The gold standard
10 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
A slice of heaven
2 Helpful / 1 Not
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 3 people found this review helpful.
6 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.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
The Gold standard
5 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
5 of 5 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.
Bring A 2nd Arm
6 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: -Geat mix of holes on this course. some with elevation challenges, some with tree challenges, some with water challenges, some with wind challenges and most with distance challenges.
-You can take a cart on this course....who doesnt love that?
-great surrounding landscape, making the course visually appealing.
-All around a solid course meant for the pro disc golfer.
Cons: -First off, make a Dr. appointment b4 going to play this course so he can look at the tingling/numb sensation you have in your arm after throwing this monster.
-wind on the long holes makes them more frustrating than they already can be for someone without a cannon for a throw.
-Questionably requires an ambidextrous person so half way through you can put your primary arm in a sling and finish it out with the opposing arm.
-Did i mention this course is a beast?
Other Thoughts: My rating on this course is strictly rated from my perspective. I do not have a huge throw. Prefer shorter, more technical courses because of this. This course is NOT for a newbie to the game. I have played many years and this course kicks my ass and more importantly my arm. It actually affected my ability to throw a quality round on 1 of the other courses on the grounds that dont require a bazooka. All said and done i will say this course is absolutely a great course and makes me jealous of those that do have the arm to put up a solid score. I, and i highly doubt im alone on this, am an experienced thrower who played this and walked away feeling like less of a man. From a pro thrower standpoint, this course has got to be a 5. Experienced players and under can prepare by wearing their skirt on this one cuz you will consider a sex reassignment surgery following the conclusion of this course. The course in general deserves a 5. The course and how it satisfies the range of discers out there really only caters to the big throwers.
6 of 12 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I'm going to start out with this. If you have not been to Highbridge make your plans now. You are missing out if you have not been there. Plan to spend at least 3 days to enjoy what the golf offers.
Gold is exactly what it is designed to be. It's an absolute beast designed for the best players in the World. At the 2007 Pro Worlds the best round on this course was a 55. After you play it imagine shooting a 55 on this par 69 course.
That land has a great mix of rolling hills, open, woods, and everything in between. Although there are a handful of standard par 3 holes you get bombarded with par 4's and 5. #6 is an absolute monster of a par 6. Yes, Par 6!!!
Great long and level cement tee pads.
Awesome Innova Discatcher baskets.
Adequate tee signs with A & B pin locations and par.
I like the use of the elevated ball golf tee area. It makes for a great green on #9.
If you like throwing a power driver this is the course for you. You are going to get many chances to mash!!!
Along with the mashing you are going to get brutalized by some of the longest and nastiest wooded holes. 6 is just downright filthy!
The Island Hole on #16 is a great concept.
Cons: These don't hinder my rating of this course. Although not the best the tee signs could be upgraded to the best of the best.
Highbridge is a huge piece of property. Depending on when played the grass can be somewhat long. It depends on when John mows.
Other Thoughts: I absolutely love Highbridge. There is a course for everyone here. I have Blueberry, Gold, & Granite as 5 disc courses. It's my #1 favorite place to play disc golf. Keep in mind that this is in the middle of nowhere. Be prepared (food, water, etc...) and bring some good hiking shoes. Bring a friend and spot for each other. This is no walk in the park. I have spent over 2 weeks at Highbridge and the golf is fantastic!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: [The Complex]- There are presently 5 complete 18-hole courses, with 2 more still being constructed. I like the fact that the courses are designed to be at varying levels of difficulty (hardest-> Gold-Granite-Blueberry-Woodland-Chestnut <-easiest) so if you come and play them all you will have a well-rounded experience of both challenging ¬skill-testers and more relaxing, fun rounds. Each course has different colored baskets that correspond to the course's name. The courses are set on an amazing piece of land that is huge and contains many natural features that are ideal for disc golf (open, woods, elevation, and ponds). The land is dedicated purely to disc golf and is so isolated that only disc golfers will be here, and chances are you will have these courses all to yourself. Huge props need to be given to the course designer for placing all the courses where they aren't on top of each other, each has its own character, and individual hole design is very creative and well-done. John, the owner, is very nice and loves to have people come and play. He works extremely hard on the courses and on the facility as a whole.
[The Course]- The Gold course is definitely a Gold Level course. The baskets for this one are the standard yellow band Discatchers. It consists of 18 challenging holes, a lot of it set on land that was a ball golf course. The biggest aspect that makes it harder is its length. There are 2 sets of tees (white-shorter, gold-super long), with the exception of only one tee on a few of the shorter holes. The white tees would still make it the hardest course at Highbridge, and the Gold tees are designed for those blessed with the really big arms. It is more wide open than Blueberry and Granite and the rough was not as thick, but there are still many spots where accuracy is necessary. This course is also more affected by wind as it is on the side of the ridge that faces the lake and it is more exposed to the elements due to being more open.
Some things I personally really liked about Gold: 1) there is a superb mix of alternating between open and wooded holes; 2) not being a long thrower I enjoyed that there were several shorter holes mixed in at just the right time providing for a great contrast from hole to hole; 3) there were a few pond water hazards as well as the unique island green of #16 surrounded by a moat; 4) it is not boring wide open long, but legit par 4/5 style where you have to strategically play your way down each fairway; 5) the views of the scenery are the best on the Gold course; and 6) though designed for gold level players it can still be enjoyable by intermediate players.
Cons: [The Course]- The only minor con (for me) was the day I played the wind was insanely gusty making it even harder (probably was the strongest wind I have ever played in) to the point that it took away from the total enjoyment just a bit. A worker said the wind often picks up quite a bit on summer afternoons.
Basically the only thing keeping this course from being a 5.0 for me is the lack of attention to amenities and lack of completion of the complex as a whole.
[The Complex]- Can be summed up in two words- trashy and incomplete. The land is beautiful but is littered with junk and trash and numerous unfinished projects. And then add on top the most important thing of trying to maintain 5 courses while building 2 more, but nature is easily overtaking things. John is fighting a losing battle with an unpaid staff of 2 that can't complete the things that are already here while simultaneously trying to build more stuff. Things appeared to be breaking faster than they could be fixed. The campground was trashy and smelled of raw sewage in several spots. The Honka House has a lot of potential but the pics of the outside don't tell the whole story- inside it is missing basics like drywall, outlet covers, lights, etc. and seems to be used as much for storage of junk as it is for housing guests.
Other Thoughts: [The Course]- The Gold course is designed to test the very best, and it definitely does. I think it is the most complete of all the courses at Highbridge. This is one course where you can rent a golf cart, but it is not really necessary. And John told us later that there is a bear den on one of the holes. (We joked later that it would have been nice to know that before hand and not afterwards!!!)
[The Complex]- If you like lots of holes and very rustic lodging then you will love it here. If you have high expectations of well-manicured courses and hotel-like lodging then prepare to be disappointed. John's mission is noble as he wants people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and has plans to have 7 courses, as well as numerous other activities, but he does not seem concerned with creating a first-class disc golf facility. He dreams big, but appears to have bitten off more than he can chew. Highbridge needs manpower, but does not have the advantage of disc-golf loving locals or park workers that most other courses have. Other private courses don't either, but are usually only 1 course, not 7, and much easier to maintain!
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Highbridge Gold is very likely the longest 18 hole course I've ever played. If you play from the gold tees, the holes average around 550 feet, which is 200 feet more than I'm used to. But several of these shots are not just open field where you have to just bomb it. Some of them, like #6, play either 730 or 920 ft. through a wooded area. It's a very challenging and potentially frustrating course. My group and I were more frustrated than we were happy about our shots but we thoroughly enjoyed every second we were playing here. It really humbled us and taught us that we still have a long way to go...
Hole #8, in my opinion, was the signature hole at a distance of 1325 feet and justifying a par 6. It's a great feeling to crush a disc if you have some built up frustration from the prior holes, and this is the perfect hole to do it.
Gold is a perfect championship course and therefore warrants a perfect 5.0.
Cons: This is definitely not a beginner's course. If you can't throw above 300 feet consistently, this is not the course for you. If you're used to your local park where the holes vary between 150-300 feet, you're in for quite the surprise here.
Also, the Highbridge Hills Sports Complex in general is very far away from any stores or restaurant, so make sure you stock up for your stay with lots of food, water, alcohol, and that sort of thing.
Other Thoughts: The HHSC is an amazing place to go. The scenary is wonderful, the people you'll meet are amazing, and the courses here are nothing short of being the best in the world.
If you get the chance, say hi to John Jokinen, the owner and care taker, and thank him for everything he's done. He's a very nice guy who puts in a ton of time with the courses, the cabins, the honka house, and the entire site in general.
Feel free to message me about any of the courses or HHSC in general and I'll try my best to answer any questions. :)
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
No Fools Gold Here
Pros: I drove up to the Highbridge complex of courses fully expecting to be underwhelmed - sure they had bunches of courses, but were they really the cream of the crop? The answer is a confident 'yes' - these courses and the complex itself lives up to expectations!
Although Blueberry Hill is currently rated top dog at Highbridge, the Gold course managed to grab the top spot for me. The Gold course, while not having the variety of holes that Blueberry does, had the most consistency and challenge. Chuck Kennedy's careful design work and attention to detail really stands out on many of the par 4 and 5 holes. On each, I felt that I had several nearly equal options off the tee to mix and match with knowledge of course conditions and personal confidence. Landing zones are apparent but not easy to reach and plenty of opportunities are available for aggressive play or defensive play depending on player strengths and weaknesses. The Gold course will test not only the shots in your bag but knowledge of strategy. Liek Blueberry Hill, all staple shots will be needed for this course (and probably a few unorthadox when in trouble) and it will expose weakness with punishing rough and some well thought out elevation hazards. Blueberry isn't the only course with 'wow' - few tees impress and intimidate as much as the 1325' eigth.
Cons: Gold lacks a bit of the variety and accessibility of Blueberry and appeals to a slimmer range of skill levels. At the same time, part of what makes this course stand out so much is its consistency and unrelenting nature.
Other Thoughts: To anyone who is wondering if this place is worth a trip - definitely! Although I only had a day to play all of the courses, I feel like I could have easily spent a week here without getting bored. Camping, wilderness, golf carts, and tons of natural beauty all make this place one of the best destinations in disc golf.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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