32 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.
32 of 34 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.
30 Helpful / 2 Not
A True Gem
-Located in a community park
-Easily accessible from I-75/71 or I-275
-Within 10 minutes of the Cincinnati Airport
-Disc N' Dat Store close by
-Banklick Woods very close by
-Board at #1
-Great tee signs
-Extra long, concrete teepads
-Well groomed course
-Benches on EVERY hole
-Excellent elevation changes
-Amazing use of water hazards
-Clearly defined drop zones for water hazards
-Bridges over every single creek and ravine
-A true pro par
- Challenges a variety of shots
-Not just a single lane on holes, multiple routes to shoot into
-Long holes challenge blend power with accuracy
-Mature, wooded fairways
-Challenging but not discouraging
-Multiple pin placements and baskets
-Direction and flow is fairly smooth and easy
-Walk of fame after #4
-Hole Sponsors and adopted holes
-Not in my backyard
This is the best course in the Greater Cincinnati Area and one of the best, if not the best, in the country. This course is the perfect mix of distance, accuracy, beauty, and strategy.
This course is very long, but it does not seem so when playing. You become too distracted with the beauty and logic placed in every single hole.
Distance isn't the only thing going for this course either. Accuracy is blended in amazingly. This course challenges a variety of shots and a diverse arsenal is need. However, there are multiple lanes on each hole. It's not as if there is just one lane to shoot into, there are several routes on every hole.
Are you ever out playing and have to walk across rocks on a creek or jump across a 3ft ravine? Well at Idlewild it is not necessary. This course seriously has a bridge over every single creek and ravine. If you need a bridge, one is there for you. There is even a hole with 4 bridges that you have to cross over.
The water hazards remind of a real golf course. They are small and shallow, but placed close to baskets. This makes the course that much more beautiful. Not only is there water, but excellent and well marked drop zones to throw from when you land in water.
The tee signs have funny and clever phrases on them such as: "Thread the needle, sow a deuce" or "Air it out....And Out"
Every hole is etched into my mind and sticks out. Every hole has plenty of flavor and is unique. But if I had to pick one hole it would be the 1001ft hole that eventually goes downhill to a beautiful green.
This course is an absolute must play. It is well worth it to make a trip out to Kentucky and play this course. Banklick is nearby so make a day of it and play 2 of the top courses in the country. Take your time and enjoy the course because there aren't that many this good. Just get ready for a day of phenomenal disc golf you won't forget.
30 of 32 people found this review helpful.
44 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Idlewild is truely an amazing disc golf course that is long, challenging, and very well-maintained and offers a great layout with endless amounts of visual appeal. This course uses Mach3 baskets that are in good shape, level concrete tee pads, and really nice, descriptive tee signs on each hole. There are multiple tee pads and basket locations on many of the holes throughout the course.
The course flows great from start to finish making two 9-hole loops each returning near the parking area. There is one part of the course from 16's basket walking toward 17's tee where you have to cross 11's fairway, but there are signs posted to make golfers aware of this potential hazard, so keep this in mind as you navigate this area.
The course offers a great variety of short and long technical holes, and long open holes that take you in and out of the woods. There is a nice creek that runs through the course, and comes into play on 8 of the 18 holes. The course is very well maintained with little to no over-growth or foilage. Idlewild uses the Adopt-A-Hole program where local volunteers step and offer there time to maintain and upkeep a hole. This is a program that many courses would greatly benefit from. There are nice, wooden bridges installed to ease navigation through the holes where the creek comes into play, and retaining walls that frame the greens built around the creek. Some of the greens use an artifical OB around the back side of the pin and the creek along the front side to make an "island" green affect which only adds to the challenge. The bridges and retaining walls add a lot to the visual appeal of the course.
Idlewild makes great use of the elevations in the park, offering a wide variety of uphill and downhill tee shots, and plenty of uphill, downhill, and sidehill lies around the course. There are numerous epic holes on Idlewild, some of my favorites are 1, 3, 5, 11, 13, 15, 16, and 18. There are to many to list details, but I assure you that many of the holes at Idlewild will be etched in your memory for a long time. The holes range from 192ft to over 1000ft, averaging nearly 500ft/hole. There are several true par4 and par5 holes, which is one of the great features of the course. Although many of the holes have plenty of length and allow a player to launch a big drive off of the box, players are rewarded with stategy and placement over length.
You will have a chance to throw just about any type of shot you prefer (hyzers, anhyzes, rollers, thumbers, tomahawks, etc...), and probably some you don't. There will be plenty of opportunities to get creative with shot-making as you progress through the course. Idlewild will challenge all skill levels. There is a parking lot specifically for disc golfers, with restrooms. There is a practice basket for warming up before your round, but at the time I was there, it wasn't in real good shape. I've only played the course once; it wasn't crowded on that particular day.
Cons: I had some trouble finding the tee box for hole 5. There is a sign, about half way up the fairway for hole 4 pointing toward the next tee, but unless you're looking for the sign, it is easy to miss. It is visible from the tee on hole 4, so keep this in mind as you go through this area. Relocating the sign to make it more obvious would be helpful so that it isn't overlooked.
Other Thoughts: I always heard the locals in my area talking about Idlewild, Idlewild this, Idlewild that. Now that I have played the course, I understand what all the talk was about. A stunningly beautiful and challenging course, a must play. Of the courses that I have played, this one is by far my favorite, I only wish it were closer so that I could play it more often. I played the course solo, it took about 2hrs to complete the round.
44 of 45 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This course is stunningly beautiful, even this time of year (winter). The course is huge and has very nice wide defined fairways that are very well maintained. Fantastic use of obstacles and out of bounds areas (signage). Many holes have drop points if you go out of bounds. A creek meanders throughout many of the holes that are in the lower areas. It was chilly out today and there was a guy working on errosion control in the creek. The creek is really a treat, there must be more then a dozen bridges. Several greens have the creek meandering around them and are edged beautifully with cement pilings. There are maybe three holes that elevation change does not play a part. Uphill hyzer to downhill anhyzer just about every shot in your book will be used. Played in very wet conditions and had no problems getting discs that landed in the creek or mud. Tee pads have to be the largest I have ever played, many have stones around them to control errosion. Also my first 1000 footer hole, has signs that say 400' to the green. Too funny. The holes are very well signed if it is not evident where the next hole is. Whomever put in all the countless hours to make this course what it is over the years get a huge pat on the back from me. Outstanding!!!
Cons: It is an hour and fifteen minutes from my house, oh wait that's not a con...
Other Thoughts: Thanks really does need to be given to the folks who have contributed to the construction of this course. A small monument or something.
24 of 28 people found this review helpful.
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