Idolize the Wild!
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Features 24 best of the best championship level holes playing over picturesque Kentucky rolling hills mixed with a few mostly open and mostly wooded technical fairways. Coming into play are elevation changes galore, creeks, ponds, tall grass, and island greens with a mix of par 3 and 4, and two 5s. Idlewild has phenomenal balance and variety from hole to hole and starts and ends with two of the best holes and 22 freaking awesome holes in-between them.
Amenities include excellent concrete tees and signage, and some multiple tees and baskets. Some benches. Grass is well maintained on fairways and underbrush wasn't too bad in the woods. Navigation was ok for the most part. Two loops of 9 holes back to parking lot and extra 6 letter holes on first loop. Nicely built greens and bridging over creeks and walking paths. Water fountains, portapotty, and trash cans in parking lot.
Cons: This is not a con in my book, but Idlewild is definitely not a beginner - intermediate level course and only has one set of gold level tees on most holes which is probably with good reason or warning that you probably shouldn't play here if can't get to the first basket within two drives and stay on the fairway which is fairly generous relative to the rest of the fairways.
Beware of crazy human joggers, I was the only disc golfer in the park and there was only a few other people in the whole park, and a few times someone ran down or across the fairway. I was shocked people would run this elevation in the heat. You cross a fairway at one point and backtrack a few places. Plays over and near a walking path/road, nothing too bad.
I played in the peak of summer so there's some poison ivy out there but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and actually was decent in that regard compared to the other 10 courses I played on this road trip. Just keep an eye open in/near the roughs and trees. The open bomber hole on 15 with tall grass rough is pretty gnarly, but the mowed strip is like 60' wide and I managed to stay out of it even with a blizzard destroyer and headwind. The family that just finished playing when I arrived found several ticks on them, but I didn't find any later. If you can't control a disc well these may be more of an issue.
Just a note that playing and walking over the elevation changes in the summer heat and humidity was rough the first 15 holes to loop back to the parking lot as the 6 extra letter holes are mostly open and elevated. In retrospect I should have probably played the 6 letter holes as a 3rd loop or warm up loop. I ran out of 24oz water after the first 9 holes with 6 to go on the loop. I had to take a decent break to rehydrate before the final 9 holes which is rare for me. It took me almost 2.5-3 hours to play from start to finish which is one of, if not the longest solo round I've ever played and my legs felt like jello.
It does get pretty noisy when planes fly over and are low, but it seems to be pretty sparse timing on the fly byes.
Other Thoughts: Idlewild is Where The Wild Things Are and definitely lived up to the hype. I'm not sure which was my favorite hole as most holes stand out not just among of Cincy area, but of every course I've played. Idlewild throws everything at you including the kitchen sink. You really have to think about where to land and what line to throw to help setup the next throw. Do you risk the plinko approach to the green and ending up OB or layup safe for a longer putt that is still quite makable? You must be able to throw a putter or mid straight and long on many holes to have a look for the next shot. Other holes require a driver out of sheer distance and/or for line shaping. I throw BH and FH equally, so I never felt like the course didn't have a line I couldn't feasibly hit. If you can't throw with opposite spin you may have trouble finding a fairway line on some holes. Some see these as course flaws, but it's really a player flaw of not playing the course like your game permits.
I've played 100+ courses and Idlewild easily ranks in my top 5 with Paw Paw WV, Hawk Hallow, Black Jack, Nockamixon, Moraine, and Orange Crush being of similar style awesomeness. What can I say, but I love me some crazy good epic disc golf! Idlewild made the two flat tires and 1,200 mile round trip drive totally worth it!
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
DOES IT GET ANY BETTER!!!
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Top notch course with multiple tees.If you play this course on a regular basis you have to improve on your game.Nice tight fairways,long holes,a good mix with open and wooded.It has beautiful landscaping.Well done course,I'm very lucky to have a course like this so close to home.
Cons: If you don't have patience you may not want to play this course.If your a beginner play boon for awhile.
Other Thoughts: I haven't played much since 2008 do to my work schedule and some personal problems but Im back now and look forward to going to Idlewild!!!!!Remember it's rated pro for a reason so if your a whinner don't come to Idlewild it will beat you down!
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Unforgettable, Immersive Disc Golf Experience
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There's not a whole lot to say about Idlewild that hasn't already been said, so just know that it's a world-class course with stunning design that's worthy of its Top-5 status. Variety is the spice of life, and it's also the spice of disc golf design. Holes range from 142' to 1001' and everything in between. Wooded and open, uphill and downhill, bomber and technical, water and OB paths...nearly every style of modern design is represented here and shines with substantial challenge and maximum enjoyment. The fact that this creative design was allowed to flourish in a public park is nothing short of amazing. Where a typical course will have one or two signature holes, Idlewild has at least 8-10 that can have you grinning while cursing your errant throw at the same time. Regardless of your personal design preferences, you'll have at least one hole (but realistically many more) that speaks to you here.
Certain greens are made of turf rather than natural grass, which is fantastic for erosion control and preserving the original design and integrity of the hole. Much to my surprise, I didn't find these artificial elements to clash with the abundant natural beauty of the course, making them a win-win.
The rough is thick, but not unfair. Recovery shots are difficult, but not impossible. There's not a lot of purposeless hacking to be found here.
Even if the golf was average, the exceptional maintenance would elevate the course rating. Someone clearly has (and continues to) put a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears into making this course world-class, and it shows. No signs of vandalism or even trash anywhere on the course. I played most recently following a few days of rain and was surprised to find the grass thick, the mud minimal, and the greens dry. Bravo!
The aesthetic wow factor is high here, with many holes requiring the player to pause for a moment to admire the beauty. Holes #5, #15, and #16 leap immediately to mind, and are just a small sample of the wonderful views on this gem. Play Idlewild at slightly slower than your normal pace for maximum enjoyment.
The course is free to play, which is akin to being able to play Augusta National for free, whenever you want.
Impeccable tee signs on all holes. Large, comfortable concrete tees on most holes. A mix of basket types, all of which catch very well.
Playing all 24 holes is a good workout! You'll probably need to stop and catch your breath now and again after some of the grueling uphill climbs. Bring water, even if you typically don't need it. You'll want it here.
Cons: There's not a lot to dislike here, but a couple of things are worth noting. The lettered holes, while enjoyable, are noticeably inferior to the 18. I'm not one to complain about extra holes, but the simple "good" of A-F contrasts sharply with the "exceptional" of 1-18. Since extras are exactly that, in my mind they shouldn't bring down the course rating. Taken by themselves, I'd give A-F a 4.0 disc rating.
WARNING: NITPICKY, UNCONFIRMED NOOB STATEMENTS AHEAD. EASILY OFFENDED NEED NOT APPLY. I've heard (but so far have been unable to confirm) that on a turfed green, your approach must land on the turf or it's considered OB. If this is indeed a course rule, I'm personally not a big fan of it. In my opinion, this element seems rather gimmicky and unnecessary to me. If the rule is designed to add challenge, the challenge seems inorganic and shoehorned in, clashing sharply with the rest of the course. If the rule is designed for erosion control, I understand it but still don't like it. If the rule doesn't exist, please disregard the preceding paragraph.
Other Thoughts: While most of the course is disc golf exclusive, there are a couple of places to be especially aware of other park goers. The tee shot on C plays over the road, while 2 long, 3 long, 4 long, and F play over a well-traveled walking path. E plays almost entirely in a high activity area, so be aware!
Idlewild is a world-class, destination course in the truest sense of the term. The reward of driving a significant distance to spend an afternoon of disc golf at Idlewild is special indeed. Some courses are designed to squeeze a round in on a Wednesday before it gets dark. Idlewild is meant to be savored on a sunny weekend afternoon. Lose yourself in one of the best disc golf has to offer.
A note on difficulty: you'll need to throw with some degree of accuracy, but you don't need world-class distance, making this course more accessible than it may appear. My best score is +20, and I'm proud of that mark. Previously I've shot a +41, and another person in our group shot a +51. Doesn't matter. You will have fun here. Go play it!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Fred Salaz has done a good job, Where to start? Its a super challenging course. Not for Noobs! The basket lay out plays the natural landscape well, and you get to see the KY rugged scenery.
Multiple pads, and pin placements everywhere, so watch out.
I thinks its 24 holes but I remember it when it was only 18, I have a feeling we may see more baskets...
Island greens are a nice touch, this course plays around a couple ponds, and many creek beds, loads of trees, OBs, Mandatory trees, Good mix of long, short, wooded, and open holes.. Sometime I feel its best to roll or throw your putter as far as possible to navigate its tight gaps and OB traps..
Cons: The same as its Pros, Its a tough course, very long, bring food, water, strong shoes, and your A game. Its a little tricky to find your way around, usually because your score goes in the toilet quickly...Also, if your frustrated, this course eats plastic night and day, and will eat your disc. So don't shoot wild...
Other Thoughts: Its better played in groups, Doubles works well here because the course is long, technical, and one bad shot at any given time can ruin a great game
9 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Signature Hole After Signature Hole
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -There is not much I can add to what has already been stated, but I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't give the course it's well-deserved review. Located only a few miles off of I-71, Idlewild is set in a picture-perfect family park with all the amenities and activities you could ask for. This truly is a park you can take the entire family to, with multiple soccer and softball fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, running/hiking trails, shelters, a dog park, and a fishing pond. I had read great things about the park, but I was still surprised to see just how family-friendly and well-maintained it was. The fairways are very well mowed and every hole is aesthetically pleasing and in pristine shape. There is an ample amount of parking, a porta-john, practice basket, course map, and local league/tournament information located near the first tee. This is truly a park dedicated to disc golf.
-Tee signs are in awesome shape, very accurate, and tell you everything you need to know, including hole length and pars from both tees. Each tee is dedicated to 1 or 2 HOF members, which is pretty cool. The tees are the nicest size I've seen, they are comfortably long and wide, giving you no hesitation to have a big run-up. The concrete is still in great shape, despite all of the use they've gone through. All but a few holes have multiple tees (white and red). The baskets are in awesome shape, and the numbered holes are Mach 2 and lettered holes are DISCatcher. When there are two pins set up at the same time for a basket, it is clearly noted at the tee sign. Two things I want to point out about the baskets: 1.The neon green paint makes the baskets stick out much better in the woods than if they hadn't been painted and 2.The fact that there are two different baskets just shows me that when adding new baskets, Fred wanted the best possible. These two changes in the course show its constant development, a huge positive.
-Navigation flows very well; I had a map with me but didn't have to use it. There are multiple times in the course where signs pointed to the next hole. There is some back and forth around the middle holes in the woods, but there are plenty of paths, bridges, and steps to help make it more obvious to which direction you go next.
-The variety and technicality of Idlewild blows away any other course I have played. There are chances to bomb your disc (1, 3, and 15), throw long lines through the woods (2, 5, 6, 10, 13, and 18), and play through tight lines and tunnel shots (7, 8, 9, 12, 14, and 17), and literally everything in between. The only thing that is lacking is extreme top-of-the-world type shots, but you'll forget you miss those shots at Idlewild. Elevation changes are still very predominate, and both the open and wooded holes have a lot of elevation changes. Some of the best use of elevation are hole 2's rolling hills, A's downhill shot, 3's downhill drop into the woods, 5's downhill shot into the woods then tight uphill shot to the pin, 15's rolling hills then downhill shot to the pin, and 18's constant gradual increase in elevation. Water also comes to play on multiple holes in the form of a pond (2, C, and E) and multiple streams that run through the course (5, 11, 13, and 16). The most enjoyable factor for me might of been the great variation of topography in many of the holes. For instance, holes that started out wooded and then played into the open, started out in the open and played into the woods, started out wooded and ended up next to a water hazed, etc. The best examples of these types of holes are 2, 3, A, 4, 5, 11, 15, and 18.
-Finally, the extra work done on this course sets it apart even higher. The multiple turf, rock-lined greens, abundantly creative O.B. and mando's, benches and trash cans on nearly every hole, sculpted greens on hills, rock-lined paths to the next tee - so many reasons that this course is as highly regarded as it is.
Cons: -Really the only con I can think of is that a few holes at the beginning play close to or over the road. Since there seems to be a lot of action in this park, throw with caution. However, there aren't any blind shots where you may not see people coming and this did not detract from my experience at all.
-15's grass was very tall, so if your disc goes in there it's pretty much gone for good. I didn't even bother searching for mine. The fairway is still wide enough to give you room for comfort, just be advised that an errant throw will most likely lead to a lost disc.
Other Thoughts: The fun factor is so high at Idlewild - I am a low-800's level player, shot a +20, lost two discs, and still had a smile on my face the entire time. Idlewild offers you a diverse challenge mentally and physically, I have never felt so mentally exhausted after playing a course. This displays it's championship-level caliber. Every shot must be well thought out and well executed. This makes the fun-factor through the roof IMO. It is in a great location as well, only 20 minutes from Lincoln Ridge and 30 from the Cincy courses. Idlewild also offers you a very scenic round with many aesthetic and technical beauties. Hole after hole after hole caught me staring in awe on the tee. While I could describe the amazing qualities of every hole, here are a few of the extra special ones:
1- One of the more open holes, but is a true beauty and elevation and trees comes into play.
3- This one might be my favorite hole. It probably gives you the steepest downhill shot on the course and plays through tight lines in the woods onto a turf-green. No easy up-shots here.
5- Pretty similar to hole 3, only it's an anny instead of a hyzer, and it then plays uphill once you're in the woods to a very tight pin position. Creek comes into play
9- Super tight line that plays downhill then uphill
10- 600+ hole that has a hard dogleg right after a tunnel shot, then plays through various patches of trees. Tough pin position behind trees.
11- When writing my notes, I simply put "Everything" for this hole. This is one of the toughest holes I've ever played as you start out throwing through the Y-shaped tree and have to contend with an endless amount of trees. Creek zig-zags back and forth and the basket is located on a turf-green which is mandatory to hit on your up-shot.
16- Plays through tight lines in the woods with creek zig-zagging back and forth.
18- A great way to end the course with a super long but fair tunnel shot out into the open.
Took me two hours to play the course.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: First and foremost, this course is immaculate. This is a huge pro in my list of many for this course. I do not recall one piece of trash being on the ground. The care that people put into this course on a regular basis shows.
Multiple pins on each of the holes with appropriate signage that shows correct distances to each of the pins are a big help, especially on the longer holes that you cannot see the baskets from the concrete tees.
Although I would describe this course as mostly wooded, there are a fair number of more open holes that do not require the same degree of accuracy for your drives. Shooting into and out of woods is also common on a few holes and well spaced out. Water carries are fair and there are multiple tees on some of the riskier holes for the less risky water shots.
The rough is not too rough (with the exception of the longest hole, 16?). Many fairways were well groomed and even though we heard the mowers while we were there, they did not interfere with our play.
Hole shapes range from short and straight, doglegs, double doglegs. Elevation came into play on almost every hole. Throwing over gulleys, uphill, downhill, over hills, no two holes were exactly the same.
Baskets are all in great shape, and there are benches on many holes.
Course flows nicely and the lettered holes are easy to get in as well.
Parking is more than adequate and it looks like there was a practice basket by Tee 1 which was a welcome sight.
Cons: I have thought for a few weeks how anything could be improved at Idlewild and I honestly could not think of anything. This place is a beauty.
Other Thoughts: I love this place. The sacrifice of an Ion on Hole A and a Valk on Hole 16 was well worth the experience of playing at this place. Going to make a road trip weekend next time and play the top 3 there.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Think Before You Throw
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The Park itself is extremely large and very well kept.
The course layout is 2nd to none. This is what disc golf is supposed to be like. It is as if the park was built to show off the disc golf course, not the other way around.
The course has all the essentials. It has nice big tee-pads, accurate signs, a practice area and a portable toilet. The course also has lots of benches and trash cans.
The layout does an exceptional job of exposing the flaws in a players game. The use of angles, trees, hazards and change in elevation create a test that is tough but fair.
There are some holes that allow you air it out. Hole 1 and Hole 15 will let you fling it as far as you can.
There are lots of areas that are OB on this course. They are very well marked and the drop zones are easy to find.
There are lots of small things on this course that separate it from other courses. Brick walls on the edge of greens, nice bridges, island greens, brightly painted baskets, and nice landscaping are some of the things that come to mind.
This course isn't for a beginner. I played the long tee and long baskets just like I do every time I play a new course. This course will beat you up.
There are several other reviews that list each hole and the type of shots needed to play it. The point that needs to be made here is that the course will require you to "MAKE SHOTS" on every hole.
The course is difficult to walk and that isn't a con. It is just very long and the elevation changes require a good effort to play it.
One of the most unique aspects in my review of this course was that I felt that the course didn't put a great premium on putting. We all have played courses that felt like pitch and putts and your score was going to be determined by how well you putted. That is definitely not the case with Idlewild. My score was determined by the time I arrived to the circle area on each hole.
This course will make you think on just about every shot. You need to have a plan to play each hole. Now that plan may change after your tee shot, but a 'Grip and Rip' style at Idlewild will net nothing but high numbers.
Cons: I found a problem with a tee box or two being slick.
As stated before, there are different types of baskets on this course.
Other Thoughts: My kids had been talking about Idlewild for months. I can honestly say that the course more than held up to the hype. I was honored to test my game on one of the TOP courses in the world. It is a must play for any avid disc golfer. Bring your game and a strong mind. Only once in the entire round did I have a shot that I thought was unfair, but after hole 1, there are NO free shots either.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
best of best
3 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: what is there not to say this course is amazing.
best tee signs I have seen yet
huge tee pads
bright lime green baskets u can see for miles
new holes are a great addition
pro caliber and will make you a stronger player
Cons: baskets are not all the same
wish there was a brochure for this beautiful course
not really much else to say for cons
Other Thoughts: remember this is def not a beginner or amateur course it will kick your butt so if you are looking for a fun relaxing time maybe this is not for you but if you are looking for a truly amazing all out course with everything this is for you.
3 of 12 people found this review helpful.
This baby is top notch!
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: All basic amenities present in abundance! Multiple tees, pin placements, benches, trash cans, etc.
Cleanest public course I've ever played by a fair margin!
Attention to little details. Brick lined greens, astroturf greens, etc. Many small touches like this add up to a completely unique experiance.
This is a course that forces you to bring your A game. Don't play here if you're tired, run down, or just feel like a casual easy round. You will be challenged, and if you're on you'll love it!
Cons: Really, there are no cons. I could nitpick about non-matching baskets, but I don't care. I could complain that a few of the lines seemed like they required more luck than skill, but I don't believe that, I believe I need to get better. So really, the only con was that I had to pay out of pocket for a hotel room to play this course more than once.
Other Thoughts: I'm currently in Columbus for a few weeks on business, and after discovering this site, and that there was a top rated course within a few hours I drove down on a Saturday to play Idlewild and Mt Airy. I made the mistake of playing Mt Airy first and was a little worn out after the car trip and a round at Airy, when I got to Idlewild. Consequently I didn't shoot as well as I'd have liked, and decided to stay the night to take another crack at this course. After a good night's sleep and 2 more rounds at Idlewild I can safely say this is the course that I'd want to play in disc golf heaven. I live near 2 of the other top rated courses on this site, but I prefer Idlewild to either of them. All 3 are great courses, and maybe it's a case of the grass being greener elsewhere, but when I can play this course for free, as opposed to paying fairly big bucks(for disc golf at least) to play those other courses, Idlewild wins hands down. Seriously, this course was good enough to get me to pop for a hotel room out of my own money, just so I could play it when I was fresh, as opposed to tired. There are just so many memorable holes that I won't even try to list them all. If you're anywhere within a few hours, this is worth the trip!
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + Teepads: They are concrete, giant, and in great condition.
+ Tee Signs: Clear and identify all the important info
+ Scenery: The course is in a beautiful park and mixes woods with rolling hills. There are also some lakes and a stream running through the course.
+ Challenge: This course has it by the metric ton. You will need to give everything you have to shoot well here. It takes mental and physical sharpness and a good deal of endurance to be able to execute through an entire round.
+ Other: The course is so clean it sparkles. The locals take good care of the course and it definitely shows. 24 holes, multiple pin positions on many, permanent long basket on a few, long tees on a few, practice basket, port-a-john and water fountain at first tee.
Cons: There really aren't any and the two listed didn't affect the quality of the course for me in any way.
- Baskets: They are in great condition and really "pop" with the nice powder coat, but there are different baskets throughout the course.
- The letter holes have a bit of a different feel from the rest of the course. If I were to play here regularly, I think I would skip the letter holes more often than I play them.
Other Thoughts: I had the pleasure of playing Idlewild twice with a few area locals. Both rounds were doubles rounds and for someone with only a year under their belt, this helped me enjoy the course much more than if I had played singles. That being said, I have a great respect for what this course throws at you. Idlewild is a technically demanding course. You must think about nearly every shot you take and then have the skill to execute the shot with accuracy.
It is very clear that each hole on this course was crafted very carefully. While many of the windows are small, there are often many windows. None of the original holes felt forced into the course. They flow very well and play fair- very difficult, but fair. If you get off the fairway you will want to get back on, there is no forcing a throw from a bad lie at this course, it will only make things worse. If you hit a nice line, you immediately know and that feeling is what will get me back here.
I look forward to getting back to this course and seeing what kind of fight I can put up during a singles round. For any less experienced player who may feel intimidated from the pictures or other reviews: DON'T BE. Put a post in the forums or PM a local, you'll likely get a great guide. Locals also take great pleasure in sharing this beast of a course with others. The course won't be friendly to you, but you will be challenged and learn a lot about your own game and it's weaknesses, and that will only make you better golfer.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful.
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