7 Helpful / 0 Not
White Cedar will put your game to the test!
Pros: -Beautiful landscape/scenery: The course progresses through a heavily wooded lowland forest and then traverses several steep, wooded ridges which eventually lead you near to the top of the highest point on the property. It features old growth white pines, thick cedar groves and innumerable aspen and poplar stands. A natural spring feeds a network of small creeks and pools which come into play throughout the lowland section (holes 2-10). Upon reaching the tee for hole 16, you are greeted with a teaser of the panoramic view which awaits you on the tee for hole 18. The view features an overlook of the St. Louis River valley and the surrounding forests. If you continue to the top of the hill, the view opens up substantially to include nearby Jay Cooke Sate Park and the bluffs surrounding the river valley. If you enjoy hiking for pleasure and exercise, you will thoroughly enjoy playing this course, as it offers a challenging hike with beautiful surroundings.
- Technically challenging course design that offers a variety of pin placements: Each hole has two pin placements (A [short] & B [long]). As of the time I'm writing this review, there are also C (longer)pins in place for holes: 1,4 and 8. Expect more C pin placements in the future as the designer continues to deliberately lengthen the course. The pins are typically placed in alternating positions (A,B,A,B…) and rotated every two weeks for variety. The majority of the fairways are narrow and wooded. Accuracy and distance control are crucial for success on White Cedar. Many of the fairways require placement shots in order to access the greens. Accuracy and distance control are rewarded with birdie opportunities and an occasional ace run when shooting for the A pins. The B and C pin locations offer more of a challenge and even a few placements which arguably merit a true par 4. The course features the natural terrain: tunnel shots through wooded fairways, sharp doglegs, steep-sided ravines in play from the tee or bordering the fairway and green, small winding creeks and pools of water. The "roughs" can be unforgiving. An errant shot can easily find its way into dense stands of pine or popple saplings or roll to the bottom of a steep-sided ravine. More often than not, an errant shot whacks one of the innumerable trees along the fairways and the direction and angle of the deflection determine your fate. Over all, the layout of the course forces you to utilize a variety of shots and discs.
-One of the signature holes on White Cedar (#15) brings to mind the classic "George's Gorge" from the original layout at Kaposia Park in West St. Paul. It mimics the drive from the tee atop one side of a wide, deep, steep-sided ravine to a small green perched on the other side. It makes for some dramatic results.
-Physically demanding hike: The course is designed to be physically demanding. While holes 1-10 are located on relatively flat ground, holes 11-18 traverse ever-upward over a series of steep-sided ridges. It is not uncommon to find yourself panting, sweating bullets and thirsty as you complete a hike from the pin location of hole 10 to the tee for hole 11. This has become more physically challenging since the flood swept away the original fairway for hole 11. The hike to the next tee is just as tough, leaving you breathless and in need of a rest in order to regain your legs before you approach the tee for #12. By the time you reach the tee for #18, you have climbed from the lowland forest at the bottom of the river valley to nearly the highest point on the property. Wear good footwear and bring plenty of water and snacks in order to enjoy this hike. Wet clay tends get extremely sloppy, sticky and slick. The steep banks of the ravines can be challenging under even good conditions. The course tends to be muddy and messy if there has been recent precipitation. Be prepared!
-Garbage/recycling receptacles are located near all but a few tee pads.
-Open for disc golf year-round: The White Cedar course can be played throughout the year. During winter months, all of the pins (A,B &C) are placed on holes 1-9. This allows for an 18 hole experience without the challenging hike through the back 9. Play on the back 9 is also available, with alternating A & B pin positions.
-Eagle's Peak is right next door: Mont du Lac offers another 18 hole disc golf course, which connects with White Cedar at hole #18 (Hole #10 on Eagle's Peak). The two courses can be played as a "hybrid" in a variety of configurations. The Eagle's Peak course is laid out on the existing ski hills at Mont du Lac.
-On site Bar/Grill/Pro shop: Mont du Lac features a chalet with a full bar (with off-sale liquor license) and a grill with a good menu. They have a great beer selection as well. There is a pro shop with a good disc selection located in the chalet. These are great features, which enhance the disc golf experience a great deal, especially in regards to tournament play. A place on site to gather and socialize with other players is a big plus.
-On site rustic camping available: Rustic camping is available for a nominal fee. Firewood and water are also available. Each campsite offers a metal fire pit with a grate for cooking over the fire. This feature makes for a great weekend of disc golf and enhances the tournament experience, as the campfires burn long into the night.
-League play: Mont du Lac offers a variety of local league play options. Handicapped leagues are held on Tuesday (Eagle's Peak), Thursday (White Cedar). League play with no handicaps take place on Friday (Doubles [course selection alternates]) as well as during winter months on Wednesday (Glow League).
Cons: -Cement tee pads, where possible, would improve the experience. While rugs and wooden platforms offer some traction, well-constructed cement tee pads would offer great improvements to traction and safety. At times, the natural tee pads can be a sloppy, slippery mess.
-Improved tee signs would be welcome, especially in regards to visiting players. With many of the pin positions being "blind" relative to the tee, some added detail to the tee signs might offer better guidance.
- Continued landscaping improvements are needed. It is impressive that most of the original landscaping survived the flooding this summer. Dramatic mudslides occurred throughout the landscape at Mont du Lac. An entire fairway (original #11) was washed away, trees and all. There are a few areas throughout the section of the course that traverses the ridges that are in need of landscaping improvements as a result.
Other Thoughts: Repeated play on this course has improved my game considerably. I feel lucky to call Mont du Lac my home course(s)!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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