19 Helpful / 1 Not
Holy Tree Bouncing Batman
Pros: - Very thick and beautiful forest set on a large state park. There are a lot of elevation changes and a nice rolling terrain. Well built stairs get you up steep hills and really set off the natural beauty of the woods.
- This course is the definition of a fantastically technical course that will constantly challenge every level of player. A complete mix of shots are needed here to get over, under & around all kinds of obstacles. Baskets rest atop large mounds and on steeply sloped hills. Replaying this course I saw new lines to take that I didn't see before and I know I'll find new ways down fairways the next time I go.
- This 18 hole course is approx 6800' long which is fairly long for 18 holes, however, because of how technical this plays, 6800' is Very long. Once finished you will feel like you played a 10K'+ course!
- This is a pretty safe course. At no point are you throwing on top of the next tee or at a busy intersection, however, note that you do throw near the some traffic on Holes #4 & 8.
- There is a Short and Long Tee for every hole
- Tee Signs are off the charts for quality. A lot of effort was put into these exceptionally high quality signs. Many signs have witty nicknames/themes for the holes such as Hole #15 has Dungans Dungeons 1 & 2 and a Moat. The Tee Signs at the Long Tees have actual pictures of the hole. The Tee Signs at the Short Tees have snippets from the rule book so that you can learn as they go. This was an incredibly creative idea.
- The Tee Signs are on high quality poles. The poles at the Long Tees also have bag holders.
- Tape on baskets lead you to the next tee
- The baskets are in perfect condition and well labeled
- Plenty of water hazards give you risk vs. reward
- Very nice upkeep done by an incredible set of volunteers
- Extremely low traffic from non-disc golfers
- Surplus of log benches and stumps and picnic tables scatter throughout this course
- The entrance to the park is marked by a large sign and there are multiple disc golf signs leading you to the course
- Very nice Kiosk
- A lot of trash cans all over the course
- Plenty of parking
- Bathrooms at the parking lot
- Amenities. Very large state park that has about anything you need including a skate park, camping, boating , fishing, swimming, trails, hunting etc...
Cons: - Large amount of broken glass at a few holes
- There are no open areas to really rip a drive for distance. Many players probably never take their distance discs out of the bag.
- Personal preference but a few more trees being cleared (for example on Hole #9) making a few fairways just a touch bigger might add more enjoyment to the average player, however, I'd understand if the plan is to leave them there for the challenge of it.
Other Thoughts: - The 'Flow' is both a Pro and a Con. Hole #1 and #18 do meet each other at the parking lot but there are a few hiccoughs between some of the holes. #4 to #5 you will cross the parking lot. #6 to #7 you will walk down the road for a few hundred feet and #7 & #8 rest on a large grassy area between the roads and parking lot. #8 to #9 you will cross back toward #4 and follow signs to #9. This is still a fantastic use of the available land but keep a map on you your first time out and pay attention to all the Tee Signs and Next Tee Signs.
- The natural tees are in decent condition but can be a little uneven
- This course has a lot of holes with a high level of risk vs. reward but Hole #16 is the definition of it. You can choose the shortcut over the water through a small gap or the safer land route. But let's not forget Hole #15 that has you zigzagging 470' with water to your right to only find a basket on a steep mound with water directly behind the basket. LOVE IT!
- This is one of the most challenging courses I've ever played. It's a tough hike and great exercise. If you are going to bring a beginner here then for the love of Pete give them fair warning first.
- The most challenging hole is Hole #9 which is the only Par 5 hole here. This lives up to it's rating as you travel 650' down a winding trail loaded with small trees.
- Hole #7 & #16 tie for my second favorite hole but Hole #14 takes the prize. On #14 you drive downhill through a narrow gap and veer right around the water toward a basket that is on a loooooong steep mound.
- This is a very impressive course that is absolutely worth some travel to get to. Huge thanks to the Portage Lake Disc Golf Association for donating so much of your time, blood, sweat & tears in creating something this nice in such a short amount of time.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 23 Not
Pros: It's a great course if you are Ken Climo......
It's a great course if you like to swim.
It's a great course if you like cutting yourself with glass.
Cons: Tee Placement. 15, really???? Saw 2 discs floating helplessly in the water. 13 is a ridiculous hole as well. Back 9 seems cool at first, then is an annoying pain.
2 of 25 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 4 Not
IT'S A BLAST TO PLAY AT...
Pros: Very challeging course! Not for the faint of heart or the beginner. You will have some bad shots - get over it!. Layout is nice.
The back nine is SWEET. It's new and should wear - in nicely after it gets played upon.
Nice looking tee signs: at least the ones that werent stolen or ripped off. WTF? - who does that? A-holes. Pardon my french.
Nice balance of long and short tees. If its difficult to get past.trees play the red tees.
Posts have (4) bag pegs - NIce!
A true woodsy dgc. If you like hiking and being outdoors - that's how the course feels and plays - you will like it!!!
Cons: 1>. Lots of glass. Be careful. Too many drunks at the park? This is what happens when mommy aint there to clean up after them. It's a disgrace to humanity when you have to cleanup someone else's stupidity.
2>. Missing tee signs. Not to any fault ot the faciliators. I was told that they were professionally designed by the ohio disc golf alliance. Too bad some a-holes had to destroy them.
3>. Thick brush. Lost 3 discs. I do give "mega thumbs up" to all those responsible for making the back 9 happen. I have cleaned up overgrown properties before, it's alot of hard work, time consuming and strenuous. I know in time the walked-on areas will get trampled. May need some volunteers in the thick brush area. Credit to all those that have worked on this course!
4> No garbage cans. The buckets will probably get stolen like the tee signs. Nice try though.
Other Thoughts: First time my son and I played this course. Long tees playable except for 2 holes - 9 and 15. I had to hit the red tees. Kept hitting those d@#$n trees. Cut um all down! Just kidding. Holes 2 & 10 were my only birdies. My son birdied 3 and 12. Got Lucky!
I would recommend this course to anyone who plays disc golf. Bring a floater disc. You will probably need it.
10 of 14 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 5 Not
Course is looking great!
Pros: Very challenging, nice elevation changes, in a really nice park and is secluded from the rest of the park. Just a well designed course. Won't be surprised when this course starts hosting tournaments of a larger scale.
Cons: Hole 16 really needs a concrete tee - a minor complaint.
Other Thoughts: After playing here for a second time, I've come to realize that this is one of the nicest and most challenging courses around here. It's the first time I've ever said to myself; "I'll just lay it up for a 5"! Newer course, a lot more clearing has been done since the first time I played here. I'll probably make this the course I play at the most from now on.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
~Serene, natural state park environment
~Short & long tees can be mixed up for all skill levels
~Elevation changes throughout
~Nice baskets with signage on posts
~Dirt tee pads
~Additional clearing and tree removal would be beneficial
~Some basket to tee coordination issues, map recommended
~Plinko effect on a handful of holes
Played a full round from the short tees on a pleasant summer afternoon. Layout is really nice and remains predominantly in dense woods, while a handful of holes do open up. For me it's a mid range and putter round as the woods leave little room for less controllable discs. The front nine is in very good condition, and the back nine is still being developed as it's relatively new. Very peaceful with beautiful surroundings. Dirt tees can make for some uneven footing, but due to the need for control I didn't use a run up too often. While I played from all short tees I did spend some time admiring the long tees, and they would provide for an epic round once I gain better control and confidence. Plenty of steep slopes and elevation changes along with the presence of the lake amongst some areas. Numerous turns and tight lanes off the tee, but the clearing is good enough that your up shots will almost always be available toward the basket. Another fantastic addition to this area, and I look forward to visiting often.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 4 Not
An enjoyable course that with very little work could become an extremely good course
Pros: Excellent course design with thoughtful level of challenge at nearly every hole
Good use of mixed elevation and water hazards
Extremely accurate tee maps
Pro and Am pads that not only vary in distance, but do so significantly, and significantly vary in difficulty
Beautiful mixed use park with plenty to do for non - players
Cons: UPDATE!: Here is a message I received from the course designer or an aficionado of the course:
"thanks for the review on DGCR. It's obvious that you didn't read the preview of this DGC on DGCR as if you did you would of noticed the pink duct tape in the basket well pointing the player in the direction of the next tee. It's a cheap method but it works, if you use your _____. I've played over 800 DGC worldwide and have played many of DGc that use this method. and then you have the tee signs, they also have the next tee printed on them, but I guess again that you didn't use your __________. and was looking for school guards to hold your hand and take you to the next tee area.
Your going to have sand and beaches. PL DGC is at a beachhead, thus alot of sand.
Of course since you don't mind offering your opinion, you probally would mind donating some $$ for better next tee signs. I agree that this DGC isn't a 5, but it's not a 2.5 that you offered.
# 6 is a sweet hole. But then it's not my adopitive hole, as it's somebody's elses. But if it was mine I'd have the area that you we're in OB. and if your up to your teeth with muck, why didn't you just jump into the lake to wash off.
# 14 is my adoptive hole, thanks for the kind words. I'm going to make it even tougher so beware.
The DGC is virgin, it's not even a month old and people are knocking it. Oh well..... I know what it is and I'm very proud of all our efforts despite other people's opinions.
We have *** night doubles ***. maybe we'll see you there sometime. and planning a*** tournament < more details to follow> "
While the course flows well for the most part, notable exceptions are from holes 6 to 7, and holes 8 to 9. Some more prominent arrows, a course map, or arrows on the tee signs would go a long way.
Less a fault of the course designer(s) than that of the state park's: no signs indicating how to get to the course. While this is true of Findley State Park in Wellington, Ohio, at least the course at that location is on the main road. This is on a branch road, and if it weren't for this site we may not have found it.
Quicksand (or mud!) on hole 6!
Other Thoughts: UPDATE: Have to admit, love the game of disc golf, but hate how people can be so thin skinned. When this person is done crying over a bit of criticism perhaps they will see that multiple people saying the same thing might have a point. As I stated in my review, a tiny bit of effort and this becomes a destination course. I would have gladly donated to the cause, and invited my friends to do the same before this outburst. Best wishes in finding your funding. Grow up and get to work instead of flaming people for their honest opinions.
Portage Lakes State Park near Akron, Ohio is a solid technical course that should provide a good challenge to experienced players while not frustrating people just starting out. 16 of the 18 holes play in or through deep woods under heavy canopy, though the fairways are wide and generous. You'll certainly hit your share of trees, but the woods aren't claustrophobic, like Parma can be. The front nine each sport a nicely printed and extremely accurate tee map at both the pro and amateur pads, and while the back nine contain only hand - drawn maps at the pro pads, my feeling is we'll probably see those professional looking maps there as well soon enough. The front nine play through fairly short and technical, though you do have the occasional 500 footer. (hole 5) Hole 6 became a personal nightmare for me. Not for the play of the hole, which resembles a shortened version of hole 3 at Parma, but because I learned first hand that there is quicksand about halfway through the fairway, at the right edge. As I was looking for a lost Valkerie (since found) I began sinking with each step, until I was in extremely black and viscous mud up to my waist. It took my friend Billy pulling me up with a tree branch to pull me out. So, there's a heads up. The group that played through said the same thing happened to them the previous day. Speaking of hole 6, while most of the course flowed very well, the path from 6 to 7 was not obvious, and our group had to backtrack to find it. Perhaps a more prominent arrow to the next tee would be useful there. Holes 7 and 8 are a bit "lazy," as they play through an open field with little in terms of obstacles, and then getting to hole 9 is a test in navigation, as the tee is located in the woods to the right of a road quite a ways from hole 8. After being lulled into a sense of ease by the previous two holes, hole 9 packs a punch in terms of distance and challenge. We rushed through the back nine due to time constraints, but I must say that 10 through 18 was very cleverly put together. Hole 14, in particular sticks in my mind for the strategy necessary to par out on it. The basket is on a small earthen ridge only about 2 feet wide, but 150 feet long and bending right. The small drop over the ridge, coupled with the lake on the right make this a challenging and creative hole. Hole 15 impressed me as well with its sheer embankment made entirely of sand right by the lake. Of course, I LANDED on the embankment, making for a difficult putt.
Overall, this is an enjoyable course that with a few minor tweeks can become a stellar course. I look forward to seeing this course improve and become one of the destination courses in northern Ohio.
10 of 14 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Technical front nine with the first three holes all leaving the player to really think about the drive and how to negotiate the dense foliage along the fairway. Hole #5 plays slightly downhill to a basket sitting on a small peninsula overlooking a lake...Very nice looking hole. If #5 isn't the signature hole, #7 or #8 could be. Both these holes play on either side of some mature growth hardwoods in an otherwise open area, leaving the player with a very defined fairway.
Cons: Very little direction from one basket to the next tee. I became disoriented on several occasions and had difficulty finding the next tee. It would be nice, as the course develops into a full 18, if signs leading the player to the main parking area and some sort of kiosk was installed. As is the case with many state park courses, the sheer size of the park can leave someone who's never been there a bit lost in finding the first tee. Some of the drives have little risk/reward potential. I found myself at many tees trying to find the "lesser of two evils" so to speak and just gunning for it. The tee signs are simply laminated paper attached to a wood base. This will not stand the tests of time and some of the torn off, faded, signs I encountered along the course are bound to become more numerous. The tees are simple boundary lines set in the ground. Though I've seen worse, it would be nice to see actual tee pads put in when this course becomes a full 18.
Other Thoughts: I hiked along the area where the back nine is being developed. This course has a lot of potential. I'm hoping, despite the cutbacks you see associated with a lot of state parks, that the volunteer base for this course is strong, and the continued improvement of this course will draw me back in the near future! Definitely coming back after the full 18 is in!
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 2 Not
Extremely good, just needs refined
Pros: -One of the most challenging courses in the area. Playing all 18 holes from the long tees will demand much more precision than Canton or Massillon, a wider variety of shots in your bag of skills, and more distance than pretty much anything in the area besides Dover. It's not unfairly difficult to get par, but there are a ton of trees and numerous places where a bad kick will give you a very rough upshot. You have to play smart and pick your lines well.
-Again, it's challenging. I just want to emphasize how refreshing it is to have a course that makes you think about your drives in relation to your second shot instead of all the deuce or die courses in the area. Arboretum gets mind numbing at times because it's too easy to shoot double digits below par, not to mention even easier courses like Wingfoot. I can't stress enough how much I enjoy having holes where I feel damn good about scoring a 3, instead of courses that are so easy I get pissed if my drive is more than 20' from the basket.
-The park is absolutely beautiful. The back 9 in particular has you literally walking through a forest. The water holes offer very pretty views.
-There is strong shot variety. I think 1 or 2 more slightly open holes would of balanced things out a bit more, but the land didn't really offer that. The designers did an excellent job with what they had to work with in my opinion. There are a lot of right turning shots, which is nice to see. There is good variety in the distance of shots too. There are putter holes, like 1, 2, 5 and 8, and there are holes that even if they didn't have any trees to throw through I couldn't get up to the basket on a full powered drive with my fastest discs like 6, 9 and 15.
-Hole 13 has a fun basket setup. There is a grass island with a road going around it in a circle that counts as OB. Nothing crazy, but it's a nice little touch that adds a bit of strategy. Also, hole 16 has two teepads for the long, and two routes you can take. You can throw over the water and have a better shot at a deuce, or you can take a path that goes off to the left then curves back to the right. I've never seen this on a DG hole before so I thought it was a really neat feature that I specifically wanted to point out.
-The park also has a boating area, (shitty) skatepark, basketball hoops, beech, biking trails, playground, restrooms etc. Dog Park area with another being built I think. Plenty to do.
Cons: -Broken glass scattered around the first few holes. Don't fall.
-Thick underbrush in lots of areas, and many stumps in the ground still. The course is new so compared to nearby courses with decades of wear it's still very rough around the edges, especially the newer back 9 holes. As it matures and gets broken in by players and nature it will be even better.
-Some of the teepads are only flat for the first 3 or 4 feet then drop off on a slight decline. This can make a full x-step awkward at times. The tees have been improving over the months to where this will eventually be a non-issue.
-Potential to hit cars on hole 4 or 8.
-As of this writing the course is full of very persistent mosquitoes. Between them and all the undergrowth I highly recommend wearing pants and maybe loose long sleeves unless it's a dry time of year or fall has come. They were really bad in early June.
Other Thoughts: Since originally writing this review, the front 9 has cleared out some more and the back 9 baskets have been installed. I was extremely excited when I first saw what they had planned for this course, back when there were no baskets installed. It's been a lot of fun watching this course mature into one of the best courses in Ohio.
Par 4's and 5's are uncommon in the area, and usually you find wooded or long and open, it's rare to see 400'+, much less 600'+ heavily wooded holes like this course offers. This is a very welcome addition to the courses NE Ohio has to offer.
A lot of the courses in the area suffer from a variety of issues. They tend to be too open, too short, too flat, only 9 holes or too easy in general. Portage Lakes is very special to me because it says fuck you to all those courses and throws long, hilly, densely wooded holes in your face the entire 18 holes. I've mentioned it many times in this review but it really is that important to me. Portage Lakes is so damn fun because it's one of the few courses I've played that I feel can make you work for par at times. It does have some easier holes (1, 5, 7 and 8 definitely come to mind) but this just makes the course well balanced. Portage Lakes is a gem and I will happily raise my rating to 5 discs once everything is a bit more cleared out (And I intend to keep helping with that, too!).
The course is primarily being cleared out by fellow disc golfers, so if you go out and play it put some work in when you're there if you have the time. I bring a machete with me if I'm not pressed for time and hack away at the brush as I play through.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
I get it now...
Pros: Lots of woods. I like technical courses, so most of the holes were right up my alley. Lots of room for improvement. Hanging posts for your bag at each hole. Nice hole signs.
Plenty of elevation change, wide open and tight faitways, water holes. Great risk vs reward on this course.
With the added back 9, and many improvements to the course I see nothing hut great things for Portage Lakes.
Cons: There's broken glass and misc trash on just about every hole.
Other Thoughts: Be careful locking the bathroom door behind you, it took me almost 5 minutes (of hell) to get out of it.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 Not
BRING A MAP!!!
Pros: Some of the holes are hard and that is a good thing! Throwing across a valley and through trees is difficult but fun.
Cons: For a first time player at this course it will be impossible to find your way around without a map. Print one off of this site and BRING IT!
Other Thoughts: There is a lot of broken glass but otherwise it is quite a beautiful course.
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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