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.
39 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.
39 of 42 people found this review helpful.
31 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.
31 of 35 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: I was absolutely amazed by this course once again. It never fails to amaze me, and I anxiously await jumping out of the truck and making this course my first round at Highbridge. It has it all and it is not as long and grueling as the other highbridge courses. Perfect for someone like me. It is an amazing adventure when the weather is nice, easy to lose yourself. .
Cons: None really. I'd prefer a few more tightly wooded tunnel holes, but I can never complain about Blueberry Hill!
Other Thoughts: Real disc golfers owe it to themselves to spend a weekend just discing here at Highbridge. Blueberry tops them all, but the rest are NOT far behind.
5 of 15 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course is the best at Highbridge. Best by popular opinion, best by design, and best bu usage. When you finally get off your rump and make your way to Highbridge for a weekend of disc golf fun, start off with Blueberry and you'll never look back or regret your travel plans. This course is so amazingly scenic and technically sound that it will scream "DISC GOLF" at you. You get tight woods, wide open bombers, water hazards on multiple holes (not just one pond or creek), and some excellent elevation. Multiple pin positions are a bonus. Long and wide concrete tees are great (even though I do not prefer concrete). I believe there are multiple tees here (I can't recall), but the long tees are an excellent choice for any serious discer and I think they are the focus of the course layout.
Some of the memorable holes are...
#2 throwing downhill to the pin on one of the two old elevated tee boxes from the golf course.
#5 a tightly wooded and fairly long hole lined with thick woods on either side and a few small OB ponds stacked in the middle of the fairway.
#13 (I think) with a huge OB pond that is uphill of the tee and hidden from view so you don't know if you made the green or not. I love the variety of long and short wooded holes, long and short open holes, uphill and downhill wooded and open holes. I think blueberry has a perfect balance of holes. The most perfect balance of any course I can really think of.
The complex is relatively clean save for a few useless bums who seem to think an empty can is too heavy to carry.
I love this course and I love playing highbridge. I like the relatively low traffic, the amazing terrain and scenic views, and I love the rugged design you get nowhere else than at a mega disc golf complex in the middle of a prime piece of WI northwoods.
Cons: I really cannot honestly think of any. If must, I will say that I do not like finishing playing back downhill on #18 (and reversing my steps back to the parking lot). I also think hole 9 is weak (just an ace run along the side of a small hill) yet the trees near the tee do make you think. #18 used to play differently back in 2004 (I think the last 4 holes did). I do wish it was more clear on the tee sign which position the pin was in on a given day.
Other Thoughts: You MUST come and play blueberry hill! If you consider yourself a raving disc golf maniac who travels to play the best, then you'll get it here. You could just play blueberry and be happy you made the trip - BUT YOU'LL GET TO PLAY 4 MORE COURSES!!!!! Make a long weekend out of your trip. Play blueberry many times, camp on site, play the other courses many times, and play blueberry at night too!
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 3 Not
I Found My Thrill! As Well As a Few Lost Discs!
Pros: 1. I shouldn't need to mention design, because all of the courses at Highbridge are VERY well designed. This is just one example of using everything the land offers. Plenty of corridors to navigate, lots of OB areas, enough elevation both up and down, spectacular views, and the most creative tiered hole I've ever seen (see below).
2. Signature holes. You'll definitely remember this course forever, whether it's looking back over #18's fairway after pulling your final putt from the basket (amazing view from on top of the hill), trying to land your drive on the old elevated ball golf tees on #2 (where the wind might just tell you, "Oh no you're not!"), or at #13 ("The Big Hopper"), where there are two tiers with three (blind) OB ponds...the first tier has two ponds, and if you land safe, you've still got to deal with another blind uphill shot to the final tier, where the largest pond guards the 30 feet or so in front of the basket. Very unique holes out here.
3. Demand on your skill and confidence. You'll need multiple different discs and shot types to take a decent score out here, even though this is one of the "easier" courses at Highbridge.
Cons: Hmm...I guess the only thing is that on some of the holes with alternate pin placements that are blind off the tee, you really have no way of knowing which position it's in, requiring some scouting ahead. I guess that's typical of most courses with alt pins, though I have seen some that actually go the extra mile with small signs indicating if the basket is "A" or "B" for the day.
Other Thoughts: If you go to Highbridge and stay for a few days, start with this course. It'll (just barely) get you warmed up and prepared for taking on Gold, Granite, or The Bear on the following day(s).
17 of 20 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 18 Not
Wont leave unpleased
Pros: Great Variety. Alot of fun. Great Views. Upkeep is very good. Navigation is as well very good. More Courses surrounding it at the same complex. Not croweded at all.
Cons: Not really anything else around other then camping and forest anywhere with even a half n hour of Highbridge.
Other Thoughts: If your anywhere near highbridge hills I recommend checking it out if you enjoy disc golf even a little bit. I think the place could turn anyone into a fan.
3 of 21 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Pins are Blue! Great mix of length and elevation..Each hole is creatively named and well marked..This is my favorite disc golf venue..well placed water hazards..interesting rock formations all over the course..A variety of different throws can be used on most of the holes..Plenty of room for imagination..Never just one clear cut way to go..Its for you non-conformers out there..Blueberry is more than a course, its an adventure disc golf Icon..
Cons: In the middle of nowhere so not much for night life..ticks would be my only real concern, so just check yourself after you play!
Other Thoughts: Try a stay at the honka house, very reasonable and convenient. Play hole3 as hole1(right behind honka)and hole2 will naturally play as hole18(in front of honka) and deservingly so..It is by far my favorite hole..A big chuck off a bluff with one of the best views of the course in the backround! Oh...and I got an ace on 9!
11 of 18 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: This is my favorite course at the Highbridge complex. Good mix of length and accuracy. Nice elevation changes and well placed water hazards. Takes a few hours to play, but that works to your advantage. Beautifull scenery.
Cons: Some trash around teeboxes. Could use more and larger trash cans. There is one pond that is somewhat blind that swallowed my teerex. Im not bitter, im just saying its out there.
Other Thoughts: Highbridge hills is unmatched. Five quality championship courses including a starter course, Chestnut Hill, that can be played 24/7 under the lights! Highbridge hills is in the middle of nowhere, but if all you want to do is play disc golf all day on great courses this is the place.
11 of 20 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 8 Not
shocked that no one reviewed this course after 2007 pro worlds yet
Pros: Probably the best design at Highbridge Hills (by popular opinion), with too many signature holes to even start to describe. Beautiful, unmatched disc golf land. Well maintained, clean, isolated disc golf only environment of solitude. Well marked, great grippy large cement tees. Featuring imaginative and very in play water hazards. Well balanced mix of shots for every type of thrower, the less big-arm oriented of the 3 major courses here.
Cons: A bad shot may end up in Canada (that's a joke).
The only Con about these Highbridge Hills courses is their location, extremely isolated from any major town. Far away from any route across the country. Food, gas, water not too close. Cell phones usually don't work there. If they could be centrally located they'd be packed day-to-day and it'd probably ruin the fun of it though.
Other Thoughts: This place is literally THE BEST single-disc-golf -destination. There are so many holes to play, so many different challenges, great fun courses, cheap camping, isolated wilderness. Make a week of it up there someday, you will remember it forever.
23 of 31 people found this review helpful.
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