13 Helpful / 9 Not
The Grand-Daddy of Them All
Pros: This is one of the best courses in the world. It is very challenging and will punish mistakes. While the difficulty can be frustrating, it also forces you to improve your game. Also, your opponents will be facing the same challeneges so you can suffer together!
One of the coolest aspects of Idlewild is the "island" holes. Several of the holes have baskets strategically placed on penninsulas in the middle of an OB stream. Place your putts perfectly or pay!
Cons: Can't list anything here. Idlewild is God's playground.
Other Thoughts: Thank you to the Greater Cincinnati Flying Disc Association for this gem!
13 of 22 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 18 Not
Pros: Great course, challenging, well taken care of, good signs, beautiful scenery.
Cons: Some holes seem to be almost too hard in which a distinct fairway cannot even be found through the trees. One particular par three comes to mind. Also only one basket on some holes where two are listed on the sign.
Other Thoughts: Playing here was a lot of fun, but almost too much of a challenge on just a couple holes for anyone non-professional.
9 of 27 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 15 Not
Good as it gets
Pros: Great mix of holes. Very well maintained. 1000 foot hole with landscaped green is sweet. Will definitely challenge anybody.
Cons: Not for beginners. Don't forget to bring huge bottle of water.
Other Thoughts: I came in hoping it would be worthy of the hype. It is and then some. Between this, Banklick, and Mt. Airy the Cincinnati area is THE best destination for a disc golf road trip.
10 of 25 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.
19 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Landscaping with what nature gives you is one of the best pros about this course. Its topography is outstanding. Fairways are kept very nicely, and I applaud the volunteers for thier work. Courses don't get too much better than this in the East/Midwest.
I love it when a course it mentally challenging enough to get me talking to myself.
Cons: I can't find a printable course card to take with me, and I can't remember if one is provided at the first tee. I remember getting lost last year several times and finally found someone to play the course with.
Other Thoughts: I think #2 should probably be a Par 3. At least I would get that false sense of security going on around to 4. HA. I have played courses from Maine to texas to Florida and rate this course in my top 10. It would probably make the top 5 if there was a nice, professional looking scorecard to be picked up at the first hole(maybe this has changed...if so, welcome to the top 5). I come to Cinci once a year and look forward to the trip for at least 5 weeks before because of this course. Also some notes...Dang I was thirsty by the time the course was finished with me!
19 of 20 people found this review helpful.
37 Helpful / 3 Not
Setting the standard
Pros: Excellent hole variety, elevation changes, length and basket placements. Informative tee signs and benches at just about every tee.
Many holes have multiple tees and the layout is pretty straight forward and easy to follow even without a map.
The course is also extremely well maintained
Cons: Cons? What cons?
Other Thoughts: This course beat me up quite a few times and I still came out with a smile. Every hole presented a new challenge and there were very few, if any, "gimmes" as far as easy holes.
Hole #1 lulls you into a false sense of security with an open field shot and then they throw you to the lions. The combination of woods, water and length make for an exhilarating round that will run you through a gamut of emotions as you birdie, par and bogey your way through this course.
Holes #15 and #16 stand out in my mind. Hole #15 clocks in at 1000+ ft. over rolling hills. You know a hole is long when you find a sign midway through letting you know that there is another 400ft to the pin! Hole #16 has you throwing over a creek that snakes its way through the trees at one of two baskets. Placement on this hole is pretty important to say the least.
Idlewild has easily secured a spot in my top 10 course list and I'm sure it will make your list if you get a chance to play a round here.
There is no question that you should play this course if you are in Cincinnati or anywhere nearby. You would be doing yourself a huge disservice by not making the trip to play it as it is truly a magnificent course.
37 of 40 people found this review helpful.
28 Helpful / 1 Not
Where Disc golf meets "Ball" Golf
Pros: Tee pads are in good shape.
Open fairways are well mowed and wooded fairways are well-defined.
Baskets are in good condition. Restrooms are available in park.
Great piece of land that is specifically set apart for disc golf.
Cons: The only con.....if you are a newbie, and have played 5 or less different courses: think very carefully before you tee off at hole 1...unless you are a massochist.
Other Thoughts: This is disc golf at its finest. Placement off the tee is crucial...but so is distance. Both are needed to score well here. You may have both and still not score well here. Par is generally accepted at 66...but it should probably be higher for most players. Most courses are "driver-putt" or maybe "driver-midrange-putt". If you pull into Idlewild expecting this layout, my friend you are in for a long day. I gave this a 5. It is only the 2nd 5 I have doled out with the other being for Winthrop. They both have lots in common: great variety, fantastic design, imacculate groundskeeping, and rich tradition. If you love disc golf, and you travel to play: if you miss out on Idlewild, you have made a grievous mistake. This course kicked my butt. I left angry (lost by 1, after being up 1 at the #17 tee) but I would do it all over again anytime. Definitely worth the trip from any part of the country. Banklick Woods is within 30 minutes as well and is a fantastic compliment to Idlewild.
28 of 29 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: This is a spectacular disc golf course. Many of the best elements of the game of golf have been brought into the woods and incorporated. This course is in a beautiful setting, is well-maintained, and challenges every aspect of a player's game.
Power is helpful on the course, but only if it is used wisely and accurately. The par 4's and 5's are true golf holes in that they aren't simply multi-crush holes, but rather require strategic planning and execution.
Many of the holes are candidates for a "Disc Golf's Greatest Holes" book.
A round here will challenge a player's ability to throw with power, hit lines, shape shots, strategize, scramble, handle adversity, and test their physical and mental stamina.
Sweet job Fred and everyone else that has worked hard on this beauty.
Cons: It's a shame that there aren't four sets of tees for this course. Beginners should be able to enjoy sweet tracks too.
Other Thoughts: Don't be a dirty discer. Leave the course cleaner than you found it!
19 of 32 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: This is the hardest 18 holes of disc golf I've ever played. Not only is it the hardest but also the best. Elevation, water, distance, accuracy, scenic, clean, well marked this course has it all. Countless hours of maintenance go in here.
Other Thoughts: Thank you to all who put in the effort to keep this course the best on my list.
9 of 23 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 15 Not
HBB (Home Boy Bias)
Pros: This is an update of a previous review that most people deemed as too short and just a 5.0 rated HBB review. So...I'll go into extreme detail now.
There is much debate on whether this course is the best course in the Universe. No matter my individual preference, others can look at the same thing as you and have a completely different opinion based on their individual tastes....but I believe if you come and play...you will agree that it is one of the best courses to ever grace this planet.
When you first arrive at Idlewild you come to Hole #1 which is a beautiful 640ft open hole with light woodage on the right and heavy woods on the left. At approximately 50 yards wide it allows you to do a full run up 360 spin and come out of your shoes throw as far as you can. If you have a big arm you can land near the two large oak trees some 500 feet away. It's a dangerous hole not because you have a cedar guarding the right side of the basket or a hill behind the basket for a run away roller...but because you just unloaded on the first hole and we are about to get into some tight woods.
Hole #2 has two basket placements that are in the ground full time. Most every hole on the course has multiple pin placements but a few like #2 have two baskets permanently in both a long and short placement. The short basket is a 380 ft shot that most people will throw a turn over shot like a road runner at. There is a creek to the left that is OB and the wood lined fairway gives a distinct view down the heart. However, the shot here is a back hand roller. For the long pin across the pond on the other side of the short pin...simply park the short pin, throw a putter....or mid across and hope you can walk away with a 3. I've seen a few long arm pros go high off the tee....fly the trees...fly the pond..and park the long pin at around 561 feet...amazing.
Hole 3 has two tee pads. Long is around 560 feet to the downhill pin that sits on what some call an island green...it is technically a peninsula. Leading up to the green is the same creek OB it shares with #2's fairway. The right to left sloping fairway with the OB on the left has confused many a golfer. A well executed back hand roller is the preferred shot by top pros but I've seen some in practice lace a back hand stable disc hard down the gut...thru some trees and somehow park the green. Some may just want to throw a Buzzz about 275 feet then lead into the narrowed wooded opening with a putter or something stable like a drone.
#4 is a breather hole. So you just introduced yourself to the longness and some of the technical holes of Idlewild...and you need a breather before you get into the heart of Idlewild. #4 is a moderately difficult slightly up hill turnover or sidearm shot at 235 feet. It is somewhat a blind shot...just walk 30 feet down the fairway and spot the basket. A Comet is a great disc here that can give you a nice ace run...watch out for the first 50 feet though as it is tight and if you elevate too much your disc will get slapped down hard by the over hang 20 feet above your head.
#5 is where it gets really...and i mean really interesting. This is where you stop laughing at the local rumor that 'Idlewild' is an ancient American Indian word that loosely translates into "F'ing Trees". As you stand on the teepad and look forward 100 feet to a wall of trees....you can see a nice round grassy place with a line of concrete cores in the ground where the 'drop zone' is located for people that hit said wall of trees and go into the winding creek between the teepad and this first 'landing area'. Many people will choose a putter and simply throw to the drop zone and set themselves up for a very long uphill shot that is tightly wooded but a picturesque fairway. I however throw a power forehand off the tee and try to get 1/3rd of the way up the hill...or a backhand Comet...depending on the wind. I don't care where I land because most likely I'll be throwing a forehand roller uphill for my next shot. Top Pros will amaze you with an over the trees shot from the tee...throwing basically straight up with a big hyzer or anny...depending on the wind..and landing atleast halfway up the hillside thru the trees and sometimes in the middle of the fairway. They will trade distance for accurancy since they can toss out to the fairway if they miss and still card a pretty easy four while others may get unluckly and find a way to take an 8 coming up the middle.
#6..at first you will call this hole the devil. You will complain about how unfair it is....how there are no lines..but as you play this course more and more the fairways open up for you...you can see the lines. #6 strategy: Throw a putter off the tee about 100 feet to the top of the hill...then pound a stable mid down the middle of the narrow fairway taking notice of the Mando on the left side just before the 'mouth' leading to the basket. The 'mouth' is a narrower tree lined fairway that is simply a forehand shot of about 250 feet. Hit your putt and you walk away with a 4 while the rest of your card pounds bark and gets anywhere from a 6 to a 10 on the hole.
#7 is a very tricky short hole. It is slightly downhill with a 10ft wide fairway that gently curves to the right. Just before the basket it opens up but the basket is protected on all sides by 4 rather large cedar trees. This is my Adopt-A-Hole and I have the limbs trimmed to my eye level...I'm 5'6". This is a Comet or my preferred..forehand shot. For a hole of 261 feet....I've seen my share of 5's by Pros on this hole trying to muscle a putter down the middle and ending up in no man's land deep in the woods. Disc up...throw with finesse and remember....a 3 at Idlewild is a Birdie.
#8 in my opinion is one of the hardest short holes you will play. Short being 336 feet but it appears shorter than that at first glance. You must thread a Buzzz or some throw a low driver that must go 275 feet and then fade left at the end to set you up for the upshot up a decent little incline. If you can thread the gap, layup under the basket that is guarded both on the left and right by 8" thick trees...then you have a drop in boring 3...or you can take a 6 on this hole if you like...your choice.
#9 is my second favorite hole of all time...with the #1 hole at the temp course at Hoover in Columbus Ohio being the first where you shoot straight down off the top of the Dam to a postage stamp....it is simply disc golf crack...anyway...back to #9. It is a 192 foot hole framed by trees on both sides and you must keep the disc low or get slapped down by over hang. The tee is about even with the basket but the fairway drops off quickly and then rises again toward the basket. Many Pros try to throw a putter here...which is great if you are sliding it up to the basket for a two..but most of the time they over torque it going for the ace and hit something early. I prefer to slow toss a Buzzz and then do the body jerk trying to alter the flight path of the disc for an ace. Hitting basket here and rolling 60feet down the hill can be an evil tournament roll that you knew was going to be an ace.
#10 is back to the big bad evil holes. The first few times you play this hole you will see some large scores..but as you learn how to play it you will eventually get a 3 and try to average 4's here. At about 672 total feet it is really broken down into two perfect shots and a putt. The first shot is either a putter out to about 230 feet down a wooded fairway to a 90 degree turn to the right. Or you can try to turn the corner with a forehand or Comet. Which ever way puts you in the next fairway is the right shot for you...however..many people mess this shot up and can't see to toss straight out of the woods and this is where the next few shots start adding up on the score card. The next shot after the turn is a 300 foot or more driver shot that allows you to hit your gap..that opens up a lot on the right side..and then hyzer into a green that is heavily guarded by small trees..but with a distinctive gap to the basket. Most of the time I throw a 300ft forehand roller for this second shot and get a stunned look on everyone on my card when I'm parked.
#11 is simply a beautiful signature hole. From an elevated tee you shoot downhill thru a large tree that stands as a Y. You place your disc thru this Y and you miss all the trees to the left and right of the fairway...fly over the winding creek, hit the open field...hyzer sharply at the end..and skip down into a landing zone that has you looking 100feet or more at one of the smallest island greens you may ever see. Recently this hole was deuced by a Rec rated local golfer..and it was one hell of a teeshot and long putt...you will see triple circle 10's on this hole though if you aren't careful. A 4 is fairly easy as long as you hit the Y and play it safe.
#12 is a breather hole..a very short..but very technical 142 foot shot. If you aren't in the Ace Pool...WHY NOT!!! this hole gets hit almost every tournament. It is simply a breather between the tough holes you just completed..and the spectacular evil that is about to confront you.
#13 has two permanent locations. A short that doesn't move that is only a 234ft forehand shot...or a long that is seldom moved..but tournament play is always the 586 ft shoot on the other side of the creek. It is a tight crush with an understable driver probably thrown on a hyzer flip and let it ride down the hillside to a landing area at about 350-400 feet from the tee...if you get it thru the gap..it will float down this hill rather easily. An upshot across the creek should give you a drop in 3...unless you take a 7 by hitting a tree off the tee and shooting into the deep stuff early.
#14 has two tee pads. The short is located off a walkway leading off the #13 short basket. The long is across the creek from #13 long basket. The short is simply an uphill Comet or forehand shot thru a wooded fairway at around 234 feet. It is a fun shot but you just have to play 14 long. #14 long is one of the toughest holes around. The tee shot is uphill from a level tee pad. You have a 15ft gap a mere 30 feet in front of you that draws your eyes to it. I've seen the best of the best pound bark here. You need to get some distance up hill here off the tee. There is a gulley with a bridge about 200 feet up the fairway that dips down and it makes a very difficult 2nd shot from here...you need to be 80-100 feet further up the fairway to set you up for a long forehand approach to the basket. A 4 is a blessing here and this hole..due to the uphill nature can really cause scoring seperation.
#15 is the legendary 1001 foot wide open, give it everything you got and then some shot. We even installed a small triangle wing on the teepad for those that like to do the 360 drive. You can see some signs way out...that's 600 feet with 400 more to go for the green. If you can only throw 300feet then your third shot will be down hill 400 feet to an island green protected on the front by a creek and the back by paver stones with the woods beyond OB. You can rip a Buzzz down this hill and it will glide...and glide..and glide the 400 feet. Try to lay it up before the green and take your chances with the long putt. A 5 here is nothing to be embarrassed about...I'd take it any day and just move on.
#16 has a creek winding back and forth and back and forth thru the fairway. It has two pins. The short pin is about 300 feet. You must lace a straight shot down the middle, stay out of the creeks..and keep this from going long OB. The long Pin is about 100ft further and now plays as an island green. This is a tough shot mainly because you just unloaded on #15 and now you are asked to show some finesse.
#17 is about 219 feet straight up hill...and tightly wooded. It has some late trees guarding the basket. It gets aced from time to time but I've seen more 5's than deuces here. You have to disc up here. A strong Buzzz throw may not be enough for some people that would throw a putter this distance on a flat hole.
#18 is a very long, very tight 651 ft wooded hole that seems to stab you in the heart when you come this far...survived this much...and you let the final hole beat your good score down. It is a completely fair hole...just use my prescribed method of Buzzz, Buzzz, Buzzz, putt and quit trying to be a hero. You've just walked 2.5 miles...don't throw it all away when you are physically beat and try to make up a stroke here....a 5 here is great..a 4 here is wonderful...a 3 here happens sometimes....actually 47 pro men at KY States..there was one 3 on #18...the average for pro men with many 1000 rated golfers was over 5.
Cons: This course was designed for the professional level player. If you are new to the sport you may want to play a year or more before you visit. The holes are long, the shots are advanced, you may see unfair holes where others see high risk..high reward shots. There is no swimming pool to wash the smell of failure from you after the round. There is no pro shop to sell you more discs when you lose them.
Other Thoughts: The teepads are large. 6x15 minimum. There is a large contingent of Adopt-A-Hole'ers that constantly do upkeep on this course. Designer Fred Salaz is always building new retaining walls, bridges, or other course improvements. We have a great Boone County employee, Kevin Brasher that does the mowing and trash removal...and also TD's the tournaments held here. Boone County Parks and Recreation is always happy to give us anything from gravel, mulch, railroad timbers, concrete cores, lumber for bridges, telephone poles and anything else we need for course improvements.
Recently we redid all the tee signs at Idlewild. They were designed by Houck Design and look beautiful The platinum level signs look almost like a video game and really stand out as professional quality.
19 of 34 people found this review helpful.
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