As an outlier, I guess I'm just not (that into) championship calibur enough for this course.
32 Helpful / 20 Not
Pros: Lots of variety here - yes with this many holes you still get variety out of a predominantly long wooded course. There are a wonderful mix of uphill/downhill/crosshill/rolling hills, insanely wooded/wide open, water hazards including longer water carries, etc.
Risky greens. I love the risk associated with many of the greens and approaches which are right on the creek or one of the ponds. Many of the wooded holes also have greens that are
Balance. Good mix of long/short, and left/right/straight/s-curves.
Water hazards. Personally I love water hazards. I love forced crossings with bail out zones that accommodate lack of distance. I love the 'tight off the tee' semi-hidden muck hole on the lettered loop. It's nice to have a water hazard that generally makes a disc un-recoverable - that type of challenge really changes the mindset of some players and I love to see how they react and change up their selection.
Beautiful physical terrain with sweeping views, huge majestic trees, sharp drastic elevation along creek bed ravines, and lots of woods and waters style beauty. Definitely the physical type of terrain ideal for a disc golf course.
Multiple tees and multiple pins. I love the variety this introduces and allows players to mix up the skill levels needed, as well as allow groups of varying skills to play and enjoy together.
Cons: The biggest downer was the shear repetitiveness of the wooded holes. I am the kind of player who LOVES wooded courses, but I was completely taken aback at how much this course started to wear on me. I wasn't necessarily on my game, but not throwing too bad. After eyeing some of the almost ridiculous lines off the tee, I stepped up and ripped drive after drive down the tunnels, watching and oohing and ahhing, only to get kicked into the brush by one tree or another. So, that brings up a secondary supporting con - the rough (and course in general) has a big poison ivy/oak problem. I've stated in my reviews before that I am a travelling player. I take time out of business trips and family vacations to play what appears to be superbly enticing courses. Idlewild did look superbly enticing, but when playing through with the family while on the way to Florida, worrying about quarantining our shoes and clothes due to poison ivy is a huge turnoff. Back to my original frustration regarding the layout, it just became too much and it took me far too long to admit the defeat. After a while, I began throwing a buzzz or other straight midrange disc anywhere from 2-3 times on the long wooded holes, then plunking in an easy putt for a 4. I found no real reward in ripping a driver down the fairway to achieve the perfect s-curve and maybe take a 2 or 3. To the contrary, the risk was high and punishment became awful as we tip-toed through poison ivy and thick brush.
The turf greens looked really neat in the pictures and were actually part of the draw to play the course, but in person they look REALLY tacky. The ugly bright green turf applied over a flattened green, and lined with ugly concrete bollards was just that - UGLY. I'm a fan of natural courses, so not having the natural sloping banks along the stream, keeping them really risky, was a turnoff. I'm sure with the number of players at the course, erosion was a concern, and I give the crews credit for addressing it though.
No huge downhill bomber. Yes, you may argue that you can really rip a disc down hole #1, and I agree, I'm talking the ski hill style downhill hole is missing.
The signs were nice but I didn't feel they really depicted the hole or the pin placements. With the number of pins and long blind holes, I found myself very often walking a few hundred feet down the fairway to get a better look.
Despite touting multiple tees, this really isn't the case as many holes have just one finished tee. I personally find this frustrating in trying to play a certain type of round at a specific skill level. Say I'm playing with my wife who is throwing the short tees, and I'm playing the long tees - when they're shared or often just one tee, or jump around from one to two to three tees, it's frustrating and not at all a consistent skill based complete round - calling a single tee both a red and a white/blue level tee and hole design is nonsense and a copout.
There is also a mix of basket types out here and some were just plain old junk, homemade (looking) with single rows of chains. 24 common baskets would be much nicer.
1001' across a field. Let me tell you again, with super tick grass off the runway, throwing a buzz three times down the middle, then going for a 40' putt, missing and taking a five, is WAY better than the minimal amount of reward in ripping two 450' drives and MAYBE making a 100' putt for a three!!!
Other Thoughts: Overall, I was thoroughly excited to play Idlewild, and as the round started, that excitement kept building for the first few holes and as I looked around at other holes. Then we got to the letter holes and half of them were completely passable. The first downhill hole was nice, the mucky watering hole was great, and the carry across the pond was great - the others were bland and useless, including the one (or two?) after original hole 3 which are entirely boring.
After getting the lettered holes out of the way and entering the woods is when things picked up again because I love watching discs sail wonderfully through the trees. But as we kept getting beat down by the fortress of trees, and searching through discs in thick brush and poisonous plants, the wonder began to wear and even the ace run wooded holes on the unique a neat ridges and valleys couldn't raise my spirits much. Eventually I accepted the beatdown and threw straight down the middle for an uninspired and lackluster round. All the shiny polish wore off and Idlewild became a chore. We were happy to leave and continue on our way.
So, all the hype and all the enticement still exists, however playing the course fails to live up to the hype and hysteria. I understand the appeal completely, and I get the references to "Championship Calibur". It takes a GREAT player to concquer this course. Unfortunately with 400-600' holes playing s-curves through the woods, some luck is bound to play a role in any round. My luck was bad, I was far from championship style, and I decided to play lame-duck golf to avoid the punishment, and I still scored decent (deaming 4s and 5s decent enough compared to penalty of kicking deep into the brush and taking 6s and 7s). Idlewild was beautiful, challenging, decently balanced, and full of variety - it just wasn't fun!
32 of 52 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 15 Not
Top Notch Challenge
Pros: Tight and technical, to include a long arm challenge. The rolling hills along with the trees make this a sweet venue. Super well maintained, with some excellent lines. A true test for anyone no matter what level of player. Great use of the creek, with the OB challenge.
Cons: Having a course map available for players on site would be helpful. I was quite confused about how par was defined until I got home and checked DGC review. Had some confusion about what was OB. A bit tougher for the first timer, I'm sure having a local guide, or being local would be advantageous.
Other Thoughts: I'd suggest a donation box, so that the local club and community can continue to improve this venue. I sense that the sport will be pay to play in the future - a small investment in a donation box could bring in some serious revenue.
5 of 20 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 16 Not
Beauty of the Beast
Pros: I'm new to this course review thing. I'm bored at work and have decided to start reviewing some of my favorites. We stopped here on the way to Am Nationals last year. We got caught in a torrential down pour after 14 and didn't finish. Here are some thoughts:
-Beautiful park, very big, and well maintained.
-Options galore. You can play this course aggresively or lay up and take what it gives you. There are plenty of chances to score well, but if you miss your line trouble awaits.
-Designers and course keepers have an obvious love for there course. The amount of work that has gone into this place is second to none. Kudos to those involved with keeping this place nice!
-You need every shot in your bag, not just to shoot well, but to navigate the course. You're required to throw an arsenal of different shots out here.
Cons: Recreational players beware. This course is not for the faint of heart. With that said, it may beat you to death for a while, but I can see well groomed players being molded by this course on a regular basis. It may not be fun for newer players to start with, but eventually you will learn the lines and this will be mecca.
Grass was a little high, but I imagine we probably got there the day before it was going to be cut. Park is to beautiful to no be maintained on a regular basis
Other Thoughts: Heading for Am Nationals again in early June. We will definitely be stopping by for anothe crack ar Idlewild. Can't wait!!
8 of 24 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The pro's of this course are numerous. First it is on an absolutely gorgeous piece of land with lush grass, what looks like a hay field, thick woods, ponds, creeks and gently rolling hills. Perfect disc golf terrain. The course itself sprawls over this terrain and offers you a little bit of everything and occasionally all of it on one hole!
The design goals of this course seem to be twofold, aesthetically pleasing and friggin challenging. Kudos, cause you nailed it. This is one of the prettiest and hardest courses I have ever played on. Each hole is individually breathtaking and distinctly unique from all the others with a wide variety in length and elevation.
Over the course of 18 holes if played correctly you will use pretty much every shot possible. FH's, BH's, long bombs, putters off the tee, hard hyzers, soft touch shots, pin point landings, and the bane of all novices laying up. This course definitely emphasizes hitting the available lines with accuracy and makes you put a lot of thought into where you want your disc to land.
This course also seems designed to mess with your head during putting. When playing the long pins you really need a steady putter due to the trouble near (or surrounding) some of the pins.
The tee pads are very large and kept in very nice condition. The tee signs were beautiful and very helpful. Plenty of benches and trash buckets available.
Elevation is used very effectively and is present on all but maybe 2 holes.
One of the main things I appreciate is how much work/love was obviously put into this course. Every bridge and walkway really stands out. Literally on every single hole you can see the work that was put in. Thanks to all of you who put in the time to make such a great course.
A couple of memorable holes for me without doing the entire hole by hole rundown since they are all memorable: #15, which after being mostly constrained off the tee allows you to bomb a drive finally, then you do it again! Open for about 900ft and then down a nice little hill back into the woods with a creek guarding the front of the basket. Really you get it all on this hole. #18, a great hole to finish on. Requiring straight shots through the woods and ending in the great wide open to a pin defended by two very large cypress trees. I also like #3 a lot, a downhill drive into the woods and the first hole where the stream becomes a factor. Once into the trees there are plenty of available lines to the pin. #3 is a very beautiful hole.
Cons: First off I realize that there are a lot of people who do not feel that Idlewild has cons and any cons I list should not detract from the amazing amount of work put into this course.
The day that I played this course was in late October and the course looked very run down, with debris all over the course. I felt like I extended my round by 45 minutes just clearing branches and debris off the fairways. A lot of the nice white bricks along the creek (which was completely dry) had fallen out and garbage was overflowing from the buckets and on the ground. Although the course was still very pretty it did not even come close to what I had seen in pictures.
I felt that the amount of OB on this course was very gimmicky. Hole #16 is a very interesting looking hole but really it is just a crap shoot whether you go OB or not. Hole #11's narrow green for the long pin is silly. It gives you pretty much no chance at running a putt longer than 20 ft without the fear of going OB. All in all just too much OB and a lot of it is manmade. If the OB was just the water (creek/pond) itself I think the course would play better, no need to add manmade OB.
A good portion of the course is just too tight, so many of the holes are just narrow paths that force you to throw very specific, short placement shots without any chance at all of going for the pin. I prefer wooded courses over open but these woods felt too limiting with low ceilings and close growing trees. On a hole like #5 where you throw to the landing zone (the only one) then up the hill and make your long putt or layup your approach, everyone does the same thing. It feels very forced and doesn't seem to allow for creativity, #6 is the same way, I threw a putter 3 times missed a 30 ft putt and walked off with my 5. Oddly enough my playing partner did the same thing.
Even though I enjoyed being on this pretty course I did not feel like it was very much fun. When I was done I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for shooting pretty well but no real sense of anticipation to play it again. Challenging yes, fun not so much.
Also as mentioned in previous reviews after finishing hole 16 you need to cross 11's fairway to get to 17's tee. Crossing fairways are never a good idea.
I would also have liked to see some water available on the course since it is a very long grinding course.
Other Thoughts: I was very glad that I had an opportunity to play Idlewild. I completely understand why it is held in such high esteem. I would love for Idlewild to be my home course because I think it can make a player better and forces more thought into a lot of shots. Although I did not have a lot of fun on the course I appreciated the challenge and the time that went into the development of it.
Although we did not see any Idlewild locals on the course every disc golfer we met in the Cinncy/KY area was super helpful and nice. On the day (a weekday) that I played, there were no other groups anywhere else on the course and the parking lots were empty which was pretty cool since it meant we got an awesome and popular course all to ourselves. By contrast we played Banklick earlier in the morning and there were probably 5 groups on the course at the same time as us.
I think that I am going to try and come back to play in the Bluegrass Open next year. I think it would be great to see the course in tournament shape with all the trees and grass in full bloom. I think that I will revisit my rating after that but as of right now I feel like it is a 4 disc/excellent course
24 of 28 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 39 Not
Keep It Real
Pros: As Randy would say, just keeping it real now. It is a wonderful course with well maintained fairways and a beautiful setting. There was generally a good mix of open and tight holes.
Cons: Some of the holes were too open, and some of the holes were too tight.
0 of 39 people found this review helpful.
46 Helpful / 8 Not
Hate to Disturb the Herd but Idlewild is Sometimes Superb Yet Often Absurd
Pros: Luscious Green Grass everwhere from the open rolling bluegrass fields to the tight winding fairways through the woods. Mowed soft grass is everywhere and it seems to be perfectly manicured at all times. Great effort has been made to eliminate schule from the dense wooded fairways..so often you might get ricocheted be in a tangle of trees but theres nothing but grass and smalll trees so your hassle is simply figuring out how to recover your shot versus trying to recover your disc from thorns and vegetation. (there must be a weedwacker army here:incredible) Large concrete tees throughout the course and signage was well done and informative. Diversity in hole length as well as a good mix of open and wooded holes. Elevation is used very well throughout both providing uphill and downhill shots as well as undulating fairways and fast greens to keep things cerebrally interesting. Isolated from the rest of the park so it has a serene dG only feel. You lose yourself in your round out here and you will need to as your focus is required to play this course. SOme highlights for me were as follows:
1-A slightly downhill 600 footer with a wide fairway sloping R and L and the green being a bit fast as well.
2-Perfect shot for RHFH. Throw it right and you could be parked..come up short and your in treenial. The long position is over a pond with a few deadwoods spiraling out of the water to thwart the line drive approach and encourages a riskier sky shot which could glide into the drink...subtle things like this amazed me about this course.
3-Your introduced to the stream here as youu throw downhill in the open to a more technical wooded and stream protected green. Scenic and Technical.
9-A true ace run if you negotiate the gap over this short valley over the stream....perfect use of elevation and woods. I birdied it but easily could have done worse if I didn't make the gap. A shotmakers shot with true reward.
10-A journey starts with a tighter 250ish drive uphill then turns hard to a more open fairway and then emerges into a field with the basket in a cluster of trees downhill to the right 300ish away.
11-The Y tree teases you as if you throw below the Y you won't have enough elevation to make the subsequent uphill gap beyond the Y..if you throw over the Y chances are you might throw nose up and hyzer badly in an embaressing manner. You have to throw it real tight to the split in the Y which of course could mean hitting the Y-tree...incredible thought provoking hole. If you make the gap and up to the clearing you still have a technical approach to another stream protected green doglrg L.
14-The best woods hole on the course as you get a chance to rip a driver uphill through an ample fairway and the woods are high canopied shady hardwoods. Birdie if you nail the drive. I felt like I was back east on this hole with plenty of fairway and room to use a driver in the woods here.
15-Underrated Hole here IMO I read a lot of complaints about this hole being too long and offering only distance...well I disagree. The fairway is beautiful and the swath of grass is cut very wide (far wider than any similiar fairways Ive seen)so if your off to the side thats an awfull bad throw. What surprised me was the deep undulations off the tee that required you to land a couple of solid drives back to back to avoid being in these little valleys. Nothing worse than trying to throwing a big arm shot uphill with the nose up and the wind kicking. Landing atop these rolling hills ensure optimal throwing conditions to set up the following shot. The basket is perhaps a 50 foot drop of elevation over the course of the hole with most of that occuring over the last 1/3 of distance to another stream and tree guarded green. There are lanes to get there so you may be tempted from the hill above to drive the green and go for it. So it's an open hill sure, but theres still strategy/skill (placement) and fun (elevation drop) on this one I was expecting a big flat boring open hole.
16-Never played such a hole. A stream sinews throughout a fairway that cuts a moderately tree laden fairway into different landing zones to yet another stream protected green. Blends skill and strategy in an interesting combination of fairway lane golf( trees) and shot placement golf (Islanded landing areas)
18-a great finisher which will have you tryint to throw straighter than your probably able to over some rolling hills down a wide alley and then burst you into the clear where a basket sits beyond and between 2 Cypress disc eaters. Even on your final approach your scratching your head thinking "over the top. left, right, between?"
Many of the other holes had qualities I enjoyed as well such as 5 which plays like 3 but much tougher and longer, 6 has a tough on rhbh throwers tight opening lane to start that I am sure has inspired many a one dimensional thrower to expand their horizons and 8 has a very densely protected green which encourage interesting approach shots. The sheer challenge will engulf you here. Masochists will never want to leave. A great place to refine your game as there are several holes that force a particular shot off the tee that more than likely is outside of your comfort level. Really benefits those who have a multitude of skills and throws to choose from.
Cons: This is where it gets ugly. As amazed as I was by the above moments on the course I have too many complaints about this course to give it a 5. I also enjoyed myself far more and just as equally challenging courses that I rated 4.5. You don't really play this course so much as you survive it. Is this enjoyable disc golf. I don't think so. Will it make you a better player....absolutely. But, I can name a few equally difficult and challenging courses that were way more fun. I'd rather have fun while I'm getting beat up. In short my complaints are these:
-Way too tight...course combines massive trouble off the tee, with fairway trouble, off the fairway trouble, and protected greens. Essentially many of the holes are just a string of paths through smallish trees with no throwing airway to get from point A to C...you might think thats placement golf but when A and C are only 100 feet from one another it makes for boring golf. I love a good jail hole where I am forced to either escape jail or avoid jail. Idlewild too often feels like Jail with moments of Parole foolowed by more Jail. Your never really free from the tangled prison like unfairways. I like the technical aspect of the game but I prefer it to be saved for certain situations. Such as recovery, technical approaches, trouble off the tees. etc. Idlewild has a shortage of landing zones and areas to shoot for. The stretch from 5-8 is particularly brutal. This stretch certainly well maintained and unique but when your essentially playing a walking path from 5 to the wonderful hole 9 I started to get frustrated. I don't mind a hole thats just tough for the sake of being tough every so often to shake things up...but 4 hard just for hards sake holes in a row...dumb.
-You can't really go big in the woods here...often the woods are either way too tight or the canopy is too low given the up and down terrain to ever consider a true driver shot here. I like a high canopy forrest with several tough but interesting choices that allows for a big drive through the woods. The trees here are too low and the spaces between too tight to allow for that.
-Holes 4 and 12 are boring and short par 3s that can be found on any average course in America. I like shorties but prefer them to have some charm or tempting ace potential. I like my par 3s to be floaters off cliffs, tricky shots surrounded by water or to have some unique challenge but still aceable. These 2 were duds and the path to hole 4 is probably more memorable than either hole.
13 might be one of the worst holes I have ever played for a couple reasons..its way too tight and gives you no real lane to throw but even worst is that its a sweeping downhill drive through woods that with some simple clearing of sapplings could be one of the best downhill woods holes I have played..instead your left with putt putt through the forrest down to the green below. What a shame!
-After hole 16 you cross 11s fairway to get to 17
-Too often artificial OOB is added to water OOB and stands of trees are nearby that will often plink good approach shots into these OOB areas...too puntive.
Overall given the fact that I had severe issue with 7 of the holes and that 1/3 of the holes employed overtly punishing OOB I am amazed I am still giving it a 4. I guess that speaks to the magnifigence of the other aspects of the course.
Other Thoughts: I am sure I will get the typical rants from the devotees here. You are a noob. Boo Hoo! did the course chew you up. Your from Michigan. You only play pitch-n-putts and you can'y handle a true pro course. None of those are true.
Bring it on Cinncitucky! I have pondered this review for 2 weeks and have attempted to be as fair and honest as possible with myself and this review. Idlewild blew me away as often as she disappointed me. I have played a slew of courses that offer just as much challenge but provide far more enjoyment despite the rising totals of throws I was making. I realize part of the charm of Idlewild is the beatdown and challenge it provides...some kind of right of passage into the cult I suppose but kind of like when I was younger and watched college guys getting hazed I always wondered..."hmmm so you guys really think your having fun?" My advice to travelers is play Idlewild it's an interesting intense DG experience and has some superior holes and challenges but don't feel bad if you walk away perplexed and think theres something wrong with you for not liking the course in it's entirity. This is a locals course. That is not an insult to the local guys either. I mean this is a course that is best played multiple times. If I played this course frequently I would become aware of some of the more subtle lanes and the local routes might become more obvious. I also would probably become more adept at different shots I don't have in my arsenal and might learn what shots work best on different holes. Definetely I can see why the course grows on you if your able to play it regularly. I am sure every so often you hit that lane on 6 and you get birdie and your forgetting about the 30 bogeys you took prior to that day. But much like a gambling addiction...was it skill or did you just get lucky. Either way I can understand the addiction here. Just remember this though.....Challenge can be accomplished without scrificing enjoyment.
46 of 54 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 28 Not
Pros: very good variety from a thousand footer that plays the tops of hills down to a creek to a few that you can pull of with a putter
Cons: theres a thousand footer, if you miss the fairway better be wearing pants...takes a lot of patience to pick up your game after a bad whole...not much wiggle room
Other Thoughts: all around play banklick every other day...come here to pick up my game a little
3 of 31 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: One of the nicest well taken care of course in the world. The volunteer adopt a hole keeps this course in top shape. Island greens on 3,11,13,15,and 16 are best greens i have ever played. Course never plays the same twice, will challenge every level player.
Cons: What cons? Could benifit from alternate tee pads for new players, but who wants newbies in there way on a 1000 rated course? Update they have added short baskets on five and six.
Other Thoughts: New baskets are not but together right on all the holes giving you a smaller target, hole five now has a single chain basket not championship caliber at its current conditions.
11 of 26 people found this review helpful.
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