Extremely well done course, but beware.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautiful use of the lakes and terrain to provide some exciting, memorable shots that reward skill and accuracy, and punish errant drives. The scenery on the entire course is beautiful, but especially when you get back to the lakes tucked away on the back nine, it's a very pretty area.
Great variety and challenge. Some tight shots, open shots, long shots and short shots, they did a great job keeping this course interesting, and ensuring that it was enjoyable and challenging for players of a range of skill levels. Not something I would easily recommend to beginners, but it would not take a high amount of experience or skill to enjoy from the short tees.
Some extremely memorable holes through the course, with the beautiful lake shots, tightly wooded fairways, and challenging and well built par 4's and 5's. The first par 5 stands out to me as unique from the long tees, with elevation change up, then down and to the right, it provides an interesting feel and fairway, with an option off the tee for bigger arms to take the risk of cutting the corner and going for the eagle opportunity. You will need both control and power for this course at different times, more heavily weighted towards control/accuracy.
Cons: The rough is very punishing. There are stickers that will cling to just about anything that goes in there, sometimes the entire plant coming back out with you. It's thick, with lots of undergrowth, so it would be easy to lose plastic on a bad shot, but this can be avoided by discing down and playing safe and straight. Par is still very much attainable by playing the small-ball fairway game.
The mosquitoes. Holy moly the mosquitoes. I've lived in a couple states with mosquitoes, and played plenty of courses with them, but this was something special. Even with high grade, 98% DEET bug spray, it was like they didn't even noticed. We played this course starting at about 8am in August, and they were all over the place, the entire time. There was no escape. Cover up and be ready, those mosquitoes are not messing around.
Between the rough and the water shots it would not be difficult to lose plastic on this course, so beginners may want to skip 1 or 2 of the water shots, and everyone should be trying their best to keep it in the fairway and play smart.
Other Thoughts: This is a beautiful, well designed and maintained course. While the rough is rough, the fairway were perfect the whole way through. The scenery is awesome, and the variety and challenge on the course is enough to make anyone happy. If I'm traveling through again, I will make time to go out of my way to play this course. An absolute gem, and if it weren't for the briars and mosquitoes I would have nothing bad to say about it at all.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Great but could be better
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Long, elevation, challenging, unique layout
Cons: Thorns, overgrown in spots, no paved tee pads. Par is too easy on some holes (420) foot 16 Par 5 for example.
Other Thoughts: With a little bit of trimming on many holes and paved tee pads this would score a 5.0. However the thorns and some ridiculous windows (some holes have 6-8 foot gaps with tree limbs hanging across make me deduct a point. Still a fun challenge, not a beginner course.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Easier in late fall
Pros: Well wooded, mix of left and right doglegs. Well covered by other reviewers.
Cons: lots of thorns off the fairways, yet another motivator for accuracy vs. distance.
Other Thoughts: In late October the water levels were down a lot, I estimate 6-8 feet. This, together with the bare trees, made the course a lot easier than I guess it would be in the spring or summer. Some of the holes have too high a par for late October conditions.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A grueling deathmarch of the best kind!
Pros: When I'm looking for a challenge from a "local" course, this is where I go. Usually I ended up swearing at least once per hole, I usually ended up bleeding from more than one spot. A brand new course shows its youth, in years to come it can only improve - they have a great thing going here.
-Variety of holes. Each hole is a new challenge. Wooded technical holes, long doglegs (a good variety of left and right) 2 is a difficult dogleg left 4 and 5 are long dogleg left shot; narrow "thread the needle" wooded fairways, 11 and 13 are incredible tight fairways; wide open long bombs, 7 is a beautiful 711 foot downhill bomb, with the wind i could rip it about 450, 9 is a long 670 foot uphill run; Water beatifully comes into play on a few holes, 12 and 13 cross a swamp (doesn't really come into play, unless it's a bad toss), my heart always skips a beat when I walk up to the tee of 15, I have to convince myself that I can do it it's an amazing throw across the lake, 16 plays across a swamp, and then 17 I'm sure is a wonderful hole during normal water levels, but when I was there it was nearly impossible to play, completely surrounded by water except on the right side it was blocked by an impenetrable thicket.
-Map/Scorecards. Beautiful map at the beginning with a mailbox full of score cards (the best looking scorecards I've ever seen, all they need to do is put some sponsors on it to make some $ for the course!)
-Map and Scorecard at the start, nothing like being provided with a wonderful scorecard with a map on the back to help with navigation along the way
-Relatively Quiet Compared to the other courses in the area, Hidden lake is usually much less crowded and visited by more serious players as it is so difficult, not many shankers find their way here.
-Navigation Signs, Though some signs were only cardboard stapled to a tree, the signs were quite helpful in directions to the next tee, even between 11 and 12 (put on your walking shoes) as soon as I felt like I had been walking too far, I would notice a sign that said I was still on the right track (after what seems like a mile, I finally made it to the 12th tee box).
-Challenging. This is a draw for many that want to get away from the St. Cloud courses, and this also keeps out the riff-raff of the local college students.
Cons: -Tee Boxes, the gravel tee boxes were more like sand boxes when I played, mostly the were playable, but on a few holes I found an alternate place to tee off from, I need to protect my knees. Hopefully something is done about this soon, this is my biggest gripe about this course.
-Brand new, Built in 2009 this course shows its youth, with many stumps yet to be cleared, some rough cut fairways, and temporary (hopefully) navigation signs will all improve with age.
-Not for Beginners, this would not be a fun place to learn the game.
-Multiuse park, I only put this in the con section because I had to wait for others enjoying the area a couple times (personally I think it's great that disc golfers and other reacreationists can survive in unison in such a beautiful park).
-Water, not really a con in my mind, I think it's a beautiful use of the water, but, it is only a matter of time before I lose a disc on this course if I continue to play.
Other Thoughts: Of all the courses in the area, I would recommend this one to anyone that loves the game of disc golf (not beginners). It is a beautiful, fun, challenge with a great variety of holes and by the time I reach the end I always feel accomplished, like I survived the gauntlet. This one is worth going out of the way for.
Number 15, This hole is in the back of my mind the entire round, I'm looking forward to it, I'm dreading it. As I approach the tee my heart begins to thump, it's a challenge not to let my mind get the best of me as I let it rip. It's a beautiful shot, I can only imagine that there's hundreds of discs at the bottom of that lake.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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