Rock Spring Park Course Never Lets Up!
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: If you were given a piece of land like Rock Spring Park with it's rugged hilly terrain and told you could design a disc golf course that maybe only the top 25% of the disc golfing population would enjoy playing, then I believe the course designers have achieved that goal here. That is why reviewers mention not seeing players on the course here. The course is long, extremely technical in places, never bending, always grueling and mentally exhausting. I can see why the advanced players and above would welcome this challenge. Also some younger gung-ho type players. What you won't see here are your average recreational players, your families, beginners, seniors, beginners. They will all gravitate to all the player friendly recreational courses in the area.
The designers here to seek special pleasure in hiding the baskets, finding hills to throw uphill and over, putting baskets in extra precarious positions. When I finally reached # 6 and found what I consider to be a "normal hole", that is a little 248 throw where I could actually see the basket off the tee, I was amazed to find that the basket was perched just 10 feet from a very steep 35 foot drop off on the left side.
Then later I arrived at # 15. A 375 hole with a 20'x 30' to throw through with nasty rough on both sides. Who was this hole designed got? Certainly not a player of my minimal talents!
Cons: A previous reviewer describes the neighborhood as kinda sketchy and downtrodden. That's exactly how I felt about the park too. It was just kind of trashy. Areas where a big section of fence was down. Just doesn't look like it gets a lot of attention and care. Like a CSI crime scene.
To me, the course has a small target audience. Appeals to the young, the hung-no and the advanced players. The rest of us are coming back. I think it proves the point when no-ones playing there.
Other Thoughts: The course has a lofty rating. Good for it and your guys who are enjoying playing here. I doubt very seriously if you have much trouble with beginners or families or one disc wonder players ever bogging down this course. If I lived close, I'd take my sorry old bones and go chase ACES at the Eagle Scout course at Gordon Moore Park or I'd go play at the perfectly challenging 18 at Kutter Park in Cottage Hills.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
An "IVY league" course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Nice mix of wooded holes that were easier to get a deuce or bogey
- Very few cars or people to have to wait on to throw
- Nice elevation changes
- "Long tees" make for a more challenging course than it already plays
- Just an overall great course with perfect amount of technical shots and distance
- Tee signs for distance
Cons: - Too many blind shots
- Tee signs for distance did not post which pin position baskets were and tee pictures were backwards when viewing them head on
- POISON IVY worse than any course I have ever played. It was as if someone was planting poison ivy all over the course. Also, the poison ivy was growing underneath several baskets which is not normal
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Tricky Tricky Pin Positions
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Good concrete tee-pads for the main tee-pads
-Good mix of distance on the holes. There were some holes right around or slightly below 300, all the way up to a few holes that were over 600 feet long.
-The pin positions near the baskets were awesome on this course. A lot of them were on side-hills, uphills, or downhills, or with some thicker brush near the basket. This course really puts a premium on placement near the basket and making sure you hit your putt, because you don't you could have long come back or be stuck in some brush. This course definitely has quite a bit of risk/reward to putting.
-Great use of elevation on this course. Many of the holes incorporate either uphills, downhills of side-hills, sometimes near the baskets and other times the whole course incorporates it. Hole 16 was fun downhill, open at first then through a wooded corridor, then the hole opens up after that leading to a throw up-hill. Hole 18 was also a fun elevation hole that was quite a bit up-hill. Over this course makes good use of the elevation that this park has.
-There is a good variety of holes types too. There are tighter wooded holes that force specific shots, some more wide open holes that allow you to be a little more creative, and then some holes in between those. I also felt like there was a good mix of straight shots, and doglegs left and right.
-The course uses the foliage well to punish for bad shots. A lot of the holes have some thick foliage on them, and it will definitely punish you for throwing into the foliage.
-With the exception of one or two baskets, most of the baskets were in good shape and caught well.
-There was a lot of creativity to these holes and the holes on this course very rarely feel similar to each other.
Cons: -There are multiple tee-pads on this course, but the longer ones are really hard to find because they are a brownish rubber that blends really well into the ground and the long tee-pads don't have tee-signs at them.
-A couple of the holes, especially holes 4 and 9 play a little too close to the park road and could cause some safety issues and conflicts with other park users. Hole 4 was the worse case. It is a blind side-hill shot and if you overthrow the basket, you could easily go into the road.
-Only one pin-position per hole, which is a shame because I feel many of these holes could have some really fun alternate pin positions.
-The tee-signs were somewhat confusing. They didn't always seem to give an accurate representation of the fairway, and I found myself walking the fairways several times to figure out how the hole actually played.
-First tee-pad is a little hard to find from the park road. They need signs inside the park pointing to the course from the park road.
-The rough is thick enough that you could easily lose a disc. It was getting quite thick in May so I can imagine this course might get a little overgrown in the summer, but it wasn't terrible in May.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this was a really fun and memorable course with fun pin positions and some really fun and well-designed holes. While it is a little ways outside of St. Louis, it was well worth the drive and probably my second favorite course I played while visiting the St. Louis area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
This place Rocks in the Spring
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Start with wonderful landscape and terrain that inherently allows for great variety; plenty of elevation of all sorts, but still some sections that are flat. Lots of woods, but still a few places open enough to unleash a nice drive.
Add a solid design that combines these elements in various ways and you get a course where no two holes feel the same and all of them give you something to think about. Quite complete and well balanced.
+ Elevation used in every way, plays uphill/downhill/flat/gulley/rollaway.
+ Holes that allow for a variety of lines.
+ Holes that force a specific line.
+ Holes range from lightly to very well wooded.
+ Nice range of hole lengths.
+ Pin placements w/pucker factor.
+ Well-guarded or tucked pins.
+ Places a premium on shot shaping.
+ Challenge: yep
+ Risk/Reward: mm-hmm
+ Various combinations of all the above...
• Equipment: Nothing special, but it's all in decent condition. Dual tees (short=concrete, long=natural or flypad). Signs show hole#, distance, shape, pin location and aid helpful navigation - didn't see any graffiti. Baskets were old, but not an issue.
• Aesthetics: hills, woods, touches of green space, nice sight lines... what's not to like? (see cons)
• Neighborhood seemed kinda sketchy and downtrodden - wouldn't wanna live here.
• Hard to tell where long tees are, signs only present at concrete (short) tees.
• Routing/Nav: More a heads-up than a con: I really can't say it's bad. Everything was pretty easy with the map, but the way it takes you over roads, walk trails and wraps around all over the place, I'd have been screwed without it.
• While the course itself fairly scenic, there were some places where I saw a decent amount of litter buried in the brush off the fairway, particularly the nasty "not quite a creek" at the bottom of #15, where I saw an old tire and some other debris... a bit of a buzzkill.
• Risk of disc loss: I visited before things had a chance to grow thick, but I can easily see leaving some fairways resulting humping through thick vegetation and lost discs.
• A few holes play too close to the park road for my taste - possible non DG interaction with walking trails and roads. Not all that bad on the whole as most holes are routed nicely away from them, but definitely a concern in a few spots.
Other Thoughts: Designers had a nice head start with this property, and they did good job creating some interesting fairways and a course with splendid variety... really enjoyed playing here. Yes, I listed a lot of cons, but I found many of them easy to overlook. Pretty sure I was able to get away with more because of the time of year - no doubt bad tee shots will hurt more in a few months, but you gotta know when to step on the gas and when back off if you don't wanna end up in the wall.
Layout traverses all over the place and playing here is a hike, so be prepared for some heavy duty walking - lots of hills, and a few decent hikes between holes.
Not what I'd call beginner friendly. Roll-a-ways and thick brush likely to be very frustrating for newcomers.
Came here after Sioux Passage - the two complement each other very well: Sioux's about airing it out, Rock Springs is about staying in the fairway and playing within yourself. Both are a ton of fun.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Rock Spring is an awesome, relatively secluded park to play at. This place offers a wide variety of shots with a fantastic use of land and elevation changes. You must be sure to capitalize on the early birdie opportunities on the front 9, as these opportunities are not as fruitful on the back. As typical with southern Illinois courses, this park is also loaded full of huge old trees. This course is extremely fun and can be shot on if you have all of your ducks in a row.
-Concrete tee pads
-multiple basket locations
-local events board
-Near Fast Eddies Bonair
Cons: -Some odd walks
Other Thoughts: Very neat course.. A job well done.. I wish i could make it out to play more often
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Front & Back 9 loop to parking lot - Great use of elevation changes - Challenging - Fairly well-maintained - Multiple Tee Pads (shorts are concrete) - Never crowded - Great variety of shots - Fairly easy to navigate - Plenty of Shade.
Rock Spring Park is home to another great disc golf course in the Metro East area of St. Louis/Illinois. Just over the bridge into Alton, IL, the park is virtually hidden behind a hospital. It offers a great challenge for all skill levels while offering a good hike as well. There are elevation changes on virtually every hole which increases the challenge and fitness level. There are numerous fast greens on the course, including the 6 & 7 which could land your OB and the "make or break" hole 18, which is also lined with OB along the right hand side.
The aforementioned streets run through the park creating a lot of OB and forcing you to really dial in on your shots. They can be easily avoided by staying in the fairway, but this is a risk/reward setup that really rewards you for going for it. That is, if you make your shot. This can be an easy round if you are on your game, or a horrible round if you're off.
The park is well maintained and the grass is almost always cut, but the underbrush is a little neglected. That said, it shouldn't be a problem if you stay in the fairways.
Despite this being a great course, there is almost never anyone there, so you can always play at your own pace. The tee signs aren't the best, but good enough to get you pointed in the right direction. It would help first timers to have "next hole" arrows, but if you let common sense be your guide, you'll end up in the right place.
Cons: Only 1 pin placement - 2nd set of tee pads are rubber - tee signs are not great - Only restroom is a portable - No running water - Very few trashcans
None of the cons are really that big of a deal. The (shorter) concrete tee pads offer plenty of challenge, so I don't think the longer tee pads get much play. However, they really do take the course to the next level of challenging, so that is a pro as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, the park does not have restrooms or running water, so bring a couple water bottles with you. Also, there aren't many trashcans, so there is some refuse blowing around, but (again) not really a big deal. Tee signs could be upgraded, but in my opinion, would really help much as you can see most baskets from the pad anyway.
Other Thoughts: There aren't really many things that could be improved at this course. It is challenging and fun to play and offers a great hike with all the elevation changes. One thing to keep in mind is that this park serves as a Christmas Light attraction during the Christmas months. So, if you go out there around this time, you'll see tons of large wooden cutouts and even more Christmas lights. Please be respectful and try to avoid these items as some of them do interfere with the course. But, again, if you're playing well, you shouldn't have to contend with them at all.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Couse offers a variety of challenges for all levels of player. It has a lot of risk/reward shots. Great for fitness seekers as the course plays on some hilly surfaces.
Cons: Course maintenance is absolutely horrible! The city mows the park maybe twice a season. Easily lose a disc in an open fairway (I lost abrand new Star Destroyer on #9). Pro Tees are hard to spot when grass is freshly mowed and almost impossible to locate when grass is not mowed.
Other Thoughts: For newcomers, find a local player to tag along with for your first time out. Beginers, beware of lost disc factor. Pros, bring your hiking shoes.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Pros: - fun and challenging
- interesting line options
- great use of elevation (for Missouri at least)
- directional signs make moving through course easy
- concrete tees (red)
Cons: - tee signs could be a bit more clear
- hidden baskets make first playthrough somewhat difficult
- pro tees can be difficult to find
- rubber tees (blue)
- course plays along park roads in several places
Other Thoughts: i liked that this course had lots of high risk/reward shots with baskets placed close to steep drop offs (especially hole #7!). although the hills can be annoying to scramble up if your disc goes flying, it really emphasizes accuracy on your shots.
the long holes had trees that seemed to prohibit distance drives. more of a minor annoyance than a real con though. also it had rained very recently before my playthrough, and thus a lot of the pathways were muddy. maybe a fundraiser could afford some pathway improvements?
Pros: Very fun challenging course. The hills are fun . Pin placements are fantastic. Nice long holes . Love the old cobbled road going right thru the park . Also water on 10 ,11
Cons: Not much for me, no # indicating par for the holes.
That's petty I know but I like to know not guess.
Other Thoughts: I only played 13 holes as it was late in the day , but what a blast I had. Better put your big boy pants on to play here. Its a fun tough course that requires u to be accurate . The hills adds to the challenge .it will wear u down as u go on . Plan on coming back to play again and eat at fast eddies.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Great use of elevation changes and challenging pin placements. This course will make you use all of your tools.
Cons: Poison Ivy and a few blind drives that could lose you some discs.
Other Thoughts: I'm very happy that there is a great course in my hometown. Every time I'm back to visit family, I get a round or two in with my Uncle and cousins.
Alton born... represent!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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