Super sneaky tough.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Another of the 18 hole gems at Highbridge Sports Complex near Highbridge, WI.
Mach3 baskets, all in decent enough repair and mounted well. They're what you'd expect, and work well enough. Multiple pin positions, but like all the courses at HBH, I don't know that they get moved very often.
Concrete tee pads, long enough, grippy enough, and solid. A few are showing their age (a Highbridge theme), but I don't remember any that I felt bad throwing off of. One tee per hole.
Granite Ridge is just another superbly designed course. When you're staring at each hole for the first time, you get a sense of openness, but once you throw it, you get a feel for all the intricacies of the design. Baskets on hillsides, bunkers from the old ball golf course, strategic trees, occasional water...it's all there. What Blueberry is to tight, wooded golf, Granite is to strategic obstacles avoidance.
Oh, the elevation. Pretty much every hole on Granite has some sort of elevation play, with many having pretty extreme rises and drops. Hole 9, with it's huge swamp on the right that forces you to think about that big bomber shot is a great downhill shot. Then you immediately get kicked in the head by a long sledding hill type uphill on the next hole. Granite also features what might be the most screw-you finishing hole I've played. 754' of straight uphill hatred. You know, because after a long round of up and down, what you really need is a 754' hole that plays like 1200'.
My favorite thing about Granite is the variety and plethora of lines available. It's pretty amazing that almost any range of arm power is accommodated on this course, on a hole by hole basis. It's just open enough to invite different lines, and just closed enough to laugh at you when you miss them. Hole distances fluctuate all over the map, with a handful of solid deuce runs, several placement par 4 type holes (hole 12 is such a great hole!) and everything in between.
Navigation is pretty simple. New signs are great, but even without them, it's pretty tough to get turned around here.
Oh, and if that's not all enough, the views on Granite are probably the best on the property. Neat.
Cons: As with everything at Highbridge, Granite could use some maintenance. A few of the holes could use some pruning, it can always use some mowing, and the tee pads are showing their age.
One set of tees isn't great, but I never feel like it's a big deal at the Highbridge courses, because of the plethora of options.
Other Thoughts: I love Granite, and even though Blueberry is probably a touch better as an overall course, this is my favorite to play at the facility. I dream about throwing hole 9 when I'm not there. Granite boasts a handful of holes that would be signature holes on any other course. You can also combine Granite with some of the other course onsite to form hybrid courses, which is kinda neat if you get bored of the regular designs (spoiler: you won't).
I wanted to rate Granite as a 4.0, but it's just so FUN every time I play it. Let's go now! Seriously.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Best of Highbridge Hills
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It's difficult to rate any one course at Highbridge on their own merit, but Granite stood out to me as the best of the best here. As far as the course condition, everything was well groomed and clean. What little trash we saw outside of the garbage cans was fresh and not sitting around forever, so we simply picked it up and took care of the course along the way.
You can rent and use a golf cart on Granite (and Gold) if you choose to do so! We didn't, but that's a big plus for a great experience that you won't get in most places. There were a lot of functioning carts available, so if you want to get in more rounds without getting gassed, it was entirely possible.
The teepads are mostly in good condition, There are maybe a couple of rough ones, but nothing that would pose a safety risk. They are plenty large enough to use for whatever shot you are shaping off of the tee.
The course play was very fun! Everything was on the long position and the challenges here are more than just raw distance. The first part of the course forces you to choose the right line through the woods our around trees and bushes. It opens up a bit through the middle, but there are very few "hyzer to the hole" open type shots. This one plays up and down elevation and utilizes it well. 9, 12, 14, and 15 all end up using the same hill for either the basket or tee, but it's in no way crowded. There are some water obstabcles (pond and marshes) as well as a creek, if it's full. The pond comes into play on 6&7. Don't underestimate how large it is! That splash sound off of the tee is still haunting our group.
At the end oft your round, which is such satisfyingly good disc golf, you are faced with one last challenge of playing back up the hill. It's a great feeling to beat the hill, too. Stay focused and a 4 is entirely possible!
Cons: There's really just some updating / maintenance needing to be done. If the cons were fixed, this would be an easy 5* course.
- Tee signs are in disrepair. Some are functional, but most need to be replaced.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Recently played it memory not good. Out of the three coarses that I played there. I thought granite ridge was slightly easier than blueberry hill and the gold coarse being most challenging.I though coarse was very well designed made great use of elevation and for most player they would not have a problem getting off tee and advancing there disc.At other times accurate skill shots were required.
Cons: After reading some of the other reviews the coarses could have better signage throughout coarses to help lead a new person to next tee
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Variety - this course gives you almost verything, tight long fairways, a few shorter open shots with a few trees speckled around the fairway, uphills, BIG uphills, downhills, BIG downhills, and quite a few nice open holes to let em fly on
Equal left, right, and straight shots, and a few long ones which wind left and right, and have multiple direction changes that flow well, not obnoxiously just for something different
Signature holes - there are a few. Number three is an interesting one, one I've yet to encounter a similar one elsewhere. You're first shot is down a 100' ish steep downhill, with a narrow landing strip. At the bottom it has a blind right angle, which stretches about 300' along a nicely manicured fairway. You're first two shots must be perfect placement shots, to have any chance at the scorecard's posted par 3. Number 7 is offers a more gradual downhill, much more wide open, but with OB water to the left, so you cant just mindlessly cannon one out there, you've got to think. After your first placement drive, you have another long fairway drive to get near the wide open pin. Number 9 shoots down another steep hill, w tight trees around the first opening. Any decent flat or hyzer RHBH shot w an overstable disc should get you good placement here. Dont turn it over though, there's a swamp to the right.
Number twelve offers a nice open bomb for about 200-250 feet, but then enters a narrow woods fairway with trees interspersed throughout, I truly enjoyed the variety on this one. 17 and 18 are tough ones; 17 is a long pipeline where only the straightest drive with good distance will get you any placement once the fairway opens up. And of course 18 is, like Blueberry's 17, the long grinding uphill, except this one's a par 5.
Beauty- holes 7-11 offer the most gorgeous and pristine disc fairways I've seen to date. Long winding, rolling hills with short grass and a few trees here and there. You can launch some bombs here, but the trees are placed perfectly so you must still have a little strategy to your shots. This part of the course is a nice change up from the narrow lanes that are found everywhere around Highbridge.
Concrete tees, DGA baskets, decent signage
Cons: Course can get a pretty mucky, especially near the beginning and end, but not usually through baskets 7-11
Hole 15 - this hole felt so out of place to me. Aside from one maybe 10 foot wide opening in the leaves to the right, which is very low to the ground, it seems as if you are shooting at a huge wall of trees, with basically no lanes - you cant see through at all with all the leaves. It may be designed specifically for tomahawks, but I am not a huge fan of it
Lile other Highbridge courses, some of the signage is currently missing - bring a scorecard
Other Thoughts: This is my favorite course I've played to date. The combination of beauty, challenge and fun factor are unmatched in my opinion
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Hard as a rock (and some tall grass)
Pros: Granite Ridge is like the big brother of Blueberry: a little bigger, a little tougher, a bit less clever, but still from the same lineage. The course is about 10% longer than Blueberry, but you'll feel it.
The first seven holes gradually play down the hill, and these feature some of the more wooded holes.
Hole 3 has a drive across a thin land bridge with danger on either side to a difficult landing spot. I only trusted a thumber here off the tee. After the drive the hole opens up into a wide fairway. I respect holes that acknowledge your drive doesn't have to be your longest shot.
Hole 7 is one of my favorites at Granite: a downhill open shot that looks deceptively easy, but a fade will leave you in a huge pond that isn't very visible from the tee (careful with this one), and turning it over will put you in the woods. Looking back up the fairway from the basket shows the beauty of Highbridge with water, elevation, and gently curving, sculpted fairways.
Holes 8 through 14 play up and down and around the same hill at the corner of the property, and it is one of the more physically exhausting parts of the complex. Both times I played I had my hands on my knees on the slow walk up hole 10's rolling fairway that almost certainly used to be a golf fairway. There are some fun holes here for sure, and the lengths alternate nicely so there are some birdie opportunities next to legit par 4s.
Hole 18 is one of the more epic finishing holes I've seen. It is over 600 feet uphill the whole way. It will take a full drive to get beyond the tree-lined fairway before you curve right and heave a couple more drives up before getting to the green protected by some sporadic trees.
Granite Ridge shows off Highbridge's smart use of trees. It demonstrates that you don't always need a forest to impact design; sometimes a small grove of trees or even a smattering of sparse trees can subtly impact your lines (you'll realize this when you don't pay attention and end up just inside one of these areas). For this reason (among many others), I think the replayability of these courses is super high: each time will teach you a bit about your landing zones.
Navigation wasn't bad, but it seemed a little tougher than some of the other courses. You'll want to have the scorecard/map with you.
Cons: All of the courses here have at least some issue with tall grass off the fairways (not on the fairways; the mowing was pretty impeccable when I was there), and Granite Ridge seemed to be a bit worse than the others. There were plenty of holes where I drifted off the fairway, spotted my landing area, but still spent a minute or two looking. On hole 9 my bright orange disc ended up in some tall golden grass, and I spent over 5 minutes looking. Searching for discs is as exhausting as the steepest hill. This nuisance tarnishes what is otherwise some top-notch design, beauty, and challenge.
As with all the courses here, you never knew which position was in use. The second time is more fun as you remember which route you want to take.
Same as the other courses at Highbridge, the tee signs are mediocre. I wouldn't trust the distances shown if it makes a difference in your disc selection (I think they underestimate the true distance). Some are faded and difficult to read. If you care about playing all the tee positions, and I don't, they weren't always obvious.
Other Thoughts: The degree of overall difference between Granite Ridge, Blueberry, and Gold is fairly small. If you like any of them, you'll probably like all of them, although they do emphasize slightly different skills. I'm not sure that Granite Ridge isn't the best test of overall skills at the complex, and it's absolutely one of my top 10 courses.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Great All-Around Course
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Great Variety of shots and holes.
-Lots of elevation changes. Some up-hill, some down-hill, some level.
-Minimal water in play but there is some.
-Hole length - seems to be a wide range of different lengths on this course.
-Abilities utilized - This course seems to require the use of almost all tricks in your arsenal. Each hole seems to have its own character, with few holes reminding you of another on the course. Looking at pictures/reviews from Flip City, this clearly isn't a requirement from most reviewers, however, seems to give the course more challenge.
-You will not be able to just step up and throw an uncontested shot directly at a basket on this course on hole after hole. You're either dealing with length, trees, wind, elevation or your own consistency as your enemy on this course.
-Fun to play at all skill levels I would imagine, however, beginners could get overwhelmed on a few holes.
-well maintained course. Grass has always been mowed nicely, which says a lot considering the owner (John) has a ton of acreage to keep up with out on these grounds with 5 playable (and awesome) courses up and fully running.
Cons: Wind - although I like factors making a course a challenge, every time I play this course there are those 3 middle holes of like 9, 10 and 11 that seem to always have the wind blasting. I'm no pro but feel like I have a good grip on the game but the wind on 10 is just treacherous every time I play it over the last 3 years.
My preference for a course is short, ace runs, and highly technical, typically in a heavily wooded area. That being said, I also know that is not most discer's preference. This course definitely tailors a bit more to a stronger arm than mine for the most part. This is just picky and strictly a preference of mine.
Other Thoughts: Highbridge Hills sports complex is second to none. I haven't traveled all that far but have hit and looked at a ton of courses on this site and honestly, it is hard to get excited about much of what else I see on here because I compare everything to my experiences out at Highbridge over the last few years. If anyone can tell me where else they can sleep in the middle of (in my opinion) 5 solid top tier courses while utilizing carts, a hot tub and fully functional house to drink beer in please let me know where it is. Granite is 1 of those 5 courses and is my second favorite course to play on the grounds. Has everything but more water in my opinion. My favorite is Woodland Greens, which I know most who have been out there with would disagree, but once again, I like highly technical, short courses and Woodlands does it for me.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Wonderful scenery, an abundance of wide open holes requiring a variety of shots. Uphill/downhill, hyzer/anhyzer, short/long, etc. Sharing a property with six other courses is a big plus that has to be factored in. The view from the tops of several hills is spectacular. Fighting the wind was a fun challenge that I don't get at many more wooded courses.
Cons: The signage could use a lot of work. There were at last 4 or 5 holes where I could not see the pin from the tee, and had to run the fairway to find out which position the basket was in. I eventually stopped looking at the very faded signs because they list as many as six possible distances, with the scorecard sometimes offering a seventh distance that matched nothing on the sign. My mistake, because I lost a disc in a pond that presumably would have been marked if I were still looking. There are a few places that sorely need arrows pointing to the next tee as well. The fairways crisscross each other, creating a non-obvious sense of direction if you are new to the course.
Other Thoughts: This is a great layout, and has the potential to be one of the very best courses in the world. It's slightly disappointing to see the crew working on cutting out three additional courses when they don't seem to have the staff to maintain the seven they already have. Hopefully when all 10 courses are installed, some of the polishing work can begin.
Does a property with 180 disc golf holes really need so many alternate basket locations and layouts?
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
love the holes, hate the layout
Pros: Gorgeous views, gorgeous holes, nice cement pads, you get to drive a cart, brings every shot in your bag to the table multiple times. Basically everything you would design a disc golf course to have is here. Long holes, short holes, left turns, right turns, open bombs, tight gaps. This is a great fun course.
Cons: Layout is kinda goofy, couple spots where the signage is unclear, or you have to cross a different fairway to get to where you need to go. Especially bad with the carts in a few spots, if the course got busy this would be a serious problem. Was bad enough to dock the score by half a star.
Other Thoughts: If you haven't done Highbridge yet, then you are not giving yourself the greatest Disc Golf experience you can get. Seriously the courses here are all top notch.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 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]- Granite Ridge is a moderately challenging 18-hole course beginning in the woods for a few holes and then opens up onto land that used to be a golf course of the same name. There is great diversity in hole length ranging from ace runs and birdie opportunities to legit par 4/5 holes. There is a great deal of elevation in play here both up and down (maybe the most of all the Highbridge courses), but there are many holes that are flat also. There are some ponds and marshy areas in play on several holes.
There are several risk-reward tee shots- (example, take the shorter route by throwing over the corner of the pond, or play it safe in the wide landing area, but making par much harder to get.) There was a really cool tee area on top of a hill that contained tees for 3 different holes, would be a good area for spectators during a tournament. Also, on a few of the longer holes there were an alternate shorter tee and on some of the water holes there was a drop zone tee.
Cons: [The Course]- Like much of the complex, the first 6 holes through the woods needed mowed badly, however, the rest of the course was not as affected by the lack of mowing, and to be fair John mowed it all night long (yes all night!) after we played it and it looked amazing as we drove by it when we left. Navigation was pretty easy, but there were a few spots in the open holes where next tee signs would have been a nice bonus- maybe when it is mowed there are clear paths?
There was a good balance of the number of wooded and open holes, but instead of a mix, there are several similar style holes in a row getting from the pro shop out to the old golf course area. (This had to be done in order to keep all #1 tees for 6 courses in the same general area.)
I thought the course tended to favor RHBH, unlike Blueberry, Gold, and Woodland.
[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 was my favorite of all the courses at Highbridge (yes, even over Gold and Blueberry) as it had the mental challenges like you find on the Gold course, but still had the charm, fun, and accessibility to non-pros like found on Blueberry. I am not usually a huge fan of disc golf holes that are more open and have wide fairways, but something about this course made it a pleasure to play. It actually gave me a ball golf feel with it mix of par 3's and 4's. Also, this is one course where you can rent a golf cart, but it is not really necessary, and not recommended.
[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!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
My personal favorite Highbridge course
Pros: Best Course in my opinion in Highbridge. That's saying alot because that place is loaded with great courses
I'm a sucker for elevation changes and this one is one of the best I've ever played.
A little tougher then Blueberry, with better elevation changes but not nearly as tough as Highbridge Gold, Highbridge Gold was beyond my skill level
Like every course at this complex it is built on great land, part open, lots of hills, and the wooded courses have well defined fairways
Every kind of Shot you could want.
Well taken care of, mowed and clean
Lots of camping with great people
If your worn out from several days of Disc Golfing you can rent a Golf Cart
Cons: Bears, I didn't see any and I'm told they're harmless. But just knowing they were in the area made me paranoid. I'm an experienced camper but never in bear territory.
It takes a whole day of driving for me to get there
Other Thoughts: Highbridge hills is amazing. It doesn't boast my all time favorite course but it is definitely my favorite Disc Golf destination. Lots of courses on site and the staff is beyond great. (They will even stop by your campsite when your not around and put wood on your fire so it doesn't burn out) You'll meet lots of other cool and interesting Disc Golfers while your there and if your a person that enjoys camping that's great, but if your not you can stay in the Bunkhouse. Shower facilities are on site as well.
I thought Granite beat out Blueberry. I know there are many people who will disagree but I think it's that good. That's not a knock on Blueberry either because I thought that one was top notch as well.
The fairways in the wooded holes present a challenge but they're not too tight, they are cleared out and pretty wide.
It's got some great changes in elevation and even the open holes mix it up and require some thought.
Anyone who loves Disc Golf road trips needs check out Highbridge. There is no other place like it. It doesn't matter how far the drive is, it's worth it. Make sure you set aside a few days because you'll never be able to hit it all up in an afternoon. I really hope I get back out there one day
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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