Billy Goat Mild(er)
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: You want to play some elevation, do you? Well, there are two courses on site here, with Indian Rock being the brutal, newer, billy goat endurance test, and this established course (Rotary), being its only slightly less challenging brother. Almost every hole will test your skill at judging how disc flight responds to hills, and about two thirds of the holes will also require technical precision.
The course boasts two decently sized, concrete tees and three basket positions on every hole, and they bought high quality DGA baskets that are holding up well with the course's age. I like that they leave white pvc visible in the other sleeve positions so you can see how the course might play, even if you're only in from out of town. Many of the 'greens' have dastardly rollaway potential. We played from the short tees because this was our third stop for the day, and old heavyset legs can turn to jelly with these West Virginia hill climbs, so we knew throwing the longs would be a struggle. Most of the long tees extend the use of elevation: if it's a downhill hole, it'll be more so from the longs; if it's a short, blind shot up to the top of the ridge, you bet that long tee will give you a bigger challenge. Hole 10 is a fairly open one, but the long tee doubles the length to a monster of almost 700 feet. We really enjoyed the short tees to a lot of B pin positions on a springtime warm President's Day.
Rotary is not a beginner course, but might still produce a lot of 'under par' scores by Open level players. It's well suited for Intermediate to Advanced skill sets, with shots that shape in both directions, and with open meadows (3, 8 through 10) to tight woods (2, 7, for instance), to hillside risk-reward holes (1, 11 through 15). There are usually great opportunities to use hillside edges or OB roadways to force control for tournaments. There's even a really cool pin position in an island on hole 17 (a very pretty glide down the hill with purgatory if you go too long and over the road!).
Over the years they've put a ton of effort building the infrastructure of this course, including landscaping the tee areas level, usually with mulched surrounds, benches, and all the nicer amenities.
Cons: The only downside to the course is that a lot of the landscaping is aging, such that rebar that used to hold in a landscape timber might now just be standing up where you're trying to get up and down the hill safely. Other places, especially in the wooded holes, have worn in so much that the 'path' is now also the mud run off the slope, and when covered in dead leaves, gets exceedingly slippery when wet. Some of the older park stairways, even though concrete, are really getting old. The simple metal plate signage is well past due for an upgrade.
Not so much a con as a warning: for those who are used to relatively flat courses, or worry about your knees or ability to traverse wooded slopes of 45 degrees, you need to be aware of what you're going to be facing in Huntington. We had considered hitting Indian Rock as a fourth stop for the day, but enjoyed Rotary Park, and saved its rougher brother for another trip.
Other Thoughts: You can tell on only one visit that this is a much beloved and much played course. With another generation of volunteers willing to upgrade some of the infrastructure, I could easily see it being a solid 4.0 rated course again! For road trippers, The area here from Huntington, WV to Ashland, KY has at least a half dozen courses now that are worth a trip, and Rotary was one of the first.
Reviewer Background as of this writing: flirting with Intermediate skill levels and grandmaster age, I've now had the pleasure of being able to review 273 courses. Thanks to all who build 'em!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: A great Par 3 Course
Good variety of open holes, wooded holes, and elevation chanes
Cons: not enough bathrooms or water fountains
Other Thoughts: Two others and I got stung by something near the basket on hole 14. It stung them multiple times and me once.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Two concrete tees per hole. Great variety, alternating between long, open downhill bombs and tight wooded holes. Smattering of benches and trash cans.
Tee signs a bit tired-looking. Occasional dog-walker or jogger to avoid.
The course starts at the very back of the park, which essentially is one very long hill containing numerous grassy/open plateaus, defined and separated by small patches of woods. After beginning with a slight up, then a steep down, wooded-hole combo, the next few holes take you slowly down the open-n-grassy hill, with plenty of chances to let loose and admire your shots, particularly on #6. Number 7 is a steep drop through the woods, then three more open holes, fairly flat, but some challenging (near steep drop-off) basket positions. Bit of a steep walk up to #11, where you play four tight wooded holes. Up-n-over a grassy slope for #16, finishing with three top-of-hill long-n-open finishing holes (yes, there is a bonus 19th basket, near the parking lot, probably serves as a practice basket as well).
Favourite hole: #17. 360-degree scenic view from one of the highest points in the park, long-n-straight downhill shot to a basket nestled between a couple large hardwoods.
Least Favourite: #14, not because it's a bad hole, but because it destroyed my score! :-( Sharp-n-short mando-enforced left-turner, but you are also fighting against a left-to-right slope, trees, and low branches, combining to form a tight flight-path.
Being not too far off I64, with food/petrol options nearby, and another 18-hole courses on the same site, this is course is definitely worth a visit if in the area.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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