3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Forrest Park is a short course in Bloomington/Normal that features 9 holes with two concrete teepads for each hole. This gives the course a distinct feel as the two sets of tees offer different viewpoints of each hole.
The course offers some nice scenery for being in such a crammed area. There is a nice creek that runs through the park. It actually comes into play on a few holes without being a big hazard. It would take a very errant shot to get to the creek. Of the local courses this course may have the best scenery.
I mentioned the concrete pads above and I can't stress these enough - these are really great pads, especially for a nine hole course.
Even though this course is short it is by no means easy. Of the three courses in the Bloomington/Normal area it is probably the hardest course by a few strokes. The lines are much more difficult and the course truly is more challenging. More on that below...
The two sets of tees do add value to the course. A lot of the lines are totally different and offer a different fairway compared to the other teepad. There were a few holes that were nothing like the other pad on the hole. For instance, hole 9 was vastly different from the shorts to the longs and required a completely different shot type. Hole 7 was the same way - in that both teepads were almost identical in distance but were very different holes.
I would compare this course to Bradley Park in Peoria, as Forrest Park has many mature trees that make up the course. More on that below as well....
This course actually had some nice elevation to it. Hole 7 was a neat, slightly downhill shot that really had a strong slope after the basket. Hole 9's basket also really slopes down after the basket. Hole 2 played straight up the hill so it was nice to have some elevation changes.
Favorite hole not mentioned: I was really a fan of hole 1, especially from the long tee. This was probably the best designed hole on the course. You could either take the hyzer route or the wide open anhyzer route. The hyzer route was very busy and honestly not very enticing to me. The anhyzer route was wide open but required you to flirt with the creek and the road even further left of the creek. Great hole!
Cons: I think the main thing I can say for Forrest Park is that back in the day I think this course was probably a 2.5, keeping in mind that I typically downgrade 9 hole courses for the simple fact that they are 9 hole courses. The best 9 hole course, in my opinion, is probably a 3.5 and if that course was 18 holes and was that nice it could probably be a 5.
This course seems to have lost its luster, mainly because it seems the lines have grown in over the years with the trees getting bigger and the fairways smaller. The perfect example for this are holes 8 and 9 (specifically 9 from the longs). Hole 8 was a true poke and hope hole with no true line to hit from either teepad. Hole 9, from the longs, truly had no line to the basket without throwing a 430 feet s-curve over the trees. I think that at one point in time the lines were more clear but it seems as the trees have gotten bigger and the branches wider it has taken away from some of the holes by making them have lines that are tough to hit. Not every hole is like this but on a few holes I remember asking the local that I was playing with where the lines were.
The baskets on this course are definitely worn and beyond their prime. They are double chain baskets but they have a very shallow bucket and are very old.
The navigation on this course is very challenging. Honestly if I was playing this course for the first time I would literally be clueless where to go after a few holes. The only difference between the long pads and the short pads is that the short pads have a big green sign with the number on it. The long pads do not have a sign and are not marked. A few holes you are simply hoping that you are playing to the right hole because the signs do not indicate the line to the basket at all.
Other Thoughts: Forrest Park is nothing to go crazy about it but its a nice, short course with a nice feel to it. The navigation is very tricky but once you figure it out its a nice course to play.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Small City Park
Pros: The course comes across with some reasonable holes. A couple of holes have nice tree placements to make you shape your lines and hit different shots. There are a couple of shots that allow you to power up some. The tee pads are in great shape. The dual tee pads are a very nice addition to the course.
Cons: This course is severely lacking in the distance department. You also need to be very careful of where you throw. There are a couple of holes that play along or around the roads that go through the park. The biggest downfall to the entire course is the baskets. They are in very poor shape and severely in need of replacing. The course is also very hard to navigate. The lack of tee signs makes it even harder to figure out which hole you are at or where the next one may be. There is a lot of extra walking and backtracking to get to the next tee pad.
Other Thoughts: About the only plus that this course really has going for it is the 2 set of tee pads for each hole. If you are coming to town to play a round I would recommend going to one of the other courses. I only play this one after hitting up the others in town just to hit another course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Decent neighborhood course
Pros: The course plays through a nice neighborhood park with mature trees and a small creek. A couple holes bring the creek into play a little, making for a little bit of risk/reward. There are enough trees that you have to shape some lines, and for newer players they will find themselves scrambling to get par if they miss their line on their drive. Most of the holes are fairly short, with a couple that play longer and add a little challenge and difficulty.
The design takes good advantage of the little bit of elevation available on a couple holes. The dual tees are a nice touch, especially when both sets have nice concrete pads and offer different lines to the hole rather than just being short and long versions of the same shot. The hole number, distance, and direction to the other tee for each hole is painted on the pads.
Cons: Navigation is a little tricky in a couple spots, especially crossing the creek from 3 to 4. There is no course map online or at the park, so you might have to do a little wandering to find all the tees. There are no signs for any of the tees, many of the red tees have sign posts, but many are broken and none have any information. The blue tees are harder to see from a distance, without even the empty posts. The course is pretty short and lacks in variety, with nearly all the holes having a fairly easy hyzer line, and most of the holes in the same distance range.
There are some safety issues here, with park roads, a street, playgrounds, and a shelter all coming into play on some holes. The park was empty when I played, so it wasn't much of an issue, but on a nice summer day if the park was used by non disc golfers, it could definitely be a problem. There was quite a bit of trash around the creek area, and the park felt a bit run down in general. The baskets are older, and don't catch all that well.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice neighborhood course, and it's cool to see alternate tees that really attempt to add variety to the course. Some work on signage would go a long way here, both in making the course feel less run down and helping with navigation. Beginners will find the course approachable, with reasonable distances and little real punishment for errant shots. More experienced players won't find much challenge or variety to keep them coming back.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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