17 Helpful / 1 Not
Signature Hole After Signature Hole
Pros: -There is not much I can add to what has already been stated, but I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't give the course it's well-deserved review. Located only a few miles off of I-71, Idlewild is set in a picture-perfect family park with all the amenities and activities you could ask for. This truly is a park you can take the entire family to, with multiple soccer and softball fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, running/hiking trails, shelters, a dog park, and a fishing pond. I had read great things about the park, but I was still surprised to see just how family-friendly and well-maintained it was. The fairways are very well mowed and every hole is aesthetically pleasing and in pristine shape. There is an ample amount of parking, a porta-john, practice basket, course map, and local league/tournament information located near the first tee. This is truly a park dedicated to disc golf.
-Tee signs are in awesome shape, very accurate, and tell you everything you need to know, including hole length and pars from both tees. Each tee is dedicated to 1 or 2 HOF members, which is pretty cool. The tees are the nicest size I've seen, they are comfortably long and wide, giving you no hesitation to have a big run-up. The concrete is still in great shape, despite all of the use they've gone through. All but a few holes have multiple tees (white and red). The baskets are in awesome shape, and the numbered holes are Mach 2 and lettered holes are DISCatcher. When there are two pins set up at the same time for a basket, it is clearly noted at the tee sign. Two things I want to point out about the baskets: 1.The neon green paint makes the baskets stick out much better in the woods than if they hadn't been painted and 2.The fact that there are two different baskets just shows me that when adding new baskets, Fred wanted the best possible. These two changes in the course show its constant development, a huge positive.
-Navigation flows very well; I had a map with me but didn't have to use it. There are multiple times in the course where signs pointed to the next hole. There is some back and forth around the middle holes in the woods, but there are plenty of paths, bridges, and steps to help make it more obvious to which direction you go next.
-The variety and technicality of Idlewild blows away any other course I have played. There are chances to bomb your disc (1, 3, and 15), throw long lines through the woods (2, 5, 6, 10, 13, and 18), and play through tight lines and tunnel shots (7, 8, 9, 12, 14, and 17), and literally everything in between. The only thing that is lacking is extreme top-of-the-world type shots, but you'll forget you miss those shots at Idlewild. Elevation changes are still very predominate, and both the open and wooded holes have a lot of elevation changes. Some of the best use of elevation are hole 2's rolling hills, A's downhill shot, 3's downhill drop into the woods, 5's downhill shot into the woods then tight uphill shot to the pin, 15's rolling hills then downhill shot to the pin, and 18's constant gradual increase in elevation. Water also comes to play on multiple holes in the form of a pond (2, C, and E) and multiple streams that run through the course (5, 11, 13, and 16). The most enjoyable factor for me might of been the great variation of topography in many of the holes. For instance, holes that started out wooded and then played into the open, started out in the open and played into the woods, started out wooded and ended up next to a water hazed, etc. The best examples of these types of holes are 2, 3, A, 4, 5, 11, 15, and 18.
-Finally, the extra work done on this course sets it apart even higher. The multiple turf, rock-lined greens, abundantly creative O.B. and mando's, benches and trash cans on nearly every hole, sculpted greens on hills, rock-lined paths to the next tee - so many reasons that this course is as highly regarded as it is.
Cons: -Really the only con I can think of is that a few holes at the beginning play close to or over the road. Since there seems to be a lot of action in this park, throw with caution. However, there aren't any blind shots where you may not see people coming and this did not detract from my experience at all.
-15's grass was very tall, so if your disc goes in there it's pretty much gone for good. I didn't even bother searching for mine. The fairway is still wide enough to give you room for comfort, just be advised that an errant throw will most likely lead to a lost disc.
Other Thoughts: The fun factor is so high at Idlewild - I am a low-800's level player, shot a +20, lost two discs, and still had a smile on my face the entire time. Idlewild offers you a diverse challenge mentally and physically, I have never felt so mentally exhausted after playing a course. This displays it's championship-level caliber. Every shot must be well thought out and well executed. This makes the fun-factor through the roof IMO. It is in a great location as well, only 20 minutes from Lincoln Ridge and 30 from the Cincy courses. Idlewild also offers you a very scenic round with many aesthetic and technical beauties. Hole after hole after hole caught me staring in awe on the tee. While I could describe the amazing qualities of every hole, here are a few of the extra special ones:
1- One of the more open holes, but is a true beauty and elevation and trees comes into play.
3- This one might be my favorite hole. It probably gives you the steepest downhill shot on the course and plays through tight lines in the woods onto a turf-green. No easy up-shots here.
5- Pretty similar to hole 3, only it's an anny instead of a hyzer, and it then plays uphill once you're in the woods to a very tight pin position. Creek comes into play
9- Super tight line that plays downhill then uphill
10- 600+ hole that has a hard dogleg right after a tunnel shot, then plays through various patches of trees. Tough pin position behind trees.
11- When writing my notes, I simply put "Everything" for this hole. This is one of the toughest holes I've ever played as you start out throwing through the Y-shaped tree and have to contend with an endless amount of trees. Creek zig-zags back and forth and the basket is located on a turf-green which is mandatory to hit on your up-shot.
16- Plays through tight lines in the woods with creek zig-zagging back and forth.
18- A great way to end the course with a super long but fair tunnel shot out into the open.
Took me two hours to play the course.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: First and foremost, this course is immaculate. This is a huge pro in my list of many for this course. I do not recall one piece of trash being on the ground. The care that people put into this course on a regular basis shows.
Multiple pins on each of the holes with appropriate signage that shows correct distances to each of the pins are a big help, especially on the longer holes that you cannot see the baskets from the concrete tees.
Although I would describe this course as mostly wooded, there are a fair number of more open holes that do not require the same degree of accuracy for your drives. Shooting into and out of woods is also common on a few holes and well spaced out. Water carries are fair and there are multiple tees on some of the riskier holes for the less risky water shots.
The rough is not too rough (with the exception of the longest hole, 16?). Many fairways were well groomed and even though we heard the mowers while we were there, they did not interfere with our play.
Hole shapes range from short and straight, doglegs, double doglegs. Elevation came into play on almost every hole. Throwing over gulleys, uphill, downhill, over hills, no two holes were exactly the same.
Baskets are all in great shape, and there are benches on many holes.
Course flows nicely and the lettered holes are easy to get in as well.
Parking is more than adequate and it looks like there was a practice basket by Tee 1 which was a welcome sight.
Cons: I have thought for a few weeks how anything could be improved at Idlewild and I honestly could not think of anything. This place is a beauty.
Other Thoughts: I love this place. The sacrifice of an Ion on Hole A and a Valk on Hole 16 was well worth the experience of playing at this place. Going to make a road trip weekend next time and play the top 3 there.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: +the thing that really stands above everything for me is the distances. Most courses like this have a pile of 250ft holes, but Idlewild really goes against that grain and succeeds
+fake turf greens
+signs are top notch, current pin placements shown as part of the sign
+1000ft hole and its not even a boring one
+upkeep is top notch considering the size and number of holes
+tee pads are all super long
Cons: -navigation doesnt really make sense in several places. goes 1,2,a-e,3,4,f. IMO, just make it 1-27 or dont make the two styles flow together.
Other Thoughts: still on the fence about all the marked OB. creek is obvious, but the islands could be a real turn off for tourney play. I think making the islands into just greens would be best, but the islands do look very cool.
also having 2 baskets on one hole at a time is kind of confusing and wasteful.
absolute top notch course, must play for everyone
10 of 22 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 2 Not
Think Before You Throw
Pros: The Park itself is extremely large and very well kept.
The course layout is 2nd to none. This is what disc golf is supposed to be like. It is as if the park was built to show off the disc golf course, not the other way around.
The course has all the essentials. It has nice big tee-pads, accurate signs, a practice area and a portable toilet. The course also has lots of benches and trash cans.
The layout does an exceptional job of exposing the flaws in a players game. The use of angles, trees, hazards and change in elevation create a test that is tough but fair.
There are some holes that allow you air it out. Hole 1 and Hole 15 will let you fling it as far as you can.
There are lots of areas that are OB on this course. They are very well marked and the drop zones are easy to find.
There are lots of small things on this course that separate it from other courses. Brick walls on the edge of greens, nice bridges, island greens, brightly painted baskets, and nice landscaping are some of the things that come to mind.
This course isn't for a beginner. I played the long tee and long baskets just like I do every time I play a new course. This course will beat you up.
There are several other reviews that list each hole and the type of shots needed to play it. The point that needs to be made here is that the course will require you to "MAKE SHOTS" on every hole.
The course is difficult to walk and that isn't a con. It is just very long and the elevation changes require a good effort to play it.
One of the most unique aspects in my review of this course was that I felt that the course didn't put a great premium on putting. We all have played courses that felt like pitch and putts and your score was going to be determined by how well you putted. That is definitely not the case with Idlewild. My score was determined by the time I arrived to the circle area on each hole.
This course will make you think on just about every shot. You need to have a plan to play each hole. Now that plan may change after your tee shot, but a 'Grip and Rip' style at Idlewild will net nothing but high numbers.
Cons: I found a problem with a tee box or two being slick.
As stated before, there are different types of baskets on this course.
Other Thoughts: My kids had been talking about Idlewild for months. I can honestly say that the course more than held up to the hype. I was honored to test my game on one of the TOP courses in the world. It is a must play for any avid disc golfer. Bring your game and a strong mind. Only once in the entire round did I have a shot that I thought was unfair, but after hole 1, there are NO free shots either.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 11 Not
best of best
Pros: what is there not to say this course is amazing.
best tee signs I have seen yet
huge tee pads
bright lime green baskets u can see for miles
new holes are a great addition
pro caliber and will make you a stronger player
Cons: baskets are not all the same
wish there was a brochure for this beautiful course
not really much else to say for cons
Other Thoughts: remember this is def not a beginner or amateur course it will kick your butt so if you are looking for a fun relaxing time maybe this is not for you but if you are looking for a truly amazing all out course with everything this is for you.
3 of 14 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
This baby is top notch!
Pros: All basic amenities present in abundance! Multiple tees, pin placements, benches, trash cans, etc.
Cleanest public course I've ever played by a fair margin!
Attention to little details. Brick lined greens, astroturf greens, etc. Many small touches like this add up to a completely unique experiance.
This is a course that forces you to bring your A game. Don't play here if you're tired, run down, or just feel like a casual easy round. You will be challenged, and if you're on you'll love it!
Cons: Really, there are no cons. I could nitpick about non-matching baskets, but I don't care. I could complain that a few of the lines seemed like they required more luck than skill, but I don't believe that, I believe I need to get better. So really, the only con was that I had to pay out of pocket for a hotel room to play this course more than once.
Other Thoughts: I'm currently in Columbus for a few weeks on business, and after discovering this site, and that there was a top rated course within a few hours I drove down on a Saturday to play Idlewild and Mt Airy. I made the mistake of playing Mt Airy first and was a little worn out after the car trip and a round at Airy, when I got to Idlewild. Consequently I didn't shoot as well as I'd have liked, and decided to stay the night to take another crack at this course. After a good night's sleep and 2 more rounds at Idlewild I can safely say this is the course that I'd want to play in disc golf heaven. I live near 2 of the other top rated courses on this site, but I prefer Idlewild to either of them. All 3 are great courses, and maybe it's a case of the grass being greener elsewhere, but when I can play this course for free, as opposed to paying fairly big bucks(for disc golf at least) to play those other courses, Idlewild wins hands down. Seriously, this course was good enough to get me to pop for a hotel room out of my own money, just so I could play it when I was fresh, as opposed to tired. There are just so many memorable holes that I won't even try to list them all. If you're anywhere within a few hours, this is worth the trip!
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + Teepads: They are concrete, giant, and in great condition.
+ Tee Signs: Clear and identify all the important info
+ Scenery: The course is in a beautiful park and mixes woods with rolling hills. There are also some lakes and a stream running through the course.
+ Challenge: This course has it by the metric ton. You will need to give everything you have to shoot well here. It takes mental and physical sharpness and a good deal of endurance to be able to execute through an entire round.
+ Other: The course is so clean it sparkles. The locals take good care of the course and it definitely shows. 24 holes, multiple pin positions on many, permanent long basket on a few, long tees on a few, practice basket, port-a-john and water fountain at first tee.
Cons: There really aren't any and the two listed didn't affect the quality of the course for me in any way.
- Baskets: They are in great condition and really "pop" with the nice powder coat, but there are different baskets throughout the course.
- The letter holes have a bit of a different feel from the rest of the course. If I were to play here regularly, I think I would skip the letter holes more often than I play them.
Other Thoughts: I had the pleasure of playing Idlewild twice with a few area locals. Both rounds were doubles rounds and for someone with only a year under their belt, this helped me enjoy the course much more than if I had played singles. That being said, I have a great respect for what this course throws at you. Idlewild is a technically demanding course. You must think about nearly every shot you take and then have the skill to execute the shot with accuracy.
It is very clear that each hole on this course was crafted very carefully. While many of the windows are small, there are often many windows. None of the original holes felt forced into the course. They flow very well and play fair- very difficult, but fair. If you get off the fairway you will want to get back on, there is no forcing a throw from a bad lie at this course, it will only make things worse. If you hit a nice line, you immediately know and that feeling is what will get me back here.
I look forward to getting back to this course and seeing what kind of fight I can put up during a singles round. For any less experienced player who may feel intimidated from the pictures or other reviews: DON'T BE. Put a post in the forums or PM a local, you'll likely get a great guide. Locals also take great pleasure in sharing this beast of a course with others. The course won't be friendly to you, but you will be challenged and learn a lot about your own game and it's weaknesses, and that will only make you better golfer.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 2 Not
Making the Journey
Pros: Wow. Let's start off. This place is in the top 5 for a reason.
Teepads/Signs - every hole has a teepad which are a lot longer then most normal for both long and short(when shorts are there) along with a nice Tee sign with both.
Shot Verity - This place has everything you could really want, in Elevation, length, open bombers, tight wooded.
Great look - Some of the holes greens have the astro turf green that is great look. Bridges over the creeks. Bricks between the creeks/greens. There has been a lot of attention to detail used on this course.
Upkeep - from how the locals compared it to other courses I think it may have the best upkeep of all the courses.
Trash Cans- there is a bucket at every hole. PLEASE USE THEM!
Locals- They have a ton of them here and they are more then willing to help show you around the course and help you.
Cons: This place has two cons, which I think if they weren't in place it wouldn't make this course as good as it is.
1. There are a few times when you have to walk a good distance to the next hole.
2. Not the best beginner friendly course.
Other Thoughts: This is a great Pro Caliber course. It's the kind of place that beats you up, possibly takes a disc or two from you, but makes you want to come back for more.
I was told that there isn't open drinking at the course, as it shares it with soccer fields and other community stuff, but it seemed like in the wooded holes, it's not a huge deal to have a beer back there by the amounts of cans.
This place has plenty of other reviews that will most likely be more helpful, but you need to know this is a worth while place to come. We had 3 groups of guys coming from over 5.5 hours away to play this course and I don't think any were disappointed.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Worth the trip
Pros: Some quick highlights (scroll through the other reviews below if you want a detailed, hole-by-hole analysis):
- Amazing hole and shot variety: There's a perfect mix of short, medium and long holes (from 200' to over 1000') and multiple tees and baskets let you "choose your own adventure". There are open holes in a traditional park setting and wooded technical holes that reminded me of the best holes on the world-class courses in Charlotte, NC.
- Unique pin placements and hole design: I lost count of the number of island greens on the course, some of them in a traditional par 3 setting, but many of them were at the end of long holes, which require you to make two or three long and accurate shots to get into a position to approach the green. There are also several holes with a significant dog-leg which force you to make a perfect placement shot on your drive in order to have a good look at the green on your second shot.
- Elevation: The course runs up and down rolling, grassy hills and a large, wooded ravine, so you're always dealing with some sort of elevation change.
- Course condition: There are benches and trash cans by the tee on almost every hole, gravel and wood chips in all the right places, and I don't think I saw a single piece of trash or debris anywhere on the course. It's obvious that the people who maintain this course care about it and want to give people who play here the best possible experience.
Cons: - I played the course at the end of the Winter, after a few weeks of heavy rain and snow, so the course was very muddy and slippery in spots. In wet conditions, this course might be difficult to play for people who aren't in good physical condition or need to use a cart.
- Overall, the course seemed to favor left to right lines (long RHBH anhyzers or forehand drives).
- This is a difficult, championship-caliber course, so if you are looking for a pleasant walk in the park chucking Frisbees with your buds, this is probably not the course for you.
Other Thoughts: I've been hoping to play Idlewild for a long time, mostly due to its high ranking on this site and all of the great, detailed reviews already posted below. So, when I had to travel to the Cincy area for a funeral, I decided to come a day early, renting a car and a hotel room so I could try to get in a round at this legendary course. And, after a 3-hour solo round, here's what I can say -
Believe the hype. This course is a must play for any disc golfer, casual or Pro.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
35 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Idlewild is 24-holes of amazingly difficult, epic, relentless, big boy disc golf. Playing the long tees and baskets is a severe test of will, skill, and keen disc golf acumen. It's often better to hit a landing zone with a good placement for the next shot than it is to try for that little extra distance. OB, water hazards, dense forest, and great elevation all come together in one hell of a design that really hits all the high notes and keeps it coming the whole 24.
- Outstanding use of water. While most of the water hazards allow easy retrieval of wayward discs, a few hazards are deep enough to lose discs in (e.g., #'s 2, D, and E). A shallow stream twists back and forth among multiple fairways and island greens for a good portion of the course. Many greens are protected on one or more sides by water.
- Outstanding use of elevation throughout. Rolling grassy hillsides (#'s 1, 15, and B), steep bluffs (#'s 9 and 11), and the banks/edges of the multiple water hazards.
- Outstanding use of trees. Punishingly tight in spots, while never feeling unfair or gimmicky. The lines are all there to be hit, it's a mostly a matter of execution and smart placement for the next shot. Holes that incorporate defined landing zones include #'s 2, 5, and 15.
- Outstanding use of OB to increase risk and force delicate upshots around the several island greens. These greens are usually brick-lined, clearly marked by surrounding water and/or hillside, and carpeted in green astroturf. Drop zones exist in places for the OB around the greens.
- Outstanding tees. If you have issue with these launching pads, yer bonkers. The short tees offer easier shots as well as changing up the look of some holes.
- Signage makes the somewhat winding layout a breeze to follow. We played the long layout without a guide and, other than a brief moment of confusion when jumping back onto the course after restocking on water at the cars, navigation was a snap. Bridges and stairs in all the right spots make this course relatively easy to traverse.
- A good balance between super long (1000'+) and super short technical ace runs (I believe a couple of holes are under 200' even from the longs).
- After #8, the parking lot is conveniently located to the left through the trees. Perfect timing for a restock on beverages, food, and the like. Also, a great way to alleviate backups at the first tee: one could always start on #9 if several groups show up at once. The option of skipping the lettered holes and playing an easier round of 18 holes also helps prevent course congestion.
Cons: - Some of the holes seem fairly close to one another leading to potentially hazardous play. I was informed from in-the-know locals that the course isn't usually all that crowded, but it still seems a bit cramped in places.
- Idlewild is not a "disc golf paradise" if such a thing even exists. The course is ugly in a few spots (although overall it's pretty enough). I was fairly shocked that a course held in such high regard would have so much litter (albeit during the winter...I guess it's cleaner in the warmer months?) This detracts nothing from the actual play, but I thought it worth noting.
Other Thoughts: - Idlewild wasn't at all what I expected going in (without really having read any reviews or looking in depth at the pics) and I was pleasantly surprised at some aspects while being a bit disappointed at others. In the end, though, Idlewild instantly won me over and exceeded most of my expectations. This course delivers its own brand of punishing yet absolutely fair and rewarding disc golf of the highest caliber. Idlewild is a true gem.
35 of 37 people found this review helpful.
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