A little variety
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Willow Stream Park is another one of those Chicagoland 9ers, but I'll have to give the designers some credit on this one. Despite not having a lot to work with, they made a decent course. The key to that is that there is some variety in the shots. They used basically the one hill they had to work with for a 400' uphill opening shot. #2 uses the hill to give you a blind up and down shot, and #3 is a slightly downhill ace run. The course flattens out a bit from there, but the hole distances go back and forth from 220' to a 428' air-out shot. You end up with four <250' holes, two holes between 250' and 300', one 300' shot and two 400'+ shots. That helps mix up an otherwise unremarkable course. The site is lightly wooded, but holes #7 and #9 at least make you miss a few trees. The ace run on #3 uses some evergreen trees to force the RHBH hyzer line. It's not a huge challenge, but there is enough going on here to keep a round fun.
The course has the signature Buffalo Grove ginormous tee pads that are big enough to park a semi with a trailer on, so there is good footing off the tee. The course has serviceable DGA baskets in good condition, and the grounds seemed well maintained. I don't recall the tee signs but I don't recall hating the tee signs so I'm going to assume they were OK. The course flows around in a circle so it is easy to follow and you end up right back where you started.
Cons: The site doesn't have a lot of potential, so while the design does a good job of taking advantage of what the site has it still is just a so-so course. The course is lightly wooded, so you can basically throw RHBH hyzers all day. Other than the distances of the longer holes, there just isn't much challenge to the course.
Like most other parks in this area, there is a popular and heavily used walking path that winds thorough and conflicts with several holes. You have to be prepared to wait and let walkers/joggers clear the area, which is tough since the course is popular and often backed up with players.
The tee for #4 is too close to #3's basket.
The course winds around a wooded spot. It seems like maybe some of the pins could have been tucked into the woods to take advantage of that and increase the challenge of the course a bit.
Other Thoughts: I find Willow Stream to be on the better side of Chicagoland 9ers, but in the end it is still a classic Chicagoland 9er. The design does a pretty good job of utilizing what the site has to offer, but the site doesn't have much to offer. The course has some fun elements to it, so it should be an attractive spot for local recreational players. That's about it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
[Insert Clever Willow Movie Quote of Your Choosing Here]
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Willow Stream's 9-hole course plays up and over a small knoll then around a small patch of woods, seemingly doing its best to bring as many sidewalks into play as possible. This is suburban disc golf sharing a bustling neighborhood park with a multitude of other activities. The course plays next to people's backyards on a few holes.
- Elevation. The first three holes play on a grassy knoll. Nothing to get excited about, but it adds a much welcomed 3rd dimension. #1 starts off slightly uphill with a few smallish trees to avoid on the way up. #2 offers a blind up-over-and-down shot as the knoll peaks and then drops off before reaching the pin. Using up the remaining elevation, #3 is a slightly downhill ace run. A stand of pines protect the basket from the front and left, forcing a RHBH hyzer shot.
- GINORMOUS tee pads. These things are super wide, super long. The standard signage (as well as an obvious flow) makes navigation a breeze.
- A good mix of short ace runs (#'s 3, 4, and 6) and more challenging distances (#'s 1, 5, and 8).
Cons: - Willow Stream is a crowded community park. The course follows the walking paths on many holes. Be aware of walkers and share the park. These are the type of setups that make me nervous about people getting hit. Exercise caution.
- #4's tee is pretty damn close to #3's basket. Anyone going long on #3's short downhill acerun puts #3's tee directly in the killzone.
- Goose and dog poop.
Other Thoughts: - This course wasn't bad, had some fun shots (#3 stands out in the fun-factor department), but the park was super busy on a cold icy early spring day. Our group waiting several times for walkers. I cannot imagine this gets better during the summer.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Baskets, signs, and tee pads are all good.
Course circles a patch of woods as you play around them.
Some good use of elevation on a hole or two.
Was well maintained and clean.
Easy to follow flow of the course.
Cons: Course has few obstacles to throw around.
The course was crowded when I went and it was not worth the wait to play the holes this course has to offer.
Course is very short and really does not pose much of a challenge to players intermediate and up.
Other Thoughts: I played here with my girlfriend and it was fun, but I would not come back by my own doing. I would not recommend this course to anyone who has played for over a year.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Another Chicagoland niner
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Nice park
Large tee pads
Good use of elevation
Good signage trees provide obstacles
Nice distance variety
Very hard to lose a disc
Cons: When there are swim meets holes 1 and 9 are closed
Nothing stands out.
All holes relatively straight.
Only beginner course not to much challenge here at all.
Other Thoughts: I saw woods here as well if they could expand it and make it 18 holes. This course would have more variety and be more desirable.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Pros: -Nice Concrete Tees
-Trees making it more challenging, yet not annoying
-Nice elevation changes on some holes (1-3)
-More challenge added with the near requirement to throw a nice hyzer/anhyzer
-Variety in distances for each hole
-Great for Beginners
Cons: -Potential on hole 9 to throw it into a public pool with one slip of a throw
-Usually pretty crowded
-Some tees don't have signs (anymore) showing par/distance
Other Thoughts: Great for beginners. The distances for par are a little short than other courses I've been on, so it makes for an easy birdie/eagle. However, still probably my favorite course to play.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Has some elevation changes, good challenging placement of several of the baskets behind trees. Some fun short holes that if you get around the trees have an opportunity for acing. Do not have to worry about losing discs. Beautiful park.
Cons: Only nine holes, and somewhat easy.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Crowded Beginner 9 Bagger
Pros: Willow Stream is a located in the center of a nice park. It has mild rolling terrain on the first 3 holes and the rest is flat as a pancake. There are a few scattered trees and very little rough comes into play.
The tee pads are absolutely HUGE! I have never seen bigger concrete tee pads. You can park an RV on these bad boys.
The baskets are in good shape.
There are adequate tee signs on every hole.
There is a decent variety of distances on this course. 1 hole-under 200ft. 5 holes -200ft-300ft. 2 holes 400ft+
Excellent beginner course. Very few obstacles. and easy to navigate. Very difficult to lose a disc.
Cons: This course is super popular and very busy. Be prepared to wait. On top of that there is a super busy walking path that comes into play.
It's a very wide open course with very few obstacles.
Moving a few baskets into the woods or farther back behind obstacles could add some much needed difficulty and variety to this course. Those holes included 2, 3, 4, 6, & 7.
This course will be very repetitive in shot selection. I throw a right hyzer on 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, & 9.
Other Thoughts: If you play on/over the walking path out of bounds you can add a little difficulty to this course.
There is a nice pool right next to the park. It has a pretty sweet water slide. Twin Creeks Park is right up the street and is another great beginner course.
Might sound crazy but I know a player who threw and Epic thumber on hole #8 for an Ace. Absolutely sick hole in 1.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Bring your Ace game
Pros: My favorite thing about this course is its location in a very nice park with lots more besides disc golf. There are baseball fields, soccer fields, a community pool, basketball courts, a bike/walking path, and a playground. Because Willow Stream Park has so many nice features, it is very well maintained. Signs and tees are great! In fact, the tees are bigger than any I've ever played on before.
There is decent challenge in distance on two of the holes with hole 1 being 390' uphill and hole 8 being roughly 420'
The trees on this course force newer righ hand backhanded throwers to work on straight shots or anheisers.
Cons: Because it is such a nice park, Willow Stream often attracts quite a lot of people, and unfortunately the bike path of the park goes through many of the course's holes. Makes for a slow 9 holes.
Although some of the distances are challenging, I remember coming to Willow Stream as a new disc golfer and finding the distances of the shorter holes too short even then.
Other Thoughts: If you live in within 5 miles of Willow Stream, there aren't a lot of good courses to be played. As a resident of Palatine, I often choose to go to Willow Stream over my home course because it is a more enjoyable experience. A sidenote:
*The course has a random doubles league that plays on Monday nights at 6:00. They use alternate tees and therefore, on these nights, the course becomes very congested.
*Wind is of medium strength
*New waterslide to the left of hole 9 is a recipe for disaster... be sure to throw your discs safely away from it! (as if you wouldnt be able to determine that when you actually go)
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Willow Stream is one of the many nine hole courses that dot the Chicagoland area and it shares many features with the stereotypical area course: mostly open, fairly easy, and good for newer players. The course does have a few nice features such as elevation on a few holes - We're not talking ski-hills here and the majority of the park is pretty flat even by midwest standards, however, the designers have done a nice job incorporating what elevation murmurs there are. Hole three is probably the most interesting in this respect because it not only has a nice downhill pitch to it but it also has a pretty view.
Cons: Challenge: The course pictures tell most of the 'con' story here, this place is wiiiide open. Rarely will the player getting ready to tee have to consider anything more than what disc will be appropriate for the distance of the shot and what the wind is doing. After that, throw a hyzer, turnover, roller, whatever really - there isn't anything but air out there unless you really shank one!
Busy: Other reviewers have commented on the course being crowded with disc golfers, I have not experienced this (having only played in late fall/winter) but I have encountered many non-disc golf users while playing because the fairways are so close to other activities. Keep a heads up especially near the walking and biking paths so that you aren't shooting when someone is biking or running towards you.
Other Thoughts: Amongst the ocean of nine hole courses in the Chicagoland area, Willow Stream is a relatively little fish. There aren't many aspects of challenge here and the replayability of the course is very low. Newer players will likely enjoy the course because of the openness and low liklihood of losing discs but experienced players will be disappointed by the lack of challenge.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Crowded beginner-friendly 9 holer
Pros: -As a fairly basic course without too many hazards to watch out for and not incredibly long this is a good course for beginners to learn the game on.
-Giant cement teepads are in great condition (almost unnecessarily big).
-Elevation on first 3 holes adds some difficulty (1 is a long uphill shot, 2 has a reservoir-like area to the right, and 3 is a short downhill shot around a decent sized tree in the center that I like)
-Being more on the open side versus wooded, good winter golf location and nearly impossible to lose a disc on.
-Decent baskets and signage.
-Ample parking, and course loops around right back to hole 1/parking lot (easy navigation)
Cons: While this is one of the courses I learned on and play the most often due to location, the negatives pile up. I want to rate it higher and I do enjoy getting some rounds in here, just cannot rate it higher for the following reasons.
-My biggest gripe is due to the beginner-friendly nature of this course. The course gets CROWDED (sometimes you have to wait for 4 groups til you can tee off and pace can be slow). Highschoolers and beginners flood the course, which I wouldn't mind because I want the game to spread, but groups of 8 who are slow and have no etiquette annoy me.
-Course is short and overall boring. Holes 1 and 8 are really the only holes where big arms can let it rip. I don't mind short courses if they're technical, but this course is on the boring side and only uses the woods on the borders. It'd be nicer if they'd utilize the woods a little more with a few wooded tunnel shots.
-Safety-Bike path with oblivious bikers/runners crosses holes 4,5, and 7 in particular. How there have not been incidents similar to the recent problems at Lombard blows my mind. The soccer fields can pose some safety issues on holes 4 and 5 but nothing major in my opinion as long as you don't shank it to the left
-Layout does not force any good RHBH hyzer routes. Open holes you can throw whatever. Shorter/tighter holes favor a RHFH or RHBH anhyzer.
-Pool along hole 9 can have some annoying music sometime and can affect your shot if you shank it to the left.
Other Thoughts: Overall a decent 9 hole course for beginners or to use as practice. Course is set in a multi-use community park that has tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, running/bike path and pool. The course itself loops around some woods. As a RHFH thrower who relies on accuracy over distance, I like 6 and 7 which are short holes with a few trees to get around. Wind can be a factor at his course as well. While I still enjoy playing there it can get boring at times, but there's not many decent courses in this area, so it's better than nothing if you live nearby.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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