2 Helpful / 2 Not
Growing Up - Updated 7/12/2013
Pros: In my reviews I normally try to write just enough to be descriptive and helpful. For this course, my home course, I hope readers can tolerate a bit more.
Margreth Riemer Disc Golf Course has just been expanded to 18 holes. I may be biased because I have been working on the expansion for several years, but I truly believe that once tee-pads are in and the back nine is "broken in" a bit more that this course will be one of the best in the Northern Suburbs and will be a true 3.5 rated course.
But that's an opinion subject to debate. What can't be debated are the facts.
*The scenery here is unlike any course in the area. From hole 15's teepad on the hill you can see all of Palatine and can even see the Chicago skyline on a clear day. The hill is one of my favorite places to be because it's such a great view!
(Okay that was more of an opinion, now onto the facts)
*This course is the only course in the area where elevation drastically comes into play on just about every hole on the course
*There is a huge variety of distances in the hole lengths ranging from just under 200' to the upper 400's and everywhere in between.
*Even though the park is busy, the course is well isolated and other park users don't come into play. A lot of park district run courses in the Chicago area are cramped... not the case here. The course is sprawled out over an 85 acre park.
*Walking through this course is quite a workout... the hilly terrain makes for great exercise.
The obvious signature hole on the course is hole 15... a huge 420-ish foot bomb down a giant hill. But holes 2, 8, 11, and 16 are also epic holes that would fit right in on high caliber courses.
Since its installation in 2004, the front nine has not been super popular among the DG community, mostly because it does not have nearly as many trees as is often preferred, making for a relatively easy round. Now, however, the challenging back nine compliments the "warmup" front nine nicely.
Cons: This course is not perfect, and it never will be. The underlying "con" of the course as a whole is the dismal state of the roughs. It can get very very long and can eat up discs unless you watch carefully and use a spotter. It's very unpleasant to walk through and I hate it! The Park District will never go wrong with mowing more here.
*Most disc golfers, myself included, enjoy trees. There aren't a whole lot of them here!
The dearth of trees means there's not much shade on hot Summer days, and a round of 18 holes can be pretty grueling.
Other Thoughts: I think this review will be lost in the reviews since it was originally an older one, but that's okay. Hopefully some people will see it and find it helpful.
As I mentioned earlier, once the back nine of this course is broken in a little it should be a great Chicagoland destination course.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Putting a disc golf course in this area was a great idea, the land is definitely great for it. There's a lot of elevation change here and I had a good time playing it. The course flows very, very well and I didn't lose anytime looking for the next tee.
Cons: It'd probably just be easiest to list these:
- Watch out for the red-winged blackbirds. I was attacked at the first tee by one of these little kamikaze bastards. They're the most aggressive bird I've ever seen.
- The lakes that this course play through are kind of gross looking and polluted and that gives this course a sort of gloomy vibe
- The grass is pretty high in the rough which makes it pretty painful to look for bad drives.
- There's only 9 holes when this course could easily be expanded to several more.
Other Thoughts: I wouldn't go out of your way to play this course. It was a nice break from driving for me but I don't necessarily know if I'd go back and play it again. This course doesn't really offer any signature memorable holes, but if you have an hour to kill and you're in the area, you might as well check it out. :)
EDIT: Updated an old 2.0 rating to 3.0 because of the nine new baskets. I haven't played it with the new nine yet though.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very scenic park, and great elevation change. Many holes seemed wide open and easy to birdie/eagle, but wind and a few well placed trees added more difficulty than expected. Designers could have used the elevation a bit more but I think it was used solidly. The wind can make the holes seem longer then they are. Favorite hole was either 2 or 5. Two seems short but it is easy to shank your tee shot; the hole is flat for about 100ft, but then drops at about a 45 degree angle for the last 150 to the pin. Even keeping your tee shot down wont prevent it from ending up wide left or right depending on how you throw. Five is a dogleg that plays a bit more tricky then it looks. For rhbh players you have to choose to either drive straight at the pin or hyzer it around a tree, both shots are great risk/reward.
Cons: Could be a little longer and use the elevation more. It would also be nice to see more trees put in around the course to make it a bit more difficult.
Other Thoughts: Playing this course at 6:30pm and the temperature at 65, I had a great time playing. The rough wasn't as bad as some people have reported, although I think this is because I played later in the season and it was trampled down a bit. There are some very fun holes and with a little work this course could be a lot better.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Lots of air space to take pretty much any line you'd like.
- Solid elevation.
- Well mowed fairways
- Different then most courses in the area
- Not crowded
- Decent Teepads
- Baskets are in great shape
- Tee signs are solid
- Course flows well
Cons: - Not required to hit any particular line.
- The wind swirls up and over the hilly terrain and is difficult to read.
- The rough is thick and it can be hard to track errant throws.
- Course lacks challenge besides the wind.
- Tee pads are too small.
- The hole design is not all that interesting, and does not utilize elevation to its fullest.
Other Thoughts: Margreth Riemer Reservoir is basically a prairie course with very few aerial obstacles. You can choose pretty much any line you want. What's more important than your line is where your disc lands. If you do not sit a shot in the fairway it will be in knee high grass. In combination with the rolling hills and minimal reference points errant throws are hard to track even if you watch your throw finish. Wind is likely the biggest challenge factor on this course. With lack of trees its hard to read the prairie grass and figure out what the wind is doing down the fairway. The overall course design is lack luster and has very little wow factor. A more "aggressive" course designer might be able to utilize the elevation better but the lack of aerial obstacles is a major detriment to the course. Really the only way to raise my rating of this course would be a complete redesign. Hit it if you are in the area or want to learn how to play the wind. Otherwise it is not worth the trip.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Deceptively tough course makes great use of area (plays around two reservoirs).
- Pretty significant elevation changes on some holes, which is great in this part of the state. Hole #3 is a good upshot, even if it is a bit short. Also some nice downhill holes to crank on.
- Fairways are clear. Tall, thick grass as rough on every hole makes accuracy a bonus.
- Decent hole length. All can be deuced, but only a few are gimmees.
- A few strategically placed trees can make a big impact (#1 has two that seem to be put there to aggravate golfers)
- Good scenery, especially in the back reservoir.
Cons: - Tee pads and baskets are OK, could use some new ones.
- Watch that disc... in some parts, especially on the sloping parts, the rough can be brutal.
- Some holes are pretty brainless, with no obstacles and no length.
Other Thoughts: - I would recommend bringing a disc that won't act too squirrelly. If you shank one, and it heads towards the water, you could be in for a long search.
- Usually pretty windy up here, which only compounds the need for a predictable disc. Can make for some interesting rounds.
- Doesn't get too wet, compared to some other courses, due to the elevation. This is always good.
- Definitely a unique course in the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Different kind of course
Pros: The course plays in a hilly park around two large ponds. There is significant elevation change on a few of the holes, making for a nice change from the usual flat Chicago courses. The park is filled with tall prairie grass, but there are nicely mowed fairways for all the holes. Because of the elevation, and the severe drop offs to the ponds, the wind does very interesting things as it swirls through the course, making every shot a challenge to figure out how to use the wind and not get blown off into the rough.
There is a good variety of lengths on the course, from ace run holes, to holes that are long enough to let a drive rip. No matter the length, this course really favors shot placement, as the rough is very tall thick grass that eats discs. Most of the holes don't force a single line, and are fair to right or left handed players.
There are nice signs for every hole, though they are all about 8 feet up in the air on tall poles for some reason. The tees are pavers with wood frames, and offer fine footing to tee from. There is a good course map at the parking lot, but you won't need it as the course flows well and is easy to follow.
It was fun to play in some different scenery than most of the other courses around. The two ponds down in deep holes were very cool, and made for good views and some challenging shots. Errant drives could sail a long way down the hill, and leave you with a tough shot back up the hill.
Cons: To me, prairie grass gets old quickly. If you don't keep your disc right on the fairway, it will be difficult to find. It's a little frustrating to have to search for a disc that landed 15' from the basket, let alone how difficult it would be to find one that went really wild.
The tees were nice pavers, but were tiny and didn't give nearly enough space. They weren't quite flush with the ground, so it was a little frustrating to try either to do a short run up, or to have to step up on to the tee in the middle.
There were a lot of casual players, and many of them lost their one disc on just about every hole. This means that the groups of 6 can take a full 10 minutes to play the hole, and are spread out across the fairways of a couple holes making it impossible to play through. We were constantly thrown on by groups behind us, even after friendly conversations about etiquette. The course ends right by the tee for hole 4, and it seems that a lot of the casual players don't feel like walking over the hill to the first tee, instead they jump in right in the middle of the course backing things up even more.
Though the elevation and wind are fun obstacles, this course doesn't force any line shaping skills. You can throw every hole pretty much however you want, and still end up either with a great shot or a shot that you'll spend a while looking for.
Other Thoughts: I was surprised at how many beginners were out on this course. There are some longer holes, lots of elevation and wind, and it's very easy to lose a disc if you don't have good control. More experienced players will have fun with the challenges here, but there's not enough to bring an experienced player back to the course very many times. If there were more trees, this could be a more interesting course that would test more parts of your game.
This is definitely a different course than any of the others around, and so it's worth checking out if you're in the area. Don't drive too far out of your way just for this course, but if you do come bring your brightly colored discs and a spotter if you can.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Up and down and windy
Pros: Nice use of elevation changes. Well groomed fairways. Very well signed. Grass adjacent to the fairways is not nearly as tall and dense as described in other reviews here, even with how wet it has been this year. I am putting this in as a pro... along the ridge lines (4, 5, 8, 9) the winds add a challenging element. Even on a day that is far from windy, it can be windy up along here.
Cons: Tee pads are just a bit small. Paver bricks can create some footing challenges. 9 is a bit long in my opinion for a last hole... I tend to like a 9th hole that is a bit more technical, but shorter (think 9 at willow stream). By the end of 9 longish holes or 18 standard the arm can be a bit tired... plus, I like to end on a high note and a great approach and putt out on a nice challenging 9th is a great way to end.
Other Thoughts: Snakes, cat, skunk all encountered along the way. Watch for walkers using the mowed fairways as paths, esp on 4,5,6,7,8,9. The walk down from parking to tee 1 can be treacherous as it is a bit steep.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice course affected greatly by wind!
Pros: 1) This prairie course has some nice elevation changes. The first hole is slightly uphill. The second one is a slight right to left but the basket is tucked down a hill that turns to the left with about 50' left in the hole. Tough to stop your disc from sliding down the hill on your drive. Well used elevation! #3 goes back up the hill and slightly across. #4 is a slightly downhill left to righter (opposite of #2) with the reservoir off to the right (not in play but it affects the throw).
2) Paver teepads are better than grass/dirt.
3) Scenic course ebcause of the elevation changes and the reservoirs you play around. Nice prairies are always attractive because of the wind blowing around the grasses and other plant material.
4) Nice fence structure to protect one of the teepads from an errant drive on the previous show.
5) Very nice use of distance to add challenege. Shortest hole is 244' with the longest at 423'. The long ones are even tougher because of the wind. It is easy to control a drive on a shorter hole than it is on the 400+ holes. The wind is a bigger factor.
Cons: 1) Paver teepads are slightly small. Loose sand on the teepads also contributes to some uneasy steps.
2) Open prairie style courses tend to be a little boring.
3) Water never comes into play unless you really turn one over accidentally or the water level is really high.
4) The worst part of this course were the people on their mountain bikes zooming through the course with no care to consider the people on the disc golf course. i understand it might be multiuse but I would take care to concern the other people ont he course even if just walkng their pets, rollerblading or whatever else, but they were flying about 30+ MPH and zoomed right in front of me when I was trying to tee off on a hole. Plain RUDE!
5) Not real beginner friendly because of the wind factor. The deep grasses will eat up beginners discs who are not good at following their errant throws.
Other Thoughts: Normally I have been bored by these prairie type courses with mowed fairways. This one however, is different. It has some elevation changes along with a topography that really accentuates the wind. The reservoir is down at least 50' vertically and it sits somewhat on a hill so the wind comes whipping down into the reservoir and back up the other side. The fairways are truly your best aim because the rough can be tough to find discs and in spots the rough might actually affect your throw! A lot of times the prairie courses are boring because you can just throw right at the basket, but this one I recommend staying close to the fairway. I enjoyed this course because it was a windy day . . however it would be less challenging and less fun if it was not windy.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: If your looking for a good challenge, this is the course for you. It has a great layout and the designer new what he was doing. The fairways are never more than 15 or 20 feet wide.
Cons: Grass up to your waist everywhere other than the fairways makes it incredibly difficult to find your disk if you don't pay close attention to where it went in.
Other Thoughts: This is a good course for the early weeks of the season, then it gets incredibly buggy and grassy. Wear long pants and bug repellent.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Long and Accurate is key.
Pros: An exclusive disc golf course that is really easy to navigate with its great signage. The holes here are long and narrow which provides you with accuracy practice. There is also a lot of elevation change between holes so that's a great bonus compared to other courses in the area.
It's a great course for a quick round because it is challenging for a 9 holes course.
Cons: Tall grass surrounds the fairways and can be a pain looking for your discs if you don't keep it accurate. It goes around a water reservoir so keep your discs straight and avoid grip locks or you could see it fly all the way into the water. Bring spotters to keep an eye on your discs while it flies or you'll spent some time looking for it.
The tees are bricks and fairly narrow, forcing you to keep your run-ups small.
Other Thoughts: Use bright colored discs so you'll have an easier time finding it in the tall grass. There are good amounts of wildlife around the holes, even spotted a few snakes.
It can get pretty windy sometime so be prepared for it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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