8 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: I had read all the reviews about this course before I went and played it yesterday with a good friend of mine. Everything that everyone said is true. This course is phenomenal, just absolutely amazing, If you love disc golf you have to go play this course. Just know that its a Pro Course and that it will make you want to quit Disc Golf, especially if your a beginner, wouldn't recommend this course for a beginner. I had a great time and had some really nice shots and memories that I will carry with me till I go and play it again. Wish I had more to say but all the reviews before me say it all.
Cons: It's not close enough to my house.
Other Thoughts: This course will wear you out. Allow at least 2 hours to play. The terrain is very hilly and very long so pack your coolers, your gonna need it. Good Luck!
8 of 23 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 23 Not
Other Thoughts: COURSE!
Seriously, if you love disc golf and you haven't played here yet, you owe it to yourself to come here and play. I played it on a Sunday. There was one other car (i was shocked!), and it took about 2 hours. Loved it. I even took my time, taking pics of the cool signs, the island greens, etc. Just a whole DG experience. I usually try hard to give good reviews, but this course is legendary and you shouldn't even have to read this. Just drive here, park and enjoy, brother! Bring your camera.
*edit* Well, apparently, people aren't liking my review. Too bad. Seriously, if you have to come here and read about this course, you're wasting time that you should be spending in your car to get here. Bash away!
14 of 37 people found this review helpful.
31 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Updated: 8/9/11
One of the best manicured courses that I have seen. The work done on this piece of land is simply outstanding...cement tees, great tee signs, wood chips, numerous bridges over the creek, gravel pathways and multiple baskets on holes 2 and 16 in a clean well maintained city park.
#1 635 ft with the fairway sloping left and right on each side, one of the more open holes. A great par 4!
#2 left to right, down and then uphill through a well defined tree lined fairway.
Play the alternate basket over a park road and a pond. Great hole!
A-F then back to #3.
A - mostly downhill and slightly left, fun hole
B - beautiful uphill hole
D - large left to right hole
E - sloping hole towards water on your left
#3 open down hill chuck which tightens up as it approaches and goes over a creek
the path to #4
#5 down hill, OB on right, then a tight uphill shot
#7 tight short downhill tee shot
#8 precise tee shot required
#9 tight straight tee shot, get your birdie here, you'll need it here to score well
#10 235 ft placement tee shot to a GREAT downhill 2nd shot which would be a drive on most courses
#11 my favorite hole at Idlewood - tight downhill shot which opens up then leads to a wooded approach shot and a basket over the creek with OB surrounding it making it play like an island hole; the drop zone putt is over the creek!
#13B if available
#14B a reachable left to right shot slightly uphill
#15 1001 ft very open 600 ft slightly uphill
and then 400 ft down hill to a basket placed over a creek with an extremely manicured putting area. Can be very windy here.
#16 straight shot through many small trees crossing the winding creek 4+ times with a short and long basket
#18 straight wooded fairway for several hundred feet which opens up to 200 ft
of open field before being guarded by two large cedar trees. A good hole but not for my game.
Cons: The course is missing a sign to indicate the start of the course. Tee sign one is the first indication a disc golf course is here.
#4 a short left to right shot, it's really just an approach shot from the tee. The long basket is much better. Back track to tee 5
F- straight shot simply not cut well enough, a strong chance you will loose a disc in the tall grass and briars.
#6 the long position IMHO is just to tight and long, it is not fun to play even after 2 good shots.
#7 basket is too protected by two cedar trees, a 20 ft foot shot can almost be impossible to make, a larger putting area would be better
#8 another uphill left to right approach shot. A few small trees very close to the basket block several angles to the basket
#13A was in the 234 ft position with a
homemade frame on top of the basket;
another left to right shot. I've never seen the long basket here during my 4 rds here so far.
#12 143 ft stupid short wooded hole, I simply skipped it the 2nd of 3 times through
Where is 14A? Only 14B was on the tee sign.
#17 another uphill left to right drive and approach
just like #14
Other Thoughts: A few more next tee signs would be helpful to the 1st time visitor. After hole 1... plus after #16 it is too easy to walk up to #11's tee by mistake.
I can see why most people think of this as a 5 star course. As a park and destination, I agree but when considering the golf shots and how many left to right shots required and a few baskets positions being too well guarded I'm knocking down to 4.5 stars.
My next time thru Idlewild on 8/2011 with 6 more baskets, I'm upgrading it to 5 stars!
The chance of OB throughout the course are numerous, you can play them
casually or under tournament conditions, this either a pro or con depending on your
style of play.
I'm glad to have played this course in April before some of the windows become tighter with leaves on the trees on the many wooded holes here.
I hope to play here anytime I'm in the Cincinnati area. It is better than Banklink or My Airy.
31 of 34 people found this review helpful.
33 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is one of the most challenging and interesting courses I've played. The layout makes the most of hills, streams, woods, and fields. Every shot you have in your bag (and some you don't!) will come into play here, no matter your skill level. I loved the mix of very tight fairways and some open bombs. Great use of the natural terrain to provide unique challenges on every single hole.
The course was very well marked, no questions about where to find the next tee or where to aim. Very nice concrete tee pads, and beautiful signs. Clearly an enormous amount of maintenance goes into the grounds, retaining walls, bridges, and paths, and this makes the course that much more enjoyable. At many courses, you have to jump over creeks or find other ways to get across, but here they have built a large number of bridges over the winding creeks that come into play on many holes.
There were some very creative uses of OB on this course, both along fairways, and in the creation of pseudo island greens. I liked the risk/reward decisions that these force you to make. It's great to go throw 75+ throws on a course and still feel like you had a good round, a nice contrast to many pitch n putt courses.
Cons: The only minor thing I would have liked to see was a way to mark which one of multiple pin placements was in use, especially on a couple blind holes. Maybe even just a bolt/wingnut in the sign post? Also, I wish I would have known that some of the holes have baskets in the long and short positions before playing to the basket I could see (short), then finding out later that I missed out on a cool hole. Oh well, I'll just have to go back and play it again!
Other Thoughts: Lots of fun to play (even in a hail storm...), and a great walk through the woods and hills. The creative OB zones and 'island' greens are fun innovations that add challenge to many holes, but can be ignored for inexperienced players to make the course a little more accessible.. I love a course where I end up using every disc in my bag, and this was definitely in this category.
33 of 35 people found this review helpful.
31 Helpful / 1 Not
The Best of the Best
Pros: - Bench, trash bucket, and a nice map at each hole.
- Holes are laid out in an intuitive fashion so that even if you forget to look at the map at the beginning of the hole for the next tee, or see the little red "next hole" signs nailed to trees, you'll be able to get where you're going easily
- Out of bounds clearly marked with signs and paint. It obviously adds to the challenge and makes you really think about where you're going to drive to instead of just gripping and ripping.
- Elaborate grounds keeping. The path from hole three to hole four sticks out in my mind. So many little touches show all of the hard work put in by the folks that maintain this course.
- Speaking of maintaining, there was literally no graffiti or trash anywhere on the course. This fact speaks volumes about the aforementioned course maintenance folks and also the respect that players show for this course.
- Memorials to PDGAers are nearly everywhere you look. This is a really nice touch; a tip of the cap to disc golf's history.
- Bridges and stonework are second to none.
- Getting a four on most holes really feels like an accomplishment to an intermediate player like me.
Cons: - I would not change anything back this course. The hole variety, elevation changes, maintenance, amenities, and overall vibe of the course are first rate.
Other Thoughts: - Watch for the hill at the end of 10. Your disc will quickly roll away from you if you misplay it.
- My jaw hit the ground when I walked up to 15. 1001' feet I won't soon forget. It takes three drives, a perfect approach that doesn't go into the OB or the water, and then a clutch putt to score a 5 here.
- I talked to a couple of older gentlemen who were here for the first time with their two dogs and two ultimate lids. I showed them my discs and the differences between them and then recommended this website to them to find other places to play. If you happen to read this, I wish you both the best of luck. There aren't many folks who can claim that they played at Idlewild their first time.
- As someone who has played at both places (and at a number of other world class courses) I can definitely say that Idlewild is a better course than Flip City. This course is a true masterpiece and should be required playing for every disc golfer at least once in their career.
31 of 32 people found this review helpful.
55 Helpful / 28 Not
Wanna Get Beat Up By Your Sister?
Other Thoughts: Idlewild is an amazingly beautiful course on a perfect piece of land for a course. It is an innovative design and an absolute "must play" - a destination course to be sure!
From what I have read and heard, it is a PROFESSIONAL level course with a Par of 72 and a Scratch Scoring Average (SSA) of around 69-70.
I was expecting to get beat up by a grizzly man (like I feel after playing Renaissance in Charlotte, NC). Instead, I left feeling like I was beat up by my sister! Frankly, I was let down based on my hopes and expectations.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of GREAT shots and great spots on the course, but there were waaaaay too many "doinky" holes. What I mean by that is multi-throw holes where you float a putter 100-200' to a landing zone and then do it again and again to get to a par 4 or 5. I mean, I could make a ton of par 5's in my house that would be about as interesting: Throw from closet to bedroom door (10'), throw down hall (13'), throw into bedroom (10'), throw into closet (8'), putt. Obviously, I am overstating my point....but I hope it makes my point........ On top of that, there are 2 holes well short of 200'.
Maybe I should have known this would have been the case since the course is only 8,220' long and is par 72 (by contrast Renny Gold is 9,407' and is par 70). I should have expected there to be some tricks used to bump up the Par & SSA.
Maybe the PDGA course description calling it "professional level" misled me. I might have had a different expectation going in had it said something like, "This innovative finesse course will test your accuracy and placement shots like none other. Check your cannons at the door since you will need them on only 3-4 drives." On top of that there are 3 holes that are less than 200' long....that is a very high percentage of holes that professionals would never feel challenged by.
There are simply not a lot of holes that you can really get the testosterone flowing and let 'em rip. I am not a big arm (average 300' controlled drive with 360' being my absolute max - real distance measured on a football field), so for me to say that should give you an idea of how some of the bigger arms might feel. Talk about being beat up by a girl…..
There were also too many holes with tightly spaced trees in either blind areas or in your approach to the basket. That is not a good design technique in my opinion since it injects too much luck into scoring.
An element that is unique and very cool on the course is the way that the course uses a beautiful meandering stream as an obstacle. It is beautiful and fun. My only complaint is that there are 4 holes that have the creek wrap around the putting green creating OB moats within 10' of the pin. That is a cool design for 1-2 holes per course…..but 4??!! It is a very artificial way IMO to boost up scores (and SSA) as it unfairly punishes shots that are otherwise great approaches that are slightly low (or long in some cases) or that take a bad skip.
I rated this course a B+ in its ability to draw me back to itself again and again and again (my profile has more detail on this). Funny thing is, Banklick Woods (or Linkin Park or whatever the new name is) is several miles away on a similar piece of property and is absolutely phenomenal in my book. It is the highest ranked of all 180+ courses I have played - I absolutely looooove that course! Obviously, folks in Cincinnati know how to design good holes/courses, but Idlewild falls short in what I personally prefer.
PS: I shot a 75 my first time out. That was with 3-4 strokes added by me hitting what looked like the landing zone "perfectly", only to find out that I was not even close (that's what you get by not running up and scouting the hole....or playing with a local). I also missed about 4 putts inside 20' (I usually miss about 2 per round).
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
55 of 83 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The most phenomenal, challenging, picturesque, amazing, well kept course I've played. It's like one signature hole after another and is definitely up there with the best of the best.
Most of the course is moderately to heavily wooded with only a couple open holes. There is well marked OB on a little less than half the holes, primarily in the form of water hazards.
Although there are a few shorter holes, the majority of the course is long and will challenge the best of players. There are winding fairways, placement shots, doglegs, elevation changes and some punishing rough if you stray off the fairways.
Accuracy is essential here, much more so than distance. Many of the fairways are tight requiring a good skilled shot and approach to get par. Keep in mind, this is not your typical par 3 course, many of these holes are pro par 4 or 5. With that in mind there are birdie opportunities here, but only for controlled, skillful shots.
New tee signs have just been installed and look amazing! The tee pads and baskets are in excellent condition. Benches and trash cans (5 gallon buckets) are at every tee pad. The fairways are well manicured and the many bridges are in good shape. This course is taken care of extremely well and it shows!
Cons: It wouldn't hurt to add signs pointing you to the next tee in between a couple of the holes, but I wouldn't say navigation is difficult.
This is a personal preference more than a con, but I think there is OB extremely close to the pin in a couple places, particularly the hole 11 long position. It has an island green that's sufficiently wide, but only 5-6 feet deep. That means missed putts and fall outs can easily go OB. Of course this is a championship caliber course so that's part of the challenge.
Other Thoughts: There's a lot of hype about Idlewild, but I assure you, it lives up to it!
This is easily one of the top courses in the country and a must play for any disc golfer. Because of the level of difficulty, I would recommend new golfers wait until they have some experience before playing here.
Lincoln Ridge (formerly Banklick) is close by and another top course worth visiting. These two courses make for an outstanding day of golf.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful.
25 Helpful / 1 Not
A Top Course
Hole Variety/Course Layout-
The hole variety is really good here. Like a few other great courses i've played, you will use most of the discs in your bag! The course is layed out on a moderately hilly terrain and utilizes its woods, fields, creeks and ponds very well. For the most part the holes are pretty long and favor "big arms", but there's enough "thread the needle" shots and ace run holes to keep a "tech" player happy. The layout flows from hole to hole pretty well (there's only one time you have to cross a faiway to get to the next tee). Also elevation is a factor on most/every hole.
From what I saw there's awsome maintenance here. As soon as we pulled in the parking lot, we saw employees driving a couple trucks full of branches out of the park. Every hole has long concrete tee pads and tee signs. To add to the dedication here, a few of the baskets have their own "green" around them. Also the numerous bridges over the creeks are great (even saved me from a water stroke once).
The course is in a very nice, scenic park with rolling hills. All the golfers here seemed to be both friendly and experienced players (No new jacks).
When I was here there were no tee signs (but I hear the new ones should be really nice). Also if you don't have a map you might get confused on where the next hole is a couple times. ("Next hole" signs would be nice in a few spots)
-This isnt really a big deal but a couple of the heavily wooded holes seem a bit long for how wooded they are (score breaker holes).
-When you step up to the hole #1 tee, you feel like your at a county club "ball" golf course. Then you play a couple holes and start to relize, this is exactly what a country club "disc" golf course is supposed to look like!!
-I will go on a limb here and say I like Flip City better (mainly because it has 6 more holes), But by no means does that take away from Idlewild being a 5 star course!!!!
25 of 26 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Mulch has been spread around baskets and gravel on paths look great. A couple of baskets #1,3,5,6,8,10,long 13 have been moved temporarily moved up so grass seed that was planted will take hold. The amount of work that was done on the course over the winter has made this course even better.
Cons: Tee signs were pulled but will be replaced shortly with new signs.
Other Thoughts: Been very fortunate to have played this course many times and I never tire of the butt-kicking I receive each time.
11 of 19 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 13 Not
My Favorite Course Ever
Pros: Idlewild has been viewed as one of the top courses in the world, and I definitely would agree with that. The course was in beautiful condition, lush green grass everywhere. With the trees and water you can just remove yourself from the world and enjoy a superb round of disc golf.
The course offers a balanced variety of open and wooded holes of all distances and uses elevation extremely well. Every hole was unique and memorable. (I love the giddy feeling you get as you approach each new tee.)
I really liked the personal touches on many of the holes (landscaping, stone/brick walls, bridges, even the signs that encourage you on the 1001' foot hole. These are all tastefully done do it doesn't interfere with the beauty of the natural setting.
What is truly amazing to me is that you would expect to pay for this (it looks and plays like a country club), but it is in a free park! (This course would be worth a few dollars to play even if there was a fee.)
Cons: As others have said, navigation is a bit confusing a couple of times (extra paths/short cuts to different holes.) But it only takes a few steps to realize you needed to go the other way.
This is a tough course mentally and physically. I was pretty tired when I got done. Totally worth it, but some may not think Idlewild is very fun because of it pro quality.
Other Thoughts: A must play. Coupled with nearby Banklick, it makes for an unbelievable day of disc golf! The N.Ky/Cincy area is an excellent disc golf destination. I have traveled to this area many times just to play disc golf. I can't wait to come back and play Idlewild again.
Flip or Idlewild as #1? Who knows, but Idlewild is the only course of the 100+ I have played worthy of the top rating. (I have yet to play Flip, but hopefully will soon.)
16 of 29 people found this review helpful.
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