14 Helpful / 1 Not
Oregon's Most Challenging Disc Golf
Pros: Following a nice drive west from Portland, one veers off into the countryside and eventually finds themselves winding down into a canyon road with strange bird calls echoing all around (peacocks, of all things!) and a group of buildings with a nice hippy farm commune-like vibe going on...all very good and very nice.
This course is among the most challenging I've ever played, and also has some of the most unique holes of any course in the history of the sport. There are long holes through dense forest. Even longer holes through a rolling meadow. Lots of up and down through mixed open and tight foliage, pick a route and cross your fingers! A signature downhill hole (#8) through heavy woods (this is not common amoung top-of-the-world-like holes). The nastiest right dog leg down-up combo I've ever seen (#9) that is intensely challenging even though it is short.
This course will punish everyone at some point, and over 3 rounds you'll face nearly every kind of difficult shot that this sport can muster. We also played part of a round with some pros and saw how a truly good player can rise to the challenge of crowded fairways and long tosses, the necessity of landing tough upshots, nailing long putts through traffic, etc..
Nasty OBs, challenging mandos, huge risks, etc., all await the thrower. I lost my favorite putter on #8 after kicking far left off a tree, but they later found it and are holding it for me at the main house (can't wait to go back and claim it, and play again!).
Hole 16: This was a tough hole, truly a par 5. It plays over some rolling hills in the relative open, then around a tree in a gorge to the left and back the other way in the valley. Wow! You'll need three well-placed 300-400' drives to get up to the landing position, then a very controlled upshot back down the valley in the other direction in order to make par. Getting it in the basket in 4 throws would be a phenomenally well-played hole.
I must say I love the signage, the custom baskets (what great yellow paint!), the tees, and the craftsman-like atmosphere created about the course and the property in general. This place really is a special oasis away from the rest of the world. And you can go play 2 other very fun 18 hole courses on the same property when you've cut your teeth on Oregon's best/most challenging course and want a more casual round.
Cons: They were still doing a lot of maintenance on the course when I was there, hacking out some undergrowth and doing some burns. This was a bit distracting, even if it didn't directly impact the holes we were playing at the time.
Other Thoughts: This is a new course through pretty rough foliage. I feel like the "rough-around-the-edges" aspect of the course is something that will improve with use and time. Foot traffic will better define fairways. Undergrowth and debris will be cleared out (it should anyways, to prevent fires). Regular maintenance will find an equilibrium, it is a learning process.
This is not a course for newer players...I would recommend this only to ~850/900-rated and up.
Use spotters! If you don't, I guarantee you will lose a disc (or more).
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Can't [quite] call it perfection
13 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: It's all been said before...
The tee pads are super long and grippy
Excellent tee signs with distances and directions to the next tee pad.
Here, we have par fours and fives
All sorts of elevation changes (and some interesting natural (?) tiered fairways)
No lack of "challenge"
SOME nice vistas
The course has some yet to be developed potential
Cons: Obviously, I disagree with many of the other reviewers, so here it goes…
Though there is much to love about this course, I think a couple of the holes suffer from a lack of flight-path definition. Holes 11 and 13 each have walls of trees that make reaching the hole a little too dependent on luck. Hole 8 is fun, but as others have said, it's a bit of a crap shoot. With all the branches, 14 is kind of the same way, but I kind of like the shorter placement-required par 4 now. I had previously reviewed 1 as a bit of a crap shoot, but I think it's opened up to be a little more fair now, but still plenty challenging.
It's a little easy to lose discs on this course because parts are simply impossible to maintain; and I wouldn't ask anybody to try to keep the entire course maintained because of the elevation and already loose earth. Too much trimming will contribute to the erosion problems I think the staff must already be fighting.
While this course asks one to execute a wide range of shot types, too many of the holes do not give you sufficient choice about how you get to the basket. I'm talking about multiple well defined fairways, and shot choices per hole. Multiple options are what keep a course fresh. Holes that limit choice have the tendency to become boring after a few rounds. The "perfect course" should have few to none of these. My ideal course for flight path options would be Pier Park which has 2 or more considerably different options for most holes.
I agree with Valkyrie Kid that Meadow Ridge is not quite scenic enough. I need some more variety in terms of vegetation, and water if I'm going to give something a 5 disc rating.
*update - oh, and isn't there only one set of pin placements?
**update 2 (10/27/2014) - Some of the narrow fairways have opened up to be more fair in my opinion, and I am updating my rating from 3.5 to 4.
Other Thoughts: This course is tough. I'm sure others will think that I'm a wimp for voicing my relative disapproval of this course that has yet to receive only one review under 4.5. But a course is not laudable merely on the basis of requiring difficult shots, possessing extreme elevation changes, and innovative tee-pads and baskets.
The two other on-site courses definitely make Hornings' a wonderful disc golf destination, but each course should be rated by itself.
I think this course has definitely improved since it first opened (duh), and will continue to improve gradually, with maturity. But right now, I must disagree with the throng and it's criteria for perfection. Meadow Ridge might get there someday, but since I believe there is a lot of room for improvement, I have to say that it is not there yet.
*update (10/27/2014) - I now think the only thing that could be asked of this course is another set of pin placements. That would warrant a 4.5 rating in my book.
13 of 23 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
A PNW heavy hitter
Pros: Horning's Hideout Meadow Ridge is the "big kid" course of the Horning's complex. Like its smaller brother, Canyon, it offers mixed terrain and holes which vary from wide open fields to tight, almost ultratight woods and flat to extreme up and downhill holes. With a few exceptions, many of them fixable, the design is immaculate with holes mostly designed to challenge the gold level player.
Design - As stated above, many of the holes on this course were designed specifically with a gold level skill set in mind. An example of this comes early on the 2nd hole which is a long right fading RHBH turnover under a low-ceiling of pines. This shot requires either a long-distance RHFH through a moderately tight gap or a hyzer flip RHBH or equivalent which needs to challenge the relatively low-ceiling AND can maintain turn angle for the full flight - definitely not beginner or intermediate level skills! Other holes, like #1 are available to intermediates through open players and are just a matter of execution and percentages (with more skilled players just birding more often).
Overall, players at all skill levels will appreciate the most of the holes out here but may find some holes, like #2 or 18, above their reasonable skill level for consistent under par scoring, playing instead for easy (and perhaps boring) pars.
A few Oscar contenders - Holes 8, 10, and 18 stand out in my mind as "cream of the crop" type holes which won't soon be forgotten. I'll focus on 18 as the other two are mentioned frequently in previous reviews. Hole 18 is a 425ft bomb over an open field into a moderately tight uphill corridor of woods. To the left side, the hole is lined from start to finish by an OB line and steep drop off to a river valley. Longer throwing players may be able to reach this hole with an ultra high speed disc but will be playing a risky percentage game in terms of fading or skipping OB left. The gold-level bomber who can navigate this hole with a controllable fairway driver will be able to reap the birdie reward while minimizing the risks that high-speed disc throwers must take for a chance at 2. A great example of the hidden subtlety I'd argue some of these holes have.
Teepads - Yes a special shout-out to the course designers for creating the best tee pads I've ever had the privilege to play on! Anyone know who made these and how they made them - it would be great to distribute far and wide to other course designers/parks to serve as a model.
Cons: A few clunkers - Here is the main reason why my review does not rate this course a '5'. There are several holes which stand out in my mind as classic filler holes which don't add much to the course (ex. hole 15) with one in particular being a straight-up disaster (hole 9). Hole 9 is sandwiched in-between two of the most enjoyable holes on the course (mentioned in the "Oscars" section). The tee shot is a sharp left to right downhill arc around a tree line to the right side of the fairway. Almost all halfway decent shots land at the base of a small hill which jackknifes back right against the players throw, and because of this lack of separation the hole really boils down to who is able to make a 60-80' putt up the hill through small trees which guard the pin. In my three rounds here, I've seen 6 pars and 1 four and I'd expect that this sample is actually more diverse than the actual scoring distribution. I'm guessing nearly 85% of players get an easy par here with 5% birdies and 10% bogeys. It is clearly a filler hole to reach the next tee, but in my opinion only detracts from the course.
Another few holes could use a bit of careful trimming to open up lines off the tee. I always advocate for a very slow process over years to make these types of adjustments (much harder to regrow than to chop!) and perhaps this is exactly what the designers are in the process of doing so I'm not detracting for it in this review.
Other Thoughts: One of the fun parts about playing through this course is the different shadows of other courses you find here. I stepped up to several of the holes and immediately thought of courses which they are reminiscent of (Grange Darkside, Maple Hill, Hawk Hollow, Pulaski Top (KY)). Truly among great company, the Meadow Ridge course and the Horning's complex, while not quite 'top 10' material, is hard to beat for a fantastic disc golf experience.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 10 Not
The Best Around
Pros: -Really nice mixture of shots...forehand and backhand
-Unique holes...utilizes the terrain well
-Owners are 'friendly"
Cons: -None...if you have complaints about this course or how rugged it is, you should cease disc golfing
Other Thoughts: This course is of course a real challenge, but it isn't unfair. Good shots are rewarded...bad shots aren't. I'd love to see a PDGA event come to this course
2 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Elevation changes make long wooded holes play comfortably. Pin placement is perfect with few places you won't have a clear shot within the 10m ring. Signage is the best I've ever seen with all trees correctly marked and flight paths laid out.
Cons: Occasionally bugs are a factor. Some holes have a little big of a hazard in steep drop-offs and heavily wooded areas. But those can hardly be considered cons.
Other Thoughts: No better place to play in Oregon. 3 courses with increasing difficulty makes for a perfect 2 in the AM and 1 in the PM with a lunch in between.
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Great Course
Use of Elevation
Excellent Fairways even on tough holes
Lot of thought put into design
Great use of par 4's and 1 par 5
Cons: NOT BEGINNER FRIENDLY, there is 2 other courses at Hornings that can be played by beginners.
A little rough if you get off trails
Other Thoughts: I went out there with another buddy of mine who is also a pro and we were amazed by the layout of this course. The combination of long and medium range holes that force you to throw every shot in your bag was great. The camphost warned us that it would take 3:30 to 4:00 hours to play. It took the 2 of us just over 2 hours at a pretty laid back pace. The park does cost 3 dollars to play but when a course like that is built money will never be an issue for dedicated players.
GO PLAY THIS COURSE, Its one of Oregon's best up there with Milo Mciver and Whistlers Bend
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Everything was marked an easy to find, only had to pay $6 bucks for 2 people all day, 3 different course to choose from, cheap snacks an drinks, you can go fishing or a 30 min boat ride afterwards, Absolutely the BEST COURSE I HAVE EVER PLAYED ON!!
Cons: wear bug repellent if its hot out, and watch for stinging nettles off the fairways (they hurt!).
Other Thoughts: Go there, NOW, GO, HURRY, ITS AMAZING AND SO MUCH FUN!! LEAVE ALREADY...
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -18 well thought-out and very challenging holes
-elevation,and alot of it, there are no level holes
-good balance as far as up/down,left/right and open/wooded
-LARGE grippy tee pads
-"Platinum"level professional tee signs
*elevation change in +/-
*very detailed map with flight path
-great looking/catching homemade baskets, i havent had any kick-out or blow-through
-couple of Porta-potties centrally located,and trash/recycle cans every few holes
one of the finest courses anyone could ever play,if not THE FINEST!
Cons: few more benches is all i can think of
Other Thoughts: Horning's Hideout is an awesome place,3 great 18 hole courses,ponds,fishing,paddle boats,peacocks...concerts,camping,etc.
my buddy and me have been to Hornings about 20+ times,only played canyon course twice, but we play highland and meadowridge every time.
meadowridge is a very fair and challenging course,that will test anyone at any level.every shot has nice clean fairways,even on the tree shots,there are good openings to the pin's.
there is not one shot that i dislike,each and everyone of them are great,long downhill,short uphill,big hyzers,big anhyzers,rollers and thumbers,you hafta 'bring it'.there are no 'gimme' shots here,you hafta take em(when you can lol)
then there are the pin placements like #1,3 and 7,even if you get through the trees and have a look,it drops off behind the pin,there are quite a few pin placements that have roll-away slope(lol again)
this is tied for my favorite course,the other being Milo
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: this is the big park at hornings hideout with par 4 and 5 holes everywhere. good land with hills and lots of trees and long holes to make things really hard so if you like challenge this is the place.good signs teepads baskets. good views if you bring a camera
Cons: the same as the good things hard hills long holes. no cellphone service and a long drive to the course in the middle of nothing so 15 minutes from food or gas or grocerys stores.
Other Thoughts: my buddy took me here not to long ago and i gotta say it was fun but hard so if you not like challenge it could be bad for you.
4 of 15 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 3 Not
This Course Tests Your Golf Skills And Your Physical Stamina!
Pros: The third and baddest of the three Horning's courses is a gold rated course playing mostly across and around one of the many hills on the property. The concrete tee pads are oversized and extremely grippy. They are 12 ft. long except the pad on the 930 ft. # 16. It measures 16 ft. long, that additional length is much needed for the bombs you'll need to throw on this monster. The signs are superd, giving the distance, par, flight path and elevation loss/gain on each hole. This is a wonderful piece of Oregon timberland on which to build a course. The baskets are the homemade yellow design with the catch basin made from truck rims. They catch well but probably not quite as good as manufactured ones. They do make a pleasant melodious tone when a disc falls in them. They are extremely bright and easy to spot through the forest at a distance. This course is not for beginners, novices, newbies, most children, wimps, the overweight, heart patients. WARNING-This course is not handicapped assessiable in any way. This will be one of, if not the, most physically demanding course you'll ever play. And on top of the physical demands, the course is extremely technical and long. It has two par 4's and the aforementioned 930' # 16.
Cons: The major con for me is a major pro for many. It is a pro rated course. It's so extremely difficult and physically demanding that many players won't play it a second time. There is a very fine line between fair and lucky. Throwing 420' downhill through a very narrow line and having to hold that line all the way to basket flirts with lucky in my book.
Other Thoughts: So is Horning's the # 1 Disc Golf destination is Oregon? With three courses of widely varying difficulty awaiting you, the answer is a resounding YES. In the Northwest. Once again, an easy YES answer. In the entire US of A? I haven't played some of the other mutiple course layouts but I'm willing to go out on a limb and say, Hornings Hideout is undoubtably one of the top 5 Disc Golf Destinations in the US.
Now on to the next question? Does Meadow Ridge merit a star 5 rating? Is it the top course in Oregon? Not in my humble opinion. A course that is so incredibly difficult (both golf skill wise and physically) so limits it's clientele. There's no water here. It's not nearly as scenic as Whistlers Bend or even Dexter. So I'm giving it merely a "Phenomenal" rating of 4.5. I'm ready to take the heat.
22 of 25 people found this review helpful.
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