Hitting trees is good
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I hate to be the bad guy, but I have to give IOP a 1.0. Yes, I know I'm the lowest review (as of today). And I know it's a quaint little park, designed for rec golfers, and they clearly put some thought into it. But when I stack it up against the other courses I've played, I couldn't justify a 1.5...even though I carded my very first "ace" on this course! That's right, the course where I got my maiden ace is getting a 1.0 from me (this proves that I attempt to rate courses dispassionately!). Before I go through my reasons for the 1.0 grade, here are the pros:
1. Very pretty, well maintained public park. If you are vacationing at the IOP or Sullivan's Island, it's definitely a fun outing, especially with kids, and it beats the price of any of the touristy things to do in Charleston (you can't beat free).
2. Easy to navigate the course with the maps available in the mailbox at tee #1.
3. After years and years of playing disc golf, trying to AVOID hitting trees, here the object is to HIT TREES! It's mind blowing, and not surprisingly, quite easy. Each target is a red flag on a piece of white PVC-looking pipe in front of a tree or sign. To hole out, you have to hit the flag pole or the object (mostly trees) behind it. So, just do what you naturally do anyway when you're out playing disc golf, hit the trees!
4. Despite being a rec style pitch and putt course, good for beginners (but not intermediate to advanced players), there are a few holes with decent distance to bomb drives.
5. I've gotta give IOP props for giving me my first ace, although I don't feel like it was a "real ace." I aced #1: 94 feet, par 2. The target is a pretty big tree. I took aim and nailed it, dead center, right above the flag in front of it. Yes, it's nice to get an ace, but without a basket, without that beautiful sound of the disc hitting the chains -- and instead the THUD of the disc slamming into the tree -- it just doesn't feel like that ace should count. Plus, as a par 2, which is probably right for such a short hole, it was only a birdie, not an eagle. Oh well, it still says "1" on my scorecard.
Cons: Lots of cons to this course:
1. First and foremost, safety is a huge problem on this course. It plays around the rec center, beside a playground, soccer field, baseball field, dog park, and adjacent to two roads. There are opportunities galore to hit park goers, buildings, windows, and parked cars. I can't see how they haven't had major complaints, property damage, or injuries. Definitely double check for people and property before you tee off, especially on hole 4, which is a blind shot around the rec center, right beside the dog park.
2. I was kidding about hitting trees above. I'm sorry, but that goes against everything that is sacred about disc golf: you want to hit chains, not trees. Not a fan of object courses, but I definitely prefer tone poles to trees. And of course, baskets are ideal.
3. No tee pads, no defined spot to tee off from, just "near" the previous hole's target flag.
4. The stated pars on the course are whacky. There are four par 2's, which is probably right for how short and simple they are, but there are also five par 4's and three par 5's, all of which should be 3's or, at the most 4's. Not a huge issue for me (it's kind of fun to shoot a -14), but just for simplicity, I would make it a standard par 54.
5. Some of the hole designs are just bad, bad, bad and dangerous. Examples:
- Blind shot around the rec center.
- Directly across the baseball field to a flag on the other side of the dugout fence.
- Over the batting cage (there's literally no other way to play the hole than to tomahawk over it).
- Behind the baseball field, with a road and parking spaces right beside it to the left.
Other Thoughts: I think you get the idea of why I gave it a 1.0. It's a fun beach activity, but not a serious course for serious players. I'd give it a 1.5 or even a 2.0 for the fun factor, were it not for the several dangerous, poorly conceived holes. Anyway, if you're visiting IOP, it's worth the notch on your belt to play it, just watch out for pedestrians and hit those trees!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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