Great all-around course
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Great variety of holes (left, right, uphill, downhill, flat, short, long, etc.)
-Trees with the high canopy provide obstacles without the risk of losing your disc in the brush (with the exception of maybe two holes on the south side)
-Great separation between front and back 9, can play either easily from the main parking lot. Sometimes I'll play 10-18 and go back to play 1-9 just to mix it up a bit.
-Unique holes (#10 is my absolute favorite hole on any course. #4, #8, #11 and #18 also have a real different feel to them...)
Cons: -Gets busy in the afternoon/weekends
-Plenty of beginners and casual disc golfers (slower pace)
-A few of the holes overlap on the front 9 (watch out for discs and be sure to yell 'fore' on a wayward shot!)
Other Thoughts: Going to SCSU for 5 years, I learned to play on this course and will forever consider it to be my home course even though I now live very far away. The overall disc golf experience you get playing a round here is second to only the very best courses (Blue Ribbon Pines, Bryant Lake, etc.) in my opinion. An absolute must-play if in the area and definitely worth a trip up from the Twin Cities.. Come early to avoid the crowd!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: A lot of trees make for different possible lines to shape. The elevation makes for a good round. Cement teepads. Good distance holes, not too short not too long holes. Different basket placement keeps it interesting. The river looks awesome!
Cons: Sometimes hard to figure out what hole is next. Sometimes we found the teepad but threw at the wrong basket. Also could lose discs over the small brick backing fence next to the river, as I drilled the fence off a drive.
Other Thoughts: This and calvary make a great set of close courses together. Worth a days trip up to st cloud
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Awesome tee boxes.
Great variation of up and down hills.
Multiple basket locations.
O.B. on a few holes.
They had the 30' circles around every basket.
Free to play.
Cons: Not always easy to tell where to head after every hole for a first timer.
Other Thoughts: Overall it was an awesome course. Had a lot of fun and it was well worth the hour drive to play it.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Extremely Popular And I See The Appeal!
Pros: Riverside Park is just a wonderful piece of land on which to have a disc golf course. The park features great terrain of undulating hills, just the right amount of scattered mature trees and very little in the way rough or hazards. Along with it's close vicinity to the local college, the welcoming and most forgiving attributes of this course are what makes it so appealing to so many. This popularity, also appears to be, probably it's biggest con. That is large groups of college students.
The baskets were fine and I understand they change the positions on a fairly regular basis. Concrete teepads were more than adequate. I love the metal tee signs. I think these small (6" x6") metal engraved signs, mounted on slanted, wooden posts just a few inches off the ground, are the best way to the go, sign wise. They're almost indestrucible and give you more then enough information.
# 10 gets a mention from everyone as being the signature hole here. It's 428' from the Long position and on the day I played the basket was slightly tucked away in the upper right position adding the challenge forcing you to put a little anhyser touch at the end of your throw. But the course is filled with enjoyable little downhill tosses like # 8. It's a simple little 200' ACE run through the trees.
The openness here through the trees makes this the perfect course for groups of college students. It plays long enough to challenge them but easy enough and wide open enough so as not to frustrate anyone. Hence, here comes the large groups.
On the few relatively flat holes here, a good roller is extremely useful tool.
Cons: Personally, I found little to complain about at Riverside. I want to wrap it and take it back to Washington with me. But upon further reflection, bases on it's close proximity to the college and it's beginner/rec friendliness, I could see it being so popular and so filled with the college crowd that, that could be construed by some as a Con.
Also players with skill levels above intermediate may find the challenge not there after playing it a few times.
Other Thoughts: It's such a perfect park, terrain wise, for a course. I guess, in some peoples eyes, it might be better if it were more isolated to help thin the crowds.
For a total Rec player such as myself, this course is a 5. It really pains me to give it the rating it deserves and not the rating that my heart tells me to.
It's everything I want in a course. It's a lovely walk in the park. The views of the mighty Mississippi are pretty special.
For me it's just the right blend of:
beautiful park + workout + challenge =
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Long course, good workout
-Cement tee boxes, clean engraved signs, multiple tee locations.
-No real hazards except hole 3 near the woods.
-Hole 10 is awesome
-Up and down hill holes add variety
-Not a whole lot of frustrating trees
-Navigation is easy, you flow right to the next tee
Cons: -There was a couple noobs when I went, a lot of bad errant throws out of them.
- Nothing out of the ordinary or amazing except hole 10
-If you throw your disc over the fence and into the woods on hole 3, there is an entrance by the hole 3 basket, no need to jump it and cut our arms like we did (we learned this after the fact)
Other Thoughts: I think that this is a very nice course conveniently located close to SCSU. It was easy to get around and play and it seemed to offer a different type of challenge at each hole. Slightly challenging par-wise but easy to get under par if you have experience. The scenery is nice as you go along, it is definitely a nice "stroll in the park". I would highly recommend to anyone in the area. This park and Calvary make a trip to STC worth it if you play both of them when you go.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Very nice scenery, good elevation changes, 2 putting baskets, well maintained, good mix of long to midrange holes.10 is killer going down a huge hill. Cement tee pads are in good condish, baskets are too. Good view of river.
Cons: Busy, lot of walking, gotta watch out for discs flying at you, it gets a little bunched up. Gotta watch out for two holes, easy to lose discs. Can get confusing, they change basket location almost weekly.
Other Thoughts: Great overall, a true test of your power and technical ability.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Ahhh the memories
Pros: -Favorite holes: 5, 6, 10, 13
-Nice elevation changes throughout the course.
-This course has a lot of trees but they are spaced well so it allows for a lot of options in shot selection.
-Great course for both beginners and more advanced players.
-Upkeep is good
Cons: -Severely disappointed when I visited St Cloud on Memorial Day weekend a couple years ago and the baskets weren't out yet!
-Doesn't pose a great challenge
-Can get busy, slows play down
Other Thoughts: This was the course I started playing Disc Golf on so it will always hold a special place and a lot of special memories. Can't wait for the next opportunity to throw the discs around on this course again!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Along the Great River
Pros: -This park is almost similar to Calvary, with the elevation changes, just not as wooded.
-Cement tees that are pretty well maintained.
-Baskets are is pretty good shape for the frequent use this course gets.
-Signs for every tee and holes. (They appear to be on stainless steel and are lazer engraved)
-Practice / Putt Basket
-Multiple pin placements (up to 3 on most holes)
-Hole 10 similar to hole 5 at Calvary (nice downhill slope, so even little arms get distance), but you tee into a valey, and have to go up a small steep incline to the basket.
-A few holes could be a challenge for lefties, as they play along a fence that leads to the Mississippi below it.
-Great work out climbing up and down the hill.
-Variety of shots can come into play here, under trees, around them, short (one hole plays over a service road thats OB), long.
Cons: -Pretty crowded, many people yelling fore, as some baskets are grouped close to eachother and a few errant throws or people wandering into your fairway to get their discs.
-Could have some confusion on the signs and pin placement, especially on a few blind shots.
-Parking can be a hassle, especially on busy weekends.
-Noticed lots of trash at the tees, did pick some of it up, but only had a small Wal-Mart bag that filled up after about 4 holes.
Other Thoughts: -Close to a garden and conservetory.
-Plus SCSU is on the other side of the river from the park, so lots of college kids.
- #10 wont forget it, as I tee'd off the disc drifted left, down the hill and bounced off the tree's and back into play resting on the upslope to the basket. And a great view from up there.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
It just feels right
Pros: -Very beautiful park. Hundreds of mature trees scattered around the entire park give the place a very comfortable and cozy feeling.
-Signs at every teebox.
-Most holes have 2 or 3 pin placements.
-Good use of elevation and especially trees to make some difficult obsticals. Some holes have baskets near cliffs, forcing you to throw short or wide for fear of losing a disc.
-Well maintained park, very little litter. Even just from my one visit there, it seems like the locals have a little more pride, a little bit more invested in their course than most.
-Wide variety of holes. Up, down, left, right, long, short, guarded by trees, etc.
Cons: -The layout is a little bit goofy. At one point we weren't sure which basket we were shooting at, because there were 3 within 120 ft or so of each other. Also annoyed me how one hole (13 I think) you have to walk up a hill just to throw right down again.
-Directions to the next tee box would be nice, but for the most part you can figure it out. The hole I just mentioned was an exception.
-Some teeboxes are shorter than usual.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I really love this park. I feel right at home playing here. Any complaints I had are superficial. Bottom line is I had a lot of fun playing here, even though it was a miserable drizzly day. If I lived in St. Cloud I would play here several times a week.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Very good course for all levels
Pros: (1) Course design is excellent. Nothing too tricked up, but the layout is a good mix of holes, a majority of them that require navigating lightly wooded areas and modest elevation changes. Because of the variety and lack of redundancy, it is easy to close your eyes at the end of the day and bring up a mental slideshow of all the holes you had played earlier in the day.
(2) Decent mix of discs and throws required. This is due to the fact that on many holes you are given two or three throwing options. You can navigate the air left or right around the obstacles or alter the height of your throws lower or higher, for example, to go under or through branch openings of the large leafy hardwoods. If you are a traditional back-hand thrower, be it right- or left-handed, you'll do well on this layout to practice sidearm throws. Rollers are useful throws on several holes and long-range skip shots -- for example, on #11, off the out-of-bounds "lake" (asphalt surface of now unused parking space) -- can come in very handy as well.
(3) Excellent courses all need memorable holes. The signature hole for Riverside Park is obviously #10, the long downhiller from atop the start of what I trust is a sledding hill during the winter. (Apologies: I've never been here during the winter. Wish I had grown up across the street as a kid, though!) It's always good to have at least one crank-arm toss from the heights. Other above average holes, due to their challenge are the heavily tree-lined #6 (unless you have a Gorilla arm and can RH hyzer it over 350 feet), #11 over the asphalt out-of-bounds, #13 (downhiller to a hole that is fronted by an out-of-bounds footpath and backs up to a steep ledge that looks over the mighty Mississippi) and the #18 when the pin is placed far back in the trees.
(4) Tee pads are all cement and in very good condition. They are all aimed properly toward the general vicinity of the various pin placements.
(5) Course layout flow is excellent. The first 9 holes finish at the starting area, which makes a mid-round rest at the top of the hill possible. Hole #18 finishes about a 100 yards to the parking area and park building. Not too bad a distance as it allows a bit of recovery time (and to forget the bad shots of the completed round!) before heading out for another round or giving up for the day.
(6) High player traffic. While this could be viewed as a negative, I see it as a plus as it provides positive exposure to disc golf to those who come to Riverside Park for other purposes. The fact that the course is friendly to beginners and advanced players alike is a big positive. It is an excellent course to introduce novices to the sport as it will provide them with an appropriate dose of enjoyment and challenge, absent the kind of frustrations that could be experienced by a beginner on an overly tight course with tall weeds and other hazards in which discs can be easily lost.
(7) Two practice baskets by the starting area.
Cons: As this is a very good course, there are not many areas for improvement that come to mind. Yet the following factors -- admittedly nit-picky -- prodded me to lean toward a "4" rating rather than a "4.5." If there were a way to do a 4.25 star-rating, I would have.
-- Length. Riverside Park is basically a par 3 DG layout for the advanced level players. This point is both a "plus" and a "minus." It is a plus for those in the beginner to intermediate stage of developing their DG skills. It's a great course for those new to the sport to practice and advance their skill level, so for them I'd be tempted to rate the course a 4.5. The following comment, therefore, pertains mostly for those a bit more advanced in their play levels: While some of the holes were noted on the signs as a par 4, there are not any "championship" par 4s - i.e. holes that require two long throws. The longest hole (#5) demands a long drive, but in a wide open area to a slightly less open landing area. For those able to throw over 300 feet, it is an easy 3 and for those who throw upwards of 400 or more feet (not me!), I'm sure it is not too unusual to post a 2.
-- Signage. This is another "plus" and "minus" aspect of the course. The durability of the metal signs and the seeming accuracy of the distances noted to the various pin placements are both plusses. But for the player navigating the course for the first time, it would be nice to have signs with clearer lettering that you don't need to bend down and squint to see. The quality of signage is always a moot point for regulars who know the course inside and out, but for aesthetic reasons as well, it would be a nice touch to have slightly more colorful signs with larger and easier-to-read lettering.
Other Thoughts: I suppose I could place the following comment in the Con section, but I think it relates to more of a personal preference of mine. For this reason, I'll post these comments as "neutral" ones in this section:
Except for the hilltop drive from the #10 tee pad, Riverside lacks a bit of the OMG factor. It adds a bit of excitement to face a few "oh my god, now what do I do?" situations during the course of a round. But overall, that's not what Riverside is about. Rather, it is a fairly straight-forward layout --without too many surprises -- that offers enough of a challenge to keep you coming back for more.
All that said, I'll still share my slight bias: In order for a course to rank as truly exceptional, I enjoy having a few holes where I'd like to experience, at least to some extent, that risk-reward, heart-racing sensation of threading the needle through a tightly wooded area or the worrisome decision about not under-throwing or over-throwing a drive due to penalizing hazards or out-of-bound areas. On these two points, I would admit that #6 modestly covers the first variety of heart-rate-raising challenge (thread the needle) and #13 covers the second variety (critically important distance control). #6, as regulars well know, is rather heavily wooded, but there's always the safe option to throw a RH hyzer to the far right into the clearing for a relatively open approach. #13 does get the juices going since it is so tempting to go for the birdie, but here again, there is the safe option - that is, to lay up in front of the footpath and go for the sure par "3" rather than go for broke on the drive and risk the chance of your fave plastic platter going down the slippery ledge toward the Mississippi.
In other words, unless I'm trying to birdie #13, there are no holes that cause a fear of potential doom, thus getting my heart racing too heavily. Given my mid-50's age, maybe that's a good thing.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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