Beauty and the BEAST
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Fell in love with this course the moment I stepped onto the first tee pad. The park it's in is as vast as it is gorgeous, and this course is layed out to maximize the terrain. Plenty of benches and bins are scattered throughout. Band shell and pavilion add to the mystique. Beautiful bridges over the water in the back nine. No underbrush whatsoever makes for a clean round. Concrete tees with hole number, distance, and an arrow pointing at the tee etched into the pad. Giant course map by hole 1 to gives you an overview of where to go. Long holes are mixed in well with ones of standard length.
You begin your round in a very relaxing atmosphere under a canopy of aged trees (think Riverview Grasslands). Main thing to remember here: keep your drives low. A sled hill offers a great downhill bomb on hole 5. Hole 9 takes you from the east side of the park to the west, over a low-lying soggy area, and into the gauntlet of the back nine.
Say goodbye to the laid-back, comfy shots under the canopy. Hole 10 is a wicked line over two sets of the same raging river. A waterfall to your left makes these waters extremely quick. They also appear very deep. You must also watch out for people fishing here. Holes 9-14 all involve this river and its tributaries, as well as two stagnant ponds. Hole 11 is suicide - The 200-foot long fairway is about twenty feet across, with water on either side. Hole 12 is a whopping 1000 feet, over a LARGE pond teeming with wildlife. 13 plays along one of the banks, and 14 is an aceable gamble on a delta - the ultimate risk/reward!
15 has you shooting back over the soggy ground (tricky) with the pavilion as a backdrop, and the last holes take you past the bandstand and back to where you started - and are a great relief after the raging river. All in all, a superb course that is both awe-inspiring and extremely challenging. Highly recommended.
Cons: This course had five stars written all over it. I read the reviews, looked at the pics and was so excited to get out and play it. It did not dissapoint.
It held five stars until hole 11 - the suicide machine. There is a fine line between a challenge and a fool's errand, and this crosses it. Just look at the pic and you'll see what I'm talking about (1/2 star deduction).
Hole 12 (1000-footer), while unique, completely ruins the flow of the course. I believe this can be corrected by simply placing the basket just on the other side of the big pond. But it is a good 350 feet past the pond (keep in mind it a good 250 just to GET to the pond), which makes it impossible to par, and also takes you to the outskirts of the park, and takes you away from the aura of the park. You have to backtrack 400 feet just to get to the following tee. Placing the basket by the pond would eliminate the unnecessary walk, while still keeping the hole very challenging. I was very out of sorts playing the next two holes (13 and 14) which are very tough, and sucked the fun out of the course for a stretch (1/2 star deduction).
I was also not a fan of the soggy areas, which come into play on 9 and 15. Shoes soaked with mud upon playing. But it is what it is (no deduction).
Other Thoughts: Many people at the park, but no one golfing! Dog walkers, fishermen, kids on the playground. Two old black guys drinking beer and listening to a soul album from their car's stereo - brilliant. What a great atmosphere. There were even some folks having some pictures taken by a professional photographer down by the river. If I lived any closer to Albion, I would play here at every opportunity.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great lay out with good use of available elevation, and natural hazards. Mature trees, and a racing river add to the old stonework in this historic park.
Great competition course with good risk and reward.
Cons: Not for the faint of heart, or valuable plastic.
No directional signs.
Other Thoughts: Bring water discs. You will have more fun.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Nice distance course.
Good use of natural obstacles.
Placement of first disc is very important - most of the holes cannot be achieved from the tee. You need to make critical decisions as to what disc to throw and where to place it, in order to solidify a second shot for par.
Gorgeous water hazards throughout the back nine.
Cons: You will need a map.
The front nine is somewhat monotonous. Random trees.
If you value every single disc in your bag, be prepared to take your shoes off and wade for a moment.
Other Thoughts: I traveled to Michigan and played 7 courses in a three day span. Of all of them, Victory Park had the most beautiful signature hole. It is a 327 ft. drive directly over a river. If you can't make the drive, you lose your disc. Obviously, some folks don't like this...but I found it exhilarating. I love to feel anxious before a throw - like this throw really matters. To me, that is disc golf! The several "water holes" at this course made the entire course worth playing. Without them, it would just be another typical public park course.
Also, print a course map. Seriously. As long as you have it, the difficulties with the layout will diminish. I had no problem finding the next pad and basket with the map. I found it through the PDGA website links.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Good variety of shots, some elevation change, water hazzards on #9,10,11,12,13,14.. Flush toilets. Nice playground for the little ones. Pavillion and grills for lunch.
Cons: Soccer field can come into play on holes #9 and 14. Field is ALWAYS soggy as can be.
Other Thoughts: If you throw into middle of pond on #12, kiss it goodbye...muck city! Sometimes dude in a kayak will retrieve disc for you. #14 definate ace possibility. Cascarelli's in downtown Albion has great pizza and Bell's on tap.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is great. The tee pads are wonderful; even and long. The hole layout is very good, and quite challenging. I love throwing over 300' across water, so sweet.There is also a 990' hole on this course, very cool since there are not many courses in the area with any distances close to this. Hole 12 (990') is awesome, you through out over a field then road, with trees on the left and a large pond in the middle of your 2nd drive. I really enjoy this course and there are plenty of shorter holes to get your birdies to even out the long holes.
Cons: No signs, but the course is still new. This problem can easily be avoided by looking up the course on google and printing out a map for yourself before the round. Once you have played it once correctly you will never be lossed in returning rounds.
Other Thoughts: I would not recommend this course for beginners as there is a lot of water that comes into play and the course is long.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Cement tee pads,front 9 is through mature trees and rolling hills,back 9 steps up the challenge with lots of water and difficult pin placement,once I figured out the course I found it to be challenging and fun,
Cons: Very confusing layout,no signs anywhere,I had to track down the only person on the course to find hole #1 and I still threw at the wrong basket,baskets are numbered but not tees I found myself throwing at the wrong basket more than once,a lot of holes border roads/parking lots making a mistake may result in hitting a car,back 9 is flat and course lacks some variety,
Other Thoughts: Hole #1 is near baseball diamond,tees off next to main road through park,I wish I could give a description of the course layout but it was hard enough when I was there let alone now, Good Luck
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Challenging variety of holes. Couple of cool holes near the Kalamazoo River.
Cons: Hole 12 is a bad design, especially when road crossing the fairway is OB...unless you throw 400' +, don't expect much better than a six here. While I like many of the holes, seems like some of the teeing areas were strange choices. River will not only swallow, but take your disc.
Other Thoughts: Cement pads make this a can't miss course.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: New cages that have numbers on them. Cement teepads. That's about all.
Cons: Horrible layout. No signs, tough to figure out where to start and where to go. Very few birdie holes. Ridiculous water hazards make 'fool's holes' on back nine. More like a 13 hole course.
Other Thoughts: I was dissappointed with this course immediately upon arriving in the park. The course has no markings where to go whatsoever. This is one of the poorest course layouts I have ever come across. The pins were all placed very far from the teepads. They became generic - every drive being a straight 'throw it as hard as you can'. I recorded no birdies while bogies seemed like pars. I have no problem driving distance but a few shorter holes with obstacles would have been nice. I didn't even consider playing holes 10 - 14 because the cages were placed way too close to a raging river. If a disc touches the water here, it's gone for good. This park had all the makings for a decent course but this layout fails in every way. Scrambles format might make it somewhat enjoyable. I guess it's better than nothing if you go to Albion College or live in the area. Not worth the trip for out-of-towners. Oh, and good luck finding a partystore in the area.
4 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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