Got to play it!
22 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: There are plenty of reviews stating the amenities and the good parts of the course. So there isn't much to add so I will list some of the things that stood out.
Of course, Bill has put a tremendous amount of time into the course and it shows. The fairways are clean and clear - the rough is pretty easy to navigate too.
Some of the 'touches' I liked were:
- the directional teepads. They narrow at the front - and give a good indication of where the basket is located.
- The holes, while many of them are short, are usually protected by trees, rocks.
- The transition from 11->1A and back from 6A->12 is very well thought out. The course flows well overall. The only issue I had that I had to refer to the map too is 13->14. Right next to 13 is the tee for 10 and if you aren't paying attention, you'll probably head the wrong direction since pretty much all the other baskets and tee pads are right next to each other.
- The course is very clean - there were _no_ cigarette butts that I could see.
Loved seeing all the signatures on all the sheds that have been erected.
Cons: Not the course itself and the course info does mention it, but the deer flies are killer. Mosquitoes do not bother me, but I was eaten alive by the deer flies - DEET didn't scare them away either.
Mentioned this as a Pro, but looking at the hole lengths this is important to note. Many of the holes are short, but even the short ones have plenty of trees guarding the baskets. Without the trees most of these would be quick 2s.
I played minutes after it rained and it would have been nice to have bag hooks available. There are some concrete 'blocks' around many of the holes to set a bag down on and there are some benches around on other holes though.
Other Thoughts: They don't affect the game, unless you are hitting them - but I love all the rock cairn's around the place. They are all over, in many sizes.
This isn't really a pro or a con, but the layout is really setup for 18-24 holes. There are no front and back 9. There is a trail off of 6 tee pad to bring you to 15 if you just want to play 9 holes though. But once you pass that, you are playing 18 or 24 unless you want to go safari. Because of this layout, there isn't a quick stop at the car after 9 - once you are out, you are committed - bring drinks and maybe a snack.
Both a pro and a con - while there are pro/am/jr tees - the am/jr are just marked with rocks. I appreciate the additional shorter tees, but the rocks aren't as nice as the concrete tees.
I listed the cleanliness as a pro - there were plenty of bottle caps. I think I picked up 30-40 and tossed them. He has a no glass containers sign posted, but that seemed to have been largely ignored. The trash bins are full of beer bottles, so at least they are making their way into the bins and not into the woods.
The family brought me out for a Father's day present - much better than a tie. Drove 3 hours to get here and it was worth it.
Flip is really close to some other great courses in the area too.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
I don't care who finds this helpful
3 Helpful / 24 Not
Pros: Great elevation shots.
Tremendous aesthetic appeal.
I drove 2 hours there and 2 hours back, spending $50 in gas and paying a dollar to play and it was totally worth it.
Cons: I wish it was closer
Other Thoughts: I might move closer to this course.
3 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Welcome to Heaven
2 Helpful / 24 Not
Pros: It is the disc golf promise land. Without a doubt, the only 5 ill ever give.
Cons: There shouldnt even be a "cons" section for Flip
Other Thoughts: With all the reviews on here covering the course, not much else needs to be said, except: get to Flip
2 of 26 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 26 Not
Pros: Everything. Great Tee Pads, Great Baskets, Great Course Design, Great Scenery... Great Course.
Cons: It's in the middle of no where, so first-timers might have a difficult time finding it.
There are no stores nearby, so bring drinks, snacks with you.
Other Thoughts: This course is on a guy's private property. The first hole is in his front yard... He's awesome for maintaining it all and letting everyone play on his land... Not to mention he created a phenomenal course!
1 of 27 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 23 Not
And then I saw the light...
Pros: I have always heard about Flip. Finally got a chance to play this summer with DJ Hunt, Ric Hunt, RC Hunt, and Travis Smith. I was blown away with every aspect of the course. First of all the fact that i saw ZERO cigarette butts on the course except in designated areas made me so happy. The course is challenging, exciting, fun, and beautiful all within the first 3 holes. The hills make it more of a challenge and the people on the course were all respectful. Bring your big boy (or girl) arm because their is some long shots. But most of all BRING A CAMERA!
Cons: ...um...i could have shot better? No cons
2 of 25 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 16 Not
Pros: Bill's pin placement is top notch. Almost every placement offers challenges. Aside from the beauty and the "ambiance" this is what makes this course great. Also, Bill has not forgotten a thing on this beauty. The up keep is phenomenal. Even when it's muddy you'll find him out there putting dirt down on the driveway. Everything is marked like no other place on Earth. Enjoy the shelters! Don't turn into a witch and fly off on the brooms like I did. Shots are varied and challenging. It helps to have a big arm on this course, but it's not necessary to have a good time or score.
Cons: Really? You want me to say something bad about Flip? Forget it...
Other Thoughts: Wonderful story about the course being Bill's family farm and has been there since the 70s though just receiving baskets in 98, I believe. He's given us all such a gift. Was disappointed to hear that some people who played a glow earlier in the year left some trash out on the course. I think they may have ruined the glow experience for some, but this place needs to be treated with respect. We are all guests.
11 of 27 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 31 Not
Pros: Lots of elevation changes. Beautiful course maintenance.
Cons: Every course I have played I can list negatives for. I am not going to list the negatives for this course because the positives vastly outweigh the negatives.
Other Thoughts: I have played blue ribbon pines and highbridge courses before playing this. Flip city is truly one of the best courses in the country. It was worth the 8 hour drive from Iowa to enjoy 2 quick rounds at this gem. I look forward to playing this course again.
2 of 33 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Wow Wow Wow! beautiful course, amazingly taken care of. You can tell that Bill loves his course by the condition it is is. The lay out is challenging, but is forgiving at the same time. Tee pads are solid. They are skinny and I have an odd run up so I thought it was going to be an issue. To my plesant suprise I had plenty of room for my run up width and length wise. A must play course no matter where you live.
Cons: Cons? Seriously? not one to be found accept it's in Bills backyard instead of mine.
Other Thoughts: The course has a lot of elevation changes and is a work out. It is one of the most fun courses I have ever played. I smiled the whole time I was there. I met Bill briefly and what a humble and great guy. If your a avid disc golfer you know that it's not always about the score. I swear i could bogie every hole and leave Flip City the happiest guy I know.
6 of 16 people found this review helpful.
40 Helpful / 3 Not
Beautiful and fun
Pros: The description says it all, Flip City really is disc golf's field of dreams. This is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been fortunate enough to visit not only in terms of natural beauty but also in terms of aesthetic golf fairways.
Hole 2A is probably one of my favorite all time holes requiring two long dead straight shots with straight to slight turnover finishes to obtain the pin. Complicating the drive and 'approach' shots are rolling hills with two moderately sloped ravines. After playing many rounds here, I'd expect to find some pretty cool variation in scoring depending on whether you land near the top or the bottom of the slope. Drives that miss the fairway are likely to either hit the lining trees, land in deep rough, or at least land in areas of long grass which will damper ones effort for recovery. This hole also comes after many shorter and more simplistic holes which really highlights the contrast in challenge and length - Fantastic hole!
Variety - Although distance and challenge are relatively uniform across the course (shorter and less challenging), variety in terms of shot selection is awesome at Flip. I especially enjoyed several of the low-ceiling holes or upward finishing holes that begged for a long controlled roller shot. Of course the more traditional mix of forehands, backhands, and tomahawk shots were also on tap. The course also boasts many holes with multiple routes which have a fair balance of pros/cons of their own leaving the player to weigh their strengths against potential rewards and risks.
Beauty - I've mentioned it several times in this review, but it is worth restating - the course is absolutely gorgeous. You really can't go wrong with your visit to Flip City!
Cons: The first main drawback I felt playing through Flip City was the relative lack of variety in terms of hole distances and challenge. I was throwing an Aviar off of nearly one-third of the holes, often short turnovers or slight downhill straight shots. Many of the more open holes allowed for very straightforward hyzer bombs with little risk or penalty for missed shots. Teepads seem to be another problem, perhaps only one that has developed over time as they have worn down. Even after sweeping them off (with the really cool brooms on each hole), I was sliding all over on release. I usually have a fairly light-foot on tees so I would expect that this is likely a problem for many that play the course. Finally, the overall challenge of the course is mostly suited to players of a more intermediate level rather than geared towards advanced/pro players. Although there are more than a few holes which will test even the most veteran golfer, there are LOTS of 'gimmes' and filler holes that don't add a whole lot to the experience and aren't present in such numbers on other top courses I've played.
Other Thoughts: This course really is worth the trip for any level of golfer from very new players to the most skillful throwers. New players will still have the opportunity to get a few birdies, and while experienced players will probably find a majority of holes too straightforward for excitement, they will still enjoy the course aura and the more challenging holes that intersperse the course. For beauty and playing experience, Flip City is certainly tops for beauty and experience but for a true test of the golfers game, I'd recommend the nearby Leviathan course as an all-around better choice.
Remember to kick in what you think the experience of playing Flip City was worth. $1 is a completely crazy price to get the priviledge of playing this course. I'm sure it takes lots of money to not only outfit the course with all of the cool amenities present but also for general maintenance. Gas costs alone for mowing fairways must be quite expensive!
40 of 43 people found this review helpful.
106 Helpful / 1 Not
Flyboy visits Flip
Pros: See Cons
Cons: See Pros
Other Thoughts: Making a trip up north to play the legendary Flip City course has been on my to-do list since long before I ever dreamed of building my own disc golf course. With the Atlanta summer heat index well into the miserable 100's, the time seemed right, and fellow disc golfer Brad Meier and I headed north on a spur of the moment combined trip to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Mecca of sport aviation, and Flip City, Shelby, Michigan, Mecca of disc golf. Oshkosh: been there done that before. Flip City: epic.
Having heard so many great things about Flip over the years, our expectations were high, and neither of us got much sleep the night before our visit, as the anticipation of playing one of the best disc golf courses on the planet had us all keyed up. We'd given Bill, creator of Flip City, a courtesy call prior to the trip just to make sure we were good to go, he gave us the green light, and the trip was on. Airline flight Atlanta to Detroit, and rental car drive Detroit to Shelby dragged on forever, but as we finally got to within 10 minutes or so of Flip, the pavement faded to gravel, time seemed to slow down, and the beautiful landscape gave us a hint of what was to come.
I wasn't sure what to expect pulling into Bill's driveway...giant flashing neon Flip City sign?…big asphalt parking lot?...wrong end of the spectrum. The place is quaint and understated with only a few initial subtle hints of disc golf. The faint word "Flip" was mowed into the grass in the front yard. Nice touch. Stepping out of the rental car, we were the only sign of life on the property, aside from the swarm of seasonal deer flies buzzing around our heads (we were in season). Near the parking area, a small faded wooden sailboat sits on a pedestal, and around the corner of a shed is an old mailbox nailed to the wall with scorecard/course maps and pencils. There's a donation lock box labeled "$1". $1…are you kidding me…to play this legendary private course? My first insight into the kind of guy Bill is.
The #1 tee pad, around the shed, is marked by a diminutive white post and points out towards Bill's front yard. No tee signs, huh. "Must be that-a-way", over the hill between those trees? Our hunch was confirmed with a few steps up the hill to get a visual on the basket. I almost aced #1 with my trusty Road Runner. Let's see, next tee…no next tee signs either, huh…there it is…over there, and the pad points "that-a-way", basket must be over there somewhere. We continued working our way around the first five holes using the "must be that-a-way" method, noticing the increasingly beautiful scenery, swatting deer flies, and certainly enjoying but not blown away with the course…until we found the #6 tee. Wow…now I get it! Absolutely beautiful. After putting out, we followed a meandering path we hoped would lead us to…Holy Cow!…#7…even more picturesque off the tee than #6. Ok, officially blown away now. And so it went.
And then we stepped up to #11. The scene unfolds below and in front of you like stepping into a wonderland. Curious rock sculptures sprout up randomly around the manicured grass fairway, loosely bordered by knee high wild flower spattered rough areas, serrated by ribbons of artistically mowed pathways. Mesmerized, we grab for our cameras with no thought of grabbing for a disc. Finally, oh yeah, we gotta tee off don't we. I managed another decent Road Runner pull, but "niced" Brad's Wraith just as it turned over and headed for the rough. Finding it was a breeze though, thanks to the accommodating mowed paths in the knee high wild flowers.
As we continued around the course, learning to spot the subtle pathways to the next tee, and realizing the lay of the land is all the tee sign you really need here, we began to appreciate the "experience" of playing Flip, as one beautiful fairway after another eased into view before us. Somewhere along the way, without mention, we stopped keeping score, ridding ourselves of any additional stress. Our fun meters were pegged. Even the Deer Flies seemed to cut us some slack, or maybe we just quit noticing them, as we became fully immersed in the incredibly beauty of this special place. A wind chime played some faint background music. Brad and I respectfully added our own small touch to the Flip City tapestry, stacking a couple of small stones on one of the many rock sculptures, and writing a thank you note in sharpie to Bill on a picnic table, already covered in countless signatures, musings and hieroglyphics from 30 years of disc golfers. Another insight into Bill's psyche, inviting his guests to become a part of his creation.
As we progressed through the layout, I began to understand and respect the "feel-good" nature of Flip City. Having played Flyboy hundreds of times, with it's heart-pounding lake challenges, every trick in the bag required, and mental and physical endurance demands, it was a welcome relief to be able to totally relax and enjoy a completely different realm of disc golf. With nary a par 4 or 5 to worry about, my "Nut Sac" of four trusty discs was plenty to play Flip (Oh. The "Nut Sac" is a small travel bag I use on the road). Remember, Bill built this course 30 years ago, when a 250-foot drive was a pretty good rip. To choose between Flip and Flyboy…well, they're two entirely different animals. Brad and I, both pilots, mused it'd be like trying to decide whether you'd want to fly a vintage WWII P-51 Mustang, or a supersonic, high tech F-22 Raptor, each sexy fighter planes in their own right. We'd give both our arms to be able to fly either.
It is understandable to me now how Flip City, one of the very first private courses in the sport, has stood the test of time, and in fact become part of the history and lore of disc golf: one word…Bill. We were able to meet and chat with him after the round, because he gave up his afternoon at the lake to wait for us to finish the course. Bill has dedicated about 30 years of his life to his dream, and I really do mean major sacrifice…in his personal life, the enormous amount of work he's done not only creating this jewel, but meticulously maintaining it on a daily basis. And financially…how many thousands upon thousands of dollars of his own money has he invested over the years to make this course one of the best in the world? The mailbox nailed on the side of the shed says "$1 to play". C'mon Bill…. you kidd'n me! One dollar won't even pay to back the mower out of the shed! But that's Bill's way, quietly motoring along, almost apologizing for asking that you please not bring your dog to crap around the course, or throw your cigarette butts down, or donate $1 to play. I urge you to ignore the ridiculous "$1" sign and donate as much as you possibly can afford to the Flip City cause. And if you insist on throwing your cigarette butts on the ground, just wait and throw them down right at Bill's feet when you finish. He's the one ultimately going to be picking them up, might as well save him walking around the course to do it. Don't forget, this is a private venue. There's no grounds crew to mow and clean up after you, there's no public funding coming in to build, maintain, and improve the course, there's just Bill.
If you wanted specific hole-by-hole details about Flip City, read some of the other detailed, well-written reviews. To me, this course is so much more about experiencing something very special in our sport, than about the mathematics of a perfect disc golf hole, the stats on the course, or even your score. It's about enjoying a once in a lifetime, unique disc golf experience, and well worth the time, effort, and money to come up here to "Mecca", and experience it for yourself.
106 of 107 people found this review helpful.
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