Someone sold their soul for this course!
13 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.
+ 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.
13 of 13 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.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
The best in the Lansing Area
Pros: - Great variety in distance
- 4 ways to play every hole mixes it up.
- great mix of open holes and woody narrow holes
- cool features like a 10 foot wall and OB sand traps.
- Very well taken care of
-soon to be another 18 hole course on the property
Cons: - None really that are worth not playing this course, like others said the rough and ob areas can be dangerous, wear pants.
Other Thoughts: just a really fun and difficult course. A lot of love and effort was put into this gem, I will definently be buying a season pass.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course is laid out very well. Nicely manicured areas and great landscaping around each hole and down the fairways.
The course is pretty 'open' with only a few holes within trees.
Great signage and pointers to all the tee boxes and pins.
Super friendly staff that drive around and ask for input and how the course is playing for you that day.
Cons: Price - Sure, the course isn't that expensive and the cost goes towards the upkeep of the course itself. Lots of areas to mow, maintain, and such. However, $4 dollars to play for each person + the cost to actually get into the park (which is $3 for Ingham County residents and a bit more for non-residents). $7.00 to play could turn off a few players. But it is still worth it.
Some of the holes are super long, which could be a turn off to a few players. The longest hole (in the long tee to long basket setup) is 1019 feet. Wow.
The tee-pads are different than what I'm used to playing. Only about 2.5-3 feet wide, but 10 feet long. I'm used to maybe 4-5 feet wide and about 7-8 feet long. Not particularly bad, but threw me off at first.
The banner which gives details about the course before the first tee pad is littered with grammatical errors which, of course, doesn't hamper the course at all, but it does look bad as it is missing words, adds too many in (like "into to"), and has numerous misspelled words. Just doesn't look good at all. *I say this knowing that my review here could contain some grammatical mistakes, but I'm going to go out on a limb and state that mine aren't nearly as obvious or 'bad' as the banner at Burchfield.
Other Thoughts: I just moved up to Mason, MI from Columbia, SC and decided to check this course out this past Saturday (9/3/2011). I can honestly say that this is the best course I've ever played.
I haven't played on that many courses, but compared to those courses (most being in SC, but also in NC and one other in MI) this is a great course. Four different ways to play with some pretty iconic holes. That 10 foot wall on hole 2 is pretty daunting and the 18th basket up on the water-feature is just picturesque.
Very well maintained, awesome staff that plays and cares about the course/game as well, and from what I'm used to awesome weather. All this and more combine to make a wonderful course just outside of Lansing, MI
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Tons of Fun!
Pros: - great options with long/short pins/tees
- lots of nicely designed holes
- variety of short/long holes
- well marked posts (good map on their website too)
- has not seemed to get backed up when I am there
- only one hole where discs would get lost in water
- they have new tee signs that show the layout for both long and short setups. Great addition!
- there are maps and score cards at the first hole now!
Cons: - some rough looks like it can get very rough
- some pins are pretty well hidden from view for first timers (take a map)
- a couple of long pin to long tee holes are SUPER LONG which takes some fun out of it (so we just play short)
Other Thoughts: I love this course, it's my new favorite. The course if beautiful and well designed. Many of the holes have interesting landscaping and obstacles on them. (like the 10 ft wall!)
I'll be playing here a ton since I live so close...this is a wonderful place with lots of variety. There's also an awesome park all around it with boating, fishing, hiking and a playground. And in the winter you can go sledding/tobogganing too!
** New tee signs are a nice addition, along with the course maps and score cards that they have at the first hole. These show me that they are constantly improving and maintaining this course.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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