An Incredibly Fun Staple In The Cincinnati Disc Golf Scene
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Lincoln Ridge is a fun 24-hole course in Independence, Kentucky. This course is the oldest of the "Big Three" courses in the Cincinnati area, and is also probably the easiest of the three, though it will still give you a hard time if you are off your game. While Idlewild is probably the first course you think of when you think of Cincinnati disc golf, Lincoln Ridge is the 11th most favorited course on DGCR, one of the most played in the country, and the 3rd highest rated course in Kentucky. After playing this course, it's not hard to see why it gets so much love.
Lincoln Ridge's location is amongst subdivisions and wooded areas, providing a nice setting for a round of golf among the trees and hills of Kentucky. The course is not too far from restaurants or gas stations, but those services get sparser closer to the park, so make sure you stop while you still see those opportunities along the road. This course is also close enough to other courses in the area to make multiple stops on a full day of disc golf. Idlewild is 25 minutes away, with other courses being closer as well. Disc 'n Dat, the nearest disc golf shop, is also 14 minutes away, almost right off I-71, making this a nice stop on the way from much of the Cincinnati area.
Park amenities at Lincoln Ridge add to the attractiveness of playing here. Along with disc golf, hiking trails are scattered throughout the woods and perimeter of the park. There are two parking areas, both of which have a playground. In addition to Disc Golf, sports availability here includes a baseball field, soccer field, and horseshoes. You may also see folks fishing in one of the 2 ponds you pass in the back half of the disc golf course. There are also reservable 3 shelters, a port-a-potty, and water fountains, along with plenty of benches and picnic tables around (some benches were even swinging).
The course equipment at this course wasn't the flashiest in the world, but was all more than enough to enjoy a round. You'll want to park in the first parking lot for disc golf, and will see a practice basket between the lot and driveway. I felt there was enough room to practice all of the distances I wanted to with this basket location, and there is some slight elevation to work with as well. The baskets here definitely don't look new, but still catch well. They are gray, but weren't too hard to spot in the woods. The tee pads are all concrete, and were in good shape from what I noticed. The tee signs gave a layout of the holes as well as pin distance; not the most detailed signs you will find, but they served their purpose well. There's also a bulletin board at hole 1 for league and area information.
The course design at Lincoln Ridge is full of fun shots. This course is a mix of open and wooded holes, with elevation playing a factor on a good percentage of the holes. While 24 holes long, this course doesn't play long; you have one hole over 500 feet that plays downhill, and 11 holes that play under 300 feet. Some of the wooded holes felt reminiscent of old school, short hole golf, with many holes in the woods being very short ace runs. While many players will pull a driver out for the longer holes, this is a course where putters and midranges will get plenty of chances to shine.
The course provides good variety and transitions well between wooded and open holes. Hole 1 is a fun start with a throw across the road and down a hill to a somewhat protected green just within the woods line. Holes 2 and 3 also play open with woods and the road bordering the fairway. After that, you will find yourself in the woods for 6 holes until 10 opens up a little more. After that, you have 3 open holes that still come with some risk/reward, then 14-18 in the woods (See my cons section about these holes), and then some open holes to finish the round. Throughout the course, you will find a mix of shots in terms of hyzers, anhyzers, or genuine straight shots, requiring all golfers to address their less used shots while on course. There're also significant risk/reward opportunities, including on shorter holes. Hole 7 is 200 feet downhill, but has a pin surrounded by a creek and drop-offs that will get in your head. Hole 13 is a fairly open fairway, but has a hill behind the pin that can easily cause roll-aways and double bogeys to ruin an otherwise clean round (trust me).
The difficulty level at Lincoln Ridge, even with the risk/reward and occasional water, is very accessible to less experienced players. With the wooded holes playing pretty short, and the open holes having less obstacles around the fairways, newer players will be able to have a fun round at this course while they work their way up to harder courses in the area. Experienced players will also find enough challenge and variety at this course to have a good time as well; intermediate players will likely shoot well here, especially with the fairly forgiving pars on site.
In terms of course highlights, the course is bookmarked by fun and open downhill drives from the tees of holes 1 and 24. They may seem really simple, but I think the ace runs that are holes 4, 7, and 9 are all a blast to play as well. Hole 7 is especially deceptively hard; the basket is right in front of you, but is really risky to run at. These holes remind me of old school courses like White Birch in St. Louis and Shorewood Park near Chicago; fun, short wooded holes that can easily be aced but also easily messed up.
Cons: Erosion - this looks to be a huge issue for this course, and a big reason its rating isn't higher. Looking online at local groups, it's clear that this course has had a history of erosion issues, especially back in the woods. There have been hole closures in the past, and when I played this course, there was signage up saying holes 14 through 18 were closed. A local player informed me there was a landslide in that part of the park, and highly recommended not playing those holes. Even with skipping those holes, t wasn't hard to spot other places on the course where erosion could rear its head more. A large portion of hole 10 approaching the basket was soggy, with water going down the hill to the creek to the right. A lot of this course plays along or on hillsides near creeks, and while it's clear that this course has some great folks looking after it, I think the age of the course really showed when I played here. I could see more holes becoming issues down the road, and while I hope the holes in the back of the woods get fixed and can be maintained well, this isn't the first-time closures have happened back there, which isn't a great sign.
Mud and sogginess seems to stick around on this course after rain or snow melt for a good amount of time. I played Mt. Airy and Idlewild the same day that I played Lincoln Ridge (yes, my legs are still tired), and this was by far the wettest course of the 3. The green of Hole 20 and the fairway of hole 21 was especially wet, and putting on 21 was really interesting to put it one way.
This course can and will get crowded - this course was very busy when I played, with a line to play hole 1 forming when I started my round. Other larger groups were great about letting me play through, and everyone was very friendly. I played through larger groups 5 times, and still completed a relaxed-paced round of golf in under 90 minutes here. This course is a community favorite, on a local and national level, so don't be surprised to find a full parking lot when you arrive.
While I'm all for more holes on a course, some holes on this course felt a lot like filler holes. Holes 22 and 23 play down and then up a hill with a pond between them, with no trees or obstacles keeping you from playing both holes exactly the same. Holes 11 and 12 may also feel repetitive. While there's some good variety on course overall, a lot of holes do also play similarly to each other, with some holes feeling like they were put in to get to a magic number for the course.
Some folks may feel like safety could be a concern with 4 holes playing next or over the street. For all of these holes, I think looking both ways before throwing should suffice, as you can see down the road well on all of these holes. I'm not a huge fan of hole 21's long tee, which makes you play around a public works building. There's only 1 window at the end of the wall, but I've seen crazier and less likely obstacles get hit. It's a nice idea to force the anhyzer for RHBH players, but still.
For course difficulty, some more experienced players may find this course to be easier than they expected given its rating. Don't come to Lincoln Ridge looking for a significant challenge. This is a fun course that will provide a more chill round.
Other Thoughts: I think this course is a case where a lot of the ratings it has are older and are representative of a different time for the course. Over half the reviews for Lincoln Ridge was almost a decade old or even older. I could definitely see how this course was worthy of a 4.5 back in the day, but I think its age is starting to show in 2021. Erosion is a threat to a good portion of this course, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out overtime. I would have loved to play the full 24 holes; I'm sure there was some fun shots on 14-18. I also think that while there are some difficult shots on this course, it plays pretty easy. That doesn't make it a bad course, but there's also not many holes on this course that stuck with me after my round like with Mt. Airy and Idlewild. The low number of both difficult and memorable holes keeps me from rating this course higher.
That being said, this is still a very fun course. After Idlewild, this course was a fantastic change of pace for my day. Who doesn't love ace runs or open holes that let you air a disc out with minimal worry? This course is an older one, and gives you some old-school golf vibes on the wooded holes. I think that short woods golf is some of the most fun disc golf to be had, and this course does well in that regard. The course clearly still has a very strong following, and it's well deserved. This course has provided countless rounds of golf to locals and travelers, and I hope it continues to do so for a long time.
I think Lincoln Ridge is currently the weakest of the big three courses in the Cincinnati area. That being said, if a course like Lincoln Ridge is only the 3rd best course in your town, then your town is certainly doing something right. This course is a staple among disc golf history, and still provides a fun round of golf 40 years after it was first built.
If you're coming to Cincinnati, Lincoln Ridge is a must play. Catch it before you play Idlewild if you want a good warm up, or after Idlewild if you need a pick-me-up to end your day. Just make sure you get over to Independence, KY at some point - you won't regret it.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
absolutely A+ gem with something for everyone
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: - All kinds of different plays: some huge elevation, in and out of the trees, wide open bangers, short ace runs
- Absolutely beautiful when you get into the trees and along the creek. I feel like I'm in Jurassic Park
- Good signs, pretty easy to follow along the holes without getting lost
Cons: It can get a little crowded nowadays during peak hours, but what're you gonna do with a course this nice
Other Thoughts: Really lucky to have a course like this in NKY!
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Fun and Challenging Gem of a Course
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - One of the coolest first holes around with a straight shot over the road and down a hill
- Great variety of mixed shots throughout the course, from open bombs, to wooded tunnels, to fast downhill shots and even some great forehand holes
- Great use of terrain with lots of shots both up and down large hills but not too smothering as there are quite a few flat or nearly flat shots mixed in
- Incredibly fun course to play a round at without feeling dead afterwards as even though it is 24 holes, it is not an incredibly long course with incredibly long and difficult shots (though there are some)
- Course is well kept all year round with other nice amenities provided at the park
- Nice baskets usually catch everything thrown at them, though there still is a chance for spit outs
- Unless you really really REALLY shank a shot (or land in one of the few water hazards) it is relatively difficult to lose a disc here, which is somewhat surprising considering how wooded a good portion of the course is
- Hole 24 is a fun massive bomb shot to finish out a very fun round
- Practice putting hole next to the first tee is nice, not only to warm up but just to do something if there are people teeing off in front of you
Cons: - Hole 15, the recently repaired hole, is made-up of all larger gravel/stones which will eat softer plastic disc. It also causes awkward footing on some shots and putting. I'm glad it's finally back up and running but hopefully the rocks settle and they find some way to cover the rocks so that they don't chew up discs
- Difficulty ramps up a lot on holes 14-17 compared to the rest of the course. While many people will enjoy this, I would much prefer these holes to not be this difficult and punishing given how laid back the rest of the course is. Even if one or two of these holes remain difficult I would enjoy it more (especially hole 14 as it is incredibly fun to me despite the difficulty)
- Due to how water is drained, holes 16 and 17 almost always have very wet and muddy sections on a part of the fairway, which can be quite annoying if your disc lands in it or if you inadvertently step in it
- Some tees are cracked/missing pieces/small, but most are still in good shape
- Somewhat out of the way, though this is a really minor con especially considering how easy it is to actually get there. It just is a small drive from the expressway
Other Thoughts: Lincoln Ridge is by far my favorite course I've played at thus far. It's a great course for all skill levels as beginners can learn all different types of shots (or just have fun) and everyone else can shoot to hit birdies and even eagles on some holes (or again just have fun). As can be seen in the rest of this review, the main word to describe this course is "fun." It has such a good mix of a variety of shots while still walking the fine line of being enjoyable for all skill levels. If you want to play a difficult course that will tire you out and possibly even frustrate you, this is not the place. If you want to have a lot of fun playing disc golf for a few hours, however, this is definitely where you should go. My biggest complaint stems from holes 15, 16, and 17 which are very tight, punishing shots and can be frustrating, especially if you get a bad tree kick and have to climb down to the creek, though I understand some people will still enjoy this. To me though, these holes seem somewhat out of place and awkwardly crammed in on this stellar, incredibly well thought out course. From the first hole to the last, you'll find a multitude of very fun, unique shots for this area. This is a must play for this area if you love disc golf. Even if you're just getting into it, it provides an incredibly fun time!
Overall, while holes 15, 16, and 17 drag the rating down just a little bit, but this is definitely a course for everyone, from the hardcore disc golf lovers to ones just getting into the sport. I cannot recommend making a small day trip to Lincoln Ridge enough, especially for those within an hour of it. To me, you will not find a more fun course in Cincinnati!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Challenging but Fun
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Lots of tree, elevation changes.
Cons: If course is wet, very hard course to walk. Wish the baskets were easier to see from a distance. Older baskets.
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
An all-time favorite
Pros: I moved to KY back in January and was trying to find a good way to fill my free time. I used to be an avid disc golf player, but stopped playing frequently. I decided to visit a few of the local courses, and since visiting Lincoln Ridge, I'll admit, I'm back to playing regularly.
This is a well designed course in so far as each hole has various challenges, be it the distance, angles, narrow fairways, incline, etc. If you have little to no experience, you can come out and still shoot a relatively decent score, and if you have experience and some skill, you can go shoot a few under par. One of my favorite aspects is the "gettable" nature of each and every hole. When I play disc golf, I want a challenge (of course) but I also want to have a shot at being rewarded for the good shots/putts I put together. What I mean by this is, if I play well, I want it to show on my scorecard, and want to finish below par. There are multiple par 4's on this course, and each one has the possibility of eagle, but with a few of them, a bad shot will result in bogey. This goes perfectly with my "gettable" mindset. If I throw correctly, I'm gonna drop multiple strokes throughout the round. All that said, each and every par three is in the same spot, all makable two's, but all possible bogey's if you hit the wrong spot. I'm a decent player and usually finish under par (best was -9 through the 19 that are available currently) based on the par allotted via the signs, but still find some to be challenging.
Another thing I love - you can play this course by yourself and still have fun, which isn't always the case.
Cons: Five of the holes (14-18) are unavailable currently due to some construction, but this isn't going to be a long term issue.
Other Thoughts: If you haven't made the trip to play, make sure you do. Lots of fun!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great layout with lots of signs to point you to the next hole. Good tee pads. Good mixture of open and wooded holes.
Cons: Could use a few more trash cans throughout the course.
Other Thoughts: This is one of my favorite courses I have played. It has such a good variety of open and wooded holes as well as change in terrain. Will definitely be back to play again one day.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Logging Rounds at Lincoln Ridge
Pros: Lincoln Ridge is one of the most beloved courses in disc golf. It is the 21st most played on this website, and the 11th most favorited. On this abnormally warm February day, the course was full of players, and I understand why.
Lincoln Ridge is a fun course!
While every hole plays as a Par 3, the course is full of fun, interesting, and unique shots. You will be throwing downhill and uphill, through the woods and in the open, across creeks and over valleys. For a short course, there is a lot of variety in hot shaping and selection.
This course plays as mostly deuce or die, but that does not mean that it is incredibly easy. The holes are short, but demand a well placed shot and a solid putt most of the time to achieve the birdie. Extreme elevation changes cause an abundance of roll-away opportunities, as well as a fair amount of death putts. I had a few discs go sailing past the basket on shots that were supposed to be layups!
The park is beautiful, with mature trees lining the fairways, and bright green grass in the open fields. This was February! I really hope to get back here during the summertime and the course is in full bloom.
Cons: Lincoln Ridge is an extremely fun course, and that isn't debatable. I don't think it's possible to not love these kinds of courses, and it's easy to see that this course gets a lot of love and attention. However, there are a few cons that make it less than the best.
First, the course is showing it's age. Originally installed in 1981, there are a few structural issues that could be improved that would make the course so much better.
The old Chainstars are more grey than silver, and are hard to see through the woods. On top of that they don't catch as well as the newer, fancier baskets on the market.
The tee pads were shorter, and some were in rough shape. They never created too much of a problem, but enough to note.
Being in use for so many years, there have been some erosion issues, creating some steep drop offs, or slippery areas. This course was pretty muddy after the snow melt, and we had a few close calls.
There were a lot of holes that played close together, with no true overlapping holes, that was good, but I could see there being some issues on the most crowded of days, especially with the newer players out.
Navigation was a little bit of an issue, but wasn't horrible. I printed the map from the course links, which helped a ton.
Most of the holes only had one tee pad and one pin position, which leads to some repetitiveness for a local player, I would imagine. However, with so many local courses, and 24 holes at this course, it isn't that big of a deal.
Lastly, and in my opinion the biggest detractor, is the fact that this is not a championship course. I was not expecting it to be a brutal layout, and I knew it would be a lot of fun, but this keeps me from rating it any higher than I did. Short Par 3 golf is not the most ideal layout for tournament golf, but more suitable for the casual round. This course certainly has it's place, and I can see why it was more busy than the behemoth that is Idlewild, because people don't want to get beaten up. However, this does not make Lincoln Ridge the better course.
Other Thoughts: To date, I will be the 115th review for this course. I will be the third person to give it less than a 4.
I can see that this course is well-loved, and I understand why it's a lot of people's favorite. Lincoln Ridge had been on my wishlist for over two years, and I'm super glad I finally got to play here. The amount of fun to be had at this course is through the roof, so...
Come to Lincoln Ridge, relax, and have fun!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - This is a really fun course that is challenging, but not brutally difficult. There is a really nice mix of holes in terms of elevation change, length, and the shape of the shots.
- The concrete teepads are nice and grippy, and the baskets still catch well even though they seem old.
- Its always nice to have a practice basket.
- The two holes by the creek are really beautiful.
Cons: - In general, navigating the course is pretty straightforward, though its always nice to have next tee signs below every basket.
- I wish there was something on the tee sign which indicated what pin position is currently being used.
- Par is soft on this course. Quite a few par 4s should probably be par 3s and the final hole should be a par 4 instead of a par 5.
Other Thoughts: Honestly, I had more fun at this course than Idlewild. I think that's mostly due to my lack of skill though.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Nice layout. It has 24 holes. There is a good balance of open and wooded holes. Stay on the appropriate lines and a number of the holes can be birdies for sure. This course can be played in about 2 hours if it isn't too busy.
Cons: It gets a great deal of recreational traffic so be prepared to take longer to play the course when it is busy.
A few of the holes need some TLC. Course is worn in spots. These areas could use gravel or mulch to help.
There is some erosion around the baskets and it is slippery in spots even though it may not have rained.
There are a few places where there are some metal posts buried but exposed that someone could hurt themselves if they slip and fall on them. These were probably for holding steps, logs or ties for footing purposes.
Steps on last creek hole, hole 16 I think, need some work.
Other Thoughts: This course is a nice, casual play course that is definitely a fun course.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 16 Not
Just wanted to rate coarse
Pros: Nice coarse worth playing I got my 1 and only ace in KY on hole in like 04 longer coarse bring water with you and hilly you have some ace run holes like it a lot
Cons: Muddy after storms and it's hilly but worth the trouble most of the time
Other Thoughts: Worth playing
2 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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