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.
6 Helpful / 4 Not
Plenty of Granite, a Few Ridges, One Hell of a Hike!
Pros: 1. Elevation. Nearly every hole has some type of elevation change to deal with, including some tricky pin placements on hillsides and mounds. Amazing views on the huge downhill bombers. The back 9 starts and ends (#10 and #18) with uphill treks you'll regret should you be ill-prepared!
2. Variety. Although this course has lots of wide-open tee shots, design excellence can be found scattered throughout, like the unique mando tunnel after a huge wide-open tee shot (keep it straight!). The course was definitely designed with the prevailing winds in mind, too, without which these holes might seem more like filler than challenge (they are the latter).
3. Beautiful scenery. A large OB reservoir--the biggest hazard at Highbridge--and a decent-sized (easy to avoid) pond on a crazy downhill hole. Bring a camera!
Cons: Tee signs are really faded and could use some touching up,
Other Thoughts: This is a 5 in my opinion because it is a true test of DG skills, including accuracy, although it lacks in really tight fairways. The big elevation changes and OB are additional factors that bump this course to championship calibre, and there are many memorable holes.
Each Highbridge course is its own entity contributing in its own way to the awesomesauceness that IS Highbridge.
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Granite Ridge is the most open of all the Highbridge courses. The first few holes start at the top of the hill and stay wooded, but eventually give way to the well groomed open area. Just because the course is more open than the others here doesn't mean you can just open up and let it go though. There are several water hazards, small swamps, bunkers, well placed trees, and length to make it a championship course. The course has it all including elevation and beautiful views.
Cons: It can be a brutal play on a windy day. Hole eighteen is 600+ uphill. It's a great hole, but can be a difficult hike if this isn't your first course of the day. I know that it's necessary by design to finish back at the top of the hill by the pro shop, but it's not how I like to finish a round.
Other Thoughts: All of the courses here really do a great job of complementing one another, and not making a day of disc golf seem repetitive.
2 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Join Disc Golf Course Review
for free to add your review. Have an account already? Sign In
to add a review.