1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: scenic, fun, challenging, not crowded, good baskets and tee pads, elevation change, fairways mowed, trees to grow, nature
Cons: can be windy, grass will eat discs, not too many obstacles
Other Thoughts: I agree that the added 9 holes now make this course very fun and challenging, more so on some days, depending on wind. I gave it 4 stars since it is one of the better 18's in this area, but not 5 since it does lack a few more obstacles here and there to make it next level worthy. It is true, the wind and tall grass later in the year can cause frustrating searches for poor disc throws. The two reservoirs are what look like old quarries. This prairie has been undisturbed since the glacier left this area 10,000 years ago. These are the plants that the Native Americans saw, and the first pioneers who set foot in what was to become Illinois. It really is beautiful. The 7 1/2-acre Palatine Prairie is a mixture of seven or eight types of grasses and more than 120 species of flowers that are native to Illinois, including rattlesnake master, wild quinine, prairie rose, wild garlic, blazing star, mountain mint, prairie dock, nodding wild onion and compass plants, members of the sunflower family that reach seven feet in height. Each season is unique at the prairie. Early spring is totally different from mid-summer, for instance. To really appreciate the prairie, you need to come out every few weeks. The Palatine Prairie is a place of discovery. You find something new every time you come out! Along with plant life, the Palatine Prairie is also a popular hangout for butterflies and the local grassland bird population. Common sightings include meadowlarks, gold finches, song sparrows, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, chimney swifts, common yellowthroats, eastern kingbirds and mourning doves. And great blue herons are occasionally spotted flying overhead.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Expanded to 18
Pros: Considering the lack of trees in the park, the course is fairly challenging. The best feature of this course is the use of elevation changes, holes 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 12, 15, and 16 all feature it. If you are looking for experience playing on hills there's really nothing like Margreth Riemer in the area. The lack of trees makes playing the hills a bit easier but the course is also more susceptible to wind because of it. The resulting experience that a disc golfer gets at this park is unique in this part of Illinois.
Some of the holes use elevation to keep you on the fairway, or you pay the price. Holes 4, 5 & 6 play along the reservoir's fairly steep bank, and a bad shot off the tee can have your disc rolling all the way down to the bottom. Holes 7 & 8 also have a steep bank along side the hole, but it's not as tricky to negotiate.
The new holes on the north side of the street play around the sled hill. For the most part they're more of the same, but better thought out than the first nine. The few trees that are around are used effectively to make the holes as challenging as possibly. Holes 11, 12, 15 and 17 are the stand out fun holes for me. On a number of the new holes you can't see the basket from the tee and that will make your first time through the new holes a bit tricky. Hole 15 tees from the top of the sled hill providing an opportunity to go big with a large landing area near the bottom of the hill. The view from the top on a clear day is also amazing.
As the trees in this park mature, the new nine holes are going to improve. Holes 11 and 18 stand to improve the most as they age with loads of well placed small trees right now.
Previously my review of this course cited the poor mowing as a serious downside to playing here. This course is about ten minutes from my house but I've hardly played it this year. After spending more time looking for discs in long grass then playing last year I'd stopped going and would drive further to Shady Oaks or Black Bear. The other week I gave Margreth Riemer another try and boy have things changed. The parks department is now mowing the course to maintain 'tournament conditions' and the previously miserly fairways are now realistic for players of the sport. In the past two times I've played the course with these mow lines I've only once gone into the rough. This is such a vast improvement that I'm re-writing this review and upping my rating.
Cons: Everything isn't perfect in this park. As with all multi-use parks you have to share with other people in the park. For the most part this hasn't really been an issue except for two distinct types of park visitors.
First, the park seems to attract the most selfish mountain bikers I've ever come across. These folks pay absolutely no attention to anyone else in the park other than themselves. I've been on the tee about to drive and had a mountain biker zip past me right into the fairway without any notice. A few milliseconds later and that cyclist would have had a disc hit her smack in the head. I've had to wait for mountain bikers while they circle trees oblivious to the fact that they're on a hole that a group is playing. I've been pushed off paths as a group of mountain bikers plow through. I haven't seen this behavior in other area parks; just in Palatine.
The second group is dog owners who don't leash their dogs. Again I've been on a tee waiting to drive and had to wait even longer due to some dog owner chasing after their loose dogs right into the fairway. I've had discs chewed by loose dogs and the owners don't care. The park rules are pretty clear about leashing pets, and most park visitors do, but the ones that don't definitely detract from enjoying the course.
Other Thoughts: The baskets are inexplicably pulled for 6 months of the year. I can understand three months, maybe, but half the year is too long to go without this course being playable. Especially when the long grass is most manageable in the early spring.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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