5 Helpful / 0 Not
Decent little course
Pros: This course was pretty easy to follow. I think only once did I throw out of order and that was going from 17 to 18 (there is a hole in between). The path winding through the park acts as the tee pad in most cases, while there are turf pads for holes in the woods. Signage was fairly good, though one or two signs appeared to be missing. Decent variety of open and wooded shots at a very pretty park.
Cons: Parking appears tough as this is in a pretty residential area. Lots of shots over water and high brush and it's easy to lose discs, even with how short these holes are. Holes appear to intersect with one another so it would definitely be tough to play on a busy day.
Other Thoughts: I don't have a very big arm and this course was just my speed. All of the holes were around 200-300 feet, though there was some challenge on most (not all) of the holes. I didn't think this course flowed great, but I was able to get hole to hole with little issues. I was also surprised how little I was bitten by mosquitoes given how swampy the area was. I enjoyed this course and though it was pretty cute, though nothing extraordinary. I think I would play here again if in the area, though I would probably avoid the course on a busy day.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A newer course. Very scenic in the fall. Nice hole info signage and signage/pavement markings pointing out the next hole. Good course for a brand new disc golfer to learn the value of control and choosing a good line to the basket. There's a horse near one of the final holes of the course.
Cons: While the trees are pretty, they get in the way often. I had several shots bounce off the tree limbs and trunks. Saw one tree toward the northern end of the course (#9?) that had a bunch of gashes in it from other disc golfers. I managed to miss that one. The water holes just aren't good for beginners. I was really worried about tossing a brand new disc into the pond. Hole 4 can be carried easily, but it made me nervous. At #5, I made 70ft throws along the path because I was so concerned about throwing one into the pond. Course could get busy; saw some other players as I started my round and again at the halfway point. All the leaves on the ground in the fall can make it harder to find your discs.
Other Thoughts: I'm a beginner. Played at Clark Park a few times in the 90s. For me, Black Bear Park was a difficult course. I didn't mind the trees much, even though they cost me at least 6 shots. The water was nerve-wracking for me because I have little length and control to my drives. That said, I look forward to playing this course again.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Course is crammed into a wooded and wet section of this park. There is a walking path that winds throughout, otherwise completely devoted to disc golf.
- Lots of holes are set in well populated woods. There are plenty of tight windows to hit, especially in the fairways. Lots of small trees mean that there are a ton of different lines, though some are a lot more forgiving that others. If one were to follow the "recommended" paths, a pretty good variety of shots can be found. Some baskets are protected by trees, and plenty of greens as well. Only a couple spots where trees challenge off the tee.
- Other holes have water or tall grass to act as hazards. These holes are much more open, of course, with protected greens being the biggest obstacle. So, going over or around the various hazards in the fairway is not too challenging. Still, better than wide open fairways by a large margin.
- Some holes have decent elevation changes, and almost hole have a slight tilt up or down. #1 and #18 play by a small hill, that is about as extreme as it will get. Still, better than being dead flat.
- Great tee signs, good baskets, interesting tees. Asphalt OK, elevated wooden boxes OK. Some great navigational aids like arrows on the walking path or a post pointing to #3 and #18.
Cons: - Biggest concern with this course is the layout. Many holes play directly next to each other, and the path to get to hole #7? goes right through another hole's fairway. Heads up at all times.
- This course is a real shorty. One, and only one, hole is over 300' at 301'. Some of the holes are very brainless, as they are wide open and very short. Even the tougher holes here aren't that tough because they are so short.
- One tee is right next to a garbage can, which really gets in the way. Poor design again.
Other Thoughts: - This is a great course for intermediate players, thanks to the tightly wooded holes and various water hazards. A beginner would probably find it too hard, with lines that are too tight and water/tall grass in the worst spots. An experienced player would probably be bored to tears by the shorter hole lengths and easily avoided obstacles/hazards. But, those in between should find it just right, in terms of difficulty and fun factor.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Black Bear Park
Pros: This course is actually a wildlife sanctuary in Cook County, including a variety of trees and wetland areas with diverse plant and insect life. Virtually every hole includes some trees with which to contend, while holes 1-3, 7-9, and 13-18 are entirely in the forest. Water also comes into play on many of the holes ranging from tiny creeks to a sizable lake in the center of the park. This course features very short holes, only one of which measuring over 300 feet (Hole #10: 301'), which would make it ideal for beginners. The good amount of hazards somewhat balances these lacking distances and could make for some frustrating holes, and realistic recovery shots to scramble for par.
Cons: - Lots of insects because of the trees and water, also there is poison ivy on course per the tee box signs
- Very tight design with holes very close to one another
- Walking path throughout course often goes right through the fairway; golfers often wait to tee off for people walking
- The short distances are going to be too undemanding for most skilled players
Other Thoughts: This course is pretty new with the park dedication officially in May 2010, so overall it is in good shape. The course is short with plenty of hazards in the trees and water, particularly on the last six holes. There are plenty of trash cans, clearly visible mulched fairways, and the tee boxes have either an artificial grass pad or a white line painted on the concrete path (both slippery when wet). Perhaps the best appeal of this course is the challenge on the golfer to use mid-range and approach shots effectively to maneuver around the course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Short with conflicts
Pros: The park is tucked back in a nice small neighborhood park. There is a walking path in the middle of the course in which many of the holes play on. There are several tight wooded holes. The underbrush has been totally cleared so looking for discs is not an issue. For the most part this course is pretty flat. There is some water but it takes some really bad shots to find it.
Nice big tee signs.
Asphalt or Turf Tees.
Brand new Innova Discatchers.
Variety of shorter holes. Open, tight. There is only 1 hole over 300ft. Works your mid and putter game.
Cons: The description says this course is landscaped for disc golf. I don't think that is an accurate description as it's landscaped for a walking path that the course plays on. The day I played there were a ton of walkers on the asphalt path. A 1/3 of the course plays directly down the walking path. I had to wait on all those holes.
Hole #5 is absolute classic poor design. You throw right over a dock where people tend to gather. Check out the picture.
This park is not very big and 18 holes were crammed into it. There are 2 places where you have to walk across another fairway to get to the next hole. There are also several areas where baskets and tee pads are very close together.
Several of the wooded holes are poke and hope type holes with no route to the basket.
This course lacks challenge. I am a 985 rated player and shot a -9(45) the first time seeing this course. My Intermediate level rated friend shot a -5(49).
The water really doesn't come into play unless you throw some really really bad shots. This was a feature that could have been utilized more.
If you are in the area i'd say go ahead and stop to play this course. Do not travel out of the way to play this course. It is not worth it.
This could have been a killer 9 to 12 hole course but it's a short/easy 18 hole 4,205ft course.
Check out my Illinois Top 10.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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