Spray paint and sequins...
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Aesthetic-- plays through a LARGE metro park type park in the suburbs of detroit. park is free to play (huge plus) but may also be a big reason for the dilapidation of this course.
Teepads-- good and in nice repair. adequate length concrete pads
Routing and nav-- not overly hard... the hill with 14-17 is a big cluster eff and a little harder to route on. Next Tee signs are somewhat helpful.
Baskets-- in reasonable shape. many have been spray painted RED facing the teepad? Not sure why, this doesn't really increase visibility at all, it may hurt some actually.
Variety and Challenge-- abound here... there is so much variety here... Length of the long tees is great and it is wonderful to mix long shots to air your arm out with the occasional short technical holes to bring you back to earth.
Elevation-- used effectively where there is elevation. some of the walk-ups are pretty brutal and slick after rains..
Vandalism-- ugh, it's awful here. EVERY sign that was actually still there was spray painted and/or covered in stickers and impossible to read. Even the trees weren't safe, many of the trees are COVERED in spraypaint. I don't get the desperation of people to spray paint trees.
Storm damage-- still evident. Bird's Bane is BRUTAL with downed trees but made the hole a bit more fun...
Baskets-- although the baskets are in good repair, many of them are mounted in little slabs of flat concrete making them ridiculously easy to steal. I have never seen baskets mounted this way. I always assumed that they were mounted in a deep hole with concrete tubes? #2 could slide down the hole at any time...
This was my #150 course. I had a good time, certainly the best course of the day but this course needs some serious TLC. I'm not sure if it's locale or what the issue is but the vandalism is out of control here...
Somehow, it needs to be reigned in.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Delinquents are the plague of this great course
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Great variety of hole lengths
+ Spectacular elevation changes for this part of MI
+ Minimal perceived favoritism for RHBH
+ Tees (Am/Pro) and baskets were in good shape
+ Mostly level tees even on hills
+ A bunch of memorable holes
+ Challenging blind/nearly-blind pin placement
+ Attempts have been made to preserve the trees
+ Some benches and trash cans
+ Defined fairways with appropriately rough edges
Cons: - Very busy with dg'ers and delinquent non-dg'ers without any sense of etiquette or even politeness
- Course layout is a little awkward in the middle
- Bordering fairways/tees of 9-11 slow the flow of play
- Erosion = mainly dirt fairways in the woods and plenty of downed trees
- Vandalism... one of the dirtiest, most vandalized courses I've played
- Tee signs were almost all obscured with vandalism, which sucks because there are so many blind holes
- No layout signage, bring a smartphone or map
- Plays near/through a park at hole 12 to tee 13, which lead to two interactions with picnickers annoyed with disc golf (picnicking less than 20 feet from 12's basket)
Other Thoughts: The location is great, the use of elevation and grounds is excellent, and the overall fun factor is very high. However, the park's popularity is definitely the disc golf course's biggest pitfall and as much as I'd like to give this course a higher rating, in its current condition it just can't be. The condition of the course with its erosion, vandalism, graffiti, non-disc golfing socializing visitors, and somewhat awkward layout are what brought my rating down.
I really enjoyed the disc golf at Cass Benton Hills. Seriously. A LOT of fun was had throwing here despite all the other negatives. The elevation changes are spectacular and the hilly hole layouts were designed to maximize the fun factor of the course. Throwing downhill, uphill, on the banks of the hills, and through few relatively flat wooded holes made for excellent variety. The moderately wooded holes complemented the lush green grassy ones nicely. The downhill and open fairway bombs shine and stand out most with their tough par 3 lengths, especially with sparse trees in all the right spots (challenging for both RHBH/RHFH). I have distinctly good memories of holes 3, 5, 8, and 13-18 :) #15's downhill ace run was also really fun!
Like I said before, the course's popularity is definitely its biggest pitfall. Second biggest pitfall would be its sometimes-awkward layout. Like with most disc golf courses, a couple of transitions were awkward for first and second-timers (1-2, 9-11, 13-14). Unfortunately these two pitfalls create a perfect storm right in the middle of the course at hole 9, 10, 11 that really stuck out as bothersome in our experience at the course. The fairways/tees of holes 9, 10, and 11 are blurred and although they never cross, they are so close that they can't accommodate so many groups of inexperienced throwers. This is where we encountered the most groups and it's also the most tree-covered portion of the course (go figure)... There was a group (or two or three) on every single tee on the day we visited and discs were flying near us regularly. And although this horse has been beaten to death, not only does the popularity of the course show in the erosion of the fairways and damage on the trees, but the litter and vandalism were awful. I don't think a single tee sign was readable and very few surfaces were graffiti-free.
If the downed trees and litter were taken care of, the tee signs replaced, and non-disc golfing delinquents stopped from entering this park, it could be a 4.5 rated course in my opinion. Even with the eroded and sometimes cramped fairways.
To be honest, and this probably wouldn't be a popular opinion, what would really bring me back to Cass Benton would be if the park became pay to play and they spruced it up a bit. This coming from someone who lives two hours away. I doubt locals would dig it much. Disc golf becoming pay to play is definitely taboo, but I don't think anyone could really debate what those dollars could do for the upkeep and preservation of this course.
Thanks for reading!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Cass Benton a Classic Course
Large Course Sign at Parking Lot
Decent Amount of Parking
Great Design (Flows Well, No Really Long Walks)
Great Variety (Left, Right, Straight)
Great Variety of Distances
Pro and Am Tee Pads on Most Holes
Nice Sized Concrete Tee Pads
Nice Tee Signs (When Present)
Amazing Use of Elevation
Both Open and Wooded Holes
Benches and Trash Cans Throughout
Restrooms In Park
Figure 8 Design (Front & Back 9 End at Parking)
Course Has A Lot of Character
Can Get Very Crowded
Litter Can Be An Issue
Many Tee Signs Missing or Vandalized
Erosion Is Becoming A Problem
Very Little Maintenance Done To Course
Can Get Muddy In Spots
Navigation Could Be Hard W/O Guide
Cass Benton Hills DGC is a classic 18-hole course located in Northville, Michigan. The course is located just minutes from I-96 in Cass Benton Park. The park is very nice, and fairly large with amenities such as picnic pavilions, restrooms, and playgrounds, none of which come into play on the course. During the winter months there are many winter activities such as cross-country skiing and bobsledding.
The course itself is located along Edward N Hines Drive, look for the large sign that says Cass Benton Hills Disc Golf Course on the east side of the road. Park in the lot behind the sign, along the road. Once in the lot, to get to the first hole, head towards the woods near the back of the parking lot and walk up the hill towards the road. Follow the path between the road and tree line and look for the trail that cuts into the woods. Hole 1 is just inside the trees and has both a Pro and Am tee pad.
As you play through the course you'll see many features that make this an above average, standout course. The first thing you will notice is the variety of open and wooded holes. Not only is there a great mix of both, there are tight wooded fairways as well as moderately wooded holes that are still quite technical.
The next great thing about the course is the amazing use of the elevation throughout the park. Right from the beginning you will play over rolling hills, up hills, and a couple of down hill bombs as well. The elevation doesn't stop with just the drives and fairways either. Many pins are positioned with a great risk reward factor, do you lay up, or go for it and risk the 40 foot roll-away?
The only downside to this great course is the lack of maintenance and upkeep done on the course. One major problem is the amount of litter. There are trash cans throughout, but people either choose not to use them, or they are full and trash finds its way to the ground. Another issue is the vandalism done to both benches and tee signs, if the signs aren't just missing altogether. Unfortunately you can really see the age and poor misuse of the course over the years and, from what I can tell, not a lot is being done to try to correct the problems.
Other than the extremely large crowds and the poor maintenance on the course, Cass Benton is a really great course. Great layout, great design (beginning and ending at the parking lot), and great variety are all keys to a great course and this has all of them. I would definitely play this one again and would recommend it to anyone in the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Good coures but not great
Pros: -Free to play
-Pro and AM tees
-Mix of open holes and tight shots
Cons: -Poorly maintained
-Lots of course traffic
-Lack of trash cans
-Lots of down trees
Other Thoughts: This is a very good course but it could be a great course. Some of the holes are missing their signs and navigation from hole to hole can sometimes be confusing. If you care about time avoid this course during peak hours because it gets backed up fast. Overall this could be a great pro caliber course. It has a good mix of wide open big drives and tight wooded precision shots. I defiantly plan on coming back to play this course again.
My favorite course...so far
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: As a beginner this course has been the most challenging of the metro Detroit courses to play. I love the challenge of playing from the Long Tees even though I don't have a great arm yet. Hole 3 has the great view and is obviously the highlight, but I like Hole 15 the best due to the fun downhill shot into the woods. The first time I played it I set my drive down about 7 feet from the basket. Just walking through the course is great with all the wooded trails and the terrain changes. The last time I played (10/24) the leaves were in peak colors and made for a beautiful discing experience!
Cons: My cons have to do with the upkeep of the signs. Graffiti and missing signage are my main pet peeves when it comes to disc golf courses and I don't understand the mentality of the people who feel the need to ruin the details that make a course so special. When I see pictures of courses that have clean signs, brooms at the tee pads, covered sitting areas, mowed grass, etc. They may be small things compared to course design and location but if Cass Benton had those details in place it would be rated higher.
As far as the course being crowded, I haven't really experienced that but I can certainly understand. I've only played there on Sunday's around noon and I've always had good luck with moving through the course easily without much wait. I cannot vouch for the other days of the week.
Other Thoughts: I've only been playing disc golf for less than a year but the most fun I've had on a course has been the 4 times I've played here. The scenery, the challenge, the length, this is the best course I've played...so far. Next summer my friends and I are traveling to Ludington to play the Beast, Leviathan, and finally Flip City. I cannot express how excited I am for that trip and I assume I will have a new favorite course after I return.
EDIT from 9/3/14: Flip City is my favorite course now :)
The signs at Cass Benton have really been terrorized by vandals which is a shame since it's one of the nicer courses in the area. Since 2009 I've played the course a few times and each time has been busier than the last. Try to go earlier in the morning and avoid Memorial Day!
I've re-rated the course a 3 because it's condition has deteriorated over time and the courses I've played since then have proven how beautiful a well-tended disc golf course can be.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Too many people
Pros: Playing the longs makes the course much more difficult.
The variety of the holes tests all aspects of your game.
Very convenient location.
This has been my home course on and off for about 5 years. It has changed every year because of the emerald ash borer knocking out many of the trees that "back in the day" made the course more difficult. For this reason, I consider this course to be the "standard", in the area, for judging whether or not you have the skills to make the jump to the long tees. This course is pretty easy to shoot under par on from the shorts. However, from the long tees, this course is a much more difficult experience. Shooting scratch from the longs is much more impressive that ripping off a -8 from the shorts.
Cons: The very convenient location makes for the most crowded course I have ever experienced in almost 11 years of playing. During peak periods, expect groups of 10+. Also, average wait time on any hole at any given time is about 10 minutes during peak times.
The vandalism is not as rampant as it used to be, most of the signs having been destroyed years ago.
Other Thoughts: The best times to come to this course are early afternoon/morning. Also, if you come on Friday, the course is much less crowded between 4 and 7. I think it has something to do with all the damn teenagers and alcoholics having better places to be horrible.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: - great variety
- multiple pads
- good signage
- elevation changes
Cons: This is a great course, but I just wanted to add that people have a tendency to steal discs here. I played there once and had two discs stolen down fairway on the same day!
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Great concrete tee pads
Baskets are quite solid
Great variety of long and short holes.
Excellent variety of tight wooded holes and wide open holes.
Signature hole three is and absolute stunner
Course plays more challenging than most courses
Layout design uses the overall size of the park well
Dual tees are a nice touch
Water comes into play on a few holes
Cons: Lots of navigation problems
1/3 of tee signs when I played were stolen.
Numerous downed trees in the forest
Vandalism issues, graffiti, trash
most of the second tees are relatively unimaginative, they don't really create a new shot or change the hole, they're just a bit shorter.
Other Thoughts: This course left an unfortunate bad taste in my mouth, playing the course for the first time without a guide was definitely a huge mistake. There is no indication of where the first tee is from the parking lot, having course maps would be a huge improvement. Some of the walkouts are completely unmarked and I needed the help of some kind park walkers several times. Part of this problem comes from the 6 or 7 tee signs that have been torn down. Honestly the course design warrants a 4 star review but my round felt more like a 3, I'll give the course a 3.5 because playing it again with others would've improved the experience greatly.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Once great course - continues to deteriorate
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Offers great disc play and a fun, well balanced round. Quite the complete course with all types of holes offering exceptional shot variety: several wooded holes, a few long and open fairways where you can really let'em rip, a few ace runs, uphill shots, downhill shots, fairways that bend right, others to the left, some go straight. Several greens on or near slopes can make you pay with a nasty roll if your putt/approach goes too far or misses to the wrong side (#2, #14, #16, #17). Many holes offer a few different lines, and a couple are suitable for a tomahawk or thumber if that's in your bag. Hard to believe this much shot variety in only 18 holes.
Signature hole is a beauty: 700 ft + from atop a large hill (maybe 40ft?) where wind often comes into play. Wide fairway can be somewhat forgiving, but if your drive gets away from you to L or R, you could end up with a lousy lie behind some trees or in some brush, with another 400-500 ft between you and the basket. River runs about 20 ft or so behind pin, so long approaches can fly or roll in. One of my very favorite holes anywhere in terms of being "extremely inviting to play."
Wonderfully laid out, with #9's basket near tee #1. Easy to play 9 or 18, or even start out at # 13, and come back to play 1-12 if the front part of the course is filled up when you arrive. Dual concrete tee pads on many holes.
Cons: Course is aging like a drug addicted rock star that used to be a headline act, but now screams silently for help. Vandalism, erosion, ashborer, storms and lack of maintenance have combined to create a situation where this course can never be any better than in fair condition. This once phenomenal course can only be considered very good at best today.
Nasty storms and ash borer have claimed numerous trees, several of which still block 9's fairway (not accessible with a cart at all) and hamper the return on 4.
Erosion is a problem on 5's short tee, as well as the pins on 14 and 17, and has all but claimed hole 2... I can't even describe how the basket is staying up, but it quite literally is no longer "in" the ground.
15's basket is only about 18 inches off the ground, and 2's is hanging on for dear life and about to tip over.
Cassholes have treated this course very, very badly, and it's hard to play a round without getting stuck behind a group of chuckers who couldn't care less if people are waiting behind them... and a lot worse. Even the fairly new tee markers have been grafilthied.
Once upon a time, each hole had great signage with each hole creatively and appropriately named, but vandals destroyed those long ago. Given the area's economy, I don't expect any government agency to step up cleaning efforts or refurbish a blessed thing.
Traffic can be heavy during peak hours, so you may need to be very patient on evenings and weekends. But during week days, it's not too bad.
Other Thoughts: If not for the ongoing efforts of wonderfully friendly non-playing local named Jerry, this place would be loaded with beverage containers.
When pristine, I'd have rated this course a 4.5, but sadly, it's simply too run down to merit such a rating in it's current state.
Updated 9/5/10: Even more trees have been lost to storms and what I'm guessing is ash borer. Several trees have been recently cut down to the right of the tee on on hole 12 (Swamp Monster) which make the tee shot quite a bit easier.
Updated 8/7/13: Erosion issues, broken baskets, and condition of some fairways. This once vibrant course is slowly sinking into an abyss from which it will likely never return. :(
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Good for all levels of ability
Cons: Trash: some of the holes are littered with it
Other Thoughts: Try to hit this course in the morning to beat the crowds. For a free course, it isn't bad, just ignore the trash.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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