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 Iíve 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.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Really nice park course
Pros: The course plays through a pretty park with some nice hills on the front 9 and mostly flat terrain on the back. Much of the course plays through stands of mature trees, with some occasional brush if you throw way off line. There are some nice water hazards on a few of the holes to add a little risk, my favorite hole by far was hole 5 playing steeply downhill with a creek just left of the basket and a sidewalk ob a little to the right. It's fun to try to get as close as possible without going ob, and discs that get wet aren't too hard to retrieve.
The front 9 is more technical, with lots of shorter holes that require accurate line shaping through the trees. The back 9 tests your distance game a little more, and most holes still have enough trees that a poor drive can easily lead to a bogey. There are some holes that force a left to right or right to left shot, and a great balance of uphill and downhill shots that make for good variety throughout the course.
There are decent tee signs, and good concrete tees that seemed plenty large and grippy. The baskets are older, but still seemed to catch just fine. There are alternate pin positions that looked like they would change up how the course played quite a bit. The course flow is very good, there was no question of where to go next while navigating the course.
Cons: I prefer to have the current pin position marked on the sign somehow so that you don't have to walk ahead to see where the basket is and where to throw. I liked the alternate placements, I just like to see a little better signage for them. Many of the tees had some erosion around them, making for awkward steps on long run ups or a follow through off the front of the tee.
There are several places on the front 9 where picnic areas and walking trails conflict with the course and a couple of these are blind adding a little more safety hazard. Be prepared to wait on walkers on a nice day.
The back 9 is less fun and interesting than the front, especially going from fun hills to flat terrain, so it's a little bit of a let down. The course could really use a few tight holes that really force you to hit a specific line to test more of a player's game.
Other Thoughts: This is a very fun course that makes great use of the park. I would definitely recommend a stop here if you're anywhere near, it's worth a little extra driving. I liked the front 9 better than the back, but it's a challenging and interesting course with lots of variety.
Beginners might be a little frustrated with some of the more punitive holes and the distance on the back 9. More experienced players will find many aspects of their game tested here, and will enjoy the variety and challenge this course has to offer.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
This course Rocks!!
Pros: This park, besides being beautiful, is one of the best courses I've thrown. The front 9 are simply the best. Hole 5 is easily the coolest hole I've ever played. Elevation changes make the first 8 holes fairly challenging. Really liked holes 3, 5, 7, and 8.
Cons: Not too many cons here. Back 9 is kinda flat compared to the front, but still challenging. Walking path is a must watch for peds, or bikes. Grass was well maintained, but there was garbage laying around, which I didn't understand since there are trash cans all over the Park. Basically just lazy people who toss their garbage wherever. Respect the park if you come to play!!
Other Thoughts: Overall, great scenic, challenging course. Can't say enough about hole #5.
If you've got a full day to play, I recommend starting at Krape Park in Freeport, then hitting Sinnissippi , followed by Nims Park in Rock Falls, like 5 minutes away. Nims is a compact little 18 holer, with absolutely no challenge, but a chance for Ace on every shot.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Still probably my favorite course
Pros: This is still one of my favorite courses and I've played many in several states. I am probably biased since this is where I learned how to play. It's probably the best manicured course and also one of the most beautiful.
Love the rolling hills on the front nine. The back nine is flat, but still provides plenty of technical challenges. In fact, I find the back nine harder than the front.
Indeed, hole number 5 is an interesting hole. I also like hole 7, quite long in some arrangements but you can let it fly.
Cons: I was really bummed when they put that walking path in. Great for walkers, bad for disc golfers, bad for the scenic views.
Other Thoughts: I would skip Nims Park. This course is too good to waste your time there.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Great rolling hills on holes 1-8
-Beautiful park alongside the Rock river
-Well designed holes
-Multiple pin sleeves keep things fresh
-Hole 5 is amazing (Throw down hill over a walking path and creek onto what amounts to an island green created by a bend in the creek)
-Back 10 have more length than the front (which isn't all that short either, just no muti-shot holes)
Cons: -Concrete pads are mostly narrow and not of consistent size or shape
-Back 10 holes are relatively flat
-Some holes throw over a walking path and can create delays as the path is heavily used on nice days
-Park closes at dusk and a sign claims that they will lock the gate on you if your not out in time
Other Thoughts: If the entire course resembled the first 8 holes it would be nearly a five. The temporary holes added for the Sinnissippi Open are awesome, playing along the edge of the bluff overlooking the river.
While you are out here play Nims park if you want a laugh. It features 18 holes in a park that has room for maybe 5. You only need a putter on this course. Hole #'s are spray painted on trees with an arrow indicating which basket to play to (many are in view at all tees).
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Sinnissippi is the Shizznit!
Pros: Sinnissippi has a wide variety with multiple pin positions and concrete tees. The first 8 holes vary drastically compared to the last 10.
UPDATE: New tee signs added summer of 2011. Very descriptive featuring all 4 pins on each hole.
UPDATE: 6 new holes have been added summer of 2012.
The 1st 8 holes play in the southeast corner of the park. There are some nice elevation changes and semi wooded holes. Hole #2 has a nasty drop off to the right of the pin. There are some fun downhill and uphill throws.
Hole #5 has my vote as THE SIGNATURE HOLE in all of Illinois. There is a nice gap to throw thru to a pin that sits on an island green and is surrounded by water most of the year. The hole plays downhill. Most discs are pretty easy to retrieve in the water. This hole is AWESOME!
The last 10 holes are long with scattered obstacles. There are several holes where a roller is very useful. Players that often play this course are very good at rollers. All of these holes take quality shots to get 2's. Holes 16 & #18 are tough par 4's depending on where the pin is located.
I would absolutely love this course as a home course. It's really fun to play and you won't have to worry about looking for too many discs. It's a nice stroll thru the park and is very popular. It is a challenging course and you will learn how to play disc golf playing here.
Cons: After playing the first 8 holes the last 10 are very flat. This is a semi let down as the front is so fun. They are still good holes but not as interesting as the beginning of the course.
There is some erosion around the tee areas.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The front 9 is completely shaded from a tall canopy. One or two holes feature a blind shot from the tee, but the only obstacles are tree trunks. Steep dropoffs on the first 3 holes go into the Rock River. A creek adds dimension to a few holes as well, especially on #5(beautiful).
The back 9 is more open and longer. Smaller/low hanging trees come into play here.
Cons: Large picnic area at beginning that was being used for a family reunion, and all the kids were running around through several holes.
A bad drive on the back 9 could be in danger of hitting cars driving in/out of the park.
Other Thoughts: One of the best courses in Illinois!!
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 22 Not
Pros: Nice park. Good elevation changes and shots.
Cons: Front nine has a couple holes that you literally throw across a walking path. Seems like a bad design for public safety
Other Thoughts: There was a cool shot into some big old pine trees where the pin was actually up inside the canopy of the trees.
2 of 24 people found this review helpful.
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