6 Helpful / 0 Not
Scenic and Challenging
Pros: P.J. Irving is an mostly open course with trees in just the right places to make it a real challenge for players of all levels. Where there aren't trees, there are fun elevation changes. This course will challenge the distance drives of most recreational and intermediate players. Some specific things I like about this course:
*Two pin placements at each hole
*Nice Tee pads
*Challenging lines on most drives
Favorite hole: 12
Cons: Not a whole lot to say about these, so I will list them by bullet point:
*Last time I played this course, there was a cone where one of the pin placements for hole #1 should have been, and hole #18 was in the other pin placement... wasn't sure what to do!
*A few of the pin placements eliminate some of the exciting challenges of the course
*Many tee signs are either not accurate or not present
Other Thoughts: P.J. Irving is a nice 18 hole course that features several challenging holes that force straight drives. If your drive isn't perfect, you will still likely have an open shot at the hole for your second shot. Thus, PJ Irving is a nice place to take disc golfers of all skill levels. In competition for the best course in the Bloomington-Normal area.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
OK but flaws
Pros: 1. Nice landscaping
2. Good trees forcing thoughtful shots
3. Well taken care of
4. Nice variety of holes
Cons: 1. Poorly marked holes
2. Par seems arbitrary on many holes
3. Very high grass on the back nine can lead to some long searching for discs
Other Thoughts: Not a bad course I enjoyed playing it and will come back every time I am in Bloomington.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: - Nice Cement Tee Pads
- Fun holes
- Park is secluded
- Elevation is well used
- Trees and natural features are well utilized
- Multiple Pin Placements
- Variety of shots to score well.
- Great course for REC and INT players
- Practice Basket (I assume)
- Playground for the Kids
Cons: - Bad Tee Signs, many missing. Those that did have signs had water damage and are faded.
- The main reason I am not giving this a 3 is because of the navigation and criss-crossing fairways. Many holes encroach on one another. The holes ended up great but the design could have been modified without taking away from the course and not have this problem.
- Chuckers + College/HS Students = Bad Time (Not courses fault just giving fair warning)
- Smart play is not required to play the course
- Little to no penalty for poor play
Other Thoughts: This is Bloomington-Normal's Best course. The holes are interesting and fun. The majority of the holes are well thought out and use of the land is optimal. Unfortunately there are some holes that encroach on each other. I'm also not a fan of the holes that play over the road and parking lot.
A good INT player should be able to carve this course up. If you have a 350' and under semi accurate drive you will have many birdie attempts. There is only a few holes that truly punish arrant shots. ADV and PRO players will have fun but will have little challenge.
This is a great course for REC players to work and develop their game. Make sure to bring your control driver and mid-range game.
This course is definitely worth a quick stop by to play. I would rather play 2-3 rounds here than play one round here and another at Maxwell. It's a very short drive from the main highway. If the course is packed Forrest Park is seconds away and amusing to play.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - A good variety of holes. Uphill, downhill, left, and right. Also mature trees are a factor throughout the course.
- A quiet and clean park. Always a pleasure going to this course because you know it will be a good experience.
- Coming from Champaign, IL, it's nice to play in some concrete tees.
- Not much else going on at this park besides disc golf. There is a playground, but it is really never a factor on any hole. You won't have to worry interfering with another event.
- Alternate pin placements are changed a few times a year to keep things fresh and will create new approaches to holes if they start to feel redundant.
Cons: - It is a smaller park, and kind of amazing they got 18 holes on it. Because of this, there are a couple of holes where you walk back in the previous fairway to get to the next hole. During rec play it isn't a big deal, but in tournament play you will have to wait until they clear out.
- If you're a lefty, the cars in the parking lot could be a factor on hole #2. I'm being nit picky here. I'm a lefty and I haven't hit a car (yet).
- Flooding issues on hole 3 after a good rain, but you can work around it.
Other Thoughts: I enjoy driving from Champaign over to the Bloomington-Normal area to play this course and Maxwell. The area also has a disc golf club that plays weekly tournaments and it seems to be doing well. I've never played in any of their local tournaments, but have played in a PDGA tournament here. Don't mind making the 45 minute drive to play disc golf here. If you're from out of town, you will enjoy playing in Bloomington-Normal.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Nice park course
Pros: The course plays through a city park with some nice hills and lots of mature trees. There is not much underbrush to really punish errant shots, but the trees are used well to make a nice variety of hole shapes and types. Many holes play up, own or across the hills, nothing too dramatic but enough to add challenge and variety. There is a nice variety of hole lengths from ace runs to holes where most players will pull out a driver, including a couple fun downhill shots. For how open the park feels, you have to hit some different lines to be successful here.
The baskets are in good shape and catch well, and are marked with direction to next tee making the course easy to follow. There are basic tee signs showing distance and layout. Most holes have dual pin positions that looked like they would change up the course and add some variety if they are moved regularly. The tees are nice concrete pads with decent grip and enough space.
Cons: The layout is odd here, with lots of long walks and backtracking. It would be different if these were used to get to outstanding holes, but it just seems like the flow wasn't too important to the course designer. The signs are faded and hard to read, and they don't show the current pin position.
The land available was used pretty well here, but the park just doesn't have the room or the obstacles to make a championship level course. It gets a little repetitive at times, and has some throw away holes that make it less interesting. There wouldn't be great scoring spread here in competitive play, with hole lengths that lend themselves to lots of 3s and no punishment to turn bad drives into bogeys or worse.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course with some cool holes, but overall just doesn't really have anything all that special. It's the best of the courses in the area, and definitely worth a quick stop if you're passing through. It's a little long for true beginners, but throwers with a little experience will find this course a great place to learn to shape some different lines and fill out different parts of their game. More experienced players won't find any major challenges, but it's an enjoyable easy round.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -nicely designed course..
-variety of shots
-sidearm and backhand shots
-both long and short shots to be able to throw as far as you want and more technical shots..
-nice concrete teepads and baskets..
-fairways and rough included in the course
-great location in town very nice neighborhood.
Cons: -course is very wet if it rained the day before
-some areas need to be mowed down a little as i was walking in weeds up to my knees..
-walking from 11's tee from 12 was a little confusing for the first time i played and from 8 to 9's as well.
-also walking from 8 to 9 you have to watch out for other discs flying at you since you walk back on the fairway of 8 to get to 9..
- some benches would be great on some holes to be able to sit if you have to wait..
Other Thoughts: this course was really nice and i enjoyed the course very much.. i only thought that it could have been mowed a little on some area's of the course.. throwing hole 12 pretty much blind in the field where grass was up to my shins was kinda hard to find the disc.. other than that i thought the course was very well maintained and a very good course to visit if you were driving through i will be driving back there again..
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Big, beautiful trees.
-Good mix of shots. Even long time players will have to work on some of the shots.
-Park is fairly well maintained and in a decent neighborhood.
-Probably the best course that could be put into the ground at this park.
Cons: -This course is super mushy after it rains.
-Fairways lie too close to each other on many shots, especially on the front 9. Enough so that I've dubbed it the PJ effect.
-Some the shots can be very frustrating for a beginner.
Other Thoughts: -You may want an extra towel if it just rained.
-Watch the out of bounds on 2 and 3. As you'll be throwing right next to people's property.
-Heads up when playing on 3,4,5; 6,7; 12,13,14...fairways are tight.
-Walk up the hill before you throw on 6. The basket is pretty much straight away or to the left depending on the pin position. Also you'll want to check that you're not throwing into anybody.
-Watch for out of bounds on 9...especially in the long. Its a high risk/high reward shot.
-11 is my nemesis. The branches on those trees are lower than you think.
-Careful on 12, its real easy to finish way left on that shot.
-18 looks intimidating, but a roller works real well. If you have trouble spotting the hole, just throw straight ahead through the trees, you'll get there eventually.
-13 is a fun shot. It's also always longer than you think it is.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is a very nice neighborhood park. It's a very quiet area and a well kept park. It's very clean and relaxing. The park is mowed nicely and has mature trees scattered throughout most of it. Much of the course plays in the shade of trees. There are some nice small rolling hills that add a bit of elevation change.
The course designer did an excellent job utilizing every inch of the park. There are some nice lines and fun holes. You will learn how to play disc golf here.
There is a nice variety with 2 pin placements.
Although there are no super tunnel holes it has several holes where you have to throw straight lines to net birdies.
The equipment is very nice. The tee pads are nice and big. The tee signs are adequate with both pin positions and accurate distances. The baskets are new Innova Discatchers.
This course is pretty easy to navigate and is very beginner friendly. A rung on each basket is painted in the direction of the next tee pad.
Cons: This course is on the short side and there is very little rough to penalize bad shots.
The land does not have the space to add difficulty or length to get a higher rating. I felt the course designer did a great of maximizing potential of this land.
This course is not very far off the interstate. If I had to choose one of the Bloomington/Normal courses this is the one i'd play. There is another 9 hole right across the street. Both 18 hole courses are very nice walks in the park and do not take very long to play. If you are traveling thru Central Illinois they are both solid options to get out and stretch your legs.
Here are some nice photos of the course.
Check out my Illinois Top 10
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
A Great Place to Play
Pros: - Course is located in a beautiful, semi-secluded, well-maintained park with large oak trees and slightly hilly terrain.
- Most holes are short (200-300 ft) but well-designed, using trees and elevation to create tight lines from tee to pin.
- Two pin positions for each hole offer lots of replay value. The course plays 4-5 strokes harder in the longest pin positions.
- The course has something for everyone - lefty and righty routes, long bombs, short technical shots, wide open fariways and tiny windows requiring a perfect shot to reach the putting area. Some holes are deuce-able by beginning players, while other holes are a tough 2 even for pro level players.
- The course design is excellent, using every square inch of a smallish park while avoiding overlap or traffic issues.
- Navigation from hole to hole is logical and easy to follow.
Cons: - Course can get "mushy" after a rain, with large puddles and some small flooded areas on some holes.
- Not enough penalty for errant shots - you can make 3 on most holes even if you hit an early tree.
- Some holes would be VERY difficult for a beginner and the number of holes with very small windows can make the course frustrating for the beginning player.
Other Thoughts: I'd recommend this course to almost anyone - the variety of holes for a non-wooded park is excellent and the course demands a high level of precision to master. And the remote location (tucked back in a residential neighborhood) guarantees that the course is almost never crowded, so you can usually play a quick round almost any time of day.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Nicely wooded course in Bloomington
Pros: -A lot of beautiful, old trees
-Nicely maintained (grass is cut, trash cans are usually empty, etc.)
-Rarely are there people here
-A great mix of open and obstacle filled shots
- Very clean
-Very hard to lose your disc
-The course covers the whole park
-This course has the most hills in town
-There's a beautiful par-3 (I believe #13) where you have to throw the frisbee into a cage of trees. Definitely one of my top 5 favorite 'holes' I've played.
Cons: -The signs aren't very accurate and some of them are ruined because of water leaks.
-Sometimes the tees aren't pointing to the baskets but that's just because of the alternate basket locations so usually the tees just point in the middle of the two.
-There's a lot of litter in the heavily wooded ob areas of the course.
Other Thoughts: It's a nice course with a great mix of shots. The old trees have a lot of marks in them from stray drives and it always makes me laugh. I'd say that this and Maxwell are worth an hour drive to come check out.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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