14 Helpful / 0 Not
Cue the bagpipes.
Pros: Highland Park is a solid course. It varies from some tight, wooded shots to some lightly wooded park-type shots. The combination of open and tight holes keeps things varied and interesting. It has good variety in the hole distances, and the long blue shots top out at reasonable distances (there was no padding the overall course distance with long for long sake 800' shots.) The tees are good, the signs are good and navigation is not a problem. The course loops so you go back by your car after hole #9, which is always nice. The course has good elevation changes that are used for some fun elevated tee shots, tough uphill shots and treacherous pin placements that punish a blow-by. The overall package comes together in a challenging course that is still a lot of fun to play.
Cons: Most of the baskets are old rehabbed single chain DGA Mach I baskets with shallow baskets attachments. They had double chain attachments added, but they still don't catch well. With a lot of treacherous pin placements where you can really get bit by a roll away, it would be nice if they had decent catching baskets.
There is not a lot of O.B. here other than the park roads. Except for a couple of holes, the roads really don't come into play unless you screw up royally. There are no creeks or water to speak of. It's not really a con in my book, since the course is challenging without a lot of gimmicky O.B. Some people really are not happy unless a course has someplace for them to lose their plastic in the water, though.
Other Thoughts: The park itself is somewhat interesting in that it is a decaying old relic of a park that seems to have been abandoned at some point. There is a terrible old road pocked with potholes that you throw over three times, and there is a crazy place where there are a bunch of supports for long-removed benches in a circle near a basket. There is also a weird looking abandoned bridge abutment and some other things that can give the park a creepy Blair Witch vibe if you are back there alone. The fact that the course get a lot of traffic helps with that.
Because the park seems to be largely abandoned other than the disc golf course, the road leading to the parking lot is a mess of potholes and I really wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to be fixed.
I lived in the Chicago area in the early 00's and the lack of good courses was a big issue. I was always amazed that the sport was growing as fast as it was on those terrible, flat 9-hole pitch and putts. Highland is a course the area can be proud of, something that the golfers in that area have needed for a long time.
14 of 14 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.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Awesome Technical Course
Pros: There were a lot of great things about this course, the first of which was ample signage, you always knew where to go for the next hole, how far it was and what it looked like. The concrete tees here were more than large enough for the distances considering I take long strides and always had plenty of room. The holes here tested all sorts of shots from hyzer to anhyzer, there were even some holes for flex shots as well. The baskets were generally easy to spot from the tee, only on a few holes to you have to walk forward a little to see them. STAIRS! This course has an abundance of stairs on the hills which is always nice.
Cons: Some of the fairways on the front seemed to have drain issues which made them very very muddy. While the baskets are nice and in great shape I believe they are the older Mach I series baskets that have a shallow basket area, I don't why they didn't go for a better basket for this beautiful course. The parking area really really stunk here, it is half gravel lot half open grass parking.
Other Thoughts: On one of the holes the basket has actually been stolen and not replaced yet, I didn't count this against the course because these are sometimes hard to sell to the parks department to replace. A few more concrete pads on some of the shorter tee pads would also be nice and probably open the course up to more skill levels as well. Last thing I have to mention is when you are entering the park, proceed slowly as they is a very very large pot hole and the road narrows which can make it tight when you have two care traveling it at the same time.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
A challenge for everyone.
Pros: Where to start. This course will even challenge great players. Your going to need every shot in the bag to shoot good here. Ohs, rollers, anny, turnover, skip shots, the list goes on.
-Nice, long concrete teepads that offer great footing and more length than many.
-Multiple sets off tees offer added distance and change up some holes drastically. (15,11,12 & 4 come to mind)
-Some great elevation changes for most courses around this area which are mainly flat.
-A couple shots across ravines which offer great shots, and add some extra OB to this already tough course.
-Great flow which begins at the parking lot, ends through nine there and starts the second half in the same spot. So if its crowded you dont have to travel far to start on the back 9 instead.
-Great signs with multiple distances and specific hole names.
-Good amount of garbage cans and spots to take a seat a relax throughout the round.
-Good risk/reward holes where make you think twice before going for it.
-Well placed pin postions, some which are right at the edge of huge dropoffs that could send your putt rolling 50+ feet away.
Cons: -Has no water holes.
-Some of the rough is really think and could be trimmed down a little especially around teepad 11.
-The road leading into this course can tear you car up, but this does not really affect the course rating, but it would be nice if they fixed it up.
-Baskets are the old west park ones and not in the best shape but still arent the worst ive seen.
Other Thoughts: This park has come a long way over the past couple years that it has been installed. It was a garbage dump when it opened and has started to improve vastly. Adding concrete tees definatly has helped this course get a rating boost from me. This course has some of the best variety and elevation in the area and I would not hesitate to play if you are in the area. Hell, its even worth a decent drive. And considering all the other courses in the joliet area makes for a great day of dg.
8 of 8 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 / 1 Not
Pros: - Highland Park consists of mature woodland, open grassy areas, and patches of trees and brush. Many of the holes provide epic discing opportunities, with a great variety of hole types throughout. Open, heavily wooded, right, left, up, down, for a course not far from the city, this course has a wealth of terrain and line shaping opportunities for even experienced discers.
- Outstanding new concrete tees: level, brushed, and plenty wide and long. Great signs show all sets of tees as well as the hole layout. Red/White/Blue tees make the course playable and enjoyable for all levels of experience and ability. Some tees are combined on the shorter holes, but all are easily located.
- Outstanding use of elevation: several ravines provide great shot selection throughout the course. Pin placements don't necessarily take advantage of the elevation by threatening rollaways, but other than that the elevation is masterfully implemented into the design. One hole throws from one side of the ravine to the other, and another has a short downhill ace run through trees. Stairs make otherwise risky slopes a snap to traverse.
- The parking lot is centrally located, allowing easy access to either the front or back nine in case of crowded conditions. Also easy to hit up your car for snacks, water, etc. during a round.
Cons: - Some holes are close to roadways or incorporate roads as part of the fairway. Traffic isn't much of an issue but the paved surfaces can be a bit rough on your discs.
- The course can get a bit on the crowded side, but that is more a testimony to Highland's awesomeness rather than a knock against it. Also, being able to easily start on either the front or back nine really helps alleviate this issue.
Other Thoughts: - Probably the gold standard of all Chicago/Joliet area courses.
- The stone bench supports surrounding the basket on one of the holes that runs through the middle of the woods add a somewhat surrealistic atmosphere to the hole. Definitely not something you see everyday.
- Some holes have descriptive names on wooden signs that add to the flavor of this course.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is set in a large and diverse park. There is a great mix of holes in the deep forest, those bordering a smaller forest, and others in a large grove of mature trees. Great flow in and around all of these areas.
- Most holes in the deeper forest have significant elevation changes. Two very steep valleys to get across, a big downhill toss, and a staircase shot are the most extreme examples. Other holes use these valleys as hazards, with sloping greens and horrible punishment. The slope to the left of #16 is particularly nasty. In general, the fairways are pretty clear, but there are lots of larger trees to avoid closer to the tee in many spots. Throwing straight is a must, start to finish, on these holes.
- Holes playing around the edge of the forest provide a lot of challenge as well. A few spots have well protected greens and baskets, with entrance points into the forest. Great mix of right lines (like #2) and left lines (like #17) just to get a look at the basket.
- Long rows of large trees outside the dense forest are a completely different look. Throwing straight through the corridors is the safest bet, getting off line can make for some tough approach shots. There are also a couple of real bomber holes that have more open fairways, allowing big arms to really air it out, with more obstacles near the green.
- Wide range of hole lengths on this course, pretty much corresponding with the difficulty. The tight and/or steep holes are shorter, and the more open ones are longer. A constant sense of difficulty in that every tee shot is either tight, long, or both. Add in the pro tees, and it's even more of each. #4 and #12 are especially wicked from the blues.
- Great teepads! Great signs! Good baskets! Great staircases! This course is seriously well made.
Cons: - One of the biggest cons has to do more with the park itself. Lots of rugged pavement in play, abandoned roads with huge potholes and nasty random concrete. Also plays next to the entrance road in a few places. Tons of garbage and broken glass in the forest.
- Overall, most holes are pretty straightforward. There are a few multi-shot holes worthy of a pro par over 3, but most are pretty forgiving. Holes with extreme elevation are usually very short (around 200'-250'), and one good shot can end the hole very quickly.
- No water in play; pretending the pavement is water isn't quite the same.
Other Thoughts: - Absolutely a great course in almost every way. Such a wide range of hole types with tight lines, big valleys/dropoffs, rows of tall trees, and the bombers. It forces you to throw it straight as possible on some holes, and left or right on others. Few holes are cut and dry; it is fun from start to finish.
- Probably not for beginners, too many ravines and tight windows for it to be enjoyable. Anyone else, from rec to champion, will find something to like.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 6 Not
FYI To All Players
Pros: I can't disagree with any of the positive remarks made previously about this course, it is definitely worth the trip. This is more of a current events notice for everyone.
Cons: The only con, and I considered it to be a big one, was that there was no basket for hole #15. This is a tee shot over a large valley and at the top of the hill on the other end there is no basket, but several patches of torn up earth where a basket might have been. The threesome of guys I was with looked around for ten minutes and could not find the basket anywhere, baffling us all. What a shame, because the rest of the course is delightful.
Other Thoughts: We went for our round on Sunday, 09/22/10 at about 1:00pm. No basket on hole #15
6 of 12 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Best in Chicagoland
Pros: -NEW concrete pads
-long and short tees on most holes
-excellent use of elevation to create some dramatic holes
-good variety between open and tight, hyzer and anhyzer, up and down
-excellent variety in length, including 3 true par 4 holes from the blue tees. some good opportunities to let big drives loose (#4, #9, #17)
-interesting and challenging basket placement, some near steep dropoffs, requiring good upshot control
-every single hole has at least one feature that adds difficulty
-several beautiful signature holes (#4, #6, #9, #12, #15, #17)
-several staircases built into side of hills to cross the 2 valley holes
-definitely the most challenging 18 hole course in Chicagoland
-most of the course feels very isolated and quiet (except #2,3,4)
-easy-to-follow layout, great informative tee signs
-looping 9's, so stopping for a drink halfway through the round is easy
Cons: -baskets could use an update, chains are light and the basket is shallow
-some areas of the course (#4 particularly) still contain a good amount of trash
-2 holes in the woods are slightly poke-and-hope
Other Thoughts: Being from Chicago, it is about time that we get a challenging course. The course felt very rough over the last few years, but a little trash removal and the addition of conrete teepads really makes this course stand out.
The challenge in this course is to play the smart shot. Several holes have OB and semi-nasty rough, so staying in the fairways is a must. Only a few holes feel like must-deuce holes, and the par 4's (#4, #9, #17) are fun holes to play. The blue tees I feel are the most fun arrangement, and really create some tough shots, like a 90-degree dogleg right downhill through woods on #12, then 90-degree dogleg right UPhill a few holes later.
Definitively the best course in Chicago, and worth a stop when passing through IL.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Great variety of shots from the tboxes. You need to be able to throw backhand, forehand, and even overhand. The signage is wonderful and has yet to be destroyed by jerk players. There are a couple holes with great elevation changes thru wooded fairways.
This seems like a course not many know about since it's only 2 yrs old, even though it's surrounded by the Joliet-area courses.
Cons: Lots of trash everywhere, loose pitbulls, and meth heads.
Lacks truly difficult holes.
Other Thoughts: This course is a must-play for any enthusiast, especially due to its proximity to the other kickass courses in the area.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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