9 Helpful / 0 Not
What I learned by looking down
Pros: Volunteer Park is a nice, well-maintained multi-use park that includes a disc golf course playing around a skate park. You heard that right...all nine holes play on three sides of an average-sized skate park. The course features nice baskets and accurate tee signs. All of the shots are short and beginner friendly. A few of the baskets sit up on top of small mounds to give the course some variety. Most holes have a solitary sapling in the middle of the fairway and the tee signs seem to suggest the saplings are mandos, which would make sense since the holes are very close together and the mandos might help keep people in the right fairway.
Cons: The course plays too close to the skate park and the holes play too close together. The only thing minimizing that safety hazard is that you should be tossing a putter on these short shots.
Most of the course is dead flat, and the shots all look the same minus the few that incorporate the small mounds. Add in the fact that there are almost no obstacles and all the tee shots are glorified approach shots and the course gets boring fast.
Even with good signs, I found the course hard to navigate. There were so many tees and baskets visible that it was had to know which tee was next or which basket you should be throwing to.
The tees were grass and the turf was bumpy and uneven. I tripped a couple of times just trying to walk on the turf.
The design ends up just looking like baskets scattered in a field, and the experience ended up feeling like something other than playing disc golf. In the end I felt like I had to rate this course as a "0" since it really didn't end up meeting my basic criteria of actually being a disc golf course. There were baskets and we threw discs at them, but it was more of a goof experience than anything else.
Other Thoughts: Volunteer Park is very much a niche course design, and that niche would be small children, beginners and senior. I feel there is a need for courses that are friendly to these populations, but the execution of Volunteer Park is very bad. The shot design has no imagination and the amount of land is too small. After being introduced to disc golf at a course like Volunteer Park, I'm afraid no one would have had enough fun to stick with the sport.
In the end, all you need to know about Volunteer Park you can tell from the tees. The course was installed in 2006, but it looks like it might have gone in the ground last week. There was absolutely no wear patterns around the tees, just green grass. In six years the course has not received enough play to wear out the grass on the tees. If you miss this one, you won't be the only one.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Boring Beginner Course
Pros: - Good confidence builder for new players
- Never anybody there
- You can play through this course in like 15 minutes for a warm up round if you're going to Lewis or one of the Joliet courses.
- Signs at every tee
- Easily navigable
Cons: **Update: Three of the baskets have been stolen (6,8 and 9). This is now a 6-hole course.
- Not challenging at all... by far the easiest course I've ever seen.
- No tee boxes, just grass
- In the middle of a field, so it's very boring from a scenery standpoint
- Wind is usually a factor (because it's in the middle of a field)
- Skate park can come into play on 1st and 5th holes if you miss badly.
- Hilariously easy pars (like Par 5 on a 260ft straight shot)
Other Thoughts: I live just down the street from this course and use it to practice my putting. If you're not from the area skip this one, there are too many other good courses in the area to waste time with this one.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
There's a course here, sorta
Pros: The course plays through a flat multi-use park with small man made hills on many of the fairways and at many of the baskets. The park is very nicely taken care of, with excellent grass and no trash around. There are nice accurate signs at every tee giving hole layout and distance. 7 of the baskets look pretty new and are in good shape.
Cons: This course is basically 8 baskets thrown randomly in an open field, with some tees placed randomly around them. There is absolutely no challenge here, with many of the holes <200' and none over 300'. The last basket is missing, and the 6th basket that you can play to instead is leaning and coming out of the ground. There is exactly one small tree on nearly all the fairways, and it usually doesn't take away an easy hyzer route for left or right handed players.
Many of the holes play on top of one another, and nearly every tee shot is almost directly at the next tee. This course is clearly designed for beginners, but if there was more than one here at a time it seems inevitable someone would get hit. The tees are just whatever spot of grass you pick in the vicinity of the tee sign, and many have bumpy clumps of grass mixed in with dirt spots that make for poor footing at times. Luckily a jump putt is about the longest throw you'll need here.
Other Thoughts: This course was obviously intended for beginners, and it would be fine for completely inexperienced players. Once they have played a couple rounds, even new players will find the course easy and boring. More experienced players might have fun playing a safari round here, otherwise the course doesn't have much going for it.
Don't play this course unless you're bringing someone for their first round and you don't think they'll be able to throw over 50'. Otherwise, there are lots of courses around that are better to learn on, and a whole lot more fun to play.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
D Grade = Dud
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 9-hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == D (Wide open and very short 200' or so max)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max. == D (No obstacles and very short)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == D (Wide open and short and flat.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == C- (Clean and green, but no seclusion whatsoever)
5) Bonus points for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == N/A
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (125 18-hole, 64 9-hole as of mid 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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