You'll either love it, or hate it...
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Winter Park is a 27 hole course set on and around a ski/sledding hill outside Kewaunee, WI.
Nice Discatcher baskets (yellow band), which show up quite nicely throughout the bountiful woods here. Most holes have a couple pin positions. Even a 5' shift in pin position here can completely change a hole. You'll find some very unique pin placements here, and long rollaways, hillside plateaus, and other obstacles help to guard them. One of my favorite parts of the course.
Elevation everywhere. Sometimes it's subtle, sometimes it's quite obvious, but there's a lot of it. The course basically plays between three hills. There's a lot of holes that run down in the gulleys between those hills. Also, hole 15 is a top o' the world shot, and super fun. 715' from the longs, and reachable if you hit it right.
One water carry, on the last hole. It's about 270' of carry, but with plenty of bailout areas. It feels pretty weird after all the tight, technical golf, but it's a fun way to end your round.
Two, and sometimes three, tee pads on most holes. They're natural pads, but in decent repair, as there's not a ton of traffic here. A decent amount of them are adding just distance, but here, that can change the entire complexion of a hole.
So Winter Park is a conundrum. Some people (like me) absolutely love it...others, not so much. Even from the blue tees, it's not particularly long. Winter Park beats you down with some of the tightest lines you'll ever see. If you have the imagination to see the lines, they're there. If you are used to open fields and wide fairways, you'll look at many of the holes here and think they're not fair. To me, they're awesome. You have to hone in hard off the tee, and you'll test your recovery/approach skills in ways you never have before. It's something completely different in this area of WI, but it couldn't be a better complement to other highly rated area courses.
While WP is mostly tight, wooded golf, there are a number of more open holes as well. Even on these holes, though, an errant shot will be punished. The rough here isn't thick (you'll have a hard time actually losing a disc), but it can be dense. Not a lot of undergrowth, but plenty of obstacles.
The tee signs here are decent, and give distances and hole numbers.
Cons: Navigation here can be a bit wonky, especially for first timers. Having a map will help tremendously. There are signs out that help with the lettered holes, but it certainly wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to just renumber all the holes here, to make it less confusing. Breaking up the lettered holes into a couple segments is just odd. To be fair, though...the lettered holes are some of the best on the course.
The natural tee pads are what they are. They're tough if they're wet. There was a smattering of crushed gravel on some, which helps a bit, for sure. It would be extremely difficult to ever put concrete in here, though.
Winter Park is rugged. There's no other good word for it. Play a couple rounds here, and you'll know it afterwards. There's a pretty fair amount of steep slopes to climb and descend. If Rollin' Ridge is a Corvette, then Winter Park is a an off-road Jeep.
There's some safety concerns with several mountain biking trails that wind around the property, but to be honest, I've never seen a single mountain bike out here. Also, I've only ever seen one other group out here discing while I was there, and I've always been there on Saturdays. The course isn't really around anything, and is decently far away from everything. You're definitely out in the boonies while playing here.
Other Thoughts: I love Winter Park. I usually ding courses for less than stellar tee pads and the like, but I just can't here. To me, it's a destination course. The layout, while wonky in places, is just awesome. There's holes here you just can't have in other places...it's a wonderful spot for a course. Some people will bemoan the fact that it's so rough around the edges, but to me, it feels perfectly imperfect. The holes are tough, the terrain is tough, the scoring is tough. You need to be on your game in a serious way to score well here.
If you're close, love disc golf, and have some time, you absolutely must play here. If you hate it, blame me. If you love it, tell everybody you know. Either way, you'll leave with an appreciation for it. An absolute must play.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
One of Wisconsin's Finest
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is located just outside Kewaunee but seems like you are out in the middle of nowhere. It's very quiet and peaceful here. The baskets are DISCatchers that are in good shape and caught alright. The tee pads are just crushed gravel but were mostly flat and got the job done. There are also 2 sets of tees on almost all if not all holes. They have tee signs that have a basic hole layout, distances, hole # and direction to the next tee. The signs also show or describe any OB and mention any other dangers like steep drop-offs which is very helpful. They also have many next tee signs throughout the course so navigation here is a breeze. Maps are also provided but once you find hole 1 it's a pretty intuitive layout. The course can be played as 18 or 27 holes. There are 18 numbered holes and 9 lettered holes. The lettered holes can be played in between sections of the numbered holes to make it the full 27. This sounds confusing but it's so well marked that it's not. Torque creek can come into play on many of the holes adding a water hazard and there are 2 ponds by the last 4 holes. These were both emptied when we went but if full would be a nice added element of risk. The elevation on this course is very drastic and can really affect a number of your shots. There is an excellent mix of left, right and straight shots as well as up, down and along the hillside. Most holes are more wooded but it starts and ends in more open areas. The wooded holes all have fair lines to the pin. When I say fair I don't mean wide open, many are very tight lanes but they all have lanes. For as wooded as it is it seems like it wouldn't be very easy to lose discs. The course was very clean and well taken care of. There are multiple benches throughout the course which you will need here. There also is a port o potty at the top of the hill which is nice. The course is $3/round or $5/day. Either way well worth every cent.
Cons: The tees would be better if they were concrete but as far as gravel pads these were real nice. The distances are more on the shorter side here. But with the tighter shots that's ok here. There's not much to complain about at this one, it's an all around awesome course that will challenge everyone.
Other Thoughts: This is a destination course in Wisconsin. If you're a serious golfer I'd recommend checking this one out and be sure to have enough time to play it twice at least. It's similar to Justin Trails in Sparta or Axldog Acres by Menomonie. I wish this place was closer to me because I would play it all the time, just a great, great course. And beside that there are a bunch of other excellent courses to play in this area of the state like Rollin Ridge and Silver Creek.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Best course I've played to date
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.
8 of 8 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.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Adventurous Round of Disc Golf
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.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Winter Park Funland!
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.
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