Excellent course, well worth the trip!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: >Good signs at each whole with an accurate picture of the hole
>Concrete tee pads were very nice
>The back 9 offered the most challenge, and this made the course better in my opinion
>Good use of the elevation in the park for the course
>Use of woods was good on the back 9 especially
>The view of the falls were nice
>Offered more risky landing spots with more easily accessible spots, making the course fun to play.
> Hole 6 was the best hole in the whole park in my opinion
>Multiple tee boxes for pros vs amateurs
Cons: >Lots of bugs
>Front 9 was relatively easy, since it did not have any obstacles or trees
>lack of trees or obstacles
>The holes were very straight forward and not many doglegs, since you could see the basket from the tee box on most holes
>Hole 12 had a big cliff that if your disk fell off, the likeness of getting it back is slim.
Other Thoughts: There was some new trees planted on some holes, which will be an improvement when they grow in. This was one of the best courses i have played, and me and my brother had fun playing this course. The only thing we didn't like was that there was a lot of alcohol being consumed during play, especially the people in front of us who carried a 18 pack of beer around with them.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Scenic, Expensive Looking, Mostly Open
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: New course with some of the nicest tee pads, benches, signs, and baskets around. Very well groomed. The falls (more like rapids) are cool to see and you can hear them from most of the course. A couple bomber holes for big arms to flex, and a few tighter, wooded holes tacked on to the end. I have never seen the course even remotely busy.
Cons: Some holes still need time to mature beyond large, wide open fields in order to make a well balanced course. The course and surrounding land are mostly open farmland so the course can be one of the more windy ones out there.
Other Thoughts: Many of the more open holes have had trees planted, so there will be more obstacles and scenery in years to come.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The falls is just a short walk behind hole 13's tee. While it isn't a big falls it's still worth checking out.
Lower Cato Falls has two sets of nice trapezoidal shaped concrete tees per hole, tee signs with distances from both tees and the signs indicate where the basket is on the picture. The baskets are blue and in great condition and there's a practice basket near the parking lot.
The course starts out with a great hole where the basket is behind a large group of evergreen trees and you get to choose either the hyzer or anhyzer route. After that the next 10 holes are mostly open field shots. The last 7 holes are short and wooded or semi wooded holes that force you to hit your line and reward you with a birdie when you do.
There are navigational signs where needed to direct you to the next hole. When I was here, there was plenty of mulch spread around the tee pads and the park looked very well cared for.
The course has slight elevation changes on many of the holes.
The shot diversity is ok, two holes force anhyzer shots. There's a good mix of hole length and dual pads do a good job of catering to players of all skill level.
Cons: The first 11 holes are mostly open and boring.
The 4 holes in the woods are rather short, half of them are 200 ft or less.
From the parking lot, the practice area is off to the right and hole 1 is across the road to the left. It took me a minute to find hole 1, but after that navigation was a breeze.
The short tee doesn't change the shot, but I imagine they're there to shorten the course for new players.
Other Thoughts: This is a great place for new and rec players, but it doesn't provide a challenge for more advanced players. While this course has some fun wooded holes towards the end of the round, the majority are wide open making the course fairly boring.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Very Nice Courses
Pros: Great Course. Great Baskets and placements, Great Tees, Benches, layout and nice and quiet.
Cons: More trees should be planted on alot of the open farways and more garbage cans need to be put by the benches. There should also be more alternate pin placements.
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
C+ = Slightly above average…..and slightly disappointing
Pros: As much as I would like to give this course an above average (2.5) rating, I just cannot see how this course is anything but slightly below average. It has so many things going for it (beauty, elevation, amenities, equipment) but too much of the course is uninspiring.
What I personally like and how this course stacks up in my list of 18 hole courses:
1) Holes with good risk/reward. Fair, but harsh punishment for bad decisions or execution. == C-
(Hole 1 long is cool with the basket tucked behind a very dense grove of cedars. It had me excited at the get-go after I shorted my drive and was punished with a bogey 4. I failed to execute…..and I paid! To my dismay I was bored out of my mind on the next (unlucky) 13 holes as they were wide open with only 1-2 forcing you to do anything special and basically zero/zilch/nada punishment if you messed up your drive. Fortunately, the course ends incredibly strongly with 5 GREAT wooded holes - 4 making use of fantastic terrain!)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities for me (I rate only from the long tees). I'm a Blue level player (950ish skill) who throws 300' accurately, 360' max. == A-
(This course seems perfectly tailored to me with almost all holes in the wheelhouse of excitement for me. A couple holes are a little short (but that adds the deuce-or-die challenge/fun) and just one is out of my range (the 420 hole 9). If there was more challenge than simply grip-it-and-rip-it on holes 2-13 this course would be an A+ in this category.)
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography == C-
(Again, holes 1 and 14-18 are spectacular and a ton of fun and challenge, and are test of real DG skills. And….the other holes drag the playing experience down the tubes.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion. == B+
(This course is in a quiet and remote area and is very tranquil. The rolling hills and lush greenness are stunning. If there were more trees breaking things up in the open areas it would feel much more secluded and would make all the walking and boring golf a little more tolerable. One neat aspect is a fast moving river WAY down a steep wooded hill that you can see if you look towards the sound of rushing water on a few of the holes.)
5) Bonus points for multi-throw holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them. == NA
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
A nice addition to Manitowalk in the Park!
Pros: 1) Nice signs and very well built. Hole #, Par, and distances listed on each sign along with a hole sponsor. Well thought out investment . . . lets hope they last longer than most tee signs.
2) Massive trapezoidal dual concrete teepads are the best in the business. I love these pads and what they offer to the course. They also used the mulch around the teepads effectively and that really adds to the playability, sustainability of the tee complexes from reduced erosion, and also the look of the course from reduced compaction and soil exposure. This is just another thing this course did the right way!
3) DGA Powder Coated Blue baskets as seems to be the norm for this part of Wisconsin.
4) Maintenance seems to be a priority on this course. The turf was mowed well, the mulch was in place, and the property was very clean.
5) Benches in many spots, picnic tables available for a mid round snack, garbage cans available in multiple spots, mulch used around tees and baskets, all in all they have just about every amenity that can be asked for.
6) DIstance variation from 195-420 on the slongs and 148-347 from the shorts. It is always nice to see distance variation as it makes you think different shots and throw approaches to some baskets. I like this variety and is becoming more and more a requirement for me to thoroughly enjoy a course. Repetition can be a fun killer!
7) The alternate basket on Hole #12 deserves .25 discs just for having this available. The basket is always in too which is even cooler allowing for people to play the normal basket or the long on any given day.
8) Practice basket is available up by the first tee area and there is enough room to practice putting but it is close to some playground areas which would inhibit approaches and longer putts from being doable when multiple people are around.
9) Good directional signs are available in a few spots where the flow could get confusing. Another thing they did right here.
10) Rest rooms available in the parking area are much appreciated. Grills also available for your Johnsonville Brats! I could spend a whole day here!
11) Retaining walls built around a few of the tees to help the erosion and also keep the area level at the end of the tee pad. Much appreciated and well done. Way better than most retaining walls that seem to be built on courses.
12) Overall this course is beginner friendly. Many of the holes will not challenge the better players, but some will and I do think the potential is there for improvements to some of these boring holes. Regardless all skill levels could enjoy this course.
Cons: 1) The front 9 holes are somewhat boring. I do appreciate the more wide open holes coming early as it gives everyone a chance to warm up their arms, but the overall impression of this 9 is that is too easy, not real imaginative, and somewhat boring. I know the property dictates what you can do, but this could have been an incredible course if some better land was used. It is not the designers fault in my opinion, he did what he could with the land, it simply brings down the overall impression of this course.
2) #5 and #6 are somewhat rough and could use some cleaning and maintenance to make them better holes.
3) The openness of the first 11 holes is the biggest con on this course. Sure there are woods available and some of the baskets are close to the woods, but overall it would be nice to see some trees planted on a few of these open fields. I only fear that they might not survive all the plastic driver hits. If they could tighten up some fairways and maybe put a little more trouble around the baskets on these holes they would have a much better front 9. They aren'y horrible but the overall impression is overwhelming in how much better holes #12-18 are compared to 1-11.
Other Thoughts: I am glad to see this course included int he Manitowalk in the Park despite the fact I may never play that tourney because of a conflicting golf tourney the same weekend every year. Silver Creek is awesome but Indian Creek is just horrendous. If only you could take the back 9 here and the back 9 at Indian Creek and you might have a decent 18.
I like this course a lot, it was built properly, all things were well thought out in advance, they invested in all the amenities from the beginning. It is well designed for the property and it has a nice variety overall. I would like the challenge to be more ever present but maybe they can invest in some nice hardwood trees to make the more open holes better.
While the overwhelming feeling of this course is positive, it is hard to overcome the blandness of the first 11 holes. If they were able to improve these holes with some trees, or add holes on some of the better terrain on the property this course could be one of my WI favorites. If it stays the way it is, it will remain a well maintained, average challenge, and average design (no offense to the designer, he did what he could I am sure) with all the amenities one looks for on a course. I do wholeheartedly agree with others that tucking some of those baskets into the tighter wooded areas would make this course better. Why not make some 50-100' approaches into these native wooded areas. Afterall, you would likely only be removing buckthorn in a lot of these locations!
The long tees most certainly will add some challenge, but it doesn't really alter the open boring feel of the front 9.
I guess what I am saying is a few thousand dollars of an investment in some trees might be worth it. Hey the county surely has a tree spade, maybe they could just spade in a bunch of Maples and other hardwoods from some of their other properties to bring the cost way down. It would make this course so much better, but as it is, I did thoroughly enjoy the course. It isn't in my top 50, but it does have that potential. It is above average, I just basically wish the challenge was more used on the beginning holes.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Lackluster underwhelming design, or overly conservative parks department rules??
Pros: Hole #12 long pin position! This hole offers some of what everyone should love about disc golf. It plays mainly through a manicured park lawn with awful rough on either side. It even has elevated tees. Then the long pin is off into the edge of the woods and on a steep little ledge with risky green rollaways written all over it. This long pin position shines (weird hole though with both the long and short pin positions in place permanently - what if you aced the short pin while going for the long pin - would YOU count it?)
Hole 16 is an excellent wooded hole (17 is pretty close too). Both play slightly uphill under a tight canopy of woods and offer great RHBH anny or RHFH drives and pretty disc flights. These two also offer more distance than the simple 200' straight wooded holes 14 and 15. But take a look left when walking over the bridge on #17 and imagine if there were more holes using that type of terrain!!
The terrain of the park in the woods and sloping down to the river is absoutely gorgeous. I think we should all hold out hope that their will be a relaxation in the parks department and they will allow some expansion into these areas, and the design will actuallu utilize much more of this beautiful and challenging terrain for a real disc golf course.
#18 looks pretty nice as a hole, a large willow frames up a required right to left drive, but don't go left too much or you'll be in the corn field (and those children of the corn sure are creepy).
Huge benches here make the kids feel like they're in a movie about giants.
The park is well outside the city, quiet and secluded. No need to worry about kids stealing discs like at Silver Creek.
Cons: Wide open hay fields used with wide open mowed park lawns way too much here for full length boring and spectacularly underwhelming fairways. These boring holes don't even require huge distance (one hole over 400').
Looking at what could have been with the terrain of the wooded areas is something that saddens my disc golf heart. Basically holes 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 are a complete waste (ESPECIALLY 2-4, the hayfield holes)! Holes 1, 5, and 6 get a bit better, but are still underwhelming and could have been better laid out with more risky greens (wide open greens abound here and I am NOT a fan!). A few elevated greens and tees could spice things up a bit, but you're still throwing over hay until 20 years from now when the transplanted trees mature nicely and offer SLIGHT obstacles.
The park gravel road is about the only thing to contend with on many holes (still WIDE open holes) and it is not even marked as OB on the tee signs - it should be!
The finish on concrete tees is absolutely awful! Here is yet another instance where I think all the concrete lovers (and natural tee haters) are so terribly off base. These tees have nothing more than a veru light broom finish. They also appear to still have the glaze on them from being sprayed to improve curing. Hopefully the glaze wears off, but the finish is still not as rough as it needs to be. The grass and woodchips were SLIGHTLY damp from some rain 6 hours before our round, and we were slipping all over the tees (me with a full length runup approach and hard RHBH plant step, and my wife with a 2 step RHFH)!
It is such a shame to see litter and broken glass on such a new course. Really?!?! You drive out of your way to play a course, something you must like to do at some level because you made a conscious effort to play in the 85 degree humid days we've been having. Then you proceed to litter your cans and bottles all over the course. PACK OUT YOUR TRASH YOU TRASH!!!
There are no water hazards here.
There are no defined OB per the signs.
There is no extreme elevation (sharp ravines or long/high hills).
There are multiple tees but only single pin positions.
The course is by far more open than wooded.
There are only par 3 holes here. No long wooded holes, or real long open holes.
Other Thoughts: It is definitely not as good overall as the other courses I've rated a 3. Some of the highlights of this course really shine (#12 long pin, #16, #17), while a huge majority of it is such a waste. I agree entirely with jhgonzo about the poorly chosen locations for the hayfield hole greens. I couldnt' help but think "why isn't this basket tucked 50' into these AWESOME woods?! It really came to light when we finished hole 11 and were walking to 12. Just off the road on the left is a little washout creek that forms a peninsula in the woods - great spot for a green! With half of the holes being a complete waste, the course really deserves a 1.5 at best. I really like a few of the holes, and I'm holding out hope though for more wooded and sharp elevation goodness! And hoping the trashy litterbugs can keep garbage in check!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Some fun, some boring
Pros: The course begins in open rolling grassy areas with some scattered areas of trees off the fairways to catch errant drives. The back nine goes into some thick woods for some tighter more technical shots to add some variety. There is some minor elevation change throughout the course, and it's used pretty well to create a little more challenge and interest. One hole has an alternate basket further in to the woods than the short pin that offers a great roll away green down a steep little hill (I think it's hole 12 with 2 baskets). The wooded holes do a nice job of mixing up the shot shapes, with a good balance of right and left turning holes. The front nine has some good length with a couple holes you can rip a drive on, and the back nine has less length and more technical challenges.
For such a new course, the amenities here are quite good. There are dual concrete tees that are large and textured. Each hole has a nice tee sign showing the hole layout and the distance to the pin from both pads. There are next tee signs where needed, there are a couple non-obvious walks but they are clearly marked so the course is very easy to follow. The baskets are new and catch great. There is a putting area by the parking lot with enough space to throw some approaches at the pin.
Cons: The front nine gets a little boring, too many of the holes are wide open with only wind as an obstacle. Apparently tree planting is planned, so this could slowly get better. There isn't enough length variety on either section of the course to keep both nines from feeling a bit repetitive. There were some potential alternate pin placements throughout the front nine that would make it much more interesting with baskets that could be put into the edge of wooded areas or near elevation changes for a little more challenge. The dual tees are nice, but they don't change up the course much, they only change the distance a little on most holes so it's not worth an extra round to play both sets of tees. It would be nice to have signs at both sets of tees, but I know that's expensive and even more maintenance required.
Other Thoughts: This is a nice course, and clearly is still improving. It could use a little more variety and some more creative pin placements, but it's not a bad place to play. Beginners will find the course approachable, with not too much length or challenge from the shorts. More experienced players won't be truly tested, but there are some fun shots here. Don't plan a whole trip around this course, but if you're in the area it's not a bad stop. By one tee there is a path down to the river for a view of the falls, it's worth a quick walk down.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Cato Falls Short Compared to Silver Creek, Rises Above Indian Creek
Pros: 1. Variety. While the course is primarily open, shot shaping is required around trees and wood-lined fairways, and a decent mix of straight holes with righty- and lefty-friendly designs. The few wooded holes in particular were pretty cool, with elevation coming into play as well as tight fairways. Hole #1 is a reachable blind hole with a large conifer dead-center in the fairway, so it's a good opener hole in that it's conducive to righty or lefty shots. Hole #12 is a cool downhill hole requiring a big RHBH hyzer, easy to end up in the woods if your hyzer line isn't executed properly.
2. Maintenance. This course just opened, but it's clear that in this county park setting it is well cared for and receives plenty of funding. Didn't see many trash cans on the course, though I'm certain those will be coming, especially with Manitowoc's biggest tourney (with one round now played here, the other at Silver Creek) right around the corner. No litter problems yet.
3. Dual concrete tees. This is always nice to see, especially since a lot of courses have limited funding and usually choose to do just one set of tees in concrete, leaving (usually) the shorter tees natural/woodchip/etc. It's clear the Manitowoc crew wanted to kick things off right with their newest course, and all of the tees were level, and even while playing a round in the rain I didn't see any water pooling, so they are draining excellently.
4. Multi-use park setting. If the wife and kids don't want to play a round from the shorts, there's a nice little playground, or they could head down to the falls and do some fishing, or have a picnic.
5. Nice handcrafted benches at every hole. Not a physically exhausting course, so benches at every hole may seem a bit superfluous, but on a busy day and being in the open (i.e. hot sun), these will be much appreciated.
6. Putting practice basket near parking lot.
7. Bulletin board near parking lot. No info posted yet, but I'm sure this board will get used with the upcoming tourney.
8. Next tee signs where appropriate. Still recommend printing a course map (in the links section above) for first-timers out here until permanent navigational aides are in place.
Cons: 1. The first few holes are pretty bland, lots of wide open shot followed by wide open shot to an unprotected basket, albeit with gently rolling fairways (but not enough elevation change to really affect your shot or lie). Holes #1-5 and #10 all play AROUND little wooded islands instead of going into or through them, which would make this course much tougher (and enjoyable if you're into that kind of wooded punishment). Most of the Front 9 is very reminescent of Indian Creek, and it's not until Hole #14 that you actually get the chance to shoot into some woods, and it IS a blast once you get to these holes and get to finish out your round with some real finesse shots and narrow fairways. I'd suggest playing the Back 9 twice, but there's no real 9-hole loop design here where you can easily just play the Front or Back.
2. I noticed on numerous occasions where pin positions were lackluster when observing the surrounding terrain that could have been utilized (a sharp dropoff in the woods just behind the pin, a small clearing in the woods, etc.). Just simply relocating some of the baskets could drastically change some of these bland holes and add some real risk. But, this is a county park and I'm sure there were severe limitations on where they could install baskets, how much brush they were allowed to clear, etc.
3. No permanent tee signs yet, but I'm not knocking any points off for this. There's a sample sign at Hole #1, and throughout the rest of the course you're greeted with "Course Under Construction" signs, so obviously this is still a work in progress.
4. The long tees aren't much different than the shorts, just longer. Most of the longs are just stuck 40-100 feet behind the shorts, maybe just off to the side, without changing the feel of the holes that much. I like when a course tantalizes me with short tee locations that make me want to play another round from short tees just to get a different experience (Tendick Nature Park suffers from this same flaw with their dual tees).
5. There are restrooms near the parking lot, but hit these up before you start your round since, like stated, the course doesn't wrap back around to this point until Hole #14. Especially keep this in mind with children -- My son had a bathroom emergency on Hole #8, which is about the furthest point AWAY FROM the restrooms! Again, not knocking points off for this; it's just quite a haul back if you "need to go" at some point in the turn.
Other Thoughts: As stated in my review title, this course doesn't quite live up to Silver Creek. I did find it much more enjoyable than Indian Creek, although I admit I wasn't expecting much more than another Indian Creek when seeing the course installation photos. The redeeming holes are found on the Back 9, and without these I probably wouldn't have given this more than a 2.5 (in actuality it would've been more like a 2.75). The wooded holes fulfill the need for a balanced course, but Cato Falls isn't so crazy wooded that noobs/kids/casual players will get extremely frustrated. All in all this was a fun course, and with the falls nearby I can envision spending a day out there with the family, picnicking and enjoying nature with a few rounds of DG thrown in for good measure.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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