6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Blue course has a mix of longer more open holes on the front and then becomes more technical on the back. There are some fairly long holes, but there are usually a couple of "well-placed" trees that you must avoid. (Long arms will really like the chance to air it out here!) I found the Blue Course to offer the most as far as risk/reward is concerned. Many of the holes allow for various ways to play the hole giving you choices of what type of shot to use (rather than forcing everyone to throw the same shot.) There is just enough elevation on some holes to be a factor. The Blue Course also has the added challenge of a few water holes including a pond, a march, and a creek (lost discs are possible.) Navigation was not a problem, but I do highly recommend printing a course map before you come. And of course the concrete tees and nice signs were in excellent shape.
The baskets are one of the coolest features in this complex as they match the color of the name of the course. This also helps you to locate the different courses better when you enter the park, and it helps to spot the correct basket as the courses border each other in many places. (Imagine if the park just had 100+ yellow baskets...!)
The courses were just used for 2010 Worlds so everything should still be in great shape.
Cons: I like the balance of the number of open holes to technical holes, but I wish it could have been mixed up more (front 9 was open, back 9 was more technical). Playing all those open holes back to back can start to become a little repetitive, especially to distance-challenged arms. (Although if you look at the big picture of the whole complex and consider all 72 holes at Lemon Lake, then a few open holes in a row is not that bad.) To allow for the longer style, the Blue Course is very spread out, so there are some longer than average walks between holes sometimes.
I also played after some heavy rains and the course was very muddy in places and so soggy that they were not able to mow the fairways. This is probably not the norm, but be advised if you play during the rainy season.
Other Thoughts: Obviously having 4+ courses in one spot is a huge bonus, especially when they are all good courses. (This course would be around a 3.5 if it was a stand alone, but gets a slight boost when you factor in the entire complex.) I like that each course has its own personality and degree of difficulty. (Ranking: easiest-White- Red-Blue-Silver/Gold-hardest) The Blue Course for me played harder than it looks (which frustrated me that day!) You have to play it smart and stay mentally tough throughout the round. Blue was my 2nd favorite or the 4 (Red was 1st), and as others have said, the two do complement each other very well. Parking for the Red and Blue courses is the same- the first lot on the left.
There is a vehicle entrance fee, but the gatehouse was not always manned. Also, the park workers are extremely friendly and obviously take pride in their disc golf courses.
We had the chance to play these courses as they were making final preparations for the 2010 Worlds. I am sure the courses are in even better shape now since that event has past.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course has a decent amount of space to work with, which provides good length and variety.
- Majority of the holes are in large fields, with a wide mix of trees and bushes. There are holes that are more or less wide open, some with plenty of large trees to avoid, and some with tight and low lines. A lot of these holes have decent elevation change as well, so there is pretty good variety. Many long holes to let it rip.
- Other holes play in a hilly forest that has a small creek in play, with huge punishment throughout. Lots of twisting shots either over the creek or next to it, with plenty of trees to navigate around. Good slopes with valleys, uphill holes, and slanted fairways, with respectable length. Some shorter holes with more extreme curves mixed in as well.
- Water is in play on many holes, thanks to the creek as well as a large marsh. Hole #10 in the A position is a long right-curving fairway that follows the edge of the marsh; a great use of the water to provide some deadly OB.
- Some baskets are protected well by large trees, small trees, and some slopes.
- Good tee pads, signage, and baskets. Lots of signs for navigation, and great crossings over the creek.
Cons: - The only real con with this course is the number of holes that are more or less open. There are trees and stuff to avoid, but it is usually pretty straightforward. The section of the course from #4 to #7 or so is a little cut and dry.
- The course is set in a few different parts of the park, so there are some long walks at times. Lots of holes near the entrance road, as well as a long hole next to a main road.
Other Thoughts: - Overall, a very solid course with a good mix of long, tree-filled "open" holes, and curving forested holes. Some spots have very significant elevation changes that add big challenges. #14 is a great hole that combines all these elements, with a tee shot over a valley and creek, through a small patch of large trees, to a field with a semi-protected basket.
- Bring the drivers on this course; every last foot goes a long way to set up for the next shot.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
A Course of 2 Nines
Pros: Lemon Lake Blue sported excellent baskets, tees, and navigational prompts. The flow was very natural. The strength of the course is in the balance of the design. The first 9 holes were mostly open with sparse trees. While this lended options off the tee, there was an apparent idea behind the construction of the hole. For example, I believe it is hole 8 where there is a large tree directly in between the tee and the pin. The pin is about 30 feet behind the tree. The hyzer (RHBH) route is there, but there are some other sporadic trees along the right side. It opens up down the left side, indicating that this was what the designer had in mind. You can try and execute the difficult anhyzer, or you can attempt the hazardous hyzer line. I felt like there were a number of holes like this on the Blue Course. Hole 10 is a challenging RHBH anhyzer around the lake. After this hole, the course becomes more wooded. Once in the woods, shot execution and shape becomes crucial. In short, the Blue Course at Lemon Lake offers open, yet risky, open holes along with wooded holes requiring solid execution. Hole #18 was an excellent finishing hole requiring navigation of a tight fairway. The groundskeeping was fantastic for the Blue Course as well.
Cons: Hole #1 was boring. The only challenge was a slight uphill grade. In my opinion, it was the weakest hole on the course. If you have read my prior reviews, the two holes I remember most are the first and the last. Therefore I am critical of these holes. The 600' hole was rather boring as well. For someone like me, I know what I am going to get on that hole before I tee off...a 4. The only challenge present for this hole would be wind which could pose a challenge under those conditions.
Other Thoughts: The Blue Course was my second favorite course at Lemon Lake. This is by no means meant to discard the Blue Course as I gave this course and the Red the same rating. I think they compliment each other very well. The entire complex is a phenomenal facility for the sport.
If you are traveling, like we were, simply turn into the park and look for the first parking lot on your left. The Red and Blue courses begin and end in this parking lot. The course does not loop back to the parking area after hole 9, but you do come close after a slightly downhill hole, which I believe is around 14 or 15. If you like to take a mid-round pit-stop after 9, you might have to wait a few holes.
Bathrooms are located in the building near the playgrounds. The back 9 passes this area at some point. I didn't notice any bathrooms close to the front 9 and it is a long way to the restrooms from holes 4 - 8.
If you are in the area, Lemon Lake is a must-stop. If you can play all 4 courses, you should definitely go for it. They all offer different challenges. If I could only play 2 of the 4, I would choose Blue and Red because they offer a challenge for the average player (like me) without being frustrating. If you are an elite level player, then the Silver/Gold is definitely a good option for you. If you are a beginner, the White Course is probably suited for you. No matter what combination you play, you shouldn't be disappointed.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun course with variety
Pros: The course plays on a mix of open rolling grass with scattered trees, and hilly wooded areas. The open shots have some minor elevation changes, and lots of rolling hills to add interest, along with the wind that often blows. The wooded holes offer more technical challenges, with tight fairways and elevation. There are some water shots on this course that add a great risk/reward element, with a creek in the woods, and a lake along some of the more open holes.
There is a great variety of hole length on this course, with some holes that are aceable, and some great air it out holes, with most falling somewhere in between. The open holes have plenty of distance, while having enough trees to take away the easy grip it and rip it shot. The wooded holes call for some line shaping, with left and right turning fairways that call for a variety of different shots.
The tees are concrete or pavers, and are all good surfaces with enough room to throw from. There are good signs with the hole distance and layout, and signs pointing the way on a couple of the long walks between holes. The grounds are nicely maintained, with mowed grass, and not much trash anywhere on the course. The huge amount of work put in by the park and the locals really shows at Lemon Lake.
Cons: This course has water hazards, which is a great thing, but it also has poor drainage which is a not so great thing. There were a couple tee pads under water, and a few fairways that were almost completely submerged, though there had been rain in the past few weeks.
The open first half of the course gets a little stale, there just aren't enough different shots there to keep it from feeling like the same shot repeating. If there were a way to mix the wooded holes in with the open holes (I understand that it doesn't work here), the course would feel like there was more variety and interest.
Other Thoughts: This course offers a good challenge for more experienced players, while still being mostly accessible for newer players. There is a lot of distance though, and chances to lose discs in the water, so some new players might be pretty frustrated.
This course is a lot of fun, and would be worth a trip to play all by itself, and is definitely worth a trip with the other three courses on site. I think the Red course is my favorite here, but Blue is a close second and is definitely a must play while you're in the area.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Two-Part Course like beef Jerky: Starts Long, gets shorter as it Toughens
Pros: This course is probably the most diverse of the 4, as well as being probably the most open.
Like most of the others (besides red) it has a mix of concrete and rubber pads, with the same good tee signs and maps as the others. Like Red, this course has a few alt pins though more than half of the holes only have one.
This course starts off with some long holes on rolling hills with enough trees to force careful drive placement and to weave through.
The hills make rollaways a threat, and trees keep baskets protected for added intrigue.
Also, a marshy area comes into play on hole 2 long tee, to make you sweat a bit.
From there, the course moves into flatter fields with scattered trees for a few long, ripper holes, but forcing you to go through trees to get there. Thus, the open holes stay fairly intriguing and keep big arms more honest.
The grass fairways are well-manicured and clear of brush or shule, which is nice. Wind also comes into play on the front side, due to the openness of the course, which makes the trees loom larger than they would otherwise.
I'd compare the front 8 holes to Crystal Lake Park in Beaver Dam (with better drainage), and more strategically placed trees.
On hole 9, this course pulls an O'Hauser and kicks it up a notch, by bringing water into play like no other course here at Lemon Lake. If you go right or long of the basket on 9, your disc is in a legitimate river aka lost.
The following hole, kicking off the back 9 is IMO the signature hole of Blue. A hillside sloping to the lake on the right, you curve your shot around lakeshore to the narrow opening of the basket on the lakeside. Risk-reward, scenic, very memorable. Great hole, scary and tough, everything you want.
After that, the course goes into the woods, with a series of what my partners-in-crime called "Rich Martin Special"s aka Throw and Pray. To put this in context, Rich Martin designed O'hauser Park in Appleton, so similar vein to the wonderfully technical, tough holes there.
The only difference is, where O'hauser is flat and wooded, the holes in question here are fairly steep wooded hills with a nasty bog running between them. Ya. Scary. After the bog, the course keeps weaving through wooded hillsides, like Silver with fewer ravines or long holes. At the end, the course brings the water back into play on the last few holes.
Overall, this course is a wild ride, from testing your distance, to pushing the envelope of shot accuracy and placement in the woods. Many memorable holes, lots of terrain and water on the back half.
Cons: Unfortunately, with water comes, well, water. This course has probably the worst drainage of the 4. White probably has more holes with soggy fairways, but Blue has several tees underwater, hole 13's was completely submerged when we played. Thats pretty bad.
The river on 9 looked close to engulfing the basket, but it didn't.
Also, the first 8 holes are just ok, IMO. Yes they are pretty interesting and test your distance, but there long holes on Red that are waaay moreso. However, it is nice to have some more open holes on a course besides Silver, where the open holes are loooong.
Also, this course probably has the most confusing layout of the 4, mainly at the first few holes, where it crosses back and forth between the Red and Silver sides of the road.
Though its the second-oldest course here, Blue still needs some TLC before it reaches its potential. It also seemed to have more trash on it than the other three, which further detracted from the experience.
Be mindful of Holes 11 & 12, the wooded hillsides of doom. Place a spotter down to the right near the water's edge, because otherwise your disc can easily roll down the hill and disappear into that stagnant pond. You won't see it if someone's not watching.
This is the second hardest course in Lemon Lake, with plenty of blind hyzers, tight gaps, and risk reward to go around. Not perfect, but pretty darn good, and will be even moreso once all the concrete pads are in.
Other Thoughts: AS one of the course designers told me, the goal by Worlds (2011 i think?) is to have an alt pin or tee on every hole of White, Silver and Blue, since Red seems all set. I believe they truly will accomplish this, and am curious to see what the courses look like by the time the tournament is here.
Playing all 4 courses back-to-back in the same day, it was tough, and tough to pick which one was my favorite, since they were all so good. Silver and Blue were both great, however, I think the crazy water holes (9-12) here are what tip the scales slightly in Blue's favor, plus the fact that it isn't as ridiculously long as silver, nor does it beat you up as much. (we didn't even play from gold tees on silver, either, to compare)
LEMON LAKE MANIFESTO
(This is me extrapolating alot, not to be taken as pure fact, but you'll find that the shoe fits)
To accurately evaluate these four courses (this body of work, if you will), its important to note what order they were built in. Here's how I interpret it. First came the Red course, compact and concise, in a section of woods off in one corner of the park. It was wooded and technical, and it got used.
Then, once they got the green light to start building more courses, they built the Blue course next to and across the street from Red, bringing the Lake into the picture. This time they chose to do longer, more open holes, wicked water holes, and some more terrain, three things Red lacked. They shot for making a course a bit longer and a bit tougher than Red, and succeeded.
Then came the building craze. They decided to step it up another notch, with an extremely tough course, like Wisconsin staples Highbridge Gold and Justin Trails Big Brother. The championship course, the flagship, the one that the Pros will talk about. Thus Silver was born, with the eventual goal of adding Gold tees as well to truly elevate the difficulty to the next level.
Meanwhile, they saw the need to add a course for newer players, to get never people into the sport, and introduce them to disc golf, while still providing challenge for the more experienced. And then there was White.
So, Lemon Lake has a remarkably diverse range of courses, both in style and difficulty
It shows remarkable vision and foresight, on top of superb course design, to manage such a project, and pull it off so well, and for that, I commend everyone who had a hand in this project and continues to improve upon it. The best part is they are NOT done building courses here, either. Not even close. This place is gonna explode onto the scene once they have Worlds here.
The way I see it, you have two choices:
1) Wait till Worlds and you'll be hearing about Lemon Lake from everyone, including Top Pros
2) Go to Lemon Lake now, and BE the one in the know, telling everyone else about this place.
You've got to check this place out for yourself, its worth a weekend just to play here.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: One of the best reasons for this course is the possibility to play three rounds of 18 with different challanges on all three rounds. Blue offers a open start with woods coming in to play on the back 8, first 10 offer mostly open power shots but still offers enough trees and bushes to make you think about your approach.
Cons: Wind plays big on the fist ten. Beware the water on 10 and 11 because you will not want to go in after a disk in the swamp.
Other Thoughts: No real complaints here, fun course.
2 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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