12 Helpful / 0 Not
The Home of the Nati Big 3
Pros: Though Idlewild is the crown jewel, Mt.Airy Park is the home of the Cincinnati Big 3. Come to the end of the drive and visit the Nati pro shop (I'm not advertising or affiliated, just pointing out the type of setup other courses might aspire to), and you'll see the definition of care and dedication to the sport.
Outside the old converted park house is a practice driving area (yes, driving into a net from dedicated strips of concrete allowing you to run up, work on your x-step, etc), an astroturfed, dedicated putting basket, and a second practice basket to work on upshots.
The course itself has extra large teepads, detailed signage, benches, trash receptacles, and new baskets this year. Fairways are always well maintained, and paths are mulched and/or graveled. Bathrooms and shelters are located on a few locations along the path of the course. The rough seems more focused on punishing bad shots than on making your discs disappear (and even if you lose one, this is the most likely place to have a found disc wind up in the box at the pro shop, so check there if you've ever been so unfortunate...)
The folks who keep Mt.Airy one of the best city park courses in the world demonstrate their devotion in the simple things, like constantly improving, expanding, or building better erosion control around a teebox here or there, or regularly moving the basket placements (just stop in the shop and they'll provide a map and scorecard, and let you know that day's configuration). And the locals who play here are mostly very knowledgeable and helpful to newcomers (like me).
Rather than multiple tees, Mt. Airy features many alternate pin positions, and the longs can really increase (boo!) the scores for novice and rec players. I put this in the plus column, because I aspire to compete with intermediate and advanced players, for whom this course is a challenge.
Mt. Airy hosts many tournaments throughout the year, and weekly ace funds and doubles, yet is big enough and challenging enough to minimize having too many casual players, and is therefore seldom overcrowded.
There are a number of memorable holes, starting with #1, which requires a right-bending tee shot over the ridge, an approach into the woods, and a decent putt to hit par (of course I envy those who can deuce this one). #2 goes through a set of guardian trees, across the drive, and over to one of three just-blind pin positions. #3 is a tricky left-turning shot with the only mando on the course. Skipping ahead, #5 is a huge dogleg right that requires power and precision to keep your shots between the tree line and the road. #8 is the most aceable hole, while I enjoy #10 the most (well...it's a downhill beauty!) - with the possible exception of #15, which may be even more magnificent. Come take a look, and decide which you like best. #17 goes long over two ridges and beyond some towering pines. You finish with a long but tightening line back behind the pro shop on #18.
There are Temp holes employed for tournaments, and they even set the course up for a 30 hole birdie bash once or twice a year.
There are still rumors of expansion (even another 18 coming?) in the park.
Cons: Negatives are few, and difficult to change anyway. The wet season in the fall can cause some of the sloping fairways to be a treacherous walk, but I guess if I'd have thrown my discs where I meant to, I would've been walking on more level ground (gotta try it that way next time it's wet, huh?).
Because of the layout and growth of the course, it's a fairly long walk from #6 basket to #7 tee, and if #11 is in the long position past the creek, there's a considerable hike back up #11's blind fairway to #12's tee. And there is no front nine/ back nine loop: but you're here to play it all, anyway!
Other Thoughts: Obviously, if you're coming to Cincinnati as a serious disc golfer, you will want to get in a round here.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
mt anny... getting better
Pros: mt. airy mixes moderately wooded fairways with good distance capped off with inconspicuously tough greens. you will need your entire arsenal off the tees (esspecially annys and straight shots). even good drives will lead to ups that can't be taken for granted due to the difficulty of many of the greens. This course has a wonderful mix of open to heavily wooded drives, but doesnt have those annoying trees that are in the middle of the fairway where you want to put your disc. Instead, any fairway trees actually shape the fairways so that good clean shots get rewarded not rejected.
New pins have been added recently which help add variety to the course. A lot of these new pins can be added due to extensive work put into cleaning up the roughs just off the fairways. just a couple of years ago arrent tee shots could be lost just yards from the shot grass. now the rough is exactly what it should be, poor drives rarely result in pars or birdies, but now at least you can find your disc and attempt a desent recovery. Places that might once have been in the deepest darkest abiss now feature baskets on nicely wooded greens. The new pin locations also add a bit of a distance variety that the course sorely lacked.
Cons: Even with the before mentioned pin variety, the distances can still be a little static. I through rhbh and forehand both about 300'. I dont think there is a less enjoyable distance for this course. I find myself throwing my sidewinder either straight or w/ anny on almost all of the drives resulting on alot of ups slightly outside of putter range. With the new placements i get one or two more chances at bird and there are a few more true 2 shot par 4s but still a lot of annys.
Other Thoughts: When you think of mt. airy its hard to pick a signature hole. there are a lot of great holes but not much stands out as... magestic i guess is the word. 15 might stand out the most and is a wonderful hole... one of my favorites in all of disc golf. but im going to talk about one that i think encompasses what mt. airy is.
hole 4 is as forgetable a hole as there is but is a classic mt airy hole. a little under 400' it requires a straight drive that penetrates a few columns of fariway trees. after about 200 feet the hole opens up into a nice landing area for your up (one that is 10 times harder than it looks). a good drive will leave me another 60 or so feet of flat fairway before a 40 degree dropoff on which the basket sits. Its hard to stop your disc on that hill and not go 25 feet past. (I throw a banger that likes to sit down for me and doesnt pick up and glide way past). It isnt a hole that stands out but is what mt. anny is about. a good clean drive a nice well executed up will leave you with a put for 3, yet 4s are just as common.
A final thought about mt. airy... it is an exellent course that will challenge players of all caliber. It really is only lacking that word i was looking for earlier...majestic. Maybe im bias with idlewild near by but i guess i wish there was a little more water... there is a small creek or two that run near the course yet never really come into play. hole 11 is a perfect chance for that... moving the basket back over the creek would change that hole from the mt. airy typical (fairly tight anny drive, short but hard up, putt at 3) to a hole with some pizazz... which is the only thing this great course is missing... pizazz
(update) OMG so i go to mt. airy the other day and guess where there is a new basket...across the creek on hole 11, i couldnt believe it. It was fun to play and a true 2 shot hole... what also makes this green unique to at airy is that it is a green you can run at and not be penalized as it is on an up slope. If you can make the gap on the 2nd shot it only adds a half stroke to the hole, but more importantly variety... great job fred.
also ive added a half star to the course with these new baskets and the wonderful warm up area they have been developing over the last couple years... A throwing net, a couple of warmup baskets, and some equalizers hanging from the pro shop door. Great job.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Beautiful Holes
Well Maintained Fairways
Great Tee Boxes
I Love the Pro shop
I like the idea of the warm up net and the practice green
They actually care about the maintaining of the course using gravel walkways and mulch walkways to eliminate the muddy spots
Cons: some tee info boards didn't have hole info
Got lost twice looking for holes
Other Thoughts: Overal a really tough course my first go through was rough as usual since i didn't know were the holes were but i feel like since I know were the holes are for next time and the way to play the hole angle wise i will be better i feel if i get to were i can shoot under par at this course that i will be ready for the Idlewild.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Obstacles and confusion
Pros: This course is a great place to practice moving around obstacles and has a wide array of hole types to keep things interesting.
Cons: You will have to go back toward the 3rd/4th holes to find the 7th hole, because it is not in an obvious spot.
Other Thoughts: The course is missing many signs and the tees are in need of repair.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Mt. Airy Forest
Pros: 1) There are two practice baskets by the first tee as well as a net and two 60' strips of concrete for you to practice your drives. I didn't bother throwing on them because I had just enough time to play this course before we headed back to WI.
2) There is a pro shop located on site which I have rarely seen in disc golf. It is in an old historic building that has been in the park for a long time which makes it an even cooler experience, I just wish I could have gone in to see what the store had, but no one was around when I was there.
3) Awesome and attractive red powder coated Mach baskets. That is a really nice color and will probably be helpful in finding the basket on occasion. They were all mounted in valve boxes . . . something I would recommend to all courses with multiple basket locations, because it helps protect the basket sleeves from damage and it also makes it much harder for someone to try and break or pick the lock that keeps the basket in place.
4) A bathroom and water are available in the middle of the course over near Holes 2 and 15.
5) Benches and garbage cans are available in many spots on the course.
6) The concrete tees are nicely sized and nice and grippy. I played on a chilly morning and didn't have to worry about slipping on frosty or icy tees.
7) Mulch was used in the key spots where mud would be visible. The only spot I felt could have used more mulch would be in the woods on #1, there seemed to be some bare spots in the wooded portion . . . but the rest of the course was in really good shape.
8) Nice tee-signs with Par, Hole # Distance, OB marked, hole sponsors and a decent hole map.
9) This course is set on the typical Kentucky landscape (even though it's just across the border into Ohio). There are rolling hills all through this entire park and the course uses those hills as one of the main features of design. Not a single hole on this course is flat and the rolling fairways even have some side slopes that make them even harder to land your disc on.
10) They used gravel in a few spots where mud must be consistently present. Stone won't decompose like mulch which would always need to be refreshed.
11) There are a lot of different
throws out here but many holes have options too. You will want to work your disc both directions for sure and also know how to take advantage of elevation change and how it affects the disc flight because there are some nice elevation changes here, both up and down. While I do prefer wooded courses, I do like to air it out when elevation change is involved. It is fun to try that perfect shot to throw the disc an extra hundred or more feet because of the drop.
12) The scenery here is amazingly beautiful. Idlewild was cool because of the disc golf pictures you can take. . . Mt. Airy Forest is cool because of the natural beauty and the scenic photos you could take, not necessarily the beauty of the disc golf (and this isn't a knock on the course).
13) There is plenty of challenge out here, some from OB some from the elevation changes, some from the perimeter woods.
Cons: 1) The single biggest thing I disliked about this course had nothing to do with the course itself (It's called Mt. Airy Forest so I would assume the forest gets used) . . . it had to do with all of the awesome woodlands on the perimeter of the holes. I was shocked they decided to not use any of the woods other than to just to form an edge of the fairway with it. Perhaps they were not allowed to cut trees or perhaps they wanted to provide a different kind of disc golf experience than Idlewild and Lincoln Ridge by offering up the park-like setting instead. I much prefer wooded holes to par0like holes even if there are key trees to avoid. I just love throwing technical shots over distance shots.
2) The second biggest issue I had was the walk between Hole #6 and 7. There were no directionals and there was no way to know if the next hole was off in the woods on the left across the road or if I was supposed to continue up that side of the road and hug the woodline some more. I wandered around a bit looking for the next red basket and I didn't see anything. You have to backtrack halfway down #5 to get there which would create a safety issue and a backlog during a tourney.
3) This is a perfect course for advanced players and intermediate players wanting to stretch their arms a little bit. For me I am a mediocre Intermediate player who doesn't throw very far but has an excellent upshot game . . . so I have a lot of dropin 3's. Those get boring and old. It would be more fun if I could park more holes or throw an excellent shot and make a great putt for birdie, but the holes are like 30-50' out of my range to do that.
4) There were a few signs missing unfortunately.
Other Thoughts: I suppose it wasn't a good idea to play here after playing Idlewild. I really should have saved the best for last because I think Mt. Airy disappointed me because I had just played the #2 course in the country. With that said Mt. Airy is a solid course with a lot of nice features, it just maybe felt like it wasn't quite as nice because of how impressed I was at Idlewild even though I played it the day after. I recognize that this is a well designed course that is fairly diverse. It uses elevation and the wood-line to create a fairway edge.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Mt. Airy is an outstanding course. There are a lot of challenging holes here and many times Airy will get the best of you. There's a lot of variety and plenty of hazards. There are several holes that would qualify as the most beautiful and epic in all of disc golf.
There are some long and treacherous holes here, but they don't seem unfair. They usually involve a first shot to a middle area and then a different type of shot to get towards the basket. The few shorter holes have their challenges and do great to add to the variety. And there are some average length holes that have some different hazards that make each unique. There's some more open areas where you can air it out and some fairly wooded areas. Like I said before - a lot of variety.
The way they are using the alternate pins makes this course different almost every time you play it. You can (and I have) play this course over and over and never get bored. It works on every part of your game.
If I was picking the best 18 holes in all of disc golf I would probably pick 5 of the holes at Mt. Airy.
Cons: Busy - that's because it's a great course! No water in play anywhere. A few of the shorter holes may feel like a let down after some of the majestic holes, but I think that makes the course diverse.
Other Thoughts: This should be on your list of courses not to be missed.
The improvements to this place have been amazing. I remember playing it when it was only 9 holes! The pro shop, the practice holes and throwing area are unmatched. The new baskets and alternate pins are huge improvements. Every hole has been taken care of and improved over the years with mulch, gravel, tree trimming and new benches. I can't wait to see the new signs! Thanks to the guys who do a great job on the upkeep of this course!
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Favorite Course in Cincinnati
Pros: This course will test every shot you have.
Great tee pads with new red DGA baskets.
Course is always well taken care of.
The Nati Disc Golf Shop at the first tee with any disc you would want. The staff there is fantastic.
Driving net to warm up your arm before your round, putting basket and a basket to practice your approach shots.
Benches and trash buckets on every hole
Cons: A long course so beginners will have lots of trouble.
Can get muddy when it rains a lot or the snow melts.
People starting on hole 14 instead of hole 1 and slowing your round down because of it.
Other Thoughts: Beautiful course set up in a championship setting.
The owner, Fred, is one of the nicest guys you will meet and is willing to give you pointers if you ask.
Very little to complain about as this is my favorite course in the NKY/Cincinnati area.
Be ready to be elated and frustrated with your shots because this course is not easy.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Wow Factor for the Big Guns
14 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: + One set of concrete tees and three pin placements (long, longer, and longest).
+ Absolutely gorgeous course, with sweeping hills, valleys, woods etc.
+ First rate full service Disc Golf store (The Nati) on site!
+ Brand new baskets.
+ Very friendly and knowlegable locals.
+ Plenty of parking, restrooms, picnic tables, pavilions, and a playground.
+ Benches and trash buckets at almost every hole.
+ Course is impeccably maintained. Mowed grass fairways, large concrete tees in great condition, and I didn't even see a cigarette butt on the ground anywhere. They have alot of pride in this course, and it shows!
Cons: - Course navigation flows generally pretty good, but there was a long walk between two of the holes. I would recomend getting a map, or playing with a local on your 1st time through.
- One set of tee pads. On a long course like this, I would like to see a short set of tees, to make the course more accesible.
- I would have liked to have seen more holes in the woods. Most of the holes play in between the woods and the road, so there is plenty of ob. The locals said the city doesn't really want people in the woods, but hopefully this changes in the future.(There is some evidence of this already with the two alternate holes in the woods).
Other Thoughts: Overall, a great course in an area known for its awesome courses.
This course is LONG. I would not recommend it for beginers, but anyone of at least an intermediate level of skill will have a blast here.
Friendly and dedicated locals, and nice courses with something for everyone, make the greater Cincinnati area a "destination" city for disc golf. I can't wait to come back!
14 of 20 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Course Pro Update
Pros: Upgrades for 2011: 20 brand new powder coated Red Mach 3 baskets from DGA, purchased by Cincinnati Parks and installed by volunteers. Addition of up to 3 Pin locations per hole for added challenges and erosion control. New benches and bridges built by local boy scouts. Planting of numerous trees and continued removal of Honey suckle throughout the Park.
Cons: As I read through these reviews I notice many do not understand that we are still working on these renovations and most of the complaints will be taken care of when we accomplish our final goals. Hence the new signage and last few alternate sleeves will be finished by next spring. All I ask is please be patient while we continue to renovate this course to make it the best it can be.
Maps can be found at the Nati Pro shop for current layouts and info.
Other Thoughts: We will be pulling out Holes A and B which play between holes 3 and 4 for the winter months. These two holes where removed due to the Parks dept. had concerns of the erosion back in 2006. We are always looking for hole sponsors to help cover costs of these renovations, if interested please contact me anytime for further details.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - To start off the warm up area in unmatched. With the practice baskets and the driving net. A great way to prepare for the challenge ahead. And if you need a disc the pro shop has everything.
- Scorecards in the clubhouse with a map that makes up for the lack of signage. Take one with you.
- This course demands a variety of shots with a great mix of open areas to wooded areas.
- Proper use of the elevation that graces the park. And the course is well maintained. Bring comfortable shoes.
- Bathrooms, I think after hole #4. (also provided shelter during a pop-up thunderstorm). Also plenty of benches at the tee pads.
Cons: - Naturally I would like to see better signage.
- A few times park pedestrians have come into play. It is a public park so this can be expected.
- Make sure you check the map for the long walk in between 6 and 7.
Other Thoughts: At first this course was a little overwhelming, but each time I play it I enjoy it more and more. So if you play it for the first time and don't enjoy your round, don't give up on it. Also with the community in Cincinnati it seems as though this course is well taken care of, so I am excited to see the improvements as the years go on.
If you enjoy a fun challenging course that take a little less than 2 hours to play this is the course for you. It is truly a beautiful piece of land that is well maintained by the city.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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