Off-The-Radar 5-Star Courses

Surge5

Self-Appointed Cubic Zirconia Club Manager
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
I thought about this after reading some reviews of Hanna Hills (Hanna Hills DGC).

We all know about Idlewild, Harmony Bends, and Maple Hill, and a lot of us would probably recognize the names Sabattus or Wildcat Bluff, but what are some top-tier courses that A: don't get a ton of mentions but still average 4.5s and 5s, and B: don't get any pro tour attention?

My favorite is Longview in Perry, KS. It shows up on Udisc's Top 5 Kansas Courses every year, but doesn't get a whole lot of talk outside of that. It is middle-of-nowhere, but incorporates tons of shots and score danger elements with several memorable holes. (reviewed here: Longview DGC - Reviews).

Most looking forward to trying Clover Cliff Ranch an hour west of Emporia. Not sure how soon, but one day I'll get out there.
 
There are certainly some under the radar gems, more known locally than others. But from my list of played courses here's a list of the most surprisingly wonderful courses that get overlooked.

Oggwood - Cedar Hill, TN (It's a 3 stars course with a 5 star Vibe) and has to be experienced to understand and appreciate
Rock River Ranch - Bowling Green, KY (Private Course)
Clover Cliff - Emporia, KS (Probably a 4 star in terms of difficulty, but a 5 star in terms of views, memories, and experience)
Sharp Springs - Smyrna, TN (Beautiful, difficult, and well kept with a super dedicated local club)
Seven Oaks - Nashville, TN (Severely underrated and overshadowed by other Nashville courses, probably the best course in Nashville honestly)
Old Post - Russellville, AR (Held a silver series a few years back but is pretty much forgotten by the pros)
Snowbowl - Flagstaff, AZ (Hosted worlds way back, crazy elevation changes, views, and experience. Disc gold at 9'000 feet)
New Lake - Oakland City, IN (Brand new course still has time needed to fully cut in and wear in but will be amazing eventually)
McNaughton/Meggido - Pekin, IL (Not really under the radar, but mostly forgotten and overlooked by Pros because of Lake Eureka Temp and Northwoods Black in nearby Peoria.
 
Rockwell Park - Bristol, CT (one of my few "5's" that has only one set of tees/baskets and the better-than-average Page Park is nearby to make a day of it)
Wilcox Memorial Park - Milan, NY (if you're heading up through NY to New England, the 27 is well worth the stop)
Pinchot State Park: Quaker's Challenge - Lewisberry, PA (older, still very popular with locals - will give you everything you can handle)
Perkerson Park - Atlanta, GA (solid 4.5, older neighborhood park. The only course inside Atlanta, and just minutes from ATL)
 
I thought about this after reading some reviews of Hanna Hills (Hanna Hills DGC).

We all know about Idlewild, Harmony Bends, and Maple Hill, and a lot of us would probably recognize the names Sabattus or Wildcat Bluff, but what are some top-tier courses that A: don't get a ton of mentions but still average 4.5s and 5s, and B: don't get any pro tour attention?

My favorite is Longview in Perry, KS. It shows up on Udisc's Top 5 Kansas Courses every year, but doesn't get a whole lot of talk outside of that. It is middle-of-nowhere, but incorporates tons of shots and score danger elements with several memorable holes. (reviewed here: Longview DGC - Reviews).

Most looking forward to trying Clover Cliff Ranch an hour west of Emporia. Not sure how soon, but one day I'll get out there.
Great thread idea. (y)(y)
 
As an Iowan, Wildcat Bluff is wonderful. I live 20min away and get to play it a dozen times a year, at least. Our newest re-designed course is Shaver Park.

After a storm in 2020 that destroyed many of our local courses, the local club worked with John Houck to design a championship level course on the property and it turned out amazing. Some of the best hole designs in the state.
 
Faylor Lake in Beaver Springs, PA

Agreed, although I had a slight preference for Agape Farm, which is a bit more woodsy.
Agape Farm Championship DGC

McNaughton/Meggido - Pekin, IL

I was floored by Meggido (I have not [yet?] played McNaughton)

Others on my favorites list that don't seem to generate a lot of discussion - please feel free to ignore if you don't like hilly woods courses 😁

501 Disc Golf in Warren, MA
- Props to Maple Hill but I had more fun at 501

Lake Claiborne - Whitetail in Homer, LA
- Another hilly wooded stunner

Freedom Center - Clark's Run in Leesburg, VA
- Local bias aside, this is a fantastic hilly woods course
 
Agreed, although I had a slight preference for Agape Farm, which is a bit more woodsy.
Agape Farm Championship DGC



I was floored by Meggido (I have not [yet?] played McNaughton)

Others on my favorites list that don't seem to generate a lot of discussion - please feel free to ignore if you don't like hilly woods courses 😁

501 Disc Golf in Warren, MA
- Props to Maple Hill but I had more fun at 501

Lake Claiborne - Whitetail in Homer, LA
- Another hilly wooded stunner

Freedom Center - Clark's Run in Leesburg, VA
- Local bias aside, this is a fantastic hilly woods course
Tentative trip to Mississippi and Louisiana planned for this winter. Lake Claiborne is a primary target.
 
Agreed, although I had a slight preference for Agape Farm, which is a bit more woodsy.
Agape Farm Championship DGC



I was floored by Meggido (I have not [yet?] played McNaughton)

Others on my favorites list that don't seem to generate a lot of discussion - please feel free to ignore if you don't like hilly woods courses 😁

501 Disc Golf in Warren, MA
- Props to Maple Hill but I had more fun at 501

Lake Claiborne - Whitetail in Homer, LA
- Another hilly wooded stunner

Freedom Center - Clark's Run in Leesburg, VA
- Local bias aside, this is a fantastic hilly woods course
I prefer Faylor to Agape although both are excellent. Not sure Agape is more woodsy though- the open holes at the end of Agape are most of the reason I prefer Faylor. All in all they are both pretty diverse and either is time well spent.
 
Agreed, although I had a slight preference for Agape Farm, which is a bit more woodsy.
Agape Farm Championship DGC



I was floored by Meggido (I have not [yet?] played McNaughton)

Others on my favorites list that don't seem to generate a lot of discussion - please feel free to ignore if you don't like hilly woods courses 😁

501 Disc Golf in Warren, MA
- Props to Maple Hill but I had more fun at 501

Lake Claiborne - Whitetail in Homer, LA
- Another hilly wooded stunner

Freedom Center - Clark's Run in Leesburg, VA
- Local bias aside, this is a fantastic hilly woods course
I enjoyed them both, but I'd put Meggido well above McNasty. (4.5 and 3.5 respectively seems right to me without checking the spreadsheet).
 
I prefer Faylor to Agape although both are excellent. Not sure Agape is more woodsy though- the open holes at the end of Agape are most of the reason I prefer Faylor. All in all they are both pretty diverse and either is time well spent.
Kinda like which model you'd want to go out with?
 
I love Diavolo DGC in Cary, NC (just west of Raleigh), it's 4.3 on here. I live in NJ but have played it 3 times in 2 years.
 
There are certainly some under the radar gems, more known locally than others. But from my list of played courses here's a list of the most surprisingly wonderful courses that get overlooked.

Oggwood - Cedar Hill, TN (It's a 3 stars course with a 5 star Vibe) and has to be experienced to understand and appreciate
Rock River Ranch - Bowling Green, KY (Private Course)
Clover Cliff - Emporia, KS (Probably a 4 star in terms of difficulty, but a 5 star in terms of views, memories, and experience)
Sharp Springs - Smyrna, TN (Beautiful, difficult, and well kept with a super dedicated local club)
Seven Oaks - Nashville, TN (Severely underrated and overshadowed by other Nashville courses, probably the best course in Nashville honestly)
Old Post - Russellville, AR (Held a silver series a few years back but is pretty much forgotten by the pros)
Snowbowl - Flagstaff, AZ (Hosted worlds way back, crazy elevation changes, views, and experience. Disc gold at 9'000 feet)
New Lake - Oakland City, IN (Brand new course still has time needed to fully cut in and wear in but will be amazing eventually)
McNaughton/Meggido - Pekin, IL (Not really under the radar, but mostly forgotten and overlooked by Pros because of Lake Eureka Temp and Northwoods Black in nearby Peoria.
Have you played Wolf Knob DGC, Mammoth Cave, Ky
 
Have you played Wolf Knob DGC, Mammoth Cave, Ky
It's on my list, having to take care of a sick elderly parent currently has put a stop to my bagging anything beyond an hour away for the time being. Definitely have heard good things and looking forward to playing it.
 
Wolf Knob in KY is well designed but not a destination course. In Sept, I drove several hours to it and felt somewhat disappointed compared to other courses along a 19 day trip.
 
I really liked Wolf Knob. It's a solid 4 in my book.

If they ever finish the 10k footer on the same property, I think the two together should be destination worthy.
 
I really wasn't that impressed by Megiddo... it was good but I feel like I've played a lot of similar-looking courses that were more enjoyable. Lots of y'all always bring it up so maybe I was missing something.

My vote goes to Wilderness up in Wisconsin, that place kicks ass! It's rated highly but isn't as well-known (202 played vs. 431 at Megiddo), and is in an relatively isolated area.
 
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