Spring 2016 updates
Pros: I arrived at 0915 on a Thursday during local spring break week. I think NIU is in session, but DeKalb mostly seems a little empty. The park definitely was empty. It was me and 6 geese out there.
The tees are in great shape.
The course is in great shape.
The baskets are in great shape.
It was two fast fun practice rounds in abt an hour.
Cons: I don't have any new cons. The baskets and tees are compacted and I can see how it'd be frustrating if there were many others out there.
It was super windy today. While I wouldn't find the river intimidating under calm conditions, my disc got buffeted a coupe times and so I did alter my approaches when facing the Kish. I found myself standing around a lot hoping for wind to stop gusting. It hurt my play, but not my score, which tells me a lot about the size and general ease of the course.
Other Thoughts: First and foremost, I'm really excited that DeKalb has a dg course. Just at all. This wasn't here when I was a kid, so getting to play during a visit was great. For that alone, I can say "thumbs up, DeKalb."
That said, I'm really spoiled by great courses in the PNW and can't consider Prarie as more than practice. Cages for aiming, maybe playing with different motions, or trying to sneak thru tree lines.
I like a previous comment that said something like "check it if you're already in town." I'm going to Kirkland tomorrow and Rochelle Saturday, but otherwise would head back here in a second. Bc it's disc golf in DeKalb. But I don't think I'd come out of my way to play here if I wasn't visiting family.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Course has concrete pads and is decent for newer players. Holes 3 and 5 play toward the river. Holes 4 and 6 are longer and let you open up on your drive and have some newer trees that will eventually make for decent fairways.
Cons: Most holes are short open shots due to the large tree being removed. Parks/Rec do poor mowing job on the back part of the course.
Other Thoughts: The course is fun and decent for newer players. Hole 6's basket being moved takes the walking path out of play for most people now. Par is defiantly not a 30, its a 27.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
the return to my first ever course
Pros: - awesome pads square cement pads that are bigger then your average pads( nice for me and my massive strides)
-makes use of almost every tree in the park(nice grassy area with only a little underbrush around the edge of the course)
-has one or 2 holes that let you use your full arm(like 400 foot shots) it was nice that they worked these in given the size of the park
-holes 2 and 9 are both a lot of fun.
2 has a line of trees 30-40 feet in front of the pad that block a lot of lines and give u the option of shooting the gaps in the trees and getting right under the basket or hooking around the trees and parking a little further away- 9 is a good sized hook shot around the trees on the back side of the park but there is an option of a tunnel shot through the trees that can park u right under the basket if you get it through(very hard shot but i gotta try it at least once every time i go)
-is within walking distance of the NIU campus so if you come visit you might as well hit up this course.
-or if you want to take a break from driving on 88 you can get off in dekalb and the course is not far(if you reach 38 you have gone to far
Cons: -has one or 2 shots that are just open field shots.(4,6)4 at least has a tree or 2 near the basket
-is only a 9 hole
-has several holes where a small river comes in to play(3,5,6,7) but it would be hard for a right backhand player to throw in to 6,7 and as long as you don't try to bomb them 3,5 the river is easy to avoid.
-more of an if you are in town type of course.
- there is a path that comes into play on hole 6
i almost hit a few people walking on it. also i use to fish the river near the course and was almost hit a few times and have seen a few other fishermen almost get hit
Other Thoughts: -if you go to niu and want to try disc golf a great course to learn on. i played my first 3-4 rounds at this course before moving and drove back out that way today to see how fun it was not that i a decent player and it was still a fun course to play
-also i often would play it 2 times through in order to get in 18 instead of 9
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Pros: some cool holes
good use of the trees there
path makes it easily accessible on bike
can get crowded/littered with the college nearby
Cons: walking path may be a problem
some trees have been cut down which makes the holes easier.
some very short holes
bugs can be a problem with forested area and river nearby
Other Thoughts: cant really complain too much since there isnt much else in the area.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a city park that has a typical walking path. Definitely some possible interference with pedestrians in a few spots.
- Best feature here is the abundance of trees, as well as some thicker forested areas. These are used well, with #1 under a large and low tree, #3 a RHBH hyzer around the forest, #8 totally blocked on the right of the pin, and #9 is a big anny or similar around the forest. There are a few open shots, but the majority have well placed obstacles to force some line shaping. Good balance of left, right, and straight.
- There is a creek here as well, and it can be in play. But, it would take a pretty wild or long throw to get it there. Decent accuracy, and there's nothing to worry about (maybe #5 is close enough to worry).
- Some baskets are protected, due to things like the tree on #1 and the forest on #8. Nothing too difficult.
- Decent mix of hole lengths here as well, there are definitely some short ones, but also longer ones with two holes over 350' and one at 420'.
- Good signage, teepads, and baskets. Navigation is a breeze.
Cons: - Although there are patches of trees and forest to avoid, the course is pretty much wide open. Every hole can yield an easy par, and is usually pretty brainless. Choosing between left, straight, and right, is about the bulk of it.
- Land is pretty much dead flat, if there were any elevation changes, it wasn't very noticable.
Other Thoughts: - For a niner in a heavily populated area, it's not that bad. The land was used extremely well to make the course long and technical at parts; there are easily bogeys to be found if you miss your line. Definitely beginner friendly (watch that water though), and also a good place for intermediate players to test controlled distance. Experienced golfers should look to score super low here.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
an okay course.
Pros: nice location. fairly scenic. cool flight patterns to the pins. on my school campus.
Cons: the river that runs through it. i lost a disc to it and there are signs that warn you of poisonous fish and the water is just pure brown. i usually go after a disc too if it goes in water but this was just to disgusting. good amount of mosquitoes. will have to yell fore alot because the tees for the next hole are very close to the pin for the previous hole.
Other Thoughts: if your in the area its a good quick play. but dont go out of your way to it.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is set in a nicely manicured park along the Kishwaukee River located just off the NIU campus, and allows for a pretty quick round. There is a nice variety of shots, and trees on most holes as obstacles. With a few exceptions the Discatcher baskets and tee signs are in good shape, and although somewhat muddy (it had rained a few hours before I played) the dirt tees were level and free of any major ruts. All baskets rest on little circles of wood chips which makes spotting them a little easier from a distance and improves the aesthetic of the course.
Cons: The river comes into play on #3, #5, and #6 and your disc is gone if it goes in. Personally, I enjoyed the added risk, but newer players or those who toss one in may find this to be unpleasant.
The terrain of the park does not allow for any elevation changes, and although trees/bushes provide obstacles on most holes, most experienced players will not find this course to be overly challenging. The lack of distance also contributes to this ease. Only #4, #6, and #9 required me to use a driver.
While easily correctable, the basket for #8 was crooked when I played.
Other Thoughts: As of now, this is the only course in the area, so if you find yourself with some free time and you're around Dekalb, this course is worth checking out. It's not the most difficult course, and while it wasn't overly crowded when I played (overcast Saturday afternoon when classes were out), I have heard it can get crowded on nicer days when classes are in. Overall an average, but enjoyable course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is conveniently right next to the NIU campus. The first five holes are my favorite because of the fact that more trees come into play. The last 4 are more in an open prairie, which is good if you have a big arm. I played this course all the time because it is the only full course in DeKalb, and it can be pretty fun.
Cons: I wish there were 9 more holes on this course. If the park district would make more holes on the wooded side of the river it would make for an awesome course. They also might want to invest in some cement or rubber tee pads. It kind of sucks when you are throwing on dirt or wood chips.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I enjoyed this course when I was a student at NIU. If you go earlier in the day it is generally not as crowded, but if you go on a nice day in the afternoon you may have to wait between holes. I really hope they add more holes in the future, it would make the course much better.
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.
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