Better than expected
Pros: This course is in a park that many locals aren't even aware of. The playground alone warrants a visit if you're a parent… This particular course is unique when compared to all of the other courses I've played in the area. Less trees, more open/windy shots, water hazards, etc… But to the review:
Equipment: The baskets catch well enough I suppose. Not really any solid "equipment" pros to discuss though. See cons.
Navigation: The teepads are marked by small slabs of concrete on the ground. You can't see them until you're standing on top of them. Once you find them though, they're quite helpful. They point you in the general direction of the basket, and also have a basic map painted on them that gives the pin location as well as the location of the following tee.
Design: I'm a little bit surprised that this course is rated as low as it is, because it's surprisingly well designed. I expected a course in the middle of nowhere with low quality equipment to be stupidly designed, but this property was used very intelligently. The designer used the pond to challenge three of the holes, included one blind tee shot over a low rise, and included all of the types of shots a designer should include: Right, left, uphill, downhill, short, long… The only thing missing is technicality. But even with that being the case (it looks like the wooded areas of the park are mostly wetland anyway), there aren't many wide open gimme shots. Hole 15 is a prime example. It's a 500' shot across a wide open field by the playground, but the pin is placed behind the only tree in the field. This adds just enough challenge to keep you interested.
It's also nice to find an Indiana course with more holes over 300'. Of course short holes are great for newer players and those of us who don't have cannons for arms, but I don't like being lulled into a false sense of talent on a string of 250' holes either. I feel like I have to earn a par or birdie on a 300 footer, but if I walk away from a round on a course with an average hole length of 225' without a few birdies? I'm not happy about it.
Cons: Equipment: The baskets are cheaply made. As I previously stated, they do catch all right, but they're really just portable baskets that belong in one's backyard rather than on the course… A lot of them have been damaged over the years too by kids climbing on them, so they provide a smaller target than most are used to…
The teepads… aren't… teepads. They were willing to pour concrete on the ground to mark the pad, but there aren't any actual pads. On a course with quite a few holes in the 300-600' range, concrete teepads would be a big help. The tee areas were all flat and mowed, but if this course ever got heavy traffic they would be dead and rutted. I doubt this place will ever be heavily trafficked, but it's something to remember.
Navigation: This course is pretty confusing for a first time player. Without the map I would have been lost. Driving in it just looks like a bunch of baskets strewn around a park. It isn't, but none of the signage is above ground. At the very least the baskets should be taped, but adding in some sort of sign or post to mark the tee would be extremely helpful.
Design: The only "design" complaint that I have is that it plays across quite a few walking paths and roads. If the player isn't alert (and drivers/pedestrians aren't), someone could get hurt.
Other Thoughts: Be aware of ticks. I found two on my bag throughout my round. Luckily I didn't find any on me, but I certainly scoured every inch of my clothes and bag before getting in the car at the end.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Throwing a round under par here wouldn't be too difficult, but using the roads and rough areas as OB would certainly add to the challenge.
If I lived in the area, I'd be a regular here. It's free, it's 18 holes, and it's a pretty solid course. There's very little to punish an errant drive if you don't play certain areas as OB, but if you do? It becomes a pretty challenging course with the wind, narrow fairways, and longer holes. It just needs teepads, signage, and better baskets and it would easily be a 3.5. Possibly even a 4. Those things are obviously very important, but this was so well designed that I just can't rate it any lower than I have.
Pros: Wide Variety of types of holes, not so frustrating as some that are heavily wooded. Great for beginners, and larger groups. Its free to play, there are a lot of amenities around the course.
Cons: Yeah there are weeds, and there is a pond that seems to call for discs to land in them. But there are only about 4 times in the 40+ times where we had to stop play for more than 4 minutes to look for discs that I remember.
I would say that the worse con is that other people at the park are idiots and park close to the basket and in the path of some of the holes. The course is still new, so hopefully as it grows we can put up some no parking in some areas.
Other Thoughts: Its a fun course to learn, especially if you want to practice in some winds.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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