12 Helpful / 1 Not
Voyage of the ‘Dammed’
Pros: The 'Hoover' course (I'll always call it The Brent Hambrick Memorial) is situated on a beautiful reservoir and plays in a woodland park that's obviously a jewel in this community. The scenery in the area is spectacular and unexpected when you consider Columbus is mostly in a flatlands area of the Midwest. The disc golf course has multiple tees & pin positions, and plays up to a championship caliber level, yet has a design that accommodates the Recreational player as well (...if you want the greatest challenge, play all 27, long, and use tourney OB rules!)
There is a great deal of variety out here, from playing 18 short tees (4700 feet) out to 27 longs (9300 plus), and having open (often windy) shots near the dam all the way through precision shorter holes in the pine and deciduous woods. The design makes good use of the elevations available to create risk/reward greens (like on 3, with its wooded drop-off long, or the terraces on 4 and 8). There are a number of 'loop' opportunities if you have to shorten your round (see map for examples like playing just the letter holes, or adding 6 woods holes, like 15-17, then 12-14, etc.). BHM has holes ranging from 160 to 542 feet in length, and there is a mixture of left to right, right to left, straight, and even S-shaped lines.
Generous, grippy concrete tees are often boxed and mulched where needed, and the landscaping effort for the boxed greens mentioned above is impressive. Baskets are consistent and catch well (and are sometimes creatively set up, like the raised basket on hole 5). There are four parking areas along the length of the course (good for tournament play), plus shelters, bathrooms, trash cans, benches, etc. There is a practice basket just off the 'central' lot. Signage is adequate (could be a little more consistent: I know the Columbus Flyers do an excellent set of signs for the Westside temp course, so I know this is an area BHM can be improved).
Cons: The first thing that comes to mind for me is that there is a safety risk on hole 6 coming back at the 5th tee pad. In fact, you walk pretty much back up fairways after 1, 2, 4, 8, & F. The next is that you'll often need a spotter going ahead if you're playing the long tees in the woods, because you usually can only see the tee in front of you, and not much past the bends. The deep ravine starting to the right of hole 10 is also not immediately obvious. Finally, Some of the distances really don't seem right (is long F really only 375'?, or I - the last letter hole - only 250'?!)
Other Thoughts: The first time I played here was the 2013 King of the Courses challenge, playing all 27 short tees as the third course of a brutal Saturday. By the tenth hour of tournament disc golf, even the younger guys on my card were fatigued, and I was wiped out, so I'm glad I came back with our fall traveling league to give this a better look from the long tees before writing a review. It's a legendary course that hosts a terrific Open every year to challenge the best players out there.
Oh, and if you live anywhere nearby, also keep an eye out for events on the 'Westside' of Hoover Dam!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Premiere Columbus Course
Pros: Nice tee pads. Good signage for each hole except for a few that appear to have been stolen. The front-9's open landscape with with some tall grass that has been shaped into fairways is a nice touch. The back-9 takes place along a ridge and weaves through the woods. The added 9-"letter holes" are a mixture of both open and woods. The woods here are light on the underbrush and not over run with poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
Cons: WARNING!!! Random non-disc golf people walking through the course. They are every where. Also, this is a high traffic course. Tee-off early if you want a nice peaceful round.
Other Thoughts: Next tee signs would be helpful, especially on the back-9.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Enjoyable Back Nine
Pros: Challenging Pin Locations
Cons: Difficult where the next tee is located
Front 9 is very dull
Other Thoughts: Back Nine is spectacular; back in the woods, but no annoying small trees, narrow throwing lanes, or overwhelming undergrowth. It is very clear and fantastic to play
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
The best course in Columbus
Pros: 27 holes give you plenty of variety. First half of the course is in the open with some holes close to/in the tree line to add a little challenge. Second half of the course is in a wooded area with some very cool holes. Pro and am tees, nice sized concrete pads for tees. Good mix of long/short, wooded/open, turn right/left. Very well kept/maintained course.
Cons: Grass sometimes gets too tall between mowings. Can be a bit muddy in places back in the trees, but that is standard for most courses in the area. Would be great to have signs at every hole and tee for hole descriptions and directions to the next hole.
Other Thoughts: Still consider myself a beginner. This course seems to have a little bit for every skill level. I would recommend this course to everyone from beginners to pros. I consider this my "home course," and come here often because it is one of the best in the area.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Very nice course with a split personality.
Pros: All basic amenities are present (Multiple concrete tees, multiple pin positions, adequate parking near the first hole, bathroom facilities, benches, trash cans, etc.)
Nice layout that lets you warm up with 9 mostly open holes before you have to start hitting tight lines on the back.
Fun from the short tees and very challenging from the longs, especially on the wooded holes.
Many shorter tees require different shots than the longs, as opposed to just being moved forward a few feet, so you can work on different types of shots.
A fair number of unique holes and more elevation changes that you'd expect in central Ohio.
Both wooded and open holes.
Cons: Other reviewers have mentioned that holes 10-14 are often closed. I'm glad I'm not local, and won't have to play the course without those holes as 10 and 14 are two of my favorites on this hole.
Multi-use park, so watch out for cars, joggers, dog walkers and bikers on some holes.
Certain holes really need some trees planted to make them more interesting in the future (G and H specifically are BORING holes)
Other Thoughts: This is the course I've played most often in my couple weeks in central Ohio as it and Blendon are the closest courses to the hotel I'm staying at. Overall it's a very nice facility, and shows great upkeep by the Columbus Flyers club. The locals are friendly and willing to let an older guy like me play with them for a few holes. While this is a very nice course, it's still the second best in the area (behind Simsbury Park) and despite it's history just doesn't have the wow factor of other courses I've played around the country. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's a solid local course, but not a destination course.
Edit: the split personality I mentioned in my review refers to the fact that on the west side of the park road every hole is in the open, and on the east side they're tighter, more wooded holes. Not a bad thing, just strange it worked out that way, and worth a mention.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
The best around!
Pros: - 27 holes, most of which have both Pro and Am tees
- A wide variety of long and short holes which allows for many varied shots and challenges
- Has many trash cans and benches for your convenience
- A nice practice pin area complete with picnic tables
- Has a porta potty on site
- Is in a beautiful park that is well maintained
- Hosts a number of Pro and Am events
- Doesn't feel too large even though it has 27 holes
- Nice flow to the course
- Convenience store down the street sells discs and has a decent selection
- A staple of central Ohio disc golf!
Cons: - Some of the OB wooded areas are on rather steep inclines, which can be a problem
- Can be a far drive for people who don't live in the area
- No water fountains! There is only a standpipe that looks like it hasn't functioned in ages. This course desperately needs some water to truly make it great.
- Old baskets that are showing their age. It would be nice to get some new equipment since some baskets are bent and beat up.
Other Thoughts: This is arguably the best course in central Ohio. It gives you the chance to use all of your discs and there are plenty of holes where you can let 'er rip! The woods are not so thick like other area parks, so you can actually get through and find your disc if you shank it. This course is very nice and well maintained so you can always count on a nice day when you play. The people here are always friendly and you can bring your dog as well. With 27 holes you can bet that you'll be challenged and kept occupied time after time. The Pro tees are especially challenging. There are many iconic shots at this course and it makes for a good afternoon of disc golf.
I decided to give this 4 because there are no water fountains at this park. That is the only thing I feel is really holding it back from being the best course in the area. Hambrick DGC has not changed at all in the 10+ years I have been playing, which is somewhat unfortunate. It would just be nice to have a water fountain after playing 27 holes on a summer day.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Best in Ohio
Pros: Best course in Central Ohio hands down and perhaps in all of Ohio (as one of the pros told me this past weekend at the BHMO). 27 holes that keep you coming back for more. Beautiful course that is manicured and the lovely pine trees keep everything in check and groovy. Hoover Dam is not a bad looker, either! Lots of fun throws on this course. Holes to air it out on and tricky tree navigational holes as well. Some short, some long. And the pro tees are legit.
Cons: As some have noted, there are about half of the holes in the open and half are wooded, leaning more towards the open (some complain this is boring, but whatever, this is Columbus, Ohio! Not the Sierra Nevada). On holes 15-18, it can be easy to lose discs if you don't spot. Throughout the course, there are sloping ravines OB that you don't really want to get caught in.
In these summer months, it is becoming more and more crowded which leads to more and more... well, I shouldn't have to tell you.
One of the only and biggest negatives is that there is no water available. No fountain or vending or anything. So BYOW. For bathrooms, there is a porto potty at the parking lot which I can tell you I have never used. I may be bitter towards some experiences I have had, but a complaint I have might be the riffraff rednecks that occasionally frequent the park and leave their crappy lifestyle trailing behind them. This includes picking up after them in the parking lot / waiting area / putting area and not looking at them or their offspring crossways. It just gets old dealing with noisy, obnoxious people who pollute everywhere they go.
Other Thoughts: Hoover is my home base. Anyone who discs in Columbus knows that it is the best. I am biased towards it, but with good reason. It is a wonderful course and has all kinds of good fun in store. You cannot go wrong playing Hoover Dam. I'm not gonna rate it a 5 because I know we are not in Northern California or somewhere incredible. But I'll give it a 4.5 (high, I know, but I'm trying to show my love) because it is absolutely the best around and I love it.
Edit: I noticed a lot of people say that holes 10-14 are often closed. Well, I have been playing Hoover for years and years and have never seen those holes closed. It must just be a winter thing because they are never closed whenever I go there. This year, however, I shall find out because I am supremely addicted and am up for discing in any weather.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Some many options!
Pros: So many places to park, that you can start playing anywhere instead of waiting to tee off on 1. Great mix of open and wooded tees. Easily the best course in columbus!
Cons: Can be crowded, and holes 10 through 14 or 18 are often closed.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Very good course.
Pros: Good variety and several unique holes such as 4 and 8 where the basket is usually set on a hillside below the grade of the hole, and hole 5 with the basket on a pyramid made of railroad ties.
27 hole layout lends itself to an interesting number of ways to play the course.
Multiple and/or pin positions at most holes ensure you won't get bored.
Active local club (Columbus Flyers) who change the pin positions around frequently to help with the point above.
High quality long concrete tees are nicely seasoned and in great shape
Beautifully maintained, and an all around nice walk.
Cons: Often crowded, both with discers and non-discers alike.
Next tee signs are needed, or maps should be provided. There are four points that seem to trip up first time players (transitions from 4-5, 7-8, 9-10 and 14-15). After 4 you turn around, cross the fairway you just played and find the 5th tee. After 7 you go down the hill the 4th basket is on to get to 8. After 9 you cross the road to find hole 10 in the woods. After 14 you go right to play the letters, or take a long walk to the left to play 15.
Occasional rude groups who spend forever looking for discs and don't want to let faster players through.
Occasional idiot walkers, joggers, and people cutting through the course going from one part of the park to another are supremely annoying. If you're going to walk through a disc golf course, don't give people a dirty look if discs land near you.
Closing holes 10-14 every winter destroys the flow of the course. Hopefully the rumors are true, and this practice is a thing of the past...
Other Thoughts: I'm trying out a new rating system based on how far I'd be willing to drive to play a course. I probably wouldn't travel much more than an hour to play BHM, especially if I was only coming for a single round. It is a course I appreciate having within a 15 minute drive, and has become my Columbus mainstay.
This is a better course than Blendon, but can be frustrating when it's overrun with non-discers. Holes 2-9 and 18 are all fairly open and subject to at least some of the cons I mentioned above. Holes 1, 10-17 and about half the "new" nine are tighter holes that require some skill.
If the pins do get pulled from 10-14 again I've found a good alternate workaround is to park further back, play holes A-I, then hole 15, 1-7, and finish up with 18. You still miss out on the best holes of the course, but you do get in your 18, have a good mix of open and tight holes and still have some flow to your round.
I gave the course a 1 point bump now that all holes are open (yes, losing them was THAT important to me!).
Update 5/5/14, All holes are now open, and word on the street is that there are no plans to "rest" those holes in the winter anymore.
Update 1/14/2015: Several new pin positions have been created, and the course is much more challenging on certain holes. Beginners to average players should expect frustration on holes 11, E, and 17, but long time players of the course will be pleased. I fall into both categories (slightly below average player, but played the course for many years now) and find myself rather ambivalent so far.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun at the Dam
Pros: There is a great variety here. Open bombers, tricky greens, ob, short technical holes, tons of elevation, Hoover has it all. There are two sets of concrete tees with good signage. Hole 2 is a fun downhill bomber looking straight at the dam. There a few par 4s here. The elevated pin on hole 5 is nice. It is awesome there are 27 holes here. The two sets of tees make the course very accessible for players of all skill levels. Overall, this is a very fun course.
Cons: Much of the course is very open. They just took out holes 10-14 for the winter. I feel the course could be redesigned and made better. Possibly add more par 4s and 5s, lengthen the course, and have less wide open holes. Some holes I don't really care for. Hole 5 and 6 are repetitive short hyzers. 9 is just an open hyzer. 14 does not really have a good line to the basket making it a tweener hole. Hole G is completely wide open and boring.
Other Thoughts: Site of the Brett Hambrick Memorial NT. After hole 14 play the letter holes and then play 15-18 to finish.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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