A Must-Play Course!
Pros: - Great variety: short, moderate and longer holes that offer unique challenges.
- Elevation: makes even the the greatest think twice about their shots.
- Beautiful layout: lake, swimming pond, foliage and plenty of vegetation to challenge every kind of player
Cons: - Water hazards.
- Some holes are hard to follow your shots so make sure you have a second pair of eyes watching.
- Navigation is a little tricky. There is a large gap between 9 and 10.
Other Thoughts: This is a quality course that will test even the most skilled disc golfers. The layout and length may seem intimidating to a beginner but don't let that keep you from playing one of the best courses in the midwest.
If you can shoot under par on this course you have a pretty solid game. The elevation, shot variety and overall setup of this course makes it fun for all levels. If you have never played a course with elevation I challenge you to play a round at Cottonmill!
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has a good mix of short, moderate, and longer holes.
Excellent elevation changes providing you with both uphill and downhill shots.
Well maintained, adequate signage, and ample tee pads.
Disc golf exclusive course.
Dog leg L/R holes, tunnel shots, and low ceiling shots.
There are a few holes that are Aceable and there are a couple of spots to air out some drives.
Also there are 2 holes with a lake to give you a water threat.
If you don't want to throw across the water holes 3 and 9 offer an alternative pad.
Pine/cedar grinding to help with erosion. Other amenities nearby like hiking, fishing, etc. A kiosk to tell visitors which position the pins are currently in.
Multiple pins placements to keep things from getting stale.
There are benches and trash cans sprinkled throughout the course.
This course provides many lines that need to be shaped and it will test your accuracy and your mental approach as well as your distance and shot making abilities.
There is a lot of risk/reward on many holes.
Cons: Navigation can be tricky in spots so taking the map is highly advised for the first time visitor.
Next tee arrows might help with the confusion for players not familiar with the layout.
Long walk from 15's basket(when it is in the B position) to 16's tee.
Some players might complain about having to walk around the lake on 3 and again on 9 to get to the other side of the fairway, for me this wasn't an issue.
Other Thoughts: This is a quality course that will test even the most seasoned of golfers. Its not overly technical so lesser skilled players can still enjoy their round.
If you can shoot under par on this course you have a pretty solid game and can compete with most players that you will encounter.
The shot variety coupled with the elevation and then add in the terrain make for some excellent golfing. This course has pretty much everything that a disc golfer could want in a course.
I throughly enjoyed my round at this course. If you are close to the area, or like road trips, hit this course up. I'm sure you will find something here to enjoy.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
If you only play one course in Nebraska...
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great variety.
Excellent mix of left, right, straight, tight, and wide open shots with water hazards and alternate tees.
Great views. Scenery changes throughout the course with meadows, woods, shade, sun, sand, people, wildlife, wild flowers, water, etc.
Lots of good elevation changes.
The course is not at all repetitive or monotonous.
The mature cottonwoods and other trees are nice.
You could have a tough time finding a couple discs and want to scream after a couple throws, but the challenge of the course is not so insane as to make you not want to play it; it is about ideal.
Cons: Tee offs and flow is confusing unless you have played it several times or have a map (print the one off this site before playing). This is sad, because it is a fairly big con, but about the only one I have of this course.
Other Thoughts: This is my favorite course in Nebraska and the one we play most often. It never gets old and is the course that really got my wife and I into disc golf. Many avid players consider it one of the best despite the flow being awkward at times. If you want to make an all-day or overnight trip out of it, Kearney has nice places to stay and other things to do. You can also play Centennial and get a park pass and play Ft. Kearny while you are in the area. The Kearney community has an app (Kearney App) that also marks out the golf disc holes and tee offs as part of its "Disc Golf Tour" within the app. This might help locating tee.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Challenging but fun
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Tricky shots and a variety of throws will be used. The scenery is great as this course plays around a large lake...which also means you will have some water shots for added challenges. Multiple walking paths. I thought the course was relatively well maintained and not a lot of trash, which is refreshing.
Cons: Since this is in a pretty popular park, expect lots of foot traffic from the paths. The holes can be a little tough to find if it's your first time playing.
A little biased, but wish there were a couple more open shots to really throw some long bombs.
Other Thoughts: Overall a challenging course, but this can make for some great risk/reward shots. Definitely a must play if you are in the area.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Best in NE?
Pros: -Nice baskets
-Easy to follow, especially with use of the map printed out on here.
-Some fun water shots that can be shortened or avoided by alternate tees which is nice. One of the water shots skirts the swimming pond so it was comforting knowing that I could safely hop in and find my disc if I threw it in there.
-Multiple basket positions on every hole.
-Good elevation, it starts out right away on hole 2!
-This course goes in and out of wooded areas the whole round and that kept it fresh and exciting for the whole round. There are shots that turn every way or multiple ways per hole. No super long or super short holes but lots of good variety.
-The designers did a really nice job fitting the course in here. It seems like a large area but it really isn't that big.
-Concrete tees were more than adequate.
-Provided a woodsy challenge without having too crazy of undergrowth.
-This park has all the amenities you need. Other fun stuff to do in the park for the kids like playgrounds and swimming. Bike trails, amphitheatre, bathrooms. Just a nice quality park on the edge of town.
Cons: -A few spots where I was a little confused about the layout. It would be fine if I played again even without a map.
-The ever present problem with multiple pins; where's it at now?! You just have to run up the fairway a bit sometimes. Not a big deal.
-You could lose a disc, this isnt your average city park course but not too easy to lose a disc either.
-A few times on the course you might have to be careful to not hit other park users. A few trails run right around or through the course and the swimming pond borders one hole.
Other Thoughts: This course was great. It had an awesome balance of fun factor and challenge for a player at my skill level. This course is just barely short of a 4.5 in my book and was by far my favorite course played on my recent road trip. This is easily the best course in Kearney and highly worth a stop if traveling on 80. If you only have time for 1 course, this is it. This course felt like a pay to play regional or state park or something but it is free! Thanks residents of Kearney!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Extremely good course
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Excellent course! Very professional design and maintenance. Great variety in holes with elevation changes, trees, turns, doglegs, and other obstacles. Surrounded by a nice park. Tee pads, signs and directions are present.
Cons: I can't think of many cons. This is a near perfect course. The water hazard can be a problem for losing discs or having to get wet searching for one.
Other Thoughts: This is probably the best course I have played out of many throughout the country. It really makes you forget that you're in central Nebraska when you're surrounded by scenery that looks more like a forested mountain area. This is a place where you can expect many experienced players to be. University of Nebraska Kearney is also nearby.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: +Nice variety of holes, required a large variety of shots
+Made good use of a couple of the alternate pin locations
+Baskets in good shape
+Tee pads level and in good shape
+Well defined fairways
+Rough, wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be to find errant shots
+Excellent use of elevation and water
+Located in a nice regional park setting
+Signs were well done and accurate
Cons: -Only two pin locations per hole, and most of the longer pin positions make many holes par 3.5's and result in very easy upshots instead of 20-40' putts.
-Don't remember seeing many trash cans
-Only remember seeing one or two benches
-Flow was pretty good between holes, but you need to print a map, there aren't any on-course indicators of where the next hole is. With the map, it wasn't too difficult
-Many greens weren't viewable until you're halfway down the fairway, and there were no indications on the signs of which pin position was currently in use
-I could see this course getting easily log jammed or dangerous when full
Other Thoughts: I was really surprised by this course. On my way back to Colorado from Minnesota I spent the night in Kearney and played this course first thing in the morning. It had many well-designed holes that challenged me to throw a wide variety of shots. I liked the scenery and park setting. All of the baskets were set in the shorter pin positions, and there was really nothing to complain about with regard to the golf itself. Tunnel shots, semi-open bombs, well defined fairways, and balanced number of lefty/righty holes made for a great time. There were a couple pucker-inducing drives near the water as well. I'm a lefty and I got to bust out my "work-in-progress" forehand several times on holes where a lefty backhand was clearly at a disadvantage. I lost an disc on one such forehand on hole 7, but I birdied three other holes with forehand drives in the 250-310' range.
The reason I don't give the course a 4 is due to the lack of variety in pin placements and the flow of the course.
If this were my home course, I'd get tired of the same two pin locations, especially because many of the longer pin positions make the holes boring pars (assuming par 3) or easy birdies (according to the course-specified par 4) for anyone in the 400-475' power range. IMO, the course is best suited in the shorter pins, and I'd like to see an extra pin placement or two in the shorter pin range.
The flow of the course is absolutely fine if it's empty and you bring a map, or have played there before. But in the middle of the day when it's crowded with other park-goers and disc golfers, this course could take forever to play with all of the blind greens. On many of the holes you can't only not see the green, but you can't see the path to the next tee as well, so you really have no idea when the group in front of you is done unless you hear the chains or they call 'clear.'
I plan on coming back to this course every time I drive through NE, it was definitely fun enough for that. Go in the morning before the crowds pick up and you'll enjoy an excellent round of golf, they've really done a nice job with the course. Add a couple shorter pin positions and pin location indicators and I'd gladly rate this course at a 4.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice small signs and concrete tee pads.
Course landscaping and maintenance is great.
Some water holes in play, alternate tees offered to reduce risk.
9 was one of my favorite holes out of the 123 holes I played in Nebraska. It was an over the water shot where you had to hit your line then play uphill to the basket. 15 was a cool over the water shot, but there is a picnic table directly in front of the A basket.
Loop of 11 and 7.
13 and 14 are back to back ace runs.
Some tight technical holes, a little elevation, some water carries, open throws, and variety in distance.
Average hole distance 306, but holes are either short or long. Half the course is under 250 and only 5 holes between 250-400 feet. (<200=1, 200-250=8, 250-300=1, 300-350=2, 350-400=2, >400=4)
Cons: Not a great beginner course. There were 26 kids playing when I started. By the time I got to hole 6 there were 14 kids on the beach because they lost all of their discs. Course is very punishing if you leave the fairway on some holes.
Extremely crowded. Lots of players and lots of random people on the course. Lots of people meant lots of litter. Several times I walked up to a piece of litter thinking it was my disc from a distance. 2 people were sitting on the picnic table just feet from 15's basket.
Several possibilities for disc loss, but the water is only a small risk.
2 pin positions on many holes, but now way to know which position the baskets are in. Some holes are totally different and you need to know which line to hit.
Signage needed. No navigational aids to hole 10. Hole 16 was hard to find even with course map.
Some baskets are unmarked or marked incorrectly
Course ends with a short little let down hole.
Other Thoughts: I think this course is rated so highly because it is your only option for a quality 18 hole course for atleast an hour. Their is only one other 18 holer in NE with in 100 miles.
It was my second favorite of the 12 courses I played in Nebraska.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
New Englander Impressed!
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I was blown away by this course. I've played almost all of my disc golf in Massachusetts and the only course I've seen that is better than Cottonmill is Maple Hill in Leicester, MA.
-The aesthetics of the course were phenomenal.
-There was an incredible range of holes, many of them easily separating the good from the great.
-The water is used well and it's hard to lose a disc in the water.
-The rough is also forgiving and it's easy to find errantly thrown discs.
-The concrete tee pads are excellent and the baskets are all in great shape.
-There was no one else on the course and parking was a breeze.
-There were some dynamic elevation changes, tight technical shots, open bombs, dog legs, etc.
-Holes do not favor one type of thrower over another. Nice balance of left- and right-bending holes.
-Clean course without litter.
Cons: -We had to look at our printout of the course map twice to find our way.
-Multiple pins/baskets is what would take this course to the next level.
Other Thoughts: I was thoroughly impressed by this course and it is a clear example of an excellent, 4-disc course. Improve the maps and navigation and add another set of baskets and it's a 4.5. The fact that it's free and close to town and the interstate make this course a real gem. I will play this course every time I'm back in Kearney. If you are driving by on Rt. 80, you have to stop by to play! It's only 10 minutes off the interstate.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
The Best Kearney Has to Offer
Pros: Cottonmill DGC is overwhelmingly better than every other course in the Kearney area. The well-maintained park has an interesting mix of foliage, elevation changes, water hazards, and tight lines. At just over 5000 feet the course feels longer than posted because of punishing lines and numerous blind shots. #3 and #9 are a signature holes where you must fly the water on your drive and position yourself well enough to get a look at the pin on a tough uphill approach. Par on these holes are hard fought for even great golfers.
The park has typical park amenities with campground, bathrooms (out of the way from the course) and beach play areas. A family could spend the weekend here while you hit the course. The tee areas are concrete and marked with small signage. Finally, I like when a course plays back on itself where you can choose to be done after the front nine and be near your car.
BEST HOLE/S: #3; & #9
Cons: First-timers can have some navigation issues due to the lack of good signage and dense foliage. Plus, my two favorite holes intersect off the drive, so watch for other golfers - not to mention the dangers of the many blind shots. Depending on your preference, a few holes could be thinned out a bit, and throwing in the rough can make for a miserable round. As always, bring the repellent - since the mosquitoes can get fierce in the summer heat.
WORST HOLE/S: #6
When it comes to playing Kearney courses, you basically have Cottonmill DGC and then the rest. And while Cottonmill towers over the others in distance, terrain, playability, and overall quality - having played all of the Kearney courses, I will give and ordered rating of what I viewed as the best courses as well as my personal favorite courses in the area.
The best courses are ordered in what I believe are the variables other DG reviews would require to create a quality disc golf course. My favorite courses will vary a bit from the other rating just based on my overall playing experience and personal preferences. Take each with a grain of salt, and then go hit them all yourself and make your own list.
Overall Course Rating:
1. Cottonmill DGC - 4.0 discs
2. Fort Kearney State Rec. Area
- 2.5 discs
3. Centiennial Park
- 2.0 discs
4. Sunrise Middle School DGC
- 1.5 discs
5. Kearney High School DGC
- 1.5 discs.
Personal Enjoyment: (1 is best and 5 is worst)
1. Cottonmill DGC
2. Fort Kearney State Rec. Area
3. Kearney High School DGC
4. Sunrise Middle School DGC
5. Centennial Park
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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