A Gem in the Heart of The Mitten
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This is going to be a fairly short and concise review as I will direct you to BogeyNoMore's review further down. He (I assume) nails it. I will just add a little bit of peanuts to his butter.
This course is what I imagine a disc golf course is like that is created like a ball golf course without actually being on a ball golf course. Pristine as can be. Truly have to hand it to the maintenance crew of this course, just spectacular. Hell, I saw only two random beer cans on the whole course and their presence was shockingly obvious.
How cool is it that in essence this course offers four courses in one? Two tee pads with two baskets on most holes. Diversity. I ended up playing long tees with gold baskets. One of the longest courses, if not THE longest course I have played. It was great.
Cons: Once again, see BogeyNoMore's review for agreed upon cons.
A few I might add.
I would have liked to seen more shorts on the longs. Weird I know.
Elevation was lacking, no fault of their own, and I'm from Ludington, so that doesn't help either.
Other Thoughts: In my changing top ten as of right now, and in my top 3 of maintained courses in the states. Go play. This course is going to take multiple play throughs to even feel it's greatness. Amazing job to those that are involved in the course design and maintenance. bravo!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Probably one of the best I've played
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course was amazing. We researched courses in the area to play while we were traveling from VA to Grand Rapids, Michigan and were very glad we chose this.
You will throw a lot of discs in your bag. There was a great variety of shots and every hole had a great location.
Cons: The only thing negative was a lot of mosquitoes.
And maybe not scheduling enough time to be able to play the course again from the other tee or to the other basket.
Other Thoughts: It's worth your drive and the fee to play. It's well designed and well maintained.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A for DD
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Long/short Baskets AND Tees
Two sets of descriptive teesigns on every hole
Course and park maintenance is top notch from the mowing to benches and trashcans throughout
Many pin placements have small, but interesting factors such as being on small knolls or sunken into bunker-like craters.
The long tees and pins are definitely long, but definitely fair and don't try too hard to prevent access either down the fairway or to the pin.
17 and 18 provide an exciting finish with 17's island shot and 18's beautiful fountain.
Cons: Fairways are definitely fair, but if you find rough it can be punishing either from very dense tall grass or poison-ivy laden brush.
Mostly an open, placement shot course. However I didn't feel like the long tees requiring many max distance drives were that repetitive. River's edge helps to mitigate the open ness of this course.
The mando on #2 is a little strange but it adds to the professionalism of the course.
Other Thoughts: DD compliments River's edge almost perfectly. If you play this one after River's Edge, it's a nice opportunity to let it rip and blow off some frustration from it's heavily wooded counterpart. This is one of the premier 2 tee 2 basket courses in the state of Michigan. The man-made O.B. features have really shaped up nicely since conception; I actually think there could be more permanent OB features in and around the fairways and if that were to happen I would seriously consider this course a 5*. What it lacks in constant elevation it makes up for in trickier pin placements and distance off the long tees.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Pros: Two sets of tees and baskets on every hole, creating four course configurations.. This flexibility extends from an intermediate course (short tee to blue baskets) to a very long pro-level course (long tee to gold basket). I played the long tee to blue basket layout, and it was still quite long with two holes over 600 feet. The longest configuration has two holes over 1000 feet (Holes 5 and 6), eclipsing Hudson Mills Monster and Leviathan in terms of sheer length.
Most holes are meadow holes, with vast, green mowed areas. Hole 2 has an innovative wall obstacle in front of the long tee, with several holes having sandtrap-like hazards . Tree sparseness on the meadow holes is about right, rewarding skill. Lots of cunning pin positions show course design expertise. Simple yet effective signage at the tees and between holes. Has two complete sets of long, high-budget concrete teepads. My favorite was Hole 10, a grassy meadow hole with isolated patches of thick forest protecting a basket about 360 feet away. Not surprisingly, this hole is similar whichever tee or basket is selected.
Has nailed a lot of details, with picnic tables, trash cans, and water jugs (a life saver on a hot day, being a fairly open course). No smoking course, but the sign at Hole 1 specifically allows for beer and wine (but not liquor). Another small perk.
Cons: Some of the meadow holes are a little too close together for comfort (Holes 11 and 15 are the worst offenders). The short wooded holes form a minority, but have the feel of filler holes. Some of the long tees could be tricky to find, often requiring backtracking. However, the short tees are easier to find, and all baskets have large, visible flags (blue or gold).
Though large areas were recently mowed, many very rough, disc-eating areas were present. Not the best way to create challenge...I did not appreciate losing my favorite driver on the 300-foot Hole 14. The best courses south of Cincinnati in north Kentucky (Lincoln Ridge and Idlewild) deal with this issue better. $40 for an annual pass ($4 daily fee), with a separate charge for golf ($3) means you might have to make one more ATM stop when you're running late.
Other Thoughts: Course versatility, challenge, design features and amenities make this far and away the best course in the area. Congrats to the Lansing for finally getting a pro course..
Someone sold their soul for this course!
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Sorry for the length, but there's a lot worth mentioning, starting with a beautiful course in a beautiful park that was fairly litter free. Everything 1s well maintained and in great shape. Attention to detail is apparent everywhere you look.
• Disc Play:
+ Trees and elevation well utilized throughout; nothing huge but definitely a factor - keeps you engaged the entire round.
+ Fairly open design allows for numerous routes to the pin. Most holes are sparsely dotted with well-placed stands of trees and brush, forcing you to make decisions on the tee. Relatively few holes were "point and shoot."
+ Really doesn't favor lefties/righties, FH/BH/OH... it favors players who can adapt their game to avoid obstacles (including judicious use of OB) and execute. Evidenced by some tee signs displaying different distances for lefty/righty routes. Provides plenty of variety. You may not need every shot in your bag... then again, you might.
+ Wonderful execution of dual tees with full time dual pins (and some occasionally masterful placement) allows you to select the level of challenge you want. Yellow tees are longer than the blues, and typically have tighter/tougher lines to hit. Yellow pins were not only much longer, but better protected than the blues, with trickier approaches... so well done it merits elaboration:
• Short Tees/Short Pins: fun for experienced players without being too intimidating for beginners.
• Long/Short: increases distance while requiring more accuracy off the tee.
• Short/Long: requires even more distance than Long/Short plus greater accuracy on approaches.
• Long/Long presented a suitable challenge to local Pros I saw playing.
Consider that sometimes the tees/pins on a given hole are at different elevations, and the "season to taste" layout scheme truly provides expansive variety as well as red, white, blue and gold level challenge, allowing any skill level to "appropriately" use pretty much every type of disc off the tee.
• Equipment: Wonderfully maintained, everything's in tip-top condition.
+ Quality tee markers at all tees show layout, pin locations and accurate distances along - some even show different distances for different routes.
+ Yellow/blue flags on baskets help you spot Chainstars hidden among the trees from a distance, and help gage wind.
+ Concrete tees are level, large enough for reasonable run-ups, provided excellent footing and in great shape.
• Routing/Nav: Course is fairly well secluded from other park activities - I've seen very few non DG'ers in this section of the park. Flows pretty well for the most part, but there are a few spots where finding the next tee is less than intuitive. Fortunately, they've provided plenty of help:
+ Signs with the next hole # and an arrow pointing the way.
+ Mowed paths from green to next tee scream "that-a-way."
+ Map on back of scorecard.
+ Concrete tees and tee markers are fairly easy to spot as you make your way around the course.
• Aesthetics - Plenty of eye appeal and some special touches (11's long tee and 18's long pin) show they put time, effort, and money into this. Nicely manicured fairways, tees and greens all look wonderful (I hope they hold up well to traffic over the years). Feels very much like country club disc golf, everything's nicely groomed and beautifully presented.
+ Clean bathrooms with running water located near the parking lot.
+ Scorecard/map & pencils available near parking lot closest to 1st tee.
Cons: This really is a great course. It doesn't need gimmicks like:
• Gimmick 1: The wall in front of 2's long tee is artificial, contrived, and stupid. The ultimate Mando? Perhaps, but playing long tees to long pins is challenging enough. Toquote Ronald Reagan "...tear down this wall!"
• Gimmick 2: 17's "reverse" island green, where the "green" is defined as OB. Fascinated at first, my 2nd time around, I realized it's just dumb: if you hit metal off the tee and chain out, you take a stroke? That's BS. Tourney rules (posted on a temp sign) called for a conventional island green: land inside the zone or shoot from the drop zone with a stroke penalty - makes a lot more sense. But unlike the wall, you can play this however you want.
• Not that the course lacks shot variety, and maybe it's just me, there are no tunnel shots that really force one specific line and dare you to execute it. If nothing else, their more claustrphobic nature changes the feel of a hole. While Devil's Den requires you to hit some tight windows, you never have to thread a shot a long way through a gauntlet, nor does it have even a small smattering of densely wooded holes. These elements would make the course more complete.
• 11 and 15 play parallel and close to each other. While I was playing 15, a disc thrown from 11 came fairly close to me - there seems to be enough room available to avoid this.
• Much of the rough is the kind of low lying prairie grass, weeds, and burrs that serves no purpose other than to make looking for discs miserable and frustrating without affecting disc play. More on point, bad shots aren't necessarily penalized.
• While the tee distances seem quite accurate, the fairway shapes/pin locations as illustrated often seemed exagerated, to the point of being misleading in some cases.
Other Thoughts: They got all the big things right, and most of the little ones, too. Attention to detail and little touches are everywhere. The result is a 1st class course that's polished and suitable for any tournament or player.
• Not sure how typical wind is here, but it definitely affected my disc choice and shot selection on this relatively open course.
• One element (employed on 2-3 holes) I haven't seen elsewhere: baskets sunk into a large depression in the ground. Hence, approaches that roll are likely to help rather than hurt, as they roll toward the pin at the bottom of the pit... those who throw rollers might really like these. Intriguing perhaps, but could be listed in cons to the extent they minimize risk reward, and provide no incentive to lay up whatsoever.
• I can't really complain about the $5/per car entry, plus $4/per player fees because everything's thought out and kept up so well you'll never wonder "Where's the money going?" It's steep for one solo round, but with a 2nd quality course onsite, and all the extra touches, it's hard to argue that it's not worth it, and only a bit more than Hudson Mills or Deerfield park. If it bugs you, bring friends to split the entry fee 'cause this gem's worth sharing.
• You pay the entry fee coming into the park, but where do you pay the add'l disc golf fee? There's no collection/donation box or attendant anywhere near the courses. The person collecting the park entry fee never asked if we were playing DG, so all I paid was $5 entry fee. If they truly want the add'l $4 to play, make it obvious and easy to pay it.
• While some of cons seem unnecessary (wall, reverse island green, even the sunk pins), at least they're the result of trying too hard, rather than mailing-in something that's "good enough." That said, effort doesn't factor into my ratings. Don't come here because they tried - come here because they succeeded.
Overall, this is a phenomenal course that could stand on its own anywhere. The good news is the few elements I thought were lacking are present in spades on River's Edge. They're so dissimilar that they provide a sort of disc golf Yin and Yang. Two high quality courses that feel and play so completely different from each other make this a splendid location for mutliple round tourneys and a no-brainer destination if you can get here.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
Would play this course again
Pros: - short and long tees
-variety of holes
-very clean with garbage cans everywhere
-easy to find your way for first timers
-water coolers at a lot of the holes for hot days
Cons: -alot of mosquitoes when muggy out
-if you are a non resident it is a little pricey
Other Thoughts: We played when it was on an off rain but not to bad so I believe there were more mosquitoes out then normally but I would advice to bring bug spray otherwise you will get eaten alive. (I don't know about this for dry days however) I found it strange that they would build very nice brick wall just to be used as obstacles around the park but it was a nice addition I have never seen at a DG park. The 18th hole is very unique and I loved the idea of the fountain. I am not from the area so when my friend and I came to pay we were surprised we had to pay 9 dollars for one round but If I was in the area again most likely I would come back.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
A chaotic but fun first visit to Burchfield
Pros: + Multiple tees and pins maximize playability
+ Looooong teepads
+ Necessary tee signs helped navigate and explain the layouts on some holes
+ Carved/mowed fairways were in great shape
+ A big disc golf equivalent of a regular golf course in terms of layout and features
+ FLAGS - I loved the blue and gold flags that improved visibility of baskets
+ Stones marking distance to long pins (300 feet)
+ Memorable holes/amenities (18's basket placement, 2's obstacle, sandtraps)
+ Low repetition on hole layouts, but distance was often rewarded more than accuracy
+ Benches/trash cans
+ Great facilities
+ Great parking
+ Right next to River's Edge
Cons: - Rough brush off the fairways is gonna suck when it thickens (but will up the difficulty for a +)
- Although I really learned to like the options at each hole, without a guide the first round played here is probably going to be stressful for anyone
- Layout options also made it difficult for people searching for bad throws that landed on fairways that bordered shared rough between holes
- Flimsy, temporary tee signs were absent from many tees
- Hole 17's OB was a bit odd
- Hole 2's wall is silly
- Course map isn't very easy to follow
Other Thoughts: OVERALL: I really liked Burchfield's original course. Accurate upshots was not the challenge here, shaping long drives was, so I could see it being a very fun place to develop distance and good form (although you'd be spoiled with the large tee pads). Fortunately, the grand scale of the course made grabbing different drivers based on wind direction and the various obstacles really, really fun. The varying levels of difficulty kept the layout interesting as well, especially as I struggled to stay near par up to hole 18.
DESTINATION COURSE: This course could provide an excellent reason to visit the park, which has a lot more to offer than just disc golf. Also, the park is very family and dog-friendly. Lots of activities for everyone. I really appreciated how nice it was. We visited on a disc golf road trip to Grand Rapids from up north and were very happy we chose to go out of our way to play here. I have to admit, however, that I had way more fun on the 11 holes of the "River's Edge" course (hopefully won't be flooded soon) than the original for sure (despite mixed tee pads). So, put the two big, nicely maintained courses together and you have an amazing opportunity to fill a whole day with 3-4 different rounds. Your arm might be jelly by the end, but it'd be worth it.
COMPARISON TO HUDSON MILLS: Please excuse me for using Hudson Mills as my main comparison for this course, but it truly embodies a similar feel. It's a very large and well-maintained piece of land requiring a bunch of drivers, throwing grass in the air to get wind direction, and well-placed, long and accurate throws. Burchfield Park's Original layout is like an expanded and better maintained Hudson's Original course holes A-F. Similar to those holes, the majority of Burchfield's original course plays through fields with the rough being unmowed growth and several sparsely located large trees providing the majority of obstacles. Pin placement is also very similar, except Burchfield has more trees, which makes it more fun!
LAYOUT CONFUSION: The layout problems really were a bummer and I weigh them significantly in my rating.
Like I said before, I really liked the course a lot, especially after getting into the layout's quirky and sometimes confusing rhythm. We gained some momentum on our first round here around hole 8. My biggest gripe with this course isn't the layout, however, it's that quite a few of the tee signs were missing. The signs are just flimsy laminated pieces of paper stapled to wood blocks about a foot off the ground and therefore were blown away from many tees. If there were more directional markers and if every tee had a sign, the course would be "Phenomenal". However, I think these small details have been taken for granted. In my opinion, they're essential to give first timers a smooth round since the provided course map just isn't enough. The random absence of each one provided us with just enough doubt to make the layout confusing. [What tee is this? I don't know, check the map. Well it could be this one or this one. Hmm, it must be this one! Oops, it was that one... Sound familiar?] My advice is to print the map from here on DGCR. It helped to bring it up on the smartphone at times.
By the way, other people on the course definitely had the same confusing experience as we did. We asked a few groups some simple layout questions and anyone who was playing it for the first time had the same confused look we did.
Once we come back and play all the layouts and if the tee signs are all in place, I'm sure this review will go from 4.0 to 4.5 discs. Not perfect, but it has the potential to be amazing.
Thanks for reading!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: Love it. Can spend ALL day here. Worth the 5$.
Cons: None really. So much to pick from
Other Thoughts: Massive holes if you play gold.
1 of 14 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
The Future is Here!
Pros: Designed and manicured very well. Lots of perfectly placed autumn olive shrubs and the like make its many open holes not feel at all like open holes.
Long and short tees and baskets for each hole means 18^4 different game permutations are available! Long tee to long basket setup is over 9,500 feet for the pro and advanced player. Short to short is in the 4,500 feet range, and you could devise anything between the two to suit your desires. There's something for everybody.
Artificial O.B. is created niftily in many spots throughout the course. There are several unique features, too, such as the brick wall on #2's long tee, the "island" basket placement nearer the end of the course, and the breathtaking use of box elder trees that grew diagonally for the long tee on one of the holes later in the course.
Pay to enter and pay to play (as much as $9/day for out-of-county residents) probably helps keep the riff-raff to a minimum.
Cons: Anything in the "con" category is merely nit-picking...
I dislike the basket placements on top of pimple-like artificial mounds.
There could be a few more tightly wooded holes to balance the game-feel. Only #8 sticks out in my memory as I sit here as primarily a wooded hole.
The logistics between #10, #11 and #15 can be confusing if you miss the signs.
Other Thoughts: Burchfield Park (in combination with the brand-new River course) is a destination Disc Golf facility all day long. I played it today for the first time, and the excitement I've got is similar to when Hudson Mills first put in their Monster course back in about 1997, and many of the holes feel similar. In fact, my 79 and 81 playing the Long to Long setup is commensurate to what I'd shoot playing Hudson Mills' Monster...except that Burchfield is only 18 holes, HMM 24!...and I loved nearly every inch of it.
I want to draw particular attention to Hole #10. Every course should have several holes like this one. It's not even close to the best hole here in terms of cool terrain, unusual trees, or some sort of unique device on it (such as #2's brick wall!), and it's dead flat in terms of elevation, but I just adore the designer's eye for creating an actual GOLF hole here. There is risk/reward if you choose to go right...You risk going O.B. due to the perfectly-placed park road, and if your Disc barely peters off to the left, you've got the large circle of dense shrubbery...BUT, if you pinpoint a great 300ish foot drive, you've got an easier (not a breeze, though!) upshot at the basket. If the drive to the right seems too risky for your desires at the moment, you can instead aim way left and have a longer, tighter tunnel to the basket for a second shot. Less risk at the beginning, but more at the middle to end of this option. #10 is simple, yet outstanding...And I'd like to see a lot more of this kind of thing throughout all of our courses (especially since it doesn't take a lot of special terrain or obstacles to make it happen).
The four permutation-per-hole setup is...is...astonishingly awesome, and this layout is a prime example of how you're supposed to make "open" holes. My 1996 self is giddy to see that we've finally arrived at a time and place in our sport's history when courses like this seem to be popping up on the map all the time. To think I used to travel this far for courses much more banal...
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 2 Not
A new favorite.
Pros: - Pro tees / Pro Baskets
- Wonderfully maintained
- Wide variety of difficulty
- Very long course
Cons: - Sort of confusing for a first timer. The next hole doesn't start until after the Pro basket which can sometimes be hundreds of feet further.
- Some of the signs were missing
- No bathrooms
- Very long course
Other Thoughts: Hole 17 is a 100 ft basket surrounded by an island of sand. You must land your disk in that island or else it is out of bounds. I LOVE this concept! Very creative.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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