Better than Willow, not as good as Hudson
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: • Great use of elevation changes
• Long tees can really change the shot
• Well maintained, like other Metroparks
• The back 9 play like a different course
Cons: • Often crowded, causes wait times or hole skipping
• Can be very buggy in summer months
• Some holes only have 1 tee
• The brush can be unforgiving on some holes
Other Thoughts: Kensington is one of those courses that isn't perfect, but its hard to find something very wrong. I find myself returning here often, even though its not in my top 3 local courses.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The long concrete tee pads are great. They are all clean, in good shape, and long enough for any run up. In addition, most holes have two tees to provide challenge for advanced and beginner players alike.
Fairways are well maintained and fair. High scores will come from bad throws rather than unlucky tree hits.
Each hole has signage for both tees. The basic shape of the hole and it's distance are listed. It would be nice to see a little more detailed diagram, but the basic info is all there.
There is a little kiosk to pay your $2/person fee. The nice thing about this is that it stays manned. So first timers especially have a nice source of information available.
At the kiosk, there are plenty of scorecards and pencils available. The cards themselves have distances listed for each tee as well as a helpful course map on the back.
Cons: The overall design of the course lacks creativity. Most holes are mostly straight with a slight left-to-right fade at the end. This certainly rewards the RHFH and LHBH players and does not challenge a player's line shaping ability. On the same token, there are very few holes that offer multiple shot options.
Litter was a problem. On a pay-to-play course that is staffed, there could be much better cleanup done.
On the open holes, the tall grass can really eat discs. Anything off the fairway can be difficult to find if you lose track of exactly where it landed.
Next tee signs would be helpful. Although the layout is fairly intuitive, there were a couple points where we weren't sure which path to take.
Other Thoughts: Despite my complaints about the layout, I still consider this a nice course. I will certainly return next time I am in the area.
I also would like to explore more of the park. This course is on a huge park with lots to do in addition to disc golf. It would be very easy to spend an entire day here.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
The Black Locust Course
Huge Concrete Tee Pads
Pro & Am Tee Pads on Many Holes
Tee Signs (Posts) on Both Pro & Am Tees
Easy To Navigate
Benches and Trash Cans Throughout The Course
Restrooms (Port-O-Jons) On-Site
Flush Toilets and Other Amenities Throughout The Park
Scorecards & Pencils Available at Pay Booth
Large Map & Bulletin Board At Start/End of Course
Good Flow (No Long Walks Between Holes)
Holes 18 & 27 End at Parking Lot
Some Holes Seem Repetitive
Restrooms Could Be Cleaner
Can Get Crowded
Tee Sign Maps Could Be More Descriptive/Accurate
The Black Locust Course in Kensington Metro Park is a beautiful and very well-maintained 27-hole course. To get to the course take US-96 to exit 153 (Huron River Parkway) and head north until you reach the entrance station. Once you pay ($5.00 per vehicle) for parking continue for .3 miles and make a right into the parking lot across the street from the water park.
From the parking lot you should be able to see the bulletin board/map , practice baskets, and booth to pay for your rounds. Disc golf is $2.00 per person, per day. While all the fees may seem steep, the fees are also good for entrance and disc golf at the nearby Hudson Mills Metro Park which boasts an amazing forty-eight unique holes over two courses providing you with seventy-five great holes of disc golf. Once you pay for your rounds continue past the booth and to the left to locate the first tee pad.
I really enjoyed this course. The designers did a wonderful job of using the natural obstacles and elevation to create some truly unique holes. From the moment you step onto the first tee pad you can see you are in for a great round of disc golf. The perfectly manicured fairways and long concrete tee pads are just the beginning when it comes to the nice amenities this course and park have to offer.
The course has a good variety of both open and wooded holes, but even the open holes have very defined fairways. While the rough along the fairways isn't always brutal, it can be punishing requiring you to lay up or work really hard to come out with a decent score if your shot is off target. Another plus on this course is the nice variety of distances it has to offer. Not only from hole to hole, but the distances and shots from the long and short tee pads can be drastic. From hole 1 the designers prove that with the long tee being a 520ft shot from hill top to hill top, while the short tee is just over 300ft from the valley, shooting uphill.
The only real cons or downside to this course is the lack of shot types required to do well here. Most holes are your standard Hyzer and Anhyzer throws with a couple of straight shots and one decent S-curve thrown in. I did not see a single hole throughout the course that would require you to think outside the box, or try out a roller or overhand shot and many, at least half, of the holes are left to right making this a very LHBH or RHFH dominate course.
With all of that said the pros on this course definitely outweigh the cons making this another great course in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area and a must play when the neighboring (temporary) Toboggan Course is set up. When you do stop by try to get there early if you want to avoid the crowds and, like any course in the area, bring plenty of big spray there are tons of mosquitoes.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: -Well maintained
-Long concrete pads
-Easy to Navigate
-lots of variation in hole design
-Lots of benches for resting while waiting
Cons: -High grass and thick woods off the fairway, easy to lose a disc
-Lots of blind holes, partially good and partially bad
-Pay to play... but its worth it.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Side arm or lefty course
Pros: Nice landscaping and park maintained. Also helped me work on my anhyzer for 24 holes. Playing from the pro tees that is. The short tees make it an easy course.
Cons: There was not enough variety on the course. All tournaments at kensington should be on Tobaggon.
Other Thoughts: went there to play tobaggon but the am nationals were going on. tobaggon looks sick.
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Still missing Tunnel
Pros: Really solid hardware. The concrete pads are all in good shape and large. The baskets are adequate and above. The signage could be better in terms of hole diagrams. But, the important information is made clear in aesthetically pleasing fashion. Sadly, vandals' penises adorn some of them.
The course is well-maintained and fairly free of trash, but not immaculate. Bottles and cans are occasionally present to trick your eye while looking for plastic. They do a nice job of keeping the pads clean.
The course makes good use of a mix of holes from the old Tunnel course and newly built holes. Navigation is primarily smooth (excepting the Black Locust cherries who without fail head towards the wasteland/dirtpile/old Tunnel teepad after #5). The course flows well and has numerous spots to take a sit at a picnic table and rest. Many of these spots offer some welcome seclusion.
The holes are varied in both distance and shot requirements. Pro and Am teepads on many holes add more variety. The first 18 doesn't have any huge holes, but there are a couple opportunities to let fly. And, the pros add some length. The first 18 does a better job with wooded finesse shots and ace runs, which are plenty. The all-new 19-27 (the back) add substantial length, especially from the pros. The back offers more isolation as well. The holes are interesting and challenging, and include wooded finesse and open power shots.
Black Locust is in a strong facility. There are port-a-cans onsite at the course. Running water can be found across the street at the beach complex and also at a blockhouse of bathrooms near the ballfields. I think the beach complex has a snack bar that is open seasonally. I've never eaten there.
Holden's near the Milford Rd. park entrance is the joint for discs and provisions.
The course is pay to play.
Cons: Although the back adds some length to the course, there is a shortage of holes that permit a power shot.
Most of the greens are fairly pedestrian. Other than #27, none of them really punish aggressive misses at the pin.
If you don't have a shot that can reliably handle left to right lines this course could get frustrating. Some complain that the new course favors lefties and rhfh too much.
Peak summer hours can be dreadful for crowds. Large groups of people tend to proliferate, each possessing only the thinnest connection to this concept 'disc golf.' The advent of pay to play has whacked some of these fools, but not all.
It's not free.
There are no water hazards.
Course lacks a signature hole.
Other Thoughts: Kensington is my home course and I have deep affection for the entire park. It's beautiful in all seasons.
I was bummed when they moved the course and I still miss a couple of the old holes. I believe that in the moving process Kensington lost its signature hole, #14.
Despite this loss, the new design and new holes come together to produce a very strong course. If I included in this review the amount of fun I've had at Kensington, it would have been a 4.5.
As for the crowds, timing is everything. Early = good.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
more variety than the old Tunnnel course
Pros: I played the old Tunnel course in 2000 and liked it yet this new configuration provides much more of a challenge. Two sets of cement tee pads on most of the holes along with tee signs made it easy to navigate. Lots of variey such as open, wooded, up and down.
Lots of picnic tables near the tees act as benches.
Cons: Mostly lefty friendly, a lot of holes started out straight (as most do in Ann Arbor) but a majority of them ended up left to right.
Tall grass can make the course rather wet and mud can be found in places. After paying $5 to enter the park and $2 to play, I excepted better maintenance.
Other Thoughts: The last 9, 19-27 were longer and geared to the experienced player which I enjoyed, this is why I bumped my rating up to 3.5 as the first 18 is only a 3.
Drinking beer is allowed, simple rule per the
starter "no liqour".
This course gets crowded despite the pay to play, get there early!
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
27 Holes worth of Seriously Good Discing
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Fairly complete course featuring elevation changes, short techinical holes, longer winding holes, and a couple of nice bomber holes that have you throwing from elevated tees. Course challenges all aspects of your game.
- Nice mix of flat and gradually sloping fairways, a few small valley-like dips and a couple of serious hills thrown in for good measure.
- Great shot variety: Excellent mix of L & R dog-legs, tunnel shots, and holes that really reward a good S-shot. The thick brush may favor a Tomahawk or Thumber, or other creative escape shot when drives stray from the fairway (and sooner or later on this 27 hole behemoth, they will). Several baskets are tucked away off the fairway and well guarded by trees. Up-shots that don't land in the sweet spot where basket comes off the fairway may require straddle or hyzer putts.
- Spacious dual concrete tee pads on most holes. Long and short play differently, even when the change in hole length is minimal.
- Fairways clearly defined and neatly mowed.
- Navigation may be a bit tough for first timers, but most paths are obvious.
- Decent tee signs with distance and crude (but effective) hole layout (same as Hudson Mills & Willow).
- Scorecards with maps, pencils.
- Course comes back to parking lot after holes 15 & 18 for abbreviated rounds.
- Party store across from north entrance (Milford Rd.) has a nice assortment of discs.
- Pay to play: If you saw how run down the previous course was, you'd understand. This course pays for itself and it's maintenance. The $2 fee keeps DG from being a cash drain on the park and filters most of the trouble that ruined the old course. Park presence helps to keep trouble from happening.
Cons: - Could use more variety in distances from the Am tees, and many of the Long tees are really nothing more than the same look with another 60 ft tacked on.
- Would benefit from rotating, alt pin placements.
- Elevation only a comes into play on
- Park entry fee for cars in addition to the fee to play disc golf (annual car pass is good at all the metroparks).
- I've heard park will charge pedestrians to enter the course because local kids say, "I'm just walking along with him," but play anyway
- Grass just off the fairway is extremely tall and thick, Shots just off the fairway can be tough to find.
- Rough is thick and hungry for discs (especially the last 9 holes). I recommend "safety in numbers" because of this. If you plan to play solo however, it's a busy course, and there's a very good chance you'll be able to hook up with a group of locals who will be happy to let you play in with them.
- Bugs can be a nuisance on last 9.
Other Thoughts: I delayed writing this review because I needed some time to let my bias for the old course fade, and wanted to judge this course on it's own merit (or lack thereof) after having played a few rounds here, and... I really like this place.
This course will expand your game. I throw mostly RHBH, playing here has helped me improve my FH shot, develop control on annie releases, and use understable discs to turnover then fade back to carry S-shaped fairways.
- Glass containers are not allowed, but dogs, beer and wine are.
-Many blind holes.
- They just put a few neat branch and rock lined paths between a few holes on the final 9 to make it easy to find the next hole.
- Basket for 18 is mounted on a large tree stump - looks cool.
- This is essentially Discraft's home course. It's only 10 miles from their building, and Jim Kenner and Discraft Pros heavily influenced its design. The first 18 are challenging, the last 9 were meant to be championship caliber.
- Course's hunger for discs has diminished; it has become a bit more forgiving now that it's "broken-in."
** UPDATED 5/27/14 ** Rating revised from 4.0 to 3.5... course has not gotten worse or anything like that - it's still quite good. I jsut think I was a bit overzealous with my rating. BL makes for a great round, but I don't think it quite rates with other excellent courses I've had the good fortune to play. I'd give it a 3.75 if I could, but that's not an option.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
--The course is maintained very well. There are both am and pro concrete tee pads on most holes, and every tee pad has a sign with distance. The new booth that says "Black Locust" where you play to play, next to hole #1 adds to the professional appearance of the course.
--Black Locust is layed out on some nice land with decent elevation hear and there. With 27 holes the lay out conveniently comes back to the parking lot after the first 18 (so you can stop by your car if need be, or just choose to play front 18 or back 9.)
--Theres a somewhat lack of variety here. It feels like theres too many holes with open fairways and unforgiving brush on both sides. Also the course was just built and hasnt been walked on much, so theres gonna be some lost and found discs.
--Also I didnt like was how they changed the pin placements on some of the old holes, a couple nice runs got taken away with the change.
--Alot of tight long distance shots and blind baskets make this course very challenging and demanding.
--The course is patroled by staff on golf carts who will randomly drive around hole to hole and check for passes.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
tight fairways, rolling hills, long grass and sharp flora
Pros: big course with elevation. love that elevation. my legs were a bit sore after 18. beautiful new long tees. baskets and chains were all in working condition.
friends both liked it.
holes 19-27 are long holes. lots of distance scares off the weenies.
the quarry nextdoor must have screwed something up, now after it rains there is a GIANT WAIST-DEEP LAKE on the side of hole 2/3.
--END OF UPDATE
Cons: for a course in the middle of the woods, it sure doesnt have a lot trees on the fairway. lots of sun on the new holes.
most holes surrounded by tall grass, which wouldnt a problem if the holes also werent mostly blind shots.
those black locust trees have thorns, i've gotten stabbed by them in half of the rounds i've played. BEWARE OF THEM TREES.
made my mom pay $2 to walk the dog with us.
Other Thoughts: course would be a solid 4 if the pay-to-play wasnt such a pain in the ass.
after playing this new course i got very nostalgic for the old one, so i went to play the old one.
i finished playing 6 holes of the old course on the lake side of the road, not interfering with any of the new course (old holes 1-3, 15-18). ranger rick told me to get lost, that 'people werent supposed to be over here'. no problem for me , as i was tired as hell.
i guess paying the park fee and the disc golf fee wasnt enough to be able to play/walk the old abandoned course. a true shame the way they are handling this whole affair.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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