The main course is delicious, but could give you heartburn
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Superb course in a unique, private park that's open to the public.
• Disc Play: Wonderfully comprehensive and very challenging. Distance and precision are required to score well. Great variety as far as left/right/straight and S-shaped fairways. No massive elevation changes, but there's are some substantial uphill/downhill/gulley shots to make things interesting. Hole lengths come in long and longer, with a few shorter holes sprinkled in for good measure. Feels very well-wooded, but many of the long holes are open/semi open off the tee, only to get harrowing further down the fairway. While you really want to huck it to get down there, you need to either hit a window to get through the obstacles further down (assuming you can throw that far) or hit a landing spot for a decent upshot through to set up a good putt. Missing a landing spot could cost you a stroke. Missing the window on the fly during peak growth might cost you two, and possibly your disc. Demanding as they may be, all the holes are fair- rewards hitting fairways, punishes finding the rough. Risk reward is there - you can play it safe off the tee, or go for it. Also features some rollaway potential.
• Dual tees w/ rotating pin placements provide four ways to play (to bad both pins aren't permanent). Blue tees provide significantly tougher looks, but not necessarily that much more distance (half the additional distance of the blues comes on just four holes). The longer "B" placements stretch things out even more, and yes - they're tougher to get to.
• Equipment: Gateway Titans - catch great and built to last. Red tees are concrete, nice sized, grippy, and marked with easy to spot tee signs. Blues are still natural (as of this review), and marked with 2' posts tipped w/blue paint. Single tee signs show both red and blue tee locations plus both pin positions. Current pin placement is shown on the post. Everything was well maintained.
• Aesthetics - Not picturesque, but I thought it was quite pleasant to walk through, especially #'s 6-11 which play over/around the stream. Natural features like elevation and a winding stream are used very effectively to enhance challenge and visual appeal. There's a nice bridge to cross the stream at 7 and some concrete stepping stones to cross it again further along the course - both add a bit of charm.
• Memorable holes: # 8 made me LOL: There's a weird branch growing off a tree forming a U-shaped frame several feet wide, just in front of the red tee. Didn't notice anything about a mando, but it'd be hard to play the hole well without throwing through the U. Sign painted at the bottom of the U reads, "RIGHT NOW… I'm in your head." AWESOME!! Reminded me of the THINK sign on Flyboy #25. #1's an open bomb, but features a bottleneck you have to hit from a distance to score well. #7 plays over the stream (but at an angle, making it more difficult to get over) and has some great pin placements. There was just something about 12 I liked a lot.
• Navigation: There are a couple long walks and few tricky spots, but the holes on this course are worth it. I found my way around pretty easily once I got the hang of it and the map on the scorecard will get you where you need to be.
• Pairs well with Rec 9 to take things to the next level (and then some). Having another course that plays to a different skill level in the same park is a big plus
• Separate scorecards for the blue and red tees w/map at kiosk are a nice touch.
• Bathroom near start/finish.
• Thoughtfully located across the street from St Mary's Hospital, where trained medical personnel can resuscitate you after you tally your score. Staff has experience treating severely bruised egos as well.
Cons: Not much to complain about.
• Personally glad they poured concrete for the reds first, but this course really needs concrete for the blues (park employee told me they're coming this year).
• Oddly enough, I think one of Champ 18's biggest cons results from the confluence of several individual things they got right:
Love the Gateway Titans, but $#%! are they hard to spot when they're tucked away… well into the woods… some 500+ ft away. It's like playing "Where's Waldo." This course demands both distance and placement. That requires knowing exactly where the target is to have any hope placing a drive that sets you up for par or better. The problem's only compounded by multiple pin placements. I literally spent more time scouting ahead for baskets and back than I did looking for the next tee. With this many holes over 500, it gets old - fast. Call me a wimp, but you do enough walking playing a 9000' course - you shouldn't have to tack on another 3000 just spotting baskets… and I played early in the season, before the foliage had a chance to grow in. ANY splash of bright color would be a HUGE help. Paint the poles or the basket, add a flag - something! Locals may not care, but this place is well worth visiting, and when you're travelling, playing several courses a day, it's aggravating as hell- especially when there are easy solutions.
Other Thoughts: The highlight of my trip to the St. Louis area, Foundation Champ 18 gets my "destination worthy" stamp, but plan accordingly. Championship all the way, beginners sure to get frustrated. Not sure I completely agree with with the score card's Par of 70, but get the idea of "everything's a par 3" right the hell outta your head - you ain't shooting 54 here. No doubt in my mind this course can create scoring separation among top level players. I was in over my head playing reds to B's; carded an 80, and loved it.
For 18 holes, this course plays looong; the shortest layout (Red to A) averages just over 430'/hole, while the longest (Blue to B) clocks in at over 600'/hole. Mix in the degree of difficulty and there's simply no rushing through this bad boy, so don't plan on it. It was cool the morning I played, but I wouldn't want to play here on a hot, humid afternoon. Bring plenty of water and maybe an apple or other energy boost. This is a big course and can take a lot out of you - it's hard to finish strong when you're gassed.
Park employee I ran into told me another park employee is very active in the local club and it makes sense. Moving through the course, I saw a lots of thorny rough that had been pruned, underbrush cleared away in likely trouble spots and things were clean. When people care, it shows.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Unique Course That Requires Big Arm AND Technical Approach
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Located in a pretty big city park, though it doesn't have that feel. Most of the course is pretty well secluded, except for a few holes that play near the entrance. For how empty the park feels, there is actually a good bit to do with miles of hiking trails, two stocked fishing ponds, prayer chapel in the woods, multiple memorials, multiple pavilions, and a natural amphitheater. It seems though that the two courses are the main attraction to this site. I've read that there is a clubhouse on site, but I was unable to find it. Also, there is said to be a driving range and measurements from the practice tee, which are awesome features. I assume that the numbers were spray painted because I could find nothing of the sort. There are restrooms, a course map, some parking spots, and local club/tournament information posted near the first tees for both courses. Seems like an active course because I saw multiple groups of people playing on an early Wednesday morning, though the course is so big and spread out that this didn't affect my round. The course is spread tremendously throughout and makes much of the park's space.
Foundation Park sports two sets of tees (red and blue), unique wooden tee signs at the red tees that are in good shape, give hole lengths and pars, and list the current pin position. Red tees are perfectly long and wide and made of concrete. Baskets are Gateway Titan, have hole numbers on them, and are in fantastic shape. There were benches and garbage cans near some, but not all of the tees. Navigation is good for the most part. The course flowed very well and all but two holes (7 and 18) were easy to find. Next tee signs are often used, making navigation easy for the would-be trickier spots. There are well-defined trails and bridges to cross the stream. May be dangerous for some without much balance, but I liked them.
When talking about hole and shot variety, this course sits very close to a 5. This is a very technical course that challenges many aspects of your throwing. There are 5 par 5's and 8 par 4's, all legit to me. Great variety of short and tight, long and tight, and long and somewhat open. There aren't any plain open holes, but holes 1, 12, 14-16 give you some freedom while still being super long and technical enough with the trees. Also, the low hanging branches - while frustrating - challenges controlled distance throws like I've never seen. Fantastic variation of lengths from 264 in the shorts to 1,036 in the longs. Even distribution of hyzers, straight shots, and anhyzers. Plays over stream multiple times.
Cons: -The course isn't very scenic or aesthetically pleasing, if you enjoy that aspect as I do. Pretty dreary looking throughout.
-This normally doesn't bother me but since the course is so long, it'd be nice to have restrooms in the course.
-As I said, navigation is a little difficult in two spots, going to hole 7 and hole 18. The course map is helpful if you use that, but there weren't any next tee signs and there were multiple paths from the previous baskets, I took the wrongs ones first on both.
-One technical aspect that would make this closer to a 5 would be more elevation. However, this is in the middle of Illinois and the course has 2 or 3 holes that use the slight elevation given. Can't punish the course for this, just would make this course even a little better.
-Blue tees not present on every hole, are natural, and don't have tee signs.
Other Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed my round at Foundation Park, and if you have time I suggest warming up on the rec. course. This is truly a unique course with the type of topography and the massively long, technical holes. The middle -most wooded- holes were the staples in this course and my favorite holes were:
5-Very long hyzer with multiple lines, goes downhill then uphill
6-Super tight downhill shot, best chance at an ace here
7-Very fun hole that plays across the creek and a pin position uphill in a tight section of the woods
8-An extreme hyzer shot with a mando through a fallen down tree with a sign that says, "I'm in your head now". Nice pin position between trees
9-Open and straight then hard dogleg left uphill then downhill to pin
11-Open shot then a hyzer through the trees and over the creek
12- Super long par 5 hyzer
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
The Foundation of the Future!
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1) Nice large grippy concrete tees on this course . . . I was tempted into playing the longs when I encountered a long concrete tee on #1, but switched right back to the short tees when I realized the concrete tees were only on the short tees.
2) Posts mark the holes with red/blue markings so you know which hole you are on.
3) Plenty of garbage cans around this course for disposal of your trash.
4) Nice feature to have two 9 hole loops that come back to the parking lot. Each 9 could almost be considered a course because they are so long and challenging. I think it took about 2 hours to play the entire 18 which s a long time.
5) Nice signs have Hole #, Par, Distance and indicate both sets of tees and alternate basket locations.
6) This course has such a nice variety from mildly wooded, to moderately wooded to tight and dense shots. You need to be able to throw all sorts of shots to play well here. The roller could be found as a great tool for you if you are good at them. It will help eat up a lot more distance than air shots.
7) Distance variation is as big as I have ever seen. This is integral to this course being so challenging and fun at the same time. There is such a huge variety in hole distances from 200's all the way up to 800's. It is a little disturbing that this course was allowed to eat up so much space. I am shocked disc golf was allowed to take over this section of the park completely, but then I realize the park as a whole is enormous and there is plenty of room for other activities. I wish we had more parks like this in SE WI.
8) Talk about a course that should be hosting all sorts of professional events. If the pros don't love this course I will . . . nevermind . . . they will love this course.
9) Road-trip worthy . . . and you could spend all day here and maybe get in 54-72 holes only. It is just that long and it takes you a long time to play it.
10) Bathrooms available at the parking lot.
11) There is a shelter, a labyrinth, and other activities and things to see in this park . . . but who are we kidding, we are here for the disc golf.
Cons: 1) This course is far from beginner friendly. The distance alone might kill some newbies . . . add in the other challenging features and it is sure to turn some people away. I like courses to have alternate tees that allows everyone to experience the same sort of experience as a better player, only shorter and less frustrating.
2) There were a couple places where the navigation was a little confusing.
3) Some of the baskets are blind from the tees so they play tougher than they need to. Sometime there looked to be an intuitive shot, that turned out to be the wrong direction slightly.
4) The "bridges" that are used are dangerous and not perfect. Two of them use concrete pillars that you need to step across . . . then there is the bridge that is a ladder with some rope to hold on to. I prefer that things be done properly the first time and these things leave a bit to be desired.
Other Thoughts: I started out wanting to play the long tees. . . then I realized that the long tees were not concrete and that they were ridiculously long, so long that there is no good reason for me to play the long tees. I could have gotten so much practice on my rollers had I stayed on the longs, but it likely would have been a rough go of it.
This is such an epicly long course . . . however . . .it doesn't even feel like it is that long because almost none of the length is pure wide open holes. You have to work your disc in all directions around all sorts of obstacles in order to play well, so you are busy worrying about your shots, you forget that you are playing such a long course.
The design and layout of this course make it one of the best. I had a lot of fun shooting 77, something I cannot say for many courses out there. In fact I cannot say I have shot 77 at very many courses ever. This is simply put a unique experience with the length being a major factor . . . but also the fact that they made the course long without you even worrying about it. You need to focus on your shot shaping and the trouble areas more than you do the length which I think makes this course one of the best designs I have ever encountered.
The maintenance is decent but I feel like such a top notch design deserves some top notch maintenance and amenities. I hope the local club realizes what they have here and work hard at keeping this course up and displaying it for all of the disc golfers out there.
I feel like this course sits right around a 4.7 on the rating scale. There are so many things that make it great, but there are also a few things that keep it from being the best it could be. Add in all the amenities, fix the bridges and safety, and do a little bit more maintenance on trees and shrubs etc and this course would easily be in competition for one of the top courses in the country. I hope it happens and I hope to be back sometime soon.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Dynamite Destination Course!
Pros: This course has it all! Professional long holes, some technical, some wide open. Short holes too, but none are without numerous obstacles. Extremely scenic, some of the best looking holes I've ever played. The park is primarily used for disc golf, and the land itself is amazing. The creek that snakes through the entire course makes you play honestly as well. Multiple pin and tee pad placements. Right now most of the pins are in the longer "B" locations. It even has shelters, restrooms and water fountains dotting the whole park. This course right here is why I play this game. Mother nature and competitive sports in one perfect harmony. Highlight of my disc golf year so far!
Cons: The only real con I have here are the natural tee pads. I have never played a course with natural pads, excluding the course I played that was laid out on an actual ball golf course with manicured teepads. These here were earthy dirt pads. I slipped badly on one today, but that's because it had rained and I was still getting used to running up on them to throw the long holes this course offers. I understand that many of the courses in this part of Illinois all have natural pads, so I'm guessing this is more of a political thing than a desire. However, I overlooked that minor annoyance to enjoy the top caliber of a course that this place is.
Other Thoughts: Destination course? You bet! I live two hours away, and you can bet I'll be back! I just wish this course was closer. Met an older gentleman who plays the course frequently and he was gracious enough to show me around and guide me as to where to throw and was very gracious and knowledgeable. If you are ever around this area and you DON'T take the time to stop and enjoy this place, you my friend will have missed out on one of the best disc golf courses I've ever played!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
worth the drive
Pros: This is an awesome course, defanatley worth the drive if your from out of the area like me. I love the creek that runs through the course. several shots are over the creek with little man made bridges across them (ex. ladder, big stones to hop across on) A nice mixture of holes some being open but most in the woods. Loved holes 6-8
Cons: the only con I can think of is that it would be nice if there were signs marking where to head for the next tee off position. This being due to the fact that some are around corners in the woods. Could be a little hard to navigate if you didnt have a local playing with you.
Other Thoughts: I will defantitaly be going back
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This long, tough championship course will really put your game to the test. There are many multi shot par 4's and a couple par 5's on this course. The course is very long but a lot of the holes have trees and low ceilings forcing you to throw controlled shots, not just pure distance. There's a lot of places to get in trouble when you get off the fairway or throw a less than controlled drive. There's a nice variety of shots and a few doglegs. It uses the available land, elevation changes and creeks very well.
There are two tees per hole with colored markers in the ground at each. A lot, if not all of the holes have multiple pin positions. Tee signs list the distance for each tee pad to each pin position with a diagram of the hole. There were many trash cans on the course to help keep the course clean. Maps were available at the bulletin board at the parking lot, but navigating the course was fairly easy.
With all the rain we've got recently, I was pleasantly surprised with how dry the course was.
Cons: With a course of this caliber, I was really surprised it didn't have concrete tee pads. With a course full of long holes, having nice long concrete tees would be a huge addition to the course. The tees weren't in bad shape considering they're dirt, but I did move around a bit on some of them to find a better place to throw from.
The tee signs were at the short pads meaning you have to walk past the long pad to see where you're going on a hole then walk back to the long pad to throw.
At one of the creek crossings there were nice cylindrical concrete stepping stones in the creek but two of them had fallen over. If I didn't have such long legs that crossing would have been tough. But then again with all the rain we've had recently the creeks could have more water than normal.
I've never critiqued tee signs with hole diagrams before, but due to all the par 4's and 5's where the basket is far out of sight, I feel like more detailed signs could be useful here. But then again, once you've played here a few times this is a non-issue.
With the exception of the concrete tees, the rest of my cons are pretty minor.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is an excellent, championship caliber course that's definitely worth checking out.
Even with the short pads I wouldn't say this course is rec friendly, but there is a 9 hole rec course in the same park so there's something for everyone here.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I have been waiting to play this course for 2 years now and I finally found the excuse to make the 3-hour drive to Centralia. I had pretty high expectations, and the course did not disappoint in any way. The conditions were rough because it was snowy and icy, but I will try to not let those affect my review.
Tees- For natural tees, they were nice and flat--it was hard to tell in spots because of the snow, but they seemed to be level for the most part. I didn't feel like the natural tee pads were that big of a disadvantage in most places.
Terrain: The property this course is on is awesome and quite unique. Foundation features the best creek I have ever seen used in a DG course. It is wide and deep and runs throughout much of the course. They find ways to use it differently with each hole. There is a nice amount of diversity as far as holes that play in the woods and some shots out in the open…but not too many. The woods vary from densely wooded to park like. There are quite a bit of elevation changes on top of everything else, which really takes this course to the next level.
Shot Selection: You will throw every shot you have on this course. Each hole is shaped differently and it really rewards the player who breaks the holes down into manageable parts (the par 4 and 5's). If you just want to grip it and rip it, this might not be the course for you (although there are a few places where you can).
Signage: Excellent. The signs appeared to be accurate and marked for the correct basket placements. There were maps for the red tees at Red #1 and maps for Blue at Blue #1.
Flow: Good for the most part. There were a few parts where I had to walk ahead to locate baskets and a few spots where I got turned around, but there were next tee signs in places where it was necessary.
Baskets: Excellent. I am personally biased towards the Gateway Titans. I think they are the best baskets on the market and Foundation is home to the Titan. The eat discs for breakfast.
Cons: There are very few cons for me. The main one is the creek crossing. Because the creek comes into play in so many places, it is very awkward in spots. Admittedly, the conditions didn't help, but looking at it subjectively it was still pretty rough regardless of the conditions. There were a few places with bridges, but other places where there were some big stones used for the crossing. The water was up and it could be very difficult to cross for those less coordinated. Unrelated to bridge issue, on hole 7 I went down to get my disc out of the creek and slipped and submerged both feet (ankles high) in icy water. Good times.
I guess the other con would have to be tee pads. I am not sure that the rubber strips that they have out there do much for me. They were very slick and I am not sure it is that much of an improvement over throwing off the dirt/mud.
Other Thoughts: Awesome, awesome course. Now that I have played it once, I can't wait to get out there again. The guys in the area have a real gem.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
A Humbling Experience.
Pros: You know this course is special even before you get to the parking just by looking at the beautiful park it's in.
Shortly thereafter, you see the practice basket with it's marked increments, then the driving range! A cool touch anyway, but having pavers in the ground going out to (at least) 525' is just inspired. (It does parallel 1's fairway though, so don't expect unobstructed practicing if other golfers are there.)
My favorite thing about this course? About every shot you can have is covered in the first 7 holes: 1 is an open bomb, gentle hyzer. 2, shorter, tighter anny shot with plenty of obstacles to dodge. 3, GNARLY 90 degree anny that's a mother to get a 3 on. 4 is a teeny anny with a moderately guarded pin. 5 goes up and down and through some trees before a gentle hyzer at the end. 6 is as close as you get to an ace run, but even that is a downhill tunnel with loads of ugliness off to either side. 7 gives you 2 doses of risk reward with a creek 3/4 of the way that's not easy to ascend/descend, and an elevated pin on a steep slope.
There's not another course is the St. Louis area which covers THAT much variety in such FEW holes. Hell, some entire courses around here aren't as dynamic.
Flow hole-to-hole is good (though i cheated with a guide) navigation is better, signage is a notch or two away from great.
Many kudos to whomever is responsible for the bridges/stones that have been placed to traverse the water. Wet feet is NOT a fun sensation when it's ~30 degrees out.
Cons: Tiny parking lot that must get overwhelmed in warm weather. (Never did see another place to park, but maybe i missed it)
Missing some of the amenities: concrete pads, water access, benches, open restroom (there is one right by the first tee, but it was closed).
Um, it's not closer to St. Louis???
Other Thoughts: Such a challenging and dynamic course, i'm spoiled to even have it at close as it is to St. Louis. As more and more people take the trip out here (it is kinda in the middle of nowhere), look for this course to climb up the top 10 list quickly.
If you're planning a trip out here (and you should be), send a PM to hognosesucker. Good golfer, great guide, better host.
Added bonus: if you happen upon the McDonalds a mile or so west of the park before or after your game, jog across the street to the quik-e-mart and you can pick up a bottle of genuine REDARMYVODKA! (My avatar is the bottle's logo)
Haven't seen that stuff in 10 years in St. Louis, but that store has it! (mix it with something though, it doesn't taste very good) :P
Comparable to West City Park in Festus, MO in regards to length and tree density, but Foundation's holes require far more shot shaping/different techniques.
A phenomenal course i hope to get back to in the very near future. Hopefully my game will have developed a little more by then as i don't enjoy scorecards starting with 8's :(
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course makes great use of a lot of land to provide a wide range of holes. Pretty even mix of holes in a hilly forest and open holes with massive treelines and fairway obstacles. Good flow between the inside and outside of the forest.
- Holes outside of the forest constantly provide a ton of different shots, each presenting a good challenge. #12, for instance, is a full length dogleg right that has a well defined entrance to a second fairway. Other highlights include a z-shaped fairway and many genuine bomber holes. There is decent to very good elevation changes on most holes, and the large and low trees make for a lot of tight windows and some very precise pathways.
- Wide range of hole types inside the forest as well. There are some shorter shots, with good variety. Left, right, and straight, with some elevation mixed in at times. Other longer holes have low ceilings and hilly terrain to contend with, as well as wet and dry hazardous spots. Shot placement is critical with direction and distance both being major factors. #7 is a signature hole, which involves getting over a creek (laying up a definite option), and then getting up a hill with a pretty fast green. A few multi-shot holes to be found.
- Creekbed comes into play on a few holes in the forest, and is pretty deep. In addition to some other generally rugged terrain, there are many spots to get into trouble. The rough is not too bad, so recovery shots can be very important. The more dangerous parts are mostly on the more open holes with thick trees and bushes.
- Decent amount of protected baskets and/or sloped greens. For the most part, the baskets have pretty safe landing zones, but there is good punishment outside of the clearings.
- Great baskets and signage. Bricks point to the next tee so navigation is straightforward. Natural/dirt teepads are good when dry, at least.
Cons: - The land in general is kind of flat, so there is a fair amount of flat holes. Most of the holes outside the forest have gentle slopes, and only some of the wooded holes have hills and undulating ground to deal with. There is a good variety in terms of up or down, and left or right, though.
- Creek crossings are currently being put in, so there are some spots where you might have to walk around. Not too far out of the way, especially if it's dry.
Other Thoughts: - A championship course all the way. There is a very good amount of multi-shot holes that demand distance and accuracy, and good shot placement. Setting up for the next throw becomes very important, both inside and outside of the woods. These are complemented well by shorter, tighter holes, and longer, slopng holes. A very well-rounded design.
- This course plays tough from the shorts/shorts, and is a true monster with either of the longs (or both). You can choose from long or extra long, regardless.
- One hole plays next to the entrance road, but overall there is a good sense of seclusion.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
one of the best in Illinois
Pros: The other many reviews on here will give you the idea.
Two tees and two pin placements per hole.
A number of true, par four shots; but not simply made long for the sake of being long. These shots require placement for a possible three, or even a four.
Club is filled with great guys. Contact them and someone will more than likely meet you for play.
Rec. nine from long tees is quite challenging. No one but this crew would call this a "recreational" course. However, after playing the toughness that is the 18, you will be relieved to play the rec nine.
Creek in play on a number of holes.
Titan baskets are quality.
Cons: Dirt tees, and it has been wet both times I've been there. This is not the fault of the club; there is a board they must answer to, which doesn't want cement tees at present. Club is working towards making this situation better. Positive response from disc golfing community at large, may help sway them toward rectifying this situation.
Some bridge work has been done since I was first here. A couple more would be useful.
Other Thoughts: Stellar, (mostly) Dave McCormick design.
Incredibly, partially due to it's location; you will more than likely have this course to yourself; though, I would suggest hooking up with a local for both enjoyment and ease of navigation.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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