2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Patoka Lake is an absolutely beautiful course with tons of variety, seclusion, and terrific upkeep. Holes 2-18 are impressive from the tee and will test all your shots. The first 9 is somewhat open but with very defined fairways and several long holes mixed in. The back nine is among the best wooded sections I've played!
There's a full variety of windows to hit with lots of elevation to contend with. The beauty continues into the woods where you'll navigate through old horse trails, streams, and encounter unique evergreen groundcover throughout. This sections starts off with a bang on hole 9 (signature hole?), with the first taste of extreme elevation: 400+ft straight shot with a low ceiling down maybe 40ft, then right back up another huge hill. The lines here are fun and fair with only one frustratingly tight drive on hole 10.
The upkeep is really great especially considering this course doesn't get much play. The grass is cut WEEKLY and it's evident that regular tree trimming occurs. They use the many cedars to help shape the fairways and add some danger. Baskets are old (original 9 put in over 30 years ago!) but have been occasionally updated with new chain sections when necessary.
Cons: Because of the lack of play, the rough is rough on the front 9. Once you get into the woods, it opens up quite a bit. Tee signs are also very basic, only showing distance and par. However, this isn't a long course and baskets can be spotted without a significant march down the fairway. The lake sadly isn't incorporated into the design.
Other Thoughts: This course isn't close to ANYBODY. But if you're here in the summer, you can easily justify a full-day excursion to get a round in and enjoy the other park activities (and justify dragging along your non-discing friends/family). There's a great beach nearby with panoramic views of the lake. Near the nature center you'll find a few awesome hiking trails. Right outside the park entrance, there's a gas station selling everything you'll ever need (including champ molds of Innova discs!), a new winery, and a couple bar/restaurants.
I'm fortunate enough to have a weekend retreat near the lake. Otherwise this is a tough distance from major cities (at least 1.5 hours from Louisville and Indy). I've played this course throughout the year and it is always in good shape. The gate charges $7 per car for Indiana residents and $9 for out of state--well worth the price! It's free in the winter Nov - Mar. Follow signs to the course. You can't miss the practice basket on the left. Parking is just beyond that on the right.
It's possible to string together a few other courses while in the area. Dubois County Park is a strong 3.0'er about 30 minutes away. There's also a new course in St. Meinrad (Cupertino's) that's still young/growing but has tons of potential. Keep an eye on that one.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Quality course with good variety
Pros: You'll need a little bit of everything here. Bombs, hyzers, anhyzers, low shots, rollers (if you have them,)....
Despite the fact that you're in a pay park with tons of people, you probably won't encounter anyone on the course other than other golfers.
Cons: There can be lots of mud at the wrong times.
You are in the woods--bring bug spray. Not just mosquitos and ticks; I saw another player get zapped multiple times when his disc got too close to a nest of yellowjackets somewhere behind the #10 teepad on #9.
There are no bathrooms or water anywhere near the course.
Other Thoughts: #1--286'. Straight shot, almost flat (just a bit uphill.) Trees on either side of the fairway. The basket is right of the center of the fairway and has a bit of protection from the canopy if you're trying to come at it with a right-handed hyzer.
#2--290'. Basket is not visible from the teepad. You have trees almost right in front of you off the right side of the tee. The fairway opens but turns right around those trees. Go too far straight past the gap and you get into more trees.
#3--400'. Open it up! Fairway undulates a bit and slopes left to right. There is rough to the left of the fairway and the basket is at the back left of the fairway with rough to the left and a tree line behind it. There are a couple of large trees in the fairway but you should be able to avoid them.
#4--343'. Tricky shot from the tee forces you to hit a gap just right of straight ahead. Some can lay up just shy of it. Miss it on either side and you can be down in a (usually pretty dry) creek bed that is about 5 feet below ground level. Hit that gap and the fairway will turn a bit back to the left. You may have an issue with some thin trees approaching the basket.
#5--210'. Tunnel shot through a small path. It plays right to left. Keep it low if you have any hope of getting to the basket.
#6--200'. Similar to the previous hole as you're throwing through trees the whole way there. Hit one that redirects you either way and you could end up in thick stuff to the sides of the fairway.
#7--564'. Here's where things start to get tough....Walnut trees to the right and a wide cedar tree just left of the center of the fairway can affect you off the tee, and if you're lucky enough to get past that cedar the fairway narrows considerably. There is thick rough to the left and the dry creek bed/woods to the right the entire length of the fairway, which makes a gradual right-to-left curve. Your second (you hope) shot should get to the point of the fairway where it opens wider; however, there are large trees towards the end of the fairway that are major obstacles in getting to the basket. The fairway narrows again at the basket.
#8--217'. They throw you a bone after the previous hole, but there are enough trees on this one that it's no gimme, either. While you're out in the open, you still have to hit your line (unless you can just go way up over the top,) to get through to the basket. There are cedars on either side of the fairway, and just to make it more difficult there's a smaller tree planted dead center between the first two cedars.
#9--406. Buckle up, you're getting on the roller coaster. Your drive is downhill. You're throwing down what looks to be akin to a logging path with tall trees on either side that can catch your disc and send it god knows where. There is a stream bed at the bottom of the hill. The next shot goes back uphill about as far as you threw down on the first one. The basket is off the right side of the path and is pretty well hidden if you haven't set yourself up correctly.
#10--330' of undulating "S"ing narrowness. You're throwing down an even more narrow "Logging trail" than the previous hole. The fairway goes up a bit, down a bit, and back up as it curves to the right and continues to go up a bit more as it curves back to the left. If you run at the basket don't let it roll or you could go way past on the downslope behind it.
#11--230'--Curves to the left pretty sharply (almost a semi-circle as far as the fairway is shaped.) If you run past the fairway you'll be on a downslope. The basket sits at the edge of the slope and drops off pretty substantially on three sides. If you get one that rolls too far you could conceivably get to the water and be OB.
#12--280'. VERY narrow off the tee (with a stream running to the left--hit a tree and you'll be dropping in it.) Fairway opens up only to close again about 50 feet in front of the basket. It's uphill from that gap to the pin.
#13--280' but plays longer because it's straight uphill. Teeshot is thrown over a ravine that quickly runs uphill. Fairway isn't very wide and has trees on either side. The basket is tucked away to the right of the fairway.
#14--270'. Narrow fairway with trees to the left and right. The fairway is a slight "S" that plays left to right with the basket back in a clearing on the left side of the fairway. Potential for a deuce....or a six.
#15--280'. Straight, narrow fairway that turns to the right towards the end. If you can't get all the way to the basket on your drive try to stay to the left side of the fairway to be able to get to the basket without having to go through a narrow gap in the trees.
#16--308'. Fairway slopes and turns right to left about halfway to the basket. You'll have to cross a small ditch/ravine on your second shot. Do not overshoot the basket or you could be way down the hill.
#17--250'. Uphill up a narrow, canopied path. Stray from the fairway and you're in trouble on either side.
#18--200' blind teeshot. Fairway turns to the right about 2/3 of the way to the basket which sits in the middle of a clearing but is protected by tall, thin trees directly in front and beside it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This challenging course combines well defined yet narrow fairways with frequent elevation change for great effect and considerable fun factor. Fly along rolling hills, up and down through woods, across and along a creek, over ravines... Although a little more open on the front than the back there's good variety in length and shot shape with woods, abundant cedars and punishing rough throughout; technical ability is a must. Although most is off the tees, some pins add risk and reward with placements on mild to steep inclines; come up short on uphill putts and potentially suffer punishing roll-aways (9 & 12 particularly). Advanced players will enjoy the handsful of birdie ops and the few ace runs while beginners will no doubt find themselves frustrated by the tight lines. Nearly half the holes being moderate to dogleg anhyzers gives this course a fair balance, although the final 4 or 5 can leave you feeling the course favors these lines. However, the mix of straight, left and right shot shapes shouldn't lend to a lefty scoring any better. Personal favorites are #3 with its narrow gap, #12 being tight and straight along the creek with steep pin placement, and #13 with its uphill anny, rocks and protected basket.
Being a single loop the course flows well and is easily navigable. The concrete tees are in good shape and of adequate size. Half or more baskets are newer while some are 25yrs old; all function as expected. Various holes have good benches and nice vistas.
This course is in a recreation area adjacent to Hoosier National Forest serving disc golfers, campers, hikers, boaters, swimmers and yes hunters. As such $5 per car for Indiana residents and $7 for non is a reasonable entry fee. Patoka Lake is an excellent destination for a weekend with golfers and family alike, but if the lake isn't enough entertainment, French Lick casino and resort is a mere 20mins away - never mind Holiday World within 30mins.
Cons: Aside from a couple tees not being level there's little else negative about this course. No water nearby can be a con and the rough is certainly rough with plenty of thorns. There's no signature hole. And although legible now the signs are weathering and winter is upon us; some fresh paint will be needed next year I think. A few more benches could be good too; some might like to sit more between traversing the elevations.
Wear blaze orange after Dec. 1; hunting season is in!
Other Thoughts: The addition of 9 holes a few years ago turned this (maybe) 2.5 course into a challenging 4 disc experience. While I tend to favor woodsy technical courses I play Patoka mainly during Fall or Winter due to the rough; When grown, this course can be a prickly beast if you're not in fairways!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Super fun course with a variety of holes.
The locals are great:
-Superpassionate about DG!
-Care about their course. They work hard at keeping it in good shape.
Some of the best concrete pads ive thrown off of.
Course is easily navicable and flows really well.
Close proximity to in-laws provides me a great escape when im in town.
Cons: $7 non resident ($5 resident) fee per car to enter park.
Course sets up well for a lefty or sidearm thrower. Im neither.
Could use trash cans, however its a DNR park so no dice (carry your trash out - unless playing with your mom and she'll do it for you).
Could use fresh paint on a few boards.
Incorporate the lake!
Campgroung is close to a few holes. Camper kids might be present.
Notice my nitpicky 'cons'. Should tell you how good the course is.
Other Thoughts: Several holes are narrow! The rough is, well, rough!
Better have control or the course will eat discs! (Theres a Buzz and a Star Beast in the woods on hole 4 of mine, finders keepers).
After entering the park, head past the modern campground, you will see a wooden sign saying 'Disc Golf' on left, past the road going to campground. Park in gravel lot up on right. Walk back to sign and hole 1.
Help keep the course nice, carry your trash out!
Theres a nice beach in the park to go for a swim after a hot round.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice compliment to the wide open Old English course 10 miles up the road. Old English is set on a ball golf course, so that course is grip and rip. This course is technical and through tight fairways. Benches are on every hole, and fantastic teepads are as well. The scenery is fantastic. Hole #9 is amazing. Very easy to navigate.
Cons: By far the most right handed sidearm friendly course ever. At least 70% of the holes are HARD doglegs to the right. I know that most courses cater to RHBH throwers, so it is nice that you sidearmers have a course catered to you. That being said though, this course is a bit TOO catered to that throw. Other than that tho,not much I can say bad.
Other Thoughts: Well worth the $5 per car to enter and park in this state park. The course is well laid out, and it's scenery is good enough to stand alone. It is the perfect compliment to the wide open Old English course, so with that this course is a destination course, to be played with Old English on the same day. Highly recommended for an enjoyable full day of disc golf.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Patoka is a challenging, technical course with some nice elevation changes that is almost entirely in the woods. The front nine has well manicured fairways with a great combination of long, medium and short holes including one pro par 4. The back nine is a little shorter, but not necessarily easier. The fairways are tighter making it easy for the strokes to pile up. Overall, this is a pretty technical course that will really challenge your game.
There is a nice variety of hyzer, straight and anhyzer shots, but overall I think the course favors left handed and side arm players. As a RHBH player, that makes this a great course to practice anhyzers.
Navigating the course is relatively easy. The concrete tee pads and signs are in excellent condition.
Cons: The tee signs are attached to the back edge of the tee pads on most holes and might get in the way of your run up depending on how you're going to throw. I didn't have an issue with this, but I see how other people might.
There's a $5 for Indiana residents to play the course, but it's well worth the money.
Other Thoughts: New players will find this course very difficult with the narrow fairways, dense rough, and abundance of trees and evergreens. A more experienced player should find this course to be a great challenge.
I highly recommend going out of your way to play this course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is challenging, and has all kinds of different holes. With the addition of 9 holes, this course has a great mix of holes with nice fairways and punishing rough, and holes that play through fairly dense woods. There are right/left curving holes, and straight holes in a fairly good mix, which keeps it interesting throughout a round.
The tees are a reasonable size, and are fairly newly poured concrete so they are in excellent shape. The tee signs are very nice handmade wooden signs with par and distance for each hole. The signs seemed to be pretty accurate, and were easy to follow even when holes weren't visible from the tee.
The course is easy to navigate, it's nice when you don't have to spend time looking for the next hole. It also flows well, especially considering that 9 holes were added on after the initial design. It also seems to be well maintained, as all the fairways were kept nicely cleared, and all the baskets/tees/signs were in great shape.
Cons: This course can get buggy, especially in warm ant wet weather. Definitely bring the bug spray, or you'll be sucked dry by the mosquitoes and ticks. Though the fairways were well cleared, there was some pretty nasty rough on a few holes where it was pretty easy to lose discs.
The first time we came, it took a little looking to find the parking area, and then there is a walk from here to the first tee. Some signage, both on where to park and which way to head toward the course might be helpful here.
Other Thoughts: This course is a lot of fun, and accessible to all levels of players. It also provides holes that challenge all types of throwers. It has never been crowded when I have played, and the few people I've run into have been very friendly!
The whole area is nice, and provides camping, hiking, and water sports all in the same park. This could be a great place to take a family trip that would include disc golfing. It does cost to get in to Patoka Lake ($5-7), but this was well worth it for a fun course.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 Not
Great Course to Grow with
Pros: The course will give you a workout! The course makes great use of the surrounding trees and elevation changes. Hole 9 stands out in this regard as it is a 400 ft wooded shot over the creek. The course is all about placement for your next shot. You have to hit the gaps to shoot well. Shots into the rough are difficult to overcome (especially for a beginner). The course looks great except for some branches in some of the fairways, but that's unavoidable.
Cons: The baskets on the original 9 look very much like they were installed when the course was installed and some of them have issues (although for the most part I believe they have been fixed). The new 9 baskets only have one set of chains so be careful with your putting (keep it low). Left handed players and sidearm players will have an advantage as most fairways curve from left to right (although there are instances of the opposite). The ticks are bad in the spring and summer, but they seem to retreat in the fall and winter.
Other Thoughts: The pros definitely outweigh the cons in this instance. The locals put a lot of time into keeping this course in great shape! It's great to play the course in any season. It's definitely one of a kind! It makes me feel like a hunnert dollars every time!
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Went back for more the 09 Petoka Open was a great time. Upon my return I first noticed the cement tee pads have been installed. Good job guys. This course is very challenging. Lost of challenging holes of all varieties, seems to favor folks who are acurate with the anhyzer. Accuracy is very important on this course. The rough is some of the roughest make you bleed type I have encountered. My group lost 4 discs and found 5. Easy to lose your disc on many holes. It can be frustrating but it will make you a better shooter. Lost of fantastic elevation changes.
Cons: Couple tees need leveling bad.
Other Thoughts: This course is going to be top notch in a few years.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Will test your game! Nice course that is never crowded. It has been updated with an addition of nine more holes and concrete tee pads.
Cons: Still rough from the new addition. Stay in the fairway!
Other Thoughts: In the near future this course will be a 5 rating
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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