The Portage Lakes disc golf course is a relatively challenging, technical, and well-designed course in Portage Lakes State Park in Akron, Ohio. This course is known for its incredibly beautiful setting, unique holes, and tournament-level maintenance.
Bottom line: This course is suitable for players of all skill levels. There are a variety of hole lengths, so beginners can enjoy the shorter ones while more experienced discers can test their distance game on the longer ones. The course designer has laid out each hole to cut through the woods, forcing players to throw accurate drives to avoid hitting trees, and making the course a fun challenge for all. You are guaranteed to hit at least 2.3 trees per round (or 23.3 if you are watching me play 😉
Design and Layout
The Portage Lakes disc golf course was made with care and precision, and each hole is a different challenge. As I previously mentioned, the course cuts through the woods which will challenge your accuracy game. You will find yourself using a wide array of discs from your bag to get around the numerous trees and obstacles throughout the course. Many of the baskets are placed on elevated mounds, steep hills, or close to the water, making some approach shots fun and challenging.
One of the standout features of this course are the elevation changes. The course is built on the side of a hill, making it a great workout as you move from hole to hole (keep this in mind if you are planning on bringing young kids). The elevation changes also add to the challenge of the course, requiring players to make shots from different angles and choose the right disc to prevent rollaways.
Several holes have water hazards that come into play, so make sure you bring a few backup discs in case you land one in the drink. The course can also get quite muddy after the rain, so it might be smart to plan on wearing boots or shoes you don't care if they get dirty.
The tee boxes are well designed and positioned with new concrete pads, benches, markers with hole descriptions, and bag hooks. In my experience, finding well maintained, permanent tee pads is a rarity so stepping up to tee off at Portage Lakes is quite a treat.
The parking lot is located near the park's south entrance and is easily accessible, and hard to miss. There is enough space for players to park without having to worry about overcrowding, and it is in a very safe part of town, so you won't have to worry about leaving valuables in your car.
One of the few negatives about Portage Lakes is the lack of trash cans on the course, so plan on bringing your own trash bag for consumables (and pick up some extra trash while you're at it to help keep the course pristine)!
The course has an association that players can join for $20 per calendar year. This is an excellent way for players to support the course and get involved in the local disc golf community. The money goes towards course maintenance and first time tournament fees.
Overall, the Portage Lakes disc golf course is a must-play for disc golfers in the Akron, Ohio area. The uniquely challenging holes, gorgeous setting, and well-designed tee boxes make it a top destination for players of all skill levels. The elevation changes, water hazards, and technically challenging shots make it a fun and rewarding experience, and I highly recommend this course!