11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Wow, what a course. Very well designed and built. The holes here are consistently going to make you smile and remind you of why we all love this sport. I played from the white tees and the risk/reward at this course is like nothing else in the northern Illinois area. The course designers took every advantage they could of 2 different large "valleys". One is from a creek and the other from an old unused road. This course has alot of character. There are easily over 6 signature holes and not one hole is repetitive. Great elevation changes, lefty/righty mixes, good length. I had a blast here.
This course is TOUGH. I put this in the pros because it is one of the few course in the area that forces you to get better and think about your flight lines. If you don't it's going to be a long day. I know this course made me better because I played the nearby West Park after 2 rounds here and shot my best ever score there, as did one of the others that I was playing with.
The signs here were awesome too. great illistrations that did a fantastic job explaning where the pin was. Combine that with the signs that point to the next hole and navigation here is a breeze, even for 4 guys that had never played here before.
Cons: As great as this course is, there is still some room for improvement. First of all, the trash is a bit much. The weird thing that this is not the fault of discers. The trash that is lying around is the result of years of littering and disrespect. You can tell that the litter there has been there for a LONG time. But with the awesome DG club in the area, I am sure this is only going to be a temporary problem and will be mended in due time. I actually have heard that the trash and misuse of the area before it was a DG course was one of the factors as to building one there, as the area will improve because of the course and those maintaining it.
The other issue is the tees. Natural tees are an issue for me, especially since it had been raining all week. They weren't terrible and were built level with some care, but some nice tees would really complete this course.
Other Thoughts: This is a must play for those coming to the area to play. There are a ton of course in the area, and this one is by far the best and most challenging. I loved it. You will see the time and effort of the build/designers of Highland the first time through. These guys/gals knew what the hell they were doing when they set out to make this thing. From the much needed stairs (even with them I was pooped at the end of 2 rounds) to the pathways and posts, this course was great. And to top it off, the 9th ended right at the parking lot, which is something that I had never seen of thought I cared about until I found myself refilling drinks, and shedding unneeded supplies that I was tired of carrying. All in all, a great setup, a great course, and a great day of discing!
11 of 11 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.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
A child learning how to walk
Pros: This course is situated in a very nice park, with land that is GREAT for DG. Off the bat, this is a mostly wooded course, with enough length to challenge. Risk vs. Reward is a huge factor on this course.... LOTS of holes have multiple lines, despite having a single fairway/route/tunnel. At least 3 holes (5,14,17) have pins located within 10 ft of a severe slope, forcing you to reconsider that birdie run.
Course starts in woods with a tough schule lined 275' dogleg left. The next few holes are open drives into wooded "choke points" requiring finesse tee shots.... beware of #5's basket ... 5 feet later is a steep drop off you really don't want to walk down, let alone putt from...Number 6 is the first signature hole of the course, across a ravine/road... you need a straight tee shot to clear the guardian trees and then a quick bail-out left. Holes 7-9 play though parkland with huge trees (ie) canopies.. people call this the boring part of the course, as it's 3 straight holes in a row, but there's enough length and room that you finally get to air it out.. 9 finishes at parking lot, yay! The back nine starts off with 2 more holes through the park area, and then you step back into the woods to #12... Another signature hole, 12 is a shot off the top of a ravine , across a road into the valley below... feels very similar to the original #2 at West Park, accept OB road down the right side. Hole 13 features a blind tee shot quickly uphill, then flattening out to a neat par 3. Hole 14 is located along the top peninsula of a ridge, playing slightly downhill to another pin within 10ft of a hillside... Hole 15 is similar to hole 6, but a little longer and straighter. Play across a pretty ravine/road to a pin at the top, and about 50 ft beyond the top of the other side. Hole 16 is COMPLETELY NEW, when I first played this course, the basket was out, but it played as a rather boring open hole across a field. The new 16 is found by following the mowed path along the treeline to the left. It's a 225ft R>L hole that plays along a road on the center/right, and SEVERE drop and schule to the left/center. The basket is located very near a drop off again, this will put ace runs in check, along with a few trees on the right side of the road that are in the perfect spot to smack down a shot thrown too high... also, watch out for the pipes L of the teebox, they run about the first ~125ft from the tee, and it's about 8 inches off the ground. 17 is a 525ft never ending turn to the left. The basket is once again nestled on top of a peninsula, drops/trees to all sides, watch your upshot. The course finishes with a shot across/up a ravine through a fairway littered with trees.
(after proofreading) I should mention that all ravines (you have to cross to get to basket) have nice wooden steps built into them... All holes have signs that are good indicators of where to go, although tbh I'm not convinced that all distances are accurate.
Cons: This is a new course that was set into a park notorious for "seedy" people, and sadly garbage dumping. I played here first in March of 09, and it (the complaints of garbage) showed, today the course had been cleaned up significantly! The terrain is rough, WATCH YOUR FOOTING THROUGHOUT, beware of tree stumps, branches, sticks, rocks, and RUTS on the fairways... particularly the "open hole" 7-11. The schule is still heavy in most areas, there is possibility of losing discs, but lines/paths are starting to appear in the hot spots. The natural tee pads, while still in overall great shape, are starting to erode in spots. Speaking of erosion, some major control needs to be planned, the "demonic" pins just feet away from steep hillsides can only last so long... as nice as it is, the 16th basket will slide off into oblivion soon. The parking lot isn't the largest, but I'm assuming you can park on the grass south of the lot... There is no water, or restrooms in the park, and the road into the park is rough. Also, the course is in desperate need of trash cans.
Other Thoughts: The "new" course in Joliet lives up to expectations... I've referred to it as a "Modern West Park" ... using great wooded, hilly terrain similar to West, but enough length to actually use most of your bag. All skill levels can play this course, although I don't recommend it for beginners. I give this course a solid 4 discs+, but it NEEDS improvement for 4.5. Given another season or two to wear in, and it's one of the best courses in the state, hell, it may be now.... it is a must play if you're along the I-80 corridor.
9 of 9 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.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Another Great Course in Joliet
Pros: Great use of the park. Parking lot is between the front 9 and the back 9.
Holes are both open and moderately to densely wooded.
Great shot variety and elevation use. The shots over the valley/ ravines were really awesome.
Great signs at every hole also tells which direction next hole is in. Tee pads okay.
Great atmosphere in the middle of the park. Feels like you are playing in a old, abandoned ghost town park where the spirits take over your throws after you release them into the air.
Makes you use power, finesse, line shaping, disc selection, shot selection, and decision making to score well. Can have some pretty bad punishing slopes for missed tee shots as well.
Good balance between RHBH and RHFH.
A very fun and challenging round.
Cons: Baskets are kind of weird and not as deep as most.
Dirt/gravel tee pads are uneven on most holes.
Not many negative things to say.
Other Thoughts: This course is one of the best in the area and everyone needs to play here if you are remotely close. It is a very well thought out course and provides a great disc golf experience.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a hilly forested park with lots of different terrain and foliage. There is a great mix of holes in open fields, through scattered mature trees, and through more dense wooded areas. The course design makes great use of the terrain, playing up and down hills, and over small ravines.
There were very few holes on the course that felt like filler holes. Most offered something unique, from old concrete bench supports making a henge around the basket, to a ravine shot with a road down in the bottom. The design is well thought out, and flows nicely through the park.
There are multiple tees on most holes, with up to three different tees. There are signs on every hole that clearly show the locations of all tees, along with a hole map and distances for each tee box. I only had time to play one set of tees, but they clearly worked to make the different tees have totally different looks at many of the holes. On the few holes where all three tees shared a single box, it was clearly because that was the best location for an interesting shot that would challenge players at different levels.
The course is well-maintained for the most part, especially with regards to things like steps up and down steep inclines where footing could be an issue. Looking at previous reviews, a lot of work has gone into the course, and more work is still in progress, making the course even better.
Cons: The tees are almost all natural, and a few were rutted and uneven. Some in low lying areas were very difficult to tee off from with ruts and puddles. In a few places, the tee boxes that didn't have the signs were not as well kept, and the tee markers had been overgrown.
The baskets were in ok shape, but were very shallow and prone to bounce-outs. The course could also have used some more trash cans throughout the course, especially in the places that had collected piles of trash.
Other Thoughts: This course offers a lot of different challenges, and is worth the drive to play. So far, this is one of the better courses I've played in the Chicago area, and with West Park nearby the area makes for a nice day of disc golf.
With the alternate tees, the course is approachable for beginners, but also offers some challenges for more experienced players. There are some places to lose discs in the brush, but other than that and a few blind holes this is a pretty beginner friendly course. The course loops back to the parking lot after the front nine, which is a nice feature.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 10 Not
best in the midwest
Pros: this is one of the best course i have played. All baskets were there and tee pads for all the holes but they r gravel which was OK
Cons: not anything beside the garbage around the park but its not that bad
Other Thoughts: play this course every hard and great course then hit up west park that is a good day of disc golf
1 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Best course this far north in IL.
Cons: Garbage still isn't taken care of completely, although little by little, the park is getting better. No more Ford Explorer front end by 17s teepad!
Other Thoughts: All teepads (not 16) for white and blue are in. Reds are still natural, and 16 is gravel.
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
26 Helpful / 0 Not
Stop Whatever you are doing and PLAY THIS COURSE
Pros: First off, wow. This course really, really impressed me. Dirt tees are marked by twin colored concrete circles in the ground. Teeposts at middle tee. I really liked the nice tee signs built into the sides of the teeposts, which contain good hole maps, and all tee locations and distances (helps). Three sets of tees, with enough difference to make them play differently from each, even though some holes combine 2 or all 3 tees into one spot. In the instances where the tees are all the same, however, this is fine because its the tee you'd want to shoot from anyways, on some mind-blowing holes.
As an added bonus, every hole on this course has a name, which I have only seen on one other course (Lambs Creek at Pioneer Bar north of Menomonie, WI), and on both courses the holes were all interesting enough to warrant names. The interesting thing here is all the hole monkers have someone's last name in them, such as "Delasso's Delta" or "Slope of Saenz". No recognizable ones, but still, makes me wonder who they were named for and adds further character.
Another nice thing about this course is the flow. Short walks between holes, but enough room that you don't worry about hitting people on another hole off the tee. Also, Holes 1 & 10 start by the parking lot, and holes 9 and 18 end by it, which is a really nice feature that speaks to good course design. (also great for getting more cold drinks from the car mid-round)
This course is not the longest course out there. It is very tough because it forces many very specific and unique technical challenges.
This course throws several things at you that you just don't see anywhere else, and many things that you may see elsewhere, only cranked up a notch. Other times, it just has interesting holes.
This course is seriously like the twelve days of Christmas, for technical challenges
Twelve of these holes would be signature holes on any other course, the kind you tell your friends about later, and that someone who plays this course will still remember in 5 years.
On two holes, you shoot off a wooded hilltop, over a valley with an OB abandoned road at the bottom, to a basket on the opposing hilltop (see photos). In both cases, you are shooting into a tree window on the other hilltop, just to avoid rolling into the valley of death. And in another case, you shoot into a hollow at the bottom of the valley, sandwiches between two roads and a hillside, with woods everywhere.
They also like to not only protect the baskets amidst many trees, but they put several baskets on the edge of the abyss. On at least two holes, less than 2 ft past the pin, the fairway drops off sharply, into nasty ravines, and on several more holes the basket is on the top of an incline, to make rollaways more common. not only that, but this course will have a right curve downhill fairway, ending in a basket at the edge of a dropoff.
I would say this course had gimmicky holes, but there's no gimmick, these holes are just legitimately nuts from start to finish.
On hole 10 the basket nestled between and under two trees, which are hidden by a line of long grass on a raised ridge off to one side of the gravel field of a fairway.
On another hole, you have a 15 ft cliff straight up on the right side of the left-sloping fairway, which drops away on the wooded left side. Cars rush by 20 ft below, on the road you can see glimpses of through the trees. The basket is a left, down-sloping curve off the tee, and the washed out dirt fairway plays very fast. Think about that.
Though this is like the mother of octuplets choosing a favorite child, I'd say the signature hole is hole 13, Carey's Stonehenge. Off the tee, you are basically forced to tomahawk up onto a heavily wooded hillside, with the basket up and directly in front of you. Old concrete bench supports jut from the ground in a 20 ft circle around the basket, which is fairly close to the edge of the dropoff into the abandoned road valley.
This is a new course, and it will only get better. On three holes, there are stands of little trees (in the middle of the fairways, of course) protected by orange plastic ski fences, which create a 3 ft wall that blocks discs. Extra challenging, just as the trees once they're big enough not to need the protection.
The holes on this course are a real testament to great course design. Even the ones that are less insane are well done with multiple opportunities and much intrigue. Shot placement and selection are both key on this one. Every single hole on this course is very good, its just that some get out shined by the weird, unique ones. Even the holes on this course that would not quite be signature holes on other courses would still probably rank among your favorite holes on those courses. Here, you get spoiled rotten.
One thing this course is great at is punishing errors. After two rounds, one from whites one from red tees, I realized i had several double bogeys each round, all from different holes. As short as this course is, you would have to play a mentally tough and extremely focused round to shoot in the low 50's here, from any tee.
With so many insane holes, you really have to check this course out for yourself to believe it. PLAY THIS COURSE if you are anywhere remotely nearby. It is SOOO worth it.
I can't say enough nice things about the holes on this course, but they are jaw-dropping and amazing and you will not forget them.
Cons: Tees: On some holes, the dirt tees are a little beat up and uneven, though not too bad. On hole 10/Slope of Saenz/Giant gravel field hole, the red short tee is either missing or impossible to find, so we just approximated for our drives.
In several cases, the extreme nature of the holes could become a problem. I forsee the pins with steep dropoffs just past them will erode in the future, and some kind of terraces will need to be installed around them. However, that might make the holes even harder, so either way its a good thing, just that those hillsides will erode after a few yrs.
There is trash all over this course. Its nowhere near as bad as some I've seen, but its not clean by any means. I know the course is isolated, but trash cans seem few on this course, which also doesn't help. The old tires dumped into the bottom of the ravines (next to the "No No dumping, U will be prosecute" sign by hole 1) complete to refuse heap feel.
The homemade? baskets are very nice, and I hope they hold up over time, but the fact remains that playing on them is different than the chainstars and discatchers most are used to.
I really wanted to rate this a 5, because it is that unique, challenging and amazing as a course, but the junkiness stops me. In time, I have faith this will be a 5
Other Thoughts: Mediocre, basic dirt tees, homemade baskets, trashy park, we even came close to getting into a fight with some locals. All normally ingredients for disaster, and yet this course rises above it all by awesomeness alone. Never before have I played, seen or heard of a course as nuts as this, from a pure technical standpoint, aesthetics aside. Yes, the park is ugly, but this course has character up the wazoo. Legendary. With some better amenities, and a massive campaign to clean up the park, this is a no-brainer 5.5 star course, probably the best I've played, but perhaps cleaning up the park too much would ruin some of this course's urban, mean-streets, forgotten ruins feel. However, trashcans and nice teeboxes (like 16's) would certainly be welcome additions.
Without this DG course, this park is very unflattering. The course transforms it into something special.
26 of 26 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 3 Not
Check out this rocking course!
Pros: I love this course. It has variety as other reviewers have noted. It has cool elevation changes, interesting twists, and plenty of stuff growing out of the ground to knock your discs down. No hole is totally open. You want open, try Sunrise Park in Bartlett. That is open. Every hole offers something interesting.
Cons: It is hard to find any except for footing issues on the hills after some rain.
Other Thoughts: Quit complaining about garbage and lack of benches. The world is not perfect. Why let a few minor flaws bother you. That stuff in no way interferes with having a great time. I encourage all lovers of disc golf to check this place out when in the area. It blows away my home course--Sgt. Means in Olympia Fields.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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