7 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun campus course
Pros: The course plays through a small college campus through and across small quad areas and between buildings and sculptures. There is lots of sidewalk and road ob waiting to punish an errant drive on several holes, and the buildings and sculptures make for some very different obstacles than you're used to on a course.
There are a couple really short ace run holes, and a few from 350'-450' where you can open up a little more and throw some drives as long as you can stay away from the windows. Several holes are straight ahead, but a couple force left to right or right to left shots, and most have some trees to keep it a little more interesting.
There is a nice course map at the first tee, and great tee signs throughout the course with distance and hole layout. The baskets are newer discatchers that catch great. Most tees have benches and trashcans, and there are some next tee signs to help with navigation. The campus is pretty and well taken care of, there was no trash or vandalism on the course and all the fairways were well mowed.
Cons: The biggest issue with this course is the safety issues. Even on a weekend, there were a lot of people around, none of whom seemed to know what we were doing. We spent quite a bit of time waiting for pedestrians to clear fairways so we could throw safely. On top of that, there are a lot of windows in danger from this course, and lots of picnic tables and benches on several of the fairways, frankly I'm amazed that's never been a problem here. There are also a few holes that play very close to roads and parking lots.
The tees are natural, and not well defined as to where you're actually supposed to throw from. They can be muddy and rutted after a rain, and several have roots sticking up through them making for less than stellar footing on drives.
The flow is a little odd, though the design does a great job with the odd spaces around campus. Make sure you take a look at the map before playing, the first 5 holes are scattered a little, with tees that aren't visible from the previous basket. The last 4 holes are all in the same area and play very close to one another, and hole 9 crosses back over 5s fairway. There is a long walk from 9 back to 1 if you want to play again, and the visitor parking lots ($2 an hour except for Sundays) are also a little bit of a walk from the course.
Other Thoughts: This is a very unique and fun course to play, but there isn't quite enough challenge or variety in the design for me to give it a better rating. There are a couple fun holes, the rest feel like filler holes squeezed wherever they could find space between the buildings. That said, I'll be back as this is the closest course to me and it's a totally different playing experience.
Beginners won't find the course to terribly challenging, with no rough and several shorter holes, though the safety issues are magnified with newer and less accurate players. More experienced throwers won't find the course too challenging other than length on a couple holes, but it's worth stopping by for the playing experience, especially the couple holes that play through the sculptures.
7 of 8 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.
7 Helpful / 7 Not
C- = a little below average for a 9 holer
Pros: This is an amazing course in that it is in an urban area yet affords a real/legit disc golf experience! It is pretty and green and should work well to get college students knowing the fun that is DG. Major kudos to those involved in getting this course in the ground!
Unfortunately, I am not rating this against other urban campus courses. Rather, my review will rank this course against what I personally like and how it stacks up in my list of 9 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == C-
(Other than hole #7, there really is no punishment that has a chance of adding an extra stroke to your score after screwing up.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max. == C-
(The short holes were too short for me to be rewarding and the long ones were to long to expect to reach but short enough to make a score of 3 very routine/boring. The exception is 351' #7 (which also has good shape and OB lurking - the best hole by far!))
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == C+
(There are decent amount of variety in shot shape, but nothing really unique. No terrain worth mentioning.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == C-
(While it is lush and green and clean for an urban area, .......it is an urban area.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == N/A
Other Thoughts: 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 (149 18-hole, 91 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....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
7 of 14 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.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very easy to navigate and fun to play. The only course within the chicago city limits, its awesome to be able to jump off the CTA and be at a disc golf course instead of just more city. Holes clearly marked, easy to follow next tee directions, and very friendly atmosphere. Great beginner course due to the length of most holes.
Cons: There are a few drives you can bomb but you need to be wary of people either not understanding they are on a disc golf course or people just walking between the buildings. A few of the fairways play back and forth over walkways in between the buildings and 2 holes you actually shoot towards the road.
Other Thoughts: Even with these cons as long as you understand your "bag" and just be patient with the walkers it is a great course. Also at tee 1 there is a larger map for newer players so you know where to go. It states there are score cards and pencils but the box has always been empty as far as i know. Other reviews state there is nowhere to go to the bathroom; well if you go right across the street to the mccormick center they have public bathrooms in there and a 7-11 if you need something else. All and all if it was longer and had less pedestrians I would give this course a 4 no problem.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Chicago course
Pros: There's nothing like being a Chicago local and having the opportunity to drive from downtown in a convertable and play a very nice disc golf course so close to home. Parking is free and accessible only steps from the first tee. It's one of those courses where you really don't need to know the course to play all the way through the first time, easily. Holes were clearly marked and you could see downtown Chicago in the distance from most holes. If you want to feel like you're in Chicago, but also feel like you're playing disc golf - this is the course. I just love it.
Cons: Holes are short and so is the course. But a lady friend and you can go through the course relatively quickly without her getting bored. If you were with a buddy and a 40oz, it's the perfect length (so bring 2). I've been several times and would have enjoyed having the score cards available, they were always out when I was there. The water station is a great touch - but it's always empty.
Other Thoughts: I really can't ask for more than this for a free, nice urban course.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Great City Course
Pros: Overall a pretty solid course. This course gets some extra points for me simply because it's located so close to the city, and so close to public transportation. The signage on the course is great, and the baskets are high quality and new. There are nice benches all over the course (it is on a campus afterall), and a lot of those benches are right next to the tee box. Small trash cans are also by a lot of the tee boxes. At hole #5 they have a spot for "Fresh Water'...but it's never been filled since I've been playing there.
Cons: Unfortunately they don't have concrete pads to tee off from. It's just dirt...and since it tends to rain a lot in Chicago I've slipped several times. Not a huge deal. Also, the course is a bit short which makes it pretty easy to get a lot of birdies. I would rate myself as a pretty average player, and I can birdie every hole.
Once school is in session it's almost impossible to play a round during the early afternoon / morning without nailing people. I don't even bother. But after 5 it's fine.
Other Thoughts: I talked with someone that works for IIT and he said they were probably going to put concrete pads in. That would be a huge plus for me as I slip a lot when driving. I'm extremely grateful for a well-though out course in the middle of a city campus. Without it I wouldn't be able to play nearly as much as I get to now.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Short but Sweet
Pros: Great tee signs which indicated the hole layout. Also had scoredcards at first tee with a map which was awesome.
We loved the hole variety and placement of the baskets amidst the trees. Very challenging short course that was extremely fun because we were typically putting for birdie every hole.
The layout of the course between campus buildings was also very well done. Very easy to navigate hole to hole and played very quickly since there was NOBODY else playing.
Even though the course was relatively short, I found there were several options right of the tee pad as well as some approach shots that left me taking chances for the birdie quite often. Again - basket location around the trees was great!
Cons: Only 9 holes
Muddy tees after a rain
Campus Buildings locked - no restroom
No terrain changes - very flat
Other Thoughts: location was right off the "el green line" at 35th street. Only 10 minutes from downtown Chicago.
Concrete tees would make it a 3.5.
Another 9 holes and this is a great short course that anyone can play and have alot of fun on!!! in my opinion a perfect course on a college campus that introduces a wide variety of people to the sport - great to play!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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