13 Helpful / 2 Not
Think Before You Throw
Pros: The Park itself is extremely large and very well kept.
The course layout is 2nd to none. This is what disc golf is supposed to be like. It is as if the park was built to show off the disc golf course, not the other way around.
The course has all the essentials. It has nice big tee-pads, accurate signs, a practice area and a portable toilet. The course also has lots of benches and trash cans.
The layout does an exceptional job of exposing the flaws in a players game. The use of angles, trees, hazards and change in elevation create a test that is tough but fair.
There are some holes that allow you air it out. Hole 1 and Hole 15 will let you fling it as far as you can.
There are lots of areas that are OB on this course. They are very well marked and the drop zones are easy to find.
There are lots of small things on this course that separate it from other courses. Brick walls on the edge of greens, nice bridges, island greens, brightly painted baskets, and nice landscaping are some of the things that come to mind.
This course isn't for a beginner. I played the long tee and long baskets just like I do every time I play a new course. This course will beat you up.
There are several other reviews that list each hole and the type of shots needed to play it. The point that needs to be made here is that the course will require you to "MAKE SHOTS" on every hole.
The course is difficult to walk and that isn't a con. It is just very long and the elevation changes require a good effort to play it.
One of the most unique aspects in my review of this course was that I felt that the course didn't put a great premium on putting. We all have played courses that felt like pitch and putts and your score was going to be determined by how well you putted. That is definitely not the case with Idlewild. My score was determined by the time I arrived to the circle area on each hole.
This course will make you think on just about every shot. You need to have a plan to play each hole. Now that plan may change after your tee shot, but a 'Grip and Rip' style at Idlewild will net nothing but high numbers.
Cons: I found a problem with a tee box or two being slick.
As stated before, there are different types of baskets on this course.
Other Thoughts: My kids had been talking about Idlewild for months. I can honestly say that the course more than held up to the hype. I was honored to test my game on one of the TOP courses in the world. It is a must play for any avid disc golfer. Bring your game and a strong mind. Only once in the entire round did I have a shot that I thought was unfair, but after hole 1, there are NO free shots either.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 11 Not
best of best
Pros: what is there not to say this course is amazing.
best tee signs I have seen yet
huge tee pads
bright lime green baskets u can see for miles
new holes are a great addition
pro caliber and will make you a stronger player
Cons: baskets are not all the same
wish there was a brochure for this beautiful course
not really much else to say for cons
Other Thoughts: remember this is def not a beginner or amateur course it will kick your butt so if you are looking for a fun relaxing time maybe this is not for you but if you are looking for a truly amazing all out course with everything this is for you.
3 of 14 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
This baby is top notch!
Pros: All basic amenities present in abundance! Multiple tees, pin placements, benches, trash cans, etc.
Cleanest public course I've ever played by a fair margin!
Attention to little details. Brick lined greens, astroturf greens, etc. Many small touches like this add up to a completely unique experiance.
This is a course that forces you to bring your A game. Don't play here if you're tired, run down, or just feel like a casual easy round. You will be challenged, and if you're on you'll love it!
Cons: Really, there are no cons. I could nitpick about non-matching baskets, but I don't care. I could complain that a few of the lines seemed like they required more luck than skill, but I don't believe that, I believe I need to get better. So really, the only con was that I had to pay out of pocket for a hotel room to play this course more than once.
Other Thoughts: I'm currently in Columbus for a few weeks on business, and after discovering this site, and that there was a top rated course within a few hours I drove down on a Saturday to play Idlewild and Mt Airy. I made the mistake of playing Mt Airy first and was a little worn out after the car trip and a round at Airy, when I got to Idlewild. Consequently I didn't shoot as well as I'd have liked, and decided to stay the night to take another crack at this course. After a good night's sleep and 2 more rounds at Idlewild I can safely say this is the course that I'd want to play in disc golf heaven. I live near 2 of the other top rated courses on this site, but I prefer Idlewild to either of them. All 3 are great courses, and maybe it's a case of the grass being greener elsewhere, but when I can play this course for free, as opposed to paying fairly big bucks(for disc golf at least) to play those other courses, Idlewild wins hands down. Seriously, this course was good enough to get me to pop for a hotel room out of my own money, just so I could play it when I was fresh, as opposed to tired. There are just so many memorable holes that I won't even try to list them all. If you're anywhere within a few hours, this is worth the trip!
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + Teepads: They are concrete, giant, and in great condition.
+ Tee Signs: Clear and identify all the important info
+ Scenery: The course is in a beautiful park and mixes woods with rolling hills. There are also some lakes and a stream running through the course.
+ Challenge: This course has it by the metric ton. You will need to give everything you have to shoot well here. It takes mental and physical sharpness and a good deal of endurance to be able to execute through an entire round.
+ Other: The course is so clean it sparkles. The locals take good care of the course and it definitely shows. 24 holes, multiple pin positions on many, permanent long basket on a few, long tees on a few, practice basket, port-a-john and water fountain at first tee.
Cons: There really aren't any and the two listed didn't affect the quality of the course for me in any way.
- Baskets: They are in great condition and really "pop" with the nice powder coat, but there are different baskets throughout the course.
- The letter holes have a bit of a different feel from the rest of the course. If I were to play here regularly, I think I would skip the letter holes more often than I play them.
Other Thoughts: I had the pleasure of playing Idlewild twice with a few area locals. Both rounds were doubles rounds and for someone with only a year under their belt, this helped me enjoy the course much more than if I had played singles. That being said, I have a great respect for what this course throws at you. Idlewild is a technically demanding course. You must think about nearly every shot you take and then have the skill to execute the shot with accuracy.
It is very clear that each hole on this course was crafted very carefully. While many of the windows are small, there are often many windows. None of the original holes felt forced into the course. They flow very well and play fair- very difficult, but fair. If you get off the fairway you will want to get back on, there is no forcing a throw from a bad lie at this course, it will only make things worse. If you hit a nice line, you immediately know and that feeling is what will get me back here.
I look forward to getting back to this course and seeing what kind of fight I can put up during a singles round. For any less experienced player who may feel intimidated from the pictures or other reviews: DON'T BE. Put a post in the forums or PM a local, you'll likely get a great guide. Locals also take great pleasure in sharing this beast of a course with others. The course won't be friendly to you, but you will be challenged and learn a lot about your own game and it's weaknesses, and that will only make you better golfer.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 2 Not
Making the Journey
Pros: Wow. Let's start off. This place is in the top 5 for a reason.
Teepads/Signs - every hole has a teepad which are a lot longer then most normal for both long and short(when shorts are there) along with a nice Tee sign with both.
Shot Verity - This place has everything you could really want, in Elevation, length, open bombers, tight wooded.
Great look - Some of the holes greens have the astro turf green that is great look. Bridges over the creeks. Bricks between the creeks/greens. There has been a lot of attention to detail used on this course.
Upkeep - from how the locals compared it to other courses I think it may have the best upkeep of all the courses.
Trash Cans- there is a bucket at every hole. PLEASE USE THEM!
Locals- They have a ton of them here and they are more then willing to help show you around the course and help you.
Cons: This place has two cons, which I think if they weren't in place it wouldn't make this course as good as it is.
1. There are a few times when you have to walk a good distance to the next hole.
2. Not the best beginner friendly course.
Other Thoughts: This is a great Pro Caliber course. It's the kind of place that beats you up, possibly takes a disc or two from you, but makes you want to come back for more.
I was told that there isn't open drinking at the course, as it shares it with soccer fields and other community stuff, but it seemed like in the wooded holes, it's not a huge deal to have a beer back there by the amounts of cans.
This place has plenty of other reviews that will most likely be more helpful, but you need to know this is a worth while place to come. We had 3 groups of guys coming from over 5.5 hours away to play this course and I don't think any were disappointed.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth the trip
Pros: Some quick highlights (scroll through the other reviews below if you want a detailed, hole-by-hole analysis):
- Amazing hole and shot variety: There's a perfect mix of short, medium and long holes (from 200' to over 1000') and multiple tees and baskets let you "choose your own adventure". There are open holes in a traditional park setting and wooded technical holes that reminded me of the best holes on the world-class courses in Charlotte, NC.
- Unique pin placements and hole design: I lost count of the number of island greens on the course, some of them in a traditional par 3 setting, but many of them were at the end of long holes, which require you to make two or three long and accurate shots to get into a position to approach the green. There are also several holes with a significant dog-leg which force you to make a perfect placement shot on your drive in order to have a good look at the green on your second shot.
- Elevation: The course runs up and down rolling, grassy hills and a large, wooded ravine, so you're always dealing with some sort of elevation change.
- Course condition: There are benches and trash cans by the tee on almost every hole, gravel and wood chips in all the right places, and I don't think I saw a single piece of trash or debris anywhere on the course. It's obvious that the people who maintain this course care about it and want to give people who play here the best possible experience.
Cons: - I played the course at the end of the Winter, after a few weeks of heavy rain and snow, so the course was very muddy and slippery in spots. In wet conditions, this course might be difficult to play for people who aren't in good physical condition or need to use a cart.
- Overall, the course seemed to favor left to right lines (long RHBH anhyzers or forehand drives).
- This is a difficult, championship-caliber course, so if you are looking for a pleasant walk in the park chucking Frisbees with your buds, this is probably not the course for you.
Other Thoughts: I've been hoping to play Idlewild for a long time, mostly due to its high ranking on this site and all of the great, detailed reviews already posted below. So, when I had to travel to the Cincy area for a funeral, I decided to come a day early, renting a car and a hotel room so I could try to get in a round at this legendary course. And, after a 3-hour solo round, here's what I can say -
Believe the hype. This course is a must play for any disc golfer, casual or Pro.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
35 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Idlewild is 24-holes of amazingly difficult, epic, relentless, big boy disc golf. Playing the long tees and baskets is a severe test of will, skill, and keen disc golf acumen. It's often better to hit a landing zone with a good placement for the next shot than it is to try for that little extra distance. OB, water hazards, dense forest, and great elevation all come together in one hell of a design that really hits all the high notes and keeps it coming the whole 24.
- Outstanding use of water. While most of the water hazards allow easy retrieval of wayward discs, a few hazards are deep enough to lose discs in (e.g., #'s 2, D, and E). A shallow stream twists back and forth among multiple fairways and island greens for a good portion of the course. Many greens are protected on one or more sides by water.
- Outstanding use of elevation throughout. Rolling grassy hillsides (#'s 1, 15, and B), steep bluffs (#'s 9 and 11), and the banks/edges of the multiple water hazards.
- Outstanding use of trees. Punishingly tight in spots, while never feeling unfair or gimmicky. The lines are all there to be hit, it's a mostly a matter of execution and smart placement for the next shot. Holes that incorporate defined landing zones include #'s 2, 5, and 15.
- Outstanding use of OB to increase risk and force delicate upshots around the several island greens. These greens are usually brick-lined, clearly marked by surrounding water and/or hillside, and carpeted in green astroturf. Drop zones exist in places for the OB around the greens.
- Outstanding tees. If you have issue with these launching pads, yer bonkers. The short tees offer easier shots as well as changing up the look of some holes.
- Signage makes the somewhat winding layout a breeze to follow. We played the long layout without a guide and, other than a brief moment of confusion when jumping back onto the course after restocking on water at the cars, navigation was a snap. Bridges and stairs in all the right spots make this course relatively easy to traverse.
- A good balance between super long (1000'+) and super short technical ace runs (I believe a couple of holes are under 200' even from the longs).
- After #8, the parking lot is conveniently located to the left through the trees. Perfect timing for a restock on beverages, food, and the like. Also, a great way to alleviate backups at the first tee: one could always start on #9 if several groups show up at once. The option of skipping the lettered holes and playing an easier round of 18 holes also helps prevent course congestion.
Cons: - Some of the holes seem fairly close to one another leading to potentially hazardous play. I was informed from in-the-know locals that the course isn't usually all that crowded, but it still seems a bit cramped in places.
- Idlewild is not a "disc golf paradise" if such a thing even exists. The course is ugly in a few spots (although overall it's pretty enough). I was fairly shocked that a course held in such high regard would have so much litter (albeit during the winter...I guess it's cleaner in the warmer months?) This detracts nothing from the actual play, but I thought it worth noting.
Other Thoughts: - Idlewild wasn't at all what I expected going in (without really having read any reviews or looking in depth at the pics) and I was pleasantly surprised at some aspects while being a bit disappointed at others. In the end, though, Idlewild instantly won me over and exceeded most of my expectations. This course delivers its own brand of punishing yet absolutely fair and rewarding disc golf of the highest caliber. Idlewild is a true gem.
35 of 37 people found this review helpful.
28 Helpful / 2 Not
My #1 out of 55 played!
It will be hard to include anything unique in my review, so I'll just do what I do and review it as if mine was the first.
Very nice park setting with beautiful scenery... rolling hills, trees, woods, ponds, creek, interesting man made erosion control projects, etc.
Within minutes of the small town of Burlington, the bigger town of Florence and less than 30 minutes to the big city of Cincinnati. So there is no shortage of other things to do in the area... eating, shopping, professional sports, lots of other disc golf courses in the area, etc.
Ample parking with porta-johns on site, although not on the course itself. Hole #1 is just a few steps from, and #18 finishes just a short walk from, the main parking lot. Benches and trash cans throughout the course. The course was very clean when I played it, by the way.
If you don't have time for all 24 or if you just don't want to start with hole #1, there are several other tee options that are close to either the main parking lot or other parking lots. See the course map and you'll see what I mean.
24 holes! Most holes have either multiple tees, pins, or pin locations. Ideal, excellent sized concrete tees. Baskets are mixed, but in good shape and of high quality (see cons, too). (There's a picture in the Idlewild thread in the forums of the freshly painted, highly visible, baskets, http://www.dgcoursereview.com...ld&page=3
, post #25. This was done after I was there.) High quality course map available here on DGCR and displayed near tee #1. Good tee signs and generally easy navigation (see cons, too), using the map.
Now let's get to what's really important... the holes!!! This is the most well thought out course that I've ever played, with the greatest variety of hole types. Although there are no "ski slope" down hill holes, there are several holes with considerable elevation drop (#15 comes to mind). There are uphill holes of varying degree. There are level holes including a couple "across the valley" type holes.
To say that there are left turning, right turning and straight holes would be understating this point. Off the tee, you have a tremendous amount of options. Some holes will give you the option of throwing a hyzer, anhyzer, overhand or roller off the tee, while others will force a particular shot off of the tee. And once you've found your tee shot, you're likely to have multiple lanes and shot options to use to get to the basket or further down the fairway.
There are mostly open grassy holes, holes that play entirely in the woods, and many holes that have you playing both air shots and wooded shots in the same hole. Some holes get quite tight, but I don't feel that there was a single "plinko" or unfair hole on the course. If you hit your lines in the woods, you can do very well. I was very fortunate to stay on the fairway a vast majority of the time so I didn't have any real trouble finding my discs. There are a some places, though, where the high grass or underbrush off of the fairway does get thick. Stating the obvious here, but just be sure to pay close attention to your disc's flight.
The use of water is very fun, too. There a couple ponds that come into play with you either throwing over them, or along side them. And then there's the stream that flows through some of the holes. There are landing zones and greens (some covered with green outdoor carpet to help with erosion) literally cut into peninsulas created by the meandering stream. These peninsulas really make for some interesting shot selections. "Do I go for it or do I lay up? That approach sure does look tempting... but I don't like the looks of that OB."
Landing zones on the par 4s and 5s...This is one of the standout features of the course to me. You don't necessarily just try to throw your your tee shot as far as you can and hope for a good lie. Several holes require accurate tee shots with specific landing zones in order to leave you with a preferred shot down the fairway or to the basket. For me, some of these landing zones broke up a couple holes into more manageable, bite-size pieces. But a better player could shoot for a longer landing zone and birdie vs my par. I love that there are different ways to effectively manage the holes, with distinct risk and reward options.
This course is definitely what I would think that Pro-Caliber means. I am by no means a pro, but I do have a bit of experience. So I was very pleased with my 3 over 90 from mainly the short tees. My being able to throw a 3 over the first time I played the course makes me believe that Idlewild could also be played and enjoyed by much less experienced players, too. Some holes would seem daunting, I'm sure. And the course would seem very hard. But I don't think that these are necessarily bad things. It could very well prove overwhelming to a very new player, much the same way that I was overwhelmed (beaten severely) by The Woodshed in WV, when I first played it as a noob. Depending on your level of interest in the game, though, even a beating like I took could peak your interest in the game, rather than turning you away from it. It probably wouldn't make a great "first date" or "take the kids for a walk" course, though.
Cons: Only a couple really. Although the baskets are in good shape, as mentioned above, they are of mixed varieties. I would prefer that all of the baskets be the same type, regardless of which type they chose. And I do remember one of the short location baskets being a single chain, almost smaller than normal, looking basket.
I had a couple navigation issues, which would be a non-issue after playing the course a couple of times. But since I was on a limited time schedule, it was an issue for me. I missed the apparent shortcut from #2 to hole A and went all of the way up the hill to the parking lot and around the pavilions. And I couldn't find the short tee for hole E. It took me a little while to find short #14 and maybe a couple others. I may have missed next tee signs, but think that more obvious signs might be in order.
The flight path of planes leaving the Cincinnati-Northern KY Int'l Airport took some of them right over the course as I played. So it got a bit loud, especially when a 747 went over. This didn't really bother me, although I might have been a little distracted by the "pretty planes" since I don't live near a major airport.
These are pretty nit-picking cons, and again, the navigation issues would be corrected with one or two more plays of the course and could have really been my fault altogether.
Other Thoughts: Favorite/Most Memorable holes. #1, a great 640' opener... if you warm up a little! Beautiful, wide, grassy fairway with moderate trouble right or left and a protecting tree in front of the basket. #3, cool downhill drive to the treeline with the basket on a peninsula in the woods. #10, a great "landing zone" hole with a severe dogleg right a couple hundred feet off the tee and another few hundred feet to a well protected basket... short, long, left or right off the tee and you're REALLY going to have to scramble for par (I took a bogey.). #15, 1001', beautiful fairway cut into the deep grass, with dramatic drop down to the peninsula green (I had a 60' putt for birdie and took par). There are more, but I'll stop here.
Obviously, I love the course. I can't wait to get back to the area to play it again. And I will be staying longer than 1 1/2 days next time.
This is definitely a destination course, even if it was the only course in the area. The course, literally, has some of every aspect of a course that I would ask for. And with so many other, apparently high quality, courses in the area, this should definitely be a travel stop for you.
If you made it all of the way through my novella, I commend and thank you. I hope that it encouraged you to play the course if you haven't already. And I'd recommend checking out the KY State Doubles videos on Youtube. There's one loaded onto the DGCR course media page and there are others that you'll find once you go to that one. They do an excellent job of showing off the course.
Enjoy, be well, and good discing!
28 of 30 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
The Gold Standard
Pros: Category I (Essential properties of a good course):
- Baskets in EXCELLENT condition with new highly visible yellow paint
-Tee pads were huge with plenty of room for a big runup
-Tee signs and maps were clear and in great shape
Based on the above, Idlewild easily gets 5 stars in this category
Category II: "Combine with Cat I to make a great course"
-fairways were well defined. Didn't see any holes crossing each other. Flow was reasonable and easy to navigate with a map. No unreasonably long walks between tees. My 35 wk pregnant wife and I played 1-18 then holes A-E in about 3 hrs.
-Course maintenance was immaculate
-Benches and trash bins were on every hole I remember and not overflowing. Woodchips on the ground by the benches could have reduced the mud.
Based on Category II, I still stick with 5 stars.
Category III: bonus attributes to make and excellent course
-Nice elevation changes. Not huge, but very scenic rolling hills. The 1001 ft par 5 was a behemith, but manageable with the downhill elevation change. I just barely missed a long putt for 4 and escaped with par 5.
Hole 5 is a steep uphill par 5, only 510 ft, but felt longer given how uphill it was....scored a 7 on this one.
-So many epic and memorable holes. Other reviewers have already captured most of them so I won't rehash.
-Port-a-poties are located close to the parking lot, but within the course, not so much....find a tree
-Shot selection- used about every disc in my bag.
-Hole length- some short par 3's played at or under 200', and 1 par 5 just over 1000 ft. Nothing seemed too unfair though apart from hole #5.....a par5 on this hole would be amazing I think.
-Overall challenge- as one reviewer put it, Mt. Airy is a fabulous course you could play every day. Idlewild is more of a beast but is the appropriate place to determine the best player.
-Not very crowded when my wife and I were there. Let 1 single play through, but apart from that, we had the course to ourselves........my guess is that was because everyone else was scared of 38 degree weather and nicer days it's probably much more busy.
-Locals- Talked to a foursome playing #2 which seemed to be excellent players, but were very friendly
-The small brook / creek running through multiple holes was very scenic and challenging to avoid, but didn't make us fearful of losing a disc.
-A few of the creekside wooded holes had synthetic turf as well which made for an Augusta National feel...........speaking of, compared to all disc golf courses in the world, this is sort of like the Augusta National of disc golf!
Cons: Hard to speak negatively about the course. Sure, some holes to a beginner like me seemed a bit tight, but this is the place to test your game......not boost your confidence!
Other Thoughts: By far the best course I've played. Also glad it's only 1.5 hrs away so I'll definitely be back.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Where to start... It has everything you can ask for in a disc golf course. It has open holes, tight holes, holes in between, straight holes, left to right, right to left. It's such a big area that you can have par 5s (up to 1000 ft.) It has so many holes that stick out in my mind that I can't list them without saying almost every hole on the course. Not to mention the HUGE teepads, great signs, alternate tee boxes, and multiple baskets. The letter holes go perfectly with the rest of the course. The whole course flows good there was just one time where I had to figure out where the next tee box here.
Cons: Just more pros would go here.
Other Thoughts: This course is truly the best disc golf course in the country. It may lose on scenery/looks to some other courses but if you're just focusing on playing the game then nothing comes close to Idlewild.
10 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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