice use of elevation throughout the course.
+Misc: There are garbage cans and benches around the course.
Cons: -Navigation: There are a couple holes that could present navigation problems, but with signs and a map you should be okay. Not a major con by any means.
-Bugs and Mud: The course can get pretty buggy. There seems to have been a lot of effort put towards drainage control, but there are still some spots that get pretty muddy. It's mostly just the nature of the land.
Other Thoughts: I've played Punderson on two occasions. Once as part of a birdie bash and for a three round tournament. The whole course is a very challenging technical course. About half of the holes give nice scenic views of the nearby lake with four holes presenting a water hazard risk. Since it is such a technical course there are a lot of risk/reward options available. A couple good throws can build you up and one bad throw can bring you crashing down.
Almost every hole here is memorable in some way. Some of the highlights for me were 4, 8, 10, 15, and 18.
Hole 4 presents a lot of OB to simulate an island green. I think I'm just a sucker for this type of challenge. It can be a nice easy birdie, but it can be a bogey just as easily.
Hole 8 has elevated tees that look out towards the lake and requires a long sweeping anhyzer shot.
Hole 10 give a look that just begs you to attempt a throw down the neatly lined pines.
Hole 15 is among the most challenging holes I've played. It takes a straight, downhill drive to get into a good position and have a look at the baskets. Oh by the way, there's the lake at the bottom of the hill and all along the left side of the fairway up to the baskets.
Hole 18 is a beast of a hole. It demands pinpoint accuracy and a big arm. It would be tough without trees in the middle of the fairway, but they are there just waiting to send your disc shooting off into the rough.
The course is still being tweaked in some places and it seems that the people who work on it are always looking to improve. As it is, the course is worth the trip. Make a day, or camping trip, out of it. The park offers several other ways for the whole family to have a fun!
If you're a fan of wooded courses: go to Punderson. You can take your drivers, but you may just end up leaving them in your bag. There is a great range of challenge with the easiest being the reds to shorts. It's a beginners set up but beginners might not feel too welcome. If you think you've got a stellar technical game, step up to the blues and play to the longs, only the best will score well here.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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