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!
Terrible, waste of the drive
4 Helpful / 34 Not
Pros: The first 3 holes, the last three holes.
Cons: This course is garbage. I was looking forward to it after the first hole and the amazing signage and ace cards on some of the markers. Once you head into the woods you throw blindly into a HEAVILY wooded course. The woods have not been cleared for this course. There are piles of debris everywhere and if you lose a disc in there...good luck. I basically threw like a grandma worried that around every turn I would lose a disc. I'm not in love with my discs and I don't mind losing them but this is a little ridiculous. If you like St. Charles and don't care about your discs you might like this course. For all you single driver/single putter players, don't bother.
Other Thoughts: Terrible course, if I hadn't already mentioned that.
*Update 12/2/2013 in response to the reply.
I am not a new player. I've been playing for over 8years. I throw a 400ft avg drive, and have won 2 tournaments locally. This "course" is not well designed in any way. I understand the multiuse park and space limitations, but it felt like a course built just to build a course. Not to mention the fact that there is a nature trail running within the course. I have not been back since my first time. I WILL return and will submit another review. For most people who enjoy ball golf and disc golf, this is not a golf course. It is a set of targets in the deep woods with tees. You could have done a better job. Piles of debris/garbage are not "bunkers" come on. This is disc golf, I've played courses in multiple states and never seen debris bunkers. Also, I don't understand why some of you resort to insults (calling me a n00b). I'm simply trying to save people from wasting their time. I don't know anyone who enjoys this course, maybe someone would. Epic fail IMO. Just an opinion, go play yourself if you want and put up a review. That's what this site is for right? Reviews? My review is "don't waste your time."
4 of 38 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: steakfest
"I basically threw like a grandma worried that around every urn i would lose a disc"
Hopefully this player learned something the day they played Indian Oaks. Disc golf is supposed to be challenging. There's nothing wrong with "playing like a grandma" Most of us call it "playing safe" and I still do it myself on the wooded holes!
I suspect that the player was bothered by the challenge of the wooded holes, not the design or quality of them. I hope that wolf1616 has evolved as a player and can appreciate what Indian Oaks has to offer now.
As for debris piles, etc. I believe that in the 2 years since this review was written there has been burning, but some of the "piles" are actually meant to be bunkers that are supposed to present an obstacle.
By the way, our course also specifically recommends that beginner players skip holes 4 - 11 and stick to the 10 holes out in the open area of the course. Some of which are still very challenging, without the added element of thick rough on both sides of the fairway.
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 / 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!
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!
4 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: - You really have to think about your shots.
- It is not all about distance, if you are new or in a hurry you can use the beginner tees.
- The walk through the woods is really enjoyable, but wear your hiking boots.
- If you are able to perform more than one type of throw (forehand, hammer...) you will use them all.
Cons: - Some of the bushes your disc can get stuck in are seriously prickly.
- Too much curve on some of holes and you will be searching for your disc for a while.
Other Thoughts: Tons of fun!
We met the designer when we were there (he was playing a round himself) really nice guy. He said they were planning a lot of improvements... can't wait to see what they have in store.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Marengo is Fresh
Pros: I'm starting my rating at 3.0 with potential of 3.5 to 4.0. Once concrete tees are installed and the wood holes are cleaned up a bit i'll adjust my rating accordingly.
This is a very nice park. Most of the park is rather flat but has some minor rolling hills in a couple of places. Half of the holes play in semi open areas with large trees. Many of the semi open holes have thick rough off the fairway. The other half are in the woods with some nasty thick rough! This is a much needed challenge and great addition to the area.
There is a practice basket located south of hole #1's tee.
Brand new blue powder coated Discraft Chainstars. Each basket has an estimated 3 foot long pole on top with a flag attached. The baskets are highly visable.
The tee signs are very nice. Very descriptive with distances of both short (red) and long (white) tees. Tee signs are located at the long white tees. I'm interested in seeing the youtube scan when it's complete. Another nice addition is the ace board underneath the sign. Good area to write names for hole in ones.
This is a very challenging course with a wide varitey of shots. It's very unique to the area as heavy rough comes into play. Poor shots and lack of course management will make you pay. There are several nice par 4's and a difficult par 5 on the course. I suggest beginning players and less experienced to play the red tees.
I was very impressed with the signage. Each basket has a next tee sign at the base of the pole and many areas have signs leading to the next tee. I did not print a map and had only 1 problem finding a tee. That was hole #13.
Cons: Currently the tee pads are grass, dirt, and carpet. Many are not level and some of the wooded holes are short. I did not play the red tees but looked at them and some were not playable in the woods. I had dry conditions so it wasn't that bad. I'd imagine after rain it'd be slick and difficult to throw.
The wooded holes are very rough! The fairways themselves need to be cleaned up quite a bit and the walking paths to the next holes as well.
There are quite a few blind holes. Along with the heavy rough this course is difficult to play by yourself. Losing discs is a possibility. Bring a spotter.
Beginning players are going to find this course very challenging and possibly frustrating. Try the red tees first!
for local league, tournaments, and much more.
There is an option to stay out of the heavy woods. Play 1, 2, 3, then 12 thru 18.
Educate yourself about poison ivy. I saw some in the fairways and rough in the woods.
It's been an extremely dry summer in Northern Illinois. Bugs didn't bother me too bad today but i'd suggest bringing bug spray.
I have a feeling that this course will break in as time goes on. It's very fresh and when you get off the fairway it's difficult to move around and find discs. As time goes on and it gets more play it will hopefully become more player friendly.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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