24 Helpful / 3 Not
A+ = Winter Park is perfection realized!
Pros: What I personally like and how this course (from the Blue tees) stacks up in my list of 18 (and more) hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == A+
(With narrow but fair fairways, huge hillsides for roll-aways, to natural OB's (and rustically unnatural fence-line OB's) and several holes with multiple legit paths to the basket, this course has you thinking and sweating it out at almost every turn. If the wind is blowing at all, there is no letting up at Winter Park.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == A+
(This course was designed around my game and maybe even for those with even slightly less D than me.....which will be nice as I get older after manOpause. The effects of extreme elevation change from tee to basket have been ideally designed.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == A+
(Right, left, up, down, straight, flat - this course has it all. Perfect mix of wooded holes to more open holes. The narrow holes in the pines at the top of the hill are a little repetitive and one (8 I think) is bordering on luck-inducing narrow....but they are great and fun holes. Holes 11-14 (includes G, H & I) are my favorites due to the nature of the multiple routes and variation......and their particular type of beauty.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == A+
(The beauty of this course is absolutely stunning! What is even more amazing is that it has 5 (or more) distinct "feels" that are all absolutely stunning: Tahoe-esque trails, dense prairie grass areas, northwood pinestands (where you can peek out into cornfields - knee high by the 4th of July, baby!), Appalachian beauty, and New England-eqsue manicured grass complete with split rail snake style fencing. It is so cool how you transition from one to the next and feel like you have walked into a whole new world each time. The view of Lake Michigan and the fish hatchery ponds are a nice added bonus....too bad the pond is no longer in play! Regarding seclusion, at least 16 of the holes have you feeling nicely off in nature.....which is more than you can ask for on any 18-hole course!)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == D
(From the Blues there is only one multi-throw hole....at least I consider it a multi-throw hole as I have neither the arm nor the guts to cut across the OB area to get within gimme up-n-down range.)
Other Thoughts: Special note: Winter Park has poked some holes in my rating scale.....but, it has also set the standard by which all other courses will be rated. With the bonus point for #5, it got me to a perfect score of 100. That is not a problem in itself, but I got to perfection and there is room for improvements - the biggy being more multi-throw holes. And, those are planned and half of them are already implemented (I looked at the completed ones but did not play them or grade them). What a great problem to have - a course that blew up my rating scale! The bigger problem to me is that I do not live in Kewaunee!
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 this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (150+ 18-hole, 90+ 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.....and that's the fun of things here.
24 of 27 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.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: What a nice course. Easily up there with the best that I have played.
- It offers a great variety of shots. I threw my shortest disc off the tee and my longest and everything in between. It also makes you throw left, right,and straight in a good balance.
- It has elevation which is key in being a very good course.
- It has some water which makes a course better always
- It has wide open let it rip holes as well as fairways that are no more than 5 feet wide at times while still being fair
- There are 27 holes which is 9 better than most courses
- It is secluded so you do not have to worry about it being packed or even having to wait at all
- Even though there are several paths and getting lost could be very easy, the signs tell you exactly where to go
- The course itself is very nicely maintained and has benches at most holes and a few port o pottys out on the course too
- overall this course is just super fun
Cons: - the teepads are gravel which is kind of a bummer, but in all reality i had no problems with them at all. I normally slip a lot and did not have any problems at all
- the bugs were bad especially on the loops for the extra 9
Other Thoughts: This course is an absolute must play. It is kind of out in the middle of no where, but it is worth the trip. I cannot wait to get out there and play it again. Just make sure you bring some bug spray and every disc in your bag cause you will need it.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
10 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....
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 6 Not
A very nice par 3 course
Pros: - 18 + 9 holes for variety
- A semi-private feel to it
- Fantastic scenery
- Lots of elevation
Cons: - Natural/gravel tees
- Some holes are a bit rough
- No on-site refreshments
Other Thoughts: I played the course while on vacation in August. My wife and I pulled up to the course and were pleasantly surprised to be the only ones there. I strolled around the chalet to see if there was anywhere to check in or pay green fee but it was closed. Found the drop box by the message sign. My wife decided she didn't want to play, taking her camera instead to get some nature shots as I played. She wasn't disappointed.
The course starts and ends at the base of a ski/sledding hill. The course winds its way up the hill and zig-zags through some dense forest. There are 27 holes out there, but instead of 18 holes and a separate 9, the add-on holes are played by splitting off from the official 18 and playing a loop of holes here and there. So, you can either play 18 or 27, but you can't easily just play the 9.
Along the way, there are a couple of vantage point, particularly in the upper parts of the course where you are treated to some spectacular scenery of the river valley that the course sits beside.
Overall, the course is a challenging par 3 course with nice variety and balance of shot shapes. Fairways seem to be appropriately sized for the lengths of the holes (tighter shots on shorter holes). The add-on holes are primarily finesse shots through the thicker parts of the course and are a lot of fun to throw. I wouldn't try playing some of these after it's rained, however, as there is some very steep terrain to climb and was a bit treacherous for us even when it was dry.
A high point of the round included the obligatory long downhill crusher of #15. I was kind of disappointed with the only par 4 on the course, #16, as this is basically a wide-open, throw it as far as you can and a short pitch to the basket for a drop-in 3.
It's a very good course and I will play it again next time we're in the area.
12 of 18 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.
5 Helpful / 5 Not
Two Scoops of Awesome!!!
Pros: Pro - Trees... they saved me a couple of times.
Winter Park is a challenging course to say the least and this course has everything you can think of. Hills, wooded holes, long drives, steep drop offs around some of the baskets, water hazards, and in some of the areas the wind currents can be very tricky as you transition from wooded areas, to open areas, then back to wooded areas. Plus, to top it all off... it's 27 holes!!! How many other courses can say that? A good drive can save you on some of the holes if you're not a good putter like me, but you have to be careful as some of the holes are deceivingly shorter than you think.
Cons: Con - Trees... they screwed me a couple of times.
Concrete tees would be a good addition.
Other Thoughts: Because of the variety of challenges, if you're looking to take your game to the next level... Winter Park is the place to go to as their pro tees will have you using every throw and disc that you have. However, if you're looking for a little bit more of a laid back round, the short tees ensure that you have a fun round instead of a frustrating one.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Every finesse throw you have, you will need here. Elevation, tightly wooded, all you need in a challenging course. What looks like a great drive can easily turn into a triple bogie. tough pin placements make for challenging putts.
Cons: Gravel tee pads could be better in some areas. Fairways in the woods could use some grooming. Could be a few longer holes. Tim kopacs is tiny! Mainly the course is just missing length. The gold tees just make you want to throw up in your mouth for they just make you need to be lucky or throw 900 feet. Not fun at all. Did i mention how tiny tim is! dont get me wrong though Winter is amazing!!
Other Thoughts: If you live in Wisconsin or even anywhere and love to disc, Winter is a must. The creator/designer/caretaker Tim is a disc golf fanatic who keeps adding new things every year. Get to winter and bang hot young woman
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: One of the best courses I have played! Where do I begin? Plenty of skill shots and a nice variety of distance shots as well. The addition of the 9 letter holes makes an already challenging course that much harder. The yellow rims on the Innova baskets makes it very easy to see where your shooting. Also hole seventeen is one of the most unique shots I have seen..... a long mandatory dog leg around an old log cabin. A beautiful hole that challenges your distance hyzer shot.
Cons: I don't have many cons to this course other than the obvious. Its well known that Winter Park is a ski hill in the winter so it lacks concrete tees. That isnt a problem for me except for hole 15. The tee gives you no chance to have proper footing for a good power drive, although I will say that is has improved since I played it last in the spring.
Other Thoughts: The reason I started playing disc golf is because I love hiking. Winter park offers you a good work out on rough terain along with beautiful scenary. If your out of shape and don't like the rugged forest courses this course is not for you. If you like a course that captures the true essence of disc golf in all of its natural glory..... GO OUT AND PLAY IT TOMORROW
10 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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