Room to fly
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 18 Discatchers in good shape + practice basket with room to work on putts.
Good use of and variety of use with elevation; uphill holes, downhill holes, and basket positions with elevation affecting them galore.
Good use of old sand traps as OB to really force either a lay-up shot or going for it.
There is a map by hole 1 and good informative tee signs at the blue tees throughout the course.
Two sets of tees on most holes, as well as a couple even longer gold tees.
On the whole a good mix of shots and hole shapes; not the most diverse course in the world but not 18 flat hyzers either.
Good use of trees to create fun shots.
Some really long shots for working with and playing around with distance.
Two sets of pins per hole but I've only seen the baskets in A layout.
Port-o-john on site as a restroom.
Cons: Course flow can be a little confusing and cramped; fairways which can interfere with other fairways and tees due to proximity.
Hole 2's basket and hole 5's tee are right beside each other so it can be confusing to get to hole 3.
Some holes and some elements are repetitive; holes 1 & 2 and 5 & 6 are pretty much the same holes with some changes in distance and tree placement, several baskets are perched on mounds. It's not that the holes aren't fun to throw or that the elements weren't necessary, but it can be somewhat repetitive. Not a huge con though.
Long grass on many holes can make looking for your disc somewhat difficult; if you shank the shot, make sure you pay attention to where it lands!
Walking trail can be reached by many poor shots, so be on the lookout for walking trail users.
I don't believe there's any water out here so be aware and bring what you need.
Teepads are the carpet style artifical turf so can be slippery when wet. Many are also not leveled and are bumpy, but it's not unplayablely bumpy.
Not many benches on course and ones that are there are not convenient to the teepad.
Course shares space with an archery range during the summer months and is pretty much closed when archers are out there. There is a schedule but they will sometimes be out there outside of those hours. Mt Airy isn't too far of a drive but still.
Everything is a par 3, but the only true par 4 would be Hole 9, so no big deal.
Other Thoughts: Dunham Rec Center is a disc golf course built along the property of an old public golf course. It has many openish shots with mature trees and elevation providing most of the complexity and shot shaping required. While some holes can feel very similar to others on the course, most have their own twist and all are fun to throw. There is no water and the tall grass is not as bad as some other area courses so it is very difficult to lose your disc. The course loops back and cuts back on itself multiple times, but navigation is overall not very difficult. However, there is one tricky spot: after hole 2, the next hole's teepad is not the one right by the basket but is off towards the archery items on a small mound. Hole 3 and hole 4 play parallel to each other and then the teepad by hole 2 is Hole 5's tee. Many other holes play close to each other, so be aware of other golfers while playing. The tees are also bumpy out here and very slippery when wet, so be careful of that. However, they grip just fine otherwise.
Hole 7 is a fun hyzer shot: you can either play up the gut between two large trees and hope to get enough glide with your fade to have a putt, or there is a hyzer line over the tree on the right center of the fairway if you have the arm.
Hole 9 is a long (480' from the blue tee to A pin) par 3 with three tees and a large OB "sandtrap" about 3/4 of the way up the fairway. For most players, you can choose to layup short of the OB or be aggressive and try to get as close as you can, while players with a great distance game will be debating whether to try to clear the OB or not.
Hole 13 is a gorgeous and long hole which plays along a ridge of cut grass between thick rough and mature trees on the right and a slope and tall grass on the left. The pin is sandwiched between two trees up the fairway on a slight ridge. A chance to really play the long distance turnover/flex game, this hole is a blast to throw. If you can get close enough and in the right spot, there is plenty of room to putt, while if you come up short, the trees make it an interesting upshot.
Hole 14 is a great little hole: 188' with low ceiling right between two absolute distance mash holes. I like to try a little forehand flex line with a flat firebird to try to negotiate the ceiling. The walking path is also close along the left side of the hole and is OB, while the pin is situated on a hillside sloping to the path. hit the hill with the wrong angle or miss the putt off the cage or band and you might be going OB, while landing to the right of the pin can present a little bit of a death putt.
Hole 15 is another arm separation hole. There is a long downhill turnover line through some bushy trees straight ahead, or there is a large hyzer shot to the right which requires quite the arm to get to the pin. There is also OB just to the left of the pin in the form of another sand trap, so be careful with where your disc lands. The green also slopes away from the pin to the right, so be careful to not go OB with comebacker putts from down there.
Eh hole: Hole 16 has a hilariously tight gap just off the tee. Since the ideal line is right through the gap and it is easy enough to throw a safe hyzer from either tee, it's not really a big deal to me but some other folks may not like it.
Honorable mention: Hole 1 and Hole 5 are fun downhill shots, and hole 18 is a great distance hole to finish on. At 370' (I think the line plays more like 385'), it's right in that tweener gap for me between mashing a Thunderbird or powering down a D2 or Rampage to hit. There's also OB in the fairway to punish those who wimp out too hard. The pin is also on a mound with different elevations falling off of it, which makes putts interesting no matter where you land.
Overall, Dunham is not itself a must play in Cincinnati, but if you're already in the area and have time to play more than one course, it is definitely worth checking out. It also certainly provides a nice balance with Mt Airy, as the short tees seem very beginner friendly and the openness combined with the elevation and trees is a great introduction to line shaping and placement golf for the maturing player, with Mt Airy requiring even more precise golf than this for the more experienced player or the scores of disc golfers who enjoy this kind of punishment.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Plays For the most part Tee to Pin to Tee, very little walk between holes, so full 18 plays very quickly and isn't to hard to find the next tee after holing out on previous pin. Very friendly in this regard to new course players.
- Scenicly pleasing course. The Knolls in contrast to the fairway give very well defined green fairways. Plays well as a converted golf course
- Moderate distance. Big arms will find it fairly easy to work on shaping lines, smaller arms will find it challenging enough to push their distance.
- Open. Most OB comes from going long into or onto sidewalks or into sand traps. Not a technically wooded course, but technical in controlling ones distance and driving line.
- Multiple Pins and Tees. There are long tees, short tees, and various pin placements. This means throughout the year on one course, there is a multitude of ways for it to be played keeping it refreshing and interesting for replayability.
Cons: - Some Pins are close to previous Tees. Potential to be hit or cause an issue with someone getting hit. Twice whilst playing out there I've almost been hit(players didn't yell fore either) so if it is crowded, do be on your guard.
- No signs for where water or restroom is (I believe there is a port-a-potty at the rec center/swimming area) if you can't hold it, or didn't bring extra water, this could be an issue on a hot summer day.
- course does retain water fairly well in spring/winter, so can be a little muddy, which makes driving on the Astro-turf tee pads, or next to them difficult if course receives a lot of traffic.
Other Thoughts: Dunham Disc Golf course is an 18 hole multi-pin, multi-tee course built on an old 9 hole golf course. The shallow rolling hills, knolls, and fairways lead to a very aesthetically pleasing course and moderately to average challenging play from beginner to seasoned veteran. The course is fairly open with technicality coming from sidewalk and sand trap OB. The course's multiple available layouts provide a continuous change and refresh to prevent the course from growing stale. The main drawbacks are the lack of clearly marked restrooms or water, muddy tee pads/greens in spring and fall/early winter, and the hazard of pins being too close to some tees creating the potential for someone to be accidentally hit. If you're in the area, it is a definite play if the weather is well as the Astro-turf tee pads do not offer much traction in inclement weather and if the course has seen a lot of recent play, the ground next to the tees is fairly muddy as well
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Fun course in town
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: First time on this course and I liked it for several reasons. The layout is very easy to follow, it has a lot of elevation change that requires you to think about disc selection and it has more than a few shots that require a risk-to-reward decision. This course has lots of mature trees that are integral to the course and will play when the leaves are out. Short enough for a quick round but long enough to satisfy. The signage is great. And, to top it off I aced #3 for my first! I look forward to playing this course when the grass is green and the leaves are out.
Cons: It's in a rough area of town. It feels small due to the 8' fence around the property but really isn't. But the #1 issue I had was the tee pads. They are 8' but are two sections, split in half. There is a big seam in the middle that I caught my foot on more than once during my throw. With the pads being damp and slick I was worried that I was going to wrench something. But the rest of the course was nice enough to overcome the tee pads.
Other Thoughts: This is a course that will work as a warm-up. Play here and then do Mt. Airy after. That would be a great double-header. The west side of Cincy is light on courses so it's nice this one is here.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -I love the look of this course. Unlike many other disc golf courses, this course has clearly cut fairways and rough, much like a traditional golf course. I find myself wanting to make the drive over to Cincinnati just to play here. I used to be a ball golfer, so something about the fairways, rough, and sand traps of this course appeals to me.
-Multiple tee pads on some holes. Tee pads are AstroTurf, and while I prefer concert, they serve to give adequate footing.
-The flow of the course is really nice.
-The signage is terrific. It is always easy to find the next hole and know which basket you are throwing to.
-I have noticed that the baskets are moved regularly (most holes have two basket positions) so that the course plays a bit different depending on when you go. I like that this kind of regular maintenance is being done on the course.
-Good use of the terrain. The course takes advantage of the somewhat hilly terrain in order to provide nice views off the tee and a variety of shots including uphill and downhill looks. I assume that there were not many trees on the original golf course to take advantage of; however the ones that were there are now nicely located by tees or baskets to provide some challenge on what would otherwise be very simple holes.
-The course is in a nice park area with a huge field. The soccer fields are great for trying out new discs or getting in some field practice before or after the round.
Cons: -Mostly open shots off the tees can get repetitive.
-While I love the look of the rough, I hate throwing into it in the summer. I have never lost a disc here, but make sure you are not throwing any camo dye jobs or difficult to see clear discs.
-There is a fence that runs along one side of the course (visible on the right off the first tee). It is possible on a few holes to throw over the fence. If you happen to throw over, you can walk to the end of the fence and go around it and onto the path to collect your disc.
-The old sand traps are now OB areas, but the sand traps have not been "re-sanded," so the look of the traps is at odds with the rest of the course.
Other Thoughts: This course stands out as being unique in the area. There are wooded courses in parks and wide open courses and short courses and easy courses, all in the Cincinnati area; however, this particular course is the only one of its kind that I am aware of. The conversion from ball golf course to disc golf course was done with care and attention to the details. I absolutely love walking up to the first tee and looking down the clearly defined and well cut fairway to the basket.
I would actually love for them to take the golf course theme the whole way and put in some new sand traps to add some difficulty to the course.
All-in-all, this course is worth playing if you live in the area, especially if you want the look of a ball golf course in your disc golf course.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Hall of Famer Fred Salaz shows here how to do a wonderful conversion of an abandoned, urban parks, nine hole ball golf course into 18 fun holes of disc golf. Given the relatively open spaces but rolling knolls and old greens and sand traps, he chose a lot of basket positions for their rollaway potential, and used the existing trees to define lines really well. There are four holes with really nasty drop-offs beyond (1 & 5) or to the left (12 & 13), six where elevation really comes into play (1, 2, 5, 6, 11 & 15), and even a stretch of holes (12 through 16) where accuracy off the tee is demanded, not just advisable. The 18+1 new DiscCatcher baskets have two pin positions available per hole, and there are two tees on holes 1, 13, 15, 16 & 17, and three on holes 9 and 18 for the big arms to air it out. So there will be something for pretty much all amateur divisions (though the course likely won't be too overly taxing on most Open level players).
Initially using recycled driving range tee mats (essentially Astroturf), there is good footing and excellent signage (including the nice indicators for pin position) throughout. All the Blue tees are in place, and the alternate tee mats are going in. The course map kiosk and adequate parking is at the top of the park drive by the practice basket and a porta-potty (in season). There are trash cans where needed, and benches remain by tees 2 and 12 (Fred does not plan to add more, because they're really not needed on this shorter, efficient course, they promote erosion, and add to maintenance). In fact, the parks district welcomed the course as well as it did due to the savings on the cost of maintenance: in the summer, only fairways and paths are mown, with the grasses in the rough being allowed to grow as incentive for you to keep your shots under control. It plays much more 'wide open' in the cooler months, if you prefer it more open. Similar courses in the area: William Harbin and Heritage Park. The course flows well, looping back near the lot on holes 2, 4, and 18. The summer mown paths are even marked for clarity when other tees are in view. The rest of the park has an arts center, playgrounds, fields, and even a huge, modern water park.
As far as the disc golf play goes, the course starts out with a bang: a downhill shot that best sweeps right to left, and hopefully dives in on the plateau WITH the basket, and not WAY down the drop-off slope beyond. Other 'feature' holes, to me, include the beautiful downhill, left to right shot on 15 long, then 16, which tees out through pairs of double mando trees and across the valley. That one is bound to get a nickname, sooner or later! In all, Dunham is a nice addition to the other dozen (+) quality, full size courses in the Cincinnati area.
Cons: The course is bordered by a gateless chain link fence, beyond which lies an 'interesting' neighborhood. You really want to keep your discs IN the park, which can be a challenge, especially on hole 5. Just inside the fence is an old asphalt walking path, where you will sometimes have folks to watch out for, as well. And, as a historical note: during its first season, this area of the park shared time and space with an archery range, so it was important to check the park schedule to let THEM 'let 'em fly' when it was their turn (arrows win that contest every time!) The good news is, they've supposedly moved archery to another part of the park in 2015.
Because this is such a near-perfect example of how to convert unused ball golf courses to disc golf, I'd love to give another half point in my rating, but need to keep it where it's at, so that folks can get an accurate impression of the disc golf play itself. The existing land didn't allow for a whole lot of extra space, so bigger arms probably will lament the lack of longer holes. Granted, the longer pin positions will take most of the deuces away from casual, Rec, & Intermediate arms. At the same time, there weren't many trees to work with, so those who excel at the technical game might complain on that front. Finally, the intent here is to use the old sand traps and other ball golf features as 'OB', but the edges and boundaries are blurry at best. I've played the course a dozen times now, and am not always clear exactly where the OB is intended on the three holes marked for sand traps. I've seen a park use mowing height and ornamental grasses to 'border' a cross country trail. Perhaps that technique could be used here for the OB lines? It is a puzzler, even for Fred (we've talked about it); how to make it definitive and clear from the tee?
Pro and con: there are sometimes as many as four baskets in view from your tee, so newcomers will need to double check to be sure which one they're supposed to throw to. I've seen misplays twice on 18, when the first on the card threw a beautiful shot at the third basket!
Finally, it may be a pro or con, depending on your perspective, but this park seems to be pretty well up one of the famous Cincinnati hills (you can even see downtown from the 15th fairway and from 17's basket), and, being open, you may have some times of year when the wind will be a major factor in your disc selection.
Other Thoughts: Initially, Fred asked to hold off on allowing reviews of Dunham, so that the starting amenities could all go in. With the addition of tee pads for holes 11-18, and indicators for basket position on the tee signs, reviews are being opened up. But knowing that this is one of the main guys who just kept on improving and improving Idlewild, I suspect he had a lot of stuff planned, and there may be enhancements still in store. Hey, I already like this course, and it's really getting some steady play and appreciation. The parks department does a great job with maintenance, and the details are going in nicely.
Edit: Oops on the archery! Fred just posted this update: "They aren't finished with their new archery site and will be back on the disc golf course starting next week. They will be there on Mondays 6 - 8:30, Tuesday and Wednesdays 9:30 - 1, till the fall or when they finish the archery course.
Try not to play at these times."
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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