His Own Private Idlewild
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: After seeking out a dream property, and taking the time to hike the woods, ridges and valleys literally hundreds of times, while building a family home, InnocentCrook (Tim Blanchet) began the arduous task of sculpting out the trees and underbrush, working in paths and fairways, adding bridges and stone creek crossings, then tee pads and baskets, with the result being a tremendous disc golf course. Tim's 5 year labor of love is coming into focus and available for others to enjoy (make contact before you go: private course on family land). It is currently a technical, hilly, wooded dream course geared very well between the intermediate to open skill set.
With DisCatcher baskets (acquired second hand from the original Holler In The Hills), and mixed teepads (carpet or mulch at present), new benches, a helpful map, next tee signage where needed, and variety galore, this is fast becoming a nice rural destination course. Hole designs range from an open bomber hole where big arms can gain a stroke on the rest of us, to super technical shorties where the crafty veterans can get that stroke back. The course has everything. The flow of the holes and the layout keep impressing with the fresh, different feel from each hole to the next. Here's a downhill, straight tunnel that you could reach for a deuce opportunity. The next hole is often a longer dogleg where the smart play is to reach that sweet spot landing zone off the tee (if you can avoid THAT TREE!).
The holes meander through the ridges and valleys, and give every look you can imagine (uphill, downhill, ravine crosser, left, right…). My favorite hole was 10, with a sweet downhill lane to the landing zone at or beyond the creek bend, followed by uphill shot(s) to approach the basket. It felt like a slightly more forgiving Idlewild #11 (hence the review title). I complimented Tim on NOT simply throwing in a generic hole that used the utility company's cleared lane, but crossing it instead with TWO holes any course designer would be proud of.
As the course matures, the design will utilize multiple tees and pin positions, and the variety will just get better and better. It's already stellar. Come help mature this baby!
Cons: When greened up in the spring, this course might be a bit rough on players from novice to recreational skills. The rough is thick, and it's difficult to stay on top of the amount of trimming and mowing this course would need to be 'park-like', so throw bright colors, keep an eye on your shot until it comes to rest, and if you toss one in the pond on 18, you're joining a 'cast of thousands'. There is potential to lose discs here in the rough or the water. But if you ink them, you're most likely to eventually get a call from a private course owner as he puts in his decades of course work.
Furthermore, Hidden Ridge is a true workout, designed to please the player who expects a hike, not just a stroll in the park. Even if he took another five years installing more bridges, stairs, and access paths, the changes in elevation will be difficult if you're not in at least decent shape. It is likely a challenge when wet… What I'm hinting at here is, it's probably best to leave the carts in the car and carry a bag. …that contains fluids. …and some protein booster!
Other Thoughts: Reach out to Tim on Facebook, message and set up a time to play (or better yet, volunteer AND play). Bring course donation $, and/or buy some merch. It's all going back into the course, and it shows.
Tim mentioned it, so I'll pass it on: there are DGA baskets viewable, but they're out there for the kids and family, so don't get confused. You're playing to the DisCatchers with the bands (he's currently in the process of applying a set of attractive "Hidden Ridge" vinyl wraps).
I gave Hidden Ridge a 4.0 rating because it's comparable to the others I've done that for, at least in terms of design fun, challenge, and to some extent, potential. I was tempted to go as high as 4.5, but it's being still a little rough. It's definitely worthy of ratings in this range.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
New Fun Course
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I made a reservation to play this new addition to the greater Northern Kentucky scene not knowing what I would get . This 18 hole course is situated right in the middle of Grant County , but accessible to both I-75 and I-71 . Parking is still in it's formulating stages . Course owner and designer Tim Blanchet told me to park just off of his driveway and he would catch up with me when he came home from work . When he okays you to play here , he sends you directions to his house , and a scorecard with informative details to move you from hole to hole . 5 years ago , Tim had a dream to make a course on his vast property , and it is coming along great . The tee pads are either natural or carpet , and there is little signage , except some NEXT TEE signs or arrows to help you navigate . The baskets are different throughout the course , but are in good condition and catch real well . I never like being the first one to review a course , mostly because that means the course is still being broken in ( ca. 2018 ) , but after playing here , I couldn't escape the creative design and the natural feel of this course . Even without tee signs , I was able to navigate this course pretty easy with the scorecard . The course is unique with it's variety of shot selection . There is some good but not overly extreme elevation on some of these holes . They can incorporate a creek , mando , pond and landing zone . This course plays technical from the word go . Hole #1 is a good warmup hole ( 293' ) with just a little obstruction , but one that will get you to stretch your knees . #2 & 3 are to your left and go out and back in tight woods . #4 follows the road on the left , then breaks to the left , with rough dividing the course to the hole . There is a cool rock bench next to the fairway , just in case you want to take a seat for a minute . I won't go hole by hole , but will tell you that I had a good workout playing here . A few of the holes will give you a break , only followed by the next hole that will break you . Tim and his dog caught up with me at about hole 14 , and we talked for the rest of the round .He has dual pin placement and many alternate tees . There are so many different looks that the course gives you . an example would be #10 which is a long downhill drive that forces you into an uphill up shot to the basket sitting protected by some trees . Follow that with #11 , which forces you to eventually bring your drive right to left and set it down to where you can approach the basket into a narrow woods passage to the basket sitting on the right , about 100' in . After your dose of tight holes and elevation , the course finishes you off with #18 , a downhill drive over a pond , with the basket protected by 2 trees . You also have the option to wrap your drive around the pond to the right , but you have have to content with some deep rough if you miss your lane . This is one of the better finishing holes in the area . I don't know if the course is set up for the newbies or the kids , but I feel that the rest of the disc golf world will enjoy this setup . There is a WOW factor here . The course is private , so you usually have the course to yourself , or with 1 other group . Give yourself about and hour and 15 minutes or so if you are playing solo . Maybe 2 - 2 1/2 hours for a foursome . Signature Hole : #11 which takes you from woods to open , a little downhill back to tight woods . Great basket placement .
Cons: #1 this course is going to be a tough walk after a rain . The ups and downs of this course combined with woods will equal a possible fall and a lot of caked mud on your shoes . #2 amenities . The course can use some signage and some tee pads , but these will come in time when Tim can have some cash flow coming in . #3 Disc Risk . I can see losing a driver or a long approach disc here . The rough can be heavy in spots , and rollaways and blind shot baskets can add to the fray . Use a spotter or watch your disc's flight .
Other Thoughts: I am glad that I was able to play this course in it's early stages . There is some work to be done , but the foundation is set and the hard part is out of the way . I can see a tournament played here within the year .The design combined with being far from the city really makes this worth coming to. Tim has aspirations of making this a destination stop for the disc golf world . Kind of like Field Of Dreams ( or Field Of Discs ) .I have played a lot of private courses , and he is one of the nicest I have ever met . He doesn't say anything about it , but it is a private course . Reach in your pocket and give some money . All of it goes right back into his course . My Recommendation : I normally have a wait and see attitude about new courses and being broken in before playing them , but this course changed my mind . A solid course for travelers or baggers coming up or traveling south on I-71 or I-75 , or locals , enthusiasts intermediates to pros . Catch this course early , so you can experience the progression , and meet the owner . PLAY IT !!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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