Hippodrome Complex - Hogback
Has practice basket
Has practice approach basket (150 feet away)
Has pro shop
Has benches throughout course
Has tee signs
More wooded than open fairways with doglegs and elevations
Had the whole course to myself on a Tuesday afternoon
Course navigation can be difficult for the first timer and needs more next tee signs
Disc losing opportunities with a high, barbed wire fence in presence
No variety in pars - par 60
Not quiet with consistent traffic noise from the nearby freeway
Pay to play but worth it
This is a nice course in North Augusta that I enjoyed playing. I played here on a Tuesday and only paid $5 to play both Hogback and Old Glory for a whole day. Since the pro shop was closed that day, I just place the money in a provided envelope, wrote my car description and tag number on the envelope, and then deposit the envelope into the payment box. With the distances being short, the course is still challenging with some tight fairways and elevations to contend with. The grated rubber tee pads were surprisingly soft and grippy provided that there were no leaves or pine straw on it. I wish more courses would use these than the solid rubber mats that I come across from time to time. I was surprised with the elevations and ravines here. I couldn't imagine playing a glow round here as it could be hazardous! The DisCatcher Pro 28 is my favorite basket but I think the Mach X basket here is a close second. These baskets are orange and easy to locate in the woods. The course map posted here needs to be updated as it does not reflect the current layout for both courses. It helps somewhat but I had to do some exploring to find the next tee pad for several holes. Playing this course and Old Glory on the same day makes paying $5 a bargain for a fun day of disc golf.
Fun in the Woods
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: While short, the number of fun and creative holes on this course make it special. Hanging baskets, raised baskets, a basket hidden back in the "grotto" and the worlds largest disc golf basket are all here on this course.
Hole lengths run from 154' to 363', with an average hole length of just 247', so this isn't a course that requires a big arm. What is does require is lot of accuracy and the ability to shape your drives through very tight fairways. You are just a tree away from a bogie! Get your putters and midranges warmed up as they are what you'll need for most drives.
The hillsides and deep ravines add a lot of interest and peril to the holes. Some nice risk/reward opportunities with baskets placed on edges and ridges.
Excellent rubber tee pads, good tee signs, and nice new-looking Mach X baskets that are powder coated orange. Easy to see and they catch great.
Cons: Some of the holes border on being a little gimmicky, but since this is intended to be a "fun" course rather than a championship level course I enjoyed most of them.
There is constant noise from the adjacent highway and you never get the feeling that you're out in nature.
Other Thoughts: After getting slapped around at IDGC for three days, the Hippodrome complex was a pleasant morning of not-as-tough disc golf. Still plenty of fun and challenge.
The $5 fee for a day of golf is more than reasonable. Unfortunately the pro shop wasn't open the morning that I played.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
I'm "Hogging" all the fun!
Pros: One of two wildly creative courses located on private land. This is the most "natural" of the two courses, where the terrain itself provides the obstacles of the course.
With the exception of a few holes, most of this course plays in the woods and with changing elevation. The distances are mostly short to medium length (no par 4's here) so accuracy is a priority. The most challenging set of holes are the section from #8-16, and these are fun and nail-biting at the same time.
The most memorable: #8 (called Hogback) plays down a narrow saddle that I doubt many land on - your putt will likely be uphill (and uphill again if you miss!). #13 (called Flyover) is a 157' hole that goes slightly uphill over a deep gully the whole flight. It looks easier than it is, and if you come up short, it can be a nasty uphill putt.
This course is immensely fun and keeps you on your toes, and keeps you thinking of where the ideal landing zone should be. Bad shots are punished here!
Cons: Not too much of a con, but you may (as I did) play hole #20 on the other course, confusing it for #1 of this course!
Not as peaceful as some (noise-wise) as much of it is near a highway, but this would not deter me from playing it regularly if I were a local.
Other Thoughts: With 40 holes on site, this place is worth every dime of the greens fee!
If you're in the area, and can play for one day, come here if you want to have giddy, casual fun. Go to the IDGC if you want to have a more intense, "thank you sir, may I have another" type of fun.
Be sure to check out the Killer B disc golf shop on site which has a massive selection of all things disc golf (and to pay the modest $5 greens fee).
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Although short at times, Hogback have some difficulty. Tight pine-covered fairways with deep ravines make for a decently tough challenge.
-Great Innova baskets. I like that most have flags to help you see wind direction.
-The complex is exclusively disc golf which means not waiting for dog walkers, throwing past playgrounds, etc.
-Pro shop at the complex is phenomenal.
-Tight lines, but Hogback is fair. It presents a challenge to experienced players without beating you up.
-I tried to identify a signature hole, but for me it was really between 14 and 17. Hole 14 is a straightaway through trees with the basket tucked behind boulders in small cave. Hole 17 is a top-of-the-world shot with OB behind.
Cons: -As in Old Glory, there is a lot of wind on this course too which adds considerable difficulty.
-The highway is very close to several holes and you don't want to go long on hole 17.
-The ravines are so steep that they could really be dangerous.
-This course also misses that secluded feel as it is sandwiched between a busy highway and Atomic Rd.
Other Thoughts: Despite being the lower rated of the to main courses at the Hippodrome complex, Hogback felt like the premiere course. Maybe I was somewhat put off by all the gimmicks of OG, but Hogback is just a solid, really fun course with uphill, downhill, open, wooded... It really has it all. As far as one-two punches go, it is hard to rival the Hippodrome complex. Well worth the $5 to play!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 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.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 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).
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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