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.
29 Helpful / 3 Not
Lived up to the hype. Unreal!
Pros: I am a 980 to 990 pro golfer who likes to take a beating. I don't throw far. 350ft consistently with occasional 400ft power. I played the longest possible tee and pin on every hole.
This course is absolutely sick! The design is fantastic. You need every shot to score on this course. Distance helps on a few holes but plain and simple, if you cannot control a disc, you are going to be destroyed out there. I love the mental aspect of this course. It makes you think about what you want to do. You can play agressive, conserative, or somewhere inbetween. If you make a mistake you are going to pay the price and the strokes just add up. Keep the disc in the fairway! You will have the opportunity to throw every disc in your bag.
The park that the course is located on is very nice. It was very easy to find and get to hole #1.
The land is as good as it gets. Open, prarie, trees, hills, and water. The work that has been done is impressive. I have no idea how many bridges are on the course but it's unbelievable. It also has some of the best greens i've seen in disc golf. The grass was cut and the course was looking great. I was blown away.
The tee signs are the best i've seen at a course. Very descriptive. The tees are HUGE! There are several holes with multiple tees. There is a bench at every hole that my wife enjoyed on a super hot day. The baskets were in fine condition. Some holes have 2 baskets in at the same time.
Starting on hole 1 you just get to drop a bomb drive on a nice downward slope. It's a good 3 if you can get it.
Hole #2 is one of the best holes i've played. The toss across the water and the sloped green make a spectacular finish to the hole.
From there the course just gets better. Every hole is unique. After thinking about each hole I don't think the course favors a righty or lefty. It's pretty neutral in that area. Even the 142ft hole #12 is a challenge. Usually I don't like the 1000ft open holes but #15 is pretty good. I could see some of the longer arms getting a possible 3 look. The 250ft thrower can take a par 5 if they play it right. The prarie lining that hole is really cool looking right now with the flowers.
Hole 11 is just sick! You have to see it to believe it.
I printed a map. For the most part I found my way around the course with no problems.
This is the true golf I wish I got to play all the time. True golf with multiple par 4 and 5's. In between there are several really good par 3 holes.
Just reaed the reviews. I could go on and on and on!
Cons: There are quite a few blind holes. The first time playing might get frustraing walking holes to find pins. It will take some time to play this way. Once you play the course this is not an issue. Play it twice, it's worth it! I finished 18 on a super hot day. The wife was in the car cooling off. I went back and played 1 thru 6 in half the time it took me the 1st time thru. I just wanted her to leave me!
Other Thoughts: I've played some pretty darn good courses in the midwest and this immediately goes to into the top 5.
This golf is not for everyone. I could see some low skilled golfers not liking this course.
29 of 32 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 13 Not
Bestest of the best
Pros: It has all been written in the 80+ reviews. If you are a serious disc gold player you MUST play this course. It is diabolically evil, long, butt kicking most awesome fun!
Cons: 5 hours from my house
Other Thoughts: I could wax eloquent about Idlewild for paragraphs, but as I wrote above, it has been said. Hands down my favorite course. Combined with Lincoln Ridge (Banklick) for one heck of a day/weekend of disc golf.
Thanks to all the folks that keep Idlewild up and running.
5 of 18 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 2 Not
Beautiful and Challenging!
Pros: What a great course! I played Idlewild while on a road trip from Fort Worth to Chicago and absolutely loved it. This course is very well maintained and is truly one of the premier venues in our sport. The layout is fantastic and challenging with several true par 4s and 5s. There is a great deal of variety here with a wide range of distances and some holes that are open while many are technical. The course plays in and out of the woods beautifully. Good placement and hitting your lines will be required to score well here. Those that like to let her rip on a big drive along with those that like to have to hit lines in tight, narrow fairways will all have their appetite quenched on this course. Elevation change is an element that is common throughout the course that adds a great deal of fun, challenge, and visual appeal to the course.
Some of the great features of this course include quality Mach3 baskets, level and long concrete tee pads, descriptive and good looking signage that offers par, distance, and an idea of what the layout of the hole is as well as pin location. There are benches and trash cans throughout the course. Multiple tee boxes and pin locations on several of the holes. There are wooden bridges, retaining walls around the winding creek near several pins, and islands around some pins. The woodwork and stonework add greatly to the aesthetic appeal of the course. Idlewild is very well maintained and clean.
There are several truly amazing holes here. Hole 15 was my favorite. There was something very inspiring to me about walking up to that tee box. The risk/reward on the drive over all of the tall rough on the sides of the fairway made it a thrilling hole to play. Two accurate drives are required to get near the pin and then the basket is on an island tucked into the trees. Awesome hole. There were several other inspiring holes as well. Holes 3 and 5 were two others to come quickly to mind for me.
Cons: If you do not have a map with you for your first time, there are a couple of tricky navigation areas where the next tee box is not easy to locate. There are a few blind holes that take extra time walking to scope out on your first time to play the course or to see which pin placement the basket is in.
Other Thoughts: Lincoln Ridge is another awesome disc golf course and it is within 30 minutes of Idlewild. Truly a great area for disc golf!
Idlewild is an amazing course and is a must play for any disc golfer that has the opportunity to play it.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: -Challenges you to throw accurately. Very high risk/reward.
-This is the best maintained course I have ever played. I live a couple miles away and play it all the time, and there are constantly workers mowing and trimming the fairways.
-You will probably use every disc you have in your arsenal.
-There is a wide variety of holes, varying in length and direction.
Cons: -None really, other than the fact that the course beats me just about every time I play! The weeds on hole 15 on each side of the fairway will grow to about 6 or 7 feet by the end of July, so if you throw it in bring a machete.
Other Thoughts: If you are in the area and want to play a truely challenging round, this is the place to go. Give your self a couple hours to play, 3 if you are with a larger group or if you are not as experienced. It is frustratingly difficult at times, but it is very, very fun as well.
12 of 18 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 19 Not
Pros: -The course was in fantastic condition, I was most impressed with their signs at each tee box that laid out the hole and showed where to go for the next whole when you were done
-The course, even though very challenging, was so much fun
-Longest hole I've ever played on #15, 1001 ft..whoa!
Other Thoughts: I had to travel about an hour and 15 minutes to get to this course, and it was definitely worth the drive. I will be going back and playing very very soon.
2 of 21 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 7 Not
BEST COURSE EVER!!!
Pros: -It is a very well kept course
-It is a course that really challenges you
-Very beautiful course
-Every hole is different (some are in open areas while others are far back in the woods where you need great accuracy to get it through).
-Every hole is a new challenge
-It shows where every hole is on the map
-It shows what the distance is on the map
-Anybody can play here
-It is a pro course so many tournaments can be played here
-The concrete from where you through it is very nice and well kept
-It brings the best of you out on this course
-It has what par is and also shows what the pro par is
-It shows what is out of bounds
Cons: -It is very easy to lose discs because of the water and because of the woods
-They will move the pin around every once in a while
-The map shows where all of the different pins are and it is kind of challenging to know which one you are actually going for
-The out of bounds can hurt you when you are playing because it will hurt your score
-It is hard to do good on the course because the course in general is the most challenging that i have ever played on
Other Thoughts: It is a very fun place to go and the whole family can enjoy it. Anyone can play. I have played on many courses in my life and there is no doubt in my mind that this is the best one. So i hope that one day each of you can get out there and play on the BEST COURSE EVER!!!
10 of 17 people found this review helpful.
28 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: - Beautiful park that appeared to be well maintained at all levels. Very scenic both inside the woods, and out in the open.
- Seemed like a lot of other people use this area for fishing, jogging, and such, but are separate from the disc golf area.
- Nice mix of wide open holes with strategically placed trees, lightly wooded areas that beg for a full power shot, and densely wooded areas that require pinpoint accuracy. Good use of trees off the fairways to punish errant shots, without using thick rough to do it.
- Very good use of elevation changes throughout this course. This goes for the open areas, as well as the forest. I was especially impressed at multiple elevation changes within individual holes. That is, you could have both an upshot and a downshot to get to the pin. Very enjoyable.
- The longer forest holes, complete with elevation changes and long doglegs, are truly first class. One of the only times I actually looked to see what the par is, as these holes legitimately merit a pro par above 3.
- Good mix of hole length and difficulty. The shorter holes still make you work for it.
- Complete mix of left, straight, and right shots, usually both uphill and downhill for all.
- Open holes also provide their own challenges. Hole 1 is as easy as it will get. The 1001' hole has an undulating fairway that could force a second shot out of a small valley. Distance and accuracy are important, even out in the open.
- Island greens are a nice touch, with well marked OOB signs, and drop zones for shots that land out of play. Just getting within approach range is not enough on these holes; they demand near perfection to score low.
- Water is in play on many holes, mostly because of the small creek that runs throughout. It is clean and clear, thanks to the stones and logs that prevent mud and erosion from entering the creek. The amount of time spent on this aspect of the course is obvious; it is both visually appealing and useful. Many bridges make crossing a breeze.
- The seclusion aspect was phenomenal. Large course layout, bountiful forests, and even secluded open areas (it's true!) really allow you to get lost in the game itself, and focus on the hole you are on.
- Excellent hole signage, listing all possible basket locations and distances.
- Multiple baskets were a nice touch. I wish I had known about them going in, but that's my own fault. I don't know who would want to go for the shorter basket, but it provides additional variety from round to round.
- Good tees, good baskets
- I liked the distance markers on the fairway of Hole 15, so you get to see how far you got the drive out there, and how far you have to go. Probably the most professional hole I have every played.
Cons: - One spot was a little tricky to navigate, even with the course map. Had to backtrack on 11's fairway to get to 17, possible blast zone if you aren't paying attention.
- I think the fairway grass was a little long at times, but that might have been because of an upcoming tournament. Only a con becuase it was covered in dew, and I ended up with some soaked shoes.
Other Thoughts: - "Remember, a "5" is considered the ultimate. There is absolutely nothing that could be done to improve the course. It is perfect in every possible way."
- For as limited as my courses played list is, I have no qualms rating this course the max number of discs. I am glad I got to play this one before reviewing any other courses, Idlewild puts things in perspective.
- This course had holes that reminded me of many of holes in Illinois... laid end to end. Holes like 6, 10, and 18 absolutely rocked my world. I am getting teary-eyed writing this review; I know it will be a long, long, time before I get to experience anything like it.
- The forest itself was gorgeous, with grass fairways throughout. The tree canopy was not intrusive at all, and most (but not all) windows to shoot through were large enough to not be too frustrating.
- I teed off at 8 AM on this course, so it was probably as empty as it will ever be. I got the impression that it would have still been ultra secluded, on a hole by hole basis, even had it been packed. And, even if it was completely overrun, I would gladly sit back and eagerly wait my turn on each hole.
- I can see how some people may say this course is too hard... good. Go somewhere else. Even though I won't be playing it anytime soon, do other people a favor and play at a pitch n' putt. These holes force you to make long, accurate shots, and will reward you greatly if you can do it. Seeing a full length drive fly through the forest, evading tree after tree, and fading exactly where you want it to IS A PRIVILEGE NOT A RIGHT.
28 of 35 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Impeccable maintenance. Good mix of woods/open. Good use of elevation changes. Excellent signage. Lots of alternate tees/baskets. I don't remember seeing any trash at all on the course. Beautiful meandering stream, forest meadows, and rolling hills of Kentucky.
I played this course with my brother in law this past Memorial Day. I just got back into disc golf this past fall after over 6 years off, and hadn't played this course since 2003 or so. I remembered it being a very difficult, cut through the woods course, but that was about it. What I didn't remember was how beautiful this course truely is. The holes in the woods make you feel like you are completely separated from everyone else on the course, and every other hole for that matter. After hole 3, we only saw another group of people 2 or 3 times. Hole 10 in particular comes to mind. Two drives through the woods, the second of which is out of the woods into a large open, sloping, meadow in the middle of the woods with a guarded basket.
Cons: Navigation from 16 to 17 could have been marked a bit better. Especially since you walk right through the middle of hole 11's fairway. Had another group not walked across the fairway (and gave us their map) we might not have found it as quick when we passed through. Other than that, you'd be hard pressed to find any real issues.
All the alternate baskets can be a little confusing at times.
Practice basket is showing some signs of age.
Other Thoughts: Is the course extremely challenging? No doubt. Accuracy is more important than distance on most holes.
Did I have an absolute blast? Definitely.
Even my brother in law who just started playing this spring, and shot a 116, is ready to go back for another go at it. A beginner with a good attitude can still have fun on this course.
I will be playing this course at least 2-4 times a month from now on.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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