5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Highland Park is one of the top courses in the Chicagoland area and worthy of a Very Good rating. Here are my pros:
1) Navigation was actually great on this course. There are signs throughout the park directing you to the long and short tees and to the next hole.
2) The concrete tee pads were awesome. Someone had commented that maybe they were too big but I would never complain about that!
3) The course has some very interesting features and very interesting holes. Hole 13 effectively uses 4 benches to create a neat little green while hole 12 uses a nice culvert to create a nice risk/reward shot from the short tee.
4) There is a good mix of wooded and open holes. It actually seemed to be fairly split between the two, with half of the holes open and half of the holes wooded. Great variety!
5) Some of the greens are very challenging and use elevation very effectively. Holes 5 and 14 have significant drop-offs after the basket and really add significant value to the hole.
6) I think the par 4's on this course are very good holes. Hole 4 is a tighter hole with a tough landing area that requires a finesse second shot to a guarded green. Hole 9 doesn't seem that hard but the out of bounds road to the right forces a lot of shots to end up to the left which brings some big oak trees into play. Hole 17 isn't a super challenging hole but still requires you to throw a very long hyzer drive and requires you to throw a good upshot to get your birdie three.
Cons: I actually only have a couple cons for the course and then one con for the actual park. Here they are:
1) Some of the tees are just a little bit goofy, in my opinion. In particular, I just do not understand the short tee on hole 2. The long tee on hole 2 (350 foot option hole) is a fantastic hole. The short hole is shorter but the angle of the hole makes the hole much harder. It just seems like it would be better to eliminate this tee altogether because its not a fun hole to throw and its actually easier than the long tee. Also, I was not a fan of the long tee on hole 12. Having to throw a 150 foot putter shot and then go 90 degrees the other way to the green (albeit a neat green) is not my idea of a great disc golf hole. Its listed as a par 3 and really is basically a tweener hole.
2) A few of the holes felt a little bit like poke and hope holes. The lines on holes 5 and 6 are definitely there but just a little pokey. Same with holes 13, 15 and 18. The lines are there but they are definitely tight. They are fair lines but I just got the feeling that a few trees coming out would make the fairway more defined.
3) When I played the course recently hole 8 had some vines and branches that were literally hanging out right in the middle of the fairway. This may not seem like a huge deal but it really made the hole a bad hole when two good drives in a tournament hit an invisible vine (mine wasn't one of them) and the vine was right in the middle of the fairway. Great drives shouldn't be punished so I think the course just may need a little TLC in a few places.
4) Unfortunately the baskets are getting to be very worn. Its not a huge deal for a casual round but in a tournament these baskets are very frustrating. These baskets look to be very old and are very very worn. We had many bounceouts and spitouts at a recent tournament.
5) This is the one con that doesn't deal specifically with the course: this park is definitely a little more on the sketchy side. I constantly see videos and pictures posted about this course with some pretty crazy staff happening at the course (fights, drunk people going crazy, etc). I would just warn you that this course isn't in the best of neighborhoods and be prepared to see something crazy!
Other Thoughts: Don't let the cons steer you away from playing. I have never felt unsafe here by any means. I would actually rate this course a 4.0 but because of the atmosphere of the park and the poor condition of the baskets I dropped it down to a 3.5. This is actually one of the best courses in the Chicagoland area so definitely give it a chance!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 3 Not
Best in the area
Pros: Highland Park has all of the basics of a very nice course: great variety of shot-types, distances, and challenges for different skill levels. In addition, you'll find a few more memorable holes such as 'stonehenge' and the super fun downhill floaters. Multiple tees which are downright swanky compared to the usual skinny concrete, crushed limestone, or plain old dirt tees usually found in the Chicago area. Several holes offer choices off the tee which each have relative positives and drawbacks - I won't go so far as to call most of these 'risk-reward' because none that I can think of actually incorporate meaningful risk but there are opportunities to select routes that play to the individual's strengths.
Cons: The main con's I have about this course are several tweener length par 3/4 holes which are very, very unlikely '2's for most but at the same time, very easy '3's. Holes like #4 which is listed as 575 from the blue tees (and a par '3'?) need both a huge drive under a fairly low canopy of trees AND to miss lots of trees along the way - for the average pro, this is probably a 1/100 shot or less. Several 4's will be carded but the vast majority of scores will be an 'okay' drive and decent up-and-down three.
Other Thoughts: How awesome is it that some of the new wider Chicagoland area courses are starting to expand beyond simple pitch'n'putt? Very awesome. We've still got a long way to go but Highland Park is pushing those borders a little bit further towards holistic designs which incorporate a variety of distances, shot-types, and a mix of par 3/4's (even if they aren't yet labeled as such).
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Highland - Joilets hidden treasure
Pros: - Combo of heavily wooded and open field shots
- Many signature holes
-Wraps around to the parking ot after 9 holes
-Long holes let you throw with all your power
- A few hyzer shots to keep you honest
- Few hidden basket shots
-All holes have new concrete tees and signs
- Easy to get to off the highway
- Not very well kown in the subarbs so its rarly crowded
- Sharp dropoffs on many holes make for hard shots
- Stairs so you dont have to shimmy down the hills
Cons: -Missing basket on hole 15
- Sharp drop offs can mean lost discs.
- Throwing over a road on one hole.
-Not very desriptive signs
-a little repetitive
Other Thoughts: Just found out about this course in the end of the season last year. I had a lot of fun there. Will be one of my most visited in 2011
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 8 Not
B+ = Interesting and addicting
Pros: I am rating this course from the long tees. Thankfully I met up with Dana Vicich who helped me find them since several are hard to find! This is a new course and still a little rough around the edges - I have knocked around half a disc off for that (half a letter grade).
What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == A- (Very well designed for the most part. A few holes play a lot more fun from the mid tees, but the longs on those present worthy risk/reward choices. A few holes offer rather funky flight paths which insert luck into scoring and knock down the fun-factor too.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I throw 300' accurately, 360' max. == B+ (For my length a few of the long tees were a little much and made them tweener/boring holes. Longer throwers would be more anamoured than me I imagine.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == B+ (Great variety and use of terrain! I marked things down a little since a few holes do not offer reasonable flight paths - as mentioned earlier. These sort of things can be fixed and I imagine the design/implementation is not quite finished yet. Hey, it is easier to take trees down than put them up!)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == B+ (Seclusion is superb! This site has been used as a dumping ground and could use cleaning up. I marked this down to for this aspect of "rough around the edges").
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == C+ (Hole 4 is a supurb par 4 with a challenging landing zone leading to a touchy upshot. The other 2-3 par 4's are less inspiring to me. It is great to see a new course that has gotten away from the par-3 paradigm!)
Overall, I love this course! It definitely has the potential in my mind to be a 4.5 disc course with some tweaking and clean up. I am sure I will upgrade my rating to that if/when the locals finish things up. They have done an enourmous amount of work so far.....and it shows! Thanks for a great new course!
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (125 18-hole, 64 9-hole as of mid 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
12 of 20 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: challenging, the park looks nice and it is easy to get from hole to hole. i like how it is half in the forest and half out.
Cons: some holes have too much trees. in some situations its impossible not to go bark-hunting. the baskets are abnormally small and the discs pop back out funny
Other Thoughts: this is nice course and i would definitely come when you get a chance
1 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Mostly wooded holes, but with variety. Beautiful holes requiring a drives over ravines. Tee signs make it easy to navigate. The course is fun and challenging. One of Joliet's better courses
Cons: No Bathrooms? - (1st time playing, maybe there are somewhere)
Lack of garbage cans
Other Thoughts: Help keep the park clean!
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
course is improving
Pros: Course is improving. A LOT less trash on the course than last year. This course was just put in as of late 2008, so give it some time. I was impressed with the improvement compared to last year. Great mix of holes. Personally, I don't want a course that is all easy, or all hard. The first isn't challenging, and the latter is too frustrating. One reviewer wrote that the open holes (7-11) were too easy. But, two of them are very long. And, the fairways are lined with mature Oak trees. Sure, the fairways are about 50' wide, but for some golfers that is challenge enough. The more difficult holes have tough fairways that can be as little at 10' wide. The interesting elevation shots, both uphill and down, and across ravine like areas make this course unique in this area. I also found it to be less muddy than other area courses at this time of year (springtime). Definitely worth a visit. And no, you don't have to be afraid to go play this course by yourself.
Cons: Hole 16 is still missing while they do some work on the course. And yes, the park used to be a place that some careless individuals would use to dump trash. Putting a disc golf course here was a stroke of genius. Park is already looking better. But, there is definitely still room for improvement. Fairways and tees can be rough in places. Still experiencing some growing pains.
Other Thoughts: This course has the potential to be one of the best in the area. Just needs time and care to improve. Play it. Unless you are a nitpicky person, you will most likely love this course.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Newbie w/ room for improvement and much potential
Pros: * Map of course layout posted on board at first tee.
* Hefty size concrete tees.
* Quality tee signs clearly stating distance from each tee and providing birds eye view map of each hole.
* Balanced mix of straight/lefty/righty shots
* Multiple tees provide different approaches to each hole and appeal to a players skill level.
* Dominant "wooded" course with elevation which is a nice compliment to the other courses in the area (for those hitting the Joliet area on a disc golf trip)
Cons: * GARBAGE! It's everywhere, ranging from broken bottles/beer cans to rusted old trash cans & old tires. ( Update: Still here )
* The vegetation is sorta wild and the fairways are not as cleaned up as you'd expect on a course. For example lots of rocks,sticks, and wooded stubs in the fairways.
Other Thoughts: Overall it's great they decided to add another course to the area, especially a course that offers tight wooded holes and some with elevation which is rare in this area. It's definitely a course worth checking out and a Park District employee told me all the CONS I stated, those are things they are going to be working on to improve the park & course. A major factor of the park district deciding to place a course in Highland Park was to keep people from dumping their garbage in it and have a reason for the park services to trim the trees/bushes and what have you. Before placing a course, I suppose this was a park no one used so they decided to use it for disc golf, which is good with me. Also, out of towners shouldn't be afraid of the neighborhood next to the park. I golfed on a Friday morning and it was packed with golfers, not "rough" people (like the other reviewer said). * Update: Still lots of garbage, but overall fun course to play. *
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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