3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hogback is a challenging, precision-driven course. Don't let its lack of length fool you. This course will humble anyone who isn't on his game.
- The Hippodrome's other course. I knew I was in trouble when I was talking with John, owner of Killer B Disc Golf, and said I'd play the more demanding Old Glory first, saving the shorter, and what I erroneously thought to be, easier layout. Let's just say my score was a good bit higher on Hogback than Old Glory.
- If you can't throw accurately, you don't stand a chance at Hogback. The longest hole here is 327 feet (#17) and that's a downhill layout. The average hole length is just under 243 feet, so the object here is to be a master of the mid-range and short games.
- The course starts out innocently, with the first seven holes being a good mix of open and lightly wooded. There are birdie chances to be had in this first third of the course. Plus, next to the tee for #7, you get to walk next to the world's biggest basket. Chances are that you won't be the first person to nail a putt on this one.
- Starting on hole #8, as soon as you enter the wooded portion, the course enters a new element and the real challenge begins. #8 is the first of the toughest, Hippodrome quality holes. Yes, it's a straight 245 foot, slight downhill shot. Just ignore the slope and roll off factor to the left and the deep ravine to the right. Just throw straight, and you'll be fine. In case you needed any proof about this hole's difficulty, just ask why the bridge right there is named Climo's Bridge. Hint: it's not because he birdied the hole.
- The stretch of #12 - 14 is the toughest stretch of short holes I've ever played. If only #14 were four feet shorter (it's 203 feet), I could more succinctly say it's the toughest stretch of sub-200 foot holes out there. For my sake, I'm glad I was ignorant about #12's dangers prior to throwing. It's a tight, 186-foot hole with a slight dip prior to the basket. The danger is that just past the basket (no more than 15 feet past), the ground slopes severely down. So, if you go slightly past the basket, be prepared for a 100 foot, straight uphill comeback shot.
- #13 is just evil. Aptly named Flyover, it's only 157 feet, with a huge, deep chasm in front of the basket. Your best bet here is to simply go long and/or wide left. Now, if they wanted to be completely evil, they'd put a basket on the raised mound in the middle of the chasm.
- #14 is, I suspect, going to be a 'love it' or 'hate it' hole design. From the tee, you can't see the basket. That's because it's back in a deep gully. I hope you're not claustrophobic as you're putting on this one.
- At least you get a break from the killer short holes, before having one last challenging sub-200 foot layout. #16 is a 182-foot uphill shot to a narrow opening for the basket. It looks much easier from the basket, only further adding to the frustration when you're putting out for a bogey.
Cons: This might seem counterintuitive, but as challenging as the course plays at times, it does allow for a bit too much safe play. On many of these challenging holes, playing ultra-safe can lead to par after par, while avoiding much of the danger. In theory, you could have 20 straight pars or have 10 birdies and 10 bogeys, both ending up with a score of 60. You can have the same score, but have two completely different experiences.
- Navigation can get tricky at times. In the woods, if not paying attention, you can easily jump holes. The biggest culprit is going from #9 to 16, but at least that one is pretty well marked.
- I thought #18 plays a little too close to the road. It runs parallel to Atomic Road, hence the hole's name. If you go left, and get through the thin line of trees, it opens up, with the ground dropping off towards the road. There's a high chance of lost discs, ending up in, or near the road, or having to scale the slope searching for a disc. My shot was barely off the fairway, and I was about 10 - 15 feet from having my disc sail a long way down.
- This is nitpicking. With the final hole being an open hole, it would be nice to have a little more excitement or variety. I'm mainly thinking of adding a little distance, so instead of being 307 feet, make it a par 4 in the 400 - 500 foot range. I just thought there's a chance to add some more challenge to wrap it up.
Other Thoughts: Hogback is a solid course, very enjoyable throughout the 20 holes. There is so much to offer here, it really is hard to find fault with anything.
- The course was harder than I expected. Blame it on fatigue or just my mediocre game, but prior to my visit, I wouldn't have imagined shooting 5 strokes higher on this course than on Old Glory. It's a testament to the thin margin for error on Hogback.
- There are a lot of enjoyable holes on this course. If you have a blow up score on any of them, your opinion will probably change on some. Plus, you're probably not going to get a bridge named after you for your blowup hole.
- With so much challenge, you need a short memory. Everything centers on your tee shot so if you let the last hole linger onto the next, you're at risk for it snowballing.
- When the course is packed, and the stretch of holes clumped together in the woods, you're going to need to be keeping an eye for stray discs on other holes.
- This is a solid course. This feels like the type of course where one should expect to score better than they did. I know I expect that the next time I'm lucky enough to visit. At that point, we'll see if I'm insane or not.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Pros: Variety is a term sometimes tossed around when a course has open and woods. This is much more than just open and woods. Like Old Glory there is a touch of the goony golf thrown in to start and finish Hogback but it is so much more. The woods on hogback I find to be about as much fun as the Steady Ed course over at IDGC. You have the Grotto which has the basket in a cave like rock formation. Some other big canyon like crevices create upshot and roll-away potential like you may have never seen. Each hole has a name and not just a number giving a memorable experience.
Cons: A little bit of a walk to start and finish. Since there are 4 courses at Hippo, this one starts a little away from the office.
Other Thoughts: Great combo along with Old Glory for a light, fun day before or after playing the demanding IDGC less than an hour away.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - More fun, IMO, than the other main course at the Hippodrome complex (Old Glory).
- Fantastic (mostly) wooded course with tight fairways, some elevation changes, and plenty of natural obstacles on what have to be the signature holes on the course: 11 and 12.
- The last few holes open up into a meadow of sorts, giving you relief from the heavily wooded previous holes.
- Hole 11 is a short par 3 played over a deep gully and requires some planning and touch off the tee to keep from ending up 15 feet below the hole.
- Hole 12 is another short par 3 with a slight left to right play into a hidden basket (situated at the base of another deep gully and completely hidden from view on approach). This was by far my favorite hole on the course. You just don't see holes like this very often.
- All of the tee boxes were easy to find, well marked, and signage to and from each hole was easily seen.
- Hole "map" on every tee box.
- Plenty of benches and trash cans throughout the course.
- Great use of the available land.
- Putting was challenging on a few holes, but not intimidating...though hole #10 requires pinpoint precision in order to avoid the gully in the front of the basket or the steep hill behind it.
- The "Big Basket"
Cons: - Not really any cons that I can think of. Thoroughly enjoyed playing this course.
Other Thoughts: Again it should be noted that this is a pay-to-play course...not a positive or negative, but important to know before you get there. Well worth the $5 green fee (which allows you to play as many holes as you can that day).
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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