2 Helpful / 1 Not
[Insert Clever Willow Movie Quote of Your Choosing Here]
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.
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.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: A very fun course to play with friends, as you can play closest to the pin on nearly all the holes, while a few holes offer some difficult shots. The first 2 holes are well designed, but tricked me into believeing that this course would be worth playing. One or two holes you can air it out on, and this does add to the fun factor
Cons: Extremely easy, and many short holes. Confusing to find the first tee if you don't know where you are going. Not much diversity between holes. There are a lot of short holes
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Flowing Practice Course
Pros: A nice flowing 9-hole course that serves either as a practice course for experienced player or good introductory course for beginners. It runs along a park and is really well maintained. Concrete tees and great baskets that are easily spotted. Really easy to navigate around the course.
Hole 1 and 8 are the longest holes and great for the strong drivers. The rest are easily approached. Hole 9 is probably the most "difficult" hole on the course with it being behind some trees. Hole 3 is also a great ACE opportunity since it is short and downhill.
Cons: No real sense of DG etiquette here. People will just hang around a basket after they're done totally oblivious to the fact there are other people playing. Hole 9 is usually used as a practice basket by people waiting for Hole 1. I've ran into groups of 8 people which is just too much.
Other park-goers will usually be around and sometime they don't realize what you will be doing until you yell FORE. Don't expect a true challenge with the trees serving as the "obstacles," it is easy to beat it.
Other Thoughts: Be sure to get here early or you'll end up waiting on this course behind people with no sense of the game. This is a great course to bring somebody who is still new but improving on their game. If you're in the area and got some time to kill, check this course out.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 13 Not
C = As average as the come for 9 holers
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 9 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == C-
(If you play the sidewalk and beyond as OB on 7 & 9 there is a little punishment on this course. Other than that, a horrible shot is not punished any worse than an OK shot. For this reason this course is below average - a grade of C- is generous in my mind.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == C+
(1 & 8 are too long where I have no realistic chance at a 2 and tap-in 3's are routine. 5 & 9 (and 2 somewhat) are rewarding. The rest are too short to be anything but gimme 2's. 2.5 holes out of 9 that are rewarding score-wise does not make for a high fun factor in my book.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == C
(Hole 9 is the only hole that really forces you to shape your shot one way or another with any challenge factor at all. There are other holes that you have to bend your shot, but with no specificity.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == C
(The park is clean and well maintained. Nice mowed grass and litter free. Seclusion is zilch as you are in sight and earshot of houses the entire round with the exception of hole 3.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == N/A
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (149 18-hole, 91 9-hole as of late 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
2 of 15 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Great for beginners.
Nice surburan park.
Huge cement tee boxes.
Not very challenging after hole 1.
Almost every tee shot was straight.
Only 9 holes.
Other Thoughts: I won't go out of the way to play this course again.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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