Silver & Gold
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Good course design with a variety of lines and hazards.
- Good, if aging, baskets and tee pads.
- Multiple pads on most holes
- Part of a large, pay-to-play complex comprised of 4 courses and a clubhouse with pro-shop, concessions, and bathrooms
- More secluded than the other 3 courses on site
Cons: - Tee signs only show hole number and distance, a couple of which seem to not be up to date with the current layout.
- Can be difficult to find hole 1 on your first time out, a couple other minor navigation issues
- Dual baskets which were present at some holes during previous trips were missing
Other Thoughts: The Silver/Gold course is the longest, most challenging, and probably best designed course at the Lemon Lake complex. Hole lengths vary from 210' to 1120' with everything in between. Fairways range from open to tightly wooded, turn left and right, uphill and downhill. Variety is maintained throughout the course, you are always faced with something new, and there is very little chance for a hole to feel repetitive. I do wish the lake could have been worked into another hole or two beyond the single instance where it looms behind the basket on hole 3. A water carry, or even a shot with the lake bordering one side of the fairway, would have added even more variety and challenge to this already great course.
Elevation change is not extreme here, but where present it is used incredibly well and to great effect. In fact, most holes either have some level of elevation change or a fast green or fairway where rollaways can easily punish a poorly placed drive. In general, the fairways are well shaped, and wide enough, even on the tighter wooded holes, to feel fair even while accuracy and line shaping is required. A couple of the longer holes use long grass to shape the fairways, which I am generally not a fan of, but it is not over done, and the mowed areas are generous. You can still let it rip on these holes, but accuracy can't be completely forgotten, as a shot off the fairway can easily mean a lost disc or a long time searching for plastic.
The equipment here is somewhat of a mixed bag. The concrete pads are in good shape and generally long enough, but there are a couple that seem to be a bit shorter. The baskets are aging and showing some wear, but still catch well and the yellow bands are easily visible. The visible bands are a good thing because the carved, wooden, log like, tee signs near the ground show distance and hole number only. I hope there are plans to replace the existing signs with the very nice descriptive and colorful tee signs that had been added to the Red course since my last visit. As it stands, a number of holes will require walks up the fairway to determine the location of the basket. Graphic tee signs would be additionally helpful if there are still multiple pin positions for the silver and gold course. Since my last visit, the silver baskets have been removed. I do not know if this was done temporarily for an event or the off season, or permanently, but I missed a couple of the Silver pin positions I prefer to their Gold counterparts.
It is little to no trouble on a return visit, but navigating to the first tee pad can be difficult on a first visit. Additional signage would be helpful to lead you from the back parking lot, across part of the Blue course, and into the woods where hole 1 starts. There are a couple other areas where navigation can be a little tricky, especially when you aren't sure if there are two pads for a hole or not, but in general the course flows very well and there isn't much of a chance of getting turned around.
I play the Silver/Gold course every time I visit Lemon Lake. Multiple pads (and baskets?) on a complex that already has 4 courses is a great value, and I wish I lived closer and could play all the courses more often. As it stands, my infrequent trips usually only allow me to play two, maybe three of the courses: Silver/Gold is always one, with Red usually being the other. The clubhouse with discs and concessions adds great added value, and helps make this a true disc golf destination. Do yourself a favor and take an entire day to play as much golf as you can at Lemon Lake, then drive over to Three Floyds brew pub for some great beer, and talk about all the awesome disc golf you just played with your buddies.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1. Variety. I felt this course and Blue were very similar in the mix of shots and terrain that they had to offer, but Silver edged out as my favorite course on the complex mainly because of its variety, scenery, and seclusion relative to the others. The opening wooded holes were a blast - a downhill RHBH anhyzer on #1, then an uphill hyzer on #2, followed by a downhill straight ace run with water deep (like, you gotta really miscalculate your power to go in the drink, but it's totally in play and adds to some pucker factor) on #3, and a really picturesque uphill #4 with a washout along the left fairway. Stepping up to #5 gives you your first glimpse of an open hole, but with early trouble off the tee as you have to first get out of the woods; after this, you get your first real ripper hole at #6, but the beautiful thing about this hole is its emphasis on placement - while it starts out wide open, you have to hit a gap at around 300' in order to have a look at anything resembling an upshot - misplaced shots could end up "in jail," or losing a stroke by playing too safe. Hole #11 was a fun straight and tight fairway bordered on both sides by thick rough. Hole #15 presented some awesome risk with a RHBH anhyzer ace run through some woods to a pin perched near a STEEP drop-off. One thing I love is when a course is able to feature a memorable finishing hole, and that is executed well here with a multi-route hole through gently rolling woods, which was just an all-around favorite in our foursome. The hole lengths vary greatly, from ace runs to the LONG bombers on the Gold layout, and I threw just about every shot out here. While I didn't play the Gold tees, I stood on a number of them and was able to appreciate the way they drastically changed many of the holes, not just by adding length but sometimes changing the entire first third or half of the hole. Dual baskets on some holes further add to the variety, especially since there's no rule that says you HAVE to play the long basket from the long tee or vice versa in casual play!
2. Equipment. The dual concrete tees were in good shape. DISCatchers were similarly up to par, caught well, and were painted visibly (#6 Gold basket had recently been stolen, which didn't affect our round since we played Silver, but still - DOUCHEBAGS!). Tee signs showed hole number and distance, which for the most part was sufficient (see Cons).
3. Pay to play. You pay a small fee when you enter the complex, which gives you full access to all courses; however, even this modest amount seems to deter the chucker crowd. When P2P is successful in this regard, AND it is also apparent that at least some of the revenue is going towards course maintenance, it will always be a Pro in my reviews. I will also mention the cleanliness in this section, with numerous garbage cans and obvious upkeep by the caretakers (we had the privilege of meeting the owner/head groundskeeper lady and thanked her for allowing the complex to go in!). This is also a large multi-use facility, so various activities are available like playgrounds, picnic areas, pavilions, hiking, baseball, maybe even fishing and bike trails...you'll get your money's worth here.
4. Seclusion. If you prefer peace and quiet during your round, this course appears to be your best bet at Lemon Lake for that (probably because it is the most challenging course, but it is also far more separated from the other three).
5. Navigation. Although it can be tough to find the first tee on your first time or two out here, once you're rolling the flow is pretty intuitive, even without the benefit of a course map.
6. Complex. Multiple courses on site will usually always get at least a nod, if not bonus points in the rating.
7. Amenities. An on-site pro shop is a rarity for disc golf courses (but fortunately an increasingly popular feature, if only in the form of a mobile pro shop a la The Disc Dude in Green Bay, WI), and the selection is decent, as are the prices. Aside from discs, food and beverages are also available inside, as well as loads of accessories, used discs, lost and found, putting basket, clean restrooms, and vending machines. I highly recommend one of the homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches when available!
8. Location. Right outside Chicago, near the Interstate; pretty easy to find with basic technology and sign-reading abilities.
Cons: 1. Tee signs. While I acknowledged their adequacy above, I must also address their shortcomings here - no map or any depiction of the hole/fairway shape/pin position, resulting in an occasional walk off the tee in order to locate the pin (the direction of the fairway is usually obvious, but you serious golfers know that feeling of needing to know exactly where the basket is even if you know you're not going for it). Since this is touted as "two courses in one," having very descriptive tee signs would be most helpful.
2. Design. While I understand the desire to include the long bomber holes #8 and #9, they are both somewhat bland with little elevation change, abundant long grass bordering the fairways (I lost a disc that appeared to be just on the edge of the fairway from the tee but had skipped just into the rough, which four of us could not locate in close to 30 minutes of searching!) and minimal fairway obstacles (though in fairness, the last third of #8 does redeem it a bit), and the fact that the two longest holes were thrown at you back-to-back added some repetition. Overall, the topography here is good, but not great; while the elevation is used quite well, there just isn't enough of it to add that "wow factor" that I tend to expect from a great, well-balanced course (of course, I won't dock points for the course not having the elevation, and indeed I think Blue has greater changes in elevation). Although a lot of really cool holes were present here, I struggle to identify a signature hole. Furthermore, this really isn't two courses as some advertise, so if you come here expecting 5 unique courses, you will instead find 4 unique courses, one of which has dual tees and provides a few bonus long pins.
3. Navigation. Yes, overall a Pro, but for the uninitiated traveler or first-timer, it's a bit of a walk from the main parking, and the signage to the first tee left a bit to be desired, but this is an issue that should be assuaged after a few visits or foreknowledge (hence my point here!).
4. Scorecards. Nearly every private or pay-to-play course or complex that I have played have provided detailed scorecards; this simply wasn't the case here, as each day of our visit we were given generic cards with no distances or maps (which is sufficient enough, but for something that basic you're better off keeping score on a scrap of paper). I don't want to imply that I EXPECT this in order for a private/P2P/complex course to get a good rating from me, but a complex hosting Worlds for the second time should have something like that developed by this point, in my opinion. Furthermore, I kind of like collecting the detailed, course-specific scorecards of the places I've traveled to...my wife says I hoard them.
5. Some minor drainage issues on #12...a lot of the fairway was standing water, and this appears to be a long-standing problem with a makeshift boardwalk off to the left, which is also easily seen in the course photos here from over a year ago. I don't knock off points for this unless there is a significant impediment to play, and it's a pretty easy carry off the tee to clear the water when it's here (it had been raining a lot at the time of our visit).
Other Thoughts: Overall, I'd rate the Silver course at about a 4.25 (including all the amenities and the fact that it's on a multi-course complex), with the golf itself standing closer to a 3.75, justifying my 4.0 rating for this course, my favorite here to date (yes, that implies that I plan on a return visit).
Lemon Lake is a huge draw for players in the Midwest region, especially in the DG dead zone around Chicago, but it is also a great example of the burgeoning popularity (and perhaps economic feasibility, thus dispelling rumors of disc golfers being cheap!) of disc golf complexes. While I don't feel the complex offers anywhere near the same golfing experience as Highbridge (and I am admittedly biased), I encourage any semi-serious traveling disc golfer to make a stop here and at least play the Blue or Silver course (I definitely plan on returning to play Gold), and also make sure to check out Rogers Lakewood "up the road" from here!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 4 Not
A Fraggle Party
Pros: Personal rank: 110
Just because this course comes in at last place of my favorites list doesn't mean it's not a great course. Dual layouts offer a variety of challenges and an opportunity to play multiple times through without repeating the same holes. The course offers a great variety of technical shots utilizing heavily wooded areas, open fields, and decent elevation. The complex is an added bonus, with 3 other great courses on site, Lemon lake in my top 5 destination complexes.
I highly recommend this area for people traveling through or someone looking for a great disc golf destination area. I know I'll be making a point to stop by and play another round when I'm in the area.
Other Thoughts: After playing 1000 courses, I'm excited to share my opinion on some of my favorites. My top 100+ list can be found on my blog, my favorites list is at 110 of 1020 courses played as of writing this review. Of all courses played, the top 1.5% receive a rating of 5, down to 6% is a 4.5, and 15% is a 4.0 creating a bell curve distribution. I apologize that my reviews are not as detailed as they have been previously. I have included the details as to why this course stands out to the best that my memory serves.
My personal criteria is very subjective, a gut feeling:
~Physical beauty stands out, both scenery and the beauty of each hole.
~Amenities don't mean much to me, it doesn't much matter if there's benches, concrete tee pads, or garbage cans.
~Technical design - How well designed are the fairways/airways and landing areas? Are there unique holes that stand out? Variety of holes - distances, shapes, elevation, tree density, rough thickness. Pars 4 and 5?
~I love extreme/adventure golf. Rugged and secluded courses stand out more than park style courses. In general I prefer more technical over more open.
~Local Scene. If I was involved in a tournament or league or met up with some locals and played the course multiple times I appreciate different aspects of a course.
Thank you, enjoy my reviews and if you don't find this information helpful, please let me know what I can do to improve.
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
2 courses in 1. Gold/Silver TOUGH
Pros: The Silver/Gold course is much different than the other 3 courses. The land is heavily wooded with some nice rolling terrain. Some areas have drastic drop offs. Several of the open holes have high prarie grass. The rough is much thicker and this is by far the toughest and longest course on the property.
There is a nice flow to this course. Each hole is fairly secluded and there are no major conflicts.
The baskets are in great condition. They are factory yellow Innova Discatchers. The last time I played several holes had a 2nd basket.
There is a wide variety of shots and lines on this course. Every hole has 2 concrete tee pads and some holes have multiple pin positions.
The tee signs are rather basic. They are huge logs engraved with the hole # and distance. They have gold paint for the long and silver paint for the short.
Once you find hole #1 with the use of the maps on this site navigation is not a problem.
This is a professional calibur course. It plays approximately 6,500 to 8,500 feet depending on what layout you play. A score of 61.79 was a 1000 rated round at pro worlds on the toughest layout. The silver layout is much easier and more beginner friendly. You will throw every shot and disc in your bag.
There are quite a few memorable holes and greens on this course.
Cons: Finding hole #1 can be difficult if you don't have a map.
Standing water and mud can be an issue after rain. Hole #11 can be flooded ankle deep at times. There is no way around it to get to the next hole.
Although the tee signs are adequate they are nothing special. There are no hole descriptions.
Although the tee pads are concrete they are a little short and some are not flat to the ground and don't allow run ups from behind. This can be an issue on this brutally long course.
This is the least beginner friendly course on the property.
This is a pay to play facility.
If you are not familar with poison ivy there is some at this facility. Educate yourself and take precautions if you are allergic.
The 2010 Pro Worlds did wonders for this facility. 4 courses with a ton of options. There are plans for a 5th course.
The Homie event every October is a must play midwest event. Great atmosphere and always a ton of people.
Here are the results of Pro Worlds. You can get an idea of how the best players in the world scored on this course.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Get Ready for A Beatdown
Pros: -This course is in the LL complex, so the fairways are well maintained and groomed.
-These tee pads were nice as well.
-This course has the most shot variety I've ever played. You'll need your entire bag of tricks for this one.
-Almost none of the holes felt the same. 8 and 9 are similar, but not exactly the same.
-The different sets of tees and pins make the holes feel very different. Also, the use of dga and innova baskets to distinguish the different pin positions is a wonderful idea.
-Risk/Reward is the name of this course.
Update: after playing this course from the silver tees, and as a better I have a few more things to add.
-This course has several holes that offer a good multiple routes, not just forcing you to a single type of shot.
-There are no "gimme" holes in this course at all.
-Some very legitimate par 4s from gold tees.
Cons: -The tee "signs" were just numbers and distances cut into a log, nothing fantastic.
-Some holes are hard to navigate, they could use more "Next Tee ->" signs.
-The longer holes, 8 and 9 in particular, were very boring. The 1000+ft straight fairway just felt like a driving range. It was a drag. Seeing the same type of fairway immediately next on hole 9 bored some people in my group to just chuck rollers for fun.
Other Thoughts: This course, while beating me down, really gave me something to aspire to. I felt awe at the pros who actually shot well on this course, and it really inspired me to get more practice.
Also, check my "Other Thoughts" in my review of read to see the order I recommend playing the courses in if you choose to hit them all in a day.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: First off this course is located in a beautiful little park that has 4 courses on the property. There is a nice fishing lake, very nice bathroom facilities, huge playground, sand volleball, basket ball courts, walking paths and a bunch of nice pavilions.
This course has a wide variety of hole types, narrow turning wooded, wide open, right turning, left turning, uphill, down hill, strategic multiple shot, and grip it and rip it. Each hole has a very clearly defined fairway and there were no Poke and Hope holes.
Since there is such variety in the holes you end up being forced to use alot of different shots. Power helps alot on this course but you will still need touch shots, flicks and Backhands and a few overhands. Almost every hole requires some shot shaping.
Pin Placements. The pins are placed very well, often on slopes and tucked into trees. The placements enhance the layout tremendously.
Well maintained. This course was immaculate. There was no litter, very little debris (sticks ect..), the grass was well trimmed and Baskets/Tees were in perfect condition.
Navigation once on the course is easy. Without a map I had no problem finding the next hole. there is a very natural progression to the course.
Woods Holes. This course has some beautiful woods holes. They are aestically pleasing and you are able to see that a tremendous amount of work went into clearing, drainage, and steps. The wooded holes really stand apart on this course.
Cons: Finding the first hole! Unlike the other courses on location Silver/Gold does not play in nine hole loops and does not start near the parking lot. We did not have anyone to ask where the course began and only found it because we played the blue course first which plays near the first hole. Hint: Gold/Silver starts near Blue 13's basket.
Holes 7 through 11 seem to be just a long drive contest. The pins are still placed well but the holes themselves are not as interesting. 10 and 11 play down a pipe "right of way" or something like that and are very bland. These of course are personal opinions. Some people might really like this stretch of holes.
The tee signs are very neat, carved logs with hole number and distance, but I would like to see a little more detail on the hole since on quite a few of the holes you cannot see the basket from the tee.
Other Thoughts: This is a great course. I played Gold while my wife played Silver. We had already played Red and Blue earlier so needless to say this course wiped us out. It is long! be prepared for a bit of a hike.
SIlver is a good course for moderate to experienced golfers but the gold course is really for experienced to expert players.
This is definitely a Disc Golf destination park. With 4 courses on location you can really get your fill. It cost us 4 dollars to enter the park but I feel that we got way more than our money's worth.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
A fun challenge
Pros: The course plays mostly through hilly woods with scattered ravines. A few holes are more out in the open, but have baskets tucked into pockets of trees and among thick rough to add some challenge. The holes in the woods offer some great accuracy challenges, especially with lots of hillside basket placements that love to take errant putts and approaches and send them rolling down into the small creeks.
There is some real distance in places on the course, along with some holes that give chances for ace runs if you can thread the needle. The course calls for different kinds of shots if you want to score well, with a good mix of left and right turning holes.
There are two sets of tees on the course, making the gold and silver courses, and on some holes they offer totally different challenges. The silver tees make the course pretty accessible to most players, while the gold tees are fairly challenging with lots of length. Both sets of tees have either concrete or rubber tees, and the locals are in the process of finishing concrete tees for all holes. There are signs at all the silver tees and most of the gold tees giving hole length and layout, and again it seems that the process of finishing the signage is being worked on.
There are some really great shots here that will test your game, and this is definitely the most challenging of the courses here at Lemon Lake. This is a fantastic facility, and the commitment from the park and the local disc golf scene is really amazing.
Cons: The open holes on the course felt a little out of place, and just long for the sake of distance. It might not have seemed as much so if the two long holes weren't back to back, just seemed like a couple holes thrown in for distance and to finish the 18. Many of the alternate tees didn't really change the shot, they just offered shorter or longer versions, and this seemed to take away from the fun of having two full sets of tees.
Many of the rubber tees were short and not level, but this shouldn't be an issue for too long as the club is obviously close to finishing the concrete pads. Similarly, it was a little annoying not to have signs on some of the gold tees, hopefully that is taken care of soon as well.
This course had some fun challenges, but it didn't strike me as a real championship level course, and it still seems like a work in progress. As the course gets more finished it might seem like more of a destination course, but as of right now the red and blue courses seem more like established courses, and offer a nicer experience.
Other Thoughts: This course will probably frustrate many beginning players, with tight shots and some distance, along with lots of trouble around baskets. More experienced players will find some great challenges here to test all different parts of their game, and this challenge ultimately pushed this course up into the 4 disc range for me.
If you're at Lemon Lake, definitely try to fit this course in, but I'd put Red and Blue above this one on you priority list. On some holes it's worth playing both sets of tees, others it's not, but on the whole it was enjoyable to play both the silver and gold courses here.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Best Course in Indiana
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -In my opinion this course is the best course in Indiana and is situated in a park with three other great courses.
-Great mix of holes in the woods and holes in the open.
-Even though the rough is rough, it's so much better than it was just two months ago. I played the course two months ago and the rough was unbearable. I played this last weekend and it was so much better. I thought the "weaved" mowed areas in the prairie grass was a brilliant idea. I thought I played well the first time around and shot 60. This last weekend I shot 54 and I think a lot of it was because the rough was easier to deal with.
-This course has at least five legitimate signature holes (6, 8, 9, 12, 13).
-The addition of the Gold tees truly make this course an awesome addition to the Midwest scene.
-The course really does have a surreal feel to it, as the course really doesn't touch civilization at all.
-The course is manicured EXTREMELY well. This is a direct correlation to the fact that its a pay to play park and because of the dedicated disc golf club in the area.
-The park has an awesome pro shop on site with some great people who run it. This is a HUGE plus to me.
-This course is essentially two legitimate courses within one. The Gold and Silver designs play about 2400 feet different and the Gold design is probably 7 to 8 strokes harder. This is a huge plus for me because it essentially gives this park 5 courses in one park. The Gold and Silver courses are essentially different courses and really offer a great test of disc golf in their own ways.
Cons: -The last five holes are almost like a letdown compared to the first 13, but that's probably only because the first 13 are so amazing
-The open holes are probably a little too open for my tastes. I actually like to have some long, bomber holes but I prefer there to be some more obstacles.
-The wooded holes were nice but none of them were fantastic, standout holes. I would call the wooded holes slightly above average and nothing spectacular. Don't let that take away from the course as I have rated the course a 4.0 which is considered Excellent.
-I would have loved to see the course really utilize the pond or the lake a little more to offer some water hazards.
Other Thoughts: An amazing course in an amazing park - Lemon Lake Park is what disc golf is about. Me and my playing partners could really tell that the people that maintain this park care about disc golf.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great variety of shot making required. (short, long, wooded, open, some elevation, etc.)
Requires you to hit specific lines and distances for best scoring opportunities.
Greens are well designed for risk/reward putting.
A nicely secluded, woodsy setting that feels like a hike through a forest.
Cons: Some of the rough is still very rough, and would advise wearing pants.
With pro worlds coming here next summer, and some new teepads being laid on top of courses, I hope the club does not just lengthen the course, but rather, takes into account the scoring spread. I observed some "betweeners" (i.e. not 2able, but easy 3's), and will be interested to see how top pros separate themselves from the pack if there are too many of these holes.
Other Thoughts: My new favorite Indiana Course.
Certainly not as hard as some of the other reviews make it sound, but hard enough for advanced players to want to come back again and again in order to try and beat this course (the course will often beat you).
A wonderful addition to a park full of disc golf, and certainly adds to the equation.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
21 Helpful / 0 Not
Silver/Gold: Welcome to the Ravines
Pros: First off, to avoid confusion this course has two sets of tees, Silver, and an insane longer set called Gold. Thus, if someone refers to the Gold course, they mean this one. However, the gold tees are so much longer, it almost plays like a different course, which is scary considering that from the Silver tees this is already one of the 5 toughest courses I've played. Consider it two courses in one: Silver/Gold.
Mixed concrete and rubber pads (on silver) are mostly pretty good, and all holes have signs on silver pads, and on most of the Gold pads (will have all by Worlds) We were fortunate enough to play with Bart, a local legend and one of the course designers, and he gave us the inside scoop on both Silver and Gold.
This course is intimidating. The locals will warn you about it, and they're not just blowing smoke. This course was designed to be tough, and they succeeded. Not only is it long, but it forces an array of technical shots and very very tough risk reward choices to do well. We walked the Gold tees, and they are doubly so.
This course is full of legit par 4's and 5's, which I love, and according to our local guide, some holes will actually be listed as 4s and 5s, they just hadn't settled on which ones yet. I love this, and see this as the future of the sport, because making a super hard par 4 or 5 adds a whole new layer of richness and strategy to the game, instead of the "deuce or die" golf that IMO becomes all too prevalent on many courses I play.
This course does a great job giving you choices. It likes to dangle a tantalizing morsel in front of you, like a narrow route above the trees to cut the corner on a sharp wooded dogleg. However, they make these routes very tough and dangerous, with ugly outs if you don't hit them right, as I learned the hard way on several occasions. I still have the scratches all over my legs and arms to prove it.
This course is mostly in extremely thick woods, with an extensive canopy, and this course is chock full of tight canopy curves.
Many, many blind baskets, even on the open holes. It really helped to have a local guide, but without one, it would be even more punishing to play this course. You don't want to walk these holes to scout them out.
Another interesting feature about this course is the prevalence of ravines. Much of this course winds through thick woods, and those woods are perforated with steep hills and valleys cut by these trickles of water. Its like the White course, but on a much larger scale. Also, the clever course design makes great use of this terrain, in a take-no-prisoners (aka Highland Park) type of manner. Many baskets are downhill, blocked by a few trees, and the slope only gets steeper after the basket, making for some nasty upshots if you dont get the disc to stop on the slope. Also, many crosshill shots come into play, where the danger is to one side. The great part about these ravines is that the trickle of water that runs in them isn't enough to eat your disc, so though you may take a stroke for water OB, or at least have a very ugly out up the hill, you at least get your disc back.
This course throws wicked elevation at you for late trouble around the pins, on top of the tightly wooded fairways and protected baskets with a few trees, for very unforgiving holes, where playing it safe and laying up is a serious consideration in many cases.
Another good thing about this course are the open holes. The part of this course that opens up into a more prairie-like field (UW Parkside Prairieside-esque) is still interesting. Many courses get lazy on the long holes, and just make them open and boring. This course actually leaves trees and long grass strategically placed to force a considered shot, not just grip & rip. The long holes actually sometimes punish you for trying to take the most direct route to the basket at times, vs a safer route taking the corner more wide. Its nice to see risk reward on long, more open holes, because it keeps big arms more honest by throwing some control into the mix. Many of the "open" holes here are an open drive, and the basket is tucked into the woods at the end, or nestled between several trees. Again, late trouble is the word of the day.
If forced to pick one, I think hole 14 is the signature hole of the course. Right away, you are forced to choose between a left and right curving routes through the trees. They both meet up, into one wooded tunnel fairway, which goes about 200 ft further to a crosshill basket with a dropoff after it as well. THe tough part is, the left one is more direct, but narrower and easier to get in trouble on, and cost yourself at least another stroke. The right path plays about 250 to where it joins with the left side, and is a more sweeping curve, with a little wider tunnel cut through the trees. Pick your poison off the tee, either way if you dont make it to the landing zone where the curves meet up, you're taking at least another stroke. Sign says 225, but its more than 300 as the crow flies, and plays more like 400-430 depending on which route you take.
Its great that they have two tees for almost every hole, and several holes with alt pin placements. When its all done they plan on having alt pins on at least half the holes, including all the ones that only have one tee, which is a great thing, since the alt pins here really change the hole and are all tough, as they should be.
This course really challenges you and beats you up, but if you go in expecting it and prepared for it, there's a lot to like here.
Cons: Like the White course, this course was put in the ground rapidly, and thus many of the holes need some clearing still before they are where they should be. Also, since this course plays through such dense woods and hillsides, there's much to be done and heavy equipment wont make it back into here to grind up the little stumps that cover the fairways like ankle-twisting minefields.
This course takes 2-3 hrs to play, and it physically beats you up and wears you out. I'm glad we played it second in our day of the total Lemon Lake 4-course experience, because otherwise we would've crawled the last few holes.
The rubber tee pads are alright, but I look forward to the day when its all concrete, as its nice to have good traction when you have to rip it for distance and accuracy like you will here. Again, this course is still rough, so I know this, like the sometimes inaccurate tee signs, is something that will progressively get better.
One problem that won't get better is this. This course was designed to be hard. This is the toughest course at Lemon Lake, by far. Is it the most fun? I'm really not sure. As my travelling companions remarked, it seemed like it really wasnt necessary for the course to beat us up so badly. Some of the holes seem long just to be long, and the gold tees are at times ridiculously so. Its hard to fault either tee because they are both well thought-out and placed, but after awhile, on a hot day, it can seem excessive.
The long grass in the field is very good at swallowing discs, and full of thorns, so be careful walking in there, and watch where your disc goes. Generally, if the hole map says long grass on a section of rough, that means you should steer clear of that area, as its where the thorns are the nastiest.
This course will wear you down, so come ready for a long tough round, and you will be fine. Beginners or people with pretty small arms, will probably not like or appreciate this course as much, and may even find it frustrating. This wont be everyone's favorite, just watch where your disc goes, and know what you're getting yourself into, and you'll have a great round.
Other Thoughts: This is the Monster, the Highbridge Gold, the Justin Trails Big Brother, the championship course that will humble even the Pros when Worlds is held here in a few years. Not only long, the design here is just mean.
There are no drinking fountains, or civilization of any kind, on this course, so bring lots of water (a 1/2 gallon per person wouldn't be out of line on a hot day) and some food, as well as bug spray and sun tan lotion. It gets hot in the field area. Playing this course is an odyssey, don't underestimate it and you'll be fine.
Its a tough call, but Blue edges it out for now, so this is my second-favorite course of the four at Lemon Lake, though I expect Silver/Gold to pass up Blue once its been cleared out and finished for Worlds. Once Silver and Gold are both completed, with concrete pads signs, and brush cleared from fairways, this is a 4.5 course, no doubt the best of Lemon Lake.
One thing that disturbs me slightly is the course designers comments that the fifth course at Lemon Lake is planned as an EVEN longer and tougher one, more open, which makes me wonder Why? This course almost seems too long at times, i think longer than the Golds here would just be ridiculous, and only a handful of people would even enjoy playing that. If anything, make a course with more water holes than Blue, with technical holes like Red, and call it Purple, a mix of the two. I hope the uber-course is merely a pipe dream, and doesnt become reality, but thats just my opinion.
Regardless, Lemon Lake is what happens when Disc Golfers run amok designing and building courses, and its almost all a good thing here. I hope reason prevails and it stays that way, because this is a very special place, with a great parks department and wonderfully involved club members. Thank someone when you see them working on the course, there's always someone there, and they deserve as much praise as they can get.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
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