Play with a local if possible
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Mostly wooded and well maintained, reasonable rough. Restroom and practice baskets. Multiple pads.
Cons: Buggy, use bug spray in summer. Confusing. Even having taken a picture of the 18 hole layout, The signage on the tee pads may list multiple baskets, and the directional signage doesn't necessarily lead you to the next tee. We got really confused trying to find tee 4 and 5. Finally a local came up behind us, played through, and we followed him out playing just 9 holes.
Other Thoughts: It's a nice course. If I lived in the area, it's a course I'd play enough to figure it out. But as a stop on a disc golf road trip, it was too confusing to be considered a high point.
The park itself seems to have something for everyone.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Good course, but visitor unfriendly
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice scenery
Multiple tees, with good directional signs to them
Cons: Very low-vis baskets in a completely wooded setting
Poison ivy in spots (mostly off the fairway; you shouldn't encounter it unless you really mess up a throw)
Other Thoughts: Starting with the negatives: this course is a lot better once you know the layout, I'm sure. I've played it twice, a couple years apart, and had some issues figuring out where I was supposed to be or where I was throwing to. The baskets have very little color on them and easily fade into the background. Some of the holes run next to each other, there are three spots where the course crosses itself, and half the holes are are 'A'/regular holes--they had an 18-hole course that they turned into a 27-hole course, but left both configurations in play, so you can play as either an 18-hole course or a 27-hole course.
Theoretically, the signage should help you. But the tee signs weren't very good to begin with, and time hasn't been kind to them. Just to add to the confusion, the donor bricks set into the tees are marked for the original nine and the original eighteen hole configurations (some holes with long and short basket distances marked), while the tee signs are set for eighteen and twenty-seven hole configurations... and mention a hybrid 24-hole configuration, as well.
There is a map of the layout of each configuration (9, 18, 24, and 27) on the notice board by the parking lot... on the back. Where I didn't notice it until I was headed out. I had some choice words when I saw that, after all the confusion I went through on the course. If it's your first time, bring your phone and take a picture of the setup you plan on trying. The multiple holes gives you wonderful variety in how you want to play the course, but at the cost of making the course confusing your first few times through. But on the plus side for navigation, they do have very nice directional 'next tee' arrows. Use those, especially at any point where the holes cross. 4 and 9, especially, since the holes run parallel to each other.
(If anyone's planning course improvements, the next thing that is needed is large, brightly-colored and highly-visible basket toppers. Or if you're going to be replacing baskets any time soon, the best multiple-layout course I've seen had baskets with wide, colored rims (Discatcher baskets in this case, but any model with a wide rim would do). They gave each course layout its own color. If the basket was used by only one layout, it would have only that layout's color and basket number. If it was used by multiple layouts, the rim would be divided into sections, with each course layout having its section painted in its color. This also let them number each course sequentially--you could have the basket number for the yellow course be one number, and the basket number for the blue course be a different number, just by putting the numbers for each course in the appropriate sections--it's easier to navigate and keep score if you don't have 'A' and regular holes.)
The course is all forested, but most areas have wide fairways. There's not a lot of elevation in the park relative to what I'm accustomed to, but they made very good use of what they had, and used a few small stream beds to good effect. Interestingly enough, out-of-bounds areas are marked by a low-lying cable that runs through short PVC sections sunk into the ground. I found this a nice touch. Theoretically, it could also be a trip hazard, but given that the place has, like most parks, exposed roots and possibly shifting ground near edges, it's no worse than what nature already put there. But I wish they had run a jacketed cable in some more visible color.
If you're playing the 18-hole configuration, there ends up being a certain sameness to many of the holes, but in the 24 and 27-hole configurations, breaking the longer holes up let them (frequenly) turn at least one of the resulting holes into something unique, or at least less common, to the course, improving the course variety.
Holes 2 and 3 deserve special mention, as they're the best cross-water shots I've seen anywhere. On 2, you're throwing to an island with a relatively small landing area, but that landing area is fully cleared--you're not going to have any nearly-accurate shots deflected by scrub or that one tree, but if if it's not a good throw, you're going to be splashing the disc. And call me a sucker for small things, but the pontoon bridge is just too cute. Not to mention there's a certain flair by having the short tee be the third pontoon. Throwing back from the island is done on a nice raised platform--again, a very nice shot.
Oh, and if you're a lily pad lover, bring a camera. This 'lake' is essentially solid lily pads during the summer.
Ultimately, the best judgement of a course is who it's best suited for--is it a course for locals only? If so, is it a solid part of the local rotation, or only what you hit when you need something different? Or is it a course worth going out your way to try? Or maybe even a destination course? Well, I won't put it quite at 'destination course', but that's not bad--I've only ever rated one course that high. But it's definitely worth going out of your way to try if you're anywhere in the Cleveland-Akron-Youngstown-Ashtabula area.
And one last thought: more of the technical holes are in the first part of the course. If you want a good finish, and if you like distance throwing, play the course in regular numerical order. If you prefer technical holes, start at hole 15 instead, then do 1-14--it will give the course a better finish for you.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
One of the best wooded courses I've played anywhere
Pros: Well maintained with more than generous fairways as well as an amazing water hole where they built an entire dock / deck for a 300' water hole
Cons: Signage is confusing with all of the different layouts they have... 9, 18, 27 and 24 hole layouts.
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 2 Not
A Punder-Rated Course!
Pros: The peak of a three course day trip was here, Friends of Punderson DGC, a course that is secretly hidden away in the northeastern part of Ohio.
The course at Punderson is not on most people's radar as a destination course. I mean, why would it be? 3.8ish rating, kind of in the middle of a dead zone for courses, and not overly reviewed. I'm here to tell you to play it.
First off, the amount of amenities for this course is just great. There were the three concrete teepads, one large descriptive tee sign per hole (with small plaques at every tee), and baskets in good condition.
Navigational signs were abundant, with red, white and blue arrows with hole numbers on them pointing you to the respective tees. These were both helpful and well done, adding a professional and clean look to the course.
The design itself was well done, with tight gaps through trees being the main factor, as well as small creeks playing as OB, but there were a few holes, mainly the newer ones, that played along the lake's edge, with the water definitely in play.
The amount of variety in the course as far as shot shaping and distance goes was well used too, with the long and short holes, the left turning, right turning holes, tunnel shots, you name it.
One of my favorite holes in disc golf is the new hole that plays off a dock, slightly downhill with a 300 foot water carry, with the basket 20 feet off the coast. It is a great hole to test accuracy, distance, and control, all in one.
With the addition of new holes, and the possibility to play different tees, there are many, many different options for someone to play.
Cons: My first con is the lack in creativity. Not in hole design, but in the ability to take different lines on each hole. When playing a course, or watching people far better than me play a course, it is nice to see one person throw a backhand, one throw a thumber, a forehand, maybe a roller, who knows. At Punderson, every hole has one really distinct line, and you take it, as does everyone else on the card. The opening of more lines may come in time, but for now, it is pretty cut and dry. (Thanks for the idea to include this in the review, BigAl)
All of the holes are through the woods, which, I personally love, but I also like to air out every once in a while, so if there was an added grassy field hole, or even just a wider fairway-ed hole, it would be extremely awesome.
The added holes at Punderson are hit or miss. There were some great holes, and some so-so holes. There were maybe a total of maybe 5 holes that were, in my opinion, kind of duds, that easily could have been extended and transformed into a multi-shot par 4.
Navigation was nice, but again, with these added holes, they were not all included in the signs, and I got confused along the way, trying to remember what hole I had played last, or which hole of the 27 hole layout I was on, rather than the others. I think as a whole, the course signage could be completely redone to include these new holes in the map, and add full color tee signs on all holes, and hopefully all tees. I know that is hard, but it really needs to be done.
Some certain holes play quite close to each other, with no crossing fairways, but maybe a hole that runs parallel to the other. These can't really be avoided, but just be careful and aware of your surroundings and you would be just fine.
Other Thoughts: The course at Punderson is very well done, and is currently seeing a lot of changes that are being put in by the local club.
I cannot wait to come back to this course and try to take in every new change that they have to offer. In the current transitional phase, this course continues to get better, but you have to wait until it is over before it gets to it's best, so for now, I give it a 4, but I strongly believe it can be upgraded to a solid 4.5 course.
This course is underrated, that is what it comes down to. Outdated reviews bring the score down, but if you are a person who truly enjoys fine disc golf, play the course at Punderson. You won't regret it.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Best in Ohio!
Pros: Right at the course enterance there is an informational course sign, lost disc return, and one of the better practice areas out there.
The practice basket is perched on a hill, with 9 distance markers surrounding it. Very nice area to work on putting with different distances and angles.
The course isn't too busy, but it isn't too empty either. Perfect balance if you ask me!
You can rent sets of discs for just $3 at the campground check in station.
Kept up beautifully! Everything is trimmed, mowed, and clean.
Three sets of concrete tees!
Beautiful DGA hole signs with detailed maps. There are also ingraved bricks on the tee pads telling you the hole, tee, and distance.
Benches and trash cans on every hole.
The deck shot over the water on #3 is too fun to pass up.
State parks are gonna be breathtaking, but this park is epic. Lots of scenic views and wildlife throughout the course.
The red tees are a solid place for beginners to start, while the blue tees are long, tight, and good for tournaments.
If you went on a scavenger hunt for trash, good luck! This is as clean as it gets in a public course.
Navigation is flawless! Signs direct you to the tees on every single hole. Easily the best sinage I've seen on a course.
Looks like there's a ton of leagues and tournaments, great for the sport!
There's an island hole!! First one I ever played, and of course I threw it in the water haha.
Looks like they are finishing up building a new public restroom building just for the course!
The course has its own website designed just for the course. Lots of good information on there!
It's obvious how many hours went into this course. They really paid attention to all of the fine details. Shoutout to the local volunteers who maintain the course, keep up the outstanding work!
Cons: Limited parking with all of the construction vehicles.
Make sure you're loaded up with bug spray, lakeside courses in the woods are they're heaven.
There was a group of sketchy characters doing some illegal activity on the deck at #3. Still didn't keep me from teeing off there :P
Other Thoughts: After I finished the round, I found out that Friends of Punderson is rated the #1 course in Ohio on DG Scene and a top 15 course in the US. Not too sure why there is such a discrepancy between the two sites, but this is a MUST PLAY course. Not just for people living in Ohio, but for everyone in the world that enjoys disc golf!
Punderson probably overtakes Idlewild at my personal #1 spot out of the courses I've played so far. It's a must play! I'd be willing to make the hour and a half drive to play again tomorrow!
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Heaven East of Cleveland
Pros: Do you live in Ohio? What about Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana or even Illinois?
What the heck, no matter where your from you should come play disc golf here.
This was one of the most enjoyable afternoons hiking and huking plastic that I've ever experienced.
Kudos to the designer, builders and I am sure the local disc golf crowd that made it possible for me to play from the reds twice today.
You've built something really special here.
The play. What shots do you have in your bag? Bring them all. Uphill left and right, downhill left and right. Straight (both up and down) is a state of mind, but bring those shots too.
Are you a short shooter? The reds are great. Longer shooters will have plenty to brag about if they choose to throw from white or blue and park it.
The Equipment. Three tee pads pads, luxuriously long, wide and grippy greet you at the beginning of every fairway. Basket number, distance and either sponsorship of fairway or a fairway name or local advice are given on pad integrated plates. Hard to see? Drip a little water on them.
The baskets, DGA Mach 3's, catch well and are in great shape. A few fairways have multiple baskets in place.
The playing field. I took a look at some aerial maps of the gameplay area. I'm in awe of what the designer did here. Maybe on a crowded Saturday afternoon you would feel the size of the parcel but today it felt spacious and each fairway was somehow well separated from the others.
I'm not a 400 footer. (If you are, you will be just as impressed with the design as I) That's why I played the reds, but I love to hike a course and this course is a great hike. I earned the Italian calories I consumed after playing two rounds.
The fairways are mostly wide, but also well shaped. The terrains undulations meld perfectly with the shape of the course, using them together like was done here offers a large variety of shot choices. OB and hazard areas as well as drop zones are well marked. The putting surfaces, well thought out with good use of water, OB and slope make you think before you run.
Navigation. The best I've ever seen, bar none. You don't need a map. I will admit a bit of confusion as some of the older signage can give momentary pause. But just follow the fish. Redfish, whitefish, even blue, point the way just right for you. Again, use the pad embedded signage to confirm your spot.
Scenery. Gorgeous, and in spots you'll really want to take some snaps, and It's early in the season. Wait till the canopy kicks in.
Cons: I'll put these in the cons spot. They're not.
It's late April, and the ground cover off the fairway isn't grown in yet, so my multiple angiosperm and coniferous contacts were easily retrieved, that might get tough over text couple months.
Like many other plots of land available for courses this one also has some drainage issues. This issue may be exacerbated here by the natural contours of land that drain rainwater into the natural lake that is the centerpiece of the park. I see that efforts are being made to mitigate some of the worst areas but good form like trying to avoid natural water paths when walking can also help.
It's clear that some very good folks are lovin up on this park.
I see new bench's, a new bridge going to the island hole and I think a completed throwing deck from the island.
Empty garbage cans, stacks of cut wood from clearing the fairways and the new bathrooms going in also speak well for course evolution.
Thanks again for a stellar afternoon and giving me another course for my son and I to play as a destination.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
First Class and Improving
Pros: 18 Holes with 3 Tee Pads on each hole.
Red Pads are perfectly fine for beginning players.
Long baskets on holes 2, 9, 12 and 15.
Dedicated and active club maintaining and improving the course.
#2 Island Hole plus Gold Tee platform for hole #3 now.
The different tee pads can completely change how a hole is played, they are not just a little longer.
Cons: Mud, particularly on the walk from the parking lot to the course. There are supposed to be plans on addressing that by the park.
Other Thoughts: Plans currently in the works to add some alternative pins and/or tee pads to create a 27 hole optional layout.
After playing other courses in NE Ohio, plus some of the best around Nashville, TN on a recent trip, Punderson stills stands out as a top tier course. Elevation changes, technical shots, but no throw and pray shots. There is a line on every hole IMO.
The local club is continuously making improvements, and is very active with leagues year round, and several tournaments at the course each year.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Punderson gets better and better, now with Island Hole!
Pros: Where do I start? Excellent signs. 3 Extra large Tee Pads for every hole. Each one changes how you play the hole. Long baskets on several holes including the new Island Basket for Hole 2. This is a true island shot, throwing to an island in the middle of the lake! There is a walking bridge over to the island to hole out and retrieve your discs. Funding has started to build a platform for an alternate tee for Hole 3. A permanent restroom building is also on the drawing board.
The challenge for this course is high, where a score of 90 for 18 holes from the longs is still a 900 rated round! But it is Lots and Lots of Fun! My favorite course and I have played over 50! Beautiful scenery with hardly a sign of civilization makes for a peaceful round.
Cons: Fairways can get sloppy during wet weather. Still too many tree stumps in the fairways making for easy tripping when walking. The rough is really rough making errant drive retrievals difficult in some areas of the course. Not much else in the way of negatives. BTW more tree stumps have already been marked for removal. Like I said, it keeps getting better and better.
Other Thoughts: If you enjoy a challenging but fair course that will test every throw and disc you got, Punderson is for you! If you want an easier Par 3 type of course there are others in the Cleveland area that will fit that bill.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Awesome woods course
Pros: This course is awesome. Challenging but fair, makes you think about what you're going to throw. Huge fairways cut out in the woods, and you're punished if you miss your lines. Elevation used well. Three sets of teepads which change how each hole plays. Course is secluded in the park. Island hole and platform tee are epic.
Cons: Some of the long tees are placed in spots where it's more challenging than it is good - not really golf shots, a couple are tough to make any shot down the fairway. For example, hole 6 - awesome downhill dogleg left, but the blue tee is tucked on the left side of the fairway only leaving a layup to the bottom of the hill. There are several others.
The addition of the 27 hole layout made this course worse. There's teepads and baskets everywhere now. Adding a pitch and putt into a near championship level design detracts from the course.
Other Thoughts: There aren't really many aggressive lines here. The risk pretty much always outweighs the reward. Good rounds from the long tees can be kind of boring, throwing your layups on most holes. This could be a top level course with a few small tweaks. Difficult does not equal good.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
The Real Deal!
Pros: - Beautifully scenic State Park.
- The course design makes excellent use of the topography available. Constant elevation changes.
- Vast and secluded. Even on the busiest days of play its seems as if you have the course to yourself.
- Wide array of different holes and shot selections.
- Three large tee pads per hole. Rough tee pad surface allows for good footing in inclement conditions.
- Informative signage per hole. Excellent use of arrows to the next hole for easy navigation for each the red,white and blue tees.
- Baskets are in great shape. Multiple baskets on holes 2,9,12 and 15.
- Out of bounds markings are well defined by yellow rope.
- Well maintained and clean. Trash cans throughout the course.
- Good use of picnic tables and benches throughout the course. Each round provides plenty of exercise.
- Local club does a fantastic job of maintaining this huge course. No small feat.
- Large parking lot with bathrooms. Kiosk with disc related information. Practice basket is a short walk to the first hole.
Cons: - Course is not for all skill levels.
- Some rough areas in the trees. A final cleanup or thinning of the course would do wonders.
- Poison Ivy prevalent throughout the course.
Other Thoughts: Punderson Disc Golf Course is an absolutely huge and technical 18 hole course. Beautifully scenic and secluded. This heavily wooded course has narrow but well defined fairways and some low ceilings. Excellent variety of holes and shot selections. Great use of elevation and terrain changes. Water comes into play on holes 1,3,4,6, and 15. Great tee pads and baskets. Comprehensive hole signs and navigation arrows. Excellent flow throughout the course. Course starts and finishes with a short walk to the parking lot.
The local disc club does a fantastic job of keeping this mammoth course well maintained and the course seems to be ever evolving into a championship caliber challenge. Being part of the Punderson State Park allows a wide array of other fun activities for non disc golfers.
Punderson is hands down one of the best disc golf courses in Ohio and it will only get better with time.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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