A wonderful gem that could use a little polishing
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is beautiful. It is situated only a few miles from Hot Springs, Arkansas (which I just visited for the first time over Labor Day weekend) and the nearby recreation areas of Hamilton Lake, Ouachita Lake, and Hot Springs National Park.
Some quick comments on the amenities before I move on to the course itself:
- Lots of parking
- well maintained park because it shares space with I believe a boyscout camp and some other things like an RC airfield
- pavilion near holes 1/18 is perfect for "tournament central" or just hanging out with your friends before and after the round
- I believe I saw bathrooms near the parking area but I didn't use them
Cedar Glades wanders through a well wooded park with rolling hills. The trees are fairly thick - depending on where you are from, you might disagree - but the underbrush is nearly non-existent. I am not sure if this is due to hard work by the club keeping ground cover clear or if it is natural, but it makes for a great course that provides makeable lines for well-executed throws, with little chance for a stray bush or leaf to catch a good throw and turn it into a bad one.
Navigation is very easy. On some of the more confusing parts of the layout there are signs on trees directing you too the next tee pad. All of the baskets are well labeled with big numbers so it is less likely you will throw at the wrong basket.
There are alternate tee pads for 10 holes. I can't imagine getting bored here with the various layouts you could play. I only played 18 of the 28 tee pads on my one round, and played a mix of longs and shorts. There is something for everyone here with the variety available.
My favorite holes were 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 15(short). But my opinion might change on a second round. Most of the holes I liked used elevation in a clever way, and also had a clear line from the tee to the basket that required a well played shot to hit. One example is hole 5 which is a shorter hole that favors a LHBH route (or forehand). The hole looks fairly straight forward except that any disc that runs at the basket has to contend with a very steep hill just behind the green - disc/shot selection here is key! This is the kind of challenge that makes a good course for me.
I also liked hole 8. I am a sucker for water hazards and enjoyed the creek running along hole 8 (although that hole's fairway could use just a little clearing). The creek is crystal clear so a sunk disc should be visible.
I could probably think of things to say about most of the holes, an indication for me that this course is well designed. I am going to keep my thoughts for the pros section to the above examples and just say that you should definitely play this course if you are in the area. You don't need to read more thoughts on details of the course to make that decision. Go play it! This course needs to be played by any golfer who has the time. The rest of my review will be on some thoughts on cons and redesign - I think with some simple improvements this course could be stellar.
Cons: At least one hole had too much elevation. I do not like hole 4 for this reason. It is a sub-200 foot hole (from both tees) up a very steep slope. Not fun to play.
The long tee on hole 11 did not make any sense to me. We walked up to that tee first because it had the tee sign and noticed that the fairway for this hole plays 60-80 feet straight and then turns 90 degrees and goes 100 feet left. Not enjoyable or very "golfy" to me so we played the short tee, which was fine.
Only some of the tee boxes have signs with a map and distances, and its not always the longs or shorts, but a mix. If every box had a sign, it would be easier to navigate and the course would look that much more professional.
Hole 15 had a long tee pad that happened to be exactly where one of the "outs" is for a drive from hole 10 that goes a bit left of the fairway. I found that this route made sense as an alternate path out to the left with a clear shot then at the basket for 10 from almost 300 feet away. A busy day at the park would have interference between 10 and 15 long.
Hole 18, a long par 4, has a map that shows two fairways, one to the right (with a mando) and one to the left. The sign indicates they are somewhat equivalent as routes. I have been working on my forehand so I took the left route and found that the fairway ends in a mess of trees in the fairway after about 200 feet. If a few trees were removed then it would be a reasonable route for lefties or a flick.
Baskets on steep slopes. This applies to holes 4, 5, 7 and 11 I think. I like the use of slopes near baskets to add a challenge, but the basket should be on at least a small level area so that a good drive or approach is rewarded by settling where it lands, rather than rolling down a large hill, putting you in some cases well outside 50 feet due to the roll. This would involve putting a wooden box on the hill around the basket and filling it with dirt or mulch to create a level green. I think this is do-able here since it only applies to 4-6 holes.
Tee pads are well built wood boxes but are still just dirt and wood chips. Some nice concrete tee pads would be a huge upgrade.
Other Thoughts: A few things need to be done to this course to make it a 4.5 star course for me (some repeated from "cons" above"):
- Signs at every tee pad
- Concrete tee pads
- Redesign* hole 4 (less elevation)
- Redesign hole 7 (fairway clearing)
- Redesign hole 18 (left fairway clearing)
- Move or remove tee pad for long 15 (due to interference with 10)
- Move or remove tee pad for long 11 (due to lack of creativity)
- Make level "Greens" with wood boxes for baskets on slopes
*"Redesign" in this case could involve just removing some trees in some cases.
I saw some notes that the local club is probably going to put in another course. I think this is a great long term idea. A 36 complex here - if the second course is of the same quality as Cedar Glades - would be outstanding. HOWEVER, I think this should be a longterm goal. I would first want to see the improvements above. I think taking Cedar Glades up another level will bring in more players and potentially more money to the club (via more players at fundraising tournaments) and make the second course easier to develop. These are just my thoughts as an outsider - knowing nothing of the funds and politics of the club that takes care of this beautiful course.
Also, someone please uplink a bigger version of the course map to this website!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
A chainsaw and one hour away from greatness!
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has a great deal of elevation that is used superbly on a number of holes. The course is wooded, which means shade. The shade is good for 15-20 degrees of apparent comfort if not actual air temperature. There are a number of "signature" holes that are difficult, but fair and which use elevation and slope to great effect.
The course is well marked in most places. I love the tee boxes - concrete is overrated IMO. These give a good stance and are easier on the knees because they allow the foot to slip a little, but not enough to adversely affect throws. One or two had an uneven spot or two but this was not a problem. They tend to be short, but you don't need a run up on the vast majority of holes.
Cons: There are no open holes. Several of the long tees are just stupidly difficult. I can't remember the hole, but there is a 900 ft hole with a "fairway" that is only 10 wide, at most, for the first 300 feet and then just extremely narrow afterwards. Many of the short holes have no defined fairway, just a bunch of trees to navigate. Luck is way too much of a factor on many of the holes on this course.
There are numerous forgettable, short holes with lots of trees and no well-defined path. On some holes, you cannot see the basket that is less than 200 ft away, which is a drawback IMO. This can test skill of course, but it tests luck a bit more.
This course is very rocky and will reallly tear up the less durable plastics in a single round.
This course could be greatly improved with a chainsaw and some selective pathmaking on quite a few holes. Giving a player a path to hit off the tee, even a very narrow one, is a good thing, especially if there is sufficient penalty for missing that path. Some holes do this perfectly, many offer no path at all.
There are a few holes where navigation can be an issue despite good signage on most of the course.
There are 2-3 holes that could have used longer tee boxes (but I still like these tee boxes).
Other Thoughts: I played this course with a few locals which helped with the navigation since the kiosk was out of course maps and scorecards. This is a very nice course that you should not miss if you are in Hot Springs or nearby.
There are some incredibly fun holes on this course but there are also more than a few "filler" holes that keep this course from ranking higher in my opinion. Despite the technical nature of this course, in many cases, errant shots are not penalized sufficiently. Because many holes are so short, even if you hit a tree off the tee, you can still par without much trouble.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Totally Worth The Time To Play
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Nice Innova Discatcher Pro baskets
- Very clean and well taken care of
- Big kiosk with information such as maps
- Nice bathrooms at hole 1
- Tee signs are very nice and are very descriptive
- Very challenging. Course has lots of elevation and many trees and the course uses these natural characteristics very well with lots of risk/ reward shots.
- Good mix of hole distances
- Beautiful views of the mountains
- Yellow signs all through the course on the trees were helpful to find the next tee pad
- There was a great mix and variety of holes which made it more enjoyable
- Multiple tees on most holes makes this a challenging course from beginner to advanced
Cons: - Layout didn't make much sense. On some holes, you have to walk right through another holes fairway to get to a tee
- Tee pads are elevated from ground but big enough for a short run up but if you have a long run up on your throw, be cautious
- Tee pads aren't concrete. This is a little disappointing but not super bad. They are decent but i did slip on some throws
- leaves on course and discs can slide under them easily so watch where your disc goes!
- Don't expect to play a quick round here. Being a very popular course means it is busy on the weekends and you may have to wait behind people like i did.
- A couple of holes are way to long. I thought there were 1 or 2 that were over 600 feet and in the woods, this is VERY long because of all of the trees.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a very nice and clean park. This course is one of the best ive played in this area and it was very enjoyable. If you've got the time, this course is totally worth it!!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -This course is situated on one of the most beautiful pieces of land I have ever seen. It is nestled near Hot Springs National Park in a secluded park.
-The course has fantastic elevation and utilizes it very well. Most of the holes have a pin position + or - at least 10 feet of elevation from the tee.
-The signs were great. As a first timer I had no problem figuring out where the next hole was. There are course maps at the billboard near the first hole to take with you on the course.
-The course has some amazingly long holes including #10 that is 700+ ft from the short tee and 900+ from the long tee. The 18th hole is also a very nice, long hole and in my opinion is the second most memorable hole at the course.
-There are 30' strings tied to the bottom of each basket to determine if your disc is within the circle. I have never seen that and thought that that was a very interesting and unique aspect of the course.
-Even with the huge amount of trees there is a distinct "fairway" on each hole.
Cons: -Besides the 3 LONG holes every other holes is relatively short and can be reached with a putter or midrange.
-The tee pads are gravel and are suitable and upon reading the reviews they have been suitable for a few years now. Concrete would be ideal but the current pads are decent.
There are a few fairways that cross and to walk to other tees may involve dangerously walking in another hole's fairway. I came and played here when it was completely empty but I can see in league or tournament play the discs could be hazardous.
-Because of the large amount of trees there is a blanket of leaves that cover the ground in the fall and winter. If you are not careful and do not watch your disc carefully then you can easily lose a disc.
Other Thoughts: This course is one of my favorite courses I have ever played. I came to Hot Springs on vacation and really enjoyed my three rounds out here. It has a very secluded, and serene atmosphere. I would drive way out of my way if I lived even within 60 miles of this course. This is a course that all serious golfers should come and play.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Up and Down
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Home course-This was a course that got me hooked on frolfing. I have played this course 30 plus times and have a different experience every time. Some highlights are Hole 8(water hole) and hole 10(called the humbler, almost 800) feet. My first and only ACE occurred at this course on hole 12. It is a hard course with amazing surroundings. Love it!
Cons: The only con that i can think of is that the grass sometimes is higher than it should be but overall no big deal during fall/winter.
Other Thoughts: Par is 59 so first timers have a challenge of getting there in my estimation.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Tree filled and Tight!
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Good signs, good trail signs. It was fairly easy to navigate being a first time player. The signs were good, showing routes, and the straight line route. Lots of elevation, good exercise!
Cons: Tee pads are ok. If they had concrete, they would be great. Not a very good mix of wooded and open shots, they are all wooded really. No water available on the course, so bring your own!
Other Thoughts: Bike trails run through, so watch out for that. Hole 8 is beautiful with a clear stream that runs through. The signature hole for the course in my opinion!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautiful, Quiet, Secluded, Peaceful, …CLEAR!!!
Pros: This is an elevation lovers delight! This place has a great variety of hole lengths. Depending on the tees you choose, the holes can range from 102 to 912 feet long. The woods here have some amazing and fantastic trees. One hole has a beautiful pond that you look down on to from your driving perch at the tee. I loved the wonderful, built-up, level teed pads with the rubber surfaces. The baskets are in great shape. Some of the basket locations are very cool, due to the surroundings that may let an arrant putt go down a hill. The signage here is very nice. A small map with par and footage is posted on the short tee signage. There are some seating areas at many of the holes. There is a nice message board with color maps available (at least the day I was there) at that location. There are trashcans and there is a restroom at the beginning of the course.
Cons: Because of the awesome elevation, if there are people playing behind you, it is important to yell, "CLEAR," when you are off the hole. I've seen snakes here but nothing poisonous and they were not a bother. You will need the map to find your way around the course as there are a couple of times where it was tough to find where to go next.
Other Thoughts: The Fun Factor here was outstanding! This was one of the most fun places I have played. It will get marked as a favorite for me. There was hardly a single hole I did not want to throw multiple drives on. The short holes made you want to fire again for the ace, and the longer holes were the kind where you wanted to work another disc around those trees. It was just a great location (being built on some wooded foothills) that makes you feel as the whole place was made for disc golf.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Don't drink the water
Pros: Nice elevation changes and a good mix of long and shorter holes, as well as multiple teepads. Picnic tables and garbage cans were scattered throughout the course. Even though there are LOTS of trees, it seems like you could maybe find a path to every basket if you're good AND lucky (the great equalizer). Holes 8 (by the stream) and 10 (longest) are the signature ones for this course that I'll remember. Also, hole 4 was unique in that the two tees were at very different angles to the basket, which sat up on a hill.
Cons: No potable water in the entire park! I went into the bathroom and started to fill my bottle after I finished my round, only to look up and see a sign saying "Non-potable, do NOT drink". Other watersources outside, like the hoses nearby, also have signs indicating this. I found this very surprising, since Hot Springs is just a few miles away and has natural spring water you can drink from local fountains. Anyway, make sure you bring plenty of supplies by stocking up in town before coming out.
Other Thoughts: Pretty unique features for a county park, like a rock climbing wall (bring your own equipment), a Remote Control Airplane area, as well as a mountain bike trail system that includes a downhill pumping course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Spa City DG
Pros: Fun course. Lots of trees. Lots of different shots.
Cons: Summer means ants and heat waves. The fire ants can seriously cause you pain if you aren't careful where you're walking and where you put down your bag. I've had to throw off my shoes and socks more than once to get the little devils out of them. No place to get drinkable water at all at the course.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Summer Home Course
Pros: The course has shorts and longs, which offer a change of scenery on throws. There are uphill and downhill shots as well. The lack of water hazards is nice as well (hole 8 being the only one, which is clear enough to see your discs when they go in). This course also offers some great scenery to see as well. The pars on this course are very giving for the shorts and extremely tough on the longs, this makes the course easy for beginners and tough on the experienced.
Cons: Some holes are extremely short, and I over throw them with putters. There also isn't really a hole where you can "air it out" without worrying about hitting a tree. The course does get confusing at times but once you have played through once you get the hang of it. The tee boxes aren't concrete which can make your approach to drive alittle hairy at times as well. Holes 10/11 have been changed, which is something to note. What was hole 11 is now 10 and hole 11 have been cut out of the woods.
Other Thoughts: This course is a fun play. Definitely the best course in the area (especially seeing as OBU in Arkadelphia is the next closest course). If you want a challenging round of DG that doesn't have alot of hazards this course is a real blast.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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