The Good, the Bad and the Weird
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Starts out the a challenging shot through the woods and then opens up into some very cool open holes on 2 and the signature hole #3.
Three is a very fun 600 or so ft drive down a large hill and then you end up Ina basket by a very pretty creek.
It varies between short heavily wooded holes and longer more open ones with some challenging lines and elevation changes.
There is potential here for a 4 or better rated course.
Cons: Unfortunately there are some significant things holding it back. Most of the signs are vandalized or stolen.
You can't find the first teepad without a guide, and when I got there there was a shady guy selling discs with other peoples ink on them, and a few guys sitting around smoking.
There are fallen trees everywhere and the fairways are generally poorly maintained.
A lot of people in a few places just hanging around, a lot of them doing things that shouldn't be done on a course, in public, or at all really.
Other Thoughts: I liked the course, I didn't like how crowded it was with non players and the massive amount of vandalism that goes on.
This should be a top rated course but the aesthetic hold it back.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great elevation and diversity. Tight trees and wide open fields. Some really long holes and plenty of ace looks. Benches at almost every hole. I got my first ace here!
Cons: It's free. Sounds like a positive except for all the casuals and almost complete lack of upkeep this causes. Lots of downed trees especially on holes 9 and 10. Most of the signs have been stolen, if they're still there they are covered in crappy graffiti (tags not art). A lot of holes get torn up and muddy early in the season, and never have a chance to recover. Very busy in the warmer months.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course, started playing it almost a decade ago. It's gotten progressively worse as the years go by. Its got some of the best geography/topography of any course in SE Michigan, and some truly classic holes. Really wish it was pay-to-play. Still a great course and I play it all the time.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Wish I played here back in the day
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Cass Benton has a fairly decent sized area for the disc golf course. I can imagine it was one of the best in the state when it first opened. There are many distinct holes on the course and it never became boring or frustrating. The terrain is perfect for a disc golf course. I was only able to play this gem once a few years back and wish I could play it more.
While we had a blast that day, you could tell that this place had seen better days. For some reason (budget?) this course has seemingly been forgotten by the park. Maybe it's lacking a dedicated club? The course needs some work to get it back into its prime.
Below are a few things that are worth mentioning…
Length/Variety/Challenge - Plenty of chances to open it up on a few, while also containing some technical holes to balance it out. Elevation and water came into play on a handful of holes. Even though I played horrible in the front, I came back around on the back 9 and enjoyed the challenge of the entire course. The concrete tees and baskets were in good shape.
Dedicated Space to Disc Golf - Didn't have to worry about joggers, walkers or picnickers strolling through the area. The park is big and a good chunk of it is dedicated to the disc golf course. The course does play near a sledding hill but doesn't seem too bad.
Free - No charge to enter the park and no fee to play disc golf. Being that it is free, it can become quite crowded, which can be a con. There are also many other things to do in the park for non-dgers.
Used and Abused - There is definite signs of wear on the course. With all the traffic the course gets, there were numerous worn out paths of bare dirt and damaged trees from discs. Every tee sign was damaged and/or had graffiti on them. Trash cans were overfull and some were dumped over. Not cool.
Upkeep - There were downed trees in multiple areas on the course. From the looks of it they have been there for a while. I'm not sure why the parks dept wouldn't cut them up. Some areas didn't look very safe but we played on anyways. The grass was a little taller than we'd like but it wasn't as bad as waist-deep Riverbends back home.
Crowds - Finding the course inside the park was a little tough the first time we stopped there. The place was packed and parking was sorta sketchy. Being a free course, it brings dger's from all over the place. We were lucky to find a parking spot. It might be a problem on busier days. At least we didn't run into any rude people.
Tourneys - As far as I know, there is little to no tournament play at Cass. It is large enough to hold a good tournament but I don't know if it's because of the red-tape or just because it's in a trashed state.
Other Thoughts: Overall, we had a good time at Cass Benton. It would be great to see it in its glory someday. I'd give it a 3.75 in its current condition, but I see the potential for it to climb as high as 4.25 if it could be cleaned up some. It's still worth playing and you'll probably have a nice round if you can get out there during the off-peak hrs. Give it a try sometime and I'm sure you'll see that there IS potential for it to get back on track.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Spray paint and sequins...
7 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.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
eh, not what they make it out to be
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Nice variety of holes, some technical and some open. Get opportunites for the shorties as well as the bombers.
Cons: Lots of trees down, very busy, a lot of punk kids running around backing things up. Not the place to be if you want a relaxing round or don't like dealing with idiots.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Like playing with an endangered animal.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: • Amazing diversity here, so fun and so much variety.
• Well thought out holes, not your typical wooded hook to the left/right.
• Free - Also a Con; I lived within 4 miles of this course for almost 20 years and never knew it was there.
Cons: • Japanese Giant Hornets... Have burrows at a few holes, careful where you walk!
• The course is in terrible shape; mostly due to teens tearing it apart. Broken baskets, trash and glass everywhere. No respect for nature or the game.
• Free - Also a Pro; I wish it were pay-to-play. To deter teens that use it as a hang-out and keep maintenance up.
• Extremely busy after noon to evening.
Other Thoughts: I titled the review "Like playing with an endangered animal" because I feel one of these days the course will be closed from the vandalism without warning. At that point, it will be extinct.
EDIT: I went back to Cass recently.
If this course was pay-to-play, it would be a 5. Its that fun, but its also in that bad of shape.
I just wish I could have played here before it went bad.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Delinquents are the plague of this great course
8 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!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Pretty nice course layout with some challenging holes and not much repetition.
Course is split into wide open holes and wooded very nicely.
Cons: Maintenance is absolutely awful. Fallen trees stay where they've fallen, regardless of where they are. Plenty of trees fallen right on the path.
Navigating the fallen tree jungle on hole 9 is depressing.
The amount of graffiti/hoodlum teens is pretty high since this is in an urban area and the course is free.
Absolutely packed in the summer. Prepare to wait for the group of ten 16 year olds to all take their 6 shots to the basket.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great Challenge for new and advanced players alike. Mix of long hiking hills and woods. Some fantastic long shots and elevation changes.
Cons: Can be a hike for some. Not too many complaints.
Other Thoughts: A great challenge course, will make you a better player.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Fun, challenging course...
Pros: - Excellent mix of shots. More than a couple bombs (400+) from the Pro tees with a good mix of technical holes.
- Locals are often selling discs, possible food and drinks
- Gets very busy but course design usually allows for good flow with minimal backups
- Lots of shade and sitting areas and trash cans everywhere
- Generally minimal litter despite the amount of people that play there... Depends on the day really.
Cons: - Can get ridiculously busy. Sits in the middle of a lot of courses and areas where there are a lot of golfers. Summer evenings will find every parking lot full.
- Signage is old and vandalized
Other Thoughts: One of my favorite courses. The huge 700+ bomb off the top of hill on #3 is awesome. This is the place where I learned how to disc golf. Fun to just come out with some beers and party golf all day.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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