Fun & Challenging
Pros: - Variety of shots needed
- Length and openness of holes balanced and varied
- Elevation creates several interesting drives off of the tee and putts at dangerous greens
- Large, good quality concrete teepads
- Two nine-hole loops
- Good navigation and signage
- Benches at many holes
- Stairs to navigate steep climbs and descents
Cons: - Older baskets
- Trash frequently present around course
- Hole 16's gravel teepad
Other Thoughts: Highland Park is the one course I make sure to play if it has been a while since my last trip to the Joliet area. The hole variety and elevation on this course make every round fun from beginning to end.
The course is paced incredibly well, if you start getting tired of shorter narrower fairways, a longer, more open hole or two is upcoming. The result of which is a course without a considerable weak link.
The only thing this course does not have is a real water carry, but if you really want to chuck your plastic over a larger body of water, Round Barn Farm is a short drive south.
Most of the baskets are not in great shape and can lead to some unfortunate spit-outs, while not a big deal in a casual round, this can be quite frustrating when it happens in a tournament.
Highland park may be a bit rough around the edges, with trash frequent at some locations throughout the park, but it is not enough to take away from what I have found to always be a great place for a fun round.
1 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!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Another Illinois Gem
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Excellent variety of holes, from short, technical wooded holes to long bombs with lurking OB and large trees scattered throughout the fairway. You'll play a shorter hole that requires a gentle left-to-right touch shot that must land on a small green guarded by a huge drop-off and then play a long bomber hole where you've got a throw a dead-straight 425-foot drive down a beautiful avenue of giant oaks. The course never got boring or felt redundant because every hole is different and has its own unique challenges. You have to be able to throw a huge variety of shots to score well here.
- Elevation changes come into play on the majority of holes, creating interesting and challenging shots and great aesthetics. A few of the holes have very nasty, fast greens with a punishing drop-off behind the basket, which force you to make decisions both off the tee and on your putt. Some holes give you the chance to drive straight up hill through narrow gaps and others ask you to float an approach shot downhill into a small protected green. The course photos just don't do it justice - these are some big hills!
- Many holes have three tees: long (blue), medium (white) and short (red) tees. These multiple tees allow you to choose what level of challenge you want and gives you the ability to play the course multiple times and experience new shots. The blue tees are extremely difficult (a score of 57 or 58 is Professional caliber) and require you to be able to throw long with accuracy. The white tees are a little more manageable, but they're still difficult (Pros will be pleased with a 53 or a 54). They trim some of the distance off to make the pin more accessible, but you still have to make a great shot to score well.
- The course has lots of amenities and all of the nice-to-haves that make the course inviting and playable. The tee signs are excellent, with detailed hole maps and distances. The tees are large, level and well-maintained, with concrete for both the whites and the blues. The baskets, although older and with less chains than modern baskets, are all in excellent condition and catch discs very well. And anywhere where you have to climb up or down a hill, there are well-made stairs carved right into the hillside to make the climb manageable. These stairs probably took hundreds of hours to construct, and are a testament to the dedication of the local disc golf club and the parks department.
Cons: - Some of the lines on the shorter holes seemed very difficult to hit off the tee. Top-tier players will probably make those shots most of the time, but the average weekend golfer might be frustrated by the accuracy required, especially when a missed line causes your disc to roll down a hill into OB.
- There was a lot of broken glass throughout the course, which marred some the natural beauty of the park. But it's not really a safety issue as long as you wear sturdy shoes.
- The shared white and blue tee pad for hole 16 was not concrete and the footing is pretty sketchy.
Other Thoughts: After just two plays, Highland Park has leaped into my top 10 favorite courses. It's just got everything you could ask from a disc golf course. It's challenging, but not punishing. It has a great variety of holes and the land is used extremely well. It's set in a beautiful park and the area is dedicated to disc golf. The course is well-designed and well-maintained. Bottom line - it's a course I would drive a few hours to play whenever possible and I would definitely recommend it to anyone travelling through the Chicagoland area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Gem of a course!
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: * Great signs, not always a big deal, but these are some of the best signs I have ever seen. They clearly mark obstacles, other tees, distances, and of course the basket. One plus is the signs also mark where the tee is for the next hole.
*Terrific use of elevation. Even the open holes seem to use slight hills to shape the hole. Several holes cross either an old road or a ravine. There are holes going uphill, and downhill also. Some baskets are precariously close to a steep dropoff, and it adds some tension to those risky long putts. This is the best use of elevation I have encountered in Chicagoland so far!
*Very well shaped fairways. There is some of everything here; doglegs left and right, tricky s-shaped fairways, the above mentioned ravine crossing shots, long open holes that still favor placement over raw distance, and some relatively tight tunnel shots.
*Most holes have three separate tees to add/decrease the difficulty to suit everyone's ability.
*Great variety in the distance of the holes. Most are on the shorter side (200-250) unfortunately, but there are several bombers (+500) to even it out.
*The stairs are so, so nice. Touches like that can separate an average course from a very nice course in my opinion. They are very much appreciated, to whoever built them.
Cons: *Lots of trash. Trash everywhere. Also it seems like someone went through and smashed a glass bottle on every inch of ground they could. Seriously there is almost as much broken glass as dirt here.
*A little picky, but like I said there are a lot of holes in the 200-250ft range, and it would be nice if the average length was a little longer.
Other Thoughts: I just really wish I lived closer than an hour away from this course so I could play it more often. I see they are having a tournament here in a few weeks, so maybe I'll sign up to play that. The environment here is really cool, there is an abandoned road running through the woods, and some random benches in the woods. Everyone in the general Chicago area owes it to themselves to check out this great course!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A Hidden Gem Among the Flat Plains
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -great use of elevation change
-very picturesque in the middle of the woods
-challenging course offers a variety of shots and situations you can't find everywhere
-very good signage for holes
-next tee indications help with navigation
-almost exclusively concrete tees
-stairs for steep climbs
-quality baskets in good shape
Cons: -some pretty muddy spots
-definitely can lose some discs
Other Thoughts: This course was fantastic and I honestly didn't expect to find something like this in Joliet. Most of the courses in the Chicago suburbs are VERY flat- it can't be helped for the most part and we live with it. This course has some very good elevation change for the area and they use it so well. There are several shots over ravines, uphill and downhill shots, narrow shots through the woods, just about all you could do on the plains. This course definitely will challenge and humble most players, but to me that is a lot of the fun of it. There are some muddy spots on slopes if you miss your shot, but nothing terrible. It wasn't my day and I lost 2 discs here but in general most of the woods are not super overgrown so I think most people would have better luck. I would definitely come play this course again and I highly recommend it if you're in the area. The course is very well maintained, and the stairs in key spots are a huge help. Great baskets and signage too. Bring some water and a snack, it can take awhile to play all 18 holes. There are definitely birdie opportunities but if you're not on your game some of those can easily turn to bogies. All in all, a great option that everyone should try out.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The design of this course is awesome. It goes in and out of the woods with bombs to nice techinal shorter holes. The elevation changes and the two valley holes are some of the coolest looking holes i've seen.
Concrete teepads are nice every course should put in concrete tees.
Hole signage was very professinal showed every tee length way to the next tee. very easy for us first timers.
People that were at the course were very nice and helpful.
Cons: The one con i can say is the baskets. They have a very shallow bowl and don't catch the disc the best.
I guess i have 2. Hole 16 has no so but a piece of paper in the field. We played from the paper on the grass but i seen two groups behind us play for the gravel road that runs the fairway.
Other Thoughts: This course is a workout on the legs up and down stairs and hills. We played it twice then two rounds at trinity down the street. and i can barely walk today but it was worth it.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I was very impressed with Highland Park... it is definitely one of the best suburban courses I have played. Here are the pros:
*Unique holes! The holes here were well mixed and not your typical wooded vs. unwooded holes. They were special because of the crazy elevation at the course. Lots of uphill/downhill throws made the course super fun.
*Challenge: the challenge here was not overwhelming, but was definitely enough to whoop my butt. Plenty of longer holes and punishing roughs without being completely daunting.
*The overall upkeep of the course was great. The signs were the best I have ever seen and it really seemed like the course was someone's "baby"
*Very scenic park. overlooks a river and plays over an old abandoned road.
*Multiple concrete teepads on most holes!!! well marked.
*Disc golf is only one section of the park... it looked like there was even more to do on the other side of the park but I did not go check it out
Cons: *Hole 16 is like the runt of the 18 hole litter that is Highland park. What the heck?! It is difficult to find and there are no signs directing golfers to it (though we found a random piece of paper on the ground with the words "hole 16" on it). The teepad for this hole is gravel and it pretty seems like someone forgot about it. I don't think I've seen such a neglected hole on an otherwise awesome course before.
*One of the beginning holes teed off from foul ball territory of a baseball field. The throw was essentially over the baseball diamond. This is dangerous for disc golfers AND ball players and can be pretty lame if a game is being played.
Other Thoughts: For locals: My friend and I had a lengthy discussion over whether we liked this course or Eagle Ridge in Oswego more. I called it a tie. I also couldn't decide between Highland Park and Community Park in Channahon, but I gave it a slight edge over West Park.
For out of state-ers: If you are going through Illinois you should make every effort to play this awesome course!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Aesthetic--Plays through a multi-use park but the dg areas are pretty dg exclusvie. plays over a "ghost" road several times to bring a ravine into play.
Baskets-- old, but in good repair. visible enough in the thickly wooded holes.
Routing/nav--easy, has painted tines and next tee signs to help route you through the course.
Pads-- nice big (too big?) in great repair. multiple tees. some of the "short" tees are natural but are marked with red concrete tubes.
Challenge/variety-- Love it, there is such a big amount of goodness here. tight wooded holes, open field holes, into/out of woods. long short, great variety. Never felt unchallenged here by any means.
Risk v reward- the variety here drives the risk v reward. the ravine shots push the limits of disc golf. throwing across a ravine and UP a hill after is GREAT! Some of the long tees here are INSANE. I typically played the white tees and some of the blue tees were crazy!
Bridges and steps-- great! in great repair ( a little slippy when wet) and a great help for going up and down wet hillsides.
Signage- adequate. not the best signs but definitely adequate for routing.
Cons: Wet- low areas are wet and muddy. understanding this is uncontrollable.
hole 16- no tee pad? or did I miss it? I found a sign on the ground for a hole 16 but didn't find it. I found 17 and 18 thereafter easy enough. I did see the basket for 16.
trash- a ton of trash here. the upkeep isn't as nice as channohan but it's well loved by it's locals/ regulars
Other Thoughts: A great great course, I truly enjoyed it!
apparently the teepad for 16 is non-existant but in the works, instead of staying above the road, follow the road to find the tee and basket!
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Joliet Areas Finest
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has alot to offer. 3 tees on many holes. Very wooded holes where you have to hit a tight gap. Elevation changes, a few open holes through mighty oaks. Some holes shorter, others very long.
Front nine loops back to parking lot so you can refill on drinks. Then play the back nine. Road leading into the park was recently repaved and is very nice now.
Pro tees are very challenging. A couple of the shots from the longs require a placement shot as its almost impossible to reach the basket because of the location of the pad. Players of all skill can have an enjoying round here.
Cons: The baskets are terrible here. They will be replaced hopefully in the near future but spit outs are gonna happen. Sometimes there can be some rif-raf around so lock your car.
Other Thoughts: A must play if in the Joliet area. This is arguably the best course in the Chicagoland area. With some new baskets installed this would really make it a 5 In my opinion. Check it out for yourself!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
One of my favorites
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Lots of obstacles
-Wide variety of distances
-Well laid out course that flows nicely
-Challenging for players of all skill levels
-Just plain fun
-The road!! The road is now paved, Which is a huge improvement over the old road that existed one of the past times I was here.
Cons: -The baskets, These bad boys can spit out even your best putts.
-That stupid bench setup around the hole 13 basket, Who's idea was that?!?!
-Mud, If it has rained recently don't wear your new kicks out here, cause they are gonna be trashed afterwards.
-The fact that I dont live close enough to play here every day...
Other Thoughts: I love this course, I only wish it were closer to me. It is one of the few courses in the area that really kicks my butt. By the time I've thrown 18 holes here I'm ready for some cold beers and talk of the best shots of the day with my buddies.
I took a friend who is an absolute novice here and he had a tough time, by hole 15 he was ready for it to be over with so if you were thinking about bringing someone who is new to the sport here, it may not be the best idea, Just my opinion.
The mix of shots here is fantastic, I love how this course really brings all parts of your game into play.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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