7 Helpful / 11 Not
Tough to Beat
Pros: It really is tough to beat this course - it truly has it all. Elevation, water, the fun factor, some distance, and a good challenge. I have played many courses around the country and felt compelled to rate the Highbridge courses (along with Flip City). What Blueberry Hill has over Flip City is the challenge factor. Blueberry Hill offers a little bit of everything: water, elevation, distance, open holes, wooded holes, option holes (hole 11 comes to mind), and overall beauty. Blueberry Hill (like the rest of the Highbridge courses) offers a real challenge and are great tournament courses. Blueberry Hill is definitely the "best of the best"! Holes 10 through 13 offer such an amazing four hole stretch. The pond factor at Blueberry really makes you think about shot selection. Go to Highbridge and stay for a week!
Cons: Tough to find any cons about the coolest disc golf facility in the world - I wasn't a big fan of hole 17, but if that's my only complaint then that's my only complaint. The bugs really weren't that bad, as some of the other reviewers have seemed to imply. The distance from civilization could be a con, but I enjoyed the secluded weekend.
Other Thoughts: No question about it - the Highbridge courses are the top of the line. If you haven't been out to Highbridge, Wisconsin, then do it. That's all I have to say.
7 of 18 people found this review helpful.
29 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: As with all the courses here; nice tees. Long and roughed. All level; many with landscaping around them. Tees at theses courses are poured perfectly. Sloped for water drainage. Thick crusher run surround; again done to specs of high quality. Slope, for drainage; but gradual slope for entrance and exit from tee area.
Two sets of tees for various skill levels. I think the red (short) tees are very rarely played and slightly difficult to find.
Signage a bit weather worn; but serves purpose well enough. We thought a number of the hole lengths were under actual length.....but, whether this was due to length increase or our feeling everything was 50 foot longer than actual, due to playing good/tough courses on good/tough terrain; is undetermined.
Fairly good signage in regard to where to go to next. Blueberry probably does this the best any course here...probably because it is realized this course is played by a very high percentage of visitors.
Benches for taking a breather; available often. Shade placement of said benches done well.
The course is filled with quality shots. Blue level players will find nearly every hole challenging. Multiple pin placements. Long pins (which seemed to be in place in abundance), knock these holes into true par 4 land for all but the best of players.
Maintenance of this complex, and Blueberry in particular, is phenomenal; given the size and toughness of terrain. Many areas; especially on the greens; require weed whacking; in addition to mowing. Imagine the love and dedication (both in heavy doses to make this happen) needed to keep these courses playable; much less looking good. Memorial Day weekend, owner John Jokinen, himself, mowed from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Friday evening/Sat. morning (followed by working an eight hour shift, delivering mail). Sounds like he was trying to catch up for the weekend crowd...but, this kind of dedication is needed from April to September, to keep things in what is really outstanding condition. We played every course on the property this weekend; and there were really no bad spots on any. Past experience has been very similar. (Though, mother nature is mother nature, and to some extent; can make maintenance quite difficult). Blueberry was pristine.
Numerous alternate layouts to "mix it up", and to offer more options to various skill levels. Granberry, a bit shorter than Blueberry or Granite Ridge; yet, very enjoyable. We played some of these holes; while playing both Granite and Blueberry; partially to get in a few bonus holes, and partially, because until you get the signage to next tee zeroed in, you may find yourself on a tee designed for this alternate layout.
"The Crown" is a new alternate layout; using top of complex holes from Blueberry, Gold and Granite. Believe me, single digits over par is not bad for this layout either......
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....
I laugh at your bid to score well on Blueberry, probably the second easiest course at HB; or any other course here for that matter. Go spend your precious time at Chestnut; playing round after round of night golf; if you want to post some scores to offset your overall HB beat down.
The atmosphere here is great. For instance, basement of the Honka House has showers and bathroom available. Be respectful, pay your greens and other applicable fees; and appreciate this good will gesture. John J. is doing everything he can to make your stay a good one. He supplied us with two air mattresses, to make our camping experience more enjoyable. Now, bring your own stuff, and don't treat him like a butler; but, the point is; here at HB, these guys are still treating you like a welcomed guest; rather than simply a paying customer.
Pets are welcomed. Please clean up after them. Even though pets are welcome, you are much more likely to come across bear scat, than dog waste.
Take the time to sit on a bench and admire the birds singing and the expansive woods and hill views while you're here. This is beautiful country.
Copper Falls nearby. There is a $7 park entrance fee. Falls are nice. Two falls converge from different directions and result splits in a third (seemingly uphill) direction. Unique water fall setting. Huge observation tower (climb all the way to the tree tops....but....the view is actually somewhat disappointing....tree tops actually prevent wide views). In this regard, many views at HB better than Copper Falls....but, the falls are nice at CF park....
Dune buggy style four wheelers available for rent. Adds another level to HB experience. Rent one, or two, and zoom around the course as you play; and between rounds. These things have roll cages and the whole works!!
Cons: This, and all of the HB courses, beat the living snot out of you. This is rough terrain physically; and tough courses; mentally. Bring plenty of fluids (especially if it's 80 degrees; as it was this past trip). Snacks beneficial on these courses; for energy maintenance.
If there's really any con to this course; this would be it; the terrain is rough. Blueberry is perhaps, one of the least demanding in this regard, which is probably one of the reasons it is the highest ranked on the complex. You get more of the relaxing feel that parks department courses generate. With that said, even on Blueberry, the schule grows in thick and between the hill climbing and the demanding shots; even this course is not for the faint of heart.
For gold level players; more baskets can be seen off the tee, more are reachable with good shots; a few holes may feel pitch and putt. These will be considered welcome deuce opportunities by most.
There are bugs here. HB is in the middle of nowhere. You should plan bug spray against the mosquitoes and ticks will more than likely be in abundance. These things should be expected in this type of terrain. True, rural settings of a private nature especially, are going to have some insect issues.
Pro shop type of amenities are still a bit primitive. The staff here is small, and on the plus side; they spend their time keeping courses in good condition. There are well constructed disc golf carts, available for rent or purchase. So, they are working in the area of making pro shop full of the stuff you want; but I doubt shop(s) are always manned.
Other Thoughts: 've been here 5 times now; roughly once, each year, since installation.
I have waited to review these courses for a couple of reasons. A) They wear me out so much; both physically and mentally, that trips here can end with primary thought being; WOW! B) Difficult to find the time or energy to simply walk courses and think of individual holes. C) Wanted to review in an objective way; especially in regards to rating. D) Wanted to have an individual course outlook; rather than complex wide....
You will note that this is difficult to do. So many things factor into the complex as a whole, that it is fairly difficult to remember to rate courses by themselves. However, with this intent in mind, I did pay attention to this area better this journey. Blueberry actually impressed me even more than in the past. You can score here, but tourney SSAs (from pro Worlds); which show par (54) to be a good score for gold level players; illustrates quality of play needed. Beautiful, imaginative shots; on terrain equal to same adjectives.
Original designer of this, and most of the original courses at HB, Chuck Kennedy, has recently weighed in on a HB high point or two. He stated that it was some of the true par four (5) holes that may have been an "objective accomplished," in his mind. Blueberry has a few of these; #8, and #12 first come to mind.
I have to say, that I have spent a number of years trying to come up with a reason nearly all of the HB courses should not be 5 rated. I have come to the conclusion that they deserve this rating (I have over 450 courses played; and was a solid blue level player, when younger, and still at the lower end of that player rating.) In addition, I have played quite a number of the top 100 courses; and, after pretty serious consideration, have to say that Blueberry, Gold, Granite, partial Bear, and from what I hear, Whitetail, when done, stand toe to toe, with the best of any of these. Woodland Greens is one of the very best of it's skill level courses in business too. Even in the pure terrain category, guys from Colorado, East Coast mountains (both north and south), and even northern Cali/Oregon guys, will find this terrain to be equal to their home turf. I think even big arm Texas guys will find the length/difficulty plenty enough to satisfy there need for challenge. Many holes here somewhat similar to ski hill courses; but do not require ski lift or monstrous uphill climbs. Course laid out in manageable way in this regard. Terrain is tough and beautiful; but not "one round and you're done."
Take a rest after your Blueberry round, and you'll be ready for more action on another great course; with a number of different options to choose from....Woo hoo!!!
29 of 32 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Mecca of Disc Golf
Pros: Blueberry Hill at High Bridge Hills is one of the best courses I have ever played. I would rate the course more beautiful than Flip City while not quite as fun. Holes 2 and 3 offer amazing views of the valley and great elevation changes. Hole 8 is an amazing hole through the woods that goes into the open in the middle of the hole and back into the woods on a rocky green for the finish. Holes 10 through 13 are where the course really shines, with 11 offering an option through some pines over a pond and hole 13 featuring three ponds which you have to throw around or over. Blueberry Hill is more fun than Granite Ridge and Highbridge Gold and was designed to be as such. The grass on holes 10 and 11 are lush, golf grass that truly looks and feels like a golf fairway. John Jokinen at Highbridge needs to be commended to the highest level. Besides offering the Mecca of disc golf, he is such a friendly person. The compassion that John puts into these courses is nothing but extraordinary.
Cons: It's hard to find cons at Blueberry, but I will briefly address a few things that I spoke with John about. The two finishing holes at Blueberry are at first confusing and then disappointing. The original design of these two holes was much better (as has been spoken by Chuck Kennedy as well) but apparently people didn't like walking back up the hill. However, the rock face and the view from the green on 17 seem to be well worth it. Hole 17 is nothing more than a dink hole, and 18 does offer a challenge. But the view is nothing compared to the view offered by the old hole 17. My suggestion would be to play the original layout, which would involve playing from 17's tee to 18's basket and then back down to 17's basket. The only other con I had was the location of the alternate pins. I had a tough time always knowing where the pin was located, and John did say this was being taken care of with a marker system. With that idea in mind, I went ahead and gave the course a 5 star rating.
Other Thoughts: Even though I would rate Flip City ahead of Blueberry Hill, the course would still rate in the top 5 courses I have seen. Even though Blueberry Hill isn't as well kept as an Idlewild or Flip City, the design and overall experience of being at High Bridge wins out. Hole 17 issues aside (I just didn't like the fact that a 230 foot no challenge hole would be at the end of a course like this when it could have been so much better with the rock face cliff green), the Blueberry Course is one of the top courses in the nation. Blueberry Hill has 4 or 5 distinct signature holes. Like other High Bridge courses, the course starts at the top of the hill, goes down into the park, and finishes back at the top of the hill. With that thought in mind, the course is a challenge to play and walk. The experience of High Bridge is also bar none - for example, not only did I speak with the owner on multiple occasions, but he invited me to stay at his house one of the nights (for free) and even gave me a private tour of the back nine of the Bear course and a special walk through of the brand new Whitetail course that will be opening later this summer. The Whitetail course will be an awesome addition to the Highbridge facility, including an amazing 1000 foot hole down the main Highbridge path with 4 ponds bordering the fairway, a breathtaking 120 foot drop down a hill (approximately 350 feet in total length for the hole) to a green guarded by a pond, a rock faced waterfall bordering the fairway of a hole, and a beautiful hole throwing out over the dam to the hillside (near Granite Ridge number 7). Highbridge is truly the Mecca of disc golf.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
25 Helpful / 4 Not
Highbridge Hills is AWESOME!
Usually in my reviews I give a description of the land. It is imposible with this facility and course. Please see my other thoughts.
This course is absolutely a blast to play!
Concrete Tee Pads-> They are super grippy and very large. They were installed correctly and all of them are flat. Many have great landscaping around them. Some with stairs. Each tee pad has Blueberry Hill painted on them and a blue stripe on the front edge of the tee pad.
Benches-> There are several benches throughout the course to sit down and enjoy the beauty this land offers.
Tee Signs-> They are very descriptive with accurate distances of both pin positions. There are also several signs helping navigate this course.
Baskets-> Blue DGA Mach 3 baskets in very good condition. They look so awesome and go great with the theme of this course.
There is very good flow on this course and I had no problems navigating it. You start near the clubhouse and finish near the clubhouse. There are no conficts with other holes. There is plenty of space between holes to avoid conflicts but no super long walks to get to the next hole. Every hole is unique and this course will test every shot in your bag. There is not 1 bad hole on this course. There is a good mix of tough par 4's and fun par 3's. This course is fun for all skill level players which is why it's so popular. The very best players in the World played this course in 2007. Here is a link to SSA. It played 55.08 for rounds 1-3 and 53.70 for rounds 4-7.
This course has it all. Elevation, water, woods, well maicured grass fairways, and rocks. It can't get any better than this. This large piece of private propety is well maintianed.
Although some may find the area it's located a negative it's a big positve for me. The first time I was in the area I saw a black bear cub. The views are amazing. The owner is a super nice guy and he will give you any information you need. The people are there to play disc golf and it's not crowded. It's a very relaxing place to have fun and play disc golf.
Cons: I have no cons. I dream about wining the lottery and opening a disc golf facility like this. This course is the signature course on this property. If this were in a popluated area the owner would be making a nice living as a pay to play venue.
Other Thoughts: I have spent significant time at Highbridge as an amateur in 2005 at Mid Nationals and as a Pro in 2007 at Pro Worlds. This is my #1 spot to play disc golf ahead of KC, Des Moines, Quad Cities, Madison, Milwaukee, Peoria, Kalamzaoo, Detroit, and others. There is nothing like this place. It's special and a must visit if you love disc golf. Plan at least a week to stay here an play disc golf.
Come prepared. You are in the middle of nowhere. Bring food, drinks, and any other items you may need.
Search Highbridge Hills disc golf on Youtube. There are some clips where you can get a feel for the land. Check the links/files. There are some great pictures on PlayDG.com . There is an abundance of pictures and resources about this course. This will tell you how awesome this course is. It's in the middle of nowhere. If it was an average course you would know nothing about it.
I have one of my favorite moments of disc golf on this course. I skip aced #3 at Pro Worlds and was the only person to ace on the course during the week. That ace was worth just under $300.
25 of 29 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Well where to start on this amazing gem of a disc golf course. Evey hole is a hole of its own, the scenery is incredible, with rolling hills, tightly wooded fairways and water hazards set up to boggle your mind of where to place your drive. You have your chances to make birdies and many chances to make some great pars. The whole feel of the course is amazing and for any disc golf maniac this is a must to play. Well developed, multiple pin locations, Unique to the max. Get to highbridge, bring some friends, make it a weekend or even longer if you can but don't miss out on this heavenly disc golf mecca.
Cons: Its so far away from me.
Other Thoughts: When I went to highbridge this was the last course I played on the day we were leaving and I only got to play it once. If you go there for your first time, play this course first so you have a chance to play it again. Don't make my mistake.
10 of 15 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: You will be blown away before you even get to the course. There is nothing but disc golf within miles of the start. I'm pretty sure there isn't another place like it.
Concrete pads for the long tees
gravel for short tees
Perfect signage - made of wood - showing which pin location is being used
You won't be getting lost here, there are signs showing which way to go after every hole
There really isn't a true signature hole - because almost all of the holes could be considered signature. There is not a single 'throwaway' hole on the course. The flow is great, you'll never have a hike between holes, and everything seems to continue the DG experience.
What does this course have? EVERYTHING, elevation, water, tight woods, relatively open, lefty, righty, big, small, ect...I wasn't disappointed because this course isn't missing any type of shot or hole. You'll have to bring your A game, and you'll enjoy the challenge. All the shots you can think of could be used effectively at this course
This isn't just a course for the professionals either. All types of players will have a great time. Most of the time there is a risk/reward aspect to the hole. If you aren't confident in the throw you can always play for the strategic shot, instead of shooting for the pin each time. Which brings me to the point that most people will HAVE to place strategic golf, which usually is a great change for some players who haven't experienced it yet.
The course is clean and picturesque, seriously bring a camera. You'll be amazed...
This course will have you wanted to come back over and over. There is alway a challenge to be found.
Cons: The course really doesn't have cons - The only thing that I was thinking was that more people need to play it - the brush/bush areas need more trails to go in and out of when you have a bad throw. But this might still be one of the pros of the course - less people and immaculate.
I wish this course was closer to home, but that again could take away from the course. There is something to say about planning a camping trip up to Highbridge and cherishing the time you have to play it, instead of under appreciating if it were in your backyard.
Other Thoughts: This course is located in a small town in northern wisconsin. This means there is basically no 'dirty' civilization around. Beautiful and scenic, but there are sometimes ticks and misquotes, but that's to be expected and there is really nothing that can be done about it other than bringing some bug spray.
The people you meet will be of the highest caliber, they know why you're there and they all try to make your experience better.
The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is because there are just a few things that are holding it back. The location really kills the course...no winter DG, too many bugs in the summer. There needs to be more small things that all add up. A nicer pro shop, more trails to find your discs, brooms. Those little things that give you that zenith DG feeling.
22 of 26 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 21 Not
Pros: Perfect mix of challenges. Lots of beauty. Lots of nature.I saw many deer, got swarmed by red wing black birds on hole three and observed all kinds of plant and animal species which I have never seen. this course is barefoot certified by me and my homeboy who prefer to play barefoot if possible.
Cons: Not enough holes BLUEBERRY RULES!!!!
Other Thoughts: You must play this course, you will love it. Blue baskets? are you serious? that's just awesome.
Don't for get to play the alternate tee placements. (every other hole on blueberry and granite has a alternate tee box, new this year)
And play granberry and blueridge (start on one and cross over to the other)
Show up and stay for a week if you can.
Friday or Saturday night play night round at chestnut grove, Throw through the fire!!
9 of 30 people found this review helpful.
26 Helpful / 5 Not
For those who have the disc golf blues
Pros: If you havent played this course.... I pity thee. I would play this course till my arm fell off then play again using my left arm. Spectacular everything.... Signs are themed, scenery is top notch (esp on 2's pad), requires every shot you know how to throw, if a pin is out of reach a fairway drive par feels better than a bird, elevation makes the short holes tricky in a sweet tasting way, multiple pin locations and none are bad, the wooded fairways cannot be compared to any fairway I've ever thrown, the teepads are just the right size and level and pointed the right way. This course is so good people don't even pout when they tank the round.
Cons: Where are the blueberries? Sorry its just the theme. Yes if you throw bad thick brush can be waiting to eat your disc. Bugs, ticks. Hard to know which position blind baskets are in (so what, go look). This is just me but all the concrete pads at highbridge give me a hard time, like they are too rough and my feet wont pivot, just stick, its my own problem, but I have to nit-pick that bad to find a con.
Other Thoughts: The owner is likely to find you before you start the round and chat. He will tell you what is going on around the property. Hes not a disc golfer but will tell you where to start. BLUEBERRY! Every round I play at home thoughout the year turned into preparation for when I make the journey here. From the teaser birdie hyzer on 1 to the triple elevated pond shot on 13. Last round I finally got smart and threw a 75' drive on 16 to set up the next 200'+ shot at basket. holes 17 and 18 move around. This year 17 was a short (in comparison) uphill and 18 was the rest of the way uphill making a 90 degree turn at the end. Too cool. It gets a 5 rating because if you asked me whether I liked ANY other course BETTER I wouldn't answer you.
26 of 31 people found this review helpful.
41 Helpful / 3 Not
Other Thoughts: On courses I've designed, I'll provide the design background and why things were done a certain way versus a review from a player perspective. Everyone has done a good job describing the holes as they've seen them.
This was the first course designed at Highbridge and it was done during February so it was easier to see potential routes in the wooded areas. It was always going to be dual Blue/Red tees and dual pins on most holes since that serves the skill levels of most players. The owner and I suspected it might be the most popular course as we were building it because of the variety and it looks like it's turned out that way.
Because it was originally going to be a ball golf course, the owner had a speciallist prepare a unique blend of grass seed that would grow on that site. I'm always amazed at how well it grows in the wooded fairways there compared with the hard pack dirt or wood chipped fairways you normally see on wooded holes.
It's my favorite course of the 100+ I've been involved designing and installing over the years. If I was only allowed to play one course the rest of my life, this would be it, as long as it could be located about 4 hours closer.
One of the design touches that may not jump out at you is the use of "peek-a-boos" where you can see the pin thru an opening made in the trees that's not big enough to be a route. Examples are on 3 & 4. Another element you don't see enough of is holes where part of it is in the open and part in the woods such as 9, 12, 16 & 18. Taking it one step further, some of the holes start and end in the woods with an open section in the middle such as 5, 8 (favorite) & 14.
Every tee & pin combination has been tested and tweaked (pins adjusted) if necessary to make sure the scoring average matched the par for the intended Blue or Red skill level and the scoring spread provided the opportunities to birdie if you played well and par if you played it solidly or a chance to save bogey if you messed up.
The hole names were created following a theme for each Highbridge course with 50s & 60s music being the natural theme for Blueberry Hill. No blueberries growing on that hill but the owner planned to eventually start a patch somewhere.
Hole 16 which was mentioned by Texconsonite is frustrating for some players who have never seen a hole where perhaps the first shot should be shorter than the second to play it smartly. There is an over the top flex option off the tee but it's hard to hit it just right and you're more likely to boost your score with little chance to save a shot.
It's funny that the triple pond hopper hole 13 seems to be a favorite. I would have preferred to have come at those ponds from above rather than below so you could see them. But with the Granite Ridge course nearby and routing constraints in general, it just worked out that way. It did work out nicely that hole 12 on both Blueberry and Granite ended near each other which allowed players to play holes on the other course for the Granberry or Blue Ridge routes.
I'm disappointed the routing was changed back to the original setup for holes 17 & 18. To me, it was worth it to have a short downhill final hole with a birdie chance and use the impressive granite rock face. However, apparently players didn't like having to walk back up a short fairway even though it was just as close to the #1 tee as the current pin.
41 of 44 people found this review helpful.
32 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Where to start...This course is so good
Nice concrete teepads on all long tees, level gravel areas for short tees. Woodblock signs depicting hole Name (yes, each hole here has a name), hole map, and distance and par for both basket placements (sometimes long pin is higher par than short). Additionally, most of the signs have a screw put into the map next to the current basket placement, so you know where to throw (and the par). After each basket, you will find next tee signs leading you through the course. Great flow, so though its a fairly long course where each hole feels like its in its own little world away from the others, you spend very little time walking between holes. Just another indicator of the great design of this course, one of many.
Of the courses at Highbridge, this one was constructed first, and feels the most broken in. IT is also, IMO the most well-balanced and diverse of the offerings here.
All the courses at Highbridge are a treat to play, but Blueberry Hill especially so. It pretty much has everything you could ask for in a course, including signature holes, and that elusive IT factor. Lots.
This course is very challenging, but fair. You will be punished for errant shots, but the course doesnt feel punishing. Part of it has to do with the maintenance of the shule. Even the parts that are not pine trees have brush cleared out so that the course doesnt eat your discs unneccesarily.
The course plays through a nice mix of wooded, with some moderately open holes sprinkled in. Overall, this is a technical course, but even on the most technical holes, it never feels like a plinko hole, as holes are all well thought out, with risk reward in evidence.
One pattern that is common here, and highbridge in general, is a tendency toward late and mid trouble. Meaning, baskets generally are guarded in some way, and fairways arent wide open. Also, early trouble is used carefully and fairly.
To understand this, contrast with some courses that force an extremely tight tunnel shot right off the tee, or through a tight early gap. Instead, this course usually gives you a litle wiggle room, but makes you shoot into technical situations. Thus, you dont NEED to thread the needle all the time, while at the same time shot placement and accuracy count for a lot. If you dont have great shot placement, you might not end up in the shule, but you probably will struggle to get bogeys. Thus, masterfully, this course, even on the par 3's, makes you play placement golf, a lost art for those accustomed to short, par 54 city courses (most courses really)
Thus, you may have many fairways split in two by clumps of trees (as in hole 1), forcing you to go left or right, but usually the less direct route is wider. This course offers tight challenges, but it also offers alternatives and ways out.
Hole 11 is a perfect example of this. There is a safe route around to the left, or you can shoot a tunnel directly at the basket.
This is great, as it makes the course appealable to everyone. Nobody enjoys a round of just hitting trees and shooting out of clumps of shule. This course doesnt force you into that. Its fairways are technical, but doable.
The challenges this course throws at you near the basket are just wonderful. This is where you see the narrow tunnel shots through guardian trees, and nice elevation. Hole 2 has the basket on top of an elevated plateau lined with rocks (formerly ball golf teebox), which is almost a Highbridge signature, as Gold & Grantie each have baskets like this as well. Its a great challenge. You have a nice flat area by the basket, but overshoot or undershoot, and youre lookin at a tough upshot to the pin instead of an easy putt. Great basket protection.
Also, on several holes on Blueberry, the basket is cleverly placed in the middle of an outcropping of solid, smooth rock (granite i think), which is tough to deal with.
Its hard to park it because it slides and bounces on the rock, and drops off on the sides and back for a high risk putt. On one par 4, i went from a 3 to a 5 thanks to an attempt to layup on said rock face. Unusual challenge that I just havent seen elsewhere.
In addition, the course also features several hillside baskets, and baskets with nearby ponds waiting to catch errant shots.
This course is balanced with a good mix of left, right, uphill and downhill shots. If you cant bend the disc both ways well, regardelss of whether you are lefty, righty, overhand, sidearm or backhand, there will be several hole on this course that you will really struggle to par.
This course also throws all three main elements at you in combination, in interesting ways: trees, elevation, and water.
Hole 13 has 3 ponds on the uphill fairway, with scattered tall trees between, preventing direct line to the basket. You have to carefully pick where you want to park the first drive, since it saves the biggest pond for last, with the pin sitting just beyond. Also, due to the elevation, its a blind shot over the last pond to the green. Tricky! Ponds also pop up on several other holes, always cleverly used and coming into play.
This course really has something to satisfy everyone. You have chances to air it out, but many more chances to use technique and accuracy to shave strokes off your score (ie get par or the occasional birdie)
There are no wide open holes here, all of them have intrigue.
This is a scenic course, too. Even on labor day weekend, its rare to run not another group on the course, because of highbridge's size, and the woods make most holes feel secluded. It really is a magical place.
My favorite hole is hole 16, Tutti-Frutti, probably one of the more tightly wooded holes on the course
You are on a wooded, rocky hillside that slopes down to the right for the length of the hole. Off the tee, the fairway goes straight for 100-150, before abruptly curving 90 degrees right, to a gradual curve back left that is blind from the tee. You shoot between a few trees on the woods edge to the hillside pin slightly blind over the crest of the hill. The hole lends itself to throw a midrange off the tee to get past the right curve, then a sweeping left curve with a driver towards the basket, through te rocks and scattered trees of the sloping, uphill fairway, then a long putt or careful upshot and hillside putt for a good score (its a par 4). Few holes would have you reaching for a midrange off the tee, then a controlled driver shot or two. Its unique, and i like that.
This is a course you could play over and over, and not get tired of. There are just too many things it throws at you to really single out anything that's overused. Many of the other courses here are sortof great examples of their specific
Cons: Few and far between for this course, I must say, but they do exist. Perhaps 17 and 18 would have to be listed as cons, from my perspective. I hate saying it, because they are both good holes. Its clear, from the scorecard and the tee signs, that 17 used to be a long shot out of the woods and up a huge, gorgeous rock face to a basket perched on top. What a cool hole! Then, 18 played back downhill through a tunnel in the woods to your left as you stand on tee 17. The tee signs still reflect this. However, 18 ended up taking you farther from the clubhouse, i suppose requiring a longer walk, or a walk across other fairways maybe once completed. Regardless of the reason, the last two holes have been changed as such. They chopped hole 17 in half, and reversed hole 18 so it would curl into a candy cane shape uphill to former basket 17.
Thus, 17 is a short risk reward shot along the edge of thick woods, and 18 is a beast. One problem with this layout is it takes the shot over the rock face out of the equation. Now, the rock is just there for your disc to roll down if you miss your putt around the corner on new 18. Brutal, and not as cool or fun as the original 17 looks like. Seems like a shame to waste such an amazing feature.
Other than than, the course is stellar. When we were there, many of the ponds were dry thanks to only 3 inches of rain all summer, yet thanks to the great soil here, the grass still looked lush and green. Like all courses on highbridge, its a good idea to use a spotter here, especially on the holes with ponds. However, the pondwater is amazingly clear, so if you arent afraid to get a bit wet, you should usually be able to see your disc to get it back.
Other Thoughts: Each of the courses at highbridge is sortof a specialist in something, but blueberry has lots of everything, so less so than the others. However, if you had to pick one thing, this is the WATER course, as it has much more water on it than any of the others.
Also, say you want a mix of Blueberry and Granite? Well, there are 2 very cool alt courses incorporated into Granite Ridge and Blueberry Hill that do just that. They are called, respectively, Granberry and Blue Ridge.
The way both work is you play the first 12 holes of one course, and on all the even holes 2-12 there are alt concrete tee pads just for this course, different from the regular tee on that hole. Then, on hole 13, you play from an alt concrete tee pad to basket 13 of the other course. From there, you play 14-18 of the other course as normal. Making sense? Here's how it goes
*Holes 1-12 of Granite Ridge, playing from special Granberry tees on even holes
*Hole 13 from a special Granberry tee that plays to Blueberry Hill basket 13.
*Holes 14-18 of Blueberry Hill
BLUE RIDGE would be the reverse, starting on Blueberry and ending on Granite Ridge. Clever naming, eh? During my time here we only played Granberry, which is mostly Granite Ridge. Due to the more open nature of Granite, the alt tees there made less of a difference than I imagine the Blue ridge ones on Blueberry would have.
However, its a really neat idea, and only adds further variety to what it already a Disc Golf complex without equal. Also, the transitions between courses at the hole 13 interchange is remarkably smooth, as if the courses were originally designed with this in mind. On top of that, the alt tees are just as easy to find as the main ones, with signs pointing to them. Wonderfully done.
When talking to John, the owner/operator/jack-of-all-trades, he chose to add the granberry and blue ridge courses this year instead of trying to finish The Bear. Though I am disappointed that The Bear isn't done, I think he made the right choice, as this is two more courses, vs 11 more holes. To not only add alt course layouts, but to do so in a way that doesnt confuse players, is impressive, and the results are very enjoyable.
There are scorecards for the alt layouts as well as the regular ones, complete with course maps. However, the alt layouts on the scorecard just have the distance for the corresponding regular hole listed, rather than the distance for the alt tees on 2,4,6,8,10,12 &13. In most cases, the alt tee is not a lot longer or shorter than the regular, but it would still be nice to know, especially on the transition hole 13, where the hole has been more drastically changed.
Parts of Blueberry Hill are also used for the "Final Nine" Layout, which is the actual final nine holes played for all the marbles when Worlds was held here a few years back. For details on that, see Other Thoughts under GOLD review.
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