11 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Handman Ace Hardware has two sets of concrete tees, top of the line tee signs at both pads, navigational signs pointing you to the next hole making navigation a breeze, and discatcher pro baskets which make the baskets easier to spot on this wooded course. There are also two pin placements for almost every hole.
The course is mostly wooded with lots of trees, tight fairways , although there are a few more open holes which provide some nice variety. There is underbrush on many of the wooded holes but it's off to the edge of the fairways. There are rolling hills on many holes, particularly in the woods, which provide some good elevation changes.
You will use every shot in your bag on this 18 hole course. The wooded holes which make up most of this course are very tight and require a wide variety of well executed shots to score well here.
There is an excellent variety of hole distances here ranging from the low 200's to 700 feet depending on which tee pad you're throwing from. There are a number of pro par 4 holes on this course and few pro par 5 holes as well. There are water hazards in the form of a creek that comes into play on a few holes and a pond that comes into play on one hole if you go long. There are nice bridges on the course to cross the creek when needed.
Cons: I looked at all the pictures and read some reviews before I played this course and I feel like I was fooled. The fairways looked tight but relatively fair from what I could see in the pictures, but in person and with leaves on the trees this is not the case on many holes. IMHO, twelve of the holes from either the short, long or both pads have fairways that are either unfair, have no real route to the basket, force you to hit unreasonably small gaps from far away, and punish good shots as much as they do poorly executed ones. And that is because luck is too big a factor on most of this course. On many holes there are so many trees to navigate, the best you can do is get past the first half dozen or so with a well executed midrange before luck takes over and who know what will happen. Additionally there are no well defined landing zones on most of the multi-shot holes.
Unless I'm missing something, the tee sign on hole 12 clearly indicates the "right of the pine tree row is out of bounds." There is nothing marked on the ground that I saw so that would lead me to believe the right side of the tree trunks is OB. That makes the far side of the basket almost touching the OB line. But perhaps there's another way the OB is marked here that I missed.
Other Thoughts: It's obvious a lot of hard work has been put into this course and feel bad beating it up so much. I very much enjoy challenging courses and love par 4+ holes which this course has, but IMHO this course lacks defined fairways and landing zones on the multi-shot par 4 and 5 holes. You can see this is basically the only thing I mention in my con's and that's because everything else on the course is great. There's a lot of potential here and could definitely see this course getting 4-4.5 rating from me if the fairways were fair, but I simply can't give that kind of rating to a course where luck is so large a factor on so many holes.
When I played this course, the baskets were in the B position. The excellent tee signs give me a good idea where the A position is but my review is mainly based of the baskets in the B position.
I found it odd that my experience was so vastly different from the review of other people I know and/or trust. After some correspondence with the course designer, I found out that the B positions is less developed and the long tees still need some work. Since I played a round from the short and long, both to the B position I believe this explains why my experience at the course seems quite a bit different than others. I hope to get back to the course when the pins are in the A position, but the course is 3 hours away so it might be a while before I make the trip again.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Eat your Wheaties...
Pros: Beautiful Park. The course primarily plays in the woods, which are rough and rustic. The grassy/recreational areas were nicely kept and
lush. This muliti-use park has many facilities.
A creek winds through holes 5 - 10, coming into play several times. Its not too deep, but there was one point in particular - traversing the 9th fairway - that a bridge or some more logs in the water would have been nice.
Pretty nice elevation change-ups, starting with the upshot on hole 1.
Great length. Most holes are in the 450ish range. This course boasts a total distance of 7660ft with a standard 18 holes.
There are two tee options and two pin placements for most holes. The pin placements are diverse. Sometimes A seemed like the tougher line and sometimes B. There is a sign at the entrance that states which pin placement is in effect for the day. The two concrete pads per hole were nice and big. Just the way we like 'em! The short pad on 11 was extra large and extra sweet.
The signage was amongst the best I have seen. The tee signs are very detailed, showing distances and lines for each of the tees and pin placements. The next tee signs were extremely helpful. Every hole directed your steps. I printed a map before leaving for the course...yet I never once refered to it.
Cons: Threre are way too many convoluted fairways. Most of them are in the back nine. Hole 2 was tight. OK. I can deal with tight holes. Obvioulsy, I expected tight holes here. Then I got to 9. Again, tight but reasonable. Then hole 11. This is when my opinion of this course began to change. I dare you too show me a defined fairway on this 700+ foot behemoth. There is none. I know, I spent over 10 minutes looking for one. Hole 12 was open, but the remainder of the course was ridiculously riddled with random trees and defined fairways were hit and miss at best.
This course is very spread out. Expect a hike. Also, expect to burn some time here. This is not a quick play. Not only does the course sprawl across the park, but unless you have pin point precission, you will be goin' side to side as well as forward.
Unfortunately for the designers and keepers of this beautiful and well kept course, they are gonna have their hands full with vandals. Some of the signage is defaced and the 18th tee sign was missing. I was going to make this trip earlier in the month, but 3 of the pins had been stolen. They have since been replaced.
Other Thoughts: This place has serious charm. I realize that my expectations of what a fairway should be only represents my opinion. That aside, this course truly is sexy. It has all the desired amentities and the layout flows well.
This is the kind of course you could score a 65 one round then a 80 the next. Its a course of inches. I tried to play it as a par 54 today. Not even close. I will definitely play course par 66 next time out.
Dayton has a lot of nice courses. This entire area is a hotbed for some serious discin.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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