17 Helpful / 0 Not
Winter Wonder Land
Pros: - Winter Park is a 27 hole behemoth of epic proportions. Massive elevation changes, brutally punishing roughs, extremely technical fairways (among the tightest I've encountered), excellent shot and hole variety, several water holes, and stunning scenery all come into play. The course can be tackled as an 18-holer by skipping the lettered holes, or as the full 27.
- Built on and around a large ski hill, the elevation changes are spectacular. Uphill and downhill shots are balanced nicely, with undulating fairways on a couple of holes. # 15 is a large downhill bomb measuring over 700 feet long.
- The risk/ reward on many holes is outstanding. Hit a good line and be rewarded with deuce and/or par opportunities. Miss and risk ending up in disc golfer purgatory. Often, a recovery shot is needed just to make it back to the fairway. Occasionally, not even a recovery shot is possible in the super thick woods lining the fairways, such as the woods to the right on #2.
- Many holes require extreme precision in order to score well. "Pinball" takes on a whole new meaning as several of the shorter length holes provide only the narrowest of gaps between trees. Hole E comes to mind.
- Shot selection is well-covered throughout. Winter Park goers should expect to utilize every disc and throw every shot in their bags.
- Red, blue, and gold tees allow discers of varying skill to enjoy Winter Park.
- Practice basket located near the donation box. Port-a-potties throughout the course as well as by the parking lot.
Cons: - The tee pads are the most obvious detraction from Winter Park's awesomeness. While I understand that concrete tees aren't an option due to other activities that take place on site, there is no getting around the fact that the tee pads are sub-optimal, and in places, even below average for natural tees. The golds are the most egregious offenders with a few tees comprised of uneven, mushy, sandy gravel.
Even a few of the better packed gravel blue tees are rutted or washed out. With the extreme technicality and (in places) lengthy distances, the less-than-stellar tee pads can only be considered a con.
- While the signage is sufficient to find your way around with a little work, the overall flow can be a bit confusing. Mountain bike trails zigzag across and along the fairways, and can easily lead you in the wrong direction. Gold tees aren't well marked and would be next to impossible to find without a guide. Several holes have long hikes between them. A few places (e.g., 13, G, H and I) are tricky even with signage.
- While the outstanding terrain remains a major asset, it can make playing the course a treacherous and exhausting affair. I'm a fairly fit young adult used to climbing all over the place on rough-terrained courses, and even I found several spots at Winter Park to be extremely tricky to navigate. If you stay in the fairway, much of this can be avoided; however, all but the best players can expect to be in the rough at some point during their round. Some efforts have been made to alleviate these problems, but even the earthen steps cut into the hillside have washed out a bit, becoming dangerous to traverse. Those not up for a major hike might want to play an easier course instead. On the other hand, those who love "adventure" golf will find Winter Park right up their alley.
- The course is pretty much closed and/or altered significantly during the winter months to accommodate the skiing/sledding portions of the park.
- A few holes play alongside roadside, skiing equipment, and maintenance buildings. This detracts somewhat from the seclusion and pristine nature vibe that surrounds much of the course.
Other Thoughts: - Don't be fooled by the lengthy "cons" section. If you love wildly challenging disc golf then Winter Park is a destination course. If tame park-style courses are more your thing, then definitely steer clear unless looking for an epic beatdown.
-Please make sure to hit up the donation box before playing. A few select individuals proposed, designed, implemented, and maintain Winter Park with their own time, money, and labor. It's obviously a labor of love and should be supported by all that play there.
- Super thanks to superberry and Erin for guiding us!!!
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: This course is very well rounded from wide open bombers to tight tight tunnels. The people that made Winter Park did a fine job. This is a course that you can play and be the only one there on a weekend no crowds.. I have only a few courses that I come back to too check my progress as a golfer and this is one of them.
Cons: No tee pads is the only thing I can think of as a con.
Other Thoughts: This is a great place to play and we are lucky here in Wisconsin to have people who take the time to make couses like this happen.
1 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: There is huge assortment of different holes requiring different shots and will really test ALL aspects of your game.
Great signage on each hole, and between holes telling you where to go if you are playing all 27 or just the 18 (or I suppose you could do only the 'extra' loops that you see fit) These 'intersections' are clearly marked throughout the course.
Great Innova Discatcher Baskets
Elevation changes are incredible. From a huge down hill 700ft ripper hole (15) to rolling hills in the WOODS I've never seen a Wisconsin course with so much elevation diversity.
I've never seen a Wisconsin course with such a monumental mix of varying holes. Tree holes, open holes, elevation holes...and mixing all of those three categories.
Cons: gravel tee pads - can't be helped the city says no, but still it gets a bit dangerous when you're teeing off on a hill and the tee ins't really level.
The great elevation changes do have their drawbacks though. A few holes in the woods are down right dangerous if there was a rain recently. These fun holes turn bad when you are grabbing trees to not fall over.
Other Thoughts: Let me start by saying that if you make the trek, which you should, play the entire 27, and play from the long tees. SO MUCH FUN
There is not a single hole that takes away from the course. If I ran the course I wouldn't change one hole. The flow is great and always keeps you guess what is coming next - in a good way.
The course itself is off the beaten path, I think that fact both helps and hurts this course. You won't find many jerk teen amateurs on this course because it is so secluded. It hurts because with more people around to play it I think that the city may drop the lack luster ski hill for a nice pay to play course focused only on DG.
Bring shoes with traction. Hiking boots maybe. Not flip flops. A bag with quad straps is recommended because of the steep hills and slippery ground, you won't want to be worried about your bag when you are concentrating on keeping your balance.
For all of you guys with the carts on wheels - leave them at home- some of the trials between holes get steep and confined in a hurry.
I applaud the people who do all the work on this course - it has potential to be a 4.5 rated course, but the city needs to release their grasp on a failing ski hill and embrace the DG.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 3 Not
One of Wisconsins best
Pros: -Oh man, the VARIETY
-incredible signage with lines, length, and special next hole location signs
-elevation...UP down UP down
-27 unique holes!
-not ONE throw away hole
-new Discatcher baskets on many holes
-almost every type of shot used
-incredible risk/reward placements for baskets
Cons: -gravel/earth tee pads
-paths to many holes were mud/clay and super slippery. almost dangerous
-many holes could use some cleaning up of twigs and branches
-some tee pads were worn heavily from rain and usage
Other Thoughts: WOW. The fun factor at Winter Park is through the roof. I don't know how many times we walked up to a tee and were like "really?wow.". Whether it be for the elevation change, the super tight tree lined shot, the super risky basket placement, or in the end a complete over water shot. Fun fun fun.
The course is on the outskirts of a super small quaint town in eastern Wisconsin, right off of Lake Michigan. It uses a ski resort and much of the hills surrounding terrain FULLY for an amazing amount of variety. One of the best I have seen. It plays almost as three separate styled courses. One in the tight trees, one through green ski hill elevation, and another in the muddy ravines.
Holes are lengthy and technical from the pro tees and shot selection comes into play very often. Many holes stand out as sig holes and that's a great sign of a course. The downhill 700' bomb, the 200' super tight tree tunnel shot with the basket behind a tree even if you make it, the extra g/h/i holes in the ravine. wow.
This course does have some cons which keep it from receiving a higher rating though. The gravel tees are just ok, and some are just plain bad. Don't know if it would be even possible to do cement seeing how it is on a ski hill. Many paths are mud and slippery on pretty steep hills. A shoe with incredible traction is a must, and the course is definitely not for those weak at heart in the exercise department. I can't imagine this course would be much fun in the spring when everything is probably mud. One hole, H I believe, I actually had to grab the basket on a muddy slope as I started to slip back down.
Much of the course needs some nature cleanup. branches, twigs, raking of the fairways. This could help make it look more presentable.
We talked about ratings on the way back from this great course and we all pretty much agreed a solid 4 is where Winter Park stands. It personally reminded me of a tighter less manicured Hickory Hills in Traverse City,Mi...which I also gave a solid 4.
To the people who work on this course, great job in design, keep it up. It is truly a nice little gem in the Wisconsin disc golf scene.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
if a single course site and yardage of only 7,915 for 27 earns a four than that is what this deserves
Pros: Read other reviews posted prior to this; I concur. I've played more than 120 in Wisconsin and many others elsewhere....this is a top flight course. Kudos to Tim. Many of the technical holes in the woods have yardages under 300 feet. Therefore, the best/gold courses at High Bridge and Lemon Lake; are comparable from next to longest tees. So, there is one level out there with longer/tougher tees; otherwise, this as good as it gets.imoh After reading designer's notes, I feel the need to add that evidentially, there is another set of gold tees that we didn't see and we were playing the middle/blue tees. Sounds like they cross fairways a bit; but, Winter may already be a 4.5.
Signs sending you to lettered holes nicely displayed and perfectly done.
Final hole requires near 300 foot shot across pond to dry land. Some friends I know refuse to attempt this one; tough shot to get to dry land at all if your length is much less than this....I call the scare factor a plus....
Tees gravel; but level, and well maintained.
Fish Hatchery a suggested visit from more than one person who has committed that time.
Cons: A couple more directional arrows elsewhere would be helpful. There is a lot of "healthy" walking here; between holes. We figured it correctly, but had one player with fairly good knowledge of course. I believe that had he not been there, we may have taken a couple of extra hikes; and has been mentioned; this is already a big "walk in the park."
Other Thoughts: Very fine course; consistent with the best in modern design. All holes constructed with good thought.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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