24 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The pro's of this course are numerous. First it is on an absolutely gorgeous piece of land with lush grass, what looks like a hay field, thick woods, ponds, creeks and gently rolling hills. Perfect disc golf terrain. The course itself sprawls over this terrain and offers you a little bit of everything and occasionally all of it on one hole!
The design goals of this course seem to be twofold, aesthetically pleasing and friggin challenging. Kudos, cause you nailed it. This is one of the prettiest and hardest courses I have ever played on. Each hole is individually breathtaking and distinctly unique from all the others with a wide variety in length and elevation.
Over the course of 18 holes if played correctly you will use pretty much every shot possible. FH's, BH's, long bombs, putters off the tee, hard hyzers, soft touch shots, pin point landings, and the bane of all novices laying up. This course definitely emphasizes hitting the available lines with accuracy and makes you put a lot of thought into where you want your disc to land.
This course also seems designed to mess with your head during putting. When playing the long pins you really need a steady putter due to the trouble near (or surrounding) some of the pins.
The tee pads are very large and kept in very nice condition. The tee signs were beautiful and very helpful. Plenty of benches and trash buckets available.
Elevation is used very effectively and is present on all but maybe 2 holes.
One of the main things I appreciate is how much work/love was obviously put into this course. Every bridge and walkway really stands out. Literally on every single hole you can see the work that was put in. Thanks to all of you who put in the time to make such a great course.
A couple of memorable holes for me without doing the entire hole by hole rundown since they are all memorable: #15, which after being mostly constrained off the tee allows you to bomb a drive finally, then you do it again! Open for about 900ft and then down a nice little hill back into the woods with a creek guarding the front of the basket. Really you get it all on this hole. #18, a great hole to finish on. Requiring straight shots through the woods and ending in the great wide open to a pin defended by two very large cypress trees. I also like #3 a lot, a downhill drive into the woods and the first hole where the stream becomes a factor. Once into the trees there are plenty of available lines to the pin. #3 is a very beautiful hole.
Cons: First off I realize that there are a lot of people who do not feel that Idlewild has cons and any cons I list should not detract from the amazing amount of work put into this course.
The day that I played this course was in late October and the course looked very run down, with debris all over the course. I felt like I extended my round by 45 minutes just clearing branches and debris off the fairways. A lot of the nice white bricks along the creek (which was completely dry) had fallen out and garbage was overflowing from the buckets and on the ground. Although the course was still very pretty it did not even come close to what I had seen in pictures.
I felt that the amount of OB on this course was very gimmicky. Hole #16 is a very interesting looking hole but really it is just a crap shoot whether you go OB or not. Hole #11's narrow green for the long pin is silly. It gives you pretty much no chance at running a putt longer than 20 ft without the fear of going OB. All in all just too much OB and a lot of it is manmade. If the OB was just the water (creek/pond) itself I think the course would play better, no need to add manmade OB.
A good portion of the course is just too tight, so many of the holes are just narrow paths that force you to throw very specific, short placement shots without any chance at all of going for the pin. I prefer wooded courses over open but these woods felt too limiting with low ceilings and close growing trees. On a hole like #5 where you throw to the landing zone (the only one) then up the hill and make your long putt or layup your approach, everyone does the same thing. It feels very forced and doesn't seem to allow for creativity, #6 is the same way, I threw a putter 3 times missed a 30 ft putt and walked off with my 5. Oddly enough my playing partner did the same thing.
Even though I enjoyed being on this pretty course I did not feel like it was very much fun. When I was done I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for shooting pretty well but no real sense of anticipation to play it again. Challenging yes, fun not so much.
Also as mentioned in previous reviews after finishing hole 16 you need to cross 11's fairway to get to 17's tee. Crossing fairways are never a good idea.
I would also have liked to see some water available on the course since it is a very long grinding course.
Other Thoughts: I was very glad that I had an opportunity to play Idlewild. I completely understand why it is held in such high esteem. I would love for Idlewild to be my home course because I think it can make a player better and forces more thought into a lot of shots. Although I did not have a lot of fun on the course I appreciated the challenge and the time that went into the development of it.
Although we did not see any Idlewild locals on the course every disc golfer we met in the Cinncy/KY area was super helpful and nice. On the day (a weekday) that I played, there were no other groups anywhere else on the course and the parking lots were empty which was pretty cool since it meant we got an awesome and popular course all to ourselves. By contrast we played Banklick earlier in the morning and there were probably 5 groups on the course at the same time as us.
I think that I am going to try and come back to play in the Bluegrass Open next year. I think it would be great to see the course in tournament shape with all the trees and grass in full bloom. I think that I will revisit my rating after that but as of right now I feel like it is a 4 disc/excellent course
24 of 28 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 11 Not
show me a better course, i dare you.
Pros: perfect tee pads
beautiful islands for some of the baskets, stone- sided creeks, bridges- really nice landscaping
nice, long shots
difficult routes on most holes
high risk, but great reward for accuracy
hard to really lose a disc(not impossible)
#15 is 1001 ft!
#3 is the sickest turnover shot for a RHBH thrower if you can get it in there
#6 will reward you for good throws and spank you for hitting trees
#10- the second shot would be a good drive for most people
#18 just goes and goes- seems longer than 650 ft- one of my favorites
Cons: huh? no way. this must be the pinnacle of course design. if you're any good at disc golf, this place will blow your mind. i feel like this is the first "real" course i've ever played.
Other Thoughts: this course is worth coming to from anywhere in the world. i plan on coming back whenever i can and for as long as possible.
9 of 20 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 11 Not
Now I See the Light
Pros: This course has it all - long, short, open, technical, hills, flat, up and down and even some water. Now I see why everyone is always talking about this course.
Cons: There is one criss-cross of a trail leading off on basket to the next tee going right through a fairway about 100 feet to the left. Other than that, nothing.
Other Thoughts: This course was awesome. My friend and I tried playing this course as our 4th course for the day, made it to hole 8 and had to stop but we hit it the next day 1st thing with a vengeance. This course is quite a sight playing at the crack of dawn and watching the sun rise in your face driving on hole 2.
9 of 20 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: "I survived IDLEWILD" this statement is associated with this course for a very obvious reason for those who have experienced this course. The course is full of challenging long holes that require good distance off the tee and very accurate approach shots to score. Idlewild is one of the few 18 hole courses where ball golf scores are typical with a 72 par shooting under par can be a challenge. The course is beautifully designed and maintained. It is a course I recommend any serious or rec players should experience, if you have not. The key is to not allow the course to beat you. Some bad shots can create high score situations just keep your head and enjoy one of the most challenging courses in the country.
5 of 14 people found this review helpful.
I had a great time! I hope I can play here again someday!
35 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: For the sake of not repeating what's already been addressed, these are the things that stood out to me.
-This course is a very challenging course that was extremely fun to play.
-The structures that are built around the island holes, the Walk of fame, and throughout the course make this a very attractive course.
-All necessities are provided here. Multiple concrete tees, Great signs with maps and the course is well maintained.
-You will find long distance shots that require strategic placement, finesse, and accuracy.
-Very scenic course, that was enjoyable to walk through. I enjoyed shooting over the "Y".
-Every type of terrain and surroundings are used here. Wide open wooded shots, Narrow wooded shots, wide open field. Also included in this is throwing from an open field, into a narrow trail through the woods and vice-versa.
-The course is setup to allow for a quick 9, or the full 18.
-Multiple island holes that really made this course interesting. I am now a fan of Island Holes!
-Plenty of Distance shots. The immense 1001ft hole, three holes over 600ft, and four at 500ft. So you are going to want to bring your long arm, or have a strategic approach when you play here.
-There are no gimmes here at this course, you will need to figure out your lines and your placement. A long drive may not be the answer, You may need to execute a short drive off the tee, and worry about longer shots from the second shot.
-This course is not for beginners, and will challenge the professional Disc golfer. So if you aren't up for a challenge, or are easily frustrated, then you may not want to play here. This is a course for those that welcome a challenge, and get excited when they have to work a narrow line that weaves through the trees.
In my opinion, what separated this course from other courses I've played, was the use of long distance strategic approaches, Dogleg Par 5's and the incorporation of island holes. It requires a player to play smarter.
Cons: -When you finish 16 you have to cross 11's fairway. Any time you have to cross a fairway, and there is no "heads up", its a negative. I don't want to take a sidewinder to the face, because I wasn't aware I would be walking in front of someone's drive.
-I know that there is great signage, and there is a map available from this website, but having a map/scorecard available would be nice as well.
-The extremely tall Grass along the 1001ft hole on 15 is a disc swallower. If you go in, you are probably not going to come out. I'm 6'4 and the grass was taller than me.
-There are school activities that share this park. When we finished our round, the #1 teebox was covered with people. Watching cheerleading practice. …a LOT of people.
Other Thoughts: This was probably the best time I've had getting my butt handed to me by a course. It was rough, and sometimes unforgiving. I'll admit it, I took a mulligan or two! …or three! ;) Trust me when I say, it wasn't to help improve my +25 score. I had a great time, and I would play here again in a heart beat. Idlewild is a course that will challenge even the professional disc golfer. This course will bruise some egos. But if you are honest with yourself, and are looking to go out and have a good time at a top rated course, then you will have a great time.
Have a good time, and try not to get too frustrated. Enjoy it for what it is worth, because how often do you get to play a top 5 course? Have fun! If you have to, allow for a mulligan or two if you need it. This is a tough course, and you are not just going to walk out of here with a score under par. You'll have to earn it, and Idlewild will make sure of that!
There are places to eat on the way in, provided you are coming from the interstate. Just an FYI, when you pull out to leave the park, there is nothing for miles if you turn right. I almost ran out of Gas! Footwear, tennis shoes should be fine here, but you will be doing a lot of walking. Remember to allow for at least 2 and half hours to complete this course. On that note, bring liquids and maybe a snack.
Idlewild will show you what you are made of. I've read the complaints about it being too tight, too long, and I even saw someone complain about a couple holes being too short. I could complain about 12 being too tight. (I almost listed it, but I felt it's been addressed) If you choose to play here, then you accept the challenge of the course. If 12 is too tight, then all the players have to play the tightness. Ken Climo, Avery Jenkins, and RussMB will all have to face the same tight hole on 12. They can't avoid it, and neither can I. So, with that in mind, I say the best way to enjoy this course is to just go out and play it, and I'll say it again, just have fun because this is a great course!
35 of 37 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 1 Not
An Isolated Challenge
Pros: I'm not going to do too much rehashing of the bests of this course, other reviews have covered it very well. It is a great course with plenty of elevation changes with both long and precision throws. There are some open holes but this is primarily woods, so basically your classic wooded Appalachian course in terms of scenery. The winding streams through several of the holes offer challenge and visual appeal. Just about every hole has multiple pin positions that are rotated regularly and some have permanent hard positions in addition to the normal ones, like #2 and #16. The course is well maintained, not much litter, plenty of trash cans, and does not have interference from any of the other areas of the park.
The course is *extremely* challenging, almost to the point of frustration many times. But, the risk-reward is wonderfully satisfying when you your game is on and you pull off a laser of a shot or some loop around the trees. A couple holes have shorter tees or shorter baskets to alleviate some of the difficulty, but you shouldn't really play here unless you're a solid player and looking to truly test your game. If you can't throw fairly straight, work the disc left and right, and throw both back- and forehand don't bother here. It is also helpful, but not really required, to have some of the specialty shots like the tomahawk. If you aren't careful it is easy to be well behind on a hole. Bring lots of discs, lots of shots, and lots of time. Even when I've had a bad round here--and they are easy to have!--I always feel like my game has improved and I'm ready to go back any time. Additionally, the course has never been crowded and the few people you do meet here, because of the difficulty, are good and courteous players.
#11's Y tree is definitely a signature of the course.
Standout holes for me are 1, 3, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, and 18. 1 is a great starter, long but fun, and not penalizing while you are still warming up. 3 is a fun hole, starting to give you a feel for the precision required and introduces you to the streams and islands for which the course is known. 8 is fun just because of the uphill basket and it being well guarded by two trees that have just enough of a gap between them to make you want to go for it. 10, as another reviewer said, is simply epic because of its challenge, length, and shot variety. 11's Y tree is fun. 13 is a challenge but is a nice downhill hole with a picturesque green area. 15 gets a mention simply because it's 1001 feet, longest hole I've played. 18 is a great closer, plenty of length with a tight couple of shots from the tee then opening up into a field with a basket guarded by two clumps of trees. A great closer hole, probably the best I've seen.
Cons: My biggest gripe about Idlewild is the prevalence of Out of Bounds (OB) areas. While OB does have purposes, many of the times at Idlewild I feel that it is completely arbitrary and/or unnecessary. Worst of all, the OB is in common throwing/landing areas, rather than the "you're too far off the course" style of other courses. You'll throw straight down a hole, have your disc fade a little at the end putting it a little off your aim line and BAM you're sitting in OB. The stream holes seem to be the worst offenders here. #11's green is a laughable little area completely surrounded by OB and the stream.
Unlike some I do not appreciate #5. The tee off isn't anything special and then it's an uphill slog where the risk-reward skews more towards annoying. Following it is #6 which is a lot like #5 for me: slightly less uphill slog that just keeps going because, again, you don't really have the opportunity to get a long tee shot to knock off the distance. Like many others, I find #12 to be rather boring in the sense it is very much of a pitch-and-pray hole. For a double whammy, the way to the #13 tee is not obvious from 12's basket (for directions see the Other Thoughts).
Assuming a RHBH thrower, you'll be doing a lot of either forearm/sidearm or turning over unstable discs here because the vast majority of the shots go to the right. The course could have been better balanced in this respect.
Other Thoughts: Many people are unaware of the alternate tee pad for #14, especially if you play the standard version of #13 where you play the longer B/C basket instead of A. From A, assuming you're facing back towards 13's tee pad, go left through the field and you'll find the tee along the next wood-line From B/C on 13 you can either go back up to A and follow that path or walk up 14, skipping the obvious tee, go all the way up to 14's basket, and as you approach look sharply to your right, the tee is down the hill over the little ravine.
If you're even slightly off your game you'll be hitting trees, and plenty of them due to the tightness of fairways lined by fairly dense woods. Bring some discs you don't mind banging up.
To get from 12 to 13, stand at 12's basket looking back at the tee pad. Head back towards the tee pad along the right-hand side of the wood-line (there should be a path cut in the grass). About halfway down 12's hole there should be a path that cuts to the right through the grass, take it and when it ends at the next wood-line head right. It should then be easy to find the tee, which will be on your left. If this "cut through the field" path is overgrown simply keep walking alongside #12 and follow the curve of the wood-line as it veers rightward away from 12's tee pad. This path will do a U here and you'll head back up to where the "through the field" path ends onto this one.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -This course has 14 of the best holes that I have ever played.
-The course will make you use every shot in the book, and now that it's fall and the brush is less dense it's even better.
-Almost get lost on each individual hole and there are times when I don't even see any other players. Really, have never ran into any of your rift raft at Idlewild, and I have played it well over 30 times!
-This course is the Ultimate risk-reward course. There are so many different ways to play the various holes that you just don't get at any other course. Is going over the top better than trying a roller through the trees, etc.
-Hole 15 is Epic
-Hole 10 is even more EPIC
Idlewild has 14 of the best holes that I have ever played bar none!
Cons: -Definate Pro Caliber, and can get frustrating at times.
-Hole 12 is just not that good of a hole. Know the purpose of it, etc but just more luck than actual skill on that hole.
Other Thoughts: Really gave it sometime before I rated Idlewild. When I started out I couldn't make it 200 feet down hole 1 now that I'm coming close to 450 - 500 and reaching the first tree, I now finally feel like I'm worthy to judge this course. Honestly, two months ago I would have rated Lincoln Ridge better than Idlewild just for the fact that the landscaping is usually a little better, the aesthetics and baskets are newer, and I generally have more fun at Lincoln Ridge, but now that I'm starting to get a more complete feel for the game and am getting better I cannot say that any longer. The thing that I love so much about Idlewild is that every shot you have to think about, and visualize. There is no just run up and chuck and let the disc do the work.You have to setup your shots to shoot well at the course. When I par hole number 6, that is more gratifying than any other eagle, or birdie that I have ever shot just because I had to use a strategy to get that par. The course just presses you to become a better golfer in every aspect of the game. Also, the course is just so nice to get lost in. The course is highly respected for very good reason, and after playing various other courses, I can honestly say that Idlewild is above all others that I have played thus far. Idlewild is not a rec friendly course by any stretch of the imagination and when i'm practicing roller, anhyzer, and other shots I'm not going to play this course, but when I wanna press myself and lose 3 hrs of my day with just me, my thoughts, and 15 discs that I have to use nearly every single one on this course than that is why I rate it higher than any other course that I have played thus far.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 23 Not
Pros: Very hard and fun course.
Cons: 15 of the 18 holes turn to the right.
1 turns to the left.
2 is straight.
So its very forehand and lefty friendly.
Other Thoughts: You better be able to throw dead straight and curve to the right very well.
3 of 26 people found this review helpful.
33 Helpful / 3 Not
Best course we've ever played
Pros: Idlewild is beautiful on a grand scale - with attention given to the vistas from the tee, the fairway grass, the landscaping of the creek banks, and the construction of the various island greens. Idlewild is like the best real golf courses - people who know the game and visualize shots in their head can enjoy Idlewild simply by walking the layout. Even the paths through the woods from basket to tee are enjoyable.
My son and I are experienced players with novice skills. We had some brutal scores, but just about every hole was fair for us. This isn't a course for beginners - it's the longest course we've ever played, and #6, #7 and #12 pushed our shotmaking limits. But you don't have to be an expert to have fun here. With that in mind, here's my favorites.
#1 - A fantastic way to open a course. A legitimate long par 4, but no perfect shotmaking required just yet. Gradual downhill for the drive to instill some optimism. A wide green and rolling fairway with just a few trees in the line of play. Two full shots for a shorter thrower like me to get in a good match mindset.
#2 - Another downhill slope from the tee. We played the long basket, back uphill and beyond an arm of the lake. It can be an intimidating crossing, but simple enough for any player to execute, as long as you match the length of your layup/approach to your ability.
#3 - The first hole where a creek comes into play, and my favorite island hole. The designers have combined ball golf-style beauty with disc golf size and strategy. The downhill shot into the woods may feel more pinched than it really is.
I had wondered whether the island greens would feel like gimmicks, but that wasn't the case at all. The supporting walls are well-built and maintained. The bends of the creek seamlessly define the green areas, and limit any sense of artificiality. The crossings and island landing areas were challenging without being too difficult.
#5 - Another down and up design, dogleg right. A creek crosses the low point. It's a moderate, satisfying drive to clear the creek bed and work back uphill.
#11- Another island hole. I like the way the forked tree in the fairway is identified as a target on the tee sign. Shoot through the Y and your approach to the island basket on the left will open considerably.
#15 - It's long and open, which tests my limited driving. But the small valley off the tee encourages a little more distance, and makes the opening view more scenic. The final long downhill to the island green is set perfectly against the base of the slope that climbs back into the woods.
#16 I loved every island green, and this is one more. We played the short basket - that was challenge enough.
Cons: Idlewild is too great in too many ways to be worth less then 5 stars, but that doesn't mean it's perfect for our game.
#6 seemed never-ending. Very tight and uphill, and it felt at least 700 feet. We would have welcomed a shorter tee, if we could have found one.
Then we hit #7, where the line was even tighter. Still early in the round, so we had a good laugh at the arrow straight shot that was expected of us. Not a huge problem, especially because the hole is short.
#12 For me, this one crosses the line from challenge to gimmick. Only 142 feet, with a near impossible flight path through trees to the basket. We just threw as best we could and watched our discs bounce. If the rest of the course compares with resort ball golf, this hole is putt-putt.
This leads to another mild complaint. #12 ends in a field with three wide paths cut through the high grass. We couldn't find any sign to indicate which path to take. Our first walk, maybe 200 yards, took us to the middle of the 15th fairway. More directional signage would be welcome - in part our fault for neglecting the 12th tee sign, or finding a course map before we played.
Other Thoughts: We were one of only four groups we saw on the course. Early Friday summer afternoon - overcast. The sheer size of the layout adds to the sense of seclusion, but if Idlewild is often this empty I'd be surprised.
33 of 36 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 39 Not
Keep It Real
Pros: As Randy would say, just keeping it real now. It is a wonderful course with well maintained fairways and a beautiful setting. There was generally a good mix of open and tight holes.
Cons: Some of the holes were too open, and some of the holes were too tight.
0 of 39 people found this review helpful.
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