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.
Champ Level Course
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Foundation Park is a gnarly championship level course. This place will force even the most crafty veteran to really be on their A-game to shoot well on this course and can punish those less seasoned players. Out of the gate, you are faced with a 800+ monster and quickly move to gorgeous turnover tunnel shot.. You will have an opportunity to throw every disc in your bag as you wind through the gentle wooded hills of centrellia, IL. This place is really too awesome to describe and always seems to be pretty free of any other disc golf traffic at all.
-not so "rec" 9 hole course to warm up on!!!!!
-Concrete Tee Pads
-Multiple Pad locations
-Multiple Pin Placements
-Secluded/Peaceful place to golf
-Trash Cans (park is very clean)
Cons: -Isnt closer to my house
Other Thoughts: Personally one of my favorite places to play.. In my top 5 courses.. Thank you David Mac and Justin Bunnell.. This is really a job well done!!
4 of 4 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.
A to Z course!
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course has everything from A to Z.
Lets start with the courses. You have two separate courses to play. A rec 9 perfect for beginners and families. Not many courses have an area where you can play at your leisure with out feeling like your in the way of people who already know how to play. And this course has not been neglected it features the same concrete pads and tee post as the champ side.
The Champ 18 is difficult and challenging yet enjoyable to play. The holes seem to have every variety of length and shot selection. The woods is thin enough you can find your disc when you get off line. That is a huge plus. Although this course has many long holes there are many strategic obstacles that prevent big arms from dominating. The champ side is a great course for tournaments and large group play.
The Tees--On the champ side you have very separate red an blue tees. On the rec side you have red blue and even youth yellow. A person could spend a day just playing all the different tee locations.
Pin locations are also changed seasonally by the local club.
There is a club that host a league and fund raising tournaments.
This is also a great park with bike trails, fishing, pavilions, rest rooms and plenty of room to park.
Cons: There are no cons I can find for this course or park.
Other Thoughts: Centralia is a fairly small town with your basic fast food restaurants and a walmart.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Many different shot shapes to utilize more discs in the bag and change your game up a bit.
Nice tee pads, trash cans, signage, benches.
Love the creek play.
Great park all around.
Cons: Too many low disc swatting branches.
Hole length on a few seemed a bit excessive but the par rating was generous enough.
That's a bout it for cons.
Other Thoughts: I loved this course! It's about 1 1/2 hr drive but stories of the hole length always scared me away. Nah! It aint like that. You don't have to have a big arm to enjoy this course. But I do recommend just slowing down and concentrate on placement over distance.
Can't wait to go back!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Awesome park setting. Practice basket. Driving Range. Great mix of open and tight fairways, tight and open greens, some elevation change, and lots of shot types can be utilized around the course.
Cons: Can be too long. When playing from the long tees to the long pins, especially during a tourney, you will wear yourself out. They need to expand the parking area.
1 of 11 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.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Awesome course-even better with Concrete
Pros: Awesome use of the existing park and trail system. Challenging course that will test all parts of your game. Good mix of left to right and right to left playing holes. Bring your accuracy game!
Awesomely maintained and beautiful park.
A very decent Rec 9 accross the street that is a pretty good challenge also.
Cons: The creek crossings would be the weak spot now, though I hear there are some improvements coming in that area.
Distance from major cities is pretty good. But trust me, it's worth it!!!!!!!
Other Thoughts: A trip to Foundation Park is well worth it, make a day of it!!!
Local club of is full a a bunch of good guys that are more than willing to show you around.
This course is worthy of a National level tournament. Hopefully that will be recognized by the powers that be, and combined with the local club, make a big tournament here a reality
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
The Gem in the Woods
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - This is a beautiful park with real character and the course is laid out quite well. There is a great variety of holes that will test most aspects of your game. If you have difficulty throwing 300'+ shots accurately you will struggle here.
- Despite most of the holes being 400'+, I was consistently pulling out my mid-ranges in order to make a more accurate, dependable shot, even on the par 5 holes. This is not your typical par 54 course! I believe the score cards list the par at around 72 but I would probably peg it closer to a 65 or so.
- The concrete pads were some of the best I've played on.
Cons: - Course is in desperate need of tree trimming. There are several locations where overgrown trees or low-hanging branches eat an excellent shot. A local informed us that a curmudgeon on the park board won't allow the club to cut any trees. Its unfortunate because the course getting a bit "wild" is one of the biggest things holding it back. Courses should be like well tended gardens, not forests.
- Dangerous creek crossings. There are five holes with some wide, deep creeks to cross. A few are crossed by playing hop-scotch across concrete pylons spaced across the gap. One has a metal plank that is about 1.5' wide and a rope to stead yourself. Another hole has a wooden plank about 2' wide and no rope. The last is hole 18 and fortunately the creek bed was dry because we couldn't find any way to cross the creek without walking back out to the road and around. These aren't huge concerns but I was a bit worried when my wife was trying to cross them, and I would definitely be worried about young kids trying. They add character to the outing, true, but they aren't safe and they aren't family friendly.
- Hole 18 was a disappointment. The course is a thrill ride of exciting holes (especially through the back 9) but it seemed like the designer was unsure how to finish back at the parking lot. After the majesty of the preceding holes you're treated to a dinky poke-and-hope putter shot back to your car.
Other Thoughts: Wow, Centralia was a lot of fun to play. Fun and challenging are the two words I would use to describe this experience, and I can't wait to come back.
My rating was a tough decision - I would honestly love to give this course a 4.5. I believe its peak potential is 4.5, but the problems I mentioned above are what hold it back. Here is my feedback - implement these and I'll gladly up to 4.5.
1. Build honest-to-goodness bridges for my family to walk across. Someone is going to get hurt.
2. Find a different hole 18. Something with pizzazz.
3. Convince that park board to let you tend the course - any horticulturalist will tell you that pruning limbs is actually good for trees, and removing certain trees are beneficial for the land.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a big course with new concrete tpads, gateway titans, mulitple pin positions, and 3 sets of t boxes (only reds are concrete, as of right now). This course has everything, long drives, a few short aceable baskets, creek comes into play a few holes, hills, trees, beautiful landscape. This park is very well taken care of. Has better creek crossings, It also has a 9 hole rec course on the other side of the park.
Other Thoughts: Concrete on both the 18 hole champ and 9 hole rec side of the park, sometime in the future adding another 9 holes to that. Its a great course, and its only getting greater!
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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