18 Helpful / 0 Not
Iron Hill, a Bunny's perspective
Pros: Iron Hill is hard. It's long and wooded. It's well designed, and lovingly maintained. Like really lovingly. Baskets moved inches to adjust SSA, constant improvements, extra clever placements.
It's got gorgeous 6X12 concrete pads for all the long tees and a variety of fly pads and natural pads for short tees. The concrete pads are pretty flawless even in wet weather.
Baskets - longs are DISCatchers, shorts are Chainstars (I think....). Either way, the shorts don't have that icky band around the top. (Can I tell you how much I hate those bands??)
Anyway, the course is a series of mostly long or longish, hilly, wooded shots. Fabulous natural elevation changes, large rock formations, and about a billion trees.
The following is a general description of the whole, not any specific layout.
Hole1 - anhyzer, wide tunnel to wide rocky fairway. But don't lose your line cause the rough is not nice. Mean even.
Hole2 - Hyzer into wooded fairy glade. (Ok, so I never actually saw a fairy disc golf, but I always think a fairy would like it on hole 2 whenever I'm there).
Hole 3 - open. Ok, open-ish. Possible roller, especially since they removed this big dumb stump from the middle of the fairway.
Hole 4 - Open. Then not. Ok really. it's an open fairway field down into a tunnel. This is what passes as open at iron hill. But you gotta love it. Kiss it on the lips. Love it.
Hole 5 - Uphill technical challenge. Straight. Wooded hallway. Basket in rock form. Did I mention technical?
Hole 6 - Slow Hyzer across a ditch. Basket is behind protecting trees. Trees like jail, only a jail made of wood.
Hole 7 - Down hill tunnel. Short basket in a tall, super protected boulder. Long basket probably easier.
Hole 8 - mean. My name for this hole is Mr. Meanie McMeanerstein. I will try to describe all the mean...Long. Up hill. Rocks. Tight. Slope drops off left which clearly acts as a disc magnet. Anhyzer. Trees. Longer. Keep going. Ugh.
Hole 9 - Long straight with slight dog leg right. Straight forward.
Hole 10 - Big ole Hyzer tunnel. Long. Finishes at the parking lot. Great place to end for a short loop.
Hole 11 - Pretty, wooded, flat. There isn't a lot of flat out here. It's kind of fun for a change. Until I get a 7 on the damned hole because of all the trees. But still it's pretty.
Hole 12 - Straight with a late Hyzer. Look for the boulder on the side of a hill. You know the one that would make a crazy fast 40 ft rollaway green with basically no lay up? Ya, that boulder. Put the basket there...
Hole 13 - Big down hill Hyzer. Just added this crazy tree basket devil thing surrounded by pavement that should be OB. If I didn't loose my temper I would have 6 putted this bastard. I picked up. I'm a quitter.
Hole 14 - Think opportunity. You can 2 it. Straight. Flat.
Hole 15 - Choices. Straight or Hyzer route. 2 fairways. Uphill. Another great opportunity to deuce (or find the rare par for me and my less distance-y friends).
Hole 16 - Start of the gauntlet of terror... Final 3 holes designed to make disc golfers cry. Hallway then anhyzer. Tight, long, mean off the fairway. Some trees came down making it a bit more approachable. Just a bit.
Hole 17 - Long, up hill, tight. Topped by a gorgeous stone stairway that always reminds me that nature is pretty much my church. I'm always so damned glad to see those steps. Gold to gold is a par 6. Who knew they even made par sixes. It's crazy town.
Hole 18 - Our final wooded tunnel shot. Finished with a basket behind a big rock. But finish is always cause for celebration.
I love Iron. I mean I hate her too... she's mean, but she's awesome. I want every disc golfer to come here to learn trees and control. Whenever we travel, Iron Hill is the first course I mention.
Cons: Porta-potties here are clean and well maintained, but a girl likes permanent rest rooms.
It's intimidating. Scary even. The Longs are more of a challenge or responsibility then actually fun (for me). But it's like lima beans, it's good for you. Makes you stronger.
But you know who this course isn't good for... My dx stingrays. I swear you could beat in brand new dx in a single round. One. Round. My poor stingrays will never be same.
Other Thoughts: Gold to gold is super popular, especially with all you boys, but I wish more people would remember that there are really 4 courses out there. Try the short pads, or short baskets. Shoot, even short to short is fun!
Iron Hill is where the awesome lives.
2 words to conclude...
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
21 Helpful / 2 Not
My white whale, finally slayed
Pros: Course Design is superb. Navigation is easy, signage is spectacular, variety in shots, consideration for various levels, use of terrain, and maintenance were excellent.
Tee Signs were perfection, they even included elevation changes.
2 different styles of baskets to denote shorts and longs. Large concrete tee pads. Great variety and some nice elevation changes. (upto 70 feet of elevation change)
Course has great aesthetics with rocks shooting up out of some of the fairways.
a few fun novelty placements on the short baskets.
immaculate maintenance. There were freshly blown paths in the leaves to every tee and basket.
Benches on every hole.
17 is a signature hole very reminiscent of Nevin. 860 foot zig zag with 60 feet increase in elevation with the basket finishing on a large set of stairs.
If you want a challenging course that requires every shot you have, this course is perfect. This is a must play in the midatlantic region, one of the few that caters to elite level players in their gold to gold layout, while providing fun shorter holes for C Tier level players, and shorter tees for rec players.
Cons: Chance of disc loss on several holes. using a spotter is very helpful.
Severe punishment for kicks off the fairway. a beautiful drive ending with a bad kick can be heartbreaking.
Nearly all gold baskets are protected by dozens of small trees to the point where it becomes gimmicky.
Several shared tees (gold/blue) White tees are in disarray.
Holes 11 and 15 were way off on distance.
14 had no short basket.
Not a beginner friendly course. Take the kids somewhere else.
Other Thoughts: Just because you play long to long at your home course and you think you are a skilled player, you may want to check out the shorter lay out your first time through. Long to long is a very challenging course, but several other options are offered for a variety of levels. The shorter holes had lots of character and will still provide a challenging fun course for a variety of skill levels. No point in getting frustrated unless you are truly their to challenge yourself on this championship level course.
I tried to play this course on several occasions and numerous events cancelled my plans every time. I finally played it and was shocked that it did not live up to the hype about how physically grueling this course is. This course is technically tough and nearly 10,000 feet, but is no more physically demanding than Brandywine or Nockamixon.
I felt this course was a 4.25, but the blown paths, no trace of storm damage, and lack of garbage showed that the locals really pride this course and the effort they put into makes it very easy to round up.
21 of 23 people found this review helpful.
25 Helpful / 1 Not
In My Top 10
- Championship Level Golf. I played Iron Hill from the Gold Tees and it was AMAZING. One of the best championship level disc golf courses I have ever played... on par with Nevin and Idlewild in terms of the extremely demanding shot requirements and extreme punishment for poor execution or decision making. There were plenty of Par 4's and 5's with very precise landing zones; I LOVE this kind of golf!
- Short Tee / Long Tee / Short Pin / Long Pin. Iron Hill had permanent long and short tees and pins on every hole, or nearly every hole, giving 3-4 ways to play each hole. I played the long-to-longs, while my girlfriend played the short-to-shorts and we were both able to have a great time while playing at relatively the same speed.
- Navigational Aids. The course had great tee-signs at the long pads that really help explain the hole, distances, OB's, etc... I never questioned the information on them and the hole diagrams accurately represented the shape of the shot. The tee-pads had painted rocks with numbers to easily identify them as the Gold or White pads. There were plenty of next tee-sign arrows around each green pointing the way to the next appropriate tee-pad, be it the short or long or both.
- Beautiful Park. The course plays through an old set of woods with some really large trees, huge tulip poplars and oaks lined nearly every fairway. The course also had some great rock outcroppings, and they were used well in the courses design.
- Right Over the Border in DE. If you're a course bagger and a state bagger and you want to bag Delaware while driving past Baltimore or DC or Philly... Iron Hill is the place. It's the first exit on your way into Delaware off the 95 - What a way to be welcomed to Delaware!
I really can't think of any. This course was phenomenal and blew me away. If I had to get technical, I would say:
- Short Tees need Enhancement. Some of the short tees were natural (if I remember correctly) and did not have the added amenities of benches and tee-signs. Players playing the shorts would have had to visit the long tee-pad on every hole to verify hole information from the tee-sign there.
- 2 Feet One Way or the Other. It seemed like 2 feet one direction or another often made all the difference in the world. I would seemingly throw a perfect drive, only to arrive on-site and find that my next shot would have been easier if I would have landed a couple feet away... the difference between having to thrown an easy hyzer vs an s-turn, a soft anhyzer vs a sidearm skip shot, or simply a regular shot vs some kind of forced overhand. However, that's woods golf and I enjoyed the shot-making requirements I was presented with.
- I'm in Love. I really enjoyed Iron Hill. I could easily rank Iron Hill from the Golds in my personal Top 10, which is definitely a testament to the courses quality. The championship level of the course: length + difficulty + shot shaping requirements + opportunities for punishment + Par 4's and 5's + above average amenities = AMAZING disc golf course... and then you add the beautiful natural setting of the park itself and you get a top level course.
- My Disc Score: I'm going to go as big as the holes at Iron Hill and give this course a 5'er. In DGCR, a 5 Disc course is defined as the best of the best... Of the 200+ courses I have played, Iron Hill ranks in my personal Top 10 which must make it one of the "best of the best". On my 10 day, 10 state, 16 course road-trip (which included Maple Hill, Tyler State Park, Sabbattus, and Warwick), Iron Hill was my personal favorite course, which again would make it the "best of the best" when you consider the reputation of those courses. Therefore, for all the reasons I mentioned above, to help bump its disc score and reputation a little bit, and simply because it deserves it - 5 Discs.
- My Score: I proudly finished +1 with a bogey on Holes 17 and 18.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 22 Not
Pros: This is a long and very challenging course from long tee to gold long baskets. There are 2 tee pads and 2 baskets for every hole, making 4 possible layouts and infinite combinations. This review focuses on the Gold (long/long) layout. The signs are fantastic and are my first experience with signs that give you the elevation changes in addition to what we hope and expect: hole map, obstacles, distances, and pars.
Shooting par here is close to a 1000 rated round, which not many courses offer! It seems to me most courses calculate par based on either an 900 or 950 rated round, so this is a great metric/reality check to measure up your game. This course is challenging but fair. Most luck is removed from the equation and the thrower is given opportunity to calculate their throw and succeed if they execute.
Competitive players can play this course one of 2 ways: throwing a ton of controlled mid-range shots that sacrifice distance, but lend to fairway placement to set up good approaches on the par 4's and 5's, or throwing drivers for big distance through the woods and hoping for the best.
The terrain can be tricky, as the property is more or less a big boulder field, so don't be surprised if you need to "stand and deliver" a lot. Run-ups are harder to come by here except on tee shots of course.
Cons: I don't have much bad to say about Iron Hill. It's my favorite course, features an incredible design, and the different layouts allow for endless fun and frustration both!
Other Thoughts: Apparently the hardest permanent course in the world...that should tickle your fancy!
16 of 38 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Nice hard course
Pros: Nice course well maintained lots of trees but they are tall trees so you arent hitting low limbs all the time. loved the course
Cons: Only pro tees are concrete pads, the others are a mix of mulch, dirt, ect. signs at easy pins would begreat too.
Other Thoughts: Can't wait to throw another game here...
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As on of the many volenteers at Iron I'm very biased (no hiding that). Yet I'll be honest as possible to give a fair review. Iron is finally nearly completed, and has 2 full sets of baskets and two full sets of tees.
Iron Hill is a pro par 72, designed for Gold to Gold, with A tier tournaments in mind. Gold to long(Gold baskets/Innova yellow bands) is a TRUE par 72 (SSA is very close to 72).
Over the first 8 years, holes have been lengthened (and some shortened) to get each hole close to its stated par, and tournament SSA on each hole as possible. Not kidding, baskets have been moved 20-50-100 feet, some even moved only 5 feet for looks and sight lines - lots of thought and adjustments have happened over the last 8 years.
Awesome large concrete pads, great grip and some surrounded by natural rocks/gravel for erosion and beauty. Fairly accurate tee signs with footage to both pins (as stated, some pins have moved and signs are close but not perfect at this time). Signs have a nice touch of including elevation changes.
Tee pad markers - Gold/White painted rocks to designate what player level that tee is designed for - AND the hole plays to that level player PAR as stated on the signage!
Directional markers - Every hole has painted sign (or rock) in white with arrows pointing towards next Tee (addition and improvement based early review comments). Each tee is a safe distance from the previous pin, no waiting for the next group to tee; also no long hikes between holes.
Fairway Markers - some of the longest/blind holes have white signs pointing up the fairway in the direction of the long pins to help navigate and guide those monster drives. These white markers are 12-15 ft up trees and visible from the long Tees
1st Tee is off the top parking lot in the park, Hole 4 Tee is at the lower parking lot. Old bottom entrance to the park is now closed, as the park opened a new entrance directly off Old Baltimore Pike.
Very long and tight with a lots of elevation changes. Designed to separate scores and skill levels - and it accomplishes that well(See results of any tournament played there for examples).
Players must decide aggressive or safe throws every time you address your lie. This is where skill separates the men from boys, and your lack of skill/consistency will eventually get punished. To many this is the beauty of Iron Hill, she can crush you one hole and reward you handsomely the next.
In the last year or so the volunteers have done a wonderful job in completing short tees with pavers, polishing the rough stone walkways around tee pads by leveling them, removing stones and making small rock walls, adding in mulch and giving several tees a much easier walk around and looking better ascetically.
Additional efforts to prevent erosion have begun, adding in water diversion, mulching areas that had heavy runoff, digging small trenches to allow runoff, etc. Lots of hard work that gets little notice, unless it never happened and then it would be muddy in places... Great job guys!
The back 9 has changed significantly over the last 8 years, and was a cause for some of the repetitive comments and just pure beat downs on players - that is not the case any longer and the course is fantastic on every hole. Wonderful to see a course grow with time, improve with time, and get polished by hard work and attention to detail.
Two practice baskets about 150/175 ft apart near top parking lot. Great to warm up!
Cons: Difficulty - To some, this is where they just can't man up and subsequently hate the course.
Mental strength is a must for multi-round tournaments here based on above comments.
Am players that falter will be chewed up and spit out. I've played with a lot of Ams that love the challenge, and some that just went home in tears... But they always seem to come back for more. Even seen some total Noobs cut their teeth here, and have become good players. But the Hill is often rough on the Ego...
Since the entire back 9 is heavily wooded and long, some percieve repitition from hole to hole. It offers the Gold players different shots, but a shorter thrower will have similar 250ft lines on many holes because they simply can't reach the doglegs from the tee...
Iron lacks the natural beauty of Nockamixon's streams and lake view, lacks fields and lake of Carousel, and lacks the city skyscape view of Wickham, (yet it has shade all summer long) and the lack of those natural features may keep it from being 5 rated course by some - and that's a shame as the golf is the best there is anywhere.
Other Thoughts: Playing from the correct tees will help each skill level appriciate what has been designed. Friends of mine - (good open player and his girlfriend) play from Gold/white tees and shoot similar round scores. The course was designed to playing par 72 for everyone.
Gold tees first went in first to work with the land and improve the overall course layout. The white tees are being finalized and will make the course play more Am friendly. We have even dug up some of the original short tees (wood frame & stone base) and moved those shorter tees to accomplish the "play to your level par" idea of Iron Hill. Work in progress.
Great dog park, child playground, pavilion with grills. Portapotties and running water in season. Overall nice park that the county has improved greatly since 2008.
This course was designed, and built to use the land available and incorporate great aspects of other parks. Tyler length and fairways, Morraine lines in the woods, stonework from Nockamixon and Borderland. The "Stairway To Heaven" on Hole 17 was inspired from seeing Borderland in MA specifically. Additional stone work has improved the look and feel of the course, like the slightly elevated basket on 16, the path and rock wall around 12s basket, and cleaning up around 9s tee.
This course's overall rating is just a shame - other courses in the area are a 4.4 that are not where near the course Iron Hill is - is despicable that a 1.5 and 2.0 rating are given to this course. Those reviews are dragging down the overall rating, and are no where near an accurate review of the course, just a review of the lack of ability to play Iron.
Iron Hill should easily be a top 25 overall course, easily... It my personal #2 course behind Maple Hill, and fairly equal to Deer Lakes which is rated as a 4.63 - - This course is easily a 4.5 and deserves a better overall rating, period.
Enjoy the Hill!
23 of 23 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 17 Not
A few good holes
Pros: Top notch construction and pretty good signage. Even on my first time playing there was no getting lost, and I couldn't help but be impressed by three tee boxes and two baskets on every hole. If I was a regular at this course, I don't think there would be much problem keeping it fresh.
The first three holes were really fun, and varied. Some defined fairways, some cool rock formations, and nice elevation.
Cons: After the first three holes the course just became one long, tight wooded fairway after another. I don't think any course is complete without a couple tight, technical holes, but this course has at least twelve of them.
From the long tees there are numerous 500+ holes, which would be fun if there were fairways to accommodate those kind of big-arm drives. But there aren't. You get the same 20' line through the trees as every other hole.
A good course should be a challenge, but should also be interesting and varied and memorable. This course is just challenging to no greater purpose.
Other Thoughts: I guess there aren't many good open spaces in the Iron Hill park, so they've made the best of what they've got to work with. But, as someone who prefers a mix of open and tight, as opposed to being in the trees on every single hole, this course doesn't seem worth the trip.
7 of 24 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 21 Not
My Favotite course
Pros: Great tees, tight fairways, great baskets, amazing baskets, par 3's,4's,'and 5's the list goes on. this course is perfect and a challenge.
Other Thoughts: Im so lucky to live within ten min. of this amazing course
1 of 22 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: All Good. Incredibly looong though.
Cons: All Good. Incredibly looong though.
Other Thoughts: Holy moly, I just got completely humbled. Amazing course. But good luck if you miss any fairways! I've never seen a tougher layout, and this is certainly not a course for noobs or those lacking patience. I'll be back. after I build up some confidence......
2 of 17 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 18 Not
Pros: this course is the new age of disc golf and probably 5 years ahead of its time..you need to stop thinking about 2s as.. birdies when you play here beacuse there are only maybe 2 for the average golfer..
Cons: no much negative here,,except losing a disc getting a 6 or 8 which is all controlled by the thrower
1 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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