16 Helpful / 0 Not
Dogleg Left...then right...then left again...
Pros: Among the most beautiful courses I've played, The Bear is played through long, winding wooded fairways and along the east-facing point of the mountain that houses all of the main Highbridge courses. And as with all of the other courses on this complex, the combination of natural beauty and eerie solitude contribute to the course in a very special way.
This is the consummate thinking-man's course. Even the most powerful players will be forced to lay up and play strategically; and even intermediate players will be tempted to gamble with a distance driver. Scoring well here requires a gambit of shots (including rescue shots.)
Cons: After being absolutely awed by the front 9 of this course, I found myself swearing under my breath on much of the back 9. The satisfication of teeing off with a midrange on a 700'+ hole to lay up to a tight landing area becomes monotonous after a while.
Even some of the holes in the 300-500' range, which should be par 3s, could be played as par 4s due to the incessant winding/turning of the fairways. It felt like I spent most of the round laying up, only to turn the corner and find that I had 2 doglegs left before I could get a shot at the pin.
As I recall, there was only 1 or 2 holes that were possible birdies for a player with <500' of accurate power.
The rough is punishing, no doubt, but so is the fairway in some areas. Lacing a shot up the middle and still having to root around in tall grass is frustrating - though I don't fault John for not having every inch of the fairways mowed, as it would be a full-time job considering the shear size of the complex.
Other Thoughts: Bring a great pair of shoes, a lot of water, and try to keep your groups down to minimum size. Playing with 6 people, it took us over 5 hours to complete our round. And most of us were out of water/gatorade after the 3 hour mark.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: When I played on 3/9/11, only the first seven baskets were in the ground and the others were just laying about 60 feet behind the 7th basket.
This course is very challenging. John, the owner of HHSC, promised that the last 11 holes will be just like the first 7, so I'm convinced that Bear will be a tremendous course when it's finished that definitely has the potential to be considered one of the hardest courses in the world.
It's a tightly wooded course with the longest of the 7 holes at 735 feet. This course definitely fills the niche of the "long/wooded" course that the HHSC was lacking before it was installed.
The bright orange baskets are very easy to spot from a distance and are unlike any basket I've ever seen. They're really cool.
Cons: We played here when there was still snow on the ground and the temperature was pretty low, but I'd imagine that bugs will be pretty annoying here.
Also, the Highbridge Hills Sports Complex in general is pretty far away from any stores. So make sure you stock up on food and water and that sort of thing. The closest grocery store is around 20 miles away.
Another con is that it gets dark in Highbridge...I really wish it would be light out all day long so you could play these courses all day! But seriously, make sure you plan at least two full days to play all the courses at Highbridge. They're all wonderful and totally worth playing.
Other Thoughts: All of the courses at HHSC are beyond awesome. The owner, John Jokinen, is a really, really nice guy and will go out of his way to make sure that you have a good time during your stay at the disc golf mecca. It's definitely worth a trip here, no matter where you are!
Feel free to message me if you have any questions about the Bear or any course at Highbridge or Highbridge in general and I'll be happy to try to answer them. :)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: When I played here on 7/7/10, it was only 7 holes and I understand the rest will be installed soon. I know this might sound ridiculous, but based on the 7 holes I played I feel semi-comfortable rating this course as a 4 and here's why.
These are some of the toughest and most challenging holes I've played. They have long, winding, tree-lined fairways just daring you to go for it so the strokes can pile up when you realize you aren't as accurate as you think you are. These par 4 holes and the one par 5 are the kind of holes you feel great about getting par on and getting a birdie probably feels incredible. But I wouldn't know because I was no where near a birdie on any of the par 4+ holes.
Cons: Only 7 holes.
A little rough around the edges compared to the other courses here, but that's hardly a con.
Other Thoughts: John claims the rest of the course, when complete, will be just like the first 7 holes. If that's true, this will be more difficult than any course that currently exists at Highbridge. When complete this course has the potential to be 4.5-5.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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