26 Helpful / 2 Not
Godzilla Hates Ice in his Cola
Pros: I'm often asked what the favorite course that I have played is. I usually answer with a vague "It's so hard to say, with so many great courses that I've played, but some courses that stick out are..." and Leviathan is usually near the beginning of that list.
This course has an awe factor that left my jaw down as I walked through nearly every fairway. Multiple lines to multiple landing areas. Fairways and lines that will challenge even the most advanced player while being fair enough to be enjoyable to most intermediate players.
Variety. Access to a variety of different types of shots with many different discs will help navigate each hole, none that feels like a repeat of another. Tight tunnels, doglegs, double doglegs, bomber holes, placement shots, ace runs. This course will challenge your all around game, physically and mentally.
Beautiful. Not only are the hole designs a thing of beauty, the area this course is set is a very enjoyable place to spend the day.
Mason County. Several worthwhile courses in the area can keep a traveler very happy for a long weekend, or give locals something to brag about.
Local Scene. Locals I came across were all friendly and helpful.
Tees. Pro/Am tees were all in relatively good shape for a "rugged" course like this, there is room for improvement on especially the lettered holes, but they all worked well for me. I only played the long tees, but the short tees looked great, when I return I will schedule more time to play both sets of tees.
Re-playability. As a traveler, this course goes right back on my list of courses I want to hit, I will go back again soon. I can only imagine how often I could play this course if I was a local.
Baskets. All in good usable condition, if in a little disrepair.
Navigation. Mostly intuitive, if slightly confusing in a few areas I was never frustrated and was able to find my way with a little detective work.
Only Disc Golf. Tucked away in a secluded forest, other users should rarely come into play.
Only $1. Really?! I'd pay more, especially if I could see the funds go towards some aesthetic/functional improvements.
If I could list 100 more "pros" I would, the biggest thing you have to know if you're reading my review wondering whether or not this course is worth playing, I personally cannot recommend it enough.
Cons: Rough. Though relatively well maintained, this isn't like going to the country club - expect a hike, bring a snack, bring some water, enjoy the experience.
Not for beginners. A beginner on this course could easily get discouraged. Or, if this was the course I learned on, I'd probably be disappointed by every other course I'd play.
Signage. Suffice this course well enough, but is an area for improvement. More next tee signs could help navigation.
Thick Rough. Use spotters if you can, especially on blind shots.
Other Thoughts: One of my favorite courses out of 500-some, this one is worth going out of your way for. Put it on your wishlist. Plan a road trip. Go play it. You will not regret it.
26 of 28 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 1 Not
Leviathan Crushes All Discers
Pros: - Mighty Leviathan crushes all who dare challenge her. After a few cute warm-up holes, the watchword is "long" as the pro tee layout utterly abases those not in the utmost control of their game. Wayward shots are punished mercilessly (yet fairly) with thick, constant undergrowth that forces big and small arms alike to shoot for designated areas of safety, often two or three times a hole, if lucky.
- Amateur tees significantly ease the oppression Leviathan will inflict upon your mortal brow.
- Wooded elevation throughout. Used to its utmost potential.
- Many unique holes of clever design.
- Conspicuous signage prevents navigation issues from arising.
- After ABC and the front 9, the course loops back to the parking lot. This alleviates traffic (if the front nine looks busy one can start on the back instead) and allows for a restocking of beer, which isn't allowed on the school and course grounds... ;) :D
- Trashcans and benches scattered throughout. Port-a-john on site.
- Dense patches of short elm (?) saplings complimented with swathes of mature ferns make for some wonderfully beautiful holes.
- Just down the road from the Mason County DGC's (Beauty, Beast, & Goliath) and Pere Marquette Expeditions store (sells food, discs, minis, glow paraphernalia, bait, boats, fine beers, etc.) A half-hour's drive to Flip City, USA.
- Driving range with distances listed on conspicuous signage.
- Super friendly and cool locals...discers around here know what's up.
Cons: - Mixed tee-pads. Mostly, the pads are outstanding concrete pads of above average quality; however, the "lettered" holes (A-F) have shorter rubber pads. Less than ideal tee conditions coupled with the extreme technicality of the holes and punishing length make driving a tricky business at best.
-The baskets are a mish-mash of brands and types. Most are not an issue, but the single chained baskets are less than stellar.
- Random metal and other junk scattered about in a few place. Shingles with rusted nails in the rough, random bits of barbed wire, etc. Not terrible, but present.
Other Thoughts: - On this course, pro tees are for pros. No shame in playing the am tees here, especially for less-experienced players. When it says "Par 4" it ain't kidding.
- Bring your security blanket.
- Update: 6/3/11: After gaining experience and seeing around 80 courses in 8 states, as well as playing Leviathan many more times, I felt it appropriate to list it as a true "5." Leviathan (with the nearby Flip City and Mason County courses) is one of the premier destination courses in the world (seriously folks, no joke).
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Calling Kensington Toboggan Course Fans
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: World-class, Idlewild-like challenge in a massive, moderately-wooded Western Michigan forest.
Several cunning, extremely long holes that will leave you worn out, in a good way (2, 4, 10, 12, 13, 14). Like another reviewer mentioned, the more courses you play, the more you realize just how good this course is. No Lake Michigan views like the Beast, but the best holes on this course are simply the longest, craziest, most thrilling you will find anywhere.
Great elevated tees and tee views on Holes 10 and 12, which are perhaps the signature holes of the course. These are good enough to make the next course you play seem boring.
Quite secluded, though walking trails do pop up here and there. Though walks between holes are often long, there are many signs pointing the way. New color-coded 'next tee' signs installed in 2011 greatly help navigation.
Alternate holes D, E and F are flat, grassy tunnel holes in deep woods. A welcome break from the long, tough holes.
Very unique, idiosyncratic course that is hard to describe-you just have to play it. Including the alternates.
Cement pro tees, and rubber short tees that give beginnners/weaker players a chance, as well as a shorter course alternative (the long tees can take as long as three and a half hours to complete).
Short tee course offers a viable alternative to the Pro course, even for advanced players. Those with less time in windy or marginal weather are better off playing Leviathan shorts than the other courses nearby.
Cons: Could use a little more course maintenance, including more mowing/trimming in rough areas. North Kentucky (Idlewild/Lincoln Ridge) and Flip City have a big advantage here.
A few holes have steep, difficult-to-traverse hills and disc swallowing rough. Holes 10 and 12 (the signature holes) badly need a stairway leading from the elevated tees to the fairways below.
Not a lot of grip-and-rip holes or overhand holes. Some long forest holes are a little too tight.
Has a few older, rusty baskets, but these are still acceptable.
Other Thoughts: From the long tees, this is a course of unexpected proportions. Compared with the other Ludington courses as well as most others, it's a five-fourths scale, epic adventure. This is the course you daydream about during work meetings.
A modified course layout (according to scorecards) results in the black/long tees being a 20-hole course (including two new alternate holes, LA and LB), and the red/blue tees being a 24 hole course with the existing alternates (A-F). This actually improves the black tee experience (about a half-hour shorter), as well as creating a distinct blue/red tee course.
Doesn't quite reach the best of the Beast (1/3), but is much more challenging, consistent and surprising all of the way through.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
31 Helpful / 4 Not
A+ = Lovin me some Leviathan!
Pros: I am reviewing and rating this course from the Pro tees. While I played the 6 extra Amateur holes (and really liked them for what they are!) I am not counting those in what I write and rate. Here is what I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 (and more) hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == A
(When I got to hole 7 and saw the stump at the fork in the fairway with "Highway of Pain/Highway of Gain" (or something like that - forgot to write it down), I knew for sure that the course designer/s were designing with risk/reward decisions in mind. I had already seen it......and I saw much more of it throughout the perfectly defined and designed fairways. I could not quite get to an A+ here as the sphincter-factor was not quite at the level that could be dished out by some nice natural OB (a stream or pond for instance) or extreme punishment (ravines maybe).)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == A+
(While this course is called a Pro level course, I feel it fits me (a lesser armed player than most Pros) to an absolute tee. The hole lengths seem to vary right around my skill/D with some being routine, some perfectly challenging, and some others just out of my range to ever expect a birdie 3 (or birdie 2 on the par-3's). The length-to-width ratios are perfect. In general I love courses that have a few holes with narrow (6-8') pinch points in the first 150', so while this course did not have that, it was so wooded that that might have pushed things over the edge.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == A
(The ratio of narrow/tunnel shots to more open throws is perfect for my tastes. Great variety of shots and great use of limited terrain. Most of the shot shaping happens down the fairway a bunch. Had there been a few holes (I only remember 1) that forced some crazy creative turns early, I could have given an A+ here.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == A
(Seclusion on this course is amazing. Only downside is that you can hear traffic nearby....but I could never see any cars (other than the holes right by the parking lot). Being a pretty flat course, there are no real views (no biggy really). There is a decent variety of almost coastal feeling (sandy/grassy) areas and beautiful hardwood forests. On most courses, I am not too fond of long boring walks between holes......but on this course some of those walks are knock-your-socks-off gorgeous!)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == A
(As said before, lots of really, really good holes in this area.....and correctly marked as such on the scorecard. This is about 4 bonus points (equals ½ disc) added to my grade.)
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (150+ 18-hole, 90+ 9-hole as of late 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me.....and that's the fun of things here.
31 of 35 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Not one bad hole. Several holes that would be signature holes on any other course. Moderate elevation changes, tight but not ridiculously tight fairways. Some very long holes. Designed by a top pro (Jim Schultz) who knew what he was doing and it shows.
Cons: In a school zone so no alcohol, etc.
Other Thoughts: The pro tees are for advanced and better players. I have never played the shorts so I can't speak for them but they are way easier than the long tees. The Original 18 is the real course, 6 extras added as an after thought and not worthy of being associated with the original. This is a top 5 course for me, make no mistake, it's tough with disaster holes lurking if you can't control your disc flight. Several of the tight 400' holes are better played with an accurate midrange shot than a driver. Stay in the fairway or throw real far and stay near the fairway.
8 of 15 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 10 Not
Just as the name states
Pros: Hardest course I've ever played. Challenging on every throw. Very fun to watch a sick drive hit the gap 350 feet away. Lot's of fun throws and beautiful lanes. Course covers a vast area making it a quiet course but it is a silent killer of drives. In my top 5 for sure.
Other Thoughts: Leviathon shorts are pretty much all ace runs but in comparison to longs they are rather bland. This course is Demanding to say the least. I beg for 50 more feet of distance on every drive. What a course, thank you God
6 of 16 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: I love this course. It is so challenging. Tight holes that are super long. Shorter birdie holes but that still arent gimmie holes. Pads are great. Navigation is simple. Fairways are very clean and beautiful. Walks between holes are not long but long enough to make you really enjoy the gorgeous setting of this course. Elevation changes and narrow(ish) fairways on long holes (630-800+) reward placement tremendously as a shanked drive will at least give you a high score but probably a lost disc.
Cons: The rough is very unforgiving. I wished I lived closer.
Other Thoughts: The pro tees should be played by advanced players because a beginner would not enjoy shooting the pro tees; so shoot ams if you are not up to the challenge this course presents.
7 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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