6 Helpful / 2 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!
6 of 8 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.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
I get it now...
Pros: Lots of woods. I like technical courses, so most of the holes were right up my alley. Lots of room for improvement. Hanging posts for your bag at each hole. Nice hole signs.
Plenty of elevation change, wide open and tight faitways, water holes. Great risk vs reward on this course.
With the added back 9, and many improvements to the course I see nothing hut great things for Portage Lakes.
Cons: There's broken glass and misc trash on just about every hole.
Other Thoughts: Be careful locking the bathroom door behind you, it took me almost 5 minutes (of hell) to get out of it.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 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 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 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 6 people found this review helpful.
As of 6/28/10 (As of 7/13/13)
9 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Two tee locations (natural, front delineated by row of bricks) per hole, long positions by the tall wooden posts, short positions marked by short wooden posts. The map shows that there are plans for 18=holes, but there were only 9 in place when I played - it was pretty useful in helping navigate the course.
Cons: From some tees, especially the longs, playing felt like random pinball. Actual signage on the posts not yet in place. Good deal of broken glass on first few holes. Boggy area down-n-right on #6.
Other Thoughts: The first three holes play across a narrow, densely wooded valley, with very narrow entry-points from the long tees. Number-4 starts in the trees (from the long tees, hardly any initial throwing lane at all), but finishes in the grassy area near the parking lot, basket near very expansive hardwoods. Cross the parking lot to find tee-5, a long but decent-sized tunnel shot, needing a sharp right at the end, but with water not too far in the background. Number-6 is up-n-over-n-across a wooded/brush-filled slope with a very tight window from the longs early and with a bog on the right late. Numbers 7&8 play in the grassy area separating an access road and a parking lot, with two lines of hardwoods to throw between on #7, and a strategically-placed hardwood, with its expansive branches, making you decide if to go around wide right, or straight and underneath. I then finished on #9 ...
... quite possibly the worst hole I ever endured - made me feel as if I was in disc golf purgatory. Nearly 700' of torture, as you are in a very long oval, the overgrown/natural space between an access road and a parking lot. Large trees and thick brush form the outer rim of this prison, isolating you from any sign of civilization, while you are encapsulated within the midst of it. The map indicates the basket is somewhere down at the other end of this oval, but all you see is a diabolical collection of saplings and small trees, with no throwing path imaginable, unless you have the yet-to-be-created "hummingbird" disc which can rapidly change direction as it continues on its chaotic course.
My rating is based upon the condition of the course the day I played it. Nine more new holes, signage across the board, and a bit more trimming, if permissible, on some of the more densely-treed holes, would certainly raise this course's rating.
Despite my distaste for #9 :-), kudos to the locals for working to put this course in - I know they have faced some hostile locals - and wish them the best in improving this course. I grew up in Akron, and plan to visit cousins in the area on a semi-regular basis, and look forward to seeing the course get better.
7/13/13 Update: Now 18 holes. Most of the new holes take you up, down, and across the wooded slope which leads to the lake, with the final two playing across an interior wooded area. Many holes offer different lines of attack, and may have multiple pin positions. Two concrete tees per hole, 12' long from the long, 8' long at the shorts. Signs at both tee locations, baghooks at longs. Scattered benches.
Much improved from three years ago, and one of the top, if not the top, courses in northeastern Ohio.
9 of 12 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.
8 Helpful / 1 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 9 people found this review helpful.
5 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.
5 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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