2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Multiple basket locations for each hole that can change from week to week. The grass is always mowed. There are uphill, downhill, over the stream, far-far-away, and close-up shots available. Sometimes, there is even a free disc on the ground. This park gets lots of play and you get to see some really good players throw.
Cons: It can be difficult to play alone without a spotter. Sometimes, you have to search for basket location, which slows game play. There is also falling walnuts in the autumn. The only other con I can think of is, fatigue. Which for me, equals errant shots and frustration. This is a personal con, I'm sure.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course, which is an extreme pro. I have been playing Sinnissippi for over 10 years. I have seen it morph many times over the years. It has become a very full and rich, play experience. I used to work (in Florida) with a pro. He stated that this was one of his favorite parks and knew it well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Great City Park Disc Course
Pros: Wonderful scenery. Nice big trees which gives the course challenge and might. There are a variety of placements for the pin as indicated on the signage. Signage is well done, clear, and all intact. Concrete pads are well done with being level and have good traction. Stream on a flew holes greatly adds to the course and it diversity of pin placement layout. Also seen there is some new concrete pads poured for new pins. Maybe upgrading course to 27 holes to close the gap between hole18 and 1.
Cons: Just a few minor things not detract from this course. When you come into the park, there was no signage that I saw to indicate where to drive, to park and start the course. I ended up starting on 10 and wondering over to find hole 1 after 18. Another thing that slightly detracts is the signage and all the possible pin placements. Some holes had up to 5 possible placements which made finding some of the front 9 difficult and somewhat guess work. I like a course having 2-3 possible placements, but 4-5 placements are a bit much. I understand the idea to change up the course so it doesn't grow old, but 3 placements should be enough on a 18 holed course as spread out as this. Last thing was the quarter mile gap between 18 and 1. Once you finish with 18, there is a pretty good walk back to parking area and hole 1. This might not be an issue in the future because of the new concrete pads i seen that seem to play the way back to hole 1.
Other Thoughts: Despite starting at hole 10 and playing through from there, I thoroughly enjoyed this course. To date I've only played 51 courses but of those, I really liked this course and would drive out of my way to play it again. You get a little bit of everything at this course. You have holes that have elevation changes, huge oak trees, big pine trees, over a stream, long pins and short. With the surrounding scenery, i think the locals are very lucky to have such a wonderful course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Decent Public Park Course
Pros: Sinissippi Park is a very nice public park. The concrete tees are in good condition, and the signage is adequate. Nice baskets are featured on all of the holes. The first five or so holes are great. Elevation changes, large trees, and water hazards make the first handful of holes very fun and challenging to play.
Cons: This is a very busy park. It has a number of shelters, softball fields, and walking trails that have a high volume of use. This takes away from the "scenery" that makes disc golf fun for me. After the first five or so holes, they become very typical public park disc golf holes. Not extermely challenging or scenic.
Other Thoughts: I lived in Sterling for about two years, and played this course multiple times, as it is the only quality course anywhere around. I can't remember a time that our group didn't have to wait to throw for people using the park for other activities. This becomes frusterating, as it makes your round take much longer than it should. The layout could be much better, as shelters, softball fields and walking trails come into play on many of the holes.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Sinnissippi is a very good course that features some solid variety and challenge for intermediate level players.
The front 8 here are 4.5 star caliber holes, #5 is a long downhill shot through a tree lined fairway, with the creek forming a water hazard around the basket... one the coolest holes I've ever played. #3 and #7 are also phenomenal downhill shots.
The challenge is consistent throughout the course with either trees, distance, elevation, or tricky angles to contend with on pretty much every hole. I loved the amount of distance here, and most players will need a driver off the tee on almost every hole.
Course flow is nice, tee pads are roomy, and the baskets and signs are in good shape. There are rotating pins, but the current pin placements are not listed on the signs. In all but one or two instance you can see the pin from the tee, so this isn't an issue. The park is located just off the river, so there is some great scenery here.
Cons: This course comes up short of a 4-star because of the final 10 holes. They're fairly challenging, but they aren't particularly interesting and remind me of a standard multi-use park course. This area is pretty much completely flat and there is less distance than the first section of the course. #18 is a decent hole (long bomb, with huge OB area to the right), but nothing else from #9-#17 was memorable.
Small beef, but #18 ends like 300 yards away from the parking lot.
Other Thoughts: Sinnissippi is one of the better 18ers I've played in Illinois. It's worth the drive from Chicago if you're a serious player or looking to rack up your course count.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Holes 1-8 vary in elevation and most have foilage.
Some have Water Hazards that are very fun to play.
Each hole has cement tee boxes and a sign telling par and distance, along with direction the hole is in (very helpful going up hills.) Great baskets.
The park is very scenic, and nature is all over. Last time I went, a fox walked within 25ft of me.
Lots of animals, a great shelter, 3 softball diamonds, and a couple good playgrounds. Good parking lot.
The first 8 holes are the funnest to play, specifically hole 5. Hole 5, in my opinion, is the best hole in Illinois. That hole alone is enough to go to the course, the other 17 holes add to that.
Cons: Holes 9-18 are rather boring, as you are just going across the flatness of Illinois.
Also, You have to make a decent walk if you want to go from 18 back to 1.
The park is often crowded.
In the front 9, its pretty easy to turn an errant throw into a missing disc, due to the poison ivy and stinging nettles, heavy wooded areas and steep, loos dirt hills.
Other than that, theres not much bad to say.
Other Thoughts: Best home course ever? yes, yes it is.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Best in Illinois to date!
Pros: 1) The mature Oak trees make this course what it is. They force certain shot shaping on many of the holes, but at the same time you can pick your favorite line.
2) Nice views of a river on a few of the holes. This would be even more evident in the fall or early spring because the leaves will block some of the views.
3) Tee signs have Hole #, distance, par, and a decent layout of the hole. I like this especially because I play so many different courses.
4) Many of the baskets are risk/reward because of the potential for some rollaways, trees located close to the basket which force a certain type of shot on your drive if you want to park it.
5) For you WI people this is like Miniwaukan on steroids . . . it has a little elevation change, some more risky basket locations, more distance, more variety, but the end all is that is has so many mature oak trees. These trees make this course what it is.
6) Benches and garbage are available along with restrooms located by the shelter near #1.
7) The challenge on this course comes from the Oak trees. Every hole ha some trees to think about and avoid and that is what make the course what it is. If those mature trees weren't there it wouldn't be a great course at all.
8) Distance variation on this course ranging from 196 to 481. This variety helped make this course what it is because it forces you to think about multiple types of shots and even the variety of forcing approach shots on some of the longer holes.
Cons: 1) Some of these holes get repetetive although the trees force specific shots on certain holes so at least they are not just wide open.
2) Long walks between some of the holes get a little old but they are necessary to avoid other areas used by other people.
3) There really isn't any water brought into play on this course. Sure there are a few baskets near a creek, but the only way the water is brought into play is an overshot drive.
4) The tree density on this course is about the same on every hole. I would have liked this even more if there were some tighter wooded holes.
Other Thoughts: I wish I could have seen the alternate pin positions as it might have added to the allure of this course. I had no idea where they were except the positions they were in.
Perhaps this course had less of an impression on me because I had just come from the Quad Cities where they have a little bit of everything on every course. I did enjoy the course, but it didn't live up the above 4 rating people seemed to give it. This by no means this is a bad course, it just didn't seem to have enough for me to give it that high of a rating. I think I could understand why the locals love it, but at the same time It is by no means a phenomonal course compared to the other courses I have played in so many states. But for Illinois it is by far the best I have played. SO you local fans of this course, enjoy it! If you are from another area with awesome disc golf this course will underwhelm you. With all of this said I have to give it a 3.5, it is close to being a low end 4 disc course but it is not currently. The repetition and lack of wow really hurts this course because of the back 9. The first few holes are great but then it just becomes an average park-like course. Perhaps the temporary tournament holes make this course better when in play.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Great variety
- Solid elevation (mostly on front 9)
- Uses terrain brilliantly
- Great use of small bodies of water to create hazards wthout making disc swallowing monsters.
- Well manicured and planned out holes
- Beautiful Scenery
- Great risk/reward holes
- Very rewarding birdie opportunities
- Good distance variety
- Multiple pin placements
- Solid baskets
- Concrete teepads (sometimes are slick)
- Great disc golf community.
Cons: - Some holes play near/ around the water. Most discs are retrievable, but some are gone forever.
- There is a lot of poison ivy and stinging nettles to watch out for.
- Concrete teepads get a little slick when they are wet.
- Teesigns are outdated and need to be updated for some of the new basket placements.
Other Thoughts: Sinnissippi Park is a beautiful park that has challenging and fun disc golf holes. All holes play through large mature trees, with very minimal chance to lose a disc. The front 9 plays through some rolling hills where the most challenging aspect is managing the elevation . Miscalculations can leave your disc skidding or rolling 30 feet down a hill. This provides awesome risk reward instances. The back 9 does not have as much elevation, so it does not punish bad shots as severely, but it is still more beautiful and more challenging then the average course. The course has various pin positions which keeps it fresh and heightens the replay value. During the Sinnissippi open this year, the locals moved the pins to other positions for the second round which made for a great touch on an already great tournament. My one gripe with the pin positions is that the tee signs are not up to date and do not list all the current pin positions. Furthermore, it would be helpful to have some sort of indicator to show what the current pin position is on the tee sign. Besides the tee signs, more slip resistant concrete and trimming of the poison ivy and stinging nettles are the only things needed to push this course to a 5/5. I thoroughly believe this is a destination course and if you have not played it I highly recommend it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Course is set within a multi-use park, and makes good use of the land. There are some softball fields, public shelters, and a walking path, but they are not a big factor.
- This course is pretty much divided into two parts - the front 8 are set in a hilly, moderately wooded area that has water in play. The last 10 are set in a moderately wooded, flat field. It is almost like two different 9-holers combined to make an 18-holer. I have heard the back 9 were designed to be wheelchair accessible, which makes sense due to the flat terrain.
- The front 9 makes great use of elevation changes on almost every hole. A good mix of downshots and upshots, some of which are pretty significant. A small cliff to the right of #2's basket is a huge risk as well.
- There is a little water in play on the front 9, especially on #5 which has an island green (more or less). The creek is in a perfect spot to suck in discs that fall a bit short, a true choice of whether to lay up or go for it is needed off the tee. Solid bridge to cross over.
- While the back 9 is flat, there are plenty of trees to make it interesting. There is usually more than one way to get to the basket, but a "recommended" path is pretty obvious. Personally, I felt like the designer made great use of the trees to have both pretty clear fairway shots and tricky back doors.
- All types of shots are useful at this course. While the holes are pretty much open enough where any shot is serviceable, having a good forehand or anhyzer can really help to score well.
- Large mix of hole lengths, from very short to pretty long.
- Good signs and pads, decent baskets. Tons of alternate pin placements are an added bonus.
Cons: - A lot of roads and walking paths to avoid on this course. Seclusion is not a factor on most holes.
- While the back 9 is enjoyable, it is really just tacked on to an existing course. Not many unique features or exciting holes, just flat land with various types of trees.
Other Thoughts: - An all around solid course. I really enjoy playing the front, and don't mind the back. There are a good mix of technical shorter holes, due to elevation and tight windows, and longer holes that still require good accuracy. The scenery is also nice, always good to see the train rolling down the river.
- A more experienced player might find the course a little short or easy, everyone else should fit right in.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A Hidden Gem
Pros: An excellent, well-manicured park course with elevation, lots of large, mature trees and OB creeks and walking paths throughout the course. There are at least two pin placements for each hole which give each hole at least two unique looks. There is also some unused land that borders the river at the edge of the course which is used to create some fabulous temp holes for tournaments and special events. Some of my favorite holes:
#1 - A straight, slightly downhill 400-footer to two pins with rough and a waking path close behind. A great opening hole.
#2 - Both pin positions are on the edge of a huge drop-off that ends at a creek. If you leave your drive short, that 30 foot putt is a great risk/reward opportunity.
#3 - A big downhill shot through a huge clump of trees to a pin on the edge of a creek or tucked around a corner next to another part of the creek.
#5 - Another big downhill shot, this time with a more defined fairway with trees on both sides and a manicured green bordered by a creek on 2 sides and thick rough on the back side. A two here feels like an eagle.
#7 - The biggest downhill shot: over 470 feet through a tree-lined fairway to two excellent pin positions.
#16 - A 400-500 foot slightly downhill hole through a narrow window on the right or left. Choose your poison - a big anhyzer through a small gap with a low ceiling, or a slow hyzer through a smaller gap with a very low ceiling.
#18 - Another 400+ foot hole with an OB road all along the right side of the fairway and huge trees all along the right side of the fairway. Throw too far right or turn it over and you are OB. Throw it too far left to avoid the OB and you are fighting through trees to get to the pin.
The park has two decent pavilions on the two sections of the course if you need to take a bathroom break and there are benches and trash cans throughout the course.
Cons: A couple holes on the back nine (hole 9 and 12) are not of the same caliber as the other holes on the course. Hole 9 is basically a wide open field shot, between 322 and 398 feet (depending on pin position) with some OB lurking on the right, and hole 12 is mostly wide open with a couple large trees guarding the pin. Some of the land used for temporary holes might be a good place to put permanent holes to replace one or both of these to make the course even more extraordinary.
The walk between hole 18's basket and the parking lot is a little long. But there is ample shade, which is very helpful in the summer months.
The park is not solely dedicated to disc golf, with baseball fields, picnic benches and playgrounds dotted throughout the course, so on weekends you may have to be careful of where you throw.
Other Thoughts: This course is a little "off the beaten path" in northwest Illinois (about 1 hour from the Quad Cities and 2 hours from Chicago off of Interstate 88), but it is well worth the trip. It's a beautiful park, with lots of well-designed holes and lots of challenges, even for the most experienced players. If you want to score well here, you'll need to throw a wide variety of shots, drive over 300' with accuracy and make your putts when you have the chance. A score of 54 is good for an amateur level player, while more experienced professional players would probably be pleased with a 48 or 49.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Best Course I’ve Ever Played
Pros: Tricky and well thought out. Always challenging, and scenic.
Disc also sold at the Shell gas station near by.
Cons: I realize the Sterling park district has budget concerns, but instead of making everything a basketball court, maybe the park district could pony up some dough for durable small flags marking the tops of the baskets, better signage, working drinking fountains (they are right near a natural spring) fix up the bathrooms, and plastic trash cans at every tee and mow more frequently. This park is a gem…and gets a lot of use from the disc golfers. One of the best courses in the nation.
Other Thoughts: I'm glad that this course is my home course
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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