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Dream 18 List - Holes 1 to 6

Over the years, so many different types of courses have been built with imaginative hole designs and various levels of difficulty. Looking at the UDisc statistics from 2022 is dizzying when you stop to consider how big our sport is growing. Because of that, it’s hard to sit down and really come up with your favorite courses and your favorite holes. There are just too many to pick from!

Naturally, a fan of challenging myself, I decided to try and pick out my favorite holes. I asked myself, “What’s the best Hole 1 I’ve ever played?”. I kept going down the line and realized that it would be fun to really see what my favorite 18 holes would be. However, I had to give myself a few rules. First and most difficult, I could only pick one hole for a course, regardless of how many layouts there were. That means I can’t just write down “Maple Hill” and be done. I needed to think about it.

Secondly, I was restricting the list to courses that I have played prior to 2022, so new courses couldn’t come in and be judged unfairly part-way through the list. Finally, I had to pick the hole that I enjoy the most. This doesn’t mean I pick the hole I am the best at or the hole that would make the most sense on the pro tour. The list was all about what I enjoy, and honestly, it’s been a lot of fun putting together. However, I’m now starting to think about all kinds of lists that can be put together for the holes I have played. In the upcoming months, we’ll look at some of those ideas to see what I come up with.

As for today, I’m going to break down the first 6 holes in my dream 18 project. Let’s look at our first 6 holes.

 

Hole 1 – Maple Hill – Gold Layout – Par 4 – 853 feet

Maple Hill Hole 1

When I think about this hole, one word comes to mind. Magnificent. The moment you hop up onto the tee pad, you enter a completely different world. Maple Hill is already one of the greatest pieces of property out there, but this first hole is just breathtaking. While standing on this massive tee pad, you see your options in front of you. The first question you need to ask is, “Can I clear the water?”. If the answer is “Yes” you need to ask yourself, “Should I try and clear the water?”. For those of us unburdened by power, there is a decent landing zone to the left of the pond.

Whether you cleared the water, threw into the water, or bailed out to the left, you’re now left with your second shot. Several hundred feet up the fairway, there is a tunnel gap leading into the wood line at an angle pointed right. Are you going for max distance to get to the mouth of the gap, risking pushing too far left or right, or are you throwing conservatively to put you in a good position to approach the gap from a closer lie?

When you walk through the gap, you’re greeted with a small green surrounded by rocks. If you’re lucky enough to tap in a par, be thankful. It might be your last one for the day. This hole is gorgeous, challenging, and rewarding all at once. I cannot think of a better way to start off a dream 18 than with this very hole.

 

Hole 2 – Coyote Hills – Short Layout – Par 4 – 407 feet

Coyote Hills Hole 2

The second hole on this list brings us to another par 4 known less for its distance requirement and more for its commitment requirement. You find yourself teeing off down a hallway-style gap that carries for just short of 200 feet. It’s not that far, but if you hyzer something out too quickly, you’ll make the gap and end up in the bad rough, still giving yourself a bogey. You must commit to your line or throw a putter and take a par.

Once out of the hallway, you still have work to do. You need to navigate your second shot around a corner, over a gulley, and into a very protected green. There are a number of things that can go wrong and most of the time, they do. A par on this hole feels good, and it’s a great challenge to anyone who struggles with full commitment on their drives. If hole 1 was the beauty. This hole is the beast.

 

Hole 3 – Codorus State Park Blue – Short Layout – Par 3 – 238 feet

Codorus State Park Blue Hole 3

I caught some flak for including this hole on the list. Some say it’s too short. Most say this hole feels unfair. I would argue that it’s the perfect blend of skill and luck. For 90% of the flight of your disc, there are a few lines that you can hit. That last 10% is all about how good of a chance you gave yourself to fight through. Sitting at less than 300 feet (the hole feels more like 275), you can throw any manner of shot.

What I love the most about this hole is the anticipation it builds. You throw your shot and wait. And wait. And wait. Crack! The smack of a tree in the last 20 feet. The tension and excitement of the moment flutter away while you hear your card mates say, “That’ll putt.”. This hole is quintessentially what disc golf is all about. Like it or lump it, welcome to the woods.

 

Hole 4 – 3 Creeks – Standard Layout – Par 4 – 537 feet

3 Creeks Hole 4

Here we are, back on the par 4 train. This one is quite the gem of a hole. You start out looking at a gap roughly 100 feet in front of you. On the other side of that gap is a soybean field (or corn depending on the season) that covers a straight line from the gap, extending far to the left. Hitting the gap clean and carrying straight or fading left will lead you out of bounds. You need a shot that slowly moves to the right through the gap. This sets you up with a new decision to approach the green.

Honestly, this is such a fun hole to play because it’s a tough tee shot followed by a tougher decision. If you can’t tell by now, I enjoy it when courses force you to make hard decisions. This hole is a great example of that. Plus, it’s a great respite from the rest of the course. You walk to the tee pad ready to finally not be in the woods, but you’re welcomed with this one. It’s well-designed and well-placed.

 

Hole 5 – Pride’s Creek – Standard Layout – Par 3 – 189 feet

Pride's Creek Hole 5

I had the pleasure of playing Pride’s Creek during the 2022 Amateur World Championships, and it was a lovely course. Very challenging, but incredibly fun to play. Hole 5 is a short little water carry into a low-ceiling and highly protected green. Sometimes, the best holes in disc golf aren’t overly complicated or incredibly difficult. The key is in their simplicity. That’s exactly what this hole is.

The way the green is structured requires a head-on approach. No hyzers. No bail outs. Straight flying the whole time. Use your putter. Use your mid-range. If you’re feeling crazy, use your driver. Either way, it’s a fun shot to throw every single time.

 

Hole 6 – Muddy Run – Silver Layout – Par 3 – 300 feet

Muddy Run Silver Hole 6

This might be one of my favorite holes of all time. This is the quintessential hole that we should all be able to play. Slightly downhill and in a beautiful opening. You can use any disc and most shot shapes to get you there. It’s all about choosing what is most comfortable and executing it.

One of the other great features of this hole is the location of its placement. Muddy Run is a difficult course and the preceding holes have you weaving your shots through the woods with tight lines and lower ceilings. After you’ve played holes 3 through 5, you are yearning to open up with a big shot. This is exactly what hole 6 does for you, but don’t let it fool you. That desire will lead you to juice it way past the basket. It’s tricky things like this that make me love this game.

These are the first 6 holes in my dream 18. I’ll circle back after a few weeks for a summary of holes 7 through 12. What are your favorite holes in disc golf? Let me know in the comments! Do you want to follow along with my Tee pad Tuesday posts? Head on over to www.thumberlife.com and check out my Instagram account!

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