Best course ever!
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: -Golf Carts! Need I say more
-excellent elevation changes
-scenery was perfect
- greens are well kept
- In the middle of nowhere, you can really lose yourself up here. AND THATS THE POINT
All the other courses on site
Cons: Really there are no cons here for me. I compare every course Ive played to this one. Nothing beats it. Grab some friends and get your ass up there it won't dissapoint.
Other Thoughts: John the owner is awesome guy. If you come plan on staying for 2-3 days just to play all the courses.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
One of the best courses in America
Pros: This course has everything;
-Drastic elevation changes: the views are amazing, there are a few tee pads that play down almost 100 feet to the fairway.
- Great balance of short and long holes, if you can deuce the 200-400 foot holes you might be able to finish under par.
- Great balance of wooded and wide open fairways.
- Hole 18 plays 790 feet up the steepest part of the hill, its a real score killer!
Cons: Stay on the fairways and out of the swamps!
Other Thoughts: You can rent golf carts for this course! This one of several courses located at Highbridge Hills, The owner of this private course (John Jokinen) is the nicest person you will ever meet. He only has one rule; respect his course and your fellow disc golfers and all are welcome. This place is the Disc Golf Mecca, if you play you need to make a trip here!
probably my favorte course because I aced #5 and my brother aced #8 on the same round!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: --I chose to review Granite Ridge because I thought it offered the most out of all the courses I played at HHSC. I played the main four courses: Blueberry Hills, Highbridge Gold, Woodland Greens, and Granite Ridge..In no particular order. Not saying anything bad about blueberry or highbridge gold, they were both stupendous courses as well and I would give them nearly the same review and rating. I just enjoyed Granite the most. Here is why--
+ Variety. This course offers everything I look for in a course when I am playing:
+ Elevation changes--Granite Ridge is layed out on the most open area of the land at Highbridge Hills and it has rolling fairways and a plenty of uphill/downhill shots. It makes for some really challenging uphill drives and a lot of fun downhill throws you can really give it a huck and see how far you can really poke a disc out there.
+ Water Hazards--A good course is not a great course unless it has a few holes where water comes into play IMO. It just creates that added challenge that tests your mental toughness on the course. Water can really psyche some players out and without it you are not reaching your full potential as a disc golfer if you ask me.
+ A quality mixture of shots catering to multiple styles of play--The great courses have a mixture of long/short holes, left/right dog legs, uphill/downhill shots, and holes that combine all these at once. Granite Ridge has all aspects of this along with holes that let every style of player be able to shine. A RHBH thrower will love this course the most, but I throw a RHFH shot a lot too and I used it just as much as a RHBH on this course. There were a lot of straight drive opportunities, S-curve drives, and huge hyzers or anhyzers.
+ Wide fairways yet unforgiving roughs--This is something new that I have been noticing that I really like about some courses. I really like when there are big wide fairways so you can just open up and let a huge "S" curve play out over it. I like it even more if there is a chance that if you tweak your shot a bit too much and hit the rough, you will be punished by not taking advantage of the wide fairway. Using the word "rough" to describe the non-fairway areas at Highbridge Hills is really not doing them justice. These are simply not navigable if you get more than a few feet into them. Super thick underbrush makes it next to impossible for a productive "out" to occur. So take advantage of the fairways on Granite Ridge...the rest of the courses and even some of the holes on this course alone, are not as forgiving.
++My favorite part about this course was the fact that it was such a great combination of beautiful scenery complimented by just a high quality course design. It was a great disc golf experience for me, one of my best ever, and was my personal favorite at HHSC.
Cons: -Maintenance--Keep in my mind, this is digging deep for a negative thing to say about this course and the rest of the courses in general. Yeah some of the courses needed mowing, but I think realistically. It is impossible to stay up on all the mowing with the amount of acreage of fairways at highbridge. The signage is probably the only thing I really noticed. Being that it was my first time up there I had trouble navigating to a few of the holes. Yet there are course maps on the scorecards that made the solution to the problem come a tad easier. A few more "next-tee" signs need to be put up.
Other Thoughts: If you do not make it up to Highbridge Hills and you consider yourself an avid disc golfer, I would call you, simply put, full of shit. This is not called the disc golf mecca for nothing. It is a destination that every disc golfer who truly appreciates the sport needs to make it to at least once in their lifetime.
John, the owner, is an absolute godsend to the sport of disc golf and is just a stand-up person worth knowing. The man does everything in his power for these courses, but there is just so much here, it is hard to keep up with. I can't even say enough praise for the work he has done and I think he does amazing job as it is already. The course maintenance and the rest of the tweaks and tune-ups needed will come with time. He has something spectacular brewing up at HHSC and I will be making multiple return trips every year. I am disappointed it took me this long to make it up there for the first time.
I would also suggest making a fall trip...we got lucky and got up there right as the leaves were in the process of changing and it made for some spectacular views and breathtaking scenery on these courses.
Like other reviewers have stated, make this a multiple day trip. A one day trip will ultimately result in being an absolute teaser. You need to play Granite, Blueberry and Gold at the absolute least, and if you can squeeze those in in one day that is simply astounding unless you are alone (which will make finding discs even harder, so it will probably take even longer).
Therefore, I would also recommend coming with at least one other person, if not more, to help spot on blind holes which are on almost every course. Otherwise plan on losing a lot of plastic.
16 of 16 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.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
My new favorite course!
Pros: Like the prior reviewer, I liked Granite Ridge over Blueberry. This course is perfect in my opinion. It has beautiful hills, well defined fairways, a great mix of open/tight, short/long, uphill/downhill, and hyzer/anhyzer. I used every disc in my bag here and it really tested my game.
Granite, like all the other courses on site, has some breath taking views of the forests around the area and the surrounding rolling hills.
My favorite hole on the entire site, #7, is on this course and it's a dog leg to the left after about 300 feet and then goes another 300 feet to the hole. There's an OB lake to the left of the fairway though, so there's a ton of risk/reward. I went for it, failed, and landed on the frozen lake.
Also, #18 plays 650 feet up a ski hill and it took my group and I forever to play this hole. We had such a blast playing here.
I honestly can't say enough good things about Granite Ridge and the Highbridge Hills Sports Complex in general. We had the best spring break we could have asked for. The only sad thing was that we were only here for 2 days and we barely had enough time to run through all the courses once. I would have killed for an additional day. So when you come to Highbridge, please, please, please plan for more than one day. If you just come here to play Blueberry you're really missing out on some phenomenal courses.
Cons: Make sure you take care of shopping for everything you need before you come here, as it's around 20 miles away from the nearest grocery store. Stock up on food, water, bug spray, and whatever else you may need. It's quite the adventure. :)
Other Thoughts: John Jokinen is a phenomenal guy who really, really takes care of the courses. My group and I met up with him when we were staying there and we talked for about an hour and he said that Highbridge is not even close to it's potential and there will be tons of additions in the future.
He also said that the crazy low prices of lodging and playing the courses won't be raised any time in the near future. The honka house is only $24 a night and I believe the cabins are only $18 a night. My two days and three nights trip only costs me $92, which is essentially the cost of a one night stay at an average hotel. I couldn't have asked for anything better.
19 of 19 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.
12 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: I believe this course has the most elevation changes of all the Highbridge courses. Like all the courses here, the risk/reward is superb and the property is breathtaking.
This course is longer than Blueberry and slightly more open, but it has more elevation changes and par 4 holes. Even though the holes are longer, accuracy is still much needed for many of the placement shots and to stay out of the rough. I heard the wind is usually a big factor on this course, but when I played here it was fairly calm.
Just like the other courses here, Granite is filled with many memorable holes that would be considered signature hole on nearly any other course.
Navigating the course is easy as there are next tee signs everywhere and maps are provided at the hilltop clubhouse. The concrete tee pads are in great shape. There is lots of landscaping that's been done here, especially with built up hills lined with large rocks. The course is very well maintained and it shows. I just can't say enough good things about this course and the entire complex!
Cons: This course is slightly less manicured than some of the others, but is still in great shape. Some of the tee signs are faded and it can be tough to determine which placement the basket is in sometimes.
Other Thoughts: I really struggled to rate this course. It has less trees than Blueberry, but a lot more elevation to deal with. And as other reviewers have mentioned, the rough is a little worse. When I compare the Highbridge courses to each other, it makes me think this is a 4.5. But compared to all the other courses I've played, it feels more like a 5, so I rated it a 5.
John has put innumerable hours turning this into the best place ever to disc golf and it shows. This is a top notch complex with a number of incredible courses, and there are more courses on the way. If you ever get a chance to make the trip up here, DO IT! Plan on spending more than one day because these courses are long, have lots of elevation changes and they will wear you down. And that's coming from someone who can play 4 rounds in a day no problem.
This truly is the mecca of disc golf!
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 2 Not
Long and Awesome
Pros: It really is tough to beat what Granite Ridge offers - the best views on the property, awesome elevation, water hazards, long holes, and a few shorter holes. Granite Ridge starts innocently enough with a short hole through the woods - number 2 is a short, little turnover...and then hole 3 is possibly the jewel of the entire Highbridge property. Go play this course at dawn and when you get to hole 3 you will see what I mean. Hole 3 is such a beautiful downhill shot, over 550 feet with the best views of the Highbridge hillside. The rest of the front nine offers some good risk/reward shots (including effective use of two big ponds, the largest water hazards on the entire property). Hole 12 is a favorite of mine, as you have to throw approximately 350 feet over open ground to a nice fairway into the woods. Granite also offers (in my opinion) three of the best finishing holes anywhere. 18 is an absolute monster par 5 straight back up the hill, while hole 16 is possibly the best hole on the course (only if the pin is in the long position, which goes right over a nice little creek that is filled with water). While Granite may not be as fun as Blueberry or as hard as Gold, it offers a great challenge with spectacular views and a great feel of being away from everyday life.
Cons: Not much to say bad here - the course is a monster workout, as the elevation is the most extreme on Granite. Hole 8 (down by the road, going up the hill) is a beast of a walk, as is hole 18, but I can't penalize a course of being good exercise. The course has a great feeling of seclusion (almost too secluded - we saw a Bear!), but I would much rather have that than being crowded.
Other Thoughts: Really is tough to beat what Granite offers - this, along with Blueberry and Gold simply offers the best disc golf destination in the world, bar none. With the addition of the Whitetail and the Bear, Highbridge could conceivably have 5 of the 10 top rated courses in the United States. This is a must visit complex and Granite is a must play course!
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 4 Not
Long and windy
Pros: This course is the most open of the Highbridge courses (excluding Chestnut Grove), and plays on rolling grassy hillsides for most of the course. Great elevation is in play on nearly every hole, with long and short holes uphill and downhill for a ton of variety despite the scarcity of major obstacles. This also makes for great views, and will force you to deal with the wind more than the other courses here.
In spite of the open nature of the course, it does a great job of forcing different shot shapes with some tree and brush areas, and a couple nice water hazards, so you'll definitely need to shape some drives to score well here. When the woods or trees are brought into play, they add another level of difficulty to the course and mix it up enough that it doesn't ever get boring.
This course has the usual basic Highbridge signs, and enough next tee signage that it's not too hard to follow the course. The tees are great concrete tees with plenty of texture. The baskets are in great shape and catch well. The scorecard and map are accurate and helpful. This course ranked 4th for me of the courses at Highbridge, and was still a fantastic and fun course, a testament to how wonderful this place really is.
Cons: There is more of the long grass rough on Granite than on any other course, and I'm not a huge fan. It wastes time and plastic, without costing strokes for most errant drives. That said, the fairways were mowed wide enough that reasonable throws were on short mowed grass and easy to find so it wasn't a huge deal.
The signage on this course was pretty basic and faded, it would be nice to have a better idea of the hole layout and distance and which pin position was currently in use. Granite does less to punish inaccurate shots than Gold does, so it's a little less challenging and interesting. It also plays down by the roads a little, taking away from the wonderful feel of seclusion.
Other Thoughts: This is another must play at the amazing Highbridge Hills disc golf complex. Though it wasn't my favorite on the property, it was a fun round and a course I would certainly love to play again. If you have a chance to go to Highbridge, take it, and play Granite while you're there.
Beginners will find the course long and tough, especially on a windy day. More experienced players will be tested by the elevation changes and winds, and will need to bring distance and shot placement if they want to score well.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
top notch, but lesser than blueberry and gold
Pros: Long, well done tees as on all tees at HB. Multiple tees and pin placements.
Opportunity to air it out.
Benches in abundance.
Perhaps best views on property.
#18 probably the signature uphill hole of the property.
Swamp hole, probably the signature water hole of the property (not counting island hole, which is usually dry).
More relaxing than Blueberry, and much more relaxing than Gold. Even though this is a fairly long course, it can scheduled in your play plans, as a bit of a relaxing course. This is, of course, relative, and you wouldn't be saying this anywhere else.
Pins blocked well at the finish on most holes.Obstacles to negotiate near pin.
Lots of elevation; but very little (except for #18) feeling that you're climbing hills for entire holes. Some finish uphill; but this blends into the hole as a whole.
Rollaway greens. These did not seem severe, but they are present on a number of holes. I think the taller grass helps cut down on rolling. Many of these would be considered severe if the grass were kept as short as most public parks; and this will probably be the case for tourney play here. (Grass on fairways was not tall; but just a bit taller than you are probably used to. Makes a difference on rollaways and skip shots.)
Use of parts of Granite for alternate layouts (Granberry and the Crown).
As with all courses here; a few signature holes.
Cons: Tee signs here list no lengths. No indicator as to which pin is in place. (Many of the holes are long enough that you can simply drive to what is the obvious direction of the hole; but, you may not see basket for another shot, or in a couple of cases, two.) Pin placement indicators would be a welcome addition.
Navigation perhaps the worst of any of the courses. Not that it's a big issue; but maintenance at Granite seems to be the poorest of the courses on site. This includes fairway cutting as well. Again, not bad; but others maintained better. It is perhaps the length that causes this; as gold and granite are both long courses with maximum cutting needed. The "style" of both courses may also dictate more expansive rough areas. Directional markers are here on Granite, but are sometimes a bit misleading, and/or there should be a few more to help you out. It's not like you get lost, more like, is this the correct long tee?
There are more "plain" holes on this course than others on this site. Gold forces more precise landing areas to have the right line to the pin; Granite is a little more lenient in this regard. You still have to think where you want to be; but, the landing areas are less precise.
Other Thoughts: I guess here is where I need to add some personal observations from my last round here; bear with me for a bit of a ramble: Score came down to making putts most of the time here. If you can hit 300 ft. on your drives (two drives on a number of holes here); and, then make a fairly precise upshot to these protected greens, or, a deuce putt on a few; your score will be based on whether or not you've hit your putts. Now, I understand that this is THE MAJOR part of the game anyway (making putts), but, to me, this course, more than any other here, will be won by the hottest putter. Really, what this means, is that blue level players will need to make a few putts at the edge of the circle (jump putt range), to score well.
I had originally listed much of the above in the cons section (because, obviously, I did not have a very good round with the putter; and, felt that had I had a good putter round; the course would have played easier than gold or blueberry (noting that I drove better on Granite than Blueberry). Upon further refection, I have decided that a course should not be considered weak because of my shortcomings. Fact is, I made good drives and quality upshots on most of the holes, and am simply a bit bitter about the putting.
THE FACT THAT YOU MUST MAKE TWO, OR THREE, GOOD SHOTS AND A PUTT; should be considered a big strength of a course. I am sure gold level players like Granite as much, if not more, than Blueberry.
To sum this part up; gold requires more proper placement of drives for angles, and tougher upshots, and blueberry requires more shot shaping. Granite is kind of a middle ground between the two.
I really want to point out one more time that one of the best features of the High Bridge complex, is the opportunity for players of different capabilities to have options for course play.
I had originally planned on giving Granite a 4 rating; but after thinking all of this through; decided that was based on myself being a blue level player; and that top blue level, and gold level players will find this course to suit their needs wonderfully. Therefore, with that consideration, I've upped my rating .5.
Just for the record; I thought I had single digits over par in the bag; but took a 4 on #17 and a 5 on #18; to end at +10. Missed three deuce putts and too many putts for three. The 4s just kept adding up; with no positive deuces. Should have done better; this type of thing will keep you coming back to these wonderful courses.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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