17 Helpful / 0 Not
Steady Ed done proud
- SPECTACULAR ELEVATION & GREAT LAYOUT. Coming from coastal North Carolina, this was something I enjoyed immensely. (They elevation changes, I mean...we have some great layouts in NC too!) Allow me to elaborate:
* You start #1 with a dead-straight shot (which is relatively straightforward), but it's downhill with trees on either side which, optically, makes it incredibly deceiving. Because of the downhill shot it looks further than it is, so a straight fairway driver like a Seer or a beat-in Teebird seems in order but those will fade too hard. For those with power a putter is your best bet, but those (like me) who are erratic or have less power you might want a mid-range.
* #2 is a blind, pseudo-uphill shot from the tee to the right. Do yourself a favor and check out the distance before you throw. You can see the pin on your trek from the #1 pin, but the elevation may make you reconsider your choice of plastic after you see the line from the tee. I found an easy little turnover shot worked pretty well, but your mileage may vary.
* #3 is another downhill shot through a tight gap in the trees that is a natural throw for RHBH. You'll have to make up your own mind as to your disc selection when viewing the pin from the teebox. There are too many options to name.
* #4 is a sharp, uphill hyzer-flip shot next to the lake around a group of protestor trees with limbs that can smack your tee-shot down like Dikembe Mutombo in those commercials ("No, no, no!") if you're not accurate. There is also an anhyzer line to the right through the trees if you're brave that could lead to a legitimate birdie look, but if you miss your line you'll be in jail. Definitely a risk-reward hole, but if you birdie this one you deserve a raise.
* #5 was my favorite hole on the course. This just-shy-of 400 foot, extremely downhill par 4 offers one of the most exciting disc golf holes I've ever played. Two distinct lines are present. If you hit the left anhyzer/flick line, you could probably birdie this hole. However, if you hit the more obvious line - through the gap in the trees to the right, carry straight over the water for a hot minute and fade hard - you may end up with a drop-in eagle...and you will likely find it one of the prettiest shots you've ever thrown. If the IDGC is a destination for you and not your local course, you owe it to yourself to bomb it out and put "skyrockets in flight," going big over the water. If you hit your line you'll go home with "afternoon delight" and dreaming of that beautiful shot over the lake for weeks to come. (Sorry...couldn't resist.) If you don't hit your line you may end up swimming, but the water's not too deep and actually quite refreshing.
* I won't go through the whole course, but suffice it to say that each hole is very different. I can honestly say that not once did I feel like I played the same hole twice.
- OUTSTANDING TEE-PADS & SIGNS. Navigation is relatively easy even for a first-timer to the course because of the great signage and the teepads are level concrete that makes them grippy even in wet conditions.
- SHORTER (e.g. A NICE BREAK.) After playing Jim Warner and W. R. Jackson, sometimes you just want the fun without the crazy mileage on your Merrell's. This isn't to imply there aren't long holes...there are. It's just that on Steady Ed you get just as much (if not more) enjoyable disc golf without wearing yourself out.
- WATER SHOTS. That's probably enough said and maybe not such a big deal to you, but I couldn't help but get all pumped full of adrenaline every time I had to throw one. I love that.
- GREAT AMENITIES. This will apply to all three courses at the IDGC. At the head of each course lies the International Disc Golf Center, which not only offers shade in its cold-drink-stocked pavilion surrounded by perfectly manicured grass covered with numerous baskets by several manufacturers, it also provides you an outstanding disc golf shop that houses more disc golf history and memorabilia than you could absorb in a day. This is truly a Mecca for any die-hard disc golfer.
There aren't many...
- Few trash cans on the course. There are literally two: One at the beginning and one between #7 and #15. If you're planning on snacking or drinking during your round make sure to bring a trash bag or keep the top of your DD Ranger bag empty. This course deserves to be kept immaculate.
- Mach 3 baskets. I know some love these and there's definitely some logic behind putting old school baskets on the course named for the man who invented the game, but these things just don't catch as well as the DisCatchers on W. R. Jackson or the ChainStars on Jim Warner. I definitely need to work on my putting (no question there!) but I can't help but be thankful for the advances in basket technology after playing this course with the Mach 3s.
- Straight through 18. The other two courses start and end the front and back at the IDGC near the parking lot, but because of its shorter length Steady Ed plays straight through with 10 starting about ¾ of mile from the IDGC. Not too awful terrible, but if you go in not knowing this after having had W. R. Jackson chew you up and spit you out earlier during a hot Georgia day, you might find the walk up the hills back to your car a little tedious if you only planned on playing the front.
- No topless Hooters girls frolicking along the #8 fairway.
This is the first course I've rated 5.0 and if you haven't played the IDGC, you need this in your life. Not because *I* say so, but because fundamentally it's a phenomenal course. It has everything you could ever want in a disc golf course, to say nothing of the profound justice it does to the legacy of "Steady" Ed Headrick and his impact on the game. Any hard-core disc golfer with the means and motivation owes it to him or herself to make the trek to Wildwood Park to take on these three outstanding courses. They are SO worth it. Add to that the fact that the campground is within walking distance to the IDGC and the courses (though I wouldn't recommend it), offers a great atmosphere on the lake, and is pretty darn nice in its own right makes the trip a no-brainer.
Of the three courses, Steady Ed DGC is the most forgiving and, in my opinion, the most fun - with Jim Warner DGC a close second on the fun scale. (W. R. Jackson, for all its perks and challenges, is the course that made me realize just how bad my game is and how awesome the pros who shoot under par on this course really are.) Steady Ed was far and away my favorite of the three and definitely pays great homage to the eponymous founder's "Most fun wins!" adage by offering just that.
I can't say it strongly enough: If you have the opportunity to make the trip to Appling, do yourself a favor and visit Wildwood Park. And if (God forbid) you only have time to play one course at the IDGC, it should be Steady Ed. You won't regret it.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Flawless little course
Pros: Perfect flow and navigation. There were signs guiding you to every tee, there was a kiosk map, and paper maps were provided. No possible way to lose time looking for the next tee.
2 tees. Long tees were concrete, short tees were rubber.
Nice signage with multiple lines shown.
Nice Custom Baskets in great shape.
Course was well suited for every level of player. Course was tight enough to require finesse for birdies, but forgiving enough for newer players to save par.
many water hazards, most holes offered safer ways around the water, but the more risk you take the greater the reward.
great variety in shots, elevation, density of foliage, and hole distance.
Shadiest of all 3 courses
Pros that Apply to all 3 Courses on site:
Air conditioned lounge where you can watch disc golf on a flat screen while you rest.
Pro shop that sells a wide variety of discs, clothes, and even saved my round by selling Advil.
Vending Machine that dispenses 38 degree drinks.
2 other courses on site
Disc Golf Museum.
Cons: To find a con on this course you really have to dig deep and nit pick.
Hole 11 had no indicator to which placement the basket was in.
Every hole was in the short position.
On hole 13 you have to walk over hole 8's tee for a fraction of a second to get back to the fairway from the bridge.
If you have to leave to get food between rounds expect a pretty long drive unless you want to settle for convenience store food.
It does not loop after 9, but I was glad it did not. The flow was so much better than the other courses that were split into 2 loops.
Other Thoughts: This course appeals to the widest variety of players. The amenities are top notch. This course does not have the signature holes and the wow factor of some other courses, but it is a good course that was done flawlessly for a smooth enjoyable round.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
A Great, Fun Course
Pros: First of all, the IDGC is an amazing Disc Golf destination. With three outstanding 18 hole courses it is hard to imagine a better place to spend a day or several.
The Steady Ed course is described as the "fun" course of the three and I agree. It offers a great variety of long and short holes, water carries, elevation changes, and loads of trees to work around (and hit).
Two concrete tee pads for each hole, and two basket placements. Pads are large, level concrete with good texture. Tee signs are the outstanding John Houck signs that give an excellent graphic of the hole, including the various routes to the basket. Baskets are in excellent condition and catch well.
Hole lengths vary from as short as 215' to the 685' par 5 Hole 15. The shorter holes are typically tighter, while the longer holes have wider fairways. But all holes place a premium on accuracy and the ability to hit a line with your drive. Being off of the fairway even a few feet will often place you behind a tree and force an awkward approach shot. I used my flick more here than anywhere I can remember.
This course makes the most of the large lake and various streams. Holes 4, 5, 12, 13 and 14 all encourage drives out over the lake, with the obvious danger of dunking a disc if things go wrong. But for the most part the water is clear and fairly shallow, so most discs are recoverable with a Golden Retriever or by just wading. Hole 12 from the long tee is most memorable as you are carrying about 275' of water if you go directly at the basket. Hole 8 brings a small creek into play, where discs are also easy to fish out.
Along with the great course goes the amazing scenery. The courses are in unspoiled forest, and while I was there it couldn't have been nicer. Birds singing, trees just leafing out, cool breezes. What else could you want in a DG course?
Cons: It is hard for me to come up with cons. I am an intermediate player and found this to be the most enjoyable of the three courses here. There is a ton of challenge, but much to enjoy.
Other Thoughts: Great pro shop on site, along with the PDGA museum and hall of fame. The location itself (Wildwood Park) is a great place to camp. We spent four nights here and enjoyed ourselves.
The modest fee to play ($3 a day for PDGA members) is more than fair, considering how nice these courses are.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 4 Not
This is my favorite course!
Pros: This is an amazing course at an amazing center in an amazing park! Of the three courses at the IDGC this is my favorite!
Steady Ed has absolutely everything in a disc golf course. The beauty is unparalleled. There are fantastic trees, lots of elevation changes, and great views of the water. It's amazing enough just to walk this course, yet alone play it. It's great that they have short pads. I played the longs, which are tough, and my girlfriend played the shorties and we had a great time!
The course has tons of variety in shots. It's got ups, downs, high shots, low shots, all kinds of curves, and there are lots of places with multiple options. You get the chance to decide to "go for it" or "play possum". If you throw a bad shot, there's trouble, but it's not super-brutal and it's easy to find your plastic. Just don't throw it in the water and you're good to go.
I got to meet Brian Graham and see the museum in the clubhouse and I caught a 7 lb. largie right by my campsite. What more do you need?
Cons: Zero, seriously, the Steady Ed rocks!
Other Thoughts: Can't wait to make another trip to the IDGC!
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
The most fun of the courses at the International DG Center
Pros: The proximity of the IDGC pro shop, the DG Hall of Fame, and the Headrick memorial museum make the three courses located on site worth every penny of the fees associated with going there. Add onto that the upkeep that the three courses on site receive from the IDGC workers and you've already got yourself a decently high rated course. The clubhous also provides disc golfers with plenty of practice baskets to putt on for busy days as well as a station to fill up water bottles, hang out, and relax between rounds. That right there makes this course better than many others, but Headrick was my favorite of the IDGC courses, each of which also benefit from the proximity of the facilities. Therefore I am giving it my third 5.0 rating. Here's what set it apart:
*Scenery. This course had breathtaking shots that just weren't present on the other courses at IDGC. It brought the beach into play, giving many disc golfers a brand new experience (especially for those of us from Illinois).
*Good mix of blind and visible-from-tee shots. Usually I enjoy throwing towards a target that is visible withing a few yards of the tee more than throwing towards a landing zone, but I don't mind it when a course has a few of these on its more challenging holes. The mix in this category was perfect.
*Challenge. The holes here were not daunting, but they all demanded specific lines to be hit as they wove their way through the trees.
*Distance. Excellent variety in this category. Some short ace runs mixed with some long bombs. This variety is even further enhanced by the fact that there were two sets of concrete tee pads with multiple pin positions for each hole.
*Elevation: Because this course played down onto the beaches, it had very good elevation changes from hole to hole.
Cons: Though this course definitely had challenging holes, if you are looking for the most difficulty, Jackson is the course for you.
Other Thoughts: This course (as well as the entire International Disc Golf Center) should be a destination stop for every disc golfer out there.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
A Complete Disc Golf Experience what didnt they think of?
Pros: The Headrick course (in fact,this entire complex) serves to show what disc golf can be given the proper resources and planning.
Great shot variety and elevation changes with many beautiful views of the lake, and several holes where it comes into play (depending on the water level). Mostly wooded with a few tee shots that are fairly open, as well as a good variety of distances provide a nice mix. Multiple lines have you thinking about how to play virtually every tee shot. Holes 12 and 14 were my personal favorites, but there's no lack of quality holes on this course.
As you'd expect, the course itself is excellent, but all the amenities and little touches put this place over the top:
Best tee pads I've ever played on; coarsely textured concrete - spacious and grippy even when wet.
Best practice putting green you'll find anywhere
Several tricky pin locations
Very little underbrush, so it's easier to recover from shots that bounce off trees, and easier to find discs.
Drop zones serve as short pads for less accomplished players, and have red tee posts and grippy rubber mats.
3 colored flags on each basket not only enhance visibility, but are different weights so they indicate wind speed: red for 6 MPH, white for 12, and blue for 18 MPH... simple, yet ingenious.
Benches and wonderful signage at every basket.
Navigation: Next tee pointers at bottom of baskets and next tee signs all over the place along with maps available near 1st hole. If you don't find the next tee in 60 seconds or so, you're not trying.
PDGA HoF and Pro Shop, tournament pavilion with drink machines.
Boot cleaners located just outside the Pro Shop to brush the mud and dirt from your shoes.
Cons: They got so many things right that the cons pale in comparison, but:
I don't mind pay to play, but that's in addition to the park entrance fee - still worth it to play these courses.
Signs don't show pin positions, and you can only play the single location they're in (some courses keep pins in both positions - Lemon Lake Silver/Gold for example). Would have been nice to at least have seen the long pin positions.
Other Thoughts: I highly recommend a visit here to any serious player who's inclined to make a road trip. I would rate the course about 4.0 - 4.5 on the disc play alone, but feel justified in awarding 5.0 based on this as a destination: two add'l championship caliber courses on site, along with the long list of amenities and all the thought that went into this place make it something truly special indeed. I could go on and on, but won't. You already know whether or not you want to visit this place, and I doubt anything I say here is going to change your mind.
As for those who listed all the trees as a con, I have to assume they just prefer a more open layout. I found the fairways on the Headrick course challenging but quite executable rather than "pitch and pray" and anything but unfair. I can't believe someone mentioned the trapezoidal shape of the pads as a con... really?
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Excellent Course For An Excellent Man
Pros: The Steady Ed course is an excellent example of what you can do if you have the proper land, money, designer(s) and desire to put in a fantastic course! I'm really torn between this and the WR Jackson as my favorite of the three courses but why worry about that now, I can just say that this is what disc golf should be and that this course has been done right.
The biggest differences between this and the other two courses here is that this course has more of the nearby lake coming into play as either danger off the fairway or just straight throwing over the water to your landing zone. The other thing that really stuck out to me about this course was the use of double fairways, landing zones and approach lines. It looks like the designer(s) went and walked this property over and over and test played holes over and over to find the optimal distances, lines, landing zones and rough areas.
One of my favorites was hole #5. While I was playing here this basket was in the long position and played as par 4. I really enjoyed the double fairway; the right route out and over the lake for those more daring and trying to get a three and the left route for less confident golfers who want to play more conservatively. Neither of these fairways are easy to get through and even a nasty kick on the safe route could have your disc heading for the drink.
Cons: The biggest issue I have with this course is that the long positions aren't always playable and these are moved around at random during the year.I know this isn't exactly a con but everyone's experience here is a bit different and I think that if I hadn't had 6 long positions in while playing my rating might be a bit lower but don't get me wrong the short positions aren't bad they just aren't as challenging and not as fun as some of the long positions. A friend of mine said that it would be nice if they both positions in all of the time and just have two basket for each hole, long and short and I actually agree with this. Going along with all of that I think that some of the short positions on the par four holes aren't long enough and create a tweener hole where the long basket would really help out.
Other Thoughts: Holes 2, 5, 7, 13, 15 and 16 were all in the long position while I played and I really enjoyed the contrast of the back and forth short and long positions. I believe that if both pins were in all of the time I would probably play a mixture of the best short and long pins.
This is an excellent course and combined with the other courses on site you really get an awesome disc golf destination here. You have to check out the IDGC building and the Steady Ed Museum which was some cool disc golf artifacts and pictures and discs from long ago. One of my favorite things in the Museum is the hand written PDGA member book of the first 3000 members that Steady Ed wrote down himself! Things have changed a little since then but nothing will change the way we feel about this great man.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 4 Not
A Fitting Tribute
Pros: Out of the three courses available at IDGC, I feel that the Steady ED long course offers up the best challenge for Gold level players. While the WR Jackson course is a close second, ol' Steady has the best variety and challenge out there.
Similar to his work at the Highbridge facility, Chuck (and Tom) have done a fantastic job of creating holes which incorporate enormous variety and challenge, both physically and intellectually. Several of the holes here allow for players to choose clearly delineated separate routes off the tee - each offers its own rewards and challenges. Most all of these choices come with clear tradeoffs such that the more difficult of the routes (either because of danger or skill needed), when executed properly, also have the highest potential to reward. If you are afraid of the water, be prepared to pay the price by throwing a much tighter fairway for par or the unlikely birdie.
Cons: The main con that I had about this course was that only the short pins were playable on the day that I visited. It seems like the IDGC would want to showcase the course a bit by at least having a mix of pins (or better yet dual pins) in place at any given time.
My second (and very small) con is that the course plays too easy for the pro-level player when in the shorts. I threw mostly pretenting to go to the long pins after a few holes because I felt it provided a more realistic challenge - although the long pins were really a bit above my skill level. Par's came too easily on the short version, even when my tee shot was poorly executed. Birdies were challenging still, but there just wasn't enough penalty for poor throws (remember, short tees only!).
Other Thoughts: I think many players will probably drop this course a few points because they feel the "luck" factor is too high. I'd challenge them to evaluate whether the fairways are simply demanding (but fair) or if they really are just luck. My feeling after playing the course was that hitting lines off the tee was significantly rewarded by birdie opportunities a high percentage of the time.
Out of the three courses at IDGC, this was my overall favorite (although only in the longs) and that is a huge feat considering the caliber of WR Jackson and Jim Warner!
18 of 22 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Steady Ed course
Pros: -First and foremost this is one of the IDGC courses, So all of the elements are available: Multiple Pins, Signs with maps, Concrete tee pads, well maintained. As well as scorecards and maps are available in the pro shop. Also Vending machines, Discs, place to rest and cool off in the proshop.
-It's exclusive, it's a challenge, and it can be a lot of fun. (or it can be really frustrating)
-In the woods, so that can offer some relief from the heat. ...some relief.
-Solid Disc Golf course only. No other activities to interfere with a persons round
-Caters to both Forehand & Backhand players equally (As well as Right and left handed)
-Not for beginners or casual players*. You can try, but you could get frustrated REAL fast!
-Challenging, strategy and precision is the key here. As well as having an accurate straight drive.
-Great use of the terrain, and challenging pin placement.
-A course that traverses up and down hills, with narrow shots cut through the woods, and a few water shots.
-Fairways are tight, but not overly tight. There is still enough room in the fairways to work a finesse shot, and have a little more room to move. But the rough is still there, and an errant throw could cost you, and have you tomahawking back into the fairway.
-Course requires accuracy over power. There are long distance shots on this course, but here it's about setting yourself up for a second shot. In some cases a third shot.
-There are a couple of shots that throw from the side of a hill. Namely #5. Very cool scenic hole!
-Some holes let you choose your line, Go back to #5; Here you can either hyzer out over the water, or throw in through the trees. Or #11 which has two routes, offering lines to both right and left handed throwers.
-Even though this statement is subject to being my opinion. This course was a challenge, and it had a good fun factor for me! I'll play here again in a heartbeat! I am aware that others may disagree with me on that statement.
-It is the shorter of the three, but it still requires strategy and thought in the execution of these holes. You will still be required to play smarter. (Forget the "Par 3 only", it's not happening here. So you might as well enjoy yourself.)
*I like the fact that this place is a challenge to play, and requires some skill to play here. Augusta has many a course that is beginner friendly and even more accessible. So beginners are taken care of.
Cons: -Didn't really have an area to stop and take a break. Jackson and Warner are split so that after 9 holes, you can stop for bathroom breaks, lunch, or just to cool off. Headrick is straight through 18.
-This is just an FYI for those with allergies to the Pollen in the spring, this place was covered in pollen last april. My boots and pant legs were solid florescent green.
-Maybe this isn't the case for everyone, but I had a little trouble locating the 18 basket when I played there. It was just inside the tree line.
-When I played here, they told me what position the pins were in. If you show up after hours, it could be hard to tell.
-Bring a lunch, no restaurants nearby
-Watch out for Snakes!
Other Thoughts: The key to playing here is to play smarter. Use discs that you know you can control. It's tight with varying terrain! Many a blind hole to throw down. So, unless you can keep your destroyer in an absolute straight line, it's not going to work well for you here. In my opinion, I think that people should disc down and use discs that are more easily controlled. Even if that means throwing mids and putters. Now, I was guilty of breaking out my wraith when I probably shouldn't have, needless to say I was hacking my way out of the woods back on to the fairway. I used my putter for some of my drives, and I was able to make par.
I realize though, that some people may not like the Woodsy courses that are tight and narrow. There is always a chance you are going to kiss, nick or even taco into a tree on the Headrick course. If you are a person that doesn't like playing in the woods, then you might want to reconsider playing here altogether. It's ALL woods, with a couple of water shots!
I know some mentioned that this course is smaller, but it is no less. It is nice to have 3 courses that have different personalities, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing Headrick. I enjoyed trekking up and down hills, and I love the challenge of throwing in the woods. Sometimes I call it being a glutton for punishment, but I love it anyway. I just like being in the woods!
I would recommend wearing shoes made for hiking, because you will be walking up and down a lot hills. Definitely bring liquids and possibly a granola bar or two for a snack! Once you start, It'll be a while before you get back to the clubhouse! There is a fee to get in to the park itself (2 or 3 dollars), and it costs 5$ to play all three courses all day long. It's all totally worth it! Just remember, there are no restaurants or gas stations nearby. Bring what you need, including liquids and a lunch. The nice thing is, you can sit down in the Headquarters for a break.
Final thought: This is the IDGC, these courses are going to be challenging and quite possibly a little frustrating. I say this, go out there and have fun because you are playing at the PDGA headquarters. Expect to hit some trees, and have a rough round. Just remember, you are at the PDGA headquarters. Not everyone gets that opportunity. If you taco into a tree, don't get frustrated, just throw another one! ...unless you are in a tournament. The point is to enjoy the experience, this is our version of the Masters. Enjoy it!
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
The Best of the Best
Pros: The Steady Ed Headrick Memorial course is on the grounds of the PDGA International Disc Golf Center with two other 18 -hole gold courses. As you would expect, the course is very well taken care of and the tee pads, signs and baskets are the finest. In fact, it even has special baskets made especially for the course. There are lots of trees (and shade), but, the course is so well maintained that a disc from even a very errant shot can still be located. The course also is located on a lake and the scenery is really nice. Additionally, navigation is smooth as silk, even if you are out for the first time.
Cons: For the sake of not leaving the cons section blank, the only con I can conjure up is that is that it is a pay course, but it is so nice that I really don't care.
Other Thoughts: Steady Ed Headrick Memorial is long course that is fairly heavily wooded. Sixteen of the baskets have alternate locations that vary your look (i.e., one tee pad per hole). On the day I played Steady Ed, the length was around 6,885 (as of July 2, 2009). So, the average hole is 382' and fairly heavily wooded. Steady Ed sets up well for the finesse player that still has a pretty big arm (i.e., 350'+ drives). If you don't stay in the fairways, your score will suffer. The course humbled me, but I still loved it and think it is the best course I have played to date. Holes 8, 9 and 17 also had some really neat catcher placements that were nestled into boulders. Steady Ed Headrick Memorial is a must play course if you are anywhere near it and, even on its own, it is worth traveling and a hotel to play at. Throw in two other eighteen hole courses on the same grounds and you are in a disc golfers dream. It really doesn't get any better.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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