23 Helpful / 5 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 Žskill-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 scenery of Blueberry is beautiful. The course plays in the open and in the woods, there are several ponds, thick rough, and lots of elevation- up, down, flat, and tiers. The baskets are blue and are super nice. The tees are grippy concrete and get the job done. The tee signs were small and looking old, but still informative, and I always like the extra touch of giving every hole a name. The course design is excellent with 17 solid holes that flow nicely. I would not say every hole is a signature hole, but each hole is unique and interesting, and there are no throwaways or fillers (except for #1). And, of course, there are a few memorable signature holes, I especially liked #2 & #3 which are majestic downhill holes with great views, #10 with the multiple levels and ponds, and #17 with the basket up on the rocky hill.
Cons: [The Course]- The biggest thing that disappointed me was the lack of basic maintenance. The fairways were grown up to the point where we were having to send spotters on every hole. John talked about mowing an awful lot the days we were there, but he only started to mow (other courses) the night we left. A lot of the paths were muddy or marshy, and I understand sometimes it rains a lot, but this course has been around long enough to where there should be bridges or even just some wood planks over the usual soggy spots.
#1 did not seem up to the standard of the rest of the holes. It played down a narrow fairway that had the appearance of being freshly cut and therefore not as mature looking as the rest of it. Then you walk back up the hill you just played down to get to #2. (a redesign, maybe?)
Most of the holes here, though not bad, were only pretty standard. It is a solid course all the way around, but to me it did not completely live up to the hype of being a top 5 course (I didn't think it was even the best course at Highbridge!) I enjoyed Blueberry, but it left me wanting more- thankfully there is a lot more here!!!
[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]- This is a difficult course for me to rate. It seems that depending on when you play here it might be anywhere from a 3.5 - 5.0. Its design and setting, along with other quality courses on site, are characteristic of a 5.0, but if you catch it on a day with overgrown fairways and muddy paths (which seem to be often) it is quite disappointing. If you are willing to drive 1000 miles+ to play disc golf then are you are going to want a course that does not appear to be abandoned. I think the design and scenery is a 4.25, but I feel like the day I played it was only worthy of a 3.75- I will give it the benefit of the doubt on course conditions, and the fact there are other courses on site also gives it a boost to a strong 4.0 [Excellent, but not Phenomenal and definitely not Perfect.]
Blueberry requires quality shots, but is not a ridiculously difficult challenge- in fact scoring well as an amateur is realistic. Where some holes can punish, there are many holes that do have a large margin for error where recovery is fairly easy. I think this is part of the appeal in that you can enjoy every shot without getting bored or without getting discouraged.
Also, #3's tee is literally right beside the Honka House, so we actually started there, and finished on #2 which made for an awesome finishing hole! At times the wind can really be a factor on #2 since it is so high up and exposed.
[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!
23 of 28 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 18 Not
Pros: This is a wonderful course. Most holes have some sort of challenge and the people playing were awesome help.
The course flow is pretty easy to follow as most of the time there is only one path leading through the grass to the next tee box. The maps in the pro shop only helped a little. There are cement tee pads and the course was nicely done with rocks around greens to mark them and using the elevation changes throughout the course. There are even a few small ponds to throw over. Of the 18 holes my favorite was 17. Not terribly difficult but I just love the look of the rocks before the basket (this is ob if you play by the signage).
Cons: I heard so many great things about this course and about how this is the best course out there and sadly it isn't even in my top 4. The fairways had long grass and needed to be mowed. Some signs were not clearly pointing you in the right direction either. As for it being a pay to play it was not what I expected. Golf carts are nice but that was the only amenity I saw that was different then any other course. The proshop was nothing but a place to sign in and pay. I think the hype is the fact that there are multiple courses on this land. This is NOT a top 5 course.
Other Thoughts: I do like this course. I just expected more out of it then what I got. After playing it I was just so bummed out but was cheered right back up when I played one of THE best courses in my life in FLIP CITY. People need to play this course, I just don't think it is the third best course in nation.
9 of 27 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: This is the definition of the Highbridge experience. There is a huge amount of variety on this course. As many have said before all the amenities like nice tee pads and signs are great. There is not much traffic so you can take your time, which you will definitely need if the grass is as long as it was when I was there. The flow of the holes is great and each hole tests something different in your game.
Cons: I can't think of one thing that I would change. I like a challenge.
Other Thoughts: I played all the courses at least once on my weekend and Blueberry is the only one I played twice. Definitely a test of all the skills in disc golf. We are planning another trip up there this fall and this will be the first course I play for sure. John is a great man and the complex he has designed for disc golf is amazing.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 2 Not
Blueberry, so sweet
Pros: - Huge variety here! From the T-pads, lining up an approach, shooting out of the forest, etc. Because of the difficulty and length here (which is a plus!) you'll use every throw in your repertoire. Chances are, you'll use each one of your discs during a round on the Hill.
- Layout is phenomenal. This course is unlike most I've played where you can't hit every pin off the T-box. Strategy and placement here are key to scoring well. The difficulty here is evident as can be with narrow fairways to hit, and bending dog-legs to either (and sometimes both!) side.
- Great signage (despite some being downed during my visit, presumably from heavy storm/wind/rain) and each of the holes have their own 'name' or saying you can ponder or ignore.
- T-boxes are cement, and have ample grip even when wet.
- Views of the surrounding landscape are especially brilliant from Blueberry. Specifically, the first few holes, #2, #3
- Multiple pin placements, current placement noted on the signage.
- Random, sometimes hidden, pot water bunkers placed on a few holes. This adds to the difficulty and risk/reward, as well as the aesthetics of the course. These ponds are DEEP! I do not suggest wading in them for discs, altho the owner did tell me they're fed by underwater springs and are relatively clean.
Cons: I do not have many Cons for this course. I also understand that the grounds keeping crew consists of only 2 members. That being said, most holes were NOT mowed, and the grass was knee-high. My visit to Highbridge took place the weekend after Memorial Day weekend and the 4-day long thunderstorm that ravaged the landscape. Because of this, there was a great amount of standing water hampering our progress. I'm not listing the damage caused by the storms as a Con, however, allowing the grass/fairway/'fringe' to go unchecked for as long as it had for the grass to be as long as it was...is a CON.
Secondly, the bugs here are terribly veracious. Clouds of mosquitos await you at every bend of fairway. Ticks are also ever-present. So keep an eye out for your friends and make sure to check yourself frequently. With enough bug repellent, you should be OK, but I still feel as though a warning is necessary.
Make sure to bring a course map. Without it, you may get lost. That's not to say the course's layout is convoluted, but there trees block your view and can disorient easily.
Other Thoughts: This was the first course I played during my maiden visit to Highbridge. It set the tone for the weekend in a very strong manner. This course is an easy 5 stars/discs. Manicured to a high-degree with a ton of thought put into the layout, Blueberry Hill will awe all comers and humble them simultaneously.
I'm a bit dumbstruck by the majesty of all the courses at Highbridge.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Every hole on this course was a unique test in strategy and skill. I used every disc I had at some point in the game. The scenery is beautiful and the course is well maintained. Several good oppprtunities to open up and drive and even more chances to work on accuracy. The first hole is a short toss through some trees, easy birdie or ace, followed by two big throws with a little elevation, but also easy deuces. After that, the birdies are harder to come by and placement is key on every shot. A bad throw on any of these holes can get you into plenty of trouble. Really makes you step up your game.
Cons: There really weren't any cons to this course. For me, it emphasized that I am fat and not good at disc golf.
It was muddy in spots but that will change as the warmer weather moves in. Navigating it was a little tricky once or twice but pretty well signed throughout.
Other Thoughts: Ever since I started traveling to play disc golf, everyone has told me to go to Highbridge. It lives up to the hype. The owner John is a great guy and you can tell he loves the courses. It shows in the way he talks about them and the amount of time he devotes to them. He is very proud of this course's high rating and rightly so. This is a course every dger must play.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: While I preferred Granite Ridge over Blueberry Hill, I still feel as though Blueberry merits a 5.0 rating.
When I played here a few days ago, it was beautiful. The course and the entire site was just gorgeous. When it's summer time and there are leaves on the trees and the ponds are not frozen, this course has to be one of the prettiest in the world. The elevation changes definitely add a lot to the course.
Almost every hole at Blueberry could be considered a "signature" hole, and that's what really sets it apart from other courses. Every hole here is unique, memorable, and really offers a different kind of challenge to the player. There is such a huge variety of shots required which I feel makes it a very balanced course.
Knowing that the 2007 Pro Worlds were played here made me wish I could have seen how the pros threw their shots after you threw mine. It would have been cool to see how I compared to the legends of disc golf.
Cons: I personally think that Blueberry is a perfect course. John Jokinen, the owner and caretaker, does everything possible to ensure that the course is as good as it can be.
The Highbridge Hills Sports Complex is very secluded and far away from society, so make sure you stock up on food, water, and all your other survival needs.
(I just realized that those cons are both pros, but I'm going to leave them here anyway)
Other Thoughts: The HHSC is a truly a wonderful place to go to for vacation. Make sure you plan at least 2 full days to play all the courses because they're all a thing of beauty.
Lodging here is very, very cheap. Even if you stay in the honka house (which I recommend), it's only $24 a night. So plan to stay a long time!
It's already considered the disc golf mecca and when the Bear and Whitetail courses are done, there will be absolutely no competition for "best disc golf destination". You really, really have to come to Highbridge and experience this for yourself. It's a trip you'll never forget.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 3 Not
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 my final choice for 'best of' course went to the Gold course, Blueberry was a close second and earned my 5 rating. Blueberry has the most variety of any of the courses with a great mix of well-defined and more open holes. Distances off the tee likewise range from long par 4's to very short par 3's that are reachable by even the beginner player. All staple shots will be needed for this course and it will expose weakness with punishing rough and some well thought out elevation hazards. One of the other pros that the Blueberry course has over its siblings is the wow factor on some of the holes like the rock walls of hole 3 and the immaculate and private fairway running through hole 8.
While it is one of the shortest holes on the course, this one captures the imagination and remains memorable several months after playing. Extremely straightforward, all that the ninth hole requires is a short turnover putter or midrange; the key here is touch and angle to land near the pin while matching the angle of landing with the left to right sloping hillside. Good drives will certainly yield birdies here and even drives that are slightly off will have the opportunity to catch up with a nice putt. Perhaps not the most technical hole I've profiled, but one of the most fun!
Cons: Although it has the most variety and some of the most memorable holes, Blueberry also has several holes which appear to be somewhat tweener's for the highest skilled players. These are holes where a great drive will land between 70-100ft and even great putters will only have a small liklihood of getting birdie. I feel that the Gold level course is better matched to the most skilled players (duh!).
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.
19 of 22 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Pretty much everything has already been said in terms of Pros for this course. This course Is DEFINITELY a "Best of the Best" by all means. I has everything any DGer could ask for. And it has TONS of water hazards. Which in my opinion makes for a great course. It turns a relaxing round into a challenging blood pumping round real quick! It has a bunch of downhill bombs, uphill shots, tight windows, annys, hyzers, wind, private property, the whole shi-bang... And another HUGE Pro to this course is John (The Man). What a nice guy. Super helpful and just a genuine guy all around!
Cons: The Disc guy (Don i think they called him?) was supposed to show up with over 3000 discs!! And after losing my main distance drivers(With no Back-ups) I was SUPER eager to meet him. Well, that guy never showed up! He had about 10 guys waiting patiently for him eager to spend cash. So on that note, I wish the "Pro shop" was open for more hours out of the day.. No biggie, I survived!!:)
Other Thoughts: A buddy and I made this our Labor Day weekend vacation. It was awesome! Definitely a MUST DO for any DGer who's got a serious problem thinking, dreaming, and throwing Discs... Thanks John and everyone who makes this place possible!!
11 of 19 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course contains every challenge a disc golfer could hope for. It has elevation changes, water, short and technical, open bomber, tight wooded fairways, and open shots with just enough obstacles to test your line shaping ability.
-Great flow from the different challenges you will face.
-Out of bounds are technical, holes designed with them in mind, but not abusive.
-A long, exercising walk with some of the greatest scenery you will ever see.
-Several holes are 400+ long, a few 500+, but each are different in some way, making no hole seem a copy of another.
-Several holes are 250 feet long, making shot selection (fairway driver or midrange?) important and a fun challenge.
-2 1/2 to 3 hour round (group of 4-6) is over before you know it.
-You will use every disc in your bag.
Cons: The only con one can think of is dependent on whether you can stay in the fairway or not.
Some of the grass far off the fairway is rather dense, tall, and will require spotters. If you play alone and concentrate on staying clean, you will not have any problems.
Beyond that, there is nothing worthy of griping about as this really is the best combination of holes and challenges one can pack into an 18 hole course.
Other Thoughts: If Highbridge were not a complex with 5+ courses to play, Blueberry may be too far out of the way to warrant its own trip. However, once you are there, it is easy to see why this is one of the best courses in the world. It is still well deserving of the 5 "discs" rating despite having wild and dense rough.
Every year we make a trip to Highbridge for a whole weekend (3 days) of nothing but discing. Blueberry is always deserving of multiple rounds. The other courses have marquee holes making their courses worthy of being played, but Blueberry does not have a single hole which you would consider a chore to finish.
I did not even notice an issue with the tee pads until it was brought up here. With the ends of the pads and the baskets color coded for the specific course, they would be more of a positive than a negative. I did not have a single issue with them, nor did anyone else in my group, some of who have had ankle and knee surgeries in the past.
Lastly, I would not consider it a Con because it actually improved the course, but the reassignment of holes 14-18 seems a little confusing at first. The new Hole 17 may take you a while to play because it will be hard to resist taking out the camera and snapping several shots of the scenery around you.
13 of 16 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 20 Not
BH IS THE BEST
Pros: -In the wilderness
-HIGH grit tee pads for extra grip big plus
-Well maintained was in beautiful shape when i went.
-Very nice maintenance crew
-Beautiful views for the glorious north woods of wisco
-Course has every obstacle you could wish for water elevation natural rock formations etc.
Cons: -signs were kind of faded
Other Thoughts: Cant believe having grippy tee pads would be a con for someone lol.
2 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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