A Cold Brook Rain is Falling
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Cold Brook Park provides 24 holes of technical wooded golf spiced up a bit with a few longer holes and a couple of grassy open holes thrown in for variety. Water comes into play on a couple of holes. This is a well-kept, heavily-trafficked older course. The schule is really scarce and manageable and the course has a lovingly played feel to it, kinda like a pair of jeans that have beat in to a really sweet spot because you've worn them so much.
- Great use of elevation and woodland throughout the course. No epic elevation exists, but a lot of holes have enough ups and/or downs to really help this course shine. While a lot of the distances are on the shorter side, it definitely feels like 3D golf for the majority of the round. Hole #'s 1, 2, 4, 6, and 24 all stand out as good "hilly" holes. #1 is forcing a uphill shot through a gap in the woods. Aim too high and the low ceiling will get you. Too low and you're into the hillside. Tricky but fair for a "warm up" hole right off the bat. #24 finishes off downhill through a tree tunnel.
- Good variety in distances, all things considered. Hole #'s 2, 4, and 5 all are over 300'. After that it's not until hole #18 that the course provides another 300'+ hole. And that's okay. The short, tight, technical deuce-or-die golf in the middle section is great for score separation (hit the fair lines and pick up birdies....miss and you'll be parring all day long). Again, it's the trees and elevation that keep these shorter distances fun and viable from a design standpoint.
- Water comes into play quite nicely on #3 (behind the green on a short hyzer hole, punishing overzealous aceruns). Hole #19 has a lake to the right of the fairway. Trees line the lake, but there is a hidden hyzer route over the lake to the green (if you've got the balls). Outstanding risk/reward decision here....the anhyzer route is less than great, and nothing to suggest you'd get a birdie. The over the lake route, if executed, parks you for an easy tap-in. Otherwise you're wet.
Cons: - Concrete tees have fairly significant pitting from wear and tear over the years. This probably doesn't affect most rounds but puddles do occur in wet conditions, making the tees far from ideal when wet. The tee signs are a little lacking, but most of the holes are short enough for it not to impact the round too much.
- Close proximity of many of the holes to each other ups the risk factor a bit; however, this is a typical aspect of most older courses (early-90's and prior) and isn't terribly egregious. The worst spots are protected with netting and the trees also help keep most discs from becoming too wayward.
- Several holes (#'s 19-22 I believe) are closed on weekends due to their close proximity to other park activities. The local league members said the park usually covers the baskets with trash bags. I walked but did not play these holes. They are mostly open and skippable, so it doesn't hurt too badly when they close those down.
Other Thoughts: - Cold Brook is a great intermediate design between the nearby Irving Park (beginner worthy), and the mighty Leila Arboretum (take Kleenex with which to wipe away your tears). Easy enough for newer players not to get super frustrated in the woods, but enough variety, challenge, and length for more experienced players to enjoy themselves as well.
- I arrived at Cold Brook as Saturday morning leagues were getting rolling. I jumped in on #1 and immediately had a group come off #24, so I let them play through. The league guys said, "There's two 4-somes ahead, and a 5-some behind...you want to just play along with us?" League dudes were super cool, and I greatly appreciated having a guided round in a heavy downpour. Thanks again, fellas!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Will play again
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Some may find this a bit odd, but the 24 hole Cold Brook Park was my personal favorite amongst the 2015 Am Worlds courses I played this month. It's got a visual appeal, is nicely shaded, and has variety, options, and elevation. As an Advanced Grandmaster not gifted with the biggest arm out there, I really liked the shorter, technical lines through trees, and needing to shape shots in all directions. It is the kind of course that could really frustrate beginners to Recreational players, because it WILL give you some tree kicks and you'll need to scramble to save par or bogie. Intermediate players will lament the lack of long bombs. But advanced players will appreciate the precision required, and will shoot a TON of deuces. Believe it or not, there are some guys out there who could make mincemeat of this type of course: I've played a solid day once with Johnny Sias, and am absolutely certain he'd show folks what's possible on a course like Cold Brook.
Excellent landscaping, concrete tees, benches and trash cans where needed, DGA Mach 3 baskets, and nicely weathered-in fairways and edges mean solid course essentials. I really like the netting protecting the 13th tee. The thing that makes it an above average course are the risk-reward shots (examples are the lakeside basket on 3, sloping, guarded pin position on 4, those darned three trees guarding the bomber lane out on 5, the water carry (or two other lane options) on 19, and that terrace on 20). Even tourney OB improves the risk on 18 & 22. But you'll be befuddled by, or thrill to, the lines and trees you'll encounter on over half the holes here. Just remember: there's more air than wood. Really there is.
The park itself is pretty, with its lake and other activities for the rest of the family.
Cons: We benefited tremendously from the Am Worlds map and signage, but first timers might get a bit confused about where to start, and then to traverse some of the looping flow of the course. If you want to start at hole 1, bypass the first lot (with bathroom and shelter), and go down around the bend, parking at the second lot, on your right. There isn't really a 'front and back' nine (or twelve), and 23 & 24 come back through the center of the first 18. It makes sense to finish on a really nice hole, but it flows a little awkwardly. And you need to be extra careful throwing on the shared fairway there (as folks on hole 8 might be in your grip-lock line). In fact, there are several places where the holes run together quite a bit, so you need to be alert to possible tree kicks from adjoining holes.
If I lived near K'zoo, Climax (!) or Battle Creek, I'd buy the $25ish park pass, but even the $5 per car daily fee is acceptable to me. I include it in the 'cons' section because there are folks who don't want to pay to play. Finally, woods and water mean possible bugs in the still, humid, summer months, so spray before you play.
Other Thoughts: I can appreciate both the good and the bad this course can do to you. Warming up for my tourney round, I parked four straight holes, then, when it came time to start for real, I proceeded to triple tree kick and rollaway a five on my first hole. Curse you, Cold Brook, I shall return and defeat you!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
good course for the accurate player
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: well maintained
lots of tight fairways and shots
water comes into play
challenging but fair
good use of elevation
Cons: hole 3 shares a fairway which causes backups
bugs might be a problem
Other Thoughts: This was a nice course that makes you be accurate off the tee. Hole #19 is very cool where you can throw over the water to reach the pin. It was very busy on the weekend I played which made the pace of play very slow. I recommend this course it is fun and you can score well if you are accurate.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice technical course mostly through the woods. Concrete pads.
Starts out with a nice little uphill short hole, no biggie. Then it starts, the woods. If you don't like woods, don't play Cold Brook. I love playing in the woods so I love this course. You break out for one fairly open hole set up for LHBH players, high arc over a parking lot then float down to the pin.
Then back into the woods.
Fairways are well delineated, most baskets can be seen from the tees. While filled with trees, this is not a long course. IF you can get through the trees there are deuces to be had. More likely you will hear the "Sound of Cold Brook", the "smack!" of plastic on tree.
Bring your A game, be prepared to find small paths through trees.
Enjoy the elevation changes! Some times hard to find in lower MI.
19 and 20 are right by the lake, be careful. 21 uphill and 22 down hill (OB on the right) are the only real open holes on the course, so let em fly while you can.
Well laid out course, if a bit tight at times. Good use of elevation and woodsy location.
Cons: Signs could use some updating.
Course plays on top of itself in a couple of places.
Some holes are almost random they have so many trees in the fairway.
Other Thoughts: Great course. A real test of skill. With all the other courses in the area I would say this is a destination course. Make time to play Cold Brook.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Good camping, good golf.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Tight, entertaining golf.
Good tees, and benches.
Well built coarse.
Great flow, dog friendly.
Cons: Mildly repetitive, and a little worn in places. a few baskets were in need of love.
Other Thoughts: Camped here after visiting the meijer sculpture park in Grand Rapids, Me and Murray got up at 6 and played this great coarse. It was our 11th coarse of our summer vacation. I would gladly visit here again.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
a nice walk in the woods
Pros: Teepads--very very nice. many are elevated or have landscaping surronding. Large, even and accurately pointed
Baskets-Good condition, but this is one case where large yellow bands would be helpful... finding baskets in these woods can prove difficult.
Routing--not an issue, pins and tees are very close to one another..
Aesthetic--very pretty course that wraps through the woods and then around a lake.
Pay-to-play--yep, it's a plus. with garbages on every hole and benches on most holes it's nice to have financial support sometimes.
Cons: hole 19 was close when we were here due to storm damage, so I can't base my rating on that hole, but:
variety--short and through the trees is the norm here. when playing the first 18 holes, it's SO NICE to hit 18 and be able to open your arm up for the first time in a while. That said, there wasn't enough variety of hole here to keep me really engrossed. it was a good day with great friends, but the course just didn't "do it for me"
Uncontrollables-bugs were REALLY BAD the day we played and bug spray wasn't cutting it.
Other Thoughts: I know this was a "worlds course" in the past but I was left a little empty over all. There just wasn't enough variety for me. I like the fact that the course uses elevation well, but a the fact that hitting trees on every hole is expected is too much.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
One of the Classics!
Pros: Coldbrook Park has always been one of the classic Michigan courses that everyone talks about - usually either folks love it or hate it but it seems to have maintained a special character that keeps people coming back. A 'pro' or a 'con' depending on the way you look at it, but Coldbrook demands that you learn lines (some of which are a bit hidden) that yield higher percentages of birdies. In this sense, first timers are likely going to feel frustrated when getting bad kicks. Really, I think one of the most interesting things about this course is the relatively high weight that course knowledge plays in scoring compared with natural skill. Sure, players who throw pure will still score well, but that wily local throwing a boss on a 200' hole can still take it to you just by having familiarity with the course subtleties after hundreds of recorded rounds.
Cons: hile you'll likely be throwing a large variety of shots off the tee, including trick shots galore; there just isn't all that much variety in distances or in the types of challenges. Most holes can be solved with a well thrown putter or quick sidearm. Because of this, some portions of the course can start to feel quite repetitive and the replay value is not all that impressive - once in a while is great, but Coldbrook as a home course would not be fun at all. As I mentioned in the 'pro's' section, course knowledge plays a huge role in scoring here. Locals who know which tree to throw that tomahawk at will be able to compete with the top notch visitors - this flies in the face of most traditional disc golf theory on what makes a good course and will probably not sit well with many serious golfers.
Other Thoughts: After returning to Coldbrook for the 2008 Pro Worlds, I was very surprised and happy about a lot of the new changes to the course. The maintenance was top notch and several of the holes are being updated to match current disc technology. Kudos to the local club for all of your hard work!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
24 Holes of Escape
Pros: The most strictly FUN course I've ever played. Easy to navigate, shorter technical holes (which I like). If you don't like the woods don't bother coming out here. There are only a few "wide open" shots on the course. A friend of mine who is primarily a tomahawk thrower refuses to play this course. For me, it is bliss. And what's better than 18 holes? 24 of course! Some sideline water holes are included in the back six. The course is easy to navigate for the most part, aside from a couple of pin placement changes that can be figured out or asked about by locals. The park is beautiful and well maintained, and provides camping facilities, concessions and fishing as well. I believe they have boats for rent (which I plan on taking advantage of next year). Fun to play in groups. Alcohol allowed on the course, just not by the beach.
Cons: A lot of trees. For some this is a negative, for me it is a challenge. Pinpoint accuracy is required (at times), not a powerful arm. As previously stated, not a lot of open shots to crank the 400 foot drive. When I first played this course when I was younger there were a lot of folks of the toothless variety and loud kids, however I haven't found that as much as of late. I suggest visiting on weekdays to avoid that kind of thing. Some of the "bonus" holes are pretty ridiculous as far as their layout, especially 19 and 24- but still fun. $5 day pass, but that keeps some of the riff-raff out I think.
Other Thoughts: Come out with a few friends, crack a beer and remember why you got into disc golf in the first place.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Nice park. Bathrooms/fountains/other amenities are all here.
-Very clean course. Trash cans on about every hole, and players who know how to actually THROW AWAY their garbage (tough concept, I know)
-Some excellent holes. First nine has a couple very memorable holes, nice elevation changes especially on #1, #4, #5.
-There has been some landscaping here that looks very nice. A lot of benches and tables as well.
-Park closes at 9 P.M... however, the rangers will let you finish your round, which struck me as very kind.
-Nice people nearby; a lot of experienced disc golfers who will return discs/give you tips/talk about the game.
-Pet friendly, cheap entry ($5 per car) to play a nice course.
-Tests your shot selection to the max. Be ready to try shots you've never even thought about.
Cons: -Bugs are terrible. The worst I've experienced. This obviously can't be helped, but if you don't bring bug spray, you will be tormented.
-Hole issues - see below. I don't feel it's right to list this as a con, because it is a very subjective opinion.
-My group caught up to two different groups of people (2 in each group) who would take a long smoke break after each hole and never offered to let us play through. I feel like this might just be an unfortunate coincidence, but as it happened twice to me in the same round, I feel obligated to mention it.
-Weird hole layout for 22/23. It makes sense after going through it, but trying to figure it out at first was a bit tricky.
-The water hazards are fine... they typically don't come into play except on 19 - I like the hole but a couple people I saw had issues. Aim short. If you overthrow your drive, or even a long putt, it's a mucky excursion to get your disc back.
Other Thoughts: While many of the holes are nice in theory, I find myself questioning how much "skill" is really involved in many of these wooded holes. I mean, there are lanes here, no doubt. It's not all based on luck. But I honestly believe there may be too many uncontrollable variables here. Many of the holes don't really have a "fairway" or "rough". Just trees everywhere up until a 10-15 yard radius from the basket. A stroke of bad luck and you could be looking at a 5 or even a 6 on some of these holes. Playing this course as just a recreational round, I had no issues with getting 4's and a couple 5's because of good drives turned bad by a small tree or bush... that's disc golf for ya. However, it seems to me that pros could get frustrated by this very quickly. Maybe I'm wrong. I sure wouldn't want to play this course professionally, though.
All in all, though, this is a very nice course and worth playing multiple times. If you aren't from the area, make a day trip to check out Coldbrook, Robert Morris, and Oshtemo. All 3 are excellent courses within 10-15 miles of each other.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Long But Fun
Pros: A great variety of shots from narrow to open. Woods and meadow, and of course left to right. Very clean and well maintained. Complete with plastic casings around tree trunks to protect them. All tees have concrete pads and, is a very fun and technical course.
Cons: Some of the tees aren't marked so well. Luckily we had help before we set off from some local discers. When we went early in the morning, wasn't busy at all but, as we were leaving it got really busy. Be forewarned that you have to play 5 bucks to park.
Other Thoughts: I would deffinately play it again.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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