Very good with the potential to be great
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The course is in a beautiful municipal park with rolling hills and a vast number of mature trees, and it features scenic views of the nearby river. It is well maintained and has clean restroom facilities and a drinking fountain.
The holes themselves are very well thought out and offer a challenging variety of left or right shots, with the added difficulty of compensating for up and downhill distance factors, as well as occasional holes that go sideways across those slopes. The trees don't offer a great set of obstacles, but they do force the player into uncomfortable lines they might not otherwise take and there is some trouble to be had if you hit those trees.
It is a bomber course, which is not what I like, but the hills and trees mitigate this issue by making it a technical bomber course.
Cons: The tee signs are all within 1-2 meters of the tee pads and all of them are at the back of the pads and facing backwards. This is HORRIBLE. First, tee signs should ALWAYS be a minimum of 4 meters away from the pads to allow players to take advantage of the 3 meters they are allowed to take from off the pad onto it (which is necessary to create proper angles for some shots). While that isn't really an issue on any of these holes (at least for a lefty), there is one other very annoying factor: you CAN'T see the signs from anywhere on the pad.
Tee pads should be placed so that the information on them is visible to the player when he is standing ANYWHERE on the tee pad. One hole had the pad abutting a stone wall that protects the players from falling down the cliff side into the river, and there is less than a foot between the pad and wall. The sign is stuck in that small space and is facing the river (this is the rare case where it's OK that it is so close, but they could have turned the sign 180 degrees to be readable). Most signs can remain roughly where they are, but need to be moved about 2 meters further away and rotated 90 degrees so they are visible from the pads.
There are also 4 areas on the course that should be redesigned because it hurts the overall flow of the course and poses danger to other players.
Hole 8:This is a mando not for design or difficulty's sake, but because the basket for #5, and the tee pads for 6 and 9 and all down below on a blind shot and within a 75 feet radius. They might want to consider moving both of those tees (6 and 9) so that they are further from that basket (5), and they should definitely move the #8 pad about 50 feet left of where it is currently to take the hazard to other players out of play. The Gold position should also be eliminated permanently. The hole is so difficult that it's maybe a 1 in 5 chance for deuce by the top 10 players in the world, but no one with even decent power will struggle to get 3. The reason for this is because players have to BACKTRACK over the fairway they have just played to get to the #9 tee (given the length and difficulty of some of these holes, an easy birdie hole might be a nice break at this point).
Hole 11: Once again, a player is forced to backtrack significantly over the fairway they have just played to get to the #12 tee (which is also far too close to one of the shorter pin positions for #11, a huge hazard to those players on the #12 tee). This could be solved quite simply by moving the #12 tee to a little tunnel area about 75 feet right of where it is now (and nearly directly across from the gold pin). It would not only eliminate all dangers to other players, but it would make #12 longer, a much more difficult RHBH anhyzer shot, and would compensate for making #8 easier (#12 as it currently plays is long and straight, but very easy to make 3, with again only players who throw over 500 able to deuce it).
Hole 14: This is a design disaster for the gold pin. I put my first drive right between the two short pins (one of which is a little close to the tee for 15). As a lefty, I then had a 125 foot shot to the gold pin that goes DIRECTLY OVER the tee for #15. Enormous danger. The obvious solution to the problem would be to eliminate the short pin closest to the tee (this was the medium pin) and move that over to the right side of the fairway. The gold pin should then be moved at least 75 to 100 feet to the right (as you face it coming from the 15 tee) of where it is, which still retains the densely wooded guarded green.
Hole 17: A lefty who shanks a hook to the left on this hole is going to hit the players on the #18 tee for sure. This is the most minor of the design flaws, as the #18 tee should simply be moved directly to its right about 40 feet (between a pair of trees). Doing so puts it far out of reach of most players and doesn't change the distance of 18, while making it a more difficult and technical angle through the trees.
Other Thoughts: I disagree with those who said it was hard to follow, and I guess it was lucky that my random visit was early in the morning, as I discovered almost no one playing this supposedly always crowded course.
The experience here is a bet better than 3.5, but the course would go up to 4.0 immediately just by fixing the tee signs. I'd give another half star for fixing any 2 of the poorly designed areas and another half star for fixing the other 2 bad spots.
That would make this a 5 star course and one of my all time favorites.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Great in city course
Pros: Wide variety of shots required to birdy every hole
Massive elevation changes, featuring a great downhill bomb hole and 3 fairly difficult uphill holes when in the correct pin placements
Course isn't tailored to RHBH players, a problem of most courses in central Minnesota
Great use of the available space, course tightly hugs the borders to give every hole that extra bit of distance
Great use of trees to create obstacles on the shorter holes
Constant upkeep, pins move weekly, sometimes more than that, signs that are vandalized are replaced quickly, great concrete tee pads on every hole
on most days of the week and some weekends a disc vendor is there at the beginning of the course ready to sell you new plastic and refreshments
Cons: Crowds- because the course is right across from a major university and it is the best course in the area you don't need a car to get to there is always a crowd after 4 pm
Difficulty- not enough room to pad the distance and make most of the holes true par threes, a veteran player has to play par 3 only just to up the difficulty
more liberal use of mando's could improve the difficulty but there is only one in the course and that is only there for safety reasons
smaller lifespan- this course isn't open year round for snow golfers, considering most other courses in the area are this is a drawback when your still asking if riverside is open in may
Other Thoughts: There is a large area of unused land behind riverside that is unused currently that could be used to make the course much larger and a more difficult course. it's a shame that the best course in the area is confined to such a small plot of land
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Park is kept clean and mostly trash free.
- 3 Pin locations available.
- Concrete tee pads
- Wood chips /mulch around baskets.
- Ample trash cans.
- Hole 9 finishes near parking lot for beverage resupply, restroom break, etc.
- A good variety of discs, bags, snacks were for sale near the first hole from a local vendor.
- It would be difficult to lose a disc here, with the exception of a bad throw near the river.
Cons: Not a very challenging course, Shooting par on this course should be an easy feat for most players. Due to the open design it was hard to tell which basket went with each hole. There were no course maps available that I could find.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course for beginners or for practicing various shots. If you miss your intended line it is no problem on most holes to save par with a decent follow on shot. If you are in the St. Cloud area you should stop here and play a couple rounds.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Worth Playing (True Rating 3.75)
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Beautiful, well-maintained Park full of large, mature trees.
-Lots of elevation shots, up-hill, down-hill, side hill making it an interesting adjustment for shots depending on which you are throwing, with some shots throwing down-hill risking your disc flying over a cliff. Elevation and trees are the obstacles out here.
-concrete pads allow for good footing on drives
-great signage that gives map of the hole and pin placement options.
-Clear signature hole with several other great holes that utilize the park trees as well as they can be utilized.
-Great hole design. For a mid-town park course, this course is well designed, utilizing the landscape to create many unique holes and not leaving any good shots out. You can't help but to notice how there is plenty of distance on holes in this park course while utilizing the trees to require great shots that generally don't favor one style of throw over the other. Impressive use of the park, when so many other park courses leave much to be desired and what appear to be missed opportunities.
Decent baskets that all catch well.
-Playground and water works station in the middle of the park so the wife has somewhere to go with the kid(s) while you toss a quick round.
Cons: -Super busy at the right times. This course is right across the river from SCSU campus and draws large crowds during peak times. I strongly recommend hitting this course up in the morning. Any time during the school year after about 3 will leave you waiting at each hole for the group ahead of the group that's ahead of the group ahead of you. Early mornings definitely minimize your chances of getting caught up in the hurry up and wait disc.
-Wide range of players out here, anyone reading this review generally plays disc and is serious about it. However, this course draws all kinds of throwers, even then ones that just go out to catch a buzz and have a good time. This can be frustrating as it can lead to multiple discs being thrown and poor etiquette when it comes to playing through.
-This is a very nice in-town park with amenities that satisfy more than just disc golfers. Naturally this means there is a risk of an errant disc hitting some poor kid that wandered too far into the course or in general that you may be waiting for grandma to walk her dog across your holes' fairway. I should note I have never had the latter happen, but is a feasible possibility out here.
Other Thoughts: I used to live in St. Cloud and really did not like this course. I think in general a few bad experiences out there feeling like I was in a Walmart on a Saturday really turned me off to the course. As I continued playing disc more I got more wise about times to hit courses as well as progressed my skills. This is an updated review that I know is more informed than my past review. I went back to St. Cloud and played this course for the first time in many years. I went early in the morning and played by myself and absolutely seen what so many other reviewers see in this course. It really is one of the better course of this type I have ever played. I really enjoyed my round and recommend playing it as well as several other great courses in the St. Cloud area. My recommendation is this, play this course first and in the morning and preferably during the week if you like not having to wait. If you are the type of player that likes a bunch of people out having a good time throwing in a nice park with you, go later in the day, you can probably score a beer from the group ahead or behind you as you meet up at the pads. This course is worth playing, but is not the best in the area. This course has a true rating of 3.75. I have rated it a 3.5 because DGCR does not allow 1/4 point intervals and since it is currently rated higher than what I think, I choose the lower rating of 3.5 instead of 4.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Awesome Course w/ a Variety of Shots
Pros: Riverside is a great course that offers a variety of holes and opportunities to throw a multitude of shots and is in an awesome location along the Mississippi. There are plenty of short and long holes and a few holes with some nice elevation change. Pretty much every hole has some large trees to contend with, which offers plenty of opportunities to try different throwing lanes and different shots from hyzers to anhyzers. It's a great course to work on your accuracy and shaping of your shots. If you can avoid the large trees, there are plenty of birdie opportunities to be had. The tee pads, signs, and fairways are also kept in good condition.
Cons: The course is usually always busy, which is expected with a nice course and the fact that it's located near campus.
Other Thoughts: It's the best course to play in the area. This course would be awesome if it was pay to play and could possibly help with cutting down on some of the foot traffic.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: •Great variety of uphill, downhill shots.
•Beautiful setting, on the banks of the Mississippi in a stand of mature oak and pine.
•Great tee signs, with all possible pin settings mapped out with par and footage info.
•Nice location near SCSU.
•Few worries about hitting cars or pedestrians. This is pretty much disc golf country.
•Hole variety is decent, given the changes in elevation, woods, and distance.
•Like the concrete tee boxes
•It was nice to play with large trees in play, bit not the underbrush.
Cons: •Could also be a pro, but the pars seem extremely generous. I'm as rubber-armed and amateur as can be, and I shot 3 under with many horrid drives.
•¨Constructon on the field at this moment.
•Tee 4 seemed to be missing.
•Map is essential to finding your way around.
Other Thoughts: I had the opportunity to play this course after a long, dull conference in St. Cloud. Needless to say, the drive home was a snap after a round here. It is a nice round of golf with the opportunity to shape some shots and get a decent workout in between. I played on a warm, foggy day, which made spotting some of the pins difficult. Still, the placement on this day was good, if not devilish in certain holes, like #18, lodged in the middle of a stand of mature pine.
Would happily play here again.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a city park that has a lot of other activities present. There are horseshoes, tennis courts, a playground, and it seems pretty popular with pedestrians. For the most part, the disc golf seems pretty well separated, maybe a little waiting for people to pass by.
- Very large majority of the course is set within tall, mature trees that are scattered from start to finish here. These force good line shaping, and there are enough to make things very tough in some places. #15 is a longer hole with a large clump of trees in the middle, that continues through a grove of trees, and ends on a hyzer on a slope. #14's long basket is amongst a very thick collection of trees, #4 is a low ceiling shot under low branches, and #16 has some cool gaps.
- Most holes have a variety of lines to the basket, definitely a good number of hyzers, but there are many places to get creative as well. #8 has a mando for safety reasons that forces an anny or straight shot, #17 is RHFH hyzer friendly, and #18 is a tough hyzer line.
- Elevation changes are a constant feature here, mostly due to half the course being on top of a hill, and the other half at the bottom of the hill. #2 thru #4 play down, up, and down the hill, #8 is an elevated shot, #9 is back up the hill, and #10 is a very good downhill bomber shot. #13 is a very steep downhill hyzer with rough behind, and #14 is back up with a lot of trees. Some sloping greens as well.
- Nice teepads and baskets, very cool metal tee signs. Navigation a little tricky, I would recommend the map to avoid wandering the first time through. Practice basket at start of course by parking lot.
Cons: - Course is pretty one dimensional; almost every hole is set within the same types of trees, with the same kind of line shaping required. #4 and #17 have some gnarlier foliage, but that's about it. Elevation changes are the saving grace.
- Some of the holes are pretty wide open, with one gap to hit. #4, #5, #10, and #13 do require some shot shaping, but isn't terribly difficult.
- Only real hazards here are manmade, like the abandoned concrete parking lot on #10 and #11, a nasty fence to the left of #4, and another fence behind #6.
Other Thoughts: - Overall, a fun course that lets you pick and choose your lines through the numerous trees. Elevation changes allow for uphill, downhill, and crosshill shots to keep things interesting. A few holes are pretty challenging, but it's definitely suited for beginners or intermediate players. Expert players will fly through.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Lots of elevation changes and differing layouts. Multiple pin placements. Great parking and easy to find. Baskets are well maintained. There are a lot of throws that need to be used. You have to plan shots with some being raw power and others strategy. 10 is a fun hole as its the most wide open and down hill for the most part. Signage is great.
Cons: BUSY. We drove there once only to see a parking lot full of cars and 4 groups waiting. I have heard that often times large groups (8+) will play as well and slow things down. We got there at 8AM on a Sunday and there were still a few people playing. A few of the holes cross or are very near other tees and pins. Several of the holes are blind and with multiple pin placements, it can be impossible to see where to throw. You almost have to throw and walk closer to see where a second or third shot needs to go. 15 was a nightmare to find. We actually threw at 17 because it was the only basket in sight. Some of the Tee pads (while concrete) are various sizes (2 is set into a hill) and a few are not level and could be swept.
Other Thoughts: Overall a fun course for beginners and advanced players. There is one hole possibly 3. That is a par 3 and rather long with lots of trees, but other shorter holes with just as many or less trees are Par 4s. Not a big deal but interesting. There is another hole that follows a ridge and a wrong shot could have you in the river or walking down a very steep hill and still loose the disc.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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