8 Helpful / 1 Not
Rough Around The Edges
Pros: - Hidden Lake DGC is a new 18-hole course located in a bustling city park.
- Great use of water. Hole #'s 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 15, and 17 all introduce some water hazard into play. Several holes (2 and 5) have just a small creek to deal with. Others (4 and 12) place the basket near a lake. Others still (16 and 17) incorporate a fast, deep-banked river. Not every one of these includes a ridiculous amount of risk, but the ability to swallow discs is very real in spots.
- Good use of the available elevation. A large hilltop is used to good effect on hole #'s 3, 5, and 6. Hole 3 shoots from midway up the hill, through two trees, and across a small creek. #5 shoots over the creek, between two trees, and up to the top of the hill. The green on #5 is ridiculously fast, with awesome rollaway potential. #6 tees off from the other side of the hilltop down into an open field with deep rough behind the pin waiting to punish over-aggressive ace runs.
- New baskets in good shape. One "spoke" of each basket is painted black to indicate the direction of the next tee. A nice touch on a course with some navigation and signage issues. Signs (hopefully temporary) consist of non-descript 4x4s driven into the ground and hole number and distances Sharpied on.
- Decent variety for a city park. While many holes are open with scattered trees, others are open bombs (the 600'+ #2), wooded (#'s 8, 10, and 16), uphill (#5), downhill (#'s 3 and 6), and dogleg rights with water to the right of the fairway (#'s 4 and 12). #17 shoots slightly downhill through a wooded gap, over a creek, with a winding river to the left.
-Edit: I forgot to mention the concession stand that's between 12 and 13. It's strategic location smack in the middle of a long confusing walk between holes tricked me into buying nachos and a gatorade. Pizza, hotdogs, sodas and frozen candy, oh yeah.
Cons: - There are some safety issues right off the bat. Hole #1 has picnic tables and a grill in the middle of the fairway. #3's tee is dangerously close to #5's basket. #6's tee might also be a bit too close to #5's basket. I understand that the current set up is necessary to get the most out of the large hill (and by far the tastiest bit of elevation on the property), but it's downright dangerous if caution is not exercised. Also, # 13 and 14's fairways over-lap quite a bit. Roadways run along several fairways. With crowded course conditions (the park was busy when I was there), there are several spots that are accidents just waiting to happen.
- Poison ivy. Look, I get it. Nature is difficult to control. Dealing with Nature is a by-product of our sport to a certain degree. Normally I don't mark a course down because of Nature. But normally I don't run into fairways where the entire undergrowth is made up of poison ivy (hole #10, I'm looking at you, buddy).
- Navigation is pretty tricky at the moment, even with the colored basket spokes pointing the way. If not for those, the course would be almost impossible to follow in places. Long, unclear walks between 11 and 12, 12 and 13, and from 17 to 18. I hope some of this is mitigated by complete signage once the course is in for a bit.
- Also in the realm of "currently bad but hopefully better as the course gets its kinks worked out" is the lack of tees. Concrete tees would go a long way to making this a more solid course. Currently just grass or worn-out dirt spots (occasionally with flags) comprise the tee pads.
Other Thoughts: - Despite the drawbacks, Hidden Lake is an epic attempt at solid (if not necessarily spectacular) disc golf. Kudos must be given to the designer for getting the most out of the available land in a tight and busy park property. Even though some of the design decisions that get the most out of the land also create potential hazards, it's still a gutsy and well-intentioned layout.
- Hole #1 is a bit tricky to find first time in. Go around the park until you see a sign that says "Ballfields 5, 6, 7, and 8". Don't follow that sign but park in the lot directly to the RIGHT of it. Hole #1 is near the road that leads to those ballfields.
- $8 to enter the park from Memorial to Labor day really makes this a pricey play. It's cheaper to drive down the road and have a full day at Lemon Lake (only $4) with a much higher quality of discin'.
- My review (5/21/12) reflects a new course at the time I played it. My rating may change with future modifications and/or additions. I view Hidden Lake as a potential 2.5- to 3- rated course once tees and signage are finalized. Currently though, I have to rank it lower than that, particularly because of the safety hazards.
- While by no means a "destination course," Hidden Lake is solid enough to hit up if you're in the area (especially because of the multitude of water holes).
UPDATE: Signage is in. Maps of each hole, with hole number, and the distance. Brick tees have gone in on a several holes, although other places continue to be an issue (# 3's tee still consists of nothing but lumpy hillside, directly in the kill zone of people teeing off on #5).
Obvious hazards such as the picnic table in #1's fairway have been removed, but others still exist. The cluster that is #3's tee, #'5's basket, and #6's tee needs a bit of reworking.
Otherwise, this course is trending in the right direction and my rating has been adjusted to reflect the positive changes.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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