2 Helpful / 1 Not
Nice course, accuracy required!
Pros: My wife and I played this course on our way home from Mackinaw City (we live in Kalamazoo, MI). I'm very glad we went out of our way to find it! The course had a lot of variety, although not in elevation, with some holes playing what seemed like over 400 or 500 feet. Each hole had map of the pin and tee locations, distances to the pin, and directions to the next hole.
Cons: The rough here can be pretty nasty, so play it safe or bring a spotter. Also, the ground was pretty moist in a lot of areas, and today was a pretty clear, dry day, so I'd imagine that the course can get pretty swampy during wet periods.
Other Thoughts: There are some blind drives on narrow fairways, so bringing a spotter is recommended. The ninth hole doesn't end up near the parking lot, so plan on playing all 18 (or 24) or walking quite a ways back.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Accuracy and spotters required!
Pros: This is a course that truly rewards accuracy with beautiful, well maintained fairways and incredibly well thought out tee and basket placement. Challenges of every type, variety, and distance abound here. Hole #4 challenges big arms with a distance of 646 ft, but threading through the scattered bushes and trees make the hole seem a lot longer than it really is. Three other holes are over 400 ft, but they're balanced out by several really short but incredibly difficult holes. Holes #2, #17, and #22 require sharp left or right turns around big islands of thick brush, or huge thumbers/tommys over them. There's a great balance of very, very tight fairways and more open "choose your own route" holes.
Almost every hole has very creative tee and/or pin placement, fully utilizing the terrain features available on the property. Baskets placed under trees, in small, tight clearings, down tiny alley ways, or hidden behind huge walls of brush keep the interest factor high. On #22, tee pad selection determines whether or not you have to clear the river that flows through the park.
Signage on the 1st 18 holes was descriptive and colorful, though some are a little deceptive as they're designed with North in the top position rather than rotated to show the hole based on the thrower's point of view. Each sign includes obstacles, main fairway, both tee positions, and distance as well as "Next Tee" directions.
The concrete tee pads for the blue tees are well textured and offer plenty of room for a run up. Everything on the course, with the exception of the basket on hole 1 and the signage for holes 19-24, was in tip-top shape and spotlessly clean. The layout is exceptionally well designed to avoid run-ins with other park users. There are 2 port-a-johns available in the parking area.
The kiosk at the parking lot sports lots of information on league play, a beautiful but very faded topo-type map of the course, and a box of nice scorecards printed on colored card stock.
Cons: Low lying land and numerous swampy areas mean slogging through soggy grass and squishy black glop during wet periods. The brush here is thick and heavy! Having spotters for the many blind holes is highly recommended as lost discs appear to be the rule rather than exception here. Any discs that end up off the main fairway require determined bushwhacking and great eyes to find.
The dirt and gravel pads for the red tees were rutted and loose, and even the rubber mats supplied on a couple of holes were laid without really leveling the surface below, making for questionable footing.
Navigation for holes 19-24 is a bit challenging as signage is lacking and most of the baskets are blind. These holes have a very different look and feel from the main 18. That's not necessarily a bad thing; just odd.
Other Thoughts: Although there is no real change in elevation here, the course designer here did an excellent job of maintaining interest and challenge using all the other terrain elements available in the park. With the exception of the unforgiving rough and the need for spotters, this course is a total blast! Even with its shortcomings, I had to rate this course pretty high for its challenge and fun factor. You won't regret driving out of the way to play here (unless you lose a disc, or 2, or 3......)! Before really making a judgement you'll want to play the course at least twice as your first time out will be a chore, but subsequent rounds will become more fun as you get familiar with the lay out.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Had a good time
Pros: I've only been able to play here once in 2009 (in 2'+ feet of snow) but I will always remember how much fun we had. I'm not sure how much it has changed/improved but I can assure you it was worth the drive.
1. Large and Diverse Course ~ This course has it all. Some woods, fields, thick brush, a little bit of water, nice flowing fairways. Add them all up and this place has everything you look for in a quality course. The park is pretty big and we had it all to ourselves. The only thing that it lacked was major elevation changes which was not a big deal.
2. Places to Relax/Rest ~ Picnic tables and garbage cans were available and in working order. No port-a-johns in sight during the winter-period but not an issue this time.
3. Well Maintained ~ The baskets looked nice and caught well. Park looked like it was cared for. Nice enough to bring the family.
4. Dual Teepads Available. Even though it wasn't shoveled, it was nice to throw from the pro tees.
5. IT IS FREE TO PLAY. Can't say that to the similar nice courses in SE MI.
Cons: There is nothing really to complain about coursewise and the only problem we had has already been fixed.
1. Limited Signage/Scorecard with map ~ Other than the MB with the map at the beginning, us first-timers became lost after only a few holes With so much space/land dedicated to the disc golf course, it was easy to get confused on the next tee's direction. It didn't help our cause with all the deep snow on the ground but at the time we played, some of the tee signs were missing. It might have been fixed by now but, just in case, take a picture of the map near hole #1 if it's your first time playing here.
Other Thoughts: I'd like to play here in better weather so I can give this place a higher grade. It's a real nice place and it was a lot of fun.
From the looks of the updated photo's, this place will probably rate a 4.5 these days.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I thought this was the better of the three courses in the area and is the only one I played more than once,good layout and variety of holes will provide a challenge for all players,fairly easy to navigate with some signs,distance markers in fairways were nice and a first for me,well maintained with mowed fairways,24 holes,clean course,
Cons: This course has no elevation changes,several of the Am tees were loose dirt and gravel making it easy to loose balance,thick rough off fairway and several blind holes suggest bringing a spotter,
Other Thoughts: I had a lot of fun here I would definitely recommend checking this course out,the whole park is flat so adding elevation would be hard but with cement tees and better signs I would give this course a 4,
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: the course is fairly well laid out with almost every type of hole represented. there is a river that runs along the course but there are really only two holes where risk of disc loss would be a worry. although the signs at each tee box have been vandalized the course layout is fairly easy to follow. as long as you can stay on the fairways you will have a wonderful time. tee boxes vary from nice cement pads, suitable rubber mats, to poor gravel (watch your footing). i do like this course but you need to pay attention to your throws or you will spend a lot of time searching for discs.
Cons: as mentioned before the signs indicating the throw path and distance from tee box to basket have been vandalized. many of the red tee boxes are still loose gravel so if you throw from the amateur tees watch your footing.
the worst part of this course is the vegetation. once your off the fairway you are in very thick brush. VERY thick brush.
in most instances you have plenty of fairway to work with. but a bad shot here is hard to recover from.
Other Thoughts: this is a local course for me so i play it very regularly. other than the overly cruel vegetation it is a fun course. lots of opportunities for any type of throw.
there are soccer feilds and a small boat launch on site. plenty of parking and port-a-johns.
Edit: i just learned that this course is groomed for winter play, that's a bonus for you winter players.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The more I play this course the more I love it.
Challenging yet fair to those whom have gained a knowledge of the ins and outs of the course.
Fantastic signs around the tees. Pro and Am tees for each hole.
Players on this course are all very friendly and are always willing to add more to their group.
This course is very well maintained and I personally know the workers who do such a great job of making sure everyone enjoys themselves on the course. They give it their all.
90% of the time when I play I never see another disc golfer which gives time for those needed "bench breaks."
Cons: If you throw into the rough you're going to come out looking like ground beef. I used to see this as the biggest con on this course but I've recently come to realize that it teaches you to be more accurate. The rough sucks when you suck.
Don't play in the wind. When Petoskey has winds of 15 mph, River Road sees winds of 30ish mph. Not only is the wind harsh but if you throw above the level of the rough, the wind drastically picks up and leaves you at the tee with your mouth wide open going "...WTF?!"
Not enough winter players to pack down the snow to make the course fun during winter months.
Other Thoughts: This course has made me a better disc golfer and there is no course I'd rather play in northern Michigan.
Course knowledge is key. If you've never played bring a spotter or two. I've lost so many discs at this course learning how to disc golf that it's disgusting. If you don't have absolute and pure control over your drives, play with a spotter.
The most fun way to play this course is with "league tees." Play pro tees where they are cement, and play am tees where they're dirt. The only exception is hole 21 where there are two cement tees...and you play the long one there. You get such a good mix of long and short holes that it makes me wish every course was laid out this way.
I have to give credit to Pluister and The Wild Man for such a genius design with such limited landscape.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Challenging course. Tees and baskets well marked, as well as yardage markers in the fairways.
Cons: after the first hole, the grass grows high around narrow mowed fairways. finding errant discs becomes a chore, be sure to use 'spotters', especially on blind holes.
Other Thoughts: To be completely fair, we only played the front 9 on this course, late in the day after playing two other courses, in our first year of disc golfing. We got frustrated spending most of our time searching for discs in the grass and gave up as the sun was setting. We probably need to come up and give it another test drive.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
River Road Rocks!
Pros: River Road is my home course, and was created by my father. From March to November, this course is Beautifully Brutal. The Shrubbery grows on average of 3 ft. taller and 1 ft. wider than it already is, between the months of April and August. This course is designed around a Cross-country trail, which makes the layout, very easy to follow and the course is Very enjoyable.
Cons: River Road doesn't have any elevation changes, whatsoever. Most of the Red tees(Am) are just dirt holes, from Lots of local play.
Other Thoughts: River Road will be getting an upgrade in the Spring. With the completion of concrete on the Pro tees, this course will look even more amazing than it already does. We would love to see more out-of-town players come and try our Wonderful course. Go River Road!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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