Hitting trees is good
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I hate to be the bad guy, but I have to give IOP a 1.0 Yes, I know I'm the lowest review (as of today). And I know it's a quaint little park, designed for rec golfers, and they clearly put some thought into it. But when I stack it up against the other courses I've played, I couldn't justify a higher rating...even though I carded my very first "ace" on this course! That's right, the course where I got my maiden ace is getting a 1.0 from me (this proves that I attempt to rate courses dispassionately!). Before I go through my reasons for the poor rating, here are the pros:
1. Very pretty, well maintained public park. If you are vacationing at the IOP or Sullivan's Island, it's definitely a fun outing, especially with kids, and it beats the price of any of the touristy things to do in Charleston (you can't beat free).
2. Easy to navigate the course with the maps available in the mailbox at tee #1.
3. After years and years of playing disc golf, trying to AVOID hitting trees, here the object is to HIT TREES! It's mind blowing, and not surprisingly, quite easy. Each target is a red flag on a piece of white PVC-looking pipe in front of a tree or sign. To hole out, you have to hit the flag pole or the object (mostly trees) behind it. So, just do what you naturally do anyway when you're out playing disc golf, hit the trees!
4. Despite being a rec style pitch and putt course, good for beginners (but not intermediate to advanced players), there are a few holes with decent distance to bomb drives.
5. I've gotta give IOP props for giving me my first ace, although I don't feel like it was a "real ace." I aced #1: 94 feet, par 2. The target is a pretty big tree. I took aim and nailed it, dead center, right above the flag in front of it. Yes, it's nice to get an ace, but without a basket, without that beautiful sound of the disc hitting the chains -- and instead the THUD of the disc slamming into the tree -- it just doesn't feel like that ace should count. Plus, as a par 2, which is probably right for such a short hole, it was only a birdie, not an eagle. Oh well, it still says "1" on my scorecard.
Cons: Lots of cons to this course:
1. First and foremost, safety is a huge problem on this course. It plays around the rec center, beside a playground, soccer field, baseball field, dog park, and adjacent to two roads. There are opportunities galore to hit park goers, buildings, windows, and parked cars. I can't see how they haven't had major complaints, property damage, or injuries. Definitely double check for people and property before you tee off, especially on hole 4, which is a blind shot around the rec center, right beside the dog park.
2. I was kidding about hitting trees above. I'm sorry, but that goes against everything that is sacred about disc golf: you want to hit chains, not trees. Not a fan of object courses, but I definitely prefer tone poles to trees. And of course, baskets are ideal.
3. No tee pads, no defined spot to tee off from, just "near" the previous hole's target flag.
4. The stated pars on the course are whacky. There are four par 2's, which is probably right for how short and simple they are, but there are also five par 4's and three par 5's, all of which should be 3's. Not a huge issue for me (it's kind of fun to shoot a -14), but just for simplicity, I would make it a standard par 54.
5. Some of the hole designs are just bad, bad, bad and dangerous. Examples:
- Blind shot around the rec center.
- Directly across the baseball field to a flag on the other side of the dugout fence.
- Over the batting cage (there's literally no other way to play the hole than to tomahawk over it).
- Behind the baseball field, with a road and parking spaces right beside it to the left.
Other Thoughts: I think you get the idea of why I gave it a 1.0. It's a fun beach activity, but not a serious course for serious players. I'd give it a 2.0 for the fun factor, were it not for the several dangerous, poorly conceived holes. Anyway, if you're visiting IOP, it's worth the notch on your belt to play it, just watch out for pedestrians and hit those trees!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
You'll have to excuse my friend. He's a little slow. The ocean is back that way.
Pros: This is a decent 18-hole object course. There is a lot of variety here, from a hole under 100 feet to one approaching 500. If you've got free time while at the IOP, not a bad way to spend 30 - 40 minutes.
- IOP Rec did exceed my (albeit very low) expectations. I was impressed how enjoyable some of the holes were. That said, with a course of this level, the good holes are mixed in with some bad ones.
- Among the holes that I did enjoy, I'll highlight a couple: #5 - 495 foot hole that starts with a (relatively) semi-narrow tee shot to a wide open mid-and approach shot to a target over the soccer field.
- There is good variety, at least when it comes to length and some of the layouts. Average hole length is 212 feet, with 10 holes under 200 feet and 3 more than 300, plus one more at 290. Throw in a couple of doglegs, strategic baskets near obstacles (trees, posts, fences, etc.) and you do have to throw multiple shots. If it weren't for tee shots on holes #5 & 11 (495 & 372 feet respectively), I played the remainder of my round with one midrange disc.
- Fast-paced round. I played through 18 in just under 30 minutes. You will need a map, which you can print online or get one out of the mailbox at the first tee, in front of the rec center. #10 & 16 are both short holes (145 & 144 feet, respectively) with targets protected by trees. Both offer fun, approach quality shots. #17 - 187 foot hole that offers a legit ace-run feel, protected by some tree coverage. Unlike some of the easier holes, you do enjoy parking tee shots on more challenging holes like this.
- Very nice park. The family really enjoyed the big playground while I played. The rec center was closed when I played on a Sunday midday. The park also features a dogpark, ball fields, batting cage and tennis courts. If you're staying at the IOP for an extended period of time, this will be a great way to occupy some time.
- The course designers did an excellent of creating 18 holes in such a limited amount of space. When the park is crowded, parts of the course could be unplayable. But, for the most part, credit to the fact that most of the holes don't interfere with other parts of the park. I'll also credit the park itself here. On the scorecards, they clearly specify to SKIP holes if it interferes with other park-goers. It's a good reminder to novices and a good reminder to others.
Cons: As much as I liked some of the layouts, there are plenty of below average to poor designs. Some are warranted due to lack of space or the terrain (lack of trees and/or obstacles), so I can somewhat justify those. Others are simply poorly designed. Of those, the three most glaring are #3, 12 & 13. #3 is a 290 foot, sharp dogleg left hole that plays along and behind the rec center. The hole plays too close to the rec center on the left, the road and parked cars on the right, and the dog park (straight), if you don't curve your shot. This course is clearly aimed at novices and this hole offers too many risks. #12 is a short, 115 foot hole that, on a map, is a straight shot. The problem is that between the tee and target is the batting cage. You're forcing basic players to either tomahawk a shot or throw around the batting cage. As for #13, the main problem is simply the tee's location, almost immediately behind the baseball field fence. For both #12 & 13, moving the tee spots would eliminate the problems. As for #3, I think a redesign is in order.
- Now for the boring, no challenge holes, there are plenty here. The stretch of holes from #6 - 10 should offer five straight 2s, or better, for average or above level players. As much as someone can ace an object hole (meaning I hit the target with my first shot), I aced #8. You know the hole is easy when this course is even calling that a par 2, so I guess I only birdied it.
- Not sure about the rec center hours, so restrooms and drinks aren't always available here. So, if you're travelling a long distance to get to this course, versus coming from the beach or a house on the island, come prepared, or hold out for 30 minutes.
- All that said, I can't criticize the negatives of this course too much. I'm not the target demo of this course, so it's not going to appeal to me. It should, however, be appealing to the novices and casual players.
Other Thoughts: IOP Rec Center is decent for what it is. It's the second object course I've played, so I don't have a ton of experience to go on. This clearly isn't the reason to visit the IOP. Once you're there, however, if you've got free time and are sick of dealing with sand and salt water, this is a good change of pace.
- This could actually turn into a decent to pretty good 9-hole course. You take the best holes here, eliminate/combine the rest and you could have a decent course comparable to 9-holers at Haut Gap or John's Island.
- As I mentioned, there are really only a couple spots to pull out a drive here. If you're still wanting to throw big shots, the open fields are a great spot to practice throwing. I don't know if/when the park gets crowded. If it's not crowded on a summer weekend day, not sure when it will fill up.
- For what it's worth, the rest of the family did give high marks to the playground. For the rest of you family guys, at least you won't be abandoning the family while playing. That, plus you're within sight of the playground and rec center the entire time, so you can get tracked down.
- This is a 1.5 in my book, albeit, a relatively enjoyable 1.5. Despite some major flaws, this course does have some good qualities about it. It's quite impressive the course designer(s) could build an 18-holer in this park, especially based on what they had to work with.
- You're only playing this course if you're a local, staying on the IOP or a course counter. I've come to IOP, and been within three minutes, at least once a year since the course was built. It still took me four years to finally decide to take the time to play here. That probably sums it up best.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Free course, easy to get to and play if your staying on the island. Also it is well maintained.
Cons: Very simple course, made for beginners. No basket just flags determining holes. Be aware that most holes go over baseball/soccer fields so on weekends it is near impossible to play.
Other Thoughts: Overall not a bad free course. Good to get out and play if your close to the area and want to play a round.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
great course for beginners
Pros: This is a great course for beginners.
Well maintained. Score cards avail in the mailbox with a decent map included. Trash cans and bathrooms on site. A fun course to learn the basics of disc golf.
Cons: Object course only, no baskets.
Other Thoughts: This course was and is intended for beginners. If you are a good player it can still be fun to play as there are many ace runs.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Okay object course
Pros: -maps with scorecard provided in the mailbox next to hole 1 (near the building entrance)
-all object targets are marked with a flag, nearly all visible from the tee
i didn't check but other reviewers claim the building has free disc rentals and a nice restroom.
Cons: -no baskets, object course
-little creativity or challenge in most of the holes, few obstacles other than people using the park
-tons of safety hazards: many, if not most, of the holes play over the soccer fields, baseball diamond, and playground. high probability of pedestrian interference.
-a few flags are difficult to see from the tee, particularly holes 5 and 10 (light pole and end of chain-linked fence, respectively)
-tons of bugs: mosquitos, ants, fire ants
Other Thoughts: It is nice to have this little object course right on the Isle of Palms. With all the tourists and vacationers in the area, it is convenient to be able to catch a round or at least do some field practice without having to drive to the other side of Charleston.
That said, this is not much of a course. Most of the holes are very short. Few of them offer any obstacles. If there are people using the other park facilities you may have to skip some holes. Object targets means easy putting and low scores so it's a good place to bring beginners. Advanced players will be bored to death here.
Bottom line is that this place is for the casual player on vacation on the island or the course bagger. If you have a chance to get around Charleston and play some real golf, head to Trophy Lakes on John's Island (west of the city) for a real gem of a course.
**Like this review? Hate it? Message me and let me know why! I want to make them better!**
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Nice Rec Park...Forgettable Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is an absolutely beautifully maintained recreational park.
Great warmup fields available everywhere.
Nice restrooms on site.
Can borrow a disc from the Rec Dept if you want to introduce a friend to the sport. They also provide nice high quality scorecards with a course map - look for the mailbox near the Rec Dept entrance...that is the first tee.
Tons of ace runs.
Course is evidently an Eagle Scout project, which is in itself pretty cool
Cons: Most of the holes are way too short and par is very overly generous. It takes hard work to make a bogey. Only a few chances to throw anything other than a putter.
No baskets...its really disappointing to actually use trees/poles/signposts as a target.
No tee pads.
Very congested area that seems to often require you to skip holes. Hole 5 actually crosses the soccer field, while others cross the baseball diamond. The layout does not take into account how busy the area can be, and other park patrons don't seem to realize that there is a disc golf course. One guy actually picked up my disc and tossed it...
To the course designers' credit, the scorecards clearly state to skip holes if there is a chance of interference which was really good forethought and at least acknowledges some of the course flow issues.
Multiple holes require throws uncomfortably close to the playground which can be dangerous if it is being used by children. Hole 2 is the biggest offender here.
Other holes are uncomfortably close to the building's windows and to streets with parked cars.
Other Thoughts: Take this course at face value. It is a purely recreational course made with what appears to be basically no budget. Its not bad for practicing short approach putts, but don't take it too seriously. And don't overthink the overly inflated "par" for most of the holes...just enjoy the walk in the park.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
18 Hole Family Fun!!!
Pros: *The course is really well maintained.
*The course is very easy to navigate.
*You can borrow disc from the main office for free.
*The course has nearby restrooms and playground for the kids.
*The hole over the soccor field is around 450ft, offering a decent challenge.
Cons: *NO BASKETS........this course uses trees with flags on them. To hole out, you must shoot at tree trunks.
*There is no challenge for an advanced player, some holes are as small as 80ft.
Other Thoughts: Although there are NO BASKETS, they use trees. I still found this to be a nice place to practice my drives. The soccer field was completely empty when I played, therefore I used that space to work on my distance drives.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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