1 Helpful / 1 Not
Rolling hills and rolling discs
Pros: The biggest pro at George Wilson is the elevation change. Putting a course on a piece of property that also has a sledding hill is nothing short of brilliant in this very flat area of the country. This elevation is used creatively as well. Most shots that can be imagined are available here. You have your epic downhill bombs like 9 and 18, your narrow fairways with dangerous rollaway potential like 8 and 17, uphill shots like 13, and pins on slanted greens like 15. When you add in unpredictable wind conditions you get a course that will never play the same twice. I absolutely hate courses that largely play around open fields, but this is one that I will return to and would recommend because the open field here isn't flat. You only get three open/easy shots in the flat during your round.
The amenities available here are a plus as well. Although I didn't actually see the inside of the bathrooms, the very fact that they exist is a positive. Add in a picnic table and a practice basket, and you have a course that did it right.
The cement teepads are long and grippy, and the front nine had ample signage. I didn't see any guidance to the next pad, but George Wilson flows pretty well, so very little is needed.
There are a lot of interesting shots here, including some near obstacles like the electrical towers and the "teepee" that doubles as a sledding shelter. Most of the trees and brush in the back nine come into play as well, and the front nine plays into and around a wooded area that keeps things from getting repetetive.
The view! I grew up in Indiana, and I had no idea that it could have a view. Granted, I prefer to see lakes and mountains, but George Wilson is still a pretty course.
Cons: The biggest con to me was probably the cost. I don't mind paying to play a course. It keeps the rabble out and allows us elite golfers in fancy pants and spiked shoes to drink mai tais and thumb our noses at the poor commoners who don't have $2 to spare. But to be charged an extra $1 just because you had to drive from a different county is asinine. They'll take you at your word if you say you live there, but still. I don't understand the need to penalize players for coming from farther away. Courses in this area are pretty spaced out and every one I've seen has plenty to offer, so if I'm willing to spend more on gas to get here I don't think I should also have to pay more to play. I also feel that any course that is pay to play should use the money wisely. The upkeep of the grounds was great, but a lot of the baskets had seen better days (hole eight being in the worst shape), and most of the back nine had no signage whatsoever. I'm guessing the lack of signage was due to the fact that the baskets back there are taken down for sledding season, but still. Signs are cheap, and people are giving you money to play. Use it for something more than just gas.
Biggest con number two: Par. Really? I know that I can play it at pro par, but I like to play courses at the par that they set. Course par should never be a gimme. The par on hole 15 was just stupid. Anyone who fails to eagle that hole had better be a righty throwing left handed, crippled, or throwing the wrong way on their initial drive. Holes 5, 9, and 16-18 are set pretty high as well. Every hole should be a par three. I'll give some grace and call holes 9 and 18 par 4s due to distance (even though they're downhill), but other than that? Come on. I noticed this problem on a few holes at Ox Bow too, and I'm really at a loss about it. Michigan is supposed to be a hotbed of disc golf, and it's just a few miles away. I hear that a lot of pros play in this area too. So why on earth are pro par and course par so drastically different?
Now that I'm done ranting about what really bothered me, I'll throw out a few less maddening cons:
The practice basket is hidden behind the bathrooms, so you won't see it until you finish hole nine.
Most of the holes with obstacles or defined fairways are lefty friendly. You can make up for it by throwing your preferred shots out in the field, but I at least have to point this out. All holes with brush or trees helping to shape your shot seem to recommend a right turning shot, with the exception of a few that offer options.
As I previously stated, the course flows pretty well, but navigation would have still been confusing at some points if I hadn't been playing with course regulars. At least put some tape on the baskets.
Other Thoughts: Despite the detailed list of cons I just threw out, I would still recommend this course to anyone passing through the area or living here. I'll leave it up to your conscience whether you lie about living nearby in order to save a dollar though. If you're just passing through I would say to play Rum Village first, but that's just a matter of personal preference because I like more technical courses. George Wilson is a really fun round though that will require you to be creative at times and will never play the same way twice. I will definitely be stopping in again the next time I'm in Indiana.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Good DG, Trashy Park
Pros: Really like this park. They were charging to get in $2/player. A lot of families on the course and there were 2 groups of 10 playing, but the course didn't feel crowded. Only saw 3-4 people out of ~50-60 people carrying bags - mainly 1 disc throwers.
I believe they sell some discs in the 'pro shop'
Really like that you start out short. Hole 1 with the fence right along the fairway is a little unnerving, but slowly the course builds into the woods and back out till you get to the top of the hill and have a long hole to open up the open part of the course.
Hole 9 is back to the gate and is a 490' downhill slope.
Hole 18 is a 600' downhill that ends at the gate also. The best part is that there are picnic tables at the gate and restroom building that you can sit and watch people throw on the long holes.
First part of the course has variety with woods and open, second part of course is all open with longer holes interspersed with short holes.
Fun overall, probably best course in area. Not real challenging, better to use 54 as par rather than posted for a little more challenge.
Cons: Trash everywhere, completely filthy park. Not the worse I have seen, but terrible. Wooded holes are showing bad signs of erosion.
Other Thoughts: A lot of newbie people out when we went this last time. Been out there probably 10 times so far, always been trashy. Used to pick up trash and bag it, don't try anymore. First time I have been charged to play.
7 out of the 10 times I have gone we've been one of 2-4 groups on the course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Best Course in South Bend/Mishwaka area
Pros: This is probably the best course in the SB/Mish area, I have not yet played the one in Niles.
As of right now the course if free to play, I havent payed to get into this place in at least two years.
Good mix of wooded and open holes.
people here are nice and there is hardly ever a wait to play.
Cons: Signs need to be replaced.
Park could be cleaned up a little.
Other Thoughts: This park is much better than Rum Village, it is some what well kept and you don't have to worry about seeing two dudes having butt sex in their car like at Rum Village.
I have also heard talks of them moving some of the pins around too.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Great use of Hills Needs TLS
Pros: Great use of the hills, this is a rarity of the area. The park is mostly used for Disc Golf, and is fairly busy. A few wooded holes, and few long holes. I think this is the funnest course in the area.
Cons: Park had a lot of trash in it, and the T signs are in bad shape.
Other Thoughts: Great view of South Bend and Mishawaka
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun course in the summer
Pros: Good use of terrain, fun throws and big downhill hucks.
Several dogleg rights to challenge RHBH throwers. Pin placement on the crests and sides of hills can make for adventurous landings (beware of throwing a disc that will stand up and roll because it will roll a long way!).
Deep rough can get you in trouble in a hurry.
Cons: Too many filler holes on the back nine. Many holes removed during the winter including pretty much the entire back nine.
Other Thoughts: This is a really fun course that I played regularly when I lived in the area (10+ years ago). It could use a facelift (new tees and signs) but the holes are still fun and challenging.
Update: I've moved back to the area and have started playing this course again, though not regularly. Ox Bow is more challenging and Ferettie Baugo is much more fun, not to mention Rum Village and Madeline Bertrand - ALL of which are in far better condition than GW. Reviewers who say GW is the nicest, must not play Maddie Bertrand or Baugo.
The back nine needs an update as multiple trees have been removed since it was originally laid out. The signs are trash and the course is in general disrepair, including many baskets. The great use of elevation changes is the only saving grace of this course - and if your playing style is grip it and rip it, I can understand why you would rate this course highest in the area since there are few penalties here for inaccuracy.
Last thought: it is absolutely unacceptable to be expected to pay to play a course that is in this poor of shape. Back in the '90's it was my favorite course to play, when my less-skilled self appreciated the wide open fairways. Now that I'm older, wiser, and have played a lot more courses around the country I can see this course for what it is - a nice addition to the Michiana area disc golf scene, but average at best and in serious need of some TLC.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a good sized park, which includes a small forest and a large amount of hills. Doesn't seem like there are many other activities to interfere with the discing, maybe some pedestrians.
- Six of the holes go around and through a moderately wooded area, in a lot of different ways. RHBH anhyzers include an easy one along the treeline, a sharp downhill shot, and a long mando around a bush and up into the woods. Otherwise a straight shot is the ticket, including over a small hill and up a valley.
- Great variety of shots out in the open area as well. Some easier uphill shots and downhill shots, and a straightforward 600' bomber. Some slanted fairways/greens to the left and the right, with serious rollaway potential. Good obstacles on others with some big pine trees, and a power tower (pro or con). Elevation changes throughout are above average.
- Good mix of hole lengths, with both longer and shorter ones in the woods and out in the open. While there is not much difficulty with some of the longer downhills, the length is there. Some real ace runs are present in the flat areas of the course too.
- Good baskets and teepads, but navigation is tough. Hard to tell which tee is next, and at times which basket, could be tricky the first time through. Practice basket.
Cons: - Some of the holes here are not very interesting, particularly the very short flat ones in the open. Six in a row, the longest at 305', with random obstacles to force lines. Some teepads are pointed askew, seems like a retake on a simpler design. Takes away from the other twelve holes.
- Not too many obstacles in general outside of the forest, one per hole is standard fare. A fence on three holes adds some additional challenge, but it hurts that the OB threat is one of the biggest hazards.
- Heads up for stray discs, fairways and teepads are pretty close in some spots.
Other Thoughts: - This course has three different sides to it, two of which are very enjoyable. The wooded holes have some interesting shots, like #4 and #6. The hilly open area has excellent features as well, with slanted fairways, fast greens, and downhill fun. The other six holes seem like ace runs with a wrinkle thrown in to add credibility. Beginners might find it a bit rough, and more experienced players might find it a little bland, great for people in the middle.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Needs a Facelift
Pros: This is a course near me that i have played for years. It gets mowed frequently and has huge rolling hills for this area. It also has restrooms right by the teepad of the first hole which also is near the basket of the 9th hole. This course is half in the woods and half in the open. There are some holes on the back nine that offer epic bombs off the top of huge hills, holes 9,16,18. Teepads are concrete which is nice.
Cons: This course is a pay to play (2 for locals and 3 for everyone else) and hasnt been improved in a very long time.The signs are rough which makes navigation for newcomers tough. The back nine is wide open easy hyzers and the challenge of the course in general isnt worth the trip. In the summer there are huge groups of punk kids that have no etiquette u have to deal with. There is alot of broken glass on the ground and the kids seem to tear up whatever they can. The owners of the course dont seem to care and are just happy to get ur money.
Hole 2 and 5 on the front and 10,11,12 are jokes and need improved.
Other Thoughts: The course needs a redesign considering the pay to play aspect. And better policed to clean it up a little. This is a good beginner course but needs alot of work to make it worthwhile. But i guess for the majority of golfers that just wanna have a good time at an easy course this is the one, but thats where it ends. This place has potential but they have yet to pursue it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
A fun round
Pros: This course uses every inch of the park and play though very hilly terrain .
There's so many great holes on this course ,and so many of them could be a signature hole .
Theres two down hill holes that lets you bomb your drive and were just a blast to play .
Cons: baskets pulled during the winter because sledding hill.
Short holes that are easy and offer little challenge
Other Thoughts: One of my favorite places to play
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Hi, Mr. Wilson!!
Pros: George Wilson Park is one of the most fun courses I have played in my illustrious career. This park provides a chance to have a smooth round without feeling beaten down at the end of the line. There are some great hills here that provide some epic bomb opportunities that even the most consummate of technical players should find highly entertaining even though the challenge factor is quite minimal. The course begins on flat land and winds around through some sparse woods as elevation increases and things eventually open up wide over rolling hills. The frustration level is very low throughout as things are pretty well cut and dried without much chance to become trapped off the fairways pin balling your score into the stratosphere. Keeping within play is readily obtainable on most holes. There are plentiful ace runs on this course as well. Concrete tee pads are present as are a few random trash cans that some people actually use from time to time. The restroom facility is located strategically so that hole 1, the start of the back 9, and the finish all put you right on track to use it if need be.
Cons: The entire back nine, while fun and ego promoting, can be played without much thought. RHBH throws accomplish the job. Right pin placements only occur thrice throughout the entirety of the 18 making your shot bag somewhat useless for much of the time. Holes 10 through 15 feel a bit like fillers, but the lay of the land is something that cannot be changed. This course also loses some shine based on poor or absent signage and graffiti. A few of the baskets were a bit ramshackled. Litter was definitely observable, but was not out of control.
Other Thoughts: This park features a modicum of variety and difficulty but manages to score based on terrain and fun factor. There are a few holes that are unique. The ravine shot to steps at 7 come to mind. Throwing with high voltage towers or giant teepee shelters as obstacles is also something that you don't get to do on every course. Holes 9 and 18 are simple, but the act of airing a disc out over their vastness is so immensely pleasurable. Overall, George was an enjoyable walk and an exercise in fun with some pretty heady views.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Elevation, fun and scenic holes. Unique layouts. You can tell someone "tried" when designing this course.
Holes 15 - 18 are really cool and make up for the blandness of 10-14.
Cons: -Hole 2 - weird pin placement.
-Erosion issues, rocks and ruts all over on the front 9.
-Steep drops off the front of a few pads
-10-14 on the back 9 are one-dimensional. RHBH hyzer all day, only thing that changes is the distance.
-Baskets are beatup, many of the cages hang at an angle.
Other Thoughts: Front 9 is OK, not much I would change there. Back 9 10-14 could be more interesting. 15-18 are the signature holes.
Maybe there needs to be a league out here to teach people how to pick up after themselves. Also most everyone I saw was wayyy casual a league could raise the overall quality of play..
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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