A Gift from Nature and it's Curator
21 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The pros of this course are almost too many to list, but I'll do my best not to miss any.
Flip City is off of a dirt road in Shelby, MI, not near anything much that I could decifer.
You pull up, and there is a small house and a barn and a boat... Yes a boat, the USS Flip City(a small sailboat) that is up on stilts and used as a flagpole.
I'm immediately I'm immediately intrigued; first class disc golf and eccentricities? I'm all in.
There is a small parking lot and you walk over to the pay slot( an upturned mailbox with a slit cut in and put in your $1(seriously, just one dollar) and grab a scorecard and map from another mailbox just beside it.
Numbers one and two are good warmups over well manicured land(Bill was cutting the grass as I played there, but luckily stopped briefly so that I could say hello).
It quickly escalated into a more technical course that can bring great reward or great frustration depending on how your bad hops or lucky bounces go.
It's heavily wooded throughout and has a ton of these little rock sculptures throughout. Some are huge in moveable cairns that are intentionally placed, others are small and built by players.
Of the latter, of you knock one over you must repair it and build one of your own.
I didn't knock any down but built a few more, becuase it's fun and what better thing could you do while waiting for someone to throw?
The course is widely varied between short technical holes like #3 or #17 and some big open bombs like #2A which was among my favorites.
There is a great amount of thought behind every hole, and great long teepads. With a runoff area at the end so that you never step in those pesky end of pad puddles.
I love the trees; the course is flush with great old growth hardwoods, manicured pines and all manner of amazing foliage.
It's also a big enough course that even though I wasn't alone out there it felt like it at times, and you could really connect with the course and your game. It's actually not massive at about 35 acres but you feel miles away from the nearest player even of they are 100 ft away.
The fairways are mostly very gaurded and give very little runoff from errant throws on neighboring holes.
There are plenty of port o johns and shelters and at least one sitting area by every hole.
It's truely a pleasure and one of the jewels of the sport.
Cons: Threre are very few, I feel bad about putting anything here.
If they are out of maps(like they were when I played) it's hard to navigate some holes, hole layouts by the tee would be cool to have.
There is only one layout per hole...again on an epic 24 hole course this is nitpicking, but I'd love to see what Bill could come up with.
Other Thoughts: Bill said some people have been after him to add some water holes, I disagree, one; why mess with an amazing legendary course? Two; mosquitoes you guys. There were very few when I played, unlike every other MI course this summer.(they all had water)
This is a must play that I get to check off my wishlist, it was as good as advertised and I understand all the love it has been given now.
I can only give it a 4.5 becuase you can't do a 4.75 on here and I think that comparied to the gold standard in my book(Rollin Ridge) there are fewer amenities and modern touches. Not that that is a bad thing really, the rustic nature of the property is quite charming.
Play this course, if your a local treat it well.
And put more than $1 in the mailbox.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Oh, the serenity...
31 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Wonderful 24 hole course, out in the middle of nowhere, set on some of the best land you could imagine for discing. Truly pristine.
2 tee areas on each hole. Longs are nice, grippy concrete, with a foul line and runover area. Really nice, and plenty long/wide enough. The shorts are natural and signified by two rocks. We didn't see anybody playing the shorts the entire weekend.
Good baskets, all in good repair, and very level. They all caught well. No issues here. One pin position for each hole.
Elevation EVERYWHERE. Outside of a few holes, elevation played a big part in nearly every shot, and in a good way. Well thought out and never seemed to be gimmicky. The terrain also seemed to block out a lot of wind, which to me, is a huge positive.
Great use of the obstacles here. Trees forced certain lines or served as pin guardians. Well designed in every way. The risk/reward on many holes is fantastic. There were a few lines I hit that I felt as if I'd just won the Super Bowl.
Superb mix of distances. Several holes under 200', but even those were tricky, technical shots that required great touch and sometimes, a bit of luck. Bombers in the 400's, a 650' hole 2 that goes from clearing to trees...really all you could hope for in one course. There really isn't a throwaway hole on the entire course....which is quite a feat over 24 holes.
The manicuring here is beyond awesome. Fairways are perfectly framed (and perfectly generous) and lines are mowed into the taller prairie grass, which makes finding discs much easier. Flip City is scenic as you could want.
Navigation was a breeze, with many next tee signs helping the cause, and a very intuitive layout.
Cons: Not much to list here.
Some of the rough is ROUGH. If you're off the fairway in the wrong spots, you'll come out worse for the wear, to be sure.
No water. No biggie, but worth mentioning.
Only one set of real tee pads, and one pin position. While the golf is phenomenal, it would definitely be cool to see multiple pin positions.
No tee signs to speak of. Just a post in the ground with the hole number. If you don't grab the scorecard at the beginning, you won't know distances, outside of eyeballing. It kind of boggled my mind that there weren't great signs here, especially with all the other hole to hole amenities (benches/shelters/etc).
Other Thoughts: Flip City is truly a destination. You can camp onsite ($10 night/person), and only $1 a round, which is dirt cheap. The camping is rough (no showers or other amenities), and you'll want to be fully stocked on supplies, unless you want to drive 15 mins to restock.
From scenery, to serenity, Flip City is all you can imagine. I had an absolute blast playing here. Group rounds are fun as hell, and the solo round I snuck in was equally rewarding. Make sure to thank Bill for all his work...this place is certainly a labor of love. From the rock sculptures to the rolling hills to the golf club feel of the fairways, he has truly built something great.
I know I'm going to get many thumbs down for rating Flip City a 4.5, but it's less of an indictment of what Flip is than of what other courses are, as it relates to the current run of new courses and their amenities (Rollin' Ridge sticks out as the gold standard for me). The golf is as good as anywhere I've been. It just lacks the amenities of some other modern courses.
With that said, this is definitely a destination, especially with Beauty/Beast/Goliath/Leviathan (among others) in the immediate area. I actually thought I'd be let down coming here, but it was quite the opposite. I now "get it" when it comes to Flip City...now get there so you too, can "get it"!!!
31 of 32 people found this review helpful.
You owe it as a disc golfer to put a fiver in Bills honor box.
2 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: It is a monument to love of the game and the land.
It is brilliantly designed.
In many ways it defines modern disc golf.
Cons: Criminally under priced.
Other Thoughts: This is the 9th coarse we visited on our summer vacation and the 3rd in the top ten.
Our dog Murray had to wait tied to a pole in the players area, he made friends, people are generally good.
2 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Lives up to the hype!
15 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -Immaculately clean
-2 sets of tees, longs are beautifully poured concrete
-inexpensive (worth way more than a buck)
-GREAT use of elevation.
- Rock gardens create a unique feel.
- Overall beautiful scenery and location.
- Not overrun, even on a beautiful sunny Saturday.
Cons: -No water carry.
-Very basic tee signs.
-Remote location. Bring plenty of water and snacks
Other Thoughts: I'm going to discuss my "cons" first because they'll take almost no time at all. It would be really nice if Bill's property had a stream running through it or a pond to throw over. But it doesn't, and in my mind a gimmicky fake water hole would be worse than not having one. I'm not willing to deduct points for something the land didn't provide. Bill's property is in the middle of nowhere, and there is no place right nearby to buy drinks/snacks/lunch/whatever. Bring your own and you'll be fine.
Now for the good. Flip City is located on a piece of property blessed with rolling hills, thick woods and grassy meadows. As you can imagine this leads to some epic disc golf holes including uphill, downhill and sidehill shots. Very few baskets after the first were left on a level lie, and those that were level were also well guarded. Despite the difficulty the course plays quite fairly. It is more of a test of skill than a course that punishes you needlessly. On one hole (5A) that none of us could figure out a solid route on we had one member of the group (the only guy who'd played Flip previously) throw a huge sky hyzer that plummeted through the trees guarding the basket to card an easy deuce. Seeing that made me realize that there really were no unfair holes, but that I would have to improve the way I think about the game to score well here.
There are benches at every hole, and the rock gardens provide a unique opportunity to take a break from discing while leaving your mark at Flip.
Players of all skill levels can enjoy Flip without becoming overly frustrated due to the natural beauty of the course. However this is NOT a course I would bring a newer player to unless they were prepared to struggle with putts rolling away and somewhat tighter lines than they may be used to.
I have been looking forward to playing Flip City for a couple years now, and came in somewhat prepared to be let down. I was concerned that the course might be more of a cult classic, and not live up to the hype generated by it's fanatical followers. But I'm here to tell you that Flip delivers a unique disc golf experience that is both enjoyable and challenging. As along as you understand that Flip is one man's dream, and is maintained by that one man, you should be willing to make allowances for things like rudimentary tee signs and appreciate the amenities like benches, shelter houses and perfectly poured and nicely shaped tee pads. Flip may not be perfect, but the imperfections are minor, and are part of the character and charm of the place. I wouldn't want it any other way.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: At night, when I crawl into bed and close my eyes, I replay the round I had at Flip City and it gives me an overwhelming and comforting sense of peace and serenity. It helps me fall asleep almost instantly.
When I arrived at Flip City on an early Monday morning with my family, Bill quickly came out and welcomed us. Ever since I got hooked on disc golf a little over five years ago, I've known about Bill's creation, Flip City, since it greeted me every day on the front page of DGCR under "Top Courses". Meeting and shaking hands with the man who created this magnificent place was something I've been looking forward to for several years.
After sliding some money into the deposit box, we teed off and we started what is now one of the most memorable rounds of my entire life. I could write a narrative about the round I played but I won't put you through that.
The incredible attention to detail shown with the hundreds of rock formations coupled with a very, very fun design and an extraordinary piece of land makes this course a 5.0.
I'll elaborate on the these three biggest pros (detail, design, and land) below.
1. The detail. Flip City has incredible attention to detail. It's as if every single inch of this massive 24-hole course is immaculately planned. Whether it's the rock cairns on basically every hole, or rough that has lines mowed through it which makes finding your disc easy, to carefully cared after fairways. Even though this property is huge, it's taken care of like it's my grandma's 100 square foot garden. The love Bill has for this place is very apparent. Thank you for all the work you do, Bill.
2. The design. What a fun round this is!! This course flows beautifully. We only needed to look at that map once or twice. The holes are diverse, challenging, and extraordinarily fun. There's a good balance of right/left, short/far, up/down. There's risk/reward and everything one could want in a disc golf course.
3. The land. Oh golly! Bill's backyard is a wonderland with it's rolling hills and big trees. It would be fun just to walk through his backyard, let alone play a round of the best disc golf on Earth here.
This course truly is one of the best courses on Earth. There's no doubt about it.
Cons: Just a select few. I'll be terse.
Bugs: The mosquitos and flies were straight up nasty.
Signs. The tee signs just had number on them. No distances (on score card) or layout of the hole. Also, not all holes had cement tees yet (but he's very close to being done with this).
No water holes. I like water holes, but Flip has none. No big deal though.
Other Thoughts: Amazing. Best of the best. The five-hour trip was worth every second. I highly, highly recommend driving out to Flip City and checking it out. It's a euphoric experience that any disc golfer should consider taking a trip to have.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
A "must play"
9 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Lots of picturesque holes for your camera.
Lots of length.
Scenery. Lots to sit and look at.
24 holes that are nicely "linked" together!
Good people to run into all over this course.
Not too busy.
Great elevation changes.
Easy to navigate.
Lots of places to sit and take a break.
Cons: This course is remote. Western MI is a beautiful place to roam around in, and this course takes full advantage of the area. Some folks like water hazzards. This course doesn't appear to have any, but for me personally, I don't consider that a "con".
Other Thoughts: What all the others have said. My GPS led me directly to this place as one small dirt road led to an even smaller dirt road. A "mixed" sense of isolation and comfortable security filled me when I drove up to the property and saw the sign for "FLIP CITY". It's hard to describe, but there seems to be a lot of poverty in this part of the country. The dirt roads and dilapitated houses you pass on your way to this little gem contribute to the feeling of uneasiness one might have when one is far from one's hometown. When you reach Flip City however, the sprawling acres will make you feel at home again. Everywhere you look on this course, you will find dedication and attention to the detail of a disc golf course.
$1 to play per round is a steel. I placed a buck in the can and shot the 24 holes by myself at a liesurely pace. It probably took me a bit over 2 hours. I loved every minute of it, and I cannot wait for the chance to return. Bugs were not too bad, but I had spray. Lots of garbage cans, but I would encourage you to carry-in, carry-out. It's not that hard to do.
Once you finish hole 11, I encourage you to go to the top and follow to the right for holes 1A-6A. When done with 6A, you are right where you left off for hole 12. As mentioned, these holes are "linked" well.
9 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Flip is more than worth the Trip!
13 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Where to begin. This course has more character than any course I've ever played. The unique rock formations, the gardens, the old shacks, the unique canopies to rest at, and so on show that this course is not only unique, but a special place that deserves all the praise it gets. Bill, the owner, is an amazing guy. The fact that he keeps this course up to fantastic standards by himself is astounding. The elevations here are phenomenal. You will get a great hike out of these 24 holes as well. So many signature holes that it's hard to choose one. Hole 11 looking out and down to the rock field is an amazing looking hole. The fun factor is through the roof. The cleanliness is top notch. I can go on and on, but people below me have said it all. I've been playing since 1998, and this course was the epitome of all the years I've played the game. This isn't a course built for championship caliber distinction, nor was it built for just the beginner in mind either. It was built for EVERYONE. If you don't have fun and enjoy yourself here, you need to hang it up.
Cons: Cons? Uhm, I live 8 hours away. Mosquitoes are BAD, but as long as you cake yourself in repellent, and keep it up, you will be okay. Uh..yeah. That's all I got.
Other Thoughts: Put this on your bucket list if you haven't played it already. Make the trip. This is THE destination course of all courses. It is the Augusta National, the Masters of disc golf. Camp out on the property like we did. Just get in touch with Bill before you do. Bring some good beers, and Bill will come join you at night around the campfire and share his amazing disc golf stories with you. Bill and Flip City are disc golf treasures. Flip is worth the trip! Thank you Bill for all you do!
13 of 16 people found this review helpful.
oh Flippy oh Flippy
7 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: -Great Elevation
-Awesome course routing
-The risk/reward of each of the holes makes nailing that shot feel so good
-The course owner, Bill, is the sh!t! Thanks for putting this masterpiece out there
-I love how the first couple holes are simple and fairly easy, then #5 comes around and BOOM, you enter into another realm of disc golf. Absolutely amazing.
-Hole #11 is everything you want in disc golf, an elevated downhill tee shot over a valley with the basket on a side of the hill. You will air out several discs on this hole.
-Great places to rest under unique structures around the course
-Trash cans plentiful, use them and keep the course beautiful
-only $1 to play, which is insane! I put in more out of respect to Bill
Cons: None, the 3+ hour drive is the only negative, i would give my left nut to have this within an hour.
Other Thoughts: We played as the course was thawing out from the harsh weather and had 6-12" of snow cover in a couple places and we still couldn't get enough of this place. Absolutely loved it.
7 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 10 Not
My Favorite Family Disc Golf Course
Pros: - Elevation Is Awesome
- Rock Formations
- The Beautiful Course Layout
- The Great Bill McKenzie
- The Manicured Fairways
- The Difficult, Yet, Makeable Lines
- The Field Of Dreams
- Great Times With Family And Friends
- It's Challenging And Makes You Want To Play It Over And Over And Over Again
- Hole 11 Will Rock Your World Every Time You Play
- Blind Holes, Long Holes, Beautiful Holes
- Simply, The Best Disc Golf Course Ever Invented!
Cons: The only con that I think of is the 5 hour drive between where I live and where Flip City is. Scotty beam me over there!
Other Thoughts: If this is not on your bucket list. Put it on your bucket list NOW.
6 of 16 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 23 Not
The ONE and only
Pros: This place has it all elevation, risk reward, flow, beauty, challenge, and most importantly fun.
If I was told I could only play one course for the rest of my life I would choose Flip.
Cons: Bugs but thats why they make bug spray.
2 of 25 people found this review helpful.
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