7 Helpful / 0 Not
I got out of the car and thought “Whaaaa?”
Pros: Four Lakes Recreation is a weird course. Basically it is a small ski hill with baskets scattered around. Not a lot in the way of trees, mostly just a big open hillside. When I got out of the car, I instantly decided I was going to hate it.
#1 and #2 shoot up the hill with OB to the right with a nasty sinkhole (don't ask me how I found out about the sinkhole) past the OB fence. #3 is a blind downhill anny shot. #4 shoots back up to the top of the hill, #5 shoots across the top of the hill with a steep drop off on either side, #6 & #7 shoot back and forth across the hill, #8 is a dink downhill shot and #9 is a big 400' shot back across the bottom of the hillside. Other than #3 it was basically point and shoot golf with no obstacles other than the elevation and wind. It was strangely fun. Bad shots (and even not so bad ones) often went waaayyy down the hill for comic effect. For classic disc golf course design and difficulty it would rate very poorly, but for fun factor and uniqueness I would rate it very highly.
Cons: The main groan factor is that you don't throw off the hill. When I got out of the car I though "Well, at least we will get to bomb one off the hill." Then I was playing and having a good time and almost got to where I liked the place when #6 shoots across the hill and I realized "Hey, wait a minute…we don't get to bomb one off the hill? THAT STINKS!!!"
The tees were natural and most of them were on the hillside, so footing on the tee was meh. Some of the tee signs were in the way as well.
The one shot that does go downhill (#8) is a dinker with a table and a grill, then a building and parking lot past the pin. If you don't know how to throw downhill (and this is Chicago where there are no hills) you could easily blow way past the pin into the parking lot.
Hole #9 is too close to the volleyball area. Given that it is a long open hole, those are the type of holes where people throw all over the place. It's a bad design for the type of use that area has.
Given that the course was mostly wide-open, it would have to be considered a recreational design. There wouldn't be a ton of challenge in it for and Advanced-level player. We also had a couple of "which basket are we throwing at?" moments since everything was just sitting out there. From #3's tee the only basket you can see is #9, so it would be easy to just throw to it.
Other Thoughts: In the end I didn't hate Four Lakes. It was weird and silly and quirky and fun. It was worth the trip for me. I'm not sure how often I'd play here if I was local, but it was worth it to me to watch my drive on #6 flip and glide hilariously off course. It was a fun round. I can see how it might not be for everyone, and some people might absolutely hate it. I think it was unique enough that I'd say you need to come find out for yourself.
Note: The ropes for the ski lift were in place the day I was there, and on the first throw of the day Jukeshoe slid his drive right between two ropes that were no more than a couple of inches apart. If you are there when the ropes are up, I dare you to duplicate.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Where's the Downhill Bomb?!?! Geez.
Pros: - This quirky niner plays up, along, and (to an unfortunately small degree) down a large grassy ski hill.
- No trees in play except a couple of brushy patches off the fairways on #'s 2 and 3, and the large mature tree by #8's basket. During certain times, one must avoid snow fences and skiing paraphernalia such as tow ropes and the like. I imagine during peak ski conditions, the disc golf course is closed or severely limited in operation, but that's just a guess.
Where trees DO come into play, they do so in a pretty awesome manner for a course of this nature. The trees, brush, and small stream occuping the severe drop-off to the right of #2's fairway is hilariously epic in scope of punishment. The bottom has the look of an area where bums lurk, waiting to prey on wayward discers that occasionally happen along, while the chance of a successful recovery shot are very slim to none.
#3 forces a big annie (RHBH) around a much fairer form of punishment represented by the other patch of trees on site.
- Good elevation, with several shots back and forth the hill laterally. The pin positions accentuate the elevation when this course is at its best (e.g., #'s 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and espeically 8). Elevation down out of the park (#'s 3 and 5) creates ridiculously harsh (bordering on the hilariously absurd) punishment for slightly wayward shots. It actually adds to the pucker factor to some small degree. "Don't go over the low fence,
out of the park, down the steep hillside, over the parked cars, through the parking lot, and into the apartment buildings...."
- Decent signage helps navigate the open area where several baskets could be the next pin. Natural pads in pretty decent shape. Each hole has a small concrete marker with the hole number in addition to the signs.
Cons: - With the small downhill touch shot from #8's tee, no big downhill bomb is required. A total wasted opportunity for a course possessing one of the biggest bits of elevation in the immediate area. Boo, I say!
- If this course ever gets busy, watch out for other discers, as the course winds back and forth across the open hillside. Sand volleyball pits located to the right of #9 also look as though they conflict with the
course at times.
- #8, while a fun shot, seems to carry a fair risk of sailing into a sort of maintanence area, creating a potential safety hazard.
Other Thoughts: - A scenic view of the lakes and surrounding area awaits at the top of the course.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
different, and surprisingly fun
Pros: -Offers a ton of elevation, something which is almost entirely lacking from many of the other 9-holers in the region.
-Pleasantly suprising how much challenge the elevation adds, given that most of the holes are very open.
-Elevation used moderately well, at least from a variety standpoint, with a mix of uphill, downhill and cross-slope holes.
-Good signage, showing tee layout (which can keep you from accidentally throwing to 9's basket from tee 3) and, always one of my favorite things in a course sign, where the next tee is.
-In very good shape: shiny baskets, undamaged signs, trash cans here and there, neatly mown grass.
Cons: -Most of the holes are way too open, with the only obstacles being poles (very much like telephone poles). Holes 2-3 and 8 involve some trees, and 5 has several lift operator huts while 9's got the bleachers by the volleyball courts at the bottom of the hill. I think that's pretty much it.
-The volleyball courts create two problems: 1) if many of them are in use I think hole 9 would be simply too dangerous to play, and 2) I suspect they're the reason this hill course is missing a major downhill bomb, as they'd be even more at risk of some, shall we say, collateral damage. What's especially galling about this is that those two problems seem kind of at odds- if you're going to have a hole with a lot of danger of hitting bystanders, at least make it an exciting hole!
-Definitely not a lot of distance, although the elevation can make some of the holes feel a little longer. Hole 9's the only longshot, and it's the hole you're most likely to have to skip if you're worried about hitting volleyball players/spectators.
-The elevation was not always used to best effect on every hole. Two of the uphill shots are nothing but throwing up the hill- no obstacle (other than the minimal poles), so almost a straight shot up. And the one straight downhill shot was shortish, and had buildings beyond it discouraging a truly soaring throw.
-The signs seem to be of the same variety as those at Westchester's course, which have not withstood the test of time. I wouldn't be surprised if half of them have broken off in 4 years or so.
-Unleveled, grassy tees.
Other Thoughts: Despite the flaws, I had a better time than I'd been expecting, having read the other reviews before going. Holes 2-3, 5-6 and 8 will keep me coming back to this course periodically.
Admittedly, a lot of what I liked was simply the contrast between this course and a lot of the flatland 9-holers in the region. I kept mentally tallying up courses I'd choose this one over- Westchester, Lombard Common, Woodridge, Elk Grove Village, Roselle, IIT- even though technically speaking some of those are better courses than this one.
Also, I'm more a technical player than a distance player, so the overall shortness was compensated for by how the elevation came into play (on most of the holes), as far as I was concerned. That's purely subjective, so not everyone will feel the same.
I did not experience much in the way of pedestrian obstacles on my visit. In fact, most of the time we were there the only other people in sight were another disc golfer and a guy trimming the brush along hole 2.
In summary, I'd recommend anyone in the area go to this course to try it out, as long as you're not expecting anything truly exciting. I think most players will be amused enough at the elevation and the variety it offers from other local courses that they will not regret the one trip, and from that one trip you can decide for yourself if (like me) you want to go back from time to time. I would not recommend anyone go out of their way to visit this course, though.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: * Very easy to navigate
* The entire course is built on the ski hill/bump so you get a good workout just walking the 9 holes. The elevation changes are some of the most drastic and can provide a bit of a challenge.
* Not too many ways to lose a disc
Cons: * The entire course is built on the ski hill/bump so you get a good workout just walking the 9 holes.
* Lots of light poles on the ski hill that serve as obstructions
Other Thoughts: Holes 1 & 2 use the woods which looked pretty dense. Hole 5 is on the ridge of the hill so if you pull it left you are going to be chasing it down the hill/course. Go to the right and it goes over a hill straight into a parking lot. I imagine a few cars will eventually have a few broken windows.
* Everything was a par 3 with the exception of 9 which was a 4.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - There are some holes that make great use of the moderately sized ski hill. Three pretty good upshots, especially compared to any local courses.
- Decent use of the forest area on the first three holes, including a semi-tucked basket, and a major obstruction on another.
- One open bomber hole over 400'
- Nice baskets, natural grass tee areas clearly marked with signs.
Cons: - The length of the course suffers as a result of many volleyball courts on an already smallish hill. One hole is 420' the next longest is a downhill 277'.
- Hole 9 goes very close to the volleyball courts, and was surrounded by benches the last time I was there. Probably unplayable if park is in use.
- Almost all shots are wide open, with man-made skiing hardware being the biggest obstacles.
- A lot of holes just go across the hill, so there is little elevation change and just a tilted fairway.
Other Thoughts: EDIT: The first time I played, I missed the basket for #9 because it was surrounded by people. It is over 400', I gave bad info at first. Not sure if this helps or hurts the course, due to its location...
- Course is set up on a small ski hill, next to some volleyball courts. The first two holes are uphill with a pretty big dropoff to the right woods. #3 is a downhill shot that has a forest to go around or over. #4 is a pretty good upshot, definitely great for the area. #5 is a flat shot on the top of the hill; throwing to the left will put you way down the slope. #6, #7, and #9 are more or less flat shots, with the slope left to right more than up and down. #8 is a short toss off the hill and around some trees.
- In the map in the files, if it's still there, red is up, yellow is flat, and blue is more or less down.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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