One Word: Potential
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: +Remote Location
+Beautiful Terrain and Landscape
+A lot of shot variety
Cons: -Tee pads are too short
-Lack of signs on holes
-Poorly groomed on the holes not close to the main lot
-Hole design needs work on a few
-Average baskets with only one layer of chains (a lot of spit outs)
-Lack of hazards (only real hazard is going off fairway in the jungle thick under brush, all great courses have elevation, water, unforgiving roughs, etc.)
-Lack of open holes (I like a few wide open holes, not too many, on courses so you can open up the arm)
Other Thoughts: I played black bear creek once prior to playing it yesterday and I remember walking away from it somewhat disappointed the first time. I was hoping this time around I would be more open-minded and that the tee pads would be completed for a better experience (they were just elevated boxes waiting for concrete the first time). I was wrong. I dug deep to find positives about the course and it was like pulling teeth.
I do not want to come across like I am bashing the course, I am originally from the area which makes me feel like I should be biased towards a course being so close to my hometown. That being said, I feel like it made me more judgmental, holding a higher standard for this being a home course of sorts. I just wish it was around when I grew up there because I would be way further along in my disc golf career!!
Does it have some memorable holes? Yes very much so, the terrain is beautiful and a perfect piece of land for a great disc course. #3, #13, #16 come to mind. The designer has an adequate layout on this piece of property, but there were many holes I kind of scratched my head when analyzing his tee or pin locations.
The amount of work put into this course is very respectable. The fact that all tee pads have concrete is quite astonishing considering there are some holes where getting equipment back to is not an option. A lot of manual labor was necessary for the course to not only be put in but also for upkeep. That being said, I feel like if you are going to put that much work into it, why not go the extra few feet, literally, and make the tee pads 12' instead of 8'?? They are way too short and just building off past reviews, it is a huge barrier to making this course better than a 3.0 imo. The shortness of the tee pads affected my shot tremendously. I had to shorten my run up and approach on nearly every hole because not only are they short, but they are elevated on nearly every hole. This caused me to use more arm on a lot of my shots rather than my whole body. My accuracy and distance lacked because of it.
The course was very clean and had good signage up for the most part. Only about 1/3 of the holes had signs by the tee pads with distances (a simple picture of hole layout on the signs would be great for the few blind shots on this course). A lot of guess work on distance made disc selection tough. The holes that did have distance seemed a bit off too. I found myself misjudging the distance of some of my shots because I thought the pin was deeper or closer than what it said, but maybe my normally astute depth perception was having an off day.
Then, on the holes I would get close enough to make a valid birdie attempt on, I was insulted with spit outs. The baskets are decent, but they only have one layer of chains. If I put just a tad too much sauce on my putts they shot straight through. Makes for a frustrating round when your drives aren't up to par and then the putting won't come together.
The course was very thick for it being early summer, and I found myself searching for a lot of my plastic. Not that I was always going off the fairway, the fairways are nearly just as thick. Long grass and ferns hide a lot of discs, I would advise not throwing multiple drives, I about learned that the hard way by almost losing a favorite driver.
Overall, this course has great potential but just needs to be tweaked and worked on a bit more for its full potential to be reached. Longer tees, some better grooming (all you need is a pole saw and weed whip), and better signage would jump this course up to the 4.0 range. Its lack of hazards (water) and open shots (my last two positives that could bring it to a 5.0 rating) are really the only permanent negatives on this course, and the open shots can happen with a bit more grooming on some holes.
If the full potential of this course is ever reached, it will be a premier course in northern wisconsin. In order for that to happen though, a bit more TLC needs to be thrown its way. I was happy to pay the 3$. I would pay more if I knew it was being put right back into course work. If I lived in the area I would be more than happy to donate time into making that course amazing. Hope to see it happen someday.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
middle of nowhere
Pros: Well designed holes; technical fairways throughout.
The only other players you may see here will be disc enthusiasts. The local population will eventually DISCover their local gem. But, there are just not that many people that live here, in general, for there to ever be a huge local group.
This equals....playing wonderfully secluded landscape; largely with you own group and perhaps a few like minded individuals.
Elevation. No one huge; empty your bag hole. But a couple downhills, from long tees, just short of that thrill. Your average, high quality (if that makes any sense) down hill, shot(s). Some nice uphills as well.
Two tees per hole. Our group of three (all better than 900 rated players) had scoring spread from -1 (with two fours and a five) to -8 on short tees (see cons).
From longs, with a four person crew (one of which was course owner,), scores ranged from +1 (with an unfortunate bogey on last hole) to +7.
So....lots of trees, and pretty narrow fairways throughout, lead to this large scoring spread.
Some fallaway greens.
Cons: A couple of nearly dangerous tees. One, long tee on the back nine, not only has slanted, hillside footing, but a tree that is in the perfect area for a rhbh player's follow through; to smash it hard. There is a little room actually, so head game, more than reality....but, if you have one of those aggressive follow through and run ups; and finish off the end of the tee often....which many do....it it possible to hit. Especially since the tee is tilted hillside style already; your balance could be thrown off and add to possibility of hitting said tree.
Dirt tees (see below).
Short tees are pretty short. See scores above. The worst round (me), still hit five birdies (and missed other decent putting opportunities). They are enjoyable, but pros would consider them "wooded course; pitch and putt."
Other Thoughts: Jim Herman, owner, has already mentioned in his review that gravel tees; and I am fairly sure; leveling; will be in place, for long tees; sometime in 2010. If his love of course/work ethic, continues as it has thus far, it will be sooner, rather than later.
This is not an "epic" course. The yardage from longs will tell you that. However, par is a respectable score, for 950 rated and below, players (from long tees). In other words, well designed holes.
This property is northwoods Wisconsin, gorgeous. You will more than likely, have the space to yourself, and possibly, Jim.
I initially came here more than a year ago. Jim has done a great job improving this course from then, until now; and I fully expect this to continue. I'm gonna pm him and see if I can assist during the long tee construction.
This land has the possibility of becoming an even higher rated course than I'm willing to give it at the moment. The yardage is just not there to compete with the "the big dogs." However, the site Black Bear sits on is solid in "Appalachian beauty;" (though a bit west :>) ).
I certainly would suggest paying your fee; this course is a one man; labor of love. Expenses are involved.
Nice view and good food; at the River's Edge; less than two miles from Black Bear (take a right out of driveway..R. .Edge on left). 1/2 pound hamburgers. (Kind of expensive....but maybe bring along a couple of beverages and sit on the picnic tables overlooking the lake, while you enjoy your 1/2 pound burgers!). Boaters had paddled to shore and were enjoying beverages they had brought with, the day we were here.
This one and Jack Lake DGC (18.4 miles away) make for a wonderful day of disc. Florence is the next best bet of those listed as close; but it's 40 miles away and not a destination course.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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