Fun course in town
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: First time on this course and I liked it for several reasons. The layout is very easy to follow, it has a lot of elevation change that requires you to think about disc selection and it has more than a few shots that require a risk-to-reward decision. This course has lots of mature trees that are integral to the course and will play when the leaves are out. Short enough for a quick round but long enough to satisfy. The signage is great. And, to top it off I aced #3 for my first! I look forward to playing this course when the grass is green and the leaves are out.
Cons: It's in a rough area of town. It feels small due to the 8' fence around the property but really isn't. But the #1 issue I had was the tee pads. They are 8' but are two sections, split in half. There is a big seam in the middle that I caught my foot on more than once during my throw. With the pads being damp and slick I was worried that I was going to wrench something. But the rest of the course was nice enough to overcome the tee pads.
Other Thoughts: This is a course that will work as a warm-up. Play here and then do Mt. Airy after. That would be a great double-header. The west side of Cincy is light on courses so it's nice this one is here.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -I love the look of this course. Unlike many other disc golf courses, this course has clearly cut fairways and rough, much like a traditional golf course. I find myself wanting to make the drive over to Cincinnati just to play here. I used to be a ball golfer, so something about the fairways, rough, and sand traps of this course appeals to me.
-Multiple tee pads on some holes. Tee pads are AstroTurf, and while I prefer concert, they serve to give adequate footing.
-The flow of the course is really nice.
-The signage is terrific. It is always easy to find the next hole and know which basket you are throwing to.
-I have noticed that the baskets are moved regularly (most holes have two basket positions) so that the course plays a bit different depending on when you go. I like that this kind of regular maintenance is being done on the course.
-Good use of the terrain. The course takes advantage of the somewhat hilly terrain in order to provide nice views off the tee and a variety of shots including uphill and downhill looks. I assume that there were not many trees on the original golf course to take advantage of; however the ones that were there are now nicely located by tees or baskets to provide some challenge on what would otherwise be very simple holes.
-The course is in a nice park area with a huge field. The soccer fields are great for trying out new discs or getting in some field practice before or after the round.
Cons: -Mostly open shots off the tees can get repetitive.
-While I love the look of the rough, I hate throwing into it in the summer. I have never lost a disc here, but make sure you are not throwing any camo dye jobs or difficult to see clear discs.
-There is a fence that runs along one side of the course (visible on the right off the first tee). It is possible on a few holes to throw over the fence. If you happen to throw over, you can walk to the end of the fence and go around it and onto the path to collect your disc.
-The old sand traps are now OB areas, but the sand traps have not been "re-sanded," so the look of the traps is at odds with the rest of the course.
Other Thoughts: This course stands out as being unique in the area. There are wooded courses in parks and wide open courses and short courses and easy courses, all in the Cincinnati area; however, this particular course is the only one of its kind that I am aware of. The conversion from ball golf course to disc golf course was done with care and attention to the details. I absolutely love walking up to the first tee and looking down the clearly defined and well cut fairway to the basket.
I would actually love for them to take the golf course theme the whole way and put in some new sand traps to add some difficulty to the course.
All-in-all, this course is worth playing if you live in the area, especially if you want the look of a ball golf course in your disc golf course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hall of Famer Fred Salaz shows here how to do a wonderful conversion of an abandoned, urban parks, nine hole ball golf course into 18 fun holes of disc golf. Given the relatively open spaces but rolling knolls and old greens and sand traps, he chose a lot of basket positions for their rollaway potential, and used the existing trees to define lines really well. There are four holes with really nasty drop-offs beyond (1 & 5) or to the left (12 & 13), six where elevation really comes into play (1, 2, 5, 6, 11 & 15), and even a stretch of holes (12 through 16) where accuracy off the tee is demanded, not just advisable. The 18+1 new DiscCatcher baskets have two pin positions available per hole, and there are two tees on holes 1, 13, 15, 16 & 17, and three on holes 9 and 18 for the big arms to air it out. So there will be something for pretty much all amateur divisions (though the course likely won't be too overly taxing on most Open level players).
Initially using recycled driving range tee mats (essentially Astroturf), there is good footing and excellent signage (including the nice indicators for pin position) throughout. All the Blue tees are in place, and the alternate tee mats are going in. The course map kiosk and adequate parking is at the top of the park drive by the practice basket and a porta-potty (in season). There are trash cans where needed, and benches remain by tees 2 and 12 (Fred does not plan to add more, because they're really not needed on this shorter, efficient course, they promote erosion, and add to maintenance). In fact, the parks district welcomed the course as well as it did due to the savings on the cost of maintenance: in the summer, only fairways and paths are mown, with the grasses in the rough being allowed to grow as incentive for you to keep your shots under control. It plays much more 'wide open' in the cooler months, if you prefer it more open. Similar courses in the area: William Harbin and Heritage Park. The course flows well, looping back near the lot on holes 2, 4, and 18. The summer mown paths are even marked for clarity when other tees are in view. The rest of the park has an arts center, playgrounds, fields, and even a huge, modern water park.
As far as the disc golf play goes, the course starts out with a bang: a downhill shot that best sweeps right to left, and hopefully dives in on the plateau WITH the basket, and not WAY down the drop-off slope beyond. Other 'feature' holes, to me, include the beautiful downhill, left to right shot on 15 long, then 16, which tees out through pairs of double mando trees and across the valley. That one is bound to get a nickname, sooner or later! In all, Dunham is a nice addition to the other dozen (+) quality, full size courses in the Cincinnati area.
Cons: The course is bordered by a gateless chain link fence, beyond which lies an 'interesting' neighborhood. You really want to keep your discs IN the park, which can be a challenge, especially on hole 5. Just inside the fence is an old asphalt walking path, where you will sometimes have folks to watch out for, as well. And, as a historical note: during its first season, this area of the park shared time and space with an archery range, so it was important to check the park schedule to let THEM 'let 'em fly' when it was their turn (arrows win that contest every time!) The good news is, they've supposedly moved archery to another part of the park in 2015.
Because this is such a near-perfect example of how to convert unused ball golf courses to disc golf, I'd love to give another half point in my rating, but need to keep it where it's at, so that folks can get an accurate impression of the disc golf play itself. The existing land didn't allow for a whole lot of extra space, so bigger arms probably will lament the lack of longer holes. Granted, the longer pin positions will take most of the deuces away from casual, Rec, & Intermediate arms. At the same time, there weren't many trees to work with, so those who excel at the technical game might complain on that front. Finally, the intent here is to use the old sand traps and other ball golf features as 'OB', but the edges and boundaries are blurry at best. I've played the course a dozen times now, and am not always clear exactly where the OB is intended on the three holes marked for sand traps. I've seen a park use mowing height and ornamental grasses to 'border' a cross country trail. Perhaps that technique could be used here for the OB lines? It is a puzzler, even for Fred (we've talked about it); how to make it definitive and clear from the tee?
Pro and con: there are sometimes as many as four baskets in view from your tee, so newcomers will need to double check to be sure which one they're supposed to throw to. I've seen misplays twice on 18, when the first on the card threw a beautiful shot at the third basket!
Finally, it may be a pro or con, depending on your perspective, but this park seems to be pretty well up one of the famous Cincinnati hills (you can even see downtown from the 15th fairway and from 17's basket), and, being open, you may have some times of year when the wind will be a major factor in your disc selection.
Other Thoughts: Initially, Fred asked to hold off on allowing reviews of Dunham, so that the starting amenities could all go in. With the addition of tee pads for holes 11-18, and indicators for basket position on the tee signs, reviews are being opened up. But knowing that this is one of the main guys who just kept on improving and improving Idlewild, I suspect he had a lot of stuff planned, and there may be enhancements still in store. Hey, I already like this course, and it's really getting some steady play and appreciation. The parks department does a great job with maintenance, and the details are going in nicely.
Edit: Oops on the archery! Fred just posted this update: "They aren't finished with their new archery site and will be back on the disc golf course starting next week. They will be there on Mondays 6 - 8:30, Tuesday and Wednesdays 9:30 - 1, till the fall or when they finish the archery course.
Try not to play at these times."
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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