One of Ohio's best
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Lots of variety, very good use of elevation and woods, beautiful scenery. Has my favorite hole in all of disc golf anywhere.
If you're doing the camping thing, there are inexpensive cabins at the park, as well, some of them pet-friendly.
Cons: Way off the beaten path. But worth it. At times it seems like they were trying too hard to make the course interesting.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Peaceful, picturesque (in spots), and lots of fun, this is a wooded course that gives a fair chance of success. The combination of woods and short holes means that a new player (myself) can enjoy himself while a control expert can (I would imagine) clean up without feeling bored. The course plays up and down, dramatically so on five holes (2,3,7,12,14), without being gratuitously strenuous. Holes 3-7 and 10-14 are quite attractive, climbing the hillside and following the creek.
A nice camp store sells a surprising variety of Innova products.
Cons: Perhaps because of its location in a secluded state park, course maintenance seems to be somewhat neglected. The decrepit steps up and down some hills are not currently an issue, but the overflowing trash bins (which are located at several tees, a pro in itself) and widespread litter were an unpleasant distraction. A large tree across fairway 11 has been there for a long time now, and severely interferes with the intended line of play. A narrow path has finally been cut through the pile of trees down across fairway 13, but many throws will still end up in the remaining mass of branches. These aren't serious complaints, but they do have an impact on the playing experience.
Many other reviews have mentioned the insect problem. It is real. I spend a huge amount of time outdoors, in the woods, and rarely experience the concentration of mosquitos and gnats that I did when playing Pike Lake this spring. This is unfortunate, and no one's fault, but it can really make enjoying yourself a struggle to be bitten half to death while trying to pick bugs out of both eyes. There were very few insects when I played yesterday, so maybe it would be best to think of this as a "seasonally excellent" course.
The navigation issues are well documented in other reviews. The only truly confusing bit is 10 to 11. After you play 10, you will see tee 13. Walk right of that, then right of basket 12, then up the trail to find 11. There are really two "trails" leading back there, one of them being fairway 12.
Other Thoughts: Tee signs. I don't care much about posted par, but these are somewhat curious. The signs are nice, but the par designations are hard to figure. 8 & 12 are listed as 5s, and are both easily threeable, even for pitiful player like myself. The most difficult hole on the course (#4) is called a 4, which it probably should be. No other holes would typically be thought of as anything more than a 3, but five of them are called 4s, including the straightforward 219' #16 (where there are multiple tees, I'm speaking about play from the long ones). This isn't a con, I make my own standards for performance on a given hole, and many courses have inflated par designations... but not usually courses this nice. Just an oddity
You'll probably pass Williams Corner, a convenience store a few miles away, on your way to and from. If you're hungry, the chicken breasts are good. The potato wedges aren't.
If you're a player like me; weak arm, decent control, and strong legs (for the trails), I think you'll really enjoy yourself AND have a good chance of feeling good about your performance. If you're a long thrower with poor control who hates hills and trees... I think you might enjoy yourself anyway, it's a pretty course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Interesting layout very shady good for a warm day. Concrete pads on long tees. Good workout lots of elevation changes. Pit toilet after number 9.
Cons: Some pads are short and oddley shaped. Short tees are hard to find and dirt or gravel. Tees two and eleven are hard to find with 11 being very hard to find. Lots of stairs to help with elevation changes but some are in poor shape and hazardous.
Other Thoughts: No cell service so could not use online maps.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
A Rustic Gem That's Worth The Drive
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pike Lake is a largely technical course that maximizes its beautiful surroundings for a hike and a round that the player will remember for a long time. The surroundings are top-notch, as the course is nestled into a rocky, rustic hillside with a stream that runs alongside. Of the 70+ courses I've played, Pike Lake is the most aesthetically pleasing location I've had the good fortune to enjoy. With the mature trees overhead and the sound of the water rushing past, it's easy to forget that you're playing a round of disc golf, which integrates unobtrusively into the landscape.
And that golf is pretty good too, really shining when playing up, down, and alongside a steep hillside on Holes 3-7. The significant elevation changes are exciting, as is Hole 4's high-risk putt to the hill's steep edge. Other course favorites include Hole 12, a long, sweeping beauty that allows big arms to air it out downhill in the forest on an otherwise tightly wooded configuration, and Hole 15, which plays straight ahead and over the gently curving OB stream, feeling almost like an Idlewild 16 in miniature. The elevation and obstacles provide enough to keep the player having fun throughout, even if the general hole design is roughly the same, adjusted for length (more on that under cons).
The course has been quiet and low traffic each time I've visited here, amplifying the rustic atmosphere and natural beauty. I get the sense that because of its remote location, this 18 rarely sees a large number of people.
Each hole features a long concrete teepad and usually a short natural teepad as well, a simple but detailed tee sign with hole diagram, and a Chainstar in good repair.
A permanent outhouse stands near the parking lot.
Cons: While the design is interesting and fun due to the elevation, OB, and trees, most holes play either straight ahead or finish to the right at varying lengths, heavily favoring RHFH and LHBH players. Although there's a lot of variety from tee to pin, a RHBH player may get tired of frequent anhyzer approaches. Also, the course ends with a whimper instead of a bang, as the campground style Holes 16-18 are a bit of a letdown from the earlier elevation and creekside juiced winners (but still fun in their own right).
The walk between Hole 10 and 11 is confusing, even with a map. Basically, backtrack along Hole 10 on the basket side of the stream and follow the next tee sign on the hiking trail board. From there, follow the natural trail some distance to the Hole 11 teepad.
The concrete tees vary in size, ranging from extra large on the road level to pretty small in the hills. This could make for some uncomfortable or abbreviated runups.
Although Pike Lake has short and long tees, the natural red tees can be considerably difficult to find and are likely not worth trying to play.
Other Thoughts: Pike Lake is my favorite course in Ohio, as it blends everything that initially attracted me to disc golf in one fantastic package: hiking, natural beauty, and enjoyable play. Aesthetics give the course a big boost here, but the golf is better than most, and even the less exciting holes (like the campground style finishers) are high fun factor. Take the time to drive to rural Ohio for this one.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A Land of Mossy Stones
Pros: Situated in a remote, rustic park in south central Ohio, it amazes me the quality of infrastructure that has gone into making the Pike Lake disc golf course, making it an enjoyable one to play. Kudos to the club / organization that is promoting disc golf in the Hillsboro - Chillicothe region!
For example, because this course runs up and down wooded hills for about 2/3rds of the holes, bridges across creeks and wooden staircases (with shingles for the treads adding traction in moist or, ahem, icy conditions - thanks!) have been added where needed. The tees that are in level areas are huge trapezoids of concrete, and the baskets are quality 24 chain types with reflectorized bands visible over the distances required. Up on the hillsides, the long tees are concrete pads bordered in landscaping timbers, and are as good as should be expected, considering the haulage required to get those materials up those hills. This course has some of my favorite tee signs: the etched pvc style that include tee, fairway, and basket positions, plus some of the key obstacles. There are benches and trash cans where needed, and the course sits relatively separate from the other activities (nature trail, playgrounds, shelters, etc.) for the rest of the family. There are even year-round bathrooms (well, OK, it's just an outhouse, but that's better than some parks that lock up the bathrooms for the winter).
The course itself will challenge the Recreational to Intermediate disc golfer with holes ranging from 168 to 540 feet in length, though 11 are between 200 and 261 feet. There are not many opportunities for big arms to show off here, but technical skills, and especially the ability to carefully fade a medium length tee shot to the right, are a must. I kept saying to myself, "a lot of these baskets are just to the right, and just out of sight" from the tees. That's not to say that there aren't some beautiful downhill shots to be loved by noodlearms like myself. There's an ace run downhill on #7, a longer downhiller to the right on #14, and the #12 signature long tee is visible as you go up the #11 fairway (look to your left). When we played our Fall traveling league here in September, I felt like just watching the whole group ahead of us tee off down the beautiful 540' ravine!
The course flows nicely to the west for nine holes and to the east for the back nine, and there are creek-crossers, ridge runners, and the aforementioned downhillers. An enjoyable course!
Cons: The course does have a preponderance of mossy stones, and places you want to watch your step.
But the biggest challenge is that Pike Lake needs a really nice map done up, and more next tee signs added (for new players: I nearly got lost a couple of times on my second visit, despite it being winter and visibility was great). There are about three signs indicating the location of the short tees, but there are theoretically 11 short tees. The ones you can find are somewhat dilapidated landscape-timbered boxes. And, on your first visit, you will need a sherpa to help you get from the 10th basket to the 11th tee.
The teepads up on the hills are actually too small (but I can't blame them much: I wouldn't relish the idea of getting the materials in place here!)
Other Thoughts: There is a practice basket and a course sign which includes technique and disc tips, but no course map!
This is really a beautiful place to play disc golf when there is water rippling through the rocky streambeds. It is really serene in the winter. I'm sure it's a nice cool spot to play in the heat of the summer because of the solid canopy of trees overhead.
This park is really pretty remote, and you'll traverse a lot of small, winding roads to get here, but it's worth a visit!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun and Challenging
Pros: -A long course with a mixture of short, medium, long holes.
-Concrete tee pads are always a plus
-Good hole information at the tee box
-Short and long tee pads
Cons: -Potential to lose a disc on some risk/reward holes
-Can be crowded at times, but expected being such a nice course
Other Thoughts: This a fun, scenic course with many different types of holes that will challenge any player. Lots of elevation changes that will test your tee shots and your putts. A creek runs throughout the course that can get dry in the summer, fun to play around. Camp store located near by with a few beginner discs on sale. If you're looking to throw from the short tee pads, they are not concrete. If they were, the course would easily be a "5" for me. All in all, a must play course if you are in the area or passing through.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Solid wooded course
Pros: Absolutely no doubt the strength of this course is elevation. You will shoot up, down, up and down the entire 18. Sometimes the degree is dramatic, sometimes it's subtle, but it is relevant on most holes. If you hold elevation in high esteem like I do, you will dig this course.
This course forces tight and diverse lines. The lines are well balanced in angles...be it hyzers, darts or annys. There is no such thing as gun and run here. If you miss your line, you will likely ricochet into jail. Take your time and line your shots. Recovery will not be gentle.
The challenge is money. You will need a controlled game. This course is all about accuracy. This is the course you need to ask your buddy that has been chewing you up with his big "D" to come and play. Distance takes a back seat here. The better player with mid's and putters will win at Pike Lake.
Plenty of work has gone into the multiple staircases that line this terrain. The pads are primarily concrete. The signage is detailed. All amenities are solid.
The rustic beauty kicks ass. This course is aesthetically sweet as it is fun. The foliage is lively and diverse.
Cons: This course is not as balanced as some top level courses. It is almost entirely wooded. Also, it is relatively short. These imbalances keep it from being "excellent". Nothing wrong with short courses, but balance is key.
It seems as if course flow trumped individual hole design. A smooth flow is important but IMO it should not squash potentially fantastic holes. There are multiple holes by the roadside that were clearly laid out to keep you moving back toward the parking lot. What a waste. The land and terrain is so damn sexy. I would guess the average golfer would have rather ventured farther and played deeper into this land than save a few paces.
Be carefull in the spring and early summer. The insects run rampant.
Other Thoughts: I was torn on how to rate this course. If I were to rate it on fun factor alone, it would be a 4.0. I just wish I could air it out a little. There is one hole that is over 500ft. This is hole #12. It is fantastic. Besides that there are only a few holes over 300ft. The entire 18 holes are only 4625ft. and that is from the long tee's. These holes are very technical though.
I very much enjoy this course. It is worth a road trip. It's all about shaping shots.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Nice course off US 50
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: One notable thing about the course is its protection from the elements. Nestled among mature woods in an Ohio State Park, Pike Lake plays to either side of the park road in a valley and also into the protective hills that line both sides. There are creeks, ravines, and elevation variations tee to basket that can be slick when wet but are generally protected from all but strong winds. I've played the course about 5-6 times and would say it's a favorite of mine.
Play is generally below the mature canopy growth and is just a good ole trek though the woods. The shade cuts down on the thickness of the undergrowth so you can generally find your discs. It's also a hike with a couple huff and puff elevation changes to get your aerobics in, but nothing too demanding. There are a few well-placed anchored steps and bridges that may be slick when wet but are a vast improvement to having to trek the same as dirt paths and down into creeks when wet.
There is ample parking, and a park store that has food, refreshments, discs and scorecards. Navigation is fairly straightforward but it's nice to have the scorecard to get from #10 basket to #11 tee. The tee pads are concrete and might be short for some. All the holes have nice placards but information may vary from the scorecard's listing on distances and par. The front and back nines both begin and end near the parking.
Cons: Footing in many places can be deceptive as play goes across many dry (usually dry) creek beds. There seem to be brick to loaf of bread size rocks well out of the creek beds popping out across the course at every turn, so pay attention where you're stepping. I've also played Pike Lake with the creeks raging with the real chance of loosing discs and going down stream personally 200-300ft while trying to get your footing if you fell in.
Other Thoughts: This review comes after playing on a beautiful dry fall afternoon in the low 70's.
There is a picnic awning with playground and primitive toilets all near the begin/end parking area. Pike Lake itself is small but they have boat rental and a beach as well as camping nearby.
Bainbridge is in beautiful Paint Valley that is the western edge of Appalachia and 70 miles or so east of Cincinnati, 20 miles west of Chillicothe on US 50. Pike Lake is about 6 south of Bainbridge. You might want to also take in Rocky Fork South Beach Course about 20 west of Pike. Paint Creek State Park is expanding their disc course (from 21 to 24 holes in 2015) near the campground. Paint Creek is roughly between Pike Lake and Rocky Fork also not far off US 50. Paint Creek has matured and now makes this region worth making a day of it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Carolina-style Disc Golf in the North
Pros: Plenty of elevation change, plenty of different shots to throw. Nothing really wide open -- if you're going to throw a big drive, you'd better be able to control it. Pike Lake is a course that makes you control where the disc is going -- or be able to get out of trouble when you find it (which you will). Easy to navigate with a couple of exceptions (noted below).
Absolutely beautiful park with plenty to do if you're camping here. The general store has an impressive selection of discs available, including Vibram and Lat 64 (if I'd had the money, I'd have left there with a River at the very least), plus minis, bags, and Golden Retrievers. Prices are a bit higher than you'll find online, but that's to be expected.
Editing because I forgot to mention -- the front nine ends back at the parking lot, so you can either play 9 or 18, and you can start on either the front or back nine. MAJOR plus in my book.
Cons: If it's rained recently (as in, in the last three or four days), the course will be muddy. When wet, the tee pads can be a bit slick, and the wooden stairs that have been VERY thoughtfully provided can be a little slick, too. There are shingles nailed down to help you out, but the ONE HOLE (#7) that didn't have shingles on the wood is the one I slipped and fell on -- just be advised on this, this doesn't take away from the course at all; the course can't help it that I was a klutz.
Had a problem between #10 and #11 -- somehow I ended up playing #13 and skipping 11 and 12 entirely. I realized it when I got to the 14th tee, and went back and corrected this error, but a next tee sign would have been helpful (if there is one, I didn't see it). Had I not seen the 13th tee, I would have checked my map and probably have been ok -- just make sure you're on the right hole after you play 10 and you'll be ok.
The short tees are not concrete, and are often hard to find (even though they're labeled on the tee signs). I had already decided to try the blue tees, but for someone wanting to play the shorter tees this could be an issue.
I thought that #8 was a dangerous hole. It plays along a park road, which in itself isn't really an issue; I've played courses with holes along park roads before. If you look at the tee sign and the hole layout, though, the road runs through the fairway, pretty much all the way to the basket. I hate to complain about the hole (especially since I birdied it), but there's got to be a better way.
Other Thoughts: After over a year of playing disc golf, I FINALLY play a course in my home state. I'm glad I chose Pike Lake -- the layout, the use of elevation, and the number of trees really reminded me of Reedy Creek at times (though Reedy Creek has better-defined fairways than Pike Lake). The course is a LOT of fun, and can be pretty challenging - especially to beginners. This course may be enough to actually get me to camp.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The course is set in a beautiful setting in Pike Lake State Park. There are great elevation changes in the course also. I feel that it is just difficult enough for experienced players but not too tough that a novice would not enjoy the course. The day I played it was VERY hot. But the shade of the mature trees kept some of the heat off of me.
Cons: The tee pads are not as good as some that I have seen at other courses. The shorter tee (on the holes that you can actually find them) are too drastic a change from the long tees in my opinion. The baskets can be difficult to spot. There is some orange reflective tape on the pole but it is still sometimes hard to find. The baskets are not numbered either. Lastly, this course design is geared more toward lefties. I counted 8 of the 18 baskets more suited for LHBH or RHFH players.
Other Thoughts: Everything considered, I think that this course, with a few improvements to the baskets, would be a great course.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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