My Ratings Philosophy
What makes a great course?
I have asked many of the regulars I play with, "What's your favorite course in the area." After getting a bunch of responses, I was surprised by the diversity of thee expressed favorite. So then I would ask them "Why?" and other follow up questions. So what makes a great course? To me, it's a little bit of everything. IMO, a great course will be one that's challenging yet fair. It will have a Zen-like quality, but will ambush you when you lack total focus. It will let you relax at the tee and give you the information you need, when you need it. It will throw you curveball after curveball, then fastball, change, sinker, fastball, wild pitch. That's what I love. My ratings may have a structure to them, but my formula is based on what's said above.
My Ratings Formula
I rate a course on 5 main weighted factors, they are: FUN FACTOR, CHARACTER, UNIQUENESS, RAW DIFFICULTY, RAW BEAUTY. The first three categories listed, are further broken down into a total of 46 weighted sub categories. My formula data is kept in an excel spreadsheet.
 (15%) Fun Factor (ace potential, forgiveness, disc loss opportunities, overgrowth, vibe, time waiting, etc.) it's somewhat subjective.
 (25%) Character (67% Basics - tees, baskets signage/nav, 18 holes. 33% Extras - seating, restrooms, practice, alt baskets, alt tees, shelter, etc.)
 (25%) Uniqueness (elevation up/down, open/wooded, gimme/beast hole, water, doglegs, pocket shots, signature hole, blind, par 4, par 5, etc.)
 (20%) Raw Difficulty - per DGCR rating and my subjective personal feeling
 (15%) Raw Beauty - completely subjective
My Review Ratings History
My first formula ratings started on 10/25/16 "Trinity college". The formula was revised to produce lower ratings on 1/1/17. The formula was revised lower again on 6/14/17. Many of my unrevised older reviews could be lower by as much as a half point if revised.
FUN FACTOR Top Ten in order; Flying Armadillo - Gold (San Marcos, TX), Lake Claiborne - Dogwood (Homer, LA), Bud Hill - The Ridge (Millington, TN), Cane Ridge - Short (Nashville, TN), IDGC Headrick (Appling, GA), Lake Claiborne - Whitetail (Homer, LA), The Sinks (Chattanooga, TN), Zilker Park (Austin, TX), Veteran's Park - Original (Tupelo, MS), Wells Branch Park (Austin, TX)
CHARACTER Top Ten in order; Rollin Ridge (Reedsville, WI), Hobbs Farm Park (Carrollton, GA), IDGC Headrick (Appling, GA), Taylor Park (Largo, FL), Bill Frederick Park - T2 (Orlando, FL), IDGC Warner (Appling, GA), Dretzka Park (Milwaukee, WI), IDGC WR Jackson (Appling, GA), The Admiral (Semmes, AL), Cliff Stevens Park (Clearwater, FL)
UNIQUENESS Top Ten in order; Panther Creek (Morristown, TN), Langley Pond (Burnettown, SC), New World DGC (Jacksonville, FL), Harmon Hills (Fall Branch, TN), Mahr Park - Champ (Madisonville, KY), Austin Ridge Bible Church (Austin, TX), Old Settlers' Park (Round Rock, TX), Fairfield Park (Round Lake, IL), Rollin Ridge (Reedsville, WI), Old Warrior Run (Belden, MS)
RAW DIFFICULTY Top Ten in order; Roy G. Guerrero - Blue (Austin, TX), Jack Mclean Park - Blue (Tallahassee, FL), Oldsmar DGC - Gold (Oldsmar, FL), Old Warrior Run - Gold (Belden, MS), Inverness DGP - Blue (Hoover, AL), Langley Pond - Gold (Burnettown, SC), Rollin Ridge - Black to Black (Reedsville, WI), Forest Hills Disc Golf - Gold (Holiday, FL), Circle C Metro Park - Blue (Austin, TX), IDGC WR Jackson - Gold (Appling, GA)
RAW BEAUTY Top Ten in order; Lake Claiborne - Whitetail (Homer, LA), New World DGC (Jacksonville, FL), Rollin Ridge (Reedsville, WI), Austin Ridge Bible Church (Austin, TX), Mahr Park - Champ (Madisonville, KY), Harmon Hills (Fall Branch, TN), Lake Claiborne - Dogwood (Homer, LA), Inverness DGP (Hoover, AL), IDGC Headrick (Appling, GA), Langley Pond (Burnettown, SC)
My Top Courses Overall (out of 308 courses)
Constantly re-evaluated - Last Update - September 2018
 (4.885) Rollin Ridge (Reedsville, WI)
 (4.547) Hobbs Farm Park (Carrollton, GA)
 (4.500) IDGC Headrick (Appling, GA) Prelim
 (4.500) IDGC WR Jackson (Appling, GA) Prelim
 (4.451) Inverness DGP (Hoover, AL)
 (4.386) New World DGC (Jacksonville, FL)
 (4.350) Langley Pond (Burnettown, SC) Prelim
 (4.305) Harmon Hills (Fall Branch, TN)
 (4.300) Fairfield Park (Round Lake, IL) Prelim
 (4.269) Tom Brown Park (Tallahassee, FL)
 (4.264) Circle C Metro Park (Austin, TX)
 (4.200) Mahr Park - Champ (KY) Prelim
 (4.200) IDGC Warner (Appling, GA) Prelim
 (4.180) Bill Frederick Park - T2 (Orlando, FL)
 (4.165) Oldsmar DGC (Oldsmar, FL)
 (4.160) The Admiral (Semmes, AL)
 (4.155) Panther Creek (Morristown, TN)
 (4.126) Perkerson Park (Atlanta, GA)
 (4.104) Clay DGC (Clay, AL)
 (4.099) Harry Myers DGC (Rockwall, TX)
 (4.076) Lake Claiborne - Whitetail (Homer, LA)
 (4.033) Austin Ridge Bible Church (Austin, TX)
 (4.014) Zobel Park (Green Lake, WI)
 (3.982) River City - Alpha (Debary, FL)
 (3.944) Picnic Island DGC (Tampa, FL)
 (3.925) Roy G. Guerrero (Austin, TX)
 (3.912) Flying Armadillo-Gold (San Marcos, TX)
 (3.901) Cedar Hill Park (Nashville, TN)
 (3.897) Freedom Park DGC (Valdosta, GA)
 (3.892) Old Warrior Run (Belden, MS)
 (3.877) Magnolia DGC (Live Oak, FL)
 (3.850) Richmond Hill (Asheville, NC) prelim
 (3.838) Cliff Stevens Park (Clearwater, FL)
 (3.814) RIP, Tom Brown Park (Tallahassee, FL)
 (3.776) Indian Creek DGC (Huntsville, AL)
 (3.767) Estero DGC (Estero, FL)
 (3.761) Dretzka Park (Milwaukee, WI)
 (3.756) Foundation Park Champ(Centralia, IL)
 (3.751) Brazos Park East (Waco, TX)
 (3.739) Bowers Park (Tuscaloosa, AL)
 (3.738) Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, CA)
 (3.726) Seven Oaks Park (Nashville, TN)
 (3.723) Taylor Park (Largo, FL)
 (3.711) Bud Hill - Original (Millington, TN)
 (3.699) Edward Medard Park (Plant City, FL)
 (3.690) The Preserve DGC (Port Charlotte, FL)
 (3.662) Flying Armadillo - Big (San Marcos, TX)
 (3.659) Lake Claiborne - Dogwood (Homer, LA)
 (3.638) George Ward Park (Birmingham, AL)
 (3.593) Jack Mclean Park (Tallahassee, FL)
 (3.586) Lake Point Park (Heflin, AL)
 (3.586) Searight Park (Austin, TX)
 (3.575) The Sinks (Chattanooga, TN)
 (3.567) The Bear (Alford, FL)
 (3.562) Cypress Point Park (Tampa, FL)
 (3.562) Etowah DGC (Cartersville, GA)
 (3.534) Bill Frederick Park - T1 (Orlando, FL)
 (3.532) Cane Ridge - Advanced (Nashville, TN)
 (3.531) Ocala Greenway DGC (Ocala, FL)
 (3.491) Jonesville Park (Jonesville, FL)
 (3.480) Palm Bay Regional (Palm Bay, FL)
 (3.413) Cat Hollow (Round Rock, TX)
 (3.400) Barfield Crescent (Murfree... TN) Prelim
 (3.392) East Roswell Park (Roswell, GA)
 (3.383) Redstone Arsenal (Huntsville, AL)
 (3.377) North Water Tower Park (Sarasota, FL)
 (3.367) Williamson County DGC (Leander, TX)
 (3.342) Sawmill DGC (Ocala, FL)
 (3.322) Sugar Hollow DGC (Bristol, VA)
 (3.318) MetCenter DGC (Austin, TX)
 (3.302) Red Hawk DGC (Pulaski, TN)
 (3.300) Madisonville City Park (KY) Prelim
 (3.289) Riverside Park DGC (West Bend, WI)
 (3.284) John LeMaster DGC (Trussville, AL)
 (3.280) Plamann Apple Creek (Appleton, WI)
 (3.276) Lake Hiawatha Preserve (Clermont, FL)
 (3.110) ChainDragon (Freeport, FL) hc
 (2.659) Brahan Spring Park (Huntsville, AL) hc
 (2.611) Youth Park (Pinellas Park, FL) hc
 (2.575) Wells Branch Park (Austin, TX) hc
hc = past or present home course
[MY AVE] (2.495) out of 308 courses
[DGCR AVE] (2.869) out of 308 courses
[MY SCORING HANDICAP] (-0.375)
Members I Have Had The Privilege To Throw With
(x) Equals number of unique courses.
gotoguy (6), austin_brian (1), donweck (1), Thrembo (2), R2sandman (1), ttoenjes (1), Neostrat (5), Mr Butlertron (3), HelloKitty (2), Charbachuk (1), TheRealRedRoach (1), Tmcalist (1), helix_rider (1), wericsson (5), GMcAtee (6), chef_bo_yardee (1), familyman4x (1), AdamDeMaioribus (1), larrod25 (2), alecfalzone (1), craigd (1).
My Thumb Policy.
I thumb a lot of reviews, probably around 8 a day on average. 95% of them are thumb-ups. Reviews that I'm most likely read and thumb-up include.
 A newer reviewer (10 or less reviews) who make 4 or 5 solid points about a course.
 A review of a course I've played and it makes 10 solid points about the course. It should touch on most of the following; navigation, difficultly, amenities/basics, hole variety and beauty.
 A review of a course that I've wish-listed and it makes 10 solid points about a course. It should touch on most of the items listed above.
 Any reviewer who continually uses the full spectrum of the ratings and has a review score average of 3.0 or less, will get more review looks from me. Having a balanced review score shows critical objectivity and I want to reward those reviewers. I do realize that some on here clearly only target and review top courses. However, as an outsider, this review style seems so lopsided that I can no longer distinguish between the good, the excellent and the phenomenal.
 A reviewer who's a site supporter (crown icon) will get more review looks from me.
My thumbs down are mostly limited to not abiding by the review rules such as;
 Insults to other reviewers and/or towns people.
 Blatant rating score influence, ie drive-by 0s and 5s.
 Blatant rating inconsistency (hidden score influence) among one's own reviews. It annoys me to see someone rate their local technical course a 4.0 and then travel to a clearly better big city killer looking technical course and rate it a 2.5. That's B.S.
Things that make no influence either way.
 Hole by hole descriptions, I never read them.
 If I think a review of a course is grossly overrated or underrated I generally don't thumb the review.
Additional Review thoughts
There are at least 4 reviewers I've thumbed up close to 100 times or beyond. I'll admit to only one of these, The Valkyrie Kid. My gosh such an influence on this site when I first started reviewing. He uses the entire spectrum, and it's entertaining and informative. He deserves every thumb-up I give him. He is beyond helpful when I target a course he's played and he's added a wealth of knowledge in his disc golf travels around the world.
If you read a review that adds value to this site regardless of your play of that course, please consider hitting the thumb up.