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.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Technically challenging course in many areas but certainly not overly punishing.
- Concrete tees
- Great layout. Inspite of the lack of next tee signs the course was easy to follow.
- Club care...There's obviously some TLC happening here by some active club members. Something every busy course desperately needs. It's obvious they've been putting up erosion control measures, maintaining the benches and so on.
- Plays in a nice multi use park but the course appears to have very little over-lap with other park activities.
- Water hazards! On 19, 20 and 21 theres a rather interesting risk/reward on these holes. I really like this layout.
- Variety. This course has it. Everything from tightly wooded and short to long and open. After being punished on holes 1 through 21 the wide open fairway of 22 and 23 is a nice reprieve to just air it out and let out a little frustration.
- Lots of gentle elevation changes makes this a fun course to play.
- Navigation leaves a little bit to be desired. Not a big deal and yes I am being picky but it sure would be nice to see some next tee signs.
- Holy ace runs Batman. Right in the midde of the course there are some seriously short holes. Almost absurdly so. 160'? Seriously? 9 through 13 are sub 200' and easily reachable with a putter or lightly thrown mid. A few of these would be greatly improved if they were lengthened which I think is possible on a few of them.
- Some of these shorter holes really are not about skill but just poke and hope through the trees.
- The concrete tee pads are great but some of them are in need of repair or replacement. Not sure what is happening with a few...if it's spalling off or what.
- I really did not like how #22 went so close to the roadway - bit of a safety issue.
This is the kind of course that's perfect for all skill levels. Newbs will find it tough and challenging but a great place to learn. Pros will love the tight lines and risk/reward situations all over the course.
With the cons listed above don't get the wrong idea. I had a great time playing this course and will definitely be back. Its getting a lot of TLC and could use a little more. It certainly isn't a championship caliber course but is a lot of fun to play. If you are in the area and have the time, get your butt to Cold Brook and play a round.
6 of 6 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.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun but a little repetitive
Pros: The course plays through a wooded park with little interference from other park uses. Most of the holes play through fairly tight lines in the woods with some underbrush and lots of smaller trees off the fairways to punish errant shots. Most of the holes offer a single line to the pin, and are tight but reasonably fair. A couple shots in the trees offer a little more length and more interesting risk/reward decisions, I liked the hole that had a downhill dogleg and offered the choice to lay up to the opening for a tough approach or try to bite off some of the turn and have an easier run at the pin.
One hole plays along the lake, and offers a fairly open hyzer over the water or a safe but very tough anhyzer line over land, I enjoy holes with that kind of choice. There are a few holes that play out in the open with more distance and limited rough defining the edges of some of the fairways. The baskets are older, but catch fine. The concrete tees are in decent shape, and the signage is basic but has hole distance and a rough direction indicated.
Cons: There is a long stretch in the middle of the course where the holes start to feel very similar, which is a bit disappointing with the kind of foliage and terrain available on the property. Half of the course is 220' or shorter, and several more are under 300' meaning that this course ends up only really testing the short game of better players. I was a little disappointed as well that the water only came into play on one shot, it's a great feature and a nice visual.
Hole 21 is a terrible hole, it's wide open with no obstacles, and it's easy to turn over a shot into the parking lot to the right of the fairway. The signs are not very informative, the few blind shots require extra walking to figure out where to throw. Some pins seem to have been moved, with inaccurate distances listed on the signs.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course, but not one that really tests a wide range of skills. Beginners will enjoy the shorter holes and lack of really nasty underbrush, it's very beginner friendly for such a wooded layout. More experienced players will find the course pretty repetitive, it's mostly a putter course that doesn't reward a balanced set of disc golf skills.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: very nice benches and well maintained, every hole had a sign except one, 1st 9 has short tee pads, back 9 had longer cement tee pads, many tricky shots throughout the entire course, I only saw one Mcdonalds cup on the ground the entitre time playing, beautiful view on the lake, some holes near lake. Baskets were good, theres plenty of practice baskets that u can use, the course kicked my butt had alot of 4's and even 5's, but next time i play this course will do better.
Cons: short tee pads for the 1st 9 holes
Other Thoughts: Will be back, it costs 5 bucks, but well worth it, very clean. Talked to a local after we played 24 holes, showed me some of his discs.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Variety over 24 Holes
Pros: Overall, a great 24 hole course. Nice pads, baskets and good signage make it easy to navigate on the first time. I like that some parts are open and some parts are in the woods, and in general it is a very beautiful setting with a big lake. I threw a few birdies (and a near ace!) and a few double + bogies my first time out here, so there was some excitement. And even though a good portion is in the woods, it is not overgrown so the possibility of losing a disc is pretty low out here I think.
Cons: Some holes have so many trees that there is no clear line. You just have to kind of say a prayer and toss it and hope for the best. Which can be fun at times.
Be careful near the lake. If you drop it in the lake you are going swimming or disc shopping. Wadding may not be an option if you get a bad bounce. But water hazards can add some excitement to the day if you are brave. :)
Other Thoughts: I thought this was a tight course. I will definitely play it again when I am visiting home. I like that it has 24 holes, a lot of variety, and is on a beautiful Michigan property. There is something for everybody here.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Elevation changes along this rolling course are the most pleasing aspect as far as the game is concerned. The beauty of the area is most pleasing to the soul. It is a pay to play, and as such is well maintained and clean and probably riff raff free as well. Grass and sand forest floor are featured and provide variance to keep things interesting. The boundaries are well tamed which is a plus if you are shanking discs and spending time searching. Trees can make things difficult in a few places and may require you to bring your shots out. Throwing uphill and downhill adds another dimension that requires depth perception and power control. This course is comprised of holes that mostly demand short well controlled shots, but there are a few that will scratch your itch to rip one. Views are pleasing to the eye and it is a good walk. The course is clean and seems to be popular and have an enthusiastic scene. No navigational difficulties were encountered and concrete tee pads are in place.
Cons: There are not many things to find fault with here. A few holes have skinny trees and require 2 parts luck to 1 part skill. Frustration is a possibility.
Other Thoughts: This course is worth a little ride and is a must if you are in the area. The surrounding land is serene and peaceful and this course is an enjoyable hike that is kind enough to have baskets for us to throw at.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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