Lovely Place to Play & Stay
Pros: Justin Trails Classic is a beautiful, well kept course in a delightful setting -- the rolling hills of a former dairy farm turned B&B and destination wedding venue. The owners are friendly and helpful, and they work hard to maintain a first-class operation.
The course is mowed regularly and includes, concrete tees, trash receptacles, good signage, and ample restrooms along the way. The "Lodge," just off the parking area, offers maps and course information and makes snacks and beverages available.
The course includes a mix of open and wooded holes, has plenty of elevation to contend with, and a pond to throw over.
Cons: A minor flaw is that the course can seem a little repetitive. For example, after starting with four open, hilly holes, you have three open flat holes, then three holes with tight-wooded fairways.
A few of the holes are bordered by cropland, which can make finding errant throws a challenge. However, in most cases there's plenty of room to stay out of trouble with a reasonable throw.
The course is listed as having a set of short tees, and the course signage shows them, but they are not readily apparent. I was told they were marked by flush-to-the-ground landscape timbers, but I didn't see many of these along the way. I was happy playing from the concrete long tees as I suspect most would be. This doesn't seem to be the course where you'd take new players to introduce them to the game.
Other Thoughts: Though this course was challenging for me, some more advanced players might consider it tame and/or short. If so, they have the option to play Justin Trails Big Brother just across the valley where they can really air things out.
Although I played for free while staying as a guest at the B&B (which I highly recommend), the $5 fee for use of the course by non-guests would be well worth it. It's a pleasure to play such a well cared for course in such a peaceful setting.
Great course with great scenery
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Beautiful views, variety of looks, elevation changes.
Cons: Somewhat easy.
Other Thoughts: Given the land they have to work with, this course was very well constructed. Considering the lack of good courses in the area, this is the best course nearby. I play this course every time I'm in the area and love it.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great warm up for Big Brother
Pros: Located on a beautiful piece of land in hilly west central Wisconsin. In addition to this course there is the even more challenging Big Brother course further up the hill. Very nice, large, level concrete tee pads on all holes, with 2 by 4's buried in the grass serving as the short tees on all 18 holes. Large wood signs with basic hole layout, short and long tee locations, distance and par located next to each long tee pad. They also have maps available in the pro shop and are more than willing to explain any questions you might have about anything.
So basically navigation is not a problem at all. Distances range from 460 feet as the longest to 200 feet as the shortest from the pro tees. Most are around 300 feet. They do an excellent job of using the edge of the woods to make some challenging tunnel shots towards the middle of the course. The first seven holes i believe are mostly open but the wind is a huge factor on these holes. Especially on the first four holes, where you throw up, down and across a large hill. Hole 11 has a pond you have to tee off over thats about 200 ft. long. this pond will come into play a little on the next hole as well. Good job in incorporating this feature on the land. 13 and 14 offer some more nice tunnel shots, again this is a great job utilizing the land available. There is also an outhouse located right before hole 12, always nice to see. Not sure what type of baskets they have but all are in great condition and catch nicely. The fairways are mowed weekly which is nice, and quite the task considering the vastness of the two courses. The rough is mowed monthly and isn't too bad compared to the Big Brother. Pretty difficult to lose a disc on this course other than the pond. $5/person per day is a bargain for what you get playing here. There are 3 campsites on the course with very reasonable fees to stay there.
Cons: There is a campsite very near holes # 9, 10, and 11 but unless you terribly overthrow they shouldn't come into play, but something to be careful of. Be sure to check for ticks after you play here, not really a con but just something to remember. I honestly can't think of anything else and these listed aren't even really cons.
Other Thoughts: If you are ever in the area be sure to check this course and its extremely challenging Big Brother out. You will NOT be disappointed. I played there on a cold rainy day the last time i was there and had more fun than i've had at any other course in a long time.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a large private piece of land, so there aren't going to be many chances for interference around here. Maybe if other people are camping out or hiking something, but it shouldn't be an issue.
- Holes are split pretty evenly between wooded and open areas. The majority of the wooded shots are tight and straight; #8 is a slight uphill tunnel, #9 is a slight downhill tunnel, and #10 is another uphill tunnel. Nasty trouble on both sides off the fairway. #13 and #14 are a little more open; #13 is an uphill shot with the basket up and on the left, and #14 is a steeper downhill shot out of the woods. #17 is a short, but very steep valley through some denser woods, and #18 is a shorter straight shot, steeper downhill.
- Open holes here are pretty wide open, but have good elevation changes to keep things interesting. #1 is a decent uphill shot, #2 is a downhill ace run with a big rollaway behind the basket, #15 is up a big hump, and #16 is another uphill valley. #11 is a valley shot over a small pond too.
- A few of the holes are bordered by the woods, so they are not completely open. #3, #12, and #5-#7 all are RHBH shots only, of varying length. #3 is a downhill valley and #4 is an uphill valley with a slope on the right and left, respectively.
- Excellent variety in hole length; there are long and short uphill and downhill shots, and longer and shorter wooded holes. Elevation changes make a big difference in many spots to mix things up as well.
- Good pads, signs, and baskets; navigation is a breeze. Practice basket in front of the property as well.
Cons: - The open holes here are pretty much wiiiide open. But, the elevation changes help out a ton to keep things interesting, and some schule is present here and there for added punishment.
- Course is very hyzer heavy, especially on the holes that are bordered by the woods. With the exception of the tunnel shots, almost every hole is righty friendly.
Other Thoughts: - All in all, a very enjoyable course that is pretty well balanced between tight technical holes, both uphill and downhill, and open holes with serious elevation changes to contend with. A few spots might be a little too tough for beginners; advanced players should be able to cruise through with lots of birdie chances. But ya gotta earn 'em!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - The Justin Trails Resort compound offers (among many other amenities) two world-class disc golf courses side-by-side. The two 18-hole courses sprawl over the scenic Wisconsin hills and compliment each other well. Big Brother offers gold-level challenges while the shorter Classic remains an accessible and fun play for all. The resort offers cabins, suites, and camping. Concessions available on site. Gracious hosts help make the experience one to remember.
- Outstanding elevation. The rolling hills provide many spectacular pin placements, and offer a variety of challenges. Greens often play faster than they look, with epic rollaways a very real possibility. Enough elevation to make even wide-open holes (my least favorite) uniquely interesting.
- Outstanding risk/reward. Several holes offer exciting greens (#'s 4, 11, 12, 13, 18 to name a few). #11's short water carry with pin near the far edge of shore and #18's up-and-over dink-and-dunk tee shot with a very rollaway-prone pin set on the other side of a small rise (followed by a huge drop-off) are both stand-outs. Several wooded tunnel shots (#'s 8, 9, 10) offer technical challenges that work a different skill set than the open hilly shots.
- A good mix of distances that keep things exciting and challenging without beating down noodle arms or boring experienced players.
- Good use of water. # 11 throws downhill over a small pond while #12's fairway doubles back with the pond to the right.
- Decent signage, tees, etc. Outhouses in a couple of places.
Cons: - Despite the excellent layout, a few stretches can't help but feel repetitive. If the holes were mixed up in the order, it might not be noticable, but #'s 8, 9, and 10 all follow the woods to the left and a line of trees to the right. On each hole a short tunnel shot is required. Likewise, #'s 5, 6, and 7 all play suspiciously alike.
- At certain times of year, tall corn might come into play on off-target throws. Definitely something to watch out for, as the cornfields will readily eat discs.
Other Thoughts: - Other than the two stretches of similar holes, this course is superbly balanced and extremely fun to play. Most players will find a variety of challenges, from dealing with the wind and hills or having to split the narrow fairways of #'s 8, 9, and 10. With the longer, more difficult Big Brother immediately adjacent, all levels of players will have a blast at Justin Trails.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Talk about a warm up..
Pros: Played this course after playing Big Brother, all I have to say is that I wish I hadn't already thrown my arm out so I could have really enjoyed this amazing course.
Every shot on this course was a blast. As a whole this course is pretty short and easy, but the elevation changes keep it VERY interesting and really test your distance accuracy. Don't overthrow!! This course is almost the mini-version of Big Brother (though maybe Big Brother should be the mega-version of the classic).
Despite the fact that the course is pretty straight forward, by far its biggest appeal is the parcel of land it is located on. Be prepared for some of the most beautiful scenery of any disc golf experience you are likely to encounter. You basically throw up and down and around series of hills that bring you deeper and deeper into the country until the last few holes spit you right back out to where you began.
A beautiful course located with some beautiful scenery. Very well kept when I was there (they were actually mowing it that very day), and some of the nicest course owners you're likely to find anywhere.
Cons: There really aren't too many cons for this course. It would be nice to see a little more trees, to spice it up a bit. It also feels a bit easy, especially right after playing the monster lurking above the hills, but honestly after getting your butt kicked by it's big brother you want to play classic just to easy your pain .
Other Thoughts: Fun course, next time would definitely play this BEFORE Big Brother, but honestly it doesn't matter too much either way. You will certainly have a blast and enjoy every shot on this beautiful piece of land no matter what.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Nov. 13 & 14, '10 Lodging in exchange for work on course
Pros: Help create the perfect disc course by getting rid of briars and black berries.
Cons: Some sore undeveloped muscles.
Other Thoughts: Don & Donna are offering lodging in exchange for work on the course on November 13 & 14, 2010 which will probably include a controlled burn. Two people each work 4 hours/day in exchange for available lodging at $50/night or free camping. Lunch and dinner provided for workers. Call 608-269-4522 for reservations and to get any questions answered.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Not your typical farm course!
Pros: 1) Elevation changes!!! This is by far the signature aspect of this disc golf course. Hole #1 goes up a 30 degree angle. Hole #2 has a slight downhill elevation but is most certainly back into the wind. It has slope away from the basket long and to the right so a rollaway is a possibility. Hole #3 goes across the hill with the prevailing wind from your right ready to take your disc into the halfmowed pasture. #4 follows back across the side hill but goes slightly uphill too. #5-#7 are flat at the bottom of the valley. #8, #9 and #10 are wooded alleys all with some elevation change. #11 is a slight downhiller across a pond that forces at least a 180' drive. #12 is a slight uphiller. #13 is level through a tight alley with trees right and a grassy slope to the left. #14 is a downhiller off the tee. If you can hit the gap and get it out into the open you will have a chance at birdie. #15 is a tough uphiller and sidehiller. The basket is protected from the right by some tall sumac, but throwing left may not be much of an option because you will most certainly be throwing back downhill to the basket where a rollaway will certainly be possible. #16 is another slight uphiller very similar to #15 because of the basket being on a slope. Throwing it left will leave you with a tough sidehill downhill putt. Stay below the basket on your drive. #17 is a tight alley with a basket that is hard to know where it is. It goes downhill and then back up to the basket. #18 is a tough downhiller through woods. ROllaways around the basket will most certainly happen unless you plan it correctly. As I said, elevation changes are the key feature of this course. It comes into play on almost every hole!!!! and I like it!!!
2) Nicely mowed pasture areas. They mow strips of the pasutre which makes finding your discs much easier just pay attention as to what row you are in and you will have no trouble finding your disc.
3) Has other features that make this course exciting like the few tight alley densely wooded holes. It isn't just about the elevation and wind. It also has a water feature that forces you to carry it or throw way to the side.
4) Has a nice compst toilet after the #11 hole. It is a cool feature that make sthis rustic course on a rural farm more appealing. I have never said a toilet made a course more appealing before but it certainly looks nice!
5) Nice variation in shot requirements. The elevations forces you to think about your shots because of rollaways. SOmetimes laying up is simply put the only play!
6) Beginner friendly because of alternate short tees. The elevation might get the beginner, but at least it isn't as long from the forward tees.
7) Nice large concrete teepads and baskets are in good shape
Cons: I cannot think of too many negatives on this course. That doesn't mean it is a perfect course because I would prefer to see some more variation on the wooded holes.
1) Some dense thorny vegetation on some of the wooded holes can be devastating to finding your discs but also to your legs. Wear pants if it isnt ridiculously hot or walk cautiously into those areas.
2) Forward tees are somewhat confusing because numerous times I saw more than one 4x4 buried in the fairway. If they are listed as a short tee I would like to know which they are.
Other Thoughts: Not your typical farm course as I titled this review. It is an incredible property to have a disc golf course because of the elevation changes. It also has a few holes that use dense wooded areas, offering tight alley shots. It has a large pond on one hole which should come into play unless you have a bad throw or the wind is really blowing. The best maintenance practice they do is mowing half of the surrounding pastures. This works to cut down on their maintenance but it also makes finding discs a lot easier because you can guess as to which row (mowed or unmowed) row you are in. You can also watch to see how many rows in your disc went. This is a nice feature rather than just having unmowed pasture with no visual sight lines to track your disc.
Pay to play is certainly worth the $5 per day. Course offers a bed and breakfast also so you can go for a weekend and play your heart out!!!!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Blueprint for an Amazing Rec Course
Pros: So many nice things to say about this course, the hard part is where to start. Despite the whole course being rolling hills and uneven ground, the concrete main tees are all amazing. As a rule they are large with the ideal shape: wider in the back for run-ups.
Every one is perfectly flat and level, with a strip of wood on both front and back. Tee signs at every hole show length, location and par for both main and alt tees with a map. Also, direction to next tee is listed, though you seldom need it, because this course is very FTF: well marked with signs directing you along the trails to next tee when it isn't obvious. Fairways mowed weekly, log benches and trash buckets periodically throughout the course.
Few courses I've played make such creative use of elevation for loads of interesting and unique shots. It is an extremely rare occasion on this course when you are putting directly level with the basket, and shooting from flat ground is a privilege, not a right. Be ready to think up a few interesting shots on the fly with this course, as the challenges it poses will have even locals scratching their heads at time. Though it is considered a rec course (especially compared to Big Bro) and I played quite well on it, I would still consider this a challenging course in addition to being very fun. It really is a nearly perfect rec course in a lot of ways, especially the nice variety and flow.
It starts off with some open, longer shots with really cool elevation changes in them, to get your arm warmed up and build some confidence. A pin straight up a hill is followed by a pin on the back edge of a steep hill dropping off behind, then on to a series of holes with side-sloping fairways. The open areas of this course are bordered by woods on one side, and cornfields on the other, so errant shots and rollaways are punished
Then, it moves into a series of tight tunnel shots that mandate straight controlled drives, with pins protected in the woods to the side. The rest of the course is a nice mix of wooded and open shots, before finishing with two short, wooded and very tricky par 4's that can really wreck your score.
Hole 17 plays along a wooded, STEEP hillside. This hole reminded me of #14 at Whistler DGC (Canada), but without the defined hyzer line cut through the trees. Don't let the length fool you, 4 is a good score on this hole. Even the locals I played with, who helped build this course, have to wrack their brains to avoid rollaways on this one.
Hole 18 forces you to shoot through a narrow tree window, before abruptly sloping downhill and to the right to a blind hillside basket protected by the mazelike branches of a massive fallen tree.
Hole 11 plays directly over a pond, though the elevated tee allows you to clear it easily with a midrange. The pond also comes into play as a possibility to catch rollaways on the following hole.
This course will test you, and force you to throw a wide variety of shots. Being able to throw sidearm & backhand really helps on this course, or a good mastery of annies, not to mention some thumbers and rollers, plus a variety of putting techniques. It is a good test of skill for anyone, regardless of level. Just be ready for the hike.
Usually, I am a fan of heavily wooded, technical courses, and lots of water in play. This course made me realize how challenging and fun elevation alone can make a hole, without ever adding much trees or water. Though this course has many wooded holes, and some water, it is really the elevation that makes it go from good to great. Water is an explicit penalty, but this course has gullies and hillsides on almost every hole that errant shots can roll down, forcing the implicit penalty stroke of an escape shot back onto the fairway, so it takes the place of water hazards. This course needs no drop zones or OB, because it has enough ways to punish you without them. All the holes are different and fun, though it's easy to get a 6 or 7 on any of them if you're not careful.
Cons: When I played, the course was quite muddy in spots, especially around the tee pads, which was a bit annoying, but I'm sure it mostly has to do with the recent rains and melting snow.
Due to all the elevation changes, you will often have to make shots on uneven footing, which is awkward, so be careful not to fall.
One thing about this course is the pars are very makeable, if you play smart and stay out of jail, but you will be punished for every mistake with rollaways and tree hits
On some holes, there are sticks and brush piled up along the sides, which can turn an unfortunate shot into an unplayable lie. It would be nice if these piles were dragged further away form the holes.
The alternate (short) tee pads, though shown on every tee sign, are sometimes hard to find. They are just dirt with wooden boards in the ground marking the front edge. On some of the hillside holes, some effort seems to have been made to level out the short tee area, but maybe its just from use. This is a small gripe, and its great that they have marked alt tees.
This course has minimal water in play, though it more than makes up for it. The pond hole is really a 240ft downhill ace run with minimal risk unless you horribly shank it.
Though much effort has been made to clear out shule and underbrush on this course, and it shows, thorny vines are still quite common, which the PDGA has strict guidelines about clearing shrubbery to play your lie. However, the House rule is if the branch/tree/plant next to you has thorns when you throw, you can step on it. Still, expect to get cut up a bit. The corn also likes to eat discs, so throw yellow and white plastic with caution on the open holes.
The course is designed for rec players, so its really not super hard, and overall, its fairly open. Big arms should definitely be able to birdie most of the holes on this course, though shot placement is still key, and way overshooting the basket is often severely punished. However, holes that look easy and fairly wide open are usually harder than they look on this course, so don't let them fool you. Overall, I wish it was more heavily wooded and a bit harder, but Big Brother more than makes up for it in both areas. This is not a championship level course, and for a rec course, its just about perfect, with maybe a few more open holes than my ideal course, but that comes down to purely personal taste.
Wind is a huge factor on some of the more open holes, which can be a frustrating puzzle.
Its hard to find bad things to say about this course, and most of these are small details.
Other Thoughts: Don and Donna, the patrons of this course, are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. The farm/Bed&Breakfast/Camping area is a quaint, peaceful slice of the spirit of Wisconsin. From the moment you step onto the property, you can't help but feel a swell of pride in our wonderful state.
Since I shot so well on this course, I was at first not sure I should rate it this high, but
The course was lots of fun, had no repetitive holes and many memorable ones. Though I was just there yesterday, and I already want to go back. When it comes down to it, the marks of the best courses are fun, challenge & variety, and this course has all three in spades without being insanely hard.
Bring long jeans to protect from the thorns, and a water bottle and good hiking shoes. Be prepared to do a fair bit of walking up and down hills when you play this course.
There is an outhouse between holes 11 and 12 for those that need it.
Between this course and Big Brother, $5/day is well worth it to play here. The building in front of the llama pen is where you check in and pay. There are discs available for sale or rent there, along with snacks and drinks, and a place to fill water bottles.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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