17 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.
17 of 18 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.
6 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.
6 of 8 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.
12 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Ahhh, where to start? Well, first of all, the designers of this course did an excellent job. They definitely used the elevation changes to the course's advantage here. Here you have uphill shots, downhill shots, and even a drive out of the woods followed by an approach back into the woods. And with the individual hole designs, you WILL use every shot in your bag. During a round here, you may even find yourself saying, "I wish I could throw a forehand, tomahawk, etc..." You get the idea. The course has concrete pads, which is a plus considering all but 2 holes have both a long and short pad. And 11 holes have two different basket placements as well, all of which are Innova baskets. But this course is no pitch and putt. It IS challenging. Therefore, if you like a challenge, you will not be disappointed with HAH. Maybe it's due to the challenge, but every time I've played at HAH, it's never been crowded. On a final note, the designers and people that take care of it treat it as though it's one of their children. It is very well taken care of. And if by chance something needs attention at this course, it gets taken care of very quickly!
Cons: There are only a couple beefs I have with this course and, while in no way do I feel that this course is too long, they have to do with the length of the course. First, it needs more trash cans. The longer people are on a course, the more trash they will produce that will more than likely end up on the ground if adequate recepticles aren't available. And second, since it is a very long course, I'd like to see a few picnic tables or places to rest for a moment placed throughout the course. Other than stagnant water in a few spots, I can't really complain about my home course.
Other Thoughts: For those that have read the negative reviews about this course, don't be deterred. This is an A-level course. A common complaint I've noticed is regarding the trees. Well, those trees are a part of the course. If you don't like trees, play somewhere that's wide open. THIS COURSE IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS. If you can't hit your lines and shape your shots, why would you play a par-65 course anyway? Unless, that is, you are serious about getting better and want to learn these shots. If so, I only ask that you don't get discouraged. This course will eat you up if you let it. Par is 65 from the short pads. My worst round here is a 73 +8, but I have shot a 58 -7 here also. Hit your lines and keep the plastic flyin' my friends
*This course scored a 38 out of 45 on my rating system.
12 of 16 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: -Good Hole Variety
-Nice tee pads and nice well labelled baskets
Cons: -Way too many trees in the way! There are really no defined lines to shoot for and many times I felt like I was just gripping and ripping my shots through the woods. Got very frustrated after repetedly bashing my shots into trees. I can only imagine that this situation will get worse once leaves grow on the trees. Course also takes a long time to play.
Other Thoughts: This course is definitely challenging and you will need a good chunk of time to play. I do think as the course is continually worked on it will improve greatly, into one of the nicest courses in the area even. But until then I don't plan on wasting my time and my shots on another frustrating round here.
6 of 16 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 16 Not
Pros: HAHFairborn is a one of a kind Championship course located in Fairborn, OH. This course when completed will be among the top courses in the country. The people who designed this course took a massive piece of land and shaped and carved a great course into it. The layout has a great flow to it and no two holes are the same, each has its unique feel.
I play this course just about every weekend and its by far my top local course and Top 10 all time. The course is very well marked with Professional Tee signs, Next Tee Signs, colored score cards, pencils, information board and more. Also with two tee pads for Pro and Am it gives you two different views of the course.
Hole 1 | Uphill shot into the woods, Tee shot is in the open throwing uphill to a tree line that is the start of the woods. There are multiple lines from the AM tees. The Pro Tees take a really good forehand or nice RHBH Anhyzer.
Hole 2 | Takes some finesse to get to where you want to be. This holes is one of my favorite on the course, both tee pads have plenty of lanes to choose from. This hole can eat you up if your not careful, walk away with Par or better and be happy.
Hole 3| Make a good tee shot! Throwing through a 8ft-10ft wide gap into an open field, this is a RHBH hyzer shot because the pin placement is set back into the woods. So your throwing out and then coming back in, 357' for AM Tee and 423' for Pro.
Hole 4 | Another gap tee shot, elevated, shooting into an open field with walking path 15-20ft to the right of the hole is OB. Straight shot 269' AM / 336' Pro.
Hole 5| This is a really fun hole. The basket sits about 260+' from AM tee and 300 for Pro. Takes a well placed shot to walk away with a birdie on this hole, there is a pond about 25' behind the hole
This is just a small preview of the first few holes. Starting from 6-11 you enter long technical tight wooded shots, demanding placement shots to connecting fairways. Hole 7-8 you are running along and crossing the "river of stink" but looking past the smell it's a very scenic two holes. Moving on to hole 12 you get another open shot with a mando gap off the tee to a basket that it set inside a row of pine trees. Holes 13-18 are all technical wooded shots with LOTS of elevation. Hole 14 is a straight uphill tunnel shot that is 350+ from AM tees and 440 for Pro's. Takes a few well placed shots to walk away with Par. As for the rest of the course, every hole has it's own style and appeal. I would highly recommend playing this course if you are in the area. It is very well maintained and one of the best in the area. Please keep in mind that the course is new and is still being worked on every weekend, when completed it will be one of the best in the state.
Other Thoughts: I personally play here every weekend, by far my favorite local course.
Go play this course 2-3 times then go back to your regular course, I guarantee you will take at least 3-4 strokes off your score. This course will greatly improve your game.
9 of 25 people found this review helpful.
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