A Real Surprise (and room to make it even better)
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: My best DG buddy and I drove up on Memorial Day with the intention of playing Englewood's new concrete tees and checking out West Milton, just ten minutes north of the Dayton International Airport. To be honest, we weren't really sure what to expect of this nine holer installed just last year, but we were quite pleasantly surprised by the elevations and fun on six of the holes. The park is beautiful, and was busy on a pretty holiday, due to having a fairly active canoe rental operation on site (apologies for the pictures of cars: there are 'no parking on the grass' signs, but the place was packed).
If you're playing a casual round, you might want to park on South Washington Street, right at the guardrail-fronted hole 1, and save climbing up and down the stairs. You get to drop a fun rhbh fade shot down the hill to the first basket, and avoid going left early or long: very thick growth for the former, and a shelter, then a pond for the latter. Fun ace/deuce run opener! The second hole is a left to right curving tunnel shot around the edge of the pond, where it would be strongly advised to send forward a spotter to watch tree kicks and warn folks who might be fishing at the bench just to the right, before the tree- guarded basket. Bigger arms will like the 400 footer on hole 3, and the rest of us might appreciate having another cool drop shot on hole 4, with a basket that is guarded by low hanging branches, making it most likely for a left to right skip shot to run for the chains.
The variety continues with the longest hole being #5, angling up the slope, followed by the down-slope hole #6, with its lightly guarded basket awaiting you in the shade below. Hole #7 may be the trickiest, teeing between a set of trees, uphill, and to the back side of a small thicket wall of guardian trees. A left hand S-shot might get you there, or a huge rhbh hyzer might get beyond the greenery for a look at the basket. Hole #8 is pretty, with a huge tree on the right swatting down your rhbh hyzer line, and the basket nestled just beyond the triple trunked tree at the top of the slope. #9 really has to be discussed in the cons section, below.
Boasting brand new Discatchers with hole numbering facing the tee and next hole number and arrows on the back side, the course has grippy, rubber tee pads (unfortunately only about 6'x3') and reasonable signage. The maintenance is excellent, and there will be very little chance of losing discs here. In all, a very nice addition to this family-friendly park that already has playgrounds, baseball, sand volleyball, shelters, bathrooms (a concession stand in season?), a pond and the river (for the aforementioned canoeing).
Cons: If Memorial Day is any indication, the lower parking area may overflow to the 4th basket and 5th tee on really pretty weekends, when folks want to get on the Stillwater River, so your best be might be to play weekdays.
The fixable flaws in course design come in a couple of safety issues: overzealous throws on 1 could very easily threaten folks in the shelter below, hole 2 shoots blindly right around the pond and very near a great fishing spot, hole four plays right at the corner of the sand volleyball court, and the sixth tee is no more than four or five steps away from the fifth basket. Many of these issues can be solved (if they become an issue) with just a little tweaking.
But hole nine is a puzzler. After so many cool disc golf holes it seems really weird to finish the course throwing over the baseball field and around the (concession?) building to a blind basket position above the building's roof. The three previous holes are so cool, it would be nice to end there. I understand the desire to transition back up near hole one, and the playground is already where the best hole might go (so is ruled out). I have only visited once, but wonder if there might be a hole possibility walking left after eight and angling a throw from above the playground up to the corner of the stairs up to one, instead?
Other Thoughts: The course is a mix of awesome fun and a couple of things to 'fix', but if I lived in town, I'd probably be throwing there every day. Nice job!
For visitors, there were reports that they pulled the baskets this past winter, so I'm not sure what the future plans are on that. Hopefully DGCR regulars will keep the course condition updates up to date here.
Reviewer Background as of this writing: played 266 courses and written 250 reviews, with skills hovering around a 900 rating, I started playing at 50 and am now 55. I don't throw far (300 footers feel like success), but am addicted to DG, and have played with folks ranging from age 7 to 87, so I try to write reviews helpful to all.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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