9 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: The course was easy to find and navigate. Even with 3 tees and 2 baskets per hole, everything was relatively easy to locate. The location of the next tee was easy with the numbers painted on strategically located rocks. Tee signs were informative and of high quality, as were the concrete tee pads (which were gigantic). The fairways were easy to see and were fair, the rough was tame enough to limit the potential for disc loss. The par listed on each hole seemed accurate and fair. All the little things I like to see on a course that people have control over were here: signage, navigation, tees, tee signs, benches. All top notch.
Cons: I traveled about 90 minutes from PA to play the course. Based on the reviews, I left feeling disappointed. A buddy and I played the gold tees to the Discatacher baskets. Looking back, there was nothing truly memorable about the course. Every hole felt like a 550-600 ft straight shot that was a par 4. Granted, the variety here can allow for a better mix if you change the tee and basket you play on the different holes. However, as a first time visitor, there was no way to really know. Granted, I could see that the length of the holes off the gold tees were similar, I couldn't know they would all feel so repetitive. If I was more local, I can see how a league or tags round could be a lot of fun by mixing the tees and baskets played each week.
Other Thoughts: There were definitely some silver baskets I saw as I walked through that were pretty neat looking and would have made for a more interesting play, had I known. As someone else said, there is just no wow factor here. The woods are beautiful and make for a good round of golf, but there was nothing I took away worth talking about to golfers near home. The stairs on 17 to the basket were awesome and made for one of the few interesting basket locations I recall.
Part of the course design is the land you have available to you, that to me was the limitation here. Everything was thick woods with relative little elevation change. Again, if I was more local, I am sure I would find one tee/basket combo on each hole that I found enjoyable, but as a destination, that was not an option. This isn't somewhere I will drive 90 minutes to go back to when I live near similar courses that are just simply better, like Jordan Creek and Nockamixon.
9 of 21 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 17 Not
Pros: Awesome signs. Three pads at different distances to start from on most holes and two baskets to throw to. No fees!!
Cons: REALLY HARD!!
Other Thoughts: I started here going from gold tee and after maybe ten times I hated this course. Didnt go back for over a year. But once I started throwing from the white tee, its a lot less frustrating. still harder course but now one of my favorites.
1 of 18 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 4 Not
Long, Tight Course Will Challenge!
Pros: I was guided by Dave, a local Rec player. The two of us are not members of the demographic that this course is designed for, being older totally recreational players. We played from the shorts to the longs. From this setup, I would say, the course plays as a difficult, very technical, recreational course. But the short tees are sometimes 200 feet shorter than the longs and feature much easier lines. Playing long to longs would be a beast.
The pars on the signs are fairly forgiving, featuring some makeable par 4's so even the average player can rack up an occasional birdie.
There are some classic basket placements up in the rocks. The course is set in a grand old forest with some lovely rock outcroppings. The long baskets are different models from the shorts making is easy to identify your intended target.
There are no open "grip it and rip it" holes here. Fairways, although always narrow, seem fair with lines to the baskets. Hitting those somewhat narrow lines proves the problem. Combine these narrow fairways with some uphill throws made for a couple of extremely challenging holes. The rough for as tight as it is, is pretty forgiving. It's certainly not as thick or unforgiving as our rough can be in Oregon or Washington (The state).
The signs for the Gold tees have all the information needed. Sometimes, it was helpful to walk ahead to read them before teeing off from the short tees.
My favorite hole was # 15. It's a downhill hyser shot with the usual narrow window. Hit the window and good things can happen. If your tee shot is just a bit off, a bogie might be in your future.
Iron Hill really did remind me of a couple of those highly acclaimed Charlotte area courses that advanced and above players love like Rennie, Nevin and The Hornets Nest.
Cons: Some recreational/older type players will just get beaten down by Iron Hill's length and tightness. And I realize, what some find a con, more skilled players will view as one of the course's major strengths.
I found Iron Hill to be lacking the "Wow Factor". That one hole that sometimes defines a courses, like Delaveaga's Top of the World shot. A hole that you're talking about as you're driving to and from the course. Also, there's no water and no breathtaking views here.
Other Thoughts: I'm glad I was able to come and experience Iron Hill. It's not a course I personally would choose to tackle on a regular basis. That doesn't mean it's not a wonderful, challenging, well designed course in a great location. I see it as long, technical course providing an excellent challenge both physically and golf wise in a wooded setting. For Marines and disc golfers up to the challenge, enjoy!
15 of 19 people found this review helpful.
25 Helpful / 3 Not
A Fun Challenge For Big Arms
Pros: I went through some previous reviews and pulled out a few adjectives that really sum up what I was expecting to find on my first trip to Iron Hill: Hard, Long, Beat Down, Difficult, Intimidating, Scary. As a glutton for punishment, I was eager to experience this for myself.
What I found was not what I expected. I don't consider Iron Hill to be a hard, intimidating beat down. Sure, it's long, but it's fair. In my experience, truely "hard" courses are ones that use water, OB, and elevation in ways that force players to think long and hard about how to make the safe shot. Often times, these kinds of courses require a lot of luck to score well.
To the contrary, Iron Hill presents players with wide, clear fairways. The lines to the basket are well defined. Success at Iron Hill comes not from finding the safe shot, but rather from execution and placement over long distances. The fairways themselves are not overly hard to hit.
While this makes Iron Hill sounds easy, don't be fooled. The difficulty, and most of the score separation, comes from the subsequent fairway shots. With a par of 72, the course is designed with 18 fairway shots. That's 18 additional opportunities to make mistakes on shots without the benefit of a teebox from which to throw. With fairways that twist and turn throughout the woods, placement off the tee is critical. Hitting the fairway off the tee is not enough, to succeed, you need to be able to hit a spot on the fairway that sets up the second shot. This is a unique challenge that is rare in disc golf.
Cons: My comments above refer primarily to the gold layout. And they really only apply to players who can hit 350' with accuracy on multiple different golf lines. The fact is, that's who this course was built for, and that's who gets the most enjoyment out of it. Most players find this course difficult simply due to the fact that they can't hit the intended landing zones to set up the second shot. Lower power players simply will not have the same kinds of looks at the second shot that stronger players will. Some of this can be overcome with pinpoint fairway accuracy, but that leaves little room for error.
The shorter layouts provide some relief for players with less power, but these layouts feel second-rate compared to the gold. The short tees are not nearly as well kept and are a mix of natural and flypads. The silver baskets, although new and in great shape, are very difficult to see in the thick woods. I frequently had to walk most of the fairway just to get an idea of where to throw. Some sort of visibility aid (flags, colored tape, etc) would be really helpful.
Other Thoughts: This is a very difficult course to assign a single rating to. For top level players that can hit the lines and distance required consistently, this is a must play. Iron Hill will provide a unique style of play that is hard to find anywhere else.
For lower power players that don't have the skills to truely appreciate what Iron Hill is, the course is nothing special. There are no real signature elements that set it apart from other courses. It's certainly fun to play it as a measuring stick to see where your game stands, but it's nothing special outside of that. And the shorter layouts that will cater to these skill levels better lack the polish that the Gold layout provides.
25 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jimimc
I gave a positive to your review, which I felt was pretty dead on. The White tee pads and Silver baskets have under gone many changes to make 4 distinct courses. This is why they're not all done. It been done in a very deliberate, calculated manner to get the best out of them. This has led to multiple changes and delays on getting them complete. I thought your review alone would have ranked 4 stars, but I'll take positive and negative feedback over ridicules bashing and blind praise. The Gold course is designed for 1000+ rated players and I don't mind be reminded of that at all.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
This is the best i've played
Pros: -Concrete tees are big and in excellent shape, signage is excellent and descriptive.
-Its hard to describe how well done the layout of the course is. Multi shot holes (which is most of them) often require a different shot for the second shot than was required off the tee. Planning your round and thinking through your strategy is just as important as throwing your shots here.
-Every holes is birdiable with good execution or bogeyable with poor execution. It's an honest golf course that will provide you with a real assessment of your game.
-Lots of risk/reward decisions. If you have a tee shot that isn't quite what you want you will often be faced with a heroic option to give you a birdie look or an option that still requires a good shot but will lead to a par.
-Great use of elevation and awesome protected greens
Cons: For me, this course is everything i'm looking for when i come to play golf.
Other Thoughts: I play competitively and like courses that are fair and demanding and to me this is the definition of a championship golf course. My favorite holes on the course include:
1) Choice to layup to the corner with a straight shot or try to get around the corner with a strong forehand or turnover. multiple lanes to the pin for your second.
4) Open tee shot (left to right, great roller shape) that you still need to place accurately to have an angle to the tight chute into the woods that feeds the pin.
9) tunnel shot off the tee to a landing area 270 feet or so off the tee. Then the hole doglegs right to a very well protected green.
16-18) I love that the course has this gauntlet of holes to finish. A par 6 (17) and two of the toughest par 4s on the course. You have to maintain your focus and finish strong or a good round can fall apart here.
I try to place here once a week, every week. I appreciate all the work that has gone into this course and made it what it is.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 32 Not
Pros: Lots of options! tees (long short) and baskets (long short). The course ranges from Not so hard to very hard. Mostly easy to navigate. It has a few cool pin positions.
Cons: Very long course. Lots of trees. Not enough open holes. Some par 5 holes are twice as long as a par 5 on other courses.
Other Thoughts: If you like challenges or just getting real frustrated from hitting tree after tree, then this is the course for you. I would of liked if they mixed in a few more easy open holes. We played Long-long! In pouring rain from hole 6-18. There was 2 inches of water in the good areas. Looked like small creeks running everywhere. The only reason we stayed and played in the rain was because we drove pretty far to get there and were not coming back.
I don't know why it says I played 9 holes, because I played them all! Overall I found the course long and boring! Felt like the same hole over and over. Sorry designer.
0 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jimimc
If you only played 9 holes in the rain, how accurate can your review be? Please come back, play the whole course, maybe more than one layout and give a little more feedback in your review.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Very Well Done
Pros: It's a Par 72!!
The tee signs are by far, the best I've seen for hole information. They are extremely accurate. trust the signs! On other courses, I've seen fancy signs with ornate engraving and expensive materials - but the one feature that stood out for me above all else - was elevation change. I had no idea that a simple number telling me the hole was 37 feet below the tee pad would be SO helpful if you couldn't see it from the tee pad! this sets a new standard for tee signs.
The layout was very well done. It was a very good mixture of hyzer and anhyzer (bravo coming from a lefty) and didn't favor, nor reward, a particular style of throwing. The word "Fair" comes to mind. You'll be throwing every trick shot you have in your bag when you come to Iron Hill.
On my visit, i played Gold Tee to Long basket. It was a very good time. I couldnt stop thinking that if i were to play a second round, i could play Gold to Short, or White to Long, or....you get the point. There's Four courses out there...or infinitely more if you decide to alternate every other hole from gold, to blue, to white, from long, to short. You're creativity here is limitless. My suggestion for a fun time: Whoever wins the hole, decides the tee and pin position for the next hole. It would make for a very strategic day of golf with your group.
You'll be threading holes through the woods. Technical players will feel at home.
Did i mention that hole 17 is nearly 900ft...uphill, wooded and the basket is elevated and well protected? Have fun!
Elevation is a very large part or Iron Hill. Any course with "hill" in the title would warrant such assumptions. Many Uphill holes are followed by a downhill hole and vice-verse. Nothing felt redundant, but if you're used to playing a relatively flat course, you'll learn in a hurry how to account for elevation changes.
Muddy. The front 9 (on the day i played) showed evidence of flood erosion and squishy mud. Be careful on your fairway drives if you want to try a run-up. There isnt anything that can remedy the marshy conditions, so see it as an extra variable of the course.
navigation could use some tender-lovin'-care as of Summer 2013. Once you get the hang of looking for the "Next Hole" signs and the painted rocks and trees guiding you to the appropriate teepad, you'll be on your way fast enough. my only recommendation are fixed arrows hanging from the bottom of the basket pointing where to go.
As of June 2013, I played Gold to "Gold baskets" (innova). and the short pins were "silver" (Discraft). For some reason, the back 9 switched up this pattern of Gold to Gold (long) to making the silver baskets the long position. this was very confusing. I dont know if the innova and discraft sleeves are interchangeable. It would be so much easier to keep the innova baskets the long pins. I found myself in doubt on the back ( if i was truly playing the long basket, or if I was playing the wrong route entirely. As i said...trust the teesigns. they are very, very accurate.
Other Thoughts: As i've said in a number of reviews, i cant knock a great course for the little things. Dont get me wrong, this is a great, great course. but a lot of little things, can add up to one great thing!
The course is so long, it would be nice to see some amenities like benches on every hole. Pegs on an upright 4x4 piece of lumber to hold bags at the teepad. A garbage can on holes that run close to the road for quick pickup. Painted/buried rocks on the fairways that indicate how many feet you are from the pin, as in Blue is 300', White is 200' and red is 100 ft. even a few markers 40' from the pin for jump putts. How about a mailbox with scorecards, and a drop box for lost/found discs?
I expected the hardest disc golf course ever made. My home course is Quakers Challenge in PA, and i found this course to be relatively easier. This course, is FUN!! Even beginners can play short tees to short pins and have a blast! Quakers Challenge cannot offer any beginner any amount of dignity or sanity. By NO means is this an easy course if you choose the long to long layout. Even seasoned players will be hoping to walk away breaking 80 when playing long tees to long pins, and Beginner players playing short tees to short pins will be walking away addicted to the sport.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: jimimc
I'm glad you enjoyed the course. I do think you were a little confused about the long pins on the back 9. The only long pin that is a Chainstar is hole 14. If you thought any other Chainstar was the long pin you missed something. The Gold baskets are the layout used during the A tier and are considered the Gold course. This layout is meant to be played to the Gold baskets. The Silver layout is different. It allowed us to try some pin positions that some didn't think really fit in with the Gold layout.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Not for the foolish or fainthearted
Pros: Bring your A game. Go into this course thinking you are going to get beat down (unless your a 1000 rated player) because you will and you will not be able to enjoy this course if you are frustrated after every hole. This course truly is a monster and you have to play it as so the rough is rough and fairways tight and long. This is the kind of golf that everyone should be able to experience. This is the kind of course where you will be panting before you walk up to your lie. You better be ready!
Shot variety- this course required every single shot in your bag and more! If i remember i used every (20 or so) disc in my bag multiple times. You had the opportunity to throw tomohawks, thumbers, rollers, turnovers, and skip shots. These are usually shots that you will not have the chance to throw on an average course. However this course requires them at one point or another.
This course will challenge your mental and physical games. This is the kind of course where you will frequently encounter 50+ foot elevation changes as well as 600+ foot holes. On some holes you feel like the hill will never end. You jump in joy as you see a downhill or hole under 400 feet. The distance variety here is great! You have 800 foot holes throgh the woods as well as 250-400 foot shots straight up a hill. Even the short ones are demanding.
Hole variety- in my opinion this courses open holes really compliment the wooded holes nicely. The open holes had enough trees and all had a number of routes you could take.
Rock outcroppings-the rocks added an interesting element as well as some natural beauty to a course. I thought the rocks were used very well in the design with just enough baskets guarded by rocks as well as some sweet basket positions for the silver baskets place on top of some of these outcroppings. rocks in the fairway could either be you friend or enemy. They could keep you close to the baskets as well provide some frustrating rollaways.
Tee signs and amenities- the tee signs were top of the line and show ways to the next tee as well as much needed distance and elevation changes. They showed the hole very well and baskets and tees were marked well too. Most holes had benches. They were placed strategically right after the holes with massive elevation changes. There was a message board st the start of the course up to date with current ddg tournaments and events as well as including a course map for first timers. Two practice baskets at the start. These were place a good amount apart to require some rricky lines and approaches between each. They give you a good look at what the course is going to be like.
Four distinct layouts- each layout was clearly marked and from how it appeared each tee to basket layout provided its own challenges and separate lines. The distance variety made by these layouts is very accommodating to all skill levels
Cons: Between 2-3 and 3-4 it is a little tough to find the next hole. A couple strategically placed arrows could fix this very easily.Some silver tees did not have tee pads as i saw. They were natural instead. I could see them getting slippery after a day of rain.
Other Thoughts: This course is great! It truly lived up to the hyped and i had a fantastic time at this course. I ope to be back as soon as possibel
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Takin' it up a few notches
Pros: There is a review noting comments on every hole, so I won't bother with detail to this level.
I had a blast at this course. I grinned so hard and for hours, it hurt. The course is very well and lovingly cared for. The design and layout was carefully thought out and implemented. The signs and hole to hole directions are very easy to follow. Once you find hole 1, the rest is a piece of cake. There are also two, count them, two practice baskets.
To characterize this review, I am a player who picked up the sport three years ago on a lark. I was a long time ball golfer (so I understood the game), that has developed and continues to develop skills with a frisbee. I typically hover around a 960 round on courses that are routinely used for A tier events.
The first statement that needs to be made about this course is bring your 'A' game and water, irrespective of layout chosen.
There are four challenging and fun layouts on one course, with the multiple tee pads and pins. Each one provides different elements. The long pad to long tee positions are technical with a distance element as well. I had the opportunity to play this course two days in one week, 72 holes total and three of the four layouts. The first day, long to longs got my goat a bit. Day 2 needed a replay of long to longs for a bit of redemption.
I used every shot developed for my game thus far. So...forehand and backhand, hyzer and anhyzer, a few skamahawks, thumber flops and skips, flicks and tomahawks. It is rare that I pull out every disc in my bag on a course, however over the two days and four rounds, everyone got a go at something. Part of it was trying different strategies on the same layout/hole and some of it was due to circumstance.
A few of the holes you can fairly safely risk a full on driver push. The key is to throw with-in your accuracy limits of drivers. Be sure to consider placement over distance (depending on the layout played and the extent of woods encountered), as it will save you strokes. To that point, getting off the fairway on some of the holes can create very difficult recovery situations.
I very much look forward to playing this course again. If you are in the area, do not miss this one!
Other Thoughts: I played two different afternoons, with wonderful low 70's weather. A concern about this course reputation and being by U of D, is it would be very very busy. In two days and 36 holes each day, I was held up once by a foursome. I would guess on both days combined the top number of players during my play was about 40 other golfers. This number was due to a doubles event. At one point on the first day, I had the feeling of standing on this monster course and there was not a soul around for miles.
I did meet three separate groups and one individual that live locally. All were very friendly, respectful, and open. I got some great tips, advice, invites to play along, and information on other events in the near future. On top of that, I happened to meet Jimi Mcllvain as well on the course. I consider him and Disc Golf Monthly responsible for bringing this course to my attention.
Meeting other friendly disc golfers is not always the case, unfortunately. The fine locals at this course certainly helped cement a stellar experience. Thank you to each of you!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
It's a good thing.
Pros: Iron Hill's reputation is starting to precede itself. It's gold to gold layout as it stands at this writing is the most difficult (highest SSA) permanent 18 baskets in the country (world? Probably!).
The setting is what makes this kind of a course possible as the woods that hold the course are old growth trees with "fair"ways the norm. The length of the course makes the fairways close in on most golfers since even though they are wider than the norm for wooded courses - it's just that you're continually attempting to maximize distance. Spaces that would be a lazy putter throw on a 220' foot basket become pin-holes on 500' par fours. If you're not getting off the tee safely with distance, you're score is taking a beating.
The challenge is big since Iron Hill doesn't really have any let-up from 1-18.
The gold tee pads are brushed concrete and about as good as you can make tee pads for our sport.
Baskets are top notch. Signage for the 1st time player is only at the long tees - if you're playing the shorts get a map or a guide.
Iron Hill rarely has issues with traffic since the lay-out has been done with tournament golf in mind. Even with several groups on the course you don't hit other groups since the distance from basket to the next tee is adequate to allow you to keep the flow going. There's ample area between fairways so there's no congestion waiting for someone to throw coming the other way or something.
Iron Hill also doesn't have a lot of casual players since even in its shortest configuration the walk alone is like 3 rounds at your local pitch and putt.
There's no admission to the park even for out of staters.
The steps that Adam Harris built on 17 are just too cool not to mention as a "pro".
Cons: Iron Hill doesn't have any actual water in play. There's a couple little streams that may hold water at various times, but they're really not an issue and the locals don't play any of the water out of bounds anyway.
While the woods are gorgeous there's really no "breathe taking basket" like Nockamixon's 6, or Flyboy's 3.
It's a function of the park that it's in so really can't change this, it's just a con that other courses have that IH just doesn't.
Other Thoughts: I have completed 200+ gold-to-gold rounds at Iron Hill. It's difficult to write a review since to me it's bizarre that more locals don't make the trek more often to play at a world class track in a gorgeous park, but it's nice to not have to fight the crowds.
I'm not sure if it's a plus or a negative so I'll add it here - the distance and difficulty of the layout really changes the importance of the drive over putting. If you're not getting off the tee you're not really going to shoot a good number at Iron Hill, and if you're driving well, you can go several baskets without having to make a putt. For example, even for distance-challenged players like me, if I make three good drives on the par 5's and the par 6 at Iron Hill I'm most likely dropping in a birdie. If I hit early on one of them I'm scrambling to save par, while 2 trees leads me to bogey-land.
On a personal note, of the 200+ rounds (3600+ baskets . .  ) of disc golf at IH from gold-to-gold I have zero eagles. Never have I scored 2 under par (course par) on any of the baskets. I've birdie every basket (#18 once . . .it's a real beast of a par four, it would be the 1 handicap basket for the ball golf literate out there) but I have yet to get an eagle. I get lots of aces on the pitch and putts but for some reason the IH eagle has eluded me . . .some day . . .some day . . .
Several golfers either on line or in person complain that IH is too repetitive, I just don't see this as the case. Unless you're requiring every course to have open baskets and wooded ones -- which IH really doesn't. It's a wooded course. Now as for the throws being the same, even a not so far thrower like me I use several differents discs from the tee in addition to an even amount of fore-hands versus backhands . . . where's the "repetitive" in that?
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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