A little bit overrated...
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a fun course tucked away in the beautiful Portage Lakes State Park! The course is set in a beautiful setting, as it winds through large trees and around a large lake. There are many fun, punishing holes that really test the game of the best disc golfers. Challenging greens and fairways make shooting par a challenge on nearly every hole. The park was very clean, and there were many other things to do in the area besides disc golf. The course had very nice Mach 5 baskets on every single hole, plus two sets of concrete tee pads. Perhaps one of my favorite touches on the course was the kiosk directly to the right of the first tee pad. The kiosk was very informational and included a box with scorecards and pencils, a lost disc box, a course map, and a donation box. There are lots of different types of holes here, which really makes the course fun. Doglegs, uphill shots, downhill shots, water shots, you name it! There are many picnic tables and benches around the course.
Cons: The first con I have for Portage Lakes is lack of solid navigation. One of the biggest factors I consider when it comes to reviewing a course is navigation, and this course had none. There is not one sign on the entire course that points to the next tee, so you just wander in the direction the hand-drawn map says until you stumble across it. Some tricky navigation spots that had our group lost were:
-Between holes 6 and 7
-Between holes 8 and 9
-Between holes 13 and 14
After hole 6, we followed a red arrow which we thought was pointing towards the 7th tee. After walking for 15 minutes down this path, we discovered it was a walking path, so we had to turn around. So remember not to follow the red arrows.
I'm not really sure how we found the 9th tee. We walked 300 feet next to a parking lot, and ended up finding the 9th basket before the tee, so we just walked back up the fairway. I still couldn't tell you how to get from #8 to #9.
After #13 we just walked in the completely wrong direction. A few cheap signs next to the baskets would go a LONG way on this course.
My other issue on the course was bugs. Usually, I don't take bugs or dangerous wildlife into account when reviewing a course, but the bugs here were ridiculous. Our entire group was bit up after the round. The gnats were just bothersome, and really made my round less enjoyable. They are the worst in the dense wooded areas, so bring some bug spray!
Other than that, there isn't many more cons. There are no trash cans or restrooms that we saw on the course.
Other Thoughts: Oddly, I'm one of the only people to rate this course below a 3. I really think if this course put some inexpensive signs leading the way around the course, I would rate it a 4 at the least. Poor navigation really ruins an otherwise really fun course for me. I guess I would recommend this course, as long as you have a map and bug spray with you. There are many other things to do around the area, so make a fun trip out of your visit! It didn't rain while we were out, but I imagine some of the low lying areas in the woods do not drain well.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 20 Not
Pros: It's a great course if you are Ken Climo......
It's a great course if you like to swim.
It's a great course if you like cutting yourself with glass.
Cons: Tee Placement. 15, really???? Saw 2 discs floating helplessly in the water. 13 is a ridiculous hole as well. Back 9 seems cool at first, then is an annoying pain.
2 of 22 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Technical front nine with the first three holes all leaving the player to really think about the drive and how to negotiate the dense foliage along the fairway. Hole #5 plays slightly downhill to a basket sitting on a small peninsula overlooking a lake...Very nice looking hole. If #5 isn't the signature hole, #7 or #8 could be. Both these holes play on either side of some mature growth hardwoods in an otherwise open area, leaving the player with a very defined fairway.
Cons: Very little direction from one basket to the next tee. I became disoriented on several occasions and had difficulty finding the next tee. It would be nice, as the course develops into a full 18, if signs leading the player to the main parking area and some sort of kiosk was installed. As is the case with many state park courses, the sheer size of the park can leave someone who's never been there a bit lost in finding the first tee. Some of the drives have little risk/reward potential. I found myself at many tees trying to find the "lesser of two evils" so to speak and just gunning for it. The tee signs are simply laminated paper attached to a wood base. This will not stand the tests of time and some of the torn off, faded, signs I encountered along the course are bound to become more numerous. The tees are simple boundary lines set in the ground. Though I've seen worse, it would be nice to see actual tee pads put in when this course becomes a full 18.
Other Thoughts: I hiked along the area where the back nine is being developed. This course has a lot of potential. I'm hoping, despite the cutbacks you see associated with a lot of state parks, that the volunteer base for this course is strong, and the continued improvement of this course will draw me back in the near future! Definitely coming back after the full 18 is in!
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
BRING A MAP!!!
Pros: Some of the holes are hard and that is a good thing! Throwing across a valley and through trees is difficult but fun.
Cons: For a first time player at this course it will be impossible to find your way around without a map. Print one off of this site and BRING IT!
Other Thoughts: There is a lot of broken glass but otherwise it is quite a beautiful course.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The holes aren't too jam packed into areas; nice mix of hole types. The length varies enough to keep you guessing and pin locations are challenging. I think hole #5 is a signature hole, with the basket right on the water's edge. This course has a lot of potential to be a great course when the back 9 gets put in and with a little clearing of brush. I really enjoyed playing it, reminded me slightly of Massillon.
Cons: There is some clearing that needs to be done. Some of the trees and brush make the holes very difficult and with a few taken out, the course would play more smoothly. Being 9 holes isn't the greatest, but they are planning to add in a back 9 soon and still working on cleaning it all up.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed playing this course, it may not the be the world's best, but it was fun and in the future, with some basic work, it has potential to be a strong course here in Akron. There aren't a lot of courses in Summit County and having this course close will be fun.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 8 Not
Decent but needs work.
Pros: Baskets are sweet. Long and short tees are nice. 2 and 3 were a blast. 4, 7, and 8 are pretty. 5th was scary throwing a $16 disc with the water sooo close! lol
Cons: Holes 6 and 9 are pretty much tree eating wastes of time at the moment. Obviously needs some more clearing. Watch your footing walking along 9, those little tree stumps will trip you everytime.
Other Thoughts: Just needs some more work, once tee signs/distance markers get put up, I can see it being played constantly.
6 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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