NE Wisconsin= Disc Mecca
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: GB Phil G here. Just thought I'd tell the world that Tim Kopacz, the dedicated creator of Winter Park has moved to Marquette, luckily for Marquette he will bring his mad scientist dg course creation skills with him. When he left he gave me the wheel for Winter Park.
Winter Park is tough. It covers a lot of ground on an east facing river valley hillside full of ridges and ravines. The trees are thick, the ground is full of roots and plants. Proper footwear is important to deal with the hills. There's poison ivy on the hillsides and stinging nettle in the valleys. Its got bugs, pine trees, thorn bushes, and probably some hidden barbed wire. Winter park has all the features, over the water, through the woods, across the meadow and off the top of the hill. Be sure to read the tee signs, they explain a lot. The tee pads are natural; expect uneven loose and short approaches.
So here is what you can expect to see now that I'm the caretaker. The course will remain tough as nails, an adventure style disc golf course with some of the hardest holes around. The tee pads are the number one priority, they will remain natural. Rocks will be used as a border to level and lengthen tee pads, crusher dust will be the surface. The goal is to create a tee pad that is tournament worthy. They'll be great. Navigation will improve with more signs pointing to the next hole. Eventual tee sign upgrade. Ones that depict where blind baskets are and which pin placement.
There are winter basket placements and summer placements. The hardest layout is after Thanksgiving weekend when several baskets move into the woods and off the ski hill. The easiest layout has typically been after July 4th. By then people are wanting some of those easier birdies again. The seven gold pads have not been maintained.
Please note that while the course is playable in the winter it is CLOSED anytime the ski hill is in operation. The lift and tubing hill run on weekends and what not.
Please feed the donation tube. Any amount is appreciated. It goes to winter park disc golf where it is saved for a major improvement; such as rubber pads or an extra nine baskets. Thank you very much and enjoy Winter Park.
Other Thoughts: Ofcourse I rated it 5.0. I would. I rate every grueling disc golf course high.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Variety and Scenic
Pros: I just finished a week long stay in town with the designer and played this course a number of times! Two 27 hole rounds a day sometimes, all within four consecutive days, and in the heat and humidity! We played short tees, long tees, 18 hole layout, 27 hole layout, and some modified "wooded" and "open" layouts. I couldn't get enough. I came from MN and this course blew me away. You start out bombing a 400'+ shot along the road and with a ski hut in the way. Then the baskets is tucked in the woods up on a boulder pile! The course just kept getting better too! Personally I love the greens all tucked on the sides of hills and near the edge of woods. I'm not the best putter and this kept others in my group from ripping putts from further away because everyone was afraid of rollaways or blowbys. I think the stretegy involved in playing this course really brings out the best in golfers. Almost every green has some extreme risk of rollaway or thick brush nearby (hole 10 has a 50'+ dropoff just 20' past the basket, hole 13 is surrounded on 3 sides by a creek 15' away, hole B is right on a steep edge of a washed out bank, and hole H green must be on a 45 degree slope!) Some of the holes can be cruel and beat you down, but over the course of 4 rounds, I have had good throws on them and they feel REAL good then (hole 3 is a winding and rolling monster 350' thru the tight woods, hole D is 325' through a tight tunnel with an awful slope off the entire right edge, hole 9 is unbelievably tight with trees everywhere but we parked it a few times, and hole H is as the tee sign says "Geezus H!" - tight and that tricky green I just mentioned). There was a bit of everything here, I used every shot in my bag and then some due to lost discs! It was awesome to play uphill, downhill, over water, through tight trees, and air it out on long open holes. I was thoroughly impressed by nearly every hole. As we played the first time, I couldn't believe some of what we encountered. It was great to have Tim with and he explained how the hole was designed and what the intention was. Either off the tee, or on the green of every hole made me think more than twice about what to throw for the best result. It was wonderful how quiet and peaceful it was and that we could enjoy the beauty. Tim and Erin take great care too as they were picking up every bit of trash and errant stick or stone the entire round. It would help if everyone did the same.
Cons: The rough is rough! My buddies were off quite a bit and we spent a good time looking for discs, but by the middle of our second round, we knew what to throw and what to avoid. Playing a control game sure does help here! This course is a workout! Up and down up and down. It can really kick your but we all need it I guess. The woods (and there are LOTS) can be disheartening because they are tight, but we take it all with a grain of salt.
Other Thoughts: I play mainly MN courses and Winter Park was awesome. I'm so glad my buddy pointed it out and let me know. I need to get on this site too and keep track of what I play, I'll get to it some day. I felt I had to write a review, I owe it to Tim to rave about such a fine job he did at Winter Park, and how well they keep it up too with very limited support and organized budget or resources (just a SMALL group of local fanatics). If you love playing, you'll love it here, plain and simple. Yeah, it is challenging and will beat you down in some cases, but bring along a case of your favorite and enjoy the peaceful setting and beauty of the park.
UPDATE: Explanation - I rated this course a 5 based on the intangibles I know. The local disc golf group is SMALL and they do it ALL out there. This course is entirely brought to you via a group of dedicated, proud, and creative individuals. While this course is not a private and immaculate disc golf complex (lacks concrete tees, lacks nice landscaping, lacks things a budget or steady income can afford for a course) it is an amazing course. This I mean without bias. You get to throw all kinds of holes here and get so much variety that you'll not be wanting more (unless you want more of no woods). There are so many unique and characteristic things on this course, and it is extremely challenging. The woods are very tight, and greens are VERY risky in very many instances. Personally I absolutely love this type of challenge, and personally I must applaud my friend and what he has done at Winter Park.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
All around best across the US
Pros: I have played courses all over the US and I can't help but compare them all to my hometown favorite Winter Park. This course is excellent. It has such amazing balance and variety. And it is very well upkept and maintained. Every hole has been designed and scrutinized to offer something specific to include shot placement, use of terrain, risky greens, tight fairways, and views of beutiful scenery. There are plenty of obstaclesa and natural features for risk takers here. Some of the more noteable features are throwing across a pond on the last hole (all 300'), throwing 715' down a huge hill to the pin below, throwing down fairways that are so tight, an ATV will barely fit, many holes on top of the hill (150' above the parking lot) have amazing views, and a creek winds through the second half in the wooded valley. Very clean, scenic, not busy, well maitained, and always improving. The club has work days out here all the time and members often take their days off to put time into upgrades.
Cons: Some may call the crushed stone tees a con, as is common, but I actually like them. You can play them in ANY weather and never slip or trip. You don't have to worry about erosion off the edges of conrete either. I guess my only con here is that the rough will SEVERELY punish you, and I end up off-fairway very often. It can be frustrating, but not too entirely cruel if you throw accurately. For those not always on their game, the need for accuracy here may throw some weaker players off their game. If you can appreciate smacking an occasional tree, and love the reward of threading the needle of a tight fairway, you'll be all good here.
Other Thoughts: The amount of work is clearly evident here. I think anyone from anywhere can come to this course and appreciate the scenic beauty, carefully thought out design, amazing variety of holes, and thoughtfulness of unique features. All in all, if you are a true disc golfer who loves a challenge, variety, and amazing scenery, you will LOVE it here! Winter Park is PHENOMINAL!
11 of 12 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.
6 Helpful / 6 Not
First Time a Time to remember
Pros: Holes are no where near the same as any of the holes in the park. Each shot is challenging and different then the last throw you had. Awesome shot on hole 15 going straight off the side of the tube hill down to the basket 715ft down and out from your position.
Cons: Not for the beginner.. lots of challenging pin placements and accurate shots needed to navigate some of the wooded holes. Poison Ivy on the 15th hole hill on the lefthand side when looking out over the dropoff.
Lots of physical walking required so be ready for a workout!
Other Thoughts: I loved this course! The scenery on top of the hill was amazing! Bring bug spray! No one was around when we were here so we could take our time. Well put together course! I will be back!
6 of 12 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 6 Not
My Favorite Hands down.
Pros: Let me start off by saying that Winter Park has the best Variety, Challenge, Beauty, Entertainment, Character, than ANY other course I've played to date. To list all the pros on this course could take all night to attempt such a task. It's one of those courses you tell your friends who haven't been about it over and over on different holes, shots, etc.. Thats not a pro for them.:) Everytime I play this course, it seems SUPER private and secluded. You NEVER get that rushed feeling I'm so used too. BIG + in my book! It's definitely a slow moving round everytime... A LOT of fun to play and Still my personal #1 favorite course.
Cons: The only Cons on this course are really the teepads in a few locations. Some are still lacking consistency with erosion problems but maintenance can be tough despite the elevation, Quads, And the madman driving it.:D But the effort is always there.
Other Thoughts: The course was originally an 18 hole that expanded into a 27 with "letter loops". The 18 hole is a SUPER solid course alone and the addition of the "letter holes" makes the course my personal #1 for the "5 disc rating" courses I've played to date.
This last weekend (Oct 30, 2010) I got an Opportunity to play a round with a few DGCR members. Noill Golf, GoodDriveBadPutt, Superberry(Designer), and few other Non-DGCR members. All these people were just a LOT of fun to shoot with and some pretty genuine people.
This course In my opinion is well worth a play and you must see it for yourself. There are MANY pictures of this course that just don't do justice at ALL.... It's a MUST PLAY and EXTREMELY UNDERATED!!! Get it back in the "Top Ten"!!! Thanks Superberry!!!
9 of 15 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
The Best in Northeast WI, Hands Down!
Pros: 1. Variety! Probably the most desirable feature for a course to have. While some of the tight, shorter wooded holes have similarities (narrow straight alleys/tunnels to navigate), you literally have to bring every shot in your arsenal, including shots you may not be consistent or comfortable with. I rarely use a tomahawk shot due to the fact I'm still developing a solid technique for this, but yet I frequently find myself in situations out here where there's no other option. The few open holes make up for their lack of trees with OB water/distance/elevation, so don't think you're necessarily in the clear when you step up to these tees. If you shank your drive from the top of the hill on #15, it is VERY possible you could wind up in the drink bordering #18.
2. The 27-hole addition adds an immense challenge to playing the usual 18-hole layout. There are several spots where the new 9 breaks away from the traditional 18, so it's not mandatory to play them. Keep in mind that playing all 27 will consume a good chunk of your time, so plan ahead!
3. Signature holes. True, you won't be telling your buddies about every single hole out here, but you'll walk away thoroughly impressed by the design and use of the land's natural and manmade features. The wooded holes by the creek starting out the Back 9 of the Traditional layout are definitely memorable. Hole #15 you just gotta see for yourself...a monster downhole ripper where you should be happy with a 3. Hole #18 from the long tee requires you to shoot over a reservoir...you can either run at it here and risk coming up short (it's almost all water in a straight line from tee to basket, 300+ feet), or play it safe and take a shortcut over the water, landing more left of the hole. The views from the top of the hill are amazing. I also enjoyed Hole #H on the extra 9, probably just because I managed to park-and-deuce it, and not roll repeatedly down the hill as everyone else in my group did (after my deuce, the next best score in our group was a 5, then some 7's...ouch!)
4. Multiple tees. I've played from both the short and long tees, but now I see that there are unmarked Gold tees. This seems like a challenge I'm willing to undertake in the future, although I can't say I'll be particularly happy with my scorecard afterwards!
5. Recent improvements and additions. Aside from just expanding to 27 holes, this course has come a LONG WAY from its initial layout (I think it was 11 holes originally), when it mostly utilized the elevation of the skiing areas...up, down, up, down! The maintenance and upkeep have improved tremendously as well, presumably due to successful fundraising efforts and thus a higher budget. I'd imagine it could be a pain, and very time consuming, keeping everything out here "up to par."
6. Family- and beginner-friendly. I wouldn't recommend groups with small children and/or beginning disc golfers to play the long tees here. Our last time out we had several children AND beginners, so we played all 27 from the short tees, and the kids never complained about being tired once (which I doubt would be the case if we'd made them play long tees). Kids especially seem to love the downhill part of #15 (yeah, we made them play long there, 'cause there's really no other way to play that hole in my opinion!) and running through the creek-bed areas.
Cons: 1. While the location is simply awesome and probably the best choice for this course in the area, first-timers may get a wee bit lost. But not to worry, the directions provided should get you there, and while you won't see signs for the course until your final turn onto the main park road, keep in mind it's right next to the fishery, so follow those signs beforehand.
2. Bugs! I'd expect this at any heavily wooded course in proximity to several bodies of water, especially in Wisconsin, so I can't really take away points for this factor. Just remember bug spray.
3. The third con is that I can't think of a third con for this course. It's THAT well-designed, maintained, scenic, and challenging.
4. There's a dam nearby. I hate dams.
Other Thoughts: If you need work on developing your short game, you'll definitely get that opportunity here. Don't expect an easy recovery if you shank your drive off to either side. You might be okay if your drive is on-line but comes up short (the ol' "worm-burner"), but don't think you can just muscle up and rip every single tee shot. This is more of a brains than brawn course in that you'll need to think your shots through, not just be a jock and try to outdrive everyone. Overdriving some holes especially will put you in a bad spot, so look at the safe-play routes where applicable.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 5 Not
Favorite course in N.E.W.
Pros: Amazing variety of play. Take your pick from a wide open downhill 712' shot, or 200'ish feet down a hallway where you can touch both sides of the fairway by stretching your arms out. The course has amazing views, great wildlife, excellent course layout, and fun people playing the course.
Cons: Crushed stone pads. Someday the county will realize that disc golf at this park is going to be what makes the park run and they'll finally let Tim put in cement pads...I certainly hope. I can wait for that day, because most of the crushed stone pads are in excellent shape and have settled to a solid driving stance.
Other Thoughts: There is also an excellent mountain bike trail at this park. Always yield to riders while on the course. The trails are an excellent cardio challenge that goes up and down the hill through various switchbacks many times. This park is my favorite local place to play around, and I am there at a minimum weekly during the regular season.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Very good variety with elements not found on many courses. Examples; Boulder green, dragons back fairways, sound of the river going over the dam, rose bush hazards, towering trees, pine forest fairways, phenomenal views, turkey vultures, only course I've thrown an ace at, creek lined fairways in the wooded valley, 715 foot long hole that I've birdied twice, big pond to shoot over on 18, great bar & grill only 1/2 mile away, etc.
Cons: No concrete tees :(
Other Thoughts: Ode to the Road, a poem:
Trade I would my pot of Gold
To just once drive over the road
Into the river
Wash it away
Give it back to the sea someday
How will it happen?
Will lightning strike?
That hill may be high,
But it's sure worth the hike
3 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Disc Golf Wonderland! WI's best variety without question!
27 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Variety galore. Every type of disc golf hole and feature utilized here (a few "par 4" holes, but no real "5's" until some new gold tees and alternate pins are installed). There are wide open ripper holes, downhill bombers, downhill finesse touch shots, water hazards (meandering creek and a pond to throw completely over), road ob, left/right/straight, long/short, and open/tight perfect balance.
27 holes! Also easy to follow 18 hole course or any combination in between because the extra 9 holes for the 27 are comprised of 'loops' in between exiting holes (i.e. 5 holes "A thru E" between Holes 8 and 9). [Not an 18 with a separate 9 - a full 27 hole course]
Memorable holes galore. There are more than a handful of signature holes here - bring your camera and lots of extra discs to take that extra drive. You will step up to almost every tee and wonder how you are gonna execute that shot and navigate that fairway. This is a thinking man's course designed for very specific shots from the blue tees. You will need to be a well balanced player to score well here. A simple RHBH won't get you far.
Tight Woods. Lots of them. Designed and created by hand tools only, no bulldozer or skidsteer cleared fairways here. Proportional length/width for fair challenges.
Elevation of varying kinds. 100'+ elevation up and down the ski hill on not just one occasion, but multiple times. And sharp drastic mini elevation changes on the middle of the wooded holes and right along sides of greens.
Risky greens! Greens are most often surrounded by one or multiple close trees, or pins are perched near water or sharp dropoffs.
Scenic, gorgeous, unique, quiet, clean, and peaceful park setting. Help keep it that way by packing out your trash!
Great workout course - like I said, up and down all that elevation and parking lot tp parking lot total distance covered will be over 2 miles (or more if you shank too many trees). All in a gorgeous and scenic quiet park. I love a workout course.
Great signage, pay attention to the simple and descriptive signs and you'll be fine. Watch for old fallen trees/logs that line walkways between holes. Very rustic and use of what is available on the land - not fake manmade landscaping.
Nice DISCatcher baskets. Clearly defined tee pads of crusher dust which you won't slip on.
This is the kind of course that makes you glad you've played it, and just as glad that you took the time to go out of the way to play it. You'll get to experience a fantastic disc golf course design, and tons of elements you don't see on most other courses because the designs don't push the envelope like Winter Park does, or the terrain doesn't allow uniqueness like Winter Park does. The terrain and location is an idyllic setting for disc golf. Come waste your day away here.
Blue tees to challenge everyone, and fun red tees for ace runs and newbies to reduce the frustration level of this extremely challenging and shot-requiring course! 9 New Gold tees in spring 2010 to add super distance. Additional 9 gold tees after that to offer more tight/long wooded holes (400'+ x 20-30' wide)
(Hole by hole rundown in Files Tab)
Cons: Bugs are bad June thru August. The rough will definitely punish errant shots in mid summer as well with very long grass and think brush. You NEED to be accurate, on target, and plan your shot placement. You can't just rip an upshot or rifle a putt from 50' away because all the greens are risky and have slopes or bushes trees that may hamper a recovery putt. BE ON TOP OF YOUR GAME - ALL OF IT!!!!!!
Some of these tees still do need some basic leveling to avoid angling downhill or uphill. A con about these crusher dust pads is that they do wear in and create uneven surfaces. They need occasional work to level and smooth out. YOU can help by "repairing your divots", just like in golf.
Other Thoughts: This course is phenominal! By far the best in NE WI, and of the half dozen best in the state. It is 27 holes, but the classic 18 hole layout is still intact and labelled and is also second to none. You get get to play an extremely balanced course, with lots of challenge and risk versus reward opportunity. There are tight woods, wide open bomber holes, uphill, downhill, acrosshill, 715' downhill on 100' elevation drop!, across ponds and along a creek, and plenty of balanced right, left, and straight holes.
It is a bit rough around the edges, and off the fairway. Many amenities are missing, but you get scenic and tranquil beauty and peace and quiet for the most part with not many other people or players ever around, so you can lose yourself.
The course does favor precision and accuracy over power. You need to place your shots and make your putts. The risky terrain featured in the course design really brings this aspect of control to light. For the big guns, you may miss a bit here, just a handful of longer holes, and for the really big guns, they will still be fairly easy. The 9 gold tees installed spring 2010 will average about 525' per hole, and offer more even more variety ranging from 200' x 10', 300' x 30', 700' wide open, 900' downhill, and 450' entirely across water.
UPDATE: I moved the Hole By Hole Rundown into the Links/Files Section so you could print it out easier if you wanted to, and to save some space on my otherwise LONG review!
Personally I love the crusher dust (not gravel by any means, this stuff is very fine and compactable). I NEVER worry about slipping, sliding, or rolling my ankle by tripping off the edge of the concrete when the dirt around gets eroded. I have also noticed quite a bit of "knee noise" developing in my right knee from years of playing. The little extra give of these crusher dust tees helps tremendously to control the amount of aching knees and hips I feel after playing a lot of concrete tees.
This is a wonderful course, well worth the trip from anywhere in the state, and outside the state. You'll find nothing like this anywhere else in NE WI, and only a few like it in all of WI. We continue to brainstorm and plan for even more, bigger and better holes, additions, improvements, expansions, and general existing upkeep and fine tuning. WPDGC is constantly improving and changing every year!
Definitely something for the players to think about - this course is what it is, scenic, decently well groomed, and beautiful because of all the work we put into it. The disc golf club is responsible for all the maintenance, upkeep, and improvement, not the county! If you could simply also be leaders by picking up errant trash left by other worthless and useless idiots, it helps a ton. Pack out your garabage even. We do collect aluminum to help with our costs (100% donation and sponsorship based). Even during a round, move sticks and rocks aside from fairways, and smooth out ruts left in the tees.
Yes, I am biased, but it still rates a 5+ in my book given the natural beauty, scenic nature, unique terrain, peaceful setting, great balance, and lumpy slightly uneven tees that you will fortunately never slip, trip, or roll an ankle on.
ALWAYS a 5-disc course in my mind. I play all across the country and cannot stop comparing courses to the amazing variety you get here! I typically am disappointed or let down after playing other courses and cannot wait to come back - that's the allure of Winter Park. When you build a course by hand, on an wonderful piece of property with some amazing and EXTREME terrain, you've gotta take the good with the bad. Hills will be slippery in the rain, the rough will be severe, and tees will be difficult to keep level with concrete being out of the question. And you must remember, if you're playing a course considered amazing, unique, and extreme, it is exactly because of the extreme (and possibly hazardous under certain conditions) features and terrain.
Park boasts extremely tough mountain bike trails with tight, sharp switchbacks and long climbs up the 100' elevation change of the hills. Just up the road is a fisheries facility where you can watch the salmon spawn and jump the fish-ladders into spawning pools. Defintely a site to see in late September along with the gorgeous turning leaves of the river valley trees.
Unfortunately I have moved away from the beautiful creation I have nurtured from inception. I LOVED the opportunity to make it what it is and it has played a wonderful role in my life. I still get homesick and long to play it more often than I get to!!!! Excellent variety and balance make this course second to none. Early stages in my design career means this lacks a few decent par 4 holes, but those who I have left to care for WP are working on it. I hear they want to lengthen Hole 13H, eliminate 13I, lengthen 9, lengthen 14, lengthen 8B, and add a new par 4 wooded hole in the mix to compliment hole 3.
27 of 32 people found this review helpful.
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