The Curse Of Indian Rock
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + The whole course takes place in a nice large park with plenty of peace and quiet.
+ The baskets are bright and eye-catching in this forested setting.
+ The distances are just right for such a densely wooded course.
+ Info board has a clear map, but...
Cons: - ...I didn't see a lost disc box or practice basket. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) Could they have been part of the other course?
- The tee signs only have the distance with no par and no visual aid of what's ahead.
- Danger, danger everywhere in the form of roots, rocks, steep inclines and fallen trunks.
- Overgrowth and undergrowth all over the place.
- Kind of dull and samey after hole3.
Other Thoughts: I'll start with my least favorite first. Hole18 was a nice downhill tee-off. However, if you throw to hard, you end up in the road, but if you throw too gently, your disc will land in a jungle of grabby and bushy undergrowth below.
As for Indian Rock as a whole, it has mostly everything that I prefer in my disc golf. Normally, I enjoy playing in woods with varied topography, but this place didn't totally win me over for various reasons. So, what is to blame for my rating?
I'll get the big one out of the way first. The fairways. Most of these holes barely have fairways. To my mind, they look more like rugged walking paths with concrete tee pads and disc golf baskets spread throughout. Hole17 is the biggest offender, in my view. At the top of the mountain, the player is given a narrow path to land on with harrowing rollaway potential on both sides. Even a good throw could end up being bad if it skids too far. This is why hole12 was my favorite one to play. There was space enough to allow for a less than perfect throw. It was such a relief to play on a fairway with room to breathe, but the narrow unforgiving fairway nightmare resumed right after. Thank goodness a majority of these holes hover around 250 feet or less. It softens the blow, but we would rather not have a blow that needs softening.
Another contributing factor for my rating was this course's safety hazards. Fallen trees and branches were a common sight during my round. Beware of exposed roots that want to trip you up. And be mindful of those steep inclines if you are retrieving your disc after a nasty ricochet, which is practically guaranteed to happen. The most glaring example of this also happened to be my favorite hole to look at here. Hole3 is a great hole to play and experience, but it is definitely the most dangerous. Loose rocks and rigid roots threaten to send you tumbling down that hillside into the shallow stream below if you don't watch your step. On a positive note, I can't think of any other course that has its players throw beneath a stone bridge. That's a disc golfing memory right there.
Another explanation for my lower-than-average score is the repetition of the holes. After an adventurous and rowdy first three holes, the action swiftly simmers to a collection of straight tunnel shots in the woods. This is true for the rest of the course until hole18. By then, I just wanted to leave. The view from the top of the hill at holes16 and 17 isn't even that great, which bummed me out a little.
In the end, I guess I, myself, should accept a fair amount of the blame for my rating because, even though I don't live anywhere close to the area, I still made the choice to play Indian Rock just as summer was starting. That explains the crazy undergrowth that I saw all over the place but not the claustrophobic fairways, hazardous footing and repetitive nature of the holes. Then again, I can already hear some people shouting at me, "But everything you criticized is the whole point of the course!" Granted. Yet there are courses out there that do it better, and there are many that do it worse. Do I recommend this course? Yes, with an asterisk. The players who will have the most fun here are the types who prefer rugged and unpolished disc golf courses that demand precise and flawless play along a hillside. But it's still disc golf. If you're not afraid, just give it a try.
In closing, your experience with Indian Rock will vary. To put a point on it, you could award this course anywhere between a 1.0 and a 4.0, and I wouldn't argue with you.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Indian Rock is one of two courses in Rotary park. It's the shorter but more tight and technical of the two. The course plays to the east of Rotary with hole 1 being just a short walk from the parking area.
Indian Rock starts out wooded and stays that way for the entirety of the round. Accuracy is paramount here. Missing your line can mean trouble. Not only with a bad lie in the woods but more punishingly with the roll aways that can and probably will happen. The elevation is drastic here, unrelenting feeling at times even. Especially towards the end of the round. You start out dropping in elevation on the first 3 holes only to slowly crawl back up to the top for hole 18. Even that's a short lived relief as it's a short open downhill shot to finish the round. Then you walk uphill again to the parking lot. Brutal.
The baskets are DD Veterans with a white top band. These stick out pretty well in the woods. They were mounted level and caught fine for the most part. I don't have any issues with these baskets, though I know some do.
The tee pads are concrete. Not the biggest or widest pads by any means but they gripped well and were better than natural pads. One tee per hole.
The design here is excellent. Every hole uses the elevation and dense woods to offer challenging shots, hole after hole after hole. The course plays as one big loop as opposed to two 9's that loop back to the lot.
The course is permanent and free to play. The park is pretty and was cleaner than expected for a more urban kind of course.
Cons: The tee signs are basically of no use at all. They have the hole number and distance. No hole map, no next tee arrows, basically none of the things you'd really, really want while playing this course. Upgraded tee signs should be at the top of the priority list for this course imo.
The rough on the first three holes is atrocious. The chance of losing a disc on this three is very good with any kind of kick off the fairway. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if some people say "screw this" after hole 2 and just leave or play the other course. It gets better after that but those first 3 holes...
A few more next tee signs would be helpful. I don't recall seeing one until after hole 5. And that one was pretty much illegible. There were a few more towards the end of the round but more would be helpful.
A few benches would be greatly appreciated. This is a very hilly, grueling course, especially if it's hot out. A few of them scattered about would be awesome.
Other Thoughts: This was a really fun course. I actually liked this course more than Rotary even in it's rough around the edges condition. But you can't go wrong with either one. And if you're here you might as well play both.
I wish I had more time to explore the other courses in the area but 3 West Virginia courses in one day is about all I can do anymore. I'll be back this way to bag the rest at some point. I'd definitely recommend this course if you're in the area. Love that there's 2 courses on site. There's actually a surprising amount of good looking disc golf within an hour or so of here. So it kind of is a little destination of sorts.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Design: 4
Personal Rating of 3.0
DGCR rating prior to this review of 3.39
Design: This is another course designed by our very own World Champion Johnny Sias! This is Rotary's little, wooded brother. Original design was a little better, prior to 17 and 18 being completely screwed. New18 isn't terrible, but original 18 was better. New 17s teepad should go back 30 feet and a little left IMO. Otherwise, the first 3 holes are by far the best 3 on the course, and each memorable. The rest of the course has several good holes, but nothing incredibly special. There is one interesting 150ft roller ace ramp hole. This course is considerably easier than Rotary.
Beauty: Situated in the same park, this course is just as pretty, with less signs homeless campsites. Of course, you don't get the grassy fairways that go on and on forever, but it still has its own feel. Most beautiful hole is probably hole 3. Only hole that I've seen play through a bridge like that.
Amenities: The old school tee signs look great, but give very little information. Again, like Rotary could really use a kiosk with a big map and information. Many of the holes have benches, which is great on a course playing up and down a small mountain. Could use some next tee signs throughout the course, there are several areas that it looks like you should continue along one path when you should actually go up the hill a different way. Nice brand new Veterans baskets.
Tees: This is probably the lowest mark personally. Some of the tee areas feel dangerous for me. Probably the best teepads are 1, teeing from a sidewalk, and hole 4 teeing from basically the road. Almost every tee needs backfilling around the teepad to #savetheankles.
Replayability: Probably a little less replayable than Rotary. Even though this course is somewhat easier than Rotary longs, it also isn't as fun. Again, 1 through 3 are great! Old holes 17 and 18 were the next 2 best holes on the course. Without them, it feels like something is lost on this course. New 17 can be improved yet.
Other Thoughts: Having a 2 course complex is a huge plus! This is a good course to go with what could be a great course in Rotary. These 2 courses are aging. The new baskets on the Rock breathe a little life back into it. Hopefully after Treepocalypse 2020 is dealt with, Tee areas will be the next thing to be approached, and then new tee signs. Im rating this place a 3, but it could easily be a 4 in the future with a little bit of love! Thanks Van Man and the Local Crew for maintaining these course. This has been the grassroots that has really led us to having a disc golf scene in the region. Also, thanks again to Johnny for the great course designs!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Tight Wooded Course to Compliment Rotary
Pros: + Course Design by 4X World Champion Johnny Sias: This layout uses elevation and heavy woods to provide a challenging compliment to the neighboring Rotary Park course. Holes are mostly reachable off the tee (aside from three par fours) so hitting your line is more important than getting big distance.
+ 18 Holes with Concrete Tees: Baskets are Dynamic Discs Veteran models. The white bands at the top stand out well in the woods so they are easy to spot. These seem to catch discs well. Most tees have concrete pads to throw from but a couple are missing.
+ Hole #3: This particular hole deserves a mention as it is definitely the signature hole on the course. An elevated tee pad has you throw down into a valley and mandatory under a stone bridge. You then come out the other side and shoot up the bank of a creek to a guarded basket. Lacing the mando from the tee is a great feeling and this is one of the best hole designs in the region.
+ Location: This course is located in Huntington which is one of West Virginia's bigger cities. Being a college town and sharing a home with Marshall University (Go Herd!) there are lots of options for shopping, food, lodging, and entertainment for traveling players.
+ Proximity to Other Courses: This park is also home to a second course that is more open and forgiving. Rotary is honestly the better course of the two if you only have time to play one layout. Playing both in the same day is very doable but know that Indian Rock is more of a challenge than Rotary. There are several other nice courses within 30 minutes including Valley Park, Barboursville Park, Armco Park, and a pair of private courses in Lavalette.
+ Van Man Discs Pro Shop: Van Man is a local legend that has set up a pro shop close to the course and sells about everything you'd need for a round of disc golf. The owner volunteers his time to maintain courses, run events, and introduce kids to the game. Be sure to support him if you get the chance. The address is 102 Linden Circle and is only minutes from the park. A lost & found bin is located inside the shop.
+ Extra Features: This park also has baseball fields, playgrounds, hiking trails, basketball courts, and shelters for public use. Several well-placed benches are in place and provide a spot to rest in between holes.
Cons: - Navigation: If you are a first-time visitor be sure you have a map of some kind. A few tees are missing signage and directional indicators are at a minimum. The course has a nice flow but only if you know where you are going. Navigation is especially tricky on the back nine.
- Upkeep: Locals do help take care of the course but it can get overgrown (especially in the summer months). This course is best played in the fall.
- Trash: Some areas are known to collect refuse. Please pack out what you pack in. You will not find a trash can on this course.
- No rest rooms or water spigots are available unless you take a very long walk down from #3. Your best bet is to come to the park prepared for a full round or drive out to a business on Route 60 for a bathroom break or extra drinks.
- Poison Ivy: Be on the lookout for the green stuff if you are allergic. You will definitely see it here.
- Losing Discs: Know that you will be searching for discs on this course. You may lose some plastic. The rough stuff can be very unforgiving and some of the elevation changes may cause you to leave a disc behind. It is advised you use spotters on the blind holes to keep an eye on your drives.
Other Thoughts: Indian Rock is a fantastic compliment to Rotary Park. The heavy woods will reward an accurate throw and punish a shot that goes off-line. My advice would be to leave the distance drivers in the car and use your fairways and mids off the tee. Consider the high-percentage shots and value accuracy over distance.
Locals typically play doubles on Wednesday evenings. The last time I attended the club hosted a random-draw format that started at 5:30 and it was $5 to play. I no longer live in the area and would confirm with club members to ensure these details are correct should you want to attend a league night.
There is a nice spot to rest near the turn just past #9's tee pad. There are several rocks that provide a good resting place with an overview of Route 60. This is easily overlooked but worth a mention.
This course is not for beginners. Without the ability to hit a particular line a novice player will undoubtedly struggle. That being said this is a fun and challenging layout if you like woods golf. In order to shoot well play smart, keep it in the fairway, and bring your scrambling game.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Tough But Fun
Pros: A lot of good challenging throws, mostly wooded.
Somewhat forgiving as most of the wooded areas are not overgrown.
#3 is very unique going under the bridge on a downhill throw. Very rewarding when you make it.
Cons: It's tough. You'll hit lots of trees.
#1 is usually the most overgrown; it can break your spirit right at the outset.
Other Thoughts: Other than difficulty, the layout is really good. Could use some better signs. I've played enough times to know it, but new players could easily get lost.
However, it's a great compliment to the Rotary Park Course.
(currently, a few holes are not playable due to construction)
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Tough but fun
Pros: Long. Steep. Challenging. Wooded. This course is definitely not an easy one to navigate or play, especially if you don't have distance AND control. This is a nice humbling course for me anytime I think I've improved my game. Concrete tee pads are nice. Cleared fairways. Tight fairways, but not to the point of impossible. Johnny Sias designed this course and it shows. He did a great job with the length and difficulty. It's a good blend of the two.
Cons: New players, myself included, can become very frustrated here. Roll-always...so many of them. The course starts with two tight 400ft par 3's that can be intimidating to those with accuracy problems. This course isn't forgiving in many places.
Other Thoughts: I would recommend newer players play Rotary which is on the top of the hill in the same park. Definitely a challenge, and a nice reminder of how many game still has lots of room to improve.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Rock n' Roll
Pros: 1) Concrete tees
2) Elevation changes
3) Hole 10
Cons: 1) Small tees
3) Some baskets only single chain
4) Tee signs
Other Thoughts: Scenery: 4/5
Difficulty v Fun factor (5/5 is best mix): 4/5
Course design: 3.5/5
This was the second course that I played at the Tri-State Open. This is a beast of a course due to its thick woods with elevation sprinkled in for good measure. You will find this course to be very challenging if your release timing on your drives is off at all. Tight, narrow fairways abound. If you go off the fairway path, be prepared to kick off of a tree into oblivion.
Although this course is tough, I found it to be quite enjoyable precisely because of this point. The course makes you slow down and focus on accuracy, not bombing a 400' drive like at Rotary.
Hole 10 is amazing. I've never played a hole that made use of a bridge as a tunnel to go through. Very unique.
A few negatives...the tees are pretty small if you have a large frame like me; however, on wooded holes like these, I rarely need a run-up anyway. Just be aware of this problem if you do run-ups on the tee every time.
The tee signs are adequate, but it would be nice to have a hole map.
Also, some of the baskets seem worn out and old. Some baskets only have a single layer of chains.
The last negative are the loiterers. There were random shady-looking people standing around at various points during the round. They weren't doing anything but talking, but they seemed suspicious anyways. Another guy was jogging up and down the course. These things were distracting. That said, it didn't affect me enough to alter my overall score of this course.
This is a great course to test your accuracy, your putting, and your mid-range. There are holes that you can throw drivers on, but be prepared for huge ricochets if you choose to go that route. It's a nice complement to Rotary.
My total average for this course is 3.3 and I'm rounding it up to 3.5/5.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging to say the least
Pros: Technical and tight which can only make you a better player.
Beautiful setting and scenery. You'll find this on most WV courses.
Great use of the land. Elevation will punish you if you can't hit lines required. It will test your mental game and mid range game.
Rotary Park is on the mountainside as well. So you get two disc golf experiences in one when you come here.
Cons: Some single chain baskets. This course is a lot older than most.
Did not seem to have a lot of upkeep. I hear the parks systems doesn't do much. The club can't afford all maintenance.
I played in winter time which made the course easier to play. Summer time is when I hear it is not kept up and the greenery takes over. This is sad. If the park system did some spraying, this course would be playable more often during warmer months.
Other Thoughts: Easy to lose discs so keep an eye out. Have a spotter.
Some baskets were tagged. Vandalism seems prevalent.
Overall, I actually liked Indian better than Rotary. They are two different courses though. If you need some wooded disc golf practice, play Indian Rock. It will test you to the limits. Just play it in the fall and winter when there is no snow on the ground.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
She's Lost that Loving Feeling
Pros: 18 decent tees, signage, and baskets. Heavily wooded fairways and nice use of the great elevation and slopes. The first 3 holes are awesome long wooded downhill bombs. There's a couple other notable cool and interesting holes. Second disc golf course in park.
Cons: The first 3 holes are awesome and I couldn't play them. Look at the picture in the media section of the hole 2 tee sign, 90% of that green stuff in the picture is clearly poison, then take a look at the fairway shots from hole 1 and 2 and 3, everything green in the fairways is the same ratio of poison. I threw a perfect drive on hole 1, landed on the 2' wide dirt part of the fairway 400', thank goodness not in the poison. No way I was throwing a 40' uphill putt to the basket completely surrounded in a sea of poison. It took some serious American Ninja Warrior skills to just avoid walking through poison to the basket of 2. After that I felt like I needed to throw away everything I was wearing and jump into the bath tub with a plunger like Ace Ventura after finding out Einhorn was Finkle. Hole 3 wasn't quite as bad, I threw a very safe tee shot right next to a poison patch. The approach to the basket under the bridge was neat, but tricky avoiding poison ivy and broken glass. The rest of the course has some patches of poison and junk in places.
Besides the above con, after the first 3 awesome holes, the caliber of the remaining holes then peters out and becomes fairly short, hard and repetitive. The course doesn't seem to have any maintenance love, with downed trees/branches and trash. No loop of 9 holes to parking lot, just one big loop of 18 holes. Don't recall bathrooms. Weird old men hanging out in the fairways at the bottom of the park not playing, seems likely they were meth heads.
Other Thoughts: "Goose, she's lost that loving feeling." - Maverick
"Ah come on, I hate it when she does that." - Goose
I wanted to love Indian Rock as much as loved it's sister course on site, Rotary. At first I thought I was going to love it more, but nobody seems to be loving and taking care of the course as you see in the cons section. I talked to a few locals while playing the Rotary course beforehand and they said nobody ever plays Indian Rock outside the winter and only when they want to play a game called "Damn it!" because of all the trees you will hit. I'd still have the willies playing this course in the winter knowing about the poison situation. I feel ashamed for the course because standing on the tee of hole 1, 2, and 3, I was like the Kool Aid guy busting down the wall going "Oh yeah!", then walking down the fairway was like "Oh no!". Overall the course seems to have a lost identity as the first few holes start out with pro level length and challenge then the rest of the course is very short and tight and repetitive. I'd only really recommend playing this course with the caveat that it's winter and you are playing Rotary.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun Tough Course
Pros: Very tough course, lots of steep grades and heavy tree cover. First 3 holes are tough with a neat Mando under the stone bridge on #3. Rest of the course is shorter but still in heavy trees and steep grades.
Cons: It was very windy last time we played this course, gusts up to 40mph, definitely added a degree of difficulty. First time playing we had a little trouble located the next tee but with the help of some fellow DG's we had a blast!
Other Thoughts: Very tight fairways on several holes. I play the Rotary Park course more often but love to play Indian Rock for a change of pace.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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