1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: +Long & short cement tee pads plus the reds for the shortest layout
+Good baskets, course maintenance is always superior
+Excellent shot variety off the tees
+Moderate elevation and a few holes have water present during wetter time of the year
+Easy access off of US-23
Cons: -entry fee to the park is steep, but no additional fee to disc
-rough is not beginner friendly
Other Thoughts: Yes, the rough here is more brutal than most places. However, there are very few lines and landing areas that aren't fair for the average player from the long and short tees. This course, especially the longs, isn't supposed to be the easy, deuce-or-die experience that you may find over at Hudson Mills Original. If you've been in the rough all day, it's mostly due to user error. The short and red tees are there for a reason.
I really enjoy the shot variety here- Left, right, tunnel shots, etc. Not only does it also make good use of moderate elevation, they make great use of the wooded sections and wide open (wind affected) sections. Navigation should not be an issue. The extra A-F holes are a separate loop, the only confusion you may experience is whether to play them before hole 4 or after hole or after 12.
Lastly, I strongly disagree with the notion this course is "out of the way." It's 5-10 minutes from US-23, and only 20ish minutes in either direction from AA or Brighton. It's also very close to Hudson Mills and the Gulch. Very convenient for a full day of disc golf on four courses with unique experiences from one another.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Well-maintained course. Bright orange, new baskets. Decent tee signs. Scenic setting. Secluded and exclusive land. Very friendly locals. Ample parking and porta-pottiy. Good course flow.
Cons: $9 fee a bit steep. Course flow gets a bit confusing in spots. Rough is extremely dense. A bit out of the way.
Other Thoughts: The drive off the freeway to get to the course was far longer than I expected, and on some unpaved roads to boot. But the park itself is like an oasis. An oasis that costs $9 for non-residents of the county.
I happened to meet the course designers when I got there. Along with the rest of the locals I ran into, quite a friendly bunch.
The course itself has a nice variety of hole types and challenges, from technical wooded to long bombs to curves with elevation. You can tell the course was designed by disc golfers.
Overall the course flowed well, but it got confusing in a few spots. I wasn't the only first-timer to think hole 13 was hole 4.
The A-F holes were decent but if you skipped them you would not be missing anything.
The park itself was quite scenic and quiet. The course is on land exclusive to the course and it's great to be out in the seclusion throwing discs.
The course takes advantage of the slight elevation and rolling hills. Holes are challenging without being difficult or frustrating. You'll need a variety of discs and throws.
That said, the roughs are extremely dense and thick. You could easily be searching for hours with an errant throw on a good portion of the holes. As a road-trip player passing through, I ended up playing with my putter and not doing anything risky.
The course has a variety of holes with unique personalities, but nothing in the way of a signature hole. Still, a nice mix.
DGCR indicates a 3.5/5 rating as "Very Good", and that's what Red Hawk is -- a very good course. The average rating of over 4 is a bit overinflated. I considered giving it a 4, but the truth is that I left the course and immeditpately began to forget it.
While it was an enjoyable round, and might exceed the other courses in the area, it just didn't hold up to other courses I've played around the country. I played this and Hudson Mills on the same day of the road-trip, and would highly recommend Red Hawk over Hudson Mills.
That said, at $9 a day I don't think I'd play here again if I were in the area.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 13 Not
Great course for disc hunting
Pros: The fairways are well kept and short, baskets are marked rather well, and the teepads are flat with plenty of room to drive. I love the multiple teepads and excellent signage. Most holes have three sets of tees, including women's tees, all of which are marked on the maps. There is a good variety of long and short, open and wooded holes. Lefties have a slight advantage on the longer holes. Top tier pros who know this course well would probably love the narrow fairways and tunnel shots. Friendly crowd.
Cons: The ridiculous "rough" on most holes makes this course unplayable for most. Narrow fairways are surrounded by massive five foot grasses, shrubs, thorns, etc., making it very difficult to find your disc. Spotters are essential, but insufficient. We spent 70% of our round looking for discs, falling victim to hundreds of mosquitoes and probably poison ivy, too. Any disc in the rough is a nightmare to find, and many fairways are incredibly tight. It was a miserable time, overall. We found five discs and lost six. Worst $9 I've spent in a long time. Gave up after 16 holes.
Other Thoughts: I left this course angry. My friend and I play disc golf all the time and compete with top AM1 players often. We are not pros, but often score under par at the Black Locust of Kensington Metropark. This course would make me hate the sport if I had never played before. However, if they massively cut down the rough and widen the fairways, and if you wear jeans, bug spray, and long sleeves, this course might be highly enjoyable.
4 of 17 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
My favorite course
Pros: This course takes my vote for the best in the Ann Arbor area. It has something for everyone and makes great use of the available land. Particularly good use of elevation which is at a premium here in SE Michigan. Very well maintained baskets and a general sense that the place is being managed the right way.
If you go: definitely play the A-F loop! It contains some of my favorite holes and is an excellent addition to an already great course.
Cons: In the summer the rough can get pretty intense, but that's just more incentive to keep it on the fairways! The only other "con" I can think of is that when I first played here the path where holes 3/4, 12/13, and the A-F loop connect can be a bit confusing. There is signage- be sure to read it or you might tee off on a hole you did not intend to play yet.
Other Thoughts: The only reason I didn't give this course a perfect rating is because I've only played 10 or so courses. I know there's a lot of baskets to throw at in this wide world of ours but Independence Lake is the best I've played so far!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Possibly my favorite.
Pros: • Triple color Tee pads - great for variety and when playing with multiple people of different skill sets.
• Very isolated and clean - For the most part I felt that I was in nature, not in a city park.
• Brooms at every white tee.
• There is a lot more here than trees and grass, if you take the time to look.
• Good variety of holes, lots of fun different shots. Many holes have multiple routes.
• Very close to CJ's party shop and two other fantastic courses.
Cons: • A couple holes have blind tees, must scout to see where you are throwing... unless you trust the tee signs.
• On a hot summer day, the water park nearby can be annoying with children screaming.
• The only thing missing, in my opinion, is a downhill shot to compliment the 2-3 upshot holes.
• Can be costly for our of county residents @ $9/Car
Other Thoughts: This was the fourth course my wife has played and by far her favorite. I remember her saying "This was the first time I enjoyed it all the way to the end". This was mostly because she was able to throw from the red/beginner tee while I was throwing from the white tees. She felt like she was competing and not like she was slowing us down. We both really enjoyed this course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
first class all the way
Pros: Where do I start? Great bright orange baskets, tight fairways that require you to really plan your shots or you'll get into trouble quick, Great tee pads and TEE PAD BROOMS AT EVERY HOLE!!!! Great use of the landscape makes for some challenging holes. Tee signs give great info and let you know if you should send a spotter ahead, they also have a small shelf for marking your score cards.
Cons: Was a little wet in spots (mushy ground) There are a few holes that are still under construction, but they have added alt holes to make a full 18. Bugs. The rough is REALLY rough. The tall grass can make it a challenge to find your disc. If you are out of county it's $9 for a day pass, but the golf is free.
Other Thoughts: Can't wait to go back. Want to play the holes that are closed. they are really making a great course and they are making improvements all the time according to a local I talked too. Was really impressed with the park. Brooms at every tee, no litter, and well maintained. Seems like the people playing the course really care about it and are working to keep it nice. I only wish it was closer to my house so I could play it more often!
7 Helpful / 0 Not
this place is the freakin' ritz carlton of dgc's...
Pros: aesthetic-- plays through a DG exclusive area of this VERY large county park. a lot of other activities offered here including a water park and beach along with a lot of others.
Teepads/teesigns- How I wanted to hug thee. the teepads are super nice, appropriately lengthed and grippy. small brooms are clipped to the back of the teesigns on nearly every hole. the teesigns are pretty impressive. on each teesign the black, white and red tees are pictured. both the black and white have teepads, the reds are marked with wooden blocks painted bright red. also, there is a little easel to update score cards.
Routing/navigation-- easy peasy. plenty of "next tee" type signs litter this course. in the one area where routing could get tricky, there is a multi-directional sign pointing to hole 4, hole 13 and holes a-f. there are also paths cut in the grass..
Challenge/ risk v reward/ variety- this is this courses strongest point. there is a little of everything here, long, short, tight tunnel, wide open, dual fairway, right, left and an equal blend of them all. plenty of risk v reward with the water that is present on the course (may be seasonal water for the most part) This course will challenge your every being from pillar to post and leave you howling for more, more MORE!!
Engineering-- simply amazing the amount of work that has gone into this place with regard to bridges and other dry areas to prevent you from having to get your shoes wet in low lying, frequently wet areas. there are at least 10 woodchip "bridges" that help you cross lower areas.
Uniqueness-- there are several memorable holes here. #1 plays through a very tight tree tunnel with a very natural left fade. hole a-f were amazing and new. Several times, water comes into play.
upkeep- didn't see hardly any garbage. there are picnic tables at nearly all of the tees and garbage cans a plenty.
Cons: 13-16 being closed-- kind of a bummer really. Would have loved to play all 24 here
natural tees--geez I'm nitpicking. on the reds, the tees are natural. a con for some I suppose
uncontrollables-- bugs and wet. the bugs, even when we were there were pretty bad. flying ants and gnats were constantly in your face. many of the low lying areas either were very mushy or had standing water on them from our "spring" rains.
Other Thoughts: a great great great course. I really really enjoyed this one...
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
A model for all other courses
Pros: Great signage
Awesome course maintenance
Great mix of holes and I'm a sidearmer. There is a shot on every hole. It demands some creativity, but you are rewarded handsomely for execution.
The designers have taken every element that golfers would like to see on a course and implemented them to a fair thee well including well lined walks between the holes, awesome baskets, well placed picnic tables, trash cans etc.
Cons: Crappy roads to the park which are sometimes treacherous in the winter or after a a stretch of wet weather. That's not relevant to the course except for the pain in the butt it is to get there sometimes.
Other Thoughts: Play here often. The full course won't be available to play until sometime in 2013 because of a project to ease drainage from holes 13-16 but the extra 6 holes make this a great 20 holer for the time being. It's a shame too because hole 16 is one of the best holes on the planet. This course was made for real players in the same way that Idlewild, Blockhouse, Deer Park, Flip City and DeLaveaga were and the care that the designers took to make this course what it is reflect it.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Well maintained well designed
Pros: If they ever finish this course it is on par with the best courses i have played in the country, hands down great course. Nice elevations great water trap, long drives balanced woods, the extras look great
Cons: All holes in now so updated my list... my complaint is mostly with the 6 extras amaxing holes all but 1 it's brutal no line to the basket... Kinda interesting but there a difference between a hard line and an impossible line. Wet wet wet in the spring but in truth this course is hard to complain about maybe its a tad open but the length makes up for the wide open field shots and its well mowed.
Other Thoughts: Amazing course right down the road from hudson mills and CJ's party store which has the largest collection of disc around, so win win.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: The course has a lot of long holes. Its a challenging very well kept course. They just added 6 new extras
Cons: It gets a little wet in the spring, But not to bad. There's not a lot of bad things to say about this course.
Other Thoughts: Great course
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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