Good things now come in threes!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Edit 11/22/15: Having just played a practice round of nine holes from the red tees, then tourney rounds encompassing all three of the new sets of tees (not quite, but almost a fresh redesign!), I felt this course was absolutely due for an updated review, and an increase from a two disc rating to a hearty three! Countryside YMCA now boasts a correctly balanced set of challenges for the Novice to Rec level of skill from the Red tees, a true challenge for Intermediates from the Yellows, and a fun par three challenge for Advanced and Open players from the Blues.
There still isn't any massive bomber distance, even from the Blue tees (the longest hole is 377'), but the lines range from the 257'starter up the (OB) maintenance path that demands a decent forehand to avoid rolling, through a 357 footer from up on the soccer terrace, over a small pond, to a guarded pin position, to a couple of shorties with limited options on flight lines through the trees and brush, to the tight, long S-benders working their way back from the furthest end of the course.
The Yellow tees have a couple of accessible lane shots, but about a third of them might actually be as tricky as the Blues, as well. There's a 130 foot hole that presents two or three options, each of which demands enough precision to make a deuce run a bit of a gut check. The Reds' of course, are pure fun, deuce or die and ace run holes for more experienced players, while providing a nice sampler of disc flight for the beginner.
There are freshly painted posts near each Red tee, with a hole diagram, number and distance. The Yellow tees have number and distance painted on yellow posts, and all three tees throw form between a pair of painted stones defining the (grass) foul line. The Blue tees are marked only with hole number and distance, so first timers will want to use the map. If all the folks out on the course are playing the same set of tees, the layout is intelligent in keeping throwing lanes and tees away from danger, but...(see cons, below)
In all, three sets of skill levels can now enjoy this course, with it's technical lines being scaled nicely for the intended audiences .
Cons: The flow is going to be a little confusing for beginners, especially with all the extra tees. Nice painted arrows were set up for tourney play, but currently, there is limited 'next tee' signage. Alone and without a map, you would be unlikely to find the tees without wandering around quite a bit.
My biggest concern is probably the potential for mixed groups not being able to see each other where the shorter tees get into range from misfires from the longer tees. They tried to address the obvious one on hole 2(11), marking a mando so players throwing from yellow don't fire right at anybody standing on the third red tee. But the yellow tee on 4 (13) is well within range of a high speed misfire from yellow and blue 2 (11 & 20). The long shot around the barn on blue 8 (26) could very easily catch folks approaching the 7th basket unawares. With several other potential mishaps, I'm hoping they're thinking of ways to help all players stay focused on safety, while playing multiple tees to same baskets.
Minor cons regarding play: natural turf tees, and limited elevation available. And though they have worked VERY hard to clean it up, the rough can be very thick and unforgiving if you misfire, so have your whole group watch carefully until the disc comes to rest: that tree might have eaten it!
Other Thoughts: One final, important thing to keep in mind about this course is that it is entirely fenced and gated, and restricted to only YMCA members and their guests. I was fortunate enough to have been allowed in as a guest, and more recently, in a tournament, to enjoy this fun, (three by) nine hole course. Also, this is the biggest YMCA complex I have ever seen! They've got an indoor soccer field, a natatorium, gymnasia galore, pool and water park, sports fields, jogging tracks, plus the acreage (234 acres, I've heard!) out back for the course/ nature center/ archery range, etc.
Reviewer Background as of this writing: age 54 w/ 4 yrs experience, rated 900+/-, played 244+ courses in 23 states, 80% w/in 3hr drive of Cincinnati. Thrown with folks rated 600's to 1000's, ages 9 to 85 in events and leagues at all tiers. Seldom drive beyond 300-330, but have a solid up-shot and putting game. I haven't designed any courses, but try to lend a hand (with my severely desk-job limited skill set) when I can.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Deceptively Challenging to Do Well
Pros: Ace opportunities
Challenging to birdie
Awesome "Safari Course"
Cons: Lack of Signage
Other Thoughts: This is an awesome course to go out and really work on your approach game. It makes awesome use of the existing land and despite its short length, I have seen this course destroy some very good players. Some of the holes are closely guarded by brush and trees making for challenging putting. Most times I can finish the front 9 with a -3 score, however my personal best was a -7. The course is unforgiving as the only par 4s are on the back 9 where holes #2 and #7 gain an additional 100 feet of distance.
#1 is a straight on shot with a hill down on the left side. Beginner players who will naturally fade their discs will fall prey to the elevation changes. The advanced tee here drops down hill a little and shift slightly to the left but only adds an additional 20 ft.
#2 is a longer hole that shoots from the corner of a soccer field through a narrow gap of trees into a clearing. Players need to be mindful of pedestrians. The advanced tee adds an additional 100 feet straight back.
#3 is a slow turn to the right ... favoring lefties or a forehand shot. The Advanced tee puts a tree into play forcing a "thread the needle" type shot
#4 This hole features a left turn around a large cedar tree (which can eat discs)... so be mindful... but it also has a tightly guarded basket which causes some challenging recovery shots if you flub the tee shot. The Advanced Tee creates a turn to the right and low hanging branches remove hammers from play.... leaving you scratching your head every time you play it... there really is no obvious shot here.
#5 "The Gauntlet" this hole requires a low flying straight tee shot through some pretty narrow foliage. A miss here usually means a tough battle to save par. The advanced tee is just slightly back and to the left.
#6 - A genuine ace opportunity here.... the pin here is 120 ft away and leading up to it is a nice wide gap in some decent size trees. Giving a straight shot a legitimate chance of going in. A fun hole.
The Advanced Tee located about 40 ft to the left of the normal tee has a dog leg to the right and the basket is hard to spot. This is a fairly challenging forehand blind shot.
#7 Longest hole on the course. It has a wide fairway with patches of trees on either side. The pin is on the left guarded by some larger trees. My drives tend to cut in front of these trees but its clear to putt around. The advanced tee backs you up another 70 ft or so
#8 - A longer hole on the course... A gigantic tree is smack dab in the middle of the fairway here. The left side of the fairway is open with a few larger trees along the way. The right side is forest. The Advanced tee is about 40 ft to the left and a pretty thick scrubby bush right beside the tee box kinda messes with you. The basket here is open on the front but loosely guarded along the backside and right of the basket.
#9 The tee box on 9 backs up to a tree. Trees scattered throughout the fairway give you an option of a tunnel shot or a nice wrap around shot to a pin that is only guarded on the backside by the forest edge.
The Advanced tee provides a tunnel shot or a possible wrap around to the left. Some of the trees on this hole can eat discs so proceed with caution.
Another fun feature about this course because of the light traffic and the way it wraps around itself is the opportunity to play from teeboxes to different pins... not only can this add some length to a very short course it makes it fun to challenge your buddy ala Michael Jordan "Nothing but net" to ...below are some of my "Safari Course" suggestions
#1 tee to #2 basket
#3 tee to #5 basket
#3 tee to #4 basket
#7 tee to #8 basket
#8Adv. to #9 basket (go around to the left not through the tunnel)
#6Adv. to #8 basket
#6 tee to #5 basket
#9 tee to #2 basket
#2 Tee to #1 basket
Just be mindful of other players when doing this of course...but this feature gives this course a lot of added value and fun
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun Course, Kind of short
Pros: Great property.
Plenty of Ace opportunities
The Designer did a great job in working with the existing land.
Cons: Very short.
Not very tech... but as a beginner course it is great!
Other Thoughts: I Really liked the course and My friend Aced a crazy shot over a tree. If you are in the area you should check it out.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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