Great Addition for WIIL Golf!
Pros: I'm going to preface this with the fact that as of this year I'm a rather spoiled golfer. Within a 30 minute drive I have a couple of 4 star courses and this is one of them for a couple of reasons.
1. Wooded Golf that is a rarity in Illinois. The nine holes in the woods are unique to the area, and force people to shape lines properly as well as having two true par 4's both being birdieble if executed properly.
2. Excellent facilities. Beautiful Chainstar baskets powder coated with huge flags making seeing the basket a breeze. Full cement tee pads, and the park district building with nice clean bathrooms. Signage is the best I have seen on any course I have ever played. Accurate maps, NexTee signage directing player. Designated ace sign below tee sign to fight graffiti and give players bragging rights.
3. Layout gives the option to do the nine hole in the park easily if you want to skip wooded holes or only play a quick round.
4. Variety of shots giving no one type of player an advantage over another. The power arm won't necessarily outscore the finesse thrower.
5. Wooded rough is punishing to bad shots, but a fairway shot will be rewarded. Open fairways in the woods aren't super punishing but still require clean lines.
5. Some really fun holes. 14, 10, 17, 6, 8 all come to mind.
6. Holes 5 and 11 really require proper lines and golf sense to come out of unscathed, but can be birdied.
Cons: 1. Long walks between holes. I'm aware of layout issues regarding land ownership. I'd rather have long walks than no wooded holes so it's a compromise I can live with, but something that does hold this course back.
2.Some tee pads are shorter than I would prefer
Marengo/IndianOaks - Top 10 in Illinois
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Great course. Well maintained. Very little elevation, but otherwise a good variety of long/short, open/wooded, lefty/righty holes.
Cons: The layout is the only negative with one or two long walks between holes, and a long walk from the end to the start.
Other Thoughts: Worth the drive from Chicagoland. Better than any of the local Chicago courses.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: steakfest
The reason for the long walks between some of the holes is a combination of factors that as designers we couldn't do much about. First reason is Safety. As is common in a multi-use facility like Indian Oaks Park, sometimes the land that you have to work with is peppered with various other activities. When Fred and I designed the course we did our best job taking advantage of the land that was "ok for disc golf"
As for the long walks into and out of the woods, (holes 4 - 11) that was also another land availability issue. The walk into and out of the woods is going through land that the Park District does not have ownership of, and It would be a terrible waste of some awesome space to not put holes back there.
When we designed the course we felt the walk into and out of the woods was a small price to pay to have those unique and challenging holes, unlike most of what you see in Northern Illinois.
John McGowan #49389
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Great for the Area
Pros: This course is only a year old and for that it is very good. As the course matures it will only get better. There are 10 open holes and 8 wooded holes. The land in the open holes was utilized extremely well to provide some challenges while driving. There are large mature trees on all of the open holes. When you get into the words the course becomes very challenging. There are 2 legitimate par 4's on the course hole 5 and hole 11. You will need to breakout a variety of shots while you are in the woods as there are right turns left turns and S curves. Very good mixture not favoring any playing style too much. If you get more than 10 feet off of the fairway watch out. Its gets very thick very fast.
Cons: There are some long walks between holes, so bring your walking shoes. THere is some poison ivy in the rough so familiarize yourself with what this looks like so you can stay away. You also need to watch where you walk as there are stumps sticking out of the ground in some spots.
Other Thoughts: Contact me if you ever need a course guide.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun course, still new
Pros: Beautiful park, great place for a disc golf course.
Excellent signs at every teepad and as needed in between holes.
Nextee 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: Only because it is a brand new course right now, the lack of concrete tees is listed here.
As the course gets more play, I'm sure the wooded fairways and heavy rough/schule will be cleaned up as well. This will certainly help out on the fun factor and cut down on time looking for discs.
Other Thoughts: My rating is admittedly a little high right now, but it is partly based on the fact that the course is brand new and I certainly plan to update my review as needed.
Fred Vroman & John McGowan, thanks for designing and installing a great course in Northern Illinois! Looking forward to the progress!!!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Fun for everyone
Pros: - Course is set on the grounds of a large park that has a lot of other activites present. Swimming pool, playgrounds and such. Disc golf is well separated, though, and the only interference would be from stray pedestrians.
- Half of the holes are located in more open areas, with trees and bordering forest to deal with. The large trees are used well to force line shaping; #1 forces a big hyzer either way, or a low line drive shot. More RHBH hyzers on #2 and #3 (for the easy route), and a large tree in the middle of #15 force some accuracy. #16 is a big hyzer around and into the forest, and #13 is a long hole with the basket behind a large clump of trees. #14 is a long RHBH anny to get around the marsh, though the hyzer route is there for the bold big arms.
- Other holes have the forest more in play, like a low tunnel shot between some small trees and the woods on #17. #18 has an open fairway, with a pinch point/window to get through at the end. Probably a smart move to lay up here, if you can get there.
- Other half of the holes are in the forest, which offer good variety as well. All in all you have a few uphill hyzers, a few RHBH flex shots, some downhill straight shots and annys, a tunnel, and two long wooded holes with tons of obstacles. #5 and #11 are both legitimate par 4's, with hole layouts that really make you work for it. #5 begs for a layup shot off the tee to set-up a hyzer from the red tee, and #11 would be a RHFH flex shot with monster D attached.
- Elevation changes are present here and there throughout the course, which add a lot of fun and challenge. In the open, #2 and #15 have decent uphill slopes, and #14 and #18 have elevated teepads. The downhill shots are fantastic, #14 plays around the marsh so you have to be careful how much you want to bite off. #18 has the pinch point at the end, so you really have to control the length off the tee. Not too shabby in the forest either, #11 has a good decline in the middle, and other shorter holes play up and down as well.
- Great variety in hole length, both in the woods and out. A few shots around 200' in the forest are well complemented by a 480' and a 519' holes, and most holes in the open offer a decent opportunity to let drivers rip. A few may be on the shorter side for the big arms, but they aren't too short.
- Great signage and baskets, navigation is a breeze with a map, next tee markers, next tee signs, directional arrows, etc. etc. Natural teepads in good shape too.
Cons: - Holes out in the open definitely lean on the RHBH hyzer, in a big way. There are a few spots to get creative with something else, but that's the easiest route for sure. Most of the shots in the forest also cater to the righties, with a few exceptions.
- Some really short hole lengths to be found in the woods, which might be a turnoff to more experienced players. Tight lines though.
- A few longer walks in between holes, like #1 to #2, #11 to #12, and a very long trek from #18 to #1. Next time I'm parking in between #1 and #18 to break it up a little.
- Two rough crossings over a creekbed, especially getting from #16 to #17. Pretty treacherous, though you can go the long way around if necessary.
Other Thoughts: - Overall, a solid course that has a lot to offer. The holes out in the open all enjoy a hyzer, but in a lot of different ways. I did not get bored out here, at all, each hole has good wrinkle to keep it fresh. Inside the forest, there is more variety, with some interesting and tight lines to be found. Elevation changes found throughout, on top of that.
- Two sets of tees really change the course, the red tees are well marked and take off a full 2300'! Beginners will enjoy the reds, and almost everyone else should enjoy the whites.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: steakfest
Please see my comments on some of the more recent reviews regarding the walks between holes.
As for the rough crossings over the creek, I believe those all have bridges now.
Also all holes have concrete tee pads now!
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