Pros: The course is well-balanced, with a nice blend of lengths and shot shapes. The course is largely wooded, but I would only consider three or four holes tight. Each hole has two concrete tee pads, though there often isn't much difference between the two.
Cons: This a popular city course, so it's usually busy. The course also suffers from trash and vandalism, though the new pay-to-play requirement seems to be improving that.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice course overall. I'd rank it third among Madison courses, behind Token Creek/Vallarta-Ast and Hiestand. Some basic course improvements (e.g. greens erosion) would help. And as much as I enjoy hole #9, aka Dungeon Master, it detracts from the overall rating. It's a blind throw down a steep hill into trees. More time is wasted looking for discs on this hole than any hole I've played.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun fun fun
Pros: What a treat it was to play Elver park after a long, cold winter in Madison. It was great to see the trees and the grass green again and flowers blooming.
Elver Park is a really nicely taken care of park. It's clean and maintained, which created a great vibe for this course. There are can crushers and trash bins on almost every tee, along with abundant benches which makes waiting for the group ahead of you to finish up much more bearable.
This course offers quite a few challenges. There are a variety of shots required if you're going to shoot a good round. There are fun uphill shots as well as a fantastic downhill finishing hole. With the exception of maybe 3-4 holes, every hole is 2able if you're hitting the right lines.
Cons: You're supposed to pay $5 to play here, but I don't know if it's enforced (or if the majority of people do it). I'm adamantly against the idea of making a public city park like the ones in Madison Pay2Play, but it is what it is.
Another thing is that when I played, there were four groups waiting to tee off at the 1st tee. From my understanding, the courses in the Madison area are highly used and there's usually a wait...which is something completely different to me coming from central Illinois where I'm usually the only person on the course.
The design and feel of the course is very similar to Hiestand Park. Elver to me felt a bit shorter and more wooded, but otherwise are almost like twins.
Other Thoughts: Madison really is an excellent destination for disc golf. The courses in the area really are better than average and there's a huge community in Madison that loves the game, which is always a great thing to be a part of. Even though it was really crowded, the people were all friendly and fun to watch. I can't wait to check out the other courses in the area!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Great variety of shots. Easy to find your disc. Lots of ace opportunities. Beautiful views.
Cons: Needs better trash pick up from users.
Other Thoughts: Only busy during peak times. Go in the mornings and the place is yours.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Course with Plenty of Potential
Pros: The course offers a great variety and mix of holes and shots. There are many technical holes in the woods, some open holes, many birdie opportunities, and great elevation change. Holes 2-4 play along the side of the hill. It gets interesting from hole 7-17, which are primarily set in the woods. There are plenty of lanes in the woods, but it is still important to have accurate and technical shots off these tee pads in order to stay out of the brush. Hole 18 is definitely the signature hole on top of a huge hill and reminds me a lot of hole 17 at Bryant Lake in MN, but shorter. Hole 9 is also an awesome downhill hole that requires a hyzer over the top of the treeline in order to get your disc to drop by the pin. The constant elevation changes at this course, certainly make it unique. Another noticeable feature of this course are the protected pin locations, which makes birdies and pars certainly tougher to come by. The course also offers a much more challenging round from the long tees. The maintenance of the course is also well done. I throw RHBH and the course offers many opportunities for throwing hyzers, anhyzers, and thumber shots. It is a great course for both left and right handed players, regardless of whether you backhand or forehand. The city also does a nice job of switching up basket locations throughout the season. Lastly, there is also a practice pin near the first tee pad.
Cons: The course is always packed. Many of the tee pads are also littered with trash since the trash cans are never emptied. The course also lacks quality erosion control, benches, and some of the tee pads are quite muddy/dusty.
Other Thoughts: This course reminds me of a tougher, more challenging version of Hiestand. It plays longer and the lanes in the woods are slightly narrower than those at Hiestand, so accuracy is more important. I go to school at UW and this course is very comparable to the courses I play in Minnesota. The only odd thing is that everyone is Madison play the short tee pads, which was quite a change for me. I have played the course a few times from the long tees and it certainly makes the course a lot more challenging. I honestly can't wait until this course and Hiestand are pay to play next spring so that the things I mentioned in the cons section can see some improvement. It will also help with cleaning up the course a bit and getting rid of some of the rift raft. The course has a lot of potential.
*Lastly, make sure you play the "40 shot" before you get to the tee pad on hole 17.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Elver is fun!
Pros: Elver has a great mix. It has some nice elevation in places. It has areas of open to semi wooded. It has some tighter wooded holes and some nasty rough in places. See the vidoe in the other thoughts and you can get a good idea of how the course plays.
Dual concrete tee pads. The tees are in great shape.
DGA Mach 3 baskets that are in solid shape. Multiple pin positions that seem to be changed often.
Between the short/long tees and the multiple pins there is good variety on this course for many skill levels.
The tee signs get the job done. This course is pretty easy to navigate and the flow is really good.
17 &18 is a super fun finish to the course. 17 is a tough wooded par 4. 18 is a 475 foot hole that plays downhill and is very reachable.
Hole #9 is a pretty crazy blind hole. Send a spotter. I love it!
Cons: This course is on the shorter side with very few par 4's & 5's.
This course gets a lot of play and errosion is a problem in areas. Watch your step walking from 17 to 18 if it's rained.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in the grounds of a seasonal ski hill, which has open areas as well as dense rough and forest. A bunch of park goers were exercising when I was there, it would have really got in the way if I teed off later.
- The first few holes are more out in the open, playing up and across a large hill. The first 6 are much more open, with patches of thick rough to punish errant shots. A few trees on the fairway; the real challenge is shot placement near the basket and decent accuracy off the tee. These are the lines to hit. #18 is also out here, a nice downhill shot with rough and some bushes to avoid.
- A bunch of other holes have tight, defined fairways bordered by thick rough. A straight shot is an absolute necessity here, but there are some obstacles off the tee and near the basket. There is a wide range of distances and difficulty here, with some sutblely different lines.
- Remainder of the holes are in more wooded areas, with tall skinny trees to force tight lines. There is a good variety of lines here, with RHBH hyzers, anhyzers, and some straight shots. #7 is a tight, sharp hyzer, and plenty of s-curve/anny shots. Most are pretty short, but #17 is a nice long turnover throw the woods.
- Constant factor at this course are well protected baskets, especially some of the long positions. They are tucked behind rough or trees on the open holes, tucked into the rough on the medium open holes, and amongst many trees in the forest. Some rollaways here and there as well. Shot placement is critical.
- Also a good amount of elevation changes throughout. Definitely a major factor on the open holes, including some sloped fairways. #9 is an awesome downhill shot over the trees, and the wooded holes have slight ups and downs as well.
- Great signs, teepads, and baskets. Navigation is simple with the map, there are some walks but nothing too bad. The long walk between #17 and #18 is downhill, so it's a breeze. Good difference between long and short tees.
Cons: - I guess the biggest con here is some similar shots; the holes out the open are more or less wide open, and the semi-wooded holes are all pretty much straight and feel the same. Still tough though.
- Some of the holes in the forest are pretty short, even from the longs there are a ton under 300'. I enjoyed the lines, and some are tough/tight, but the lack of length is very noticeable.
- A few spots are a little crammed together, with close fairways or tees. Shouldn't be too big a deal.
Other Thoughts: - This course is extremely well rounded, with equal parts in the slopin' open, dense rough, and the tight forest. Great elevation changes on some holes, and gentle ones on others. Tough pin positions, especially at some of the alternates, to provide some drastic lines at some parts. I would not recommend this to any beginners, but everyone else should enjoy it. Intermediate players will have to work hard at some parts.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
A must for wisconsin players
Pros: Variety of hole lengths and styles. It starts in the open with a lot of up. But the shots can still be tricky. After you play a few holes, you enter the woods and the holes become shorter, a lot of holes that can be well played with a skilled midrange shot. There are still long holes in the woods, such as hole 17. Bogies are not too uncommon.
Challenging shots are a plenty. Hole nine play from high ground over the trees. Dropping your disc in the right place is skilled shot, especially if it's in the back position.
Cleanliness and course signs have vastly improved these last couple years. By putting up temp signs every year they realized people wouldn't vandalize them. So there are now signs.
Cons: Course can be crowded. I've definitely seen cleaner courses, but they are usually less used and cleaning funded by local government. The local disc club takes pretty good care of it, some people have no respect. Its seems better this year, but it's still early.
Could use more benches. It has two real benches and some logs at some holes.
Other Thoughts: a lot of blind shots. I think that's a fun challenging plus, but some people don't see it that way.
Elver has come a long way this last couple years in cleanliness and organization, making it a definite must for Wisconsin courses.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Has the potential, but the filler makes it fall short
Pros: A very good amount of variety and balance, and some of the most unique holes of the three Madison courses. Elver plays, similar to Heistand, up, along, and down a large ridge in a city park. There are some very tight and wooded tunnel holes and great use of the elevation. Some memorable holes are the #18 downhill bomber that you can air out for 600' or so, long wooded and slightly changing elevation on 17, the blind downhill 9 that almost requires a tomahawk and a spotter, and 15 which is one of the most sound holes in all of disc golf. Very tight woods and thick and dense rough require the need for accuracy and shot placement here.
Cons: Unfortunatelty the biggest con is a poor design with too much filler. Hole 1 starts out nicely with the newly terraced green, but then holes 2,3,4,and 5 fall flat by just playing sideways back and forth across the hill. 6 is fairly bland too, but a new pin installed back in the woods makes it better. There is no water hazard. The greens, like heistand, suffer from oldschool design and are wide open and not challenging in most cases. Of course the worthless and useless idiots are in full charge here (as with every Madison public course) and there is a lot of traffic, vandalism, and garbage. It is an absolute shame. Also due to that vandalism the tee signs and course signs are almost all broken or gone and navigating the course can be difficult your first time.
Other Thoughts: While this course is probably less sound than Token creek, it is free and offers more variety. It has some of the most unique holes in all of madison and if a few holes in the beginning were eliminated or redesigned, and if greens were made more risky, this course would be excellent. Or, as excellent as a public course in Madison with lots of litter and vandalism can be. It is defeinitely worth your time and I bet you'll appreciate the challenge, terrain, and features that elver presents with good variety. Play Heistand too.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
A- = Almost As Good As It Gets
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == B+ (Due to the shape of the holes and where the rough is, there is decent punishment, but not severe punishment for bad shots. You have got to throw a really bad shot on most holes to be punished with a lie that is unrecoverable.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max. == B+ (About half the longs are too long for me to play for birdie, but are not long enough to make par rewarding. About half the shorts are too short to make them rewarding. A "best of" combo would boost this course to an A+ in my book.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == A- (Over half the holes are very technical forcing you to throw precisely on your chosen line to get to where you want to be. 9 is the dumbest downhill hole I have ever seen since it is a dumb-luck crap-shoot lost-disc-in-the-waiting experience, but it is balanced by 18 which is one of the best downhill holes I have seen! Lots of fun to finish the round!)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == B (Seclusion is great for most of the course, but it feels rather scruffy. I love the use of the pine woods for the challenge they offer to the golf, but they are just not very pretty for the most part.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == N/A
Other Thoughts: I ranked this course slightly lower that Hiestand, but both are A- courses in my book. Along with Vallarta-Ast, Madison is lucky to have 3 very strong courses!
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 the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (125 18-hole, 64 9-hole as of mid 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....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Great but run down course
Pros: This is a well designed course. It has multiple pin placements on most holes. There is a good mix of open and wooded holes, that play up and down a very big hill. There are a couple of par fours. Holes 2 and 17 are as good as anywhere for fun and challenge.
The thing that really sets this course apart is that it has so many different looks. There are tight wooded holes, prairie shots, downhill bombs, and holes that play into and out of the woods. Each hole is very distinctive and unique. The variation in length and elevation make this course very fun to play.
There are long tees on this course even though it isn't listed.
Cons: There is a big problem with litter and erosion problems at this course. The tee signs had been trashed and pulled so it can be hard to find your way. Some of the teepads look ready to slide right down the hill, but now they have started working on stabilizing them. They have pulled out a ton of trees and vegetation that opened this course up and made finding discs easier. There has been some progress on fixing the course up with adopt a hole keeping litter at bay.
Hole nine is the WORST disc eating hole I have ever played. I suggest an overhand if you've never played before. Always ask if its clear first.
Other Thoughts: This is a course that does a lot of things right. It is very well designed with a great layout and it is very fun to play. If you are a rec player coming to Madison and can only play one course this is probably the one to hit. It does have some issues but it is very playable and very unique.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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