5 Helpful / 0 Not
No black bears here, Just good 'ol disc golf.
Pros: -Solid teepads (Mostly pavement, Some astroturf)
-Innova DISCatcher baskets that are in great shape
-Nice signs at each teepad that illustrate each hole well and each sign has a little factoid about the park or something related to the outdoors which I thought was a nice touch.
-While there aren't any long holes (The longest being 301 feet) the course's shortness can be mostly overlooked due to the fact that almost all the holes are pretty wooded and technical enough to provide enough challenge for players of all skill levels.
-Some risk/reward shots with the water that comes into play on a couple of the holes.
-This course seems pretty well designed in regard to basket placements and maximization of available property. There isn't any room for any long holes in this park but the abundance and placement of obstacles in the fairways and around the baskets keeps things interesting enough.
-The course is set in a nice, quiet park in the back edge of a very nice neighborhood.
Cons: -While most holes are pretty well wooded there are a few holes that are short and wide open.
-Navigation is a little weird in a few spots. I played with a friend who had been here before so this was a non-issue for me but I could very clearly see this being somewhat of an issue for first time players here.
-Some fairways play a little close to other fairways or teepads and there are a few spots were a bad throw could end up over a fence and into someone's yard.
-As mentioned earlier in my review, there are no long holes here. To more experienced players longing for long, bomber style holes, this could be a deal breaker. Personally, I got over it quick and found myself having a lot more fun than I expected. I really enjoy short and technical courses and this one fit that bill. When I write these reviews I like to lay everything out on the table so people know exactly what to expect.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed this course. I like to throw putters and mids off the pad so this course was right up my alley. As much as I like to grip and rip some plastic, the short holes are a fun way to practice your finesse and midrange shots.This course is perfect for just that.
Bottom line-This course is a good play, One that I actually want to play again soon. The chicagoland area is plagued with tons of short, boring "neighborhood" style courses. This one may appear to be another one of those courses at first glance, but it isn't.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -fun clean nice course
-good signage nice facts on them
-good course to work on skill shots and mid rangers
-lots of trees make u have to figure out tough lines
-layout is nice
Cons: -no real long holes to grip it and rip it
-swamp on hole 11 is a disc eater don't short it
-the walking path is on a couple holes just look out for people there nice and will wait
Other Thoughts: Park on the street in front of the playground park the first hole is behind the basketball court
If u end up in the swamp I seen a kid in waiters walking through it grabbing disc so u might get lucky if u lose one
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
What! No Black Bears?
Pros: Aesthetically pleasing 18 hole course that plays in and around a forest/nature preserve. There is a nice variety of different holes that make excellent use of the natural surroundings.
Good replay value in my opinion.
Cons: Parking is very, very limited. It's basically just a strip of street next to the park.
Other Thoughts: The Redwing Blackbirds are very territorial on the holes playing over and around the bullrushes. My friends and I found ourselves ducking and running from these angry birds. Quite entertaining!
***I won't ever write a review where I give bugs/wildlife/foliage con feedback... you are outside, often in places where the wildlife was there long before the course. Knocking a place for "mozzies" and "itchy plants" seems dumb to me. Go in expecting nature and kit yourself out accordingly!***
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Worth stopping by
Pros: I like the fact that trees abound on this course. I also like the water hazard that comes into play on a few holes. I found there to be a fair amount of variety in the holes as well. There did not seem to be much repetitiveness. I just liked the feel of being out here. It had a nice atmosphere.
Cons: The designers have no control over elevation, but it is a pretty flat course. It is also a bit short. Some of the holes are a bit too close to each other, but I guess the designers had a limited amount of space to work with. The challenge from the trees help to offset the lack of distance. I also wish there were a parking lot for the park. I had to park down the street in front of someone's house. I guess that is not much of a con, though. A little more elevation and a little more space between the holes could make this a four ranking for me.
Other Thoughts: All in all, I would consider this a worthwhile stop if you are in the Elgin area hitting up Shady Oaks or Sunrise Park. When I visit my friend in Elgin in the spring, I will definitely hit this course up again. I might even play two rounds this time.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Technical course with a variety of shots required to score well. The course has also been cleared and cleaned up. Pictured tee markers are also in.
Cons: Length of holes are fairly similar. I love to see some alternate tee boxes to vary the play.
Other Thoughts: Fun course to play, it can be overpowered, however, it can bite you.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This relatively new course winds its way through a forest of mature trees. The hole design results in forced flightpaths on the majority of the holes. This is a short technical course. There are holes that finish left, holes that finish right, holes that are a straight shot, and some that require s curves. This is a fun place to play a quick round with just a mid and a putter, drivers are not needed. Tees are a mix of asphalt (painted lines on the walking path and Astroturf on a raised wooden platform. The tee signs are very nice with fairly descriptive drawings of the hole, showing obstacles, preferred flightpath and distance. A pond and a cattail marsh come into play on some of the holes adding some danger. There are a lot of tight fairways on this course that require you to hit a small window early in the fairway. I you are running short on time you can easily play a nine hole loop by playing hole 13-18 after finishing 1-3. It requires no extra walking, and 13 is where most would assume 4 would be anyway.
Cons: This is a very short course. 14 of the 18 holes are 260' and under. I would have liked to see more variety in distance even if that meant fewer holes. This course doesn't flow very well at all, it requires you to double back or walk past other tees in a few spots. If it wasn't for the numbered arrows spray painted on the walking path this course would be a real bitch to get around. The ground here can get very muddy after a rain, and the teepads look like they would be very slippery when wet. The course plays away from and back to a walking path for many of the holes. This creates waits and makes it easier to hit someone.
Other Thoughts: I guess I would classify this one as a technical pitch-n-putt 18. There are some fun shots here, and it is always gratifying to hit a narrow gap and park a tee shot. It is way more enjoyable than Summit, which this course resembles with its many very narrow fairways lined with tons of trees. Unlike Summit, at Black Bear a great shot should be able to park each hole, which is not the case at Summit (even on some very short holes).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Reviewing before course completion
Pros: - Lots of shot variety
- Tight gaps and unique fairways in the woods (assuming that the wood chip path is the intended fairway)
- Water holes flirt with the water but are not to dangerous.
- Wind moves through the course nicely
- Although short it does force accuracy from the tee.
- Tee signs look like they will be nice large and well marked. (stand is there sign is not)
- Love the Turf tee pads. Really similar to throwing from grass.
Cons: - Holes criss-cross over each other.
- The path that runs throughout the course is on the fairway of almost 3/4ths of the holes. Summertime will bring heavy traffic and probably make the course very agitating to play.
- Lack of a parking lot is going to cause huge traffic issues with the local neighborhood
- Alot of the holes tee-off from the path. There are no markings on the path for "official" line.
- In such a confusing layout there should be numbers on the baskets. If you follow the woodchip path and use the tee signs you can easily navigate.
Other Thoughts: I am reviewing this course before the course has been officially finished/opened. I am not going to count against this course for the features that have not been implemented.
The course really works your short game. Its a nice change to the other local courses that are longer and more open.
For the land available a 12 - 15 hole course would have made a far more challenging course. An easy way to improve the course difficulty would be to tee off from the path further behind the tee. Allows you to put thos putters and mids away and bust out your drivers.
Favorite Hole #18 - The finishing hole is a bit intimidating when you walk up to it. I'm guessing its like 280'ish dead straight. The majority of the fairway is a open area with in the woods and a high ceiling. Right as you reach the creek that runs across the fairway (~ 3/4ths the way down the fairway) and then down the entire right side, you encounter a tight mess of skinny trees with few gaps to get through. About 10-15' past the creek the gaps in the trees open up a lil more. The basket is slightly up a short steep hill. Pick a line and rip one out, hopefully you make it through some sort of gap.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Black Bear Park
Pros: Black Bear Park is very new. The baskets at the park are nice new disc catchers. There is a concrete path that winds through the park and many of the holes tee off of this path. Back in the wooded holes that don't shoot off the concrete path there are nice astroturf tees which provide good traction even when wet.
There is a decent mix of technical holes and easy open holes. Even some of the open holes provide a decent challenge. Hole 10 is a 300' shot along a pond. It is open, but the basket is well guarded by trees and brush. A shot close enough for an easy 2 could easily turn into 3 because of this. The more wooded hole have some tight lines provide a decent challenge.
The park is very well manetained. Through all of the wooded holes there is a mulched path to follow making it easy to get around even if the ground is a little soggy. The mulch is also around all of the baskets at to at least 20 feet.
The signage at the parks appears to be barebones in prepartion for more enhancement. Wooden posts with a place for some sort of insert have hole numbers spray painted on them. Even as it is the signs are easy to spot and have the distance listed which makes it easy to get around.
Cons: Black Bear Park is very short. You won't need much more than a fairway driver or a midrange if you have a big arm. There is only one hole ever 300 feet in length.
Pedestrians are a huge concern. I played at 5PM in March and the park was overflowing with extra people. The park has a walking path that winds around the ponds that frequently has walkers and joggers. There is also a basketball court and a playground near hole 1's tee and 18's basket. Since most of the holes use the pedestrian path that runs though the park as a teeing area, there can be some delays while waiting on people to be safely out of the way.
Other Thoughts: Holes 7 and 8 are missing the baskets. It appears as if someone took them off of the pole (as the pole is still there).
Compared to the other nearby courses Black Bear Park can provide some unique challenges despite it's short length.
There is water in play on holes 1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, and 18 that come in the form of a few ponds and a small stream. Though it would take an errant shot to land in these because most of these hazards are close to the tee or a good ways off to the side.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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