1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is a beautiful course. It was taken care of very well. If you stay on the course, there's very little (if any) significant underbrush.
It's moderately hilly and wooded; and the elevation and trees were both utilized. There are some up-hill shots, some down-hill shots, and some over-the-valley shots with several pins in risky positions.
There was a good mix in fairway width. One or two holes let you bomb it without trees in your way, lots of holes would shoot you down if you strayed too far, and a few holes forced you to be VERY accurate.
You can shoot well at this course playing conservatively or aggressively. There aren't many courses that pull that off (especially wooded courses); a lot of courses this wooded have very thick underbrush that can kill a round. at Cam-II, I never felt like I didn't have an opportunity to play down the fairway if I wanted.
Cons: Playing it the first time, there were several fairways I couldn't see. From the tee or pin. I felt like several fairways were split in places that knocked down a lot of very good shots. I felt there was only 1 hole that a long, accurate drive was rewarded (If I was more accurate I may have felt differently).
There are a few stumps in the middle of the fairway. Maybe they're supposed to define split fairways, but they didn't seem tall enough for that unless a drive was released a little low. I saw a few nice drives go directly over them, and I also saw one or two hit the stumps.
Other Thoughts: I thought this course would have been a lot better if I was a gold level player. I could not hit a lot of fairways, no matter how conservative a shot I attempted. It was a lot of fun playing dubs, but playing singles at the tourney knowing I was throwing a crap-shoot type shot wasn't much fun.
This course is on my short list of courses to play again in QCI.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 1 Not
World Class Wooded
Pros: A beautiful trail system with giant oaks, manicured grass covered fairways, navigable rough, dramatic elevation changes, terraced greens, trails, bunkers, generous tee pads, and a variety wildlife. This once overgrown briar and thorn tree forest has been reclaimed and restored to feel more like an oak savanna surrounded by heavy woods.
The course was designed for more experienced golfers as the terrain is demanding - be prepared for a hike. It is setup as a multiple loop trail system, so you can cut your round short at various points and hole 9 tees off near hole 1 allowing for half rounds.
Multiple pin positions means a variety of course layouts (each layout is given a unique name with course records tracked on the website). The layouts range from a par 55 in the shortest to a par 64 in the longest, allowing for a lot of flexibility for tournaments, leagues, and daylight issues.
The fairways are extremely well manicured and and the rough is 'navigable' with trails, steps, ladders, and terraces where necessary. The tree canopies are cut clean and high in an effort to allow a larger range of shots.
Strategically cleared rough allows bad shots to finish their flights leaving the players behind a wall of trees instead of hitting the tree line and dropping safely into the fairway. Players that wisely sacrifice distance for control will be rewarded with a shot for birdie, while players that are lured into throwing further will often find one these 'bunkers'.
Many of the par 4's and 5's are doglegs where the prime landing brings the basket into view and many have a fallen tree that gives you visual cues where to land. The prime landings are usually about 250-275ft to the front edge and 350-400ft to the back. This makes control more important than distance, while allowing both as an option.
Creek ravines have had hundreds of volunteer hours restoring their natural flow, removing splash dams that cause erosion, and building check dams to retain rocky sediment. A once quick sand filled ravine is now a dramatic elevation drop that acts more like a bunker with waterfalls, pools, steps, terraces, and ladders to get you in and out efficiently - a rare disc golf feature.
A highly dedicated crew averages over 25hrs per week improving course conditions and adding amenities. A work log has been maintained since November of 2007, documenting the creation and maintenance of this 90-acre behemoth.
Cons: Signage - the original plan for our signs fell through, but we are currently working on plan b for the signs which will closely resemble those at The Maple Hills course in Leicester, MA. The signs will have photos to illustrate the landing areas especially on the blind dogleg par 4's and 5's. The photos will be from prime landings looking down the second half of the fairway.
Tee pads - The Village of Milan selected 10x10 street forms for the tee pads. Some players are bothered by the short length, so the Camden Crew has been working on terracing the tee pads adding an additional 2ft to the front and back. On a positive note the 10 wide tees offer a wider variety of shot angles and selection. Also, some tee pads were poured slightly off line from the way they were marked, so we are also working on expanding the tees to allow a proper angle at the run up.
Other Thoughts: Such a big course takes long term vision and dedication, and the Camden Crew repeatedly assesses and reassesses our goals and progress. There are few Cons that are not on our list of 'things to do'.
Please keep providing feedback, it helps us prioritize our goals, and just know that we have no intention of stopping the momentum - this course evolves weekly sometimes daily!
Thanks for all the positive support and thanks to all the disc golfers who embrace the course by keeping the trash cleaned - we hardly find trash anymore! Keep spreading the positive energy!
Course design was inspired by John Houck, Harold Duvall, Stan McDaniel, Dave Dunipace, Chuck Kennedy, Greg Hosfeld, Steve Dodge, Justin McLuen, Doug Peyton, Des Moines Disc Golf, Timmy Gill, the Wildcat Bluff crew, and the over 300 course I've played...thank you!
19 of 20 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
a QC must play, woods and ravines
Pros: Camden Park has two courses and the newer one, Camden II, is a great wooded course with fair technical lines and some dramatic elevation change. It requires all types of shots. There are several par 4s (4,5,6,8,13,17), depending on basket positions some are par 3s. One of these (hole 4) has a par 5 long basket position where a 5 feels like a birdie (to me at least). It requires a pinpoint precision downhill left-to-right drive to a narrow landing zone along the opposite side of the ravine, then a couple of fairway tunnel drives up a steep hill to get to the putting area. A three on this hole would be heroic. There are a couple holes where large downed trees are left in place to prevent skips or rollers from reaching the desired lie for the approach or putt, a nice feature.
A great corps of volunteers puts a lot of work into this course, and it shows, every time I go there is a new landscaping feature or bench or sign or erosion control measure. Several holes play along or across deep ravines, and discs can be tough to retrieve, so the course crew has worked hard to put in lots of steps at common access points to access the bottom of the ravines.
The course is a double loop design back to the parking area after hole 8. Therefore it traverses the two sets of ravines twice, and its a lot of up and down. You need to be prepared for some exercise at this course, and that is a pro in my book.
So far I have played 5 of the top 40 courses listed on DGCR and this ranks right up there. There's a great collection of courses in the Quad Cities, several are well worth a stop, and Camden II and West Lake are the two absolute must-plays.
Cons: A minor con, really a potential long-term con, is that there are some erosion problems in the ravines, where the creek banks are getting traffic from people trying to climb down to get their discs. Without constant maintenance, this could become a big problem in the long term.
The park amenities aren't usually a big factor in how I rate a course, but the two disc golf courses, and a picnic shelter near the parking area, all see a lot of use, and there's one portable outhouse. And it is a long and difficult walk up and down two big ravines to get there from the outlying holes.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Best Quad Cities Area Course
Pros: --10X10 foot concrete pads don't provide a ton of room for run-up, however it is really not needed on this course (hitting lines is what is truly important) and instead the side to side movement allowed by the wide pads is much appreciated in order to hit various lines through the trees
--SICK elevation changes, mostly running over an empty creekbed which is intimidating yet still friendly to play around--and in :)
--Wooded holes are cut out well to provide fair lines. I don't think there is a single poke-n-hope hole here, and if you think there is you probably have the wrong idea of what challenging disc golf should be like
--Although there is only one open hole, it is a sweet anny bomb down a sledding hill so the couple of minutes of relief you get from the woods is pretty awesome.
--Depending on the pin placements, this is a course for everyone from intermediate to professional. The shorts are probably too short for the best players to have fun on, but the longs can be pretty damn tough. Note the difference between the 3 pins on #4 and your jaw will drop. A par 3 to par 4 to true par 5 transformation!
--The rough is amazingly manageable, especially considering the work that was necessary to make it that way. Something would seriously have to go wrong to lose a disc here,
--Handmade steps and bridges help increase the safety factor. This is NOT an easy course to walk, it is very steep and hilly and you are often traversing slick terrain, especially if it has been raining. The work put into adding these safety features is very appreciated, and I'm sure it will be even better in another year
--THE SHOTS....oh man...THE SHOTS.....so incredibly beautiful watching your disc fly over the ravine on multiple occasions. There are also 3 or 4 holes that could be called "signature"...take your pick of which those are. I suspect if you bring 4 people in your group, all 4 will have a different favorite hole.
--Loops back to the parking lot after the front 9 to refresh yourself
--Great exercise due to all the hills. Not busy, so you can take as much time as you need for rest and enjoyment
Cons: --I know it has been beat to death, but the lack of signage is a tough pill to swallow on this course. At minimum, there needs to be a hole number painted on the teepad. It is confusing even with a map when you get around the 11, 12, 17 area. Very easy to mistakenly throw off 17 when you should be throwing off of 12. When the leaves are fallen, the paths from basket to basket are less obvious as well and it is easy to tee at the wrong hole. I have played this course numerous times, and I still accidentally skipped a hole recently. Don't get me wrong, I like how the lack of signage helps keep the bad people out, but for someone who may be playing without a guide it would be tough. I also would really like some accurate yardage for the different pin placements without having to hunt on forums for a list.
--You could argue that there isn't enough variety here due to only 1 open hole, but I wouldn't make that argument. There are enough different types of shots throughout the woods to provide variety. This is not a con for me, just pointing it out to people who may love to bomb. There won't be much bombing here.
This is currently my favorite course. Other than lack of signage, there is only one reason why I did not give it a 5/5. That reason is that I just haven't played enough high rated courses to give myself perspective on what a 5/5 should be. Currently, the only top 40 courses I have played are Wildcat Bluff and West Lake. Camden 2 is superior to both of those for me, just barely squeeking by Wildcat Bluff. I need to play a couple more top rated courses before I am comfortable giving out 5 disc ratings.
If you visit the course website www.camdentwo.com
, you can find the updated pin locations that are currently in place. There are course layouts from the mid-50s for par up to the mid 60s (true par for an advanced golfer). I generally prefer the high 50s layout just because I'm not an advanced player, but the highest I have played is a par 62 and it definitely was a mental and physical beatdown!
Make no mistake about it folks, Camden 2 THE OTHER SIDE is a brilliant course and one that I am proud to have in the Quad Cities area.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Camden II- The Bad Cop
Pros: Nice big tee pads.
Multiple pin placements.
Amazing scenery and varied shot selection from tee off to holing out.
Densely wooded and great shots over ravines and up and down hills, great elevation changes.
Skill and shot placement necessary on every throw. You will be punished very badly for almost any mistake on any throw.
Isolated from everything except disc golf. Great atmosphere and a very challenging course.
Very nicely laid out and it takes much more than just a good drive to get a good score unlike many other courses.
This is the best course I have played and it is what I would see as a championship level course though I am not a tournament player. You need the skill, the power, the finesse, the right decisions, the disc selection, execution, and the confidence to just get par here and it changes how you view other courses that you thought were good before you played here.
Cons: It is a new course still coming together so there are no signs. Some holes have blind long pin placements which will require good signs that have all pin placements on them. Navigation would have been very bad if we didn't play with some locals who knew the course.
Other Thoughts: This course actually has legitimate par 4s and 5s if pins are in long positions. It was challenging for me when they were in short positions though I am just a casual/ recreational player. If you think you are good at disc golf, play a round here and see what you think of yourself after. I can not wait to come back and see how improved this course will get over time. Everyone should try this course!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Multiple pin locations. Big wide tee pads. Many elevation changes and is well maintained by gene and his whole crew. They've been doing a great job trying to make this a champion level course.
Cons: Signage..... Just needs more of it
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Awesome design includes concrete tees and tons of pin positions. The elevation used in the course is very cool. Hole 1 starts throwing over a sweet valley. Hole 13 is a HUGE left to right shot off of a ginormous hill. The next hole 14 is a very cool and tricky uphill shot that curves sharply left. 15 is a sweet downhill tunnel shot. 16's green is super steep and makes for a very interesting hole. This course has so many types of shots and is so much fun. Hole 4 is a sweet dogleg right par 4. Later there is a hole where the fairway curves way downhill and left at the end. I have never played a hole like it anywhere else. I could go on and on about the cool holes here but you should just go experience it for yourself. Even the short holes here are interesting with their tight, up and down lines through the woods.
The bridges all over the course are terrific.
Cons: Rough is rough at times. Watch out for steep slopes and mud when the course is wet.
Chris Sprague and his crew of helpers have put a ridiculous amount of time into making this course great. Check out the course's website http://www.camdentwo.com
which includes a work blog, course records, and much more.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
A review THREE YEARS in the making!
An ominous sign hung from the veiled opening of the forest as I approached: "Camden II - The Other Side". I felt that I was looking at a totem meant to ward off those not worthy enough to enter. Too bad I had forgotten my fedora and whip. From the massive ten foot square concrete tee pad, I took in the majestic view that was Hole One: an equally gorgeous and horrifying ravine plummeted down before me, slicing through the middle of the fairway. The pin winked at me from atop the hill on the other side, beckoning to me like some long-haired damsel trapped in a tower surrounded by a piranha filled moat. Slim-trunked trees dotted the near side as the terrain sloped down, and I knew why they were so menacing: even a glance from one of these bastards and my disc would topple into the depths below. Should I risk a full launch, pressing my luck? Or maybe play it safe and shirk the edge, using my approach shot to throw over the pit? Either way wouldn't be wrong, I thought. And I let it rip...
DISCLAIMER: The following description is brought to you by a wholly impressed disc golfer.
The course plays back and forth over one or two riverbeds (streambeds) at the bottom of the ravines and their corresponding hills. There is a brief break from the thick foliage on Hole 13, which is on the northern end of the forest in a field, but it is still very hilly. Be ready to bring it - this course is not for the weak! There are a myriad of ways to approach almost every hole, with lots of lanes through the trees in the well-sized fairways, as well as three different pin placements on most (all?) holes. I was fortunate enough to play when the shorter ones were in - the longest of the three look absolutely masochistic. Like, why? BECAUSE WE CAN! Ridiculous, LOL. Surprisingly, there is a lot of room to maneuver under the canopy, despite the density of the jungle. You are fully immersed without feeling claustrophobic at all. This alone is very hard to do and blew me away.
The HUGE tee pads (seriously 10 feet square) are (gasp) FLAT! Even if the terrain is sloped! I can think of more than a few courses that can take a lesson from that. So no worries, explorers, about having to adjust the angle of your drive to compensate. And these pads are so huge that two people could literally tee off at the same time, side by side. Grooves were cut into them to ensure solid shoe grip as well. Some of the best tees I've ever seen, hands down.
Most fairways involve steep elevation changes, thick rough, or both, and an obstacle or two thrown in for good measure. Like a giant friggin' downed tree that blocks your view of the target. But don't worry, the fine designers here have equipped a tall, reflective post atop the basket so you know where to aim. Little touches like that exist throughout the course and really shine through. You can tell how much effort has been put into making this course exceptional and one-of-a-kind.
Camden II is truly a work of art in that it has a homemade feel that I have never experienced on a DG course before. While the standard amenities are there - trash cans, benches, etc - the designers took it a step further: I felt like I was playing in someone's back yard. Someone's sprawling, grueling back yard. Rickety man-made bridges take you over treacherous ravines, and a wooden, hand-made ladder offers unlucky throwers an easy path into the trench on #4 (and a way back out). 6 inch thick wooden steps have been wedged into the steep hills throughout, providing sure footing both up and down. Felled logs line paths betwixt holes and shape fairways. Orange spray-painted tree stumps are your guides through the forest, so pay close attention; the clues are everywhere. After a while you feel like you're traversing the African Congo, following eerie markings on twisted trails from tee to tee, like you're searching for some long lost tribe that still speaks in their native tongue...
I was really impressed with how the course felt totally off the grid, and I think the overall feeling you get when you descend into the canopy is phenomenal. It was hard to believe that kids were playing teeball in another part of the park only a few hundred feet away. Never have I played a course that felt so...natural. It truly feels like you the human are the intruder here. Spiders run rampant over the leaves, and everywhere you turn creatures are rustling in the underbrush. I even saw a flock of wild turkeys crossing behind the basket on #2. At least I think they were turkeys...but looking back on it I wouldn't be surprised if they were some ancient dinosaur that time forgot and we all thought died out thousands of years ago.
Some of my favourite holes:
#1 and #4. They are very similar in that you are shooting over a ravine in both cases, although the pin is much farther back and has a slight dogleg right on #4. It's even more challenging than the first hole, as the ravine first cuts across and then travels along the right side of the fairway, serving as a constant reminder of the danger that awaits your disc should it go astray. The ravines normally have small streams in them but with the drought conditions everything was dry as a bone. I will say that when the stream is flowing, there still really isn't a threat of losing a disc. The hazard is more of trying to dig yourself out of the ravine. I would recommend a spotter on these holes especially, so they can track your disc if it goes in.
#9 is a tight jaunt, and #12 is a sharp downhill shot that is surprisingly tricky. #13 is the only break from the jungle, but is an awesome downhill blast over a wide open field, with the pin in the southeastern quadrant, back in the woods a bit.
Signature holes abound here, but #15 took the cake for me. Awesome setting with the homemade "Private Property"/"Out of Bounds" signs lining the left and a steady declining slope under the canopy and toward the pin. Very tricky lines available on your drive, and it is Rollaway Central by the pin, so be wary on the approach. There is a giant tree back here that looks like Christopher Walken is going to come out of it, a la the Headless Horseman. Creepy! The atmosphere contained here really put me over the top.
A few cons need to be mentioned, but nothing too serious.
Only a few temporary tee signs were up; laminated pieces of paper stapled to a tree near the tee. I suspect that over time they have fallen off or been ripped down. Not a huge issue as every basket is marked with the hole number and there is zero chance of overlap. Still, some permanent signs would really seal the deal on this beast of a course. Or maybe just a number spray painted or etched on the tee pads? But the signs that did exist were sweet! There had hole number and distance listed, as well as a photograph of the hole. Another nice homemade touch.
A few more next tee signs would've been appreciated. Like I state above, for the most part you can just follow the spray painted stumps to your next shot, but for some of the longer walks between holes (from 4 to 5 and especially 8 to 9) a sign would serve best. There were some throughout the course nailed to a tree or two, so maybe these fell down over time as well like the signage. FYI after #8, you walk back almost all the way to #1 and up a staircase to find #9. And after #11, head left to the top of the hill for #12, instead of turning right, which takes you to #17. These are really the only places where you become disoriented; the rest of the course flows really smoothly.
It would've been nice to have one or two more shots in the big field at the north end of the course. By the time I got to #13 I was ecstatic that I was being given a reprieve from the rough-and-tumble terrain of the jungle. But alas, it was short lived: its pin is placed back in the woods, and #14 is an uphill drive right back into the thick of it. A tee sign would've been really nice on this hole, too, as your line of sight is obstructed by the tree line on the right. I had to walk down the hill and into the middle of the field to find the pin, and then walk all the way back up to throw.
And what's up with the steepest hill of the course not having any stairs in it?!? Normally this wouldn't be a con, since most courses wouldn't have stairs anywhere to begin with, but since everything else had been so meticulously thought out, I found it really odd that the climb from 16 to 17 didn't have any. I mean, we're not talking a small incline here - the hill is friggin' steep! I slipped on the loose gravel surface and almost went down. I'm sure the designers are aware of this, and hopefully they'll think about putting in the 6 inch wooden ties here as well.
My last thought here is that I don't think I would've enjoyed myself had the long pins been in when I played. I could see where they were located, and at just about every one I took a look back at the tee and thought, "How would you par this?" Several looked almost impossible to hit in three shots. Some folks like a challenge, and I can't knock the designers for catering to everyone, but for me it seemed too much. However, I would like to play again with the second set of pins in, as some of the holes were a tad too easy for my taste this time around, with the shortest of the three pins being in place.
I originally came upon this behemoth of a course back in July of 2009, and I was defeated in eight short holes. I vowed to return, but the opportunity did not present itself until business brought me back into the Quad Cities last week. And this time, I came prepared. It is still a bastard to take on, but kudos to all the work that has been done since my last visit! My main complaint when I first played through was that there were no defined fairways. You were literally playing on a forest floor, with all kinds of overgrowth. It was a real chore to play. I played with two other guys and we began the day spotting on every hole, but after a couple we had to spot every TOSS OF THE DISC. We called it quits after #8 and we all agreed it was the worst course that we had ever played. Harsh words, I know. My original rating was 0.5 out of 5, but I knew the potential for greatness was there, and made it a point to try it again at some point. After all, the property alone had at least a three-star course written all over it.
Well, what a difference three years makes! It looks like they tilled the fairways and planted grass seed, as all the fairways were thick and green. It really helped shape and define the holes. On my first expedition, I had a feeling the course was extremely new at the time, as you could tell there hadn't been much foot traffic yet and the course hadn't been broken in properly. It looked as if somebody had placed some tee pads and baskets randomly in the forest and called it good. It was nearly impossible to see the design of the course. Now it is brilliantly imagined and flows with ease. Make no mistake, this is still a helluva course, but I can't imagine how much work must've been put into the land to make it as amazing it is now, and my God was it a beautiful thing to behold! I almost felt like I was tainting the landscape just by playing through. So hats off to you and yours, Mr. Sprague. Truly. I told you I would be back and I was not disappointed!
Overall, Camden II is a brutal course to tackle, but so worth it! It's very fun and challenging all at the same time. Make sure you come ready for battle: wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water and a snack, and pace yourself. This place is not for n00bs, and if you play like one you will be punished like one. You are entering the mouth of the dragon, and as long as you respect him, he will respect you. And when you come out on the other side, you will feel a true sense of accomplishment. This course has been solidified in my Top Five and is right up there with Middle Park, my other favourite in the Quad Cities, and may even top it over time. The blood and sweat poured into this plot of land is apparent in everything you see, and you can't help but be awed by the experience.
Highly, highly recommended. Bravo!
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Very Interesting Course
Pros: Camden II was awesome. Our road trip consisted of several Quad City courses and this one was by far the most wooded, which I found enjoyable. Here are the main pros:
Scenery: As mentioned, a very wooded course, which led to some very nice wooded scenery. Got to see all kinds of nature and felt very isolated from the roads and park around us. A few streams winding through through the park. Felt like I was on a long nature hike the whole time.
Difficulty: Awesome level of difficulty, especially if pins are in the long positions! Very technical course with lots of distance challenge as well. A few deuce opportunities that are extremely rewarding if you can hit the shot.
Elevation: Lots of elevation changes, forcing a variety of shots despite the repetitive tunnels.
Quick note: Hole 13 is awesome! Big hill with heavy woods to the right, which forces a right handed player to throw a forehand or an anhyzer... but gives a big arm a chance to CRUSH! :) My favorite hole on the course!
Cons: Though they offer some excitement, I really wish the medium placements were the shortest ones this course had.
Extremely muddy and difficult to navigate... very glad I had someone with us who had played the course.
Square teepads here were woefully short... Given the muddiness of the course, I certainly would have liked an extra foot or two to make my approach.
Other Thoughts: I didn't play Camden I, but this one seemed to look much more interesting. Highly recommend if you are in the quad cities.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Bring your A game!
Pros: Beautiful track! If you haven't played it this year you haven't played it. Hundreds of man hours have gone into making this course top notch. The rough has been significantly managed so that finding your disc is not an hour job. The terrain is rugged and gives you a good workout. You don't need to throw 500' to score here. This is a thinking man's course. Shape your drives and approaches and you can score. This course is tough but fair. The creek areas have many manmade steps to aid in retreiving your discs. I like the mix of long and short holes. No one wants to be brutalized all day long. LOL The layout can be change to make each hole have a different feel. The various hole locations are well thought out. This course demands that you have many different shots in the bag.
Cons: Tee signs are needed. Everything takes time so I know this will happen.
Other Thoughts: This course is not for the intermediate/rec player. It's a top notch course for top notch players. In tourney play the best players will finish at the top, just like any high quality course. If you enjoy testing your skills you must check out this course. Well done Mr. Sprague, well done.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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