Best Temp Contender
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I'm happy to have played in the Hoover Westside Challenge this past weekend, because it turned out to be the best (and most grueling) temporary course I've played (the others have been Echo Valley, Englewood Metro South Dam, Rapid Run, and Wah Bah). We played in drizzle in the morning and wind in the afternoon, and the large, level flypads kept their traction throughout. The baskets were top quality, and I didn't witness any really unfair chain outs. What amazed me was that the holes were all well thought out, provided an amazing variety of challenges, and that access paths were reasonable (with one hilly exception, below).
The course holds fairly true to the map included here on the dgcr website, but some tweaking takes place from time to time. Though some of the holes have short and long tees, this year everybody played long so the tournament could be used as a qualifier for nationals. Tremendous use of the elevations available, and clever use of OB meant that holes ranged from 247 to 557 feet, there were five downhills, four uphills, and seven shots that could've conceivably put you in water. If anything, the design slightly favors right to left lines, but it most certainly plays 'fair' in terms of the types of shots you'll need to bring.
I was amazed at the beautifully detailed signage that the Columbus Flyers have for this course, and it was clear that the disc golf community here looks forward to playing this course, because I saw a few groups of casual players trying to get in on the action while the nearly 100 tournament players were completing their efforts for the day.
Cons: Being a temp course, there weren't benches in place, and there were some walks from hole to hole. After walking down and back up in the muddy woods ravine before the 10th tee in round one, I actually chose to carefully backtrack around the driveway and the culvert below the dam in the second round, and wasn't nearly as winded. Otherwise, it's hard to find any fault with this beautiful setup: I'd recommend coming out if you can make it next time!
Other Thoughts: Hole by hole: 1 is a drop shot from the top of the dam to a 40'x40' grassy square, with the spillway an overzealous hyzer to your left, and the parking lot beyond. It's easy to get a 2 or a 5 on this hole, if you don't hit the in-bounds green. Hole 2 is a long drive along the lower parking lot with a basket placed just beyond one beautiful tree. The 3rd hole requires navigating over or left of an OB shelter, with danger woods along the left of the fairway. Hole 4 requires a low line drive left and under the mando tree, avoiding the rough left, and then stopping your upshot or putt at the basket just in front of a three sides rollaway to the creek green. The only challenge on hole 5 is keeping it out of the woods (and marsh!) to the left. Hole 6 is a long drive to set up an approach hooking just around (or over) the end of the wood line, to a hillside (rollaway) basket position just short of the (OB) driveway.
Hole 7 features a memorable tee shot rising a good 100' up through a gap in the trees, so a really strong arm can get up there to see the basket IF you can throw straight! Hole 8 requires clearing the driveway, which actually is a challenge if you fade to the right. It also is farther than it seems, due to the continuing gradual rise. The 9th hole comes back parallel, and slightly downhill, so feels much more reachable, but the ravine woods left are the hazard here. Hole 10 goes up over the hill, fading left to a blind but reachable basket. You walk up on top of the dam and shoot back to the corner of the woods on hole 11, with another rollaway basket position, before crossing to the north side of the dam and shoot slightly downhill on 12. Don't go long, or you'll be in the reservoir.
Speaking of which, hole 13 was a 300 footer this year across an inlet, with the option of staying way out to the right to keep your disc dry, but forcing a long second toss. Hole 14 plays across rolling hills, under a nice shady tree glade, to the pin beyond. Hole 15 is extraordinarily scenic, with a downhill 260 footer to the peninsula green. 16 has a mando forcing you to drive out over the water and fade right to the basket. You walk to the middle stretch of the dam again for hole 17, a 335 foot downhill shot to another small green, but with OB rocks the last 60 feet, a culvert to your left, and disc-eating woods to the right. Believe me: none of us were ecstatic about playing this one in the wind for the afternoon round! You finish driving back up the side of the dam on 18, and then hope you hydrated well all day, or you might be looking at cramping legs for the drive home. This temp course is fun, but physically demanding!
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