More work needed!
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Love the changes. What a beautiful course.
I truly appreciate the efforts that have gone into this redesign. I will return and bring others with me....Nothing like camping within throwing distance of #10 or #11.
Cons: I can not give it more than a 3 as this course has 2 features that are huge pet peeves for me: 1) Short tees. I have always been a fan of long tees as I am a tall, long legged player. I realize some of the old tees have been repurposed but, you know, if you lengthen the holes you really should lengthen the tees. Perhaps there are future plans for longer tees?
2) Wild rose bushes and green briar vines!! This is my all time, hard to do worse than this, negative for a course. In my mind, there is no excuse for leaving them growing and I am convinced it is a serious safety hazard that is totally avoidable. You might as well just leave bundles of barbed wire around the course. I can not imagine that the planners purposefully left them growing. Perhaps there are future plans to remove them? I'd help!
Other Thoughts: From all of the vines sticking up through the leaves I'd say it will be a good year for poison ivy, so if you are allergic, I'd play it ASAP.
I don't get the gallows basket. Never have, never will.
I'd like to give it a higher rating some day....
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A “Big” Improvement but no “Longer” casual!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The 2016 redesign at Buffalo Trace made so many improvements to the course that it's hard for a "shorter distance" player such as myself to complain about it getting, well, bigger. Now with 18 really challenging holes starting by an actual parking lot, the flow of the redesign incorporates al of the available space beyond the lake, and adds at least a couple of really fun holes early on, to go with combining some of the old holes to get true par four play. Bring your Intermediate, Advanced and Open skills, because the course is even more geared to experienced tournament caliber players than it ever was before.
You'll encounter only two holes under 300 feet over the first 13, and those are the pedestal 7th and the gallows 13th - both have tricky, signature 'greens'. There are now no fewer than six holes over 400 feet, including the dastardly tricky hole 11, at 590 feet of wooded gaps and low ceilings over a blind ridge. They combined and adopted some of the nicest holes from the old course, while adding a few memorable new ones. Hole 2 is a 470 footer with a gap to hit about 100 feet out, across a meadow and to the upslope into the woods at 270-300 feet, bending slightly right to the finish. A really well-designed par four that can garner a three with near-perfect play. I'd like to see a deuce here on video! Hole 3 is a nifty left to right bend through a steep downhill in the woods. And the big finisher on 18 is simply 435 straight across the corner of the lake or bail out to the right (reachable at maybe 150 feet, but your blind second shot has to get back up on the earthen dam without fading left into the water).
There is a practice basket beside the playground by hole 1, the course baskets are all decent quality DisCatchers with yellow paint on the bar of the cage pointing you to the next tees, the tee pads are all level concrete, and the new signage and map are top notch. There are abundant picnic tables and trash cans (on almost every hole). In all, this course actually compares well with one of my hometown's (Cincinnati) "Big 3": Mt. Airy. The challenges are similar, requiring a certain skill level and mentality to really enjoy the course. If anything, Buffalo Trace allows a couple more real ace/deuce opportunities, but most of the course is long and fun-challenging.
Cons: The changes do make Buffalo Trace less beginner friendly, as the length of the holes might be frustrating for casual to Recreational level players. The design vastly improves parking for disc golfers, but still has a couple of spots where care needs to be taken: in crossing a fairway to get from 13 to 14, getting down the steep slope on 3 if wet or icy, and the 'bail out' route on 18 flies blindly at the walking path beyond and below the earthen dam. And the tee pads feel a little small for these bigger hole distances. Finally, it's still a fee to get into the park (in season), but I've managed to play here in the winter so far, when the gate house is closed but the gates are open (avoiding the cost).
Other Thoughts: Having played the most recent layout and this, I'd say they've done an excellent redesign, and encourage folks to come to the area to check it out. Not too far from Seviren Lang, the two would make a fantastic day trip for anyone in the region.
Reviewer Background as of this writing: On the cusp of intermediate skills and grandmaster distance limitations, I've played 288 courses in five years. This is my 270th review.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is a significant improvement over the previous Buffalo Trace Park DGC. Whereas the previous course had mostly closed, wooded holes with little variation, run-down signage, and no water holes, the sequel has a much more well-rounded layout and new signs.
Each hole is different. Most of the holes are still in the woods, but differences in elevation, L/R shots, and narrow/open fairways really spice it up. A few holes allow you to air out your disc (12 and 18 come to mind). The water (on 5, 17, and 18) makes for a decent challenge as well as adding visual appeal.
Most holes have a picnic table at the tee, all (except 11 yet) have new, informative signs. Course is set in a full-featured park, and the mild activity unrelated to disc golf is a peaceful background noise.
A lot of thought definitely went into this course design. The nice groves, meadows, lake holes and varied putting greens make this a destination course.
Cons: The course is very new, and a few kinks have not yet been worked out. I'll try to update this review as the glitches are fixed.
First, hole 11. I was not a fan of this hole. Perhaps it's my beginner spirit, but it seems as though the hole is just slightly too challenging to be a par 4 (as it is), and far easier than a true 5. The hole itself is fun, but no par seems fitting. Plus, the tunnels have not been cleared enough in my opinion. One nice feature of this hole is the two very long alternate paths to the pin, but the teepad has not yet been updated to the fan shape (it only points to one path).
Next, hole 3. This is very minor. A broken picnic table was set in a large rut as a bridge. It's not a very good bridge, but it wasn't intended as a permanent fix. Anyway, most people can easily jump the gap.
The practice basket is not made the same as the rest. Again, very minor.
Other Thoughts: On hole 3, a warped ladder rests beside the fairway. I originally thought it was trash, but have since learned it is a tribute to Terry Glass. He was injured on the ladder while redesigning the course.
If you lose a disc in the water, there are boat rentals!
Suddenly, this area of the country has many top-level courses. Seviren Lang is Indiana's #1 or #2; this one is already top-rated. Lapping Park and another are under construction.
In Louisville? Come to the Hoosier side of the Ohio.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Buffalo Trace 2.0
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Second to none when it comes to beautiful scenery and always maintained very well.
Tough but fair
Activities like camping, swimming, petting zoo for family members that don't play disc golf.
Test all skill levels
Variety of shots foe every level player
Great signage and flow of play.
Hate to copy previous reviews but they do cover all the pros in more detail. Just a great park and after lots of hard work it shows!
Cons: I'm a local so distance isn't a con for me. I have a plethora of top courses all within a short drive
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
What a transformation!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A very well conceived reconfiguration of the former course layout which makes excellent usage of additional park land. (Course has increased in footage by approximately a third)
Because of multiple tree canopies this course is a great 'equalizer' for players who are older or don't possess a great arm concerning length of throw.
For anybody who has ever seen the classic movie 'On Golden Pond' from the early 1980's, looking out over the Buffalo Trace lake on a sunny day will evoke such memories as it shimmers.
For those with families, this is a VERY family-friendly park with a paved walking path around the entire lake, petting 'zoo', swimming area in the lake (with lifeguard and beach) and well-kept camping area with utilities.
Cons: A two-lane highway with multiple small towns on it will 'tax' the patience of city-folk who are used to multiple-laned thoroughfares; however, it is only approximately 14 miles off interstate 64; and the new configuration does indeed make it well worth the trip!
Other Thoughts: I have played the annual Buffalo Trace Open many times previously and always enjoyed the former course configuration; however this new layout is far superior and makes the drive from where I reside in Louisville well worth it even for non-tournament/casual play! This is truly one of the better courses I've experienced and I'm confident those who give it a try will not be disappointed! :)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was a good course, now it's a destination course
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has been redesigned. Some of the existing holes survived, some were combined, some were eliminated, but all are improvements adding distance, difficulty, and thought. You will use about everything you have here--technical shots through trees, big hyzers, rollers, placement shots, shots that go left, shots that go right....all have a place here.
If you read the reviews from the old layout, almost all of the "cons" have been addressed. The new course begins at the southwest end of the lake and there is a parking lot right there.
New signs went up recently--the previous course had many missing signs, and those that were there had incorrect pars on many of the holes.
Those who may have been bothered by the lake being there but not "in play," should be appeased by 18, which forces a tee shot over the corner of the lake and a fairway that runs along it.
The parks department has done a good job of keeping the fairways mowed
If you want to avoid the park fee there is a parking lot just outside the west edge of the fence where you can walk in (this isn't a "sneak in" kind of thing--it's an actual parking lot,) and in reality from that lot to #1 is probably about the same distance or less than the walk from where you'd have had to park on the old layout to get to the first tee.
Combining this course with Seviren Lang in Georgetown and Lapping Park in Clarksville (nine holes complete with nine more in 2017,) Southern Indiana has three top-notch courses that should make it a destination for people from a pretty good radius. There are other courses in discussion that could even add to this potential.
Cons: Some have complained about the length of the teepads. There is only one that affords a big long run-up, but it doesn't seem to me that there is that much of a problem to start behind them.
This does not affect one's play in any sense, but it could become an issue at some time. Many of the baskets are "homemade." They were done by a professional welder and are as good as those you would buy on the market but, as they are not "approved," should an "A-Tier" ever be planned here there could be problems getting it sanctioned.
There still is no available fountain or bathroom near the course. The one exception on the water would be near hole #12---if one of the campsites is unoccupied you can fill a water bottle from the spigot there.
There will still be some times when water pools on the course in spots. #6 would be the most likely place for this to take place.
To get from #13 to #14 you will most likely walk in front of the #6 tee. It shouldn't really be much of an issue by using common courtesy but some people will point this out.
Other Thoughts: #1. 300'
Start in the open. This is a straight shot, but going to either side can get you OB. The left side of the fairway is bordered by the outfield fence of the softball field and the walking path comes from around that fence past the right side of the basket making the fairway narrowing the closer you get to/past the hole. The fairway is also slightly downhill with a slope to the right so if you throw it the "wrong way," it can roll away and potentially OB.
#2. 470 par 4
Placement tee shot. There is a line of trees about 120' or 130' in front of you with a gap cut out of them that is about 15' wide. You can go wide to the right to get around them if you want (not a mando,) but the walking path is over there and you also would have to bend it back pretty severely to land where you need to be. (I suppose some people could even go over the top, but that won't be an option to most.) About 200' from the tee you get to the woods. The fairway has been cut right out of the woods. It is about 20' wide at best, going uphill. The basket is set to the right at the top of the hill and is pretty well guarded.
Throwing downhill into the fairly open bottom, but you have to navigate a couple of large old trees off the tee (the closest is in front of the tee slightly to the left, the second one is more to the right. There is a (usually,) dry ditch at the bottom which plays as casual water if there is anything in it. The hole will play from left to right, making it a good sidearm for a righty if you have that throw.
Pretty narrow from the tee as you're kind of throwing out of a tunnel. You can't get too high and you can't get right at all. The fairway will open up some to the left (currently there is a massive tree down there narrowing that left side of the fairway, but it will be removed,) but this is also an area that could hold water when it has rained. The fairway is straight but you'll have to get past some thin trees to get to the basket, which is left of the fairway once you get near the clearing.
The first of the "old" holes you'll play (used to be "#6.)
The walking path (OB) is to your right the entire length of the fairway, and the lake is about 20' right of that.
The fairway is about 80'-100' across and wide open for about the first 325', when you get to some large oak trees that are in front of the basket. If you're starting your drive straight you need to keep it low, as another tree hangs over the fairway in front of the pad; going left is not really an option as there are more trees there--the best option is to hang it over the path and let it work back. The best approach to the basket on your second shot is to stay to the middle/right of the fairway to come in from the right, but you can approach from the left if you're up there far enough (gotta keep that one low and bend it quickly to the right, though.)
This is a combination of two old holes, as you play from the old #7 tee to the old #8 basket. This hole requires you to keep every shot low. The trees are planted "grove" style, making two or three natural lanes each about 15' or 20' wide. The basket is then hidden behind a pine tree to the left of the "middle" lane.
"Old # 9." Throwing over the crest of a small hill, but that crest comes into play due to the low-hanging trees on both sides of the fairway. The hole turns slightly from left to right, but you have to stay left off the tee to avoid a cedar tree that stands in the fairway on the right side, ready to eat any disc that comes its way. The basket is set up on a platform made of cross-ties. It's about 3' tall, meaning the basket is about 5' or 6' off the ground.
"Old #12." Again throw over a crest of a hill that makes your entry window very small. There is rough to either side of the fairway (mostly cedar trees and thorn bushes,) until you get down to the woods, which are mostly old oak trees. The fairway goes just a bit to the right. Near the bottom of the incline you get to the tree line, which means you have to keep your drive up just enough to get over the hill but low enough to not be knocked down. If you have it you can throw a roller here, but you better be sure you can keep it pretty straight or you'll just get in the rough to either side.
Trees in front of you in the "grove" pattern again. You can go straight but you'll have to get a big turn to the right at the end of those trees. Most likely you'll throw a bit to the right and hope you don't hit any of those trees. The trees stop about 270' from the tee. The fairway then opens up with a bit of an incline, but there is a tree about 35' in front of the basket that can mess with you. Go too far past the basket and you can start rolling downhill, especially to the right.
"Old #14." Fairway is a sweeping turn to the right, running downhill and then back uphill Your best bet is to try to land at the bottom of the hill, but there are trees down there too, and if you get under one you'll be hard-pressed to have a decent second shot.
#11. 590' par 4
This one is tricky. You're throwing from the old #16 tee, but most likely you aren't going straight off of it. There is a route that will be opened that way, but most will go about a 45 degree angle off the left side of that pad (eventually that pad will be expanded, possibly in a "fan" shape, to allow for a run-up in either direction.) You'll have to keep it pretty low to avoid the canopy, but you'll still have to get uphill to your landing area. You'll want your disc to work to the left when you land so that you have a decent angle on your second shot--stay too far to the right and your second shot is basically going to be a lay-up for placement. The fairway then goes back downhill some and turns to the right, up the "old #18" fairway, which is narrow, uphill, and has a couple of trees right in the center of the fairway.
#12-510' par 4
"Old #19." Your first chance to "grip it and rip it." Longest teepad on the course so you can get a Happy Gilmore run-up. There are trees to the right you can get into; the road around the campground is OB to the left. That road turns to the left at the top of the hill and the fairway opens up to a wide-open field. Downhill from there to the basket with no obstacles in your way (other than the nearly ever-present wind coming off the lake to the left.)
"Old #1," the "Gallows Hole." Lake right behind you as you throw up a slight incline. You have to hit an opening between two trees that's about 40' or 50' wide and about 200' from the tee. Past that the basket hangs about 8' off the ground. The wind from that lake can mess with you, so if your drive isn't close to the basket you better just put that second shot under the basket because "going for it" can blow you far enough off course to get you a 4.
"Old #3" Tee from a slight tunnel. There is a labyrinth of trees in the fairway with rough to either side (rough with thorny blackberry bushes.) There is a straight line but most will take the somewhat wider lane to the right. The basket is pretty well tucked in behind a tree. Water pools on this hole in a couple of spots at times.
"Old #4." Narrow fairway for about 180' with a big tree on the left and a few big trees on the right. The rough on the right is being "let go," and will eventually cease to be rough and become woods. The fairway opens up to the right, but if you go too far right you can get OB.
"Old #5--last of the 'old holes'." Keep it low. Big old trees throughout the first 270' or so of the fairway. Hit one and kick left and you can be in trouble over towards the #5 fairway; hit one and kick right and you could very well be OB. Fairway is a clearing past that line of trees, but there is another batch of them surrounding the basket.
Not much room to work with off the tee. There are woods the entire way to the right and the OB walking path (and lake) to the left. There are a couple of trees right off the tee that force you to be accurate. One of them makes you choose--stay right and run the risk of getting too far right and into the woods or go left around it. If you choose the left route you'll be out over the path, meaning you'll have to bring it back pretty hard to the right or cost yourself a penalty stroke. Everything does open up but the basket is cut out of the edge of the woods near the back right of fairway. There's a bit of a slope downhill from the basket but the rough is thick enough at this point that you probably won't roll away far enough to get in too much trouble.
#18-435' par 4
Decisions, decisions. You have to throw over the lake, but how much of that angle do you want to take? To get from the tee to the shortest corner is not quite a 200' throw. The fairway runs to the left along the entire length of the earthen dam. Ideally you'd like to be able to land your drive on the top of the dam for multiple reasons; first, you'd like to be able to see the basket on your second throw, and second, if you go too far over the dam (or don't make it to the top for that matter,) you're going to have an awkward stance for your approach. If you run at the basket and go too far there is also the chance that you could roll downhill into the water.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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