Big fun in a small space
Pros: *This is a course that you like more and more each time you play it. In the beginning you may think many holes are blind luck but you learn that it's not over time.
*Exciting use of water hazards on at least 5+ holes.
*Almost all of the holes have some kind of obstacle to keep things interesting.
*Good pacing and signage. You will never feel lost on the course or like your walking too far between holes. (accept maybe from 17-18)
*There are a couple of other parking spots to access the course other than hole 1. You can park at hole 8 or 11 and play the back nine in about 40 minutes or so.
*Well maintained course and beautiful particularly in the spring and fall.
Cons: *Easy to loose discs in the weeds during summer.
*Hole 18. What a bummer way to end the course.
*Not a beginner friendly course. Don't take your beginner friends here and expect them to have fun.
Other Thoughts: *I only live a couple miles from this course but didn't like it my first couple of years after learning disc golf. I tended to like the big open courses as I think many beginners do. I considered many of the holes on this course to be blind luck. But as you develop your control a bit you learn to love this course as almost every hole has some unique challenge or approach that is doable with a great shot.
*This 18 hole course is about the size of many 9ers which makes it a unique and quick 18.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: • Short course has technical shots that befuddle that big-throw players. It's fun for good up-shooters to outdo the bombers.
• Easy to follow and well-marked. Good signage.
• The water was an enjoyable challenge and present risk/reward shots.
• It would be fun to play doubles on this course because of the birdie-or-die aspect. It's clear the locals enjoy the course.
Cons: • It could use a few 400-foot holes just to mix it up.
Other Thoughts: I parked it on Hole 18 through a tight spot. This course would be a good course for teaching new players how to throw in woods, over water, around obstacles and such. Kudos to the designer.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Short but Risky
Pros: The distances may be short but it is mostly in the woods and is a short precision course. I enjoyed the course partially due to its privacy and multiple risk shots. There are many holes that can be aced. This is not a busy course and is mostly private, however there are a few houses that border the property. There is water on multiple holes which in my opinion make it a fun and challenging course. I will say that it is very easy to lose a disc in the water but it will be worth the risk. Some of the tee pads in the woods are nicely set up compared to the ones on the trail. There are wood chips in a lot of places which reduces the mud and erosion.
Cons: Be careful of the marsh on hole #4. I throw a disc I'm willing to lose on hole #4,#5 and #6 due to the water hazards. Do not throw right on hole #10. I would give this course a higher rating if it weren't for a couple of holes. Holes #7,#9 and #12 are too short. Hole #11 is fun but very difficult because it leaves virtually no room for error. There are not really any long holes which will frustrate some people. It is definitely possible to lose a disc here in the water or on the marsh holes so be careful.
Other Thoughts: This course is short but it is definitely fun and worth playing. It is mostly wooded with tight lines with some open shots that require you to throw over water. Like others have written previously, this is would be considered an intermediate course. It is too difficult for beginners and does not pose too much of a challenge to advanced players. I do like how the course is usually not crowded and mostly private. I would give this course a higher rating but there are a few ways they could have designed the course better. It is worth the trip if you are in the area or want a quick course to play that is right off of the expressway.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Best of the NW
Pros: Good variety of wooded and water holes and short and medium length.
Very good signs and directions make it easy to get around for the most part.
Some challenging tee shots and clever hole locations.
Pretty park and a new course.
Cons: If you're somewhat of a beginner water comes into play on 4-6 holes. One of my friends has lost a disc each of the three times he's played here, but he only got serious about the sport a few months ago.
If you care about score the pars on here are easy, but that shouldn't effect the level of enjoyment.
It's not a very long course so if you really want to let loose this isn't for you.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course with some challenging shots and variety, but overall it's pretty easy. The only thing it's missing is some elevation. The first hole and one other have you tee from elevation otherwise it's a flat course. Definitely one of my favorites in the Chicago area, certainly for someone in the north or northwest suburbs.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Wooded, water and short holes
Pros: Very good signs for each hole (I took pictures of each an uploaded them), challenging use of trees and some water throw overs or avoidance shots. Must use a lot of different shots and precision throws to get around trees. All tee pads either used the walkway or had a raised teebox with AstroTurf.
Cons: The course layout was confusing and didn't flow very well. There were markings on sidewalks and signs to help out. Navigating to the next hole on some did required you to walk through other fairways though, luckily it wasn't that busy when we went or people on the paths. The pars listed and the distances (even on some very open holes) were pretty easy. Many of the holes only required the use of a putter and not many holes needed more than a mid-range. A few holes played pretty close to each other and could be bad if there were a lot of people playing close by and there were any errant throws.
Other Thoughts: Even though the layout wan't the best, it wasn't too bad to navigate for my first time playing. The pars listed and the distances (even on some very open holes) were pretty short. The pars and distance made me think that it was a beginner course, but the trees and water made it almost too difficult for a beginner. I would recommend if in the area especially if you want to work on short range shots.
Played this course again and changing my rating from 2.5 to 3.5. It is really a nice course and have definite replay value. Being more experience now made me need less discs but helped work on the mid and short game.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course makes great use of a very scenic park. The holes offer challenging lines for players to hit, a feature that is absent in many suburban disc golf courses. It is also uncommon for suburban disc golf courses to have 18 holes, which gives Black Bear an edge over many courses. This is a perfect place to practice making tight straight throws that can be applied at high caliber tournament courses.
The tee signs here are accurate and as of right now, they're all in place. The baskets are brand spanking new and are full of loving chains. If you're looking for a moderate challenge, then this course is a great place to play.
Favorite holes: 11, 18
Cons: This course falls just short of being a very highly rated one for a few reasons:
*It does not offer much distance challenge. If you are an experienced disc golfer, you will not need your drivers at Black Bear
*Hole 12 is a 166 ft. more or less wide open shot... a hole that wouldn't be found on a lengendary course
*After hole 17, you have to cross hole 3s fairway to get to the tee of hole 18
Other Thoughts: *Mixture of cement and astroturf teepads... I know this is often listed as a "con," but it didn't really seem to affect the overall experience
*There is more water to the left of hole 11s fairway than I expected, be sure to keep your discs away!
Overall, I'd say that this course is definitely going a bit out of your way to visit. It certainly challenges finesse, but if you play well, you will be rewarded with a great score!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun Little 18 holes
Pros: I had a great time on this course. The setting is really beautiful... near a small lagoon with cattails and a path winding through a very picturesque setting. Very new and so far well maintained. It is rather short as others have mentioned but it does make you think. It requires very accurate driving off the tee and once on the fairway it does require some creative thinking to navigate the wooded fairways that make up at least 2/3rds of the course. There are several holes where water comes into play and you have to decide how much you want to risk. Most holes tee off from a line painted on the paved walking path or from a raised Astroturf tee for the wooded holes. I have to say that I love water holes and this course has 7 of them. None are so long as to be horrifying for any intermediate player who can throw 250' but they will make you consider any slight breeze and risk reward before you tee off.
Cons: Tons of trees make for a bit of a pinball effect on the wooded fairways that on a few holes might require more luck than skill. Some might consider this a con but I rather enjoyed getting in and out of trouble with the trees. We also had a few shots where the trees actually helped redirect an errant throw back toward the basket. Most big arms will find it wanting for distance as the longest hole is only 301 feet. However the trees and water force you to keep your line to such a degree that I think even big arms will find it challenging.
Other Thoughts: All and all this is a fun little course and we had a blast playing it. Hole #5 plays right over a fishing dock which was very picturesque but would make the hole unplayable if someone were fishing or launching a canoe. Also many holes are very close together or along the path so use caution if there are other players or pedestrians on the course. The 18th tee is only about 30 or 40 feet from the 2nd hole basket which could be dangerous if you are not mindful of others. As always please pick up your trash and leave the course nicer than you found it. May all your drives be true & all your putts (and the occasional drive) end with a satisfying clink of chain.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 6 Not
Fun / Short
Pros: I really like the variety. Each hole has it's own personality. If you like short technical courses, this is a good one for you. Water comes into play on a couple holes for a little extra pressure.
the quality of the signage is good,
Cons: No long holes, but that's not a terrible thing. The only thing I really don't like about this course is the safety issues with the intermingling of the pedestrian traffic and the flight paths of the holes. You will sometimes have to wait a while for people to get out of the way before you can throw. I don't like worrying that I'm going to hurt someone.
I didn't really know where to go from one hole to the next, but luckilly I had people there to help me out.
Other Thoughts: Given the choice between having a course that has to share space with walkers/bikers and not having a course at all, I choose sharing the space! This is a great course to play on your lunch break if you work in the area (like I do) And I've even used the course to introduce new players to the game, since none of the holes are really that long.
2 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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