5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Ryan's Course appears to have had quite a bit of course maintenance since previous reviews. The rough on holes 1-4 is distinguishable from the fairway, but very manageable. I actually intentionally threw my drive on hole 2 towards the rough and had no problem finding it or throwing my second shot.
This course has both open and wooded holes. I found the wooded holes provide enough shade to get relief from the heat on a sunny day.
I liked that there are a few holes where water is in play. There's a creek that runs along the outside border, and it can punish an errant throw.
This course forces you to throw a variety of shot types. I'm right handed and prefer throwing backhand shots, but there were a number of holes where I threw forehand off the tee. I hit an early tree on hole 7 and had to throw a roller second shot to get my disc to go left and finish close to the hole.
Cons: If you do go into the rough on the wooded holes, you can pretty much forget about trying to advance the disc forward. A pitch out is usually required. I was never deep into the woods, but I can imagine it costing a couple of strokes to get out.
The overall course par seems fair at a 64, but a couple of the individual hole pars are questionable. Holes 2 and 18 are marked as par 5s, but I was able to manage a 3 on both without the biggest of arms. On the flip side, there were a couple of par 3s in the woods which were 400'+ where a 3 felt like a birdie. Hole 16 is one example. The shot for hole 16 is clearly to throw a high hyzer shot, but unfortunately there are low branches overhanging the fairway from a tree to the left not too far from the tee. Par evens out over the course, but would be nice if it made more sense.
Holes 17 and 18 show a pond obstacle, but it was dry. We've had quite a bit of rain recently, so not sure that will ever actually have water.
Other Thoughts: At the time of writing this, the course has a 2.17 disc rating, and I just don't feel like that's fair. This course is a well designed course that's going to challenge players of all skill levels. I've played courses with a 2 disc rating and usually the round is pretty boring, but I had really good time playing this course. I've been playing disc golf for 8 years now and up until now have never written a review. I'm just really not a fan of writing. I hadn't seen the rating for this course until after playing it, and I was actually shocked to see it so low, so I felt compelled in this case.
I did play a pretty good round shooting a 59, so for that reason my opinion may be a little more biased positively than others. Ultimately, I can see where this course can be a punishing course. I would definitely recommend having at least two people playing together to help find discs and spot for each other on certain holes.
Also, make sure to bring plenty of water on hot days. Even though the wooded holes provide shade, it's still hot. I finished a full Nalgene bottle of water throughout the round and unfortunately didn't have anything else.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Seems like a good enough course. Big map layout at the start. Practice basket. Holes well marked with signs.
Cons: I would have said tall, thick grass everywhere but that has since been taken care of since my first visit.
Other Thoughts: This is just my first impression. I spent about an hour and a half-2 hours out there last Tuesday 6/19/18, I didn't even make it to the end of Hole 2 and lost 2 disc.
First tee, first throw, Disc Mania CD2 translucent blue/rainbow stamp Control Driver, forehand, to make it down around the tree. Shot way too far left, leveled out too soon and went in deep, waist high weeds back around another patch of thick trees. Searched 30 minutes. Never found it. :(
2nd throw, Disc Mania white/silver face stamp Control Driver, backhand, to just get somewhere in the middle. Lost it for about 20 minutes too far right. Found it, threw the Gremlin Greater Midrange, lost it in the high grass for another 10 minutes. Found it, finished out the hole cautiously for Par 4.
On to Hole 2, 730' Par 5, still bummed about losing my main forehand driver to turn right. I try backhand to keep out of the trees. First throw, decent. Second throw, try forehanding it for a harder curve right. Doesn't angle over enough to turn right and goes straight into deep trees around 200-250' from the tee. Searched another 30 minutes and never found it.
I went back over there Thursday to search the grass some more and all of it was cut down with no sign of disc remains anywhere.
Now that the main problems of extremely high grass has been taken care of, once I get those disc replaced, I can't wait to try the course again. Especially since it's less than 10 minutes from where I work and will make a nice morning escape.
Update: White DM Craze was found and returned.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Darn! So much potential....
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I agree with dr.chainslove and I do believe this will be a great course in the future especially if there is a club or a dedicated group of local golfers to beat back the rough (perhaps I'll take part).
Cons: I agree with dr.chainslove - not sure if I could have said it better. I hope, hope, hope this rough is not intended to be a permanent feature
Other Thoughts: While I agree with dr.chainslove on the pros and cons I have to go with a rating of 2 or even less. I understand it can take upwards of 4 years for a quality course to emerge and mature but the rough is brutal. It isn't like ball golf where all you lose is a ball (who knows? That may be horrible to some....) but in disc golf we are losing a disc! Something that may have been in our bag for years and could be relied on throw after throw. I equate it to asking a ball golfer to throw his favorite club into a deep lake or a gaping sinkhole. So, don't bring your favorite, best discs. Hole #2 is so long that I predict that there will be some who lose more than one disc there. I have no urgency to throw this course even though it is on my way home from work so why would I rate it higher than a two? I hope, sincerely hope, to give it a much higher rating in the future.
I'm changing my rating to 3.5. Too generous?Maybe, but I have really grown to like it. Played the course recently (November 2018) and it was a different animal. With no leaves on the trees the course reveals it soft underbelly. It is still a course where you are rewarded for staying in the fairways but it is much less intimidating. The lanes mowed through the tall grass are really helpful: not only to help you find your discs but also to provide visual cues to help locate them. I have been told that the grass is there to stay. One of the stipulations for the donation of the land to Shelbyville was that stands of native grasses had to remain. However, the parks department will bush hog the grasses down once (maybe twice?) a year and it will be interesting to throw it then. Hopefully, the course will, over time, morph into a truly unique and worthy challenge. I urge those who were 'turned off' when it opened to try it again while the leaves are gone....
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Demands equal parts power and accuracy
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Ryan's Course combines two very different style courses into one. It's equipped with 8 very open holes and 10 very tight holes. The common denominator is length--8200ft of it.
1-6 and 17-18 are very open but with enough obstacles to prevent a hyzerfest. All of these are over 400 ft and include some nicely guarded baskets, elevation changes, and some treacherous rough that keeps up the difficulty. The starting hole is a fun start at 495' with about a 30' drop. #5 is another picturesque downhill bomb with a basket tucked into a grouping of river birches. 17 and 18 incorporate a dried-up pond that will serve as OB in tournaments.
Once you get to 7, the personality changes significantly. For the next 10 holes, you'll be navigating lines cut from an old, over-grown orchard. I wouldn't quite say these are wooded holes (only #15 has a canopy of mature trees). This section is mainly 30ft wide grassy fairways surrounded by densely packed younger trees, most no taller than 25 ft. This plays like courses that are lined with tall honeysuckle (Mason Sports Complex in Cincy comes to mind). Oddly enough, you're still playing under the sun here despite being surrounded by greenery. These holes bend in all directions and incorporate some elevation on most. Like the open holes, these are long too and demand perfect accuracy and power to score well. The lines are true but definitely tough to consistently hit. I really wanted to love #15, which many will tab as the signature hole. It looks awesome from the tee. There's a steep decline and a narrow tunnel down the hill about 350' to the basket. It's truly beautiful but will only accept a perfect shot to get your 2. (UPDATE 6/29/18: skipped a lefty sidearm to circle 1 for a birdie on #15. It can be done!)
As for amenities, you're in a good spot. There's a nice restroom facility with water fountain at the top of the park (although it's a .25 mile drive from hole 1). The DISCatchers are sparkly new. Tees and tee signs are the HB Clark standard, with good-enough graphics of the hole shape, distances, and next tee arrows. There's a practice basket and a nicely done course map by hole 1.
You can tell they keep this park well-maintained for the other activities (dog park, playgrounds, etc), so I'll ASSUME they'll give the disc golf areas the same treatment! I'll adjust my review/rating down the road if this level of care deteriorates.
Cons: I really only have one issue with this course and this issue plagues nearly every hole. The rough is truly unforgiving both in the open holes and in the woods. The probability of losing a disc here is very high. I understand that new courses take a while to get "beat in" but this will be a tall task to improve. Holes 1-4 are cut through some of the nastiest, thorniest, thickest fields I've experienced. The rough here is about 3-4 ft high and will swallow discs. Even if it gets beaten down, discs can easily hide in these wild entanglements of weeds and thorns.
(UPDATE 6/21/18: Looks like enough players voiced their thoughts on the rough on 1-4. They just cut those sections back! This is exactly what we needed and I hear that they'll try to keep this field jungle manageable moving forward. DIscs can still hide but it's a great improvement! Thanks!)
Now about the wooded sections...
Once you get in the wooded areas, you'll find another kind of painful rough. These trees are like thick bushes with foliage that hangs all the way to the ground. Once you're in (even by only a few feet), there aren't usually many options beyond a short pitch-out. I'd imagine dinking and dunking up these fairways with 100' putter shots will net a similar score to driving long and having to scramble.
Sadly, I doubt Ryan's course will get enough play to eventually mitigate these rough issues. It's too far outside of town and the extreme difficulty/length will scare off the recreational players (needs short tees added!). I love a good secluded, quiet course but this place needs a ton of traffic and I doubt it will get it. DG community of the Louisville area, please prove me wrong here!
If you're into arguing about Par, you could have a splendid time arguing about the posted pars here. I think the course par of 64 is legit but the distribution is a little off. The 2 par 5s in the open areas will get routinely eagled and some of the 400' par 3s in the woods will rarely see a 2.
Other Thoughts: If you look at the specs and amenities, Ryan's course seems like it should be 4.0 rated professional-ready course. I can't quite give it that because, man... it's not a whole lot of fun to endlessly search for a disc that dribbled only a few feet off the fairway OR having to pitch sideways out of the trees after a seemingly great drive.
(UPDATE 7/17: After 4 plays, I'm seeing a trend here: I've found myself tossing many straddle forehands, short pitch-out rollers, and patent pending backhands due to the dense rough that lines the narrow wooded fairways. I may not always enjoy it, but it's probably making me a better player for practicing these uncommonly needed shots.)
Nonetheless, I'm still excited to have this new addition to my home area and I'll be adding this to my rotation. It's well-worth checking out and, despite its current (hopefully surmountable) issues, offers what is likely the toughest challenge in the Louisville area.
UPDATE 6/29/18: Played again last night and am really impressed with the work done with the rough. I'm still feeling good with my 3.5 rating although I wouldn't argue with those who'd drop a 4.0 review. Ultimately, I still think the rough on holes 10-14 is a little too punitive. You can at least find your disc here but will probably see a lot of short pitch-outs even if you're right on the rough border. But, hey, it makes these holes more challenging. And even if you hate this section, there's still 13 more strong holes to enjoy.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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