2 Helpful / 0 Not
Some good and some bad
Pros: The course plays through a mostly open flat park with nice grassy fairways and scattered stands of trees. There are a few nice mature trees in play on the course, and stands of smaller trees and some woods that can come into play if you get off track, adding a little bit of risk for errant drives. There are some nice views of the small river that runs along the course on a couple holes.
Most of the holes are shorter ace run holes, but the end of the course gets a little longer and has one hole where you can open up and throw a long drive. There are a couple holes that force lines to the left and right, the most interesting being the last hole that wraps to the right around some thicker woods.
There are very large tee signs set on huge blocks of concrete. They are descriptive and easy to read, with hole maps and distance. The course flow is easy to follow with no navigation issues.
Cons: The course has some major safety issues. Many holes throw right at the next tee, and several fairways play very close to other holes. This is made even worse by how many people play this course. It's great that so many people in this area play, but they all have to come to the same course which makes for slow rounds and lots of ducking.
The tees are natural, and have spread out a ton. It's not at all clear where the actual tee ends, as the dirt patches next to the giant tee signs can be ten feet wide and twenty feet long. The course overall has some fun shots, but there's just not a lot of challenge or variety here with lots of open shots and not a lot of distance.
Other Thoughts: The course is great for the hordes of beginners that play here, it's got some obstacles, but is approachable and not too long, with no real chances of losing discs. More experienced players won't find a whole lot of challenge here, but it's a pretty little city park with a couple fun holes.
There aren't a lot of courses that are very close to this one, so if you're in the area you don't have a lot of choices. That said, it's not a terrible course so don't avoid it, just be ready to watch out for discs flying in from other holes and to wait for other groups on a nice day.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Home of the Monolith tee signs.
Pros: Prairie Park has the craziest tee signs I've ever seen. They are HUGE slabs of sloping concrete with a hole map mounted on them. Every time I walk up to a hole I wonder how much money they wasted on these huge slabs of concrete that they will never be able to move. The "never able to move" part is the real shame, since this course is badly in need of a redesign.
Cons: The park is very small, so nine holes are pretty well crammed in here. That being said, there is some wasted land and the holes that are there are really too close together. The pins and tees are far too close together, causing people to throw at each other a lot. Combine that with the walking path that winds around by #5, 6 & 9 and you get a course that really does not feel very safe for players or other park users when the park is crowded, and it gets very crowded often.
There are some woods in the park, but all of the pins are set in the open. They easily could have tucked some pin placements into the woods to add some challenge. The holes are pretty open and flat and do not demand a variety of shots to navigate. The Kishwaukee River really does not come into play at all. You would have to shoot really long or flip your shot really badly on the holes that are near it to go wet. So for a challenge factor, the layout rates very low. Hole #9 could be tricky, but that is about it.
The tees are rutted dirt spots that fill with water when it rains. They should have used some of the concrete they wasted on the huge tee signs to make some concrete tee pads.
There is no parking lot, only parking on the street. Hole #1 plays right toward that street. If you flip your drive or go long on hole #1, you will probably hit a disc golfers car parked on the street. When you get there you should turn around and park in front of a house on the other side of the street.
Other Thoughts: In defense of the people who work on this course, it has been hit hard over the last few seasons by floods and storms. They have lost some trees, and given the generally poor course design they really couldn't afford to lose any. Despite the damage to the park, it still is in very nice shape and is maintained very well. But the well maintained park cannot cover the shortcomings of this course. If you like boring golf where you constantly throw at other golfers and park users, Prairie Park is your course. If you don't like boring golf where you constantly throw at other golfers and park users, the only reason I can think of to go to Prairie Park is to see those crazy tee signs.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Only game in town
Pros: It's in town.
Since it's a 9 holer, you can play it rather quickly. There's some shot selection, but not much.
Hole 3 is a very aceable, or at the very least, birdieable. You should putt from the pin's dirt or close to that without a problem.
I have found quite a few free discs here! I have also lost quite a few discs here.....
Not too many like hole 9. I'm not one of them. It's a nice, 90 degree turn. It indeed is parable, but you have to sidearm it past the curve and avoid the trees. A decent distance, somewhat accurate sidearm shot will achieve this.
Hole 9 usually is the tiebreaker hole.
Good use of a small park.
Cons: Mosquitoes love this place.
Crazy crowded, especially when NIU is in session. And we're not talking threesomes, foursomes, etc. I've seen as many as eight people playing a single hole at a time. I found that if you arrive early in the morning (early = before 9) it's usually vacant.
This is a public park that has a path bissecting it. A loud "FORE!" will serve you well on a few holes, especially number 5. If a pedestrian crosses the bridge, there is a blind corner created by the treeline that will not allow them to see a disc for a few seconds.
Also, because this is a public park in a highly residential area, there are the occasional park-goers who are oblivious to the fact that people want to tee off. Again, a loud "FORE!" will serve you well, and cross your fingers. One time when I was there, a guy brought his kids to the park and the kids wound up playing with their toy trucks in the woodchips of the tee on hole #2.
Due to the size of the park, there's not really a "big" hole. Hole 4 is about 350 - 400' and that's it.
If this course wasn't just down the road I wouldn't play it as much as I do.
Other Thoughts: Skip this course and drive out to Pioneer Park in Kirkland. It's much better!
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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