23 Helpful / 0 Not
Disc Golf Gold in the Bluegrass State
Pros: Northern Kentucky's gift to disc golfers, Idlewild's rolling hills, wonderfully wooded fairways, winding creeks, and ponds combine to provide the kind of beautiful setting and supreme challenge serious players live for. But don't let the nice scenery fool you: this place is anything but friendly, and will challenge EVERY aspect of your game.
• Truly outstanding and well balanced shot variety, particularly in terms of distance (just look at the score card distances). Excellent use of natural elements to present straight, left, and right turning fairways, uphill and downhill shots, rollaway putts, etc. Moderately and tightly wooded fairways on 400+ ft holes are anything but relatively easy pars. Supplemental holes play a bit more open than most of the original 18, to help provide what I think is a nice balance of fairway types. Several holes present numerous lines you can execute off the tee pad, but every hole features at least some well-placed stands of trees you'll need to avoid or work around to get to the pin. Others significantly restrict what routes you can take, pretty much forcing you to choose from a few reasonably executable lines. Most require you to find a landing area for true approach shots.
• Splendid use of island greens adds a certain charm and unique feel , and shows the thought that went into each hole. Moreover, they provide OB for additional challenge for tournaments and players looking for the ultimate challenge. Even if you choose to ignore the OB and throw to the shorter pin placements to play "Idlemild," it's still not an easy round.
• Great holes galore! Starts with a winner, ends with a killer. Hole 2, with it's approach shot over the water, might be my favorite. Nothing felt run of the mill or filler - every hole had at least some appeal.
• Distance is a plus only if it's well controlled. There are a few holes where those who can't hit 300' can score well. Big drives that get away from you will hurt.
• Course comes near other park activities at a few points, but is pretty well insulated from them for the most part. After a while, I just got lost in the round and forgot the rest of the world.
• Well equipped with nice tees, baskets, and signs, as well as benches and trash cans at most (if not all) holes.
•Surprisingly easy to find and get to. Pretty close to tons of food choices and other civilization.
Cons: Not really much to hate on, but here are some things that did come to mind:
• OB seemed a bit contrived and forced at times, rather than natural.
• Pretty much all top-notch courses come with significant risk of disc loss, and Idlewild is no exception. Get sloppy on some of these holes and kiss your disc goodbye. Bring friends to help look discs down and spot for each other. Besides, this sort of experience is better shared with others.
• Port-a-Potty by 1st tee is certainly better than nothing, but I prefer a real bathroom with running water.
• Scorecard/maps would really be nice - I'd love a souvenir to take home with me. I know they cost, but put up a donation box for those of us willing to pay a buck or two for this incredible experience.
Other Thoughts: Idlewild should be mandatory on the "To Do' lists of those who seek the most challenging of courses. Everything about this place speaks to its championship pedigree, from the spacious concrete pads and well groomed fairways, to the full color tee signs and landscaped design of the putting greens. Sure, it all looks nice, but be prepared for a beatdown. Throw the notion of "everything's a Par 3" out the window. You'll take a 5 and like it, and be thrilled with a 4. I refuse to list "too difficult" as a con. This course was meant to be championship caliber from the word go. Citing difficulty as a con would be ludicrous. Difficult? Yes. But impossibly so? Not even remotely. Everything here is reasonable for those with the appropriate skill level. I would absolutely love to see top pros playing here, I'm certain it would be inspiring and humbling all at the same time.
A round at here can leave you exhausted, especially if it's a hot or humid day - bring hydration and food. My pilgrimage was made even more epic by the fact that the temp hit 100° the afternoon I played, so I truly feel justified in saying "I survived Idlewild." You just have to appreciate the undulating fairway on 15 and the 4'-5' tall prairie grass and Queen Anne's Lace lining it nearly the entire distance. Almost cruel to throw a 1000' hole at you after you've already played 20 holes and trekked about 2 miles up and down hill. Can you say stamina?
Can't really comment on navigation because I had a guide, but it did flow well from hole to hole, and I don't remember anything seeming that tricky.
To Fred, Bob, Nick, and anyone else involved in making and keeping this place such a worthy destination: THANK YOU!!!
Comparison to Flip: both courses are scenic, have 24 tees, baskets, great land, and are obviously labors of love. That's where the comparison ends. They are COMPLETELY different in their very nature and it really all depends what you're looking for. Idlewild is the tougher, more challenging course - hands down. Flip is accommodating to a wider range of players, with a cool vibe and fun-factor that's all its own, and simply can't be duplicated (at least it hasn't been to this point). As different from each other as steak and lobster, the existence of each makes experiencing the other even better. I prefer to appreciate each for what it does so well, and feel fortunate to have played them both.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 3 Not
The Beast Within
Pros: The one thing you will walk away with from this course is the realization that someone really took the time to make this course their baby. This is a very good course that makes use of some amazing land. This course is an incredible challenge that really rewards good shots and lucky shots. There are absolutely no filler holes on this course. Every hole will make you think and make you want to come back and try it again. The course plays through a park with other amenities, mostly ball fields. There is a trash bucket at every hole. There are port-o-potties at various places. Nice concrete tee pads, nice tee signs. The course is well maintained and genuinely has the feel of a real golf course. That is not something that happens often with disc golf courses. I really thought the way they mowed the brush did well to penalize shots that do not land in the fairway. There was a surprisingly low number of bugs on this course considering the conditions. The benches at every hole were a very nice touch.
Cons: This course is a beast for anyone of any skill level the first time you play it. The new six holes are a bit of a challenge to find unless you really know what to look for. Some of the other holes are confusing as well, in particular hole 14 with its two very different tee pads. There are no real tee signs for these six holes as of yet. Hole E plays through a high foot traffic area of fishers. This course will discourage beginers. The trees just off the fairway in many places are so thick they they over penalize a bad or unlucky shot. Some of the places where water does exist in pools are places to avoid as it was near impossible to find two discs my group threw in there.
Other Thoughts: This course is not perfect. It is really really good, even phenominal, but not perfect. This course is epic and I particularly liked Hole 1, 3, The Y hole and hole 16. The directions on thsi site are very good and will get you to where you need to be. You will definately want to bring water when you come and you will definately want to play this course at some point.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
30 Helpful / 1 Not
Welcome to the Thunder Dome, $#!%@
Pros: Idlewild separates the men from the boys, the strong from the weak and shows how truly challenging disc golf can be. Nestled in a large multi-use park, this course sits among some of the best disc golfing terrain I've seen for a course. Rolling hills, tight woods, open prairie, winding creeks, and epic wilderness are all here for your enjoyment. The natural features here are a big part of why this course is so special. No hole is on level ground; whether it be an elevated tee/basket or sloping fairway, you're never safe from a wicked roll away. The pond and winding creek come into play multiple times. Actually on one hole you walk back and forth across the same creek six times on a straight line from the tee to the long basket placement.
Fred and Bob used the available land to its fullest with each hole nicely spaced out so that minimal interference will be occurred by any of the other holes. Normally I'd be harsh on non-necessary long walks but Idlewild is the exception. Here you can enjoy the walks while thinking about several things; the beating you just took on the last hole, how you did it, your game plan for the next hole, how you're going to execute it, and how lucky you are to be playing here. Each tee pad has a bench to accompany it, which are very handy to think about said items.
Each hole has its own character with no two holes playing alike and in several instances; consecutive holes require completely different types of shots all the way to the basket. Here you'll need a complete arsenal of shots and you'll need to be at the top of your game to score well.
Fairways range from an epic 1001 footer in the open complete with island green to a punishing ~250 footer through an 10 foot wide tunnel that ends with the basket being guarded on all sides by cedars. The greens range from the usual basket in an open field to being located on an eight foot wide peninsula (or island) with out-of-bounds on all sides. The man-made OBs add another element of danger. Most holes are through heavy woods with somewhat defined landing areas. Only after playing here multiple times can you really figure out the best and worst places to land. Idlewild is the best example of placement golf I've seen and can be brutally punishing to errant shots or shots deemed unlucky.
Here 2s are long coveted but rarely gotten. Don't be surprised to go over a round or two without getting one. In most instances 3s are very good to get. Depending on how you attack a certain hole will determine if you can earn a 3 or worse. Carding a 4 on many holes here isn't a bad thing and can actually gain you some strokes on the field. Anyone that gets a 4 after going into the rough should be acknowledged as well. Scoring a five or higher on any of the holes doesn't mean the end of the world here, just that there's something to be learned from it.
The amenities here are second-to-none. Located near number one is a port-a-john, an information board, a practice basket and a couple soccer fields that are great for warming up in. As mentioned, each hole has a bench as well as a trash bucket. Throughout the course are many staircases to protect against erosion damage and players from slipping on the terrain. Many walking bridges dot the course between holes and between the fairways and greens. To combat the mud problem on several of the island greens and penisulas, astro turf has been installed. I thought this was an especially nice touch. The tee signs are Houck Designed and show each pin placement, the pars, mandos, OBs, and even mentions a couple Hall Of Famers on each hole. Each mando is clearly marked on the trees with drop zones built into the course already. The tees are adequately sized and grippy even under wet conditions.
Cons: Honestly, the only gripes I have about the course are only personal preferences. In several spots in the woods it can get muddy and soggy but overall the drainage is excellent. It would be nice if on the tee signs it would indicate which sleeve placement the basket is in. My only other complaint is that this course isn't closer to where I live (about three hours away).
Other Thoughts: I've played this course probably 10 times but held off on writing a review until I had played it again. This is all coming with the course fresh on my mind from the KY State Championships yesterday. Idlewild is among the cream of the crop in terms of courses for me. Its a masterpiece of design that challenges even the most experienced and skilled players. I couldn't even begin to pin point a signature hole here. Almost any of these holes could be a signature hole on most other courses. The fun factor here is vastly different than most courses in that most of the time you're not throwing for a chance to immediately putt but to set up the next shot. Based on that, this wouldn't be a good place to bring a beginner or impatient player. Idlewild is a championship caliber course that can be appreciated for its difficulty and aesthetics by serious players.
30 of 31 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 16 Not
Beauty of the Beast
Pros: I'm new to this course review thing. I'm bored at work and have decided to start reviewing some of my favorites. We stopped here on the way to Am Nationals last year. We got caught in a torrential down pour after 14 and didn't finish. Here are some thoughts:
-Beautiful park, very big, and well maintained.
-Options galore. You can play this course aggresively or lay up and take what it gives you. There are plenty of chances to score well, but if you miss your line trouble awaits.
-Designers and course keepers have an obvious love for there course. The amount of work that has gone into this place is second to none. Kudos to those involved with keeping this place nice!
-You need every shot in your bag, not just to shoot well, but to navigate the course. You're required to throw an arsenal of different shots out here.
Cons: Recreational players beware. This course is not for the faint of heart. With that said, it may beat you to death for a while, but I can see well groomed players being molded by this course on a regular basis. It may not be fun for newer players to start with, but eventually you will learn the lines and this will be mecca.
Grass was a little high, but I imagine we probably got there the day before it was going to be cut. Park is to beautiful to no be maintained on a regular basis
Other Thoughts: Heading for Am Nationals again in early June. We will definitely be stopping by for anothe crack ar Idlewild. Can't wait!!
8 of 24 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 2 Not
Ultimate DG Experience
Pros: Playing this course is an amazing experience. I stepped onto the first tee with 20mph gusts of wind so I knew it was going to be a crazy/memorable round. I hate reviewing courses after only playing them once, but I doubt I'll be back in the area anytime soon and this course deserves it. Hole 1 is a great hole to open with; wide open and you can let it rip. One thing that is excellent about Idlewild is that every single hole offers multiple ways to play it. This creates great risk/reward situations. You have to consider your options before each shot and you have to realize your limitations. Sometimes you need to consider playing a safe shot, but other times you will be forced into playing an epic/risky shot just to make par. My first time through I couldn't help but play 2-3 more shots after my initial one (only used 4-5 mulligans though =)). That just goes to show how creative you can get with lines.
Too many trees/hazards wasn't a problem for me except on one or two holes. For the most part the amount of trees makes you question your line and if you will be able to pull off a certain shot. For me this makes a course that much better to play. This course makes you play all types of shots. It made me pull (or attempt to pull) some crazy shots I've never had to try before. I threw tomahawks, rollers, sliders, backhands, forehands, annys, hyzers, and pretty much any other kind of shot you could think of. Yes, the course is very difficult, but for any experienced player, this greatly increases the fun/enjoyment. This is especially true when you nail a difficult shot or sink that rare birdie putt.
The trees are the backbone of the course (the Y tree is sick), but the creek adds a great element as well. The borders and bridges create a professional feel. It's exciting after playing hole 3 to look down the creek and see all the baskets and island greens. It got me even more pumped for the rest of the course.
The flow of the course is excellent as well. There are really no confusing/long walks at all. The 9th hole even ends somewhat near the parking lot
Some of my favorite holes were: 1,6,11,15,16,18.
Cons: There were a couple of ridiculous holes, starting with hole 5. The shot from the tee doesn't really follow a natural route to the pin. It seemed really forced, almost like it was added just to get the course from the end of hole 4 to the 6th tee. After the tee shot the hole is ok though. I guess the thing I don't like is that it is basically a forced 90 degree, uphill dogleg. You can't get anywhere near the pin with your tee shot. I think moving the tee downhill and a bit to the left would solve this problem, but this might create congestion with holes 3 and 4. Hole 8 was a bit ridiculous with the amount of trees but really not too much to complain about there.
Other Thoughts: Even though I played through pretty poor conditions (to say the least), this course was absolutely amazing. The weather also meant that I was all alone on the course, which is probably something that few people can say they have experienced. I smacked a lot of bark and heard a fair amount of splashes, but it just made me realize the greatness of this course. Definitely a must play if you can get out there, but that kind of goes without saying.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 39 Not
hope you have a cannon
Pros: -This course challenges your ability for the long drive, aiming, consistency, and technical shots
-The holes are spaced nicely so that there are few holes that get backed up
-There are a good variety of hole types (wooded, open, flat, hills, etc.)
Cons: -If you cant throw very far you might get discouraged. There are a lot of holes that are 400+ feet.
-I was there in the early spring, and that probably had something to do with the conditions, but it was extremely muddy when I played.
-Find the next hole was sometimes challenging. Try to play with someone who has played before.
Other Thoughts: -The course designer did a good job with what they had available.
-The course was really easy to find.
-I talked to a local, and he said they change the holes up pretty frequently. I really like this about courses
4 of 43 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 5 Not
Get ready for a challenge
Pros: If you are looking for a challenge, you have found one. You had better pack a lunch for this effort. This course is prepared to exploit your weaknesses. If you can't throw 350ft., it will cost you. If you cant carve technical lines, you will pay. If you are not willing to play smart and reserved at times, you will spend time in the funk. You will have to plan your shots here.
Fantastic length. I typically always play long tee's, no matter where I am. Not here. The short tee's are quite enough. From the shorts you have holes in the following distances;
1 = 1000+ ft
3 = 600+ ft
2 = 500+ ft
2 = 400+ ft
2 = 300+ ft
6 = 200+ ft
2 = 100+ ft
How is that for balance? Oh, and those six 200+ ft holes - they are loaded with elevation changes and technical lines that give each one of them character.
Even though this course is long, there are still some nice ace runs. I ran at holes 9, 13 and 14. An ace here is very possible.
This course has multiple signature holes. My personal favorites are - Hole 1. You gotta love going strait from your car to a 650 ft bomb, over a gorgeous field, that gradually narrows as it gets to the pin. Hole 10. This is a true dog leg. It is approx 250 feet to the right turn, then about 350 feet to the guarded pin. Hole 11. This is the "KY" hole. You shoot through a mando that is a tree in the shape of a "Y". It's a down hill shot that turns left after the mando. And lastly, hole 15. This is the 1001 footer. The fairway is wide and you can just lay into this one.
This place is beautifully manicured. There is a winding creek that comes in to play on several holes. On all of these holes there are well built bridges (not fallen branches placed in the water) that take you across. There are countless cylindrical blocks forming ledges and banks throughout the course. These blocks form sand traps of OB on some holes. There are clear paths, sometimes graveled and lined (hole 3) that direct you from tee to pin. It is clear that a lot of work has gone into this course.
Cons: There are a few holes that keep this course from being a 5 for me. Holes 5 and 6, in particular. I have had success on these holes at times but more often I feel I am subject to random ricochets. Both of these holes challenge you to play reserved and controlled, with multiple landing zones. The problem for me lies in the seemingly unnatural lines and/or obstructed lanes getting to the pin.
Other Thoughts: This course belongs in the top ten IMO. It is pro caliber and has great character. Playing this course is like work, though. It can be frustrating. It can be punishing. It can also be rewarding and fun. When I have a good round here, I know that I was really on my game and I earned it.
This is absolutely worthy of a road trip. I drive down from Columbus many times per year to play this course. I like to team it up with Banklick (Lincoln Ridge Park) and Mount Airy in Cinci.
22 of 27 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 2 Not
Into the WILD!
Pros: This course is no cake walk. It is very challenging and long which in my opinion makes it a better course. You have to work in order to make pars and actually shape shots thinking of the next shot instead of running at the basket on every throw. As a long thrower, I like the chance to get out and stretch my arm a little, but any inaccuracy will cost you a stroke if you go off of the fairway. The course is set up really well with most baskets very close to the next tee pads. The fairways with exception to a few are very fair. If you miss one it is mostly your fault for not hitting the line, you can't blame errant trees (again with the exception of a few holes). I live an hour away and cherish every time I get to play "the wild".
Cons: There are a few holes that could take a tree or two out to open the fairway up a little more and provide a decent route to the basket. Tee sign on #4 is outdated and was a little confusing to figure out, but not that big of a deal. You can see from the tee that it is mainly an open field and is a fairly forced tee shot. Have yet to play in good conditions (only played in the rain or snow covered ground) so I can't wait to see it this spring/summer.
Other Thoughts: Love the little touches of each hole and the attention it gets with each hole having a sponsor. The members walk to hole #4 is a very special touch and is something I haven't seen anywhere else. We always take advantage of this when playing with non-members. Can't wait for the possible new additions coming to the course because most of the holes are well thought out, so I know these new holes will provide an even greater challenge to the course.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 5 Not
"I Survived IDLEWILD"
Pros: This is one great and humbling course.
This review is shorter than the many other reviews and they have elaborated the many pleasures and challenges of this fine course much more eloquently than I can. I don't want to repeat what the other reviews have already said. So here is my brief rundown of the features of Idlewild.
The 18 holes (soon to be 24) have as much variation as might be possible anywhere.
A good throw into the fairway is rewarded many times with another challenging shot.
The concrete tees are complimented with a bench and garbage pail on all holes.
There are multiple pin locations on many holes.
The walk you take to play this course would make a wonderful hike through the woods without playing. Playing the course makes the walk even better.
Cons: The only one I can think of is crossing the fairway of 11 after playing 16, however you are well below the flight path of anyone driving on 11.
Other Thoughts: It is truly the crown jewel of all the fine courses we are lucky to have in the CIncinnati, Ohio area.
It is not a short course, so be ready to invest ( and invest is a good word to use because you will be rewarded) a few hours to play one of the most enjoyable and challenging courses to be found. Then you can say "I Survived IDLEWILD".
13 of 18 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Concrete pads, benchs at every tee.
-Multiple pin positions on majority of holes.
-Some of the best landscape I've seen yet.
-Open and tight, wooded holes.
-A park with family atmosphere with walking trails, ball diamonds, soccer fields, picnic shelters...and neither interferes with the other...except on 2/3 but it's not a problem for either.
Idlewild is one awesome park with lots of risk/reward and every hole variation you could want. It plays slightly better for the lefty than the right-hander(in my rh opinion)...but it's a close call. It requires accuracy and distance to get a good score. The risk/reward is not necessarily with the ob. If your shot gets off fairway on a few wooded holes, it might feel like you went ob by turning a 4 into a 6/7...fairway is very important here. i won't get into individual hole details-see stats for yourself.
For a public course, it can't get much better.
Cons: -Garbage buckets overflow because of the mass traffic going through.
-Occaisonal snakes (land or water).
-#5 has a slightly unrealistic tee shot...just when you think you let loose on one of your most accurate shots ever...Crack!, you hit a tree.
Other Thoughts: Memorable holes:
#15...1000 ft., wide open hole until the island green.
#16...creek passes across fairway 3 times before long pin.
#18...just keep it in the center of the fairway and you'll come out with a 4/5.
I live 35 minutes from Idelwild and pass many courses on the way to play this one!
I think it deserves a 4.75 so I gave it a 5 because 4.5 is not fair.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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