5 Helpful / 0 Not
Silver Mountain Gets a Silver Medal
Pros: 1. Variety. Tight wooded shots, long downhill bombers, balanced righty/lefty holes, risky pin placements; great use of the terrain of this small mountain ski hill course overlooking Lake Michigan. Notable holes were Hole #9, the 600' downhill bomber reminiscent of Hole #15 at Winter Park in Kewaunee, WI (I parked my tee shot within 20' but dicked the deuce), Hole #11F (400' sharp downhill--like 35 degrees!--dogleg left, blind off the tee, narrow landing area), and Holes #12 and #13 with interesting pin placements.
2. Maintenance. Surprisingly clean (although the lack of traffic here may be a factor), abundant trash cans. The rough can be really rough, but the fairways were great and aren't overgrown as these styles of courses can easily become. Props to the staff here.
3. Good quality ("gently used") Discatchers.
4. Easy navigation. For a 24-hole wooded ski hill course, it seems like a good idea to have a map, which were located on the board near the parking lot. However, it became quickly evident by the "Next T" signs--and our ease of finding the next hole by following these signs--that even without a map, they've taken measures here to ensure you won't get too lost. There were a few confusing areas, I think one was up by Hole #8 where I started throwing to #11C's pin, but all in all it was easy getting around.
5. Easy to find, located right off of US-2, big sign on the highway and a sign for the parking lot. Info kiosk with map/scorecards near course entrance.
6. Spectacular views. Take a few moments when you are up by Hole #14 and #15, high above US-2 and overlooking Lake Michigan. I had the privilege of playing this course later in the day, and by the time we got to #15 there was a fantastic sunset over the lake, and as much as I wanted to watch it from this awesome viewpoint, I realized I had to finish my round or risk finding my way off this mountain in the dark.
7. Well-marked dual tees. Painted wood blocks (red and blue) are usually visible from the last hole, or by following "Next T" signs.
Cons: 1. Tees. Dirt/grass tees aren't my favorite, but I can handle them when they're clear and level. Not the case here. Many tees with roots, rocks, poor footing, holes...some of these areas are potentially dangerous as far as foot/ankle injuries or falling, and I will mention some specific areas of concern: Hole #6 tee is pretty awkward feeling (213' uphill over a hump, blind off the tee), where you're facing INTO the hill, thus the tee is a ledge of earth facing this hill with not much follow-through space; Hole #11F short tee (this is the 400' blind downhill from the long tee, which was fine) was dangerous with a drop-off just off the tee where someone (a child playing the red tees?) could slip up and tumble down this rough hill, the Hole #16 tee (red and blue shared tee) was uneven with a bit of a drop-off as well, and Hole #17 tee had big fist-sized rocks sticking out of the earth.
2. While design-wise there wasn't much repetition, Hole #16 (I guess this is a replacement hole for the original) is such a lackluster filler hole--with woods and other surrounding natural obstacles completely ignored!--that I would've forgotten about it completely if I wasn't taking notes about the Pros and Cons for writing this review. Yawn.
3. Some of the lines you're supposed to hit are questionable. Granted, I only played this course once and perhaps locals more familiar with the layout will have developed enough of a relationship with this course to know all its little nuances, but I still wonder about some of the "routes" off the tee. Sometimes it seems like you're given no option except for a real luck shot, and then you're on the fence about whether to go with a driver luck shot or a midrange luck shot, so I guess the fact that you can second-guess your disc decision on the tee is a bit of a plus, just some areas are questionable.
4. The signage is nice and all, but not very helpful (reminded me of the Hudson Mills Metropark tee signs). Many holes required a bit of a walk off the tee just to see where exactly you were shooting. Doglegs were obvious on the signs, but usually required a walk in order to contemplate your shot placement.
Other Thoughts: This was a cool little stop on our trip from Highbridge to Flip City. I know good courses (or courses in general) are rare in the U.P., but this and The Tailings in Iron River (from what I've heard) are setting the standard for how some of this awesome and under-utilized terrain can be used.
Technically, I'd say this course is a 3.75 (and if you search for only Trusted Reviewers' reviews for this course, that's exactly what it is!). In some circumstances that'd bump it up to a 4, but with the tee issues I really can't give it that high of a rating, also compounded by the fact that amenities (restrooms, water) are zip here...but there is a rest stop off US-2 just east of Silver Mountain, so take advantage of that before your round if necessary.
I'm definitely doing a Highbridge-to-Flip-City road trip again next year, and I'll definitely be stopping back here.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pasties Covered In Birdies
This course utilizes a ski hill, and some of the surrounding low area for a challenging 24 hole adventure. Holes vary greatly from tight uphill to short, tighter woods holes, to a couple of wide open bombers.
The current design makes you climb the hill twice. Hand crafted tee signage included nice visualizations of the hole and pin placement. Nice DISCatcher baskets.
View of the Straits of Mackinac from atop the hill is quite stunning, and is a good reason to rest after climbing the hill a second time (or the first!)
The straits area is always windy, but it's usually VERY windy. We were there on a relatively calm day, but the natural cut runs cause there to be many wind tunnels and cul-de-sacs that have swirling winds and cross winds. You might think this a Con, but I don't. Bring overstable drivers.
The tees are what is holding this course back from a stellar rating. Not only are there no cement tees, the tees that exist are just carved from the natural land. They are unmanaged, uneven, loose, and generally unreliable.
This course is one that demands accuracy from the tee, whether you are threading a narrow fairway, or bombing one down the hill. One misstep will have you double-bogeying your way around the links. If there were reliable tees, my rating would threaten to peg the meter.
I like this course a lot. 24 hole courses make me smile, since I feel i really get my money's worth by going to them. We played this mid-April, so there was no bug population to speak of (or any population for that matter, since we were the only ones playing.)
The stop-gap design from last year is gone, and the main gate has been moved in to allow disc golf parking, while securing the rest of the property from motorized vehicles.
The wonderful signage design has been expanded, and next tee signs abound directing your game, making this disc golf experience much more enjoyable.
Although the Big Bomber #16 seems to have been totally abandoned, what remains is a fantastic course offering up challenges for all skill levels and a unique secluded feel that is unmatched by many courses.
Pasties aren't the only reason to visit St Ignace anymore.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Great rugged and isolated course, a little rough yet
Pros: Great balance. Long/short, open/tight, uphill, downhill, left/right/straight holes all around on this greatly balanced 24 hole course.
Excellent workout course. Up and down the ski hills and wooded ridges. I love this type of physically demanding course because it's a good workout and it means that some extreme and unique terrain is being used.
Fairly good vareity with uphill downhill, open rippers, downhill bombers, and narrow wooded tunnel holes. Only thing missing is true water hazard and maybe a few more open rippers.
Great "Next T" signs on every green pointing you on your way.
PUNISHING rough that will really make you pay for a bad drive - no easy upshot to save par here.
Some decent risky greens (but most are fairly open). #7 on a great slope and #13 near a dropoff.
Nice new 3 layer Discatcher baskets.
Extra holes A-E are definitely worth playing. They offer some nice tight woods as well as another open ripper. The first wooded ones are on sharp slopes.
#9 a 600' downhill bomber with amazing views. I unloaded my bag off the top during my round. Then after the last hole I walked back up to unload my bag again!
E is a neat blind hyzer over a mound to a pin hidden by cedars
F is a great finesse downhill hole on sharp elevation but only 380' or so - requires touch.
15 is a signature hole along the huge dropoff down to Hwy 2. This offers amazing views of lake michigan and is a very excellent design with a long (340') annhyzer through some mature pines on all sides and in the middle.
Cons: The tees are natural and no real attempt made to elimnate roots and rocks, thus they are very uneven and very difficult to get soild footing. Plus with no tee material, it's hard to tell where they are when the tee front posts are missing (as they are in many cases).
No real water hazard in play. The pond between 9 and 10 could easily be used for a forced water hazard drive over it for a rewarding deuce, or a play it safe around for a 3 or 4.
No numbers are on the Discatcher baskets and somethings the tee signs aren't very depictive, making it slightly difficult to know what pin is in play. Example, hole #8 does not play to the pin in sight (pin C), it plays to the right.
Could offer more risky greens. Example, place #13 up on that mound. While the terrain is up and down a small ski hill, there are not many drastic features like washouts, ravines, etc that would make for some riskier greens.
Why doesn't 16 throw off the ski hill any more?????? Seriously, I walked back up hill to play it. (after walking down through hole F to get from 15 to 16). This redesign is poor and eliminates a signature hole (800'+ #16).
#6 and #17 tee pad is pretty full of rocks and unlevel. They could use work.
Multiple tees are a PRO, but there is only a Blue tee on 5,6,A,B,F,12,13,16.
Other Thoughts: This course is the BEST in the UP without a doubt. It is VERY fun to play and easily a destination course for all those travelling to the wonderful UP terrain. This is rugged and extreme wooded and hilly goodness, disc golf on excellent terrain. I love this kind of extreme terrain and challenge. A little bit different design and a bit more risk/reward greens, water hazards, and OB would make this even better. I'd suggest making it a 36 hole course (there is LOTS of room and some unique old gravel pits and more hills and woods). This could easily then become a destination course. Families and wives want to go to Mackinac Island, guys can stay behind and disc this wonderland. With slightly different design, some type of tee, and 36 holes, this course could be amazing.
Put hole 16 back on top of the hill! I walked back uphill to unload my bag from here (and I think all my shanked drives are probably why it was redesigned, but then put a red tee halfway down hill). All of you players, after 15, walk to the left past the old rusty lift structures and throw from the top 800'+ to the pin below. It is worth it!
This course is an amazing challenge and was extremely fun to play. I will be back.
UPDATE: As I go back and compare reviews with all courses I played, I make adjustments. Relative to other 4-disc courses, Silver Mtn is just a bit too rough around the edges, despite the extreme amount of fun and peaceful tranquility I experienced while there. I'm shiting to 3.5 but will absolutely be back and am sure I'll see improvement and refinement.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
What a Challenge
Pros: A very challenging course. It will test your skills for throwing straight. Beautiful scenery. Well marked tees and maps are provided at the first tee area by the parking lot. A couple huge downhill shots that are very fun to play.
Cons: Some very tight wooded fairways that can be very frustrating. I suggest playing with 3 or more in your group and always send someone ahead to be a spotter, otherwise you will be spending alot of time looking for your discs.
Other Thoughts: I played only 18 of the 24 holes. At one point you are given an option to play the optional other 6 holes.
I would play it again for sure after I sharpen my narrow fairway skills a tad more.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Has some issues...
Pros: Very, very nice signage and layout - they actually had maps of the course near the first hole. Some extremely challenging uphill and narrow shots; this course kicked my ass.
Also some really fun extreme downhill shots.
Cons: I played the course around noon and got absolutely soaked from the dewey ground. Mosquitos were really out of control too; these 2 factors combined to make a fairly unpleasant experience. Not to mention the fact I was playing like absolute poo. Probably wouldn't go out of my way to go back to this course.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 2 Not
Variety is the Spice of Life!
Pros: This review is based on the main 18 holes only!
Wow! This course is challenging, exciting, and bunches of fun! The first couple of holes feature very tight, straight fairways through heavy woods to really test your accuracy skills before the course gets hairy. A couple of holes in mostly open areas with left and right doglegs let you stretch your power muscles and warm up your hyzers/anhyzers before striking out on your venture up, over, and around the rest of the ski hill. I'm having a hard time really choosing any highlight holes because each hole was just totally different and amazing, be it due to terrain or elevation change, foliage change, or just general course layout. #5 features a narrow fairway straight up the hill with a slightly elevated basket. #6's route up and over, then left around the top of a rocky gravelly outcropping to a blind basket caused some "Arrrgggs!" in our group, as did the water/mud puddle in the middle of the fairway on #10 and the huge, sharp left turn and dense evergreen forest of #18 (especially when my disc took a much needed rest break way high up in the soft branches of one of the aforementioned evergreens). #9 offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area as well as a long downhill soar over some really rough terrain. Make sure you stop and admire the astounding view of Lake Michigan from the fairway of #15, too! Holes range from 150 to 600 feet and offer all manner of lay outs including dead straight, doglegs, hooks, long curves, over hills, up hills, down hills, and "S"s. Fairways were well defined and very well tended.
New tee placement has changed #16 from a 763' downhill run with plenty of opportunities to lose a disc to a 290' mostly open cross field shot.
Signage was exceptional and some of the nicest I've ever seen. It was direct, descriptive, colorful, and unique. Only at the top of the mountain where #F and the old #16 tee are/was located was there ever any question on where to go next. Even the route to the new #16 tee was clearly marked, though not yet in the stunning manner of all the other signage.
Having both long and short tees is a real bonus for a course that's this challenging. The shorter tees really allows for a fun and relaxing game with a group of mixed abilities.
Scorecards were available at the course head kiosk, but no other facilities are available on site (unless I just missed it). The scorecard and map are now also available on the Links tab.
Cons: The tee pads need some help on most holes. The natural dirt/sand/gravel topsoil in this area made for lots of loose tee boxes with questionable footing. The sharp edged gravel was particularly irritating.
The elevation change inherent in placing a course on a ski hill makes for a strenuous workout with rough and uneven footing in many areas. Hiking boots or VERY sturdy tennies highly recommended!!
Outside the well-mowed fairways, this area is very wild. Thick, heavy rough and lost disc opportunities abound! Spotter use and brightly colored discs highly recommended as are long sleeves and pants.
The mosquitos here are the nastiest I've ever seen. We grow them big and ugly in Michigan, but the ones here take the cake!! Even applying various formulations of Off every other hole, we were still swarmed! The spray appeared to have literally no effect whatsoever. Wowzer!!
Other Thoughts: On your way out to Silver Mountain, make sure to stop at Leito's for the best pasties anywhere in the state. It's on the south (left) side of US-2, just before the well-marked turn off to Silver Mountain. It looks like a tiny little hole in the wall, but.....YUMMMMM (get some frozen ones to take home, too)!!
ps..Everyone in our group, from players with 4+ years (and league) experience to my Mom, who's played twice before, LOVED this course. Just be prepared for the hiking, the disc searching, and the mosquitos!
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 8 Not
pass on by
Pros: The holes are all very different, with a lot of different terrain.
Cons: horribly upkeep. It seems as if after ski season ends, someone puts baskets down leaves for the summer, and comes back next winter. most of the ground is covered in rocks and not grass, so unless you are throwing quality discs, they will get eaten up.
There seems to be no organization to the course either. It feels as if someone just put down a sign, walked 300 feet, placed a basket, sign, basket, etc...
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed playing, but that is because I love the game. This course is horrible, and I would recommend driving a bit further to another course in the Lower Peninsula
2 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Very easy to navigate through the course. I loved hole 9, very long 600 ft down hill shot. I also loved the signs at the tee's, and directing you to the next tee.
Cons: Very tiring, bring drinks. Long grass, keep your eye on your disc. There are plenty of spots to lose your disc (as I did twice). The natural pads were a lil' rough, but that is almost expected with the area the course is built.
Other Thoughts: Very fun course, will play again any chance I get.... remember your bug spray...helps to have more than one person watching where your disc goes...while your in St. Ignace, you should go up town to Bentley's B-n-L cafe, the Patty melt was great, and they have ice cream too.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Good course will get even better...
Pros: Just off the bridge in the U.P. Maybe 15 mins. away.
Beautiful setting on an old ski hill.
Very challenging holes, not really for beginners.
Great variety of long-short, plenty of elevation changes.
Some long downhill shots that are pretty sweet.
Great view from the top.
Cons: Needs to be broken in more. Still a lot of rough areas.
Easy to lose discs in the thick rough.
LOTS of uphill walking/throwing.
Very un-even and rough tee boxes.
Bug spray, liquids and proper foot-wear are a necessity. Not many trash-cans.
Use of a spotter on most holes is very helpful.
Other Thoughts: You have to play it if you are in the Northern L.P.
Plenty of stores/gas stations/mystery spots in the area. Lots of camping, too.
Very good course that, after a few years of use and some proper tee-boxes will develop into a great destination. Has the potential to become a Flip City-like area.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Played in Passing
Pros: Great lay out with a even better view from the top. Some challenging holes where you have a narrow long path to shoot through. Very tough up hill holes as the course is laid out on a ski area.
Cons: Fairly easy to navigate but a few holes are unmarked or marked with cardboard. The parking lot was closed and locked, we got dropped off to play. VERY BUGGY! If you have ever been to the UP you know how bad the bugs get. It made the last half of our round un bearable.
Other Thoughts: Great overall play experience minus the bugs.
Fun to play something different on different terrain. Holes that went up hill were quite difficult. Great course I would definitely play again next time I am up in that area.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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