Go play this course right meow. Right meow.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Constant upkeep of the course is very evident. All the fairways were very clean and well kept.
- Nice, bright orange homemade baskets. Catch and act just like they should.
- Tee signs are simple and effective. All hand carved, and colored to pin placement.
- Great colored washer set-up to let you know at each tee which pin placement is in. Helpful, since many are blind.
- Great, new, grippy concrete tee pads.
- Good course flow. Really can't mess up, especially with a provided score card.
- 5 holes have alternate tee pads.
- Score sheets with map and distances available at the course sign, 1A tee.
- Trash cans along the way.
- Benches or large tree-stump-seats at nearly every tee I can remember.
- Great stairs for climbing and descending all over the course. Although not always needed (or obviously used) on dry days, if the course is at all damp I bet they're a necessity.
- Elevation of this course is insane, and used very well. They definitely did not shy away from it while designing the course, but embraced it.
- Not overly-wooded, if that makes sense. Yes, it's in the middle of the woods, but it's not thick and frustrating like lots of wooded courses can be. Just the right amount of trees have been cut down for shot lines. There is always a line or two, sometimes 3.
- Underbrush is light enough to go find your disc when you bounce out of the fairway, and not too worrisome. What IS worrisome is finding a great line through the trees back to the fairway in any direction other than you came... (i.e. there are plenty of small trees to still make you pay)
- Caretakers have marked most of the exposed tree roots, knots, and small stumps in the fairways with little orange flags, to keep trip hazards visible. Especially on the front 9, which is a little tighter. Extremely effective and much appreciated. I'm sure once leaves start to fall it becomes very easy to stub your toe or take a tumble.
- #C basket (B position) is guarded by a very tall tree that has half-uprooted and fallen across the approach area. Very cool, and provides some interesting "over or under" decisions.
- #7A (A position) requires a super tight, straight release off the pad, until it opens up downhill towards the basket.
- #8 is simply epic. Freaking cool shot over a valley. Really nice paver tee pad on 8A tee.
- #17 is in a very scenic, long shallow gulley. Overhanging limbs and one fallen tree that has arched across the fairway make it look like a gateway leading somewhere special. Might have been my favorite hole of the day, even over #8.
- #18 is a cool, straight pine-row tunnel shot. Tight line, and finishes the course with something just a little different from the rest of the course, but just as demanding.
Cons: - Piles of logs from tree clearing sometimes just off the fairway, or just into the timber. Really doesn't affect game play much. (Edit: ongoing of course, but much of this has been removed)
- Once fall hits and leaves start to cover the ground, I'm sure there will be more penalty to bouncing out of the fairway. (Welcome to any wooded course, ever). Spring time might also find the underbrush denser.
Other Thoughts: - I played on a mixed setup of pin placements, and it was a nice variety. Just because the baskets are in a sometimes shorter "A" position, still doesn't mean it's easy..
- Stumbled into being the first one to play from the first, new concrete tees on the course. Got there early in the morning, and the crew was pulling the forms off as I got to #1. Sounds like they will be slowly replacing the paver pads on most of the course. Good luck to them, as getting concrete into the far reaches of the course will surely be an undertaking. (Edit: new concrete pads)
- Really can't say enough about the obvious amount of TLC these guys put into this course. I'm sure it's been a pain at times, but the fruits of their labor are immensely evident. (Edit: Check out the facebook page to see evidence of all of their time and effort. Including the wonderful, brand new pavilion on site.)
- Absolutely gorgeous, serene, and out-of-the-way course. I really wish I was able to spend more time here, and play it 2 or 3 times that day. It is a difficult course, and I certainly did not play my best. But I never really felt overly frustrated. How is that possible?!?! The views and comfortable feel of the course makes it possible. I'm sure I will be dreaming of some of these holes until I'm able to make a trip back again. Plus, I have a 1st-time-around score to beat...
Review Update: Rating increased from 4.5 to 5.0, and the comments regarding the following from my original review have been updated/deleted: Concrete tee pads, practice basket, new pavilion, and continued clearing of rogue branches, fallen timber, and logs. This course continues to be one of the preeminent courses in Iowa.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 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!
0 of 8 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.
1 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Great challenging course with many tee options, elevated tees, giant distance shots
Cons: gets too busy in the summer
Other Thoughts: While visiting my Grandmother on Thanksgiving, I realized that she lives 5 miles from this course. I will be visiting her more ofter knowing this. I started the course late and played the last 7 holes with lights on the discs
1 of 14 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.
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: one of the top maintained courses i have ever seen. these guys love this place and are out there every day. lots of technical shots. bring your A-game. if you are not well rounded then you will struggle all day
Cons: lots and lots of trees. you will hit them and scream obcenities. hunting int he fall. wear blaze orange. and the gates are closed in the winter months(still playable) just have to walk a bit to start.
Other Thoughts: love this place. signs mark the current position of that day. baskets move frequently. many signature holes.
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Top notch course
Pros: Course maintenance, Out of the 21 courses I've played Wildcat Bluff is by far the best up kept, cleanest course I've seen. The Wildcat Crew is on top of their game. The bright orange homemade baskets are very nice and catch discs well. Nice concrete block tee pads that are always maintained and flat. Benches and garbage cans at most holes. Clean fairways that are trimmed and mowed.
Variety, This is a unique course that offers a variety of different looks and shots. From short to long, with straight, flick, hyzer and anhyzer shots. This course also offers some very nice elevation change shots, both up hill and down hill with a very nice hole (8) across a valley. Multiple pin placements on all holes and 5 alternate tee pads. The pin placements are changed often the placement is shown by color washers. All holes are wooded but hole 1 and you'll use just about every shot in your bag, a good thing in imo. Holes 8 and 17 are holes you'll never forget.
Cons: Really no cons imo, but this course is not for beginners. Tight fairways with areas of thick trees and brush, if you don't throw accurately this course can punish you. Use bright colored discs and use spotters when needed, there are some holes that are easy to lose discs on.
Other Thoughts: When it comes to wooded courses Wildcat Bluff is top notch, very well maintained, challenging, fun and rewarding when you're on.
The Wildcat Crew is out on the course multiple times a week and are a great bunch of guys.
This is a disc golf course made by discers for discers.
7 of 8 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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