Best course I've played to date
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Tons of elevation change, More than I have ever seen at any other disc golf course for that matter.
-Some heavily wooded, super tight and narrow fairways that offer tons of challenge and demand nothing short of an on-target throw.
-Punishing roughs that will cost you at least one or two throws to get out of trouble. There are a couple holes that have a "pinball golf" feel to them as they are so insanely wooded that a lot of luck comes into play, but that adds to the fun. Most wooded holes can be shot well if you have a good finesse game though. I have a lot of respect for courses that punish bad throws and force players to pay for their mistakes and after a round here I have a great deal of respect for this course.
-Extremely straightforward navigation with plenty of signs and obvious foot paths that clearly lead to the next hole
-Good signage that illustrates each hole well
-Alternate tee pads for each hole
-There is an option to play this as an 18 or a 27 hole course (You will want to play the 27, trust me)
-Beautiful forest setting that is quiet and secluded. The only sounds we heard was the sounds of animals in the woods and water flowing over the nearby dam on the Kewaunee river. We also heard tons of gunshots but that is because it was opening day of deer season.
-If you like to hike, This place is for you. After a round here I legitimately felt that I deserved a break before we hit another course in the area. Tons of uphill and downhill hikes through the woods, which was a big plus for me.
-There is a pretty good mix of holes here in the sense that after you played an open hole or two, you were back in the woods. That is somewhat relieving after some of the wooded holes. I absolutely loved the heavily wooded ones but I welcomed a couple open holes here and there in between the tougher ones.
-Hole 15 is an absolute bomber, If you shoot the long tee you are looking at huge downhill throw that clicks in at a hair over 700 feet. Awesome!
-There are not a ton of huge, long holes here but what this course offers instead of tons of distance is challenging, fun, shorter holes. We shot blue tees when we played here and while there were only three or four holes with distances that are above my skill level I feel that just about anyone of any skill level will be working hard to make good shots here. Players with a good finesse game will foresee themselves shooting plenty of deuces but the trees may have other plans for you. Almost all of the open holes are deuceable but in the woods it is another story.
Cons: -Natural tee pads, I wholeheartedly realize that this is being picky but it is a con. They were in rough shape when I played here and on a few holes they were almost unusable. A course of this stature deserves some sort of solid pad option.
-The last few holes were very disappointing after all of the other fantastic holes at this course. Perhaps they could re-work those holes into the woods as well? I think that would be a good change but I can also understand that from a space constraint standpoint it is likely not possible as this park is also used by mountain bikers.
Other Thoughts: This is the slickest course I've played to date. No doubt about it. I pretty much loved every second of it and I am already planning another trip back up this way to play this one and a few of the other awesome courses in the area. I really wanted to play Rollin Ridge but it was closed because it was hunting season so that is just another reason to make the 5 hour drive back up to WI from IL. This course is without a doubt a destination course and to sweeten the deal there are multiple other courses in the area that are also rated very highly.
I wish this course was closer to my house, I could spend an entire weekend at this course, it has so many things around it that I am into. I also spend a lot of time mountain biking single-track trails and I also fish about as much as I disc golf and the river across the street is loaded with salmon and steelhead at the right times of the year.
In response to the course designers comments. The last few holes are by no means any reasons to skip this course. The last two holes are plenty interesting. They are just different than all the other holes. This is a must play course, everything about this course is epic.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: superberry
There has been a bad rap about the last three holes in the past few reviews. Don't let these deter you, these holes add to the variety that makes winter park what it is. While these are technically the ONLY three holes that are not wooded, they are not throw-aways.
Hole 16 is 480' from the blue tees with an OB road the entire length of the left side and an elevated pond on the right to avoid and shape your throw.
Hole 17 is a 90 degree dogleg that offers a slick deuce opportunity if you can punch through the trees, or throw a 400' spike hyzer over 75' tall pines. If you're traying to cut the corner, anything inside the left side fence or short of the pine tree needles is OB. If you play the safe dogleg route, don't go too far (over 350') or you will be OB in a pond.
Hole 18 is 300' entirely across a pond. Not a particularly difficult throw, but a mental challenge.
Adventurous Round of Disc Golf
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Awesome variety in hole design
- Extremely high fun factor
- Good use of terrain (could have been better)
- Nice elevation changes
- High risk/reward greens
- Challenging, yet fair
- Navigation was not a huge problem
- Excellent Atmosphere
- #15 is an awesome hole, one of my favorites of all time
Cons: - Teepads are rough, probably worse when wet
- Some of the walks between holes were a little long
- Navigation was a little confusing at the letter loops.
- Layout could have been a little better planned so the course ended with #15.
Other Thoughts: Overall, Winter Park is definitely a destination course. It is set on a ski and tubing hill and lends itself to being an exciting round of disc golf. With that said, since it is on such terrain it can be extremely tiring and may take a longer amount of time to play than a typical 27 hole course. Bring well supported shoes and plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.
It has all the good making of a disc golf course in the course design aspect. It has all types of shots, from tight technical shots, to wide open bombers. Anhyzers and hyzers, uphills and downhills. The designer made good use of the natural terrain to offer players with high risk reward decisions. Roll away greens and thick rough adds to the challenge. A definite positive aspect of the course design is that almost every hole offers a clear and fair line to the basket.
The atmosphere here is nearly unbeatable, it is secluded and extremely rustic and provides an excellent escape from urban civilization.
Teepads are definitely the biggest issue with this course. With the extreme terrain in some spots well constructed concrete teepads could really make a huge difference. Furthermore, with the erosion on some of the natural teepads it is a borderline safety hazard to be throwing from them with a run up.
With a little bit more navigation assistance, a few adjustments to the layout that allow players to finish on current hole #15, and concrete teepads Winter Park could easily be a 5/5 for me. It is definitely worth the trip.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Winter Park Funland!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Winter Park is located on a small ski hill area. The course has pretty much everything you'd want in terms of land. Water, hills, open, woods, and ravines.
Practice basket near #1 tee.
Innova Discatcher baskets are in good shape. Each had the hole # or letter on them.
The tee signs although homemade printed were very nice. They were located on the standard middle tee.
No 2 holes were the same. Tons of variety! 27 holes of golf. I like to golf!!!
Hole #15 is one of the funnest holes that I've played. What a bomber down the hill.
Hole #18 has some nice pucker factor with the water in play.
This course was not crowded at all. We played on a perfect Saturday afternoon. We saw 1 group when we arrived and 4 others when we left. Freaking awesome!
Cons: The #1 issue I have are the tee pads. I'd consider giving this a 5 review if all the tee pads were taken care of. Many were uneven and very short. Some had trees very close. Luckily I got a dry time to play the course.
Most holes had 2 tees and some had 3. Some were in even worse shape than the regular tees and weren't marked by tee signs.
Navigation can be a little tricky in a few places especially from 13 to G. The letter holes can make it tricky.
Although this coruse has long tees I probably wouldn't play them since they aren't marked. The standard course is more of a traditional par 3 course lacking of par 4's and 5s.
It's too bad more of the ski hill itself was not in play. The area below hole #10 looked awesome!
Other Thoughts: If you are a hard core mountain biker there are some areas trails at this park.
I did not take this into consideration in my rating. If I were to return and play this course I'd play hole #16, 17, 18 then head over to #1. I think #15 should be the finishing hole on this course. What an awesome hole!
What a great day of golf. We stopped by Brillion, WI (Rolling Ridge) on the way up. 2 great courses in 1 day.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) amazing design
2) great use of all the hills, ski runs, and woods
3) variety, variety, variety (great mix of short, long, left, right, straight, up, down, and flat holes...this course will make you use every shot in your bag and then some)
4) very well maintained
5) practice basket
6) nice Discatcher baskets
7) very descriptive signs
8) great risk reward on most all of the holes
Cons: 1) although they offered great grip the gravel tee pads. I understand that cement pads aren't possible because of the skiing in the winter but I still am not the biggest fan of the gravel.
2) a little tough to navigate the first time thru the course, I'd have been lost about 6 times if I'd not been with someone who was familiar with the course my first time thru.
Other Thoughts: Amazing, amazing course, I'll certainly be playing this again and again even though I live an hour away. Hole 15 is just the most awesome hole I've ever played, 710ft with a hundred or so feet of elevation drop, it's just amazing. At ~8,100 feet from the blue tees and probably 10,000-11,000 feet (maybe even more) of total walking distance it is a grueling hike, you will sleep well the night after you play this course. And lastly...EVERYONE MUST PLAY THIS COURSE AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR LIFETIME!!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Winter Park is an amazing piece of property with an equally amazing course. It has 27 total holes and 9 of them are additional holes that can easily be skipped if you only have time to play 18 holes. There are two tees per hole and a few holes have a third (gold) tee which helps the course cater to a wide variety of skill levels. A few of the baskets have alt placements as well. The course has gravel tees but they were about as flat as they could be and didn't give me any problems.
There are big elevation changes on many of the holes, the shot selection is excellent, there are challenging putting greens, a good balance of open vs. wooded holes, a great variety of hole lengths and some risk/reward that will make you think about how to play some of the holes.
While there are plenty of excellent holes, I believe hole 15 is the signature hole here, a 715ft bomb from the top of the hill all the way down to the field below. And did I mention the view from up there? Awesome!
Something worth noting is there were a number of holes where I walked part of the fairway to find the basket before I went back to throw. I consider it a pro because on challenging, well designed holes the basket can't always be visible from the tee.
Navigation is fairly easy with a printed map and there is good signage so I had no problem at all navigating the course. Had I been without the map it could have been a little tricky in a few places.
Cons: I don't have any major cons at this course.
One small con is the walks between a few of the holes are fairly lengthy. The paths are fairly well marked so that's a definite plus.
Hole 18 had to be moved per request from the park which is unfortunate since it creates more unnecessary walking.
Other Thoughts: I thought long and hard about this, but in the end I just couldn't give this course a 5 for two reasons. Independently they aren't such a big deal, but together I'm sorry to say they're enough to drop my rating of this course to a 4.5.
1. Luck. There are a few holes where the fairway is so narrow that those holes rely way too heavily on luck rather than skill. No not saying narrow fairways are bad, but at some point they get to be so small or have so many trees in the way that a skilled shot has just a good a chance as a lucky one.
2. Pro par 4's. There are no holes on this course I'd consider a par 4, unless you're playing from the gold pad. If we're going to talk about being the best of the best, I think par 4's and landing zones add another element to a course which helps to elevate it to 5 disc status IMHO.
Again, those things are pretty minor and don't stop this course from getting plenty of well deserved attention. This incredible course is well worth going out of your way to play. It is fun, challenging and I can't wait to go back and play it again!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Course is set on and around a modest ski hill, and makes great use of the available land. Pretty much divided between holes on the hill/in the forest, and holes out in open land. There are designated mountain bike trails throughout, but they are pretty much out of the way of the discing.
- The holes outside of the forest/ski hill have a ton of character on their own. The most memorable is #15, a gigantic downhill bomber that will have you reaching for a driver again and again. Both the length and height of this shot are major factors; bigger arms may even need to take it easy for fear of overshooting the large, elevated green. Other holes have plentiful OB and good length to make things challenging. #1 has a road on the right (and a cool elevated basket), while #17 has a fenced-off OB area (though you can go the risky route and try to go over the OB area). Holes #16 and #18 have some deep retention ponds that play OB (whether there is water in there at the time or not); #18's is definitely in play and will have many players laying up. None of these are throwaway holes, in any way, and are all challenging and enjoyable.
- A good amount of holes are in the forest, but with clear fairways. The trick with these is to stay on the fairways at all costs, as they are typically bordered by tree-filled, sloping, tough jail on both sides. #10 is especially dangerous; a huge, huge slope behind the basket will devour anything too long. Good mix of shots; from a upward left turning spiral on #4, to a downward right turning spiral on #11. Most others just need a straight shot that sits down, distance and accuracy are equally important.
- Then, there is the deep forest. An overabundance of skinny trees on almost every hole, making each and every tee shot a clinic in accuracy. Even more important is staying out of jail, which is nearly impossible on any errant shot. On each hole, a bad drive is practically impossible to recover from; you have got to fight your way back into the fairway for a chance to get a look at the basket. Add in the occasional crevasse, rollaway green, OB creekbed, and some other nasty rough, and the seemingly easy holes become nightmarish. Plenty of arrow straight, super tight tunnel shots, some with a little curve at the end; an uphill anny s-curve, a downhill hard right dogleg, hard lefts, there are very, very few holes that don't have a tricky line in one way or another.
- Water really does come into play in many spots, thanks to the retention ponds, a small creek, and a wet crevasse. Great hazards, really changes the feel and difficulty of the affected holes.
- Extra bonus, with an additional 9 holes that can be played (A-I). When I played, we did all 27 the first time. We were running out of daylight on the second round, so we just played 18. Either way, the course flowed great and was designed exceptionally well to accommodate the extra holes.
- Great tee signs and baskets, tee pads are in good shape as well. Navigation of both the 18 and 27 hole layout is ridiculously easy, thanks to many informational signs.
Cons: - While a ton of the holes are super technical, they are also super short. A lot of them will yield an easy deuce if you can throw it around 200' on a straight line. Granted, there are tons of trees, hazards, and slopes to terrorize you, but they can be avoided with a controlled finesse shot.
- Not many multi-shot, landing zone type of holes here. That is, a few holes can be legitimate par 4's (especially from the golds), but it is mostly due to length over anything else. The one exception that sticks out is #11 golds, which is an elevated teepad, over the ski hill, and into the woods.
Other Thoughts: - This is one of the most complete courses I have ever had the joy to play. Super technical holes in the forest, with lots of elevation changes and some very nasty hazards. Long holes with additional hazards in the open, including a massive downhill shot. Holes in between that let you open it up, but will punish bad aim. Each hole has great character, and are almost all unique (a few tunnel shots are pretty similar). 18 or 27 hole layout, with multiple teepads, makes it a great place for almost any type of player who has some experience. The short hole lengths have you foaming at the mouth to deuce, while the tight lanes will easily keep you from getting a par. The only, only reason I can't give this a 5/5 is the lack of multi-shot holes that *absolutely* require laying up. But, that is my own personal preference. If you don't like that sort of thing, this could be, and should be, your favorite course of all time.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 1 Not
Very fun course
Pros: This is a very fun course with lots of fun variety and challenge. It does a great job of using the elevation of the ski hill to create some very fun and tough holes with big elevation changes, and some with tricky greens that can lead to a nasty roll away. There is a nice mix of tightly wooded holes, grassy fairways defined by woods on either side, and some more open shots where you can air it out a little bit.
You'll need many different shots to be successful here, as there is a great variety of up/down hill along with a nice mix of hole lengths and shapes. It feels pretty balanced for righty and lefty players, and makes you hit left and right turning holes of several different lengths.
There are two tees on every hole, the original blue tees with nice signs, and a shorter set of tees to make it a little more beginner friendly. The baskets are in decent shape and catch well. The flow of the course is good, and there is good signage to direct you around the course and make it clear how to play the original 18 or the full 27. There are basic course maps available to take with you that are nice to have.
Cons: The tees aren't great. The gravel tends to get rutted and spread out, and doesn't provide the best footing. Some of the tees were quite sloped and made for precarious tee offs on longer holes. There were only signs at one set of tees, so you had to do a little extra walking at times to see the tee signs.
The big downhill bomb is a very fun hole, it's too bad there weren't one or two more using the elevation to make such fun holes. The last few holes are a bit of a letdown after the rest of the course, and after #15 in particular. 16 and 17 just play around the flat grassy area, and 18 plays back up the hill to near 15s short tee leaving a bit of a walk to the car.
Other Thoughts: This is a very nice course, and worth a trip to play especially in combination with Silver Creek nearby. It's a tough course that will challenge most players from the longs, and isn't easy from the shorts. Beginners might find it a little tough and punishing, while more experienced players will need to bring all their shots to be successful here.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
LOVE this place
Pros: -Grub & Pub less than a mile away
-27 holes(either 18 or 27 hole configuration)
- Nice Innova DisCatchers
- Some open holes( to just rip it on) but most holes have tight fairways that are heavily wooded(real technical)
- Play more like a private course my first time in over 8 trips that i've actually seen another group playing....
- shot selection and disc placement key element to do good here
-Signage is very helpful and informative
- one hole has water in play(even tho it was drained,when i played)
- lots of holes have alt. pin placements
- 7 Gold tees making the course even tougher!!!!!!
Cons: - gravel tees
- can be a bit muddy when it rains
- no bathrooms on site just portapoties
Other Thoughts: the gravel tees are better now.. they have level a bunch of them off... actually can see some of the gold tees.... this course is a monster, congrats to neone who goes Under..... i play it at least 10 times a year... course takes bout 3 hours to play so no for the unconditioned....
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Great time at winter park
Pros: Winter was my first time playing a ski hill course and I loved it., especially coming from flat IL. The course designer did a fabulous job with this course. This course had a great variety of shots which is one of the main things I look for in a course. I love having to use all of my discs instead of just roc and putt. It has open, tunnel, elevation!, pins on slopes, wooded, multi routes on a hole, water, mandos, and much more. A practice basket by the first tee and parking lot was also always a plus, especially since the 1st basket is 420' away lol. Another plus is alt. tees although I only had time to play the blue. There are also gold tees, see the bulliten board for more info at the course. It's great how you play the course easily as a 18 or 27 layout. The extra 9 are loops of the 18 so you can easilly play either layout. Great signage makes this possible.
The signage is top notch with tee locations, distances, routes, basket location, rough location, and especially the names of the holes. I love that every hole has a name and a amusing description on the sign.
Some of my faves from the course inclusde #1's pin, in rocks and elevated AND tucked into the woods. It's great how you're punished by a downhill slope off the fairway of 2 and behind it's basket to the right. 3 is awsome, tunnel with elevation up then down and then up again with the pin well protected and on a slope. 8 is a pretty rediculous tunnel lol. 15 for the awsome hilltop shot. I feel they could even put a tee farther back because even though it is 750 feet the elevation makes it pretty easy to throw really far. I threw it about 30 feet short and at that time I only threw like 350' flat. I think the big guns could use an even longer hill shot lol. 18 is a smooth 300' over water. Hole 8d is also really great, check out the course pics although they dont do this beautiful course justice.
Cons: Tees are the main issue why I wouldn't give it a 5. The tees are just gravel and some are in dangerous places where if you follow through off the tee you could be rolling down a hill. If the tees were a couple feet back or if some dirt mounds could be put in front of some tees that would be great.
It is not kid friendly although they have good short tees the walk will be too much for most little guys.
Other Thoughts: Make a donation, the guys out here do a fantastic job. I'm sure I will be here again as I have family in the area.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
Roughing it in the Rough
Pros: Simply amazing course.... the views, elevation change and sheer number of shots is astounding...
Excellent example of risk vs. reward design...
(When applicable) the course is in excellent shape, fairways mowed, rough trimmed.... but then there's the woods...
The woods... it's just well, EVIL... in a great way... I have never enjoyed having a course kick my a**, stomp me while I'm down, and then kick me more.... I can see TOP PROS enjoying a round on this course...
I should add that benches have been added on about 9 holes... according to my buddies, these were put in over the summer..
Cons: We played the course after a few days of rain...
First off, the terrain in general is NOT for casual players, especially the "new" 9 (ie letter holes).... this is one of the roughest hikes I've ever done, even worse than the Rocky Mountains...
The tees are HORRIBLE, bad lie at best, slip and fall down a ravine at worst, I have NEVER seen a course with such potential for self injury as here...
Most tees, your group (I played with a threesome) can't fit near the tee...
The terrain (that makes this course so great) can be downright deadly!!... a few walks in particular stick out... hole B to C... really, I have to climb that!!!... Pay attention to where you walk!
Other Thoughts: I played this course under less than optimal circumstances (severely injured lower back 3 days prior to playing, played with a back brace on, day after fresh rain....)
The course is an ABSOLUTE MUST PLAY!!!!!!!
The terrain is INTENSE, the shots/course is AMAZING!!!!!
The course NEEDS HELP! I understand concrete pads are out of the question, but the tees could at least attempt to be level.... there NEEDS to be some handrails/stairs on the course...
now I'm a stickler for amenities.... (tee pads, benches, bathrooms) and despite the shortcomings (Pads, safety) this course is STUNNING!!!!
I'm rating it a 4.5 because the course/land is so good! It gets -1.5 for tees/safety, and still comes out to the best course I've played (well, this or Valpo as of 10/09).
I'm going to paraphrase a line I see used w/Nockamixion alot... Everything that makes this course so good, also makes it evil.
I'll add more later, (we rushed through the course to beat the dark, and I didn't have time to take in all the details) bottom line, PLAY IT!!!!
* edit 10/23/09
In retrospect, my cons may seem harsh, very harsh... I know the locals are working their butts of on improving this course. I am eagerly awaiting playing it again next summer... the pros FAR out weigh the cons...
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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