Easily accessible and better than expected
Pros: - In the middle of Chicago and extremely easy to get to by public transportation.
- For a college campus course in a city, there is surprisingly limited threat of hitting a building, car, or pedestrian on just about every hole. However, I have mostly played at non-peak times for students to be out and about. I could see if you play during the day between classes it could get tricky as you throw over a few pedestrian walkways.
- Four holes at 350+ is very impressive for the type of course this is and the location it is at. On most 9 holers like this I wouldn't expect to throw a driver, but here I get to use one on almost half the holes.
- Course design makes the absolute best possible use of the given land. On a city college campus there obviously aren't forests or many trees, but the course makes great use of what is there for a couple surprisingly challenging drives. On a course like I was surprised to throw multiple drivers on a fairly wide variety of lines on the long holes
- Good signs at every hole and a course map at the start of hole 1
Cons: - Obviously, this is a short little 9 hole course in the city so don't expect any stunning holes or forested tunnel shots. For the most part it is quite open
- Quite a few very short holes. While it is fun to use my putter for multiple ace runs in a 9 hole course, they don't offer a huge challenge
- No signs indicating the next tee make it a bit difficult to navigate the first time through. Take a picture of the course map at hole 1 so you can refer to it later
Other Thoughts: You have to take this course for what it is... a small 9 hole course on a college campus in a huge city. I was not expecting much from this course... I only played it because I don't have time to rent a car and drive to the suburbs every time I get the urge to play disc golf. However, I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed this course a lot more than expected. A course like this will never be my go-to course when I really want to play, but it is very nice to have around to scratch the itch every now and again
Note: anywhere else I probably would have given this course a 2. But the prime location and fact that there is nothing else easily accessible to play in the city gives this course that extra half a point.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Right off the Red and Green lines, and State St buses
- Very scenic by south-side Chicago standards
-excellent signage, with a clear map at hole 1
- Good variety of holes:
--Holes 2, 4, 6 are aceable (almost aced 6, myself... maybe next time)
--Holes 5, 7, 8, & 9 offer a chance to practice your long drive
-Almost impossible to lose a disc, unless you throw a really high drive and it ends up on a roof (happened to me once on 6), or in a tree
-Bathrooms, vending machines, and air-con in every building on campus, and as long as you're not shoeless, you should be able to pass as a student.
-Pretty close to the lake, Comisky (yep...still Comisky to me) and the nice neighborhoods of Bridgeport and Chinatown
-Upkept fairly well, and ample private campus security (if you're worried about the neighborhood)
Cons: -In the middle of a city, so, even when class is out, there can be a lot of foot traffic
-When there are classes, it can be impossible to play, with people everywhere, and occasionally laying in the fairways on warm days (weekends are best, and summer is pretty good too)
-Frequent functions make hole 6, 7, 8 unplayable
-Fairways 5 and 9, as well 7 and 8 cross
-the Robert Taylor Homes have long since been demolished, but there are still housing projects to the north, and dodgy neighborhoods to the east and south
-dirt tees that aren't very obvious as to where you need to throw by (come to a group consensus)
-sprinkler systems occasionally in use, and last time I played, all the grass was treated with a lawn-growth chemical
-If you're driving, parking is a problem. Expect to pay, or walk a half mile or so from Bridgeport... if there's a Sox game, don't drive.
Other Thoughts: The first course I've ever played (as I'm a student), so I can attest that it's actually pretty beginner friendly.
Some of the holes might seem rediculously easy, but if you play all concrete as an out-of-bounds penalty (instead of just main streets, like the sign at hole 1 suggests), then holes 2, 4, and 6 will be significantly more challenging.
Play hole 3 with a mandatory left around the middle trees (which seems to be how the tee-sign suggests) for an added challenge.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Unique Chitown Location
Pros: This is one of the most unique urban settings I've ever played disc golf in. Every person that stops and plays seems to be amazed by the course. It's really fun. The course is located a short walk from US Cellular field. It plays in small open areas and between buildings. It has several obstacles that make holes creative. If you play sidewalks and others areas out of bounds it makes it much more challenging.
Course has nice Innova Disctachers and tee signs.
It's one of the few courses located within the city limits of Chicago.
Great exposure for disc golf as hundreds are exposed every day.
Excellent beginner course. Pretty much impossible to lose a disc unless you throw on top of a building. Nice walk on campus.
It has a handful of holes where you can let them rip.
Cons: Tee pads are natural and worn. Can be muddy after rain.
Can be very very busy with traffic.
Hard to navigate with a few longer walks. Bring a map. There are next tee signs that help.
Couple of fairways cross.
Other Thoughts: Access from CTA (Bronzeville)
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
At least this is close to mid town
Pros: -Ease of access from CTA (Bronzeville)
-Every easy to follow, with markers for next tees
Cons: -Short holes not very challenging and longer holes are considered par 4's.
-Dirt tee pads with lots of roots from surrounding trees.. tripping hazzard.
Other Thoughts: For being the only course inside the metro area of Chicago, not bad.
I did not expect a whole lot since this is located on IIT's campus. Played on Sunday morning so no students or faculty to worry about. Not sure how the course plays during the winter, but I would assume the tee pads are a mess.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Back to school
Pros: Only course in metro-Chi. Accessable off I-94. Quality built with benches & signs at every tee. Nice tight 9 hole layout amid campus setting. Shorter distances to work on mid-game. Could play my Roc most of the time.
Cons: Mid-campus setting has buildings, people, roads, professors, etc. to avoid. tight lines rewarded accuracy - wait times for people to clear rewarded patience. Short course - not too many opportunities to let loose a drive. Muddy when we were there - and many areas roped off for maintenance.
Other Thoughts: Curious onlookers asked us what we were doing - actually took our pictures (tourists?) Fun spot to play a quick 9 while visiting Chicago.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Unique course in the city
Pros: A unique course that's just minutes from downtown! For a 9 hole course it gives a decent mix hole locations and obstacles. All holes are well marked and sometimes they have scorecards for you.
This is a fun change from your typical disc golf course. Playing on a college campus offers many unique obstacles including buildings, sculptures and students.
Cons: When school is in session this course is almost unplayable with all the people. Hole 1 is often used as a flag football field. I would recommend approaching this course as if it is only open on the weekends and possibly late evenings.
Also 9 can be dangerous. The hole is a long hyzer shot that is basically a blind shot around a building. Definitely use a spotter to make sure no one is walking out the doors as you are throwing.
Other Thoughts: If you live in the city this course is a must see. and unlike most courses this one is almost deserted on the weekends. Not overly challenging but very fun.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
interestng urban and artsy
Pros: Noil's review is right on and excellent. Read that and I concur with all statements.
Next basket arrows on most holes; which is needed. I am kind of surprised they stay where they are put.
Tee signs excellent.
Buildings, students, sculpture's, all in play.
This course has huge amounts of sidewalk that could be played o.b., to add another level of toughness to course.
Cons: Next tee arrow to #8 tee was missing. We ended up shooting a crazy fun shot from a tee of our own making, between three buildings, around many students, in the near dark, to basket for #9 (I believe). It was a crazy tough, shot and I had a 3, while my playing partner took a four.
I know this doesn't matter....but, it was the best shot of the course. uh oh What I guess I'm saying, is this course probably offers great opportunities for some safari disc. Probably tough to find a time when tons of students aren't about. We played at dusk, and there were 100s of young people and teachers and such, about. We had to wait briefly and throw well, but pulled it off without endangering anyone. There is one hole in which, even with a spotter, a pedestrian coming out of a door way at the wrong time, would be dangerous.
We had students on the picnic tables/benches in fairway #7 as well. I played a safer shot away from them, than the line I probably would have chosen. Cost me a stroke to. They seemed like good guys...kind of hippy looking....just oblivious to the possible danger.
Other Thoughts: I almost want to give this one a 3, for the enjoyment and interest factor. The golf just isn't "all that and a box of cheez-its". Make sure to give a friendly wave to the life sized sculpture man, sitting on a bench, watching your drive from the #4 tee.
If you're using a GPS, don't put in the "design" school address. This will take you downtown. You want the main campus entered. We learned the hard way.
No one else has mentioned the fact that errant shots could hit buildings, with lots of glass, here. We didn't hit any, and it would probably take a quite off line shot; but, I'm sure it's been done. Kudos to whomever has made this course happen and to the school administration for allowing such an interesting course to exist, with so much stuff, including students, in the line of fire. Be safe and friendly as guests on this campus.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Chicago's only metropolitan disc golf course.
Pros: Quick thoughts list:
1. Great little course (9 hole) actually in Chicago which is a major plus for those of us that can't get out to the suburbs often enough.
2. Well marked course. Little signs by most baskets directing you to the next hole.
3. Course map by the first tee.
4. Generally a good atmosphere. Everyone seems friendly and interested in what you are doing. Be prepared for people to stop and observe. You may even get some converts by doing this which is good for the sport.
5. Security personnel on site are very helpful and will direct you to the nearest restroom if needed. I brought my wife and 4 yr old girl who both needed to use the restrooms at different times.
6. Starbuck's nearby on 35th St!! Just head south from tee #1 to the next intersection. Big plus for me since I love coffee so much and a sandwich can also be a plus if you play out multiple rounds.
7. Funny slogans painted on multiple rocks (that read "You got Ninja'd" as of this post). Enough for a chuckle anyway.
Deeper considerations list:
1. Holes 1,2,4 and 6 offer some real ACE opportunities. I just about skip Aced hole 4.
2. Interesting obstacles besides trees such as several statues. Plus it is really cool to see statues on a disc golf course. I'd recommend avoiding DX or Pro-D plastic if you have a tendency to hit such things as they have sharp corners and pointy parts all over. That will tear up your disc pretty badly.
3. Holes 5, 7, 8 and 9 are pretty technical by varying degrees. You seem to get an easy time of things at the beginning of the course and end up with a greater challenge towards the end. These holes are also the long ones with 7,8 and 9 in the mid to upper 300's and hole 5 actually at 446'. Hole 5 is also one of the ones that has a couple of statues as well as trees for obstacles.
4. Hole 3, while very short (209') has a huge pine and some brush right in the middle between tee and basket. It has become a nice little hole for me to work out big hyzer shots. This is the only one that I shoot with a forehand so that it goes to the left of the pine and comes back in toward the basket. The hole is blind from the tee but I'm waiting for the day that I hear a resounding CHING and get a very cool ace.
Cons: 1. No alternate tees.
2. People wondering about seemingly clueless as to what is going on. They tend to choose the longest path through the fairway.
3. Hole 1 is sometimes turned into a rugby field so you might have to skip it on some days.
4. Hole 9 can be a bit scary as you can't really see if people have just exited the building by the basket. Yelling "fore" just doesn't cut it either so hope your luck holds out or play it safe. This can be an awkward situation as you really want to play the hole but you could wind up really knocking someone out.
5. Holes 5 and 9 overlap.
6. The teepad for 7 is about 10 feet from the basket for 6. Throwers at 6 can easily hit a thrower teeing off on 7.
7. Holes 7 and 8 run along each other and throwers at either may have to wait for a group to finish or move off to the farther side of the fair.
8. Picnic tables on hole 7 tend to attract students pondering their lives. They seem completely lost in their own thoughts and don't really notice that discs are landing around them. These tables are "protected" by trees so very small chance you will hit them on your drive but on the chip shot you will have to watch how you throw.
9. Occassionally, there seems to be a prayer tent or something like that erected right on the fairway for hole 4. This can be good if you think of it as an obstacle but bad if you actually hit it...seems like something you wouldn't want to hit (fortunately the tent has not been up for awhile)
10. Natural tees (not annoying for me but to some this is a negative)
Other Thoughts: All in all, this is the perfect course for Chicagoans and those visiting Chicago. It's easy to find, easy to park (not always the case in Chicago), clean (no beer cans or cigarette butts) and well thought out for the most part. The fact that the designers were able to fit 9 holes on the IIT campus and weave them in between the buildings is a small miracle. I've always felt good while throwing there even when I have to wait for pedestrians or have to skip a hole for the rugby players (hole 1).
I give it a 2.5 because it really is cool but then again it is only 9 holes and there are some issues with pedestrians and hole overlap....well, it is in Chicago which is a godsend so I upped it from a 2.
edit: I lowered the rating by a full point b/c in retrospect, it really isn't a 3.5 and is much more a 2 but the fact that it is in the metro area really does deserve a .5 bump.
edit: Free parking lately by hole 3...there are meters but they are turned off or something like that... if you're coming from 55, take the exit for 31st, turn left on 31st, go under the viaduct, then right after that is Federal (it's really just a parking lot though), right on Federal and you can park by hole 8 or go to the end and park by hole 3.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
pretty nice urban course
Pros: Decent variety among holes
-Fair number of obstacles; only a couple supereasy holes
-Every tee has a bench and a trash can
-Next tee signs wherever there's a distance between one hole and the next
-Two "el" line stations a couple blocks away make this course very accessible for those in the city
-Definitely something different in terms of play environment vs. the usual suburban park; I particularly liked that there were sculptures as obstacles on a couple of holes.
Cons: No genuinely exciting holes; while there was no totally boring hole (which is a pretty rare achievement on a 9-hole course), there was also no hole that really caught my attention
-As this is a campus in the middle of the city and several fairways do cross walking paths, you could end up doing a bunch of waiting for walkers to get out of the way
-Kinda busy the day I played; I took note of those benches I mentioned as a pro because I appreciated a place to sit while waiting for players in front of me, and there were more behind me.
-The fairways for holes 7, 8 and 9 crisscross each other to some extent. This compounded the issue with groups of players having to wait even longer for the folks in front of them to be out of the way.
Other Thoughts: It's pretty amazing they were able to fit a course right on part of an urban campus. I'd recommend any player take a trip here once just to see it; it's a good enough course you won't regret coming here once even if it's not exciting enough to keep an experienced player coming back.
I didn't have to wait even once for a "pedestrian hazard" to move- I'd deliberately waited until summer to play this course, and recommend others just dropping by to check it out do the same.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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