I didn't want my round to end!
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: --When you get to the first hole there is a big course map sign and you can pick up a great scorecard with the course map on it.
--I was greeted at hole 1 by one of the crew members who offered some great advice and recent hole placement changes.
--This course was quite the challenge and only the first hole was out in the open, then you enter a wooded paradise.
--Amazing signage and easy course navigation
--Benches and seating at every tee pad and a trash can on almost every hole.
--Even though heavily wooded, there are distinct, narrow fairways.
--I like how they were able to squeeze in 3 more holes, labeled A, B, and C.
--Elevation was fun when the basket was down a hill like on hole 12 for example, but quite the beast on a couple uphill holes.
--Hole 8 was one of the best holes I've ever seen!
--Easy 20 min drive North from Cedar Rapids
Cons: --Not much room for parking.
--I have an arrow putt and approach disc so I didn't have to much trouble with rollouts but I can see how that can be an issue for some players.
--Keep a keen eye on your disc because there is a lot of leafage on this course.
--I can see this course being overgrown during the spring in summer months with thorn bushes but that is just my assumption.
Other Thoughts: This course was frickin awesome, hands down the best course I've ever played so far. Fun factor 10/10. I can see why it is rated the number 1 course in Iowa. If you call yourself an avid disc golfer and live in IA, you need to make the drive to play this course, no excuses people its that good! I will definitely play again and bring my friends to this course.
Just a heads up: There is some road construction going on in Urbana but just follow the detour signs and you'll find your way.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Definitely a challenging one but, all around great course.
- mostly wooded with a couple open holes
- lots of elevation changes
- lots of unique hole layouts
- multiple pin locations for every hole
- a couple alternate tee options
- well maintained & respected (tee areas, fairways, everything)
- nice tee pads & baskets
- well marked for easy navigation
- located in a campground (a couple tent sites available off hole 1 fairway which is neat)
Pretty much the perfect Iowa disc golf experience.
Cons: Only minor thing is that the parking can get a bit congested at times
Other Thoughts: scorecards with map are awesome
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: I started playing disc golf in NC so I didn't know that I was playing top notch courses until I moved back to Iowa. I wasn't expecting this course to be as good as it was.
- Very Clean
- Good Signage was never lost
- Great use of elevation
- I really liked the bright orange baskets
Cons: - I was not able to finish the course due to time constraints.
- It is so far away from me.
Other Thoughts: Definitely going to make my way out here to play again!
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
worth the trip
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -solid pads (brick it would be super hard to get cement up into the course)
-really well taken care of you can tell that this course gets lots of TLC
-trash cans and benches at every tee pad
-has many pin placements and many holes have pro tees that are really well thought out and make for some really cool shots. so many different ways to play the course.
-built right next to a campsite
-the first hole is really the only easy hole on the course and makes for a good warmup hole
-holes 2-9 a-c all play up and down some good sized hills and make good use of the elevation.
these holes are mostly tight wooded holes that punish you if you do not hit your line.
-hole 8 is awesome shooting across a small valley with several trees on the far side to make it a challenge
-hole 9 is a cool hook to the right that shoots down a hill, back to the start of the course
- 10-18 are a little more open but still lots of woods and have some good tight distance shots
- several good chances for an ace with out making those holes too easy
-17 is awesome. a bomber that is slightly downhill with a hook to the right and has a fallen tree that arcs across the fairway that you have to go over or under.
Cons: not many cons really
-bring lots of water with you there are not many places nearby to get water
-some trees that look like they could drop over the fairways(i was talking to the crew there and were talking about cleaning them out)
-the rough is really thick really easy to lose a disc of you shoot off the fairway
Other Thoughts: -well worth a trip out there one of the best courses i have played
i talked to 2 of the guys who built the course and its clear why this is such a nice course and they just kept talking about ways to make the course better. apparently they change the pin locations constantly and really keep the course nice and clean i don't think i saw a single beer can
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Epic Wooded Elevation
Pros: - Epic elevation, tightly-wooded fairways requiring accuracy and precision, several dual-tee setups that significantly change the look of the hole, longer holes requiring the use of designated landing zones, multiple pin positions that significantly alter most holes, and an breathtakingly beautiful natural setting make Wildcat Bluff nothing less than a "must play" destination course.
- Elevation. Epic. Too many holes with outstanding use of massive elevation to list them all. Standouts are the massive downhill valley shot on #8 and the shorter but tighter #8B, #2's challenging uphill wooded fairway, and #17's epic gradual downhill hallway of ancient trees.
- Wooded technicality. Bring your "A" game when it comes to hitting the fairway, or risk a long brutal day of hacking through the significantly thick woods. Nothing is unfairly thick or difficult to get through, but the punishment is severe enough to make recovery shots a dicey proposition, at best.
- Balance and variety. Basically, this course successfully explores the heavily wooded, very hilly aspect of course design, with brilliant results.
- Top notch upkeep and amenities. Obviously, a *ton* of work has gone into this course, and it shows throughout. Stairs, bridges, pathways, and signage where needed. Intuitive and easy to follow design makes the round flow seamlessly, while offering up an interesting and challenging array of terrain and shot archetypes that will challenge all levels of golfers.
Cons: - Supposedly there is hunting allowed on property during hunting season. I do not know how much this actually affects play, or if one should really wear blaze orange in order to disc safely; however, I do know any time there is the remotest possibility of me being shot, I tend to think of that as a bit of a con. :I :I :I
- A few of the shorter holes seem a bit commonplace, but remain solid golf holes. They probably stick out a bit compared with the utter awesomesauce comprising the vast majority of Wildcat Bluff.
Other Thoughts: - Gorgeous terrain. Peaceful, secluded, and a great hike. Definitely not your average walk in the park, and among the most beautiful courses I've played.
- Wildcat Bluff offers several unique holes of titanic proportion that will certainly stick with you long long after you've played the course.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
great technical woods golf
Pros: This course is in a county park in an isolated location perfect for solitude. It's a great place for combining primitive camping and disc golf, although the campground has electric available too.
The terrain is steep forested ridges with deep ravines, and the holes are almost all technical woods golf and make great use of the terrain. All of the holes have multiple pin positions and are regularly changed. The signage is beautiful handmade color-coded wooden signs with colored washers to indicate current pin positions. The course was built by a group of volunteers as a memorial to a friend, and the volunteers continue to put a lot of TLC into this special place. The teepads are landscaped and the patio stone surfaces are regularly leveled.
There are some epic holes here. Driving from the Hole 8 long tee (Hutchins Hill) is one of the most stunning experiences to be had in woods disc golf. Once you manage to climb up there, it is worth taking a rest to ponder the shot that is about to come. It is almost 500 feet through a narrow gap and out over a massive ravine, although the basket is back up the hill on the other side, it is still net downhill, so it is actually reachable by someone who can drive 300-350.
Hole 14 is long gently left-to-right turning hole which undulates over a couple of ravines. Here it is placement golf, requiring distance control, and landing the disc on top of the ridges gives an opportunity to pick up shots vs the field.
There have been some massive windstorms in the last couple years that knocked down a lot of trees on the back 9, and the volunteers have put in unbelievable amounts of work to get the course back in playable condition. The character of the back 9 has changed, letting more light filter in to the forest floor, and now grass filling in some fairways on the back 9. One big fallen tree remains as a high arch across the fairway on hole 17, which adds to the fun and challenge of this long left-to-right dogleg.
There's a good balance of up- and down-hill as well as ridgetop holes that play mostly flat.
It's a beautiful park. This would be a fun place for hiking, even if there were no DG course. My kids enjoy hiking along, even after they get tired of looking for discs they've thrown into the woods.
Cons: It is hard to come up with any cons. It could use better balance between wooded and open (except for hole 1 it is all technical woods golf), but that is the land that was available so it is hard to be too critical about that. And the windstorms have opened up some of the back 9. There are no water hazards other than a sometimes dry creek which rarely comes into play.
Other Thoughts: In hunting season there are other park users in the area, so wear blaze orange.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Could continue to improve!
Pros: 1) Nice signs with Hole # Distance and a general map of the hole.
2) Benches in spots to sit down from time to time. On a course with massive elevation change it is definitely appreciated. I imagine it would also be nice if the course was full of people and the play was slow.
3) The tees are made out of pavers which is better than dirt or grass . . . but look at the negatives too. Still better than dirt.
4) Plenty of garbage cans around the course to drop your garbage or help clean up the course from those who litter.
5) Orange painted baskets are somewhat helpful to see in the woods although I would imagine they are tough to spot in fall with all of the mature trees turning colors. They seemed to catch just fine and seemed very close to Chainstars.
6) Very mature hardwood forest. Some of the best property for disc golf if you ask me. I wish we had more of it in WI.
7) Elevation is incredible here. It makes some of the shot very challenging and also very dramatic to throw. Couple the drop-offs with the mature hardwood forest and you have a sure success.
8) Distance variation is awesome with holes in the 200's, 300's, 400's and even 500's. It is a long course but the variation makes you know how to throw all sorts of shots . . . including throwing from a standstill!
9) The stairways seem to be pretty well built. I would not say they are perfect in terms of safety but they are fairly safe to use. This is something I am really focusing on because properly built stairs will last a long time, while poorly built stairs will deteriorate and become dangerous and unusable over time. The teebox complexes and stairs here seem to be done appropriately and would thus be more sustainable than most other construction we see on disc golf courses.
10) They have used an abundance of railroad ties on this course. There are attractive and also very solid material that will not deteriorate rapidly like some other wood will. +1 for sustainability.
11) Challenging course to say the least. I love being challenged as long as holes are fair. I would much rather play a challenging and fair course than a boring wide open course or an unfair course with impossible to hit lines and terrible unkept rough.
Cons: 1) Hunting is permitted from September 15th through May 15th so I would avoid this course during that timeframe or wear blaze orange and maybe carry a radio with you . . . as I am sure no wildlife carries along an Ipod with speakers! This isn't necessarily a negative but it would be if I got shot.
2) Some of the rough on this course is a little too rough. There are areas of decent rough that isn't as punishing, but there are also patches that are really terrible.
3) In more than a few spots I noticed dangerous snags (broken limbs in trees waiting to come down in a wind storm). That is something that is always a risk on mature courses like this, but it sure would be nice to never have a course shutdown because someone was injured or killed from one of the falling limbs. I suppose there is a certain liability on any course that goes with whatever park district or municipality is responsible for the course, but I still wish the trees could be taken care of by professionals.
4) While the paver tees are better than dirt of grass . . . they do leave a bit to be desired. Many times I found one or two bricks on a tee that were not level. They were definitely able to trip you on your run-up if you misstep slightly. Pavers take a lot of work to install properly for sustainability . . . trust me I did my entire patio and sidewalk and did my father in laws driveway, and sidewalks. It is a lot of work and the process has to be perfect or shifting or settling will occur.
5) This course is far from beginner friendly, which is something I like to see on all courses. Sure there are some alternate tees but not easy enough tees to make it playable by anyone new to the game. In my opinion, the best course in the world will give a beginner a taste of what the sport is all about while keeping them from being frustrated.
Other Thoughts: I have never played a course that recommended I wear blaze orange from September 15th through May 15th . . . that is because it is on a wildlife preserve of some sort so hunting is also allowed. I imagine I would be pretty scared to play during those months for fear my graceful walk through the woods makes me look like a deer.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -The course is very easy to follow with a map and scorecards at the beginning. All basket locations are marked on the sign with an appropriate colored ring below the sign on the post.
-If you like a challenge the fairways are somewhat narrow, with most having a clear route to the hole. There is a variety of left, right and straight shots.
-Basket locations are varied between red, blue and yellow….And the baskets were painted bright orange which helps with spotting the basket.
-If you veer off of the fairway you are punished. Almost every time I went off the fairway I had no clear line to the hole. I was forced to pray I could get through…which I didn't most of the time, or lay up to the fairway. I don't think I pared a single hole I went off the fairway and a few times I ended up with a double or worse.
-Benches are by the tee pads
Cons: -Didn't like a couple of the tee pads, the brick didn't seem to be a problem, but on a couple I felt like the gaps between each brick made me a little uneasy about footing.
-Could remove some weeds off of the fairway. The ample amount of trees in the way is enough of a challenge, don't need to make it a challenge to find my disc.
-This is picky, but I wish they would change the numbers on the signs…..5, 6, A, B, C, 7, 8…..just make all of them numbers and end with 21 not 18.
Other Thoughts: This is definitely one of the best courses I've ever played. With the different basket locations it could be a completely different course. It isn't the most physically demanding course I've played on, but has a few hills that will make you work. It is probably the most skill demanding course I've played on. Long shots mean nothing if you can't control it. The course is out of the way but worth the drive. Most people are probably not used to driving on a gravel road to get to a course.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Tons of fun
Pros: The course is set in a hilly wooded park, the disc golf course didn't seem to share space with any other park activities. Elevation comes into play on many of the holes, with a few tough uphills and a few really fun downhill shots. 17 is a fantastic shot, with a long right turn down the hill through a wooded tunnel that's big enough to rip a drive but tight enough to punish mistakes. Throughout the course you can get in real trouble off the fairway but the rough isn't so thick that you won't have the chance to make a recovery shot.
There is a ton of variety on this course, I threw every disc in my bag and there are some really interesting and different lines to hit. The pin setup I played felt nicely balanced with left and right turning holes, as far as I could tell the other pin placements wouldn't change that. There is a good amount of distance variety as well, with a handful of ace run holes all the way up to some multi-shot holes that play long and wooded and make you execute a couple good shots to get to the pin.
The alternate pin placements change things up quite a bit. I played a mixed setup, it looked like the shorts would make the course easier without losing too much of the fun factor, and all longs would be a tough challenge for anyone. 5 holes have alternate tee pads as well, adding even more chance to mix things up, there's a really high replayability factor here. The tees are good, and most have nice benches. The signage is great, no navigation issues and the pin positions were marked so scouting wasn't necessary on the many blind holes.
Cons: A few holes felt a little less epic, I hesitate to call them filler holes but they didn't quite stand up to the rest of the course. The letter holes are three short holes in a row that felt a bit similar. Other than that there aren't a whole lot of cons here. There is still quite a bit of downed wood from storms, but the locals are obviously working hard to clean that up so I didn't take that into account in my rating.
Other Thoughts: I had a blast here, and would definitely recommend stopping if you're in the area. Beginners might find it a bit much even in the shorts, it's tight and long and there's not a whole lot of room for error. More experienced players will find great challenges here, a complete game including accuracy and distance on a variety of lines is necessary to score well. There's a nice little camping area right near tee 18, making this a nice spot to spend a weekend.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set within a large, large county park that has tons of activities. Luckily, pretty much nothing interferes with the disc golfing. The only conflict might be parking, but that's about it.
- Almost every hole is located within a large forest, and each has a well defined line or lines that have to be hit. A very wide variety, especially with dual tee pads on some holes, and multiple pin positions on every hole. The pads do a good job of spicing things up, but the different basket positions make a world of difference. A few add 150' or more to the hole, as well as forcing some pinpoint shot placement and tough approaches. Everything from big RHBH annys (#7 - 400' 90 degree turn downhill), to sharp hyzers (#10 - 406' hole with a tough kink off the tee, uphill), to RHBH flex shots to RHFH flex shots, or multiples on the same hole.
- Lots of potential par 4's here; #6 is a snaking, carved 485' hole with a tight finish, #10 is 406' with the hyzer to start, #11 is 479' that likes a RHBH flex off the tee, to a hyzer approach, #14 is another long (564') shot that is tight the whole way. Distance and accuracy are both absolutely, without a doubt, critical to scoring well on these holes.
- Constant changes in elevation to be found here as well. Uphills aren't too bad, there are some shorter ones in the beginning (#2 and #3), a little bit on #10, and a decent hill on #12. Many holes have bumps in the fairways, as well as valleys. The downhill shots are the highlight here. #8 from the top pad is a HUGE, tight downhill shot at 450'-500' that plays somewhere closer to 300'. A RHFH flex shot made it down there for me, but it took a while to get there!!! #17 is another good one, a much longer, gradual downslope that allows for longer, smoother shots.
- Good variety in hole length here. There are a good amount of short ones to start off with, but they do not last. Definitely depends on the basket positions, of course, but a lot of the holes are long no matter what position the pin is in. And, some are short no matter what position the pin is in. Either way there will be some shorties, like #A-#C, and some monsters, like #14 and #17.
- Fairways here are very fair, for the most part. The lines are well defined and the luck factor is kept to a minimum with few random trees to punish an otherwise good shot. Instead, the bad shots are punished by being sent into dense forest and/or valleys with lots of brush and jail. Missing a line will surely cost a stroke, at a minimum. Many baskets are protected as well, either with slopes (a few), or trees (a lot more). The big tree that's down in front of #12 long really adds some challenge!! Not sure if that's a permanent addition.
- Tee signs are simple but effective, and have a colored marker stating the pin position, which is a HUGE plus with the longer, blind shots. Excellent teepads, benches at every hole, lots of garbage cans, baskets with patterened orange paint, everything is tip-top. Two loops (front 12 and back 9).
Cons: - Hole #13's teepad is definitely in play if #12 is in the long position. You can see them, and they can see you, so keep an eye out.
- The scenery doesn't change that much in the course; you are in the woods from start to finish. I am reaching with that one. Some very scenic views from the top of a hill, but there is only one shot that takes good use of it (#8). Probably no choice when designing it.
Other Thoughts: - Tough to come up with cons for this course. It starts off a little bland, and has a few dinky holes mixed in, but that is more than balanced with some of the beasts out there. The pin positions have a profound effect on the difficulty of the course, from challenging to professional-caliber. I played with 19 of the pins in the short position, and was almost glad for it.... almost. I am giving this course the 4.5, after much thought, as it is always going to be fun, challenging, or both, no matter what the layout is. Just gets in there with the short layout...
- I would say beginners might want to practice a bit before coming here, just to avoid being frustrated with some of the tighter lines and thick rough/jail off the fairway. Everyone else, bring those drivers.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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