Long and demanding.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Disclaimer: This is a review of the course before the idiotic music festival.
Gold is the long, more open 18 at Highbridge Sports Complex.
Concrete tees on every hole. Most have multiple tees, although the shorts tended to be overgrown and not well kept. This is Gold...play the longs, dummy.
Chainstar baskets, mounted well enough. Like everything at Highbridge, they're showing their age, but they still perform. Many holes have multiple pin positions listed, but I doubt the pins actually get moved. One thing the do really well on this course is pin placement, though. Lots of tucked baskets, hillside baskets, and more. You really have to think about where you place your drives to be able to get at some of them.
Gold has distance. Lots of it. Sure, there's a few deuce opportunities (although they require decent shots), but the main attraction of Gold is long placement golf. How many places have a 1400+ foot hole? Not many. You get plenty of opportunities to blast drives, but they need to be accurate in most cases in order to get good lines for a second shot.
The design here is really good for how open it feels. One of the members of our group commented on how there were hardly any NAGS (not a golf shot) on the entire course (at least at our skill level). There's not a lot of tweener holes, which is nice. Also, while it feels open in some areas, even then the obstacles force you to work a certain line.
Plenty of tight tunnels here as well, especially at the beginning. By the time you get to hole 8 (the bomber), you're happy to be out of the woods. The first set of holes has a few that are deuce opps, but it's also littered with long, winding, tight fairways. Control is the name of the game there.
Cons: The tee signs were the old laminated paper signs, and they're rough. Navigation isn't really an issue, but still.
It's Highbridge. You're looking at 50/50 that it will be mowed and in good shape. Gold does seem to be John's baby, though, so it gets more attention than some of the other courses.
It's hard to get past the fact that Gold feels like the preamble to a horror flick in several places. Multiple unfinished cabins, a small shack that we were sure was used for some sort of animal torture, and just general malaise all over the course.
Oh, and there's a bear den in between holes 8 and 11/12. My buddy and I got chased (chased meaning we cried like little girls when the bear was 100 yards away) up hole 8's fairway the first time we were up there.
Other Thoughts: Gold is an asskicker. A wonderful, beautiful asskicker. In pristine condition, it's closer to a 5.0 than a 4.5...it's just hardly ever in pristine condition. Big shots, tunnel shots, tough birds, great pin placements...it's all here. Not to mention some great scenery. The fact that it's on a property with so many other great courses helps the cause, for sure.
It's a long round. Your arm will be tired. And then you'll want to play it again. A must play.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Gold has seen better days
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Good mix of length (although it is skewed more towards longer distance)
-Good mix of shot shaping required
-Good mix of tight, wooded holes and open holes
Cons: -Fairways are in awful shape, grass gone on many holes. In it's place is lumpy mud.
-Garbage is everywhere.
-In general, the course and amenities are badly in need of repair.
-Signs are at each hole, but mostly destroyed
-Benches are at each hole, but mostly destroyed
Other Thoughts: As much as I wanted to like this course, I couldn't. The basic structure and layout are definitely there to be a championship caliber course. If you look at the photos of the course on here, look at them with a grain of salt. Yes, the holes are still that length and shape. But, imagine it with garbage everywhere and multiple fairways destroyed from car tire tracks turning it into a mud pit. Not only that, but the buildings on the property are in serious disrepair. The "clubhouse" at the beginning was filthy with broken glass. The concession area was not open and from the looks of it you wouldn't want anything from it anyway. This was midday on a Saturday by the way, so everything should have been open.
On to the course itself, I can't stress enough: the layout, distance and hole shapes are all top notch. This is definitely a course for the more advanced player, especially because of the severe distance on several holes. There were additional challenges presented with the terrain in such terrible shape, not as though the course needed more challenge. Additionally, the course has had issues with being mowed lately. On this particular day, it was badly in need of mowing. The first nine holes were worse than the last nine. There were times when the grass was thigh high and that was supposed to be the fairway. All in all, I was thoroughly unimpressed with the course and actually quit the day of disc golf early because of the condition of the Gold course. I had planned on throwing at least one more course and maybe two, but enough was enough. In it's current shape, I cannot recommend this course. If it gets fixed up (which would take a lot of time and money) then by all means I would come back. But until that happens, I will not be back.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Best Course, Best Compound
Pros: Great range of hole types, nice range of distance (including the 1650 ft. hole... hell yes).
Very well designed holes. Never encountering anyone else - total privacy and leisurely pace.
Cons: Occasionally the grass is long - literally, that's it.
Other Thoughts: Highbridge Hills is the most incredible place in the world. So much so that most people end up making an annual pilgrimage of it with their best friends. I will come here at least 1-2x per year for the rest of my life and it is my #1 priority every year.
John, the course owner and manager, is a special soul and incredibly has never played a full 18 holes on the complex - a complex that is among the best in the world. He is a wonderful enigma.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Total disc golf destination
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Highbridgehills over all is a top disc golf destination. The gold coarse is more for the top line player.Distance off tee is must some tee shot require accurate placement to set up accurate 2nd shot to basket. Out of all the coarses there this would be the more difficult one. A pro I think would need to throw over400 feet from tee to compete.
Cons: Can't say to much there. Although if one player has a substancial advantage off tee in distance you would have hard time tring to compete.
Other Thoughts: I traveled around the last few summers playing disc golf coarses. the highbridge hills complex is the best place I have played hands down
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 3 Not
Highbridge=Disc Golf Heven
Pros: The Championship Level course at Highbridge brings all the elements of the course together with tight fairways, big bombers, ace runs and water holes. this course has it all without any little dinkers to fill it in. This is a must play if you make the trek to highbridge (which everyone needs to do).
Cons: There is no system to keep track of what pin position the basket is in, strongly suggest playing with at least three preferably four or more so you can team up to take on this monster and split up scouting/spotting duties.
Mosquitoes can get bad from the end of May to through June so bring the bugspray and long sleeves. Since this is a multiple course complex keeping up on the mowing can be a bear, check with John to make sure it is in decent shape.
Other Thoughts: I may be a little jaded just returning from my first highbridge Adventure. We played this beast in teams of three and I managed to hit in ace on hole 4, but on the way up we hit Blue Ribbon Pines, Bryant Lake and Mont Du lac and while those all have their perks, there is nothing like Highbridge in the world with 6+ Courses on one property, and this being the signature course (some might argue its Blueberry, but there is a reason this is the gold course), I have to give it a 5, please go and support John and have the time of your life at Highbridge Hills.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 1 Not
The gold standard
Pros: The course begins with six or seven holes with long, pleasant, tree-lined fairways that are not terribly wide. These are truly a test of how far you can throw with excellent placement. If you are the macho guy who only throws high-speed drivers off the tee, you are in for a humbling experience. The rough is not the worst I've seen by any means, but it will punish you. Many of these fairways also have small trees interspersed throughout the fairways, so playing multiple times will give you an idea of ideal landing spots for your next spot. You need to be thinking ahead.
Hole 8 changes pace in a dramatic way. It is over 1000 feet long down a gently rolling fairway. This hole gave me a feeling I usually only experience when skiing: the chuckling admiration of beautiful terrain you're about to rip through. Or in simpler terms, the feeling of "Whoa...really?" There is a pretty wide fairway to do your damage on, but it's thin enough that you need to keep it in control. You'll feel like a schmuck if you go in the rough and have a boring out shot on this hole. I'm anything but a grip-and-rip fanatic, and I loved this hole.
Hole 10 was one of my favorites, a long drive out to a left-sweeping fairway with an OB road on the right and a troublesome grove of pine trees to the left. They have no branches from the ground to about 4 feet, so you'll have a shot if you land in them, but it could be a forehand roller from your knees or a weird upside down shot. Fun hole.
The rest of the course features holes that are pretty similar to Granite Ridge: fairly long holes where staying on the fairway was crucial. Some of them were prairie fairways, others more wooded. Despite the monumental length, there were one or two ace runs as a nice respite.
Cons: Given the length, you never knew which position was in use, and you sure aren't going to walk these fairways before driving. Play this one more than once if time allows (I only got to play it the one time, unfortunately).
As with all the courses at Highbridge, the tee signs are mediocre. Some will show a straight shot when the fairway obviously bends. I'm skeptical of the distances shown (I think they underestimate the true distance). Some are faded and difficult to read.
All of the Highbridge courses have some issue with searching for discs. If you can play here with friends, do. I played this course more carefully and successfully avoided much of the tall grass, but it's not fun if you don't.
Other Thoughts: After playing Blueberry and Granite Ridge the previous day, I decided I was going to try to stay on the fairway no matter what, even if it meant a really unaggressive shot. I'm glad I did, and I'd recommend the same to anyone else. If you try to throw full drives, you'll end up in some bad spots and won't enjoy the course, and your score will suffer. I have never been so happy to shoot an 83.
I max out around 300 feet and don't usually enjoy ultra-long courses. I don't like playing in strong winds, and the day I played had sustained 30+ mph winds. And yet despite this, I had a blast playing this course. This is one that makes you realize what you need to do to get better. It's not about how far you can throw your warp-speed driver, it's about how far you can throw your putter and have a safe landing. If you have great long-distance accuracy with a faster disc, you just picked up some strokes.
I wish I could have seen the pros handle this at Worlds. And I can't wait to play it again.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
A slice of heaven
Pros: Another amazing course at HH. Long and tests your game in every aspect, shots, stamina, and mind. Not much to say that others haven't.
Cons: ...........A couple bigger trash cans but I'm sure that would help the bears more then us.
Other Thoughts: It might not be prefect in every possible way but its as close to perfect as any course I've played,(91 and counting). If you haven't made it to HH plan a trip, pack lots of food and drinks. Come to a wonderful inviting complex. It might not be your perfect city park but guess what its better. Your more with nature and the peace in your soul. Take a few minutes away from the disc golf to take it all in.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Gold is a spectacular course. I have come up to Highbridge almost every year for about 6 years now (since I began playing disc) and Highbridge Gold was never a course I enjoyed a lot, until recently... now it is my favorite course on the grounds. Beginners Beware! Gold is not overly technical, just long. Pros will be challenged but should score under the posted par. There are multiple opportunities to rip drives into wide open fairways-. The first six holes are through the woods and so are holes 14 and 15. The rest of the course is fairly open and long- mainly 400+ foot holes.
•#8: 1400+ ft hole, wide fairway, slightly sloping downhill almost the whole way.
•#11: Basket near a bear den (I believe it is not active...)
•#16: 270 ft hole with an island green- surrounded by a moat
Bombs- opportunity to rip drives into wide open fairways- especially hole #8.
I've played this course about ten times ~6 different trips through varying times of the year and I don't think I've even seen another group on the course, let alone have wait for them on a hole.
Great tee pads- large and grippy.
John (the owner of Highbridge Hills) has golf carts available to rent for this course. It is a great course to kick back and drive to your disc- especially if you can bomb them.
Cons: Me being very picky- Hole 16 is not 100% surrounded by a moat. Actually there is a fairly wide strip of land in front of the green- I asked John to remove this and make it a true island green- tell John he should do this if you agree.
Other Thoughts: If you make it up to the Highbridge Hills complex, chances are you drove a long way, so it doesn't make sense to play just one course. The great thing about the courses at HH is that they vary in difficulty and styles, so pending on your skill level or what you're in the mood for, there is a course that will most likely fit your needs. As standalone courses, three are still absolutely amazing- Granite, Blueberry and Gold - if one of the courses doesn't satisfy you, you only have to walk a couple hundred feet to a totally different course- The Bear- long, tight and woodsy- very hard, Gold-very long, mostly open, Granite- mostly open, fairly long, Woodland Greens- short technical course through the woods, numerous ace runs, Blueberry- open and woodsy, some long, some short technical holes. The grounds are organic, beautiful and calm.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The Gold standard
Pros: This is a very long, challenging course. It starts out more wooded at the beginning then opens up on the second half. There are large, level and grippy concrete tee pads on every hole. Most holes have two sets of tees however not all short tees are concrete. There's a good mix of left, right and straight shots and the distances are nuts here. The shortest hole is #2 at 260 feet and the longest is a monstrous 1426 feet on hole #8. The baskets are disccatchers. They are all in excellent shape and catch well. There are garbage cans and nice homemade benches on nearly every hole. The navigation here isn't a problem with there being next tee signs where they are needed. They provide scorecards with a solid map on the back of it in the pro shop as well. If it's your first time it wouldn't hurt to take a map for any of the courses you want to play. The signs are just like on all the other courses on site. They provide a basic hole map, hole #, pars and the different pin locations and distances for each. There's not as much elevation variation here as there is on Granite Ridge, however that doesn't mean it's completely flat either. There's enough to keep it interesting. The wind is the main factor on most holes on the Gold. The rough can be pretty brutal in a number of areas so staying on the fairway is key. errant shots will cost you here as much as any of the other courses. You can rent golf carts for this course as well as Granite Ridge too which is pretty sweet. The course starts north of the pro shop near woodland greens and granite ridge. You will need to use all your different shots when playing the Gold. Great mix of left, right and straight shots. The views are fantastic on this and all the other courses. It's by far the most peaceful place I've ever seen to disc golf at. It boggles my mind how anybody could not enjoy playing here.
Cons: Just like the other courses here or anywhere in northern Wisconsin the bugs can get bad. Again not really a con since there's nothing they can do about it. Just be sure to bring plenty of bug spray. Also liquids because these courses will take their toll on you. Other than that nothing I can think of.
Other Thoughts: As I've said in all my other Highbridge reviews, this is a must play for any serious disc golfers out there. You will not be disappointed with your trip to Highbridge. I rated this a 4.5 because I haven't played every course out there so I can't say it's the best of the best. That's why I don't give out 5's. But any of these courses up here are about as close as you can get.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
A terrific challenge
Pros: I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of this course. It was a long, grueling course that required multiple good shots on a lot of holes. Even though the holes were long most required me to throw something other than a distance driver off the tee so I could keep it in the fairway. You really have to be smart about your disc selection. There is one very long, open, downhill hole that allows you to bomb a drive or two as far as you can.
I know some people don't like how far from just about everything this course is located but I love it. There aren't many people there and you can just appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
Cons: Ticks are everywhere just like the rest of northern Wisconsin.
Other Thoughts: I know the course can be a bit swampy if they get a good amount of rain and its hard for one man to keep up with maintaining all those course but the conditions were great when I was there. Just lucky I guess, and because of that this is one of my favorite courses. High bridge is definitely worth the trip for an avid disc golfer looking for a challenge.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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