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.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Hidden Gem! Reminds me of Cedar Sentinels.
Pros: Tight technical fairways in a very nice state park with camping amenities galore. Tons of elevation. New concrete tee pads. Amazing scenery! Often, you can have the course to yourself!
Cons: Signage and a couple of baskets have fallen into disrepair. It's off the beaten path and there's a $5 entry into the park for Indiana residents, $7 for out of state residents.
Other Thoughts: While playing this course, I couldn't stop thinking about how similar it is to Cedar Sentinels. One of my favorites. The parking area is a ways down the road from hole 1. If you walk straight across the road, there's hole 15's basket. So, I try to start on hole 16.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great mix of all types of shots and distances. Great use of terrain and elevation. Tight fairways on the back nine really test your ability to throw accurately. Well maintained and very picturesque. Tee Pads are huge and gripy.
Cons: Could use some new baskets. The ones on the front nine are horrible and spit out shots that were money. Also water runoff is bad, however it is at a lake and all the runoff has to go somewhere, so I don't think this could be fixed.
Other Thoughts: A very fun place to play. Even though my scores were crap I really enjoyed the course. It is well designed and very challenging. If you happen to be in the area stop in and play.
3 of 5 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.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Signs and teepads were good. Park was nicely kept and fairways were mowed. Good blend of semi-wooded and fairly open holes. Flow from hole to hole was good, we didn't have any trouble navigating the course as first-timers.
Cons: The biggest gripe I have with this course is the number of doglegs it has. I think 9 doglegs in 18 holes is excessive and started feeling repetitive. 7 of the 9 are doglegs right, and some of these are HUGE fish hook type curves. If you are a RHBH thrower and can't reliably flick, then you are going to have some trouble. Several of these curves are just too big to anny around.
More benches would be a welcome improvement as well.
Other Thoughts: It seems like more thorns must grow in Indiana than anywhere else, because the thorniest roughs I've ever encountered (Patoka, Cavan, English) were all in that state. I'm not listing this as a "Con", because I don't think the fairways were unfairly narrow, and if you stay on the fairway then you don't have to worry about the rough! That being said, I would not recommend playing this course alone. With so many blind dogleg holes, you really need to employ a spotter to see where your throws go. You do not want to be stomping around in THIS rough any longer than is necessary!
We played a doubleheader of English and Patoka. They are completely different from each other and make for a good day of golf.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Why didn't I play this sooner?
Pros: Wow, technical city! Not a 'simple' hole anywhere; yet if you can place your drives, birdie opportunities are available on most holes. Several holes it would pay to be able to throw a roller; and there are multiple RHBH Annies that will be loved by left handers; and a little to the chagrin of righties.
Cons: Aside from a couple of holes, there aren't any wide opens with which to grip and rip. My only regret is this course were less than the 85 mile trip it takes me to get there...
Other Thoughts: While Idylwild and Bank Lick in Northern Kentucky are 5's, this course is a 4.5. The undulations are excellent; and no two holes are even remotely alike. If making the trip to this area of Indiana, there are some primo camping (some free of charge) campsites nearby; and, if only going on a day trip, then be sure to play the Old English course as well. Old English is on a ball golf course; so it's grip and rip the entire time!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautiful couse in a state park. Everything about this course is well thought out and executed. The concrete tee pads, tee signs, and baskets are in good condition (although a couple of them are rusted). The tee signs were very helpful providing hole distance as well as tree placements in relation to the hole and where to walk to the next hole. The latter came in handy fairly often.
The variety of holes and different shots are the best part. Uphill, downhill, around the bend, through the trees, across a creek... The usage of the land is very well done. Hole #9 is certainly a standout. 400ft of tree branches inline with the hole force you to throw down the hill so that you can throw back up the hill towards the hole. That said, if you throw off the fairway, you're going to be in trouble. I went in the fall, but I can imagine this being a bigger problem in the summer time when things are overgrown (only speculation). The fairways are very well maintained - in fact I was pleasantly surprised at how well it was maintained especially in the middle of the woods in the back.
Cons: What would make this course a 5 star (disc?) course:
-Benches throughout - it's a hike. You'll cover a good amount of land while playing the course. People may like a rest at some point.
-A water fountain somewhere out there.
-More accessible parking lot.
Other Thoughts: From my understanding this is a newly renovated course. With that I will make an assumption that they will be further improving the course.
After the first couple holes, it becomes fairly technical. Beginners might find themselves in the rough or hitting trees more than they would like. A couple of the short holes (5 and 6), you are literally throwing between small openings between trees. And the longer holes, you are hoping as much for good placement to set up your next shot in avoidance of obstacles as much as you are hoping for distance.
It's a great, fun course. It is definitely worth driving to and playing the $5 bucks to get into the state park for. I did. :)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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