Potential Being Realized
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -All 18 holes have concrete long and short tee pads(!!!!!), which have great grip.
-Hole 16's long tee is shaped like a shield, with one of the short edges facing the shortcut over the water, and the other short edge facing the safer land route.
-Holes 1 through 9 loop back to the parking lot, as do holes 10 through 18, so playing the front, the back or all 18 is no problem.
-Bathroom(s) at the parking lot, and at the beach parking lot.
-Mix of long/short, dogleg right/left/straight, uphill/downhill, safe/risky, open/tight holes.
-Very pretty, mostly wooded location, with the lake featured on hole 5 and holes 10 through 16.
-Well-made brick steps on 12, 13 and 15. Behind the basket on 15, there is a set of steps leading down to the lake for retrieving discs, and reducing erosion on the hillside (sandy loose dirt).
Cons: -Still finding (and cleaning up) glass around holes 1 and 2.
-Has mosquitos after wet weather, but not so far this year.
-No grip and rip holes. However, there are several holes (6, 7, 11, 15, etc.) on which you can pull out your max drivers and throw for distance, as long as you are also accurate.
-The 20 MPH speed limit on state park roads. They enforce it too.
-If you didn't notice the pink tape on the baskets pointing to the next tee, or follow the map on the scorecard, first time navigating could be tricky.
-Poison ivy is prevalent off the fairways and still present on some fairways.
Other Thoughts: In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I have helped with the construction of this course, so I may not be entirely objective. I am pleased at how it is turning out, thanks to the hard work of some guys who just love to play disc golf. It is hard to believe that just three years ago most of this course was an impenetrable thicket of briars and saplings.
The course, from the long tees.:
Holes 1 through 3 go back and forth across a small valley, getting progressing longer. Accuracy is needed off the tees.
Hole 4 is a par 4 which starts in the woods and doglegs to the right to finish in an open grassy area. A good forehand (I don't have one!) can get you in good position for a 3.
Hole 5 goes straight down a former driveway and turns right after opening out to a peninsula on the lake. A well placed forehand can park this.
Hole 6 is a straight par 4 that goes up, down and up again. The swampy area on the right is not out of bounds, but can suck off your shoes.
Hole 7 is a straight 370' tunnel shot down a tree-lined former driveway.
Hole 8 is the most open hole, hyzering left toward the basket guarded by a large tree. It is almost a must-deuce heading into hole 9.
Hole 9 is a 650', true par 5. Getting a birdie (or even par) is well deserved. It is getting clearer off to the sides, but could use more thinning.
Holes 10 through 13 alternate between going downhill toward the lake and uphill toward the parking lot.
Hole 10 is a downhill sweep to the left. A hyzer that makes it past the three trees guarding the fairway gives a good shot at a deuce.
Hole 11 is a long uphill sweep to the right. A gauntlet of trees guard the basket.
Hole 12 is a short downhill shot that would be straight-forward if there wasn't a group of trees in front of the basket and the lake wasn't 20' behind it.
Hole 13 is an uphill shot which opens in to a grassy area leading to the basket in the traffic circle.
Hole 14 is a par 4 dogleg right from an elevated tee that shows you a grassy area from which you can throw over the water or follow the ridge to the basket.
Hole 15 is a par 4 with a great view of the lake, over the brick steps in the distance. Aim for the steps and the basket is over the steps, to the left, on a ridge that drops off to the lake.
Hole 16 gives you the option of throwing 250'+ directly to the basket over the water or taking the dry route which doglegs right and may add a stroke, assuming you make it over the lake.
Hole 17 starts from an elevated tee and goes over a hill and sweeps to the right.
Hole 18 is a par 4 that starts with a left turning hyzer drive, followed by a forehand or anhyzer toward the basket up the hill to the right.
Favorite hole? Can't really say, but here are some things I especially like: the "S" route from the hole 2 tee, staying in the tunnel to the basket on hole 7, the view from hole 15's tee and basket, throwing over the water on 14 and 16.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Holy Tree Bouncing Batman
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Very thick and beautiful forest set on a large state park. There are a lot of elevation changes and a nice rolling terrain. Well built stairs get you up steep hills and really set off the natural beauty of the woods.
- This course is the definition of a fantastically technical course that will constantly challenge every level of player. A complete mix of shots are needed here to get over, under & around all kinds of obstacles. Baskets rest atop large mounds and on steeply sloped hills. Replaying this course I saw new lines to take that I didn't see before and I know I'll find new ways down fairways the next time I go.
- This 18 hole course is approx 6800' long which is fairly long for 18 holes, however, because of how technical this plays, 6800' is Very long. Once finished you will feel like you played a 10K'+ course!
- This is a pretty safe course. At no point are you throwing on top of the next tee or at a busy intersection, however, note that you do throw near the some traffic on Holes #4 & 8.
- There is a Short and Long Tee for every hole
- Tee Signs are off the charts for quality. A lot of effort was put into these exceptionally high quality signs. Many signs have witty nicknames/themes for the holes such as Hole #15 has Dungans Dungeons 1 & 2 and a Moat. The Tee Signs at the Long Tees have actual pictures of the hole. The Tee Signs at the Short Tees have snippets from the rule book so that you can learn as they go. This was an incredibly creative idea.
- The Tee Signs are on high quality poles. The poles at the Long Tees also have bag holders.
- Tape on baskets lead you to the next tee
- The baskets are in perfect condition and well labeled
- Plenty of water hazards give you risk vs. reward
- Very nice upkeep done by an incredible set of volunteers
- Extremely low traffic from non-disc golfers
- Surplus of log benches and stumps and picnic tables scatter throughout this course
- The entrance to the park is marked by a large sign and there are multiple disc golf signs leading you to the course
- Very nice Kiosk
- A lot of trash cans all over the course
- Plenty of parking
- Bathrooms at the parking lot
- Amenities. Very large state park that has about anything you need including a skate park, camping, boating , fishing, swimming, trails, hunting etc…
Cons: - Large amount of broken glass at a few holes
- There are no open areas to really rip a drive for distance. Many players probably never take their distance discs out of the bag.
- Personal preference but a few more trees being cleared (for example on Hole #9) making a few fairways just a touch bigger might add more enjoyment to the average player, however, I'd understand if the plan is to leave them there for the challenge of it.
Other Thoughts: - The 'Flow' is both a Pro and a Con. Hole #1 and #18 do meet each other at the parking lot but there are a few hiccoughs between some of the holes. #4 to #5 you will cross the parking lot. #6 to #7 you will walk down the road for a few hundred feet and #7 & #8 rest on a large grassy area between the roads and parking lot. #8 to #9 you will cross back toward #4 and follow signs to #9. This is still a fantastic use of the available land but keep a map on you your first time out and pay attention to all the Tee Signs and Next Tee Signs.
- The natural tees are in decent condition but can be a little uneven
- This course has a lot of holes with a high level of risk vs. reward but Hole #16 is the definition of it. You can choose the shortcut over the water through a small gap or the safer land route. But let's not forget Hole #15 that has you zigzagging 470' with water to your right to only find a basket on a steep mound with water directly behind the basket. LOVE IT!
- This is one of the most challenging courses I've ever played. It's a tough hike and great exercise. If you are going to bring a beginner here then for the love of Pete give them fair warning first.
- The most challenging hole is Hole #9 which is the only Par 5 hole here. This lives up to it's rating as you travel 650' down a winding trail loaded with small trees.
- Hole #7 & #16 tie for my second favorite hole but Hole #14 takes the prize. On #14 you drive downhill through a narrow gap and veer right around the water toward a basket that is on a loooooong steep mound.
- This is a very impressive course that is absolutely worth some travel to get to. Huge thanks to the Portage Lake Disc Golf Association for donating so much of your time, blood, sweat & tears in creating something this nice in such a short amount of time.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Extremely good, just needs refined
Pros: -One of the most challenging courses in the area. Playing all 18 holes from the long tees will demand much more precision than Canton or Massillon, a wider variety of shots in your bag of skills, and more distance than pretty much anything in the area besides Dover. It's not unfairly difficult to get par, but there are a ton of trees and numerous places where a bad kick will give you a very rough upshot. You have to play smart and pick your lines well.
-Again, it's challenging. I just want to emphasize how refreshing it is to have a course that makes you think about your drives in relation to your second shot instead of all the deuce or die courses in the area. Arboretum gets mind numbing at times because it's too easy to shoot double digits below par, not to mention even easier courses like Wingfoot. I can't stress enough how much I enjoy having holes where I feel damn good about scoring a 3, instead of courses that are so easy I get pissed if my drive is more than 20' from the basket.
-The park is absolutely beautiful. The back 9 in particular has you literally walking through a forest. The water holes offer very pretty views.
-There is strong shot variety. I think 1 or 2 more slightly open holes would of balanced things out a bit more, but the land didn't really offer that. The designers did an excellent job with what they had to work with in my opinion. There are a lot of right turning shots, which is nice to see. There is good variety in the distance of shots too. There are putter holes, like 1, 2, 5 and 8, and there are holes that even if they didn't have any trees to throw through I couldn't get up to the basket on a full powered drive with my fastest discs like 6, 9 and 15.
-Hole 13 has a fun basket setup. There is a grass island with a road going around it in a circle that counts as OB. Nothing crazy, but it's a nice little touch that adds a bit of strategy. Also, hole 16 has two teepads for the long, and two routes you can take. You can throw over the water and have a better shot at a deuce, or you can take a path that goes off to the left then curves back to the right. I've never seen this on a DG hole before so I thought it was a really neat feature that I specifically wanted to point out.
-The park also has a boating area, (shitty) skatepark, basketball hoops, beech, biking trails, playground, restrooms etc. Dog Park area with another being built I think. Plenty to do.
Cons: -Broken glass scattered around the first few holes. Don't fall.
-Thick underbrush in lots of areas, and many stumps in the ground still. The course is new so compared to nearby courses with decades of wear it's still very rough around the edges, especially the newer back 9 holes. As it matures and gets broken in by players and nature it will be even better.
-Some of the teepads are only flat for the first 3 or 4 feet then drop off on a slight decline. This can make a full x-step awkward at times. The tees have been improving over the months to where this will eventually be a non-issue.
-Potential to hit cars on hole 4 or 8.
-As of this writing the course is full of very persistent mosquitoes. Between them and all the undergrowth I highly recommend wearing pants and maybe loose long sleeves unless it's a dry time of year or fall has come. They were really bad in early June.
Other Thoughts: Since originally writing this review, the front 9 has cleared out some more and the back 9 baskets have been installed. I was extremely excited when I first saw what they had planned for this course, back when there were no baskets installed. It's been a lot of fun watching this course mature into one of the best courses in Ohio.
Par 4's and 5's are uncommon in the area, and usually you find wooded or long and open, it's rare to see 400'+, much less 600'+ heavily wooded holes like this course offers. This is a very welcome addition to the courses NE Ohio has to offer.
A lot of the courses in the area suffer from a variety of issues. They tend to be too open, too short, too flat, only 9 holes or too easy in general. Portage Lakes is very special to me because it says fuck you to all those courses and throws long, hilly, densely wooded holes in your face the entire 18 holes. I've mentioned it many times in this review but it really is that important to me. Portage Lakes is so damn fun because it's one of the few courses I've played that I feel can make you work for par at times. It does have some easier holes (1, 5, 7 and 8 definitely come to mind) but this just makes the course well balanced. Portage Lakes is a gem and I will happily raise my rating to 5 discs once everything is a bit more cleared out (And I intend to keep helping with that, too!).
The course is primarily being cleared out by fellow disc golfers, so if you go out and play it put some work in when you're there if you have the time. I bring a machete with me if I'm not pressed for time and hack away at the brush as I play through.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Tall signage indicates the Long tees while the short indicates the short ones. Pretty easy to figure out
Holes 1-3 run back and forth thru a very narrow valley of trees
Hole 4 Shoots out of the woods into an open Field.
5 Is a straight on shot with no room for over shooting, as the basket sits 5 ft from the waters edge
Hole 7 Is the best on the course thus far. Shoot s about 225 + Thru a narrow field with Very LARge trees on both sides.
Map of the Entire course Is at hole 1
Cons: **Lots of invisible stumps on the fairway. Major tripping hazards...so watch your step.
**Lots broken glass around.
**Signage maps still needs to be put in yet
**Hole 9 looks much better now
Other Thoughts: Precision Precision Precision!!!!
This course demand accuracy
Lots of trees!!, so don't bring cheap plastic, or it will get chewed quick
6/15/11...Update 18 baskets are in. Tee posts are up for both long and short tees.
10 starts directly across from hole 1 . and 11,12,13 play back and forth through the woods, with gradual elevation changes.
Hole 11 had a Swamp 10 ft off the tee...watch you step
Hole 13 basket was placed in the center island of the road, which i thought was kinda neat.
Hole 14 shoots from the top (Long tee) of hill . Im guessing it drops maybe 25 feet, with the lake on the right side. Im sure this could be a water hazard to an errant left hand throw.
15 is pretty long with a hill in the middle of it, and ends with basket up on top of a hill . Over shoot a putt , and your swimming !
16 has to be the signature hole. 2 options here! The Fair way plays dog leg right ...or take high risk short cut through the trees over the lake, and you'll be putting on your next shot. Awesome hole !!
17 & 18 are basic long fairways through wood with 18 's basket the side of a hill . Steps built to help walk up the hill.
This course is still fresh, but just seeing the improvements on the front 9 , and seeing the back today ....This course in time will be a gem. This course will definitely rival the courses of Canton Medina and Wooster.
While it may not be broke in yet im giving it a 4 because the potential is there. Hats off to the guys who worked their butts off to give us such a challenging course !!
Dog park, Playgrounds, swimming bathrooms, basketball , skatepark, are among the amenties here
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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