Worth the trip x2
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Good use of topography. Good mix of ups & doooowwwwns, with 1 solid 'empty-your-bag' hole.
Plenty of variety in length & shape of fairways.
Signage was sufficient enough that navigation wasn't problematic. Once up on the hills, it plays mostly through a shady canopy of mature trees.
Benches on some holes.
Cons: Single tee pads. Some are only 6' or so. Although it is the elder of the two courses, it requires more clearing in certain areas. The lion's share of maintenance has been to the lower "Pine Knoll" course, because it is more family-oriented and gets more play. The galvanized Chainstar baskets were often difficult to see from the tee because many didn't have the usual bright orange tape on the pole. A couple holes were of questionable par rating, (tweeners) but the uphill par 5 will definitely yield plenty of scoring variation. Tee signs are rudimentary and only depict the shape of the flight but not the obstacles on or around the fairway. Hole #19 was a blind downhill shot. We didn't see the basket until we walked down the hill and didn't have an interest in walking back up to play it. Perhaps next time.
Other Thoughts: Fun course! With some lovin, this could be a real gem.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Run to the Hills
4 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
best be ready to twerk it girl...
5 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Just amazing landscape up and down epic ski hills with views all around
- NO poison ivy, hardly a thorn, or even a chance to lose a disc- yet it's tight and technical in spots!
- Balanced design with many different throws
- You need some distance but it's not crucial to score well, the longer holes are tough to birdie and safer to play shorter on occasion
- well maintained
- cement tees, signs, scorecards, all amenities, brooms!
Cons: - A couple of holes, #10? maybe, were illogical could use a redesign or some trimming
Other Thoughts: Worth playing the lower course, too, now that it's 18, it's legit for sure.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Natural beauty was almost overwhelming
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + Brooms and benches and trash cans at each tee
+ Lots of blue signs telling you which direction the next hole is in
+ Some welcoming AM and Pro tees available
+ An awesome driving range that multiple people can throw from at a time (with +100ft markers)
+ On-site lodge (not open on weekends)
+ Cardstock map/scorecard free (helpful!)
+ So many photo opportunities in a beautiful forest, on hillsides, hilltops, handmade wooden steps (29 of them)
+ A 19th, really fun bonus hole
+ Two courses! Not to mention that I've heard the handmade wooden baskets at the short course are awesome.
+ Lots of sand and burrs to remind you that you're not at the office anymore
+ Long holes, long and hilly course (great to feel worked out and "stuck" in the outdoors for a couple hours)
+ Not least importantly, a really fun and challenging disc golf course ;) Especially cool were the exciting variations in basket locations which made for interesting driving/putting situations
Cons: - Some kinda small tees, some were fine
- The blue arrow marker pointing to the hike from #12 to #13 was hard to spot and I might have read the map wrong, but that hole didn't look correctly placed on it
- There were a couple ding dongs looking with treasure detectors for treasure chests of gold and ancient swords down in one of the ski hills as we were driving on the last hole
Other Thoughts: My wife and I played 19 holes of the long course yesterday (Sunday). I finished 2 below her. I considered the course challenging, but she had a 10 on our first time playing the course (and only her second full round EVER). We both really appreciated the AM tees, though. Also, be ready to stretch your driving/putting accuracy skills. Each tee came with its own broom. It felt like a luxury, a hotel amenity with a quality that's much nicer than those in the hotels you usually stay. It was windy, sandy, and impressively long and sometimes strenuous (with some quick and steep uphill and downhill hikes); it was about 68º F at 1pm, it took us about 2.25 hours to play; we took our time. The sun was shining through the trees and the colors were awesome. This is the best marked course I've played (the blue arrows were essential). The only spot that was a little bit confusing was getting to #13 from #12. Just know that when you go down the hill of #12, #13 will be on your left and up the hill. Speaking of which, the hills were great, the layout was perfect in incorporating the terrain, and the natural beauty was sometimes overwhelming. This course is the very reason we are in love with the game.
Best of all, my wife just said she would love to go back and play it some time, not just on the way back up north, that's how much she enjoyed it.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I'll start by mentioning that I played this course during the Fall Flinger Fundraiser Event and caught an extra round afterwards. Some things that need mentioning follow;
-Elevation use is abundant, up and down the hills ~ great workout
-Concrete Teepads, Excellent Baskets, Good Signage, Alt. Am Teepads on a couple holes, Scorecard at hole 1
-Benches and Trash Cans can be found throughout the course... please feel free to take advantage and help keep this course looking beautiful
-From Downhill Bombs to Technical Tree Holes, this course offers a wide variety of shots
-Navigation arrows to next teepad are very helpful and BLUE, easy to spot
Cons: Not stroller friendly
A couple longggg walks to next holes, but not too terrible
Other Thoughts: Great Course - no doubt
Challenging - absolutely
Fun - you betcha
The people behind Hanson Hills DG and the Rec Authority have really done a masterful job in putting together this course.
4 of 4 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.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
A great michigan course with elevation!
Pros: This course is played on a ski hill. It's about 2 hours north of Mt. Pleasant. There are some very interesting shots on this course. Up hill, through the woods, down hills, tomahawks, a couple ace runs too. My friend played it with me his second time and we were to go play Traverse city course (the one on the abandoned ski hill) the next day. Everyone says Traverse city is better but I disagree. I thought Hanson Hills had more variety and the flow of the course felt much better. I could just be saying this because I was putting way better here than I did at the traverse city course. Either way this course deserves better than a 3.88 should atleast be in the same caliber as Deer Field.
Cons: Some of the tee pads are very short making run ups hard but usually those are on the downhill shots so I'm guessing they didnt want long pads here.
Other Thoughts: There is camping about 5 minutes from the course which makes for a great drive there friday night after work, camp out and wake up early to play. Then you can either travel southwest to Flip City or West to Traverse City. This course is a must play though if you need some elevation in your life! Us michiganders need more than flat courses! IE. Burchfield.
2 of 2 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.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
You like hills?
Pros: Hanson Hills "Long Course" is an interesting mix of left, right and straight holes played on a ski hill that is typical Northern Michigan terrain. Five holes under 300' and 5 over 400' with plenty of elevation changes, the course will not bore you. Even on the short or flat holes the designers have used the terrain and nature to make them interesting and force you to choose a shot, whether it is the tunnel of trees on hole 2, or the finisher of 19 that you can shoot the gap or go for the big hyzer.
Interesting basket placement that is often precarious makes you keep your upshots and putts clean. (See cons)
Concrete tee pads that look fairly new, garbage cans and brooms(!) at each tee. Often there are benches, especially after the hill climbs. The benches are in nice shape and are nice if you don't carry a stool.
Tee signs that feature hole#, distance and layout at each tee are helpful (to a point- see cons).
Cons: Although the elevation changes often, the downhill/uphill flow of the course gets repetitive. Some of the hikes uphill are painfully long and steep, only for you to get to the tee and see a 343' throw (Hole 19). It felt like there could have been a bit better use of the land.
My second point is both a pro and a con. The basket placement is often interesting on the hills making you keep your shot clean, but all too often here the basket is sitting hillside or in a spot where you will rollaway. As a novelty placement or something to change the pace I like it, but it seemed to be the theme of the course.
Tee signs are new and look nice but on too many holes I had to walk up to see where the basket was anyways. It was either that or look at the sign and say "Go straight for a long ways, then turn left!". Perhaps some markers on the signs for landmarks such as large trees, etc. would be useful. But this is a small gripe.
Other Thoughts: My friend (Jmac79) and I made the trip up to Grayling for the day and got to play this and the short course. As a whole I think Hanson Hills is a very good disc golf/ recreation area. Both courses offer disc golf tailored to many levels of play. The long course isn't very family friendly as the majority of the holes are long and the hike is as well. I probably wouldn't make another trip solely for this course, although we had fun. As I said in the short course review Grayling Rotary has done a fine job of building two courses for their community and done so with quality and attention to detail.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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