2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A family friendly track with plenty of shade. Signage & mowed paths make it very easy to navigate. Dual tees. The Blues play to an advanced level but provide enough challenge to engage a pro.
The front 9 is well manicured and pastoral. The back is a bit more rustic. I didn't notice any sort of thorns or vines in the rough, but the front has plenty of high grass off the fairway and 'hungry' cedar trees.
I enjoyed this course for its simplicity. There were some holes that were long enough for the blues to present a challenge (especially in the blustery wind) but the shorter holes were fun, fair and invited us to experiment with alternate throwing styles without blowing out our arms.
Ample length tee pads for a shorter course, for the most part. The back 9 features home made wooden targets that look cool and catch well. The locals we met were friendly and helpful when one of our "lefty" throws went astray.
People who only have time for 9 holes can veer left after hole #8(?) and play #s 17 & 18 in (making that 10 holes) Pine Knoll is a nice warm-up before playing the more challenging PDGA course.
Cons: Although it sits at the base of a ski hill, the course topography is mainly flat with only minimal elevation changes. Somewhere near the end of the front 9, there is an elevated tee throwing into an open field for 500+ feet. The hole was fun enough but the tee didn't allow for enough run up or follow-through.
Other Thoughts: (#1154) A great complement to the larger, more challenging course. We saw far more players on this course...mostly kids. Come for the day! Play both courses!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Baskets made with Old World Craftsmanship
+ Begins with several short technical holes requiring finesse and placement. The landscape opens up as you work toward the newer, additional holes (8-16), which require more distance while avoiding some very well placed trees.
+ Runs the gamut; from short, well-wooded, technical holes to one fairly long, open hole, with the majority filling the void between those extremes.
+ Holes that force a specific line combine with holes that allow for a variety of lines to cover a wide variety of shot making requirements, creating a degree of balance for the course overall.
+ Decent range of distances from the blues. Kind of short from the whites (but that's how it's 'sposed to be).
+ Blue and white tees do a decent job of creating different looks for holes 8-16 (but pretty much only add distance on the orig 9).
+ Some well-guarded and nicely tucked pins.
+ Challenge: Well-suited to beginning and intermediate players. Advanced/Pro players won't find this particularly challenging, but could have a blast running pins and hunting for birdies.
+ Not much disc threatening shule.
+ Baskets: #'s 1-7 + 17-18 are equipped with Chainstars in good shape. Holes 8-16 (i.e. new holes) feature baskets made from wood - very cool and rather artisan looking. They have metal chains, catch great and are anything but rinky-dink or cheaply made. To say they add charm doesn't do them justice.
+ 36 concrete tees (18 shorts, 18 longs) are large enough and in great condition.
+ Color coded tee markers (white for shorts, blues for longs) show hole # and distance are simple yet effective, and together with next tee arrows get you around with minimal effort. + Course was well- groomed and everything was in tip top shape. Don't recall seeing any litter on the course.
Routing/Nav: Practically effortless. The beginning's pretty intuitive, and while the more open section (7 - 18) has the potential to be tough to follow, they've done a great job with next tee signs and tee posts to make things a snap. As a result - no map required (which is fortunate, because as of this review, the map only shows the original 9 holes.) Well done!
Play all 18 or jump from 7 to 17 (skipping the newer holes) to play an abbreviated round on the original 9.
Aesthetics: Quite pleasant and laid back. Plays like a park-style course taking you through pine woods and fields dotted with clumps of trees.
Memorable holes: The downed trees and resulting wall of roots on #3 is unlike anything else I've ever seen. The other holes were pretty good, but none of those seared any lasting images into my mind.
+ Another, more challenging 18 hole course on site
+ clean bathrooms in the clubhouse/lodge
- Risk/Reward: Not much, but what is there is mostly in the chance of losing a disc if you really huck one a ways off the fairway.
- Pretty much devoid of any elevation to speak of. While the ski hill course offers elevation in spades, it'd be nice if the kinder, friendlier course gave beginners a taste of how elevation affects the game without having to get their butts kicked on a course they aren't ready for.
- Wooden baskets are a bit wider and perhaps a tad more forgiving than most. I can't help but wonder if this wasn't done intentionally to ensure there aren't a lot of bad bounces... which would most definitely result in a bad rap. Point is, they play fair for all. Mentioned more as an FYI than a con.
Other Thoughts: While it's nothing spectacular, Pine Knoll is a good course that's solidly desinged and quite fun to play. Just challenging enough to provide a nice intro to the sport, as it requires shot shaping and control, yet isn't so frustrating that it will discourage new players from coming back for more (which some courses can) as they develop their skills... if challenge is all you seek, go play big brother.
Wind likely to affect shots on holes 7 -18.
Most of the original 9 have a decidedly pitch-n-putt feel to them, and while they aren't bad, I actually think the new holes with the wooden baskets are the more interesting holes on this course, as you can get a more full disc flight and have to compensate for the wind. I think 18 holes like the original would be typical (i.e. 2.5), as would 18 of the new holes. Happily, we have bona fide case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, as they supplement each other well enough to provide a more balanced variety than either set does by itself.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Kind of like Eastern Michigan. not as good as it's close neighbor...
Aesthetic-- plays through woods and some more open woods and ends with two more open holes. I'm sure this is the busier of the two courses here as it's FAR easier to play.
Baskets-- nice, ChainStars and custom wooden baskets. I really liked the wood baskets as they add an aspect of originality to this northern michigan course.
Routing and nav-- a little confusing at the 7 to 8 junction. That said, you could easily turn this into a quick 9 hole course (old layout) or play through the new 9 holes.
Teepads-- Dual pads on EVERY hole. was nice to have the choice. I played a little of each set during my round and took pictures of the new 9.
Originality-- the uprooted trees on 3, the wooden baskets, this course has it's own identity from the big brother course on the hill. One of the other nice things is that this course plays a lot "cooler" than the PDGA course due to the amount of shade here. the 100' markers on hole 7 were a cool touch too.
Teesigns-- basic. with length and a crude map. instructive enough I suppose and lengths seem appropriate.
risk v reward-- none to speak of on the new 9. the rough is a bit rougher on the original 9 course but still not an issue if you have an errant throw.
Challenge-- quite short. hole 1's white tee is 135' long :. has one long hole that almost seems out of place on this course.
Wasted opportunity-- I think the hill in the back of this course coulda/shoulda been used a lot more than it isn't. the hill only has a tee pad on it. no baskets.. kind of disappinting really.
this course has a complete lack of elevation.
Other Thoughts: I really liked this course. it was a nice warm up for the big house on the hill.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
A fun and worthwhile compliment to the PDGA course
Pros: + Full 18 holes playing through some woods, then fairly open holes
+ Very nice dual concrete tees: white (beginner-friendly layout) and blue (average, full layout)
+ Low mowed grass shaping fairways
+ Easy to navigate with blue directional signs and mowed walking paths
+ Treacherous un-mowed rough
+ Effort to remove trees to define lines is appreciated
+ Preserved trees to add challenge is frustrating :)
+ Tee/basket location for line of sight variances
+ Convenient! Really, this course is a great compliment to the PDGA course on-site
+ Clean and well-maintained
+ Brooms at the tees, a couple trash cans
+ Uprooted trees blocking #3's basket was surprising
Cons: - Wooden baskets are too wide at the base and catch shots that normally wouldn't go in
- Back nine plays fairly close to the loud highway
- Hole #17/18's field is popular amongst dog-walkers and other pedestrians
Other Thoughts: Pine Knoll was once a 9-holer with single, "short" distance tees. In the past year or so, wooden baskets have been added to round out the full 18 layout and then blue tees were cemented in that really added the necessary distance and challenge to bring it up to par with other courses.
Pine Knoll serves a noble purpose. It's the humble younger brother of the PDGA Course. The PDGA Course is much larger, grander, more challenging, more technical and diverse, scenic, and honestly way more fun, but Pine Knoll is thoughtfully designed and completed wonderfully. Beginners, less able-bodied disc golfers, people low on time, anyone whose been beaten up by the PDGA Course, or anyone really in the mood for a solid round of birdie opportunities will be very satisfied with Pine Knoll. Like the PDGA Course, it's very well-maintained with nicely groomed fairways, multiple lines to choose from, and great signage.
I always consider playing this course on the way up or down I-75, especially if I don't have the time or energy for the PDGA Course. The first time I played it with my wife, we played the shorts and while I was underwhelmed, she had a fantastic time staying close to par. Thankfully, the Blue tees add the perfect amount of challenge in distance and line shaping. Advanced and above will appreciate the way it compliments the PDGA Course, as a great way to warm up or cool down. Playing both courses can take four hours and is well-worth the drive and time. I highly recommend playing both. If you have the time and energy, play the big one. If you are just passing through, play the short one. Even if you just play 1-6 and 17/18!
Thanks for reading!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Pros: - Good smart design with many different throws, most holes allow alternate routes but a few get quite technical
- Nice tees on the original 9 part, carpet tees on new 9 are good though
- well marked, groomed, easy to navigate, all amenities, etc!
- Not very rough easy to find discs, etc
- No poison ivy
- Very scenic back extra holes feels like NorCal
- Awesome uprooted tree
- WOOD baskets
Cons: Not much really, just insanely short for the original 9 short tees but they're just fine for the beginners, much needed even.
Other Thoughts: Worth playing but if you have time for ONE course, play the long one instead, unless you're a noob.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Good signage.
Area fairly kept up as far as maintenance goes.
They just added nine more holes to the course.(numbers on baskets are off now). But their wooden baskets are a thing of beauty.
Cons: Me and one other friend did all 18 holes in about 45 minutes and that includes the extra few minutes it took to find one of my disc's and help someone else do the same. It was way too short when it was out first time.
Other Thoughts: There is a longer course with 19 holes. It's about an hour drive from Traverse, I'm open to trying out the longer course, but I'm spoiled with Hickory Hills being from Traverse City.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Very Nice Technical Course
Pros: This course was recently expanded with 9 more baskets made out of wood (catches discs very well and look great) with carpet teepads for a total of 18 holes. I didn't see any permanent signage yet, but the Holes were labeled Hole A through Hole I and started after Hole 7 and looped into Hole 8.
The original 9 holes with metal baskets have two sets of concrete teepads Blue(Pro) and White (Am) with excellent signage.
This course has a good mix of holes which will have you throwing through some tight technical tree sections to airing it out on a couple longer stretches near the end of the round.
There are plenty of benches on this short course which is fairly flat and stroller (family) friendly.
Cons: It was a little tough to navigate in a few spots on the new 9 holes added, but I was lucky to have some locals show me around.
Other Thoughts: This is a great compliment to the PDGA Championship Course located on the big hills.
Definately worth the trip to check out the Hanson Hills Recreation Area.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
NEW Wooden Baskets
Pros: This place gets better every time, Great signage and course markers makes navigating very easy.
Dual concrete tee pads is always a plus
Covers a wide variety of shots. This is a great course to learn and hone your skills.
NEW 9 holes recently added to Pine knoll course. Carpet Tees and wooden baskets that look amazing! Kudos to who built the baskets. This just adds value to this already wonderful disc golf course.
Cons: Nothing really comes to mind besides no elevation and no signage on the back nine yet.
Other Thoughts: This place is well maintained, you can tell the locals really care about there facility here.
Between 18 hole short course and the championship course I will be coming to Hanson hills more frequently that is fore sure!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Stretch your legs and arm
Pros: Hanson Hills short course is a great for what it is meant to be, a fun, family friendly 9 holes.
The am tee lengths are great for beginners or folks looking to work on their upshots. The "pro" tees give length on enough holes to make it worthwhile.
Concrete tees and garbage cans at each hole. Clear signage with hole #, distance and hole outline.
An even mix of left, right and straight holes with clearly defined fairways. A few holes had alternate routes available but most your throw just has to follow the path through the trees.
Wood chips surrounding the new Chainstar baskets and on some of the walking paths between holes. Navigation is very straight forward.
A two sided kiosk is located near the first tee and had useful information such as "how to's" of throwing, disc charts for innova and discraft and course info and events.
Cons: The short tees are very short and would be a "con" for anyone looking to play a course for a serious round.
The entire course is flat. The one bit of elevation is a raised tee that isn't really necessary.
Other Thoughts: On my trip to Hanson Hills, I expected the short course to be a nice warm up for the long course. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, cleanliness and attention to detail. It was a fun 9. There were multiple groups playing including families and small children, which is nice to see a course that can cater to a different demo as the long course would be too much for many.
The Grayling Rotary has done a nice job here creating not one, but two courses that meet the needs of the community.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Great Warmup for the Main Event
Pros: This is a neat little 9 hole course which makes for good practice before you do the long course. When you pull up the first hole is on the right and there is parking there. But I find it better to park near the lodge because it's not that far of a walk to the long course.
There are Pro and Am tees which is great even though they are not really far apart.
This course is very clean. When my friend and I showed up we noticed how nicely maintained the course is. We even saw a couple people moving branches out of the way from one of the holes which was really nice of them.
The signage is spot on and it's great. Also with the cement tees are really great.
Hole 7 has a really neat tee in my opinion. You go up a little hill and throw down a little hill but it's surrounded my rocks which add a nice touch.
Hole 1 has the AM tee closer to the hole and makes it a lot easier to not goof up and hit a car. I thought that was great because it took the fear of hitting a car away to someone that may be brand new to the sport like my friend that came out.
Cons: The pro tee at the first hole is far back enough that yes you could potentially hit a car but it shouldn't be a problem for those that have played for a while. But if someone is playing for the first does it. There may be a slight risk.
Other than the little hill at #7, there is literally no elevation at all. This course is very flat and it makes for a big surprise when you do the long course.
There is a bike/ski path between hole 7 and 8. It wasn't busy when we started but when we were done, we saw a lot of bikers so please be careful.
There is lots of sand at a couple holes. Also at hole 3, the path had some thick mud but I am sure that will dry up as Summer comes closer.
Other Thoughts: This was a fun course to practice and warm up. It made me look forward to playing the long course and the hype was building with each passing hole. I am really happy that we started this and when it was over, it took roughly 15 minutes to complete.
I live about 20 minutes away (I moved since my Hickory Hills review) from this course but I haven't played until today. It is a fun course and I recommend it to those to try out before doing the Long Course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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