8 Helpful / 2 Not
Workman-like, But Skilled
3 sets of nines, each of which dumps you back at the parking lot, allowing for nice choices for 9 or 18 hole play.
A solo 27 hole round took me 90~100 minutes even with a busy lot.
Zero non-DG traffic.
Row pine forests make disc retrieval a breeze.
Well defined paths and serviceable tees on the original 18.
Playing in order allows you to warm up on shorter holes and then end with more distance challenge on the Deep 9.
Deep 9 is a significantly improved addition to the course. The greater distance and more challenging lines are not to be skipped. It smartly uses some higher ground to utilize some more deciduous vegetation. It feels like a different course.
Lack of elevation. There are some mild peaks and valleys, and the Deep 9 is located up a bit of a hill, but this course is very level, and the elevation that exists, is ignored or countered, rather than being utilized in game-play.
Lack of variety. Pine forests are pretty dull to begin with, and I found the repetitive feel of the course by hole 10. Lots of slight to moderate dogleg left holes. The Deep 9 breaks this up to a degree, but much of that had to do with the still wild vegetation.
Lack of distance. Half of the original 18 holes are <250' and only one is >400'. The course is tight, but not especially difficult. I finished +1, which for me is very low on a new course. The Deep 9 dropped me much more significantly.
I was confused of where each set of 9 started, even with a map, and I didn't even notice the practice basket until the end of my round.. A couple of signs in the staging area around the kiosk would be of great help.
I enjoyed playing this course, as I preformed very well, but I went a bit out of my way to play it, and it certainly didn't leave me with a desire to play any part of it again.
I perhaps am being a little hard on the course, as it has stiff local competition with Flip City, Branstrom, and Ludington being so close, but I just found it to be lacking any real character. This course does what it does, and you can like it or lump it.
This course is well designed considering the land they chose to use. At no time was i worried about other groups playing around me.
While I can think of many places where this course would be a significant improvement to the local DG community, Western Lower Michigan is so chock full of destination courses that you would be wise to leave this one till after you are bored playing the rest.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 5 Not
original 18 rather quick/but fun
Pros: Navigation here a breeze. Was "getting dark" as we arrived; but we found our way around easily, and enjoyed a fine round.
Nice concrete tees.
Basic, but functional tee signs.
This one has an ease factor (for original 18) that can help your full day score, if you've been playing tougher courses in the area.
Friendly locals wished us a good round. As I noted, we played late in the day; so, most of these guys were hanging in the lot discussing their rounds. Parking lot equals clubhouse in disc golf/ball golf terms; and it's always nice to see everyone telling of their day's exploits, with a happy/tired smile.
Solid technical course design (original 18). Shot shaping required here. Holes are fair and require accuracy. Schule off fairways not stressful; course well broken in.
Couple well designed dog legs and a couple of multi route shots.
Nicely maintained course.
Unfortunately, I can't comment on the D9; but, I can say that having played a large chunk of the western Michigan courses in two journeys; one trip coming down through the U.P. and one coming up from the south; that one fine, "big impression" is that pretty much every one of these courses is in the process of upgrade on nearly all of the 15+ courses played. Kudos to Western Michigan designers/clubs.
Cons: No signs telling you of the new back nine.
Original course a bit on the short side. Holes a bit repetitive; nothing signature.
Other Thoughts: I mixed this course review up with another course of a multi course trip. Therefore, I have had to come here and change this entire review around; and, I must confess; I probably would not even be writing a Whitehall review if not for the fact that it was already mistakenly here. I really can't do this course justice without seeing the D9....
Drats...unlike me to not read reviews for a course before heading to it; but, this one was originally a back up plan that found it's way into play. (Glad we came, but wish we had known about the back nine). The original 18 is perhaps a weak 3 rating; and the D9 may very well push this up to 3.5....for now, I'll just have to compromise with a 3 and remind all traveling players to make sure to play the most recent addition.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
Fun technical course
Pros: The course plays through a dense pine forest, with mostly flat land and a couple rolling hills. A few times, the course emerges into open sandy areas or grassy meadows, and the design makes great use of these by shooting into or out of the trees to make interesting challenges.The rest of the holes are almost all tight lanes through a pine forest with low ceilings and lots of branches to grab your drive.
There is a good mix of straight shots and shots that turn right or left, and the course felt fairly balanced overall. The course builds through each 9. The first 9 is almost all ace runs if you hit your gaps in the trees. The middle 9 has some more length, with a few longer holes and a few ace runs. The newest 9 has the most length and challenge, and offers a couple holes where if you risk it, you can throw a real drive. It was fun to have the course get progressively harder through each 9 hole loop, especially since each loop comes back to the parking lot allowing players to play them in any order.
There are good concrete tees on the original 18 holes, with good surface and plenty of room. The original holes have good wooden tee signs with basic layout and distance, and it looks like those are in the works for the new 9. The course was easy to follow, with good flow, and never any conflict between any of the holes, it felt very secluded even with a handful of other groups playing.
Cons: Especially at the beginning of the course, it can get to feeling a bit repetitive, with a few too many short tight holes that basically feel the same. The deep 9 made up for this with some different types of holes, but the original 18 just doesn't have enough variety.
The deep 9 still needs some work, with no signs, poor tee surfaces, and some work to do to get the fairways in shape. It looks like all this is in progress though, so I don't think it'll be a con for too long.
Other Thoughts: This course is nice and short for beginners, though there are lots of tight gaps, and punishment if you stray from the fairway that might frustrate beginners. More advanced players will have fun with their short game here, and will need accuracy to get those 2s, but there isn't a whole lot of challenge or uniqueness here.
If you're in the area, this course offers something different than the other nearby courses, and is worth a stop. Don't drive out of your way just for this one, but put it on your list for your Flip City trip.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
this looks like the last hole
Pros: -great cement tee pads
-pretty cool wood signs with # and yardage. hand made
-super flow and easy to follow paths
-RESTROOM at the 9 hole intersection
-representative landscape of the area. sand, dirt, rolling hills
-new "deep" nine addition
-the rough is clear and forgiving
-new hole #6 on new nine!
Cons: -repetitive holes that feel the same
-short holes. 160-290 a plenty.
-might miss the new deep nine to the right of tee #10
Other Thoughts: What a good little course just north of Muskegon. The course is very representative of the somewhat flatter and sandy environment of southern/western Michigan. The course is broken up into three nine hole sections now. This includes the the new deep nine loop which can be readily missed to the right of tee #10 if not careful. A local showed it to me as I was finishing the reg 18.
The first nine play through some typical Michigan pines. Short anys and hyzers and straight lines on a flat landscape. This was ace alley to say the least, which was obvious by all the folks writing their ace on the yellow bands of the Innova baskets. Really? Can't you just sharpie your disc instead of telling the world how mediocre you are by being proud you sank a 150' "ace putt"? anywho...first nine, eh.
The second nine across the sand lot adds a bit more length through the trees and some slight elevation but it still feels mighty repetitive. You can't really blame the course designers as they used this land to the best of it's abilities.
The deep nine is going to be the gold of this course once complete. Still dirt tee pads but the holes now ebb and flow through some bigger trees and bigger spaces. Hole #6 is a complete shock when you get to it. It sits in a grassy valley of the forest and plays 600'+. COMPLETELY different from the rest of the course. Very reminiscent of a hole you would find at the Leviathan course in Ludington, Mi. Such a great hole. Could have played this a few times alone.
SUMMARY. A very nice course obviously taken care of by a great community. It's nothing special, but then again to have a disc golf course is better than not too. Definitely not a destination course, but one you might hit on the way to or from the great northern/western Michigan courses.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Conveniently located about a mile off of Highway 31.
- Brooms & Hybrid Bucket/Trash-sacks at every hole. Tee signs are all intact. They're simple, yet effective.
- Benches made of logs at every hole. Paths between each hole were also lined with logs. I'm guessing that the trees that were cut down to make the fairways were then re-used to enhance the course. The fact that they weren't simply hauled off or burned is a credit to the course's designer.
- Teepads were better than average. Not overly long, but there was still ample room for any sort of run-up you could think of.
- Thanks to the aforementioned log-lined paths, it's literally impossible to get lost. When a new course in Michigan gets installed it dreams about someday being as worn in and user-friendly as this course is. The only possible time you could lose track of where you're going is near the parking lot between holes 9 & 10, but luckily there are convenient tree signs pointing you the right way.
- Despite there being a lot of holes ~200 ft, this is not a pitch & putt. You'll find yourself using your midrange a lot, but you'll need to be able to make it curve to suit the fairways. A forehand comes in handy, especially on hole #10.
- My wife liked that there was ample shade. This seems like it would be a good course to hit early in the afternoon before heading to the beach, if you're into that kind of thing.
Cons: - Repetitive is the key word here. Lots of holes blend together. 5, 10, & 18 were the only holes that really stuck out in my mind. Hole 5 was a drive from the open into the trees type of hole. Hole 10 was the severe dogleg I mentioned earlier. Hole 18 features the most elevation on the course, you actually walk uphill and then downhill which is amazing in this particular part of Michigan. The rest were all 200-350 feet with slight alternating doglegs.
- It was easy to find errant throws which some would consider a plus, but this was to the point where there almost weren't any consequences to a bad shot. A seasoned DGer would probably have no problem shooting under par their first time here.
Other Thoughts: - A solid yet unremarkable course with enough positives to make it slightly above average. It took me about an hour to play.
- There was a bulletin board and a port-a-potty at the beginning of the course. The bulletin board updated the status of the additional 9 holes that are being installed. 19-21 seemed to be playable but the rest were still under construction or unmowed. I look forward to seeing what they can do with the additional land.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
A decidedly Up-North feel
Pros: The directions to the course were spot-on and the parking area is large with a Kiosk, garbage barrels, and a Port-A-John on the premises. Everything was very clean and well thought out.
The course layout and trail markings are exceptional, with NO chance at getting lost. All three 9s (Front, Back, and Deep) circle back to a common crossing point just off the parking lot giving players a chance to head back to the car between loops for eats, beverages, bug spray, or clothing changes. This also allows for playing a short 9er or the same 9 twice. Even though the course is built on a sand dune, there was never any issue with loose sand or bad footing on the pathways. Almost all holes had some type of bench or chairs, brooms, and trash receptacles, and the relaxation spot at hole #9 was especially nice!. The tee signage was nicely done with etched-in hole #, footage, and directional lines, although the monochromatic color scheme was a little difficult to decipher for those of us with aging eyes. The cement tee pads were level, roomy and in great shape.
Hole design was quite nice given the property they had to work with. There was an even mix of straight, uphill, downhill, fading right or left, sharp right or left, and even "S" shaped fairways, and every tiny bit of elevation change available was put to good use. Distances of 187 to 394 makes a quick round here a very good possibility and keeps it mostly family and beginner friendly. Given the heavily wooded nature of this course, it was surprising that getting off the fairway was never a total disaster although there's rarely a clear route out and even overhand shots frequently aren't an option due to a low canopy in most places. The nature of the woods and brush here mean that lost discs shouldn't ever be a problem here, even when playing solo.
Highlight holes here include the almost J-hook shaped left on #4 with some intruding trees along the right edge that steal working room from your disc; the deceptively straight and open looking #5 and #7 that both require more disc control than you'd expect; the long tight #9 that opens into a sandy field; the evil, evil #16 with its tight fairway, scattered trees, fading right, and low ceiling; the curvy uphill #17; and the long S shaped #18.
Cons: The lack of any real elevation changes, truly interesting design elements, or any open holes where you could really let them fly keeps this course from ranking much higher on the ratings list. And, while each hole had at least one very obvious and well-defined fairway, all but a couple of holes just felt like "more of the same".
The scorecard shows that a short tee is available for all the holes, but beyond the orange dots spray painted on rocks on the first 2 holes, I never saw any type of alternate tee markers on the rest of the holes (not that distances under 400' really need alternate tees).
The trash receptacles were a very interesting design (the top ring of a 5 gallon bucket as a holder for a 100 lb feed bag), but many of the feed bags were disintegrating, leaving trash scattered around in several places.
Other Thoughts: ***Updated after a second round***
I went to play a send round here with the express intention of doing a fresh review, uncolored by playing Flip City first. Unfortunately, my original review (basically) and first impressions stand. While hubby loved this course, I felt that the lack of any truly stand-out design elements made much of this course feel like just more of the same. By hole 12, I was saying "oh gee, look, more trees!" While individual hole design and course layout were both excellent, this course had none of the "Wow!!" factor of most of its closest neighbors; Branstrom has stunning scenery and terrain changes; Ludington has incredible variety and multiple great courses; Northend Riverside has great design, plenty of variety, and multiple tee options; and Flip City has.....well, all of the previous and sooo much more! Given the other available options, I'd play this if I was already in the area, but certainly wouldn't drive down just to play this course.
As of 9/6/09, the Deep 9 are not yet fully playable. According to locals, 19-21 are ready to play, and the remaining baskets are in, but the fairways are not fully cut or mowed at all, and the pathways between holes are unmarked and difficult to find.
Sundays may be very busy due to a pretty active league and course work groups following immediately after.
I remembered my camera this time and have posted pics of all holes now.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: If you are looking to tighten up the precision of your shot, then look no farther. Very little room for error. Decent elevation changes.
Cons: Far too one dimensional. You'd be better off throwing a buzz saw off the tee box.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
A walk in the woods
Pros: Attractive wooded scenery, mostly pine. Good variety of holes for both the lefty and the righty, long and short, some elevation changes on the back nine
Cons: like many a Michigan course, a bit too heavily wooded, which makes precision a priority and luck your best ally
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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