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.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Awesome, challenging course, with fields and spacey wooded areas.
Cons: Needs to a mini bridge on Hole 8 over the swamp, rather than having to go back to the bridge you just came from.
Other Thoughts: Great, Tough, course, with some nice field shots and lots of areas to roam in the woods.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
All around great course!
Pros: Ok, so I am a local, and this is only my second year playing this wonderful sport, but I have got a chance to play a few of the top rated courses including Flip City, and Idlewild, so I feel I have a good understanding of what a top tier course should be. This course is a perfect example of that.
- The course has 2 nice concrete tee pads for almost every hole, which playing from the shorts, and playing from the longs make it seem like you are at 2 completely different courses!
-Alternate pin placements makes for a fresh change, and on most holes completely changes the lay out.
-Very very well maintained course, seriously it gets nicer every time you show up
- Amazing full color tee signs on every hole
-Very good use of elevation
-Excellent use of the available land
-The design of this course will make you use every shot you have in your bag, and some that you didn't know you had!
-There are benches at a lot of the holes, and trash cans on almost all of them.
-There are restroom facilities
-The course is technical, and challenging, but not absurd, it forces you to better your game. Though sometimes it punishes you for your errant shots, it does it in a way that makes you just want to play it over and over again until you get it right.
-The location of the course being within 8 seconds of the highway exit makes it simple to find, and very accessible.
With all that being said, I love the way that everyday I wake up I am fiending to play this course again, and feel blessed to be able to call HAH my home course.
Cons: I will list this in cons, because that's what it is, but since there is not much that can be done about it by the course manager, or the designers at this time, I will not count it against the course.
That is there is a creek that comes in to play along 2 holes ( 7&8 ) That us locals have deemed "stink creek" It has mostly dried up right now, but when it gets up a little bit, you'll know where it gets its name from.
Other Thoughts: The course designer and course managers, do a great job maintaining this course, and did a miraculous job designing it!
If you get a chance to play this course DO NOT miss it!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Dayton Area's Finest
Pros: While Handyman Ace Hardware is conveniently located off I-675 near Dayton, OH, the course is tucked away in the back of a fairly large and well maintained community park which creates a relaxed feel so the player can focus on the business at hand - tackling a technical, heavily wooded course that will challenge even the best of players.
Three main pieces of land are utilized:
• A heavily wooded hillside where most of the course elevation is found.
• The adjacent field where the wooded hillside, available trees, OOB, water and mandos all provide some challenge but still allow opportunities to air it out
• Mainly flat woods; they are extremely tight, technical, have an OOB creek on 4 holes & to top it all off, contain three long, compound woods holes that will really test a player's resolve.
I was particularly impressed with how these three pieces of land were married in such an efficient design.
The course starts with an uphill drive from the open field into the wooded hillside. A really fun starter hole as it lets you air it out for a few hundred feet and then you get to the woods, add in an increased elevation grade leading to a pin on a slope & the party has started! #2 actually gave me flashbacks, reminiscent of densely wooded East Coast courses in the fall with leaves covering the fairway, vivid colors, rolling elevation, defined lines to hit, challenging length...I was starting to feel at home.
The next two holes tee off from the wooded hillside into the open field with #3's basket being tucked into the woods on the left and #4s out in the open with an OOB walking path in the vicinity. Five's blue tee's tree lined mando - which eliminates the right side hyzer option - is surrounded by OOB: on the left with a creek, the right with a walking path & a pond behind the fast-greened pin. It's an obvious transition, which all courses have going from one piece of land to another, but these elements add interesting dynamics and effortlessness to the changeover.
Then things start turning serious as the flat technical woods are entered. Six is manageable enough with obvious lines to hit with a neighboring OOB creek on the right that isn't a significant factor. Then there's 7, an S fairway off the blue tee with an incredibly disgusting creek bordering the entire right side of the fairway. As a local put it, it's only several inches of water but feet of mud. You do not want your disc in here so conservative play is mandated & placement is crucial. Add in a 'B' position pin placed at the end of the fairway just on the other side of the scum creek & let's just say the sphincter tightens up a bit. Eight is actually a little ace/deuce run back across the water adding in a pin on a quick green at the edge of the 'scum creek' which keeps the pucker factor tight.
Holes 9-11 are some of the most daunting compound technical woods holes I've ever played. At 690 ft., nine starts with a short, simple right turning drive over a small OOB creek...and then you enter the mass of trees. There are many lines to choose from, none of them obvious but they are there....and if you're wrong - Thwak! 10 continues the heavy woods barrage and adds the OOB creek at the latter end of the hole & plays longer than 576ft. The dual flight paths on eleven are an enigma for the first time player off the tee....being unfamiliar, I considered my decision much longer than normal - the feeling was similar to determining a course of action when 'in serious trouble' off the fairway...looking around at the lay of the land and weighing all of my options. Include 702ft. of thick woods with OOB behind the pin & these three holes were without a doubt the most complicated & difficult - accounting for nearly a quarter of the course's total length to boot!
The field to hillside transition hole #12 is much needed relief after the woods beat down yielding an air out opportunity but masks the basket - it's nestled in/near the end of the tree line.
13-17 return to the wooded hillside & while none are stand-outs, they flow naturally, have reasonable length with defined fairways, incorporate elevation & place pins carefully. The downhill finishing hole from the open blue tee bordering the parking lot into the woods was a nice treat - beautiful terrain traversing substantial woods then finishing with a pin out in the open. It's the longest hole on this hillside at 502ft. & was a fitting conclusion to well conceived sequence of holes.
Added touches such as two concrete tees for each hole (white/blue), detailed tee signs at each tee, multiple pin placements & easy navigation totally enhance the experience. There were some benches and trash cans as well as bridges, wood planks, etc to aide when crossing water or wet/marshy areas.
Cons: The lesser experienced may find the white/short tees intimidating at over 6,000ft & the woods holes too technical. A time investment is also needed so it's not a quick/easy play. The overall amount of walking (with some longer walks between holes) may seem taxing or excessive for some.
A pin position indicator would be beneficial as scouting for A or B location was necessary on some holes.
The creek on holes 7 & 8 is repulsive. My first thought was ' this creek needs to be dredged'. Until HAH, I had yet to encounter a water hole more foul that Jordan Creek's 'scum pond' hole #7 & now I have found two of them back to back!
There's the possibility of minor conflicts with pedestrian traffic near walking paths and with cars on 18 which borders the road into the back section of the park. Additionally some of the holes on the outskirts are adjacent to the adjoining neighborhood.
Other Thoughts: HAH is unique in comparison to other DGC's in the area which are moderately wooded with more open holes and generally don't have the length/intense forest combo in such excess. I found it more evocative of Pro Caliber courses I've played in the past which undoubtedly makes it stand out as the premiere regional course in my mind. It's one of those places where after completing the round, I immediately wanted to play it again. However I was on my way out of town so next time I'm back, this one will be a priority. Nevertheless it's a rating 'tweener. Be that as it may, I'm rounding up from 4 stars largely due to the fun factor I experienced. This is a must play/can't miss destination if nearby.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great course design! The variety is fantastic. There is elevation used, open/wooded holes, turns, distances, and risk/reward. There are plenty of signs of a lot of hard work done by the locals. The fairways and paths will become nicely defined with time. The park property is perfect for a DG course.
- easy navigation
- perfect tee signs
- multiple large concrete tee pads per hole
- alternate pin positions
- well maintained
- challenging and technical
- extras including benches and trash cans
Cons: The creek/ drainage ditch comes into play on a several holes. It is wide and disc retrieval can be tough. Some parts of the creek are backed up with trash and green scum. I am a big fan of water holes but I thought this ditch took away from the course because of the nastiness of it.
Some fairways might be tight but I think it adds to a nice variety.
Other Thoughts: This is not a course you can finish quickly. This is one of the most mentally challenging courses I have played. The distances and obstacles will have you out for a nice challenge.
I definitely recommend playing here; this was the top course I played on my Dayton area trip.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 10 Not
Disc Eating Variety
Pros: -Amazing Variety, long, short, uphill, downhill, woody, open, backhand, flick holes
-Well Maintained, Beautiful Course
Cons: POND SCUM, few holes play around pond scum, esp 7 and 8, they eat 15 dollar discs, if you dont have a crap disc to throw i would advise skipping, Me and me dad both hit branches and into pond
Other Thoughts: Best course for more advanced players in Dayton, requires you to shape shots
3 of 13 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
[Baskets]: Innova DisCatcher, Excellent condition, well maintained. Every basket was bright, clean and looked brand new.
[Tee Signs/Maps/Markers]: Excellent online map of the course. Amazing detail! Signs at each tee box (blue and white) are very detailed and by far the nicest signs I have seen anywhere. Course has several next tee signs throughout to lead you in the right direction. There appeared to be a few missing, but you could tell where they were supposed to be. All in all, this made navigation a breeze. Signs even led you to the white tee or blue tee when necessary. They have very nice scorecards (just like ball golf) available which includes a course map on one side.
[General Course Design]: Course flows well from hole to hole. Course starts and ends close to the parking lot. There is a great combination of length, left, right, up, down. Excellent use of mature trees and water hazards. Although most of the holes are wooded, there are enough open holes to ease the pain of the heavily wooded course.
[Foliage Maintenance]: Areas around the baskets were clear. There was a lot of downed trees and debris throughout the wooded areas, but with the elevation and sheer size of the course, it would be difficult to keep it completely clear. New composite material bridges aide in crossing low lying areas. When wet, this course can be treacherous.
[Elevation]: Great use of mature trees and elevation changes. The course uses the open and wooded areas of the park to the fullest extent. Water even comes into play on a few holes, making you trust in your abilities and exercise good shot selection.
[Signature Holes]: Several potential signature holes. A variety of distances requiring many different shot selections. The course offers a good mix of tight, technical shots and one or two opportunities for open bombs.
[Tee Pads]: Concrete tees for both blue and white tees, excellent condition, with plenty of room for run up.
[Benches & Trash bins]: Very nice benches at most tee pads and several trash cans or barrels placed throughout the course. Failure to find a trash can is just lazy. There were plenty available all through the course.
[Foliage Maintenance]: Be careful after a rain. The wooded areas of the course can be very slick and muddy. Due to the elevation, it would be hard to eliminate the hazardous muddy areas as the rain would constantly wash out the mulch, gravel, etc. There are a lot of downed trees and debris to cause tripping hazard. Watch your step.
[General Course Design]: There is a very long walk between a few of the holes. Be ready for a long hike. The course is long as it is. Adding in a hike or two between holes makes it that much longer. TREES! There are trees everywhere! On several holes, it was difficult to find a defined line. The lines on the tee signs were not always visible when trying to decide where to throw. On several occasions, I had to walk 100 feet into the hole to figure out which direction to throw.
This course was challenging and very frustrating at times. Although the constant sound of plastic and wood clunking against one another, the occasional shot that made it through made it all worthwhile.
There is plenty of parking available with a short walk the first tee. There is a beautiful sign at the beginning of the course with a nice bulletin board and scorecards. The map on the bulletin board was generic, but it was better than no map at all. The scorecards have a map also, and honestly, if you keep your eyes open when playing, the signs on course will steer you in the right direction every time.
The designers of this course have done an excellent job. It is obvious there is a lot of care and attention given to this course on a continuous basis.
This is by far the nicest course I have been to. With a little maturity and some more defined throwing lanes on a few holes, this will be a 5-star course with no question.
If you are beginner, be prepared for a potentially frustrating round of disc golf pinball as the lanes through the woods are very narrow, and sometimes non-existent.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Definitely worth the time, a beast in waiting
Pros: I made a quick stop here on my way to Michigan and only played the short tees so my review will be based off of that. Though I only played the shorts, I looked down the fairways from the longs and can't wait to come back again for the longs. Each hole has dual pads (white-am, blue-pro) and dual pin sleeves that force vastly different shots and even more precise course management. The white tees in the current layout come in at around 6300' with the blues at 7800' so there's no shortage of long holes, several of which I'd consider legit par 4s. Between most holes are signs directing you to the next tees so navigation is a breeze. Handyman has a good mix of open-to-wooded, wooded, and semi-wooded holes so there is very little repetition among consecutive holes. There is some elevation here particularly early in the front nine and consistently after number 12. Those holes that do not have significant elevation aren't any easier with water coming into play on most of these. I don't know how deep the water is but it appeared rather stagnant when I was there and might be deep enough to lose your plastic in. The wooded fairways range from moderately open to some very tight lines that must be managed alongside dealing with a low ceiling that's waiting to swat down any errant shots. The wooded fairways also force you to hit a line or landing area in order to have a chance at running at the basket, and venturing off into the rough will cost you at least a stroke. Also, the fairways are carved in such a way that skilled shot-shaping can be rewarded over laying up. The open holes leave a lot of space into which to throw but require long range distance control to have a chance at a birdie. A good number of the baskets present a big risk-reward putting situation with either a big roll away potential or water lurking close by. The layout doesn't provide a half loop at nine so once you're in, you have to be committed to the entire round. I enjoyed that feature of the layout.
Cons: Considering the age of the course, I was really impressed with the work that's been done so far but its still quite rough around the edges. Multiple times during the round I found myself in what I'd consider fairway (compared to looking at the rough) but the underbrush/weeds were still untouched by a weed whacker or sickle. I imagine in due time this will be cleaned up but I couldn't overlook this fact right now. Also along those lines, there were many half inch to three inch stumps still sticking out of the ground which weren't helping in traversing the course or getting any favorable skips on shots.
**Update - I have been informed by the course designer that several of the cons have been addressed such as more clearing of the rough and little stumps as well as the addition of benches throughout the course. Guess I should put this in the pro section but it covers what I said in this section.
Other Thoughts: This is a tough, fun layout that can challenge players of any caliber. Located right off the highway, its easily accessible and well worth the time for any serious player. I'd really like to rate this course higher but with the work that still needs to be done, I don't feel that I can. I plan on getting back up to Handyman Ace later in the year for at least another round and will readjust my rating according then.
5 of 7 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.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Fairborn , OH Handyman Ace Hardware
Pros: Course is very challenging with multiple water hazards and an across the river shot. Trees are strategically place to increase challenges and dual pad locations allow increase in difficulty as desired. Course offers open holes and wooded holes with increased difficulty and also dual hole placement on varying days.
Cons: Some areas have a bit too many trees and should be trimmed back. A few holes are difficult to identify hole location from T-pad and may need a map to navigate these holes.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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