Fun course most of the year
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Goldenrod is an 18 hole disc golf course located along the Flint River in Davison, Michigan. The land the course is on is DG exclusive and has its own parking area and port-a-johns. The terrain is mostly flat with a few swamps/ponds scattered throughout the area. A few holes play along the banks of the river and a stream. There is a good mix of open & wooded holes, with most having decent lines to the basket.
There are a couple of elevated shots and approaches, with a few tricky greens surrounded by water hazards.
The course is usually in decent shape, but flooding does occur at a couple places in the spring. The front 9 loops back to parking lot before hole 10. There is also a cool alternate tee for hole 18 on top of the hill by the lake.
Some baskets are not visible from the tees, so some scouting might be needed for those unfamiliar with the course. Overall the course is a good challenge for most players with some chances for an ace run here and there.
I'm not an expert on this course, but keep in mind that you'll probably have a better time here if you play it before the spring thaw or you just might want to wait until late summer/early fall to come out. In the spring this place can get wet and soggy, right off the fairways. Don't forget, the skeeters can get bad out there until the place dries up sometime in summer.
Here are a few notable things that stand out about Goldenrod
DG Exclusive - You'll get the occasional horse rider or snowmobiler but it's usually just dgr's out there. A patrol car will circle through once in a while to check up on the place but I haven't heard of them busting anyone's chops. There are leagues and tournaments held here year-round.
Good Use of Available Land - The course makes good use of the area. It's not pristine golf course land, but it does have some unique features not found at every DG course. There is some surrounding park land for an expansion or re-design if ever needed. There are several baskets near water or slopes to increase the difficulty/risk.
FREE - No special park pass required to enter or play. This is the only course in the area so it can get busy in the afternoons. Most people I have met there have been very friendly. I've even seen the old lady wearing waders (scouring the ponds) toss your disc back to you if it lands in the water.
Other Things To Do - There is fishing, a BMX complex, an ATV/Off-Road Park, Huckleberry RR & Village, and many other things to do in the area for you or others.
Course Conditions - As mentioned earlier, your enjoyment will depend on what time of the season you go. There are many spots that get soggy in the spring. The water-level near the ponds are higher in the spring and make you think twice about going for the basket with danger if you overshoot it. All the water breeds our skeeter friends at a rapid rate and bug spray is a must May-August.
Teepads - The rubber pads are not all that bad, but concrete tees would be a welcome sight. I can live with the rubber but some might not care for them.
Lack of Amenities - The course is in a pretty remote area of town. You'll need to stop somewhere before you get there for water, food, discs, etc. While there were two porta-johns there, they weren't the cleanest. Tee signage is also ho-hum but it could be due to past vandalism.
Other Thoughts: Overall, we usually have a good time here. Your experience will most likely be determined by the time of year you play it. If it's your first time, try to get someone who's played there to guide you around. While I wouldn't consider this course as a destination, it's worth the drive and a must-play during the dry season. I'd rate it a solid 4.0 course on its good days, but I can also see it rated as a 3.0 during the "not so nice" days.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
nice exclusive course.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Aesthetic-- Area is disc golf exclusive. Course has it's own entrance (can be entered from boat launch area) and parking. I'm sure people could use the course as walking trails but I'm not sure.
Routing and nav-- course flows pretty well. maps are available on DGCR and other places.
Baskets-- all there and in good repair. easily visible with orange reflective tape. Not all baskets are visible from tee so scouting may be necessary.
Challenge/variety/risk v reward-- this course will challenge about every portion of your game. long holes, short holes, lefts, rights, water, elevation.. use of water here is a highlight for sure. there a lot of little sink ponds throughout the course that could gobble a disc right quick. The second component is the rough. while not crazy thick, you will be punished for errant throws. there is a bit of elevation here that will challenge the last part of your game.
Teesignage-- in decent repair. a lot of graffiti and other missing pieces but where the poles are complete, maps, par, distances (accurate) and next tee signs are helpful.
Loopage-- course plays in two loops so playing 2 9-hole loops is a nice bonus to only have to play 9 if you want to.
Facilities-- there are plenty of garbage cans and picnic tables on every hole. makes for a nice round when you can rest if needed.
Cons: Teepads-- we were here in January so it wasn't much of a deal but I hate rubber teepads...
Transitions-- #5-#6 in the winter is like suicide. walking along a small ridge covered in small bamboo plants is tough, add in ice and it's damn near impossible.
Lengths-- there is one hole >400' and the rest are 200-350ish. not a ton of distance but with the thick woods, it's not really surprising.
Other Thoughts: Overall this course is nice. a few small tweaks could help it be fantastic.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
work on pads
Pros: great lay out.
Cons: work on pads.
not related to course but this web site. a brief review is better than no review. your insistence on content does not necessarily lead to better overall results.
Other Thoughts: work on pads. think cement
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
CASS BENTON NORTH
Course has fantastic terrain and plenty of signature looks from the tees. Really great shaping here. A truly rolling terrain on several holes, and while the elevation changes aren't huge, the designers utilized it at every opportunity. I won't bore you with a play-by-play here, but rather run down a few of my favourite holes.
The first three holes cut some wide, worn paths through standard Mid-Michigan forestry. #2 has a deceiving slope following the right side of the fairway, but once you come upon the pin, you realize the drop off isn't that bad. A lot of hidden dangers lurk just outside the rough at Goldenrod, and it was interesting that this once it was actually the opposite - looking dangerous from afar, but truly un-troublesome.
#5 is a spectacularly designed: a small ridge to throw off of, with a narrow strait before you, opening to reveal a twisting, undulating fairway, with a fairly disastrous slope on the right and thick shoal on the left, just beyond which is a drop off to a stagnant pond below. Control over power is valued here, as you want to cut through the strait and drop your disc to set up your approach around the left shoal that blinds your view of the pin. A great technical look with crazy risk/reward - this is one of the best holes at Goldenrod.
#10 and #11 are twin visions to behold. The former is a cutthroat anhyzer through some pretty dense trees, but with plenty of lines to choose from, and good landing spots no matter what your choice. If you can somehow weave your way through and birdie this behemoth, I think it would be equal parts skill and luck that would help you achieve it. Gotta love that type of balance from a hole. The latter of the two is an awesome ace run from atop the biggest hill at Goldenrod, but be wary - if you overshoot here you will be in trouble. Hidden from your view at the tee pad is a steep descent into a riverbed just beyond and to the left of the pin. Use a spotter or you will be searching if you go in. Another great example of Goldenrod's risk/reward factor.
#12 starts a loop around a big bullfrog pond, and the "hidden dangers" abound again. Seems like every time you walk up on your disc, water is glistening in the sun behind the shoal. This loop contains six holes, two of which really stand out. #13 is an insanely narrow and sharp anhyzer with water on both sides. The rough is fairly thick here so I think you're OK in terms of going into the drink, but I would definitely recommend a spotter for this one, probably about halfway down the fairway, so they have a sight line on both the tee and basket. It's seriously like a 75 or 80 degree angle. #16 is the sister hole of #5, although buried in the woods. Two ridges dance up and down, with the pin located atop the one furthest to the right. Multiple lines again exist here, and a huge rollaway is possible if you miss on your approach. A very memorable hole.
#18 finally frees you from the foliage, although there is a patch on your approach. The practice basket has been made into a playoff hole, which is beyond cool! A dirt tee is on the far hill next to a charcoal grill, and creates a nice downhill bomb with a picket fence as your main obstacle, should your round end tied. I wish more courses had this; a great touch!
The only con to state here are the tee pads. They are rubber, so slippage is very easy even if they are cleaned off and dry. I could see on a couple of holes that these were actually placed over some older gravel tees. Pretty sure I would've preferred the gravel! We ended up just throwing from the dirt which worked out well. Of course concrete is best, but even if someone just came and removed these it would be an improvement. These terrible tees knock this 4-star course down to a 3.5 for me - little things like this really differentiate the best courses from the rest, and unfortunately Goldenrod's tees knock it down a notch.
I can totally see mosquitoes being a problem here as well, since the majourity of water hazards are indeed stagnant ponds, but with the drought conditions going on this summer, this was a non-issue. Maybe if I played through when they were rampant it would knock another half-disc off of my rating... I could see this course being like Willow in that regard.
Another possible con could be the sameness of the course. It all plays through the same standard set of Mid-Michigan woods, and has a very similar feel to, say, Holly Woods for example. But while the land the course is built on is fairly static, I think the designers did a great job in breaking up the terrain, so no deduction here. In fact, I think this is a PRO rather than a CON for me.
Overall, this is a wonderfully designed course and it's been treated as such. You can tell Goldenrod is really worn in but not destroyed at all. There were plenty of benches and trash cans, and I thought the course was fairly clean. Some of the previous reviews state that it can be very busy, and I can see why. Most of the underbrush is gone and as a result the fairways are mainly dirt, but this does not affect your round at all. Layout is concise and really easy to follow; no chance of skipping a hole or doubling back. What really blew me away were the multitude of lines available on every hole and the overall shaping of the holes themselves. Really, really well designed, and you can tell it is only getting better with age. Very well done, and darn near champion caliber IMO. Recommend Discin'!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The thing I liked the most about this course was the difficulty of it. This is not a good beginner course, there is a lot of places to loose a disc. Regardless of that there were still plenty of challenging shots that really test your imagination.
Cons: plenty of places to loose discs...
Other Thoughts: met a few local guys, everyone seemed really nice and helpful. Great course, I'll defiantly be going back.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice technical course with serious risk vs. reward on several holes.
Surprised me with how visually appealing the landscape was for central michigan.
The biggest "pro" in my experience here was the people, although the course was VERY busy, and waiting was necessary on many tee's. We joined up with several locals we met on the course, and ended up playing it through 3 times with them. This made course with a high probability of losing a disc MUCH less risky.
Cons: Water hazards everywhere (this could be a pro if your into scavenging)
Technical course does not favor long drivers.
Some seriously thick rough that will take a few minutes to find a disc in.
A few blind hyzer shots, so use a spotter, and scout holes before throw.
Other Thoughts: Thanks to Brian and Matt for the rounds, and teaching us the course!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Bring an extra disc!
Pros: This course will teach you a great lesson about the fairway! If you go off the fairway you may loose your disc. There is wooded and open shots, and a few elevated shots as well. The woods get real tight in the back 9 and add a lot of difficulty.
Cons: Mosquitoes are bad...REAL BAD in the summer!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: It teaches you how to throw all different types of shots, makes you learn what types of shots to put in your arsenal.
Cons: Access to water on quite a few holes, and mosquitos are pretty bad during the summer.
Other Thoughts: I love the course, it tought me how to play so i still play through the bugs, i just wish that people wouldnt mess with things out there, like the teepads and the tee markers, and the nonsense vandalism.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Very challenging course but lots of fun. The course teaches you how to throw around, under, and above trees and bushes.
Cons: Easy place to lose your disc's and lots of mosquitoes so bring bug spray.
Other Thoughts: I have played this course more times then i can remember.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - A lot of fun, challenging holes.
- Not a specifically forhand or backhand heavy course. Its well rounded in terms of shot selection.
- Even the short holes, while good birdy ops, were challenging and you had to play them right.
- For the most part a very good balancing of risk and reward.
- I found myself loving the course design most of the time. Most of the holes are very well layed out and use the land extremely well.
- Good, but not overly punishing, use of water.
- Huge picnic area with a practice basket and port-a-johns make the area great for a day trip.
Cons: - No holes where you can just let loose and throw hard.
- Teepads were rubber mats, which became very slick with any amount of sand / dirt on them, and some were missing.
- Signage was incomplete and, when present, somewhat vague.
- Several holes I absolutely hated. These holes (mainly 1, 14, 15, and 17) seemed like they lacked an actual fairway. They were cluttered with trees with no particular flow, design, or art to where they were placed, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. When a designer does this, players then find themselves just hoping their throw doesn't hit a tree, rather than thinking their way through a hole and choosing a shot strategically.
- The course, while dry when I played, seemed like it could get very swampy.
- If you have bug spray (like I did) the bugs aren't an issue, but if you forget it, they are thick.
Other Thoughts: This is a course with great potential. Its in a very pretty location that is a decent drive from a population center, so it isn't very crowded. It is very well layed out and fun to play. With the addition of some better (or even complete signs) and the thoughtful removal of some trees on select fairways, this course could easily be a four star course. If you are in the area or within an hour or two and wanting a new course to play I would definitely suggest a round at Goldenrod.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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