10 Helpful / 8 Not
C- = below average playing experience
Pros: I am struggling big time giving this course only a 1 disc rating. I loved playing the course for the first time yesterday and can clearly see the intent of the design in making a fun and non-demanding winter time experience. Like is said in a previous review, dealing with snow is enough - there is no fun in having to deal with the schule too.
The problem is, I do not have a separate scale for winter courses. So, I am rating/ranking this course like all others (for comparison's sake I gave Abendshein & Wales a 1 disc rating so I think I am being consistent).....but for the beauty factor I have to rate winter beauty only since I will never see it in the summer (and i am sure it is spectacular then!).
Huge thanks to the Great Lakes DG Club for all the work in setting this up every year and providing a great wintertime experience! ......and sorry for the inadvertent slam my rating seems to give your efforts to give us a fun place to play in the winter.
Cons: What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 and more hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == D
(Only 5-6 holes have enough trees to even start forcing you to throw a particular shot, but even those holes do not punish a really bad shot any worse than a mediocre shot. Hole 16 is the lone exception since on this hole there are enough trees and distance to add an stroke for a bad tee shot. I know, because I lived it!)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me. I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == C-
(There seems to be an inordinate amount of holes that are just out of my range (which is shortened by not being able to have a full run-up and follow-through). This makes for the same level of intrigue as throwing on a football field. I also think a lot of the published lengths are shorter than the real lengths - I paced a few of them off to verify.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == C-
(Again, this course is almost completely wide open. One thing that boosts things up for me in the fun factor is the long downhill bomber hole (8) - it is all I have to reach the basket.....and it is a blast to see the disc sail that far down a hill!)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == B+
(This would probably be an A in the summer.....if we could play the course in the summer. The first 6 and last 2 holes are in the parking lot area (but it is only DG in that area in the winter), but the remaining 16 holes are very secluded. You feel very alone in nature out there - a great place to just walk around and unwind! I especially love the beauty and seclusion of holes 12-17.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == NA
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 this course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. See my profile for specifics on my rating philosophy.
I fancy myself as a connoisseur of good course design and I am a competitive Blue level (950-ish rated) with mid-level power (accurate to 300' with max D of 360'). Since I have played a decent number of courses (150+ 18-hole, 90+ 9-hole as of late 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…..and that's the fun of things here.
10 of 18 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
see some more of the park
Pros: 24 hole winter course....with more and more Wis. courses pulling their buckets for the winter; it is quite a testament to the Dretzka crew that they have found a way to cooperate with the the bolf course and put this course in place for winter play.
Perfectly cleared and installed rubber tees.
Nice course with 3 rated types of throws; asking for variety of blue level skills.
Opportunity to see some of the bolf course area that will not more than likely be seen in the summer if one is a discer. Some of the groves one plays into or through are very scenic little pieces of forest.
Basic tee signs of every hole; showing the layout. The basket can be found straight ahead on nearly every hole; and can be seen. No real blind shots here. Shot options may include right or left lines; but pin finishes dead ahead on nearly every hole.
Locals can choose a number of options for number of holes played; based on time available. Parking lot and hole layout offer options for skipping sections, if daylight or schedule doesn't allow for full course play.
Course well played; and so navigation issues are mostly taken care of; by simply following paths from one hole to next.
This is primarily a blue level course; however, there are a couple of near gold level holes that will give you some "wow" factor. One; a nice 400 foot downhiller; another, with a shot requiring 290 to clear a creek; plus another 50 foot to basket; and a third, very nice hole with an uphill finish; fairly narrow fairway with some of the biggest trouble on the course to either side; that's quite visually pleasing in the "winter moonscape" view. This course has a nice "moonscape" type of feel throughout. The locals have been working with; and tweaking the layout for a few years now; changeing @3 holes up this year; for the better.
Trash cans and benches in abundance. They have taken care of many of the little things at this temp layout.
Cons: Rubber mat tees; while nice; are quite short. Basically, the entire course must be played with no more than a two or three, little step run up. As of 1-16-2010, mats are surrounded by sheer ice on all sides and in both front and back. Therefore, you can not begin your run up off the back of short mats; nor can you really finish your follow through off the front end; as most players do. One of our playing mates took a full body spill on hole #1; pointing out to our crew from the outset; the dangers of these issues. This is not really anyone's fault; winter play in these conditions: is.....what it is. But, be prepared to practice getting driving power with one step and a release.
Yardage on most holes; is fairly short; though, this is no pitch and putt; by any means. The two step run up can be successfully used, for most holes, if you have mastered the needed skills.
Note Texconsonite and Harr's directional notes. There are a few places here with a bit of a non intuitive walk between pin and next tee. I did not see any next tee signs; but we had the advantage of playing with a regular; and so, was not an issue. And, as I mentioned, walking path traffic is more than enough to lead you in the correct direction. Again though, I would suggest taking note of their directional help if playing for the first time.
Other Thoughts: This is a winter play course. I can not imagine that; short of a ton of snow; that conditions could be much worse than at present. Lots of ice all around tees and even on the course at present. We have had nearly a week of 30+ temps. This has allowed just enough snow melt; followed by night refreeze; to make things pretty treacherous. Tees are perfectly cleared; but surrounded by scary footing. In spite of all of this; our round was pretty enjoyable.
Benefit tourney 1-23-2010 and Ice Bowl event on 1-30-2010. The strong presence that is the Dredzka scene; continues during the winter; and this course is worth a visit; simply due to the fact that these guys are making the worthwhile effort to put a good quality, winter only, layout in for your enjoyment.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: **Original Layout**
The teepads are actually kept cleaned off by the locals. Challenging course for winter play. Lots of elevation change. Good mix of long and short holes. Large mature trees with little to no random low hanging branches.
Cons: **Original Layout**
Although there are alot of trees, they do not come into play on the majority of holes. Though, the holes they are on make it incredibly challenging (a good thing).
Not available for play during summer :.(
Other Thoughts: **Original Layout**
Come play The Big Freeze tournament at the end of January each year. It helps to have someone with you who has played the course before since it can be hard to follow.
**New Layout 2012-13**
The bottom side of the Original Layout remains essentially the same, very minor if any tweaking.
The top side has completely changed. A few holes have remained tho, Hole 2(Was 5), Hole 7(was 6), Hole 26 (was 23), and Hole 27 (was 24). The holes by the rugby field are gone :'(. And it has become a deuce-fest. The new 5 & 6 are really fun holes though, and a great addition. The 3 completely new holes are alot of fun. They are deuce holes, but require well placed shots to do so. I would have like to see these 3 holes added without changing the topside.
Overall, I am really not happy with the new layout. 8 through 19 are still essentially the same and I could play those over and over. The top side well thats a different story, 20-27 are still fun but not very challenging overall. 1 through 7 are a let down and just unappealling.
I am not changing my rating cause overall it is still better than a 3. I seriously considered originally giving it a 4 but now it is at definite best a 3.5.
I still suggest playing the course cause it has alot of FUN holes and ace runs are a plenty.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Impressive for a Seasonal Course
Pros: Just the idea of setting up a whole new, more open course for the winter is pretty sweet, since looking through snow for your discs is already hard enough without having shule to deal with as well. I've never heard of another course doing this, and I'd say that's one big pro that makes Dretzka unique.
The rubber tee pads were all in great shape, and are solidly set in place. A really great feature, doesnt get icy like concrete can in winter, much better grip for snow boots.
The course map and Winter Tee signs are really nice as well: A chunk of board screwed to a tree next to each pad has the hole map & length drawn in sharpie, as well as the direction to the next tee. Function over form, I love it! Very easy to read. I think it is a testament to the local club that their temporary winter course has better pads and especially better signage than many top-notch year round courses do in places where it doesnt snow. They even have signs to tell you where the next tee is in places where its not obvious.
The course itself is a very nice mix of fairly technical and fairly open holes, none of which feel like pointless filled holes. With a few notable exceptions, the flow is very easy and obvious, making this a pretty FTF course.
The course starts out by the parking lot and football field, with some shorter holes weaving through the trees. Definitely forces you to shape some shots around trees. Even on the more open holes like 4, which tees off under a football goalpost, the basket is protected in some trees for a nice combo of open drive and careful approach/putt. Minor terrain in play.
After #7, the course switches styles and scenery, when it moves away from the road and through a line of evergreens onto the ball golf course and old ski hill. #8 starts you off with a 450' drive down a wide tree-lined ski run, that plays about 100' shorter due to the elevation. Its the kind of hole that makes you want to empty your bag (twice). #9 also plays along what seems like old ski runs at the bottom of the hill with some terrain.
Once you cross the frozen river into the woods on #10, the course moves to the somewhat flatter area of the ball golf course. Many of the holes weave through mazes of scattered trees on the sides of the BG holes. Some cut back and forth across the frozen creek that bisects the course, and let you air it out a bit on the long open avenues. Usually even then, the basket is in some kind of tree cover trees. Requires a lot of different shots, curves left and right, with several lines to choose from on many holes. Several baskets on downhill greens by the riverside make for risk of rollaways on putts. The trees in particular make for many interesting holes that are each a bit different in the scope of their challenges. Overall, still not too tightly wooded
On holes 18-22, the course hits the slopes again for a variety of fairly challenging elevation shots, before returning you to the parking lot area on the last two holes. 18 shoots up through an area of tiny pine trees (marked with orange flags DO NOT step on them) that will make this hole even better in the next few years as they grow up.
22 plays along the top of the hill, and is one of my favorite holes on the course. The drive is mostly open for the first 200', but the basket is guarded by two giant pine trees that force you to shoot between them. On top of this, about at the twin pines the fairway starts to slope slightly downhill to the trees past the basket. This makes it a challenging shot to gauge, since if you thread the twin pines, its hard to get the disc to stop with overshooting the basket.
It doesn't seem very technical at first glance, but its harder than it looks in several subtle ways, which pretty much defines this entire course. In addition to the many good-sized trees that you have to bend around, wind can also be a factor on just about every hole on this course. The holes face all different directions, so its tough to know which way its going to come from. Not really strong winds, like those at Hiestand, but just enough to mess with your lines a bit and make the trees loom larger.
The course also has a very nice mix of distances on it. It has both short ace runs (like #5), and a few shots close to 400' up a ski slope that will really push you, (like #22). It manages to not favor big arms too much, despite being mostly on a ski hill and ball golf course. Its not very tight and technical either, though it gives opportunity for a good variety of shots.
Cons: SIGNAGE: Initially, it was hard to find the first hole, since this course evidently starts in a different spot than the regular course (Updated directions since then).
Also, the transition from 7 to 8 was a bit confusing. From basket 7, walk past the building through the opening in the trees. you'll see a sign that says to go 315' for hole 8. Keep going straight to the ski hill. you should be able to see tee 8 a ways further off.
Hole 23 shoots out of the trees into the same area as # 7. Its tee sign says 8 instead of 23. This is wrong, and two seconds of sharpie work would fix it, and seems like a pretty obvious mistake on a course otherwise so well marked. Also, coming the other direction from 22, you cant see 23's tee tucked back in the woods, so remember where it is after you play 7.
Sometimes the directions to the next tee on the signs were a bit misleading.
1) On some holes it shows an arrow pointing to the direction to the next tee.
2)On others it has a square with an arrow coming out from it.
In the latter case, the square is the next tee location, and the arrow is the direction that next hole actually plays. Sometimes it seems like these two are mixed up, and the arrows are very general. They are good guidelines, just not very specific. Fortunately the flow is pretty good with mostly short walks between holes, so just follow the footprints and you shouldn't get lost.
Other than these few small issues, the signage overall was fantastic and really improved the experience.
COURSE: The middle section of the course seemed mostly flat, but the many trees help compensate for this. The ski hill holes are mostly open but again, the elevation helps compensate for it. Thus, this course gives a nice variety of elevation and fairly wooded holes, but rarely much of both at the same time. This is really the only mark I can find against the course itself. Overall its a well-balanced mix of distances, on fun holes that all have something to offer, though few are truly memorable or challenging holes with that "wow" factor that makes a course a 4 or above. What it really comes down to is that it has elevation and some trees, but it could use more of both, mixed together on the same holes. However, it manages to avoid being repetitive or boring over the course of 24 holes, which is not an easy thing. It is a very enjoyable, well-done winter course that's harder than it looks.
Other Thoughts: I played at 7am when it was as many degrees outside before the wind chill, and had to throw with gloves on. This course really kicked my butt, especially in putting. I must say, though, I've seldom had as much fun playing so poorly. Since wind is a factor, come ready to feel 10 degrees colder than the weatherman says, and you'll be fine. Some spots are a bit icy.
Again, I've gotta commend the area Disc Golf Club for putting together a separate 24 hole winter course, and doing such a good job at it to boot. Great idea, great pads and signage, can't wait to play the summer course.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Winter Course
Pros: 1) It has a winter course. Thats why I am writing this review, and that is also what this review is about. The summer course is setup totally differently!!! Please consider this fact when evaluating my review.
2) First 4 holes are wide open.
This allows for a little warmup (in the ever chilly weather this winter seasonal course is open) before heading to some more tight technical wooded holes. #4 starts under a football goalpost and heads right back into and across the teeth of the standard S.W. winds and is 415' long. The basket is tucked in amongst some mature trees that are about 350' off the tee. You better make it near the trees in 1, or you better simply layup to the beginning of the trees so that none of the limbs are in your way for your putt (s).
3) Hole #5
This is my favorite hole on the top 9. . .slight anhyzer hole about 200' through a fairly narrow stretch of trees. #6 and #7 are also set in the mature trees, all presenting their own challenge.
4) #8 is 450' straight downhill (it is actually an old ski or sledding hill. This is a really fun hole to play. The massive 50' evergreens on the left can easily catch an errant hyzer that got some wind under it and the scrub to the right can be equally punishing if you end up in there.
5) Holes #9 through #16 are all somewhat wooded either at the tee, at the green, and even a few of them have trees lining the fairway the entire way. It really places emphasis on shot location rather than distance.
6) Holes #17 through #21 weave back and forth up and down the same slope that #8 is on, but the slopes are not as severe, and the holes aren't as long, really giving you a chance for a good score. BE CAREFUL of the winds as they can whipup pretty strong. You might not even feel them on the Tees of #18 and #19. #18 is guarded with mature evergeens so the wind shouldn't be a factor. #20 goes down the slope at a slight angle which is kind of a nice change from going straight downhill.
6) ALL TEES HAVE RUBBER MATS that have been clear everytime I played. Be careful if there is any moisture as they can be slick.
7) The course gets a fair amount of play so after a fresh snow one can expect somewhat of a walking path. Granted you also have to throw it straight to end up on or near the path.
8) #23 teepad was recently levelled and fixed . . . it had been on a slope for 2 years and was an easy place to slip and fall. (2 other landscapers and myself spent about 90 minutes levelling and putting in the timbers to divert the water around the tee area so we will see how it does this winter.)
Cons: 1) The first few holes and plain and simple, but as I said above, it is nice to have a couple to get warmed up before having anything too technical.
2) The walk between #7 and #8 is long, but only because the course is setup to have a 9 hole loop back to the parking lot, but the other 15 holes are removed from those 9. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning.
3) The rubber teepads are better than nothing on a winter course but they can be slick many times. For some reason when they get setup they often times end up on little slopes, so I am always trying to find the most level area to place them.
Other Thoughts: After two full winters of playing this course and 3 years of playing this game I am beginning to appreciate this course . . . especially when there is no snow on the ground. It still is not a good course for me because there is a premium on a 300-325' drive which leaves me looking at 50-60 upshots or maybe 30' putts if I pull off a great throw . . . if I could add another 25-30' on my drives I would enjoy this course much more.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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