So proud to live, so proud to die
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Marengo for the area is a pretty solid disc golf course. The course has 9 holes set in thick woods with punishing rough, and they are not all tunnel shots. Hole #5 in particular was a multiple shot hole that made me throw to landing zones to set up my next shot. You have to stay in the fairway on these wooded holes; the rough is thick and often doesn't give you much in the way of a recovery shot.
The holes in the more open areas are pretty nice park-style holes with enough trees to make them interesting. There is good elevation for the area; #2 and #15 are pretty good uphill shots, and #14 and #18 are elevated tees. Several other holes had some degree of up and down. #14 was a cool risk reward shot for big arms that can bomb over the shule to the left.
The shots overall were pretty challenging. It's the type of course that can accommodate a wide variety of skill levels and still have something to offer everyone. There is a good variety in distances in both the open and wooded holes.
The course has good tee signs with a hole map and distances.
Cons: The holes set up out of the woods didn't seem to mesh very well with the other park uses. Hole # 1 seemed pretty close to a park road. Hole #1 and Hole #14 seemed pretty close together. Hole #18 is designed for you to throw down a fairway next to a skate park, but the anhyzer/forehand route over the skate park is wide open and it seemed pretty easy to throw one in there at somebody. Hole #15 played pretty close to a picnic area. Considering we had to hike a mile in and a mile out to get to the wooded holes and back, it seemed like there would have been room for more holes that did not have conflicts with other park uses.
As I mentioned, the hike from #3 to #4 and from #11 to #12 are long golfless walks that hurt the flow of the course. The walk from #1 to #2 was also long and confusing. The course has the added oddity that if you park by hole #1, you will be back by your car at hole #14 and nowhere near your car when you finish #18. You can park so that you are closer to #18, but then you have a long walk to start the round. Pick your poison.
The white tees are carpet or dirt. They could be better.
Other Thoughts: The course still has a lot of stumps and the rough is very thick, which is typical of newer courses. I would expect those issues to fix themselves over time.
There appears to be an effort to make the course beginner friendly with a set of short red tees, but the wooded holes don't translate well to beginners. Even though the red tees only measure out to 3,378', the nine wooded holes would still be very frustrating to new players. At 3,378', the red tees are much too short to be considered a playable option by the majority of players.
Marengo is a very nice course shot for shot, and it should be a good option for a place where players of various skill levels can get together and all have a good time. While it wouldn't have the level of challenge to host a NT tournament, it's the kind of place that could host a B Tier and keep most of the players happy.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Mind the gap
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Most holes are heavily wooded providing plenty of obstacles and challenge for players of all skill levels.
-Navigation is painless, The signage is fantastic.
-Beautiful, brand new chainstar baskets that have all been powdercoated blue and have highly visible orange flags on top of them.
-Good mix up of shots and distances.
-Tons of reward for well shaped shots and punishment for those that don't mind the gap on the wooded holes.
-Good use of available elevation
-Almost no fairway overlap and with the exception of a few holes almost no opportunity to collide with other park users.
-Super quiet park, the only other sounds we here were chains ringing in the background from other disc golfers. Also, Traffic is almost non-existent here.
Cons: -The tees leave a lot to be desired, This course absolutely deserves some sort of solid tee pad, concrete being the ideal option. The carpet is (in my opinion) probably better than the natural tee option as the carpet does provide decent traction. They are on the short side though so those (and myself) that have any kind of moderately long run-up will be a little disappointed. They are also fairly bumpy and uneven so watch your footing. Some are also gripier than others so test them before you rip,
-Extremely punishing rough (Also a pro in my opinion) that has lots of thorns and other brutal underbrush a mere 5 feet off the fairways. This may not be for everyone, but I think it adds to the element. I wore shorts today as it was the warmest mid-November day I can remember and after a few bounces off trees and into the rough my shins were literally bleeding.
-Stumps.... Everywhere. The fall leaves masked this little toe busters which made walking the fairways interesting. I stubbed my toes on my fair share of them and I know my buddy did too. Cutting them a little closer to the ground would probably be a good idea. Watch where your walking or you could end up faceplanting and you and I both know you don't wanna do that.
Other Thoughts: This is a good, fun course. I seriously enjoyed a round at this DCG, I could honestly see this course as becoming one of the more popular courses in northern IL. It just needs time to wear in, It's still a fairly new course. It has plenty of variety and a good amount of tight fairways and I really liked that about this course.
For those who live in the western suburbs or the NW suburbs who have been thinking about making a trip out to Rockford, do it, but add this course onto your day trip. Its not far off of 90 and if you take 20 back from Rockford it is only a minute out of your way.
I'd play this course again for sure if I was in the area.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Beautiful park, great place for a disc golf course.
Excellent signs at every teepad and as needed in between holes.
Next tee signs on every basket also help 1st time players easily navigate the course.
Great variety of open and wooded holes here. Beginners should consider using the red (short) tees on most holes. Using the long tees, you will need every shot to score well here.
The course designers used every bit of available elevation to create some very good holes, especially from the white tees.
Cons: Not enough for me to say anything bad about this course.
Other Thoughts: I really liked the addition of the concrete pads ! Especially in the wooded sections. It made it a lot easier to throw ! Plan on going back out to this course ! Loads of fun and challenging.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course plays through a sprawling park, and for the first 14 holes has no conflicts with other park users. About half of the holes play in mostly open areas, with nicely mowed grass and some mature trees. A few of these play with thick rough on one side, including one that offers a risky shot over a marsh or a longer safe route around. These holes offer some nice distance, including a couple that let you open up and rip a drive while still having enough scattered trees to make you plan your line.
The wooded half of the course plays pretty tight. There are several shorter holes that are reachable but tricky, and a few that play as legitimate multi-shot holes with landing zones and doglegs. Off the fairways there are lots of small trees and very thick brushy undergrowth. Errant shots are heavily punished.
The signage is good, with hole layout and distance. There are next tee markers on each basket and the longer walks were spray painted with arrows when I played. The course map by the first tee is also available here, and is helpful if you get turned around. Two sets of tees are offered, I only played the longer set (white), the reds looked like they would be a little more beginner friendly taking off some distance on the open holes and making the lines significantly easier on the wooded shots.
Cons: The course still feels pretty new and a bit raw. The rough gets hairy right at the edge of the fairway with lots of brush and thorns. This means there aren't a lot of opportunities for interesting recovery shots, you'll mostly just pitch out if you miss your line in the woods. The wooded holes also still have lots of dead branches and small stumps, though it seemed like that's slowly getting taken care of.
The end of the course has a few safety issues, with two out of the last four holes offering some chances for conflict with other park users. The last hole plays next to/over a skate park, it wouldn't be at all difficult to go over the fence and hit someone.15 plays over a soccer field and near some picnic areas, on a nice summer day there could be some issues. The course also has some pretty long walks, if the spray paint wears off it could be a little tricky and makes for a long round (especially with the long and slightly uphill walk back to your car after 18). The tees are natural for the most part with a few carpet pads in the woods. They're pretty lumpy and rutted out already, concrete or rubber pads would go a long way here especially on the longer holes where a runup would be useful.
Other Thoughts: I really enjoyed the shots at this course, it's definitely one of the most interesting and challenging in the greater Chicago area. Most of my issues with it will get better over time, especially if the tees are improved. Beginners will find even the reds a little tough especially with severe punishment waiting off the fairways. More experienced players will find lots of different skills tested here, with great variety and a nice balance of left and right turning shots.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The first time I played Indian Oaks I knew the area had a special disc golf course. It is by far the most challenging in the McHenry/Boone/Winnebago county area, but also one of the most fun. Some of the holes, especially in the woods are very difficult and if you have a bad throw off the fairway you could easily add 2 or 3 strokes to your score. Hole 5 is a MONSTER par 4 that will take some serious accuracy and power to bird. I have posted a picture of the signage for the hole if anyone wants to check it out.
Other pros - the baskets and signs are great. I never felt lost on this course even though some of the holes are spread apart. Bridges were also put in to cross the creeks
Cons: Very few, but the main issue was the lack of tee pads. There are some holes that use a "carpet" but I could see some rolled ankles if you are not careful. Also, it takes a good amount of time to finish a round here, especially if you are throwing into the rough a lot, so don't think you can have a quick game.
Other Thoughts: Overall, I say that Indian Oaks has great potential to become the top course in the area. I would certainly check out this course if you are looking for a challenge. Be ready to go for a hike!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: steakfest
Just to let you know, the carpet pads are no more! Concrete pads on all 18 holes now!
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Awesome course just needs a little time
Pros: 1) Some of the best variety in holes I have seen in a while. There are a few park like holes, a few tight tunnels and wooded holes, and there are a few holes with moderate woods on them.
2) There is a wetland area you can choose to bomb over or throw around. I would love to see some big bombers try and take the route right over that wetland on #14. It would be fun to watch for sure.
3) Shortened tees help to make the course playable by beginners, but I think they may leave frustrated after the wooded holes.
4) Concrete blocks set in the ground right now mark the tees and they are painted Red or White for the two sets of tees. Only a few tees share the same location. These are nice and big so even if the grass gets long finding the other tee isn't as hard as you might think. Be sure to look at the map on the teesigns to help find where the reds would be.
5) Nice teesigns with Hole #, Par, DIstance,, and a map along with a directional to the next tee. The only drawback to these signs is they are on the white tees, fortunately you generally would be walking right past the white tee to get to the forward red tee.
6) 3' flags on top of the nice powder coated Chainstars. I like this feature as it really helps on certain holes to find the baskets.
7) Huge diversity of shots needed to play well out here. You need to work shots both ways and you will definitely want to throw both backhand and forehand.
8) The long tees change a lot of the holes dramatically rather than just being a 50-100' extension off the shorts on the same line.
9) They put an ace board called an Ace Card (which has the image of a playing card Ace and a bunch of lines on it). I will be surprised if they hold up but it is a really good idea to prevent people from writing it on the signs or baskets. I imagine there is an active club here and they just better realize that if that sign fills up they better get another one up immediately or people will be pissed there is nowhere for them to write their ace and they will turn to the signs or just write over the other aces in big black sharpie.
10) Excellent use of moderate elevation changes. The wooded holes have some changes in elevation which is nice and the open holes are more gently rolling.
11) Portopotty after Hole #18.
12) Some garbage cans around the course for your disposal.
13) Directionals in some of the trouble areas for crossing paths and such. Because the wooded holes cross some sort of natural trail the signs are needed and in the appropriate places.
14) There are a few benches scattered around the course . . . not sure if they were intentional for the course or just in random spots.
Cons: 1) Overall this course is not quite beginner friendly despite the shortened tees, there just are too many shots in the woods that beginners are not capable of throwing.
2) Grass tees on the open holes and some carpet and some dirt tees in the woods. I am sure this is just because the course is new but on a championship caliber course this really hurts my desire to go back because I want to know my footing will be consistent from hole to hole.
3) The tennis courts and the dirt bike ramps may be in danger on some shots. Holes #1 and #14 also run too close together because a lot of the big bombs from the white tee on #14 might end up dangerously close to Hole #1's fairway.
4) Some general cleanup like grinding the little stumps down in the wooded fairways, hauling the fallen and cut debris further off the fairways to accomodate for disc searching and good footing. I am sure this will get done, because noone puts in a great course like this and doesn't finish the work off.
Other Thoughts: This course is a definite 4 disc course once it has permanent concrete teepads and a little more general cleanup on the wooded holes is completed, but as I played it I put it on par with a 3.5 disc course. As far as the disc golf is concerned I definitely consider it a 4 disc course it just needs a little more work and some breaking in. I will definitely back to see the progress and look forward to concrete tees hopefully?!
Did anyone else see the potential championship tee on Hole #3 . . . from the sledding hill platform?????
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: steakfest
Thanks for the review.
Just to let you know, Indian Oaks now has Concrete pads on all 18 holes.
Our course signage does also recommend that beginners skip holes 4 - 11, thanks for re-iterating that here in your review!
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