Journey to the Centralia of the Earth, Pt. 1
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Foundation Park, home to both a championship quality 18-hole course and a significantly easier 9-hole course, provides an awesome example of park-style disc golf done the right way. The "beginner" 9-hole course, while accessible to beginners, will still provide some challenge even for more experienced players. The holes are all relatively short in length (even from the natural grass blue tees), but with two sets of tees and two pin positions, there is enough variety here to keep things fresh and interesting through multiple rounds.
- Concrete pads at the red tees and markers in the grass for the blue tees; both are in fine condition, as it seems the blue tees see minimal wear and tear. Signage helps with distance, and the very basic shape of the hole, but the details are scant. With the shorter hole lengths, this doesn't create as much of an issue as the lack of detailed signage does on the 18-hole course. Next tee signage, trash cans, and a course map at the parking lot are all sufficient and well-implemented.
- Variety and scale. For a nine hole course, Foundation brings it. At no point throughout the round did I feel like I was playing a park-style niner. The scope and design of the holes all seemed to be at the same level as a full-blown 18-hole course, which is encouraging to me as I live in the region of crappy Chicagoland park-style 9ers. There's enough challenge and variety here to satisfy most discers, even if more skilled players will be playing "deuce or die" golf. A good balance also exists between wooded and open, with semi-open shots coming in to play (e.g., #'s 1 and 5). A couple of large pines surround #7's pin, creating a tricky approach zone.
- Water comes into play nicely on #'s 2 and 3. Enough of a hazard to put a bit of a scare in you, but easily avoided if your discs stay on line. The creek plays to the right for both holes. Gently rolling elevation throughout adds enough up and down to keep this course from being flat, but there's not enough to warrant a "moderate" designation.
Cons: - The tee signage, while mostly sufficient, lacks some detail and could be upgraded to have more detailed/accurate maps of each hole.
- Concrete pads would be a nice touch at the blue tees, but the natural tees didn't detract much from our round. I could see them being more of a con in rainy/muddy conditions.
- The tee signage indicates whether the pin is in A or B position; however, the signage did not seem to match the pin positions. Either the hole maps were inaccurate or the pin indicators weren't set correctly (I'm leaning towards the later).
Other Thoughts: - I really enjoyed my round here. Enough of a challenge to provide a solid warm-up for the adjoining 18-hole monster lurking across the road, but also accessible enough for beginners or lesser players. This would be the perfect course, in my mind, for a family that wants a leisurely walk in the park while also getting in their dg fix. Although Foundation 9er does a great job accentuating the 18-hole layout, it is solid enough to stand on its own, any day.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
A great meal goes better with a tasty appetizer
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Variety: Mix of semi-wooded and sparsely treed open holes with just a hint of rolling terrain on a few, and a few variations of hole shapes (but not much). Variety on hole lengths is quite good. Openness allows for several lines, but well placed trees give you something to think about on every hole. Multiple tees and rotating pins placements only enhance the variety. The blues provide somewhat tougher looks to go with the added distance. The longer "B" placements really stretch things out a bit and are tougher to reach in most cases.
Kudos for not skimping on the distance - even the reds give big arms couple of chances to bomb.
Equipment: I really like the Gateway Titans - built to last and catch great. Red tees are concrete and in great shape (having been recently poured) and easy to spot with their tee signs. The natural blue tees are a bit tougher to find, but decent (at this point - could become nasty, water holding devices if they don't pour concrete). Single tee signs only show red and blue tee locations (yellows aren't shown) as well as both pin positions, and help get around with no issues. Pin placement is shown on the post.
Aesthetics - nothing special, but it's fairly pleasant and easy on the eyes.
Navigation: easy, can be played in under an hour (even allowing for some extra shots,
Nice warm up for big brother. Having another course that plays to a different skill level in the same park is a big plus
Scorecards w/ map at kiosk are a nice touch.
Cons: While it's far from spectacular, there's honestly not a lot wrong with this course. It's simple, but well designed and well suited to beginning and intermediate players.
I'd prefer a bit more variety in terms of hole shapes - the longer holes were all pretty straight, but it seems they were trying to fit this course into a relatively narrow strip of land in this section of the park, and it doesn't seem like long, sweeping hyzers or turnover shots would have fit into the scheme of things.
I'd have liked more elevation, but they made good use of what little there is in this section of the park, and wisely saved the better elevation for the Pro Course.
Other Thoughts: Probably the 2nd best niner I've played to date. It's refreshing to play one where you can use a pretty full range of discs, or one where you can actually card a 4 or 5 if you throw badly.
I don't think they could really do anything about the "shortcomings," but there's no denying that elevation and big, curving fairways would add something this course lacks. That said, you gotta appreciate that what the Rec 9 lacks, the Champ 18 offers up.
Most definitely a good course. I'd rather play two rounds here than one on many 18's. Had it been able to address the two cons I listed, I'd be thinking about whether it deserves a 3.5 or not.
Interestingly, the Rec 9 plays much like a park style course, while the Champ 18 plays more like a woodsy, brushy, put on your big boy pants, metro park type of course
yet they're across the road from each other.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Underwhelming if played Second.
Pros: 1) Actual hole distances are pretty diverse (see also cons). You do have to bring your distance game or throw good upshots to play well. My upshots must have been on because I parred everything.
2) Directional in the one major place it is needed on the walk from #3-4 and from #8 to 9.
3) Nice concrete teepads.
4) There is an average amount of variety from foliage density. While most of the holes are open there are some obstacles to avoid.
5) Decent tee signs again showing all of the info needed.
6) Very beginner friendly because of alternate forward tees. All of the holes are under 300' from the front tees.
7) Garbage cans all around the course again for people to be able to throw their trash away as opposed to throwing it around the park.
Cons: 1) Overall the hole distances do not seem as different as the other course because it is more open. While there are holes ranging from 200's to 500's it just does not feel like that at all. The A pin positions take a lot of the distance variety away too.
2) Boring and repetitious is how it felt to play this course. Partially a let down from finishing the other 18 and then coming here.
3) This part of the park is less dramatic in terms of elevation change but it might also feel more this way because there are less trees and obstacles.
4) It's a shame they couldn't bring the river in to play . . . even if it is a rec course, even they will get a thrill of having to throw over or closely to a river.
Other Thoughts: This course is far from how awesome the Championship 18 is. The holes are similar lengths (at least in comparison to the other 18) and they all play similarly where the Champ 18 has character at every turn. These holes are more open and less obstacles. It is still a fun course but the distances lend the holes to be repetitive for players of my caliber. I literally got a par 3 on every hole so it became very boring. I like birdies and as sick as it sounds . . . I like bogies. I like to stress for every shot and this course does not lend itself to that type of feeling.
Is this a bad course . . . NO . . . but it does not even compare to across the street . . . so I recommend starting on this course as a warmup and then moving to the other 18 and you will be even more blown away!
I definitely appreciate they have a more beginner friendly course on the same property and it will hopefully keep many of the beginners off the Champ 18, because there really is no reason for a beginner to try that . . . it might turn many people away from the game . . . or it might create a bunch of addicts trying to improve. It is hard to say but as much negative could come from beginners playing over there as would positives.
I give this review a 2.0 . . . but the course gets a 3.0 . . . more accurately I would say it gets about a 2.75. I just cannot give it less than 3.0 rating just because I played it second. It is hard to write as much as I did on my previous review of the Champ 18 and it correlates to how these courses compare. I just cannot say that much about this course. It is fun, but boring at the same time and I felt underwhelmed about this course because I play the 18 first. Oh well . . . chalk this one up to experience.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - A good portion of this park is devoted to this 9-holer, which has a great mix of woods and large trees to provide variety.
- Wooded holes do a good job of forcing certain lines with tight fairways and low ceilings. There are pretty rewarding birdie opportunities as accuracy and decent length are needed. Each of these holes have different curves to follow, which is a plus.
- Holes out of the forest have a great variety of trees to avoid, off the tee, in the fairways, and by the baskets. Lots of low branches and tricky approaches. Combined with a great amount of length, especially from the pro tees, the course offers a constant challenge.
- Good number of protected baskets, both in the forest and out. From skinny trees to giant pines, there are many ways to make things tough on yourself.
- Well markes tees, great baskets and signs. Navigation is easy.
Cons: - Land is pretty flat overall, there are no holes that have elevation changes as a major factor. Not many hazards other than the forest and trees either, so it is a pretty standard disc golf experience.
Other Thoughts: - Overall a very solid course that has above average length. The pro tees provide additional difficulty and some serious length. Add in protected baskets, and you get many spots that require long and accurate shots to score well.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Slightly more than just REC
Pros: Played the blue tees here. Made most of these holes hard par threes. Some good semi-open holes and some really neat wooded tight holes. Number 9 from the red tees stood out as being one of the cooler holes. Best 9 hole course I have ever played.
Cons: No concrete teepads. If the ground is a little wet ( with what they say during the winter and spring) you have a good chance of landing on your butt.
Also not very many places to sit down. If we didn't have a great guide finding the next hole might have been tough.
Other Thoughts: Nice friendly people ready to help you out and show you the way around.
Get someone to play a round with you ( bribe them if you have to) and watch their throws. Best learning you can get!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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