Air Zoo in Kzoo!
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Air Zoo DGC offers 18 holes of mostly pitch and putt style golf. Most holes are suitable for beginners, with fairly short lengths and broadly defined, open lines. The course plays through a couple of moderately wooded areas and a few open grassy spots.
- Not much elevation to speak of, but the little bit available was used well. Several of the holes have little dips and rises, but nothing particularly memorable. #5 has a little downhill ace run, while #9's basket is nestled on the far edge of a small depression.
- Decent enough variety throughout the wooded sections. A nice mix of shots keeps things from seeming repetitive or boring. The course plays easy (even for casual rec players like myself), but still provides some exciting ace runs and many birdie opportunities. Beginners will find some challenges in the line-shaping required through the trees. The wooded areas are clear enough of undergrowth that all but the worst shots can still be recovered from for par.
- A detailed map is posted at hole #1 that makes navigation a snap. Some baskets have one rung painted black to indicate the direction to the next tee.
Cons: - Other than the map posted at the beginning (and for some reason by #3's tee), there is no signage of which to speak. Not too much of a drawback as the flow is pretty obvious and the distances are all short enough to eye-ball.
- The rubber tee pads are pretty beat. Uneven and heavily used, but still serviceable on most holes.
- The design packs several of the wooded holes uncomfortably close to one another.
Other Thoughts: - Air Zoo is a large aviation history museum with many antique planes, flight simulators, rides, etc. Adjacent to the property is Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport. A huge red rotating radar tower is in plain view for several of the holes. Planes take off periodically near #'s 16 and 17.
- The wooded section feels really well worn, in a good sort of way. I would compare this course favorably to the style of courses Steady Ed Headrick installed in the early 80's (say, Honey Bear or Bertrand).
- As a beginner-friendly course, Air Zoo succeeds in flying colors (pun intended). It's fun, accessible, and provides enough variety and challenge for less experienced players while not being completely mindless or repetitive for more experienced discers.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
at the zoo
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Aesthetic--Nice piece of property kind of squished off to the side of the parking lot at the air zoo. plays around the north side between the air zoo and the Kalamazoo Airport.
Baskets--new-ish Discatchers, visible yellow bands.
Flow--reasonable for not having tee signs. A little confusing with no teesigns where the course begins. #1 and #3 both have bulletin boards next to them so I suppose it's possible to walk on at either and consider them #1.
Teepads--for rubber pads, not slippy at all, appropriate length.
Cons: Lengths--Very short course, #1 was described as a "long bomber" hole by a local and it's <300'...
Variety--meh, I guess it's ok. some woods holes and some open holes but the repetition is bad.
Risk v. Reward--not really any here. the
"water" involved in the one hole runs along side the teepad and doesn't really interact with the green.
Lack of Teesigns--I have a feeling this will be remedied at some point but it's annoying for now.
Uncontrollables--VERY windy as it's next to the airport (wide open spaces).
Other Thoughts: I think this course will improve with time as it's a fairly new course but for now, it's definitely not a destination course. I played it after playing Oshtemo and Cold Brook and happened to stop on the same road as it for lunch and realized it was three minutes down the road. this was #43-#60 for the day.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a flat piece of property that seems to be exclusive to disc golf. There are a handful of holes through the woods that offer some technical lines and some punishment for errant shots. The rest of the holes are more open with scattered trees in play, so you have some options off many of the tees. The course is well kept, with no trash or vandalism and all the grassy areas were mowed. The discatchers are pretty new and in good shape.
Cons: Most of the holes are straight ahead and in the same distance range, so the course gets a little repetitive. Even the three longer holes are barely over 300', I don't mind a shorter course but it didn't feel like there was any variety. Even the wooded holes didn't take advantage of the opportunity to make some interesting lines.
The course isn't marked at all, which makes navigation tricky at times. It's tough to find the first tee, and you're not always sure you're on the correct tee (at least the baskets are marked when you get up to them). The tees are rubber, and aren't very flat. Lumpy tees make for awkward footing for drives.
Other Thoughts: This is an ok beginner course, with reasonable lengths, some holes where inaccuracy isn't punished too badly, and others where you can end up in the rough but it's not too terrible to get back out. More experienced players won't find a lot of challenge or variety, the wooded holes are tight enough to be good upshot practice but otherwise it's a straightforward mids and putters course.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Only course in portage
-Free to play
-Good mixture of field holes and holes through the woods
-Good beginner course and family friendly
-Lots of parking
Cons: -Rubber tee pads, ground underneath the tees is very uneven and lumpy, and can be very soft after it has been raining
-No tee markers or hole lengths
-Not very challenging for more advanced players
Other Thoughts: Great park to take anyone to who is just starting to get into disc golf. A good variety of holes to help work on all different kinds of shots. And multiple ACE opportunities.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Not bad, room for improvement
Pros: • Convenient, in town, free.
• New baskets, numbered by hole.
• Mix of woods and open holes.
Cons: • Rubber pads should have had crushed rock or something else underneath them. The surface was uneven and lumpy, especially after a rainy day.
• No tee markers. Even temporary ones with the hole # would be better than nothing. Hole distances would also be handy for the horizontal-length-estimating challenged (like me).
• Too many straight line shots. Straight shot after straight shot, especially when you have the room to make more challenging holes, is pure lack of trying. This is my biggest disappointment. We got to several holes that had plenty of room to make them better.
Other Thoughts: • The only thing that makes this course more challenging than its layout would make it, is the fact that there's a ridiculously variable amount of wind coming from the wide open airport fields to the east.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Has a few open field opportunities for bigger throws (1, 13). Also has some interesting wooded holes; lefty, righty and straight (Holes 5-11). Course now has 18 Discatcher baskets. Air Zoo relics provide a unique backdrop (be sure to visit on a rainy day some time, there are a few WWII vets who are sometimes there). Good course diversity. Free course!
Cons: No signage to speak of (takes a few minutes for people new to the course to find Hole 1). Rubber tees are OK, but not great. Holes located in the south meadow (particularly Hole 3) have odd design features. Not particularly long or challenging.
Other Thoughts: A great course for those who want a faster round than other area courses, but still want chances to throw in the open. The Kalamazoo area desperately needed this course for the Oshtemo overflow. Indeed, this is the only course in the city of Portage.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Ooh! A radar dish!
Pros: COURSE IS 18 HOLES NOW, REVIEW ONLY COVERS OLD 9 UNTIL I HAVE A CHANCE TO PLAY IT AGAIN
-At the Air Zoo. Neat planes greet you as you enter, and the airport nearby offers views of takeoffs and landings, and a vintage FedEx 727 is parked by two of the holes. If you're an aerophile, its a treat.
-Wide open spaces to get your big lines, yet good usage of land to require some finesse on most holes.
-Nice new baskets.
Cons: -Some odd design choices, including the placement of a basket in a huge bramble patch. Course is still a work-in-progress, so brush clearing and slight rearrangements of holes is likely before its declared finished.
-Not a lot of tight fairways or exacting lines. While there are obstacles, most shots have a lot of options for approach, and a few are just wide open field shots.
-Signage and pads at this point are just a wooden stake in the ground.
Other Thoughts: This course could be a real winner. It will never have big elevation changes, and doesn't have a lot of trees around, but it has a lot of character for such an open area. Interesting stuff to play around in a good environment give it a lot. So does its location, making disc golf more easily accessible to the people of Portage without having to travel to Kalamazoo. The other 9 holes should help too. However, while it does bring solid golf to the area, it probably will not have the appeal to make it worth a trek to the area on its own, except for aerophiles. But for the locals, this will be a treasure.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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