18 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course 100% lived up to all of the hype it has received. It was my first round at a difficult course in quite some time, so I was a bit rusty... as I expected, Idlewild whooped my butt. While most of the time I find being bad at something quite un-enjoyable, somehow this course allowed me to have an incredible time regardless of how I played. Heres why:
*The scenery here was absolutely breathtaking. I could have brought my grandparents here and they would have "oooohed" and "ahhhhed" at the beautiful trails and trees without touching a single disc (I can only imagine how it must look in the Fall!). The first hole of the course bombards the golfer with a HUGE decline that just begs for a driver to be ripped down the giant fairway lined on either side by trees. In addition, the course had a lot of awesome man-made greens surrounded by streams on all sides, a feature that I haven't really seen much of. Many of the holes wind through the woods, making the course a very scenic hike.
*As I mentioned, this course proved to be quite a challenge. That being said, every hole here was fair and exciting! They weren't the kinds of holes where you said "aw crap there is a very good chance I'm going to take a 6 here..." no... they all presented challenges that tempted the golfer to take out their drivers and go for the birdie! It was nice to not constantly be worried about losing discs on these challenging holes (except for those that brought lakes into play)
*Elevation here was definitely noteworthy... being from Illinois, every hole at Idlewild showed more elevation changes than any of the ones i normally play at home.
*Signage was perfect.
*The park overall was great. People were hiking, fishing, walking their dogs, etc. Lots of other things to do besides disc golf
Other Thoughts: These don't really affect the course's rating in my eyes, but they're noteworthy...
*We ended up not being ready to leave the park until about 7pm, and by that time the gates had already been locked up. We called the number on the signs, but still had to wait about 20 minutes before someone came and let us out... keep this in mind when planning your trip!
*Watch out for the water beyond the street of hole 17... crept up on a few of my buddies that thought it didn't go as far back as it really did.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: This course will test every shot in your bag. Well marked with short and long tee pads. Multiple pin placements for almost all holes.
Cons: The new letter holes could use the bigger tee pads like the rest of the course has on each hole.
Other Thoughts: All in all this is an amazing course. It is one of the best/toughest courses to play.
3 of 11 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Where to start!
Course is in great condition well kept. Nice big concrete tees in good condition. Baskets are good. There was one basket that was a little janky looking in the short position on #13. Tee signs are very good and descriptive. Course flows well there are no real navigation problems.
Great use of the land. Lots of great elevation changes. Uses lot of water, a small lake and a creek that runs through a lot of the park is used on many holes. Along the creek they build up walls with concrete stones, clearly marking the OB areas. With that they course uses OB often to cause accuracy to be a must. A lot of island greens.
Many great holes that you will remember. Like the 1001ft #15 with an island green. #11 shots through a V split in a tree with a long swooping fairway to the left to finish with an island green. Then finishing a 651ft #18 with a super tight hallway most of the fairway. Great use of the land!
Extreme requirement for multiple shots. I am right handed used many backhand and forehands and even a few overhands. A few holes that require a rhbh turnover to execute the hole well like hole #4 uphill to the right.
A practice basket right at the beginning to warm up as well as a soccer field that can be used to warm up a bit is always nice.
The course has multiple baskets and multiple tees on a few hole which is nice for tournaments and having different divisions.
Cons: The course has been far more worn down than what the pictures now show. Just a lot of traffic stomping down and killing a lot of grass.
With the use of creeks in low laying areas this can cause it to hold some water. The course has been a bit muddy every time I have played.
Other Thoughts: This course is not where you want to take your friend for their first disc golf outing.
Get out and play this course.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Simply the Best
Pros: What an incredible expereince! Idlewild is an extraordinary course.
Tee's- Pad were all in great shape and VERY spacious which made life so much easier. The tee locations were very well thought out. There is no redundancy on the course and each tee shot requires a bit of thought. In many places, you are offered multiple ways to attack the pin (I use the term attack very loosely).
Signs- Signage was good. We only played the original 18, so I can't comment on the other 6. Maps and distances we very accurate and necessary.
Topography-Really what sets this course apart from all the others I have played. The course is runs from park-like to tightly wooded with one epic open hole. The balance is tremendous and the massive creeks that run through the course add the wow factor necessary for elite courses. The terrain is a nice balance of rolling hills/ big hills/ little bit of flat. No hole feels redundant.
Beauty- Gorgeous--I will not call it the most scenic course I have ever played, but it is in the top 5 for sure. This is DG the way God intended it. The park was extremely well maintained and the massive mature trees, use of long grass and, and creeks were perfect.
Difficulty- Insane. If you play this utilizing the OB the way it is intended, get ready for the challenge of your life. There are so many filthy tee shots where there is a 50-50 chance of OB. It is a real gut check. I loved all the island greens. They are definitely the signature of the course and something I will always remember. With the lack of redundancy comes the need for every disc in your bag. Truly, no tee shot is the same and no approach is the same. They make you throw every shot you have. While I say that it is insanely diffcult, I still think that a beginner could have lots of fun here...just know that you aren't going to score low.
Baskets- All in very good shape and relatively easy to locate (see cons).
Fun Factor- Through the roof. You will never play a course like this again.
Cons: These are minor, but worth noting:
1. It would be nice if there was a way to identify which pin location the baskets were at on the tee sign. We had to walk ahead quite a few times (and one time for like 5 mins). While most of the baskets were in A position, a few weren't.
2. 2 baskets were up for one hole hole (15?) which was really odd.
Other Thoughts: I am still trying to digest our trip to Cincy, but I can say with confidence that this is the best course I played there, and worthy of it's #3 ranking on this site. It is a masterpiece that I hope I am able to play again. Thanks to Cincy and the DG club there for all they do and for making that course what it is.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 14 Not
Better pack a Lunch!!
Pros: Very Challenging course but plays well through all holes and is very easy to navigate as long as you follow the signs
Cons: Very easy to lose a disc. Bring comfortable Shoes, Lots of water on a hot day. As these may seem as a con they are really pros to me!
Other Thoughts: If you are looking the ultimate disc golf challenge, You found it!
2 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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.
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