19 Helpful / 6 Not
Developers take note- this is how you make a course
Pros: This course is always challenging, always fair, and always fun. It's a thinking man's course, almost always requiring you to think a shot ahead, and punishing you if you don't. Numerous par 4s and 5s that definitely earn those extra strokes, and yet still can give you opportunities for birdies.
The course itself is absolutely beautiful, and has the greatest water hazards I've ever played. No. 3 and 16 have creeks that zigzag across the fairways and surround the greens, making for tricky upshots where you have to choose to play it safe or go for it. On top of that, the creeks are lined with tiles that keep the water clear, even on rainy days. This makes retrieving discs a breeze, so taking that risk becomes a little easier.
Cons: I really can't think of any. This course is definitely not for beginners, but that's not really a con. It's tough and it doesn't try to pretend otherwise and I appreciate that. I've been playing nearly a decade and this course beat me down. On hole #6 I scored +5. I haven't had more than a triple bogey in years! That said, it was a fair hole, and I did it to myself by getting into a bad situation instead of thinking about my shots.
Other Thoughts: We played in the rain and still had a blast. Tons of effort went into every hole and it shows. My next vacation is going to be up to Idlewild. Of course it doesn't hurt that it's so close to Mt. Airy, but I want several days with this course.
19 of 25 people found this review helpful.
30 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Certainly a must-play course. The course is wonderfully treacherous. This course is most definitely NOT for beginners. It takes a at least a semi-skilled player to have even a hint of fun here. Unless you're a beginner who enjoys hitting trees and throwing six times to reach the basket. However, it does not take a long arm to play this course. You will need to navigate your disc through and around many obstacles. Baskets are placed very well to make every hole completely unique. There is not a single hole that mimics the same shot from another hole here.
Set in the rolling hills and woods of Kentucky, this course is amazingly beautiful. If there was not a disc golf course on this land, I am convinced there would be hiking trails instead. I found myself taking pictures of not only the interesting island hole placements and fairway foliage, but also the walk from the previous basket to the next tee. The well-constructed, simple bridges and stone lined walkways, were indicative of a course that was very much made for disc golf. I couldn't help but appreciate the subtleties. Benches on nearly every hole, provide for a nice rest throughout your hike through the disc golf woods. Everything else is top-notch - baskets and concrete tee pads are in great condition. The tee signs are very detailed with basket placement. Also, they tell you how far out a dogleg or distinctive tree part way down the fairway is.
Cons: This course keeps you on your toes and is extremely difficult. This is great, but it's almost to the point of mental exhaustion. But do you call this a "con"? If this is your first time through, it is tough to navigate. Some holes are blind. Get the skinny guy in your group to run ahead to check out where to throw. But it was my first time to the course, and I made it through without any headaches. There isn't much to count as a negative against this course. I mean, this course will punish poorly thrown shots. You'll be looking for your disc often. There are no trash cans or restrooms anywhere. Those are common complaints, but I can't bring myself to count that against this course to make it anything less than a 5 star course.
Other Thoughts: This is exactly what you want a challenging disc golf course to be. Hole #11 has to be my favorite hole. You must throw through a Y-shaped tree over a creek ~250ft to an open, grassy hill. Then turn 90 degrees left and throw back over the creek another 200ft through some trees to an island green all the while taking in the incredible surroundings. Hardly a review goes by without mentioning hole #15. Easily the longest hole I've thrown, but it was very fun and interesting. I think they added that extra foot so that they could say they have a hole over 1,000ft.
My two buddies and I waited for a group of three to tee off and finish hole #1 before we started. We never saw them again. In fact we didn't see another soul for the rest of the round (except for the man mowing the grass back in the woods who stopped mowing so we could continue). This wasn't because there wasn't anyone playing (the parking lot was full before and after). It's because the course is on such a huge expanse of land. A few of the holes in the back, you are in the middle of nowhere!
This course is not perfect. It is the best course I have ever played. It must be considered one of the "best of the best." It is not a course I would want to play everyday. I would hate myself. But it is definitely worth a trip to check out this amazing disc golf course. If you care enough about disc golf to be checking out reviews of courses, you care enough that you should check this course out before the world ends. Let me know when you do, because I may come meet you there.
Check out the local burger place just outside of the park called The Dug Out. HUGE, cheap burgers with whatever you want on it. Definitely recommend their signature burger (aptly named the Dug Out).
30 of 34 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Small but steep and grassy Kentucky hills perfect for disc golf. Excellent, class leading signs and oversized cement tee pads. Lots of bridges make it easy to cross creeks, and water hazards aren't so deep that you can't retrieve your disc after errant throws. Favorite holes include a long (600 feet), and straight mowed grass fairway with trees and moderate slopes on each side (Hole 1), a terrific downhill forest hole with a basket at the bottom across a creek (Hole 13), and the signature Hole 11 with wishbone tree and island basket. Many holes feature grassy, wooded fairways through winding creek areas (2, 3, 11, 16), and others have narrow but defined sloped fairways in wooded areas (7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 17). Hole 15 is a monster 1000 foot meadow hole with a downhill approach that could be a signature hole by itself.
Cons: Some holes are a little too long and tight and have difficult, luck dependent drives (Holes 5, 6 and 16 are the best examples). Course design could be changed to create more holes by splitting up 5, 6, 10 and 15 into smaller holes (15 from the 400 foot mark would be outstanding). Includes a few too many very narrow uphill drives (4, 5, 6, 12, 18) and a relative lack of wide open or overhead shots. Few if any ace opportunities. A couple of navigation hiccups (Holes 4/5 and 11/12 interchanges) but decent overall.
Other Thoughts: Unparalleled challenge (the most difficult course I've ever seen, bar none). Does this make it a better course? You be the judge. Beginners would be discouraged playing here, but that may be an advantage to others. In my opinion, most would have more fun playing the Lincoln Ridge course a few miles away. That's what it's all about, right?
22 of 24 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 6 Not
the DG taj mahal
Pros: As just about everyone else has already stated, this course is phenomenal in every way. I'll focus on a few of the things that amaze me whenever I play this course.
Hole 11 is about as beautiful of a tee shot as a course can have (see the pic in photos section!). I jokingly think this course was designed around the Y-shaped tree in the middle of the downhill fairway. shoot through the Y downhill though the narrow fairway and hope to avoid the creek. After a 60 degree dogleg left, the hole finishes on a tiny man-made green with OB lurking everywhere.
The crazy amount of MONEY and EFFORT thrown into this park is unbelieveable! there must be a lawn crew out there weekly mowing and trimming around thousands and thousands of trees throughout hilly terrain. You might cross 50 (many unique) bridges while navigating the course. Probably 6 holes have greens placed in bends of the winding creek to make a moat-like boundary around the baskets. Round wooden or concrete shafts tightly hammered together make good looking borders for these "moats." This place has the longest concrete tees I've ever seen and the signs are amazing.
Cons: I actually get excited about shooting 18+ (playing everything as a 3). Idlewild does not allow many birdies. That's all I got for negatives
Other Thoughts: After the most fulfilling day of disc golf that you can have is done, you get to empty your bag shooting 360ft across a soccer field to the soccer goals on the way back to the car (I know I'm not the only one who does this!)--a great way to make sure that you've effectively destroyed yourself for the day. ahhh, can't wait to play it again!!
16 of 22 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 19 Not
one of the best courses I've ever palyed
Lots of elevation changes
Lots of Man made little bridges and islands
Incredibly well designed
Every hole is different
1000 foot hole!!
Cons: Not for beginners
Other Thoughts: I played this course for the first time and stopped keeping score at +9. My score was terrible but I was having so much fun I didn't really care. Frisbee Golf Nirvana!
9 of 28 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Pros: By far the most challenging course I've ever played. You'll need your full arsenal of discs and throws to truly master this course.
Great tees, and great baskets. Some holes actually have both the short and long pins in place at the same time - allowing you to choose which one you want to play, I've never seen that anywhere else.
Great flow, no big hikes between holes, and you will easily find your way even if you are playing alone for the first time at the course - great signage that really adds to the feel of the entire course.
One of the most well groomed courses I've ever played. Nothing looked out of place and each tree seemed to show you what disc lines were intended.
The man-made additions to the course add so much. There are many additions that add islands, OB, steps, bridges, benches at every hole, and so on. If you haven't played a course with these visually pleasing areas you'll be blown away.
Speaking of OB - You may have what looks like a great shot, but the OB on this course adds a whole new dimension to the game. Most amateurs may not want to play this course with the OB on their first time through...trust me it'll be challenging and fun just playing the course.
My top 'pro' of the course is that you need strategize your shots. There are true par 4 holes that make you pay for not planning the your next shot. This is something that most courses can't do because they are lacking the land and/or lack of design. Par 4 holes are rare to find and this course has plenty, almost making the game take a new shape.
there is a 1001 foot hole...
I don't think you could ever get bored here.
Cons: Some times the strategy element is taken a bit too far. When you need to play your next 3 shots to have a chance at 'par' it gets a bit over the top. You might get agitated if you are playing for the first time without people to guide you.
Other Thoughts: Great course - a must play just for the incredible new disc golf experience
It is fun as hell to play, and I'd play it all the time if I lived in the area
22 of 26 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: DISC GOLF HEAVEN ON EARTH!!
Very challenging and scenic, empty there was no one there. Very well kept, No trash anywhere. If you get the chance to play it do it. One you get there you will not have any regrets. It will improve your game.
Cons: The basket locations were hard to figure from tee unless you could see them from tee. Even with map it was confusing to understand which basket you would be throwing to until you saw it.
Other Thoughts: Practice throwing your straight plastic before you visit this course. It will save you some strokes. Make sure that you carry plenty of water with you. Suck it up and use the porta-potty if you need to before the round, you will thank yourself later.
6 of 16 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 18 Not
Pros: Idlewild stands out as THE most creative disc golf course design that I have played in nearly 500 total courses. Not only is the course blessed with great terrain features, but the locals are individuals who have put in massive amounts of effort to make this one of the best courses out there. Off the tee, players will find a massive variety of shots, distances, elevation, real risk/reward and several multishot holes which challenge a player to not only make a great drive but evaluate landing areas and make a great approach/putt for birdie '3' or '4'.
Cons: Both a 'pro' and a 'con', the presence of a couple of extremely short and straightforward holes add and takeaway from the course. On the positive side, these holes help make the course more accessible to a wider variety of skill levels who have the opportunity to match higher skilled players (by carding the same 'birdie') and to get perhaps a much needed ego boost to counter the largely beatdown nature of Idlewild. At the same time, I feel these holes detract from the experience of higher level players to whom these holes are practically gimme's and offer no ability to separate scoring based on differential skill levels.
Other Thoughts: As of 2011, Idlewild maintains a spot on the top 10 list and for good reason I think. The course has something to offer everyone from the seasoned professional to the weekend warrior or DGCR course-bagger. Competitive golfers will appreciate the challenging layout and opportunities to make decisions on the course about how aggressively or safely to play. Course-baggers will appreciate the utter uniqueness of holes and creativity which went into the design.
11 of 29 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 3 Not
A deserving five star course.
Pros: Where to begin? Let's start with the course itself. Amazing. Many top-rated courses are rated highly because they are in the middle of a well-funded park and are moderate in difficulty, therefore appealing to all. Idlewild is not one of these. You have to love the game and have supreme technical skill to succeed here. The course doesn't just pummel you with length; every shot needs to be shaped just right to navigate the often tight (but always well-defined) fairways. Hole 2 is a tight anhyzer tee shot followed by a lake carry; hole 11 goes down through a y-shaped tree before making a 90-degree left turn into the woods before crossing a creek onto a virtual island green, hole 14 is a brutal 450 feet uphill through encroaching woods; hole 15 is 1020 feet down a wildflower-lined meadow and over the creek; hole 16 has 6 forced carries over that same creek. I could go on and on. Even the easier holes are extremely exciting; they give a rare opporitunity to take a chunk out of your score, but they are not afraid to knock overambitious shots deep into the woods.
The land itself is beautiful. I have never seen a more peaceful place on a disc golf course than the shady green of #11 (and it's only about a quarter mile from the neighborhoods of Northern Kentucky). The "walk of fame" is a great tribute to all those who helped make disc golf what it is today. As for the park itself, disc golfers couldn't ask for more. Everything else in the park is out of the way of the course, and you won't find anyone who doesn't recognize that on the course, disc golf has priority. For a course of this caliber, it's surprisingly uncrowded, even on saturday afternoons in late summer. There's never any need to worry about getting stuck behind beginners, who mostly (for good reason) avoid this course. And it has the usual necessities for a great course: all concrete tee pads with very impressive new signs, weekly cleared and mowed fairways, bridges to take you over steep sections and the creek, varied pin positions (though never confusing), and the latest in baskets.
Cons: As just about all disc golf courses are either maintained by parks or individuals, courses as a rule are not going to be perfect. However, it's hard to find flaws with this course. Like all disc golf courses, it can get buggy in the summer. Discs that fly too far off course could be lost in the woods, a task easy to accomplish if you don't heed the slope on some holes. If you really want to nitpick, there are only a couple of porta-potties, as opposed to your standard park bathrooms. That's all I can truly think of. Many nitpicks about other highly rated courses don't apply here.
Other Thoughts: I'm not rating this a five to up its score on the front page. I'm rating it a five because it's the best course I've ever seen. Not sure how much higher praise I can give it.
18 of 21 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: Took me a few years of playing in Cincinnati to get the courage to play this course. I have picked many high rated courses on the disc golf trips I've had in the five years I have played and still haven't found one that I felt was "better" than this course. The layout alone would make it worth playing but it is also so perfectly manicured and in several places aesthetically pleasing as well.
Cons: While it is quite tiring to play this course I have never found myself wanting to end a round early or skip a few holes. The excitement from playing this course negates the lack of energy I might experience.
Other Thoughts: More people should play this course. The stops I've made for tournaments outside of this area I always find people that have been playing for a long time, have heard of Idlewild, but still have not found there way to the course.
13 of 28 people found this review helpful.
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