24 Helpful / 1 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 25 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Outrageous drops, Lengthy holes, forces you to use a variety of shots, very hilly, absolutely incredible. I have played here a few times over the past two years and its amazing how difficult and exciting this course is. This has to be one of the best if not the best course in Michigan. People who dont have a variety of shots or those who have short drives, beware!
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: An amazing course with great shot after great shot, the only course I have played in SE MI with significant elevation changes on most of the holes. To play effectively here (shoot mid-60s or better), you need a minimum 350' drive that can plop down in select landing zones. A thumber is a very nice shot to have, it's so much easier throwing one up a hill vs a backhand or sidearm. If you can accurately throw 400+' and putt a little, the 50s are very attainable. There are no breaks on this course, get ready to grind for the whole round. Even excellent players can throw crappy rounds here by merely being a little off on their drives and getting into the shule. Going into the shule generally means an additional stroke for that hole, sometimes 2. If you throw 350' and under, plan on taking at least a 4 on Holes 2, 3, & 17. If you can't plop a 350' drive down in a very select landing zone, a 4 or worse is likely waiting for you on Holes 6,7, & 15. Potential birdie holes for 350' throwers are 1, 5, 8, 10, 11, 14, and 16 not that any are easy to get because they are not.
Cons: Temporary, wish it were in all summer. Worn dirt pads, slippery when wet.
Other Thoughts: Don't bring a newbie to this course, go over to the Black Locust (in the same park) and play the short tees, those are tough enough for a beginner.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Simply the greatest disc golf experience I have ever had. Monster elevation changes with one hell of a flow to the entire 18 holes. It will test a wide variety of shots for anyone on any level. I cant say enough about the experience.
Cons: I guess the fact that is temporary. No signs to let you really know where to start. But that takes nothing away from the overall magnificence of this truly amazing course.
Other Thoughts: I will NEVER miss an opportunity to play this beauty every year that it is set up. I just got back from Colorado playing Beaver Ranch at Conifer Park and I thought that was the best course ive ever played until today. Thankfully im a Michigander and will have time to play this several more times in the coming weeks. I would recommend this course to any discer on the planet.
KEEP ON THE FAIRWAYS AT ALL COSTS!!!!
The weeds are extremely tall and discs can easily be passed over. The fairways are amazingly wide. Hole 1 is at the end of the toboggan parking lot down a small hill to the edge of the monster hill tossing down below. You shouldnt have problems from there. ALSO bring plenty of liquids. This course is a workout in itself.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
See you next year
Pros: This course is out of hand. As if God himself had come down and bestowed this fine course to his devoted followers. This is, hands down, the best course in the Metro Detroit area. There isn't much I can add that the previous reviewers haven't already said. Play this course while you can. It's open now, and I think the tourney is the second weekend in June this year.
Cons: My level of ability.
I underestimated the massiveness of this behemoth. If you are not the best DGer in the world, play for fairway accuracy throughout the course, and try not to get frustrated by the sheer length of it all. If you play "threes", you will easily be +20 by day's end.
In talking with some folks there, it seems that the park has let some of the lines grow in a bit. I don't know if these will be trimmed back for the tourney or not.
Other Thoughts: My God, those downhill blasts are the most incredible shots I've witnessed. Too bad you have to walk UP the hills as well ;-)
My only beef(s) would be no water hazards, but the hazards are aplenty. Anything off the fairway is asking for lost plastic. Don't bother trying to locate the pin from the tee. Just pick a spot and aim; every hole is a hike!
Some memorable holes are the one on the edge of a cliff in which you better be able to launch it all the way down to the fairway, which doesn't pick up until 150-200 feet downhill over some treacherous treetops. The other is a massive downhill after you walk along the park road. BOMBS AWAY
There is surprisingly great variation between holes on fairly static land. Elevation is the biggest factor, and since that's so rare around here, it's more than a welcome attribute.
Overall a spectacular course and definitely worthy of tourney status. I will make this pilgrimage every summer and test my DG mettle.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 4 Not
Jim Kenner's Masterpiece
Other Thoughts: This course is the work of disc golf legend Jim Kenner. He identified this area of Kensington Metropark as "the perfect spot for a disc golf course" well before any of us even picked up a disc. He finally got the park to oblige and install a course in this hand picked area in 2000. Unfortunately it is only in the ground for about three weeks in June.
Jim has pushed the boundary of our sport one more notch to the right with the Toboggan Course. We are no longer throwing lids in the park, far from it in fact. Steady Ed advocated to "Go for an average of 275 feet per hole for Pro tees". Well, the Toboggan goes a bit longer than that. The shortest hole on the course is 280 feet uphill.
"Every shot you throw needs to be aggressive" is what my friend J. Romine says about this course. It is true, you are usually throwing either up or down, through or over foliage from sloped ground. You are constantly off balance. Baskets are usually on sloped ground for roll-away potential.
The Toboggan isn't meant to be a spot for a fun casual round. In fact I have seen many groups of casuals play the fist two holes and take off. This is a course made for the AM Nationals tournament. So far it has been a dream pairing. You can't have AM Nats without the Toboggan and you can't have the Toboggan without AM Nats.
I look forward to the installation every year. It usually is in by Memorial Day and out 1-2 weeks after the tournament.
Thank you Jim.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 6 Not
- Great use of Elevation.
- Course is easy to navigate and is taken good care of.
- Good selection of shots and challenges despite the park being mostly open air it out shots.
- Good Amenities with bathroom and water fountain area.
- Very Challenging
- Great Locals
The course is seasonal, being set up each year for the Amatuer USDGC. As a result their are no permanent teepads or signs, though they do use rubber pads and set signs up near tourney time.
Other Thoughts: This course is absolutly amazing. The area is beautiful and the course is very demanding. Despite being mainly huge open air shots it still offers a great mixture of shots. Forehand, backhand, overhand, rollers. This course has and offers it all. Highly reccommend this course to anyone that gets the oppurtunity to play it.
8 of 14 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.
Go big or go home!
7 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: HUGE elevation changes. So much fun to bomb down those hills. Super challenging course. Tough par 4's that require good drives and you've got to execute on your 2nd shots to get your birdies. Holes 6 and 7 are as demanding as any holes you'll find. Playing this course is like taking a long hike. Its real exercise. Heavy rough will severely penalize bad shots.
Cons: Not a well-manicured park, but its great for what it is, just don't expect to bomb any roller shots out here. Probably not a course you'll want to go play every day, but its one you'll remember forever if you do play it.
Other Thoughts: A few holes out here I'd change if I had the opportunity. Hole 1 I'd like to be straightened a bit and back farther, so more deuces would be taken. Every tourney round I've played here, most everybody on my card has 3'd the hole. Not alot of deuces, but not tough to 3. Holes 8 and 9 are also too tough to deuce and too easy to par in my opinion. I really think 9 needs to be shortened or lengthened to make it a better hole.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 5 Not
Bring your A game!!
Pros: BIG elevation changes and long, sweeping fairways (average length 490 ft) really emphasize the unique characteristics of your combination of disc choice & throwing style. Disc selection and shot execution are rewarded or punished accordingly.
Spacious rubber tee pads (only present VERY close to tourney time) provide sure footing for drives.
SUPERB shot variety: Long downhill runs, humbling uphills, left and right doglegs, overhands, S-shots - no Ace runs here! Course was designed by and for serious disc golfers. Don't assume Par 3's for everything: a round here can require every disc in your bag, and every shot in your arsenal. You really may need a distance driver, fairway driver, midrange, and putter all on the same hole - even without a bad shot.
Not likely to come across groups or individuals that don't practice proper etiquette. Pretty much only serious golfers are left after the 3rd hole.
Pix simply don't do this place justice. Set on rolling hills, you're often on an elevated tee pad, with well defined, neatly mowed fairways sweeping down and away from you, sometimes back up to an elevated basket. Interesting and unique sight lines make this course worth while for non-golfers or novices to walk along with you, so bring the wife and kids - you'll want to use them as spotters.
If you're tired of the same 'old disc golfing experience, make it a point to play the Toboggan next summer!
Black Locust offers 27 more wonderful holes of DG for the same park entry fee. Plan on taking a whole day to play both.
Cons: The rough truly is ROUGH, and you could make the arguement that the penalty for going off the fairway on some parts of the course is excessive. The threat of losing a disc is very real. If the thought of losing your favorite driver scares you, leave it in your bag. Then again, this course was never intended for casual players. Most of the points below are really advice stemming from this:
- Look discs down, or you WILL spend lots of time searching.
- Recommend playing in groups rather than solo to minimize risk of losing a disc. The more eyes tracking your shot, the better.
- As wide as the fairways are, you can't just bomb it or you can end up in some really thick stuff. Some of the elevated tees are unforgiving: shots that aren't nose down can have a long way to faaaaaade, leaving discs on a nasty lie, or in some deep brush - perhaps never to be seen again.
Course is physically demanding - lots of uphill and downhill walking and hard to find shade for stretches. Suggest being well rested and bring food and water.
Navigation can be tough for first timers. But since it's a temp course, locals make it a point to hit it when it's open, so there's usually someone to help you.
Grass/Dirt tees are really starting to show wear, although not to bad as of date of last update).
Missing a shot over water, too bad there's no water near the course.
Because this is a temp course you need to plan ahead (check http://www.usadgc.com
to see when the Am Nationals will be held any given year).
Loaded with memorable holes: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 14, 15, 17...there's just something about 6 I really like and you have to see 12 to believe it.
10/12/09 - did not change rating, but I tried to provide more useful info.
Has always been, and will almost certainly remain, a TEMPORARY course. It exists solely for Discraft's hosting of the Am Nationals. I'm not going to downgrade it for not having signs, concrete pads, or similar fixtures - they're simply not feasible here. In my opinion, the fact that it's a temp course (only up for one month of the year) adds to its special flavor, and keeps it from getting run down like neighboring courses. Playing the Toboggan is an event to look forward to and the course always looks great!
The Toboggan is as demanding as disc golf gets: not for casuals, newbies or the faint of heart. It's an experience best shared with others and a course you'll want witnesses for if you get that really great shot off!
The sheer scale of this course means it takes time to play. Scenic layout in a pleasant setting; take your time to appreciate the surroundings and enjoy nature on this one. Last time I played here, I came across some baby raccoons in the base of a hollow tree trunk - not likely on a course with heavier traffic for more months of the year.
I gave this course five discs because I truly believe this is among the very best disc golf experiences a serious player can have - not because I'm local. Even if Idlewild, Highbridge and Flip City are better, the Toboggan belongs in the conversation, which to me means it's among "the best of the best."
19 of 24 people found this review helpful.
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