1 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.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Shot-shaping still required
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Nice older park with bathrooms and water fountains. Scenic, and built on the side of a hill that adds dimension and depth to the course - as does a little brook that runs through the middle of the park.
- Two tees for each hole, except for #8. Looks like it was removed recently for the vehicle turn-around. You can still play from the turn-around concrete though. The 'B' tees have actually been laid out very nicely to create a whole different layout. It really could be a different and effective 18 holes.
- Definitely some thought put into tee placement. There is plenty of shot shaping required around the big older trees.
- Most holes less than 300 ft, but it's certainly not a pitch and putt.
- Signs at the 'A' tees with just the hole number. No map needed really, as all pins are visible.
- #2 up a significantly steep hill, which probably makes the 300ish ft hole play more like 350 or 375.
- #3 pin runs up to a shallow, slow-moving creek, about 20 feet away or so. Definitely crosses your mind from the tee pad.
- #7 pin placement is challenging, as it's on the downslope of a little hill to the road. Makes putting a premium, to avoid a roll-away.
Cons: - Finding Tee #1 was a bit difficult, for me actually. I didn't realize that the course started on the opposite side of the creek from the main park and entrance.
- Navigation is a little weird, just because since it's fit into a park, the holes don't directly lead straight to one another. #3 to #4 was probably the worst. You can hop across the creek on stepping stones, or walk around via the stone bridge.
- Older baskets in really rough shape, that it sounds like have been repurposed from and older course. Nice that they could be used to create this course though. They do have the hole number on top of them.
- Looks like the hole number and distance used to be stenciled onto the tee pads. Most have worn off completely though.
- Lots of stuff going on in this park. The pavilions and playgrounds are mostly out of the way, but if there are lots of people in the park, it could become crowded very quickly.
- A little bit of a shame that they didn't use the creek more for a couple of the holes.
- #8 has an interesting pin placement in some trees, but from the 'B' tee I don't know that there is actually a viable line through the stand of trees that guard it. Not really a fair hole, even though scoring a 3 shouldn't be much of a problem.
Other Thoughts: - I enjoyed my round here, and I wish I would've had the time to play a 2nd round on all the 'B' tees. Solid neighborhood park 9-hole, that definitely adds dimension most don't have with another 9 'B' tees. Probably adds 0.5 to my rating, actually.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Run Forrest Run
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 1) Practice Basket is available
2) Long dual concrete tees are always appreciated.
3) Hole #, distance and tee are lightly painted on the teepads. Old DGA sign holders remain on most holes, but perhaps the signs will continually get destroyed so they decided to put the info on the tee itself. There also is an arrow to the Blue tees.
4) Nice use of elevation on this property going up, down, across multiple times.
5) Lots of fun throws on this course.
6) Lots of mature Oaks and other hardwood trees. I love old parks with disc golf in them, it just feels like nature was used correctly. The trees are not super frustrating, but well placed to force some shot shaping. It is the right amount of balance of fun and challenge.
8) Lots of fun birdie attempts and a few longer holes where par is acceptable.
9) Although the water is not super in play it is used well. There is the risk to have a bad drive go in on #1, go deep on #3, or also turn one over on #9.
Cons: 1) The turf was torn up on a few areas for construction and otherwise somewhat thin. I know it is the off-season so I am sure that the turf is in better condition in season. However, with semi frozen ground when I played and the mature trees with lots of leaf cover I assume the turf is not always in top condition.
2) Very dangerous in a couple of spots depending on the caliber of player. The most egregious area would be the walk from #3 to #4 which passes right across #9 fairway and the view is somewhat hidden from the tee.
3) Layout was a bit confusing. I got all turned around a couple times, partly because of no signs, no kiosk with a course map. Directionals and signs would have helped a lot for a first timer.
4) Distance variation is not very good. There are a few holes longer than others but they also play downhill which effectively makes them play about the same distance. It is old school all par 3 all 200-250 type disc golf. Nothing wrong with that necessarily but I prefer more variation.
5) The other park users might also find the disc golf to be dangerous as the course plays around a few picnic areas and some play areas.
6) DGA baskets are old, rusty and in tough shape.
Other Thoughts: This was my first course on a month long roadtrip that saw me play nearly 100 courses. It was on my route and a quick play while my wife slept. I know things will go up from here but I had fun here despite the few issues I had. It was cold and the ground was frozen and it was the off-season so I am sure it is a pretty course to play in summer, albeit somewhat dangerous for other park users.
This was also the first park where I started my Mini Scavenger Hunt. It was found the same day by a local.
5 of 5 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.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun little course
Pros: Alternate tees on every hole. Good use of elevation changes and available trees/stream.
Cons: Park is a bit crowded with holes stuck between picnic areas, roads, and playgrounds. Long walk from #3 to #4. Baskets are old and some have bent baskets that can result in discs falling out that would be in on normal baskets.
Poorly marked - need signs back and tee pads repainted!
Other Thoughts: This is really a nice course on the cheap and fun to play. It requires a wide variety of shots but there are no par fours. It is good at what it tries to be. I wish there were tee placements that forced you to throw across the creek once or twice.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
simple shady fun
Pros: nice variety of shots for a small 9 hole course....concrete pads with 2 options per hole...lots of trees which add not only difficulty, but nice shade as well...you can play this course when it is smoking hot out in the summer and be shaded most of the time...
Cons: placements of the holes can be a bit confusing for first timers...most of the holes are short and easy to make par...also you have to be careful around the playground area for holes 4-6 as there might be kids and other folks walking around...as of today...there is also road construction going on so hole number 2 is gone,,, but i used the practice basket as an alternate hole by standing from the longest pad on the first hole...
Other Thoughts: overall, i like this course...you can play 9 or go around again if you want to make the 18...the park is pretty well maintained...and i love the shaded aspect in the summer...with some updating of signage this course would be even better...
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Across the street from PJ Irvin
Pros: Forrest Park is directly across the street from PJ Irvin Park. The park is free from heavy rough and has some minor rolling terrain. There are large scattered trees throughout the park and many holes play in the shade.
Correctly installed concrete tee pads. 2 per hole.
Wide variety with the 2 sets of concrete tee pads.
The designer did a good job utilizing the land and making good use of the land.
This is a very beginner friendly course.
Cons: The baskets are old Mach 1's that were used at the old Miller Park course. They don't catch like the new Mach series baskets. One of them had a broken ring with chains hanging.
There are tee sign posts at the short tee pad for each hole but there is no sign in them.
The tee pads used to have the # and distance painted on the back of them but they have strated to fade.
Without the tee signs and information on the pads it's hard to navigate.
To utilize the land and have 2 tees per hole there are some long walks. There is a long walk from #3 to #4 is the creek water is to high to pass. It's not obvious where to go and an easy place to get lost.
This is a fairly short course. Only a few holes play over 300ft.
Other Thoughts: I wouldn't drive out of my way to play this course but with the 18 hole PJ Irvin across the street this is worth the time to play.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A course with great potential!
Pros: I will list each of these by bullet points and comment in the "other thoughts" section:
-Offers tight challenging lines for less experienced players (red tees) and for more advanced players (blue tees).
-The demanded shots for the red and blue tees are diverse enough that a fun round of 18 holes is possible!
-As mentioned, this course has a good mixture of distances
-Not very crowded
-Very scenic course. If you visit Forrest Park in the Fall, it is sure to be a beautiful array of colorful leaves!
Cons: -Baskets are underchained and extremely shallow
-Poor signage... holes and distances are marked on the teepads. Makes navigating the course a bit challenging for first time players.
-Some of the paint on the teepads is fading, thus further increasing the difficulty of course navigation
Other Thoughts: Forrest Park is unfortunate case of a new course that could be a very highly rated one, but hasn't been given the resources to do so.
Of the three courses in the Bloomington Normal Area, it is the only one that is truly wooded and the only one that forces challenging and rewarding shots on each and every hole. It is a great place to learn to disc golf or to practice before a tournament.
Although it's relatively new, Forrest Park DGC was given recycled baskets which seem to be representative of the overall neglect that holds this course back. This neglect is also apparant in the poor signage of the park as well as the fading paint of several of the teepads.
One note: it may be beneficial to the park to not have the nice equipment of other local disc golf courses because overcrowding at Forrest Park would lead to a situation where 2 groups of golfers could be on different tees but on the same hole.
To sum things up, I believe that if Forrest Park was set on a level playing field with most new courses (given new baskets, signs, or at least upkeep of the paint on the tees) then it would be hands down the top course in the Bloominton Normal area. It is definitely worth the visit if you are in the area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 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.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Relatively clean and well maintained park.
-Concrete tee pads.
-Two tees per hole with mostly different angles giving two quasi-unique shots, makes for a round of 18 holes.
-Mostly good navigation, with a couple of exceptions.
-Has plenty of trees, but for the most part there are clear lanes. Only a couple of shots, would I consider a bit too tight/crowded to be fair.
Cons: -Bordered by busy roads, stray shots on 1, 5, 6, 9 and especially 7 could end up in the middle of traffic.
-Playground smack dab in the middle of course. Has been problematic often enough to mention.
-Holes are bit on the short side and a bit repetitive.
-Baskets are old and mean.
Other Thoughts: Because the tees are usually not simply longer variations they do give more variety than multiple tees at your typical course, but in many cases the shots feel similar. Which leads me to another point...for the most part you'll only need one shot here, a low hyzer. There a couple instances where it won't do the trick, but you could certainly get away with nothing but a roc and a putter and not be much worse off.
It's nice to have a third course in Bloomington-Normal, however, it certainly isn't as good as either Maxwell or P.J. I do however think the designer made the most of what he had to work with, I don't think a better course could have been put into the ground. The park isn't particularly big nor does it have particularly interesting terrain. However it does have trees, and it will force you to learn a low hyzer, which is at least a valuable lesson.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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