20 Helpful / 0 Not
The Toboggan Course
Great Tee Signs
Amazing Elevation Changes
Very Well-Manicured and Well-Maintained
Restrooms and Water Fountain On-Site
Friendly and Helpful Locals
Great Shot Variety
Disc Golf Exclusive Area
Picnic Areas, Ball Golf, Beach and Other Amenities in Park
Another 27-Hole Disc Golf Course in Park
Park is Clean and Well-Maintained
The Rough is Very Thick (Spotter Recommended)
Very Few Benches and Trash Cans Throughout the Course
Navigation Can Be Difficult
Int-Open Level Players Only Recommended
Natural Tees Are Getting Rough
First Hole Can Be Hard to Find
The Toboggan Course is a huge, 18-hole temporary course located in Kensington Metropark near Milford, MI. The course is set up once a year, usually in late May or early June, for the US Amateur Disc Golf Championships. While the course is in place and open to the public for nearly the entire month, the rubber tee pads are only installed around tournament time when the course is open to registered players only. When the rubber tees are not installed the course has natural/grass tee pads that are just starting to show their age and could use a little rehabilitation as they are starting to show a lot of dirt and can become extremely slippery when wet.
To get to the Toboggan Course take US-96 to exit 153 (Huron River Parkway) and head north to the entrance/pay station. Once you pay the parking/entrance fee, $5.00 per car, continue on Huron River Parkway for 2.2 miles into the roundabout and make a left onto West Buno Road. Follow Buno Road for 1.5 miles (it turns into Maple Beach Drive) and make a right into the parking lot. If you follow the signs to the toboggan area you should have no problems getting there. From the parking lot you should be able to see a couple of picnic pavilions, the first tee pad is to the left/east of the pavilions near the edge of the hilltop.
The Toboggan Course is truly unlike any course I have ever played. When I stepped on the first tee I just smiled and even laughed out loud a bit. I couldn't believe the shot that I was looking at. This was one of the biggest downhill shots I have ever played. Right away I knew we were in for a hell of a round of disc golf. I had no idea.
Hole 1 is pretty open. the worst rough is just feet from the basket, off to the right. As with many holes on this course, I would highly recommend a spotter here. It's hard to spot the basket from the tee pad and if you go too far right there is no way you will be able to keep your eyes on your disc.
As excited as you were to see and throw hole 1, you will be the complete opposite when you lay your eyes on hole 2. A whopping 726 feet up the same enormous hill you just came down. Not only do you need a cannon to even pull off a 5 here, you'll also need to be in good physical condition to have the strength and stamina to keep your shots in the fairway and on target.
Hole 3 is another huge, and I mean huge, downhill bomb. Not only do you have to tame the huge air from atop the hill, the hole measures in at just over 900 feet with at least half of that coming after the hill levels out. From the tee pad you will want to avoid the rough on the right side of the fairway at all costs. It is extremely thick and if your disc goes in there is a good chance you won't be able to spot or even get to it. This is another spot where I would recommend a spotter down near the bottom of the hill just to be on the safe side.
After hole 3 the course starts to balance out a lot more. While elevation is present on nearly every hole on this course none are more dramatic than those first three holes.
While the elevation changes are the what stands out the most on this course there are a few other highlights as well. Hole 6 being one of them. A long hyzer (RHBH) shot over rolling hills with a very nice defined fairway. This hole will test anyone's game and is one of the top holes on the course.
Hole 8, another standout on this or any course, has you throwing off a huge drop-off. The basket sits well below tucked away in one of the small patches of trees you find throughout the course. The view from the tee pad is slim to non existent and a spotter is almost a necessity on this hole. The tee pad ends into some very tall weeds making only the tree tops from the valley below visible.
Hole 12 is just a downright awesome disc golf hole. It has everything a player would look for in a great and challenging shot, elevation (downhill), nice mature trees as obstacles, and a beautiful and well-defined fairway. This is, what I would consider, the best hole on the course. There may be a couple others, holes 1 and 3 specifically, that may have a little more of a "fun" factor, but hole 12 is just a challenging, well-thoughout, pure disc golf hole.
This is definitely the most challenging course I have played to date. Not only is the course difficult to throw and do well, it's physically demanding and those that do shoot well definitely deserve to be called the best in the game. I can definitely see why they have chosen to hold the US Amateur Championships here and recommend that beginners and casual players may want to work on their game before tackling this beast.
There are a few things all players will want to keep in mind before taking on this monster. First, once you start your round and get past hole 3, you don't really come back by your vehicle and the restrooms until you are finished with your round. The closest you will come is between holes 13 and 14, but it's still a hike back to the top of the hill you are on and through the woods. Your best bet is to make sure you take plenty of water, bug spray, towels and whatever you maybe need right from the get-go and save yourself from having to make that hike back up to the parking lot. Another thing to remember is that there isn't a lot of shade on this course. If it's sunny and you don't want to burn I recommend sunscreen as a typical round at this course can really range anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the size and skill of the group, how long you spend looking for discs in the rough, and how many other players are on the course. One last thing is there aren't trash cans throughout the course so please keep this beautiful park and course clean and pack out whatever you pack in and get out and this one if you have the chance.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 0 Not
A little bit dissapointed
Pros: Extremely well groomed. The fairways were very well defined and were in immaculate shape. The entire course is very aesthetically pleasing. Hole number 1 is possibly the prettiest starting hole I have ever been on, especially with the special mowing they do for AM Nationals.
Very nice temporary tee's. Even though each tee was not perfectly level ect.. they were all in good shape. It is great that they install tee's for a temporary course.
Course offers plenty of elevation. I know there are people on this site that think all courses should have some elevation, well this course provides tons of elevation. I think there are only two holes that play somewhat flat (4 and 10).
Lots of shots are needed to be successful on this course. This is a very RHFH friendly course, but you will need to have every shot possible to shoot a low round. There are huge Hyzer shots, tons of flick/anhyzer's, a thumber works well and you will need to be accurate with putter from all over. A key shot you should bring with you is the Getting Out of Trouble shot since there is an excellent chance you will be in it a few times on this course.
This course really offers you a chance to air out your driver. I think this course rewards distance over accuracy on most of its holes (not all) and it pays to bring something you can really huck.
I appreciated the lack of Duece or Die holes. There are a few legitimate deuce oppotunities but over all this is a course that makes you accept that par is a good score even if those are 4's and 5's.
Toboggan has a great flow to it. It just happens to be a really long tiring flow. Each tee is easy to find from the previous pin.
Kennsington Park is awesome. Well maintaned, very large and there are tons of things to do in this park. There are nice facilities near the first tee.
Cons: Most of the holes are extremely forgiving of bad shots unless you are deep in the shule. I saw plenty of people hyzering out into other holes fairways and having no problem with their second shot. This course would be significantly better if there were out of bounds that would define the holes that lay side to side and would reward accuracy as much as distance. I feel that every good course should be an equal combination of distance and accuracy.
Way too many blind holes. If I recall correctly there are only 3 holes whose pins are visable from the tee. The shule is crazy thick and if you are not playing with spotters you have a legitimate chance of losing a disc on every single hole. The time required for locating discs significantly increases how long the round takes to play. You should be ready to lose a disc when playing this course. I would suggest having doubles of your important discs in your bag.
Some holes on this course have incredibly low scoring variances. Hole 18 is a great example, almost every one with a 250' drive will take a 3 on it. It is extremely hard to get a 2 or a 4. Another is hole 4. It is just shy of impossible to get a drive into the circle but not far enough to create a lot of 4's. Every one hits the guardian trees on their drive, lays up the second shot and pars out.
Can too much elevation be a con? It really seems like on every hole you are throwing up or down a hill off the tee.
I realize that this is a temp course but there are no amenaties on the course. No benches, garbage cans, water or bathrooms.
Other Thoughts: I only played this course during the 2010 AM Nationals and I was just slightly dissapointed after I played my first round. After hearing all the hype about this course and reading previous reviews I was just expecting something more. I think if I would have just played a casual round on this course I would have scored it higher because of difficulty but after 3 straight days of playing and watching others play, the faults of this course started to stand out a lot more.
I really enjoyed playing this course. I throw a pretty good RHFH so the course felt geared to me personally. Also I benefitted from having spotters on every hole as well as snacks and water spread around the course. The tournament itself was an amazing experience and all the local guys playing and helping were awesome. I just think there are some changes that could be made to the course that would improve it. OB has to be added to the course. On hole number 1 I saw a few people shank a drive almost 300' left of the hole across hole 17's fairway and since they had pretty good arms they were able to get an upshot near the basket and still take three's. I witnessed the same type of action on holes 3, 7, 9, 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18. That is way too much forgiveness of bad drives.
I really dig the fact that this course is temporary. It gives it a little bit of an exclusive feel. I have already qualified for the 2011 Am Nationals and I am already planning on giving this course another go. Maybe next year some changes might be made and I can edit my rating.
Loved the Tournament and the course was pretty good.
24 of 24 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 3 Not
-Toboggan is a long, tough, but fun course! The best thing about it is the good use of elevation. Even though almost every hole has wide open fairways, the hills play a big factor on every shot.
-The scenery of this course is really nice, since the course is only open about one month a year it stays looking like a brand new course every time you play it.
-Since its only open seasonally, there are no permanent tee pads or tee signs. It can also be hard to navigate if you've never played it. The rough is always thick too, so stay on the fairway!
-Overall Toboggan is my favorite Kensington course, I like it better than Black Locust and the old Tunnel course.
-Some of the holes tee positions were moved in 2009 to make the course slightly longer. Every year the courses open and close dates are different, so if you want to know when exactly you can play you have to just call the course, but its usually open between mid May and early July.
-You can hate on my rating if you want, but I just can't rate a course higher if it doesn't even have permanent "anything". The course layout itself is great, I just wish it was open longer than a couple months.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Big course! Plan on being there for a good 3 hours. A lot of nice long downhill holes. You'll use every shot you've got in your bag. Great scenery. You'll probably find a disc or two.
Cons: Leave your favorite disc in the car 'cause you'll probably loose it. You should bring some extras 'cause you'll need them. Really hard to find <i>your</i>disc. Bring bug spray & lots of water. Make sure you know someone that's played the course 'cause it's real hard to navigate. A lot of big up and downhill walking; be prepared to take a cople breaks. only around for a couple weeks
Other Thoughts: It's a temporary course... so play it when it's around. It's worth the sore muscles the next day.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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