Rad Chicago 9'er!
Pros: I get to call Randall Oaks at Chicago 9'er even though it's technically a Chicago 10'er. I think most Chicagoland players will be OK with the label.
This lovely park is a bustling, popular beehive of activity with just a little bit of everything, even including a small zoo. Even with the park's popularity, the day I played, I mostly had the course to myself.
The course is very well marked with directional signs, brand new tee pads and simple tee posts which give just the hole #, par and distance. The baskets are Discatchers with the yellow band. The course plays as an easy recreational level, beginners will enjoy their round here, as well. It's way too tame for intermediate players looking for any challenge. I think the main attraction of this course is it's just such a beautiful little well kept park and has a few really pretty simple little holes. Combine this with low stress and little chance of losing a disc and it's just a fun little throw.
# 1 is a very pretty short, 245', slightly downhill hyser throw through the trees. # 3 is a very pretty 280' slight downhill with a fairly narrow window.
But # 6 and # 10 were my favorite holes. I'd call them both the signature holes on this course. # 6 is a 303' anhyser throw to a basket with rusting chains and # 10 is just an easy little 210' ACE run (Please don't sign the basket when you ACE this hole-We're not that impressed).
Cons: Totally recreational distance and challenge.
I can understand the problem of having to share this park with the public.
Other Thoughts: I think we're missing a unique opportunity on # 5. Instead of having a boring run of the mill basket there, the target should be Disc Golf's largest target anywhere, the giant water tower. It would be this course's legacy. And hitting the water tower would also make a lovely, musical sound that would resonate through the park.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set on the grounds of a multi-use park, making use of some hills, and some lightly forested areas. Lots of park users can be found here on a nice day, and they like to roam about. Possible interference for sure.
- Holes start off amongst a lightly wooded area, with #1-#3 and #10 each having several trees to contend with off the tee. There are multiple lines to be found, but they must be shaped well to get to the basket. A few obvious RHBH hyzers, and a bunch of straighter shots. #3 offers a long RHFH route or slight RHBH flex shot, both are good routes. #6 is a sharp right turn around a forest, with no other option to get around.
- Other holes are in the open, with little to no obstacles to get in the way. #4 has a low hanging branch, #9 has a guardian tree, otherwise these are just a test of distance over anything else.
- Elevation changes are present throughout the course, which really help to spice things up. #3 shoots down into a valley, #4 is a pretty steep uphill, #10 has a slightly elevated teepad, #9 plays uphill on the side of a hill; these are all pretty noticeable and really add to the fun factor. Helps keep the wide open holes interesting, especially #5 and #7.
- Good tees, baskets, and signage. Navigation is straightforward, with a sign to help find #5 and #10. Course loops around nicely, #10 finishes right by #1's teepad.
Cons: - While the open holes do have good character with the slope factor, they are still completely wide open and have no challenge other than distance. At least three holes fall into this category, and are kind of bland.
- Barbed wire fence to the left of #3 is definitely in play, especially if trying the FH route. Easy to reach because of the downhill, probably a pain to get the disc back for sure.
Other Thoughts: - This course has a lot to offer, with pretty good elevation changes and a good mix of forest and open shots. Some open uphill shots need good distance for any chance at a putt, and downhill shots in the woods need good accuracy. #3 offers a fun downhill shot through some trees, and #6 is a nice blind shot around the woods. Great for beginners, good for us regulars, probably a bit bland for the more experienced.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Lots of elevation changes
Very well maintained
Very difficult to lose a disc
Cons: Only 10 Holes
A few open boring holes
Other Thoughts: I think this is a great course for a beginner. There are a few short technical holes to hone your accuracy and the longer (300+) holes are very open so there is room for error. The traffic is hit or miss. Some days you can go out there and be the only peron on the course, other days it seems like every teenager in the area has gathered there for a place to smoke pot that isn't thier parents basement.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
nice lil 10 hole
Pros: - Each hole is its own unique shot.
- Each hole is memorable
- Invent your own alt pins and get in another 10.
- Doesn't favor righty or lefty.
- Wind comes into play on the open holes.
- Half the holes are open other half through trees.
- During heavy rain or snow melt. a large "puddle" will form to the right of hole 1 (~30-40' away) and hole 2 along the first half of the fairway.. makes for an additional challenge.
- Play roads and parking lots OB for additional challenge.
Cons: - Patio block teepads
- Careful along road many people drive stupidly through the park.
- Non DG park-goers dont really know whats going on and often get in the way on holes 4 and 9
Other Thoughts: I really feel that they could've put in another 8 holes without cluttering or getting in the way of other park features.
Favorite Hole - #3 its an down and up fairway with large mature trees defining 3 gaps to take. Plays more as a straight downhill since basket is lower than the tee. Wind almost always plays a factor in the middle of the fairway by the golf course and parking lot. If you miss the gap you can pay dearly.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Good elevation changes on holes 3 and 4. Holes 1-4 are fun and have some big trees to work around.
Cons: 5-9 are in an open field. Still fun and challenging but not nearly as nice as the begining of the course.
Other Thoughts: Needs another 10 holes.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - The course is maintained well
- Brand new course = new baskets and new brick tee pads
- The next tee pad can easily be found from the previous pin
- No unneccessary walking involved
- A few holes have elevation
- Nice new tee signs with par and distance
Cons: - Half the holes are wide open (only one uses distance as an obstacle, but its a par 5)
- Pars are too high on most holes
- Layout has a lot of holes bunched close together
Other Thoughts: This course was nice, but was not overall challenging. It is short and packed into a smaller area, so rounds take no time at all. It is great for beginners that are learning the game. Seasoned verterans will probably be a bit bored at this course, or can play here for a nice relaxing round or two. Petting zoo in the park for the kids.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The location is a great exposure point for disc golf. Randall Oaks is a very well-known and busy park, and the basket for # 6 is in plain view of traffic on Randall Road. The course does have more elevation changes than your typical Chicagoland course and features a couple of elevated tees and uphill shots. The tees are made from paver bricks and there are good tee signs and markings to help you get around the course. All in all, it's a pretty good course.
Cons: There is only one 400+ ft shot despite having the space for a least a couple of more long shots that would separate it from you typical Chicago 9-hole pitch & putt. The one 400+ ft shot is flat and wide open, something that is becoming all too familiar to me. Just because a hole is long, that does not mean you can't have any trees or elevation in play.
Despite having a great big hill to work with, only four out of the 10 holes use the elevation to any significant extent. Neither of the elevated tee shots are long enough to throw a driver on. Again, they missed an opportunity to create a course that would be unique from most Chicagoland courses.
The basket for # 4, the tee for # 8 and the basket for # 9 are all right next to each other. If you hyzer your drive on # 8 it will fall out onto # 9's fairway as the fairways are right next to each other, separated more by elevation than anything. It seemed like the entire hole # 8 could have been moved south to avoid these conflicts.
To get from # 4's basket to # 5's tee, you have to walk right past # 7's basket. # 5 shoots over a park service road, and the obstacles are mostly the stop sign and speed limit sign you have to throw over. Really if the course is busy, there is going to be a logjam of people around 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 because they all come together in the same spot.
There are 10 holes, but hole # 10 adds nothing to the course. Its an 200 ft elevated tee putter drive that is there mostly to get you to walk around to the other side of the parking lot so everyone will exit and enter the parking lot in the same place.
Other Thoughts: The baskets were set into these big concrete stands that were about a foot and a half in diameter, so there was a big ring of concrete around each basket. I found that a little odd. They were flush with the ground, so it really did not effect play one way or the other.
I was excited when I heard about this course, as I had been to the park many times and had often looked at the hill and thought "I'd love to launch a drive off there." Well, the course is there and is on that hill...but sadly you never get to launch a drive off the hill. The terrain is there to have an outstanding 9-hole course, but instead the course design seems to draw from all the other ho-hum courses in the area and does not stand out significantly from them. It's not a bad course by any stretch of the imagination, but when you look around you can see the potential for so much more.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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