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.
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.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course is built in my home town and it is wonderful. The elevation changes are the best part of this course. There is also a great amount of tree there for some tech shots along with a few open shots to allow some power shots. this course has the extras needed (Garbage Cans, Signs, Benchs and Cement T-Pads). I also enjoy the good work out I get while playing this course. I love the long downhill shots.
Cons: This course has two cons
A. There is sand everywhere.....I know this can't be changed but it still causes me to give this course a slightly worse than perfect rating.
B. The T-pads on this course are small and tacky. They are too skinny and the majority of them are two short.
Other Thoughts: This hills are intense.....running down them is not recommended. LOL. Last year when i first played the course i was running down the hill on 19 and rolled my ankle. Ruined my vacation and my disc golf for about 2 months.
2 of 5 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.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
top notch course.
Pros: This is an immaculate course with 19 amazing holes. Score cards were available at the beginning of the course. Each hole has a concrete pad, and a sign which indicates hole#, hole length, par, and also will indicate if there is an alternate tee and what that par is. For the first 7 or 8 holes each tee had a broom too. After finishing each hole there will be a blue sign pointing you to the next tee area, making it really easy to navigate. I noticed trash cans at almost every hole. This course is definitely a hike and you will have plenty of uphill treks, so it was nice to have a few well placed benches.
Cons: To be totally honest I personally didn't have anything bad to say about this course. Some people may not like that this course is really a workout, and you will have plenty of uphill and downhill walking, but this was not a problem in my book. The only other thing I could think of would be that there were a couple pads that were only half the size of the rest, but that could just be because they haven't finished them yet.
Other Thoughts: I was really pleasantly surprised with this course. There are really some phenomenal hole layouts one of my personal favorites was hole 11 which was a long par 5 straight up a huge hill. Hole 13 was another personal favorite with the tee at the top of a huge hill and a fairway that goes through a small group of trees then opens up to a wide open area. This was the funnest course I have played and I loved the way you played up and down the big hills with plenty of chances to "grip and rip". There were so many great holes and so much amazing scenery that my review would never do this course justice. I highly recommend getting out to this course and giving it a try.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 3 Not
A steep walk on a confusing beach
Pros: - Good variety of shots, open at the beginning, wooded in the middle, up and down throughout.
- Course is at its best when it plays as a straight up woods course like Myles Kimmerly. Holes 5-8 were the best, in this regard.
- Benches are strategically placed after most of the uphill walks. Trash can at every hole. Port-a-potty on site. No brooms, though.
- Several chances to empty your bag trying for that perfect hilltop drive.
- Good pin placement makes the roll-away a definite possibility. It adds another dimension that you have to consider before attempting your long putt.
Cons: - Navigation, especially on the first three or four holes before you walk up the hill, is abysmal. When you walk up to the first tee box you see three tee pads and no baskets anywhere in sight. I understand that I should have printed a map, but to have a new course with no footage, no map of the hole at the teepad, and no numbers on the baskets is unforgivable.
- Teepads are too short. Piling up sand around them in an attempt to make them seem bigger doesn't improve the situation, it only makes the concrete sandy and slippery.
- Alternate teepads on some of the holes, but not all of them. On some holes, particularly hole #11, you can't see the alternate tee pad from the long pad. This is a big deal when you waste two throws throwing up a huge hill before getting to the top and seeing the teepad that you'd have preferred to throw from. Again, there's no reason that the alternate teepad can't be noted somehow at the long pad.
- Sand, Sand, Sand. There are some holes, like hole #9 and hole #17, where you won't step on any grass at all on your walk from the teepad to the basket. Makes for annoyingly treacherous footing.
- The downhill shots are mediocre at best when compared to hole #1 at Ludington Beast and hole #19 at Hickory Hills. Considering how much work is involved in climbing back up the hills after a downhill shot, I groaned every time I saw a downhill shot on the back 9 because I knew it meant I'd have another big hike in another hole or two.
- Hole #18/#19 was frustrating. #18 is a 600 foot gradual walk down the mountain on grass (!) which feels pretty good until you get to the basket and see where the little blue arrow is pointing. You guessed it, you get backtracked back to the top of the hill where there's no bench to greet you. Instead you're supposed to feel grateful to the course designer for one more downhill hike before you get to your car.
Other Thoughts: The fun factor here is pretty low. I've hiked my fair share of hilly courses, like Water Works in KC and Holler in the Hills in KY. Never at those other courses did I come this close to losing my lunch. I'll admit I'm not a stunning physical specimen, but the fact is I wouldn't be complaining if the elevation changes here were actually worth the effort. You can't just put four teepads on top of hills and expect them all to automatically be signature holes. There has to be thought put into it, or at least some sort of anticipation and payoff. More isn't necessarily better.
Combine the questionable design with poor footing, confusing navigation, and short teepads, and you've got the makings of a forgettable course that you won't be in a hurry to revisit.
I'm sure the navigation issues will be solved with time, heck, if they'd just invest in some decent signs that tell you how far and where you should be throwing it'd garner a half-disc increase in my rating. My other concerns, unfortunately, seem to be set in stone... or sand, in this case.
9 of 12 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.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Fantastic addition to Northern Michigan disc golf
Pros: The course is very well laid out, with the start easy to find after the large Rotary Club sign (they were kind enough to pony up the dough.) This course has a fantastic blend of holes, with tight woods, wider alleyways, and a couple of wide open field shots. There is only one hole <200 ft, but a strong arm will have an advantage only when accompanied by accuracy.
Each hole had a butt can and a garbage can, and more often than not, a bench. The signage, while primitive, was effective on all holes but one (13), and there were ample next tee signs.
The signage and tee for 13 has been placed higher, in a much more appealing location. A spotter is advised as an errant high drive can easily disappear beyond line of sight.
Cons: The signage is primitive. Hopefully these are temporary signs, as the inclusion of distance measurements and a picture of the hole would do wonders for game-play. The natural tees were serviceable, but wouldn't hold up for long. Not an issue as new cement tees were beginning to be installed as we left
Concrete tees are fully installed and are 2 generously sized segments, one in front of the other. Short holes (e.g.2, 16, etc.) have only one tee segment making a full X-step difficult, so plan on standing drives for these. This struck me as being unnecessarily frugal.
For a course on a ski hill, there is not a lot of drastic elevation utilized within individual holes. Apart from hole 11, which is a marathon uphill, only 4 and 15 have upshots at the end of the hole, which you can find at many courses with flatter terrain. Hole 12 is a significant downhill bomb, but only 9, 13 and 19 have a noticeable downhills. The main ski runs are unused.
The remainder of shots are relatively level from tee to basket, and the treks from hole to hole are what incorporate uphill/downhill climbs, notably before 5, 13, 16, and 19.
Other Thoughts: Even without cement pads, I enjoyed my round here so much, I am already planning my next visit. This is still a work in progress, but all the signs point to a first class course when they are finished.
The day I played was very hot, and there isn't the wind you will encounter playing courses closer to Michigan lakes. Bring lots of water, and sunscreen as well. Even though many holes are wooded, the walks between the holes are not. Appropriate hiking/climbing footwear is highly recommended.
There is a very bizzarely placed cemetary just after the basket of hole 16. A fair amount of energy was employed to create it, yet it is only a few thousand square feet near the summit of the hill. Be careful to not accidentally uncork one off the 16th tee as you could end up within the security fence, and I am sure it is to be considered OB from a stroke perspective.
Once there are cement tees and improved signage in place, I may increase my rating to a 4, but even with that, the lack of amateur tees on every hole and more significant elevation changes within holes will be what keep this course from getting near a 4.5 rating from me.
A great course, and a great time. Catch a round if you can.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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