48 Helpful / 8 Not
Hate to Disturb the Herd but Idlewild is Sometimes Superb Yet Often Absurd
Pros: Luscious Green Grass everwhere from the open rolling bluegrass fields to the tight winding fairways through the woods. Mowed soft grass is everywhere and it seems to be perfectly manicured at all times. Great effort has been made to eliminate schule from the dense wooded fairways..so often you might get ricocheted be in a tangle of trees but theres nothing but grass and smalll trees so your hassle is simply figuring out how to recover your shot versus trying to recover your disc from thorns and vegetation. (there must be a weedwacker army here:incredible) Large concrete tees throughout the course and signage was well done and informative. Diversity in hole length as well as a good mix of open and wooded holes. Elevation is used very well throughout both providing uphill and downhill shots as well as undulating fairways and fast greens to keep things cerebrally interesting. Isolated from the rest of the park so it has a serene dG only feel. You lose yourself in your round out here and you will need to as your focus is required to play this course. SOme highlights for me were as follows:
1-A slightly downhill 600 footer with a wide fairway sloping R and L and the green being a bit fast as well.
2-Perfect shot for RHFH. Throw it right and you could be parked..come up short and your in treenial. The long position is over a pond with a few deadwoods spiraling out of the water to thwart the line drive approach and encourages a riskier sky shot which could glide into the drink...subtle things like this amazed me about this course.
3-Your introduced to the stream here as youu throw downhill in the open to a more technical wooded and stream protected green. Scenic and Technical.
9-A true ace run if you negotiate the gap over this short valley over the stream....perfect use of elevation and woods. I birdied it but easily could have done worse if I didn't make the gap. A shotmakers shot with true reward.
10-A journey starts with a tighter 250ish drive uphill then turns hard to a more open fairway and then emerges into a field with the basket in a cluster of trees downhill to the right 300ish away.
11-The Y tree teases you as if you throw below the Y you won't have enough elevation to make the subsequent uphill gap beyond the Y..if you throw over the Y chances are you might throw nose up and hyzer badly in an embaressing manner. You have to throw it real tight to the split in the Y which of course could mean hitting the Y-tree...incredible thought provoking hole. If you make the gap and up to the clearing you still have a technical approach to another stream protected green doglrg L.
14-The best woods hole on the course as you get a chance to rip a driver uphill through an ample fairway and the woods are high canopied shady hardwoods. Birdie if you nail the drive. I felt like I was back east on this hole with plenty of fairway and room to use a driver in the woods here.
15-Underrated Hole here IMO I read a lot of complaints about this hole being too long and offering only distance...well I disagree. The fairway is beautiful and the swath of grass is cut very wide (far wider than any similiar fairways Ive seen)so if your off to the side thats an awfull bad throw. What surprised me was the deep undulations off the tee that required you to land a couple of solid drives back to back to avoid being in these little valleys. Nothing worse than trying to throwing a big arm shot uphill with the nose up and the wind kicking. Landing atop these rolling hills ensure optimal throwing conditions to set up the following shot. The basket is perhaps a 50 foot drop of elevation over the course of the hole with most of that occuring over the last 1/3 of distance to another stream and tree guarded green. There are lanes to get there so you may be tempted from the hill above to drive the green and go for it. So it's an open hill sure, but theres still strategy/skill (placement) and fun (elevation drop) on this one I was expecting a big flat boring open hole.
16-Never played such a hole. A stream sinews throughout a fairway that cuts a moderately tree laden fairway into different landing zones to yet another stream protected green. Blends skill and strategy in an interesting combination of fairway lane golf( trees) and shot placement golf (Islanded landing areas)
18-a great finisher which will have you tryint to throw straighter than your probably able to over some rolling hills down a wide alley and then burst you into the clear where a basket sits beyond and between 2 Cypress disc eaters. Even on your final approach your scratching your head thinking "over the top. left, right, between?"
Many of the other holes had qualities I enjoyed as well such as 5 which plays like 3 but much tougher and longer, 6 has a tough on rhbh throwers tight opening lane to start that I am sure has inspired many a one dimensional thrower to expand their horizons and 8 has a very densely protected green which encourage interesting approach shots. The sheer challenge will engulf you here. Masochists will never want to leave. A great place to refine your game as there are several holes that force a particular shot off the tee that more than likely is outside of your comfort level. Really benefits those who have a multitude of skills and throws to choose from.
Cons: This is where it gets ugly. As amazed as I was by the above moments on the course I have too many complaints about this course to give it a 5. I also enjoyed myself far more and just as equally challenging courses that I rated 4.5. You don't really play this course so much as you survive it. Is this enjoyable disc golf. I don't think so. Will it make you a better player....absolutely. But, I can name a few equally difficult and challenging courses that were way more fun. I'd rather have fun while I'm getting beat up. In short my complaints are these:
-Way too tight...course combines massive trouble off the tee, with fairway trouble, off the fairway trouble, and protected greens. Essentially many of the holes are just a string of paths through smallish trees with no throwing airway to get from point A to C...you might think thats placement golf but when A and C are only 100 feet from one another it makes for boring golf. I love a good jail hole where I am forced to either escape jail or avoid jail. Idlewild too often feels like Jail with moments of Parole foolowed by more Jail. Your never really free from the tangled prison like unfairways. I like the technical aspect of the game but I prefer it to be saved for certain situations. Such as recovery, technical approaches, trouble off the tees. etc. Idlewild has a shortage of landing zones and areas to shoot for. The stretch from 5-8 is particularly brutal. This stretch certainly well maintained and unique but when your essentially playing a walking path from 5 to the wonderful hole 9 I started to get frustrated. I don't mind a hole thats just tough for the sake of being tough every so often to shake things up...but 4 hard just for hards sake holes in a row...dumb.
-You can't really go big in the woods here...often the woods are either way too tight or the canopy is too low given the up and down terrain to ever consider a true driver shot here. I like a high canopy forrest with several tough but interesting choices that allows for a big drive through the woods. The trees here are too low and the spaces between too tight to allow for that.
-Holes 4 and 12 are boring and short par 3s that can be found on any average course in America. I like shorties but prefer them to have some charm or tempting ace potential. I like my par 3s to be floaters off cliffs, tricky shots surrounded by water or to have some unique challenge but still aceable. These 2 were duds and the path to hole 4 is probably more memorable than either hole.
13 might be one of the worst holes I have ever played for a couple reasons..its way too tight and gives you no real lane to throw but even worst is that its a sweeping downhill drive through woods that with some simple clearing of sapplings could be one of the best downhill woods holes I have played..instead your left with putt putt through the forrest down to the green below. What a shame!
-After hole 16 you cross 11s fairway to get to 17
-Too often artificial OOB is added to water OOB and stands of trees are nearby that will often plink good approach shots into these OOB areas...too puntive.
Overall given the fact that I had severe issue with 7 of the holes and that 1/3 of the holes employed overtly punishing OOB I am amazed I am still giving it a 4. I guess that speaks to the magnifigence of the other aspects of the course.
Other Thoughts: I am sure I will get the typical rants from the devotees here. You are a noob. Boo Hoo! did the course chew you up. Your from Michigan. You only play pitch-n-putts and you can'y handle a true pro course. None of those are true.
Bring it on Cinncitucky! I have pondered this review for 2 weeks and have attempted to be as fair and honest as possible with myself and this review. Idlewild blew me away as often as she disappointed me. I have played a slew of courses that offer just as much challenge but provide far more enjoyment despite the rising totals of throws I was making. I realize part of the charm of Idlewild is the beatdown and challenge it provides...some kind of right of passage into the cult I suppose but kind of like when I was younger and watched college guys getting hazed I always wondered..."hmmm so you guys really think your having fun?" My advice to travelers is play Idlewild it's an interesting intense DG experience and has some superior holes and challenges but don't feel bad if you walk away perplexed and think theres something wrong with you for not liking the course in it's entirity. This is a locals course. That is not an insult to the local guys either. I mean this is a course that is best played multiple times. If I played this course frequently I would become aware of some of the more subtle lanes and the local routes might become more obvious. I also would probably become more adept at different shots I don't have in my arsenal and might learn what shots work best on different holes. Definetely I can see why the course grows on you if your able to play it regularly. I am sure every so often you hit that lane on 6 and you get birdie and your forgetting about the 30 bogeys you took prior to that day. But much like a gambling addiction...was it skill or did you just get lucky. Either way I can understand the addiction here. Just remember this though.....Challenge can be accomplished without scrificing enjoyment.
48 of 56 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: One of the most beautiful courses in the world, Idlewild is certainly a treat to play. The course forces a player to master technicality, distance, and endurance. More than half of the holes at Idlewild could be considered signature holes at other courses. The maintenance of the park is top notch, and the alternate pins make things interesting. The island greens were certainly a treat to be able to play, and overall the course was amazing.
One of the best things I can say for this course is that it will make you a better player. The course forces you to hit lines that are very difficult and challenging. Throwing these kind of shots will help you become a better player and Idlewild does this very well.
The attention to detail at this course is almost that of a nice ball golf course. I could not believe the beauty of some of the brick lined greens. That is not something you find at most disc golf courses. It certainly adds a lot of character to the course.
Cons: While I understand what Idlewild is about, the main and only con I will provide is the fun factor. While I certainly appreciate the mystique, the challenge, the landscape, the island greens, the out of bounds that Idlewild offers, the course just wasn't a ton of fun. While it was fun to look at the holes and play most of the holes, when I get done I was emotionally and physically exhausted and I had only thrown 72 strokes.
That is really the only thing holding this course back from being a 5 star rated course. This course was not designed to be a casual walk in the woods. It was not designed to be "fun" per se. This course was designed to challenge gold rated disc golf players. It was designed to punish mediocrity. Whereas a course like Flyboy Aviation is full of fun, this course reminds me of Iron Hill. You just will not have a ton of fun playing this course, but the beauty and character try to make you forget about that!
Other Thoughts: While Idlewild is a treat and marvel to play and look at, don't expect to have a lot of fun here. This course is one of the hardest courses I have ever played - West Lake in the Quad Cities from the longs is the only course I have played that would compare. So while I appreciate and respect what the course is about (which I think is to be different than everything disc golf has to offer), this course is extremely difficult and thus why I gave the course a rating of 4.5
18 of 27 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 17 Not
Pros: Idlewild has excellent land to work with and the designers made very good use of the terrain to create picturesque, challenging holes that force you to carefully approach every shot. The course is well cared for and things like litter and graffiti are almost non-existent. This course is rightly called "epic".
Cons: The designers definitely set out to create a tough course but lets face it - any hole is challenging if you don't cut down any trees. Several holes have ridiculously convoluted and obfuscated flight paths to hit where your shot basically becomes a roll of the dice. In the same vein, six or seven holes have truly mystifying OB rules where even an excellent shot is considered OB because it is 1 ft outside the designated green.
Other Thoughts: Idlewild is truly something special - you don't really play the course, it plays you and forces you to perform at the top of your game. Your hometown course will feel like pitch-and-putt after a round through Idlewild. Don't go into the round expecting to play well - you won't; this course is something that you simply experience rather than actually enjoy.
14 of 31 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 17 Not
Idlewild is great.
Pros: This course had many long holes with clear directions on where the baskets were located. Beautiful course with great landscaping to make out of bounds obvious.
Cons: Tough to think of anything. Didn't realize there were mandatories on some of the holes from the tee but the mandatories were clearly marked once you arrived upon them.
Other Thoughts: Great course that I am looking forward to playing again.
4 of 21 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 17 Not
Fun in the rain
Pros: I played this course the day after the KY derby in the rain. It was not cold weather, just rainy. On thing that this course has in these conditions is lots of water hazards with swift creeks that eat discs, but this makes it all the more interesting (you can stomp around in the creeks and have a good chance of finding your disc though). The tee pads were not too bad in the rain, but the water, mud and length make it very challenging.
The hole maps at each tee are pretty good and the grass is cut short which makes this course awesome considering how much grass there is.
Cons: I played it alone and it was sometimes hard to know which pin was in play. Some holes have so many trees that it seems like it would be just luck to get it through them rather than having the option to use skill.
4 of 21 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Well what can be added to what has already been said. The biggest pro is that it is not one of those courses where every hole is a par 3. You have to be on your top game when playing here and it will either bring the best out in you or beat you down. I play this course every so often to really get a gauge were I stand and generally it tells me I have a long way to go. Every hole will use a different part of your game from distance to accuracy. Accuracy being the main goal here over distance even though this is a long course. The tee signs are awesome and the course is well maintained.
Cons: The only thing is maybe the RR facilities are lacking but that is a park thing more than a course thing.
Other Thoughts: If you visit this course remember where and what you are playing. This is a pro course and you should view it as such.
8 of 16 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 20 Not
be open minded and versitile
Pros: Well laid out course with many different challenges. will make you use all your throws and hopefully work on some new ones as well. I really suggest you take this course on for the first time with a packed lunch and 3-4 hours to play.
Cons: one bathroom location, difficult for the beginner, multi tee pins and tee pads can be confusing to the first timer on this course.
Other Thoughts: pack it in pack it out people there are buckets and cans for your waste so please keep this course a clean one. happy disc golfing.
6 of 26 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 110 Not
Not fun for the average player
Pros: The course itself was well cared for. Certainly,
a lot of time and money has been put into the
Cons: Unfortunately, the course is not at all designed for the average player. I play weekly and have slowly gotten better over the years, but this course has nothing to offer me. It's too long, too narrow and has too many crazy out of bounds. It was frustrating and not enjoyable at all. Lincoln Ridge Park is much better for all the reasons mentioned above.
Other Thoughts: I like a challenge and don't mind playing difficult courses. Be warned that if you are
not a pro, get ready for a beat-down.
18 of 128 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 11 Not
Best Course I've Ever Played!!!!
Pros: EVERYTHING. If your are an avid disc golfer, and this course is not on your "played" list, start thinking about making a trip. Book a flight, gas the car, call your friends and make the trip. In my opinion, If disc golf was ball golf, this course would be the Augusta National. You and your friends will have a blast playing and will become an addict like everyone else who plays here.
Cons: The only cons I can think of, for one, i don't live closer. And two, there is not an office building or a sort of pro shop. At least a building to obtain a map or score card.
Other Thoughts: The reason I gave this course a 5 instead of a 4.5, Best of the Best besides Phenomenal, Is because I'm sure if a tourney was being played there then the course would be freshly cut and even more maicured than it was when i played it.
4 of 15 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 17 Not
Even in a pouring rain...
Pros: What else can be said other than your very first hole is 600+ feet down the side of an immaculately cared for hillside the trees on all three sides and a view of a considerable amount of the park to boot! This is the longest DG course I have played that is not also a part of a ball golf layout; so be prepared to probably 2-3 times as much trekking as you would normally play. Throwing at baskets on 'islands' makes one think back to the great shots during the US Open ball golf tourney's at Pebble Beach!
Cons: When I played this course on Memorial Day 2009 some of the signs were errant or in need of repair which is the only 'gig' I'm giving this course.
Other Thoughts: My son and I played Idylwild in a non-stop rain; and we finished with 100 for me and 101 for him. While this may seem attrocious, keep in mind that we were thoroughly soaked to the bone; and when we finished our round their were 3 other player's sitting in the parking lot for which Idylwild is their home course; and all 3 of them had just carded 100's as well; so we were heartened a tad by that.
15 of 32 people found this review helpful.
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