Challenging and Superb
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Additional pads to throw from
Wet (Depending upon last rain)
Other Thoughts: This year I'm making it an objective to play some different courses and this is the second new course that I've discovered and I'm glad I did. It's the most fun and challenging course I've ever played. Granted, I've played a handful of courses, but it has the credentials of being one of the best I'll ever play.
I ended up playing 4 rounds of 21 and I still feel like I haven't had enough if that says anything.
Personal Best (out of 18 and all par 3):
0 2 1 2 0 1 0 1 1 0 3 2 2 2 1 0 2 0 (+20)
Definitely a must practice course. If you want to have a tough practice, I would recommend this if you want to improve your game.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Tough, challenging course
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Tees are in real good state of repair, benches and signs are really good also.
Great opportunities for a variety of shots (forehand, backhand, rollers, tomahawks). Definitely a course that demands a player think and execute well. Didn't encounter a single hole that didn't reflect good thought (none are boring, simple, straightforward bomb it, putt it kind of holes). You will get a good walking workout and a challenging round.
Cons: Parking is a bit limited, but no big deal. Best bet when really busy is to park in the RV area and make the short walk in (which is really only about 100 feet - probably not a problem if you are playing disc golf, right?).
Other Thoughts: Sure, some drives are very tight and that's expected when playing a tough course.
There are some very cool stump carvings around the course (some appear to still be in progress). Coolest one (to me) is a gigantic morel mushroom.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
I didn't want my round to end!
12 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.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 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 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 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!
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
worth the trip
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
7 of 7 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.
9 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.
9 of 9 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.
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