8 Helpful / 1 Not
Just a little fella
Pros: • Teepads are actually cement! And I believe every hole had a pad as well (albeit they were a little longer than required for a course like this)
- Tee signs were there, but lacking anything other than the "preferred" line and the distance of hole.
- Routing and navigation weren't too shabby, aside from the occasional hiccup. (bring a map if possible)
• Chainstar baskets, in good shape. Good stuff.
• Decent variety of shots here, nothing too repetitive. The holes are well-designed, and a few ace runs and birdie runs are present which adds to the fun.
Cons: • Doesn't make a whole lot of use with the elevation, course is mostly flat.
• Rough spots can get really rough if not tended to regularly.
• Seems like a lot of effort went into the first 9 holes, with the back 9 being "tossed" in to make it an 18 hole course. Not trying to knock it, but hopefully some tweaks can be made to make better use of the last 9.
• Seemed to be poison Ivy EVERYWHERE, please watch where you step/touch.
• Not a whole lot in the risk/reward department. Also bugs could be very bad during peak pest times.
• No bomber holes, it'd be nice to have at least one hole to open up your arm on.
Other Thoughts: All-in-all, this course is fun to play. I don't think I'd go out of my way to play it, but that's not to say it wasn't worth trying out. You can definitely get two rounds in here in the time it would take to play a full round elsewhere, so if you're going for quantify over quality, look no further.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
scurred of the iron leaf, change your diaper!
Aesthetic-- plays through a nature area, didn't see the hiking trails as an issue with "interference" multi-use park with boat launch, hiking trails, and many other amenities.
Teepads-- Huge, a little too big for the size of the course. some pads had the pvc piping laid into the pad which is a little concerning as a tripping hazard.
Teesigns-- basic, doesn't show trees or other obstacles, just a basic line and distance.
Routing/nav-- not too bad. plays in 2 9 hole loops. routing from 5-6&7 is a bit wonky and we never found hole 6.
Baskets-- chainstars, in good repair.
Rough-- super rough, makes the lines tough when the rough is fully in. This course is NOT about power, it's about finesse more than anything but the length of the course is more about power.
Balance--there were a lot of straight and left fades, a lot less, turnovers.
Challenge-- this course is challenging but the obstacle is the rough and avoiding it. fairways are 10-20 feet at the most, most of the time.
Risk v Reward-- none to speak of.
this course was just ok for me. It reminds me a TON of Newaygo State Park. It was fun, but not overly exciting. very vanilla.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Epic: no, Fun: YES
Pros: Proof that simple, well executed design can make for a good course and a fun round. Suitable for beginners and intermediate players alike, or more advanced players wanting to play a more relaxed and casual round.
• Well (but not densely) wooded, fairways are just that - fair. The lines that present themselves from the tee seem quite reasonable to execute, but can cost you a stroke if you don't stay on the fairway.
• Minimal underbrush (early spring and fall)makes discs fairly easy to find. This, combined with short walks from basket to tee, helps make for quick rounds. You can squeeze two rounds in here in the time it takes to play one on many other courses.
• On the whole, course is well balanced in terms of straight, left, and right curving fairways. Makes good use of blind and somewhat tucked baskets. Well-designed holes are simple, yet effective. Although there are numerous Ace & Birdie runs, the tight lines and wooded fairways make you earn your score. Execute well off the tee and you'll get what you deserve.
• Hole 11 provides a welcome opportunity to let loose with a well-controlled long drive.
• Intuitive layout, pretty obvious walking paths, a few well placed Next Tee signs make navigation straightforward and easy (even first time out). You won't spend more than a minute or so finding the next tee.
• Simple tee markers with hole #, distance, and basic line drawings get the job done nicely. Colorful illustrations are no substitute for walking the fairway to spot the pin on a blind hole. Why spend more on signage that only seems to attract idiots with sharpies?
• Looonng concrete tee pads - more room than most people will need for a run-up.
Cons: I genuinely like this course, but it has its limitations:
• Terrain is flat for the most part. Moderate elevation is only a factor on a few holes.
• Wooded hole after wooded hole isn't everybody's idea of a fun round. I won't argue with those who would say Waterloo lacks variety or is repetitive.
• Chainstars catch great, but can be difficult to spot from the tee on a well shaded, woodsy course. A blast of fluorescent paint on the poles would really enhance visibility.
• Thorny growth lining the back 9 will have you retrieving wayward shots with caution.
• Don't know why the 9th hole didn't get a decent tee pad, when the other 17 got oversized pads. Clearly they had the raw material to do so.
I'm of the opinion that not every course should be a championship caliber, big tournament venue. Although it has its shortcomings, Waterloo is a good course that fills necessary niche in the sport: short, technical and a great place to learn and practice shot shaping. It's simply a fun round of control DG.
If you're looking for a more complete DG experience, visit Hudson Mills: http://www.dgcoursereview.com...8&mode=ci
. If airing out big drives is your idea of a fun round, you'll be happier at The Ponds at Lakeshore: http://www.dgcoursereview.com....php?id=3216.
But if you want to play a quick, friendly round, then this is your destination.
Penalty for leaving the fairway depends heavily on what time of year you play here. Early spring and fall aren't too bad, but in mid-summer the rough can be a b!tch.
I could be wrong, but the individual holes seem to be rather "organic." Doesn't seem like many trees were sacrificed to put this course in - has a very spontaneous and natural feel to it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Could Be Better, But Worth a Stop
Pros: 1. Variety. There is a pretty even balance of (RHBH) hyzer and anhyzer shots, as well as plenty of straight shots. The Front 9 is RHBH friendly and the Back 9 more LHBH friendly. While there isn't too much variety in the hole lengths (more than half are in the 220-280 range), the "airways" are varied enough to keep the round interesting, with most fairways containing several large mature trees forcing different lines. Most of the holes play through lanes in the woods, with just a few open holes. Not too much elevation, but when applicable it's used somewhat well. Hole #11 was the standalone monster on the course, a LONG straight Par 4 lined with thorns on either side reminiscent of something out at Justin Trails. Hole #4 was a fun downhill tee shot, but at only 370' this is a better opportunity to master your midrange with the elevation drop. The old trees are used well to split the fairways, but the trees alone are just a gorgeous element of this park, and I frequently found myself just staring up the gigantic trunks covered in vines.
2. Maintenance. Being in a state park, the upkeep out here is great. Fairways are clean lanes meandering through the woods. The rough isn't too bad on the Front 9, but there are numerous areas on the course where the rough just on the edge of the fairway consists of pretty untamed thorns and brambles. Several trash cans were present near some tees, but the business of this park (not necessarily the DG course) results in plenty of discarded cans and bottles strewn about.
3. Baskets. The Chainstar baskets looked pretty new, no rust, caught and sounded great. All were properly installed, no tilting or inconsistent basket heights.
4. Navigation. Head through the park entrance (after paying your fee or showing your Recreation Passport) towards the boat ramp, and there's a sign directing you to the right. A welcome kiosk greets you near the first tee, which is also where the course conveniently loops back, so you can see the baskets for #9 and #18, as well as start right away the Back 9 if you prefer. The course is pretty well set apart from all other park activities, so simply following the path is usually sufficient if you don't have a map. Directional signs are posted in the more confusing areas, and I had no problem finding my way around at the spots that initially seemed confusing thanks to these signs.
5. Tees. Concrete tees on 17 of 18 holes, and all had posts with a VERY basic tee sign (also aiding in navigation, as these posts are usually visible from the last basket). All of the concrete tees are ridiculously long, like little landing strips, and the ones on the Front are nice and grippy. There are four what I presume to be drainage holes on the tees, but they're only a few inches in diameter and flush with the tee, and didn't seem to present any type of hazard to my size 13 feet. See Cons for discussion of Back 9 tees.
6. Seclusion. Yes, this state park can be very busy (I was here on Labor Day weekend, of all times!), but disc golf isn't the main draw. There's a campground, beach, hiking trails, etc., and you'll happen across a few picnic areas and park roads while playing the course, but you're well separated from everything that it feels like you've got the place to yourself. At one point where the path to the next tee intersected a walking/biking path, there was a sign that read, "Caution: Flying Discs" warning non-discers and keeping them on the proper path (I actually give bonus points for features like this at multi-use facilities where other activities could conflict with our sport; raising awareness and promoting safety are KEY!).
Cons: 1. With the Front 9 favoring RHBH hyzers off the tee and the Back 9 trending towards a RHBH anny or RHFH, even with a good mix, it gets quickly boring to throw the same shot at basically the same length, over 200 but not quite 300. The design doesn't get too creative with the surroundings, with no risky greens like nearby drop-offs...plenty of guardian trees and lots of jail to get into out in the rough, but overall a pretty unimaginative design (probably due to state park restraints, understandably). I noticed several areas that were rather underutilized in the course design, but I also understand that the course was just recently upgraded to 18 holes, so hopefully a work in progress.
2. The Back 9 has much more treacherous rough with the aforementioned thorns, so be careful when you reach in to retrieve your disc.
3. The Back 9 tees are non-textured cement, and with the predominantly sandy soil, even in dry conditions they can be quite slick.
4. The tee signs are not very helpful. On holes with a slightly blind curve, you'll still need to scout ahead to see where you're shooting since the signs only give a distance (mostly accurate) and a "stick drawing" of the hole.
5. If you're from out of state, or are in state and opted to not buy your Recreation Passport when you renewed your plates ($10 for yearly access to the state parks...sweet deal, Michigan!), you'll end up paying to register as a park patron. The course itself wouldn't necessarily be considered "worth" paying $10-plus for, but there are other perks if you're a state resident, FYI.
6. All of the concrete tees seem unnecessarily long...with all the material used on the one set of tees, they could have made dual tees on every hole, adding some more variety in hole lengths.
Other Thoughts: This was a surprising little find for me when I was staying with family out in Adrian, which is an area devoid of decent disc golf...thus, I made the trek 45 minutes north to this state park, gladly paid the $10 to register my Michigan family's vehicle since they didn't have the sticker, and was greeted by some locals just finishing their round (again, the way the course loops back to the parking lot is really convenient if you don't want to lug a bunch of bug spray/beverages; just bring what you need for 9 and reload at the turn!), and they warned us to have bug spray. They weren't kidding! The mosquitoes are TERRIBLE out here, but the ground was really moist and the humidity had been high, so this can't be considered a con any more than the presence of bears can be considered a con at Highbridge or rattlesnakes in desert courses. It's a nice walk through these woods, and the large mature trees are beautiful. I didn't notice a ton of wildlife, probably due to the proximity to a busy campground and beach, but you still get a feeling of "being away from it all" while you're playing. The Back 9 could definitely benefit from some clearing of those thorns by the fairway edges, but overall the fairways are really generous, and the design does a reasonable job of incorporating the fairway-splitting trees into forcing different lines; there just isn't enough creative variety in the lines required to merit a higher rating from me. I'd say the course was really about a 3.25, but not a "wow" 3.25 where I'd bump it up to 3.5. Dual tees and some new pin placements would definitely benefit this course.
One cool thing I noticed on the welcome kiosk by hole #1 was a note from the state asking for help from local DG clubs on holding leagues and tournaments in the park...it had the tone of someone who saw the potential in the course, but wasn't sure how to go about promoting it and holding events. If you're a local, contact this park and get your voices heard! I'm positive that a really nice course with drawing power to traveling players such as myself can exist based on the underutilized topography of this region. There isn't a lot to keep me in the Adrian area as far as disc golf, so when I'm out there visiting I'll probably consider coming back up here if I don't head towards the Ann Arbor area or Toledo...I've still got a lot on my wish list in that area, so I probably won't be back until I've reviewed everything in the area.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Great for beginners or people trying new disc or techniques.
-It's in a state park, so its clean and friendly
-lots of fun easy holes, some challenging ones
-course maps and score cards, always nice.
mostly played in the woods, either that's a plus or minus for some people.
- hole 11 its the longest (450 FT) and best hole
Cons: -Poison ivy, yes its in the woods so it is expected but its overgrown in some spots.
-Bugs not just mosquitoes, but deer flies and other buzzing buggers.
- lots of plan straight shots, dont get me wrong they are fun but after doing 5 of them they get kinda boring.
-Hole 9 had a natural tee box, and does not give you any direction on which way to toss the disc.
-Being that its in a state park there is lots of kids and people walking on or around the course, no big deal just have to see if the hole is clear
Other Thoughts: Would I drive out to play just this course? no, but would I go the state park and enjoy the beach and grill and play the course yes. Its a great course just kinda out of the way for most people.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice concise layout makes great use of the land available in the state park. Signs on every hole give you the distance and diagram so you know where you're going. Cement tee pads on all holes but #9. While the course is mainly wooded, there isn't much underbrush so play is quick and comfortable. On most holes the fairway is wide enough with a few trees dotting the landscape. The rough isn't too bad either; not much chance of a lost disc. There were several memorable holes throughout: #4 is a nice downhill threader and #9 has a sick right turn about 15 feet from the tee.
Cons: This course is really static. After the first four holes which are a bit in the open, you are playing under the forest canopy. You can see 90% of the baskets from the tees, and most are straightforward tosses. This course is pretty short as well - I remember one hole over 500 ft; the others were all around 230-260. My midrange worked better than my driver on several shots from the tee.
Other Thoughts: This course had great charm and I really enjoyed playing through. No one was out there on a Friday afternoon and I get the feeling this one won't ever be heavily trafficked. I breezed through in under an hour. I might have found my "home-town" course.
The $6 daily fee is no longer true. The guy at the main office said for all MI state parks you now must purchase a sticker when you renew your license every year. This is an additional $10 on your normal renewal charge, and with it you get free unlimited access to all the MI state parks for the year. They instituted this in October of last year, so those born between now and then get in for free.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
designed by my dad
Pros: - Good basic design with some very tough and tricky shots you are glad to be able to putt at.
- Has one elevated downhill into the woods shot, rare for SE Michigan to have a hill at all.
- No water hazard, serious loss of plastic opportunity.
Cons: -Several janky woods holes that can be parked but offer up no real route but luck
- Will have very high levels of poison ivy by area standards in season (highest in SE Michigan I'd say)
Other Thoughts: The course is mostly wooded, some open narrow fairways, some tightly packed, one basket uphill in the open and one tee in the open. Typical michigan wooded landscape, can be rough off the fairway. Will be well maintained due to state park maintenance.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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