7 Helpful / 0 Not
Mountain-man disc golf
Pros: I hate to use the same descriptions as others before me, but epic, mountainous, tight/technical, and rugged are the 4 best words to describe Cedar Glades DGC, another homerun from course designer John Houck.
As you pull into the park you're greeted with a panoramic view of the surrounding tree-covered hills, which gives you a clear idea of what the next few hours have in store for you. The entire course plays up and down hills (some very steep) through fairly thick woods, but with no underbrush to worry about....there are absolutely ZERO open holes here. There are several long holes that might offer a slight advantage to the big arms, but there really aren't any places where you can just "grip it and rip it." Accuracy and course management are the keys to success here...and a healthy cardiovascular system will help too ;)
11 of the 18 holes have a long and a short tee, but for simplicity's sake I'll try to give a description of the terrain, not the shots you have to throw.
The first 2 holes ease you into the mountainous terrain, as the elevation changes on these holes aren't quite as drastic as what's ahead. Hole 3 plays downhill through an alley of trees that narrows near the basket, and the short Hole 4 plays straight up the side of a hill with a near vertical angle. Hole 5 is one of the more traditional holes...a slight anhyzer to a protected pin, with the only serious elevation change being a downward slope behind the basket. I had a good bid for birdie roll almost 100' down that hill, so be careful. Hole 6 is a fairly long (375ish) tight shot that finishes to the left and downhill. Hole 7 from the shorts is a <100' ace run over a steep gorge, but from the longs it's a blind up-then-down-then-up-again 400'+ monster with the course's only thick schule on the right. Hole 8 is the most beautiful...a steep downhill ace-run through a tight gap, with a crystal-clear creek running along the right. Hole 9 from the shorts is a straight alley shot to a basket perched on an incline...but from the longs its a treacherous blind anhyzer. Hole 10 is a fairly simple hyzer, which gives you a short break before the courses signature hole...the epic near-1000' Hole 11. This hole plays uphill and to the right off the tee, and the first half of the fairway plays alongside a fairly steep hill, then through a tunnel in the trees before opening up to the only flat/open/grassy portion of the course. Hole 12 is another short uphill ace-run, 13 is another midrange-distance hole that plays straight ahead. 14 is another birdieable shot..playing slightly downhill to the left. Hole 15 is another tough one with the entire hole playing down a fairly narrow tunnel with semi-thick woods on both sides. Holes 16 and 17 give you 2 more chances at birdies before stepping up to the big finisher. Hole 18 plays downhill from the tee, then uphill through a portion of the park dotted with small-to-medium trees with an OB fence behind the basket.
The different between the short and long tees (for me) was about 8-9 strokes. Many of the holes play completely different from each separate tee.
Nice Discatcher baskets, new signage (no longer hand-drawn images on a 4x4 post), and pretty decent crushed shingle tees lined out with railroad ties...not to mention clean restrooms and a pavilion with plenty of seats.
Cons: Tee areas...I do like the feel of the crushed shingles, but they need to be packed down a little more often to keep them all level. On most holes it isn't an issue, but there are a few with foot-sized ruts at the front of the box. Also, the railroad ties that outline the boxes do get in the way on a few of the longer holes.
You'll probably want to use a spotter on some of the blind holes (5, 6 Long, 7 Long)...
Other Thoughts: This course will definitely test your ability to throw from a standstill or with very limited footing. Many holes have large rocks, and almost all have steep elevation changes that keep you from being able to get a run-up depending on where you land. It will also test your ability to putt from elevation...this is the part that usually messes with my game the most. Neither of those are necessarilly a Pro or a Con though.
The city of Hot Springs is a fun place to walk around and be a tourist. The course is actually only 5-8 minutes away from the popular historic downtown area, which has tons of little shops and bars/restaurants.
The local club has already begun designing a 2nd course in the park, and the city has supposedly considered installing as many as 5 course in the same area!
Long story short, if you're within a few hundred miles of Hot Springs...go there and play Cedar Glades!!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Epic, mountainous disc golf in tight, but well cleared woods. It's nice terrain, carved out of recently thick forest but now just tight trees, little to no bushes/rough stuff. Plays up and down and across valleys and steep hills in the woods. One creek along a fairway is crystal clear, and cool, inviting you to throw in and cool off. Well marked, all with signs, next tee arrows, and maps actually stocked in the bulletin board.
Features a ridiculously long and tough par-5 and many other serious par-4's that will make you shiver if not confident on long, straight power shots through trees. If you get a bad kick, you can always recuperate from there and find your disc. Beautiful views from the course and on the way up, in the Ozark mountains.
While the tees are not cement, they are better than dirt or rock (crushed shingles).
Many holes have a long and a short tee.
Free, ample parking, clean restrooms.
Cons: - Not cement tees
- (Minor) ivy
- Kind of off the beaten path for most of the country
Other Thoughts: Probably is, or will be, the best course in the general region.
Signs posted said 2 work days coming soon to clean up some fairways and fix up the tees, but it was already in great shape.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Gorgeous course with lots of elevation, beautiful trees, multiple tees and well-rounded challenge
Pros: This is leaps and bounds one of the most enjoyable courses I have ever played. I'm a borderline AM1/Pro player and have played 150+ courses in ~20 states and this rivals anywhere I've played for sheer joy of the experience of golfing. If I could pick one course to put in my backyard, this might be it.
Holes are incredibly varied, with shots from 150' across tricky elevation changes to 800+' "over the meadow and through the woods shots" so to speak. Tight alleys in many places, several fast -- but fair -- greens on hillsides, dual tees on almost every hole, and the shorts and longs play differently enough to make this feel almost like two separate courses.
From the shorts, it's possible to shoot several strokes under -- probably down into the high-40s --with a great mix of challenging birdie holes to some tough true par-4s. From the longs, scores will probably be at least 8-9 strokes higher for most people. I think I shot a 49/57 when I was there and felt pretty good about both rounds, especially considering it was my first time playing the course. I would LOVE to see tourney scores to see what the SSA works out to be.
The course -- especially from the shorts -- is just a sheer delight to play and will appeal to people from beginners to pros because so many of the shots are so much fun to throw because of the trees and elevation. Fairways are fair and include some very tight precision holes and some more open drives. Underbrush is minimal but there are enough trees and elevation changes to penalize errant shots pretty well -- which is one of my favorite elements of a great course: bad shots should be easy to find and cost you at least a stroke.
There is nothing I hate worse than spending 10-15 minutes hunting for a disc, and on this course, playing by myself, the only disc that took me a while was a forehand roller that I put up over a blind hilltop where on a regular round, you would always use a spotter. But that was one long teebox on one hole -- everything else was easy to find.
The longs are a whole different challenge from the shorts -- much more mentally stimulating and a lot higher risk/reward and a mandate to have some careful placement shots to keep your threes. A lot less birdie runs on the longs and a lot of angles that make the holes play very differently than the shorts. Few courses make great use of two teeboxes -- this course isn't perfect, but does way better than average.
I can't say enough good about this course, especially considering its age and its location with so little else disc-golf related around it. Truly a gem tucked into the green of central Arkansas.
I think this course is probably a perfect White/Blue level course (shorts/longs) in terms of challenge. Top pros wouldn't be sufficiently challenged here. For anyone in the 900-980 range however, I think this is probably well worth a pilgrimage and a long weekend of play. Huge kudos to the locals who put this course together.
Cons: If the signage was better, this course would get another .5 stars. Signage isn't awful -- I found my way through both the short and long tees without a guide -- but it's not intuitive and on some of the tees you have no idea how far you are throwing. Some of the baskets can be blind shots, so this can be really tricky the first time through. If I hadn't had a couple of locals warn me in advance of a few of the trickier holes (i.e., on the longest hole you throw down a fairway, through a wall of trees, out into another fairway, make a 90-degree turn to the right and huck it down an alley under low trees to a basket tucked back into a pocket -- locals warned me it would probably be a six, but I took a five from the shorts due to throwing in the wrong direction and then from the long tees had a couple of sick, sick drives for a four -- one of the highlights of my round).
The signage is really the biggest detriment to this course. That and a couple of minor points like no water fountain (that I found), the stifling AR summer heat/humidity, and the lack of people playing. I would prefer to have a few more folks playing the course all the time just so I could show up, expecting to be able to join a group for a round. I suspect this will improve as this is a relatively newly finished course and I'm sure it will heighten interest in disc golf in this area.
Other Thoughts: I wasn't sure what to expect coming out to this course, but I was blown away by how beautiful it was. I was in Arkansas to be in a wedding and knew nothing about Hot Springs or the disc golf scene there. I arrived at the course mid-afternoon on a Saturday and encountered the last of the local players heading home for the day -- they apparently gather en masse to play on Saturday morning and the folks I talked to leaving the course were all finishing their third round for the day.
When I was out there, they were having the grand opening for the climbing wall right across the parking lot from the disc golf course, so they had a great live cover band playing all afternoon, with the sounds drifting across the course. Since I was the only one out there after a few holes, it was this great private concert for the afternoon. I got in two rounds -- one from the shorts, one from the longs -- in the 100+ degree heat and still made it back in time for the rehearsal dinner that night. Whoop!
In a unrelated note, I was surprised how much of a tourist town Hot Springs is. Lots of shops, restaurants, activities, spas, etc... in a beautiful downtown. I had no idea Hot Springs was such a destination for people. I could imagine a family visiting here and the less-outdoorsy half the family having a great time in the downtown area, and the disc golf part of the family having a fabulous time at the course, which is only a few miles (10 minutes) away from the main part of town. I would highly recommend this city if you're down in the south and looking for a family vacation destination and want a diversion for the family while you sneak off to play disc golf.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Course...worth the drive
Pros: Great location
Some holes VERY challenging
Pretty good signage considering it's in a dense forest
Really stretches your ability and strategic thinking
Some radical lefts and rights
Nice use of elevation
Cons: A couple of holes were confusing (more a nature of the density and distance from tee) - but once you played it once, you get the hang of it
Not many negatives for me because I like this kind of course (though sometimes they punish me greatly)
Other Thoughts: It would be nice to have a sign to direct you once you get back into the park area because the "intuitive" place to park is a healthy (though beautiful) walk over to the first tee and there is a much closer lot, but it wasn't too obvious the first time there.
Try to get a map, it will help...we were told that sometimes there are some there for the taking...there is on on the board to look at....
There are some birdies out there as a reward for accuracy and there are some holes that I felt GREAT about getting a boogie...
Well worth the drive....
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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