A Pun-derful Experience!
3 Helpful / 1 Not
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. Old reviews and people with bad taste 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.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
My New Favorite Course (Over Idlewild)
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Best course I've played so far!
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!
With all of that said, Friends of Punderson DGC takes the #1 spot in my rankings!
#1 FRIENDS OF PUNDERSON DGC (Newbury, OH) 5.00
#2 Idlewild (Burlington, KY) 5.00
#3 Lakeview DGC (Parma, OH) 4.50
#4 Roscoe Ewing Park (Medina, OH) 4.50
#5 Findley State Park (Wellington, OH) 4.00
#6 Sam Masi DGC (Medina, OH) 4.00
#7 Socastee Rec. Park (Myrtle Beach, SC) 3.50
#8 Fountain Hills DGC (Fountain Hills, AZ) 3.50
#9 Lincoln Park (Massillon, OH) 3.50
#10 Portage Lakes DGC (Akron, OH) 3.50
#11 Parma DGC (Parma, OH) 3.00
#12 Dave Simpson Memorial DGC (Rittman, OH) 3.00
#13 Boardman Park (Boardman, OH) 3.00
#14 Tri-C West (Parma, OH) 2.50
#15 Poolside DGC (Medina, OH) 2.50
#16 Pier-Lon Park (Medina, OH) 2.50
#17 Arboretum Spiker- Green (Canton, OH) 2.50
#18 Arboretum Spiker- White (Canton, OH) 2.50
#19 Hudson Springs Park (Hudson, OH) 2.50
#20 Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) 2.50
#21 Cuyahoga County Airport (Richfield Heights, OH) 1.50
#22 Wadsworth Memorial DGC (Wadsworth, OH) 0.50
#23 Hover Links (Hilton Head Island, SC) 0.50
#24 Freedlander Park (Wooster, OH) 0.00
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Heaven East of Cleveland
4 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 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.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Awesome woods course
2 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
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.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Adapt. Evolve. Survive.
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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A High Quality Disc Golf Experience
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Excellent location, scenery (this would be a great place to simply go on hike in, let along play disc golf)
-Great use of land in the park-elevation is well used
-Course is well laid out; flows excellently from hole to hole
-Tests a variety of shots from each of the three teepads on all 18 holes
-Large concrete teepads for each red, white and blue distance on each hole
-Alternate baskets on many holes
-Signage looks great and is well maintained-no navigation issues
-Benches and trash cans near a number of teepads
-Fairways and greens are quite fair
-Numerous risk reward shots-i.e. ability to simply play for par or go for lower scores and rewards/punishes reasonably
-OB is always marked with rope and well placed to aid in the risk/reward
-A dedicated and attentive local club
-Easy to get to near major roadways
Cons: Really nothing significant.
-More parking might be cool
Other Thoughts: Overall this course offers a consistent experience that is equally challenging as it is fun. From all three tees this course is wooded but a quite fair course. There are a variety of ways to successfully navigate the fairways here; its refreshing to find a course the allows for multiple ways to make it the green and doesn't force players into specific types of shots over and over again. The variety offered here is what really elevates this course. If you were to play two rounds in a day from two different tee pads it wouldn't be unlike playing 36 different holes.
With the dedicated local club always looking to improve the course I see no reason why this course won't get even better with time; like their plans for an alternate basket on hole two.
I would highly recommend anyone passing through Northeast Ohio to stop by here, it will not disappoint.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Walked In a Skeptic, Left a Believer.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wow! Punderson is an incredible course here in Northeast Ohio that is really underrated here on DGCR. Punderson is painfully technical, but not so much so that you become frustrated to the point of quitting. That is the beauty of this course. Almost every hole has multiple lines to hit, with a high risk-reward factor in every choice you make. I like to call this course "The Flappy Bird of Disc Golf". You know you will never beat it, but you keep trying new tactics to get a better score(If you don't know what Flappy Bird is, ignore what I just said). The course flows really well, therefore a map isn't really needed to navigate around. Even though pretty much the entire course is wooded, there are many unique holes throughout the course that would be signature holes on some NEO courses. The park, being a state park, is beautiful, and will appeal to both the disc golfer and non-disc golfer. There are three sets of concrete tees. All three are challenging and very fun to play. This course feels like it is meant for high caliber tournament play. The blue tees would challenge the best-of-the-best in all of disc golf. The course looked trash and debris free. Kudos to whoever keeps this beautiful course in the perfect condition. The baskets were vey nice, and caught well. The tee signs were very informational, and the distances and maps were spot on. A player who prefers more technical play rather that "Rip it and grip it" play will find Punderson extremely fun. For me, it's a preference thing. There is plenty of parking, all of the time. There were benches and trash cans throughout the course.
Cons: While Punderson is one of my favorite courses I have played, there are still a few things that pushed me away from giving the course a perfect 5/5 rating.
A few holes were really tough to navigate if you are playing the course for the first time. Even if you take a good look at the awesome tee signs, it can still be tough once you start throwing. Even from the shortest tees, this course is still a beast. Not really a place to take the kids, or a beginner. There were a few patches of gnats and other pesky bugs, but nothing to extreme. Bring bug spray!
Other Thoughts: I didn't really want to make the hour trip to play here, but it was well worth it. The 3.5 rating made me a little skeptical, but I am now a believer! After playing the course four times from both the white's and blues, I realized what a special, hidden gem Punderson is. Come out and play the course if you are anywhere near Newbury. Trust me, you won't want to play it just once...
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
~Great location, amazing use of the land
~Easy to navigate
~(3) sets of huge concrete tees
~Ample benches & trash cans throughout the course
~Extremely clean and well maintained
~Challenging and fair with risk/reward on every hole
~Tons of elevation throughout a wonderful wooded area
~The best course I've played to date
*Nothing I can really complain about overall, but some nitpicking nonetheless:
~Areas immediately off the fairways are very unforgiving
~Concrete tees have a rough uneven finish
~Some fairways could be widened
My 1st visit to this course was for a tournament in which we played two rounds from the Blue Tees (longs), and the second round was played to the long baskets. First and foremost the Friends of Punderson Disc Golf folks are some of the best people you'll meet and they have done an amazing job on creating and maintaining a top tier course. Layout is 18 epic holes with great elevation throughout a beautiful wooded area near the lake. While water isn't too much of a factor it adds to the gorgeous scenery this course provides. All 18 holes are wonderful, and not one would I consider anything less than great....that is to say there isn't a dud or filler hole on this course. From the Blue Tees it is both a lengthy and extremely technical challenge. Fairways are fair, but land outside the intended path and you will be scrambling. Plenty of curves and undulation, you will need every shot in your arsenal. Solid scores are earned here, and the course will test your mental and physical toughness. Punderson is a phenomenal course and deserves to be considered as one of the best in oHIo!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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