1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Two 400-plus foot downhill bombs (Holes 1 and 10) elevate the fun factor to high levels. Both holes are near wide-open, with rough on the left (Hole 1) and right (Hole 10). Despite some high winds off of Lake Michigan, the downhill grade is steep enough to generate enough speed to keep your drive from either hyzering or crashing. Though not up to the ski-hill standard set by the nearby Mt. McSauba course, these are both terrific holes.
The other sixteen holes are tightly-wooded forest holes. Though underwhelming at first, they grow on you after the first couple of plays. Inspired in design by Coldbrook Park, they actually have more steep elevation changes that are more reminiscent of Myles Kimmerly, with many tall deciduous trees filled with woodpeckers and squirrels. The best of these holes have left turns in small valleys, such as Hole 2 (uphill), Holes 5 and 7 (downhill). The back nine is a bit more scenic, with two very steep drives (Holes 12 and 17). Hole 13 is another shorty, but has a precariously-perched pin position along a ridge that resembles many holes at LA's Chavez Ridge at Elysian. Hole 18 is a downhill tunnel hole leading back to the parking lot that is harder than it looks. The dense shade in the wooded portion of the course makes sunscreen unnecessary, though there are some bugs.
Though the course generally lacks amenities, signage is better than average, with color-printed layouts of each hole. Navigation is generally easy, though there are a few opportunities to make a wrong turn here and there.
Cons: This is a short course, as stated elsewhere, with some 'cheap' holes. Hole 8 is a 'Par 2' 94 foot 'miniature' disc golf hole. Hole 15 has a too-narrow right turn that seems a bit like a filler hole. Dirt tees are uneven, but are sufficient for sub-250 foot drives. Has a few more-than-average sawed-off stumps to whack feet and ankles on. The course lacks a bit of diversity, with no meadow holes and limited differentiation among the forest holes. The course is essentially fully-realized, with cement tees being one of few opportunities for improvement.
Other Thoughts: Not the place to go for Pros looking to display their driving skills, but an excellent beginner/intermediate level course that tests a player's short game. This was a difficult course to score; 3.5 discs may be a tad generous relative to other similarly-rated courses, but the composite score (3.35-3.40) is right on the money.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
What a great course, must play!
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: *Awesome Elevation changes - Be ready for
great hiking (wear shoes with good grip)
*Can play thru pretty quickly with short but
challenging par 3's.
*Great deuce holes all over!
*My first Ace ever here!
*Beautiful, simply beautiful
*Holes are marked and mapped, however
the placement of them is odd
*Pretty clean, I only picked up 1pc. of trash
*I marked 10 holes on my card as really fun
*Hole 12 is 153' almost straight up a hill,
*Trees, trees, trees, trees, trees, trees!
*Only a couple holes you really have to
drive, a Stratus, a Comet a Buzzz are really
all you need, I recommend packing light
*I will play here as often as I can!
Cons: -Tee pads are rough and natural
...That's all I have! Great place to throw even with kids!
Other Thoughts: ^Bring Bug Spray, Shoes with good grip
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Short and satisfying
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Two 9 hole loops
+ Easy to find up the dead end hill street (Arbor)
+ Portapotty, picnic tables, and grills in the shade
+ Easy to navigate without a map
+ Decent basket placement (mostly RHBH-favored)
+ Elevation changes sometimes make up for short holes
+ Trees/fairways are in top shape and provide the minimal amount of challenge for beginners/intermediate players
+ Painted stumps to avoid tripping
+ Great tee signs! Really top notch :)
+ Lots of parking
+ Dog friendly (very minimal burrs!)
+ Waste/recycle bins at almost every hole
+ Natural benches at almost every hole
+ Awesome location
Cons: - Tee signs face weird directions
- Wood chip pile/Christmas tree area with brush/waste dumped smells bad and is unsightly
- Unfortunately, the length of the course needs to be mentioned, even if you aren't expecting a monster layout (we weren't and were happy)
- Welcome sign area is under-utilized with no course layout map or scorecards (still early in the season, though)
- No concrete tees (but this can also be a positive)
- Stumps could be painted blue to contrast with the color of the leaves better
Other Thoughts: This is the shortest 18-hole course I've played. However, the land itself is utilized to its fullest potential, which is the saving grace and makes it worthy of play at any experience level. The thing to remember is: you're in one of northern Michigan's beautiful coastal towns right down the road from the incredible Tunnel of Trees (and Legs Inn!). Take what you can get and appreciate the secluded oasis this good 18-hole course offers.
That being said, I'll be honest and unbiased: this course will, in all likelihood, be a disappointment to advanced disc golfers who crave flexing their throwing muscles. But even they can appreciate the course! For advanced players, I offer this piece of insight: this is a perfect course for a quick solo round up north (while others shop?) or for the whole family.
Anyone can easily play it in 30-40 minutes solo and get in a decent workout on the hilly terrain. Drivers are unnecessary and most throws will fade rather fast because you won't be able to put snap on the disc without constantly overshooting baskets. This, and the fact that there aren't concrete tees, makes it a great course for practicing upshots. It's especially compatible with beginners as the holes play very calmly without much risk (although 12 and 13 had some risky business going on). Overall, there are only a few opportunities for frustrating roll-aways and those can be avoided by choosing BH/FH accordingly.
By far the best part of this course is the topography - nice hilly elevation changes. Distance issues can be overlooked and a lot of fun can be had throwing over small ravines, up or down gradual slopes, up or down steep slopes, to baskets on hillsides or little gullies, and through some heavily wooded fairways.
Beginners should be able to hit par on most holes without too much difficulty, which should help them enjoy themselves. Advanced players should be able to hit 5 under comfortably, which is always fun.
One thing I want to mention as a humble afterthought, is that hole 10's basket is clearly placed to be beginner/RHBH friendly, but I think that was a mistake (one that could still easily be corrected). The basket should be where 11's tee pad is, so the hole plays to the right reducing the RHBH right-to-left repetition, and to give the two loops a more symbiotic, yin-yang feel.
The last minor thing I want to mention is the oily black awful-smelling mess behind the wood chip/brush pile in the parking lot behind 18's basket. Avoid it. Make your dog avoid it, too. It's only like 8x10 feet, but it needs to be addressed by the city fast.
Worth playing? Definitely.
Thanks for reading! And thanks for putting up the course Harbor Springs!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
I love the Technality
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I loved the use of the sled hill on 1 and 11. A downhill bomber shot with an elevation drop that really makes it fun. Bring on the trees....technical, technical and more - a previous review mentioned hole 13 - I really liked the risk / reward, but with a solid forehand its another birdie op.
Cons: Just the fact that there are not any concrete tee pads and it has a shorter layout, but the fact that its a bit established and you get to learn to navigate trees made it a real winner for me.
Other Thoughts: I liked some of the Tee pad options....something else to consider would be adding multiple pin placements...why not also consider a donation box. Pay back the community for their effort in this sweet venue, or give back to your DG club.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Definately Worth The Visit
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I'll start by mentioning that this is the second visit to this course with my family in tow. This time around, I had a great guide in deBebbler.
The course wasn't perfectly clean, but there was only very small amounts of littering evident. Plenty of trash cans can be found. The regular players obviously care about their local course and keep it clean.
Tee Signage was great. Teeing Areas are easily found.
The front nine and back nine both start at the parking lot and bring you back to the parking lot. This makes a quick 9 holes very easy to play at this course.
While a lot of these holes may seem very short, this course forces you to throw into some tight lines and elevation changes that really add some difficulty.
Basket placements are excellent and in some cases, missing means back downhill! Really makes you buckle down and hit those putts!
Ace Runs are possible on nearly every hole. Especially the "almost" wide open downhill shots on hole 1 and hole 10.
Cons: Natural Teepads have definate signs of heavy wear and tear. Roots are starting to show, so please watch your step for now. I hear good things are happening to fix the issues this year, hopefully.
This course was definately geared more toward RHBH throwers in general. Very few holes forced you to finish right...
Navigation may be a little tricky if you are a first timer, but the signage is amazing.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed the time I had today, especially when my almost teenage son forgot how to count past 3. Long story...
I absolutely suggest that you should play this course and it is worth traveling to again.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course is very clean and easy to navigate. The signs at each tee box were some of the best signs I have ever seen. This course was designed very well, utilizing the elevation changes nicely. Holes 1 & 10 will give you the chance for the downhill bomb.
Cons: No concrete tee pads when I played, making footing problems a possibility. Some more experienced players may not like the number of shorter holes, but the way it was designed using the trees and elevation changes I think gives it a fair level of difficulty making up for the shortness.
Other Thoughts: Great mix of holes some with clear open fairways, some that have you thread the needle through the trees, some uphill, some, downhill. I believe this course offers a lil something for everyone.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Beginner Course Of The First Order
Using the grounds an old municipal sledding hill, this course has brilliant elevation for such a small piece of land. All of the land is used, and it has to be. The whole property is 22 acres, and that includes the sledding hill, clubhouse, parking lot, park and brush dump. Rich foliage (especially fall colors) with little traffic make this little course a joy to play.
Two sets of nines each start with a big bomb down one edge of the hill, immediately head into the trees, and you don't come out again until you finish, back at the parking lot.
Front 9 is flatter and has fair ground growth with more pine and mixed leaf trees. Definitely the less challenging set of the two, but each hole is measurably different from the others in what it requires. An old fitness trail winds its way around the holes.
Back 9 is an old stand of trees with a very high ceiling and a clean floor. Keeping track of your disc is easy, if you can follow it pin-balling around off the thick Ironwoods. A steep hill on the back quarter is incorporated into three holes, and another smaller hill in the front quarter is used for the last two holes.
Balanced blend of right/left/straight fairways, and a number of baskets are obscured from the tee. Pristine new signage with digital satellite overheads of the holes. Port-o-john at the top of the hill and dog friendly.
The wind can whip pretty strongly off the bay.
This course has the dubious distinction of being the shortest 18 holes in Northern Michigan. The two 400'+ holes are wide-open, big downhill bombs that can be almost putter shots if the wind isn't blowing. Twelve of the holes (two-thirds of the course) are < 200'. However, only three are <150', and 150' of distance plays a little differently when it is 35' uphill.
There are great risk/reward factors on a number of holes, but any experienced amateur will think "pitch-and-putt" during much of the round. I have scored over par only three times (two of those in the dead of winter), and I usually carry just mids and putters with a single driver that gets little non-FH use.
This is Kiwanis Park, and the Club sometimes rents the clubhouse for private functions. It is never "open to the public". Please respect their use of the grounds.
Even though the tow equipment is gone and the hill is no longer "operational", locals still sled on the big hill here, so baskets #1 and 10 are removed for the winter season.
No cement tees, yet.
Being that I am one of the four individuals who designed, built and convinced the city to give us permission/money, I wanted to wait to write my review. This course still has work to be done this year, but I felt ready to talk.
The trade-off of more trees for less distance is evident, but the other option for such a small plot is a long 9-holer. That option would have required clearing a significant amount of trees, and cause the course to take over the land, while now it almost hides in plain sight.
When planning this, we saw a need for a course that was not going to scare off new players. We all had taken new players to other area courses and saw their enthusiasm wane on that 450' hole they took another 6 on, after losing 2 of the 5 discs they own...and one of yours they borrowed.
Crowle is designed for the new player's growth, and an experienced player's practice. Skill, not prayer, will be your salvation on this very woody course. It won't bore you if you don't expect yardage, and it has the kind of elevation fun that the other local course couldn't dream of.
While not may favorite (#17), I really like hole #13, which has a tight fairway along a ridge for about 200'. It bends hard right with a STEEP drop off to the left, and requires a short tight anny for a RHBH thrower. A duffed drive, or hitting one of the many trees will have you down the hill quick, and overthrowing will do the same.
From the 94' par 2, to the 444' par 3, this course offers something up for everyone.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Hole #8 should be listed as a Par 2...
I have scored a 47 on the course... Many many birdies, 12 under par is not unreachable...
Cons: Should have taken a few more trees from 5, 7, 16...
Other Thoughts: I am very proud to have been a part of the designa nd development of this course. It's very fun!
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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