A little bit overrated...
2 Helpful / 6 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: Portage Lakes, while not obvious, has small arrows pointing the way to the next tee. I feel like many people wouldn't be able to see the arrows, because I didn't notice them once until someone from the site pointed it out. After I played the course again, and paid attention to the arrows, navigation was improved. Some small signs would go a long way. Our group just wandered 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 that we saw on the course.
Other Thoughts: Oddly, I'm one of the only people to rate this course lower than a 3.5. 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.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 4 Not
An enjoyable course that with very little work could become an extremely good course
Pros: Excellent course design with thoughtful level of challenge at nearly every hole
Good use of mixed elevation and water hazards
Extremely accurate tee maps
Pro and Am pads that not only vary in distance, but do so significantly, and significantly vary in difficulty
Beautiful mixed use park with plenty to do for non - players
Cons: UPDATE!: Here is a message I received from the course designer or an aficionado of the course:
"thanks for the review on DGCR. It's obvious that you didn't read the preview of this DGC on DGCR as if you did you would of noticed the pink duct tape in the basket well pointing the player in the direction of the next tee. It's a cheap method but it works, if you use your _____. I've played over 800 DGC worldwide and have played many of DGc that use this method. and then you have the tee signs, they also have the next tee printed on them, but I guess again that you didn't use your __________. and was looking for school guards to hold your hand and take you to the next tee area.
Your going to have sand and beaches. PL DGC is at a beachhead, thus alot of sand.
Of course since you don't mind offering your opinion, you probally would mind donating some $$ for better next tee signs. I agree that this DGC isn't a 5, but it's not a 2.5 that you offered.
# 6 is a sweet hole. But then it's not my adopitive hole, as it's somebody's elses. But if it was mine I'd have the area that you we're in OB. and if your up to your teeth with muck, why didn't you just jump into the lake to wash off.
# 14 is my adoptive hole, thanks for the kind words. I'm going to make it even tougher so beware.
The DGC is virgin, it's not even a month old and people are knocking it. Oh well..... I know what it is and I'm very proud of all our efforts despite other people's opinions.
We have *** night doubles ***. maybe we'll see you there sometime. and planning a*** tournament < more details to follow> "
While the course flows well for the most part, notable exceptions are from holes 6 to 7, and holes 8 to 9. Some more prominent arrows, a course map, or arrows on the tee signs would go a long way.
Less a fault of the course designer(s) than that of the state park's: no signs indicating how to get to the course. While this is true of Findley State Park in Wellington, Ohio, at least the course at that location is on the main road. This is on a branch road, and if it weren't for this site we may not have found it.
Quicksand (or mud!) on hole 6!
Other Thoughts: UPDATE: Have to admit, love the game of disc golf, but hate how people can be so thin skinned. When this person is done crying over a bit of criticism perhaps they will see that multiple people saying the same thing might have a point. As I stated in my review, a tiny bit of effort and this becomes a destination course. I would have gladly donated to the cause, and invited my friends to do the same before this outburst. Best wishes in finding your funding. Grow up and get to work instead of flaming people for their honest opinions.
Portage Lakes State Park near Akron, Ohio is a solid technical course that should provide a good challenge to experienced players while not frustrating people just starting out. 16 of the 18 holes play in or through deep woods under heavy canopy, though the fairways are wide and generous. You'll certainly hit your share of trees, but the woods aren't claustrophobic, like Parma can be. The front nine each sport a nicely printed and extremely accurate tee map at both the pro and amateur pads, and while the back nine contain only hand - drawn maps at the pro pads, my feeling is we'll probably see those professional looking maps there as well soon enough. The front nine play through fairly short and technical, though you do have the occasional 500 footer. (hole 5) Hole 6 became a personal nightmare for me. Not for the play of the hole, which resembles a shortened version of hole 3 at Parma, but because I learned first hand that there is quicksand about halfway through the fairway, at the right edge. As I was looking for a lost Valkerie (since found) I began sinking with each step, until I was in extremely black and viscous mud up to my waist. It took my friend Billy pulling me up with a tree branch to pull me out. So, there's a heads up. The group that played through said the same thing happened to them the previous day. Speaking of hole 6, while most of the course flowed very well, the path from 6 to 7 was not obvious, and our group had to backtrack to find it. Perhaps a more prominent arrow to the next tee would be useful there. Holes 7 and 8 are a bit "lazy," as they play through an open field with little in terms of obstacles, and then getting to hole 9 is a test in navigation, as the tee is located in the woods to the right of a road quite a ways from hole 8. After being lulled into a sense of ease by the previous two holes, hole 9 packs a punch in terms of distance and challenge. We rushed through the back nine due to time constraints, but I must say that 10 through 18 was very cleverly put together. Hole 14, in particular sticks in my mind for the strategy necessary to par out on it. The basket is on a small earthen ridge only about 2 feet wide, but 150 feet long and bending right. The small drop over the ridge, coupled with the lake on the right make this a challenging and creative hole. Hole 15 impressed me as well with its sheer embankment made entirely of sand right by the lake. Of course, I LANDED on the embankment, making for a difficult putt.
Overall, this is an enjoyable course that with a few minor tweeks can become a stellar course. I look forward to seeing this course improve and become one of the destination courses in northern Ohio.
10 of 14 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
A Great Start
• Secluded from the rest of the park activities for the most part.
• Technical, challenging course that plays well off the moderate elevation of the park.
• Brand new baskets
• Course is still under construction, so the fairways aren't fully cleared
• Dirt tees (for now)
• Tee signs are not yet complete (the posts are up, but no hole maps).
• Baskets are not marked as far as which hole they are, but relatively easy to figure it out.
• Not the easiest to navigate for first-timers
Other Thoughts: Tough to review this course as only the front nine is complete.
However, this course has a lot of potential. They did a good job for the space they had to work within. For the most part is stays clear of the other park goers, although there is a bit of overlaps but nothing major and you won't be throwing over walkways or other common areas.
Hole 6 & 9 are monsters, most likely as the clearing is not yet complete.
The front nine are mostly technical holes. You'll be using many different discs and throws. Some can be a bit frustrating, but again until the clearing is complete it's hard to say what the holes will end up like.
The design makes good use of the moderate elevation in the park, and offers some nice secluded wooded areas to throw some disc.
The park itself has lots of other amenities for non-disc golfers, playground for kids and public restrooms.
There's no drinking fountain near the Hole 1 tee, but perhaps there's one somewhere else in the park.
There's a rough temporary map posted by the Hole 1 tee, be sure to take a look and/or snap a photo with your phone so you can refer to it for your first time out.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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