11 Helpful / 18 Not
Pros: Idlewild stands out as THE most creative disc golf course design that I have played in nearly 500 total courses. Not only is the course blessed with great terrain features, but the locals are individuals who have put in massive amounts of effort to make this one of the best courses out there. Off the tee, players will find a massive variety of shots, distances, elevation, real risk/reward and several multishot holes which challenge a player to not only make a great drive but evaluate landing areas and make a great approach/putt for birdie '3' or '4'.
Cons: Both a 'pro' and a 'con', the presence of a couple of extremely short and straightforward holes add and takeaway from the course. On the positive side, these holes help make the course more accessible to a wider variety of skill levels who have the opportunity to match higher skilled players (by carding the same 'birdie') and to get perhaps a much needed ego boost to counter the largely beatdown nature of Idlewild. At the same time, I feel these holes detract from the experience of higher level players to whom these holes are practically gimme's and offer no ability to separate scoring based on differential skill levels.
Other Thoughts: As of 2011, Idlewild maintains a spot on the top 10 list and for good reason I think. The course has something to offer everyone from the seasoned professional to the weekend warrior or DGCR course-bagger. Competitive golfers will appreciate the challenging layout and opportunities to make decisions on the course about how aggressively or safely to play. Course-baggers will appreciate the utter uniqueness of holes and creativity which went into the design.
11 of 29 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 3 Not
A deserving five star course.
Pros: Where to begin? Let's start with the course itself. Amazing. Many top-rated courses are rated highly because they are in the middle of a well-funded park and are moderate in difficulty, therefore appealing to all. Idlewild is not one of these. You have to love the game and have supreme technical skill to succeed here. The course doesn't just pummel you with length; every shot needs to be shaped just right to navigate the often tight (but always well-defined) fairways. Hole 2 is a tight anhyzer tee shot followed by a lake carry; hole 11 goes down through a y-shaped tree before making a 90-degree left turn into the woods before crossing a creek onto a virtual island green, hole 14 is a brutal 450 feet uphill through encroaching woods; hole 15 is 1020 feet down a wildflower-lined meadow and over the creek; hole 16 has 6 forced carries over that same creek. I could go on and on. Even the easier holes are extremely exciting; they give a rare opporitunity to take a chunk out of your score, but they are not afraid to knock overambitious shots deep into the woods.
The land itself is beautiful. I have never seen a more peaceful place on a disc golf course than the shady green of #11 (and it's only about a quarter mile from the neighborhoods of Northern Kentucky). The "walk of fame" is a great tribute to all those who helped make disc golf what it is today. As for the park itself, disc golfers couldn't ask for more. Everything else in the park is out of the way of the course, and you won't find anyone who doesn't recognize that on the course, disc golf has priority. For a course of this caliber, it's surprisingly uncrowded, even on saturday afternoons in late summer. There's never any need to worry about getting stuck behind beginners, who mostly (for good reason) avoid this course. And it has the usual necessities for a great course: all concrete tee pads with very impressive new signs, weekly cleared and mowed fairways, bridges to take you over steep sections and the creek, varied pin positions (though never confusing), and the latest in baskets.
Cons: As just about all disc golf courses are either maintained by parks or individuals, courses as a rule are not going to be perfect. However, it's hard to find flaws with this course. Like all disc golf courses, it can get buggy in the summer. Discs that fly too far off course could be lost in the woods, a task easy to accomplish if you don't heed the slope on some holes. If you really want to nitpick, there are only a couple of porta-potties, as opposed to your standard park bathrooms. That's all I can truly think of. Many nitpicks about other highly rated courses don't apply here.
Other Thoughts: I'm not rating this a five to up its score on the front page. I'm rating it a five because it's the best course I've ever seen. Not sure how much higher praise I can give it.
18 of 21 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: Took me a few years of playing in Cincinnati to get the courage to play this course. I have picked many high rated courses on the disc golf trips I've had in the five years I have played and still haven't found one that I felt was "better" than this course. The layout alone would make it worth playing but it is also so perfectly manicured and in several places aesthetically pleasing as well.
Cons: While it is quite tiring to play this course I have never found myself wanting to end a round early or skip a few holes. The excitement from playing this course negates the lack of energy I might experience.
Other Thoughts: More people should play this course. The stops I've made for tournaments outside of this area I always find people that have been playing for a long time, have heard of Idlewild, but still have not found there way to the course.
13 of 28 people found this review helpful.
28 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: -pretty much everything you want in a DG course
-phenomenal course layout
-clean and beautiful park
-signature holes galore, a few island greens, long holes and a couple of easy dueces
-fantastic use of the land, great elevation changes
-multiple tee locations and baskets on some holes and a trash can at every tee
seriously challenging. many different kinds of shots. this course will really test your game. long holes are not open, you will need distance AND accuracy. bad shots are punished.
Cons: -such intense DG can be physically and mentally exhausting (and exhilarating)
-some people have said it can be gimmicky but i had fun the whole time! there is a middle ground between trying to bomb through each fairway and laying up with a putter every 200 feet. isn't course management about knowing when to be conservative and when to be aggressive?
-seems like most of the complaints stem from the course's reputation more than the course itself, first-time players who aren't familiar with navigation or OB lines, or those not equipped for the challenge
Other Thoughts: There is not much to say that has not been said already. This is a must play course. I think it is worth a long trip to play this course alone (I stopped on the way between NY and TX). It's not for everyone and is probably few people's favorite course to play regularly but it is an epic experience.
**Like this review? Hate it? Message me and let me know why! I want to make them better!**
28 of 35 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: There is a lot of elevation change, and a great variety of open and wooded holes…you will be tested in your forehand and backhand, as well as many "specialty" shots used for saves…great use of boundaries…well-kept course, mostly easy to follow
Cons: The rough is ROUGH (but it's my fault for being there), but go there and you may lose your disc...occasionally it seemed like although there is a fairway, it is barely hittable (I know my place in disc golf, and I am no Jenkins, but I am not that bad either)...it is somewhat confusing your first time that there are not just alternate pin placements at some holes, but actually alternate baskets (instead of playing to A or B because one basket is in, you play to A or B because both baskets are in)
Other Thoughts: Where to start...this is my favorite course hands down, although I never beat it!...since there are so many reviews, my only advice is to try to make time to play this course twice (with a break in between), because after almost every drive it seemed like I was, "I wish I would have placed it here instead"...on this course, it is a combo of placement AND power
16 of 24 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 11 Not
Could it get any better?
Pros: Superbly challenging course with variety, distance, elevation, narrow flight lines, open fields, water hazards etc. Demands control and course management with most types of throws coming into play. It will expose which aspects of your game need work, whether technical, physical, or mental.
Well manicured having good baskets, tees, signs, benches, and bridges, coupled with mostly rolling hills and serpentine creek running throughout make it very picturesque.
Cons: It's hard to say anything negative about this course; it has it all.
If you're not ready for a challenging pro caliber course, then there's your con.
Other Thoughts: Even the most detailed review would not do it justice; you must play it.
10 of 21 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 1 Not
Well Worth The Trip
Pros: Let me begin by saying this course will test your skills regardless of who you are. If you are a beginner this will be extremely hard and even if you are a pro you will be tested. Now I could critique every hole, but I won't. I think what would be more helpful is highlight the best parts of the course and its features. . This the course is absolutely stunning. The course begins with an air it out 600 ft which is nice to let loose on. Hole 2 offers a shot over a pond which is a nice start to the course. This is followed by a winding few holes which allow a player to use a variety of shots with a good amount of difficulty. Hole 5 can be difficult for a player who has never played this course. After shooting over the creek onto the grass area/drop area the hole is up the hill to the right (very difficult hole). Holes 7-14 are through the woods. This is my favorite part of the course. These holes cover every type of shot, hazard, and difficulty on every level. Shooting a good shot through this is area is imperative if you plan keeping your disc. After the winding and intricate holes you will come upon 15. 15 is a beast.....1000 ft. Don't let me discourage you though. An average player, like myself, can par this fairly easily. Then you are back in the woods for 16. This was my favorite hole, but also one I had trouble with. It is extremely beautiful with a creek winding through the fairway. The problem came with the trees and water hazard. Play this hole cautiously. Hole 17 is an easy par followed by 18 where it is very important to keep straight, because this is a long whole and if you get in stuck in the woods it will be hard to par.
Tee pads are amazing. Concrete pads are my favorite, and having extra long ones for the air-it-out holes are perfect.
Cons: It's hard for me to put down cons, but no one is perfect and neither is a course. Since there pin placement changes you may need to walk to find the hole. Along with that navigating the course can be difficult for a first time player. I know putting restrooms and water fountains throughout the course would cost a lot of $, but maybe one pit stop would help.
Other Thoughts: Pin placement is changed throughout the year which allow a different feel to the course each time. Very beautiful course where everyone is friendly and will gladly help you. Definitely bring water and bug spray, because this is will take around 2-3 hours and can be buggy. I would also suggest to play the pro-par as a 4 because of the difficulty level. Make sure to use the restrooms when you see them because once you are in the heart of the course it can be a long walk to the bathroom. I played this course over a weekend road trip, and I will say every dollar I spent getting to Idlewile was well spent. This is a must play in a disc golfers lifetime.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 12 Not
ultimate so far
Pros: Disc golf nirvana! Having the opportunity to experience Idlewild confirmed for me why Idlewild is acclaimed as one of the finest and most mentioned disc golf courses on players wish lists.Requiring every shot one can muster to navigate the challenges of 3,4,and 5 pars winding through the woods approaching some beautifully built greens.Varying hole lengths and elevational changes set in an area exclusively for disc golf ,this was truly the finest disc golf course I had played in 33 years.
Cons: the word con does not apply
Other Thoughts: It was obvious that the locals are very proud of their course evident by the absence of litter,well designed tee boxes and basket placements.I was amazed that the Cincy area was such a premier disc golf area.
7 of 19 people found this review helpful.
25 Helpful / 6 Not
A REC/INT players guide to Idlewild
Pros: This review is based on the opinions of a REC/INT level players view and opinions of the course. As a guide to hopefully encourage other players of the same level who enjoy playing courses that are very challenging and somewhat above our skill level. As a note I throw 350' regularly and max out at about 400'. Also this guide can be helpful to players above my skill range please do not think that just because you are more skillful this will not help you understand the course.
By definition a 5 disc course supposedly has nothing you would change about it. I dont believe this is ever truly possible. I rate this course the way I did because Idlewild is ever changing and something is always being done to make it better.
Forces you to practice and be confident playing hyzers, annhyzers, and straight shots, confidence in just one of these will not suffice for LH's and RH's.
This course is always well maintained.
Mando's , OB's and drop zones are normally very easy to follow if you choose to really test yourself.
The majority of holes on this course will give you an endorphin rush when you make the exact shot you were planning. Even if it is just 1/100 times.
This course will never disappoint in difficulty, some courses over time become boring not this one.
The course is changed year by year to keep it fresh and allow for local and all players to never encounter flashback syndrome.
The length of the course allows for you to unleash all your power on several holes.
There are several different approaches to each hole not just a hyzer/anny/thumber, many players have wowed crowds with their creativity.
The park the course is a part of is a great park itself, you can do a number of things while taking a break between rounds.
Many locals and pro's are happy to teach you the course and tutor… as well as show off.
Cons: There are some cons:
*If your not 100% confident in your driver dont come here in the summer time. Hole 15 in the summer is lined with 4-6ft tall wildflowers that eat discs. This hole can also be windy so beware.
It is difficult for the first timer to navigate confidently and identify all the different pin positions and tee's without walking the hole then coming back.
There could be better bathrooms and water fountains. A course of this caliber with the tourism it attracts should warrant more than a porta-potty and broken water fountains.
Some will consider the many chances to lose a disc a con here. You just need to accept the fact that a bad tree kick can ruin the hole.
No more than 1-2 ace-runs for rec players, this is bad for us but challenges the true players of this course.
Some players who do not like challenging courses or long holes will not like this course. You must give up the idea of every hole being a 3 at this course until you are well schooled in your game.
Some pin positions are not open unless a tourney is approaching.
Other Thoughts: *** Playing each hole as a 4 on this course as a NOV/REC player is perfectly fine and is respected by most players. It is also advised to play very relaxed OB rules during casual rounds. I also recommend this strategy for INT players until you really start to dominate. A hole by hole description will follow please stop now if you do not wish to read my thoughts on the holes.
Hole 1. Most of the time this hole is 640' downhill shot that does not discriminate against anyone. Feel free to let your longest driver rip, flying by the basket will lead to a long uphill putt.
Hole 2. 380' or 526' over a pond. I choose to not risk the pond during most of my rounds because the short pin is difficult enough for most players.
Hole 3. 432'/561'. Feel free to challenge yourself from the long pin and try to make it past the mando. Upshots can be very difficult through the trees and landing it on the island green in 2 can really jump start your round.
Hole 4. 235' and an easy mid for a LH or a good chance to practice your turnover for RH, take your (-1) 3 and be glad you did later.
Hole 5. 510' each shot during this hole is as important as the drive. If you land your drive in the advisable area your second shot is uphill long and very tight which continues until you reach the basket.
Hole 6. 588' This hole is extremely tight the entire length and requires laser like straight drives. Chances are you are going to give back that birdie you earned on 4 because this hole will challenge players of all skills.
Hole 7. 261' short but very tight, let the adrenaline flow if you make it through the initial fairway. The basket is very protected and may require some creativity.
Hole 8. 336' and very tight again, this hole can frustrate all players and requires extreme confidence. No clear route to the basket is available to players.
Hole 9. 192' this hole plays across a small ravine of sorts and allows for your first true ace run. This is another great chance to pick up a shot or two you just lost.
Hole 10. 609'/672' This hole requires you to play placement instead of really flexing out your arm. The basket is located behind a group of small trees on most days.
Hole 11. 441' the Kentucky gap hole is one you will remember. You can either bomb a drive through the Y tree and go nuts when you have a chance for a low score or you can play the target area and play the hole like a surgeon. Be careful not land in the creek off the tee or on second shots. An OB created island green is present for those of you wanting a real challenge.
Hole 12. 142' of ace run. This hole can be disappointing to top level players but gives others the chance to once again get the adrenaline pumping.
Hole 13.462'586' Don't play the first basket. Challenge yourself with the longer one and once again remember strategy will help you more than anything else. This is a blind shot with a nice landing area and the reward of great confidence when you crest the hill and find your disc in perfect position after making it through the tight drive alley.
Hole 14. 477' most of the time and one of the hardest holes for all players. You have to use pin point placement up hill and avoid many trees, this will make you really think and most likely get creative.
Hole 15. 1001' and feared as much as loved. Personally I love this hole because the tee is huge and all players can earn the longest drive of their career. The fairway is very large even for newer players and plays downhill after your first or most likely second drive. Another island type green awaits through a lot of tree trunks.
Hole 16. 297'/360' several clear routes are available to the player of all levels and you can really show off if you are the only one to avoid the trees. The short basket is a good way to get rid of a stroke but the longer basket is playable for the REC/INT with confidence.
Hole 17. 222' a straight shot through a lot of trees.
Hole 18. 651' and a great finishing hole that encourages several target zones. If you manage to park your last shot avoiding the large pine trees to finish your round you will remember it for a long time.
25 of 31 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: To me, Idlewild is sacred ground.
It will test every shot in your bag with a good mix of wooded and open holes, wide ranges of distances, multiple pin positions, and elevation changes. Not all distance comes in wide open fields either, requiring you to emphasize accuracy while still forcing you to throw for distance.
It is unlike any course I've ever played - not that I've strayed too far from home! - and made me change the way I approach the game (it forced me to accept the mental challenge of the game as well as safe play over hero shots, instantly knocking throws off my scores at other courses).
This crazy course has been constantly evolving in the four years I've known it as well. If you've played it, you need to play it again. If you haven't, what are you waiting for?
Cons: Due to it's level of difficulty, it can be both mentally and physically devastating.
Other Thoughts: This course is an icon. It has constantly been changing since I've been playing it and continually getting better. It always gets the better of me, but always gives me a few great holes to keep me coming back for more. Don't take any good fortune for granted - this course has no mercy and will take it away. I feel truly lucky to have this course so close but don't play it enough.
9 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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