A Rustic Gem That's Worth The Drive
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pike Lake is a largely technical course that maximizes its beautiful surroundings for a hike and a round that the player will remember for a long time. The surroundings are top-notch, as the course is nestled into a rocky, rustic hillside with a stream that runs alongside. Of the 70+ courses I've played, Pike Lake is the most aesthetically pleasing location I've had the good fortune to enjoy. With the mature trees overhead and the sound of the water rushing past, it's easy to forget that you're playing a round of disc golf, which integrates unobtrusively into the landscape.
And that golf is pretty good too, really shining when playing up, down, and alongside a steep hillside on Holes 3-7. The significant elevation changes are exciting, as is Hole 4's high-risk putt to the hill's steep edge. Other course favorites include Hole 12, a long, sweeping beauty that allows big arms to air it out downhill in the forest on an otherwise tightly wooded configuration, and Hole 15, which plays straight ahead and over the gently curving OB stream, feeling almost like an Idlewild 16 in miniature. The elevation and obstacles provide enough to keep the player having fun throughout, even if the general hole design is roughly the same, adjusted for length (more on that under cons).
The course has been quiet and low traffic each time I've visited here, amplifying the rustic atmosphere and natural beauty. I get the sense that because of its remote location, this 18 rarely sees a large number of people.
Each hole features a long concrete teepad and usually a short natural teepad as well, a simple but detailed tee sign with hole diagram, and a Chainstar in good repair.
A permanent outhouse stands near the parking lot.
Cons: While the design is interesting and fun due to the elevation, OB, and trees, most holes play either straight ahead or finish to the right at varying lengths, heavily favoring RHFH and LHBH players. Although there's a lot of variety from tee to pin, a RHBH player may get tired of frequent anhyzer approaches. Also, the course ends with a whimper instead of a bang, as the campground style Holes 16-18 are a bit of a letdown from the earlier elevation and creekside juiced winners (but still fun in their own right).
The walk between Hole 10 and 11 is confusing, even with a map. Basically, backtrack along Hole 10 on the basket side of the stream and follow the next tee sign on the hiking trail board. From there, follow the natural trail some distance to the Hole 11 teepad.
The concrete tees vary in size, ranging from extra large on the road level to pretty small in the hills. This could make for some uncomfortable or abbreviated runups.
Although Pike Lake has short and long tees, the natural red tees can be considerably difficult to find and are likely not worth trying to play.
Other Thoughts: UPDATE 9/20/16 -- I've lowered my rating somewhat after realizing that I overvalued Pike Lake slightly as a noob. After playing other 4.5 disc courses, this one doesn't quite hold that weight. I've adjusted down to a 4.0.
Pike Lake is my favorite course in Ohio, as it blends everything that initially attracted me to disc golf in one fantastic package: hiking, natural beauty, and enjoyable play. Aesthetics give the course a big boost here, but the golf is better than most, and even the less exciting holes (like the campground style finishers) are high fun factor. Take the time to drive to rural Ohio for this one.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
A Land of Mossy Stones
Pros: Situated in a remote, rustic park in south central Ohio, it amazes me the quality of infrastructure that has gone into making the Pike Lake disc golf course, making it an enjoyable one to play. Kudos to the club / organization that is promoting disc golf in the Hillsboro - Chillicothe region!
For example, because this course runs up and down wooded hills for about 2/3rds of the holes, bridges across creeks and wooden staircases (with shingles for the treads adding traction in moist or, ahem, icy conditions - thanks!) have been added where needed. The tees that are in level areas are huge trapezoids of concrete, and the baskets are quality 24 chain types with reflectorized bands visible over the distances required. Up on the hillsides, the long tees are concrete pads bordered in landscaping timbers, and are as good as should be expected, considering the haulage required to get those materials up those hills. This course has some of my favorite tee signs: the etched pvc style that include tee, fairway, and basket positions, plus some of the key obstacles. There are benches and trash cans where needed, and the course sits relatively separate from the other activities (nature trail, playgrounds, shelters, etc.) for the rest of the family. There are even year-round bathrooms (well, OK, it's just an outhouse, but that's better than some parks that lock up the bathrooms for the winter).
The course itself will challenge the Recreational to Intermediate disc golfer with holes ranging from 168 to 540 feet in length, though 11 are between 200 and 261 feet. There are not many opportunities for big arms to show off here, but technical skills, and especially the ability to carefully fade a medium length tee shot to the right, are a must. I kept saying to myself, "a lot of these baskets are just to the right, and just out of sight" from the tees. That's not to say that there aren't some beautiful downhill shots to be loved by noodlearms like myself. There's an ace run downhill on #7, a longer downhiller to the right on #14, and the #12 signature long tee is visible as you go up the #11 fairway (look to your left). When we played our Fall traveling league here in September, I felt like just watching the whole group ahead of us tee off down the beautiful 540' ravine!
The course flows nicely to the west for nine holes and to the east for the back nine, and there are creek-crossers, ridge runners, and the aforementioned downhillers. An enjoyable course!
Cons: The course does have a preponderance of mossy stones, and places you want to watch your step.
But the biggest challenge is that Pike Lake needs a really nice map done up, and more next tee signs added (for new players: I nearly got lost a couple of times on my second visit, despite it being winter and visibility was great). There are about three signs indicating the location of the short tees, but there are theoretically 11 short tees. The ones you can find are somewhat dilapidated landscape-timbered boxes. And, on your first visit, you will need a sherpa to help you get from the 10th basket to the 11th tee.
The teepads up on the hills are actually too small (but I can't blame them much: I wouldn't relish the idea of getting the materials in place here!)
Other Thoughts: There is a practice basket and a course sign which includes technique and disc tips, but no course map!
This is really a beautiful place to play disc golf when there is water rippling through the rocky streambeds. It is really serene in the winter. I'm sure it's a nice cool spot to play in the heat of the summer because of the solid canopy of trees overhead.
This park is really pretty remote, and you'll traverse a lot of small, winding roads to get here, but it's worth a visit!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun and Challenging
Pros: -A long course with a mixture of short, medium, long holes.
-Concrete tee pads are always a plus
-Good hole information at the tee box
-Short and long tee pads
Cons: -Potential to lose a disc on some risk/reward holes
-Can be crowded at times, but expected being such a nice course
Other Thoughts: This a fun, scenic course with many different types of holes that will challenge any player. Lots of elevation changes that will test your tee shots and your putts. A creek runs throughout the course that can get dry in the summer, fun to play around. Camp store located near by with a few beginner discs on sale. If you're looking to throw from the short tee pads, they are not concrete. If they were, the course would easily be a "5" for me. All in all, a must play course if you are in the area or passing through.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice course off US 50
Pros: One notable thing about the course is its protection from the elements. Nestled among mature woods in an Ohio State Park, Pike Lake plays to either side of the park road in a valley and also into the protective hills that line both sides. There are creeks, ravines, and elevation variations tee to basket that can be slick when wet but are generally protected from all but strong winds. I've played the course about 5-6 times and would say it's a favorite of mine.
Play is generally below the mature canopy growth and is just a good ole trek though the woods. The shade cuts down on the thickness of the undergrowth so you can generally find your discs. It's also a hike with a couple huff and puff elevation changes to get your aerobics in, but nothing too demanding. There are a few well-placed anchored steps and bridges that may be slick when wet but are a vast improvement to having to trek the same as dirt paths and down into creeks when wet.
There is ample parking, and a park store that has food, refreshments, discs and scorecards. Navigation is fairly straightforward but it's nice to have the scorecard to get from #10 basket to #11 tee. The tee pads are concrete and might be short for some. All the holes have nice placards but information may vary from the scorecard's listing on distances and par. The front and back nines both begin and end near the parking.
Cons: Footing in many places can be deceptive as play goes across many dry (usually dry) creek beds. There seem to be brick to loaf of bread size rocks well out of the creek beds popping out across the course at every turn, so pay attention where you're stepping. I've also played Pike Lake with the creeks raging with the real chance of loosing discs and going down stream personally 200-300ft while trying to get your footing if you fell in.
Other Thoughts: This review comes after playing on a beautiful dry fall afternoon in the low 70's.
There is a picnic awning with playground and primitive toilets all near the begin/end parking area. Pike Lake itself is small but they have boat rental and a beach as well as camping nearby.
Bainbridge is in beautiful Paint Valley that is the western edge of Appalachia and 70 miles or so east of Cincinnati, 20 miles west of Chillicothe on US 50. Pike Lake is about 6 south of Bainbridge. You might want to also take in Rocky Fork South Beach Course about 20 west of Pike. Paint Creek State Park is expanding their disc course (from 21 to 24 holes in 2015) near the campground. Paint Creek is roughly between Pike Lake and Rocky Fork also not far off US 50. Paint Creek has matured and now makes this region worth making a day of it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Carolina-style Disc Golf in the North
Pros: Plenty of elevation change, plenty of different shots to throw. Nothing really wide open -- if you're going to throw a big drive, you'd better be able to control it. Pike Lake is a course that makes you control where the disc is going -- or be able to get out of trouble when you find it (which you will). Easy to navigate with a couple of exceptions (noted below).
Absolutely beautiful park with plenty to do if you're camping here. The general store has an impressive selection of discs available, including Vibram and Lat 64 (if I'd had the money, I'd have left there with a River at the very least), plus minis, bags, and Golden Retrievers. Prices are a bit higher than you'll find online, but that's to be expected.
Editing because I forgot to mention -- the front nine ends back at the parking lot, so you can either play 9 or 18, and you can start on either the front or back nine. MAJOR plus in my book.
Cons: If it's rained recently (as in, in the last three or four days), the course will be muddy. When wet, the tee pads can be a bit slick, and the wooden stairs that have been VERY thoughtfully provided can be a little slick, too. There are shingles nailed down to help you out, but the ONE HOLE (#7) that didn't have shingles on the wood is the one I slipped and fell on -- just be advised on this, this doesn't take away from the course at all; the course can't help it that I was a klutz.
Had a problem between #10 and #11 -- somehow I ended up playing #13 and skipping 11 and 12 entirely. I realized it when I got to the 14th tee, and went back and corrected this error, but a next tee sign would have been helpful (if there is one, I didn't see it). Had I not seen the 13th tee, I would have checked my map and probably have been ok -- just make sure you're on the right hole after you play 10 and you'll be ok.
The short tees are not concrete, and are often hard to find (even though they're labeled on the tee signs). I had already decided to try the blue tees, but for someone wanting to play the shorter tees this could be an issue.
I thought that #8 was a dangerous hole. It plays along a park road, which in itself isn't really an issue; I've played courses with holes along park roads before. If you look at the tee sign and the hole layout, though, the road runs through the fairway, pretty much all the way to the basket. I hate to complain about the hole (especially since I birdied it), but there's got to be a better way.
Other Thoughts: After over a year of playing disc golf, I FINALLY play a course in my home state. I'm glad I chose Pike Lake -- the layout, the use of elevation, and the number of trees really reminded me of Reedy Creek at times (though Reedy Creek has better-defined fairways than Pike Lake). The course is a LOT of fun, and can be pretty challenging - especially to beginners. This course may be enough to actually get me to camp.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) Pike Lake is a beautiful Ohio state park course. The layout takes advantage of the many hills, streams and scenery of the area. The park itself was well kept and clean.
2) Holes have great use of elevation. I was worried when I did my research that this course's short length may leave me disappointed in having too many easy birdie holes but I have never had to fight so hard to get par on so many of the holes here.
3) Great signature hole 12. Plays off a platform midway up the mountain to a huge downhill "gully" dogleg right, over 500 feet. Hole 15 is pretty good too.
4) Tee signs are basic and durable (some tee signs are just a mess these days) and present on every hole.
5) Benches are placed throughout the course.
6) I can't imagine this course gets backed up at all except in tournaments?
7) ALL the LONG TEES have concrete (they look freshly poured?) Others have said only some were present but I counted 18 concrete tee pads.
8) Restrooms were clean.
Cons: 1) Tee Pads from the SHORT locations are either A) in bad condition and mostly made of gravel B) a simple log that says short tee C) non-existent D )when they are placed; their locations make each hole significantly easier. The designer probably had in mind the very causal family player here for just a weekend?
2) The concrete tees from the LONG PADS were short in actual size and sometimes "trapezoid" shaped versus a true rectangle. (I guess minimal environment footprint was the idea here?) I didn't need the extra step on my drives but my friends did. I was just happy a State park had concrete tees.
3) Of any course I have ever played this is the most Lefty or LHBT friendly course ever. With at least 7, I believe 9 holes that have tough dogleg rights and maybe 2 that were dogleg lefts it kind of felt unbalanced. It was great to throw tons of forehand throws but a LHBT would have higher percentage on some of those holes for birdies that would just take a killer forehand to mimic.
4) There is no posted OB that on at least 3 of the holes (2 with roads, 1 with a creek) I believe would make those holes so much more interesting if there was OB posted beyond those markers.
5) I know some people like the long country Amish drives but this place is another one of those courses that is like 35 minutes from any reputable highway and at least 20 minutes from your local convenience store.
6) Trash cans were sparse on the course.
7) Hole 10 to hole 11 is tricky to find
Other Thoughts: Pike Lake is a great course. I would recommend this course and venture to say its in the top ten of all of Ohio. Each hole has a great fun factor and feels different then the other state park wooded courses I have played. It is a hike to get there but definitely has the grounds to be a great disc golf camping destination.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Great And Fun Course
Pros: This course is just great but fun at the same time. It is located in a nice state park that gets alot of people. So far all of the courses that i have played in state parks are nothing but pure fun. This course was amazing, starting with the first hole and ending with the last. I have no idea where to begin, this course just has too many good things. Well might as well start with the sign at the tee. The sign shows exactly where the pins location is. Some courses that i have played dont show the location so you have to look all over for it. That is definately not the case here. Then they show the par like most courses. Then they give the distance. Also on there thay have the red tee placement. This is good so that if your playing from the red tee you know exactly where to throw from. Well that brings me to the multiple tees that they have. The red tee is nice so that if you are less expierenced you can just throw from there. If you are more expierenced you may throw from the blue tee. The one main thing i liked was how they had an orange sticker on the inside part of the pin. That made it easier to see when you got into very wooded areas. This is not a too challenging course. Some holes are a little bit harder while others are easier. This is the case at most courses. The one thing that i like most is the concrete launch pad. Not every hole has a concrete launch pad, but for the most part they do have them. Even when they dont have one they will have rocks down so that it is easy to throw on. It is very easy to navigate your way through this course. As i always do when i go to a new course. But that really is not needed here. The vegitation is nice here. They have got alot of it. Many courses dont but this one really does. The elevation changes are great. Not every course has them, but this one really does. The parking lot is right by the first hole and the last, so that at the end when your tired you can just go straight to your car. The shelter and the water fountain in between the first and the last hole is nice. This course is well taken care of. There are no big tree limbs hanging out in the middle of the fairway. It is very clean throughout the course. Also on the holes with grass as the fairway, the grass is cut neatly and very often. Not two holes are the same. By this i mean every hole is different. There are no two holes that are exactly alike. They all challenge you in a new and different way. Wow well it made me tired thinking of all the pros for this course, so it must be easy for the little amount of cons that we will have.
Cons: Well where better to start than the launch pads. Not every hole has a concrete launch pad, so it can be different. This really didn't effect me, but others it might. On the sides of the holes that are deeply wooded there are just long leaves. This makes it somewhat hard to get through there to find your disc. None of the pins have a number on them representing what hole the pin goes to. There is water in play on many holes. Good thing that when i went there had not been rain in a while. So if you go right after it rains you better be very careful. Well i really cant think of anything else bad to say about this course, it is just a great and fun course.
Other Thoughts: Well what a course this is. I live a couple hours away from this course. I will be back within a few months. Hey while i was there i lost a couple of discs. I lost an innova orange champion beast and an innova pink dx eagle. I lost both of them on the seventh hole here. I was just throwing all of my discs trying to ace it and it was getting dark so i just left them. So if you find them could you just contact me. Well now lets get back to the actual course. Hole #7 was my favorite. You drop about seventy-five feet. It really is an amazing hole. I bet it has been aced many times. So i hope you enjoy this course as much as i did. Like i had said earlier i will be back soon and i hope to see all of you there too.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Love this course
Pros: Great Variety of shots
Good for Beginners and Experienced players
Well Maintained Course
Cons: I don't consider this a Con although some people might . The course is almost entirely wooded
At certain times of the year you can be overrun by insects
Easy to lose discs
Other Thoughts: This course is just about neck and neck with Brett Hambric as my favorite Ohio Course. Almost Entirely wooded, it can be dangerous navigating some of the terrain especially after it rains. It has a great mix of shots and is challengeing but not frustrating. If you are within driving distance of this course then it's a definite must play.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
One of my favorites!
Pros: The park itself seems to be well maintained and clean. There are one or two restrooms and several trash containers.
The course is very well laid out: Open fairways, rolling hills, light to heavily wooded holes, challenging elevation changes, majestic downhill drives, water hazards, etc. Name it, this course has it. Every hole seems unique and well thought out. No wasted space or "filler" holes.
The parks department has installed lots of footbridges and stairways to make the course safe and direction signs are conveniently placed to make the course easily navigatable.
Cons: Lots of work needs to be done to improve the tee pads. Most, if not all, are either gravel or dirt and can make for unstable footing.
Several amateur tees are either unmarked or non-existant.
May want to skip if it has recently rained - standing water and mud not uncommon.
Other Thoughts: A very active and safe park. Rangers patrol the area regularly and there is a campgrounds and park nearby...neither of which interfere in any way with the course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Heavily Wooded But Defined Fairways
Amazing Elevation Changes
Great Water Hazards (Disc Are Retreivable)
Park Store Nearby
Camping and Cabins in Park
Small Lake with Swimming in Park
Great Tee Signs
Concrete Tees On Many Holes
Benches Throughout the Course
Short Tees Could Use Work (Natural/Hard to Find)
Navigation Can Be Tough For First Timers
Discs Can Get Lost in the Rough
Tee Signs Have Been Vandalized
Pike Lake DGC is a beautiful and challenging course in southern Ohio. The course is more for the intermediate to advance player. While a majority of the holes are on the rather short side, the are also heavily wooded which adds a lot of extra challenge.
The only real downside to this course is it can be pretty tough to navigate on your first trip here. Be sure to stop by the park store and pick up and map and scorecard. The also have a nice selection of discs, beverages, and snacks available for purchase. If you have any questions feel free to ask the folks at the store, they love having the course there and can be very helpful.
This course, besides being in a very wooded area, has many other challenges as well. There is a small creek that runs the length of the course. It can come into play on a few holes, and during certain times of the year can have a good amount of water and can be rushing pretty steadily. Another great obstacle to over come are the awesome elevation changes. The first real nice elevation change is on hole #3. You throw through the woods, over a small stream and then up a pretty steep hill, at the very least about a 50ft bank, miss the top and you can really pay for it here.
The elevation changes continue throughout the course and provide each golfer with a good work out. Be sure you are prepared, bring plenty of beverages and wear comfortable shoes with good traction, no flip flops here.
Overall I think that anyone who loves disc golf will love this course. Even if you are having an awful round the surroundings are amazing. Its very peaceful and quiet and every time I have played it, we were the only people on the course. The location can be a bit out of the way for most, but well worth the drive. If you have a couple days there is camping and cabins nearby. There are two pretty good courses within a 40 minute drive in Great Seal, and Rocky Fork DGC. I would recommend any of these course to anyone looking for a challenge, but Pike Lake is by far the best in my opinion.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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