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.
A fun and worthwhile compliment to the PDGA course
1 Helpful / 0 Not
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!
1 of 1 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.
Very Nice Technical Course
2 Helpful / 0 Not
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!
Stretch your legs and arm
4 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Excellent Warm Up For The Long Course
For being an afterthought, this course has great variety. It starts with very short heavily wooded holes. As you progress through the course, the holes gradually open up as the distance increases. Pro lengths range from 150-525'.
Each hole requires something a little different, mostly in tight approaches, and one hole is all about warming up the Big Gun. Baskets are tucked away and heavily guarded. Whether it is a open tee that closes up at the hole, or a tight tee with an open fairway, there are challenges for RH and LH players alike.
While the Am tees are mostly not that much closer than the Pro tees, the skill required for the Ams is measurably less than the Pro. This often allows mixed groups to tee off together while matching challenge levels with abilities.
Although this course is very short, there are still benches placed about every third hole, and all of the tees are easy to find except the last.
No elevation. This course lies in the flatlands that lie before Hanson Hills. It intermingles with a CC ski trail and a baseball field, so don't expect any peaks or valleys. The 5' high ridge at #7 tee is the best there is.
Natural tees. This area is lousy with sand, and the tees show it. They are serviceable now, but it has only been in the ground for a month or two, and a season or two of rounds is all it will take to destroy them. Cement tees aren't really needed for a course as short as this, but some kind of reinforcement is really needed to keep these tees from becoming boar wallows.
Terrible signage. The original signage on the main course wasn't much better, but currently the tee signs are nothing more than laminated pages that will last through a storm or two and be gone. Here's to hoping better signs are in the works.
No water hazards. No OB
Hanson Hills is approximately 90 minutes from my home. Whenever I have played it, I have always felt very tight and not on my game, even when I have used the driving range to loosen up. I was planning to play a Cadillac course right after this, but I felt so good after my round I immediately played the long course, and scored my best there ever.
Since Hanson Hills - Long was designed as a PDGA championship course, it makes sense to have a short 9 to complement it. Competitors are able to warm up in something other than a field, and people who travel to a competition, but don't participate, can whittle the time away on this course while the tournament is happening.
While the growth is still heavy on the shorter holes, this will naturally recede with play, and I believe leave behind a well designed, mildly challenging 9 that will allow us to get all the cylinders firing before we tee off for the big prize.
Short, but pretty sweet. I would definitely suggest you play this prior to the long course so that conquering the terrain doesn't hamper your game.
While there are improvements that I would like to see on the main course, surprisingly, the addition of this little 9er significantly improves the Hanson experience as a whole.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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