2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Intermediate to Advanced level course. Shorter baskets could cater to beginners. Could is challenging for all skill levels. Course is set in a multi-use park where bikers and walkers are present.
Baskets - Most holes had 2 Chainstar baskets per hole. 3, 6, 7,9, and 17 did not have a second basket. There is a long (pro) short (intermediate). Baskets caught great and provide extra variety. There was also a practice basket as well as an extra hole alongside of hole 17.
Tees - One large concrete tee per hole. Even though many had sand on them, they were grippy. Hole 2 had an alternate rubber tee.
Signs - Nice billboard at start of course listing rules and had a map. I printed one out before coming. Each hole had a wooden post that listed the distances of each basket, as well as a directional map for the basket locations. Accurate for the most part.
Variety - Everything from short and tightly wooded holes to long downhill bomb throws. Every hole had some sort of obstacle (elevation, trees, fences, etc). There were only 5 holes that were truly flat (5, 7, 11, 12 and 15). Every other hole on the course had an elevation change that added to the challenge. Great mix of hole types: Technical holes blended well with long bombers. Accuracy and approach shots are key here. Course went back and forth from being open to wooded to open and ended with an uphill wooded shot. Every hole at this course was different which really stands out.
Elevation - I will give this a separate category. I am from Indianapolis where elevation changes at courses are not very common. This was an added bonus.
Wind factor - Being so close to Lake Michigan, wind can make or break your day. Be prepared.
Navigation - With the exception of a few holes, course flowed pretty well. Without a map this may have been a challenge.
Extremely scenic course. Leaves were changing color when I played and it was very peaceful. Brought my fiance and she spend the whole time taking pictures.
Well maintained - There was a bench, if not 2, at every hole listing the group or person who sponsors the course. Most holes had buckets for trash/cigarette butts. The entire park was clean and well maintained.
Started and ended on a positive note. The iron course sign sets the tone and hole 18 completes it.
Not too far from the highway/town. There are food/beverages options not too far away if needed (especially during the summer when a few of the holes lack shade).
If in a time crunch, it is possible to play a 9 hole loop. 1, 2, 8, 13-18.
Cons: Not many cons for this course. Pretty much had everything except water hazards!
Course was very crowded when I played (2 PM on a Sunday). There were several groups of 4 or more players. Had to wait at several holes. Fortunately the folk were friendly and let me play through!
Navigation was tricky at a few spots. Some of the longer baskets are closer to different holes. From 2-3: I first saw the tee for 8. From 8-9: I first saw the tee for 13. Having a map helped. Improved signs as well as signs pointing you towards the next tee would greatly improve the course.
A few of the baskets are close to the next tee. I was standing on the tee for hole 3 and someone overshot hole 7 and went right over my head. Long basket for hole 14 is close to the tee for 15. A small safety issue but a con none the less.
Other Thoughts: This was a very solid course. There is not much I would change. Normally I prefer if courses have 2 tees per hole to cater to different skill levels. Having 2 baskets per hole took care of that. If the course had improved signage and alternate tees (concrete, rubber, or natural), course could easily be a 4.5 out of 5.
With the course being as busy as it was, a second course in the Saugatuck area would make this course less crowded. There are several courses within a 30 minute drive.
I was in town for a vacation and this course really hit the spot. I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the area or anyone visiting Saugatuck (a nice town if you have never been). I don't often get up into Michigan but would love to come back to play this course (as well as some of the other courses in the area).
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great variety of long and short holes, with excellent use of trees and open fields, located near Lake Michigan and the Felt Mansion. The local league looks out for both the course and the mansion, keeping the area well groomed with newer signs, benches, and now alternate hole locations to boot. :)
Cons: Being near Lake Michigan usually means you'll be dealing with significant gusts of wind from time to time, but don't let the practice basket's environment scare you off. It gets a little less windy as you go.
Also, Tuesday nights are league nights, and the league is HUGE!!! They start around 4:00 PM and will go far into the evening, and though the league is pretty nice in general, they will consume the course with over 80 members. So if you're looking to squeeze in a quick round on a Tuesday night, I'd suggest heading to Macatawa Greenspace in Holland, MI.
Other Thoughts: This place only gets better with time, and with the dedication of the Shore Acres League. I currently live an hour away from the course, but my wife and I drive up to it for league night every week because of the love and care the league members show for the course. If it wasn't for them, we'd probably head over to Kalamazoo.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Tuck into Saugatuck for the fun of it
Pros: Well-designed course that's both challenging and very fun to play.
• Discplay: Wonderful variety and balance across pretty much every facet of the game.
+ Nice mix of short/med/long holes.
+ Well balanced between left, right, straight, and more complex fairway shapes.
+ Changes pace from open to wooded a few times - nicely avoids feeling repetitive.
+ Elevation's a factor on about 10 or so holes with an assortment of uphill, downhill, rolling and flat holes, plus sloped greens coming into play on a couple of holes that otherwise play kinda flat.
+ Many holes allow for multiple routes, but still has a few that have only one or two ways to get there.
+ One set of tees with alternate pin locations. Both sets of pins are ID'd on the tee posts with black and yellow routes and distances. Hole 10 has both baskets in the ground...does a great job of guarding the short Ace Run.
+ Does a good job of accommodating a range of skill levels.
+ Punishes bad shots fairly - doesn't clobber you for missing by a bit (but you could get some nasty tree kicks).
+ Has many holes that favor well placed tee shots over distance. You're better off making sure you hit a landing zone to set up a nice approach to some of the well-guarded baskets as opposed to trying to get some extra D off the tee. Another 20'-30' added to your upshot shouldn't be a problem if you've set up a good look, but if your tee shot leaves a less than desirable look at the pin, being closer won't help. This is a course where you could play two rounds and really end up with significantly different scores, depending the placement of your tee shots. There are also some holes where big D can be rewarded, possibly netting deuces where noodle arms can only hope for a 3.
• Equipment: Baskets in decent condition. Tee signs were simple, yet effective, with hole #, as well as color coded routes and distances to both pin locations. Concrete tees were occasionally sandy, but in good condition. Everything seemed quite well-maintained, didn't see much trash anywhere.
• Routing/Nav: Quite good for the most part - two of us made our way around in short order having never played here before. There are a couple of spots you could proceed to the wrong tee, or follow what seems like a path to the next tee, (only to find it's really a bike trail), but the good news is the map is accurate and the tee markers let you know if you arrived at the right (or wrong) tee.
• Aesthetics: The scrubby nature of the coastal flora combine with woods and open fields to provide a setting unique from anything I've played to this point. I found the change of scenery from field to woods to coastal scrub interesting and thus added to its eye appeal - very pleasant, but not stunningly beautiful.
• Memorable holes: I'll remember more holes here than I will from most courses, but these really stood out for me: #'s 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10,17, 18, and 14's just hard to throw only one disc on. Feel free to make your own list. I really liked both pin placements on #10. Wish I could have seen more of the alt pin placements on the other holes... they were in the yellow position for my round.
• Extras: Benches at every tee.
• A few holes (8, 9, 10) were bunched a bit closely together - off target shots could affect other players. These are good holes, so I see why they did it... but I'm not sure they couldn't have arranged them more of a safety margin while still retaining their character.
• Chainstars catch great but can be tough to spot in shadowy woods.
• Hole 6 seemed a bit poke'n'prayish - more luck than skill.
• Watch out for sandspurs... not nearly as bad as some plants, but the little buggers can wipe the smile right off your face.
Other Thoughts: Shore Acres strikes a great balance between leaving you frustrated and having a smile on your face by doing both of them quite well. My son described Shore Acres as having "holes with a lot of character," ...I'll agree with that. Very solidly designed course that's so well balanced, there truly is something for everyone here. Many of the holes here seem straightforward enough, but there's more to them than meets the eye. Plenty of interesting lines and variety to keep you engaged the entire round - every hole feels distinct from the others.
• Wind can certainly come into play here.
• Map shows water in play on 14...I have a feeling the low lying bowl is typically swampy during the spring, but there wasn't a drop in sight when I played.
• Seemed pretty well secluded from other park goers during my visit, but it's not completely disc golf dedicated land - there are some areas where you might need to wait for a walker or jogger to clear out of range - it wasn't much of an issue, but I suppose it could be on a busier day with more traffic in the park.
Definitely an excellent course, mostly because of the wide variety and balance across all 18 holes. Not a course I'd describe as "epic" or "intimidating," Shore Acres tests your skill while being very inviting. It has a feel all its own, and I highly recommend it. Pairs well with Macatawa Greenspace (about a 20 min drive) for a great day's discing that's a refreshing change of pace and scenery from typical Michigan courses.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Discin' in the Dunes!
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Fantastic use of the existing landscape and topography.
- Awesome tee pads. Finished with just the right roughness for that perfect grip. A little sandy on some but that's just the nature of playing in a setting like this.
- No one hole looked like another. Great variety of open, tight and ridiculously narrow shots.
- Not brutally long but some long holes in the mix to keep the big arms happy.
- Nice use of risk/reward. Errant shots are punished here but not horrifically so. Many of the holes place value in accuracy over distance.
- Fun. Every hole was just plain fun.
- Great course to bring beginners. As I already stated not an excessively long course as to not frustrate the newbs too much but still interesting for the pros.
- Trash? What trash? Very nicely kept up park. Trash cans throughout.
- Benches EVERYWHERE. Sooo nice after ambling up and down some of those sandy dunes.
Cons: - When I played there this park was BUSY. A lot of non-dg'ers were walking the trails that criss-cross many of the fairways. Definitely some safety hazards present here so pay attention to the activities around you.
- Navigation needs to be improved. No next tee signs and a course map is sorely needed. At the first tee. The posts with the hole information are nice and all but it was still a little confusing where the basket is located. Along this item I noticed there were some areas marked off with white paint. Is that OB? No idea. So some more detailed maps at each tee box would be handy because the white lines could not be seen from the tee.
- #9 and #10 are just too close together IMHO. People teeing off on the #9 tee could easily make it to the #10 basket in the gold position with a slightly of course RHBH shot. I know, it's kind of a picky con but get over it. ;)
Other Thoughts: What a great course. Certainly not your run of the mill professional caliber monster with 1k' long holes but definitely a riot to play. One thing to keep in mind here is the wind. Not a con mind you, but just something to be aware of this close to the lake. The wind coming off the lake can be brutal.
I think if the navigation was tidied up a bit this is certainly a 4.0 course in my book. I will definitely be back and play it again. If you are in the area check it out. Certainly worth the time and effort to play here especially with all the touristy towns nearby including, Saugatuk, Holland, South Haven and Saint Joseph. Just a great area to hang out and visit.
UPDATE: This course is a great example of what a good club can do for a course. They just recently had a cleanup day and with all the little landscaping fixes I just had to come here and adjust my review to 4.0. Way to go folks keeping this course great!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great variety-Some shots are wide open, some are lightly wooded, and some heavily wooded. Some shots are long (a few over 400) and some mid range. Signage is good for most of the course.
Course is well kept, and generally pretty clean.
Have been there over 5 times and have never had an issue with people on the course. Always very friendly
Cons: There are not a lot of really good birdie opportunities, which may not be a con for everybody. There are probably 3-4 that you are expected to get a birdie on, the rest are tough birdies.
There are also not a lot that you would get a bogey on. The long shots are wide open, and the tougher wooded shots are not long enough or punishable enough to cause a bogey even with a bad first throw.
Being close to Lake Michigan and quite open, it can be very windy at times. It is usually not too noticeable most of the time, but putting can be affected a bit from it.
Other Thoughts: Overall, a great course. I keep coming back because of location to me (15 miles), but even beside that it's a great one to play. The variety is what I like most.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
A Fun, Mid-level Challenge Course with Some Outstanding Holes
Pros: As advertised, a good mix of open and wooded well-designed holes with a good dose of elevation in play. The designers obviously had a good eye for Disc Golf holes.
Nice concrete tees and Discraft Chainstar baskets.
Artificial OB is plentiful and well-placed. Always a plus.
There is a practice basket and a soccer field if you desire to practice throwing drives.
Port-a-johns and nice trash receptacles are here and there as well.
The course flows well. I don't remember there being any badly extraneous long walks between holes.
The challenge level in general is about on par with the original 18 at Flip City, for example, which I find extremely fun to play. At the same time, there are four or five holes more challenging than that, particularly the run of tightly wooded holes from #3-#7 that are on par with the kind of stuff I remember from Cass Benton when it first opened.
I would like to highlight Hole #12 (if I remember the # correctly...). It's a moderately open hole near 300' with four or five very nicely placed tree obstacles in its midsection that define several windows to choose from the tee. A park two-track dirt road defines the boundary to the right, which comes into play if you're taking the biggest and easiest of the available windows from the tee. It's simple and yet outstanding. I'd like to think more of this kind of hole would be easy to find at most courses but I don't see them enough. It's also preceded by a fun and unique little tightly wooded hole that I liked a lot for the same reason...You have multiple choices at the tee from which to choose, and the easiest first option gives you the most perilous second shot (a downhill putt that could get away from you). A cool tree defines the middle of the hole with a branch sticking right where you want to throw if you're trying the anhyzer options. Nice work on this area of the course!
Cons: Although the course as a whole is lefty-righty balanced, there is one serious design flaw. Of the seven tightly-wooded holes, six are dogleg-right...and on the only one shaped dogleg-left (#18) I still found it useful to tip the angle of my driver with a little anhyzer to keep it out of trouble on the left. They're all good holes in their own right, but I would've liked to have seen two or three moderate to sharp dogleg-left holes for the sake of balance.
If you're a tournament-cashing pro, you will probably smoke this course like you do most. It must be nice. :-)
The tee signs have been vandalized, but to be honest, I don't count that against a course unless the navigation is extremely bad. It isn't. I had to look around a little during my first round but figured it out fairly easily. There is only one spot where it's tricky, and it's when you walk to #3's tee passing by #8's tee to get to it. #3-#7 play in a small circle, then you're at #8 and you carry forth with the rest of the course.
I can't help but nitpick a little...
#10 was too easy, especially considering what appears to be some extra room with which to work. I was 5 for 5 with easy pickup deuces even despite the artificial O.B. behind the basket. A good sign that a hole might be too easy is if I step up and deuce it 5 consecutive times. :-)
Hole #15 (the one that shoots toward a brown metal park maintenance shed) looks promising from the tee, a risk/reward window at left and a layup for par window at right...but upon further inspection, the r/r window isn't really tempting enough. It's very easy to throw a hyzer through the right layup window leaving you with a 100' upshot or so and get par every time, but the r/r window where it is situated from the tee won't yield very many deuces. However, if the tee was moved merely 30' forward and to the 11 o'clock position from where it is now, the layup option still exists with one new tree in the way to make it a little more challenging...and the r/r window is suddenly tempting and might actually yield a deuce if you try...but you also risk bogeying if you hit those trees.
Other Thoughts: I had so much of a blast playing Shore Acres Park today, I decided to play a fourth...then a fifth round, despite the protests of my middle-aged hips and knees! The challenge level, like I said above, is right there where I have lots of fun, where someone such as myself (no power...300' drives but decent control and an above average short game) can shoot even with a decent round. Sure, I love tough courses like Fallasburg too where I'm easily at 3.5 per hole, but for some reason this level makes the neurons in my brain sing happy songs. There is a place for courses like this and a place for courses like Fallasburg too, and I suspect the vast majority of the Disc Golfing population feels at home at a course like this.
Other cool features...Perched atop the property and watching over the course is a cool 1920s mansion, now owned by the township, where tours are sometimes available if you're into that sort of thing.
There is also quite a bit of prickly pear on the course, which is always a treat to this Michigander. Michigan prickly pear kind of looks like a hybrid between Texas prickly pear and cow patties...
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
nice, tough course
Pros: -variety, there are only a couple of very simple holes on the course, both geographically and skill wise. You need a variety of shots to score well.
-easy to navigate for the most part
-some holes are open bombers and some are poke and pray needle-threaders
-nice concrete tee boxes and the baskets are in great shape
Cons: -the signage has been abused by the weather and idiot park-goers.
-a few holes are very difficult with the trees
Other Thoughts: Not a course for beginners, unless they have a lot of resolve to play the game. Course is very long and some children might struggle walking the entire course. There are many very diffcult holes, some just being dumb luck to par.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course has had some recent upgrades to start off the 2013 summer, including new posts at the tees that give accurate hole layouts and new pin positions. Also all tees are cemented now and in great shape.
The elevation changes are moderate and are in play on the majority of the holes. I really have fun on the wooded holes because it can make or break your round depending on the "tree love" you get.
There is a nice mix of hyzer/ anhyzer shots necessary and several blind shots (thankfully the new posts help guide you!) offer a higher degree of difficulty but nothing impossible for beginners.
The unanimous favorite hole is #14 which is thrown from the top of a sand dune/ bluff and the new hole position puts the basket ~500 feet out. Definitely a hole to empty your bag on. Also the water hazard is completely dry 99.9% of the time, I've never seen any water in it. The course is sand so any water soaks up quick.
Cons: I don't really have many cons for this course. I could be nit-picky and say there should be more garbage cans but there are still a couple.
Other Thoughts: Wear shoes and watch out for catci. Bring some water and spend a day playing a couple of rounds, it's definitely a great course to spend an afternoon at.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I loved the challenge that this course presented. I'm use to the courses around Chicago which are usually pretty flat or have a few trees in the way. This course was a wake up call to my game. The trees, elevation changes and distance really pushed me to view the best path to the hole instead of taking a quick glance and throwing. The maps at the tees were helpful but could've been better so I'd list them as a pro and a con. The conctrete tee pads were nice and seeing a brrom placed at a few tees was a nice addition too.
Cons: Some holes were hard to spot even when you got close to them. The maps were nice but they were very 2d, it would be nice if they could indicate changes in elevation. Also, some maps were damaged which made it dificult to figure out where to throw.
Other Thoughts: If I lived closer I'd play this course a few times a month just to improve my game. My brother and I really enjoyed playing this course this past weekend.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
A Fun Course by the Beach
Pros: Shore Acres is a well-kept course that offers a lot of variety with its hole designs. Some holes are in the woods with narrow fairways while others are in the open and only have a few obstacles to worry about (though the obstacles that are there can cause problems if you're not careful). This course has a lot of blind tee shots, not just because of the trees but also because of the hilly environment (the elevation does come into play on quite a few holes). With that said, you would think it would be easy to lose your disc, but that normally isn't the case with this course. The woods may be thick with trees, but there aren't many weeds in there and the grass is usually pretty short. Some holes favor forehand drives while others favor backhand drives. The length of the holes vary, and they also have alternate hole locations. There are a few OB areas throughout the course that makes some of the holes a little trickier to play. The signs are helpful, and brooms are sometimes provided at each tee pad so players can sweep off any dirt or sand that might be on them.
Cons: This wooded area is real sandy because of how close it is to Lake Michigan, which, unfortunately, is why there isn't much grass on a lot of fairways. That's also why some of the tee pads can be real sandy, and they don't always provide brooms to sweep them off. Some of the holes can be real muddy for awhile after it rains, and, during the summer, the mosquitoes can also become real bad as a result. There are a few holes in the woods that seem a little too narrow because of all the trees in the way. Also some of the signs have been subjects of vandalism.
Other Thoughts: Overall this is one of my favorite courses in Michigan. It's not perfect, but the holes offer different layouts that can be real fun to play and can also test your skills because of the tricky shots they offer. The course is in good shape, and it's a course that people of all skill levels can enjoy. Best of all, this course is so close to Lake Michigan that if you play here on a hot summer day you can take a dip in the lake afterward to cool off.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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