3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) Signs have hole #, distance, and par listed. Adequate information, but maps are always nice to see too. I didn't see maps on the signs but perhaps I just overlooked things because I was in a hurry to keep playing the rest of the courses in the area. The pictures on the course page show a handful of signs with maps, so I will assume that they are still there and I just didn't see them.
2) There is very little garbage on this course which is nice to see. It is pay to play but I am not sure how often it gets used nor how often the owner goes through to clean things up.
3) The concrete teepads on the pro tees are nice and grippy.
4) Nice use of elevation with holes playing up and down and across the slopes.
5) Very challenging course throws just about everything at you. While the water is minimal there is one shot where it will be a very popular landing area. The elevation is tough, the trees need to be avoided and the shot shaping is a challenge.
6) Picnic tables available in a few spots on the course, which is always appreciated. I didn't sit down the whole time as I was rushing to play and get to more courses, but had I wanted to sit, I could have.
7) Directionals were helpful in a few spots to direct you to the next tee.
8) Talk about seclusion and natural beauty. You do play near 3 homes plus the one on the property is going up, but overall it feels like you are in the middle of the Northwoods.
9) Decent distance variation which is integral for good design from my perspective. There are holes from 100's and 200's from the short tees and 200's and 300's from the long tees.
10) It has been said before but the potential out here is actually tremendous. While it is a good start already it could be so much more. I am not sure how much money is coming in, but it sure would be nice to see him raise enough money to keep upgrading the course.
11) Decent baskets and some have flags on them as risers to help find the blind baskets on occasion.
Cons: 1) The shorter Am tees are just mulch with cobbled indicating their location. These would be tough to throw from for sure.
2) While the concrete is grippy, the tees are also somewhat small. You don't need a huge runup on this course, but a little bit bigger tee is appreciated and/or a level area around the tees to allow for a runup from off the teepad. Because the course is still a little work in progress hopefully this can be updated eventually.
3) The rough can be really rough. . . a little more cleaning would not only make this course slightly more forgiving but it would also make it much cleaner looking and more beautiful. I know the property is awesome but some thinning and pruning of some of the brush would go a log way in my impression. Again I understand this is private property, so unless they can make money on the course it might stay in its current condition. It isn't the worst I have played by any means, but it seems awfully fresh and in need of more play and some cleaning.
4) This is a really rough walk due to a whole lot of stones and such in the ground. The fairways are no different than the rough areas, and getting equipment to some of these holes might be very tough, so it might be a while before this situation can be corrected.
5) Blind holes abound . . . it requires some extra walking up the fairways to see the basket. It isn't the biggest con about this course but it is worth mentioning. It does not lend itself to solo first timers . . . which was me on this long weekend trip of mine.
Other Thoughts: This course is all about the potential and the property. Eventually I hope the owner makes enough money and keeps putting it into the course. This area is a destination for some great disc golf and I am sure many people would be willing to spend some money on a great course.
The disc golf currently is fun and challenging and pretty good . . . while the conditioning is slightly in-adequate . . . so if they are both improved this could be an oustanding 4 disc course.It is landlocked so it cannot be stretched out much and the natural setting also might not be able to be that much improved. All in all it is all about what this course could be down the road.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
A Great Northwoods Adventure
Pros: Northwoods setting - wild, natural beauty
Course condition was good
Paved tee boxes
Complexity was "just right"
Visited with my 7 yr old son. A 45 min drive from Lakewood. Loved the course. Had tight lines and nature has been left to "do it's thing" here. The long rough and woods can cost you on errant shots. The holes were more on the short side which was good considering how tight the fairways could be. Good chance to see deer, bear, etc - and little chance to see people. My son really enjoyed it and we will be going back!
Cons: Tee signage not on all holes
*Ticks* in the spring early summer (no fault of owner)
Still not easiest to find from road - despite small bear sign on driveway
I think a lot of the negativity of some of the other reviewers is a bit nit-picky. The fact that there ARE paved tee boxes (albeit - only 8 ft long) is a big plus here. I could care less about the number of basket chains, and more that the baskets are in good condition with flags.
Course would get a '5' from me if there were more garbage pails placed at tees(did find some garbage around unfortunately), and if all of the tee signs were finished and placed (with map of each hole would be awesome).
I also used the last fee envelope during my visit - need to keep those in stock if you want to charge a fee.
Other Thoughts: I love the north woods, thus - I loved this course. Quiet, natural, big difference from the "park" courses full of people that I am used to at home. Definately worth a stop - just realize that it will be rough around the edges, as it should be for a course in the big woods. The solitude you will experience is worth every dollar.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Fun wooded course
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays on a nice piece of private property. The majority of the course is nicely secluded from civilization, it's always nice to play in disc golf exclusive areas. There is a nice mix of tighter technical shots and holes that offer a little more room to throw a drive with woods and brush lining the fairways.
The long tees offer some variation in length, with some ace run shots and some longer holes where you have to pull out a driver if you want a chance at a deuce. The short tees are a better length for beginners, with mostly holes <300' and easier lines. There are some minor to moderate elevation changes with some tricky tough uphill shots and a couple really fun downhills. The back 9 has more hills and finishes with a fun downhill tee shot.
Cons: The course has some of the typical cons for private courses, I totally understand the expense and work that goes into all the amenities at many public courses, but I still think they're worth mentioning.
The long tees are concrete, but are very short and often not level with the ground around them so it's a bit awkward if you have much of a runup. Short tees are natural, and many looked tilted or rocky. The signage is basic, so you'll end up walking up the fairways on a lot of holes to see where to throw. The baskets are single chain models, I think they catch fine but some people might find them to be an issue.
The design is a lot of fun, but felt a bit repetitive at times. Many of the holes were similar lengths, and it felt like there were a lot of hyzer lines for RHBH players.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course, and worth a stop if you're in the area. Beginners will find the short tees approachable, with reasonable lengths and interesting lines for less skilled throwers. More experienced players will find the long tees to have some challenges and decent variety, though it won't truly test top level players.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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.
Private wooded wonderland with unique terrain but awful tees!
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Remote, private, and scenic beauty.
Great mix of long/short, uphill/downhill/crosshill, and left/right/straight and multiple route holes. Although the course is entirely wooded, there was also a good mix of very tight holes (or shot shaping holes) and more open routes w/o trees midfairway (just lining the edges).
There is a lot of neat and drastic elevation here. Plenty of rolling ridges for fairways, and a steep ravine played on both sides of the creek which is utilized for sharp uphill and downhill, as well as risky greens and light downhill touch shots.
Memorable holes galore. You'll step up to many tees, think wow!, and they scratch your head thinking about how you want to tackle the monster in front of you.
#3 is a picturesque slight downhill over a creek and then a left hand fade back uphill to the pin. Good distance too. This is an excellent layout and picturesque design of a great disc golf hole!
#4 plays along a ridge on the left and has a GREAT risky pin on the edge of the ridge.
#6 has a little OB swampy area right near the green in line with a RHBH tee shot (if you make the tee shot amongst all the midfairway trees!).
#7 allows a long drawn out anny (RHBH) from an elevated tee, over a gulley, and back up a ridge to a pin tucked away at a distance that could be aceable, yet all the midfairway trees are definitely there as knockdown contenders. This is another excellent layout and picturesque design of a disc golf hole.
#11 is a 367' monster hole along a ridge with thick pines on the right and a dropoff along the entire left side.
#12 is uphill along that ridge parallel with #11. Good large trees require shot shaping.
#13 is a picturesque downhill touch shot and over a creek. Nice elevation change and nice and tight for a touch downhill midrange, but it could be opened up a bit more removing one tree on the left.
#14 is an uphill hyzer with a wonderfully sloped green (I shanked a drive and then 4 putted due to 3 rollaways and took a 7!).
#15 is another nice downhill touch shot. 200' long, 50' elevation!
#16 is an amazing looking disc golf hole. It offers multiple routes, uphill to a sloped green. There is a huge pine on the left that frames up a lot of shots. There are scattered midfairway trees all around for various S-curve routes. This is yet another excellent layout and picturesque design of a disc golf hole.
Holes 13-18 offer a great back and forth across a ravine down into the creek valley, alternating between sharp uphill and sharp downhill shots.
Next tee signs are all over the place.
Trash cans are a pro only because I commend the effort of the private owner. But seriously, why can't you pack out your trash, you packed it in! Does a empty can of bud light weight more than the full one you brought in?!
Cons: AWFUL tees!! I read that other people complained about the tees, and saw what the old style tees must've been like based on the short tees out there. But now the long tees are framed up boxes of pea gravel! And they are 8' long! They are also not at grade (sitting on top of grade), so you can't even start from behind, or overstep on your release. They are just plain awful! Please, please, please, please, please, I beg you to halt your efforts and buy some 12' lumber. I'm so serious about this I'd consider making a donation so that you don't have a private course that no one wants to play. The terrain is so rugged too, that you can't tee off from the sides in most instances. And don't use pea gravel unless you're going to mix in some bags of concrete with them. Get them flush with the round if you're gonna keep them 8', but that's a LOT of work unless you have a skidsteer or tractor, so go with 12' long sides!!! PM me, seriously, 36 twelve foot long 2x4's aren't that much. I'd consider sponsorship and recognition for the donation of the boards. The back 9 tees aren't completed fully, PLEASE HOLD and make them longer!
Just one pin position, but alternates would not add much because the pins here are well protected, risky, and at good mix of distances. I love protected and risky greens that make you be on your game throughout the hole, not just off the tee and then straight, open, and level putting.
The baskets are single layer chain DB5's but I thought they caught just fine.
Cty W seems to be very highly traveled around 4-5pm. Must be a route for local commuters because holes 1-4 and 16-18 were pretty loud with road noise.
Playing mid summer may be brutal. In November the bright colored discs were easy to find.
Other Thoughts: Seriously the short framed in pea gravel tees are probably much worse than before. I honestly think I could have thrown 9 strokes better. It sounds high, but I jammed my foot against the front board on nearly every other hole. I'm sure the others I just stopped short and then yanked my drive. And on almost all drives, my second step wasn't firm due to the pea gravel (3 step approach). Dig the tees out to be level with grade, cut out roots, and just install some crusher dust (road base). This is my advice to all up and coming courses. The road base is an excellent surface once compacted, and is very cheap! All in all, it's a 100% wooded course, in a remote area, that is quiet, scenic and beautiful. Considering Jack Lake, Treehaven, and Buck Lake are all the same type of courses (solid 3-disc mainly wooded courses), you could make a trip out of these 4 to make it worth your while. IMO this course is awesome! But the tees suck! The terrain, remote setting, great designed holes, risky greens, risky fairways, wooded goodness, and private course dedication make it very fun and introduce a sense of wanting to play. There are so many memorable holes, I think I took notes and wanted to describe almost 75% of them. I WISH I had my camera - but I'll leave it up to the local love to get some good spring and fall pictures. I want to give this course a 4 because it has such amazing and disc golf creative terrain, and the design utilizes it to its fullest with good thought, good required shot shaping, and great balance. It won't get a 4.5 unless it adds more holes to make it worth the trip to play alone and adds a pond or some other element of OB and shot shaping. It won't get a 4.5 with 18 holes because the variety is just not there. It's 100% wooded only, and not really any water hazards or other OB. The tees really take this course down a bunch in my mind. I hate to see the effort (time and money) wasted on what will probably be an even worse tee solution than the previous natural tees!!
There is a cool snowmobile route through the property.
UPDATE: I played in July 2011 and the long tees now have concrete. They were built above grade and the surrounding grade was brought up pretty flush with gravel held in by logs and stones. The pads are still only 8' long, but for a private course, saving 50% on your tee costs by going with 8' instead of 12' is huge. The course played MUCH more fun with decent footing, even though the bugs were bad and foliage made it look and play WAY tighter than last November. The rough in summer is very dense and green, but despite us being off fairway may times, we lost no discs. Upping my rating to a 4.0, which is the maximum I think this course can get in my opinion just because it lacks complete variety with ponds, other water, OB, wide open rippers, par 4/5, and a huge downhill bomber. This is a Fun Factor course to play! Enjoy it with a trip just a bit further to Iron River to play the Tailings (you'll love the beatdown challenge)!
12 of 12 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.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
One more thing to do in the Northwoods
Pros: Very fun and challenging course. If you want to take a hike through the woods why not throw some discs too. I played this course three times and even though others were there playing too, most of the time I never seen them because the course is so big.
Cons: It is a new course so there are still some rough spots, but I do see improvement everytime I go.
Other Thoughts: I found this course on the PDGA Course Directory web site. Here is a easy way to find the course. If you are coming from the south when you past Water's Edge watch for the snowmobile trail on the left that turns left. That is the same driveway for the course.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Test every shot in your game
Pros: I am the owner so I don't want to seem biast.Opened in 2007. This course is getting better every year. I have cleaned up debris around the fairways, have better marked where the next hole is and 2011 have added white flags on top baskets. In 2011 I have concreted the pro tees and have left the am tees on the ground. There are a lot of blind holes so playing the shorts first will give u a better idea where everything is from the pro pads. Love the peace and the views in this course. This course has challeneged every shot I have in my arsenal, back hand, forehand, tomahawk. roller. It is a tight course with longer holes with some ace runs, but you have to be on your game out here, big arms alone isn't going to cut it. The terraine is rough so where good shoes. Lots of elevation changes which I love. Also have a small shop where I sell discs.
Cons: I still needs some clean up on some of the holes and some light landscaping. Thats why I hope udont mind the pay to play because u know it will go back to improve the course.I am there most days but if you come down and want to purchase discs, I live only a few minutes away and you can call 715-473-2469 and I will be there shortly.
Other Thoughts: Hard to find but I am putting up a larger sign this year ,2011, which will help. I love disc golf and this course challenges you and allows you to be out with other true disc golfer and not a bunch of kids who are annoying. I recommend the drive up for a day or the weekend.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun, challenging course
Pros: Tees are clearly defined, which includes pro tees. Well marked holes, easy to follow along. Good elevation changes, with a number of challenging holes. Our group of four played for three hours with not a soul on the property (including the course owner). Good mix of wooded and wide open shots, though most are fairly wooded. Very big course, as despite the vast number of trees, you still have plenty of room to throw. Baskets are all in good shape.
Cons: Dirt tees only, despite being clearly marked. Terrain is fairly treacherous, so be sure to wear good shoes. Somewhat in the middle of nowhere, might be easy to miss from the road (watch for the big Innova banner, though).
Other Thoughts: You can tell that the guy who runs this course is working hard on it. There is some room for improvement just to clean the course up, but it is very fun to play. There's an honor box on the grounds, with $5 per person for all-day play, and I believe $3 for just a round. I was glad to spend the $5 on this course, as I had a lot of fun playing it. There is a "pro shop" on the grounds, but the owner was not present when we played. If you're anywhere near Crandon, you should go out of your way to give this place a shot. Odds are you won't have much company there, so give it a shot. Be sure to bring a spotter - very easy to lose a disc in the woods.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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