13 Helpful / 6 Not
"I Survived IDLEWILD"
Pros: This is one great and humbling course.
This review is shorter than the many other reviews and they have elaborated the many pleasures and challenges of this fine course much more eloquently than I can. I don't want to repeat what the other reviews have already said. So here is my brief rundown of the features of Idlewild.
The 18 holes (soon to be 24) have as much variation as might be possible anywhere.
A good throw into the fairway is rewarded many times with another challenging shot.
The concrete tees are complimented with a bench and garbage pail on all holes.
There are multiple pin locations on many holes.
The walk you take to play this course would make a wonderful hike through the woods without playing. Playing the course makes the walk even better.
Cons: The only one I can think of is crossing the fairway of 11 after playing 16, however you are well below the flight path of anyone driving on 11.
Other Thoughts: It is truly the crown jewel of all the fine courses we are lucky to have in the CIncinnati, Ohio area.
It is not a short course, so be ready to invest ( and invest is a good word to use because you will be rewarded) a few hours to play one of the most enjoyable and challenging courses to be found. Then you can say "I Survived IDLEWILD".
13 of 19 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Concrete pads, benchs at every tee.
-Multiple pin positions on majority of holes.
-Some of the best landscape I've seen yet.
-Open and tight, wooded holes.
-A park with family atmosphere with walking trails, ball diamonds, soccer fields, picnic shelters...and neither interferes with the other...except on 2/3 but it's not a problem for either.
Idlewild is one awesome park with lots of risk/reward and every hole variation you could want. It plays slightly better for the lefty than the right-hander(in my rh opinion)...but it's a close call. It requires accuracy and distance to get a good score. The risk/reward is not necessarily with the ob. If your shot gets off fairway on a few wooded holes, it might feel like you went ob by turning a 4 into a 6/7...fairway is very important here. i won't get into individual hole details-see stats for yourself.
For a public course, it can't get much better.
Cons: -Garbage buckets overflow because of the mass traffic going through.
-Occaisonal snakes (land or water).
-#5 has a slightly unrealistic tee shot...just when you think you let loose on one of your most accurate shots ever...Crack!, you hit a tree.
Other Thoughts: Memorable holes:
#15...1000 ft., wide open hole until the island green.
#16...creek passes across fairway 3 times before long pin.
#18...just keep it in the center of the fairway and you'll come out with a 4/5.
I live 35 minutes from Idelwild and pass many courses on the way to play this one!
I think it deserves a 4.75 so I gave it a 5 because 4.5 is not fair.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 6 Not
What can you say that others havn't
Pros: I live 3 miles from one of the best courses in the united states. What can you say that others have not said. It is maintained beautifully. It has distance, elevation, and makes you throw every disc in your bag. Open, wooded, hyzer, anhyzer, overhand, forehand, roller, you need them all to survive. And that is the key to playing this course well. Try to survive and don't let it frustrate you. Everyone goes in the woods, you can't help it, but what do you do when you get there. Hero shots are eaten alive, and soon you have three 8's, three 7's, and a bad attitude.
Cons: If you are not experienced and have a temper do not play this course. It won't be fun.
Other Thoughts: Word around the campfire is that they are adding 6 holes. They are supposed to be in by late April. Most of the new holes will be after #2. Around the lake. I love this course.
9 of 15 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: Challenging and fun! Lots of different shot types. Signature hole is over 1,000 ft. Beautiful scenery. Not crowded. Nice signs. Shouldn't have much trouble with losing discs.
Cons: What's not to love?
Other Thoughts: The best course I've played so far. Seriously, if you are a disc golfer, you need to put this course on your wish list.
4 of 19 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 12 Not
From an Intermediate & short tees & Baskets (you may want to read other thoughts first)
Pros: as I step up for my first drive I noticed the VERY nice Houck tees signs (much needed since the last time I was here),bench,full size trash can and the good size concrete tee. #1 named "Bluegrass Parkway" (a;640',b;570') The very wide and long grassy fairway seems a little intimidating,but I've thrown 600' fairways before,why be?....the wind! The fairway is surrounded by mature trees on three sides. With underbrush on the left and cleaned out on the right. One tall & wide tree in the middle,I shot a 5. #2 "Got your "A" Game" (a;505',b;370') The right side of the fairway has rolling mounds with smaller diameter trees with no underbrush. The left side is obviously the preferred flight path.1st basket location is on the side of a mound before the paved trail.The 2nd basket location plays over both the trail & water. Shot a 4. #3 "Respect the Oak" (a;420',b;390',c;455') The 1st 2/3 of the fairway is open with the creek,lined with trees,on your left. My goal; get to the Oak,not today in this wind. As I get passed the Oak I see the basket protected by smaller diameter trees & all of the blood,sweat & tears put into the course by some very motivated DGers,Thank you. Shot a 4. #4 "For the Girls" (a;225',b;175') After walking the "Hall of Fame" path you'll find a somewhat tight fairway. Then opens up to a grassy fairway. Basket was in the "long" position. Which plays over the trail and behind a cluster of smaller diameter trees. Shot a 5....hit a tree off the tee & didn't play the wind correctly coming out of the woods,putt was low hit the basket. #5 "Can't drive 5"? (Sign bolt blocking part of the name) (a;510',b;360') 1st 1/4 of the fairway open, with the "landing area",as marked on the tee sign, just inside the tree line. Then goes uphill to the right with scattered trees and less underbrush on the right. Shot a 5. #6 "Daniel Boone Trail" (a;587',b;360') Very narrow (15-20') wide fairway with a small incline from the tee. Has a few trees in the middle of the Fairway. Shot a 5. #7 "Tori's Alley" (a;259',b;235') An even more narrow fairway than #6 (10') little underbrush the first half, on both sides.Curves right over a small slope basket is protected by 4 trees. Forcing a low canopy putt. Shot a 3. #8 "Green Acres is the place to be" (a;368',b;309') Tee from near the bottom of a valley,with the creek on your right. The fairway gets tighter as it slopes up to the basket,placed on top of a mound. It will give your disc back to you....it did me. Shot a 5. #9 "No Fear" (a;195',b;200') From a "high" point drive thru the 12' fairway over a "creek" to a hillside basket,giving a roll-a-way green. Shot a 3. #10 "I'm just warming up....Hoo Yaa!" (a;642,b;581') A dogleg right after a 235' drive. Then I'm looking at a 350' 2nd drive into the open grassy hillside. With the basket on the left behind a line of trees. Shot a 7. I'm renaming this hole; "Screwed". #11 "KY Gap" (a;500',b;457') A.K.A. The "Signature hole" A downhill narrow fairway with thick brush on both sides. Drive thru the famous "Y" for setting yourself up for your second drive....careful on your placement you gotta land between the winding creek. Shot a 4. Feeling good, hit a 35' putt! #12 "Thread the needle" (a;134') the name says it ALL, look at the picture! The fairway is,at most, 7' wide! Shot a 4. #13 I forgot to get the hole name (a;580',b;469',c;237') Somewhat Open fairway that tested my accuracy & distance. The basket is to the right. Shot a 3. I'll rename it "thankful for the "C" position". #14 "Heeey easy here" (234')? An uphill drive over a creek with smaller diameter trees on either side of the creek. Ace Run!?.... Not today,for me. Shot a 3. #15 "Air it out....And out" (1001') Since the last time I played the tall grass was let to grow,still 5' tall!? Damn! Anyway,I just tried to drive,as I did the wind took my first drive up then down before it reached the tall grass on the left. Mulligan! Hey, it's not a tourney and no money is on it. Tee off again,make it just over the first "valley". Then into the tall grass both on the left and right. Shoot to the tree line with the basket just over the creek surrounded by a handful of trees. Shot a 7...O.K. 8 with the mulligan. #16 "Land between the creek" (a;445',b;339') I believe this is the "Signature hole". When it's freshly cut and "Picture perfect" this is one of the most beautiful holes I've ever played! Ball golf quality greens. Play over the winding creek 4 times,in the short position. 6 times in the long position. Shot a 4! My .02.....rename it "Winding creek fairway"? #17 "Overdue for a Duce" (222') drive up a gentle incline with the fairway getting narrower as you approach the basket. Shot a 4. #18 "Y'all come back now ya hear" (651') Fairly wide and open fairway with more underbrush on the right. Hitting a tree before the first "ridge" on my drive. Then another tree over the "Valley". A few more times before I get into the open & the wind. Shot a 6. I believe that an 81,82 with the mulligan!
Cons: No Scorecards available. A few Footbridges need more support. #3 to #4,#9, 2nd bridge on #16. #13"C" position needs an inner set of chains. With the wind gusting to 35-40 mph the International airport was redirecting flights right over the park,Every 20-30 minutes. Low enough to read the Airlines name. New housing across the street? Alot more people using the park, Not as secluded as I remember. But with the leaves down your gonna "feel" less secluded and hear other park users.
Other Thoughts: First let me tell everyone It's been 5/6 years since I last played here. I have a noodle arm drive (225+,-). my approach,I believe,is the best part of my game. I'm good on my putts for about 30'. As I drive into the park,taking the first left to get the the parking lot, I noticed it's been paved. Portable toilets are now available,nice! It's a clear blue sky hitting 55 degrees and windy as hell. Constant wind of 10-15 mph & gusting to 35-40....it's gonna be interesting. All the leaves are off the trees and,as I tee up to #1,I notice the added practice basket. I decide not to take advantage of it and go to #1 tee. After your round take a right out of the park and enjoy the newly paved hilly winding road back to the interstate,about 15-20 minutes. A Thank you goes not only Fred Salaz & Bob Herbert for designing the course but to park employee Kevin Brasher for mowing & trash removal(As stated in LStephens review). I had a great time, even with the wind. I'll be back next summer to enjoy this beauty in it's full bloom. I'll play both the long tees & basket placements...let's see if I can keep my score in double digits!? Enjoy!
18 of 30 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The pro's of this course are numerous. First it is on an absolutely gorgeous piece of land with lush grass, what looks like a hay field, thick woods, ponds, creeks and gently rolling hills. Perfect disc golf terrain. The course itself sprawls over this terrain and offers you a little bit of everything and occasionally all of it on one hole!
The design goals of this course seem to be twofold, aesthetically pleasing and friggin challenging. Kudos, cause you nailed it. This is one of the prettiest and hardest courses I have ever played on. Each hole is individually breathtaking and distinctly unique from all the others with a wide variety in length and elevation.
Over the course of 18 holes if played correctly you will use pretty much every shot possible. FH's, BH's, long bombs, putters off the tee, hard hyzers, soft touch shots, pin point landings, and the bane of all novices laying up. This course definitely emphasizes hitting the available lines with accuracy and makes you put a lot of thought into where you want your disc to land.
This course also seems designed to mess with your head during putting. When playing the long pins you really need a steady putter due to the trouble near (or surrounding) some of the pins.
The tee pads are very large and kept in very nice condition. The tee signs were beautiful and very helpful. Plenty of benches and trash buckets available.
Elevation is used very effectively and is present on all but maybe 2 holes.
One of the main things I appreciate is how much work/love was obviously put into this course. Every bridge and walkway really stands out. Literally on every single hole you can see the work that was put in. Thanks to all of you who put in the time to make such a great course.
A couple of memorable holes for me without doing the entire hole by hole rundown since they are all memorable: #15, which after being mostly constrained off the tee allows you to bomb a drive finally, then you do it again! Open for about 900ft and then down a nice little hill back into the woods with a creek guarding the front of the basket. Really you get it all on this hole. #18, a great hole to finish on. Requiring straight shots through the woods and ending in the great wide open to a pin defended by two very large cypress trees. I also like #3 a lot, a downhill drive into the woods and the first hole where the stream becomes a factor. Once into the trees there are plenty of available lines to the pin. #3 is a very beautiful hole.
Cons: First off I realize that there are a lot of people who do not feel that Idlewild has cons and any cons I list should not detract from the amazing amount of work put into this course.
The day that I played this course was in late October and the course looked very run down, with debris all over the course. I felt like I extended my round by 45 minutes just clearing branches and debris off the fairways. A lot of the nice white bricks along the creek (which was completely dry) had fallen out and garbage was overflowing from the buckets and on the ground. Although the course was still very pretty it did not even come close to what I had seen in pictures.
I felt that the amount of OB on this course was very gimmicky. Hole #16 is a very interesting looking hole but really it is just a crap shoot whether you go OB or not. Hole #11's narrow green for the long pin is silly. It gives you pretty much no chance at running a putt longer than 20 ft without the fear of going OB. All in all just too much OB and a lot of it is manmade. If the OB was just the water (creek/pond) itself I think the course would play better, no need to add manmade OB.
A good portion of the course is just too tight, so many of the holes are just narrow paths that force you to throw very specific, short placement shots without any chance at all of going for the pin. I prefer wooded courses over open but these woods felt too limiting with low ceilings and close growing trees. On a hole like #5 where you throw to the landing zone (the only one) then up the hill and make your long putt or layup your approach, everyone does the same thing. It feels very forced and doesn't seem to allow for creativity, #6 is the same way, I threw a putter 3 times missed a 30 ft putt and walked off with my 5. Oddly enough my playing partner did the same thing.
Even though I enjoyed being on this pretty course I did not feel like it was very much fun. When I was done I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for shooting pretty well but no real sense of anticipation to play it again. Challenging yes, fun not so much.
Also as mentioned in previous reviews after finishing hole 16 you need to cross 11's fairway to get to 17's tee. Crossing fairways are never a good idea.
I would also have liked to see some water available on the course since it is a very long grinding course.
Other Thoughts: I was very glad that I had an opportunity to play Idlewild. I completely understand why it is held in such high esteem. I would love for Idlewild to be my home course because I think it can make a player better and forces more thought into a lot of shots. Although I did not have a lot of fun on the course I appreciated the challenge and the time that went into the development of it.
Although we did not see any Idlewild locals on the course every disc golfer we met in the Cinncy/KY area was super helpful and nice. On the day (a weekday) that I played, there were no other groups anywhere else on the course and the parking lots were empty which was pretty cool since it meant we got an awesome and popular course all to ourselves. By contrast we played Banklick earlier in the morning and there were probably 5 groups on the course at the same time as us.
I think that I am going to try and come back to play in the Bluegrass Open next year. I think it would be great to see the course in tournament shape with all the trees and grass in full bloom. I think that I will revisit my rating after that but as of right now I feel like it is a 4 disc/excellent course
24 of 28 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 11 Not
show me a better course, i dare you.
Pros: perfect tee pads
beautiful islands for some of the baskets, stone- sided creeks, bridges- really nice landscaping
nice, long shots
difficult routes on most holes
high risk, but great reward for accuracy
hard to really lose a disc(not impossible)
#15 is 1001 ft!
#3 is the sickest turnover shot for a RHBH thrower if you can get it in there
#6 will reward you for good throws and spank you for hitting trees
#10- the second shot would be a good drive for most people
#18 just goes and goes- seems longer than 650 ft- one of my favorites
Cons: huh? no way. this must be the pinnacle of course design. if you're any good at disc golf, this place will blow your mind. i feel like this is the first "real" course i've ever played.
Other Thoughts: this course is worth coming to from anywhere in the world. i plan on coming back whenever i can and for as long as possible.
9 of 20 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 11 Not
Now I See the Light
Pros: This course has it all - long, short, open, technical, hills, flat, up and down and even some water. Now I see why everyone is always talking about this course.
Cons: There is one criss-cross of a trail leading off on basket to the next tee going right through a fairway about 100 feet to the left. Other than that, nothing.
Other Thoughts: This course was awesome. My friend and I tried playing this course as our 4th course for the day, made it to hole 8 and had to stop but we hit it the next day 1st thing with a vengeance. This course is quite a sight playing at the crack of dawn and watching the sun rise in your face driving on hole 2.
9 of 20 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: "I survived IDLEWILD" this statement is associated with this course for a very obvious reason for those who have experienced this course. The course is full of challenging long holes that require good distance off the tee and very accurate approach shots to score. Idlewild is one of the few 18 hole courses where ball golf scores are typical with a 72 par shooting under par can be a challenge. The course is beautifully designed and maintained. It is a course I recommend any serious or rec players should experience, if you have not. The key is to not allow the course to beat you. Some bad shots can create high score situations just keep your head and enjoy one of the most challenging courses in the country.
5 of 14 people found this review helpful.
35 Helpful / 2 Not
I had a great time! I hope I can play here again someday!
Pros: For the sake of not repeating what's already been addressed, these are the things that stood out to me.
-This course is a very challenging course that was extremely fun to play.
-The structures that are built around the island holes, the Walk of fame, and throughout the course make this a very attractive course.
-All necessities are provided here. Multiple concrete tees, Great signs with maps and the course is well maintained.
-You will find long distance shots that require strategic placement, finesse, and accuracy.
-Very scenic course, that was enjoyable to walk through. I enjoyed shooting over the "Y".
-Every type of terrain and surroundings are used here. Wide open wooded shots, Narrow wooded shots, wide open field. Also included in this is throwing from an open field, into a narrow trail through the woods and vice-versa.
-The course is setup to allow for a quick 9, or the full 18.
-Multiple island holes that really made this course interesting. I am now a fan of Island Holes!
-Plenty of Distance shots. The immense 1001ft hole, three holes over 600ft, and four at 500ft. So you are going to want to bring your long arm, or have a strategic approach when you play here.
-There are no gimmes here at this course, you will need to figure out your lines and your placement. A long drive may not be the answer, You may need to execute a short drive off the tee, and worry about longer shots from the second shot.
-This course is not for beginners, and will challenge the professional Disc golfer. So if you aren't up for a challenge, or are easily frustrated, then you may not want to play here. This is a course for those that welcome a challenge, and get excited when they have to work a narrow line that weaves through the trees.
In my opinion, what separated this course from other courses I've played, was the use of long distance strategic approaches, Dogleg Par 5's and the incorporation of island holes. It requires a player to play smarter.
Cons: -When you finish 16 you have to cross 11's fairway. Any time you have to cross a fairway, and there is no "heads up", its a negative. I don't want to take a sidewinder to the face, because I wasn't aware I would be walking in front of someone's drive.
-I know that there is great signage, and there is a map available from this website, but having a map/scorecard available would be nice as well.
-The extremely tall Grass along the 1001ft hole on 15 is a disc swallower. If you go in, you are probably not going to come out. I'm 6'4 and the grass was taller than me.
-There are school activities that share this park. When we finished our round, the #1 teebox was covered with people. Watching cheerleading practice. ...a LOT of people.
Other Thoughts: This was probably the best time I've had getting my butt handed to me by a course. It was rough, and sometimes unforgiving. I'll admit it, I took a mulligan or two! ...or three! ;) Trust me when I say, it wasn't to help improve my +25 score. I had a great time, and I would play here again in a heart beat. Idlewild is a course that will challenge even the professional disc golfer. This course will bruise some egos. But if you are honest with yourself, and are looking to go out and have a good time at a top rated course, then you will have a great time.
Have a good time, and try not to get too frustrated. Enjoy it for what it is worth, because how often do you get to play a top 5 course? Have fun! If you have to, allow for a mulligan or two if you need it. This is a tough course, and you are not just going to walk out of here with a score under par. You'll have to earn it, and Idlewild will make sure of that!
There are places to eat on the way in, provided you are coming from the interstate. Just an FYI, when you pull out to leave the park, there is nothing for miles if you turn right. I almost ran out of Gas! Footwear, tennis shoes should be fine here, but you will be doing a lot of walking. Remember to allow for at least 2 and half hours to complete this course. On that note, bring liquids and maybe a snack.
Idlewild will show you what you are made of. I've read the complaints about it being too tight, too long, and I even saw someone complain about a couple holes being too short. I could complain about 12 being too tight. (I almost listed it, but I felt it's been addressed) If you choose to play here, then you accept the challenge of the course. If 12 is too tight, then all the players have to play the tightness. Ken Climo, Avery Jenkins, and RussMB will all have to face the same tight hole on 12. They can't avoid it, and neither can I. So, with that in mind, I say the best way to enjoy this course is to just go out and play it, and I'll say it again, just have fun because this is a great course!
35 of 37 people found this review helpful.
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