1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Excellent hole variety featuring plenty of doglegs, tunnel shots, and a nice mix of short and long holes. Very well manicured fairways and great basket positions. Good signage made finding the next hole simple.
Cons: The back is much more difficult than the front, and a lot more "wild", so it can almost feel like you're playing two different courses.
Other Thoughts: The rough is a little beastly on a few holes, and can make finding discs challenging if you leave the fairway, particularly on the back 9. Spotters can be necessary, especially if it's your first time through.
We played from the cement "pro" tees, although we typically use the middle tees at other courses. I'd recommend starting from those, as they provide a substantially greater challenge and are obviously the tees that the course was built around. You may change your mind once you see some of the lines on the back, though!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Other Thoughts: This one feels the most like a northern Lake Michigan course, more so than the BBG combo at the Mason County Campgrounds. Everything here had an aged feel to it, which gave it a ton of character. Mismatched baskets are littered throughout, and sand is underfoot almost the entire time. The amenities are decent, and the signage is superb. Everything about this rustic, rugged course lived up to the mystique and has a charm that is unmatched in the area, right down the tilted, rusted practice basket.
Leviathan offers three sets of tees for the am, pros, and legally insane. I'm kidding, although the longest tees are truly some epic blasts. Concrete is only offered on these (black) tees, while the blues and reds are left to porous, rubber mats. And that's OK. Leviathan laughs at your puny arm. If you aren't man enough to play the blacks, then you don't deserve a concrete tee! The whole course really plays this way, and I felt like I didn't get the full experience by playing from the blues. The reds are for children/newbies, honestly, but it is nice that they have a tee the designers put them in so everyone can play. The best part about the multi-tee set up is that each one offers a drastically different look at the pin (for the most part). I dislike courses that have two sets of tees, where one sits 100 feet closer but in the same line of sight. I would say this three-tee layout is present on 90% of the holes, something that is very rare indeed.
The course layout is fine, offering 27 holes (18+6 bonus) that have exit lanes if you can't play the whole thing in one outing. (The course begins and ends at the parking lot; always a plus.) But the real treat here is the design of the holes themselves. I have never played a course that demands such precise and constant control. While there are some lengthy holes here, I found out about midway through that quality of placement far outweighs raw power here. You need to be on your "A-game" all the way through. There is just great risk-reward potential, but one false move will surely damn your round. While you might be able to come back from one hole playing like this, if you string a few together you might as well pack it in, because Leviathan offers no sympathies whatsoever. It is hole after hole of tough going and not for the casual player.
The course starts innocently enough, with some wide open fairways lined sparsely by wooded lines. My favorite series is Hole #5 through tight woods, #6 tunnel shot out into a big clearing that contains the pin, and then #7 back into the woods with a blind approach to the basket. Around #10 it begins to get hairy in a hurry. Tight fairways flanked by towering trees and brush make you feel that everything is closing in on you. It becomes tougher and tougher to hold the lines as you throw, as this optical illusion truly messes with how you gauge the shot. This really doesn't let up until the last two or three holes, and overall Leviathan left me with a feeling of unworthiness. It certainly didn't help that this was the last course I played on a three-day binge of Mason County, but I have a feeling my score would've been just as bad if we had played it first.
Leviathan may not be the "best" course in the Ludington area, but it is definitely the most professional. Serious golfers only, please.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Wow! Stop and look around! Michigan is cool! Really, really long holes! Tight tunnels shots. If you have a big arm or are looking for a headache this is the place! It's a cool place because it pushes you no matter your skill level.
+3 sets of tees so you can play the longs or shorts for a quick day
+I think it's hole 10? Awesome! Great elevation change over a sort-of cliff
+Great wooded tees that make you really
have to plan it out
+Risk vs. Reward here is awesome!
+Pretty good concrete tees on the longs
+Always have had scorecards available
+It really is one of the best coruse I have played for a mix of elevation changes, wooded shots and tunnel shots.
+Great course to play a lot of different discs
+One of those course where its really fun to watch other people throw because of the terrain and simply the possibilities!
+Easy to get to from the highway
+Lots of local places to eat / refuel
+I highly recommend playing here more than once!
Cons: Some of the holes are hard to figure out where to go if its your first time. I recommend playing with someone who has played here.
Other Thoughts: This is a course that the more I play it, the more I like it!
^Shoes with good grip,
^ bug spray,
^ don't forget to pay!
^ watch out for snakes!
4 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Called Leviathan for a reason
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is big and there are plenty of technical holes here. Plenty of the holes are long and not only long, but tight fairways. Believe the other reviews - this course is huge.
The Black/Blue/Red tee pads are well marked as well as signs to the next tee pads, with one caveat - listed below as a Con. Hole 2 was probably the only hole that I had an issue with - from the Pro tee, there could have been two pin positions and the map didn't help much. I ended up walking the hole to find which of the two openings had the pin placement.
Read a review after I had played that said not to start with the Pro tees. Wish I would have read that before I played. The black tees are monsters - 805, 792, 673 foot holes and plenty of 400-600 foot holes to fill in.
Threw from some of the Short tees in addition to the Pro tees. The Pro, Mid and Short tees all have completely different lines on some of the holes making this a much larger feeling course. I probably couldn't play this course twice in a day, but when I go back I would try a different combination of tees just to change things up. (And make it easier)
Lots of trees around, most of the holes have well protected baskets but good lines though the trees was able to nail some nice birdies from a long ways out. A few of the holes in the back of the front nine and most of the back 9 have tight fairways - only the long bomb holes are really open.
Cons: Being a big course there are some holes that are 'hikes' to get to the next hole.
In the 'mailbox' there were Pro and Mid scorecards. I wish those were combined. I grabbed a Pro one and completely missed ABC and DEF holes. Those are not on the Pro scorecard. The standard 'Next Tee' signs don't seem to take into account the 'extra' holes at all. I believe we followed the all the 'Next Tee' signs and never once ended up at any of the lettered holes.
Bag hooks and benches - no hooks present, but there were some benches around.
Have grown to like hole layout signs at the tees. This probably wouldn't work out too well they way they have this course laid out with the black/blue/red tees - but missed them here. The hand drawn maps are lacking in any detail besides general direction.
The Pro pads are concrete, but the blues and reds are mats. Played after the rain today and while the mats were not slick, having the benefit of concrete would have alleviated some concern of slipping.The mats are much shorter than the concrete pads too.
Other Thoughts: This was the first time playing - the Pro tee's were way too much for me.
When you first enter the parking lot - the lot looks kind of junky, almost was afraid to leave the car there. Being used for, it seems like only Cross Country and Disc Golf - it's probably pretty safe.
Fairly clean - a couple beer cans around that we picked up. Condom wrappers laying around the course, so something other than disc golf must be popular here.
Played 24 holes at Flip before this and wish I would have played the other way around. Loved this course though - wasn't expecting much after pulling into the parking lot, it was really deceiving. If the ratings weren't as high as they were, we probably wouldn't have even stopped. Well worth it.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 1 Not
Western Michigan’s Supreme Disc Golf Challenge
Pros: Built on land that's particularly well suited to disc golf, Leviathan is set in a densely wooded forest on terrain that varies from flat to rolling, with significant elevation changes, and a few areas that play relatively open.
Great disc play and shot variety abounds here; wonderful balance of elevation changes and flat fairways, tight holes and some relatively open, as well as, left, right, and straight, holes with interesting lines and lots of aesthetic appeal. Clever hole design makes splendid use of this wonderfully wooded piece of property to force specific lines on some holes, while making you think twice about what line to take on others. Nice mix of distances as well.
Never have I seen Pro and Am tee pads which provide such COMPLETELY different disc golfing challenges. They genuinely serve to distinguish between those who those who have pro caliber games and those whose game is merely "pretty good." The longs genuinely provide a true challenge for top notch players, and are guaranteed to shred those whose game is merely "fair to middling."
The longs offer major risk/reward opportunities, requiring ample amounts of both distance and control. Leviathan rewards those who have controlled distance and can hit the landing zone. Uncontrolled distance will be will punished, as in "kiss your driver good-bye." Your first shot can really set your 2nd shot up nicely, or make the next shot tough indeed. For those familiar with the reference, Leviathan is somewhat "Tobogganesque", but with more emphasis on placement, and less on distance.
If you don't have a big arm (like me) or can't hit a landing area from 300-400 feet, stick to the short tees. They do a great job of providing significant challenge while keeping things fun, and even have a few ace runs to help you score well and get your heart pounding.
Can't overlook the fact that Leviathan is located near other exceptional courses; for DG Road Trippers, western MI is a must. But for sheer challenge Leviathan is definitely the crown jewel in the area…if you have the game for it.
24 holes provide lots of great disc golf with nice flow (for the most part), and a layout that's solid and balanced: supplemental holes A,B,C were plugged in with the front 9, with the flow bringing you back through the parking lot, before heading out to the back 9, where D,E,F are also located. Except for a few spots, (particularly around 1, 2, A, B, C) navigation was pretty intuitive… just follow the well-worn path.
Easy to spot from the main road with decent parking and a porta-potty equipped with hand sanitizer right in the lot.
Cons: Not many cons to mention, and those listed are almost certainly the result of budgetary constraints. Nonetheless, they are tangible, and can impact the overall experience of an outing here.
- Tee pads were inconsistent, and quite short for some of the longer drives.
- Tee signs are rudimentary and barely more than functional.
- Could have used "Next Tee" markers on the first several holes. Had to walk around quite a bit to hit them all and probably played them out of sequence.
- Risk of disc loss is high on some holes, but if you haven't figured it out yet; this isn't a course for beginners or the faint of heart.
Other Thoughts: To be honest, Leviathan's pro tees are simply more than I can handle. I found the shots required from a few of them to be simply jaw-dropping. However, I found the short pads to be a ton of fun while still providing ample challenge. In my opinion, this course really is not suitable for beginners, even from the shorts. It's likely to prove too frustrating for beginners to have fun.
Maybe it was just an exceptional day when I visited but I was surprised by the amount of the wind that came into play for such a wooded and secluded course. Had to disc up or down to compensate for wind on several holes during my round.
Thick brush on many holes virtually ensures you will need your "get out of trouble shot," so bring it with you. I refuse to call this a con, because it's part of the game and this course is obviously intended to reward good placement and punish poor placement accordingly.
This entire region, from Flip, north to the Mason County triplets, and up to Leviathan is the literal embodiment of "If you build it, they will come." Hats off to those who made this course happen and keep it maintained. I love the fact that the local DG community worked with local agencies to put this course in and maintain it. If ever there were courses where pay to play is worth it, it has to be this area. If not for donations, these places could never exist, so please; care for this place as if YOU were the one who had to keep it clean and maintain it. Any round here is worth far more than the $1 they ask, and all the upkeep, gas for mowers and trimmer cord costs real $$ (not to mention real work). I have no problem paying double… that's what a round at my local Metro Park courses costs, and I feel it's money well spent.
CAMPERS: check out Ludington State Park - 8 mi (15 min) NW of the course. Nice grounds with clean, private showers and good ammenities.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - This course offers a large selection of different aspects, including:
> Different elevation, some steep drops and drives off observation decks down into a valley or field
> Challenging narrow holes that a straight shot is a must, otherwise its chopping trees to get out
- Great amount of holes, with the first 9 to the left of the parking lot, along with A,B, and C , which the back 9 and D, E, F off to the right, which makes a game of 9, 12, 18, or 24 simple for anyone and what their time/weather/etc. provides
- Getting an ACE here is VERY rare, so the pars are different than most courses, some going up to 5; this makes for a rough and challenging course! Perfect!
- Cement pads for pros, kinda rubber ones for woman's, juniors, etc.
- Pretty close to Mason County's Beauty, Beast, and Goliath course, and not too far from FlipCity.
- Porta-jon in parking lot, with soap dispenser so you have a place to go
- Easy to find course, with a bright orange sign outside so you can't miss it!
*There is a driving range which is rare to see around here, and provides a great spot to practice drives.
Cons: - Signs are basically a piece of paper with two pieces of clear plastic covering them. Distance is different on card then sign (Follow card)
- Chains are different through-out course, not consistent, but that's probably due to funding
- Pads can be a bit short, and drop off quick
Other Thoughts: - For the price of 1$, this is not bad for an amazing course, which provides some of the best Disc Golfing in Michigan, along with FlipCity and Mason County courses; some of the best courses in probably the Mid-East!
*There is no smoking or drinking since this is on school property, so just don't even try.*
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 2 Not
Challenging, yet Fair and Fun
Pros: Leviathan is definitely a Pro caliber course offering 24 holes. The area is dedicated 100% to disc golf. It is not a park or a private course, just a disc golf course in a protected forest area owned by a school. It is easy to get to, right off a main highway just outside of town, but you will feel like you are way out in the wilderness once you begin your round.
The 24 holes are made up of two sets of 9's with 3 additional lettered holes inserted in both the front (ABC) in the back (DEF). Both 9's begin at the parking lot, which is nice because you will want to take some time to rest and re-energize before the 2nd half! You can choose to play just 9 (which is a still solid round here), 12, 18, or 24 holes, depending on your skill level and time available. (This review is from the perspective of only playing the main 18, and not the newer 6 that are lettered).
There are also two sets of tees. The shorter Am tees are still challenging, and the Pro tees add much length and different angles to test the best of players. Many of the holes are long, legit par 4's. The length itself does not make them a par 4 (or 5!), but it is the design of the holes- you cannot get to the basket from the tee- you have to skillfully work your way there. It requires carefully planned and executed shots, as shot placement is key to scoring well and giving yourself a shot at par.
The course has holes that are open and wooded, use lots of elevation (including several fun elevated tee shots) left and right and straight- often times there is even a mix on the same hole. The rough can be punishing, but the fairways are clear and fair. You will need every shot in your arsenal and maybe every disc in your bag.
And of course a big plus is that is it is close to other great Mason County courses in the area.
Cons: When you first pull in, the parking lot looks uninviting. (reminds me of the practically hidden gravel parking areas on the side of the road in the Mountains of East TN for hiking/backpacking trail-heads!) But, don't let the appearance fool you, and besides, this could be a plus, as only serious disc golfers are going to be playing here- families and beginners are not going to stumble their way into this place like they would in a city park.
The tees were a mix of materials and shorter than normal, with no room in front of the tee on a couple of the elevated tees. The baskets were not uniform, and looked old (odd for a newer course). Navigation was a little tricky due the course being well-spread, multiple tees, and the additional lettered holes. We did not find the first three (A,B,C), but it seems recent improvements have been made to help point people in the right direction. A detailed map would be extremely beneficial.
Mostly the maintenance was decent , but there were a few areas where it seemed that nature was trying to overtake the course and some other spots that just did not look pristine. Upkeep is obviously a challenge for a place like this, but hopefully some local work along with time will allow this course to mature into one of the best around.
Other Thoughts: This is a different kind of course. It uses more of a ball golf type of strategy, rather than your standard par 3 disc golf course where you are going to get mostly 2's and 3's. Aces and deuces will be rare here. You must go into this course with a different mindset. Leviathan is a course that is not easily mastered- It will beat you down at times and you enjoy every moment! I would not get bored playing here over and over again, as there are many challenges presented here.
The design, demand, and enjoyment factor are pretty close to a 5.0, but there are just enough cons of the basics (baskets, tees, navigation, maintenance) that prevent it from being near perfect. The potential is there for these things to be improved upon in the future.
It is pay to play, (just drop money in the box) but at $1 day it is totally worth it. This course, along with Flip City and the Mason County courses (Beauty, Beast, Goliath) also in the area make this one of the top DG destinations in the country.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
The Sweetest Beating
Pros: The pros, oh jeez, this is gonna take a while.
-For starters, this course offers quite possibly the greatest variety of shots needed I have ever played. That's due to the also very diverse holes at this course, every possible pattern you can imagine. Left to right, right to left, uphill, downhill, sometimes all in on hole. Its phenomenal.
-This course offers the pinnacle of risk/reward. Almost every hole offers well placed landing zones, and different routes for you to make it there. Every hole also offers punishing schule when you whack off a tree out of the fairway, as I saw many, many times.
-True pro level golf. I've played LL Gold, and after Leviathan, I've seen what true punishment looks like. This course isn't just about distance (though you'll need it) but about shot placement. I have a tough time believing that anyone can play through these long tees and not have their game humiliated at least a couple times. Its a humbling, yet so enjoyable experience.
-The am tees make this not only a playable, but a still incredibly enjoyable course. (I know this because it was usually my first shot, or two from the longs, just to get me to the am tees). They still offer plenty of risk/reward but are much more playable for newer players.
-The park has all the amenities it could need. Port-a-john on site, plenty of benches and trashcans throughout. Its apparent this course is excellently cared for.
-The area this course is set in is so beautiful. Its like a disc golf wonderland, especially with the mason county and Flip courses being so near by.
Cons: -My most outstanding gripe with this course is the teepads. I'm assuming this was due to funding issues, but several of the tees were very short concrete, or even shorter rubber slotted tees. Tees this short are rough, forcing you to throw from a standstill on some 600'+ holes.
-Along with that, and probably due to funding issues, is the mix of baskets. Several different brands and types, which isn't a big deal, except some are very old single chained baskets, which suck. These 2 things are the sole obstacles keeping this course from a 5 in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: This area is the disc golf mecca. With Flip and Mason Co. so close, its every players dream. This course just caps it off. Everyone needs to play this area of rural MI at least once. This is the course to test your skill, and, most likely, be humbled. But that's not to say you won't learn a thing or 2. You'll come out of here knowing the weak parts of your game, and knowing what to work on for the next time you challenge the Leviathan.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Leviathan stands out above most courses due to its amazing design. The design is long, difficult, and creative. The design is comparable to Rennaisance Park and Idlewild. I use these two courses because many on this site have played these courses. Design-wise, Leviathan is defintely on their level. The variety off the tee is exceptional. Hole #1 is slightly uphill. Hole #2 is an open down-hill shot. A few holes later you are in a dense forest with a narrow tunnel tee shot. Hole #10 requires a forced-carry over some dense brush. (short carry)
Leviathan has a number of legitimate Par 4s.(maybe even 5s, but I can't remember) While there is some length, there are a number of opportunities at a birdie. This causes the player to really focus on the easier holes in order to get a few strokes back. If you are playing the course competitively, you definitely cannot afford a lapse in concentration. This adds to the challenge of the layout.
Cons: There are only 2 slight negative aspects of the course. The course had not been recently mowed when we played it. The second minor flaw is the number of spots on the course where lost discs are probable. My stance on "rough" is that it should be punishing, but not so thick that the disc cannot be found a majority of the time.
Other Thoughts: Leviathan is almost a 5 disc course in my opinion. The only thing it lacks is a little bit of maturation and course maintenance. This is not a course that I would want to play alone as there are many places where losing a disc is possible. There are many blind shots as well, which I don't mind at all, but it is best to have at least 2 pairs of eyes on the disc. The strengths of this course are in the variety of the design and the gorgeous locale.
Don't let the parking lot fool you. I was a little skeptical when we got out of the car, but after playing hole 1, which is a great opening hole, (long-anhyzer) you can forget about the outside world and enjoy the game until you return to the parking area after Hole 9.
In short, if you are in Ludington and you play disc golf...then you are probably there to play disc golf. Just kidding. Leviathan is an amazing challenge and should not be missed when you visit the area. In my opinion, it is by far the most challenging course in the area. The round was definitely a grind.
I am very optomistic about the future of this course. With a little maturation and constant maintenance, Leviathan will become one of the premier disc golf facilities not only in Michigan, but in in the entire country.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
What Have I Been Waiting For?
Pros: This course is heavily wooded and quite a pleasure to walk. There are a variety of different holes. I would have to say that this course is the most complete out of any course I have ever played as far as hole design and course layout. There is just a fabulous assortment of layouts. There are a couple wide open holes, number 2 and 10 come to mind, that allow a player to open up and put on a display. Then of course there are the tight, tree lined benders, like the number 4 hole that is 800 feet uphill, and hallways like 6 that force you to keep it clean and straight or suffer incarceration in the woods. There are an equal amount of left and right bends to the pin which allow both forehand and backhand usage to accomplish a decent score. There are plenty of places to get stuck in the woods and get some tomahawk practice in too. I also enjoyed that there were a few shorter holes mixed in with the utter whoppers and average length holes. Flat fairways, rolling hills on 11, ups and downs and all arounds! It truly has a great layout and is very challenging in some spots. It seemed as though I was cruising along until holes 13 through 15 where I ended up searching for my disc for a substantial amount of time. There were also some holes that could be called signature holes like 10 and 12 which were just awesome, 10 especially. Just an awesome place to play.
Cons: Cons are tough to levy against such an awesome place, but if anything I would say that signage leaves much to be desired. No idea of pin placements are given and distance discrepancies between the score card and the tee signs occurred from time to time. Hole 4 is shown to be 605 I think and the card has it as 805 which seems more like the actual distance. I am just mad at this hole because I took a 7! There was no water here, but that is small peanuts when considered with the great variety it does have. This place was fairly easy to navigate, but I did wonder if I was going the right way a few times. Turns out I found everything without getting lost or having to backtrack. It took me longest to find the pro tee on hole one! I stood there scratching my head for a second before heading left and to the road where the tee was.
Other Thoughts: I loved Leviathan. I had been up to Ludington to play the other courses, but for some reason my chums and I have ignored this place which turned out to be my favorite of the Mason County goldmine. What an awesome area for disc golf! I had a family of deer following me all throughout Leviathan as if they were my own personal gallery. Having a doe blow at you while you are teeing off is quite something! This is some truly beautiful country. I usually move along at a pretty good clip, but I just had to stop a couple times and let the wonder and amazement soak in. I remember coming up to Hole 11 where there is an opening in the canopy that let the sun shine down on me as I stood surrounded by the lush green, and I honestly felt like just laying down there and reveling in the glory. I was thanking God for his great work the whole way through this place. At least when I wasn't in the woods searching for my disc! Go here! Play. Be well...
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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