A Noble Member of a Fantastic Trio
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: What I can point to first when thinking about my review for Mt. Airy is the variety offered by this course. There are several shots that can easily be considered as signature holes by most courses' standard. Lots of long, open scenic shots that let you air out some big shots - also some shorter, technical par 3's that feel even more like "must-gets" among some of the massive adjacent holes.
While the course is what most would rightly consider "challenging," I think the golf at Mt. Airy is fair. With several holes reachable by all skill levels, a conservative, lightly skilled player can enjoy a great round here. Just the same -- an overzealous rookie or an over confident veteran will be quickly reminded that the picturesque views at Mt. Airy come with the cost of punishing rough and difficult scrambles. Risk V. Reward is something that is often mentioned in our sport and Mt. Airy is a great example of that phrase in many cases.
Mt. Airy Forest as a park, disc golf aside, is definitely not lacking in the amenities department. Several bathrooms throughout the course, a couple places to fill your water, multiple playgrounds, walking paths, hiking trails, etc.
Talking disc golf amenities? Its hard to beat Mt. Airy Forest, given its accompaniment by The Nati Disc Golf, a quality pro shop that is situated strategically between hole 1's tee pad and hole 18's basket. Multiple DisCATCHER practice baskets, along with an XL teepad pointed into a large net. I really enjoyed having the net - it let me warm up my arm and rip a few shots without having to spend time tracking down discs, I wish more courses had this!
There's great use and variety of elevation at this course. I played in the middle of summer, but I've heard the course drains well thanks to its use of elevation.
Cons: Mt. Airy Forest is a huge, multi-use park, so the issue of pedestrians or non-golfers potentially getting in the way is obviously present. This never stuck out to me as a glaring "con," but something I thought could be problematic, given how much the course interacts with the road that runs throughout the park.
A couple of teepads were less than level and that can make for a difficult run-up on a drive. Only a couple examples of this and it is most likely due to erosion over time.
Other Thoughts: It's hard to point to many flaws at Mt. Airy. The course has basically everything that a disc golfer could want at their disposal. Sweet Pro Shop with all the fixin's? Check. An unrivaled practice area, containing a hugely oversized teepad into a net? (My favorite bit) Check. A great, challenging, diverse round of golf through a beautiful landscape? Check.
I think this course fits great within what is known as "The Big Three," in the Cincinnati area, along with Lincoln Ridge and Idlewild. I think Mt. Airy falls into a sweet spot that makes it a unique, challenging, and really fun course to play. Not as challenging as Idlewild, but tougher than Lincoln Ridge - Mt. Airy was just right.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Fun Course, Nice Shop.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Every hole presents its own challenge. Great mix of uphill, downhill, left hook, right hook, blind, and open shots.
- Park was clean, grass was cut for the most part.
-Decent parking near the shop.
-Signs are in great shape and give clear directions.
Cons: -It's tough. There is a reason it's on the Cincy Big Three.
- Definitely some thick brush areas. And the open lines can entice you to chuck one.....then it's gone.
- Park is not just for disc, and some of the holes cross areas where people are using the shelters, when busy, it can present some hazards. (cars parked at the shelter on the grass right in the throwing zones)
Other Thoughts: I thought this park was a lot of fun. My score reflects the difficulty of this course too. However, I enjoyed it (minus the rain). I did make a huge mistake on #18; When you come up the hill the first basket you see in a practice basket. And if you're already upset from throwing a bad game, you (like me) will not even realize it and throw to the practice basket, only to find out is the wrong direction. lol.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Absolutely fantastic use of elevation on this course. It feels like almost every hole has one, and often times two, changes in elevation.
There is a good mix of length here. Some holes max out in the 280' range, while a couple others get up to 600' and beyond. There are also multiple pin placements on every hole, often times dramatically changing the difficulty of the hole.
Players with big, powerful drives will love this course. The fairways are not very tight and the trees remaining on the course are not too dense, allowing for maximum bomber potential. However, this course also requires some technical throws, especially when close to the dense woods. There are even a couple tantalizing ace runs, and plenty of opportunities for getting a long-distance make. The many high-reward throws here are extremely fun for both amateur players and advanced players alike.
This course is incredibly well-kept. The tee-pads are big and in good condition. The tee-signs are easy to read, adequately show the hole layout, and always mark which pin placement is being used. The wooded holes have clear fairways, and the brush isn't too thick or overgrown.
Hole 15, specifically in the B pin placement, is definitely the standout hole of this course and one of the best holes in the area. It is picturesque and begs that you throw a booming downhill bomb to get close to it. Other holes that appeal to me include 1, 10, and 14; in my mind, there are no holes that seriously detract from the experience.
Cons: The biggest con of this course -- and it is somewhat ironic considering the name -- is that there are actually few wooded holes. The course itself is great, but there probably could have been a better effort to incorporate the forest a bit better.
There are some roadways and walking trails that can come into play on this course, and also a couple shelters where people may be. For the most part, they are far enough from the course to not be an issue, but it is definitely something to watch out for while playing.
Other Thoughts: The Ohio portion of the "Nati Big Three" -- Idlewild, Mt. Airy, and Lincoln Ridge -- is a great course to visit. It is not as intimidating as Idlewild and not as casual as Lincoln Ridge, but falls nicely in the middle. It has excellent amenities, including an on-site pro shop, a couple putting baskets for warm-ups, and even a "driving range" to get loose on some of the big rips. It is definitely worth a visit, whether you are local, nearby, or visiting from anywhere in the country.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Impressive Urban Park Course
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - The facilities here really are incredible! Having a pro shop, practice driving area, and two practice baskets goes way above and beyond what I've experienced at any other course.
- All of the holes are unique and offer a variety of shot shapes and distances. There is also a good balance between open shots, where you have to control where the disc lands, and tight shots, where you have to control how the disc flies.
- All of the baskets are in excellent shape and the tee signs on each hole are very helpful, as they show par, distance, and the preferred line. The tee signs also show you which pin position you're throwing at so you don't have to run up and check every time.
Cons: As a preface, these are both minor complaints about an otherwise phenomenal course.
- The concrete tee pads seem to be losing their grip as I had a couple of slips on the tee during my round today.
- I wish there were next tee arrows below every basket.
Other Thoughts: The park that surrounds this course is so beautiful! This course is just a slightly bigger, slightly better, and way more consistent version of my home course. (I mean this as a huge compliment btw.) To have a course this good be in the middle of a big city like Cincinnati is just mind blowing to me.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Pro Course Hosted World Championships
1 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Pro caliber course.
A decent mix of shot variety. Can showcase many skills.
Nice tee pads and solid baskets.
Cons: Since it is a local park, the course interacts with the roads and dog walkers, etc.
Perhaps a bit to many right turn fairways, so favors LHBH and RHFH players.
Other Thoughts: Bring your A game.
One of Cincinnati's best.
1 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Baskets are really nice out at Mt. Airy, one of my favorite things about the course.
Tee pads are kept in great shape. Much needed for a course like this.
The maps out here are phenomenal. Such a great thing to have at this pro style course.
General course design is good. You will start and end right by your car.
Lots of benches and trash cans around keeps this course very clean.
Major elevation changes at Mt. Airy. For sure one of my favorite aspects of this course. #15 is probably the best downhill hole I have played other than #12 at Buck.
There are plenty of epic holes at Mt. Airy. I mentioned #15 above. I really like #1, #16, #18 and #10. All have different aspects that I really find epic and enjoyable.
Restrooms are around the course.
Running water around the course is great for Summer play. We ran out of water after #11 it was so hot out and right next to the next tee box was a water (fountain, spicket, pump? not sure the correct word here) but it was perfectly usable.
I wouldnt say there is a good variety of hole distances at Mt. Airy because all the holes seem to play pretty long but there are a couple of birdable holes.
You will use a variety of shots in your bag. Some holes may require you to drive it twice, some may put you on a hyzer line, some might require a downhill midrange and of course a well used putter will give you a good score. I learned after my first round at Mt. Airy do not try to challenge this course or think that you are going to shoot low. Take what this course gives you, get out with your pars when you can and at the end of the day you can come out in the low 60's.
Mt. Airy is absolutely a challenge. Possibly the hardest course I have played. Handyman might be the only other course that can challenge Airy on toughness that I have played.
Parking is right by Hole #1 and the course has its own pro shop, how can you beat that!
Tons of events to participate in at this course.
Locals are very nice and welcoming.
Cons: I hate to give foliage maintenance a con because I am sure they do every thing they can. The grass was cut both times I have been here. We just all lost a couple of discs each in areas I wish they would trim back a little further.
Not sure about camping?
I wish there were more tight and technical than open bombs at this course but I understand the distances for a pro style course.
This course was extremely crowded both times I have went.
Other Thoughts: Mt. Airy is a really great course. I would not want to play it all the time because of its difficulty level but this is a must visit course in Ohio possibly the country. It has some really fun holes. The elevation changes can make for a taxing day on the course. Highly recommend visiting this course and seeing what all the hype is about.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
An open field course inside a forest. Isnít that ironic?
Pros: Mt Airy is a big armed course. It's got a couple of bumps in the road before finding its stride. This is no Mayberry.
- The most important thing, there are some fantastic holes here. The top couple holes are close to as good as anything at Idlewild. The difference is Idlewild has mostly outstanding holes; Mt Airy has only a handful.
- The best holes also take best advantage of the elevation. You get a sense of that right off the bat on #1. 540-footer that's uphill the entire way, starting in a field, ending in the woods. #2 is a relatively simply par 3. Side note: how did anyone pick #2 as his favorite? Then #3 gives you a long dogleg right.
- I loved that everyone hole (correctly) listed which pin location was in play. With so many blind tee shots, it's vital.
- Course gets significantly better throughout. There's an insufferable stretch that's called holes #5 & 6. The course picks up from there. The three best holes are all on the back nine - #13, 15, & 17.
- #15 is fantastically great. 580-feet of downhill dogleg right play. Hit the gap, or put your tee shot in good position for a downhill approach to the basket. Hitting my 20-footer putt for a 3 was the most satisfying shot I made my entire round. This piece of land was created for a disc golf course.
- For so much going on at the park, this area is almost exclusively for disc golf. You may come across walkers, or people by the playground near #2's basket; otherwise, it's all disc golf.
- The signs highlighting big name courses and their distances was a fantastic touch. You want to know what are the big named courses? Check the sign. I loved seeing two courses within 20 minutes of my house listed on the sign - Winthrop and Renaissance.
- Based on antidotal evidence, this course gets the most play of the big 3 locals - Idlewild and Lincoln Ridge. Makes sense given its location. Oh, and there's a pro shop here. That always brings in the disc golfers.
Cons: The biggest negative is the repetitiveness, (somewhat) lack of variety, and repetitiveness. When you've got a wide-open course, there's only so much you can do. There's truly only two wooded holes on the course - #3 & 16. The rest are in the field, with trees and rough lining the sides.
- #5 & 6. They could be good, but something is off about them. Both have sharp dogleg right factors to them. #5 basically hugs the side of two park streets. #6 starts away from the road, then pulls an obtuse angle turn to the right. In both cases, you're better playing out to the left. Too far right and you're in thick, unforgiveable rough.
- What adds to the annoyance is the transition to #7. After finishing #6, you turn right back whence you came, walking the majority of #5's fairway backwards. How about we eliminate #6, put another hole in all the other space in the rest of the course, and reduce long walks?
- A few too many holes are simple par 3s. They're in the 300 - 400-foot range, with little challenge. If you're not throwing 400, you're not seeing birdie putts. For us noodle arms, I was repeatedly getting up and down from 50 - 75 feet away for my 3s.
- After a fantastic five hole stretch of #13 - 17, #18 is a letdown for the closing hole. It's perfectly alright, just would prefer one of the elites to end on.
- Didn't see many, if any, trash cans on the course. Throw in a couple more benches throughout the course too while I'm making requests.
Other Thoughts: Mt. Airy is a very good course. It's not going to be confused with Idlewild, but it's a good compliment. Big arms and more experienced players are going to eat up this course.
- The longer, station-to-station holes are the course's strongest feature. Both #16 & 17 reward players who land a perfectly placed shot over big arms. I had a tap-in 4 on #16 thanks to two strong mid-range shots. I suffered the consequences of not getting far enough away from the trees on #17. My next two shots would have only required one if my tee shot was 20 feet further left.
- Lots to like here. It's easy to pick nits on a course this caliber. It's a good course, but its flaws keep it from being great.
- From the long tees, the course plays just over 8000 feet - just under 450 feet per hole. Only one hole is under 300 feet, and only six more are under 400.
- Come prepared with plenty to drink. Bring your patience as well, both for a longer round and the possible lack of birdie chances.
- I think 4.0 is an appropriate score. The best parts of this course are excellent. The course designers do confuse length with excellence at times. That said it's closer to a 4.0 than a 3.5. Glad I played here just to experience the high points.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
One tough course
Pros: This course is super challenging and fun. Not for the beginners unless you plan on getting beat down a bit but it will definitely improve your game in the long run. Same for advanced players and variety of pin placements keeps the course interesting.
Cons: not sure, it's a pretty nice course
Other Thoughts: The Nati pro shop is fantastic. There are practice holes by the shop and hole one. Bring your A game or else this course can bite you. If you are coming to the area to visit, this is probably a top 3 to top 5 course.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
The Goal is Elevation
Pros: Showcasing some of the most thoughtful design in park disc golf, Mt. Airy Forest earns its title as Cincinnati's most iconic course. As one of the Cincinnati metro's "Big 3" alongside Lincoln Ridge/Banklick and Idlewild, Airy serves as the fulcrum of the local scene and offers some pretty good golf to boot. The layouts range from challenging to downright Idlewild-esque, and the holes are primarily long Par 3's with organically difficult pin positions. Most visibly, every shot features some degree of elevation change, and miscalculating even a subtle slope can lead to thick rough or OB. For example, Holes 2, 4, and 6 sport gently upsloping fairways that don't seem obvious from the tee, but become painfully apparent when your drive leaves you maddeningly short of where you'd like to be. It's the little annoyances like these that make Airy such a delight. It's not an unconquerable beast, but it stays in your head on every hole, requiring a level of focus and situational awareness rarely found in park-style courses.
Overall design highlights include Hole 1, where the elevation change is obvious and an obstacle in itself, playing to a wooded approach/green that offers as much challenge from a bomb as a layup. Placement is rewarded more than pure distance, setting the tone for the remainder of the round. Hole 15 is another favorite, where a long, sweeping downhill RHBH anhyzer drive plays to a green on a grassy ridge with trouble beyond. The downslope narrows the margin for error on all shots, and it's easy to lace one long into the challenging rough.
The course's namesake forest is nearly 1500 acres of urban greenspace, so there's a lot to look at both along the routing and elsewhere in the park. Wildlife is plentiful, including birds, deer, rabbits, and snakes to keep you company. Hole 16 is especially pretty as one of two fully wooded holes on the course, serving as a pleasant place to cool off and take a drink of water in the final stretch.
As the home course of the GCFDA (Greater Cincinnati Flying Disc Association), both course essentials and amenities here are top notch. Although many holes are blind, the tee signs are very descriptive and accurate, with pin position indicators saving the day. The concrete pads are in excellent repair, and the bright red DGA baskets catch well. Always very well maintained, trash cans and benches can be found everywhere. The Nati, Mt. Airy's on-site pro shop, is a major plus, offering a full selection of discs from many manufacturers. By the time you get to the outdoor driving net, it's apparent that nearly every perk and extra you could want can be found here.
Cons: As a nearly exclusive RHFH player, I welcome the prevalence of right-turning fairways, but acknowledge that they are the overwhelming majority. A good forehand is a major asset, especially on the significant number of holes with the OB park road to the left. Just a couple more right-finishing fairways or even pin positions would've made the course feel a lot more varied.
Airy is definitely an open course on the whole, especially when compared with Lincoln Ridge and Idlewild. This leads to a twinge of repetition, most apparent in the comparatively forgettable Holes 7-9. All three are shorter and feature excellent elevation play, but present little line shaping challenge.
Because of its geographic and emotional centrality to Cincinnati golfers, Airy has a tendency to get pretty busy on nice days. You won't see too much mob golf, but it's pretty typical to see foursomes on every hole. Playing solo doesn't necessarily equate to a quick round.
Other Thoughts: Airy may not be a 4.5 in its short layout, but the standard and especially long layouts deserve this score. This is big-time golf that remains accessible for the masses, and its wide-ranging appeal and superior amenities nudge it up the extra half disc. Very few could come away from here disappointed.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Mt. Airy DGC sits on some great terrain, with rolling, tree-dotted hills and some denser woods. The latter are entered for a few holes but for the most part the course runs along the woods' edge, with them acting as a boundary or occasionally as an obstacle for approaches etc. Most holes feature sloping fairways with multiple obstacles that don't form a single, definite window or lane to hit, meaning shot choice is left to the player and you can tailor your play through to your game. Road OB often factors in, further complicating. The best holes (16!) weave these many factors together into enjoyable challenges that are best suited for players with some skill and experience. At the same time the course is no beat down, and won't leave a bad taste in the mouth of a newer player as long as they're cautious about not ending up too deep in the rough. Hole pars and distances are well-mixed, though there's a penchant for challenging par 3s.
Course is well-groomed, parking is plentiful. Many other courses nearby (Idlewild, duh). Awesome, well-stocked and fair-priced pro shop on site. Support the locals!
Cons: Despite the varied terrain there's a bit of repetitiveness, mostly owing to the way the layout loops around the park. The woods are often bordering to the righthand side with the road to the left; combined with the lack of definitive lanes, you can throw forehand hyzers for days and skirt many of the obstacles. In other spots open fairways allow you to easily steer wide of the rough in play quite easily, limiting challenge on terrain that is filled with potential. I am in general a big fan of holes that allow for choice, but here the choices aren't well-defined and wind up tempting you to take the easy way out, especially if you have FH/BH versatility. This ability to play it safe in several spots waters down the course somewhat. A few more technical holes in the woods, or that play through them in a greater variety of ways, would have broken up the rhythm and shot variety more.
The par 4s are often more a matter of distance than of added wrinkles.
Running so close to the road so regularly is a bit of a concern, even if it isn't well-trafficked.
Other Thoughts: Mt. Airy is a solid course that offers an enjoyable round. Any sane disc golfer would be happy to have it as their home course. Its proximity to Idlewild is a definite plus; the Cincinnati area offers great road trip material.
That said I feel as though Mt. Airy itself is slightly overrated on this site; it isn't itself a must-play for me. But as part of a larger road trip that includes Idlewild? Absolutely worth a visit.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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