9 Helpful / 3 Not
Very solid design, but not much variety in terrain
Pros: The design of this course is indeed awesome. With what the terrain offers, you couldn't ask for anything better. It is essentially all wooded, under tall mature hardwoods, and a few open prairies under previously cleared hardwoods. All holes offer various routes to the pin, typically via a clump (or two or three) of trees somewhere mid fairway.
The park is very scenic, quiet, and beautiful, and there were no fees from what I could see.
There are three tees except that a few are shared on #13 and 14. I prefer design utilizing multiple tees rather than multiple pin placements.
Just about every hole is great (which I will explain as a com later). Some of the more memorable holes are...
#15 an awesome and long hole that angles slightly downhill with a LARGE patch of trees in the middle which split your flight into many various routes, and then a pin which is fairly open, yet has a great look to it.
#18 a straight and narrow gauntlet run hole from any of the three tees. You have to rifle it straight and far while slightly downhill.
Honestly most of the holes are so similar that I cannot differentiate from one another now a few hours after my round, and I forgot to take notes.
I wouldn't change any of the design.
Cons: Variety is severely lacking. Changing the design would not make up for what this park lacks in unique terrain.
This is essentially a 'Mostly Flat' mature hardwood course. A few holes venture out into some clearcuts with sparse trees, but still envelope the same design philosophy of a few clumps of trees mid fairway splitting your route into options.
The terrain is why this course lacks. There are no sharp elevation changes along a ridge or ravine. There are no water hazards. There are but a few elevated and or terraced tees or greens. No downhil bombers at all. Like I said, even 'Moderately Hilly' is a huge stretch in my book.
The greens are not on par with Standing Rocks, all are open and flat in a good 30' radius around the pin. Not much at all for risky/rewarding greens that make you think about gunning for a putt. As you can see from my score - 3 after 3 after 3 means that even a shanked drive can still allow a good upshot and an easy putt from anywhere. Therefore, not much required skill or punishment for being off fairway, but hitting some of the gaps and lines off the tee really makes your drive feel incredible.
Other Thoughts: I played in November and the tons of hardwood leaves made losing discs under them pretty misearble. I kept my eye open like a hawk if I was off fairway and I just lucked out that the county had been cutting just before I started my round.
Basically I kept comparing this to Token Creek - an amazing setting and hugely fundamental and solid design, but it was just lacking something. With every hole being great, there were no exceptional ones, they were all about the same.
The area of the park has no unique or dramatic terrain features which create a lackluster experience just like Token. But because Token is pay to play and has great free courses nearby, it gets a 3.5 while BEP will get a 4 from me because it's free and I will be back to play again (hoping to catch peak colors and leaves still on the trees).
This course lacks what Standing Rocks has as far as all the unique terrain and physical features - amazing ridges, valleys, sharp elevation changes, all under wooded canopy and shifting from hardwoods to pines. Standing Rocks is a GORGEOUS setting, while BEP is bland and repetitive as far as a disc course is concerned. BEP however offers much more distance over Standing Rocks and Yulga. Yulga has more variety and BEP has just a bit more elevation than Yulga. All in all, these 3 courses are INCREDIBLE compliments to one another! I cannot stress this enough. Considering the excellent design of BEP along with added distance not available locally, and I do love playing wooded courses that are free, BEP is a 4, but probably a bit lower 4 than Yulga. I don't think anything would make BEP a 4.5, the terrain is just too repetitive with no uniqueness.
UPDATE: This rating has been sticking with me. I have to change it. No water, repetitive terrain, very little elevation, nothing extraordinaily unique - this has to be a 3.5. I was underwhelmed when I played it, and still am.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Awesome setting for Disc Golf
Pros: 1) This course is set in an incredibly scenic park. It is set on a lake (actually a massive flowage for those being technical) in a dense pine forest and also more open prairie areas!
2) Nice baskets including a practice basket. Nice signage at the beginning of the course is always helpful expecially when you come to a new course. Although it is obvious as you drive past about 5 baskets that are visible from the road on your way in.
3) 3 sets of tees add to the overall value of this course. They are only made of gravel but are packed pretty well and must be groomed on occassion as they were still pretty level and none had any washouts.
4) Awesome variety in shots required. There are uphill shots . . . a few blind shots . . . a few uphill shots . . . some that force you to go left to right and some that force you to go right to left.
5) There are a multitude of avenues to throw down. There is still trouble in your way but at least you get to choose your lines. Many trees in the middle of fairways, some mowed up to some not mowed around creating another added feature. You don't have much opportunity for skip ups on this course you need to be able to throw a straight mid or hyzer or anhyzer around some trees.
6) What a wonderfully scenic course . . . I saw a total of 25 deer including 5 little newborn does . . . they were just learning to walk. Wildlife is abundant if you keep your eyes open . . . I also saw a snake and a fair amount of hawks. The beauty of the deer in this park is you can get within about 20 feet before they run away. That is the ideal animal life to help compliment the idea that disc golf is set amongst nature and it doesnt infringe upon it. Many courses are where they tear out the natural habitat or over groom it . . . here they left the habitat in tact.
7) The flow of this course is perfect. It is easy to see where you need to go because of mowed down areas. This is one of very few courses I do not think arrows pointing to the next hole is really needed.
Cons: 1) Unfortunately along with dense pine forest and unmowed prairie areas also go the mosquitos. It was nasty!!!!! Bring your bug spray.
2) Some of the natural areas along a few of the holes are very punishing. It is tough to find the disc only 5 feet off the fairway. Not only is some of the vegetation tough to find a disc but it is thistle . . . Nettles (look out for these they hurt!!!!). It looks like they had begun to trim along the fairways on occassion however because there were a few areas where the thistle had been trimmed down to about a foot.
3) Teepads are not concrete but that is a minor issue because the gravel they do have is in pretty good shape and packed prety tight.
4) Signs are minimal but they do at least list all three tee distances. It is made of simple laminated paper.
Other Thoughts: I am excited to hear this course is adding another 9. It was such a nice piece of property and I would definitely enjoy some disc golf in this location again. I don't get this way often but when I do I will make it a point to revisit this course.
I was pleasantly surprised with this course. I am guessing to say that Yulga and Standing Rocks are much better courses overall, but my guess is this is the closest course to those caliber courses. I plan to play those to to verify that statement but I will make it a point to come back here becuase I really enjoyed it. Hopefully it is 18 holes by the time I make it back in August or September to go camping with my wife!
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This is a very challenging 9 hole course. Very diverse and interesting, never would have believed something like this was capable at a 9 holer.
Cons: FORGOT MY DISTANCE DRIVER! Not the courses fault but again didn't expect I would need it. Very dense growth on ALL sides of the course, you throw to the rough at all and you will search for a little while. Wears shoes and long pants, Hole #3 is called Nettle Mettle (thorns everywhere).
Other Thoughts: If you are a first timer or slightly more you may get frustrated but don't dispair, it's only a 9. If you are into the nature aspect of the sport, we saw a herd of whitetail deer throughout the course and at one point was only about 20 feet away from the big doe. BRING A CAMERA.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: great course with longer holes. It is extremely fun to play, and is great if you have a big arm, but still requires more technical shots once you get near the pin. A nice mix of tight and wide fairways.
Cons: The tee-boxes are not cement...bummer, also, if you shank a disc, it's a pain finding it in the more open holes where the "rough" is rough on you in every sense of the word. It's real long grass filled with pickers, and is extremely easy to loose discs in.
Other Thoughts: check this course out in the fall when the leaves are changing! It's absolutely beautiful, with gorgeous yellow leaves everywhere! Felt like heaven in the hardwood holes.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a great course cut out of the Big Eau Pleine County Park forest. The course was designed to impact the wilderness as minimally as possible, but with the best mix of disc golf challenges. Pete Hoover designed the course, and kudos to him. There is a mix of short and long, and varying tee pads offer different challenges for different players. The tee pads are gravel set in wooden bases, and are designed to be flat in downward terrain, giving them a "launch pad" look and feel.
Cons: Fairways are sometimes narrow, play the short tees to avoid going in the rough. The rough...deep weeds and nettles. I've come home with some pretty good rashes from retrieving lost discs. This adds to the psychological challenge of the course my view - it's hard not to think about those nettles as you are preparing to drive. Again, for the more amateur player it's relatively easy to avoid by playing the short tees and laying up when necessary.
Update: Since I wrote this review, Pete and his crew have done a really nice job of clearing most of those really deep weeds and nettles. There is still a clear difference between the fairway and the rough, but it's a lot easier to find a lost disc than when I originally wrote this review.
Other Thoughts: Update on the back 9 (7/19/09):
The back 9 holes are now open at BEP, and I played them today. Consistent with the front nine, the course design is outstanding. Good mix of left and right, short and long, and multiple paths to the baskets.
Back nine snapshots: "Double Dog Dare Ya" - long round open round-about paths to the basket left or right, or one tight window through dense brush and trees in the center. "The Dominator" is 570' from the blue tees.
The back nine only improves this already excellent course.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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