21 Helpful / 0 Not
The nicest jewel in Cincys crown
Pros: One of the nicest settings for a course I've had the pleasure to play in - a simply beautiful course in a scenic park.
Variety: Loaded with it. Fairways of all shapes and sizes. L/R/straight, and more complex fairways. Well-wooded/moderately wooded/ lightly wooded, with some fairly open off the tee playing to well wooded fairways or approaches. At least one Ace Run (more depending in pin placement)/ bombers, lots in between, with a nice mash-up of all these attributes (including elevation) over 20 well-conceived holes. All holes were quite fair and even the tight ones didn't feel pinball-like. Most holes offer many lines, a few (like the mando on 3) force you to go a certain way. Several holes with blind pin placements and pins that were nicely tucked away or otherwise well-guarded. Pure bombing ability can help on a few holes here, but typically only if well placed. Most players will be better served placing tee shots to set up their next shot on some of the longer holes, or risk playing from a difficult lie to a very limited window framing the back end of the fairway. A superbly well-balanced and quite complete set of holes overall.
Elevation: Outstanding. Often big, sometimes subtle, but used in all sorts of ways to enhance challenge and eye appeal. Long, sweeping up-hills and down-hills, plenty of pins on slopes or near drop-off to create risk/reward. At least one hole playing up then down over a rise. 17's long, undulating fairway was memorable - big arms may be able to bomb it over most or all the peaks and valleys, but noodle arms could get stuck in a trough making it hard to see the line you want to hold going forward.
Aesthetics: Scenic hole after scenic hole with picturesque vistas from the tee box. Can't tell you how many times I stepped to the tee and thought, "Holes like this are why I love this game." Looked beautiful even though fall had peaked weeks ago. I can't imagine it's anything but gorgeous in spring and summer. Stand outs for me: 5, 10, 13, 15,17.
Equipment: Red baskets are easy to spot in the woods and look cool to boot. Perhaps a problem in the past, tee signs looked nice, free of graffiti, show all three pin placements with distances,and were helpful in finding your way. Concrete tees were in good enough shape to be a non-issue.
Pins get rotated through three locations to keep things fresh for locals, vary the challenge and help keep areas around the pins from becoming ever-increasing circles of dirt (pins were in the long position for my round).
Challenge: Long (C) pins are at least blue (if not gold) level, and definitely harder to reach than the A and B positions. Depending on the pin placement that day, Mt Airy is suitable for most skill levels, but I can see higher rated players finding the shorter A & B layouts a bit too easy.
The 'Nati. Chances are you don't have a selection of discs like this near your house ... or the opportunity to pick the brains of a PDGA Hall of Famer like Fred Salaz.
Practice putting green with two baskets, room for long approaches and a warm-up driving range w/net - maybe if Fred's not too busy, he can watch your form and help you out.
Cons: These pale in comparison to all the positives here.
Several holes play close to parking and roads (Hole 2 has you playing right over a road). Probably not as big a safety issue as it could be here, but discs hitting asphalt is a pet peeve of mine - and that's a decent possibility at Mt Airy.
Missing the thrill of a water carry.
Some have mentioned signs and routing/navigation. All I can say is signs must have been redone - they were great during my round. I had a guide, so no issues there. I can see where a few spots were tricky, but nothing seemed that hard to follow... print the map or pick one up at The Nati - all the roads near holes actually make it easier to follow on the map.
Other Thoughts: Absolutely loved this place, and can't wait to return. My thanks to all who had a hand in selecting the location, designing/installing the course and maintaining it to this point. I was impressed with the design of the holes and taken by the course's beauty. Brains and beauty always make for a potent combination - I freely admit I'm smitten. Can't believe it's not pay to play.
I've been fortunate enough to play some truly phenomenal courses since discovering DGCR: Lincoln Ridge, Moraine State Park, Deer Lakes, Leviathan, Burchfield Park, Rogers Lakewood, WR Jackson at IDGC ...all superb courses that go beyond excellence. None of those left me with the desire return that Mt Airy did... can't wait to play it again. Mt. Airy struck me with the same desire to come back as Flip and the Headrick course at IDGC. I don't recall squat about benches, trash cans, brooms and stuff like that because I was too damned busy enjoying myself to care.
Have to say Idlewild's more challenging and if I were picking a course for a "Pros Only" tourney I'd give it the nod. But just as I won't knock a course for being above my skill level, I can't knock Airy just 'cause there are tougher courses out there - playing to the longs here is plenty challenging. Given the choice to play Idlewild or Mt. Airy, I'll pick the latter - it simply was a more enjoyable round, and that's my reason for playing.
Given the strength of all the pros, how easy it was to look past the cons, how much I enjoyed the course relative to other fabulous courses and my desire to return, I feel comfortable awarding a Mt. Airy 5.0. Obviously, I'm in the minority, but I could care less. I've provided solid support for my rating... and I'm already trying to figure out when I can play here again! :D
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course has it all. If your looking for distance, mid range, wooded shots, open shots.
- pads are in good condition
- baskets are nice and in a nice red color
- pro shot at hole 1 allows you to get a new disc
- hole markers showing where the pin is located
- clean fairways
- 2 practice baskets
Cons: There are no cons to this course. It is quite amazing.
Other Thoughts: This course is just superb. You have to bring out every disc in your bag to get a good score here. I love the pro shop, the course and everything about this course.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: So much to say, The Only course with a Pro shop on site, warm up area and two practice baskets, driving net.... lots of info!
20 holes in the total lay out, well manicured! No poison ivy
If you lose a disc, you have a good chance it will be returned. The Nati pro shop will call you
Great signage, tee signs are well labeled with A B C spots to inform you where the basket is. Benches and brooms by tee box! one has a shelter, so there always a place to rest!
5 water fountains around the course on holes #'s 1 ,4, 11, 12, &14 good clean water, deuce juice! yum.
Good mix of holes, loads of elevation changes, and plenty of well placed trees in your way! some holes in the woods, some open, avg. hole length about 375 ft.
They have leagues, and tournys, and weekly doubles
Cons: With all the pros, the cons are its popularity, not that's a bad thing, but people tend to jump around the course, and it can cause sudden delays.
There is one time you may feel lost, or out of progression.. after #6, walk back up #5's fairway, and look for #7's pad
I guess another weird thing is the course plays close to the road on #2,4,5,7,8,14, which makes that a technical OB if you cross the area. but it adds to the challenge in my opinion
Other Thoughts: If you want my reason for the ***** stars here's why....................................
when it describes "nothing could possibly done to make this course better" That's a dumb statement...
There is always a way to make a course better. Add a pond, add more holes, covered tee boxes, solar lights on basket tops. tree stands for spotters and photographers.
This course is well maintained, and has the potential to expand beyond the 20 holes it has now......
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Mt Airy Forest
Pros: This is a gorgeous course. The layout is truly phenomenal, and should provide a solid challenge to most skill levels.
Each hole has 2-3 pin placements from a single tee, with the placement for the day marked on each hole. Additionally, there is a lot of elevation throughout the park, and this course does a very good job of making use of the elevation changes to provide additional challenge to players.
Last, the course itself is fantastically maintained. Fairways were very clear and kept neatly cut. Each holes signage was pristine, and knowing which basket position was a plus, although there are a few holes which caused some issue despite the outstanding signage.
Cons: While for the most part, the red coated baskets are very easy to see, there are several holes which require the player to throw blind. In some cases, due to tree layout, a first time player to the course(which I was) may wind up losing strokes simply for not being able to easily identify the location of the basket. However, this is a very, very rare occurrence, with only one or two holes having this sort of issue.
Additionally, there are a few holes where the transition from pin to the next teepad aren't immediately obvious; I highly advise stopping by the pro shop for a map.
Other Thoughts: While this was personally a negative with regards to the course, I have not negatively accounted for it in the score. This course heavily favors players who either throw predominantly left hand back hand, or right hand fore hand. Nearly half the holes on the course play directly left to right, and several of the more neutral, straight holes are laid out in a manner that provides a solid advantage to players who favor those techniques. Again, this isn't a strict negative, but for those players who are strict RHBH without a forehand, expect to throw the anny backhand on a plurality of the holes.
Also, the pro shop on site near the 1st and 18th holes deserves a mention. It's very well stocked, and the individual staffing the day I went down was exceptionally friendly, even ensuring that I had a map of the course before I went out, which was very helpful in sucessfully navigating my way through.
All told, even having to drive somewhat more than an hour to play Mt Airy, despite any personal issues with the layout, or slight difficulties in navigating the course, it's a fantastic course, and easily one of the top 5 in the state. I highly recommend throwing a round here if you're able to make the drive.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 14 Not
A little too tight, but not bad
Variety of terrain
Interesting pin location
Varying distances, elevations, and visibility
Cons: Too close to roads and parking lots
Plenty of trees to hit
Other Thoughts: Enjoyable course, just have to be careful with trees, people, and cars.
1 of 15 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
A Cincy Gem
Pros: +Teepads and Baskets: Pads are concrete, good size, generally good condition. Baskets are DGA Mach III and in good condition.
+Layout: The course has multiple pin placements to provide a good amount of re-playability.
+Tee Signs: All were generally in good condition, provide necessary info, also have pin indicators that are a great help on blind holes.
+Challenge: This course requires a pretty good variety of shots and has a good bit of length to it depending on the pin locations.
+The Nati. I'll get into this more in the "Other Thoughts" section.
+Other: Very nicely maintained, clean, the park offers a bunch of picnic areas and trails and playground equipment, restrooms and water also available. Also has two additional holes available during the winter.
Cons: -Hazards: Several holes play close to roads or parking areas, one hole has you throwing over a road. These make me a bit nervous but probably don't bother more experienced players too much. It seems like the park can be very busy at times and that means there may be some unexpected spectators oblivious to flying discs.
-Variety: Generally the variety is pretty good but there were a handful of similar straight open throws. Not a major problem, but noticeable.
-Navigation could be a little bit of a problem so take a map.
Other Thoughts: Mt. Airy is probably the best top notch course in Cincy for the widest range of skill levels. The course plays fairly quick, but does put up a pretty good challenge. I believe most of the pins were in B and C positions when I played. You will certainly use a variety of shots and may find yourself in a bit of trouble if you don't hit the fairway on many of the holes. However, other holes can be very forgiving too. It's very well balanced course and offers a fun round of golf.
One of the best aspects of this course is the Nati. This place is awesome for just hanging out and exudes a traditional clubhouse vibe. They stock a great selection of plastic and snacks for pre or post round munchies. In addition to the pro shop, you can warm up your arm at the driving nets or at one of the two warmup baskets. If you want to make a day of it, pack a lunch, eat at the picnic tables and challenge one of the locals to a game of "porch-shoes."
Hopefully the concern over this park getting closed passes and golfers can enjoy this course for many years to come. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to play at this classic course.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Wow, what a great course.
Pros: I have not been playing that long (about a month or so). I have played a few of the smaller courses and decided to play a longer one. Let's face it, Winton Woods is tiny compared to this place. I thought I was pretty good until I came here. I only managed to par a few of the holes while a couple of the others really kicked my butt. It didn't help that I came on a day when all of the tee's were in their longest position. I have a long way to go in my game.
Cons: Being my first time here, I had trouble finding my way from tee to bucket. (Maybe it was because the tee's were all the way back.
Other Thoughts: The pro shop was excellent and loaded with discs and accessories. The guy working was full of knowledge and actually talked me out of buying a couple of discs because he knew I wouldn't be able to throw them. Instead he personally took me outside to the practice driving net and gave me a lesson real quick. I bought another disc that he recommended. Also they have maps in the pro shop to help you out.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: A truly challenging course, with rolling hills, massive trees, long distances up in the mountains. This is a great course, that will test your game, and make you a better player. Added signs are perfect, and has long concrete pads, with benches.
Cons: Not many water hazards, but not a big deal.
Other Thoughts: A great course, up there with Idlewild, though doesnt have the putt putt green like Idlewild does. Phenomenal course, that must be played by any disc golfer who takes the sport seriously.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Category I: "Essential Properties of a Good Course"
-Baskets were in great condition and clearly visible with red paint
-Tee pads were in great condition as well (concrete) and provided plenty of room for runup
-Course map found online was a life saver....though overall navigation wasn't too difficult, it did come in handy on a few holes
Category 2: "Combine w/ Cat I to make a great course"
-General course design- Mt. Airy seemed to flow very well. Fairways seemed well defined, not crossing, and tees were relatively easy to find based on visual clues and the map when needed
-Course is very well maintained
-Benches and trash bins were located throughout which was a lifesaver for my 35wk pregnant wife!
Category 3: "bonus attributes to make an excellent course"
-Nice mix of elevation throughout.
-You'd never guess you were inside or very near downtown Cincinnati as quiet and peaceful as the park was
-Very memorable holes. Some of my favorites were #15, 17 and 18. The gentleman in the pro ship indicated #14 used to be #1 and the course was later re-routed. I can understand why because the course finished strong.
-Good variety of hole distances from a couple hundred feet to over 700 ft. Even the shorter holes though provided just enough challenge to force you to earn your birdies which I liked.
-In terms of shot variety, I used a good portion of my bag and mixed it up a lot between RHBH and RHFW throws with an occasional roller and tomahawk.
-The pro shop was fully loaded with just about every disc or brand imagineable. The gentleman inside was very friendly as well.
-Very nice practice facility with 2 long concrete pads going to a large net for warming up. Also there were 2 practice baskets for putting and at least 1 of them had synthetic turf which was a nice touch to avoid mudd from heavy traffic.
Cons: Park signage should be updated to point to the real Hole #1. My wife and I followed the signs to the disc golf park which led us to Hole #14.
Course signage could have been better. Without the course map, we could have gotten lost a few times. "Next tee" signs or arrows could have been helpful.
Tee signs on most holes were OK, but some need replaced
I felt like cars in the parking lot were in play for a long drive on hole 13.
Other Thoughts: Well worth the 1.5 hr drive and hotel stay to play 3 of Cincinnati's finest courses........Lincoln Ridge (only time for front 9), Mt. Airy, and Idlewild
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
The unofficial capitol of Cincinnati disc golf
Pros: -Great mix of holes. There are long holes and short ones, with lots of elevation changes that keep things interesting. You'll have to deal with tight holes with thick brush to the sides of fairways but get relief from open holes as well.
-Pretty good drainage - often times, great disc golf weather in Cincinnati coincides with rain, making places like Lincoln Ridge prohibitively muddy and dangerous. At Mt. Airy, if it rains one day, the course will be relatively dry the next.
-Easy access off I-74 from most of the Cincinnati area. This is great because pro-caliber courses are rarely this accessible.
-Very clear navigation, which makes the course accessible for first timers. Pretty hard to get lost here.
-Phenomenal upkeep. The course is clean, the grass is cut regularly, and hazards or broken baskets are taken care of quickly. It shows that Cincinnati disc golfers value this course (as they should).
-Outstanding practice area. There's a driving range of sorts next to hole 1 with a net to catch practice drives, and there are two practice baskets with plenty of room to work on your putts.
-The Nati disc golf shop is right next to hole 1 and the parking area, and Fred and Jason have done a great job making it a first rate disc golf shop. They carry almost every disc currently available at great prices. The patio makes for a nice place to hang out before or after a round.
Cons: -The tee signs need replacing. A good number are missing, and the ones that are there are old and weathered.
-Some of the holes have just one basket position. This has never bothered me, but some people like new basket locations every now and then to keep them on their toes.
-No water hazards? There really aren't many cons to this course.
Other Thoughts: I've been playing this course for about 15 years and it's never been better than it is now, which is saying something. This is a solid, challenging course that's tough to throw par on, and it has the ability to make you want to come back again and again. Mt. Airy has spoiled me with playing new courses, as it is what I compare all new courses I play to. I'm proud to call it my home course. It doesn't match Idlewild down the freeway in Kentucky, but then again, not much can touch Idlewild. Mt. Airy should absolutely be on your list if you're planning on coming to or traveling through Cincinnati.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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