5 Helpful / 0 Not
Run to the Hills
Pros: Wonderful landscape and terrain provide great variety; plenty of elevation of all sorts, but still some holes that play flat. Plenty of trees, but still some fairways you can let loose on. Several fun downhill shots and some spectacular views. Solid course design combines these elements in various ways for a course that's complete, well-balanced, and where every hole gives players something to think about.
+ Nice mix of wooded and semi open holes.
+ Tons of elevation used in various ways: uphill/downhill/flat/gulley/rollaway
+ Several really fun downhill holes
+ Holes that allow for a variety of lines.
+ Holes that force a specific line.
+ Fairways create a tasty mix of L/R/straight tee shots, ranging from lightly to very well wooded; some favor placement, some favor distance, some call for both.
+ Nice range of distances.
+ Some well-guarded and nicely tucked pins.
+ Challenge: Well-suited to intermediate and advanced players, yet not too intimidating for beginners nor or too easy for Pros.
+ Risk/Reward: If you can't hold the fairway, there's rollaway potential on a few holes, as well as inside a the circle on a few others.
+ Not much disc threatening shule.
Equipment/Maintenance: Baskets in great condition. Concrete tees are in good shape, with add'l Pro tees on 5 holes. Tee markers are simple (hole # & length), yet effective, as are the next tee signs (blue arrows nailed to trees). Course seemed nicely groomed and well-maintained. Don't recall seeing any litter on the course.
Routing/Nav: Pretty easy to follow most of the time. The walk from 17 to 18 was the only trouble spot...might not have figured that out without the map.
Aesthetics: A really beautiful course - some of the hilltop views looking over the tree tops are simply gorgeous; worth the climb for that alone. Lots of trees in the hills - would love to see this place in peak fall color. Hand-made steps leading up the hill (# 15, I think) add a charming touch and help keep foot traffic from accelerating erosion.
Memorable holes: The downhill shots really created lasting impressions: #'s 9, 12, 13, 18 and 19 really did it for me, not to mention the views from atop 12 and 17
+ Another 18 hole course on site
+ clean bathrooms in the clubhouse/lodge
+ plenty of benches to rest as you carry your bag up and downhill.
+ Isolation: feels away from it all once you get into the middle holes
+ nice practice putting area with marks 10ft, 20ft & 30 ft out
Cons: Really not much to say on this front:
Tees were a bit shorter than I'd have liked - more noticeable on holes where you want to throw harder.
Chainstars catch great but are hard to spot in the woods - flags would really help visibility plus tell you what the wind is doing at that end of the fairway.
#12's a fun downhill hole, and the Pro tee is awesome, but even less skilled players found the AM tee a bit lame - could be moved another 100 feet back and still not seem overwhelming to beginners.
Other Thoughts: Truly an excellent course; really a lot of fun and a great way to start our trip. Intelligently designed to provide variety and balance without overdoing any particular element. We played early in the summer, before vegetation had a chance to really grow in, so it was probably more forgiving of errant shots than it would be later in the summer.
Wind likely to be a major factor on the big downhill shots like 13 and 19 (most definitely came into play during our round).
Sunscreen recommended : enough walks out of the shade to get you burned on a bright, sunny day. Walking ski hills in the sun with a bag full of discs can take a lot out of you - stay hydrated.
Although they're definitely tight, I'm OK with #'s 2 or 10. On the other hand, my son didn't care for them.
Seems fairly isolated from other park activities when the ski hill's closed, but there was a mountain bike race being held the day we played, and I think there's an established mountain bike trail that runs near the course in a few spots. It wasn't really an issue during our round, but caution is warranted (especially on blind holes and some of the long downhill fairways).
Fairways are draped across a ski hill like spaghetti... be prepared for lots of uphill and downhill hiking, and plan accordingly. If you're not in good shape, you may not want to plan for 3 course day. I wouldn't want to deal with a cart or stroller for my bag on this course.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
best be ready to twerk it girl...
Pros: Aesthetic-- plays up and down (and up and down and up and down) a ski hill and around the property. I'm sure that hikers are around but when I was there I very seriously saw no one else playing.
Baskets-- ChainStars.. all in good condition. could possibly use some flags to help with visibility in the woods
Teepads-- in decent repair. it was nice to have dual pads on some holes. could use them on all holes but beggars can't be choosers I suppose. I didn't like the the length of the pads varied. some of them seemed WAY too short.
Routing/nav-- good, easy to follow the blue arrows to the next tee. Didn't get lost once.
Signage-- basic like on the smaller course but adequate for whats needed.
Challenge-- the challenge on this course is mainly in the form of the course itself. #11 was an insane bulldog uphill that left me winded just walking it! #4 the same... crazy uphills here. then there are the trees-- some of the "flatter" holes are heavier with trees.
Ammenities-- This park is pretty stocked for ammenities. A lot of extra stuff to do while at Hanson Hills.
Cons: Minor design issues-- I wasn't a big fan of #2 or #10 with their 8' wide fairways. I hate really narrow fairways with a passion
Uncontrollables-- the sand and the bugs are really uncontrollable but they are crazy here...
Risk v Reward-- it's not all that great here, the roll away potential is actually pretty small. It's odd that there is little chance for rollaway on a ski hill.
Challenge-- the challenge is a bit overwhelming at times. I'm not what people would call, "in tremendous shape," and this course whooped my ass! not necessarily a bad thing but for those who aren't in shape, this course could be a nightmare.
Other Thoughts: I personally love ski courses. Hickory hills, Carley's Playground and this are excellent examples of ski courses. This is most certainly the most physical of the ski courses I've played though.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Let's just start off by saying this is one SCENIC course. When you get to the top of the mountain it is just beautiful. In general the course has just about everything that you are looking for. It has big hyzers, anhyzers, just straight shots, and most importantly deep elevation changes. Not only is just about every hole a long hike up or down it got distance. Many courses on a ski slope like this don't utilize all of the space. That's the last thing I could say about this course. They have some LONG holes and then they also throw into the mix the occasional 200 footer. The course also has many other nice little things such as chainstar baskets, great signage, ample parking, and great maintenance.
Cons: Here at Hanson the cons are few and far between. The one con of course is the sand. It's EVERYWHERE! By the end of the round when I emptied my shoes out, I could've told you I was at a beach. I don't know if I could necessarily call this a con though, because it is required at a ski resort. Then again the sand will get all over the tee and it becomes a struggle to throw on. With the exception of that I honestly can't think of anything else that needs improvement.
Other Thoughts: Personally I'm not a fan of courses with nothing but distance shots. But this course puts a distance shot much easier. When you drop off a hundred feet of elevation it becomes a lot easier. The perfect thing about this resort in general is that If you are looking for a nice enjoyable long round or a short little fun round they've got it. The nine holer right next door is awesome. Whether you want to play for hours or minutes you can easily come to Hanson Hills and get it in real quick. Overall this is a beautiful magnificent course. When you come don't forget your flippers.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
A very good, possibly underrated course
Pros: Lots of fun shots. Good use of the terrain, Very clean.. Pretty area. Definitely worth playing of you are anywhere near by.
Cons: Potential for roll a ways. Although its kinda hard to call that a negative, it just comes with the terrain.. Hasn't been rated very often...
Other Thoughts: I played this course about a year ago, when I first started playing disc golf. I really enjoyed it then, but now that I have more experience, and have played a couple of top ten courses I just wanted to mention that it is very similar to Beaver Ranch/Conifer park in Colorado. The terrain is very much the same, Hanson Hills could even be considered prettier. I definitely need to go back and play this course again sometime, because my memory of it has faded. But I would be comfortable lumping it in with other top rated courses.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
What a Ride!
Pros: What a roller coaster ride! Holes go up and down the ski hill and call for huge off the tee with four holes over 450 feet. Baskets have clever placement so approach shots are very technical and missed putts can result in rolling discs. Tee pads are cement with hole info signs, garbage cans and benches. This is the first course I have played with tee brushes. Short tees on the long holes.
Cons: After the first two holes you are climbing in some case very steep inclines and might not be good for the less fit in the crowd. Going down the inclines can also be tricky.
Other Thoughts: Hanson is a must play for flat landers looking for some hill climbing and players looking for every shot in their discs. There is a beginners 9 hole course and mountain biking trails so it's a great stop on the way to or from the north country or a day trip.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
It might kill you, but it's cool
Pros: What a course. An awesome driving range measuring up to 500 feet sets the table upon getting there. After that, get ready to spend at least 2 hours on an intense DG experience.
Rolling hills, vista-like views allowing you to see for miles and a ton of different holes most mid-length to long range.
Signage is pretty good and the hole layout is keen. No two holes are the same and it would make an excellent multi-player experience. Pretty good signage and very well maintained.
Simply put, it's joy to play, but not a course for beginners.
Cons: Talk about rough terrain. This course will chew you up, spit you out or just flat kick your a$$. Heck, it would kick Jillian Michaels' a$$.
When you inevitably feel chest pain and the creep of death closing in, slow down and take your time. Pace yourself and take water with you. This is one of the more physically taxing course I've seen, heading up and down the ski hills with paths sometimes barely hikable.
Another thing was that it was hard to find the some of the tee boxes due to how remote much of the course is.
Other Thoughts: Even if you're the picture of health, this is a course that would be really easy to get injured on. A slip, a fall and you would be toast. There are some unforgivable heights and lots of tough footing so be prepared for the cross training experience of your life.
One of the best courses I have ever seen, this place has a variety of holes and distances with scenic views that are breath-taking.
Also, on a weird note it's the first DG course I've seen with a cemetary in it! Later in the course there is a two-headstone, fenced in, military cemetery you walk by en route to hole 16 or 17. You can pay your respects to a pair of heroes while you play.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is very well maintained and has a great variety of holes. I was able to use every one of my discs on one hole or another. Very well marked on locations of the next hole, but arrows on the trees would be useful on certain holes to find the pin.
Cons: The terrain is very intense. My brother fell down a very steep incline halfway through the course and was bleeding all the way through the end. It would have been nice for the front 9 to end by the parking lot to take a break and catch a drink, but instead you are pretty far back in the woods after the front 9.
Other Thoughts: The course was a lot of fun and well worth the drive. I was very happy to find a course nearby my cabin up north to get a round in on vacation.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
When They Say Hills, They Ain't Lyin! The Grayling Graveyard Is Rolling.
Pros: Heading north in Michigan is such a beautiful thing. What topography! Throw disc golf into the mix and you have a match made in heaven. Hanson Hills DGC takes you through some awesome rolling landscape and provides quite a workout along with a mighty fine disc golf experience. This course can demonstrate what a combined cardio/disc golf session is all about. Concrete tee pads, garbage cans with brooms, as well as a sign with distance and rough pin location are present at each tee. Utterly pristine grounds were present at the time of this review. Some holes feature a shorter 'A' tee as well that offers some relief from distance and difficulty. The first few flat holes quickly give way into a hill excursion like no other! Things are looking up! This is hill country afterall. Hole number four is likely some of the most physically taxing disc golf terrain this reviewer has ever traversed. This one hole is more brutal than some entire courses. Holing out at four requires an uphill trudge that continues upward to the fifth tee where luckily a bench awaits for the tired soul who has expended great effort to reach these heights . Some nice wooded holes ensue revealing some well planned diversity. The shot bag can be utilized often throughout this run. There are also a few epic downhill holes that are quite amazing to throw at Hanson Hills. Number 9 and 13 come to mind as well as number 19. There is much ground to cover and much satisfaction to be had on these grounds. Candidates for signature holes occur more than once throughout the course of play. Continuing right to the edge of the sand at number 12 tee gives the player a glimpse of just how far the course has wound through the hillside as tiny vehicles are visible far in the distance. Progressing to hole 17 takes you past this awesome view again on the journey homeward. Some of the holes seem to play longer than advertised showing what extreme fluctuations in elevation can produce. Others play shorter due to tee shots that are launched from on high. The traffic was light and the course was very clean and tidy which allowed the nature and the heady views to shine as brightly as they rightly should.
Cons: Some holes are still a bit grown in and rough, which will definitely improve with more play and traffic. As it stands this course is perfectly reasonable and fair in play even though it is somewhat wild in spots. Some of the more precariously perched tee pads are unusually short being half the length of the other larger tees. There is potential to stumble and roll comically downhill with discs being strewn about along the way. Be advised that this course is a workout. Out of shape people or general sluggards who seek nothing more than a dozen cigarettes and a dozen beers to have a great disc golf outing will likely abhor this course due to the physical demands it puts on your body. If you want to party, this may not be a good choice for you.
Other Thoughts: This course is big, exhausting, challenging, and excellent. It is of modern design and features some decent length over the majority of holes and it has some beautiful landscape which it utilizes quite wonderfully. There are some really heady views that any person with a soul could appreciate greatly. It is clean and well kept at this time and it shines even brighter because of this. It is evident that only true enthusiasts have set foot on these hills due to the lack of trash, graffiti, and other destructive humanoid processes. I hope it stays this way. This course is a gem that will only improve with play. It is absolutely ripe with awesome eye fulls of splendor. It upsets me that this course is three hours from my home. I wish I could play it perhaps once weekly and reap not only the skills it would sharpen, but also the health benefits it would produce. I am so glad that I pressed onward into Grayling to complete my tour today. What a walk. What a beautiful walk.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Up in them dar Hills
Pros: From precision shots through trees, to dramatic elevation differences Hanson Hills has something for everyone. Starting near the parking lot the course stays flat for the first couple holes and varies in and out of trees. At Tee 3 the course begins the first of three accents up large hills.
This course is new, and we were happy to discover all the Concrete Tees are in and the signs are well marked.
Tees 9, 12 & 19 have particularly stunning shots downhill with long distances to let er rip.
With garbage cans at almost all Tees, and Benches at many, this course is well stocked for the long trip up and down the hills.
Cons: At the 12th Basket our party headed mistakenly for the 14th Tee, not realizing that we should take a hard left up the neighboring hill to the 13th Tee. If there was signs, we missed them.
Walking slowly down the 19th fairway was a little unstable. The grade of the hill is so steep, that even with no moisture, the leaves on the grass caused 2 in our party to slip and fall... Be careful.
From Tee 13 until you get to Tee 18, there is a lot of sand... While the course itself is great to play, the sun beats down on the open sand and can make this course a scorcher in the Summer. Bring Fluids!
Other Thoughts: This course is not for anyone who isn't prepared to do a lot of hiking up and down. Be prepared to climb and descend a lot.
Tee 19's vista is incredible. While the decent merits caution, I felt like I was throwing my disc off a natural skyscraper... This site is worth going out of my way to play.
We took 3 hours to complete with 5 players... and almost no one on the course. A real cardio workout.. but well worth it! Hanson Hills is a new bright star in the Northern Michigan scene.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
A brutal new "Must Play"
Pros: Very challenging course. Lots of elevation, very good use of ski area terrain good mix of open and wooded shots. Great views from the top. If you like Flip City and Hickory Hills, you can add this one to your list.
Cons: The permanent tee pads are not in yet. Some of the tees are breaking down (sandy)and I'm sure they will get worse.
Some may find the hike a con, There are long and sometimes steep climbs up and down.
Course in not marked very well, but it is a very new course.
Other Thoughts: We played our first round with a local, He knew his way around the course, so we had no trouble finding our way. I would advise to print out the map in the links. That should get you around the course.
He also told us the new pads will be in soon and signage will also be added.
As always bring your fav liquid refreshments.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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