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.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Third Best but still a 5
Pros: I thought long and hard about my rating for Granite Ridge, which I would put slightly behind both the Gold course at High Bridge and the Blueberry course. However, I just couldn't think of many courses that would top what Granite Ridge has to offer. I would have rated Granite a 4.75 if that rating was available, but I went with what I had. Even though I would rate Granite as the third best course at the High Bridge facility, that's no knock against this course. Granite is a mostly open course with 6 distinct signature holes that truly test the best of the best. Granite also offers the greatest views at the High Bridge facility, with the biggest downhill shot at the courses (number 3, downhill 580 feet). Granite Ridge is easier than Highbridge Gold but is more affected by windy conditions. Holes 7 and 9 are real tests that wind around the two largest water hazards on the entire property. The finishing holes of 16 through 18 are over 1600 feet, with 17 and 18 being mostly uphill. Hole 18 is a 770 foot uphill par 5 BEAST, while 16 to the long pin is a 450 foot par 3 that flies right over an OB pond. Hole 12 is my second favorite hole on the entire property, as you are required to throw 330 feet to an opening or risk flying out of the open into a narrow gap 350 feet away to a hole more than 700 feet away (however, the hole is very fair). Hole 10 is a 635 foot uphill beast, while holes 8 and 11 offer downhill ace runs in the 300 foot range.
Cons: Once again, its tough to find cons at any of these courses. As I stated with the Gold course, Granite Ridge is a physically demanding course - this course will take a long time to play. The course offers extreme elevation and will challenge you if you are not in shape. The course also isn't as fun as Blueberry, but it really isn't intended to be that way. As I stated with my Gold and Blueberry designs, some of the signs have been faded and it is tough to tell which of the alternate pins are in what location, but John said he is fixing both of those problems. If those two issues are not fixed, I would decrease my rating to a 4.5.
Other Thoughts: Like Gold and Blueberry, Granite Ridge offers stunning views through Northern Wisconsin, allowing you the opportunity to play an incredible amount of disc golf at some extraordinary courses. I will reiterate two things from my other reviews at High Bridge - the rough is very rough, the fairways aren't in the shape that an Idlewild was in (unlike some courses, all holes - both wooded and open - have grass fairways, as the owner plants seed in both open and wooded holes), but with the amount of courses available I am giving that a pass. However, the fairways are in no way in bad shape. My point is simply this - if there was one course to maintain, the fairways would be in perfect shape because John and his small staff would only have to mow one course. The mowing cycle allows most fairways to be in great shape, but there are not as pure as Idlewild or Flip City. However, I feel that the opportunity to play Granite Ridge, Gold, Blueberry Hill, Woodland Greens, The Bear (the back 11 holes opening in two weeks), Chestnut Grove (back nine opening in two weeks), Whitetail (brand new course already fully designed and cleared, with the baskets already arrived and expected to have 9 holes open by the middle of June), and two brand new courses to begin work next summer....this opportunity makes me cut John a little slack regarding the rough being too rough and the fairways not being mowed down to the perfect length. As I stated, the fairways are still in good shape. While the rough on some courses is rougher than others, I played disc golf at High Bridge for three days and was in the rough on a few occasions (or multiple occasions), and I played mostly alone and never had a problem finding my discs. Go play High Bridge and plan to spend at least 3 or 4 days there. Try out the Granberry and Blueridge hybrid courses as well.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Like all highbridge courses, great concrete pads, signs and alt pin placements on every hole. Great scorecards/maps as well. Also like the other higbridge courses, this one is well manicured without being overgroomed, rough hewn from a chunk of the northlands.
Like the other highbridge courses, this course excels at late trouble, carefully kinking the fairway into a tunnel shot or throwing up hills or trees around the pin. Because this course is often more off the tee than TB, WG & BH, this late trouble is more noticeable, both when its there, or in its absence.
This course, as do all the others at Highbridge, embodies a particular aspect of the game: distance, so it helps to compare it to the other ones a bit.
Now, this is not like, wide open stupid distance, aka field distance. I mean relative to its neighbors, this course is relatively less wooded and rewards controlled distance with some less risk relative to reward. On The Bear, Woodland Greens, and most of Blueberry Hill, you feel like you are shooting down tunnels carved in the woods, with some ceilings, but not here. On this course, the trees are not all-encompassing on either fairway, but usually more of a patchy feel, dodging clumps of trees vs walls. I think this is because this course seems to run through more of the old ball golf fairways, now hilly swathes of sparsely treed passages peppered with sand bunkers and lakes.
It keeps it technical, but lets you unleash the hounds a bit. This course has some very nice terrain on it. Amazingly, it feels like there tons of downhill drives, but very few uphill ones, which is truly a testament to the course design. It lets you rip it downhill off the pad, but usually it will throw a patch of nast OB to one side or other, or something quirky like a deceptively steep down/crosshill shot.
Shot placement is key, and with the open fairways in play, wind can and does become a factor here often.
Another bonus is that with the added D, it gives more opportunities for lovely par 4s and 5s that we dont see at the city parks. The distance is good, because you will need it to play some placement golf to squeeze out the occasional 3 on the par 4s, or even just to make par on several of the 3's, many of which are still quite long.
Personally, I am biased towards more technical courses, but this course is still a blast to play and really won me over.
Of all the courses at Highbridge, I think its the most scenic, for all the wonderful hilltop panoramas of the wisconsin countryside. There are benches in place to enjoy the view by several of the tee pads, even a gazebo skeleton at a critical place between two pads.
Cons: I love the chances to crush it on this course, the challenges it throws at you, but for a course so well designed, it does seem to have a few rough spots. There are some nasty patches of OB on this course, and the shule less under control than on blueberry. This can be annoying and lead to lost discs and time spent searching.
Heres a list of the SPOTS TO AVOID
On hole 2, the trees off to the right can be tricky to spot a disc in, and no fun to shoot out of.
On hole three, about level with the line of trees off to the right, there lies a nasty little marsh that eats discs like crazy. Even after we lost one there the first round, it ate another disc the next round, despite trying to avoid it. So, have a spotter down below, or steer clear.
On hole 7, watch the pit to the left(assuming the lake is usual size), tough to find em in that hillside or down below. Also watch for poison ivy on the hillside. Not much but its there
On hole 9, the swamp is like the Beast's yard from Sandlot. It goes in there, its gonzo. Plus, as we discovered, there are bees and probably sasquatch living in that thick pile of soggy shule, so dont even think about venturing in after it.
Still shoot over it, just be aware of the risk.
Other than that, not too many surprises here.
I am partial to more wooded courses, and feel like this course rewards distance more than accuracy and shot-shaping. It still counts, but if you cant break 350, this course will really push you to get par. Its doable but not easy.
It seems like at places this course uses OB in place of water. As above, some of the patches are kinda nasty for such an amazing course, but I guess the idea is just don't go there, so I understand.
Though the holes here are all good, and several holes, off the tee especially, are wow holes, to me at least there is not quite enough variety here to outweigh the few rough shule spots and still be a 5.
Also, the signs do not have screws to mark current pin placement like on BH, so judging D is sometimes not a given.
Other Thoughts: Frankly, this may be my least favorite course at HB, but thats like choosing between chocolate and rocky road ice cream. No losers there.
This is a more tiring course to play, almost on a level with Gold. Bringing extra water and some snacks would not be a bad call.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Another amazing beauty
Pros: Elevation and length. You can let it rip, really rip here because you have both the distance, elevation, and wide open spaces on this course. This one uses the wide open former golf course the most of all HHSC courses. So, get out your super S-curve hyzer flip discs and bombs away. The elevation is used in a great way here, especially when you hike back up to the same mound to tee from a common area on multiple occasions.
Cons: Not as many woods. Granite is more open than Blueberry and Gold. And it is vastly more open than Bear or Woodland. The long former golf holes along the road are pretty lackluster and boring in my mind. Water is minimal here and not as well used as Blueberry or Gold.
Other Thoughts: The only thing this course lacks in is comparison to its companion courses. Blueberry and Gold (and hopefully soon an 18 hole Bear) just offer more wooded holes, so by my preference, Granite is slightly too open compared to the others. It does have a few nicely designed wooded holes, some huge distance, and great elevation, probably the most at Highbridge (and most seem to play downhill even though you start and end at the top!). I willrate this a 4 in comparison to the other courses, but in it's own right it is also a 5. I just don't like it as much as the other 5s. The entire HHSC experince, playing all courses multiple times, camping onsite, and amazing terrain/land is what makes this a 5 disc destination.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
My favorite at the Highbridge Complex
Pros: Great scenery in the northern woods of Wisconsin. From the top of the course you can see for miles and miles. The course consists of great hiking terrain out in the wilderness (no towns anywhere near the Complex). Granite Ridge has more open holes than the other courses at Highbridge. Some fantastic downhill drives on this course are the most fun shots you'll get to throw just about anywhere. Great holes from start to finish with a mix of par 3's and 4's. Every hole is fair and there are a handful that are some of the most memorable holes you'll ever play.
Cons: Terrain is really rough and rocky. Watch your step. Grass can be pretty long in spots so keep an eye on your drives.
Other Thoughts: Highbridge disc golf complex is the #1 site in the world for great disc golf!
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Less of a course than the others here, but amazing design and open elevation niche filling
Pros: Granite adds distance to the course and looses some of the trees. All in all, that's a con in my book. You probably get more elevation at granite than any other course at highbridge so use it wisely and cherish it as well if you like throwing downhill. I like the 'multi-use' elevated tee area for three of the tees here. There is a spot where three holes share the same elevated tee 'mound' where you throw from and then play a loop of 2-3 holes and make your way back to it to throw from a different direction. There are some amazing views to be had at granite. It is a great feeling to rip discs from an elevated tee and watch them float toward the pins below. The design, as mentioned in other reviews, is such that although the most elevation is probably on granite, it doesn't feel like it. Until you throw uphill 900' or so on #18 (the most brutal hole 18 anywhere). Granite offers elevation, woods, water hazards, terraced greens and tees, and amazing views.
Hole #3 is a very memorable rip downhill with a picturesque view.
So, you get woods, huge elevation, water hazards, other OB, technical holes, and long rippers - all the elements of an amazing course.
Cons: As far as scenic beauty though, granite is the least beautiful of all the highbridge courses. It lacks due to location because it shares fairways with both of the main roads to the top of the hill and the county road past the hill. So, you lose the feeling of being secluded and lost in a disc golf paradise as cars and tractors drive by. But, those roads are also OB, so that extra element of course design is a plus. I don't prefer distance over accuracy, and Granite adds a LOT of distance over blueberry but loses all kinds of need for accuracy because the elevation is used for this course and not the wonderful woods on the hill. Gold actually has more wooded holes than granite, so don't let all the hype about distance on Gold fool you. Granite plays something like 8000'+ as well for 18 holes. Despite Granite being described as an open course, it is not stupid open like throwing across a field like so many lame courses - Indian Creek, Pinecrest, Cato Falls, etc). Even the wide fairways are flanked by untamed woods, ravines, water, roads, and other unfavorable and OB design elements.
The signs at all the HB courses are beginning to suck because they are all faded out and you can barely read the distance. (And lack of GREAT signs at a disc golf complex is a huge pet peave of mine and I should knock points off the rating). Plus, a marker system needs to be added to them to show which pin location is in play. On Granite there are a few holes that have another tee (not one of those Granberry tees) which seems like the long tee that we play during the round, but the tee sign is on the shorter tee, and then there is an even shorter crushed rock tee in places. Better and more permanent tee signs are a must.
Other Thoughts: While this is my least favorite of all the highbridge courses, the experience as a whole is balanced out when playing every courses here over a weekend many times. Then and only then will you get your shot at redemption on a hole, but also get the true feeling of variety and wonderful design. HB will fail to fully impress visitors because it is rough around the edges and attention to detail is lacking. Items like navigation, great tee signs, garbage cans, etc are missing here so the city boys and country club players will fail to rate these courses as 5's. While on the whole I might partially agree with that assessment as well, once you've played all HB courses more than once, and you see the amazing design and variety, and the contrast and compliment each course has is amazing as each course fills a niche.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Beauty meets Design
Pros: This course along with parts of the other courses were originally going to be ball golf courses. Therefore you have a beautiful open layout with some great landscaping. Long sloping holes make for some long par putts. Well maintained as are all the courses here at Highbridge thanks to John. This course takes you to some amazing views of the hilly country side.
Cons: I can't say anything negative about any of these courses here.
Other Thoughts: This place deserves attention. You must plan to spend at least two full days here to take in all this beauty. Wonderful
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 6 Not
Favorite course ever
Pros: This is as close to a perfect course as one will find, in my opinion. It contains a vast variety of holes. Some are short and tight, others long. Elevation change is a definite plus here. One hole is my favorite ever (can't remember the number): You tee off at the top of a hill overlooking the gorgeous Chaquamegon forest. You can see the pin down the hill and past a large tuft of trees. Bomb a big hyzer over the trees, or face the wrath of the rough. There are a couple well-placed pins near a pond.
Cons: It's one of those courses that can wear you out (nothing, though, like Gold at Highbridge, which is grueling). So the 600' 18th can be daunting. I wouldn't recommend teeing off later than 10:00 a.m. on hot days, because finishing on that hole can be tough.
Other Thoughts: GO TO HIGHBRIDGE. SUPPORT DISC GOLF PARADISE.
5 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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